Now Trending: Adult coloring Books

Adult Coloring Books

Have you noticed the trend of adult coloring books these days? It’s become an international phenomenon. Lately we’ve noticed (and taken advantage of) the vast array displayed at bookstores, craft stores, and gift shops. When searching on Amazon.com for bestsellers, up pops a category for “adult coloring book bestsellers.” It seems cookbooks have taken a back seat! There is a category for “Coloring Books for Grown-ups” that has 356 books to chose from—more than double the Children’s Activity Books of 151.

So what’s the big deal?

These days, our lives are filled with long hours, frequent deadlines, and endless social obligations. According to experts, coloring books can help us unwind and reduce stress. The books provide a connection to childhood, when things seemed simpler. Picking up a crayon or colored pencil transports us to the past. It can also be a creative outlet (for those with less “artsy” jobs), and best of all, there’s no pressure! Regardless of artistic ability, coloring inside the lines is simple. There’s no wrong way to color!

Research shows that coloring stimulates your right brain and helps you think more clearly.  You’ll find coloring books therapeutic, educational, and just downright fun! Staying inside the lines takes focus, but not stress. Clinical counselors say the activity opens up the frontal lobe of the brain—the home of organizing and problem solving—and focuses the mind by allowing colorers to forget their worries.

We understand that while many consider this hobby for solo activity, there are also adults who gather to sip wine and socialize while coloring.  Because little concentration is required to fill in a pre-drawn image, you can be yourself and let go.

Crayola has recently jumped on board with the trend. Their line of adult coloring books is called Color Escapes. It is 11×17 in order to fit into a standard-sized frame, so you can easily color, frame, and hang your work! Color Escapes books come in four types, including Geometric, Kaleidoscope, Nature, and Garden themes. It’s a great way to relax–and a great way for Crayola to sell more crayons!

You can also easily find many one-page designs to print and color for free online. So give it a try!

 

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Advertising That Works! Billboard Edition

McDonalds Oclock Ad

That’s right, folks! It’s McDonalds-o-clock! There’s a lot to love about Mickey D’s billboard. First off, it’s a working sundial. That’s pretty darn impressive, if you ask us! Second of all, it features images of all the delicious food that makes up America’s favorite fast food breakfast! And thirdly, we love that the images speak for themselves. The marketing geniuses at McDonalds know that the majority of people are familiar with their brand, so instead of using this billboard to share information with consumers (i.e. this is who we are, this is what we do) they simply use it to remind us that it’s (literally) time for a visit. The ad is a tad outdated of course (as we all know, McDonalds serves breakfast all day now!) but it also served to remind us the hours that breakfast was sold—so it was useful and unique!

Image courtesy of http://www.sliptalk.com
Image courtesy of http://www.sliptalk.com

We love this billboard for its simplicity and cleverness. Everyone knows what duct tape is and what it’s good for (pretty much everything), so what this ad does is suggest that 3M brand tape is better and stronger than many off-brand tapes (this, in my experience, is actually true). The ad is clean and simple, but also kind of fun—after all, that’s a giant roll of duct tape holding that sign in place!

image courtesy of world.kapook.com
image courtesy of world.kapook.com

Last but not least is this fantastic ad for Capisco hot sauce! While this Indian hot sauce brand is not as widely recognizable as McDonalds or 3M, the designers are still able to send a pithy message with nothing but an image. The bottle shape, color, and label make it clear that this is a hot sauce, and the hole that appears to be burned into the billboard (you can see right through it! We love the commitment here!) makes it clear that this is a HOT sauce. It’s clever, it’s clear—it’s all we could ever want in a billboard!

What are some of your favorite billboards? Send us recommendations in the comments, or on Pinterest or Twitter!

Advertising That Works! Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor”

This week’s “Advertising That Works!” is interactive—and tasty!

Lay’s latest campaign, “Do us a Flavor: Tastes of America,” takes foods from four different regions of the US, makes them into a potato chip flavor, and asks America to vote!

Lays 4 Flavors

The bags themselves are great advertising: they encourage consumers to vote on their favorite, which also makes them want to buy not just one bag of chips…but all four! Not only does this increase sales in the short term, but it also increases brand engagement by making consumers think about the flavors they’re eating. Even if a given chip-eater doesn’t love any of the flavors, they’re still likely to visit the voting site and express a preference—after all, it’s fun to vote!

Once a consumer actually goes to vote, they encounter a cute website that’s cleanly designed and simple to navigate. Not only do you get to vote, but you also have the opportunity to learn more about the featured flavors. Site visitors can “meet” the “real people” who suggested the flavor from their region!

Lays Meet the Finalists

Lays Meet A Finalist

They can also experiment with this interactive map that shows how each flavor is doing in each state.

Hilariously, the south HATES Biscuits & Gravy flavored chips—I assume that’s because we know what it’s supposed to taste like.
Hilariously, the south HATES Biscuits & Gravy flavored chips—I assume that’s because we know what it’s supposed to taste like.

After you vote you’re redirected to this page, encouraging you to vote as many times as you like, via Twitter, Text or Instagram.

Lays Vote Again

Genius! This gets consumers engaged on multiple social media platforms, and keeps them engaged for the entire campaign! They also get a chance to win $10,000!

There you have it: the Lay’s Do Us a Flavor campaign is fun, engaging—and tasty! That’s why they’re this week’s “Advertising That Works!” We even got in on the fun here at Hunter-McMain, Inc. Our votes were:

Gyro: 4

Rueben: 1

Truffle/Biscuits: 0

I guess we fit right in with the rest of Texas:

Lays Gyro Map

Advertising That Works: Sprint “Oxen” Commercial

Remember way back, long, long ago, when flip phones were all the rage? Then maybe you remember this commercial:

In it, a farmer is standing in his field, forlorn, surrounded by hundreds of wiener dogs. What’s the problem? Well, he says, “I ordered two hundred oxen…not two hundred dachshunds.”

