Read more: feeds.bet.com
Ah, holidays – the time of year all ecommerce businesses are impatiently waiting for. Their long, meticulous preparations will soon repay them with increased website traffic and sales revenue.
But the businesses who are going to be the biggest winners of the holiday season race aren’t just the ones who can simply manage the increase in customer enquiries and product orders. They are the ones who successfully capture the attention of their target audience and convince them to do the holiday gift shopping at their store.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is through email marketing campaigns. Not just any campaigns, though, they have to be creative, eye-catching, designed with the audience in mind, and sent at the right time. And that’s just the beginning.
Below I’ve gathered six holiday email marketing campaign ideas along with examples from brands who’ve managed to stand out in my inbox. Although this is an entirely subjective opinion, read on to find out the reasons why I think these campaigns are worth remembering.
Also, if you’re unsure about how you can make your emails feel and look special this holiday season, check out our latest holiday marketing campaigns guide. There, we’ve gathered some of the most creative ways you can build your list, craft your subject lines, and design your messages. No matter if it is for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas – your campaigns will look great!
Whether you agree with them or not, just let me know by posting a comment below this post. Perhaps you have your own favorite example you want to share with the rest of us? I’d love to see them!
Holiday Email Marketing Ideas1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]
Ideally, your promotional campaign should have been running for at least a week before the holiday festivity begins. Naturally, the closer to the big day, the more intensive your marketing efforts should be.
With the holiday just round the corner, some of your prospects might worry whether they’ll have their order shipped on time. That’s why you could make one last attempt to convert them. How? By offering free overnight shipping or running an “order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time” type of campaign.
ExampleFrom: PUMASubject line: Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping.
Here’s an email I received from Puma, morning before Christmas Day.
It’s a simple message that includes all the usual elements – a couple of banners, a few links to different secondary offers, a navigational bar, and social media icons.
So why is it so good?
If you’re anything like me, you’re usually running a little behind the Christmas schedule and doing the gift shopping at the very last minute.
And it’s not because you’re hunting for special deals, but because you either haven’t found the perfect gift yet or you haven’t realized that December’s passed right in front of your eyes.
This email was designed with this kind of audience in mind. The late shoppers.
It’s not overly complicated and it doesn’t have to be. It quickly communicates the offer that’s going to get you saved if you still haven’t purchased Christmas presents for your loved ones – Free overnight shipping.
The offer’s first mentioned in the subject line, then again in the preheader, and finally in the banner that’s centrally placed in the above-the-fold part of the email.
Besides the main offer, there are four other elements (secondary offers) that have been purposely emphasized. The sale event, gift cards, gift guide, and Holiday FAQ. All of these are crucial for anyone who’s running late with their holiday shopping, and needs to act quickly.
Although this isn’t the only email that I found in my inbox that revolves around the last-minute shipping theme, in my opinion it was the most effective one for the following three reasons:
It was quick to communicate the main offer, which is the free overnight shipping that’ll get you your order in time for Christmas.All elements of the email were used in an effective way – subject line, preheader, and the above-the-fold section all reemphasized the offer.It delivered value by pointing the recipient to the offers they’re most likely interested in, e.g. gift cards, gift guide, or the sale event.
To top it off, the use of the watch emoji in the subject line was a nice addition that made the email stand out even more in my inbox.
Another one that did catch my attention was this email from ASOS. However, their animated GIF and the *terrible* dad joke only managed to get them second place in this category.
Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Remember when and how your audience is going to read your email. Do they have much time to read through it? Or maybe they’re tight on their schedule and need to act fast? Use this information when designing your message and when it’s needed, go straight to the point with your offer.
2. Here’s your [holiday name] to do list
Holidays are a busy period, both for marketers and consumers alike. Most of us are turn back to the good ol’ pen and paper to put together all kinds of to-do lists.
But what can you do with this information as a marketer? For one, you can create a to-do list your audience will actually enjoy checking and going through.
ExampleFrom: BonobosSubject line: Welcome to the Holidays, People.
For this year’s Thanksgiving, I received a neat email from an online retail brand named Bonobos.
Unlike other messages I found in my inbox around this time, this one used hardly any visuals. All it contained was a white to-do list on a dark-gray background.
So why is it so good?
First of all, this email clearly stands out. When scanning my inbox, I actually closed the message first and then had to re-open it, just to take a second look at what I just saw.
Upon a closer look, I’ve noticed that this isn’t just a simple to-do list. At least not one that I’d expect to receive from a brand. It’s more of a list I’d create for myself, with added humor – for example, Memorize cousins’ kids’ names – and hyperlinks that’ll help me complete some of the errands, like Get something nice to wear for dinner.
The humor’s spot on. The copy looks like it was written by someone who understands the target audience very well. The email itself is really easy to scan and fun to engage with. Rather unusual, but I actually enjoyed going through all the points up to the very end of the message.
Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Stand out, be creative, engage your audience, and show them that you understand them well. Consider using phrases, abbreviations, or hashtags they use in their communication to make your marketing messages more authentic.
3. We do holidays our own way
When you hear the name Black Friday, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s probably one of the following: discounts, sales, or free shipping.
Most brands hop on the Black Friday bandwagon with the same approach. To sell more, by offering a better deal than what their competitors offer.
But what you don’t expect is that a brand you like will remind you about the mission that drives them. The mission that, most likely, made you choose them in the first place.
ExampleFrom: United By BlueSubject line: Why We Picked Up Trash Today
Below is the email I got for Black Friday from a brand that I follow – United By Blue. As you’ll find on their website, they sell responsible durable goods. What does that mean? In a nutshell, they sell products for people who care for the outdoors. And for every product they sell, they pledge to remove 1 pound of trash from the Earth’s oceans and waterways.
Now that you know their story, you’ll also understand where their email’s coming from.
