Trending from G/L: Does Lily make high tech camera technology accessible?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Does Lily make high tech camera technology accessible?

Camera technology has advanced at such a rapid pace in the last decade that many people probably don’t even remember what a standalone camera looks like. Apple has been advertising that the quality of their iPhone camera is as good as professional photo equipment. The photo section at your local Walgreens might as well double as a graveyard.

So I might be a bit apathetic about new camera technology at this point. But then, in our status meeting this morning, Dave Geile brought this video to share:

(Yeah, that’s how you grab attention after a multi-week vacation, Dave. Welcome back!)

But yeah, Lily is a true attention-grabber. But what is it exactly?

The Lily Camera is not a drone – it’s a camera. It requires no controller. Instead, it follows whoever is wearing the Lily GPS bracelet. The Lily flying camera has an accelerometer, barometer, GPS and a front/bottom-facing camera. There are several vantage points offered by the completely waterproof camera.

The device certainly isn’t perfect yet. The battery time is only 20 minutes, so you’ll basically have to make sure it’s fully charged before every time you use it (imagine dropping it with no battery left – major sad face). But, for aerial shots at a relatively affordable price point ($499 for pre-order), it seems like it could be a breakthrough product. Also noted is that Lily doesn’t qualify as a drone since it flies no higher than 400 feet in the air.

We asked our team what would be the first thing they would do if they got a Lily:

Camera Technology

Dave: Document photo shoots for clients and on-site client locations. Also, use for company events and picnics.

Tim: Use it on the fishing boat

Anne-Marie: Use it while hiking in Montana

Luke: Use it while mountain biking in Vermont

James: Soccer tailgate and match

Mary: It’d be perfect for family gatherings

Meg and Randy (independent of each other): Good for vacations on the beach

Feel free to tell us what you would use our Lily for!

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One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work For Millennials – Or Any Segment

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work For Millennials – Or Any Segment

Lest anyone wonder why millennials are the focus of countless news articles: This is the year that Millennials — defined as people ages 18-34 — will outnumber the Baby Boomers in this country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And, Millennials, who make up a quarter of the U.S. population, have surpassed Gen Xers (those with birth dates ranging from the early 1960s to the early 1980s) to become the largest share of the American workforce.

No wonder why every industry wants to market to Millennials.

Not a day goes by when someone is not issuing an opinion about a presumptive trend related to Millennial connectivity and digital experiences, and what approach to take to get the attention of Millennials.

But, some experts are issuing cautions about making assumptions about Millennial influencers and practices.

According to a story last week in AdAge, what you’ve been told about Millennials is (mostly) wrong. The article about a myth-busting Carat survey called “The Millennial Disconnect” found Millennials are not all hyper-connected optimistic digital extroverts.

The survey warns that brands shouldn’t just accept that that high digital numbers mean that Millennials are all “users” in the same way. Higher users can skew the data, and result in misunderstanding the population. Marketers must be dig deep into understanding insights of the demographic for a better marketing strategy.

The Millennial generation is the most diverse generation in history. There are more African Americans, Latinos, Asians and racially mixed Millennials than in GenX and the Baby Boomer groups combined. They are accustomed to rapidly changing technologies and life choices. They are going to have different perspectives and reactions to marketing approaches. What appeals to one Millennial may be completely out of touch with another’s interests.

This certainly isn’t different from what is required of successfully working with other demographic groups. No age group should be treated in absolutes. You have to understand the “why” and “how” of the audience. Don’t make assumptions.

The key is to know your facts but to tailor your approach – no matter the age group – to accurately reflect opinions and behaviors to make your marketing relevant and meaningful.

If you are looking for a way to give your target audience a personality to get better marketing results, check out our Persona White Paper. Click on this link to download it. Or just fill out this form and we will send it to you.

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Trending from G/L: Will You Be My Emoji Marketing Brand Bae?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Will You Be My Emoji Marketing Brand Bae?

In the advertising and marketing world, we speak constantly about our desire to connect with our target audience. We strive to create words, videos and experience that resonate with the people we’re trying to reach. We make every effort to make it mean something.

But in this quest to communicate with people, some brands end up missing the mark. The message comes off as forced. They use the wrong emoji (gasp!).

Ah yes, emojis. Our trusted friend and mortal enemy rolled into one crying sleeping smile…or something.

A recent article expresses some of the biggest concerns with emoji marketing:

But, you know what I see? Desperate brands.

Brands looking at the short-term game instead of the long-term play.

