Dare Greatly

I caught this commercial from Cadillac a few weeks back and it left me completely speechless! Not many commercials have left such an impression. See for yourself:


This commercial is part of the ‘Dare Greatly’ campaign by Publicis for the 112 year old iconic brand Cadillac.  The campaign is part of the effort to revitalize the brand and reposition it as an alternative to its German competitors.

The campaign is bold and enlists the stories of today’s innovators, game changers and movers and shakers.  The stories of Steve Wozniak, Jason Wu, Richard Linklater, Njeri Rionge, and Anne Wojciciki are stories that we know and through them, we are able to understand what Cadillac is trying to accomplish.

On the campaign page, Cadillac’s president, Johan de Nysschen
 tells us:

“To once again become the standard for excellence around the globe, we cannot follow any of the examples set by the luxury market “establishment”, nor meekly succumb to preconceived notions about this great brand, or even, perceptions about our rivals. We respect each and every one of our competitors, but Cadillac will chart its own course, and we will speak our own truth.

Cadillac is on a mission to shatter the status quo. Cadillac will lead with highly aspirational products packed with advanced technology, superlative craftsmanship and distinctive design. And a brand character that symbolizes quality and respect. We don’t aim to be the biggest. We aim to be the best, the highly aspirational domain of the few.”

Dare Greatly comes from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 ‘Citizenship in a Republic’ speech – “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Dare Greatly Cadillac

Cadillac pulls inspirations from figures past and present for their big revival and produces something great and daring!  While these stories resonate so powerfully, I wondered about how they were selected.  Richard Linklater, Anne Wojcicik and Steve Wozniak as we know are all American. However, Jason Wu and Njeri Rionge are Taiwanese-Canadian and Kenya respectively. I wondered if featuring all American stories would not have helped the brand showcase their all-American heritage even more!  Check out the rest of the videos and the letter from the president here.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Movie Watching: Chef and the Use of Social Media

Chef Movie Jon Favreau

I just finished watching Chef - a feel good movie about a chef who loses his restaurant and bounces back by starting up a food truck.  As with every good movie, there is a journey and chef Carl’s takes him from Miami back home to Los Angeles. Along the way, he finds his passion again, regains his dignity and reunites with his family.

But why am I writing about it here?  Well, in the movie, chef Carl has a very public breakdown after being called out by a food critic.  The breakdown is captured by nearby by-standers and made worse by going viral on the Internet. When he attempts to respond on Twitter (without understanding fully how Twitter works, I might add) he accidentally starts a (very public) war with the food critic that results in him losing his job at the restaurant.  The marketing nerd in me was very amused by how Twitter was incorporated into the movie.  Later, he has an opportunity to take over a food truck in Miami, thus beginning his ‘journey of self-awareness’.  His 10 year old, tech-savvy, marketing genius of a son, Percy decides to join in on the road trip, along with Carl’s sous chef/good friend, Martin.  They re-invent themselves and El Jefe, the Cuban food sensation / food truck was born. Throughout the road trip, which takes them from Miami to New Orleans to Austin and finally home to Los Angeles, Percy tweets, vines, and uses a Facebook page to promote the food truck and saves his dad’s bruised reputation.  The marketing nerd in me loved the idea.  Percy was an absolute little marketing genius! He posted real moments captured on the trip and allowed the public to get to know the chef – offering the real human side that people didn’t know before he had his breakdown.  He tweeted live updates to let the crowds know where they were and what they were doing.  He made Vine videos to capture the moments and in the end, compiled an edited video of 1 second clips captured throughout the trip.  What amazing content to do marketing with!  Throughout the movie, I was reminded of how important it is to be real with your customers.  After all, as Seth Godin says “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

Consumers now a days are so used to advertising and so skeptical to marketing ‘lies’ and half truths. Even when they are not lies, consumers just assume the worst. That is why it’s so important to find other ways to speak to your customers – such as using testimonials or showing results.  But what’s also interesting for consumers too is understanding the ‘why’ behind why you do what you do, sell what you sell, etc. Letting them know your vulnerabilities, your passions makes your brand more relatable, more human even and therefore more trust-worthy.

Anyway, it was a fun movie to watch. A bit long at times but with Sofia Vergara playing Carl’s ex-wife, John Leguizamo as the trusty side kick / sous chef and Jon Favreau as the chef you can’t help but root for, it definitely was a light-hearted, fun watch.  Plus, as I was looking up the links for this movie, I found out that Jon Favreau actually trained with real life chef Roy Choi to prepare for this role.  The duo even brought El Jefe to life and served the truck’s signature ‘Cubano’ sandwiches in LA! There were even plans to open up an El Jefe restaurant too – the ultimate marketing move for cross promotion!

