Archive for the ‘branding’ tag

MKTG Online Store Opens its Virtual Doors

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We are thrilled to share that we have officially opened the virtual doors of our MKTG Online Store.

This first iteration has launched with 16 items, many designed by our New York Studio team. Moving forward, we will add MKTG-branded items designed by our employees from around the globe, and evolve the store into a platform our employees can use to promote their artwork and other goods they may already sell (on sites like and other online stores).

Give it a visit if you have a moment at

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

March 1st, 2018 at 12:08 pm


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Beats by Dre Releases new spot ahead of Mayweather McGregor

Beats by Dre has released a new ad featuring UFC fighter Conor McGregor, in advance of his highly anticipated “fight of the century” versus Floyd Mayweather. The ad features a young Irishman hanging out with his friends on their way to a boxing match at a local gym in Ireland. These scenes are interspersed with clips of present-day McGregor getting ready for his training, and entering the ring, and ends with the phrase, “Above the Noise”. McGregor is well-known for his brash attitude, charisma, and willingness to enter into any form of trash talk with his opponent (especially Floyd Mayweather). In his career, McGregor has become “notorious” for making bold predictions, often while being severely doubted by his opponents and the media; however, he has risen to the top of the fighting world by delivering on these predictions. For this reason, McGregor seems like an excellent fit for the brand. In the past Beats has leveraged confident, but often maligned athletes such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Colin Kaepernick and used their product as a euphemism for the athletes drowning out the naysayers. Leveraging McGregor is also a potentially risky strategy by Beats (now owned by Apple) as he has been willing to cross the line into politically incorrect territory when trash-talking with his opponents. Beats will have to ensure that McGregor does not venture too far off brand for Beats which is always a risk when partnering with outspoken athletes.


Pepsi releases exclusive Snapchat Filters

Pepsi Canada has teamed up with Snap to release 20 exclusive Snapchat Lenses. Each Pepsi Lens can be unlocked via specially designed Snapcodes on select Pepsi products. Pepsi utilized Snap’s creative social platform in order to connect with consumers and enhance the way they share their summer experiences. Lenses will unlock for one hour, with the option to scan and unlock multiple times. Each Snapcode design features an illustration that provides a sneak peek into the Lens. A similar experiential activation concept has been used before by Pepsi’s main competitor, Coke. The Play a Coke campaign involved consumers downloading the Play a Coke app, scanning the bottle, and receiving a select playlist on Spotify. Although the two concepts are similar, Pepsi did a great job at simplifying the process by using an app that most smart phone users already have downloaded and distributing specialized content through this platform. This reduces the risk of consumers not being able to access or engage the content for free. Snap it with Pepsi appears as a great fit for both partners, delivering fresh content to Canadian summer enthusiasts. They have taken the next step in enhancing their abilities to engage audiences through downloadable and experiential material.


Forever 21 releases new collection with Future’s creative director

Forever 21 has created the Cease x Hendrxx x Forever 21 line and it is spearheaded by musician Future’s creative director Fred Foster, who started the streetwear brand Cease and Desist. The collection will feature athleisure items with Future’s Hendrxx branding and bold type. This partnership gives fans who do not have the time to wait for hours in line for exclusive pop-up shops or the money to afford resell prices, an opportunity to buy an artist’s exclusive line. Forever 21 has come under fire for stealing the likeness of artists without their permission, which has resulted in numerous copyright infringement lawsuits. Partnerships like this alleviate that reputation and are the closest way for Forever 21 to emulate music and streetwear authentically without infringing upon any copyright. With exclusivity being the primary force behind high resell prices on items with high demand and low supply, more artists may look to this strategy as a way to give fans more accessible merchandise.

Picks Of The Week Originally Posted by MKTG Canada

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

August 29th, 2017 at 11:32 am

Movies, Marketing and the Evolution of Man

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What do movies and marketing have in common? Turns out, quite a bit. While my background is in fiction film and postproduction, after four years making videos in the marketing industry, I’ve realized that movies and marketing share an important common goal: emotions. The goal of marketing or branding is to emotionally connect with people, something that movies have done from the start.

Emotional connection is how innovative brands like Apple or Nike create cult followers. It’s also how films — and all forms of storytelling, really — develop followers, too. That’s certainly how I became such a big follower, fan and, eventually, maker of films.

Never was this made clearer to me than when I recently took a class on branding by Dan Formosa, an award-winning designer and design research consultant. In the class, Formosa talked about branding in the context of the evolution of the species. Just how long has branding been with us?

