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


Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 2.24.08 PMFRESH IDEAS:  “Oh, why didn’t I think of THAT!  Now that’s nice!” is what my brain registered when I read today about Y&R Midwest’s Sandy Pinterest initiative:  As an agency they’ve decided to help real-life families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Given that this arm of Y&R is in Chicago makes it all the more “awww…” as you’d expect a NJ/NY metro shop to take measures to help local folks.  Here’s how it works:

Real families, real needs: Y&R’s team has chosen families as the subjects of Pinterest boards.  If you go to, you can link to the Pinterest page with all four families.  The boards for each family feature goods that are needed to rebuild their households.  It’s everything from plastic bags to pillows to gift cards.  All at an achievable $25 give or take price point.  And of course, there is a board with the family’s story.  

Click through to repin or to actually buy: Like a typical Pinterest board, you can click through a board to either repin the item to your own board and spread the word about the family in need and their specific items.  Or, you click through to where that family’s wish list resides.  You can actually buy the items for the family, and since they’re “registered” on amazon’s wish list, they’ll receive it directly from amazon thanks to the donors.

Now, why did this awaken my “fresh ideas” senses today (other than it’s snowy and cloudy and gray out and it’s super heart warming)?  The power of Pinterest for good: all of the terrific things a brand would love about Pinterest make for a really nice cause-related experience, e.g., visuals, telling a story, repin and share opportunities, and purchase what you see opportunities.  Agency do-good effort: every agency I’ve worked for or know always does something to support a cause, it’s just good business.  But this showcases good thinking and innovation in a social space.  Nicely done, Y&R Midwest!  You’ve certainly brought a little sunshine to my cloudy day for a girl who thinks she’s “seen it all”…and then something like this comes along, love it!  #goodideas #socialmedia #pinterest #causemarketing

Tweets: Men vs. Women

Active-Twitter-iconFRESH FACTS:  I just read an article in Fast Company’s Co.Design section about the differences in how Men tweet versus Women.  The study was conducted by a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Stanford University.  All of these smarty pants looked at the 14,000 users’ tweets in order to see if there were any true differences in how Men and Women share on Twitter.  What they found that there is, indeed, language more commonly used by Women, and language that is more common to Men on Twitter.  Specifically, here’s the Mars and Venus scoop:

Women can be sOOOOOOooooo emotional!! Ah! — Women typically use more emotionally driven words.  They also use more emoticons : ) .  Text-y-computer-ish terms like LOL and OMG are more Female, as is using…ellipses…  Women more frequently use expressive lengthening of words like this: I just looooove it!  Women were also found to be using exclamation marks and question marks more often.  As well as what the study notes as backchannel sounds like ah, hmmm, ugh, and grr.

!@#$ Men — Men, on the other side of the Twitter spectrum, use swear words and “taboo” words much more often.  Sports and tech terms come from Men more often, as well.  Which leads us to an interesting finding overall about followers…

Twitter birds of a feather, tweet together — The study also found that where these gender specific patterns don’t hold by a Twitter user, that individual is likely to follow less members of their own gender than is average. So you tweet what you know–or at least you tweet who you follow (birds of a feather, i.e.).

Here is a link to the article if you wish to read it:

I find this sOOOOOooooo crunchy, don’t you?!  #socialmedia #twitter #consumer behavior #consumerinsights #womenvsmenontwitter

Pinterest Inspiration

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 3.56.21 PMFRESH FACTS:  “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” This quote is on a colleague’s g-chat image and just this past week I asked her what it was and where it came from.  She said: Pinterest.  She collects good, inspirational quotes.  Apparently, she’s not alone.  Interesting survey facts shared by eMarketer as uncovered by (January 18, 2013) have found that women are inspired by Pinterest to:

  • 75% = Try new dishes (Not a surprise. Food has always been a big draw for Pinterest users. And yes, note who lead the survey.)
  • 59% Try new home decor (Better Homes & Gardens, West Elm…among the early brand users of Pinterest)

