I had the great fortune of attending Glamour’s “Women of the Year” Awards last night – an evening packed with inspiration, tears, and the hard work and tireless determination of 12 women with awe-inspiring life achievements.
So, during my subway ride this morning, I took the time to reflect on which of the program’s “moments” (and there were many!) was most powerful.
It wasn’t the medley of Lady Gaga songs performed by members of the fifth-grade PS22 Chorus in Staten Island, or the surprise appearance by Oscar de la Renta to honor Natalie Manesset. Or even the moms of the children that Kaitlin Roig DeBellis helped save at Sandy Hook, who stood proudly on stage to honor her (smart guests, like me, brought their tissues).
It was the shrieks from Glamour’s “Girls in the Balcony” – several groups of schools Glamour invited to attend the event, among them the Lower East Side Girls Club. They were shouting “I LOVE YOU!,” but it wasn’t for Lady Gaga. It was for Malala Yousufzai. And that speaks volumes.
You likely know Malala, and her story – though just a year ago she was as unknown as the 66 million girls who aren’t in school that she is now fighting to help. She’s 16, and she’s inspiring young women around that world that their voice matters.
My top quotes from last night:
Husband of the year: “You’re the closest to heaven I’ve ever been.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton quoting Mark Kelly, about his wife Gabby Giffords (Glamour’s first ever “couple of the year!”)
Inspiration for beauty junkies: “Beauty is not in the face. It’s a light that shines from within.” – Malala
Throwback that I love: “Imagine your future with the confidence of your 10 year old self.” – Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindy Lieve, quoting 2009 WOTY alum Amy Poehler
On her Glamour cover: “Every woman here deserves to be on the cover. But if I could forfeit my Glamour cover, it would be to Malala.” – Lady Gaga
From the ever-stylish and intelligent one: “You can’t be stylish without being smart,” – Natalie Massenet
Advice to be repeated every day, all day: “Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.”” – Melinda Gates
Yes. Thank you!: “Strong women get things done. Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.” – Gabby Giffords
In memory: “This award is in honor of the 26 angels looking down on us right now.” – Kaitlin Roig DeBellis
To support Malala and Glamour’s Women of the Year fund, click here. My hands are all clapped out, but the 2013 Women of the Year deserve another round of applause. What an honor it was to spend a couple hours with you. As Glamour put it so well on their own blog, guests were left asking:
How can we take what we just heard, and use it to do more?
Saturday. That’s the one day of the week I feel most attractive. But believe it or not, I’m part of a small minority of women who feel that way. According to a new study from PHD Media, women feel least attractive on Saturday (31%), Sunday (39%) and Monday (46%). Mornings don’t top the attractiveness scale either with 58% and 38% of respondents saying they feel unattractive from 5:00-7:00am and 7:00-9:00am, respectively. When do women feel they’re at their peak? On Thursdays and between 12:00-3:00pm. Who knew!?
As marketers and communicators, it’s wise for us to take these insights and apply them to our work, especially as we look to forge emotional connections between consumers and our clients’ brands. The survey findings give marketers the opportunity to practice an empowerment/engagement strategy that reaches consumers when they need a boost – in self-esteem, morale and overall well being. Because when you feel good, you look good and isn’t that what every woman wants? Brands that can empower female consumers during this time of need and help them feel their best will always come out on top.
Photo courtesy of Merck
On any given day, MMC’s entertainment specialists are busy researching, negotiating or working with a wide range of talent on behalf of our consumer and healthcare brands.
So how do you choose the right brand ambassador for your client – that person who will authentically mesh with the brand and inextricably deliver messages in a way that engages target consumers and media? Research might be helpful, Google some key words that meet your criteria and see what pops up. Or, based on your relationships, you could call the talent’s representative and see if you can get a top-line idea of that person’s connection to your campaign. If you know the talent’s publicist, makeup artist, stylist, etc. very well, you could reach out to them for insights.
Or, you could just ask the talent directly. As part of MMC’s “Meet the Talent” series, celebrities, sports figures and other key influencers stop by and share their interests, ideas and projects directly with key MMC account staffers, who in turn can delve a bit deeper on behalf of their client to uncover potential partnership opportunities. This insider intel has fueled unexpected ideas, created unique launch opportunities and has given MMC clients the edge on not only leveraging talent news, but in some cases breaking it. When a noticeably pregnant Melissa Joan Hart walked into our offices, it immediately sparked an idea for one of our clients with a major maternal health initiative. Fast forward four months later, and after intense negotiations with her agent, Melissa and MMC gave birth to Merck for Mothers’ “Once Upon a Birth” campaign which was strategically timed to break immediately following the birth of Melissa’s third child. Jo Frost, aka The Supernanny, has stopped by to talk about her severe allergies. Heather Graham her latest projects and La La Anthony how she juggles family and a hit show STARmeter. The lovely Mel B is our next scheduled guest.
There are lots of ways you can identify the perfect brand ambassador. But we believe there’s no better way than meeting them.
Baby Prince George’s mum Kate Middleton has done wonders raising visibility for select brands, and even certain aspects of motherhood. Do you look to the Duchess of Cambridge – now Princess – with a close eye for inspiration for fashion, jewelry or maternity? Have you purchased an L.K. Bennett bag recently? Then you may be suffering from “The Kate Effect”. Here are some other signs:
- You’re the first one on line today at Banana Republic for the release of its 40-piece collaboration with Issa London, including an imitation of Kate’s “royal” blue engagement dress.
