Who needs a Kickstart?

What do all good commercials have in common?

Image result for Kickstart

All good commercials have a Kickstart!

Well other than most being in the Super Bowl, all good commercials grab the audience’s attention just long enough to get the idea out. Finding common grounds to reach everyone is hard so I will discuss briefly why humorous commercials don’t always work. Throughout this blog, I hope to give you an idea of what it takes to create a good commercial by using one commercial as a guide. Please take a few seconds to watch the following commercial. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n_K6wuC5cw

This may seem like another boring commercial at the start but then it takes a weird twist to create an instant classic. By taking a simple idea and throwing in something such as a puppy monkey and baby all fused together, this commercial had everyone talking for months after Super Bowl 50. I still think about this commercial sometimes because it had a hold on me that stuck for the past couple of years. Speaking of the Super Bowl and all the commercials we have grown to love, why is this the one I have picked from the long list.

Honorable mentions may include but are not limited to, most of the Doritos commercials, Budweiser, and the other little ones.

This Mountain Dew commercial showed up and took everyone by surprise literally. So what makes it so great? Well, that’s just it, this commercial was surprising to the whole audience. It didn’t wait for the audience to pay attention, it made us. I personally don’t like to watch long commercials about a drink or a car dealership, so a quick out of no-where commercial such as the one above is perfect.

A good commercial needs to be effective and informational, some say it’s all about being humorous as well. This I disbelieve, too many people have different opinions on what is funny and what is not. Making a humorous commercial might split your audience in half just by the way some people perceive a joke. Quickly grabbing someones attention with a loud noise like yelling “wow that’s a low price” or having a puppy/monkey/baby appear is what catches an audience. Some might think it’s funny to see such a weird creature and others might not, yet it still catches the attention of the audience and gets them to wonder “what in the..”.

Right after their hook in with the Narnia like creature grabbing the attention of the audience. They begin showcasing their new product even if it was just a small part of the commercial. The new Dew kickstart wasn’t even the center of attention but was involved in just enough close-ups so the audience gathered why this was a commercial.

To review what makes this commercial great, it captivates the audience. It gave us something new and out of the ordinary to grab our attention. It was quick to get the product out before a loss of interest and created a connection to the product from the weirdness the commercial created. Shortly after this commercial was released people were looking all over to get some of this new kickstart because of a puppy, monkey, and baby. That is why this commercial is so great… Dilly Dilly!

By: Stuart Bryan, Business Major

A Podcast to Reach Your Dreams

By: Ashleigh Meister

Do you have dreams? Do you dream about getting a degree and finally graduating? Do you dream of what it would feel like to pay off all of your debt and be able to spend your earned money how you want? Do you dream of buying your dream house? What about owning your own business? All of your dreams are possible if you do the work to make them happen.

Rachel Hollis is a mother, a wife, and a self-made business woman who has dreams just like you and she is working towards her goals every day. She has figured out how to reach many of her goals by researching and not taking no for an answer. She created this podcast to share the tools that she used for her own success. Her podcast is called “Rise Podcast”.

In this podcast series, she interviews several successful business people, narrates chapters from her own book, and easily motivates you to actually make steps towards your dreams and goals. Rachel’s audience is mostly made up of females in the “Rise Podcast”. She speaks primarily to women because she was in the same place as her audience at one point in time.

There is a lot of marketing in this podcast. Like mentioned before, Rachel narrates chapters from her book. This is a form of marketing for her book. She also asks you to screen shot the podcast episode you are listening to and post on social media by tagging her in your Instagram stories or post via @msrachelhollis. I think this is very smart and a great way to market herself without saying, “Hey, go follow me!”. She knows how to drive traffic to her other outlets.

Rachel’s podcast may be focused on women but that does not mean that men cannot take notes. She has several interviews with very successful men. While this podcast’s main focus is women; Rachel and her husband have an additional podcast for married couples. This is something that she also markets in her “Rise Podcast”.

“Nobody, not a voice of authority, not your Mama, not the foremost expert in your arena; gets to tell you how big your dreams can be. They can talk all they want, but you get to decide if you’re willing to listen.” -Rachel Hollis

Marketing – Slogan message.

