Month: July 2014

New Peeps Minis Sponsors One of 450 MINI Coopers Trekking Across Country

Eighteen states, 15 cities, 14 days and hundreds of MINI Coopers: Welcome to MINI TAKES THE STATES 2014.

MTTS is one of the largest road rally events, bringing together MINI owners from all over the country for one epic road trip. This year’s route kicked off in San Francisco with Tony Hawk last weekend and runs cross-country, ending in Boston on August 10. The tour includes events each night, including bowling in the world’s largest bowling alley in Reno, keeping it weird in Austin, rocking out at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland and much, much more. Peeps Minis will be there for all of them as GNF manages the Peeps Minis-sponsored MINI and its driving team. They will be spreading the word, and the taste, as they sample New Peeps Minis at all the stops.

These MINI drivers know that every day is a holiday, especially on tour with hundreds of your favorite car. Keep up with what’s happening on the road on MINI’s MTTS Tumblr.




Catch of the Week: Expedia Thrown Back Thursdays

We might be a day early, but this throwback Thursday campaign is worth talking about all week long, and all throughout August. Expedia’s new “Thrown Back Thursdays” is taking #tbt literally by giving away chances to recreate a throwback photo, complete with the same place, people and similar outfits.


This is really cool. We’ve seen people recreating photos from the past before, but we’re excited to see a brand jumping on this nostalgic online trend and getting people even more engaged with throwback Thursday. Plus, the campaign ties in perfectly with what Expedia is all about – traveling, journeys and memories.

180LA, the agency behind the campaign, says there have been more than 228 million #tbt hashtags to date. Our bet is that number is going to continue to rise, especially throughout the month of August as people get a little more selective about what posts they want to highlight – and hopefully recreate.

This is perfect timing as a rebuttal to a recent post in the Wall Street Journal about the blizzard of hashtags, and whether corporate hashtags are late to the game. From the looks of it, they still have a lot of life and creativity left in them, they just have to be the right message, for the right brand, for the right audience.

Expedia is picking an Instagram photo tagged with @Expedia and #ThrowMeBack every Thursday through September. Good luck, and happy reminiscing!

Catch of the Week: Lava Mae Bus Brings Showers to San Francisco Homeless

Most people either start or end their days with showers, and may not fully grasp how much of a luxury that is. Non-profit organization Lava Mae does, and aims to serve people lacking access to necessities like showers and bathrooms.

With the help of funding from an Indiegogo campaign and companies like Google (which donated $100,000), Lava Mae bought and refurbished a public transit bus, complete with two bathrooms with hot showers, shampoo, soap and towels – a process that costs $75,000 but is offered for free to the more than 6,500 homeless people in San Francisco.

The organization uses fire hydrants to power the showers and bus bathrooms. It partnered with another non-profit organization, Project Homeless Connect, which already helps the homeless but didn’t have any shower or bathroom amenities.

The full service launch is expected to roll out in the spring next year. Stay tuned!

Photo courtesy: Lava Mae

What We’re Hooked On: Potato Salad, LeBron James, Privatize & More

Every day, brands keep an eye out for real-time marketing opportunities while simultaneously rolling out innovative campaigns to reach audiences in creative ways. We too are keeping an eye on what’s happening in the industry and staying updated on the latest news, trends and viral content of the week. Here’s what we’re hooked on!

Potato Salad

Zack Danger Brown posted a simple Kickstarter campaign to make potato salad. Is goal? $10. This week, Brown was pleasantly surprised to see he met his goal — and exceeded it by $60,900. The campaign reached more than $70,000 in contributions, although due to unverified funds it backed down to about $46,000 by the end of this week. With 21 days to go, the campaign has been updated with new donor levels and rewards (ie; pledge of $20 or more gets backers a potato-salad themed haiku, their names carved into a potato that will be used in the potato salad, a signed jar of mayonnaise, the potato salad recipe and more.).

Why we’re hooked:

The Internet is a great place. When has anyone ever raised $70,000 to make potato salad before? It also just shows the power of the Internet and viral content. An idea can be simple – it just has to be the right one.

Facebook Mood Manipulator

You may remember Facebook’s psychological experiment that was recently revealed, uncovering manipulation of almost 700,000 users’ emotions based on positive or negative content. Brooklyn artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy developed a Google Chrome extension that lets users manually set how they’re feeling, taking Facebook’s little experiment into their own hands.

Why we’re hooked:

The beauty of technology and taking control of data to impact the type of content you see, and therefore, how you feel. Why should Facebook get to decide your mood?


