Coming off a very successful launch of the Wing Luke Museum’s new Bruce Lee Exhibit in 2014, we were tasked with a new challenge: promote year 2’s version: Do You Know Bruce? Breaking Barriers. The exhibit itself focused on Mr. Lee’s groundbreaking achievements in the world of cinema and the media, showcasing Bruce’s hard work and determination as he broke down stereotypes about Asian Pacific Americans.
The story of the new exhibit was a compelling one, and one thing we’ve learned is that when you have a story worth telling, other people will be excited to help you share it.
We tapped into The Wing’s extensive rolodex of contacts, along with our own, to seek out local people or businesses with large social media followings and gave them a simple task: promote the new exhibit by posting content of themselves breaking one of our uniquely designed “Hate” boards on one of their channels.
The boards paid homage in equal parts to Bruce’s martial arts skills and his philosophy of inclusion.
As a result, a flurry of creative ways to “Break the Hate” peppered the social media channels of Seattleites and beyond. Watch the video to see how we were able to announce the arrival of the Wing Luke Museum’s Do You Know Bruce? Breaking Barriers exhibit with more than a little extra punch.
Clients and ad agencies always hope to work in a spirit of harmonious partnership, full transparency, and seamless collaboration—with a goal of creating campaigns that please both parties and motivate the audience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always wind up happening that way.
But sometimes it does.
The Seattle Mariners came to us last fall with a behemoth of an assignment: Redefine and redesign their brand look and feel. A challenge, to put it mildly.
From top to bottom, there existed hundreds of discrete marketing materials that the new design would ultimately affect. Everything from television end cards, to pocket schedules, to bobblehead giveaway promotional graphics. Most of which would then be executed internally by the clients’ in-house team, not ours.
Frequent meetings; no egos
The key to success here was—stop me if you’ve heard this one—collaboration. How? We all spent lots of time together. In the same actual building. In the same actual room.
I talked to the Mariners’ VP of Marketing Kevin Martinez about the process, and the result.
“The Mariners and Copacino+Fujikado have always enjoyed a collaborative relationship, so the working sessions didn’t feel entirely different from other projects,” he said. “C+F went above and beyond by taking a look at the various ways we would need to use the design, and helped us develop a solution for each asset.”
What began as a series of weekly meetings steadily evolved into frequent group sessions that featured walls plastered full of work, multiple directions we were exploring, and a distinct lack of ego. In the early going, everyone brought in examples of work they liked, as well as work they didn’t, within the category.
Those weekly meetings sometimes became twice weekly. We spent them exploring, building out, refining, repeating. We found ourselves self-editing less, as we preferred to have an open discussion first about why something was or was not working.
The critiquing process was simple: if someone didn’t like something, they’d candidly explain why, we’d set that work aside or try to fix it, and we’d move on. Nobody got their feelings hurt, and nobody bogged down the process—the agency and the client marched on towards the promised land of great design.
“Bringing our designers together with the agency designers was incredibly valuable,” Martinez said. “Our designers were able to communicate how functional the design needed to be and how numerous aspects of the design would need to be turned around quickly due to the daily nature of our game.”
Both the type treatment in general, and the rhombus specifically, suggest a sense of dynamic movement and athletic energy—evocative of how the game of baseball should be played.
“The use of the rhombus, a clean readable font that evoked the baselines on a baseball diamond, and the inclusion of Mariners branding elements created a fresh design that has been well received by Mariners fans,” Martinez said.
In early 2016, the design started showing up around the city in every form imaginable, blanketing the city in all things rhombus-infused Mariners Baseball.
“Everyone involved from C+F brought tremendous creativity and energy that resulted in one of the best designs the Mariners have employed in the last twenty years,” Martinez said.
And without the true partnership of the longest-term client at the agency, we wouldn’t have landed in such a harmonious, happy place.
Facebook has, once again, updated its algorithm. The company isn’t hiding how much the new formula will impact business pages:
The changes will affect all types of content posted by publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. Facebook said it expected a drop in reach and referral traffic for publishers whose audience comes primarily to content posted by the publisher’s official Facebook page. Just how much is difficult to say.
Still, there’s a little bit of reading-between-the-lines. There are two exceptions to the expected drop in reach, and they speak to what Facebook is really doing:
(From the link): The changes “will have less of an impact, however, if most of a publisher’s traffic comes from individual users sharing and commenting on their stories and videos.”
Ads and boosted content will, presumably, still appear as normal.
