Tag Archives: Advertisement

Trixxie Mattel Slays SKYY Vodka Campaign

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Welcome back folks!  It’s the last full week of June and Summer is here.  Last full week of June means one last week of Pride month.  Many states are setting up their own pride parade, with rainbow flags flying higher than ever.

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But it isn’t just the people themselves celebrating LGBTQ pride; many companies are pulling out their PR and marketing stunts as well.  Businesses are conducting tactics like changing their brand logo with a rainbow-colored background or giving public speeches acknowledging this special time of the year.  Whatever the case may be, it’s a perfect way to capture the oh-so colorful audiences of the LBGTQ community.

Some companies are going above the call of duty by adding endorsements into their strategy.  SKYY vodka recently just did that with the very special queen Trixie Mattel.

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Image result for Trixie Mattel SKYY

That’s right, RuPaul fans – Trixie Mattel is appearing in SKYY’s latest campaign.  This campaign is known as ‘Proudly American’, featuring diverse Americans from all walks of life.  The video itself features Brian Firkus transforming into the great Trixie Mattel.  Trixie Mattel joins LGBTQ members Dusty Ray Bottoms and Gus Kenworthy while sharing the iconic phrase ‘Home of the Brave’ during the ad.

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This isn’t Trixie’s first stint with television.  RuPaul fans may remember Trixie Mattel from season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race and winning the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.  She created the YouTube UNHhhh with Katya, which later became The Trixie & Katya Show on Viceland.

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It’s the perfect PR strategy – feature a famous drag performer (Trixie Mattel) and mix her in with in with a famous vodka beverage like SKYY (which so HAPPENS to be brewed in San Francisco!).  Trixie Mattel was the perfect endorsement for SKYY vodka.  It was a great montage mixed in with her personal message to the audiences.

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What you get in the end is an effective ad campaign celebrating Pride month.  Pride month has been the key phrase these past few weeks, so it’s best to take advantage of the opportunity as much as you can.

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SKYY vodka is an amazing example of a business producing a great ad campaign that reaches out to the LGBTQ community.  Its played in a personal, yet humorous way.  People like Trixie Mattel and Gus Kenworthy will truly give SKYY vodka that competitive edge.

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If there is anything we can reiterate in the end, it’s this – the key word is PRIDE MONTH.


Harambed: The Bed of your Memes

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It’s been more than a year since Harambe’s untimely death (#RIPHarambe).  Harambe was shot in the Cincinnati Zoo, in what would follow as one of the most bizarre PR nightmares in entertainment history.  The scene made nationwide news everywhere, with many bold responses from professionals in the environmental industry.

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Years later and Harambe is still remembered in the internet.  He is a lovable meme brand that got his own song (#DicksOutForHarambe), t-shirt designs, and even an emoji.  It was shocking PR nightmare that was brought to better light by the social media community.

What’s most surprising for Harambe (and his global brand) is his newest product line – a bed.

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Image result for Harambed

That’s right, Harambe fans – the HARAMBED has arrived!  Harambed: The Bed of Your Memes.  It’s the newest product line released by the Harambe brand.

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The Harambed features 10 inches of ‘meme-ory’ foam that is covered by 100% faux fur.  You can snuggle up with the realistic life-sized arms; it also includes a matching pillow and sleep mask as well.  This meme-sensationalized bed can be yours for the price of… $1,000,000!

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Only a cool million dollars for a bed from one of the most notorious brands from the internet.  This bed will truly help you be the bed of your memes.  If you feel as though your losing your primal instincts, take a walk on the wild side with the Harambed.  You’ll surely feel like a true ‘King of the Jungle’ in both the morning AND night!

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Seriously guys…this idea is just pure GOLD.  The ad slogan alone sells it – the Bed of your MEMES.  It’s the perfect word twist for selling a relaxing bed to your audiences.  Every audience (including the Harambe fans) are going to flock to this product; not just because of its sheer comfort, but also because of the notorious internet reference.  Harambe’s brand was already flourishing within the social media community, which will definitely be a major help for this colorful product.

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This is the kind of products that turn heads – its new (yet references a classic meme), got a catchy slogan, and provides some interactive accessories to use.  I’m not one of the Mad Men like Don Draper, but I definitely see how it ties in well with advertising the product.  Catchy slogans like ‘The Bed of your Memes’ will go help you go far, in terms of selling it to your audiences.

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And so, Harambe’s brand lives on years later.  The genius ad campaign for the Harambe only flourishes the PR miracle of his brand.  Public Relations and adverting bounce off of each other in the business world – public relations tinkers with the product or service’s reputation while advertising caters towards its image.  Thanks to good PR and advertising, Harambe is still remembered around the world.

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But the most special (and most ironic) thanks goes towards the PR nightmare of Harambe’s death.  Harambe’s legacy still lingers on years after that tragic tale.

