Tag Archives: Marketing

How Complementary Marketing Can Empower Your Brand

How Old Spice Harnessed the Power of Complementary Marketing (And What It Means for Your Brand)

It’s easy to feel lost in the complex, brave new world of online marketing, where tweets or search engine results can be as crucial to your success as more traditional media. But never fear—the new school isn’t completely detached from the marketing you already know and love.

In fact, using your digital marketing resources to complement old school approaches can result in huge online successes. By looking closely at Old Spice’s recent and widely-praised major marketing campaign, let’s explore how complementary marketing helps brands navigate advertising in the modern world—and how you can do it, too.

What is complementary marketing?

Simply put, complementary marketing is what you get when the many arms of your marketing and branding work together in harmony. Whether your brand awareness comes from an email list or a broad social media campaign, you’ll be more successful when each component complements and feeds off of every other component. Complementary marketing means taking a look at each part of your marketing and making sure it’s aiming at a common identity.

How is Old Spice using complementary marketing to drive visibility and awareness?

Old Spice recently launched a marketing campaign to introduce their “Fresher” collection of nature-themed scents; each stick of deodorant or bottle of body wash comes packaged with a name like “Coconut” or “Roar.”

To usher in these new and novel scents, they released a series of video advertisements in which muscular men grapple with the complexities of nature while smelling fresh and clean. Armed with their brand’s distinctively edgy sense of humor, the videos poke fun at more traditional ads that evoke ideas of manliness, scientific breakthroughs, or nature to position a product as revolutionary.

These ad spots are hilarious and effective in their own right, but Old Spice’s team didn’t stop there. In addition to the videos, they’ve hijacked the #naturefacts hashtag by composing their own absurd, snarky “facts” about animals that call back to their line of scents. They’ve even rolled out a first-of-its-kind vending machine in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The machine accepts only items from nature, and true to the Old Spice brand, it deposits bizarrely humorous items in return — for example, visitors can exchange ocean water for “all the wadded up cash in a rich guy’s pocket.”

It’s funny—but more importantly, it’s effective. Every piece of Old Spice’s marketing is working toward the same goal of promoting their transition to “nature” themed products; their multifaceted campaign is a perfect example of complementary marketing at work.

How can complementary marketing help your brand?

As we all know well, it’s easy for marketing campaigns to get messy. Sometimes the parts aren’t working in sync. Other times, the overall concept misses its mark, and the brand falls on its face as a result. But no matter your approach, your campaigns will stick in the minds of your target audience best if your various approaches are aligned.

You may look to SEO, social media, print materials, even television ads — but don’t forget to make sure that each of these are bolstering one another. When it comes to marketing, a cohesive whole is always better than the sum of many disparate parts.

On the surface, complementary marketing may seem like just another concept to wrestle with. But fret not: when the elements of your marketing are built to complement one another, you’ll find your message only becomes clearer and more powerful.

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Privacy Invasion or Personalization: Has Digital Marketing Gone Too Far?

Privacy vs Personalization

Privacy Invasion or Personalization: Has Digital Marketing Gone Too Far?

Mark Zuckerberg’s social network just put the face in the Facebook: the company’s new facial-recognition software uses futuristic artificial intelligence to identify faces almost as accurately as humans.

While the A.I. isn’t being used yet, it is stirring up fears about potential invasions of privacy. The hyper-accurate software could one day be used by marketers to track users in public and display targeted ads in the real world, sort of like the holographic spokespeople in Minority Report. If spam annoys you now, imagine having it follow you everywhere.

This is just the latest advance in the ongoing trend of personalization. As technology progresses and we become ever more digitally dependent, marketers are gathering more and more info on consumers, scraping personal data and online history to deliver targeted ads. But is it an unwelcome invasion or valuable marketing tool? Perhaps both.

Privacy vs. Personalization

On the face of it (pardon the pun), targeted ads seem like a win-win.  Consumers see ads that they’re actually interested in (e.g., teenagers probably aren’t considering reverse mortgages, nor will retirees appreciate that Taylor Swift’s new single is now available on iTunes). At the same time, advertising dollars are used more efficiently than ever, raising ROI to unprecedented levels and lowering the barrier of entry for startups and small businesses.