So what’s the email about? It’s a message that explains why for this year’s Black Friday, they decided to do a proper cleanup. Oh, and they called it Blue Friday.
Unlike what you’d expect from a retailer during this time of year, the email doesn’t talk much about their products. Instead, it invites you to learn more about Blue Friday and how to host your own cleanup, and shows you the people who joined them for this wonderful project.
Not so surprisingly, they do also offer a special deal for their customers. But the information about their special sale is only available once you scroll down to the very bottom of the email.
So why is it so good?This one, again, comes down to understanding your audience and answering the question – why did they choose your brand in the first place?
With United By Blue, the answer is pretty simple. It’s because they make products for people who, like them, care about nature. How can they prove that their mission statement isn’t just marketing fluff? With their actions.
Having organized the cleanup and shown pictures of those who participated in it – which include their CEO and Director of Operations – they said more than any regular marketing newsletter ever could.
What’s more, their message is mostly about getting people to participate or even host a cleanup in their own neighborhood. The information about the sale they’re holding for Black Friday comes much, much later.
To sum up, even though this email arrived quite late, i.e. on Black Friday afternoon, it’s very effective. It managed to capture my attention and got me to read it all to the very bottom, where the information about the sale was placed.
Even though it arrived later than any other message I expected to receive that day, it sure made an impact and made me reconsider what I wanted to order for Black Friday.
Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: This may not work for everyone. But if you know your audience well, then you don’t need to use your main CTA button to lead to the sales page. You can focus on content and carry on with your mission, and your audience will follow you.
Are there any other brands that caught my eye because they were doing holiday marketing slightly different? Not many, but the one that has is certainly worth mentioning here.
The team behind Cards Against Humanity once again proved that they know their audience pretty well. Take a look at the following two emails and see for yourself.
Do you think any other brand would get away with closing down their store or simply collecting money to dig a hole nobody could ever find? I don’t.
As you can see, sometimes you don’t need to follow best practices to stand out. Quite the contrary, sometimes it pays off to be different, especially during the holiday season when the competition levels are at their all-time high.
4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon
Even though holiday sales last for quite long, some of us still have trouble finding something special for themselves or their loved ones. That’s why marketers keep sending them multiple reminders and last-minute emails, hoping to convert them before everyone goes offline to spend some quality time at the dinner table.
What if there was a way to make your email stand out from all the other reminders out there? Apparently, there is.
ExampleFrom: CasperSource: Reallygoodemails.com
Like the email from Bonobos, this message doesn’t look much like anything else you’re used to in your inbox. It’s what you usually see when you’re lying in bed, either going to sleep or just waking up. It’s an image that resembles your clock app.
When you look closer at the image, you see that each alarm has a special name. Along with witty names, you also find information about the super sale and early bird discount the brand’s currently offering.
Just as you’re starting to get slightly nervous that you might miss out on yet another deadline, you find a comforting message, just below the clock app. It says that you can rest comfortably and even sleep through Black Friday, as you can shop with Casper without even leaving your bed. All you have to do is go to the brand’s website and type in the code: SLEEPIN.
Why is it so good?Casper is a brand that sells mattresses for your bed. Although to some this may not sound very exciting, they’ve managed to make an impact with their marketing communication more than once.
This is one of those examples. What I like about this email is that it fits in so well with what they actually sell. Bed mattresses, clock app, multiple alarms set not to miss an important date, and finally a discount code with the phrase – sleepin.
The email’s relatively short and manages to quickly communicate that you can shop online, without ever leaving your bed. And of course, you wouldn’t want to leave your bed, even if it was for a great sales event like the ones you expect to see on Black Friday now, would you?
One more thing that makes this email campaign even greater is the second newsletter that comes after it. Even shorter, following the same principle, but this time aimed at people who – despite the reminders – managed to sleep through Black Friday.
What’s most interesting about this email isn’t the humor or its length. It’s the fact that they decided to extend the Black Friday sale beyond the one day.
This is something we’ve been seeing more and more often over the last few years. Brands seem to be wanting the Black Friday craze to go up until Cyber Monday or even later in the week.
Personally, I’d watch out not to discourage customers from shopping when prices are at their standard level, but this is something each ecommerce business has to decide on their own.
Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Make sure each element of your email reemphasizes what you’re actually trying to say. A good design can often help and deliver the message much quicker than words ever could. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about good copy.
5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday
When referring to the holidays, you might be thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, or maybe Hanukkah.
But, there are so many other holidays along the way. They may not be as popular as Christmas, but does that mean you can’t tie them nicely with your brand?
Marketers behind the email marketing campaigns for Casper would disagree.
Let’s take a look at some of their more creative newsletters.
Subject line: That extra hour, though.
This campaign is about celebrating the brand’s most favorite day of the year.
Curious what day it is?
It’s the Daylight Saving Time. Because you can sleep in, one hour longer.
And they’re selling mattresses, pillows, and everything else you need to sleep well.
Now isn’t that brilliant?
Besides the idea for the campaign, what stands out about this email is its design. As it’s always the case with this brand, their message looks beautiful.
It’s simple, contains a clear heading – in fact, the whole typography’s really good – and a single call to action button that says “Party on”.
The descriptive, humoristic CTA button is placed next to a discount code and an animated GIF alarm clock that makes the information about the 10% OFF discount impossible to miss.
Then finally, below the main part of the email body, there’s an additional link that lets you “Find a sleep shop near you”. Yup, not a store, a sleep shop.
One more thing worth mentioning about this email is the top bar, located just below the navigational bar.
It’s very subtle. It contrasts nicely with the email body and since it’s in the above the fold section, it’s quick to inform the email recipients about the latest offer.
If anyone’s just skimming through their inbox, there’s a chance they won’t read the whole email but they’ll see that top bar. And if it captures their attention and generates interest, they’ll definitely scroll down to learn more about the offer.
Subject line: New season? New bed.
