Category Archives: Market Driven Products

Video of the Week – Beats by Dre “Hear What You Want” Commercials

Over the past few months famed music video director Paul Hunter has been the creative mind behind a series of new Beats by Dre commercials entitled “Hear What You Want”. Each spot features the song “The Man” by Aloe Blacc and stars professional athletes: Kevin Garnett NBA power forward for the Brooklyn Nets and Colin Kaepernick superstar NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

The concept behind these commercials is simple – focus is everything! In each minuet these professional athletes “silence the haters” with Beats by Dre Studio Wireless headphones with Adaptive Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. Putting their tagline “Feel Your Music” and “Put the World on Mute” to the test.

This is brilliant marketing. Why? Like Apple, Beats by Dre is selling a lifestyle product. It’s all about beauty. Clean lines. Advanced technology. Being Hip and Cool. And most importantly, making yourself feel good. If you’re going to sell high-end headphones producing a commercial like a music video is smart. Creatively these ads make you “Feel the Music” and the narrative “Put the World on Mute” is brilliantly portrayed with athletes silencing the haters with a track entitled “The Man” – it’s perfect! Makes me we want to own a pair – oh wait, I do, and I love them 🙂

The first of two commercials in this series, so far, starred Kevin Garnett NBA power forward for the Brooklyn Nets. It debuted back in November of 2013 and the director’s cut on YouTube currently has over 3.5 million views.

The second commercial in this series stars Colin Kaepernick NFL all-star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers that debuted a few weeks. With Super Bowl XLVIII around the corner this commercial is quickly becoming the talk of the NFL community online with the director’s cut on YouTube already racking up over 2 million views.

It will be interesting to see where this series takes us as we approach Super Bowl Sunday. I would imagine, being the most watched American television broadcast of the year and second most watched annual sporting event worldwide, they must have something big in store?  And following Super Bowl Sunday, this year is a doubleheader with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

‘Tis the season – 5 Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You

Make the most of your the holiday season with creative, engaging, and festive campaigns that’ll have your customers decking the halls.

The holiday season is upon us and everyone is competing for eyeballs as frenzied gift buyers run to the web for promotions, giveaways, contests, and more. So, as a follow up to yesterday’s post – Top 10 Most Unique and Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2013 – At Least We Think So! – I thought it would be interesting to round up a few inspirational pieces of creative holiday marketing campaigns. It’s tough enough during the year to compete, so make the most of the holiday season and seize the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Good holiday campaigns are engaging, creative, and most importantly – festive. Get people in the holiday mood. Think about your ROI. Not all holiday campaigns have a “buy now” button. In fact, good holiday campaigns are about social influence. Play on peoples’ emotions. Leverage the holidays to get brand visibility and spread good cheer.

Here are a few holiday campaigns that will hopefully inspire your marketing strategies.

Via Rail Wishes you a Very Happy Holiday Season

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Via Rail is currently running a Facebook campaign asking people to “Sound the Holiday Horn” for a chance to win up to $2,500 in travel credits. It’s a fairly simple campaign. Click the giant red GO button, enter your email, and share the page – you’re entered. As the number of horns increases the more travel credits Via Rail will give away, similar to a lottery, the more tickets that are sold, the bigger the jackpot.

It’s got all the right elements of a holiday campaign: fun, festive, and easy to enter. They’ve also done something unique in terms of strategy. They have a URL for the campaign: This URL forwards to their Facebook page. This small touch can increase visibility tremendously and allow for better tracking. How? Because it will be easier to PPC and share the URL outside of Facebook on TV, print, radio, etc. I wish more Facebook campaigns created custom URLs for their campaigns.

Coca-Cola Zero Sweater Generator 

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They’ve done it again! I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but man, I really love everything Coca-Cola does. This campaign, for me, is genius. What better way to generate more online presence and social foot print than an “ugly” sweater generator during the holiday season? If you grew up in North America you should be quite familiar with the ugly holiday sweater. A tacky, bright, itchy, sweater covered in snow flakes, reindeer, snowmen, etc.

The Sweater Generator lets people design their very own ugly holiday sweater. You can choose from a wide range of colours, graphics, and patterns. Each sweater is entered in a gallery where people can vote, comment, and share. The top 100 sweaters based on public votes, will be knitted and sent to the winners – super cool and fun!

Office Max Elf Yourself 

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Who doesn’t want to elf themselves? Office Max first ran this campaign back in 2009, and it was so successful that they have been running it every year since. Like the Via Rail campaign, it’s super simple. Use your webcam to create up to 5 elves, as seen above, share to Facebook, and you’re automatically entered for a chance to win $20,000 in products.

After 4 seasons of success, the Elf Yourself campaign embodies the spirit of traditional holiday campaigns. It’s cheesy. It’s fun. It’s festive. People love it!

