advertising

5 Terrible Types of Advertising Campaigns

The best campaigns succeed because of social media and using their audience. But there are times when even these great tactics fail. Due to oversight errors or misused attempts at humor, some ad campaigns have not only failed, but caused an enormous backlash.

Save yourself the need to apologize later on. These 5 failures and campaigns to avoid show you what not to do in your marketing.

Campaigns Revolving Around People

 

Having a spokesperson or a recognizable face of an ad campaign can be very effective done right. However, there’s always an element of unpredictability, which is why family-centered chains often use fictional and sometimes animated characters.

One such example is Paul Marcarelli, once known as the Test Man asking “Can you hear me now?” for Verizon. But he didn’t necessarily love working for them. His career at Verizon included a draconian contract, homophobic harassment outside of work, and even being fired over email. So he started looking at the claims made by other mobile companies, and found that there’s generally less than a 1% difference in reliability. So he chose Sprint, which gives the same reliability within that one percent for less. This is great for Sprint, and not so great for Verizon.

Another more infamous example is Jared Fogle. He rose to fame by losing weight with Subway’s healthy food, and became a spokesperson for the company.  However, a scandal came to light over child pornography. He later pleaded guilty and is now serving time in jail. Subway went through a lawsuit by Fogle’s ex-wife claiming that they hadn’t acted on complaints against Fogle.

While you may not always guess at the secrets your employees hold, you should take complaints about these seriously to avoid backlash against your company. If you receive such complaints, take action rather than ignoring them in hopes of protecting an ad campaign.  Also, treat your spokespeople fairly so that their switching to another company doesn’t end up damaging your brand or strengthening your competitors.

Inappropriate or Shock-Value Humor

 

In an attempt to be funny, some companies latch onto any series of jokes without considering how their customers will react. These jokes may be questionable, to say the least. Whatever an individual’s feelings towards political correctness, marketing campaigns should not aim to make stereotypical or suggestive jokes. You’ll only succeed in driving off customers or starting a fight between them, as IHOP did with these captions–particularly with a suggestive image.

Before launching a campaign, find your voice. You can’t get away with not offending everyone. But sticking with your brand and avoiding humor for the purpose of shock value will avoid the backlash following these ads.

Forcing Product

Image result for u2 apple download songs of innocence

 

In 2014, iTunes and U2’s album “Songs of Innocence” forcibly downloaded onto over 500 million computers and phones. The biggest album launch in history seems like a massive success as far as numbers go, but reality says otherwise. Annoyed fans complained enough that Apple launched a removal tool. A later Q&A session with lead singer Bono revealed that the band feared that the album would have sold poorly without this forced promotion. As it was, reviews were mixed about the album.

If you have a great product to sell, let your customers come to you. Don’t force it on them. All you’ll end up doing is taking space and giving them something to complain about, which will only harm your future sales.

Suggesting Criminal Behavior

Image result for bloomingdale eggnog ad

 

Bud Light and Bloomingdale made the terrible mistake of suggesting alcohol to lower inhibition–in a bad way. Meant as light-hearted jokes or a promotion for spontaneous fun, their alcohol campaigns (respectively “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night” and “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking”) came across as sexually predatory. Though the companies themselves may not endorse this behavior, their ad campaigns suggest they–or someone on their marketing team–think otherwise.

Before putting out an ad campaign, think hard about what you’re suggesting. Does it promote dangerous or criminal behavior? Does it promote anything that is inconsistent with the values your brand and company want to uphold?

Mad Libs

 

The New England Patriots and Mountain Dew have learned the hard way not to play mad libs with the Internet. While it seems like a good idea to let your consumers pick the name of products, there will be those followers who seize the chance to offend or make filthy jokes. It certainly gets press attention, but the backlash won’t be worth it. For one, these pranks can damage your brand. Allowing others to mess with your social media and product image in such a way associates your brand with undesirable content.

