Category Archives: MEDIA

YAVEO: Direct TV’s New Online Spanish-Language Video Streaming Service

In a bid to draw multi-lingual viewers to view most of their content online, DirectTV has curated YAVEO. The service, which isn’t available outside the U.S., will stream TV shows, on-demand movies, children, and sports programming over the internet to PCs, MACs, and Android-devices. A price tag of $7.99 monthly without the requirement of a DirectTV subscription ensures it will be a hit among its target audience.

AT&T is awaiting approval for is $48.5 billion acquisition of Direct TV; The purchase is being used to expand its pay-TV, internet, and wireless service throughout Latin America.  Direct TV owns 41% of Sky Mexico–Mexico’s largest satellite TV provider.

Internet-TV based packages give customers expanded options as more people begin to watch content via personal computers and increasily, mobile devices.  As major companies seek to grow, they are looking to cross-cultural, dense markets to secure new footing.  YAVEO sits among of growing list of pay-TV services that target segmented, multi-cultural customers.



Cheerios’ Bold Move Outs Racist Maniacs

Kudos to Cheerios for bravely taking a step into the new multiculturalism that already shapes America’s population, but is rarely portrayed in media.

In less than 72 hours, Cheerios’ “Just Checking” commercial racked up 300,000 views on their YouTube channel (now close to 3 Million) and pulled the sheets off of America’s closeted, racist underbelly. Following suit of the other spots in the campaign, “Just Checking” innocently features a child interacting with her parents. The pot-stirring difference appears to be the ethnicities of the multiracial daughter, Anglo-(looking) mom and African American(-looking) dad. So stirred was this pot of discrimination, so visceral the comments left by trolls, that Cheerios decided to disable its comments on this video, proving that with progress does not often come without resistance. has continued the dialogue on their message boards, where you can read (or chime in) on both sides of this heated and storied debate. Even Ad Age wrote a post on the breakfast cereal that was socially shared more than 600 times within hours of its posting.

Shaherra Rolen Family
Our own Shaherra Rolen commented that for the first time in recent memory, she saw a commercial image that resembled her own multi-racial family. She stated:

It’s great to finally see a commercial that is relatable to me, a wholesome family that just happens to be multiethnic.  Growing up I didn’t see a lot of mixed people fully represented on television.  Even now, the family structure is still shown as two parents of the same ethnicity.  I’m so glad to have had my bowl of Cheerios this morning and will do more to support General Mills products.

In your opinion, do you think Cheerios and General Mills took a brave step into the new multiculturalism, or did they try too hard? And how do you think this will affect the casting of future American TV spots?

Justin J. Jordan


Oklahoma3If you haven’t already heard, Monday’s tragic tornado in Oklahoma killed at least 24 people. By Tuesday morning #PrayForOklahoma was trending and people all over the country were sending their condolences.


Interesting, isn’t it? Tragedies tend to bring people together and social media seems to be the driver. So, what does this mean for brands?

1)     Say it first – Brands need to remain relevant. Consumers are bombarded with messages more than ever before and marketers need to find a way to beat the clutter. Once a topic has run its course it becomes obsolete.  In other words, you do not want to be the brand that tweets about the Oklahoma tornado once everyone is fully aware of the details. If you remain consistent and relevant you will build credibility with your audience and they will, ultimately, confide in you. This may not produce a hike in sales today but it will help build brand equity in the long-run.

2)     Humanize yourself – To humanize your brand is to make it authentic. As marketers, we need to embrace the human side of communication. It is in our nature to connect with others, usually based on common interests. If consumers see you as a “friend” they will be more likely to become brand loyal. You can’t become someone’s friend by merely talking about yourself or the products you offer. You become someone’s friend by relating to their interests and being genuine about it. For the past few days, people have been absorbed in the Oklahoma tornado and brands – the smart ones – have joined the cause.

At the end of the day, people connect with what is real, and social media allows marketers to connect easier and more frequently than ever before! All we have to do, as marketers, is embrace our brand personality and remain relevant. Easy, peasy.

On another note – our condolences to those affected by the Oklahoma tornado.

Series(al) Killer

series(al) killer

If you haven’t heard by now, PepsiCo has has killed the Mountain Dew commercials surrounding a talking goat that has beaten up a woman and was in a police lineup.  The commercials have been cited as stereotyping Black males, racist and sexist.  Tyler, the Creator, a 22-year-old rapper/producer (who himself is African-American) created the campaign, which included some of his music group members and friends.  He has defended the commercials, denying any racism and claiming it was just supposed to be funny.  According to Tyler, his friends were “basically wearing their own clothes”.

I shared the commercial around the office and here are some of the responses:

1)  “Whoa… obviously they need a multicultural agency to help keep them from making stupid mistakes like that.  Often clients go out looking for what they think are “more creative, cutting edge” ways of reaching the young, millennial target through music talent, without truly understanding the nuances of the audience and not having the checks and balances in place that keep them from making this kind of grievous marketing error.

