Finally a new post! and yes, it’s more of my homework

9 Jul

Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. Things are a little crazy. I realized that I never posted my final project from Account Planning that we presented about a month ago. This was not the best group project I’ve ever worked on, thanks to being in a group with a bunch of kids that were only days away from graduating, but I think we came up with some interesting stuff.

Last quarter I took Account Planning with Dan Windels who was also my teacher for Advertising in the fall and he really the best professor I’ve had at DePaul yet. I say “was” because a few weeks ago he and his family moved down to Baton Rouge and I am still pretty bummed about it.
We were given a main problem to solve at the beginning of the quarter, to make things a little more interesting than just assigning us a brand. DePaul Student Housing has a huge issue with students in the dorms and electrical safety violations. Our goal for the quarter was to come up with a campaign for them to encourage students to use their surge protectors appropriately and not to use splitters or unsafe extension cords. Yes, Dan did have the grace to admit that this was the most horrible and boring “product” ever, but it ended up being pretty interesting to work on. As you’ve seen in my previous posts of homework on Persuasion and  Experiential Shopping, I learned a lot about people and the thought process they go through (or the lack of thought process) when buying a surge protector.

So near the end of the year my group pooled all of our research and came up with our  Account Planning Project.


Chicago Architecture Foundation Portfolio

28 May

I have finally finished my Advertising Copy writing class at DePaul.  Our final project was to make a portfolio of a comprehensive campaign featuring all of the different ad forms we’d learned. I’ve included pictures of my final ads and the background/write-ups for each one. Enjoy!

Chicago Architecture Foundation Ad Campaign


  • Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) Background
  • CAF’s Positioning in the market
  • Where we want CAF to be
  • Strategy – Convince, That, Because (CTB)
  • Selling Idea
  • Lunch Talks Print Ad
  • Giraffe Print Ad
  • Flip-Flops Television Ad
  • “Weekend in Your Wednesday” Radio Ad
  • Out of Home (OOH) Bench Ad
  • “Summer by Bus” Promotion Print Ad
  • “Weekend in Your Wednesday” Banner Ad

Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) Background

  • Architecture Tours: Over 90 different tours by boat, bus, bicycle, Segway, train, or walking.
  • Tour Pricing:
    • Bus tours average $45 per person.
    • Boat tours average $35 per person.
    • Walking tours are $10-$20 per person depending on length of tour.
    • Members receive free walking tours and discounts and deals on other tours.
    • Adult Initiatives: Nearly 100 programs including free weekly lunchtime lectures, workshops, evening programs, and adult education classes.
    • Retail Shop: Features unique home décor and Chicago-themed gifts, architecture and design books and videos, jewelry by local artists, educational toys, and other gifts.

Positioning in the market

  • CAF’s biggest direct competitors are for the riverboat cruises and bus cruises.
  • CAF has a very strong hold in the walking tour market because of the wide variety of areas/neighborhoods they cover and the large number of tours available year-round.
  • CAF store is branded as a hip place to buy whimsical gifts along with art/architecture items and books.
  • CAF memberships compete with Art Institute and other museum memberships.

Where we want CAF to be

  • We want to change the perception that architecture tours are all the same thing.
  • We want people to consider CAF as an alternative to just going home after work or staying in for lunch.
  • We want Chicagoans to experience Chicago culture through architecture, not just museums, art and music.
  • We want people to realize that CAF is multi-dimensional and to experience the whole variety of CAF offerings.
    • We want someone who’s gone to one or two CAF events to understand that there’s a whole menu of other choices.
    • We want someone who only does walking tours to come to a lunch talk
    • We want someone who participated in a special program to take a boat tour.

Convince, That, Because (CTB)

Convince business professionals that Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is their workweek escape because of the variety of unique programs and tours that fit into their busy schedules.

Selling Idea (Tagline)

Put a little weekend in your Wednesday

Whether you take an hour to go to a lunch talk, come down to the city on your day off to do a walking tour, or stop for a boat tour in the evening before going home from work, CAF provides you a getaway without ever leaving the city. Architecture is important; it doesn’t have to be serious.

