Ikea Brings New Life To Print

Ikea creates products for your everyday life. But as we know life comes at you fast. Sometimes it can all change in an instant and rather than just acknowledging these moments, IKEA took action.

In their latest ad in Amelia magazine, which is hailed as one of  Sweden’s most influential magazines for women the call to action is not “visit our store or website” but asks the female reader to pee on the ad, as it could change their life.

The IKEA Crib that is prominently featured has a strip along the bottom where the woman can apply urine. With a next level “pregnancy strip” embedded into the paper a positive test will reveal a new and discounted price for the crib – offering the holder the IKEA family discount.

Why It’s Hot

With the attitude that “print is dead” this ad literally and figuratively brings new life into the medium. By engaging with their consumers, and offering a reason to shop – IKEA may achieve what all marketers want: a connection with the consumer that drives them to purchase.


Lemons to $weet Lemonade

Imagine its 1985 – Your flagship star Michael Jordan has just debuted his first signature shoe, the Air Jordan. No one had seen anything like it; a shoe designed and endorsed by a major athlete. The execs at Nike must have been grinning ear to ear at the sales potential. That is…until you get a letter from the NBA banning your product.

So whats a marketer to do? Countless hours, media spend and endorsement money is now at risk.  You leverage the technique of Succès de scandale (French for “success from scandal”) – or make lemonade out of lemons.

Soon after the NBA ban, Nike took their scandal and went on the offensive launching a nationwide print and media campaign including this TV ad:

With that they turned scandal into sensation. That year ( and for many after) the Nike Air Jordan became the best selling sneaker.

So what does this teach us? That there is opportunity in every situation. Sometimes our projects get a bad call, or miss the free throw – but with creative thinking and some grit you can still hit that buzzer beater and win the game.

The Future of Marketing or Invasion of Privacy?

Headlines…and voice prompts were made this week as Burger King launched the “Hack the Home” campaign. The short 15 second TV ad uses the premise that there is so much great about the marquee product that the spokesperson couldn’t possibly name everything, so then the character states” OK google…what is a whopper”

Leveraging the activation phrase of the popular in home device, causes anyone with a Google home to hear about the Whopper from wikipedia.

Though  the ad was cunning,  is it also an invasion of privacy? With the rise of these in home devices, tricky advertisers are always looking for a way to grab your attention. But as these new technologies emerge, what is the line consumers will draw?


UPDATE: Well, though creative, the internet rules the day and has completely hijacked the campaign. Though the ad team obviously thought of a creative way to launch the Google Home, they apparently forgot that ANYONE can edit wikipedia. The Whopper page is now in constant edit mode with everything from added ingredients like “cyanide” to new slogans like “the whopper is the worst burger ever created”. In addition, it seems now Google is not happy with the stunt, and has released an update to prevent the ad from triggering the device….well…it was fun while it lasted!





Snap to Store

Snap is now giving advertisers a better idea of how effective their ads are at getting people to visit a specific store or see a movie with a “Snap to Store” tool that’ll help track just that.

Snap to Store initially launched for select companies, including Wendy’s, 7-Eleven, and Paramount Pictures. It lets advertisers know where users go after viewing a sponsored location-based ad. Snap explains that Wendy’s, for example, sponsored a geofilter for its jalapeño chicken sandwich that resulted in more than 42,000 people visiting the fast food restaurant over the week.

Why it’s hot
Snap tracks not only the user who took a photo with a sponsored geofilter but also which friends saw that photo and subsequently visited the store. The tool relies on users’ location data and a partnership with Foursquare to power its geofilters and figure out where users are at a given time.

Instagram Advertising Set to Grow

Instagram will soon carry a lot more advertising. Direct-response buttons, an API for ad buying and Facebook-style targeting capabilities will give advertisers new ways to buy and will lead to rapid increases in ad spending on the photo-focused social network. eMarketer forecasts Instagram will have $595 million in ad revenue this year, rising to $2.81 billion in 2017.


These changes will likely result in their ad business growing rapidly the latter half of the year, as features will roll out over the next several months, and by the end of 2015 Instagram will have a full slate of ad products for advertisers large and small.

“We’ve spent the last 18 months establishing the platform for large brands. The next logical step is to empower businesses of all sizes to be able to achieve their objectives,” said Jim Squires, Instagram’s director of market operations.