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If you’re still reminiscing about Harambe, it’s time to get The Harambed.  Harambed: The Bed of your Memes.

HIGH Quality Sign Advertising

Before I get into this topic, I’d like to start with a story (STORY TIME!).  After a long day of work, I stopped by the dispensary to grab some medicine.  While heading close, I drove RIGHT past the turn I was supposed to go.  “Damn it!”, I thought.  I was too excited about checking out the new place that I didn’t make the right turn.  It wasn’t until heading back the right way that I noticed these two small signs dug into the ground.

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These signs were decorative in their colorful advertising, but they barely caught my eye at all.  I’ve passed by millions of billboards and sign advertisements in my life because of their magnificent size and intriguing messages.  Signs need to have some important message plus a decorative background if they ever want to capture the audience’s attention (Drivers BARELY have a minute to even look at your sign let alone understand the message!).

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This was something I had to ask about.  After finishing up my purchase, I casually asked if they thought about creating bigger signs for their store.  Their response?  The sign can’t increase in size due to town/state regulations for advertising cannabis.

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Let’s take a minute to process this answer – town/state regulations, not due to lack of creativity or productivity, are what preventing audience’s awareness of the medical dispensary.  We can provide lots of billboards or sign advertising for alcohol, yet cannabis still gets shooed away from the spotlight.  Looks like Rudolph can’t be joining any reindeer games (too early for Christmas, I KNOW!).

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But seriously folks, this poses a serious problem for the advertising community.  All the Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons won’t be able to create the best signs and billboards for the cannabis industry.  I’m not saying we need a huge billboard sign over the highway, but it has to attract the most attention in the best way possible.  Here’s some recommendations that other signs should follow:

10 Feet Per Inch Rule

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A good rule of thumb for letters in signs is 10 feet per inch of letter height.  One letter that is 9 inches would be readable for drivers seeing it at 90 feet.  The higher the letter inch, the more distance it will tap into within its designated area.  More distance means more foot traffic will become aware of your billboard or sign.  How else can you expect potential customers to check out your so-called “strain of the week” if they don’t see the sign while driving?

Color the Sign

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Signs need to be COLORFUL and utilizing the right colors will attract drivers’ attention.  Whether it’s a basic white and black combo or a combination of primary colors, presenting the message with a nice background will make it much more appealing.  Put in the wrong color mix for your messages and your audience will be completely turned off because they can’t even read it.  Coloring that white space of nothing the right way determines whether your sign or billboard advertisement was successful.

HIGH Height

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Patients are looking for where the HIGH-quality medicine is, so the sign needs to be HIGH enough for them to find (get it? Signs HIGH enough to find HIGH quality cannabis?).  If they don’t see the sign or billboard, then no attention has been caught and they will keep driving.  Driving requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and attention, so audiences barely even have time to even see your sign let alone actually stop and read it.  Rather than having it dug onto the cold cemented ground, your sign has to spring HIGH enough so that the driver sees it through their window (I can’t stop with these weed puns today!).

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So there you have it — correct letter size, colorful backgrounds, and a tall height are some tips for creating a great sign or billboard advertising.  Attracting driving audiences can be very tricky since they are too busy driving to their next destination.  Capturing potential audiences during their daily errands is a clever advertising tactic that works IF you create the right sign! With these helpful tips, I’m sure you’ll create your own magnificent sign/billboard for your cannabis dispensary or whatever role you play in this booming industry.



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So other than American Horror Story rolling out their new season in the fall (which I have some REAL juicy updates about for later!), the other amazing series that’s coming back is Stranger Things!  The nostalgic sci-fi 80’s themed Netflix show will be back for its second season where we see what lies next for the kids.  Teasers/trailers have been promoted all across the social media platforms; but the real talk of the town lies within the newest poster.

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Netflix unveiled their newest poster for Stranger Things season 2, which will air on October 27th.  The poster depicts the gang (Dustin, Eleven, Will, and Lucas) on their bikes in an endless road as the watch the sky turn to chaos.  As the sky turns demonic red, a new monster is spurring out from the darkened clouds.  Beneath the clouds sheds a myriad of colors from a light bright orange to a midnight blue.  All we know for sure is that the gang will heading back to the upside-down world next season!

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Rather than ponder about the clues for the next season, I really couldn’t stop thinking about how amazingly creative this poster was!  One of my favorite features has to be that spread of colorful light underneath the demonic-red clouds.  That endless road dividing the line really captures that symbolism between light and dark.  It’s interesting how closely it resembles the retro 80’s movie posters.  Whatever the advertising pros were drawing up for the promotions, they definitely hit the nail on the head (they deserve a free round of drinks for how AMAZINGLY AWESOME the poster looks!).

