Touchdown or Fumble? Brand Awareness Lessons from the Most Iconic Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl is an event that transcends the sport of football and has become a cultural phenomenon. Over the years, the ads aired during the game have become as anticipated as the showdown on the field. Every year, companies shell out millions for  30 precious seconds of air time, hoping to capture a magical moment of brand awareness that resonates with the audience. Countless campaigns have soared to iconic status, becoming part of our everyday culture. Others have landed with a thud. 

There’s so much to be learned from every marketing or advertising campaign. In this blog post, we’ll dive into some of our favorite “touchdowns” and notorious “fumbles” from past Super Bowl campaigns, extracting valuable insights into effective brand awareness strategies.

Touchdown: Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” Commercial (2014)

As dog lovers, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” campaign definitely made our list. The commercial featured a heartwarming story of a friendship between a puppy and a Clydesdale horse. The ad resonated with viewers emotionally and received widespread praise, becoming one of the most beloved Super Bowl commercials in recent years.

The lesson: Emotional connection is king. People remember stories that make them feel something, and Budweiser masterfully tapped into that with their adorable furry friends.

Fumble: Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen” Commercial (2015)

Nationwide’s commercial during Super Bowl XLIX, which featured a young boy lamenting all the life events he would miss due to a preventable accident, sparked controversy and backlash for its dark and somber tone. Many viewers found the ad depressing and inappropriate for a Super Bowl audience.

The lesson: Recognizing when and where your message lands is crucial. While serious messaging can be impactful, understanding the context in which your audience engages with your brand is crucial to avoid alienating them.

Touchdown: Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” Campaign (2007-2016)

For nearly a decade, Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign invited consumers to create their own commercials for the chance to have them aired during the Super Bowl. This crowdsourcing approach generated immense buzz and engagement, with the winning ads consistently ranking among the most popular during the game.

The lesson: Don’t be afraid to empower your audience to be part of your brand story. Sometimes, the best way to promote your brand is to let your fans create their own magic.

Fumble: Mountain Dew’s “PuppyMonkeyBaby” Commercial (2016) 

This bizarre concoction of a puppy, a monkey, and a baby might have aimed for quirky, but it landed squarely in the “annoying” territory. Unhinged marketing can be effective, but only when it resonates with your brand identity and doesn’t alienate your audience. 

The lesson: There’s a fine line between being memorable and being off-putting. That’s why you should exercise caution and ensure that your attempts at creativity align with your brand identity and resonate with your target audience.

Field Goal: Apple’s “1984” Commercial (1984)

Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial, directed by Ridley Scott, aired during Super Bowl XVIII. While now considered iconic, this ad was initially controversial. The dark, dystopian imagery and political undertones went over some viewers’ heads, and it wasn’t immediately clear what product was being advertised. However, the ad’s boldness and originality eventually won over audiences and critics alike.

The lesson: Brand awareness can be a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re playing the long game, ensure your brand narrative is consistent and resonates with your audience over time.

Ready to Make Every Snap Count?

One of the marketing principles we constantly reiterate is that brand awareness is a journey, not a destination. It’s about consistently moving the ball down the field, learning from each play, and adapting your strategy based on the ever-changing game. So, take inspiration from these iconic ads. Celebrate the touchdowns, analyze the fumbles, and remember: the most important element is creating a brand experience that resonates with your audience long after the final whistle blows.

Want to brainstorm some winning brand awareness strategies for your business? Contact Green Apple Strategy today! We’re a team of passionate marketers who can help you tell your brand story and score big with your customers.

PR 2.0: The AI Revolution for Strategic Communications

AI is quickly becoming embedded in our work and our lives. There’s a lot to keep up with as new developments are coming out almost every day. In the final days of 2023, the New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming millions of articles from the publication were used to train AI chatbot LLMs without authorization. This lawsuit is a clear sign that reform and regulation are coming for the AI market, but we’ll have to wait and see how the overall impact plays out.

Despite the evolving landscape, AI technology remains a powerful tool for PR professionals. The technology has played an important role in public relations work for years in a variety of ways, including;

  • Earned media and social media monitoring
  • Up-to-date journalist and outlet databases
  • Determining brand sentiment in earned media 
  • Determining trending topics and types of content

More recent AI advancements, like deep learning and text and image generation, are changing AI’s role in public relations, reflecting the type of disruption seen in many other industries. But its efficacy depends on our ability to use it strategically and cautiously.

We sat down with Green Apple PR Strategist, Chris Song, to take a closer look at how AI is assisting PR professionals and why it will never replace them. 

The Impact of AI on Strategy

Data and output from AI are really helpful for PR teams, especially for the strategic process. A recent study released by Muck Rack shows a majority (61%) of PR professionals are already using AI or are interested in using it. That’s a 40% increase since March 2023. The report shows the most popular use of AI among PR professionals is for copywriting. But it’s also helping PR pros like Green Apple’s Chris Song brainstorm ideas, conduct research, and monitor brands.

AI is making it easier to keep track of our clients and their brands in real-time while also cutting out the “noise” produced by incorrect or duplicated results. Similarly, it helps us keep an eye on their partners, competitors, and industries as a whole, which can inform our marketing and PR efforts.”

When prompted with appropriate inputs, AI can assist with the copywriting process by generating creative ideas and topics in the brainstorming phase of an earned media campaign. It can also sift through large amounts of earned media content (e.g., headlines, social media posts, bylines, etc.) to help PR professionals do what they’re already doing—identifying trending content and connecting with journalists (and audiences) interested in their clients’ products and services.

