Editors Experience Nantucket at CBC Summer House

Just off the coast of southern Massachusetts there is a 14-mile island with beautiful beaches, fresh local seafood, and of course, Nantucket Reds. One of the most popular New England tourist attractions, thousands of people come to see the all of the summer wonders that Nantucket Island has to offer.

For the nearly 30 media who attended CBC’s 11th annual Summer House, a trip to Nantucket translated to a coveted time to kick back, relax, and divulge in a weekend escape from everyday life.

Summer House, the flagship of our CBC House Programs, took place on June 14-16, 17-19, and 21-23 on Nantucket Island at the Heidi-Ho Property. Editors and bloggers from a variety of lifestyle publications including Men’s Health, Oprah Magazine, Family Circle, Self, and more spent the weekend enjoying organized activities set up by the CBC team.

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Some of the newest and hottest products were featured at the weekend getaway – from Wonderful Pistachios to Schwinn Bikes, from Mighty Squirrel to Buick. Editors and bloggers did what they do best: share their experiences of these products on their Instagram pages.

 

 

 

 

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lisaelaineh Life is good. #cbcsummerhouse #schwinn #nantucket

 

 

 

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The weekend was packed with activities that ranged from experiencing the products and brands firsthand to exploring the hidden gems of Nantucket. Upon the editors’ arrival, they enjoyed a Scwhinn Beach Bike Ride that led them to a Wonderful Pistachios Cocktail Hour. After their first day of activities, they enjoyed a dinner at Nantucket famous BYOB restaurant, Black Eyed Susan’s.

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 2.52.30 PMThe following morning included a GM breakfast followed by a Buick Scavenger Hunt, during which the editors drove around Nantucket to complete the list of items on the hunt. After their scavenger hunt they indulged in a relaxing bike ride and picnic provided by Sabra. The editors spent the night with a Miraclesuit Boat Cruise and Clambake around Nantucket. The last day in Nantucket would finish off with a Vital Proteins Smoothie breakfast and a Barre workout at Studio Nantucket.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend for these editors and the CBC team. Scroll through all the images and experiences these bloggers shared on Instagram with #cbcsummerhouse.

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BONGIOVI BRANDS CHOOSES CERCONE BROWN FOR NEW CREATIVE CAMPAIGN

Philanthropic Pasta Sauce Seeks Fully Integrated Consumer Experience

BOSTON — June 20, 2016 — Cercone Brown (CBC), an experiential marketing, PR and advertising agency, and Bongiovi Brands are teaming up to bring more attention to the “Sauce with Soul” through new creative work. The effort will include refined positioning, POS and native advertising. 

“Bongiovi is a young, well-respected brand that CBC is excited to help bring to life,” explains Len Cercone, co-founder and partner at CBC. “We have the opportunity to tell an interesting story with Bongiovi that goes well beyond its connection to a rock star and inspires consumers with its mission to help end hunger in the United States.”

To sauce has its roots in the New Jersey-based, Bongiovi family.  While feeding everyone from friends and neighbors to celebrities and the occasional world leader, the family was constantly told: “You need to bottle this sauce.” After years of encouragement, John Bongiovi Sr. finally agreed to produce his family’s classic pasta sauces.

However, there was one caveat – profits must be donated to the charity created by his eldest son and world-renowned musician, The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, an organization combating issues that force families and individuals into economic despair.  Its innovative Soul Kitchen community restaurants provides healthy, organic meals with no prices on the menu; customers donate to pay for their meal. Those unable to donate you choose to volunteer work in exchange for their family’s meal.

The organization combats issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. Its innovative Soul Kitchen community restaurants provides healthy, organic meals with no prices on the menu; customers donate to pay for their meal. Those unable to donate you choose to volunteer work in exchange for your family’s meal.

“In CBC, Bongiovi sees an exceedingly talented group of people who we know can create a behavior-impacting experience for our target customers,” said Chuck Green, COO of Bongiovi Brands. “We want consumers to truly know, to feel in their bones what we’re about. CBC can help us reach them in a natural and compelling way, and, in turn, help us help a lot of people.”

About Cercone Brown

An experiential marketing, PR and advertising agency founded in 2001, we work with brands on a mission; whether it’s helping people experience the thrill of the great outdoors, enjoy the world’s best tasting tomatoes, or live cancer free. We produce entertaining TV spots, smart digital strategies and innovative apps, buzz-worthy PR and social media campaigns, branded entertainment, as well as build and run live events. Bottom line: we can and will do whatever it takes to help your brand achieve its mission. We have offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. More information about us can be found at cerconebrown.com.

