Gem’s Bagels Final Update


With the close of class and our last blog it seemed fitting to include a final update on our group project. We completed our project and presentation and wanted to inform the readers on our direction for Gem’s and where it is heading with it’s unlimited budget. After a successful marketing campaign on social media Gem’s has become a destination for foodies all around the country. Because of this Gem’s has been able to expand to become national. We went viral on Instagram and were featured on Diners Drive ins and Dives. We felt it was important to explain in our presentation that we have made it big, but have not forgotten where we came from. We will continue to cater to our loyal and local customers while maintaining a large presence elsewhere.


After reviewing our unlimited plan we realized we should make a change to how we advertise. Originally we planned on paying for national publications while only adding one new location. That would be a lot of wasted impressions because we are reaching people all around the nation about a bagel store in just Long Island. There were a few different ways we could change this, but we decided to add more locations into our budget to better fit our print and social media plan. However, in order to stick to our familial feel there is a strict application process in order to open a new location. It will remain a pleasure to serve our customers and provide a “well rounded” bagel shop with a wide variety of quality food, while making you feel like family.

Greg Shikowitz, Group 7

Fire Festival Disaster: Social Media Influencers & Branding.

I think every brand can learn something from Fyre Festivals misbranding and marketing nightmare. Here is a brief summary of what happened.

Set to take place on a private island in the Exumas for two consecutive weekends, Fyre  Festival was said to be one of the most upscale and trendiest events to date. Their lineup for performances included Blink-182, Major Lazer, Lil Yachty and many more. The event organizers included self-made entrepreneur, Billy McFarland and rapper JaRule who promised an unforgettable weekend. Indeed, the weekend would be very unforgettable. Before we move on, it is important to watch Fyre Festivals promotional video.

Promoting your brand and the content you display can be considered a promise to consumers. The video above promises festival goers a luxurious vacation in the Bahamas with top music performers and private planes. The festival was the complete opposite, there were disaster relief tents for sleeping instead of promised cabanas, and bread with a slice of cheese rather than the 5-star food as promised. This festival was a branding disaster.

As we learned in class, social media influencers have the opportunity to generate brand awareness and drive traffic to new events. Fyre Festival utilized this marketing technique by bringing on more than 400 “influencers” with large social media followings.   These influencers were referred to as the “Fyre Squad” and the “Fyre Starters.” They each were asked to post promotional videos and photos in exchange for free flights, accommodation and tickets. The festivals strategy did work, the “Fyre Starters” posted promotions that reached over 300 million people in 24 hours. This campaign generated general brand awareness and made the festival look even more desirable since it appeared that many high class models, such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, were going to be attending this event as well. Since they promoted this “high class” festival, and everything went wrong, these celebrities damaged their own brand. They offered their names to this startup brand with no prior history, trusting that festival was going to be everything that was promised. Since they promoted this on their social media pages and had their names tied to the brand, now many of their followers may not trust their future content. They damaged their personal brand and their followers loyalty. While they have since released apologies about what happened, it doesn’t make it disappear.

When influencers offer their name to a brand they should first make sure that it is legitimate and trustworthy by doing their own research. This festival was overall a branding and marketing disaster, one in which I think other brands and social media influencers can learn a lot from.  What does this mean for other music festivals and event brands? Let’s just say they better keep their promises and differentiate themselves from Fyre Festivals brand.

Written by Justin Mullins (Group 3).

How to Do Branded Content The Right Way

Making and producing videos is expensive; it takes time, effort and especially money to hopefully accomplish a successful end goal-to sell your brand-so you want to make sure you get your moneys worth. On one hand, you don’t want your message and promotion of the brand to be lost, but on the other hand, you have to make sure the audience actually watches the video in order to get that information. Trying to balance the amount of information given with the quality of entertainment, because after all without the entertainment aspect no one will want to watch.  In an interview in AdWeek with James DeJulio, co-founder and CCO of Tongal (a network of 20,000 freelance creatives and production companies) says that “if you ask for [a consumers attention]…you better have something worthy to say”; asking for their attention in general is a big commitment.

