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We live in the age of information; an era that gave birth to the World Wide Web, online messaging, and social media.

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More and more, brands are expected to keep up with digital trends when it comes to connecting with their audiences, oftentimes relying on tried-and-true approaches.

But every so often, one brand will do something completely unexpected and disrupt the digital space.

One such brand is Addict Aide, a French organization that empowers progress in the fight against addiction.

Their 2016 campaign Like My Addiction featured Louise Delage, French socialite who had it all: glamour, wealth, style … and a drinking problem? In every one of her pictures, she held a drink. Not one of her followers noticed.

Little did her fans know, she was an actress devised by Addict Aide as part of a campaign to bring awareness to alcohol addiction.

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Below we have dissected the science behind this viral campaign using an online persona and created some takeaways for your next disruption.

 

Do your homework

Underneath the seemingly simple social posts was a data-driven scheme. The creators identified their audience before the launch, studied the influencers within that space, and designed a character that would appeal to the targeted demographic.

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They also used standard strategies such as posting at high-traffic times, networking with influencers, and sourcing trending hashtags.

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Fake it ‘till you make it

To keep “her” audience unaware, Louise Delage posted content that was relevant, attractive, and enviable. While the alcoholic beverages were conspicuous, the images crafted a realistic storyline that didn’t seem out of the ordinary.

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Blending in with the crowd

Users are accustomed to an Instagram feed of idealized and fantastical photos from their favorite influencers – a space that already makes it difficult to quickly distinguish reality from fiction. Louise Delage successfully played the part of “the girl women want to be and men want to be with”. She evoked jealousy and longing, sentiments that led to her reaching 50k followers in just a few weeks.

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Close with a bang

The big reveal came in a short video; one that disrobed the campaign and presented the concept that you never know when someone is suffering from addiction, even when it’s right in front of your face. Addict Aide closed its campaign in a simple, informative, and nonjudgmental way.

 

The Like My Addiction finale video garnered more than 1 million views and was featured in prominent publications. Most importantly, the creators achieved their objective. Louise was more than just an interesting marketing tactic – she was a living, breathing representation of the company’s mission.

When done wisely, an alternate identity or other disruptive use of digital marketing can help to prompt brand awareness. Just remember: what you see on social media may only show a fraction of the truth.

When we used to say the word “drone,” you probably envisioned a low humming sound or a male bee that does no work. But recently, drone is a common term for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or a more specific type of UAV, quad-copter. As drone technology continues to develop at a fast pace, these small, durable and cheap model aircrafts are becoming one of the hottest tools for people to shoot videos and for companies to market their brands.

Drones – The Conversation Igniter

OREO’s Drone Cookie Dunk, Fantastic Four’s Human Torch drone, Lexus’s automotive ad campaign, Super Bowl LI drone show, and even Petco’s DooDooDrone are all eye-opening marketing applications of this new technology. Now, let’s see how exactly they used the drones.

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March 6th was National Oreo Cookie Day and to celebrate, the brand pulled a PR stunt. They launched five big Oreo-like drones from NYC and dropped cookies into milk cups on a barge in the Hudson.

Although it was an undeniably creative approach, the video ultimately backfired because the brand revealed how many resources were wasted to produce this video.

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Even in 2015, the drones were used in guerrilla marketing for the sci-fi movie, Fantastic Four. Producer of the film, Marvel studios, was so proud of its character “Human Torch” that they brought the superhero to life using a flaming drone.

To some fans, this was even better than the film itself.

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Lexus – the Japanese luxury branch of Toyota – rolled out an “amazing in motion” campaign to highlight the modern design of its cars. In this particular instance, cameras followed the drones as they explored the city at night.

While an interesting idea, the audience agreed that the brand muddled its message in the process.

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Drone marketing has also made its debut at large-scale entertainment events. During the Super Bowl 2017 Half Time Show, Pepsi and Intel shared their brands’ excitement using hundreds of drones:

Intel Shooting Star drones light up the sky in the Pepsi logo following the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

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Based on twitter reactions, the future of drones is as bright as their shining lights.

