Marketing

My Top 5 Favorite Marketing Campaigns

I’m in awe of marketers’ and other creative people’s imagination and creativity. I could only aspire and hope one day I dream of a memorable campaign like these. These campaigns have become part of pop culture, and no one can argue their impact.

Got Milk? Campaign

An iconic campaign, if there has ever been one. In the 1990s, the California Milk Processor Board looked for a new campaign to boost milk sales. They partnered with advertising firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

The famous slogan “Got Milk” was to encapsulate the emotional connection people had to milk when it was missing through their research. The campaign dominated the public consciousness due to its’ celebrity power, wholesome product, and simplicity. You know that you have a viral marketing campaign when people parodied it, made art, and copied it.

Decades later, it still attracts top stars in their campaign, and it is seen as an honour and a way for stars to confirm that they’ve ‘made it. It is still the most recognizable campaign for not a specific brand, but a whole single product is fantastic and hasn’t been seen since. The last time the Got Milk campaign ran was in 2014.

Bell’s Let’s Talk

Although controversial in its’ own right. There is no dispute about how viral this campaign was in Canada. “Let’s Talk?” Started in 2011, it was a first of its kind to bring mental health to the mainstream. Often, companies talk about mental health in the footnotes of their websites, but never as a crucial part of its’ identity.

The campaign was created to create a more stigma-free Canada and drive action in mental health care, research, etc. Its virality was, in large part, the conversation they started on social media. It became a yearly event that companies and individuals participated in.

Budweiser’s I AM CANADIAN

As you can tell, I’m a true Canadian girl at heart. I love this campaign even when I don’t drink beer. When this commercial dropped, it resonated with so many Canadians. The infamous “rant” truly put into words the nuances of what it means to be Canadians who are too often mistaken for Americans. To insult Canadians to confuse them with Americans or, worse, say they are just like Americans.

Budweiser played up its Canadian heritage and became the choice beer in Canada. This commercial itself has been parodied, copied, and shared many times.

Dove’s Real Campaign

The decades of curated, photoshopped, stylized images of models in our mass media have skewed many young females’ images of beauty. There is no question about it—the lack of average-looking people has impacted our self-esteem, self-image, and self-love. Dove flipped the script and focused on bringing this issue to light, featuring in their ADs people you would see every day, not dolled up or photoshopped. It was refreshing and unique for its time.

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches are one of my favourite concepts from this campaign. It had participants describe themselves to a sketch artist. They would describe themselves in unflattering terms. Then they got a stranger to describe them, and it was a different sketch altogether. It was a vulnerable, raw piece that many connected with and immediately understood.

Of course, it has been parodied, copied, and emulated. It sparked other mainstream brands to move towards using more realistic models that reflect their everyday consumers.

Nike’s Just Do it

Iconic, this campaign is simply that. One of the few campaigns I’ve seen motivated people’s actions other than buying or elevating a brand. This campaign inspired people to “Just Do It.” I remember a story where a man was contemplating if he should propose. He saw the AD and took it as a sign to do it. Very few companies can make that claim.

It started in 1988 and has reportedly contributed to an increase of 18% to 43%. That’s amazing. Created by Widen + Kennedy, Nike and the Design company still get letters, emails, and calls about the impact this tagline had on their lives. No matter their age, gender, appearance, or any other difference. This campaign holds a special place in people’s minds.

What do all these campaigns have in common? I believe the main reason for their success and staying power in the public collective is because it focuses on a shared emotion/feeling. It found common ground that a massive swath of people can relate to.

