Karen Costello Named Chief Creative Officer

The Martin Agency announced today that Karen Costello has been named chief creative officer, the first female CCO in the company’s 53-year history. 

Costello, who joined the agency as executive creative director in mid-2017, was charged with leading creative for all Mondelēz business, both global and domestic – a brand portfolio that includes OREO, RITZ, GOOD THiNS and Chips Ahoy!, and will remain on that business in addition to leading the agency’s overall creative efforts.

She and Jerry Hoak, formerly of Droga5, had taken interim lead creative roles in December of last year following the departure of former CCO Joe Alexander. Jerry will continue to have an elevated leadership role with a promotion to executive creative director and managing partner. 

Says Costello of her new role, “To have the opportunity to lead and work alongside some of the smartest, most talented and hugest-hearted humans in this industry is a privilege and an honor. Creating positive impact and change has also always been a huge part of what drives me so the added opportunity to work alongside a change agent like Kristen Cavallo, who shares that drive, just makes me even more excited to get to work.”

“What do Christiane Amanpour, Hoda Kotb, Robin Wright, Tina Smith, Bozoma Saint John and Karen Costello have in common? They are supremely talented women in their fields, who were there all along, ready to lead,” said Kristen Cavallo, CEO for The Martin Agency. “This isn’t overcorrection or an optics play. This is earned. This is preparation. This is opportunity, grabbed. I’m so excited for what’s ahead, I can’t stop grinning.”

Prior to joining Martin, Costello was executive creative director for Deutsch in Los Angeles, where she helped grow their office from 13 people to over 400 in its first few years and more recently had led creative for accounts including Target, Georgia-Pacific and Zillow.

During her 25-plus years in advertising, Costello has launched brands, created iconic, long-running campaigns and touched just about every category in marketing from cars to fashion to music.  

She has always loved a good challenge, and much of her recent creative work involved doing things that hadn’t been done before such as creating the first ever “living catalog” – a 24/7 live streaming event for Target’s Back to College, having kids create an entire back-to-school campaign and making history with the first music video ever created live on TV for Target and Gwen Stefani during the Grammys.

As the recipient of countless industry awards, Costello repeatedly appears on top creative lists, and most notably was named #3 on Business Insider’s list of top creative women in advertising.

Costello is a strong advocate of using creativity as a driver to create social change, inside and outside of the agency world. She has encouraged the creation and support of leadership roles for women in advertising, delivered keynotes nationwide about leveling the industry’s playing field, helped create humane work environments, built volunteer workforces to address local community needs, and worked on political campaigns.

Friday Reading #122

Namaste from everyone at Goodstuff, we are feeing particularly zen after this weeks FeelGood week activities. From some restorative yoga, to helpful financial wellbeing introductions (and who doesn’t need those in January?) we’re definitely feeling the good vibes over in Goodstuff HQ.


January is all about kicking bad habits, and this new short film by Us, is delightfully nostalgic, reminding us of all those Cautionary Tales and habits we’ve (hopefully) left in our childhood.

For anyone needing a bit of faith restored in humanity, Burger King’s truce with McDonalds is a refreshing attitude from brands, putting differences aside to share the goal of raising the most money possible for a good cause. 

And if that didn’t work for any of you cynics out there, take a look at these handy Instructions for World Peace. Max Siedentopf offers both silly but significant advice about making the world a better place, inspired by those infuriating tutorials that tell you “how to do absolutely-anything-you-could-think-of”.

While the merging of health care and technology is no new thing, more and more women are now putting their reproductive health in the hands of tech. This return to a more natural lifestyle that’s facilitated through technology is definitely prompting a larger discussion surrounding wellness.

Up for discussion: the importance of brand purpose. Have a read of these opposing views, one critique, and one defence, both offering some relevant and current opinions on corporate attempts to be socially relevant, calling out Cadbury’s, Pepsi, Heineken, Dove and McDonald’s.

Cadbury’s caught our attention once again this week, with this physical manifestation of the new Mum’s Birthday spot. Whilst the ad itself has come under fire, the physical version of the shop in the ad demonstrates how pop-up shops can be done effectively.


We hope you’re enjoying the new look Friday Reading, as part of the new year changes, we’re going to be publishing an op-ed from different people around the agency in the last Friday Reading of every month. Feedback is always welcome!

Why we should all be more Gen Z

As we enter into 2018, bouncers, bartenders and agency recruiters across the country are faced with a strange, inescapable fact; people born in the year 2000 are now becoming legal adults. While many companies are still trying to get their heads around the narcissistic, entitled, hoody wearing Millennials, they’re now faced with a whole new cohort of young people to understand. But there’s every reason to be hopeful, and maybe even to learn something from this new generation.

