No FOMO Necessary: B&O Looks Back At 2015

2015 was arguably the best year yet at B&O! We continued to grow our squad and welcomed some awesome new clients – all while having (way too much) fun! As we head into 2016, we thought we would take a few minutes to reflect on the past year:

2015 gave us seven new B&O team members, including our awesome marathon-running, Guinness World Record-holding general manager, Annemiek Hamelinck.

Annemiek

We also learned a new stress management tactic… PUZZLES!

11002677_10153064596864030_5479581575708139767_o

#StopHammerTime! And who can forget that time MC Hammer stopped by? Not our resident media expert, Mr. T.

Mr T

Or that time Mr. Jones whipped out his best Irish Jig?

The B&O team also gave a big, huge warm welcome to Work from Home Fridays (often with the company of a furry friend):

wfh fridays

We also had to say goodbye to Peggy Clark, the long-time heart and soul of B&O who served us (a lot of cheese sticks) over the past 15 years.

peggy

And in between all of our celeb sightings and crazy gatherings, we also welcomed a few office dogs and our youngest member – Greyson Cruz Pridham – to the family.

We had a SHUCKING good time during our annual offiste at Hog Island where we enjoyed Oysters, burgers and some fun in the sun…followed by cocktails by the bay in Tiburon.

 

While the Giants did not win the World Series (or make it to the playoffs) this year, we still had a great time eating cracker jacks and hot dogs at AT&T Park.

go giants!

And in the end… B&O got classy to close out the year with our annual holiday celebrations. Merry Christmahanakwanzika and a happy New Year!

Animals: the Peanut Butter to Marketing’s Jelly

Case in point: You saw these cute pets; you clicked on the post. (Credit: Thinkstock)
Case in point: You saw these cute pets; you clicked on the post. (Credit: Thinkstock)

In today’s marketing arena it isn’t unusual to see animals taking on roles as brand ambassadors. Some may even argue that it is more common to see animals acting as humans in commercials than their usual selves. It seems like the goal of many brands today is to capture consumers’ attention by making them say “aww.”

Many brands like Twitter (bird), MGM (lion), Meerkat (um, meerkat) and Disney (mouse) use animals as their logo, while the likes of Geico, Aflac and Bush’s Baked Beans use animals as their “spokesanimals” or brand ambassadors. Why? Because animals have the ability to tap into consumers’ emotions, and it makes them more inclined to pay attention to a brand’s message that might otherwise be unrelated to them.

Aflac’s duck is a great example of this. Even as a child, before I ever thought about or needing any type of personal insurance, I could identify the duck with the brand and what it offers. The same can be said for Geico’s gecko or its “hump day” camels (clearly insurance companies are on the animal bandwagon). These brands have mastered the art of catching people’s attention through association with our four-legged, two-legged, or no-legged friends.

Brands have also started going beyond simply using animals as their logos and voice. Many companies are now creating advertisements and commercials completely unrelated to their products to catch viewers’ attention. Most notable is Budweiser and its use of the Clydesdale horse in its recent Super Bowl commercials. The ads had virtually nothing to do with beer yet almost everyone I know can easily associate them with Budweiser due to the feelings they evoked in them. The emotional attraction people feel toward animals makes them far more likely to take notice of brands that utilize furry friends to sell their product.

Also, marketing videos become more captivating when they are viewed as stories rather than simple ads. Think about how Friskies’ “Dear Kitten” video series has gone viral and been shared all over the Internet. Animal videos have led to their own online video genre, and they have led the way for viral social media campaigns and prominent memes – Grumpy Cat, anyone?

So, next time you’re thinking about a new marketing campaign, don’t rule out the use of animals – clearly us humans can’t get enough of them.

Wait! What? 3/13: This Friday the 13th brings the death of the Internet, a new tech frontier and more

The end is nigh... (Thinkstock)
The end is nigh… (Thinkstock)

What was going on in the tech world this week while you were caught up in all things Apple Watch? From the expected to the unexpected, we have this week’s top stories:

  • Dom Pérignon at the touch of a button…is this a dream? Nope. A new startup brings luxury to IoT!
  • From positive to negative, the Internet is abuzz with all things Apple Watch. But will Apple’s latest innovation mean the death of the Web?
  • Welcome to the billionaires club! Snapchat’s cofounders are each worth $1.5 billion. Not too shabby for a couple of twenty-somethings.
  • Hello Nebraska! From Silicon Valley to Silicon Prairie? Entrepreneurs are fleeing tech hotspots for greener pastures, but why?!
  • RIP. This week we had to say goodbye to one of the truly iconic tech blogs. Farewell, Gigaom…you will be missed (sigh).

