When Return on Empathy Is Found at a Party

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

When Return on Empathy Is Found at a Party

For today’s Return on Empathy discussion, I wanted to focus on the importance of not trying too hard. With social distancing policies in effect across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic has single-handedly dismantled many social aspects across all walks of life. Birthdays, commencement ceremonies, concerts, dances, family reunions, and more have all been canceled and postponed. So, in a time when socializing is limited to virtual experiences or interactions with the people in your house, some brands are making an emotional connection with consumers…all without trying too hard.

Desperados, a beer brand owned by Heineken, is taking consumers on a virtual music experience with an at-home party series. Through live-streamed DJ sessions, consumers can “attend” a party “together” while safely practicing social distancing. The event series was devised to help people connect under our current unique set of circumstances. 

These home sessions will come in the form of hour-and-a-half sessions with well-known DJs broadcasting from living rooms across the world every Sunday. Diederik Vos, global brand director at Desperados, said, “Parties provide an unrivalled sense of social connection that we are all craving during this time of social distancing. With partying in our DNA, Desperados wanted to create something that brings the party to people – to be enjoyed from the safety of their homes. We are redefining how parties can be experienced virtually in living rooms around the world.”

Desperados isn’t pushing product. They are simply doing something fun, light-hearted and enjoyable to make consumers happy and forget about all of the current stressors associated with the pandemic. Even if your brand is delivering just a brief experience and a momentary connection, brands that execute this concept successfully can make a lasting, emotional connection with consumers… simply by not trying too hard. 

Trending from G/L: Country Time Stands Up For Kids

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Trending from G/L: Country Time Stands Up For Kids

Does shutting down a kid’s lemonade because they don’t have a business permit sound crazy to you? If it does, you’re likely in the majority, but unfortunately, police have been doing just that. After a recent rash of Lemonade stand shutdowns requested by crotchety neighbors, Kraft Heinz’s Country Time Lemonade brand sprung into action with their “Legal-Ade” campaign.

When 6-year old Autumn Thomasson’s lemonade stand was shut down for not having a permit, Country Time could no longer stand by idly.

“We heard a couple of these stories happening and frankly, didn’t believe that they were real,” said Adam Butler, Kraft Heinz’s general manager for beverages and nuts. “You look into it and, wow, this is actually real. We huddled up and decided we’ve got to do something about this.”


Their campaign cleverly promotes not only their product but does something positive as well. Country Time has promised to either pay for permit-less lemonade stand fines or pay directly for a business permit so that kids can legally run their lemonade stand without issue. To date, they have committed $60,000 to the cause!

These are the opportunities that marketers dream of. Rather than stand back and do nothing, Country Time has taken advantage of the publicity… and helped kids embrace the entrepreneurial spirit in the process.

G/L can help you turn a problem into a solution. We create meaningful campaigns for many of our clients. Talk to us and we can show you what we mean when we say “Make it Mean Something.”

Trending from G/L: Nivea Reshapes Behaviors with Clever Marketing Campaign

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Trending from G/L: Nivea Reshapes Behaviors with Clever Marketing Campaign

Nivea recently launched a guerilla marketing effort that focused on teaching children about the importance of sunscreen.

We all know how hyper and excited kids can get at the beach, the park or at the pool, so how do you convince them to wait 10 minutes to let mom or dad apply sunscreen?

Nivea and FCB Brazil came up with a brilliant solution to distract kids long enough to get apply sunscreen, while also teaching them an important lesson about sun safety as well.

The Nivea Doll was developed to show kids how unpleasant sunburns can be. The doll has built-in UV sensitivity and will turn beet red once the sun hits it- representative of what will happen to your own skin if you don’t use sunscreen:


Once you apply sunscreen to the doll the sunburn will disappear and the skin tone will be back to normal – ultimately teaching kids a valuable lesson about why sunscreen is so important.

“Protecting and caring is something we learn from an early age. This emotional bond is what this Nivea action offers,” Joanna Monteiro, creative VP at FCB Brazil, said in a statement. “Through the magic of technology, children can see the sun’s effect on the skin of the doll.”

As seen in the video below, street teams handed out The Nivea Doll along with a pre-packaged sunscreen and showed the recipient how the doll worked:

This concept is extremely unique, has an immediate payoff. It generated tons of press and product trial and has a very important message to boot.

Geile/Leon generates tons of unique and captivating ideas like this for our clients every day. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand tell a compelling story. And if you have any cool examples you want to share with us, we’d be more than happy to see them and chat!

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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: 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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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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Consumer Engagement: Branding Your Memories

Luke Smith
Senior Account Executive

Consumer Engagement: Branding Your Memories

The broad term “experiential marketing” can translate to a million different tactics and strategies, but the core goal remains the same–create consumer engagement and experiences that aid in the evolution of your brand.

Consumers are bombarded with anywhere from 3,000-5,000 passive messages a day. While the exact number is not known, we know that it’s overwhelming, and we know that it’s easy to get lost in the clutter unless we plan accordingly and support marketing efforts with outstanding creative.

Sensory Memory

While traditional advertising certainly serves an important role through reach, frequency and precision (and it’s easier on the budget), marketing through experiences with a brand will not only generate a personal interaction with a consumer, but also implant a sensory memory as well.

Sensory memory refers to how we remember the way things look, feel, smell, or taste. Typically, our brain stores this type of information as if it were taking a snapshot of the event using your senses as the camera. These are the sorts of memories that generate the building blocks for brand relationships.

Every marketer should strive for their brand to create a personal relationship with consumers.

Think about this–do you have a brand or product that you still buy today because your parents or grandparents raised you with this brand/product? You’re not just buying this because you like it; you’re subconsciously committed to the brand because of the experiences you’ve had and the relationship you’ve built with it.

Unforgettable Experiences

Let’s take a look at some recent, inspirational examples of brands that set the standard for experiential marketing.

While I’m sure that there were some strict rules and detailed planning, the execution and strategy is something to be admired. The positioning of this experience was clever. Not only did Carlsberg capture the interest of an already busy, vibrant street, but it was also strategically placed just around the corner from a popular craft beer bar, where the taste for local beers is taking dominance over more mainstream brews.


At the 2015 Ted conference Delta Air Lines created an installation called “Stillness in Motion,” based on the book The Art of Stillness. This was part of a suite of different products designed to make a more productive use of your time. Approximately 800 visitors tweeted about it, resulting in 9.3 million Twitter impressions.


Creating Your Experience

Experiential marketing is another great tool to use in our marketing arsenal. If executed correctly, it’s a tactic that breaches traditional and emerges as a branded memory. It truly creates a powerful opportunity for your brand to build a relationship with consumers.

Would you like to learn more about how experiential marketing can help your brand? Fill out the form below or email us at [email protected] and we can talk more.

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