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Starting an Agency Includes Cultivating REALationships

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Bilal Saeed and Tim Adkins, Brofounders Pakmode

Bilal Saeed and Tim Adkins, Brofounders
Pakmode

“Deflate your ego.” This is one of the first things Bilal Saeed, Brofouder of Michigan-based Pakmode Media + Marketing, said to a packed house at TEDxEMU on March 15, 2013 at Eastern Michigan University’s Quirk Theater. Alongside Saeed, was Brofounder Tim Adkins, who leads creative direction at the agency. The creative duo’s discussion focused on building REALationships, and not just relationships, to stay successful in business and life.

When starting the agency fresh out of college in 2008 they quickly understood what hard work meant. Upon their first day of business, an advisor gave Saeed a small needle. He was unsure what it was for but the advisor simply said that Saeed will know soon enough. He kept the needle and got to work. Many times, Saeed and Adkins, found themselves washing dishes and waiting tables at a local restaurant after a full day of work just to pay the bills.

Thousands of clean dishes later, it dawned on the Brofounders that the needle was to deflate their ego.

Brofounders, by the way, is what they decided to name themselves instead of the formal CEO or COO since they were together much of their waking lives. The name stemmed from when they first heard brothers John and Scott Meyer of 9 Clouds refer to themselves as ‘Brofounders.’

Saeed and Adkins realized that deflating their ego was only the first part of the process. To create, grow, and maintain REALationships, there are actually four key ideas to keep in mind, especially when starting your own agency, as follows:

  1. Deflate your ego: This was their first and most vital lesson. It is important to remember that you are not automatically entitled to anything you do not earn. If you want something you must work hard to achieve it. Nothing will be given to you. They say to “Grind because you believe in something greater.”
  2. Be a chameleon: Adkins reluctantly lets Saeed talk about this point since he focuses so much on it. However, in creating REALationships it is important to know your surroundings and adapt as you need to. Do not be afraid of change and allow yourself the ability to be prepared for all situations as they arise. You may be in a tough situation and your next client may or may not be watching you. Saeed exceeded one man’s expectations so much with the way that he went out of his way to adapt for another client at an event that he landed the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowlaccount on the spot.
  3. Being selfless without being selfish: The Dalai Lama once said, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others.” The Brofounders keep this in their mind daily. Their goals are focused on helping others first and acting for no personal gain. This allows them to be better people and better corporate citizens.
  4. Being a real, better person: This last point is best assimilated to being a child again. Simple things that people forget over the years are to share, say please and thank you, and remember to be nice. And do not forget, the ransparency of this niceness factor should be shown through all social media channels.

At the completion of their TEDxEMU talk, Saeed and Adkins made note that these four points are easier to say and harder to do. This is not a sales technique, but rather a lifestyle. They truly believe in the working capacity of each of these key points and have made them part of daily life. “Do not fake it,” says Adkins. People will see right through the exterior. It is truly important to be a better listener and to care about the REALationships you make. What will you do to turn your relationships into REALationships?

Read the entire article on Talent Zoo’s beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17244

4 Must-Watch Super Bowl Commercials

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2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

Every year we are stunned by some of the commercials that come out during the Super Bowl. Sometimes they are amazing displays of an advertising budget and sometimes they are lost in a creative directors vision. This years is more of the same; advertisers trying to outperform each other to get the attention of the masses on this all-American-almost-holiday that is Super Bowl Sunday. Here are just four commercials that you must watch. They will pull at your heart strings, make you laugh out loud, and make you run to YouTube to watch them over and over again.

  1. Budweiser: The King of Beers always makes a move to make stronger and better commercials year after year. This time they look at the man who trains their prized Clydesdale horses. The commercial really brings it full circle and in its short 60 seconds really makes you feel like you’ve just watched a really good movie. Not to mention they are making great use of social media but having people tweet their favorite baby name for their newest horse with the hashtag #clydesdales. Watch the Clydesdales “Brotherhood” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs
  2. Fiat 500 Abarth: Fiat is at it again. This time their commercial goes topless. The commercial can be best described as tastefully sultry. Other than that, you have to watch it for yourself. This should get a lot of people talking. See the commercials for the Fiat 500 Abarth here.
  3. Taco Bell: This is one of the best commercials to come out of Taco Bell in years. It is called “Viva Young” and features a version of “We Are Young” in Spanish. Other than the song, there is no dialogue in the commercial except for a nurse saying goodnight to a lonely old gentlemen. Seconds later, he jumps out of bed and into some classic Detroit Muscle for a night on the town with his old codgers like no other. They end up, like all people do after a night of clubbing, at Taco Bell. Live Más. Watch it here.
  4. Coca Cola: What would a watch list be without Coke or Pepsi? Coke does it this time with a chase through the desert. This chase includes Flamingo showgirls from Vegas, cowboys, a sheik, a motorcyclist, and a large glitter cannon racing through the desert like they are trying to get to the oversized bottle of Coke first to quench their thirst. The sign says 50 miles ahead. The chase continues. The intriguing thing about this commercial is that Coke is letting the public decide how the commercial ends. Watch it here and see how it ends on game day.