Brand that are so desperate to connect with younger audiences they’ll do virtually anything.

Like creating an entire news release out of emojis.

So yeah, like with any trend, some brands took it too far. But does that mean that the entire “trend” is dead? Nope.

The biggest issue with emoji marketing is how they’re used. If you’re a consumer-facing brand with a younger digitally savvy audience, then it might make sense. If you’re a more business-to-business brand communicating through traditional marketing channels, then there may be other options to consider.

Here’s a good overview of how emoji marketing works and some more in-depth insights:

We all want authentic communication from those we speak to both online and off.

Defining your social media voice and tone—then staying true to it no matter what communication changes come and go—can help keep that authenticity strong.

And, like with any kind of marketing, when it’s done well, it can make a splash. Domino’s tweet ordering is one example that definitely makes sense for their brand.

Emoji Marketing

What are some examples of emoji marketing that hit the mark? Or, in your opinion, what are some icons that fell flat? Feel free to send us a note with your thoughts!

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Trending from G/L: The Future of YouTube Advertising

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Trending from G/L: The Future of YouTube Advertising

We have all seen the pre-video commercials on Google’s YouTube that play before your chosen content starts up. And we all probably wait for the very moment that we can click the “Skip Ad” button . While YouTube has been around for over 10 years, commercials have only really been prevalent for 5 years or so.

With anything relatively new, there is a learning curve and marketers are beginning to understand that this format should not be treated like a normal TV spot. It requires a different thought process.

“Storytelling has changed. With television, there is a beginning, middle and end. A digital campaign- there is no real end. Once you put it out there, what it becomes is another part of the idea…” stated David Droga, Creative Chairman of Droga5.

Emily Anderson, Creative Director at Ogilvy added, “The number one thing would be, who do you want to watch it? And then start there and work backwards.”

As the storytelling aspect of YouTube advertising is refined, it should be noted that the formats are ever evolving and marketers will need to adapt as new technologies emerge.

New Advertising Technology Coming to YouTube

Standard YouTube commercials may quickly become a thing of the past as new formats are developed. Jaunt is working with Bud Light to introduce experiential, 360-degree video ads to YouTube.

As Virtual Reality becomes mainstream, Google’s YouTube is at the front of the pack of early adopters. The new technology allows viewers to not only view the video but also interact and experience it by enabling them to drag and view the entire scene in a 360-degree radius.

YouTube Ads product manager JR Futrell states that the new 360-degree format is “a truly mobile-first video ad product,” – something worth noting considering half of YouTube’s views come directly from smartphones and tablets.

Major consumer brands are jumping on-board and gradually perfecting the art of storytelling through these new, unique formats. Nike, A-B InBev and Coca-Cola are examples of some of the brands leading the charge.

But what’s next? As VR headsets become more prevalent, brands, and content providers alike, will be able to provide even more immersive and interactive experiences. Google already has a cardboard VR headset that you can place your phone in to get the full experience and it costs next to nothing to obtain one.

As VR hardware like Oculus Rift becomes more readily available (and cheaper), the possibilities for delivering VR content are truly endless.

If you’re interested in learning more about the newest advertising technologies and how they can help your brand, shoot us a message.

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Trending from G/L: Free Lynda education in St. Louis

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Free Lynda education in St. Louis

The world of education is changing rapidly. There used to be a linear pattern of high school, then a four-year degree, then getting a job. But that path isn’t always realistic for those who struggle financially.

The rise of supplemental and ongoing education has been a talking point for those who already have degrees. But providing resources for people to study and learn independently has been a growing trend. And resources that reduce the achievement gap by providing educational materials to lower-income students have been shown to increase economic activity in the long run.

Locally, providing educational materials to students in the St. Louis region is a great way to empower people to better their skillset. And the St. Louis County Library recently announced that cardholders would have access to Lynda, an online education resource for business and creative skills as well as software.

It’s a really awesome move by SLCL. Providing access to nearly 4000 video courses to anyone really doesn’t have a downside. Plus, since LinkedIn recently purchased Lynda, the focus on career development will definitely continue to improve.

Innovation in education will likely come both from the public and private sector. Starbucks introduced their new college achievement plan about a year ago and it seems like some employees are taking advantage. Partnering with Arizona State University online has provided opportunities for those who have sought them:

“The most important thing for studying in this new digital learning environment that we’re creating is to show up for work,” observed Regier, University Dean for Educational Initiatives at ASU. “One thing we’ve found is that online coursework actually requires more maturity and self-discipline than the face-to-face classroom.”

