Stand Out at a Tradeshow with these 5 Tips

This shortbread brand leveraged a combination of authenticity, tradition and newness to stand out at the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

This summer, the Fancy Food Show descended upon New York City’s Jacob Javits Center, overwhelming visitors with over 2,700 vendors sharing sweet and savory foods and beverages. Many of those exhibiting are specialty brands with small staffs and small budgets. So how can one hope to stand out in this incredibly crowded, three-day marketplace to get the attention of retail buyers, media and consumers? A small, family-run shortbread company found a way to stand out at this massive food & drink tradeshow.

Shortbread House of Edinburgh, housed in Edinburgh, Scotland, made the journey to the Big Apple to share their finely crafted wares, and they were up against major competitors like the Walker Shortbreads of the world. To make the most of this tradeshow opportunity, Shortbread House employed some very smart techniques that brought their branding to life and grabbed the attention of passersby.

Here are some of the tradeshow marketing tips that worked for Shortbread House of Edinburgh – and can very easily work for other brands in other industries, not just food & drink companies:

  1. Bring your brand story to life. Shortbread House of Edinburgh employed Scottish gentlemen clad in the country’s traditional garb to man their booth. This was more than an attention-getting visual. Just by being there, these gents, who spoke fluently about their brand’s history and products, brought attention to the authenticity of the sweet treats by which they were surrounded.
  2. Be friendly. It wasn’t just the brogue that brought warmth to this Scottish brand. Warm smiles, inviting gestures, and conversation that wasn’t rushed – rather, that encouraged visitors to linger and partake of the samples – really stood out. Tradeshows can be grueling for both those exhibiting and those attending, and it can be easy to wear that exhaustion on one’s face. These gentlemen welcomed visitors as if they were welcoming them into their own homes to enjoy biscuits and tea.
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk shop. For some reason, tradeshow exhibitors often dwell in smalltalk and never get to the point. While one doesn’t want to engage in heavy-handed selling techniques that turn off visitors, the real reason everyone is attending is for an information share. After some niceties that seemed entirely genuine, the kilt-clad staffers were sure to guide visitors along their product line, which included a new product launch (see tip #4).
  4. Have something new! People like to be “the first” to experience something new, so if at all possible, tradeshow exhibitors should launch a new product. That’s what buyers want to know about – so they can leverage that “new” factor to bring buyers to their stores. That’s what the press wants to hear about – so they can share that “newness” with their readers and viewers. And that’s what consumers want to find out about – so they can have bragging rights via social media and word-of-mouth sharing. Shortbread House of Edinburgh was introducing a special holiday offering: a “Finest Whisky Cake” infused with Scotch malt whisky. Packaged in a festive tin, this food & drink item conjured up wonderful thoughts of holiday parties, entertaining and hostess gifting – a nice escape from the brutal heat of summer in Manhattan. It also gave the brand’s representatives a chance to talk about their country’s tradition of holiday whisky cakes, something with which many American attendees may not have been familiar.
  5. Be true to your branding. If a product (or service) doesn’t stand up to a brand’s marketing, that brand is likely better off not having a tradeshow presence until they get either the product or the marketing right. Surrounded by competitors, this is the ultimate sink-or-swim venue: retail buyers, press, and consumers will be the first to share negative impressions of their experiences, and they’ll often do it loudly – at the show, to other exhibitors, and beyond. Those trying samples at Shortbread House of Edinburgh seemed to feel that the taste lived up to the “truly handmade” tagline adorning the holiday whisky cake tin. That will likely translate into shelf space, positive media coverage, and something new for Americans to add to their own holiday traditions.

Tradeshows can be a key tactic for brands, from start-ups through Fortune 500 – but they are often quite costly: space rental, booth design and execution, staffing, product, marketing…it all adds up. Be sure it adds up to the right results.

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency

Note: This post originally appeared in my Examiner.com column – please follow me there too!

DOES THIS UNDER ARMOUR SPOT DISARM YOU?

This is a beautifully shot commercial, and yet when I saw it the first time, I really wanted to whine about a few things I felt it did wrong. I use the past tense, “wanted to,” because I have come to the conclusion that I was falling into overthinking, and that it is, in reality, just perfect.

Give it a look, and see if your first viewing makes you think things like:

- Is that girl’s voice reading an actual letter that was sent to Misty when she was 13?

- And if so, why doesn’t the commercial come out and TELL me that?

- Why are they making me work so hard to understand their tagline?

