The Blog

Hire people who act like scientists, not politicians

by Mike Hayward

scientistsSol Goldberg / Wikimedia Commons

We have a great track record here at C+F because of the kind of team members we surround ourselves with: smart, talented people who act like scientists, not politicians.

What do I mean by that? Politicians often:

  1. Decide their stance on issues early.
  2. Look for data solely to support their position and refuse to change when confronted with new facts.
  3. Share their opinions mostly with those who already agree with them.
  4. Choose a party to align themselves with and then insist their party is right in every situation, all the time.
  5. Hamper progress rather than accept a great idea from someone across the aisle.
  6. Don’t care how much it costs to implement their ideas.
  7. Rarely take blame for failings or say, “I was wrong.”
  8. Think it’s all about winning and losing.

On the flip side, most scientists:

  1. Let research be their guide, and dive deep into a subject before presenting a point of view.
  2. Develop theories, test those theories, then are honest about the results, admitting when something won’t work or isn’t working.
  3. Adjust their thinking as new data comes to light.
  4. Share their ideas freely with those inside and outside of their circle, and welcome feedback and suggestions.
  5. Build off of and cheer on the great work of others, knowing great ideas can come from anywhere.
  6. Like to experiment and know there’s much to learn from failure.
  7. Don’t get possessive or defensive when discussing their ideas.
  8. Know that no one succeeds alone; breakthrough thinking take a true team of experts working together.

If that sounds like the kind of team you’d like to work with, we just happen to be hiring. Long-winded, big ego narcissists need not apply. Or climate change deniers. Because c’mon already.

GoPro or it didn’t happen

by Calvin Grover

The furthest reaching social content shifts from pictures to video

We all know the days of free-to-play social marketing are withering away. We’re at the mercy of the almighty algorithm, always trying to find the stickiest, furthest reaching, most engaging (dare I say “snackable”?) content that solves the organic reach crisis.

But let’s back up. In the early days of social marketing, the phrase “Pics or it didn’t happen” embodied the basic content strategy—after all, posts with pictures were 75% of all Facebook content and were generating 87% of social interactions on Facebook (eMarketer, 2014). It was safe to say that few people would not see or engage with your content if it did not have a visual.

But as the 1’s and 0’s of social algorithms change, a new standard is emerging: “GoPro or it didn’t happen.”


Pictured: Nick Woodman, GoPro CEO Photo: Gregg Segal / Inc

Pictures are now the content type with the least organic reach on Facebook (!!!), according to a recent report provided to Business Insider.

The leader now: all-powerful video, which generates 2.3x more organic reach on average than photos (reaching an average of 8.7% and 3.7% of page likers respectively), and has become the furthest reaching type of content on Facebook (SocialBakers).

Videos average 2x more organic reach than photos on Facebook

Why the change? As we’ve discussed earlier, in-feed video has become Facebook’s major focus with auto-playing videos being viewed more than 3 billion times per day on Facebook. They are not content with letting YouTube dominate online video, leading them to generate buzz around their video platform by algorithmically favoring video content.

We could be content to stop at the change from “Pics or it didn’t happen” to “Video or it didn’t happen” but consider this: GoPro built an empire on video content, becoming the de-facto standard in social video. Want proof? Their YouTube channel adds to the bottom line and not just through GoPro sales. When a YouTube channel racks up millions of views per video, YouTube will pay to put pre-roll in front of it—even if it’s branded content.

Take almost any video on GoPro’s channel (here’s one) and watch as the pre-roll, well, rolls. Money in the bank, thanks in large part to an engaging video style.

With video reigning as the new king/queen of social content, what are some keys to success? Here are some tips from Digiday, all of which happen to match the GoPro style:

  • Grab attention in the first 3 seconds (the standard unit of a Facebook video play), people scroll quickly these days.
  • Don’t rely on music/audio to drive the message as auto-play video is often muted.
  • Optimize; Speak to different audiences with creative, these won’t just be re-purposed broadcast spots. This is especially true if the content has a paid element for distribution, there are litany of targeting options to get the right content in front of the right people. Think one-size fits none.

Next time you’re about to press send, just remember: “GoPro or it didn’t happen.”

The Silent Genius of Marshawn Lynch

by Jim Copacino

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesNow that the last tatters of Patriot blue-and-red confetti have been swept from the field at University of Phoenix Stadium, let’s look back on the media circus surrounding the Super Bowl.

