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Barbie Embraces #GirlPower in New Campaign Video

Barbie Blog

Mattel’s Barbie has always aimed to help young girls use their imagination, empowering them to become whatever they want to be. Though the brand’s image has had its ups and downs in the public’s eye, it has never stopped inspiring young minds to achieve their dreams. The brand’s new ad campaign aims to strengthen these messages with the video, “Imagine the Possibilities.”

Forbes took a look at the positive ways the new campaign could influence consumers’ opinions in the article, “Mattel Reframes the Barbie Brand in New Campaign Targeting Adults.” Barbie’s new campaign was strategically designed to cast the Barbie Brand in a new, positive light. Intended to demonstrate that Barbie inspires children to become whatever they can imagine, the campaign reconnects the original vision for the toy with today’s public.

“Barbie was originally created to show girls they have choices, a fact that most people have forgotten,” said Matt Miller, executive creative director, BBDO San Francisco. “So we set out to show everyone how girls really play and demonstrate that, when girls play with Barbie, they actually play out the possibilities their futures hold.”

The article expands on three key elements in the video that will change the public’s image of Barbie:

  • From Body Image to Self-Image: In the video, the girls have chosen careers for their dolls such as a professor, a veterinarian and a business woman – likely fitting representations of what the girls aspire to become. To the children that play with them, the dolls can be whatever they dream. Many are eager to criticize the exterior image of a Barbie doll, but in this new campaign video that previous idea is eliminated. Demonstrating that the dolls are not about what they look like, but what they are like
  • The Problems Surrounding Barbie Were Adult Problems: Many of the problems society had with the Barbie brand were problems initially facilitated by adults. That’s why the way the video unfolds is crucial to the campaign. It is designed to make adults experience a moment where they think, “Oh that’s how my child plays with the doll.”
  • Real Reactions From Adults Cemented the Message: The adults seen in the video reacting to the girls acting like working professionals weren’t actors, but real adults having real reactions to what the girls were doing and saying. These reactions are organic and demonstrate how seeing the children act like this makes understanding the child’s image of themselves and the dolls simpler.

In a society where allowing children to believe any dream is achievable, Barbie is taking a step in the right direction to empowering future generations of young girls.

For more on the new Barbie campaign read the full Forbes article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/willburns/2015/10/29/mattel-reframes-the-barbie-brand-in-new-campaign-targeting-adults/

 

Oct. 21, 2015: Brands That Leveraged #BacktotheFutureDay

BttF Day Blog

Last Wednesday marked the day Marty McFly went to the future in the 1980’s movie, “Back to the Future,” and brands didn’t skip a beat aligning themselves with the cult classic. Fortune took an in-depth look at how brands like Nike, Toyota and Pepsi  leveraged the day with ads connecting them to the film, while Ford and Universal created mock ads for a Flux Capacitor and Hoverboard. Lyft even added an element to their ride-sharing app called “McFly Mode.” Great Scott!

Here’s how each of these companies used Back to the Future Day to promote their brand:

  • Nike: When Marty McFly arrives in 2015 in the film, he puts on a pair if Nike sneakers that can lace themselves. Starting in January 2015 Tinker Hatfield, the original creator of the concept, said the Nike team was planning to release self-lacing shoes at some point in the year. The concept was again teased to the world this past Tuesday via a tweet. As of now, we still wait for the futuristic sneaker to become a reality.
  • Toyota: Not only does the car in the film travel through time, it is also fueled by garbage. The car company used the date to promote its new hydrogen fuel car, the Mirai, by including actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the debut commercial.
  • Pepsi: The drink of choice for Michael J. Fox’s character in the film, Pepsi released limited edition bottles of the soda that were sold on Amazon. However, they may have been a little too limited. Many fans hoping to get a bottle of the Back to the Future Pepsi took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
  • Ford: In honor of Back to the Future Day, Ford created a dummy version of a flux capacitor – the essential part for time travelling in the film. The Y-shaped generator powered by a getting struck by a bolt of lightning bolt or nuclear fuel was released in a mock ad and advertised to sell at a fictional $1.21 million.
  • Universal: Unfortunately not a real product, but Universal released a mock ad for a hoverboard like the sweet ride available in Back to the Future’s version of 2015. Check out the ad here to see how Universal envisions hoverboards in 2015.
  • Lyft: The on-demand ride sharing company offered free rides for up to 15 minutes around New York City in a DeLorean, the type of car used in the film. Users simply had to press the “McFly Mode” button in the Lyft app and the DeLorean ride would arrive minutes later.

Whether a devoted fan who has waited decades for this day or just someone who wanted to take part in the Back to the Future Day festivities, brands successfully engaged audiences through strategically impactful advertising.