If you do want to involve your consumers–and you should–make sure you have an adequate filter to avoid such fiascoes.

The Best Types of Advertising Campaigns

All franchisors, big or small, need to create powerful and attractive ad or marketing campaigns. These campaigns centralize around one message across many marketing channels. Here are some of the best types of marketing campaigns as shown by the biggest franchisors out there, and how you can integrate their tactics into your own campaign.

Involve Your Audience

Multiple franchises have successfully crowdsourced their content with a campaign using social media. One such franchise is Applebee’s and their “School of Fantography” in 2015. This 90-second video educated their fans on good Instagram food photography before opening up the campaign to their followers. Fans then captured incredible food shots until Applebee’s had enough images to fill out their Instagram for months.

This kind of campaign, particularly with food photography, worked well with young people and with photographers, not just patrons of Applebee’s. If this kind of campaign works for your business and audience, go for it! Getting people to take pictures of your products gets you some really excellent photography and gives you the ability to use that material for months.

Video and Engaging Media

Big brands like Coca-Cola easily create videos and commercials for any occasion, and it can be difficult for smaller franchises to emulate them. However, thanks to Taco Bell leading the way, there might be simpler, shorter ways to reach your audience. The food franchise released a Snapchat movie to promote Locos Tacos in 2014. This was filmed and released in 24 hours–which may be a perfect model for smaller companies unable to get sets and actors but who strive for authenticity. With the nature of Snapchat, the Story was gone in 24 hours after release. But it sparked a fire and launched Taco Bell onto using Snapchat consistently for their marketing campaigns.

Knowing their audience the way they did and stepping onto a popular but then-underused social media platform engaged their followers and instigated a creative social media campaign. Look for ways you can connect with your audience in similar ways. And follow their model for creating short films; videos continue to be hugely important online.

Familiarize Your Look

Using only a bottle with no distinct shape, Absolut vodka made their look the most recognizable in the world with a simple print campaign. At the start, Absolut had 2.5% of the vodka market. After a successful 25-year campaign–the longest ad campaign ever–they now import half the vodka in the country.

Make your product stand out, no matter how it looks. By using a campaign that gets your intended audience familiar with your brand, you solidify the image of your brand in their minds. Then they’ll picture your business every time they think of that particular service or product.

This is also a good way to gain followers and become more popular via social media. Making yourself distinct–even if your product or service seems generic–can help introduce newcomers to your business.

Challenge Preconceived Notions

Budweiser’s “Great Taste, Less Filling” campaign took on the argument that light beer couldn’t taste good or that it wasn’t for “real men.” Using masculine models, they challenged the stereotype with a slogan and ad campaign that’s still in use and memorable to this day.

If there’s a stereotype about your product that you know is untrue, challenge it with a similar ad campaign. Prove that your product can have a wider reach, or that it fits your niche better than the critics think.

Know When to End

Wendy’s catchy and simple “Where’s the beef?” campaign caught on quickly by pointing out their competitors’ faults. But this wasn’t the only reason this was a successful campaign. Wendy’s knew when to let the ad peter out and move onto a new idea. A once-successful campaign–especially in commercials–can falter and backfire if it’s overplayed or forced on potential customers long after it’s stopped being funny.

 

The biggest brands are your model for marketing and advertising. While you may not have the same budget, emulate them as often as you can! Using the same tools as large businesses will only help your company succeed. Check out these other tips on marketing like one of the big brands.

Why Your Business Needs Multimedia Marketing

Businesses need multimedia marketing in order to survive in today’s fast-paced world. Consumers are not solely reading newspapers anymore. They are listening to the radio, watching television, driving by billboards, reading direct mail and surfing the web, too. This developmental change has made it harder for businesses to reach consumers on only one platform. This is why multimedia marketing is essential in today’s marketing and content strategy.

What is Multimedia Marketing?

Multimedia marketing is not as intimidating as it sounds. “Multi” means many and “media” stems from the word medium, creating the phrase that simply means “many medium(s) marketing”. That’s all it is!

