Pin of the Month – Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Our February “Pin of the Month” wraps up our NFL and Super Bowl coverage this month.  Building off of our Super Bowl Ad Review, our “Pin of the Month” summarizes the overall impact of Super Bowl ads and which brands got the most out of their investment.  The infographic above was created by engagor who measures social customer experiences and engagement.

The numbers from engagor aren’t too surprising, albeit incredibly impressive for the NFL and its Super Bowl ads.  Almost two million mentions of Super Bowl ads on Twitter and Facebook – however, note the discrepancy in percentages between the two sites, with Twitter claiming the vast majority of references.

So what brands won and lost during the Super Bowl?  McDonald’s and T-Mobile won according to engagor, while Nationwide was largely panned for its (disgusting) ad.

Here are a few other items that caught my eye from the infographic:

  • The dominance of mobile over desktop – continuing to display the shift to mobile in our behavior.
  • Campaign hashtags were all the rage – but only a couple of brands specifically hit the top of the list – Doritos, Nationwide, and the new Jurassic Park movie.
  • Glued to the television, I largely stayed off of social media during the game and had no idea that McDonald’s was essentially live tweeting and commenting on other brand’s ads.  Great idea from their social media team.

What brands caught your attention during the Super Bowl?  What ads did you particularly like or dislike?

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-15-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Super Bowl Edition! (Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – A look into NFL branding
(Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

This weekend’s #SundayMusings will focus on the NFL and NFL branding.  While the league has clearly become America’s favorite sport with millions watching every weekend, it certainly doesn’t have its warts.  The league can’t seem to stay out of the news in a negative way as well.  Check ESPN’s NFL page at any point and you are likely to see at least one headline of a legal issue.

The 2014 season started off with the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident and Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case, then finished with “DeflateGate”.  Commissioner Roger Goodell stumbled and bumbled all the way through both, leading to more terrible PR for the league.

Within hours of the season ending in Super Bowl XLIX, the NFL found itself with more controversy.  Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel checked himself into rehab and his star WR was busted once again and suspended for all of the 2015 NFL season.  None of this is good news but the NFL will survive.

Typically in #SundayMusings we look for stories within the past week or two to discuss.  However, we’re going a little further back this week and looking at various articles that have been written about the NFL’s branding and how/where the league stands to benefit.

#1 – “The NFL Brand – Discuss” – via Forbes.com

Premise: With several of the stories listed above hot in the news, the author conducts a ‘roundtable’ discussion on the NFL brand with several strong minds in the marketing and advertising space.

Thoughts: Excellent reference to the NFL as “The Teflon Brand” as no matter what the issue has been, the NFL has moved past it and gotten stronger in the ratings.  There are a lot of good ideas and thoughts in this piece and is worth the read, particularly behind the last question/thought, “can a brand be too strong, too powerful?”

#2 – “After Ray Rice, the NFL Needs to Go Big to Restore Brand with Women” via AdWeek.com

Premise: After the Ray Rice story broke, many said that the NFL needed to more than just treat it like a PR issue.  The NFL was going to have to really focus on this and women in order to not lose a significant chunk of its audience.

Thoughts: The NFL responded and forged partnerships with domestic violence groups such as No More.  Throughout the season there were “No More” ads aired on live broadcasts and on NFL Network.  The latest was aired during the Super Bowl …

#3 – “The NFL Brand May Just Be Unstoppable” via TalentZoo.com

Premise: Despite its PR issues, the NFL is the most powerful brand in sports, controlling its own image, licensing, and messaging.  There are no “down times” across the calendar year in the NFL, as it has spaced out its activities to ensure it stays in the news and in the minds of fans.

Thoughts: This is something the NFL does very, very well and where leagues like MLB are a disaster.  Throughout the offseason, there are key dates for the NFL like the draft, the combine, the schedule release and more.  Meanwhile, MLB releases the following season’s schedule during their own playoffs, when fans are paying the most attention.

#4 – “UA Branding Expert Says NFL’s Image Will Recover” via UANews.org

Premise: UA’s Hope Schau provides perspective on the NFL’s branding efforts over the course of the past season.  She says that while the NFL has made its fair share of mistakes, “the NFL hasn’t lost the essence of what it is.”  The NFL brand will recover and move on.

