Cause Marketing – Cause it Matters

Is it part of your marketing strategy? Does your core consumer drive your brand to a cause related promotions?

Today’s analysis by paralysis mind leans towards option two. Here comes the pitch to the inner you. Everybody likes to feel good about a purchase having meaning beyond the buy. Even if it’s just a portion of the proceeds, or up to a certain amount is given in lump sum from the promotion. This giving from purchase makes heavy users feel content. So instead of letting data drive you to cause marketing why not be a leader and make it a priority in your plan.

Once that commitment is made you can then do the due diligence on what cause is the most appropriate charity for your brand. Lets talk about some interesting ways to raise money for a cause.  Have your brand own a portion of a property, and stretch your $ beyond just graphics on-pack, or a promotional offer.

Most studios’ have opportunities for props and costumes to used as prizes or used in their own on-line auctions. There are opportunities for brands to sponsor a cause movie offering featuring costumes and props. It allows you to use the movie on-pack and drive shoppers to your sponsored movie site. (whether that is your site or the studio’s- you are the title sponsor ) . Imagine your small (or big) brand is the lone driver of this shopper opportunity. Consumers go on line directed from your campaign. ( print,tv,on-pack,pos,online) and bid on items from the movie with all the proceeds ( or a portion ) going to your designated charity. You get to use the approved promotional graphics to drive your attachment to the film, and you own this great cause marketing opportunity.

Take it a step further you can use some of the costume/props to put on a retailers site so they may have the opportunity to raise $ and customize the promotion for their chain or cause. Now mix and match a bit, depending on the film. If you are in need of a seasonal opportunity pick a horror or holiday film and appropriate charity. Holiday and Toys for tots, Halloween and a blood drive/red cross, Black History month and the Dr. King memorial, you get my drift.

Charity starts at home. Yes with your brand, whether that film is tent pole or small movie your brand can be the king of the hill (or heart).


Social Media 2024

Social Media has become the quickest and easiest way of informing and misinforming your brand or promotion.

Our experts are constantly staying on of whats hot and whats not. This is a full time marketing job these days. The question becomes is your messaging getting lost and is it driving sales and profitability on your overall brand marketing.

Smart marketers know that the strategy behind your social media on how and why each platform exists and its DNA is more important than your tactics. Let’s chat!!!

Here are some predictions for 2024:

TikTok will takeover…. although like most social media there is a lot of trash being spewed the platform will only get bigger. It will influence more and framing your messaging to your Fan and the TikTok consumer needs to fit their expectations .

Be Real will be the grow app for 2024 as a new platform for full expression of your messaging.

Linkedin will become more than just a job ( and even business ) media outpost.

Social SEO will replace hashtags .

Closed Captioning will be a new feature to provide a new spin to a change agent audience.

GIF’s are out of control and most businesses will start with training their employees to communicate differently internally.

Small business will cozy up to creators with once again content being King !!!

Stories to Reels transition will enhance brand experience and interaction.

Social Audio will become hotter than clubhouse content.. with GenZ replacing user generated content..

The bottom line is truly where you want to play where the spend aligns with your expectation in sales and brand growth .

Contact us for idea’s to make social media work for your brand and your customers.

Douglas Haase
Haaseline Entertainment

Taking Back Ownership for Your Brand

Today’s business model contains so much 3rd party influence that it is amazing anything gets done. This rhetoric slows decisions and prevents risk taking. This becomes the downfall of many brands.

We have agencies who have little or no ownership to a company or its brands. Brand managers have been given full permission to put that trust in agencies to manage the day to day fiber of their assigned projects.

Taking back a brand comes with a full submersing of the manager to gain a full understanding of the companies agreed commitment to the Brand. Re-engineering that passion back into the marketing plan.

Much like players in sports, getting companies to pay to play for great talent and their commitment, needs to be the wave of the future. Brands are like children. A companies’ investment to surrounding those brands with proper health care, education and love is paramount. They must establish a strong foundation for the world of touch points that their brand will encounter.

