Archive for July, 2017

MKTG Insights: WHAT SPONSORS CAN LEARN FROM MODERN ALBUM RELEASES

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With the overly saturated music industry experiencing ever-changing shifts in music consumption, artists must find unique ways to gain traction within the market in order to create successful campaigns. Technological innovations such as digital streaming provided by service giants such as Spotify and Apple Music are truly shaping the industry. There is now a greater accessibility to music than ever before and artists can easily get lost in the clutter. The days where studios and labels put mass advertising behind the release of an album are gone. This has caused musicians to increasingly think like brands; relying on creativity and innovation to drive interest in their upcoming sales. Sponsors and marketers also live in a similar dynamic realm where there are constant technological changes and never ending clutter of branded content. The following are leading examples from the music industry that provide key learnings for marketers in today’s world.

In June 2017, in advance of the release of her “Witness” album, Katy Perry partnered with YouTube to launch a 96-hour live stream of her living day-to-day in a camera filled “Big Brother” style home. The live stream allowed fans to observe Perry in a range of content from average daily activities to more intense moments such as therapy sessions. The broadcast was supported with celebrity guest appearances who interacted with Katy for interviews, cooking, games, challenges, and conversations. The live stream led to a concert where Katy performed songs from the upcoming album. The Katy Perry Witness World Wide Live Stream reached 190 countries and garnered 49 million views.

Katy Perry provided fans with an opportunity to receive unprecedented access to celebrity. The raw, constant transparency that a live stream provides allows consumers to feel an authentic connection by being able to tune into an “unscripted” experience.

For sponsorship marketers, Perry’s stunt is a reminder of key operating principles when developing strategy and planning brand experiences. Perry understood the power of designing a brand experience that would organically drive social chatter. Rather than rely on media appearances on TV and radio to plug the album release like most artists, Perry’s live stream was designed for the digital age. By choosing the correct platform, in this case, YouTube, users were able to connect at any time (mobile, desktop etc.) for real-time interactions. The tactic of live streaming her activity scaled access to Perry in a way that transcended geographic borders and time constraints; sponsors planning physical branded experiences must also find ways to bring the consumer experience to those unable to engage in the precise time and place of the activation.

Notable hip-hop stars 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar are examples of artists who have utilized powerful physical, in-person brand experiences that coincide with particular promotional announcements. 2 Chainz released his fourth studio album titled “Pretty Girls like Trap Music” in June 2017 which was supported by a unique physical activation. Inspired by the emerging genre of Southern “trap music” that has been taking control of mainstream airways, 2 Chainz leverages “trap” roots by replicating a real life “trap house” in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. The album themed, pink home is decked out with urban artwork and was redesigned to coincide with 2 Chainz branding and larger promotional campaign that matches 2 Chainz album art.

The activation’s main purpose was to be used as a space for listening parties. Supplementary, outside of the home, was a strategically place vintage pink Corvette and stove where visitors were encouraged to take photos and share their “trap experience” on social media. The activation was an enormous tourist and fan attraction, covered by major media outlets that accumulated over 300,000 digital tags.

Similarly, Kendrick Lamar kicked off “THE DAMN. TOUR” by launching retail pop-up shops in select cities that coincide with his tour dates. The pop-up shops sell limited-edition Kendrick branded clothing and accessories. Activations amplify traditional marketing efforts by providing a memorable and engaging consumer experience. Consumers are able to interact on a ground-level and share digitally. This activation style allows for ultimate consumer engagement that is enhanced with wide-spread media coverage.

High-touch activations act as a unique tactic to engage consumers by utilizing multiple touchpoints. These activations allow artists to push branded content online while also providing fans with a real and tangible interaction. Aside from relying solely on social media, high-touch activation experiences allow brands stand out amongst the clutter.

One of the most talked about releases in 2016 was Beyoncé’s sixth studio album, Lemonade. The surprise release was supported by a massive amount of content: a one hour HBO film, an eleven chapter visual album, and the launch of the Formation World Tour. Beyoncé leveraged a combination of art, music, poetry, and politics to create one of 2016’s best-selling albums that had a large impact in a variety of markets that surpassed the category of music.

