Latest Japan campaigns highlight outdoors, anime

Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing
Image source: Travel Weekly

By Eric Moya | Travel Weekly

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) recently launched two campaigns that take vastly different approaches to target different audiences, yet have the same ultimate goal: to attract more visitors from the U.S. and other inbound markets.


How Kate Spade is building an entertainment-driven content strategy

Kate Spade, Video, Social Media, Influencer
An image from Kate Spade’s ‘Make Yourself a Home’ YouTube series

By  |The Drum

About five years ago, Kate Spade found itself facing many of the same issues as other fashion brands. With glossy two-page magazine ads continuing to lose their luster, the handbag maker was struggling to shed its more traditional, print-oriented ways and create a digital strategy that worked.

Speaking at SXSW, Kate Spade’s chief marketing officer Mary Beech explained that at the time, the brand was employing a hollow one-size-fits-all approach to social by posting the same content on each platform. Additionally, the company was struggling to glean any real insights from the data it had on hand.

“We created content for all of the various mediums in which we were on, but we created one piece of content and just pushed it across all the mediums, not taking into any account what was specific about those distribution techniques,” said Beech. “We had lots of data, but we didn’t have insights, and so we weren’t using those insights to leverage them against the content we created and deployed.”

Fast forward to 2018, and the brand – which was acquired by Coach last year for $2.4bn – is doing things a bit differently. Through creating content that’s both platform-specific and entertainment-driven, the New York-based company has managed to create a digital strategy that it says is helping it connect and engage with fans.

Finding a story to tell

Getting into a “video-first” mindset is something that Kristen Naiman, senior vice president of brand creative at Kate Spade’s in-house agency, wanted to prioritize when she joined the company four years ago. At the time, Naiman said her team was “very stuck in thinking about the photograph” as the main form of communication.

To move away from that, her team began looking at what sorts of shows and series were popular to see if the brand could take any cues from the entertainment world.

“A lot of what was happening out there that felt really exciting was this renaissance of serialized narrative storytelling content,” she said, pointing to shows like HBO’s High Maintenance and the rising popularly of Netflix. It was around that same time that female comedians like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer were beginning to see their careers skyrocket, something she said the brand also took note of since she believed they were helping to usher in a new era of comedy.

“We thought both of those things were amazing and really interesting,” said Naiman.

Those two insights led to the birth of Kate Spade’s #MissAdventure, a short-form YouTube show starring actress and singer Anna Kendrick that kicked off in 2014. In the series, Kendrick plays a slightly ditzy, quirky woman who spends her days exploring New York.

“Our principles were twofold: we were going to make something that behaved in a way that was digital-first, and we were going to make something that while it was meant to be a piece of marketing to a certain degree, was interesting first,” said Naiman.

Kate Spade’s products were tied into the series via a concept Naiman calls “product as character,” which essentially involves making a product an integral part of the story rather than something a character is simply wearing or using.

For instance, in an episode of #MissAdventure called ‘The Waiting Game,’ Kendrick realizes she’s lost her apartment keys once she arrives at her doorstep. To get in, she decides to create a makeshift rope using the Kate Spade clothes and shoes she’s just bought so she can climb in via the fire escape.

Naiman said making the brand’s products a “distinct element” in the stories it tells helps the brand become part of the narrative, a strategy she believes is more effective than simply sticking a logo at the end of a video.

“We are a materialist culture. We all live with a lot of stuff in our lives, and those elements in our lives are part of our story,” she said.

Choosing a platform

While some brands strive to be early adopters and try out every new platform, Kate Spade has taken a more cautious approach to social.

Krista Neuhaus, Kate Spade’s senior director of digital brand marketing, said the brand was on every single social channel when she joined a few years back. Upon joining, she made it her job to figure out not only which channels the brand should be on and which ones it shouldn’t, but also how it should approach each individual platform…Read more 

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Disney World, Perdue Chicken ‘Most Loved Brands’

Disney World, Purdue Chicken, Brand Marketing
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by  | Media Post

Disney World and Perdue Chicken are the “most loved brands,” offline and online respectively, based on positive conversations and referrals, according to Engagement Labs. 

When consumers love a brand, they don’t just purchase its products and services, they are more likely to recommend that brand, talk about it with friends and engage with its marketing content. In a recent analysis of more than 500 consumer brands in a variety of categories, Engagement Labs ranked the most loved brands based on positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations), as part of its TotalSocial Brand Awards series.

Disney World, Wegmans and Febreze were the top finishers offline, and Perdue Chicken, CVS and Hampton Inn were the top finishers online. 

The awards are based on the company’s proprietary TotalSocial data, which continuously measures the four most important drivers of brand performance. These are: sentiment (having more positive than negative conversations), brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising), volume (a measure of how many conversations mention a brand) and influence (the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand).  