Work Cited

Schwartz, M. (2018, June 13). Got Milk? How the iconic campaign came to be 25 years ago. Fast Company; Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/40556502/got-milk-how-the-iconic-campaign-came-to-be-25-years-ago

‌Creative Review. (2012, February). The history of Nike’s Just Does It slogan – Creative review. Creative Review. https://www.creativereview.co.uk/just-do-it-slogan/

Schwartz, M. (2018, June 13). Got Milk? How the iconic campaign came to be 25 years ago. Fast Company; Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/40556502/got-milk-how-the-iconic-campaign-came-to-be-25-years-ago

Bell Let’s Talk. (n.d.). Letstalk.bell.ca. Retrieved May 14, 2022, from https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/#:~:text=On%20Bell%20Let

NFL, TV, and Superbowl. How Engaging their audience lead to innovation

There have been companies who have made engagement their number one priority. The NFL is an excellent example. The lifeblood of the NFL was and is always the fans, and they live by that. In the 1940s, when TVs became mainstream, the NFL quickly followed with pro football games.

Televised games were a significant driver of the NFL’s popularity and profitability. Alongside it came fans who demanded a better-televised game experience. The NFL poured money into innovation for broadcast. In the 1960s, “Instant Replay” was first added to make the game more entertaining, add highlights and help explain the game better to the audience.

You can also see the past. The televised games did not have scores, timeouts, line of scrimmage, and other important information at the bottom of the screen. Later, these innovations were added in the 1970s alongside colour TV, better cameras, and graphics which helped draw in new fans and engage current fans to be more involved in the game.

This all happened because they listened to the fans. They wanted them to engage better with what was happening to persuade viewers further to tune into televised football games. Can you imagine watching a game like the one on the left? No, you would demand it to look like it on the right.

The NFL continues to innovate in ways to elevate interaction with its audience. Recently they are experimenting with augmented reality to help kids learn how the game works without having it interfere with the viewing of regular audiences. This is genius, as they cultivate a new generation of viewers and help soften the image of the NFL to be more friendly. You can see a bit of that below.

The NFL is a prime case study of holding up engagement as one of the core pillars of its strategy. Building around that is vital for the growth of their business, especially considering their product is their audience. It’s obvious here, but other businesses can do the same, even if it isn’t as clear-cut as the NFL.

Innovating engagement should never stop. Even if it doesn’t work out! The key is to innovate on a small scale than ramp up when you see positive results. It’s a tricky balance, but it is never a bad strategy.

Work Cited

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics | NFL Football Operations. (n.d.). Operations.nfl.com. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from https://operations.nfl.com/learn-the-game/nfl-basics/quick-guide-to-nfl-tv-graphics/

How Television Has Changed the NFL | NFL Football Operations. (n.d.). Operations.nfl.com. https://operations.nfl.com/gameday/technology/impact-of-television/

In your face mask: NFL VR game coming in fall. (2022, April 20). ESPN.com. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/33771548/nfl-licensed-virtual-reality-game-set-fall-release

NFL Using Digital Tech to Appeal to Younger Fans. (2021, February 2). Designnews.com. https://www.designnews.com/industry/nfl-using-digital-tech-appeal-younger-fans

How To Up Your LinkedIn Game? 2022

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find jobs. Recruiters often go on to search and find candidates. Here are some ways to make your profile stand out.

Your Job Title

This one is obvious. Recruiters will be looking for specific job titles. Your title may be close but not close enough. Try to negotiate by adding a word to improve your findability—words such as Senior and Digital. The list goes on, but the more you can add to it to make it specific will help. If you have no idea what title you should have, you can look through the LinkedIn Jobs section, find similar people, or even ask people around you. Another resource is Payscale Career Path Planner, which helps you know the next step and job title. Then you know what to ask for in your next job.

Featured Works

If you have a portfolio, won awards, or as part of a high-profile project. Post about it and then feature that post. It gives the recruiter a quick way to see your best hits. Don’t worry if you don’t! Here are some ideas for marketing and graphic portfolio if you have nothing.

Name pronunciation

LinkedIn has a feature where you can do an audio recording on the pronunciation of your name. It helps recruiters pronounce it correctly. It also gives you personality and helps put a voice in the photo. Bonus, you can also add your pronouns if you feel like it.

Join Groups/Interest

LinkedIn will put “You are both in the same group” or similar—giving something different to our account when recruiters look through search results.

