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As brands continue to compete for users’ attention on social media, the space is getting more and more crowded, and social platforms have become increasingly selective as to what content they will serve up to their users.

One way to jump in front of the line is to go the route of paid social. In most platforms, there are multiple ways to get exposure. Today, we’re highlighting the differences of  “boosting” or “sponsoring” organic content versus a straight-up paid social ad.

What’s the difference between a “boosted post” and paid advertising?

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The term for “boosting” will vary by platform. For example, Facebook calls it “boosting” a post, whereas LinkedIn calls it “sponsoring” a post. There’s really no difference in how it works.  Simply put, “boosting” or “sponsoring” ensures more people will see the post by putting a little money behind it.  What many people don’t realize is that simply posting on your channels does not guarantee your followers will see it in their feed.  Boosting a post does.

Boosting takes an organic post (no money behind it) that you have created, hopefully with excellent, tailored content created by you or your team, and increases the chances that your audience (and the people you promote it to) see it by paying for that privilege.

Boosted posts are easier to manage than paid ads, as they are typically a one-off post and aren’t normally part of a larger campaign. Content you may boost include a timely blog post, press release or media mention.

The drawback? Your options for audience targeting, scheduling, budgeting, and ad formats are limited. For example, boosted posts only allow you to promote the post as it organically appears on your page, whereas advertisements allow you to use formats such as carousels, or collection ads for ecommerce.

Paid Social Advertising

Paid Advertising is a larger beast to tame.  As opposed to simply putting money behind a post already in your feed, these are ads created specifically for an ad objective.  As such, paid ads are part of a larger campaign with multiple copy and graphic/video variations for testing. Think of these as fractional print ads that at one point you may have run in a magazine (although, it’s important to note that paid ads can be much more than a static image with some copy.) 

Paid ads are best when pushing a set goal or objective. These have a strong call-to-action (CTA)  and are about getting an audience to click through to your website or landing page.  Paid ads are typically one of the first layers in an integrated sales funnel.

Some instances where you may want to consider running an ad campaign instead of a simple “boost” include: 

  • Highlighting a promotional offer or a direct eCommerce push.
  • Drive registrants, downloads or leads
  • Promoting a product or service with a long decision timeline (so that we can continue to nurture them by retargeting users through other ads)

Boosting Social Posts: Best Practices

A great boosted post should feel natural in users’ feeds. If they aren’t paying close attention, they won’t know it’s an ad. Here are a few tips for getting it right:

  • Start by boosting content that is already performing well organically. This is a good indicator of what will work well on a larger scale.
  • The content should focus on engagement or awareness to widen your social media following. Content where you’re calling for leads, sign-ups, or purchase are typically best served in a traditional ad campaign.
  • Don’t spend a fortune. Spend a small amount, like $10-25. See how it performs and scale from there.
  • Be careful! With most of these platforms, once you take an organic post and promote it, you cannot modify it. Double-check that the copy provided is suitable to push to the masses.

Social Media Advertising: Best Practices

Besides boosting organic content, most social platforms have multiple ways to advertise – everything from display ads and retargeting to direct messaging. These are generally more expensive and rely on an ROI-centric objective. 

With paid ads, you can run variations of a single ad and test each to see which copy, image, and call-to-action (or combination thereof) work best. Paid ads also allow for retargeting and offer the opportunity to experiment with multiple ad formats such as display, text, video, etc. On some platforms, an ad campaign provides more granular targeting options.

If you’re new to social media advertising, here are some of our best tips:

  • Keep the copy short and sweet. Users may not be familiar with your brand quite yet, making their attention span for your content even shorter.
  • Run multiple variations of your ads. Test different headlines, body copy, calls-to-action, graphics, images and videos.  Unlike print or TV, digital ad buys can be turned on, up or off in midstream. Once you’ve gotten some results, narrow your ad set down to the best performers and put money behind these.
  • Leverage both graphics and video for best results. While video is favored by many platforms and consumers, it’s still worth testing both.
  • Be thoughtful and clear on your objective. Social media platforms design their ad algorithms to place your content in front of users likely to take a specific action. Selecting the wrong objective, like selecting a video views objective when your end goal is really to get people to visit your site, will lead to disappointing results.
  • Install the social media platform’s pixel on your site, where applicable. Not only do these pixels provide you with conversion data, you can also use them to create remarketing lists to fine-tune your social marketing efforts.