Millennials are generally defined as people who came of age around the year 2000, which puts them between 36, and anywhere from 25 to 19 depending on which particular definition you subscribe to. They grew up in the relative economic prosperity of the late 1990s, where the dawn of the internet age promised a glorious and exciting future – before social and economic turnmoil marred their steps into adulthood, defined by 9/11 and the global financial crisis. A generation who saw a bright future, and had it slip through their fingers.

The apathy felt by Gen X, the jaded children of industrial decline in the ‘80s, drove them to art, music and social rebellion, Millennials had their dreams and expectations collide with the reality of the world as they entered adulthood, while their successors had their eyes open from the beginning. Gen Z grew up in an age defined by immediate access to the world’s information, where the internet provides opportunities if you’re able to take hold of them.

Speak to a young person under 18, and it’s remarkable how conscientious and hard working they are. Stratospheric university fees and house prices don’t phase them, because they’ve never known anything else. This prudence could make them dull and dutiful, but it doesn’t. They don’t drink less than their forebears because of some modern puritanism or fear of their bank balance, but because they’ve found more joy and satisfaction in spending time with friends and family. In the virtues of exercise. Why spend half of Saturday lolling around feeling like death when you could have a couple less drinks on the night, remember the conversations with friends, then spend the morning doing something active?

This desire to suck all the marrow from life extends to their attitudes to work. It’s early days for their working lives, but it seems the spirit of entrepreneurialism is strong with Gen Z. They are willing and able to teach themselves skills alongside their core education, with some ditching the costs of university altogether to pursue flexible, multifaceted careers freelancing.

Learning new skills online is a given, and the self-directional nature of it empowers them with a sense of personal responsibility for how they shape their lives. This instils a social optimism that Millennials famously lacked, a sense of connection to the world that makes them feel they can change it for the better. Gen Z are more interested and active in social, racial and sexual equality and environmental protection than generations before them.

It’s easy to write them off as smartphone addicts with microscopic attention spans, glued to idiot YouTubers who’ll do anything for views – but scratch below the surface and there’s a lot to learn if we take the time to understand them.

Tim Whatley  |  Planning Account Director

Friday Reading #122

Namaste from everyone at Goodstuff, we are feeing particularly zen after this weeks FeelGood week activities. From some restorative yoga, to helpful financial wellbeing introductions (and who doesn’t need those in January?) we’re definitely feeling the good vibes over in Goodstuff HQ.


January is all about kicking bad habits, and this new short film by Us, is delightfully nostalgic, reminding us of all those Cautionary Tales and habits we’ve (hopefully) left in our childhood.

For anyone needing a bit of faith restored in humanity, Burger King’s truce with McDonalds is a refreshing attitude from brands, putting differences aside to share the goal of raising the most money possible for a good cause. 

And if that didn’t work for any of you cynics out there, take a look at these handy Instructions for World Peace. Max Siedentopf offers both silly but significant advice about making the world a better place, inspired by those infuriating tutorials that tell you “how to do absolutely-anything-you-could-think-of”.

While the merging of health care and technology is no new thing, more and more women are now putting their reproductive health in the hands of tech. This return to a more natural lifestyle that’s facilitated through technology is definitely prompting a larger discussion surrounding wellness.

Up for discussion: the importance of brand purpose. Have a read of these opposing views, one critique, and one defence, both offering some relevant and current opinions on corporate attempts to be socially relevant, calling out Cadbury’s, Pepsi, Heineken, Dove and McDonald’s.

Cadbury’s caught our attention once again this week, with this physical manifestation of the new Mum’s Birthday spot. Whilst the ad itself has come under fire, the physical version of the shop in the ad demonstrates how pop-up shops can be done effectively.


We hope you’re enjoying the new look Friday Reading, as part of the new year changes, we’re going to be publishing an op-ed from different people around the agency in the last Friday Reading of every month. Feedback is always welcome!

Why we should all be more Gen Z

As we enter into 2018, bouncers, bartenders and agency recruiters across the country are faced with a strange, inescapable fact; people born in the year 2000 are now becoming legal adults. While many companies are still trying to get their heads around the narcissistic, entitled, hoody wearing Millennials, they’re now faced with a whole new cohort of young people to understand. But there’s every reason to be hopeful, and maybe even to learn something from this new generation.

Millennials are generally defined as people who came of age around the year 2000, which puts them between 36, and anywhere from 25 to 19 depending on which particular definition you subscribe to. They grew up in the relative economic prosperity of the late 1990s, where the dawn of the internet age promised a glorious and exciting future – before social and economic turnmoil marred their steps into adulthood, defined by 9/11 and the global financial crisis. A generation who saw a bright future, and had it slip through their fingers.

The apathy felt by Gen X, the jaded children of industrial decline in the ‘80s, drove them to art, music and social rebellion, Millennials had their dreams and expectations collide with the reality of the world as they entered adulthood, while their successors had their eyes open from the beginning. Gen Z grew up in an age defined by immediate access to the world’s information, where the internet provides opportunities if you’re able to take hold of them.

