Month: December 2013

Apple’s ‘Misunderstood’ commercial pulls on heart strings this holiday

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With the holidays just around the corner, many companies are releasing new ads and campaigns focused on family time and winter festivities. (Check out our post on West Jet’s holiday surprise now if you haven’t)

One of the most emotionally impactful ads I’ve seen thus far this season was released two days ago by, none other than, the tech giant Apple. Their new “Misunderstood” holiday campaign aims to shed light on our society’s obsession with technology and why that can be okay – as long as we remember the ones we love.

Apple’s clever use of emotional appeal in this ad is highly effective (I swear I didn’t tear up) and it really strikes a chord with many people this time of year.

What do you think? Is Apple’s depiction of technology use a reality? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Check out the “Misunderstood” ad here:

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A Commercial For Strong Winter Tires Surprises Viewers With A Very Different Chilling Approach In Japan! (a must read!!)

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With Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Vines, etc. it takes just a matter of seconds to get your videos or pictures posted on to social media.  The challenge now is to have your video viewed and talked about more than any other video on the web and Japan knows just how to do it!

In our world today, it is believed that if videos are not super disgusting or super frightening, they will get overlooked and will not catch the eye of the public.  Japan decided to use the fearful tactic for their new 2013 winter tire commercial.

Check out the video.  Before doing so, be warned.  It scared a whole class of 51 students in a public relations program at a college, when they watched it all together… in the daylight.

How did it do? Successful??

This chilling tire commercial by Japanese maker AutowayTire went viral with over 1.3 million views in the first 24 hours.  It has been titled the SCARIEST ADVERTISEMENT of 2013.  It used both the fear and shock tactics for it’s audience.

What’s the point of this commercial?

We think to let viewers know how important it is to have tires with great traction when driving in winter conditions.  This commercial not only grabbed the attention of everyone across the world, but it also made an excellent video to want to share and talk about with your friends, family, etc.

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If you have not seen the video and were too scared to watch it with the link provided in this blog, this 40 second video comes with a serious health warning before watching.  The commercial involves a car driving in a blizzard at night time and you view the commercial feeling like you are the one sitting in the vehicle.  Before you know it, a scary ghost girl appears very far away.  Then, out of no where, she appears in front of the windshield and hits it—- insert heart attack for viewers!!

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AutowayTire wanted to emphasize how important it is to have strong tires on your vehicle in the winter time.  It also needed to prove why it’s tires are better than everyone else’s on the market right now.  Before the video was put on to social media, it aired with a major warning to the public before watching it.

It may not be a favourite video to watch, especially with the holidays coming up, however, it was definitely a great success and captured the eyes of people all over the world.  AutowayTire in Japan tried something extremely risky but ended up getting way more attention than they could have hoped for.

Don’t have winter tires on yet? Who are you buying from for this winter season?

Blog Post By Laura Jeffs

WestJet surprises travelers with a Christmas miracle

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WestJet Flash Mob

After their flashmob viral video campaign last year, WestJet knew they had to make ‘giving’ look its best this Christmas.

Christmas miracles really do happen. A team of Westjetters and the power of technology brought this heartwarming campaign to life.

“T’was a night before Christmas, and all across the land… the good folks at WestJet had a miracle plan.”

As families were waiting at the departure area prior to their WestJet flight at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, a big blue box decorated as a present caught their eye. On one side of the box was a screen with an interactive Santa all dressed in blue. Upon scanning their boarding passes (loaded with personal I.D. info) a Santa addressed the passengers by name, asking them what they wanted for Christmas. Toddlers stared, old ladies giggled and mothers’ jaws dropped as jolly old Saint Nick asked them personally what they would like this Christmas.

While Santa asked and passengers answered, a team of WestJet employees tuned in and took notes of each request. WestJetters then quickly shopped and shopped at stores like 17th Avenue S.W., Best Buy, and CrossIron Mills to find everything on the list for those lucky Calgary-bound flights.

“But was everything ready? We all had to wait… For the moment of truth, at Carousel 8.”

The real magic happened when passengers were surprised with a snowy Christmas landscape at the baggage claim area upon their arrival. This time, WestJet Santa was there in the flesh along with a gingerbread man mascot. When the baggage claim light came on, a succession of presents rolled in. Tagged by name, the well-branded blue and white gifts made their way into the arms of the smiling travelers. As requested, the young family got the ‘big TV’ they wanted and the dad got his ‘socks and underwear’. Some lucky families even got a Christmas flight home.

Studio M, a digital production company based out of Toronto started brainstorming with WestJet’s sponsorship lead Greg Plata in August to make this miracle come to life. The video was posted to WestJet’s YouTube page on Sunday, December 8th and quickly sparked an online buzz that is sure to carry through until Christmas.

The stunt was impeccably branded and seamless, it is no wonder blogs are saying “WestJet’s Christmas surprise will make you believe in Santa.”

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!”

The LEGO Legacy: 5 Ways LEGO Appeals to New Audiences

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By Jarrett Hather

As a kid, I had no idea LEGO® sets were targeted to me. Where did my parents keep their toys?

