Category Archives: Branding

An Intermission You Don’t Mind

Who would pay $3 million for 30-seconds of fame? Every company who had a commercial air during the 2011 Superbowl did, and most aired their commercials more than once during the event.

As mass media quickly dwindles with DVR and online-streaming, advertisers are continually looking for ways to reach the masses.

Superbowl XLIV was the most-watched TV show in history, according to Yahoo Sports.

The Superbowl is the prime time for advertisers to get their message across to a lot of people at once.

CBS charges a premium for the coveted 30-second commercial spots, and advertisers are more than willing to pay it.

Not only are advertisers paying a hefty price to have their commercial aired during the Superbowl, they air their most creative, unique ads during it too.

People used to watch the Superbowl specifically for the game, but now more than ever, they are tuning in simply to watch the commercials.

Advertisers are getting their message out to millions of people at once, and consumers are getting the best of what the advertisers have to offer.

It’s a win-win situation.

Many companies are willing and able to spend $3 million for a 30 second commercial spot, yet others are not.

Don’t think those other big-name companies are missing out on the Superbowl action though, they’re not.

One strategy that companies have used for years is sending a commercial to CBS that does not fit regulations just so the commercial can be banned.

The company then promotes the fact that their commercial was banned from the Superbowl line-up, and uses it to gain publicity.

Snickers and PETA were just two of the companies that submitted commercials that were banned from the line-up this year.

GoDaddy.com has used this tactic for years but decided that it was old news this year and opted to just follow the rules, pay the money and join the Superbowl advertisers.

Whether advertisers opt to get their message out through the event’s commercial-line-up or by getting banned from it, you can bet no one is missing out on the once-a-year Superbowl hype.

 

-Ali Hendricks

 

 

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Social media’s influence on GAP

I went home for Butler’s fall break this week and was catching up with my mom at dinner one night. At some point in the conversation, I asked her what she thought of the new Gap logo and that whole controversy – to which she replied, “huh?” Shocked that she hadn’t heard, I filled her in. At the end of my spiel about rebranding, crowd sourcing and regret, she was stumped. “So…what’s the big deal?” she asked. Oh, boy….

 

I won’t bore you with the story of what happened with Gap. (If you don’t know about it, read here.) And I definitely can’t offer insight or opinion on the topic better than the next person who’s blogged or commented on the situation thus far. However, the conversation with my mom made me think about something entirely different. For those who aren’t connected on Twitter, read blogs, and constantly interact with people/resources in the advertising industry – are rebranding efforts THAT big of a deal? Does an altered logo change consumer behavior for all other audiences who couldn’t care less if a color or font is suddenly different? It also made me wonder to what extent a logo can change before “mass” audiences notice. For example, MasterCard changed their logo about four years ago (did you notice?), and State Farm Insurance recently updated theirs as well. I’m curious to see how many people outside the industry notice these things, and what it takes for them to talk about it.

 

It’s hard to put myself in my mom’s shoes, because I’m all over the design and advertising industry, and make it a way of life. But I’m interested to see if the off-Twitter community and older generations even care about efforts like these. To me, the whole Gap situation was a terrible mistake and I can see why the company went back to the old logo. It totally changed my perception of the company, even though I don’t shop there and don’t know much about it. But is that a universal reaction? I doubt it. Hmm…

-Lauren Fisher

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Make them remember

As a senior graduating in December, my job hunt has hit full force.  But I am constantly wondering what I can do to stand out and make a lasting impression with potential employers.  Being in the creative field of public relations and advertising I decided to put my education into practice and brand myself.  I developed a personal logo, but the most important step was to reinvent my very conventional resume from just a white background with lists to something more creative.  This link gives some very creative examples that inspired me to think outside of the box and create a more memorable resume.

My personal favorites are the flyer resume, the newspaper classified resume, and the pinwheel resume.  Not only are these creative ways to show education and work experiences, but the resume in itself is also a design example that could easily be part of a portfolio.  In today’s job market this is a genius idea.  Why not have a resume that pulls double duty and not only tells what you are capable of but also shows it.

-Nicole Hangartner

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PORTFOLIO: Barefoot for Bare Feet Micro Site

By now you’ve probably heard we are helping out Samaritan’s Feet by planning and implementing their first ever student-run social media campaign.

Along with other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., we developed a campaign micro site to give a one-stop information hub for people to understand what Barefoot for Bare Feet is all about.

We wanted to simplify the mission of Samaritan’s Feet by making the site only a few pages of useful information in a visually appealing manner.

Please visit the site, if you’re not already, start following the movement!

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Filed under advertising, barefoot for bare feet, Branding, Butler, creative, design, portfolio, PRSSA, social media, web

Push That Envelope…or Dollar Bill

Class has been in session for just under a month. My brain has shifted from constantly being stimulated by the designs surrounding me at my summer internship back to late night study sessions where my best friends include my text book and Starbucks. At my internship this summer one of my favorite things we would do is have inspirational meetings where each of us had to bring something that inspired us design wise. I always enjoyed this time because it grounded me and reminded me of why I love design so much. It fascinates me to see how other people can look at something in a totally different perspective than I can.

So on Sunday night while I was procrastinating my homework, I decided to rejuvenate my creative juices and stumbled upon the Dollar ReDe$ign Project, whose mission is to rebrand the US Dollar. When I saw this article I immediately clicked on it because how would you even go about rebranding the US Dollar? I mean is this even legal? The US dollar has been one of our nation’s signatures since the 1930s. That is the exact reason that I loved this idea though, because I never would have thought of it.