The Human Element

AI can help make your job easier, but it can’t do your job for you. When it comes to PR, there’s a foundational communication skill that will always need a human touch: relationship-building.

“Good relationships are critical. A lot has changed over my time in PR—about 15 years—that makes that even more true today. More traditional news outlets have smaller staffs sharing the same workload as before, which means getting through to gatekeepers is a more complicated process. On the other hand, there are more media content generators and curators than ever, so the relationships we do have must deepen while we also pursue more contacts to build trust and credibility with new and emerging voices. That’s something that AI isn’t capable of doing.”

AI has many other limitations. Having a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips doesn’t guarantee accuracy, timeliness, or the effective application of that knowledge. Publicizing incorrect data and outdated information could erode trust between PR pros and their audiences while making brands vulnerable to criticism. 

Beyond what AI does know, there are many nuances that it cannot understand: the appropriate tone and voice for a particular situation, the timing of any given earned media effort, or highly localized sensitivities based on current events and politics. Writing and creating content for people isn’t the same as writing for a search engine algorithm, and quality, human-centered writing requires both heart and hand.

Best Practices for Utilizing AI in Public Relations 

The storytelling element of PR still requires an emotional intelligence that only humans can provide. AI can help us get away from blank stares at the screen, acting as a great brainstorming tool. We’ve outlined a few best practices to keep in mind when using AI for marketing in our recent blog and have listed a few more below.

  • Double-check everything.
  • Get specific. Just like a Google search, the more information and content you put in, the more you’ll get back.
  • Don’t copy and paste.
  • Don’t allow AI to write your press releases.
  • Don’t become overly reliant on AI for ideas.

The Bottom Line

Artificial intelligence is not something to fear. Instead, it’s an exciting opportunity to improve efficiency and creativity! The concept of AI “competing” with PR comes from a misunderstanding of one or both subjects. Even in the foreseeable future, AI can only supplement the work of a PR professional. Inevitably, some professionals will rely too heavily on it, while others will ignore its utility to the disadvantage of themselves and their clients. In the end, how ethically and effectively AI is used in PR work is up to you. 

An Innovative Marketing and PR Agency

Our team of experts at Green Apple are using the latest tools and innovative approaches to tailor the marketing we do for our clients. If your business could use an updated approach to branding, marketing, and PR, we can help. Reach out to us to discover more effective ways to connect with your audience.

Harnessing AI in Marketing: How to Bridge the Gap Between Efficiency and Authenticity

AI has recently been identified as a technology that will impact almost every industry. As a marketing agency, one of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the past year is, “How does AI fit into our marketing toolbox?”

At Green Apple Strategy, we are continually exploring innovative tools and trends to bolster client success. Whether it’s tools like Canva, Airtable, or ChatGPT, we want to find tools that help us deliver exceptional results. The best way we can describe our approach to AI is that we use it as a tool that empowers our team to work smarter. It’s a helpful resource, but it doesn’t replace the human element of our work.

One way to think about the rapid evolution of AI is to think back to the early days of search engines. Before Google, our primary sources of information were found in encyclopedias, phone books, or word-of-mouth recommendations. While Google revolutionized information access, we never copied and pasted information from the results page. Just like a Google search doesn’t replace dissecting a nuanced text, AI alone can’t create impactful marketing. The magic lies in human interpretation, crafting engaging narratives from data, injecting the right voice, and ensuring factual accuracy. 

3 Benefits of AI in Marketing 

When it comes to utilizing AI in marketing, here are three benefits we’ve noticed: 

Information Architect

Imagine having a tireless research assistant who scours the internet, analyzes trends, and uncovers hidden insights. That’s the power of AI in information gathering. It gathers mountains of data and gives our team a solid foundation to build strategies. Like Google, AI becomes a starting point and a research partner that we can use to shape the informational content we gather into strategy.

Inspiration Igniter

Stuck in a creative rut? AI can be a secret weapon. Its ability to generate different creative formats and ideas can spark unexpected insights and take you down untrod paths. Think of it as a digital brainstorming partner. You might not always use its exact suggestions, but it’ll get those creative juices flowing, helping you break free from the blank page and land on something truly unique and engaging.

Efficiency Engine

Marketing agencies wear many hats. AI can be an efficiency guru, automating tedious tasks like scheduling social media posts and generating basic design elements. This frees us up to focus on the human touch—crafting compelling brand narratives, building genuine connections, and injecting your brand with that unique personality that only you can bring.

How to Harness AI for Marketing

As you think about incorporating AI into your marketing efforts, here are a few essential “dos and don’ts” to consider: 

Do: Use AI as a tool for ideation and brainstorming. 

Its ability to process vast amounts of data can spark innovative ideas and strategies you might not have considered.

Don’t: Blindly use AI-generated content for critical platforms like your website. 

Always ensure that human oversight refines and enhances the content to resonate authentically with your audience.

Do: Be specific and detailed in your AI requests. 

Much like a Google search, the more context and information you provide in an AI prompt, the more tailored and relevant the AI-generated results will be.

Don’t: Neglect the human element. 

While AI can streamline processes, always contextualize and modify the content based on a deep understanding of your audience and industry nuances.

Do: Embrace AI’s analytical capabilities to glean insights from data. 

Utilize these insights to refine your marketing strategies and make informed decisions.

Don’t: Solely rely on AI to understand your audience. 

