Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 28 – The RnR of Advertising

No unfortunately this episode is not about Rest and Relaxation as much as I would love it to be. Instead we are talking about Repetition and Recognition. Two very important words that I want you to remember and I will ensure that you do remember  through use of Repetition and Recognition... see it’s already working.

If there is one takeaway from my entire series I hope it’s this and here’s why. When I was in Highschool I had an art teacher who changed my life. I was really into drawing and he challenged me and taught me a lot but probably the most important lesson I learned and always remember was just 4 words. He would say “Black, White, and Grey”. He would say it constantly to remind us that good drawings should have variety of black white and shades of grey. Not just black and white as most kids tend to draw.

He would also reinforce that by showing us drawings that used a full range of black white and grey. It was through repetition and recognition that I never forgot his words and was able to produce some pretty amazing drawings. Just check out this portrait of my parents I drew in my 20s.

So how does this apply to your advertising? Well have you ever ran a single ad, that didn’t send any leads so you stopped? I’m sure many of you have because it can seem risky to put money into something that may not provide a return, so you pull the plug. The fact is however, if you only ever run one ad, chances are it won’t provide a return anyway because there was no repetition and recognition. This is key to being in the right place at the right time.

Talking about being in the right place at the right time, just this past weekend I was contacted by a potential new client who knows about BFresh.Media because of watching Happy Freakin Monday. So right there, a weekly video series is the repetition. Getting in front of my audience and staying top of mind. However, she admitted that she contacted me after seeing my branded car drive past her on the street. There’s the recognition in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it’s luck, but this client I don’t think believes in coincidence.

That’s why social media can be very effective because if you put in the effort, it can be a lot more cost effective to get that repetition going. For more on recognition, I have a past episode on Brand Consistency that can really help with that.

But that’s it for me. For more repetition and brand recognition, tune in next week.

See you next week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 27 – Nike’s New Ad is Amazing

“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nike just dropped a bomb of an ad last week and here is why it is so important, and why I think it will go down as one of those commercials that people will talk about for a very long time.

The quote above spoken by none other than Colin Kaepernick, the NFL Quarterback who became a household name for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and discrimination against people of color in america. In august of 2016, after his protest first began,  Kaepernick was quoted as saying:

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after a game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

His protest grew as other players joined him and even other teams. It became a national issue with even the President of the United States weighing in and further dividing the country on his decision to not stand during the national anthem.

Now in 2018, Kaepernick is no longer with the NFL and is taking legal action against the organization and the owners claiming that they colluded not to hire him back. Whether you are on the side that feels he is a disgraced figure or a national hero, you cannot deny that a lot of people are talking about this ad.

I think this ad is very smart and strategic and here are 3 reasons why:

  1. Timing

The timing of this could not have been better. Just before the NFL season kickoff, and as part of the 30 year anniversary of the Just Do It campaign, Nike knew that they wanted to make a statement. The interesting thing about this timing as well is that Kaepernick is back in the spotlight as he takes legal action against the NFL and their owners, claiming they colluded not to hire him back.

  1. Controversy

I have often said that when it comes to brand advertising, controversy is something that you should avoid. Historically brand advertising has been about not offending anyone, by staying even keeled on most issues, especially heated political and social debates. That being said, every rule is made to be broken and although we have seen some brands making statements on some issues in the recent past, very rarely do we ever see something of this magnitude that is incorporated into the very fabric of their marketing.

There was risk in making this decision to use Kaepernick but it was very calculated and well executed. If you watch the full 2 min ad you will notice that while it is narrated by the former quarterback, it is not focused completely on his story. In fact, out of context, that powerful quote could apply to many other athletes and their struggles and Kaepernick is just a part of that story that they are telling. On the surface it is another inspirational “Just Do It” ad but in context, obviously, it has a lot more meaning behind it.

So they played it safe but there is buzz of boycotts and actually people burning their shoes and apparel but I’m sure Nike figured that might happen. At the end of the day I think those people are not Nike’s core demographic plus they will probably get over it, or continue buying merchandise that they don’t even realize is Nike.

  1. A reflection of the times we live in.

It sort of comes back to timing but on more of a social and political level. We live in a time where the United States is divided by a very polarizing President who has added a lot of fuel to the protest fires burning around the country. There are also many different issues and movements that are gaining exposure and dialogue not just the Black Lives Matter but there have been the Me Too and Times Up, plus many other issues like gun control that at times seem to be boiling over.

This spot is a response, I think, to the argument made that “the football field is no place for protest” or that “He should shut up and play the game”. To me Nike is saying No. They are reminding us that there is no platform off limits for peaceful protest because look around you, it’s happening whether you like it or not and I’m happy to see them supporting Kaepernick.


So that’s my take on this whole campaign and the controversy around it. I wonder if it might potentially be a sign of things to come by brands continuing to taking a stand on certain issues. I think we have seen some already but maybe not quite to this extent. I for one support that bold risky marketing but just be careful. Nike makes it look easy but after all, they’ve been just do(ing) it for 30 years.

See you next week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 26 – Start Planning Your Holiday Campaign

I know! It seems way too early to be talking about the Holidays... unless you're in marketing. As much as I hate to say it, the Holiday season is right around the corner. However, that means that it's not too late to start planning your campaign. The holiday season is obviously a good time for many businesses, especially in retail but many don’t consider how much time it takes to plan a great holiday campaign.

This week  I want to share a very important public service announcement to not put it off but start planning. Right now, today, before it's too late.

Basically if you think of putting together a campaign for the holidays in late November, there's no helping you. Now is the perfect time to start planning to get ahead. I’ve even put together some (made up) stats to help prove my point.

Let’s talk about Starbucks for a moment. Here is a brand that is very good at embracing the holidays. Not in a way that is in-your-face, or over the top but they really mix in just the right amount of holiday cheer into their customer experience. It’s funny how something so simple as a cup design  can make such a huge impact on consumers but it really does. It gets noticed and even talked about on the news (for some reason).

But do you think Starbucks decided in late november “oh hey, we should do something for the holidays”?. NO, of course not. It must take months to design, print and distribute those cups to all of their locations.

So whether it’s something simple and subtle like changing a cup design or rolling out a mass media video campaign, do yourself a favour and start now and plan for success. You will thank me come January.

See you next week!