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What’s more, for the past April Fools Day, Petco engaged its audience with a “new” app, which provides drone service for dog pooper-scooper.

With this short and simple video, the brand spurred some social discussion and triggered some laughter.

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The CBC Way

Last but not least, at CBC, we also try to follow up with the drone marketing trend. This January, we invited editors to Colorado for our Telluride Experience where we enjoyed fresh powder and delicious meals. To capture the experience, we shot video footage using drones of the quaint town and beautiful mountains. As an added plus, the drone perspective depicts our five-day program and destination experiences in a brand new way.

There are still many questions remaining in the area of drone marketing. Our advice: keep your eye on drone technology and prepare yourself for the impossible!

All advertisers strive to produce great work that goes beyond selling and becomes viral entertainment that consumers talk about for weeks. But then what?

Many have gotten into the habit of cranking out one campaign after the other, without too much diversity in-between. But in the pursuit of staying fresh, they lose the longevity of their brand identity.

This is where Transmedia storytelling comes into play.

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source: Wise Geek http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-mass-production.htm#

Transmedia storytelling is simply defined as “telling a story across multiple media” and thrives off audience engagement. Different media forms work together to create a larger, more engaging story that immerses the consumer in the brand.

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Traditionally, media franchises (like Harry Potter and Star Wars) have brought this technique to life by building off the original content with related games, toys, theme parks, etc. This results in a natural build of brand awareness and loyalty.

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Perhaps the best example of a brand using transmedia storytelling happened in 2008 when car insurance company Progressive brought out Flo, the quirky saleswoman who has since become the face of the brand.

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Over the last nine years, Flo has appeared in over 100 commercials, has her own bobble head, a Halloween costume, and even has a role in the racing video game ModNation Racers.

Flo’s ability to transcend traditional marketing mediums has helped Progressive appeal to the elusive younger audience.

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Melbourne Metro

PSAs have a bad reputation. So when Melbourne Metro had to release a PSA for train safety, they seized the opportunity to break the monotony usually associated with PSAs by using transmedia storytelling.

The campaign started with a catchy jingle but has since expanded to an iPhone game, plush toys, and figurines.

 

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When executed well, transmedia storytelling can extend the lifetime of a campaign and strengthen brand identity.

Consumers are inundated with advertisements. While the exact number is impossible to pinpoint, the head of Kantar Futures, Dr. J Walker Smith, and other sources have cited that a person sees up to 5,000 marketing messages a day.

What does this mean for advertisers? Traditional marketing techniques no longer cut it. Consumers tune out the “seen it before” promotions as white noise. In order to capture the interest of consumers, marketing needs to anticipate their expectations and then disrupt them.

In Digital

Using Ad blockers has become common practice. Netflix recognized this trend long ago and found a clever way to use it to promote their original show, Black Mirror. Advertising via a technology designed to eliminate advertisements was a brilliant move. The campaign also fit with the show’s eerie tone, which resonated well with viewers.

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In Print

Print has always been a fairly straightforward medium. That’s why we especially loved to see Chambord blow our expectations out of the water with their print series, “Because No Reason. The blunt tone of the campaign caught consumers’ attention, and the nod to “impulse purchases” appealed to shoppers. Brownie points, because the campaign also went viral on digital.

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In Broadcast

Everyone skips YouTube pre-rolls; it’s just a fact. Instead of trying to manipulate consumers into watching a longer ad, Geico recognized the irritation and adjusted their ads to fit within five seconds. Their humorous “unskippable ads” understood that consumers just want to get to their content quick and dirty. The ads were so popular that consumers even went so far as to seek out the uncut versions.

