Brand That Mailbox!

During a recent visit, my boyfriend’s father shared that the struggling U.S. Postal Service is exploring new revenue streams. One consideration is to have brand advertising displayed on their delivery trucks. This is a logical fit as their trucks are on the constant move in every neighborhood in America. But plenty of trucks and taxicabs carry branding, so there’s nothing unique enough there to attract potential advertisers (besides the sheer volume of their fleet). Disruptive media — the unexpected — always makes for a more successful pitch.

For example, in NYC, we like our random encounters with painted cows, painted pianos and other forms of abstract public art. This summer, huge baseballs have been popping up all over the city. Yes, they make for a great photo op, but they’re really to promote the 2013 MLB All-Star Game to be held at Citifield.


So how about branding the USPS mailboxes?

Let’s light up those permanent blue fixtures that blend into street corners. Make them pop! Branded campaigns can include treasure hunts, where random mailboxes contain clues that lead to another mailbox…and then another mailbox. Since the number of letters being mailed is on the decrease, give people a reason to stop at the blue box — to tweet a clue, scan a QR code and get in on the hunt!


Today, it’s easy to wrap just about any structure in branding and a mailbox isn’t that big. It can be part of a Geocaching adventure, sponsored by Ford Explorer. Or a simple heads-up that McDonald’s is up one avenue.

With digital banner blindness on the rise, Out of Home advertising is what stops people in their tracks. It can also be the kickstart component that brings an Integrated Campaign to life.

Come on, USPS, Make My DigiDay!



#HowDoesHeShave: Man of Steel Marketing

Until two days ago, I had NO IDEA there was a new “Superman” movie coming out. Hello, Man of Steel marketing blitz! With over 100 marketing partners, it’s interesting to watch the tie-ins unfold in NYC, and to see how brands turn movie product placement into fully integrated campaigns.

Gillette tackles a curious dilemma — How Does Superman Shave? Today, I spotted these subway ads that drive consumers to and the Twitter handle #HowDoesHeShave. I personally think the URL, would have been easier to remember and it’s available, but maybe due to legal restrictions they couldn’t use the word “Superman”.


With microsites akin to dinosaurs in the digital world, where does this URL drive to? A branded YouTube page. Though the average user might not even notice this unless they looked at how the browser redirects in their toolbar.


On this page, you can watch video theories from renowned scientists/comedians, including Mayim Bialik (forever Blossom to me) on how Superman achieves this feat. The videos were produced well and they’re quick (a minute and a half each). Each video has approximately 400K to 550K+ views. Not only are fans watching —  they’re VOTING, too. Diehard Superman fans claim the hero does it his laser vision and a mirror, but the other theories are much more interesting!  The YouTube page also contains fan tweets continuously updating and of course, a call to purchase razors on  That is, if you want to look like the Man of Steel (yes, gentlemen, you do).


So what’s the buzz on Twitter’s #HowDoesHeShave?

While most tweets are positive with users posting photos of Superman shaving with laser beams or of their prepubescent boyfriends and a razor, there are always those who go for the risque photo opp. But hey that’s the RISK you take with user-generated content, and we’re all adults, right?


Kudos to Gillette who has demonstrated how to successfully implement a fully integrated campaign around a movie product placement.  People are talking about Gillette, people are eager to see the flick. A win-win for everyone.

Gillette, you’ve made my DigiDay!


P.S. The latest Man of Steel trailer, sponsored by NOKIA.  Looks amazing!

Man of Steel Grabs Me Underground

When I go to the movies I have two guilty pleasures —  buttered popcorn (so bleechhh afterwards, but so good while you’re munching!) and the previews. I may exclaim “Oh my God, not another trailer!!!” but the truth is I love those green screens. But yesterday, I encountered the Man of Steel underground.

Skipping along the stretch from 59th to 58th St. near Columbus Circle, I let Russell Crowe invite me into his world. No longer was his face just plastered into a billboard, he was talking to me…and those German tourists.Man of Steel Out of Home Advertising

Man of Steel Advertising

At first I kept walking, but the sheer size of the TV billboards stopped me. Besides I wanted to know — was Russell Crowe the new Superman?  The more I watched, I kept thinking there should be more interactive elements to keep someone engaged. What about a ticket kiosk right there? Where every 20th person that purchased advanced tickets won a free pair? Or I could enter my phone number and get a text reminder to purchase tickets opening weekend.

Or having the ol’ marketing ploy — the cutout, where people could pose behind a Man of Steel frame and post to Instagram for a chance to win free tickets. Cheesy stuff like that works in New York! Adding a social component is FREE advertising, and they already have over 750,000 likes on Facebook. C’mon Warner Bros., integrate your Out of Home with Your Digital!

