A Lovely Weekend Brunch

Nothing says brunch like bottomless fentanyl, errr uh. Well this is what Yuzu, a restaurant in Lakewood, OH, jokingly put on their Instagram story as the “new brunch special.” And outrage ensued once the wonderful world of social media got ahold of it. From you shouldn’t be making fun of the opioid crisis, to it’s in poor taste, to maybe your account was hacked. The owner didn’t respond to any of the backlash until a few days later and here’s a blurb of his response on Facebook:

Was the original post just in poor taste? Or is backlash like this to blame on an overly politically-correct culture we’re living in. Being a business owner is like walking on eggshells, be careful as to what you post on social media and stay away from controversial topics, because that can be like opening Pandora’s box. Ciconte Consulting is here to assist you with your social media strategy, just contact us!

-JC

Hulu Has Live Sports?

(GIF – Hulu)

In Hulu’s recently launched marketing campaign, we can definitely confirm that “Hulu has live sports.” Here’s their ad spots Damian Lillard and Joel Embiid. I did in fact know that Hulu has live sports along with their live tv options (starting at $39.99/mo). But if you didn’t know, and assuming you know of Dame (Portland Trailblazers) or Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), then you realize that Hulu got two of the biggest names in the NBA to advertise their live sports platform. The “Hulu Sellouts” campaign will include four national TV spots that will run through June, featuring athletes from varying professional sports. An ad to be released in the coming weeks will feature All-Star Game team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo – Adweek.

I’m a fan of this campaign, it’s funny and very informative of what they have to offer, albeit live tv in addition to their already known streaming options. I’ll plug Hulu Live TV, although I just have it for streaming (with Spotify bundled), I’m more of a Sling TV; a Slinger as they call it. Check it out..there’s plenty of other options than going the traditional, expensive cable route and you can cancel anytime, no bogus contracts.

-JC

Welcome to the New Battle Royale

(Image – Dextero)

Update 2/11/19 8:10pm CST – Apex Legends has surpassed 25 million players within its first week of launch.

Apex Legends, what the? It’s the newest free-to-play battle royale game, following in the footsteps of Fortnite, set in the Titanfall universe (Developed by Respawn Entertainment – Published by EA Games: Xbox One, PS4, and PC). Check out a trailer of some gameplay to get familiar with Apex Legends. That battle Royale genre is so hot right now. Some crazy numbers to put into perspective as to how hot it is, Apex Legends, went from rumored to leaked to released in the span of just a few days. After that, it went from somewhat buzzy to worldwide phenomenon in 72 hours, which is as long as it took to amass 10 million players and 1 million concurrents (Forbes).

With this smashing success out of the gate, how are they planning to make money with their free-to-play game? MICROTRANSACTIONS, WOOT! E.x. Apex Coins (AC) are Apex Legends’ real-money microtransaction currency. You can get 1,000 AC for $9.99, with bonus AC coming along with higher-priced bundles like 2,150 for $19.99 or 4,350 for $39.99. Also, selling Founder’s Packs for $29.99 which has a bunch of exclusive items. And the inevitable season passes (battle pass, speculated at $15-$25) which will get you gear, items, maps, etc. So monetization is well in motion for Apex Legends.

My thoughts: I’ve played this game and it’s FUN (with a squad of 3 that is, possibly adding singles/duos mode in an update, got to stay relevant nowadays). Randoms = no fun, for me at least. But there’s so many aspects of this game they got right, and being it just came out not everything is perfect, some bugs here and there, but well done Respawn Entertainment. I may or may not put money into it, but the marketing is off the walls with all the well known streamers playing this on Twitch. Give it a download, have a good time with your squad, and try taking the elusive 1st place (I’m still trying for 1st 🙃).

-JC

Wanna Hear a Joke About Pizza?

Nevermind, it’s too cheesy. If you didn’t already know, National Pizza Day is February 9th. IHOP is ready to slay the new year with marketing, starting with their Pancizza, which is a combination of a pancake and a pizza.

They unveiled a pancake that comes in a pizza box, it’s diameter is seven inches. It’ll be available in three different flavors, Original Pancake – topped with butter, Cupcake – topped with icing and sprinkles, and Bacon & Cheddar. In addition to that, they come with four syrups, old-fashioned, strawberry, blueberry, and butter-pecan.

It’ll only be available at specific locations, including the Chicagoland area, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City and for a specific amount of time, from Friday (the 8th) through Sunday (the 10th). They’re partnering with DoorDash and giving free delivery with the code PANCIZZA if you’re a new customer, and IHOPDELIVERY if you’re returning.

In addition to that, for one day only (Saturday) they’ll be opening an IHOP Pancizzeria, on Bleecker Street, in New York City. There they’ll be giving away free slices on Saturday the 9th.

-EC

Uber Rewards

In order to keep customers just using Uber, and not comparing prices to other services like Lyft, Uber is rolling out a rewards program. Not only will you receive points for every ride you take with Uber, but also for your Uber Eats orders. It’s free to join the rewards program and there are four different levels with different benefits.

The first level is Blue, which lets you earn points for every ride or order and the opportunity to earn $5 Uber Cash for every 500 points you earn. The next level is Gold, which gives you priority support and more flexible cancellations. Next, is Platinum, which gives you price protection between your two favorite places and priority pickups at airports. Finally, the highest level is Diamond, which adds complimentary upgrades, special access to high rated drivers, premium support, and free delivery on three Uber Eats orders on top of all of the previous benefits.

To be in the Blue group you need zero points, Gold is 500 points, Platinum is 2,500 points, and Diamond is 7,500. Uber Pool rides and Uber Eats orders both give you 1 point for every $1 spent, 2 points are given for every $1 spent on UberX rides, and 3 points for every $1 spent on a Premium ride.

