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

CES 2018

By: Nikki & Amanda, Tech Team

This year more than 180,000 technology enthusiasts from across the world transcended on Las Vegas to experience what has come to be one of the largest conferences worldwide. With over 4,000 companies showcasing the latest and greatest technology advances, and an additional 500+ up and coming startups hoping to inspire attendees with their showmanship, CES is THE event for discovering trends that will drive the industry forward in the year ahead.

CES Las Vegas

Vice President of Technology, Nikki Parker, and Director of Consumer Technology, Amanda Kelley, were on the ground – walking the equivalent of a full marathon in two days, meeting with hundreds of companies to unearth the top trends for 2018.

Trends to Watch in 2018

AI/Machine Learning

What became abundantly clear almost immediately, was that if your technology did not incorporate an element of Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning, then you were archaic already. Whilst technology over the last few years was applauded for being “smart,” that technology has now become not smart enough. Instead, our products and software must learn, grow, suggest and predict user behavior. From applications that learn piano playing skills and teach you accordingly, to an industry focus on autonomous vehicles, the battle to bring AI to life and show its applications was more real, beyond clever marketing, than ever. Products that employ voice control and command are the most immediate sell-able consumer applications of AI that we saw at CES. Being driven by Apple’s Alexa and Google’s assistant, there was a plethora of products on display that operated on command. We even saw a home security system that learns each member of your family and can recognize their faces and interact with them intuitively. Overall, we predict that AI and machine learning will continue to be a stalwart component of the apps and products being developed and released over the coming years.


Even though the conversation around AI and machine learning has usurped our focus on the “smart phone,” the almost myopic obsession with connected devices, homes, businesses, cars and cities has remained just as prevalent as previous years. The connected landscape is in many ways the trend of the decade; it’s just that each year at CES it becomes a little less futuristic, and we are seeing more tangible examples of how we, as everyday consumers of smart devices, will interact with these devices. And when we say smart everything, we literally mean everything. From connected toasters, fridges and microwaves, to a surprisingly large number of connected parking meters, water meters and security systems, it felt like there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be connected to a network. The devices on display have certainly done an excellent job of seamlessly blending technology and functionality, however, there still seems to be a long way to go before the software that brings the true value of having a connected device, home or city to life will be adequately developed to drive mass adoption. Next year at CES perhaps?

self driving cars

What do you get if you combine AI, machine learning and smart stuff… ROBOTS of course!

It seemed that robots almost outnumbered attendees this year. They were literally everywhere! At times, it felt that living life like the Jetsons with a robot maid like Rosie (and hopefully a dog like Elroy) was not out of the realm of possibility. Even more likely considering Nikki saw a Panasonic Laundroid robot consume a pile of clothing and deliver it nicely pressed and folded. Now where is the machine that delivers any food I want?

While the team didn’t find a chef robot, there were robots for the home to assist in almost any day to day chore, robots to assist children in their learning and development and also Robomart, a self-driving car designed to deliver fruit and vegetables. As many people debated what the future of human/robot interaction would look like, Nikki was decisively beaten by a robot playing Pong – perhaps an indication of who would sit where on the totem pole. One robot that really stood out for the travel weary CES attendee was the TravelMate Robotics Smart Suitcase (there were a lot around, however this is the one Nikki tried to smuggle out under her jacket). The Suitcase, with its built-in GPS suitcase would follow its owner around like a loyal pack-horse, meaning no more lugging luggage through airports. Bring on the robot revolution we say!

Fashion showed up at CES

Fashion showed up at CES

When I say Dell, you say… jewelry? In a brilliant combination of fashion, recycling and technology, Dell teamed up with celebrity Nikki Reed to debut a new line of jewelry created with gold mined from recycled motherboards – they officially won CES in our book. Unlike most of its mainstream competitors, Dell found a way to stand out from the crowd of oversized booths without robots, soccer stars (yes, there were plenty to be found in the showroom) and drones. The bold move also translated to press and influencer coverage for days and even weeks following the launch. They weren’t the only fashion players in the game this year, everything from phone cases to handbags also had their chance to shine. We can expect traditional technology companies to insert themselves into the fashion game in a major way in 2018.

When tech met education

From teaching kids to code before they can talk to white boards that think for themselves, CES brought educational tools that are actually accessible to the masses. Past years have brought plenty of promise that technology would penetrate the education industry in an affordable, adoptable way, and CES truly delivered this year. The show floor was bursting with tools and gadgets that parents, teachers and even baby-sitters could afford to purchase without mortgaging their home. One particular favorite was Smart Gurlz, which is essentially an American Girl Doll that encourages kids to get involved in STEM. This step forward makes it abundantly clear that third graders will soon be better coders and designers than any of us… and we love it!

