Video is the NOW of Brand Marketing

The past week we have been completing online video campaigns for clients and somewhere along the week, we hit pause to better understand how video is changing marketing.  YouTube reports that the number of hours that people are watching on YouTube is up 50% year over year.

In 2013 video consumed 66% of internet traffic and by 2017, video is estimated by Cisco to account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.   Looking at the marketing side of the equation, 64% of marketers told Nielsen they expected video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

The real strength of video is the ability to capture the emotional resonance of a brand.  Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them.  Examples like Chipotle’s Farm Campaign, Kmart “Ship My Pants” and Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches all appeal to our emotional side, whether it is our social consciousness, our funny bone or our self-esteem.

Probably the most interesting example of the power of emotion is the most viewed video advertising campaign from 2014 that racked up 156 million views.  The black and white First Kiss video by LA fashion house Wren showed twenty complete strangers kissing.  The fact that it was wasn’t obviously a video advertising campaign may have contributed to its 77.8 million views, 1,392,296 Facebook shares, and 68,740 Twitter shares in just 31 days.   The brand reports the video amassed 14,000% more web traffic for the brand and increased sales 13,000%.    Of course, it didn’t hurt that the people were pretty cool and attractive.

Another type of brand video from Johnnie Walker video clearly sets the tone for the brand relevance of enjoying the finer things in life.

We all love video.  We remember it because of those emotional triggers and because we choose to click to play for subjects that have meaning for us.  In a sea of advertising, we still get some control.  In an Online Publishers Association report, 80% of Internet users remember watching a video ad in the past 30 days, with 46% of viewers taking some action after viewing the ad.

So is video just for consumer brands like fashion, entertainment, beauty products and restaurants?  No, in the B2B world,  Forbes says 75% of executives will watch work-related videos at least once a week.   And, 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing the video. Additionally, the 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey by Software Advice (a company that gives free advice on marketing software), revealed that not only are videos the most-used type of content, they also produce the highest volume of leads.

All videos should employ the best in storytelling.  Research has shown that your audience is 69% more likely to remember a story over anything else you communicate because stories put their brain to work and connect on an emotional level. Beyond brand videos like Johnnie Walker, marketers need to look into the following types of videos:

About Videos.  Short 60-90 second videos that explain who, what and how.  These may tell what your company does or explain how to use your product.

Case Studies.  Short introductions to your real-life customers telling their impression of your company or product are genuine and relate to your target audience.

Demonstrations.  These little videos are life-savers.  They can show you how to do something quicker than you can read the instructions.

Slice of Life.  These videos help impart something of your culture, your customers, your management.  These slice of life at your company help viewers relate to your company and give a preview of it.

Video doesn’t have to be expensive or involve complex production.  We all walk around with video recorders in our pockets today.

If You Are What You Eat, We’re A Little Nutty!

IMG_1469We have been obsessed with pistachios lately.  Maybe it’s the wacky Wonderful Pistachio advertising with Charles Colbert that caused us to end up with a few pounds of the green things.  But whatever!  It led us to this amazing Pistachio Pound Cake, perfect for all the Spring flings  – Mother’s Day, Graduations, Derby Day, the Iroquois, or just a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Hope you enjoy.

Pistachio Pound Cake

Compliments of The Candid Appetite

Yield: 3 loaves, about 8 to 10 servings per loaf


  •  1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, finely ground
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Prepare two large or three normal loaf pans by lining each with parchment paper, spraying with cooking spray and dusting them with flour. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and finely ground pistachios. Allow the ingredients to cream together for about 5 minutes, on medium high. Reduce speed to low. Slowly stream in the granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Once the mixture is completely smooth, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix once more.

3. Reduce speed to low and carefully add the reserved flour mixture; beat until just combined. Do not overmix the batter at this point. Fold in the chopped pistachios.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans, and smooth out the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 1 hour for three pans ( 1 hour and 35 minutes for two pans), rotating the pans halfway through baking. The loaves should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Let the cakes cool on a rack for about 20 minutes. Unmold and discard the parchment paper. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

4. To make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until completely smooth. Drizzle cakes with icing and sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired. Serve right away. Any leftovers can be wrapped well with plastic or stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for a couple days.

Who Knew? Brand Wise in Newsweek

paula1-200x300At our Lipstick Economy blog, we talk a lot about the Single Women market in the United States and how often they are being overlooked, in favor of the nuclear family.  Back in February, we visited with our friend Paula Froelich, now Travel Editor at Yahoo!, about this growing single women market.  And it turns out she wrote this fabulous Newsweek article about Advertising’s Untapped Market:  Single Women.

Paula describes this group:   “Women over 35, unmarried, with no children and – most important from an advertising point of view – successful. With apologies to Helen Reddy, theyshould be too big to ignore. Single Indies spend around $1 trillion each year…and there are 28 million of them. Yet, in both advertising and media, this pocketbook powerhouse is, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent.”

And our little contribution:  “People don’t realize what a large group of people were talking about,” says Jamie Dunham, president of the branding and marketing company Brandwise and a self-described “reformed advertising executive.” “This is not a small group. The Single Indie is almost a third of all adult women. And she has disposable income: She’s traveling, she’s buying things for her home, she’s getting a nice car because she doesn’t have the expense of a family household.”

