While millions of outdoor ads are placed every year, a few stand high above the rest by being creative, compelling, and sometimes completely crazy. Outdoor advertising may be more traditional than many modern marketing methods, but some are far from conventional and catch everyone’s attention through their humor, wit, or outrageousness. The businesses brands and agencies behind these clever ads prove that taking a risk and trying something new can often be well worth it. In 2016, there were a number of outdoor ads that were so brilliant and brave that they stopped everyone in their tracks. Adweek.com searched the world and found the 16 outdoor ads that truly stood out from the crowd, and now we’re sharing five of the wittiest, wildest, and wackiest ones.
Patricia Houlihan Has Laser Focus
Vancouver real estate agent Patricia Houlihan placed a single bus-stop ad in Burnaby, British Columbia that soon made it to the front page of Reddit. The irreverent, unique, and campy ad stood out from the sea of regular real estate ads in the area.
Online shopping has had consumers buzzing for many years, but sometimes there’s nothing better than browsing through a brick-and-mortar store. Rather than cause a retail rivalry, the popularity of online shopping is now leading more brands to open up new brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, companies of all scopes and sizes that once sold exclusively online, via wholesale, or through multi-brand retailers are now welcoming consumers to shop in their own physical locations. NewYorkTimes.comfeatured more on how the rise in online shopping is driving both brands and consumers to line up at traditional stores.
The Value of Integrating the Virtual with the Physical
While there’s no denying the value of digital retail touchpoints, brick-and-mortar stores still remain extremely important. According to findings from Forrester Research, U.S. online sales will reach nearly $394 billion this year, which is less than 12% of total retail sales. But web-influenced sales in brick-and-mortar stores are predicted to account for another $1.3 trillion, which is 38% of all retail sales.
Content marketing is an important tool in every brand’s toolbox, but it’s not very well understood. First off, it would be good to define what content marketing is. According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Content marketing isn’t a medium for brands to advertise their specific products and services. It’s best suited for educational and entertaining materials valuable to your audience. If elements of branding are necessary, they should be applied with the lightest touch possible so that the content feels authentic. The Content Marketing Institute and Search Engine Watch have compiled helpful lists of trends they’re expecting to emerge in 2017. We’ve highlighted some here, and added our own insights.
Direct bookings are big business for hotels, but the rise of online travel agencies (OTAs) is costing hotels these reservations and revenue. But thanks to Marriott’s merger with Starwood, now guests can choose from thousands of properties from 30 hotel brands around the world through one united hotel brand. This merger is allowing these hotels to rival the huge choice and convenience that has made OTAs so popular with travelers. This merger may also give these hotels an advantage by allowing their millions of guests to merge their Marriott and Starwood member rewards into a single joint account. By offering such strong incentives, Marriott and Starwood are hoping to reclaim some of the leverage lost to OTAs that has cost them direct bookings, and finally win their battle against these online travel agencies. To help hotels direct their focus toward reclaiming direct bookings, Forbes.com featured the following actionable strategies to help hotels open their doors again to direct bookings.
1. The Key Is Retaining Rate Parity
More and more travelers have moved to OTAs because they often feature lower room rates than the actual hotels. But to win back their share of direct bookings, hotels must keep their rates the same or even less than OTAs. This rate parity is more important than ever now that current rates are embedded into Google metasearch results. Since guests will book where they can pay the lowest rate, hotel brands need to ensure that their “best room rate” is widely visible all through the booking process.
Boca Raton, Fla. – 1-17, 2017 – Excellence is MDG Advertising’s hallmark, so it’s especially fitting that the award-winning, full-service ad agency earned three W³ Silver awards for a video produced in-house for its long-term client, Signature Consultants, one of the nation’s leading IT staffing firms.
The prestigious awards were earned for the branding, design, and motion graphics featured in the video created by MDG, which captures Signature’s consultant experience. The W³ Awards honor creative excellence on the Web and distinguish the talented creative and marketing professionals who craft award-winning websites, videos, and marketing programs.
For healthcare brands and providers, email marketing has become more important than ever.
In an age of ever-changing social platforms and new communication methods, email remains a reliable, powerful digital marketing channel that continues to connect with all demographics. In fact, a recent survey found that more than two-thirds of US consumers of all ages still want to receive brand communications via email, including the majority of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.
However, to succeed with email marketing it isn’t enough to merely quickly craft a message and hit send. Connecting consistently with audiences—especially in the healthcare space—requires a well-considered strategy and high-quality execution.
In recent years, marketers have gotten really serious about virtual reality (VR) and set their sights on using it in their marketing campaigns. With estimates of virtual reality soon becoming a billion dollar industry, marketers have started exploring opportunities to leverage VR technology to market to consumers and to stimulate engagement. With more VR headsets steadily arriving in households today, VR marketing has the potential for much greater reach and response. To help marketers use virtual reality to maximize their marketing, OnlineCMag.com shared five really effective VR marketing campaigns.
Volvo has made VR a really important part of its daily operations. The automaker even created a special VR app to promote the debut of its new XC90 SUV model. The app lets consumers virtually experience the sensation of a high-speed test drive in the actual vehicle. Industry experts have said that this could possibly redefine the test drive in the future.
Last year brought some graphic design trends that were truly the picture of progress. To draw some inspiration for graphic design in 2017, iamwire.com looked back at these works and wonders of graphic genius. We’ve taken a cue from their selections, and added our own insights.
Everything old is new again. Graphic design inspired by a certain time period is popular, ranging from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco of the early 20th century to the bright colors and fun geometric designs of the ’80s and ’90s. After all, classic styles never stop inspiring designers.
