Celtic Weighs in on Best Super Bowl Ads

Even with an exciting game unfolding on the field, most of us here at Celtic view the football as the filler between the real main attraction – the commercials! No platform provides advertisers with more buzz or – with 103 million viewers – more eyeballs.

To offer a glimpse into the conversations that dominate the water cooler at Celtic post-Super Bowl, we gave each of our team leaders a homework assignment for Super Bowl Sunday. Each was asked to evaluate the ads, make a case for the best of the night, and predict its impact. Here are the results:

Marlene: Winner is Tide
I believe the Tide ads were the winner of the Super Bowl commercial challenge because their brilliant concept turned every ad into a Tide ad. They made us laugh while still making the ad about the product and its benefits. The variety of the creative allowed them to reach multiple audiences from cowboys to babies to men, it was relevant across markets and delivered impact on the importance of CLEAN. The creative matched the marketing strategy of the product while still being entertaining. I predict the ad will jump-start sales and also take the spotlight away from the teenage challenge of eating their Pods product.

Blair: NFL Ad Takes the Prize
The NFL ad featuring Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. practicing an elaborate touchdown celebration dance copied almost directly from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing was effective and entertaining. The mix of humor, interaction of two of the league’s most well-known players and the NFL’s stance of now welcoming end zone celebrations, made for a memorable ad that is both fun and light. The NFL has had a lot of controversy in the past year and this ad served to position the league differently and put a positive spin on its future.

Danielle: Visit Australia Wins
Reviving epic 80’s movie scenes seemed to be the night’s trend, and an impersonating “Dundee” stole the show. The bait and switch tactic of making viewers believe a Crocodile Dundee revival had us champing at the bit for a summer release announcement. The stunningly visual Australian landscape shots mixed with Danny McBride’s humor made for an entertaining watch. The ad was so popular it surged an online petition for a real film to be made.

Kurt: The Lexus/ Black Panther Commercial Takes the Crown
I am always fascinated with movie/product tie-in efforts, most especially with cars. Most are completely irrelevant, but this one works if for anything the sheer irony. It even ends with “long live the king.” If that doesn’t make consumers want to buy Lexus nothing will.

Jim: Bud Does It Again
Most of the commercials lost their funny bone this year. But the ad that shined was steeped in emotional brand connections. Real workers from Budweiser’s Cartersville, Ga. brewery are featured in this ad, which focuses on Anheuser-Busch’s emergency water program. A mix of heart, corporate responsibility and product placement aligned beautifully to telling viewers they are more than just products. They are a company made up of employees that stand shoulder to shoulder with people in need. In the midst of tragedy, Budweiser helped… a brand promise we all can get behind.

So who should hoist the trophy for the competition off the field? Let us know in the comments which of these five was your favorite, or if you think our group missed the real winner.

Follow the “Four Gift” Rule for Incentive Marketing Ideas that Convert

With the holidays now in full swing, a popular rule for gift giving shared on social media might just offer some sound marketing advice as well. The “Four Gift” rule suggests that parents limit gifts for each child to “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” So what can marketers take from this approach to gift giving?

When it comes to developing landing pages for digital campaigns, the incentive you are offering your audience will ultimately determine your conversion rate and the success of your campaign. To determine the landing page offer that will work best for your next email or PPC campaign, start by considering the categories represented in the “four gift” rule…

Something they want: For most kids, this first gift is the “fun” present. Whether it’s the hot new toy that no store can keep in stock or the latest video game, the “want” gift is the one they are most excited to start playing with once all of the presents have been opened. Marketers shouldn’t be afraid to embrace a little fun and games themselves.

Consider challenging your audience to a fun quiz or to enroll in your gamification program. There’s a reason social media pages and viral content sites keep churning out tests and quizzes – we can’t resist them! Asking your readers to test their knowledge on your industry or subject matter is a fun way to keep them engaged and share some key brand message points along the way. An additional prize can always sweeten the pot, but you may be surprised at how well your audience responds to the game itself.

