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November 20, 2019

Wait A Second…I Can Volunteer and Get Healthy?

Reston-Oktoberfest_2011_279Oktoberfest Reston is right around the corner and the staff at Myers Public Relations is counting down the days to warm pretzels and a funky polka beat. This annual beer and food festival, hosted by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, is a prime opportunity to connect the Northern Virginia community and celebrate traditional German culture, as well as talented dancers, musicians and food vendors.

It’s also a fun chance to volunteer and reap some surprising benefits. Not only do volunteers experience pride and satisfaction knowing that their contributions have made a project successful, but it’s actually good for your health! A study by Johns Hopkins University found that individuals who volunteer regularly have higher brain functioning than those that do not. Volunteering exposes people to new activities and experiences, which gets those synapses firing – but a happy brain isn’t the only benefit.

Other medical studies have discovered that people who volunteer their time to causes they support have lowered blood pressure, lowered mortality rates and increased positive thinking. The key to this, of course, is doing something that you enjoy, which is why we’re dusting off our beer steins and rolling up our volunteer sleeves for this Oktoberfest.

Festivals are a great way to celebrate the diverse community that makes Northern Virginia a cultural hub, but they also connect people, improve education and reinforce camaraderie. Reston’s annual celebration of music, local food and craft beer is no different. So do your body good and make some new friends this October. Say “Prost” to volunteering!

Out of the Box Marketing Campaigns – Round Three – Shaving Time and Money

We promised a few of these, so here’s another one of our favorites. We have to do it. It’s mandatory. Everyone should know this video.

This video and marketing campaign was inspired by the quintessential grandfather, the wonderful tough guy out on the prairie that he was, and how the only thing he ever needed was one blade to shave. We’re talking about this one:

Back in 2012, Dollar Shave Club released its infamous video, which has scored nearly 22 million views and it never gets old. In fact, it sent so much traffic the website that it crashed the company’s server in the first hour. What makes the razor delivery company’s video so catchy is it’s apparent disregard for advertising standards. It’s self-deprecating and arrogant at the same time. It uses the f-word and succeeds. It embraces every nuance of good comedy – slapstick, one liners and…timing.

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Twelve thousand people signed up for the Dollar Shave Club service within 48 hours. The company now boasts 2 million subscribers. But profitability didn’t impact their levity, which is an inseparable part of the brand. Their print and social media ads continue to embrace comedy and challenge their competitors who make shaving seem…complicated. Dollar Shave Club is easy, funny and inexpensive.

This direct, humorous approach to sales may not work for every company, but it’s a clear winner for Dollar Shave Club.

Out of the Box Marketing Campaigns that Worked – Round 2 – Let’s get Vampy!

For all of you Truebies (True Blood fans) out there, let us send our condolences for the end of an era of sexy vampires, southern accents and lots of sweating in the bayou. #TruetotheEnd However, even though HBO’s True Blood has said farewell, the marketing campaign reigns supreme as one of the best in television.

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It was carefully crafted, designed and implemented over the seven year run of the series. Before the series premiered, HBO built intrigue through creative advertising by treating the True Blood environment as factual.  The series targeted horror bloggers before the launch of the show and sent them packages containing fake blood samples accompanied by cryptic messages and a link to a website supposedly designed to connect real life vampires.

These carefully targeted packages set the internet ablaze. But the ingenious campaign continued with well-placed missing posters, billboards for the synthetic blood consumed in the show, and even advertisements that featured pop off stakes to defend against vampires. Every piece of collateral was designed with precise branding in mind.

true blood stake

But the creative marketing didn’t end once the show got off the ground. Future advertisements featured simplistic design with fun, tongue-in-cheek tag lines. They were creative, stylish and dare we say it…whimsical. HBO even turned a fountain blood red in Romania to announce one season.

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The universe was further immersive with an active online presence that included a blog for newly turned vampires, websites supposedly run by pro and anti-vampire organizations and early adoption of Instagram and Tumblr. They filled our world with creative hashtags like #makersday (a maker is someone who turns you into a vampire) and #waitingsucks.

Website for Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire organization in the series.

Website for Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire organization in the series.

Their creative stride never waned, and even the final season’s ads were focused on the fans and establishing a total package that supported the True Blood world. It’s a marketing campaign for the ages, and in the words of True Blood’s marketers, “Goodbyes Suck.”

Check us out in a few weeks for the third installment in our series, where we’ll learn the value of a dollar.

Out of the Box Marketing Campaigns That Worked!

Here at Myers Public Relations, we love creative marketing campaigns that make audiences think, laugh and pay attention. We also like to give credit where credit is due and thus, we present the first in a series highlighting some of the most creative, thought-provoking and wild marketing campaigns that worked!

Marketing has changed exponentially in the last ten years. It’s not simply focused television advertisements or a snappy radio spot. Facebook currently has 1.19 billion monthly users and continues to grow. That’s 1.19 billion chances of your advertisement to be shared, liked and sent around the globe. No pressure, right?

Today’s featured campaign embraced out of the box thinking through challenging the status quo and having the confidence to be different. It called into question societal norms and biases, and has been effective across social media, print sources and television.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty 

Dove

Dove launched their Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 and since then, the company has worked to redefine the narrow concept of beauty perpetuated by fashion magazines, the runway, Hollywood, liquor companies (the list goes on). They employed various communications techniques to open discussion and challenge stereotypes. But what has really made Dove’s advertisements so poignant is that they are based on research.

Dove discovered that 91% of women ages 50 – 64 believe that it’s time for society to change its views about women and aging. Combine this with the fact that only 2% of women globally would describe themselves as beautiful and it’s clear that we have a serious self-esteem issue.

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This revelation led Dove to develop the Movement for Self-Esteem as part of their Campaign for Real Beauty, which provides women the opportunity to mentor the next generation and celebrate realistic beauty in order to develop body confidence and improve self-esteem. The program has reached 17 million young people in 112 countries.  And while Dove may be owned by Unilever, the same company that owns Axe (whose entire campaign is the objectification of women), there’s something to be said about bringing an issue to the forefront and having the ability to point the finger right back at yourself.

Dove has arguably turned the tide towards positive growth and meeting the emotional needs of 98% of women across the world. It brings up a valid concern, convenes discussions around the topic and speaks to an audience’s emotions. Overall, as a marketing campaign, it works!

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Check us out in a few weeks to see other campaigns that have nailed their message and branding.