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The Brainy Insight for B2B


Our client, MediaMath, was looking for a #cutthru idea that would help them engage with senior marketers and ultimately lead to a conversation about programmatic digital ad buying. Their platform is called TerminalOne Marketing Operating System (T1), which enables marketers to leverage their data and third-party data in the planning, execution, optimization, and analysis of digital marketing campaigns using their proprietary programmatic algorithm known as "The Brain." 

We all know CMOs are extraordinarily busy people. They’re juggling strategic, tactical, managerial, vendor and customer challenges, all while trying to stay ahead of the curve. This is where Renegade saw the opportunity for a brainy introduction to MediaMath. 

We partnered with leading brain trainer Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains, to learn the best ways to keep your thinker ticking. At The CMO Club House during SxSW 2014, we introduced the concept of #TrainYourBrain, a triple threat brain treatment that would help keep CMOs at the top of their games.  

At SxSW, we gave CMOs brain food – dark chocolate to be exact – to stimulate receptors and activate the parts of the brain needed for deep concentration (not a bad treat if we say so ourselves!). Alongside the delicious brain boosting snacks were brain-training postcards containing puzzles and brainteasers to exercise critical thinking muscles.  

CMOs also had the opportunity to win a two-hour coaching session for their entire marketing team with Alvaro Fernandez. These sessions include all the exercises needed to maintain tip-top mental cognition specifically for marketing professionals. Other prizes included two free months of Lumosity, an online “gym” jam packed with brain exercises.  

With their demanding schedules, CMOs need to exercise their noggins so they can keep their schedules, tasks and campaigns all running smoothly. What better way than a few brain teasers, a healthy brain food and coaching? Our CEO, Drew Neisser, interviewed MediaMath SVP of Marketing Rachel Meranus about the campaign.


Train Your Brain is another example of “Marketing as Service,” enabling MediaMath to start a relationship with CMOs by delivering a substantive value rather than a sales pitch. Helping CMOs step up their overall mental game in turn opened the door to a deeper conversation about how MediaMath’s own “Brain” could help marketers make smarter digital marketing buying decisions. It's good to be smart! 


Twitter to Support More Embedded TV Content


In more Twitter news, the company’s interactive Amplify program welcomes a new client, television giant Viacom. Viacom will soon have the ability to deliver ad-supported video content from networks like MTV, VH1, CMT and Nickelodeon directly into the feeds of its followers. 

Taking another step towards brand-friendliness, Twitter launched Amplify to integrate traditional TV into the Twitter platform, allowing partners to embed real-time programs—highlights, trailers, promotional clips—into their tweets. These so-called “second screens” have the added feature of a frame that can host additional advertising content.



Viacom’s first use of Amplify will occur during the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, when the network will tweet real-time clips of the program to the Twitterverse…probably something along the lines of “Here’s a clip of Beyonce’s performance: what did you think?” “Check out Bruno Mars walking down the red carpet: how about that hair?” The conversation should be interesting, to say the least, and we’ll be watching.

What’s more, this kind of video integration may eventually open doors for smaller brands to directly embed their own video content into Twitter, interacting with followers in a new, meaningful way. 

Showgirls, Kate Upton and Burgers—Oh my!


Though the big game is days away, major corporations like Coke, Mercedes, Audi, and Carl’s Jr. have already begun playing the field for the hearts of the 111 million viewers. Aside from the earned media potential of blogs and publications picking up the story, what advantages does pre-releasing your ad have?

In the case of Audi, probably nothing! Their pre-released YouTube tab “Big Game” seemingly gives away their entire spot, which costs around $2.5 million per 30 seconds. There is additional content around the same theme available for viewing, but unless Audi has a surprise up its sleeve for the big day, it has already run out of gas.

Mercedes and Carl’s Jr. haven’t quite shown it all. @CarlsJr has posted a few tweets with images from the ad shoot with swimsuit model @NinaAgdal as an appetizer. The full TV ad surely won’t be short of saucy. Mercedes, too, pre-released their ad spot with Kate Upton getting her shiny car washed, which alludes that there is more to bare.

Coke seems to be the most inventive, taking full advantage of social media for its big ad. Visit and you can watch a pre-release video that sets the stage for the big day with cowboys, showgirls and badlanders racing to the land of sweet, bubble nirvana. Coke asks you, the user, to choose who will win the race and the final spot on the air—all you have to do is tweet your vote. The fun doesn’t stop there! Immediately in return, Coke sends you a tweet with the option to delay the contenders. This is a prime example of perfectly executed brand engagement that builds to the finale. When Coke’s ad finally rolls out on the big day, you can expect to see a hoard of tweets from enthusiasts rooting for their team. 

