Archive for February, 2012
The aptly named Trendwatching.com is one of the best sites out there for identifying the latest marketing trends, especially in its series of monthly briefs. The latest dubs a new trend called FLAWSOME, in which brands publicly acknowledge their flaws. Despite the “cringeworthy” awkwardness of the name, Flawsome recognizes a brand’s ability to succeed in spite of, and sometimes due to (admitting) their flaws. Domino’s Pizza serves as the obvious example — here’s a brand that is willing to admit its mistakes in a public forum and acknowledge that changes need to be made (i.e. you’re right, our pizza does suck!). This can win major brownie points with consumers. While every brand may not take on Times Square as a source for displaying real-time feedback, this trend highlights the notion that a little humility can go a long way, even if it comes at the expense of your delivery boy (sorry Jose).
photo credit: http://www.firstcarstory.com/
I love Subaru’s “First Car” campaign. For its digital component, they’ve created this fun site where you can tell the story of your first car, give your story a soundtrack, and see it animated before your eyes in a matter of seconds. (After I put in my information, my story was processed and animated in just 6 seconds!). Then you share your story on Facebook, Twitter or by email. It’s such a well-executed, smoothly running site and online campaign, I had to give it a shoutout.
Photo credit: Jason Bache
Sure, it’s a tough economy out there — for everyone. But a new trend among Gen Y consumers reveals just how tough it really is.
A subgroup of Milliennials is now emerging that shows how Gen Yers are some of the hardest hit by the current economy. These are the Gen Yers who, after graduating college, are finding themselves returning home to live with their parents. They’re known to marketers as Boomerangers because, well, they keep on coming back. And there are a lot of them.
How many? That’s the startling part. Today’s tough job market — close to 15% for ages 20-24 — means a full 85% of college seniors planned to move back home after graduating in May 2010.* Just four years prior that number was only 67%.
The not-so-startling part of the story is why: With job prospects so low, recent graduates are having a tough time paying rent and repaying sky-high student loans. A little time at “Hotel Mom” gives them that much-needed chance to start saving — while getting three squares a day and maybe even a bit of spending money on the side.
What is surprising is how much this trend is costing parents. On average, parents spend an additional $5,800 a year when a child returns home post-graduation, and 42% of those Boomerangers pay no rent. That same number of parents — 42% — admit that the presence of an adult child in their home has an adverse effect on their own finances. And that’s a significant effect, since some 40% of US young adults say they rely on their parents for support after graduation.
Even so, many parents say they like having their kids around and want to make sure they get a good start in the adult world, even at a detriment to the parents’ finances. Still, it’s a trend that is radically changing the spending habits of younger Gen Yers — and their parents, too.
Stylus, Boomerang Kids – A Perfect Storm; http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/14/pf/boomerang_kids_move_home/index.htm
Fresh off the release of the new Nike+ FuelBand, which signaled a multi-category venture appealing to the techie athlete in all of us, Nike will be taking its Nike+ platform to the next level with a specific emphasis on basketball. Nike+ Basketball was announced to the public earlier this week via a YouTube video featuring the NBA’s second most popular player, LeBron James (must.not.write.Jeremy.Lin.pun.here.). The platform includes a new line of kicks with pressure sensors placed throughout the soles to track “how high you jump, how quick you are, and how hard you play” (thanks, ‘Bron). At last there’s a tool that can help me prove to my friends my Linsane vertical (oops).
Photo credit: Black Sheep Films, vimeo.com
Have you ever wished someone would build an amusement park inside a city? Okay, so there’s the sluggish London Eye and we have the rickety Cyclone at Coney Island, but I’m talking real rides actually inside cities. Well, film director Fernando Livschitz has finally made our dreams come true with Buenos Aires – Inception Park, a series of roller-coaster rides inspired by the movie Inception. Do you think Leo gets to cut the line?
Photo credit: Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show
So the Giants won the Super Bowl. We thought maybe you hadn’t heard.
That’s big news, but from an agency point of view there was something even bigger afoot at Super Bowl XLVI — and even though it happened on the field, it had nothing to do with football. It was 3D projection mapping, and it was an integral part of Madonna’s halftime performance. It was proof that this relatively new technology has really hit the big time.
3D projection mapping has actually been around for a while, but this Super Bowl’s use of the technology shows that it’s a tool that is growing more powerful every day.