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Product Packaging

We at Cercone Brown know you have to get creative if you want to grab consumers’ attention. That’s why we were all over it when our client, Backyard Farms, asked us to rethink how they package their delicious tomatoes. We conducted focus groups in Maine and Boston to hear what their customers had to say about the brand. This consumer feedback served as inspiration for the package design below – a signature branding of Backyard Farms that customers have loved ever since!

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So what do all of these brands have in common? They embraced the modern way consumers interact with advertising spaces rather than trying to force a cookie-cutter message. The result: content that consumers actually seek out.

Controversy was sparked last year when Target went gender neutral with some of its products; with it came an important conversation amongst brands about the potential pitfalls of playing into gender stereotypes.

Many consider gender to exist on a spectrum rather than a male-female binary, causing brands to realize that consumers are more complex than gender stereotypes might suggest. The result: brands that are more inclusive of all gender identities.

At Cercone Brown, we’re calling this a “Marketing to Humans” revolution.

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THINX, a brand that sells underwear specifically for a person’s menstrual cycle, is challenging gender norms with its “People with Periods” campaign. The ad features a transgender man, suggesting that females aren’t the only ones who would benefit from their products.

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ZARA

Many high-end fashion lines strut androgynous – gender-neutral – clothing on the runway, however, ZARA is one of the first clothing brands to make this look mainstream with their “Ungendered” collection.

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Covergirl

Makeup isn’t just for ladies anymore. Covergirl has introduced 17-year-old social media darling James Charles as their first ever CoverBOY.

Meet James Here

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Veritas Genetics

We at Cercone Brown are joining this movement to remove gender stereotypes from marketing, particularly through our work with Veritas Genetics – a whole genome sequencing startup that also markets tests for breast, ovarian, and other cancers by testing for BRCA mutation.

 

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A mutation on the BRCA chromosome can increase the risk for breast cancer in both men and women. Among our many objectives is to build awareness that both women and men are at risk for breast cancer.

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There is still a long way to go until marketing is truly intersectional and representative of all identities, but these brands are helping lead the march towards progress.

For brands that want to have a lasting impact, one thing is important to know: people remember experiences, not products.

Why it’s Important

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Experiential marketing and branded entertainment immerse consumers into brands, forming positive associations and sometimes inspiring them to become brand influencers.

Through events and other branded entertainment, you give the consumer a tangible experience so that they will remember your brand. When they go to make a purchase in your category, they’ll remember that experience.

How you can implement it

The types of events and branded entertainment you host can range from strictly informative to wildly creative. Many brands set up booths at trade shows and other events to give consumers a more personal, in depth interaction with their brand.

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs https://www.flickr.com/photos/navfac/10461564004

image courtesy of Krista K. Catian, NAVFAC Pacific Public Affairs https://www.flickr.com/photos/navfac/10461564004

photo courtesy of Nick Gray https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickgray/358452789

photo courtesy of Nick Gray https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickgray/358452789

Some brands try to reimagine the way consumers engage with their product by putting on interactive experiences.

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It’s also important to leverage social media. Posting builds buzz and creates an online community to share the great experiences they had with your brand.

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Follow Our Lead

We at CerconeBrown know just how important experiential marketing and branded entertainment can be. That’s why we frequently help hold pop up shops, mobile boutiques, and special events for our clients. Additionally, we host our House Programs multiple times a year, where influencers get mini vacations at locations across the country, allowing them the opportunity to engage with our clients’ products. We know that they may forget an ad, but they’re sure to remember an experience.

The days when only stereotypical models starred in ad campaigns are long gone. Instead, many companies like Dove, Honey Maid, and Nike are now using people who redefine classic beauty and family archetypes.

Though each ad campaign is as different as it is powerful, one thing remains true in all: no one looks the same.

Dove breaks the beauty mold

Dove has been one of the trailblazers in the creation of ad campaigns that focus on real people with real bodies. Since 2006, they exposed the ways women are inaccurately portrayed through mediums like Photoshop.

The mission of this campaign was to tell women that you don’t have to be a size two model to use their products – something no one hates to hear.