Speak to a young person under 18, and it’s remarkable how conscientious and hard working they are. Stratospheric university fees and house prices don’t phase them, because they’ve never known anything else. This prudence could make them dull and dutiful, but it doesn’t. They don’t drink less than their forebears because of some modern puritanism or fear of their bank balance, but because they’ve found more joy and satisfaction in spending time with friends and family. In the virtues of exercise. Why spend half of Saturday lolling around feeling like death when you could have a couple less drinks on the night, remember the conversations with friends, then spend the morning doing something active?

This desire to suck all the marrow from life extends to their attitudes to work. It’s early days for their working lives, but it seems the spirit of entrepreneurialism is strong with Gen Z. They are willing and able to teach themselves skills alongside their core education, with some ditching the costs of university altogether to pursue flexible, multifaceted careers freelancing.

Learning new skills online is a given, and the self-directional nature of it empowers them with a sense of personal responsibility for how they shape their lives. This instils a social optimism that Millennials famously lacked, a sense of connection to the world that makes them feel they can change it for the better. Gen Z are more interested and active in social, racial and sexual equality and environmental protection than generations before them.

It’s easy to write them off as smartphone addicts with microscopic attention spans, glued to idiot YouTubers who’ll do anything for views – but scratch below the surface and there’s a lot to learn if we take the time to understand them.

Tim Whatley  |  Planning Account Director

Creative Inspiration: Content We Enjoyed this Winter

Long format we love you!

In the age of everyone having a blog, highly stylised long format can be what it takes to make your written content stand out. At Distilled we often ask ourselves does something being a blog post make it immediately feel less valuable than say, a white paper or a comprehensive guide? Is turning something into a simple blog post selling yourself short, is that format right for your content? With written content coming in so many forms from microblogging in tweets, to company e-newsletters, it’s important to find the right format for what you want to say, of course, sometimes that is with a simple blog post.

Each quarter at Distilled we look back over the content that has made us tick. Content that made us laugh, start heated debates, WOW at how pretty it is, or feel flabbergasted by the conclusions. Building on the 2017 summer and autumn roundup we launched last year, here’s what we loved (or loathed) with equal passion this winter. Starting with some beautiful long format journalism.

Poor Millennials – Highline Huffington Post

With so much content being churned out these days, one might argue that journalistic standards are slipping. Perhaps to fly the flag of quality, well-researched journalism once more, a select team at The Huffington Post has created a new arm called ‘Highline’. Each article features captivating movement as you scroll. Poor Millennials, which was 8 months in the making, discusses ‘Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression’. I found it relatable, even though I’m at the older end of the millennial spectrum.

The frank writing style and 8-bit illustrations pull you in. Pull quotes, stats and bold use of typography make this monster of a post easily digestible at a surface level if you don’t have half a half day to read the whole thing. The tone of voice is brash and allows you to feel justified in your bitterness towards the economy. The animations aptly depict millennials emotions in a very literal way, e.g. falling through space with no one to cushion your fall. There are graphs – in psychedelic pinks, and what feels like levels and character controllability, all harping back to the 90’s rave culture and gaming that millennials hold so dear.

Ungifted – Do The Green Thing

On the lead up to Christmas, we often run about like headless chickens buying up unnecessary bits and bobs for our loved ones, just because we need to get them something. ‘Do The Green Thing’ is a public service that uses creativity to tackle climate change. Needless to say, they would like to minimise the plastic tat lying in our landfills after the festive period. How? By inspiring us to give time not objects. And so ‘Do The Green Thing’ created ‘Ungifted’. It’s essentially a list of ways you can spend time with your friends/family, whether it be a winter bike ride, a night on the tiles, or a home-cooked meal. The long format page has little gifs depicting characters joyously appreciating these activities, and a long list of numerous ideas to incentivise our consumer society to change their habits. ‘Do The Green Thing’ could have easily added in stats about unwanted material gifts, or rubbish accumulated over Christmas to further bolster the message. The page presentation is fun, lighthearted, non-preachy, and not too content heavy. This makes content consumption, and subsequent change, more likely.

Find Your Happy Place – Budget Direct

Budget Direct – a car/travel/house insurance company – has collated data on the factors that affect living standards. The tool enables you to drag and drop a modular ordered list to define your own hierarchy for these standards. Is it house affordability or pollution which are most important to you? Once ordered the tool suggests in which city you might find your happy place. A more simplistic version of OECD’s Better Life Index. Suggesting a life in a far-off city, tells us something about ourselves and allows us to daydream about where we might be most happy. Perhaps we will even use Budget Direct to book our travel insurance when we visit there!