Engage directly with your audience, gather feedback, and use AI as a complementary tool to enhance your understanding, not replace it.

The Future of AI in Marketing 

In marketing, AI presents a promising blend of efficiency and innovation. At Green Apple Strategy, we recognize its transformative potential for small businesses. AI can’t replace your marketing team, but it can empower and enhance it. While AI streamlines processes, the essence of authentic connection remains a human touchstone. As you consider how to harness AI’s strengths for your marketing efforts, we hope to bridge the gap between efficiency and authenticity and find a more effective way to capture your audience’s attention and achieve your marketing goals.

2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back and reflect on all that’s happened. And for anyone with an Instagram account, it’s that time again when our social media feeds transform into a musical montage of friends’ top tracks and favorite artists courtesy of the Spotify Wrapped campaign. Whether you’re thrilled or slightly overwhelmed by the influx of Wrapped recaps, there’s something undeniably heartwarming about the collective effort to reminisce and rejoice in the memorable moments of the past 12 months. 

Here at Green Apple Strategy, we’ve caught the Wrapped fever and decided to create our rendition, celebrating the harmonious blend of creativity and hard work that went into our favorite marketing campaigns of the year. Just as Spotify songs transport us back to specific moments, our 2023 Wrapped is a chance for our team to relive the marketing magic generated through countless hours of brainstorming, planning, and execution. 

 

2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

Without further ado, join us as we unwrap the highlights and unveil the stories behind Green Apple’s 2023 Wrapped: 

United Communications’ Project UNITE Celebration Event

Our partnership with United Communications has provided us with the privilege of supporting Project UNITE, their groundbreaking initiative to bridge the digital divide in Middle Tennessee. In January, we had the honor of organizing a newsworthy celebration event to commemorate the remarkable impact of Project UNITE.

We started 2023 off with the planning and promotion of a marquee event for our client, United Communications. United realized the size and scope of the celebration they wanted to have would require all hands on deck, so their marketing team reached out to Green Apple for support. United Communications leveraged our event planning expertise to create a celebration that would support the company’s brand promise of providing a world-class connection with a local commitment. Green Apple also played an important role in the timing of the event, coordinating efforts with government agencies to ensure Governor Bill Lee and other elected officials could attend prior to the start of Tennessee’s state legislative session.

The celebration was a huge success, generating significant interest from local TV news outlets in Nashville and Knoxville that resulted in 24 print and digital news articles. Green Apple’s PR and Content Marketing Strategist Chris Song played a vital role in this event’s success and says it’s certainly a project he won’t soon forget.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished as a team to make this event such a success for United Communications. Through a single event, we promoted our client’s close partnerships with community leaders throughout Middle Tennessee, galvanized more public support for Project UNITE, and helped shine a light on the largest broadband infrastructure investment in our state’s history.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ Website Launch 

We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Survivor Fitness, an organization that empowers cancer survivors to reclaim their health and well-being through personalized training and nutritional guidance. Driven by its remarkable mission, Survivor Fitness has experienced rapid growth in recent years, extending its reach to thousands of cancer survivors across Middle Tennessee. To make an even greater impact, Survivor Fitness sought a new website to effectively convey their transformative story. Our team wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to partner with this exceptional organization. We meticulously crafted the website’s design, content, strategy, and project management, ensuring it accurately reflected Survivor Fitness’ dedication to empowering cancer survivors on their journey to holistic wellness. 

 

Crain Construction’s 90th Anniversary Celebration 

Crain Construction, a Nashville-based commercial contractor, has shaped the city for 90 years. Their dedication to building strong relationships alongside their impressive portfolio of construction projects has earned them a well-deserved reputation in the industry. Earlier this year, Crain Construction marked this remarkable milestone with an unforgettable celebration at one of their signature projects, The Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership. The event brought together generations of company leadership and employees, clients, and industry trade partners who have been integral to Crain’s journey.

Green Apple took care of the strategy and execution behind every detail of the party, including designing and sending the invitations, scheduling a video shoot, and coordinating PR coverage. Green Apple Client Relations Specialist Lindsay Lanahan and Assistant Client Relations Specialist Allison Gordon put a lot of work into this project. They both agreed it was one of the most memorable of 2023.

“It was so fun working with the client to create a memorable night commemorating their longstanding success. Plus, having the event at a brand-new Ferrari dealership was a cool experience!” Allison said.

Lindsay agreed, saying, “We got to celebrate in person with so many of the Crain employees we’d been interacting with for so long and hadn’t gotten to meet yet. We even got to meet Mark and Michael’s parents! The video shoot we did at their office was also a great experience.” 

 

Volunteering Together at Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms, a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting and empowering women, has been a beacon of hope and healing in Nashville for years. As an agency committed to giving back to our community, we had the privilege of volunteering with Thistle Farms several times throughout the year. These enriching experiences have allowed us to contribute to their remarkable mission while strengthening our team bonds. From assisting in candle preparation to decorating Christmas trees, each volunteer opportunity has been a testament to the power of collective action and the spirit of selflessness. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with Thistle Farms and make a meaningful impact on the lives of the women they serve.  

