It’s always exciting to see campaigns we’ve worked on get recognition, and some of our recent campaigns got us a spot on Chief Marketer’s Top Shops for 2016! This award means a lot to us because it honors the top 100 agencies across the entire U.S. that focus on promotional marketing. Also, it recognizes us for all three of our specialties:
Event and Experiential Marketing
In honor of this award and the clients who helped us get it, we’d like to recap some of our favorite campaigns that put us in the Top Shops race:
Abuelita – “Day of the Dead”
Remember our Dia De Los Muertos campaign for Abuelita a few months ago? To recap, we helped them distribute over 20,000 samples to kickoff the hot chocolate season just before this special Mexican holiday, by getting Mexican celebrity chef Richard Sandoval to prepare delicious recipes using Abuelita chocolate. The campaign resulted in 47% YOY sales lift.
We coordinated Tommy-Bahama sponsored uniforms for the City of Chicago Lifeguards, leading to earned media (190 million impressions), brand awareness and establishing Tommy Bahama’s support for the windy city. The event was launched at a new Chicago store to help promote two new area store openings.
As the official sponsor of Park Visitor Welcome Maps, GEICO provides families with roadtrip (and insurance) information as they read through a handy map of America’s state and national parks. In order to connect with the RV/motorcycle target audience, GEICO distributed over 500,000 RV guides per year, with 100,000 motorcycle enthusiasts being reached at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The North Face
Outdoor activity is near and dear to our hearts at GSG, and this event helped get Americans outdoors for the first time with free camping gear and hundreds of large group camping events. The objective: Increase sales and encourage outdoor recreation. Results: Hundreds of camping events, 78% said they would camp again, 87% said they would spend at least $250 on gear, and over $310,000 donated to state parks for camping event funding.
Nesquik Youth Soccer
We helped Nesquik reach mothers with young children through sponsorship of youth soccer to help switch their reach for sugary sports drinks to carb and protein rich chocolate milk. Driving awareness of chocolate milk as a post-game drink to 77% among coaches and 66% among parents, we’d say we scored major goals.
Connecting brands to target audiences with active lifestyles can be fun, socially responsible and increase brand sales and support all at once. To read more details on any of these campaigns, visit our website. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to write to us in the comments section below!
Have you heard someone tell you to buy experiences and not things? Why are concerts, cross country trips and personal experiences being valued over physical products? There’s something about experiences that cause us to feel inspired or satisfied. Plus, memories of unique experiences just seem to stick. Because experiential marketing can help tie your product or service to live events, online and in-store experiences with your audience, it’s the perfect time to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. Want to know more?
Let’s break this down:
What is experiential marketing, exactly?
A loose definition of experiential marketing is “messaging you can touch, feel or view in a physical space.” Experiential marketing ties an experience component (such as through an event) to your marketing strategy in order to connect to your audience in a way they’ll remember. Why are experiences so important?
Are experiences or products more valuable?
There’s a current discussion today around experiences been perceived as more valuable than products. According to a study fielded by the Event Marketing Institute, “98 percent [of consumers] say a live event motivates them to buy a product. They also share the experience with others—almost half tell someone about a live event while they’re attending”
What Does Experiential Marketing Look Like?
So how can we connect consumers with experiences to make products part of memorable, positive experiences? It starts being aware and truly understanding your brand and your audience, and reaching them in those meeting places that matter. Experiential marketing can include in-store displays, live events and face-to-face marketing. You already know experiences are valued more than products, so make your product part of an experience.
What is your company doing to help contribute toward the progression of social or environmental causes? If you can’t answer that question, you’re late to the party. Brand participation in social causes is no longer seen as a feel-good charitable act. It may be the reason consumers are choosing to switch brands.
According to a study released last spring by Cone Communications/Ebiquity on the issue of corporate social responsibility, today’s consumer would likely point to the latter: a brand known more for its social responsibility than for its name. How much more likely? Study findings reveal that “90 percent of global consumers would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price or quality.”
This is an opportunity for brands to communicate the values that are inherent to their company, any social initiatives they support, and the impact of their involvement. Cause marketing initiatives can help relay that information to reach target audiences through results-oriented methods. The suggestion here isn’t to pick a cause and run with it just for the sake of following a successful marketing trend (a trend that is here to stay by the way), but to develop a campaign that is informed by research and interests that appeal to your target market.
If you’re playing catch up, begin to consider the following:
What causes is your brand affiliated with?
Which are most relevant to your brand and internal values?
Which do your target audience value most?
Cause marketing experts can help you figure that out to find your starting point before moving on to communicating your causes to your consumer market. For examples of successful cause-marketing campaigns, take a look at how Good Solutions Group helped Coca Cola, Odwalla, North Face, and other corporate brands develop successful, results-driven campaigns that communicate the causes your company cares about.
