The daily Post

hand holding phone with threads app logo

Threads: A New Avenue for Social Marketing

Last month, social media managers across the country likely opened their inboxes to find them flooded with meeting invites and subject lines titled something along the lines of “What is our Threads Strategy?”

As the new and currently ad-free social platform by Meta and Instagram has blown up the internet, growing exponentially over the last month, so have the questions about how brands can best use it as a marketing tool.

image of chef cooking social media icone floating

Here’s what we know so far:

The platform gained over 100 million followers (and counting) in just under a week and there’s no telling what Mark Z. has planned for it next. While the future of the app seems unpredictable, it’s no mystery that the text-forward platform is representative of a Twitter alternative, and most users are treating it as such. These early days of Threads feel intimate and personal, like a big group chat where everyone is posting exactly what’s on their mind. And because Threads is directly connected to your Instagram account, once you join your entire feed becomes populated with content directly from accounts you follow on Instagram or similar, curated content. The beauty of it is, it’s so new, so there’s no right or wrong way to use it.

How brands are using Threads 

Without an understanding of an algorithm or any prior metrics to guide them, many brands are currently applying similar tactics to Threads that they would use on Twitter, and even cross-posting the same content. Threads presents an opportunity for brands to create a more personalized connection with their audience. It gives brands the ability to communicate with their followers on a more human level. Brands can share behind-the-scenes moments and exclusive content, and easily communicate directly with their followers. This level of intimacy and exclusivity can help foster a stronger sense of community and brand loyalty.

Follower growth seems to be the main focus of these early days of Threads. With the option for users to auto-follow their Instagram following list on Threads, brands that have established a large following on Instagram may have an advantage in retaining their audience on this new platform. Some brands are even going a step further by offering freebies and incentives to their followers in order to gain more traction on the platform.

If your brand is ready to try out Threads, here are some tips to get started:

1. Solidify your brand’s Instagram presence

Right now, there’s a direct thread from Instagram to Threads (no pun intended), almost as if Threads is an extension of Instagram. So if your Instagram presence isn’t a huge priority for your brand, it’s time to make it one. First, you want to ensure you’re maintaining brand consistency in your Instagram profile details. That way, setting up your Instagram Threads will be easier because your profile information and settings will carry over. 

Additionally, your Instagram followers can be notified to follow you on Threads. The stronger your Instagram presence, the more successful you’ll have in your Threads launch. Not only that, but you can reshare your Threads to your Instagram Story or posts to encourage your current followers to find you on the new platform.

2. Take a look around 

Download the app and spend some time browsing to get a feel for things. Check out what your competitors are up to, and how other brands in similar or adjacent industries are using the app. What kind of content are they posting and which posts are getting the most likes, replies, or reposts? Look to them for guidance but also think about how you can put your own individual spin on it. 

This is definitely the time to observe and absorb, but don’t be a lurker forever. Even if you don’t have thousands of followers yet, someone will see your posts eventually, so try out a few different types of posts to get your voice out there.

3. Set Goals

While the recipe for success on Threads isn’t black and white, you can still establish goals within your team that give you some direction and framework to track against. Take this time to decide what you want to get out of Threads: is it brand awareness? More engagement? An increased following? And what metrics do you want those goals to be defined by? Let these metrics guide you through your approach, but also be open to trying new things and strategizing as you go, and as the platform grows.

4. Start interacting 

As mentioned before, Threads’ main feed is heavily curated and highly intuitive for each user, so now is the time to join conversations with relevant content and establish your brand within a community. This will help determine what types of content you’ll see as a user and likely promote your content to others in the same community or circle. Also, there’s a high chance your Instagram followers will cross over to follow you on Threads too, so this is your chance to start connecting with them right away with text forward-posts to get conversations started. This will be even more effective if you maintain a lighthearted, conversational tone and try to fit humor in when you can (memes always win)

5. Don’t overthink it!

We’re all learning this as we go, so there’s no right or wrong way to approach Threads. Don’t put too much pressure on it and try to have fun. If Instagram and Facebook are your core curriculum, right now Threads is recess. 

Overall, Threads presents an exciting new opportunity for brands to further engage with their audience in a more personalized and intimate way. As with any new platform, it’s important to approach it with an open mind and experiment with different strategies to see what works best for your brand. Good luck!

tiktok image icon

Some Do’s and Don’ts of TikTok

It should come as no surprise that TikTok is now the premier channel for brands to reach their most engaged audiences. TikTok is one of the most used social platforms today, and the buying power of its users is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!

