Giving Mom A True Gift This Season - 12/11/2013
Giving Mom A True Gift This Season - 12/11/2013
Five Christmas Ads You Can’t Miss
By Hollie Rapello
The holidays are in full swing, and there are some great ads to put you in the spirit this year. These are our top five picks:
This KFC spoof musical shows how those eleven herbs and spices can unite dueling moms in the toy store, grinches and grumpy neighbors at Christmas time.
In one snowy scene of a neighbor’s house with a freshly broken window, children sing “our over-zealous snowball fight will cost you hundreds in repairs.” The neighbors reply, “And though we’d usually sue your parents, now we just don’t care.” They all come together at an elaborately decorated Christmas table featuring buckets of chicken to sing “one thing on which we all agree, is the delicious taste of KFC.”
The Brits never disappoint at Christmas, and retailer John Lewis has become famous for its multi-million pound cinematic delights. This year they use hand-drawn animation to tell the story of a rabbit who goes to great lengths to make sure his friend, the bear, enjoys Christmas. The music is haunting and beautiful—a Lily Allen remake of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” and it’s easy to lose yourself in the beauty and simplicity of the animation.
The buzz around Kmart’s raunchy “Jingle Bells” ad has eclipsed a couple of gems also released this Christmas season by the retailer. (And no, I’m not including a link to Jingle Bells—this is a family-friendly site people!)
Kmart has some fun with GIFFs and creates a hilarious sight gag of people “GIFFing out” in these two spots.
FedEx creates fun scenarios to highlight its one-rate boxes. In the first, Santa fills a box of coal and puts a FedEx worker on the ‘naughty’ list. In the other, grandma is able to ship cozies for everyone and everything in the family using a one- rate box.
Another British retailer known for its storytelling is Tesco. In this heartwarming ad we see a family grow old together against Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.”
'Made In The U.S.A.' Goes Premium? - 12/06/2013
Karl Greenberg features Why Moms Rule in his take on the future of ‘Made In The U.S.A.’
Mothers are using digital resources for a number of healthcare-related reasons, for both their families and themselves. Most often, they head online to find information about symptoms. Like other shoppers, mothers also indicated they were more likely to purchase health-related products if offered the carrots of free shipping or lower prices.
By Hollie Rapello
Thanksgiving Creep, the term for Christmas retail merchandise, advertising and marketing getting closer and closer to Thanksgiving, is not a new phenomenon. Consider this conversation between Sally and Charlie Brown some 40 years ago in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” circa 1973.
Charlie Brown: Holidays always depress me.
Sally: I know what you mean. I went down to buy a turkey tree and all they have are things for Christmas.
Charlie: For Christmas? Already?
This year Charlie Brown would be running for the Prozac. Many major retailers are taking matters beyond the usual bombardment of Black Friday advertising, and are actually opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. A majority of consumers do not consider this a good idea. Two polls released this week illustrate consumers’ disdain for Thanksgiving Creep.
A UConn Poll released yesterday said that “9 out of 10 Americans say they don’t plan to spend the holiday shopping.” The poll also says that “49 percent disapprove of stores opening on the holiday and that 34 percent of Americans say they negatively view stores that open on Thanksgiving.” And “20 percent say that decision makes them less likely to shop at such stores.”
The Huffington Post partnered with YouGov to poll Americans on the topic, finding 62 percent who feel that business should close on Thanksgiving so workers can have the day off.
So how can brands go from being Thanksgiving Creeps to invited guests at the holiday table? Cause marketing offers one effective avenue. Last night I took part in a Twitter hashtag party for St. Jude Children’s Hospital—it was perfectly marketed to moms and it seriously put all of the brands associated with it at the top of my Christmas go-to list.
I already have positive associations with St. Jude’s. My best friend’s oldest sister, who succumbed to childhood leukemia in the late 70’s, was treated there and my friend has always talked about what an amazing place it was for her family and how they prolonged her sister’s life well past what was then expected. So, when I saw a promoted Tweet yesterday inviting me to the St. Jude’s hashtag party, I made a mental note to be there at 8PM EST.
The hashtag was #ThanksandGiving and the moderator, @SheSpeaksUp, asked questions to the group of moms about how and when they teach their children to volunteer and give back. While the format of a Twitter hashtag party didn’t lend itself to deep insights on this subject, I did find the comments from other moms interesting and sincere. I came away from the experience with a warm and fuzzy feeling about supporting the brands who support St. Jude’s.
Apparently I’m not alone. According to a 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, 85.6% of moms said it was important for companies to support a cause, and this fact alone reportedly influences moms to pour over $1.7 billion into the economy every year (The Truist Blog).
However, one hashtag party does not equal a true commitment to cause marketing. So, today I decided to take a closer look at one of the brands supporting the St. Jude’s hashtag party, Ann Taylor, or of late, “Ann Inc.” I was happy to discover that Ann Inc. has a deep commitment to St. Jude’s.
The company’s CEO, Kay Krill, recently spoke at the WWD CEO Summit about Ann Inc.’s commitment to two programs that give back to women: Ann Cares and Responsibly Ann. According to WWD, since 2007 Ann Cares has raised and donated more than $16 million for St. Jude’s. The commitment to giving back comes from the top. Kay says, “It’s obviously critical for all of us to continue to achieve and exceed financial success…but I believe, as leaders, that it’s also important to create a clear and differentiating purpose within our companies, a purpose that serves as a rallying point for our associates and provides a distinctive emotional connection to our customers.”
