Campaigns

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

Posted on Updated on

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:

WestJet surprises travelers with a Christmas miracle

Posted on Updated on

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!”

Start the day happy with luck from the Loom.

Image Posted on Updated on

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.

Posted on Updated on

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.

Gap’s “Make Love” Holiday Campaign Makes Waves

Posted on Updated on

The American multinational clothing retailer Gap has released the holiday extension of its “Back to Blue” campaign launched earlier this fall. The holiday campaign called “Make Love” showcases the things that matter most in life — genuine love, respect, and compassion.

The U.S. campaign starring cultural icons from around the world includes print ads, mail, social media and television ads. New digital content is also unveiled regularly on the brand’s YouTube account.

“Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love,”  -Seth Farbman, Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer.

Gap has collaborated with celebrities who have been sharing true love with their field of work and their social lives. The famous personalities modeled Gap’s 2013 holiday collection in the ads, adding a personalized touch to the garments. All stills starring celebrities such as Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Waris Ahluwalia, Malin Akerman, along with other personalities and famous models can be found on the official Pinterest page of the brand.

On November 24th, a tweet by Arsalan Iftikhar (@TheMuslimGuy) was sent along with a shot of a vandalized “Make Love” print ad. Gap’s still of Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia and model and film-maker Quentin Jones located in New York City had been marked with very racist comments. The campaign’s tagline had the word “Love” crossed out and replaced with “Bombs,” and “Please stop driving taxis,” scribbled a little lower.

enhanced-buzz-5230-1385507270-2

(via Twitter, @TheMuslimGuy)

The ad had been received so well, encouraging and promoting interracial love and diversity in America. Several tweets and articles rooted for Gap’s campaign and what it stood for.

Due to this appreciation for the campaign, the vandalism was quickly reported on Twitter. This gave Gap an opportunity to excel in public relations reaction skills and problem solving.

The very next day, Gap proudly changed their Twitter account’s header to the Ahluwalia-Jones still, and professionally responded to the tweet asking for more information from the sender, Iftikhar, so that the ad could be taken down and replaced.

enhanced-buzz-27674-1385507418-1

“@TheMuslimGuy Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM us? We’d like to know the location of this.” – @Gap

Upon its re-installment on November 28th (four days after the original vandalized poster was tweeted) the new ad was trending all over the Internet.

enhanced-buzz-2243-1385507791-23

The “Make Love” campaign’s poster of musician Malcolm Ford and actor Max Snow has also been vandalized with hate speech in Chicago. The poster was defaced with homophobic comments and was also quickly made public on Twitter by JK Trudell (@jktrudell), and Gap replied shortly thereafter.

enhanced-buzz-20378-1385698780-11

Considering the fact that the hate speech on these ads dealt with touchy issues like race and homosexuality, the brand reacted quickly and effectively. Gap’s public efforts to fix these vandalized ads are impressive and well worth the buzz they have generated.

What do you think of Gap’s “Make Love” campaign and of their efforts in restoring the campaign’s image and message?

 

Read the rest of this entry »

“Sina What?” – Why you should know about Sina Weibo, one of China’s fastest growing social media platforms

Posted on

weibo

Ever heard of Sina Weibo? Probably not. But if you lived in China you definitely would.

Sina Weibo, often described as the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, is a microblogging website that is home to over 503 million users and approximately 100 million messages posted daily. With numbers like this, it is a social platform that organizations trying to connect with Chinese consumers cannot ignore.

Especially when popular western social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have been blocked from the public eye by the government.

Considering that China is home to world’s fourth largest economy, one of the fastest growing GDP rates, and a daunting 1.35 billion consumers, it’s become more and more important for businesses to understand how to connect with this lucrative market.

And Sina Weibo is the answer.

Many non-Chinese businesses have taken note of Sina Weibo’s popularity among the Chinese population and have utilized the platform to gain marketshare. Below I will highlight some examples of how organizations and people effectively use Sina Weibo, commonly known as  Weibo, to further their brand in China.

Tiffany & Co

In a country where consumers will represent 20 per cent of the global luxury goods market by 2015, Tiffany & Co. has taken to Sina Weibo to establish itself as on of the top five jewellery brands in the eyes of the Chinese consumer.

With over 215,000 fans on their Sina Weibo account, Tiffany & Co. focuses heavily on creating an association between their brand and Chinese celebrities they have worked with. They accomplish this by tagging the Sina Weibo accounts of celebrities in their posts that showcase their products.

Above is a post by Tiffany & Co. comparing their jewellery to the photography of the popular Chinese artist @wangxiaohui. By associating the beauty and craftsmanship of the artist’s photography and the creation process of their jewellery, Tiffany & Co. is defining their product offering with a sense of prestige and personal, artistic expression among their target audience. Establishing this type of connection among Chinese consumers is helping the company drive sales of it’s high-end jewellery.

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that @wangxiaohui has well over 1 million Sina Weibo followers that will have seen the post by the jeweller, boosting their consumer impressions.

Even celebrities are on the Weibo train

Not only is China a hotspot for the consumption of luxury goods, like jewellery, it is also becoming the world’s largest consumer market for film and entertainment industry. Recognizing this, many western entertainment celebrities are flocking to set up their Sina Weibo pages to engage with their growing Chinese fan base.

And many of them turn to Fanstang, a company that specializes in Chinese social media marketing for international celebrities. Fanstang’s model is to translate the Twitter posts from celebrities accounts and then repost the translated version to Sina Weibo on their behalf. This allows the celebrities to gain credibility and expand their fan base by communicating in their own language. Some of the accounts that run by Fanstang include Avril Lavigne, Paris Hilton, and Robert Downey Jr.

Fun Fact: The lead actor of the Iron Man series, Robert Downey Jr.  doesn’t  have a Twitter account, yet he is on Sina Weibo where he boasts an impressive 1.02 million followers. He used this following to promote the premiere of Iron Man 3 to Chinese movie-goers when it was released this past summer. By not ignoring social media platforms that are specific to his Chinese market, Downey Jr. has successfully built a major fan base overseas and the results are apparent. The opening weekend of Iron Man 3 brought in $21.5 million, shattering previous records and making it the most successful movie opening in China to date.

So if you’re a business trying to reach out to consumers in China, what are you waiting for? Don’t get left behind in the eyes of the Chinese consumer, and go create your Sina Weibo account today.

-Curious about other trendy social media platforms in China?Check out this great infographic created by the people at go-globe.com.-