Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New InTouch Credit Union TV Spots Let Members and Employees Tell the Story
Dallas, Texas, July 20, 2010-In a new round of: 30 TV spots developed to introduce the general public to InTouch Credit Union http://www.itcu.org, members and employees do the speaking.
The concept of letting members and employees tell their own personal stories involving the credit union was brought to the management team by the Culturelab agency who have been working with InTouch for the last 2 years to help recruit younger members.
CultureLab, http://www.culturelabcreative.com a Dallas based agency focused on insight, intelligence and engagement of next generation consumers presented the idea to ITCU’s management team that the most powerful advertising comes from referrals and word of mouth recommendations from satisfied customers.
Kevin Walker, managing partner of CultureLab, states, “In an era where consumers are so much more informed and empowered it is important to have strong and consistent brand narrative. With InTouch we have a great opportunity to start the narrative off right by letting the credit union members and employees set the tone and articulate what makes InTouch such a great credit union.”
“We have so many terrific member experience stories to share,” said Diane Gerstner, EVP of the Credit Union, “and we feel fortunate that our members are both passionate and loyal”.
The new TV spots feature 3 Credit Union members and one employee who tell their stories of positive interaction with InTouch Credit Union and interaction with Credit Union members. One of the featured members is Abi Ferrin, a Dallas based fashion designer, who benefited greatly from a line of credit InTouch Credit Union provided her.
Many companies are now looking for more emotional and authentic ways to connect with consumers. Instead of pushing out brand messages, they are allowing consumers to help define their brands by paying more attention to customer opinion and feedback. This is the approach taken to introduce ITCU and to define how ITCU is a “best in class” credit union when it comes to being attuned to their members’ needs.
The new spots will first be aired during the Dallas Cowboys preseason televised games. There will also be an online component to the campaign, with a heavy Facebook focus.
About In Touch Credit Union:
Headquartered in Plano, Texas, InTouch Credit Union serves more than 71,000 members in 21 locations throughout the United States. The organization holds assets totaling more than $870 million. Customer deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Association.
Media Contact: Kevin Walker, CultureLab, 972.835.2366
Monday, July 12, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Last month, I spoke at the Dallas Advertising League luncheon on the future of branding and specifically the future of multicultural/urban marketing. Here are the key points that I shared with the audience:
- Have A Brand Narrative: In the age of clutter, sub-segmentation, and proliferation of mediums your brand identity has to be consistent and strong. You also have to make it very very clear as to why consumers should care about you.
- The Science of Consumer Influence is Here: the methodologies for effective marketing are changing and becoming more scientific. Digital advertising and the results from social media outreach are easily measured. Analytics and rich data enable continual optimization of marketing offers and placement. Soon consumers will be broken down into genomes instead of segments much like what Pandora does for music lovers. The principles of behavioral targeting are continuously refining. Also the science of the influencer and virality will be studied even more as WOM and influencers can enhance the success of products and marketing campaigns. Just reference agencies like Mekanism and the embedded video here of Tom Phillip’s talking about Sociographics.
- Understand Cultural and Lifestyle Nuance-It is Never Cool To Market At The Expense of Other Racial Groups: Popeye’s and Metro PCS TV spots are two executions that are ALL WRONG (I tried to find the "Annie The Chicken Queen" spots but apparently the agency has removed them from youtube). These spots unapologetically revel in stereotypes. The new KIA hamster spots, however, are ALL RIGHT, the song choice of Black Sheep’s “The Choice is Yours” and the urban scenarios displayed show real insight and showcase understanding of cultural nuance. The KIA spots are also universal with the use of Hamsters as the subjects.4. There is a Decreasing Need for Ethnically Segmented Creative, MASS is MASS, However Targeted Engagement is Increasing in Importance: For the next generation consumer, ethnicity is not at the forefront of their identity, lifestyle is, so you are out of step if you are marketing to them based on ethnicity only. Furthermore mashup mindsets and cross culturalism make great universal creative ideas even more important in mass mediums like Broadcast TV. However to be effective and engage young urban consumers, research and targeted digital engagement are necessary.
5. The Creative Idea is Still What Matters Most at the Dawn of the Post-Digital Age: Ideas that are status update worthy, spreadable, and buzz generating are more important than the medium. Great copywriting matters even more. Look at the success of Weiden + Kennedy’s Old Spice commercials.
