Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-17-16

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

We are breaking from the themed-approach for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  There were several stories that caught my eye recently that I wanted to call out, but there is very little commonality between them.  You’ll survive, I’m sure of it.  

#1 –  “Super Bowl Ad Tracker: Everything We Know About 2016’s Commercials” via AdWeek.com

Thoughts: Want to know who will be advertising during Super Bowl 50?  Look no further than AdWeek’s on-going tracker that can be found in the link above.  With the NFL Playoffs in full swing, we’re counting down the days for our next Super Bowl Ad Review!

What brands have caught your attention so far this year – whether that be by an ad teaser or news from the link above or elsewhere around the web?  I was a little stunned to see that Colgate-Palmolive has never advertised during the Super Bowl.  The other tidbit that caught my eye is that GoDaddy will not have an ad this year … and that is probably a good thing.   

#2 – “Post-Lafley, Procter & Gamble is Trying to Turn Challenges Into Opportunities” via BrandChannel.com

Thoughts: One company, and tens of brands, not found in the ad tracker above is P&G and its portfolio.  New CEO, David Taylor, is working on reshaping and redesigning the company and its portfolio, continuing to sell off brands to narrow its focus.  P&G continues to feel the pressure from investors to right the ship or more drastic changes are going to be requested.  

#3 – “Gobble Gobble: Turkey On Board – Woman Flies Cross Country With Her Emotional Support Turkey” via LoyaltyLobby.com

Thoughts: #SaveThanksgiving efforts are starting in January apparently!  If for nothing else, click on the link above to see the turkey looking out the airplane window.  

There are several references here to the woman that flew with the turkey having coping issues, so I don’t want to make a joke about the state of Washington needing to reconsider the legalization of marijuana … wait …

Tweet of the Week:

Reverting back to Super Bowl discussion for a second, take a look at next year’s Super Bowl mascot.  Terrible.  We have plenty of time to go back to the drawing board NFL.  Please do so.  

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-22-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Welcome to a Thanksgiving-geared, #SaveThanksgiving special edition of #SundayMusings with Shore Branding.  There has not been too much news or debate – maybe I’m too busy to notice – on retailers opening up on Thanksgiving Day for Black Friday / holiday deals.  I’ve seen a number of Change.org petitions but none of them have necessarily exploded.  

In any case, for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week, I hope you enjoy it and get to spend time with your friends and family.  Onward to this week’s musings …

#1 –  “Be Thankful for Feedback: Good, Bad, and Indifferent” via Loyalty360.org

Premise: Customers have had polar opposite opinions on retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.  What is somewhat lost in all of the debate is the value of the feedback these stores have received due to making decisions like this.  Good or bad, listening to the feedback provided by your customers is absolutely critical.  The author provides three tips to consider as you embark on your holiday messaging.  

Thoughts: Well, the crux of our SaveThanksgiving.net efforts really started in a similar spot.  However, the overall theme here, when you pull back the curtain, really is to listen to your customers.  You have to understand the impact of the decisions you make.  

#2 – “3 tips to avoid marketing missteps this holiday season” via imediaconnection.com

Premise: How do retailers keep shoppers involved and engaged throughout the holiday season and beyond?  The author puts together three tips on what retailers can do to sustain their efforts over a longer period of time.  

Thoughts: What really caught my attention is the third tip in this article, “bridge the gap between bricks and clicks”.  If you can’t optimize your customer experience by having both channels work together, then don’t try and focus your efforts on one or the other.  It is incredibly frustrating to have a completely different user experience between the in-store and online.  

#3 – “Izze’s Friendsgiving Campaign Includes Pop-Up Social Events for Millennials” via BrandChannel.com

Premise: Fruit-drink maker Izze is back with a new campaign heading into the holidays, called Friendsgiving.  The brand will be advertising across Amazon, Instagram, and Pinterest as it targets Millennials.

Thoughts: Respectfully, I had no idea that Izze was part of PepsiCo’s portfolio until this week.  I missed last year’s campaign, but I really do like what they are doing as we head into Thanksgiving.  

What brands are using a Thanksgiving-related campaign or hashtag that has caught your attention over the past few weeks?  Please do pass them along!

Tweet of the Week:

Once again, please spread the word and help others who are struggling to put a meal on the table this holiday season.  

For those celebrating Thanksgiving this week, please have a great, yet safe holiday!  #SaveThanksgiving

 

Pin of the Month – Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks

November's "Pin of the Month" via Buzzfeed.com #SaveThanksgiving

November’s “Pin of the Month” via Buzzfeed.com
#SaveThanksgiving

In November I tend to put a ton of attention on Thanksgiving for obvious reasons (SaveThanksgiving.net).  Our “Pin of the Month” keeps that focus on the holiday and our #SaveThanksgiving efforts.  However, this isn’t your typical infographic this time around.  We’re simply trying to provide you with a few time-saving tips and tricks for your Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to the corresponding article on Buzzfeed.com.

