Three Big Brands Using Social

Social marketing is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger.


People use social media for many reasons but in my opinion, the common denominator is a connection. The world is crazy, busy, always going but it feels good to say something or have an opinion that someone else can relate to or add to somewhere out there. The brands I’m going to talk about understand this idea but each one also has its own approach based on its purpose.

1.) Pfizer “Get Old” #LetsGetOld

No one likes to think of getting old. But why? In my opinion, we’re scared to talk about it. Ignoring or shying away from situations doesn’t make things better but instead it makes you anxious for what’s to come.

Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, came along and started the conversation in a non-intrusive manner. Not only did Pfizer get people of all ages talking about getting old but it worked with other leading organizations, like National Alliance for Caregiving Association, Men’s Health Network, Society for Women’s Health Research and more to help add to the conversation.

Pfizer isn’t pushing its products but instead becoming an authoritative voice (or thought leader) in the “aging” space. Sure, there’s AARP and other organizations dedicated to the more mature, but Pfizer included everyone in this campaign, used multiple touch points and lightened the mood around aging. Some examples of what people were saying range from “I want to stay healthy for my two daughters”, “I plan to get old with joy, strength and vigor” or “I want to get old having fun.”

Originally started by SS+K (Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky) agency with an integrated approach. Current AOR: Edelman continues with its PR efforts.

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook

2.) Lowe’s “Fix in Six” #LowesFixInSix

Who hasn’t been picking up or cleaning when you thought to yourself, “Ugh, there’s got to be a better way to do this!”

Lowe’s, a retail home improvement store, showed us how we can turn every day items into problem solvers through video. BBDO worked with Lowe’s to create Vines (six second videos) and with the promotional hashtag #LowesFixInSix.

Some of my favorite tips include using a hair dryer to get rid of stickers on purchased items, lemon juice to get rust stains off knives or pillow cases to house your sheet sets.

Again, the company isn’t dominantly pushing its product but hopes to come to the top of your mind next time you think of doing some home improvement. And hey, if you need some home improvement materials why not head to Lowe’s? It’s a non-forced entry into our every day lives and it’s helpful information. Win win.

Agency: BBDO and Meagan Cignoli

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Vine

3.) Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is a brand that is just doing it right all around. I remember my senior year in my Social Media in Strategic Communication class, we organized ourselves in groups to work on a final project. Each group chose a brand and created a mock social plan. While our group chose CPG (consumer product goods) and certainly noticed Dunkin’ Donuts in this space, we went with one of its competitors for two reasons: we wanted to show through our research that we acknowledged an area of weakness, had a solution and gave examples of execution. Plus we like a challenge.

I wanted to tell that brief story because Dunkin’ Donuts has the reigns of their social engagement from Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and counting. What makes them stand out is the fun nature of its engagement.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses campaigns like any other brand would, such as #MyDunkin, but the personal or thoughtful posts of people sharing stories or experiences around Dunkin’ Donuts continues with or without these campaigns. Pictures of products, videos of recipes, and personal stories are just some of the ways the brand draws you in and gets you to take notice.

So there you have some of the top brands I’ve been noticing in social media. Remember to have fun with it!

Valentine’s Day Memes

If you have any type of social media account, you’ve seen a Valentine’s Day meme by now. Well, I decided to make my own meme this year! Feel free to use it because I believe in a world without coconut and hard chew chocolates. We must stand united and all that other stuff.

Scroll down to see my top 5 fave memes.

Source: weknowmemes

Source: quickmeme

Source: geeksugar



Whether you’re single or in a relationship, you can enjoy Valentine’s Day. I always say February 14th is for couples and February 15th is for singles. On the 14th, chocolates on chocolates are being bought and love is in the air. BUT the day after, all those perfectly packaged chocolates in heart shapes are discounted! YEAH! Stock up if you’re single! Rent your fave movie and surround yourself with your love of chocolate. :)

As always, I like to leave a tip at the end of my posts. All signs point to video this year. In retail, CPG, entertainment and other industries, you will see an increased amount of video placement but as a consumer, you can also join in. Instead of sharing or creating a collage of pictures, you can make a collage of video and pictures. It’s kind of cool. The app is called Flick Stitch and it’s free. Check it out. I’ve used it a few times and it’s just a fun way to incorporate pictures and video into one shareable property.

Understand Apple’s “Misunderstood” Commercial

To fully enjoy this post, I need you to watch the commercial before you continue reading.


I wanted to write about this commercial spot because my Facebook feed for days was blowing up with comments from friends about how much they loved the commercial and why. The message is one we’re going to be seeing a lot more in the new year and I wanted to go into detail about why it worked and what’s the message.

  • Name of the commercial: Misunderstood
  • Message: Love, don’t judge
  • Feeling: Warm, togetherness, nostalgia
  • Products being sold: None
  • Brand: Apple

These are just a few of the takeaways from the commercial. Another thing to notice is that this commercial felt more like a story. Good, it should. If a consumer doesn’t believe the story of a brand or is on board with a company (meaning a consumer can relate, appreciate and/or support its initiatives), then the brand has failed. In this case, Apple succeeded. Apple didn’t push a single product during this commercial but if you noticed, the boy was using an iPod/iPhone device, an AppleTV and maybe even a Macbook to edit his final family video. So through this commercial showing the importance of creating memories, you’re also left with a feeling of “Hey, that looks easy and intuitive. I bet if I had that, I could make fun videos too.”

