Archive for February, 2015

Restaurant Patrons Hungry for Experiential

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Ready for an elevated dining experience? Diners are looking for a satisfying meal, but they’re also looking for a unique experience. Restaurants are forced to be creative and have begun experimenting with adventurous forms of serving food to their patrons.

Roller Coaster Restaurants anyone? Probably not for everyone but Rogo’s Roller Coaster Restaurant in Abu Dhabi spans 14,000 square foot and offers 30 individual roller coaster tracks that loop, spiral and spin around diners to deliver the menu and food to tables. Since the restaurant has no servers, diners place their orders through tablets at their tables. When the food is ready, the kitchen puts it in a covered pot and shoots it down one of the tracks to your table. The tracks range from multi-spiral to double-loop, reaching speeds of up to 12mph.

Every aspect of the customer experience adds up to overall satisfaction. Creating memorable, entertaining aspects is at the heart of brand experience. Campaigns come and go, but in today’s world creating memories through experiences is what people care about, it’s what people talk about.

What good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience?

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NBA All-Star Week Has Arrived in NYC

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Aerial Views of New York City

MKTG INC’s very own EVP, Sales and Marketing Bryan Duffy is featured in a cover story of this week’s SportsBusiness Journal talking the upcoming NBA All-Star Week(end). Check out the story and his thoughts on what it takes to cut through the clutter in a busy market like New York City. Read more here!

Source: SportsBusiness Journal, February 9 2015

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MKTG INC Plays the Field at Super Bowl XLIX

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Some quick sports trivia: How many celebrities crossed an MKTG-affiliated threshold at this year’s Super Bowl? Answer: At least 100 yards’ worth. From Nick Lachey to Nick Jonas, from Erin Andrews to Andrew Luck, from Mark Teixeira to Mark Sanchez, MKTG collaborated on no fewer than 4 different brand activations throughout the Big Game weekend.

NFL BARBER SHOP
NFL Barber Shop
Super Bowl Media Day took place on the Tuesday before Super Bowl XLIX at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. To help make players and personalities feel at home before their media interviews, MKTG INC tempted up with the NFL to create a premium lounge experience for Seattle Seahawks players.

The NFL’s Barbershop experience staffed top celebrity barbers for players about to “go live” on camera. The service menu included everything from haircuts to straight razor shaves to trims to hot towels. 

As soon as the doors opened, the Barbershop was crowded with Seahawks looking for a pre-camera makeover. Several players even asked for in-room hotel visits from our celebrity barbers, so they could look their best before the big game.

SUPERB OWL III
Superb Owl v2
The 3rd annual Superb Owl took place on the Friday before Super Bowl 49 at RnR Gastropub in the heart of Old Scottsdale, AZ.

A little bit of background: The Superb Owl is the international take on the celebrations surrounding the American Football Championship game, the Super Bowl. The idea was concepted by 5 English pals – some living in London and some in NYC – who wanted to create a unique experience unlike the usual testosterone-fueled, beer & wing fest that go hand-in-hand with the Super Bowl.

This event is part networking, part spectacle with light entertainment and a quintessentially English theme.

Now in its 3rd year (and best year yet!), the Superb Owl has evolved into a staple event for key influencers in the Sports & Entertainment industry, various US & UK media partners, key clients and prospective clients. This year’s Superb Owl, which has been hosted by MKTG and the 5 “Owls” from the UK in the years prior, was joined by a third host, psLIVE.

The cross-agency collaboration enjoyed record turnout for a jolly good night of networking, noshing and libations.

TEQUILA DON JULIO AND 1OAK PRESENT THE NEON CARNIVAL AT THE BIG GAME
Don Julio Neon Carnival
For the fifth year in a row, Tequila Don Julio made an exciting impact on the Big Game Weekend social scene, but this time with something entirely new and unexpected. In collaboration with nightlife impresario 1OAK, the brand brought the legendary Neon Carnival event from the desert of Indio, CA to the desert of Phoenix, AZ for the first time ever.

Hosted at Castles n’ Coasters on Friday, January 30th, this one-of-a-kind exclusive event featured the fun of carnival games and rides, handcrafted cocktails served from the Airstream Speakeasy and the hottest music in town by acclaimed DJs Ruckus and Politik. The buzzed-about event attracted influencers such as actor Chris Evans, NFL star Mark Sanchez, host of VH1’s Morning Buzz Nick Lachey and reality star Audrina Patridge.

