To co-brand or not to co-brand? Recent trends indicate a semi-seismic shift.

jcrew-commercialJ.Crew recently released their first foray into broadcast advertising with a new TV spot that’s high on holiday sentiment with a clever co-branding twist. The spot shows a lovely little all-American family making the all-important decision about what their annual family holiday card portrait will be (albeit, in a far more glamorous way than I ever remember as a kid). You can (and should) watch the painfully heartfelt spot here. Fair warning though: be prepared to feel bad about any holiday card you have ever been in. Ever.

What’s interesting, and in true Jenna Lyons form, is that the ad doesn’t actually plug J.Crew until the very end, and it’s positioned as more of a spot for MasterCard – a J.Crew partner procured to help simplify the buying process this holiday season. Looks like we know who paid the bulk of this production bill. No doubt this seems to be an emerging trend in retail marketing – big brands are getting even bigger by finding the right complimentary products to pair with their offerings. Any recent retail partnership can attest to that — Duluth Pack + Faribault Woolen MillsH&M + any high-end designerNike + bluesign. Every one of these partnerships not only opens up a new audience for both brands, but also increases the value of their products to consumers as they ride each other’s coattails into the hearts and minds of consumers. Brands are looking outward and hunting down the right partners to propel themselves forward. Are you?

The trick is doing your due diligence and soundly determining who should be your date. Think hard and think fast. And if you like it, put a ring on it. Might be a marriage made in heaven. No pre-nup.

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#MuglyMonday

Woo hoo! Another Monday completed. Did you make it though alright? These @myfakeyelashes and @drewhickok certainly did!

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“Spending my morning at the Jane Hotel #muglymonday” –@myfakeyelashes

 

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“My mug doubles as a mirror, how handy! #muglymonday” –@drewhickok

 

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Orange you glad to see us?

If you hadn’t noticed, we really like the color orange. Orange is the color of creativity and all things Spyglass. Below are a few of our favorite orange things:

Orange shoes. Every member of the Spy Team is equipped with at least one pair.

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Photo credit: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2013/11/14/nike-sb-dunk-low-pro-fire-and-ice/

 

Orange flowers. The perfect addition to your desk.

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The orange Birkin. Yes, our owner carries an orange purse.

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Photo credit: http://glamourandpearls.blogspot.com/2011/11/orange-hermes-birkin-bag.html

 

Orange feather boa. You may see one or two of these at our holiday party.

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Photo credit: http://www.partynet.co.za/party/costumes-accessories/feather-boas/feather-boa-orange-3804.html

 

And finally, pumpkins (but only because there are puppies.)

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Photo Credit: http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/JoannaDodgerPuppies2007-Page2.html
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Is it all worth it?

Vague-Facebook-Posts

If this was Facebook, and you saw a status like my title, chances are you might start hiding my future updates from your timeline. This is just one example of vaguebooking.

Urban Dictionary describes vaguebooking as, “an intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what’s going on.” Although not everyone has heard the term, most people have experienced vaguebooking in their own news feed. I saw three on my timeline just this morning – everything from, “I have the best boyfriend ever,” to “I just don’t understand some people.”

What if companies vaguebooked? How would you react if you saw Target with a status that said, “I guess today is just going to be one of those days”?

Showing brand personality can really strengthen a bond between a company and a consumer, but only if done in the right way. For example, Target will always lose to Walmart in the lowest price battle, but many customers choose Target based on its personality and the consumer experience.

What brands are doing a good job of showing their personality? Let us know below!

And when it comes to vaguebooking, I would say no, it’s never worth it.

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#MuglyMonday

This week’s mugs come from @andrewwiech & @youngbrokefabulous —

4ebe35384b0511e3af150a387219b903_8“After this weekend, I might need some afternoon coffee. #MuglyMonday” -@andrewwiech

9fc2cb9c44bb11e3b75f22000ae803db_7“Books and caffeine, a good Monday makes. #muglymonday” -@youngbrokefabulous

 

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 Maddie On Things greatness.

 

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Friday Thoughts

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Performance Enhancing Plugs

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“I’m laying down my new audiobook. No writing, just spoken words –the old fashioned way.” – Kenny Powers

ABM—Always Be MultitaskingPretty simple, hombre. It’s the only way to survive in this hyper-stimulated multimedia world. Save the quiet moments for sleepy time, when you can ratchet the real world down to ambient fan noise and a TV show with lots of gunfire, car explosions and the sound turned down low. Look at it this way, if the Spyglass Blog was a podcast, done the old-fashioned way with just spoken words, you could do two to five things at once and still absorb our vast tribal knowledge via audio osmosis. Get inspired and get more done. Boom. Works for me.