Ultimately, whether you choose to boost a post or run an advertising campaign depends on your goals. If you are trying to build brand awareness or drive engagement on a particular post, sticking with boosted posts would be advised. If you’re looking to drive conversions, then paid ads are your best solution.

 Need help? Get in touch.

Over the past few years, “athleisure”—a clothing trend combining athletic wear and casual attire—has taken the fashion world by storm.
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In an article from Business Insider, Dennis Green says that athleisure has changed the fashion industry to the extent of creating an entirely new category of clothing.

The popularity of athleisure reflects a lifestyle change towards health and fitness—a movement spearheaded by millennials.

And as many fashion brands are acknowledging, appealing to this new health-savvy population of fashionistas rather than dissuading them is the trick.

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Any marketing expert can tell you that understanding the audience and its desires is key. Per a Harris poll, 72% of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences, rather than material things. As athleisure clothing is typically worn for an experience, such as working out or hiking, they are more likely to spend their money on it.

Out of the numerous brands that have caught on to the trend, Lululemon could be considered the pioneer.

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From the start, Lululemon never had to truly change its marketing strategy. Millennials ignited the cultural emphasis on health and wellness, bolstering the marketing success of companies like Lululemon that already had products catering to exercise and outdoor activities.

A mixture of well-established fashion brands and niche brands have answered the athleisure trend. Old Navy and Target offer low-price athleisure gear, while more high-end fashion brands such as Tory Burch have created their own lines of athleisure clothing.

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Meanwhile, smaller brands like Outdoor Voices launched in response to the demand for athleisure products.

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Many speculate it was only during the height of the athleisure craze in 2015 that these other brands began to mimic Lululemon’s marketing practices.

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The beauty is, this trend isn’t just for the millennial demographic. At CBC we’ve worked with female apparel brand Garnet Hill to spotlight their own athleisure line with content that is more than just about the physical piece – it’s about the lifestyle you live while wearing it.

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In our opinion, these companies have the right idea. They appeal to this athleisure-crazed audience by promoting healthy experiences in a comfortable, fashion-focused way.

As a public relations agency with many experiential marketing campaigns under our belt, we’d like to think we’re in a good position to point out some great work by brands and our colleagues at other PR agencies.

For experiential marketing to work, it has to grab your attention. Think about it: Have you ever done something crazy to get someone’s attention in real life? Sometimes it’s the same in marketing – drastic measures in order to differentiate yourself from the sea of similar brands. It can be risky, scary, and very thrilling to pioneer experiential campaigns.

We get it. Our idea to create a mobile boutique from a shipping container for Garnet Hill raised a few eyebrows when it was first floated. But in the end, the campaign was a huge success.

That’s why the campaigns below – all daring and different – hit close to home for us.

 Apple Orchard in the Big Apple

In June 2016, Strongbow apple cider decided they would bring a taste of nature to NYC with a floating garden. In a barge filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs, people reconnected with nature, foraged for their food, and learned about all of the ingredients found in Strongbow’s Cider.

Why we love it: This took Farmer’s Markets to a new level and imprints visitors with a memory for life.

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Big city, tiny house

In May, NESTEA introduced their own tiny house in Herald Square that emulated relaxation, minimalism, and the perfect place to enjoy a glass of iced tea. Their message to consumers: life today is not easy, but NESTEA’s new line of classic teas can help simplify things.

Why we love it: Minimalism is a coveted lifestyle in busy cities like NYC. Kudos to NESTEA for capitalizing on it!

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Actress Anna Camp launches the new NESTEA in Herald Square at the NESTEA Tiny House on May 17, 2017 in New York City. Designed in part by bloggers Southern Bite, Inspired by Charm, and Hapa Time, the NESTEA Tiny House is unveiled in Herald Square. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images) (PRNewsfoto/NESTEA)

Refueling with a brew

In a refurbished 1952 GMC Coach bus, now known as the High Brew Liner, High Brew Coffee is embarking on a cross country tour. The goal is to pop up in 31 cities for people to try a cup of High Brew’s cold brewed coffee and refuel.

Why we love it: High Brew transformed the vintage bus to speak to an audience of millennials who, according to their research, go nuts for authentic experiences.

BigFoot on the loose

The Bootmobile is a rolling shoe created by L.L. Bean to commemorate it’s 100th anniversary, created for new store openings and promotional events. The bootmobile has been so successful that a new one was made and sent to Japan for their stores.