Change your Banner

Add some personality to your account. You can quickly get custom banners at Canva.com and search for LinkedIn Banner. I would advise getting one with more imagery on the right side as your profile circle is on the right. Please stay away from people in your banner. Let it focus on words, imagery, awards, or the like to help you stand out.

Happy creating! Good Luck with your career growth and development.

Review Sites To Consider For Your Agency

Part of your SEO strategy or marketing strategy, in general, is to increase your company’s positive reputation. One avenue that we all know is reviews. Studies have shown 91 percent of customers read online in their decision-making process. Another surprising statistic is 84 percent of consumers trust more or equal if a recommendation came from friends and family. Bottom-line reviews are essential.

Many are familiar with Yelp and Google Business for reviews, but here are other review sites you should consider.

G2

G2.com is a peer-to-peer review site. What’s also great is they give incentives to those who post reviews. So if you have extensive experience with an agency or a program, you can post it here. They have a broad umbrella of businesses.

Capterra

Capterra focuses on technology vendors within the software industry. They get peer reviews from individuals just like G2 and add additional research. They are also based in Canada!

TrustRadius

They focus on business technology reviews from individual users. They connect buyers and vendors just like the other two.

In general, these are all free and do not cost money to get a review from them. These are widely regarded highly in the business communities, and many post their ratings on their websites as proof of quality. Reviews also help with SEO in ranking.

Suppose I had to choose which one is first, second and third. Frist would be G2, then Capterra, finally TrustRadius. They are all amazing, in my opinion!

How To Create an Infographic

Infographics are one of the richest pieces of content out there. It is informative and is more easily digestible to the reader. Here is a simple guide to creating one.

Choose a topic

Some suggestions for topics are:

  • Statistics on a problem and how to solve it
  • Historical
  • Categorization
  • and more!

Gather actual stats

This can be found in various places, such as google scholar, other reputable sites, and universities.

Layout the information in a logical order

The purpose of an infographic and much visual content is to tell a story. Storyboard it out and see where the stats fit into it. It should flow in a natural order.

Create a draft

Time to design the infographic! Gather any illustrations you need, and this is the fun part.

Refine

Gather feedback and make the adjustments.

Promote

Let the world see your infographic. You can post them via social media, use them in your portfolio, or whatever else is appropriate.

Here are some inspirations from Lemonly, a company specializing in designing infographics.

Happy Creating!

How to add Zoom ICS in Hubspot Email

There are always finicky things about using other different platforms together. Zoom and Hubspot are one of them. Despite putting the zoom URL link into Hubspot, I had the problem that it didn’t download the ICS immediately. Instead, it sends them to the Zoom page to create a login or sign in. Then they can download it.

This isn’t the worst way to go about it, but it isn’t the most intuitive and friendly user experience. There is an alternate way to have the ICS calendar link in your email.

Step 1: Download the ICS link yourself.

Step 2: Upload to Hubspot by going to Marketing > Files and Template > Files

Step 3: Hover over the file click details. It will open up in a new pop-up. Then click Copy URL.

Step 4: Go to your email and insert the link via a button or a regular text link.

Test the email. It should now download automatically, and they can add the ICS calendar to their teams or outlook.

On another note, you can download zoom integration that gives other functions in the Hubspot marketplace.

Happy Creating!

5 Examples of Personalization in Marketing

As technology gets better, tracking a user has become more accessible. Companies can now gather an insane amount of data to tailor the user experience. Here are five of my favourite examples of personalization.

Spotify Wrapped

Each year Spotify creates a customized slideshow for users to see unique stats about their usage on Spotify. From their most listen to artists to their top genres. It has become event users look forward to. Users can also share their unique taste in music and celebrate their time on Spotify. It gives another reason for users to stick with their platform.

TikTok Algorithm

TikTok is the newest social media platform on the block. What sets them apart is their ‘algorithm,’ which has been said to be scarily accurate. They have a section called the “For you” page where TikTok will show you videos they believe you will like or find interested in. The more you interact with TikTok, the better it gets. Their personalization has shot them to one of the biggest social media platforms. It has become addicting when you see content that is catered to you.