“While creating a beloved brand is, first and foremost, predicated on having a good product or service, it also requires the cultivation of a passionate fan base that is encouraged to evangelize for the brand,” said Ed Keller, chief executive officer of Engagement Labs, in a release. “The country’s most loved brands aren’t just big marketing spenders. In fact, Wegmans, which ranked second, made our list of most beloved brands without a large marketing budget. Wegmans chooses to invest in recruiting and training employees. The brand has been able to create a positive customer experience that consumers are eager to talk about with friends and family, both offline and online.”

Disney World topped the list of most loved brands offline—or those which are spoken about positively during face-to-face conversations. Disney World and Febreze, which ranked first and third respectively on the offline list, are big spenders on advertising. In 2017, for example, Febreze launched its “OdorOdes” campaign and debuted its first Super Bowl commercial.

Perdue Chicken tops the list of most loved brands being talked about during online conversations. Perdue’s marketing campaign featuring its multi-generational family business resonated with consumers in 2017, according to the study. Similarly, when it comes to budget-friendly hotels, travelers have plenty of good things to say about Hampton Inn, which ranked third for its high sentiment in online conversations.

“Brands need to be aware that you don’t have to be an e-commerce or digital company to have consumers speak positively about your brand on social media,” Keller says. “You just have to inspire consumers enough that they want to engage in conversations about the brand, and that is exactly what the brands in our most loved online list did.”

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A journalist’s 12 tips to writing good content

Writing, Content
A journalist’s guide to writing good content / Thought Catalog

By  | The Drum Network

Good writing isn’t easy, nor should it be. The fact that every man and his dog thinks he can write these days only serves to make the role of writers more important – with a real need for people to write quality content that stands out from the mediocre morass.

However, even the best writers get writer’s block and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. In that spirit, here are 12 things I learned as a journalist that I’ve taken into marketing. Hopefully they can aid you in your quest to fine tune your writing.

  1. Read widely: The more you read, the better a writer you become. Look at your competitors – but also become a voracious reader of blogs, websites, newspapers, magazines and books. Good writers ‘magpie’ ideas from a variety of sources.
  2. Keep it simple: Journalists are encouraged to consider whether their parents or grandparents would understand their copy, stripping away unnecessary jargon and explaining terminology. Always consider if your audience would understand what you’ve written and use short, sharp sentences without too many clauses to avoid confusion.
  3. Be active: Think of the loose formula ‘subject, verb, object’. So, ‘Andrew wrote a rant for The Drum’ is probably better than ‘The rant came in an article written by Andrew’. Don’t be constrained by this rule but keep it in mind to write punchy content.
  4. Bullet point lists: Google loves a bullet point list – and so does your reader. Use them to make your content digestible.
  5. Use a thesaurus: Avoid using the same word more than once in a sentence. A thesaurus is your friend.
  6. Become self-reflective: Read back over posts you’ve written, preferably after a week or more has passed. Learn to critique your content and see what has and hasn’t worked.
  7. Write for pleasure: Writers who keep their love for their craft will give you that little bit extra. Write a blog about your personal passion in your free time and the process of writing will never become a chore.
  8. Listen to others: Good writers observe the world around them and channel their observations through the written word. Listening carefully to others will especially help if you write for an audience you aren’t part of.
  9. Don’t be too precious: People will disagree with you as a writer. They’ll often fuss about one or two words. You need a thick skin. Don’t be upset by the one word you were forced to change, be proud of the hundreds of others that are published.
  10. Challenge your brief: If you’re writing something and it feels wrong, it probably is. If you’re bored or confused by what you’re writing, then you can expect your reader to feel the same. Be prepared to question what’s in your brief.
  11. Write it how you’d say it: Are you stuck? Think about what you would say if you were to explain this verbally. Maybe write this out and then turn those words into something that’s more appropriate in a written form.
  12. Talk to other writers: A good team spirit and open dialogue between writers is important. Writers can help each other through difficulties by suggesting possible solutions or maybe offering links to articles they’ve read or written for inspiration.

This article first appeared as a chapter in volume two of The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Your Brand. 

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Why Businesses Will Struggle to Adapt to 2018’s Social Marketing Challenges

Social Marketing, Influencer Marketing
Image Credit: PonyWang/iStock


In its ongoing efforts to redefine popular beauty standards as part of its decade-long Real Beauty campaigns, Dove learned the hard way about the thin line that exists between positive social message and controversy. For a company that has so successfully promoted positive body image in the past, it must have come as a shock that an idea so well thought out (or so it thought) ended up being so misinterpreted.

But that’s just one of many examples that what looks good on paper might not look as good on Twitter.

While the marketing mistakes we saw in 2017 might have taught us a thing or two about social marketing, 2018 might bring with it a fresh list of public relations mishaps, legal issues and other unanticipated challenges.