Taking back brands means getting away from traditional methods and processes that your company has in place for success.

How many brand managers get in the field, away from management and really ask retailers (ceo to stock room), salespeople, and consumer’s for real time feedback?

How many brand managers pick up all the competitive products for their brand and ask the same audience what they think of those brands?

How many brands managers really understand where their brand fits into the company, retailer, and consumers needs for the entire category and total store sales?

Why would you give 3rd parties more responsibility for a brand than you yourself have?

Are we raising our brands like our children? A shelf of latch key brands!!

It’s time to take charge of any and all decisions on your brand. Stop just agreeing with the same old same old tactics and strategic processes. Stop check listing your brands marketing mix like you or your company has some perfect matrix for success.

Hey its Q2 , go back to your office shut the door and fall back in love with your brand, and after you have kissed and made up, change your mind to embrace your brand to withstand all classes of trade, pack sizes, budget cuts and competition.

Your time has come to renew your commitment and love for this Parent Brand …take your Brand back!

Don’t leave it at “Agency Day Care”

Tentpole Options by Studio for 2024

Haaseline Entertainment always loves to give our picks for tentpole efforts for each year. 2024 will have a full slate of winners and the box office should build strong momentum thru July just in time for Back to School.

As always we prefer programs that capture a theme and possibly include the Home Entertainment release. Integrated with a balance of Digital & Retailtainment based on your brand and budget. Our Choices are listed by Studio and Calendar.

Lionsgate – 9/27 – Saw XI

Disney/Marvel/20th Century – 5/24 – Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes , 6/14 – Inside Out 2 , 7/26 – Deadpool 3 , 11/27 – Incredibles 3, 12/20 – Mufasa :The Lion King

Warner Media – 3/1 – Dune 2, 4/12 -Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire , 5/24 – Furiosa: Mad Max Saga, 7/19- Twisters, 9/6 – Beetlejuice 2 , 10/4 – Joker 2, 12/13 The Lord of the Rings War of the Rohirrim

Paramount – 9/13 Transformers One , 6/28 – The Quiet Place : Day One , 11/20 – Your a mean on Mr Grinch , 11/22 – Gladiator 2

Sony – 3/29 – Ghostbusters : Frozen Empire , 5/24 – Garfield , 6/14 – Bad Boys 4,  8/30-  Kraven The Hunter , 11/8 Venom sequel , 12/ 13 – Karate Kid Sequel , 12/20 – Sonic Hedgehog 3,

Universal – 3/8 – Kung Fu Panda 4, 7/3 Despicable Me 4 ,  11/27 – Wicked, 12/29 – Nosferatu

There are many other great movies available, but these have amazing possibilities for a long and massive marketing event.

Please feel free to call and get promotional advice on these and other properties in 2024 at Haaseline Entertainment.

Digital Over TV and over all in 2024

If you don’t get on board and understand the dynamics of where the puck is going ( The great ones Wayne Gretzky’s greatest attribute ) then you will stagnate and brand opportunities will pass you by.

E- Biz is thriving with Amazon enjoying 6% grow to 49% of the online marketplace. Distant 2-6 are eBay (6.6%) , Apple (3.9%), Wal-Mart (3.7%) , Home Depot (1.5%) and Best Buy (1.3%) .

Since we are in apparel business and do marketing for that sector we are encouraged that this category still drives Amazons business model. Category is up +38% and is 15.4% of Amazons business!! Amazon does 38,5% of all online apparel.

I have been very critical over several years of the digital paths that several retailers have gone. They have spent the last 5 years focusing most of their efforts to position themselves for the digital future and have built a strong foundation.

My concern was their abandoning of retail marketing that got them to where they were. Now the path of the future is evident as Digital advertising surpassed Print in 2011 and will surpass mainstream advertising path forward.

