Skip to main content


News, culture & fun stuff


Building a cult brand and redesigning Taco Bell

October 31 2016 / Sara Frey

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, got together to talk about what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in for their responses to questions including: How successful were Frontier Lager’s recent #findflavour Instagram ads? (at 0:13) How can a restaurant achieve cult status […]


Celebrating a centennial by keeping in step with the times

August 8 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Last year the National Parks System attracted 305,000,000 people. That’s more visitors than Disney theme parks, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR combined. And this year is looking even better. You have to admit – for a government agency to pull these kind of numbers, it’s pretty impressive. How does a 100-year-old organization maintain its […]


How to win the Labatt Games & other brand activations

August 2 2016 / Sara Frey

Just a few days ago, I was crowned a winner of the Labatt Undomesticated Games. If you know anything about the event, you probably want to hear my team’s strategies for dominating the oversized slingshot. But that’s a secret I’ll never tell. Instead I want to share my thoughts on the event as a millennial […]


3 tips for creating brand experiences millennials love

July 25 2016 / Tim Smith

Marketing leaders have an incredibly complicated task in trying to optimize their marketing spend while achieving the best return for their brand. While plenty will debate the merits of spending in the traditional vs. digital spaces, it’s the experiential world that may be most deserving of your investment – especially if you want to stay […]


TL;DR and other reminders to keep your copy in check

July 12 2016 / Alissa Kline

As a writer and a millennial – and one who specializes in millennial-focused copywriting, no less – I am painfully aware of the challenges faced by brands writing for this audience. We hate advertising1, use fast-moving language steeped in internet and pop-culture allusions, and –­ due to infamous amounts of screen time – are constantly […]


To podcast, or not to podcast

June 28 2016 / Sara Frey

If you want to reach millennials, there’s a pretty compelling argument that podcasts are a place you want your brand to be. Thirty-five percent of millennials listen to at least one podcast a week,1 and 63 percent have bought something they heard advertised on a podcast.2 With these kind of stats, the question shouldn’t be whether […]


The Taco Bell effect: QSRs’ digital opportunities with millennials

June 21 2016 / Sara Frey

It’s no surprise that millennials, the “foodie generation”1 that loves to share experiences, is big on hashtagging, tweeting, and ‘gramming their meals.2 But did you know that 83 percent of millennials connect with brands on social media and 62 percent say such engagement will make them loyal customers?3 When you look at all the data, it’s easy to […]


The celebrity spokesperson is dead…or is it?

May 31 2016 / Sara Frey

If you believe what you hear, the celebrity spokesperson is dead. Talk is rampant in blogs and at conferences that the savvy millennial consumer doesn’t respond to paid endorsement. They say that customers want to hear from other customers, that UGC is the silver bullet. And while peer-to-peer marketing is certainly effective, the days of […]


Creating magical moments at every consumer touchpoint

May 17 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Let’s say you’ve got a billion dollar brand that produces magic at every turn. Your innovative approach is second to none, and people of all ages tremble with excitement at the mere mention of your name. But somehow you’re not seeing the kind of results you want to see. Maybe there aren’t enough products flying […]


Nothing compares 2 Prince – in music or marketing

May 3 2016 / Tim Smith

Last Thursday, while at lunch, my phone blew up. Texts and emails and media alerts all pinged at the same time as a friend and colleague rested his hand on my shoulder. That was the moment I found out that my idol was gone and the world had lost an amazing creative soul. Everyone who […]


Yik Yak holds potential for the right marketers

April 26 2016 / Kacha Azema

When Lewis & Clark ventured into the American west, the leaders of their day believed they would find opportunity in a wild and untamed continent. Today, marketers are exploring a different kind of uncharted territory, looking to apps like Yik Yak for the opportunity to connect with the millennial audience. The brave among us may […]


The making of a cult brand

February 16 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Nestled deep in the idyllic Belgian countryside of West Flanders lies one of the most sought-after brands in the world. A brand whose product demand far outstrips the supply, and one whose marketing budget has hovered steadily around $0 for the last 175 years. Despite the remote location and total lack of advertising, this company […]


Marketing lessons from Netflix’s Making a Murderer

February 1 2016 / Liz Smith

Unless you live under a rock…in the middle of nowhere…you’ve probably heard about (if not binge-watched) the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer. The 10-part documentary follows the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who was wrongly imprisoned 18 years for a sexual assault he didn’t commit. Soon after his release, […]


Rethinking ROI and content marketing

January 11 2016 / admin

As consumer behaviors change and evolve so do those of brands and marketers. No longer do we live in a world of one-way promotional messaging, but one where consumers have the power to interact, change, and mold a brand. In our 60-second guide to millennials, we note that 62% of millennials are more likely to […]


Holiday hangover? 5 lessons to legitimize your binge-watching

January 5 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Welcome back from another holiday break. What better way to kick off the new year than by legitimizing your holiday binge-watching? Let’s take a closer look at a few classic films and see how you can use some of the most memorable scenes to your advantage. Home Alone “This is my house. I have to […]