Public Not Lovin’ McDonalds New Ad Campaign

Public Not Lovin’ McDonalds New Ad Campaign

I can see the team at the ad agency, working on the new McDonald’s ad campaign. Huddled with their grande lattes, the creative team is desperately trying to figure out something they can talk about besides food.  “What’s trending right now? Somebody look at their Twitter feed.” The new guy pipes up, “Bullying!” Withering looks around the table. “What, we’re going to show Ronald McDonald on a school bus, punching the bully in the nose?” Silence. “You know, that’s not half bad. The bullying thing, I mean.” The world loves to vilify the mac-daddy of fast-food purveyors, and the company keeps serving up reasons to: #4 in unhealthiest fast food chains, according to Consumer Reports, strikes by employees whose wages are so low they can’t afford to eat there, and, for investors, lower sales and profits.  In a well-timed “60 Minutes” interview, McDonald’s CEO, Don Thompson, seemed unperturbed. “If you attack McDonald’s, you’ll get press. And so, you know, just about any and everyone will attack McDonald’s for something,” he said. I got this, says he. He also says that McDonald’s is willing to invest in their employees if the employees are willing to invest in the company. Ask employee Nick Williams if he can invest in McDonald’s. We’ll wait while you mop up the super-sized beverage you just snorted through your nose. Can advertising change the facts? Can it change public perception? McDonald’s thinks so. It will unveil its “Lovin’ Beats Hatin” campaign during the Super Bowl. And the public is already not lovin’ it. Check the Twitter hashtag #lovinbeatshatin. McDonald’s will spend $1 billion on advertising next year, which is evidently cheaper than improving its food or paying its employees a living wage. Maybe the new campaign will be so awwwww-inspiring folks will race from the television or YouTube and stampede through the golden arches for a 1,950-calorie meal* of a double cheeseburger, large fries with one ketchup packet, and a hot fudge sundae. We can’t wait for McDonalds new ad campaign. *McDonald’s calorie counts from independent source If you found this post useful, share it your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should...

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How to sell something ugly with great packaging.

How to sell something ugly with great packaging.

Your product may not be ugly, but if you’re not selling enough of them, it may be in the packaging. French supermarket chain Intermarché did something brilliant: they took something ugly and made people want it. Thus was born the Inglorious line of fruits and vegetables. How did they turn misshapen and discolored produce into sales? With perfect marketing. What’s that, you ask? Watch the video, then observe the steps below it. Find a niche not currently being filled. Get your raw materials for next to nothing. Find the beauty in being different. Have a sense of humor. Package it well. Put a great price on it. Advertise the hell out of it. When we say “packaging,” we don’t mean the cartons that sit on the shelf or hang on the rack. We mean everything. In the same way that a logo is not, by itself, the “brand,” the package is the whole megillah: packaging is the personality, the look, the feel, the position in the market. Most importantly, the package is the space the product takes up in the consumer’s mind. Let’s go over that again: The package is the space the product takes up in the consumer’s mind. If you aren’t selling retail goods, this notion of great packaging still applies to your business. You could be a nonprofit, or a doctor, or a school, or a marketing consultant. Where do you sit on the “shelf” of possible choices? Are you just one of a huge group whose members look more or less alike? Or do you stand out? Ask yourself whether you can do all of the numbered items above in creating your packaging. #1 may be hard, but it will make all the others easier. #2 may not be possible at all. But you can do #3 through #7. If this post was helpful, you can subscribe at the top of the page; please share with a colleague. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes to reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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Who’s watching you? GPS tracking and a lot more.

Who’s watching you? GPS tracking and a lot more.

When we really think about all the ways we are being tracked digitally, we’re horrified. But is it so bad, really? We’re not talking about governmental surveillance here, we’re talking about commercial tracking, the kind you willingly or unwittingly participate in. Most of the information that is gathered about you as a consumer is given up freely by you. If you use a cell phone, your location is tracked by cell towers; there’s no avoiding that fact. When your phone’s GPS tracking service is turned on, you are sending out very specific location information. If you are at your local Burger King, or in the parking lot of your public library, that information is being gathered. So, some company who is interested can know that you like fast food and you’re a reader. And you will be served advertising accordingly. Is this so terrible?  When you consider that you will be bombarded by advertising anyway, wouldn’t you rather it be for stuff you might actually want? We’re not quite yet to the level of targeting seen in Minority Report, but we’re not far off. Someday not too long distant, you may be able to consciously control the advertising you see by simply carrying your mobile device in your pocket. Wouldn’t that be lovely? I know I would prefer that to ads for monster trucks and martial arts movies. In a very fine discussion of this business of tracking you for commercial purposes in an installment of On Point on NPR. You owe it to yourself to listen, because I guarantee there are ways your movements and purchases are being tracked that you never imagined. Listen to it here. By now you know that, if you use any Google product at all, your habits are being analyzed to personalize search results, feed advertising to you, and give you the map you need to get you where you want to go. It’s convenient as hell. You probably didn’t think about  the many apps and games you use that are tracking your whereabouts. A useful app called Brightest Flashlight (yep, Yours Truly downloaded it to her phone) was tracking its millions of users and sharing information from their devices. FTC spank. Of course, even those of us who gleefully share location information on FourSquare and other social media platforms would probably be outraged if the government (especially an administration we weren’t fond of in the first place) decided to subpoena data from Angry Birds to hound us for something. So what’s a modern soul to do? Ditch the cell phone, don’t buy stuff online, stay off the internet, cancel your cable TV, cut up the credit card, turn off the GPS built...

