Recycling is a Slam Dunk!

MountainDew_NBA_CanopyClick to see the highlight reel

Every once and a while, we get the opportunity to create things that have a purpose. Well, recently we were lucky enough to be able to do this in collaboration with two amazing brands, the NBA, Mountain Dew and Pepsi Recycling.

At this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, we developed and introduced ‘Recycle & Recharge’, an interactive experience designed to educate consumers on the importance of recycling.

The trick with this activation was to get people excited and engaged through gameification. So, we turned recycling bins into basketball hoops on one end, and had them partake in a shootout to win prizes. And on the other end, we setup a “green” screen, where they could show off their dunking skills, and then share through social media.

The result: over 3,000 participants and premiums distributed, with an estimated 85,000+ views on social media. And more importantly, an experience that left people smarter on what it means to recycle.

With this, and other upcoming initiatives just like it, we hope to use our creative thinking to broaden awareness for environmentalism, and continue to make recycling a slam dunk!

What Sparks Our Fire? Working with great brands to create ideas with a purpose, and leave an everlasting impression. What about you?!

It’s called a brief, so let’s keep it that way.

mens-underwearOkay people, let’s get down to business here. How many of you have written creative briefs for your agency that included page-upon-page of research, data, analysis and much more? I’m assuming most of you. Now, this is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it’s a GREAT thing to provide. So we applaud you for overdelivering on the background info we might need.

BUT… when it comes down to the heart of what you want the agency to deliver for you creatively, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. The immersion is the key area where we intend to learn anything and everything about your brand, business, category and consumer. This is where the data-dump should take place.

Whereas the actual initiative we are working on should be able to be interpreted in one-page or less. References to examples that you’d consider benchmarks are always a plus.

If you do this and hear crickets, then the agency just doesn’t get it and maybe the long-form is necessary. However, more times than not, the agency will appreciate the synthesis of your objectives, and be able to move ahead much more efficiently with the task at hand.

So the next time you’re getting ready to pull the trigger on that brief, try and remember this tip. It will save you time on both ends.

Thanks for reading, and let us know if this was helpful, or if you need help crafting that brief.

The Amazon Effect

HTSAF_Stars

When was the last time you bought something online without checking the reviews? Hopefully never.

When it comes to a brands credibility today, it’s primarily based on what our peers think. And authenticity, while important to have as a brand, is unfortunately not number one. We call this ‘The Amazon Effect’, and it’s not just impacting the e-commerce world.

“Trust” comes from the number of stars that appear next to a product, making the marketing message less and less important to shoppers. Brands can make all the claims they want, but at the end of the day, consumers find comfort in knowing their peers approve, rather than the brand itself. (Makes sense to us)

While this effect hasn’t completely made its way into retail, it’s not too far off. We, as consumers, typically shop online for convenience, and get peace of mind that we are getting “the best” value for our dollar based purely on opinion. A far stretch from the traditional tactics that beautiful package design and catchy headlines have delivered for years.

What’s interesting to us is that retailers have not fully adopted this tactic. Why aren’t we seeing a star rating when walking down the aisle of a Whole Foods, Target or Best Buy? Wouldn’t this make shopping easier? We think so. Just imagine a new 65″ TV with a four-star customer rating graphic on the box or shelf — ugly, but effective.

With all of this in mind, it reinforces the boxes we need to check as marketers. While we have no control over customer reviews, we should be sure to capitalize on them when they are in our favor, as it will only result in more clicks, buys and grabs off the digital and analog shelf.

Thanks for reading, and let us know how we can help you leverage these insights.

Is your brand capable of creating a symphony?

FullSizeRender (1)Allora (and so)… just got back from a few weeks in Italy, and needless to say, I’m inspired. Not just from the wonderful foods, historical sights and work-to-live disposition of everyone there — but from the symphony this charming country composed and allowed me to enjoy. Let’s try a fun little exercise to see if I can immerse you even further. It may just inspire you for the day…

  • First open and play the following symphony from Antonio Vivaldi
  • Now imagine you are walking the small, charming, water-filled streets of Venice (think gondolas, stone bridges, street markets and little old Italian women in floral dresses)…
  • As you navigate through the streets, you pass everything from a fish market where seafood is brought in daily from local fishermen — to a bakery where “pane” (that’s bread) is being stretched and placed into ovens — and a cafe where espressos are being consumed by the liters. (Such a beautiful, and stressless vision isn’t it?)
  • Allora we have Italy!!!! So beautifully synchronized for the world to enjoy.

Now what if we were to do the same for the brands we work on today? Would we be able to visually recreate such an experience in our minds? Would it all align and transcend us like the above exercise (hopefully) did?

As you go about your day, consider trying this with your team/brand using all of your marketing assets. See what comes of it. Is there a melody you’d envelop them in? I believe this will inspire you to think about your brand in a more sensorial way. And maybe, just maybe, you can create a symphony for your customers to enjoy as well.

Are Controversial Ads Worth It?

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The battle for attention in the advertising world is intense. Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves from the competition. What is a company to do when the good ideas are either: taken, over-used, or cliché. How do they breakthrough, without breaking?

The growing trend to enter the consumer’s mind is to use controversy to excite, whether it means using humor or anger to grab attention. Controversial campaigns are high risk, high reward, so caution should be used when employing such tactics.

The recent viral advertisement campaign by Kmart, dubbed the #shipmypants ad, uses word play to promote Kmart’s shipping service. The responses have been between calling this ad, a smart, hilarious campaign, to sophomoric and cheap. Regardless, the numbers don’t lie, people are talking. Whether it’s good or bad, is still up for discussion.

Do you believe that any press is good press?

If you intend to use controversy to jumpstart a campaign here are some questions for you to answer. Since controversy evokes strong emotions:

1.Are you being controversial just to be controversial, or does it have a specific link to your brands purpose?
2.Does the dialog relate to your brand message and positioning, or is just a quick hit to highlight something new?
3. Have you prepared for the backlash and unexpected consequences?

When controversial marketing campaigns work, they usually have a high initial response rate but die off as quickly as they rise. So to sum this all up, are controversial ads worth it? In the short run, maybe, in the long run, no, unless you have a plan to continue the conversation. And if you’re going to go this route, do it sparingly as you cannot reliably gauge the response.

At the end of the day, if you are having trouble breaking through the white noise, what will you do? Play it safe or go for it?