social media watch

From Cradle to Grave, Social Media Changes the Circle of Life

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 14, 2014 05:13 PM

These days, brands will do almost anything to catch the attention of millennials, the most coveted demographic bar none. But as these digital natives become full-fledged adults—bank accounts, babies, buying homes, oh my!—they might not realize just how much they are indoctrinating their social media habits into their legacies. 

Take, for example, their kids: This generation of newborns is the first to be brought up by parents who grew up with Facebook—hence the overload of baby photos and videos that’s probably taking up your newsfeed this very moment. 

Whether you find it annoying or cute, it’s certainly a fascinating phenomenon, and as the young Dutch designer Laura Cornet found out, one that’s easily capitalized upon.

As part of an art experiment for her graduate thesis, Cornet created four baby toys, including one that lets a baby take selfies and post status updates immediately to Facebook, as well as tiny fitness-tracker booties. Her "line" is called "New Born Fame.”Continue reading...

brand speak

Brand Speak: Yahoo Insights Guru Lauren Weinberg on Engaging Millennials

Posted by brandchannel staff on November 11, 2014 05:05 PM

The following is a guest post by Lauren Weinberg, Vice President, Strategic Insights and Research, Yahoo

Capture the Hearts and Minds of Millennials with Creative Content

It’s no surprise that millennials are so popular among digital marketers. This group of highly connected individuals makes up 27 percent of the U.S. population. They spend 18 hours a day consuming media and check their smartphone 43 times a day. And, most importantly, they have buying power. According to a recent Mintel report, millennials in the U.S. will have more than $1.4 trillion to spend by 2020.

While millennials may be the ideal digital consumers, the way marketers reach them needs to be carefully considered. That’s especially true when it comes to content marketing, which can be a highly effective channel for reaching this group. In fact, according to a Crowdtap report, millennials find content marketing 35 percent more memorable than other sources of information.

The fact that millennials are more open to content marketing means that brands already have a foot in the door, but that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Millennials have distinct expectations when it comes to the ads they engage with and share, raising the bar for marketers. Reaching millennials through content marketing hinges on understanding their values and their daily habits.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Unilever Gives Youths a Global Soap Box to Address Hunger

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 10, 2014 03:26 PM

Twitter founder Biz Stone coined the phrase, "Philanthropy is the new marketing." Unilever appears to agree.

In a branding move that reinforces its mission of a brighter tomorrow, the consumer packaged goods giant has launched a video series, #BrightFuture Speeches, highlighting youths' ideas on how to address one critical barrier to achieving that goal: food poverty.

Over the next five weeks, the series will follow a group of young activists as they campaign against hunger and food poverty in various parts of the world, including Indonesia, the UK and North America. Continue reading...

bc q&a

5 Questions: Leslie Gaines-Ross on the Price of Brand Incivility

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2014 02:44 PM

The fifth annual Civility in America study from Weber Shandwick finds that America has a decorum deficit—and there are implications for brands.

Millennials (born post-1980) and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) blame the Internet and social media for worsening attitudes and increasingly negative interactions, while Boomers (1945-65) and the Silent Generation (pre-1945) mostly blame politicians and politics. 

This year's study, conducted with Powell Tate and KRC Research, has flagged findings for brands pursuing engagement with millennials, seen by many marketers as the most influential and financially important segment that is empowered and poised to make good on their beliefs.

As the study reveals, millennials are the most likely to stop buying from a company that treats them uncivilly, and will advise others to do the same. Professional and college sports are losing fans, as 24% of millennials have stopped attending sporting events because of uncivil behavior on the field or in the crowd. 

brandchannel spoke with Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick, about the report's insights into the opportunity for brands to engage millennials in a more civil, authentic manner. Continue reading...

mobile marketing

GE Goes Loco for Yo App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2014 11:42 AM

GE is promoting predictive maintenance and optimization services for more than $1 trillion worth of connected industrial equipment, including locomotives, medical equipment and jet engines. Impressive figure but not a very sexy subject, you might think, to generate buzz and conversation about the Internet of things.

That's why GE CMO Beth Comstock has been praised for her ability to use human connections to power B2B corporate storytelling (credit all those hours in-flight for having time to spark her imagination) and willingness to test leading-edge social and tech channels.

Case in point: GE's new tie-in with Yo, the head-scratching app that features a single word that marketers have been trying to figure out.Continue reading...

sustainability

Brands Find Sustainability Moving to the Top of Major CSR Initiatives

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 27, 2014 12:34 PM

Maximizing shareholder value has a new handmaiden: sustainability. And corporate social responsibility is her mirror.

“Social responsibility should be viewed through the lens of maximizing shareholder value,” commented The Wall Street Journal’s Bruce Nolop. “It’s no longer a 'nice to have.' It’s a strategic imperative."

No matter the industry, it’s increasingly clear that sustainability can drive profit, as Chris Humme, CMO of Schneider Electric, notes. He cites Intercontinental as a prime example of how green practices can lower costs—the hotelier has reportedly saved $30,000 a month at just two San Francisco hotels by micro-managing peak power.Continue reading...

Michelin Taps Teen YouTube Stars to Teach Kids About Safe Driving

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2014 05:01 PM

All sorts of brands related to cars—and some that aren't—have tried public service campaigns and branded content to highlight the dangers of driving, especially while intoxicated or distracted, to the teenaged motorists who are most vulnerable to fatal mistakes.

Now, Michelin has come up with "Beyond the Driving Test," a campaign for National Teen Driver Safety Week this week with the hashtag #safedrivers to make new and young drivers more aware of potential safety hazards that are less directly the result of negligence or distraction but which can be just as deadly.

To make that message resonate, the tire brand is harnessing some of the biggest teen influencers on YouTube to share clever videos that shed light on problems such as poorly maintained tires.Continue reading...

chew on this

Chipotle Founder Disses Competition Even While His Own Stock Falls

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 21, 2014 12:22 PM

Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells was feeling pretty spiffy about his company Monday when it announced that same-store sales had gone up 19.8 percent last quarter, as compared to the same time period last year. (McDonald’s, meanwhile, reported a 3.3 percent decline today.) Ells was feeling so good that he went ahead and told the world exactly how he thought his “short-sighted” competitors were doing everything wrong.

“The traditional fast food sector has traded food quality and taste for low-cost and ease of preparation,” Ells said, according to Fortune. “[The fast food industry] has aggressively marketed low prices to entice customers to visit more often, which has resulted in the need to reduce cost by cheapening ingredients and by compromising the overall dining experience.”

Ells went on to say that no shortcuts can be taken, since customers, particularly millennials, “are increasingly unwilling to compromise.” This is a demographic that Chipotle is markedly interested in and has attracted with its long-term dedication to sustainability efforts. Continue reading...

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