Another feeling you may have felt is empathy. Who hasn’t been misjudged in life? This kid may have been misunderstood in his family for always being in the background but he was clearly enjoying watching his family and being around them – just in a different way. So not only do we now feel like the products are easy to use, but we relate to what? THE STORY.

Think back to some of your favorite advertisements, articles, or news stories. Chances are you remember them because you can relate or it told a story you believed in.

A strong advertisement not only tells a story but also hits on many points within Maslow’s hierarchy. Long story short, Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who came up with this hierarchy of needs to describe what drives us. We may be human and complex but we also have similarities. It’s in our DNA; it’s “human nature” to feel this way.

Through the hierarchy, I found that this commercial touches on at least one point in each segment. Can you find them?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Finally, I would like to add that this commercial has gone viral but virility doesn’t mean sales necessarily. In this case, I believe it will mean increased sales for Apple because it’s a relatable story that is also emotional. We all remember Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercials and while it was hilarious and also viral, it didn’t tell a story other then you can ship anything. Awesome. Ok, now what? If I wasn’t shopping at Kmart before, I probably wouldn’t start shopping there now.

Because we’re emotional beings, the next time we’re thinking about buying an electronic, we might think of the warm feeling we felt when watching Apple’s “Misunderstood” commercial and might even purchase an Apple product next time.

So I ask that you watch this commercial one last time, enjoy it and see if you can pick up on the subtle hints of advertising. It’s not a bad thing. Advertising simply tells a story, shows you things/products in a different way and if we’re doing it right, you’ll become part of the story.


SEE YOU IN 2014!


My Fave Cannes Festival Winners

I’m continually inspired every day by the new experiences I have here in Cincinnati and today was no different.

I had the privilege of attending a Cannes Luncheon hosted by AAF Cincinnati and sponsored by USA Today. A group of Ad Club members and professionals in the area got together for some brief networking, a delicious lunch and to watch the best of the best advertisements from around the world. It was interesting to find some of my favorites came from agencies I visited in New York City in March 2013. (for more information, click “Mike Does NYC”)

Now before I go into my favorites, I have to give a shout out to my alma mater, The University of Kansas for offering a bi-annual etiquette dinner because I definitely put what I learned to good use yesterday. I have been to business luncheons before but they have always been so casual. While I didn’t have to bring my top hat and cane, my colleague Brad and I were sitting at a table filled with attorneys and partners. So here are a few quick things I remembered from Erin Wolfram, master of etiquette at KU:

  • Bread goes on your left, drinks on your right. If you forget, make a circle with your index finger and your thumb. Have your other fingers stand up straight. You have a “b” on your left hand and a “d” on your right hand. Boom.
  • When buttering your bread, only tear a piece off at a time and butter each individual piece as you eat it.  This was most frustrating at the etiquette dinner because I was so hungry that night!  But they say patience is a virtue – obviously said by someone who doesn’t love butter and bread as much as I do.
  • If you get up to use the restroom or use your phone, put the napkin to the right of your plate. If you are leaving the event for good, it goes on the left. You can think of it as: Goes on the right for coming “right back” and goes on the left for “leaving for good.”


“Dumb Ways to Die” Metro Trains
Agency: McCann, Melbourne


Why I liked it: It’s logical and catchy. The Metro website has an interactive site where you can participate yourself. And to cross channels, Metro has an app where you can explore the characters one by one and try to protect them from dumb ways to die.

“Real Beauty Sketches” Dove
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, North America

Why I liked it: It’s no wonder that this campaign was the most viral advertising video shared, as of May 2013. The message was strong and something I often wonder about myself – why women are so hard on themselves. To make it viral though, Ogilvy did careful planning around top media sites, bloggers, and other PR efforts that certainly paid off. It’s not enough to just put your stuff out there, but to strategically plan where.

“Why Wait Until It’s Too Late? Say Something Wonderful Today” Dela
Agencies: MediaValue and Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam

Why I liked it: This is something literally all of us can relate to and it was highly integrated. Online commercials, billboards, print, and taking over a cable channel for an evening – were just some of the ways the campaign spread to the public; such a strong and positive message.

What I noticed through watching all these advertisements earlier this afternoon, was that most of the winners at the Cannes Festival did not even mention an actual product. The campaigns were emotional, tugged on your heart strings and were positive – plus the messages were highly shareable across devices and channels. So there you have some of my faves and as always, I try and leave you all with trends or tips I notice in the industry or just in my random life so here it is, It’s a free platform that allows you to amplify (or if you’re a visual person, picture the effect if you were to clap your hand and the waves of sound spreading at lightning speed to everyone you’re around) your message at one, instantaneous moment. The first brand to use this platform was The White House. Check it out.

Thanks for reading and hope you leave today feeling inspired!