Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-25-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

Welcome to a Halloween themed #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  With next weekend being the holiday here in the US, let’s take a look at what you may want to do, or avoid, for the holiday.  We’ll also take a look at a few early winners when it comes to their Halloween branding efforts!

#1 –  “5 Scarily Bad Brand Personality Traits to Avoid This Halloween (and After)” via

Premise: With every holiday comes a desire and plan to tailor your brand’s message or social media posts to make it relevant.  However, there are a number of items to avoid when thinking about tying your brand to a Halloween, or any other holiday, themed message, post, etc.

Thoughts: This really didn’t have to be tied to Halloween at all.  However, arrogance and/or dullness in your posts, message, etc. top this list in my opinion.  There is no need to break through the clutter through something provocative if that isn’t your normal tone.  Stay consistent.  

#2 – “5 Designs We Love: Seasonal Branding for Halloween” via

Premise: Five of the top branding and/or packaging items that have been seen thus far for the forthcoming Halloween holiday.  

Thoughts: I really like what Fanta did with their packaging.  Great look and an even better bit of innovation to it, by turning it into a drink dispenser and, from what I can tell, a Halloween basket as well.  Doesn’t that look like a Halloween basket to you?  

The other winner here is one of the most digital savvy brands we have, Oreo.  Naturally … #3 – “This App Will Help You Find the Perfect Wine to Pair With Your Halloween Candy” via Premise: I’m relatively positive the title of this article says it all, as Vivino – an app for winos … excuse me, “wine enthusiasts” has launched this year’s perfect pairings between Halloween candy and wine.    Thoughts: This is simply fantastic.  Added bonus, it comes with an infographic!  An interesting point worth mentioning is that there are no specific brands mentioned or referenced in the pairing, only types of wine.  That sounds like a future brandscaping opportunity for a wine company! Tweet of the Week:

I’m not even sure where to go with this one.  Hanes XTemp technology keeps you cool as you load up on your Halloween costume, layers, and yes, hair.  Fantastic use of the holiday that can be reapplied for Christmas in a few months in a similar manner I’m sure.

Added bonus time, here is my favorite Halloween Vine thus far (from Lowe’s) …

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!  Happy Halloween and Happy Halloween Branding efforts to those giving it a try!


Brands Winning on Vine – 2015

Brands Winning on Vine - 2015 Edition

Brands Winning on Vine – 2015 Edition

Since launching, Vine has made stars out of your average Joe’s.  The site took off without even having a web site at first.  The platform – which now includes a web page – continues to be one of the most appealing ways to catch my attention when it comes to online video.

Vine may or may not be slowing down in terms of momentum, but it is still a site / an app I tend to frequent regularly.  With that in mind, I wanted to update an article written back in August of 2013 and provide a new perspective on “Brands Winning on Vine”.  The brands mentioned then – specifically Lowes and Oreo – are still “winning” on the platform, albeit not as frequently, as their number of posts have slowed down.

However, other brands and companies have certainly picked up the slack.  With that in mind, here are a few, new brands winning on Vine: [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-11-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings was decided as soon as we received the following email from Pinterest …

Being featured on Pinterest = Awesome!

Being featured on Pinterest = Awesome!


With that, here are the stories that caught my attention over the past few weeks that related to Pinterest – branding on the site, Pinterest marketing, etc. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-10-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!

#1 – 10 brilliant new examples of branded Vines – via 

Premise: The recent updates made on the Vine app allow for more user flexibility and creativity, which will likely lead to even higher quality micro-videos.  The author takes a look at brands that are leading the charge on the platform.  Trident, Dunkin Donuts, and Airbnb were the first to produce Vine videos and use them as advertising on TV.  Oreo and Tide are also referenced, given their high quality micro-videos from last week’s holiday.

Thoughts: Improving the functionality of the app will certainly make for even greater content, from brands and ‘everyday people’.  What really caught my eye here is the quote from Dunkin Donuts VP of Global Consumer Engagement, mentioning that billboards would be a good place to bring Vine videos to.  That is a fantastic idea! [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-3-13

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

This week is a special, Halloween edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week, all with a Halloween theme or twist to them.

#1 – 5 Small-Business Branding Lessons To Be Learned From Halloween Characters – via 

Premise: The author takes various Halloween-related characters and compares them to branding problems and issues that small businesses run into.  After each example, a simple brand lesson is provided.

Thoughts: This write-up was concise, but well done and tied to the holiday nicely.  In fact, you might have seen this on a few different pages this week.  Out of the five characters, there is a tie for which I believe is the best branding recommendation – between Frankenstein (“Be consistent”) and Mummy (“Evolve”). [Read more…]

Brand in Focus – Oreo

It has been a few months since we put a ‘Brand in Focus’.  Our second deep dive into a successful digital marketing strategy will focus on Oreo.  Let’s dig a little deeper into the brand’s efforts to see what has helped drive the brand forward and see how things look across social media platforms.

Oreo did not grab our attention until last year’s Super Bowl with its now infamous tweet and it has been history ever since:

We’ll focus on Twitter first, but before we do that, let’s outline Oreo’s efforts.  When visiting its own web page, you will see that they have links to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.  One of the first things that caught my attention was the use of the same image/icon/logo across each platform – showing consistency in their branding efforts across each page.  Well done!  Now, how do they compare?  Let’s take a look … [Read more…]

Brands Winning on Vine

Brands winning on Vine

Brands winning on Vine

Since being acquired by Twitter in late 2012 and subsequently rolled out to the masses in early 2013, Vine has caught fire on the digital marketing front, forcing copycats to rethink their strategy in the world of micro-video creation and video sharing across social media platforms.

It hasn’t taken long for brands and agencies to pick up on the platform and turn it into another medium to create / develop a stronger connection with (potential) consumers and drive a strong branding message to the masses.  While we have briefly touched on Vine’s success across a number of Sunday Musings’ entries, let’s focus on the site in more detail and take a look at what brands are winning on Vine. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3/24/13

Sunday Musings 2

Here are this week’s ‘Sunday Musings’ – the top five stories in branding and digital marketing from the past seven days.  For those interested, you can find the archives of this weekly write-up under the Blog-Sunday Musings tab at the top of the page.

#1 – Google Keep Launches … For Real This Time – 

Premise: Google launched its own version of Evernote this week – Google Keep.  The service allows you to take notes, create checklists, save pictures, and record voice reminders while you are on the go.  Google Keep is available for desktops and across Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.  The article also includes the official release video from Google.

Thoughts: I am not an avid user of a digital/mobile note keeper, but I downloaded Google Keep to see what it looked like.  I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with the service.  I don’t understand why it isn’t or wasn’t launched as a part of Google Drive / Docs.  It sounds like it will eventually be a part of Drive, but this really should have been an extension or added feature of that service vs. standing on its own in my opinion.

#2 – “Facebook launches hashtag feud with Twitter” –

Premise: Earlier this week, Twitter celebrated its seventh birthday.  It is being reported that Facebook will begin using hashtags in order to boost their own search rankings and appeal to advertisers.  The use of hashtags will also help categorize conversations.  The author also presents a number of facts on the strengths of and rationale for using hashtags.  There are also a few paragraphs that critique Facebook and its branding efforts.

Thoughts: They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery and this is another perfect example, as Facebook recognizes the power of the hashtag.  The use of hashtags will help Facebook build advertising revenue but will also help marketers better understand and/or target users.  It is interesting to see Facebook essentially copy Twitter here.

Finally, happy 7th birthday to the greatest web site out there right now!  Twitter has changed the world and continues to be my preferred source for real-time news and information.  

#3 – “6 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty” –

Premise: While it is important to look for new business, the author stresses the need to pay attention to your existing customers.  Any business needs to ensure that they are satisfying their current customers and the article provides six key steps in order to help drive stronger loyalty.

Thoughts: It is hard to argue with any of the six recommendations the author makes here.  While this feels second nature, it is amazing how many companies and businesses don’t follow these steps.

A perfect example of how not to do this happened recently.  We set up a large dinner party at a local restaurant.  Despite mediocre service (at best), I sent a follow-up “thank you” email to the restaurant.  Their response: (Silence).  Absolutely nothing.  It is safe to say that we will never frequent that establishment again.  All it would have taken is approximately three minutes of their time to reply to my email and say “thank you” or similar.

#4 – “Kit Kat Challenges Oreo to Tic-Tac-Toe for Twitter Fan’s Affection” – 

Premise: A fan of both Kit Kat and Oreo took to Twitter to profess her affection for chocolate and the two brands.  Kit Kat responded with a playful response, challenging Oreo to a game of tic-tac-toe for her loyalty.  However, Oreo’s Twitter team came back with a great response (see embedded images in the article).

Thoughts: Whoever is running Oreo’s Twitter feed deserves a raise.  They have been producing some witty responses and posts, but also using Twitter as a great source of engagement with fans.  I thought Kit Kat’s initial response was also well thought out.  My first thought was to check to make sure they weren’t owned by the same parent company (which would have made this more brilliant).  Kudos to both teams for well thought out responses.

