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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

OCTOBER 16, 2017 //     

What these 6 brand campaigns say about the state of marketing

Digital, unsurprisingly, dominated brand campaigns in Q3 2017, but the most popular efforts added an extra pop in key areas that have emerged as trends to watch this year: Better tying together real-world and social media channels and catering to the ever-shorter attention spans of consumers whether through extra-short video ads or quick-hit visual formats like GIFs. READ MORE
OCTOBER 16, 2017 //     

McDonald's wants you to stop looking at your phone and start talking to each other

IMAGE: MCDONALD'S SINGAPORE

When was the last time you had a meal with someone without spending time texting someone else?

McDonald's has introduced mobile phone lockers, in a bid to get customers to put their phones away, and start talking to each other again. 

READ MORE
OCTOBER 15, 2017 //     

Infographic: What Millennials Value Most in Their Lives, Careers and Personal Tech

Image: iStock photoA simple choice between A and B can say a lot about a person—or, in the case of 9GAG’s just-released Millennial Black Paper, an entire generation. In April, the cross-platform entertainment network, which counts 150 million users around the globe, teamed up with research firm GfK to create a simple “would you rather” questionnaire meant to determine what millennials (defined as ages 18-34) value in their lives, careers, politics, technology and more. READ MORE
OCTOBER 13, 2017 //     

Why shoe retailer DSW is turning influencer content into ads

DSW is on a mission to standardize its influencer marketing strategy while making it a larger part of its digital marketing budget.

The shoe retailer has shifted to thinking of influencers as an extension of its store associates. It is now moving away from traditional influencer payment models with upfront fees or cost per engagement and experimenting with new incentives for influencers. The other big part of its strategy is more of a focus on “nano-influencers,” which have followings of under 80,000 — smaller than those of micro-influencers.

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OCTOBER 12, 2017 //     

How fashion and beauty brands are using AI to drive mobile purchases

It’s become a common tale in e-commerce: Executives at retailers are discovering that traffic patterns don’t match revenue.

It’s what happened at DvF.com. “Mobile is at least 50 percent of our traffic, but not our revenue. To be honest, we all kind of gave up on fixing that,” said Felipe Araujo, the head of e-commerce at Diane von Furstenberg.

That was until a major rebrand last year, following the departure of Diane von Furstenberg as the creative director of her eponymous brand, when the DvF team overhauled its e-commerce site. With a new logo and designer, Jonathan Saunders, the brand needed a smarter online shopping experience to bolster the reboot. With a new site, Araujo prioritized improving product discovery and navigation on mobile, in order to turn that traffic into sales.

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OCTOBER 11, 2017 //     

Snapchat Is Twice as Popular as Instagram When It Comes to Teens’ Favorite Social Apps

Getty Images

Instagram may be encroaching on Snapchat’s territory when it comes to features and users, but Snapchat remains teens’ go-to app for social media, according to Piper Jaffray’s latest report.

The investment firm’s annual “Taking Stock With Teens” report includes responses from 6,100 people across 44 states and asked teens about their social media usage over the past month. Forty-seven percent of teens said Snapchat is their favorite app, up from 35 percent a year ago, while only 24 percent picked Instagram. Nine percent of teens said Facebook is their favorite social app, 7 percent chose Twitter and 1 percent said Pinterest is their favorite.

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OCTOBER 11, 2017 //     

How Allbirds uses Instagram as a focus group

Most brands look at social platforms like Instagram to push out product messages, but Allbirds is using Instagram for product ideas and customer feedback.

Since debuting its first style 19 months ago, Allbirds has made 27 product improvements to its $95 all-wool knit runners and loafers, which it markets as “the world’s most comfortable shoes,” and has changed content strategies based on its followers’ reactions, according to Julie Channing, vp of marketing at Allbirds. The brand was highlighted in Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report as being one of the most responsive brands, with a slide showing all the product changes from customer input that went into one shoe.
READ MORE
OCTOBER 11, 2017 //     

SunTrust's LightStream plants pop-up forest in Times Square

SunTrust Bank's online lending division LightStream will install a miniature pop-up forest in New York City's Times Square for an out-of-home push on Oct. 18, according to a press release.