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Audience On the go

Your hair is a mess, you spilled coffee on your shirt, and the morning seems like an utter disaster. You’ve fallen victim to the clock and you’re not alone in your frantic run to the T. But once you are en route, you have space to take a breath, hopefully score a seat and enjoy the ride.

But, like so many city-dwellers that rely on public transportation, the commute to work can get dull. What do you do to pass the time? Chances are, you get lost in your phone for the next 45-minutes.

If you want to see technology truly captivate an audience, glance around the next time you are on public mass transit during commuting hours. You will likely see a sea of people scrolling and tapping away over their to-go coffee. Why do we care? These highly receptive times of day offer an invaluable window for any marketer to take advantage of as a way to promote their brand.

It is very rare that you will run into an individual on their commute who is not glued to their phone. This was made even more obvious when the hashtag #guywithoutaphone first started trending – a hilarious ode to the one person at a train station without a cell phone ironically surrounded by people that are attached to their devices. These pictures show that in down time, people are interested in being either productive or entertained during their daily commute. Well … except for the #guywithoutaphone.

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The national average for commuting times is about 25.4 minutes. According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 10.8 million people, or 8.1% of workers, commute an hour or more to work each way ­– when you think of all the ways you can harness this time to make conversation with your social scrolling consumers, the commute might just look a little bit sweeter.

So advertisers, marketers, and everyone in between, we have some words of wisdom for you: time is money … literally. The posters and signage within trains and busses are effective but realistically, where is everyone looking? Their phones. That’s the reason why this year, US advertisers will spend $40.24 billion to reach consumers on tablets and mobile phones.

Those tedious travel times are inevitable, so why not give your commuting consumers something to think about?

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Just Keep Marketing

Unless you’ve been hiding under a piece of coral for the last year, then it’s likely you’ve noticed the growing hype surrounding Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory. This movie comes more than a decade after the 2003 hit Finding Nemo, when we were first introduced to the endearingly forgetful character of Dory. But what makes this particular sequel so special? The anticipation for its release stems from the now young adults who grew up with Finding Nemo – childhood memories which were impressively harnessed by Pixar in its marketing strategies.

The movie poster below was released two years ago as the official announcement for the sequel. This ignited an immediate frenzy of nostalgia for those excited to relive a childhood movie favorite. Their approach? Simple, but effective. The four words and that recognizable fish tail were all they needed to remind the now 20-something-year-olds that they had once adored Finding Nemo. So how else has the Finding Dory team kept excitement going for 2 years?

 

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Keep It Simple

Minimalism was a key factor in the Finding Dory campaign since the beginning. The posters for the movie would appear with a single pattern and a hidden blue fish somewhere with a call for people to “find” her. In the middle or at the bottom, there would read either one of two lines: “She just kept swimming” or “Have you seen her?” The first originated as a key Dory quote from the original Finding Nemo movie, while the latter was the new slogan for the sequel. The posters encouraged people to think of the two movies as existing much closer together, despite spanning 13 years in real time.

Cross-Promote

The film made many strategic partnerships to promote the film’s release including Kellogg’s, Band-Aid, Subway, Coppertone, and GoGurt. One of the more prominent of these was the collaboration between the film and the USA Swimming Team with their SwimToday campaign. The campaign supported a Dory-themed website, with downloadable activity sheets, cross-promotion on social media using the hashtag #funnestsport, and influential advertising partnerships.

Celebrity Spokesperson

And of course, one of the most significant advertisers for the movie is the woman behind voice of Dory: Ellen DeGeneres. Her daily talk show, which garners 3.9 million viewers per episode, was an incredible vehicle to drive conversation for the movie. Among other things, trailers were released during her shows and she became the most resourceful publicity channel for the film.

After a series of dynamite advertisements to spark anticipation, the movie hit the big screens this past weekend. And it did not disappoint. Finding Dory set a new box-office record for animated films, earning $136.2 million during its opening weekend. Just keep marketing, Dory team.

The Perfected Potato

We can all agree that well thought-out and strategic marketing is an incredible way to reach your consumers, without having to directly put your product in their hands. In turn, the marketing influence from a product plays a significant role in the consumer’s path to purchase. However, some marketing approaches, when broken down, can be borderline deceitful in nature – particularly in the food world. Too often, companies manipulate the consumer into thinking unhealthy products are the better choice in comparison to healthy counterparts.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on companies that push out distorted information through strict regulation of unnecessary ingredients in food products – specifically, sodium. The FDA recently proposed to give manufactures two years to cut sodium levels in their products.

This is putting a lot of heat on the companies beloved for their salty snacks.

