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Posts Tagged ‘Nike’

10 Biggest and 5 Most Surprising Brands ‘Friended’ by Millennials

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No alcohol here, sorry.

Recent studies have told us that the kids these days just aren’t really into brands on social media. WPP found that 55 percent of young Americans don’t see the point of “friending” a brand, and Edelman told us yesterday that a vast majority of consumers simply aren’t satisfied with the “relationships” they have with corporate entities online — even the ones whose products they buy.

Many brands, however, have managed to accumulate thousands, if not millions, of Millennial “fans.” Independent ad agency Moosylvania recently conducted a survey of 1,500 young people to identify the top 50 such brands, and we’ve reviewed the first 10 for this post.

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Hard Work Pays Off in the End for New Spokeswoman Jen Selter

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In this week’s most important non-Super Bowl story that we somehow missed, Instagram “belfie” phenom Jen Selter signed an endorsement deal before the ink even dried on her agency contract.

Page Six broke the news that the 20-year-old New York workout fanatic, whose previous job description seems to have been “gym rat”, signed with The Legacy Agency, known for managing big-name athletes, broadcasters and other sports personalities.

The entire Internet proceeded to go butt-pun crazy, of course; The New York Post wins as usual with “Jen Selter’s butt is huge right now.

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MEMO to Nike: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

Simpsons-lawsuitsLawyers. I know, right?

You say that word and most people roll their eyes with visions of shouting advertisements and ambulance chasers. There’s a reason for the bad stereotypes — whacked-out lawsuits, the shady folk who debate them and the dolts who win them.

There’s the chick who sued McDonald’s (and won) for serving her hot coffee that she spilled in her own lap. There’s the other chick who sued Wendy’s (and won) because she found a finger in her chili — and then it turned out to be a hoax. No, really? Or even the dude that sued Subway’s (and will probably win because justice is screwy that way) for being an inch short on its foot-long sub. 

Frivolous lawsuits suck out loud because of the bad PR it gives good attorneys (yes, there are some), but this one against Nike may kick all their behinds.

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BREAKING: Rapper/Sneaker Partnerships Are Just ‘Publicity Stunts’

shutterstock_165567980Don’t tell Kanye or his circa-2005 shirt/coat/glasses combo, but TIME is onto his little sneaker game. In a post yesterday, the magazine recognized that the longstanding trend of rappers partnering with shoe brands is nothing but an old-school publicity stunt.

Once you recover from your shock, consider that:

“…celebrity sneakers are almost always created in limited runs…”

Which, in turn:

“…makes these shoes seem desperately sought after and generates free press…”

This despite the fact that the brands don’t actually make any real money on them. It’s all about creating a sense of exclusivity by exploiting the dangerously co-dependent relationships between men and their shoe closets, right? Yes, but Mr. Kardashian isn’t having any of it: he opted out of his Nike contract after going on a typical tirade about wanting his shoes to be the biggest shoes in the history of big shoes. For the record, though, he’s still cool with Drake. Whew.

To clarify: these partnerships are incredibly successful publicity stunts except when applied to the guy on the right, whose primary goal in life seems to be avoiding anything that even vaguely resembles good press.

Good to know!

An Inside Look at Two Outdoor Event Venues

The redevelopment of New York’s Hudson Yards area got a major boost with Time Warner’s recent announcement of plans to relocate its headquarters there. Another company, Skylight Group, already ‘got in on the ground floor’, since it manages two notable outdoor event venues on the far west side: Skylight West (since 2008; photo below) and the High Line (In partnership with Friends of the High Line since 2012, photo at left). (both photos courtesy of Skylight Group) The firm also operates four indoor event venues.

“Event spaces become the visual backdrop for brands in terms of their look and feel”, noted Jennifer Blumin, Skylight Group’s president, during a recent in-person interview with PRNewser. “Now events are getting a larger piece of the marketing pie, due to social media, celebrities and their followers. Tech companies in particular host lots of events, and they like having raw space to customize. In turn, event organizers now are also more invested in technology due to state-of-the-art production needs and options such as livestreaming,” she added.

At Skylight West, located at Tenth Avenue and 36th street, only part of the event space is at street level. The rest of the venue, a converted parking garage, is on the penthouse studio and rooftop floors. As most New Yorkers and visitors know, the High Line park is situated on a former elevated freight railroad line between 10th and 11th Avenues. The section from Gansevoort Street to west 30th street is open to the public, while the last stretch from west 30th to 34th streets is still a work in progress.

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Retail PR: Location, Location, Location

Public relations professionals are tasked with keeping their clients in the minds of customers. To accomplish this challenge, we employ an arsenal of weapons that leverage various assets from marketing strategies and advertising campaigns to digital brand identity platforms and old-fashioned storytelling.

However, as this article in The New York Times explains, nothing creates a lasting impression in the mind of the public more than being in their line of vision. It’s all about location. For small business owners, kiosks present an opportunity to be in the middle of the public where customers have 360-degree exposure to the company’s products—all with minimal overhead.

Is this the future of retail public relations? Are storefronts going to be rendered archaic as new, smaller and more nimble businesses gain traction? This same principle happened in the food business, where food trucks revolutionized the restaurant industry by offering customers on the move quality products at reasonable prices. Instead of becoming a destination for customers, food trucks and kiosks go the extra step of meeting people half way. And this makes sense.

