SOLID, FRESH IDEAS

The Latest From RockOrange

Vero Shows That the ‘Who’ in Brands is More Important Than Ever

By: Miguel Piedra
As Instagram continues to gobble up one-time rival Snapchat’s market share, it makes sense that a third challenger in the photo-sharing space should find breathing room.

That challenger, it seemed, was Vero, an ad-free and algorithm-free social platform that has hovered near the top of the App Store’s rankings of late. Touted by almost every major media outlet in recent weeksand by CNBCUSA Today and Fast Company in on 24-hour span alonethe upstart app promises “True Social” and has actually been around since 2015, but is enjoying a renewed surge.

Vero has been so popular, in fact, that it has struggled to keep up with demand and says it is scaling its server space to meet the increased bandwidth needs. So with all this heat, why is one of Vero’s trending topics on other platforms “cancel Vero”?

What is with the undercurrent of negative brand sentiment that appears to be eroding Vero’s nascent momentum?

Who Owns Vero?

Start with ownership. Vero is run by CEO Ayman Hariri, a billionaire Lebanese businessman whose father, Rafic, was prime minister of Lebanon before his assassination in 2005.

The younger Hariri’s other past work experience includes a tenure as deputy chief executive officer and vice chairman of Saudi Oger, his family’s construction company that has a long history of unfair labor practices and failure to pay wages to workers. The company was cited more than 31,000 by complaints from its workers, including allegations of internment.

Vero’s problems don’t end there. The leadership team is overwhelmingly comprised of Russian men, which on its own is not a crime. But in the current climate of renewed suspicion of all things Russian among about half the country, and in the light of the current gender equality conversations happening in this country, such a leadership makeup is, to quote the current parlance, “problematic” and not likely to engender support.

What’s interesting in this story isn’t alleged employment malpractice by multinational conglomerates or monochromatic boys clubs in leadership—those elements are nothing new to the startup world. It’s how Vero’s users became aware of it, and, in response, have begun uninstalling the app and canceling their memberships.

The Tone at the Top

It’s happening everywhere. The Weinstein Company, which has won countless awards and was a thriving film studio just one year ago, recently announced it will file for bankruptcy following the outing of its president Harvey Weinstein as a sexual miscreant of epic proportions.

The aforementioned Snapchat weathered its own storm when news broke that founder Evan Spiegel had sent misogynistic emails and behaved generally like a jerk. And the Holy Grail of polarized brand engagement based on the behavior of ownership is of course the Trump brand, whose patronage or abstention has become a larger-than-life symbol of identity in our modern politicized world.

Brands used to worry far less about what their leaders did when they weren’t running their brands. That’s no longer the case. The “who” of your brand matters today. Leaders have always been public figures, but in the age of social and search, they are truly out there.

Google has existed for 15 years, but only recently have people sought out information about companies, becoming galvanized, activated, even radicalized to make lifestyle consumption choices based on available information. During the 2016 election season, brands like Home Depot and Starbucks each earned cheers and jeers for their respective leaders’ political leanings.

We no longer live in an age where the principles behind a brand can operate in a vacuum. Consumers are more savvy than ever and no matter how deep you push those skeletons to the back of the closet, they’re likely to find them.

Miguel Piedra is an Emmy Award-winning former broadcast journalist who now runs RockOrange, a full-service marketing, communications and branding agency in Miami, with his life-long best friend.

Follow Miguel: @miguelpiedra

Brands Targeting Millennials Need to Read This Census Report

“Regardless of what Millennials might say during brand surveys, this report reflects the facts of how they are living, and that information is crucial if you hope to gear your brand toward their lives.”

 

RockOrange VP of Content & Editorial David Quiñones

Contributed by David Quiñones

Lately, there’s no easier way for agencies and firms to insert themselves into brand and marketing related social conversations than to publish surveys about Millennials that promise to finally pull back the shroud of mystery from this beguiling generations’ consuming habits.

I knew a user data insight specialist once who told me that between Facebook data and Google data, she would rather attack a marketing campaign armed with user habits from Google. The information we put into Facebook is our “ideal selves” she said; it is our outward-looking aspirational identity. The questions we ask Google speak to who we really are.

Usually, the insights from these agency-led surveys wind up being pretty superficial. After all, these surveys are kind of like Facebook: respondents are imagining their ideal selves, and projecting it into their answers. And that’s fine; it can even be quite helpful in targeting and campaigning. But it isn’t necessarily the truth of who they are.