 

Sip & Sample Grand Opening for The Skylight  

The Factory at Franklin, a cornerstone of Franklin’s vibrant community, has undergone a remarkable transformation this year, redefining itself as a hub of connection for the community. Following its renovations, we had the honor of conceptualizing, planning, promoting, and executing a grand opening event to unveil the reimagined space and introduce the community to The Skylight Bar. The event was a success, drawing in over 300 enthusiastic attendees and selling out within 24 hours. The carefully crafted promotion generated over 1,300 Instagram and Facebook followers for The Skylight within weeks and garnered an astonishing $400,000 in advertising equivalent value. This grand opening event is a testament to the power of creativity, coordination, and the unwavering dedication of our team.

A few members of our team worked at the launch, including Assistant Client Relations Specialist Jordan Forbes.

“It was amazing seeing the great turnout,” she said. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and it generated excitement for the new bar and all the new restaurants opening. I loved seeing the Green Apple team show up for the client and do everything we could to ensure the event was a success.” 

 

textLIVING’s ProTalks by Joe

textLIVING, a rapidly growing white-label software company, recently embarked on an intentional journey to support its current partners and enlighten aspiring entrepreneurs and sales professionals seeking to venture into the white-label realm. In collaboration with the textLIVING team, we proudly launched ProTalks by Joe, a captivating masterclass-style video series. The success of ProTalks by Joe is a resounding affirmation of our ability to seamlessly collaborate with The Orchard, our esteemed team of marketing specialists, to transform the creative idea into a reality.

 

Maxwell Roofing’s Culture Walls and Video Shoot 

With a history spanning nearly 70 years, Maxwell Roofing’s values have been a cornerstone of its success, and our team eagerly embraced the opportunity to visually encapsulate this rich heritage by working with Maxwell Roofing to create Culture Walls, large-format signage that reflects their company’s values and inspire their employees. This project was a great example of our ability to combine different marketing strategies to achieve a common goal.

In 2023, we got the green light to move forward with Maxwell Roofing’s recruitment video. In October, members of the Green Apple team spent an entire day working alongside the company’s leadership team, coaching them through their portions of the video, and conducting multiple interviews with their employees. Olivia Cooper, Client Relations Director at Green Apple Strategy, has worked with the Maxwell Roofing team for years and says this memorable project provided her with some unique insight into the company. 

“Roofing is a hard career, so hearing these employees’ stories from behind the camera on why they chose this career and why our client, Maxwell Roofing, is such a great place to work was unique for us. One of the best parts of our job is getting to tell the story for Maxwell, via video, about why they’re such a great place to work.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ GivingTuesday Campaign

The 2023 GivingTuesday campaign for Survivor Fitness also stands out as one of our most impactful and inspiring marketing projects of the year. The campaign’s theme, “Because of You..,” resonated deeply with donors, highlighting the transformative impact of their contributions on the lives of cancer survivors. Another noteworthy milestone has been the organization’s remarkable year-over-year impact of GivingTuesday, expanding from supporting 300 training sessions in 2019 to 530 sessions this year. The growth is a testament to the dedication of the Survivor Fitness community, board, and team. 

 

The Gardner School Campaign Photos

The Gardner School has been a Green Apple client for over a decade. Every spring, ahead of a new school year, we head out for a photoshoot to collect a massive amount of content to use for TGS’s annual campaign. Months of prep work go into designing the look, feel, and messaging of a new campaign, and photos play a huge role in helping us tell a story. The Green Apple team works with the client to select a photographer, organize a day-of schedule, and create a comprehensive shot list for every photo that needs to be taken on that day. Client Relations Specialist, Kayla Reyes, says the effort is well worth it.

“These campaign photos are used regularly in all that we do for TGS year after year. We use them in paid media, advertising, social media, and the website (just to name a few). I know the client loves looking at them, and so does our team, after months of planning. I just think it is a resounding success that we can curate, create, and use these beautiful photos all year, ” she said. 

 

Working Remotely (from around the world)  

Several years ago, Green Apple embraced a hybrid agency model. Throughout the year, we witnessed the transformative power of remote work as our team members​​ worked from new and unexpected locations while seamlessly delivering exceptional service to our clients. Whether they were enjoying pretzels in Germany or taking Zoom calls from Ghana, working remotely has fostered a sense of connection and camaraderie and enriched our lives with experiences that extend far beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. 

 

Growing the Green Apple Family 

This year, our Green Apple family welcomed various new members who brought joy and encouragement. We celebrated the addition of several new team members, each one bringing their unique talents and perspectives to our agency. We also welcomed the heartwarming addition of a few new babies, whose smiles and playful spirits warmed our hearts. And to top it off, we celebrated our adorable four-legged friends who added their furry presence and unconditional love to our team.

 

Green Apple’s Soundtrack for Success: Our Team’s Spotify Wrapped

As we reflect on 2023, we’re filled with immense gratitude for the incredible moments and marketing campaigns we experienced. This year has been a testament to the dedication and passion of our team, who have worked tirelessly to implement creative ideas and celebrate our clients’ growth. 