Believe it or not, PepsiCo Inc. is the largest U.S. maker of salty snacks. While many love to open up a bag of Lay’s potato chips, do they know how much sodium is in one bag? And what about those new “baked” potato chips? They are supposedly much healthier, right? With 135mgs of sodium compared to 170mgs in the classic recipe, you can be the judge. Is Americans’ lack of understanding of nutritional information like sodium content influenced by aggressive and misleading marketing campaigns from the brands?

We acknowledge that some marketing campaigns are brilliant, whether or not the product is as nutritious as advertised. Big companies like PepsiCo Inc. are experts at integrating their products into everyday culture with their seemingly endless advertising budgets and bold moves. Recently, PepsiCo Inc. focused their primary advertising on celebrity endorsers. Celebrity endorsers play a huge role of promoting products into the culture because they stand as influential figures for various demographics of Americans.

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McDonald’s, arguably one of the world’s most well-known food companies, is also exceptional at threading their products into the world. How? Their marketing campaigns are direct and straight to the point. Take a look at the ad below. Nothing explicitly alludes to a healthy product. However, when you take the time to dissect the food, you can see that they are hiding the true nature of their product. McDonalds is directly saying that a perfect potato is a French fry. A medium French fry at McDonalds has about 200mgs of salt in it, while a regular Idaho potato has 0mgs of salt. McDonalds is a perfect example of how a marketing campaign can distract consumers without being outwardly deceptive.

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To contrast, there are companies that are attempting to stay on the right track when it comes to what they put in their food and how they market to consumers. Chipotle has been spotlighted in the news recently in regards to a series of consumers getting sick from their food. As a result, they are now currently promoting what is actually inside their food. Unlike some other big name brands, Chipotle is one of the only fast food companies to take genetically modified foods off its menu. A big change like this is what the FDA is looking for from everyone in the coming years.

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This is hardly the first time major companies have omitted certain truths regarding the nutritional value of their products; however, it is fairly recent that people have begun to demand radical transparency. As things like clean eating and health awareness become more and more appreciated, companies that use and promote healthy ingredients in their marketing campaigns are the ones that Americans will trust.

BOSTON-BASED CERCONE BROWN COMPANY OPENS LOS ANGELES OFFICE

BOSTON, MA (June 16, 2016) CerconeBrownCompany (CBC), a creative branding, PR and activation agency, announced today it has opened a West Coast office in Santa Monica to better service clients with strategic content partnerships and production services.

Known for combining traditional branding approaches with non-traditional, often surprising, deployment campaigns, CBC’s work has garnered industry recognition for national campaigns that are as creative as they are effective for clients like Elan Skis, Rockport Shoes, TomTom, OnStar/General Motors and Seventh Generation. The move “out west” for the 15-year-old shop comes at an important creative juncture, with increasing needs for production, of both TV and video, for a wide variety of national brands.

“Our presence in Southern California will enhance many facets of our core business, from client services to branding and media production,” said Leonard Cercone, founding partner at CBC. “In many ways, despite having a real-time connected world, there’s simply no substitute for being there in the middle of the action to forge partnerships and develop breakthrough campaigns.”

CBC’s new LA office will be set up adjacent to Play Productions, a full-service production company CBC worked with to create TV campaigns for Rockport Shoes and Hologic, a global leader in healthcare and diagnostics. The partnership will allow CBC to provide new levels of scale and infrastructure as it expands its portfolio of award-winning work. Play Productions’ strong relationship to Defy Media, the largest digital and social network in the millennial space today, will afford CBC unmatched distribution for its content. Defy’s talent management division and deep relationships with the Hollywood community will also give CBC and its clients unique access to industry talent.

The Best and Worst Marketing Approaches from this Election’s Political Campaign

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As Election Day quickly approaches, the Presidential campaign of 2016 is in full force and one main question remains: amid all the digital and media chatter, which of the candidates will come out on top in the race for the President of the United States? It is a political boxing ring, everyone throwing punches in order to emerge the winner. In honor of election season, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the different marketing strategies and tactics employed by each of the leading Republican and Democratic candidates. Below are some of the best and worst qualities of each of their campaigns.

Republican candidate Donald Trump

Best campaign approach: Know your audience, know your brand.

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For Trump, the biggest initial challenge was finding a way to compete against the large pool of qualified and experienced Republican candidates. Let’s not forget – this is not a man who has any problem gaining attention in the media. Despite initial doubts, he has certainly proven that marketing himself is not his weakness.

Trump knows his audience, his brand, and his followers’ personality. He appeals and designs his presence to a very specific crowd of voters, ones who have now firmly taken his side in the race. His statements, often regarded as bold and unapologetic, certainly don’t appeal to everyone; however, he has pinpointed his target market and addresses their primary concerns in a relevant way.

