The ROI of a Laugh: How to Use Humor in Marketing

A joke is never as funny if you have to spell it out, but in this case we're dissecting a couple of well thought out marketing campaigns that do a great job of using humor.

Purple Mattress

I know it sounds a little funny to use a mattress company as an example of humor in marketing, but it's seriously one of the first brands that comes to mind when this topic is presented. If you've never seen any of their commercials, I highly suggest doing so. They're clever and present some really interesting characterizations. They create a storyline within a short time frame while also providing all of the information needed regarding their products.

One of their more popular commercials is centered around Goldilocks, their expert bed tester. In three minutes she easily explains how the raw egg test simulates where pressure is distributed throughout the body during sleep all while providing hilarious commentary. The information sticks because her characterization is perfect for this skit and the information provided isn't too detailed. Another example of this is their commercial featuring a Sasquatch mother who is fed up with lower-quality mattress toppers. The entire commercial is one continuous joke that sprinkles an appropriate amount of information throughout. One of my favorite lines, which I'm sure others will love is "Other toppers turn your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot, and uncomfortable. Like a Nickelback concert." One-liners like these are abundant and absolutely get the point across that Purple Mattress is unlike the competition. The company truly knows what will hit home for their consumers and uses that to their advantage. 

Denny's

Sometimes it can be difficult to produce content for platforms like Twitter. You only get so many characters and therefore you really need to hit home with the content quickly. Denny's is a fantastic example of a company that is using humor in social media effectively. If you've not read their Twitter feed then I implore you to do so. You will NOT be disappointed!

The majority of their content is quippy and entertaining with useful information divvied throughout. This brand is so successful because their tweets are so incredibly relatable. How many times have you thought about something - THOUGHT, not searched for or even talked about - and seen a targeted ad for it relatively soon thereafter? I can tell you it's happened to me on several occasions. Denny's caught on to this and replied with: "the reason you see our ads so often in because we can read your mind. You think about your ex and pancakes a lot." This is too funny, and way too real. It makes followers interested in their content, so as they follow along with the hilarity they wind up seeing deals being promoted. It seems so casual, but it works into consumers' feed perfectly. Bravo, Denny's!

Anheuser-Busch

Philly, Philly! Need I say more? This was one of the most prevalent marketing campaigns of the year - and for good reason. Anheuser-Busch listened to their consumers and played off of their interests. With Game of Thrones being one of the most popular shows on television right now, Bud Light created a campaign with a series of commercials that mimic the medieval setting found on the show and gave it a humorous undertone.

One example focuses on a man who escapes a treacherous dungeon to come back carrying a case of Bud Light. When another prisoner questions his decision to return, everyone else cries out in protest because they all want their favorite brew. The brand took it a step further when the Eagles not only made it into the Super Bowl, but won. The series continued with the king announcing that "The injury gods threw mud at you, but the perseverance gods wiped you off and patted your behind. So for you, I'll say it only once: Philly Philly." Playing off of the pride of Philadelphia fans shows that Anheuser-Busch understands their demographic and gives us another reason to love this fan favorite.

It can be difficult to use humor in marketing. Sometimes campaigns focus too much on trying to be funny and lose sight of the fact that they're still trying to sell something. It's a fine line, but the call to action and supporting information need to be present and highlighted. Take the lead of these brands and listen to your audience, be relatable, and do what's right for your brand.

What I've Learned In My Three Years As a Marketing Consultant and Business Owner

As Elysium celebrates its third birthday and we enter our fourth year, I’m reflecting on my time as both a business owner and a marketing consultant. Much like how I feel when it’s one of my kid’s birthdays, in some ways it seems that Elysium should be much older, and in other ways I can’t believe it’s already been three years. 

If I had to narrow it down to only three takeaways, these are the ones that stand out: 

1.     There are opportunities everywhere.

As a marketing consultant, you can’t help but judge - err - look at everyone’s marketing creative, messaging, and more with a sharp lens. And truthfully, sometimes you wish you could shut off that lens. We create menus, so you bet that every single time I’m in a restaurant I check out the layout, art direction, and more. I know my husband just loves this when we’re supposed to be out for date night (love you Phil!). But the same is true for logos, sales brochures, and any other piece of tangible or digital marketing. I find myself scrutinizing emails during the holidays and wondering why that subject line was chosen or who decided to use those two colors together. A lot of this judging is helpful when we work with our designers. We share the pieces we love for inspiration, and we share the pieces we don’t love as very clear “dont's.” 