For more on how brands utilized the date for product placement read the full Fortune article here: http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/back-future-day-brands-twitter/

 

Extra Gum Pulls At Audience’s Heartstrings

Extra Gum Blog

After what may have seemed like a very long two years since the success of Extra’s first gum wrapper centered video, “Origami,” the company released a second advertisement featuring the brand’s foil wrappers. Quickly capturing a favorable public opinion, the new ad, “The Story of Sarah and Juan,” gained 74 million views within a week of its release.

Audiences have eagerly waited for the Wrigley Company to produce another video for the campaign. With the tag line “Give Extra à Get Extra,” the ads tell stories about how it’s the little things that add up.

Marketing Magazine talks about the “Minty Love” vibe of the ad and the love it or hate it mentality viewers will have. The video starts on the steps going into a high school where students Juan and Sarah first catch each other’s eyes and one offers the other a stick of Extra Gum. As the ad continues, the relationship of the two characters has its ups and downs. However, there is always one constant – Extra Gum.

Whether it’s the love story or the catchy Haley Reinhart cover of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the video has captivated the minds of its audiences. In two minutes of video, an emotion can be conveyed that will resonate with audiences, potentially creating  a very positive brand association for Extra.

The ad comes at a time when viral videos are what create an engaging, lasting memory with a brand’s audience. Audiences have taken social media by storm, sharing the ad on their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Twitter users took to the social media platform to express the emotions watching the video evoked in them. Many also noted that they were initially exposed to the ad through it playing before the YouTube video they were attempting to watch. These various channels are key for reaching the maximum possible audience.

For more on The Story of Sarah and Juan check out the Marketing Magazine article here: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1368588/love-hate-it-extra-gums-the-story-sarah-juan-definitely-having-moment

Amazon Launches “Handmade At Amazon”

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With handmade items trending in today’s society, it seems like everyone has had their fair share of DIY disasters. Sites like Pinterest have a variety of jewelry, style and decorating ideas that can be hard to resist, but when projects turn out looking nothing like the original, it’s probably best to leave it to the pros. For the past 10 years, Etsy has been the go-to site for these unique items, where creatives can open their own shop to take orders and sell products. Last week, online shopping mogul Amazon launched a new element to their online platform, Handmade At Amazon, which is in direct competition with Etsy.

In a recent SF Gate article, the challenges that will face Etsy because of Handmade At Amazon are contemplated.

Handmade At Amazon currently consists of 80,000 products from 5,000 artisans. In order to sell on the site, artisans, which are determined by having 20 or fewer people working for the shop, have to fill out a questionnaire and be approved by Amazon. Etsy currently has 22 million active users and 1.5 million active sellers and allows for specific products to be made with the help of approved manufacturers.

Amazon also announced that users who have Amazon Prime can utilize the free shipping on the site’s new element as well. This gives Amazon an edge over Etsy. When an Etsy shop owner sells one of their products, they either need to then charge their customer for shipping or pay for it out of their own pocket.

Though Amazon does not allow for outsourced manufacturing for Handmade At Amazon products, Etsy feels that this allows for their marketplace to grow. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson says that they only allow these manufacturers to be those who align with their values. The site has grown so much, that in order for more growth at Etsy to happen, these outside sources may be necessary to continue at their current rapid rate of growth.

So how can Etsy hold its own against an e-commerce giant? If Etsy sticks to their values and continues to sell unique, well-made products, the company can keep their customer’s allegiance. Individuals who shop on the site value the customer service experience and relationship between buyers and sellers.

Competition is always a great way to see how a company can do under pressure. Since its launch 10 years ago, Etsy has been the leader when it comes to purchasing and selling handmade goods online. It will be interesting to see how and if they change their marketing tactics or business strategy to compete with Handmade At Amazon.

For more on Etsy or Handmade At Amazon, visit their sites, or read this article from SF Gate here: http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Amazon-challenges-Etsy-with-Amazon-Handmade-6557787.php

PR – Not Just For the Workweek

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It’s so easy to become completely consumed in the exciting and fast-paced world of public relations. However, after an eventful week, it’s finally Friday! Utilize these next two days to refresh and regroup from the everyday hustle and bustle by taking some time to get involved in PR activities outside of the office.

While you may be tempted to leave work at the office, incorporating PR inspired activities during your personal time will help you remember why you first decided to break into the industry. Whether you are a working professional or even a student, there are plenty of ways to become more involved in the PR community this weekend.

Here are three suggestions from PR Daily to get involved in PR activities this weekend:

1. Join a PR-Industry Organization

Being a PR professional is exciting because there are so many organizations you can join to help you relate with your peers.

A few favorites are the Public Relations Society of America, PR Council and Publicity Club of New England (locally the Publicity Club of Chicago).

