Image Courtesy of Stainmaster
Earlier this week, STAINMASTER® carpet announced its official sponsorship with the Westminster Kennel Club. In conjunction with the launch of its newest breed, PetProtect™, STAINMASTER® willcarpet areas at the Westminster Kennel Club’s 138th Annual Dog Show. PetProtect™, a carpet and cushion solution that resists pet stains, releases pet hair, and helps reduce pet odors, will be featured in the WKC iconic purple color at both Pier 94 and Madison Square Garden during the show on February 10-11, 2014.
As part of this tail-waggingly wonderful partnership, the STAINMASTER® brand introduced the PetProtect™ Unshame Your Pet Photo contest hosted on its Facebook page. Inviting consumers to like the Facebook page and upload their favorite pet-shaming photo, STAINMASTER® is giving one lucky winner a getaway package for two to New York City, tickets to the Westminster Dog Show, and $1,000 cash.
For more on this exciting sponsorship or to enter the contest, visit Facebook.com/STAINMASTER.
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.
For many decades, it’s been common practice to engage celebrities, experts and others to credential brands. The process is pretty cut and dry. Experts or celebrities are positioned to media and consumers as paid spokespeople. But today, the process is a little more complicated. When brand marketers engage experts just to use their personal social media channels to spread brand messages, how will target audiences know if they are being compensated for that tweet or post? Some of these experts and celebrities don’t routinely disclose their brand relationship. And that’s when they, the brand and its agencies risk hearing from the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC’s updated Dot Com Disclosures, emphasize that “consumer protection laws apply equally across all mediums,” from traditional channels like television, radio or print to newer forms like desktops, laptops, and now, mobile. Worth noting is that these rules don’t just apply to bloggers and other Social Media content creators; they also affect socially-active spokespeople whose every status update, tweet, shortened URL, uploaded image and @reply is being monitored. This means that brands that pay others to “speak” on their behalf must insist that those parties disclose their connections. The FTC has stated publicly it is “cracking down” and companies that don’t comply can incur stiff penalties — in the neighborhood of $12,500 for the first offense and exponentially more for subsequent offenses. Not complying risks damaging company and brand reputations as well as those of the agencies involved.
To ensure compliance with the guidelines, here are some tips for “clear and conspicuous” disclosure:
- In situations where money or goods have changed hands, stipulate that all third-parties include statements of disclosure when they use personal social media channels to promote products or services. Some best practices include opening blog posts (or video segments) with “I received X from Y,” and placing “Ad” or “Sponsored” at the beginning of a status update or tweet.
- When sponsoring an online event – like a Twitter party, Google+ Hangout or Facebook chat – encourage hosts and channel owners to kick off the festivities with statements of disclosure and ask that they repeat them as often as necessary. Never assume that an audience has been “on” from the onset.
- When working with vloggers, make sure they incorporate statements of disclosure into their scripts as well as their landing pages. This same rule also applies to audio reviews (podcasts).
- When activating partners and advocates, build “compliance” into contracts and recommend that they use understandable language, clearly placed, to avoid confusion. “Clear and conspicuous” should be just that!
We are responsible for protecting the reputations of our brands and anyone who acts on their behalf. While the FTC updates aren’t actual laws, they are designed to provide a more open and honest consumer experience – and in the end, isn’t that what every brand wants?
Yes, that’s the MMC team being honored with a Platinum SABRE award for best campaign of 2012. You can watch it here.
Today, one out of every nine Americans is over 65, and, for the next 19 years, nearly 30,000 boomers will become seniors every single day. But in an age where 50 is the new 30, boomers don’t feel constrained by their age and marketers should take notice. I recently attended the What’s Next Boomer Summit in Chicago along with 400 other marketers interested in reaching this consumer (our Depend client also presented a case study on our work for The Great American Try On). Here are some key takeaways for targeting this age group:
- Age and frailty don’t sell. Age is just a number right? When 60 year olds are asked what age they feel, the average response is 45. And this only increases slightly as people get older. Boomers are active and are concerned with looking cool too!
- Boomers and millennials are a lot alike. Surprising, yes? You may think these are two very different target audiences but they actually share many of the same values. Hot topics like green work places, flexible schedules and work/life balance are very important to both segments.
- Entrepreneurs at heart. More boomers create start ups today than 20 somethings. Their motivation comes after spending many years in corporate America and wanting to embrace their creative sides.
- Don’t waste their time. Boomers have a lot of life to live and are extremely sensitive to anything that wastes their precious time.
Today’s boomers are different from every generation before them. Take some time to get to know them if you want to capture them as a target.
Image courtesy of Depend
Great idea from our client P&G and Omnicom partner agency Ketchum PR for Gillette razors. They conducted a survey that revealed nearly one out of three women have avoided kissing a guy because he had facial hair. So to demonstrate the benefits of Gillette razors, they are launching Kiss & Tell, a live experiment where women will reveal what they prefer best: first kissing their man with stubble, then kissing without following an on-site shave.
To reinforce Gillette Venus’ best-in-class technology, MMC brought beauty editors on a guided tour of how razors are made at the Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
Editors were able to experience “the Venus difference” through a look at Venus’ history and in-depth explanation of the technical innovations that make Venus a global leader in female shaving.
Image courtesy of Marina Maher Communications LLC