Growing up in the 90s, the small diversity of LEGO gave me the impression that, had I travelled to other countries, I would find localized LEGO sets of landmarks everywhere: the archipelagos of Japan, the Great Pyramid at Giza, or a massive coral reef LEGO set. Back then, almost everything LEGO was called the LEGO SYSTEM whether you owned the nautical set, police enforcement set, or Shell gas set. Being in the LEGO SYSTEM also meant everything fitThe interlockability of LEGO bricks dates back to the first manufacture of LEGO in 1958:

Lego pieces of all varieties constitute a universal system. Despite variation in the design and purpose of individual pieces over the years, each remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. Lego bricks from 1958 still interlock with those made in the current time, and Lego sets for young children are compatible with those made for teenagers.

LEGO Wikipedia

LEGO SYSTEM Spyrius

The LEGO SYSTEM allowed the LEGO universe to coexist from legacy to present-day, but my childhood fantasy regarding LEGO sets in other countries was completely wrong. I asked Katie Bushey, assistant manager of brand relations at the LEGO Group, to clarify their product line-up for me:

All of our LEGO products are available globally and are available in all markets; individual products are not made for certain countries. The LEGO products found in a store in the US are the same as the LEGO products in stores in the other countries.

Katie Bushey, assistant manager, brand relations, LEGO Group

Then how has LEGO managed to rake in more revenue than ever in 2012?

I’ll tell you.

1. Create a New Market in Your Target Age Group and Attract More Adults

LEGO Minifigures Series 2
LEGO Minifigures Series 2

Initially shot down because “we’re a building toy company, not a minifig company”, the idea for collectible LEGO minifigures was to attract children who were also interested in collectibles. In May 2010, series 1 debuted in unmarked packaging with random figures. Each themed set has a total of 16 figurines and to date 12 series exist. A new series is released approximately every four months (design details). The idea was successful, and LEGO now attracts a new market of child collectors.

LEGO Architecture Robie House
LEGO Architecture Robie House

LEGO Architecture celebrates famous landmarks and feats of architecture through LEGO bricks. Launched in 2008, LEGO Architecture has been reviewed favourably. “This has actually increased the breadth of the adult fan population, as more adults that were formerly non-LEGO buyers are attracted by interesting and good-looking sets.” says LEGO buff, David Eaton at Forbes. Marina Bay Sands, the next LEGO Architecture set, is due October 2013.

2. Timely Trendy Products

LEGO Star Wars has been around for a while, but as the Star Wars universe expanded with a prequel trilogy, video games, spin-off series, and more and more borrowing of the brand by others, so too did LEGO need to expand its Star Wars line-up. Beginning in 2005, LEGO released its first video game LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game based on the prequel trilogy and followed-up with four other Star Wars themed video games. In 2008, to coincide with the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, LEGO released a themed set based on The Clone Wars. Several CGI Star Wars LEGO movies have also been made, such as LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty (2010), LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace (2011), and LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (2012).

LEGO continues to follow cool trends in their The Lord of the Rings and Minecraft sets.

LEGO The Clone Wars
LEGO Minecraft
LEGO Minecraft


3. Comic Licensing

LEGO Superheroes

It’s no surprise LEGO has bandwagoned on to this surging trend. Over 50 films based on superheroes have been made since 2005. By 2012, LEGO had its Marvel Comics and DC Comics licensing in place, and the release of sets and minifigures continue to coincide with those films.

4. LEGO Video Games

LEGO Universe

Apart from Star Wars games, LEGO has been diligent creating video games from 2010 onwards. LEGO releases video games on all consoles, handheld consoles, as well as PC and Mac. The games cover racing, shooters, real-time strategy, open world, and even massively multiplayer online games. That’s just about every gaming genre excluding adventure. LEGO’s next massively multiplayer online game is based on its Minifigures line-up.

5. Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL)

Did you know adult fans of LEGO (AFOL) are a demographic to the company? In their company profile, LEGO has quantified the sales impact of its adult audience:

Just below five per cent of the LEGO sales goes to a large and loyal group, called AFOLs – Adult Fans of LEGO.

The LEGO Group

To LEGO, some sets deserve equal consideration. “With LEGO Star Wars, adults are equally considered.” said the LEGO company in an interview here.

As the adult market grew, LEGO listened: “Our adult audience is very important to us and we will continue to produce the larger, more intricate sets.” said the company.

With their excellent up-and-up performance since 2006, it’s entirely likely LEGO is on its way to breaking another record for 2013.

Sources:

Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate Program posted a similar entry about LEGO last week.

Why Was 2012 LEGO’s Most Successful Year In Terms of Revenue?

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lego

Thank you, Katie Bushey at LEGO.

Start the day happy with luck from the Loom.

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So we all have that lucky pair of underwear. That pair you were wearing when you scored the winning goal, that pair you were wearing when that cute boy finally asked you out, or that pair you were wearing when you just happened to win the lottery. lucky looms boxers 2

Fruit of the Loom realized the potential the “luck of the Irish” could bring to their business, socially and financially, and decided on something creative to kick-start their Start Happy campaign.