Here’s a chef Carl getting a lesson on Twitter from his son, Percy:

 

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Real Talk #1

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in last – and wow, have I missed this blog! That’s ok – between settling in at my new job, starting a new project management course, and travelling (finally to Chicago and last month to Halifax), life’s been keeping me very inspired.

I will be celebrating 5 months this week at my new job! Can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. I still think of it as my new job in many ways because everyday, I am still adjusting, still learning and still soaking it all in.  With any new job comes a new schedule, new lessons and plenty of adjustments.  You face new situations, get asked new questions and your perspectives are challenged for the better.  Expectations are also higher – both the ones you have of yourself and from others.  It’s both what’s exciting and exhausting about starting something new.

In my attempt to manage all this change, I also found that it was easy to get lost in the day to day challenges and lose track of the bigger picture.  This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a career fair that was organized by the college that I work at.   I watched many eager students rush from booth to booth, resumes in hand and so excited to meet with prospective employers.  Being there gave me clarity – I was reminded of the fact that I market to real people – people with families, ambitions, and their own stories to tell.  It gave me the chance to connect again with my audience and see the value in what we do.  Somehow, in the sea of all that I was doing, it was so easy to lose touch with that.

Ray Kroc Quote

So that was my lesson of the week – an important one no less that I hope to carry with me down this marketing journey of mine.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

 

Jazzing Up Your ‘About Us’ Page

Telling the Right Story on your 'About

Do you know which of your pages are the most viewed on your website? Chances are, your “About Us” page is one of the most visited pages on your website. Whatever you choose to call it, whether it is your “About”, “About Us”, “Who We Are” or “Meet the Team”, these pages are gaining in importance.

But surprisingly, this page is often overlooked during the copy writing process and has often become an afterthought. Others just simply don’t know how to write about themselves!

About Us pages provide you with a great opportunity to bond with your prospects. Within the first 3 or 4 clicks people are clicking to your About Us page because they want to find out who you are, what your business is about and most importantly, how you can help them.

So re-think your About Us page with these following tips:

– Make your About Us page about… your customers. Think about how your product or services help your customers and relay that in your About Us write-up.

– Take the opportunity to share your story and your “Why”. If you have trouble defining your company’s “Why” or your reason for being, take a few moments to watch this TED Talk I shared a few months back from Simon Sinek for a bit of inspiration.

– Don’t be afraid to inject your personality or your company’s personality into the write-up. Think about how you’re different from your competitors and make sure your writing reflects who you are.

– Make your page conversion-friendly. You can ask your prospects to contact, sign up for an email newsletter or a free trial. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to convert your prospects into leads once you’ve impressed them with your story.

– If you’ve done something great, offer an outstanding service or product, don’t be afraid to share the numbers and facts. Without them, your page will be like every other About Us page out there with bold but empty statements.

– And lastly? Keep it short. People have short attention spans and can really only pay attention to a maximum of 3 – 4 chunks of information at a time so choose your points wisely and organize accordingly with headers breaking up large chunks of text.

So take a few moments now and read over your About Us section. If you were shopping around, would you choose your company over your competitors based on the write-up that you see? Does your page properly represent who you are as a company, the quality of work that you’ve done and your reason ‘why’? If not, you know what to do!

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Don Draper’s Kodak Moment

Mad Men Inspiration

In marketing terms, I would be considered a ‘laggard’ to this Mad Men hype, but trust me when I say that I am a true fan! In truth, I have tried watching Mad Men a few times over the past few years but could never get past the first half hour of the pilot.  This time around though, I watched the whole episode… and then didn’t stop until I hit the end of Season 1!

Anyway, one of the greatest moments for me from Season 1 was when Don Draper gave his pitch to Kodak on their new slide projector.  Kodak was very attached to the idea of it being in the shape of a wheel and wanted that to be incorporated in the ad campaign.

Don’s pitch left me speechless.  See it for yourself:

“Technology is a glittering lure. But there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.

My first job, I was in house at a fur company with this old pro copywriter, Greek, named Teddy.  And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising was ‘new.’ Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion.

But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent.

Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’  It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone.
This device isn’t a space ship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. Takes us to a place where we ache to go again.

