Gladys Santiago

Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Media, Product Placements by Gladys Santiago on January 17, 2011

The Greatest Story
Morgan Spurlock will premiere his latest meta-documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at Sundance later this month. The film, which is being touted as the first ever “docbuster,” is a documentary about branding, advertising and product placements completed financed by corporate sponsorships. The above poster was designed by Ron English whose work critiques the marketing practices of many brands, most notably McDonald’s. The poster takes some swipes at White Castle, Aunt Jemima and Kellogg’s so click here to enlarge it for a more detailed view.

Thanks to Flickr user Agent J Loves Agent A for the cool find.



Ray-Ban Project Colorize

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Fashion, Marketing by Gladys Santiago on July 2, 2008

Ray-Ban recently launched a campaign for their new line of Wayfarer sunglasses.  The Project Colorize ads and products were designed by five New York artists (Tara McPherson, Scott Alger, Queen Andrea, Ron English, and Toofly) and have been featured in Marie Claire.  The billboards, which will run in New York, are expected to 16 million impressions each month (via: Adweek).  To kick off the promotion, Ray-Ban sponsored a stunt near Herald Square in which paid actors donned their Wayfarers to stare at one of the billboards (via: Style Wise).  Click here to see a couple of pictures from the event. 

Wayfarers are back in a big way.  I just purchased a pair over the weekend.  Although, I love the Project Colorize styles and was really looking forward to getting the ones designed by Tara McPherson, I opted to get a more subtle color.  Last year, Ray-Ban introduced its Never Hide campaign, which emphasized consumer involvementthrough its online community and gave a lucky few the opportunity to feel like super-models.  If you attended the Project Colorize marketing stunt, please send me pics or tell me your thoughts.  It would be much appreciated!        

Nike Releasing Back to the Future Marty McFly Sneakers

Posted in Fashion, Marketing, Sneakers by Gladys Santiago on June 28, 2008

AHHH!  My jaw just dropped and my heart skipped a beat.  After years and years of anticipation and campaigning from fans, Nike will release the sneakers Marty McFly wore in Back to the Fututre: Part II.  However, the sneakers look NOTHING like the pair seen in the classic film.  There has undoubtedly been a lot of hype about the shoes, but Nike really dropped the ball by making them, as PSFK‘s Dan Gould states, “…just a limited edition Hyperdunk that’s inspired by the movie version”  (via: “Nike To Finally Release Back To The Future Sneaker“).  I feel absolutely cheated. 

I wasn’t expecting the McFlys to tie themselves, after all, it’s 2008 and flying cars are nowhere in sight.  I was however, hoping that Nike would keep the authenticity of the original design.  This is really a “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” moment.  My Puma El Roos look more like the McFlys than that slab of leather Nike is set to drop.    

In recent months, HBO has been airing the Back to the Future films, which I’m sure not only increased demand for the sneakers, but also introduced them to an entire generation collectors.  I’m sure many people will be clamoring to get these, but I will not be one of them.  No official release date has been set, but they are expected to hit shelves sometime this Summer  (via:    

Tagged with: , , ,

Uniqlo’s Award-winning Uniqlock Case Study

Posted in Branding, Fashion by Gladys Santiago on June 22, 2008

 Click here to watch a results presentation of Uniqlock, a widget designed to connect bloggers to the Uniqlo brand.  I particularly like the screen-shot of the Google search results for “uniqlock.” 

Tagged with: , ,

AKQA’s Nike PhotoID Mobile Marketing Campaign

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Mobile, Sneakers by Gladys Santiago on June 18, 2008

AKQA, London’s latest endeavor for NikeiD seeks to take mobile marketing to a new level by attempting to deepen the interaction between the consumer and brand.  NikePhotoiD, the latest service offered by NikeiD, allows users to customize Dunk high-tops on the fly by simply texting an image of their surroundings with a camera phone.  The application then selects the two dominant colors of an image and sends participants an example of a customized sneaker superimposed over the original image they took along with a link to share or purchase their creation.  NikePhotoiD will only be available in Europe, but AKQA is working on expanding the product selections and service to other regions. 

