Fortnite Fever

Yes, this Fortnite (Epic Games). Not only is it a game available on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC/MAC, and mobile devices; it has turned into a marketing POWERHOUSE. This has obviously led to the game grossing over $1 billion in sales across all of the aforementioned platforms. And the game keeps growing.

Many companies are jumping on the Fortnite wagon too. How so? Well, probably the most prime example which seems to constantly come up is Ninja, a Fortnite streamer on Twitch. He makes around $500,000 monthly steaming Fortnite (Ninja CNBC interview) and the video interview from CNBC is definitely worth a watch. Essentially companies can pay to advertise on his channel and streams.

When you think of gaming, you can usually associate energy drinks with a typical gamer…I know I do. Well Red Bull just hosted an event in Chicago, IL at the Willis Tower, starring *drum roll* NINJA. It was the Red Bull Till Dawn Fortnite tournament. This consisted of a bunch of gamers playing from 8:21pm C.S.T until 5:35am C.S.T.

Fortnite is not only big in the world of streamers, it’s also made its way into sports. There’s celebrations of all sorts (Fortnite celebrations ) in various leagues. These celebrations are based off of Fortnite dances/gestures. There’s precessional athletes tweeting about playing it with other athletes and even their fans. Professional sports has truly caught Fortnite fever.

I do believe that the marketing associated with Fortnite has been plenty of fun as seen on various social media channels. Fortnite will continue to grow along with the booming video game industry and Esports. And if you happen to have a video game or anything that needs marketing, remember to contact us for assistance!

Side note: Happy 1st birthday to Fortnite! 🎉🎁


Build-A-Backup Plan

In event planning something you always have to do is have a backup plan and roll with the punches. Build-A-Bear is a good example of a company who recently did that. Recently, they had planned an event and advertised it on social media called “Pay Your Age” day. It was just like it sounded, you pay your age for any bear in the store, up to 29-years old, so if you were over 29, the most it would cost is $29, and if you were under one, it would still cost $1. All you had to do to get the special price on July 12 was to sign up for their online club, which is also free. Well, that’s not really all you had to do, I can’t forget waiting in lines full of kids for hours on end. The lengthy lines caused the stores to close and send people home with $15 vouchers, but no bears.

After many angry customers posted about their bad experiences on social media and complained to the company, Build-A-Bear announced a new promotion: Count Your Candles. This new promotion only works for one bear, the Birthday Treat Bear, which is originally $14. It is for children 14 and younger, which makes sense with that price. The new deal works like this, you still need to be a member, but instead of waiting in long lines and getting any bear you want, you get the birthday bear, any day during your birth month, for the age you’re turning. Build-A-Bear worked fast to bring out this new promotion, which was good, but a better thing would be to plan out the original event better. Like author Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”


World Cup Winner

As I sit here, it really saddens me to think that the ever so exciting World Cup has come to an end. No more watching games while working with those amazing scheduled times CST. Congrats France! But a huge congrats to Nike, for not being an official sponsor and still taking the marketing crown.
How so (*scratches head*)? Well, take a look at the Nike infographic:


I’m sold sold on the Golden Boot winner wearing Nike, the Golden Ball winner wearing Nike, and best young player wearing Nike. I reckon that might drive boot sales up a tad bit. And not to mention it was an all Nike final match up of Croatia/France.

So on the world’s biggest sports stage, Nike takes the crown. The countdown to Qatar 2022 begins, you’ll be missed World Cup.

Good Things Take Time

 (@TanaMongeau – Twitter)

Here at Ciconte Consulting, we know that a huge event can’t be planned in less than two months especially by a 20-year-old with no event planning experience. Something that’s been trending on social media, especially YouTube and Twitter was a convention by popular YouTuber (with 3.6 million subscribers) Tana Mongeau. In response to having conflicts at VidCon, a conference held annually in California for creators and their fans, she decided to hold her own meet and greet on the same weekend and in close proximity, and she called it TanaCon.