Now I don’t want to sound like a big fanboy, which I may have just become, but here’s another great email from Casper that follows a similar line of thought.
It’s using yet another special time of the year, although not really a holiday, to promote their products.
In this email, Casper’s using the end of the summer and the beginning of “slumber” as the key idea behind their campaign.
Similarly to the previous message, we’ve got the top bar summing up the main offer (located above the fold), one single CTA button that says “Start hibernating”, and a nice image with flip flops and warm slippers that accompanies the whole offer.
The copy? We’ve learned to expect this kind of copy from them.
A slightly awkward rhyme (Summer, Slumber), “Sleepin’ season”, “Start hibernating” – all of these tie in with what their business is selling.
There’s no “buy now” or “start shopping”.
It’s more creative than this.
Everything is put together nicely. The email’s short and sweet.
Although the offer itself isn’t new or creative – just another 10% OFF discount – the email campaign just looks good and is a joy to observe in the email inbox.
6. Year in review
When preparing their marketing campaigns, most marketers focus on what they’ve got prepared for their customers. Their blow out sale, free delivery, contest, or new line of products.
Less often, they focus on their customers – what they’ve done and what they’ve contributed to.
“Year in review” is one of the less seen campaigns. Perhaps because it doesn’t scream “buy now” and maybe it doesn’t provide a big return on investment.
At the same time, from my experience at least, it’s one of the most engaging types of campaigns.
Is it going to work for everyone? Probably not.
It should work for brands, services, or SaaS platforms that customers really care about.
It’s not just about summarizing the products someone bought over the year – that wouldn’t work unless these products meant a lot for the customers.
Well, let’s see what it’s all about :).
Subject line: Thanks! Because of you…
Sevenly is an online retailer, that runs charity-themed campaigns and gives back part of their profits to those in need.
As you can read on their website, they pledge to donate $7 per purchase in their 7-Day Campaigns and 7% from their cause-themed collections.
So, every time you buy from them, you get that instant positive feeling that you’re doing something good.
The challenging part is that, over time, you may feel less motivated to help out in this way. Especially if you’re not seeing the direct outcomes, like what the money’s been invested in.
To counter this, Sevenly came up with this idea to send out a “thank you” campaign that summarizes just how much the brand and all of those who’ve participated in their campaigns, have contributed over the year.
As you’ll read in this email, in 2017 they’ve raised $4.9 million in donations, 1.7 million people helped them out, 2.4 billion free impressions were made for their selected causes.
Why is this email so good?
There are several things that make this email special.
It’s the idea behind the campaign. Summing up all the milestones can definitely help the customers feel that they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
The sender’s name, aka “from” name, also stands out. In your inbox, it says the email came from “Your Friends at Sevenly”.
If you’re trying to build a community, that’s definitely one way to do it.
As for the design, the email looks nice. It’s not overcomplicated, but the point of this campaign was to provide information to the recipients and thank them for their contribution. It’s not meant to sell.
So, although I can’t say much about the design, it seems to fit with the goal of this campaign.
Subject line: Everything you need to know about your year in music
Now, there are two emails I really want to show you.
Both of them were sent by Spotify, in different years – 2016 and 2017.
The idea behind them was to summarize everything the Spotify users have listened to over the year. The number of minutes, most popular songs, favorite genres, and so on.
By doing so, they wanted to engage the users, make them reminisce on the things they’ve listened to in the past and have fun analyzing it.
And I think they succeeded in this.
In fact, I remember that we’ve had lots of fun sharing the results with our colleagues over the last two years.
I bet it was similar in your office or among your friends, too.
Why are these emails so good?
First of all, I want to emphasize the differences between them.
Except for the most obvious – one’s in English (sent to my colleague), the other one is in Polish (that one’s mine).
The idea behind them was slightly different.
The 2016 one summarized and placed everything in the email. The 2017 one directed you to a landing page where you could have generated the results once you’ve logged in to your account.
I guess the newer one is better for Spotify in terms of activating their users and getting them back to their site.
The other one, however, is more complex and I appreciate it more, mainly because it used dynamic content to personalize the experience for their users.
Other than that, both of them are very nicely designed.
The more complicated one especially, given how different the results could have been for each individual of their customers.
I have to say, aggregating this amount of data and using it to personalize the content for their user – great. Making it pretty at the same time – awesome.
I’m sure this idea could work just as well for other brands. In fact I’ve seen Grammarly, Google Local Guides (example below), and Tripadvisor send out similar “summary” emails.
Unfortunately, they still have a lot to improve, if they want to be as engaging as this inspiring email from Spotify.
What else should you try for your holiday marketing campaigns?
Marketers try different approaches to deliver value to their audience. Depending on who they’re communicating with, the tactics they pursue will vary.
Here are a few more examples of email marketing campaigns that, in my opinion, worked pretty well. Without going into much detail, take a look at how effectively they’re using animated GIFs and product recommendations based on the price range.
Your next step
If you want to learn a little more about running successful marketing campaigns during the holiday season, we have something you might like.
We’ve prepared a Holiday Marketing Campaign Guide, where we’ve gathered tips on how you can build your email list and make your newsletters more effective this holiday season.
Want to learn even more? Watch the Great Holiday Marketing Campaign Ideas webinar recap!
And here’s a surprise for you :)!
If you’re planning your holiday marketing campaigns, make sure that your communication’s synced across your online marketing channels. To help you make this process easier, we’ve actually developed an app that helps you create animated social media posts with ease.
Check out Beam, promote your brand and stand out on social media this holiday season!
The post 6 Inspiring Holiday Email Campaigns and What Makes Them So Good appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.