Facebook wants to keep people there
Point 1 is Facebook’s not-so-subtle way of encouraging web publishers (like news sites and blogs) to install their share buttons and commenting platform. Remember: Facebook wants people to come to and stay on Facebook, and those features help pull more people and content in. They also help drive toward a world in which Facebook is the default social sharing network.
Point 2 is the only thing Facebook left out of its transparent statement: You will have to pay to reach your fans. It’s a foregone conclusion at this point that Facebook Pages will become something like Facebook Premium—where there is zero organic reach, and publishers pay Facebook as a sort of digital printing press or billboard.
Don’t panic: It was never ‘your’ audience anyway
While this particular news is sudden, it follows a trend we’ve seen expect to continue to see over the long haul: Facebook will make changes to keep more people on Facebook, longer, and to encourage greater ad spending.
This is a no-brainer when it’s written out like that, but there are emotions attached to all this. People worked—hard—to build up their fan bases organically. Now they have to pay to talk to them?
That logic only works if you assume that your fan base was ever truly “yours.” You know the adage, If the product is free, then you are the product? This is that, where brands are the “you.” Facebook allowed brands to set up encampments on their property for years, and now they’re coming around asking for rent. Brands that don’t like it don’t have much recourse.
How brands can respond
That being said, this is by no means “the end of Facebook” for branded accounts. It’s an evolving reality, which ends with the “Facebook Premium” model that I described above. As we march closer to that, there are a handful of logical steps for brands to take:
Reemphasize spending and focus on your owned channels—your website, blog, email lists, etc.
Encourage people to share content from your site by installing share buttons (either Facebook’s or a third party’s) and/or comments.
Boost (pay for) posts to reach more fans.
Take a “multiple streams of income” mentality and build up your brand’s presence on several other networks.
One big asterisk on that last point: This is New York Times-level news because Facebook is the biggest social network on earth. But don’t think that other networks like Twitter or Pinterest offer safe harbor. They all want the same things Facebook does. Adopt a mentality where your website is home base and social networks are your embassies.
This latest Facebook algorithm change isn’t the end of the world for your brand. But if you’ve been treating your Facebook audience like it’s something you own, this should serve as a wake-up call. Focus more on the stuff you have full control over. Facebook is rented space.
I like to think of a career as a building made of bricks. So, for a moment, imagine that every day of your working life is a single brick.
What are you going to do with your brick today?
You can use it to build a monument to your own self-importance.
You can use it build a prison of self-pity around yourself.
You can throw the brick through a window like an angry vandal.
You can put the brick aside and do nothing with it.
Or you can build a dignified tower dedicated to high purpose, excellence, generosity, collaboration and the joy of a job well done.
It won’t always be easy. At some point, you will be treated unfairly. Your hard work will go unrecognized. You will stumble and fall. You will have to occasionally endure unreasonable requests, stressful conditions and difficult projects. There will be days when you’ll want to stay home.
But remember this: You have more control over your career than you realize. Because the character and attitude you bring to your job each day will determine your destiny.
Over time, brick by brick, you can the build the career and the legacy that you choose.
Good luck on your first day of work. Start building something remarkable.
“Real-time marketing”: It’s been one of the hot, buzzwordy phrases in the marketing and advertising industry the last few years, ever since Oreo dunked in the dark during the 2013 Super Bowl.
The tweet and the overall thinking were great. The power’s out at the Super Bowl. Let’s make something to entertain people in this specific moment.
Like anything on social media, though, it quickly became played out.
But there’s something else brewing that also happens in real time and deserves its own name: Empathy Marketing. To see it in action, look no further than the viral wall post that was shared on Southwest Airlines’ Facebook page a couple weeks ago:
Here’s the full text of the original post (emphasis mine):
Southwest Airlines employees brought pizza and sodas for all the American Airlines passengers stranded at Midland after we were diverted from DFW due to bad weather. How cool is it that?
When you board a plane at 11:30 am with no food service and have not eaten anything since… and then find yourself in a huge line at 11:30 pm waiting to get a hotel voucher… it’s hard to describe what a pizza means to you! It’s funny that American was giving out $7 food vouchers that wouldn’t be useful until the next day, but Southwest met our needs on the spot… and we were not even their customers (yet!).
You can also look at the outpouring of support from businesses and community groups after the awful Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. Shortly afterward, JetBlue, which is based in Orlando, announced that it would offer free flights to victims’ family members who needed to quickly fly to or from the city.
If this sounds simple, it is. But to do it successfully, brands need to create the conditions for it to happen.