 Lunch Talks Ad

Every Wednesday from 12:15 p.m-1 p.m. CAF hosts a free “Lunch Talk” in the Lecture Hall attached to the storefront in the Santa Fe Building. Guests are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and arrive early since there is general seating.

Lunch Talks topics are often about past or present architecture or revitalization projects in Chicago. This summer’s topics include:

  •  1990s Restoration and Landscape Renovation at Graceland Cemetery
  •  Transforming Land Use for a 24-Hour Downtown
  • Landscape History and Design
  • Vacant Lots: Farm or Famine – Open Space in Woodlawn and Englewood

The Lunch Talks ad is targeting business people working near CAF who are interested in bettering themselves and learning new things, but have very busy working lives.

Working Lunch Ad

Quantity and Variety of Tours

Giraffe Ad

CAF offers approximately 90 different tours (depending on the time of year) that visitors can choose from. Walking tours cover both downtown and neighborhood sites. Bus tours cover areas further out from downtown and boat tours show visitors Chicago’s architecture from the river.

The Giraffe ad targets professionals with limited free time who might be considering other cultural or active entertainment options such as museums, the zoo, or a concert.

Chicago Architecture Foundation Ad

Boat Tours

Flip Flops Ad

CAF boat tours are the most popular mid-price tours (since walking tours are so numerous, low priced, and run all year long, they come out ahead) offered. They are also the tours with the most direct competition. CAF has four boats in its fleet and on the website claims, “The Chicago Architecture Foundation has literally written the book about the Chicago River, so accept no substitutes!” Most tours run early in the day, but in the summer months special evening tours run at 5:30 p.m.

The Flip Flops ad encourages young business people who would never have the time to take an afternoon tour, to take the 5:30 p.m. tour instead of going directly home or to a bar after work.

Client: Chicago Architecture Foundation

Product: Chicago’s First Lady Riverboat Tour

Title: Flip flops

Length: 30 Seconds

Writer: Kathryn Denton



SFX: Background chatting sounds. Soft water noises of the river.MAN 1:  Whew! I thought today was never gonna end. I didn’t even have time for coffee.MAN 2: I know! I spent the whole day out at client trainings and never had a chance to eat lunch.MAN 1: (punches Man 2’s shoulder playfully) Well good thing you didn’t skip out on me and run home to the family on the first train outta town tonight.

MAN 2: Well my wife thinks you’re making me sit through some boring architecture talk. She probably feels sorry for me.

SFX: Boat horn

GUIDE: “Attention passengers. We are now boarding for the 5:30 evening river cruise.

MAN 1:  Time to go

MAN 2: We’ll let her keep thinking that you’re suffering.

MAN 1: It’ll be our secret.

MUSIC: Calypso island music starts quietly in the background FADE out at the end

ANCR (VO): Chicago Architecture Foundation

River Cruises.

Put a little weekend in your Wednesday.

Flip flops not provided.

 CAF "Weekend in your Wednesday" Storyboard

Pub Crawl Tours

Weekend in Your Wednesday Ad

Pub Crawl Tours take place about once a month from April-October in various Chicago neighborhoods (Upcoming tours include River North and Andersonville). They are 2 ½ hours long and are priced similar to regular walking tours. The tours go through the architecture of the neighborhood, stopping in at three area pubs or bars with unique architectural histories. Drinks are not provided as part of the tour, but at $15, these tours are significantly cheaper than other Chicago beer walking tours that also do not include drinks.

The “Weekend in your Wednesday” ad is targeted to young women who have just entered the workforce, still have time and energy to go out on a weeknight, and are starting to get tired of doing the same thing every week.

Client: Chicago Architecture Foundation

Project: 60 Sec. Radio Script – Weekend in your Wednesday

Air Date: Spring 2012


SARAH: Hey Marti, happy hump day! What do you wanna do after work?

MARTI: I dunno Sarah, what do YOU want to do?

ANNCR: Does this sound like your Wednesday morning?


SARAH: I asked you first Marti!

MARTI: (SIGHS). We’re back to that, huh? I say to you, ‘What do you feel like doing tonight?’ And you say, ‘I dunno. What do you wanna do?’