Thoughts: Excellent point from Schau towards the end of the write-up, reminding us that social media allows us to shape our own image in front of the world, 24/7.

It would take quite a bit for me to believe the NFL is not going to be able to recover.  One of those areas would be a mutiny from former and current players regarding player safety (concussions and more).  That is probably the only way I can see the NFL brand falling apart and that isn’t likely going to happen soon.

Tweet of the Week:

The cynic in me completely buys into this story and article.  I personally don’t like Roger Goodell at all.  This article paints that picture perfectly for me.  Take the 8 minutes to read this article from Deadspin – it could completely change your opinion on what the NFL tried to do this season and fix its PR issues.

What do you think of the NFL’s branding efforts?  Will this ship sink or does it have enough support to continue to move past its off the field issues?

Super Bowl Ad Review 2015

 

It is that time again!  Last weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX managed to break the preceding year’s viewership record, drawing 114.5 million viewers vs. last year’s 112.2 million.  This year’s Super Bowl was one for the ages, even if my favorite team lost in heartbreaking fashion.  That also meant that more people were still glued to their TV as the game wore on and the brands that spent money for advertising late in the game got what they paid for – attention.

As we have done in the past (2014 & 2013), here is my Super Bowl ad review from a panel of one.  One important caveat for this year’s countdown – there are two countdowns here.  Welcoming a newborn to the family in mid 2014 leads to a complete bias for the sappy ‘Dad’ commercials.  So I’m ranking those separately.  They would be at or near the top of the regular countdown.  Aside from the Seahawks pulling on heart strings, the ads in the “second countdown” below also led to me needing to call my own timeouts.  Good grief.

The overall countdown:

#5 – Jeep’s “Beautiful Lands”

Jeep selected a great song for the background and did enough on the branding on the back half of the ad itself.  What I particularly liked is that they showed a domestic side for the first 30 seconds but then seemed to suggest their global footprint through the rest of the ad.

 #4 – Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”

Excellent follow-up from Budweiser on past Super Bowl ads.  The Clydesdales are essentially Budweiser branded and at this point, I’m starting to think this puppy is too.  Budweiser also chose to use “I’m gonna be (500 miles” which was probably stuck in at least 1 million people’s heads after the ad aired.  I actually thought this was performed by FUN but Budweiser’s YouTube page gives credit to Sleeping At Last.

 #3 – Carnival’s “Come Back To The Sea”

To be perfectly honest, I’m still not sure what it is about this commercial that I really like, other than the fact that it was simply enjoyable.  You knew it was for a cruise line pretty quickly but the branding for Carnival isn’t that great at all.  The voiceover and the visual of the ad were both powerful though.

 #2 – Doritos’ “Middle Seat”

This one made me laugh out loud, probably due to first hand experiences and wanting to pull similar stunts off to avoid having someone sitting next to me on a plane.  The branding of Doritos was OK, as they show the bag in the middle and then again at the end of the ad.  As always though, Doritos went with a humor angle and this one simply worked for me.

 #1 – Avocados from Mexico’s “#FirstDraftEver”

Simply phenomenal.  Catered perfectly to the Super Bowl and a draft theme.  There were multiple one-liners in here that are/were hysterical.  The dodo bird fainting, the polar bear going “Beach, Beach!”, just a really well done ad from a humor angle.  The branding was weak for 45 seconds but it finished up nicely and included a hashtag to boot.

 Now, here are the three ‘Dad’-driven ads that made their own list.  As if the Super Bowl itself wasn’t tough enough to watch, these advertisers had to throw this in the mix this year?  Come on!

 #3 – Microsoft’s “Braylon O’Neill”

To the ~300 people that gave this a thumbs down on YouTube – have mercy on your soul.  Occasionally, people are the worst.

 #2 – Dove’s “#RealStrength”

Yep … this was equivalent to two quick jabs to the face and got me.  I don’t care that there wasn’t an ounce of branding until 47 seconds into the ad.  Throw in the hashtag for some social media tracking and I include this in my “winner” column.