And yet, at the same time, it’s hard not to feel a little creeped out. Gmail reads through all of my personal emails to serve me relevant ads. The reader may be an impersonal algorithm, but it feels like voyeurism all the same. 

The Debate Rages On

In the battle between privacy and personalization, it’s difficult to say who’s winning: Google recently stopped scanning students’ Gmail activity in an attempt to preserve privacy, yet Yahoo just decided to disregard users’ “Do Not Track” settings in the name of personalized experience.

While it seems inevitable that digital markets will continue to encroach on personal data, it’s public debates like this that rein in Google and Facebook from becoming Big Brother.

I believe there’s a middle path. Personalization is a great boon for advertising and enhancing user experience; it seems naïve to think we’ll backpedal at this point. As personal data continues to grow exponentially, digital markets must proceed ethically and strive to honor transparency, privacy, and respect.

Author: Daniel Gordon

AdForum’s Top 5 Commercials for This Week

This week’s top five should be titled A Series of Unfortunate Crap. My general feeling from the spots this week is that they were phoned in. Literally. I genuinely think that someone pitched a general concept to the agency, they liked the idea, and then plugged in one of their clients’ brands to the concept. There is a serious disconnect between what we’re seeing and the tie-in at the end. Are we templatizing ideas now?

We begin with Pelephone’s ad “Zeppelins.” Twenty-six seconds of really intriguing visuals. Beautiful art direction and an interesting story line that pulls you in, making you ask, What is this all about? And then suddenly, “Wherever you land, you’ll get the best roaming rates.” This is a mobile plan ad? Seriously? You could literally plug in almost any product to this spot.

–       Wherever you land, you’ll get the most reward points for your Visa card.

–       Wherever you land, you’ll get the most out of your Expedia vacation.

–       Wherever you land…

I could go on, but it’d just make me more upset.

Then again, the melodrama of the Sunami and Hornbach ads pushes me over the edge. The Sunami ad in particular just kills me. For two minutes we follow this incredible story of an underappreciated woman and her escape from an oppressive husband. We love her! She’s a hero! If only more women had this sort of courage!…

To use Sunami laundry soap.

The Hornbach ad is a decent story. And yes, we understand the “And what will remain of you” tagline. It’s just a bit of a stretch for a hardware store. Leave a legacy by shopping at Hornbach. I don’t know. Just doesn’t add up to four.

The winner this week goes to Del Monte Fruit Cups––light-hearted, universal, and straightforward in its concept. We love the complex, but it’s just flat-out unecessary with this spot.

And Export Gold? You’re trying too hard.

As always, chime in and cast your vote. Until next time!

1. Pelephone – “Zeppelins” – ACW Grey

 

2. Export Gold – “Fire at the Old Well” – Colenso BBDO Auckland

 

3. Sunami – “Moving” – Kráneo *S,C,P,F…

 

4. Del Monte Fruit Cups – “If Spencer Can” – Blammo

 

5. Hornbach – “And What Will Remain of You” – HEIMAT Berlin

Hornbach “And what will remain of you?” from Source on Vimeo.

Author: Eric Swenson

Behavior-Changing Apps: A Vanguard Direct Survey

Behavior Changing Apps

Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized how we understand communication and information. He completely shifted our society. It was his products that transformed, in a way, how we think and behave. And it’s this last point that is the most fascinating. Behavior. Our behavior is different simply because of a small, handheld device. This was enough to drive Utterly Orange to ask: How else has our behavior changed as a result of technology? And in particular, which applications have leveraged the mobile platform and really changed our world?

We surveyed over 100 Vanguard employees on this topic and received, as you might imagine, a plethora of opinions. I’ve done my best to collate those opinions into something more chewable. However, one can’t help but wonder what makes one app’s utility more important than another’s? Yelp has blown away Zagat as the number-one restaurant-reviewing site/app. Foodies live and die—and, likewise, restaurants—by Yelp and its five alluring stars. But is it more transformative than, say, the flashlight app? Did you ever think you’d be bringing your phone camping in order to properly navigate?

