Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lifestyle brands are so my style

Brand Instagrams.  These accounts are commonplace, and there are virtually every consumer brand has some sort of social media presence attached to it.  Many of these brands strictly post content only related to their products or services, while other brands take the persona of a lifestyle brand.

What does this mean exactly? A lifestyle brand is one that posts more than just their products or services, and rather focuses on on brand content.  Some examples can be checked out below.
Both of these brands are clothing brands, but these two posts don't make it super obvious.  While most people may think, "this has to be hurting their brand", this turns out not to be the case.  

Posting this specific type of content turns the brand into something that sells strictly products to a complete lifestyle.  Consumers look towards these brands for inspiration, and loyal followers hope to have more than just the brands products and services.  These loyal consumers want to emulate everything that the brand does, and by posting content that is on brand this want becomes more attainable.  

Not only does this represent a lifestyle, this type of content does something special for the overall aesthetic of the brand page.  Creating and maintaining a page that is appealing to the eye is important for a brand's overall following.  It is a natural human want to have something that is appealing to the eye.  Posting this type of content breaks up the content and provides a necessary flow.  

This type of content also allows these brands to follow the 80/20 Rule.  This rule states the importance of giving consumers 80% of the content that they want to see and 20% of content can be call to action.  Providing content that goes beyond the goods and services that a brand has is important to the overall perception and consumer engagement.  

While the above examples are primarily women's high-end clothing brands, this same technique can be applied to other brands and brand types to increase success, consumer reach, and consumer engagement.  Consumers applaud brands for doing something different than what every brand is doing.  Being unique is important, and creating a strong brand and brand image is perhaps even more important.  Utilizing these posting techniques allow a brand to go from one selling goods and services to being a true lifestyle that consumers are extremely connected to, and isn't that the goal anyway?


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Snapchat Music Filters??????

Throwback to the rainbow stream coming out of your mouth and the big shiny eyes original snapchat filter that sometimes still makes a comeback.  Since this Snapchat breakthrough, filters have been a staple in the app.  As Snapchat strives to be and remain profitable, more creative advertising can be seen.

Snapchat filters can truly be anything.  They can transform your face, you can create your own for events, and recently they have been used for music releases.  Ed Sheeran hadn't released any music in quite some time, so creative marketing and PR was crucial for getting the public excited about his music again.  For the release of his song, Shape of You, a Snapchat filter popped up right before the release.  The filter was simply sunglasses with a blue rim that played a teaser of ten seconds of the song before it was released.  This definitely created hype and was spread through out the Snapchat universe quickly.

After this crazy, creative marketing move, The Chainsmokers had to get on board.  The Chainsmokers is the most recent artist or band to release a song teaser via snapchat.  This filter was very similar to Ed's, except it had words on it that explained what it was.  This filter also assisted with the spread of the song and increased hype for the release.

Does this mean that Snapchat filters is the new way to release music? Snapchat filters have previously been used for advertising, but never had sound with them.  This type of filter opens the door for other artists to do the same, and could potentially be utilized for other industries as well.  Utilizing sound for fun things like music releases is innovative and cool, it is important that industries wanting to do the same don't think this is a means for old school advertising.  This would not go over well with consumers and would definitely make this concept lose its cool factor.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Brackets for everything? Good or bad?

Happy March Madness! Let's talk about this for a minute.  Living in the south, people really only care about college football...until March.  As soon the words "March Madness" start getting thrown around, these southern homies pretend to start caring about college basketball.

You might be wondering why this is, and I have the answer.  The first explanation for this revolves more around psychological theory.  People want to feel part of a group, and when people are all talking about a certain topic at a certain time, people want to feel included.  Now let's talk about brackets....

When thinking about March Madness in general, most people do not think about it without the association of brackets.  People spend hours on end creating and perfecting their brackets.  They join leagues with their friends, coworkers, and sometimes people they don't know.  The idea is to guess all of the winners of each game.  Whether you are an avid college basketball fan or just making picks based on the attractiveness of the players, anyone can compete.