How Millennials are Really Living

On April 19, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report called The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016, focusing on the differences between young adults over the course of 40 years. Regardless of what Millennials might say during the aforementioned brand surveys, this report reflects the facts of how they are living, and that information is crucial if you hope to gear your brand toward their lives.

A few takeaways from the report we found interesting:

  • Most of today’s Americans believe that educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half of Americans believe that marrying and having children are not very important in order to become an adult.
  • Young people are delaying marriage, but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 people married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married.
  • More young people today live in their parents’ home than in any other arrangement: 1 in 3 young people, or about 24 million 18- to 34-year olds, lived in their parents’ home in 2015.

More Than One-Third of Young Adults (Millennials) Live at Home
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six. Of the top five states where the most young adults lived independently in 2015, all were in Midwest and Plains states.
  • More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, 25 percent of young men ages 25 to 34 had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men (incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars).
  • Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women ages 25 to 34.
  • Of young people living in their parents’ home, 1 in 4 are idle, that is they neither go to school nor work. This figure represents about 2.2 million 25- to 34-year-olds. Among other characteristics, these young adults are more likely to have a child, so they may be caring for family, and over one quarter have a disability of some kind.

The Millennial generation, it goes without saying, is complex. The things they consider milestones (graduation, jobs, promotions) are different than what they consider capstones (marriage, children) and some capstones for previous generations are not showing up on their radar at all (do any of us honestly think we’ll get to retire?).

So, in the struggle to identify our target demographics’ “ideal selves”, let’s not give short shrift to their “real selves” and how they are living.

 


Interested in our public relations, social media and online brand analytics services?
Get at us: info@rockorange.com.

 

Maximizing a Celebrity Appearance for Your Brand

At RockOrange we represent a wide variety of clients – from large consumer brands to newly launching lifestyle businesses. With such a diverse group of clients, we always have to stay ahead of the game and keep a strong pulse on the practice of matching companies with the right strategic partners or celebrity ambassadors to drive awareness for corporate initiatives, be it product launches, red carpet events, non-profit programs or social media campaigns.

It is well known the power that a positive partnership or celebrity endorsement can have on your brand. But as a publicist, the glitz and glamour and perception of spontaneity that appears in the final coverage, doesn’t quite represent the less than sexy work that has transpired behind the scenes.

Recently, RockOrange had the pleasure of being able to promote the very lovely Jennifer Lopez as she was a recent guest of our client, Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in the Dominican Republic. She performed her very first concert in the country at the historic Altos de Chavón Amphitheater, and also brought along her children and new boyfriend, former New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. Her ageless beauty, tremendous talent and genuine graciousness were reflected in the photos and footage, but in and of themselves, those images and photos only go so far. It takes a rock solid plan, fresh ideas and a lot of work before, during and following the events to generate the right coverage for your clients.

With that, we thought we’d share a glimpse behind the curtain at some of the steps and a few tips on how we minimized missteps and maximized this celebrity appearance:

  • Be prepared: In advance of the celebrity’s arrival, pre-write a statement and social posts that you can send out immediately following. Have your media list ready and an editor on standby to refine any photos or footage. You want to lead the conversation, so time is of the essence. With proper planning, you should be able to quickly make minor changes to your statement, and send it out with a few clean images and footage. (Biggest reminder: DO NOT over-edit or add music to the footage. Leave the ambient noise.)
  • Know your team: When things are moving fast, or if you are based remotely from the appearance, you need to be able to trust in your partners. Have your core team identified and roles clearly defined. (A shout out to our fabulous partners at Casa de Campo!)
  • Make it easy for the celebrity: No one likes to have his or her time wasted. Pre-walk the path where the celebrity will walk. Know your entry and exit spots. Make sure they are able to quickly and easily get to their locations, without anything blocking the way. In the moment, they will be looking to you for guidance and confidence.
  • Know your end goal: Pre-determine what your ideal coverage looks like. Seed the outlets you want to be in and give them first access, or provide it to the outlet with your house cameras. Determine what your ideal coverage/image of the celebrity looks like. You want them to be shot in the perfect lighting with your brand represented in the background. Sometimes, this means kindly coercing the celebrity to stand or be somewhere they may not want to be. Politely stand your ground, know what you need to achieve, and make it happen.
  • Find things you can control: If the appearances don’t go as planned, find other ways to tell the story. What was the celebrity wearing? Who were they with? Where did they dine before or after the appearance? Stay focused on the goal of getting your brand image weaved throughout.
  • Integrate your brand message: Ensure that statements and visuals (photos and videos) reflect your brand integrity, likeness and/or name. But unless you are the president or owner of the brand, the focus is not on you. This is business and not friendship, so no cameos please.