More from the article:  “Last year, NBCUniversal’s Integrated Media group found that Single Indies were not just successful (accounting for 59 percent of master degree holders), they spent $22 billion on vehicles (five times more than independent men), $20 billion on entertainment, and $50 billion on food.”

So for marketers the message is clear.  You might need to move  from Real Housewives and focus on these highly independent, successful women who are buying for themselves and their extended family.




Mint Hot Chocolate? Yes, Please

Mint Hot Chocolate

Mint Hot Chocolate

When we are not talking about branding, we are talking about food.  So here’s what we are talking about –  a warm treat for the Holidays.  The secret ingredient is the Mint Julep Mixer from Eli Mason.  Our friend Luke Duncan says the mixers make some fine drinks too!  It’s like having a bartender in a bottle.

(Serves Two)

Warm 12 ounces milk (1-½ cups)

Whisk in 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

Stir in 2 ounces Eli Mason Mint Julep Mixer

Add a pinch of salt

Top with Marshmallows.



Reasons to Give Locally, Jaynee Day, Second Harvest Food Bank

Jaynee Day, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Jaynee Day, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

We reached out to Jaynee Day, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to find out why we should give locally.  The facts about the need and 46-county area they help serve are staggering.  The Second Harvest brand is synonymous with the fight against hunger.

1.  What are some surprising facts about those at risk for hunger in Middle Tennessee?

•   Hunger impacts the lives of 1 in 6 Tennesseans and 1 in 4 children struggle with hunger every day right here in Tennessee.

•   There are 395,770 people in our service area who are food insecure, which means they do no know where their next meal will come from.

•   Food Insecurity Rates: Davidson Co. 17.5%, Weakly Co. 18.4% (highest in service area), Williamson Co. 8.9% (lowest in service area)

•   Every day, a neighbor, coworker or family member could be forced with the choice of paying for food or paying for other basic living necessities.

•   Almost one-third of the people we see seeking food assistance have incomes much higher than the federal poverty level, which means they are ineligible to receive help from federal nutrition safety net programs like SNAP or WIC. These families’ ability to access food from Second Harvest help relieve pressure on their expenses so they don’t have to make the tough choice of paying for food or paying for medical care, which allows them to get back on their feed, helping avoid falling deeper into poverty. We’ve also seen the number of people living in poverty slightly increase, about 5 percent, which means more and more families are making tough choices about paying for food or other basic living necessities.

•   Hunger doesn’t care who you are. It affects all types of people. According to the 2014 Hunger in America Study, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee serves 83,000 households a year, including 64,000 children and 47,000 seniors – and those numbers are unduplicated, which means we could serve some of those multiple times throughout the year.

•   Nearly two-thirds of our adult clients have attained a high school degree and almost a quarter have a post high school education. Now more than ever, we are seeing a trend of students seeking food assistance – people struggling with hunger are trying to increase their education level to drive employment opportunities, and, in turn, income.

•   One of the most eye-opening results of the 2014 Hunger in America study is the number of clients with medical issues. Locally, the number of clients with diabetes or high blood pressure is much greater than the national average. Illnesses and medical disorders can be caused by a poor and inadequate diet and can present a substantial financial burden causing tough choices and trade offs to keep food on the table. 80 percent of our client households report choosing between food and medicine or medical care in the past 12 months.

2.  Why is giving locally important to Second Harvest?

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee could not do what we do without our 450 plus non-profit Partner Agencies. Every dollar donated provides four meals to our neighbors in need within our 46-county service area through our partner agencies who distribute groceries and serve meals to our neighbors. And without our corporate partnerships we would not be able to fund all of our feeding programs to distribute food to our Partner Agencies. It is due to the collective generosity of individuals, businesses, organizations and government in our community that we are able to do what we do every day.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee gives thanks this season for the tremendous support that helps us fill the need in our community.

3.  How are ways we can give to Second Harvest during this Holiday Season?

•   Anyone can join Second Harvest to make a difference in the fight against hunger. Whether it is donating a can of food, a dollar to provide four meals or an hour of your time to help sort food, you can make a real difference for a neighbor in need. Visit our website, to learn more.

•   Celebrate the season this December by giving to Second Harvest, where good does the most good. Your donation will provide meals and groceries to those in need effectively and efficiently this holiday season – 96 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to our Feeding Programs.

4.  Tell us about the Backpack Program for school children.

The BackPack Program provides easy-to-prepare food for at-risk children on weekends and during school breaks when other resources are not available. A typical BackPack includes two canned entrees, such as chili and beans and franks, applesauce, two cereals, 100% fruit juice, shelf-stable milk and a snack. The Second Harvest BackPack program serves more than 6,700 hungry children each week at more than 100 schools throughout Middle Tennessee.

5.  What continues to drive you to assist the hungry in Middle Tennessee?

I am proud of what Second Harvest has accomplished throughout my 26 years with the organization. However, our work is not done. Children, families and seniors in our community are going to bed hungry, and it is our duty as an organization and our moral obligation to continue the fight against hunger until we create a hunger free Tennessee.