Archive for the ‘Brand’ tag
S&E Sponsorship has been officially integrated into the Dentsu Aegis Network, which acquired the sports marketing and lifestyle company in late 2016.
The official integration was marked by the agency changing its name to MKTG, which is Dentsu’s sport and entertainment lifestyle brand. MKTG Canada joins a Dentsu network with existing offices in Sydney, London, Paris and Dusseldorf.
In addition to a new owner and name change, the MKTG Canada team has also moved into a new office and picked up three new clients since the start of the year. The agency recently signed deals with Adidas, FedEx and Milk2Go.
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Written by Val Maloney
Check out the cool, innovative work our sister agency Team Epic/MKTG has been cranking out! Just in time for the 2nd half of the NFL season, Team Epic/MKTG are proud to announce the first mobile keyboard app for a brand sponsor – SNICKERS Stickers – which just launched for iOS and android.
Download it here: onelink.to/SnickersStickers
Building on the brand’s new NFL Hunger bars and the “You’re off your game when you’re hungry” campaign, SNICKERS Stickers allows consumers to talk smack and express themselves in social and SMS Messaging through a branded keyboard filled with custom bars, team partners and other sharable content. As messaging is the #1 mobile activity across all phones (smart and feature) worldwide, eclipsing even social media, we’re excited to help build out this asset and lead the Mars client into the brave new feed-first, mobile by design world.
The launch is being supported by Snickers social channels, NFL players and team partners, paid social & targeted online ads.
–Contributed by Team Epic/MKTG
Are you in need of some showstopping cocktails to make your Labor Day BBQ Instagram-worthy? Thanks to Smirnoff and Crown Royal, we’re keeping the pool party going with some inventive tipples born out of this summer’s #DiageoGames from Diageo’s Tales of the Cocktail event. It’s not too late to be patriotic (and a bit retro) with some red, white and blue popsicles infused with Smirnoff vodka. Smirnoff partnered with the Pop Parlour in Orlando to create these tasty treats that will take you back to your childhood, with a kick.
You’ll need some popsicle sticks and plastic cups to start.
Red layer: 1/2 ounce Smirnoff vodka with 1/2 ounce grenadine
White layer: 1/2 ounce Smirnoff vodka and 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce lime juice, and 1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice
Blue layer: 1/2 ounce Smirnoff vodka and 1/2 ounce blue raspberry syrup
Throw in the freezer and enjoy when frozen!
Or, if you’re loving the days getting shorter and craving a cozy hot chocolate, why not make a cold version and spike it with Crown Royal whiskey… and go mile high with the toppings?!
—Contributed by the MKTG Diageo team
August 18, 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire Markenloft GmbH (“Markenloft”), a leading brand and lifestyle marketing agency in Germany. The completion of this acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. Markenloft will be fully integrated in the lifestyle marketing agency MKTG, further expanding the brand’s footprint around the world and strengthening the network’s sports and entertainment, experiential and lifestyle marketing offering.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Dusseldorf, Markenloft has grown to become a leading brand and lifestyle marketing agency in Germany by creating new standards for advisory client relations based on ‘emotional brand selling’. Markenloft’s holistic brand experience approach brings together event marketing, live communication & experience production, experiential campaigns, sports & entertainment consulting, sponsorship management and celebrity consulting. With a strong team of more than 30 experiential marketing experts, the agency provides lifestyle marketing services to high profile clients across various industries.
Following the acquisition, Sebastian Birwe and Kai Burkhard – Founders and Managing Partners – will continue to lead their successful team within the new MKTG offering across Germany. They will report to Zoja Paskaljevic, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Germany.
Zoja Paskaljevic, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Germany, commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for our group and I am delighted to welcome the Markenloft team to our network. Their experience and proven leadership will provide us with solid foundation to launch MKTG in Germany and significantly strengthen our lifestyle marketing offering globally. Bringing Markenloft to Dentsu Aegis Germany will build up an entirely new brand experience offering to deliver even more value for our clients.”
Charlie Horsey, Global Brand President MKTG, said: Establishing a presence in Germany has been a priority for us since being acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network in August 2014. We were committed to identifying an existing business that was not only a market leader and a functional fit, but a cultural fit. We found that in Markenloft from our first meeting. Sebastian and Kai have built out an incredible business, one that perfectly complements the integrated lifestyle marketing service offering we have been building out around the globe. We very much look forward to working with Sebastian, Kai and their entire team to achieve great things for MKTG, our employees and, of course, for our clients.
