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Happy Marketing October 2023

Welcome to spooky season!

This month, we’re taking a deep dive into the best ads of the season, uncovering how to find the best partners for your brand and revealing our hottest social media and SEO secrets.

Psst – Has someone told you about Happy Marketing? I’ve got a coffee with your name on it. Subscribe here and then email us to reap your rewards 👻👻.

Wanna bless your best marketing buddy? Tell them to subscribe, and I’ll send them a Starbucks gift card for their next pumpkin spice 🎃

Anyway, let’s dive in!

Brand Feature: Raw Garden 🌱

We’re kicking off this month by examining what one brand is getting right. If you know me, you know how long I’ve been obsessed with Raw Garden. They caught me with their social media marketing — their IG is so beautiful and engaging, tapping directly into what their customers want to see — and since then, I’ve been hooked on their great products and excellent messaging.

Their signature clean, elevated vibe is carried throughout their customer touchpoints, with their super aesthetic website (seriously, check out those subtle animations that just lift their imagery off the screen 🤤) and their emails that just feel like they’re speaking directly to me.

What I love about Raw Garden is how they’ve taken what could be a ‘trashy’ product and elevated it through lifestyle marketing that hones in on their audience. Plus, their products are the bomb — I personally only ever buy their extracts and pens (you know great marketing is the only way to this marketer’s heart 💚)

So, what can we learn from Raw Garden? Firstly, remember that customers come first and that when your uniquely specific vibe resonates with the right people, your marketing will likely be successful.

Secondly, think outside of the box: don’t let assumptions about your product dictate your approach to telling your story — not every ouid smoker fits in the same box and that’s why Raw Garden has my custom 100% of the time.

Are you starting from these positions in your brand? If not, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.

Billboards That Make You Go BOO! 👻

By this time, you’ll already know I’ve been a fan of billboards for a while (seriously, I went on about it in May and August). There’s something cool about how viral they can go if you get it right.

I get that Times Square billboards have always been iconic, but there’s something extra compelling about a scary one. Take this seasonal Spirit ad, which caught my eye and recently caused a stir on socials, or this Resident Evil ad, which is a year old and is STILL notching up the YouTube and social media views (over 4 MILLION and counting 🤯). The marketer behind that deserves a raise lol.

Halloween is THE TIME for experimental marketing. Like this ad for Universal Orlando that looks like a film I would actually go and see. Not to mention Freeform HD’s 31 Nights of Halloween campaign, which has got me like SHIT, I gotta start watching now! And my go-to scary movie snack of choice? It’s gonna be Reese’s following this flawless TV ad.

Halloween is a super fun holiday that literally every brand can play into, and dressing ads up as entertainment helps customers buy into the message, seeking out engagements with your brand without having them shoved in their faces. Can you double down on your brand story in time for the holidays? A great story is just as important as a great offer IMO.

(Psst — this strategy isn’t just available at this time of the year; remember this Nissan ad I wrote about a few months ago? It’s now my go-to writing playlist and has managed to rack up 18 mill views).

✨Influencers Gonna Influence ✨

Victoria’s Secret has been getting it bad lately.

That docuseries, plus the not-so-subtle transphobia and misogyny (an example of why it’s always a good idea to be a brand that cares in the long term), meant that Victoria’s Secret had been leaving a bad taste.

BUT redemption is in sight! A partnership with the hottest influencer of the moment, Doja Cat, and the marketing team had a plan for clawing back some relevancy.

That is until Doja Cat spilled the tea on her IG stories about how uncomfortable she was in her outfit, leaving little to the imagination.

PR teams when their boss suggests Doja Cat as a possible new influencer for their brand

PR teams when their boss suggests Doja Cat as a possible new influencer for their brand

Now, I’m in two minds about this whole thing. Firstly – brands, influencers don’t belong to you. Treat and listen to them with respect, and they’ll speak from an authentic experience to their audience. I don’t think anyone should be discouraged from speaking up about their negative experiences.

BUT, having said that, influencers need to also respect their partners. When something like this happens, businesses are left looking bad — something Victoria’s Secret might be able to take in its stride but which could ruin a small business.


‘Twas the night before Halloween, and these PR teams were getting ready for the worst night of their career….

This month, we’ve been hearing some scary tales of brands getting things wrong. Take Kraft, who experienced a packaging nightmare, causing thin strips of plastic to remain in the cheese squares. And Starbucks is facing a dilemma of its own, all about the shocking (or not?) lack of fruit in refresher drinks.

Now, the thing about these big lawsuits (Starbucks is being sued for $5 mill) is that they’re not tabloid fodder — unlike the Doja Cat x Victoria’s Secret story — and they’re seen as a little opportune on the side of the plaintiffs. Tempting, then, to think they don’t matter.

But, of course, these issues drain money, resources, and time. They’re certainly best avoided. Plus, they cause serious reputational damage, especially when they’re meme-worthy.

Seriously, Kraft, this is our country’s culinary reputation that’s on the line (Source: Reddit)

This Month’s Marketing Winner: The NFL 🏈

The NFL is having a good time recently.

Firstly, Taylor Swift’s love life provided an unlikely boost in viewership. Now, millions of Swifties are hooked on the latest games, prompting the NFL to include their newest fans in their marketing strategy and game coverage.

In a personal highlight, one new NFL fan has been quoted as saying, “It’s like I’m watching the Eras Tour on TV, except it’s football” lmao.

Taylor Swift is the NFL now and you can’t tell me otherwise (Source: Reddit)

Taylor Swift is the NFL now and you can’t tell me otherwise (Source: Reddit)

However, the Swiftie hype is just a happy accident for the NFL’s marketing team, even if they are leaning into it extremely well.

The most notable marketing win comes from their genius partnership with Disney to create a nostalgic animation with Toy Story that hit us all in the feels. Now millennials are parents, this animation is a fantastic, family–friendly way to connect with younger audiences and their parents to revive the game.

Toy Story / Disney wouldn’t have been my first choice for a brand partnership, but it just goes to show the power of surprising combinations.

Brand partnerships done well 🤌

Brewing The Right Partnership 🫶

Talking of partnerships, I have been loving craft beer brand Talea and the awesome collabs they’ve been making to open up their drinks to new audiences.

Full disclosure — I actually worked with Talea in the past while I was Head of Marketing at Bunker Labs, a nationwide NPO that provides a community, programs, and courses for veterans and military spouses who are starting a business.

At Bunker Labs, we produced a video marketing series called Bunker Narratives and featured Talea as a one-to-watch start-up. And we were right. Now, Talea is leading the collab-marketing space with innovative products with established beverage brands like Olipop and disruptors like Fishwife to create surprising and cool partnerships.

I’ll cheers to that!

Nouvel Ads Marketing

We’re in a transition period for advertising IMO. Traditional TV ads are reeling after the dramatic increases in ad-free streaming services. Plus, social media and search ads are changing. They’re great when you have a strong partner and a budget to experiment for results. Still, these ads are no longer the guaranteed income generators of the past — digital real estate is getting competitive.

So, brands have to get creative, and this gap in the market is a great opportunity for marketplaces and businesses to capitalize on their virtual space. In the UK, 96% of web stores have implemented waiting lists for ad slots, and businesses like Deliveroo are seeing the potential for monetizing their audience with relevant offers and ad sales.

We’re going to see a lot more of this in the future.

Social Media Secrets

It’s not a secret that we’re all about tapping into repurposing content here at Nouvel Âge for two reasons — firstly, good content is expensive and time-consuming to create, and secondly, because our audience is diverse and deserves the chance to engage with content in different formats.

But how can we repurpose content? Many brands make the mistake of simply posting the same content across social accounts and call it a day. But valuable repurposing that generates connection doesn’t just come from copy-pasting — read more here

…And then, when you’ve done changing that TikTok into a reel, let’s talk IG captions. The captions on the’ gram are potentially a missed opportunity for brands because, unlike TikTok, we get a lot more characters. Plus, captions boost engagement, get clicks, and provoke conversation — watch this vid for more.

Your Monthly AI Update

ChatGPT is still making headlines this month, so we might as well turn this AI into a regular feature!

Amid reports that long-form video is fading in popularity, YouTube is joining the AI wars with some cool new tools that will make it easier for creators to generate short-form content.

This is a very exciting addition — I personally love long-form videos (I literally live for Bailey Sarian’s channel, don’t @ me), but it’s an intimidating genre. Expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming, long-form is easier to monetize but a drag when it comes to including it in your marketing strategy. I get it.

But short form – that’s great! And if YouTube’s new AI creator studio can shorten that production time, then I’m all in. Only time will tell how viable that will actually be, however, as AI content doesn’t always mean great engagement or monetization.

Another tool that might sound too good to be true? ChatGPT is running with an image generator to complement its language model and, in true OpenAI fashion, gave it a ridiculous name: DALL-E 3.

Is that you, DALL-E 3? 

Now, it’s not out yet, so I couldn’t play around to report back; however, I’m already thinking about the legal and ethical implications. Interestingly, OpenAI has already prefaced this by claiming that users will not be able to ask DALL-E 3 to generate images in the style of living artists and that it’s working with copyright holders to opt-in and -out of the generator.

However, I am personally excited about this — I think this will be a powerful tool for illustrations, animations, etc, and I can’t wait to try it out. Watch this space.

Get Your Spook On

So, that’s it! Your monthly dose of the hottest marketing gossip, all wrapped up.

Now, it’s time to dress as a ‘sexy’ vampire for the 10th year running find a cool costume idea that shows how hilarious and witty I am. 🧛🏼‍♀️

Wish me luck!


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