The Gourmand’s 10th issue – The Gourmand – Matthieu Lavanchy

The food and culture journal made waves with its 10th front cover. Working with photographer Matthieu Lavanchy they took food that had already been turned into an emoji, and turned it back into food… meta. The accuracy of the photography vs the emojis is uncanny. Taking icons we see regularly, and reimagining them makes you want to compare the photos to the icons on your phone, it gets you involved.

Thank you, Lamont – Lyft

Lyft is like Uber, a cab app. Lyft has created a series of videos where the premise is giving back to their drivers. They share individual, inspirational and memorable driver stories. With big faceless organisations, and especially those in low paid service industries, stories that show a human element – and even what a positive change working for this company has had on someone’s life – stick in your mind. Lamont, the driver featured here, talks about the world being his home as opposed to favouring one place (a great all-inclusive brand message). Lyft surprise him by encouraging his exploration of the world with an all-inclusive around the world trip.

Bullying Jr – Burger King in association with No Bully

Partnering with a charity can really help a brand if there’s synergy with their core messages. It shows the brand cares and is willing to use their clout to speak out to help raise awareness (or money) for those less fortunate. Burger King ‘bullied’ one of their own burgers, to help raise awareness of the impact of bullying. The narrative starts with a fact; ‘30% of students are bullied’. It then shows a bunch of school kids bullying another child. Customers in the Burger King restaurant look on, clearly moved by the scene that is unfolding before them. Yet the majority of spectators do nothing.

Then it’s the burger’s turn. Before it is wrapped up it receives a few sharp punches, flattening and breaking apart the bun whilst the filling spills out. 95% of customers complained about their burger having been bullied, yet only 12% stood up for the bullied child. This campaign isn’t aimed at the bullies themselves. Rather it exposes the impact of the uninvolved bystander, the witness. It asks them to stand up. To say something. This works for a fast food restaurant whose customers are a real mix of ages, including kids getting a quick bite to eat after school. It is the sort of place in towns where children congregate, everyone needs to eat and everyone has the potential to be bullied/see bullying. An eating place should be safe space, where communities can come together to rest and recoup.

Taste Face – Marmite

Marmite has released a face recognition tool and a gene test where the brand states that it knows if you are a lover or hater of Marmite. Marmite has always been brasher than any other brand in actively saying that its customers HATE its product, but now it reveals that science can work out your taste preferences. I actually quite like Marmite but I tried to trick the face recognition tool into believing I am a hater, by pulling my most disgusted face… and it worked, branding me ‘73% a born hater’. For me, the fascination here is more how the face recognition tool works out how much you love or hate something as opposed to it being an accurate test. Is it shareable? Yes! It’s a smart way of having a bit of fun and, of course, people like to share pictures of their own face!

X-Rated Elf – Poundland

Every now and again a brand does something controversial that gets everyone talking. Remember the recent outcry when Dove showed a black person turning into a white person? Personally, I don’t think this marketing effort aimed to be controversial, but conversation was drummed up nonetheless.

Well, some brands create controversy purposefully, shamelessly. How? By talking about teabagging… Ummmm. Yup, that’s right. That’s what Poundland made a figurine elf do for it’s Christmas campaign, which was released through a series of images on social. Other scenes showed a naked poker match (Joker Joker, I really want to poke her) and a penis shaped cactus drawn on an etch a sketch (That’s one prickly Christmas tree).

While some people found this hilarious, it had many others up in arms, calling it rude, offensive and misogynistic.  Poundland showed no remorse and was quoted saying ‘We’re proud of a campaign that’s only cost £25.53 and is being touted as the winning marketing campaign this Christmas!’ Poundland also threw caution to the wind by creating some unofficial brand partnerships with Barbie and Ken, and Twinings (who I believe asked them to remove their packaging from one of the scenes).

Holiday Video E-Card –  R&O Construction – Becca Clason

Sometimes a client’s service or product can seem so boring it’s hard to imagine how you can let your creativity run wild. Introducing Construction company R&O and its holiday E-Card by typographic genius Becca Clason. Complete with construction sound effects and Christmas music – the asphalt, sawdust and cement greeting card video really gives you that Christmassy feeling while keeping R&O and the creativity they are showing in mind. The sawdust makes up the words ‘Wishing You’ while the word ‘JOY’ is lowered into place with what seems like a crane. Christmas is a great time and excuse to send out little reminders of your company.

Memory Powered Tree – Marie Curie

This Christmas, Marie Curie created a memory-powered Christmas tree next to the London Eye in Waterloo. Each time a memory was shared on social using the hashtag #LightUpChristmas, lights on the tree would shine a little brighter. This gave people a place to congregate to share memories of lost loved ones, and to celebrate the memories of those still with us too. Having a stunt in such a public space with a high footfall makes it a real talking point, and the activity makes you feel you’re part of a community – coming together to make a little magic happen.

