Advertising MVPs: Spyglass shares in the fun of the AMA’s 5th Annual Ad Bowl

The Ad Bowl is one of the most popular events of the year for the American Marketing Association. This year’s star panelists delivered insights on what they thought were the best and worst ads and were split on what worked and what didn’t.

Rave review.
The panel overwhelmingly voted that 84 Lumber’s “The Entire Journey” featuring a mother/daughter trek from Mexico to America worked because it was beautifully filmed, emotionally evocative, and it pushed viewers online to see the finale. And since 84 Lumber isn’t a well-known brand, their ad successfully inserted them into the national conversation, where, until now, they never had a seat at the table.

Mixed review. The other big winner for creativity in the eyes of the panel was Audi’s “Daughter”, which addressed issues of feminism and sexism through the story of a young girl’s soapbox derby win. But social media erupted after the ad aired claiming Audi was being disingenuous with their message because of their own lackluster record of equal pay. So, if you’re going to spend millions of dollars to tackle a big issue in front of 110 million people, be sure you are walking the walk.

Bad review. The most prominent example of a fail was the live Snickers ad featuring Adam Driver, one of the stars from the show Girls. All five panel members felt like it was a great concept but poorly executed. It didn’t live up to its hype and didn’t use the live broadcast to its fullest advantage.

In general, the panelists thought the sheer quality of ads once again raised the bar, and agreed that the Super Bowl offers a unique context for ad viewing which allows more latitude for emotional appeals and humor than any other medium. Another important consideration; where your ad ends up in the broadcast and which ad you follow matters. An example? The heart-strings-tugging Audi ad followed by the sexy new Mr. Clean was a jolt for some.

The panel and the moderator were terrific and it was a thoroughly thoughtful exploration of what worked for brands during the big game. Thanks AMA, Well, done!

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Super Bowl Ad challenge: See what you remember from the last 40 years

One the most successful tools in the social marketing arsenal is the quiz. At worst, it’s a brief escape, at best it’s a little brain-teasing fun that might inspire creative thinking and you get to share socially. We give this one high marks for keeping it brief, using a novel “reveal” idea, and, well, for being on topic. Give it a try.

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Surprising success: Customer loyalty lessons you can learn from Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga just tore through a Super Bowl halftime set that had everyone at our parties in rapt amazement. But besides talent, a knack for controversy and bombastic creativity, how does the “Poker Face” diva stay at the top of pop? Simple marketing. Lady Gaga continues to build her brand socially using some of the same basic loyalty tricks of the trade that other successful brands employ. See exactly what they are.

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New feature alert! “The Secret to Unusual Success”

No one knows better than Spyglass how hard it can be to think outside the box, to stay “on brand” and to get results. That’s the stuff brand marketing dreams are made of (see also unpaid media) and among the toughest and gutsiest moves in brand marketing. Which is why we’re proud to bring you our new feature “The Secret to Unusual Success” that explores success through thinking differently. As a wise person once said, the best ideas start as a joke. And in today’s tough-to-get-noticed world, there can be a huge advantage to adding a wink to your next marketing move.

Check out these six unusual marketing campaigns that actually worked

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Inspect your gadgets: Five up-and-coming devices that will simplify your life (once you figure out how to use them)

With the Internet of Things (IoT) taking pole position in the hearts and minds of businesses and consumers, it’s no surprise to see that devices focusing on convenience and comfort lead the way. What will they think of next? Probably more stuff like this.

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It’s a handcrafted Toaster Coaster holiday at Spyglass and our own Big Orange Yeti pawticipated in the fun

‘Tis the season for gifting. And while giving is among the most enjoyable holiday traditions, finding the perfect gift for our special clients who have everything is no small task. You want something original, useful and unexpected. Well, bingo! We went a little old school this year and created a classic. It’s a set of letter-pressed coasters written and designed by Spyglass and produced by one of our favorite neighbors and letterpress aficionados Jenni Landis, owner of Lunalux. Her attention to detail and color is extremely impressive (rim shot!). She revved up her 50’s era Heidelberg to print what is, in our humble opinion, a winning blend of Spyglass creativity and Old World craftsmanship. Needless to say, Big Orange Yeti was there to celebrate the moment and lend a furry paw or two to the effort. Now that the the printing is all wrapped up, look for a set coming soon to a desk near you. In the meantime, enjoy the pics and video … and Cheers!

If for some reason you’re not on our mailing list and you’d like a set of Toaster Coasters of your very own, just shoot us an email and we’ll get you all set up.

Yeti in action – see the photos

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A Season’s Greetings video from Spyglass

Thank you for another brilliant year of creative collaboration. To our valued clients and Spyglass friends around the world, we wish you a very Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year. We are looking forward to an epic 2017 and working on the juicy details of our next big soirée. Stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy the season … and don’t forget to get your orange on!

Best wishes always,
Team Spyglass

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Wine of the times: The perfect potent potable pairing for your social conscience


What do you get when you combine good wine, smart gift ideas, a great cause and a snarky ad campaign? One Hope winery, of course. As giving back increasingly becomes a part of good branding, One Hope serves as an interesting example of what’s possible. And since wine goes with Thanksgiving like giblets and gravy, we would like to introduce you to One Hope (plus, they have a Thanksgiving wine sale). Besides selling lots of palette-pleasing vino, to date this Napa Valley winery has made more than $2 million in donations and provided over 2,600 clinical trials for cancer patients, 13,000 homes for shelter animals, 1.1 million meals for children and 33,000 life-saving vaccines.

Watch the awesome ad

Learn more about the clever company

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Talking turkey: The simple secret to using technology to enhance your holidays


There are people out there who will tell you technology has ruined the holidays. It stifles communication, truncates conversations and distracts us from meaningful interactions. No more! Here are five ideas for using technology in an effort to boost interaction and extend the conversation with the ones you love. Bonus Black Friday tip included.

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How spooked should I be anyway? AI enters the online medical diagnosis arena

aiblogfullSo you’ve got an ache, a pain or a rash, and you look online only to discover your worst fears—and no one to talk to. Ugh. Before you know it, you’re convinced you’re dying and new symptoms have been psychosomatically activated. Self-diagnosis without context or conversation has profound pitfalls. Now, there’s a new approach likely coming to a digital device near you. The first is Baidu’s artificial intelligence doctor, Melody the Medical Assistant, a conversational chat bot trained on medical textbooks and tested with doctors and medical students in China. It shows the evolution AI has been making online and the way it’s edging into healthcare. Spyglass has had the chance to work with some of the biggest names in healthcare and several very bright start-ups and many virtual assistant apps along the way, so this was of particular interest to us.

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