101 Series: What is a Boilerplate?
It may be the most important paragraph you will write about your company. You have most likely seen it, but may not known what it was called or its origin. What is it? It is your boilerplate.
In public relations, the boilerplate is the last paragraph of a press release that describes the company product, service or brand featured. This should contain facts about the company (where are you based, what do you do, private/public, services, clients, awards) as well as some compelling information, your mission, positioning (first brand to do such and such). In the digital age, it should also contain hyperlinks to your website and/or social media profiles.
Plainly, it’s the “About Us” section that is copy and pasted onto every press release, fact sheet and any additional marketing communications materials – even on your company’s LinkedIn and social media profiles.
So where did this term come from?
The term boilerplate actually dates back to the 1800s when manufacturers of steam boilers would attach a metal plate on their boilers as a sort of trademark so people would know who made the boiler and where it was made. In the early newspaper days, they had “boilerplates” or actually printing plates for each company they covered regularly, so they could easily include the company background with stories they wrote. This saved time in the printing process. The term stuck.
Here’s an example of a boilerplate for our client, Liebherr:
Driven by innovation and characterized by sophisticated, elegant design, Germany-based Liebherr Corporation brings the best of Europe to the refrigeration category in North America. Visit www.liebherr-appliances.com to view Liebherr’s full product line of freestanding, built-in and fully integrated refrigeration and wine and humidor cigar storage units.
Check out the other installments of our 101 Series posts:
101 Series: What is Native Advertising?
There’s been a lot of chatter among marketing/communications pros in recent months involving a new buzzword for a relatively old phenomenon: Native Advertising. There’s a good chance you’ve come across this digital marketing tactic while reading your favorite blog and if done correctly, hopefully you didn’t realize that it was in fact an advertisement.
In a nutshell, native advertising is when brands pay for sponsored content on a blog. The placement takes on the look and feel of an editorial post yet it’s paid advertising. Many insiders including PRNewser’s Patrick Coffee will tell you that traditional paid media, such as banner ads are on their way out and native advertising is taking on a greater role in brands’ marketing campaigns. Not only does native advertising provide greater opportunities for brands to share in-depth content with online audiences, but it also allows publications to have more control over the advertising they feature as many write the copy with approval from the advertiser.
Buzzfeed is an excellent example of a website utilizing native advertising. Scroll down on their feed on any given day and if you look closely you’ll see posts highlighted with an unique background, noting that it’s “Presented By a Featured Partner.” Many brands are taking advantage and using native advertising on the popular site to share a message connected with their product or service such as the recent post, 14 Reasons Why You Should Be Afraid Of The Dark presented by the SyFy network.
Native advertising is not an entirely new concept. Marketers have long-since paid for sponsored content in traditional print publications better known as advertorials, however now this strategy is moving online, yet another indication that marketers are continuing to infiltrate the digital landscape.
Check out the other installments of our 101 Series posts:
The Big Money of the Big Game
Each year the Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the world. There’s millions of eyes on the game, and millions upon millions of dollars behind it and tied to it. A Super Bowl ad has now become the most expensive 30 seconds on TV, at more than $3.4million per spot.
There’s more to take into consideration than simply the cost of the ads though. A recent survey by Lab42 revealed the following:
- 39% of people prefer the ads over the actual game (one of the reasons we created Big Game Advertising Bingo)
- 64% said that more than half their game related conversations the next day revolve around the commercials
- 69% have re-watched a Super Bowl commercial online
- 72% believe the game commercials are funnier than “regular” commercials, while 57% consider them more creative, and 21% say they’re memorable
Clearly, there’s a lot expected of the ads, and the benefits extend both before and beyond the game. Toyota’s “Wish Granted” commercial starring Kaley Cuoco has garnered over 10.6 million views before the game, with many others reaching millions of views as well. Advertisers can also expect a 20% increase in web traffic as well.
Influence extends well beyond ads during the game. Some restaurants and bars are seeing an increase in foot traffic and orders. And the food people by for parties? Figures from 2012 show that 16 million chicken wings were sold during the game, as was 4 million pizzas (not counting frozen pizzas), while spending over $10billion on beer. Dominos pizza drivers alone will drive over 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday (revenue for transportation, fuel, etc.).
Advertising, food, and beverage categories are still only a small piece of the pie. There’s events, the hospitality industry for the host cities, and apparel and merchandise sales for the teams, which affects the retail industry. And of course there’s the teams themselves. Any way you look at it, the “big game” is big money, affecting in ways you might not even have noticed. So, how’s does the big game affect you?