- Geo Targeted Apps Are Here to Stay and They Are a GREAT Traffic Driving Tool for Retail: Apps like Foursquare can benefit retailers who embrace all of the functionality of these apps. It can be a great promotional tool, engagement tool, and disseminator of real time information. Ultimately these apps can shepherd consumers to your establishment. For consumers, geo location apps like Gowalla and Foursquare are very powerful WOM tools. Followers pay attention to the influential person’s check ins.
- Consumers are your Brand Managers: We are now living in the era of the open brand. As we have become accustomed to open source code, we think it is our right to say what we like and don’t like when it comes to brands that we are passionate about. Consumers are just as important as Brand Managers, and have to be paid close attention to. Pepsi is a large brand that clearly gets this. I referenced this back in the Super Bowl ad review, that they showed they were in step with next gen consumers by creating the Pepsi Project.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Recently, I took a trip to New York to drum up business and soak in authentic urban culture. Most of my meetings were with Account Planners at large agencies who we have partnered with in the past. (Shout out to Carmen Baez and Alvaro Cifuentes of Omnicom DAS Global, Katy Alonzo of Anomaly, Dick DeLange of JWT, Ted Ellet of Draft FCB NY, and Andre Torres, Michael Coxen Loren Odom, and Adrian Younge of Waxpoetics magazine. Loren and Adrian are incredible musicians who are doin' it in the retro funk genre emerging from NY and LA.)
CultureLab is a forward-thinking Trends & Behavior Research, Marketing, and Creative
agency that utilizes the results of current and anticipatory lifestyle intelligence to help
brands and institutions better and more effectively market to their consumer. Our efforts
generally focus on youth and young adult (NextGen/ Millennial's) anthropology and social
media as it continues to evolve in the realm of technology. The name CultureLab reflects
our research based approach in understanding the NextGen consumer.
Simply put, we are strategists, digital comm planners, writers, filmmakers, researchers and
designers that take a look at what’s current, predict what’s to come and use that
information, unfiltered, to create and execute effective marketing and creative plans. Think
of us as a think tank slash marketing agency slash creative boutique.
Our Research leads to Strategy. Strategy to Engagement. Effective Engagement creates a
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
- 97% of teens spend two hours or more on social media sites
- 95% update their status at least once a day
- Don't really use Foursquare or Gowalla
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
There is a word being thrown around, “skurban” which speaks to the merging of “skater” with “urban”. The imagery of Mohawks, skateboarding, punk rock, and slam dancing is different from the gun toting thug imagery of hip hop in the past, Soulja Boy Tell’em and Pharrell Williams have been a big reason why. Consider it a new young urban energy with Soulja Boy Tell’em and Pharrell Williams as the crowned princes of this movement.
Soulja Boy Tell’em is not a one hit wonder, rather he is a savvy pied piper of Black Southern teens much like Miley Cyrus is to young teen girls. Much can be said for his impact on digital hustle, his controversial influence on the sound of southern hip hop, and his emphasis on fun. Love him or hate him he has had a noticeable impact.
One other thing to note is that this young energy urban movement has sprung from Atlanta.
Reverse migration of African Americans to the
Southern states has resulted in the south as being the epicenter for Black urban culture, particularly in music. Atlanta is ground zero. Wocka Flocka Flame’s O Let’s Do It and Roscoe Dash’s All The Way Turnt Up are two of the hottest songs on pop and urban music stations and both artists are Atlanta based.
My favorite of the two is Wocka Flocka Flame’s O Let’s Do It. I love the punk rock energy displayed in the video and the catchy chorus. Hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
posted by Kevin Walker
Last week Chiqui Cartagena of Story Worldwide Marketing wrote a very nice piece in Advertising Age’s Big Tent about the ongoing lag between marketers’ cross cultural marketing efforts and the reality of changing demographics in the U.S.
The day her article was published I happened to watch MTV Hits channel and was struck by a couple of music videos that played. The videos were Three 6 Mafia with Tiesto, Flo Rida and Sean Kingston’s “Feel It”. This video has 8.2 million hits thus far
and Justin Bieber and Ludacris’ “Baby” with 28 million hits:
It occurred to me that some of these musical artists/hitmakers are savvier marketers than many of us who are MBA trained, and formally trained marketers. They have made a conscious decision to give the marketplace what it wants which is mashup approaches, the mixing and meshing of genres and to appeal across ethnic groups. Is there something to this? The proof is in the hits! This music blurs the lines but is ultimately appealing to the masses: is it Techno? Is it Pop? Is it Reggaeton? Is it Hip-Hop? So, if the lines of music are blurring, what are the implications for other sections of culture outside of music, particularly how it impacts consumer marketing.