Foster a culture of empathy at your company. The people working the American Airlines desk that night were apparently content to just follow the protocol and hand out food vouchers—nothing wrong with that. Something made the Southwest employees want to go the extra mile.
Empower your employees to act on their empathy. I don’t know if the Southwest employees paid for pizza out of their own pockets. But I know they’d be way more likely to make this move in the first place if they had a budget or stipend each month to do stuff like this.
Don’t expect anything in return. My guess is stuff like this happens every day, but it just doesn’t go viral on social media. Even if this hadn’t, think of Southwest’s investment via this move: A few hundred dollars in pizza for the potential of several thousand dollars from those stranded American fliers the next time they booked a trip. That’s a pretty great ROI.
It’s an exciting time at Copacino+Fujikado, as we welcome new Managing Director Scott Foreman to our team. Scott’s been brought on board to oversee our day-to-day operations—new business, account management, media, and production.
He comes to us by way of Publicis, where he worked for nearly 15 years, most recently as CEO. You may recognize some of his work if you’ve paid any attention to T-Mobile over the last decade-plus. Scott was part of the team that initially launched T-Mobile nationally in 2002. He also worked closely on some of its most memorable campaigns: Get More, “T-Mobile Girl” (a.k.a. Carly), and its current “Un-Carrier” initiative.
We’re very grateful to have Scott join our team. You can read more about his hiring in our press release.
Here, we wanted to dedicate some space to getting to know Scott as a person. We sat down with him recently and asked him some questions—ranging from insightful to ridiculous—that were posed by members of our staff.
Without further ado….
Copacino+Fujikado: You’ve been at a big global agency and now you’re here at an independent agency. Why, and what are you most excited about?
Scott: It’s funny because I never thought I’d work at an independent agency, I was always this sort of big agency guy. But when I got a chance to meet Betti and Jim, their energy was contagious, and as I got to know more and more folks that worked here, I just really thought they had something going on. They built something special, and it just felt right.
C+F: What do you think is the biggest challenge in the industry right now?
S: I think there’s a challenge for advertising agencies to be able to bring something special to clients that clients can’t get on their own. I think that they can do research and these type of things, but the power of the agency is always going to be the unique creative idea, and showing how it works across all the new and emerging media.
C+F: What role do you see clients playing in the creative process?
S: I think it’s growing. I think clients want to be in the creative process. The agency’s job is always to recommend and the client’s [is] to approve, right? That’s sort of the historic role, but I think clients want to feel a part of the process more. And I think that actually can help because they’ll know the brand better than anyone. It takes a special client to know when to let the agency run with the idea, but I think the days are gone where we show up, present something and “take it or leave it, we’re the only ones that have the answer.” I think the best solutions come through a collaboration.
C+F: You have a reputation as a funny and fun-loving guy. What are you watching right now that makes you laugh?
S: I’ve got to tell you, the most recent thing I’ve been watching is Veep on HBO. That is just unbelievably cringeworthy, so that’s great. I also go back to the classics; I used to watch The Three Stooges with my daughters.
C+F: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
S: That’s a great question. I don’t know if it’s just one place, I take in a lot of popular culture, so whether it’s movies, TV—I read a lot of books, magazines, music. My three daughters kind of keep me relevant. So I don’t say there’s just one thing, it’s a mix of things.
C+F: What do you love about the business? What makes you want to do this every day?
S: I just love the idea that you can come into the office any day and something cool may happen. You may be in the room where that original thought comes to life that winds up changing the future of a business. And you have to believe in the power of a creative idea to change the trajectory of a business. If you believe that, then this is a great business to be in. So that’s what I get excited about—the idea that something cool may happen today. I don’t know what it is, but it may happen.
C+F: Can you remember a specific time when you were in a room where that happened?
S: Oh yeah, sure, like the campaign for “who’s in your fave five” for T-Mobile, because that’s been my past. Or an idea that was actually an event that ended up driving the whole campaign. Just different unique ideas, like the birth of “The Uncarrier” for T-Mobile, when you’re in the room where you actually see it take shape. Those are some memorable ones.
C+F: What’s the career achievement you’re proudest of?
S: To date—hopefully, it’s to come here—I launched T-Mobile to the U.S. market back in 2002 and ran it up until I came here [to Copacino], so for 15 years. That’s a long-term relationship that was nurtured over time—five different campaigns, four different CEOs, seven different CMOs. We did a great job for them, and my philosophy is you have to be a high-output low-maintenance agency. That tends to be a good recipe for clients in long-term relationships, just doing good work that works.
