February 6, 2013
posted by: Lauren Locher | Comments 0 »
In today’s digital market, connecting the dots between all channels of communication is crucial for campaign success. On Sunday night, families, friends and football lovers gathered around TVs to watch the nation’s most anticipated football game… and likewise, series of commercials.
With reports of about half of the commercials to include a hashtag, Superbowl advertising is no longer reserved for 30-second spots, but creates opportunities that follow well beyond the end of the fourth quarter.
Each year, companies vie for claim to fame as one of the favorite commercials of the big game. This year, our team joined in on the fun by examining the social media and digital integration into Superbowl ads. We’ve compiled our top 3 favorite digital/ad campaigns (or moments) of Superbowl XLVII.
And here they are, in no particular order:
1. Oreo: In a very quiet, albeit, destructive argument, this year’s Superbowl commercial shows the fierce debate between the cookie fans and the creme fans. After a call-to-action to share on Instagram which side viewers land on, Instagrammers have the chance to have their photo “cookied” or “cremed” – Oreo sculptures made out of the favorite part of the Oreo.
via @Oreo Twitter
Take this submission for example. One user shared his motorcycle Instagram with “#cremethis” and received this impressive Oreo creme sculpture.
via @Oreo Instagram
Not only do we love the high level of engagement of this campaign, but we are excited to see Oreo getting creative with what once was just the classic cookie vs. creme debate.
Also, Oreo definitely stole the show during the power outage with this quick response just minutes after the lights went out. It got people talking – so much to where it had received over 15,000 retweets and over 5,000 favorites within 24-hours after the big game. We’d say that’s a touchdown!
2. Doritos: Doritos also played a big game in the Superbowl commercial space through its popular “Crash the Superbowl” campaign. Similar to last year, the brand encouraged Doritos lovers to submit commercials to be featured in a 30-second spot during this year’s championship.
As user-generated content filtered in, fans had the chance to vote on social media for their favorites – resulting in two winning ads, which you can find here.
via Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” Facebook app
According to this article, submissions this year actually doubled, reaching an all-time high of 6,100.
In addition, Doritos created its entire advertising campaign in 2011 based on the best Crash the Superbowl submissions. Not only was the participatory marketing key for their advertising success, but Doritos had the chance to truly connect with its audience by encouraging them to be the content providers, creators and brand ambassadors.
Now, consumers can begin brainstorming what their next submission will be to Crash the Superbowl. In the meantime however, they can view the “Behind the Scenes” on Facebook to find out more about the creation of the winning commercials.
3. Audi: Finally, Audi showcased how #BraveryWins with its Superbowl commercial this year. With a brave investment of $4 million in its advertising spot, many viewers are now saying that Audi’s commercial was a favorite of the night. And it’s not much of a surprise, as viewers were the ones who got to choose the ending to the commercial. Leading up to the release, Audi invited fans on social media to vote for how the night would end for the brave soul featured in the commercial.
However, After the winning ending was chosen, Audi released it’s commercial about a week before the big game, inviting viewers to share their feats of bravery using the hashtag on Twitter before and after the Superbowl.
Featured here, Loren Angelo, GM of Marketing for Audi, showed that the lead-up time before the game can be just as important as the game itself for advertisers. Now that the big game is over and consumers are heading to showrooms across the nation to test drive an Audi, there’s something else that Audi can count on – continued social media buzz.
To follow along, find the conversation on TagBoard, where Audi is hosting the full #BraveryWins discussion.
With a brave move like investing $4 million in an ad for Superbowl Sunday, an equally crucial step is investing in the campaign continuation following the night via social media.
Overall, each of the socially integrated commercials and campaigns recognized the need for more than just a great 30-second ad. If the campaigns were to be successful, the companies knew they needed to invest in follow-up via social media and digital channels.
It’s not just about advertising dollars spent anymore. Instead, companies must be on their A-game – prepared in the digital realm for sparks before ads and life after them.
Which commercial was your favorite? Did any digitally driven campaigns or commercials stick out in your mind? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
February 1, 2013
posted by: Brittany Thoms | Comments 0 »
Today we celebrate freedom from slavery. Yet, there are still more than 27 million slaves in the world. You read that right — slavery still exists. Now that you know, what will you do about it?
Let’s END IT. Find out more at http://enditmovement.com.
I was thinking through our strategic process with clients today, when it dawned on me – we should change our name!
Okay, so not really. But, since our name has so much to do with our process, I thought’d I share what I mean.
See: This aspect of our process involves conducting an audit of the communications landscape for any given brand, product or service. When we begin working with a company, this is the first thing we do: observe, get to know the company, its culture, and of course, the competition.
