Late last week, news broke that a partner from the law firm Clifford Chance circulated a memo titled “Presentation Tips for Women” to the firm’s female associates. What’s that you ask? Why wouldn’t men and women find presentation tips helpful? Maybe because the majority weren’t actually presentation tips at all, such as “Wear a suit, not your party outfit.”  Check out this Repman post by Peppercommer Erin Howard for a female’s perspective.

We are excited to announce Peppercomm’s acquisition of Janine Gordon Associates (JGA) and with it, the launch of our consumer lifestyle and non-profit specialty group, JGAPeppercomm.

JGAPeppercomm combines Peppercomm’s breadth of fully-integrated marketing services with JGA’s boutique approach and depth of expertise in consumer, lifestyle and non-profit industries. We will offer clients a range of integrated marketing services, including traditional PR, social media, branding, experiential, crisis communications, celebrity endorsements, strategic alliances, licensing and creative services, and market research.

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Peppercomm’s acquisition of JGA propels our vision of becoming deep category specialists for our clients. For more information please visit – www.JGApeppercomm.com

The CEO Wears Prada (actually, YSL)What is one thing that Anna Wintour and Marissa Mayer DON’T have in common? The infamous Vogue editor-in-chief and The Devil Wears Prada inspiration does not like to be photographed in her magazine.

There has been much controversy over Marissa Mayer’s recent Vogue spread. Some critics say it was a narcissistic PR move that made her seem out of touch with her employees and played into the stereotype that women move up in corporate America solely because of their “assets.” Others say that the criticism shows a double standard and that women can be powerful and beautiful.

As the CEO of Yahoo, however, she is the face of the company and her public appearance should be cultivated with that in mind. This photo shoot may have been a great ego boost and earned points for her personal branding campaign, but it did little to benefit the tech giant.

Let’s look at some numbers. Earlier this year, Yahoo acquired Tumblr and has expanded advertising efforts to update its image to reach a younger demographic, specifically those between the ages of 18 and 34. According to Vogue’s media kit, the median age for its readers is 37.9. While a chunk of the readers still fall within Yahoo’s target age range, most of them do not.

But what about the other side of the coin? What about Vogue’s image? Fashion magazines, especially those of the high-fashion caliber of Vogue, are known for featuring skeletal models in couture ensembles and one-on-one “intimate” interviews with celebrities that coincide with the timing of their latest box office hit or album. Despite the criticism of Mayer for agreeing to such a superfluous media engagement, I think it was a smart move on the publication’s part.

As someone who originally thought her career was going down the road of civil engineering, I like to see that women can be science-savvy, fashionable, successful in business instead of entertainment—and thus Vogue-worthy. There were certainly less provocative poses that the photographers (and Mayer) could have agreed to, but after all it IS Vogue.

Mayer’s interview may have confirmed much of what we’ve heard about her personality and lack of humility, but we have to give her credit for her ambition and drive. Most importantly, we should give Vogue credit for an unconventional focus and underlying message to its readers that you can be smart and sexy.

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For the past two days I have had the fun time of my favorite goddaughter Emma hanging out in my office.  I have been educated and entertained by The Adventurous Adventures of One Direction , realized how short I am without work heels, and most of all got a lesson is what is cool for the Almost-Millennial generation.  Let’s be honest, I used to brainstorm about reaching Generation Y, so I know how quick Millennials will be out as the target demo.  So where are the next gen hanging out.  According to Emma, it’s all about Instagram.  This may be because some of the other platforms are currently banned for said 12-year-old, but regardless this platform is offering her generation a lot to talk about.

Emma?

Instagram is definitely where kids my age are hanging out. We love to take pictures and share them with our little social circle of followers and followed people. Not only is Instagram a great way to reach out to friends, but it’s also a place for fan pages, business pages, and so much more! I think one of the big reasons Instagram is so popular is because of the fact that you can express yourself creatively. May it be through video or photo; whatever you have posted can have its own originality to it. Before you post a picture or video, you can choose an effect to add to it. You can also focus on certain parts and light it up a little, making even the simplest picture look professional. Unlike some social media, Instagram focuses on visuals, and then adds the option to add words to it. People use this instead of Vine, another mobile social media platform that allows you to take videos and post them, because it gives you the option whether or not to do just a picture, or an entire video. Also, you may edit the video with the effects, like I mentioned before, which Vine didn’t offer. Let’s face it, Facebook is dying. The younger generation is gathering in Twitter or Instagram. The only people who are on Facebook nowadays are parents.

As I mentioned before, many business pages are finding their way onto Instagram. And, while you’re there, you may as well do a promotional activity! Oreo is definitely an example of this statement. A little while back, Oreo hosted the #cookiethis #creamthis competition. The instructions were to take a picture of whatever you wanted Oreo-fyed, and hashtag it either #cookiethis or #creamthis. If the Oreo team found your picture interesting, they would begin to mold your picture into either cookie or cream, depending on what you hashtagged. At the end of the event, they looked at the total amount of hashtags in each category to see which ingredient was the favorite; cookie or cream. Cream won with an outstanding 21,050 to 17,060 hashtags. I can only imagine how cool it would have been to get your picture chosen as art! After looking at all of the pictures they put up, you really wanted to buy an Oreo cookie! Some of the things the artists made were very cool. (See picture). I, of course, would have gone Team Cream. Who wouldn’t?

Not sure which side I am on, but Emma’s reasoning seems to ring true for most social platforms.  Ultimately, it comes down to some of the same reasons people first migrated to MySpace or Friendster.  Its a cool new place to talk about what they want, where they want and how they want it.  It may not be the platform-du-jour for very long, but for now marketers can learn something from Oreo (heck they made it on the Today Show) and for sure something from Emma.

When Folk Meets Funny

by Nicole Hall on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

When Folk Meets Funny

I have officially converted, thanks to Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Will Forte and Jason Bateman. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that I am referring to the “Hopeless Wanderer” music video. I was never a huge Mumford & Sons fan, but that all changed when my favorite funny men took the barnyard stage to impersonate the band members in their latest music video. I may not have been initially drawn in by the band’s music, but their sense of humor definitely got me.

Aside from the goofy dancing and over-the-top rock star destruction antics, what made this performance so hilarious and share-worthy? The top comedians will tell you that the best punch lines are those that are unexpected—and that certainly explains this video. For a band that has built its brand on a laid-back, folksy demeanor, being impersonated by four comedians is definitely out of character. And it is SO entertaining.

I have watched the video and heard the song so many times, that I now know most all of the words and have even branched into listening to a few of the band’s other songs. And I’m not the only one. This video has been posted, reposted, shared, liked, and tweeted with the caption, “Whether you are a fan or not, you must check this out.”

This was a brilliant marketing move for Mumford & Sons. Not only does it appeal to their existing fans, but it gave many skeptics (like me, admittedly), a reason to sit down and immerse ourselves in the music. Now the question remains – what will they do for their next video?

Red Badge of Courage

by Catharine Cody on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in brand | Marketing | Millennials - (3 Comments)

Hello FloNo matter what names we give menstruation, Aunt Flo, Time of the Month, Crimson Wave, The Rag, Period, it still sucks and tends to make others (ahem, men) uncomfortable.  So, when I saw “The Camp Gyno” viral video promoting the Hello Flo Starter Kit, I couldn’t help but laugh at the boldness of the campaign.  Not only does this video remove all stigmas attached to menstruation, but it makes it look cool and desirable for young girls!

The video shows a young, unpopular girl getting her period at camp for the first time- and her subsequent rise up the social ranks as she explains the monthly visits to her clueless peers.  She shows them the ins and outs of menstruation, provides tampons and gives tough love to girls moaning about cramps.  At the end of the video, she is put out of business by the Hello Flo Starter Kit that prepares young girls for their first period.  Each kit includes:

  • A handful of light and regular Tampax Pearl tampons
  • Enough Always pads and liners to get her through her first cycle
  • Get Ready Guide for Parents
  • Get Ready Guide for Girls
  • A cute canvas pouch for taking supplies on the go
  • A Do-it-yourself Feby Kit
  • Surprise Gifts and Goodies

Kotex definitely got the ball rolling on the whole “embrace your body” trend two years ago after making fun of previous ad campaigns.  While the new approach was definitely interesting, I didn’t switch brands. I appreciated the concept, but it just didn’t hit home for me.

The creators of the starter kit and subsequent viral video, however, are geniuses. If ever an age bracket were susceptible to merchandise, tweens are it! Looking back, I know that I would have BEGGED my mom for this kit.  If not for the candy, then I would’ve definitely wanted it for the simple reason of receiving a package in the mail. Hell, if this were marketed for 20-somethings I’d buy it.  Why? Because I absolutely love the premise and am very curious to see what the “surprise gifts and goodies” mentioned above might entail. So, the next time you are marketing a product geared towards a “don’t ask, don’t tell” problem, try to make it funny like the Hello Flo Starter Kit folks did!

Bleach Cant Get this Out

by Maggie on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 in brand | children | Marketing | media | moms | product - (1 Comments)

For years, stereotypes of men and wodonnareedmen have been played-out in marketing campaigns.  From the happy mom receiving a new Hoover for Mother’s Day to a dad shuffling off to the office leaving mom on the doorstep with a kiss.  But we all know these won’t fly today, they seem down-right archaic and ideas screaming for backlash from every direction.  So one has to ask, why would Clorox take a giant leap back into a dad stereotype?

Clorox’s stereotyping Facebook flub was recently called out by CNN, “Just when you think derogatory stereotypes about dads are on the decline as fathers take a more hands-on role in child-rearing, along comes an online posting by a major brand that shows not everyone got the memo.”

The post more-or-less slammed new dads as being “filled with good intentions but lacking the judgment and fine motor skills to execute well.” Clorox claims it was just a humorous post from a real new dad, but with daddy bloggers on the rise and more men staying at home with kids today than ever, the consumer voice was heard, and heard loudly. And it was not just the men.

So where did they go wrong?  As I have learned working on some mom focused brands, one can never assume there is just one mom-type or just one dad-type anymore.  And all of these types have a voice. In addition, if you are trying to be lighthearted and funny, you have to be very clear and over the top.  And finally, if you are going to toss out some facts about dads have something to back it up.  Years ago we surveyed men and women about who manages chores at home, finding the 86% of women take on the laundry (most by choice).  A stereotype yes, but a result of a survey.  And we used that fact to motivate the both parties; not just point out the mistakes.

Some people say that the backlash is too much and people need to lighten up, others are furious.  But either way the polarizing post has cast negativity on Clorox.  Clorox has taken the article down and apologized, but like a tough stain I think the damage is done.

The New Spin on SoulCycle

by Nicole Hall on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Creative marketing and PR is all about putting a creative spin on something that already exists. Take NYC’s new Citi Bikes, for instance. Comedian Fabrizio Goldstein, known to the comedy world as The Fat Jew, is helping to build his own brand by literally spinning the docked  bicycles along the street for impromptu SoulCycle sessions. His antics have been featured on the Huffington Post, New York Magazine and The New York Daily News. Find out more about how Goldstein is making an impact in my blog, “The New Spin on SoulCycle” on StandupExecutive.com.

The Everyday Effect

by Melissa on Thursday, June 20th, 2013 in brand - (0 Comments)

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In the last couple of days two iconic consumer brands have caught my attention with major engagement campaigns: P&G and AMEX. You question P&G as a consumer brand?  I beg to differ. Even my 85 year old nonna knows that P&G makes Tide.

That is the beauty of their Everyday Effect campaign. The premise is that innovation is (or should be) driven by how it can affect our everyday lives, and they are cleverly showing how their gamut of products do that through Facebook, as well as live events.  Yesterday in NY there were five, yes five, Everyday Effect locations each catering to a different audience, including our four-legged friends.

What’s more interesting to me as a marketer is that the Facebook page has a section for consumers to celebrate their everyday effect through a share your story function. Although the form does not require you to select a product or brand to post nearly EVERY one mentions a P&G brand.  If you click on the Need Some Inspiration option, that is the only place they refer to products as an example, not a requirement.  Because these products are present in and help with consumers’ day to-day, they have an emotional connection to most and are telling P&G’s story for them.  In my opinion, that alone makes this campaign worth the spend.

More on AMEX’s #PassionProject in my next blog.

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Most 20 somethings are addicted to technology.  When commuting on any subway or train, nine times out of ten you’ll see millennials glued to their e-readers, iPads or iPhones.  Not me.  Find out what differentiates me from my peers by checking out my blog, “FYI to My Fellow Millennials: Print is cool,” on Repmanblog.com.