Jacquelyn Marks, the search marketing campaign manager at MDG Advertising, is now a Bing Ads Accredited Professional, validated by the Bing Ads Accredited Professional program. According to its website, the program offers training in optimization and management of ad campaigns on Bing. To be accredited, the professional must be an active customer of Bing Ads and pass a 100-question exam.
Bing.com is Microsoft’s search engine, and ranks as the second most popular in the United States behind Google.com. Though Bing may not be the top-of-mind search engine for most people, it enjoys a 22% and growing share of the search engine market. Microsoft is leveraging its popular products to pose a greater challenge to the leading search engine. Bing is integrated with Windows 10, the “Cortana” voice-activated personal assistant, the Windows phone, the Surface tablet, and the Xbox One gaming console. Microsoft also has strategic partnerships with AOL, Yahoo, and other companies to increase the reach of Bing Ads.
When other airlines stopped serving complimentary in-flight snacks, JetBlue flew to the rescue by always giving its passengers free unlimited bags of goodies like chips, cookies, and crackers. This generous gesture propelled the airline to become a favorite of travelers. While those who have flown JetBlue are well aware of these complimentary snacks, some people still don’t know about this rare in-flight perk. To feed their need to spread the news about these all-you-can-eat snacks, JetBlue launched a savvy snack promotion that people are literally eating up! The airline recently rolled out a completely edible paper ad, created by MullenLowe, to give people a taste of the free snacking it’s packing. Hungry to learn more? AdWeek shared the details of this creative concept.
JetBlue has offered free unlimited bags of snacks to passengers on every flight since the airline first began. Now, the company has decided to share the snacking it offers in a clever, creative way. To accomplish this, JetBlue placed its very first edible paper ad in the New York Post. The ad was made out of potato starch, vegetable oil, glycerin, and water. The edible ad featured a message about JetBlue’s all-you-can-eat snacks and was actually printed on paper that readers could eat. It included a line of copy stating that JetBlue wasn’t saying that people should eat the paper ad, but it was possible if they wanted to.
It looks like the color green has officially earned the green light from Pantone, and has been named its Color of the Year for 2017. What gives this company’s color choice such collective clout? Pantone is the 54-year-old global expert on more than 10,000 shades. Every year, leaders in fashion, design, retail, marketing, and media anxiously await Pantone’s pick of a preferred color, which will have a huge impact on the decisions and the directions of style-centric industries throughout the coming year. Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017 was recently revealed to be a bright shade of yellowish-green called Greenery. The bright, yet natural, shade is often seen in garden foliage on leaves of plants and blades of grass. Naturally, the soothing shade of green is supposed to invoke a sense of growth, renewal, and connection with nature. And the color green’s association with ecological awareness is also meant to inspire a feeling of hope for a better political, social, and environmental landscape. AdAge shared more on what colored the Pantone’s choice of Greenery for its Color of the Year.
The Growth of Greenery
According to executives at Pantone, Greenery is meant to fulfill the popular desire for revitalization and rejuvenation. It’s also intended to symbolize our need to reconnect with nature, each other, and a greater purpose in life.
The hotel industry has smartened up and is welcoming a new way to drive direct bookings called smart data marketing. This strategy calls for the balanced use of CRM and intent data points to leverage prior, present, and future customer data in order to generate more bookings and reach guests in the best ways. Recently, hospitality professionals gathered for a Google event, The 2016 Travelers Mindset Conference: Using Smart Data Marketing to Drive Direct Bookings and Lower Distribution Costs. At the conference, participants discussed how hotel marketing experts can use customer data to build a digital marketing plan that reaches the right people in a way that earns more direct bookings. Hotel Marketing explained smart data marketing, and shared highlights from the conference to help hotel marketers everywhere reach guests and bring in more bookings.
By introducing smart data marketing and integrating advanced Google products into a hotel marketing strategy, hoteliers are better equipped to close the 360-degree customer cycle of acquisition, engagement, and retention. While it’s important for hotels to hold onto regular guests, loyalty member guests, and prior visitors, smart data marketing enables hotels to leverage real-time targeting to reach prospective guests. These potential visitors include travelers that plan to travel now or in the near future to the location of the hotel.
As you plan for 2017, which digital trends should you budgeting for? What approaches will help make your marketing efforts more engaging and effective?
Deciding on what to concentrate on is no easy feat. After all, there are now seemingly endless digital channels and tactics available for marketers to invest in, including traditional platforms and emerging technologies.
To help you look past the fads and focus on what matters, we’ve combed through recent research & analysis reports to identify a few of the key digital trends that are predicted to have a major impact. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but each of these areas is one that every marketer should at least be thinking about in the year ahead.
At the beginning of every year, marketing experts forecast the trends that will define and dominate the industry throughout the coming year. In 2016, some of their predictions became realities, such as the ubiquity of mobile and the rise of virtual reality (VR). But, not everything they predicted lived up to their expectations, while other trends came along as complete surprises. eConsultancy.com took a look back over the last year in marketing to highlight the unforeseen trends that suddenly caught everyone’s eye.
The Roaring Return of Silent Video
Have you heard about the comeback of silent video? No longer a relic of the 1920’s, silent video suddenly came back into vogue to become a major marketing trend this year. With consumers’ increasingly shorter attention spans and the abundance of media choices, silent video captures attention without the need to utter a word. Even marketing master Apple used the silent concept in a social media clip for the release of its new iPhone 7. This trend toward silent video gives voice to the need for creative, compelling content that quickly captures consumer attention.