Since competing through these brackets is so successful, the idea of competing in a similar way has gone beyond March Madness.  With this past season of The Bachelor, a similar mode of competition was unveiled.  People could compete in the Bachelor Fantasy League hosted by ESPN.  This same sense of camaraderie is felt through this similar game experience.  These fantasy league/bracket platforms create brand love, as well as potential advertising dollars for the organization itself.

In my opinion, these platforms are special and work, because they are not constantly seen through every platform.   As the concept of fantasy leagues and brackets are applied to more tv shows and sports, will this lessen the appeal for the organizations that did it first?


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why are celebrities immune from the unwritten rules of instagram?

Ahh unwritten rules of insta...  We all know they exist, and we all (well most of us) follow them.  For example, we don't post on Instagram more than once a day.  We post pictures that are visually appealing to make our life look about ten times more glamorous than it truly is. We as everyday humans go about life following these rules, but there is one group of people who are completely ignoring them...celebrities.

Celebrities are known to have a strong social media presence, and all of them are considered influencers in one way or another.  Let's look at some of the biggest offenders...

Justin Bieber: Okay so recently Bieber came back to Instagram, so obviously fans were excited to see some fresh content.  What they got what the opposite.

Violation 1: Justin often posts pictures of random things.  This content isn't unique and feels weird when it comes up on our Instagram feed.  Instagram is a place to publish your own content, and it is common for Justin to simply just post pictures he finds on the internet.

Violation 2: A signature part of Instagram's platform is to publish a photo with a caption.  People pride themselves on funny, creative, witty captions, but Justin simply ignores this.  It is not uncommon for him to post images without a caption at all.  Fans are given no context.  Not only is this a violation, but he also posts multiple of these caption-less photos in a day.  These multiple photos are also only slightly different.  Instagram has a new feature where you can post multiple photos in one post.  It's about time for JB to try it out.

Miley Cyrus: Ever since Miley cut her hair and came out on her wrecking ball, her insta game has been the opposite of strong.

Violation 1,2,3,4,5+: The point of posts on Instagram is to post visually appealing content.  Miley definitely doesn't think that is the goal.  She uses it more as a visual diary and posts images of things happening in her daily life.  As a celebrity, you would think that we would get a glimpse into life in the fab lane but this isn't the case.  Her posts are often weird and don't tell a story at all.  Yeah I guess this makes her more relatable, but when I follow someone I want to see things that are unique. I'm just not getting this from Miley.  This is all Miley does, so she gets 5+ violations for this.

As you're scrolling through your Instagram feed, take note of this.  Celebrities do insane and almost cringeworthy things on Instagram.  The way they interact with the platform is a quick tap to the unfollow button for most other people.  Why are these super influencers immune?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hey Facebook Friends!! I'm pregnant!

So I know by now that everyone has seen this monumental pic.  Besides Beyonce being completely #flawless, she is now pregnant with twins! I'm attaching the photo, because why not just admire it one more time.  Will it ever get old? Probably not.

Beyonce announced her pregnancy on February 1st via Instagram with the caption, "We would like to share our love and happiness.  We have been blessed two times over.  We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. -The Carters".  As one can expect, this practically broke the internet, and it was all anyone seemed to be talking about.  

It is typical for celebrities to announce news to the public via their personal accounts on various social media platforms.  This allows celebrities to control the message and the exact message being portrayed to the public.  As I continued to analyze this particular pregnancy announcement, I realized that this practice is more common that I originally thought.  

Take a second to think back and reflect on how many times you might have found out intimate details of someone's life via Facebook, Instagram, or any similar platforms.  It is extremely common for people to post milestone events as their "status updates".  Often times these updates are posted and digested quicker than the person is able to personally inform their family and close friends.  Why are we so quick to post such intimate details for the masses?

As marketers, it would be foolish to not think of this direct, mass sharing from a business standpoint. This behavior shows that people are not afraid to share.  We constantly feel the need to share and absorb information about our close connections as well as some relatively far removed ones.  In my opinion, the explanation and way to benefit from these activities is simple.