The two-week period prior to the big game exposes the worst aspect of contemporary journalism—as thousands of correspondents from hundreds of media outlets work tirelessly to manufacture news that does not exist. This includes the intense coverage of Marshawn Lynch shunning intense coverage.

The Seahawks raging bull of a running back performed a brilliant act of performance art and social commentary: He made news by refusing to make news. In doing so, he held a mirror up to the media hordes that peppered him with countless questions that had the weight and importance of a Skittle. His refusal to respond meaningfully sent a powerful message:

“Don’t you have anything better to do than create insipid stories about things that don’t matter?”

Thanks, Marshawn. You reminded all of us in the communications industry of the rapidly narrowing gap between fluff and content.

3 Social Trends to Watch

by Calvin Grover

New trends in social emerge all the time. Here are a few things to keep an eye on in 2015: in-feed video, Tweetstorms, and Revine for Revine.

In-feed Video

If you haven’t noticed, there has been an ongoing war between Facebook and Twitter over in-feed video.

One of first punches in this fight was thrown when Twitter released Vine, only to be countered with Facebook’s adding of a video feature to Instagram. But third-party app integration simply wasn’t enough, even if apps integrated were owned by their respective parent social network.

With addition of auto-play video and other optimizations to their platform, Facebook has become a juggernaut in the online video space. They are generating billions of video views every day—65% of which are coming from mobile—and that means creators in the video space should be considering Facebook as major player, even in the same breath as YouTube (gasp!).

But Twitter isn’t going to let Facebook and YouTube win without a fight. They’ve answered the call with promoted video for advertisers, GIF integration, and “docking” video cards that allow users to continue browsing content (there is also a similar experience for audio for SoundCloud and iTunes content).

And now there are rumblings that Twitter is gearing up to let the common Tweep upload videos natively up to 20 seconds in length (brands could get up to 10 minutes).

What this all boils down to is that online video is a hot commodity and Facebook and Twitter are not content with letting YouTube reap all the benefits.

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30 days, 30 Seattle lunch spots

by Sun Yi

A coworker and I were talking about which office location was better for variety of lunch-eatings; the old location (Pioneer Square) or the current location (4th and Pike). We debated, then he said “I bet we could eat at a different place around here every day for 30 days.” Hence, a challenge was born.

The rules were simple: a new restaurant every day for 30 days – all within a 4 block radius. A fearless and hungry group signed on. Sometimes the number of people varied, but our determination remained constant. And fierce.  Kinda makes you wish you worked here, huh? Well good news for you, we’re hiring!

Now without further ado, here’s our list.

Day 1Potbelly
Day 2Mae Phim Thai (agency sponsored)
Day 3Jimmy John’s
Day 4 – Michou Deli
Day 5Blue Water Taco
Day 6Fresh Table Café
Day 7 – Chipotle (agency sponsored)
Day 8Mediterrean Avenue
Day 9Soup’s On!
Day 10Wildfire Taqueria
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The Generational Series Vol. I: Boomers

by Tim O'Mara

Get ready.

As 2014 comes to a close, the last of the Baby Boomers will turn 50. As a whole, they represent 25% of the U.S. population and 80% of our senior citizens. There is a lot of attention being paid to Millennials these days, but what if I told you that Nielsen has coined Boomers as “the most valuable generation,” or that the Boomer perception you hold in your head is likely misguided? Would you be intrigued? Let’s dig a little deeper…

Consider these five factors about Baby Boomers:

  1. They’ve got numbers. 77 million, to be exact. According to the U.S. Census, an American turns 50 every 7 seconds (or 12,500 people/day), making the 50+ cohort the largest share (42%) of the U.S. population for the first time ever. By 2017, they will represent 50% of the population.
  2. They have a record of influence. Madison Avenue’s fascination with the 18-49 demo came to be because of the Boomers. They are the source of Youth Marketing and the consumer responsible for launching entire categories with their influential spending power.
  3. They’ve got money. By 2017, Boomers will control 70% of the nation’s disposable income and within 20 years, they stand to inherit $15 trillion. In other good news, they spend what they earn, representing about half of all CPG sales.
  4. They are marketing-friendly. Boomers came of age as the original consumers of electronic media (aka, the television) and messaging. Even as they’ve aged, they continue to keep their eyes on the screen, averaging 174 hours of TV per month. Moreover, they are more likely than any other generation to have favorable perceptions toward advertising.
  5. They are under-represented by marketing efforts. Advertising spending directed at Boomers is not proportional to their size or CPG spend. According to Nielsen, ad dollars aimed at the 50+ target is only 10-15% of total spend.

