FRESH IDEAS: MARCH MADNESS, SXSW, U.S. HISPANIC TRENDS

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Contributed by Carolina Cepeda Vigoya

 

Welcome to our weekly “FRESH IDEAS” post.

Had a busy week and feeling a little lost around water cooler banter? We’ve got you covered. Once a week, we’ll share some of our favorite brand stunts and announcements, trending topics, tech news, and social media buzz that stand out from the herd.

Saw something awesome that we should have included? Share it in the comments section below!

BUZZ REPORT

3.13.17-3.17.17

Fun Fact: One in seven fans call in sick just to catch a March Madness tournament.

#SweetSicksteen

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MARCH MADNESS

Pedal Power

Pizza Hut made ordering pizza during your favorite game so much easier with their “Pie Tops.” The limited edition shoes have a button in the tongue of the sneakers that have a geolocation for the pizza to be delivered to your location.

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#MarchMayhem

All State is usually the NCAA’s corporate partner. The brand uses the “Mayhem” character, played by Dean Winters, who takes over the official @Mayhem Twitter account that has almost 100K followers where he makes fun of how obsessive people get over the tournaments.

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The Official March Madness Candy

In 2015 as the official NCAA candy sponsor, the brand created a social media campaign on “Final Four Fridays” and a “Reese’s College All Star Game” for students to show on social media their favorite basketball moments to win special prizes. They also conducted the “Put Reese’s In Your Starting Lineup” campaign for the audience to select their five favorite Reese’s candy.

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Sweet 16

4C Insights, a worldwide data company with headquarters in Chicago created a Sixteen Bracket after analyzing the tv advertisements throughout the tournament based on social media engagement by calculating the Twitter and Facebook clicks. Check out the “Brand Madness” brackets here.

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Other Brand’s Cool Social Media Posts

Oreo

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KFC

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SXSW

Fasten @ SXSW

After the city of Austin required Uber and Lyft drivers to have fingerprinted background checks, both companies stepped out. This is now giving Fasten, a new driving service, a chance to shine during SXSW. The company partnered with SXSW to provide guests a riding service after events or partiers, having results of 250% increase in business.

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Sony’s Motion Sonic Wristband

Don’t follow the sound, let the sound follow you.

Sony showed up to SXSW with a wristband that uses movement to manipulate sound. The band is part of the Motion Sonic project that uses microphones to collect data on arm and leg movements.

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Mashable House: More Than Meets The Eye

During the event, Mashable created a Mashable House for guests to surround themselves with unique and innovative activities. Some activities included yoga, crafting the perfect Paloma drink, create art in a temperature-based installation, and re-create Beyonce’s epic pregnancy announcement picture.

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Step Into My Box

McDonald’s created a loft in 2016 that let guests create custom sundaes and burgers. It also used virtual reality to step inside of a Happy Meal box and use laser paint or a paintbrush to decorate the box. Those who participated received a GIF of their VR experience to share on social media.

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U.S. HISPANIC TRENDS

Amazon to Launch Spanish Website

Amazon’s U.S. website will soon release a Spanish website, hoping to delight the 40 million Spanish-speaking and 10 million bilingual Spanish-English speaking Americans.

Univision and Nielsen Partner Up

To better position Univision’s radio content and advertising, the company partnered with Nielsen Audio. Since radio reaches 98% of all Hispanics throughout the month, this is the opportunity to better position dollars into programming and marketing decisions. Brands often face the issue of spending too much money on the wrong content, so a partnership like this can benefit both consumers and brands.

Coupon Life

Stats show that 9/10 Hispanics search online for deals and 85% print coupons before going to the store. 9/10 also said they’re willing to switch stores as long as they find a better deal and 8/10 said they decide where to shop based on where they can use paperless discounts (such as in mobile devices and loyalty programs).

 

DUH! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? (INSPIRING THINGS WE LOVE)

Mini Picnic Grill

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Vegetable huggers

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“Grill and chill” BBQ donut

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How Can Brands Prevent Sharing #TMI?

Social media has created a share-society. And, with the rise of real-time social sharing apps like Facebook Live and storytelling features and apps like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, social media users can quite literally share their every single move, all day, every day. And by users we’re not just talking about the everyday consumer snapping photos of every meal they sit down to eat, or celebs posting endless selfies, but also brands, who are leveraging the channels to build deeper relationships with their customers through authentic, behind-the-scenes, how-the-sauce-is-made glimpses into their day-to-day operations.

However, there’s a line of appropriateness that shouldn’t be forgotten. You can share too much on social media and if you cross the line you’re at risk of alienating, and potentially losing, customers and fans. So as we watch DJ Khaled snapchat his wife giving birth, we’re left asking… How can brands prevent sharing #TMI?

How Can You Build Your Personal Brand?

