Trending from G/L – Snickers enters the personalized branding game

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Trending from G/L – Snickers enters the personalized branding game

Thanks to Coca-Cola, the idea of personalized branding isn’t necessarily a new thing. Coca-Cola rolled out their personalized cans with heart-warming messages like “Mom”, “Friend, “Love”, and more. Coke even took it a step further by giving consumers the options to personalize your can of Coke through select specialty machines. With Coca-Cola’s success in creating a personalized consumer experience with product, other major brands are following suit.

When Snickers launched the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign- it was met with resounding success. It featured opinionated celebrities with attitudes subbing in for regular people. Richard Lewis complaining about being a lumberjack, Betty White playing football, Danny Trejo playing Marsha on the Brady Bunch and slamming an axe on the table when she gets upset. Once they eat a Snickers though, they return their normal self.

The list of spots goes on, and they have all been hilariously executed. While Coca-Cola sticks with warm and fuzzy, Snickers is taking a different direction when it comes to personalization. Instead of endearing terms, they are replacing the Snickers brand logo on their packaging with 21 very specific symptoms of hunger.

personalized branding

Of the 21 customized packages, a large number of them are rather blunt. For example, you can give friends bars featuring the words Cranky, Grouchy, Confused, Irritable, Impatient, Complainer, Whiny, Curmudgeon, Ornery, Testy and Snippy. Those 11 are balanced out by 10 other bars that are slightly less offensive—Rebellious, Feisty, Sleepy, Loopy, Goofball, Forgetful, Drama Mama, Dramatic, Princess and Spacey.

Snickers also rolled out a new online spot starring a hotline operator advising and coaching callers on which bar to give their friends, dependent on the mood they are in.

Snickers Brand Director Allison Miazga-Bedrick stated, “We believe the new bars will inspire people to not only quickly identify their own symptoms and satisfy their hunger, but give them a new, fun way to call-out friends and family on who they become when they’re hungry, too.”

With so many competing products, personalizing the experience just bridges a greater connection with consumers. Does a personalization strategy fit within your brand strategy? Contact us and we can explore opportunities for your brand.

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Trending from G/L: Parallel Parking made easy and the flying car of tomorrow

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Parallel Parking made easy and the flying car of tomorrow

When we envision the future, there are certain things that seem to always come to mind. Teleportation. Time travel. Virtual-reality video games (maybe that’s just me so I can finally be good at playing soccer).

A big part of that futuristic vision is in the realm of transportation. Planes are different. Mass transit is different. Oh, and cars can fly. Have to have that one.

One thing many people will hope to see in the near future is parallel parking becoming easy. Not everyone can be raised in Chicago and be accustomed to street parking as well as yours truly, so this is something that causes problems for plenty of people.

So SmartCar in Portugal found an awesome way to tap into that frustration while showcasing their product and earning some much-deserved buzz. The company created normal-sized cars that contract in order to show the flexibility of driving one of their main vehicles. It’s a fantastic concept and we can see the facial expressions of those who see the exhibit as it’s happening. The campaign is probably more effective in Europe, where road space is so limited compared to the United States, but it would be interesting to see if something similar could work stateside.

But when we think of the future, that idea of the flying car is one that’s instilled into most kids’ imagination at a very young age. It’s something that we’ve imagined for so long. Unfortunately, it’s appeared to be nothing more of a fantasy in the short-term.

Terrafugia is trying to change that.

TF-X™ is Terrafugia’s vision for the future of personal transportation. A four-seat, plug-in hybrid electric flying car with fly-by-wire vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities, TF-X™ is designed to bring personal aviation to the world. The design will make use of the high power density and reliability of modern electric motors in combination with parallel power and control system architectures to achieve a higher level of safety than modern automobiles. TF-X™ will provide true door-to-door transportation combined with the freedom of vertical takeoff and landing — creating a new dimension of personal mobility.

Translation: O.M.G. FLYING CAR AHHHHH!!!

Flying Car

Before I get too carried away, there are certainly some obstacles to overcome. First, will it actually work as advertised? It’s going to take the better part of a decade before it will be ready for mass production. That’s a whole lot of time for something to go wrong that could potentially cause a massive delay.

The other major factor is aviation regulations. With the current debate on drone technology, there are already major questions about safety and security. It goes without saying this concept is much larger than a drone and the Federal Aviation Administration will likely have some questions before the product is rolled out for good.

Still, we can start dreaming right now, right?

Have any thoughts? Let us know and we’ll keep you posted as we move closer to the day when this technology is hopefully a reality.

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Trending from G/L: Why DraftKings and FanDuel are EVERYWHERE

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Why DraftKings and FanDuel are EVERYWHERE

If you are living person in America who follows even the slightest bit of media, you’ve probably seen an advertisement for Draft Kings or Fan Duel. Well, “seen” is probably putting it lightly – more likely, you’ve probably been BOMBARDED with the chance to WIN LOTS OF MONEY RIGHT NOW AHHHHH LOUD NOISES!!!


Seriously though, oversaturation might be an understatement. Whether you’re watching ESPN, browsing through Twitter, checking your Instagram feed, DraftKings and FanDuel will be there, encouraging you to part ways with your money for the chance to win even more money. In fact, DraftKings spent a whopping $23.6 million on TV ads alone during the first week of September.

With football season here, don’t expect the ads to stop any time soon. Especially with the two companies bringing a combined $60 million in entry fees during the first week of the NFL season. And with a combined $800 million in investment funding, you’ll be seeing video testimonials of Average Joe’s striking it rich for the rest of the year, at the very least.

The problem is, the Average Joe’s aren’t actually the ones winning.