Another opportunity is when we talk about what we do and our love for Elysium with our friends and family. They tend to share that love, and it’s a pretty awesome thing.  I’m already super excited for what 2018 is going to bring because I already have a new phenomenal client joining the Elysium team, a lead that came directly from an old boss, a meeting scheduled with a potential partner from a connection of my Dad’s, and a prospective client meeting from a Mom of one of my son’s friends. Elysium’s third year wouldn’t have been half as successful without the love, support, and encouragement from friends and family.

2.     You will find yourself doing things and in situations you never imagined (and loving every second of it.)

No, this isn’t like an - all of a sudden I was on Broadway situation - but when you and your team whole-heartedly invest yourselves into a client’s success, and see yourselves as a true part of the client team, you jump in to do anything possible to move the business forward. A couple of quick examples:

  • An investor meeting that we orchestrated for an organic skincare client
  • A focus group analyzing tampon use
  • A farm visit and a menu tasting for every.single.item
  • A construction site of the largest observation wheel on the east coast

3.      No two days are ever the same.

I often get asked “What is your favorite part of your job?” and more times than not my answer is that no two days are ever exactly the same. One day we will be launching a gorgeous website, another day we'll be onsite at a video shoot, and a third day we will be in an all-day strategy planning meeting. It's not all sunshine and roses everyday, but most days we're working together as a team to come up with strategic ideas and campaigns to better our client's sales. As Elysium continues to grow I’m trying to celebrate our successes more and truly learn from the challenges.

I know how lucky I am to be doing what I love everyday. And I know that these three years have flown by with a higher amount of good than bad days. I’m ready to continue learning, meeting amazing people, and celebrating the good stuff. Happy 3rd Birthday Elysium Marketing Group!   

 

Elysium Marketing Group Wins Top Marketing Consulting Agency!

We're excited and grateful that Elysium can now add award-winner to our portfolio!  

As you may know, Elysium Marketing Group has been providing high quality digital marketing services to clients in the greater Philadelphia area since 2015. However, today we’re excited to celebrate our designation as a Top Local Agency in Philadelphia by UpCity! We were selected as one of twenty-five companies in Philadelphia as a Top Marketing Consulting Firm. 

What Does This Mean?

UpCity’s Top Local Agency marketplace is a resource designed to connect small and medium sized local businesses with high-quality digital marketing service providers in their local area, allowing business owners to get the services they need quickly, from a service provider they can trust. The UpCity team independently reviews agencies across North America to determine the best service providers in each local market, ensuring that no matter where you are, great digital marketing services are never more than a click away.

To check out our profile and follow this link: https://upcity.com/local-marketing-agencies/profiles/elysium-marketing-group

We will continue to strive to bring our clients hands-on, strategic marketing creative and campaigns that move the needle and get real results. Thank you for being a part of Elysium's journey! 

4 Reasons Why We're Crushing on the Sugarwish Brand

1.     Creative

Sugarwish’s logo is clean, whimsical, and locked up with a solid tagline, “sweet happiness.delivered.” Their colors are a combination of Tiffany’s blue (for a little luxury) and red (for a little love), plus gray as a secondary color. It’s nice to see two colors not usually paired together being used, and used in such a complimentary way.  

4_Sugarwish_Email.jpg

 Their website is clean and shows beautiful, playful pictures of their candy offerings. The tone of the Sugarwish brand is fun (as it should be… it’s CANDY) and they use language like “Lickety Split” and “Wish Granted,” which just makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

When the Sugarwish arrives, it comes in the cutest packaging – a Tiffany's blue box, with a red ribbon around it. The inside showcases the candy and has red and white stripes that are reminiscent of the old-school candy striper days.

Sugarwish box

2.     Website’s Ease of Use  -

Sugarwish has been implementing a new concept – sending a candy gram online to a recipient who selects his/her own gift. Instead of complicating the messaging, once you arrive on their site, it clearly shows you where to click if you are the sender or the recipient. It incorporates a video if you need further explanation, but it doesn’t cram it down your throat. Most of the content on each page is above the fold, so there’s not a lot of scrolling needed to get the information you want. The website does a great job of making navigating the site a cinch!

 

3.     Email/Ecommerce Best Practices –

So far, we’ve touched on the cute concept and exceptional branding, but Sugarwish wouldn’t be as successful as it currently is without using best practices in ecommerce. Once you order, you get an email confirmation. If it’s your first-time ordering, you get a thank you from the founders with an offer to purchase again. Both pretty standard, but necessary steps.

At each turn, they both subtlety and not so subtlety try to persuade you to purchase another Sugarwish. But even when it’s not so subtle, it’s still on brand and it’s not bothersome at all. They track when your wish has been sent and when it’s been seen, so if for some reason the recipient doesn’t pick it up, you can either send it again or say something to your chosen recipient to make sure they select their candy.

Their emails are visually appealing with minimal copy. As you can see from the email below, it’s easily digestible and definitely makes you want to click through to their site.

Sugarwish email

Not only is their onsite presence and email marketing strong, but they are also implementing the next step and using a remarketing campaign. As soon as I left their page, a cute little reminder popped up on another site that I should send that deserving someone some candy. “Sugarwish Em’”

Sugarwish banner ad

4.     Social Media  -

Some of the most fun we have when we manage our clients’ social media accounts is when we’re working with food brands. There’s so much you can do and so much fun to be had. People want to see puppies and babies on social media, but I’d say good looking food/candy would definitely be next in line.

If you look at Sugarwish’s Instagram feed, it contains beautiful pictures of colors through candy. They do a wonderful job of incorporating their logo and some of their brand lingo like “Work Fuel” and “Sweet Appreciation.” The entire feed uses a consistent look n’ feel and exudes their brand essence. We see so many Instagram accounts that are all over the place and really don’t tell the brand’s story, so this is a breath of fresh candy air.

6_Sugarwish_INSTA.jpg

I would suggest that Sugarwish post more often on Facebook; however, I have found that when they do post, it is relevant and on-point. You can see below that for Valentine’s Day (a holiday they should definitely be capitalizing on) they posted a charming picture of one of their boxes with a message about how they are the ultimate Valentine. 

Sugarwish Facebook Page

At the bottom of their emails, they entice you to follow them on social media with clever copy that fits their brand and actually does make you want to join.

Sugarwish email bottom

For a brand that isn’t well known to the masses yet (every time I send one, the recipient says “What a cute idea!,”) Elysium is very impressed with what we’ve seen from Sugarwish so far. They seem to really know who they are, what their brand stands for, and how to incorporate best practices in ecommerce.

Lastly - maybe most important - If you have two email addresses, there’s no shame in ordering one for yourself. ;) 

5 Direct Mail Necessities to Remember

1.     Make it Stand Out!

In the Tony Roni mailer we created and sent (pictured below), we have two very eye catching components: 1. The headline: We Like Big Crusts and We Can Not Lie. And now you have the song “I Like Big Butts and I Can Not Lie” in your head. Since the Tony Roni brand lends itself to it, we had some fun with the headline so people not only get a chuckle, but more importantly, remember the piece.

The other thing is that we decided to send an oversized postcard that is 9.5 X 13, which is significantly bigger than your average piece of paper. This way no one will miss it! Smaller postcards can get lost with the rest of the mail and thrown away without a second thought. This big honking postcard will get noticed, if nothing else. The other side of the postcard had compelling coupons so recipients could take an action based off of the card. 

Tony Roni Oversized Mailer

2.     Use a Code to Track it!

In the mailer (pictured below) for Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, we used an affixed card with a code on it. Customers who redeemed the card would receive half off a second entrée. This card was collected by servers to track the outcome.  The code on the card can be used in the ordering system to track the meals that use the code. This part of the equation is crucial, so we know what the return on the mailer is. If we don’t have this, it would be difficult to know whether the campaign was successful, and whether we should keep using it in the marketing strategy.  

Harvest Mailer and Card

3.     Let Visuals Tell the Story!

Although the Eventions Productions piece we’re showing here was not used as direct mail, it still does a good job of showcasing that you don’t need a lot of copy to get your message across, especially if you have a very visual business. Since Eventions does high-end event lighting and sound, they can let their stunning work speak for itself, and use some supporting copy to drive home the message. Here you can see the inside of the tri-fold we created. 

Eventions Productions Sales Piece

4.     Have a time limit!

You might think keeping the code/coupon/card valid for a longer period of time would give you a better response, but the truth is that consumers get lazy, lose the card, and/or forget about it. An expiration date will give recipients the jump they need to use the deal now or lose it.

 

5.     Use a good printer!

This one may seem obvious, but there really is a difference when you’re selecting your direct mail partner. Make sure they are super knowledgeable about postage rates, how to properly print your creative, what paper works best, and what postage areas you’re mailing to. We’ve had amazing experience with companies (thank you FMI Direct) and we’ve had terrible experiences. Pick your partner wisely. 

4 Reasons E-newsletters are a Must For Your Marketing Strategy

1.     It keeps you top-of-mind!

Recently I was working on getting pricing for a direct mail piece for one of my clients. It wasn’t a straightforward direct mail piece, so I was contemplating which company I should contact to send me pricing. Next thing you know, I received a newsletter from a printing company that I had completely forgotten about. With so much going on, their company’s name wasn’t coming to me. The newsletter came, I called my contact, and we’re working on the piece together now. It was their way of staying (becoming) top of mind, and it paid off.

2.     It’s cheap!

The hardest part of email marketing is gathering a robust list of recipients. But once you do that, it costs very little to actually get your messaging into the hands of your current or prospective clients.

3.     It positions you as an authority!

Well, really blogs and content do that. But the newsletter is a fantastic distributor of your thought leadership. It’s a great way to show clients and prospects that you are an expert in your field, and that they should be working with you.

 4.     It drives traffic to your site!

A good e-newsletter leads you to different parts of the sender’s site. This way clients and prospects can make themselves more familiar with the services you offer, read more of the content you’re providing, and eventually contact you or fill out your lead form. You want people on your site because getting them there means they are a step closer to converting or signing on for your services. 

What's Old is New Again - How to Use Nostalgia in Marketing

Nostalgia has always been an important tool for marketers to employ when they want to evoke emotions from their consumers. Especially now, with the craziness going on in the world these days, this tool has become even more significant. There is currently a strong resurgence of the theme, “what’s old is new again.” Below is a look at some examples of nostalgia in action, and how nostalgia is being used in different marketing strategies.

1.     Pokemon Go. Come on, you knew this was coming! Pikachu, Charmander and the other original starter Pokemon were a phenomenon in the 90’s, then more or less disappeared out of the limelight. Well boy, are they back with a vengeance! Their team figured out the best way to make them relevant again was to capitalize on the digital age. They are now dominating the news and the gaming world by using digital in a relatively new medium - augmented reality.

Marketing insight:  If your brand is feeling stale or worn-out, breathe new life into it by figuring out if there’s a way to capitalize on some of the available digital mediums. 

 

2.   Fuller House. Uncle Jesse - Have Mercy! So I’ll admit that I haven’t seen Fuller House yet, however, most people over the age of 15 have seen at least one episode of the original series Full House. We are seeing a serious resurgence of TV shows coming together again…Gilmore Girls, The X-Files, etc. The reason this concept works is because the generation that grew up loving Full House is eager to recall their younger, innocent and less stressful years when they watched the show, and even more so, they want to see how the characters have evolved in their lives just like the viewers have evolved in their own.

Marketing Insight: If your brand has been around for awhile, it’s fun to recognize and appreciate those earlier years. Bring back old packaging for a limited time, compare your old location to your new location in side-by-side pictures, etc. This shows consumers how much your brand/company has grown, but also brings them back to remembering “the good old days.”

 

3.     Ghostbusters. Who ya gonna call? The female version of Ghostbusters! The premise remains the same: Fight ghosts and get some laughs along the way. However, instead of casting younger male actors and adding a couple more digital features, the creators decided to have an all female cast. This may lose some nostalgic value for viewers who loved the original movie, but it’s very timely with the various initiatives for women’s empowerment occurring right now.

Marketing Insight: Now could be a good time to change up a piece of your company’s core marketing, while still keeping true to your brand. Always running the same promotions? Maybe it’s time to throw some new ones into the mix. Stay true to your company’s core values, but change it up a little every now and then to keep your marketing fresh and exciting.

 

4.     Major League Sports Teams. At one time or another, most major league sports teams have turned back the clock on their uniforms. Since the Phillies are my hometown team, I’ll use them as an example. Not only do they wear nostalgic uniforms, but they even host a themed night called ‘Retro Night.’

Marketing Insight: If there’s a family component to your company, it’s nice to allow parents to feel like they’re experiencing something they did when they were children before they had their own offspring. You don’t need throwback uniforms to make that happen, but it’s a nod to the past while embracing the future.

 

5.     Crystal Pepsi. Who remembers the clear cola Pepsi came out with? Welp, it’s coming back next month. With its retro packaging and all it’s glory.

Marketing Insight: Sometimes re-introducing something from the past brings consumers back to your brand. If I have been drinking Coke recently, but loved Crystal Pepsi, there’s a chance that when I buy Crystal Pepsi, I’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling (halo effect) thinking about the times I used to drink Crystal Pepsi. This feeling may lead me to continue purchasing Pepsi even when Crystal’s re-release is over.

 

Even if your company is not a mature brand, it can still incorporate some nostalgia into its marketing or creative as long as it makes sense for the brand. Incorporate an old song that brings back good memories or use black and white pictures/vintage creative. Today, more so than ever, many of us are wishing for the good old days. Now’s the time to capitalize on this sentiment. 

