When Brands Try Too Hard to Connect with Mill...

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These days, advertisers are spending 500% more on reaching Millennials than other demographics. That’s right – 500%. With this illusive demographic eating up so much of the world’s advertising dollars, there are bound to be a few mistakes here and there. And when mistakes are made while trying to reach a younger audience, the results are bound to be cringe-worthy.

As we’ve come to expect from Reddit, there’s a subreddit for that. Enter /r/FellowKids. According to the community description, this online community is, “a subreddit to showcase examples of advertisements and media that totally appeal to the radical youth of today. Cowabunga!” It’s dripping with sarcasm, but it paints a picture of this entertaining group.

Obviously, no brand wants to end up on this subreddit. So, how can you avoid this type of ridicule? In short, don’t try so hard. Millennials are pretty savvy; they know when they are being pandered to. For more insight, let’s take a look at some of the top posts and see where the brands went wrong.

What-A-Fail

What a Fail

This is a simple case of not understanding a meme. The image here is used for the meme called Confession Bear. According to KnowYourMeme – a leading source on meme origins – Confession Bear is supposed to be captioned with “confessions about taboo behaviors and controversial opinions that are often kept secret for fear of being ostracized.” Wanting Whatburger is not even a little bit taboo, especially here in Texas!

Domino’s is 4 Realz

4 Realz

The first sin is that it’s no longer cool 2 use numb3rs instead of l3tters. (See how annoying that is?) Secondly, it’s been at least 5 years since the last time someone said “4 realz” in a cool, unironic way. And finally, forcing emojis where they don’t belong is a big indicator that you’re trying too hard.

You can almost hear the pitch meeting. “Well, Millennials love emojis right? So, how can we fit that into our ordering?” The emojis here feel corporate and not at all authentic. If /r/FellowKids teaches you anything, let it be that authenticity is key to Millennials.

Mixing Memes

Mixing Memes

It’s unclear which company is at fault here, which is good for them. This super hip and totally rad shirt mixes two overused memes: Straight Outta Compton and Netflix & Chill. Both of these memes hit critical mass some time before the shirt was made.

Take it from the top comment on this post by redditor btr154, “This doesn’t even make sense. You can’t just mash things up.” Exactly, btr154, exactly.

Again, it all comes down to authenticity. If your savvy audience can practically hear the boardroom meeting about emojis, viral videos, and hashtags, you’ve gone too far. The last things Millennials want is to feel like a pawn in a corporate game.

For more totally groovy information and radical memes, make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Laterz.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Branding
tagged , , | permalink.

5 Holiday Marketing Facts You Need to Know

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Starbucks has switched to red cups, there’s a chill in the air, and it’s dark outside before 6pm. You know what that means; it’s time for businesses to start rolling out their holiday marketing.

Before you get started, however, it’s important to know what to expect from this season. Here are a few statistics to keep in mind as we head into the busiest time of the year for shopping.

1. Adobe Predicts a Record-Breaking Season

Record Breaking

Every October, Adobe releases its predictions for the upcoming holiday season. This year, Adobe predicts that online sales will reach a record $83 billion. This would mark an 11% increase over last year’s online holiday sales.

As we go further into the digital age, it should come as no surprise that online shopping continues to grow. Shopping from home saves the consumer time and keeps them from having to face the large holiday crowds. Often, shopping online saves consumers money as well, with an average discount of 27%.

These online shoppers won’t just be browsing from their desktops and laptops either. Retailers should make sure their sites are mobile friendly, as 51% of these online sales are predicted to come from mobile users.

2. Nearly All Shoppers will Go Online at Some Point

Check Online Reviews

The experts at Adobe aren’t the only ones predicting a big season for online retailers. Others are predicting that 92% of holiday shoppers will go online either to research or buy products. That number is astonishing!

Additionally, nearly half of shoppers say they do their shopping before Cyber Monday. This means that if there are any issues with your website, the time to fix them is now!

3. Give Online Shoppers a Good Deal

Online Shopping

At this point, it’s quite clear that online shopping is going to be huge this season. Online retailers can count on shoppers visiting their site. But what can you do to get these shoppers to buy from you?

According to a report by UPS, shoppers will take action when offered free shipping. Customers are willing to take a slower shipping speed in order to receive free shipping. On average, these shoppers are willing to wait seven business days. Consider this when designing your holiday sales this year.

