It’s that time of year again, the temperatures are dropping, pumpkin spice is wafting, and everyone is abuzz with excitement for the upcoming holiday season. The official kickoff to fall festivities and peak holiday season is the one, the only: Halloween. While most associate Halloween with childhood tricks and treats, or perhaps the hoarding of their favorite candy bar, in reality, Halloween offers so much more. It’s a holiday often favored by creative minds and those who love a good theme, the perfect recipe for businesses excited to get behind the celebrations in an array of ingenious ways.

One of the rapidly rising trends in Halloween celebrations over the past few years has been brand-based costumes. Consumers have taken costume originality to new heights with creative takes on their favorite brands, advertising campaigns, or company mascots. As strong supporters of brand awareness and creative costumes, Bluetext breaks down our favorite brand-inspired Halloween costumes and makes predictions of what you can expect to see taking the streets by storm. 

Starting out strong, we have fan-favorite insurance characters Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive. This dynamic duo has taken off in recent years! Many people have further emphasized these advertising campaigns and commercial spots with their costume interpretations. What we love about these costumes is their ability to act as free advertising. While State Farm and Progressive are undoubtedly spending millions for commercial placements, the characters have won the hearts of Americans to the point that consumers are offering themselves free advertising over the course of the Halloween season.

In the aftermath of the marketing phenomenon that swept away global audiences this past summer, Barbie is expected to be the most popular 2023 Halloween costume. While the magic of Barbie (and their rebranded messaging) lies in the fact that anyone can be Barbie and there are so many character variations,  we expect most will be flaunting the classic Barbie pink aesthetic. Other popular variations expected this year include career-based Barbies, such as astronaut Barbie or Barbie for President. Not only will this esteemed costume act to sustain the movie’s popularity post-theater release, but it will also serve to further Mattel’s rebrand in attempts to course-correct previously negative connotations surrounding the doll’s history.  Keep your ears tuned for all the “Hi, Barbie” “Hi, Barbie” exchanges, the notes of a long-lived brand campaign, and a strong new message of consumer inclusivity.


A favorite group-based Halloween costume we expect will continue its popularity in the 2023 holiday season is M&Ms. The popularity of M&M commercials and the individual personalities of each candy’s color make this a recognizable and easily exceptional costume, especially for larger groups of friends. What our brand experts find so admirable about this costume choice is the longevity of the M&M character campaign. Mars Candy debuted the famous M&M personalities back in 1954, and they have only grown in popularity. Consumers love the ever-changing campaigns that showcase the unique attitudes of the sassy Ms. Green, wise Ms. Brown, and the forever lovable goofy duo of Mr. Yellow and Mr. Red. A noteworthy call out of this advertising campaign is that as the character cast has grown over the years, each represents unique flavors that have entered the market. For example, Ms. Brown was introduced to the world at the 2012 Super Bowl and meant to represent new caramel candies, while the classic Mr. Yellow’s signature oblong shape promotes the original peanut varieties.

For our bald-headed friends and compulsive cleaners, the brand mascots of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Brawny Paper Towel Lumberjack have grown to be popular costume choices. This character-based costume is not only a reinforcement for both the popular Proctor & Gamble and Georgia-Pacific brands, but it also emphasizes the notoriety of brand packaging. The magic, no pun intended, of this costume is that the characters you may find roaming the streets of Halloween night are direct replicas of the product packaging one would find on store shelves. This creates a strong visual connection between the holiday experience and your next shopping trip. That cute lumberjack that caught your eye on Halloween night? Next time you’re in the grocery don’t miss your chance to take him home.

If there’s one thing we know about Halloween, it’s the amount of influence pop culture and recent news headlines will play. One costume we’re looking forward to seeing interpretations of is the death of Twitter and resurgence as X. Social media platforms as costumes have been a trendy choice in recent years, but we expect there will be much more commentary and spoof representations of the 2023 platforms. The removal of Vine as a platform certainly captured a lot of attention around the holiday season with hybrid social media and zombie costumes. Time will tell whether emerging platforms like BeReal or X will make the cut into group costumes this year.

Last but certainly not least, we can’t forget the iconic characters that define America’s quintessential fast food fix: Ronald McDonald. In years past we have seen adoration with the McDonald’s Hamburglar and Ronald McDonald mascot, but 2023 has been the year of Grimace. After a surge in marketing activity and specialty menu items to celebrate Grimace’s birthday this past summer, we expect the iconic purple to make an appearance in 2023. This all comes as an initiative for multi-audience appeal. McDonald’s Hamburglar and Grimace characters reached peak popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s, so new campaigns are geared at bringing a sense of nostalgia from older generations and creating a brand new introduction to Gen Z consumers. Halloween is sure to be the cherry on top of the Grimace’s specialty milkshake to further their brand awareness campaign.


Ultimately, whether you’re excited about tricks or treats this Halloween, there’s no doubt you’ll be met with brand campaign campaigns in disguise. 

