Friday, February 22, 2013

Reebook Launches "Live with Fire" Campaign

Last week, Reebok launched its new multichannel marketing initiate, called "Live with Fire." The fully-integrated campaign hinges on the idea that living an active lifestyle has benefits far broader than improving health; it can also inspire you to live with passion, intent and purpose in all elements of your life.

The hero spot, which launched February 15th on ESPN, highlights individuals who have made crucial lifestyle changes and inspired others to do the same. Its messaging invites all passionate athletes, regardless of their discipline, to unite behind the desire to transform their lives through fitness.

The spot features activities such as yoga, dancing, running, and walking and highlights and products such as Reebok's RealFlex, Zigtech, and Sublite Footwear. Reebok has also extended its support of the niche CrossFit community in the spring 2013 season, a continued effort from its 2012 "The Sport of Fitness Has Arrived" campaign.

"Live with Fire" is comprised of TV, print, digital, and OOH elements, as well as consumer events and activations. The campaign launch also includes a new Reebok Fitness app for Apple and Android, built to help users rejuvenate their workout routines and inspire creativity within various fitness activities. Reebok will also roll out a social-driven leg of the campaign via a partnership with online crowdsourcing community MOFILM. MOFILM has been tasked to identify talented, aspiring filmmakers and encourage them to create films that celebrate stories of people living every day with passion, intent, and purpose. Reebok will pull the films into an online social hub as a means to extend the #LivewithFire mantra.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Adidas Looks to Revolutionize Footwear Industry with Energy BOOST

Adidas announced this week that on February 27th, a new shoe will hit the market that "will do nothing less than revolutionize running footwear."

The athletic powerhouse's latest innovation is Energy BOOST, a proprietary technology that will provide the user with the highest energy return the running industry has ever seen, according to Adidas.

The idea behind the technology stems from a consumer insight revealing that what athletes really need during training and performance is more energy. "Often people only think about speed," says Head of Sport Performance Eric Liedtke in a recent press release, "but energy is the secret weapon that can set you apart from the competition. An added boost of energy is what allows you to push yourself ahead of everyone else to cross that finish line, especially in a sprint when every millisecond counts."

That needed bout of energy comes from the BOOST cushioning material within the shoe's midsole. BOOST is comprised of thousands of small energy capsules that store and release energy as the shoe moves. Its look and feel is quite similar to Styrofoam, but BOOST is also built to perform well in cold, hot, and wet conditions. Energy BOOST's upper is a highly durable, yet stretchy and breathable mesh material that provides optimal comfort and support to the entire foot while in motion.

Energy BOOST will retail at $150. The shoe will be available at launch only in black and white, an understatement compared to the bright neon colors that have recently become commonplace across running footwear. The global launch will not be supported heavily in marketing and not at all on TV. If initial consumer response is positive, Adidas will back BOOST with a substantial ad budget as the technology rolls out across its other footwear segments like basketball and streetwear.

Though it's unclear whether the shoes will truly reset the running industry, BOOST has proven good on its claims of improved energy return during short road tests. Bloggers and product testers who have gotten their hands on the shoe attest that BOOST does in fact live up to its hype.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Nike Launches Interactive Video

Nike launched an interactive video this week as an extension of its "Make it Count" campaign initiative. The video highlights athletic pursuits and fitness achievements of regular people across the globe along with those of athletes such as Serena Williams and Moh Farah. Viewers can engage with clickable "goals" that pop up throughout the spot and share their fitness resolutions on Facebook and Twitter.

The spot in its entirety is an athletic anthem, with no nod to a particular product or option to click through to Nike's online store. The sole goal of the video seems to be to inspire the audience to take on new fitness goals for 2013, such as "smashing a 5k," "conquering a marathon," and "dominating the 1-1."

The video, the product of a collaboration with taggable video company wireWAX, lives on Nike's Make it Count landing page, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. You can view the spot below.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Shopping Apps Strengthen Retailer/Consumer Relationships

It's impossible to ignore the importance of mobile these days, particularly within the realm of shopping and retail. A new study by Adobe shows the extent to which mobile and tablet shopping applications, which most people discover using the app store, on a retailer's website, or via recommendations from friends, can strengthen the relationship between retailers and customers.

Surprisingly, the study finds that apps not only strengthen relationships with those that are already loyal customers, but can also create a connection with those who have little to no awareness of the brand. Alternatively, retailers without mobile apps are often perceived as old fashioned, and caring less about customer service.

Those who may not have time visit a retail location and discern which products a retailer provides will often opt to download the mobile app to find out. This can help create a relationship with a new customer who might be browsing their phone looking for a particular type of product, but has no loyalty to any particular brand yet. Without no mobile presence, retailers will miss out on this frequent opportunity to speak to new audiences.