Paulo Tubito, Nike’s Director of Brand Connections, states, “Where past use of MMS in mobile marketing campaigns has typically focused on short-term, one-way interactions between brands and consumers, Nike PhotoiD opens a genuine creative dialogue between the brand and its audience” (via: Contagious).  I’ve always found most mobile marketing attempts to be rather one-dimensional despite being highly user-controlled and initiated.  Although NikePhotoiD includes a viral aspect, I doubt designs will be widely shared on a long-term basis.  Perhaps its because the NikeiD website has such boring color and material selections, but I’ve never enjoyed viewing the sneaker designs of other people.  This really seems like a neat service and when it arrives in the states, I’ll definitely try it out, but it strikes me as nothing more than a gimmick that will lose its appeal after customers satisfy their curiosity.  Ross Cidlowski makes a great point when he wonders if Europeans use cell phones differently and questions whether this campaign will have any significant impact on people’s behavior.   

I love customized sneakers and appreciate how Nike is inviting customers to capture the environments that inspire them.  The creative process, however, is severely limited by the lack of color options and ability to actively design the sneaker.  Perhaps a more effective way for Nike to strengthen its mobile communication with consumers would have been a relaunch of the NikeiD website with better navigation and palettes that allow visitors to create custom colors and patterns.        


Mountain Dew’s Dewmocracy In Action

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing by Gladys Santiago on June 16, 2008

The polls will close at the end of June and a new soft drink will join the Mountain Dew family.  In November, PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, teamed up with WhittmanHart and launched an exceedingly interactive ad campaign to revitalize the brand.  The campaign consists of several phases where players of an online game design their own Mountain Dew drink.  The user-generated beverages were then narrowed down to three flavors (Supernova, Voltage, Revolution) and are currently being sold for a limited time.  The packaging instructs customers to visit and vote for their favorite flavor.  It goes without saying that Mountain Dew is playing off of the excitement of the national elections and even displays results from each state. 

“Dewmocracy” is the first large-scale web marketing campaign by Mountain Dew that targets teens and Millennials, who have grown up with the Internet.  In 2007, the brand ended its highly-successful “Do the Dew” and “extreme sports” approach to end being labeled as an energy drink like Red Bull.  Ending its long-time partnership with BBDO and opting to collaborate with WhittmanHart has so far demonstrated impressive results.  The agency has incorporated many opportunities for consumers to be entertained and collaborate into the media it created.  The “Dewmocracy” website in particular contains experiential features where visitors can post messages and create there own 20-second campaign commercials to share on their social-networking profiles. 

In addition to the website and multi-player game, WhittmanHart created a 4-minute short filmto provide “Dewmocracy” with a back-story.  The power to design a drink is framed as an act of defiance against evil corporations seeking to eliminate people’s freedom to make their own choices.  This sort of rhetoric that addresses cynicism toward corporations is similar to how Mountain Dew appealed to “Gen Xers” in the 90s and will likely make the campaign a success.  Although members of “Dewmocracy” may not view themselves as full-fledged counterculturalists, they look for outlets of self-expression and the site provides exactly that.  In March, WhittmanHart reported “Dewmocracy” drew 70,000 visitors that spent an average of 26-28 minutes on the site. 

To promote the three flavors, PepsiCo has been giving customers free bottles and 12-pack cans at several supermarket chains.  I’m sure the soft-drink giant is hoping to get people hooked on a particular flavor and so they will visit and become brand ambassadors campaign supporters.  Overall, the interactivity of Mountain Dew’s new marketing strategy is top-notch and engaging.  Voting-centered ad campaigns seem to be popular and enjoyed by consumers.  In 2003 and 1995, M&Ms drew a lot of attention and participation when the company asked customers to select a new color for its candy.     