Why we love it: L.L.Bean took it global and didn’t just section it off for convenience.

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Sweat, hydrate, repeat

In the summer 2016, Propel hosted fitness events to roll out their updated electrolyte rich flavored water. The campaign went viral with the hashtag #LetsGetUgly, in the attempt to negate the glamorous and often unrealistic social media portrayal of people working out. From yoga to boxing, Propel got consumers active and hydrated them with their water.

Why we love it: Propel provided an environment where it’s okay to get sweaty and work hard.

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Touch and Feel

The Garnet Hill Mobile Boutique supported by our PR and creative services team here at Cercone Brown Company, transformed a shipping container into a moveable, shop-able, pop up shop. The revamped shipping container was a unique place for consumers to touch and feel all of the products before buying them.

Why we love it: Garnet Hill allowed their consumers to get to know the Garnet Hill products in a more natural, homelike setting.

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Gone are the days of blanket advertising via commercials and print ads. People want to touch, taste, feel and smell the brand. In other words, an experience.

 

We live in the age of digital storytelling. While social media influences how consumers communicate their personal stories, an advertiser’s job is to harness technology and use it to shape an authentic brand narrative that resonates with the audience.

Digital storytelling is fluid and requires constant self-education. As it evolves quickly (and sometimes unpredictably), brands must engage strategically.

To understand where we are now, we have to look at how digital storytelling has evolved overtime.

The birth of Facebook

When Facebook hit the scene in 2004, users were thrilled to be able to share pieces of their lives in a virtual, easy way.

In 2009, Facebook introduced brand pages for companies to connect with their audience and then enhanced its storytelling offerings in 2011 with the implementation of a timeline, cementing itself as the go-to connection channel.

An example of massive brand success via Facebook is Tasty, the food brand owned by BuzzFeed known for its interactive recipe videos. Their content ensures that users stay on Facebook longer, links to e-comm, and generates ad revenue.

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The Twitter egg hatches

The Twitter bird flew onto the scene in 2006 and started as an outlet for quotes, quick statuses, and celebrity updates. Today, Twitter has transformed into a driver for media, news, and entertainment. It is also used as way to directly connect consumers to brands.

JetBlue effectively uses Twitter for customer service and real-time updates. They make sure that their brand story is all about how well they care for their customers.

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Twitter has remained consistent in its delivery of stories, while its digital counterparts advance according to the demands of a hungry digital audience. But beware, headlines and hashtags are only one piece of the brand story.

Instagram enters the playing field

Instagram capitalized on the visual trend, impacting what people expect to see. Despite its roots, it is no longer just a photo-sharing company.

Its methods of visual communication have evolved tremendously from static images, to short videos, to live and real-time stories.

We at CerconeBrownCompany have embraced this new feature to connect with our own consumer base – brands and potential clients! Our Instagram and Stories are a hub of all the happenings at our House Programs.

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As digital storytelling evolves in accordance with the way consumers communicate, brands will need to exhibit a willingness to experiment and adapt right alongside existing and emerging platforms.

 

 

Casey Neistat is a YouTube influencer and vlog pioneer.  With cinematic shots and clear narrative lines, his high-quality daily vlog has been a breath of fresh air in a genre filled with shaky selfie-like shots. Moreover, Neistat has built himself a loyal audience from the ground-up; one that follows his recommendations devotedly and takes his word on different products as the undying truth.

Digital influencers like Casey are the ticket in for successful marketing campaigns. In fact, MuseFind revealed that 92 percent of consumers trust an influencer more than a celebrity endorsement or traditional advertisement. With that, companies are doing everything they can to foster these unicorn relationships as a way to build loyalty with consumers.

Earlier this year, Samsung recruited Neistat to be the face of their “Do What You Can’t” campaign, to position the Galaxy S8 as the device to have in today’s creator-driven landscape. The campaign celebrates everyday people who use social media and new technology to shape their careers.

Samsung’s choice to solicit an influencer was understandable; however, how valuable a choice was it? Historically, Neistat is a loyal and vocal fan of Apple – a major rival to Samsung with a reputation for innovation.

Neistat’s following responded to the Samsung partnership negatively, saying it wasn’t the authentic story. Perhaps Samsung made a bet that the benefits of Neistat’s endorsement and the exposure would outweigh the questions the partnership begs. But evidence of that can’t be found in the comments of Neistat’s video.

