Just Allie http://justallie.com Yes, it really is just Allie. Mon, 29 Aug 2016 21:05:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.13 Hey guys, did you know Peyton Manning retired? http://justallie.com/2016/08/hey-guys-did-you-know-peyton-manning-retired/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:49:01 +0000 http://justallie.com/?p=2792 peytonreitred

Breaking news: Peyton Manning retired from the NFL. Or, why a great insight isn’t universally applicable.

The 2016 NFL Season hasn’t even started yet, but at least two brands want to make sure you remember Peyton Manning has retired in nearly identical spots. The first, from DirecTV, “It’s Peyton on a Sunday morning” promotes the brand’s Sunday Ticket offering, which allows subscribers to watch every Sunday NFL game live on any device:

It’s a smart campaign that stems from a really simple (yet powerful) insight: Peyton Manning has a lot of free time on Sunday now that he’s retired, which means he can take advantage of DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket. The campaign does a great job communicating DirecTV’s value proposition to consumers.

But the same insight doesn’t translate nearly as well to the other brand relying on Manning’s retirement for their campaign. In the Papa John’s spot “Cupcakes,” the VO comments, “you’ve gotta wonder what he’s doing on game day now.” Unsurprisingly, given the spot’s name, it has to do with cupcakes:

Apparently now that Manning has retired, he’s become a master cupcake decorator. Which has nothing to do with Papa John’s and selling pizza. The insight that Manning has more free time on Sundays is superfluous and wasted, and doesn’t benefit the brand. Why isn’t Manning making or delivering pizza? Manning actually owns 21 stores in the Denver area, so seeing Manning as a delivery boy or prepping pizza would have paid off the insight in favor of the brand in a much more compelling way.

Both of these campaigns were born from the same insight, but while the DirecTV campaign comes across as strategic and smart, the Papa John’s campaign falls flat. The difference is in the relevance of the insight to the brand’s value proposition. Retirement = more time to watch games on Sunday with DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket. This gives consumers a clear reason to switch to DirecTV. The campaign is logical, clear, and doesn’t require the consumer to “work” to understand it. But retirement = more time to decorate cupcakes with Papa John’s doesn’t work. It doesn’t connect the insight to selling pizzas in any way. The only reason this campaign has a chance of succeeding is that because it’s so quirky and ridiculous, it may stick with consumers. But it’s a waste of an insight and a waste of an opportunity.

Interestingly enough, both campaigns were created by Grey. I don’t want to overreach and assume, but it does seems like the same strategists worked across the two campaigns and simply recycled the insight. I don’t blame them for loving the insight– it’s really great, and I can understand why they’d be attached to it. But it’s not universally applicable and shouldn’t have been used for the Papa John’s campaign.*

It’s a great reminder for fellow strategists that we need to hold ourselves accountable and be rigorous in making sure our insight is not only truthful, but also relevant to the brand campaign we’re working on.


*I’m assuming the Papa John’s campaign came second to DirecTV… but if the insight was created with Papa John’s in mind, that’s an entirely different post.

images pulled from DirecTV and Papa John’s spots.

But do y’all really want to hear me talk? http://justallie.com/2016/08/but-do-yall-really-want-to-hear-me-talk/ Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:37:06 +0000 http://justallie.com/?p=2783 instagramsnapchat

“Do y’all really want to hear me talk?” An influencer (blogger?) I follow on Instagram posed this question in her first Instagram Story last week, commenting how she had never used audio on Instagram before. She then wondered out loud if her followers would think her voice was “weird.” Another influencer asked, as if in the middle of an existential crisis, “but do people who follow me on Instagram want to see me without makeup? I’m not so sure…”

Such are the tough questions in the life of an influencer. I kid, kind of. But in all sincerity, it was fascinating to hear both of these women ask these questions, for three reasons:

1. They were questioning the purpose of Instagram with the release of Instagram Stories. Both of the influencers are very active on Snapchat, which means influencer #1’s audience on Snapchat has heard her talk, and influencer #2’s audience had seen her without makeup before. But by asking these questions, it clearly shows that they use Snapchat and Instagram differently. Not a huge revelation, obviously (see image above), but with the introduction of Instagram Stories, the clarity of purpose of each channel gets muddied. Will their Instagram audience, used to highly curated, “perfected” images tolerate the off-the-cuff, imperfect nature of Stories? Or is it asking too much for the channel’s audience to adapt to a new expectation?

2. They were suggesting they thought their audiences on Instagram and Snapchat were different. If their followers hadn’t heard their voice, or seen them without makeup, respectively, then they don’t follow them on Snapchat. Which means the influencers are creating content for two different audiences. Sure, there is probably overlap between the two channels, but as the influencers suggested, the different channels and types of content helped to grow their reach with new audiences, not provide different types of content for the same audience. Now that Instagram Stories is available, will they provide their Instagram audience with the same content as Snapchat, or will they need to create Snapchat-esque content more tailored to their Instagram audience?