WHEELS UP SUPER SATURDAY TAILGATE
WU

The 2nd Annual Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate Party pulled out all the stops this year at the Maya Club in Scottsdale with 1,000 members and their guests, which was the talk of Phoenix. Among the celebs in attendance were “Dancing With the Stars” Host/Fox Sportscaster Erin Andrews, “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, ESPN “College GameDay” host Kirk Herbstreit, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira, Miami Dolphin Ryan Tannehill, NFL Network host Rich Eisen, Indianapolis Colt Andrew Luck, New Orleans Saint Drew Brees and ESPN host Mike Golic. Singer Nick Jonas performed.

The event featured a cigar roller, pool-top go-go dancers, specialty cocktails, a branded bar and tastings led by National Zacapa Ambassador Robert Pallone.

 

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Guest Q&A: Stephanie Rudnick

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rudnick bw headshot

For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Stephanie Rudnick, MKTG INC’s new SVP, Marketing Communications. An almost 20-year industry veteran, Stephanie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of PR and experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice she’s ever received.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
I’ll be developing and managing all aspects of the company’s communication strategy and practice, including media and industry relations, external communications and brand management.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Carpe diem” –  Live each day as if it were your last. It’s something I’ve lived by since learning about it in elementary school from my favorite English teacher.

How did you get into PR?
When I decided on my major, it was WAY before PR was as widely understood as it is today. I spent a lot of time working with non-profits in high school in Chicago and loved when the media would come to our events and publicize our causes. When I learned that I could study journalism with a PR focus, it just felt right. I went to college at USC in Los Angeles because I wanted to study in a major city where my teachers were working professionals in my field, but also because the location would offer me access to a wide array of internships. I was lucky enough to have internships every semester – from beauty to music to technology to entertainment and celebrity publicity – which helped expose me to how different PR can be depending on the client. Since then, I’ve done pretty much every kind of PR across a ton of verticals, both agency and in-house. Now that I’m older, one of my favorite things is to mentor young people who are interested learning how to navigate the business and continue to help them along throughout their careers.

What publications or websites do you find most relevant to your career?
It’s part of my job to read, read, read and do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in our industry and in general. So, I start my day with a scan of Twitter, which helps me get a handle quickly on the news of the day. Then, first thing at work, I go old-school and get my hands dirty tearing through the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I also read the hard copy of the Sports Business Journal and the SBJ’s three daily e-newsletters, as well as MediaPost, EM, Adweek and AdAge. The list goes on and on.

What are some of your favorite work experiences?
I’m so grateful that my job has afforded me so many amazing experiences. I’ve been able to travel around the globe, working, and experiencing working in other cultures. One of the craziest experiences was in Beijing, when just hours before a press conference I was organizing, a friend tipped me off that if I wanted the media to actually publish/broadcast something, I had to give them a gift and CASH. For real. That was fun to have to explain to finance why the company owed me thousands of CNYs in cash and for T-shirts from the hotel gift shop! I also have to share that one of my all-time favorite nights at work was in 2012 at the NFL Draft when my client, Andrew Luck, was drafted first. It was so crazy and exciting and anxiety-inducing being backstage with Andrew and his family and all of the other draftees and their families, waiting for “the call” from the teams. Not sure that will ever happen again, unless my son decides that’s the route he wants to take…urgh.

Who have been your favorite clients?
That’s a hard one but I would say that working with the totally courageous and amazing NBA center Jason Collins was a highlight of my career.

What are your favorite apps?
Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, SportsCenter, Swarm, American Airlines, Diapers.com, Fitbit, WeatherBug, WhatsApp, FlightTracker, OpenTable, Seamless, Timehop and Tile.

What are three things you can’t travel without?
Earplugs, a flat-iron and my Philips Sonicare toothbrush

When not at the office, where are we most likely to find you? (Not that we’ll be looking, of course.)
At home in Battery Park or running around downtown Manhattan with my husband Duncan, and kids Charlie (2 1/2) and Matilda (5 months). And probably reading.

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What’s in Your Wallet, Deb?

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Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). This column takes a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hears the stories behind them. Here’s the story behind the business card of Deb Friar, SVP, Business Development in MKTG INC’s Cincinnati office.

You won’t meet many people who love both technology AND being a beachcomber, but Deb is not known as a person who typically takes the traditional route.
From retail management (Target) to brand marketing (Pepsi) to technology marketing services biz dev (Catalina) and from Minnesota (the tundra) to Florida (the beach!) – my path has been anything but traditional.

