Archive for February, 2015

Four Ways to Stay Fresh in February

Here are four ways I stay fresh during the month of February.

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Downer Bowl or Uplifting Bowl?

Like most Americans, I sat on my couch last night and watched the Super Bowl on multiple screens. I had the game on my TV, Twitter streaming on my laptop, and a steady flow of texts and emails about the game on my phone. Most brands were promoting  hashtags on Twitter to help make their commercial stand out in a sea of catch phrases (macro-beer), inspiration (run like a girl!), and pure humor (who’s your turtle?). While I was on hashtag overload, one in particular stood out to me: #DownerBowl. It picked up steam after the Nationwide “Make Safe Happen” commercial and continued on through the unfortunate fight at the end of the big game. While those Tweeters had a good point, I don’t think those events dictated the whole evening. In fact, I thought Super Bowl XLIX was an #UpliftingBowl.

The overall theme of the Super Bowl ads last night was positivity. The more somber messages were overshadowed by brands taking a stand and representing something bigger. Three brands that activated their higher ideal especially well were Coke, McDonald’s, and Microsoft.

Coke and McDonald’s have long been powerhouses when it comes to great advertising. But in a year when sales have slumped and they struggle to stay relevant in an increasingly healthy world, these two went back to what they stand for and they nailed it. And I am willing to bet the McDonald’s consumer traffic picks up with the “Pay With Lovin’” campaign, which runs through Valentine’s Day.

Microsoft has been in a bit of transition as well, slowly making its way into the hearts of hipsters and millennials. Microsoft hit it spot on last night.

Microsoft has entertained us lately with its witty ads poking fun at its competition with the iPad and Mac. But Microsoft still struggled to show what its true purpose is – what its mark on the world would be. Last night’s #empowering campaign showed us just that. Microsoft is using the power of technology and innovation to empower those around us. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, summed it up pretty well: “The real question that needs to be asked as well as answered is what is it that we can do that is unique, that is impactful.” Microsoft showed us some inspiration last night. And now we’re cheering for Estella and Braylon.

McDonald’s award-winning campaign “I’m Lovin’ It” has taken a hit recently as obesity, heart disease, and a focus on healthy eating has taken center stage. But the team behind the golden arches made a comeback in a big way last night. I thought the new campaign was a brilliant way to rebuild equity and consumer traffic into the restaurants, while staying true to its higher ideal of sharing love. McDonald’s also took the idea of sharing love to an even higher level on social media. McDonald’s tweeted rave reviews of each commercial aired during the Super Bowl and gave Twitter followers a chance to spread that “love” by retweeting and getting a chance to win each product advertised.

I’ve always admired Coke as a company, a brand, and an advertiser. There are few brands that activate a higher ideal better than Coke. Every campaign Coke runs is aimed at its higher purpose of spreading happiness, and last night was no exception. In a cyber-world where bullying and hate have become the norm, Coke took a stand to show that positivity is cool. Its commercial was a cute way to show how Coke can spread happiness throughout the Internet, and its Twitter campaign took the concept to the next level. Every time someone responded to a negative or hurtful tweet with a positive message, Coke came in with fun images made from the words in the tweets. Check it out on Twitter. Now if only Coke was able to spread happiness on the football field to prevent an end of the game fight

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