4. It’s a Great Time to Gain New Customers

New Customers

In 2014, half of survey respondents were open to buying from a new retailer in the holiday season. That same year, 41% of shoppers actually did purchase from a retailer they had never bought from before. That number was significantly increased from 2013.

That’s great news for retailers looking to expand their customer base. With the right branding, marketing, and website, smaller businesses can gain a fair share of new fans.

5. Shoppers to Spend Big This Year

Big Spenders

The National Retail Federation predicts that shoppers plan to spend an average of $463 this year on their families. This is up a few dollars from the record-breaking $458 per shopper last year. Interestingly, shoppers also plan to splurge on themselves this year.

In fact, they are expected to spend an average of $805 each. This means that about $342 will be spent on themselves. They deserve a little reward after all that holiday shopping, right?

If you need help making sure your digital marketing is perfect for the holiday season, make sure to call Duncan/Day. For more important marketing information, tips, and news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing
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What Ronda Rousey Can Teach Us About Marketin...

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Ronda Rousey

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is quickly becoming one of the biggest sports in the United States and around the world. In fact, while the NFL, MLB, and NBA have suffered losses is their fan base, the UFC – MMA’s largest promotion – has seen unprecedented growth. It is estimated that 65 million people across the globe consider themselves UFC fans.

Fans enjoy seeing fighters of all different backgrounds and specialties compete. Fighters are trained in grappling sports like wrestling, jiu jitsu, and judo, as well as stand up sports, including boxing, muy thai, and kickboxing. And while each fighter certainly has his or her own fan base, one super star stands out among the rest: Ronda Rousey.

If you haven’t heard of Ronda Rousey until now, I’d like to welcome you out from under your rock. Rousey was the first female fighter allowed in the UFC and she has been dominating ever since. In the UFC, she has 12 wins and zero losses, and she clenched all but one of those wins in the first round. But her record isn’t the only reason she’s a superstar.

Rousey has managed to break through major barriers to become perhaps the most well known fighter in the world today. Hardcore fans, new fans, and people who have never watched a fight know her name. She’s done this through clever marketing, and I think we could all learn a few things from her success.

1. Be Your Own Biggest Advocate

We love brand influencers – the people who love your brand so much that they advocate for you without pay. They are key to gaining popularity and their importance cannot be overstated. However, at the end of the day, you must be your own biggest advocate. Because if you don’t believe in your brand, who will?

That’s what Rousey had to do, and it worked incredibly well. In January 2011, UFC President Dana White infamously said that women would “never” participate in the UFC. Less than two years later, in November 2012, the UFC announced the signing of their first female fighter.

Rousey didn’t cause this turnabout by sitting back and waiting for White to come around. She requested a meeting with him after she had proven herself in a smaller promotion. Here’s what White told Adweek about that meeting:

My first meeting with her was 15 minutes. As soon as I walked out of the room, I said, “She’s the one, and I’m doing this thing.”

Although I was not privy to that meeting, I would be willing to bet that Rousey advocated for herself pretty hard in that 15 minutes. It wouldn’t be hard to guess that she presented herself with complete confidence and total control.

Do the same for your brand. Be confident in your abilities. Know that you are the best. Advocate for yourself.

2. Be the First

Being a pioneer has been a good strategy for many brands. A certain fruit-themed computer company comes to mind. Rousey is no stranger to a pioneer’s success.

Of course, Rousey wasn’t the first female fighter ever, and your brand doesn’t have to be the first of its kind to be a barrier buster. You just have to be the first to do it a certain way. Find what makes your company innovative and focus on it.

3. Be Authentic

Up to this point, we’ve mostly talked about Rousey’s accomplishments. While those are certainly part of her success, her demeanor also plays an important role. Her take-no-stuff personality may rub some people the wrong way, but it is authentically her.

I’m not saying you should go around talking smack about your competitors. That may be a disastrous plan. However, you should find out what makes your brand unique. Is your brand fun and exciting? Then your marketing should be too.

Is your brand silly and outlandish? Be that. What about serious or empowering? Find the words that best describe what your brand naturally is, and then make your marketing fit those descriptions.

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What do you think? Is there something valuable to learn from Ronda Rousey’s success? Let us know. For more informative and fun content, make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Pop Culture

A Grammar Nerd’s Plea

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Their are two types of people in the world: those who are irritated by the first word in this sentence and those who didn’t notice the mistake.

