Why every brand needs to pull a rabbit out of their hat once in a while

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Back when I was a remarkably cute little girl, I remember going to my grandparents’ house and watching their vacation slide shows and loving it. Every photo was more stunning than the one before. A peek into another world. Thrilling for me, right down to shots from the airplane terminal. Back when the travel protocol meant dressing in your Sunday best – it was an event. My grandma dolled-up in heels and drenched in her finest jewelry, and grandpa smartly attired in a well-fit suit and sporting dashing Italian leather loafers.

Today, one frisk at the TSA and you know the flying experience has changed. Most travelers dress for comfort, not style. Comfort trumps decorum in coach. And even in first class. And why not? In the last 20+ years, the airline industry has become more of a bully than an elegant transportation option on the route to adventure. Paying $50 for a checked suitcase and a hoping for a snippet of an in-flight snack coupled with a sardine seating arrangement has sucked the romance right out it.

Well, one airline is paying attention. This week, I came across a video that tickled the once implausible idea that airlines are starting to get it. WestJet Airlines understands the opportunity that lies in negative industry perceptions. They set up a virtual Santa Claus in the Toronto and Hamilton International Airports. Passengers who were waiting to board flights to Calgary shared what they wanted for Christmas with the virtual Santa. After everybody boarded the plane, the WestJet “elves” set off on a shopping spree to fulfill their passengers’ wish lists. After landing, the passengers waited at the baggage claim for their suitcases and to their surprise, out came fully-wrapped presents addressed to each and every one of them.

Was the universal perception of the new normal of a cattle call airline experience solved? No. But it’s good to be first with PR-rich gestures like the one WestJet pulled. Like Mad Men’s Don Draper says, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Good brands know when to be the first to do just that.

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Who knew? Life’s biggest inspirations for future-shaping ideas … wait for it … cartoons and TV shows.

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The other day, an article caught my attention. It revealed 13 ideas from a cartoon called The Jetsons. Mind you, this was a futuristic cartoon that aired in 1962 and we still haven’t caught up to it yet. I mean, who hasn’t heard someone complaining that they still don’t have a flying car? But if they looked a little closer, the Jetsons are shaping our future today. Case in point – Rosie the Robot and personal aircraft. The Jetson’s inspired “video conference call.” And why stop at The Jetsons?  You can enjoy Robo Cop mimicking car navigation systems, Star Trek personal tablets which look a lot like iPads. And even that crazy girlfriend-making machine in Weird Science with a little imagination and a 3D printer.

Not only did theses TV show inventors boost a memorable cache of extreme creativity, they saw the future in new ways. Imagining the future is a special talent, normally relegated to the intellectual. But more often than not, it’s the creative mind forced to invent, be humorous and meet a looming deadline. Given a deadline, a sense of humor and the desire to entertain, the sky isn’t the limit, the universe is.

If you want to wow people with new ideas, you’ve got to be Jetsons-like in your thinking. The future you’re leading customers to begins with ideas that are larger than life and five-steps beyond. Work backward from there, and you’ll likely be on to something. Solve a particular and universal human dilemma in a wonderfully-inventive, yet seemingly impossible to create way, and the world is an oyster bar. Capturing the future with humor and invention is the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac. And the most fun you can have with your pants on.

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#MuglyMonday

Oh, Loring Corners how we love thee. Always the provider of a good-sized mug!

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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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Why Most Businesses are Dropping the Ball in Content Marketing

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What you don’t know may hurt you. Yeah, you’ve heard that one before. But if you’re serious about capturing customers via the web, you may want to take a minute to think about where you could be hitting a home run or two. This wonky little analysis speaks to a simple impending truth: most businesses aren’t doing enough with content marketing. And by enough, I mean pretty much an epic fail. Don’t despair. There are so many quick wins you could be achieving that don’t cost an arm a leg or an act of God. Simple stuff that will boost you out of the Google search basement and onto the collective consciousness of the people who want—dare I say, long—to find you, but just can’t.

Here’s the Business 2 Community article I’m talking about. The love of your business life is out there, but you are nowhere to be found. And you’d hate to miss out on destiny just because you’re not even in the conversation, right?

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A Little Wednesday Fun at Bowl-a-Rama

Spyglass had a blast at the Ad Fed Bowl-a-Rama event! Check out the video above to see our mad skills.

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#MuglyMonday

Mondays after a long weekend are always the worst. Thankfully, our monday mugs are here to help!

 

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@heydodes picked out a mug that’s a piece of Spyglass history! Creative Director Andy designed this logo for the U.S. Open in 1991. 

12e66e565b8e11e3a6bb1272bb146ed9_8“Monday afternoon pick-me-up.” — @meghanwelch (Mugs are appropriate all day long, you know.)

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For those of you who don’t drink coffee, here’s @lkrink representing your side of the caffeine spectrum with a mug representing our beautiful building, the Historic Loring Corners. 

 

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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#MuglyMonday

@bnordahl likes pine trees on her Monday mug. What was on yours? Tweet or Instagram us with #muglymonday!

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Friday Thoughts

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This quote stuck out to me because I’ve often felt the same. What to do with all the great ideas floating around in my head? That’s still to be determined, but I do know Miranda wouldn’t have felt this way had she stopped to see us at Spyglass. We thrive on ideas and what-ifs, and often do come up with millions of them ourselves! But we certainly never get stuck on how best to move forward.

Have a great weekend, readers!

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How to Create a Viral Video (or how #2 became number #1)

 

Adweek just came out with their list of the 20 most viral video ads of 2013, which includes everything from PooPourri’s “Girls Don’t Poop”video to Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” video. (Wait, is there a theme here?)

The truth is, if we had penny for every “viral video”  we’ve been asked to produce, we’d be millionaires. And if we’d created enough of them we’d be billionaires. But this is no exacting science, friends. By definition, a viral video becomes popular through a meteoric and often unpredictable online sharing event and unfortunately, if someone promises you that your video will become the next Geico “Hump Day”, we’ve got some land in the Arabian desert we’d like to sell you.

It’s tough to get viral traction. And more often than not, more about dumb luck. There’s 8 trillion videos vying for eye space, give or take a billion. Which begs the million view question: how do you create a surefire viral video anyway? Even poop humor is no guarantee of success.

Here’s what we can promise—we’ll do our research and understand your brand and your target market. We’ll deliver innovative and creative thinking that matches your business goals and objectives. We’ll create a dissemination plan that is backed by your target market research and the knowledge of best practices in the online space. And then devise an amazing poop joke. Or something remarkably  a) hilarious, (b) heartwarming, or (c) heartbreaking, depending on your goals for global market domination.

What we do know is all viral videos have to start with that basic foundation and include a reason to get passed around. And hey, whenever you can throw in a poop joke or two, that may help too. But if you know of a foolproof plan, please let us know immediately. We’ve got a sh*tload of viral videos to create. So the sooner the better.

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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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