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Unnatural brand and influencer partnerships can tarnish an image. Comments from Samsung’s Oscar ad are pretty mixed, but the animosity towards Neistat for working with Samsung centers on him “becoming a sellout”. As Neistat once said, “The key to cool is that you shouldn’t have to tell someone you’re cool.” Seems like Samsung wasn’t listening. That said, the entertainment industry is changing, and the line between marketing and entertainment is blurring. Many influencers have started launching their own brands using platforms like YouTube, allowing them to control their own image and ensure everything they endorse remains authentic.

Jeffree Star is one example of this kind of self-made influencer. Originally a makeup artist, Star began his climb to top-tier influencer as a Myspace musician and makeup/beauty vlogger. A few years ago, he launched an eponymous cosmetics line.

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Star also uses his products to secure trust and strengthen his brand’s image.

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And that feedback loop has led to immense commercial success for Star, who now employs over 100 people. Star almost never partners with anyone; however, when he does, it’s either his best friend or a brand he truly believes in, allowing him to ensure his image and messaging are consistent. As Samsung proved with Casey Neistat, all of this matters when fans are loyal to their influencers and can recognize an inauthentic partnership.

When brands and influencers partner, both need to make sure their actions and essence align. Audiences can smell inauthenticity a mile away, and you can bet they’ll have something to say about it.

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.

To say that Netflix is crushing the competition when it comes to on-demand television would be an understatement. Since it was founded in 1997, Netflix has quickly become a household staple and inspired other platforms like Hulu and Amazon to throw their hats into the ring. But it seems that no matter what the competition releases, Netflix cannot be beat.

When you consider the way we consume television, it’s no secret why Netflix is the most beloved of the options. The streaming platform has used many tactics to its advantage including: (1) binge-watching, (2) zero commercials, and most importantly, (3) releasing multiple Original Series.

In 2013, Netflix aired House of Cards as its first Original Series. Since then, Netflix has produced more than 100 in-house series. Below we look into some of the top-rated series and how Netflix’s marketing strategy positioned them for success.

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Powerful Partnerships

In 2016, Netflix partnered with Marvel to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of popular shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. This collaboration built niche connections between Netflix and comic fans, as well as opened the door for future Marvel Universe opportunities. In fact, Marvel Studios just confirmed seven new shows with Netflix.

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For Daredevil, Netflix created a digital outdoor stand ad in France.

In 2016, DDB Vancouver installed three billboards featuring three main characters in Daredevil’s season 2, and created individual hashtags for each character. As part of the campaign, “Hashtag your Hero to Fuel their Fury”, Netflix encouraged fans to tweet with their fav character’s hashtag (i.e. #Daredevil, #Punisher, and #Elektra). The total was counted at the end of each round and the two billboards with the least amount of social mentions were “damaged” by the winner.

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Promoting Family Values

Most recently, Netflix released two series that have proven very popular: (1) Stranger Things, which ranked the third most-watched season of a Netflix Original Series; and (2) A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the famous children’s novel series by Lemony Snicket. The latter was recently dubbed Netflix’s “first great TV for families” by the Verge.

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Surprise, Not Saturation

One year ago, the Netflix CCO declared that the online streaming giant has little need to spend heavily on marketing. However, during the Super Bowl 2017 Netflix surprised its audience with the teaser video and premier date for the second season of Stranger Things. Rather than over-saturate people with commercials, the company has opted to sparingly sprinkle in a few teasers to increase buzz.

And the fans loved it!

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Product Placement

Netflix has also made impressive use of using other brands to fund its Original Series – in other words, product placement (examples below). By subtly placing their logo or product in Netflix’s hit shows, brands are making impressions to their target audience. Meanwhile, Netflix can remain “commercial-free” in some sense of the term.

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More and more younger generations are watching television online. As marketers, we need to stay on top of the evolving television medium.

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.

Over the past decade, we have seen tremendous strides in advertising diversity, from gender to religious beliefs. However, let’s not pat ourselves on the back just yet. There is still so much room for more progress in attaining equal representation of these marginalized groups.