Sebastian Birwe, Managing Partner of Markenloft, commented: “We are truly excited to be joining the innovative Dentsu Aegis Network and launch MKTG in Germany. With this partnership, Markenloft will empower its talent, clients and ideas through MKTG’s established global network and resources that are beautifully aligned with our purpose and vision of our industry.”
“It’s an exciting day for Markenloft. MKTG is an extraordinary international network because of their commitment to always being at the forefront of brand experience and lifestyle marketing and we are thrilled to join forces. Together we can leverage the synergies in creativity and innovation on an global scale”, Kai Burkhard, Managing Partner of Markenloft, added.
—Contributed by Dentsu Aegis Network
There have been a lot of articles written lately on Influencer Marketing. The sentiment seems to range from frustration (“Why Brands Fail at Influencer Marketing”) to bitterness (“Is It Time To Call Bullshit on Influencer Marketing?”). As we navigate the ever-changing “new normal” of data driven marketing, distribution platforms, emerging technologies, and media channels, we too often lose the humanity in our craft. Nowhere is this more critical than when we look to embrace those with influence and have them embrace us in return.
To start, let me share one of the lenses I look through on the topic. Nine years ago I met a young hip-hop dancer from Indiana named Will Adams, a great kid with a big smile and even bigger talents. He moved to LA, determined to make a career out of hip hop dance and got on the grind. With endless classes and auditions while doing whatever it took to get by, he was the embodiment of the starving artist.
I started a video production company dedicated to the dance world with my friend and videographer Helton “Brazil” Siqueira. Together we created content – and lots of it – for dancers like Will and dozens of others. We did it out of love for the art form and the artists themselves. Fast forward, “Wildabeast” now has amassed more than 1.6 million YouTube subscribers. One of his class videos has an attention-getting 92 million views and his content is highly anticipated and voraciously consumed.
An influencer in every sense of the word, Willdabeast’s peers, students and fans take cues from him on everything from fashion to food to electronics. As you might imagine, brands and agencies have tried to leverage his influence, sometimes clumsily, sometimes offensively. What should be a match made in heaven looks more like an awkward courtship.
Seemingly requisite in blog posts these days are lists, so here are 4 guideposts to consider when wading into the Influencer Marketing waters:
1. Understand What Type of Influencer You’re Dealing With
Beyond a boatload of eyeballs, it’s important to take a look at how and why these folks are influencers. What are they known for? What cues do people look to them for, and through what lens do people view them? The credibility of any influencer will vary from topic to topic based on their actual experience and role in the space. Brands should understand those nuances when approaching any influencer.
Some influencer profiles might include Practitioner, someone who is hands-on in his/her art form, sport, or discipline. An Analyst, similar perhaps to an academic, may be an individual who is viewed as having credibility in analyzing and critiquing the particular discipline, usually based on an investment of study and learning in the space. A Curator, as many of the new YouTube stars are, has built a following as someone who is agnostic, constantly searching out, assessing and sharing the latest trends and techniques.
Think of the differences between how people view influencers within the context of the influencer’s experience and role. In fashion for example, these nuances become apparent when looking at designer Christian Soriano, fashion blogger Sylvia Haghjoo, and Valerie Steele, fashion historian, curator, and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. All are highly credible in the fashion space, but come from three distinct perspectives.
It is important to understand how the influenced view the influencer. This relationship provides a critical foundational underpinning to an influencer strategy.
2. Understand How They Relate to Your Brand
Similarly, it is critical to understand how the influencer relates to your brand. And this is often a challenge for marketers as we may view our brands through rose-colored glasses, or perhaps more relevant, a sepia tone Instagram filter. Don’t try to force your brand into a role that is inauthentic.
Work hard to take an objective view on this topic. Is the influencer a functional user, where the product is essential to the creation of their art and the development of their discipline? Are they an ancillary user where the product might play a supporting role, or perhaps a lifestyle user where the product has no direct line-of-sight to the discipline but is connected to the influencer’s personal identity and preferences.
Especially for products where competitive parity is the norm, it is often what your brand stands for that makes the difference. And that stance in today’s connected world is shown and proven by actions, not messaging.
In short, don’t try to convince people that Willdabeast uses your candy bar to fuel up for a class. Perhaps instead, simply show the community that you value his art form and are a company that is committing resources to make sure he is able to create more of it. Will’s loyal followers will love you – and your candy bar – for it.
