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Get To Know: Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt

Chris Brandt headshot As Chief Marketing Officer for one of America's most popular quick service restaurants, Chris Brandt heads up Taco Bell's brand marketing, media and brand sponsorships, consumer insights, brand experience, and digital marketing. During his three years with the brand, Brandt has overseen marketing strategy for ongoing and new platforms, leading the launch of Doritos Locos Tacos, and developing the Cantina Bell menu. Brandt started as Taco Bell's senior director of marketing in 2010. Two years later, he was promoted to vice president of marketing, helping bring to life the brand's "Live MĂ [...]


5 Instagram Users Helped Propel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ To $170 Million Box Office Success

fault_in_stars While this arrived sounding like a big 'ol self-promotional press release -- they all are, actually -- our interest was sparked by this work from Instagram influencer marketing firm, theAmplify. The company makes a technology called SharedRank which is an algorithm that provides strategic analytics and advanced audience targeting. Working with 20th Century Fox to promote their recent film, The Fault in Our Stars. In advance of the film's release date, theAmplify selected five key influencers within its entertainment affinity to attend a screening of the film. The influencers were s [...]


McDonald’s Pranks Aspiring Actors With Fake Auditions For #HungerInTheNight Zombie Musical

mcdonalds_vegas_zombie Because it's Cannes Lions week and because agencies are too busy sipping rosé on the Carlton Terrace in the South of France to, you know, do any actual work, our Creative of the Day space is left with... zombies. Yes, zombies. Recently, McDonald’s pranked Las Vegas by hosting a casting call for a nonexistent, zombie-themed musical. In an effort to promote its After Midnight menu, McDonald’s held fake auditions in downtown Las Vegas for a post-apocalyptic spectacular, “Hunger in the Night.” A production crew filmed dozens of actors performing their most convincing zombie and vam [...]


Girl Fakes First Period, Mom Throws ‘Full Moon’ Party In Wickedly Hilarious HelloFlo Ad

hellflo_full_moon_party Last summer you may recall seeing an ad which featured a young girl who becomes a powerful counselor at a camp. Why? Because she just got her period and she made it her mission to help guide other girls as they, too, experience their first period. Sort of a drill sergeant for menstruation, if you will. The video has accumulated over 7 million views. Fast forward to this summer and the brand behind that viral success, HelloFlo, is at it again. In a new video, a girl is worried she isn't getting her period in a timely fashion so... she decides to fake it. A little red nail polish on a maxi [...]


Orangina Causes Outrage Among World Cup Fans by Hijacking TVs With ‘The Antifoot Can’

logo misso With devilishly delicious deviousness, Orangina has pulled a big one over on soccer fans -- and during the World Cup, no less! Working with Fred & Farid Paris, the drink brand has created the AntiFoot Can. The can has been tricked out with electronics that, with a subtle flick of a switch on the bottom of the can, will switch off every TV that's airing a soccer game -- at least in the bar the agency modified with TVs that would receive the signal from the can. Predictably, soccer viewers jump up on their feet and express their outrage while the woman in the corner slyly smiles at h [...]


Get To Know: Harvard Business School Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Brian Kenny

Brian Kenny headshot Since 2008, Brian Kenny has served as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMCO) for Harvard Business School, overseeing the school's global brand. With more than two decades of experience leading marketing efforts for large global institutions, Kenny's responsibilities include the coordination, planning and implementation of the school's marketing, communications and public relations efforts around the world. Working with the dean's executive team and leading faculty, Kenny oversees the alignment of branding, marketing, and media relations efforts across the school's enterpri [...]


Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Influencer Campaign Backfires: Another High-Profile Example Of Why Details Matter

Another case of poor marketing campaign execution is making waves this morning, with news that an agency has been soliciting paid posts on behalf of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, posted a solicitation from advocate marketing agency, Socialchorus, to: "collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer... If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addition to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels. Compensation for this post is availabl [...]


Canal+ Turns Cannes-Winning Ad Into Interactive Web Experience

canal_bear_interactive Many of you may remember the French Canal+ ad from BETC Paris which won a Grand Prix Lion at Cannes in 2012. It featured a film director dressed as a bear with all the usual stereotypes one assumes directors embody. And it ended with a witty punchline -- the bear is actually a talking bear rug who, because he faces the TV, has plenty of opportunity to comment on what he sees. Now, the award-winning work has been transformed into an interactive adventure, Being the Bear, which allows people to view a scene, call "cut" and, when prompted by an assistant, choose another direction. Viewers c [...]


There’s No “I Didn’t Sign Up For This” In Digital Marketing

change_shutterstock We've all found ourselves in that familiar place -- the one where we find ourselves remarking, "I didn't sign up for this." Whether in family situations, relationships and/or business/career scenario, we can often end up feeling duped by the old switcheroo. It feels like falling for the oldest trick in the book. You agreed to a chore as a kid and you were given a bigger one. You fell in love with a poet, got married, and your W.B. Yeats went to work on Wall Street. You accepted a job and, on the first day, found out your boss was on maternity leave. Being flipped outside our comfort zone [...]


Hellmann’s #ReciTweet Campaign Offers Recipes To Fix “What’s In The Fridge” Disappointment

hellmanns_recitweet We've all been there. Standing in front of our refrigerator, staring inside hoping something delicious will magically manifest itself. It's very frustrating, but there is a solution. No, it's not the replicator on the Enterprise; it's ReciTweet from Hellmann's. Working with Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, Hellmann's created ReciTweet, a Twitter hashtag campaign which came to the rescue of starving deer in refrigerator headlights in Brazil or, given the internet's reach, anyone anywhere in the world. With ReciTweet, all frustrated refrigerator gawkers need to do is tweet some of the ingre [...]