By looking at trends, we can predict and prepare for what’s to come in 2018.

People will expect authenticity

As brand messaging, giving to charity and claims of “green” become popular ways to attract customers, consumers are putting their guard up and being very selective about what they believe.

“Consumers are no longer being impressed by new old tactics that used to be woven together into cause marketing,” Electra Cruises CEO Randy Clayton said. “Going forward, businesses will need to be more believable.”

The answer to this is authenticity. To be able to connect with consumers at a personal level, social marketers––and marketers in general––will need to cultivate an authentic voice that customers can easily identify with. The messages sent out must reach customers, be genuine and at the same time enhance brand principles—something that’s not been very popular in 2017.

So, what can you do to make your voice more believable?

“The time is ripe for transitory content,” RockHer CEO Jim Vernon said. “Social marketing will need to pick up the momentum set on transitory content such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Live videos in 2017. This type of content has a better shot at making your brand credible, as opposed to other types of content, which look and feel rehearsed and perfected.”

Brands will be required to be even more transparent

Back in 2015, Machinima had to settle charges imposed on it by the Federal Trade Commission for failing to adequately disclose paid endorsements to YouTube influencers for the promotion of Microsoft’s Xbox One.

This is a case of influencer marketing done right (Machinima had promised its client 19 million views) but against the law.

With the rising application of influencer marketing, sponsored content and other related techniques taking center stage in social marketing, brands are under a lot of scrutiny. This has called for more transparency on their part in the way that they leverage these methods to get their products out there.

Speaking of the Machinima settlement, Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, explained, “When people see a product touted online, they have a right to know whether they’re looking at an authentic opinion or a paid marketing pitch.”

Lawsuit Settlement Funding CEO Chris Janish said, “The legal aspect of advertising has long been a non-issue, but now, companies will need to carefully consider this area before they can even begin to sell their message.”

With such developments, influencer marketing might become irrelevant, or at least not as effective in 2018 as it has been in the previous years. Customers will find it hard to believe a message if they can clearly see that an influencer has been paid to push it.

Managing messaging across channels will be more challenging

Traditionally, the idea of optimizing content for different channels was to take the same piece of content and make small changes to fit it into the target channel. However, as it is, every piece of content has to be created for a particular channel, from the start.

The content-creation process is changing drastically, and social marketers will need to adapt to these changes. They will need to constantly look back at past content and see what has worked before, including the social data and target audience information.

“Each platform provides unique opportunities for you to tell the story of your brand,” Scorum CEO Vladislav Artemyev said. “To succeed in each, social marketers have to clearly define the type of content to create for their audience in each of the channels. They have to know the key pillars of each platform; what content matches the target audience, and which types to do away with; and the audience engagement levels on each platform.”

While 2017 gave us lots of Kendall Jenner Pepsi ads, it also gave us Heineken’s Worlds Apart ads. So, nothing is predetermined. Some marketers will still rise above the challenges and use the trends to their advantage. But the time to act is now.

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TV May Affect the Brain, But Influencer Marketing Affects the Heart

Marketing, Advertising, Social Media
Image Credit: valentinrussanov/iStock
By  | Adweek

Marketing and advertising have evolved in many ways over the past decade, particularly with the ways we consume media, most notably social media.

The advent of social media has ushered in a new wave of creators— the talented individuals who have showcased their creativity and developed a following around their content.

Enter influencer marketing—one of the fastest-growing segments of marketing—a new and exciting way to bring your brand to life. The big question that always remains is: “How do I measure the impact of my marketing programs?”

The #paid team decided to tackle this challenge by working with the team at Nielsen Consumer Insights on a marketing effectiveness study to better understand the consumer impact of branded influencer marketing materials, specifically reviewing the creative campaign of a major food and beverage brand.

To accomplish this, Nielsen conducted an online study to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of influencer marketing on key performance indicators (recall, affinity, etc.).
  • Assess the attributes associated with each piece of content (unique, credible, cool, etc.).
  • Determine the impact of influencer marketing on future purchase decisions.

As a basis of comparison, the team wanted to establish a benchmark against the primary channel for brand-based marketing—video advertising and TV commercials—by using a pre- and post-exposure methodology, often used by Nielsen Media Lab. The published study can be found on the #paid website.

The results were surprising but insightful into the ways consumers view these different types of content. The research showed that video advertising performed extremely well on brand recall and driving brand awareness. However, social media content drove stronger brand perception shifts, and content quality was viewed as equivalent or greater than traditional video ads.

So, what does that mean for influencer marketing? These are some of the major takeaways from the study:

Influencer marketing and TV work in complementary ways

Many marketers view these two investments as an “either/or,” essentially creating a divide between the two channels. In the end, the research revealed the various impacts of marketing and how they actually work best simultaneously.