Public relations is a competitive, proactive endeavor. Brands and companies should make an effort to be where customers already are, and smaller more mobile venues offer this ability. Perhaps the retail industry is poised for evolutions that food trucks and food carts have already leveraged. And if so, is the public ready for such changes in their shopping habits? Are we ready for a Nike kiosk or Gucci truck outside of our office, or do we still want the traditional shopping mall experience?

Finance, Airlines, and Telecom Prove Most ‘Socially Devoted’ Industries on Twitter

“Social listening” — the practice of brands tuning in to what customers are saying to them and about them on social media — is a hot topic, and we’ve talked a lot about the increasing importance of brand responsiveness. While many companies are working to increase and improve their ability to address consumer questions, comments, and concerns via networks like Twitter, some brands are already way ahead of the pack when it comes to engaging their digital followers, and have made great strides of late.

According to Socialbakers, which has been measuring brand responsiveness on Twitter since the fourth quarter of 2012, companies in the finance, airline, and telecom industries dominate the Twitterverse with respect to effective and quick responses (we wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that these industries often make us want to tear our hair out, and therefore have much to gain by providing excellent customer care). While the latest stats prove that these businesses continue to lead the charge, some under-performing industries like retail have recently shown notable improvement.

In fact, every industry studied has shown at least some improvement in their Twitter response rates, demonstrating that brands are recognizing the importance of social media interactions.

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Garment Industry Opts for Makeover After Bangladesh Disaster

The factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh this April is by no means the first tragedy to strike the garment industry in recent years—but it does look like the culmination of an ongoing PR challenge that could reshape the way major clothing brands market their products. The earliest evidence of this change comes on social media, where companies that had operations in the factory have already begun responding to the demands of consumers and labor activists.

The New York Times reports that many businesses and industry groups now plan to follow the food industry’s example by offering the public more detailed information about how and where their clothes are made. H&M and Zara have agreed to sign a new “factory safety accord,” and major names like Disney, Nike, and Walmart may follow with campaigns designed to appropriate the “green,” “organic,” and “fair trade” themes favored by food and household goods marketers in recent years. The purpose of this material, of course, will be to highlight the brands’ corporate social responsibility efforts and distance them from horrific accidents like the one in Bangladesh.

It’s nothing new for fashion: upstarts like American Apparel began using their own “fair trade” practices as key selling points some time ago. Yet, despite AA’s success, retailers like Maggie’s Organics and Everlane (tagline “Luxury Basics. Radical Transparency.”) remain few and far between.

Not for long.

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Instagram for Brands: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Photo courtesy of PiXXart / Shutterstock.com Every brand on Earth is chomping at the bit to place official ads on the rapidly growing Instagram, but parent company Facebook continues to proceed with extreme caution.

While Mark Zuckerberg says he is very encouraged by the expansion of the image-sharing network, he clearly does not plan to open the commercial floodgates until he’s good and ready. In his own words, Instagram must first focus on “build[ing] community” before determining how best to use its considerable potential as an ad/marketing forum. We can see why Zuckerberg prefers to take low-risk baby steps, no matter how impatient advertisers may be.

In the meantime, brands and their social media teams should be quite happy to learn that they do have more promotional options on Instagram thanks to the newly introduced function “photos of you,” which allows users to tag any other existing account—be it a friend, a celebrity, a local business, or a big-name brand—in their own pics. Amateur lensmen and brand managers alike will receive notifications when others tag them, and they can then choose whether to display these images on their own public feeds.

Can you say “pre-approved user generated content?”

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Tim Tebow, (Charlie Sheen), Personal Branding and Public Relations

PR industry experts are inundated with columns and advice about how clients should manage their personal brands. Much of that input is common sense: don’t get coked up and crash your Porsche, don’t beat your girlfriend and land in jail, don’t get drunk and start tweeting. Most of the public is able to avoid these situations. (Thanks, moms.)

Nevertheless, brands love spokespeople. Brands need spokespeople to provide that human element that connects with the complex psychology that is consumer behavior. From Donald Trump to Eva Longoria, personal branding is big business, and a dangerous one, because all humans are fallible. But if there were ever a control in the experiment of personal branding, it would be Tim Tebow. The guy is as clean as a bag of cotton balls.

In fact, Tim Tebow’s personal brand is so sterling that even without a job—he has yet to be picked up by an NFL team after being dropped by the New York Jets—his sponsors aren’t worried at all. ESPN, Nike, TiVo, FRS, Fox Sports and Jockey are all on board with whatever happens next in his career, even if it doesn’t include football. Those brands are even lining up to retain his services after he hangs up his cleats. That’s personal branding done well. But there is more to successful personal branding than avoiding mug shots and visiting children in the hospital.

There is authenticity. Tim Tebow lives according to the values he espouses regardless of what his handlers, agents and PR people do. Tim Tebow runs the Tim Tebow show (which is his life), and his fans adore him for it. In a parallel universe, Charlie Sheen fans feel the same way about his personal brand. For some reason, many PR experts struggle with this idea of authenticity. So do young celebrities like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus; it’s hard to be authentic when you are still wrestling with who you are and the trappings of becoming an adult. Read more

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