3. Come to Know Them as People, Not Just Eyeballs
When you meet Willdabeast, you will find someone with a huge heart, a big smile and sharp wit who has achieved a level of celebrity few have within the dance world, evidenced by direct outreach to him from music icons like Diddy and Usher. You will hear people on the streets of LA calling out his name in passing cars and sharing their personal stories of how he inspires them, even having “saved their lives” through dance.
What you will likely not gather in a cursory discussion is his personal path, the decade of grinding it out in North Hollywood, 8 – 10 hours a day between dancing, teaching classes, auditions and working on his choreography chops. Nor will you understand his vision for the future. Is there a “Super Bowl” or an “Oscar” in their discipline the influencer is trying to achieve? Or perhaps they, like Willdabeast, have a bigger vision, a life’s mission to expand their art form, build a global culture of inclusion and provide a platform and path for young aspiring artists.
What you also might miss is that sometimes these influencers have been knocking on your door and have been rebuffed. It’s kinda like the not-so-popular kid in school that you ignored and now they have become quite attractive. A delicate dance to be sure.
Invest time in understanding their personal story, what they stand for and what are their ambitions. Come to know their craft. Get out there in the midst of it and understand their community. If you spent half a day at “BuildaBeast2016” and sat in the room where 1,500 amazingly talented dancers practiced their craft with Wildabeast and the industry’s best, you would be stunned at the talent, diversity and spirit of this massive, global subculture, and your brand’s place at the party might come more clearly into focus.
4. Establish a Relationship With Them
When the appropriate investment has been made and time spent with your influencer and his/her community, a relationship can develop. You will begin to understand each other’s needs and goals and you will collaborate enthusiastically, with each looking for ways to add value to the other. You will understand and think of creative ways that can the brand support the influencers’ vision & goals…and it may not be all about money.
You want to build a relationship, not execute a contract.
Another friend and influencer in the dance world (with nearly 2M YouTube subscribers) was approached by one of the largest beverage brands in the world (with about 900k YouTube subscribers). They waved their logo and history in front of him and essentially wanted to rent his eyeballs. CPM calculations were done and a fee was set as the cornerstone of the relationship.
This influencer quickly understood that the brand didn’t know, or probably care much about him as a person or an artist. Also, he’s no dummy. They entered into a contract where every tweet, like, mention and post had a hard line item cost to it. It was strictly business. He lived up to his contractual obligations and gladly took their money. There was no sincerity, no joy and little passion for the brand. It was a transaction. He and his followers knew it was such and they said “good on you for getting a piece of the action”. By the way, he was a hardcore consumer of that brands’ main competitor and when the cameras were off, he carried that competitor brand everywhere he went. Which brand do you think his followers went out and bought?
Bottom line? Be real. Care. Be open to new possibilities and relationships. People are smart and they can smell marketing bullshit a mile away. They tend to operate in closed communities, requiring and invitation and an escort. Invest in a relationship where you come to know your influencers. When you care about these people as, well, people, things start to align and the natural harmony of the relationship can blossom. Remember you are not simply making a media buy; you are engaging a person in an age-old relationship, as vocal brand ambassadors, but with bigger amplifiers.
When you take the time and get it right, the true power of Influencer Marketing is unleashed: joyful, effusive and sincere ambassadorship of your brand that is undeniably authentic.
And by the way, if anyone is interested in engaging with this massive, diverse and global community that lives in the center of pop culture, at the intersection of music, sports and fashion, hit me up. I’ll be happy to escort you in…as long as you promise to behave.
—Contributed by Paul Fitzpatrick, MKTG Chicago
The Good (But Not Surprising) News
Experiential is bigger than ever and only going to grow in importance. More and more brands are putting experiences at or near the center of their marketing mix. It’s increasingly a driving force, making up much of campaign content. One need look no further than this year’s Grand Ex winner – Bud Light and Mosaic’s Up for Whatever – to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this intensifying shift. Some data for 2015:
– 79% of brands plan to execute more experiential programs
– Budgets are expected to increase by more than 6%
Results. We all know that experiential marketing, done well, works. But there’s rising data to back this up which is partly why so many brands are turning to what we do.
– Over 75% of brands see better than a 2:1 ROI on their investment
– After an event, 74% of participants have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted
– 87% of respondents say a live event helps them understand products or services better than a TV spot
– Experiential drives consumers to purchase: 98% of people are more inclined to purchase as a result of attending an event
– 71% of participants tell a friend or family member about their experience
In examining the vast array of work showcased and dissected at this year’s summit, there were a few marketer behaviors that generated breakthrough experiences:
– They were bold. A no-fear attitude. The thinking is big risk, big reward. Examples: Heineken and KY Jelly (yes, KY Jelly).