3. Their comments made me feel like they were tired of producing so much content. These influencers were used to posting one type of content on Instagram, and one type of content on Snapchat. Not to mention on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, etc. Now, Instagram is asking them to create even more content– which may be as simple as posting the same Snapchat story on Instagram given the believed distinction of the two audiences, but still, another action to be taken to stay relevant. Have we reached peak content production volumes? How much is too much? How much does one influencer need to produce to stay relevant with their audiences?


*image via BuzzFeed.

I Want My FacebookTV http://justallie.com/2016/06/i-want-my-facebooktv/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 14:25:15 +0000 http://justallie.com/?p=2772 153 million views and counting. Chances are you’ve seen “Chewbacca Mom” by now, Facebook’s most successful live video to date. And if you haven’t seen that particular video, chances are you’ve watched video (live or not) on Facebook recently; as of January 2016, 100 million hours of video are watched on the platform every day. Videos range from low-quality and user-generated to highly produced news stories, and it’s not crazy to think that TV shows will be the next videos to fight for your attention on Facebook.


1. Instant Articles. Publishers like The NY Times and BuzzFeed have already made the move to publish articles within the walls of Facebook with Instant Articles. This strategy has been a success, resulting in more shares and engagement for publishers. Consumers are less likely to abandon trying to read an article because of the faster load times with Instant Articles, and more people are likely to see the articles than if they had to navigate to the publisher’s website. A logical next step would be for Facebook to move beyond working just with publishers and host video content in a similar capacity.

2. The growth of digital series. Brands like the National Geographic Channel are already testing “digital series” on Instagram and Facebook. While these digital series are often shorter in length and considered a lead-in marketing effort to the “real” content on TV, brands are already heavily using Facebook to promote content. But if the viewers can already be found on social channels, why not put the “real” content on them?

3. The NFL. Twitter recently acquired the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games, showing a clear path forward for TV shows to migrate to social channels. The games will have a similar ad load to if a viewer was watching the game on TV, and it’s a test to see if replicating the current TV format and structure can work on social channels. (also, see above, re: putting “real” content on social channels. It’s happening)

Why not?

1. Nielsen ratings. Ad dollars. Status quo. Treating Facebook as a TV hub similar to a service like Netflix or Hulu is a departure from the industry standard, with ratings and ad dollars being a big hurdle to the transition. But Nielsen has recently started tracking viewership on digital streaming services, and while it’s not fully comprehensive yet (lacking mobile viewership), it’s opened the door to consideration for non-traditional sources to be included. Which also begs the question, who cares if it’s the old industry standard? If viewers are watching TV shows live or on-demand on Facebook, they don’t have any more of an increased propensity to skip ads than if they were watching on Hulu or Netflix. And if content providers can get more eyeballs on their shows by putting it in more places, isn’t that a good thing? More eyeballs = more revenue.

2. Attention spans, especially on mobile devices. True, short-form content is king on social channels right now, but consumers have shown they’re willing to not just watch, but binge-watch long-form content on mobile devices and their desktops. The shift that will need to happen is perception- rather than Facebook being a place to check status updates and watch one minute Tasty videos, consumers will need to adopt the habit of watching TV shows in a new destination. But that’s where the success of Instant Articles offers important learnings; Facebook has already proven that because it’s a platform where consumers already spend an (inordinate) amount of their day, embracing new ways to consume content isn’t an incredibly hard battle.


1. Data + Targeting! Hosting TV shows on Facebook would allow content providers to learn an incredible amount of information about their audiences. Rather than know how many households or people aged 18-49 tuned-in to a show, the level of detail about audiences could be much more refined. This would allow for content providers to fine-tune their promotions to reach specific audiences, as well as retarget viewers around the web.

2. Bigger audience potential. This is especially true for critically acclaimed, but low rated shows, or new shows trying to find an audience amongst the clutter. These shows could benefit from Facebook’s algorithm, and the potential to reach consumers who may be likely to watch based on their interests, but may not have found the show on another platform.

The verdict 

Granted, the why not’s are pretty strong given the entrenched establishment that is the television industry. But it’s an interesting space to watch– I’d be surprised if Discovery didn’t experiment in some way with Shark Week on Facebook later this summer, especially given how Facebook Live allows fans to interact with content… and viewers LOVE talking about Shark Week. I think it’s only a matter of time before we start treating Facebook like a new hub for television.


image source

I Lost My Wallet http://justallie.com/2015/04/i-lost-my-wallet/ Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:26:26 +0000 http://justallie.com/?p=2753 IMG_2273

For a terrifying five minutes last week, I thought I had lost my wallet. I was on the subway platform headed home from work, and I reached into my bag to put my metro card back into my wallet. It was late, and I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t pulled my metro card out of my wallet to enter the subway. Initial thought… panic! Everything is in my wallet! Second thought, oh wait… I remember leaving it at my desk, it’s safe.

