Friday, January 31

One Billion for Perfect Brackets

Meanwhile ... we are all obsessed with the Super Bowl this week, and rightly so.  And right on the heels of the Super Bowl are the Olympics.  It's a mad rush of events this season, one after another.

Meanwhile ... in comes a brand that is jumping way ahead of us to March Madness, creating a promotion that not only captures our attention, but leverages a known consumer behavior to its advantage, with stunt-like qualities.

Plus a little "how are they going to do that?"

Quicken Loans (along with Berkshire Hathaway) ... offering a billion dollars for anyone that gets all of the brackets perfect for March Madness.

A billion dollars!  Could it be that hard to get perfect brackets?

The math experts say it's unlikely anyone will win, even less likely that two people will have to split the billion bucks.  But I still think it's a pretty brilliant scheme, one that I may even try.  It's bringing almost instant awareness to a brand by connecting it with something that people obsess about ... March Madness is a massive pop culture event that connects people together.  A little stunt like this merely puts the brand into a conversation that's already happening.  The timing is also brilliant as we obsess about a different sports event, tagging along on all of that conversation as well.

There are a couple other layers that are cool two:  the twenty closest brackets each get $100,000 and two charities in Detroit and Cleveland each get $1million to help educate intercity youth.

This is a big bet ... hope they have insurance!

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Join us for live tweets during the Super Bowl, all about the advertising, at #SBExp.

Thursday, January 30

A Kinder, More Gentle Super Bowl

As we get closer and closer to the Super Bowl, I'm starting to get a feeling for how the event is going to roll.  While many are worrying about the weather, and the traffic, and certainly all the celebrity sightings, I'm feeling a vibe start to take shape.

I'm feeling a kinder, more gentle ... even human ... Super Bowl coming.

Here's how I captured it for Huffington Post ... click here!

I mention a few spots in the post, so here they are for your viewing pleasure ....

Witness this spot from Budweiser, doesn't get more human that this:

Even Go Daddy, which generally pours on the sex, is going a different route this year:

We have to give credit to Cheerios for having the vision to continue their campaign, bringing it to an even larger stage for the brand's Super Bowl first:

And my absolute favorite, from Guinness.  It's a continuation of its "character" campaign, but done even better in Olympics style.  One of the most moving pieces of advertising I have ever seen.

We shall see if this theme plays out further, but my early predictions certainly point to a very human round up of Super Bowl advertising.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Follow all the advertising as we tweet live during the game at #SBExp is the hashtag for a fun Twitter party.

Wednesday, January 29

Justin Timberlake at The Grammys

One of the biggest Grammy sensations from the 2014 Grammy Awards the other night wasn't even at the Grammys!  At least not in full force like so many others.

Sure, there was Beyonce, Madonna, Mackelmore & Lewis, Katy Perry, Pharrel, and Daft Punk ... but where was Justin Timberlake?   He didn't appear to be up for any of the big awards (at least that were telecast), and he didn't do any big performances.  At least not on stage.

But I would consider him to be the brand of the night ... from a marketing perspective.

The tie-ins with his album (which has been out for a long time now BTW), his music, his fans, and his brand supporters - Target and MasterCard - were simply amazing.

If a brand is all about its audience and how it engages with them, then Justin Timberlake showcased on Sunday night that he is one successful brand.  And Target and MasterCard showed that they know how to use a celebrity spokesperson to enhance their brands and their brand programs as well.

Take #PricelessSurprises ... a new evolution of MasterCard's longstanding "priceless" campaign.  Adding in the element of surprise to people's lives is a great way to take that campaign to the next level.  Weaving in Justin as the ultimate in surprise for a mega-fan is just plain fun to watch.

The carry over to the Target campaign as part of its music messaging was not only a lot of fun to watch, but it helped to show the impact of brand JT.

So while Justin didn't really take the stage, he stole the show IMHO ... from a branding and marketing perspective.  Bravo!

What's your experience?  Jim.

PS - Join us for live tweets during the Super Bowl as we comment and share all the advertising - at #SBExp.

Tuesday, January 28

Come In Through The Front Door

I'm all about the brand experience ... it's how I think about marketing and how I think about building a business.

In every aspect of the business, the totality of the brand experience should be carefully crafted and monitored, from every angle.

I had an unlikely AHA moment the other day while traveling that I just had to share as it relates to this very topic.

I wrote it for EntrepreneurClick here if you'd like.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Join us for Super Bowl Sunday as we tweet live about all the advertising at #SBExp