Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Think Big, Get Results

March 21, 2014 1 Comment

It’s hard to stand out in the competitive world of PR and advertising. Yes, there are certainly safe, go-to marketing strategies that have stood the test of time. But to get real results, you have to get a little crazy. Throw caution to the wind! Color outside the lines! Think outside the box! Whichever cliché saying you prefer, the point is that the best PR practitioners don’t rely on tradition and the molds of conventional campaigns. Here are examples (in no particular order) of some adventurous campaigns, stunts, and ads.

  1. HBO’s True Blood: Revelation marketing campaign. This marketing campaign got True Blood’s already loyal fan base even more hyped about the show. The creative geniuses behind the campaign, Campfire (check them out!), sent vials of red liquid with labels in a “dead language” to horror bloggers. They created a “vampire-only” website called BloodCopy.com. They put up fake PSAs that promoted equal rights for vampires in major cities. This campaign piqued people’s interests and was a creative way to get people interested in the show.
    ELFYOSELF
  2. Office Max’s Elf Yourself. THESE WILL NEVER GET OLD. I’m fairly certain everyone has uploaded pictures of themselves and their friends into this 2006 interactive E-card invention. Over half a billion shares later, it’s a beloved tradition. When these start showing up on your Facebook feed, Christmas is near! Office Max found a fun way to get their name out there – over and over and over again. Creative partners: Jason Zada, EVB, and Maccabee Group.
    TACOBELL
  3. Taco Bell’s Twitter. First of all, let’s talk about Taco Bell’s Twitter.  One word: HILARIOUS! (They have an awesome presence on Instagram as well.) They know the importance of sharing pictures and interacting with their followers. They retweet and respond to their fans – sometimes celebrities, sometimes run-of-the-mill chalupa lovers – and just seem like a cool 20-something who happens to be a Mexican fast food chain. Their strongest customer demographic, the 18-34 age group, loves the casual-cool persona that Taco Bell has created. Just ask their 1.09 million followers.
  4. Taco Bell’s Mir Space Station Promotion. Ok, so Taco Bell is kind of a 2-for-1 in this list. In March 2001, Taco Bell held a promotion to coincide with the re-entry of the Mir space station. They put a huge target in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and announced that if the target was hit by a falling piece of Mir that every person in the United States would win a free Taco Bell taco. They bought a hefty insurance policy for this stunt, but alas, no piece struck the target. The point is that they got people excited! AND a lot of media attention. Good job, Taco Bell!
  5. Athens Bicycle’s Gravel Rouser. Every year since 2004,Athens Bicycle hosts the Gravel Rouser, a four-day event of races and relays. The fun is that any one can win the 4 quirky events. It’s meant to be a light-hearted way to kick off the biking season. What started off as just an “Athens thing” now brings people to Atheathensbikens from all over Ohio. It includes a ride along a wooded path – hooked up with speakers blasting classic rock, a scavenger hunt around Athens, a donut party and a lot more. Athens Bicycle found a way to get their name and logo out there, gain some fans and increase business. By the way, it started yesterday!

These are just a few examples of businesses that weren’t afraid to get a little wild. Being bold pays off! It takes a lot of planning and creativity, but the next time you have a goal, take these businesses’ lead and think BIG (in the good way). Like Dr. Seuss said:

“why blend in when you were born to stand out?”

Elaine Carey is a junior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @snakesona_laine.

Brands That Are Taking Over Twitter

December 9, 2013 3 Comments

Social media has become a big part of our everyday life. It is how we communicate with one another, receive the news and express ourselves. It only makes sense for brands to keep up the pace and become a part of it, too- the ones that don’t are getting left in the dust.

All of my favorite clothing brands started tweeting late in the evening on Thanksgiving. They were letting all of their followers know about their upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. After seeing these tweets, I didn’t even check the sales on the brands’ websites that don’t have a social media presence.

Some of the best accounts I have come across are ones for food brands. My favorite is @TacoBell. I have been a longtime follower of the brand being a lover of cheap fast food. But whether you are a fan or not, this account does everything right in the marketing world.

They have just the right balance of tweets promoting their brand and interacting with their followers. If you check out their Twitter, the voice of @TacoBell is consistent and relatable. They try their best to respond to tweets from followers. Celebrities have even started to tweet at them, especially super model Chrissy Teigen. She has established such a great relationship with them via Twitter that they sent her a wedding present!

Twitter1

Props to whoever runs the @TacoBell account – they have really created a positive image for the brand that goes beyond just food. When super models are tweeting at you, you know you are doing something right.

Another surprisingly entertaining account is the brand @Oreo. When you first hear the word Oreo, you think “just a cookie”. Not anymore. @Oreo has created a real personality for itself on Twitter and has had a lot of fun doing it. Their tweets are usually witty, sometimes poking fun at other types of snacks like Kit Kat. They also make sure to keep up with holidays and current events. They were actually one of the first brands to acknowledge the birth of the royal baby. The day that it was announced that Kate Middleton had given birth, @Oreo was fast to tweet this:

Twitter2

Being in the know and always entertaining, the @Oreo personality will carry its brand far. Using their famous cookie in the pictures they tweet reminds followers how good they are every time they appear on Twitter.

Brands like these are setting the bar for others. Take notes, this is how you give a brand personality and how you don’t just become a product, but a lifestyle!

-Lauren Chemas is a senior studying strategic communication. Follow her at @LaurenChemas.

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