Stay tuned to @Renegade_LLC for the Big Game Ads reviews, live as they happen on Feb 3rd. 

Almost a Movie Review


“Ted,” the big box office hit from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, has captivated audiences in the theater and beyond.  The movie’s title refers to its star, Ted: a foul mouthed, womanizing, pot smoking anti-teddy bear whose punch lines could give you a black eye.  Watching an iconic childhood toy do things your craziest friend from college wouldn’t do is like that eTrade baby talking about personal finance: magical and brilliant in its unfathomable nature. Yet there is something deeper with Ted that makes him so effective.  Perhaps it’s that he represents the challenge of letting go of things from your past; of learning to take responsibility and be an adult. Or I could be totally off: I haven’t seen the movie. 


So how do I know so much about Ted or care about what life lessons he embodies? Because of a comprehensive promotional campaign that puts this wonderful, furry little jackass all over the place.  The marketers behind “Ted” covered all their bases, making smart social media moves and brand partnerships that all commit the voice and character of Ted to memory.



Ted is on Facebook with 2,027,292 Likes as I write this, and I’m sure there will be more in the next few hours.  Ted’s Facebook page provides fans with pictures, status updates, and more Ted-related content from other websites that is of interest to anyone who enjoys his humor, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie. One look at the Facebook page and you know Ted, as every post is loyal to his voice.



@WhatTedSaid currently has 283,524 followers on Twitter, and capitalizes on the one-liners creator Seth MacFarlane is known for.  The tweets are just like the Facebook posts in that they’re accessible even if you haven’t seen the movie, and unabashedly Ted.   




The partnership between AXE and “Ted” is brilliant for many reasons. First, the content is hilarious. Ted is a perfect spokesbear for AXE, whose brand voice shares a similar sense of humor.  On YouTube, “Ted” trailers immediately follow AXE commercials, which were also written and directed by MacFarlane.  The viewer is easily transitioned from one product to the other, a testament to the compatibility of the brand voices.  




A consistent brand voice is vital to the success of a social media campaign.  The voice of Ted the character is much more entertaining and understandable than the voice of “Ted” the movie would be if it didn't have a character to personify it.  While the Facebook page is clearly promoting the movie (users can buy tickets to see “Ted” via the page), users respond to the page’s content and the voice of the character in a far more interactive way because it does not feel forced.  Because “Ted” has the ability to market itself through its title character, it seems like more of a “friend” on Facebook than a promotional page.  The same applies to the Twitter account: because Ted the character is “responsible” for the tweets, there is no unwanted brand pushing or interaction between the movie and fans; it’s more personal and thus, more effective.  When given the opportunity, a character or avatar is a great way to connect with consumers in a social media campaign. 


The success of “Ted” is obviously not solely dependent on its social media campaign or viral web presence, but rather it proves that social media marketing done right can encourage lasting relationships between consumers and a brand.  People who have yet to see “Ted” or those who have just left the theater can have a connection with this movie, and more importantly, its bear, beyond the screen.   


Do you currently like or follow any movies or characters on Facebook or Twitter? Have you seen “Ted?” Tell us in the comments below!


- ENeisser 

Human, You Could Use Some Facebook Marketing Right About Now!


Last week, we learned that Facebook is introducing a new form of advertising — marketers can pay to turn what you read, listen to or watch into social ads, or Sponsored Stories, in your news feed, thereby tailoring ads specifically to your unique online behavior.

Facebook is currently testing this strategy with only a limited list of marketers. TechCrunch calls this a "win trifecta — more relevant ads for users, better conversion rates for advertisers, and more money for Facebook and its future investors."

The public may beg to differ. Since the news broke, references to Big Brother or those personalized ads in Minority Report ("John Anderton, you could use a Guinness right about now!") have already been made by Facebook users; it would be fair to say that this story inspires among many a feeling of being creeped out.

But let's not forget how Facebook has been used very effectively to humanize companies. It gives them a "face"...after all, isn't that what Facebook is all about? Using body parts as metaphors (hey, it's the middle of the week), here are some ways businesses are using the popular social media site to appear less like cyborgs in suits and more like your favorite drinking buddy John:


Companies are able to develop a voice on Facebook to connect with people. Aflac uses its mascot, the Aflac Duck, to great effect on its Facebook page, engaging users with irreverent humor. Social media can act as a Turing test to separate the androids from the humans (or aquatic birds).

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Facebook's wall is also a great place to respond to customer service inquiries. Did that 3D printer you just bought get jammed while you were printing cupcakes? Bob will take care of that for you.