Memories or money – lastminute.com

It’s important to drill down to the specifics of what you are selling with your product or service. Are you selling insurance, or peace of mind? Are you selling games or laughter? What lastminute.com sells is not holidays, it’s memories. It’s the romantic time you had in Venice, or how you were flabbergasted by the scenery in Alberta. It’s that wonderful memory that you will always have with you that matters. That is what you’re spending your money on.

In the video, a handful of people discuss their most poignant or exciting memories. A woman in a lab coat then asks if it’s ok to delete those memories for a fee. The participants (quite rightly) are horrified by the notion and say ‘no’, showing that the memories made are priceless. The video acts as an incentive to book a holiday and make more of those priceless memories.

What content have you enjoyed lately? Let us know in the comments.

How To Solve A Work Problem Above Your Pay Grade (And Not Overstep)

You already know not to openly complain about the stuff that’s bugging you around your office. But discretion won’t get it solved.

Whether you love or hate your job, there’s probably at least one thing you wish you could change about your company, office, or even your own team that seems beyond your control. The easy part is acknowledging the problem; the much harder part is talking to senior leaders about the changes you’d like to see made–without overstepping or sounding like a know-it-all. Here’s what it takes.

Read Full Story

CES 2018: Blackouts, Downpours, "The Wall," and More!

