Blog written by the students in Marist College's Media Strategy course. Please note, the views or opinions that may appear in this blog are intended for academic discussion and do not represent the views of Marist College.
Lily Flanagan’s Pub is a place for friends and family. It is your classic Irish bar that is rich in lively atmosphere, thirst quenching drinks and great food. The bar currently spends about $24,000 a year on advertisements. It is a well known establishment in the Long Island community and caters to all demographics. Due to this my group and I needed to figure out which target audience to focus on. Lily Flanagans has a great family crowd during the weekdays who come to enjoy a lovely meal together. They then are influxed with a young adult crowd on the Friday’s and Saturday nights. The pub ends their week with a sports crowd, who come to enjoy the game with fellow fans. We decided to focus on the young adult crowd as we feel we can relate to them the most.
Lily Flanagan’s is extremely popular with the young adult crowd. They are located in the heart of Babylon Village which has a string of bars and pubs right next to the train station. A young adult from anywhere along the Baylon line of the LIRR is able to go to Lily’s easily. This line goes from Penn Station, follows along the South side of Long Island and ends right in Babylon Village. The location is also a hot spot of Uber pick ups which makes transportation very easy. This is very important when targeting the young adult crowd since many members of this demographic are unable to drive after a night out.
Drunk driving is a horrible possibility for any bar or pub. This is why we want to start a campaign at Lily’s: “Lily’s is the safest way to end your night”. We want to stress the importance for a safe ride home and the abundance of transportation option in Babylon Village. This is part of our strategy. We feel that if young adults feel they can end a crazy night safely with Lily’s they are more likely attend the pub. My group and I are still zeroing on some ideas. Some include: a shuttle bus, uber coupons and discounts on food an hour before the kitchen closes. The shuttle bus can bring local residents to and from pick up spots near Babylon for free. We want to be able to help pay for uber rides as the night ends. Lily’s will give out a coupon code each night that will allow for cheaper rates. This will hopefully drive more people to uber home rather than drink and drive. Finally, we feel the discount food prices will drive more traffic in at the end of the night. This will increase not only food revenue but drink revenue and cover charges as well. This however, still needs to be discussed following our limited budget.
We also want to increase the pub’s social media presence. It is pretty outdated and boring.
The Pub’s instagram is filled with pictures that are no unique to the bar and do not show the true Irish atmosphere that gained the bar it’s recognition. Their twitter is also not unique and only showcases the bar’s specials. We want to increase their social media and make the content more unique to what makes Lily Flanagans, Lilys. We want to create viral content that will really solidify the Pub’s role in Long Island culture.
Our next idea is to sell merchandize that advertises the Pub’s name and motto. Since, Lily Flanagans Pub is a well known establishment throughout Long Island. The merchandize will be recognized and bought by a large demographic. The merchandize will increase revenue as well as create a form of “free advertisement” by those who wear it. We can even give discounts to those who were the merchandize to the bar to increase the incentive to buy. The merchandise will also aid us as we start to embark on the unlimited budget. Recognition is key to a successful bar.
We are still bouncing around more ideas and are working hard on a media strategy that focuses targeting the young adult crowd while keeping on to the family and older crowd. We definitely need to focus on one overall message strategy as well as which campaigns to include. But, we are confident that we will be able to achieve a lot within the budget of $24,000. We are also very excited to work on the project.
A new brand battle is approaching– and fizzing– on the mass-produced beverage horizon. With the introduction of PepsiCo’s new line of sparkling water, Bubly, the widely popular LaCroix has finally met its match.
Before you ask– no, PepsiCo isn’t just focusing on soda. In fact, their brands range from Doritos to Aquafina. They recently introduced Lifewtr too, a purified water with electrolytes. This broad range of brand ownership is probably a wise move, especially since the soda craze has been dying out recently and consumer interest seems to be shifting towards healthier options at the grocery store. In 2016, bottled water sales by volume were higher than those of carbonated soda (according to Beverage Marketing Corporation’s DrinkTell database).
Prior to Bubly, flavored sparkling water giant LaCroix had somewhat of a monopoly on artsy carbonated beverages, especially among millennials. Between the range of delicious flavors and the 35-year foundation of business, it is an attractive tradition among fizzy drinkers everywhere.
Only time will tell if Bubly is able to make a dent in the aluminum-clad sparkling water industry, but with PepsiCo’s powerful presence on shelves across the country (whether it be in the form of chips, juice, or water) it seems promising. With flavors like apple, strawberry, and mango, who wouldn’t give it a try?
