Monthly Archives July 2014

6 Ways Brands Can Win in the ‘Nice Age’

It’s not clear exactly when the marketing world entered the ‘Nice Age’ but if recently your heart has been melting more and more as you’re exposed to commercials, ads and branded content then you’re experiencing this industry shift firsthand.   It’s hard to believe how far marketers and brands have detoured from a very product and sales driven belief system to a socially and emotionally connected one.

The bottom line, as a recent NY Times article points out, is that this ‘warm and fuzzy’ content phenomena has major profit potential.

Here’s a look at how brands can make opportunity happen in today’s competitive, often (heart)warming climate:

1. Get sentimental on social media

Use social media in the most personal ways by asking questions and sharing compelling human insights (beyond just a nice video/photo).  Take on the role of your consumers’ best friend by giving followers a good laugh, great advice and genuine conversation.

2. Give your brand stories a fairytale ending

With all the negative news in the media today, people are eager to hear heartwarming stories with happy endings.  Mix up your content/advertising plan by injecting stories about real people and real emotional currency versus being completely brand-focused.  Whether it’s a video of someone’s first kiss, newborn puppies or a random act of kindness, everyone loves to share and support good news.

3. Stop selling and serve up a smile

Pet brands do a great job of using smile-inducing images and stories in their marketing efforts across all platforms.  They know the value of making someone smile; we’re talking about supercharged brand loyalty and trust.  If you think your category doesn’t lend itself to puppies and other emotional content, think again.  Even classic B2B companies are finding that the pathway to richer engagement is through both the service AND the smile!

4. Embrace the haters

With the rise of social media, customer complaints and negative reviews are more public than ever.  Rather than ignore it, saavy brands are acknowledging the issue and addressing it directly to show the brand’s commitment to building an authentic relationship with their consumers.

5. Create “aha” moments by over-delivering on industry expectations

Thanks to technology and digital innovation, brands are now more than ever offering products and services (or even just great content) that extend beyond their traditional verticals.  Whether your brand independently takes on a completely new category like Google is doing with their driverless car, or you enter into an unlikely partnership like ProFlowers and Uber did, the real value lies in showcasing your innovation and passion to consumers.

6. Get into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a real world way

The intentions behind your CSR strategy should go beyond just “increasing share holder value”.  Your goal should be to show and share the sincere value you have for anyone who interacts with your brand. Winning brands (Think: Ben and Jerry’s and TOMS Shoes) create “forever smiles” by doing good year-round in thoughtful, creative ways.

5 Tips For Creating Sequenced Ad Campaigns on Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC]

new study by Adaptly, in partnership with Facebook and Refinery29, shows that sequential Facebook ads that incorporate brand storytelling and awareness outperform sustained campaigns with ads solely focused on getting conversions.

The survey results were eye-opening: Sequenced ad campaigns that slowly led viewers down the sales funnel received 87 percent more view-throughs and 56 percent more email subscriptions compared to sustained call-to-action campaigns.

While producing a successful Facebook drip campaign requires notable time, creative input and strategic planning, the payoff can be worth it.  New to the concept? Our cheat sheet covers 5 essential rules for creating a successful sequenced ad campaign!



What the NFL Can Learn About Emotional Currency From the World Cup

Team USA may not have won the World Cup but soccer in America sure didn’t lose either.  The 2014 World Cup made it very clear that Americans have officially joined the rest of humankind in the worldwide obsession with soccer.

I imagine the extraordinary global outpouring of emotion (and by emotion, I mean all-out insanity, joy, passion and craziness) surrounding the games has not gone unnoticed by NFL execs. But what may be less clear is the fuel, if not the spark, of all this euphoria.

National pride and a new generation of youngsters who have grown up with a deep, committed love for the sport may be what sparked Americans into soccer’s intergalactic orbit. But the fuel, is what the NFL could truly learn a great deal from.

I’m sure the NFL is very busy getting ready for the upcoming season so let me cut to the chase. The fuel (yes, the element which ignites and keeps the spark ablaze) is the scoring celebration.  Goal celebrations fuel excitement and we’ve seen this in all the World Cup venues and live remotes. If these players simply high-fived or chest bumped, so would the fans. But they don’t; they celebrate by running 20 yards and then sliding another 10. All the while beaming with the most passionate human emotion!


Scoring celebrations create an undeniable bond between player and viewer that is founded on emotional currency.  Spurred by an intense connection based on shared experience and passion, emotional currency fosters loyalty and engagement.  It is what creates not just fans, but super-fans.

Need proof?  The 2014 World Cup statistics say it all: Tournament attendance is projected to hit 3.4 million, over 300 million World Cup-related tweets have been posted and in just the first week of the World CupFacebook received more interactions about the tournament than it did for Sochi OlympicsSuper Bowl and Academy Awards combined.   

So I raise the question: Why not embrace goal celebrations after an NFL touchdown?  Why instead, a 15 yard penalty for the littlest of real emotion?

As someone who has studied emotional currency for decades, I urge the NFL to see the positive effect that scoring and celebrating has on fan involvement and overall enjoyment. Not only that, but this type of emotional connection can translate to higher viewership, better ticket sales, increased media and sponsorship opportunities…the list of marketing benefits goes on and on.

Simply put, allowing, let alone fostering, real emotional scoring celebrations could be game changing for the NFL.

This post was written by Cliff Medney (@cliffmedney) Chief Creative Strategist at Flightpath.

The Top Brands Using Twitter Cards

Marketing on Twitter?  You may want to consider using Twitter cards.  Twitter cards allow users to showcase media-rich tweets that expand to reveal more information and visuals.  Technically, Twitter cards have been around since 2012 but in the last several months the feature has improved dramatically, now offering marketers 8 different cards with varying functionality.  The cards seem to be especially useful for e-commerce companies and brands that regularly produce a lot of content.

What brands are doing the best job of using Twitter Cards?  We rounded up, in no particular order, 4 brands rocking Twitter Cards to increase clicks, RTs, leads and more.

rands rocking Twitter Cards to increase clicks, RTs, leads and more.

  1. Bonobos: The brand does a great job using player cards to embed videos about product launches, events and thought leadership.


  1. ModCloth: Product cards are this online retailer’s best friend. And for good reason; they are doubling many brands’ click-through-rates.


  1. Monster: Earlier this month, Monster announced they would be using Twitter Cards as branded recruitment ads to boost clients’ visibility with potential employees.


  1. Burberry: In addition to using Twitter Cards for video, photos and product launches, the luxury brand recently added an innovative calendar sync feature that allows users to subscribe to their brand’s calendar and stay engaged.


Want even more information about social media marketing?  Download our 2014 guide to social media best practices.