Target’s “OCD” Holiday Sweater Stirs Up Controversy

If there is one thing people love about the holidays, it’s ugly sweater parties (or maybe that’s just me). And, over the years, Target has met consumers’ unfashionable, but festive, demands by selling “ugly” sweaters throughout this time of the year.

These swoooopps2eaters are usually a big hit amongst holiday shoppers, but this year one sweater‘s message is creating chaos on social media.

The controversial sweater reads “OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder,” and it’s generating a storm of backlash on Twitter. This is because the message seems to blatantly trivialize mental illness, specifically Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

For example, one angry individual responded on Twitter by saying “Hey @Target this sweater isn’t cute or funny. OCD is a serious mental illness that shouldn’t be mocked.”

Continue reading “Target’s “OCD” Holiday Sweater Stirs Up Controversy”

How I Got Hooked On Benefit Cosmetics

make upHi, my name is Diana Bishop and I am a Benefit Cosmetics addict. This is my story.

I’ll admit I’m not what you would typically dub a “girly girl” and so I’ve never been one to cake on pounds of makeup, let alone spend a large sum of money on beauty products. And while smothering my cheekbones with rosey powder still isn’t my style, I just can’t seem to end my bi-monthly trip to the Benefit Cosmetics store where I empty my wallet for a handful of my favorite products. Continue reading “How I Got Hooked On Benefit Cosmetics”

Retooling Your Brand? Make Sure You Have Supporting Content

Back in April, PepsiCo made headlines when the company announced plans to stop shipping bottles of Diet Pepsi containing aspartame—a widely used but controversial artificial sweetener. And this week, the first shipments of its new aspartame-free beverages, containing the sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium (or “Ace-K”), will slowly make their way onto grocery store shelves.

shutterstock_178657133It’s a big change for the Diet Pepsi brand, and one that comes at an important time as we’re exactly one month away from the big September 10 kickoff to the NFL season. So executives at PepsiCo are waiting with bated breath to see how customers will react to the change.

The big question is, will the change encourage consumers to continue reaching for Diet Pepsi? Or will more people start reaching for Diet Coke? Only time will tell how consumers react to the new product.

As you can see, making a change to a product can be a stressful experience. This is especially true in the food and beverage industry, where making even a small adjustment—like replacing an ingredient—can have a massive impact on taste, and thus consumer perception. Continue reading “Retooling Your Brand? Make Sure You Have Supporting Content”

Why I’m Not Buying McDonald’s Branding Shift

As the national and global populations have become increasingly aware of the benefits of healthy eating, fast food chains have had to find ways to re-invent themselves to remain viable. But perhaps no chain has been hit harder by this shift in public consciousness than McDonald’s, which has seen its sales plummet quarter after quarter in recent years, most recently in the second three months of 2015, when earnings fell another 10 percent.

FAIL_stamp Continue reading “Why I’m Not Buying McDonald’s Branding Shift”

It’s Time For Your 6 Month Content Marketing Checkup

Now that we’re about halfway through 2015, it’s an ideal time to take a step back and make sure you are on track to meet the content marketing goals you outlined for your business back in January (like creating brand awareness, or increasing engagement with your customers).

shutterstock_159748715After all, while your brand may appear to be perfectly healthy on the surface, there are countless factors that go into a successful content marketing strategy, all of which need to be closely monitored.

Here are some questions to ask during your mid-year content marketing checkup:

Are you posting regularly? Posting content is a bit like exercising; you have to do it on a consistent basis if you want to maintain a healthy digital brand. If you go for long periods of time between posts, you will have a much harder time building a steady readership.   Continue reading “It’s Time For Your 6 Month Content Marketing Checkup”

With Fans On Twitter, Who Needs Enemies?

avengers

In what is arguably the biggest social media story of the week, Joss Whedon, the screenwriter and director of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Avengers” films, stormed off Twitter after fans turned against him for what they perceived to be sexism and misogyny in the latest Avengers film, “Age of Ultron.”

Whedon deleted his account after Tweeters objected to his depiction of Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, in the film. Here’s a look at his seemingly ironic farewell message…

joss whedon farewell

Continue reading “With Fans On Twitter, Who Needs Enemies?”

What Can Content Marketing Do For Your Business?

There’s no question that content marketing is increasingly among business leaders. As evidenced in a recent infographic from Smart Insights, 29.6 percent of readers claimed that content marketing is the most commercially important marketing trend in 2015.

That’s more than twice as much as big data, which came in at 14.6 percent. Marketing automation, for that matter, came in even lower at 12.8 percent.

shutterstock_229790977You may be wondering: What exactly can content marketing do for your organization? Stop and think about whether the following needs apply to your business.

Do you need to: Continue reading “What Can Content Marketing Do For Your Business?”

Chipotle: The Latest Victim of a Social Media Hack

In case you missed it, over the weekend Chipotle Mexican Grill’s official Twitter account (@ChipotleTweets) was overtaken by hackers and used to spread a multitude of racist and hateful tweets across the Web. The hack occurred late Saturday evening, and extended until the early hours of Sunday morning.

shutterstock_229864495The media team at Chipotle was ultimately able to regain control over its account, and responded to the incident in a timely and professional manner.

“We apologize for the very offensive messages sent out from our account earlier tonight,” tweeted Media Manager Joe Stupp. “We were unfortunately hijacked temporarily.”

Suffice to say, it was a rough way to start the week for Chipotle, as the company is now in the process of performing damage control in an effort to restore its squeaky-clean brand image and let customers know that it was not responsible for the attack. Continue reading “Chipotle: The Latest Victim of a Social Media Hack”