The event ended up going out of control and was what a lot of people thought would happen since she is known to be irresponsible. After overselling tickets, letting people in who didn’t buy tickets, having fans waiting outside in the blistering sun, and using a space that wasn’t able to fit everybody, fans were outraged. She estimated that there were around 20,000 fans outside, when in reality there were around 4,000.

In the planning of this event, Mongeau mentioned how cool it would be to have fans waiting outside for her. Fans weren’t happy to hear that after waiting outside for hours and getting serious sunburns. The space they rented stated in their contract that it could only hold 1,000 people, but they continued to sell around 5,000 tickets. She promised the best security to her fans, but there were no bag checks and limited security. So many of her fans lost their money and weren’t even able to meet her. The police then shut down the event because it was deemed unsafe.

However, she’s blaming the corporation Good Times Live, which has been referred to as “Bad Times Live” after this event. It is also run by someone who is younger and was in over his head, Michael Weist, who has also been getting bad publicity for other reasons recently. He is the CEO of Good Times Live, but also the only worker there. Mongeau said that this event was made to make a statement, not to make money. Most of the tickets were supposed to be free, except for a small extra charge for VIP. While waiting in line outside, the fans talked, and all of them had actually paid and nobody had the “free” tickets. When Mongeau found that out she was shocked. Weist was keeping that money and that information from her.

That is only the beginning of all of the things that went wrong with TanaCon. A large scale convention can’t be put together that fast, even by us. Good things take time, close reading of contracts, and communication which all weren’t evident in this situation. Come to us with all of your event planning needs, and we won’t let you down!



Think Before You Post

Everybody has heard the saying ‘think before you speak,’ but it is even more important to think before you post. Once you post something, even if you delete it, it never truly disappears. This pertains to personal social media accounts as well as business social media accounts. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon once summed this up well for businesses. He said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” In this blog post I will be going over three companies that should have thought twice before they posted, and reaped the consequences of not doing so.

The first example is Entenmann’s, taking it all the way back to 2011. They are known for their baked goods such as their donuts and their little bites muffins. Some people might even think of them as their guilty pleasure. On July 5 they Tweeted, “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” which sounds perfectly normal right? However, they didn’t check why #notguilty was trending before they posted. It was trending because of the Casey Anthony case, and as soon as they found out, they deleted the Tweet and apologized.

Another company who should have done a double check is Nivea, a body-care brand. On April 3, Nivea posted an ad on Facebook for their new deodorant. The text in their post said, “Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible.” But the text wasn’t the problem. The photo that went with the text was a woman sitting facing a window wearing all white. There was text on the photo that said, “White is purity” which sparked a lot of controversy online. After racist allegations, they pulled the ad and also put out an apology and explained themselves saying how they meant it was a stain-free deodorant.

Finally, a third brand who didn’t think about the recent past before they sent out a mass email: Adidas. On April 18, 2017, Adidas sent out an email that said “Congrats you survived the Boston Marathon!” They clearly did not think only four years back to the Boston Marathon bombing, where three people literally did not survive it. After being heavily criticized for their insensitivity, they also gave a public apology, but sadly for them, you can’t unsend an email. In their apology, they claimed that they were deeply sorry and said that there was no thought given to their wording.

After reading about three huge companies’ social media failures, you can see just how easy it can be to find yourself in deep water. Remember, think before you post, check why a hashtag is trending, and have other



International House of Buzz

  (@IHOb – Twitter)

Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” IHOP, or should I say IHOb really had people talking about them. In fact, the “B” should have stood for buzz, because they created a lot of that. If you haven’t heard by now, IHOP announced that they were changing their name to IHOb, and had customers guessing what the “b” stood for. Some Twitter users guessed things like biscuits, bacon, and breakfast, but when they announced what it really stood for everybody was shocked: burgers! You might be thinking, what?! IHOP is a pancake place, well that is exactly why they did this. They wanted to let everybody know that they offered food other than just breakfast food. They put out seven new burgers including their Cowboy BBQ with onion rings and bacon and the Mega Monster, which is stacked high and includes two premium patties.

