Halloween Marketing – Oh the Possibilities

Every holiday is a business opportunity. Have you heard that line before? “Everyone knows that Halloween was invented by the candy companies to make a buck…” We know the reality of that not to be entirely true. However, there is enormous opportunity in holiday marketing if you are able seamlessly weave your brand storyline into a holiday message.


Halloween Storytelling

If you’re in retail, this is your time of year. Besides all of the Christmas shopping that’s going on, Halloween is all about decorations, candy, costumes, parties, drinks, foods, and fun. There are a multitude of possibilities for your brand during Halloween, but you need to be smart about this form of marketing. Consider the following questions:

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Is Zombie Marketing Right For Your Brand?

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to share with you an interesting genre of marketing that has boomed in the past few years; Zombie Marketing. Sounds a bit out there, right? Let’s just say, for the sake of Halloween, that you wanted to pursue the zombie genre and needed some tips on zombie marketing. Well, Happy Halloween, here they are:
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Digital Brand Marketing and Engagement

There is a fine line between innovative, entertainment focused digital marketing and deceptive practices, and even the Federal Trade Commission is confused on where that line should be drawn. Entertainment, specifically music, combined with pioneering online brand marketing strategies has become a new frontier of enormous possibilities for agencies, providing a personal connection with a teen focused audience.


Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a strategy that aims to increase brand awareness via television, radio, mobile media, online media, social media, and any other form of digital media available at the time. Digital marketing is interactive, engaging, can be integrated across many advertising platforms, and is incredibly effective.


At the core, digital marketing centers around the internet, whether it’s mobile use, laptops or desktops, the internet is what facilitates the personalized engagement. Digital marketing is instant, satisfying, and is database driven, which allows marketers and advertisers to obtain massive amounts of user generated and user obtained data.


Digital Marketing Data

One of the most exciting aspects of digital marketing is its ability to collect instant data, and obtain instant results. When implemented successfully, brands can instantly sell a product, while at the same time instantly obtain a wealth of information about that consumer’s online habits. Digital marketing also allows for extended brand awareness and amazing brand engagement, which also gives brands amazing insight into the behavior, demographics, and purchasing power of their audience.


Digital Brand Engagement

The key to digital marketing is brand engagement. You could have the most revered graphic designer create an amazing banner ad that speaks to the masses and is advertised on every targeted website on the internet, however it that ad is not engaging, does not have a strong call to action, and does not create interaction between brand and audience, it will be unsuccessful.


In order to engage your digital audience, brand marketing must be extremely targeted, extremely relevant, and extremely personal. There are some aspects of brand marketing, whether in it’s the digital realm, print, on TV or radio never change; the brand experience creates brand advocates. With that said, when it comes to digital marketing and online engagement, the audience experience must be absolutely unique, memorable, innovative, and custom-made to fit each audience segment. As a brand, you want to create Fans, not just customers, and creating a digital experience like no other will obtain that goal.


Deceptive Practices

As we pointed out yesterday, one of the problems with digital brand marketing is how deceptive it can be, which is also one of the reasons why it can be so effective. As PepsiCo and the Frito-Lay corporations face the FTC over deceptive marketing practices, it’s important to step back and analyze why they’ve gotten themselves into hot water.


One aspect of the complaint that was recently filed states that “Frito-Lay collects users’ personal information “without meaningful notice and consent” and “uses viral marketing in ways that violate the FTC endorsement guidelines.”” As we’ve mentioned, data collection is one of the highlights of digital marketing, and yet if it’s conducted without the knowledge of the audience member, it can be consider deceptive.


The problem that we run into in this particular FTC complaint is the marketing focus on teenagers, an extremely touchy subject for not only parents, but the federal government.


“Frito-Lay disguises its marketing campaigns as entertaining video games, concerts and other immersive forms of entertainment, thus making it more difficult for teens to recognize them as marketing and to be skeptical about the messages they present,” wrote Angela Campbell, an attorney at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation, in the filing.


While digital marketing can be incredibly effective, if implemented deceptively your brand will probably want to look into some reputation management.

Two Advertising Scenarios, Two Completely Different Outcomes

There have been some interesting stories featured this week in The New York Times and Marketing Week, both featuring popular soft drink brands, both presenting two different branding scenarios. Scenario one; Coca-Cola’s new ‘retro’ campaign increases profits and brand equity. Scenario two; PepsiCo and Frito-Lay might be in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for ‘deceptive digital marketing practices targeted at adolescents.’


Scenario One; Coca-Cola Goes Retro

So far, it’s been a great anniversary year for Coca-Cola. For the brand’s 125 anniversary, they have not only gone retro, but focused more on incorporating music into their over marketing platform.

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Learning from the NFL – Expanding Your Audience

As I was writing last week’s article on cause marketing, the NFL and the American Cancer Society, it occurred to me that we haven’t discussed how to expand your target audience and your brand’s reach. Each and every brand has a specific target audience, a demographic that has been determined with a high degree of confidence to relate to the overall brand message. But, as the NFL has clearly shown us, there are ways to expand your reach and attract an entirely new demographic.


The NFL’s New Target Audience

Since the beginning of time, football has been a man’s sport. The target demographic was easy to establish; men, fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, singles, all incomes, all ages. Of course, as we all know, things get a bit more complicated when you segment each demographic and determine the best brand message to send to each segmentation, but simply put; men love football.

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