Google Assistant took over the Vegas Strip, Samsung’s “The Wall” is poised to take over our living rooms, and a 73-year record rainstorm couldn’t dampen CES 2018.
<p>Every January, the world’s greatest <a href=”http://time.com/5100244/best-ces-2018-consumer-electronics-show/” target=”_blank”>gadget makers</a> hightail it to Vegas to show off their latest tech efforts in hopes of being one of the buzz-worthy cool kids at CES. This year would be no different in that sense, but certainly 2018’s <a href=”https://www.ces.tech/” target=”_blank”>Consumer Electronics Show</a> would not be without its unexpected moments!
</p>
<p>Las Vegas is, for better or worse, a city famous for sun and sand. But on Wednesday January 10th, right in the middle of CES, the entire Las Vegas Convention Center experienced the city’s 73-year record rainfall. This rain had caused <a href=”http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/10/technology/ces-2018-blackout/index.html” target=”_blank”>a power outage</a> throughout the show floor that lasted two hours.
</p>
<p>The world’s biggest electronics show with no electricity? An ironic way to get things going, but overall just a small hiccup in an otherwise amazing week of immersive content, brand activations, new tech and inspiring visionaries.
</p>
<h3>Speaking of visionaries…</h3>
<p>Cramer happened to be on-site this year to produce live-interviews with some of the conference’s top executives in a custom-built space, the <i>C-Space Influencer Studio,</i> located in the ARIA Convention Center. Thankfully, our set was unaffected by the power outage!
</p>
<p>Partnering with James Kotecki and <a href=”https://www.koteckigroup.com/” target=”_blank”>The Kotecki Group</a>, and broadcasting to the <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/pg/CES/videos/” target=”_blank”>CES Facebook page</a>, we lined up an all-star cast of interviewees, including <a href=”http://live.ces.tech/detail/videos/c-space-influencer-studio/video/5707369855001/c-space-influencer-studio-with-ty-ahmad-taylor-facebook?autoStart=true” target=”_blank”>Ty Ahmad-Taylor</a>, VP Product Marketing at Facebook, <a href=”http://live.ces.tech/detail/video/5707368214001/jill-cress-national-geographic-%7C-wake-up-with-the-economist-at-ces?autoStart=true&q=Jill%20Cress” target=”_blank”>Jill Cress</a>, Chief Marketing Officer at National Geographic, <a href=”http://live.ces.tech/detail/video/5707088775001/david-roman-lenovo-%7C-wake-up-with-the-economist-at-ces?autoStart=true&q=David%20Roman” target=”_blank”>David Roman</a>, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer at Lenovo and <a href=”http://live.ces.tech/detail/video/5706481827001/c-space-influencer-studio-with-barney-waters-k-swiss?autoStart=true&q=Barney” target=”_blank”>Barney Waters</a>, President of K-Swiss.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560136563/Screen%20Shot%202018-01-21%20at%2011.40.11%20AM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/sVqDGT3GQF0dx3vKxZ9wkuthQQsxZPvIxpUpm8i_KnZJqrfpBUR3BMJey-tTAmZMCYKTwMHrATet0rG05-W-OXcGY_o” src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/sVqDGT3GQF0dx3vKxZ9wkuthQQsxZPvIxpUpm8i_KnZJqrfpBUR3BMJey-tTAmZMCYKTwMHrATet0rG05-W-OXcGY_o=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>Check out all the C-Space Influencer Studio videos on the <a href=”http://live.ces.tech/category/videos/c-space-influencer-studio” target=”_blank”>CES website</a> and <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/pg/CES/videos/” target=”_blank”>Facebook page</a>. You’re not going to want to miss the insights gleaned from these forward-thinking executives and brands!
</p>
<p><o:p></o:p>
</p>
<p>So while we were there to work, we of course couldn’t miss the opportunity to get out and really experience the show. Sifting through the lights and buzz, we set out to discover the most exciting technologies unveiled from an experiential marketing perspective.
</p>
<h3></h3>
<h2>Three Experiential Marketing Takeaways From CES 2018
</h2>
<p>If you can get to CES, you should. Words, pictures, and videos really don’t do justice to the excitement surrounding this week in Vegas and the first-hand wow-factor of <a href=”https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/01/16/top-18-tech-trends-at-ces-2018/#6b863a9d452f” target=”_blank”>seeing trends emerge</a> before your eyes on the show floor.
</p>
<h4></h4>
<h3>1) AI Assistants Bring Brand Voice To Life</h3>
<p>The battle cry echoing down Las Vegas Boulevard during CES was inarguably, “Hey Google!”
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560231918/Screen%20Shot%202018-01-21%20at%2011.42.54%20AM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/5gusVGTCZjn0DYxMcPj2VSM50XBpixlZY3Hzp_hFvOTk4YCHztcJKptnnvlYUWn9mx4NwwvyfLA8n3HCRG3-rPHSm8wX” src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/5gusVGTCZjn0DYxMcPj2VSM50XBpixlZY3Hzp_hFvOTk4YCHztcJKptnnvlYUWn9mx4NwwvyfLA8n3HCRG3-rPHSm8wX=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>Despite the torrential rain washing out their massive <a href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/09/ok-google-will-it-rain-today-google-shuts-down-its-ces-booth-because-its-not-waterproof/” target=”_blank”>outdoor tent</a> for a day, Google still took over the scene in a big way. Front and center was their AI home helper, Google Assistant, and a <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/snapchat-spectacles/”>Snap Spectacles</a> style machine randomly giving away Google Home Minis.
</p><figure data-type=”quote”>
<blockquote>”After having virtually no presence at the show in past years, the company went from zero to 60. Practically no press conference or news release went by without some mention of Assistant. The company played its hand well at the show.”<cite><a href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/13/google-assistant-had-a-good-ces/” target=”_blank”>Tech Crunch</a><br></cite>
</blockquote></figure>
<h4></h4>
<p>As Google Assistant demonstrated is awesome hardware integration powers, in everything from TV’s to electric bikes, another well known virtual assistant made its own splash. Amazon’s Alexa was announced to have native integration in certain 2018 Toyota car models.
</p>
<p>From a consumer standpoint, the rate of acceleration and adoption in voice-enabled devices is nothing short of exciting, as the power of possibilities in virtual assistants expands. And from an experiential marketing standpoint, we’re about to break new ground.
</p>
<p>In the past year of events and experiences, we’ve seen chatbots cast in starring roles—a meteoric rise made possible by the <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/deep-learning-future-of-marketing/”>deep learning</a> revolution and through marketing intentions aimed at automating always-on brand engagement.
</p>
<p>As AI-powered virtual assistants continue pushing past the bleeding edge, we will expect to see chatbots and the likes of automated brand engagement explode. The once metaphorical “brand voice,” is about to get really <em>real</em>.
</p>
