Behind Brown Eyes

21st century flogger. That's food-blogger, fyi. Now if it were the 17th century...
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Posts tagged "advertising"

For those of you who don’t know me—or haven’t roomed with me in college—I’m that girl who writes to or calls the customer service number when I have a bad experience with a product. You may think it’s ridiculous, or you may respectfully relate to it. But the fact of the matter is that I’m that girl—and I’m proud to admit it.

Feedback is so important. If there aren’t girls like me writing to guys like Ben & Jerry, how can companies remedy the unknown problems and diminish daily dairy disappointments? With that being said, here’s what I wrote to Ben & Jerry’s today, after yesterday’s first encounter with their Half Baked Ice Cream Bar…

Hi there,

I tweeted at your team yesterday and they told me I could detail my issue here. Yesterday at my company’s yearly team BBQ, they had a free ice cream truck stop by. I got a Half Baked Ice Cream Bar (which I had never had before) because I had been CRAVING your cookie dough ice cream and this was supposed to have cookie dough chunks in it. When opened the wrapper, I decided to crack open the bar and see how many chunks there were so that I could pick them out. (That’s my favorite thing to do, even when I get the ice cream). But to my surprise there were NO cookie dough chunks and NO brownie bites. It was literally vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate. So I ate a bite of the chocolate and pinch of vanilla ice cream, and threw it all out in complete dissatisfaction. I was upset because I’ve tasted all different types of CCCD ice cream but yours is my favorite because the chunks are notoriously large and DELICIOUS. I was surprised that the bar had NONE. What I did see was a mere innuendo of a cookie dough chunk that I could barely taste. Other than that, nothing. What a disappointment. Please let me know what you can do; I really do love your brand and CCCD ice cream! So as a customer, I wanted you to be aware of the issue. It’s really not the quality or value I expected from a great brand. At least the ice cream bar was free! If I had paid for it and had the same experience, it would have been much worse.

Thank you for listening.


B&J's Cookie Dough Ice CreamYes!!! This is what I’m talking about! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Ben and Jerry’s is using the photo-sharing platform Instagram—and “Capture Euphoria” hashtag—to engage brand fans and facilitate B2C interaction.

Great point: “One of the major challenges of social media is getting consumers to be social with a brand, instead of just being social about a brand. ‘Capture Euphoria’ is a great strategic campaign to increase user-generated content…When consumers know a brand will actually engage with them, it creates more of an incentive for them to interact with a brand…” 

MetroCard with Ad SpaceThis article caught my eye—and truthfully, I have mixed feelings about M.T.A.’s decision. While I do think from a marketing perspective the ad space is quite valuable (and visible), I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the iconic yellow and blue card and M.T.A. logo. I’m not an avid subway rider by any means, but when I do need my card, I know to grab the golden yellow. Ask any local or commuter, and they’ll tell you the same. It’s brand recognition at its finest. We know the card—it’s looked that way since 1997 (The New York Times).

I’ve finally come to understand the basics of NY subway navigation. But those turnstiles still get me every so quite often. I swipe too fast, or I’m $.25 cents short when I think I have enough on my card from my last ride; they sass me to keep swiping at the same entry point or threaten that I’ll lose my money. (Scandal).

Let’s just hope MoMA doesn’t put Starry Nights on the card—for the city’s sake (and sanity). Black stripe aside, surely those tricky turnstiles don’t accept Visas!

MTA Turnstile

Banana QR code: strategic or ineffective? I oddly dig it, placement-wise. However, telling me to “Scan for Mad Fun” didn’t get me to download an iPhone app to check it out. So I’d claim the call to action ineffective. Now, ask me to scan for a free bunch of bananas or discount code, and I’ll act. Who are they targeting anyway? Moms with iPhones who would take their kids to see the movie but don’t have time to play mobile games? Or pre-tweens who would be more likely to see the movie, but don’t have iPhones to engage with the code? #socialmedia #foodforthought (Taken with instagram)

I’ve never had a Slurpee. Proof: I even spelled it wrong when I first tried to type the word. For that matter, I’ve never even walked into a 7-Eleven. But is it weird that I’m strangely interested in going now because of their new line of Sugar-Free Slurpees? Based with Splenda (my favorite, though-probably-toxic-in-the-long-term, artificial sweetener), and ironically, only 20 calories. Ironic because a regular 8oz Slurpee is only 60 cals.