Reply all even did a podcast episode on this topic: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/z3h78d6

They discussed how Tik Tok showed the guest a video with a specific body anomaly she had. How does Tik Tok even know this?

Coke Name on Bottles

One of the most successful campaigns Coca-Cola has ever run was “Share a Coke.” They printed numerous names on Cokes, and people scrambled to find theirs or others they knew. They cleaned out shelves, and Coke even had a custom machine to print a lesser well-known name. The campaign increased sales across all age groups, and the social media chatter was terrific.

Netflix’s Thumbnails

It’s no secret that Netflix tracks its customers’ usage to recommend shows they may like. Netflix takes it a step further by customizing the thumbnails of shows to appeal to users based on the types of shows they like. Vox did a great piece on this!

Nike’s Custom Shoes

Nike stays on the cutting edge of technology by offering customized shoes designed by its users. Not many shoe companies can boast this capability. Allowing customers to choose how their shoes look gives them the sense that Nike cares about their individuality and wants to celebrate it. More companies are jumping on this trend of personalization and customization.

https://www.nike.com/ca/nike-by-you

Ideas for Marketing & Graphic Portfolio if you have nothing

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having no work for a Portfolio, there is a solution. Do fake projects. Here are some ideas you do yourself to start building your portfolio.

Social Media campaign for a brand you love

Pick a brand that is in the industry you want to work in. It can be makeup, fashion, construction, etc. Whatever you want you can build a social media campaign.

Examples are:

  • New or Relaunch of a Product
  • Contest
  • Spotlight on the company
  • Awards

Influencer collaboration strategy

The influencer economy is growing and you can show you have your finger on the pulse. Choose a well-known influencer in your industry and create a fake campaign collaboration. For marketing, you can outline a strategy to generate leads through the use of discount codes and show a fictitious strategy.

Develop a business pitch for stakeholders/clients

This can be a presentation deck you would create to show how you would pitch a fake company to an investor, partner, supplier, etc.

Make a hypothetical business plan

Use a fake company. There are many business case studies you can use to base one off of. Here is one https://guides.library.ubc.ca/businesscases/free

Rebrand an existing business

This can be a fake company you made up or an existing one. You can go on Behance, and many people have done.
Examples are:

  • Redesigning packaging
  • Redesigning their website
  • Redesigning their logo and branding

Target market consultation pitch

  • For marketing show how you would break down a target audience and your outreach plan for them.
  • For a graphic designer, design for example a post for three different target audience.
  • This shows you understand personas.

Video campaign plan

This can be a variety of things. For example

  • Tutorial
  • Commerical
  • Company spotlight
  • Social media videos

Plan a seasonable/national awareness day campaign

You can use http://unescocenterforpeacenys.org/international-days-celebration/ or https://www.daysoftheyear.com/ to pick a day and build a campaign around it.

Develop your own personal brand

This is your chance to show who you really are and articulate it.

Hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!

Tips for University Students in Graphic Design or Marketing

Setting yourself up for success in school is difficult. No one talks about it in high school or university. However, the internet is an excellent resource to help steer you in the correct direction. Here are my four top tips to help you do just that.

Get an Internship, Co-op, or Work Study

When choosing a university, many make an obvious consideration is to look at who offers the best program for their desired major, such as the best teachers, equipment, facilities, etc. However, many fail to consider choosing a university if they have an internship, co-op, or work-study for their major. I think this is a significant consideration. Getting experience early is critical in building up your resume and your expertise.

Bonus, you will make some extra money and get a reference. A tip for this also is to look at the internship/co-op/work-study requirements. I had to be a third-year student at my school, have a certain grade average, and take specific courses. It varies, of course, but you need to keep that in mind to qualify.

Some may argue you can get one outside of school. You can, of course! However, there are extra benefits. The schools have agreements with these companies that often, they have to fill those positions with students from a specific school. Your odds of getting that position increases significantly. They also sometimes offer help in interviewing writing resumes and cover letters. Either way, you need to build up experience.