<h3>2) Smart Cities Are Like Giant Brand Experiences</h3>
<p>CES 2018 was in one word, connected. This couldn’t be seen more prominently than in this year’s <a href=”https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-ces-2018-will-have-extra-focus-on-smart-cities_us_5a4f92d4e4b0cd114bdb3262″ target=”_blank”>smart cities</a> track.
</p>
<p>What are smart cities? Highly-connected, data-driven collaborations between the public and private sectors to bridge physical and digital to create more sustainable and livable spaces.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560431203/Screen%20Shot%202018-01-21%20at%2011.45.53%20AM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/tQbQ4JrxbomsuAY1W_wMQ5S8-g6ElnUZwssVV9BjVzElNJu8MyPhcjuGjPoOpkTq8jCYqizTi5hjaWk6qoiD7Brg7jRI” src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/tQbQ4JrxbomsuAY1W_wMQ5S8-g6ElnUZwssVV9BjVzElNJu8MyPhcjuGjPoOpkTq8jCYqizTi5hjaWk6qoiD7Brg7jRI=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>One stepping stone CES highlighted as the way to smarter cities, where connectivity goes uninterrupted, was 5G tech. 5G technology, with multi-gigabit download speeds, will be the baseline for the next wave of life-changing IoT.
</p>
<p>And speaking of IoT, one hot topic on the smart cities track was healthcare technologies. Health sensors such as <a href=”https://www.theverge.com/ces/2018/1/11/16860588/sleep-health-tracking-devices-data-ces-2018″ target=”_blank”>sleep tracking devices</a> were prominent this year and will be an exciting space to watch, despite the obstacles that exist when it comes to healthcare, IoT, and <a href=”https://www.onr.com/blog/health-iot-adoption-hipaa-compliance-landscape/” target=”_blank”>HIPAA compliance</a>.
</p>
<p>We always kind of think about events and brand experiences as micro-cities, where urbanization is the year-over-year growth of your event audience, and nothing is more important than community planning. It’s cool to see that the <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/event-tech-landscape-2018/” target=”_blank”>event technologies</a> we’ve been experimenting with for years, are in a big way the catalyst for investments driving real global infrastructure to a smarter, more connected, more data-driven place.
</p>
<h4></h4>
<h3>3) Modular LED And Smart(er) Displays Are Coming</h3>
<p>The screens get bigger and brighter every year, but this year, brands were delivering content via LED, OLED and QLED like never before. All the major brands, like Google, Mercedes, Toyota, and SONY, were using some sort of massive LED wall in their booth space to immerse the consumer in their brand.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560300450/Screen%20Shot%202018-01-21%20at%2011.43.44%20AM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/mdMg_6zCcNW79heDqSxustlxpoY9whAMIwM_0VhNpf6lNm6Yz908TgLOTHrmrt3q3nLk5pniTKd7HwRdT6bG7rL8PDc8″ src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/mdMg_6zCcNW79heDqSxustlxpoY9whAMIwM_0VhNpf6lNm6Yz908TgLOTHrmrt3q3nLk5pniTKd7HwRdT6bG7rL8PDc8=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>From LED stage-floors at the <a href=”https://vimeo.com/250899949″>Intel keynote</a>, the LG hallway-experience, to Ford’s Future-Town, the number of different ways brands utilized LED’s versatility, quality and efficiency was exciting and diverse. LED technology is pure experience fuel and proves over and over again to be one of the best investments an event marketer or brand can make with the end goal of audience immersion.
</p>
<p>While Google got the crowds going with their JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony partnered <a href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/08/google-partners-with-jbl-lenovo-lg-and-sony-to-launch-echo-show-and-spot-smart-display-competitors/” target=”_blank”>smart displays</a>, the CES Award for best-LED technology released unanimously goes to Samsung, who debuted the world’s first <a href=”https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-microled-makes-massive-modular-tv-a-reality/” target=”_blank”>“Modular Micro-LED Television” called “The Wall”</a>.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560156929/1%20(10).jpg”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/5bOqugfqV_dGLVnUbrNsp_fztvEmxrmCGpH0OISj_812QzyY_1D8fvEmlJopWlRX4xJTxtVbEk9_gdRJrHapigG9Ub8″ src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/5bOqugfqV_dGLVnUbrNsp_fztvEmxrmCGpH0OISj_812QzyY_1D8fvEmlJopWlRX4xJTxtVbEk9_gdRJrHapigG9Ub8=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>What is a modular micro-LED TV? A game-changer, that’s for sure. This TV-wall set-up will make use of an entire wall in your home, but the TV will appear as big or small as you want. No, this is not a Transformer from a movie, but it is very close to one!
</p>
<p>The un-used screen area can be customized to blend in with the wallpaper surrounding the room or you can have faux-digital furniture/artwork to keep the ‘homey-feeling’. Samsung wants the user to have full ability to customize their content viewing size based on what they are watching.
</p><figure data-type=”image”><a href=”/webhook-uploads/1516560352400/Screen%20Shot%202018-01-21%20at%2011.44.47%20AM.png”><img data-resize-src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HIyMkwTL0qD0kUmIYr15Kn0E4BOqpHiPy2yATdG_WFdDYFqmoBpeunihaMkEnJpQSU3pBVqY13n9LalU6mq_vtaQj_8″ src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HIyMkwTL0qD0kUmIYr15Kn0E4BOqpHiPy2yATdG_WFdDYFqmoBpeunihaMkEnJpQSU3pBVqY13n9LalU6mq_vtaQj_8=s1200″></a></figure>
<p>For example, when watching another episode of Friends, 60’’ should be plenty of <g>TV</g>. If you’re watching Avatar, set the screen to 146’’ to completely immerse yourself. Or what if you have family coming over and you don’t want to glue yourself to the TV? Set the screen to wallpaper-mode and have your screen blend into the room. That’s what we mean by modular.
</p>
<p>And this isn’t just exciting for home movies and watching sports. This modular micro-LED TV concept is sure to be seen popping up in trade show booths and exhibit halls in events to come. The ability to go big or small, immersive or focused, is powerful for a marketer when mapping how an attendee will interact with your brand in booth.
</p>
<p>It’s great to see Samsung finally making the shift from “products” to “solutions” in this capacity. And they weren’t the only ones. The entire CES floor experience was less focused on tech gadgets and more focused on benefits that emerging technologies may provide.
</p>
<p>Overall, it was a really exciting week, and I know we at Cramer couldn’t be more excited about the role these experiential technologies will play in our event marketing eco-system through the year to come. We’re certainly ready for 2018 and hope you are too!
</p>
<h3></h3>
<h4></h4>
<h4>Oh, and Sony’s <a href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/08/sonys-new-aibo-robot-just-melted-the-hearts-of-a-room-full-of-jaded-tech-bloggers/” target=”_blank”>Aibo</a> robot dog? Adorable.</h4><figure data-type=”video”>
<p>

