Posts About ‘Marketing’

Huggies Clean Up Their Mess

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love being a dad and hate when any company marginalizes the role of dads in the parenting equation. The old stereotypes of the bumbling father who doesn’t know what to do with their kids have got to go.

So, a few weeks back when Huggies launched a new campaign that focused on “putting dads to the test” I wasn’t a fan of it.

They had a television commercial (since pulled) that first got people bent out of shape. I personally didn’t mind the commercial, but understood that they blew it on the copy. Instead of saying that they were putting the diapers to the test it implied that the dads were the ones being tested.

What got me was on their Facebook page they were giving money to moms for inspiring ideas and at the same time picking on dads who needed to be put to the test as a parent. It was the same stereotypes that I hate. I left them a note on their wall sharing my thoughts and then figured I was done with it. My kids are no longer in diapers and we were always a Pampers family so I didn’t really care if Huggies wanted to be a short sighted clueless company.

I figured this was the end of the whole thing for me, but boy was I wrong!

I was scheduled to take the stage at the Dad 2.0 Summit when I got an e-mail from Huggies’ agency Edelman asking if I’d be willing to sit down and talk to representatives from the brand about the situation. I was shocked and skeptical of what they were trying to do. I had never seen any response to mine or many of the comments left on their wall, but since it was obvious they were trying I wanted to give them a chance.

We sat down and chatted about the campaign. Kevin from Huggies came right out and said sorry the minute we sat down. He insisted that they never meant to pick on dads and admitted that the choice of wording was a miss step on their part and that they were pulling the ads and tweaking them. They were also going to go back and change the language throughout the campaign to make sure that it was always their products being put to the test and not the fathers.

The conversation was really good and I have to applaud them for stepping up like this. Big kudos to Edelman as well, because I know from my agency days how often you know what is the right thing to do, but clients don’t always listen and in this case they did.

These guys got on planes at the last minute and came to a conference to talk to the audience they offended. They didn’t hide behind an online post or e-mails. They did the harder thing and faced the issue head on. Way to go!

Unlike my mess with Ragu last year that resulted in nothing but them flipping me a middle finger in my opinion, Huggies took action and took action quick.  More companies could learn from this.

One bit of the conversation I had with them has lead to the video below that Digital Dads has the exclusive premiere of.

They mentioned to me that the men in the commercials were actual dads with their kids. I encouraged them to spotlight this and make a point of saying that because it makes everything they say a bit more genuine. So while this won’t be showing on television anytime soon, they are going to be pushing it out on other channels.

Anyone else find the awesome irony in the subject of this video? I nearly fell on the floor laughing when they sent it to me. I wonder what sauce they used *laugh*

In conclusion, what every brand should learn from this is that we all make mistakes and when they happen you need to own them and address them. In today’s social and connected world you can’t go silent and hide from mistakes. Saying sorry is not easy for anyone and when you are a multi-million dollar brand it is harder, but you still have to do it.

Huggies, thank you for stepping up and being responsible and hearing from our community. While I don’t need your products in my life anymore, I have more respect for you than I did before this whole campaign started! Way to go!


Game of Thrones

Friday, February 25th, 2011

If I were to ask you what your Grandmother’s house smelled like I bet you could answer right?

While it isn’t the sexiest of our senses, smell is a powerful one and one that I haven’t seen used in a marketing campaign in a long time and I know I’ve never seen it used to share with me the smell of an imaginary world of fantasy, swords and horses.

Today, I got a package in the mail from HBO for their upcoming series, Game of Thrones that premieres on April 17th.

Now, I don’t know much about this show besides what I’ve seen from the teasers shown on HBO. But, I’ve been a fan of the original programming on HBO for years. Shows like Oz, True Blood, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire are some of my favorites. I’m also a life long fan of anything fantasy related so pretty much anything with dragons, swords, castles or armor and you instantly have me interested.

