Using Your Head

ellenCRUNCHY NUGGET: Well hello there, it’s a been a while, right?!  I’ve recently had a lil’ time off and one of my favorite shows to catch during the day is “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” This past Thursday, she introduced an app available for sale (99 cents) on iTunes called “Heads Up!” It replicates a game similar to “Celebrity” that she plays with guests.  One person holds a card above his or her forehead, and the other person gives clues to help the card-holder guess what-who is written on the card.  The app version let’s players choose from themes such as movies, animals, music, accents, etc. Players are up against a timer.  And the motion of moving the apple device up or down lets players pass and move on (tilt up), or acknowledge that the answer is correct (tilt down).  Fun, right?  What makes this app/idea so crunchy are a few things:  Yes…it went directly to #1 on iTunes, so mass awareness from Ellen was a big plus.  Absolutely…at 99 cents a sale, Warner Brothers and Ellen and the dev folks will make a nice lil’ profit.  Terrific…it’s fun and engaging and brings the spirit of Ellen and her show into real people’s homes.  And what I think is the most crunchy bit:  CONTENT!  Get this…the app uses the camera on the iPhone (or iPad) to record the game play.  App users can opt to save the video and share this content on Facebook or with the Ellen Show.  What an excellent means of spreading the word and getting real-life user examples for on-air content.  And again…very much in the fun, lighthearted spirit of the show.  Ah, content, love that!  (So much so I had to put it in bold!)

Admittedly, I have downloaded the app and am looking forward to giving it a try.  Gotta love a crunchy nugget found during a day off on an enjoyable TV program!  #goodidea #socialmediamarketing #appideas #contentmarketing

Come Fly with Me

FRESH IDEA:  I love when “would it be great if we…” ideas actually come to life. And this is a great example in gaining press buzz.  Delta Airlines is the Official Carrier of the NY Rangers.  The Rangers are currently in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the NJ Devils.  Delta is offering a a free charter flight for select Rangers fans Saturday, May 19th.  The Delta flight departs from LaGuardia, NY for Newark, NJ at 10 a.m. And the flight is going to take all of 17 minutes total.  These fans will then be whisked to the next Rangers/Devils playoffs game in Newark via ground transport.  Indeed, there is a return trip back, too.  In order to qualify, you needed to have:  filled out a form online by yesterday; have tickets to Game 3; and qualify to fly with FAA regulations.  Winners are chosen first come, first served to fill the plane.  And there is an overlay to win two game tickets for next NY Rangers playing season.

Now, what I like about this program is that: it’s just fun PR…no payback, no sales bumps, just press buzz.  And what a great, once in a lifetime opportunity!  For a fan, this is excellent!  Particularly as the NJ Devils had a “no blue” campaign in place for keeping Rangers fans away from their home ice on Saturday.  Nice leverage of a partnership!

Hey, hope your weekend is equally as delightful and lightheartedly fun.  TASTY TREND:  Buzz Baby

Tweet & Save

FRESH IDEAS:  This is one of those executions that makes you say “Wow, how cool is that?!”  American Express is now linking card holder offers to Twitter.  Here’s how it works: As an Amex holder, synch your Twitter account to your American Express account (a one-time, easy process).  Then Tweet a specific hashtag to your Twitter followers.  Right now, there are hashtags for partner offers from Whole Foods, Best Buy, and Zappos.  As a reward, an offer is then loaded to the holder’s card so that when they make a purchase with the partner (Whole Foods, Best Buy, Zappos), they redeem the offer.  This is a natural extension of what Amex is already doing: rewarding card holders for Foursquare check-ins and Facebook Likes; and leveraging “social currency” among cardholders.  Personally, I am most impressed by the seamless of the transaction.  No need for codes.  No need to coupons.  Just “talk” about Amex partners using specific “language” (hashtags on Twitter) and get rewards loaded for you, ready to roll.  Nice!  See…you just said “How cool is that,” didn’t you?!  I knew you would.  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Here and Now; Go Mobile

Leap It

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Happy Leap Day to you!  I’ve got the balloons out in the blog post to make it look festive –nice, right?!  Leave it to marketing folks to turn a unique, once-every-four-years day into a reason to talk about your brand.  I love it!  Here are some of the ideas I’ve seen.  I have not included the numerous free shipping and 29% off deals, nor the creative headlines and subject lines.  Rather, I’ve chosen to focus in on some of the more brand-activating and buzz worthy.  Feel free to save these ideas for the next go ’round in four years…

Many happy returns: Zappos — But anything on on Leap Day and get four years to decide if your merchandise is a keeper.  Zappos typically offers a one-year-365-day return policy, and they are known for excellence in customer service. So nice little PR, service-slant idea/offer.