Those were our favorite tech bites from this week – what were yours? Tweet us @BlancandOtus and let us know!

Wait! What? 12/12: Say bye-bye to your Instagram followers; Streaming music becomes beaming music

"ALL of my followers need to see these strawberry pancakes. I don't care if they're robots." (Thinkstock)
“ALL of my followers need to see these strawberry pancakes. I don’t care if they’re robots.” (Thinkstock)

From the rainpocalpyse that left the Bay Area soggy and wet to the film industry’s nightmare of a hack, you may have missed the latest and greatest in tech this week. Don’t fret, we have this week’s news digest nice and ready for you:

  • Instagram painted a clear picture of what’s ahead for social this week when it announced it now has 300M monthly users. But wait, where are all of my followers disappearing to?
  • The holidays are upon us, you’ve decorated your tree, the stockings are hung… but have you decorated your beard yet? Movember is taken to a whole new level with beard baubles.
  • Never worry about disturbing your cube mates with your 80’s pop music again! This new speaker “beams” isolated tunes just for you.
  • Behind on your holiday shopping? Good thing 2014 was full of innovative tech gadgets. Find gift inspiration here!
  • Can you say “Hello, Mona Lisa”?! Google is bringing museums to your fingertips with the introduction of its latest platform.

That about sums it up for this week! Did we leave any of your favorite tech stories off our list? Tweet us @BlancandOtus & let us know.

13 Horrifying Public Relations Nightmares

To celebrate Halloween, here are 13 real nightmares from the scary, scary world of PR.

1. When your client sends you a fire drill on Sunday evening

2. When all your pitches go unanswered

3. When your account manager comes by your desk and asks “How’s your day looking…”

4. When your client goes rogue on social media

5. When you go into a 9am Monday meeting without having coffee

6. When your email goes down

7. When coverage appears and the client’s name is spelled wrong

8. When it’s 3pm and nothing is crossed off on your to-do list

9. When you send an internal email to the client

10. When a press release comes back for yet another round of edits

11. When the reporter breaks an embargo

12. When you get the time zone wrong for release distribution

13. Remembering you have to do your timesheets at 5pm on Friday

Christine Pai and Neil Desai also contributed to this post. 

Wait! What? 9/19: Driverless boats, virtual payments and iPhone Mad Libs

Credit: Kazuhisa Otsubo
Credit: Kazuhisa Otsubo

It’s time for our weekly news roundup! We know that Apple and the NFL are dominating your news feeds, so here are a few other stories worth looking at:

That’s all we have for you this week! Want to share your favorite articles from the week? Tweet us @BlancandOtus or leave a comment below.

Wait! What? 7/11: Take a walk in someone else’s shoes (literally), get paid for watching stuff, and follow Entrepreneur Barbie on her job hunt

Kick back, turn on the TV and...get paid? (Thinkstock)
Kick back, turn on the TV and…get paid? (Thinkstock)

Tech media this week was all about Microsoft breaking free from the past. That one aside, here are some other cool stories you might have missed:

Those were a few of our favorite articles of the week—what did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you @BlancandOtus.

Wait! What? 4/25: Can I get a “like” – bots are the new best friends, email gets delivered in bubbles

Credit: Antonio Zugaldia
Google Glass! (Credit: Antonio Zugaldia)

This past week saw some seriously clever content, like Xactly’s gif-heavy sendup of millennials in the workplace (watch out: it hits close to home). Here are some other stories that captured our hearts, minds, and more importantly, clicks:

Those were our top choices of the week—what did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you @BlancandOtus.

This past week saw some seriously clever content, like Xactly’s gif-heavy sendup of millennials in the workplace (watch out: it hits close to home). Here are some other stories that captured our hearts, minds, and more importantly, clicks:

Those were our top choices of the week—what did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you @BlancandOtus.