Podcast Appearance: The BeanCast “I’m a Sloth”

On January 4, 2016, in Food, by Chris Baccus
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This week I joined The BeanCast to discuss several marketing topics including the latest involving Chipotle and their issues with food safety.  You can download and subscribe to The BeanCast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast content. I’ve done quite a few appearances on the BeanCast and always find Bob Knorpp to be a great host with interesting topics for the industry panel to discuss.

Here’s a link to this week’s full episode: http://www.thebeancast.com/beancast-marketing-podcast-show-archive/2016/1/4/beancast-381-im-a-sloth

And don’t forget to Subscribe to the show! Subscribe here.


 

TOPICS

TV and The Political Candidate

Sources: NYMag on Trump, BI on Bush, Salon analysis of Trump move, Uproxx reports, National Review analysis

Wearable Marketing Trends

Sources: Skyword takes a look

The Native “Crackdown”

Sources: Ad Age reportsBusiness2Community reports

Chipotle’s Problems

Sources: WSJ reports


 

 

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I Think I’ll Pass on “Bratwurst in Bed”

On June 11, 2015, in Food, by Chris Baccus
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Filed under things that will give you nightmares is this Father’s Day ad from Johnsonville. This time it’s not the factory farm meat that is scary. No, the whole bizarre advertising to sell you stuff trend is what’s scary. Does anyone really want drug induced images of their sausage coming to life? And even if you do, are you likely to rush out and buy it?

Let’s not even discuss how the sausage puppet looks like a penis with a STD. We’ll save that diagnosis for another time.

And a note to my family, please bring me some granola and fresh fruit if you are going to bring me breakfast in bed. Thank you.

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The State of Dad Blogging

On May 20, 2015, in Family, by Chris Baccus
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Before I begin, I realize it’s somewhat presumptuous for anyone to speak as an authority on a topic. I’m really not a dad blogger authority but I think I have some credentials in the blogosphere. For those who don’t know, I’ve been in the blogging game for over 10 years and have done it personally and most importantly professionally. I’ve come at it as a blogger sharing my own passions, including this blog plus E93 Fanatic, Auto Marketing Blog, Gas Station Tacos, Dallas Food Nerd, and my latest project The Digital Strategy Quarterly. I have worked at agencies leading influencer-marketing initiatives and done so from the client-side too.

I should clarify if I consider myself a “dad blogger.” This particular blog grew out of two former iterations. It was originally called Detroit Eats and focused on restaurant reviews and some cooking. I then changed it rather quickly to The Considered Cook as our family moved to more sustainable cooking decisions. I eventually changed the site to what it is now – Sustainable Dad – so I could move beyond just being a food blogger. I had some thoughts on family and wanted to write about more than just what I made; though, most of this blog is about cooking and for other home cooks. I “dad blog” a little bit.

I actually did more of a parent blog when our twin boys were first born except I did it less from my perspective; though, I wrote it from how my perspective saw their perspective. My great grandmother wrote my grandmother’s baby book in her daughter’s “voice” and I found that very interesting and so I did the boys’ blog in their supposed first person voices. You can see that original blog here: Oscar & Theo’s Blog.

Even then I didn’t really write about parenting. So my parenting blogging is fairly thin. I’m 20% dad blogger.

Last February I attended Dad 2.0 Summit where I decided to get to know the dad blogging community more and to also see what I could contribute to the movement. (Is it a movement? I guess it is in some ways I’ll explain below.)

After about a year of reading more dad bloggers and including attending a dad blog conference, I’ve come away with some observations on the state of dad blogging.

Here it is.

#1: Devoted Parent

One thing is very clear: Parenting matters. Being involved and loving one’s family is key and the biggest message from the dad blogger community. Let’s face it; dads are often made to seem like idiots who don’t know how to care for the kids. Or worse, mom is the patron saint of parenthood while dad is a lesser parent who isn’t that involved. Changing that perception, which is done by being an involved parent, is the most important thing to a dad blogger. Dads matter and old stereotypes need to go.

#2: I Love My Kid(s)

Being involved in parenting is one thing, but being involved and showing how loving you can be as a parent is just as important. Most often this gets personified with a barrage of dad and child(ren) selfies showing that dad is really smitten with his kids and in this day and age a selfie shows how loving you are as a parent on social media.

