It’s the end of another great week of great thinking from so many people. It’s always hard to narrow it down to five. Thank goodness, I’m a New Orleans girl and can throw in some lagniappe!
Location, location, location…I’m always amazed at the decline of Atlantic City. I really am, but I can see how easily customers opt for convenience than the trek to AC and how that’s become a “getaway” versus the place to get your gambling fill. Read more about the good news for regional operators!
Know your audience…Although I think I could fit into something at Abercrombie & Fitch, I was just never attracted to the brand. Obviously, I’m not their target…and I’m ok with that. While I do think Mike Jeffries could have rephrased his comment, I couldn’t help thinking, “So what? It’s obviously not their target. And that’s ok with me.” Companies have to understand who they are marketing to in order to design and deliver the right experiences. You can’t be everything to everyone. Brands are not required to market to everyone. Read more here.
Mmmmm…There are days when there is nothing better than biting into a fresh hot donut. Just to hear the name Krispy Kreme brings back memories. I guess it’s a good thing they realized they needed to build memories rather than a brand…and yet, somehow, they did both. Here’s how they did it.
Magic…Customer service always seems like it’s part magic, but Erika Anderson makes you realize just how simple it is. Then, why do so many companies seem to ignore these three simple keys?
…or empowerment…I guess I taken with Barbara Apple Sullivan’s tale because I’m always afraid I’ll lose my id in some way or another with each trip I take. I check and double-check and then check again that I have it in my possession. It’s probably bordering a little on OCD, but I think that’s the only evidence of such. My big takeaway from her article is that employees should be given permission to use their judgment. It’s the most important thing you can do if you’re trying to deliver excellent service. Of course, there are other things such as hiring and training, but allowing employees to use their good judgment implies to me that you’ve hired and trained properly. You can read her amazing story here. Given all the bad PR airlines are getting lately, this may come as a surprise.
This week’s lagniappe is about a lawsuit that has been filed to have the oh-so-popular commonly sung birthday song declared to be in the public domain. As a brand marketer, I’m often looking for usable names for new brands. Have you tried naming a restaurant lately? It’s quite a challenge to develop something usable, ownable and desirable. I’ll be watching this one closely as I can see both sides of this intellectual property argument. Read about it hereand let me know what you think.
It’s been far too long since I’ve taken care of my blog and it’s time to fix that. I’m starting slowly with the return of my Friday Five. Here are the articles that inspired me the most this week. I hope they spark something in you as well.
The human brand. I often read about what brands should be doing online and in social, but this is the first I’ve seen about being just human. Making connections is a human-to-human exchange. If your brand isn’t human, how will you touch customers? Make sure you read this whole post from Pam Moore. There are some great links at the end.
To followup. I was cleaning out my email and (as I’m sure you do as well), I had a plethora of emails I marked “unread” so that I could go back and read them “when I have time”. Well, I have time now and I’m glad I saved this one. It’s from Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Instituteon Coca-Cola’s Content 2020. It’s over 18 months old. I can’t believe how long I let this sit in my inbox. Wow! I loved this one. It made me think of CPG in a whole new light. You really can’t think in terms of a :30 television spot anymore. Read and watch.
It’s like connective tissue. The notion of integrated marketing isn’t new, but it just seems you can’t say it enough. Marketing has to be a combination of all the channels and touch points in the customer’s experience. Brian Bennet of STIR Advertising does a great job of illustrating this in his MarketingProfs post.
Is it really a loyalty program? Here’s a pet peeve I have…the notion that frequent visitor/buyer and player card programs are called “loyalty” programs as a matter of course when very few of them drive loyalty. It’s no wonder the programs have grown but participation has dropped. As the article states: “… it’s crucial for companies to strengthen loyalty programs through innovation and relevancy.” See if you agree with this post.
That being said, I love what MGM Resorts International is doing with MLife. Experiences are the key for their most frequent guests and they’re making sure they are having them by collaborating with SouthwestandHyatt. I was recently at a luncheon where Scott Voeller, SVP of brand strategy and advertising for MGM Resorts International, spoke about the changes and developments for the program. I think they may be poised to become THE casino player card program because of the way they understand their guests and try to give them the experiences they’re looking for. You can read about the partnerships with Southwest at this Vegas Inc. post and the Hyatt partnership in this Howard Stutz post.