Read more: blog.getresponse.com
January 5, 2019Greetings lovely ones! Welcoming you to one of many weekends of wedding inspiration we have planned for you over the next 12 months! It’s so good to be back sharing inspiring content with our community of brides and grooms. Now, whilst I’ve never believed that you have to wait for New Year to make changes […]
Read more: lovemydress.net
The popular Spanish super club and restaurant will be importing its renowned brand of vibrant nightlife first made famous in Madrid and on the Mediterranean beaches of Barcelona and Marbella with its first UK debut.
Opium London is the fourth venue, and first international location, to a portfolio of world-class nightclubs and restaurants owned and operated by Barcelona-based hospitality group, Costa Este Group, who own a plethora of trendy hotspots including the renowned Pacha Barcelona. The group has been defining the nightlife scene, and was recently awarded ‘Best Nightlife Business Group 2018’ by The International Nightlife Association.
Opium London is situated in Soho’s cosmopolitan Trocadera district, which is currently seeing a revival with a slew of hot new restaurant and club openings. The venue combines the benefits of a restaurant, bar and nightclub where guests can enjoy dinner and then party into the night to the unbeatable electric atmosphere from some of the world’s top international DJs and musical artists.
Already Opium’s other locations have welcomed world-famous artists and DJs including the likes of Tiesto, David Guetta, Avicci, Armin van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold, Steve Aoki, Black Eye Peas, Jason Derulo, Kaskade, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and more! The London outpost is expected to attract the same level of talent and deliver an upscale nightclub experience offering premium hospitality.
Covering an expansive 1,000 square meters with a capacity of 500 people, the venue is sleek and modern with futuristic LED lighting installations. Reflective black marble floors, comfortable white leather booths, and glowing purple art deco light displays create a lux environment as if you were partying inside an amethyst jewel box.
Hosting 90-seats the restaurant is led by Portuguese head chef, Diogo Amara, who has envisioned a menu of Mediterranean cuisine with Japanese influences drawing upon his experience working at London’s top restaurants including Novikov and MNKY HSE. The food menu is an upscale dining experience for the discerning London customer, with a menu split into a seafood and raw bar menu of fresh sushi and sashimi, while offering a selection of popular Mediterranean favourites.
Meat and produce are sourced from top international suppliers with signature dishes including Mediterranean inspired dishes such as Grilled Scottish Lobster for Two served similarly to a traditional paella dish with peppers and chips, Chicken and Foie Grois Cannelloni, Spanish Ibérico Ham, and a trio of Wagyu Beef Sliders with three different dipping sauces and high grade beef sourced from Australia.
The forward-thinking head mixologist has created something for everyone even vegans! Pitch of Earth is a vegan-friendly cocktail that has a charitable spin – so you can feel good about ordering as many as you like because it’s for charity! Made with Elephant Gin, an altruistic gin brand that donates 15% of its profits to The African Elephant Foundation, the cocktail incorporates healthy superfood ingredients such as fresh ginger, beetroot and lime juice with refreshing maraschino and green apple liqueur for added fruitiness.
The cocktail menu also offers fun and creative twists on popular cocktails with no short supply of high-end tequilas and mezcals. El Patron is a twist on the most iconic cocktail – The Margarita. Blended to compliment the sushi menu this cocktail combines Asian elements such as wasabi and yuzu lime with agave syrup and Patron Tequila.
Sangaree Fusion #1 is another spin on the Spanish classic – Sangria. The Calvados has been infused with spices including clove, cinnamon, star anise and orange peel. The mix of cherry liqueur and spices added to the red wine over ice makes it ideal for enjoying inside when it is cold out.
With a roster of impressive international DJs, high-tech modern interiors, a killer cocktail and great food menu, Opium is on track to make its mark on the London nightlife scene with more international openings on the way!
Opium London Fact Sheet
Location: 9 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DG
Official Opening: December 2018
Proprietor: Costa Este Group
Reservations: [email protected] or +44(0)2034320205
Club Capacity: 500 people
Restaurant Capacity: 90 seated
Friday & Saturday: 11pm–3:30am
Sunday – Thursday: Closed
For PR & Press Inquiries Please Contact:
Read more: restaurantnews.com
Today we have a PR haul (free stuff) and giveaway! Ft Christmas gifts and new makeup! What did you get for Christmas?
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This is one of those rare inspirational stories that begins with a tweet. If you have spent any time in the space known as Bike Twitter, you know that most of what goes on there is playful smacktalk or sarcastic grousing or tribal communion. It’s not often that a sizeable act of philanthropic community is launched there.
But that’s exactly what happened in December. It started with a tweet and ended with scores of needy kids being gifted a new bike over the holidays. It started with a spontaneous pact between two people who never had met in real life and ended with dozens of people who believe in the power of bicycles chipping in to get the job done.
This story really started a couple of decades ago — I’ll get to that shortly — but this dramatic chapter opened on December 12. That afternoon, someone tweeted out a link to a story about Andrew Whitworth, an offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, who showed up at an elementary school in Watts, a historically embattled neighborhood of Los Angeles, and gave every child at the school a new bicycle. The story contained a video of kids in a state of shock and delirium. Some just stood still, profoundly stunned, while others stomped on the ground with indescribable glee. Two weeks before Christmas, these youngsters were gifted an iconic symbol of freedom, a shiny new bike.
These kind of stories can stir emotions on social media, but it did more than that for Hong Quan and Amanda Batty. Quan lives in the Bay Area and is the founder of Karmic Bikes, a start-up that designs and markets e-bikes. Batty is a professional downhill mountain biker (and firebrand writer) who recently relocated from Utah to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both of them have large hearts and big mouths and decent sized followings on Twitter.
“Someday, I want to be able to do this,” Batty tweeted. “Like Oprah and her cars, but me and lots of bikes.”
Quan replied later that day. “Wanna play Bike Santa for us?” he responded. “You find the kids, we give them bikes.”
Let’s do this.