Pet Smart Wish List 

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If you’re a pet lover or looking to brighten up a pet lover’s holiday, this campaign is for you. My Pet’s Wish List Facebook campaign lets pet owners create a wish list of Pet Smart products, share that list, and enter it for a chance to win all those products – très cool!

What I really love about this campaign is how Pet Smart gets you engaging with their products. You spend time really learning about what they have offer. It leads to impulsive buying and word of mouth marketing. It’s a really clever way to educate people on your brand.

West Jet Christmas Miracle: Real Time Giving

This might be the most inspiring and intelligent marketing campaign I’ve seen all year!

West Jet setup a special booth at Pearson International Airport in Toronto where passengers had the opportunity to speak with Santa on screen and make Christmas wishes. What they didn’t know was that Santa was in the other room and it was happening in real time. As passengers made their wish lists, West Jet employees marked everything down on paper and started shopping.

I won’t spoil the rest, watch the video below to see the miracle unravel. Make sure you have a box of tissues with you, it’s pretty heart wrenching.

So there you have it, a handful of fun and festive holiday campaigns to inspire your next marketing move for the 2014 holiday season. Whatever you do make sure people remember it!

Do you have any examples of great holiday campaigns? We’d love to see them in the comments below. Happy Holidays!

Top 10 Most Unique and Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2013 – At Least We Think So!

It’s that time of year when all the roundup posts come out with the best of this and the best of that. But, at Brendan & Brendan we do things a little different.

Who’s really to judge what the best of anything is? There are many campaigns that fly under the radar of big press, doesn’t make them any less successful. It all really depends on whether or not it worked for the community of people it was designed for. ROI is what you make of it.

So this year we wanted to take a look at unique and creative marketing campaigns, some of which are big press, others just simply perfect for their demographic. We can learn a lot from thinking outside the box and taking big risk for big success, we talk about it on the blog all the time.

Here are 10 marketing campaigns that we feel fit the bill (in no particular order).

1. The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon at SXSW 2013 by MMW


This year during SXSW Interactive, Film and Music Festival, Nikon randomly selected a handful of attendees and they were given Nikon cameras to capture live performances sponsored by the Warner Music Group. These videos were live-streamed online using using the #NikonWarnerSound and through Facebook updates to promote the events. More than 500,000 people watched the live stream, with average viewing times of 11 minutes, that’s five times greater than the industry average of 2 minutes.

2. Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun? by Collective Bias for Tyson Foods

Although this campaign began in 2012 it continued to drive engagement for months longer and Tyson Foods fans are still going at it strong this year for the holidays.

So what exactly happened? Tyson Foods challenged mommy bloggers to create whimsical holiday creations with their chicken nuggets by decorating them as snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer and asked them to share their creations across all their social networks. In a matter of weeks shelves at grocery stores across America were cleared out of their stock of Tyson Foods chicken nuggets and generated more than 8 million impressions on the social web – Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube – beating the initial goal by 70%!

3. Coca-Cola Sharing Can

Absolutely brilliant! Coca-cola has done it again. Over the past few years the Coca-cola brand has continued to defy the rules of the social web with its “Open Happiness” campaign through means of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TV ads, creative stunts and pranks, pop-up shops, and a complete overhaul of their corporate website. They have generated billions yes billions of views, likes, and follows, and built one of the most impressive social footprints in recent times. This year they took  “Open Happiness” to the next level with this clever “Sharing Happiness” tagline. Based on customer feedback they created a can, as seen in the video above, that can be shared with a friend, loved one, or a complete stranger by twisting it in half. Man I want one of those cans!

4. Game of Thrones Season 3

Enter the dragon. Ok, so if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan like myself and a few others around the office this may not necessarily tickle your fancy, but there is no denying it isn’t supremely unique and creative.

Earlier this year HBO went all out to get fans revved up for Game of Thrones Season 3, premiering March 31st 2014, with dragons! This simple but brilliant transmedia campaign had people literarily searching the skies for dragons. As seen below, HBO printed dragon silhouettes in newspapers, on the side of the HBO building in L.A. and on busses, trains, and billboards.


5. Ikea: Make Small Spaces Big

Ok, it’s a rather bizarre ad, but the agency behind this unique piece of advertising is Mother of New York, and they are known for this particular style. This TV commercial, specifically shot for the UK market, examines how Ikea is changing small spaces with its line of new furniture designed for efficient living. This is perfect for the UK, or anywhere in Europe for that matter, where people are used to living in much smaller quarters than here in North America. This commercial beautifully demonstrates Ikea’s understanding of the everyday challenges people face in their homes.

