Posts Tagged Advertising

Marketing Campaign Round-Up

Posted by on Sunday, 5 October, 2014

When was the last time you saw a brilliant marketing campaign? How about a not-so-brilliant one? I’ve seen a few around Seattle that fit each category.

First Aid Shot Therapy

No one likes a migraine, or even a hangover. First Aid Shot Therapy have a new treatment and a very innovative way to get the word out – while concurrently creating brand evangelists. If you live in Seattle or Boston and tweet about your migraine, hangover or just a headache you’re likely to get a response offering a sample pack of their new medication delivered to you, that day, for free.

The package is rather impressive too. It has samples of their headache remedy, and their stomach relief treatment. You can see the gorgeous box, filled with the medical background on their new treatments. Apologies for the missing one. I had a migraine.

First Aid Marketing Campaigns

I love their use of real-time marketing and it’s really not that hard to do. Many social media management platforms allow you to set up keyword searches within a specific geographic area. That’ll pull in your data set, then you have their profiles (and maybe Klout score) to qualify who should be approached. First Aid Shot Therapy asked for addresses via direct message, offering privacy but also increasing follower counts. Both parties need to be following each other to direct message on Twitter. The end result was influencers saying this new product is great. Much more valuable than a newspaper ad.


Seattle has always been a little different for marketing campaigns. I don’t think I’ve ever seen agencies advertising jobs on billboards or buses in any other city. Therefore ReadyPulse’s low cost and low-key outdoor marketing campaign shouldn’t have been a surprise. ReadyPulse has a marketing suite (their jargon) that helps you recruit and manage ambassadors and sponsored athletes online. A valuable and important tool, that’s not being offered by many.

I’m assuming it’s part of the Silicon Valley company’s push into Seattle (my jargon), and very creative. They’re taped flyers to power poles in downtown Seattle streets. I’m not sure how far they’ve spread, but I’ve mainly seen them between a major transit spot and South Lake Union, i.e. Amazon and a sea of start-ups. The flyers are too swish to be mistaken for the usual house to rent ads.


Forever 21

Here’s my not-so-brilliant marketing campaign. Apologies for the not-so-brilliant photo. The window was clean and iPhones have great cameras. In hindsight, I’m not sure if this is a bad campaign or just a representation of current society. And not in a positive way. Forever 21, the teen to young adult clothing company has a new Barbie range. My first disgust was that they chose to have a Barbie range when Barbies are being ridiculed as poor role models for young girls. Then I thought of some young 20-something women I know. There is a trend of regressing back to childhood, so maybe this was a genius move and I’m just too old.

Barbie Marketing Campaigns


What brag-worthy campaigns have you seen recently? Please share in the comments.

My 2014 Marketing Wishlist

Posted by on Sunday, 15 December, 2013

Marketing WishlistIt’s that time of year again. Kids are writing Santa lists. Adults are reflecting on the past year and planning for the next.

Here’s my 2014 marketing wishlist.

1. Integrated marketing comes back.

We talk about bringing down silos but then create them. Is it a social media campaign, a direct mail or event? Our audiences don’t look at it this way, so why should we? Let’s plan marketing campaigns with SEO, social media, print, and event tactics. Campaign performance will increase and you may even have fun dabbling in new areas.

2. Accept mobile is just par for the course.

OK, it’s another rant but we all know the stats about mobile usage outpacing desktop. When you’re planning any online campaigns ensure the sites are responsive design. That’s all. It is that easy. Add in location and apps, if you want, but they are just tactics and tools. The moment we stop declaring it the next big thing, marketers will stop being scared of it and we might catch up to our audiences’ usage behaviors.

3. Accept nothing dies, it just evolves.

Video killed the radio star? Well, the internet brought them back. Life is a constant evolution, embrace it. When your favorite marketing tool goes out of favor, find a new one or tweak your product. This is a marketing truth that really excites me. I can’t wait to see what new toys we’ll get to play with.

4. Millennials or any generation segmenting.

This was a topic in 2008 when I started grad school. By the time I graduated, two years later, it was passé. Can you really say all people born in 1983 behave the same? Are you the same as your age peers? Did you get married at the same time? Buy a new car? How many jobs have you had? Have they done the same? No, so let’s move on and look at personas and lifestyle stages. We have the technology and research to appeal to our audiences and sub-audiences without a cookie cutter approach. Try it, the results will impress you.