Shopping apps also offer valuable utility in the areas of price comparison and in-store deals. Geo-tagging technology can send push notifications to consumers who might be nearby particular sales, helping to drive in-store sales and increase brand awareness.    

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vibram Launches "Get Grounded" Contest on Pinterest


Vibram is using Pinterest as the social hub for their "Get Grounded" contest, which asks contestants to engage with images that speak to their personal fitness goals and inspire them to stay fit.  

To enter the contest, participants visit the #GetGrounded board on Vibram's Pinterest page and comment on any photo that motivates them to lead an active lifestyle. They must then re-pin the photo to one of their own boards and include the #GetGrounded hashtag, which has been proliferating across the web on other social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

The contest is just one element of a larger campaign initiative to encourage their community to get outside and stay active. Vibram has also created an inspirational video piece to augment the contest, as seen below.


I think Pinterest is the perfect platform to host this contest due to its functionality and visual nature. Whereas Facebook requires the user to click through a photo album and view user photos and comments separately, the Pinterest interface allows the user to see many photos and their accompanying comments all at once, as shown below. By requiring that the contestant re-pin the photo to their own page, Vibram is also helping to extend the contest to a larger community. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Add "Snapchat" to Your Marketing Lexicon

If you're above the age of 16, you probably aren't familiar with Snapchat. But some experts are speculating the application could be the next big thing in mobile marketing.

Snapchat is a mobile messaging service that allows you to send fellow Snapchat users photo messages that self-destruct after a period of 10 seconds or less. The service has gained major traction since its initial launch in September 2011, and the app receives approximately 50 million snaps a day. It even inspired Facebook to launch a copy-cat app a few weeks ago.

Snapchat's popularity amongst a younger, mobile savvy demographic has recently attracted the attention of marketers. New York frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles made headlines this week as the first brand to conduct a marketing campaign through the service.

Their "Snappy New Year" campaign encouraged the company's Facebook fans to send a Snapchat photo of their frozen yogurt purchase while in the store to the company's Snapchat account. In exchange, participants immediately received a coupon for 16 to 100% off via Snapchat which could then be redeemed at the register. So far the company has shared more than 1,4000 snaps with those engaging with the campaign, according to Ad Age.

Digital media pundits have responded to the campaign with mixed reviews. Some applaud 16 Handles for an effort to connect authentically with its target using a new form of media, while others offer criticism for leveraging the program in its infancy.

Regardless of the app's potential for future growth, I think the 16 handles campaign showed sound strategy in that it reached the company's target at an ideal consumer aperture moment. Snapchat's unique functionality also required immediate action from the user, depriving customers of the opportunity to use the coupon at a later time and therefore delay the purchase.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Facebook Unveils Plans for Video Advertising

Facebook unveiled plans this week for a new app that will offer video advertisers the opportunity to target Facebook users. The product is expected to launch in the first half of 2013 and will add an advertising element largely unfamiliar to the Facebook interface: video ads.

According to AdAge, the ads will show up in users' news feeds on both the desktop and mobile version of Facebook. Advertisers will be able to show the same video to a single user up to three times a day. Facebook will also likely cap the length of these videos at 15 seconds, which may add a challenging layer of content creation for advertisers accustomed to scripting the traditional 30 spot.

This is not the first time Facebook has served video ads to users. In 2010, Facbeook experimented with video advertising in the bottom right of the screen, as seen below, but later removed the premium video ad feature.

This time, the ads will be much more intrusive in that they'll likely be set up to auto play. Therefore the ads will expand out of the news feed and into the left and right hand columns of the interface without any action from the user.

The new feature is expected to incite outrage from Facebook users, and loud applause from advertisers and investors. In addition to raking in millions of dollars, the new feature will also present a massive opportunity for brands to extend their reach to a new web audience by leveraging Facebook's existing targeting tools.  It will also be a great place for advertisers to extend their campaign story with additional content that might not necessarily have made it to TV.

The details around targeting are still in the works. While it's certain that advertisers will use information in a Facebook user's profile to serve ads, it's still unclear as to whether or not that user, or anyone in their network, needs to have "liked" the advertiser's brand page in order to see the ad in their feed.

Though many are speculating this could have negative implications on Facebook membership, I have a feeling that Zuckerberg will be just fine. According to the Facebook newsroom, the site had about one billion monthly active users as of October 2012. Just as we've gotten accustomed to static ads on the site, we'll get used to the TV ads. And just as we've gotten used to a couple seconds of ad pre-roll before any Youtube video, we'll get used to this. If anything, it might discourage users, myself included, from checking Facebook eight times a day, which wouldn't be the worst thing to ever happen.