Cool Off in August With “Vintage Mint”

Images courtesy of (Left) Color Marketing Group’s August Color Alert (center), and (right)
Images courtesy of (left) Color Marketing Group’s August Color Alert (center), and (right).

August in Houston is always hot, and this year, it’s record-breaking! Cool off a little with this month’s spotlight color, “Vintage Mint.” We’re loving this light, refreshing shade of green for everything from ads, to accessories…to cocktails.

There's nothing like a classic mint julep! Image courtesy of
There’s nothing like a classic mint julep! Image courtesy of

Plus, we don’t like to brag (too much), but as you can see from our blog’s color palette, we liked “vintage mint” before it was cool (pun intended)!

If this cute dude can figure out how to rock vintage mint, you can, too! Then you’ll be as cute as he is! Image courtesy of CMG.
If this cute dude can rock vintage mint, you can, too! Then you’ll be as cute as he is! Image courtesy of CMG.

According to the experts at Color Marketing Group (CMG):

“Vintage Mint has its roots in mid-century design…[but with] a distinctly modern edge… Always fresh, but now a bit daring, this new version has the energy to take on fashion, graphics, industrial design and transportation. Its daring has brought diversity, as it takes on unexpected roles in menswear, accent furnishings, and kitchen appliances.

Take a cool, fresh breath, with Vintage Mint.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Take a cue from the experts and incorporate vintage mint as a fun, fresh addition to your next ad or postcard.

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
Image courtesy of

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
Image courtesy of

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
Image courtesy of

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:

What’s the Difference between Marketing, Advertising, and Sales?

Business Tips and Trends

People often confuse marketing with advertising and sales with marketing. While the three share many similarities, they are not the same but should all be used simultaneously for success. Let’s break it down to the basics with a dictionary:

Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Advertising: the activity or profession or producing advertisements for commercial products or services.

Sales: the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.

Marketing is the action; advertising the activity; and sales (or selling) is the exchange.

Marketing entails the planning, research, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy and community relations used to sell from this mix of business activities intended to bring sales.

Advertising is the announcement of a persuasive message with the intent to promote products or services. Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It’s just the part that involves getting the word out via advertising design using such mediums as TV, radio, direct mail, billboards, social media and brochures or catalogs.

Making a sale is the end result of the marketing and advertising process. The sales process usually consists of interpersonal interaction, often done by one-on-one meetings, cold calls and networking. Most of the time the prospect or potential customer has been driven to you via intense marketing efforts and well-designed advertising.


Sales Promotion Case Study: Farmville

Advertising that Works!

This week’s “Advertising That Works!” is about one of the most successful sales promotions in honor of Monday’s blog. FarmVille is an online game where you build your own farm, harvest crops and raise animals. The company that created FarmVille, Zynga, gained 58 million users in just 6 months after launch and that is about as successful a sales promotion as there ever was. FarmVille launched in June 2009 and became the fastest-growing game in history at the time, putting Zynga into the undisputed lead role as the biggest social game company on Facebook. In the first quarter, they generated about $235 million in revenue. Ad revenue in the quarter was $9.9 million, and most of the money came from virtual goods sales. In that quarter, it had about 236 million monthly active users. So Zynga generated roughly $1.04 per user per quarter, or $4.16 per user per year.

So what made FarmVille so successful?

  • The game is interactive, where you must come back often to keep your crops alive and your animals fed. You can send people items to help them build their farms, as well. It makes you come back every few hours or at least once in 2-3 days for you to play meaningfully. And it’s tough to let go once you start.
  • It helps you stay connected by receiving and giving gifts to friends all the time. It may not be very meaningful interaction, but it somehow gives one something to look forward to each day, specially to those who are not working (are at home) and thus would like to be able to stay connected in some way without having too much to say.
  • Viral – Nothing is quite as viral as FarmVille. The well-written status updates and messages are a clear indication of how well Zynga understand user psychographics.
  • FarmVille undoubtedly sets the tone for a new era of social promotions where it is not the seller but the users promoting the product.


Follow Our New Marketing Campaign Week 5

Business Tips and Trends

This week our marketing meeting consisted of unifying our look and theme throughout our campaign. We will have the campaign running on our website, on our Facebook page, on our Blog, Twitter page and in our monthly email blasts. When we brought all these pieces together, we realized we were using different fonts and styles in the website, the Blog, Facebook page and our email blast. We liked certain elements in all pieces and decided to carry the theme (or look) throughout each piece to unify our campaign. We discovered using the same fonts and illustration styles would bring it all together. Did you notice the new design on our Blog blast we send weekly? Our Blog masthead, Facebook page, and our website page to “The Cheeps” are not exactly alike but share the same fonts, styles, illustrations and theme.

It is important to always step back and evaluate your work. You could have someone who is not a designer look at your marketing pieces from a different point of view–the view of a potential client. Do you have your audience targeted? Many advertising agencies use Focus Groups to get feedback on their marketing efforts. When creating a marketing campaign, we can help define your goals, help establish the concept, implement the plan, and we can continue to modify your work based on results of your efforts. That is what we did for our own campaign. We hope you are learning from our marketing campaign efforts.

Follow along as next week we will present our website page for “The Cheeps.”


It’s that Time of Year, Again! Evaluate your Marketing Strategy

The year is winding down and budgets are being created for 2014. First you have to evaluate the money you spent and if the marketing strategy you planned for this year is actually working. Here are a few questions to get you started on that evaluation:

  • Have you discovered your true market opportunity?
  • What size is the market?
  • What are the key trends that inspire your success?
  • Is your business affected differently during a certain time of the year?
  • Do you work harder in some months than other?
  • Do you know your exact audience you are targeting?
  • What trends in advertising have you not tapped into yet?
  • What competitor threatens your success?
  • What can you learn from them?
  • How can you differentiate yourself from them?
  • What improvements can you make?
  • Take a look at the promotions and advertising that you did. What was your most effective campaign?
  • What events increase your organizations visibility?
  • What information material do you have available on the spot?
  • Where are your communication efforts most well received?
  • What platform of social media is working for you?
  • What does your website say that your advertisements don’t?
  • Find out what works, and what doesn’t and then attack the budget. What mistakes from last year did you make that you don’t intend to carry over to the next year?

What’s the difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?


Outbound Marketing is a traditional form of marketing in which a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Examples of Outbound marketing include: print ads, TV/radio ads, direct mail, trade shows, sales calls, email blasts, billboards, flyers, brochures, and catalogs.

Inbound Marketing is a style of marketing where the audience comes to you. Blogs, podcasts, social media marketing, websites, search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, and really simple syndication (RSS) feed all fit in this category.

Which should you use? Both! But experts say that consumer behavior is evolving. In the future, inbound marketing will be the most effective way of online marketing. Inbound marketing is cheaper because it’s primarily online. Your consumers are online, so you should be, too. Make sure you have a website with quality content, using SEO to be sure you are found. Develop a social media presence to listen to your audience and build a relationship with them. Be consistent with blogging, creating marketing materials and updates to make your inbound marketing most effective.

When you know your audience, you can use the traditional outbound marketing to reach more targeted potential. Make sure your outbound marketing has a way for your audience to find you! For instance, show your social media icons in your advertising, or include a web address.

Marketing has always been about trying different approaches and targeting methods. Outbound gets right to the point, and inbound gives us the opportunity to start the conversation. Use them both to maximize your advertising and marketing!

Career Builder’s…”Don’t Jump!”

This week’s pick is from CareerBuilder (the job placement company) and speaks for itself….