</p></figure>

Friday Reading #121

The dreaded Blue Monday has come and gone – made better every year at Goodstuff by spinning our prize wheel every hour, on the hour, giving one different lucky Goodstuffer a prize to brighten their day. Wednesday saw us host the Goodies at the Curzon in Bloomsbury – Goodstuff’s chance to celebrate the great individuals and teams who work here, and the great work they produce. Thanks to some generous donations, our soon to be famous winners will appear in the Evening Standard, and across OOH sites on Monday! 


According to Twitter Monday really is the worst day of the week. Looking at Tweets starting way back in 2008 to present, analysis of sentiment shows the most commonly used words vary across days of the week, with words relating to happiness crashing on a Sunday evenings and well and truly burning on Mondays.

Good news for lovers for of gin and spas – A gin themed spa has opened in Glasgow, botanically inspired by gin.

They’ll probably have a lot of time on their hands through January.

Want to know what’s happening in your body AND put your heating on at the same time? Well now you can using your pants – smart underwear company Myant have launched a new range of garments.

Want to go on holiday, but don’t want to leave your pooch (or your chickens) alone all week? Now you don’t have to – EasyJet has partnered with TrustedHousesitters to offer people unlimited house and pet sitting when they sign up for a membership and travel with the airline.

The modern-day pizza delivery experience is relentless. Ordering and delivering a pizza requires absolutely minimal effort these days from everyone involved. You can ask Alexa or send an emoji to a chatbot, and then a self-driving car will deliver it to you. Check out Toyota’s plans to collaborate with Dominoes to create autonomous delivery vehicles.

Google are using selfies to find peoples art doppelgangers through their Art & Cultures app, showcasing tech’s growing role in evolving the arts. Warning: it’s not always that flattering. 

Adidas are creating 500 pairs of limited edition trainers, in collaboration with Berlin’s transport authority to celebrate their 90th anniversary. They have a fabric annual pass sewn into the tongue allowing travelers in Berlin to ride the metro system for free until December 2018, and they even match the coloured pattern on the seats.

Nintendo is experimenting with ‘new ways of playing’ involving DIY cardboard accessories, which turn into a fishing rod and a piano amongst other things, for it’s new initiative, Nintendo Labo. 

Everyone knows January is the worst time to go to the gym… too many people and no free equipment. Why not start your year off in a VR gym? According to the founder of BlackBox VR: “Black Box combines the addictive qualities of gaming and the power of immersive technologies … to improve your fitness level and transform your life”

The psychology behind free samples: why freebies keep customers

Free samples are great, but the concept of giving something you’ve invested in away for free can seem somewhat daunting for many businesses. After all – if your customers aren’t paying for your products, then you are.

However, that simple fact shouldn’t be enough to dissuade you from the benefits of product sampling. In fact, free samples can generate a huge amount of sales for you over time, sometimes boosting profits by as much as 2000%!

Product samples allow you to introduce your new products to unfamiliar audiences, foster loyalty with customers and expand the knowledge your customers have about your products.

Here, we’ll look at the psychology behind why product sampling keeps customers coming back for more.

Helping customers make choices

When it comes to buying something, your customers go through something called the “buyer decision process”, when they need to make a purchase. They begin by recognising that they have a problem or desire before they start seeking out a potential solution.

A huge amount of information can influence a shopper’s decision when they’re making a choice in the saturated marketplace. Everything from price to availability can play a part.

Product sampling can help your company to cut through some of this noise, convincing your customer to make a purchasing decision that works in your favour. Because your customer can try the product before they buy it, the risk of purchasing something new is diminished.

The rule of reciprocity

Another psychological phenomenon that causes product sampling to work to your advantage is something called the rule of reciprocity. Basically, when you something nice for someone, it makes them feel as though they should be doing something nice for you in return.

When your business gives free samples out to customers, they feel compelled to do something for you in response, like purchase a product, or even talk about your company to their friend. This creates a sense of obligation in your customers that keeps them coming back for more after they’ve tried your product.

Improving perception of your brand

Ultimately, free samples improve customer perception about your brand, making people feel warm and fuzzy about your company through reciprocity and convenience. Samples aren’t just for attracting new customers or introducing new products to the marketplace.

When they’re used properly, your samples can also be the secret sauce that keeps your clients coming back in the future.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

The post The psychology behind free samples: why freebies keep customers appeared first on Hotcow.