Digital has won the battle, but its still going to take a balance of positioning in Marketing, and Advertising spending.

I continue to see that $’s are being spent out of control. The true value of this mix is still unknown from a knowledge base of the brand marketer sitting at the desk guiding their brand through their annual plan.

Workloads and lack of passion have crippled brand managers from fighting the media spend battle. Accountability has lacked with media managers and media agencies.

Step into a new normal of putting your brand where shoppers are vs where your product is sold. With mobile sales outpacing itself year to year , can you afford not to have a accountable mobile/digital advertising plan?

Its time for Customer teams, Brand/Marketing teams and Retailers/Buyers to demand full disclosure for their brand/categories in regards to media buys. Pepsi had announced a while back that they are putting marketing plans under the brands vs in the hands of top of house marketing and media buyers. This will allow brands to react on a now time reaction in the marketplace.

Allowing collective $’s going into an undisclosed chamber of horrors is a thing of the past. Waiting for announcements that digital or reach is better here or there is behind the times for the aggressive media buyer. Allowing $’s to go where relationship outweighs accountability needs to be policed.

Accountability will be the buzz word for the future of marketing. Get you house in order and watch you brand drive to the top in 2024!!

Properties vs Movies

Every year the opportunity of licensing is to gain support behind a single sustainable licensed property or movie that has new sustainable content,

A great example would be Universal monsters which has a rich history of being a licensed property for Universal Studios, but also has had movie opportunities.

Most recent release was the Mummy with Tom Cruise.  Numerous other movies with the Frankenstein/Wolfman franchises, and Van Helsing have been produce over the last decade. Dracula had been re-invented in 2014.  There was a movement to produce these classics under the franchise Dark Universe.

The question becomes which is better the licensed property or the movie property.

Certainly this issue arises for Marvel & DC also with 2-3 movies a year and licensed opportunities with their animated comic book characters existing also.

I prefer when a brand or company plays with all the licensed opportunities available and put the appropriate character with the right promotional opportunity.

For instance more all family brands can go to market with Movies , but kids brands may lend themselves better with animated brands or content.

Companies need to look at the entire opportunity available to them and studios need to sell a bigger portfolio opportunity, when available. Neither of these opportunities ever appear to be pursued because thats “just the way it is” I’m told?

Time to change the way to market. Get bold on your quests for licensed properties. Challenge studios to dig deeper into what they can provide in a broad marketing concept with all available content.

Find the company that wants to give you more breadth of line for the $ your brand is about to invest. Studios need to think about bundling creative winning programs , so that property can have life in between big movie projects. I never understand why the deal stops to pat each other on the back when so many other opportunities are available.

Think and promote BIG & BOLD!!!

E-Tailtainment the New Retailtainment

Remember when Wal-Mart was allowing anybody to submit new product video’s in a game like promotion for putting new products on the shelf. This was an interesting opportunity for Frito Lay in their recent Super Bowl programs, but is it the place for a Retailer? Pepsico has just announced putting marketing strength back into the brand managers to have the flexibility to react daily.

I applaud Wal-Mart for some out of the box thinking for retail of a Frito Lay rehash, but what does it say to your buying process for suppliers. Once again we have the Reality Marketing Dept. wagging the tail of this big dog.

I think E-tailtainment could be Wal-Mart’s next big idea. Its needs to have less retread tactics and true New York “state of mind” innovations.

Treating shelf space as a game show is not the way to extend the “My Wal-Mart” concept. Be what you are a retailer who has built its empire on an “item & price” merchant driven strength.

Tactic’s like this recent one tells me that strength doesn’t exist anymore. Someone can take the power of the internet with strong instore merchant marketing and capture a new breed of sales promotion.

For all companies it now comes down to hiring the right people to manage accountability to solid plans that can move on a dime

E-tailtainment … us to understand its full potential for your brand or retail outlet. Building an integrated approach to promotion and execution will allow brick and click to tick!!