More than ever, consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place. In fact ninety-three percent of consumers are concerned with this very issue. In 2015 alone, cause sponsorship is estimated to reach $1.92 Billion, an increase of 3.7% compared to 2014, and consistently increasing numbers indicate that cause marketing is here to stay for good (pun intended).
A recent example of a successful cause campaign is Dove, who earlier this month dropped their newest video in which women “Choose Beautiful”. The video, on April 7th, received extremely positive press coverage as social media users and news outlets took to Facebook and Twitter in support of the campaign.
While it’s true that Millennials typically don’t engage in brand loyalty like their Baby Boomer parents, supporting a worthy cause or purpose is something all the generations have in common. Eighty percentof millennials are more inclined to support causes offline after first “liking” or “following” an organization online, followed by the older generations who are reported at 64%. Furthermore, 76% are more likely to tell a friend about the partnering cause, proving that while a great product might win over your head or wallet, the right cause can win over a consumer’s heart.
In Dove’s case, the cause encouraged women to empower themselves by choosing to be beautiful. The recent “Choose Beautiful” campaign, along with Dove’s other “Real Beauty” campaigns, has transformed Dove’s brand into something more than personal care products. It is mainly the cause that differentiates Dove from their competitors who occupy the space of beauty products that perpetuate seemingly unattainable beauty standards.
By choosing the right cause that resonates with your target demographic, your product can have the upper hand in a vastly competitive market and consumers will recognize the effort. Cause-marketing can greatly increase sales, visibility, and media coverage resulting in an enhanced company image and increased customer loyalty.
You have a clearly defined, well packaged, and competitively priced product or service. So that’s enough, right? Your product will be flying off the shelf or your phone will be ringing off the hook. Not necessarily. You also need to create marketing promotions that draw the attention of the consumer in a very crowded marketing and advertising marketplace. The key is to start by identifying your goals and finding the promotion type that is ideal for your business.
We’ve rounded up some great examples of brands that soared past their goals with creative and well executed campaigns.
Company: Target – Campaign: Bullseye University Live
Target created an enormous mobile pop up to push content for a national four-day digital event. The multi-story Bullseye University Live dormitory experience was designed, built, and set up on the UCLA campus from July 15- 18, 2013. The dorm was outfitted perfectly from floor to ceiling with their university line and featured a live stream in which viewers could scroll over products that were featured in the dorm, which then activated pop-up boxes with additional information and links for instant purchases. The event generated 76 million twitter impressions while campus activation reached more than 140,000 students and their families.
Company: Honda – Campaign: Honda Civic Tour
Honda opened this campaign by slowly revealing daily clues and sweepstakes entries to meet the then mystery headliner. Honda and Maroon 5 reveled the partnership via an outtakes video that aired on”The Tonight Show”. Fans were then able to purchase exclusive Honda pre-sale tickets and register for chances to win several additional promotions. The tour was a huge success that hosted about 600,000 concert attendees across 32 concert events. This was the largest social media engagement for Honda.
Digital and Social Media
Company: Ford Motor Co. – Campaign: Fiesta Movement: The Sequel
Ford jumped back in the saddle for a defining moment in experiential marketing with the Fiesta Movement: The Sequel; a returning program which was a major success of the vehicle’s launch. The primary objective was to engage millennial drivers into the fold. Ford gathered 100 of its hand picked influencers to own the campaign and the Fiesta for six months. Ford then gave their Fiesta Agents a car, gas card, camera, insurance and a list of missions as they set off onto the open road to show off the Fiesta features. The intriguing and entertaining content that was created communicated the cars personality and seamless integration into active millennials lives. The Fiesta Movement resulted in record high sales and captured more of the target audience than any other car in its class. Among millennials, the Fiesta made up 30 percent of cars sales and the “agents” created over 14,000 pieces of original content.
Company: Coca Cola – Program: Perserve Our Parks
This hugely successful multi-year retail program with Stater Bros. Markets in Southern California encouraged consumers to join Coca-Cola in supporting environmental causes. Coke donated $1 to California States Parks for every $10 of Coca-Cola products purchased and engaged shoppers to contribute as well. Through outrageous in-sotre displays, Coke and Stater Bros. reminded shoppers how important our parks are, resulting in shopper donations of over $1 million. In total, over $2.5 million was raised over 4 years to support California State Parks, and Coke received over 800 million earned media impressions along with significant increase in all sales metrics. A great example of good marketing, doing good!
The 2015 Natural Products Expo West (NPEW) took place last Thursday, March 5th, through Sunday, March 8th at the Anaheim Convention Center and featured over 2,500 natural products exhibitors to over 71,000 retailers, suppliers, distributors, and press, a record high for NPEW.