Nissan Invites Facebook Fans To Crowdsource Customized Titan Pickup Truck

nissan_titan_crowdsource This week, Nissan is asking its Facebook fans to help build the "ultimate off-road capable full-size truck for the adventure of a lifetime." Called Project Titan, the effort invites fans to choose custom modifications for a 2014 Nissan Titan that two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni will then pilot through the Alaskan wilderness this summer. Fans are encouraged to visit Facebook.com/NissanTrucks to vote on their preferences for the Titan's performance package, utility, design and other modifications during the next few weeks. Nissan will build the project truck based on this fan feedback an [...]


Time For A Check-Up: Marketing Strategies For A Successful Second Half

holiday-retailer7-600 Do you remember "report card day" at school? There was always an element of excitement in the air, often mixed with a bit of trepidation. While you pretty much knew what to expect going into school that day, it wasn't really official until you saw those grades in black and white. Here we are, all these years later, and we're still being graded -- except that now, report cards have been replaced by quarterly reports, and there's a lot more riding on the results. As we enter the second half of 2014, there's no doubt you'll be analyzing the performance of your marketing campaigns over the l [...]


Tabasco Responds To #notaste Tweets With Witty #addtaste Tweets

Tabasco9 In a brilliant leveraging of a very popular hashtag, BBDO Belgium, on behalf of its client Tabasco, launched a Twitter campaign that monitored and responded to tweets which used the hashtag #notaste. For every #notaste tweet Tabasco replied with a creative tweet that included the hashtag #addtaste. For example, one tweet from @abbiebooboo read, "I cannot handle it #maserati #notaste #baller only in Manchester" which included a picture of some dude's blue Maserati with a "Baller" license plate. I cannot handle it #maserati #notaste #obviouslyasian #baller only in Manchester ✊ pic.twitte [...]


Robot Circumvents Non-Existent Instagram API To Poke Fun At Your Friends’ Overshares

ag_picnix Here's an interesting time-waster -- and it's not even for a brand! This campaign exists to allow Boston-based a&g Labs, the "innovation unit" of allen & gerritsen, to flex its muscles. And flex they did. If you're on Instagram, you know there are plenty of "those" people in your feed -- the ones who post constant selfies, snap every meal they eat, or document each time their cat rolls over. But short of unfollowing the guilty parties, there hasn't been a way to subtly hint that they're overdoing it. Until now. a&g Labs created Pic Nix, a program that allows people to [...]


Get To Know: United States Postal Service CMO Nagisa Manabe

Nagisa headshot As Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for the United States Postal Service, Nagisa Manabe reports directly to the Postmaster General. Since taking the role in May of 2012, Manabe has led all of the USPS's domestic and international product marketing, development and management. She is also responsible for the postal service pricing, channel access, global business, sales, secure digital solutions and stamp services organizations. Prior to leading the USPS's marketing efforts, Manabe served as vice president of new growth platforms at the Coca-Cola Company, as well as vice president of mar [...]


Beer Brand Invites Fans To Experience Exotic Locales With GPS Imprinted Bottle Caps

Pacifico_mobile_still1 Mexican beer brand Pacifico is offering people the chance to experience its laid-back lifestyle with the a new campaign entitled Yellow Caps. As background, the term Yellow Caps was coined by bartenders and refers to the brand's yellow bottle caps which are easier to find in crowded beer coolers. The Yellow Caps campaign, created by Austin-based GSD&M, makes use of the iconic caps to engage consumers. As part of the campaign, the underside of every cap has been printed with GPS coordinates marking one of 21 destinations throughout Baja, mainland Mexico and on the Pacific coast of the [...]


Airline Takes Inflight Experience To The Streets And To Social Media

air_nz_cal_london With a bit of guerrilla/ambient marketing, Air New Zealand has launched the #AirNZLondonReady Truck Tour which will make stops throughout the Southern California area to tout daily flights from LAX to London as well as showcase the airline's inflight products to travelers and the travel trade. The roving truck will feature Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch, a row of three Economy seats that together create a couch-like space upon which to relax. It will also feature the airline’s Premium Economy Spaceseat, which is designed to give passengers an increased sense of space and privacy. [...]


Influencer Marketing Tools That Will Power Your Content In The Future

influencer_megaphone Influencer marketing is redefining the power of voice. Leveraging the clout of authoritative, influential voices can be the difference between a ripple and a tidal wave. This relatively new form of marketing has emerged from the intersection of public relations and social media, where the focus is less on the target market as a whole and more on a subset of individuals with a natural megaphone. Influencer marketing identifies writers and contributors with a large audience and orients marketing activities around their voices. In "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell poignantly illustra [...]


McDonald’s GOL! App Turns Its Fries Into An Augmented Reality World Cup Game

mcd_gol_app The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil next week, but McDonald's has given soccer fans around the world a way to get in on the action right now. As part of their global sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup, McDonald’s changed the red packaging of its fries. Working with The Marketing Store, DDB Chicago helped create 12 new packaging designs – each representing a different artist’s passion for the world’s biggest soccer tournament. DDB Chicago used the packaging as a mechanism to launch McDonald’s customers into a new digital app experience called McDonald’s GOL!. The app is do [...]


These Very Human Toyota Prius’s Are #CarsThatFeel

cars_that_feel Over in Sydney, Australia, they're celebrating the Vivid Festival this week. It's a celebration of light, music and ideas. Contributing to the celebration, Toyota, working with Soap Creative, launched Cars That Feel, a physical installation of cars with which people can interact. During the festival, three Toyota Prius's were transformed into sentient beings complete with 6 BenQ projectors, Arduino controllers, LED lights and a custom application which gave the vehicles their interactive capabilities. As people passed by the cars, messages such as "Hug Me" or "kiss me"or "tickle me" wo [...]


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