And, of course, as Spotify fans, we’d be remiss not to share some of our favorite songs that kept us motivated and inspired throughout the year:

  • On My Mama – Victoria Monét (Allison Gordon)
  • Karma – Taylor Swift (Allison Gordon)
  • The Story – Brandi Carlile (Christa Spencer)
  • Pennies From Heaven – Louis Prima (Christa Spencer) 
  • Chloroform – Phoenix (Lindsay Lanahan)
  • Witchoo – Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer (Olivia Cooper)
  • Barbie World – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (Courtney Cochran)
  • Banks – NEEDTOBREATHE (Kayla Reyes)
  • Northern Attitude (with Hozier) – Noah Kahan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • East Side of Sorrow – Zach Bryan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • As It Was – Harry Styles (Sam Pyle)
  • I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan with Kasey Musgraves (Sam Pyle)
  • Two Step – Dave Matthews Band (Sam Pyle)
  • Maine – Noah Kahan (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Summer Rain – Zimmer90 (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Bluey Theme Song – Bluey feat. Joff Bush (Chris Song)
  • How Deep Is Your Love – PJ Morton (Chris Song)

     

Discover How Green Apple Can Help You Amplify Your Success In The Year Ahead

Green Apple Strategy is more than a marketing agency. We partner with businesses to help them grow. Whether you’re planning your next event or looking for ways to help your brand grow, our team is here to help. Let’s schedule a time to talk about your marketing goals for the year ahead!

Wrap It Up: The Year’s Top Marketing Trends We’re Taking into 2024

Whew! What a year it’s been for the digital landscape! Platforms changed their names, viewers were glued to restock videos, and social commerce soared. Despite ebbs and flows in online trends, the need for a solid digital presence remains the same. It’s critical to a brand’s success. 

To make planning your digital strategy a bit easier, we’ve done the heavy lifting and developed a list of the top video and social media marketing trends in 2024 that will make an impact in the new year.   

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2024

User Generated Content and Micro-influencers

Influencers with several million followers have had their day. In a surprise marketing shift, brands are turning to micro and nano-influencers, who have anywhere from 500 to 100,000+ followers. Audiences find micro and nano-influencers to be genuine and tend to relate better to their niche content. As a result, followers are more likely to purchase products or services promoted by this type of influencer. 

Brands also benefit from user-generated content that customers make about their personal experiences with a brand. Again, it’s the authenticity that leads to peer recommendations, satisfied customers, and brand-new customer acquisitions. 

Social Commerce

We’ve all made our share of purchases made through social media, and this method of shopping is expected to grow in popularity. In-app purchases and shoppable posts will make it easier for customers to buy directly from their social media feeds. Ensure a successful approach to social commerce by optimizing your social media platforms for sales, creating content that encourages purchases, and implementing a seamless buying process. 

SEO-Powered Content 

Using keywords for search engine optimization is still critical to getting your web content to display in Google’s search results. Now, it will also play an important role in social media content. As more and more users treat social media like search engines, SEO keywords will help them discover your clever content more so than hashtags. The right keywords can also contribute to the virality of posts, which will be influenced by SEO and not just hashtags. 

Social Listening 

Evaluating campaign success usually means evaluating quantitative data and analytics, but brands are also seeing the benefit of monitoring social media for qualitative customer feedback, experiences, and opinions. Responding to these comments can help build your and increase customer engagement. Social listening and garnering feedback from social media can also lead to customer-friendly improvements in support, marketing campaigns, and products.

Video Marketing Trends in 2024

Video Content and Captions

Video content will continue to flourish in 2024 because it’s a powerful way to connect with customers, share brand stories, and showcase products. Short-form video content will also remain popular, as it is easy to consume on certain social media platforms. 

As you’re creating content, be sure to add captions to all videos. More and more viewers are watching videos without sound, and adding captions makes your content more accesible. Include keywords in your social media captions to make your videos easier to find. Social media is now serving as a search engine for users, and a descriptive caption can help them find your content.

AI-Generated Content

Artificial intelligence is making waves in many industries, including marketing. AI-powered technologies can help you analyze large amounts of data effectively and efficiently. You can use it to uncover new approaches to strategy and tactics or even to automate mundane tasks, freeing up your time to tackle larger endeavors. Customers can also benefit from AI-based bots that can answer questions about a product or service and serve as a first touchpoint of a brand.

Increases in Consumer Privacy 

Consumers are concerned with privacy protection and want to know they can trust your company with their personal information. A study by PwC found that 83% want more control over their personal information. You can help your customers feel secure by being transparent in your data collection efforts, asking for their consent, and following all privacy and compliance regulations. 

Streaming and CTV

CTV, also known as connected TV or smart TV, continues to grow. Consumers will continue to use streaming platforms via CTV to watch their favorite programs, movies, and shows. Stay on top of its popularity by incorporating a marketing strategy for CTV into your plans for 2024. 

Marketing Strategy is Always On Trend

Trends come and go, but planning will continue to be the little black dress of marketing strategies in 2024. Green Apple can help you decide which marketing approaches will work best with for your B2B or B2C brand. We also collect data measure the results, optimize what’s working, and scale with you as you grow. Reach out to our team today to see how we can make today’s marketing trends work for you.

Beyond the Books: 4 Insights Learned from My Marketing Internship by Eden Hutchinson

At Green Apple, our top priority has always been hiring good people and fostering their development in a way that helps them grow professionally and personally. Over the past few years, we’ve collaborated with local universities in Nashville to provide marketing internships to aspiring undergraduates. This summer, we were fortunate to welcome Eden Hutchinson to our team. Eden’s unwavering passion for marketing and dedication to our clients make her an invaluable asset. She seizes every chance to acquire new skills and knowledge. In this blog post, we’re handing the keyboard over to Eden, allowing her to share some of the invaluable lessons she’s gathered as a marketing intern at Green Apple.

As a business and marketing double major, I read about countless marketing principles in school. But this internship has taught me even more valuable lessons that can’t be learned from books. Working at Green Apple, I’ve had the chance to discover how marketing is applied in different industries. I also learned how to tailor marketing strategies to each client’s specific needs. But more importantly, I learned the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and real-world experience. These practical skills are essential for marketing success. 

In this blog post, I wanted to highlight the most valuable lessons I learned from my marketing internship. These lessons have helped me go beyond marketing basics and provided a holistic understanding of the field.

 

4 Insights Learned from My Marketing Internship

1. Project management is the cornerstone for marketing success. 

During my internship at Green Apple, my primary focus was collaborating with the Client Relations team, who are responsible for collaborating with clients and executing marketing ideas. I quickly grasped the importance of having a well-structured system to keep track of all the marketing activities and elements for each client. I’ve learned the value of embracing a process-driven approach to marketing and implementing proven project management best practices to work smarter rather than harder. For example, most of the work executed by the Green Apple team happens in Basecamp, a project management tool that enables us to create and execute tasks methodically.  

Over the summer, I honed my ability to break down complex objectives into manageable steps, and I now find myself applying this skill to other areas of my life.

 

2. Team culture makes a tremendous difference in how people show up to work every day. 

As a business undergraduate student, my classes often discuss the significance of company culture. However, I’ve learned that culture is often a concept you must experience firsthand to grasp its importance. After multiple internships, I’ve been immersed in various company cultures, and it’s been fascinating to experience the difference.

At Green Apple, I’ve seen how a positive culture directly impacts productivity. There’s a deliberate focus on fostering a positive and enjoyable company culture. Some of the things that make Green Apple’s culture so great include bi-weekly team meetings where everyone shares a “weekend happy,” and employees are encouraged to travel or take volunteer time off

I’ve seen the difference it can make when you work in an environment that is kind and uplifting. I’m more motivated to do well because I’m surrounded by supportive people who want me to succeed.


3. Getting your hands dirty is the best way to learn.

One of the things I’ve loved most about my internship is getting the opportunity to help with numerous projects for the agency and our clients. This has taught me that getting involved in many projects is the best way to grow. By working on various one-off projects, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how the company functions and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into success. No class can fully prepare you for this, but Green Apple’s culture of encouraging employee success has allowed me to dive into projects I would never have had in another internship. And because my work matters to the company’s growth, I know it’s making a real difference.


4. Don’t ignore the analytics.

One of the most valuable aspects of my internship has been learning about the reporting process. I had no prior experience in this area, but I quickly realized how important analytics are for making informed business decisions.

The idea that analytics can help teams improve their marketing efforts makes sense in theory, but seeing it in practice has really driven home the importance of a data-driven approach. Marketing for any client requires an adaptive mindset, and analytics can help teams make the necessary adjustments to improve their efforts and achieve their long-term goals continually.


Get Your Hands Dirty with the Green Apple Team 

We’re incredibly grateful for the ideas and support Eden has offered during her internship and are excited about the opportunity to keep her on for another semester. If you’re a marketing professional or undergraduate student looking for an internship in the Nashville area, you can learn more about what it’s like to work at Green Apple or reach out to our team to apply.

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Let’s be honest… it takes a lot of time, attention, and energy to plan and execute an event. The last thing you want is to waste your resources on an event that falls flat. After planning and executing dozens of events for clients over the years, we’ve learned some of the most important best practices for creating an effective and unforgettable event. Harnessing the power of storytelling is one of the foundational pillars of effective event marketing.   

Building your event around a compelling story is beneficial for several reasons. It makes promoting your event easier by creating a more intriguing hook for guests or media outlets. It unlocks creative ideas and opportunities to engage attendees. It is easier to promote, and it creates a more memorable experience for attendees. Ultimately, it enables you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Here are some specific tips and ideas that marketers can use to harness the power of storytelling in event marketing:

Start with a Strong Story

The first step is to come up with a strong story that will resonate with your audience. You need to decide on the core idea behind your event. The “story” of your event should be relevant to your brand, your values, and your overall blueprint for your brand story.

Here are a few questions to consider: 

  • What is the overall purpose of the event? What messages or emotions do you want to convey to the attendees?
  • What are the core themes or ideas associated with your brand or organization?
  • Are there any key moments or events in your company’s history that could be used to tell a story?

Make it Personal for Your Audience

Helping your audience see themselves in the story is an important factor. The events that resonate the most are ones that allow you to connect with the audience on an emotional level. When your attendees can see themselves in the story, they’re more likely to remember and enjoy the event.  

Creating an event that resonates with your audience can be challenging because so much of your attention is focused on your marketing goals. Taking time to ask these questions can help create an event that personally resonates with attendees: 

  • What is the target audience for the event? What are their interests and pain points?
  • What could make it a must-attend experience for your target audience?
  • How can you improve their experience or their life through the event.

Engage All the Senses

Visuals can be a powerful way to tell a story, but it’s equally important to think beyond visuals and incorporate elements that appeal to sight, sound, touch, taste, and even smell. In the iconic words of Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” The way you deliver your story determines its impact on your participants, so have fun with it! 

Here are a few ways you can create an “immersive experience” that supports the story you want to tell:

  • What emotions do you want attendees to feel during the event? 
  • How can you evoke these emotions using sound and lighting design or visual elements?
     
Real-World Examples of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Over the past few months, we’ve been able to design and implement several event marketing strategies for our Green Apple clients. Here are some examples of how storytelling has been used in their event marketing plans:

The Skylight Grand Opening Event: Sip & Sample 

After months of renovation, The Factory at Franklin wanted to create an opportunity for guests to explore the reimagined space and celebrate the grand opening of The Skylight—the new bar at The Factory at Franklin. We designed an event called Sip & Sample that highlighted The Skylight’s narrative of being a space for the community. We brought together new and current vendors of The Factory and invited the community to join us for this exclusive grand opening event.  