And that might be a challenge for some. For me personally, a mixture of in-person and online courses would probably work best as opposed to simply working online. But if some of these courses and opportunities can be accomplished with a lesser cost, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

We’ve been involved with education marketing for at a number of levels for quite a while. If you’re trying to navigate the learning landscape, we’re always happy to chat.

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Trending from G/L: Are Craft Sodas about to pop?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Are Craft Sodas about to pop?

Because the world needs more snobs, Pepsi is planning to launch a line of craft sodas called “Stubborn Soda”—but wait there’s more—it will be dispensed from pub-reminiscent taps. Flavors include black cherry with tarragon, classic root beer, lemon berry acai, pineapple cream, agave vanilla cream, and orange hibiscus, which I’m pretty sure is a flower.

Craft Soda

Now, this is an obvious nod to the craft beer market, so let’s head down that road. Craft beer is sort of an arbitrary term, but generally speaking, it’s beer that’s been produced by a microbrewery in less than corporate-sized quantities. Microbreweries generally pride themselves on their ability to concoct personalized takes on established brew styles—like a pale ale or a stout.

So what makes craft sodas…craft?

I find it hard to believe that Pepsi won’t mass-produce these suckers, so the idea of a micro-soda-manufacturer is out of the question. Maybe quality? The Stubborn brand will boast “fair trade certified cane sugar and natural flavors,” so maybe it truly is a step up from the high fructose corn syrupy stuff we’ve been guzzling the past few decades. That being said, Pepsi’s throwback line of cans featured cane sugar, so Stubborn isn’t quite avant-garde enough to be dubbed an innovation in the soft drink industry.

It’s safe to assume Pepsi’s become self-aware of its flagship product’s decline in popularity—and it’s not just Pepsi—I’m talking soda in general. For a while, large soda manufacturers had the all-too-handy diet soda crutch to lean on in times of need. No longer. Diet beverage sales are down more than 20 percent since their peak in 2009 because of health concerns with the zero-calorie beverage’s sketchy chemical makeup.

Instead of launching a ritzier line of soft drinks like Pepsi, Coca-Cola is funding the Global Energy Balance Network—an organization that argues poor diet isn’t to be blamed for rampant obesity. Instead, they advocate the theory that inactivity alone is the main culprit of obesity in America. Really, Coke?

Coca-Cola’s approach may seem massively different than Pepsi’s, but at the end of the day, the soda giants are attempting to broadcast the same message: Soda is still a sensible consumable.

Okay, the soda giants are scrambling, so what? My main point is this:

Just as Pepsi and Coke are doing, mature brands need to make moves. Remaining stagnant and weathering the steady decline of a product in hopes of a chance revival at a later date isn’t sufficient for any sized company let alone the likes of Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Follow the lead of the big guys—they know what they’re doing. Except green-lighting that flower-flavored soda, maybe.

G/L deals with everything from new product launches to mature brand extensions. If you’re dealing with either or anything in between, give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you’ve got.

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Trending from G/L: Are Facebook’s Office Perks the Height of Company Culture?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Are Facebook’s Office Perks the Height of Company Culture?

Out in Silicon Valley, average annual salaries are about $195,000, and even interns tend to pocket $6000 per month. In an arena where money is hardly an object, what’s a company to do to entice sharp minds to join their team?

One word: Perks. And lots of them.

Just take a look at what Facebook has done to create the ideal work environment for their employees:

Let’s whet your appetite with a little food talk, shall we? Gourmet food courts and private chefs can be found across campus, catering to any craving or diet needs imaginable. It’s a feast of kings within your grasp every day, absolutely free.

Of course, what responsible company would offer such variety of delicious flavors without a way to burn off the extra calories? At Facebook, a fully loaded gym and rock-climbing wall provide an outlet to keep employees happy and healthy, complete with an array of fitness and rock-climbing classes. Even the commute across campus allows for a little exercise with a fleet of bikes available for any Facebook employee to pick up and ride on.

For those times when employees hit a mental roadblock, or just need a break from the daily grind, Facebook has artistic outlets to keep those creative juices flowing. Their analogue research lab art studio is available for anyone to pop in and create their own works of art. A music room, complete with guitar amps and a grand piano, is open for anyone looking for a midday jam session. And according to Facebook employees, taking this chance to tune out other distractions can be a huge boon in figuring out challenges in their work lives.

But in today’s highly connected digital age, there may be no greater perk at Facebook than not receiving any flak for being on Facebook all day. It’s all part of the job, keeping a finger on the pulse of this social media empire they’ve created.