So, how did this checklist work for us?

Our RockOrange Rockstars generated a little over one (1) billion media impressions and 250 million social media impressions off of Jennifer Lopez’s arrival to the island, groundbreaking first concert, visit and accommodations at Casa de Campo, and a philanthropic appearance with one of the resort’s local charity partners. By pitching stories that ranged from the aforementioned events to what she was wearing and details of the luxury resort, we secured over 350 placements in ten countries in media outlets ranging from Vogue and Architecture Digest to Entertainment Tonight and Telemundo.

We hope these few insights help guide your celebrity experiences to provide the best return on investment for your brand.

 


RockOrange is a fully integrated communications agency made up of a diverse group of collaborators who are passionate about building brands. We don’t just follow trends, we set them. We take solid, fresh ideas and turn them into value for the companies we work with. We see problems as opportunities, provide strategic leadership and never lose sight of our clients’ goals. 

 

 

ROCKORANGE CLIENTS IN THE NEWS: COVERAGE ROUNDUP

From The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival to a pop-up art gallery in Mexico, check out this roundup of some great coverage our team has secured for our rockstar clients over the past few weeks:

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews was featured in the US Hispanic publication Hola Ciudad! The piece mentions the Golden Robin and Golden Brew-Off Award-winners and also highlights Red Robin’s participation at The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews also received some coverage in Latina Magazine’s “The Latin Kitchen”, for their Golden Robin Award-winning burger, The 305 Burger, which was featured at the Heineken Light Burger Bash during the The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The mention highlights the recipe of The 305 Burger, which was created by Florida International University (FIU) student, Given Suman, Red Robin’s Golden Robin Award winner.

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BeerBoard

This month BeerBoard was featured in Food & Beverage Magazine as it released its latest Pour Report, providing insights into the strongest performers and trending beer styles from Q4 2016 (October, November, December) as compared to the same period in 2015.

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Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort in Quintana Roo, Mexico, was featured in Travel Agent Central for announcing their partnership with TerrinArt to create a pop-up gallery at the resort. The gallery will display six paintings by Belgian artist and Playa del Carmen ex-pat Peter Terrin.

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Gulliver Schools

Gulliver received a mention in the Miami Herald last Friday for the hiring of their new volleyball coach, Alan Obrador.

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Setting the Tone in Little Havana

RockOrange is at the forefront of a cultural and creative resurgence, and it’s all taking place within blocks of our new home in Miami’s Little Havana. Just months following our move to a 17,000-square-foot creative campus in the heart of the historic neighborhood, we unveiled a new street art mural by local artist Daniel Fila, better known as Krave, setting the visual tone for the new “LiHa.”

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Little Havana has seen a recent rise to prominence led by increased commercial and residential development, a thriving arts scene, cuisine and nightlife.

Our agency founders Miguel Piedra and David Naranjo, both Miami natives, had headquartered in the corporate suites of Blue Lagoon during the agency’s first three years (RockOrange was formed in 2013). The pair of Cuban-Americans, both raised in Miami, moved their headquarters to the area in 2016.

Last week, Krave, Miguel and David held a Facebook Live event showing everyone around the new jewel of LiHa. Check it out:

The mural, adorning the side of RockOrange’s headquarters, is a unique work of art reflecting the culture of a uniquely American area using familiar imagery: a Miami Metro Mover; a cigar-smoking gentleman wearing a panama hat; the renowned Cuban-America salsa performer, Celia Cruz; and Krave’s signature character, The Fresh Monkey. In a city where all neighborhoods come to be known by nicknames, six-foot-tall letters span the top of the mural spell out the word “LiHa,” cementing Little Havana’s new moniker.

RockOrange Clients In the News: Coverage Roundup

2017 is in full effect and boy, have things been busy! Check out this roundup of some great coverage our team has secured for our rockstar clients over the past few weeks:

Beerboard

Beerboard, an integrated beer management tool and guest display system, scored big on the front page of USA Today Sports the day after the second most watched Super Bowl in history with some impressive game day national beer consumption stats.

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Seasons 52

The popular Seasons 52 eatery in Coral Gables received a visit from Lisa Petrillo and CBS Miami for a feature on the popular TV segment, “Taste of The Town.” Additionally, lookout for an upcoming a segment with WTVJ/NBC 6 – 6 in the Mix.

