BLOG HOME> Monthly Archives: January 2014

New for 2014: Super Bowl Ads Hit the Field Early

As a marketer (and a Vikings fan) I tend to pay more attention to the Super Bowl ads than I do the actual game. Sadly, this year is no exception with the Vikes long gone from contention and rebuilding, literally and figuratively, for the future. But hey, we still have the ads. And, as always, it will be the Super Bowl of branding in a 5+ hour knockdown, drag out bout for mind space supremacy. NBC is charging an average of $3.5 million for each 30-second spot. Light years from the $42,000 charged for spots during the first Super Bowl in 1967. One big change this year, besides the price tag, is how many ads I’ve already had the chance to see. In the past, we all sat with baited nacho breath and watched each commercial break carefully so we didn’t miss that ONE commercial that everyone would be talking about the next day. This year, no worries there. Go ahead, grab a chicken wing or five because most of the ads have already been posted on YouTube for weeks. This is a relatively new tactic. These big money broadcast ads were kept under lock and key, awaiting the big reveal in game time real time. Now, brands are feeling their way around the power of social media and viral momentum. They know the upside of building a following before and sustaining it after. This year, we’ve seen leaked ads and teasers from Super Bowl big hitters like M&M, Kia, Toyota, Budweiser (my personal favorite above), and many more – all within the last few days. So, does showing the big ad before the big day drive excitement? Or does it kill the buzz and deflate the power of the big reveal?  The definitive answer is: maybe. It’s a gamble. And we’ll see who the winners really are for 2014. Stay tuned. I know I will, between a few glasses of beer and myriad of dips, chips and conversation. One of 111 million other people half paying attention and wondering which ads will win.

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Churn the Burn

It may be cold outside, but Spy Team member Michael warmed up last night with Feel the Churn at the Walker Art Center. He made butter — with aerobics! Part of Walker Art’s Cabin Fever winter series, Feel the Churn comes from L.A.-based artist duo Pop Soda and featured locally sourced ingredients from Hastings Coop Creamery. Check out the fun in the video below!

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Super Super Bowl Marketing: How Two Guys Inhaled the Right URL at the Right Time

Super Bowl Tshirts with a twist
(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Interesting article on two savvy entrepreneurs who knew that if the two states that legalized pot got to the big game, they could score big profits. Also shows how the NFL/pot tie-in is helping lots of people make hemp while the sun shines. Like we tell our clients about URLs – while they may not be the end all to profits and performance – it’s a good idea to snap up what you can before someone else gets to them. Full article: http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_25001056/stoner-bowl-xlviii-marijuana-matchup-has-really-gone

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May Not be a Virgin After All

Olive Oil

Like pigs that have been running wild in the calamari conversation , this olive oil thing is another red flag for foodies around the world. Looks like another bait and switch. We learn that pure olive oil is likely not so pure after all. Yet another global conspiracy that hits you right in the taste buds. But there is a larger point here – at least from a marketing perspective. The title slide draws you in. The visuals work as hard as the words. And then it’s all over with before you know it. You get the point. A good lesson for any brand, product or concept looking to build awareness. Get your story down to 15 slides. Make the graphics work as hard as the words. Trim the fat. It’s not just a good exercise. It should always be your starting point. Match your presentation to the attention span of your audience. It never hurt anyone to be brief and to the point. It’s the reason we try to keep our RFP responses down to 15 slides. Because whether you’re seeking clicks, consideration or big dollars from investors, getting to the point faster will always be the name of the game. Of course, some presentations are too complex for 15 slides, but start at 15 and you’ll always have a shot. All that extra content can probably go in the appendix anyway, which, much like the superfluous organ found in the human body, is a vestigial structure that has lost most of its original function through the process of evolution.

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Finally, an Ad Award that Celebrates Products that Define Brand Space.

cannes_trophy

Cannes Lions Ad Awards announced a new award category: Product Design. If you are not familiar, the Cannes Lions represent quite possibly the pinnacle of creative achievement, so this is an interesting development. After having done branding work for many outstanding product manufacturers – and even brands that help those manufacturers design incredible new products – we know how important product design is to brand perception.  Your products reflect something beyond functionality and reliability. They reflect your aesthetic. What a brand thinks of itself. Your view of the universe you operate in. Where you think the market is heading. And why someone should pay attention. For brands who see these factors before they design their products the rewards are big. From attracting top talent to building awareness and sales faster, great products have great impact. Now, there’s a prestigious award that can go with it. And that is always an outstanding PR opportunity with plenty of unpaid media potential.

(http://adage.com/article/special-report-cannes/cannes-lions-adds-a-awards-category-product-design/291249/)

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(Mini)minneapolis: Our New Favorite City

Miniminneapolis. Ever heard of it? I couldn’t find it on Google maps so there is no way it actually exists.  Well Starburst would disagree. In their latest ad they feature miniminneapolis, where their new miniature candies are made.  Spyglass calls Minneapolis its home so we were instantly intrigued, but what really made us pay attention was the thought behind the ad.  It was perfect.  They managed to introduce a new product, make people laugh, and gain instant interest from anyone with a fondness of the original Minneapolis (or just Minneapolis as we call it). Not to mention it only took them 30 seconds to do so. Think about your own brand. Could you make a play on words to help gain awareness?  We can.  We are already getting the whiteboards out and creating new cities as we speak…. And we can promise you they are filled with new characters and taglines to fit your brand. Which sounds much more intriguing than the weather here, so let’s get started. Right here in Spytopia, a creative municipality located here in PolarVortexasota.

