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Self-Draining Countdown Cocktail for the Mad Men Premiere

(via Attack!)
Fans of AMC’s popular television series Mad Men (and anyone who has even remotely heard of the series) know that cocktails are a staple theme of the show.

When it came to celebrating the premiere of the 7th and final season, the show partnered with Attack! Marketing to display a 10 ft cocktail glass in the heart of New York and Los Angeles.

The blown up cocktail is propped up by an oversized coaster that doubles as a live countdown. The contents of the 200 gallon cocktail will steadily drain leading up to the premiere on Sunday.

The Mad Men installations can be found in front of Madison Square Garden, and on the corner of Hollywood & Highland. Season 7 of Mad Men premieres on Sunday, April 13, on AMC.


From Vending Machines to Bus Shelters, Fit Matters

In the past two years, we have seen a stream of various vending machine stunts. Some elaborate, others somewhat anti-climactic. Some focusing on a genuine gesture, others revolving around a playful sense of cruelty. However, despite the multiple successes we have seen, decked out vending machines are not a platform that is appropriate for all products and brands.

For products that are not usually dispensed out of a vending machine, trying to turn your product into a vending machine stunt usually results in a stunt that fails to draw a lot of traction or one that doesn’t quite relate your product. Nevertheless, this challenge is not impossible. With an appropriate partnership or a unique idea, brands that are not beverages or snacks can pull off a successful and viral stunt. However, as vending machine stunts become more common, the marginal benefit of tying a non-vending product to this template certainly begins to plateau.

Duracell could have tried to partner with a beverage brand or tried to somehow come up with a vending machine stunt on their own, but decides to forgo the trend completely and re-fit a completely different mundane object - a bus shelter.

This well-rounded stunt, not only keeps people waiting for the bus toasty with a fun, interactive activity, but also associates their warmth to the power of Duracell. Although bus shelter stunts are nothing new, they are relatively untouched compared to the score of vending machine stunts, which enhances the stunt’s level of novelty.

It should be noted, however, that the same limitations of vending machines also apply to bus shelters in that it can also fit brands poorly if not used correctly. Although Pepsi Max recently racks up over 5 million views with a bus shelter prank that uses augmented reality, the connection between an apocalypse and an over-caffeinated beverage seems so loose that it seems Pepsi is better off sticking to vending machines.

Do you think this was a good stunt for Pepsi? Give us your reasons below!


Nike, Oregon Football, and the Ultimate Fan Experience

When the University of Oregon football team trotted out of the tunnel, through a wall of fog, and into the lights of the field in San Antonio, the team was once again donning newly designed uniforms. However, this time, the Oregon uniforms were not only a different design, but were a new type of uniform entirely. Nike chose the 2013 Alamo Bowl to debut the brand’s newest, “most innovative” uniforms to date and used the Oregon football team to do it. 
Introducing the 2014 Nike Mach Speed Uniforms…

(via Attack!)

Needless to say, Nike and Oregon have always had a close relationship. In exchange for providing the school with new uniforms and gear every year, Oregon has become a green and yellow flagship for the Nike brand. However, this partnership extends beyond the athletes. Nike also works with Oregon to create consumer-targeted experiences. Before a regular season game, Nike organized the ultimate Oregon football fan experience called “Unleash the Speed.”

Nike worked with an experiential-focused marketing agency (Attack!) to design and execute a series of activities that placed fans in the shoes of Oregon football players. After a free game-day face paint, fans were ushered into a tunnel where they watched a football sizzle reel and received a pump up speech from a coach.

They trotted out of the tunnel, through a wall of fog, and into the lights of the mini-field outside the stadium. After fans donned Nike’s newest training shoes, they completed a football obstacle course and were rewarded with free Oregon football t-shirts and Nike rally towels. When fans reached the end, they were encouraged to perform their touchdown dance. The photos of which were available online for keepsake or for sharing.

(via Attack!)

Sponsoring the Oregon football team among countless other teams and athletes is one of the ways Nike has been able to maintain its brand dominance. However, when Nike is also able to produce micro-stunts that immerse fans in the lives of their favorite athletes (with Nike products), they also maintain brand loyalty.