Multimedia marketing is sharing one consistent message on multiple channels. One message needs to be supported by multiple channels in order to reach more consumers.

Through a combination of pictures, videos, graphics, social media and the more traditional methods, such as direct mail, press releases, and advertisements, businesses can reach more past, current, and potential customers. An increase in reach leads to an increase in brand awareness, and an increase in brand awareness leads to an increase in website traffic.

Reach

Because a business is sending one message through multiple channels, it is reaching more people. Sending out a piece of direct mail, for example, will only reach those who receive the mail. If you combine that marketing strategy with an infographic shared through social media, you will reach the people who receive the mail and all those who see the graphic online through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Brand Awareness.

The business that masters multimedia content strategy is the business that masters brand awareness. If you are doing it right, you know that each medium has a characterized user. For example, those who read newspapers are typically older, and those who are on Instagram are typically between the ages of 18 and 29. Knowing this, a business can tweak its message to appeal to the different consumers. When a business is able to share a consistent message on multiple platforms, it is able to increase brand awareness.

Website Traffic.

What does an increase in reach and an increase in brand awareness lead to? An increase in website traffic, and thus an increase in leads and potential customers.

 

Do you need help creating a cohesive multimedia marketing strategy? Fill out the contact form below or call us at 801-224-8666. Divvy specializes in maximizing your business or franchise’s marketing efforts.

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How to Write a Press Release for Your Business

Knowing how to write an effective press release is essential for your business! Press releases are a useful tool for getting free publicity and promotion of products. They are the vehicle for communicating a newsworthy message. This means whatever it is that your business is doing needs to be presented in a way that is eye catching and interesting to the reader. With these basics in mind and the following tips below, you should be able to write an effective press release for your business.

Inverted Pyramid Style.

The first step in writing a press release is knowing the correct format. Press releases are written in what’s called Inverted Pyramid Style, meaning the most important information is at the top of the release, and the information becomes less important with each paragraph thereafter. This is because of space limitations. In the print newspaper days, journalists would often omit parts of the releases due to low space, and cutting out the least important or least relevant information was the best way to do so. Writing in this style allows for journalists to simply cut off the last few paragraphs, leaving the newsworthy part of the message intact.

press release writing inverted pyramid style

This type of format is essential in press release writing, so make sure you’re release is following it correctly. Journalists won’t re-write a press release when they have a handful of  correctly written press releases they can choose from. Also, like this format, your writing needs to be to-the-point and concise. Avoid fluff in press release writing. Reader’s won’t finish a release that’s full of fluff.

The First Paragraph.

All press releases start with what is called a lead, or the first paragraph, but before you write out the lead be sure to write the date and city in which the release is being originated. Once that is done you can write the lead, which answers the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how). If you are an avid news reader, you’ll notice that most press releases answer the 5 W’s and H in just one sentence.

 

Make sure that all of your sentences, including the lead, are less than 30 words. This helps with keeping sentences straightforward and helps with the reading score, or level of difficulty. Assume that your audience is a smart 6th grader, so avoid using business jargon or difficult sentence structures.

Sounds Good and Reads Easily.

Make your press release sound good by adding quotes in from your CEO or other influential employees related to the purpose of the press release. This means your CEO might say something like, “This is the best thing since sliced bread,” and you need to edit his quote to make it sound better and get approval from him before sending the release out.

 

Also, keep a factual tone in your press release. Avoid emotionally-charged words and sentences. News is unbiased, and your release needs to be the same.

 

Read the press release several times before sending it out to make sure it reads easily. Change any unfamiliar words, incorrect spelling, or grammar errors as you read it. A good rule of thumb is to read your press release out loud at least 3 times. You will notice things by reading it out loud that you may  not have noticed reading in your head.

One to Two Pages and No More.

Press releases should be one page, maybe two, but no more. Lengthy releases are less likely to be published, and for that matter, read through completely!