According to Socialinsider, an average TikTok user spends 52 minutes per day on the platform, while 90% of users access it daily. 9 out of 10 TikTok users open the app several times per day. TikTok is outperforming Instagram when it comes to engagement, having an average engagement rate of 7.11%, six times higher than Reels. Overall, more users prefer watching videos and interacting with shared content instead of uploading content themselves. Knowing this explains why 40% of Gen Z now use TikTok for search instead of Google!

So as a brand, how can you capitalize on this? Check out our newest video on the dos and don’ts of TikTok (from the perspective of a pet brand) so you can build brand awareness, credibility, and engage with your audience in new, fun ways! No matter your industry, these tips are sure to help you kickstart your TikTok strategy today:


road work sign on road by wooded area

The practical magic of working your butt off.

So how exactly do you get where you want to be in life?

That is the multi-million-dollar question for many people. Here is the 40-cent answer- you work your butt off (as if the title didn’t already give it away).

Yes, there are a rare few who are fortunate to be “naturally” ahead of the curve: the generationally wealthy, the born athletes and artists, the genius prodigies whose inherent intelligence and talent catapult them forward with relative ease. Let’s be generous and say this select group represents 5% of the population. What are the other 95% of us regular people supposed to do?

We work really hard at whatever it is we do. And we keep doing it.

The hard-charging work ethic has been coming under fire of late. For the past several months the Medias (Social and Mass) have been filled with stories of burnout, of quiet quitting, of people wanting less work and more life in their work/life balance, and of the joys of Zooming through your career in pajamas.

Yet the truth of it is this: practically anything worth doing takes hard work.

So perhaps it’s time we reversed course and celebrate working your butt off for what it is: a powerful, motivating, and oftentimes rewarding force that every single one of us can take advantage of. If we choose to.

We have all recently witnessed (or even participated in) the remarkable impact of a strong work ethic in action. During the worst of the pandemic millions of doctors, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, delivery drivers, supermarket employees, and many more collectively put their heads down and did whatever they could whenever they could to get us all through. We saw businesses of every category make extraordinary pivots, their employees changing operations practically overnight to supply the rest of us with crucial and much needed PPE. People at other businesses worked days, nights, and weekends just to keep their companies afloat when the bottom dropped out of the economy. This was the epitome of hard work at its hardest. Because of it all countless lives were saved, millions of people had access to vital resources, and many (though certainly not all) businesses withstood the devastating brunt of the downtown. None of this would have happened if so many people didn’t hunker down and work their butts off for the benefit of so many other people.

This is of course a macro example, perhaps the macro-est, of the power of hard work. It’s also a big reason that the idea of working your butt off should be celebrated, not questioned (and certainly not vilified).

So, let’s bring it back to something far more personal- to you getting where you want to be in life. How can working your butt off end up working wonders for you?

Here’s how…

  • It makes you better at what you do. It’s simple math. The more times you do something, the better you get at it. In Malcom Gladwell’s terrific book “Outliers”, he writes about the 10,000-hour rule, which essentially states it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice (work) to achieve mastery at something*. This rule can be applied to bricklayers, brand builders, brain surgeons, and everything in between. It can also be applied to you.

  • It makes you more confident in what you do. You know that great sense of satisfaction you feel when you’ve accomplished something? You feel that a lot when you work your butt off, along with all the pride and self-assurance that comes from a job well done.

  • It makes you more indispensable in what you do. As in “we don’t know what we’d do without you”.

  • It makes you more rewarded for what you do. As in “please accept this well-deserved (raise/bonus/promotion) as a token of our appreciation.”

  • It makes you surprisingly more work/life balanced in what you do. Nowhere here does it say working your butt off requires 14-hour days and weekends on top of that. This isn’t about hours, it’s about output- about producing whatever it is you produce at the highest level of quality you can. While the occasional extra hours can certainly help you get there, it doesn’t have to be the norm. Consequently, the more you produce at this level, the more satisfied with your efforts you feel and the less you think about work when you get home. The life part of work/life is always more fulfilling and enjoyable when you get ahead and stay ahead of the work

Two final thoughts on this. First, people tend to associate hard work with miserable work. It can actually be quite the opposite. The ongoing sense of accomplishment you achieve is an incredibly positive, energizing sensation that drives people to want to feel that more often.