This is one way a brand is invited to the holiday table of the most discerning and jaded consumers. Not by bashing them over the head with Black Friday ads, or opening at 3 a.m., but by inviting them to their party first. Whether that be a Twitter hashtag party or a Google+ hangout, marketers must ensure that the time spent with them is meaningful, and there is perhaps no better way to do that during the holidays than giving back.
Megan Marie, brand ambassador for Lulu lemon
By Hollie Rapello
Following the recent post on Lululemon’s “to-the-rescue” brand ambassadors, we began to talk here more about what the term means and how other brands can build a successful program.
The term brand ambassador has become a catch-all marketing phrase with varying levels of perceived importance to the health of a brand. Basically, three different types of brand ambassadors exist:
Most companies already recognize the importance of communicating its core values to its employees. This is usually a function of the public relations department working closely with human resources. However, actually getting employees to become evangelists for a brand is a bit like catching lightning in a bottle. Oftentimes it takes a charismatic CEO who is a natural at encouraging and inspiring people. Forbes has written an excellent article on the subject here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/10/15/want-to-find-brand-ambassadors-start-with-your-employees-2/
The second category includes athletes and celebrities paid huge sums to be the “face” of a brand or “borrowed equity.” It also includes a sort of hybrid of guerrilla marketing and events. The liquor category exemplifies this form of brand ambassador, including people on staff paid to be upmarket barflies as described in this interesting post on askmen.com.
However, possibly the most outwardly valuable brand ambassador program is the one Lululemon has pursued to great success. These are individuals who walk the walk. They are real people whose passions and interests intersect with your brand’s. Unlike brand advocates, these are people who may be supported in various ways by the brand (including being paid) and encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts about the brand the way they would talk to their friends. In fact, they are talking to their friends and are considered uber influencers through social media channels. I’ve found a particularly good blog post on how to build this type of program I would like to share with you. Kudos to Carrie Melissa Jones, community manager at Chegg, who wrote this for LonelyBrand blog.
As a mom, I think this prank is funny on the surface. I can imagine my kids having the same reaction these did to the Toys ‘R Us reveal on the bus.
However, I empathize with all of the moms out there who like me, try to teach their kids that a leaf/rock/shell is way more cool to take to show-and-tell than any plastic toy. As stated in this Forbes article, there are many other topics that could have played the foil here. What do you think?
When the proverbial poop hits the fan, nothing can help your brand more than honest support from your most loyal supporters. No brand knows this better than Lululemon. After a string of quality issues, including its $100. Yoga pants being too see-through, and the recent complaint of the pants “pilling,” Lululemon’s founder and CEO’s unfortunate remarks took the company’s PR problems to a new level.
In an interview on Bloomberg’s Street Smart, Wilson was asked about the recent issues with the pants. He stated “We are a technology company and when you push…an actual physical product, there’s a thousand things that could go wrong,” he said. “Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it…It’s about the rubbing through the thighs,” and “how much pressure is there.” Say what Wilson? Did you really just tell American women they might be too fat in the thighs to wear your stretchy pants? Apparently he did, and apparently women were none too pleased. Lydia Dishman summed it up best in a Forbes recent headline, “Lululemon’s Biggest Problem Is A Founder With Foot-in-Mouth Disease.”
Whoa Wilson. Time to bring in the crisis management team and put out the public apologies right? But, really, what could Wilson possibly do or say in his recent YouTube video apology that would make anyone forget his outrageous remarks? The answer is nothing.
However, it’s not all bad news for Lululemon. The brand is obviously excelling in one area of its public relations strategy—building an ardent, devoted group of social media brand ambassadors. Here’s a comment from my long-time friend, Megan Marie on Facebook. Her words do more for Lululemon than any public apology from Wilson could. Megan is a yoga enthusiast with a huge following on Facebook. She’s a mom and she’s believable and honest. See her FB post below:
With all of the press around Lululemon lately, I need to speak up and tell the world that being a Lululemon ambassador has been one of the most rewarding roles I have ever had. They support me to the wall. How I look physically is not an issue for them. Two years ago they asked me for the first time, and last week I was honored by the invitation be their ambassador again for another term. They do not care if I am a size 2, 4, or higher (and I have been all of the above with some broken bones these past six months). They told me that I inspire others and that is why I was chosen. That in and of itself inspires me to be my best and lift others, for the rising tide lifts all boats. What we collectively care about is strength of character, inspiration, and defining and achieving dreams. We are strong, we love to sweat, practice our yoga and we are goal-oriented. Top that with so many important leadership events to bring our community together, through hurricanes, through tragedies such as Sandy Hook, through celebrations for the African Africa Yoga Project. I am proud to be their ambassador, I am proud to wear Lululemon. I cannot wait to create with this extraordinary company for the next term. With lululemon athletica Greenwich Megan Marie.
WOW! Score one for Lululemon. It’s a lesson for all marketers: develop your social media strategy on a sunny day and nurture, encourage and engage with your brand ambassadors. They can do more for your brand when things go wrong than any crisis management team on the planet. In coming posts, WMR will take a look at best practices in building a brand ambassador strategy.
Luv’s new advertising has fun with the change parents undergo from kid one to kid two. This spot is the best of the new campaign, depicting a mom who goes from hand sanitizer freak to I’ll-hand-my-kid-to-anyone-with-two-free-hands-even-a-greasy-car-mechanic mom…
These moms think they’re tough. Wait till they find out what their kids really think of them.
Being a mom is a hard job, and acceding to this video, moms might be a little harder on themselves than necessary. While the video was produced to help celebrate Mother’s Day, we think it says kids truly celebrate their moms regardless of the day.