The element of surprise can be one of the strongest marketing techniques. Brands that execute this type of disruptive promotion cause a change consumer behavior and trigger some of the strongest personal and digital dialogues. Due to the unexpected release, consumer behavior is altered and now brand focused. Fans and consumers erupt in a sense of urgency to dive deep into the branded content. This social eruption causes word-of-mouth marketing, which is seen as one of the top forms of influential advertising. Awareness is built exponentially, consumer emotions are supercharged and a passionate brand engagement is created.

With the recent need for artists to stand out with successful campaigns, the market is seeing a shift in promotional techniques from brands within the industry. Traditional efforts must now be altered and amplified with unique activations, disruptive marketing and brand authentication in order to create more of an impact.  By leveraging these case studies and insights, marketers can truly enhance a variety of brand experiences.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 31st, 2017 at 12:58 pm

MKTG4GOOD at the CT Challenge Ride

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MKTG Riders: Matt Manning, Rein Dijkema, Michelle Berg, Kathryn Rambo, Samantha Hickey. MKTG Volunteers: Erica Calhoun, Danielle Walkerwicz, Kelly Kinas, Dani Kosinski

Over the weekend, a team of riders from MKTG Westport took to their bikes to raise money for cancer survivors of all ages through the organization MISSION (yourmission.org). Through the CT Challenge, the MKTG gearheads raised $2230 to help MISSION send kids to summer camp, aid in college tuition, run confidence-building adventure trips for young adults and supply young cancer survivors visits to Mission’s Training Center. You can learn more about the charity from the video below. Many thanks to our riders, and the numerous MKTG employees who came out to volunteer starting early in the am and extending into the evening celebration!

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 28th, 2017 at 1:27 pm

MKTG ATL hosts 2nd Annual Discover YOU Day

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

by Jamie Kirts, MKTG ATL

Today marked the second annual Discover You Day in the MKTG Atlanta office.  This day is all about our employees and helping them find out more about themselves and each other.

The day started with a hearty breakfast and a town hall gathering to run down the agenda for the day and pass out goodie bags.  The bags contained a healthy snack, a fidget toy, a (literal) token of appreciation, a copy of First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham, and a pre-addressed thank you note to a fellow co-worker in the office.

Throughout the day, six impactful TED Talks were played on a loop in our large, theater-style conference room.  Talks ranged from Steve Jobs’ “How to Live Before You Die” to Brené Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability”.  Teammates could pop in to catch these short talks throughout their day as their personal schedules allowed.

When employees weren’t watching TED Talks, they could also pop into another conference room to take a DISC personality assessment.  We hope each person could find out a little bit more about who they are, as well as their teammates, to find ways to tap into that knowledge and create value in their lives and in their work.

For lunch, we wanted to focus on some ways we can all make small changes in our eating habits, sleep schedules, and exercise regimen to do and feel our best. After tapping some of our resident health and wellness experts, we put together a fun lunch and learn called Facts, Snacks & Getting on Track.  The staff found placemats with quick tips and key advice for making some small improvements on the tables and a healthy, homemade taco bar to get them off on the right foot.

After lunch, MKTGers exchanged tokens of appreciation with “You Rock” on them to teammates they wanted to recognize for being, well, amazing. And in the spirit of appreciation, they also filled out the Thank You card they found in their bag at the beginning of the day and hand-delivered it to its recipient.

At the end of the day, employees were invited to share their thoughts on camera to capture what made the day so special to each individual.

We can’t wait until it’s time to do this all again next year!   For more photos of the event, check out our Instagram @MKTG_inc .

PLACEMAT FRONT

PLACEMAT BACK

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 26th, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Experience

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Sponsorship Around the World: India Edition

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Sponsorship Around the World highlights sponsorship trends and best practices from various global markets. As a global agency with 32 offices across 19 countries, MKTG Canada tapped into the global MKTG network to gain local expertise from brand experience leaders across the world. To further enhance this edition, MKTG Canada spoke with Brian Tellis, Co-Founder and Group CEO of MKTG Fountainhead Promotions & Events in India.

