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Campaign launch

AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’: Even Admirable Campaigns Can’t Wait to Succeed

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Back in my fare burg of Dallas lives the telecom behemoth known as AT&T. One of its largest undertakings was the PSA campaign for It Can Wait. The clarion call for no texting and driving was a necessary one — and one AT&T put few limits on spreading.

It started in September 2009, and five years later, it is still being heralded as one of the country’s best campaigns. Only one problem: No one that should care does.

Awards. Awareness. Accolades. They don’t really matter without any action.

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Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register now! 

Three Message Points That Whole Foods Should Use In Its New Marketing Campaign

whole foods signWhole Foods is tired of its “Whole Paycheck” moniker. Though I have no hard data, it seems as though the store has made some effort in recent months to offer products that are less expensive than the top-of-the-line organic/natural/free-range/chemical-free/etc. items that also line their shelves.

Still, the “Whole Paycheck” reputation persists.

With financial results coming up short — “Whole Foods’ stock was the second-worst performer in the S&P 500 after losing 30-some percent of its value since January,” according to Slate — the company has decided it’s now become a business imperative to shake this nickname. It’s launching its first-ever branding and marketing campaign this fall.

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Always Asks Followers to Help Redefine the Phrase ‘Like a Girl’

Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign got a lot of media attention earlier this year, but its real-world effects felt limited. A study by online community SheSpeaks seemed to contradict some of the main points of the campaign: its participants said that they felt a perception of “bossiness” could be just as damaging to a man’s career as a woman’s.

Now Always, ad agency Leo Burnett, PR AOR MSL Group and documentary director Lauren Greenfield (“Queen of Versailles”) have teamed up to offer a different take on hurtful phrases and what they mean to young women. This spot launched today:

Like most recent campaigns, this one is very much multi-media. It started with a unsurprising survey:

  • 56% of young women experience a drop in confidence at puberty
  • Most see “like a girl” as a derogatory phrase

Always is using its social platforms to spread the campaign’s influence via user-generated content, encouraging followers to share pics and videos to illustrate their takes on what “like a girl” really means. Will it be more influential than “Ban Bossy?”

This spot may not include a guest appearance by Beyonce, but based on all the recent reports about the power of social influencers, we’re optimistic.

Betty Crocker Redefines ‘Homemaker’ and Re-Brands as Champion of Marriage Equality

Notification CenterThe Betty Crocker brand released its first cookbook in 1942, targeting its tips, tricks and recipes toward the American homemaker — i.e. stay-at-home wives and mothers. Jump ahead to 2014, and the traditional idea of what an American family looks like and how a household is run no longer applies in the majority of cases, so rather than being left in the dust with its old-fashioned sentiments, Betty Crocker is not only transforming itself to embrace the diversity of the modern American family, but is actively pushing for recognition, understanding, and support for families of all kinds.

In its latest ad (after the jump), the brand states that “Marraige and family have changed more in the last 35 years than in the last 350.” For instance, “less than half of all American households contain a husband and wife; the number of same-sex couples living together in the US has increased by 80 percent since 2000; since 1965, the time dads spend with their kids has tripled; 40% of women are the primary providers for their families; and the percentage of new interracial marriages is six times what it was in 1960.”

The commercial goes on to point out, however, that every family, no matter the demographic differences, has something in common: where there is love, there is a family, where there is a family, there is a home, and “at the heart of every home is a homemaker.” The brand even acknowledges that term itself may seem outdated, but the concept actually isn’t; you don’t need to identify yourself as a homemaker to be one — if you are a loving member of a family who actively works to make your house a home, guess what? You’re a homemaker, and Betty Crocker is here to support you.

This is some seriously compelling re-definition and branding. Read more

Purell and TNT Team Up to Terrify Subway Riders into Cleanliness

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Ever get on a subway without your hand sanitizer and — upon realizing your terrible error — felt certain you would inevitably contract a virus that would make you patient zero in an apocalyptic pandemic? Well, if you’re one of the few who haven’t had a thought like that, this new campaign for Purell and Michael Bay‘s new post-apocalyptic TV drama will enlighten you.

New York commuters have been greeted at the Grand Central Terminal this week by an eye-catching hand-sanitizing station that boldly states, “1 virus. 6 billion dead. Don’t be next,” urging folks to clean up lest they meet a similar fate to the fictional billions who die in Bay’s new TNT show “The Last Ship.” The series will focus on a U.S. Navy destroyer fighting to save what’s left of humanity. We imagine there will also be plenty of explosions and slow-motion action scenes (it’s Michael Bay after all).

Of course, New Yorkers are no strangers to over-the-top marketing tactics — just this year alone they’ve been chased by a raging bear in search of yogurt and attacked by a demon baby in a runaway stroller, so maybe germs are the least of their worries.

Aaron Paul TV Ad Accidentally Turns On Xbox Ones, Annoys the Hell Out of People

One of the coolest things about the Xbox One is arguably its Kinect voice command feature, so of course Microsoft would want to highlight this capability in its new ads — but apparently the demonstration is working a little too well.

The new spot features Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” using his Xbox One in all its voice command glory, but when Paul tells his console to turn itself on, he’s accidentally turning on consoles in living rooms everywhere. Xbox One owners have taken to Twitter to share their surprise, amusement, and, at times, sputtering frustration.

 

Intentional? Probably not. Interesting? Definitely. Mike Cannon of Tech Times brings up an eerie thought: if an ad can do this by mistake, how long until marketers start doing it on purpose? Read more

Paula Deen Cooks Up Some PR, Launches Her Own Network

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These people are the ones Paula Deen is totally banking on for PR-ofit

ICYMI: Despite her soulful appeal and her habit of cooking with fat, grease, and butter, Paula Deen wasn’t the most sensitive celebrity when it came to non-white people. To wit, she made an enemy of (most of) America, lost her Food Network affiliation, lost dozens of endorsements, and kissed most of her credibility goodbye.

She did, however, keep a surprising number of her fans. So, following a failed ‘Today Show’ apology, Paula Deen drifted into the easy bake oven in the sky…or so it seemed.

Now she’s back, y’all — and she’s hoping to cash in with a new paid venture.

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The Koch Brothers Want to Hit the ‘Reset’ Button

If you follow politics and consider your partisan orientation to be somewhere near or left of the “center”, then you may know Charles and David Koch as right-wing bogeymen allergic to the words “regulation” and “government.”

As with most things in politics, the story is a bit more complicated than that–and the brothers want you to know that their energy and consumer goods company Koch Industries is not the mythical bad guy. In fact, they’re all about Americans, values and the things Americans value.

To that point, today Koch launched an ad campaign titled “From the Heart”:

Why are we interested in this story, beyond the obvious political angle? It’s a classic example of a company trying to repair its image via a “refresh” or reintroduction to the public.

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George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

Imgur, Reddit and Boing Boing Launch Anti-NSA Campaign

Reset the Net

This coming Thursday, June 5, major websites including Reddit, Imgur, Boing Boing and others plan to take part in a collective effort to push back against government surveillance online.

The “Reset The Net” campaign, coordinated by Fight for the Future, will feature multiple websites showing a splash screen to all visitors, encouraging them to install privacy and encryption tools. Meanwhile, other sites plan to bone up their own privacy by enabling standards like HTTPS, which stops outside parties from “listening in” on what site users are up to.

General Manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, said of his company’s decision to join the campaign, “We can take back control of our personal and private data one website, one device, one internet user at a time. We’re proud to stand up for our users’ rights and help Reset the Net.” Read more

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