How does businesses communicate to the customer their product? Most would say through the various channels such as T.V., radio, newspaper, social media, etc. and all are correct. But what is the message that they want to convey for their benefit and how is it developed? This is where Marketing comes into play. Many businesses spend millions of dollars in research and development to create brand equity. The task is not easy, businesses must develop a marketing plan for their product and eventually create their logo, slogan, and promotions to attract customers.

I want to give more emphasis on business slogans as is what most customers remember when a company is mention. The slogan does not only represent the company but is also the message that businesses want the customer to remember. Such as Home Depot, “More saving. More doing.”, choosing effective slogans that relate directly to customer satisfaction is key. Ultimately, no one buys something if it does not satisfy a need or want. Effective slogans draw attention to the business and their products.

This marketing technique is very important and seen with most major corporations in the world. Slogans are so important that they are utilized in the business’s commercial, apparel, billboards, videos, business cards, and anything else that they may use for advertisement. Now, can you think of different companies and see if you remember their slogan? Wal-Mart, Nike, Red Bull, McDonalds, Skittles, MasterCard, etc.  If you could recall the company’s slogan can you think of why it became important to you as a customer?

If you were to start your own business think of how important it is to develop an effective slogan. Remember that your slogan should be memorable by customers, it should define a benefit, and differentiate you from competitors. While there are many more key factors in a business always remember that your slogan will be something that your customers will remember, and it will carry on for years.

By: Emir Gonzalez, Business Major – IUPUC.

SOCIAL MEDIA HELPING BUSINESSES

Social media has a huge platform for our generation and it’s no surprise that businesses are getting its benefits from using social media as well.  By using social media, a business can promote the products that it provides or sells without having much work at all. The business whether it be big or small can have the opportunity to communicate better with its customers. Customers can give reviews and feedback on the business, allowing the business to know what to improve or sustain.

There are tons of social media tools and they can all have their advantages or disadvantages for businesses. Facebook is one of the most popular can help promote all services provided and get the news out to the people that are currently following you. The same can be said about Instagram and Twitter, those tools create a fast and easy way of showing what the company does. One tool that has become more popular recently is Yelp, especially for searching restaurants.

Yelp is a social media tool that is designed around review forums. It is generated for every type of business, anything from a doctor office to gyms. Yelp doesn’t require an account for the public to see the reviews or comments that others have left, but a commenter would need an account. Yelp gives the business a page to claim and allows a section for the description of what the business does and promotes services. This tool allows the businesses to upload the contact information, addresses, upload pictures, menus, hours of operation, and any crucial information that is needed for customers to notice the businesses.

A business can promote what services are on the page that it has claimed. by adding specific wording. If as a restaurant special is “dinner served all day”, Yelp and Google search are connected, and it opens the page for the searcher, giving more exposure. Reviews can be seen by the public and this can be an advantage or disadvantage to the business. The business can reply to the review by either thanking for the business or by telling the reviewer that you will take the comment into consideration. This will help the public to see what is good or bad about the business. Reading the comments This is important because it shows a potential customer of what other have liked or disliked, what needs improvement and what should be sustained. Yelp is a great social media tool for business any business.

By Tania Zamora, Business Major – IUPUC

 

The Life of Generation Z

When you first think of Generation Z what comes to mind? Lazy, distracted, uncaring individuals that will never own a home and rent their whole lives? Teenagers so absorbed in their phones they forget to look up? A generation that couldn’t care less about their future?  These are all common answers when asking people what they think of when talking about Generation Z. However, these are misconceptions about the generation.

photo for bp               Generation Z is most commonly categorized as people born after the year 1995. They grew up seeing their parents struggle from the job market crumbling and the world of technology has shaped the way they think, comprehend, react, and respond to everyday interactions. They are the most recent generation and coming with that is the unknown about them. People not understanding the generation leads them to fall back on these misconceptions so that they have a sense of knowledge about the generation.

look_a_distraction_design_by_eecomics1               People in Generation Z are not lazy, distracted, or uncaring. If something is not interesting to them they will look somewhere else. On the surface this comes off as having a short attention span and being lazy, but this is just because Generation Z has become extremely efficient in the way they use their time with the advances in technology. If they aren’t going to benefit from something they are looking at then why waste their time? Therefore, social media, blog posts, YouTube, and other internet resources have grown in the market. Also, people in Generation Z care more about their future than most other generations. After watching their parents struggle they put a large priority on paying off student debts, putting their degrees to work, and saving for the future. They also have a high participation in volunteer opportunities and organizations that will better the future. This YouTube Video express the way that Generation Z thinks and acts today.