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Honey Maid redefines traditional family

In 2014, Honey Maid released its “Wholesome” ad campaign, which featured interracial, gay and other non-stereotypical families enjoying their snacks.

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And like with anything new, there hasn’t been widespread acceptance. Some have shared their negative opinions on social media. But, Honey Maid made lemons out of lemonade with this genius way of turning hate into love.

Nike proves gender is objective

Nike featured the USA’s first transgender Olympic athlete in their recent ad campaign. Chris Moiser, who is a duathlete, represents the first transgender athlete to ever be in a campaign of this magnitude.

Do we sense a change in the advertising tide? While we still have a long way to go to evenly represent people from all walks of life, it’s refreshing to see brands cultivate a new image and try to redefine the norm.

Like the rest of the world, we can’t wait for the Olympic flame to land in Rio on Friday and kick off of the 2016 Summer Games! In the spirit of the season, we’ve decided to pay homage to a few of the worldwide Olympic partners whose genius marketing strategies support this global event.

  1. Proctor & Gamble

P&G became one of our favorites when their “Thank You Mom” campaign launched in 2012. This year, it continues to build with their recent Rio “Stronger” video. Their team has partnered with athletes and moms on their journey to the Olympic games in more than 21 countries around the world.

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Source: Sheila Favretto

 

  1. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola never ceases to amaze with their marketing ploys! Their newest campaign, #ThatsGold, will feature not only the athletes but also the gold moments of the consumers of Coca-Cola. Their campaign will come to life through several, activations. Just look at some of these print ads already rolling out; we’ll stay tuned in to this one for any campaign engagement success. .

 

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  1. Visa

For this year’s Olympics, Visa launched its most ambitious integrated global campaign; the Carpool campaign. It will feature a group of 20 world-class Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they carpool their way to the games and, of course, pay for their adventures with Visa.

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  1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been an official sponsor on the Olympic games since 1976 and has a longstanding commitment to the Olympic movement. For this year, they will focus their marketing efforts on the future athletes of the Olympic games: kids.

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Their “Friends Win!” Campaign, will send 100 kids from around the world to participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympics through McDonald’s Olympics Kids Program. Unlike other campaigns in the Olympics, their product is not mentioned or shown once during the TV commercial.

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  1. Samsung

Samsung’s “The Anthem” campaign breaks down global barriers by singing the anthem of another country. Younghee Lee, executive VP of global marketing for Samsung, states, “By singing The Anthem, fans and athletes across the globe can fee a shared sense of pride and unity and together celebrate colligative progress, which is integral to the Spirit of the Olympic Games.”

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Sources: Vincent Rollandin, Mariana GC스티브 (Steve)

Slow clap for all of the brands involved in making the 2016 Olympic games a reality! It’s sure to be an exciting summer of sports.

There’s something to be said about a weekend getaway to America’s wine region, Sonoma County. Breathtaking countryside, endless vineyards, the finest farm-to-table cuisine, all tucked into the rolling hills of Northern California. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and unplug – or to simply indulge in amazing food and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

For 24 editors spanning a variety of lifestyle publications, this blissful vacation daydream became a reality during CBC’s Cooking Cottage experience from April 29-May 4.

The CBC Cooking Cottage is part of our House Program series and was born from the desire to provide editors and bloggers the opportunity to engage with a variety of brands in a tangible, meaningful way. Representatives from publications like Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Women’s Health, and more attended the organized oasis and left with a weekend experience they won’t forget.

Each day featured a new set of socially-engaging activities, each hosted by a different brand. The agenda included events like a wine and cheese at Arrowood Vineyard with President Cheese, an exclusive poolside yoga class with Clif Bar, tours of two Jackson Family Wines vineyards, a Pinot and Potatoes Paint Night with Alexia, and many delicious meals in between.

The Cooking Cottage experience gave participants an enchanting taste of the rich Sonoma culture, as well as an insider’s look at highly-coveted brands like Omaha SteaksSambazonStonewall Kitchen, and Simply Organic.

