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October 2014 - Posts

  • Taco Bell uses integrated approach to launch new mobile ordering app

    Oct 30 2014

    Taco Bell has long been known as one of the most engaging brands on social media — attentive customer service, great visuals and a snarky sense of humor — but the eatery ventured into the unknown to launch its new mobile ordering app by removing all its online content. The only thing remaining on each network and its website? A call-to-action message (#OnlyInTheApp) driving fans to download the new app.

    Offering customizable orders, location services and pre-payment, Taco Bell gives its target millennial audience an easy and streamline route to late-night cravings. By removing content on its social channels and website in favor of a single CTA, Taco Bell disrupts its followers by sending them to a new experience that gives both content and food.

    Claiming to be the first fast food restaurant to allow mobile orders to be picked up at the drive-thru, Taco Bell also proves innovative through its integrated campaign. In addition to the social media blackout, Taco Bell is running a national, 15-second spot to support the launch and has enjoyed media coverage of all levels, from consumer to trade and local to national.

    While the blackout will be over soon, this is a great example of a stunt taking something tangible away from the customer. Taco Bell did a great job of anticipating buzz and by driving people only to the app, it will have a pure metric without variables to measure success: app downloads. It was truly the greatest Taco Tuesday ever.

    UPDATE: Within 24 hours of the launch, Taco Bell says it processed at least one mobile app order at 75 percent of its 6,000 U.S. stores. And, while it didn't reveal how many times the app was downloaded, it was No. 1 in the food and beverage section of the App Store on Tuesday.


    Susan Shimotsu - Public Relations Coordinator

  • Happy National Boss’s Day from an agency where everyone’s the boss

    Oct 16 2014

    As employees celebrate their superiors on National Boss’s Day today, here at Phelps we celebrate everyone in our office! One of the most unique and exciting aspects of our agency is our non-traditional organizational structure, which makes all of us our own boss.

    The name of the game is responsibility. Everyone here at Phelps is held accountable for the work they produce. Our titles are functional, not hierarchical; the words “supervisor,” “executive” and “senior” don’t exist in our vocabulary. Instead, our titles describe the functions we fulfill.

    From the most experienced Phelpsters — our coaches — to those of us who are newer to the world of integrated marketing communications — trainees — everyone is given the same opportunities to deliver great work and show what they can bring to the team. That is what makes Phelps so special.

    As a trainee, I have acted as the lead on projects, worked directly with clients and taken on the role of project facilitator on multiple deliverables. Working with our Dunn-Edwards client, I have worked closely with their marketing communications manager on creative direction for their Pinterest page, taking the lead on copy creation and publishing boards. Working on SoCalGas, I regularly interface with the clients and served as project manager on a regional direct mail piece. I cannot imagine getting that same amount of responsibility at an agency with a traditional corporate structure or, as we like to call them, tombs.

    We are all given the freedom to set our own hours, dress code and manage our own workload. It’s all about responsibility: Are you smart enough to know how to dress, inform others if you won’t be in the office and acknowledge accountability for your work? Then we may have an opening for you.

    But with more than 90 bosses in the office, there is still a need for accountability, and we find that in our full-feedback environment. We work in a setting that fosters communication, and every aspect of our work is meant to be shared with others to balance the otherwise self-directed client-based teams we work on. Our environment allows associates of all experience levels to give and receive feedback in a system that truly allows everyone to be their own boss.

    We are measured by the great work we produce, not our ability to abide by assembly-line standards. And, with that said, all 96 bosses here at Phelps wish you a happy National Boss’s Day, as we celebrate all of the great people at our agency!

    Sophia Orozco - Account Management Trainee

  • Don’t be struck by the ‘curse of knowledge’

    Oct 09 2014

    We’re in the business of communication so how we communicate, when we communicate and with whom we communicate are of the utmost importance to our success. But it’s arguably more important to be sure that what we communicate — our message — is not struck by the “curse of knowledge.” Steven Pinker of The Wall Street Journal and Harvard University describes the “curse” as “a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know.”

    There’s a delicate balance between over explaining and assuming your audience has enough necessary background knowledge to understand your message or how to use a product — but it seems that people tend to err on the side of assumption.

    Think about a gadget in your home that you’ve stowed away because you couldn’t figure out the instructions. Or, a website that you’ve clicked around, desperately trying to figure out how to find more information or get help. Or a financial form you’ve put off filling out because you didn’t know what was required. In each of these cases, the creator has forgotten that they’re more acquainted with the information required to understand their product and has failed to deliver something intuitive and digestible.

    When creating a message, no matter what it is, here are a few tips to ensure that your message doesn’t suffer from the “curse of knowledge”:

    1. Get some eyeballs: Share your work with someone else or a group of people who aren’t as close to it or, better yet, have no background in what you’re creating. Test your message on them to see if it makes sense and resonates. If it doesn’t, it’s back to the drawing board for another round.

    2. Go back to elementary school: If you can boil down your message to something that can be understood by a third grader, it’s likely that it will be clear to your audience. This is a good exercise to help you identify that the key takeaway of your message will be clear to your audience.

    3. Take a beat: Though difficult to do during crunch time, stepping away from your work for a few hours (or days if you have it) will give you a new perspective on what you’ve put together. Sitting down with a fresh mind will help you see the gaps in your work and if what you’ve created flows and makes sense.

    Rachael Himovitz - Team Leader