Friday, September 30, 2016

Are sponsoring national parks and classrooms winning strategies?

Last March, The National Parks Foundation (NPF) announced a proposed revision to its policies that would allow corporate sponsorships at national parks, including naming rights, logos, printed materials and interpretive exhibits and digital media.  Immediately the press started to joke about using Old Faithful to pitch Viagra.

The folks at NPF say that the donors will only be allowed to do something tasteful like they do at universities and museums.  But they also say that corporate donors are wary of being associated with the commercialization of national parks. (Tkaczyk, 2016)

This week Levi Strauss announced that they will be bringing lessons on water conservation to 1.5 million grade-school kids.  Levi's is already heavily invested in the initiative.  Did you hear how rarely the CEO washes his jeans?  But there are some who question the intent of the "Our Watery World" program, which is aimed at kids in grade 3 -5.  (Mahoney, 2016)

As we discussed last week, there is ample evidence that cause marketing can be effective.  But what do you think about these examples?  Do you think they will make people want to buy something?  Why?

Tkaczyk, C. (2016, May 10)  No, the US National Parks Will Not Be Sponsored by Viagra.  Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

Mahoney, S. (2016, September 29)  Classroom Controversy: Levi's Joins Brands Bearing Causes.  Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

Friday, September 23, 2016

Would a cold Heineken taste good right now?

Last year Heineken ran a promotion called "Spark Your Holiday."  The real-time campaign, which ran in digital, mobile and out-of-home media, targeted consumers at the exact moment they were making food and beverage decisions.  Discounts and incentives were offered and in-store sales increased by 4.3%. (Sullivan, 2016)

Impressive.  And a bit Minority Report. 

So what do you think?  Have you observed any ads that have been particularly well-timed or well-placed?  Did they make you want to buy something?  Did they creep you out?  Or are you willing to trade some privacy for convenience?

Sullivan, L. (2016, September 21)  Heineken Finds 4.3% In-Store Sales Increase Through Intent Targeting.  Retrieved September 23, 2016, from,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Prudential vs. New York Life; which will resonate more with Millennials?

Tomorrow New York Life will launch their new campaign aimed at maturing Millennials, i.e. Adults 25-34.  As they have noted this group is entering some of the life stages that typically lead to insurance purchases - marrying, buying a home and having children.  So it is time for them to begin outreach. (Gazdik, 2016)

They have chosen to take a humorous approach, with video spots featuring Demetri Martin.  You can check the first one out here.

Last winter Prudential launched their new Millennial focused campaign with an entirely different strategy, focusing on Millennials' competitive spirit and need to belong.  Here is a blog that I wrote about it , with comments from last year's class.

Do you think either effort will be successful?  Why?  Is humor a good approach?  What about creating challenges?  Can you think of a different approach that might be more successful?

Gazdik, T. (2016, September 15)  New York Life Targets Millennials.  Retrieved September 16, 2016, from

Friday, September 9, 2016

If Sun-Maid focuses on baking will their sales increase?

Sun-Maid Growers of California has completed their agency reviews and selected new marketing partners.  They are now in the process of developing an integrated marketing campaign featuring custom recipes to support their tie-in to the "Trolls" movie and the holiday baking season. (McClellan, 2016)

I wasn't aware that there still is a holiday baking season. 

Which makes me wonder - does anyone bake anymore?  If so, who?  Why not focus on snacking instead?  The product does come in those convenient little boxes after all.

So what do you think?  Who is the target for this effort?  Do you think it will be successful?  Or do you think a different target and strategy would work better?

McClellan, S. (2016, September 6)  MXM, MBMG Win Agency Assignments From Sun-Maid.  Retrieved September 8, 2016, from

Friday, September 2, 2016

Will Marriott's connecting with Create & Cultivate connect with Millennials?

Marriott hotels is developing a six-part content series targeting Millennial career women.  Called "Create & Innovate" it will be featured on both companies' websites.  The series spotlights the hottest female entrepreneurs and offers see and do tips for various cities.

Create & Cultivate is known for their one-day conferences, which attract Women ages 21 - 35, with an annual median income of $75K and a purchasing power of $405 billion. (Gazdik, 2016)

Wow.  Sounds like a good fit to me.

Gazdik, T. (2016, September 1)  Marriott Targets Millennials With Content Series.  Retrieved September 2, 2016, from