The Start Happy campaign is Fruit of the Loom’s way to prove that positivity can greatly effect someone’s day for the better. Their team believes that by making their product lucky, their customers can physically wear their confidence and start the day right.

Aww, isn’t that cute? And surprisingly relatable.

Fruit of the Loom conducted a recent study that proved that having a lucky charm boosts an American’s positivity (31%), along with their optimism (41%) and confidence (25%). These numbers prove that this stunt has correlated people’s positive feelings to Fruit of the Loom, specifically.

I want a pair.

On November 6, 2013 in the United States, Fruit of the Loom created 2,000 pairs of their own legitimate lucky underwear by imprinting luck on each individual pair.

giant horseshoeThey started off by creating 1,000 pairs of lucky looms for men and 1,000 pairs of lucky looms for women.

Then, they took those pairs and passed them via wire though the world’s biggest horseshoe in Illinois.

After that, their team rubbed lucky pennies on each individual pair of lucky looms and then threw the pennies into a wishing well in Chinatown, LA.

Then, if each pair didn’t have enough luck already, the team
rubbed each pair on considerable lucky statues in Nevada. rubbing statue

Their final attempt to embody as much luck as possible into each and every pair was to “bake” them in a box covered in four-leaf clovers for 7 hours and 77 minutes, in Alaska. Which I guess equals to 8 hours and 17 minutes, but that just wouldn’t work for this whole stunt, would it?

Fruit of the Loom even took one step further and destroyed the pairs of underwear numbered 13 and 666. With so much bad
luck associated with those two numbers, Fruit of the Loom
wanted to keep their promise true.

four leaf cloversIt’s refreshing to see how Fruit of the Loom used something so simple to connect with its audience and make their product so attractive.  Within their first hour of sales, 528 pairs of lucky looms were sold. With popular competitors such as Calvin Klein and Bjorn, Fruit of the Loom used this stunt to not only differentiate themselves from other brand names, but to easily sell their products as well.

“Lucky Looms” were only a fraction of Fruit of the Loom’s Start Happy campaign. Other stunts were “Don’t Sweat It” which was geared toward their activewear including iPhone pockets, and “Fresh Gigs” which was geared toward giving people with new jobs a fresh pair of underwear.

#luckylooms tweetFruit of the Loom even took this campaign further by taking it to Twitter. Customers who bought the product were encouraged to use the hashtag #LuckyLooms and express their own personal stories and photos about their recently purchased “lucky undies”.

The Start Happy campaign is anything but lucky! The team from Fruit of the Loom strategically thought of everything to make sure their lucky looms were full of luck! I can’t wait for their next campaign so I can grab a pair myself!

Console Wars: How the PS4 has taken the edge in the U.K.

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XboxPs4

With the release of Sony’s new PS4 console on November 29 in the United Kingdom, the Japanese tech company went into high gear promoting its release throughout England and the United Kingdom.

And that’s no surprise since its direct competitor, Microsoft, released it’s next gen console, Xbox One, only a week before the PS4 release. With both companies pushing out brand new consoles at the same time, they have entered a fierce battle for market share. Because of this, the value of generating positive buzz in the U.K. has massive implications for the success of both consoles.

Sony was quick to recognize this and took matters into its own hands to ensure no one forgot that the PS4 was being released in the U.K. at the end of November.

The tech-giant turned to the marketing firm 180 Amsterdam to help launch a campaign for its most powerful console yet.  Al Moseley, CCO of 180 Amsterdam and his team decided to focus on the gamers and their experience rather than the console hardware in order to help generate buzz for the upcoming release.

“The goal for us was to turn a product built for the gamer, by the gamer, into a communications campaign that seduced the gamer.” – Al Moseley

With this simple ingenious idea in mind, the “For the Players” campaign was born. This integrated marketing campaign was filled with gaming culture references, special effects, and relates directly to their core consumer: the gamer. By focusing on the gamer’s experience, Sony was able to generate significant buzz among their target audience before the console was even close to hitting the shelves of U.K. retailers.

See the U.K. ad here:

But Sony didn’t stop there, they also took their campaign to the skies of London.

OXOTo further help amp up the release of the PS4 in Britain, Sony took over the OXO Tower in London for the length of November. The massive landmark was adorned in the iconic symbols from the gaming console’s controller, generating a huge amount of impressions around London. These symbols were lit up alongside the glowing London skyline every night for the entire month up until the U.K. release date.

The choice of using the OXO Tower as a freestanding installation by Sony was strategic for two reasons. Not only is the tower an iconic London landmark that can be seen across the city, but the building has existing windows that are already shaped like an O and an X: two of Playstation’s four renowned symbols – making it the perfect choice.

This extensive campaigning was not done in vain, and has already paid off for Sony in the U.K. market.

Over the opening weekend in the U.K., Sony sold over 250,000 PS4 consoles. This is approximately 100,000 units more than its competitor the Xbox One. This makes the PS4 the fastest-selling gaming console in U.K. history. And it is no doubt that the massive public relations efforts on behalf of Sony and 180 Amsterdam helped make this possible.

A war is raging in the United Kingdom, and Sony and its PS4 are on top.

Your move, Microsoft.