Have you ever considered buying a product or service only to be reminded of that product at every click of your web browser? This is most often seen in e-commerce scenarios, where online shoppers can’t seem to escape a heavy volume of ads around a product they have recently browsed. This is a common digital marketing tactic known as retargeting. While retargeting campaigns can get to the point of aggressive outreach (you know what I mean if you’ve ever felt taunted by that beautiful pair of shoes you never pulled the checkout trigger on), there is an artful way to retarget website users in a B2B (business-to-business) capacity. 

Let’s Start With The Basics: What Is Retargeting? 

Retargeting advertising refers to unique online ad placements served only to people who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database (such as a lead or customer). As opposed to traditional display ads, these ads are served to people who are already familiar with your brand or products. This allows the user the opportunity to bypass the education phase and jump straight into key reasons to engage or purchase now. Creative and messaging can be more confident, punchy, or urgent as you’ve already established a base relationship with these viewers. It’s similar to a second or third date; you get to skip the “getting to know you” fillers and jump straight into deeper topics.

The most common type of retargeting is known as pixel retargeting, meaning whenever a user comes to your website a piece of JavaScript (aka the pixel) is placed — making their browser “cookie-d.” Now this is one smart cookie, as when the user leaves your site, that cookie notifies retargeting platforms to serve specific ads based on the specific pages they had previously viewed. Pixel retargeting is the most timely, as the user is entered into the retargeting pool immediately and can be categorized based on specific page views or site interactions. The other type of retargeting is list-based, which refers to the manual upload of contact information based on sources outside of website traffic. This method requires more effort for manual configuration, but more control to create hyper-specific campaigns based on behaviors or criteria outside of website behavior. For example, maybe you want to retarget a group of prospects gathered at a recent trade show with a follow-up advertisement. 

What Are The Benefits of Retargeting Campaigns?

The benefits of retargeting ads include much higher ROI (return on investment) and the chance of conversion, as viewers have already entered the funnel. So now the question is what steps can you take to fully capitalize on retargeting opportunities?

  1. Determine Goals: First and foremost, you’ll need to determine the goals of your campaign as this will affect your ultimate retargeting strategy. Whether your company’s objective is to generate leads, increase conversions, or drive brand awareness, a singular goal should be defined from the start.
  2. Audience Segmentation: You’ve already split your full target audience into two key groups: new prospects and retargeting leads. Now you have an opportunity to further drill down your retargeting segment based on information you have gathered from these users. Because they have visited your website or engaged with the brand previously, you’re in an optimal position to serve them more personalized and relevant ads. Say a user engaged with the website only once before, you may want to serve them a more subtle nudge to re-engage and explore more. For a user that has engaged in multiple events (clicks, form fills, sessions), you can serve them more urgent action-oriented content. 
  3. Frequency: This is where you want to be extra cautious of ad fatigue and avoid over-serving ads to a user, as they will likely become overwhelmed and off-put by your brand. The key is to speak softly but carry a big message. Frequency caps allow you to limit the number of times an ad is served to a particular user within a certain time frame. In Google Ads and most other programmatic or DSP platforms, you can specify the number of impressions per day, week, or month. Operating on days will allow the most control over ad frequency and minimize the risk of ad fatigue. For social media advertising, Meta enables frequency settings for ad impressions that are available only for advertising campaigns with “Reach and Frequency” buying, or the “Reach” advertising goal.
  4. Dynamic Targeting: The beauty of a retargeting campaign is that you are not starting from zero. You have obtained some information on what a user is interested in or has historically browsed on your website. For example, if a user visits the landing page of Product A, you can serve them an ad specifically promoting that product rather than your full portfolio. On the contrary, if your user has engaged with a number of landing pages and visited the website frequently, you may want to promote the full suite of products and more urgent calls to action. 
  5. Compelling Creative and Copy: As we mentioned before, retargeting campaigns offer the greatest opportunity to expand your company’s official tagline or boilerplate. Because users have already been introduced to the brand, you can experiment with unique visuals and messaging catered to specific interests or needs. You can even A/B test different ad creative and copy to help identify what resonates best with your audience.

Now that you’ve established your campaign objective, target audience, and core content, it’s time to optimize your bid strategy to make the most of your ad dollars. 

Optimizing Your Retargeting Campaigns Bid Strategy

One of the most crucial ways to generate success from retargeting campaigns is by selecting the right bid strategy. This will increase campaign effectiveness by strictly limiting the cost of click/conversion.