That trait is especially clear in how she helps her clients see beyond traditional marketing to adopt bolder, community-driven programming.
Clients take the safe route by doing what they’ve done before. It’s the role of biz dev to remove the risk associated with trying something new. It takes patience and perseverance to build trust with prospective clients. I’m fortunate to work with the best and brightest in the world of marketing!

Just don’t ever try to bury her in the sand.
I’m like other biz dev folks – we rise to the challenge!

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Take Your Best Shot, At Best Buy

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Al Diaz Best Buy Photoworkshop[1]
With today’s digital trends being what they are, a picture is probably worth far more than just a thousand words, right?

That’s what Best Buy thinks, anyway. So in select US stores, Best Buy has expanded its photography offerings into the DSLR category. But buying a DSLR camera can be intimidating, so the company teamed up with MKTG INC to offer complimentary DSLR photography workshops every Sunday morning in January, at 15 Best Buy locations nationwide.

The workshops featured top-tier professional instructors, including the Salt Lake City Tribune’s chief photographer as well as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding photographer. Despite the high level of instruction, the workshops targeted every level of photographer, from beginner to devoted hobbyist, by offering personalized, hands-on instruction on everything from portraiture to action shots, low-light situations and close-ups. Attendees learned how to set up their cameras for each type of shot, and they got bonus tips from the experts on how to ensure a picture-perfect photograph every time.

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London Welcomes Dropbox in Shoreditch Hackathon

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London Hackathon

Sure, California’s Silicon Valley may always be the birthplace of tech, but recently a few other cities worldwide have been giving Silicon Valley a run for its digital money. From New York’s Silicon Alley to Dublin’s Silicon Docks, hotbeds of innovation everywhere have begun to draw the attention of the world’s biggest tech name-brands.

The newest in this lineup is London and its “Silicon Roundabout.” Located around Old Street and bordering Central and Eastern London, this thriving tech/creative area has attracted companies like Google, Cisco … and, now, Dropbox. So MKTG LDN thought we’d give the newcomer a warm English welcome, in the form of a 2-day hackathon at Shoreditch Studios.

Over 120 developers and designers were challenged to create new apps using the Dropbox API, and were awarded for their skill and creativity in a variety of categories, including London Local, Best Design and Overall Winner. Two social hours, including an open bar and dinner, allowed ample opportunity for some members of the Dropbox product teams to meet their new neighbors.

With mentions in The Guardian, Techworld and multiple social media channels, the Dropbox hackathon proved that it will make a great neighbor in London’s new capital of tech and innovation.

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Top Brands to Watch at Super Bowl XLIX

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ALLSTATE MAYHEM SALE

During the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Allstate released an interactive advertisement. Crowd-favorite ad character, Mayhem, proceeded to notify viewers that the couple was out of town. He intentionally broke their property and told viewers that he was selling all of their belongings on www.mayhemsale.com. The URL was active, allowing viewers to go online and actually see all of the couples’ belongings “for sale.” Needless to say, the campaign was a hit, reaching nearly 20 million impressions on Facebook in just one day. We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve for the Super Bowl.

TOSTITOS

Tostitos have partnered with Jimmy Kimmel for several different programs over the past year including “The Worst Contest Ever” in which Kimmel’s viewers were encouraged to send him one chip in the mail. All the chips received were to be put in Kimmel’s bowl and he would eat them while viewing the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. There were no additional prizes besides knowing that Jimmy Kimmel may have eaten the chip. Additionally, Tostitos recently began a new campaign about being “The Official Chip of the NFL” with fan-favorite coach Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles. With both campaigns taking place back-to-back, who knows what direction Tostitos will go in their Super Bowl Ad.

SKITTLES

Skittles is making a Super Bowl debut this year, releasing their first ever Super Bowl Ad. The teaser to the ad features Kurt Warner and a small group of fans tailgating weeks early in Phoenix out of excitement for the next ad. The brand is clearly excited for their comeback and we can’t wait to see what they have in store.

DORITOS

Doritos held their annual Crash The Super Bowl contest in which consumers are encouraged to create their own Super Bowl ad for Doritos. Doritos selects several finalists and America votes on their favorite. This year, Doritos partnered with Director, Producer and Actress Elizabeth Banks for this contest. Finalists received personalized calls from the Hollywood star notifying them of their accomplishment. The video with the most fan-votes and the video the Doritos brand chooses as their favorite will be aired during the Super Bowl and the creators will receive a $1 million prize as well as an opportunity to work at Universal for one year. The catch? No one knows who the winners are until the spots air on TV.

View the finalist ads HERE and tune into the Super Bowl on February 1 to see which Ads air!

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