Spark: Naturally, creative types in our office cannot wait for these team exercises. Huddled in a creative brainstorm, this is where we look for white space and develop possible campaigns to reach the target audience with a message that hits at the core of whom we are representing.
Go: Execute. At the end of the day, we can come up with great ideas and build great relationships with our clients, but as one client recently said, “As much as I already love you guys as friends, this report is killer.”
And, there you have it. See.Spark.Go.REPORT! If we aren’t executing at the top level and producing amazing results for our clients, there’s no need for a working relationship. Just friends would do. But, that’s what I love about our team! We are continually sharpening our reporting methods and as such, providing a greater value to clients. For us, this looks like three things:
1. Weekly Updates (typically on Fridays with a list of accomplished tasks, activities and requests)
2. Monthly Snapshot (one-page PDF of results that month)
3. Quarterly Trend Report (a measure of what type of growth we’ve seen that month. For both social media and PR activities, what are we seeing that’s working well and what is not hitting the mark?)
It’s not always the most glamourous, but it’s necessary.
How do you report in your organization? What type of reporting would you like to see/do more of?
October 31, 2012
posted by: Brittany Thoms | Comments 0 »
According to its 20th anniversary survey conducted by the Public Relations Global Network, social media is a top priority for communicators.
Among the results was the primary use of social media for these particular strategies:
- Promoting events
- Monitoring customer feedback
- Launching campaigns/initiatives
- Giving consumers/customers a sense of community
- Attracting new customers
For See.Spark.Go and our clients, we have used social media in all of these ways and multiple combinations of them. We’re simply missing a foundational element: building the community.
Say you launch a new brand or new product. Like setting up a website, launching a Twitter and Facebook page pretty much come with the territory. But, how do you find your target audience on these mediums and attract them to your newly launched presence? We have 11 best practices listed here:
1. Tell a story through unique and relevant content. Everyone has a story. What makes yours unique? Why does your story matter? What problem are you solving? Think about how your brand looks, feels, tastes, smells – what emotion or experience do you want customers/consumers to have when they interact with you?
2. Know who’s sitting across from you. It’s like that very first job interview. Know about the company to which you are applying in order to make a great first impression.
3. Follow like-minded people. Likewise, unfollow people with no similar interests. They likely won’t respond and there’s no need to talk to a brick wall.
4. Listen and learn. Social media is a great listening tool. Find out what competitors are doing/saying. Listen to your customers or potential ones. Learn their interests so you can better engage.
5. Engage in conversation. When starting out, it’s not likely you’ll be the conversation starter. So, find conversations between like-minded individuals and speak up! The rules are the same as they were in high school popularity contests – be lively, smart, entertaining, helpful, & kind. Don’t be a bully, a smarty pants or negative. It just doesn’t work.
6. Celebrate others’ victories! #FF anyone? Everyone loves to me recognized. When you recognize the work or accomplishments of others, you earn good will in the social space. Make this a habit and mean it.
7. Invite influencers to the party. Celebrities, big brands, friends with large networks – invite them to join you in what you’re doing. Hopefully it makes sense for them to do so and you can gain a lot of traction and exposure that way. It never hurts to ask!
8. Let your personality shine! It’s the age old adage, “Be yourself.” Not surprisingly, it’s important that the actual person behind your social media accounts be social in nature, trustworthy, likeable and, of course, have good grammar skills.
9. Give people a reason to follow. What are you known for in real life? What is your brand known for (or what do you want it to be known for)? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: industry expert, humorous, authentic, premium/quality product or service, exclusive opportunities via social media for insider info, discounts, access, etc.
10. Dress up for the occasion. Okay, so this should go without saying, but make sure your Twitter and FB pages LOOK like your brand!
11. Have fun! After all, it’s one big get together!
Now, go socialize!
August 15, 2012
posted by: Lauren Locher | Comments 0 »
With college students returning to Athens and the countdown to football season in full swing, the energy in Athens is high, and our office is right on par! This fall we are welcoming two new interns into our office – Kelsey Schmidt and Chelsea Carter. These ladies both hail from Grady College and have a deep love for the PR world. Their positive energy and fresh perspectives are sure to contribute a lot to the See.Spark.Go team this semester!
Kelsey, a junior public relations and international affairs major from Jonesboro, Ga., hopes to land a career as a public relations specialist for an international aid organization after graduation. Her spunky attitude and desire to serve others helps her tackle every job she encounters.
- She recently studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, with Global L.E.A.D where she jumped off the world’s tallest bungee jump and rode an ostrich.
- Chocolate is the way to this girl’s heart.