5 Reasons You Should Unlink Your Personal & Professional Social Media Accounts

As Elysium Marketing Group began managing some of our clients’ social media, we noticed that some of the profiles were not aesthetically or topically on-brand. The deeper we dug, the more we saw the companies’ leaders’ personal interests, political preferences, and sense of humor peeking through their accounts.

While many brands are built by strong leaders with equally strong points of view, the bottom line is that the founder(s) and the company(s) are two separate entities.

Below are five reasons why you should separate your social accounts from your business accounts.

1.     Relevance – One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning your upcoming social media strategy is to ensure you’re giving your followers what they’re looking for.  

If you’re a national jewelry company, most likely your followers are following because (a). they like jewelry, (b). they like your jewelry, and/or (c). they like the fashion/accessory industry. If you personally like baseball as well as jewelry, it doesn’t mean your followers/customers do too. The bottom line is if you start to post too many irrelevant posts that aren’t related to your industry, your followers are likely to unfollow your account, leaving you with fewer people to engage with and market to.

2.     Sensitive Topics – Politics are a BIG deal in 2016. Many people have very intense feelings about the candidates, the political parties, and the direction of the United States. While opinions on these topics are plentiful, it’s best to keep them separate from your business or your clients. You don’t want to alienate followers/customers/clients who may have differing views.

3.     Sensitive Topics Part II – Politics isn’t the only topic that can divide people. Posting about religion or race is also content that could cause some followers to feel uneasy, plus normally it would not relate to your brand’s business goals.

4.     Old Content - We’ve seen people who start a social media account as a personal account, then decide to change the page to a business account. The problem with this is when a follower decides to take a more in-depth look at the company, they could start to see personal photos or irrelevant photos that are separate from the objectives of your business.

5.     Security – Most business owners don’t have time to manage their business’ social media profiles. Whether an in-house employee or outsourced social media expert begins to manage the accounts, you don’t want to give your personal passwords out to anyone. It’s better to keep your personal passwords private, but share your business passwords with the professionals or team.

What we’re definitely not saying is you can’t have fun on social media. If your brand lends itself to it, have SO much fun. Post fun memes and awesome gifs, but please keep it business related. As the wise Michael Corleone from The Godfather says, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”  Social media wasn’t around when this movie came out, but we’re pretty sure he’d agree with us that this saying would apply to your social media accounts as well.  

3 Ways to Capitalize on Holidays in Your Marketing Plan

For consumers, holidays are an enjoyable time to celebrate special events and get together with friends and family. For companies, it is a great opportunity, to not only celebrate these holidays, but also to engage with your customers. Here are three ways maximize your marketing during holidays, especially with Memorial Day quickly approaching: 

1. Sale  - Instead of running a random sale at a random time, give your customers a reason to connect your sale to a holiday, especially if the holiday draws a natural connection to your product or service.

Here’s an example of a Mother’s Day sale we ran for a beauty client. Since most women love beauty products, it makes sense that Me & the Girls would run a sale encouraging consumers to pamper Mom with their products. 

2. Email – While sending too much email is a definite no-no, sending an on-brand email wishing someone a happy birthday or happy holidays is always a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind, and use the “halo effect” that occurs when people associate your brand with the positive feelings they have towards that holiday.

Here’s an example of a Thanksgiving email that Elysium Marketing Group sent to its clients and contacts. Simple and easy, but still showing that we care and we’re thankful for our friends and clients during this celebratory time.

thanksgiving

 

3. Social Media – The easiest way to celebrate the holidays with your clients/fans/patients, etc. is to post on your company pages on social media. The general rules of social media still apply here:

·      Make sure your post is on-brand (that it matches your brand identity)

·      When possible, include your logo and URL to ensure the creative ladders back to your brand

·      Hashtag the holiday (#HappyValentinesDay, #Happy4ofJuly, etc) especially on  Twitter & Instagram

·      Share the company post on your personal page to increase the reach and engagement

·      Use specific sizes for specific sites. Here are the correct sizes for social media from Hubspot.  

Here’s an example of a Happy Labor Day post we did for Eventions Productions. Since Eventions does high-end event lighting, we incorporated a spotlight and showcased our message in the light. Their brand colors are black and blue, so we made sure to adhere to that. And we included their URL in case someone wanted to check them out there. 

Memorial Day is a few days away, so now is the perfect time to design some holiday creative and try these tips out!  

And HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY from Elysium Marketing Group!