Archives For Justin

Superbowl Blackout

The lights went out at the SuperBowl. That’s when things got interesting.

Twitter blew up. The 49ers actually made it a game. It was one of the best SuperBowls in recent memory, with the Ravens pulling it off in the end.

But the hero of the night was nowhere to be found on the football field. The winner of the Superbowl was an ad agency called 360i, based in Manhattan. They were the ones responsible for this fast-thinking gem for client, Oreo:

Oreo Superbowl Ad

Practically speaking, it took a 360i designer all of 15 minutes to create this ad. But the impact traveled far and wide (and everywhere in between). Here’s the original tweet from Oreo:

At publish time, it had garnered over 14,000 retweets. The exposure of this tweet is well into the hundreds of millions by now. I’d venture to say it will be one of the most cost-effective “ads” in SuperBowl history. A lot of bang for the buck.

What struck me wasn’t the ad. Oreo is notorious for creative, focused advertising, specifically with this campaign. What struck me was the permission culture Oreo must have to allow something like this to happen.

How does Oreo do it? 360i agency president, Sarah Hoffstetter, says, “You need a brave brand to approve content that quickly. When all of the stakeholders come together so quickly, you’ve got magic.”

Oreo has a culture where social isn’t just tolerated, it’s celebrated. In fact, it serves as a critical link in their marketing chain. The culture allows calculated risks to be taken with little risk and high reward.

Social is based on relationships, both internal (with staff, colleagues, leadership, etc.) and external (constituents, clients, customers, etc.). Social thrives in a permission culture. When social thrives, organizations win. Here are a few reactions from the web hailing Oreo’s originality:






I believe this is an inciting incident for organizations and social media.

Social isn’t just here, it’s now morphing into real-time media. One where organizations are able to respond to pertinent events in a responsive, real-time, as-they-happen fashion.

A few questions for you to consider:

  1. How prepared is your organization to respond should an opportunity like this arise?
  2. What would Oreo have missed out on if the real-time media team had to cut through layers of red tape to make this happen?
  3. Who has the permission in your organization to make decisions like Oreo’s social media team did?
  4. What’s your plan for social? If you don’t have one, what are you doing to create one?

Your answers will determine much about the direction of your organization. Are you ready?

We answer questions like this every month in my newsletter. JOIN HERE.

In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin shares this nugget:

We have no good way to measure connection or even talk about it … Boring and safe rarely lead to connection. Connection happens when humanity asserts itself. If there’s no connection, if the links aren’t made, then no art occured.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are high you’re an artist. By that I mean you create something: iPhone apps, blog posts, sermons, healthy meals for your kids, tax returns, or investment portfolios. This is the content of your artistry.

Art is now the medium through which connection is created. Connection with other people, through the content we create, is the essence of the new economy.

If you aren’t creating, you won’t survive. If you have no content to stand by, you’ll get passed over. The days of being a mindless cog are gone. What are you creating?

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Religious organizations have the highest email open rate of any industry, according to email research from

My theory is churches, synagogues, etc. place a high value on community engagement. Emails centered around the community, not the organization itself, do better because they answer the critical question “what’s in it for me?” (more on that in a bit).

When comparing email statistics from 669,419,234 sends, MailChimp discovered the Religion industry (48.6%), Manufacturing industry (48.1%), and the Photo/Video industry (48.1%) enjoyed the highest open rate. By comparison, the Daily Deals industry had the lowest open rate at 19.1%.

If you’re not seeing these results when you send your emails, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Here are five reasons why your emails aren’t measuring up to the average.

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