I think there are numerous times where each of us get caught watching a video and all it sounds like is a boring advertisement. However sometimes, we come across content that sells more than just the product and the overall brand, it creates a story, its informative and engaging. Tongal created a poll where they surveyed 500 of its members  on “what they value in branded conent, what its weaknesses are” and “what they want brands to know”. Some important data that came out of this poll was that consumers want to “laugh or learn” over anything else. Which makes sense if you think about it, things that are humorous are entertaining and things that are educational are informationally engaging. Secondly the poll found that consumers prefer to see normal people rather than the use of celebrities.A recent example that seems to do a great job of all the qualities mentioned above is the newest Heineken #openyourworld commercial. The commercial begins by interviewing various every day people about their political and social views on certain topics such as politics and sexuality. They then have the people who were just interviewed interact with each other and work as a team to build a piece of furniture. In the end each persons original interview is revealed to her partner only to find they have conflicting views. Heineken then offer the two the opportunity to stay and have a drink with each other or they can part their ways. The majority of the ad is just following the stories and experiences of the participants and the Heineken brand isn’t even seen until almost 3 minutes into the video. As for its educational and informative aspect, its more of a life lesson rather than information about the brand. But overall it informs the consumer what kind of brand Heineken truly is.

With the recent advertisement blunders of Pepsi and other brands made way for Heinekens huge success. Being able to combine advertising your brand but without dehumanizing the entire process is something thats important to successful branded content and Heineken has stepped up to this standard.

By: Molly Gross, Group 4

Ashley HomeStore is Beefing up its Media Spend

There are a number of furniture store options: Raymor & Flanigan, Ethan Allen, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Pottery Barn, etc. The list goes on and on; however, Ashley HomeStore is beefing up their media spend to gain a leg up on their competitors. To “beef up” their spend, Ashley HomeStore enlisted the help of Empower, an independent Cincinnati, Ohio-based agency whose clients include Famous Footwear and Gorilla Glue. The agency will work with Ashley HomeStore on digital  media strategy and planning across all 700 locations across 36 countries.

Ashley Furniture Industries spent $161.7 million in measured media in 2016 for its HomeStore furniture stores, so it will be interesting to see how this budget is optimized for digital use. With their being such hyper competition in the home furnishing market, consumers have an unlimited amount of options. As a result, digital advertising has the data-driven approach that Ashley HomeStore needs. With traditional media outlets their furniture giant was likely wasting money to achieve a high amount of impressions, but a low conversion rate.

Since 2017 will be the first year Ashley HomeStore embraces digital advertising, Empower Agency needs to create a series of customer prints and content for their stages throughout their purchasing hour: search, consideration, and fulfillment. With home improvement and DIY content on the rise Ashley HomeStore should consider reaching out to key social media influencers in their market. YouTube has a huge market for home furnishing. Lifestyle vloggers generate thousands of views showing their home-purcashing and decorating process.

For instance, MissyLynn a beauty vlogger recently purchased a home in Dallas, Texas. Her video about furniture installations and decorations received 267,000 views. To watch click here.

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Another lifestyle blogger, Nitrabb has created an entire “From House to Home” series on her YouTube channel. The series has generated a total of 2,084,811 views. To view the playlist click here.

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Also, looking at Ashley HomeStore’s social media channel their Twitter is mostly redundant content with asetheically-pleasing  pictures of their furniture; however, this type of content would be more suited for Instagram. Twitter is where customers will come to express their opinions, complaints, or compliments about a particular company or brand. Ashley HomeStore needs to ensure they are using their social media platforms to interact and engage with clients going forward.

Can you think of any additional ideas for Ashley HomeStore to become more interactive and engaging with their target market as they move into the digital space? Perhaps Pop-Up shops or becoming sponsors of popular HGTV shows: Flop or Flop or Fixer Upper?

To read view the article click here.


Written by : Valentina Ballas (group 4)

Brand Building Bootcamp

A simple way to start building your “brand” is to imagine your company as a person. What kind of personality does your firm have? What are the traits? These personable elements will help you position your brand in the mind of the consumer, and reinforce your values.

Adding value by improving the customer experience is a great way to organically build your brand. Do you have the best return policy on this side of Mississippi? Can you customize your products? Show it off! Promoting these offerings in store or online will improve your brand equity.

