marketing

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:

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

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.

Coca-Cola Launches Stevia Sweetened Cola Beverage with Biomimic Marketing

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By Jarrett Hather

To get more in-depth with Coca-Cola’s green image, I will focus on the use of biomimic marketing in Coca-Cola’s new sugar-alternative drink Coca-Cola Life.

Launched in Argentina and Chile in 2013, Coca-Cola Life is the brand’s third low-calorie sweetener soda beverage, and its first made with naturally derived stevia leaf extract and regular sugar. The benefits? A 60 per cent reduction in calories versus regular Coca-Cola from using stevia, and the sweetener will not affect blood glucose or insulin levels – stevia may even promote insulin production. To appear in keeping with its new green image, Coca-Cola Life is made even greener with a fully-recyclable plant-based bottle.

Now stevia has been around for a while, but not clearly in mainstream products. Do you recognize any of these?

Zevia Soda

Stevia Sweetener

Didn’t think so. How about these?

SpriteVitamin Water Zero

They’re one of 45 products Coca-Cola add stevia to. Plain ol’ Sprite, now with stevia, was introduced to France in 2012 and spread to the UK in 2013.

Inevitably, this trend has everything to do with biomimic marketing, which uses images of nature to market a product. Next Nature explores the relation between people and nature and describes this marketing practice simply:

Nature is a terrific marketing tool and corporations know this. Somehow the natural reference provides us with a familiar feeling of recognition and trust. We call this phenomenon Bio-mimic-marketing.

Here are some examples from the Coca-Cola Life Facebook page marketed in a lifestyle and natural setting:

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The photos are awash with earth tones, Instagram-like candids, and a close connection to the environment; all of this is a response to consumers demanding corporate environmental accountability. And it works. In June 2013, Reuters wrote about the decline in sodas in the United States and the need to break the barriers to consumption.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, told a conference hosted by Bernstein Research in May that a breakthrough in sweetener technology could help reverse the decline in sodas in the United States and that it needed to occur sooner rather than later.

“A global roll-out seems likely.” says Bill Pecoriello, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research. PepsiCo had mixed results with its use of stevia in cola, but Pecoriello believes an initiative by Coca-Cola will spur PepsiCo’s innovation.

Coca-Cola goes further to remind us of all things relatable – chicken wraps and garden weeds – with its own collection of moments: first kisses!

If launched in North America, is this the right tactic? Does Coca-Cola need to change its familia-oriented Coca-Cola Life website?

Coca-Cola holds 50 per cent market share in Argentina. If Coca-Cola Life is successfully introduced, is this telling of health conscious attitudes held everywhere?

If consumers stay educated, this is the way to go.

Finger Lickin’ Great!

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In 2010, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) knew they had to come up with an innovative campaign to generate buzz and increase the chain restaurant’s business. The company wanted to draw attention to the brand’s 75-scholarship Colonel’s Scholars program. With social media on the rise, the Colonel knew just what to cook up.

KFC teamed up with Weber-Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms to award a $20,000 scholarship for a single tweet.

Students could use up to 140 characters, while including the hashtag #KFCScholar to convince KFC executives they were deserving of a $20,000 scholarship towards their college education.

KFC kept active on Twitter, providing followers with tweets like:

KFC's Tweet

“KFC Twitter scholarship application/Tweets rolling in! Search #KFCScholar to read them. More info: http://bit.ly/9reSIN

The scholarship tweet campaign generated lots of buzz for the company. KFC’s Twitter handle saw a 20 per cent increase in followers in just two weeks. The Internet definitely noticed the Colonel’s contest, generating more than nine million social media impressions. (Most of them resulting from tweets during the brief entry period.)

Time magazine’s Keith Wagstaff writes:

“I always thought Colonel Sanders’ commitment was to artery-clogging fried chicken, but no, apparently he’s a scholar as well. I guess that makes the KFC Double Down brain food!”

The winner, 17-year-old Amanda Russell tweeted:

Amanda Russell's Tweet

“Hey Colonel! Your scholarship’s the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!”

…Earning herself the $20,000 scholarship.

This PR campaign worked wonders for KFC, attracting 2,800 applicants and successfully catching the public’s eye.  Good thinking, KFC and Weber-Shandwick!

Blog post by: Veronique Simard

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