Although they announced that they were changing their name, it was all a publicity stunt and they will remain the classic IHOP. In response to that, many customers as well as other businesses responded. Burger King changed their name on their social media accounts to Pancake King and also changed their logo and header to a picture of pancakes. Similarly, White Castle announced that they were changing their name to Pancake Castle. Wendy’s responded with sass, but is anyone really surprised by that? They Tweeted, “Not really afraid of burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard.” Finally, here at Ciconte Consulting, we also changed our logo and announced our name change to Ciconte Cheeseburgers, which can still happen if the price is right.

Numerous other Twitter users also chimed in, which isn’t surprising either since there were over 12.5 million, yes million, views on IHOP’s video announcing what the “B” stood for. Some users were excited for this, but others weren’t too happy. One user even begged Waffle House not to change their name to Burger House. There are now journalists and even YouTubers giving their burgers a shot and reviewing them. Regardless of the negative comments, they got what they wanted, attention to their new burgers.



Right on Target

Have great ads, but they aren’t getting enough attention? Then this blog post is perfect for you. An important part of marketing is making sure you’re advertising to the right people, your target market. A target market is a group is made up of three main categories: demographics, psychographics, and geographical locations. A good way to put all of these together is by creating a fictional character for your brand, and making an advertisement that would be perfect for them.

Starting with demographics, those are the basic things about a person. Demographics include their age, gender, race, income, education, and occupation. In most cases, it is better to create smaller brackets to look at in the cases of age and income. Although it would be shown to less people, if you picked a ten year range of ages, you would get more of the attention you’re looking for, instead of showing the ad to people of all ages. To start creating your character you would name them, and then choose their age, gender, race, income, education, and occupation, pertaining to the audience you appeal to the most right now.

Next are psychographics, which are often forgotten about. They are more of personality traits, things that people can change. Some examples of psychographics could be things they are interested in, their goals in life, and their lifestyle traits. If you owned a company that sold athletic wear, psychographics of their target market would include things like enjoying time outside, going on nature walks, wanting to complete a marathon, and doing yoga to warm up.

Of course geography is also important. If you own a company that doesn’t sell online, you wouldn’t want to advertise to people who aren’t anywhere near your business. I have gotten plenty of ads that I’ve clicked on and noticed they’re located 1,000 miles away. Geography also matters if you do sell online. You most likely wouldn’t want to advertise winter jackets to people who live in Hawaii.

Now you might be wondering, how do I find my target market and use that knowledge to my advantage? Well that’s what we’re here for. We can help in all different stages of marketing, so just shoot us an email, and we’ll help you reach your target.



Picture This

Although a story with photos and little to no text might sound like a children’s storybook, it is also an example of one of the most popular social media platforms today: Instagram. You might think Instagram is just a fun place to post selfies or the food you’ve had recently. In reality, Instagram is used by many businesses and companies to promote their goods and services. Pictures aren’t just about the subject matter in the photo, they are also about placement, lighting, and filters.

Starting with placement, a popular rule in the photography world is the rule of thirds. When using the rule of thirds, the main focus of the picture should be at the one-third point of the picture. By doing so, that will not only draw your audience’s eyes to the focal point, but also their attention. Not only does it make the object stand out more, but it can also cause their mind to wander places where it wouldn’t have otherwise. As you can see, not only does the tomato in that photo pop, but it also looks aesthetically pleasing.

Next, is lighting. Lighting doesn’t only change how a picture physically looks, but it can also change the mood of a photo. To get the most out of natural lighting, the best time to shoot would be an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, also known as the golden hour. A brighter photo can look friendlier and show viewers a look into a brighter future. A darker photo can become more dramatic and tell more of a story. As you can see, both of the pictures show city streets, but the darker photo looks more mysterious, while the brighter one looks more welcoming.