Finally, everyone can have access to this powerful capability (if they choose to). There is nothing exclusive about a great work ethic. It transcends gender, race, income, religion, political affiliation, and yes even age. There is talk out there about the younger generation not having the same work ethic as previous generations. In some cases, this is true, but it’s also true with some people in every generation. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many young employees today who will run through walls to get the job done and then ask what more can they help with. Also, I am very proud to be the father of three 20 and 30-somethings who are the exact same way.

Encouraging evidence that working your butt off isn’t just the old-fashioned way of getting to where you want to be. It’s still the best way.

Here’s to enjoying every minute of it.

Marty Donohue
Founding Partner
Full Contact Advertising

* Just so your head doesn’t explode, 10,000 hours is by no means insurmountable. It essentially equates to 40 hours per week of work or practice for 49 weeks per year (with three weeks off for vacation) for just over 5 years to become a master at something.

Dog and Cat sitting watching a laptop computer and very interested.

It’s Time to Connect with Pet Owners

Meet my current furry friend, Cheddar Cheese.

pic of orange cat

I am a lifelong pet owner.  I am also someone that thinks about brands and their business for a living. As I was researching the idea of inviting a dog into my home during the Pandemic, I found myself bombarded with pet product messaging. Whether it was traditional channels like TV and radio or the virtual takeover of my online and social feeds. I couldn’t stop seeing pet company marketing.

And what stuck out to me more than anything is that nothing stuck out to me at all. As a consumer it was all a bit of a formulaic blur. It goes something like this: Insert pet shots, introduce pet need/want, show pet interacting with product, pet and/or pet parent are happy.

Like this spot: of petsmart pet hotel from commercial


Big picture, there is nothing at all wrong with this ad or this approach. It makes a ton of sense. Pet parents think about pet needs and want to find companies that can help meet those needs.

But I became so obsessed with the idea of pet marketing, we decided, as an agency to conduct a proprietary quantitative research study to explore that pet owner category a bit more.

The data was immediately clear, and it strongly supported the idea that pet parents are highly concerned about their pet’s physical health, and interestingly, also their mental health.

•83% of pet owners are concerned about their pet’s physical health. • 40% of pet owners are also concerned about their pet’s mental health

Source: Full Contact proprietary pet owner research, Nov 2022

But we also learned that as the isolated days of the Pandemic move behind us, pet parents are spending more time back at the office, traveling, or just generally leaving their homes or apartments more often. With all this “back to normal” happening, their concerns about the amount of time they are able to spend with their pets has also heightened.

•64% of respondents say that they are home less often and see their pets less frequently • 42% of respondents try their best to adjust their work/ life balance to be with their pet(s). • Nearly ¼ report feeling guilty for not having enough time to spend with their pets

Source: Full Contact proprietary pet owner research, Nov 2022

In short, pet parents are feeling more anxiety about their pet’s wellbeing today. They are thinking more broadly about the things that impact the world of their furry friends, like the amount of time pets now get to spend with their pet parents and even the overall mental health of their pet. Though these things may have always been in the mind of pet owners in some way in the past, the Pandemic has clearly heightened these concerns.

And now I go back to where I started, with the fact that the pet category is one that is plagued by a challenge that we, as marketers, often see: a virtual sea of marketing sameness. And what our own experiences, our categorical observations and our proprietary research have highlighted is that the time has never been better for this category to find ways to really break out of the norm, connect with pet owners in new and breakthrough ways and really build life-long relationships with customers.

Jen Maltby
Chief Strategy Officer
Full Contact Advertising

Advertising’s current sea of sameness: Immense waste of money or awesome opportunity to set your brand apart?

This one is for all of you heads of marketing and advertising- those smart, hard-charging people responsible for the current messaging your brand shares with consumers. The messaging that has as its primary goal to create interest in and desire for whatever product or service you are putting out there.

I ask you all to please switch from your marketing to your consumer hat for the next few days. Become a student of advertising. Watch or listen in earnest to the commercials playing on TV or the radio. Pay close attention to any pre-roll, display ads, or social media marketing posts. If you’re out and about, take in the outdoor boards and transit posters you come across.

Notice anything? Anything at all? How many brands stood out to you? How many messages got your attention or made you think a little differently? How many ads stuck with you?

