By Kevin Schluth

The title of this entry is a quote attributed to David Ogilvy. When guys my age (mid 30’s) think of Old Spice, we usually think of the aftershave that our dad kept in his medicine cabinet. My dad was an Old Spice guy. So when I was a kid and I wanted to pretend I was a grown up, I would go to my parent’s bathroom and splash on some Old Spice. Shortly afterward I would do the Macauly Culkin scream a la Home Alone.

Nowadays, it seems the only thing ‘old’ about Old Spice is everyone’s perception of the brand. With their recent ‘Your Man’ campaign they have completely transformed many peoples perception of the brand. They certainly changed mine.

Showing that they were not satisfied with the positive responses they got from TV and YouTube ads, Old Spice took it up 10 notches with their recent ‘Your Man Responses’ endeavor that included producing 186 virtually real time video responses to online users questions.

There’s no magic formula to successful food marketing in today’s world of social media. The strategy is the same as it was 20 years ago…keep your brand visible and relevant where your consumers are actively engaged. Certainly the avenues have radically changed and consumers have adopted and embraced mediums where they have a voice and influence.

Some food brands have done a decent job at engaging and marketing to consumers on social networks, but few have it down to a measurable, effective science. Here are two tools that can take your social network marketing to the next level.

First, you have to seek out and find those who are already enjoying your brand or would be likely to purchase it. As well as those who already have an affinity and are sharing with others the wonderful attributes of your product.

A few weeks ago I tuned into a webinar hosted by a fantastic vendor and partner of ours, Valassis. Valassis is one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies. They deliver value to consumers how, when, and where they want through their consumer brand, Red Plum. Valassis also offers a tremendous variety of other products, from E-Marketing all the way to direct-to-door marketing. They pretty much do it all so I was very interested when the opportunity came my way for their “Finding the Silver Lining” Webinar.

The theme behind Finding the Silver Lining was to first determine “your new consumer.” Who is this new consumer and how do you determine who this person is now, as opposed to yesterday? As we are slowly coming out of the recession, consumers are redefining their needs and wants. Some products that were once “needs” are actually being pushed to “wants” in the eyes of consumers (i.e. IPhone vs. Blackberry). Since consumers are redefining their shopping purchases, it is our number one job as an agency to make sure our client’s products are staying in the need category. Unfortunately the good old days of solely creating awareness to create loyal customers is long gone and frugality will be sticking around.

Posted by Kelly, Senior Copywriter

We’ve all heard it at one time or another from our mother, “If your friend jumped off a bridge would you?” Of course not. That is unless your friend happens to be in the 6.2% of online adults who generates 80% of the influence impressions on social networking sites, or among the 13.8% of online adults who generate influence posts via a blog or a blog comment. Add all these impressions together and they reach the remarkable total of 500 billion impressions made yearly regarding products and services by influential online users.* Then, yes, you may just find yourself jumping off a bridge. Or trying a new product that you just can’t live without.

Now, let’s couple these impressions with the fact that women, who control 73% of household spending, make up 55%** of active users on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. These figures reflect two key points for food marketers: one, your most influential consumers are online, they are blogging, they are Facebooking, they are tweeting. They are waiting to be engaged. Two, your influential consumers are actually easier to find and begin a dialogue with in order to gain your share of the 275 billion impressions women make yearly. You just have to reach out.

By Nancy Landis

Listening and being engaged can make a difference on so many levels.

The other day I found myself exhausted purely from listening. As we grow increasingly busy here at the agency, I’m required to listen on a deeper level. A level that involves not only listening but actually engaging.

It’s made me think. How are brands interacting with consumers? Are they listening? Are they engaging?

In this day and age when most people are glued to their blackberry and only moments from a computer, where are you? Social media is a tool accessible to everyone. In fact, it’s a great way to engage and show we are listening.

By Kevin Schluth, Senior Account Executive

I recently read about an advertising agency that entered a consumer-generated contest for Go just to see what would happen and what could be learned. Since there were no specific rules that excluded agencies from entering the contest, the agency was able to shoot for the top prizes…just like everybody else.

“Being on the user side of the contest turned out to be an enlightening experience -- particularly when we were notified that we had advanced to the finals, at which point we were no longer an agency doing field research, but competitors vying for the gold.”

by Jamie Allebach

Asking the right questions to get the right answers, will eventually lead you to right results. The problem is you have to know the RIGHT questions to ask.

Social media and networking can seem to be a very complicated space to marketers, if you’re not fully engaged. Stopping to ask the right questions can help you determine what social mediums will be the best match for your brands—and deliver the highest possible ROI.

Growing up in the South we are really only particular about one kind of food and that is our “Tex-Mex.”  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, let me provide you with a brief lesson.  Tex-Mex, or as I like to call it “the greatest food to ever exist” is a blend of Mexican cuisine made with ingredients found in the States.  It has the flavors of Mexican food without being too authentic.  It is delicious!

When I moved to the North East I learned very quickly that Philadelphians are crazy about two things, their cheesesteaks and pizza.  There is literally a homegrown pizza shop on every corner and people claim that each one tastes different.  I grew up on chains like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and my all time favorite Mr. Gatti’s.  According to folks from the North East, I’ve been eating “fast food pizza” my whole life.

by Nancy Landis

“Social networking has become a must for women this year, according to a new edition of the Social networking profile penetration climbed from 58% of Internet users in 2008 to 86% in 2009.” - eMarketer.

“Mom… where are you?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this over the years. No matter where I was in the house, I was about to be found. My children would get in front of me, presenting their concern until they were sure I had heard them. Companies today could learn a lot from my kids.

By Kevin Schluth

Did you know that most people tell 3 people about a product they like, but tell 11 people about a product they hate? Why is it that bad news is almost four times more likely to be spread than good news?

Like me, you probably thought it would be the opposite, that people would naturally want to spread ‘good’ news rather than ‘bad.’ Turns out if people hate a product, they appear to take it personally, like they were duped or suckered-in by ‘false advertising’, and they don’t want their friends and family to suffer the same fate. They also want to stick it to the brand that is responsible for ‘tricking’ them into dropping some coin on their product. Fool me once…

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