Facebook realizes that for their business to succeed, they need to prioritize a company culture of taking care of their own, making Facebook an exciting place to come to work at every morning and grow a lasting career. Obviously, not every company out there can afford such luxuries for their employees. But even stocking the fridge for a beer thirty with the crew or throwing a company-wide luau once in a while can really help rally the troops together, and keep your employees motivated to excel. After all, inspired work flows from inspired individuals.

Drop us a line and tell us what you’re doing to keep that spark going in your company’s culture and keeps your employees coming back for more.

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7 Examples of Horrible Marketing Advice

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

7 Examples of Horrible Marketing Advice

As marketers, we all want to be innovators and bring the next big idea to our clients to move the needle for their brand(s). But sometimes not all ideas are good ideas. Some marketing ideas do not align with a brand’s creative and messaging strategy, other ideas might not resonate with an audience.

We’ve compiled a list of some less-than-sound (i.e. horrible marketing advice) ideas out there to provide examples of what not to do when it comes to planning your marketing efforts.

1) If you’re trying to build awareness, advertise everywhere you can.

If you’re trying to build buzz or awareness for your new brand/product, it’s important to plan, strategize and understand your audience first. Focus on who will care about your brand and where you can reach them, not how quickly you can reach anyone and everyone. A key step to marketing success is making sure that your messages are targeted and efficient.

2) You need to be on this social media platform.

The marketing landscape has changed significantly over the past 10 years, but just because there is a new, trendy social media platform, does not mean that you need to be there. Granted, you don’t always need to be on the same social channels as your customers (consider where you might find new customers and opportunities), but if you are marketing a product that appeals to a 70+ crowd, chances are you don’t need to be on Instagram or Snapchat. Focus on participating on social channels that will be an extension of your brand and help your business flourish.

3) If you buy an email list you’ll have better email performance.

Buying an email list will definitely grow your distribution channel for direct digital marketing, but it doesn’t mean that the recipients will find your content relevant. If you choose to purchase an email lists, it should be one that is appropriate for your business. Even better, activate and focus on direct outreach through current customers or interested parties that sign up for your mailings on their own. Organic growth is ideal- this means that they want to hear from you.

4) Long lead forms are always worse than short forms.

Long online lead forms can be tedious and time-consuming. That’s a good thing. If your goal is to generate new customers, would you rather have a solid lead or a lead that might not truly be interested in your offerings? You shouldn’t necessarily make the lead jump through too many hoops to get more information, but weeding out the unqualified leads with some detailed questions will produce concrete leads that are truly engaged in what you have to offer.

5) Asking for likes, retweets or shares makes your brand look desperate.

Trying to get the word out? Asking for people to share and repost your content does not have to translate as desperation. In fact, some of the greatest online campaigns are successful due to concise and clear calls-to-action. If that CTA is having others share your content- then so be it! Tying a prize or some sort of incentive to sharing will produce more results and success. You will get more shares if you just ask.

6) You don’t need a responsive website design.

Mobile and tablet internet use have now surpassed internet use on a standard laptop or home computer. If you have a CBD company for example, and you’re not prepared to integrate a responsive design with the help of a CBD Website Design Company, it can lead to frustrated visitors and a bad user experience. This will also reflect poorly on your brand. You wouldn’t want to purchase products from a brand that has a terrible website design, would you? When you are building or redesigning your website, responsive design should be a priority. If you do not have enough resources or manpower to accomplish this task, you can think of outsourcing this work to a reputed digital marketing firm like Hooked Marketing. They can help in delivering a high-quality professional website design for your business.

7) More personalization will garner a better response.

Sometimes too much personalization can come off as a bit intrusive. It’s important to know the customers, recipients and targets for your outreach efforts, but focusing on finding the right balance of friendliness and personalization (within reason) and not coming off too stalker-ish will be key. Make sure not to include everything you know about your customer.

If you would like some GOOD marketing advice instead of horrible marketing advice, please reach out to us. We’re here to help your brand reach it’s potential and provide advice on utilizing the right marketing tools to guide you to success.

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Trending Now from G/L: Hardee’s gets Unexpected Viral Social Media Exposure

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Trending Now from G/L: Hardee’s gets Unexpected Viral Social Media Exposure

Unanticipated positive PR/marketing should be embraced by your brand. Hardee’s did just that when Facebook user David Yardley posted a moving photo to the Hardee’s Facebook timeline.