 

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort got lots of love on Valentine’s Day in Recommend Magazine, LatinFlyer.com, and Spa Travel Gal blog for their romantic vacation specials.

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Casa de Campo Resort and Villas

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas made the news as recording artist Jennifer Lopez prepares to do something she’s never done before, perform in the Dominican Republic. Casa de Campo will host JLo at the Altos de Chavón venue, a Grecian-style amphitheater originally built in the 1970’s. Check out the features in TravelPulse, Fox News Travel and EIN News.

JLo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness made its way into the Miami Herald’s list of things to do for lovers and loners on Valentine’s Day. Check out the full list of Valentine’s Day suggestions here.

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Capillus

Capillus, a company that produces FDA-cleared laser caps for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, was recently featured on a full-page spread in Women’s Health Magazine, an estimated ad value of $215,900.

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Looking to score some solid coverage for your brand? Drop us a line: info@rockorange.com or 305.731.2224.

 

 

Trends that Won Social Media During the Super Bowl

Like most of you, we were watching Super Bowl LI with our beer, wings, and dare we say, soul-crushing disappoint in tow (sorry Patriots fans, not sorry).

After the game, we all wanted to know what was going down off the field and on social media. Was the crying Jordan meme on Brady’s face going viral yet? Did Lady Gaga crush it with her half-time performance or was she getting slammed? Which brands’ commercials were scoring with fans and which were tanking?

So, we asked our social media team to take a dive into the conversation using our social listening platforms and analytics to let us know what was buzzing. Here are the top four trending topics throughout the night and into the post-Superbowl online frenzy:

1. Patriots Make an Epic Comeback

With over 11 million mentions across the country, the game itself was the star of the night. Garnering a whopping 36 percent of the mentions on Sunday, the Patriots comeback in the second half was the most talked about online. And honestly, who couldn’t talk about that unbelievable ending?

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2. Goo-goo for Gaga

But slow down, Pats… not too far behind, Lady Gaga came in hot with her incredible, acrobatic halftime show.

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Many were saying it was even better than the Queen B’s…

 

3. Tom Brady Makes NFL History

Along with the historic overtime win, Tom Brady also made history being the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls. Everyone was talking about it, some congratulating and some throwing shade.

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4. 84 Lumber’s Controversial Commercial

Finally, when everyone came down from the Super Bowl high (or got over the hangover), the ads became a contender. 84 Lumber caused the most buzz in the 24 hours following the big game with its controversial commercial (so controversial Fox actually denied airing the entire ad).

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You can watch the full ad here:

Shout out to Budweiser and T-Mobile for picking up big buzz for their commercials as well.

 

We enjoyed taking a short break from serious politics and cat videos to join in on the Super Bowl banter. Looking forward to seeing who makes the most talk next year… maybe a 6th win for Brady and the Patriots? (shudder)

Interested in our social media and online brand analytics services? Get at us: info@rockorange.com.

 

How RockOrange Built Buzz for Bloomin’ Brands Loyalty Program

The Job

Last year RockOrange was engaged by Bloomin’ Brands, one of the world’s largest fast, casual dining companies to launch Dine Rewards®, the first nationwide loyalty program to offer rewards across the brands’ multiple restaurant concepts including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill®, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

The Fresh Ideas

RockOrange designed an integrated marketing communications program to drive awareness of and sign ups to the loyalty program through a series of cross-channel media and consumer facing activations including:

  • a content-rich PR Newswire landing page featuring infographics and videos alongside the launch press release
  • a 15 second digital advertisement on the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square
  • a national promotion with ABC’s Live with Kelly that ran during the week of the loyalty program launch and offered a $500 Dine Rewards prize for the show’s “Drive Me Wild” web trivia contest
  • multiple local radio promotions in key Bloomin’ Brands markets with stations including Miami’s Y100, Charlotte’s Channel 96.1, Atlanta’s KISS 104.1 and Jacksonville’s 1 WAPE
  • local blogger activations

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The Solid Results

The combination of activity worked. The day the press release was released, on July 19, 2016, more than 100,000 sign-ups to the Dine Rewards loyalty program were generated. Two weeks later, more than 800,000 members had enrolled, and by October that number had doubled to more than 1.6 million members.

The activity produced 165 articles in online and print publications in the first month alone, including Mobile Commerce Daily, the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Loyalty 360, National Restaurant News and FSR magazine, generating 143,638,295 impressions with an equivalent ad value of $3,320,605.