And then in third place (she notes in bold)…

  • 38% = Keep track of inspirational sayings and mottos.  Let me stop here and say that I knew that’s what users were doing on Pinterest (from my own experience).  But right behind food and home -wow!  Really interesting!  It goes to show you – you, as in brand and marketing peeps who play in the Pinterest space – that content you wish to have shared can come from interesting sources and can be practical or very aspirational.  As simple as a really good phrase. Now, what were the rest of the responses, you ask?  ““He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin.  OK, now…
  • 36% = Home entertaining ideas.  Party!
  • 27% = To remind me of place I want to travel. Aspiration. Dreams and wishes.
  • 24% = To remember clothing that I love.  I gotta tell you…I was surprised that it took this long to see any sort of fashion/retail-like topics appear.
  • 8% = Remember movies that I love.  Huh…who knew?
  • 3% = Track celebs.
  • And finally that crazy category called “Other” at 23%.
“To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.” – Mark Twain. And that is why I share the nuggety goodness.  To be noble and to inspire.  Although I think Mark Twain was being a little bit cheeky, don’t you think?!  Hope you have an inspiring weekend!  #Pinterest #marketingtrends #Pinterestinsights #socialmarketing

Fast Photos

130102040713-snapchat-story-topCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  What if you could snap a photo on your cell phone, send it to  friend, and then have it disappear in seconds — on purpose?  That’s what mobile app Snapchat enables.  As of January 1st this year, 50 million photos were being sent like this every day through Snapchat, with over one billion sent in total.  Snapchat lets you take a photo or video, add in a caption, and then choose how long you wish for the viewer to be able to see this photo or vid, up to 10 seconds, before it self destructs. The recipient can certainly take a screen shot of what they received — so keeping true to the internet, nothing sent is completely private nor deleted, necessarily.  Which leads to certainly the words “sexting” and “risque” and “parental concerns” come up when you read about Snapchat.  But this post isn’t about that…rather, it’s about how marketers are seeing interesting executions with this app. Quick!  Read on as this blog post will self destruct in 10-9-8-just kidding.

Snap, share & save — Earlier this year, frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles used Snapchat to deliver a surprise offer.  It worked like this: snap a shot using Snapchat of you and your friends enjoying 16 Handles fro yo.  Send your shot to 16 Handles’ Snapchat account.  In exchange, receive a surprise discount from 16 to 100% off of your next purchase at 16 Handles.  The recipient had 10 seconds to let the cashier scan the photo/offer before it destructed.  Now, my inner pragmatic promotions person says “Eek!  What if the cashier doesn’t know what to do…what if it disappears too quickly…” etc. etc.  But, I will say that this was a small scale program, testing out the waters of an app used by the brand’s target audience.  So good for 16 Handles.  Now, keeping that open mind, there are other ideas for using Snapchat among brands.

clickZ  — Just last week, clickZ ran an article by Andrew Solmssen. It shared his ideas on how brands can use Snapchat.  Everything from scavenger hunts to events to insider access to contests.  Now…again,..I have to let my “yes but…” execution voice hush and let this man speak.  At the very least, it shows that the platform has interesting extensions and can be a good brainstorm idea piece for your future thoughts.  Again, I think it would work best if the redemption and participation parameters were kept nice and tight and controlled.  Here is the article:

One last note about this app is it just goes to show how immediate today’s audiences are about their content and its consumption.  What’s new now, can be gone in 10 seconds.  Oh and as always, I think the best way to really see what something is all about is to try it.  So do go ahead and download the app, find a friend, snap away, and then look quickly!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Here and Now #snapchat #marketingideas #photos #mobile

Six Seconds

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 9.58.56 AMFRESH IDEAS:  When it comes to technology, I am a huge magpie. Meaning, if it’s “shiny” and new, I’m immediately drawn to it and have to give it a try.  Such is the case with the newly released app (1/24) Vine.  And not surprisingly, brands have already started using it.