There is such a wide variety of styles and possible branding directions that have been submitted for this year’s competition, but I’m definitely drawn towards the designs titled ‘Relative Value’ by Dowling Duncan. The neon colors really make the bills pop, and the vertical layout is unexpected. I also like how not just presidents are featured on the bill faces. It gives a more thorough representation of our nation’s history. Another one of my favorites has the bills formatted like movie tickets, bar codes included, which gives them an over simplistic feel that is unique.

Also here’s a fun fact: according to Dollar ReDe$ign’s poll, Captain Jack Sparrow and Barack Obama were voted as the favorites to appear on the new dollar bill design. I would have to look at Johnny Depp’s face forever printed on the dollar? I wouldn’t mind. And with Britney Spears being voted as the performer to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the ReDe$ign launch party, I’m for sure there if I’m “Lucky” enough to get invited.

Aside from the odd polls and claims that this dollar revamp will boost our economy, I took something away from this site. You can’t stay inside the lines if you want to make an impact. Submitting a green rectangle with a past president’s face on it is not going to win the competition. In order to make a difference you have to push the envelope in anything you do whether it is public relations, advertising, or design. So the next time you’re in a rut take a time out to be inspired by something that’s outside of your perspective.

For more about the Dollar ReDe$ign Project visit their homepage.

-Erin Hammeran

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Barefoot for Bare Feet Has Taken its First Steps!

On September 6, 2010 we launched a social media campaign, Barefoot for Bare Feet, for Samaritan’s Feet—a non-profit that distributes shoes to needy children all over the world.

We’re aiming to raise $1,000,000 by January 17, 2011, increase Barefoot for Bare feet’s social media following and reach out to PRSSA chapters around the country to get them involved.

To achieve these objectives, we developed a micro site and a blog to provide detailed information about the campaign including: contests, interviews, news stories and coach blogs.  And since it is a social media campaign, Twitter and Facebook posts will be the backbone of our efforts.  Social media messaging will communicate contests and also fundraisers including a text to donate on the 17th of every month.  To increase awareness of Samaritan’s Feet and to increase followers on the social media platforms, we will reach out to Butler PRSSA and other chapters around the country, Butler alumni, Butler sports marketing, Butler’s Colleges of Communication and Business, and community churches and high schools.  We will provide them with specialized plans to help them contribute to the cause as much as possible.  To find out more information on the campaign or how to get involved go to www.barefootforbarefeet.com (launching soon), www.barefootforbarefeet.wordpress.com or follow us on Twitter @tweet_4_feet.

Thanks in advance for all of your support, we’re looking forward to moving forward!

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Filed under Branding, Butler, event planning, PRSSA, Samaritan's Feet, social media

Strange Opportunities Can Reveal Strengths

I didn’t get the summer internship I was hoping for, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed in going back to my old summer job. But then a strange opportunity came my way.

My mom is an account at an answering service company in Green Bay, and they were looking to hire someone for a direct marketing campaign.  My mom went out on a limb and suggested my name, and I got the job!  So, despite my initial set back, I was going to be able to get creative this summer making a sales flyer, brochure and direct mail postcards for the company.

I got started on the brochure first.  I went to the office and took a picture of an old switchboard to use for the background, and the creativity just flowed from there.  I easily knocked out a first draft in two days.

I sent the brochure to the boss, and instead of just getting comments back an even more unlikely task was given to me.  He wanted me to work on their invoice layout—to make it “pretty.”  Now I am a more artsy person, and I definitely do not know what makes up an invoice nor have I had any experience with invoices; however, I knew I could probably help them with the “pretty” part.

Little did I know that not only would this be a new experience, but it would be a frustrating but revealing one as well.

The program I had to use to create these pretty invoices is TERRIBLE!  It is not intuitive and there seems to be no standard format.  Everything had to be created from scratch.  I spent the first day at the office just trying to figure out what everything meant.  Even the full-time employees in charge of billing and invoices didn’t know the program very well (once again because it is a terrible program).

Once I got working, I realized learning what things did was the least of my problems.  I found that once I moved one thing- even just one-space over-it changed everything around it A LOT.  The layout in the working format was not actually what the format looked like when you printed it.  Oh and there was no way to align things.  As is clearly evident from the above evidence, it is a TERRIBLE program.

On a particularly frustrating day, I took a break and talked to my dad.  I told him all my complaints and wined to him for about five minutes.  Then he said, “Well just think what you’ll be able to do with a good program.”  That made me realize that even though I complained a lot and got frustrated a lot, in about 3 weeks time I had overcome the program (well mostly, I am still working out a few little kinks in the layout).  During the process I had made a list of problems I couldn’t seem to figure out and that I was going to have to talk to one of the software’s tech supports about, but I never ended up making that call.

Lesson learned: Persistence and determination do pay off.  I didn’t want to have someone else tell me how to do it; I wanted to figure it out myself.  And even though I had to use a terrible program, the layout I created was what the client wanted (and they were impressed that I got the program to make what I showed them).

As a public relations/advertising practitioner, we have to strive to make the most out of what we are given, whether it is budget or clients or even software programs.   Also, we can use every opportunity that comes our way to not only increase experience but also reveal our strengths.

-Nicole Hangartner

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