What makes a company like PepsiCo shift marketing gears, like they are doing with the introduction of Bubly? There are a few logical possibilities:
PepsiCo saw a valuable opportunity for growth, observing the desire for carbonated drinks with less sugar.
PepsiCo felt they were missing out on a surging market that their company could fulfill but was left underdeveloped.
PepsiCo saw a competitor in LaCroix and decided to create a similar product that consumers would enjoy just as much, or more than, this competitor.
Whatever the reason, this expansion of the PepsiCo franchise has the potential to be quite profitable. But it wouldn’t be a battle without a fight, and brands like LaCroix or even San Pellegrino are likely opponents. As always, the consumer’s choice will ultimately decide which fizzy drink emerges victorious. There are several factors that may influence a consumer’s final decision:
Trust: In the spectrum of sparkling water alone, LaCroix’s 35 year foundation may foster feelings of trust within their consumer base. Trusting a soda distributor to provide a low-sugar drink may be an adjustment for some.
Impulse: Bubly is the impulse buy in this scenario, since it is the new product. It isn’t familiar to consumers, so purchasing it would be more of a risk.
Value: The price for Bubly has not been released yet, but judging by the average price of PepsiCo products Bubly will likely have a good value.
Proximity: A product attracts consumers if it’s closer or easier to obtain. PepsiCo is known to market their products to the masses and distribute to large chain grocery stores, positioning themselves as the convenient choice.
Taste: The taste factor depends entirely on personal preference, however there are 15 flavors of LaCroix and only 6 flavors of Bubly.
What about PepsiCo’s target audience? Will this group be receptive to Bubly? First, we would have to define (roughly) who those people are. It’s safe to say this target market shops at mainstream grocery stores like Stop and Shop or Costco that actively stock PepsiCo brands on their shelves. Since these brands are also priced low, the target audience is either financially modest or part of a low-to-mid economic class. In addition, PepsiCo caters to households with parents and children: chips, juice, and water are common finds in family pantries. These families are likely looking for quick school snacks or a way to feed guests at their Sunday football viewing party.
Now take a can of Pepsi or a bag of Doritos and replace it with Bubly sparkling water. Does it evoke the same feeling? Does it attract the same individual or group? I would argue no. Bubly is all about making conscious beverage choices fun (vivid product design, mouth-watering flavors, etc.). I envision a healthy millennial with a busy career and no time to home-brew their own kombucha or even wait for the water to boil for a cup of tea. Sparkling water in a can? Sounds like a trendy, satisfying drink you can take on the subway. Maybe you’ll even snap a pic of the rad can design for Instagram.
So, what does this really mean for PepsiCo? Bubly is not just another extension of the food and beverage conglomerate. It’s the opportunity to usher in a new consumer base– if marketed correctly. So crack open a cold one (a cold Bubly, that is) and watch PepsiCo shake up the sparkling water game.
On Sunday, February 4th, the Eagles claimed the title of Super Bowl 2018 champions. While millions of Americans tuned into the big game, many clicked on the TV to watch the new commercials. Every year on Super Bowl Sunday exciting new ads are expected to hit our TV screens. NBC reported to charge agencies over $5 million dollars for a 30 second spot. With over 100 million people watching, advertisers were cautious on what they broadcasted during the biggest TV platform event of 2018.
Last year we saw a lot of commercials recognizing immigration, civil rights, and gender equality, this year many commercials shifted their focus. Marketers this year toned down their opinions on political statements and social injustice to advertise products in ways that were humorous, touching, and smart. Here are my top 3 Super Bowl 2018 commercials.
Amazon released this 90 second ad starring a few well known celebrities. Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, Gordon Ramsey, and Anthony Hopkins all starred in the commercial as different voices of the Amazon product, “Alexa.” The large celebrity presence as well as the humor involved resulted in a memorable commercial. Who wouldn’t want the voice of Cardi B talking to them through their Alexa?
Every year during the Super Bowl there’s always a commercial that is tearfully emotional and inspiring. This year, Toyota put out this commercial saying “The odds of winning a Paralympic gold medal are almost 1 billion to 1. This film follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals.” The goal of this ad was clear, Toyota promises their products are free to move, which means anything is possible. The concept of better movement for everyone shines through the heartwarming commercial, as it inspires viewers and motivates them to believe that anything is possible.
Stranger Things’s David Harbour starred in this years’ Super Bowl Tide ad. His popularity within the Netflix show is huge, and the hilarious jokes in the commercial remain unforgettable. Amidst the eating Tide pods epidemic, the commercial was light hearted, funny, and brilliantly creative. Harbour appears as various characters in the ad, as he pops up in a series of scenarios fit for auto shops, soda drinking, beers, jewelry, mattresses, and even deodorant. The deodorant ad was the most memorable part of the entire commercial, a spoof of the very popular Old Spice ad. The purpose of these mini ads was to recognize that each one was, in fact, a Tide ad.
This year a lot of great content was released, causing for a great Super Bowl 2018 viewing experience. These 3 ads were a select few of the inspiring, funny, and relatable commercials released this year. Television is a huge platform for ad agencies to promote products/services and is a great way to connect with consumers nationwide. These 3 commercials were the most memorable to me, and maybe just one made your top 3 list too. Hopefully next year the ads will continue to become bigger and better. The Eagles won the Super Bowl, and these ads definitely won the commercial breaks.
The most anticipated marketing event of the year The Super Bowl came and went once again and we are left with many different messages to digest and attempt to make meaning of. Of course there were the fan favorite ads like the Ad for Amazon Alexa staring Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, and Jeff Bezos himself and the NFL’s own nod to the famous Dirty Dancing scene. Although there were many ads that stuck out in a positive way, like always, there were many flops that left us all confused and a little worried as to who let this stuff even happen. Although I am not a professional in any way, I still think I could have screened some of these better than the people in charge! The problem with most of these ads stem from the lack of authenticity. In today’s world brands MUST be authentic- advertising any other way is essentially a waste of time. One terribly great example of this is the Ram truck commercial I’m sure we have all seen or heard about; this commercial comes off as totally unauthentic to the brand and has caused some serious outrage all over social media.
The company decided to use an ad featuring Martin Luther King’s words about the value of service and leadership spoken 50 years earlier to the date of the Super Bowl. The ad then showed images of “hard working” Americans with King’s speech playing in the background and at the end the words built for service are shown followed by the Ram logo. This caused a lot of outrage because Martin Luther King’s philosophy and selling trucks do not exactly go hand in hand. To make the matter worse, the particular speech quoted actually spoke of the evils of advertising in some ways and the adverse effects of deceitful advertising to those who cannot afford newer, expensive things, like a new Ram truck. To see how authentic this message actually was with the brand, if turned to their website to see what image the brand was portraying online to consumers.
When reading the Ram mission statement on the parent company website I was informed that ram stands for dependability, capability, and efficiency. I don’t know about you but I’m not necessarily sure their commercial about philanthropy and hard work goes with their brand mission. The images on their website and social feeds are also very different than the message of the ad and do not address the “built for service” theme of their TV ad spot. The images posted show built up, extravagant versions of their cars and cars in front of large southern estates, ect. There was not a single picture of a person using the truck to work or help serve others. This is the main cause of the brand’s problem, the ad came totally out of nowhere and everyone understood this automatically.
This misstep could have totally been avoided if the brand was aware of their image and created an ad to tune into it. Brand authenticity becoming even more important in the world today since social media puts a brand in the spotlight. Consumers are given many opportunities to connect with brands and are more skeptical than ever before because of this. If a brand has a serious slip up, it is almost impossible to keep the message from spreading to connected consumers. In the case of Ram, the one ad at the Super Bowl has spread to people around the world that may have not even seen the ad. When people see this ad and then see the conflicting brand image on their website and social media channels, consumers are trained to understand their unauthentic nature.
When a misstep like this occurs, it is important that the company takes steps to combat their mistake on their social channels. Just like in most situations, it is better to own up to the mistake and attempt to correct it than to continue past it. One important step I would like to see from ram would be listening and responding to the criticisms posted on their various social sites. To see if the brand was taking this step, I scrolled through their Facebook page and was pleasantly surprised to see that the brand was actually quite active with responding to comments on the page. At first it seemed that they were doing their best to interact with fans, but after only a few seconds it becomes clear that the brand was only replying to the positive comments posted on the site and not responding to various criticisms from others. Take the Facebook post of their controversial ad for example here. The brand posted the ad after it aired on the Super Bowl and was inundated with over 1,000 shares and many comments. The brand was answering positive comments that talked about the strength of the ad, the benefits of Ram trucks, and more Ram positive comments. When looking at the equally numerous negative comments about exploitation, unauthentic images, and negative aspects to ram trucks, there were almost no replies from Ram. This is very interesting because although they are active on social media, they are not actively trying to come back from their misstep and are acting as if it never happened. This is a true weakness of the brand that they must try and work on to gain a more positive and authentic image.