– They pulled at heartstrings. Direct quote: “If they’re crying, you’re doing your job.” Examples: Dove, P&G.
– They created user-triggered experiences. See bullet one – this can be dicey – but not knowing what you’re going to get can be the brilliance of it too. Examples: Visa, Old Navy.
– They used experiences to do what nothing else ever could. This sounds obvious but when you watch the floor drop away at a North Face store in South Korea, you’ll get my meaning. Examples: The North Face, Samsung
For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Bonnie Bernstein, American sports journalist and executive with a 20 year career. Currently Vice President, Content & Brand Development and On-Air Host for Campus Insiders, Bonnie was named one of the most accomplished female sportscasters in history by the American Sportscasters Association. Additionally, she freelances for The Dan Patrick Show, ESPN, espnW and DirecTV and serves as a guest commentator on several news networks, including MSNBC, NBC and FOX News Channel. Bonnie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of sports, broadcasting and public health.
How did you get your start as a sports broadcaster?
I decided when I was 12 or 13 that I wanted to be a sports writer, majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, then landed my first gig out of school at a start-up country radio station in Lewes, DE, called KIX 106. I was the News and Sports Director–a much more glamorous title than the job actually entailed! I’d wake up at 4:30 every morning for hourly studio updates from 6-9am, then head out in our white, clunky van adorned with a massive cowboy boot on the side and drive up and down the state of Delaware, covering everything from city council meetings to state politics to local high school basketball games. It was a blast and a tremendous learning experience… and I actually grew to love country music (Which, for a kid from NJ, was something you’d probably not expect!)
What’s your favorite part about broadcasting?
I love the adrenaline rush of “live.” It’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt to the actual rush of athletic competition (I did gymnastics for 14 years, all the way through college). You’re spewing information into a microphone and you have precisely one shot to get it right. I also love storytelling. There’s nothing better than gleaning a piece of information from someone or eliciting an anecdote from an interview subject he or she is sharing for the first time. Knowing even the most informed fan will walk away thinking, “Huh. Didn’t realize that” is a great feeling!
What is your favorite sporting event to attend each year, working and then as a fan?
Don’t really have a favorite in either category. I’d just say championship games, in general. Super Bowl, College Football Playoff Championship, Final Four. It’s the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work for both teams, but only one will be crowned when the clock expires. The biggest thrill, quite frankly, is being on the field/court for postgame. Confetti’s flying everywhere. Emotions are soaring (or sinking, in the case of the losing team). And I get to be at the center of it all as we round up interviews with players and coaches!
Do you have a favorite team and if so what is it?
New York Giants. Been a rough couple of years for Big Blue, but I’m hopeful for next season, especially with the prospect of having Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, Jr, healthy and on the field together! If Eli can’t get it done with those two, I just don’t know…
You have forayed your experience as a broadcaster to the boardroom. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing now?
I am the Vice President of Content and Brand Development for a new college sports network called Campus Insiders. It was an extraordinary entrepreneurial opportunity I couldn’t pass up! Essentially, I’m wearing two hats: I do a lot of on-air work during the college football season and March Madness for college hoops, but I also have the chance to touch other verticals of our business. I do everything from attending sales pitches and helping develop branded content concepts to working on PR/social media strategy to devising brand extensions for the network. It’s kinda like going to business school, but getting paid and the learning curve is truly invigorating!
In our research, we learned that you suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis, as does one of our colleagues. Can you tell us a bit more about DVT, your story and what we can do to help?
I was diagnosed with DVT in 2006. A massive blood clot that ran the length of my entire left leg broke off and infiltrated both of my lungs (known as Pulmonary Embolism). I was just 36 years old, so for the many folks out there who feel blood clots only inflict the elderly, I can tell you first hand, that’s not the case. More than two million Americans suffer a DVT each year and and complications take the lives of more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The good news is, the condition is largely preventable, if you’re aware of the symptoms and risk factors. Common risk-factors include age (over 40), family history, obesity, smoking, (for women) use of estrogen-based birth control (the Pill, Nuvaring, etc) or hormone replacement therapy and frequent travel where you’re immobile for extended periods, such as long-haul flights. Additionally, if you’re being treated for cancer or heart disease or are having major surgery, you’re at increased risk for blood clots. If you’re experiencing leg pain, redness and/or swelling, shortness of breath or acute chest pain, it’s always best to check with your doctor to see if you may have suffered a clot. The rule of thumb is, if you have three or more risk factors, you are high-risk, but again, the point to hit home is that by and large, DVT is preventable.
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?