I need to disclose to you that I might be a little biased about this marketing campaign because it was dreamed up by my uber-creative buddy Steve Coulson and the team at Campfire. (of which I still am a stakeholder in) As I was leaving there last summer, they were just starting talks about doing something for this show and I’ve been eager to see what they came up with. Because I’ve worked on enough campaigns like this, I know that there will be a lot more happenings down the road and I can’t wait to see what they came up with this time. Plus the letter hints that this is “the first link in the chain…”

So, since I don’t know anything about this show (it is based on the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” which I haven’t read), I’m hoping that fans of the books can help me figure out what I’m suppose to do with this box.

Game of Thrones - Influencer Outreach BoxAs you can see in the set of photos I took, it is an old wooden box. Inside were six different glass vials that each contained a different scent. There were also several scrolls, a map and two glass vials with location names on them that matched locations on the map. Finally there were some smelling sticks and little brass funnels that could be used to pour the oils into the glass location vials.

The kids and I had a blast going through this looking at everything, smelling everything and finally looking to see if there were any trap doors or hidden inscriptions anywhere on the box. We were a bit bummed that there was not. But, the box did leave me hungry with a sudden craving for warm bread and pear brandy. (two of my scents)

Game of Thrones - Influencer Outreach BoxAfter reading the letter from HBO and reading through the scrolls I did discover what looks like a holding page for something that is coming at I didn’t know what a Maester was, but they kept talking about them in the box and a quick search lead me to this definition.

What has me very curious is that I noticed some other friends like J.C. Hutchins and Violet Blue also got these scent boxes. A quick look at their photos and videos shows me that we didn’t all get the same scents or location vials. I wonder if any of the fan sites out there can make sense of all of them and help us find out what other sort of online or offline goodies might be coming down the pike.

Game of Thrones - Influencer Outreach BoxWhat works about this outreach is that it turned me from having a casual interest in the show to now being hyper curious what it is all about. According to the scrolls in the box and what I’ve now read online it is almost as if smells work as a sort of teleportation? Can someone who has read the books tell me why smells are so important and if this thought is even close to right? Just don’t spoil the plot of the books please because I want to watch the show not knowing what is going to happen.

This is a very well done outreach. In my book Content Rules, one of our rules is “do something unexpected” and an old wooden treasure chest full of scents certainly does just that!

Although, I may just be starting out on The Maester’s Path, I’m very curious where it is going to lead me. Especially since everything I’ve now read warns me that Winter Is Coming…

Who Needs a Dad Site?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I noticed over the past year or so that anytime I would blog about my family or kids on my personal blog that the posts would get more comments and more reactions then any other topic I might write about. Combine that with my passion for being a good father and the fact that I think Dads get a bum rap across all forms of media and that made me want to start this site.

Dylan and Emily Wedding

Of course the big reason is these two little people right here. This is my son Dylan and my daughter Emily. They are the reason I do a lot of things in life, but I wanted to do this to share my experiences with them and to share what I learn with you the reader. I certainly don’t have all the answers on how to be a good Dad or how best to raise kids, but I like to think that I am open to share what little I do know and I hope some of you get some good advice out of it.

The idea really started to come to a simmer last summer when I got thinking about how so many of my friends were what I called “Digital Dads.” We shared pictures of our kids online, uploaded home movies and spent a large chunk of time interacting in ways that our fathers never did. I wondered how this would change the next generation of kids. I wondered about this a lot.

I also work in the marketing world. I run a company called The Advance Guard and we work with brands big and small to build buzz, community and awareness around their products and services. We focus on building campaigns with disruptive technologies and social media. I also host a marketing podcast called Managing the Gray. Because of both of these I read about, plan and execute a variety of campaigns and I kept seeing Mommies getting all the attention while Dads sort of being forgotten about.

Now I know a lot of this is due to the fact that there are plenty of Dads involved in online media, but very few write about being a parent on a regular basis. At least I think this why most are ignored for the most part.

What I want out of this site is a way for three Dads (and maybe more some day) to share honest advice on being a Father in today’s world. The hope is to cover a variety of topics that any guy can use. We’ll be posting recipes, talking about sex, reviewing things and of course talking about raising our kids. No topic is off topic so expect some good variety in the coming weeks.

I’m a Digital Dad and damn proud of it. I hope you enjoy what you find here.

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