So while I’d like to say our list is exhaustive, it’s limited and inherently subjective. And oftentimes it’s like we’re comparing Apple and oranges.

Banking & Financial Apps

The day that I heard I could deposit a check without having to go to the bank, I pretty much flipped. Or transfer money to a friend simply by typing in her email address? Who knew? There was a time when one would scan through thousands of ticker symbols in order to see if his Kodak stock went up a half point or not. Today it streams in real-time on the home screen of my phone.

These financial apps may not be the sexiest, but they certainly have changed our behavior.

Honorable mention goes to mint.com and its highly intuitive, highly beautiful app. Connect with every financial account you maintain (if you have the gumption) and see your net worth. From setting budgets to tracking your spending trends, your eyes will awaken to how you spend a dollar. You can’t help but want to modify your behavior.

News-aggregate Apps

We’re living in a content-driven world, and Vanguard is a content-driven girl. The Information Age is a tired expression, but it’s still undoubtedly accurate. Our survey suggested Vanguard has an overwhelming enthusiasm for apps that curate content.

That said, our sample comes from digitally savvy New Yorkers who have the subway free-time and industry knowledge to be interested in these sorts of apps. However, you cannot deny how we think about information today. It’s completely different from ten years ago. And without getting too grandiose on you, think about what this says about our evolution as human beings. I can barely fathom the implications.

Honorable mention goes to Flipboard. It’s intuitive. It’s user-friendly. And it works. Our senior management team loves it––and if they get it, you will.

Barcode-based Apps

Genius. There’s no other way to describe the utility of these apps other than to say simply: Genius. Want to know if that protein bar isn’t actually filled with carbs and sugar? Scan it. Want to sign up for a chance to drive a Lamborghini? Scan it. Want to know if that product was made in a child sweatshop factory in China? Scan it. Boycott it.

Never in a million years did someone think a telephone would have this sort of function. And yet, here we are. Honorable mention goes to Fooducate. This handy app scans your food and assigns it a letter grade. Skippy peanut butter gets a C? The app suggests a more healthful, A-rated alternative.

Music-driven Apps

Regardless of whether you hate all its ads or not, Shazam is 100% a unique game shifter. You can call it an app, but it’s an invention that has revolutionized our relationship with the sound waves coming out of your bar’s speakers. The minute you even hear the concept behind this app, you’ll get goose bumps.

Honorable mention goes to apps like Spotify and Pandora, which have changed radio forever. They’re like the news-aggregate apps from above, but for the soul.

Google Apps

Google is a category of its own. One cannot put down in writing the impact that its array of products have had on our organization, our culture, and our world. Your phone tells you when to turn left and when to turn right. Thanks, Google Maps! Your phone tells you that the phallic object in the middle of Buenos Aires you’re viewing is the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. Thanks, Google Goggles! And on that note, what does “Obelisco” mean in English? Obelisk. Thanks, Google Translate!

Google Now, a new app designed to adapt to where you go and what you do to predict behavior, is creepily amazing. But wait, there’s more!

I won’t go on, but this stuff is incomprehensible. And there are plenty of honorable mentions for me-too products, but we all know they’ve just been modeling themselves after Google.

These five categories and their top apps were chosen because of their utility and surprise. Did we think that we’d be talking to people using video someday? Well, yeah. It was in Back to the Future Part II. That isn’t to say it isn’t impressive; it really is. Social apps and game apps have altered how we interact with peers and friends. We are social beings, and these apps have encouraged social behavior. As I said in the beginning, this list is certainly nowhere near exhaustive––if you had to suggest another, what app has surprised you most?

Author: Eric Swenson

True Life: The Interns!

You read our blog posts, contemplate our words, and wait anxiously for our next post, but do you have any idea who we are? Today we thought it would be a good idea to introduce the people behind the writing. So here are some fast and fun facts about the interns who have the honor of being Vanguardians for the summer.

Lindsey Clark is a rising junior at Denison University and is a double major in economics and English (creative writing).  She works for her school’s literary magazine and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity on the weekends. In the summer, she enjoys baking any kind of dessert (especially lemon bars) and surfing on Long Island. After graduation, Lindsey is interested in pursuing a career in journalism and is open to anything and everything related to writing.