 #1 – Nissan’s “With Dad”

… And there it is, the right cross to the jaw and I’m out.  “Cats in the Cradle” in the background a mirage of images and snippets of the kid growing up … done.  Nice use of another hashtag as well here, going with #WithDad.

Time to go watch the Doritos and Avocados From Mexico ads again.

There were two ads that went for the quick one-liner in comedy and failed miserably.  Weight Watchers starting off their commercial with “You wanna get baked?” was disgusting.  CURE Auto Insurance also failed miserably in trying to make noise with the NFL’s “DeflateGate”.  Both came off as crude … and lame.

What were your favorite or least favorite ads from Super Bowl Sunday?  Let me know in the Comments section below.

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-1-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Super Bowl Edition! (Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Super Bowl Edition!
(Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Welcome to a Super Bowl edition of #SundayMusings!  With some skin in the game for the second year in a row, the nerves are a little shot, as the Seattle Seahawks look to become the first team in a decade to win two Super Bowls in a row.  Ironically, the last team to do so is their opponent later today, the New England Patriots.

Let’s take a look at the top Super Bowl-related stories that have caught my attention over the past few weeks in branding and advertising.  Next weekend will be our third annual Super Bowl ad review, an article I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the first two times around!  With that in mind, I’m trying to avoid picking articles that have highlighted some of the early newsmaking ads.

#1 – “Only 46% of Super Bowl Advertisers Will Score Consumer Engagement” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: A $4.5 million dollar ad spend will get you less than 50% of your audience’s engagement, according to Brand Keys 13th Annual Super Bowl Ad Engagement survey.  Interviewing 2,705 people that intend to watch the Super Bowl the projected big winners include the likes of Super Bowl regulars like Doritos, GoDaddy, and others such as Skittles.  Two of the bigger brands to annually invest in Super Bowl ads – McDonald’s and Budweiser – don’t score well on building engagement.

Thoughts: Interesting “copy testing” like research ahead of the Super Bowl.  You have to wonder how deflating it is to spend all of this money and hear news like this about a negatively received ad before it even airs later today.  Here’s the link to the PDF directly from Brand Keys and the article from AdWeek includes a matrix that measures Engagement and Entertainment across the brand’s ads.

#2 – “Super Bowl 2015: Online Teasers vs. TV Reveal Debate Continues” via BrandChannel.com

Premise: The debate rages on in 2015 – should your brand tease your Super Bowl ad ahead of the big game or should it hold off and wait until it airs live during the commercial break?  The article provides quotes that argue for both sides of the fence with proven success for both.  The other trend that continues to grow is airing teases that lead into your Super Bowl ad, with brands like Skittles and Bud Light going this route in 2015.

Thoughts: You will find an overwhelming poll result in our ‘Tweet of the Week’ below, but my overall opinion on this is that brands shouldn’t release the full ad ahead of the game.  It completely ruins the element of surprise.  At least the teaser clips don’t give away your full ad and can build interest for your brand for tonight.

What do you think/prefer?

#3 – “Newcastle Is Crowdfunding Their Super Bowl Ad” via ConvinceandConvert.com

Premise: Newcastle Brown Ale entered the crowdfunding space in an effort to air a Super Bowl ad.  Their “Band of Brands” effort included a microsite and online videos.

Thoughts: If you have enjoyed Newcastle’s advertising and humor across social media over the past few years, you likely love this … as do I.  You can check out the microsite here and the full ad was released earlier this week:

#4 – “The Super Bowl an ideal time to launch video ads” via YuMe.com

Premise: YuMe conducted their own survey and among the 500 respondents, 79% said they watch the commercials because it is part of the tradition of the Super Bowl.  Over a third (37%) will view the game on a connected device, suggesting that this is no longer about just watching the game or the ads on a big screen TV.

Thoughts: YuMe is always an interesting read as they bring digital behaviors to life with concrete data points.  As more of us continue to shift our TV viewing behavior and add in the “second screen”, it is wise for brands to react accordingly.  As we see in the other stories this week, many clearly are.

#5 – “7 YouTube Stars Help Tease Nissan’s Return to the Super Bowl” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Nissan hasn’t advertised during the Super Bowl in 18 years but that changes later this evening.  The automaker has turned to seven YouTube stars and built the #withdad hashtag campaign to help build a little extra buzz for its ad spend.

