Color the World

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  It’s been said that color can have an impact on emotion.  As a bold, brightly colored girl (in my clothing selections), I certainly believe it!  As does Global paint brand Dulux (aka Glidden Profession in the US).  And they’re not only demonstrating this at the home/room level, but on a big, huge scale.

Dulux’s color initiative is called the Let’s Colour Project.  It’s a worldwide outreach to rally communities and turn gray spaces into bright spots of hope.  They’re spreading the color love making-over streets, houses, schools, and squares — transforming them into colorful, vibrant locations.  It’s impacting places in Brazil, France, the UK, and India. And as a consumer (within these locales), you can sign-up to help out.  Web site Cool Hunting has photos of the buildings, if you want to see the before/after shots — they’re inspiring:  http://www.coolhunting.com/travel/lets-colour.php

What I think is so nuggety about this project is that it’s tremendously organic.  It’s using the product in a do-good project that impacts neighborhoods across the globe.  So it’s not some one-off, loosely tied “fit” to the brand.  For example, I just read this morning about a men’s shaving product that wants to help men “de-forest.” OK ha ha, I get it.  But then is linking sales to help the Arbor Day Foundation and planting trees.  Um, OK, I get it?!  Quite a stretch is my point.  But not in the case of the Let’s Colour Project.  Nicely done.

May all of your marketing pursuits have equally as smooth of a fit as this!  TASTY TREND:  Feeling good about doing good.

Feel Good Marketing

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  Back at the very beginning of January, we chatted about Optimism and Feel Good Marketing — a direction that marketers are taking in the new year (yes, we were chatting — me blogging, you reading — “chatting”  just makes it seem cozier!).  To continue the don’t-worry-be-happy-fest, Oscar Mayer is donating food in the millions of pounds to a good cause, while cleverly engaging consumers in its tag line. Come on, hop in the Wienermobile and give this a read…

Oscar Mayer (a Kraft brand) has committed to donating food to Feeding America.  Up to 2 million pounds as a goal.  All you need to do is to “complete a mission” by filling in the sentence:  “It doesn’t get better than………..”  Post your completed sentence to their site and Oscar Mayer will donate 1 pound of food.  Share it with friends and they’ll donate another 5 pounds.  Become a FB fan and they’ll donate 10 pounds!  You can also complete the sentence on their FB wall.  And yes,  “It doesn’t get better than this” is, indeed, Oscar Meyer’s current ad campaign.  So they’re letting you personalize the thought, while feeling good about giving to a cause — all done in a super simple engagement.

As the “Good Mood Ambassador,” celeb singer Kristin Chenoweth kicked off the program recently in Los Angeles.  Hundreds of passersby and performers at the event joined together to form a giant flash mob smile face with the Wienermobiles.  The hot-dogs-on-wheels were then sent off on a “cross-country journey to spread miles of smiles for the Good Mood Mission” (that’s a fancy way of saying “a mobile tour”).

To sustain the program well into September, four more digital “missions” will be sent out, all tied to specific Oscar Mayer products, e.g. Deli Meats, Bacon, etc. For each mission, consumers will be invited to reveal what makes them smile and share.  And all will be posted to the real-life good mood moments wall on their site.  Quick missed opportunity note:  no coupon, no purchase triggers.  But alas, perhaps this was meant more for awareness, leveraged at retail on a more customer-specific level, PR, or as a data/fan drive.

So circling back to the original reason for posting this example…Recession Shmession.  Relief Shmeif.  2010 is all about feeling good, giving you reasons to be happy thanks to a brand.  And in this case, it also happens to reinforce a key brand asset — a tagline.  Certainly, I hope my posts and examples make you feel good.  In a smarty booty sorta way, NOT a big huge weiney way (that mobile has been around forever, right?!).  TASTY TREND:  Feel Good Marketing; Feeling Good About Doing Good;  Socially Acceptable

Groundhog Day Prep

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  I know that February 2nd is a few weeks away, but I’m a planner at heart!  That said, last week I heard that you can sign-up to get an official text message regarding Punxsutawney’s shadow/no shadow spotting.  Text “Groundhog” to the SMS short-code 247365 using your cell phone. When Phil ventures out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob the morning of 2/2, you’ll get a text messages stating whether he saw his shadow (bad news…six more weeks of winter, boo hiss) or didn’t see it (good news…early spring, woo hoo!).  As anyone who followed Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, text messaging — although it almost feels, dare I say, old school — can be very effective in spreading the word quickly.  So nice PR play by the folks who support the furry fellow out in PA.

For fun, I tried to find other, higher tech extensions of this event.  But found none.  Nope, quite surprisingly no Punxsutawney Phil Facebook Fan page.  No available apps for smartphones.  And gosh, not even a Twitter account — which, actually, would be a perfect, no-cost, timely fit.  But I guess it’s a small step in a world that, let’s face it, centers around weather-prediction-by-animal-shadow.