Chances are not many. There is indeed a rising sea of sameness, a pattern of parity, happening in the ad world at the moment. And while Covid certainly had its effect, this homogenization has been building for quite some time. There isn’t one reason for this. There are several:

  • CMO’s have less time to make an impact.

    According to SpencerStuart’s annual CMO tenure study, the average tenure of a CMO was 41 months in 2019, a number that continues to trend downward for the past five years.

  • The hyper-analysis of certain analytics.

    There is such thing as too much testing, especially when it saps the emotional impact out of the idea. Brands spend weeks if not months making sure their message is right, oftentimes losing sight about making it great.

  • The “Content is not Concept” conundrum.

    Interview footage combined with slo-mo B-roll is not an idea. An anthemic script and powerful music track over stock footage is rarely an idea. Tactics like these have been overdone so much they are all blending into each other.

  • Shrinkage of non-working media spend.

    In an effort to put as much of their budget into paid media as possible, some clients are grinding down the fees they reserve for strategic and creative development: the very resources which could be deployed to fill valuable media space with fresh and impactful messaging that truly resonates with consumers.

So how is all of this manifesting into today’s advertising product? Where there were once Ideas there are now just proof points. Creative inspiration is being replaced with information. You can listen to three minutes of back-to-back radio spots and not know where one message ends and one begins. Too many messages out there look or sound exactly the same. And for marketers who are spending a small fortune every quarter on media, I fear they are wasting big chunks of their money producing flat, formulaic creative that doesn’t resonate with anyone.

Of course there are exceptions. There are brands who still get it, who still push the boundaries across all media to create messages that stand out, make consumers take notice and maximize their brand’s relevance. Progressive, Burger King, Geico, Oatly, Reddit and Crocs are phenomenal at flying in the face of the current status quo.

Many other brands choose not to. And therein lies the opportunity.

Because the bar has never been lower, the opportunity has never been greater for a brand, let’s say your brand, to become one of the exceptions. You don’t need tens of millions of marketing dollars either. You do need, however, to commit to doing things more distinctively than many of those who don’t. There are great agencies out there who would love to help you do it too. Full Contact is just one of those agencies. But it starts with you.

In my thirty-plus years in this business, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with marketing leaders who saw the opportunity and made a commitment to stand out, to be fresher and more disruptive than anyone else in their category. David D’Alessandro of John Hancock was one. Eddie Binder of Dunkin’ Donuts was another. Ari Haseotes, George Fournier and Gwen Forman of Cumberland Farms were too as were Stephanie Shore at Zipcar, Jen Robison and Julie Smith at Atlantic Broadband, Gayle O’Connell and Mary Anne Hailer at Arbella insurance, Katelin Spaulding at Boston Private and Deena McKinley and Jill Grogan at Papa Gino’s/D’Angelo. They each committed to look, sound and feel different from their competitors and they transformed their businesses because of it. They also did it without relying on a mountain of data to inform what they should and shouldn’t say.

This was not a case of the agency pressuring them into doing great and differentiating work. They wanted it just as much as we did for their brand. They saw the immense value of setting themselves apart and they went for it. There was nothing gratuitous about it. It was a smart business move and a far better use of their marketing dollars than coming across like every other brand.

Here’s another way to think about it. From a product development standpoint you are always looking for that Unique Selling Proposition, the distinctive benefit exhibited by a product, service or brand that enables you to stand out from your competitors. Well, your advertising is a product of your brand. Shouldn’t it stand out as much as anything else you put in front of consumers?

Not a rhetorical question. Yes it should.

Marty Donohue is a founding partner of Full Contact advertising in Boston.

waiter bringing food

How to prepare for an advertising career: Step 1- wait on tables.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of people for every agency position there is: creatives, account people, strategists, producers, project managers, accountants, and interns. In practically every one of those interviews I’ve gotten around to asking the same question: have you ever waited on tables?

You’d be surprised how many people who answer “yes” know exactly why I’m asking the question. They get the parallel worlds that exist between the energizing chaos of agency life and a typical Friday or Saturday night in a restaurant. They also appreciate just how many soft skills they learned from waiting tables that could immediately be transferred into a career in advertising.

And here’s the thing: you have no idea you’re learning all those remarkable skills when you’re in the thick of it.

