It’s Personal: Three Brands Making Marketing a Personalized Experience

As social media has lifted the barriers between brand and consumer, making one-on-one conversations not just possible but expected, marketing has begun to shift to beyond-niche levels. Smart brands are targeting consumers on a personal level, making marketing into a customized, exclusive experience that feels like it is just for them. Kleenex and Kotex were two brands at the forefront of the personalized marketing movement, both targeting small groups through Facebook and Pinterest respectively, and sending care packages and personalized crafts to only a few hundred individuals. Each gained impressions far beyond the small number of people who were sent gifts, by making them feel they had a personal interaction with the brands that was unique enough to share (and re-share). Here are three more brands that have recently gotten personal with their marketing to get the attention of young consumers:

 

1. Wendy’s: Pretzel Love Songs

Wendy’s is launching their Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger (a product aimed, of course, at Millennials) by spreading the pretzel love through song. Their Pretzel Love Songs aren’t just a jingle though, but are composed to feature fans’ tweets about the new burger. After encouraging burger-lovers to use the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs to post about the new item, Wendy’s staged a live event starring Nick Lachey crooning ballads featuring the pretzel love messages. A YouTube channel for the campaign features artist Eric Michaels singing the pretzel love songs at a white piano as each  individual customer’s tweets are displayed on screen.

The Personal Twist: Getting young fans involved and featuring them on an individual level by showcasing their creativity and encouraging conversation in a ridiculously humorous way.

 

2. Heineken: Departure Roulette

As part…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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