Fanta Sugar-Free Mango SlurpeeMaybe I’m more in tune with this promotion for a few reasons. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
  • FREE Sample of Fanta Sugar-Free Mango Slurpee Lite: May 23 - 7.11oz containers, 11a.m. to 7p.m. Bleh to Mango, but free is worth the taste ain’t it?
  • Low cal.
  • Sugar-free: better for you in general but also complies with the rules of the #50DayChallenge. Craving something sweet? Hit up the 7-Eleven nearest you for a Slurpee-Lite.
  • Comparable to a Sonic limeade/slush, but definitely more local and accessible. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until August for the Fanta Sugar-Free Cherry Limeade #fail. At that point, I may as well take the 35 minute drive to my aunt’s house and hit up one of (I believe) two lone Sonics in New York. My other problem—why can’t we* have a sugar-free version of the Watermelon Lime in my wonderful birthday month of June?! That’s my absolute favorite drink of choice from Sonic! Bleh, again. As if the Mango for two months straight isn’t bad enough!
Regardless of the rationale and reasoning, call me Curious Cathy today. So the better question is, who’s down for a free Slurpee Lite on May 23?

*Don’t you love how when you want something very specific, you always speak for everyone using “we”? As if what you want, is really what everyone else around you wants too. I do it all the time—maybe I’m the only one. Perfect retail example when you’re really mulling over different sizes, styles and colors of clothes in Loft (yesterday), “Do we (using both hands as a gesture and pointing to the product you’re referring to) have the light green pants in the Classic Kate? The Marisa Moderns just don’t usually fit me right.” They always reply so apologetically, and correctly, “No, we don’t.” Food for thought, use it as you wish.

Well, @brookeariel and I’s taste test confirmed that #JIF is in fact better than #Skippy #peanutbutter. JIF has molasses, making it sweeter and creamier; Skippy is dry! @jenvlock, you were right! Good call. Now I know why smart moms choose it. I’m a JIF brand convert and I’m never goin’ back! (Taken with instagram)

As a 20-something “digital native” myself, this statistic grabbed my attention. Not because I was surprised or alarmed by it, but because it caught my eye in a seeing-it-on-paper screen type of way. (Yes, I’m a millennial, so I said screen. What’s paper, anyway?)

Our generation’s attention span is admittedly a challenging one to retain. I’ll be the first to admit it. This is coming from the 20-something who watched Chopped All Stars on TV last night, while live tweeting with the judges and chefs on her iPhone and surfing the Internet on her iPad. Oh, and did I mention I may have also had my MacBook Pro on my bed next to me? Convenience, to me, literally means “all technology and iDevices at an arm’s length away.” Check Webster’s Dictionary: Millennial Edition. Wow, I should patent that brilliant idea—though I’m sure some online Urban Dictionary-like variation for Gen-Y already exists. Google it? Ha, that’s probably already listed under letter “G” verbs!

But back to Chopped, after a bit of digressing. I barely remember what they cooked. Usually I’m so focused! It’s my favorite show. How did I get so distracted? Oh, I remember. And I do have a great excuse beyond “it’s a generational thing.” I was too busy getting a REPLY from Robert Irvine to keep 100% of my focus on the screen. Absolutely legitimate excuse for distraction. In case you were keeping tabs on my celebrity replies and RTs, that’s the second time he replied to me. So now we’re pretty much besties. Or twesties? (Add it to the dictionary.)

I guess my point, like Steinberg’s article notes, is that this surge in social media, coupled with our constant access to (and demand for) news and information 24-7, challenges creative agencies, advertisers and marketing experts alike to think different. If you want to reach us successfully on the digital front, you’ll grab our attention, and keep it.

While you have it, that is.

I’m not a football lover. I admit that proudly. GO YANKEES! In fact, I refuse to conform to the big hype about the Super Bowl, per usual, because then I’d be a poser, like most women with boyfriends and a sudden devotion to wings and Sunday night football games are.

However, I will say with certainty, that I’m an advertising lover—and foodie. So the Super Bowl to me is all about the two “Cs.” And ironically, no, not Coca-Cola. I don’t drink soda.

  1. The commercials (not the game), and the “What will this brand/agency think of next?!” talk. Ok, I’m still rooting for the Giants, but frankly, I just don’t have patience for loud whistle blowing, incessant flag throwing, and above all, the Yankee-hater and most obnoxious announcer ever, that is, Joe Buck.
  2. The idea of bringing a hardy, comfort food to the table for guests to munch on. And I’m not talkin’ store bought, I’m talkin’ home made. Straight from Krystina’s Kitchen. Although I can’t deny how delicious BJ’s seven layer dip is. So that may inevitably show up on the table too.

But back to the ads. I stumbled upon an article on LinkedIn about Coca-Cola. This year their ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy, is featuring the brand’s iconic polar bears on a microsite, The site will be a real-time outlet for the Coke polar bears to watch and react to the game. You can sign up to celebrate with the polar bears via a Facebook app, and with every RSVP, Coke will donate $1 to World Wildlife Fund. Coke will also run two TV spots during the game, “Superstition” and “Catch,” so be sure to keep an eye out for the big bears on the screen, or should I say, ice.