Many companies will be eager to test the social network’s new features. Instagram advertising was previously a rare commodity, reserved for McDonald’s, L’Oréal, Mercedes-Benz and other brands that were willing to spend a flat rate of $200,000 to conduct a campaign. Instagram offered those advertisers a limited assortment of image ads, 15-second video ads, and the newest feature, carousel ads, which can display more than one image.

Now that Instagram is opening up to more advertisers, it’s likely to find a lot of pent-up demand.

“Instagram is probably [our] favorite platform right now in terms of pioneering and being willing to try new things,” said Roderick Strother, director of worldwide digital and social at Lenovo, whose Australian arm recently conducted its first Instagram ad campaign. “The importance of Instagram has grown tremendously for us.”

Why Its Hot:

Instagram has a lot of what marketers see as the most compelling package: audience plus strong engagement plus strong brand awareness. The new features seek to make a user-friendly success story into a marketer-friendly one as well, with the help of FB learnings.

  • The social network’s ad revenue is projected to increase rapidly, approaching $1.5 billion in 2016 and $3 billion in 2017. Instagram will account for 3.7% of parent company Facebook’s ad revenue this year.
  • In 2017, Instagram will have higher US net mobile display ad revenues than Google or Twitter.
  • Instagram advertisers will be able to use a full slate of Facebook targeting tools, including the popular Custom Audiences feature. That will be a key drawing card.
  • Instagram will set a high bar for direct-response ads, which will have a premium look. Ad load will remain low, which will likely increase prices. This combination will effectively shut out many performance advertisers seeking a low cost per click (CPC).
  • Users have shown high engagement with the branding ads that have appeared on Instagram thus far, but that could change as new types of advertisers enter. Appropriate use of targeting and creative will be necessary.
  • Instagram will launch ecommerce capabilities with the “shop now” and “install now” buttons, but the kinds of advertisers that will benefit most from them will be those with unusual, limited-quantity or eye-catching products. App installs may fare better—as long as the ads meet Instagram’s creative bar.


Time for Marketers to get in the Gaming Game?

According to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Games: A Large Audience, but Limited Ad Spending (So Far)” – the US mobile gaming user base is swelling and not showing any signs of letting up. The report estimates that in 2015, for the first time ever, over half of the US population will be mobile phone gamers, . Although ad spending is not very robust right now,that may change as advertisers become increasingly more comfortable with mobile in general and with some of the special features mobile games offer creative marketers.

US Mobile Phone Gamers and Penetration, 2013-2019

Shouldn’t the sheer size of the mobile gaming audience should make it attractive to advertisers? Not always the case, but it seems that the tide is changing quickly as marketers find ways to leverage their brand in non-obtrusive ways to gamers that are increasingly spending more and more time with their devices.

“I can leverage a program for Coca-Cola today that reaches 28 million unique users in the US through one title. In console, one publisher couldn’t reach 28 million users in a day, let alone a month.”argued Julie Shumaker, vice president of ad sales at game publisher Zynga.

In addition, Shumaker said, the mobile gaming audience is diverse and broad—more akin to a TV audience.

However, there are differences. “Brands like to look at metrics like time spent and impressions as measurement of whether or not a branding campaign has been effective, but if you think about it applied to mobile, the amount of time spent with a brand might be more [associated with] how potentially annoyed a user is with that brand,” said Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip.

As a defense against that “annoyance factor,” a number of advertisers have invested in rewards-based advertising—giving the audience a tool or a free pass to move up a level within a game in return for viewing an ad.

“If a brand comes in and interrupts [a game] in any way, the first thing [the user does] is look for the X button to close the ad,” said Ari Brandt, co-founder and CEO of MediaBrix. “However, you could be playing a game and you’re stuck, and then you get a message that looks native to the game and it says, ‘It looks like you could use some help. Coca-Cola wants to help you. Click here and Coca-Cola will give you a boost to help you clear the level.’ The user not only appreciates that you’ve acknowledged their state of mind, but beyond that you’re coming in and offering to help.”