ANNCR (CLEARING THROAT): Ahem, um ladies, why don’t you go on a Chicago Architecture Foundation…

SARAH (CUTTING HIM OFF AS IF SHE CAN’T HEAR HIM): We could go to that bar down the street.


OLD CREEPER 1 AT BAR:  Hey Baby, lemme buy you a drank.

OLD CREEPER 2 AT BAR:  Yeah girl, we can have a good time.

ANNCR (CLEARING THROAT):  You know girls, Chicago Architecture Foundation Pub Crawl Tours….

MARTI (INTERRUPTING): You forgot about the creepers there.

SARAH:  Oh, right.

MARTI: So what do you want to do?

SARAH: I dunno, what do YOU want to do?

MARTI:  Ugh not again.



ANNCR (LOSING PATIENCE): Ladies why don’t you try the Chicago Architecture Foundation River North Pub Crawl this evening. You can have some drinks, enjoy the weather, meet some new people…

SARAH (INTERRUPTING): And it’ll be creeper-free!

MARTI: Alright Sarah, meet me out front at 5!

ANNCR (SIGHS): CAF Pub Crawl Tours, Put a little weekend in your Wednesday.

Boat Tours

Bench Ad

In the Bench Ad, the top box is the vertical portion of the bench, the second box is the seat, and the logo would be displayed across the lip of the seat.

This ad would be put on the benches along the south side of the Riverwalk (which is the side that CAF boat tours depart from), and the north side of the Riverwalk to the east of Michigan Ave. (these benches are directly across from the CAF boat docks so someone sitting on them would see people boarding the boats).

The Bench Ad is targeting business people who work along the Riverwalk and come outside to sit on these benches during their lunch breaks. Similar to the TV spot, the benches will encourage business people who would never have the time to take an afternoon tour, to take the 5:30 p.m. tour instead of going directly home or to a bar after work.

CAF Bench ad


CAF Summer by Bus Promotion Ad

Bus tours provide the best opportunity to see a large portion of the city without the hassle of driving around or walking long distances in the heat. The objective of this promotion is to increase ridership on bus tours during the summer to 75% capacity on average.

  • Customers who go on bus tours between June 1 and August 31st will be receive an acrylic “CAF Summer By Bus” tumbler and be entered in a drawing to win a one-year Chicago Architecture Foundation membership.
  • Even if a customer is not a member, CAF creates an account for them when they purchase at ticket. At the end of August, CAF can track the people who went on tours during the contest and enter them into the drawing. There will be no additional action needed by the customer. One winner will be announced in September.
  • This promotion is targeting older business people who are looking to do sightseeing in the city but are not interested in extensive walking tours in hot weather.
  • Bus tours are the most expensive ($45/person) as compared to walking tours ($10/person) and boat tours ($35/person). The acrylic tumbler provides an added value to the purchase even if they don’t win.

 Chicago Architecture Foundation Ad

CAF Banner Ad

This is a rotating banner ad that would progress from the top box down to the third box with each one linking back to The Banner Ad targets business people struggling to get through the workweek and reminds them that CAF can be their mid-week escape.

Chicago Architecture Foundation Ad

Drawing pictures in your mind- or- Radio Ads!

14 May

I’m still chugging through this Advertising Copywriting this quarter. Last week we wrote a 30 second TV spot (I’ll be posting my awesome story board and script from that later) and this week we had to write two 60 second radio ads. Radio is HARD to write for and not put yourself to sleep. Remember I need a CTB Statement (Convince, that, because) so here it is – CTB: Convince professionals that Chicago Architecture Foundation is their workweek escape because of the variety of exciting programs and tours that fit into their busy lives.
Both of these ads are based around ideas I stole (of course, it’s advertising). The first if from a TV show, the second from a movie your grandmother probably remembers. Whoever can guess both gets a prize.

Client: Chicago Architecture Foundation

Project:60 Radio Script-The Gift

Air Date: May, 2012


MALE VOICEOVER: (SPOKEN SOFTLY TO SELF) Ugh! I hate buying my sister-in law gifts. Shelia hates everything we buy, Like the Fruit for year club…

MALE VOICEOVER: (IMITATING OBNOXIOUS WOMAN’S VOICE) There was just… much fruit! Nobody can eat that much fruit!