These are just some of the key facts covered in the first of our Generational Series of presentations. In the presentation, we also cover 5 Key Myths about Boomers and 5 Key Steps for Reaching Them.

Download the complete presentation. And let me know what you think about it.
(Right click, then “Save Link As” to view with speaker notes)

The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

by Jim Copacino

Are you a Toilet Texter? What I learned at the Annual Magnet Conference

Our agency has been a long-time member of the Magnet Global Network, an affiliation of some 40 independent agencies in the U.S. and around the world. We meet three times a year to share resources, best practices and pursue revenue opportunities.

This year’s annual meeting was held in late October in Newport Beach. Our theme: What’s New? What’s Next? Over two days of presentations and discussions, we explored the future of marketing, a future that’s arriving at warp speed. Here are a few of the big takeaways:

More than ever, consumers are turning to “the internet of things” to simplify and enrich their lives. A few examples:

  • For new parents, a “smart onesie” monitors a baby’s breathing, heartbeat, body position, and sleep status, complete with live audio.
  • Smart yoga outfits provide feedback on proper technique, movement, and calorie count.
  • Smart kitchen cutting boards offer a catalog of recipes, then digitally tally the proper weight and proportions of ingredients.

Tech Love/Tech Hate
Technology is completely integrated into our lives. But we also feel the need to escape it (yes, even Millennials).

  • Savvy travel companies are offering “digital detox” trips to remote locations completely off the grid.
  • A Swedish company has developed a “not available” app for social media networks: A digital “Sorry, I can’t take your call right now.”
  • My favorite: A Brazilian beer maker has created a beer cozy that disables mobile signals in a 2 meter radius—allowing actual conversation instead of texting.

The Embattled CMO
Marketing chiefs are on the hot seat, and it’s getting hotter.

  • Boomers capping their careers with a C-Suite marketing position find themselves in a tech knowledge gap, ill prepared to manage big data, digital technology, and social media.
  • CMO’s are often dismissed by others in the C-Suite because of their inability to prove the financial value of marketing.
  • Increasingly, CMO’s find themselves in a position of accountability, but without control over the customer experience.

The conference was too rich in information to fully report here. (For example, did you know that 20% of people surveyed say they text and e-mail during wedding ceremonies? 47% do so on the toilet.)

Suffice it to say that the future of marketing is uncertain, challenging, but ultimately thrilling. Mark Twain had it right when he said, “I’m interested in the future because I’m going to spend the rest of my life there.”

Why Most PR Stunts Just Don’t Work

by Aimee Knox

Mention the words “PR” and “stunt” together, and you may see me start to twitch. I will stand by my belief that, by and large, most PR stunts just don’t work.

I’ve led/organized/participated in countless brainstorms predicated by clients saying, “We need a stunt;” all-the-while expecting to land that ever-elusive Today Show segment. We challenge ourselves to come up with that crazy idea that will break through and become a national news story. Rather, we need to challenge ourselves and our clients to be honest about an idea and the expected outcome. We try so hard to be so over-the-top creative that we lose focus on what we’re really trying to do and why media – and consumers – would care. And there-in lies the problem. We. Try. Too. Hard.

By far, the most successful campaigns I’ve worked on are those that are rooted in the simplest of ideas. Simple ideas that are: Relevant. Authentic. Differentiating. If it takes you more than 30 seconds to explain the idea, chances are it’s not a good one. Or at least it’s too complicated. And if that’s the case, go back and strip away the unnecessary layers. Get to the heart of the idea – that one nugget that rises to the top – and run with that. Once you do that, use that good ol’ gut-check gauge. Do you just feel like it’s a good idea? Chances are, if you do, it is.

At C+F, we took our own advice when The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience came to us with the opportunity to launch an exciting new Bruce Lee exhibit. Outside of Hong Kong, this would be the only Bruce Lee exhibit in the world. Given the universal appeal of Bruce Lee, nearly everyone at the agency raised their hand to work on this assignment. We knew it would be a labor of love, so armed with a small budget and big ideas, we got to work.

