Post #10: Pandora Galore

Pandora is a well known internet radio station with ads and limited amount of skips and thumbs down. Bummer? Yes. Can it be changed? Oh yeah! Pandora One is available for anyone who wants to pay just a little bit more. It’s only $4.99 monthly and that means no worry about ads popping up and ruining your mood while you’re trying to drown out your homework with music. But are ads really a problem? Most say yes, but I say no. (Please stick with me on this one, I promise it’s worth it). This whole idea came to me listening to Pandora while prepping for finals and writing all the papers.It has always been something that I have been wanting to write about. Here’s my chance (among many chances that I’ve had to write this) but Pandora is a great tool for businesses to use and implement their business strategies and sales promotions in the ads that are played.

So since the free Pandora has ads, it is the best way for businesses to get word out there and their “30 second of fame.” For someone like me, I like to hear some of the ads that pop up. I know one of them I have heard pretty often that I find is a good way to advertise their company. It is for a nail polish called Julep that sends out packages each month filled with something different from their store and based on the personality quiz you take when you first visit their site. One day I was listening while writing a paper and I listened to an ad that was pretty much speaking to my soul. The ad was asking if I change my nail color to my mood (check), if I like to change my nail color often (check), and if I like free stuff (uh, duh!). So it intrigued me to go to their website. What their promo was having a free gift bag once you sign up for their gift bags that will come monthly. As a college student, I can’t afford the gift bags but I would love to in the future. But the way they advertised through Pandora caught my attention.Other advertisements make the best of the background of the Pandora station because even after the ad airs in between songs, the ad will stay so that whoever is interested in the product/service, is able to still get to their website. Another thing that I like about Pandora are the sales promotions that the ads have. I know some ads that I have heard have promos such as, “Mention Pandora at our website and you can get a certain percentage off.” I respect companies that do that because it also helps them see how much of their audience listens to Pandora to get their promo deal and creates audience segmentation. Pandora has a wide range of music for all ages and all music styles so that helps companies get a wide range of clients because of that.


Post #9: And God Said, “Let there be deals!”

“Let’s totes go the mall” “Lmao yes let’s totes do it!”

….Okay this conversation between my friend and I didn’t quite go like this but it helps with the point of this post. Everyone loves the Mall of America, who doesn’t? It’s the best way to socialize in a way that you can blow your paycheck at the same time. My favorite way to spend my money. But when I did go with my friend last week, I ran into a lot of good deals! It’s the beginning of summer and stores are getting rid of the old and in with the new. So all I see is


Which is good for me and good for the retail stores. It’s a win-win situation! So as I am walking along with my friend and dragging my jaw along behind me, my friend suddenly stops! I look at what she is staring at and it’s a big store called A’gaci! It was just opened right above the Charlotte Rousse on the second floor. Once walking into this store, it was very clear that I was not going to get out of here without spending at least a $10. But I spent way more than that (I won’t tell you how much but trust me, it was a lot). But I did get a lot of “bang” for my buck. There was a lot of promotions and deals going on since they are such a new store and because of the season change. Eventually I found some stuff that I knew I wanted to buy, but then there was one particular sign that caught my eye. “Buy one, get one FREE.” (You got me A’gaci!) They reeled me in with that sign and I instantly went over to see that is was for tanktops. I looooove buying tanktops because they go with everything in my closet.  At some retail stores that I go to, their tanktops are pretty expensive and not worth the money. But knowing that this sales promotion was going on, I actually bought 4 tanktops because it was a reasonable price knowing that I was only buying “two” tanktops.

Among all of the other deals that I got from going to that store, the best deal was definitely the tanktops due to the sales promotion. Even when I went up to check-out, I was telling the sales associate how good of a deal that it was and how their marketing strategies were “on-point.” She really appreciated it and told me to come again soon. WILL DO. A’gaci’s marketing strategies with having all of the sales and promotions made it possible for them to get returning customers and gaining profit. The promos surrounding the store made it impossible to choose just one good deal so I had to jump on that. There was a clearance rounder that had cute dresses that I bought a couple because they were already on a 75% markdown, even though they just opened. This leads me to conclude that they put those on clearance to reel people in. And boy did they do that!


Post #8: Social Medium

I like to take pictures. Point blank. And recently over the last couple of years, I have taken a strong interest in Instagram. Why? Well it makes it easier to take a picture from my phone and then easily pick a “filter” and then post it to my page. Instagram is a great source of getting media out there in the form of pictures and videos. Although I don’t participate take in making videos, I enjoy taking pictures of aspects of the world around me. I am pretty well known from my Instagram friends that I like to take pictures of my nails and all the creative (or not creative) things that I do to them. But I like to take pictures of my cats (I really love my cats) and Instagram gives me the ability to express how I feel through these pictures. Another thing that I like about this app is that I can sync my pictures to go onto my Facebook and Twitter pages to expand the audience that is seeing what I post. But I can pick and choose what I want to post on those two websites.

The reason that I bring up Instagram is that I have seen a lot of business use this media outlet to expand their audience as well; just in a bigger context than mine. I normally see it when I go out to restaurants looking on the menu and seeing on the right corner all the way that I can get into contact with this said restaurant by going to their Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram (surprise). Not that I ever follow Perkins or Bruegger’s but I do like to follow Starbucks and Caribou (I can’t like just one) because they sometimes have great deals going on and I can easily hop in my car and get a caffeine fix because they are offering a BOGO or a $2 off. Retail stores are big on the Instagram market because they do show what they offer in the store and can show outfits that can go together.

Speaking of retail stores, the websites that I like to go to, such as Victoria’s Secret, have icons at the bottom right hand corner of the page where there are links on where to connect with them. So I see that there is an Instagram icon so when I click on it, it goes right to their page. It gives an inside look of pictures on photo shoots and having videos on them. But they also display their product, such as their bras and panties. But what they mostly show are models doing different poses.

Another store that I like to watch on Instagram is Starbucks (okay, so I really like Starbucks a little better than Caribou-sue me).  There are a lot of pictures with names on Starbucks cups that the Barista writes on them to remember their order. Starbucks Instagram page is “artsy fartsy” because the Starbucks cups are shown in a lot of “photography worthy” pictures. Pictures with the sun shining through a window with the cup having steam coming out of it and having a black and white filter. But what is interesting is that when you go on the Starbucks website is that they do not publicly display their Instagram icon to go to their page but can find them on Instagram.


Post #6: Bath and Body Really Works!

SO we all now that there are plenty of media outlets for companies to go through. But can it get to be too much? I appreciate the effort for me to spend my money in your store and online, but I am a college student. Let’s be real. If I were to spend money at Bath and Body Works for every time they have sent me something in the mail and through my email, I would be taking out a house loan for a house that doesn’t even exist! Bath and Body Works markets directly to me. They make sure that I do not forget about them. When I first heard about them, I really liked everything that they had in their store when I checked it out. I like the different scents and the different ways to get the scents such as through lotions, body wash, body mists and even shampoo and conditioner. The thing that I believe B&B are known for are their deals. They seem like they are always having a BOGO for free or 3 for 3; so that means buying three different fragrances (or the same, whatever your cup of tea is) and then getting 3 for free. I LOVE it. I had an addiction for awhile but then I heard my wallet crying and I realized that I couldn’t afford to do  that anymore. So now I take it in small doses; every once in awhile.

But now that I went through that phase, B&B thinks it’s acceptable to send things every day it seems. I get something in the mail at least once or twice a week telling me all about the deals that they are having. I think that what they are doing with the mailing is plenty enough but OH NO! They have to email me too; even at 3 in the morning. C’mon people, I am in college and just finishing a paper then but really? Seems way too personal to be thinking I’m going to be going online right at that time to see the deals. It’s worse because whenever I do make a purchase in the store, the snooty check-out ladies always force me to tell them my email address even though I tell them no 10 times (okay not really but they do pull my arm)

The reason why they really started racking up the mailings was because of that really cold and snowy day in January that I didn’t want to go shopping so I decided to go online shopping on the website. Easy to pull out my debit card and put in my number. So once I got purchases since then, the mailing was persistent. I do believe the emails are a lot easier. I just need to put them in a separate folder in my email so they can go directly there. It is helpful for me to see what deals they have, especially since most of them do include online purchases. For me, that is the easiest way to shop right now because of my busy schedule.

Post #5: Support Media and all That Jazz



Alright so we’ve all been alive for some while and we all have been outside at some point during our life (here’s to hoping). Advertisements are all around us. That is something that will hopefully never change. There is just something about ads that draw us closer (if done right) and persuade us to buy their product or service.

So now that we have got that settled, I am going to start my day with a cup of coffee. But what kind do I want? (Hypothetically let’s say I am out of K-cups; which, let’s hope never happens) so I go outside to find some. And what do I come across? (Again, hypothetically say that I lived in New York City) I come across this pothole. What is covering it is the top view of a coffee cup full of coffee and the steam rising from the pothole is making the cup look like it’s a steaming hot cup of coffee. Definitely gets my mouth watering and practically running to the closest grocery store to get the product. The creative company that has come up with this clever ad is none other than Folgers itself. Folgers has been under the radar for a little bit and I haven’t seen much of them around, especially since the Keurig explosion happened that “traditional”  coffee-making ways have been pushed to the side.

I found this ad through Pinterest while scrolling and procrastinating one day. I found it quite randomly but knew that it was meant for something in this class (I felt it in my bones, man!) It is a very creative ad that demonstrates how using the environment around us can improve the effectiveness of the ad. In this case when I did see this on Pinterest, I immediately went to the source of the ad and found the website. Folgers has grown with the generation of coffee, coming out with new flavors such as Cinnamon Swirl or Hazelnut. They have created K-cups to go along with the Keurig generation as well.

Although Folgers was a big deal in my household when I was younger, my mom switched coffee brands and it seemed like Folgers went off the map for a while. The next time I really heard about Folgers was after my mom got her first Keurig, which was only just last year. I researched Folgers just recently and I saw that their creative strategies have been throughout their media sources. They use the slogan, “The Best Part About Waking Up” and their commercials reflected that throughout the year and they seemed like they hit that slogan harder during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The commercials portrayed usually a white family with a daughter or son waking up early in the morning and presents filling the room. This ended the commercial by the parents staring out the window with a cup of coffee in their hand and snow coming down while the jug of Folgers is peaking out from behind sitting on the countertop in the back.




Post #4: “I Just Shipped My Pants”

Okay, this is probably one of the best ads I have seen in a while. Let me tell you my back story on how I came around to picking this ad. One night in the summer time, my boyfriend was trying to describe this commercial to me and I could not understand why he found trying to tell me about this commercial was so funny. I am definitely more of a visual person because I’m staring at him point blank waiting patiently for him to see the look on my face enough to understand how confused I was. I asked him that he should show me the ad but he said that it was taken down because it was too inappropriate to show on the television. And then probably about a month later, I was over at his house again and we were playing cards with a few friends and the TV was on in the background. All of a sudden, my boyfriend jumps out of his seat and is pointing at the screen saying, “This is it! Watch it, watch it!” and I turn around just in time to hear, “I can’t wait to ship my pants, Dad.” After watching the rest of the commercial, I was laughing but I couldn’t believe what I just heard. K-Mart was very ballsy to say the least.

Okay, now let’s get on with it. So, this ad is called, “Ship my Pants” and after watching the video, several times after that, I would definitely say the target market is adults between the ages of 30-75. In this video, it only showed the one kid who was told by his Dad that he was able to ship his pants if he wanted to. But the rest of the people in the ad are older. This ad came out first on YouTube about April 12th, 2013. You can find it (obviously) on Youtube as well as Vimeo. They were both posted at the same time- 10 months ago. On YouTube, the hits are in the 20 million with 20,686,865! This video did receive a lot of controversy, good and bad. One of the good feedbacks includes the Huffington Post saying that it is the “12 year old in all of us,” which means that as much as you probably shouldn’t laugh at it, people will find the humor in it. One really bad feedback is from the One Million Moms who are very disgusted and can’t believe K-Mart was able to air something “ridiculous.” Their review includes wanting to take action against the commercial. So either contacting K-Mart itself or tweeting or face-booking for them to take down the ad because it is disgusting and should not be aired.

What is my opinion about this? Well thinking back to my middle school years, I would probably very appalled at the ad, but that was when I was shy and yada-yada but now here post-public high school and surviving college, I found it hysterical. I found some very creative strategies. I do know that K-Mart was trying to differentiate themselves from Target and Walmart and it definitely worked. K-Mart is definitely not as popular as those two stores, at least not here in Minnesota that I know of (sorry, very much a city girl). The effectiveness of the commercial did make a lot of people turn their ear towards K-Mart. They have been flying waaay under the radar lately. But this makes them stand out for sure. It was a very effective commercial because behind the humor in it, K-Mart is now offering free shipping with anything under 150 pounds. This is one big way for them to introduce that.


Post #3 Walmart

Okay, so we all know who Walmart is. I’m talking about the brand and how well Walmart puts itself out there. But do we really know who and what Walmart does? I’ll break it down for you.

One thing that Walmart does as a creative strategy is that they do a lot with price matching. Price matching means that whatever is advertised at another store with a lower price than what Walmart is offering, Walmart will match the prices of the other store. This is something that a lot of people know about and what other companies do. But Walmart is very well known for it and they call it Ad Match Guarantee. It means that they will match ads such as, “Buy one get one free with a specified price”, with a different price for the same item at a competitor store, for fresh produce and meat that is priced pound for pound. The good thing about the ad match guaranteed is that they do not have to have the ad to honor the competitor’s ad. It shows that Walmart trusts their customers enough that they do not need the proof for the matching.

Another creative strategy that Walmart uses are introducing low prices. This is actually more popular and has gone on longer than the ad match guarantee. These are the commercials that we all have seen with real people going around the store and comparing prices. Walmart has the low prices so people will want to go to Walmart. That is how they are well known and popular. And as far as the commercials go, you know exactly what commercials I’m talking about. The commercials about people needing 20 dozen cookies for their church picnic and need to only spend $10. Or those who need to make food for a sports tournament and need to feed a lot of people. Or even recently the woman who was having a kick-butt Superbowl Party. There is one person who shows all the good deals to the shopper and the things that they are looking for. At the end of the trip, the shopper gets to see the total that they have and this is where the low prices come in.  These commercials stick with people, like myself. I did not watch one of these commercials, but I am vividly able to recall what the commercial was about. They are all similar with what their goal is. And that is why Walmart is successful.

Overall, Walmart is doing very well with their advertising. The way that they come across on the TV is a very positive vibe. They are doing something right with their advertising since it is something that everyone can relate to. As much as some people don’t want to admit it, everyone goes to Walmart. Although you feel that you don’t have to wear jeans there, you do know you will find low prices and the ability to price match. The creativeness that Walmart has gives them room to improve and to go above and beyond.

Post #2: My favorite thing

caribou-mahogany-keurig-kcupsSo, everyone has a favorite thing. In my case, I have a lot of favorite things. But for these purposes, I have to pick one thing. I recently received a Keurig from my boyfriend’s sister. It was just sitting at their parents office and gathering dust and they knew that I wanted one, so I get the dusty one….which is fine. I got a little Keurig-obsessed when my mom got one a couple of months ago. I used that one everyday during the holidays. When I came back to my apartment, my giddy self created a “coffee corner” in my bedroom where one table top is devoted to my K-cups, water bottles (I don’t trust St. Paul water) and my beautiful Keurig.  Every morning I wake up and I press the easy to use button and BAM! I’m making myself my own Caramel Macchiato…as I think you can see now is that I feel like an expert at coffee now that I know how to press a simple button.

Okay, slowly getting to the point of this post. In my integrated marketing and communications class (it’s a mouthful, I know), we have to come up with one of our favorite things and bring it in. Thing is, my Keurig is just a little too big to bring in for a show-and-tell presentation. So the next best thing is my K-cups. The reason why I have coffee in the morning is because of these tiny cups. For those who don’t know what a K-cup is (bless your soul), it’s a small shot-glass size pint filled with coffee. You place it in the Keurig and then you press the button for the water to warm up and brew the coffee or your choice of beverage and then the wonderful deliciousness comes out in the coffee cup. They offer K-cups in several different flavors and brands. Folgers, Caribou Coffee, Donut Shop, Tazo lovers. I love the K-cups because they offer so much variety for what I want to drink. I love the days where I want tea and I love the brand Tazo for my tea and I am able to do that with the K-cups. In the morning, I like to start out my day with my coffee, whether it’s Caribou Coffee or the Archer Farms brand, it’s all there. Something that my mom taught me with the K-cups is that you can shake it and leave it out right after using it and then you’re able to make a smaller brew with what is left in the little container.

The Keurig and the K-cups are tied together because the K-cups can only be used with the Keurig system. I can’t just take one of my K-cups and put it in a coffee cup with some water…it’s just not the same. It’s worth the money getting a Keurig and the K-cups because, like myself, everyone is always on the go. This is the easiest way to get your coffee or tea fix without worrying about wasting a whole pot of nasty coffee. The K-cups are good for knowing how much you need for a perfect cup of coffee.

Post #1: Bad Lip Readings

I like this video because of the humor in it. It is very true that what they are saying can be interpreted into something else if everything is muted!

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