Play the “Bigger Game” During The Big Game
There’s a bigger game at stake during the Big Game on Sunday. The advertising game. With sponsors spending billions of dollars pre, post and during the game and consumers wondering what outlandish entertainment the branding game has in store. And now, statistics are proving what we’ve always known to be true.
39% of people prefer the advertising to the Super Bowl game. Of those, 64% said they talk about the ads the next day.
At Halo, we play ad games every day but this one’s for you to play.
How To Play BIG GAME ADVERTISING BINGO.
1. Print out the Bingo-style game boards where numbers are replaced by the advertisers (and in some cases, potential advertisements). The center square, the Halo logo, is played as a free space. Share them with your friends, and you’re ready to play.
2. When one of the ads on your board is televised before, during or after the game, cross it off.
3. The first person to get five in a row (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) wins.
Of course, you’re welcome to create your own unique ways to play.
WARNING: This may prevent more conventional use of commercial breaks for eating, calling home or relieving oneself.
Be sure to post your comments and board pictures using #biggamebingo on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Download and print your game cards below.
WWE, Fruity Pebbles, and Taking Advantage of Marketing Opportunities
WWE and Post Foods recently announced that WWE Superstar John Cena would be replacing Fred Flintstone on boxes of Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereals. What’s more interesting though is how this partnership came to be.
The stage was initially set when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made a comment about WWE talent John Cena’s colorful shirts, referencing that they looked like “a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles.” WWE ran with the phrase, including Fruity Pebbles references in future editions their television shows, and even social media. But what might seem like a joke or a humorous aside to some; became big business. Shortly thereafter, WWE talent started to appear on Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes, and today, we see this partnership expanded with Cena becoming a rare non-Flintstones character to appear on the front of the product (with other promotions planned).
This partnership stemmed from a comment made during a live broadcast. WWE gains exposure in a different medium to one of their most important target markets, while Post gains the use of more modern culturally relevant character. The lesson here is to be aware of the unconventional marketing opportunities that may present themselves. They can be anywhere, a random comment, or even right on your breakfast table.
2013 Is The Year To Double Down On Your Marketing
Creating a winning marketing strategy for recession is no more or less creative than marketing in an economic boom. No doubt, many brands will struggle to survive but for some it’s an opportunity to thrive and the absolute right decision will be to get aggressive. After an analysis of competitive strategy and client mindset, that’s the decision I’ve made for The Halo Group. We’re an independent branding and marketing organization that’s well positioned for growth. The demands that a tight economy will put on marketers make us a better choice than many, much larger competitors. We’re doubling down.
Discount retailers, eBay and Subway’s $5 Dollar Foot Long promotion are some obvious winners in an economic downturn. But with some creative thinking there are also opportunities for brands that have lived in the shadows of category giants.
Not everyone will feel the same impact of a recession, but whether immobilized by fear or even a sense of guilt, consumers may become more open minded in their search for more practical, affordable solutions. They’ll need permission to indulge in that luxury purchase. Brands, old and new that position themselves as a “smart splurge” have an opportunity to win. As an example, that’s the position Liebherr, a German newcomer to the US luxury appliance market has taken in their battle against category giants Sub-Zero and Viking, who are entrenched in consumers’ minds. Liebherr products are continuously hailed as technically superior offerings at a lower price point but until now, it was not a game-changer. With the combination of more aggressively promoting their new position and a more malleable consumer, they’ve experienced 3rd quarter sales growth in an economy where kitchen renovation has sputtered.
Large banks have leveraged their size to dominate the financial services market. But financial institutions have become the target of mistrust and thought to be, real or perceived, the cause of many economic consumer woes. Consumers have become more financially savvy about banking products and are reevaluating their loyalty. This is time for credit unions, credible lending institutions to step in and compete head to head with larger banks by offering the value and personal financial planning committed to serving and educating their customers.
Rest and relaxation is most certainly a priority in good times as well as bad. Entertainment choices will change with more emphasis on home entertainment or local getaways. Regional entertainment brands can engage consumers once jettisoned for the hot travel destinations of the moment. Perhaps those travel locations could offer special promotions to provide deeper more exciting experiences that they can share with family and friends and establish relationships that endure long after the turnaround.
Of course every brand has unique variables that need to be evaluated but doubling down in 2013 is not a gamble at all. It’s an investment in short and long-term brand viability based on smart marketing strategy.
A version of this post first appeared in Modern Entrepreneur Magazine