— amanda batty (@theamandabatty) December 13, 2017
With a matter of hours, Quan and Batty sprinted across the divide from pining to planning. Both had deep feelings about the meaning of Christmas bikes that they never had discussed, so instead they talked about logistics. It was a week and a half before the holiday and there wasn’t really time for backstory.
It seemed like they were on the same page. Quan was going to buy the bikes and have them shipped to New Mexico, and Batty would find a good home for each of them. Knowing that the endeavor would cost her new partner real money and that she’d need to find worthy recipients in her new hometown and coordinate bike building and other logistics, Batty figured they could hook up a couple dozen kids.
“How many kids are you thinking about?” she asked Quan as they exchanged messages.
“I don’t know — how about 200?” he replied.
Batty laughs about it now, but she admits her heart skipped a beat. Maybe there was a quiet moment of panic. How the hell was she going to find a couple hundred kids in a matter of days, figure out sizing for each of them, and then manage the logistics to get all those bikes built and distributed? She didn’t know the answers to any of these questions. And she was new to Albuquerque. Still, her gut said to do it.
“Sure, that sounds good,” she replied to Quan.
And just like that, they were off to the races.
One happy secret Santa
Quan, a veteran of the tech industry, lives and works in the heart of Silicon Valley, surrounded by affluence and possibility and privilege, but he came from a very different place. The life of an e-bike entrepreneur is full of financial challenges and frequent tests of willpower and sanity, but Quan appreciates how far he has traveled in life.
He grew up in tenement housing in New York City. He was a political refugee from Southeast Asia. “I certainly haven’t forgotten what it felt like to grow up poor,” Quan says. “And being a refugee is a different experience than being an immigrant. We didn’t come to America by choice, we had to go there because of a big-ass war in Vietnam.”
Quan’s family lacked the resources to buy Christmas presents, but every year he and his siblings would each get one present from a local church. “It was typically the only big gift I got each year, and I had no idea who gave it to me,” he recalls. “I guess that made an impression on me.”
As a young, poor Vietnamese refugee living in a Brooklyn tenement, Quan longed to be a normal American kid. It was a tough ask. That’s part of why he wanted a bicycle so badly. “I knew it represented fun and freedom, but I also was aware of how a bike could mark me as a regular kid. Especially if it wasn’t some banged-up, poorly sized hand-me-down.”
I can feel the emotions rattling in Quan’s voice as he describes his past. “Yeah, there’s no doubt the whole idea of Christmas bikes feels very personal for me,” he says, describing how he dipped his toes in the water a year ago, donating about a dozen Strider Bikes to needy kids. “I already had been thinking that I’d love to scale this up when I’m older and richer and more ready. I thought it’d be cool to somehow give away one kids’ bike for every e-bike Karmic sells. Well, we’re not yet in a position to give away that many bikes, and I’m certainly not rich yet, but I guess I realized I’m ready to do more.”
— Hong (@Quan) December 20, 2017
Quan sure as hell seemed ready. He called an acquaintance at Micargi, a company based on the eastern edge of Los Angeles that wholesales bikes to Walmart. “I remember the conversation I had,” he recalls. “I said ‘Hey Julie, can you help us out? We need 200 bikes next week.’”
When one poses such a question 10 days before Christmas the answer should not be taken for granted. But Julie said sure, and a few days later 202 bikes were sitting on pallets outside Micargi’s distribution center, ready for shipment.
Quan remembers the emotions — of satisfaction and renewal — when those bikes hit the road to Albuquerque. “I felt like one very happy secret Santa.”
A familiar understanding
Batty has a backstory, too — one, like Quan’s, that involves poverty and longing and the magic of bicycles. Her childhood unfurled in rural Utah with six siblings. “We were desperately poor,” Batty says. “My mom sewed our clothing and we struggled to grow our own food and my dad worked multiple jobs.”
To compound the challenges, Batty struggled with medical problems as a child and often was in the hospital. “So for a variety of reasons, getting and riding a bike wasn’t super realistic,” she says.
She fantasized about getting a bike that would be hers. “With so many siblings and so little money, nothing ever was mine,” he says. “In that situation, you don’t really own things as a kid — you just use them and then pass them on.”
That’s why what happened when she was four left such an impression on her. An uncle and her father took an old kid’s bike that someone else had outgrown and thoroughly overhauled it. They cleaned it and painted it and personalized it and then gave it to Batty. “It was the first thing I ever owned, the first thing that was mine,” she says. “I was so thrilled.”
Three years later, Batty learned an arguably bigger lesson. She had outgrown the bike and wasn’t exactly eager to give away her only prized possession. Her father told her that no one would force her to part with the bike. But eventually, she handed off the bike to a neighborhood kid. “I still remember how thrilled that girl was to get the bike,” she says. “That has stayed with me, how it felt great to get the bike and maybe even better to give it to someone else.”
Batty also felt a strong urge to give back to her newly adopted hometown. Soon after she moved to Albuquerque last fall, her car broke down, and riding around the city gave her a sense of the depth of need there. “It’s fucking heartbreaking,” she says. “I could ride around and see the huge reservation population, the vast numbers of people living below the World Health Organization’s global threshold for poverty. New Mexico is the land of forgotten people, there is so much need here.”
Deep hearts and wrenching skills
Tony Gradillas says that when the first text message came in, he didn’t even know who it was from. It was someone asking for immediate help connecting a couple hundred bikes with a couple hundred needy kids.
Within minutes, he figured out it was Batty — they knew each other, but she had recently changed her number — and within a few more minutes, he’d agreed to help.
Gradillas, a former shop owner and mechanic who knew Batty from North Valley Bike Park, a BMX skills facility in Albuquerque, has a deep network in the region’s bike community. And he tapped into it immediately.
To state the obvious, you need more than money and a couple of passionate leaders with topically heartrending stories and a few crates of boxed bikes to pull off a stunt like this. You need a village; a village with contacts and deep hearts and wrenching skills.
