PR Lessons from The Super Bowl

Watching the Super Bowl for the commercials is so 2008. It’s 2018 and instead of commercials, the most memorable marketing moves came from the events that big brands put on around downtown Minneapolis. Some of the best events from this past week include:

  • Ford Tough Sleigh Ride – Fans were able to take a ride around downtown Minneapolis in a sled pulled by a Ford F-150. How fun it was it in single digit temperatures? Well, how Ford Tough are you?

  • Polaris UpsideDowntown stunt show – The sportswear company took over Nicollet Mall, a downtown shopping area in Minneapolis, to a host a snowmobile stunt show that was free to the public. Were Minnesotans already not riding their snowmobiles to work though?

  • US Bank Possibilities Lounge – US Bank already has the naming rights to the stadium where Super Bowl LII was played, but they took their marketing push one step further by renting out a local McCormick and Schmick’s and creating a lounge where the public was able to experience a “virtual payment demo”. Interestingly, US Bank did not pay for a national TV ad despite the extensive marketing campaign they had for the Super Bowl.

These brands are capitalizing on what’s called earned media – an event that creates media attention through some good old fashioned sweat equity. The rational is simple: put effort into an event that is fun and worthwhile for the community, and reap the rewards of the media’s attention. Notice all the links in this post are from real news sites, not corporate press releases. The reason these events have become popular is the improved return on investment companies enjoy when compared to a multi-million dollar ads during the big game.

The great news is that you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to pull this off. It just takes a little creativity and media-savvy.

If you’re looking for new ways to increase your brand or association’s exposure, contact Targeted Persuasion and let us help you earn some media.

A Look into the Future – Marketing Trends for 2018

2018 got off to a rocky start with the tide pod eating trend, so let’s take a minute and look at the new, the persistent, and the comeback trends for the new year… and reflect on why not to eat Tide Pods.

The New

  • Expect mobile phone marketing to dominate in 2018 as mobile devices recently eclipsed traditional computers for the most web searches.
  • The potential of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning cannot be understated, especially when they’re implemented in chatbots. Companies have been experimenting with these tools for a couple years now, but as the technology continues to develop, everyone from airlines to pizza chains are using them to improve marketing and customer experience.


The Persistent

  • Companies like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram will continue to extend their reach and influence. In 2017, Facebook exceeded 2 billion monthly users while YouTube hit 1.5 billion monthly users. Yeah, that’s billion with a B. Marketing strategies through these sites will continue to impact every company looking to increase their brand recognition.
  • News organizations are getting stretched thin as they try to adapt to an evolving market. Make it easy on them and stick with the time proven press release. Press releases give you the ability to inform the community when exciting things are happening for your company. They can reach a large audience, but don’t require you to deliver them directly to the consumer.


The Comeback

  • After a stagnated growth rate at the beginning of the decade, the popularity of podcasts has surged in recent years thanks to increased digital media consumption and popular podcasts such as Serial. Ride this marketing wave as podcasts continue to become more popular.
  • 85% of videos on Facebook are played with no sound. What does that mean for advertisers? It’s time to bring back silent videos while still capturing consumers’ attention. Channel your inner 1940s film producer and think of creative ways to grab users attention without sound.

2017 was a wild ride. Hopefully this has helped you prepare for whatever 2018 throws your way. If there’s any way we can help, contact Targeted Persuasion today.

Your 2018 Communications Strategy

It’s 2018. Does your company have everything it needs to communicate in the New Year?

Chances are you’re just now getting back into the swing of things after a long vacation with friends and family. Your to-do list is a mile long with new projects and unfinished business from last year. Chances are your inbox isn’t even close to cleaned up after your time away.

We get it. You’re busy.

When you have a moment, I want to encourage you to take some time to look at your organization’s communications strategy. If your response is, ‘what communication strategy?’ then you really need to take some time.

A solid communication strategy is crucial to controlling how stakeholders, customers, and the general public perceive your company or association. If you pushed this off in 2017, it’s time to take a fresh look in 2018.

To start, here are a few communications tools you might need and how they can help:

A Media Kit.

As the name would suggest, a media kit – or press kit – is a bundle of visual materials designed to give media members an overview of your organization. A kit can include photos of your products or service, infographics or other representations of relevant data, leadership team bios, and a detailed description and history of your organization. Which elements and how much information to include will depend on your organization and specific needs.

Good website copy.

Chances are you’re not fully satisfied with your website. You’ve been thinking about it for a while, but it always gets pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s easy to keep putting this off with everything you have going on, but it’s critical to get this right. After all, your website is often the first impression people will get of your organization when they type your name into a search engine. Make sure it’s a good one.

Is the info on your website up to date and relevant? Is it easy to read and well organized? If the answers to these questions aren’t a resounding ‘yes,’ then don’t put this off any longer.

Up-to-date Pamphlets

In a digital world, everyone seems to overlook the value of a good old-fashioned pamphlet. While this may seem a bit antiquated, the truth is a good pamphlet, brochure, or flyer is still an effective way of communicating – particularly if your office has lots of visitors swinging by or you attend lots of events.

The key is to create an item that pops. Creativity is key here. Make something that looks – and feels – appealing to the person holding it. A good design will make the reader think twice about tossing it in the garbage.

Again, the feel is important here too. Consider replacing the 24 lb. paper you would typically use with something more substantial.

These are just a few things to consider when designing a comprehensive communications plan. Best of luck telling your story in 2018. If there’s any way we can help, contact Targeted Persuasion today.