The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

REPOST via The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

After much PR and marketing buzz leading up to the release of season two of Stranger Things, the show finally became available for Netflix users to watch on October 27th. Fans were unusually eager to find out what would happen next in the Upside Down – and for good reason. Netflix managed to heighten the anticipation for the show’s next season with creative guerilla marketing tactics and unique brand partnerships. As we reflect on how successful the campaigns were, here are three lessons to learn from the show’s marketing tactics.

1. Make it interactive.

On the countdown page for the release of the second season, Netflix hid an easter egg which when clicked, flipped the screen into Upside Down mode. In this mode, everything turns dark with creepy music and eerie vines – much like it is in the show. The cursor acts as a flickering flashlight and every couple of seconds, the demogorgon pops out. Ad agency Doner L.A. also created a 1-800 number for the show. It functioned as a real corporate one would with a hold ringtone, menu directions and automated responses, allowing users to report outages or suspicious activity occurring in Hawkins. These tactics are simple yet effective. It doesn’t require much on the marketers end, but it’s a big step in the right direction for peaking consumer interest.

Netflix also partnered with Lyft shortly before the release to give fans an unforgettable ride-share experience. On October 26th and 27th, Lyft users were given the option to switch their app into ‘Stranger Things’ mode which turned the cars on the screen into waffles, string lights, trucker hats and even the logo of the show. On October 27th and 28th, users in certain cities were able to take a ride that included malfunctioning seats, flickering lights, a warped ceiling, an acting driver and an Eggo waffle. While Netflix was able to reap the rewards of giving fans something new and different to talk about, Lyft benefited as well. This leads into our next tip.

2. Get the help of other brands.

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Not only did Netflix choose to partner with Lyft, but they also decided to hone in on the show’s connection to the frozen waffle brand, Eggos. Because Netflix doesn’t offer paid placements, the Kellog Company wasn’t aware that their product would even be used in the show. But after the first season’s success, Eggo was able to use social media to their advantage by posting about the show’s waffle references.

The clothing store, Topshelf, also took to redecorating its London Oxford flagship store for one day in honor of Stranger Things. Spotify, the music streaming platform, used a subtler approach by creating playlists for each of the characters in the show, including ‘Eleven’s Breakfast Jams’ and ‘DemoGorgons Upside Downers’. When a campaign uses other brands to help out its own, it engages a much wider audience than what it would normally reach. With that being said, it is important to only use brands that make sense. The audience of that brand shouldn’t be drastically different and it helps if the tone of the brand is similar to the one being promoted as well.

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3. Use what you have.

As a retailer for the show, Target was able to dedicate an entire section of their website to promoting the new season. The page starts off with 80’s inspired, vintage looking Stranger Things swag, ranging from toys to t-shirts, but as you navigate deeper into the site, regular products such as pudding snack packs and trap keepers start popping up. It’s Target’s way of bringing back 80’s era products that connect to the show. With the help of Target, Netflix was able to give fans of all ages something to talk about by combining the nostalgia of another generation with one of this generation’s most popular TV shows.

As Stranger Things progresses through new seasons, Netflix continues to encourage those inside the field of communications to think outside the box. By turning simple ideas into well-thought out campaigns, the show has managed to set the standard for the way marketing should be utilized in the future.

Sources:

https://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/23469.aspx

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/26/how-netflix-turned-marketing-upside-down-the-return-stranger-things

via The Success of Netflix’s Stranger Things Marketing Campaign — Ithaca College PRSSA

Fast-Food New Advertising Tactic— Courtesy of GIF Apps like Tenor

Marketers are looking to create GIFs that people will use to express themselves within social media communications. The GIF company Tenor says it has data that brands like Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts can use to create ads tied to specific emotions. Advertisers only pay Tenor when people share these branded GIFs. Wendy’s knows you get…

via Fast-food companies like Wendy’s are watching when you’re hungry and using a new tactic to get your money — Advertising

Tenor (the number 1 GIF sharing app in the Apple app store) studied the habits of user searches on their platform to find a way to sell their product to advertisers. Through their analysis, they concluded users do not search for specific brand names in their GIF store during conversations with their friends. Rather, they search a feeling like “hunger” and use the GIF that fits their mood/thoughts. If advertisers such as Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts create usable content on Tenor under these categories, their “ads” have a much higher chance of being shared in conversations.