We knew we only had one chance to make a big splash for the grand opening. We needed a hook that was relevant, authentic and differentiating (there are those three magic words again) and allowed for natural social media amplification. That led us to one of the best-known Bruce Lee visuals – the yellow jumpsuit he wore in his movie Game of Death. Our concept centered around blanketing the city, and social media, with yellow jumpsuits, inviting politicians, actors, celebrity chefs, reporters, and representatives from Seattle’s biggest attractions to show their support by sharing photos and videos of their best Bruce Lee impressions. That’s it. That simple idea, however, generated a stream of social shares, and we quickly caught the eye of local and national media. Everyone from Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott to actor Tom Skerritt, suited up and showed us their best moves. And from there the idea took off.

I will tell you, the idea did not start off this simply. As excitement for the campaign grew, so did the ideas. It wasn’t until we took a hard look at the resources, execution and exactly how we were going to do this, that we Found That Thing that rose to the top. We often say here, the essence of strategy is sacrifice. And that sacrifice definitely paid off.

Our efforts packed a Bruce Lee one-inch punch and response to the exhibit opening was incredible. The yellow jumpsuits accelerated social buzz and from there the campaign took on a life of its own. Check out these results:

  • Twitter impressions: 32 MILLION
  • Television segments: 36
  • Traditional news/sites that covered: 64, including:
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bloomberg News, BusinessInsider, BusinessWeek, Chicago Tribune, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Seattle Times, Seattle PI, Tacoma Tribune, The Olympian, USA Today, U.S. News and World Reports, Washington Post
  • International coverage in 13 countries, including:
    Australia, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa, Switzerland, UK
  • 1,886 visitors for the 3-day opening weekend compared to 245 visitors last year for the same time period – an increase of more than 670%. For the period of October 3 – 19, The Wing has seen 177% increase compared to last year.
  • General admission revenue for opening weekend is estimated to be up 900% compared to last year.General admission revenue growth has continued strong since the opening – The Wing is up 525% compared to last year.
  • On-site museum memberships increased by 1,300% over the same time period in September.
  • The Wing’s web site traffic was up 616% compared to the month prior.

I don’t mean to make light of coming up with big ideas. And I’m not saying it’s easy rather, the idea itself should be simple. So go ahead, give it a try. Give yourself permission to dumb it down a little. The results will likely surprise you.

Boomers to Millennials: The C+F Generational Series

by Tim O'Mara

The Silent Generation. Baby Boomers. Gen X. Gen Y. Giant cohorts of tens of millions of Americans. These terms are often hidden among marketers in favor of narrower audience definitions like “adults 25-34, “women 55+” or even “wine drinkers living in Seattle.” History has taught us that broad audience definitions tend to lead to broad generalizations; and in a time where the consumer is more savvy than ever and has more choices than ever, broad generalizations are dangerous—they can lead to failed campaigns. So why would we choose to pay attention to generational differences? One word: Context.

As Nielsen explains it:

“Generations matter because they redefine how we communicate and age.”

In other words, generational analysis observes significant changes in how people view the world and themselves in comparison to other generations, often impacted by disruptive changes as they come of age. Understanding these disruptions can unveil the unique and defining attributes, motivations and expectations of a generation. With these distinct frames of reference, marketers can make quicker, more educated audience decisions – whether it’s continuing with an existing customer with a refined focus, or expanding to an entirely different target.

Over the next several weeks, C+F’s Engagement Strategy group will be rolling out an educational series on Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials (together, they make up the sought-after 18-64 target). Each will cover unique characteristics, address a few misconceptions and make strategic cases for pursuing the group all in hopes of demystifying the “broad unknown.”

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C+F Welcomes A Host of New Talent

by Aimee Knox

As we head into the final stretch of 2014, there’s no sign of slowing down before the end of the year at Copacino+Fujikado. We’ve brought aboard a lot of new talent across all disciplines.

New hires include:

Andrew GallAndrew Gall, Associate Creative Director
Effie Finalist and creator of award-winning work, Andrew was quickly promoted from Senior-Level Copywriter to Creative Director by demonstrating creative ownership of a variety of projects for the Kimberly-Clark (Huggies, Pull-Ups) brand after working only one year at Ogilvy & Mather. Having spent six years in Chicago, Andrew is moving back to Seattle, bringing to C+F his knowledge from working on major brands such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Pledge, The Hemingway Foundation, Landmarks Chicago, KISS FM Radio, and Emporium Arcade Bar. Additionally, Andrew has worked as a Copywriter at Ascentium/HL2 and Cramer-Krasselt. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys writing books and has seen success in his three published works: Everything is Better with a Gorilla, Make Your Own Bucket List, and free e-book Mommy, What’s a Seattle Supersonic?

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