Watching all of these commercials via YouTube early can be great. However, you miss out on the big reveal. The way Super Bowl commercials used to be aired before social media took a huge foothold. The agencies and advertisers that still keep this element of surprise should be commended. Coke gets innovative by intermixing both tactics. Do you think revealing these ads early on social media hurts the airing of the commercials during the Super Bowl or helps it? Discuss.

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16718

Detroit Tigers’ Marketing is Focused on Personalization

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The American Marketing Association (AMA) of Detroit held an event last Thursday on September 13, 2012 entitled “Marketing the Detroit Tigers.” Naturally it was a sell out. The presentation was led by Ron Wade, Director of Marketing for the Detroit Tigers. After an extensive tour of the clubhouse, dugout and press box we all gathered in the Champions Club at Comerica Park for the presentation.  Wade is a very dynamic speaker and with something as interesting as the Detroit Tigers he kept us all yearning for more.DetroitTigersLogo

The session started off watching the most recent “Who’s Your Tiger?” TV advertising spots. Then he spoke to us about the new Who’s you Tiger campaign for the 2013 season, and I must say, it’s clever. What struck me right away was that no matter how good their marketing is and no matter how much they do they are judged on ticket sales alone. It’s a good thing the Tigers are 2 games out of first place right now for their sake.

Ron and his team are the keepers of the brand. “The ‘Who’s Your Tiger?’ campaign personalizes the fan experience,” said Wade.  The campaign started in 2005 and continued for 3 years strong. After that the campaign took at 2 year break but the fans didn’t realize it was even gone. They would still come to the park with signs saying who their Tiger was. When asked why the campaign stopped Wade explained that when 2008 hit the recession was in full force and they really wanted to focus on heritage. And while the heritage campaigns were a nice sentiment, “Who’s Your Tiger?” came back in full force in 2010. Now, this campaign shows no signs of slowing down and neither does their partner ad agency in Troy, SMZ Advertising.

Traditional campaigns aren’t where this stops. They personalize social media far beyond what others would consider. These days people are watching the game on two screens, TV and via smart phone. To capitalize on that the Detroit Tigers use a variety of social networks including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For the sake of length I’ll just focus on Twitter.

On Twitter they have 4 main twitter handles for 4 different reasons. The main one is @Tigers. Then, since nearly 40% of Tiger’s players’ first language is Spanish they have developed the twitter handle @TigresdeDetroit. On top of that, their Spanish social media is handled in-house. Now, say you’re at a game relaxing and enjoying the day and you want to hear a certain song. You can tweet @ComericaParkDJ and they will play your song request throughout the entire park. Cool huh? Not only that but if you have an issue in the park you can also tweet @ComericaParkOps and they will take care of it for you. The Tigers also bring in social media activation by allowing fans to tweet their seat location to them during any game to be bestowed “Fan of the Game.”

The last way that fans can personally connect with the ball club on Twitter is through the players. Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander is among the players that tweet.  Wade admits that “Pitchers have the most downtime to tweet.”

To personalize their contact with the fans even more they are heavily involved in the community. With programs such as the Miracle League Fantasy Camp and Dreams Can Come True programs, the Tigers are very dedicated to making  to a difference in the community.  Wade said that the Tigers don’t publicize these efforts because “it’s just something that should happen.”

No matter what, Wade and his Tigers marketing team want to personalize every aspect of their marketing. What were some key takeaways to help you in your social media personalization? Wade gives us three things to do.

  1. Find your brand ambassadors and give them what they need. These key people can help you more that anyone else. Wade says you must “treat social media like free advertising and don’t oversell.” With the personalization tactics it connect fans directly with the brand. When a fan is connected with the brand they want to stay close with that brand. This is what propels these fans to keep coming back.
  2. Photos. Be social with what fans you do have and keep them connected with photos on Facebook and Instagram.
  3. Look to your competitors. It’s no secret what they are doing. “Sports teams are some of the biggest copycats in marketing,” says Wade.

Ron Wade’s future goal? To own his own minor league baseball team.

Next time you’re at the park you’ll have a lot more to think about. Tweet, Like, Post. Go Tigers!