Tenor also sells user data to companies that indicate the times a ‘feeling’ is most often searched. Meaning, fast food restaurants know the times users are most often discussing hunger and pinpoint hungry spikes in user communications.

HugerSpikes Graph
Fast food restaurants use Tenor application to pinpoint user huger spikes when users search words similar to ‘hungry.’

If fast-food advertisers can create usable GIF content that directly communicates what  users want to express to their friends, companies can take on a new form of ad space: GIF ads.

This new advertising niche is revolutionary and has the potential to generate more concise, creative jobs within the field.

If there are any creatives out there who are wondering about what to explore next or add to their portfolio— this could be it…

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Script3transp

Things I Wish My Professors Prepared Me For

Professors Prepared

It has been exactly a year and five months since I graduated Florida International University (F.I.U.). Still, it feels like I was packing lunches to study in the library last week…

F.I.U. was the best experience of my life. I am forever grateful for the professional knowledge my communications professors provided. The issue with college is that one semester really is not long enough to cram years of experience into. Needless to say, there’s a lot of information that falls through the cracks. Professors are coerced into being more focused on passing rates than actually guiding students’ transition into the professional arena.

College students often consider getting a job to be the biggest issue they are going to face after graduation. What is not being taught, is that the real difficulty comes with maintaining your position within that job. It’s one thing to accept a job offer and another thing to actually work and continuously meet all expectations covered within the position.

“Welcome to reality; here’s your desk, here’s your new email address, here’s some random documents on our server, here’s your first 5 assignments, figure it out, good luck!” – Part-time receptionist at the front desk.

This is NOT a joke.

The dirty truth is, the lion din is a place where you either make it or you don’t.

Thankfully, you don’t really die after your first job (although sometimes it feels like it). Instead, you get another job and prep yourself with the knowledge of past failures and prepare for the lions once more. And you do this again and again, until you – somehow – survive. Even then, survival is an everyday battle.

A little dramatic? You don’t know the half of it.

The first skill I wish my professors prepared me to develop before I graduate is ATTENTION TO DETAIL. For some this comes naturally, for others it’s a learned talent. This is especially important for those in communications. Every letter, every design, every email, every project needs consistency and correctness. Don’t trust spellcheck or even your own eyes. Print every document before it is sent and check it twice more after you think it’s good to go. FYI Adobe programs don’t have spellcheck– learned it the hard way once. To help me develop this skill later on, I started solving word searches and reading articles much more often.

Secondly, I wish more professors taught me how to work under time restraints and pressure. After I graduated college I was so used to due dates that extended past several days or even weeks. When I first was handed an assignment at work due immediately, I completely panicked. Panic is everyone’s kryptonite in an office setting. It usually brings huge mistakes and irresponsible overlooks with it. I have never made as many mistakes as I have in an agency where all I did all day was put out fires and work with minute-long deadlines. Therefore, I believe quick exercises that require students to develop a project or train of thought within a short time would be a great addition to the classroom.

Developing a creative, make-it-up-as-you-go attitude can really do wonders within the communications field. In college, we have little room to develop critical thinking skills since we are have been taught what/how to think starting as early as elementary school. In a workplace, your boss will never hand you a nicely outlined prompt for you to highlight and circle. Here there are no guidelines. Here there are no rubrics of how to successfully approach a project. There is only a client/supervisor with an idea you must breathe life into correctly, the first time you approach it.

I hope this post will help others out there, rather it be a student or a professor, to see where they can strengthen themselves to prepare for a smooth transition into the professional world of communications.

Good luck out there,

Script3transp

3 Simple and Easy Ways To Improve Your Media Pitch

Every business benefits from media coverage — it all starts with a pitch. 