The most immediate challenge was finding needy kids to take all those bikes that were heading eastbound. That’s why Gradillas called Terence Eaton and Brandon Baca.
Eaton, who also knew Gradillas from the bike park, is a firefighter at Kirtland Air Force Base. He immediately started outreach to identify needy families on the base. “People have this perception of military brats, of kids who have everything taken care of, but there are a lot of families here that are really struggling,” says Eaton. “If someone dies in service and their spouse isn’t in the Armed Forces, the benefits for these single-parent families just aren’t enough. There are single moms on the base who have to start over and it’s rough.”
Baca, who calls Gradillas a “friend of a friend,” has made helping refugees his life’s work. The need is virtually infinite. It’s likely that right now more people worldwide are displaced by war and violence than at any previous moment in human history. Despite all the political rhetoric about the issue, relatively few refugees get resettled to affluent Western nations like the United States. But still, the needy trickle in. Baca, who coordinates the Refugee Well-Being Project out of the University of New Mexico, says that Albuquerque absorbs about 250 to 300 refugees a year.
He immediately got to work to identify about 110 kids who could best benefit from the gift of a bike. This required a fleet of interpreters — Baca was reaching out to families from Syria and Afghanistan and African countries such as Rwanda and South Sudan.
The needs in this community are staggering. Resettled families are given four months of support before they’re expected to be self-sufficient. They even need to reimburse the government for the airline flight that brought them to America. Kids who don’t speak English, or the proper way to hold a pencil, are suddenly sitting in an algebra class while their parents race to find employment in a strange land. Baca said most of these children don’t have bikes, but some ride beaters to school.
“Many of these kids have never experienced anything but instability and extreme poverty,” says Baca. “Most of them have never been given anything of value in their whole lives.”
Baca and Eaton worked their networks. It was easy to find need but far more challenging to chase the specifics they needed. It was only a week before Christmas.
Still, less than 48 hours after Batty first texted Gradillas to ask if he could help find kids who needed bikes, he got back in touch with the pro racer. He had a list complete with more than 200 names.
It is not possible to describe the efforts of everyone who helped get so many bikes in the hands of so many kids. People who donated time at a busy time of year to lift someone else’s spirit. People who did little things to make a big thing happen.
But recounting the contributions of a few of these volunteers offers a window into what went down. Take Eaton, the Air Force firefighter, who arranged to take delivery of all those containers and find a place to safely store them. He convinced the transportation department on the base and local National Guard to lend a hand with a forklift and physical labor. He found 35 of the neediest families on the base to help. He built bikes and helped find way more people to build bikes.
Workers at Trek Superstore. Toni and Gordon pic.twitter.com/UHkGkOFH11
— David Candelaria (@DavidCandelari5) December 29, 2017
Gordon Phillips got involved, too. He’s a retired military officer who went to mechanic school and now leads a non-profit that does bike repairs for homeless people in Albuquerque. He called up the manager of the local Trek Store and assembled a crew of eight guys, most of them retired mechanics in their fifties and sixties, and got to work building bikes. The Trek Store gave them space in the sprawling basement and stands, and in the span of a few days the crew built about 100 bikes.
“We could have built them faster, but we took the time to put slime in every tire,” says Phillips. “There are tons of goatheads around here and we didn’t want the kids to wind up with flat tires on their first ride.”
When describing the scene in the Trek Store basement, with a bunch of older guys working long days to wrench bikes right around Christmas, Phillips is effusively positive, noting how people brought their dogs to hang out and how Batty kept coming by with pizza and beer. “Bicycle people like nothing more than introducing other people to riding, especially kids,” he says. “We’re all people who ride relatively expensive bikes but want to give back. Especially around Christmas, it’s nice to get stuff, but even better to give stuff.”
Gradillas says that all told, about 22 people helped build the bikes. Another local shop, Bikeworks, built 30 or 40 bikes and mechanics and riders with the JAM Fund pro cyclocross team, which happened to be in the area that week, built another 15 or 20 bikes. Gradillas has a buddy who works for UPS, and the company donated three trucks, two drivers, and a manager to transport bikes from the base to shops and back to the base — as if UPS didn’t have a lot going on around the holidays.
Although everyone on the ground in Albuquerque is quick to give credit to Batty for her organizational and motivational skills and her raw energy, it’s also clear that others took the ball and ran with it. “I honestly tried to be on the periphery, to challenge people to make a difference and then be a kind of middleman,” she says. “It was incredible to watch how this community rallied.”
Quan paraphrases Harry Truman in his assessment of how this small army handled all the logistics to place and build more than 200 bikes in a matter of days: “It’s amazing what people can accomplish if no one cares who gets the credit.”
‘The best and most important thing I’d ever done’
Due to a snafu with the one element that Quan and Batty and their minions could not control — the shipment of the boxed merchandise from California to New Mexico — the bikes could not be built and distributed before Christmas. (Quan is relatively tranquil recalling the futility of the expedite fee he paid on the shipment. Dealing with shipping headaches is part of the human condition for those in the bike business.)
But within a week, 210 bikes had been given away (Batty acquired eight additional bikes to accommodate some taller-than-expected kids with the help of Bike Twitter), and the scene at these exchanges suggests that a slight delay did not diminish the impact of the gesture. In the span of a few days, Batty was present as shiny new bikes were given to children whose families had fled conflict in Syria and South Sudan. She saw kids from struggling military families get new bikes, too.
Batty chokes up describing the emotional scene at the base as 120 bikes were given away one day. Some kids just displayed outright glee. Others had to be convinced that they wouldn’t have to share their bike with siblings or other children. One child nervously asked if he could exchange his blue bike for a red one and then stood there in disbelief when his request was honored. Kids were laughing and crying and hugging their mothers as they had had experiences for the first time that most of us take for granted.