Augmented Reality is Bound by the Same Problems as QR Codes

Aside from a stubborn few, QR codes are widely believed to be obsolete. They have become just as common as the hashtag that was added onto a print ad as an afterthought. And they have become just as ignored as the banner ads on a typical website. Only about 5% of Americans who own a mobile phone actually scan a QR code.

However, unimpressive engagement statistics are not the QR code’s only concern. Augmented reality (AR) is an expanding alternative that allows brands to superimpose 3D computer-generated images on the real-time camera feed of a mobile user’s screen. With this technology, brands can include everything that QR codes offer (videos, website redirection, etc.) and take it a step further by immersing their users with 3D technology. However, AR also faces similar obstacles that have already stunted QR code growth.

Lack of Standardization
There has yet to be a mobile device that comes with an augmented reality app pre-loaded. Although augmented reality platforms are available for download, the absence of one standardized platform limits the exposure of each AR campaign. Brands are often driven to imbed their augmented reality ads within their own mobile applications, which limits its exposure even further because now brands must first convince the consumer to download their app.

Widespread Adoption
The lack of a standardized platform also discourages smaller brands to implement an AR segment to their campaigns. Current AR platforms (e.g. Blippar, Augment, etc.) lack the userbase to merit the additional expense of implementing an AR campaign. As a result, most AR campaigns are a luxury only major brands can currently afford. 

Meaningful Content
Although brands have the potential to do much more with AR technology than QR codes, many brands still treat AR as an afterthought and are unwilling to dedicate the time and money needed to create a well-executed AR campaign. Jeep’s use of AR is a good example of an augmented reality app that falls short of the technology’s full potential. On top of having to download a Jeep-specific mobile app, the content offered by the app’s use of augmented reality is disappointing in that it offers no additional value than what is available on the website.  

In the end, these three obstacles come hand in hand. A standardized augmented reality platform will make it easier for consumers to enjoy AR ads. In turn, a standardized platform will ideally have a big enough user-base to justify all brands investing in immersive and experiential AR campaigns.

Moto X Makes a Magazine Ad Experiential

Select issues of this January’s WIRED magazine contains a clever, interactive ad for the new Moto X. With the use of pexiglass, LEDs, and batteries, readers are able to instantly choose from a selection of colors at the bottom of the page to customize their own Moto X smartphone.

The full-page ad is simple and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Yet, the novelty of its interactivity on an otherwise un-interactive platform makes it exciting and places it above the rest. Additionally, the ad does a clean job of giving the reader the experience of customizing their own Moto X smartphone, which is one of the selling points Motorola has emphasized throughout its campaign.


The Moto X’s well-executed ad also highlights the potential for more interactive ads in the future, especially on the less-restrictive platform of tablets. Note, however, that magazine print ads have always been a choice. No obligation to watch a 30 second pre-roll spot or hold on for 5 seconds before you can skip and flip to the next page. Most magazine ads have always relied on a strong headline with an eye catching image to coax readers into surrendering a bit of their attention. In this case, a print ad with a fun and unexpected surprise is worth a pause.


Viral Prankvertising vs. Prankvertising that Happen to Go Viral

It has been almost a full month since Halloween. Coffee shops have introduced holiday themed items to their menus, tv spots have already played “Jingle Bells” with everything from boxers to basketball nets, and all department stores are on the verge of their holiday music marathon that will drive you insane by the mid-December. And yet, the viral theme of late has instead been horror and fear--through the art of prankvertising.
                                                                                                       (via AdWeek)
Prankvertising is a method in which brands prank the consumer to stand out and create an emotionally memorable experience that, in the end, tie into the product benefit. However, prankvertising has been especially popular this year among brands for a slightly different reason--its link to viral fame.

There is a slight difference between prankvertising for the purpose of making viral videos and prankvertising for the purpose of creating an individual, memorable experience (which also happens to go viral). The former focuses on the viewer experience for the sake of brand reach...