Concluding the Press Release.

Once you are done with writing the copy, conclude with three pound signs (###) center justified after the last paragraph. The pound signs indicate the press release copy is complete. After concluding, enter once and underline the words,”For more Information:” and list your contact information, such as your name, company, address, phone number, and email on the space below.

 

These are some of the basic principles of press release and news style writing. If your business needs help with it’s public relations strategies, you can call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in maximizing marketing and public relations efforts!

 

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7 Common Pinterest Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Pinterest is a great marketing tool for businesses with a lot of visual appeal. But even if your business, like us here at Divvy by Alexander’s, doesn’t have physical products to take pictures of, sell, and promote, Pinterest can still prove useful as a way to connect with clients via informational boards. Regardless of how you choose to use Pinterest for your business, be sure you don’t make these 7 common Pinterest marketing mistakes.

Using Weak Images

Pinterest is a visual social media, and to be seen, you’ll need pins that are easy to notice and appealing to look at. Ideally, pins should be 735 pixels wide, and at least that tall. Horizontal images don’t have as much display space, and can be difficult to notice in a feed.

Not Utilizing Description

Though Pinterest is mostly visual, text is just as powerful in Pinterest for SEO and information as it is on other social media avenues. When posting a pin, include a description so viewers know what they’re looking at, why they should care, and where they can find out more information. Include links to your business, and in some cases, the price of the product displayed. Using a couple #’s can make your pins easier to find when utilizing the search bar, but limit the amount of #’s to two, otherwise, you’re business risks looking spammy.

Not Linking Back to Your Business

Not only can you include a link to your business in the description, but you can also turn the image itself into a link that people can click on to go straight to your business page. After you’ve uploaded the image, click on the edit tool. You’ll find a slot where you can paste your website’s URL. Be sure that, if you’re linking to a specific blog post, the URL is for that blog post, and wont’ just land readers on a business page.

Not Interacting

Like all forms of social media, Pinterest strives to be social. Interact with your followers. When someone follows you, visit their page and see what they are pinning. If it matches your brand, follow them. Building a network of people with similar interests can help you, and them, find more inspiring pins that, in turn, can help your own followers.

Inconsistent

Followers like to see continuous updates. If boards become dusty, pin rarely, or otherwise don’t provide followers with beneficial content, those followers will drop away. Especially now that the mobile Pinterest can track the last time a board was pinned to, it’s necessary to update all business Pinterest boards on a regular (at least weekly) basis.

Overload of self promotion

Though consistency is imperative to successful business pinning, don’t be too heavy on the self-promotion. Nobody enjoys being told to buy products all of the time. Instead, include additional, meaningful Pinterest boards, such as boards for product inspiration, or informational boards that include marketing tips, business tips, or any other information that your clients will find useful that maintains your brand.

Irrelevant or Boring Pinterest Boards

With all of your boards, stay on brand, and don’t make the mistake of believing pinning anything is better than pinning nothing. For example, if you have a clothing company, having a recipe board may strike followers as peculiar and offbrand. That inconsistency can scare followers away.

Need help?

Looking for more ways to reach your marketing audience for your business Franchise? Divvy by Alexander’s can help. Contact us in the form below to find out how to get started.

 

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I Hate Marketing (Why??)

Marketing is key to helping your business be successful and current. So tell us, why do you hate marketing?

…Because All Marketing is Spam

If you hate marketing, chances are it’s because you’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s poorly designed marketing campaign that inundated you with advertisements that you didn’t sign up for, didn’t interest you, or just felt like spam.

Nobody enjoys being spammed, and maybe you hate marketing because you don’t want to feel like someone else’s spam. But not all marketing is spam. In fact, when done correctly, your clients will love your marketing campaign. Avoid appearing spammy by directing your advertisements to the people who want them. Instead of sending mass emails to everyone and anyone, connect with people who want to hear from you by providing option in your store or website to sign up for emailed news and discounts.