Start a Portfolio

This may be common sense, but it bears repeating. I would advocate having a physical and online portfolio if possible. There are many free websites you can take advantage of. Such as Google websites, Wix, and more. Here is where you can brand yourself, set yourself apart from others, look professional, and a side benefit-you get experience in building websites.

You may find yourself lacking projects. My answer, make fake ones. There are a lot of great ideas online for fake portfolio ideas. However, make sure it relates to your industry. Building a body of work will take time, but it is well worth it.

Start a social media

This is an easy and cost-effective method to get your name out there. Again, it’s building your brand a secondary way to show your portfolio and participate in the community.

Another benefit is that you will become familiar with social media management. This is a skill many companies are looking for in regards to marketing.

Join a reputable registered group/certification

There are many organizations out there that offer certification. Bonus, they often a reduced price for students. Many companies specify a destination or certification for their candidates. Go on Linkedin, indeed or another job board and search for what kind they are looking for.

One I recommend for graphic designers, specifically in Canada, is RGD – https://www.rgd.ca/

It will be a boon for your professional if you can get it. It will increase your prestige, validate your experience and skills, and you again can connect with like-minded individuals.

Volunteer (Optional)

This one is optional because I understand not everyone can pursue it due to financial situations. This is a way for you to build experience, build a portfolio, and a network. I would recommend trying to find a contract or project-based position. Short term is better, allowing you to make a clean break.

These are my top tips. If there are any I’m missing, let me know below. I wish you all the luck in your future development.

How To Add A Countdown Timer in Emails

To further excite your email subscribers, countdowns are an excellent visual tool. However, many email platforms do not have this function built-in. If you google “Email Countdown Timer,” there are many online tools to help you. My recommendation, however, is Sendtric! Here’s how simple it is to implement it.

How To Add a Countdown Timer using Sendtric

  1. Go to Sendtric
  2. You will see the following section. It is straightforward.
  • Background: The colour of the background will be a rectangle.
  • Labels: It will be the words below the numbers. Days, Hours, Mins, and Secs are the labels.
  • Digits: This will be the colour of the numbers.

Add your email. Then choose the correct time zone, date and time, and language. Agree to their terms and conditions. Click the GENERATE.

3. A preview and code will be generated to the right of the inputs. COPY THE CODE.

4. Go to your preferred Email platform. I’m using Hubspot. In the email, add the HTML module.

5. Add the code that you copied from Sendtric.

6. You may notice that the width is not what you wanted. To change the width, add the following to your code.
<img src="https://gen.sendtric.com/countdown/n4uzw9rba3" width="700" style="display: block;" />

You can see width=”700″ is after the URL. It is in pixels.

I hope that helps, and happy creating!

The Top 5 PR Diasters of 2021

There have been a lot of PR blunders in 2021. Here are the top 5, in my opinion, and no particular order.

The Mass Firings at Better.com

On December 1st, three weeks before Christmas. Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, got on a pre-recorded video call with 900 employees and terminated them immediately. Although the mass layoff was bound to get attention, what stirred people was what he said in the recording, which you can see below.

The PR blunder was how he made about it himself—stating that this was the “second time he had to do this and hopes to be stronger this time around.” He stated how he wished the company was thriving, but the reality was different. Better.com had gotten an infusion of USD 750 million, and the company itself was valued at around $7 billion. Not the mention the millions the CEO Vishal is worth himself.

This comes as a surprise to no one who has worked with the CEO. He has been noted as a particularly mean and nasty person. In a Feb 2020 email, he called his employees “a bunch of dumb dolphins.”

The video has since gone viral, and he has issued an apology on how he handled it, but it felt insincere. In the wake of it, five senior employees quit. The future for Better.com doesn’t look better.

The Chanel Advent Calendar

The fashion giant Chanel took a dip into the world of luxury advent calendars for Christmas this year. This year’s advent calendar celebrated the 100 years since the launch of their famous perfume, Chanel N°5. What Chanel didn’t count on was Tik Toker Influencer Elise Harmon. She was excited to open the Calendar, but her mounting disappointment was evident as the boxes were opened, which you can see here.