P: What’s your favorite ad campaign that you didn’t work on?
S: I think the insight on the Snickers campaign was great. I think “you’re not you when you’re hungry;” that was just a great strategic insight creatively brought to life in a remarkable way. I thought it was terrific.
C+F: Let’s jump into some quick hits here: Hulu, Netflix or TV?
S: Netflix, because Narcos was on there and I liked that.
C+F: Nirvana or Pearl Jam?
S: Pearl Jam. I’m an Eddie Vedder guy.
C+F: What is your favorite Tom Selleck role?
S: (Laughing) Oh gosh, beyond Magnum I’m trying to think of what else he did. There’s a couple movies I like that he did, but I guess Magnum PI.
C+F: What is your favorite millennial word or phrase?
S: “First world problems” is one I hear quite a bit. I think that’s probably the one.
C+F: Favorite music? All time or just right now—your choice.
S: Yeah, gosh, I don’t know if this is embarrassing or not—I do like Taylor Swift, if I came back in another life I’d probably be Taylor Swift.
C+F: What’s your favorite mode of transportation?
S: My bike!
C+F: What was your favorite class in high school?
S: I would say, probably history. I’m kind of a history buff. I read a lot about history; just biographies and things like that.
C+F: Last question: What keeps you passionate about the advertising industry?
S: I just think it’s a really, really interesting business. It’s filled with interesting people who just think differently. I think that being around it is energizing, I could never drive a desk for a living, you know? I really have to be around people and share ideas, it just makes it more interesting.
There’s something in our DNA that wants to fill a large, blank public space with images and words that tell a compelling story. This basic instinct goes back 20,000 years to the cave paintings of Lascaux, France—one of the first human attempts at mass communications.
Today, humans are still filling large public spaces with interesting stories, much of it through the medium of outdoor advertising. This venerable form of marketing communications (ancient Egyptians carved “billboards” in stone) is the new darling of media planners and creative directors—promoting everything from Apple Watches to the BMW i electric car.
I was a member of this year’s judging committee for the annual OBIE Awards, sponsored by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America to celebrate creativity in the medium. The innovative and energetic ideas were inspiring.
There were classic examples of what makes out-of-home advertising irresistible: punchy headlines and eye-grabbing visuals, like this message from Culligan.
But beyond the traditional billboard, there were dazzling displays of how wireless, video and digital technologies are transforming the outdoor medium in stunning new ways. Here are three cases in point.
‘Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Domestic Violence’
Women’s Aid, a U.K.-based organization formed to end domestic violence, created a remarkable outdoor experience. A digital billboard shows a graphic image of a battered woman. Using facial recognition technology, the board “senses” when passersby stop to look at the photo. As viewers gather, the woman’s bruises begin to slowly heal, reinforcing the theme, “Don’t Turn A Blind Eye To Domestic Violence.”
Shadowhunters’ Augmented Reality
In Boston, commuters had an unexpected adventure as they waited for their rides. To promote the science fiction TV series Shadowhunters, a bus shelter was converted into a mini theater. Using augmented reality technology, the menacing creatures from the series appeared to be lurking just outside the shelter—to the amazement of the unsuspecting bystanders.
The Oreo Eclipse
Oreos wanted to make sure that overcast winter skies didn’t prevent people from viewing a solar eclipse. So they installed digital outdoor boards that recreated the eclipse—in real time—with an Oreo standing in for the planet earth. The boards were viewed live by thousands of pedestrians while #OreoEclipse exploded on social media. The experience also generated (free) worldwide attention from the news media.
Outdoor Advertising: Innovative and Effective
Clearly, outdoor advertising is emerging as one of the most technologically advanced and immersive advertising mediums. When done right, it is more than an effective selling tool—the public eagerly embraces it. This is especially valuable to today’s marketers who are increasingly concerned about the audience’s ability to block or avoid other ad forms. What’s more, new technologies are enabling more precise measurements of consumer engagement with outdoor advertising.
In short, outdoor advertising is becoming a breakthrough medium that’s opening new frontiers of creative persuasion for advertisers everywhere. And to think, it all started in a prehistoric cave in France.
Instagram announced last week that it’s switching to an algorithm-based feed. In other words, you’ll soon see posts that are ordered based on what Instagram thinks you’ll like, rather than the chronological order in which those posts were published.
In other, other words, just like Facebook.