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Is native advertising a waste of time?

Is native advertising a waste of time?

By now we can pretty much agree that the firewall between editorial and advertising has crumbled into the dust of ancient history. Frankly, I’m not sure it wasn’t a fiction for some publications anyway. In fact, I once tried to drop a press release back in the day when advertising and PR were two distinct disciplines and was told by the publication that I really needed to buy some advertising if I expected the news item to run. But back to today. “Native advertising,” sort of an advertorial on steroids, is institutionalized line-blurring between what seems like editorial and ends up being advertising. It’s just done with more finesse. If you, the advertiser, choose to do native advertising in a publication like Forbes, you’re piggybacking and will pay lavishly for the ride. If the native ad is good and the reader follows the trail back to you, which brand gets the most benefit, Forbes or yours? Some think it’s not your brand getting the benefit. Perhaps you should spend your efforts and your dollars building your own brand with your own content on your own site rather than be a digital sharecropper. On the other hand, that requires an investment in a solid brand, a publishing platform (whatever that looks like for you), and a steady stream of original content. It’s do-able: which do you prefer? If this post was helpful, you can subscribe at the top of the page; please share with a colleague. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+   this post With over 30 years of experience in financial services marketing, Lucid Marketing has the skills to make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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The Oreo Super Bowl Slam Dunk: Four Secrets to a Viral Social Media Ad

The Oreo Super Bowl Slam Dunk: Four Secrets to a Viral Social Media Ad

Exactly four minutes into the lights-out situation at last night’s Super Bowl, Oreo tweeted this ad, “You can still dunk in the dark.” It immediately went to Facebook and all over the globe. Four minutes. How did Oreo manage to harness the magic of social media in 240 seconds? Here’s how… 1. An iconic brand. Nobody needs to explain what an Oreo is, because the brand has spent decades and untold millions of dollars communicating it. 2. Brave management. Traditionally, a major brand only runs ads after crafting a strategy, conducting research, rounds and rounds of creative proposals by an agency, and thousands of CYA emails before the big pitch, all to let the CEO know the marketing team has done their job. This time, management said, “Go for it.” 3. A talented, nimble agency. Oreo’s agency, 360i, was plugged in and grasped the situation instantly. They knew that, when the show can’t go on, the consumer heads to the nearest alternative: the internet. When the lights went out in the stadium, social media erupted with everything from simple WTF messages to humorous homemade ads. 4. Clever creative. The ad addresses the consumer’s problem (no football) with a perfect solution (a snack), with copy written within the age-old rubric of seven words, and tons of white space. (It’s black, but you get the drift.) The ad does not talk about the ingredients of the cookie or even how tasty it is. It focuses on the consumer, not the company. While Oreo ran a commercial within the broadcast, for roughly 4 million dollars, the real magic happened elsewhere. What’s the value of social media in this case? Incalculable. What’s the cost of not using social media? Also incalculable. The Oreo Super Bowl social media ad was a dunk … a slam dunk. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ With over 30 years of experience in financial services marketing, Lucid Marketing understands your business and has the skills to make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send and email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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Facebook Graph Search: Social Proof of Nothing

Facebook Graph Search: Social Proof of Nothing

Picture this: a fundamentalist minister sees a Facebook repost of an article, by a congregant, about the evils of drinking; he “likes” the post, because he agrees with his teetotalling flock member. Later, that congregant and many more see an ad in their Facebook news feeds that says, “Reverend Billy loves Devil’s Swill beer!” The good pastor would be horrified, but he doesn’t get to see it, only his congregants do. When Facebook first started putting ads inside personal Timelines, users griped, but they didn’t leave. They didn’t understand that Facebook had started limiting the number of posts not only from business pages but from personal pages as well. Funny cat videos and pictures of dinner continued, just fewer friends got to see them. (Facebook says it put a kink in the hose to limit spam. Right.) Managers of business pages simply had to get more creative – and relevant – if they wanted to get around Facebook’s “pay to play” by getting their posts shared more widely. That’s not an all-bad thing, and we understand that Facebook needs ad revenue. In days of yore, when newspapers were a viable business model, nobody stopped reading them because they had ads in them. Unless the ads were particularly effective, we mostly ignored them and realized they made it possible for us to have newspapers at all. But what if Jason Smith* opened up his morning paper and saw an ad that said, “Jason Smith likes ChristianMingle!” More than likely, Jason’s newspaper would hit the trash before his wife, Heather, could see it. Better yet, what if Heather saw it first? You can bet that Heather will use Facebook Graph Search to see what ole Jason has been up to. After we saw a Forbes article about this new Facebook wrinkle, we decided to test it by sending a screen capture of an ad in our Timeline saying a friend liked a particular product. You guessed it: she never had. She didn’t mind, because it was for a common over-the-counter remedy. But a lie is still a lie, and there is a greater principle at stake that affects all parties. From an advertising perspective, it seems that Facebook is shooting itself in the foot and hurrying to reload for the sake of short-term gain. Even if users don’t seem to mind, what advertiser wants to be associated with this sort of thing? Will someone get around to suing Facebook the same as it would have sued for a newspaper ad that lied about a product endorsement? On the other hand, perhaps Facebook’s management understands very well its target audience and the ethical vacuum in which it operates. So far, their strategy seems...

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