Home to over 1.3 billion people – making it the second most populated country in the world – India is well known for two of its strongest cultural passion points; cricket and the Bollywood film industry. And while these two areas dominate culture in India, the country’s sport and entertainment offering is diversifying, as emerging property types gain momentum with an expanding consumer base.

Marketers are recognizing this and the sponsorship spend in India has grown substantially. Last year alone, sports sponsorship grew by almost 20% reaching over $1 billion CAD (outpacing advertising growth which increased at 12%).

In a very populated country, with a growing middle class that could become the 5th largest consumer economy by 2025, sponsors are presented with an intriguing opportunity to target this emerging middle class. India’s wages have steadily increased with the daily average wage expected to increase 24% by 2020. As India’s economy continues to grow steadily, consumers are beginning to have more spending power in the country, increasing the opportunity and demand for sponsorships.

 

For the rest of the article, click here

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

July 18th, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Follow the Money: Ads on NBA Jerseys Open the Doors for Other Top Sports

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Five years ago, the NBA hired SRI, a sponsorship research firm, to analyze the possibility of an unprecedented move in major American sports: placing ads on jerseys.

The internal study assessed the value of the ad-on-jersey opportunity, which is widely popular around the world, from the English Premier League to India’s International Cricket League. Where there was money to be had, most major international sports bodies had cashed in. But none of the big four North American sports leagues — the NFL, the NBA, MLB and the NHL — wanted to take the first step.

There was hesitation within the NBA as the study proceeded. The chance for new revenue was clear, but it was harder to anticipate how fans would react. In the NBA, like almost every other pro sports league, the entire experience was already heavily branded: Teams sell rights to stadium names, mid-game entertainment, special seating sections and almost every panel of free space within the arena. TV broadcasts included another layer of advertising and sponsorship, including branded half-time analysis and in-game segments. The jerseys, it seemed, were the final remnant of non-commercialized purity.

For the rest of the article, click here

Article written by Will Jarvis, Advertising Age

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

July 18th, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Full Moon Music Festival Countdown

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Music has the power to inspire, captivate and create powerful emotional bonds between friends, family, consumers and brands. MKTG is a leader in the Lifestyle and Music Marketing space, having strategized and implemented many successful experiences and partnerships for some of the world’s biggest brands. This weekend in New York City, we will be taking our talents to Governors Island as an official partner of the Full Moon Music Festival on July 8th. If you’re in the area, please join us in enjoying what is sure to be a beautiful summer day in one of New York’s most idyllic settings and secure your tickets at www.fullmoonfest.com! Once you’re there, make sure to visit our client Don Julio and their Airstream truck in the park. In the meantime, our MKTG Entertainment Team has a few music festival tips to help prepare you for this awesome exploration of music:

 

Prep your Ears: Listen to These Songs by featured Artists before the Fest:

1. Almost There (feat. Mr Hudson) – Vic Mensa

2. Escape – Zimmer

3. Hollywood – Pat Lok

4. Fruit – ABRA

5. Hailu Mergia and the Walias – Awesome Tapes From Africa

6. Feelin’ Lovely – Connan Mockasin

 

…and check out the official Full Moon playlist on SoundCloud!

Prep Your Fest Schedule: These are our Must-see Full Moon Fest Artists

1. Vic Mensa – has toured / collaborated with J. Cole, Wale, Chance The Rapper, and Kanye West

2. Zimmer – perfect music for a chill summer day

3. Larry Heard – historic house music producer from Chicago

4. Connan Mockasin – truly unique

5. ABRA – originally from London, this R&B artist offers slow melodic vocals and intriguing beats

6. Axel Boman – groovy house music for some rest and relaxation

 

Come Prepared! Our Music Festival Necessities

1. Positive Attitude

2. Wristband / Ticket

3. Sunscreen

4. Hat

5. Sunglasses

6. Comfortable Shoes

7. Rain Jacket

8. Reusable Water Bottle

9. Portable Phone Charger

From all of us at MKTG, we hope you enjoy Full Moon Music Festival 2017!