The lender has planted a tree for every loan it's issued since launching in 2013, and the "Forest of Dreams" activation will symbolize the 1,000 acres of trees it's so far planted across the U.S. as part of that project. LightStream will plant a tree for the first 10,000 people who participate in the experience, with a portion of donations going to hurricane-ravaged cities like Houston and Miami. READ MORE
OCTOBER 11, 2017 //     

Walmart Canada Is Creating a New Scripted Branded Content Series That Aims for Authenticity

Photo Credit: Brendan Adam-ZwellingIn an effort to capitalize on the momentum behind branded content series, Walmart Canada is launching a scripted series later this fall. READ MORE
OCTOBER 10, 2017 //     

Snapchat’s new Context Cards use Snaps for spontaneous discovery

Snapchat is introducing a new feature that will transform the experience of using the apps at a fundamental level. They’re called ‘Context Cards,’ and they’re new ways to find out more info about any Snap shared by users, providing access to things like restaurant reviews, reservations, Uber and Lyft ride hailing, contact information and more. READ MORE
OCTOBER 10, 2017 //     

SAY SO: ANA Masters of Marketing Conference

By: Lisa Rosenberg and Kevin Nabipour

Chief Creative Officer Lisa Rosenberg and Managing Director, Content Strategies, Kevin Nabipour attended the 
ANA Masters of Marketing conference last week. In this installment of “Say So,” they discuss the common themes that stood out and what it means for marketers and brands alike.READ MORE


Kevin:
 Hey Lisa! So, last week we were in humid and overcast Orlando Florida soaking up the lessons of some of the brightest marketers and premier brands in business today. The ANA Masters of Marketing summit is ground zero for learning from and schmoozing with the best of the best – Samsung, P&G, Walmart, Lane Bryant, KFC, Chase, MGM Resorts, Cadillac and State Farm all had impressive presentations. Listening to each it was hard not to see a common theme: find your purpose as a brand and communicate it authentically. Similar to how we preach in our Storytelling and Brand Workshops, brands need to find their core values, their strengths, and elevate them above their product messaging in the hopes that they can connect in a deeper way with customers and prospects. That’s how you stand out, endure, innovate from and create memorable marketing experiences that drive growth. And get you on a stage telling everyone else about it. Of course, we couldn’t agree more and we were happy to see other big brands show not only superlative work, but the transformative results that came from them. Seeing how Cadillac and KFC recharged their struggling brands by doubling down on their brand truths, how P&G and Lane Bryant connected with cultural touchstones and movements but in ways that felt permissible and genuine to the brand mission and product experience. The results for the bottom line were persuasive, and their risk tolerance and brand management skills were incredible to see and hear. 

Lisa: Kevin, what a great couple of days it’s been it was listening to industry legends like P&G’s Marc Pritchard and Walmart’s Tony Rogers. And while the theme of the conference was the role of brands in driving growth, what struck me was how many of the brands sharing their stories not only talked about their journey to find brand purpose, but understood the power that purpose can have in becoming a force for good. There was much discussion of gender equality and the perception of women in society. P&G’s #weseeequal digital ad campaign was a powerful reminder of gender equality, simply stating it as an obvious matter of fact. Brian Beitler, EVP & CMO for Lane Bryant went a bit further opening his session with a rallying statement that “gender equality is not a female issue, it is a human issue.” The work that Lane Bryant has been doing to change the conversation around body equality is filled with provocative imagery, bold language and hashtags designed to spark a movement. While the #imnoangel and #plusisequal campaigns are not without their critics, it’s hard not to give huge props to a brand whose purpose “is to change the way women see themselves and the way the world sees women.”

Kevin: And as is often the case, the winning formula seems to be to develop something so provocative yet honest that paid media becomes an afterthought. Get the world talking, have the blogs buzzing, make your message carry enough weight that the brand is recognized as relevant and interesting (and interested). As we preach nonstop – and as it was mentioned in a slide by none other than an auto brand – brands need to tell stories that intrigue and inspire, instead of just showcasing products and features. Your business must be obsessed with your customers, must be data driven and digital first, yes. But it must also be purpose led, so that the stories you tell don’t feel out of touch with our need to feel centered around a shared humanity. This should not be only applicable to consumer brands or worthy non-profit causes. It’s the province of any company looking to gain the attention of a potential customer and translate that attention into interest. One of my favorite slides was from Cadillac, which was titled “We’ve Re-Focused on Building Desire for the Brand” and featured a graphic that had all product features sitting in the base of a Maslow’s “hierarchy” as costs of entry. Appeal, relevance, prestige and exclusivity of the experience sat at the top. If all brands did that as an exercise it would be a great first start! 

Lisa: Not only is building desire for the brand critical, but understanding how to build a brand from the inside out is increasingly important when you think about a brand’s most powerful stakeholder. MGM with its new corporate brand campaign, “Welcome to the Show,” understood the impact that its 77,000 employees could have on shifting perceptions of MGM as just Vegas hotels and casinos to a global entertainment brand. The work put into its internal communications program squarely put the emphasis on the role of the employee in building the brand. It was interesting that so much of the work shared featured anything but traditional advertising. I thought that KFC and its agency, Weiden+Kennedy with their “branded everything” mantra are paving the way for what’s to come. While KFC’s Extra Crispy Sunscreen was met with equal parts laughter and wrinkled noses, it stands as one of the hallmarks of the brand’s turnaround. I think that brands who demonstrate marketing innovation – Cadillac’s Book, State Farm Next Door - on par with product innovation, are going to be the big winners with next generation consumers.