With the new, unexplored way that Generation Z thinks and behaves, the world will be a very different place as they reach adulthood. Things will start to be expressed in shorter periods of time and most things will be internet based. People will also most likely be in a better financial situation because of their hope and work for a better future. Hopefully this has changed your view or at least cleared up some of the unknown and warped the misconceptions that torment Generation Zed.

Adidas vs. Nike

There has always been a constant competition between Nike and Adidas, but what about their online websites? Which business has the better website? While shopping online the other day I found myself going back and forth between the Nike and Adidas websites. One website was catching my attention more than the other one was but why was that?

After doing some research on what makes a business website successful I found that some of the most successful business websites are easy to navigate, informs their visitors, keeps the visitors on their page, and eventually converts them into customers. Also it is important to make sure that the website is responsive and can adjust to the screen of any mobile device. Turning a visitor into a customer by the time they leave the website is one of the main reasons for having a website for a business.

When comparing Nike’s website to Adidas’ website, here is what worked, what didn’t work and which one was more successful:

When I pull up Nike’s website I notice how there is a lot of use of the colors white and black. The only major use of color on the home page is when looking at the different boxes that were promoting certain products like running materials for men, women and young athletes. At the very top of the home page there is an ad promoting a new shoe, but there again was a lot of the color white. This didn’t make me very interested in the product and resulted in me just scrolling on past the ad. The home page also appeared to have only the main purpose of advertising running products. This in my opinion didn’t work for their website because not everyone is buying only running products from this brand. What really was successful for this website was that on the home page the links to men, women, and children products are right at your eye level in the center of the page. This made it easy to navigate. Also, when I first pulled up the website a box popped up for me to enter my information to sign up for a newsletter with coupons and information about new products. I felt that this was a good way to give customers information and to draw them back in to buy products later on.

When I clicked on the “women” link for Nike I am taken to a page that has advertisement boxes that say “bring on spring”, “lighten up for warmer weather” and “run your city”.  These categories seemed very vague to me and were in very tiny font. Even though there were tiny links at the tops of the page that said shoes, clothing and new releases, I have to scroll down even further to find the links to buy items such as shorts, sports bras, and hoodies. This page made it difficult to find what I was looking for right away. I would have to click on several links just to find the exact product I was looking for.

The home page of the Adidas website looks very similar to the Nike home page, but there were some major differences. On the home page for Adidas there is a large and colorful advertisement promoting a new shoe that they are selling. Already they have caught my attention through the use of color and have made me interested in looking into the new shoe. Unlike the Nike home page, Adidas’ home page featured a wide variety of products under the title “What’s Trending”. To sign up for the newsletter and receive coupons I had to scroll to the bottom of the home page. This was a downfall compared to the box that popped up on the Nike home page. What also didn’t work for the home page was that the links to the men, women, and children items were on the top left side of the page. The links weren’t the center of attention of the page and instead the large advertisement was. In my opinion those links are the most important links on the page and they should be placed in a way that shows that.

When I clicked on the “women” tab I was taken to a page that has around 7 pictures with the straight forward categorizes of Prophere, Ultraboost X, Bras, Tops, Tights, Shoes, and Adidas by Stella McCartney. Adidas had the tiny links for shoes, tops, new arrivals and other products as well, but I liked how the pictures were there as links too. That is so because these tiny links that both websites use are easy to miss.  This website made it easier to find certain faster by having them already categorized on the page.  I found that this made it easier for me to find my products compared to the Nike website. The large bold font that was used on the Adidas website made it easier as well.

Overall I found that the Adidas website was more successful than Nike’s business website. Adidas had better use of space, color, and text. I found that Adidas held my attention longer and had me looking into different products that I wasn’t even shopping for to begin with. Also, they were more successful with promoting a large variety of products whereas Nike seemed to focus in on only running materials. Adidas would result in me becoming a customer by the time I leave their website.