Thoughts: We’re getting back to ad teasers vs. airing your full Super Bowl ad prior to the game here a bit.  Nissan goes with what I would prefer other brands to do here, per my comments earlier.  I’m not an avid YouTube watcher so I’m not that familiar with any of these stars.  However, many others clearly are.  The videos themselves bring their own elements to #withdad and I thought they were creative (several shown within this link/story).

Tweet of the Week:

Darren Rovell of ESPN shows the results of a poll that we’ve spent a lot of time talking about in today’s #SundayMusings.  Just under 90% of those who answered said they didn’t want to see a brand’s ad ahead of it airing during the Super Bowl.

The people have spoken, no?  That’s several different data points that suggest the same thing – brands should not release their full ad ahead of the Super Bowl.  Done and done.  Stamped.  Please?

That’s it for today’s #SundayMusings.  Enjoy this evening’s Super Bowl and track which commercials you wind up enjoying during the breaks.  We’ll be reviewing our favorites next weekend here on Shore Branding.

 

Loyalty to Brands – Samsung

Samsung (Photo credit: KiddsKids.com)

Samsung (Photo credit: KiddsKids.com)

With more than a just a slight hint in last weekend’s #SundayMusings, we walked into our latest “Loyalty to Brands” here on Shore Branding.  Founded almost 80 years ago, Samsung has become a dominant force in consumer electronics over the past two decades.  From its rapid growth in equipment and partners in mobile devices to its continued production of highly regarded TV’s, Samsung continues to become a more prevalent brand in and around our household.

How or where did my loyalty to Samsung start?  About a decade ago I led a research project on consumer perceptions of various TV’s and somewhat to my surprise, Samsung was a near dominant player in satisfaction and several forward-thinking attributes.  That caught my eye as I was in the market for a new TV for my house.  Since purchasing that 46” LED flatscreen TV and being completely satisfied with the product, it has been a growing loyalty with Samsung.

After moving from Blackberry to Android many years ago for my mobile device, I have also pivoted over to Samsung phones (Galaxy S5) given the appeal of “The Next Big Thing” campaigns and its own ability to churn throughh their product lineup and still be relevant throughout.

Samsung's "The Next Big Thing" campaign has helped build my loyalty

Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing” campaign has helped build my loyalty

Over the past handful of years and as I have become more engaged in the tech space, Samsung has continued to be a safe brand to include in the consideration set.  The overall style of their products looks and feels modern.  The quality is certainly there in my opinion.  The comfort level with their system and “how to” on electronic devices is a nice, safe way to transition/upgrade from one device to the next.

That increased comfort level with Samsung has driven the following purchases – links below for the latter two items are the product reviews put together here on Shore Branding:

  1. Samsung Ultrabook w/ Windows 8
  2. Samsung Chromebook 2
  3. Samsung Gear Live Smartwatch

Where do we head from here?  

Well, given last week’s #SundayMusings and all of the links from CES, a new TV for our living room is drawing near.  From there … knowing how rapid change occurs in mobile, I’m sure a new mobile phone will be occurring at some point a few years from now.  While my Nexus 7 tablet remains useful, I do have one eye on what’s next from both Google’s Nexus and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series.  I’m not ready for an upgrade yet, but it’s coming.  Samsung has also entered my consideration set as we upgrade our household appliances.  While there hasn’t been a purchase in this category yet linked to Samsung, it may not be far away either.

Do you have a preferred electronics brand?  If you prefer a brand over Samsung, which is it and why?  Let me know in the Comments below.

As mentioned in the past, if you have a brand or service that you consider yourself loyal to and are interested in guest blogging on Shore Branding, please do reach out and let me know via the Comments section below or through the Contact page.  Thanks!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-18-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on #CES2015 (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

This week’s #SundayMusings takes a look at the top news and stories from last week’s #CES2015 event in Las Vegas.  Here are a couple stories that I found to be of particular interest and then we’ve changed things up this week a bit.  Below that are a number of summary articles from around the web and what their respective highlights were from CES this year.

Did you make it to #CES2015?  What did you think?