Third thought… do I even need a wallet anymore?

I haven’t bothered to activate Apple Pay yet, because it never really seemed necessary. I always have my wallet! And I kind of hate the hype around Apple Pay. But “losing” my wallet made me to start to think about Apple Pay and how long I could last with just my phone. Which made me realize that so many apps I use already store my credit card information, and that I may not even need Apple Pay or my wallet.

So let’s pretend I lost my wallet (subway card included) for an entire day– what could I do (or not do) without cash, and without Apple Pay?


7:45 AM: Wake up only to realize I overslept. Scramble to get ready and check to see if Via or Uber has the shorter wait. Via wins today, but I need to top-off my ride credits. Swipe to add another $20, and run to meet my ride downstairs.

9:15 AM: Dropped off in front of Starbucks. Desperately need coffee, but realize my Starbucks balance is low. Add more money via PayPal so I can order a coconut milk latte and bagel.

9:30 AM: Try to get into work. Realize my office ID card is in my wallet. First fail of the day. Have to be buzzed in and mumble an excuse about leaving my ID on my desk to avoid the security guard’s glare.

12:00 PM: Lunch! This one’s almost too easy– it’s a busy day, so I turn to Seamless. Pull up my order history on my phone, and reorder my favorite salad from a nearby deli.

3:00 PM: Time for a snack. Convince my coworker to take a walk with me to Duane Reade, and explain that I don’t have any cash… and sheepishly admit I haven’t activated Apple Pay yet. She graciously agrees to pay for my snack, and I Venmo her back immediately (with emoji, obviously).

6:30 PM: Work day’s over, time for a workout. Uber wins over Via this round, and I’m on my way uptown. En route, a friend texts to see if I want to grab dinner tonight. I don’t want to admit to another friend that I’ve lost my wallet, so I open TabbedOut to see if there’s a convenient spot nearby. We’re in luck, and on for 8pm.

8:00 PM: Walk to dinner after a quick post-gym shower. Open a tab on TabbedOut, have a great dinner, and my friend is none the wiser that I don’t have my wallet.

10:00 PM: Time to call an Uber and get home. Decide to stop by the corner wine store, but my plans for a nightcap are thwarted when I’m asked for my ID. It’s in my wallet, not on my phone. I go home and call it a day.


In my hypothetical workday I only really had two needs: transportation and food. And although Apple Pay is more widely accepted, I would be fine without it (and my wallet) on a typical day given the plethora of apps that are also trying to crack mobile payments. But on a less typical day, I would need Apple Pay– if I were to go shopping at Bloomingdales, for example, I would be out of luck without my wallet or Apple Pay.

And there are still many industries that still only accept cash, credit, or (gasp) checks– the biggest of them being healthcare. You can’t have an emergency trip to the dentist if you’ve lost your wallet. (But to play devils advocate, you could possibly use an on-demand app healthcare app for a house call.) And then there’s the issue of an ID. Buying a bottle of wine, getting past the bouncer at a bar, or getting on a flight would be nearly impossible without a physical ID. And to my knowledge, there’s no alternative to the plastic, government issued ID you carry in your wallet yet. Iowa is working on smartphone drivers’ license, which could arguably be more disruptive than Apple Pay.

I see the potential with mobile wallets and payments, especially in-app transactions that Starbucks has pioneered, but I don’t think the transition from physical to digital wallets will be a quick one. For one, there’s the issue of “other” cards you carry in your wallet– like your ID and healthcare card. Then there’s the mental transition, which may actually be harder. I didn’t have my wallet for very long, but it felt weird… my bag felt empty, and out of habit I kept checking for a wallet that wasn’t there.

I also worry about how mobile wallets will increase mobile addiction. A few years ago, I tried to “ditch” my wallet in favor of a smartphone case with credit card holder. I found myself checking my phone constantly to make sure my cards were still in place, which led to more overall phone use. My phone was often the only thing I carried, which meant it was always physically on me… usually in my hand. Not good, right? A fully functional mobile wallet promises to do the same.

While I now see where and when Apple Pay would be convenient, I can’t really see myself choosing it over a credit card on a day-to-day basis. What I can see is my dependence on apps like Uber, Starbucks, and Seamless increasing, which makes me think we’re headed towards a battle similar to the native app vs. web app debate. When things like loyalty are in question, what makes more sense– a universal payment solution like Apple Pay, or an app-specific solution like Starbucks?

GigaOM Shuts Down http://justallie.com/2015/03/gigaom-shuts-down/ Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:25:48 +0000 http://justallie.com/?p=2746 Yesterday, tech blog GigaOM announced it would be shutting down. Today, the site published (what can be assumed) its last article… a sponsored post.

GigaOMI don’t know which is sadder– the fact that GigaOM is shutting down (can’t wait for all the think pieces on the state of publishing), or that the site’s last message to its readers is a piece of sponsored content.