Friday, August 12, 2011

Please Pack Your Knives and Go

Yesterday I was indulging in one of my favorite guilty pleasures on Bravo-Top Chef and couldn't help but notice how many plugs there were all throughout the show. Some were subtle, with just a mention of a store, brand, or restaurant or others felt like Padma was starting an infomercial.
(Padma, why does everything you do have to look so pretty & graceful-even holding a measuring cup of yellow mush? )

For example, when it is time for the chefs to grab their ingredients they always show them frantically running around under the ever-present green Whole Foods sign. It really is PR at it's finest. Love this article about the two's partnership:

"The cost to Whole Foods? Nothing beyond the food the contestants use for their dishes and the inconvenience of having a camera crew shooting inside a store."

"No money is exchanged, and the agreement is "pretty loose."

"For example, there's no agreement that Whole Foods must be mentioned a certain number of times. But it's been a "win-win" partnership for both sides. Their viewers are our shoppers, and vice versa."

This is great public relations for Whole Foods because if the top chefs are shopping at their store, it must be the best. The advantage of earning media and promoting from a different source (like Bravo) is that viewers find it way more believable than an ad. And not to mention, Whole Foods isn't giving up a dime:

"We do a lot of collective brainstorming with the Bravo team, because you want to be unique, be relevant, and still be interesting. It's not easy coming up with the challenge idea." -Clorox's Media Director

This is so smart. Top Chef smothley integrates brands and products in the show's challenges. Now, how fun would it be to be part of the team that daydreams up food challenges for chef's to sweat over in the kitchen. Dream job.

Not to mention the perks from it:
  • Nielsen research found Bravo to be the highest-ranked network on all of broadcast and cable TV for the first half of 2008.
  • Top Chef Chicago had top honors for brand recall. Sponsors such as Toyota had 67% vs the cable average of 49%, Glad had 77% vs a 73% average, & Food & Wine 77% vs the 70% cable average.

And they just announced season 9 is in Texas with Emeril as a judge. Can't wait!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Favorite Ad Campaign Right Now

I don't know what other camping/outdoorsy companies are doing with their branding but I love this! Way to go Coleman, a girl who has never done anything but "car camping" (where you drive to the site, have your car right next to your tent, as well as indoor plumbing and showers) is paying attention to you and your products. A pop up tent? Maybe I'll try real camping...someday.

The tagline 'the original social networking site" puts a spin on something most everyone uses every day. Even my mom has Facebook.

Coleman is reminding (and challenging) a society that is surrounded by technology and media 24/7. It's funny that we have to be reminded just how much better it is to interact with people face to face rather than over text, pokes, tweets, comments, emails, calls, chats...

This reminds me of another campaign that toyed with the same idea of tying their brand in with social networking and reminding people that there is life outside of the computer screen. Bacardi Together's billboards are below.

My sophomore year, one of my journalism teachers challenged our class to disengage from using media or gadgets that weren't around before 1984. No Facebook, cell phones, Twitter....I lasted about one day. Check out the article done by Star Trib here.

Alright, all this talk about getting offline and the "old way" of social networking...time to girl talk with the roommate :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Market Day Pictures!

Clan of kids playing with a vendor's finger puppets.
Peonies and more. If you try hard enough, you can smell them through the picture.
Helped at the food demo-serving the samples and stirring the sauce. The whole time I was terrified that I wouldn't stir the chutney enough and it'd burn and I would ruin the demo.
Discover You Can kickoff event and demo's rhubarb sauce. Later this week I'll be writing a press release for our Discover You Can series!
Snap peas!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and soaking in the laziness that is Sunday before heading back to the work week!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bruins Win!! And so does the NHL

Of course after watching game seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I immediately got distracted by the ads they played after, looked up the history of the Stanley Cup, and opened my laptop to research the NHL's marketing/PR campaigns.

First, the video that the NHL made started off the commercial break after the cup was brought on to the ice. Nice placement. And I got the chills.

The picture above is a shot (some random person took, thank you Google images) of guerrilla marketing the league did. I've seen it for the past couple of weeks all around MPLS and St. Paul. This news release states that after their "History will be made tonight" campaign debuted last year and brought in "more than 302 million TV viewers-which was the most watched Stanley Cup Playoffs in 36 years" they (obviously) decided to bring it back and make it bigger than ever.