5. Big data.

In 1999 I was a new retail manager helping our tech marketing team with some launch promotions. We were a new ISP with a big budget. If a campaign didn’t produce sign-ups we called it branding. Within a year the parent company layer off the entire team and transferred sales to the call center. We didn’t track anything or look at the data. Big mistake. Still today too many marketers are scared of numbers and adding the word Big to data isn’t helping. Jump in to a spreadsheet and start small. It needn’t be complex data, everyone can understand the number of retweets per month over a year.

6. The end of B2B and B2C.

This is another silo that’s starting to fall – woohoo! As with generation segmenting, it’s time to properly look at your audience. I know you’re saying the buying cycle isn’t the same for B2B. The decision maker may not be the end user. How is that different from B2C? Kids have a big say in car and holiday purchases, but can’t hand over the cash. B2B audiences are people too. Find what works best for your audience. Make it colorful, make it fun, make it personal.

What’s on your marketing wishlist? Let me know in the comments.

Getting all niche with Bing Ads

Posted by on Saturday, 9 November, 2013

Bing_AdsBing Ads is pulling out the stops to win over agencies.

This week was the launch of Bing Ads Connect, a new event series educating agencies how to optimize Bing Ads campaigns for the holidays.

From talking to others at the event, Bing Ads (and its preceding names) hasn’t had the best relationship with agencies. I’m not sure that’s just agencies though. They do have a hard battle stealing share from Google. Especially when they also lack the features of Google AdWords.

However from what I saw on Tuesday, they’ve accepted the challenge. Last week’s report on Bing Ads’ efficiencies over Google AdWords opened me to looking at Bing Ads for some niche campaigns. The event definitely helped. It looked like ALL the team were in the room, and lots of notes were taken and questions asked – of us. They are listening.

But what did I learn?

  • There are 31 million computer users who are only paid search accessible via Bing Ads
  • On average, Bing Ads users spend 38% more
  • Bing Ads segments using user persona with less emphasis on keywords
  • Gift cards are the top Christmas gift, so extend your holiday campaigns to catch this delayed spend – or make a new, focused campaign
  • They are still Google AdWord’s little brother, tagging along behind
  • The Microsoft Partner program gives great perks, but at too great a cost
  • Bing Ads has the BEST swag bags: $100 ad spend, pretty note pad and pen, holiday campaign planning guide, pre-stamped (and branded) holiday cards for clients, another pen, and a copy of Office 2013 Professional

I’m excited to test Bing Ads for a client. I’m curious to see if it’ll work with a tightly targeted, small campaign for a local tech startup. After Tuesday’s event, I’m sure it’ll be a success.

If you’re in one of the other cities the Bing Ads team is visiting, I recommend checking it out and sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Video Storytelling Grows Up

Posted by on Tuesday, 17 September, 2013

Have you seen the latest videos to go viral? Chipotle and Volvo have both released videos in this week that have, deservingly, taken off. They both tell strong product stories, are entertaining, and are well-made. Chipotle’s scarecrow video is also educational. My favorite aspect is that neither make it about their products, but products benefits shine through. Volvo tells the story of Charlie the hamster that can steer a (Volvo) truck up a narrow ravine. Chipotle’s scarecrow educates us about fresh food and clean eating (just like Chipotle use).

These are great examples of video storytelling creativity. Watch and let me know your thoughts.

Google KeyWord Finder – One of my favorite tools

Posted by on Thursday, 27 June, 2013

most-common-crossword-wordsUnless you play in the search engine marketing arena, you may not be aware of Google’s KeyWord Finder tool and the extent of its awesomeness.

In SEM, it’s used for finding the low cost, high traffic keywords to target. It is based on actual searches – spelling errors and weirdness and all.

As well as SEM, it’s great to work out how to position your copy. What are the words your audience are using? You may use jargon, but if your audience doesn’t use the same terms you won’t be found via search engines. And we all want to be found.

Looking at the related keywords can also give you topic ideas to write about. Or, you can do what I used to get distracted by when keywording SEM campaigns: see what people actually search. Be warned though, it’s often NSFW and will have you thinking WTF?!?