Another game-specific opportunity for marketers is brand integration. Game publishers like Zynga and CrowdStar work with brands to integrate their products within mobile games. For example, CrowdStar’s Covet Fashion game lets users style, shop and win virtual clothing and accessories from more than 150 brands. In addition to styling a look, users can also purchase the actual clothing and accessories featured in the game using the app.

Why its Hot:

Historically, whenever a shiny new thing appears and begins to attract people’s eyeballs, media dollars are..skeptical…then eventual to follow. Once the secret sauce of properly leveraging gaming for a particular brand is unlocked, the value in capturing a highly diverse and highly engaged audience will surely unfold.  With the proliferation of mobile gaming and the relative ease of entry (for users) into the recreation, what was once thought of to marketers as the gaming demo (younger males) is invariably changing as well. Who has a grandma that hasn’t at least heard of Candy Crush? How can this work best for the brands we represent? Think like a gamer and add value – its a good start. There’s definitely a trend developing towards value exchange and figuring out ways for brands to be additive to an experience

‘Choose to Smile’ for Coca-Cola

Earlier this month, Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam launched its first spot for Coca-Cola with an over-the-top anthem ad. The agency took a much simpler approach with the shorter “Choose to Smile.”

The ad shares the insight that “Before you learn anything you learn to smile” (via a somewhat annoying tune, unfortunately), followed by the text, “It’s said smile 40x more than adults.” Encompassing footage of babies and toddlers laughing and smiling, the ad asks “Did we forget the first thing we learnt?” and encourages viewers to “choose life with a smile.” Since baby videos (along with cats, dogs and goats) are one of the those subjects all but guaranteed to be shared on the Internet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the video has gone viral, racking up over six million YouTube views in about ten days. Beyond that, though, the spot is a lot more successful at capturing the spirit of the “Choose Happiness” tagline and brand message than its predecessor, and a lot more watchable.

Why it’s Hot

This ad not only transcends generations and segments, but appeals to the masses as babies are one topic of conversation that everyone finds irresistibly cute and shareable. And, not only that, but it’s not short, to-the-point, and not heavily branded, which increases shareability.

Verizon is Making Traveling Tolerable


Verizon plans to kick off the holiday season this year with “Connection Day” on Nov. 26.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is infamous as one of the worst travel days of the year, and the telecom has partnered with several companies to create a mobile package of services intended to make travel a bit more enjoyable.

Verizon is offering additional data to customers, and teaming up with Amazon, Apple, Boingo Wireless, Condé Nast, Gogo Technologies, JetBlue and Pandora to offer entertainment, connectivity and more.

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/11/12/verizon-connection-day/

Why Its Hot:

This is a great example of playing off people’s pain points. Everyone hates traveling during the holidays so let’s make it easier for you! What a great strategy! Also, you don’t have to have Verizon to partake in the freebies.



Meme Marketing Done Right

Alex, now better known as #AlexFromTarget, was just a normal guy who worked at Target until this Sunday when he became the Internet’s newest favorite meme. Twitter user @auscalem(now private) shared a photo of the young male cashier at Target with the caption “YOOOOOOOOOO” and suddenly, Twitter users everywhere starting sharing the photo and talking about “Alex from Target,” many of them using the photo to create memes.

Perhaps the best thing about Alex’s overnight fame is how Target responded to the situation. Target’s Twitter account wrote, “We heart Alex, too! #alexfromtarget” alongside an image of Alex’s nametag. Simple, yet effective — a tweet from Target’s account the previous day announcing a sale received 103 retweets and 134 favorites, but their supportive #AlexFromTarget tweet hit 28,000 retweets and 43,000 favorites. And that’s the power of memes.

So let’s talk about memes. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”  Since memes are already viral by definition, it can be tempting to use them to your advantage in your marketing strategy. This is often referred to as “memejacking” and if it’s done right, it can really push your social marketing over the edge. But memes can be tricky, and if you mess up, it can be pretty embarrassing.

Here are three important steps to memejack the correct way:

  1. Understand the meme first.If you’re unsure of the correct way to use a meme, don’t just try it anyway. Go to KnowYourMeme.com, search for the particular meme you’re interested in, and read up on it before you even get started. If you use a meme incorrectly, it can seriously backfire.
  2. Don’t waste time.Some memes stay popular for years, and others fall flat after a few months or even days. If you’re going to memejack, do it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up using it too late.
  3. Make sure it’s appropriate.If your business has a very serious reputation, and subsequently, a very serious audience, using memes could actually offend or isolate people — the exact opposite of what you want.