People want to share many things and want to feel like people care about their life and what they are sharing about it.  If a company can give people something to share and better their life and social media image at the same time to almost emulate the status of celebrity, the company has won.  Make people feel important and give them something to share.


Monday, February 13, 2017

I got two screens...one for the tv and one for my phone

Happy Tuesday/Midnight on Monday! With The Grammy's and The Bachelor broadcasted back to back these past two days, we can't help but talk about all of the talking.  It's no secret that "watch parties" are in full effect for these shows, and many more.  We link up with our besties, break out the snacks, and crowd around one single television to watch our shows.  Often times we can barely hear the show over the chatter, and we find ourselves constantly hitting the plus one volume button on the remote.

It doesn't stop here.  We can't watch without our mobile devices within arms distance.  While we enjoy times with or without friends, we find ourselves using our mobile devices to engage in another conversation.  Hashtags are utilized in conversation to express thoughts.  We place these hashtags on our tweets, click them and are immediately immersed in another conversation.  We may have our besties in the room, but we have many more online. While this conversation occurs on the ever popular Facebook, it is mostly happening on Twitter.

Twitter for some reason seems more real time than any other social media platform.  Many people lean to Twitter to receive their news.  This real time aspect prompts us to check in while watching just to see what the world thinks about an event.  Twitter was booming with people talking about the twin-bearing Queen B's performance, Adele messing up and starting over, and James Cordon.  Every Monday night, #TheBachelor is trending.  Twitter might be experiencing some issues with profitability, but they certainly have people talking.  People can connect with others and feel a sense of community that is bigger than themselves without leaving the comfort of their own home.

So why is this important?  This allows marketers to take the conversation away from the television.  If used effectively, this could allow viewers to interact with the organization in a personal and unique way.  A unique experience is valued and viewers want more.  If a marketer can find a way to break into the conversation seamlessly, they win.  It is known that reaching a specific target market must be more than simply through television, but this is the case more than ever before.  Mobile and social media as we know it is the future, and keeping up with who is doing it the best will be telling to the future of marketing in general.

Monday, February 6, 2017


As all of North America knows, yesterday was the Super Bowl.  The Atlanta Falcons played the New England Patriots, and following the theme of Atlanta sports-- the Falcons lost in the most heart wrenching ways.  Every year people tune in to see who will come out on top, but this isn't without the discussion about other factors...the commercials and half-time performance.

This year's commercials, just like the previous years, never disappoint.  As a marketing student, I always find myself overanalyzing each and every commercial sometimes more than the plays in the game.  One of the first commercials of the evening peaked my interest more than others.

Airbnb released the following commercial.  In this commercial, the company makes the statement that they accept everyone regardless of age, nationality, and sexual preference.  The overall message is a typical feel-good commercial.  At the end, the hashtag #weaccept is shown with the Airbnb logo underneath. Other than this logo, there is no other evidence as to what company is behind the inspiring commercial.  Is this a good way to market?  What if people hadn't been familiar with the company and their logo?  Is this worth the insane costs for the airtime during the Super Bowl?
Yes yes yes!! This commercial is genius in my opinion.  This commercial reaches out to viewers in two distinct ways.  To the person familiar with Airbnb and their logo, he/she knows right away what company it is and is happy to see such a good message that is not engaging in typical selling techniques that commercials are known for.  On the other hand, someone not familiar with the company and logo might be confused at first.  While sitting around with friends, they might ask their friends, "wait whose commercial was that?"  This leads the viewer to look up "#weaccept".  Once they do this, they will find out the company behind the commercial.  If they are not family with the work that Airbnb does, they will most likely go onto their website or download their app.  This turns this typical commercial into something social.  

At this point, Airbnb has fulfilled it's purpose.  They are driving traffic to their website in an unconventional way.  Airbnb didn't have to engage in the typical pull to get viewers interested in their product or service.  Unconventional ads have proven to be successful over and over again, so it is no surprise that this is the case again.  Well done Airbnb...you can take the Super Bowl commercial crown now.