#3: You’re Creative

This can come in the form of elaborate special effects like Action Movie Kid on YouTube or creating artistic masterpieces on lunch bags like Derek Benson does. Showcasing your parent skills through creativity definitely can set you apart from the pack, much like it can in mom blogging. I think the difference though is that mom bloggers tend to differentiate based on attitude and less on creative skill. It’s more about having a pejorative opinion on the life of a mom and less about showcasing a creative talent. Not to say there are no creative mom bloggers. There are. Creative moms just don’t get the attention the stronger opinionated voices get. With dad bloggers it’s the creative dads who get more media attention.

#4: Hey Brands, It’s Parenting Not Moming

I remember C.C. Chapman going after Ragu in 2011, back when I was leading social media at AT&T. I knew C.C. more as a social media marketer than a dad blogger up to that point. And C.C. had even called out AT&T on some mom community the brand had created before I showed up. When I saw the mom community, for the brand I was leading, I saw it was completely ineffective and pulled funding. C.C. went after Ragu because they were perpetuating stereotypes and excluding dads as parents who cook. Like C.C., I too do all the cooking and most of the grocery shopping so it was quite offensive and antiquated.

Recently, Amazon has gotten a lot of blow back from the dad blogger community with their Amazon Mom program, similar to the former AT&T effort, as in both allowed dads to participate but everything was branded mom, not parent. This move to get brands to recognize raising kids is a joint effort and not just a mom effort is a huge deal and one dad bloggers devote a lot of time to from an activist standpoint.

#5: Dad as Doofus in the Media

I say media but I’m including coverage by publications and also how brands show dads in ads. Not to pick on AT&T, but their recent ad is a great example of what many dad bloggers resent.

What dads want and think they’ve earned is respect. The whole concept of treating mom like the eyes and ears of the family and dad as a clueless idiot is basically the advertising equivalent of only hiring people of color as “the help” for an ad or movie. It’s time to wake up and realize that the world isn’t a giant stereotype and dads have changed a lot from my parent’s generation and especially my grandparent’s generation, but the media and brands act like it’s the 1940s when it comes to portraying dads as parents.

The good news, there is a thing called “Dadvertising” that is showing dads in a more positive light. Super Bowl campaigns from Dove, Toyota, and Nissan all show dads in a more modern family context. Some brands are getting it and that’s definitely due in part to dad bloggers changing the perception of a dad’s role in parenting. When brands get it right, the dad blogging community supports them!

#6: Staying At Home Is Not A Failure

A recent series on the Good Men Project blog features 7 Double Standards that Hurt Men (and Women) is a great example of what many dad bloggers are trying to do: Dismantle male stereotypes. This topic is a big one for the Stay-At-Home Dads (SAHDs.) Ironically, the acronym sounds like SAD. Let’s be honest, our society isn’t easy to anyone who stays-at-home. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and just recently a good friend asked me, when is she going to get a job now that the boys are in school? I can’t imagine what it’s like for dads who decide to not work. Our society mostly looks at their decision as a failure like they lost their job, can’t find a good paying job or worse are lazy freeloaders.

In a world of mostly two-income households, staying at home is a socially unacceptable decision and it’s definitely worse for guys. So you see a significant amount of effort from SAHDs to help each other out and network in ways a lot of moms do. Having a parent stay at home with the kids should be a positive thing and not something people look down on. Having either parent at home and involved is far better than just dropping a kid off at daycare every day. Being more connected to the home and getting more focused attention from a parent is a luxury in our world and the parents who do stay at home – dad or mom – have a pretty difficult job and one that should be admired, not shamed.

#7: They Missed the Gold Rush

Blogging has been around since the early 2000s. Most of the early years were people and companies experimenting with blogging as a personal diary or as a way to circumvent and influence media without the gatekeepers of the publishing world.

Bloggers really came to fruition in the late 2000s when a lot of mom blogs and interest blogs (fashion, food, cars, etc) all gained prominence as people started to talk about self-publishing and user created content. Moms were the best organized and they quickly dominated the blogosphere. Several mom blog networks started and conferences like BlogHer and BlogWorld (now called NMX) created a lot of energy. That energy eventually led to some mom bloggers raking in some serious cash that made mom bloggers media sensations when they appeared on morning shows and various news programs, some bragging how much they were making financially as bloggers.