Between the time I graduated college with a BA in writing (“What the hell are you going to do with that?”, asked Dad) and my first job as a copywriter, I spent over five years working as a waiter. It turned out to be the ideal job at the time. It let me have my days free to work on my creative portfolio and go on interviews (lots and lots of interviews). Little did I know it would also be the ideal job for many other reasons.

Here are just a few things I either learned or learned to appreciate from being a waiter:

  • Extreme multi-tasking: there is nothing like flying around a full station of tables on a Friday night to prepare you for the barrage of wildly assorted requests, responsibilities, and assignments you will face in the agency world. And just like the agency world, the more different the requests that get thrown at you, the better you get at handling them.
  • Reading the room: everyone is feeling something at any given time. This is as true in a restaurant as it is in an ad agency as it is in life. Learning to understand the different moods, wants and needs of your customers and co-workers will go a long way in how well you treat them- and vice versa. It’s called empathy. Having this ability can work wonders for you.
  • Rising above the weeds: so many things are happening at once when a restaurant gets busy. Every order has its own deadline. Each deadline gets compounded by the more tables you have This could make for an extremely pressure packed situation for you and your co-workers, one in which it would be very easy to panic and/or lose your sh*t. It is also a terrific opportunity to prove to yourself that you can keep your head down and motor through those weeds, just like you’ll need to do in advertising.
  • The awesome power of teamwork: you will not get far in advertising without the help of your co-workers. Some of them will have different responsibilities from you, but their roles can be just as critical when it comes to you delivering at a high level. This type of synergetic relationship is remarkably similar to the busboys, bartenders, hosts and hostesses, chefs, line cooks, and food runners you need to constantly rely on to make you look great in the eyes of your customers.
  • Treating every table like a new business pitch (because it is): From the time a customer sits down to the time they leave, you are not just pitching them the menu- you are selling them on you. How much you do to create a positive and memorable impression in the short time you have with them will go a long way in determining the quality of their experience (not to mention the size of your tip). Translated to agency life, the same thing could decide whether or not you get the chance to begin a wonderfully successful client relationship.

The similarities can go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. The restaurant business is an ideal training ground for a career in advertising. And believe me it sticks with you, as does the passion so many of us still have for the whole industry. It may also explain why Full Contact has been fortunate to have so many restaurant clients throughout our history.

Something else I never would have imagined when I waited on my first 4-top all those years (okay decades) ago.

Marty Donohue
Founding Partner
Full Contact Advertising
Skydiver in freefall

FREEFALL: Hurtling your way between what was and what’s next.

Many of us have been there. One day your life is happening where and how it’s happening, and then for whatever reason it is not. Sometimes we leap from the situation we were in, sometimes we’re pushed out, and sometimes we simply fall out.

What happens next is what I call Freefall: that wild, unpredictable, challenging and excitifying period that takes place between where you used to be and where you end up next.

Freefall can take place at different times and for different reasons in your life:

  • Leaving home and going out on your own
  • Losing or quitting your job
  • Starting a business
  • Closing a business
  • Moving somewhere completely different
  • Beginning or ending a relationship

And while Freefalling may not feel all that great when you’re in the midst of it, for many people it ends up being the best thing that could have happened to them. In fact, one of their biggest regrets is that they didn’t experience it sooner.

Given all the turmoil and transition going on today, it seems more people than ever are in that space between where they were and where they’re heading:

Nearly 1 in 3 US workers under 40 (and 1 in 5 workers overall) have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 22% of American adults had either moved because of the pandemic or knew someone who did.

In the world of relationships, jewelers are reporting double-digit increases in engagement ring sales, the Washington Post reported

And this from a recent article in the Harvard business Review ( “…for perhaps the first time since at least World War II, almost everyone in the world is processing major shifts in their sources of purpose simultaneously.”

Given all that, thought it might be helpful as someone who’s experienced the Freefall phenomenon several times to share some practical advice for anyone currently (or soon to be) in it themselves:

  • Know that you will indeed land at some point- there will be weeks, perhaps months, maybe even years that you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. You need to remind yourself constantly that you are indeed on your way and it’s okay not to know when you will land.
  • Own it- as in Blame No One. If you find yourself in a less than favorable situation, the easiest thing ever would be to stew about how you got in this position and who else may be responsible for putting you there. We’ve all been guilty of this at some point, and it may even feel good at first. Here, however, is the absolute truth: complaining, blaming others and/or playing the victim card produces nothing and gets you nowhere. Better instead to use all that energy to…
  • Keep going- the people who get through Freefall the best are the people who put their head down and make things happen for themselves. Conversely, the people who struggle are those waiting for something to happen: never a good strategy when your livelihood/living situation/relationship status/future are hanging in the balance. It is both astounding and rewarding to see what taking the initiative can do for you, even if you’ve never been that kind of person before. No better time to see what you’re capable of than when you’re floating around between life experiences. Those little steps that you make happen will feel great and propel you forward to take bigger steps over time.
  • Use your network- and if you don’t have one, create one. Whether you are in Professional or Personal Freefall, there are people out there who can and will help you get to wherever you are heading. Sometimes it may be by making a referral, an important connection, or just offering a terrific piece of advice. This is also something you need to make happen vs waiting for your network to magically appear.
  • Do NOT settle- in a perfect world the place you land will be way better than the place you left. This is more up to you than you might think. Jumping at the first opportunity that comes along- whether that be a job, a relationship or anything in between-may not be the best course of action. You owe it to yourself to be patient here and yes, a little picky. In fact, you deserve it.

By the way, none of this will be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. But if you keep these steps in mind and add/revise along the way, you will absolutely get to where you are heading next.

Here’s me hoping you hang on, make the most of the ride, and of course, have a happy landing.

And, if along the way you’d like to chat with someone who’s done this a time or two in his life, well here I am:

Marty Donohue
Founding Partner
Full Contact Advertising
Revenge Travel illustration, woman at airport

Revenge Travel: How far will consumers go in 2022?

Research and Article by Taylor Blowers, Strategist, Full Contact.


What’s keeping the travel industry alive? They are listening to their customers and fueling their decisions based on consumer insight.

Here are some realities that the travel sector has had to consider…

  1. Consumers want to get back out there.
    • “Expedia is calling 2022 the year of the GOAT, or the “greatest of all trips.”
    • American travelers are expected to spend 29% more on their average trip in 2022 than they did in 2019.
  2. But they are being careful about their choices.
    • 47% of global travelers cite a COVID-19 related factor as the most influential criteria in choosing a destination and two thirds expect an understanding of the COVID-19 prevention measures in place prior to booking. 70% of travelers confirmed that destinations with lower numbers of Covid-19 cases will factor highly when making decisions on where to travel next.

As we dug into the challenges facing the travel world, we, of course, had to start with exploring the business of cruising.

Cruises have been at the epicenter of COVID-19 concerns since the first outbreak in the United States. In December of 2021, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took no time in issuing an advisement that, “People should avoid traveling on cruise ships, including river cruises worldwide, regardless of vaccination status.” (CDC)

Cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages and Disney Cruises had to make a move. Since a portion of the consumer group is ignoring the CDC’s recommendations, the first tactic was to discount tickets. Fortune wrote, “Despite the high-risk travel escalation thanks to Omicron variant’s spread, travel still is happening and travel companies are not planning on slowing down either.” (Fortune) Discounting tickets and promotion through sales events allows loyal customers still willing to ride a reward and hesitant customers an appeal to purchase. Cruise lines also acknowledged the growing skeptical consumer in offering early bird deals. For example, Carnival offered those passengers who aren’t interested in sailing now the option to book ahead and save money in return. (Carnival Cruise) In addition, Royal Caribbean cruises and others have introduced, “Cruise with Confidence” where passengers can feel better about the changing environment and “Cancel up to 48 hours before sailing, for any reason, and get a Future Cruise Credit for the full paid value of your cruise.” Cruise lines, in particular, and the travel industry in general are smart to listen to the consumers who are uncertain about the idea of traveling at this time and address that directly with their marketing and promotions.

Cruising isn’t the only behemoth in the travel industry that has been impacted by the current challenges in the Covid-travel landscape. Entertainment travel has been experiencing similar fluctuations.

Arguably the entire Super Bowl event can be seen as an example of the return to live sports and entertainment-based tourism. Super Bowl weekend showcased tourism recovery efforts as Visit California invested $22.1 million dollars into their campaign before and during the LVI game at SoFi Stadium in Golden State’s own Los Angeles. ( Unlike in 2021 where advertisers and companies were less willing to buy spots due to less impressions and smaller budgets.