White male dominated agencies, like in the show Mad Men, still exist today. Photo Credit: from Justina Mintz/AMC

White male dominated agencies, like in the show Mad Men, still exist today.
Photo Credit: from Justina Mintz/AMC

Why Agencies Benefit from Increasing Diversity in their Workforce

At its most rudimentary level, advertising and marketing campaigns are meant to capture the attention of audiences. We do that by creating content that is relatable and strikes a universal chord. For minority demographics, we believe the best way to create content that resonates is to let them tell the story.

Agencies without a diverse staff are more limited in their understanding of their various target audiences.

With so many talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, why should we make our jobs harder by excluding their voices? We should embrace a breadth of perspectives as a way to stimulate industry progression and inclusivity.

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As Pepsi Co. Executive Brad Jakemen puts it, “Innovation and disruption does not come from homogenous groups of people. Quite the opposite. They come from collections of people with different life experiences coming together with a different perspective on the world. Different ages, races, sexual orientations trying to solve a problem from a different standpoint.”

Brands Pushing for Change

A few brands – including Pepsi Co., Verizon, HP, General Mills ­– have spearheaded this initiative by pressuring their agencies to hire diverse individuals. They’ve asked agencies to propose plans for how they will boost representation at all levels within their workforce.

The SMO for Verizon, Diego Scotti commented in a New York Times article that, “Marketers are expected to have a deep understanding and insight about their markets, about decision makers and about customers. We are more likely to create solutions that amaze our customers if our workforce and suppliers represent the communities we serve.”

We at CerconeBrown applaud the steps these brands are taking, but recognize there is still progress to be made. When new and unique perspectives are brought into the creative process, everyone wins.

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.

Moms everywhere struggle to get healthy food into their kids. We cook Jessica Seinfeld’s cakes baked with smash cauliflower and create clever names for celery/peanut butter/raisins combos. We make our fruit look like holiday stars and smily faces. Parents have looked to marketing to help them get their children to eat healthy food for as long as kids have refused to eat it. And, it works.

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In a new study published by Pediatrics, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN Center) researchers demonstrate the influence that marketing can have on kids’ food choices. In this six-week study, researchers decorated salad bars with vinyl banners depicting fun fruit and vegetable characters in 10 elementary schools across the country. In addition to the banner, researchers also placed a TV screen within close proximity to the salad bar and played education videos of the same animated fruit and vegetables while the children chose their meals.   The study found that in schools where the banner was in place, 90% more children chose to eat salad than without the banner in place. In schools where the banner was in place and the video was running simultaneously, 239% more children chose to eat salad.

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These results clearly demonstrate the powerful influence that marketing can have on kids’ food choices. So while big conglomerates are busy wooing our children with Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit, care givers and educators have ammunition to fight back with their own benevolent broccoli and playful peppers, evening the playing field of how we shape our children’s perception of good, and fun, food.

To learn more about this study, see Cornell Food and Brand Lab’s video, An Upside of Marketing Food to Children.

 

The five senses play a key role in our consumer lives. Traditionally, many brands’ marketing teams have focused solely on sight when producing their creative work. However, today’s brands attract their audiences through another sense: hearing. Sound in marketing has now become a popular and expected asset.

Sonic branding is the strategic use of sound and music to build brands, used to trigger an emotional response from the consumer, elevate their experience with the brand, and build a relationship.

Why should every company use sonic branding? Not only does it help you stand out from the crowd, but it also makes you memorable. Some examples of brands that have created a short but catchy sound include T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Skype.

One of the biggest mistakes an agency can do is just slap on a good song without much thought. Just because you like a song or it’s popular among the general public doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you.

Consider Royal Caribbean’s use of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.” Sure, it’s a classic song, but was it the best choice for this particular brand? After listening to the lyrics, many people were confused as to why this brand would want their luxury cruise line associated with the lyrics.

However, some advertisements are paired so well with music that the two become timeless associations. It gets to the point where you can’t hear the song without thinking of the brand that popularized it.

For example, how will we ever forget the dancing Mr. Six in the 6 Flags Commercials to the Vengaboys hit, “We Like To Party”?

Just like we won’t ever forget when Target re-wrote the lyrics to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”!

Some commercials are so trendy that the musical artist also spikes in popularity. The alternative rock group Phoenix became an overnight sensation after Cadillac’s SRX Commercial was released in 2010 with their hit song “1901.”

It’s safe to say that these songs will be stuck in our heads for the rest of the week. And with the demand of interactive marketing on the rise, we can’t wait to see which sense is incorporated next.

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.

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?