Being part of these organizations—and working alongside those who run them—give PR pros opportunities to meet many local communications pros along the way. You can also learn new tips and tricks, which you can then share with colleagues.

2. Focus on Trade Shows

Spring and fall are typically the biggest trade-show seasons for PR executives.

In the trade show off-season, research events that would be useful from a knowledge-share perspective that your client isn’t attending. This will give you the opportunity to attend workshops and network without client demands.

3. Attend Networking Events

Major cities like Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco often host mixers and socials that bring together PR pros with common interest, such as technology or consumer products. These types of events are great for recruitment and new business prospecting.

Client responsibilities are the number one priority, but by making time for industry activities, you create opportunities to bring even more creative ideas to your client campaigns. Even for students, there is the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has chapters at campus’ across the country.

Hopefully these idea have inspired you to try something new you can start next week fresh, rested and ready to take on new challenges!

Read PR Daily’s full article here: http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19460.aspx

Twitter Chat: A Different Avenue to Engage Your Audience

Twitter Chat

Twitter is famous – or infamous—for only allowing its users 140 characters to relay their message. So, why is it that this social media outlet is generally considered the best platform to capture brands’ audiences? The answer lies in Twitter chats, a discussion about an arranged topic. The short messages make it easy for participants to stay involved and interested. The chats create a comfortable atmosphere to connect with a brand, event or product. It can also build advocacy, loyalty and community with participants. Once a topic is chosen that will appeal to followers and future followers, what’s next? Twitter chats can work, but it takes a lot of effort beforehand.

Here are our favorite tips from PR Daily on how to host a successful Twitter chat:

  1. Invite Influential Users

If this is your first time throwing a digital party, it’s best to engage a few well-known tweeters who are experts on your topic. Find and invite some users with big followings who will bring their audience along to your chat and add a respected voice to your topic. Imagine the amount of knowledge available during an effective chat with a number of tweeters who can access real-time, expert advice with the click of a few keys.

  1. Hashtag it

So you have your topic and your special guests.  Now you need a hashtag so your audience can follow along and respond. The hashtag is important so your audience can find the conversation and use it to chime in when they have something of value to add. We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s quite a bit of activity on Twitter; let’s call it noise. Using a consistent and easy hashtag mean people will notice there’s an organized discussion happening that’s also easy to track.

  1. Go With the Flow, But Have a Plan

Twitter chats are fun, but ensure that you:

  • Promote it.
  • Keep the conversation going
  • Give guests equal time.
  • Don’t ignore your followers
  • Document it

To check out the rest of PR Daily’s tips visit: http://prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/19311.aspx.

PR Tips Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Netflix

Netflix

Netflix, an online video streaming service, is one of the largest and most successful corporations of its kind. It allows customers to stream or rent television shows and movies, and provides recommendations based on what each subscriber has previously watched. Netflix has become a very popular site, and is now a regular part of many people’s daily routine. Along with all of their success, Netflix has also gone through some of their own crises. Public relations professionals and business owners can learn from some of the difficulties that Netflix has had, and use that information to help make the best responses for their own companies.

Here are our three favorite PR tips from the Huffington Post that entrepreneurs can learn from Netflix:

  1. Always Be Transparent With The Public

When Netflix split their service into two different sites, streaming and renting, consumers who enjoyed both of the Netflix services were upset by the change. The second site, Qwikster, caused Netflix to lose the trust and business of the public, so Quickster was eventually shut down. Companies can learn from this Netflix experience that it is always better to gauge potential consumer responses to a change before making it.

  1. If You Want to Stay Relevant, Change With the Times

A big part of public relations is staying relevant in your current market. Netflix had to make changes when physical DVD rental became a thing of the past. The company saw the opportunity to add the streaming service and now it is the main aspect of the Netflix brand. Yet another way that Netflix has changed with the times is when they began creating original content. Their series Orange is the New Black, Peaky Blinders and House of Cards have grown into some of today’s biggest shows in entertainment.

  1. Damage Control Will Always Be Important

Keeping current customers happy with your product or service is important for every company. Netflix came under fire when they raised their monthly prices. The stocks plummeted and the public started firing back against the company, making damage control essential. Netflix focused on current customers in order to maintain their business and continue making money. In the end, smoothing the tension with current costumers lead to overall success.

Learning by example and taking a moment to find the important PR lessons from any situation can help companies and entrepreneurs succeed in today’s market.

To learn more visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-lorenzen/pr-tips-entrepreneurs-can_b_7840628.html.

How to Evolve as a Public Relations Professional

Public Relations Professionals

Today, public relations is vital to every brand, industry and individual. The PR profession has progressed into much more than just basic communications; it now includes media relations, planning for crises, media counseling and training, social media and much more. Since PR’s scope is increasing every day, it’s important for PR professionals to hone their skills based on the advancements in technology and PR. PR Daily seemed to agree with us when they shared “5 Ways for PR Pros to Step up Their Game”. Here are the top three that stood out to us:

  • Increase Social Media Skills.