It’s not called ‘The Wheel.’ It’s called ‘The Carousel.’

It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.”

Maybe it’s because I am in marketing that left me so in awe after watching his pitch.  I loved everything about it – the concept, the delivery and the way it tugged at your soul.  A true marketing victory :)  It also reminds me that sometimes, it’s not the gimmicks, the fancy features, or the technology that sells.  It is the emotional bond to the product that will create the demand.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

A Few Marketing Lessons from Taylor Swift

We could all be a little bit more like Taylor Swift.
Well, in our marketing efforts, anyway.

4 days ago, Taylor Swift posted this video to her YouTube channel, documenting what had come to be known by her fans as ‘Swiftmas’. To reward her most loyal fans, Taylor Swift had shipped personalized individual presents for them this past Christmas – all based on what she had learned about them from their social media feeds!


“Shortly after the massively successful release of 1989, fans on social media began to experience another phenomenon. After something that became known as Tay-lurking, whereupon every details of a fan’s likes, job, whereabouts, was studied intently… A single Santa emoji would appear on their socials.

From one Taylor Swift.’

This video has racked up close to 12 million views since it has been posted. So what is it about this video that people seem to love and what can marketers learn from this?

1) Get Personal – All the presents were delivered with hand-written notes and Christmas (or Hanukkah) cards. This is yet another example of how Taylor engages with her community of fans to build relationships.  She creates unique brand experiences for them so that they feel like they know her – as a friend, or the girl next door. She is accessible, she listens and she responds. This is how brands should interact with their customers.

2) Get to Know Your Fans – To ensure all the presents were personalized, Taylor had done her own research on her fans. She not only ‘Tay-lurked’ her fans, she took the time to get to know them, to read their updates before building a personalized experience meant just for them.  While such intense researching into the lives of your customers may not be possible, there is great value in truly understanding who your customers are.

3) Surprise Your Loyal Followers – If those were Taylor’s most loyal fans, can you imagine their level of loyalty now, after receiving their presents? By rewarding these super fans, Taylor was also gaining new fans and encouraging her mid-level fans to step up their engagement. Sometimes, by giving back and rewarding your loyal followers (also known as your brand ambassadors), you can gain back ten-fold what you give away.

4) Leverage the Use of Video – The clips of her fans opening their presents were so authentic, you could hear and see for yourself the excitement they felt. By having her fans film their experiences, Taylor allowed others watching to share in the fun. Because the clips were so authentic, you don’t feel like you’re watching some fabricated sales pitch. Leverage the use of video and capture your customer’s authentic experiences with your product or service.

This is exactly how we can create excitement and loyalty around our brands – and how we can make sure our marketing efforts can stand out from the crowd.  At the end of the day, consumers want to know that they are appreciated and being heard!  So as it turns out, we all have a thing or two that we can learn from Taylor Swift!

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Cannes Lions 2014 Top Picks

It’s been a few weeks since I attended the Cannes Lions screening at my local art gallery.  I’ve re-watched a few of them and wanted to share my favourites from this year’s reel.  There were quite a few from this year’s collection that I liked so here they are:

The following 3 are from Volkswagen.  I thought they were very clever in the way they demonstrated the value and quality of their vehicles.  They didn’t bore you with the safety features or show you how vehicles performed in a closed track – they simply left you curious enough to have you find out for yourself!


Title: Parachute
Advertiser: Volkswagen
Agency: adam&eveDBB


Title: Rope
Advertiser: Volkswagen
Agency: adam&eveDBB


Title: Cage
Advertiser: Volkswagen
Agency: adam&eveDDB

And then there was this one, from The Sunday Times – so clever and put together so seamlessly:


Title: The Sunday Times – Icons
Advertiser: News UK
Product: Newspaper
Agency: Grey London McCann

And since I’ve shared so many Volkswagen commercials already, what’s one more? This is another Volkswagen one, this time from Almapbbdo in Brazil as a send off to the Kombi.  It’s cute, it’s touching and it leaves you wanting a Kombi (even if you’ve never wanted one before when they were still in production):

Title: Kombi Last Wishes
Advertiser: Vokswagen Do Brasil
Product: Volkswagen Bus
Agency: Almapbbdo

I loved this commercial that Apple released last Christmas. It’s touching, especially because technology often has a reputation for isolating people and Apple shows us how it can bring people together instead.  It also helps that it’s beautifully done!

I love how all these commercials were able to evoke emotions in such a short amount of time.  So many great stories too!

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.