Something they need: Even if you haven’t followed the “four gift” rule in the past, there’s a good chance you’ve given a gift that falls in the “need” category. It’s probably the present least likely to make the recipient’s face light up upon opening. It likely also ended up getting used more than any other present under the tree.

You may find similar results by incenting your readers with a tool they “need” rather than something they may “want.” This can be given as a small gift to everyone who completes the requested action or offered as entry into a drawing to win one larger gift. These incentives help show your audience that you understand their field and know how to help them succeed. It can also help limit the responses to only those with a real vested interest in your market. Beyond your initial campaign, your tool will also keep your brand top of mind with the reader using it in the months to come.

Something to wear: Let’s be honest – we all like free stuff. Depending on the audience you are targeting, clothing may still be a popular draw – particularly the classic T-shirts or hats. Don’t overlook some of the most basic giveaways without first testing your audience’s response to such an offer. (As a bonus, including your logo on any clothing can turn your “conversion” into a “brand advocate.”)

If you find that a more traditional clothing giveaway isn’t garnering strong interest, consider combining this category with “something they need” to offer some clothing or accessories that can help with the daily demands of their job.

Something to read: The classic whitepaper or market report may be the most frequently used carrot to dangle in front of an audience, but that’s because they still draw so much interest. Offering your audience “something to read” with valuable statistics and marketplace insight is a great way to provide useful information that can help them succeed while demonstrating thought leadership within your area of expertise. As a bonus for marketers, this “gift” comes at no cost to give outside of the man hours it took you to create it.

Building successful landing pages that drive conversions requires a number of well-executed elements converging to prompt your audience to act. Choosing the right incentive is just one consideration, but one that can have the greatest impact on your outcome. As you plan your digital marketing efforts for 2018, keep the “four gift” rule in mind to offer the perfect incentive for your target audience.

Article originally appeared in Website Magazine.

Did You Hear That?

A great P.O.P. display will draw shoppers from a distance and encourage them to interact with your product. The ease of access to the product influences their engagement, as does where you place products within the display. The sweet spot for visual engagement is 3.5 to 4.5 feet from the floor. The display should focus the attention on your merchandise, allowing the products to speak for themselves. Be bold but brief and let the packaging sell the product with easy-to-read fonts and images.

When designing a display for Starbar’s agricultural insect control line, Celtic incorporated the sound of buzzing flies activated as shoppers passed by. This attention-grabbing element worked to attract customers to the display where the packaging told shoppers why these products are their best choice in fly control. We highlighted benefits and let the brand stand out from the competition.

Having designed a number of these displays for various products and markets, here are three P.O.P. design tips:

  1. If you’re running a special promotion in your marketing, reflect that messaging to reinforce immediate recognition.
  2. Design the P.O.P. so that messaging flows around the display for in-aisle, end caps and side wings. It allows for multi-use of the same design.
  3. Adding sound or motion can enhance the display, but only if they are appropriate for your products. Be careful not to overdo either as it can transform your display from intriguing and fun to annoying and avoided.

See examples of Celtic’s client work here 

Collaboration is the Key to the Ideal Work Space

As we settle into our new Celtic home, we are all still working through some of the unknowns following a big move. What light does this switch turn on? Which of these keys opens which drawer? Where are we storing the extra coffee? The one thing we know for sure is that great ideas are going to come to life within these walls. That’s because this new space was designed through collaboration, for collaboration.

A recent study by Gensler, a leading design and architecture firm, found that innovative companies are five times more likely to have work spaces that prioritize both individual and group work space. This was the primary goal when we first started to dream up our new home, using the move as a perfect opportunity to improve the way we collaborate, create and connect. Our president, Marlene, viewed the new space as a blank slate, and wanted to ensure the entire agency had a say in planning the finished product. As we began the design process, each of Celtic’s four divisions met with our interior designer to discuss team needs and wants, and create mood boards to help illustrate each team’s vision. The end result? An innovative, fluid concept, focusing on our three biggest needs; open space, functionality and more areas for collaboration.

