Brand Thinking from Greenfield Belser

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  • Not Just a Drop in the Bucket


    Posted on August 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    In the age of social media, it’s easy for things to get derailed. Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest are getting cluttered with spamlikes for likes, useless advertisements and any combination of things you either never wanted to see in the first place, or things that you’ve just seen too many times.

    But sometimes, social media is used for good. A real, true good. I’m sure you’ve heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And even if you were living under a rock, I can assure you that the second you tune back into your Facebook or Twitter, you will be inundated with videos and posts about it. Tech mogulscelebrities, athletes—everyone is joining in. In brief, people are “nominated” to face the choice of either dumping a bucket of ice water over their head (and film it for legitimacy) or donate to the ALS Association. This person then sends the nomination onto friends, family and the like, who in turn have 24 hours to complete one of the two options.

    There definitely have been a lot of arguments to not do the ice bucket challenge, but when it gets down to it, this campaign helped. It still is helping. Most of the backlash is geared towards donating money instead of doing the ice bucket challenge, but both raise awareness, which is still something. Even for those nonbelievers, bitter about their Facebook feed getting flooded (literally), there is no doubt that ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has become front and center in the media, the news and more importantly, in individuals’ lives.

    Don’t take my word for it, though. Look at the facts:

    • Between July 29 and August 17, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $13.3 million in donations, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year.*
    • Since July 29, donations have come from existing donors and about 260,000 new donors to The Association.*
    • People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13.*
    • The phenomenon has been mentioned more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29.*

    *Statistics taken from The NY Times.

    The bottom line—the #icebucketchallenge and #strikeoutALS is sweeping the nation. Be a part of it or don’t, but this is a prime example of how social media should be used and handled in today’s digital realm. Business Facebook pages and Twitter handles never get as much attention as celebrities or even spam, but this is something to take note. If you want people to pay attention, start with something worth talking about.

    Actually, our very own Burkey Belser recently took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge himself. Burkey was nominated by an Account Executive here, Lauren Travis, and accepted the challenge. Above is a video of him in our DC studio, supporting #strikeoutALS. There’s even a special guest appearance from our Blue Cow. Jump on the bandwagon if you need to… it’s all for a good cause!

  • App of the Week: GasBuddy


    Posted on August 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    GasBuddy App

    While gas prices continue to be painfully high, it’s nice to know there’s an app out there that can save you a few cents every time you fill up your tank. GasBuddy is an app that allows you to find the cheapest gas prices near you. You can search gas prices by city or zip code and even report prices if you find the app has an incorrect price listed. Each time you report a price from a station, you earn points, which could lead to you winning a $100 gift card.

    Never pay more at the pump than you have to by downloading GasBuddy in the iTunes store today!

  • Big Idea – Shakespeare was wrong! What’s in a name?

    By and

    Posted on August 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm


    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet was determined… but wrong. Names do matter. In fact, Al Ries and Jack Trout argue in Positioning: The Battle for the Mind that choosing your brand name, product name or service name may be the most important strategic marketing decision you ever make. What’s the saying? “Well begun is half done”—and we mean that in a positive way!

    Every day, thousands of new companies, products and service names are created. We all roll our eyes at some of the names offered to consumers, but few appreciate the difficulty of naming until they are faced with this critical task.

    Have you ever wondered how memorable names are created? In our 60th edition of The Next Big Idea, we explore the art and science of naming. Click here and read on!

  • Site of the Week: The Capitol


    Posted on August 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    The Capitol Website

    For those who are fans of The Hunger Games, you’ve likely already come across, the microsite for the upcoming movie Mockingjay: Part 1. As a fan, it’s fun to explore, but that’s not all it has to offer. From a web design stance, there are a few elements that stand out:

    1. The Details. From the navigation bar on the left, that subtly changes with each click, to the session ID and “sanctioned” message, the designers of this site did not leave anything out of their creative process. The added details make it seem more like a fan site rather than a site simply for a movie trailer.

    2. Imagery. Images can make or break a website; this one certainly makes it. The crisp quality, fast loading time and even user control of the background images make for a unique experience.

    3. Hidden Content. Marketers often tend to throw all of the information available to a consumer all at oncebad idea. On this site, arrows on the left and right allow users to get more information about the movie, as well as register to receive updates. The site remains minimalistic, yet still has all of the information a user may need.

  • App of the Week: NPR One


    Posted on August 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

    NPR One App

    NPR is a name that hardly needs an introduction. Formerly National Public Radio, NPR is probably the most well-known talk radio station in the country. With a variety of broadcast programs to choose from, it is easy to see why so many people turn to the media organization for the latest news.

    Recently, NPR rolled out an app version of their station, NPR One. The app not only allows you to listen to the same programs that you know and love, but has many other great features as well. From local news to international stories, NPR One connects you to the content you want to hear, all in one steady stream. The stream of stories is personalized based on what you are interested in hearing. Its design is simple and clean, so you can focus on what you want to hear without distraction. Browse through stories that are currently playing, or search for your favorite programs. Pause, skip ahead or rewind so you never miss anything. With NPR One, you are completely in control of the content coming through your headphones.

    Always stay informed, engaged and inspired by downloading NPR One from iTunes here.

  • Happier Holidays for Marketers


    Posted on August 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    December Calendar

    Earlier this month, two clients called us to get started on this year’s holiday greetings; gold stars to them. On the other end of the spectrum, we know we’ll get a couple panicked calls in early December, too. Most of our clients are in the middle—running a little behind but not enough to panic. For all of you, here are a collection of some recent cards we’ve helped clients create and brief descriptions of them. The simple idea for this post is to give you some fresh ideas for this year’s card and spur some advance planning. So, grab your August gin and tonic, pretend it’s eggnog and hum your favorite holiday tune.

    Archer Norris

    California-based Archer Norris invites clients and friends to ditch the cell phone and listen to the soothing sound of waves—laid-back California cool meets seasonal calm.

    Archer Norris Holiday Card

    Happy Wallerdays

    Waller produced a card on the Tumblr platform that captures photos, videos and holiday classics like movies and songs—favored by Waller’s lawyers and staff. Clients can comment, like or add to the spirit of the card. New media meets the sentiments of the season in a wonderfully novel, social and interactive fashion.

    Waller Holiday Card

    Hemenway & Barnes, 150 reasons…

    Hemenway & Barnes beat the seasonal rush by delivering its holiday card—in print and electronically—a week before Thanksgiving. So, thanks was the theme. The firm’s 150th anniversary is also the centerpiece in the form of 150 reasons, nearly all of them rhyming, to give thanks for all that’s good.

    Hemenway and Barnes Holiday Card

    Hemenway and Barnes Holiday Card

    Nutter’s holiday “scrapbook”

    Like Waller, the people of Nutter McClennan & Fish personalize their firm’s card and give it a family feel by offering favorite photos from the year. Recipients of the e-card watch a scrapbook being assembled with a cheery soundtrack en route to holiday greetings.

    Nutter Holiday Card


    This cosmopolitan Canadian law firm, with offices across Canada and a strong presence in Hong Kong, rings in the new year (the year of the dragon) with style. The card wishes clients good fortune and prosperity, while promoting a merger and its Hong Kong office.

    McMillan Holiday Card


    Toronto-based Weir Foulds shows less is more with a simple card and a single line of copy on the cover of a recent holiday greeting.   No bull, just a charming bull moose.

    Weir Foulds Holiday Card

    WeirFoulds, The Sequel.

    When a firm does a delightful job with a seasonal card, there’s added pressure on the following year. WeirFoulds takes a different tack in this sequel to the moose. Slightly different tone, similarly well-received.

    Weir Foulds Holiday Card

    Weir Foulds Holiday Card

    The gift of reading to a good kid.

    Not to toot our own New Year’s horn, but Greenfield/Belser’s seasonal tradition of supporting The Reading Connection (an organization devoted to reading books to inner-city children) marries our love of inspiring creativity with our favorite pro bono cause.

    The Reading Connection Holiday Card

    Drop us a line if you’re ready to start planning this year’s card. For more perspective, you might also enjoy our old big idea entitled “Hackneyed Holidays.”