The attached photo is one I took on Saturday July 11, 2015 at Hardee’s on Tazewell Pike. It just really was a kind moment to witness between your worker and a elderly lady. I came through the drive through and went across the street and just happened to look over at Hardees as I pumped my gas and happened to see this as it took place. Your worker had been cleaning the glass I assume when the customer, the elderly lady started out to her ride. He stopped what he was doing and took her by the hand and helped her across the sidewalk and parking lot to her ride.

It just really spoke to me, I guess since so much negative media lately has been around the race card. Black and white, young and old all come together in this picture. I watched as he continue to help her until she was in the car and left. I admire this young man and appreciate his kindness.”

It was a simple gesture of compassion, chivalry and respectfulness that was caught on camera. David Yardley did not expect the wave of overwhelming positive support his simple photo would receive. Nearly 18,000 likes and 4,300 shares later, Hardee’s received multiple millions of impressions, press coverage in major national publications and positive recognition for being associated with the young man, Kailen Young, seen helping the elderly woman in the picture.

viral social media

Hardee’s handled the situation flawlessly- putting their Public Relations team into action, publicly recognizing the young man and rewarding him a $1,000 check at a press event for doing the right thing.

It truly is amazing how powerful and viral social media can be. It quite literally can make or break your brand. While Hardee’s had the good fortune of being a part of something positive, many brands are on the unfortunate end of embarrassing and negative mishaps.

For example, in May, a Burger King employee in Florida was seen dumping a vat of used cooking oil directly into a storm drain. Not only was it illegal, it was also incredibly hazardous for the environment.

Social media channels everywhere erupted in anger. As a result, Burger King’s brand suffered major setbacks and received tons of negative publicity.

It was later discovered that this was not an isolated incident at this particular Burger King, and the employees had been dumping oil into the drain for several weeks- nearly 50 gallons collectively.

Major damage control and crisis management was a necessary response. Fortunately for Burger King, they took the right actions by retraining all of their employees, changing procedures, putting together a comprehensive environmental cleanup plan and firing the GM and the employee involved in the incident.

With the availability and ever-presence of mobile technology, situations like this can and will be documented by the public. In short, it is important for your brand to always be equipped to not only embrace the good, but also prepare for the worst.

Shoot us a message to share your thoughts or learn how proactive Public Relations planning and crisis management can help your brand.

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Find Your Why: Make It Mean Something

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Find Your Why: Make It Mean Something

Those four words are really the credo of Geile/Leon. They didn’t exist until about four years ago. Our management and new business team had been discussing the Simon Sinek book Start With Why. We wanted to incorporate the G/L why into our culture and our brand offering. We wanted to discover the Why for ourselves, and develop a process for helping clients discover their “why”.

Make It Mean Something

As we discovered firsthand, finding your “why” requires some real introspection and looking hard at yourself in the mirror. The objective of our meetings were to fill out the golden circle that Sinek refers to in his book. And as we found out, it didn’t take us long to nail down the first two questions posed.

  • What do you do?
  • How do you do it differently?

But the most enlightening and satisfying part of the process was also the most challenging and it took some real brainpower. It was when we discovered and articulated the G/L Why. It took much discussion and we asked ourselves two questions.

  • Why do we exist?
  • Why do we come to work everyday?

Pretty thought-provoking questions, but they helped us dig deep to get to that important answer to why G/L does what it does. I guess I should share it with you.


G/L believes that every organization has a deeper purpose and it’s the agency’s role to help those clients discover it. By identifying, defining, and exposing that deeper sense of purpose, organizations can attract buyers that believe what they believe.

Once the organization’s purpose has been identified, G/L can create work that changes behaviors and builds relationships. Building relationships between brand and consumer that truly mean something, and cause buyers to make decisions that will benefit them, and ultimately, our clients.

Whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever media vehicle we choose, we make it mean something. The words, pictures, music, motion, emotion and opportunities we use to reach people need to mean something to them…something that will in some way benefit them…and enable them to do something, know something, be something, have something better than what they have now.

These six sentences drive everything we do here at Geile/Leon. They impact who we hire, clients we target, processes we put in place, our culture, our work, our decision –making, and our role in the community. It’s been inspiring and empowering in how we position ourselves. When I walk into a new business meeting or someone asks me about Geile Leon, I do what Simon Sinek’s book says and I start with why. You should try it and G/L can help you get started. When you come to our office, you’ll know exactly why you did.

Make It Mean Something

If you are looking for a more emotional way to communicate with your target audience and employees, contact us using the form below.


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