Humanitarian Branding: Capturing the Hearts of Your Audience

April 8, 2013

westinIn advertising, audiences are used to the constant sales pitches convincing them to give in and purchase a product or service. However, when the intentions of a brand or company make a turn and present themselves as people “just like you”, audiences are reminded why they love the company and start to see compassion in the brand rather than a large advertising corporation. Westin Hotels is now offering two free nights to over 200 New York nurses who cared for those in need from Hurricane Sandy to promote its new weekend services.

“Our research shows consumers are craving more leisure time but taking less vacation, so we are trying to offer weekend breaks that are seamless and stress free,” said Brian Povinelli, Westin’s global brand leader.

Through this campaign, Westin is encouraging business travelers to book rooms on weekends to recharge with later checkout times and extended breakfast hours as part of the “Make Monday Better” program. As this program keeps in mind the needs of the people, both physically and mentally,  Westin is able to win over dedicated workers including nurses, teachers and volunteer firefighters.

“These dedicated working people are seen as inspirational and deserving figures by the executives and professionals who are loyal to our brand,” said Bob Jacobs, Westin’s VP of brand management.”A free weekend stay reinforces our campaign message that everyone deserves a chance to relax and rejuvenate.”

It’s important for large corporations to present their new ideas based on the emotional and sentimental needs of their audience. When the hearts of an audience is captured, it is easier for consumers to connect to the brand. Through this tactic, both parties are mutually intrigued and willing to participate with each other.

VWM CEO Joins Graduation with Tory Burch and Goldman Sachs

April 5, 2013

Our very own President and CEO, Shad Mohammed, was invited to a collaborative graduation for the Tory Burch Foundation and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program on Monday. The program and graduation exposed students to the the life of empowering women in the fashion world.

Van West Media's CEO Shad Mohammed with Tory Burch
Van West Media's CEO Shad Mohammed with Tory Burch

As a small business owner, Mohammed found himself placed in the room with many other entrepreneurs that shared business knowledge ideas for economic growth as well as prominent media figures like Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. Shad is an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which is an intensive program offered to promising entrepreneurs in a range of industries. The program’s objective is to provide training through a series of MBA-like courses to bring potential candidates to own the title of CEO in their company.

The partnership of the Tory Burch Foundation and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program encourages women to look beyond their daily work demands and to focus on their business as a whole instead. Tory explained the importance of branding and how ambition and drive transformed her self-titled brand into an economic success.

This graduation allowed peer-to-peer networking as well as one-on-one advice from professionals to potential small-business owners and connected them based on their specific needs. It is important to understand how vital small businesses are for job growth in our country and economy today. With more businesses launched, more jobs become available to help drive our economy forward.

As the graduation closes the pilot program for this collaborative class of female entrepreneurs, both Tory and the Goldman Sachs team hope to offer the program to a new group of women in the future and hopefully, expand to other parts of the country as well.

April Fool’s Brand Hoaxes of 2013

April 3, 2013

The start of April may bring in the warm spring weather but get ready to have a few pranks along with it.  Businesses take holidays like April Fools and use it to amuse their audience to connect with their brand. By using the holidays to connect with the people, a recognizable path of parody is made to help audiences interpret the product’s intentions.

Click to watch the “Scope Bacon” video!

B.M.W. introduces the P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile)

Click to watch the “Google Nose” Video!

These are some of the many creative advertisements large brands came up with to stir audiences. By creating ideas to converse, whether as a joke or in a serious matter, you are creating word-of-mouth advertising across mass audiences. On top of this method, people will also post and share these ads through social media as well. This is the quickest way of spreading news about your brand and to make it known to those all around.

Take advantage of the holidays and incorporate them into your advertising plan. Your audience will get a kick out of it and your name will resonate with a notable branding backstory when mentioned.

Social Campaigns Revive “Mike and Ike” Brand

April 1, 2013

Over the past year, “Mike and Ike” have been in stores with either Mike or Ike scribbled out of the box. At first it may seem like a kid took a pen and did this but then, when you look at the rest of the boxes, the situation is the same for all of them. Something as simple as a scribble can stir up an audience and the marketeers jumped at this reaction quickly.

mike ike box

Following the scribbled boxes, a narrative was made explaining the split happened due to creative differences. This narrative was then sent through social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere. With the hype of the split, an even larger hype was made for the reunion of the two with a movie trailer made.

mike and ike

Watch the Mike and Ike Reunion Trailer here!

By creating a narrative for audiences to follow and partake in, customers were more likely to engage with the product and transform the 72 year old candy into a current media-infused product. This idea gets people involved, which builds a larger audience base. By using social media, “Mike and Ike” broke through the community and gained a 7.2% sales growth increase this past year. That is larger than the increase they had within the past decade. By having additional “likers” and “followers” on Facebook and Twitter, the brand also grasped the attention of many and can continue to advertise to them through these social media outlets in the future.