Social media continues to gain popularity every day, so using it to your advantage is important if you want to stay relevant as a PR professional. Use both personal and client social media platforms to post newsworthy articles and communicate with other professionals and brands. Social media is also a great way to gain exposure for your own business and the business of your clients, while always making connections and networking.

  • Get Away from Phones and Computers to make Human Connections.

Online networking is great, but it isn’t everything. Face-to-face connections are still vital to creating personal relationships. Other professionals will see that you are responsible and committed to your work and gaining their trust. It makes clients feel more comfortable as well because they see how much their business means to you

  • Be Nice.

A PR professional’s main job is to be of service to clients. So, being nice goes a long way when it comes to building personal relationships with brands and clients. Business will come easier and more people will respect and trust you if you also treat them with respect.

What are some other ways you stay current in the field of PR? To check out the other tips from PR Daily, visit: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19164.aspx

Chevrolet Shakes Up Their Latest Press Release

Microsoft Word - 0828-Chevrolet-Cruze-3-Million.docx

Chevrolet is bringing things further into the digital age with an all-emoji press release. Emojis are small pictures frequently used in text messages to convey emotion.

The new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was announced in a press release Monday, and was decoded the next day for those who were unable to read the emoji message.

Why did Chevrolet decide to write an emoji press release?

Previously, Chevrolet’s attempts to reach a younger demographic have been underwhelming. Creating an all-emoji press release was their way of appealing to the demographic that would have the greatest likelihood to buy a car that is priced around $16,000 such as the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

According to PR Daily, Chevrolet’s new technique will likely bring in more interest from the targeted audience for the new Chevrolet model. With this departure from a normal press release, PR Daily said Chevrolet is trying to attract younger consumers who use emojis often.

Chevrolet was able to create a press release that not only drew the desired attention, but required active participation for those who were interested in attempting to decode the emoji message. The car brand also took to Twitter to tease their press release by using even more emojis and the hashtag: #ChevyGoesEmoji. Commercials starring celebrities Norm Macdonald, Zendaya Coleman, Jamie Chung and Ashley Benson were posted on Chevrolet social media accounts. The commercials show the young celebrity women teaching the older generation how to use emojis.

Chevrolet’s goal was to reach a young demographic who can afford a car like the new Chevrolet model. Because consumers respond more favorably to celebrities that they recognize, Chevrolet chose young celebrities that are popular right now and are heavily followed on social media for the campaign. The celebrity and consumer interaction on Twitter is evidence that Chevrolet succeeded in making their announcement interactive. Twitter was torn as to whether the press release was effective, but it definitely drew attention and sparked a discussion.

The method was attention-grabbing, but even though this was the first time that emojis have been used in PR, other companies have used emojis as part of their marketing strategy. According to Mashable, today’s marketers have to “speak their language” to appeal to the younger generation—and emojis are part of the language.

According to Digiday, many companies are trying to be more appealing to the younger generation. Companies are using trendy words like “fleek” and “bae” in attempt to appeal to the younger audience. The incorporation of pop culture into marketing shows that marketers have realized that the younger generation is becoming increasingly important to business.

Will other companies follow suit and get creative with their press releases?

MakeSpace Expands On-Demand Storage Service to Chicago

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Chicagoans now have a new high-tech way to store their stuff—MakeSpace, “Your Closet in the Cloud,” is thrilled to announce the beloved five-star rated on-demand storage solution is now available in Chicago.

MakeSpace transforms the way we think of storage, whether we have seasonal items, live in a small apartment, or simply need to store items we won’t need for a while. Here’s how it works—with just a few clicks, MakeSpace delivers bins to users’ doors ($25/month to store four large (three cubic feet) bins). Once users pack their belongings into the bins, MakeSpace has them picked up from their door and then creates a photo catalog of each bin; so stored items are viewable and retrievable at any time.

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Through a partnership with Goodwill, MakeSpace will also bring users a laundry-sized Goodwill x MakeSpace bag, collect donations and drop off at a local Goodwill facility, free of charge.

For those residing outside of New York City, Chicago and D.C., MakeSpace partners with UPS to bring the same hassle-free experience with its MakeSpace Air service. With MakeSpace Air, users can request durable boxes be shipped to their door and picked up whenever they want. More information on the MakeSpace Air service can be found here.

MakeSpace has received total funding of $10.1 million from investors including Upfront Ventures, Founders Fund, entertainer turned business mogul Ashton Kutcher, and New York Knicks superstar and digital athlete Carmelo Anthony, among others.

 Check out their website for more information!