Crunchy and Cheesy

cheetosTPCRUNCHY NUGGET: I love a fun online, user-experience.  And I just found one reading an article first on ClickZ, and then trying it for myself: it’s from Cheetos and their Project T.P. Put down that bag of salty, snacky cheesy-ness, lick your fingers and give this read:

Glow, baby, glow: How do you make Cheetos relevant to Halloween?  First, change your packaging to feature glow in the dark graphics, and offer them in treat-sized packages.  Doing just this is fun, right?  Oh but there’s more…

Virtual TP opp: Cheetos has a Project TP – as in toilet paper, the verb – site where you can enter in any street address, and if it registers on google (maps, street view), lets you TP the area, thanks to Cheetos mascot Chester (the image in this post is by my community swimming pool).  Of course, you can share the image with friends. Again, fun, easy, really great user experience. But hold on, there’s even more…

Your mission, get social and you can win: Cheetos is also extending the play by giving consumers online missions via social posts. So not just TP’ing your neighborhood, but a fountain or a castle.  Different missions share a variety of places to TP.  Consumers who share their images via Facebook or Twitter fulfilling these missions get entered to win a Cheetos prize pack in a sweeps.  Nice!

Coming ’round full circle, what made me share this example was the fun user experience – it was easy, it was engaging, and it made me smile.  Note that it did NOT ask for my information, it did NOT offer me a coupon.  Missed opportunities?  Perhaps.  But mission accomplished for fun with a little, old school Halloween mischief.  By the way, here is the ClickZ article:

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

A Cat Jumps Into a Box

FRESH IDEA:  “And then the cat jumps into the box to determine what prize you win…”  I love a fresh new idea.  Especially when you can giggle about the marketing team level conversations had around the idea.  Where I found this lol cat of sorts was in today’s PSFK email newsletter.  It shared a sweeps for retailer Uniqlo who is opening up a new store in San Francisco, has a pop-up location, too, and is using the program to drive engagement and store traffic.  Now…none of that is funny.  How it comes to life, now that’s worth a chuckle:

Big in Japan — A Japanese cat named Maru has enjoyed fame on YouTube.  There are a series of videos featuring the cat; each has gotten anywhere from over 1 million to over 8 million views!  Apparently the one where Maru gets in and out of boxes caught the attention of the Uniqlo creative team.

Inside the box — So how it works…using a Uniqlo Facebook app, consumers can share their info and then have Maru choose a prize box.  The catch is that you’ll have to claim it at the new retail or pop-up locations (drive to retail).  Now…if you’re outside of San Fran and still want to play, you get a mystery prize.  Mine was a free recipe download from chef Danny Bowien.  Apparently, he is a known icon in San Fran. Which…to be strategically on target…is what Uniqlo intended, using local stars and a YouTube “sensation” rather than big celebs or models.

It’s a fun piece with a really good user experience — and it’s just different, which is what I really liked about it.  Go ahead, you can try it out here:

The recipe is for Rice Porridge with Dungeness Crab, Chicken and Soft-Cooked Egg, yummy! (That was sarcastic, sorry…*bleck*).  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Shopper Marketing Finds

More Pins

FRESH IDEA:  I swear I wasn’t planning on talking about Pinterest again.  But this idea is just too much fun (and too good) not to share.  And it can be seen in other social channels — Pinterest is among the lot.  One our of clients (who generously shared this idea) received an email invitation from Zulily — a daily deals site for kids’ and moms’ stuff.  The email brings you to a page of mini posters, aka “pinables.”  The designs feature colorful, fun sayings about play and other lighthearted notions.  Under each pinable are share options:  email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and yes, Pinterest.  Go ahead and share.  For anyone who clicks the pinable you posted or passed on, joins Zulily, and makes a purchase, you – the original sharer – gets $15 in credit from Zulily on a future purchase.  Now, aside from being super cute, there are a number of reasons why I love this idea:

  1. Original designs –When you talk about social these days, it’s all about content content content.  So what better way to drive share than to deliver original, highly relevant, and fun content for moms to pass on.  And with very subtle branding, I may add (see image, lower righthand corner).
  2. Pinables, the name — Indeed, you can share any way you wish, but in calling them “pinables,” you jump on the hot hot hot bandwagon of Pinterest.  Nicely done.
  3. New customer drive & WIFM — Yes, they’re super cute designs and posting them/sharing them, associates you with all things super cute.  But even better:  this is about using your existing database, and incenting your existing customers to find other new members with a simple action.  $15 is a rich offer.  And for doing very little work — again, other than posting and sharing something super cute.  Now that’s smart.

Really great, right?!  The cookies design is my personal favorite.  I’ve pinned to my Pinterest trends & cool ideas board:  Be sure to check it out!  TASTY TREND: Social Curation; Content is King

More Pinterest

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  There’s Pinterest again…being mentioned in the press today with a lil’ 101 tutorial in USA Today:

But alas…today’s post isn’t about belaboring the what’s, how’s and why’s, but rather, the what-now and what-else for Pinterest.  Specifically as it relates to marketing.  Go back with me to yesterday, sit at my desk, and read my Facebook newsfeed.  And a post for Threadless on Pinterest comes across.  It’s a sweeps:  re-pin a specific Threadless t-shirt design on Pinterest (which you can also purchase, by the way), and you may be selected to win the t-shirt.  Now sure, it’s simple, but what makes it so darn crunchy is that as marketers and marketing types try and get a hold on what on earth to do with Pinterest, here is a brand not only using it, but driving additional engagement and interest through the channel.  Sorta like a retweet sweeps.  Helps spread the word about a brand to others through influencers, hopes to gain momentum through an incentive, and is quick and easy for the consumer.  I like it!  I like it a lot!  What struck me was the “duh” factor…in that again, while trying to get a hold on the basics of this site, here is an easy, really good way to do more beyond boards and pins.  May I please also add that Threadless is a big first-to-try brand.  So they’re a really good one to friend/fan/follow/like just to see what they’re up to.  That…and they have super cool tees as chosen by their community.  When promotion meets Pinterest…love it!  TASTY TREND:  Social Curation

QR Code Inspiration

FRESH IDEA:  Well hello there!  While I was on vacation last week I saved an email I received from one of my favorite trend sources, PSFK.  It shared a really cool usage of a QR code that JCPenney is executing for the holiday season.  They call it a “Santa Tag.”  Here’s how it works:

Basically, you pick up a tag at JCPenney.

Scan the code using your smart phone (any QR code reader will work).  And then leave a voice message for a gift recipient.

You then take the tag and sticker it onto the gift recipient’s package.  He or she gets the gift, scans the code, and then hears your message.  Nice!

I’ll include the link to the PSFK article which shares a video of it and how it works — it makes it very crystal clear.  What I love so very much about this execution is how it’s taking a QR code and: continuing to “train” consumers in how and why to scan;  moves the content of a QR code beyond a discount or a link to like a brand’s Facebook page, and into a truly meaningful, very personalized experience.  And good for JCPenney…it’s a unique differentiation point for a retailer. Love it!  I could see this application for other brands and services, can’t you?!  Here’s the URL:

So did you start your holiday shopping yet?  Maybe this will inspire you not just with a good idea, but to make a list and check it twice!  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Go Mobile