The 2015 NPEW encouraged industry leaders, from Nature’s Path CEO Arran Stephens to NY Times best selling author and neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, to create discussions about the natural products including emerging brands, trends, ethics, and education. With press passes in hand, a handful of empty eco-friendly bags, and even emptier stomachs, the Good Solutions Group team scoured the Expo floors for the hottest natural products trends.
Here’s our summary of the biggest trends of EXPO.
The Three C’s: Coconut, Chocolate, and Chia
It may not come to a surprise that dark chocolate, a delicious and antioxidant packed ingredient, appeared in many of the food products alongside coconut (in all its many forms). But Chia seems to be the newest addition, delivering consumers high fiber and protein content in a tiny (sometimes chocolate and coconut covered) package. Chia seeds, which were made a household name thanks to Mamma Chia‘s Chia beverage line, is now expanding its form from beverages to snacks, protein bars, and much much more.
The Three C’s Staff Favorite: Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
USDA Certified Organic and downright delicious, “Best of West” first place winner Justin’s introduced their newest product in the form of bite size dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Snag your bag here.
The Super Root: The Rise of Turmeric
While super fruits like Acai are still wildly popular within the natural products industry, a new emerging trend – the super root – is coming in full force. Established brands such as Numi and other emerging brands are embracing the rise of Turmeric by showcasing new lines of Turmeric teas and beverages. The Southeast Asian spice is known to contain antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect among its many other healing properties.
The Rise of Tumeric Staff Favorite: Tu Me
As the only Turmeric infused sports drink, Tu Me offers a refreshing new twist on the traditional sports drink through its Berries, Citrus, and Mango flavors. Zesty and light, the Turmeric flavor compliments its tangy fruit counterparts. Grab your twelve pack here.
Natural Products for Natural Beauty
You don’t need harmful chemicals to have beautiful skin, hair, and nails. In the personal care department, the innovation lies not necessarily within the ingredients (remember, coconut is king), but with the system of delivery. From Biotin soft chews to Sea Buckthorn Berry capsules, these edible products strive to prove that beauty truly does come within.
Natural Products for Natural Beauty Staff Favorite: Neocell Biotin Bursts
Neocell’s Biotin Bursts get rid of the artificially sweetened, chalky flavor that most dietary supplements have. They are an enjoyable, simple, and quick way to get 10,000 MCG of Biotin, a complex B vitamin, into your daily routine for a naturally beautiful glow inside and out. Try it here.
At Good Solutions Group, we care. As one of the leading agencies in cause-marketing in the U.S., we’ve made it our mission to support causes that positively impact our communities and world. Join us in celebrating successful companies that care about causes too and strive to truly make a difference.
2007: The Dove global study, Beauty Comes of Age, revealed that 91% of women ages 50–64 believe it is time for society to change its views about women and aging. The campaign celebrated the essence of women 50+—wrinkles, age spots, grey hair and all. It was brought to life through a communications campaign created with internationally renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. When the Campaign for Real Beauty focused on the idea that girls are bombarded with unrealistic, unattainable images and images of beauty that impact their self-esteem, the brand teamed up with the entertainment industry to show that what girls see in movies and magazines represents an unrealistic standard of beauty.
2011: Dove released the findings of its largest global study to date on women’s relationship with beauty—The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. In a study of over 1,200 10-to-17-year-olds, a majority of girls, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. The study also found that only 11% of girls around the world feel comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their looks, showing that there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older.
Community Outreach Organization: Dove supports the work of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Girls Inc., and Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( Dove has created self-esteem- building, educational programs and activities that encourage, inspire and motivate girls around the world. )
Impact: Dove has reached over 7 million young women so far and set a global goal of reaching 15 million girls by 2015.
Cause marketing is not just for do-good-ers. Cause marketing can drive strong business results and ROI, while simultaneously signaling to your consumers and employees that you are the kind of company they want to be associated with. Good Solutions Group (GSG) CEO Shari Boyer has six principles that make for successful (and award winning) cause marketing programs.
1. Find a cause that resonates with your corporate culture and values.
The Odwalla Plant a Tree program is a great example. In 2009, GSG connected Odwalla not only to its environmental roots, but also to lifestyles of health and sustainability, a demographic otherwise known as LOHAS, through an innovative program that allowed consumers to “plant” a tree in a state park by voting online.
2. Clearly state the result or goal of the cause campaign.
In the Odwalla Plant a Tree program example, Odwalla clearly stated the number of trees they would plant each year, if enough consumers visited the website. And they did! The program “sold out” of the trees within 2 weeks.