Take the other day, for example. I was listening to the top-ranked business podcasts, Entrepreneur On Fire and Investor Beatand once I got over the fact that there were no actual entrepreneurs literally on fire (bummer, cuz that’s a good time to get your best ideas out) and no investors being physically beaten, I settled down and started working it. While they were in my earballs quoting Bill Cosby’s winning entrepreneurial wisdom and telling me how Icahn is at it again, I was knocking a new campaign out of the park, whipping up an awesome social media strategy and helping our killer team of strategists, creatives and lightbulb-changers turn another Spyglass client into a Fortune 100 wonder. Heck, I even ate an apple and bagel slathered in Gorau Glas. And that’s before lunch.

I’m not saying it works for everyone. But I strongly suggest ABM. I know darn well you’ve got a list as long as a laptop cord of things to do. In fact, I talked to your boss, and she says you’re not in the hot seat (technically) but a little extra effort would go a long way to put off your eminent firing. Just trying to help.

 

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Target’s Simplicity Challenge

Target-SimplicitySimplicity. It’s the key to the success of almost any consumer product. Healthcare should be no different, yet in this particular realm, touting yourself as “simple” and “user-friendly” is a task much more easily said than done. 75% of health care professionals — you know, the people selling this stuff — don’t even understand their own health care plans! Alarming.

Enter Target’s Simplicity Challenge, a campaign that uses the bright idea of crowd sourcing to find the next healthcare innovation. They simply posed the question – what would you do to simplify healthcare? The general public certainly made their ideas known, with submissions ranging from mobile app ideas and outreach programs, to TV spots and experiential gimmicks to help bring health care to the every-man’s level. Judging will be done by 11 industry experts procured by Target, representing the  best and brightest from organizations like Medtronic, United Health Group, IDEO and Target, of course.
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#MuglyMondays

No one ever looks forward to Mondays. The tinge of post-weekend depression mixed with looming meetings and emails make Monday as appealing as a thumbtack toilet seat. In my case, the one thing I do look forward to (and the only thing between my body and the nearest horizontal surface) is a very large coffee in my favorite cup.

On this particularly dreary Monday, I was instagramming my cute coffee mug and thinking to myself how many mornings were owed to my trusty office companion. Mid-post, while thinking of a fitting hashtag, #muglymonday was born. I mean, there were already 17 other cups of coffee on my feed this morning, so I might as well be the first to slap a name on it and make it a “thing,” right? Dreams of a wildly successful hashtag filled my mind, and all of a sudden, I was bouncing around my office making my colleagues take a photo of their favorite cup. Here’s SpyTeam member Laura (the only camera-ready person today) with her Monday mug:

 

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Do you have a favorite coffee or tea mug? Does it help you go from raging, sleepy bull to sweet, smiling lamb in time for your first Monday meeting? Sound off in the comments below or hashtag #muglymonday via Instagram or Twitter! We’ll post mugs from across the globe every Monday. And who knows? It could become the next cats wearing tights.

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Carpe Blogem

Blue Footed Boobie

Photo Credit: Scott Ableman

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
– David Ogilvy

I know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done – especially if you’ve read virtually any other business blog. You know it’s true. Most business brilliance being foisted online is boring and more regurgitated than breakfast for 10 from a mother Blue-Footed Booby. That’s a bird listed early in a Wikipedia article about regurgitation.

Being original isn’t easy. Let alone interesting. A blog about business, even a business as fast-paced, smart, sassy and sexy as the world of advertising, gets boring fast. You’re probably ready to quit reading this now. Hang on. All I’m saying is, making this blog worth a damn and not the typical advertising blog like the one’s you’ll find on (list omitted to protect almost everyone) will take a lot of Google linking, clever cookies—and a heck of lot more than a few cans of Coke, a couple bags of Doritos or shots of Patron. It’s going to take clever content and some damn good insights that you have yet to come across. Mind-blowing stuff. Revolutionary ideas. Einstein, rocket science, South Park, New England Journal of Medicine type of thing. Breakthroughs and solid thinking. Stuff that anyone who pulls their pants on one leg at a time and makes other people fabulously successful would think of on topics like branding and creative, social media and mobile, customer engagement, B2B, digital marketing. Anyway. Trust me. We’re working on it. We think we know a guy. Great sense of humor. But kind of a loose cannon.

 

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