…Because Marketing is Ineffective

Maybe you hate marketing because you’ve tried it before, and it hasn’t worked out for you. It might have felt like a huge waste of time and money. In marketing however, there are a couple key facts to remember. One, not everyone will love your stuff, and that’s okay. You don’t need people to love your stuff. You just need to reach the people who need what  you are offering. If you can design your marketing campaign to reach those people and you have a good product, you’ll find success. Which brings us to the second point: (Two) results take time. Yes, it may be more than a day or a week or a month, or even a year. But as long as you adapt your marketing plan to meet the needs of your potential clients, you can be successful.

…Because Marketing is Boring

If you think of marketing and you imagine ugly postcards in the mail (junk mail), then chances are you won’t be very enthusiastic about marketing. However, marketing doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, that’s one of the beauties of marketing – you must use creativity to reach your potential clients. This is your chance to think outside the box and stand out! Create a direct mail campaign that will interest them. That’s what we did with our Divvy marketing campaign.

In short, the key to designing good marketing content is making something you would want to receive. Don’t use techniques you hate, and maybe – just maybe – you won’t hate marketing.

If you worry that your content is boring or that people already know all about your product, chances are, they don’t. Explain what your product is all about and what makes it different. Also mix it up! Don’t post the same message on twitter every day or every week. Keep your clients interested by providing new information about your products or information that relates to your products. If you can get passionate about your product, other people will too. But if you are bored with your marketing campaign, your clients will be too.

…Because There’s Too Much to Do

Maybe you hate marketing because there’s too much to do. Staying on top of a variety of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.) can easily become intimidating. Not to mention trying to find clients to build a basis for direct mail campaigns and email coupons to. And blog posts? Psh! Who even reads those?

In the long run though, staying on top of social media will help (For more information as to how, browse other articles on this blog, such as The Benefits of a Business Blog). Start with what you have, and build from there. Create a marketing plan that helps you stay on top of your social media and marketing campaigns. If you find yourself falling behind, adjust as necessary. If blogging every day is too crazy, knock it back to four times a week, or two, or one. The key is to stay active and consistent. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have enough time. For your business to be successful, make time to market.

Do You Still Hate Marketing?

If we haven’t convinced you, and you still hate marketing but need to get it done, contact us! We only hate bad marketing. Let us show you what good marketing looks like.

 

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The Best and Worst Performing Super Bowl Ads

At this year’s Super Bowl, a 30-second spot ran at about $4.5 million. With that in mind, it is a major understatement to say that the success of the ad campaign would be paramount. For some companies, the ads they ran have had amazing returns and their investment was worthwhile. For others, that $4.5 million may have been better spent elsewhere. Below are the three ads that topped the charts and the three ads the came in dead last.

Best Performing Ads

1 – Lost Dog | Budweiser #BestBuds

On USA Today’s AdMeter, this Budweiser spot came in first place. Based on a polling of over 7,000 people and advertising enthusiasts, each person ranked the ads on a scale from 1-10. This particular Budweiser ad took first place with a rating of 8.10. It should be noted that Budweiser has used a very similar campaign (ie. more cute puppy and horse footage) during last year’s Super Bowl as well as a handful of more times in the last decade, many of which topped the charts in their respective years.

2 – Like a Girl | Always

Always used this spot filled with adorable young girls showing what the true meaning of womanhood is. Interestingly, on the same 10-point scale, amongst woman this ad scored a 7.67 and among men a 6.48. It’s total score was a 7.1, a full point behind Budweiser but enough to earn them the second place award.

 

3 – Blue Pill | Fiat

Coming in third place is Fiat’s comical winner, the “Blue Pill.” Earning a 6.87 from voters, this ad has been deemed by some as the funniest ad of the Super Bowl. Received almost equally well by men and women (actually women preferred it a little bit to men), this ad received its highest marks from people in the age range of 50-64. Go figure.