The Calendar comes in at USD 825, before taxes and shipping. The Calendar was filled with a few samples, but the most disappointing items were the stickers, the dust bag, and a few cheaply made trinkets. The commenters were angry and flabergasted at Elise’s videos, and we’re along for the ride. They lambasted Chanel’s TikTok and other social media. They figured out the Calendar itself was valued to be around $200.

The company itself closed their Tik Tok account and reportedly blocked Elise Harmon. They did issue a response “We are committed to sharing our creations with our followers on all social networks we are active on. Our pages are open to everyone, and our followers are free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical.”

The $4,400 Tip

Working in the service industry is often a thankless job. Many are often treated as less than human and are often paid less than they deserve. In North America, tips are often the only way many workers make up for being paid a low hourly wage. Some are even paid as little as $2.85.

Twp waitresses in Arkansas were tipped $4,400 this year for her service. It should have been a heartwarming moment, quickly becoming a gut-reaching nightmare. Her boss demanded he shares the tip, with the majority going to management. The waitress pointed out that they had never shared tips before, and it was not restaurant policy. She was fired after three years when she wouldn’t give her rightful tip.

The silver lining was supporters started a GoFunMe and have raised well over $15,000. The restaurant has been bombarded with 1-star reviews and has received extra scrutiny into its labour practice.

Amazon’s Warehouse Exposed

The monolith that is Amazon has been criticized rightfully for their mistreatment of their workers. From unreasonable expectations, workers peeing in bottles, and mass firings of the bottom performers. It’s a capitalist nightmare, but the nightmare got worse this year.

A hurricane hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. Sadly, six workers died. The immediate question was how could Amazon let this happen? There were weather warnings in Illinois that day, and they chose to ignore it. Instead, they sent workers in regardless of the danger, choosing productivity over workers’ safety.

Amazon responded to the tragedy by donating to the Edwardsville Community Foundation and providing relief supplies. However, it is not enough. An inquiry has been demanded into the incident.

Kellogg’s Boycott

Giant corporations which exemplify the worst of Capitalism seem to be the theme for this year. This year Kellog failed to give their union a fair deal. The tipping point was the deal would create a two-tier system that would pay new workers less (Truthout, 2021).

Kellog announced that it would hire scab workers to replace 1,400 workers who’ve been striking since October 2021. Once this news hits the internet, people from all walks o life chime in. From politicians to celebrities, everyone shames Kellog for their behaviour.

The subreddit Antiwork took an active approach and sent hundreds of applications to Kellog’s website, causing it to crash. Multiple petitions have sprouted up, and many have signed a petition to boycott their products. There is a clear, united message, treat your workers better.

  • Sources:
  • https://truthout.org/articles/calls-for-boycott-grow-after-kellogg-says-its-permanently-replacing-strikers/
  • https://people.com/human-interest/arkansas-server-says-receiving-tip-from-big-party-led-to-firing/
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/12/15/amazon-warehouse-collapse-tornado/

Email A/B Variables

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is when you take two versions with only one change to two similar audiences to see a difference in performance.

Variables to Test

Don’t have ideas for what to test in your Emails? Here are some variables you can test to increase your open rate. I strongly suggest testing one at a time not to muddle the results.

  1. Time of Day: If your customers or audience is in geographic area. You can test whether specific times of day AM or PM will affect open rate.
  2. Day of week: Sometimes your audience will be more likely to open an email on a monday versus a friday.
  3. Subject lines: Try for variations on subject lines such as
    • Numbers
    • Tone
    • Specific Words
    • Emojis
    • Length
  4. Preview Text: You can change the preview text in many applications. Check if that makes a difference vs subject lines
  5. From name: Who you send it from may matter. Most are likely to delete emails from marketing @company.com rather than a real name.
  6. Personlization: Using their name has been shown to increase open rates. Sometimes it may not work for your audience, as it may be seen as pandering, it depends!

I hope you got some ideas, and of course, never stop creating and trying to improve!

Read my primer here if you want to learn more about A/B Testing.