Those were going to be my main complaints – and then I realized that I was about to complain about an advertiser actually giving me credit for having half a brain. Because even as I was wondering these things, I was looking up who Misty Copeland was – I wanted to know more. I was simultaneously thinking about how I didn’t realize Under Armour made athletic gear for women.

That’s when I realized I suddenly knew the answers to all of those questions that had initially popped into my head. I either figured them out for myself or I looked them up. Now that’s engaging your audience.

That’s when I decided to shut up and write this blog post instead, and use it to heap praise on Under Armour, their ad agency Droga5, and on Misty Copeland herself. Bravo.

Adam Schnitzler, Chief Creative Officer, The S3 Agency

5 Things Your Loyalty Program Should NOT Do

I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer for quite a few years now – and truth be told, I’ve been considering switching as it seems the once powerful signal giant now leaves me with more-than-my-fair-share of dropped calls. Lo and behold, yesterday I got an email from the Big V announcing their new rewards program. How timely, I thought – and when the email told me I already have 26,000 points, I decided to check it out. After all, that sounds like a lot of points.

Unfortunately, the rewards program leaves a lot to be desired and actually turns me off, which is a shame, because I’ve seen first-hand how much these programs can cost brands. Here are the issues with Verizon’s program – things brands should be sure to avoid with their loyalty programs:

  1. Don’t Make Customers Sign Up for Email Offerings. In order to sign up for my free rewards program to see what my 26,000 can do, I was required to sign up for “Verizon Select” – allowing the brand’s advertising partners to add me to their email lists. In a time when people’s hatred for spam is at an all-time high, forcing customers to opt-in in order to see what’s behind door number two is a gigantic no-no.
  2. Don’t Make Things Complicated. It took me a good 30 minutes to figure out how Verizon’s loyalty program actually works – and the ROI on my efforts was definitely not worth it. Basically, you don’t actually get things for free – you get to use your points towards discounts at different retailers…but you have to purchase things (like gift cards) from the retailers in advance in order to obtain a discount that you may or may not use. Not worth it.
  3. Don’t Offer Rewards That May Have To Be Returned. Really Verizon? You think maybe I want to try my sizing and fit luck with you and get a dress from your rewards program? A dress that I have to pay for since your cruddy rewards basically just give me a discount on it – just like I can get on my own at any retailer who has a sale, accepts coupons, or both (which is almost every retailer), only there I can actually try on many sizes and styles and get just what I want? It’s almost as if Verizon is taking all the bad parts of various retail loyalty programs and putting them together here.

  4. Don’t Leave Customers Wondering If Rewards Will Actually Work. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but several times I have tried to use a legitimate reward via my iPhone and have encountered retail employees who had no idea what the reward was or how to process it. It leads to frustration on both sides and a negative taste in the consumer’s mouth, as he or she (or I) end up having to argue and prove that the reward is real in order to get it. Take a look at what happens I you tried to download a $5 off coupon for my local pizzeria – a warning comes up telling me the reward will be live for only 10 minutes. That means A) I can’t do it now, I have to remember to download it the next time I’m at the restaurant, and B) I have to believe the cashier will know all about this convoluted reward and honor it immediately before it expires. Yikes.
  5. Don’t Pretend To Be Something You’re Not. Is this really a rewards program? Take a look at the very bottom of the image above. Upon trying to redeem my shady $5 off “reward,” the screen revealed that this program is “powered by entertainment.” For those of you who don’t know, Entertainment Books are big books of coupons that you pay $25 for (some or all of that fee goes to charity) and you are able to pull coupons to use all year long at many local and some national retailers. Aha! This is just a glorified coupon program disguised as a loyalty program – but at least when one buys the Entertainment Book, one doesn’t have to opt-in for spam from all of the retailers who have coupons inside. This may be the most egregious of all the issues within Verizon’s unrewarding program.

I’ll never get back the 30 minutes I spent being disappointed by Verizon’s weak new offering, but hopefully this post will help branders who are considering crafting or reconfiguring a program that actually will engender true customer loyalty. At the very least, maybe it will save someone else from going down a Verizon Rewards wormhole.

~ Denise Blasevick (@AdvertGirl), CEO, The S3 Agency

The New YouTube Advertising

Finally, someone did it! They made an ad where the pre-roll, non-skippable portion makes you want to not skip the ad. We’ve been trying to convince clients to do this for a while now. My guess is that Nail Communications was running into the same roadblocks, so kudos to them for making this video for themselves. ~ Denise Blasevick (@AdvertGirl), CEO, The S3 Agency

Does Your Brand Have “RE2PECT”?