I’m guessing he sees his shadow. It’s been pretty darn cold in the Northeast this year, let alone entire nation.  But I’ll just have to wait and see.  Oh, the anticipation of the holiday.  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential

Windows of Opportunity

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I was reading my latest issue of New York magazine this past Monday, and came across a cool contest that nicely bridges and integrates in-store with online with traditional ad space.  It’s Bloomingdale’s (NYC location) “Big Window Challenge.”  And it’s in partnership with the magazine Elle Decor, as well as the online community Apartment Therapy.  Apartment Therapy states their mission is: “Helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.”  OK, so pull up a throw pillow and read how it works:

  • At the store: Between January 19th and February 1st, three, Apartment Therapy readers — who also happen to be designers — will set-up their dream studio dwellings in three, Bloomingdale’s windows.  All using furniture and home decor that can be found on the fifth floor of Bloomingdale’s NYC.  Shoppers will be able to vote to determine the winning studio. Last year’s winning design is the image in this post.  They even photographed passers-by, holding up their fingers, indicating who they’d like to win, and posted these real-people online — pretty cool, nice way to keep it real!  A PR event/’party” is being held on Jan 22nd where anyone can come in and meet the designers.  And as a shopper, throughout the promotion, you can enter to win your own “room” (i.e., a gift card) in a sweeps — but you can enter ONLY at the store. So that’s LOTS of good reasons to stop by Bloomie’s.
  • Online – See the room designs.  Vote.  Learn about how to “beautify and maximize your own space.”  And perhaps, see yourself in a blog post photo taken from the windows, as noted above.  All good stuff for anyone interested in design and who can’t make it to NYC.
  • And as I had mentioned, all of this was uncovered thanks to a traditional ad.

My point in sharing this program today is for its: Seamless integration – all makes-sense, easy to navigate and understand moving parts and tactics.  And led by a retailer, nice!  Interesting usage of very targeted partnerships – Not the biggest, most far reaching channels.  But rather, really well-found media selections.  And sans celeb – You gotta love the online space for delivering credible, good resources for spokespeople these days.  Without having to negotiate with Q-scored types who come with hefty price tags.

The program begins next week at bigwindowchallenge.com.  And you can check out last year’s version there, too, now.

Simple, makes-sense, crunchy marketing makes me happy.  Doesn’t it make you feel good, too?!  Of course it does!  TASTY TREND:  Local Marketing Muses;  Retailer Leads

Tasty Contest

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  Any day I can talk about snacks and/or baked goods is a good day!  My email inbox had an invitation to enter a look-alike contest for Little Debbie.  The snack cake kid.  And good for Lil’ D for the nice data usage — I had opted in and blogged last year about their Share-A-Thon Giveaway and cupcake car sweeps.  All centered around their chocolate cupcakes.  (See 10/9/09 post.)  This program, however, covers the broader, snack cake brand. Grab a cold, glass of milk and something sweet and read on…

They’re looking for a girl, between ages 4 and 8, who looks like the Little Debbie 50-year-old icon image.  No lengthy time frames here with a twenty-day entry period, and a definitive PR event set for February.  Fifty winners will get to share a free case of snacks with her friends.  Ten, freckled-faced finalists will be flown to Atlanta for the final judging, receiving a gift bag of treats, a gift card, and a commemorative doll.  And the grand prize face, as selected at the ATL event, will win a $5,000 scholarship, and have her image shown on future packaging.  Interestingly, the woman who was the original inspiration for the Little Debbie image — Debbie McKee-Fowler — will be the “celebrity” judge involved in the final phases (I w.onder what she looks like now?!).

Now, aside from allowing me to talk about snack cakes, why, oh why is this crunchy?  A few reasons, thanks for your participation!  Straightforward – Nothing crazy required.  Just look like a snack icon in time for their 50th anniversary.  And from a client/corporate perspective, its prize pool is quite modestly budgeted.  Fast – No lengthy entry period.  No layers of consumer participation and voting to belabor the program.  I must note that it’s on their FB page with lots of “Like” comments, as well as wall posts.  Purchase Trigger – When you go to the contest site, there is an opportunity to get and print out a coupon good on snack cakes — nicely done!  And lastly, Insight Driven – As a strategist, I would like to believe that the folks responsible for this program realize how crazy parents are about their kids.  And how prizes such as scholarships and appearing on packaging can compel parents to “audition” their kids in contests.  I’ve seen it before, time and time again, as parents LOVE and flock to contests that bring celebrity to their kids.