#5 – “Grassroots Marketing And Community Outreach: 5 Questions With Bob Hilton Of The Jersey Shore Convention And Visitors Bureau” –

Premise: Since Superstorm Sandy, the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau has been hard at work to promote businesses in and around the Jersey Shore.  This is a brief interview with Bob Hilton who has helped spearhead the group/initiative.  Hilton provides the hard truths on the impact of the storm and looks to provide more of the facts, versus what has been reported by the media.

Thoughts: There may be a little bit of bias in this choice, but we’re going to have to live with this from time to time.  Fair?  Good.  The Q&A here provides much of the detail in how this area has been rebuilding since the storm, some of the hardships that local companies have faced, and some of the propaganda the media has used.  After taking a look at Hilton’s answers, don’t forget to take a look at the Jersey Shore page itself.  On the site you’ll find a PayPal link to donate to a number of different initiatives to help rebuild the Jersey Shore.  (Please consider this a subtle hint.)

Did anything in particular catch your interest here?  What other news did you find particularly appealing from the past week?

Super Bowl Ad Review 2013


You may have already heard that the Super Bowl was this past weekend, which brings on the annual tradition of dissecting the advertisements and putting together our own rankings from “tremendous” down to “hideous”. Well, I’m no better. Here are a handful that I thought were well done for our first Super Bowl Ad Review. This list will not include this year’s one colossal failure – which, likely to no one’s surprise, is GoDaddy’s mess. Here are my personal favorites:

#5 – Doritos, “Goat for Sale”

This Doritos ad had strong branding right from the very beginning all the way through to the end. The bags are highly visible throughout much of the ad. At the same time, I thought it was pretty comical. I giggled when the goat screeches at the empty kitchen the next day and again when he closes the door behind him at the very end. Well played!

#4 – Oreo, “Whisper Fight”

Again, the ad quickly tells you who the ad is for if you are paying any attention to the words. The “Creme” vs. “Cookie” has the potential to go a long way. It immediately brings back memories of the Miller Lite “Tastes great, Less filling” ads that ran … well, almost forever. I thought there was a decent amount of humor in this one as well, but the end really stuck with me. The link/directive to go to Oreo’s Instagram page caught my attention right away; I don’t recall another brand pointing consumers to Instagram, so that was certainly unique to me.

(One other ‘win’ for Oreo was from their Twitter feed during the blackout at the Super Bowl. This is fantastic, on the spot / in the moment engagement with consumers – see the tweet below. Wired had a very nice write-up about this as well.)

#3 – Budweiser, “Coronation”

Budweiser is releasing a new variant into the family (Black Crown) and I thought the first ad that they aired, ‘Coronation’, had slightly stronger branding in it vs. the second ad, ‘Celebration’. To me, ‘Coronation’ built a stronger “prestigious” image to it in both the ad content and with the music selected for the background. Showing the people around the table and having the guy make a proclamation made me think that this was more of an up-scale product vs. the ‘Celebration’ ad which was a bunch of people dancing around like you see in two-thirds of the ads for beer.

#2 – M&M’s, “Love Ballad”

M&M’s has made it easy for themselves. The M&M characters are an obvious way to break through the clutter of advertising, build recognition and have people correctly associate the appropriate brand to the ad. Not bad at all, huh? The ad uses a very memorable song (good ole Meatloaf is back!) and while I wasn’t aware of this at the time, also stars actress Naya Rivera from the TV show Glee. Sorry, I don’t watch Glee. Excellent use of sponsorship and an actress that will resonate with a younger audience, plus the added bonus of Meatloaf’s “I will do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” song for the background that might appeal to a slightly older audience. (I may or may not have slid in the word “slightly” there after realizing I was falling into this category…)

#1 – Taco Bell, “Viva Young”

Admittedly, there is some bias here. Fun’s “We are young” has become one of my favorite songs released and is perfect for advertising to a younger audience (or those that want to believe they are still young). Taco Bell’s slight twist to sing the words in Spanish was brilliant. For those that want to complain that the translations don’t match up, I can only say … that was the point! My first thought was that this was a good way to appeal to the growing Hispanic market, but I could be wrong there as some people are apparently offended at the translated version. Again, that was the point, it was tongue-in-cheek.

Nevertheless, this was my favorite commercial from Super Bowl Sunday. I thought it was hysterical and included my favorite song from the past handful of years. Could it use a little more branding? Sure. Was it still the funniest commercial released? Absolutely. You have a man doing the robot, another man flashing his “upper body” to customers in a restaurant, and the silence when the cops drive past them. Phenomenal.

What did you think of this year’s ads? What were some of your favorites?