Dispensing wellness on-the-go

We've all been there - you're at work or traveling and have a headache (from the previous day's happy hour) and no aspirin on hand. Or you get a spontaneous booboo and don't have bandaids in your bag or an easy way to get some.

CVS is experimenting with bringing the pharmacy to consumers via vending machines featuring basic OTC items. The machines will be at locations like airports, public transportation stations, corporate parks and more, and have an interactive screen as well as scanner so you can still use your rewards bucks. The pharmacy chain is starting with select installations in New England, but hopefully this type of consumer convenience innovation becomes more common place.

If you build it, drive them there

What happens if your business opens up in a new place, but the location is kind of remote? 

You create your own bus line explicitly just for the sake of getting to that location. That is what Burger King did when its first restaurant in Brussels opened in an inconvenient location. In light of this, there was concern about getting people to go to the restaurant because, of course, they want to sell food, but also because if it's that inconvenient to get there it could be a negative experience and leave a bad taste in their mouth before they even order. So the company spared no expense to make it more convenient for consumers to get mouth watering Whopper goodness with its Whopper Bus Line to take hungry consumers directly there.

The heart and sole of a purchase

TOMS is the shoe brand adored (and adorned) by many, and for years it has helped consumers feel good about buying a product that directly gives back to others.

TOMS is amplifying its efforts this year to build a stronger connection between its mission, the consumers, and those who are receiving a pair of shoes as a result of a purchase, and the brand is focusing its one-for-one efforts specifically on refugees.

The initiative includes special edition shoes with messages of peace in different languages on the sole that gives the feeling of unity, knowing the consumer and a recipient of TOMS shoes are both spreading a positive message in the world, even if they are worlds apart. AR is being used at stores to allow consumers to virtually see and experience what the refugee camps are like where TOMS is giving back, and makes something that may otherwise seem remote, or abstract even, feel more tangible. And, for social, consumers will get a picture that shows the consumer's left foot wearing their shoes, paired with a picture of a recipient's right foot with their shoe. I mean, the feels are real. 

The initiative strengthens what the brand already stands for in a powerful way, while truly allowing consumers to connect with a cause greater than themselves and see the impact they are making from the simple act of buying a shoe.  

A cliffhanger of an experience

When you have a consumer with a specific passion and needs, it's good to go out and meet them where they are.

Like, say, a cliff. Company 37.5 Technology did just that and launched a remote pop-up shop to reach hardcore climbers. The location is known for having potentially big shifts in weather, so the company handed out gear to climbers who may not have dressed appropriately, or to those who were interested in experiencing the benefit of the clothing's technology mid-climb. While the volume of people they reached may have been on the smaller side, having a high quality interaction with your core consumer is worth it.

It says a lot about a company that's willing to go to new heights to support their consumers' passions and try to help enhance their experience. 

Prost to function & style

Grab a pretzel and don your lederhosen - Oktoberfest is here.

adidas Originals created a suede shoe for Oktoberfest-going consumers that incorporate fun elements into the design, including an embroidered pretzel on the back, the word “Prost” (Cheers) is featured above the classic 3 stripe, among others. These elements alone are kitschy enough to get people to buy them. But adidas went one step further and considered the context of where people would wear the shoe – at Oktoberfest (or other drunken festivals) where the beer flows, especially onto the floor as people get more drunk. So they made the shoes beer (and maybe even puke) proof.

This allows people to keep their style without the worry of ruining the shoes forever, which makes for a great experience all around.

Preparing the next purchasing generation early

Hulu was the first before Netflix and Amazon Prime. But, they missed the boat by not investing in original programming early. Now they've taken a very positive step to get that market back. 

Hulu and Spotify created a joint marketing program that has broken the price barrier directed at their most important potentially profitable market….college students. Spotify Premium for Students with Hulu is available to all qualifying new and existing Spotify student subscribers. It includes Spotify’s premium service and Hulu’s limited commercials plan for just $4.99 a month. 

Students already optimize their entertainment experience through their mobile device or their computer or tablet and not through a television set. That’s reality. This new marketing strategy acknowledges that experience and seamlessly integrates, making it a win win! In the long run, getting students to see the value of Hulu through this program will translate into stringer retention once they graduate and the price goes up.

The Reality of Short Attention Span Is Impacting How Brand Tell Their Story

I love my DVR. I love the fact that I can record my favorite shows and then speed through the commercials. Yeah, that's right, even us industry folks do it! 