That depends a bit on how you define branding. One definition of branding focuses purely on the logo or mark that represents a product. By that definition scholars might put the beginning of branding at 1777 with the creation of the Bass beer red triangle. But if we think of branding as any packaged product available for public consumption, we might look back to 1100 BC, with an Indian herbal paste called Chyawanprash. Still, even then, that’s only 3,115 years ago. If modern man has been around for 200,000 years, that means we’ve been building brands for a mere 1.5% of our existence as a species.

In other words, evolutionarily speaking, we’re not built for branding. We did not evolve to love products, companies or brands.

We did, however, evolve to love people. We’re built for connection.

And this is why people gravitate so intensely to stories, because they express the complexities of human relationships. The brands that understand this are the most successful brands out there.

A brand doesn’t win people over by explaining how great its product or service is; it wins people by building human relationships with them and, in turn, humanizing the brand itself. What’s interesting is now, thanks to the omnipresence of social media, brands can engage with consumers in entirely new ways — ways that can truly focus on two-way emotional connection. Marketing can be about building relationships, telling stories and inspiring emotions in both consumers and in brands. Yup, in this new world, brands can have feelings, too.

Imagine if marketers began to think of themselves less as marketers and more as relationship coaches between clients and their consumers; imagine if we spent less time “grabbing attention” and more time nurturing it. What an emotional evolution that might be.

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Learn to Love Your Brand

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Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 1.17.06 PM

Isn’t it odd when you’re thinking about an old friend from your hometown you haven’t connected with in years, and then you see her in the SoHo TOPSHOP out of the blue? Do you find it strange when a word you newly discovered at work appears later that day in a cookbook, the next week on a billboard, and again in conversation over Sunday Brunch?

We’ve all had these occurrences—most experience this phenomenon a few times in their lives, while others encounter them with greater regularity. Is there some hidden cause or meaning behind these events? Would you call it a coincidence, synchronicity, or just a blip in the matrix?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the instance where one happens upon an obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon encounters the same subject again is known as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Skeptics may conclude that the frequency of these experiences hasn’t changed, just simply our perception of them has.

One version of this theory explains that when we hear or see a word or name that we just learned, it may feel like more than a coincidence because Baader-Meinhof is amplified by the recency effect; a cognitive bias that inflates the importance of recent stimuli or observations. This increases the chances of being more aware of the subject when we encounter it again. Scientific observation shows us that the Baader-Meinhof theory strikes with a keen accuracy, and happens too frequently to be explained away so easily. The reason for this is our brains’ prejudice towards patterns. Our brains are fantastic pattern recognition engines, a characteristic that is highly useful for learning. The brain promotes the information because two or more instances make up the beginnings of a sequence. What we fail to notice is the hundreds of thousands of pieces of information, which aren’t repeated, because they do not conform to an interesting pattern.

Researching this fascinating data made me think about how these organically occurring phenomenon’s link directly to smart and effective branding. Repetition, consistency and frequency are all critical in supporting a brands design language and strategy, and therefore hold extreme value to the success of a brand. With the direct and subliminal communication of a brand’s design elements (shape, color, typography, iconography) and design principles (contrast, scale, depth, perspective), the brand importance is heightened, and there is an automatic imprint of the brand story in the mind of the consumer.

Further proof of how a brand can sustain importance and connect with consumers over the duration of time visually, can be found by examining a brand’s visual language history. A brands “look” often evolves slowly over time, but the core message of all successful brands never really changes. For example, since the brands conception in 1971, Starbucks has kept up with modern design standards by tweaking their logo over the years. While the brand proposition of offering quality coffee and an intimate customer experience in a comfortable atmosphere never changed, the visual interpretation has. Starbucks Masterbrand logo, (seen above in 1992 & 2011), shows that the wordmark portion of the logo is eventually removed; however the logo is still recognizable as a stand-alone brandmark, and still representing the Starbucks brand. This brand expression, when transformed by a Rodarte inspired design on a coffee thermos (above), proves that even with an obscured and pixilated logo, the brand still resonates. This successful branding evolution has led to continued consumer recognition and ultimately trust and loyalty from the Starbucks consumers.

A brand’s consistent and frequent repetitive story is not just in the eye of the beholder; it can extend to other senses as well. Think about the distinct smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels as you stroll through a mall, the familiar echo of the Intel’s 5-note ding or that satisfying gulp of an original Coca-Cola. And what about “Touch”? You can almost feel the possibilities of how an established brand could connect with consumers when you consider the brand experience from this multi-faceted perspective. It is interesting to consider these patterns of human behavior, and how leveraging our senses can impact the sustained health of a successful branding campaign.