But don’t just take our word for it. Scroll through the amazing photos posted by our guests on the hashtag #CBCcottage on Instagram.

Until next year, Cooking Cottage!

There’s something to be said about a weekend getaway to America’s wine region, Sonoma County. Breathtaking countryside, endless vineyards, the finest farm-to-table cuisine, all tucked into the rolling hills of Northern California. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and unplug – or to simply indulge in amazing food and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

For 24 editors spanning a variety of lifestyle publications, this blissful vacation daydream became a reality during CBC’s Cooking Cottage experience from April 29-May 4.

The CBC Cooking Cottage is part of our House Program series and was born from the desire to provide editors and bloggers the opportunity to engage with a variety of brands in a tangible, meaningful way. Representatives from publications like Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Women’s Health, and more attended the organized oasis and left with a weekend experience they won’t forget.

Each day featured a new set of socially-engaging activities, each hosted by a different brand. The agenda included events like a wine and cheese at Arrowood Vineyard with President Cheese, an exclusive poolside yoga class with Clif Bar, tours of two Jackson Family Wines vineyards, a Pinot and Potatoes Paint Night with Alexia, and many delicious meals in between.

The Cooking Cottage experience gave participants an enchanting taste of the rich Sonoma culture, as well as an insider’s look at highly-coveted brands like Omaha Steaks, Sambazon, Stonewall Kitchen, and Simply Organic.

But don’t just take our word for it. Scroll through the amazing photos posted by our guests on the hashtag #CBCcottage on Instagram.

Until next year, Cooking Cottage!

It’s 11:00 AM. Too late for a post-breakfast snack but too early for lunch. You’re in culinary limbo.

 

As you sit at your desk listening to your stomach serenade you, your merciless mind races with thoughts of vicious things you would do for some grub right about now. SNAP OUT OF IT! You’re not you when you’re hungry – and Snickers understands.

 

A recent Snickers ad demonstrates the consequences of letting yourself get a little too hangry. Strategically placed on the back cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, the ad shows a beautiful model whose hair floats beside her head, whose belly button is near her chest, whose hand has been digitally placed onto her shoulder sans arm, and whose image, poor girl, has suffered multiple other repercussions of poor Photoshopping. The copy reads, “Photo retouchers get confused when they’re hungry.” Another ad from the campaign features a distraught, wind-blown model with copy that reads, “Wind machine operators get loopy when they’re hungry.” Clearly, these mistakes could have been avoided, had the workers had a Snickers bar.

 

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With this new campaign, Snickers sought to revamp their now six-year-old motto, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” in a fun and hyper-targeted way. Using minimal copy, Snickers challenges audiences to interact with the former ad by finding all 11 retouching errors. While it seems the rest of the world is focusing on technological advancements, Snickers proves that print advertising ain’t about to be a #TBT just yet.

 

Considering Sports Illustrated’s religious use of Photoshop, the placement of these ads is significant and ironic. Luckily, Snickers was able to bring attention to the absurdity of retouching in a lighthearted, fun way, thus functioning successfully alongside its outlet and, therefore, its audience, rather than against them.

 

Not only does the campaign get an A+ for creativity, its timeliness is on-point, as well. Sports Illustrated model Ashley Graham recently announced that her 2016 cover is au naturel and entirely untouched. Looks like the magazine is taking the appropriate steps toward combating its notorious reputation by stepping out of its comfort zone to recognize real, natural women for the first time in history. And the Snickers ad, it seems, is the perfect cohort in this effort.

 

While the ads are proving effective in the states, we’ll have to keep tabs on the brand’s performance abroad, due to a recent product recall in the Netherlands.  Maybe Snickers factory workers should start practicing what they preach–hunger always gets the best of us!

 

[SOURCE]

With back-to-school promotions kicking into high gear, trash bag company Hefty has been putting one large issue – an issue more powerful than any horrible garbage scenario – in the spotlight with the brand’s new #SaidNoSchoolEver campaign.