And then there were just kids riding bikes. Children pedaled awkward circles around a soccer field and lobbied to have training wheels removed and otherwise began to discover the wonder of bicycles. “I watched those kids cruise around the soccer field and I just couldn’t stop crying,” says Batty. “It just felt like the best and most important thing I’d ever done.”
Other volunteers who were present at these giveaways were similarly moved. “I helped this single mom who just had no way to get three bikes for each of her children back to the house,” Eaton says. “I don’t think I’ll forget the look on her face and her daughter’s face as the three-year-old girl pedaled around on her training wheels. Incredible.”
Gradillas couldn’t help but notice the way so many of the African families reacted to the new bikes. “It just seemed obvious that even the kids see bikes as more of a tool than a toy,” he says, though noting that some of the young recipients were attempting jumps within minutes. “Some of the parents asked if there was any chance they could get a bike, too.”
And Baca, the refugee advocate, was struck by the symbolism of the gift to children in that population. “I was happy to see kids acting excited, but I was even happier to seeing kids get a chance to act normal,” he says. “These kids really do dream to have some of the same things and experiences as their peers and this gave them a chance to do that.”
‘It changed my life’
A month has passed, and though Batty and Quan are back to their normal routines, something has changed. I talk to them on the phone about it, the first time they’ve actually spoken to each other on a call. Both of them have faced recent stresses in their personal lives, and this collaborative project clearly means a lot to both of them.
We talk about social media — after Quan says he spends hours hanging out on Bike Twitter and Tech Twitter, Batty jokes that she splits her time between Bike Twitter and Rabid Feminist Twitter — and the platform can allow real friendship and genuine positive acts to blossom.
Both of them insist that this project is more the start of a cause than the product of one. “I’m pretty sure that everyone who got involved in this project got more out of it than they put into it,” Quan says.
He talks about his business, selling e-bikes and reintroducing adults to the joyful sensations of riding a bike, and how this act of charity aligns with his business motivations. “I’m definitely thinking about wanting to sell more bikes so I can give away more bikes.”
Batty is likewise inspired to continue this kind of work. “I hope I changed some kids’ lives, but I know it changed my life,” she says. “And there’s more to do.”
The post Cycling Santas: How 200 kids in need were gifted a two-wheel holiday surprise appeared first on CyclingTips.
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Following several heavy tech years in experiential marketing, 2018 served up a rich design story. Creatives flexed their muscles to better integrate technology into design. And while in years past, marketers would check “photo activation” off the list of mainstay touchpoints in events, this year, more so than any other year, events in their entireties became photo activations, like Hollywood sets designed at every angle for optimum social media sharing and filming for content.
Of course, an industry that constantly evolves doesn’t close a year out with only one headline. Many more trends, strategies and case studies helped shape 2018—and will no doubt inspire planning for the year ahead. Now, time to pop a few bottles and toast the top experiential trends of the year. Cheers.
—Rachel Boucher, Kait Shea
1. BRAND HOMES
The design story of 2018 played out in brand “homes” and immersions, both in b-to-c and b-to-b events. MobileIron took its annual show for software and IT professionals, MobileIronLIVE, out of the ballroom and into three private homes across the country in markets with concentrations of customers: a New York City townhome, a lake-side Austin estate and a mansion in Bel Air. Breakouts took place in bedrooms, keynotes on patios and expos in grand foyers. Absolut’s luxury SKU Absolut Elyx this year entertained influencers and industry executives with events at a private brand mansion in L.A. transformed into rose golds, plush fabrics and other on-brand aesthetics. “… It’s about creating this idea of a differentiated culture,” said Miranda Barker, the brand’s director-trade & brand aesthetic. A cultural immersion, for sure.
2. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
You’re more likely to see smartphones light up an event than the stars, but in 2018, many brands swapped inside events for experiences in the great outdoors, or in other cases, erected natural environments within the walls of their events. Timberland’s promise to create or restore 500,000-square-feet of green space in U.S. cities resulted in a pop-up park experience, and the transformation of a rooftop greenhouse into a living roof in 2018. L.L. Bean, meanwhile, erected external work environments, like a glass-encased office space activation in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. And then there was Salesforce, whose 40,000-square-foot indoor “campground” at Dreamforce featured rock and mountain installations, real trees and next-level ambient sounds from the wilderness. Mother Nature must be proud.
Watch Salesforce’s campground come to life:
3. S’WELL SWAG
According to a survey conducted by experiential marketing software company Splash, 47 percent of millennials go to a branded event because of swag. In 2018, there’s a very high chance said event swag was in the form of S’well water bottles. The items were distributed to consumers at everything from top trade shows, to South by Southwest, to Fashion Week, to Comic-Con. Our small team of editors alone collected at least a dozen branded bottles in the last 12 months. Eco-friendly… brand-able… they’re just too hard to pass up, even if the suitcase could use the room.
4. AR EVENT INTEGRATIONS
Augmented reality hit its stride in 2018, prompting many brands to take the plunge. AR-based apps helped retailers create incentives to visit their brick-and-mortar locations, social media campaigns fueled by Snapchat’s AR filters got consumers sharing and even b-to-b brands hedged their bets on the technology. Among our favorite use-cases: American Express’ Super Rally experience in which US Open fans rallied digital tennis balls against a physical target on a life-sized screen; HSBC’s World Economic Forum lounge, featuring a Smart City AR model that offered an exploration of the brand’s sustainable finance initiatives with a tablet; and Visa’s Shooting for the Stars FIFA World Cup experience, which entailed a cutting-edge soccer engagement experienced with AR headsets. Quite a “reality” check.