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

July 7th, 2017 at 11:10 am

IBM’s Tony Awards Watch Party

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They say the lights are bright on Broadway and last month, the third annual Official Tony Awards Watch Party presented by IBM was the brightest star.

80 guests joined IBM for this buzz-worthy event, of which 35 were unpaid social influencers from theater, sports, and technology. Influencers included renowned actors and actresses and contributors to Playbill, Teen Vogue, and Essence Magazine. Check out some of their coverage here.

In 2014, MKTG identified a lack of attribution and conversation surrounding IBM’s partnership with the Tony Awards, during a social conversation audit utilizing proprietary listening tools. To combat this, MKTG developed a hosted viewing event for relevant voices in the theater, tech, and sports community to come together on Broadways biggest night. Since debuting in 2015, the IBM Watch Party has seen tremendous growth and fulfilled its goal of creating a common Tony Awards viewing experience and digital space for theatre aficionados to share in the excitement of the Awards while connecting back to IBM.

The event was revamped this year to continue to raise the bar of VIP influencer events and to creatively drive social conversations and real-life interaction between influencers and IBM. MKTG choreographed a series of unique content opportunities that showcased IBM’s Watson technology in relatable ways, from Chef Watson inspired drinks and chocolates to the infamous Watson Beat platform. 2017’s #WATCHPARTYIBM saw a 38% increase in social conversations and over 34 million potential impressions – this is doubled from 2016. Bravo team!

Take a sneak peek at the crowd-sourced Cinebody sizzle reel here and the photo gallery below!

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

July 6th, 2017 at 3:00 pm

SBJ: Raptors Latest Team To Land Jersey Sponsor, Signing Sun Life To Agreement

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Sun Life’s Raptors patch sponsorship is reportedly worth more than C$5M annually. MKTG negotiated the deal for Sun Life.

The Raptors are the ninth NBA team to sell a jersey ad patch, having signed a three-year deal that will put Toronto-based Sun Life’s logo on the jerseys beginning next season. Sun Life’s jersey patch will be the anchor of a CSR program promoting diabetes awareness and prevention.

Sun Life has run a similar program through a Celtics sponsorship which supports a regional “Dunk 4 Diabetes” program since ‘14. The Raptors’ patch sponsorship, which TSN is reporting is worth more than C$5M annually, will support a similar program across Canada.

“For a corporate responsibility program, we explained that the way to really authenticate was showing what the pinnacle of a healthy body can look like, with this sort of intimate association,” said MLSE Chief Commercial Officer David Hopkinson.

The deal includes rights with the group benefits, life insurance and retirement planning portions of the insurance/financial services categories, along with courtside signage, along with digital and social ad inventory for Sun Life.

The company has been a Raptors sponsor for four years and a sponsor of MLSE for seven years. “Our key insight here is that it’s not about the real estate,” said Hopkinson, adding that the deal took around six months to complete. “If you want to just buy impressions, there’s nothing like outdoor (advertising). If you want to stand for something, there’s nothing better than having a presence on the athlete.”

Sun Life’s other Canadian sports sponsorships include the Canadiens, Maple Leafs and the CFL. MKTG Canada negotiated the deal for Sun Life.

source: Sports Business Daily

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 6th, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Kati on the Croisette at Cannes Lion

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It’s taken a whole week to rest my body, mind and spirit after the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. During what turned out to be one of the most inspirational events of my professional career, I forged lifelong friendships with colleagues, was exposed to transformative work from all across the globe and was forced to evaluate my impact on my business and the world at-large.

A jam-packed schedule left little time for notes and barely enough brain space to remember everything; however, here are my key takeaways from my first ever Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity:

1. Be the change you want to see in the world:

At a time where the world is experiencing unprecedented turmoil, Cannes Lions shined a light on the positive campaigns being used to generate awareness for and combat these social injustices. While the topics ranged from the refugee crisis to voter rights to gender inequality, the campaigns were all grounded in an authentic desire to make a difference.