Hefty created 30-second ads that aim to raise awareness of the serious lack of funding many public schools and their teachers face today. The tone is comically sarcastic, with teachers delivering lines like, “We do not need any more art supplies,” and, “This map—from 1913—almost all of the states are there!” The spots end with a (self-serving) reminder that Hefty is the only “trash-bag” brand supporting Box Tops for Education.

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The Hefty campaign resonates across both political and consumer fields, reminding us of another recent campaign that intertwined civil engagement with brand advertising. According to Twitter, educators, education and public advocacy groups, and media members are all engaging with the campaign. So does this qualify it as successful? Awareness certainly seems to have been heightened – but does this translate to sales? As moms grab the obligatory storage bags while back-to-school shopping, will they be swayed to pick up Hefty instead of Ziploc due to the Box Tops involvement or the catchy campaign? We’re interested in following the campaign’s progress, but in the meantime, we’ll take a chuckle and a dose of social consciousness with the campaign’s video ads:

[Source]

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When Apple introduced its iWatch in 2015, some of the most exciting capabilities included features that are able to track the biometric qualities of the wearer, including heartbeat, acceleration, and temperature. While these features are advertised as fitness-related benefits, many are seeing possibilities with these technologies in advertising. Marketers can test different ad campaigns with the ability not only to learn the viewer’s vocal reaction, but also be given insights into how they are reacting internally, based on their physical changes.

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Both biometrics and wearable technologies are hugely expanding markets, and some companies have already taken this technology and adapted it into their own products. TomTom, for example, has introduced an action camera that can mark places in the video deemed most “exciting” through the use of an optional heart-rate monitor. These spots are specially marked within the Bandit Action Camera and make editing and uploading content in real-time more mobile and convenient than ever before.

Two companies, specifically – Mindshare and Lightwave – have teamed up at the forefront of this creative branch of advertising analytics, envisioning biometric technologies as a way for companies to tailor consumer experiences in real-time. Jeff Malmad, head of mobile and the wearables unit at Mindshare North America said, “Being able to get the data from the watch and the phone simultaneously and create better and more adaptive experiences is something that’s just going to grow in importance for brands” [Source].

As popular as wearable tech has become (see the Infographic below for proof!), one can’t help but have privacy concerns regarding the experiences some devices are proposing. The consented-to analyzing of bodily responses to ad campaigns is one thing, but the fear of getting fired if your boss finds out about your high blood pressure has an almost “Big Brother” feel to it.

How soon do you think we will be eating at restaurants with lighting that changes with the mood of the diners? And maybe more importantly – isn’t that a little creepy?Untitled

[Infographic Source]

[Source]

It’s that time of year again for holiday air travel, and Boston ad agency CerconeBrownCompany (CBC) knows that it can be both a joyful and harrowing experience. But regardless of the mileage logged or the destination itself, air travel is really all about connecting people: loved ones, friends, family.

In the spirit of celebrating that connection, this week, CBC is launching a series of ads on behalf of Logan Airport, which is owned and operated by Massport, the Massachusetts Port Authority. The campaign, called “Destinations,” will appear in print, out-of-home and online.

Some of the media outlets where you’ll see the airport ads, include:

  • Boston.com
  • Weather.com
  • CBS Radio and TV
  • Greater Media radio/online
  • Entercom Radio/online
  • Boston Magazine
  • Commuter Rail Posters and the Storrow Drive Billboard

In addition to the external “Destinations” campaign, the Boston ad agency also developed an internal ad campaign called “Straight Talk,” designed specifically for placement in Logan Airport terminals. The goal of these ads? To help travelers understand that construction in and around Logan Airport – which may seem inconvenient – is just one of the ways Massport is improving its services for all passengers and the surrounding community.

After all, a better airport means a better travel experience — one item that is on everyone’s holiday wish list. Happy travels!