MALE VOICEOVER: (BACK TO SELF) Or the trip to Six Flags for Timmy’s graduation


MALE VOICEOVER: (BACK TO SELF) And worst of all, the engraved toaster….

MALE VOICEOVER: (IMITATING OBNOXIOUS WOMAN’S VOICE) Yes it was nice, but we didn’t NEED a toaster…so we traded it in for this coffee maker. What’s that? It was engraved? … maybe we can get it back….


MALE VOICEOVER: (BACK TO SELF) Woah! What’s this place?


MALE VOICEOVER: (BACK TO SELF) Hmm, (reading sign) Members receive 15% off merchandise, 65 FREE tours, and exclusive Members-only tours and events.  It’s gotta be better than the last “membership” we bought her.

MALE VOICEOVER: (IMITATING OBNOXIOUS WOMAN’S VOICE) A gym membership!!! You think I’m fat!?!?

MALE VOICEOVER: (BACK TO SELF) Definitely better.

ANNCR: Chicago Architecture Foundation. At the corner of Michigan and Jackson. Your gift giving fears are over.


Client: Chicago Architecture Foundation

Project: :60 Radio Script – Weekend in your Wednesday

Air Date: Spring 2012


Hey Marti, happy hump day! What do you wanna do after work?

MARTI: I dunno Sarah,  what do YOU want to do?


SARAH: I asked you first!

MARTI: (SIGHS). We’re back to that, huh? I say to you, ‘What do you feel like doing tonight?’ And you say back to me, ‘I dunno. What do you wanna do?’ Then we wind up going to the same dive bar down the street that’s full of creepers. I wanna go out, I’m just tired of going out to seedy clubs in the middle of the week.

SARAH: Well I still want to go drinking. When 5pm rolls around today I’m going to need to have some fun.

MARTI:  So what do you want to do?

SARAH: I dunno, what do YOU want to do?

SARAH:  Ugh not again.  Hey! See that sign? Chicago Architecture Foundation River North Pub Crawl this Wednesday, that’s Today! I’ve heard about that. You walk around River North stopping at a bunch of bars! We’d get to drink AND be outside.

SARAH: And it’ll be creeper-free

MARTI: That’s it Sarah, we’re meeting out front at 5.

ANNCR: CAF Pub Tours, Put a little weekend in your Wednesday.

A post full of pictures! Or: I can make ads now

23 Apr

I’m taking a course in Advertising Copywriting this quarter. It’s pretty interesting but I’ve found at times it can really be a challenge to not write a boring or painfully obvious ad. The first three shown below are for my visuals/headlines assignment and the last two include body copy. I’d love to get some feedback on these. One of the things we discuss when talking about strategy is the idea of “CTB” or “Convince….That…..Because”. Your ads should always relate back to your CTB statement to make sure that you’re sticking with your strategy. We had to pick a product or service for this class that was fairly unknown or local. I’ve found myself spending a lot of time in the Chicago Architecture Foundation shop over the last few months and I thought they’d be a nice change from the CSO for awhile. 

CTB #1: Convince Chicago-area mothers with young families that a CAF membership is more valuable than a museum membership because it provides their family with a valuable variety of active group learning experiences the whole family will enjoy.

This ad’s headline is an example of parallelism-where you repeat a sentence or portion of a sentence. This sometimes can be sort of a surprise headline at the end.

Parallelism in copywriting

This one I just love because it has giraffes. I also was trying to follow my strategy of convincing families that the CAF membership is more valuable than a museum’s (or in this case, a zoo’s)

This one is pretty blatantly a stab at museums. (Love you MSI!)

CTB #2: Convince downtown professionals that CAF is their workweek escape because of the variety of engaging programs that fit their work schedules.

I really wanted to find images of talking food (ala the muppet tomatoes) but that’s hard to make work in a print ad.

This one is supposed to be a “spiral” print ad. While nothing in this particular image is twisty, the copy follows the lines of the building and draws attention up to my headline.