(As a side note, Trump does most of his campaigning on Twitter. He is known for having anywhere from 1-4 bold, strong statements PER TWEET. Each tweet reaching 9.01M followers.)

Worst campaign approach: Prioritizing pride rather than consumer trust

One immense problem in Trump’s marketing efforts is his inability to take responsibly for his failures. As of now, he has a large and strong political following. However, we predict that if he continues to pass blame onto outside sources rather than on himself for personal blunders, his consumer trust will be in jeopardy.

For example, he claims that it is not his fault when rallies for his campaign become dangerous and violent. According to him, he simply speaks the words that others are thinking and that while he is vocal about the controversy, he is not the instigator of the result. The flaw in this is that he wants both the credit for starting a conversation, but no blame for when that same conversation spirals into an out-of-control movement. This approach can cause even the most reliable of brands to lose consumer trust..

 

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton

Best campaign approach: Personalized messaging to audience

Hillary’s marketing efforts have recently been compared to those of Taylor Swift in that she regularly finds ways to relate to her fans and followers through strategic and personable social media tactics. For example, she started a Pinterest for “granddaughter gift ideas, hairstyle inspiration, favorite moments, and some other things.” This conveys to the public a representation of her as an everyday woman. It focuses less on her political image and more on the relatable side of her life. This makes her brand more appealing on a variety of levels, rather than unattainable.

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So what’s the marketing lesson learned here? It pays to treat each customer and client on a highly individualized and attentive level. This will make your brand or product accessible to a wide range of people. 

Worst campaign approach: Poorly conceived visual branding

Among other things, Clinton has most notably fallen victim to logo critics. After the launch of her new logo, it was remarked that it does not invoke a sense of progression or fluidity – which is essentially the entire foundation of her campaign. Some say it looks amateurish. Others say it is pure plagiarism. And there are those who go as far to claim that the two equally sized vertical bars with a line through the middle represent the Twin Towers. When developing a brand identity, it is crucial to keep in mind your underlying message and how this would translate visually to a very critical public.

Here is the original:

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Here are the negative connotations that come along with this logo:

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This presidential election is certainly among the most unpredictable in history, and has invoked many a-conversation. As the race wraps up, we will keep our PR goggles on to examine the successes and failures of these two candidates. We will watch, wait, and participate as each candidate works vigorously to attain one of the most influential political positions in the world.

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Loyalty Programs: Friend or Foe?

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Our educated guess would be that about only 25 percent of your wallet’s contents actually get used on a regular basis, if not fewer. Because of this, you’ve likely experienced that moment between total frustration and slight nostalgia as you clean out your wallet and discover a collection of cards from countless stores and brands buried at the bottom. Credit, debit, stamp, punch; the card possibilities are endless. Over time these cards got pushed further and further into the depths of your wallet, collecting dust, as they are forgotten.

The question that remains after looking through the pile is whether or not signing up for a loyalty program really made a difference in how much you shop. On average, a single household is associated with memberships for nearly 29 loyalty programs ranging all across the retail, financial, and travel spheres. The kicker? Only 12 of those are actually used.

Loyalty programs have become such a regular part of the shopping experience, and you are no longer surprised when the cashier asks you to join their “special rewards offering” that day. Sometimes they bribe you with a one-time discount on your purchase, or another kind of perk after you’ve spent a sum of money using the program. There’s always some type of gimmick. The norm for those who choose to sign up it seems is to use it until the first reward is received, and then leave it to gather dust.

On the other hand, recent reports have shown just how effective these loyalty programs can be. Satisfaction rates are up, and convenience has improved with the expansion of mobile apps in relation to the programs. Companies continue to enhance the experience by modifying bits and pieces to not only draw in new customers but to keep longstanding customers interested and happy.

Until recently, Starbucks held one of the more successful rewards programs. The structure was simple: one purchase equaled one star, 12 stars equaled a free beverage. Moreover, an individual would reach “gold” level after spending a certain amount and get certain rewards that way. Their mobile app was, and continues to be, user-friendly, allowing you to pay with your phone and view all assets such as rewards, account balance, store locations and full menus. However this past February, Starbucks announced a change in their rewards system: Stars would no longer represent a number of drinks purchased, but instead a sum of dollars spent. Now, it takes spending $62.50 to receive that free drink, instead of the minimum $24 it used to be.

Our conclusion? When designed and marketed correctly, loyalty programs have the potential to be very beneficial for the consumer. Programs must continue to value simplicity in their processes. It is no longer enough to just have a single perk – the program has to provide an avenue for the company to build a more intimate relationship with the customer.