March 2016 - PS Insights


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The famous Whassup campaign for Budweiser broke 17 years ago. It was a great story in many ways. What do you do to build campaigns that become cultural icons – becoming major PR hits, and part of the vernacular?


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Subway just settled the lawsuit accusing them of shortchanging their footlongs as 11” sandwiches. They also just raised the price of the $5 footlong to $6. On the heels of the Jared fiasco, we think “Fresh is what we do” just isn’t enough to build new consumer love. What do you do in the face of adversity to embrace your customer rather than alienate them?


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We praised the Jeep Super Bowl commercial the other week—but they’re out doing some very smart marketing in smaller arenas, as well. They’ve just previewed seven new “concept vehicles” at their 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari. It’s a love-in between Jeep fans and the company that’s been going on in the Moab desert for, well, 50 years. Have you identified ways to treat your core fans in a special way?



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Saw a hack that was new to us. (And, yes, we mean “hack” in the new urban sense—a smart trick.) A young skateboarder came into the coffee shop, took out her smart phone and then used the selfie feature to check her own makeup. What surprising new ways are you seeing Millennials engage with technology?


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MediaPost reports that the Lincoln Motor Company is ending their run of Matthew McConaughey commercials. The agency praised the actor, but said that while the McConaughey ads had “drawn in unprecedented amounts of awareness for the brand, many people still don’t know what the ‘new’ Lincoln is all about.” So the audience saw the commercials and watched the spots but didn’t understand the message? The commercials were really weird from the start. Sounds to us like the campaign just didn’t work. How do you make sure your message is understood and connects to the brand?


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A story in the New York Times on Monday continues the question of how the Motion Picture Academy is going to address racial diversity. The only problem we have with that is that they haven’t asked any outside organization or official to get involved. And we wonder whether the organization is already too tone-deaf to be able to fix itself. How does your organization get out of its own way to understand and really solve systemic issues?