Within all advertising platforms, there are two main options for bidding:

  1. Auto: An automatic bid strategy is similar to placing your car on cruise control. It means that the system will try to get the highest possible number of clicks/conversions within the established budget and determined performance targets. When setting up your ads you can assign a goal value, for example, the cost per click. In this case, the system will try to maintain this cost and pace the placements to not go over budget.
  2. Duration: In most advertising systems, you can specify how long a user will be included in your retargeting audience. In Google Ads and Meta, the default setting is 30 days, but you can customize this number to suit your needs and historical trends. For example, if your GA4 insights show that 90% of conversions occur in the first 7 days after the visitor first visits the site, there’s a much lesser chance that a given user will convert 30-40 days after visiting the site. Therefore, it may be more cost-effective to restrict retargeting to users for more than 7 days. You may find higher conversions and lower CPC (cost-per-click) by changing the membership duration from the base 30 days to 7 days. Be sure to actively monitor campaign performance and results for at least a few weeks and be willing to pivot based on what you find is or isn’t yielding results. 


Overall, retargeting campaigns are one of the most cost-effective methods of increasing conversions and reaching relevant prospects. The chances of conversion are much higher when that base foundation of knowledge within your brand has been established, and it gives you the chance to create highly customized advertising campaigns. However, there’s a lot to consider in setting up and optimizing your retargeting campaigns. That’s where a digital marketing agency can assist in strategy, placement, and ongoing monitoring for optimization opportunities. Contact Bluetext if you’re ready to retarget and set your campaigns up for success. 

The number of podcast listeners has increased substantially since the global pandemic drove audiences indoors, seeking socially distanced entertainment. With this growing form of entertainment comes an increased opportunity for brands to spread the word about their products and services. It’s estimated that there will be over 100 million podcast listeners in the US by 2024, and 81% of these podcast listeners say they pay attention to the ads played during the podcast.

Why you should consider podcast advertising

The expanding audience of listeners isn’t the only reason for investing in this marketing channel. Podcasts are also especially lucrative because of their niche audiences, making potential customers easier to target within specific categories and demographics. Whether a company is trying to reach c-suite executives, technical experts, or federal decision-makers with their marketing, there’s a podcast out there for everybody. With such a large pool of podcasts to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to reach specific target audiences.

What makes podcast ads so effective?

Podcasts have superior user engagement compared to traditional channels – 65% of users skip online video advertising on platforms like Youtube whereas only 33% of survey respondents say that they skip podcast ads (most of the time or always).

Why does podcast marketing have such high engagement? Unlike most marketing channels, podcasts have a well-established ground layer of trust between the host and listeners. This puts them at an advantage over other channels like display ads or video ads. In a way, this channel of marketing is tapping into the validation offered by celebrity endorsement, wherein the ‘celebrity’ is the host who viewers recognize and feel comfortable with.

How podcast ad buying works

Companies interested in buying podcast ad space can do so through Standard Advertising Agreements, where they pay to sponsor the podcast. In return, the host of the podcast will mention the sponsor’s product or services, describe their benefits, and sometimes even share personal anecdotes about the products or offer discounts and promo codes. See below for more information about the different factors to consider when buying podcast ads:

Pre-recorded or Host-read ads:

Ads can be pre-recorded and fully-produced by the brand itself or read by the host in their own words. Oftentimes, podcast hosts can offer specialized knowledge and expertise with their audiences to deliver the information about the sponsoring product or service in a way that best appeals to their listeners. Hosts are incentivized to make their podcast listening experience enjoyable, this includes smoothly incorporating ad interruptions in clever ways. For these reasons, host-voiced ads are more common.

Pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads:

The pre-roll ads and post-roll ads tend to be shorter (15-30 seconds long), and they play at the beginning of the show and at the end of the show, respectively. The longest of these are the mid-roll ads (30-90 seconds); their placement in the middle of the show is less skippable, so mid-roll ads usually come at a higher cost.

CPM (Cost-per-mile), CPA (Cost-per-acquisition), or flat rate ads:

CPM ads are most common, charging based on every per thousand listens of an episode. They typically run at a price of about $25 for 60 seconds. CPA ads are charged based on the number of conversions from the ad. Alternatively, a flat rate could be agreed upon beforehand, but this is much less common.

How to succeed with a podcast marketing initiative

With the increased exposure of podcast advertising, the best brand strategy firms are investing resources in exploring podcast-specific planning, buying, and measurement strategies. While a dedicated in-house podcast marketing division may not be feasible for many organizations, a digital marketing agency could offer the support and expertise you need to craft and deliver successful podcast advertising strategies.

Whether you’re at a small company that currently doesn’t do any podcast advertising at all, or you’re already buying some podcast ad placements, Bluetext can help to maximize the reach for your media spend with a strategic selection of ad opportunities. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you build your brand and marketing strategies.

As of July 2023, we’re all Barbie girls living in a Barbie world. Or at least that’s how the recent social media and pop culture landscape has seemed. The release of Warner Brothers ‘Barbie’ movie has rocked box office sales and the marketing landscape. It brought back a sense of nostalgic childhood joy and sparked conversations nationwide around women’s empowerment and what it truly means to ‘be a Barbie girl’. And while the bubble-gum pink fantasy world may seem far removed from the traditional B2B marketing landscape, its promotional strategy and a wave of cross-branding opportunities is a noteworthy case study for any industry. And as digital marketing strategists, we must acknowledge some key takeaways that can be used to bring any campaign to life. Let’s break down the impressive marketing campaign that brought “Barbie-core” to larger-than-life proportions. 