(via AdWeek)

… while the latter focuses instead on the individual experience.
(via LA Egotist)

The most successful prankvertisements are the ones that manage to accomplish both. One of our favorite examples is a prank LG pulls on some job interviewees with their “ultra realistic HD TV”.

A unique, clever prank idea. Funny reactions. And a subtle, yet strong illustration of their TV’s product benefit.

Incentive-Based Social Media Campaigns: Do They Work?

From live-tweets to clever replies, brands strive everyday to drive as much engagement on social media as possible. However, in an attempt to do so, many brands have found that some strategies simply don’t work, or worse yet, some backfire.

In the most recent case with Kellogg’s Feed the Hungry controversy, one of the twitter engagement strategies that has proven difficult and dangerous is the incentive-based campaign strategy. In other words, anytime a brand tries to drive social media engagement and shares by offering rewards.
The online community has a very strong distaste for ingenuine gestures. Some of the most successful commercials and advertising campaigns have been ones that genuinely stick to the benefits their product is supposed to provide. A good example would be the short story of a unique friendship that Skype was able to create and help flourish with their product.

However, when a brand tries to capitalize on a "corporate good deed" as a means to generate social media engagement and traffic, it can lead to meaningless interactions and controversy. When Kellogg’s U.K. tried to gain traction on twitter by offering to feed a hungry child for every retweet, the online community did not hesitate to voice their distaste for this kind of incentivized campaign.

                                                                                                    (via AdWeek)

Additionally, even if an incentive is strong enough to get consumers to engage with the brand, one must question how meaningful those kinds of interactions are. When a brand offers a coupon for each new follower, retweet, or use of a specific hashtag, do consumers really buy into the brand? Do consumers who see their friends retweet a brand, knowing that they only did so to receive some sort of reward, really change their original convictions?
                                                                                                   (via AdWeek)

Let us know if there have been incentive-based campaigns that have worked. We would love to hear it below!


What Does "Experiential" Really Mean in Marketing?

What is Experiential Marketing?

From vending machines that turn you into James Bond to giant dragon skulls that block your path on the beach, experiential marketing has become increasingly popular and common. However, most people still might not fully understand what “experiential marketing” means.

A recent article by Creative Guerrilla Marketing breaks down the term clearly and provides examples that will help you wrap your mind around what exactly “experiential” means in marketing. In the end, there are many types of marketing, but they all share the focus of driving revenue or increasing awareness.

Read “Experiential 101: What is Experiential marketing?” at the Creative Guerrilla Marketing Blog.


Arcade Fire Makes an Interactive Music Video for “We Used to Wait” on The Suburbs Album

Music by nature can be experiential. And a music video can be a powerful method of intensifying a listener’s experience. However, since Youtube’s dominance as the main platform for online videos, the traditional music video has become standardized. As with all things in advertising and marketing, standardization limits the ability to stand out of the clutter and offer an unique experience.
However, with the help of Google Chrome, Arcade Fire is able to raise the bar and make their music videos highly interactive, relatable, and experiential. By positioning and timing pop-ups as well as utilizing Google’s entire mapping network, Arcade Fire makes a Google Experiment video for “We Used To Wait” that includes images of your home and the area around it. Powerful video, and even better execution.
Note: If you do not use Google Chrome or you have a slow computer, it might not work. In that case, you will have to settle with the Youtube video below.

Celebrity Endorsements: Football or Ambiguity

In Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy describes celebrity endorsements as lazy and overrated. He elaborates that they really only work if the celebrities advertise products they have expertise in. However, even in those cases, many viewers often remember the celebrity more than the actual product. A study by Ace Metrix seems to support this idea, for they report that celebrity endorsements often hurt product advertisements, diminishing a product lift by 1.4% on average.

Despite the grim outlook, many brands still attempt celebrity advertisements hoping to beat the average. Of the recent advertisements that we have seen, which sport a celebrity, we have noticed that there are two factors brands can focus on to improve their odds: overemphasize the product benefit and pick a celebrity that is easily seen as an expert in the product’s field.

There are two celebrity endorsed ads below. One clearly focuses on those two factors, and the other seems to focus on... nothing in particular.


So football on your phone.