When sent to the right people, a media pitch is a great way get a company press coverage. There are a lot of factors you have to get just right for a successful pitch well-delivered. Make your email stand out by simplifying it, doing your research, and making your story newsworthy. Once you organize a targeted list of media contacts, draft an email that’s easy-to-read with a conversational tone. Avoid industry jargon and complex vocabulary at all costs. Only use an email template as the backbone of the pitch. Remember, each and every email should be personalized to its intended media contact.

There’s an art to pitching. After spending a few years at public relations and marketing companies, here are a few ways I learned to bring email pitches to life:

  1. Do your research.

Do some stalking before you send them an email. Pitch smarter, not harder. Instead of blasting tons of journalists with cold emails, find a way to make their job easier by fitting your pitch into their editorial calendars. For example, if it’s Christmas time and you’re trying to sell a story about toys in the subject line relate it to an article they have posted the year before which had toys in it. Usually, around this time they write about Christmas wishlists or the hottest toys of the season.

Do some digging. First, figure out every outlet they contribute to. Glance over their articles, do they write about similar products or companies you’re pitching? Next, figure out what they are talking about on social media. Journalists have never been easier to follow. Use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get a feel for what they are like and how to best communicate with them. Don’t be shy to comment on their posts either, building a relationship with target journalists helps your company down the road!

2. Make it newsworthy.

Journalists are always looking for the next great story.

Although companies may go through a couple of big changes and partnerships a year, they don’t always correlate with trends and current events. See what’s currently trending and tie the pitch into it. This will help bring it some positive attention. I use Google Trends and trending items on Twitter and Facebook to help me come up with some ideas.

Google Trends:

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Sneak peek Google’s insights. Track big events and discussions with Google Trends.

 What’s trending on Facebook:

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Scroll down to see what’s trending on the sidebar section labeled “Trending.”

What’s trending on Twitter:

Twitter Trends
My favorite way to catch up on all things trending!

3. Keep the email short and sweet!

The subject line should be juicy and the receiver should be able to get the gist of your pitch by reading it. In the body of the email always remember less is more. Sorry to break it to you, but journalists don’t read pitches word for word. They have become masters of skimming. Only about 1-2 sentences will actually by absorbed and if they’re not interested in those couple of lines, it’s on to the next. Writing less text gives them more time to soak in what you’re presenting. Limit your pitch to 3 short paragraphs ranging from 2 to 3 sentences each.

In the first paragraph, give them a reason why they should care about your story. Give them some insider information and make them want to be involved in what’s going on.

Make a connection. The next paragraph should show them you’ve done your homework. Refer to previous articles they have written and highlight topics they are passionate about. Also, tell the journalist why you’ve specifically chosen them to break the story. Feel free to bring up titles of previous articles they’ve written.

The last couple of sentences should be a call to action. Tell the journalist what to do with the information. If they contribute to a couple outlets, indicate which outlet you would like to see the story breaking on. If you’re interested in all their platforms say that so. You can also use the last paragraph to suggest an interview, invite them to tour the facilities or give them a time and date to a press conference.

Tip: If you’re launching a product, offer to send them a sample! They love getting stuff and it’s so much easier for them to review it when they have actual experience with the product. If it’s a new menu item, have them stop by for a comped meal. Add this in the last paragraph (it’s a call to action). Score.

Once your email has been created, attach a full press kit for their convenience. I use Canva.com to make eye-catching kits that are simple are enjoyable for others to view. Also, make sure to include several high-resolution photos they can use in articles. Provide a press release if you have one too. The more information they have, the better! After you proofread, as you would with anything else, have another set of eyes review the pitch. I like to ask those proofreading my pitches to relay a couple of points they drew from the email. Do they understand the point you’re trying to get across? Is it newsworthy? If they were the journalist, would they understand the call to action?

Then, proofread it again.

Any little mistake can totally throw away your credibility. I highly recommend installing the Grammarly extension on Chrome for this. It has saved my life about a million times. It’s a 100% free grammar checker that not only reviews spelling errors but sentence structure and punctuation too.

And WHATEVER you do, make sure their names are correct! Even outlets spell the names of their own journalists incorrectly. Cross check their names via social media, Google and Cision.com (if you have access to it).

Tip: If you’re working on a spreadsheet, use the highlighter in black to fill cells after you email contacts. That way you don’t accidentally email the same person twice or worse… call them another name with a different email pitch.

Wow, I even had a mini-panic attack just writing that!

Have any tips or tricks that you’ve learned from pitching to media contacts? Share it in the comments below 🙂

Happy pitching,

Script3transp

First Blog Post

Hi there, my name is Chelsea! I’m a 25-year-old online graduate student living in Miami working two jobs and taking on fun side gigs. Most know me as the Marketing Manager of Planet Stone Inc. and Marketing Partnership Coordinator of USB Memory Direct. They are both multi-million dollar companies that I love representing and flaunting around events and the internet to build SEO and brand awareness. I also love all things Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney and tennis.

So, for my first EVER post on here, I’m going to be laying an ugly truth on you. Marketing is not my dream job, actually, it’s nobody’s dream job really. It’s kind of like a wand in Harry Potter, it chooses you. More accurately, it’s like Ron Weasley’s first wand when it breaks. As in it never does what it’s supposed to do and most of the time backfires on you. Yet for the rare occasions when it does work, Ron looks at it with pride and stubbornly keeps using it for another chance at a 1% success rate.

Chances are if you came across this blog you’re a stubborn wizard too or you’re looking to get into the field. Either way, I’ve got some day-one ground rules for you:

  1. Get mind-numbingly used to rejection. This goes for any marketing position out there. Get used to the idea of putting yourself on the front lines at the mercy of a stranger on the other side of the table.
  2. Brush-up on those notes you took in that one psychology course required in college. It’s 95% mind games and 5% apologizing constantly. Um, HELLO?! Why aren’t psychology courses the main curriculum for a marketing degree? Wake up professors, every time you get annoyed at a marketer I hope you remember it’s all your fault you didn’t teach us how to make it enjoyable for others. If you could take a few CIA interrogation psychology courses that would also help you tremendously *wink*.
  3. Get organized. Labels, post-it notes, and agendas are your new (and now only) best friends. Sometimes you will be commuting with more people than you know what to do with and people slip through the cracks all the time. For example, on an average week I communicate with more than 150 people. Ever used the Gmail color-coded labels before? I use about five to six labels per conversation. So yah… you get the idea.
  4. Practice positivity. Just like you have to exercise more when you land an office job to promote physical health, you also have to practice more positive thoughts to promote mental health. No, marketing jobs won’t make you looney. I’m just bringing it up because it took me awhile to learn not to put my health on the back burner for work. When you clock out, take a second to clock out mentally too. Don’t bring the stress vibes home and if you do, find a way you can release them like a good cardio sesh.
  5. Make friends in the workplace. Marketing employees and managers are a dime a dozen. Making ties with those you work with only helps your chances of sticking around. Just don’t force it, no one likes the new guy who tries too hard. Share a thought out-loud or email them a question about payday dates or nearby restaurant suggestions. Sometimes around lunch, I’ll ask if anyone is in the mood for the place I’m going to eat at. I’ve made a great group of friends at work this way!

I can guess what you’re thinking already, “so then why do you it?”

Before I answer this here’s a little more insight about me: I’m aggressively competitive, annoyingly motivated, strictly results driven and I am constantly striving to be better than I was the day before. In other words, I enjoy self-torture.

So to answer your question, it’s what I’m made to do :). Like I said, I didn’t find it– it found me and I fought it for years before I learned to embrace it. I’m still learning so much and I just started graduate school in international marketing at Boston University.

Stay tuned for some fun posts about the new things I’m learning, events I’m planning and the fun projects I’m working on.

Try to keep up!