6. Oreo’s Daily Twist

I’m a huge fan of all things social when it comes to Oreo. They are, in my opinion, one of the few big brands doing it right, and they have lots of fun doing it! I’ve blogged about Oreo’s creative social campaigns before and the Daily Twist certainly takes the cake, or should I say cookie.

Oreo has chronicled everyday of the year with a custom cookie to commemorate that day. You can comment on any image and share them across your social networks.


7. evian: Baby & Me 

There’s very little that evian does that I don’t like. I blogged about the evian Live Young campaign earlier this year, because after all who doesn’t love a cute baby? They’ve been running this campaign for years and the Baby & Me video is just brilliant. This is a brand that really understands its community, has a spectacular narrative, and is always consistent with their simple message, drink evian water and live young!

8. Get Lucky with Durex and Daft Punk

Pictures say a thousand words and in this case they’re a thousand dirty words, but who’s counting. I love this! Durex jumped on the opportunity to leverage the success of Daft Punks record breaking single of the summer “Get Lucky”. I mean seriously, could there be a better tagline for Durex? And let’s face it, the dance club scene is the perfect place to market this type of product 🙂


9. Water is Life “Hashtag Killer”

This is unique, but it was added to the list because this may be one of the most groundbreaking pieces of social good advertising this year.

The Water is Life “Hastag Killer” campaign aims to do something no one has done before, kill a hashtag instead of promote it. You may be familiar with the #firstworldproblems where people bitch about the most random and mundane things like their iPhone crashing, shovelling snow, expensive gas, a tear in their expensive jeans, and so on. Water for Life filmed this video in Haiti and asked people with real problems to recite these hashtags on camera, all sudden they don’t seem so funny anymore.

This campaign garnered world press and in turn raised enough money through donations to provide clean water for over 1 million people this year. So next time something doesn’t go your way think twice before you tweet some random non-sense with #firstworldproblems.

10. Fruit of the Loom Start Happy

This is the perfect campaign to end this post. With a new year around the corner many people will be making change in their life. What bigger change than a new job. Ok, maybe not the biggest change, but impactful none the less.

So to help with this new transition Fruit of the Loom launched a campaign in which it sent messages to users who changed their jobs. The message let them claim a complimentary pair of Fruit of the Loom, because “great-fitting underwear can help you start your workday in a great mood.”

I couldn’t agree more!


So there you have it. Some of the most unique and creative marketing campaigns of 2013, at least we think so. Learn from these great examples and think about how you can take your brand to the next level in 2014. Do something remarkable, make something memorable, and most importantly Keep Marketing Fun!

Taking Holiday Promotional Landing Pages to the Next Level with Stinkyboard

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‘Tis the Season to be STINKY with a very special holiday landing page!

The objective:

Working closely with the team at Stelulu, the brand behind Stinkyboard, we set out to devise a fun and unique holiday landing page targeted at hardcore PC gamers. The idea was simple, the workload was heavy, and it was a ton of fun.

Our goal was to design a page that poked fun at “known” game characters in ‘South Park’ fashion, as seen above.

The Challenge:

The hardest part was that the Stinkyboard and all its benefits are best experienced in person. We decided to highlight the action play combos possible with Stinky in-character testimonials. The character’s testimonials are funny and during validation, they proved to resonate with gamers.


We developed the landing page using ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that these landing pages were fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen.

The characters were hand-drawn by Moniba, then we took pictures of the sketches, and she brought the characters to life in Photoshop. Meanwhile, I hand-painted the backgrounds and so all of the artwork is original.

Check it out and tell us what you think!

Video of the Week – 7 Years of Brilliant “Will it Blend?” Videos by Blendtec

7 years, 120-plus videos, and over 200 million views, ‘Will it Blend?’ is arguably the number one viral marketing campaign of all time!

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 8.25.50 PMBack in September of 2010 reported that Visible Measures named the “Will it Blend?” series of videos the No. 1 viral campaign of all time.

Blendtec is a manufacturer of professional blenders and mixers, they’re not connected to a big, well-heeled brand or fancy creative agency. Yet their series of “Will it Blend?” videos have earned hundreds of millions of views and consistently deliver big laughs.

The genius behind this series is CEO Tom Dickson whose cool, gimmicky videos have expanded his brand into pure (shall we say?) AWESOMENESS, that reaches well beyond the boundaries of YouTube. And, says Dickson in an interview with AdAge, it all happened quite incidentally.

“‘Will it Blend?’ was developed accidentally by a new marketing director hired in 2006. I have always been one to try to break my blenders to find their fail points and determine how I can improve them. George, the new marketing director, discovered some of the wacky things I was doing to my blenders … With a $50 budget, George bought a Happy Meal, a rotisserie chicken, Coke cans, golf balls, and a few other items, and they made five videos. Six days later, we had six million views on YouTube. Six years, 120-plus videos, almost 200 million views later, ‘Will it Blend?’ has been named as the number one viral marketing campaign of all time.”