I’m the first type of person. In fact, purposefully typing the wrong word was the most difficult thing I’ve done today. However, if there’s one thing I love more than great grammar, it’s a perfect intro.

I realize that not everyone will have the same passion for grammar. It takes all kinds to run the world. If you’re the type of person who didn’t even notice the glaring error in the opening paragraph, you are probably really tired of people like me correcting your Facebook statuses.

On behalf of all grammar nerds, I sincerely apologize. We don’t mean to be so mean; we just love grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Furthermore, we know you don’t mean to use the wrong spelling all the time; you have other, more important things to worry about.

So I propose a compromise. If you and a friend fall on different sides of the grammar spectrum, show them this compromise. Perhaps we can make this world a happier place.

Grammar nerds of the world will stop correcting every little detail if everyone else agrees to obey these seven rules:

1. There/They’re/Their, Too/To/Two, Your/You’re, etc.

Save this on your phone for later reference. It’s helpful.

Save this on your phone for later reference. It’s helpful.

I am lumping these together because they’re all so similar. These are also some of the most common mistakes made on the Internet. I hesitate to even call this a grammar problem, because that’s not what it is. It’s a simple matter of using the right word.

2. Literally

It may drive me literally insane soon enough.

It may drive me literally insane soon enough.

The word “literally” is supposed to be used to describe things that actually, truly, really happened in the literal sense of the word. The very best times this word is used is to say that this story sounds like a metaphor, but it really happened.

If you were finishing up a story about how you ended up on a canoe in a sewer without any way to propel yourself forward, it would be awesome to say, “I was literally up crap creek without a paddle.”

Please, please don’t use “literally” before using a metaphor. Unless you had some physical force acting against you, “I literally could not even get out of bed this morning,” is not correct.

3. It’s vs. Its

Kabir's

A perfect example of what NOT to do.

This one didn’t get lumped in with the first rule because it’s much more confusing. I don’t blame anyone for getting this one wrong. After all, we are taught that ‘s is possessive and that it is used in contractions. ‘It’ just has to go and complicate the rules.

“It’s” stands for “it is.” Example: It’s hot outside!

“Its” is possessive. Example: The cat flicked its tail.

As usual, there’s a trick to remembering this grammar rule. “Its” is possessive because it wants the “s” to be close to “it.” I hope that helps.

4. Less vs. Fewer

copyblog

Dear supermarkets, please remember this one.

Believe it or not, “less” and “fewer” are not interchangeable. Don’t worry; this common mistake is even made by my favorite store from time to time. So what’s the difference?

“Less” is used to talk about something you cannot count. “Fewer” is used to talk about things you can count. For example, you could say that a high efficiency washing machine uses less water. You could also say that it uses fewer gallons of water. This is because a gallon is a measurable unit, but water isn’t.

So, the sign pictured above should say, “10 items or fewer,” because an item is something you can count. However, you could say, “I can use the express line because I have less stuff.” Stuff isn’t a unit of measurement.

5. Make the Verb Match

Bqa9cRDCIAAtT0U

I still love this movie.

Mismatched verbs have become rampant since social media’s rise. Verbs are complicated and there are whole books written about their usage. This is the most common problem:

Incorrect: I seen it!

Correct: I have seen it!

Correct: I saw it!

If everyone could just get that one right, Facebook would be a better place.

6. Me and I

Just remember these two sentences, and you’ll always get it right.

Just remember these two sentences, and you’ll always get it right.

When people use “I” where they should say “me,” or vice versa, it’s typically because someone else is involved in the sentence too. Most people know that “Suzie hit me,” is the correct way to say that sentence. However, a lot of people might say, “Suzie hit Sally and I.” This would be incorrect.

There are many tricks to remembering whether to use “I” or “me,” but the one in the picture above might be the simplest.

If you are taking action in the sentence, use “I.”

Correct: I washed the dishes.

Correct: Sally and I washed the dishes.

Incorrect: Me and Sally washed the dishes.

If something is being done to you in the sentence, use “me.”

Correct: The water spilled on me.

Correct: The water spilled on Sally and me.

Incorrect: The water spilled on Sally and I.

7. Just Try

Even Muppets make mistakes.

Even Muppets make mistakes.

Nobody is perfect. Heck, I make grammar mistakes sometimes and I write for a living. To make matters more complicated, grammar is sometimes subjective. (Don’t get me started on why Oxford commas are awesome.)