Analysis Paralysis

KISS- Keep it simple.stupid!!

I remember as a brand spanking new marketing manager how much data was needed to move on promotional approvals.

I am not against data mining to make fact based marketing plans, however I never saw top of the house managers making big bold moves to market brands at scale in Entertainment.

Entertainments growth continues to grow domestic & globally, 15-20 movie theaters are opening a week in China. Spending and Calendars continue to fill with pop culture overload. Can you sit back and afford to not play?

Promotional ideas were formed and then brands would line up to see if it aligned with strategy or career plans. I say that tongue in cheek, because later in my career I’m sure I played the career marketing game. I don’t recommend it. When I see an opportunity to make a cost-efficient move vs. career decision I jump on it.

Let’s get back to the KISS point of today’s message.

Sometimes simple opportunities are offered in entertainment promotions that allow your brand to hitch on for a very cost effective ride. I am seeing a lot of green ($ opportunities) in the entertainment opportunities in 2024.

Kung Fu Panda , Minions, Incredibles, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice , Saw, Lord of the Rings , Godzilla/Kong, Planet of the Apes & Venom franchises all continue grow this year via streaming and theatrical to purchase. 

I remember working with Universal on the Hulk and leveraging great sales at retail via numerous brands. Some brands fought the need to tie-in with Hulk due to consumer data, but failed to see the impact from aligning brands in mass through the retail environment.

My point is brand managers and brands sometimes need to take their pride hat off and blend in and play their promotional role.

Colors like green, and in Hulks case big, powerful, busting out attributes can be leveraged via packaging, and promotional participation. The brands I worked with took part in all promotional opportunities from value packs to green colored versions of their brands. Then we tied into the biggest superhero of that time. Hulk and Oreo stacking led the way as other brands hung on for the exciting successful ride!!

One area we missed on during these scale events is activating low promotional spending brands in your portfolio. These benefits are available due to the high traffic you are driving to shelf and display. Brands that can’t afford package changes or deserve display space can highlight participation via shelf talkers or stick on offers.

I recommend the teams led by Jill Brody at Universal & Jamie Stevens at Sony to give endless support to have your portfolio sing in concert promotionally.

It may be as simple as color, size, or seasonal connections for your brands to participate at scale tied to a great blockbuster tentpole movie. 

Private Label and the Grab & Go Segment

Private Label has become a valuable segment in the brand world at Retail. Once looked at as a category, brand and profit killer, private label has continued to improve its quality,value and share over time.

Promotionally private label has slowly started to be approached by entertainment brands to start the process of integrating PL into promotions. This is very apparent where there is no CPG brands willing to come on board.

Home Video releases have recently partnered with private label (store) brands. Avengers had a co-program with Wal-Mart, BJ’s and others sharing the Marvel license with PL Pizza, water, etc.

We are currently creating a PL nacho kit/popcorn opportunity to fill the void in a Family Night Snack Solution with Home Entertainment via a pallet program.

Private label in todays economic times will continue to improve their share. Share for PL is 18-25% in grocery, 15% in drug and 2.5% in C-stores.

The grab & go business will only increase as shoppers increase packed lunches and that type eatting occasion. It will be a 40B opportunity in 2022, with sweets goods up +14%.

The election this year was won in the age group 19-30. That group is already being targeted by smart retailers. They are less influenced to buy in bulk, particularly where calories are involved.

The opportunity to create private label snacks in grab & go sizes is now! The opportunity to show major CPG companies the power of an integrated entertainment with private label brands is now.

Studios who use this marketing tactic as a means of growing preferred status with retailers will win into the future of brand promotions. Private label brands time to move into right size, and entertainment marketing is now. Studio’s should pick titles to focus against private label categories to open doors to national brand growth. Show national brands how maximize their entertainment marketing investment.

Let Haaseline Entertainment show you the Way! Call us for idea’s to build this growth opportunity!

Douglas Haase
Haaseline Entertainment