Theme parks also understood this need to invest in the conversation around the realities of the Covid world and address consumer concerns as they visited their parks. Disney has used words like, “[We] cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit,” because there is an “inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19…in any public place where people are present.” (Discover Disney World) (Universal Orlando Resort). Theme parks like cruises and Disney, have offered discount promotions and “no block out dates” to increase flexibility in booking to help accommodate and show appreciation for consumer needs. However, there is another tactic that utilizes the “go big or go home” 2022 prediction, with new attractions that  have been created in an attempt to garner attention and avoid the “ghost town vibes” (Inside the Magic).

Where have the traveling consumers gone?

As travelers look for less crowds and authentic vacations, personal lodging companies such as AirBnb and Vrbo leaned into the wants and needs of consumers through targeted campaigns. AirBnb has expertly shown viewers what to expect in our very unpredictable world when using their hosting/guest services through strategic storytelling of intimate vacations in a series called, “Made possible by Hosts”. My personal favorite is the “Bonnie and Clyde” montage of an adorable older couple who wanted a romantic getaway with a sound over of a Jay-Z song. Another fun montage in the series was the “Back in the Day” spot featuring a group of young friends who stayed at a retro house listening to vinyl and feeling like time travelers. This specific ad capitalized on how TikTok has influenced the travel perception. There is also a TikTok hashtag called “#houseswap” which has “generated approximately 10 million views and viral videos of users swapping houses on the social app.” (Fortune) Thanks to the trend “more than 40% of Gen Z employees plan to take a “workcation”” and the need for a hybrid home away was recognized quickly by Airbnb and others. (Fortune)


And speaking of social media…

In terms of booking trips, travelers looking on travel websites are likely to be influenced prior to even reaching the site by none other than social media. Social media may seem like a place to brag about a vacation, but that brag is also helping viewers discover where they should vacation next. Social Toaster reported that “84% of millennials say that they are likely to plan their own vacation based on someone else’s social posts.” (Social Toaster) Having an influencer or friend take a trip first allows for an in-depth review of the experience before they themselves take that trip. Not to mention, “86 percent of people (and 92 percent of Gen Z) said they’ve become interested in a specific location after seeing user-generated content” regarding that location. (Stackla) Travel messaging on social media is not new, however utilizing this insight seemed untapped until now. TikTok alone currently has ten or more travel video formats common to couples and friends traveling to take along their journey. There are also “travel hacks” on TikTok that show users potentially effective ways to travel more comfortably and affordably. (TravelPulse) National Geographic even has a multiple page article on how TikToK is changing the travel scene by acting like a travel agent for viewers. Social media is the social sphere keeping travel flowing by word of mouth, or better yet pictures. “The easiest way to start travel planning with TikTok is to follow a hashtag, such as #Mexico or #rollercoasters,” and the algorithm on the “For You” page does the rest to get you interested in a destination or travel experience. (National Geographic) The social landscape thanks to COVD-19 has want-to-be travelers excited than ever and thus as shown for marketers, it is a peak time to utilize social influencing tools.

According to Travel and Leisure, “travel is anticipated to generate nearly $2 trillion of the U.S. economy in 2022.” (Travel + Leisure) To ensure travel services get a piece of that revenue after the initial devastating impacts of COVID-19 travel companies worked smart by creating a strategic plan. Through smart targeting, reinvestment in impression driven opportunities, crafted messaging, and insightful listening is proving to be the best solution that turns a difficult time back into a successful future.

Generation Alpha, now in beta.

Research and Article by Taylor Blowers, Strategist, Full Contact.

You may have heard of the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (aka Millennials) and Gen Z before but the newest generational group has just found its label. According to an Australian consulting agency generational researcher and TEDx speaker, Mark McCrindle, it was time to label these newcomers. As is the case with other generational group labels, there was debate and some confusion over when the generation should start and end. However, the consensus is that babies born from 2010 to present-day make up the Alpha generation.  McCrindle’s research also observed that, “2.5 million members of Generation Alpha are born every week around the world” and by “2050 the Generation Alpha population is predicted to reach 35 million.”(Forbes)

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Exploring Consumer Desire for Real-World Product Demonstrations

Exploring Consumer Desire for Real-World Product Demonstrations

Consumers want real-world product demonstrations. Whether they are looking to find themselves represented in the product experience, they want to see causes that are important to them highlighted or are they just looking to see everyday solutions in action, consumers appreciate ads that are truthful, real, and relatable in presenting their products. To better understand this “show and tell” trend, Full Contact intern, Taylor Blowers decided to investigate. Read more


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