We believe the best work comes from teamwork, and with multiple meeting areas, rooms and nooks, the office is built to facilitate multiple brainstorm sessions and impromptu meetings. We can write on the walls, chat on couches and in padded booths, or get competitive in a game-themed “Board Room.” Even the individual offices and work spaces are arranged in larger, more open environments that offer a refreshing change from the more segmented layout of our old space. Plus, we have dedicated offices for clients to occasionally work from, reinforcing that “here for you” mentality.

But as big as we are on teamwork, we know when it’s time to break off and crank out the work. The same Gensler study shows that “on average, 30% to 40% of a person’s day involves solo work,” so it was important to give this component just as much thought. Efforts to minimize noise were carefully considered, allowing each of our secluded meeting spaces to double as private break away areas. Each employee’s personal work space was also customized with seating and standing options depending on that person’s preference of the day.

After huddling with professionals experienced in office design and listening to the wants and needs of every agency employee to design the perfect environment, we arrived at three key components of an office design that would allow our best and most creative selves to emerge:

  1. Wide open spaces – Open, shared work spaces are still popular in modern office design, but have been shown to work best with ample options for privacy.
  2. Come together – Teamwork makes the dream work. Providing employees with enough spaces to collaborate – both planned and on the fly – will lead to better, more creative work.
  3. Sense of purpose – Get the most out of every room in your office. We had this in mind when designing all areas, even the kitchen!


Get in the Face of Your Customers

Today, online research seems like an easy, cost-effective way to collect data. But if your questions are about “how do consumers decide in-aisle?” your research must be face-to-face. Successful in-store design must entice customers to reach out and buy. It’s vital to understand how the product looks on the shelf to them, with similar lighting and distraction.

Celtic was creating new packaging for a bed-bug-control product called PreStrike, so we conducted research inside high-end hardware stores. To understand the motivations of consumers in need of pest control, we waited in the aisle and asked for feedback as they purchased. We learned that consumers were confused about which products controlled different insects. They wanted clear instructions about application and safety information. Price was the least of their concerns.

The PreStrike packaging met their needs to match bug to product with large photos, and it provided necessary information quickly to enhance DIY confidence and drive purchases. The in-store research proved vital in presenting the new line and selling the products to the retail buyer.

Research Dos:

  1. Complete a detailed audience profile BEFORE commencing research – by knowing your target audience you can better determine how to gain insight from them.
  2. Choose locations where you will meet your audience. If you decide to assemble focus groups, emphasize to the recruiter the importance of meeting detailed criteria to ensure the respondents are an exact match to your desired audience.
  3. Be there – have the marketing and creative teams at the focus group. Watching facial expressions and conduct provides as much information as the report. Don’t be afraid to add new questions (even from behind the glass) as the discussion grows.

Telling Your Story Through Video

In the past few years, video creation has evolved to ensure storytellers can create content that is compelling. Video no longer means huge budgets or exhaustive editing to create content. The end result is that companies have an opportunity to create incredibly feature-rich content to convey messages, train employees and reach target audiences.

Research has shown that 95% of people who watch a video remember the content for up to three days while if that same information is read, only 10% recall the material within 72 hours. Creating video to disseminate information also allows companies to control their brand image.

Celtic recently worked with client Central Life Sciences to create a new corporate brand video. The client sought a solution that would provide audiences with a quick overview of the organization, its mission and varied product portfolio for a wide range of industries and markets.

With the growing demand for video, here are three key statistics supporting the marketing benefits of telling your story through video:

  1. Be Seen: Four times as many consumers would rather learn about a product or offering through watching a video than by reading about it. Give them what they want!
  2. Be Shared: Video on social media is shared 1200% more than text and image-based content.
  3. Be Sought: Studies have shown that adding video to a website can lead to as much as 157% increase in organic search traffic.

See the new corporate video for Central Life Sciences here.