#1 – “The Five Most Disruptions Innovations at CES 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: At each CES show Forbes puts together their “Big Bang Disruptors” that help move an existing market/product to new heights.  From self-driving cars to the continued evolution of health and fitness and into “augmented reality”, a number of companies moved the needle into areas that aren’t that far off into the future anymore.

Thoughts: CES help brought self-driving cars another step closer to reality.  Virtual reality gaming is essentially here.  What did you think was the most amazing or jaw-dropping innovation at CES?

What caught my eye in this article wasn’t even on Forbes’ list.  It was early in the article when they described Google Nest’s ecosystem and partner companies that are helping bring everyday chores, activities, etc. to the 21st century.  Nest will work with lightbulbs, washer and dryers, and more in an effort to make your life that much easier.

#2 – “Sharp unveils new Android TV-based SmartCentral 4.0 smart TV’s” via androidcentral.com

Premise: Sharp announced a number of updates to their TV lineup at #CES2015.  This included a 4K UHD TV, with several models adding Android TV features.  The company also announced 70, 85, and 120 inch TV’s.

Thoughts: We’ll talk more about this in the next article as well, but we’re in the market for a new TV for our living room.  I/We need a few more HDMI plugs in our next TV.  If you replaced “Sharp” with “Samsung”, there is no doubt in my mind that this would be the next TV in our living room at some point in 2015.  Unfortunately, Samsung is not aligning with Android TV, which is quite a bit surprising … and disappointing.

#3 – “Samsung’s 105-inch Bendable TV is the World’s Largest” via popularmechanics.com

Premise: Looking for the latest and greatest 4K TV?  Enter Samsung’s UN105S9B model, which is a 105 inch screen that is bendable.  The price tag?  A “modest” $260K.

Thoughts: Many times there are articles I wish I didn’t see or read.  This is one of them.  There is absolutely no reason to have a bendable TV in my house.  None.  But reading this article gave me TV-envy.  Will we be purchasing a bendable TV?  I’m pretty sure the answer is no.  Will it be half the size of this one if we do?  Yes.

TV’s made quite the impression at #CES2015.  Which company made the most noise in the category?

#4 – Summary articles from #CES2015 that are worth your time:

  1. The Guardian
  2. The Next Web
  3. eBay
  4. engadget
  5. Mashable
  6. Digital Trends

Tweet of the Week:

First, an amazing number of attempts at finding the right wearable at #CES2015.  If you take a look at the article, the author nails it on the head.  There is a lot to like about wearables, and in particular smartwatches.  However, no one has really perfected usability, style, and more.  We will all see what Apple does in this market and how competition reacts.

Finally, for those considering attending CES for the first time in 2016, here are a few tips from Mashable worth considering:

Have a great week!  Our next #SundayMusings in two weeks will focus on the Super Bowl!

 

Pin of the Month – Social Media

January's "Pin of the Month" on Social Media Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

January’s “Pin of the Month” on Social Media
Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to another year of our “Pin of the Month” here on ShoreBranding.com.  January’s “Pin of the Month” takes a look at several key social media numbers and statistics across several of the key players in social media.  The infographic itself was found on Pinterest and originated from this article.

So what exactly are we looking at here?  As we enter 2015, the numbers across the more popular social media networks continue to amaze.  With numbers and figures from multiple sources, let’s dive into some of the facts seen in the above infographic, specifically those that caught my attention:

  • Facebook’s log-in page is now available on over one million web sites.  That’s amazing!
  • 91% of Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn to search out job candidates.
  • I’m not sure how they got to the fact that eBay is the “most engaging” brand on Twitter.  (Your thoughts on the most engaging brands on the site?)
  • 1 billion Google+ accounts … but only 359 million of them are “monthly active users”.

What platform are you planning to focus on in 2015?  With the continued growth of social media in branding efforts, have you set goals for each?

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1/4/15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy New Year / 2015! (Credit: wallpaperput.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy New Year / 2015!
(Credit: wallpaperput.com)

 

Happy new year everyone and welcome to the first #SundayMusings of 2015!  I hope everyone had a great, safe holiday season and that you are ready to make 2015 bigger and better!  Why not start with the top stories that caught my eye in branding and digital marketing as they relate to entering the new year?  Done and done …

#1 – “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: “Content marketing” continues to grow.  The author has spent time in the past putting together predictions and outcomes of content marketing (links within the article).  Now he takes a look at how content marketing will shift/progress into the new year.