Spiral text in a print ad

Please leave feedback in the comments section. The goal of advertising is not to make you go out and buy something, but to influence your attitudes and beliefs. Are you intrigued and thinking about checking out the CAF website? (you should, it’s pretty cool). If you work downtown, on a beautiful day would you maybe consider taking a walking tour on your lunch break or before you go home for the day?

Thinking about persuasion

3 Apr

Sorry that it’s been almost a month since my last post. Winter quarter ended, I finished my internship at Carol Fox & Associates, then I got a new PAID internship/temp-job in the marketing department at the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). I also just started spring quarter taking Advertising Copywriting and Account Planning. While the IHDA thing is definitely not about the arts, they’re still a non-profit and they have a lot of assistance programs for people struggling with their mortgages that they need to market.I’m going to try to keep posting as regularly as I can but I make no promises. I also will be posting a lot of my homework assignments because they’re easy content. I am not ashamed!

The Art of Persuasion:

DePaul Housing Services is having a lot of problems with electricity violations in student housing. Students aren’t using surge protectors and instead are using splitters and extension cords. The University is concerned about safety and fire issues and so this quarter my class is focusing on helping them create a campaign around this issue. The first assignment is a practice in persuasion. I had to talk in person with three people, trying to get them to change their behaviors regarding their usage of these items and see what was effective and what was a flop. The following is my write-up.

Background & Objectives

The Art of Persuasion assignment required me to attempt to convince three people I know to eliminate non-surge protected power sources, extension cords and splitters from their homes. The goal of this persuasion project was to convince friends and family members to change their behaviors as a result of my presentation. The objective of this assignment is to determine what presentation style and what timing tactics are most effective when working to change behaviors.Improper use of electrical cords

Research Methodology & Location

For this assignment I used only one-on-one interviews. Since I was attempting to persuade my subjects to change their behavior, I felt that a direct, face-to-face conversation would be most effective. I interviewed my fiancé Dustin at home right after class met on Thursday, March 29th. I spoke to my friend Allison Mack when she met with Dustin and I for dinner on Sunday, April 1st at the Cheesecake Factory in the Hancock Building. I spoke to my sister in her room on Monday April 2nd in the evening.

Sample Size

My sample was three people: my fiancé Dustin, friend Allison, and sister Beth. I chose Dustin, who is in the military and visiting for the week, because he had to wait around for me while I was at class and so when I came home he was interested in how the class went. I talked to Allison because I know she shares an apartment in an older building with a roommate and I would not be surprised if they have splitters and extension cords since many older buildings don’t have enough outlets for all the modern gadgets people have. My sister was in her room where she has her computer and her Cricut cutting machine and a lamp all plugged into the same outlet. Since we were sitting in the room and could see the outlet, it seemed like a good opportunity to bring up electrical safety. I chose three people because that was part of the assignment and I felt confident that by choosing a friend, family member, and significant other I had covered the spectrum of acquaintance levels of influence.

Key Findings

I learned from this exercise that a person’s predisposition to the topic makes a big difference in how they react to the message. Dustin was risk manager for his fraternity in college and now as an Army Officer frequently attends all sorts of safety training sessions. This made him more open and agreeable to what I was saying, but at the same time it didn’t help too much to talk to him because he doesn’t use splitters or extension cords. Because he already agreed with me about the issue I don’t think any of his behaviors will change, but maybe he’ll do a little advocating of his own when he goes back to Ft. Jackson.

Atmosphere seemed to be a big factor in the success of my discussions. Talking to my sister in her room right at the point of contention was more powerful than talking to Allison while she was eating dinner. Even though Allison listened politely to me, when I was done she said something to the effect of “I’m that girl who went to Europe twice and both times I fried things in my room by using the wrong converter. You’d think after the first time I’d have learned, but I didn’t, so I don’t think you telling me to check my outlets and get new surge protectors will stick with me once we leave tonight”.  Even if Allison was open to my information and had wanted to go home and make some changes, by the time we finished dinner, had desert, hung out for a while, she went home, and thought about all the things she had going on in the upcoming week, it was very unlikely that she’d remember she had wanted to make those changes. When Allison mentioned her story about frying electronics in Europe, I decided to refocus the theme of my discussion when I talked to my sister later. Talking about fire danger is a little bit abstract to most people. They don’t believe it will happen to them. Having your computer fried in a surge is a little more believable and to some people would be a bigger tragedy. When I said something to my sister about potential fire hazards she wasn’t really involved but when I mentioned that it sure would cost a lot to replace all the items she had plugged in if they got fried, she started paying more attention to me.

