Humanity, Imagination, and Truth: Pepsico’s H-I-T Factor


I just got back from ad:tech New York and as I reflect on the two-day conference, the presentation that really sticks in my head is the opening keynote delivered by Frank Cooper, CMO of Global Consumer Engagement at Pepsico. His keynote address on a snowy Tuesday morning really livened the spirits of the crowd. His message was simple but universal – when creating a marketing initiative, make sure it’s a H-I-T.

So what makes a campaign a H-I-T?

  1. First stop, humanity – what Cooper described as the personal identity we use to connect with each other as people. The innate humanness in us that drives us to be empathetic and philanthropic. Having a human element to a campaign taps into our natural drive to help one another and work together.
  2. Part two, imagination – the aspects of a campaign that harness creativity and problem solving. There has to be something original about a campaign that makes it stand out among the thousands of cues we have to sift through in consumer society.
  3.  Finally, truth – having palpable transparency in our communications with others. Being straightforward and trustworthy in the way that we share information with our audience makes the consumer feel comfortable with a brand, like a friend or advisor.

It takes all of these elements to create communications with the H-I-T factor, a quality which allows a brand to become part of greater popular culture and ingrained into the day-to-day lives of our audience

So, how can your company encourage H-I-T campaigns from its team? Get ready, we have three more takeaways.

  1. Shift your cultural behavior to a creative life – Cooper encouraged the audience to take the time to “waste time.” Read a book for fun. Take a walk. Paint a wall. Have a few seconds when you aren’t concerned about the problem to allow yourself to find creative ways to solve it
  2. Restructure relationships – both internally and outside one’s companies. Foster a spirit of sharing and collaboration and encourage an environment filled with a diverse group of people and ideas.
  3. Pursue truth. Marketers spend all day helping sales teams sell. Ensuring that the information we put out into the world is truthful is critical. Take a step back from your messaging – look at it as if your brand were on the outside.

Not a shabby philosophy – in fact, these three essentials can be easily translated to one’s day to day life. I enjoyed Cooper’s presentation – his examples, using clips from  the film “Inception” (a little Leo never hurt anyone) and the example of Pepsi’s DEWmocracy campaign highlighted the three key elements of H-I-T.

Watch Frank Cooper’s keynote>>


Halloween in Boston: Our Picks for Less Tricks, More Treats

While some may complain that Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, we see it as an opportunity. Many restaurants, bars and clubs in the city have graciously (or, should I say ghoulishly?) provided Bostonians a week’s worth of festivities to celebrate. From international DJs, to local beer dinners, to traditional costume contests, Beantown’s got it covered. Our picks for celebrating Halloween in Boston – enjoy!


For those in the spirit:

Ducali: For the fourth year in a row, Ducali Pizzeria & Bar is hosting Ducaloween, its annual costume party which challenges the city’s creative types. Show up dressed to impress in your best look – whether playing the part of a Sexy [Insert Identity Here], Captain America, Vampire, or Ghost, you better deliver! Only one guy and one gal will win the title of “Best Costume” and a $50 gift card to Ducali (Saturday, October 27, 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.; no cover; 289 Causeway St., Boston; 617-742-4144).


For the music snob/club rat:

PRIME the Nightclub: Continuing in PRIME’s tradition of bringing the biggest and baddest of the world’s EDM DJs and music producers, the weekend before Halloween is no exception. Kicking it off on Friday will be “one of the best live dance acts on earth,” The Crystal Method, whose Grammy-nominated dance floor anthems will keep club goers rocking all night. Saturday night’s official Halloween party will have DJ Tao spinning tunes while Sandy Porier, celebrity stylist and owner of SHAG, judges the best costumes. Grand prize nets $1,000 with runner ups receiving gift certificates to Umbria, SHAG, and more. Capping off the weekend on Sunday is NERVO, Australia’s hottest spinning sisters. Known for their smash singles and remixes, Liv & Mim will turn PRIME into the only place you want to be (Friday, October 26, 10:00pm – 2:00am // Saturday, October 27, 10:00pm – 2:00am // Sunday, October 28, 9:00pm – 2:00am; Tickets start at $15 and are available presale at or at the door; 295 Franklin St., Boston; (617) 800-3604).