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Stranger Things was a whole new nostalgic-80s idea I really got into last year.  As short as the first season was, it definitely grabbed my attention from the start.  It really is a great nod to how they advertised movie posters during the 80s (like for E.T. or Star Wars!).  I definitely dig a good nostalgic series and Stranger Things is really the way to go!

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In the end, the advertising pros knocked it out of the park with the Stranger Things posters.  All it takes is one beautiful promotional poster to get the social media folks talking (a picture IS worth a thousand words you know!).  All it takes is for a unique grabber within the image to capture your audience’s attention.  Whether the focus is towards the actor/actress or the action happening within the background, something must be the point of focus within the whole image.  This is the kind of secret that separates a good poster from a bad one.  If you’re sending mixed messages within your promotional poster, then your audience will be turned off from the whole idea.

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And yes, Netflix’s newest Stranger Things poster is one of the good ones.  It obviously did well by grabbing lots of attention among the social media realm.  These are the promotional posters that aspiring marketing/advertising/PR pros should all pay attention to in the years to come.  Even if you’re not an artist yourself, the hidden trick you must learn is how those features will snag your target audience’s attention towards the product or service.

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Take notice, people – THIS is one of examples of marketing promotion success!



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A major bill has been floating around MA since last week that showcases some interesting changes to the cannabis laws.  One surprising notice was that recreational cannabis products could be taxed as high as 28%, which is twice as high as the original format at 12%.  That number may be high, but there’s even some more shocking changes that must be discussed.

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Advertising could be SEVERLY limited under the proposed changes.  The new proposal would limit the use of radio, billboards, TV, print, and even internet (which could include social media!) for advertising cannabis companies.  These advertising tactics would be available ONLY if 71.6% of the audience is over 21.  None of the ads could be targeted to any under 21 nor can the users depicted in the ad as well.

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As a PR pro that delves into the creative advertising world, my first answer to these shocking advertising rules is ‘What…The FUCK.’

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71.6 of the audience over 21?  Where the hell in MA can the mad men lock down their targeted audiences for their ad campaign?  Boston?  Somerville?  Brighton/Allston?

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Seriously though guy…this is NOT good at all!  Aside from the tax issue (cannabis WILL be taxed since it’s such a useful commodity!), these ad proposals put a serious damper for the advertising business.  Creative directors, copywriters, art directors, media buyers, and all other creative geniuses won’t be able to launch their huge campaigns if they only cater to areas where 71.6 of the audience is over 21!  Cannabis companies WILL be shipping to Boston in the next few years and the severe lack of advertisements will only put the industry to a halt.

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To better explain this problem, let’s take Don Draper and his creative team from the Mad Men universe as our leading example (since Don is the sexy creative genius of the Mad Men world!).  Supposed Don’s team relocated to Boston and are working with clients within the cannabis industry.  Members of the cannabis companies meet with Don’s team to discuss the new ad campaigns they would be working on.

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Don’s team CAN work on drafting the ad campaign, but they won’t reach the large number of audiences they want to reach since the areas HAVE to be mostly over 21.  Their advertising strategies would only work in very few places in Massachusetts.  If Don’s team doesn’t reach the intended numbers after running the campaigns, then cannabis companies could take their business elsewhere (to a more 4/20-friendly state like California or Maine).  This would mean that most of the work coming from Don, Roger, Joan, Peggy, and Pete won’t be enough to keep themselves afloat.

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Advertising agencies would want to work with the ever-trending cannabis industry to deliver the best advertising campaigns, but they won’t be able to do that if they can’t reach the amount of audiences they need. It will be a complicated challenge for the Boston mad men if the advertising proposals pass.  Cannabis’s image is heavily plagued by the PR nightmare caused by the Reefer Madness scandal and revitalizing PR tactics are our only solution.  To put it in another way, advertising is going to need some serious help from public relations on flourishing cannabis’s reputation before any amazing image can be shown.  The mad men do have the image (the pot leaf!), but that universal image must be repaired before any advertising tactics are set.

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While I didn’t go to Salem State University for advertising, this issue is still important to me as a former PR student.  Cannabis is the hottest new commodity sweeping the nation since being legalized and audiences are looking to get their hands on it any way they can.  With legality issues standing in the way of communicative creativity, business will become sluggish for industries like advertising and marketing.  They are many aspiring individuals in PR, advertising, marketing, journalism, and other areas of communications that see a brighter future through cannabis.  As the writer of entertainment PR stories at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I take so much joy in informing the audience about the current cannabis trends.  It’s been such an honor to write about an industry that was once so taboo where it was troublesome to even talk about it (let alone smoke it in the open!).

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Recreational cannabis use is one of the hottest social issues here in America.  There’s a brighter future out there for the cannabis industry and we need the most creative mad men out there to showcase that future to ALL audiences.