5. HYPER-LOCAL TACTICS
Marketers leaned heavily on micro-communities in 2018. Uber at festivals across the country enlisted local musicians who drove with Uber to perform impromptu concerts in their markets as part of its traveling Uber Radio Live program. MINI in June created a hyper-local mobile tour as part of a cause marketing program benefitting New York City’s Sing For Hope, which raises money for arts and music programs in public schools. The nonprofit placed 50 pianos painted by local artists and celebrities, inviting passersby to play—and share. MINI helped spread the word by creating a 51st piano that sat in the back of a MINI Countryman and traveled the five boroughs, activating impromptu concerts like a “traveling music box.”
6. CSR ADVENTURE
The volume of CSR and cause marketing initiatives went through the roof in 2018, benefiting brands, the environment and vulnerable communities. A standout, The Home That Runs on Dunkin’, was a tiny house activation designed to promote sustainable practices. The experience, which played on the brand’s “America Runs on Dunkin’” slogan, featured a stylish structure that literally ran on eco-friendly biofuel from 65,000 pounds of used Dunkin’ coffee grounds. Other unique initiatives included Country Time’s Legal-Ade fund to help kids’ sanctioned for erecting lemonade stands and Chobani’s digital fruit tree in Grand Central Terminal, where consumers interacted with an installation by “planting” virtual seeds corresponding to a Chobani SKU—for every virtual seed planted, Chobani donated a case of yogurt to No Kid Hungry.
7. STREETWEAR CULTURE
Most event marketers have become all too familiar with merchandise “drops”—markedly hyped-up events that reveal limited-edition fashion collections, which typically sell out within hours—thanks to the amplification of streetwear culture. Whereas streetwear enthusiasts were once thought of as a fringe community, live experiences are thrusting streetwear culture, which encompasses a fusion of fashion, music, street art, skateboarding, self-expression and even a political component, into the mainstream. Large-scale events like Hypefest, which was designed specifically to engage streetwear enthusiasts, cropped up , while one-off activations like adidas Skateboarding’s re-creation of the Venice Pavilion (California’s legendary graffiti and skateboarding site) at the Beyond the Streets graffiti exhibition also garnered plenty of attention. Consider this trend a “one to watch” in 2019.
8. EVENTS WITHIN EVENTS
Marketers are combatting competition in the booming conference space by co-locating other events within their events to add value, expand their audiences and generate differentiated content into the program. In the b-to-b world, eBay this year co-located its eBay Top Seller Summit within its annual eBay Open show as a pre-conference with an awards night—then, merged the two audiences for the larger Open event. Each group benefited from the other’s presence. The consumer event world is taking note, too. Sephora for its Sephoria House of Beauty weekend created an Instagram museum-style event with sampling, complimentary services and entertainment as well as a conference within the event that offered attendees master classes by celebrity stylists and influencers.
Photo courtesy: Andreea Robescu
The esports space continues to expand as more brands this year carved out a niche for themselves and took advantage of sponsorship and engagement opportunities. In November, the U.S Army launched two “competitive outreach teams” and an official esports team of Fortnite players in a move to create awareness about jobs and opportunities within the service. Former NBA pro Michael Jordan in October announced a $26 million investment in Team Liquid. This summer, while the physical FIFA World Cup tournament took place, FIFA launched its first-ever FIFA eWorld Cup esports competition. And Ford in September became the first brand to launch a vehicle at a gaming event—at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany—with a 4D race simulator activation. The vehicle is featured in the new Xbox game Forza Horizon 4. Esports in 2019? It’s go time.
Watch Ford launch the new Raptor with a 4D race simulator activation:
While 2017 heralded the rise of the modern women’s movement, 2018 saw action on behalf of the movement, especially in events. It began with the all-male lineup of keynoters at the Consumer Electronics Show, which led chief marketers from Fortune 500 brands to call on CES to #ChangetheRatio. Twitter created its own keynote at CES called #HereWeAre hosted by cmo Leslie Berland. As such, marketers fiercely focused on creating diverse panels and content at shows. For Cisco, this included expanding its one-day Cisco Empowered Women’s Network at Cisco Live into a four-day-long event with its own highlighted track within the conference that was open to everyone. And that’s a key insight for 2019: marketers will find more ways to bring groups together to network and solve problems, which is what events are all about.
The post Year in Review: The Top Experiential Trends and Strategies of 2018 appeared first on Event Marketer.
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HERE IT IS: my natural, dewy, fresh-faced everyday ‘no makeup’ makeup routine for the winter! This video was VERY highly requested, and now it’s finally here lol! Check the products I used, down below 🙂
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› Milk Makeup Blur Stick: http://bit.ly/2kQjJEf
› Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in ‘7.5’: http://bit.ly/2kQ61kX
› Beauty Blender: http://bit.ly/2kERcQ1
› Glossier Stretch Concealer in ‘Dark’: http://bit.ly/2k0dkax
› Glossier Boy Brow in ‘Black’: http://bit.ly/2llxJDj
› Jane Cosmetics Belashed All-in-One Mascara: http://janecosmetics.myshopify.com/products/belashed-mascara
› Stila Aqua Glow Water Color Blush in ‘Shimmering Lotus’: http://bit.ly/2llsseS
› Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in ‘Kitten’: http://bit.ly/2k0d8Il
› Glossier Generation G in ‘Crush’: http://bit.ly/2llp8Af
› Catrin Natural 100 Mineral Sunkill SPF 42 PA++ (I could only find the SPF 46 PA+++ version): https://us.memebox.com/product/6023
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Kumusta! My name is Asia and I’m a beauty/lifestyle vlogger and actress based in Los Angeles. On my channel you’ll find: skincare tips & tricks, fashion videos, korean skincare reviews, lookbooks, healthy food videos, weekly vlogs, and more! Click here to subscribe: http://bit.ly/1MLCooV
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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LONDON—Noting that making a difference would cost less than a single cup of coffee, the Against Malaria Foundation released an advertising campaign Friday stressing that even one dollar could help a needy child, but you’d have to be a complete fucking dick to give that little. “For just one dollar out of your…
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