Finally, something Instagram is famous for, is filters. Filters like lighting can also change the mood of a photo. As talked about in a previous blog post, trends are constantly changing. The ways users edit their photos have also changed. Instead of using preset Instagram filters, users have now turned to other apps to edit their photos before posting, like VSCO, Facetune, and Snapseed. With what seems like an endless amount of filters to choose from, there is a filter to set the right mood of your photo, no matter what it is.



With all of that information in mind, you now know how to make the most of your next Instagram photo.



Emojis have played an increasing role in the past few years when it comes to the social media strategies of numerous companies, i.e.; Taco Bell, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Coca-Cola, etc. And those are some heavyweight companies that are banking on the reach of the emoji usage on social media. Emojis basically serve as another language for communicating throughout the tech world and with consumers. Time to go over Rosetta Stonji.

As strange as it seems emojis help us convey our feelings so we can better understand each other through text. How do I feel while writing this blog? 😊 Well of course if consumers are using emojis, brands have to adapt to emoji use…whether it be a marketing campaign or simply sprinkled into messages sent on various channels. Like all other strategies in business, emojis can be hit or miss. One brand that knocked it out of the park is Domino’s Pizza. If your twitter account is linked to your Domino’s account you can simply tweet them the pizza emoji and boom, your favorite pizza is ordered. This also works via text message, seen below.

Another “pretty big” company that utilized the emoji for a social media campaign is McDonald’s. They essentially used emojis to tell some short stories about how a bad day can turn into a good day, by obviously eating McDonald’s. Which is fairly easy to understand by the looks of the image.

A couple other ways emojis are used by brands can be seen in their custom keyboards if they have one, sticker packs, or even throwing said emojis on a product #pepsiMoji…Google it. And don’t forget Bitmoji! (random food for thought, over 6 billion emojis are sent everyday…whole lot opportunities there) .

Emoji use is just going to keep growing, amongst consumers, brands, and throughout the tech world. Apple, Android, and Windows keep adding new emojis, so make good use of them and use them wisely. Oh and if you got this far without knowing what an emoji is, thanks for reading and here you go. “emoji – a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.” –


*Insert meme here* Whether it’s consumer goods, social media, or content; the world we live in is full of trends. Things can trend on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, and everyone always wants to be “in.” This is more than evident when it comes to the overall trends we see on social media throughout our time spent on various websites and apps. From a business standpoint what type of trends will we see in 2018?

So you’re probably wondering why I said “insert meme here,” to start this post. More recently, Spongebob Squarepants has taken the internet by storm via various memes from episodes. Now once one of these memes picks up speed it seems that everyone or every company tries to hop on the wagon, some hit, some miss. But these memes, by all means get plenty of exposure via likes or retweets and thus grow your brand, and make it seem like your company is more down to earth. However, these memes definitely have a shelf life, roughly a week goes by and it’s on to the next. Get after it early.

To segue from memes, what other trends can be seen in 2018 so far. The overall continuing growth of social media advertising. It’s too hard to ignore the actual reach of various social media channels. So, with that in mind we are going to continue to see companies pour money into their social media ads. This is a good thing though. More people are using social media apps or websites which will have an increased effectiveness on your ad campaign.

VIDEOS! Whether it be Facebook Live, Instagram live stories, going live on Twitter, Periscope, official Snapchat stories (or snaps in general), Twitch, etc., content is king. More people are flocking to these videos because they want to be part of the social experience. If you can’t be there in person, you can view it through whatever electronic device you can stream it from.

Social customer service and chatbots are becoming more and more of a normal thing for companies to implement. Chatbots, being that little pop up window that comes up when your browsing a company’s site and can answer pretty straightforward questions. Social customer service is the much bigger picture. From Facebook having a more customized messaging and response system in the Messenger app, to companies having direct support pages on Twitter (assist via reply/direct message) with multiple reps assisting those with issues. It’s a very straightforward process.

Of course there are many other trends and I could go on and on and on, but I won’t because I’ll spare you. Stay ahead of the curve and utilize the aforementioned knowledge of the growth of trends and even trends to come. Grow your company while engaging with your customers.