Yes, I realize there are six articles. Where I’m from, we call that “lagniappe”!
I’d love to know what articles inspired your marketing this week.
There are a number of reasons why this year’s big game was important to me. First and most important, there is the economic impact of the game on my hometown of New Orleans. Second is probably the opportunity to once again review the collection of ads in this year’s game with Debbie Laskey.
My winners are a mix of ads that moved me, ads that I felt were on brand strategy, ads that made me smile, ads that reminded me how much I miss New Orleans and the ads my fellow co-workers found to be the best. Here they go, in no particular order.
Taco Bell’s interpretation of “Cocoon” made me smile and it made an entire bar full of people stand up and cheer. For that I say, “Viva Young”
Hyundai’s ad “Stuck” speaks to me every single time I’ve been behind someone on the road leaving behind mementos of their time in front of me. I usually try to drop back a little further. Now I see there is another turbocharged option.
Hyundai scores again in this homage to “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”. Who wouldn’t want to give their family an Epic Playdate?
Bravo Jared and bravo to Subway for delivering the point that always seems to be the downfall of the diet du jour….keeping it off. No flash. No sizzle. Just the heart of the message.
Was it a good commercial, or do I just love the vibe of New Orleans? Either way, I’m in for the Mercedes CLA Soul spot…so much so that I might even forgive the billboard across from Napoleon House.
It used to be that the first break was the marquee spot. Chrysler, however, has repositioned halftime as the “it” placement. Most purists would argue that they are forgoing a spotlight on their products. Some might say they are positioning themselves as the all-American option. Ford, anyone?
In a past life, I sold radio. That station featured a segment by Paul Harvey. Chrysler’s Dodge Ram salute to American Farmers was very moving to me.
I’m not a St. Louisan, but the Budweiser Clydesdale spots have always been among my favorites. There is just something about them that makes me feel un-American if I don’t cry. This spot seemed to be a hit among most of the marketers I work with on a daily basis.
As the officials on the field say, “failed to convert”.
That penalty goes to Go Daddy(even though they did somewhat redeem themselves with “Your Next Big Idea”
Go Daddy’s Perfect Match spot just made me feel a little dirty. Even if you’re not in the same room, the sound of that kissing is enough to just send shivers down my spine. To quote one of the marketing directors I work with, “I don’t like the way they subjugate web developers.”
Also, missing the point was Toyota. I guess Kaley Cuoco is the latest hot property and I should be blown away with her part in this Rav4 commercial. I’m not. In fact I had the name of the car make and model wrong when I wrote this sentence. Sorry Toyota. I guess your wish wasn’t granted.
Honorable mention goes to Kia’s Space Babies. Babylandia looks so much more interesting than being slung in a sheet flying through the air on the beak of a stork!
Of course, this Super Bowl will go down in the record books for also creating the biggest delay of game thanks to a pesky power outage. Although media maven and social media expert alike is always touting extending your ad buys into social, Oreo and Tide were fast to take advantage of the hiccup. Clever…timely…and absolutely on brand, they might be my winners for the night.
Thanks again for letting me share my thoughts on the ads we all seem to look forward to. I’ll be posting Debbie’s thoughts soon, but in the meantime let me know your winners and losers.
I couple of weeks ago I read a Graham Robertson’s blog post entitled Some of the Best Christmas Ads I’ve Seen. It made me think about the commercials that I always remember. Interestingly enough, my favorite commercials aren’t a part of the big Ad Bowl that some people call Super Bowl (well, that is except for the ONE commercial I worked on that ran during the game, but that’s a whole other story).
To me, the commercials that run during the Christmas season are some of the best because they are part magic, touching on an emotion that can leave you teary eyed.
Remember that young man coming home to awaken his house to the smell of Folgers. There’s nothing better that being reunited with loved ones for Christmas. It’s possibly the best present ever.
Coca-Cola’s Christmas Hilltop Commercial
Of course, after seeing Norelco’s stop action commercial, I had to buy a new electric shaver for my dad, even though he already had a perfectly good shaver.
I had forgotten about this classic McDonald’s commercial. How great is it to give Santa the perfect gift?
And I just loved when the M&Ms came face to face with Santa. He DOES exist. I knew it!
Merry Christmas everyone! Make some great memories.
I spend the vast majority of my days reviewing and revising advertising collateral. Get this. Win that.
I often say that casino advertising is not rocket science. People want a clear story on how to get what they want. Keep your eye on your brand and tell your story.
Today is Election Day and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not because we all get to participate in one of the most special rites of all time – electing the person that will move us into the next four years. I’m thrilled because tomorrow marks the end of the political advertising season. I generally look at commercials as a mix between work and entertainment. I like to review, dissect and revise most commercials I see. I get great ideas for my own work. Unfortunately, I find it almost impossible to enjoy the ads which seem to be filling every commercial break lately. The negativity is astounding. It’s amazing that we’re left to choose from the candidate that’s “not as bad” as the other one. In our strategy sessions, we like to refer to that approach as the “We Suck Less Strategy”. It’s never a good place to start your vision.
From a brand perspective, it’s really hard to tell what many of these candidates stand for. What’s the story behind their brands?
Here’s my wish for the next four years. Let’s start seeing candidates for what they think and can do instead of seeing them for how much dirt they can dig up on the other guy (or gal). Political ads should be clear. Show me what I’m getting if I vote for YOU, not the other person.
This old proverb keeps going through my mind. Although I can’t seem to find attribution, I feel like it is wise and true.
Agencies often wish for their clients to bring them into the fold and share everything with them. They want to be partners in success. They want to play a significant role in the growth of the companies they support.
As the client, I often wonder why an agency doesn’t “get it”. Why do I have to be looking at round after round of creative to get to where I need to be? Why aren’t they reading my mind after all this time?
But what happens when these partnerships have grown over the years to a level of mind-reading confidence? One would think that is exactly what we wish for. I say, “Be careful what you wish for.” Mind-reading can also equate to assumptions, and assumptions can put you right back at square one…or even worse.
When an agency gets to the point where they know what a brand needs to be without the input of the client, the brand is no longer one to be grown by the client. The brand is now the agency’s brand, and that’s not what you were hired for. It can have the ability to morph into a creative show more than a brand voice. That’s not what either the client or the agency want. Yes, we all want the kind of creative that makes people sit up and pay attention. We both want the creative that makes the industry publications applaud. We both want the type of creative that makes people tweet and share on Facebook.
That comes with continual shared work and insight. As a client, I must continually expand your knowledge of my brand and customers. As an agency, you must continually ask questions, not make assumptions.
Together we can create and sustain brands that make everyone say “wow” because they produce results for all stakeholders.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? How did you work through it?
My company is undertaking a long-overdue task of redesigning our website. So, content has been top of mind for me recently. Having just read a post by Star Group’sMichael Cavicini,I though about how easily people use terms that my old boss, Steve Wynn, often referred to as “developer speak”.
$$$$$ billion dollar whatever
He was right. These are all the types of terms that marketers throw out when they don’t have a good sense of what they truly have to offer or sell. These things are never your brand. The experience is the brand.
I even took a quick look at some casino websites and noticed some of the same developer speak. Interestingly enough, these platitudes don’t seem to translate to revenue.
The next time you start to write copy for your product or service, think about the benefit and the experience. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and write the words that will capture their imagination. I know I’ll be a little more aware of the copy I approve today.
I said it again yesterday. “This company is so different from when I arrived.”
The Past and Present of Isle of Capri’s Corporate Identity
I came to Isle of Capri Casinosin the Fall of 2006, and although I still laughingly say that I’m passed my sell-by date, I am pretty proud of the brands we’ve built. Before this transition, I would’ve easily told you that my finest work had been in developing the brands at Wynn Las Vegas. Today, I can proudly say that I am equally as proud of the work done on behalf of the family of Isle of Capri Casinos.
Through a lot of vision and hard work, this house of brands has gone from a collection of variations on a Caribbean theme to a collection of experiences our guests can enjoy for a long time. I’m not sure if these are destined to go down in branding history, but they are surely a part of my brand history. Check out all of our brands.
Years ago, casino marketing was pretty easy. Give away a car or two. Have an occasional concert. Send out great offers in the mail. Have an exclusive VIP event, and my month was sure to be in the black. My media plan included every newspaper and magazine in the market as well as a rich variety of television and radio, and a fabulous (if I do say so myself) distribution of billboards. At Harrah’s New Orleans, I even got to work on something really cool called a “website”. The first couple of casino companies I worked for didn’t even have websites!
Then we started adding online (banner) advertising into the mix.
Eventually, we realized that there was money to be made selling unused hotel inventory, and we started down the path of search engine marketing and search engine optimization.
Fast forward to 2004 and some geek sitting in his dorm room comes up with a cool way for Harvard students to share information. Facebook was born. This wasn’t new. It was just a new avenue to join Blogger, Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, Delicious. digg, and Flickr, quickly followed by YouTube and Twitter…oh and something called Second Life. Two years later, Facebook became available to everyone…in the world.
The fiber of communications has changed. Once, it took millions to reach a few. Now a few reach millions. We’ve gone from traditional publishing to broadcast publishing to personal publishing to interactive publishing to network publishing. What used to take months and elicited a few comments here and there, now takes seconds and can generate hundreds of thousands of comments.
Casino marketing, however, has not evolved quite so quickly, probably because casino customers are more represented in the boomer segment than any other market segment. For these folks, the places they look for news and information hadn’t changed quite as quickly…
Last year Scott Hepburn asked me to give my thoughts on casino marketing and the use of social media. You can read that post here.
I said “Everyone is “dying to be on Facebook,” but with so much on our plates, I wondered if that was the place we needed to put our focus on.” I no longer wonder. It is. When we initially asked customers if they were on social networks, 80% said hardly or never. Today, 77.6% say they regularly visit their Facebook accounts to see what’s happening, and social networking sites have become a prime place to look for information. That change happened in less than two years.
Q. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being NOT AT ALL and 5 being VERY INFLUENTIAL, please rate how influential these forms of media are in choosing which casino to visit.
Print is fading faster than anyone wants it to. Casino customers are looking for their information in much more dynamic areas.
Now firmly planted as a piece in our marketing puzzle, social media presents new challenges for us. No longer are customers willing to sit back and watch and respond to our ads. Now they want to interact with them. We have to create content that they can comment on or share with their networks. We have to create ads that are shareable via YouTube,
…ads that continue to tell the story on Facebook,
…ads that have a life of more than 30 seconds.
We have to create exclusive content that can only be found on these networks so that customers feel they have a unique access to information. And that new thing I got to work on long ago, the website has changed as well. It can no longer be a brochure. It has to be a living, breathing font of information that visitors can interact with and share.
How has social media changed your approach to marketing?
How this year has flown by! Fully six months have come and gone with another six to look forward to. What did we do? What will we do? June 30 also marks Social Media Day, launched by Mashable in 2010.
It used to be that we could only track the events of special days by watching a condensed version of highlights on one of the big three networks. If there is anything that really illustrates how social media has changed our lives, it’s the ability to track everything happening at any moment in time by following a simple hashtag. .
But as I think of social media, I can’t help by realize how much it has changed my life. From a marketer’s perspective, it has been an explosion. It has truly changed how I think of things. I started my career in the field of public relations. I think no other marketing channel has been more impacted by social media than the field of public relations. Social media has added channels for both announcing and engaging with our customers. We’re no longer allowed to simply push our wonderfully crafted messages out on an unsuspecting target. We now have to push…pull…listen…react…engage.
Setting up for the next shot
Social media has made me rethink the average commercial to make it a part of something much bigger with much more life…much more “viral”. As I sat on a set this week with Jan Talamo, we talked about so many more ways to take what we were producing at that point and creating a life that would be more than 30 seconds long.
From a personal perspective, social media has allowed me to reconnect with old friends. It has helped me keep up with those close to me in my heart, though they are far away in terms of miles. It has opened the door to me to meet great thinkers in so many fields. These are people I would’ve never known, much less conversed with. Wow! To all of those who exchange tweets with me, who read my blog posts and have asked me to be a part of your life…Thank you and Happy Social Media Day!
How has social media changed your life?
If you want to track what’s going on to mark Social Media Day, follow the hashtag #smday.