Strengthen Consumer Engagement Through Ad Tech and Marketing Collaboration

In today’s always-connected, on-demand digital world, consumers can choose where and how they get their media, like never before. This creates a big challenge, as brands need a constant stream of content to address their audience’s needs. However, it also opens new opportunities for marketers to establish stronger personal relationships between brands and consumers.

Brands need to be prepared to engage with their target audience across a wide spectrum of media at any time, in any place. This can include a video or photo that pops up on a social channel, an article on a favorite news site, blog posts or podcasts on a company web page or a digital ad that appears while doing an online search. Continue Reading →

Think With Google: The Creative Shortlist: Real Time Remixed

Presented by

Think with Google


The Creative Shortlist is a series that looks at the trends and themes informing innovative digital campaigns. This month we spotlight campaigns that are leading the next wave of social through more collaborative relationships and an evolved real-time approach.


See what Creative Sandbox campaigns we’re talking about.
This edition’s guest curator is Marvin Chow, global marketing director for Google’s social products.

The holidays. The Oscars. The World Cup. To stay relevant, brands have always taken advantage of big consumer moments such as these. Now that consumers are constantly connected, there are many more moments that matter, and brands can join them in real time. But that’s just the beginning. Getting an audience to engage with your story beyond a mere “like” or a generic retweet is what makes a brand a meme of its own.

Last year’s widely talked about Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl blackout was a wake-up call to traditional marketers. It showed the true value of being nimble, insightful, creative and—above all—first. But as we saw with this year’s Super Bowl, similar efforts without a higher level of engagement and conversation were short lived. Enabling the audience to create the conversation that follows is critical to really capture the moment.

From YouTube to Twitter to Google+, an entire generation is putting its own spin on brands through memes, remixes, hashtags and more. Smart brands are making this part of their marketing strategies. They see their audience as the creators; they’re just the enabler. Nike’s “Phenomenal Shot” campaign during the 2014 FIFA World Cup is a fresh example that exemplifies this thinking. Nike set out to let fans create their own version of winning moments during the tournament. The centerpiece of the campaign was a suite of 3D avatars that fans could “remix” by adding headlines, filters and stickers to create their own digital posters, just moments after something amazing happened during a live game.

Taking conversations further, brands can create ambassadors and foster even more meaningful relationships with consumers. Understanding that your brand is the enabler and the audience is the creator will help you win in the long run. For 20% of the work, they can get 100% of the credit, all in the name of your brand’s story. Taking this approach, you can establish a more fulfilling social media environment for people and for your brand. Everyone wins.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Share your #brandremix thoughts and favorite examples and get the conversation started. Follow us at+CreativeSandbox and @CreativeSandbox for more ideas that blend creativity and technology.

The campaigns we’re featuring this month demonstrate the movement toward user-generated content by empowering people to express themselves through their relationship with a brand:

#1 Nike “Phenomenal Shot”

Memorable sports moments, remixed in real time

#2 Toyota Collaborator

A social shopping tool for designing cars

#3 Two Days Beat

A crowdsourced audiotrack

#4 Target Everyday Runway

A live runway show inspired by everyday tweets

YouTube Insights, Q2 2014

Presented by:

Think with Google





Passions and interests drive people’s lives and, of course, their purchases. In this issue of YouTube Insights, see how brands like Turkish Airlines and Unilever have leveraged this behavior to create even bigger fans. Then check out how Nike and Samsung have connected with consumers on one particular passion—soccer—in some of the most popular ads this quarter. And see how your brand can turn insights into results with compelling content that speaks to consumers’ passions.

View YouTube Insights, Q2 2014: How Passions Drive Interests .

View Full Article “YouTube Insights, Q2 2014.”

AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing

The American Advertising Federation was honored to have several keyonote speakers at ADMERICA! 2014 who are innovative, insightful thought leaders in advertising. We were pleased to have David Shing join us in Boca Raton, Florida and are pleased to share a recap of his keynote with you. Watch Now >>

David Shing

David Shing is AOL’s digital prophet. Shing spends most of his time watching the future take shape across the vast online landscape. The rest he spends talking to people about where things are headed and how we can get the most out of it. Shing has spent most of his adult life in the digital world working for both large and small creative companies. He served as AOL’s European head of media and marketing before taking on his current mantle. Engaging, witty, and refreshingly candid, Shing provides both historical perspective and current context as he lays out his vision of the brave, new world of marketing to come – one he believes will belong to those willing to embrace change and take risks now, and one that he dearly hopes will suck a great deal less. The opportunities are incredible. The rewards are real. And Shing’s here to show you the way. That, after all, is what prophets do.