If you’ve ever wanted to tweet private links to multiple people before, your wish has been granted with Privatize, a tool that enables private links tweeted publicly. It only allows people who are mentioned in a tweet to open a link, so if someone else tries to click on the link, they’ll be directed to the Privatize homepage.

Why we’re hooked:

First is the obvious opportunity for anybody looking for some privacy functionality on Twitter. This service also opens up doors for selective content sharing – think social media contests, targeted engagement and the like. Pretty cool.

LeBron James Returns to Cleveland

Chances are, if you were online in general at any point today you saw updates about LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He announced the move via an essay on Sports Illustrated, and the Internet went crazy, with references to burning (and unburning) jerseys, bandwagon fans and homecomings.

Why we’re hooked:

LeBron James is one of the (the?) best basketball players in the world, and this news is something that everyone seems to be talking about. With that said, this is a great example of brands trying to hop on major events with real-time marketing…and some are just in it without thinking through their messaging, goals or purpose. Check out some of the contenders.

LinkedIn Connected for iPhone

LinkedIn added to its apps with LinkedIn Connected for iPhone, which is focused on strengthening relationship with existing contacts. It will send reminders about birthdays, anniversaries and job changes, and will also push out notifications with pre-meeting content and information. This is an updated version of LinkedIn Contacts, which is now redesigned and refocused on keeping tabs on their professional networks.

Why we’re hooked:

LinkedIn may not be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, but it’s still a strong social network with a big user base – more than 300 million registered users. The company is turning to mobile and contextual content to make networking and communicating easier.

Catch of the Week

Catch of the Week: Burger King’s Proud Whopper

Burger King ran a special promotion in San Francisco for the “Proud Whopper,” a special edition of its signature burger, the Whopper, that featured a rainbow-colored wrapper and the message, “We Are All The Same Inside.”

The promotion ran at a Burger King location on Market Street in San Francisco, at the heart of the city’s 44th annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade. The brand also handed out 50,000 rainbow-colored paper crowns.

When first presented with the Proud Whopper, customers asked employees, “What’s the difference?” to which employees responded simply, “I don’t know.” Other customers were convinced the burgers tasted different from regular Whoppers, but soon figured out the underlying message — they’re all the same, even if they’re a little different on the outside.

The campaign falls in line with Burger King’s recently tweaked slogan, “Be Your Way” (changed from “Have It Your Way”). All Proud Whopper sales, which were priced the same as a regular Whopper, will be donated to the Burger King McLamore Foundation for scholarships benefitting LGBT high school seniors graduating in 2015.

Strong message, innovative execution, relevant charity move and great for the brand’s national and local markets – watch below to see our catch of the week.


What We’re Hooked On: Facebook’s Experiment and Video Ads, Advertising on Twitter

Happy Fourth of July weekend! While many may be out already enjoying preliminary BBQs, warming up the sparkler action and going to the beach figuring out what Arthur’s plan is, this week was still a good one in terms of marketing news! Here’s what we’re hooked on.


Facebook’s psychological experiment

Facebook did not start the week off on the right foot. A recent report revealed Facebook experimented with almost 690,000 Facebook users in 2012 to manipulate their emotions – it wanted to see if negative posts would fuel negative emotions, and vice versa for positive content. The trouble is that users had no idea this experiment was happening.

Why we’re hooked:

First and foremost, people are upset because Facebook was toying with their emotions. It raises ethical questions. But it’s also important to note the findings too – it’s not very surprising that content on a News Feed can alter someone’s mood (FOMO is a real thing), but this speaks volumes on the power of social media, digital content and how users interact online.

Facebook Buys LiveRail

Facebook apologized for the experiment, but it kind of feels like a “Sorry not sorry” move. In other news, Facebook acquired video ad platform LiveRail to boost video advertising online and on mobile. LiveRail delivers video ads to websites and apps for Major League Baseball, ABC Family, A+E Networks, Dailymotion and more.

Why we’re hooked:

Video and images is the name of the game today with digital and social advertising. LiveRail connects marketers to publishers on the Web, so this is definitely Facebook pushing its ad efforts forward. Expect to see improved video ads on Facebook in the future — and don’t be surprised if your mood changes after seeing them.

Twitter Shopping

Another week, another round of Twitter news! In the world of ecommerce, Twitter started showing some “Buy now” buttons appearing in tweets. Along the same lines, Twitter acquired TapCommerce this week, a mobile ad tech company.

Why we’re hooked:

Twitter is in the midst of a transition to integrating commerce more seamlessly into social media, and TapCommerce brings more robust capabilities and tools for advertising on the app.