BLOG HOME> customer engagement

Be the Change

To test and scale ideas faster, Spyglass developed the Brand Collaboratory™—a learning lab approach that involves key stakeholders in the creation of messages and materials. We firmly believe that “doing it together” and iterating quickly outperforms the old agency model. 


Are you moving through the day doing what you’ve always done—struggling with (or avoiding) the same persistent business or brand issues? Do you have a scattershot strategy, a mucked up PowerPoint or a story that just doesn’t sing?

Welcome to the club! The fact is, most of us aren’t optimizing our efforts and time. Which makes perfect sense, because individuals and organizations are actually hardwired to maintain the status quo, and we require certain conditions to make sustainable change, especially the big transformative kind.

At Spyglass, we have powerful processes to help our clients break out of their ruts and accelerate the adoption of new solutions—to generate the kind of meaningful results (and paradigm shifts) that so many businesses now require. Here are 3 key principles:

Ask better questions: In the old days, agencies like ours would receive a stated assignment or challenge from a client and begin brainstorming answers. Today, we start by asking new and better questions (an approach that spookily aligns with this meaty HBR Better Brainstorming article). For example, a recent assignment from a client was framed as a marketing communications project. A bit of deeper inquiry revealed that a trust- and relationship-building initiative was what was actually needed—and that’s what we proposed.

Get there faster: Too often it seems like the juiciest (and most differentiating) ideas get diluted and bogged down by the traditional research/review/approval process. To counteract that inertia, we’ve been deploying a new fast and focused Brand Collaboratory™ approach in order to rapidly iterate ideas to a point where they can be evaluated, tested and refined with real audiences sooner rather than later.

Do it together: Now, more than ever, we believe it’s time to reach beyond the marketing department to engage diverse stakeholders more meaningfully in the creative process—both to ensure relevance and build trust. A more collaborative process increases internal enthusiasm, belief and buy-in, which is essential to the adoption of an impactful, market-relevant and potentially game-changing story.

This part is critical, because companies are often structurally resistant to doing (and saying) things in new ways. According to innovation consultant Stefan Lindegaard:Change is frightening to many elements inside the typical organization. Change threatens people’s power, their status, their egos, and, in some situations, even their jobs. Change can make someone’s expertise obsolete and thereby make them obsolete as well. Because people are afraid of change, innovation efforts often cause the eruption of corporate antibodies that fight to kill innovation and maintain the status quo.”

Maybe you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel (or your category) but simply need some fresh eyes and juice to jumpstart your marketing. Let’s get started!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Share this post

Super Bowl Snoozer and the Banned Ads They Wouldn’t Air

Who would have thought it — a double dose of Bob Dylan for the Super Bowl? There he was shilling for Chrysler and the American can-do spirit while also serving as the musical backdrop for Chobani yogurt. Only fitting, because the game was like a good folk song. Too long and easy to tune out while you’re doing something else. It was hard to pay attention. The conversations percolated more, the trips to the food table got more frequent and the gigantic TV in the middle of the room just didn’t get requisite face time. Even the halftime was meh. In the end, it was the most lopsided Super Bowl victory in 21 years. What was supposed to be a storied matchup of #1s turned out to be a second rate dud. It took the Broncos 45 minutes of game time to put points on the board. Manning, the brilliant student of the game, looked overmatched and out of it. Just like most viewers. Budweiser’s predictably poignant ode to animals “Puppy Love” won top honors on 2014 Super Bowl Ad Meter. And Heinz got away with a fart joke that took way too long to develop. And that pretty much said it all. No big surprises here. Just the score. Watch the ads deemed too controversial to air here. And here’s a link to honest company slogans that reflect common brand perceptions. Just cuz. Happy Monday!

Tags: , ,
Share this post

(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.

Tags: , , , , ,
Share this post

And the Award Goes To… Social Media!

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 (  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.

Tags: , , ,
Share this post

Carpe Blogem

“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.


Tags: , , , , , , ,
Share this post

Back To Top