The War In Christmas Marketing

The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2015

 

It goes without saying that commercialism of the holiday season is at an all time high. One needs no further proof of this than the REI Black Friday announcement, the TJ Maxx commercial on being closed on Thanksgiving or the Starbucks holiday cup discussion. From Twitter to CNN, everyone seems to have their own opinion on how businesses should handle the holidays and advertise to them.

The topic of the “War on Christmas” seems to be a hot button or easy media content to fuel discussion among the masses during these last few weeks of the year. However, it isn’t the War on Christmas brands and consumers should pay attention to, but it is the War in Christmas Marketing. The war is in what brand will be the most memorable and what emotions will they evoke. Who will rise to the top with the most sales? For this time of year, it is all out war for the mighty dollar. For the companies who have not focused on creativity, relevance and agility, they can expect to lose once again this holiday season.

I must say the way Dunkin’ Donuts joined the conversation on seasonal holiday cups was a boss move. It was the coup de grace to the other coffee industry giants. Whether it is decorations or advertisements, this is the season for marketing departments everywhere to pull out all of the stops. As we see, they are doing just that.

The great thing about marketing in today’s world is we now have the ability to be nimble with our efforts. The chance to take creativity and join it with relevant discussions from an agile stance. Technology through the internet and mobile phones allows brands to successfully reach consumers in minutes instead of days. Social media has given brands the ability to publish content whenever they see fit. Waiting for the annual catalog to drop or a host of commercials to run is no longer the primary thing for businesses. A simple text message on sales and people are immediately taken online to shop. And in war, being quick to strike helps to gain small or large victories. These catalogs and commercials help and of course have not gone anywhere, but when you have Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Android systems, you can obtain feedback sooner and tweak messaging at a faster rate now (i.e. newsjack).

Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts have proven they are not afraid to get into the conversation. The War on Christmas was not going to be a missed opportunity for them to experience an easy win in the War in Christmas Marketing. (Truly Starbucks should have predicted this one based on the #AllDayBreakfast promotion McDonald’s ran in October which I mentioned in the “How to Hijack a Hashtag Like a Boss” post.) Besides, why not take advantage of a topic occurring in your industry about a competitor? It is very difficult to cut through all of the holiday noise and stand out. One must grab the media’s attention while they can, right? A cup of Joy fit into the conversation perfectly and a victory in the war was attained.

There are only so many ways to make a toy store stand out against a big box store. There are only so many ways to make sweaters stand out from brand to brand. This War in Christmas Marketing calls for creating great content, but taking strategic steps to stand out at the right moments. The road map to holiday victory comes with successes, just barely getting by and massive explosions (crises) which injures brands. However, with a dynamic strategy, brands can still win.

The War in Christmas Marketing is not taken lightly for the retail industry. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may help set the pace for the remaining weeks.

How do you feel the War in Christmas Marketing is going thus far? Leave your comment below and it may be used for future articles.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visithttp://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

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Google Hangouts or Blab.im… Decisions…Decisions pt 2

Google Hangouts or Blab.im. Image by Sigurd Decroos. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Digital Marketing and Public Relations.
Google Hangouts or Blab.im. Image by Sigurd Decroos. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Digital Marketing and Public Relations.

 

Have you participated in a Blab yet? Did curiosity take you to the point of just lurking or did you try out your own Blab?

It’s been interesting seeing everyone’s point of view on it. In particularly experts like Joel Comm, Brian Fanzo, Amy Schmittauer, who have pretty much ruled Blab as the champion over Google Hangouts. While many other experts are still testing Blab out, many have begun to sing its praises and stating it could be the next big thing in social video. Other early users (it is still in beta mode) are addicted to the point of admitting to spending hours “blabbing” with strangers for fun or other experts for networking.

Then there are the others who are skeptical about spending time on the latest shiny social media object. They have decided to keep using Google Hangouts until they determine a reason to shift to Blab.

So. Which are you? If you’re the latter, I would go out on a limb to say you would be foolish to not at least try it out. It is always good to check out the latest platforms. If you’re wondering if it is better than Google Hangouts, well it is important for you to evaluate whether to jump ship or test, use and keep an eye out.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to use Google Hangout or Blab:

  • Will all of your viewers have a Twitter account to log into Blab to watch the conversation? Google Hangout doesn’t require a Google Hangout account to watch a live event. You can stream the event from Google Hangout on your own website with the embedded code.
  • If you’re looking for a private discussion between you and colleagues or friends, then you want to still use Google Hangout. Blab is meant for public chats.
  • If you are looking for a 60 second or less process to start chatting and foregoing numerous steps to begin, then Blab may be your best option.
  • Save time with Google Hangouts because the video gets uploaded to YouTube. Get a link from Blab where you can upload your video file to wherever you want.
  • If you need the convenience of on the fly editing by stopping and starting the video on Blab.