- You’re begging your significant other for a personalized brooch for your next anniversary, birthday, any holiday – you name it.
- You just gave birth, have a few extra pounds and are flaunting it! Thanks Kate, for showing the world what pregnancy looks like before and after for all women, even celebs.
- You’re pro-breastfeeding. It offers health benefits, cost savings, an opportunity for mum to bond with her baby – and now, is even fit for a Princess.
Have you let “The Kate Effect” “rule”? Don’t be shy, you’re not alone!
Chicago: A city known well known for its deep dish pizzas, hot dogs, sports teams, and let’s face it – wind – opened its arms to host this year’s BlogHer at the McCormick Place conference center. Our excitement grew as we followed along socially on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to help us really ramp up for the three-day conference. With comfortable shoes, badges in place and sweaters to keep us warm in the over-air conditioned space, MMC and more than 5,000 attendees arrived on the scene on Friday, July 26th, where the conference officially kicked off with keynote speaker, and media maven Ree Drummond, Founder of The Pioneer Woman enterprise. She was phenomenal to say the least, encouraging fellow bloggers by saying, “Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself,” and then proceeding to sing Endless Love to her dog Charlie on a big screen slideshow presentation.
Education & Innovation Fueled Real-Time Conference Interaction:
Following several outstanding keynote speakers came conference panels, lunches, parties, meet-ups with media and friends, and of course brand engagement at the Expo Hall. Throughout the conference, there was definitely an emerging theme of social engagement and interaction. During panel sessions, each panelist shared their Twitter handles before and after they spoke, and looking around the room, it was pretty safe to say that most people were multi-tasking between pen and paper, to thumb and keyboard!
Bigger was Better. Corporate Sponsors:
The Expo Hall was no exception when it came to social engagement, in fact some of us think that it’s what fueled the electricity in the entire building (that’s totally a thing right?)! Almost every booth encouraged attendees to like fan pages, tweet or Instagram photos for chances to win prizes, or write to a specific email address to be included on a special blogger media list. Some of the social engagement examples included brands like Dodge urging influencers to like their Twitter page and tweet their thoughts about Dodge for the chance to win an iPad. Other brands like Windex asked consumers to like their page for a chance to win $10,000 towards a bathroom makeover, and Ulta’s photo booth requested photo sharing/tagging for a chance to win beauty prizes.
Until Next Year! Social Media Builds the Anticipation:
The most anticipated tweet of the weekend was the announcement of BlogHer’s 2014 location. In years past, it has been shared during the closing keynote. But this year, BlogHer built the social buzz up even further just by virtue of keeping us on our toes until the end! It was then announced that there are more details to be worked out and more information is soon to come…could be truth, could a marketing tactic…either way it has us returning to BlogHer’s social properties post-conference for the latest and greatest!
What was your favorite part of the conference?
Image courtesy of Marina Maher Communications LLC
Hey, fellow ladies – particularly, mothers. Looks like we need to step it up in the mobile savings department.
According to a new study, dads clip more mobile coupons, act on more mobile promotions, and share more deals online than their significant others.
These are the highlights:
-70% like to receive opt-in mobile alerts, vs. 60% of moms
-58% have acted on mobile coupons and promotions, vs. 46% of moms
-53% will recommend deals online, vs. 48% of moms
Despite the killjoy of early back-to-school promotions, it’s still summer, people! Though Kmart’s “Yo Mama…” back-to-school layaway video is more entertaining than most of this season’s movie blockbusters, don’t let it distract you from summer’s indulgent days of sunshine and…snacks. The hugely profitable U.S. ice cream industry has made snacking a summertime right and the headline-generating cronut, born on the cusp of summer, has, in turn, given birth to frozen s’mores.
The season of permissible snacking is the perfect time for Hostess to relaunch Twinkies (the big launch is today, by the way). More than 75 percent of Americans are taking a summer vacation, according to Orbitz, so these conveniently travel-ready snacks rose from the dead through an early on-sale date with Wal-Mart and their “The Sweetest Comeback…in the history of Ever” campaign. Cronut, shmo-nut, Hostess’ use of the latest marketing innovations such as Facebook (445,000 likes so far!), a new website with a countdown clock and street teams handing out “Prepare Your Cake Face” t-shirts and “I saved the Twinkie” buttons smartly re-engages the very core fans who were crestfallen to (temporarily) lose their beloved Twinkies. The strategy also has the potential to introduce new fans to the Twinkie’s iconic heritage.
Other market-expanding snack-food strategies for revered brands include customized packaging and summer-themed varieties. Pepperidge Farms’ Goldfish crackers recently launched a customized Goldfish My Way program that enabled me to send my favorite little girl a full-sized bag of yellow and orange goldfish personalized with her name, a photograph and a message from me. Pretty neat, right? That’ll be $14, please (plus shipping).
And let’s not forget the esteemed Oreo. Milk’s Favorite Cookie came out with Watermelon and Birthday Cake variations, and my favorite foodie contends that the original black-and-white version is the bacon of sweet snack foods: their addition to fro-yo toppings bars, Dairy Queen Blizzards and county fairs (deep-fried in pancake batter) inevitably improves upon the original product. It doesn’t hurt that Thomas Keller of Bouchon and Per Se fame attempted to improve on the Oreo with his “TKO” cookie recipe in his Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Expanding where snacks can play is also a winning strategy.
So, enjoy the sweetness of summer, Mom & Dad, and save those celery and carrot sticks for school lunches!