For the beer and wine connoisseur:

Sel de la Terre Back Bay: Sel de la Terre Back Bay (SDLTBB) will be offering a special Halloween-themed Beer Tuesday and Supper Club. At Beer Tuesday, guests can enjoy a selection of “spooky” beers (Orkney Skull Splitter, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Smuttynose Pumpkin, Moorehouse’s Pendle Witches Brew) paired with a delicious, four-course tasting menu. Beer experts will provide guidance and an engaging experience for beer lovers (Tuesday, October 30, 7 pm; $44). On Halloween, the team at SDLTBB will be presenting a themed four-course wine-paired meal (Wednesday, October 31, 7 p.m.; $55, 774 Boylston St., Boston; please call 508-650-1800 for reservations).


For the performer:

dbar is hosting a Spooky Tune Tuesday, where Show Tunes will meet Halloween. Resident VJ Ryan Grow will be judging a costume contest as guests enjoy some of their favorite Halloween-themed show tunes. The best interpretations will be awarded $500 in prizes (Tuesday, October 30; 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.; must be 21+; no cover; 1236 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester; 617-265-4490).


For the tequila lover:

Papagayo: Back by popular demand, Papgayo is hosting a Dia de los Muertos Patrón Dinner on Tuesday, October 30. Chef/Owner Chris Damian has created a five-course pre-fixe Mexican menu that incorporates traditional Dia de los Muertos recipes into a five-course Mexican dinner perfectly paired with Patrón Tequila tastings. A Patrón representative and tequila specialist will host the dinner, providing insight on the different tequila selections, as Chef Damian explains the history of Día de los Muertos. The evening will begin with a complimentary Patrón Silver cocktail along with a tasting of an Amuse Bouche-Atole made with masa, cinnamon, vanilla bean and oven-roasted pineapple compote – the chef’s rendition of the traditional masa gruel used to nourish and warm sprits when they return. After the five course dinner, guests will also receive a Día de los Muertos themed gift bag (Tuesday, October 30, 6 p.m.; $50; visit to reserve your spot. Space is limited to 50 guests; 283 Summer Street, Boston; 617-423-1000).


For the fine diner:

L’Espalier: Instead of trick-or-treating this Halloween, L’Espalier offers guests a more refined option of tasting the night away at its Trimbach Wine Dinner. Join Wine Director Erich Schliebe as he welcomes Jean Trimbach of the famed Alsatian winery, Trimbach Estate, for an elaborate Wine Dinner. Enjoy the delicacies of Chef Frank McClelland’s six-course French meal paired with wines from the Trimbach estate (Wednesday, October 31, 7 p.m.; $145; reservations required, visit or call (617) 262- 3023; 774 Boylston Street, Boston).


For those who want to travel to Mexico and celebrate the holiday, but Davis Square is closer and more budget friendly –

The Painted Burro Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar is throwing a Dia de los Muertos celebration starting on October 31 through November 2. The Painted Burro, a Mexican kitchen deeply rooted in Mexican tradition and technique, features murals from local artist Raul Gonzalez that are adorned with sugar skulls, marigolds and images of Catinflas that are symbolic of Dia de los Muertos. Executive Chef Danny Bua has put together a menu of festive treats, and streamers, balloons, fake tattoos and sugar skulls will be part of the celebration. Mexican BINGO games will also be available at the bar, and a costume party will take place on Halloween night (Oct. 31 – Nov. 2; opens at 5 p.m.; no cover charge; 219 Elm Street, Davis Square, Somerville; 617.776.0005).


Happy Halloween in the Hub!

Back by Popular Demand: 451 Marketing Search Workshop Series

Priority rankings in search engines are an essential to any successful marketing campaign. According to Google, 88,000,000,000 (yes, BILLION) searches are conducted through their search engine every month, leading to an overwhelmingly competitive search environment. If your customers can’t find you online, you might as well not exist. But, many marketers are confused or intimidated by search marketing concepts and execution. How can you optimize your online properties? When and how should your company use paid search to enhance your overall campaign?