Points are earned during a six month period. So however many points you accumulate over those six months, their rewards will be available to you for not only the current period but also the next six month period too.

It is currently only available in nine cities, but will be available everywhere in the U.S. within the next few months.

-EC

This Post is Straight Fyre

You’re invited to read this post. And hopefully you’re on top of things or you won’t understand anything whatsoever about it, but if not here’s what you need to watch to catch up. 🔥🔥🔥

What’s the hype about? Why is event planning important (we can help you with that)? Tell me more. I still have yet to watch the Hulu version. But what was wrong with this whole situation. Well the marketing Billy McFarland & Ja Rule threw together was amazing for the Fyre Fest, from the video which makes you want to be there or the supermodels that tweeted an orange square on Instagram promoting it (paid 250k for the posts, at least Kendall Jenner was..over 102mil followers). The marketing of this event was relying mainly on the influencers promoting it which seems all that’s wrong with Instagram. From a video of an island where it wasn’t even hosted (because they mentioned it was Pablo Escobar’s island, and lost it), to some of the top supermodels in the world, and promising an experience that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Marketing can be deceptive, as many things in life are. But the event planning for Fyre was an absolute disaster, because Billy (known scam artist and in jail now) made promises that he couldn’t fulfill in the time they wanted to host the festival and kept leading on the consumers, but also his team. Villas turned into FEMA tents, fine dining turned into a slice of cheese on bread (yum), lockers weren’t ready, mattresses were soaked from a earlier storm, artists pulled out, scam, scam, everything about it was a scam.

Without getting too far into details, and again if you haven’t watched them it’s definitely worth the watch, there’s some pretty simple takeaways. Event planning is crucial…and needs proper time and measures taken to make sure your event is everything you’re saying it will be. Marketing? Sure you want to hype up an event or product, but don’t hype it up to be something it isn’t. Being transparent with your marketing and intentions goes a long way with consumers, Billy had many chances to do so and kept stringing EVERYONE along. Be you and people will take notice and appreciate it.

-JC

Advertising of the Future

What does this image even entail? HOW ABOUT ADVERTISING IN LOW-EARTH ORBIT 😱?! Say what. Yes, you read that correctly. A Russian startup called StartRocket has proposed an idea to have “billboards” orbiting low-earth. Here’s a video of what it would look like. Now the numbers behind it? Tiny cubesats orbiting at a low-Earth altitude of 400-500 kilometres (248-310 miles), according to the startup’s website, these satellites would each bear a collapsible sail that is capable of reflecting the light of the Sun to form a single pixel. would have an area of 50 square kilometres (19 square miles). This Orbital Display, as it is being called, could then be programmed to display logos to people around the globe, for 6-minute intervals, around 3 or 4 times a day, dawn & dusk (Science Alert).

Holy absurd!! But imagine how quick advertising companies would jump on something like this if it was approved, an ad covering 19 square miles. A crazy idea nonetheless, that has eyebrows raised on the business side and environmental side. But who knows, this might be something that comes to fruition in the next 50+ years? 🤔

-JC

Food, Fast Food

No politics here (yes the government is shutdown and the White House chefs weren’t available). What’s with the spread of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and some other fast food joints? The Clemson Tigers were visiting the White House to celebrate their National Championship win. But heck, putting myself in those shoes as a college student (especially a growing football player) I’m all in on that smorgasbord of fast food served on silver platters! Oh McNuggets and as many dipping sauces as you want, don’t mind if I do. A few quarter pounders, baconators, and heaps of fries, SURE WHY NOT.

I get this isn’t a ritzy dinner like other teams that have visited, but you have to make the most of the situation you’re in. That ties directly to running your business. You may not always be in the best situation when it comes to sales, marketing, management, but find the silver lining. Speaking of silver lining, some nice exposure on a national/global level for these brands seeing as every news outlet has reported on this. And here at Ciconte Consulting you bet we’re going to partake in the insanity.

-JC

BREAKING NEWS

Pho restaurant forced by city to take down ‘offensive’ sign advertising its name. This is just a funny little news story I saw as I was surfing the web and all I have to say is it’s some great advertising (offensive? Maybe…to some). This French-Vietnamese restaurant in Keene, New Hampshire which won’t be open until March 1st is already in hot water (pho pun!). So the owners are going back and forth with city officials trying to get this issue resolved. The majority (see below) was for the name of Pho Keene Great, which has my vote.

Thoughts? Is the name really Pho Keene Great?

-JC

That’s So Fetch

Stop trying to make fetch happen! But what are some marketing trends we’ll see happen in 2019 (oh and Happy New Year)! One thing we saw the emergence of in 2018 was User Generated Content (UGC), this is something that will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. Why? Social media. Example, like this post, share it, tag a friend in it, usually entails a giveaway but it builds tremendous brand awareness for practically zero cost. How about this little feature called live video? It’s becoming bigger and bigger for companies showcasing their products or services on Instagram or Facebook. Live video makes things more interactive and hands on, ask a question and get an answer almost immediately. Maintain that relationship with your customers or continue to grow it through live video. With the grow of esports, I think we’ll see a lot more companies getting into advertising on video game streams (streaming) or sponsoring teams/events. The industry is absolutely surging, and I’m guessing this will last well beyond 2019, but it would be a good time to take notice and try to stay ahead of the game..aha.

Just a few marketing trends to keep your eyes open for in 2019, and if there’s any other concerns about trends or your marketing CONTACT US…we got your back like a chiropractor.

-JC