But if those commercials were just six seconds, would you give them a chance? Brands are hoping you will, and if not, well, it will just be an annoying experience because by the time you are ready to push that FF button, it will be time to hit stop. The clicker just can’t click fast enough. 
The format has built up buzz since Google threw its stake in the ground when the best examples of its six-secondhackathon were highlighted at Sundance in January. Then in June, Fox announced it was on board with six-second video ads. And, at the end of last month, Facebook revealed it was going to work on its six-second ad game during its second-quarter earnings call. 
The experience of clicking through will change completely.

Why tell a story when you can experience it?

As a parent myself, I have always been mindful of how much sugar and salt my kids are eating. It's shocking just how much sugar is being absorbed into our kids’ systems every day. So shocking, in fact, that Kind Bars brought the statistics disturbingly to life in Times Square last week by dumping over 45,000 lbs of sugar there to show just how much sugar the kids in the US eat every five minutes

As an answer to the problem, Kind is touting its new fruit snack, Kind Fruit Bites, which contain just fruit and no added sugar. 
What stands out with this execution is they could've easily just thrown some facts at you in their advertising, but instead, they made the benefits of their products, juxtaposed against a problem is solves, feel like an experience that packs a MUCH bigger punch. 

They get that the future of marketing shouldn’t be sugarcoated!

A "tiny" inspiration delivers a big impact

It seems that you can’t turn around anywhere without seeing a new tiny house tv show or feature on a website or even in a magazine. I’m the first to admit that I really like the idea of a Tiny House, but I have so much stuff! 

Well, Otter Pops, a staple of the parental grocery basket for the past 47 years, harnessed the power of the appeal of tiny houses to attract attention at retail stops like Walmart and major events like iHeart Radio Wango Tango Concert and the World Series of Beach Volleyball, to name a few. 

The 18-foot by 26-foot Otter Pops “bungalow” has a beachy, industrial-cool feel with cedar wood planking, metal and wire deck railings with the brand’s signature blue and red logo colors and whimsical otter characters as accents. The space offered an immersive experience by giving passerbys a place to "chill out" (see what I did there), play games, watch TV, and of course, sample Otter Pops served up by Poptenders!Now that’s big thinking in a small space!

Changing the way we think about a brand


Sometimes familiarity with a brand makes it invisible. You think you know everything there is to know and that puts you in a position to not care. For example, I bet you think you know pretty much all you need to know about Cheetos. They're cheesy, they're crunchy, they have a Cheetah for a pitch-man, and they leave a florescent orange evidence trail noticeable to blow up any dieters spot. 

Well, if you had experience The Spotted Cheetah, a Cheetos pop-up restaurant in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood at the close of Restaurant Week, you would know you're wrong. See, Cheetons actually now comes in 21 different flavors in North America and this pop up restaurant became a showcase for all that deliciousness.  

Connecting with Food Network star, Anne Burrell to bring the restaurant to life, recipes that ranged from Cheetos Meatballs to Flamin Hot Limón Chicken Tacos to Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake gave consumers a whole new experience Cheetos. 
That’s sticky marketing with a crunchy topping!

Don’t we all still love vacation?

American people are known to take some of their most cherished memories and souvenirs back from vacation. However, as a country we are taking less and less vacation as time goes on. Jet Blue is certainly aware of this trend and is trying to remind Americans how necessary a good vacation is, and how Jet Blue is the perfect vehicle to get you there. While they continue to add value to the in-flight experience, they are also addressing the problem head on through a line of office souvenirs. These souvenirs (ex: a plate that reads “Remember those free bagels?”) are a sarcastic way to remind people how fun taking a vacation can be.

These souvenirs remind consumers of the experiences they have yet to take. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, they spark a deeper conversation as to why as Americans we aren’t using all of our PTO. It seems as though these souvenirs are bought as a reminder to go out and buy better souvenirs from a more memorable location. So as Jet Blue reminds people of the lost art of vacation, they’re hoping the conversation they started will be punctuated by booking a Jet Blue fight to your favorite destination.
Now your brand news diet is chockfull of tasty tales of Customer Experiences (CX). Served-fresh every morning for your daily recommended dose of marketing inspirations. Never sugar coated. May contain nuts. Archives | Look back at these past bites