Inspired Blogging Begins with You

By Jennifer Gerlock (@jennifergerlock)

My interest in blogging began in 2008 when I answered an advertisement in my hometown newspaper. I’d always wanted a column of my own, and I figured a blog would be a nice audition for the “big” job.

I immediately fell in love with blog writing. That love grew to include the development of my own platform and opportunities to blog for local and regional publications. Soon, I had individuals coming to me, seeking advice and assistance for their blogging pursuits.

To say that blogging has become a passion would be an understatement.

I’m a true believer that blogging is a key component of an organization’s marketing strategy. A blog gives your company a voice and serves as the hub of your online marketing efforts. When executed correctly, blogging allows a brand’s personality to shine and feeds an organization’s social media efforts.
However, before embarking on any blogging program, you (the company) need to establish some clear outcomes.

Chances are you have one (or all) of these goals in mind:

  • attracting new customers
  • establishing credibility and authority
  • telling your brand story
  • generating buzz
  • cementing customer loyalty
  • gaining competitive advantage
  • utilizing search engine optimization

Sticking to a blogging regimen can, at times, be challenging. Many blogging programs begin with the best of intentions, only to die quietly from lack of time, direction, focus and/or inspiration.

Any marketer who creates content for his or her organization has almost certainly experienced a creative drought at some point in the journey. Sometimes inspiration comes naturally, and the blogs practically write themselves. At other times, the topics are few and far between.

Ways to Keep Your Blogging Inspired

Talk with your customers and customer service representatives.

Think like a journalist and approach your customers directly. Determine their biggest marketing challenges and use that information to inspire topical pieces. Recognize and solve their problems. Tap into your customer service representatives and find out the most frequently asked questions.
Search industry news, current events, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Facebook and other social networks.

Is there an issue affecting your industry, specialty or customers? What are your colleagues discussing around the water cooler? Find a news hook and use it to spark spin-off topics and discussion points.

Pull back the curtain.

Go behind the scenes and let your readers experience an inside look at your organization and how it works. Showcase the people who make up the company. Encourage employees to contribute to the blog by offering their own unique tips and knowledge.

Use humor or opposition.

Got humor? Use it. Do something unexpected and fun, and your company will be remembered. Kicking over a hornet’s nest is also effective (and fun!). Don’t be afraid to express your opinion on a controversial topic that is relevant. It can even benefit you if enough buzz or discussion is generated.
Let your personal passions inspire your writing.

Are you an avid fly fisherman? A weekend foodie? An amateur juggler? Think of creative ways to relate your hobby to your industry to create unique and memorable posts. (Trust me, you won’t be forgotten quickly!)

Move beyond the written word.

Use photography and video to tell your story. Pictures from a recent event, trade show or industry conference (like ADMERICA) are powerful. Videos can be used a thousand different ways and don’t necessarily involve a full production studio. Even capturing a typical day’s creative process on Vine can pay off in spades and keep your customer’s attention.

Here’s a final piece of advice — mix it up. Variety is important to your editorial schedule and will keep the creative juices flowing. Mixing short and long posts, timely and evergreen topics, and video and image-based content is a great way to keep your reader’s attention and entice them to come back for more.

The ultimate goal is to consistently produce stories that your audience will find interesting, entertaining and informative. Look for inspiration in the everyday matter and in the unexpected places. Keep your readers coming back for more!

Follow Jennifer on Twitter @jennifergerlock as she reports on blogging and creative at ADMERICA! 2013, June 5-8 in Phoenix.

Jennifer Gerlock serves as Director of Marketing for Graphcom, Inc., a full-service graphic communications firm and Social Editor of Frederick Gorilla Magazine. With more than 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing and event planning, she has represented clients ranging from small mission-based non-profits to multi-platinum recording artists and their respective worldwide tours.