Pah-leassse…just one more day: Disney — Disney Land and the Magic Kingdom are making families’ dreams come true by keeping the parks open for 24 hours — 6am today until 6am on March 1st.  It’s a nice, feel-good offer that clearly takes a uniquely timed day and makes it more magical.

Happybirthleapyearday:  Outback — With over 1.7 million Facebook fans, Outback has chosen to celebrate one of their fans’ birthdays today — her name is Jenn, she was born on Leap Day, and her picture is now up in their profile shot.  Become a fan of Outback and post a birthday wish to Jenn on the Outback page, and get entered to win one of four, once-a-month Outback celebrations for the next four years with Outback (i.e., until the next Leap Day).  Four years worth of free food once a month!  Nice means of positioning Outback as a monthly-let’s-celebrate destination for consumers.

You can google leap day offers and you’ll see the numerous codes and percentage savings and freebies (including free cookies at Subway, yay free cookies!).  Hope your day is leapin’ good!  TASTY TREND:  Brand Activators, Socially Acceptable

Be Creative

FRESH IDEA:  I can’t believe I haven’t shared this yet with you.  It’s a fun, worth-your-time web piece that a Tech company called Hitcents created.  They also turned it into a free iTunes app, and it’s now in the top 25.  What makes it nuggety to me:  1.  It’s guaranteed to make you smile, great user experience.  2. Wouldn’t you just love something a lot like this on your web site? Or for your brand? Or as your app to share?  and 3. The ending message serves to inspire.

Here goes…enjoy!

TASTY TREND:  Experiential Traditional

Social Takeover

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I got an email from Sharpie yesterday — love Sharpie markers.  And it told me about a YouTube homepage takeover planned for this Saturday, August 27th.  Basically, anyone, anywhere can submit (upload) a Sharpie-drawn image.  It can be anything…a doodle, a thought, a real drawing, anything.  So long as it was started with Sharpie — playing back their newest campaign (“Start with Sharpie” – ah ha!).  These images will then be streamed this Saturday on YouTube.  Again, anyone who submits gets posted.  You can also view submissions and give them stars, too.

Now, why is this so cool and crunchy?  Because it’s a first of its kind takeover from a brand.  And not only does it bring to life the new campaign, but it does so using its own fans and followers.  So whereas prior campaigns integrated celebs, this one is all about the real-life users.  No matter what your level of artistic skill…go ahead and try (or continue to use) our product, is what is being said.  Very nice invitational feel to drive trial and loyalty.  Very nice means of supporting a brand benefit of self-expression.  Love.  I think I need to draw a heart and submit it.  At the very least, go and check out the submissions.  They’re beyond drawings and into shoes and other creations.  They’ll make you smile.  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable

Ah Romance

FRESH IDEAS:  One of my favorite, crunchy nugget-sharing friends passed this program along.  She said she was surprised and delighted when she found out what brand was sponsoring this effort.  It all starts at a web site:  Here are the details — be sure to reapply your lip balm before reading:

Of course, Harlequin – With 60 years of delivering romance novels that all include kissing, “owning” a kiss is a natural for Harlequin.  And so the cornerstone of this program features their effort to get an actual US patten to “preserve the Essential Romantic Kiss.”  Literally, getting a patent for how to kiss.  It then moves on to engage consumers…

Submit, Explore, Determine – Consumers can create their own kisses, selecting and enhancing the participants (note, indeed – kisses do not discriminate out same-sex couples, but they do ask that you keep the interactions clean), naming the kiss, and then submitting it.  You can also get inspired by other kisses that have been shared.  And if your brain isn’t feeling the love, you can take a quiz to determine your best style kiss.  One winning kiss will be judged to be the best based on creativity, romantic quality, and originality, and will win a trip to Las Vegas. And if all this wasn’t enough…

Mushy and Crunchy – Harlequin also shares the results of a kiss-centered “Romance Report” survey (aww…you know how much I love free survey finds!).  Nuggets include tid bits like:  Only 10% of people would end a relationship over bad kissing abilities; and 1 in 3 women will kiss and tell if, indeed, they have a bad kisser in their midst.  And so on.

Yes, there is also a whole section dedicated to their books, with “Red Hot Reads,” and lots of e-Reader samples for free (note that romance novels are a big big seller in the e-reader world).

Again, thanks to Danielle P-M for sharing the love.  If you want to check out the site again, it’s  It’s a fun, make-you-smile, fully-integrated effort worthy of a few minutes of your time.  Nicely done, Harlequin!  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential