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.

FRESH IDEAS: SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER

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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!

WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK?
2.27.17 to 3.3.17

Fun Fact: As of 2017, Snapchat has 158 million daily active users, 301 million monthly active users, and 2.5 billion snaps are sent per day.

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BRANDS SNAP

You only have 8 seconds to catch your audience’s attention, which means it’s the chance for brands and marketers to get involved with what is trending and how to target their audience faster and more organically. It’s also a chance to be more creative, clever, and in the moment.

Mashable (@Mashable)

The approach they take incorporates visual storytelling with a quirky personality. While they use the platform to share breaking news, they also share their culture at their NYC headquarters, important events such as CES, World Cup, Comic-Con, SXSW, etc.

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Taco Bell (@TacoBell)

Who doesn’t remember the epic taco face on last year’s Cinco de Mayo brought by Taco Bell? The filter was viewed 224 million times and it has been the most successful campaign on Snapchat’s history.

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Amazon (@Amazon)

No big [$1 Billion] deal! That’s the five-year contract between the two companies. By adding the company on Snapchat you can Snap a Deal! This way they boost sales and get promo codes at checkout.

The White House also joined the app, as well as Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who was the first politician to host a Snapchat live story.

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FEATURES

In 2016, the app released the feature Discover, a series of channels for everyone’s taste. All a user sees is an image and headline of the story and by clicking it they can read about it and subscribe to the channel. It varies from politics, food, pop culture, comedy, etc.

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Then, the Spectacles came along. Hyatt Hotels took this opportunity to release their “World of Hyatt” campaign by having employees wear the spectacles and record their experience at the location to share on social media. L’Oréal Paris did the same during the Golden Globes to show behind the scenes prep content and Grubhub showed the crowd their delivery man’s perspective in the streets of Chicago to promote their service.

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AGENCIES SNAP

Agencies like Mckinney (@McKinneysnaps) have an account takeover by a different staff member once a week. The employee showcases their day, with the goal of attracting potential clients and employees.

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Other agencies like Huge (@Hugesnaps) have used their accounts to show their culture. When they first launched their account, they used it with “Summer Fry Day” and had employees share their days on the agency’s account.

ClearPivot (@clearpivot) has another snap approach. It’s less agency culture and more of a mini vlog with marketing news and social media hot topics.

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Check out other major agencies that are snappin’ away on this ‘Ad Agencies on Snapchat’ Directory.

FRENEMIES

Remember when Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion cash? And Snapchat was like…

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Then, they attempted to create “Slingshot,” a video messaging app that makes pictures and videos eventually disappear. The idea was an epic fail, and Facebook pulled the plug not long after it was released.

Now, patent documents have been released to show Apple is trying to create an “avatar environment” similar to Snapchat’s Bitmoji.

PS: Check out our Bitmoji-fied team!

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Then came Instagram Stories. The feature is the same as Snapchat, and some argue it’s more convenient because you can have the best of both worlds (posting a picture on your feed and using the “not so worthy” content for your stories) in one app.

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Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company recently released their IPO, and now the stock sale for Snapchat is the most valuable American technology company at $17 a share, valuing the company at $24 billion.

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In conclusion, Snapchat is a major key to keeping up with social media. If you disagree, then you can ask DJ Khaled.

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

A device that shows next day’s weather

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A dripless coffee cup

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A flippable bench for when it’s wet

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A see-through toaster

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How Can You Engage Using Video?

The power of video content is undeniable. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80 percent and video in an email leads to 200-300 percent increase in click-through rate. That’s why the medium can no longer be ignored as part of your marketing mix.

But video consumption habits are changing. Live social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are taking viewing time away from more traditional online platforms like YouTube,  and shrinking attention spans mean that short form or micro content (videos less than 5 seconds) are proving as, or more, effective than TV-style 30 second spots.

So while marketers know they need to spend more time on video, understanding what’s going to work best for their brand is hard. That’s why this week we’re asking our RockStars – How Can You Engage Using Video?

How Can Brands Capitalize on Pokémon GO?

The Pokémon GO craze is real. So far around 7.5 million people in the U.S. have downloaded the app and players are already spending more time with the game than they are on Snapchat, Twitter and even Facebook.

But what’s the opportunity for brand marketers and how can they capitalize on those highly engaged users who just gotta catch ‘em all?  We asked our RockStars to share their thoughts.

Oh, and if you know where a Pikachu is let us know!

 

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

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Last Tuesday, the prestigious Cannes Lion Awards, considered by many the gold standard for industry recognition in advertising, twice recognized the McWhopper campaign, ideated by Young & Rubicam New Zealand.

As part of RockOrange’s ongoing relationship with Burger King, our team was recognized for its work to deliver a robust issue management process just in case the call for peace didn’t go according to plan. RockOrange also worked closely with Burger King’s other agencies on marketing ideation and materials review.

The Grand Prix awards, won in the media and print & publishing categories, went for the revolutionary campaign that saw Burger King bring competitors to the table to put aside their petty differences and raise money for the cause of peace.

“I think our Grand Prix reflects so much of what it good about the industry,” said jury president Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, in an interview with AdWeek. “This is a case of a big brand. And big brands sometimes find it difficult to move quickly. This is a case of a big brand taking on an even bigger competitor, moving quickly, being bold, acting within the brand, acting cheekily, reacting to events, bringing consumers in.”

The campaign began with an open letter to McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook, offering an olive branch in the form of a shared burger in honor of Peace Day. The burger would use ingredients from both McDonalds Quarter Pounder sandwich and Burger King’s Whopper sandwich. The chains would meet in Atlanta—a midway point between the brands’ respective headquarters in Illinois and Miami—and open a McWhopper pop-up, with proceeds going to Peace One Day, a non-profit organization dedicating to spreading peace.

And while archrival McDonalds refused Burger King’s overtures, other fast casual and quick service restaurant brands like Denny’s, Wayback Burger, Krystal and Giraffas all opted into the campaign, successfully creating the Peace Whopper.

This is far from the first recognition for RockOrange, which earned a nod for PR News’ ‘Facebook PR Campaign of the Year’ in April, and was named ‘New Agency of the Year’ by the Bulldog Reporter and The Holmes Report in 2014.

The Cannes Lion Grand Prix awards were accepted by Young & Rubicam New Zealand, who conceived the campaign. Agency partners Code & Theory, Alison Brod Public Relations and The David Agency were recognized as well.

Why Snapchat?

It’s official. There are more people snapping every day than they are tweeting. 150 million daily users in fact compared to Twitter’s 140 million. And it’s not just Twitter. Snapchat now sits second only to Facebook in the amount of time users spend in social apps beating out Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger among others.

So we asked our RockStars – Why Snapchat?

 Here’s what they had to say.

 

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

RockOrange has added another award to its growing list of accolades by taking top spot in the ‘Facebook PR Campaign’ category at this year’s PR News Social Media Awards.

Why did we win? Quite simply because, with Macy’s and Thalia, we made Facebook and Fashion history.

In early 2015, RockOrange incepted and managed the first-ever Facebook Fashion show to promote the launch of Macy’s first-ever Hispanic-backed exclusive clothing line Thalia Sodi for Macy’s. The show aired live on Thalia’s Facebook page to millions of fans around the world and RockOrange reached across social media platforms and promoted the hashtag #thaliaformacys, which became a top trending term during the event and in the hours that followed.

The activation was a drop-dead success on all levels. As the first-ever Hispanic-backed exclusive clothing line to span several internal departments at the quintessential department store, the Facebook runway reveal also became the first of its kind in the history of the ubiquitous social network. The launch was one of the largest in Macy’s history.

More than 5,987 people viewed the show live and 410,134 more engaged with the event live. In its first 15 minutes of broadcast, some 34,000 people viewed the video of the fashion show. Over the next two hours, that figure ballooned to over 300,000. Today, more than three million people have seen the show.

Beyond the immediate success of the show, our Facebook Live Streaming was a trendsetter for numerous other brands that would execute similar campaigns in the following year. The trend has been followed most recently by Versace, Kate Spade, IDENTITIES, organizers of London and New York Fashion Weeks, and, ahem, Crochet Empire’s jock strap fashion show, just to name a few.

The full list of winners from this year’s PR News Social Media Awards can be found here.

Happy Holidays featuring Adelf

While we’re always working to deliver solid, fresh ideas for our clients, one of the best parts of the holiday season is that we get to have a little bit of fun thinking out of the box for our more festive projects.

This year, once again, we wanted to share some humor and holiday joy with you, our friends and clients that have made 2015 such an incredible year for us. In our first year, our Elf on the Shelf came to life. Last year, our Elf showed you how to take an Elfie. And this year, we’re excited to bring you… ADELF.

We had a lot of fun producing this parody — but we went the extra mile and held a Fresh Ideas Challenge among our RockStars, too. Everyone took key scenes from the video and created some pretty funny memes. It was a true roller coaster of emotion — from the awkward, to the heartbreaking, to the hilarious. Take a look below!

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Adelf on the Shelf
 

Join in on the fun by making some memes of your own and use #AdelfontheShelf!

 

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The Case for Vertical Video: Why 1080 x 1920 is Right Around the Corner

By Sergio Claudio

In the land of mobile Millennials, vertical is the way of our one-handed, swipe-happy friends. We know audiences respond to relevant content and this means content formatted for optimal viewing on specific platforms.

Snapchat recently encouraged marketers and media companies to shoot ad vertically. Snapchat touts itself as the go-to platform for millenials and the most effective way to engage them is through a vertical video. Snapchat is on to something and its latest move is putting the customer first. And why not? When you create with the consumers’ preferences and habits in mind, your efforts have a much better chance of connecting with them and delivering greater impact.

This should sound familiar to the introduction of square photos. Not too long ago, Instagram completely changed the way people shoot and edit photos, and inspired the use of square-ready apps to make sure users fit everyone for a selfie into that infamous square frame. Even the most prominent devices and platforms now have square cropping options built-in to make the process easier for users. This became a no-brainier for brands as they quickly began crafting square content for viewers around the world.

In the age of “native” advertising, people want to engage with contextual (and formatted) content that fits into their current experience. Having to click away, squint, or tilt your phone (or head—people do it) creates a barrier between users and your message. Just as print and display ads have to adapt for publishers, it is now video’s turn to do the same and adapt for the mobile screen. 1080 x 1920 is right around the corner.

In terms of distribution for this new vertical content, the framework already exists. Facebook currently expands vertical videos to fullscreen from the mobile newsfeed. Responsive sites are the new standard, and could benefit from having a vertical video option available when scaled down for mobile. Plenty of rich media formats could also use a refreshed use of video, as advertisers have squeezed horizontal videos into vertical 300 x 600 ads and mobile interstitials for years. Snapchat might even want to explore network partnerships with vertical display ad placements to help sweeten their distribution offering (that one is free, Snapchat ;)) .

The concept is not as far-fetched as brands may think. Whether it comes in the form of new cropping options, shooting techniques, or a “responsive video” concept, there is no question that video is being consumed on the slim screen. This may now mean more production work upfront, but in the end, your content works harder and delivers where it matters most: in the results.

 

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