As a somewhat too-late solution, he is offered a new Sprint cell phone, to keep his conversations clear from now on.

We think this ad works because it’s hilarious! Not only does it brilliantly get the point across (“clearer service is useful; we offer clear service”) it also resonates with consumers over a long period of time. Viewers are still sharing this commercial around social media, and although the particular deal advertised is (obviously) no longer available, it’s still great publicity for Sprint.

Feel-good marketing is popular, and ads that keep making people laugh will keep being relevant for far longer than ads that simply inform consumers of a deal. That’s why this Sprint ad is this week’s “Advertising That Works!”

 

Advertising that Works: Oreo Thins For the Win

Oreos, but…better for you? The same great taste, but…smaller? Brilliant!

At least that’s what the new Oreo Thins Ads would have us believe, and we think they’re doing a very convincing job.

Image courtesy of static.thefrisky.com.
Image courtesy of static.thefrisky.com.

The latest series of ads for the new Oreo Thins (a permanent addition to the Oreo cookie family) emphasizes a “sleek” and “clean” feel with few words and large, impactful images of the cookies–which look totally delicious, just smaller.

Image courtesy of delish.com.
Image courtesy of delish.com.

The way they emphasize how “thin” the cookies are in the ad designs play into a cultural interest in healthier eating, as well as the constant shift toward slimmer, sleeker products in the tech world. For instance, the ad above shares some similarities with this ad for the Apple iPad Mini:

Image courtesy of www.hightech-edge.com.
Image courtesy of http://www.hightech-edge.com.

The iPad is sexy, so Oreos are sexy, too! The Oreo Thin ad campaign is also making clever use of celebrity and social media–for instance, not long ago, actor and comedian Neil Patrick Harris sent out this tweet:

NPH Oreo Tweet

Accompanied by this charming Instagram post:

NPH Oreos instagram

If that doesn’t make you want Oreo Thins, I don’t know what will.

For these reasons, we have to officially declare the Oreo Thins campaign to be some Advertising that Seriously Works!

Oreo Has a History of Quality Ads…Check it Out:

This Apple Commercial Makes Me Cry

Advertising that Works!

Have you seen Apple’s commercial titled “Misunderstood”? This TV commercial is like a novel without words. The scene is set during the holidays. You see a teenage boy going to a large family gathering. Throughout the commercial he looks like a loner, keeping to himself and busy on his iPhone during a time when he should be involved with the family. It looks, at first, like he doesn’t want to be there. The background music is to the solemn tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. In the end, the boy turns on the TV and you see he has been observing and filming the entire gathering. He has put together a video on his iPhone and replayed it for the family on Christmas morning.

Okay, watch it first and then tell me it doesn’t bring a tear of joy to your eye! No wonder Apple’s “Misunderstood” received an Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Commercial.

Burt’s Bees

Advertising that Works!

The advertising team at Baldwin& has created a stellar campaign for Burt’s Bees®. Several ads feature their moisturizing lip balm with photos and illustrations. Headlines read, “Uncap Flavor.” Then they describe the flavor being uncapped. What we like about the ad is the simplicity of the design and the whimsy of the drawings. As we were admiring the print ads we discovered Burt’s Bees® TV commercial with all the photos and illustrations set to a delightful tune. You can watch it here.

Each Friday we like to highlight a featured advertisement or commercial that is creative, amuses us, and works in selling the product or service. Join us here every Friday for Advertising That Works!

BurtsBees

Restaurant Wants to Be the Worst Rated on Yelp

Advertising that Works!

No one would ever think that in advertising you would want the worst ratings possible. Well, this was not the case for Botto Bistro, a little Italian restaurant in San Francisco owned by David Cerretini.

How did he end up deciding to try and get the worst reviews on Yelp? It all started when Yelp “blackmailed” him. Yelp wanted Cerretini to advertise and he paid $270 for six months. After that he quit advertising at which point one of the good reviews for his business vanished from his Yelp page. Technically, Yelp can legally remove reviews. Then, Cerretini did something out of the ordinary and actually quite brilliant. He aimed to get a 1-star review on Yelp and on a blackboard in the restaurant it lists the business’ various offenses. These range from how much they charge for marinara to “$4 if you want some to smell.” Also, if you give his business a 1-star rating he will turn around and give you 25% off a pizza.

The owner claims that he is “attracting higher-paying customers who are quite loyal.” And these customers are quite the characters! We whole-heartedly agree that, even though Cerretini went off the beaten path of what most businesses aim for, this is Advertising that Works!

yelp-one-star-hed-2014

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Advertising that Works!

It’s the 50th anniversary of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and they have some fun, creative outdoor billboards that were created by the advertising agency, Extra Credit Projects. These boards were put up all through out the state, right before the college season started. Three-dimensional billboards are all the latest rave because they get attention. They literally stand out! We like that there are few words to read and how the 5-0 stands out to know immediately what they are advertising. Don’t you?

Michigan State University Billboard

Photo credit from AdsoftheWorld.com

Subaru Legacy’s Junior Driver Commercial

Advertising that Works!

Every time this commercial airs I have to laugh. Subaru’s Legacy commercial has a 5-year-old boy driving around the yard with his blue Power Wheels toy car when his dad comes home and asks, “Hey pal, you ready?” The father holds out the keys to the car and all of a sudden you see what the boy imagines when driving his dad’s car. He is not a happy camper as he has to get gas, gets a parking ticket from the meter maid, gets caught in the rain, a bag of groceries bottoms-out right when he gets close to the car, etc. His attitude and facial expressions will crack you up, too. For this reason, we are calling this an Advertising that Works! Thanks Subaru!