To promote “Barbie,” which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as life-size versions of the iconic childhood dolls, Warner Brothers deployed a multi-touch campaign costing an estimated $150 million. As expensive as that may seem, it contributed to box office sales of $165 million in North America alone, and a stunning $337 million globally. More impressively, it led to an undeniable media phenomenon that captured the attention of multiple generations all over the world. Bringing in external brand partnerships and a number of key influencer engagements, the strategy has already been called the marketing campaign of the year. Starting back in 2022, a promotional teaser image sparked conversation and anticipation of the movie even before production began. Leveraging a breadcrumb strategy, the campaign released incremental elements of the movie intended to spark curiosity and conversation. Blending paid media, like trailer placements, and earned media, such as social media buzz and user-generated content, the campaign took on a life of its own. Once the interest was piqued, the co-branding opportunities skyrocketed. From Barbie Dreamhouse-themed AirBnB rentals to partnerships with big brands like Progressive and Nissan everyone wanted to hop on the Barbie bandwagon. Here are some of the ways this campaign found success, and can be used as any go-to-market strategy.

Refined Messaging:

The Barbie brand has historically faced controversy around unrealistic beauty standards and women’s stereotypes. To reset how the world considers the iconic brand, Warner Brothers and Mattel needed to shift market perception to a more positive light. To appeal to mass audiences Barbie had to evolve into a more inclusive product that represented viewers of any age or demographic.  The story of Barbie had to be retold into one that promoted independence and various career trajectories Barbie was known for. The brand sentiment pivoted to a more positive light, showing Barbie as more than a stay-at-home Dreamhouse fantasy. One of the most famous taglines of the film, “If you love Barbie, if you hate Barbie, this movie is for you” addressed the past perceptions straight on. It openly recognized the history of Barbie and the fact that everyone has a unique and different relationship with Barbie. The tagline both tapped into and defied nostalgia, the marketing team’s willingness to use hate showed their willingness to break the rules. This further promoted the message that this is not the Barbie you think it is and inspire people to embrace the movie with an open mind that Barbie had evolved.

Breadcrumb Strategy:

Preparation for this campaign came long before the cameras started rolling to give small sneak peeks at the production that resulted in cumulative interest. Promotional teaser videos and social media images gave viewers insight into the film and the opportunity to join in on the conversation. People speculate over what the plot would center around, what the set design would look like, and how their childhood fantasies would be brought to life.

New 'Barbie' Teaser: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling Prepare To Exit Barbie Land – Deadline

Teaser campaigns are an optimal strategy, especially for lead-generation-focused campaigns. Take Bluetext’s work with the Thing Tamer campaign, a shortened promotional video was released in two parts to capture interest and drive people to landing pages to sign up for more updates. Ultimately users that signed up were notified when full videos were released, and when and where the event booth could be experienced. 

Leveraging AI:

Curiosity was a powerful tool for this campaign prompting the audience’s own engagement with the brand and movie. To create social media hype, the Barbie team employed AI tools to create promotional images that viewers could upload their own photos to create their own movie posters. This took off like wildfire across social media and various meme accounts, because it opened doors to letting anyone imagine themselves in their own personalized Barbie world. Customizable templates went viral, allowing users to show off their own creativity and version of “This Barbie does _____”. From famous celebrities to everyday people, the tool has been used over 13 million times since its release.

Barbie Selfie Generator uses AI to transform YOUR photos into movie posters - here's how to try it | Daily Mail Online


It’s no secret the power of nostalgia has taken over recent marketing trends, as it incorporated relatable elements that bring people back to happy memories of their past. Barbie embraced and defied nostalgia, preparing audiences for the unexpected nature of the movie. Tapping into a 60+ year legacy, the Barbie movie targeted older generations with memories of their favorite childhood toy while staying relevant to young girls buying and playing with the dolls today. The content marketing leg of this campaign was designed to unearth long-lost memories of playing with the dolls and excitement around the various versions while serving as an ode to how much Mattel has matured Barbie as a brand over the years. 

Co-Branded Collaborations:

Barbie tapped into the target markets of popular brands across multiple industries through the power of collaboration. From the obvious fashion and travel industry to more unexpected partnerships with home insurance and the automobile industry, the co-branded opportunities were endless. The unexpected partnerships were key for the Barbie marketing team because they allowed them to make a statement and defy expectations. This generated awareness of the movie amongst untapped audiences and created lucrative symbiotic relationships. From Microsoft creating a pink Barbie-edition Xbox to star-studded Chevy commercial ads, it became almost impossible to not notice the movie’s release. People in the market for travel luggage, or even home insurance, were roped into the phenomenon with limited edition deals and product releases. 