Let’s take a look at a brand that has taken the concept of customer service to new heights:


L.L. Bean has a reputation for being one of the most customer focused brands in America. Here is a quote from L.L. himself:

“I don’t consider a sale complete until goods are worn out
and the customer still satisfied.”

In addition to their generous return philosophy, most of the products at L.L. Bean have a lifetime warranty. The customer can send any item back and they will repair the damages for a small fee. They also offer engraving, free alterations, and gift-wrapping.

Services such as these make the difference for many small and large business models. Opportunities to create more meaningful touchpoints with consumers are too often overlooked by retailers. There are many ways your business can add value to create an identity and improve its position against competitors.

Any company looking to establish their brand should familiarize themselves with the six laws of customer experience:


Overall, brand image goes much deeper than a logo and a mission statement. To drive consumers to purchase your product and seek your services requires a solid understanding of what the consumers need and value. Creating a personable brand with actionable offerings will not only bring you more sales, but loyal customers.

Written by Alexis Batulis

About THAT Red Bathing Suit…

Written by: Jessica D’Amelia


Yup, there it is again. The infamous red bathing suit that was all over your Instagram feed on May 3rd. If your day was anything like mine yesterday, it probably went a little like this:

10am: You woke up thinking it was going to be a typical Wednesday. Classes to go to, tests to study for, and another meeting with a group to prepare for your final presentation. You do your daily run through of social media and notice that your friend Olivia (who has the blondest hair you’ve ever seen) posted a picture of a girl that was definitely not her on her Instagram. Sure, this seemed a little weird but as you do with most posts on your Instagram feed, you gave it a quick double tap and continued scrolling.

12pm: With one of two classes done for the day, you’re feeling pretty good. You stop by Marist Beach to check out what’s going on during activity hour and then head over to Hancock to get some work done. Before you get started, you check Instagram again and notice that another girl you follow posted the same exact picture of the girl in the bathing suit.

2pm: On your way to your next class, you do another quick scroll through social media. This is when things got REALLY strange. At least fifteen other people you follow posted the SAME exact picture of this girl in the red bathing suit. You get to class and start investigating. You click on @Sunnycoclothing which is tagged in the caption of every one of these photos and suddenly everything starts to make sense.

Sunny Co Clothing is a company run by Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood, seniors at the University of Arizona both studying business. As a way to promote their brand, they decided to offer one of their bathing suits that usually retails for around $65, for free to anyone who reposted their Instagram post and tagged their company in the caption. Before long, their picture was being reposted on millions of girl’s Instagrams with captions like, “Free bathing suit? YES PLEASE! @Sunnycoclothing” and “THANK U @Sunnycoclothing I needed a new suit!”.

With the sudden and overwhelming popularity of this post, people were quick to point out the possibility that this could be a scam or bad publicity stunt for the brand. While the jury is still out on whether or not Sunny Co will be able to follow through with the number of free suits they promised, it’s safe to say that they definitely mastered the use of social media marketing. The brand was incredibly successful at putting the right message (FREE bathing suit) in front of the right audience (millennial social media users) at the right time (the cusp of summer) to generate the right response (a LOT of free promotion for Sunny Co).

Not only did Sunny Co receive promotion on Instagram, but soon after the their post started going viral, fake Sunny Co twitter accounts were created and meme’s about the post began cropping up all over the internet.

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The promotion brought a lot of traffic to their website as well, selling out all of Sunny Co’s bathing suits and a large chunk of their other merchandise.

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Even though by the end of the day I was ready to delete my Instagram app for fear of stumbling upon the godforsaken red bathing suit picture again, I have to give major props to Sunny Co for killing the social media game and making their company trend nationwide. One can only hope to one day be as randomly successful as Sunny Co Clothing.

For the limited and unlimited budget final project you need to know your target audience and what form of advertisement will be most affective to them. You need to use data to find out what time and where your target audience will see the advertisement. you want to make sure you get as much data and research as you can so when placing your advertisement you get your moneys worth. You don’t want to make a billboard advertisement for promoting social media for teens because the chance of teens reading a billboard when driving is very low so that would not be the best choice to show your advertisement. You need to make smart choices and make your informant is being placed in the best spot it can.

