Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

What’s in a Hashtag? Entire strategies!

February 27, 2014


Pound sign, number sign, hashtag; whatever you want to call it, this little symbol has impacted the marketing sphere for all who work in the communications industry. It’s hard to remember a time when hashtags weren’t part of marketing campaigns because they play such a significant role when building a strategy. In fact, in some cases the hashtag is the strategy.

Since hashtags are supported on multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest) marketers realize using hashtags can be advantageous for bigger picture gains. Hashtags can be used to reach target audiences in a fun, engaging and social way that other forms of marketing materials can’t. By using hashtags, brands can create a quick connection to a large group, and if brands are really smart, they’ll connect the hashtag with a feeling. Creating an emotional connection enables the hashtag to leverage a positive brand image for an organization or individual. For example, Honda aired its touchy-feely #HugFest campaign (starring Bruce Willis) during the Super Bowl. Honda purposely did not mention their brand within the hashtag, in order to generalize it and position it to a larger group. Honda then went the extra mile and supported the #Hugfest social media campaign by launching a series of YouTube videos. Doing so caused the #HugFest hashtag to take off like a Civic Coupe on a race track. Marketers at Honda clearly know that everybody can use a hug now and then, and were wise to correlate a “warm and fuzzy” feeling with the famous auto maker.

Additionally, hashtags can be used as a fierce weapon to differentiate brands from competitors. For example, Yoplait Greek Yogurt flipped their lid and created a duel with competition brand, Chobani (the Greek yogurt giant). After realizing they would rather win the “who’s better” battle fair and square (instead of swooning shoppers with studly John Stamos) Yoplait formed the hashtag #TasteOff as a way to motivate customer feedback. A risky move that even Uncle Jesse couldn’t combat.

Yoplait invited real consumers to go spoon to spoon and vote in the #TasteOff on Twitter. Ladies and ‘gents, Yoplait won the brand battle right then and there. At EZG, we can stand behind a hashtag campaign that inspires direct engagement with consumers and promotes real brand loyalty across social media. Consumers want to be involved; they want to be spoken to and know when they’re being sold. Through a simple hashtag, Yoplait kicked off the conversation that inspired brand loyalty amongst consumers, a tasty move indeed.

At EZG we participate in hashtag specific campaigns on behalf of our clients. We conduct industry research and survey the conversations taking place on social media in order to be active social listeners. When monitoring hashtags, we filter out the noise and find the windows of hashtag opportunity where our clients can promote their brand, position the brand ahead of competitors, or just simply engage with an existing audience. Whether it is a brand specific campaign using a designated hashtag, or a hashtag that is used during an event, we understand the power that hashtags have and we love it.

What are some of your favorite hashtag campaigns? Comment and let us know which brands you think use hashtags effectively or tweet us @ebben_zall.


Super Bowl 2013: The Anticipation of Ads

January 10, 2013

Here in Boston, football fever is high as the New England Patriots are still a contender for Super Bowl XLVII.  As #TB12 and Belichick prepare to lead the Pats through the playoffs – and to the Superdome in February – big brands are getting ready for the commercials they’ll air during the game. With 111.3 million viewers tuned into last year’s game, it’s a no-brainer for companies to advertise during this event.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that advertisers looking to buy commercial space may be out of luck because airtime has already been “sold out” according to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. However, for a few big bucks (errr, five or six million), Moonves says CBS “will find room.”

In between snacking on endless dips and finger foods, you’ll be sure to see commercials of alcoholic beverages, food, and cars. One company making their presence during Super Bowl commercials is Chrysler. For the past two Super Bowls they have had attention-grabbing commercials, lasting longer than the usual thirty-second spots that other brands used. In 2011, Chrysler’s ad “Imported from Detroit” – which featured rapper Eminem – hinted at the revival of U.S. automakers. In 2012 they held another two-minute ad narrated by actor Clint Eastwood titled “It’s Halftime America”, which gives a hope filled message about our citizens overcoming economic hardships.

As influential as Chryslers ads were, I have to wonder if the longer ads really make a bigger splash as their usual thirty-second counterparts, or do they lose their impact and likeability because viewers just want to see the next commercial? This year Taco Bell is stepping out of their comfort zone with a sixty-second ad, and is one of the only non-car brands scheduled for a longer spot. Besides the longer ads, brands also know to pull on a few heart strings when creating their commercials. A usual trend in Super Bowl commercials is babies and dogs. Brands know that viewers cannot resist the cuteness of both, so tying them into the ads is a way to keep viewers glued to the T.V. and a way for them to remember their commercials in the long run.

This year, we can expect to see some returning favorites like Coca-Cola, Doritos, Audi, and M&M’s, but for the full list of Super Bowl commercial announcements, click here.

While we cheer on our teams (unfortunately the Steelers are out of playoff contention) to victory in hopes they make it all the way to the Super Bowl, let’s take a look at some of our favorite 2012 Super Bowl Commercials:


Advertisers looking for a touchdown in 2011

January 20, 2011

After the devastating loss for us New England fans this past weekend, it hardly seems right to talk about the Super Bowl – but in the advertising world, it is a hot topic every year.  AdAge reported last year’s game contained 48 minutes worth of ads and network promotions, and with GM and Pepsi coming back from a two year Super Bowl hiatus, we could see more advertising than ever before on February 6th.

Not only are those major brands back in the mix, but BMW is also returning after ten years, as well as CareerBuilder after five, and they are both going full force. According to BMW’s mar-comm manager, “BMW is in the window of our biggest launch period in history and the Super Bowl gives us the stage to make that big impact.” Not only is BMW looking for a touchdown with this top dollar buy, but Best Buy and Pizza Hut are this year’s rookies, both advertising during the game for the first time.

So what does all of this mean? Well, it means things are looking up. We are no longer hearing about the huge Super Bowl advertising cuts and we can once again look forward to our favorite brands stepping it up for the big game. Of course, we cannot all afford to buy Super Bowl advertising, but I take this as a sign of good things to come in 2011. So for now, we’ll watch and take note for 2012 — when clients air the game’s final commercial for excited fans before Tom Brady throws the game winning touchdown.

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