Recommendations –

I recommend a focus on connection planning when trying to change the behavior of electrical violations. While I may have been more successful if I’d had statistics and horror stories about apartment fires to share, I still would not have much success without my information being relevant at the time I was giving it. I think it also would have been easier to convince someone like Allison if I had a handout with prices and locations where she could buy surge protectors. I think she would have felt more empowered if I had given her a specific task to do, such as “Go to Target and buy a surge protector” than when I just told her “don’t use an extension cord.” I also think there’s a reason that people are participating in these bad habits, they need more outlets and they’re going with the easiest and cheapest option to solve the problem. If we give them proper tools and direction instead of just saying, “don’t do this”, it will be more effective.

ChapStick vs. Carmex- A social media competitive assessment

4 Mar

This is my assessment of the way ChapStick, (I chose them in spite of their PR/Social media disaster of last fall) and Carmex are  using  social media as of Spring 2011. As part of an assignment for my Social Media Insights class we were asked to choose an industry and pick 2 companies that compete in that industry that are using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and compare and contrast how each company uses these tools.

I found it interesting that ChapStick doesn’t have a twitter handle at all, but I am impressed with some of the things that they do on their other platforms. Both companies seem to be targeting anyone who is a regular user of the product. A lot of ChapStick’s and Carmex’s content focuses on contests to win free product or on encouraging customers to share their experiences with the product. These brands are trying to build fan loyalty, not create new fans. For ChapStick, the objective seems to be to increase awareness of limited edition flavors by encouraging customers to share their favorites and to introduce them to something new. Since lip balm is a product that you can use multiples of at one time (one is a purse, your car, at your desk, etc), promoting all the different flavors will encourage additional purchases. Carmex’s business objective seems more focused on just pushing Carmex as a whole brand instead of focusing on the individual products as sub-brands. They’re objective seems to be increasing loyalty to Carmex by encouraging customers to visit social media sites for chances to win free product.


In an effort to get more Likes, Carmex is running a “75 years with 750,000 fans Carmex Collection” Giveaway. You have to like the page, submit a form, and then you have the option to publish the giveaway on your FB page.  Carmex also has a graph showing their likes so far and their goal. By giving away a decently large amount of their basic products, they’re obviously targeting people who are committed users of Carmex. I thought it was interesting that they make it optional to share the competition. They are clearly more focused on getting Likes than on getting interaction. It might have been better if they had made the contestants write a post on the Carmex wall telling where and when they use Carmex the most (i.e. When skiing, at the movies, on the train, etc); this would have gotten more discussion going about the brand. I like the idea that they’re tying this to celebrating something, instead of just trying to get likes in general. It makes the campaign feel more genuine and less like a gimmick. When reading some of the Carmex posts on their wall, I got really bored. Most of the posts were either spamming of promoting contests or saying “congratulations to our winners…”  There was nothing really worth looking at (although they did look like some cool contests/prizes). If I were a fan of the page, I might check it fairly regularly to see if there was a contest I could enter, but I would not write on the wall or feel more inclined to purchase the product.

Carmex Facebook contest

On ChapStick’s FB page they are promoting their new limited edition flavors in a variety of ways. They ran a “Send a Kiss” Valentine’s thing that wasn’t really a promotion, but it encouraged fans to interact with the brand.

Chapstick Facebook post

They also occasionally do free giveaways, but it’s not the focus of the page. Most of their posts are great interactive questions to fans. “ChapStick fans always have a backup flavor. What’s your number 2?” or “Name a President and name the ChapStick® that you believe was his favorite, or would have been his favorite! Go!” or  “If ChapSticks® co-mingled, which two flavors would you want to see hook up?” Sometimes the questions have absolutely nothing to do with ChapStick, but they’re hot discussion topics so the fans will spend time on the page talking about them anyways. Recent posts include “What do you think of reality TV–love it or hate it?” “Which celeb has the best looking lips?” (This question had 159 likes and 248 comments) another “Fill in the Blank Friday, you know the drill! It’s Friday night and I’m _______________.” The questions ChapStick posts are almost water cooler topics that people might talk about at work. It makes the brand feel more like a friend posting this on their wall than a company.