So, what is Vine? Vine is an app that allows you to record six-second videos from your smartphone or tablet in little segments or all at once. If you hold your finger down on your smartphone screen, you record one “long” video.  Or you can tap your screen to record a series of short moments inside the 6 seconds total. You can share them on your social sites — specifically this app is from a Twitter acquired company.  And you can also follow other users within the app, similar to Instagram.  The editors’ picks within Vine showcase the creativity and possibilities of how much can be done with six tiny seconds!  These picks alone are super fun and worth checking out — because the videos play in a continuous loop, it’s like watching an extended gif.

Why a brand should care: Well…it’s another means of creating and sharing content.  And we all know how much more engagement videos and photos get in social spaces (nod your head in agreement and then go back and read the August 30th Crunchy Marketing Nuggets post to keep yourself honest). It also immediately brings a brand into the mobile space.  Mashable just shared nice examples of branded Vine mini “spots” from GE, Wheat Thins and Red Vines. Again, really quick, really creative: 

I’m a hands-on girl and so I made my own little spot, for fun:

TASTY TRENDS:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable #socialmedia #twitter #Vine #cool ideas #newtech

Make Someone Happy

Screen shot 2012-12-21 at 8.31.39 AMFRESH FACTS:  So as I was driving home yesterday night, I was thinking that I need to close up shop on the nuggets, post a cute snowman or something festive, wish everyone well, and pack it in the for the new year.  But oh no…this morning I read a nugget that I wanted to share and get in before I flip the sign around to “Closed…Be back soon.”  It’s about coupons.  I agree and I disagree with this study.  Walk with  me — in a winter wonderland of crunchy goodness (keeping a little holiday’ish mood here)…

Coupons Make People Happy — According to a study conducted by, Dr. Paul J. Zak, Professor of Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and shared in this morning’s Center for Media Research (*phew* that’s a lot of credit to give), coupons make people happy physically and emotionally.  Physically:  respiration rates fall, heart rates drop, and oxytocin levels increase (that’s a hormone associated with happiness) when people are given a coupon.  And the oxytocin levels were found in some of the consumers to be higher than kissing, cuddling, and other social interactions that make people physically react and become happy.  Emotionally: 11% of people who received the coupon said they were happier than those who did not.  The study concluded that getting a coupon makes people feel better than getting a gift.  Huh!  Interesting, no?!  Makes you wanna rethink your holiday strategy, right?!  But I have my theories, of course…

Duh, we see this in social — For anyone who works on a Consumer Packaged Good, one of the observations we always see in monitoring social chatter — meaning, looking at what real people share in social spaces like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc — is that offers typically cause spikes in social conversations.  People like to post and share offers.    It makes the post-er feel good in giving and doing good. But as we see in the coupon research, it also makes recipients feel good.  Which leads me to my next point…

Coupons shmoopons, it’s about surprise and delight — Here’s where I poke holes in this research.  The study didn’t really give a “coupon” — they gave more of a gift:  a $10 “coupon” during their grocery shopping trip.  That’s a really high value.  Sure, call it a “coupon,” but to make general, sweeping statements in the world of “save $1 on two,” and “50 cents off”?!  Not exactly apples to apples, I think.  Rather, what I think made those people happy was the surprise and delight in the right time, right place context.  So personally, I don’t believe that a coupon is better than a gift, sorry.  I think any offer that is delivered with the elements of surprise and delight would do the same.  It’s why people LOVE free samples.  It’s why people grab free gift bags at an event.  It’s why a great offer in-store is worth talking about (“I got the iPhone4 for only 99 cents!”).  These things feel good, they feel right.  And again, my opinion, it’s why I think the results were as they came up in this study. Something to always consider for my marketing and promotions and brand peeps.  Now…onto the well wishes…

Hoping your holiday also brings you lots of wonderful surprises and delights!  Thanks for reading and see you in the new year!  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Feel Good Marketing