What does it mean for an entire culture when an iconic athlete is on the eve of his leave? Derek Jeter, member of the 3,000 hit club and one of the few baseball players to hit their 40s during their MLB career, will end his time in the league after his 20th season. As a five-time World Series champion, he is widely regarded as a major factor to Yankee victories.

Jordan, a brand within Nike, launched a very tasteful ad in the form of a tribute to Jeter. It begins with a shot of him at bat - presumably taking place at his last game - and then the pitcher, fans, rivals, celebrities, other athletes, and the entire city of New York all tip their hats to him. It’s a small but meaningful sign of respect, or “RE2PECT”, which includes Jeter’s jersey number.

This commercial reaches more than just Yankee fans. Although most of the shots take place in New York City scenery, it also shows long-time rivals Boston Red Sox fans paying their respect. Nike endorsers Tiger Woods, Michael Jordon and Carmelo Anthony are also featured, as well as pop culture icons Spike Lee and Jay-Z. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, legendary comedian Billy Crystal, and others also take part in the respectful gesture.

What this TV spot says to a person is “you might not respect the Yankees, and you might not respect baseball, but you respect Derek Jeter.” Why is that? Because Jeter has done more than play professional baseball for the last two decades. The Yankees’ #2 has created a personal brand based on more than his abilities: he has treated others with respect and, therefore, earned the same in return.

This sentiment serves a purpose for the Jordan brand too. Being famously associated with MJ, another sports icon, the subsidiary of Nike has a hard time getting its non-basketball products recognized. (I had no idea Jordan sold cleats, and I’m a huge Jordan sneakerhead.) But after seeing a closeup shot of Derek Jeter’s baseball boot on television, viewers might give Jordan the wider recognition that it wants.

Currently, Nike only sells Jordan basketball, running and football shoes, but after such a successful marketing campaign, I can guess that this is a prelude to a more diverse collection. “RE2PECT” is printed on sold-out hats and t-shirts, and related hashtags are amongst the most trending on Twitter and Facebook.

~ Jay Kim, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency

DO YOU OR YOUR MARKETING TRY TOO HARD?

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I don’t usually watch music videos, but when I saw my Facebook feed was blowing up with posts about Colbie Calliat’s latest video for her new song, “Try,” I had to check it out. In order to prepare, I did a little research before investing myself. Results dredged up hundreds of articles with headlines about how Colbie is taking a stand against Photoshop and telling girls to take off their makeup. Not being able to resist a good controversy, I took the bait.

What I found was actually a cute little song and a simple video. The song has a message that tells listeners that they don’t have to try so hard to impress others by changing things about themselves, or by spending hours of their lives doing their hair and makeup. The video features Caillat and a diverse group of women lip-syncing the song. At the beginning of the video, they are all dolled up with hair and makeup. As the song progresses, the women wipe off all their makeup and reveal their natural hair. The song ends with a hit right in the feels as Caillat sings, “Take your makeup off/ Let your hair down/ Take a breath/ Look into the mirror at yourself/ Don’t you like you?/ Cause I like you.”

Personally, I don’t think that Colbie is pushing an anti-makeup agenda. I think it is more of a call for people to feel comfortable in their own skin, and if they do put in the extra effort, do it for themselves.

However, not everyone receives the message the same way. There are many critics saying that Colbie is telling women it is a bad thing to dress up and wear makeup. Others are claiming that the women in the video are not naturally ugly enough, so only pretty girls can go without makeup.

The debate caused Caillat’s video to go viral, racking up over 17 million views within the first few weeks of being posted.

Whether the singer is actually on a mission to break down the over-airbrushed world or build up the self-esteem of women everywhere, she definitely struck a chord with this one. Either way, for such a low-production music video, it brought in fantastic attention and stirred up just enough controversy to attract more than just regular fans. Overall, it is a clever angle with the right timing.

I sincerely doubt her team had this planned, but it’s definitely a PR success for Caillat and her music. On the other hand, it’s also a win for Colbie’s message: Take your makeup off, let your hair down, take a breath and people will like you…or at least watch your video.

~ Kristin Drabik, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency

Making Dinner Hilarious, One Tweet At A Time

There’s nothing like scrolling through your timeline and stumbling on Twitter gold. Although rare, it does happen. You might not expect the most interesting, witty, or clever one-liners to come from a brand, but I present to you @helper, the beautiful location of Hamburger Helper’s “punny” tidbits.