- She hopes to visit every continent before age 50.
- Forget coffee! Give Kelsey a Diet Coke, and she can conquer just about anything.
Chelsea is fifth year public relations major and fashion merchandising minor from Dublin, Ga., and will graduate this December. She’s interested in a career that will allow her to be involved in event planning, social media, and PR research.
- Her favorite Athens restaurants are Taqueria del Sol and Copper Creek.
- If you want to learn to do a back flip, Chelsea is your girl. She was a competitive gymnast growing up and taught gymnastics at Bishop Park in Athens.
- Her dream vacation destination is Greece (she even took a college Greek language course).
- Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, she makes bucket lists for the upcoming year.
We are so excited to kick off the new semester with these upbeat interns and can’t wait to see what the next four months have in store for them!
July 18, 2012
posted by: Brittany Thoms | Comments 0 »
As many of you know, the See.Spark.Go team continues to grow leaps and bounds! We feel so blessed! With that, I’d like to introduce you to our “not-so-newest” team member, Hannah Springston. She’ll tell you all about herself and you’ll get the idea why we’re bouncing off the walls excited for her to join our team full-time! First, here’s a look at our whole team:
Pictured left to right: Andy Thoms, Brittany Thoms, Lauren Carnes, Nicole Foo, Hannah Springston
Hannah here. Most would say I’m the newest member of the See.Spark.Go team, but actually, this is my third position within the company.
Before we dive in to my PR background, I’ll tell you a little about myself. I’m an aspiring foodie with a knack for communication and brand loyalty. I live for my faith, but I also love: my family & friends, high heels, coffee (or cream, not sure), cooking, baking, reading and traveling. Keeping a healthy mind and body are also very important to me, so I spend my spare time working on creating creative kitchen combinations while catching up (via long phone calls) with my recently dispersed college friends.
I began as an intern at SSG in spring of 2011 with very limited knowledge of what PR really is (for the record, cheese is still my favorite food). When the semester started, I was building media lists and writing email pitches, but by the end of it I was pitching the media and coordinating interviews. I was EXCITED about PR, which is especially easy when you work in this office!
With each success and every story placement, I was increasingly motivated to hone my skills in PR and dive into learning how to create and leverage meaningful relationships with clients and the media. What I realized early on is that some of the most important relationships in this job are the ones I build right here in the office with my co-workers (word from the wise—the way to their heart is through baked goods!). If you don’t have trust in the office, not much can happen outside of it.
After that semester, I spent my summer in Los Angeles doing another PR internship before coming back to See.Spark.Go as an apprentice in fall 2011. In my second position, I worked under Brittany and Lauren to continue advancing relationships, coordinating media coverage and managing client press appearances. It was an exhilarating semester and each day brought teachable moments and successes that solidified my love for the industry and ignited personal and professional growth.
This past May, I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public relations and a minor in speech communication and, after a 1-week hiatus, I’m now full-time around the office and still loving being a part of the team. Of course some days bring challenges, but we have a motto around here: Make it happen. It is as simple as that. We want results and understand that results happen where there is trust—with the media, with each other and with our clients.
May 16, 2012
posted by: Brittany Thoms | Comments 0 »
Over the past few years, See.Spark.Go has embraced the idea of building communities through social media, like any good communications agency (wink). Very rarely do you find yourself talking one-on-one with your target would-be customer, but social media allows you to do just that from anywhere in the world.
Enterpreneur Magazine writer Mikal Belicove lists four critical elements to creating a social media content strategy for your business in this article, but I want to highlight the value of his step #1: positioning. These are the critical components for any company or organization to define its identity and space before proactive communications outreach can begin. They are:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. Why does it matter?
4. Why are you better?
Define these, and you’ve nailed the inner core of your business or enterprise. Scripture says, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) The same is true in business. Out of who you are as a company/organization/etc., your story flows. Here’s a great test: how would your co-workers, staff and customers answer the four questions listed above?
We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be the mouthpiece for so many meaningful and outstanding organizations whose hearts we buy into and believe in fully. So, we ask: what’s your story? We hope these questions help set you on the path to communicating well the story you’re living out. Enjoy!
Okay, so forgive the title. I have two toddlers.
Last Friday, May 4, our staff worked behind the scenes at the 2012 Chick-fil-A Leadercast. In all, more than 125,000 leaders from around the globe watched (from 800+ locations!) as some of the most renowned authors/speakers/leaders in their own rite took the stage to talk about the choices that affect our leadership. We are all leaders and the choices we make everyday, matter.
