World Cup Real Time Marketing Win = Snickers

Over the past few years the brands that can seamlessly inject themselves into real-time events in a relevant and often funny way are normally the winners of the never ending PR game. The World Cup is no exception. During yesterday’s Uruguay v Italy match, Uruguay’s star Luis Suarez is believed to have bitten an Italian player and this served as the perfect opportunity to have a little fun with a global moment by injecting a bit of the Snickers brand into the conversation.

Snickers Italian

I am very proud of my TMA/Fanscape social team in NYC. They worked closely with the BBDO & Mars team to inject a little Snickers branded fun into the #LUISSUAREZ conversation. Snickers is all about the fact that you are not you when you are hungry.

This led to pickups in both Mashable & AdWeek (See below). A lot of work goes into the creation of a single real-time message and I am proud of the structure that we have put in place between the TMA/Fanscape team, BBDO and the Mars client.

Mashable

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Adweek

Big Brands React to Luis Suarez’s World Cup Biting Incident | Adweek 2014-06-24 22-40-09

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Harley-Davidson Project Livewire

Today marks the reveal of Harley-Davidson’s 1st Electric Motorcycle, Project Livewire. I served as a member of the core The Marketing Arm/Fanscape Harley-Davidson team and very happy to be a part of today’s big reveal.

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Here is the Project Livewire teaser video launched on the 19th.


Here is today’s reveal of the Project Livewire electric motorcycle supported by our teams creative, strategy, influencer activation & production.


Join the conversation with #projectlivewire and for more information go to http://www.projectlivewire.com

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Buzzfeed Is Word of Mouth at Scale

One of the more interesting briefings that I have taken part in recently was provided by Buzzfeed. The rise of native advertising publishers has created a lot of excitement with brands. The level of sophistication and scale provided by publishers such as Buzzfeed cannot be understated.

Buzzfeed Stickers

At it’s core Buzzfeed strives to create content that people want to share. With 130+ million monthly uniques & 50% of users coming from mobile, the easily consumable & sharable content makes Buzzfeed a marketing platform that demands attention.

Buzzfeed Homepage

From a native advertising standpoint, Buzzfeed represents a “closed” publisher. Meaning they own their contextual inventory and brands & agencies will need to partner directly with Buzzfeed to execute programming.

Here is an example of a custom execution tied to the launch of Anchorman 2

Buzzfeed Anchorman 2 feed

What is interesting in their approach to empowering brands is how they strive to align their content offerings with the path to purchase, highlighting their focus on impacting opinion, consideration & preference. This is one of the reasons many CPG brands have chosen to partner with Buzzfeed.

Here is an example of a Bud Light integration

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With the decrease in organic reach for brands, leveraging the reach of platforms beyond owned properties is becoming increasingly important from a social perspective. The key to navigating social beyond simple reach is to continue to focus on creating engaging & sharable content to generate word-of-mouth. Here is a link to my recent whitepaper outlining the shift.

Even with the recent seismic industry shift, consumer behavior is still true to form, meaning consumers are looking to discover, engage and share content. In the new world of decreased organic brand reach, more emphasis and control resides with the consumer to carry a brand message or association forward.

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There has been a heavy focus on content creation over the past two years. One of the key driving factors was Facebook’s shift towards visual storytelling shift with the revised timeline in March of 2012. This led to new theories and approaches (Many that my team and I created for our Fortune 500 client base) followed by various Facebook publishing garages outlining the new best practices to further segment content hierarchies driven by content themes and pillars to create engagement.

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Sophisticated efforts were made to maximize the impact of content to drive engagement with participants. Now with the recent shift from engagement to a reach and frequency model has/will impact brands approaches to content themes and strategy.

While brands continue to reduce the number of content themes and shift from “reach through engagement” strategies towards the new normal of paid reach, publishers such as Buzzfeed are still able to capitalize on various content themes to drive a connection with their audience. Be it thematics around Emotional, Identity, Informative, Funny, editorial content is crafted to resonate with various audience segments.

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What is very interesting is that Buzzfeed does not target their content, their approach is based on the behavior that consumers will find the content relevant to them. Their mantra is that “Great Content Finds It’s Audience”. This goes directly in the opposite direction of social mega-powers such as Facebook and Twitter where there is an apparent arms race to further target and segment users.

Buzzfeeds approach to advertising is truly an example of contextual native advertising. They are focused on telling a story that is relevant to the audience, involve people emotionally and are not heavy-handed. But one key element to consider is that their content is currently favored within Facebook’s algorithm, even over certain competitors.