When consumers see a TV ad, they see the brand logo, product shot, key claims and tagline. Catchy jingles can get stuck in people’s minds. All of this works well to get people to notice and remember a brand, but this is only the first step within the path to purchase.

Influencer marketing takes this a step further by integrating products into the creators’ lives that consumers seek inspiration from and relate to. In short, creators make products highly relatable and desirable. These attributes have been shown to increase consideration and purchase intent—the next stage of the path to purchase.

Content can be produced—at scale—from social media creators

Marketers should look at how we develop creative content in the 21st century. It doesn’t require pricey studio rentals, a production crew, casting talent and editing anymore. All of these tasks are performed by content creators—the 21st century production crew.

Initial concerns about the quality of the content were put at ease when the results showed that content quality was actually viewed as equivalent or exceeding that of the traditional video ad.

Tools to measure the impact of influencer marketing are becoming more abundant

Measuring the impact of brand marketing has always been an elusive and tricky thing to figure out. The ways we measure the impact can vary depending on the type of campaign that’s run, the objectives set out and the conversion funnel.

That said, establishing campaign goals and running brand measurement studies or any conversion analysis are excellent ways to track the performance of influencer marketing and determine the brand’s return on investment.

When traditional research leaders like Nielsen partner with brand teams, agencies and industry innovators on finding new ways to measure the impact of new approaches to marketing, the industry wins. It allows all marketers to understand the different use cases and make everybody’s efforts stronger.

Authenticity and relatable at its core

A strength in influencer marketing stems from its ability for brands to partner with creators that develop content perceived to be authentic and relatable to their audience. Their audience has come to know them for an extended period of time, heard their reviews on a range of different products and services and see a bit of themselves in the creators they follow.

When a creator voices their opinion and integrates a brand into their feed, it connects to their audience in a much more powerful way than simply getting a video view or an ad impression.

Influencer marketing should be considered a key part of a marketer’s tool kit

While influencer marketing programs can be led by different teams—PR, creative, media or the brand—the simple story is that influencer marketing is here to stay and deserves significant investment and coordination within a brand plan.

When the #paid team works on various influencer marketing programs, they either partner with brands directly or with their media agencies, as they often hold the media budgets. Those budgets are crucial in order to ensure the scalable success of influencer marketing: Creators deserve to get compensated for their work, time and talent; brand teams need to ensure that content is created on time and according to the brief.

All in all, the future of influencer marketing is bright. Influencer marketing budgets continue to rise, creators are learning how to integrate brands in a more sophisticated and authentic way and the industry as a whole is adopting best practices to drive even more value for everybody involved.

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The anatomy of the modern marketer

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What does the future of marketing look like? Last year, MOI Global undertook a six-month project to find out. Consisting of three global dinner discussions, a survey and top marketing thought leadership from some frankly badass panelists and speakers, Disrupt Forum 2017 uncovered many of the answers.

We started by dissecting the anatomy of the modern marketer. Today’s buyer has all the power, and any marketer who wants to redress the balance needs to adopt a new way of thinking. But no marketer is an island. And no single skill set will do. Instead, both MOI’s Anatomy of the Modern Marketer survey and the panellists from our first Disrupt Forum dinner revealed the key characteristics we should identify, promote and nurture in the Modern Marketer.


Sitting alongside a readiness to learn and to adapt is a hunger to improve. Many of today’s marketers choose opportunity and corporate fit over cash reward, and are aware of how their development and progression helps the business. This means they are focused on organisational goals, alongside their own.

Multifaceted marketing

Marketing is no longer a single discipline, but multifaceted. The Modern Marketer is part scientist, part creative, and while technology has brought the need for a whole new set of digital skills, traditional marketing skills are as relevant and crucial as ever: the need to understand data, finance, and to build a strategy, hook an audience…


Hook an audience. Isn’t that old-school in this age of inbound marketing and user-generated content (UGC)? Well you need to inspire and compel them to collaborate with you in the first place, or why would they bother? And collaboration skills are key internally too – 78% of marketers who took our survey chose ‘collaborator’ as the most important personality trait. Marketers who can work with and learn from other functions will have a broader perspective and a bigger ideas pool.


Perhaps the most important trait of all in an ever-changing world is curiosity. “Stay hungry,” says Disrupt Forum panelist Geraldine Kor, director of marketing, DXC. “If you are constantly hungry, you’ll always be curious and be seeking.” The ‘Modern Marketer’ is always alert to new trends and opportunities, always seeking new ways of doing things, always ready to listen, learn and adapt.


The best marketers put understanding customers at the heart of their marketing, obsessing not just about who and where they are, but also their attitudes, behaviours and actions. They understand that the customer experience they provide is what differentiates their company from the rest.

So what did we learn? As hard as we tried to find it, there’s no single set of skills, training course or process today that will remain fit for purpose for very long. But for marketers not daunted by change, there’s a world of opportunities.

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