My personal favorite came from someone’s tweet (I can’t remember; I saw so many come through!), but he basically said, I now think of my alarm clock as a shotgun start for the day. I like that. I just might revise the phrase “alarm clock” to my “second cup of coffee.”
Alas, here are a few of our favorite quotes from the day:
“Every decision you make is, at some point, going to be nothing more than a story you tell.” – Andy Stanley
“Ask yourself: What would my replacement do?” – Andy Stanley
“Your challenge is to take what is unique about you and make it useful.” – Marcus Buckingham
“I want to make someone else’s life better because I’m here. If you have that attitude it will change your day and change your life.” – Tim Tebow
“We have no more excuses. Kids will move to the expectation we have of them.” – Roland Fryer
“Always ask yourself: what’s best for the brand? Let that guide you. It removes egos and self.” – Angela Ahrendts
“We don’t grow on accident, we grow on purpose.” – John Maxwell
“If you can somehow raise the level of play of those around you, then you’re considered a leader.” – Urban Meyer
If you’re interested in learning more or downloading the streaming access from Friday’s speakers, check out the new Chick-fil-A Leadercast Network.
March 20, 2012
posted by: Brittany Thoms | Comments 1 »
Please give a warm See.Spark.Go welcome to our newest team member, Nicole Foo! We are thrilled to have her join our team and we think you will love her as much as we do! She’ll be heading up several PR projects here at SSG, and we can’t wait to see her tear it up! As an accomplished publicist, Nicole understands the value of PR for clients and is able to navigate the media landscape, leveraging the great stories that we have the opportunity to share!
We asked her to give you a glimpse into her first week at SSG and a little background on herself. So, without further adieu, here’s Nicole!
Hello, all! Where do I even begin? I am so excited to be a part of the See.Spark.Go family and am looking forward to what’s in store for the team.
A little bit about me – my name is Nicole Foo and I am from Marietta, Georgia. I graduated from UGA in May 2011 with a major in public relations and minors in Spanish and Chinese language and literature (Go Dawgs!). I recently worked at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau before starting at See.Spark.Go.
I had a great first week and I absolutely love it here! The office was a little quiet with interns on spring break and Lauren off on her honeymoon. Still, it was a really great opportunity to get a thorough overview of our clients. I participated in a few client conference calls, sat in on a company pitch, contributed to a creative brainstorming session, and visited a client site. Phew – all in one week!
The See.Spark.Go team is incredibly talented and so hard working; I know I will learn a lot from everyone around me. It is great to be surrounded by such a positive environment with people who are willing to work hard for their clients. I know that I will do the same!
Some fun facts about me:
- I speak three languages – English, Mandarin and Spanish. I’m working on French now (thank you, Rosetta Stone!).
- I studied abroad in Oxford, England, in the spring of 2010. It was the best academic experience of my college career.
- I was born in Singapore.
- Other things that make me happy: traveling, hiking, scarves, greeting cards, Scrabble, cardigans and Walt Disney World.
I am proud to be the newest member of the See.Spark.Go team and look forward to keeping you updated on things that are happening here…any maybe sharing your story one day soon!
Follow me on my blog or on Twitter.
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Many of you may not realize that our name is our process. See.Spark.Go is more than just a catchy name or a logo, it’s the steps we use to seek out, create and execute meaningful and impactful public relations and social media campaigns. Our process begins and ends with you (the client) in mind as we see, spark and go, ultimately telling great stories about great companies.
So, why is knowing the process important? As we begin any journey, in life, as in PR, it’s important to have a roadmap.
We start by defining the “win”. Seeing is all about understanding, getting a lay of the land, knowing the competition, etc. Spark is the fun part. It’s where we get to create an engaging campaign that highlights your story in a tangible and creative way. And “Go” is the storytelling aspect. Whether it’s simply a newsworthy story we’re sharing with the media or an integrated campaign that involves our partners in advertising/event execution and our sweet spot of social media and PR, the “Go” is where the magic happens.
In brainstorming sessions, we navigate through each aspect of communication within the organization to discover how we can come be an extension of your team. Think of us as another set of eyes seeing through the lens of communication and asking questions like, “What do we want people to hear?” and “What channels should we use to reach the right audience?”
Remember, you’ve got the story to tell; we know how to tell it. Whether you’re seeking to get your name in front of influential media or to create an online community, we’re your team.
As we like to say, those three little words know how to pack a punch. We’re passionate about the brands we represent and stories we share. Now all we need is your expertise in your field and for you to say the words, “Let’s See.Spark.Go!”
Which step of “See.Spark.Go” do you need the most? How can we make this process better? Share your thoughts below or Tweet @seesparkgo with your ideas.