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Due to the overwhelming response we received from our social media workshop series, we’ve decided to follow up with a three part search marketing series hosted by our very own search guru, 451 Marketing Vice President Francis Skipper. With more than 11 years of experience in global digital marketing including search engine marketing, advertising, and sales, Francis oversees all global digital marketing campaigns, including search marketing (SEO, PPC, Display) and social media marketing/ advertising at 451 Marketing. Francis will cover all things search, from basic terminology and concepts to more complex paid-to-organic conversion paths.

This series has something for everyone, from the novice (Workshop I: Intro to Search Marketing) to the more experienced marketer (Workshop III: Using Paid Search to Enhance Organic Search Efforts).

Space is limited for the series, and sessions fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve your spot now. Please note, you will need to sign up for each workshop in the series separately – signing up for one does not guarantee a spot in another!

Workshop I: Intro to Search Marketing (Tuesday, 9/18)

Workshop II: SEO 101- Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines (Tuesday, 10/2)

Workshop III: Using Paid Search to Enhance Organic Search Efforts (Tuesday, 10/16)

Have any questions? Want to suggest a future 451 Marketing workshop, webinar, or series? Contact our marketing coordinator, Amanda Jupena, at

And The Winner Is…


As the summer internship season draws to a close, we’d like to announce the top scoring team for our 2012 Summer Intern Project. Our summer interns were divided into two groups who were required to create and present a hypothetical end-to-end integrated communications launch plan for a national grocery chain opening in Downtown Crossing Boston. Not only did each group create an agency name and brand (including logo, social media presence, and organizational roles) for their group, they also set up and executed a branded social media presence on behalf of the client. Teams also created a PR launch plan and media lists, created search marketing ad campaigns, SEO audits, and SWOT and competitive analysis.


While both teams presented outstanding work, 451 Marketing would like to congratulate Fruition PR & Communications, our summer 2012 internship project winning group. The members of the winning “agency” are:

  • Case Jemison – Project Manager, Social Media
  • Sarah Meandro – Social Media
  • Justin Selbach – Design, Social Media
  • Alex Grizzell – Search Engine Optimization & Ads
  • John Flaherty – Search Engine Optimization & Ads
  • Jenny Minukas – PR
  • Julie Galvin – PR
  • Nicole Estrada – PR

Thank you all for your great work and an outstanding summer!


Takeaways: Grow, Engage, and Convert Your Facebook Fans

From left to right: Seth Lieberman, Rob Shavell, Gerry Praysman, Melissa Lacitignola , and Francis Skipper at last Thursday's panel


Last week, 451 Marketing co-hosted a thought leadership panel with our friends from SnapApp. The focus of the panel was Facebook – how to engage fans, increase likes, and opportunities/challenges with the new Timeline format for brands.  In case you missed it, we’ve put together a few takeaways from the event.



Likes Aren’t the Goal

The obsession that brands have with the number of ‘likes’ their page has should be reevaluated. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of fans – but if it’s just a number and not a truly engaged audience. Quality over quantity was stressed.

We’re Not the Only Ones Obsessed with Images

We’ve known for a while that images drive the most engagement of any content on Facebook. Now that new tools like Pinterest and Instagram are on the scene, brands have an opportunity to increase engagement with their users using these innovative platforms. Integrating these types of content into your Facebook communications are key to keeping your audience engaged.

Timeline and Engagement

The panel agreed – there are pluses and minuses to Timeline. New elements are front and center. Think about tabs, which used to be buried.  Now, they can be prominently featured on a page to drive engagement.  At the same time, Timeline seems to lend itself to better, more content-driven posts. Again, it’s all about posting the best content – making sure it is engaging and something of interest to your core audience.

Have any questions about engaging your audience on Facebook? Let us know – tweet to us @451heat.