I’ve been watching these videos for years and it’s clear to me, that their success stems from a simple format: same kitschy music, tagline and host, Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson, and one great concept. Every video begins with the question – Will it Blend? The videos are low budget and product-focused. The message is always clear and presented in a way that gives this brand a unique personality that has garnered them millions of views on almost every video they have produced. They found what works and stuck with it. Blendtec has expanded this success to other channels like Facebook enabling their viewers to suggest things to blend. One of my favourites was a request to blend Justin Bieber CDs and DVDs, it currently has almost 3 million views. Don’t ask me why… 😉

For this week’s “Video of the Week” I’ve selected a classic “Will it Blend” – Glow Sticks!

What would you blend? Let us know in the comments below and you may just get your wish!

Video of the Week – Will Ferrel Brings in Sales For Dodge, Of Course He Does!

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Dodge finds their champion.

Dodge Durango cleverly brought in Will Ferrel to promote their new SUV with 70 funny video commercials. Playing his buffoonish character, Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman movies, Ferrel has fun with the new Durango features. I love this marketing because funny works. The best marketing evokes emotion (happiness, sadness, fear) and connects it to a product. I am not going to buy the Durango because, as Rob Burgundy so passionately conveys in the video, its glove compartment can hold up to 70 packs of gum, but I will consider the Durango when it’s time to car shop.

According to Olivier Francois, CMO of the Chrysler Group, the 10 million YouTube views have helped bump year over year sales by 60% and web traffic by 89%. And of course, the ads coincide with the release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which will hit theaters on December 20th.

Dogde success!

Watch more of the hilarious Ron Burgundy series here.

Fun Friday Post – Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Dead!

For this week’s Fun Friday Post we’re going back in time, more specifically to the early 1960’s, to re-live a famous example of how marketing can go wrong, and it’s hilarious! This story has never been confirmed or denied but lives on as a marketing legend.

In the early 1960’s Pepsi came up with a new slogan – “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation.” – in an effort to compete with Coca-Cola. For those of you old enough to remember, that does not include myself, Pepsi had become a boring brand in the 1950’s and was often referred as a the soda drink of choice for the stay at home mom – not hip at all!

This new Pepsi slogan, seemingly overnight, transformed a boring beverage into something nobody would be embarrassed to be caught drinking. These ads targeted the young and those who thought themselves youthful and quickly generated buzz turning Pepsi into a hip, cool brand. The “Pepsi Generation”, a simple slogan and advertising gimmick, turned the company upside down with a slew of televisions commercials and radio jingles filled with energy, quick pitches, celebrities, and parody.

Here’s the original ditty:

There’s a whole new way of livin’
Pepsi helps supply the drive.
It’s got a lot to give
To those who like to live
‘Cause Pepsi helps ’em come alive.
It’s the Pepsi Generation
Comin’ at ya,
Goin’ strong!

So how exactly does Pepsi bring back your dead ancestors?

Here’s where marketing legend becomes myth. While Pepsi was goin’ strong in the western world, reports were coming back from China revealing a very different outlook. Sales were dropping at an unprecedented rate. Why? Well according to the lore the slogan “Come Alive!” was mistranslated in both Mandarin and Cantonese (but no one really knows for sure) to read “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Dead!” as the tale persisted multiple versions of mistranslation were rumoured in Thais as well as German. Here are a few more examples:

  • Come alive out of the grave with Pepsi.
  • Bring dead ancestors back from heaven.

The story goes, if there is any truth to it, that it came down to the order in which the slogan was asked to be translated. The actual slogan was “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation” but the slogan given to translators was “Come alive with Pepsi”. A small nuance, but in translation small nuances can lead to big differences.

Pepsi has never denied nor confirmed these rumours. Today it lives on as a lesson to marketers on how very wrong a campaign can go when dealing with translations and cultural differences on a global scale. Unfortunately many brands keep making this mistake.

A few equally hilarious examples:

  • In the 1980’s KFC opened its doors in China with its first restaurant in Beijing. They mistranslated their famous slogan “Finger-licking good” to “Eat you fingers off”.
  • When Coors took it’s “Turn it Loose” campaign to Spain they neglected to consider slang. Instead the campaign read as “Suffer from diarrhea.” The campaign actually did well for Coors, but for all the wrong reasons.
  • The American Dairy Association brought their successful “Got Milk?” campaign to Mexico. But unfortunately for them it translated to “Are You Lactating?” – not exactly the message they wanted.

We decided to have a little more fun with the Pepsi myth and designed an ad camping around the mistranslation – enjoy!