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#MuglyMonday

This week’s Monday is a bit (okay, a lot) colder than usual on account of one of our windows being replaced! It’s alright though, Monday mugs are at least keeping Di and Michael’s fingers warm.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

How was your Monday? Got a favorite mug that makes your Mondays less of a drag? Instagram or tweet at us with the hashtag #muglymonday! We’ll post our favorites every Monday and continue on our path to hashtag greatness.

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Golden Globes Part II – Why Celebrities Love Social Media

As the Golden Globes 2014 rolled on (in between the extremely long walks to the stage) celebrities were posting pictures and comments to their own personal social media accounts.  All gobbled up and re-spewed at a mind-boggling rate. We’ve never been so connected to celebrities. Everything you need to know, instantly available. So even though we may be at home watching in our pajamas, most of us were consuming media from multiple sources. And the stars were fueling the fire with selfies and casual pics creating yet another instant connection to help us feel like we were a part of the show.  Sure, this connection works great for celebrities. But companies are quickly learning that this can be a huge advantage for them, too.

Take Oreo for example.  They had one of the best social media events of the year with their quick thinking tweet during last year’s Super Bowl blackout.

 

Oreo-Tweet-SB2013

This specific tweet from @Oreo has over 16,000 retweets.

Now take that idea and apply it to your own company.  People WILL be talking about these events.  If you can manage to slip into the social media Jetstream you instantly become part of the conversation, and you may strike unpaid media gold. If you get your brand to be a part of that conversation, well then, you deserve a Golden Globe yourself.  I’m thinking “Best Engagement of Consumers Online”.  We will even come deliver it to you. Or better yet, if you got better things to do, let us take care of the social media strategy for you.  Call us and let’s brainstorm on how to get you noticed in the big conversation.  I have to go for now…need to  prepare all of those awards we just promised you. Get your speech ready.

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And the Award Goes To… Social Media!

Vine-Booth

The buzz is still buzzing from Sunday’s Golden Globes. They were a windfall of eye-popping fashion, uncomfortable speeches, snarky digs and marketing smarts. I’ll admit it when you work in this business you always see big events like these through a marketing lens. You look at the world with a “customer hat” on. You wonder how the smartest people in the room decided on everything from co-sponsorships, to new brand experiences and product placement. Awards shows like the Golden Globes and the Oscars always reveal the latest trends in branding and marketing. And this year social media took a big step up. You can’t help but be amazed at how much things have changed and how far social media has risen to prominence in just the last few years.

Case in point. The 360° Vine Fashion Booth (http://mashable.com/2014/01/12/vine-booth-golden-globes-red-carpet-fashion/).  Right there, big and bold on the red carpet. Celebrities hopped on a rotating stage like the one in most microwaves and took a spin while the camera captured the view Vine-style from every angle. It was then posted immediately on Vine. Total marketing home run giving customers and prospects a great reason to get their Vine on. Not only that, users could share their favorite 360° Celebrity Vine video instantly. Brilliant tie-in to an event that was nice and viral. Shared with a touch of the hand throughout the Twitterverse and every microsite, blog and social portal know to humankind. Bearing lots of fruit from the Vine, as it were.

The days of having to watch TV for hours to see what your favorite celebrity wore to an event are long gone. Not only that, you get a 3D-designer view on-demand. You know what that means? Now you can consume media that once took hours in a matter of moments. And be up on the “I can’t believe she wore that” conversation the next day in a fraction of the time. More importantly , it was smart high-profile placement concept by Vine. Keeping the conversation going is what it’s all about for every brand. You should try Vine. If you haven’t already set up a personal account, create one now.

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Clever kidney stunts (or why unpaid media is awesome).

Snow kidney

Sometimes you’ve got to run it up the flagpole and see. Take Jim Gorbunow. He needs a kidney. So he built a giant kidney out of snow in his front yard. [http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/state-and-regional/mn/minn-man-s-snow-kidney-stunt-attracts-donors/article_b9105c83-0fef-5f16-b807-fd32319a3fdd.html]. It’s smiling. Friendliest damn kidney I’ve ever seen. Looks like it could use a friend. You have to hand it to this guy. This has to be more effective than advertising in Extra Kidneys Monthly. It’s been on every news channel from here to Helsinki. I’d call that a savvy advertising stunt. Heck, I wanted to give. It wasn’t far from my house. Could I just pull up in the driveway and a “doctor” would come out and harvest my extra kidney and put it in a beer cooler? You know, from the passenger side. I’d just ease my seat back a little, but otherwise, no biggie. And off they would go to give Jim a live transplant. There would be some clean up for me. I’d recycle the towelettes and put the scalpels in my dishwasher and bring them back. But then I thought, it’s flu season, and car kidney surgery may compromise my immune system. Plus, my wife and kids probably want to divvy up my extra vital organs. But I digress. The point is, this is a great example of Gorilla advertising. Today, it’s called unpaid media. And every brand can use some. Call Spyglass if you need some ideas. Quick, before the snow melts. And if you have an extra kidney, call Jim. Operators are standing by.

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