Me, I look NOTHING like that Little Debbie.  Not even as a child.  And that hat and shirt?!  Not in my wardrobe.  Oh well.  And I must admit, as much as I love baked goods, my waist line and pursuit of good health and wellness turns me into a lot of talk.  But hey, a girl can talk and dream. Cupcakes, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Brownies…mmmm….. TASTY TREND:  Simple Marketing

Micro Sponsorship

Picture 1FRESH IDEA:  Today’s post comes from a lead one of my most generously, crunchy-nugget-sharing friends passed along (to KOC, thank you! ).  It’s an interesting website called groupable.  Essentially, groups and organizations of any kind can sign up for free, looking for sponsors.  And then marketers of all sizes can also sign-up and then micro-target to find relevant groups — potentially offering funding, free products, samples, etc.  It’s micro sponsorship and very targeted, versus seeking traditional venues and media channels.

If you take a browse through the groups, you’ll see Mommy podcasters looking for funds; the Viriginia Tech Men’s Water Polo team; an online show called “Cooking For Bachelors” who already has major, national sponsors but is seeking more, etc.  And it’s not just a willy nilly system, like a bad mixer with singletons wandering around to find one another, nervously sipping cocktails while no one dances on the dance floor.  Rather, it’s based on algorithms developed to put together the right sponsor for the right group.  In other words, smart math!  So for a marketer with limited funds, or a niche product, or a very geographically focused effort, it’s an interesting forum to find one another. It takes grass roots and word of mouth to a new, tech-driven level.

Me, I don’t need no stinking sponsor.  I’m living off of good karma *wink*!  Hmmm…with the holidays coming, maybe I should sign up?!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Micro Sponsorship

Cupcake Marketing

cupcakecarCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Today’s post has nothing to do with being smart or arming you with talking points (well, actually I’ve noted a few smart points at the end, girl can’t help it).  And although I’d love to call cupcakes a trend, I don’t think they’re terribly new or newsworthy.  However…in the past week, I have seen two marketing efforts involving cupcake cars.  Yes, vehicles meant to look like yummy baked goods.  And as you know, I adore tasty treats, especially cupcakes.  That said, I had to share.  Again, in the interest of — like a cupcake — not necessarily doing you any good, but rather, making you smile and say “Hmm!” and “Mmm!”

Little Debbie’s “Share-A-Thon Giveaway” – Me, I’m a Hostess fan.  But who could say no to FREE cupcakes and the chance to win a chocolate cupcake car from Little Debbie (see image)?!  In their “Share-A-Thon Giveaway,” Little Debbie (aka McKee Foods) is aiming to “Giveaway One Million Cupcakes.”  They’re launching a 21 city sampling tour staring October 11th through December 12th;  they have a TV spot; they’ve sent samples to (lucky!) Mom Bloggers; they’ve got a FB fan page and a tour Twitter account; and they’re giving out coupons good for 75 cents off of a Family Pack of chocolate cupcakes (“free” is used loosely in this instance).  There is also a weekly sweeps to win cupcake-y and car-related prizes (year’s worth of LD choco goodness, GPS, etc.), and the grand prize of the Smart car.  Smart Usa, by the way, is a partner for the program.  And October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day.  Woo hoo!  An excuse to indulge, right?!

Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalog – Quite the opposite of free, for $25,000, this year’s Neiman Marcus holiday catalog will sell you “car art” in the form of a drivable cupcake.  Now, unlike the Lil’ Deb version, this one will remind you more of a parade float of sorts.  Less “Let me pick you up and take you for a chocolate swirled spin,” and more of “Let me carefully go around the block looking pink and puffy, and perhaps loan this thing out for events.”  (Hope it doesn’t rain.) It was actually created for this year’s Burning Man event, again, as art.  Clearly, this cupcake on wheels is being offered to drive buzz and create differentiation for a retail catalog known to be a bit over the top each year.  Here’s the link if you want to see it — I’m telling you, it’s fun and crazy and the candy hat is hilarious:  http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/sitelets/christmasbook/fantasy.jhtml?cid=CBF10_O4428&icid=NMCDpage48&r=cat24050744&rdesc=The%20Christmas%20Book&rparams=xpage%3D48

OK, so beyond making you smile — which I hope I have achieved — can we glean anything redeemable for our hard core marketing nugget collectors?  Sure…Feel good marketing.  People have been craving treats and comfort food this past year.  So you gotta love seeing it on the road.  And fun, whimsical ideas are still ones to talk about and buzz over.  No need to hide that Little Debbie baked goods and Neiman Marcus purchases aren’t “good for you,” or not indulgent.  Little Debbie wants you to “Unwrap a Smile”;  and Neiman wants to share “fantasy gifts.”  Both marketers are allowing us to laugh and enjoy life with less serious treats.  Hope you have a good, treat-filled weekend!  TASTY TREND:  Recession Obsession; Make Me Happy Marketing