3D projection mapping animates stationary, 2D objects with 3D video. In the marketing world, it’s most effective when used on a very large scale, accompanied with impactful music and some sort of PR-worthy event or spectacle. It’s an incredibly powerful experience in person, but part of what’s great about it is that a powerful live experience can live on in video.
At the birth of the technology, these animated “films” were projected almost exclusively onto the sides of buildings. A couple of key examples of that kind of application are the Hot Wheels Secret Race Battle against the Customs House in Sydney, and the launch of the new Johnnie Walker Green Label bottle against a historic building in Taipei.
As we’ve watched the technology grow, however, we can see it being used in more and more versatile ways. Carmelo Anthony used the technology to help launch his new shoe in New York, for example: This application used a building backdrop for some portion of it but in large part the projection took place right over the water of the Hudson River.
At the Super Bowl this year, the technology was again pushed to new levels when multiple parts of the arena were used as projection backdrops, including the grass of the field. Pulsating stereo speakers and yardline markers made the field come alive, and 3D images from the field were even projected onto handheld LEDs carried by individual audience members in the crowd. That capacity for real crowd participation has never been done before, and the performance itself is now being hailed as the best halftime show in years. Maybe that’s because it’s the event that finally put 3D projection mapping on the map.
Photo credit: http://courseoftheforce.com
Calling all aspiring Jedi knights! You’re cordially invited to take part in an epic relay race — lightsabers included — leading up to Comic-Con International 2012. From July 7 to July 11, participants will run quarter-mile sections of terrain spanning from Santa Monica to San Diego, and are (of course) encouraged to sport their finest Star Wars-themed running gear. This monumental event is aptly dubbed “Course of the Force.”
Tell me this doesn’t sound like a good time! I’m thinking of at least checking it out, but if you’re so inclined to run it, you can register here. All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of SoCal.
The man on the defensive end of the Super Bowl XLVI-winning New York Giants, Justin Tuck, knows how to show his appreciation. Tuck’s teammates each got a special gift in celebration of the NY Giants’ Super Bowl win — and MKTG INC was happy to join in the celebration. We facilitated the engraving of 84 personalized bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label — one for each of Tuck’s teammates and coaches. The bottles were engraved in 24 hours, just in time for the parade, and media outlets such as ESPN’s SportsCenter, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, USA Today and AM New York spread the news about Tuck’s championship gift. Each bottle had the player’s name on it along with the label “Super Bowl XLVI Champions.” Mario Manningham’s bottle was engraved with the words “The Catch” to commemorate the most-talked-about play of the game. Congrats, Big Blue!
Photo credit: SportsGrid.com
If you found yourself in SoHo this holiday season, chances are you saw the giant Johnnie Walker Striding Man in front of 133 Greene Street. “A Johnnie Walker store? This is too good to be true!” was frequently heard on the street or seen on the scrolling Twitter feed in praise of Johnnie. But there was actually one thing that was even better — this was a store in which everything was free.
Johnnie Walker moved into one of NYC’s hottest neighborhoods for all of November and December to deliver an unforgettable series of events. If you were one of the 5,000 lucky fans to make it inside the House of Walker, you stepped inside a modern man’s paradise. The lovely Johnnie Walker ladies were on hand to greet guests with Johnnie Walker cocktails, and a rustic open kitchen churned out hearty bites. A series of shelves featured an impressive collection of books, a saber-tooth tiger skull, vintage sports memorabilia and my personal favorite, an antique diver’s helmet. Guests could watch any combination of games on any of seven flat-screen TVs (eight if you count the one in the bathroom). A man cave featured a Johnnie Walker pool table, vintage arcade games and an Xbox Kinect system, and rare bottles of Johnnie Walker (with price tags of up to $27,000) lined the walls — but you’d have to break through a glass case to sample those gems.
Most nights, Johnnie Walker’s National Brand Ambassador walked guests through a sampling of the full brand portfolio, showing people how to enjoy each of Johnnie’s blends in a unique way. The Weekend Retreat events allowed small groups to reserve their own private tables and drink Johnnie Walker cocktails as they prepared for a night on the town. We also opened our doors to a long list of partners who wanted to invite their colleagues into the world of Johnnie Walker: Delta, NFL, the New York Times, the Boomer & Carton show, Hulu and Tiffany, to name a few. Regardless of event, everyone left with a new appreciation for Johnnie Walker and the art of whisky blending.
The House of Walker finally closed its doors after an incredibly successful run of 98 events. Don’t worry, though: anyone who didn’t experience the House of Walker will get another chance when our national tour returns to New York in the spring. Cheers to that!