View image on Twitter

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/11/06/alex-from-target-memes-marketing/

Why It’s Hot:

Great opportunity for us to have some fun! AlexfromTarget is a great example of how something as simple as a Twitter pic of an employee can blow up into something huge! Memejacking is a hard thing to do as the internet a fickle fickle beast but if we do it right, it can go a long way for our brands. The article provides some basic how tos but sometimes you just have to get lucky and let it naturally blossom. Another thing that I feel like we need is a mascot. Especially for Verizon, since we’re selling a service, having a mascot might contextualize our product similar to Time Warner’s roadrunner.

Apple offers a way to ‘return’ that free U2 album

At the end of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch announcement last week, the company trotted out the rock supergroup to announce a major marketing collaboration.

According to the New York Times, Apple spent ~$100 million on the U2 campaign.

The campaign consisted of Apple giving away U2’s first new album in 5 years, “Songs of Innocence,” to 500 million iTunes customers. For free. The objective was to get more people to sign up for iTunes.

But Apple didn’t just offer the album, it went ahead and dropped the album in all 500 million active iCloud accounts across 119 countries. The files would then make their way to the computers and mobile devices of users set up to automatically synch purchases.

This lead to many complaints of invasiveness and tone-deafness. Especially since the timing was shortly after iCloud’s security was scrutinized for its part in celebrity photo hacks.

One week after giving away a new U2 album to most iTunes users, Apple has announced a way for customers to get rid of it, reported CNN.

Why It’s Hot

Even the most visionary marketers can stumble, especially if they don’t keep the customer–their needs, their boundaries–front and center.

19 Social Media Facts

Most brands, by now, recognize the power of social media and understand it’s not just a passing fad. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it would have the third-highest population, behind China and India. And more people these days own a mobile device than a toothbrush.

Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics” and the creator of the popular video series f the same name, has released a new clip filled with fascinating social media stats and how marketers are using this to reach out to consumers.

Why It’s Hot

We all know that social media and the rise of mobile is quickly and drastically changing our lifestyles. Some of these facts might seem interesting and fun, but it’s a reminder that every year the way consumers use technology and social media changes and therefore, our digital and social strategies should change with them. It’s all about providing value and being innovative not just for the sake of being innovative, but to better serve consumers and connect with target audiences.

CMOs on a High

From Kate Clough

CMO optimism for the U.S. economy has reached its highest point in five years. This optimism occurred across all sectors. With optimism comes willingness to increase risk.


CMOs reported an average optimistic score of 66.1 (out of 100), nearly 20 points higher than a low score of 47.7 in February 2009. These top marketers also predict that customers’ top priority over the next twelve months will be a focus on product quality, not on low price. This shift indicates a belief that consumers are ready to spend again and are less interested in cost savings.

With optimism comes more risk taking. CMOs report their companies will spend more on market development strategies (sell existing products/services to new customers), product/service development strategies (sell new products/services to existing customers), and diversification strategies (sell new products/services to new customers). These three strategies are riskier than a market penetration strategy, concludes the report, which is which will decline by 11%.

In terms of other growth strategies, CMOs report they will allocate 71.8% of their budgets to organic growth, where the company innovates using its own resources, compared to growth via partnership, acquisition and licensing. The implication here is increased confidence in tackling innovation and developing markets in-house rather than buying it.

Why it’s Hot

Our jobs are a whole lot more fun when our clients are launching new products, pursuing new audiences, growing organically (vs. through partners, acquisition, licensing) and encouraging us to bring innovative new strategies to them (in contrast to the risk aversion we faced in 2008-2010, and worse, for us dinosaurs, 2001-2003).

We made incredible progress in selling through innovative channel plans last year and that will only continue this year, as clients move from recent channel “testing” to actual investing: digital audio, video, mobile/tablet ads, untrackable and premium media (subway wraps, events/stunts), things they don’t really understand (data targeting across ad exchanges) and so on. The new tests will be things that we haven’t even heard about yet. Maybe we’ll learn about them via Hot Sauce today.

Source: MediaPost Research Brief, Jack Loechner, March 7, 2014