With the obvious flourish in social media, people want expect the ability to simply join in on the conversation. All. The. Time. Take a look at the bottom right hand corner of your TV screen during most prime-time shows, if you don’t believe me (#Idol, #Revenge, #ONCE, #Chopped, #etc). It’s almost become subliminal. Thanks to Twitter, a single hashtag (#) has the power to generate global dialogue that synchronously unites friends and complete strangers. Take that same, single hashtag, and say Bieber tweets it. Suddenly, a mere thought, feeling, or expression becomes a “trending topic” (TT), further coaxing real-time, worldwide conversation. Unbelievable how far we’ve come, isn’t it? #ilovetechnology!

No matter how opinions may coincide or collide, people feel a need to voice their thoughts and want desparately to be heard. The article cites that “60% of people watching the game plan to have a second screen running—whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone.” And with Fox’s record-breaking average of 111 million Super Bowl XLV viewers in 2011 (, any smart brand will leverage the game’s captive audience by increasing their digital presence. And by doing so in a unique and engaging way.

Vice president of creative excellence for Coca-Cola, Pio Schunker, said, “The object is to have consumers associate the brand with the good feelings they have around the event. It’s not about selling Coke. It’s about selling moments.” #wellsaid.

Coke strives for real-time engagement during Super Bowl XLVI. Ever wonder what the polar bears are thinking? Watch their game day reactions at

I’m lovin’ Fage* Greek yogurt. Delicious taste, unique flavor variety, and more important are the health benefits compared to your traditional non-fat yogurts: less calories, less sugars, less carbs, and more protein.

Fage Greek YogurtYou may or may not know the Fage brand. That’s because it’s not quite as mass distributed or commercial as your classic Chobani, which a notable majority would associate with Greek yogurt in a name-brand recognition test. Tissues—Kleenex! Greek yogurt—Chobani! You get the picture. (And for the record, you’d be in a one-person minority if you said Puffs for tissues. The only Puffs worth knowing are arguably those Cocoa ones. But per usual, I digress…)

What I want to note about Fage is the product’s packaging. On every container it says “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” (Exclamation point included). My question is, does the marketing strategy behind it work? And I would have to argue yes. It does. Every time I grab a pack—and preferably it’s cherry-pomegranate—I’m unobtrusively called to read the subtly placed text in the “power left” corner: “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” To the point where the brand name, and critical pronunciation of it, of course, stick. It gets me talking about the brand. I grab a snack pack at lunch. My rapid reply to the “What’s that?” across the table? “Fage Greek yogurt,” feeling compelled to elaborate, “F-a-g-e. But it’s actually pronounced Fa-yeh! They put it on the package too.”

Most probably don’t care to master the pronunciation of a brand of yogurt, but for me, the fruit-at the-bottom of this post lies in the brand’s marketing strategy.

A simple note about pronunciation on the packaging gets consumers talking about the brand. And what company wouldn’t want that? To build brand buzz that puts Fage on the eye-level shelf, if you will, and distinguishes it from Chobani.

I think there’s a great opportunity here—especially since I personally haven’t seen a Fage commercial since…well, ever. Although, after a little research, I found that in early March 2011, Fage debuted its first series of TV advertising in North America—taking its plain flavored yogurt to a new level: “plain extraordinary” (via Mullen, ad agency). I’ll give the commercial props on its overall design, as some of the graphics are aesthetically pleasing. However, I think Fage could put a little bit more extra in the ordinary by focusing its advertising campaign perhaps on the pronunciation of the yogurt, instead. The goal? Make the brand name stick. A humorous approach could work, if comedic messaging resonates with Fage’s primary target market. And on that note, I wonder what type of consumer Fage is actually trying to reach—since determining who to target typically comes before the how. I’d say the demographic is 20-35 year olds, at least: active, health-conscious consumers, with an interest in more nutritious alternatives to common, every day snack foods. Admittedly, an educated speculation.

So what is my point? Maybe to you this is just a nonsensical rant about yogurt. But you’ve made it this far, so hear me out. Yes, Fage tastes better than Chobani, and is more nutritious and delicious. That’s a #fact. But to me, this is more about a brand with an opportunity to leverage its existing marketing strategy in order to take brand awareness from plain to plain extraordinary. Through a more modern and targeted ad campaign, Fage can generate a viral product hype, connect with its target, and gradually expand its reach.

A refined marketing strategy will not only engage people in Fage, the healthy brand and tasty yogurt choice, but moreover encourage consumers to trade tradition (i.e., Chobani) for taste and 21st century product appeal. There’s not much more to say than “Fa-yeh!” to that.

*Curious to see what the word “Fage” meant or stood for as a brand name, I Google’d it. Turns out, it’s an actual Greek word and acronym: “FAGE, pronounced fa-yeh, is an acronym and a pun. First the acronym: F for the the Filippou family that owns the company, A for adelphi, the Greek word for brothers, G for the Greek word for dairy, and E for the word for corporation. Thus, FAGE = The Filippou Brothers’ Dairy Corporation. Now for the pun: in Greek, fage also means ‘to eat’” (via