Many of the sessions at Cannes spoke to corporate responsibility but one breakout, hosted by Edelman, was particularly memorable. In the opening remarks, Mark Renshaw, Edelman’s global chair of its brand practice, talked about how a brand can and should be providing leadership on social issues in a polarizing world. In order to educate brands on how to do so, they first conducted a study about consumers’ expectations in this time of upheaval. Some interesting findings included that 67% of US consumers are buying a brand for the first time based on a shared belief. That’s over 2/3 of consumers! They also found that 65% of consumers are saying that silence is not an option; consumers will stop buying if they don’t understand your brand’s stance. Most surprising to me was that half of consumers believe that brands can do more than governments or other institutions to drive change in the world.

With trust at an all-time low, it is more important than ever for brands to participate in the betterment of our society. Here’s how:

Find your calling – Don’t simply tap into what’s trending, but instead, find a movement that speaks to your mission and brand purpose.

Talk less, act more

Invite Action – If done appropriately, aligning with these missions should also invite consumers to help your brand reach your business goals (buying your product, service, etc.)

2. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future:

At MKTG, we have always taken great pride in the company we keep, that is, the clients we are lucky enough to work with. As I wandered the Awards Hall in the Palais that displays all short list nominees and the eventual winners, I was excited to see many of our legacy clients up for the coveted Cannes Lions Awards. Proctor & Gamble brands Gillette and Tide walked away with Gold, as did Gatorade and Skittles; and Nike won awards for their Unlimited Stadium and their Unlimited Greatness campaign. These awards are true testaments to the innovative and creative brands we are fortunate enough to work with.

3. Creativity knows no borders:

Walking Le Croisette during the Cannes Lions Festival quickly turns into a life-size version of the guessing game – “What accent is that? What language do you think they’re speaking? I wonder what country they’re representing!”

I consider myself to be a well-traveled and cultured individual, lucky enough to have studied and vacationed abroad for years, but to be immersed in such cultural diversity from a professional perspective was something quite new. I found myself having conversations with everyone I met about their political climate, trending topics or brands, and cultural norms that affect the way people consume or create media. Their answers were as varied as their accents.

At times I was actually uncomfortable to say that I was from the United States, a country with a leader preaching nationalization and religiously bigoted rhetoric. But found solace in the fact that I, as a representative of that same country, was letting them know that not of all us share those ideals.

Let’s be honest, globalization is winning and will continue to lead the way into a greater tomorrow. And as brands begin to capitalize on that intercontinental growth, we as agencies must be ready and able to provide strategies and solutions for a connected world.

I can proudly say that the congregation of Dentsu Aegis employees that were sent to Cannes as part of the Route 500 program, was an accurate representation of the global atmosphere of the entire festival. Employees from Mumbai to Shanghai connected with colleagues from Toronto to Tel Aviv, forging relationships and fostering conversation about the future of the global industry. I am so thankful to be a part of such a progressive organization.

Above all, I was impressed by the cognizant efforts of Cannes Lions to make the festival diverse and inclusive. Instead of simply including sessions about the benefits of a varied workplace or why we should market to women, they practiced what they preached by having equal representation on juries and showcasing speakers of all races, religions and gender. I feel extremely honored to have taken part in such an important week in media/marketing and I’m already planning my return – because there’s no way I’m missing out next year!

 

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 5th, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Liberty Stands With You

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June was Pride Month, and MKTG has been leading client Liberty Mutual in their sponsorship and support of the LGBTQ community. As part of a year-long platform based on the strategy of Liberty Mutual’s core brand positioning of “Liberty Stands With You”, MKTG secured a partnership with LGBTQ support organization GLAAD to kick-off the brand’s messaging platform at their annual Media Awards in NY & LA in April and May respectively. In June, Liberty Mutual continued to stand with the LGBTQ community through on-site activations and employee participation at Pride Parade events in key consumer markets of Boston, Chicago and New York. Check out a few photos and gifs below!

 

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

July 5th, 2017 at 12:26 pm