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Archived entries for In the News

Curalate Now Offers Fanreel

Posted on October 8, 2013

Curalate, the world’s leading marketing and analytics suite for social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, recently began offering a new marketing tool for brands: Fanreel.

According to the company’s website, Fanreel allows brands to use “user-generated content to drive consumers down the purchase funnel. Now you can showcase real people celebrating your products in authentic ways, right on your site, using fan photos from Instagram, Facebook, desktop and mobile.”

This innovative new product allows brands to collect and display brand images that can then be easily linked directly to product pages. Fanreel is customizable to match brand websites, and is optimized for mobile and desktop applications.  To date, big brands such as Urban Outfitters (see their Fanreel from their website below), Under Armour, Rebecca Minkoff and Beauty.com are utilizing Fanreel to celebrate brand loyalists and inspire new customers.  We here at TMG are eager to see how Fanreel will grow and change the landscape of brands interacting with their fans across social media platforms

Would you share your social photos with one of your favorite brands? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real-Time Marketing for Breaking Bad–Brands That Got it Right

Posted on October 4, 2013

We were on the edge of our seats during the Breaking Bad series finale this past Sunday. As always with major televised events, brands try and seize the moment and capitalize on all the hype. Real-time marketing can either go really well or terribly bad, depending on the timing and content.

Now with a show as phenomenal as Breaking Bad, almost no brand is worthy of an attempted tie-in. It’s a risky move, as a failed brand plug will elicit a strong negative reaction from die hard fans of the show. With that said, there were two brands that grabbed the bull by the horns and successfully gave a nod to Breaking Bad in a way that the audience loved.

One such brand was Century 21, who created a mock listing of Walter White’s house in Albuquerque, NM. There are little easter eggs weaved throughout the copy alluding to the show. At one point, they even describe the listing as a ranch-style house “fit for a king.” Another brand that nailed it with their timing was Truvia. In their tie-in tweet, they alluded to one of the character’s untimely demise, reasoning why she should have used their product over a competitor’s. If you saw the finale, you will understand why this tweet was right on target.

Either way, these are great examples of real-time marketing where brands took advantage of an opportunity and got it right. See the examples below.

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Google Brands Software with Release of Android KitKat

Posted on September 20, 2013

Google has been known to name its Android software after dessert-themed treats. Past operating system names include Jelly Bean, Froyo, Donut and Cupcake. With the release of Android version 4.4 just around the corner, Google unveiled the latest name to the public. Meet KitKat 4.4, the latest addition to the Android family.

  This is the first Android name that directly ties to a brand, rather than a type of product. While both Nestle and Google claim no money was exchanged in this branded partnership, it’s clearly a ploy for people to eat more KitKats. Around 50 million Android-branded KitKat packages will soon hit the shelves, and there’s even a giveaway on the Android site where participants have a chance to win a tablet with each specially marked KitKat they buy.

Seeing an opportunity, Nestle took advantage of the added publicity and quickly released an ad to go along with the new Android release. In this hilarious ad, Nestle mocks the Apple iPhone ads, describing the features of a KitKat similarly to how Apple describes their snobbishly amazing phones. Check out the ad titled “Confectionary Perfectionary” below, and let us know what you think of Android KitKat.

 

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Campbell’s Soup Latest Brand Extension: Soupy K-Cups

Posted on September 16, 2013

Think you can only make various varieties of beverages with your Keurig machine? Think again. Campbell’s soup is extending its brand to offer a new product line: Instant soup k-cups. My first thought was how gross that sounds, but hey, let’s give it a chance before passing judgment.

In some ways, Campbell’s instant soup makes sense. People love Ramen noodles, and Cup O Noodles, so why wouldn’t Campbell’s make an instant soup to compete in this market? Further, lugging a can of soup around is annoying, and a K-cup is light and easy to throw in your bag and go. The issue for me is that even when I’m making a cup of hot water through my Keurig, it almost always has a coffee residue taste to it. The fact that I may also make my lunch from my coffee machine is throwing me for a loop. All I can picture is a sodium-overloaded soup with a hint of stale coffee.

The soup will be referred to as an on-the-go “snack” and will start by offering 3 varieties, one of which is the classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This product is being marketed towards my psychographic (young professionals) and if I’m not interested in it, I find it hard-pressed that others will be. Would you purchase an Instant Soup K-cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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Gmail Unveils New Inbox; Retailers React

Posted on August 20, 2013

Back in May, Google announced some long awaited changes to Gmail that featured customizable tabs to separate incoming mail by importance.

Now that the feature is steadily being rolled-out to Gmail users, many retailers who rely on email marketing to get in front of consumers are being forced to see what type of impact, if any, this new feature will have on their metrics.  When the new feature arrives, a user’s Gmail account goes from having a standard inbox to a more organized inbox with three tabs: Primary (where emails from friends, family, coworkers, etc. appear); Social (where emails from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn appear); and Promotions (where emails from retailers such as Groupon, iTunes, Express, American Eagle, and more are filtered).  A Gmail user can focus on only on their important (or Primary) emails, and ignore promotional emails from retailers all together. This is forcing retailers to rethink their email marketing strategies to ensure consumers still read their messages.

Recently, the LOFT, an American retailer of women’s clothing and apparel, took matters into their own hands by sending a customized message to the Gmail users on their mailing list. The email prompted the readers with step-by-step instructions that would allow the LOFT emails to come through into the Primary tab. Check out the email below:

What do you think of the LOFT’s initiative to make sure their emails still get read on a daily basis? Gmail users – would you consider moving messages from your favorite brands to your Primary tab? Let us know what you think!