How to stand out at CES

When you’re one of 4,000+ companies at a tradeshow, it can be tough to make it worthwhile. This year we saw plenty of brands that stood out and some others that sadly seemed to flop. A few key things to help you make an impact –

  1. Put your message where people will see it! The many booths almost blend into one. While necessary to act as a meeting point or a place to show off your business, your branding and messaging can get lost in the sea of signs. Advertise or take over areas where people gather, for instance at charging stations, near water dispensers or even the bathroom. Yes, people do hide out in there taking a breather from the CES madness so why not tell them about YOUR business while they do.
  2. Presentation really is critical. If you are going to invest in a booth to show off your product, make sure that you think about everything else that goes with it, down to the tablecloth you use. Even as an early stage startup, you want to show your wares in the best possible light. Having trash or clutter littered across your display tables is a sure fire way to make busy visitors pass you by.
  3. Don’t limit yourself to your booth. Yes, it’s important to have a physical presence in order to meet the masses, but you may as well take advantage of the whole Vegas strip. When staffing for CES, make sure you free up some people to hit the bars, attend the parties and hang out at the blackjack table. It sounds too good to be true, but this is where a lot of deals and discussions are made at CES.

Want to know more about our time at CES or are you looking to find out how you can build a bigger presence within the technology sector? Get in touch with the team at 5W at marketing@5wpr.com, we look forward to working with you.

The post CES 2018 appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

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

The Social Media Story: Instagram vs. Snapchat

By: Lauren, Social Media Manager

How Instagram is shaping 2018 social media trends for brands

Just 17 months was all it took for Instagram’s popular Stories feature to rise to the top, attracting over 500 million users daily. It’s no surprise that with record growth, everyone from AdWeek to Forbes is calling the Facebook-owned feature a top digital trend for 2018. But what is it about the Snapchat copycat (remember them?) that sent all other social media platforms directly to second place?

1. User Base

A simple explanation for the preference for Stories over Snapchat is Instagram’s massive user base of 800 million, which is still growing quickly. This built-in audience automatically made Instagram a notable competitor to Snapchat.

On Snapchat, brands are challenged with growing a following from scratch with little to no way of being discovered by new users. Instagram Story features include the ability to search, converse and engage with potential new followers and consumers.

2. Stronger Brand Presence

Snapchat’s poor search function requires a specific handle to be searched in order to discover and follow the brand. How do you find a brand’s Snapchat handle you ask? Well, many used to include them in their Instagram bios (talk about a plot twist). Instagram not only allows you to search by handles, brands and key terms, but it also suggests accounts you may be interested in following under the Discover tab. Following an account is not required on Instagram to view and engage with a brand’s or influencer’s content. This aspect alone showed better results at a larger scale for CPM (cost per impression).

The Social Media Story: Instagram

3. Increased Traffic

Unfortunately for Snapchat, Instagram didn’t stop there. Not long after the duel began, Instagram announced a brand new “Swipe Up” feature for Stories. For the first time in the history of the app, you were able to link ecommerce directly to a piece of content. In the eyes of marketers and influencers, this was a real game changer. Instagram quickly became a free and effective secret weapon to ecommerce brands, retailers and influencers.

4. The Ephemeral Content Shift

Although this generation loves the classic Instagram feed filled top to bottom with beautiful photos, the content in our feeds is starting to go in a different direction. Classic evergreen brand content lacks personality and value, while frustrating algorithms give users little to no control as to what they see in their feed. This is why ephemeral content (aka impermanent content) is expected to take the lead in 2018, according to AdWeek. Ephemeral content feels authentic, relatable and provides much higher engagement rates.

Blogger/influencer Arielle Charnas, founder of Something Navy, recently polled her 1.1 million Instagram followers to ask if they’d rather see more Instagram Stories than Instagram posts. Charnas tells 5W that she received several messages from followers saying the Instagram algorithm was keeping them from seeing all of her posts. The poll results were overwhelming, with over 90% voting “yes.” Charnas says, “Instagram Stories have changed the Something Navy platform entirely. My followers are interested in content that’s happening in real time and doesn’t have a team of editors behind it. Social media is changing every day. I find it incredibly important and rewarding to stay connected with my audience and adapt to how they want to see my content.”

4. The Ephemeral Instagram Content Shift

5. Feature That Will Shape 2018

Instagram closed out 2017 with what it called “the biggest changes to profiles on Instagram since 2013,” according to a company press release. They weren’t wrong. The feature, presented as “Highlights,” added a space on the Instagram profile to display any Instagram Stories from your archive (also a feature announced in the same day). In an interview with TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson said, “As more and more people adopt stories, we realized that the profile has become less and less representative of you and your life. And yet the profile is one of the top destinations on Instagram – it’s a powerful space for self-expression and feeling closer to others. But up until now, there was no way to keep your favorite stories or add them to your profile – we wanted to fix that.”

In 2018 we’ll expect to see a large shift into Instagram Story content.

The post The Social Media Story: Instagram vs. Snapchat appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

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.

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