An Exhaustive List of Every 'Barbie' Movie Collaboration So Far

Barbie Xbox console & controllers | How could you get them? | Radio Times

Barbie's Malibu DreamHouse is back on Airbnb – but this time, Ken's hosting

So while this campaign may seem consumer-centric and out of touch for B2B brands, it serves as a valuable case study for any brand awareness campaign. Artfully blending new-age AI tools with deep-rooted nostalgia, and paid media with earned social media hype, the campaign succeeded in winning the heart of Barbie fans and converting previous skeptics into a new perception. Regardless of age, gender, or any demographic the campaign reminded us that with a little imagination and a pop of pink anyone can be a Barbie girl in their own definition of a Barbie world.

Ready to scale your own larger-than-life brand awareness campaign? Get in touch with the Bluetext team to learn more about various go-to-market tactics that can help your B2B brand take off.

Does The Ultimate Prodigy exist within your organization? Take this insightful quiz to uncover the digital orchestration conductor personas at your company. This quiz delves into the world of digital campaign strategies and uncovers your team’s strengths, whether they excel in data-driven research, social media engagement, content creation, automation mastery, experiential design, or if you employ an adaptable and versatile master in all aspects of digital marketing.



Looking to discover the different types of digital orchestration conductors? Check out our recent blog post detailing their traits and how they can best contribute to your organization to make the most impact.


In today’s business climate, companies face fierce competition to capture the attention of their target audience. To succeed, it is crucial to leverage multiple marketing channels effectively. Four key components of a comprehensive marketing strategy are SEO, Paid Media, Social Media, and Content Development. Here at Bluetext, the integration of these marketing strategies is known as digital orchestration. In this blog post, we will explore each of these services and discuss the benefits of hiring a marketing agency like Bluetext to manage them in an integrated fashion, maximizing your business’s online presence and driving success.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and organic search rankings on search engine results pages. A marketing agency can help businesses develop a comprehensive SEO strategy, including keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, link building, and content optimization. By achieving higher search engine rankings, companies can attract more targeted organic traffic, increase brand visibility, and establish authority in their industry.

Paid Media

Paid media involves running targeted advertising campaigns across various digital platforms, such as search engines, social media, and display networks. Bluetext can expertly handle the planning, execution, and optimization of paid media campaigns, ensuring maximum return on investment. By leveraging data-driven insights, audience targeting, and ad optimization techniques, businesses can reach their target audience, increase brand exposure, and drive conversions effectively.

Organic Social Media

Social media has become an integral part of modern marketing strategies. A marketing agency can manage a business’s social media presence across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. They create and curate engaging content, interact with the audience, monitor brand mentions, and run targeted social media advertising campaigns. Social media management helps companies build a loyal following, increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and foster meaningful customer relationships.

Content Development

Content development involves creating high-quality and engaging content that resonates with the target audience. A marketing agency like Bluetext can develop a content strategy aligned with the company’s goals, target market, and SEO strategy. This includes creating blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and other forms of content. Compelling content not only attracts and engages the audience but also supports SEO efforts, drives organic traffic, and establishes the business as a thought leader in its industry.

Digital Orchestration: Benefits of Integrating Marketing Services

By hiring a marketing agency like Bluetext to orchestrate these services in an integrated way, companies can enjoy several key benefits:


  1. Holistic Marketing Approach: An integrated approach ensures that all marketing efforts are aligned and work together synergistically, reinforcing each other’s impact and maximizing results.


  1. Consistent Brand Messaging: An agency can develop a cohesive brand voice and maintain consistent messaging across all marketing channels, enhancing brand recognition and maximizing customer trust.


  1. Efficient Resource Allocation: Outsourcing marketing services to an agency allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leveraging the expertise of professionals dedicated to driving marketing success.


  1. Enhanced Data Analysis: A marketing agency can provide valuable insights and analytics across all marketing channels, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their strategies for better performance and ROI.


  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Outsourcing marketing services to an agency can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team, as agencies have the expertise, tools, and resources necessary to deliver results efficiently.

An integrated marketing approach that combines SEO, Paid Media, Social Media, and Content Development can significantly boost a company’s online presence and drive success. By hiring a marketing agency that specializes in these services, businesses can benefit from a cohesive strategy, consistent brand messaging, data-driven insights, and cost-effective resource allocation. Looking for an agency to lead the orchestration of your digital marketing channels? Contact Bluetext today.

It’s common knowledge you don’t market to fit in, but rather to stand out. This used to mean simply a compelling headline, an eye-catching graphic, or a clever jingle no one can get out of their head. But as marketing mediums, standards, and placements have grown, so have the competitive stakes. While many marketers have shifted their mindsets from traditional placements (think signage, television commercials, newspaper ads) to more digitally destined formats, there is still significant value to what is known as “out-of-home” advertising, especially when all of your competitors are placing their bets on the search and social ads. 