 

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Royal Baby Fever

Posted on July 30, 2013

The birth of Kate & Will’s baby boy was kind of a big deal in our agency. In fact, we had an office pool going to guess the sex and birthday of the royal baby. Hats off to you, Noreen, for winning that one! In case you hadn’t noticed, we weren’t the only ones keeping tabs on the little prince. Just about every company under the sun had something to say about the royal birth on July 22nd. Some of these brands nailed it in their presentations, while some fell short.

The trick was to recognize that this was a big moment in pop culture and acknowledge it without overshadowing the royal baby. While some brands sent congratulatory messages to the royal family, others used humor to get their message across. Keep in mind: Regardless of the news you’re sharing, the messaging needs to be consistent with the product’s branding.

We’re going to show you 3 different messages to the royal family from different brands. Two of them hit the mark and one fell flat. Can you point out the flop? Let us know in the comments!


 

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Comments for this entry

Kelly

Hilarious blog, great way to get involved in the Royal Baby fever! I really like what Magnum and Johnson’s did to tie in congratulatory messages to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge while still advertising their brands. It pains me to say it, but the Twinkie tweet was the obvious flop!

Don’t get me wrong, I think Hostess’s tweet was hilarious…but it would have been even better if the Twinkie was actually introduced this summer, and not RE-introduced.

[...] moment and capitalize on all the hype. Real-time marketing can either go really well or terribly bad, depending on the timing and [...]

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Chemotherapy Rebranded for Children

Posted on July 2, 2013

Chemotherapy is scary for people of all ages, but especially for children. That’s why JWT, Warner Bros. and the A.C. Camargo Cancer Center joined forces to rebrand chemotherapy into something less terrifying. By repositioning chemo as a “super formula” that will make you stronger, the drugs seem a lot less scary to children with cancer.

To further this rebranding strategy, the children’s chemo room in the A.C. Camargo Cancer Center in San Paulo, Brazil has been redesigned to look like the Justice League. To match the décor, the chemotherapy bags have been covered in superhero motifs from famous heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman. Also included in the room are specially written comic books featuring stories of cancer-fighting super heroes.

With a superhero movie boom in recent years, they’ve become all the rage for girls and boys alike. That’s why the superhero theme was a genius idea that helps children fight cancer in their own way.

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Please Don’t Make Up and Drive: A Thought-Provoking Awareness Campaign

Posted on June 24, 2013

With a mobile device upsurge and a rise in multi-tasking, distracted driving has become a major problem in recent times. 1 in 5 crashes where someone was injured were the result of a distracted driver—that’s 18% of all accidents. Nowadays, people think nothing of sending a quick text, finishing that last bite of lunch, or even applying some eyeliner while behind the wheel.

Here’s an interesting fact: nearly half a million car accidents in the UK are caused by female drivers applying make-up. One can only imagine how much that number would be worldwide, and most people aren’t even aware of this problem. That’s why Volkswagen decided to do something about it. Working in collaboration with the popular YouTube make-up artist Nikkie, Volkswagen created a video to educate women on the dangers of driving while distracted, specifically focusing on applying make-up while behind the wheel.

If you watch the video below, it’s absolutely jarring. Without giving too much away, it does a fantastic job of conveying how a “sudden” accident can occur. The video quickly went viral with over 1.5 million views, launching a global conversation and raising awareness for this type of distracted driving. The point is clear: No amount of beautiful make-up is worth risking your life over. Not only was this an ingenious idea for an awareness campaign, but it was also planted somewhere women go everyday to learn make-up tricks and tips: YouTube.

Take a look at the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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So Long JCP? JCPenney may disappear in 2014

Posted on June 14, 2013

After an abysmal year of sales, operational shakeups and rebranding in 2012, one of 10 big brands predicted to fail in 2014, JCPenney, is on it’s last leg.

We all remember getting the phone-book sized catalog in the mail when we were young, getting awkward family photos at the photo center, and school shoe shopping when September would roll around. But the international chain, founded in Wyoming over 110 years ago, has had it’s fair-share of hardships over the years. Throughout the 90′s and 2000′s, JCP has tried many tactics to attract customers, such as opening stand alone stores outside of malls, catalog stores, stores-within-store concepts, and even discount centers.

Though they reside in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, JCP has failed to attract new customers. Making a controversial move in 2012, JCP slashed the use of coupons, one of its main attractions to the baby-boomer generation, and introduced “every day” pricing, offering their lowest price on display at all times.

The rise in quality of clothing from competitors, such as Macy’s, Target and other big-box retailers, to Amazon pricing everyone out of the market, has done its fair-share of damage to the brand. Some stores reported a Q4 2012 loss as much as 32% from a year before.

For an American institution like JCPenney to bounce back from such adversity, it would truly be an American underdog story. However, with their lack of popular brands, offering brands consumers don’t want, unattractive stores and declining numbers of the baby-boomer generation, JCP has one foot in the grave and not much to hang onto.

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JCPenney Just Can’t Catch a Break: New Billboard Accused of Depicting Hitler

Posted on June 7, 2013

 

JCPenney’s struggles throughout 2012 and 2013 have been well documented, and they have even lead to the prediction of the brand’s untimely demise by 2014. The once popular department store just can’t catch a break lately.  What appeared to be a standard billboard showcasing a teakettle was recently put up in California, and is now causing backlash with many people claiming that the kettle bears a likeness to Adolf Hitler.

JCPenney’s is taking the hit in stride, responding to numerous tweets with the response below.

It’s nice to see that they can maintain a sense of humor despite all they are going through. And perhaps, not only the coverage but, their response will raise awareness for the brand and end up resulting in a bump in sales for JCPenney.

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