Jessica Schicke group 3

Identifying a “Disruptive” Strategy.

Jean-Marie Dru chairman of TBWA worldwide, coin to the concept of disruption in advertising. He identified disruption as the shared characteristic of distinctive, brand changing campaigns, using examples such as VW and Apple. When Drew looked at what made these campaigns similar, he saw that the way of thinking always represented a pregnant-man-health-education-council-brainy-rainbefore and after. There was a breakthrough, revolution,a “disruption”. This concept defines and demands unconventional thinking. Dru’s disruption theory helps you access the strength of strategy whether you’re devising it with a planner or on your own. The thinking behind the Health Education Council poster about contraception shares the disruptive quality common to the classic campaigns Dru mentioned before. The Health Education Council set an objective to raise the issue of contraception and encourage young men to take greater responsibility. A more conventional strategic approach would have been the focus on a young woman. Instead the disruption occurs by forcing young man to face up to what it looks and feels like to be visibly in trouble. As a result of what was a shocking image, attitudes toward sex education begin to change. Created at Kramer in 1969, this poster is widely considered to have marked a change in UK advertising.

Elektra Nelson – Group 2

Assert Your Brand Rep, Build a Media Kit!

Written by: Amber Urena

Media Kits are specially curated docks that entail key brand information for the public. The importance of media kits for brands big and small goes without question. Media Kits introduce a brand, its mission, services offered, internal business info, statistics such as target consumers/reach, clients and contact information. While this information can usually be found online or on a brands website, media kits are produced by the brand itself, and are delivered to publics as a collective set of information.

Media kits are produced by companies big and small. While small business may be more skeptical in creating a media kit because of the effort required and projected worth, media kits have been proven to promote business success. Media kits not only assert a brands reputation, but give potential clients and consumers confidence in choosing their business.

In addition, a business within any given industry can create a media kit. I’ve included excerpts from kits across industries such as food/drink, fashion, news, retail, etc.

Food Network: 


In developing a media kit, it is important to acknowledge that all the information entailed will be at the hands of the public. Thus, writing professionally, creatively and with accuracy can improve the chances of your business being recognized as interesting and credible.

A media kit is also an opportunity to embrace your business model and brand identity. Designing with consideration to your brand identity is essential. One should consider color schemes, images, fonts, and templates that reflect the brand image. Gathering testimonials, press and collaborations should also be included to strengthen the identity of the brand as well as reaffirming the businesses alignment to its business model.

All in all, media kits can be created by business big and small. They serve as an all encompassing message to potential clients and consumers but also promote the business identity.

Group #1: Amber Urena, Jared Boba, Ashley Liso, Katie Braver

A Star Emerges from a Week of PR Nightmares

After multiple weeks of front page PR blunders (looking at you United & Pepsi) Heineken released a feel good commercial titled Worlds Apart. The commercial successfully emulates how we can put our differences aside and work together towards something great.

The commercial begins with individuals describing their beliefs. Two strangers then meet and knowing nothing about each other work together to build a bar. Throughout the building process the strangers get to know each other through ice breakers, a Q&A, bridge building, the decision.

The most interesting part of the commercial is the decision, after the strangers successfully build the bar and have gotten to know each other, their views on certain topics that the other described themselves as (ex. feminism, transgender) are then played for the each other to see. After watching the video, the strangers have a choice, leave or sit at the bar and discuss their differences over a Heineken. All of the strangers in the video choose to share a Heineken. Through getting to know each other through building the bar, the strangers have more productive conversations about their differences. Through Heineken the strangers show how important it is to “open your mind” which will in turn “open your world.”

Heineken is able to do what Pepsi and many other brands have not, sensitively expressing how our differences make us unique and we have the ability to look past those differences, in turn bringing people together. In my opinion the success of the commercial comes for the storytelling. The commercial is longer than a typical 30 second spot (it’s just over 4 minutes long), however the 4 minutes have had great impact, being shared on social media as “the best thing I’ve watched in years,” “Heineken just made the ad Pepsi wishes it had.”

Kaitlyn Roberts

Group 6