Crain Construction’s 90th Anniversary Celebration

Known for building relationships and structures that last a lifetime, Crain Construction wanted to celebrate their 90th anniversary alongside team members, former employees, customers, and industry partners who supported their growth over the years. By hosting the event at Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership—one of their most recent projects—we were able to create an immersive experience that celebrated the past while generating excitement for the company’s future. 

United Communication’s Project UNITE Celebration

United Communications is a local internet company making tremendous strides in providing high-speed internet access to rural communities across Middle Tennessee. They came to Green Apple Strategy looking for a way to celebrate a state-funded grant for their Project UNITE initiative. Every aspect of the event, including the location, speaker list, and food choices, was designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment as a local provider.

Let Green Apple Plan Your Next Event

Special events are a powerful tool that can be used to enhance your marketing goals. If you’re ready to develop a compelling story or theme for your upcoming event, ensuring a memorable and impactful experience for your attendees, we’d love to talk. Reach out to us for a consultation.

5 Questions to Consider Before You Start Planning for 2024

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from building hundreds of annual marketing plans, it’s that proper planning requires a disciplined approach that evaluates the past and looks toward the future. This approach enables you to learn from past successes and failures, understand the changing market landscape, and align marketing strategies with your overall business objectives.

Setting aside time to consider these questions can enhance every part of your annual marketing plan — from setting more attainable goals to thinking more strategically about your annual budget.
 

5 Questions to Consider Before You Start Planning for 2024

Here are a few questions we ask our clients to help develop their annual marketing plan: 

1. What lessons were learned from the successes and failures of the current year’s marketing efforts?

Developing a marketing plan can be challenging for a variety of reasons. You can’t expect to implement the same ineffective tactics and strategies and generate different results. On the other hand, what worked last year isn’t guaranteed to work again. 

That’s why it’s helpful to truly dig into what worked and what didn’t. For example, let’s say that you ran a marketing campaign last year that was very successful. What made the campaign so successful? Was it the target audience? The messaging? The timing? Once you know what worked, you can replicate or change those elements in future marketing campaigns.

2. What are the overall business goals and objectives for the upcoming year?

As a business owner or marketer, you know that your marketing plan should be aligned with your overall business goals and objectives. That’s why it’s so important to ask yourself this question before you start building your plan. 

This is where getting insights and perspectives from stakeholders across the company can be valuable. For example, if your company has a goal to launch a new division or product, you’ll need to invest significant marketing resources toward that effort. If you’re interested in building your team and hiring more employees, you could incorporate that goal into your marketing efforts. 
  

3. What are the main challenges and opportunities in the market that you need to address?

New technologies are emerging, new competitors are entering the market, and customer expectations are evolving. Discover what your potential customers might be thinking as time goes on before you start building your marketing plan.

By understanding these challenges and opportunities, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. You might focus on developing more personalized marketing campaigns, or you might invest in new service offerings that can help you stay ahead of the competition.

4. How can you improve and ensure alignment between marketing and other departments within the organization?

In order for your marketing plan to be successful, you need to have alignment between marketing and other departments within your organization. Improving alignment between sales and marketing is an essential step. As you develop your plan for next year, be sure that your marketing and operations departments are working together to address any scalability issues. When everyone is working together in the same direction, you’re more likely to achieve your marketing goals and objectives.

5. How will you evaluate your efforts and pivot if needed? 

What are you going to do if your tactics fail or another opportunity arises? Knowing the answer to this question before you build your marketing plan can be incredibly helpful. It’s difficult to fix the plane if you have to build the instruction manual while it’s crashing. By building mechanisms for evaluation and adjustment, you create the opportunity to pivot your marketing efforts without abandoning your entire strategy.

Let Green Apple Strategy Help You Plan 

Need some help getting started on next year’s marketing goals? Check out this Green Apple guide to start planning!

Our team can help you build an effective strategy to help your brand achieve its business goals. Learn more about our process or connect with our team to start a conversation.

Four Event Marketing Best Practices for Unforgettable Experiences

When it comes to telling a brand’s story, events are incredibly powerful. A well-planned, well-executed event can gather stakeholders, communicate brand values, and build community connections all over the course of two hours. However, the opposite is also possible. An ill-planned and poorly executed event can strain relational ties, communicate inefficacy, and harm PR efforts. 

If you want to support your marketing strategy with an exceptional event, try the following event marketing best practices for an event that can increase brand awareness and bring in new business.

Four Event Marketing Best Practices for Unforgettable Experiences


Set Aside More Time Than You Need

Realistically, how much time do you need to plan, schedule, and run a successful event to promote your business? A week? A month? Six months? A year? Events run the gamut, ranging from sponsoring a local charity gala, throwing a party at a major trade show, or celebrating a groundbreaking with government officials. Green Apple Strategy has helped our clients plan all these events and more — we know how sufficient time can lead to excellent outcomes. 

While some events take days or weeks to plan, others require months of collaboration. As a rule of thumb, estimate how long you think it will take and double that amount of time. It’s impossible to start too early. The scope and cost of events tend to expand, and making extra time for unexpected delays is a best practice you won’t regret.