I have been documenting this new crossover/mashup mindset that is emerging among both urban and suburban youth for quite sometime, check out these earlier posts: Crossover Dreams, and One Youth Nation Under A Groove. Now there is more evidence that this mashup/crosscultural aesthetic is mainstream and my question to marketers is how will you respond to be more relevant with the next generation of consumers?
To connect to Latino youth, do you think it is relevant to make Latino Heritage month celebrations cornerstones of your Hispanic youth outreach efforts? Based on research we have done, that may not be the most impactful way to go.
From what I have seen, the agency world is still practicing a rigid market segregation, and many of their Client’s marketing budgets reflect this. There is the General Market marketing budget, the Hispanic marketing budget, and sometimes, an African American and Asian marketing budget. The newly emerging “mashup mindset” that we are talking about poses an interesting challenge for marketers in the context of mashup mindsets.
As it relates to connecting to young people, perhaps there should be coherent youth strategies implemented, along with formally budgeting for these efforts. Also, because of the complexity of youth identity, the role of account planning and insights will dramatically increase in significance in crafting marketing strategies targeted to them.
The reality is that for many young people multiculturalism/crossculturalism is organic. If you are a young person who happens to live in Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, New York, the Bay Area, I guarantee there is keen awareness of other cultures amongst young people and the influence of their associates and friends from other cultures on their tastes, resulting in this “mashup” cultural mindset.
Currently, the way the agency world is structured this organic point of view is stifled by the homogeneity of agency staffs and corporate marketing staffs. There is definitely room for innovation and new effort put toward addressing increasing diversity, and the psychocgraphic and demographic shifts occuring with the next generation of consumers. I know I am beating a dead horse but there is so much potential being untapped. I would like to challenge us to begin the work to convince our clients and fellow agency cohorts to put new approaches into play and to take steps to reflect back to the marketplace the organic way in which young people relate to each other and the brands they love.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Part of our offering as a youth think tank/marketing consultancy is to study and harness the latest communication mediums to help our clients connect to their next gen constituents effectively. One of our most in demand offerings for Clients is what the industry has pegged as DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT. In terms of next generation marketing, digital engagement should now be considered an integral part of your marketing mix.
CultureLab views digital engagement as an ongoing manipulation of the virtual “toggle switch” between offline and online promotion/events + digital communications. Think of it simply as the leveraging of sales promotion, event engagement, social media content creation, and social media communication.
For the last 7 months our agency implemented and managed a digital engagement outreach initiative for EDS Credit Union (now InTouch Credit Union) called The Arrival Guide. Part of our strategy was to experiment with social media and to implement the process of digital engagement to build a stronger, more authentic connection to young adult members and potential members. Thus, we created thearrivalguide.com as our home base for digital engagement. Along with thearrivalguide.com microsite, we also created a Facebook page, and Twitter account all linked to thearrivalguide.com.
Because of digital engagement, we have also been able to dramatically increase traffic to thearrivalguide.com. When our thearrivalguide.com sweepstakes launched on February 1st 2010, traffic increased on the site by 900%
Here are a few notable results from our effort
• The number of members under 35 have increased by almost 20% since the launch of thearrivalguide.com in August of 2009
• Google Analytics showed that after implementation of The Arrival Guide sweepstakes traffic to thearrivalguide.com increased by over 900%
• Branch managers of the Credit Union also reported increased traffic in branches from younger members due to thearrivalguide.com promotions
• Engagement has to be a two way interaction, one way (marketer to consumer) does not work for younger consumers
• Giving is marketing, you must consistently provide something of value to the consumer first before you can sell.
• The use of video embedded on the microsite helped with SEO and promoted viral embedding
• Twitter and Facebook were our most effective tools for broadcasting our promotions and broadcasting special offers
• Facebook and Flickr provide opportunities to reinforce the “fun” aspects of our marketing effort, younger consumers love sharing pictures.
• Content curation and continuous refreshing of content are key to maintaining interest in your social media properties-this is a time intensive process
• The use of social media alone should never substitute for an intergrated marketing effort-we used tv ads to help drive traffic to thearrivalguide.com