As the production intern, Lindsey has been focused on understanding and helping with all steps of the production process, from starting with an idea to making it a reality. She has assisted on a range of internal projects that have made use of her organizational skills.

Liz Baron is a rising senior at Gettysburg College majoring in organizational management studies. On campus, she serves as a captain of Gettysburg’s field hockey team and is also a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Besides school, sports, and sorority life, Liz enjoys simply relaxing with friends and family and spending time outdoors. After graduating in May 2014, she hopes to pursue a career in marketing.

As the marketing intern, Liz has supported Vanguard Direct’s marketing programs, with an emphasis on its various social media channels. She has worked with the marketing coordinator and director to facilitate day-to-day and long-term projects. She has become familiar with SEO tagging, written multiple blog posts for Utterly Orange, and has learned a lot about current marketing practices.

MinJi Kim is a rising senior at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) majoring in general studies and minoring in business administration, international studies, and psychology. On campus, she is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and volunteers for Global Ambassador After school and work, she enjoys working out and watching any kind of famous movie. After graduation, she is interested in pursuing a career in business administration.

As the digital intern, MinJi has been focused on digital trends through competitive analyses and has been involved in internal digital projects for Vanguard Direct. She has become familiar with apps’ and websites’ content, different platforms, and social media and has learned about various companies’ current digital practices.

We hope our posts will mean a little more now that you know a bit about us, the lovely ladies who have been sharing our Vanguard experience with you.

Author: Lindsey Clark, Liz Baron, and MinJi Kim

Marketing on the Move

The average commuter in the United States spends about 25 minutes getting to work. But that’s just the average…

The new census reports that this average might downplay the brutal commutes that many individuals endure every day. Whether commuting by train or bus, driving, biking, or walking, we are constantly surrounded by advertisements in our daily travels.

Companies target big, populated cities in order to market their products and services using the mass transportation that commuters and tourists endlessly use. But hey, it’s a smart marketing move!

Those who have been to London likely traveled on or at least know about the incredible underground system that commuters, residents, and visitors benefit from daily. After spending a full semester in London taking the subway (known across the pond as the “tube”), I realized the New York City subway system could not quite compare. While the NYC subway zips around the city effectively, avoiding the tourist congestion and constant traffic on the streets, the clean, attractive, and simple tube system makes the underground experience a little more pleasant.

As a study-abroad student, the tube was part of my daily commute. It became an exceptional way to observe British people, learn the underground landscape of the city, and get a unique glimpse of what’s going on in London by looking at the wide array of advertisements displayed. There are abundant print ads displayed all over the tube stations, however the digital ads for London shows, upcoming movies and traveling opportunities along the escalators are what really caught my eye.


I was urged to see Wicked, Jersey Boys, Spamalot, and more by the digital advertisements singing at me on the wall every day. It was hilarious! Here is an amazing example of the recent advertising in the Oxford Circus tube station for The Great Gatsby––it’s incredible!

Commuting to school on the tube became a huge part of my experience in London. While most commutes can be slow and boring, the advertisements displayed on the tube made my 25-minute ride entertaining. I became such a regular that I even got my own tube stop!

Just kidding––that tube stop existed before me––but here are some pictures from my experience. Enjoy!

Big Ben with the London Eye peeking out in the background

Big Ben with the London Eye peeking out in the background

Classic red phone booth outside St Pancras International

Author: Liz Baron

Proper Etiquette in the Modern Workplace

Whether you’re a master of office best practices or an email novice who just can’t seem to comprehend email taboos, Jason Franzen is here to provide valuable insight or a fresh reminder. His posters, which are both poignantly on target and hilarious, set out to detail what we all should know about behaving respectfully in the office. In a phrase, it’s about being cognizant of your communal actions that directly or indirectly affect your coworkers. You can’t help but read these and be like, “God, yes! So true!”

It’s genius.

Here are a few, but be sure to check out the entire list at DesignTAXI.

Author: Eric Swenson