Because our brains are bombarded with millions of messages every day, we can’t be expected to pay attention to all of them – so we heed the most relevant ones and ignore the rest. With familiarity comes trust and confidence. If executed correctly, a consistent, frequently repetitive brand story brings clarity and purpose that eventually leads to consumer loyalty. Whether perceived or not, you have more of an emotional connection—and the experience, service or product is held to a higher level of importance to you.

And with that, I’m headed to SoHo to buy those gorgeous hot-pink, blinged-out limited edition TOPSHOP jeans, that I, for some reason, just can’t stop thinking about.

Written by: Erin Helmer

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Build Your Brand By Not Talking About It… huh?

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londol-olympics-coca-colaPhoto Credit:

We sometimes talk about brands as though their brand equity can be bought and sold. Recently WPP valued Apple at $183 billion where as Omnicom Interbrand valued the company at $33 billion. McDonalds placed second in one and first in the other. Let’s agree on one thing – these reports do nothing for how a consumer perceives a brand or have the brand does overall in building a strong following.

In a recent Fast Company article by Brian Millar, a strategy director at Sense Worldwide, he gave brands some unusual advice. When building your brand, stop talking about your brand!

For example, when was the last time Apple did a pure brand ad? 15 years ago? Instead the company positions the products as the heroes.

On the flip side, Coca-Cola, after years of focusing on brand building, the company lost touch with what consumers were actually drinking. The company has refocused their effort on design and increased their value.

Millar dares brands to stop talking about themselves for a month. Is this silent treatment a good idea? Check out the full article here.

I encourage you to check out the full article here. We sometimes talk about brands as though their value can be bought and sold. Recently WPP valued Apple at $183 billion where Omnicom Interbrand valued the company at $33 billion. If anything constructive comes out of these reports, one thing is that these valuations mean nothing to how well the brand is perceived by consumers.
An interesting Fast Company article by Brian Millar, a strategy director at Sense Worldwide, gave brands some good advice. When building your brand, stop talking about your brand!
For example, when was the last time Apple did a pure brand ad? 15 years ago? The company began positioning products as the heroes.
Or look at Coca-Cola, after years of focusing on brand building, the company lost touch with what consumers were actually drinking. The company has refocused that effort and increased their value.
I encourage you to check out the full article here.
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Written by Admin

June 19th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

5 Simple and Successful Retail Strategies

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Nike Bowery StadiumPhoto credit:

Brands, listen up! Are you trying to figure out how to maximize consumer retail experiences? Look no further–MKTG INC’s Charlie Horsey gives five “Sweet Summer Retail Strategies” in Direct Marketing News’ Direct by Design Blog that will ensure the success of your retail (and summer vacation, too!).

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 18th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Meet Fast Company’s New Blogger

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Monster mania

Monster Mania

What’s the first thing you think when you think of Lady Gaga? If your name is Louis Marino, you think direct-to-consumer marketing.

In the inaugural post for his new column for Fast Company, MKTG’s own Creative Studio head explains what we as experiential marketers can learn from Mother Monster, leaving us with just one question — does this new column make Louis a member of the papa … paparazzi?

Image credit:

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Written by Michelle Heller
Michelle Heller

August 3rd, 2011 at 10:10 am

Louis Marino, Music Man

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From Bad Boy to mad man

From Bad Boy to mad man

Ad-industry rag The NY Egotist got a real earful this week when they came by the MKTG Creative Studio for a chat with our own Louis Marino. After 20 years in the music and fashion industries, including 2 as creative director at Bad Boy Entertainment, our man Marino knows a thing or two about keeping beat with the big boys. In the Egotist profile posted here, he talks about how music informs his craft, how celebrities can best avoid Twitter troubles but still engage their audience, and what MKTG’s own future business objectives are (clue: rhymes with Pick Grass).

Image credit: The NY Egotist

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Written by Michelle Heller
Michelle Heller

June 16th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Everybody Chromercise

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Around the Studio today we are love, love, loving this Chrome video. And for this reporter it’s about all the exercise she’ll get all month. Enjoy!

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Written by Michelle Heller
Michelle Heller

May 6th, 2011 at 3:54 pm


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Pretty cool skateboard video that shows little to no branding for Coca-Cola Burn energy drink. The riders were actually set on fire in this video.  No stuntmen were used.  Filming was done in Mexico.

Photo credit to heymeca

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Written by Corey Smith
Corey Smith

August 6th, 2010 at 12:12 pm