Thoughts: A few of the highlighted trends caught my eye, specifically #2 – “Content marketing will become inextricably linked with social media marketing” and #5 – “The reputation of guest blogging as a content marketing strategy will be repaired”.

It is hard to argue with #2, as this trend continues to grow seemingly month to month.  However, #5 is an item that is important here on ShoreBranding.com.  We have openly embraced guest posts in the past, but willingness to do so weakened in the second half of 2014.  Again, if you are interested in being a guest writer here on the site, please just let me know via our Contact page (or reach out via email / social media).

#2 – “Hey, TV Guys! Facebook’s NFL Deal Means Facebook Is Getting Serious About Video” via recode.net

Premise: Facebook has signed a deal with the NFL to put clips in its ads.  The deal suggests that Facebook is going in the right direction when it comes to online video and how it continues to grow.  For example, your profile and/or posts tell Facebook that you are a fan of a particular team.  With this deal, Facebook will be able to target you with relevant ads or clips of said team.

Thoughts: The NFL continues to surge ahead of the other US sports leagues when it comes to transitioning to online platforms.  Working with Facebook (and Twitter) is now commonplace for the NFL.

Note that there are similar discussions between Facebook and the NBA in order to get a deal in place.  It feels like my Facebook feed is in for an overhaul in the coming months.

#3 – “2015 Social Media Predictions: 10 Forecasts You Need” via HeidiCohen.com

Premise: Aside from the 10 tips/forecasts, the article links to several other “Tips”-related articles when thinking about putting together or revitalizing your social media efforts.  The write-up predicts what is next for the big players in the social space – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and more.

Thoughts: A few items caught my attention quickly.  First, similar to the article above, it seems like a foregone conclusion that Facebook is going to be deeply cutting into YouTube’s online video space.  Second, it is said to see what Heidi predicts for Twitter … as the company continues to focus on revenue and meeting Wall Street’s demands, it will start to lose steam and interest with users.  I’m not sure I see that happening … yet.  However, I do agree that Vine’s popularity has become much more niche than mainstream.  The final item that I wanted to point out is the reference to the importance of Google+ to businesses.

#4 – “The 7 Top Social Media Trends That Will Impact Your Marketing In 2015” via JeffBullas.com

Premise: Jeff Bullas provides his own take on what 2015 will look like in social media.  These focus items include continued growth in mobile, vlogging, and social wallets.  With each, Bullas provides context as to why and/or how each will continue to rise as we enter 2015.

Thoughts: We have spent a good amount of time talking about the continued rise of mobile, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.  The first statistic in Bullas’ “Paid amplification” trend is mind-numbing – the organic reach on Facebook is terribly low.  That is reason enough to reconsider your Facebook strategy and effort.

“Social shopping” and “Social wallets” have started to rise in 2014 and brands / retailers are beginning to see the power of social sharing for consumers.  Social wallets and cards have started to pop up.

Are you using a social card yet?  I literally just signed up for one last week and am waiting for it to arrive.  If so, what do you think?

#5 – “What Does your 2015 Twitter Strategy Look Like?” via MediaBistro.com

Premise: The change of the calendar year affords you the opportunity to evaluate and establish your social media strategy, with the focus of this article on Twitter.  This strategy should include goal setting, execution, and measurement.  From there you will want to reevaluate your plan to see what is and is not working and go from there.

Thoughts: For the first time, I spent a little money in 2014 to help build our SaveThanksgiving.net following on Twitter.  We gained ~100 followers from those efforts and it is likely something that I’ll re-establish in the latter stages of 2015.

Do you have a strategy that is specific for each social media site that you are on?  How did you perform in 2014 relative to your goals?

Tweet of the Week:

Hopefully, you take #5 above to heart and don’t fall into the trap of our ‘Tweet of the Week’.  The good ole marketing / Twitter fails of 2014.  I can’t even pick one of these five as the worst … they are all … just … painful.  Do yourself a favor and make sure you don’t land on this list in 2015.  Please.