Love this Adage article with an interview with NHL's COO, John Collins. Please check out these impressive stats.
  • NHL is on pace for their fifth consecutive year of record total revenue
  • Sponsorship sales is at an all time record high (including a $400 million sponsorship with Coors)
  • The Winter Classic was the most watched regular season game in 36 years
  • Viewership of regular season games on Versus were up 17%
  • Unique visitors on are up 30%
  • Facebook fans increased by 1.46 million (a 436% increase)
  • NHL twitter followers are up by 54%
  • Largest TV deal in the league's history with a 10 year, $2 billion agreement with NBC
Finally, with the discussion of a NFL lockout, it is interesting to see how this could effect NHL's ratings and fans.

Will fans start to watch guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a ball on ice instead of watching huge guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a larger ball on a field?!

This article on BleacherReport is spot on. This fiasco between players and the league is awful PR for the league.

The NHL bounced back with vengeance from their lockout in 2004. I'll be paying attention to how the NFL will up their PR and connect back with fans, as well as the NHL did.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happiness is an Organized Inbox

Confession: Balancing being an orientation leader and having the marketing internship is tough.

See Gmail currently...

Just pitiful. Google alerts. So many labels.

It's hard especially with the internship because as the cliche goes, "you get out of it what you put into it." I want to put my time and energy into it because I love the market's sustainable mission but it's hard when I am not held to specific responsibilities/duties. I make my own rules.

This is completely different from being an orientation leader at the U. They have orienteering down to an art. I was creeping on their website and found their annual report. Did you know there is a National Orientation Directors Association? Yep me neither. We're kind of a big deal. But my duties, down to the minute are scheduled-when to mingle with nervous parents, when to tell first years about the joys of residence halls, and when to bring up serious issues like sex, drugs, & rock and roll.

This weekend I met with the other market intern, Stephanie, who is also a student at the U and is the Education/Outreach intern. Our role is to collab on an event geared for college kids to learn about how to be sustainable, why you should be, and why the market is awesome. SO pumped for this.

And last update, check out MCFM's Facebook album of the pic's I took during the GrazeFest. All on my iPhone impulse purchase.

SO crowded.

Loved these smart girls-great location during the busy market.
Reminded me of my orchestra fundraising days.

Well, going to enjoy my night off and prepare for my 12 hour + day tomorrow. Fingers crossed my CFANS students are just as enjoyable & talkative as my first group was!


Monday, June 6, 2011

The Most Intensive Training I've Ever Done

After working two weeks of 14 hour days for orientation leader training, I am exhausted and so ready to actually get a group of freshmen. This week we have been practicing facilitation conversations, going over logistics of how a day works, memorizing all of the info we need to know, and practicing for the play.

My part in the play is the sexual assult monologue. I have never done any acting in my life. So I have the first step of memorizing the two page script down pat. Now I just have to remember it when I get on stage...

I also got the one of the parts for a huge lecture that all students living in the residence halls must go to, Navigating the U. I have to meet with my partner and start getting all of the facts and corny jokes down this week. It's a little bit intimidating because departments that have their info in the presentation will come to the theater spoardically to ensure the info that they want covered is.

Then we finally, get our first group of 20-30 incoming freshmen this week! I am so ready for it-for the nervous little guy whose too afraid to talk, to the annoying overly talkative cheerleader, and the too cool for school jock.

Here's a summary of what I learned over training:
  • I like the people I work with. Yea, it can be hard working with 27 other type a, over achievers, but it's also a blast to have everyone push each other to be better.
  • The U is huge. Even as a tour guide, I failed the OFYP standards of the tour. I blame it on the fact that I got CSE row...
  • I've learned the meaning of time management, commitment, and tiredness.
  • St. Paul is actually pretty cool. We toured the campus and inside of the dairy barn where they make their own ice cream and cheese. The Dairy Club is one of the richest on campus. I want to join. They get an all expenses paid trip to Cali. SIGN ME UP!

Happy Monday! Wish me luck with my first orientation!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Mill City Press Release

ER Grazefest Press Release