As the 2016 U.S. presidential race heads into the home stretch there are just a few points separating the candidates which is why, beyond the party politics, their personal brands have never been more important in helping sway opinion and those still undecided voters.

While Clinton and Trump have teams of people working around the clock to help craft their messages and perfect their image online and IRL, there are plenty of lessons that brands and individuals can take from the race to build support for their own personal branding campaigns.

That’s why this week we’re exploring those lessons and asking our RockStars – how can you build your personal brand?

You, Too, Can Own Your Platform. (And You Should!)

By David Naranjo
Indulge me for a moment in some “back in my day” reminiscing.

When I was coming up in the world of media and communications, leading a team of PR pros at Sony Music and later the Estefan Enterprises, we worked hard to gin up positive coverage for our artists. More coverage equaled more units sold, so these earned opportunities were golden. Those media gatekeepers could make or break a new album, a career, or a label itself.

Needless to say, things are different today. For musicians and entertainers the revolution kicked into high gear back in the mid-00s with the rise of MySpace as a proto-platform to own the messaging and imagery associated with your brand. With a little bit of HTML and a lot of elbow grease, you could bring your art to millions, where you once needed a label, a marketing team, and an interested media. The MySpace page became the new street team (not coincidentally around this time Sony and other record companies decommissioned their own networks of real street teams).

And we know the story from there: MySpace begat Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, and for artists more targeted apps like Soundcloud and Bandcamp integrated nicely. Cobbling together these pages with a centralized website and blog makes an effective, elegant platform for artists. Tend that social media garden well enough, and it becomes hard to remember why we ever needed media outlets so badly.

Of course, we love our friends in the press, and they always make our jobs easier. But the best brands today are leaving nothing to chance. Like those bands inhabiting the early MySpace, smart brands are creating their own platform for message management.

Our client Zappos recently engaged us for a back-to-school campaign. The deals were great, as was the apparel. And the brand is noteworthy in its own right—definitely not an unknown, frequently covered by mainstream press and trades. But this was a back-to-school campaign, straining its neck to be noticed in a sea of other back-to-school campaigns. Earned media coverage was incredibly unlikely without some kind of elevation.

We used the brand’s social media platforms to link out to guest bloggers whose influence made the campaign into actual coverage-worthy news. Now, it wasn’t just half off your second pair of sneakers. It was mommy bloggers bragging about the pairs of shoes they had gotten for their kids. Engaging with the influencers, we were able to rise above the commercial noise.

Sometimes the need to control the message speaks to the brand’s very existence. Consider a quick service restaurant client of ours who was facing a very difficult investigation in Europe into their locations. The sensational story gave short shrift to the facts and was bombastic in all the ways you hope to avoid for your clients.

So, rather than engage with the journalists in their forum, we marshaled the strength of the brand’s social media to publish facts about the situation, taking a crisis and turning it into a teaching moment. This kind of education would have been impossible on any platform other than the client’s own. The strategy was effective: the news magazine shelved a planned sequel to their report after our own messaging essentially defanged their reporting.

Here is a healthy exercise for anyone leading a brand’s communication efforts: imagine you have something incredibly important to say, something everyone needs to hear, and you have to do it right this moment. How would you do it? Would you be reliant on someone else to do it for you? Is your social media presence primed and active? Have you tended that garden? What shape are your lists in? When’s the last time someone organically signed up for your newsletter? Do you have a newsletter, if only to collect email addresses?

Media companies spend millions to refine their platforms. So should you. No one can tell your story better than you.

RockOrange Welcomes Rafael Aguirre

In communications, digital is the way of the future. Agencies that hope to remain viable in the future need team members who can tell an array of stories across all of those platforms.

So it is with this in mind that we proudly welcome our agency’s new digital strategist, Rafael Aguirre, into the fold. Our latest RockStar sports an expertise in digital marketing and an in-depth knowledge of the realm of social networking. Rafael has a proven track record of organically increasing brand awareness online while developing a lasting correlation with consumers—skills heavily sought after by our brand partners.

Recently, Rafael has crafted impactful campaigns for numerous large brands, including Volkswagen, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Royal Caribbean and Marriott.

Rafael says he approaches jobs by trying to understand a brand’s core needs, then by working to identify trends and opportunities that are authentic to the brand. He has extensive expertise in dealing with the U.S. Hispanic market, the largest growing demographic in the country.

A graduate of Full Sail University in Orlando, Rafael got his start in the industry as a digital product production coordinator for Sony Music. Most recently, Rafael was at Miami-based Nobox where he was a social media strategist.

“Social media is the untamed, wild west of the web,” he says. “It’s powerful because it’s instant. You reach millions of people directly.”

At RockOrange, Rafael will tailor client content to best reach end users using search engine optimization tools that help brands navigate the internet wilds. In short, he’ll help our clients brands shine online.

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