Again, happy new year to all of our readers and subscribers!  I hope you make 2015 great!

Brand in Focus – Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

This quarter’s “Brand in Focus” takes a look at the branding and digital marketing efforts of Bolthouse Farms.  The company’s web page promotes their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.  Noticeably missing from the links at the top for me, is the brand’s Vine page as that is how Bolthouse Farms originally caught my attention.

Visit Bolthouse.com to see the latest and greatest from Bolthouse Farms!

Visit Bolthouse.com to see the latest and greatest from Bolthouse Farms!

Bolthouse Farms’ web site is appealing to the eye, presenting a colorful display that draws your eyes to particular areas of the landing page.  Links at the top direct you to the company’s blog, information about the company itself and its products, and a store locator for where you will be able to purchase Bolthouse Farms’ products.  As you will quickly notice on the home page, Bolthouse Farms has committed itself to social media, as under the rotating images are updates across their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Let’s dive into each one of these pages …

Facebook:

With over 450,000 Likes, the Bolthouse Farms Facebook page is the company’s leading social media page in terms of total audience.  Once a day, the owner of the Facebook page drops in an update for their followers.  With each update you will typically see somewhere between 100-250 “Likes” and at least a handful of comments.

The latter really caught my eye as Bolthouse Farms is responsive to the comments that are put on their page.  Rather than deleting negative comments/feedback, the page owners address the customers’ concerns and personalizes the message.  Below you will see the team address a false concern about their products.  Not only does it clear the air, you can see that others on the page now know the truth about Bolthouse Farms’ products and state they are willing to buy their products once again.

Address customer concerns openly on your Facebook page, just like this example from Bolthouse Farms

Address customer concerns openly on your Facebook page, just like this example from Bolthouse Farms

Every post has a colorful image to go with it, but you will also find the occasional, short video as well.  These short videos help change things up on the page and, to me at least, help build that engagement between the brand and its customers/followers.

The final item that caught my attention was Bolthouse Farms’ events that they carry over on Twitter.  The company sets up Facebook Events to invite people over to their “Twitter Party” and promotes the hashtags to use for each.

Facebook Events are a good way to draw people over to your Twitter Party

Facebook Events are a good way to draw people over to your Twitter Party

Twitter:

Again, the first thing you notice on the Bolthouse Farms’ Twitter landing page is the vibrant colors and banner image at the top of the page.  What I really like about their efforts on Twitter are the RT’s they send out to their entire audience.  If a customer mentions Bolthouse in their own feed, the owner of the Twitter page is likely to RT that message.  These efforts bring a little extra engagement with the audience.

Aside from the RT’s, you will typically see one tweet per day from the Bolthouse Farms account itself.  Occasionally you will find a Twitter chat with others on a pertinent/relevant topic like the one here from 12/17 that brings in the #holidayveggies hashtag (or similar):

Bolthouse Farms' Twitter Chats like with the #HolidayVeggies hashtag also help engage with their audience

Bolthouse Farms’ Twitter Chats like with the #HolidayVeggies hashtag also help engage with their audience

Bolthouse Farms has over 13.6K followers on Twitter (at the time of this writing), which is significantly less than their Facebook audience.  I’m actually a little surprised at the gap between the two given that efforts are consistent between the two platforms.  You will find ~10 Favorites and/or RT’s for each message the page sends out to its audience.  Something feels off on the “ROI” on their Twitter efforts but I can’t put my finger on it.

Instagram:

In fact, Bolthouse Farms sees a larger audience on their Instagram page (16.3K followers) vs. Twitter and engagement levels are much stronger.  With the visual appeal that the brand brings to the table across social media, maybe it isn’t too surprising to see the stronger level of engagement on the more visually-driven Instagram.

The fan base’s level of engagement on Instagram is solid as well – as you will typically see ~200 Instagram “Likes” on their daily update on the site, along with at least a handful of comments per update.

Bolthouse Farms' Instagram page continues to build strong engagement with its followers

Bolthouse Farms’ Instagram page continues to build strong engagement with its followers

Instagram is (or at least feels like) a perfect compliment for Bolthouse Farms’ SM strategy given how eye-catching the majority of their updates are.