Social sentiment over the same time period was 100 percent positive with 4,506 mentions and 4,452 posts on social media generating more than 22 million impressions.

 

RockOrange Looks Back at the Highs and Highs of 2016

It’s finally here: 2017 has landed and those of us at RockOrange are filled with a renewed sense of hope, optimism and eager anticipation for what promises to be our biggest year yet!

But we aren’t exactly glad to see 2016 go—although a lot of people are. For us, it was a formative year. We capped off 2016 being named a Top Place to Work in PR by PRNews, which was a huge recognition (even though we’ve known it for years). We also won honors from Bulldog Reporter who awarded us Bronze in the category of ‘Best Use of Digital/Social for Cause/Advocacy/Corporate Social Responsibility’ for the digital work we executed on behalf of Miami’s Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF) and from PR News, who awarded our campaign that launched the Thalia Sodi fashion line at Macy’s top spot in the ‘Facebook PR Campaign’ category in the publication’s annual Social Media Awards. We were also recognized as part of the team behind the award-winning McWhopper campaign at the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival.

Beyond the hardware, we bolstered our business last year by working with some inspiring new client partners, including launching Bloomin’ Brands Dine Rewards and the new American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora. We creatively introduced multiple Kitchen Aid products to Latin America, and elevated brands such as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Casa de Campo, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Planet Fitness, XtendBarre and Capillus.

We’ve also expanded our scope of work with our friends over at Driven Brands, Maaco, Meineke and Restaurant Services International, and have continued our longstanding relationship with Burger King. These client partners, new and old, have put their faith in us, and we’re excited to continue our great work together.

What else were we up to in 2016? Oh, not much… Only opening our own 17,000 square foot creative campus in the heart of Little Havana!

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With a buzzing mezzanine chock full of hardworking RockStars, to the authentic Cuban coffee/espresso machine in our new cafeteria, to the impromptu creative sessions being held throughout our open-concept flexible floor plan, we finally feel like we are “at home”. So if you’re ever nearby, don’t hesitate to drop in!

And finally, what would a killer creative campus be without creatives to fill it? This year, we added a slew of new RockStars to the team, headlined by creative director Sam Rodriguez, who has already made his mark on the agency’s aesthetic and attitude. We also brought on marketing ninja Louise Finlay, digital guru Rafael Aguirre, accounts superstar Frances Ramos and editorial specialist Jessica Pereda. We also proudly promoted two of our RockStars-in-Training, Elise Rodriguez and Carolina Vigoya, to account positions.

All told, it was a year of challenges met and conquered for our powerhouse agency that seems to get bigger and work bolder every year. Our goal in 2017 is to continue to empower and evolve. We know that when our history is written, 2016 will be an important chapter. This is the start of a new chapter, wherein we are emboldened to do really big things for our awesome clients, to help drive their brands with innovative, fresh thinking, and together, help achieve their dreams.

We can’t wait to get started.

Happy New Year!

—RockOrange

Top Blog Posts of 2016

The words TOP 10 printed on clothespin clipped cards in front of defocused glowing lights.

Another year has flown by here at RockOrange. And it’s been an exciting one! We moved offices into our new home in Little Havana, added 15 new clients to our roster including Red Robin, Planet Fitness, The American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora and Millennium Hotels, had eight new RockStars join the team and continued to be recognized for our work, winning four new industry awards.

Through it all, the RockOrange blog gave us a place to share all these exciting developments with you. That’s why, as we count down the final days of 2016, we wanted to look back and share our top 10 blog posts of the past 12 months in terms of views, likes and comments.

Did your favorite make the list?

1. frances-sat-16-w855h4252x

RockOrange Welcomes Its Newest Rockstar, Frances Ramos, to Its Award-Winning Agency

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A Wild Tale of Helping a Foundation Brand Find Its Voice

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RockOrange Wins PR News Social Media Award with History-Making Facebook Campaign

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Question Time With “The Rock”

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A Stark Contrast

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A Creative Force Joins the Fold

7. mb-clean

RockOrange Makes Trash Trend with Anti-Litter Campaign

8. intern

Tales of a Rockstar Intern

9. rock-orange-mcwhopper-w855h4252x

RockOrange Part of Team Recognized for Helping Broker Peace Between World’s Biggest Burger Chains

10. aaeaaqaaaaaaaajsaaaajdiwztixmjhjltyyotgtngixzc05yznjltkyode3odc5ywmzyq

The ABT’s (Always Be Thinking) of Great Agency Marketing

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