I’m so gonna illegally download your movie Sarah Marshall

Posted in Advertising, Marketing by Gladys Santiago on March 29, 2008

I must confess, I was a little amused when I spotted a subway poster that read, “You do look fat in those jeans Sarah Marshall.”  My head did turn when I saw another declaring, “My mom always hated you Sarah Marshall” further down the platform.  I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that I logged on to as soon as I arrived at work even though much of my curiosity was diminished when I noticed the MPAA rating.  It was that moment I realized I was tricked!  These scribblings weren’t some poor sucker’s way of dealing with a bad breakup, a cheating girlfriend, an itchy STD, or all of the above.  Nope, they were the latest addition of viral campaigns sweeping the marketing industry. 

Even though the Forgetting Sarah Marshall campaign is generating a lot of buzz from ad execs and audiences alike, it misses the mark on many levels.  The website/blog for example, provides way too much information and makes me long for a case of magnesiaamnesia.  You don’t have to be the swiftest deer in the forest to figure the film’s premise or predict which way its humor will blow.  Also, compared to the simple billboards, the site comes across as overdone.  The potential interactivity of the site is negated by how visitors are bombarded with youtube clips and unable to leave comments.      

Overall, my biggest complaint about the campaign is its tranparency.  It had so much potential to hook audiences and create genuine curiosity and word-of-mouth.  Seeing these ads, I can’t help but think about the 2006 Cartoon Network billboards featuring phrases such as, “I pooted” or “My boogers itch.”  There was no hint of a URL to a gaudy website on these ads.  Instead, they were shrouded in mystery and required observers to Google the terms or wait a couple of weeks before characters and the CN logo were revealed.  There’s a lot to be said for discovery; it gives people a sense of knowledge and accomplishment that spoon-fed information fails to provide.  While web content and an online presence is quickly becoming a part of many marketing strategies, it’s important to prevent all the bells and whistles and streaming video from becoming too much too soon.  By its very nature, the Internet is already an interactive and viral medium, so perhaps the most captivating and memorable experiences are the ones people participate in creating themselves. 

My Adidas!

Posted in Branding, Sneakers by Gladys Santiago on February 6, 2008

A lot has been going down in the world of Adidas and being an avid sneaker collector, I’m excited!  Following a month-long renovation, the Originals store in SoHo reopened during Fashion Week and set the stage for the company’s new Celebrate Originality campaign.  To promote the launch of the redesigned store, a giant adidas Originals shoebox was placed on Broome St.  Adidas, 180 Amsterdam and Hill & Knowlton have been generating a lot of buzz over their viral and interactive marketing strategies, which includes the release of an animated film about Adi Dassler on YouTube and implementing various blogger/social-networking outreach methods. 

The Celebrate Originality campaign introduces the miOriginals concept, which allows customers to design their own sneakers through interactive, in-store workshops.  According to Andrea Corso, an Adidas spokesperson, “It’s special for Originals because it’s now making this design component available to more consumers with more products and turning it over to them so they can bring their creative to life.” During a time in which people do not only consume, but rather render brands and products as part of themselves, the new Adidas campaign will most likely succeed.  Adidas introduced sneaker customization–a phenomenon that has proved successful for both Nike and Puma–in 1984 with the release of it Adicolor products.  Through the use of a brand model that treats customers as active, creative partners and participants, sneaker companies function much like a culture. 

Adidas has embraced the promotion of digital media and interactive events in the past.  In 2006, the company created several short films on YouTube for each color in its re-released Adicolor series.  For this campaign, Adidas opened a secret showroomin NYC’s Chinatown that prompted a lot of online discussion over its location.  To compliment a website it created for user-generated content, Adidas put up white billboards that encouraged people to tag them with graffiti. 

With a new Atelier retail design and special section in its stores for customers to relax in and be inspired, Adidas is not merely executing their latest advertising campaign.  Celebrate Originality serves as an example of how companies are seeking to increase brand loyalty and engagement by using marketing methods that encourage experiences.