For a product that’s been around for several decades, they sure know how to stay relevant. The brand ditched the “Hamburger” and just goes by Helper now – and the super simple handle makes it even more attention-grabbing. @helper seriously knows how to infuse their product/theme into the current ramblings of pop culture and social media.

Their specialty? Pop music!

@helper even found out what caused the fight between Jay Z and Solange Knowles.

If this Twitter account doesn’t give you a good chuckle, I’m not sure what will. It’s safe to say, I’m slightly obsessed with @helper, which is resulting in a lot of scrolling. Mind-blowing only because it’s just a food additive. This is the kind of presence brands need to have if they’re trying to make a comeback, rebranding, or just trying to appeal to my generation (Millennials) and future generations.

I can only see one thing (Hamburger) Helper is doing wrong: there’s NO link to this amazing Internet find on their website. With something this great, they should be shouting it from the rooftops – or at least on desktops!

See ya later from this friendly face (or hand)!

~ Monique Moore, Summer Associate, The S3 Agency



WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NEW Airbnb REBRANDING?

Last week Airbnb launched a rebranding campaign that included a website refresh and introduced a new logo which they called the Bêlo. They also released a new video explaining the new logo: 

The new logo has all the elements of a well designed logo in today’s world: it’s memorable, simple, and looks like a part of the female anatomy…wait WHAT?!?!

In case you haven’t heard, there has been quite a backlash about the new logo. There’s even a new Tumblr dedicated to alternatives for the logo (many of which are NSFW). The backlash also took to social media with many witty comments made on Twitter.

So how does this happen? How does a company miss what’s obvious to so many people? And more importantly, how can brands avoid having this happen to them?

Now some may argue that all the attention may not be a bad thing – after all, the company is now getting a lot of free publicity. I think it’s too early to tell if that’s true. Let’s not forget creative misfires of the past like PepsiCo’s disastrous Tropicana packaging change which was quickly reversed and cost the brand $33 million in two months.

I feel that bigger, more successful brands are more likely to have rebranding blunders because they have trouble envisioning failure. A long run of success may lead to egos that believe their company can recover from any misstep. Larger companies are also more likely to suffer from hierarchy issues: employees may defer to the opinion of the senior person in the room, despite the fact that a few junior people might think “that logo looks a lot like a …”.

Brand embarrassments as such can be avoided by doing a few things:

  • Don’t overthink the logo – Assuming it will make or break your business may lead to the latter.
  • Listen to junior marketers – They’re closest to their consumer instincts.  Get their opinions first before senior leaders weigh in.
  • Test it – Use a focus group, it’s easier than ever now. (Consider cost-effective online options.)
  • Use common sense – There’s not enough of it out there.  Try to avoid getting caught up in the symbolism as it can lead to self-delusion.


As for Airbnb, their heart was in the right place and I actually do like their new logo – just with a few alterations.  It’s amazing what a change of color can do.

~ Walid Elshahed, Web Designer, The S3 Agency

Don’t Feed The Troll

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As an avid podcast listener, I am disgusted about something that is happening in our country’s Federal Court system. A Patent Troll named “Personal Audio” is suing the Adam Carolla Podcast for a patent violation. They bought a very general patent for a “System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.”

Personal Audio doesn’t have much of a legal leg to stand on…. right? Unfortunately, they do. Personal Audio has sued Apple that it held patents on the concept of “playlists”. Playlists?!?!?! Basically every broken-hearted teen that made their girlfriend a mix tape in the 80s should expect to be served papers any minute now.

Who are these vampires? Personal Audio is a shell corporation with a PO Box / Empty Office in East Texas. Why East Texas? Because it remains, by far, the most popular place for patent lawsuits (U-S-A!!!). Personal Audio also carefully selects the amount of money they go after to encourage the plaintiff (in this case, Carolla) to settle out of court – rather than rack up legal fees. They are supported by Patent Troll Lobbyists, and they seem to have quite a bit of “influence” with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (U-S-A!!!), who recently squashed a bipartisan compromise minutes before it hit the floor.

If Personal Audio succeeds in their efforts with Carolla, they will then have legal backing to go after EVERY podcast. Thankfully the Ace Man is not rolling over and giving in; he intends to take fight the case in court.

Is Carolla’s personal brand enough to effect change? It depends on whether or not his followers actually do something about the situation. What can they do? It’s as easy as 1…2… Well, just 1…2.

  1. Donate to the Adam Carolla defense fund here.
  2. Learn more about patent reform and what can be done by watching this video:


Mahalo
Jaime Hamel, Digital Strategist, The S3 Agency

None More Black…OR IS THERE?