These points may not have helped you to decide whether or not to leave Blab, but it will at least give you an outlook of not ruling Google out just yet.

Have you tried out Blab.im yet? If so, leave your comments below. Perhaps we will them to a future post.

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Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.

Election Results: Social Media is the Winner

Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Election Ads are OVER! Image Courtesy of MSNBC Now. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012

One thing is for sure. Social Media won the 2012 U.S. Elections!

It’s hard to think back to 8 years ago and how differently those U.S. elections went amongst the people around the world. Where as it would take you days or months to really learn what your friends, family members, business associates and customers think about a win or a loss, now we know is seconds. With just 140 characters we can learn what celebrities are thinking about as the results roll in. Oh yes. Social Media is the winner for this year’s elections.

Although this area is growing, there are still people on the fence on how vital social media can be for branding and communicating to the public. For those of you still hesitant on if your company should be more active on or even pay attention to social media, I hope this blog with a few statistics will help to finally push you into properly adding this tool to your marketing campaign. If this is you, please take a look around you or simply in the words below. The public has spoken. They have chosen to declare social media as being a big part of their lives.

 

Hyper-Messaging

Let’s start with Twitter and the power of a good image. The picture below of the President of the United States and his wife hugging was retweeted more than 300,000 times (as mentioned last night by NBC) beating the record previously held by Super Tweeter, Justin Bieber. November 6th was also a 20 Million Tweet record for Election Day. This made Tuesday the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history according to Twitter.

Presiden Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in an embrace was tweeted by the President's Twitter account. The picture seen around the Twitterverse. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012
Presiden Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in an embrace was tweeted by the President’s Twitter account. The picture seen around the Twitterverse. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012

Press Record on the Video Camera

A mother uploads a video of her daughter crying over the election to YouTube and suddenly she is a viral hit. This video draws attention to the radio station, NPR, and they apologize (out of courtesy/good public relations) to her. When I last checked, her crying video had about 13,791,910 views. I’m quite sure Abigael is all smiles today. No more ads!
Abigael Evans shedded tears and displayed what many Americans were feeling. No more Ads. Photo Courtesy of NPR. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Abigael Evans shedded tears and displayed what many Americans were feeling. No more Ads. Photo Courtesy of NPR. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
So you may not be impressed or wonder how social media can help move your products. Although formal surveys help to paint a more accurate picture of consumer habits, social media is growing into a reliable source as well. Let’s take a look at how the election, PBS and Sesame Street helped Spirit Halloween and Costumecraze.com move costumes.
Million Puppet March 2012. Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Kamm/CNN.com/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Million Puppet March 2012. Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Kamm/CNN.com/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Spirit Halloween always sees a spike in certain types of masks during the Halloween season. During an election year, candidates’ masks are extremely popular and some say an indicator of who will win the election. This year, Spirit Halloween saw an increase in sales over the Sesame Street characters. Costumecraze.com couldn’t keep the Sassy Big Bird costume in stock. Both company’s images were shared online and both experienced a high volume in requests for their inventory. All of this hype due to former presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney’s name drop and social media’s sharing boost. Sesame Street became one of the most sought-after brands over the past month. Even as of today, only a limited size of the Sassy Big Bird is available for purchase.

There is just no denying social media played a huge role in this year’s elections for the presidential, senate and amendment races. People, whether they want to admit it or not, were influenced or emotionally charged by their peers’ status posts and images related to voting. This is ultimately a good time to stand back and look at the role of social media for your business or non-profit organization. This is the time to decide what is the best thing to share or monitor via social media sites. Clearly social media is the winner this year, but are you winning at it? Well, that post is for another day.

 

What are your thoughts on the effects of social media this year on the elections and how it can impact a business. Has it impacted yours? Share your thoughts on today’s post. You may appear in a future article.

(Please note this is not a post to deter anyone from a completely rounded marketing plan. Don’t forget social media is not the only aspect of branding your business.)

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.