Saahil Sud is a fake-sports apex predator. He enters hundreds of daily contests in baseball and football under the name “maxdalury,” and he almost always trounces the field. He claims to risk an average of $140,000 per day with a return of about 8 percent. Sud studied math and economics at Amherst College and took a job in data science at a digital marketing firm before shifting to full-time fantasy. He’s now the top-ranked daily fantasy sports player, according to Rotogrinders, a stats site for daily fantasy players. He says he’s made more than $2 million so far this year. 

So many times a day does your every day *gambler* win? 13 times. Talk about unlucky.

The reason we put gambler in disclaimers is because fantasy sports isn’t technically gambling. While sports gambling is technically illegal in the United States (with the exception of certain areas), fantasy sports live in a grey area that will almost certainly be legally challenged at some point. None of this means anything to the NCAA, who is now saying that college athletes who use the sites would be committing a standards violation.

We’ve discussed the topic of ad viewability before when discussing the ad nauseum loop of Game of War ads last spring:

Really, we (marketers, advertisers, publishers) should be using targeting and tracking (since, let’s be honest, so much of our data usage is tracked anyways) and tailor to the right audience to provide more applicable ads. This seems obvious – don’t we all know this? Aren’t most people already doing this? Yes, yet we still see “Game of War” ads, well…EVERYWHERE!

The future for one-day fantasy is still up in the air, but the question is whether the actual product can continue to deliver revenue at the rate it’s currently going. Plus, any changes in the gambling industry could be a massive boon or blow to their market.

What do you think? Have you tried one-day fantasy yet? Or are you just waiting for ads to disappear already?

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Trending from G/L: Building a soccer brand from scratch with LAFC

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Building a soccer brand from scratch with LAFC

Soccer is continuing to grow at a rapid pace in the United States. More than 25 million viewers saw the United States defeat Japan in the Women’s World Cup this past summer. There are more than four million registered players at all ages throughout the country. And Major League Soccer, the country’s biggest professional league, has expanded from 10 teams in 2004 to 20 this season.

That expansion will continue with Atlanta joining the league in 2017 and a new Los Angeles club joining the mix in 2018. Franchises in Miami and Minneapolis are also on the horizon. MLS Commissioner Don Garber even visited St. Louis earlier this year, although no expansion into the Gateway City is imminent.

Los Angeles is an interesting case, which is back in the spotlight this week. The new team officially announced that their name will be Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), which was the placeholder name dating back to the team’s initial announcement last year. While many MLS clubs have American-style names such as the Chicago Fire, the Portland Timbers and the Los Angeles Galaxy, many of the expansion sides have opted for the more traditional soccer naming and branding, including Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and New York City FC.

Interestingly enough, while the Galaxy was one of the ten founding MLS clubs when the league began in 1996, this is the first season LA has been back to one team. A previous LA-based team, Chivas USA, was formed in 2005 and ceased operations last year, paving the way for LAFC. Chivas USA, which was owned for a time by Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico, failed primarily because it failed to attract a significant Hispanic audience, which was the club’s key target.

Now LAFC, despite being just under three years away from their first game, is hitting the ground running early on their marketing efforts.

Their key demographic: Millennials.

Already, the club is stating their intentions to distinguish the team from what’s already out there, according to Rich Orosco, the club’s head of marketing for culture and community:

“They don’t want to be talked at,” Orosco says of millennials who, studies show, are 16% more interested in soccer than any other U.S. demographic. “So from Day 1 that’s all we’re doing. We’re opening up a dialogue with this exact fan base: ‘Let’s talk about this.’

These insights are certainly important. And having a defined target audience is a critical part of any brand launch. However, there has already been some blowback on the organization for their approach. One Twitter feed is aimed directly at the club’s attempts to win over young fans.

The seed of this discontent probably comes from how terms like millennials (or hipsters for that matter) can be used to produce widespread misconceptions. Our Mary Sawyer looked closely at this disconnect in a post last month:

And as Mary says in that post:

“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.”

Whether LAFC will be a hit with the Angelino youths remains to be seen. Regardless, whether you’re discussing a soccer brand, a consumer product or a business-to-business message, having a targeted approach based on research and data is the best way to plan for success.

What are your thoughts on LAFC’s approach to building a soccer brand? Think they’re doing it the right way or are they casting too broad of a net? Let us know your thoughts!

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Trending from G/L: New Color Insights…by listening?

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: New Color Insights…by listening?

Take a moment to imagine living in a world with no color.

Or rather, imagine never even knowing color.

For Neil Harbisson, our world in black and white was all he ever knew. He was born with achromatopsia—a condition that makes him completely colorblind. That was his life until he convinced his doctors to turn him into a cyborg…

Yes, a cyborg—the world’s first cyborg. Neil has an antenna and color sensor chip implanted into his head. This antenna picks up light frequencies of colors; the light frequencies are then transposed into a sound frequency.

This allows Neil to HEAR COLOR. Each color has a unique sound, which has color insights he has memorized.

This technology now allows him to experience the world in a new way. While he still doesn’t see color like most people, his new sense at least allows him to know color.

This guy really got the Geile/Leon team talking. Some couldn’t get over the weird factor, yet others were amazed at the technology.

I find Neil’s situation very interesting. Technology is changing people’s lives and becoming apart of them—literally in his case.

Other than the technology aspect of Neil’s story, I think one of the main things I started thinking about is how we take advantage of color. Color is just there. The sky is blue, bananas are yellow—this is how the world looks. We don’t dive any deeper into the color insights that are all around us.

As a creative, I’m envious of Neil’s new sense. He gets to experience color insights on a whole new level. In the video he talks about how almost nothing is gray—everything has some kind of hue. He talks about how people are actually all orange—just different shades. He is “seeing” his environment on a level that people with no colorblindness will ever achieve.

Pretty awesome.

Be sure to check out the video and share your thoughts about Neil and his ability to hear color with us.

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