Topping my list of comedies is the legendary music mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap. This now classic movie parodies all things heavy metal and hard rock through the eyes and actions of a fictitious British rock band named Spinal Tap. During a discussion of their new record cover for “Smell the Glove,” (censored into a simple flood of black and nothing else), guitarist Nigel Tufnel points out “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” Well apparently it can get more black, as a recent invention shows.

A British company has produced Vantablack, a new material that is so black you can’t even see it. As the article cites: The material is so dark that if someone wore a dress made out of it, their head and limbs “might appear to float incorporeally around a dress-shaped hole.”

Goths may want to hold off on the rejoicing, however, as the material probably won’t make it into a clothing line anytime soon. What Vantablack will be used for is more serious, astronomical cameras, telescopes and infrared scanning systems to function more effectively – as well as military uses which, of course, remain top secret. Read more about it here.

~ Mike Kolatac, Associate Creative Director, The S3 Agency

Editor’s Note: There’s something to be said for the branding of Spinal Tap, which continues to live on decades after the movie was shown in theaters.

"Undress Me" – The Steamy Sequel

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Director Tatia Pilieva is at it again…and this time it’s with a bolder, more risqué video called “Undress Me.” In her second video, Pilieva asks strangers to undress and hop into bed together. While her first video (“First Kiss”) was created to support the clothing brand WREN, “Undress Me” is a teaser for the season two premier of “Masters of Sex,” which aired on July 13th on Showtime.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the “First Kiss” video went insanely viral this past spring and the sequel seems to be following suit. Since its launch about a week ago, “Undress Me” has already garnered over 10 million YouTube.



In her branded video stunt, Pilieva appeals to the voyeur in us – a brilliant use of YouTube. This video captures all the fun and awkward moments between the strangers…and may just make you jealous that you weren’t asked to participate in the making of it. It also may just make you want to watch “Masters of Sex.”

Well done Titia, well done.

~ Tracey Jeffas, Account Supervisor, The S3 Agency

A SAD DAY FOR BALLS

Hanes just released the latest commercial for their X-Temp technology underwear – featuring none other than basketball legend Michael Jordan. The brand has 25 years in with Jordan as their spokesperson…so can they keep the creativity fresh? Let’s take a look.

X-Temp technology is supposed to help Hanes’ new underwear keep you cool and dry regardless of body temperature. In this spot Jordan puts an X-Temp technology tester to the test to see if the high-tech underthings can, shall we say, take the heat. Jordan quietly yet intimidatingly lingers over an X-Temp technology tester who is attempting to get his golf game on…and…that’s it…the end…done.

We just watch as the sad sap tries to deal with the pressure of playing golf in front of Jordan. We see the sad sap having a tough day on the green filled with embarrassing moments – like retrieving his ball from a tree and backing his golf cart into another. Yet none of these moments scream that super-undergarment-technology was required and, frankly, they just aren’t that funny.

Thankfully this commercial was so boring that no balls could have been hurt in the making. Have 30 sec? Go ahead and knock yourself out:

~ Stefanie Fernandez, Account Supervisor, The S3 Agency

Editor’s Note: Ironically, our patented “Campaign Success Predictor” chart would rate this spot all budget and no balls!

CAN THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR LAST DECADES?

Some things stay with you from your youth. I can recite the G.I. Joe theme song. I remember T.G.I.F. every Friday with Steve Urkel and company. And, I remember this Staples commercial vividly…


This ad first aired in 1995, when I was in elementary school, so it’s old enough to vote. Imagine my surprise when I heard that familiar jingle still being used as recently as last month. Is it wise to still use the same ad? Many “kids” that were annoyed by this commercial are now having children of their own, and the back to school memory it triggers can’t be a pleasant one.

On the other hand, they now get to play the part of that goofy dad, excitedly holding those staplers and singing, ”There going baccckk”. It is a testament to the effectiveness of the ad itself that it can still be used today without touching it. Imagine almost any other commercial from that time period still being used today, like these 90s spots:


None really hold up. So thanks for the memories Staples, and congrats on a timeless ad. Now if I could just wipe the smirk off that dads face…


~ Mike D’Ambrosio, Interactive Art Director, The S3 Agency

LIP GLOSS…AND OTHER GENDER FAILURES IN ADVERTISING

I have a Facebook friend who, well, makes it worth being on Facebook. While I haven’t seen this friend face-to-face in years, she never ceases to post thought-provoking content…something tells me she must have a history in the advertising industry.