Maybe not overtly RACIST, but should have taken into account that there are 4 black guys in a police line up looking stereotypically criminal.  I understand this is a group but needed to include somehow a white guy(s).  Also suggests the idea of a white female being beat up by a black guy (although actually beat up by the  goat).  Just too far…”

2) “Call me insensitive but I didn’t see the commercial as racist. I’m not saying the spot deserves an ADDY but racism—no ma’am, no sir. I think the race card is being overused—can we play another card for subpar spots that contain black people? Advertising wouldn’t be advertising without criticism. I hope the PepsiCo brand doesn’t go into “super safe” mode and deliver creative that blends in with the rest of the ad noise.”

3) “Anybody think about the Doritos goat that beat up its owner for Doritos?  Yup, this is called “Biting,” pun intended.

The 4 Black males are all members of the same musical group as the “Creative” person who developed it for Mountain Dew, Tyler the Creator. Racist? That’s all about perception. Accidental racism almost always is. About perception, or lack thereof. If you don’t know the group, it looks really bad. If you know the group, it just looks like a watered down, weird version of their always-overtly-racy-purposely-offensive content.

If you think this is bad, don’t listen to eight bars of even ONE song.

My question, is why would Mountain Dew even put this in the market? They had to have known it would step on some toes. This was a marketing coup, IMHO.”

4)  “I find this commercial social irresponsible.  I understand that many people may know Tyler, the Creator and that he pushes the envelope, but I have no clue who he is.  The campaign is in bad taste and makes light serious situations.  Just reading Tyler’s Twitter was enough to make me cringe, I am not sure how Mountain Dew or PepsiCo thought it was in good taste to have this represent their brand.  What was the approval process?  Was a focus group used or did the company just throw the commercial online to test the waters?  Taking full responsibility is not enough after the fact.  Companies need to really do their due diligence before pushing a campaign such as this.  To me, this shows ignorance, arrogance and bad taste, all in the name of ‘creativity’.”

You’ve heard from us.  Now we want to hear from you.  What are your thoughts around Mountain Dew’s campaign?

Oh Ship!

The title alone made you want to read more.  You probably had to read it twice to make sure you read it correctly.  Similarly, a great ad grabs your attention.  But what about the content?  Should consumers be satisfied with the continuous shove of celebrity endorsements or stunned by an ad that uses shock methods to draw them in?

Recently, Kmart aired their latest commercial online.  They “Shipped Their Pants”… and drawers and bed.  It was enough to get the buzz growing around Kmart and letting customers know about their strong online shopping presence.

In about a week there were over 11 million hits and consumers made their own versions of the 30-second commercial.  Does that alone constitute a great ad?  Was the intended message effectively conveyed?  Shelf life is critical.  The message needs to hit hard while there is still a buzz.

About two months ago, the “Harlem Shake” hit the Internet with everyone from the Armed Forces to to the Miami Heat players posting their rendition.  Right now, it’s old news.

Testing the waters online can be a great strategy.  Advertisers can see if there is in interest and possible move the commercial into other mediums. However, online advertising may not crossover as seamlessly to television or radio.  There might be some backlash for what can be seen as an immature attempt at humor once aired.

Remember, we live in a digital age.  If the consumers don’t like it, believe that they’ll let you know.  Instantly!

Who’s Your Target?


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I’ve been in forums where a speaker would pose the question, “Who is your target audience?”  Many times a business owner would immediately and proudly boast, “Everybody!”  Then they would go into a spill about how great their product or service is and how anyone could benefit from its use.  The speaker who seems intrigued and appreciative of their answer then breaks down all that is wrong.

It becomes apparent when a company doesn’t know who they’re targeting. Their marketing  efforts are sporadic and sends mixed messages.  A steakhouse isn’t geared toward vegetarians or a credit card company to someone that only uses cash.  Believe it or not, everyone is NOT your target market.  Knowing this is half the battle.  Now it’s time to get through the other half.

Businesses need to be clear and concise at who they are targeting.  How?  RESEARCH!  Know everything about your target audience–their location, current thoughts regarding your brand, what attracts them, their spending habits and your competition.  Once you know this, then you can ask yourself, “What would I want my target to think about my brand?”

The perception of minivans has been that they are vehicles for older “Soccer Moms” who are defined as “stay at home” moms that hand out bag lunches to the family as they walk out the door for work and school.  They also run shuttle service from school to practices and rehearsals.  One company reassessed this notion  and decided to challenge the perception.

In 2010 Toyota launched its Swagger Wagon campaign.  The approach was to make the Toyota Sienna minivan appealing to younger, more hip parents.  They target the younger generation of  “Soccer Moms” and wanted to make it cool to own a Sienna.  Toyota had a slew of commercials highlighting the vehicle features and how it compliments the family’s lifestyle.  They even had a Sienna Family rap video.

The success of this campaign went viral and people posted their remixed version of the song.   The commercials and song are funny, engaging and catchy.    They honed in on one particular audience and created a multimedia strategy that created a buzz and built up steam to popularity, even getting fan mail for the Sienna Family.

Get a clear understanding of your target audience, get to know them intimately, learn to speak their language then you will maximize your audience reach.


IMAGES USA Marketing Director Jafet Ramirez weighs in on Univision’s recent announcement that they will launch a digital component to its upcoming Hispanic Themed, English language news and lifestyles network in September. With their next step in digital, is Univision … Continue reading