Lisa Rosenberg is partner, chief creative officer and co-chair of Allison+Partners' consumer marketing practice. Kevin Nabipour is the head of Content Strategies for Allison+Partners.

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BUSINESSINSIDER // OCT 16, 2017
Netflix Q4 total streaming adds forecast 6.3 million (6.29 million expected) t.co/0NlCDyNViM
VULTURE // OCT 16, 2017
Russian trolls reportedly watched #HouseofCards to learn about American politics t.co/F4QHodQUzB
THEAVCLUB // OCT 16, 2017
.@JuddApatow picks his 5 favorite musical influences t.co/u4yk35KAJF t.co/XjwgPbQoVP
BRIANSTELTER // OCT 16, 2017
And now the Producers Guild has moved to kick out Harvey Weinstein, @blowryontv reports t.co/CQgtM4ZMjM
BRIANSOLIS // OCT 16, 2017
Innovation Begins with a Shift in Perspective; It's Personal t.co/HW1iPDlyjW
ERICTTUNG // OCT 16, 2017
#Cyber Resiliency - Measure Threats Before They Become #Cyber Attacks t.co/XFb3r6MRor
MENTAL_FLOSS // OCT 16, 2017
Dislike a Coworker? Here's How to Handle It — t.co/haAbb9aE4H t.co/EKOTDdVnXE
ABSTRACTSUNDAY // Oct 15, 2017 Bird.
NATGEO // Oct 14, 2017 Photo by @williamalbertallard She passed me by in a moment in Le Marais. Look at her: a belted trench coat, tight jeans with knee-high, high heeled boots. Her long hair flies out beneath a kind of aviator-like cap or perhaps it’s a scarf. She wears ambe
GOODTYPE // Oct 14, 2017 "Courage" by @wallaceconcepts. #StrengthInLetters #Goodtype
TMAGAZINE // Oct 14, 2017 Jeanette Dalrot (@jeanettedalrotinteriors) doesn’t hide her obsessive attention to detail. Instead, the Swedish restaurant designer energetically puts it on display in the inviting interiors she creates for her clients, like @hero_paris. Naturally, Dalrot
MEDIAITE // OCT 10, 2017
University Shuts Down Conservative Lawmaker’s Campus Speech After Protests Drown Him Out (WATCH)… t.co/UJOr85ItNX
LANCEULANOFF // OCT 10, 2017
Stop the world and let me off: There's a tiny cell phone that's also a fidget spinner t.co/onnAGdrsdC t.co/Uj6ZLgBdmp
MENTAL_FLOSS // OCT 10, 2017
The '90s Called: Original Tamagotchis Are Coming Back to the U.S. — t.co/GLszpwmJul t.co/XAzkbIpnMT
ADFREAK // OCT 10, 2017
This guy is living at Helsinki Airport for 30 days for TBWA's #LifeInHEL campaign: t.co/9HbSKq94tJ t.co/XRCzfNXkNj
BUSINESSINSIDER // OCT 10, 2017
Martin Scorsese goes nuclear on Rotten Tomatoes in a scathing column t.co/nfyVvpGWN8 t.co/wAty3UnUix
VULTURE // OCT 10, 2017
In which Jimmy Kimmel likens Harvey Weinstein to the Pillsbury Doughboy t.co/opCsXHsnXU
BRIANSTELTER // OCT 10, 2017
This is what @CarlBernstein and others have been sounding the ???? about ???????? t.co/IGf6kXUKE4
13THWITNESS // Oct 9, 2017 Partnered with New Orleans Tourism to capture some of the city’s great stories. See more at OneTimeInNOLA.com
JATECSON // Oct 9, 2017 "Take time to dedicate to your craft and be selective about what you allow in your life. Don't strive to be a master overnight. Progress naturally to improve your steps over time and make an effort to strive for an organic and sustainable career." - @
NATGEO // Oct 9, 2017 Photo by @noralorek for @natgeo.  Nyediet Kais husband was a rebel and killed by the government army. Now she's taking care of her four children and the three of her brother who's still a rebel in South Sudan. Nyediet and most of her neighbors bel
BUSINESSINSIDER // OCT 9, 2017
Gregg Popovich had the Spurs' female assistant coach the team during a preseason game t.co/Lr023sun6W t.co/nk2SY37mbM
MENTAL_FLOSS // OCT 9, 2017
10 Alternatives to Columbus Day Celebrated Around the Country — t.co/y36DbdnHHQ t.co/fCEOuz0QeA