Vine:

Vine took social media by storm when it was officially launched at the beginning of 2013 under the Twitter umbrella and one of the brands winning on Vine was most certainly Bolthouse Farms.  However, the site’s momentum has slowed down over the course of 2014 and the company is no exception, as this is the last Vine that Bolthouse Farms has posted … back on 1/15/14

I certainly don’t blame the company for shifting its social media focus away from Vine.  However, it was doing a great job on the site.  As mentioned at the beginning, Vine was actually the platform that put my attention on Bolthouse.  It was a nice point of difference for the brand but there is likely data that suggested it wasn’t worth the efforts it was making (at least that is my hypothesis).

Overall Summary:

If there is one point of difference for Bolthouse Farms vs. other food/grocery brands that come to mind, it is certainly the visual appeal.  Its efforts across platforms leverage this across banner images on their profile pages and daily updates to their respective audiences.  Instagram is a perfect platform for the company to work with and the efforts seem to show.

Where do you think Bolthouse Farms is strong across social media?  Where do you see room for improvement?

Let us know in the Comments section below.

Happy 2015 everyone!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-21-14

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy Holidays! (Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy Holidays!
(Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Welcome to the last #SundayMusings of 2014!  The holiday season is in full swing and so are a number of brands with their marketing and advertising efforts.  The following stories caught my attention over the past couple of weeks regarding advertising and branding Christmas.  Enjoy!

#1 – “Brands get super creative on social media for #Christmas” – via Branded3.com

Premise: Brands continue to step it up a notch with holiday / Christmas branding efforts across social media networks.  The author picks four brands that have stood out this holiday season with their respective campaigns.

Thoughts: I love the Vine from Asda in this article!  That is essentially my Christmas wish to be able to decorate the tree that quickly.  Congratulations to UPS for winning the internet for one day with their “UPS Wishes” campaign and the video included in this article.  You can send in your wish to UPS here.

#2 – “Clients Rejoice!  This Elf on a Shelf Will Judge the Crap Out of Your Ad Agency” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Agency Plan B has rolled out their own Elf on a Shelf videos for the holidays, passing along judgment in and around the office for all to enjoy.

Thoughts: I have no idea how this isn’t showing up on my Facebook wall time and time again as this is absolutely brilliant!  Plan B has hit a home run with these videos.  I love the conference call short embedded in the article itself.  How much better would your office be with this Elf on the Shelf roaming the halls (and offices … and bathrooms)?

#3 – “Booze News: Do Holiday ‘Drink Responsibly’ Campaigns Work?” via brandchannel.com

Premise: It isn’t a secret that people consume an abundance of alcohol around the holidays.  You are also more likely to be aware of ‘drink responsibly’ ads from beer, liquor and wine companies.  But does that message resonate at all with consumers?  A study conducted says “no”.  While most have a generic ‘drink responsibly’ message to it, virtually no one provides specifics on what you are doing and/or why.

Thoughts: Truth be told, the ‘drink responsibly’ ads have always been generic and you probably spend little to no time thinking about it or what it actually means.  However, it felt pretty surprising that not a single ad had some type of more specific call to action, particularly around the holidays.

What do you think?  Do alcohol companies need to be more specific in their ‘drink responsibility’ efforts and marketing?

#4 – “Ad of the Day: Apple Goes Back 60 Years to Find Its Lovely Holiday Ad for 2014” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Apple has rolled out its 2014 holiday and it is a doozie.  Actually, here it is …

Thoughts: We don’t spend much time talking about Apple on this site, largely because I don’t use their products whatsoever anymore.  However, after seeing this ad a second and third time, I thought it was awesome.  My first reaction was that it was branded very well … but occasionally, that’s perfectly OK.  Frankly, Apple’s ads have become a little too cookie cutter for me – when comparing across their ads.  This breaks the mold quite a bit and is really enjoyable.

Tweet of the Week:

A second article that actually shows off several more companies with winning branding efforts this Christmas!  As you will see, various hashtags are more than prevalent across social media.

What other brands have caught your attention this year with their TV ads or social media efforts?  Let me know in the comments below!

I hope everyone has a great, safe holiday season!  Come back for more #SundayMusings the first Sunday of 2015 (1/4/15)!