Businesses are now privy to all that hushed water cooler banter. Being able to monitor what Facebook users are saying enables companies to generate interesting conversations about their business and customize their content according to what people want to see.


Encouraging creative ideas is an excellent way to engage users. Lenovo, known historically for its clunky business laptops, celebrates forward-thinking design with its gallery of flashy modded hardware.

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Corporations care! And they definitely want Facebook users to know. Diet Coke's page links to its Live Positively site, where users can learn about recycling, healthy lifestyles and school scholarships, and can even pitch in to save a few polar bears.

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How do you feel about Facebook marketing? Does it make companies seem more human to you?

— Julia Z. Zhou 

(She posts tech- and design-related stuff here)

Advertising week highlights (part 2)

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The most enlightening seminars from Advertising Week last Wednesday ad Thursday were the Wired Innovation Roundtable and New Thinkers… New Thinking. They covered the topic of how to create great ideas and make them actually happen in a social media world. 

Feeding creativity is sometimes a hard thing to
do, and in todays digital age it has to be applied just right to be
effective. One of the panel’s most interesting tips was not to fight
social media. People tend to reject it at first, but as a 
tool anyone can use it to advantage and it should be included in every company’s marketing
plan. Panelists suggested not adapting your brand to a social media platform but instead finding the
platform that fits best with your brand and goals. It is crucial to
simplify and make your page as user friendly as possible. You have to take risks. Without great risk there is no great reward. And most importantly don’t be afraid of failure, it will

happen and most great ideas spark from a failed one. Use your
non-successful ideas and spin them to a successful one.

My conclusions at the end of Ad Week about how

business is moving and what we should be doing:

1-      A purchase is all about the need to feel identified with a brand.
More than a purchase it is a reflection of who you are (or want to be)
to the world. If you achieve that relationship with your consumer you
will get consumer loyalty.
2-      To create this relationship it is important to use social media to
get a conversation going.
3-      If you as a brand tell a person to look at your ad they probably
wont, but if you get a friend to do it they probably will (word of
mouth on the web is key) Get people talking.
4-      Advertisers use to tell people what to buy and how to buy it.
Success today is listening to what the consumer want you to sell and
how to sell it to them.
5-      Make the purchase an experience, and make that experience as easy
and simple as possible (seemly effortless) but entertaining.
6-      Mix media, combination of resources and partnering with brands
opens your brand to new audiences.

Advertising week highlights (part 1)

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            So the first 2 days of advertising week have passed and I’ve attended some great seminars.  The scene is fun, people are very willing to interact and exchange ideas (in and out of the seminars), and advertising talk is everywhere. The central topic without a doubt is social media and it’s effects on the way we advertise today. 
            In the seminar “Winning the Marketing War” the different uses of social media as e-marketing tool were discussed.  Using social media to send out useful information to your client or consumer is a very effective way of spreading the message of your brand but a more effective use of social media is opining up those lines of communication with your consumer and letting them tell you what they think. It is crucial now to interact with your consumer and create a relationship where the brand has greater control to personalize the brand experience. Beth Comstock (CMO, GE) says that it’s all about getting the right people and “social media allows us to be accurate and target the right people at the right time.”  While we are still learning and it’s all about keeping up with the pace, Stephanie George (CMO, Time Inc.) concluded, “ We are marketers, we want every weapon in the arsenal to get a closer and closer understanding to the individual customer. Today our top guns are social media.”
            Each of the seminars I have attended so far have addressed this topic in one-way or another.  Getting inside your consumer’s mind (by Bravo) took a neuroscience approach discussing neuromarketing techniques for research in both social media marketing and traditional marketing. “Firing on all cylinders” debted the effectiveness of promotional products in combination with social media. Ogilvy in “Hire Giants” talked about how youth in the ad world is crucial because they are the people that live and breathe our social media world and understand it the most.
            Many different approaches to one big game changer. Most concluded that while traditional marketing and advertising is definitely not dead the key to success is finding a way to combine new and old strategies. Find new ways use these tools to our advantage and dare to be different.  For more info on Advertising week go to 

Tablet: Toy or laptop-succeeding tool?


describe the imageWith Amazon unveiling its Kindle Fire tablet today and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series garnering more than a few good reviews, the tablet is poised to become an established piece of tech rather than an Apple-only gizmo.  While the iPad started the craze, the success of other (but not all) renditions hints at future price slashes and app-tastic innovations.  Touch screens, intuitive layouts and petite proportions have the digital slates on their way to becoming a household item.