However, grammar-loving friends will greatly appreciate it if you just give good grammar a shot. It doesn’t have to be great all the time; just give it a chance.

After all, we are all trying to use this language to communicate ideas. Sometimes those ideas are mind-blowing. Sometimes, they are rather silly. No matter what idea you’re trying to convey, it’s better communicated with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

So, everyone, can we e-shake on this? I’m not asking for world peace, just a little agreement.

Like this? Make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more interesting tidbits and informational posts.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Blogging, Overheard at Duncan/Day

Can I Haz Meme in Marketing?

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Condescending Wonka - Memes

An example of my favorite meme, Condescending Wonka.

Condescending Wonka has a point – memes are anything but new, and they are much more than a trend. In fact, memes have been around in some form or fashion for much longer than the Internet. And yet, many brands use memes all wrong. This ends up doing more harm than good.

Every time a brand uses a meme incorrectly, an Internet troll get its wings. They will be more condescending than Wonka ever was and make your brand look old and out of touch. Nobody wants that.

So yes, Condescending Wonka, we are publishing an article about memes. However, we are going to explore how brands can use this established, not-a-trend tool to their advantage.

What’s in a Meme?

One Does Not Simply Explain What a Meme Is

“One Does Not Simply” is a great meme for explaining that something is much harder than it seems.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Some people compare memes to genes due to the way memes replicate and mutate. Like genes, mutated memes are sometimes rejected and sometimes accepted.

In the example above, the image is from the Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. In this scene in the movie, Sean Bean’s character, Boromir says, “One does not simply walk into Mordor.” When people of the Internet took that line and changed it to spread other ideas, it became a meme. Find more examples of this particular meme here.

Remember that memes predate the Internet. But how can that be? Well, a meme is anything that spreads an idea through culture and can be manipulated for each user. Doing “bunny ears” to your sibling in a family picture is a meme.

Do you remember saying, “Circle. Circle. Dot. Dot. Now you’ve got the cootie shot,” in elementary school? That’s a meme too. The idea of a meme is really a nebulous one. But if you can understand the current ones being passed around the Internet like a bad cold, you can use memes in your marketing.

Know Your Meme

Wrong Memes. Wrong Memes Everywhere.

The format for this meme is always:
Top – XYZ
Bottom – XYZ EVERYWHERE

Before you make your meme, head over to www.knowyourmeme.com to make sure you’re using the correct one. This awesome site will give you the history of each meme, examples, and other important information. If you only take away one tip from this post, make it this one.

Make it Correctly

What If I Told You

This meme is often used in a condescending way. Such as, “What if I told you that blinkers were not just a suggestion”
However, that’s not how we used it here. Memes can sometimes be changed slightly in tone.

One of the most cringe-inducing things a brand can do with a meme is use the wrong font. It sounds silly, but it does matter. There are plenty of meme generators out there to help you use the correct font and images. We have found that imgur.com/memegen is very easy to use. It’s also free!

It’s All in the Timing

We love "300" as much as anyone, but this meme is stale. Also, note the bright colors in the background. This is a common meme background you will see in a sub-category of memes called "Advice Animals."

We love “300” as much as anyone, but this meme is stale.
Also, note the bright colors in the background. This is a common meme background you will see in a sub-category of memes called “Advice Animals.”

Some memes, like the Rick Roll and Can I Haz Cheezburger are timeless. Others quickly wear out their welcome. Be sure to know the difference. Minions, for example, are completely overdone at this point. People are getting tired of them.

How can you tell? If your mom and all her friends are posting a particular meme with regularity, they are probably already old. Also, if you’ve seen it on Reddit a few times, it might still be good. If you’ve seen it on Reddit a lot, it’s probably old.

Make Sure You Have the Right Audience

This meme is funny because it's relatable, especially to Millennials.

This meme is funny because it’s relatable, especially to Millennials.

Not every brand should use memes, because not every audience will understand or enjoy them. Furthermore, they do not fit into every brand image. If your brand always shoots for funny, it may be appropriate. However, if you always strive for a serious tone, you may want to rethink memes.

Do you use memes to market your brand? Still unclear on which memes are cool and which ones are lame? Give Duncan/Day a call. We are here to help with all your marketing needs.

For more useful tips and information, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Blogging, Email Marketing, Pop Culture, Social Media, Web Design

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