3. Local problems or issues resonate more than national.
The Plant a Tree program was successful because it allowed consumers to choose which state they wanted their tree planted in. It made a difference in their backyard, not across the oceans, and far away. Not that consumers don’t care about causes far away, but campaigns with local impact see strong results.
4. Educate the consumer about the cause.
In the Odwalla case, the website was full of fun and educational facts about the power of trees. Consumers could learn about the cause, while they were voting.
5. Engage all stakeholders
Cause programs shouldn’t sit in a silo, over in the Public Affairs Department. Cause programs work best when they are integrated with a Retail Partner (critical for driving sales results), Employees (through volunteer events), Press, and Consumers.
6. And lastly, be positive and focus on the outcome.
You don’t have to be all gloom and doom about the problem, instead focus on the positive outcomes that your campaign can accomplish.
Check back for more examples of great cause marketing campaigns on the blog.
We’ve all seen one. Viral videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge appeared all over the internet, ballooning from a little over 100 tweets in July 2014 to over 32,000 daily tweets by mid-August of 2014. The Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral marketing tactic that brought awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a lethal neurodegenerative disorder (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), and raised over $100 Million for the ALS Association.
So what makes a video of someone pouring ice water over their head so enticing that people are willing to back the cause with their wallets? Similarly, how did Invisible Children, once a small San Diego based non-profit, raise over $30 million after their viral video of Kony 2012 gained a momentous 100 million views in five days?
Our answer? Interest in cause-marketing is at an all-time high.
Let’s face it, chocolate is a girl’s everyone’s best friend. So we’re bringing you 5 mouthwatering chocolate inspired recipes from our friends at Nestlé.
Your sweetheart (and tooth) will thank you!
Imagine having breakfast in bed with these Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes.
Or spice things up with Spicy Chocolate Fondue.
Kick off your home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner with Fragrant Seafood Soup with Chocolate Brothby Chef Richard Sandoval.
Prepare to ask for seconds with Chef Richard Sandoval’s savory Chocolate Adobo Rubbed Pork Chops.
And top off the night by toasting yourAfter Midnight Javatiniwith your loved one.
Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or lowfat milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red food coloring
Heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
Optional garnishes: butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and fresh berries
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl; stir well.
2. Whisk egg, buttermilk, butter, vanilla extract and food coloring together in large bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes (this produces more tender pancakes).
3. Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with a little oil or butter. Add about ¼ cup batter to skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries.
Cook’s Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with a little oil so the pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.
Spicy Chocolate Fondue
1 can Evaporated Milk
7 oz. Nestlé dessert chocolate (broken into small pieces)
1/4 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom
Assortment of Fruit
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the evaporated milk to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and transfer into your chocolate fondue pot (do not light the candle just yet).
3. Add the chocolate pieces and let them sit for a minute, then stir.
4. Light the candle (or turn on the electrical element) and make sure the mixture is smooth.
5. Add chili powder and cardamom and mix well.
6. Put a piece of fruit on a skewer and dip it into your Nestle chocolate fondue recipe. Enjoy!
Fragrant Seafood Soup with Chocolate Broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 MAGGI Chicken Flavor Bouillon Tablet
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce from a can, seeded and chopped
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato, carrot, cilantro, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and bay leaf; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add wine; stir to loosen up brown bits from bottom of pan. Add bouillon, chile, tomato paste, ketchup and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover; cook for 40 to 45 minutes, reducing mixture by 25%.
2. Transfer mixture to blender (in batches, if necessary); cover. Blend until smooth. Strain mixture back into the pot; continue cooking over low heat. Add potatoes; cover. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3. Increase heat to medium; add prawns, clams, evaporated milk, peas, corn and Abuelita chocolate. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Serve garnished with additional cilantro, if desired.
1. Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add chile; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add piloncillo; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Add vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half.
2. Addbeef stock, Abuelita chocolate and bouillon. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until reduced by half.
FOR CHOCOLATE ABUELITA ADOBO RUB:
1. Combine Abuelita chocolate, espresso powder, paprika and bouillon in medium bowl. Store in an airtight container or keep in the freezer in a sealable plastic bag.
2. Season pork chops aggressively with adobo rub; rub lightly with oil. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill (a grill pan can be used as well) to high heat; place the chops on the grill. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on the size), turning occasionally to ensure that they do not burn. Place chops on plate; ladle 2 tablespoons glace over each pork chop.
After Midnight Javatini
1/4 cup espresso
2 tablespoons any flavor NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer
2 tablespoons vodka
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (optional)
1. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add espresso, Coffee-mate, vodka and liqueur; cover. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into chilled martini glass.
Cook’s Tip: Try garnishing the rim of the martini glass with grated chocolate. Coat the rim with honey, then dip in grated chocolate.