Over-Plan Your Marketing Event

In addition to setting aside sufficient time for an event, we suggest a similar course of action when it comes to organizing and planning an event. Brands new to event planning may assume that it consists of simply listing what you need to do and assigning those duties to different individuals. 

In fact, event planning requires lists of materials, vendors, attendees, organizers, and expenses. It also requires sketching out a timeline for choosing, confirming, and paying for all the components of the event. If you don’t have an individual at your organization who specializes in event planning, the responsibility of the event is often placed on team members who already have full-time roles at your company. This can cause stress and strain as people add even more to their already full schedules.
 

Team Up With an Experienced Marketing Event Partner

To prevent overwhelm and resentment, it’s best to partner with an event marketing agency that has experience planning and throwing large events. Often, a high-level overview is lost when brands try to add event planning to their areas of expertise. Key components, invites, or aspects of the event fall through the cracks, learning to frustration and embarrassment. 

Outsourcing your event planning and marketing to an experienced partner places the responsibility on them to keep tabs on the overarching strategy and the on-the-ground details and logistics. Your brand can still retain creative control and assist with idea generation and execution while receiving the support you need to throw the best event possible for your brand, your board, your customers, and your community.


Drum Up Anticipation Through Marketing

Event planning is so complex that advertising, marketing, and PR for the event can fall by the wayside. Leaving marketing for the last minute almost always affects turnout and deliverables, making the event a less powerful vector for brand loyalty and visibility. Instead, marketing and publicity should go hand-in-hand with the process of event planning so that the event can be promoted every step of the way. 

Promoting your event means identifying publications and media outlets that should feature your event, reaching out to invitees, sponsors, and community partners who have a stake in your event, and creating a coordinated social media strategy to create anticipation for your event. Sellout events create palpable buzz, interest, and curiosity about brands. (We should know—our sellout event for The Factory at Franklin led to an extensive waitlist invested in future events that is now an engaged email marketing audience.) When it comes to event marketing, there’s no such thing as creating too much excitement. 
      

Let Green Apple Plan Your Next Event

Special events are a powerful tool that can be used to enhance your marketing goals. If you’re ready to use event marketing best practices to build connections while increasing brand awareness, reach out to us for a consultation. 

Events are an incredibly powerful part of building a company’s brand story. Here are some of Green Apple’s best practices for a well-planned and well-executed event.

From Idea to Impact: How to Develop a Memorable Brand Story

Every successful company started as an idea. 

Whether it was a concept sparked by a business conversation or originally written down on the back of a napkin, every brand has a story to tell about how it evolved from idea to impact. As a marketer or business leader, your ability to tell that story (i.e., brand storytelling) affects how well your potential customers remember who you are, connect with your mission, and care about your products or services. 

Brand storytelling not only explains how you differ from your competitors; it also humanizes your brand in a way that allows people to relate to it. It helps customers understand who you are and why your business exists. 

For example, Green Apple Strategy was founded as a marketing and PR agency that builds marketing strategies with the entire business in mind. Rather than offering “one-off” marketing projects like creating a website or managing social media, we come alongside businesses to develop and implement marketing strategies with their “core” business areas in mind. As a result, a big part of our work has been helping businesses find their “story” and tell it effectively in today’s digital age. 


Develop a Blueprint for Memorable Brand Storytelling

After working with dozens of clients in various industries over the years, here are a few best practices we’ve learned when it comes to developing your brand’s story:

Discover your why.

To borrow the famous adage from Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Discovering your why when marketing your business should always be step one. Rather than leading with your products, services, or solutions, take a step back and examine the motivation behind your actions. It’s more than just making a profit (or at least, it should be). It’s the big, bold vision that motivates your company.  

Help your audience see themselves in your story.

While your brand story unpacks your origin and unique differentiators, it’s essential to remember that the best marketing makes your audience feel like the hero in the story. It’s important to make sure your audience can see themselves in your brand story. That means highlighting their specific challenges or obstacles and why you care about helping them solve the problem.

Make sure your brand story aligns with your business goals. 

Your brand story should align with your business goals and integrate into all areas of your business—including marketing, sales, and all internal and external communications. Potential goals to build your story around include revenue growth, clarifying what your business offers, differentiating from other companies, or growing brand awareness. 

Don’t forget to be human. 

Remember, people connect with people. Your brand story should have personality. Boring books don’t attract readers. In the same way, your brand story should be inspired by the presence of people who participate and develop your company — written with the specific personality that represents your company. 


Questions to Help With Brand Storytelling

As we work with brands, we get to know their history, unique value proposition, ideal target audience, and dreams for the future. Each of these impact the brand story we craft. While it’s important to create a unique narrative, here are a few helpful questions that could help you identify the important elements and narrative arc of your brand story: 

1. How and why was your company founded? What inspired its creation?

2. What were the specific challenges or problems your company sought to address in the market? How does that connect with the problems you seek to address today?

3. Were there any significant events, experiences, or turning points that shaped the early days of your company?

4. What were the core values, principles, or beliefs that guided the founders in establishing the company?

5. Did your company experience any transformative moments or breakthroughs that set it apart from competitors?

6. Who is your target audience? How does your product or service positively impact the lives of your customers? 

7. What is your company’s vision for the future? How do you plan to evolve and make a positive impact?


Take Your Brand Storytelling to the Next Level

Creating a compelling brand story is worth it because it becomes something to reinforce in every marketing campaign. If you’re struggling to identify a brand story or marketing message that resonates with your audience, our team can help. Reach out to our team to learn more about our process or schedule a time to chat.