Carmex redeems its overzealous contest promotion on its FB page with its Twitter account. On Twitter they interact with fans more, answering questions, responding to complaints, and thanking fans for compliments. They retweet good things fans say (but they do it as RT instead of hitting the button, so it looks like a tweet from Carmex and not the follower). They encouraged fans to interact with the brand via their LeBron James partnership. People tweeted things like “I use @Carmex just like #TeamLeBron. My Terrific Tuesday game depends on it. #TeamCarmex” Basically they were only changing what their “game” was that depends on Carmex and including the link to the LeBron/Carmex page. The RTs of these fan tweets are all over the Carmex page near the end of January and into February so it seems like it was a popular trend. Very few tweets from Carmex were unique content that was not a response to someone else or a contest announcement. After being so underwhelmed with their FB page, it was nice to see more involvement with the Twitter handle.

ChapStick has an @ChapStick handle but it’s got a person’s name attached to it, has 35 followers and no tweets. Sad.


Chapstick’s YouTube channel looks impressive at a glance. They have a background with pictures of the different flavors and the same lips image shown above that they’ve got all over their Facebook page. The two pages are cohesive and display the brand nicely. I then noticed that there’s been no activity on the channel for 4 months. Not good.  It looks like last fall they did a “Sing your love for ChapStick” competition so some of the videos from that are posted, but nothing since then. They do have some featured 15-second videos that are set up as interviews on the street asking people “where is your ChapStick now” and “Who is the ChapStick thief in your life.” These are cute, but are obviously staged and a bit commercial-y. There are not very many comments on the channel and none of them are by ChapStick. They do have a referral to their FB page that keeps a real-time count of how many Likes they have.

Chapstick Facebook likes

Carmex’s channel is a little less showy than ChapStick’s. The background is their signature yellow color, but the channel almost looks like a fan and not the company might run it. Their latest activity was back in October, and since they joined in 2006, they have only posted 4 videos; one is a 4-minute tour of their labs, one is an announcement of their new skin-care product. One from 2008 is a 1 ½ minute TV commercial with this copy under it “Do you have a unique Carmex story to share? Why do you think people love Carmex so much? How do you share the tingle? Well, break out your video camera or cell phone (and some Carmex!) and show us your movie making magic. Enter your video (under three minutes) and we’ll reward the most promising up and coming film-makers with $5,000 or other fabulous prizes! Videos will be judged on creativity (“tingliness”), humor, overall appeal and popular vote in case of a tie.”
There doesn’t seem to be much follow-up on the page from that promotion and there’s been nothing like it since then.

Both of these brands have a lot of room for improvement in their social media customer interactions. I applaud them for having YouTube channels, but both of them really need to refocus on making the channels valuable. I am very surprised that ChapStick doesn’t have a Twitter, but at the same time the conversational tone of their Facebook page covers a lot of the same content that a Twitter handle would. Since they focus so much on the visual of each new flavor or difference in product benefit, it makes sense for ChapStick as a brand to focus their attention on FB where they can post pictures that are easy to see than on Twitter.

Carmex redeemed their weak Facebook page with their Twitter handle, but then was very disappointing in their YouTube channel. I’d say that in the end ChapStick wins out, mainly because they seem to be working very hard to provide clever and fresh, relevant content on their Facebook page. I loved the question about “Name a President and what ChapStick flavor they would use.” They weren’t blatantly pushing their brand, but it did encourage fans to stop and really think about the different products they offer. In reading the comments other fans made, I realized that there are some flavors out there that I wasn’t even aware of. So ChapStick wins this contest, but due to their PR/Facebook debacle last fall only by a margin. (They still use the phrase “Be heard on Facebook” but they seem to have learned that they can’t say that and then delete peoples’ comments.)

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