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Their approach to editorial content creation mirrors that of a hybrid  social & creative agency, where they take into consideration the brand voice, evergreen content and brand pillars and then leverage the branded content activation to create word-of-mouth at scale. Buzzfeed is also getting into the video content creation space by creating custom video content on behalf of brands

Purina Cat’s guide to taking care of your human

 

Luvs – 9 super cool baby tips

 

From a measurement standpoint, Buzzfeeds approach to supporting brands is a combination of impressions & social lift. Whereby they guarantee x amount of impressions and incremental shares off of that through a combination of Buzzfeed inventory & social seeding.

Buzzfeed is just one example of an extensive list of open & closed publisher networks. Depending on the type of campaign that is being explored, if creating word of mouth at scale is of value then Buzzfeed may be a publisher to consider.

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What the #SelfieRevolution Means for Brands

Recently, I contributed commentary (pages 8 & 9) to a whitepaper published by The Marketing Arm/Fanscape team. The white paper dives into the psychology of what the #SelfieRevolution means for Brands.

Here is a #Selfie approving the #SelfieRevolution content

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Other topics covered are the nuances that make up a Selfie, exploring the psychology, why brands should care and examples of brands that are capitalizing on the Selfie phenomenon.

Here is the #SelfieRevolution whitepaper via Slideshare.

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Digital + Physical = Evernote

One item from SXSW 2014 that has remained relevant for me is a simple package of Post-it notes. These are not just any Post-it’s, they are digitally enabled Post-it’s that integrate seamlessly with Evernote. The simple utility of the integration that allows users to convert physical post-it notes into digital, searchable records inspired me to contact the Evernote team for a briefing to bettter understand how they partner with brands.

Post it

During the course of the briefing we touched on many topics such as their current user base of 100M+ as well as their approach to partnerships and how they are working with various device carriers at the OEM level to ensure Evernote is ever present on the latest devices. We also discussed their focus on physical accessories and partnerships with Moleskin & 3M.

Evernote 100M

Evernote’s approach to creating value is to seamlessly become a part of a users daily routine. An interesting perspective about their user base was tied to the fact that out of 1000 people 999 will use Evernote in a different way. Users leverage Evernote as a way to capture anything important to their life, reuse it or stem off of it. From a brand partnership perspective, the goal is to “engage with customers in the right way”. This means that Evernote does not monetize with an advertising-based model, or data mining.

So if there is not an advertising-based model, or data mining how can a brand partner with Evernote?

The real answer is it depends on the brand. If a brand is looking to buy against the current base with a targeted ad model, that is not feasible. The current partnership focus is tied to the Evernote physical marketplace. This is the core revenue driver for Evernote and fits with their mantra of engaging consumers in the right way and connecting the digital and physical world.

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I do see opportunities to align Evernote beyond physical goods as their growing stable of native applications such as Evernote Food create opportunities to further connect directly with consumers. One of the most valuable elements to work through as a marketer, especially one focused on shopper marketing and “getting on the list” is the fact that Evernote represents deliberate intent on behalf of a user. The user is taking a specific action to interact and store content.

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Other core benefits of Evernote, if they ever move towards an advertising-based model, would be to leverage their recent addition of location tagging. Location + Tags open up the possibility to better align relevant targeting of consumers. Similar to Pinterest, a user has to take an action in order to maximize Evernote and there is a deliberate nature to the platform vs. search and retrieval. Having the ability to understand what users are interested in combined with other factors such as time & location could open up opportunities to natively connect with consumers with highly relevant and targeted advertising. But that is an assumption that is built on an advertising model which does not exist to date.

Evernote Atlas

When I think of brand categories that may ultimately benefit from an Evernote partnership CPG brands are an obvious choice. From a shopper marketing perspective “getting on the list” is of paramount importance. With Evernotes efforts to seamlessly convert physical notes into digital lists that push reminders to consumers in addition to their focus on specialized app experiences such as Evernote Food there is a great opportunity to maximize a partnership with Evernote.

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The key to a partnership with Evernote is ensuring that your brand aligns with the vision of the Evernote team and is not a traditional advertising play. They are looking for partners that can add value to their users lives on a daily basis so careful consideration will need to be made when developing a strategic partnership.

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Wearables, Style and Consumer Adoption

I was recently asked by Mobile Marketer to provide commentary on how wearable devices can appeal to a mass consumer base. The discussion focused on topics such as aesthetics vs. utility, how hyper-focused use cases have caused device fragmentation and the need for interoperability or cross device support similar to the progression of the smartphone.

Wearables & Style

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