Employees Are the Living Brand

It’s the employees, especially those who face your customers, who serve your brand. No logo or color or tagline can replace true branding – the reality of how the brand delivers is in the interaction with the customer. Employees flourish in organizations where the brand creates meaning and has a culture they can identify with.

According to a Gallup poll, only 27% of employees believe their companies deliver on brand promises. Most companies come up empty on this front because they overlook the single most important component of the promise – their people. Employees are your living brand. And as great ambassadors, companies need to devote time and energy to training and education so that they reflect the brand’s core values.

Central Life Sciences provides ongoing training to employees and incorporates their brand mission and core promises. Their “Science That Matters” tagline has meaning and relevance in the field and with their sales team.

Three ideas for brand training:

  1. Create a unique statement of what the company offers, what separates it from its rivals and what makes it worthy of customers’ consideration.
  2. Audit your brand promises and focus solely on those your employees can consistently deliver.
  3. Make sure your employees understand how to articulate the brand promises to every customer.

Cross Sell or Up Sell

The perfect time to sell you a pair of socks is right after you purchase shoes. The obvious reason is that your mind is focused on your feet.

In the digital environment, offers like free shipping on orders over $100 or “you might also like” suggestions help to drive the buyer to increased purchases. Face-to-face sales can be enhanced with packaging programs or “samples” to engage consumers in additional sales.

Vet-Kem needed to educate pet owners about flea control in their yards and homes. The Vet-Kem Hitchhikers campaign used a simple bag to increase the check-out discussion about integrated pest control and expand sales at the counter.

Three ideas for cross-sell promotions:

  1. Stay relevant when cross selling items. It should be an easy jump to the add-on purchase.
  2. Cross selling works best with excellent customer service – train your ambassadors and they will make the customer experience positive.
  3. Offering a price break for bundling is a great incentive especially for new product introductions.

Self-Discovery Experience for Complex Products

Selling a complex product begins with educating your target audience. Once armed with a baseline knowledge, they can feel confident enough to ask the meaningful questions needed to arrive at a decision.

This strategy was the basis for our approach for Allstate Financial and their desire to build a web experience that presents complex life insurance material to consumers. As visitors walk through the information journey, making personal selections that align to their life-stage, support facts are presented that allow them to become more confident and self-assured. Named LifeTrek, the website widget was designed to shorten the life insurance sales process so Allstate agents see consumers that are further along in the buying journey

Our strategy was to allow the user to control their excursion, presenting information that builds confidence. After the user goes through the website, a takeaway PDF is provided to the user that aggregates all of their self-assessment information with life insurance product recommendations. When the consumer is face-to-face with an agent, they are positioned to ask good questions to arrive at the best financial decision.

Allstate Financial’s campaign reflects a consultative tone and visually adjusts based on the demographic of the visitor. The user experience motion is designed to feel like a person is walking down a path to a personal solution.

Three self-guided user experience musts:

  1. Simplify the content
  2. Use a slow reveal to make the user feel in control
  3. Give them something of value

Take Time to Celebrate Your Successes

As we enter the holiday season, our minds, to-do lists and calendars can become very cluttered, very quickly. The race is on to accomplish as much as possible, both professionally and personally, in those three short weeks between Thanksgiving and the start of holiday vacations. Even with everything on our plates in the lead up to 2016, we shouldn’t forget to take time out to reflect on the year.

Whether it’s over lunch or drinks at the office, use holiday face-time to celebrate, and better yet, bond over the journey of the past year. This can go a long way toward continuing 2016 professional success. Use this time to touch on some key topics, including:

  • What worked and what didn’t work as well? Think about what might affect change in the New Year.
  • What people on the team were truly game changers in 2015? Champion those you felt made a particularly positive impact.
  • What if? Identify ideas to test that will be disruptive, focusing less on the “must-haves” and more on the “what ifs.”

Every agency-client relationship can benefit from taking time in December to celebrate all of the year’s accomplishments. For most businesses, 2016 planning is in full swing, and in a true partner relationship, both agency and client should be ready to hit the ground running right after the New Year. Until then, take a moment to raise a glass to what is possible.