6 Ways Marketers Are Jumping on the Game of Thrones Brandwagon.

1. Jumping on the Game of Thrones #Brandwagon.  Here’s a look at how brands have been leveraging Game of Thrones in conjunction with this weekend’s Season 4 opener.

2. “Game of Social Thrones.” As fans of the show, we thought this mapping by social media dashboard service HootSuite was just too good.

3. Houses Imagined as Brands. I think the LogicTrail team could have done better, but, still — this is pretty cool.

4. Episode 1 of Season 4, imagined as taking place entirely on Facebook. Arya Stark has “poked” Polliver. See the whole episode as one long FB thread exchange, from start to finish.

5. “All Cookies Must Dunk.” File this Vine from Oreo under ‘shameless’.

6. Game of Phonesa card game you play with your smartphone (which, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the HBO show, other than the rhyme. Again, shameless.). Here’s a link to their kickstarter.

7 Things We Like & Don’t Like This Week in Strategic Marketing/Creative

And now, this week’s edition of 7 Things We Like and Don’t Like, featuring a heavy dose of fonts – and at least one mandatory Game of Thrones reference.

1. Font Men. The new documentary featuring font-creators and (former) collaborators Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones .

2. The Arrival of Ryman Eco – “the world’s most beautiful sustainable font“. We’re not TOTALLY convinced, but, still.

3. The Arrival of Comic Neue? While we’re on fonts … also not sure how we feel about Designer Craig Rozynski’s attempt to revive Comic Sans. Who neue Comic Sans could be this cool? (Sorry.)

4. “Game of Social Thrones.” As fans of the show, this mapping by social media dashboard service HootSuite is just too good.

5. The Shorty Awards were last night.

6. Potholes in Northampton. We do not like these.

7. Jumping on the Game of Thrones #Brandwagon. Okay, we just couldn’t resist one more Game of Thrones reference. Here’s a look at how brands have been leveraging Game of Thrones in conjunction with this weekend’s Season 4 opener.



Client Feature: The Alvah Stone

We are very excited to announce the opening of The Alvah Stone, a new restaurant venture from one of our clients.

AlvahStoneHoused in the historic Montague Mill building, The Alvah Stone offers authentic American food and drink in an atmosphere that’s both casual and modern. Creative, ingredient-focused food and a full bar serving regional craft beers, a broad selection of wines, and inventive cocktails. For all you folks in Western Mass, go check it out.

The kitchen and bar are open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:00pm, with seating overlooking the Sawmill River.

See menus & more on the site. We went to the soft launch Tuesday and we can vouch for pretty much everything. Especially the chicken biscuits.

Viral Watch: President Obama Goes Between Two Ferns (Or, Did We Just See the Pinnacle of Branded Entertainment?)

President Barack Obama has finally hit the big time.

No, just kidding. He was already pretty big.

But — if you’re not familiar with Between Two Ferns — the mock talk-show hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis — go watch a few episodes. (Now.)

Then get ready to have your mind blown by who shows up as a guest next.

So, why is President Obama appearing on Funny or Die? Before you write it off as a terrible use of presidential time, stop and think for a minute.

Who is Funny or Die’s primary audience?

18-34 year old young men. Or, as they are frequently called, “millennials.”

This is not just funny. It’s great marketing strategy.

Funny or Die, known primarily as a humor site, is increasingly specializing in this kind of marketing, or what we might call “branded entertainment“: soft-sell content that is designed to go viral. (Take, for example this campaign with Pepsi Next. Or Skittles.) Getting the POTUS to pitch healthcare.gov on its platform is a huge win for them.

But it’s a win for the Affordable Care Act as well. An opportunity to poke fun at the website’s well-known early flaws, while increasing awareness about the sign-up process among the target audience most impacted by the new law (and most crucial to ensuring its long-term success). Sounds good, right? It’s working.

As President Obama says to Galifianakis, ”It’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be with you here today if I didn’t have something to plug.”

Well done, Mr. President. Well done.

Announcing the Finalists for the 6th Annual Shorty Awards (Go Daenerys!)


We’re so glad it’s almost Shorty Awards season.

The annual award event, launched in 2008 by tech entrepreneurs Sawhorse Median, honors “the best brands, agencies and professionals on social media.” Today, they announced their finalists for 2014. Categories include “Best Brand on Twitter,” “Best Use of Animated GIFs,” “Best Viral Campaign,” and “Best Use of a Hashtag,” with nominees as diverse as Game of Thrones, Snoop Dogg, and Wheat Thins.

Check out a full gallery of the nominees here.