Other than this, Ram still has a lot to work on in terms of authenticity. Another big issue I can see on their social channels is that they focus on posting just pictures of jacked up specialty trucks, appealing to people who love trucks and are knowledgeable about them. The Ram Super Bowl ad did not apply to this key audience that they are marketing to currently. The ad not only upset potential buyers, but it also was totally off key from who actually purchase Ram trucks currently. The primary user of a Ram truck tends to be affluent, conservative, and educated. The people who tend to buy this truck do not fit into the images of the hard working people shown in the ad and actually live much more suburban lifestyles. Ram tends to be a more upscale truck company in the eyes of consumers which is seen in their pricing model, social media feeds, and in the actual clients seen driving their trucks around the world.
Ram may be making an attempt to break into new demographic segments in this ad, but it came off as offensive for most of the people they are trying to appeal to. Since the majority of Ram trucks cost over fifty thousand dollars, it is highly unlikely that the working class people portrayed in the ads could comfortably afford these trucks which adds insult to injury. And thanks to information posted all over social media and the internet, the ad has become even more offensive because of the parts of Martin Luther King’s speech that were not played in the ad. These sections warned about advertisers trying to take advantage of and trick consumers into buying things they could not afford. That sentence sounds eerily similar to what Ram is actually doing, appealing to a lower income demographic to “trick” them into buying the truck.
Although I am sure the Ram Super Bowl ad came from a place of respect, consumers simply did not see it this way. Every year at the Super Bowl there are ads that stand out for the good and for the bad. Unfortunately for Ram, this year it was their turn to lose. In the past, Ram has been known for producing good ads in the Super Bowl. In 2014 their “Farmer” ad was widely acclaimed and gained the brand a lot of respect among consumers. In addition to this other brands within the Fiat-Chrysler umbrella have also put out spots that have been acclaimed by many, but this year many Jeep and Chrysler ads have just not been up to the par that people expect. Hopefully the entire company reconsiders their current strategy and steps things up.
Although the outrage has been pretty high profile, the company has an opportunity to own up to the mistake and make things right. As of now, there do not seem to be many signs of this, but hopefully in the coming weeks we will see them owning up to their mistakes. All and all, brands need to be extra careful in today’s social age because authenticity is key to success. If the brand is saying one thing and consumers are thinking another, potential customers will be happy to move on to another brand that they feel they can trust better. Firms must constantly adapt and be on top of their game in the new world of constant content and advertising. Hopefully we will see more examples of Ram and other brands stepping up to the plate in the future.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This powerful statement is the crux of Simon Sinek’s TED Talk about inspirational leaders. Through his concept of The Golden Circle, he explains that loyalty and success come from people who know the purpose of their work, beyond just a profit margin. In the TED Talk he brings up examples of great companies like Apple, and failures like TiVo. However, as I was watching, I wondered if this concept could go beyond the traditional business model. He mentioned Martin Luther King Jr’s success as a leader, but could this concept be applied to something else?
People always tell me I’m a downer because I love sad musicals. Although I love Mamma Mia and Anything Goes, there isn’t much beef to a show like that. I love when a show can make me feel things that I never thought I could feel inside a dark, cramped room with hundreds of strangers at two in the afternoon. Perhaps, there is something in musicals, that go beyond the superficial, that hits something deeper inside people. Something that makes them go see a show again, and again, and again. Something that makes it a commercial success.
Let’s look at one of the most commercially successful shows that has ever come to Broadway in the past ten years: Hamilton: An American Musical. Making a musical is no easy task, but making a musical that actually makes any money is even harder. However, Hamilton, makes millions every week just from ticket sales alone. That doesn’t even factor in merchandise, cast albums or profits from their touring company. What makes this musical so success? Of course, it has won many awards, 11 Tony awards in totally (coming in just shy of The Producer’s record of 12). But Tony awards don’t always mean success for a show. Carrie despite being a beloved Stephen King novel and a favorite horror movie was a complete flop and ended in an $8 million-dollar loss. Even creator/actor/composer Lin Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway Musical In the Heights, which won Best Musical and two other Tony awards in 2008, wasn’t as successful as Hamilton.
That is because the core of Hamilton speaks to people. Of course, there is phenomenal music, great choreography and a once in a life time cast, but that isn’t what gets people in the door. Looking at it from the surface, a show about a long dead, basically forgotten founding father sounds like a snore. But Hamilton is so much more than that. It eliminates racial barriers in theatre, while educating us about an important time in American history. And it comes at such an important time in our history where race relations are at an all-time high. The nation needed Hamilton, to help show the world as it really looks today. Broadway is notorious for being full of white people, and this show gives people a who don’t normally see themselves in theatre a voice. And people felt that and clutched on to it and that is what has made it such a success. Because this show speaks to a generation that wants to change the world, just like Alexander Hamilton.
So maybe the next Lin Manuel’s can take a page out of Sinek’s book. They might just have a hit on their hands.