By Kaitlyn Richards, Business Major – IUPUC

 

Marketing with Video & How to Rise Above the Noise

Your average scroll through your social media feed will only confirm what we’ve known about the human species since… well, ever: visuals grab our attention. We know this so well that we sometimes have to remind ourselves not to fall for it (i.e. “don’t judge a book by its cover”). But with this natural pull in mind, it’s no surprise that video is increasingly becoming the go-to marketing method, particularly on social media.

So, how do you use video to your advantage? And how can you stand out from the crowd?

The truth is, you have to treat video content how you’d treat everything else (written content, photo content, etc.). It can be easy to only think of a video as a stand-alone piece of marketing – and complete videos with a full story (news stories, commercials, interviews, etc.) can be just that – but just like the right photo, passage, or tagline, video can also be implemented as part of a larger picture. For instance, many business websites have begun to implement video directly on their landing pages, either as background imagery or as featured sections of the site (think of testimonials). As a result, businesses are seeing better conversion rates, as well as other benefits. [For more ideas on how companies are using video, click here.]

I must admit, I purchased a piano keyboard precisely because of effective video (and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t use it often enough).

If you don’t have seven minutes to spare, I’ll sum up the content. A keyboard connoisseur, if you will, spends the entirety of the video discussing his collection, and eventually plays the Williams keyboard. Only around the 5:15 mark does the video actually address the product. It seems lengthy, but in reality the video creates a purposeful and strong build-up of credibility in the musician that leads to a trustworthy conclusion about the instrument. It’s a strong testimonial, and it does better to display the capabilities (and quality) of the instrument than any short demo could do.

Why did this work on me? Because it resonated. The video was of a high quality (which reflects back on the quality of the product), they knew their audience (customers who were unsure of the quality of the product for the price), and it was genuine. The musician’s delight of the quality of the instrument mirrored the company’s desire to share it with customers, and it made the purchase of the keyboard more of a buy-in to their passion for music as a whole.

Viewers want to know that you care about whatever product, idea, etc. you’re trying to sell them, and that needs to be evidenced by the production quality of your video content. Does your video need to be able to win a short film fest? No. Do viewers need to be able to clearly hear dialogue of an interviewee (for example) rather than a blaring backing track? I’d wager so. (Will I continue to use lots of questions? Probably. Please bear with me.)

Now that we know what makes video content worth watching, surely the next question is how to stand out when everyone will inevitably be pushing video content. Some experts suggest keeping up with trends and tailoring your message, but I personally wouldn’t focus on trends (especially if that feels untrue to your brand). Chasing trends can lead you astray from your brand – or at least lead to eye rolls (or worse) from the very audience you are trying to attract. (Surely a quick search can provide examples of Twitter hashtags gone wrong.)

The honest answer is that if it resonates, people will spread it. If a viewer takes the time to watch something and ends up feeling it wasn’t worth their time, they won’t be checking out the next one. However, quality content that is engaging and satisfying will lead to its spread. If viewers connect with it, they are likely to share it with friends. After all, what’s better: reaching a wide audience for a short time with one topical post, or building a reputation amongst friend groups, peer groups, communities, etc.?

Finally, in a world of click-bait, don’t be that guy (or girl). If you have quality content that stands alone, give it the headline/title/caption it deserves.

If any of this is starting to sound applicable to social media in general, that’s because it is. While video is rising in popularity and setting competitors apart from those who aren’t up to speed, the audience is the same. We’re still visual creatures. The same rules apply.

And we can still see through disingenuous crap.

 

By Amber Schadenfroh, Business Major – IUPUC

As a part-time student, Amber is aiming to graduate with dual concentrations in Marketing and Management. While most creative fields garner her interest, she most aspires to someday work in the film industry.

 

Why Marvel should bring back the Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four are Marvel’s first family of Silver Age superheroes. Created by legendary comic book writer Stan Lee and published on November 8th, 1961, this series also saved his career. He was wanting to leave the comic book industry, but thanks to a new assignment from his publisher and a confidence boost from his late wife, Joan, he created the Fantastic Four in response to DC Comic’s Justice League.
My name is Mark Murry. I’m a 25-year-old college student at IUPUC, and I’m very passionate about superheroes. When I was a little boy, superheroes were one of the things that got me through my struggle with my autism. The Fantastic Four is a personal favorite comic book series of mine. Yes, in the world of social change, shouldn’t we have superheroes that represent what being a family truly means?
By Mark Murry, English Major – IUPUC.

Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

Marketing Through Blogging

5 Minute Read

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs… They are everywhere and you may not even realize it. Blogs are the marketing tool of the time and blogs are giving newspapers and radio advertising a serious run for their money. In order for a company to effectively use blogs as a marketing tool, a company has to have a solid understanding of what social media means for businesses today and how they can utilize the social media world and blogging to benefit their long term strategy.

Blogging has broken out from the conventional blog hosting sites and is now on all of our social media platforms.  If the criteria for a blog is: regularly updated articles, one or more authors and typically focused content written in an informal or conversational style then blogs populate Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pintrest and many other platforms. When you like and share an article or a post you are GVessentially marketing for someone and perpetuating a blog. Today, social media and the internet allow companies to have direct relationships with their consumers that were not possible in the past. Companies can now interact and engage easily with their consumers just as consumers can now easily engage with their favorite companies. This dynamic has some companies scratching their heads while it has other forward thinking companies developing strategies around it.

Two forward thinking companies I think that are effectively utilizing blogs as a marketing tool are Coca-cola and Gary Vaynerchuk with Vaynermedia. Both have set up an amazing web of blogs and social media content that keeps the attention of their consumers and maximizes interaction and impact.

Both companies realize that the use of blogs as a marketing tool is a long play. The effectiveness of blogs relies more on the quality of its content and the relational depth a company has with its readers than the number of followers alone. A good blog should not push sales, it should give value to the reader. Nobody wants to read blogs that are always pitching a sell to them. A reader wants value from the content in the form of entertainment or knowledge. Essentially a blog is a marketing expense that is used to give your customers value in the form of entertainment or knowledge. That sounds like an awful play but if you consider the blog as a relational investment in regards to the integrity of your consumer base then it makes sense. Effective blogs are relationship and trust builders. Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “If you give more than you take then you have leverage for life”.

CokeCoca-cola has positioned their blogs as a form of engagement and interaction while providing stories and product updates through their blog “Unbottled”. The content is not overwhelming or pushy and articles can be easily searched and found through filtering. Coca-cola wants to reach and keep the attention of as many consumers as possible in order to fabricate a lasting loyalty from them. Their focus is rooted in retention through attention and Coca-cola quickly cycles numerous pieces of content that are broadly appealing and shareable.

Gary Vaynerchuk is the CEO of Vaynermedia, a 600 employee media and strategy company that boasted over $100 million in revenue last year. He is a pioneer in the digital and social media world and an incredible entrepreneur to say the least. Gary started his career after he graduated college in 1999. He took over operations at his father’s wine company and increased the annual revenue from $3 million to $60 million annually through the use of an incredibly effective e-commerce and e-mail marketing program. He started one of the first online video blogs in 2006 called Wine Library and in 2009 he and his brother started Vaynermedia. Gary hustled his way toG.png the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes and see what they want is the greatest gift anyone can have. With that gift all you have to do is deliver and Gary understands that today’s generations require interaction, online relationships and above all else… attention. The social media climate is driven by attention. That is why we have like buttons and share buttons. It is why we post pictures and stories for people to read and tell us how great our lives are. We crave attention and Gary is a deliverer of attention, value and motivation. Gary also blogs to maintain his personal brand as an industry leader. His blogs means more followers which result in credibility. Credibility sells books and authors get paid to speak. That type of notoriety can lead a company such as Vaynermedia which sells various media products and provides services such as social strategy and social media management to many fortune 500 companies.

As you can see blogs allow a company to be more up close and personal with their consumers than ever before. If a company understands what they want to achieve through blogging they can begin to develop a strategic plan and begin the long game strategy. The first step is to create shareable content that readers will find value in. Then listen and be empathetic to their needs and deliver to those needs. Interact and keep their attention and the number of followers will increase. If a company can remain consistent and present, then they will gain the trust and loyalty of their followers and that is the goal of any company or blogger.

-Brent Devers

« Older entries