 But what type of household device will it be?  Will it be a work-home hybrid like computers and smartphones that serves both professional and personal purposes?  Or will it lean more toward the unnecessary-but-fun luxury category where e-readers, mp3 players and gaming consoles reside?  The jury is still out to lunch.

In June 57, percent of owners polled by Resolve Market Research reported that they used their tablets to supplant laptop applications, including work-related tasks.  These findings might indicate a laptop-tablet battle for computing supremacy, but another study has come to a very different conclusion.  A survey by Citigroup revealed that of 1,800 polled in the U.S. and U.K., 62 percent would purchase a tablet as a new toy or leisure gadget.  Only 18 percent reported they would use the device for work.

Of course these surveys cannot be arranged into an apples-to-apples comparison— the most glaring distinction being that one polled tablet owners and the other asked would-be consumers.  As more companies, like Amazon, enter the tablet club, the market dynamic will continue to evolve; only time will tell if and how the tablet will fit into the tech ecosystem.  

In the meantime, marketers would be wise to keep an eye on the public’s sentiments.  So far tablet ads have focused on versatility and ease of use, but should iPads, Kindle Fires and Galaxy Tabs become common office tools, those themes will need an upgrade.

On a lighter note, Disney’s upcoming Appmates for Cars points toward the toy (albeit awesome toy) category. Now all I need is an excuse to race Lightning McQueen at the office.

Nicole Duncan

The Corporate Cure


Free People's playful blog

The business section of Sunday’s Washington Post speculated that corporate curation is becoming a popular marketing campaign for many brands. The article, which had appeared on newspaper’s website six days prior, asserted that companies (particularly fashion and luxury brands) are assembling their own collection of Internet snippets.  These “advertorials” combine the affable voice of web editorials with the appeal of stylish ad campaigns.

The Post sited Louis Vuitton’s Nowness and the Harley Davidson Ridebook as two buzz-worthy examples of corporate curation.  Here are a few other brands that are dabbling in advertorials and unorthodox content development.   

What do you think of these editorial/advertising hybrids?  If brands are open about the information they’re curating, can they become key influencers?  Please leave comments below.

Free People – The whimsical design and joie de vivre photos echo the spirit of fun fashion bloggers— both stylish and accessible.

Cleanest Line – Patagonia’s blog reads like an adventurist’s journal with a bit of environmental activism sprinkled in the mix.

The IKEA Blog – With quirky comics, product demonstrations and even clips of “Futurama,” the furniture superstore curates creative and eclectic content.

Open Forum – American Express eschews the typical self-promotion of other credit card companies by including timely business news stories and tips.

Secret Life of a Benefit Gal – While this makeup brand spotlights its products, the down-to-earth demonstrators and nifty tricks are reader-friendly.

Nicole Duncan

When contagious is what you want


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As a common word, “contagious” usually conjures memories of never-ending flues, Hollywood thrillers (Contagion, anyone?) and that guy the subway who sneezed on you this morning.  But in the world of social media marketing, where viral videos, retweets and Facebook likes drive traffic, contagious is key.
Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella, author of the e-book, Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness, recently hosted a Science of Social Media webinar to further explain and promote his research.
Eschewing the “unicorn and rainbow” marketing defaults that are guided by what feels right, Zarrella sought to analyze the efficacy of social media campaigns using quantifiable methods and data.  Many of his findings can be compared to established scientific theories such as gene propagation and evolution.
Here are some of the highlights of his research.  You can watch the webinar in its entirety here.

  1. Retweets are like fruit flies.  Fruit flies reproduce quickly and in great numbers, but they have short life spans.  Elephants, on the other hand, take longer and have fewer offspring, but the have increased longevity. With regard to campaigns, you have to decide if you want short-term virality or long-term loyalty.
  2. Engaging in conversation is not the most important part of a campaign. Zarrella’s data indicates that it’s far more important to share interesting content.
  3. Marketing and zombies are the peanut-butter and jelly of audience reach. A combined relevance exists wherein two seemingly unrelated topics (like marketing and the undead) are popular within a specific group. Uncovering and attending to both subjects makes you more relevant.
  4. Embrace the weekends.  Zarrella maintains that posting content while social channels are quieter, like Fridays and weekends, can help you reach followers when they have more time and less information fighting for their attention.
  5. Kardashian is King… er, Queen. The New York Times has low clickthrough rates while the Kardashians’ rates are among the highest, making them the most influential users on Twitter.  In 10 years, we’ll all be pledging allegiance to Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.

 Perhaps the Marketing Zombies will save us.

Nicole Duncan

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