What do we mean by “out-of-home”? Well quite simply, it’s any advertising that can be seen outside of a viewer’s home. It’s one of those terms that is best described as what it’s not, aka a television or streaming ad, any digital display ad (which yes, can be viewed outside of a home setting, but besides the point). Traditionally this included billboards, buses, posters, transportation station signage, street furniture, etc. But as we mentioned, competition is fierce, and unlike the digital ecosystem physical space is limited, therefore, driving price and competition. Hence, we’ve seen a trend in companies turning to more “out-of-the-box” placements to stand out. In this post, we’ll evaluate some of the unique out-of-home finds intended to stand out and make a memorable impression on viewers. 


Before we fully dive in, we must disclose that we are not advocating for the effectiveness of these ads. But rather an appreciation for the unconventionality of these strategies. In theory, advertising should hit viewers at a point of memorable positive experiences, which therefore will get associated with your brand. No wonder baseball park signage and billboards in proximity to popular vacation destinations are so popular. The viewer will remember your ad in conjunction with that great memory of a win against a rival or anticipation for a long-awaited vacation. So whether these out-of-the-box ads are associated with positive experiences is well, debatable. 

Fortune Cookies: 

Now here’s a neat one. Imagine you’re at your favorite Chinese restaurant and the check comes. Whether you’re superstitious or a little stitious, you must complete the standard ritual of cracking open your fortune cookie to see what awaits.

And what do you know? A little ad falls out. Now when the promotion makes sense, this actually can be quite effective. Look at Zelle for example, placing ads that specifically reference splitting a restaurant check at the exact time one may be dividing up the check amongst friends. Pretty clever call to action at a strategic time, but just make sure your audience isn’t getting jipped of the fortune they know and love.

Bathroom Stalls 

We must say, if there’s one place to capture a viewer’s singular eyeline and undivided attention, it’s in a public bathroom stall. What’s more in your face than a huge poster staring back at you in a public restroom? Or to really make a splash, take a cue from I Love You, Man’s urinal cake idea:

Forms Captcha:

The reCaptcha forms completion. We all love to hate it. But some brands, particularly consumer brands, have turned the obligatory submission request into a fun reinforcement of their brand messaging. Coca-Cola’s unique spin prompts a user to select an “delicious refreshing beverage” aka one of their products from the tile of images rather than unappealing taxi cars.

Kit-Kat goes a step further with an interactive element that asks users to drag a finger across their candy to “Have a break”.

Each of these examples serves to reinforce brand taglines and catch users off-guard with appetizing reminders of their product.

Airport Security Bins: 

Again, the premise of scrambling with your shoes and unpacking belongings in a crowded airport security line isn’t everyone’s favorite memory of the vacation. However, branded security bins when they make sense can be a clever way to catch a viewer’s attention and make them smile. Zappos for example takes a comedic spin on the frazzled shoe removal process with a reminder that while tying up your laces may not happen in a flash, their shipping speeds will.

Gas Station Pumps: 

Ever been slightly startled by a spontaneous jingle playing at the gas station pump? Yeah, us too. We must admit the logic is there. The viewer is standing face to face with the pump, undoubtedly bored and waiting for their tank to be filled. But alas, their attention is grabbed by a video ad for some product or service they weren’t previously thinking of. It could be powerful, but it could also be perceived as annoying or in these times associated with upward tick of their escalating gas price.

This electric bike example cleverly acknowledges the dread of rising gas prices by promoting a more environmentally friendly option. 

Looking to stand out in your marketing activation efforts? Whether that be through out-of-home advertising or digital media avenues, get in touch with Bluetext today to determine the correct media mix given your business goals and budget.

Got milk? Not in this generation. 

Anyone amongst the millennial and boomer generations recognizes the iconic tagline of the ‘Got Milk’ Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) campaign. How could you not? Back when drinking dairy was hot and featuring the latest and greatest celebrity endorsements children were downing dairy like no tomorrow. And their purchasing parents were fully on board with the cow milk craze. 

Check out Bluetext’s work with MilkPEP and Chocolate.

But fast forward 20 years and some may say dairy is dead. Dairy milk, at least, has been replaced in the rankings with an endless number of plant-based alternatives that promote various health benefits. According to the Pew Research Center, dairy milk consumption is down 20% among members of Generation Z — who range from ages 11 to 26. From allergy-free, vegan diets, to plain old tastes, there are infinite reasons why alternative dairy products have taken off in recent years. Whether it be soy, almond, oat, cashew, coconut, or even pistachio, the infinite varieties have flooded the marketplace with fresh-faced brands and highly competitive campaigns. Big players like Silk, Chobani, Blue Diamond, Oatly, and many more have used engaging and eye-catching brand campaigns that have ultimately won over millennial and Gen Z audiences. 

With milk drinkers dwindling, the dairy industry initiated a rebrand to bring the milk back into the fridges of American households. With the new GonnaNeedMilk campaign, the dairy industry is tapping into its legacy position and nutritional benefits as the “O.G. Sports Drink”. 

Yin Woon Rani, chief executive of MilkPEP, told the New York Times: “We have to reclaim milk’s mojo…We sometimes refer to milk as the O.G. sports drink, powering athletes for 10,000 years.” Specifically targeting athletes, particularly women marathon runners, the campaign serves to remind audiences of milk’s natural protein and essential nutrients through endorsements by star athletes, fitness influencers, marathon sponsorships, and more. 

Regardless if you’re team milk or team plant-based, this campaign is just one example of generational marketing and the nuances that come with every demographic. No matter what you’re selling, it’s paramount you understand your audience and the beliefs or biases they have adopted. Generational marketing uses age group segmentation to select communication tactics that each age group or generation is most likely to respond to. This can take the form of marketing channels, messages or campaign types. For example, a brand trying to reach Gen X audiences might opt for Facebook over TikTok advertising. Each generation uses technology and social media differently, and some have more brand loyalty than others. In any effective digital marketing campaign, careful time and consideration should be given to the following:

  • Defining your target audience 
  • Sub-segmenting your audience by distinct personas
  • Market research into persona behavior & decision making
  • Catering messaging & channels to specific personas 
  • Test, evaluate, and adapt strategies

While your campaign may have a broad goal and multiple audiences, it is best to start at the highest level and then work down the funnel to refine your strategy.

For example, studies reveal Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are less comfortable with technology, therefore trend toward brands they know and trust often promoted on more traditional channels. Customer loyalty programs and emphasis on company legacy are powerful motivators. Gen X on the other hand (1965-1976) is hesitant about change and innovation, preferring proven methods and frictionless adoption. They are most responsive to campaigns that play on nostalgic feelings, word of mouth, and user testimonials. Millennials (1977-1995) were the first generation exposed to modern technology, therefore they are more comfortable with social media marketing, user-generated content, and influencer campaigns. Despite having the broadest age range and variety of interests, most millennials share a desire for authenticity and brands that promote social and environmental causes. They aren’t opposed to multi-channel digital marketing targeting but value honest reviews and brands that support causes close to their values. Last but not least, the Gen Z group (1996-present) has a reputation for being tied to their mobile devices and being the most tech-savvy. They respond most to social media marketing, especially in the form of influencer reviews & short-form video content. They seek recommendations and validation from their peers, especially through mobile apps. 

With these preferences in mind, companies should always consider what outreach strategies are best fit for their user personas. And when multiple generations are thrown in the mix, it’s best to segment your campaign by platform or key messages to target these groups most effectively. For example, if you are promoting a new business software geared towards Gen X and millennial audiences you may want to run an email campaign targeting Gen X leads with the clear promotion of testimonials. But for your Millennial audience, you may want to set up a LinkedIn targeting campaign that promotes your brand values and user-generated content. 

Generational marketing can take many forms. And while key differences in channels and messaging exist and should be considered, there are similarities that can bridge your marketing strategies. Honesty and integrity are characteristics that consumers look for from brands, straightforward communication, and authentic reviews from real users are effective across generations. And while present across generations, there is a growing preference for personalized experiences and one-to-one communications with trusted brands.

Looking to enhance your marketing strategy? Contact Bluetext to learn about our campaign services and how we can help optimize your marketing efforts across demographics. 


Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. One of the most highly anticipated events of the year celebrated for being a uniquely American tradition drawing together viewers of all demographics from across the country. An impressive 113 million viewers, in fact, the third largest television program and highest digital viewership (7 million, talk about super-sized streaming) in history. For sports enthusiasts, it was a day to watch the Chiefs and Eagles play their hearts out for the Lombardi trophy. For Rihanna fans, it was an opportunity to enjoy a long-awaited concert from the couch. For marketing geeks, it was the night we got to see just what advertisers had paid the big bucks for — and this year, we mean big.

No matter the reason for tuning in on Sunday, the days that follow the Super Bowl are always full of discussion. Now, we’re not here to debate that holding call or relive that big half-time performance announcement. Instead, we’re taking a look at some of the main themes and most memorable moments of the Super Bowl 2023 commercials.

Lighthearted Tones & Humor

In contrast to previous years, a fun and amusing tone seemed to be the overwhelmingly popular choice for the commercials of Super Bowl 2023. This isn’t entirely surprising, given some of the current challenges facing the country and the heavy news cycle society has been stuck in lately. It seems that advertisers this year wanted to give people an escape, aiming to keep things light and get viewers laughing. As with any year, some spots tried- but failed- to nail the bit while others were clear, feel-good standouts. Our favorites? Miles Teller in Bud Light’s ‘Hold’ commercial, Ben Affleck working the Dunkin’ Drive Thru, NFL’s Run With It, and Bradley Cooper and his mom trying to make a T-Mobile commercial.


Nostalgia has been a popular marketing tactic in recent years and if Super Bowl 2023’s ads are any indication, that doesn’t show signs of stopping. Several brands were willing to bet millions that nostalgia would continue to land with consumers, as tributes to classic movies, iconic TV shows, and music legends from throughout the decades made their way onto our TV screens. Alicia Silverstone returned to her role as Cher Horowitz from the movie ’Clueless’ for a Rakuten cashback promo, Serena Williams and Brian Cox starred in a ’Caddyshack’ spoof for Michelob Ultra, and John Travolta sang a rendition of “Summer Nights” for T-Mobile’s 5G Internet service over 40 years after ‘Grease’ first hit theaters. A Workday commercial featured rockstars like Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Clark Jr., Joan Jett, Billy Idol, and Paul Stanley, an Uber commercial with P. Diddy took us down one-hit-wonder memory lane, and a throwback to more recent history, PopCorners put out a spot incorporating the cult classic show ‘Breaking Bad’

Brand Partnerships

One of the more unexpected moves we saw on Super Bowl Sunday was big-name brands teaming up for joint commercials. Will Ferrell walked through (literally) several of Netflix’s most popular original movies and shows in a commercial promoting both the entertainment giant and GM’s EVs. Beer brands also got in on the mix, with Bud Light doing a crossover with HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and Molson Coors promoting not one, not two, but three of their beers all in one entertaining spot that kept viewers on their toes.

Puppies > Celebs

We’d be remiss not to include this one. Much like many years passed, a large majority of Super Bowl commercials this year were jam-packed with celebrities, with advertisers like DraftKings and the others already listed above opting for a star-studded approach. However, not even female rap legend Missy Elliot or Gen Z heartthrob Jack Harlow could capture America’s attention quite like dogs could. According to the Wall Street Journal, two of the clear fan-favorite ads of the night were Amazon’s funny and all too relatable story about a family dog adjusting to post-pandemic life, and The Farmer’s Dog commercial that had pet lovers across America melting (if not crying). The lesson here? A cute dog will trump celebrities every time. 

While we can’t promise to steal the hearts of potential customers with an adorable puppy, Bluetext is no stranger to incorporating animals into brand activations that make people stop in their tracks (see our work here), creating bold campaigns that grab the attention of consumers (see our Varonis work here), or producing playful ads that strike a chord with your target audience (see our Thing Tamer work here). 

As a full-service digital marketing agency based in Washington, D.C., and specializing in everything from video creative direction and production to paid media planning and go-to-market campaigns, Bluetext is here for your every advertising need. Added bonus: there’s no $7 million price tag attached.

Kingston Technology is the leading global manufacturer of memory and storage solutions, but their IronKey hardware-encrypted portable data storage products were not as well known. Bluetext was specifically contracted to create a campaign that could educate the industry about the benefits of hardware encryption compared to software-encrypted, unencrypted, and cloud-based solutions. Centered around the specific hardware-based encryption, our campaign asks the rhetorical question of does anyone want their security to be ‘soft’?

The obvious answer being no, Bluetext focused the campaign concept around “Hard vs. Soft” things. Bluetext was challenged to figure out how to bring “soft” to life via 3D design. But how to memorably visualize this metaphor? A deep brainstorm by the Bluetext surfaced a quirky and nostalgic example almost anyone could relate to: Jello.

Behind the Scenes: Jiggly 3D Animation

Communicating the look and feel of Jello with its jiggly physical properties was a real technical challenge. Using Cinema 4D’s built-in Jiggle Deformer and Fracturing Objects, adding a little bit of smoothing and rendering with the built-in RedShift render engine in Cinema4D, we were able to get the look we were going for.

Jiggle Bells, Jiggle Bells

Does jiggling jello even make a noise?! We asked ourself this very question every day. We even made some jello (lime of course) and tested it out just to be sure. The answer is – not really. But that’s beside the point.

Sound design was a pivotal component of our concept. Essentially, didn’t want it to seem like the hard drive was exposing or stealing sensitive information. Also, with the international scale of this campaign (7 languages!), we couldn’t use a voiceover.

It was up to our sound designer to clarify the story of “jello safe, bad. IronKey, good.” Using a mix of digital, mechanical, tactile, and dystopian sound effects, our audio narrative both negatively reinforces software encryption and then victoriously reinforces how hardware encryption can save the day.

Designing the jello splatter portion? Let’s just say we spent some time in the “Gore” section of our sound library. I think our designer is still having some PTSD, but the end result goes hard, that’s for sure.

With 3D animation to support Kingston’s IronKey product, the campaign set out to break the mold of traditional cybersecurity campaigns. If you’re looking for some creative ways to shake up your campaign advertising strategy, contact Bluetext to learn about our video and creative services.