The display was engaging, but missing that interactive element. Although they did get me one more time as I headed for the steps:

Man of Steel Subway Steps

Am I the only one amazed how they cut and paste a giant billboard and make it fit seamlessly on subway steps??

Check out the Man of Steel Trailer and microsite filled with steel-clanging sounds. Go ahead, see what I’m talking about.

Man of Steel you grabbed my attention, now get more interactive and make my DigiDay!

Rainbow Simple URL is the Key

As a copywriter, you’re always trying to be witty or arrange words in a way that hasn’t been done before. With web writing and SEO, the brain juice sparks with a different approach: Be concise, be simple, get more traffic. With the average attention span lasting six seconds or less, your phrasing has to be memorable, not mind-blowing. The one, two power punch is bold imagery, bold tag. And even better if that bold tag ties into a bold URL that someone will recall later.

On a snow-flurried/mushy wintry mix/that will turn into brown slop later day like today, the sun-drenched image below attracted my naked eye like a beer cooler would at an AA meeting (not that I’ve been, but anyway, I digress).

My frozen hands fumbled with my iPhone to grab a photo. This image didn’t belong, not down in that dark, dirty tunnel.  And then the ad called out to me “And neither do you!”  Text “NEEDSUN” for a chance to win a trip. Um, yeah great, but I can’t text while I wait for the subway…Oh, there’s a URL, too: Think I’ll remember that? You bet. Because I really need sun! And because it’s simple.


What could me more concise and on point than — I NEED SUN DOT COM? The ad doesn’t tell you where that sun is — could be the DR, the Bahamas or Florida, but wherever it is, there are beaches, palm trees and turquoise water. Go to the URL and you’ll find out.

The unfortunate thing with URLs are the most simple are usually the most taken — or parked by When they’re parked, you have to buy out the owner with an offer. And if they’re smart, they’ll hold out for a lot. This happens often. But it’s always worth a try…or play on words.

What I’ve learned with writing for the web — there is no need to be flowery or overly descriptive in your text. This isn’t a novel. This is quick, one hit advertising. And it’s effective., you’ve made my Digiday!

Cole Haan Hits the Rails With #SubwayStyle

If you’re like me, you often find yourself checking out other people on the subway. It’s not because you’re a freak or because you’re in the market for a “casual encounter” (or maybe you are). There’s just NOWHERE else to look.

Like its neighborhoods, New York’s subway lines each have their own distinctive fashion code.  A ride aboard the L into Williamsburg will inspire bohemian chic, skinny jeans on men and bicycles as extensions of one’s self.  Hop on the 6 during rush hour at Grand Central and you’ll be taking a Vuitton briefcase in the back, an Armani suited shoulder pad in the eye and inhaling the scent of a dozen expensive leather bags. The late night subway edition displays ladies en route to their nocturnal destination, teetering in 6 inch heels, sparkly leggings and fur vests with hot-ironed curls peeping out from under their wool berets. The ever-stylin’ city male is clad in dark denim rolled up to show off his short suede boots, one hand tugging at the hem of his tailored sports jacket lined with a gingham pocket square, the other pulling down his dutch boy hat to keep his head warm.

To sink its teeth into this grassroots fashion fusion, Cole Haan brought its “SubwayStyle” campaign online during New York’s Fashion Week. What began with simple subway ads (Cole Haan spelt out in MTA icons) soon transpired into a location-based social media campaign. Influential bloggers were invited to a secret event at the MTA transit museum where they were given a pair of pre-selected Cole Haan shoes and asked to tweet/blog about their evening to get it rolling. The only snag — there’s no service underground, so they couldn’t tweet from the event. Poor insight into the behavior of bloggers, but they did blast it out later.

Cole Haan’s “SubwayStyle” lives on Tumblr, a place where the user can sort by neighborhood, train line and trends to see what’s catching nods underground:

Cole Haan Tumblr

Select “Manhattan”, “B D F M line”, “Winter” and you’ll get a snapshot like this:


A centrally featured poll offers a “This or That?” question to get the user clicking:

Cole Haan polls

#SubwayStyle has grown legs on both Twitter and Instagram, with users linking to and posting photos of city style under the city:


Cole Haan has taken “location-based” marketing and put it in the hands of the influencers — fashion bloggers and their followers.  These influencers  are rewarded with a free pair of shoes and a possible gift card. But, how can Cole Haan leverage this exposure better? By tagging the photos with Cole Haan products. If I like a pair of shoes or a jacket there’s currently no way for me to know what the product is called without doing a search online. Save the user  time and they’ll be filling their shopping cart much faster.

Cole Haan can also reach out to the  individual tweeters/customers. For anyone that uploads a photo to #SubwayStyle, Cole Haan can send them a private message with an in-store discount code that aligns with their “tagged neighborhood”.  C’mon Cole Haan, get even more local!


Cole Haan, #SubwayStyle has made my DigiDay!