Recently she posted the “Verizon: Inspire Her Mind” ad with the simple comment “hmm.” How nice, I thought, that this friend is inviting me to formulate my own opinion rather than to simply adopt hers. So, here’s my opinion (or rant, as the case may be).

My dislike of so-called “Girl Power” ads has been bubbling in my skull for some time now, so it may just be that this one is getting the brunt of my frustration because it’s the most recent. For me, this video missed the boat in a few ways:

1. Right off the bat: Who doesn’t call their daughter pretty? Or their son handsome? These types of compliments don’t deter kids from pursuing dreams. There’s nothing wrong with telling your child you think they’re adorable, as long as that’s not the only thing you tell them.

2. The comments made by these phantom parents are comments that could be made to ANY child - girl or boy. Boys are told not to get dirty or make messes as much as girls are (probably even more so if you’ve ever witnessed the mess one little boy is capable of making), and the elder of any sibling would probably be any parents’ choice for the wielding of power tools. While the parents do come across as sticks in the mud, their comments are not gender-specific.

3. While I get the payoff, at what point did applying lipgloss in a reflective surface become a tragic event? For all we know, afterwards this little girl could have trotted off to her advanced chemistry class and entered an award-winning project into that science fair after all. The message of her losing confidence or giving up is just not there for me - even brilliant physicists apply lip gloss occasionally.

Which brings me to the biggest issue: the message that femininity and intelligence are mutually exclusive. I suppose that if you’re going to be smart, you better toss all your makeup and stock up on elastic-waisted khakis. At what point did it become failure to be “girly”? This video might give props to all the girls out there who want to be engineers, but does it also frown upon those who’d rather be something less left-brained?

To look at a personal case study, I was fortunate enough to grow up in an extremely supportive household where my parents never treated me any particular way just because I happened to be female. I learned to cook, but I also learned how to drive a stick shift (both at the age of 11). I learned to sew a and I learned to fish. I had all kinds of opportunities - and I ended up as an art major. GASP! I must have failed. My PARENTS must have failed! I am not an engineer. Or an astronomer. Or a physicist. But yet…I’m happy. Because I was allowed to choose a path that was right for me.   

The focus of these collective ads needs to shift. Rather than being gender-specific or career-sector-specific, a better use of energy would be to simply acknowledge the fact that all kids, male or female, have different interests and strengths that need to be fostered. As a society, we give the traditional female roles of motherhood and being a homemaker practically no credit, though there are few jobs as important as raising the next generation. We steer boys away from classes like Home Ec in favor of more “manly” pursuits, regardless of where their interests really lie. We shove ALL kids onto the path of technology, whether it meshes with their young brains or not. We need to take a step back and look at the child herself, not the trends. Whatever her interests are, they should be respected, fostered and allowed to flourish because a society can’t grow if it’s made up of only one type of person anyway.

I don’t know what my son will grow up to be. I do know that I will be supportive of whatever path he chooses. And I will always tell him how handsome I think he is.   

-Trish Salge, Opinionated Sr. Art Director, The S3 Agency

Is Samsung’s “Wall Huggers” the Brand’s Most Compelling Ad Yet?

I love my iPhone. At least, that’s what I tell myself. The reality is I’m used to my iPhone…including the fact that I’m constantly on the hunt for a power source to keep my ever-low battery charged. Samsung’s new commercial for the Galaxy S5 exploits the iPhone’s greatest weakness, calling iPhone users “wall huggers” who are “tethered to the wall” with their charger cords. Up until now, “plugged in” had a positive connotation — but when one sees the unfortunate iPhone users enslaved to power outlets in an airport, those who have been in that situation (including me) may start to wonder if the iPhone is, indeed, worth their loyalty.

The brand has done something brilliant with this spot: it’s not about tech-spertise. It’s not about bigger screen. It’s not about being cool. What Samsung’s new ad does is awake iPhone users from their Apple-defensive comas with a reminder that mobile phones are supposed to free you from plugging in. I remember my pre-smartphones that would last for days on a single charge. Samsung appears to be promising me I can get that back, complete with all of the features I expect from a Smart Phone.

Will I continue to be a pitiful wall hugger when my contract is up? This is the first time I can honestly say I’m not sure…which means the commercial is doing it’s job. And it’s not just speaking to me: almost 700,000 have elected to watch this :60 spot on YouTube within the first day it aired. Looks like Samsung is trying to let power-outlet-freedom ring in time for July 4!

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency