The Trendiest of Trends

If you’re anything like me, or have crawled out from under your rock, you have accepted that Instagram is the greatest thing that has happened since Mean Girls.

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Slowly but surely, several companies are recognizing the prominence of Instagram as a content platform. Users may have recently noticed those random, sponsored Instagram ads that pop up in your feed, or the companies that are beginning to “conduct” the “Instagram ad train” (One of my many corny metaphors, but let’s go with it).

Throughout 2016, Instagram users should expect to see many more brands jumping on this train. Personally, as someone who is very active on social media, and has become extremely passionate about this field through my studies of media, advertising and brand reputation/management, I am thrilled for this Instagram ad trend to develop even further. Jonathan Long from Market Domination Media claimed, “Creative advertising content on Instagram will dominate the first half of 2016.”

That said, like any other trend that companies try to pick up, it has to be done perfectly in order for it to be effective. The harsh truth in the advertising world, especially when thousands, potentially millions of dollars are being spent on ads, is that it must be done correctly from beginning to end, or don’t do it all.

Plan your work, work your plan.

So…what exactly is this trend all about and what does it mean for brands?

This developing Instagram ad business allows brands to truly create and easily disseminate their brand itself, as well as the brand’s visual identity right into the hands of their current and future clients and customers.

As of recently, Instagram ads have allowed for much more accessibility and interactivity between a particular brand and its followers, clients and/or customers.

There is a price tag attached to just about everything in advertising, but if brands are serious about getting on board with this trend, they can (and should) pay for the option to include links and call-to-action buttons in their posts. The simplicity behind clicking a link or button and being directed to the brands homepage, product or event is one of the best and most beneficial features for organizations looking to increase their market of consumers.

Two more features of Instagram ads that I believe are significant contributions to the success of the ads are the sponsored ads, which are generated from Facebook interests, as well as the fact that these are pictures or videos that people don’t need to go out of their way to see, but have already been implemented into users everyday Instagram use.

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According to Adweek, Instagram will be using the same interest-generated technology that Facebook uses. When brands create sponsored posts, those posts will reach a very specific set of Instagram-user feeds due to users interests generating from their Facebook interests, allowing for a “cross pollination” between the two platforms. This feature is an incredibly easy and strategic way for organizations to reach their niche target market.

Another aspect behind the Instagram ad trend, which will make it so successful, is how easy it is for organizations to communicate their brand through one simple picture or video. We live in such a fast-paced environment, especially in regards to technology, that we have become incredibly lazy.

Honestly…I applaud you if you have gotten this far in my blog post considering how much people HATE to read. Unless a headline is telling me that someone will pay for all of my future student loans, I have no interest in reading past the first paragraph of an article or post on any social media. The easiest and quickest way to grab viewer’s attention is through a picture. According to Adweek, a successful brand never forgets the 20 percent rule; there should never be more than 20 percent of text in an advertising image.

All in all, brands are not going to want to miss out on the Instagram ad trend in 2016. Hop on board (my hypothetical Instagram ad train) and let the pictures do the talking!

 

Signing off…for now.

 

What is (Inter)National Marquette Day?

No, Marquette does not have a homecoming, but we do have National Marquette Day. National Marquette Day is equivalent to Christmas morning for Marquette students and alum from all over the globe; it is truly the greatest day of the year. This year, National Marquette Day is Feb. 27, 2016.

It is yet another opportunity to pay for overpriced basketball tickets to watch our team lose (especially considering we are playing the #1 team in the nation this year). It is day where you can wear an obnoxious amount of blue and gold and feel absolutely no shame because thousands of people in Milwaukee and across the globe are doing the exact same thing. But more importantly, National Marquette Day is a day to celebrate how much we love Marquette University as our forever second home.

The best part about National Marquette Day is that there are so many events that have been organized to bring the entire Marquette family together.

  • Event: Basketball Game
    • When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.
    • Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center
    • What: The biggest event of National Marquette Day is by far the basketball game! This year, our men’s basketball team will be playing Villanova, who is currently the number one team in the nation (that should be interesting).
  • Event: Basketball Game Viewing Parties
    • When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.
    • Where: Bars across the globe!
    • What: Across the globe, there are viewing parties to watch the basketball game at bars. What could be better than drinking your favorite beer, watching your favorite team, and hanging out with your college buds?
  • Event: Pep Rally and Fireworks
    • When: Friday, February 26, 2016 from 6 to 7 p.m.
    • Where: Parking Lot F (across from the Al McGuire Center)
    • What: Enjoy some chili, s’mores, hot chocolate and many more treats with President Lovell, Coach Wojo, and hundreds of other Marquette students and alum. And who could forget about the fireworks that are scheduled to start National Marquette Day off with a bang? Best part about it all is that it’s FREE!
  • Event: Late Night Marquette
    • When: Thursday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m.
    • Where: Varsity Theatre
    • What: Late Night Marquette has organized a FREE show featuring Mentalist Sean Bott. Be prepared to be amazed with Sean’s mind reading, telepathy and fortune telling performance. The LA Times said that Sean is a “crazy mix between Jack Black and Criss Angel.” You won’t want to miss this!

For more information on all of the events, go to National Marquette Day’s official website: www.nationalmarquetteday.com and spread your excitement for National Marquette Day and share all of your pictures and memories from the day with the hashtag,  #nationalmarquetteday.

No matter where you are from, or what year you have graduated or will graduate in, WE ARE MARQUETTE!

 

Signing off…for now.

 

Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials…According to Me

The Super Bowl is one of the most viewed and talked about television program every year. Why though? Is it because of the two teams playing that particular year? Is it because of the halftime performance, and possibly how horribly wrong it went (cough cough, Janet Jackson)? As a communication student, but more importantly, as a regular human being who likes to be entertained, I think what brings the most attention to the Super Bowl are the commercial ads.

After briefly watching the 2016 Super Bowl, I have picked out my top five favorite commercial advertisements. In no particular order, they are…

Doritos Ultrasound

What better way to sell your product than through humor? Unfortunately, though, like every year with Super Bowl commercials, there is always one, or a few, that is considered to be controversial, and this year it was this Dorito’s commercial. For me personally, I think Doritos did a great job exemplifying their humor and creativity through a short story.

Colgate Conserving Water

Wow. Shout out to Colgate for this genius commercial. I know I said I didn’t have a particular order for my top five, but I think this was my favorite commercial ad for 2016. Rather than throwing their brand in your face, Colgate told a story, appealing to their viewers emotional side. For people like me, who prefer Crest over Colgate, after watching this commercial, I respect Colgate more as a brand, and tbh (to be honest), I would absolutely consider buying one of their products.

Hyundai First Date 

This commercial used a double-whammy strategy by not only using humor, but using a famous person to capture viewers attention into watching the commercial, but more importantly, to draw them into their brand and its products. I appreciate the creative spin that Hyundai took by telling a story while subtly showing off their product. 

Hyundai Ryanville 

I guess Hyundai was willing to spend a lot of money this year by bringing in actors who are very well liked. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a little man candy…yeah I’m looking at you, Ryan. Hyundai did a great job this year by focusing more on the story-telling tactic, while still subtly bragging about their cars and their special functions. 

Heinz Wiener Stampede

What I liked the most about this commercial was that you had no idea what the commercial was about, or which brand it was going to represent. For me, I believe that that is one of the best tactics to use because it creates curiosity among viewers, forcing them to continue watching, and ultimately (well, hopefully), bringing more attention to your brand in such an easy way! And come on, who isn’t immediately drawn into a commercial with dogs frolicking in an open field? 

That’s all I got for this weeks blog post! Until next time!

Oh…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Signing off.

The Question Every College Student Gets Asked At The Holidays: What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Coming to Marquette, I initially had a double major in secondary education and mathematics. I had always been one of those people who knew exactly what they wanted to do ever since they were a little kid, and for me, I knew for an absolute fact that I wanted to be… no, better yet, I was born to be a teacher.

After finishing my second semester of freshman year, I had come to the conclusion that I absolutely, positively, did NOT want to be a teacher, especially for math. It was in April of my freshman year that I had to find a new passion.

It was difficult to accept the fact that what I thought I was put on this Earth to do, was in fact, not at all what I wanted to do. This transition was far from easy, but after doing my research and having long discussions with my family, I knew that I had found a new career path.

After taking multiple PR courses at Marquette, I can confidently now say that I have never been more passionate about something than I am about PR.

When people ask me why I love PR so much, my response is the same every time; it’s simply because I love people, and I love working with and learning from people who are just as excited and passionate about this field as I am.

PR majors are lucky because there are so many jobs that are available under the big “PR umbrella.” For me, I have a list of “dream jobs.”

Down the line, after gaining some PR experience, I would absolutely love to work internally for a company or organization, and further develop its internal communication. Because I am a people-person myself, and an even bigger people pleaser, there’s nothing I want more than to create a working environment where people are happy, motivated, and most importantly, have strong communication among one another.

Another PR area that I would love to work in, which I think is often forgotten about, is event planning. I consider myself a very organized and creative individual, and would love to apply both of those skills in the event planning field. I would love to work for Ryan Alexander Events, a company that plans some of the most featured and recognized events in Chicago.

No matter what job I end up having, one aspect that I know will be a part of my future career is that it will be in Chicago.

Whether I end up working internally for a company, or become an event planner, or end up somewhere I would have never guessed, my PR education will come into play every moment of every day (HA! That rhymed! Maybe I should be a poet instead?). Any-hoo, I am confident that my background in PR, especially regarding relationships, ethics and transparency, will help me with any position that I choose to fulfill. I believe that my strong people skills will play a significant role in allowing me to connect with my clients, and ultimately creating that strong and trusting relationship with them.