Tips within the article itself include cooking-specific instructions and household tricks to make your life that much easier the days leading into Thanksgiving.  Several of these tips are well practiced here – anything revolving around “cook ahead of time” and store in the refrigerator is an art.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year?  What tips do you install or what would you add to this list of hacks that have worked for you in the past?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at john@shorebranding.com.  

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-) analyze it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let me know.  Thanks … and don’t forget … #SaveThanksgiving!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-8-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

As we head into and through the end of the year, there are a number of different branding efforts taking place.  This week’s #SundayMusings runs the gamut across a few of these holidays as brands have begun their year end marketing campaigns.  

#1 –  “Top hotel bonus points promotions for Thanksgiving week stays” via LoyaltyTraveler.com

Premise: Loyalty Traveler informs its readers of the best hotel travel deals for Thanksgiving week, one of the biggest travel weeks of the year in the US.  

Thoughts: Across all of the major hotel chains – Hilton, Marriott, IHG, etc. – you will be able to find the current promotions and deals in this article.  Depending on your loyalty across each, I’m sure you will be able to find something if you are considering traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

#2 – “REI Stores are Closing on Thanksgiving” via REI.com

Thoughts: No premise is needed here.  You have probably seen this announcement from REI, completely closing their stores on Black Friday.  Thank you! #SaveThanksgiving

Even better news … the retailer will be paying its employees as if it is a regular workday and have opted to turn this into a hashtag campaign – #OptOutside.  Well played REI!

#3 – “Why Hallmark is Ditching TV, and Sentimental Ads, for a Bit of Biting Humor this Holiday” via AdWeek.com

Premise: For the first time, Hallmark is abandoning TV advertising for its Keepsake holiday ads, going with an all digital approach.  There are a handful of ads on its microsite for the campaign and the company is using the #KeepsakeIt hashtag for the campaign.  

Thoughts: It pains me to write anything about Christmas here – ahead of Thanksgiving – but I did want to bring to your attention.  It is telling when a brand rich in tradition decides to completely abandon the TV and go all digital.  The times, they are a changin’ …

Tweet of the Week:

 

Self-serving?  Sure.  A good cause?  Absolutely!  Check out the SaveThanksgiving.net online food drive on Feeding America through the link in the tweet above.  Help others who are struggling to put a meal on the table.  Thank you!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!

 

Let’s #SaveThanksgiving – 2015

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us ... #SaveThanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us … #SaveThanksgiving
Gobble Gobble

As we kick off the month of November, Halloween has past and we move into the official holiday season here in the US.  Too often, we find ourselves skipping over my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving – in order to concentrate on Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years.  Retailers and brands have done this too, continuing to have Black Friday creep into the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.  

For the past two years, we have promoted SaveThanksgiving.net and the #SaveThanksgiving hashtag across social media platforms.  This year is no different.  For weeks, I’ve seen retailers starting to decorate for Christmas.  That’s before Halloween people!  Stop it!

However, there is some hope.  Staples announced that after being open on Thanksgiving Day in years past, it will remain closed this year.  I’m hoping that many, if not all, of the retailers that stayed closed in 2014 will remain closed this year as well.  If you hear of others that have changed their tact and will now close their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, please do let me know.  

What can you do to help?  Glad you asked …

I was thinking about creating a #SaveThanksgiving t-shirt on Booster.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one, please let me know and if a few people reach out to me, I’ll get that up and running immediately.  

Help #SaveThanksgiving!  For more, visit SaveThanksgiving.net and follow our #SaveThanksgiving Pinterest board.  

Thank you!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-11-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings takes a look at the most recent advertising stories that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.  What brands have caught your attention recently with their ad efforts – whether that be by TV, digital, or elsewhere?

#1 –  “Are Marketers Finally Getting the Hang of Locattion-Based Mobile Ads” via AdWeek.com

Premise: While location-based advertising on mobile devices has been a small portion of mobile ad spending, there continues to be progress made in this arena.  Companies like Essence and xAd have worked with Google to improve this targeted approach at mobile advertising.  

Thoughts: Location-based marketing continues to slowly move forward and we’re only going to see increases in spend levels here as technology gets stronger and platforms become richer.  Push notifications from the likes of Google, Foursquare and others on my mobile, leave no doubt in my mind that this is going to continue to grow.  

Just over two years ago (wow!) I did some testing with Nearwoo and while this slightly moves the needle from location-based marketing per se, the ability to drill down at such a granular level is a highly impactful resource for businesses – big and small.  

#2 – “Ready or Not, Here Comes Your First Big Weepy 2015 Holiday Prank Commercial” via AdFreak.com

Premise: Shaw Communications released an ad for Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday and won the internet for a few hours, surprising family members with others returning ‘home’ for the holiday.

Thoughts: Originally saw this link and thought for sure it would be Christmas ad, which naturally made my blood boil.  However, this was a great ad that truly does get you thinking about what the holidays really are, or should be about.  

As always, let’s #SaveThanksgiving – no matter what country you celebrate it in!!

#3 – AdWords and Social Media: King and Queen of Advertising – SlideShare.net

Thoughts: A look back at the history of Google’s AdWords and how it has boomed since social media has taken off over the past decade or so.  Interesting to continue to see how AdWords evolves and how powerful the platform is / has become.  

