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October 19, 2019

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.

Keeping Up the Creativity: Part 9

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

Guest Blog by Melanie Ford, Myers PR Intern

#9 Listen to New Music

Ironically, each time I sit down to write these blogs I am doing whatever it is that I am writing about. Last time I was drinking coffee, and now I am listening to my iPod full of new music.

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So what could possibly be so helpful about listening to new music? After a little digging, I was surprised to find out just how beneficial sounds really are! Here are four ways music affects us:

alphabet-blocksRetention

“A-B-C-D…” We all learned the alphabet to the same melody. Music is implemented into learning from a very young age because it has been shown to improve memory ability and particularly verbal recall proficiency (Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom).

Music Keeps You Young

Cue Carol. Our Creative Director is known in the office for her youthful energy and contagious laugh! She makes a conscious effort (and asks her sons to help her) to know the latest music, shows, and trends. Remember: “The quickest road to becoming old of mind and spirit is to limit your exposure to things outside of your immediate realm,” says Gary A. Morse.

3- Calming

Calming Effect

Staying calm and focused in the workplace can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you are in a cubicle setting! Dr. Sood, at the Mayo Clinic, observed that in a world of endless distractions, music can bring your focus back within 15 to 30 minutes of listening. Music without lyrics is best for refocusing your attention to a task or project.

That being said, I had to use this opportunity to share this song, which was deemed by sound therapists the most relaxing song ever due to its continuous rhythm synchronizing with the heart and brainwaves.

4- Mood Boost

Mood Boost

Consider how many people you see at the gym exercising with their headphones in. The ability of music to create a positive atmosphere, energize activities and add an element of fun can motivate you regardless of what type of day it is.

At MPR, we’re constantly sharing links around the office to our new favorite artist or song – so make some friends in the cube next door and spread a little creativity!

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 7

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#7 – Sing in the Shower

3584193901_9e98d0fa23_zWow… I wasn’t quite sure how to approach this one. I could have gone with the whole “how great you sound because of the tile, the water vapors and the acoustics and all,” but that doesn’t really relate to the creative process – at least not MY creative process.

It was suggested that I not think of it so much as a literal action, but as more of a symbolic suggestion – a willingness to let yourself go and try something just for the joy of it. Loosening your inhibitions and really going for it without worrying about what people might think.

I love to dance. My husband and I have been dancing together for well over 30 years. We like to Jitterbug (not the phone, the dance), like swing dancing or the Carolina Shag. We may not be all that good, but it sure is fun to leave it all out there on the dance floor!

keep-calm-and-dance-like-no-one-s-watching-7Several of my team members are pole dance fitness instructors. One even earned the title of Miss Pole Dance Virginia. OK before you smirk … pole dancing is not about boas, acrylic heels and smoky rooms. It’s a form of performance art and an amazingly challenging sport which requires significant strength and flexibility, coordination and choreography. And it’s joyful!

So, sing in the shower, cut a rug or flip around upside down on a pole. Just do something that inspires you, brings you joy and stirs up the creative juices. Now THAT’S a creative process.

And for a little extra fun – Classic Sesame Street, “Singing in the Shower” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SB1IMHDz0I

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 6

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#6 – Take Breaks

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I try to take at least one break every workday and go for a quick walk – be it down the street to Starbucks, across the parking lot to Robeks or a distracting bit of retail therapy. I sometimes take two, if I have time and especially if the weather is inviting. (See Part 4 if you want reinforcement on this and Part 5 if you tend feel guilty for any of these indulging activities!) I even keep my gym bag under my desk so I have sneakers handy, though I’ll admit that I usually don’t get that ambitious.

This seems to be a shared habit with my office mates. Everyone will be head down in their keyboards for hours of quiet work when, all of a sudden, someone will pop up out of their cube and say, “Starbucks? Who wants to walk?” It’s amazing to feel the positive energy when they roll back in, cups in hand and attitudes adjusted for the next round at the keyboard. Happy campers!

office walkJust getting out in the fresh air and stretching my legs helps me clear my mind and recalibrate my brain for creative thinking. And, with the added benefit of a little light exercise, I feel better physically. Win and win!

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 5

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#5 – Quit Beating Yourself Up

right to forgive yourself

 

 

 

 

Many people struggle with this, some with more success than others. We all have it. You know, that little voice inside your head that tells you that you made a bad choice: you spent too much on those shoes; you stayed up late finishing a book when you knew you had an early meeting the next day; did you really need that extra cookie?; I can’t believe you actually said that!

It can be a helpful voice, one that can remind you to make a better decision next time. Or, it can be a destructive voice, a guilt trip that keeps cycling back around. If you allow yourself to forgive yourself – we are all human, and humans do make mistakes – you can learn from that mistake and handle a similar situation better next time. Or, if you allow the guilt/stress/regret to spiral and fester, all you are doing is creating negative energy. Creativity can’t exist in a negative environment.

If you have made a bad decision, stop and consider how this should affect you. What lesson can you learn? What will you do differently next time? What change can you make today to move you in a better direction? Take a break (see #4 in this series), calm down and basically, let it go.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams
yoga

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 4

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#4 – Get Away from the Computer.

work at keyboard I recently spent a week in the US Virgin Islands (lucky me!) and found that the WiFi and phone reception were sketchy at best. Plus, it wasn’t a good idea to leave your phone or ipad in the car when exploring, snorkeling or otherwise doing what you are supposed to do on vacation. I pretty much gave up keeping track of day-to-day activities at the office by day 3 and experienced the most wonderful feeling of liberation.

I realize that Caribbean vacations can’t be used as a regular means of clearing your mind for creativity, but daily mini-breaks and the occasional “Team Fun Day” can be very effective as well. I love it when someone pops up out of their cube and says “Who wants to walk?” It could be Starbucks run, or it could just be a walk outside to clear our heads. We also plan activities for the whole team to get out of the office and do something fun together. “Kayak Friday!” or “Happy Hour Thursday!” We all took a tubing trip down the Shenandoah last summer – priceless!

Just getting out of the office, taking a mental break and enjoying each other’s company can be a great way to stimulate creative thinking and an effective team building exercise to boot. Go Team!

So, if you can’t get away for a vacation, grab a coworker and take a walk. Your brain will thank you.
sea turtle

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 3

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#3 – Try Free Writing

Cartoon Pen

This is a new idea to me, but I am willing to give it a go. By definition from Wikipedia, Free writing:

Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. It is used mainly by prose writers and writing teachers.[1][2] Some writers use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing. Free writing is not the same as automatic writing.

Unlike brainstorming where ideas are simply listed, in free writing one writes sentences to form a paragraph about whatever comes to mind.

You start by picking a subject and writing it on the top of your page. Then, set the clock for five (or ten) minutes and type away. Or, using your handy notebook and pen from Part 2, start scribbling. The idea is write as quickly as you can without stopping to think, connect ideas, spell correct or punctuate. Apparently, with practice, you can read it back and pick up patterns and ideas that will help release your creative processes.

OK… I have my notebook and my pen…wish me luck!

pen & notebook