#SNL takes aim at Super Bowl’s political ads – "Cheetos…"


A small number of brands saw Super Bowl LI as an opportunity to share where they stand along the political spectrum in light of Trump’s charged rhetoric.  On their February 11 episode,  Saturday Night Live took some of the most noteworthy commercials from the Super Bowl telecast to task, especially those using immigration-related themes.

In addition to Budweiser’s founder story, 84 Lumber’s “The Entire Journey” commercial depicted the immigrant struggle, albeit each focusing on very different circumstances and time periods.

The building and construction supplies company’s ad featured the border wall, a Trump campaign promise to curtail illegal immigration. The commercial shows the arduous journey from Latin-America to the U.S. of a mother and young daughter. As the two arrive at the border, they encounter what seems like an insurmountable obstacle – a very tall wall.  In a twist, a large wood door allows the travelers entry.

The emotional ad provoked a strong reaction from those on opposing sides of the immigration issue. Some saw the ad as encouraging illegal immigration; others as a reprieve to the anti-immigrant sentiment so evident during the presidential campaign. But 84 Lumber’s CEO Maggie Hardy Magerko told People Magazine she supports Trump and his immigration views, and did not actually intend to take a political stand. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/02/07/chief-84-lumber-speaks-out-super-bowl-ad/97583534/

So, as the SNL parody suggests, brands do not necessarily espouse the political views depicted in their ads, but are looking instead to capitalize on the ongoing social media conversation around political issues which often results in instant twitter buzz, webpage hits, and earned media. Nothing more. Neither Budweiser nor 84 Lumber have revealed any corporate-level immigration-related initiatives, unlike many of Silicon Valley companies that depend on immigration for key talent.

For now, it appears that 84 Lumber and Budweiser were successful in cutting through the clutter of a less-than-memorable batch of Super Bowl ads.  Whether there will be any long-term positive (or negative) brand impact remains to be seen.

“Hard cut…Cheetos”


Keys to Achieving Customer Service Excellence – UTEP P3 course

customer-service-300x213Keys to Achieving Customer Service Excellence – UTEP P3 course

“Customer service excellence leads to consumer evangelists” – the importance of this statement for start-up businesses, business owners, retailers and managers in service industries will serve as the starting point for this course. The entire customer service process will be discussed, identifying areas most likely to result in service failures for various industries. Service recovery strategies and the role of social media in the customer complaint process will be explored in depth. The role of logistics, management and marketing strategy in achieving excellent customer service will be discussed.

Hands-on exercises will allow participants to identify customer service strengths and weaknesses at their own organizations. Guidelines for establishing a systematic customer feedback program will be offered as a starting point for customer service excellence.

Dates: October 2-9, 2013
Meets: W from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 2 sessions
Hours: 5.00
CEUs: 0.50
Location: Miners Hall, Room 301
Instructor: Norma Mendoza
Fee: $99.00
Workshops: Workshop Listing

Everything Small Businesses and Start-Ups Need to Know About Social Media

Course offered by Dr. Norma Mendoza via UTEP’s Professional and Public Programs
September 26th


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Gmail Tabs present new challenge for e-mail marketers

Gmail Tabs present new challenge for e-mail marketers

If you engage in e-mail marketing, you might have a new hurdle to overcome now that Gmail classifies all emails into tabs. As a user, I find it very helpful. As a marketer – it is serious cause for concern. Read on at the link.

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Too Popular to Ignore: The Influence of Online Reviews on Purchase Intentions of Search and Experience Products

Too Popular to Ignore: The Influence of Online Reviews on Purchase Intentions of Search and Experience Products

Have you ever looked at product reviews before bidding on a hotel room on Priceline? or searched Amazon to read comments and reviews of products? Yeah, me too. Given instances of companies hiring PR firms to write positively on behalf of their products, we wondered – how do consumers assess the credibility of online reviews? Below are some of the highlights – read the full article from the link:

  • The credibility of a an online review is positively related to consumers’ purchase intentions.
  • For search products (products we are unable to experience prior to purchase, such as a hotel room), review credibility is determined by the level of DETAIL in a review.
  • For experience products, credibility is determined by reviewer AGREEMENT.
  • We suggest that indicators of reviewer agreement should be included in online reviews in order to present a more complete picture of consumer sentiment.

Hispanic Ad Spending Grows Quickly, Except Online

Hispanic Ad Spending Grows Quickly, Except Online

“eMarketer estimates that nearly half of all US Hispanics, including 70.9% of Hispanic internet users, will use social networks at least monthly this year. That represents a 9.4% increase over 2012 usage levels, more than double the 4% increase expected for social network users overall.”

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The unpredictable ROI of the Summer Blockbuster


Who would have predicted “GrownUPs 2” would yield a better ROI than “The Lone Ranger”?
“If a film costs $200 million to make and another $200 million to market, it needs to generate $800 million at the box office just to break even, because distributors and theater owners keep roughly half the revenue. Not that many films generate such big numbers. Last year, only seven films had worldwide grosses of more than $750 million, according to Box Office Mojo.”

Box Office – July 12-14, 2013 – Studio Estimates

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