Is your brand/business using AdWords?  How effective has it been for you?

Tweet of the Week:

Well, Carl’s Jr. certainly sparked the controversy recently with its latest ad.  Let’s just say that this is the least revealing tweet you will find on their #TexMexBacon campaign.  Not only did we get the standard “sexist” commentary from this campaign, they managed to make it political as well with some folks saying it was controversial because of the US/Mexican border “issues” that are on-going.  

Can we just enjoy advertising for what it is and not turn everything into such a PC-driven debate?!  Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!  

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-23-14

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

This week’s #SundayMusings is near and dear to our heart as we focus on the Thanksgiving holiday and Thanksgiving branding efforts made around the country.  For those that don’t already know, we have set up SaveThanksgiving.net in an effort to keep the holiday alive and with our respective friends and family; not at the mall and shopping for holiday sales.  That is what “Black Friday” and beyond is for.  Without going on any further of a tangent, here are the top stories that caught our eyes over the past couple of weeks related to Thanksgiving.

#1 – “How Your Favorite Thanksgiving Brands Got Their Names” – via mascola.com

Premise: Interested in learning how brands that are likely around your Thanksgiving table got their names?  The Mascola Group puts together a list of six brands that are commonly used for Thanksgiving meals and tells their story of how each came to be.

Thoughts: There aren’t any off the wall names or stories behind the names here among the six.  However, and it is potentially sad to admit this, I had no idea that Ore-Ida got its name being located in Oregon and next to Idaho (potatoes).  You really can learn something new every day. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Thanksgiving

November's "Pin of the Month" - Thanksgiving Football. Help #SaveThanksgiving Infographic by: StatoGraphics

November’s “Pin of the Month” – Thanksgiving Football. Help #SaveThanksgiving
Infographic by: StatoGraphics

Did you really have any doubt that our “Pin of the Month” for November would have something to do with Thanksgiving.  Our #SaveThanksgiving efforts are once again in full swing this month.  However, we’re focusing on Thanksgiving football with November’s “Pin of the Month”, created by Statographics.

The tradition of Thanksgiving football has lived in our homes since 1920.  This infographic provides an in-depth look at that history, providing key dates for the 95 year tradition.  Sidenote: I wonder what type of plans the NFL will put into place when we celebrate a century of Thanksgiving Day games.  Hopefully, it does not include putting more games on during the holiday itself … although it probably will. [Read more…]

The Fall Means the Return of SaveThanksgiving.net

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us ... #SaveThanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us … #SaveThanksgiving
Gobble Gobble

The end of summer 2014 means that we are entering fall and here at Shore Branding that equates to paying attention to the forthcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We began our #SaveThanksgiving efforts in November of last year and now with more time available, we would like to take it to another level.

As mentioned last year, there is no greater holiday than Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, the day continues to be swept under the rug while consumers leave their families behind to get the early bird deals for their holiday shopping. More and more retailers open their doors on Thanksgiving Day and it is a growing tradition that I would truly like to see broken.

With the help of Berry Smart Media, we launched SaveThanksgiving.net as a site to take back the holiday and its traditions. Our goal is to remind people that this is a day for giving thanks for all of their respective blessings from the past year, and spend quality time with their family … not leave the house the second the doors open at local retailers.

Last year several retailers remained closed on the holiday, including; PC Richard & Son, Costco, TJ Maxx, and Marshal’s. We want to help support these retailers and those like it that refuse to open their doors, taking their employees away from their families on the holiday. Whether through sponsorship or something as simple as making it a point to shop at these stores in the coming weeks, help these retailers over the coming months.

If you, or anyone you know, is open to partnering with us and joining the “fight” to #SaveThanksgiving – please let us know. Let’s give thanks to our friends and family and spend one day with them without the distractions! With a little addition to our family, we will be contributing to at least one food drive in the area but will not be running our own. We’ll keep you posted on where those contributions will be made and/or let us know if you have suggestions and we can help spread the word.

Again, you can visit SaveThanksgiving.net and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Every Thursday we take a Thanksgiving theme and share a few pins.

How can you help? Share your stories with the world – it could be a simple memory of loved ones, a funny story that makes you think of the holiday, or a picture and memory. If these stories can convince one retailer, one radio station, or just a few people, this will have been worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving! #SaveThanksgiving

Brand in Focus – Whole Foods

 

Brand in Focus - Whole Foods on ShoreBranding.com

Brand in Focus – Whole Foods on ShoreBranding.com

Our next “Brand in Focus” puts Whole Foods’ branding and digital marketing efforts under the microscope. The grocer has been growing here on the east coast and caught my eye over the past few months with its paid advertising efforts on Twitter and Facebook, announcing the grand opening of a new store in Marlboro, NJ. Digging into the company’s digital efforts there are a number of highlights and positives that caught my attention.

First, WholeFoodsMarket.com promotes its efforts across a number of social media sites, all of which we will tackle here. The landing page appeals to the eye with big, bold images scrolling behind the links. When you rollover the text on the left hand sidebar (below) you find a number of links to go to. [Read more…]