 

Worst Performing Ads

1 – Save the Data | T-Mobile

Was anyone surprised by this? Kim Kardashian’s spot ends up in the bottom three with a whopping 3.49 score. Not much needs to be said as to why this ad didn’t perform well, perhaps a more respected celebrity would have helped the boring piece.

2 – Tackle It | Jublia

Ok, so while the message may be a good one, as Super Bowl watchers sat down to take a bite of hot wings, they looked up to see an infected foot playing football. It makes sense that the ad performed so poorly, receiving a 3.22 score.

3 – Heroes Charge

Now, last as well as least, is the 15-second ad for Heroes Charge, a fantasy app. It could be debated if it’s truly worse than feet playing football, but with a meager 3.12 score from voters, it finds itself as the caboose of the Super Bowl ads.

 

Marketing is an essential tool to all companies that want to thrive in a competitive environment. These ads portrayed the best and worst of marketing messaging. If nothing else, marketing messages should be consistent. With Divvy, a consistent brand message is simple. For franchises and businesses across the country, Divvy provides them with an easy-to-use online portal where all of their print marketing assets can be managed. To learn more, visit www.divvyonline.com.

 

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Using color psychology in advertising

Fun fact for the day: The human eye can distinguish between 2.5 million and 10 MILLION color variations. Combine this with hundreds of marketing messages we see per day and your task for choosing the layout/design for your next product instantly became a bit more daunting. That is if you are interested in using color psychology well.

Too many times decisions are made based on “What looks good” when the better question should be “What feels right?” Results from studies like The Interactive Effects of Colors show that the relationship between brands and color hinged on the perceived appropriateness of the color being associated with the particular brand. Basically does the color “fit” what is being sold? Color increases brand recognition by 80% so pay close attention to these color psychology infographics we found.

 

Quick color psychology tips

A list of go-to colors

Blue typically associated with feelings of trust, security, confidence and intelligence. It is considered a strong masculine color and is effective in portraying intelligence and cleanliness. It produces calm feelings and is recommended for more organizations concerned with creating a professional image.

Green can either represent wealth and finance (dark green) or entertainment and leisure (light green). Either way green symbolizes growth, harmony and fresh qualities. Dark green invokes feelings of health as well as financial security or success. It is the easiest color for the eyes to look at and even improves vision. We suggest using this when representing testimonials and founder’s stories.

Red actually increases your heart rate by activating the pituitary gland. Use this when conveying excitement or extreme emotions. Food companies use red in store signage because it encourages appetite and enhances metabolism. A recent study found that changing the color of the price from black to red in an advertisement makes men think they are getting a bargain. Because red is highly visible and helps bring text and images to the foreground, we suggest using it as an accent on your signage to attract attention to your key messages.

Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, optimism and energy. This color stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy. Use yellow sparingly as a way to get attention or to contrast with another color.

Orange is enthusiastic and cheerful, a combination of red and yellow attributes. While still grabbing a consumer’s attention, orange is more toned down. Many people respond physically to the color with increased oxygen to the brain, invigoration and mental stimulation. Our suggestion? Use orange to convey excitement and strength without overbearing the consumer.

Black can be powerful, dramatic, classy or protective. You see black often used when advertising a timeless product or to really round a company’s. Typically we see black on expensive products like clothing and technology.

White on the other hand exudes simplicity and purity. It can be used to help build a brand’s goodness and innocence. White is often used with health related products.

 

Color psychology in logos

Image by The Logo Company

The next step

So next time you need to update your advertising, signage or logo, do not open the nearest box of crayons and pull out a handful to choose from. Within every industry there are color trends. Look at what your competitors are doing and find a way to differentiate yourself. Don’t use color for color’s sake. In an article entitled Impact of Color Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product). If you have to choose between color psychology theory and market trends, be critical. It is more important the colors support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations.

 

If you need help designing your franchises logo, marketing material or product displays let us know, we’d love to help.

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