Love it or hate it, this is Instagram’s new reality. Or at least it will be “in the coming months.” That means brand marketers have a little bit of time to tighten up their approach and get ready for the changes. Here are four things we’re focused on getting right before the new algorithm arrives.
1. Continue to post quality content
We don’t know exactly how the algorithm will work, but we know that, “the order of photos and videos in feeds will be based on the likelihood people will be interested in the content, their relationship with the person or business posting and the timeliness of the post.” It’s reasonable to assume that engagement—likes and comments on photos—will be a huge part of what drives content to the tops of people’s feeds. By far, the best way to do that is to post great content that people like. That takes time, especially on Instagram. Invest in the people and resources that can get it done.
2. Be strategic with hashtags
Instagram Search has improved a lot over the last year. Now, you can search keywords and get suggestions on popular hashtags. Figure out a handful of keywords that apply to your brand or products and turn those into hashtag categories. A beer brand, for instance, would obviously want to capture a few hashtags around the keyword “beer” (#beerporn, #beerme, #beergeek, etc.); but it would also want to think about beer-adjacent topics like events and activities (#baseballisback, #baseballlife, etc.) or food (#bbqseason, #bbqpit, #barbequeparty). We know that using a lot of hashtags helps increase reach and engagement significantly, so build up those categories as much as you can. And save yourself from typing too much by using your phones macros to auto-fill hashtags each time you post.
If the stated reason for introducing an algorithm is to serve its users “more relevant” content, Instagram’s real reason for doing it is to charge brands money for preferred placements in people’s feeds. So do it! You competitors aren’t holding back on digital spending, and neither should you.
4. Respond to people’s comments—always
Interaction is one of the biggest ways an algorithm can assume a user is interested in another user or a piece of content. So don’t let comments on your photos go unanswered. Respond to as many as possible, and when you can, get a dialogue going to encourage more back-and-forth. One response to a comment is good; a conversation that goes on for hours or more is better. There’s also speculation that since Instagram likes are doled out so easily, comments will be particularly valuable to the algorithm.
Remember—there’s still time
We’re not exactly sure when this is going to happen—just that it will in the next couple or few months—which means you’ve got time to get your account in order. Don’t let it go to waste! C+F is on Instagram as @copacino.
I have two TVs in my house. One upstairs, one down.
Three weeks ago, I went from watching Netflix through Apple TV (which worked perfectly) while running on the treadmill downstairs, to scrolling through Amazon Prime On Demand shows on my main TV.
I clicked on a Season 1 Fargo episode. It was $1.99 for SD, $2.99 for HD. I splurged and paid the extra buck.
It started playing and the resolution was horrific. Moments later I got the following message:
This wasn’t the first time this had happened with Prime streaming. I restarted and got the same message three more times before I gave up.
I haven’t been back to watch anything through Amazon Prime since.
Sure, it might not have been Amazon’s fault. But I don’t want to take the time or energy to look into it. I have many other options that rarely have issues.
When Netflix started streaming movies in 2007 it was transformational. It was also unreliable and buffered as often as it played. But it didn’t matter. This was cutting-edge stuff so consumers stuck around. We were patient.
Nine years later, expectations are higher and patience is in short supply.
We now want to immediately know what a new technology is for, and who is using it. And it has to work well right out of the gate. Otherwise it faces the threat of imminent death.
The 4 P’s
We all know the four P’s of marketing, but I believe there are also 4 P’s of evaluating new technology in 2016.
1) Purpose: What does it do, who is it for, and how does it serve a different need than current platforms or technology? Google+ comes to mind – there was nothing wrong with it at launch, but it was an alternative to existing and familiar platforms that already work equally well. If not better.
2) Performance: In the launch-and-learn era, betas are acceptable. But be warned – too many bugs or glitches that impact the user experience can be an early fatal blow. There are plenty of apps I used just once then quickly discarded for good.
3) Popularity:When was the last time you downloaded an app that didn’t have a star rating or any reviews? There are simply too many new launches and too little time for us to waste on something no one is using yet. And we certainly don’t want to learn to use a new social platform that may never be fully embraced by our peers.
4) Potential:People need to not only see the immediate purpose but also what the future may hold for a new technology. Virtual reality and 360 photography have instant applications but also hold endless opportunities that are easy to envision.
Eventually, the tech bubble may again burst, not because of the lack of groundbreaking ideas, but because new technology is no longer given time to go through the awkward teenage phase – trying to determine what it is, who it’s for, and it’s ultimate place in the world.
But I will give Amazon Prime On Demand another shot. Just as soon as I find the time.