Archive for October, 2013
As the 2013 World Series kicks off, I can’t help but spend Flashback Friday thinking about my own fortunate experience with the fall classic. It was 2005, and I was working as the Director of Public Relations for the Chicago White Sox. They hadn’t won a World Series since 1917 but the season had been magical – they’d been in first place since Opening Day and all the signs were pointing to a busy October.
Front office employees are just as superstitious as players. We may not take three practice swings, adjust our gloves, and then take three more before stepping into the batter’s box (I’m talking to you, #14) – but as we secured venues for World Series galas and wrote copy for the postseason program, we did it with fingers crossed and a careful vernacular that caused every sentence to begin with “in the case that we are fortunate to advance to postseason play….”
So while you’re excited and hopeful, you’re also cautiously counting down the outs until you’re able to plan for one more series. And the wins are completely out of your control – so you do what any other blue-blooded sports fanatic with no actual impact on the game’s outcome would do: you pray, you ask the universe for favors, you wear the same lucky shirt for every game and you live.and.die.by.every.pitch. You just do it at the office, surrounded by your co-workers.
The month in question was a total blur of excitement, exhaustion, late nights and early mornings. I slept at the ballpark more than once and actually yelled at a TV producer for calling me. But I was lucky enough to be there each time my White Sox advanced to the next round – from the Division Series thriller in Boston to the ALCS stunner in Anaheim to the miraculous sweep in Houston. So I wouldn’t trade a second of it.
This time of year makes me long for those days and I’m envious of everyone who’s still in the hunt – from players and front office employees to the marketers whose brands have a skin in the game. People often ask me if I’m still a White Sox fan, even though I live in New York and left the team half a decade ago. And although they didn’t have the greatest season this year, I am. When you’re that close to an organization, loyalty becomes part of your DNA. Baseball’s in my blood – and October is every bit as exciting now as it was then. May the best team win – and may EVERYONE enjoy the ride!
Each quarter, MKTG staffers select one lucky MKTGer for a reward trip to a destination of their choosing. Upon their return, winners are asked to report on their trip and make us all sick with envy.
Terry Warner, NY IT Department:
They call it the land of the midnight sun, and in October I learned why. Alaska is a land of unspoiled beauty — besides an occasional road or two, the landscape I saw on my visit was pure, undiluted and unforgettable.
On my trip I saw the peaks of Denali National Park, the Dalton Highway made famous by Ice Road Truckers, and the frozen tip of the amazing Arctic Circle. The scenes I saw will stay with me for a lifetime, and I honestly hope to go back and visit more of this beautiful state.
Humble thanks to everyone who voted for me — I am so grateful for this chance to explore our beautiful nation!
Written by: Terry Warner
Everyday there seems to be a new “revolutionary” camera app for the iPhone, but OGGL is something truly special. Created by the same developers behind the legendary Hipstamatic app, OGGL builds off the Hipsta platform but adds a few additional features. Similar to other photo effect apps that come already installed with an array of filters, OGGL supplies the user with the famous lenses and films that have helped changed the photography landscape over the last century.
The app’s interface allows you to combine any film and lens together to create a new photo style – from the Hornbecker and Buckhorst H1 lenses to Ina’s 1982 and US1776 films. What’s also interesting about this app is its community aspect – you can share your photo with the OGGL community, select any member’s photo, cook up your own combination, and add any user’s lens/film recipe to your own favorites for future use.
Video 2 Photo iOS app allows you to edit videos right from your iPhone. The program is dead simple, effective and has a clean interface. The app means you can create great photo compositions even from a collection of random still photos and/or video clips.
Written by: Mark Grundland
Photo Credit: iheartradio
The triple digit heat did not stop music lovers converging on Las Vegas for the third-annual iHeartRadio Music Festival sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka. Elton John, Drake, Robin Thicke, Fun, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Tim McGraw, Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake were just a few names that rocked the MGM Grand on September 20th-21st. This year, the festival grew significantly with the addition of the 15,000-person Festival Village.
Consumers flooded onto a freshly paved parking lot near the Strip to hear their favorite bands belt out 20 minute sets on two different stages. The most notable performance, was from (SURPRISE, SURPRISE) Miley Cyrus. This was her first major performance since the VMAs. JayCeeOh, winner of this season of Smirnoff’s Master of the Mix series on VH1, played three separate sets throughout the day, giving shout-outs to Smirnoff throughout the day.
MKTG INC activated the Smirnoff tent within the village where festival-goers participated in a silent disco featuring sets from four different Master of the Mix DJs throughout the day. Guests received the ultimate “silent” party experience as they broke it down on the dance floor and sampled one of the four complimentary signature Smirnoff cocktails, including the newest flavors to hit the market, Smirnoff Wild Honey and Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist. Smirnoff also sponsored the backstage lounge at the MGM Grand and all VIP areas within the village.
After 2 days of rock ‘n’ roll in the desert, concert-goers headed back to their respective cities hoping to return next year and “mix” it up all over again.
Written by: Melissa Fitzgibbon
We all know content is king, but these days the platform used to share that content has become just as important as the content itself. Consumers’ content consumption has changed. With busy, hectic lives, today’s consumers seek content that can be easily accessed and quickly grasped. Various platforms such as Instagram, Twitter or Vine have its own point of difference.
Bite-sized content, often visually based (images or videos), have made it easy for consumers to digest information and cull what’s really relevant.
And in a world full of noise and diminishing attention spans (roughly 2.8 seconds), brands now have to be more creative than ever to grab consumers’ attention—let alone engage with them.
Take Vine, for instance. Lowe’s leveraged Vine’s 6-second and looping feature to share fun, very short, yet informational life-hack videos. Another example is Airbnb leveraged Vine’s 6-second feature to develop a crowd-sourced short film, culled from over 750 submissions, called Hollywood & Vines.
Bite-sized content allows people to consume content on the fly—whenever they want, on whatever device they choose. It provides people with enough information to know about a topic and enough of a teaser so they can seek out more they’re hungry for it. It is a very effective method for building awareness, providing variety and promoting social sharing.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
This past month, MKTG INC felt the need – the need for speed. The NASCAR Contenders Live event, held at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ballroom, brought together the top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers as they continued their journey toward a championship with only 10 races left. This action-packed event allowed fans to get up close and personal with top NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The event was hosted by Nicole Briscoe of ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown and featured an interactive Q&A with the sport’s top drivers, plus an exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR Cup champion and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Jarrett, led by NASCAR president Mike Helton.
Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon hosted the pre-show, and Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood was on hand to present the sweepstakes winner, Heather Ringbauer, with a brand-new Toyota Tundra.
But the chase isn’t over yet – keep watching, it’s anyone’s race!
Written by: Liz McKeon