Like any industry, and blogging is an industry, there are cyclical shifts. More brands have jumped in to do influencer marketing, but there is still a lot of fighting for dollars and attention. Brands are also getting smarter about the value this form of marketing provides and hence are not overpaying bloggers for activations.

Audience size on social media and website traffic are big attention getters. Unfortunately, few dad bloggers can compete directly with mom bloggers who have been around far longer, plus women are more engaged on social media so they do have a gender benefit that shows stronger audience participation. The other factor is there are millions of mom blogs around and a much smaller percentage of dad blogs. I’ve found that the most engaged readership on blogs is from other bloggers, so dad bloggers don’t have a built-in network to get the bigger numbers.

With brands not throwing stupid money at blogger marketing efforts and the parent blogosphere being really crowded, the gold rush has slowed. I know this all too well. In the past two years I have interviewed several former high-profile mom bloggers, who I’m sure were making a great income and are now looking for a job on the agency side because said income has massively plummeted.

In summary…

Dad blogging has a lot of positive energy and a great, supportive community. The movement to break stereotypes and change the conversation of what means to be a dad is really important. It’s also made me think more about how I am as a parent and how I can improve.

I’m sure the dad blogging community will continue to grow and continue evolve. This is simply a roundup of my observations and how I see the space in 2015. And I’m not alone in seeing what’s happening, even the Sunday Paper is noting the trend.

Please share you thoughts too in the comments and please tell me where I’m way off or spot on!

Dadvertising Takes Over Super Bowl 49

On February 2, 2015, in Cars, by Chris Baccus
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It’s the Fifth Anniversary of my automotive Super Bowl ads analysis with fellow journalist Melanie Batenchuk from BeCarChic.  We took a look at all the car ads that ran during last night’s game.  There were a couple standouts for sure.

The big theme across many advertisers was the emphasis on dads.  Unlike prior years where puppies and babies ruled, this year was clearly the year of the dad in parenting.  Central to that was Nissan’s #WithDad campaign that brought the idea to life in a 90-second spot, Nissan’s first Super Bowl ad in 18 years. The story was told using one of my favorite childhood songs (yes, I’m that old) Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats In the Cradle’. Sure it is a bit awkward  considering Chapin died in a car crash in real life, but the song does tell about that distance of father and son which the ad does touch on; though, in a different way than the song.

Remove the real life history of Chapin and the ad does hold up as it is about the bound of father and son which does resonate with Nissan’s attempt at celebrating dads.

All in all, it wasn’t the best night of Super Bowl ads but there were some winners. Read more about our automotive coverage on BeCarChic “Super Bowl Auto Ads 2015 | 5th Annual “He Said, She Said” Analysis with Chris Baccus”

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Bagel Bites Now "Wholesome"

On August 26, 2011, in Food, by Chris Baccus
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If this ad doesn’t illustrate what’s wrong with food marketing, I don’t know what does.

If you want to learn more checkout their website to “get the real story”: http://www.bagelbites.com/simply-wholesome.aspx

One would think the ingredients of a bagel bite is cheese, tomatoes and “wholesome” bread (bagel), but look at the label and there are 37 ingredients!

Bleached Wheat Flour, Water, Mozzarella Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes)Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste, Water)Pepperoni (Pork, Beef, Salt, Spices, Water, Dextrose, Seasonings [Oleoresin of Paprika, Natural Spice Extractives, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid]Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Sodium Nitrate)2% or Less of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Soybean Oil, Yeast, Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk)Nonfat Milk, Flavor Enhancer (Potassium Chloride, Ammonium Chloride, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin [Corn]Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Calcium Lactate, Natural Flavor)Methylcellulose, Citric Acid, Red Pepper, Natural Flavor, Dough Conditioner (Ascorbic Acid)Enzymes.

Thanks to the Weighty Matters blog for the ingredients list which wasn’t easy to find on the Bagel Bites web site, still not sure it is even online… [“Badvertising Bagel Bites”]

Ad Source: Redbook magazine, August 2011 issue.

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