Meet Our Staff: Clare Nordstrom

Meet Our Staff: Clare Nordstrom

We’re proud to have a ton of talented employees at Access Emanate and we’d love for you to get to know them. Here’s a quick Q&A with Assistant Account Executive Clare Nordstrom from our New York City office.

Where are you from and what brought you to Access Emanate?

I am from Montclair, New Jersey and attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. I studied Media & Communications, so I learned the basic how-to’s of PR such as writing and the impact of media coverage on a brand. It was a great foundation to get started and helped me figure out that PR was the industry I wanted to enter.

Your role at Access Emanate includes:

As an Assistant Account Executive every day is different, but a few duties include brand communications, media relations, event coordination and creating visibility opportunities for my clients through speaking opportunities and trade show/conference involvement.

What inspires you throughout the day?
Living that New York City #commuterlife, I am forever amazed by the people I interact with on the subway each day. I’ve seen really strange and unexplainable things, but I have also witnessed the most genuine acts of kindness during chaotic and stressful times (morning commute, anyone?) and it reminds me that there is a still lot of good in this world.

What brand do you think gets PR right and why?

Airbnb is doing a great job at PR and is a really interesting company to watch. They seem to have a good understanding of influencer relations having worked with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, (who stayed at an Airbnb accommodation for the Super Bowl and gave it some serious publicity) Beyoncé, and various social media influencers who were able to promote a grand lifestyle in conjunction with Airbnb without being overtly promotional.

If you could grab a drink with anyone from any point in history, who would it be and what would you talk about?

I would love to meet my grandfather who passed away before I was born. I’d bring a tape recorder, and we’d talk about family history, probably make fun of my mom/his daughter for a bit and he’d regale me with hilarious stories. Plus, I heard he made a mean Bloody Mary.

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?

I was the captain of my varsity soccer team in high school but never played in a game. I think that I was more of the “motivational cheerleader” for my teammates.

What are you passionate about pursuing outside of work?

I love listening to good music and enjoy attending concerts around my community to support local artists. I’m lucky to be in an area with a lot of great venues so it’s convenient to pop by and catch a show after work.

Empowering Hearts – from San Francisco to Cambodia

Empowering Hearts – from San Francisco to Cambodia

This February the San Francisco AE Cares team organized a fundraiser for Empowering Hearts Campaign (EHC), an organization benefitting 50 child survivors (ages 3-21) of sex trafficking and sexual violence currently cared for at Together1Heart’s Tom Dy Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

To kick off the weeklong fundraiser, Access Emanate Account Coordinator and 200-hour certified yoga instructor Sam Scheetz taught a donation-based vinyasa yoga class for the office on Monday afternoon. From yoga newbies to seasoned practitioners, more than a dozen staff members attended the class to get their downward-dog on and donate to the great cause.

Closing out the week, the AE Cares team organized a special Office Hours celebration featuring Southeast Asian treats and an overflowing tip jar for EHC. By the end of the week, nearly $200 was raised for the organization.

This money will be used to help the girls and young women at Tom Dy Center in Cambodia receive educations, including training in therapeutic yoga, English classes and computer skills instruction. EHC believes investing in these three key areas will help the girls share their stories more broadly, help others in their community and pull themselves and their families out of poverty.

“Our Empower Hearts donation-based class celebrated the core principles of yoga: unity, gratitude and compassion,” explained Scheetz. “The Empower Hearts Campaign is near and dear to me as it provides education and holistic healing to recovering survivors of sex-trafficking, re-instilling their self-worth and giving them an opportunity at life. I can’t think of a more worthy cause.”

If you’d like to donate or learn more about EHC, visit www.empowerhearts.org.

 

Spreading the Love this Valentine’s Day

Spreading the Love this Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the bi-coastal Access Emanate Cares team wanted to join forces across the San Francisco and New York offices to spread the love to those in need. We partnered with Cards for Hospitalized Kids, a charitable organization that spreads hope and joy to kids across America in hospitals. The organization works with hospitals across all 50 states to send children cards around various holidays and has sent more than 100,000 cards to date.

We thought it’d be a great idea to get the San Francisco and New York offices together to both create cards for these deserving kids. Not only would we be giving back to a really important organization that is helping do something small to brighten kids’ days, but we’d get to have some fun and put our creativity to good use.

In SF, a group gathered in a conference room and channeled their inner artists to create some really adorable cards toward the end of a work day. With glitter glue, construction paper and some heart stickers, the team was able to create a bunch of valentines with sweet messages inside. We also learned that crafting is quite a stress reliever. Everyone enjoyed taking a brief break from their desks to use their creative spirits for something good.

The following week, the NYC office, armed with glitter, plenty of heart stickers and doilies, penned Valentine’s Day cards for dozens of children to be distributed in hospitals around the country. Inside, encouraging messages included phrases like “Keep it up!” and “We’re so proud of you!”

Across both offices, we created more than 100 cards to be distributed to kids who are looking for an extra smile this Valentine’s Day. We hope our messages of love made their day a bit brighter!

Super Bowl Ads Through a PR Lens: Politics and Poignance

Super Bowl Ads Through a PR Lens: Politics and Poignance

LONDON — The Super Bowl is a huge moment in time in the marketing calendar and while it’s adland’s moment in the sun, as PRs, we’d be remiss not to pay attention and speculate about its reach into our discipline. In fact, it’s like ‘our’ version of the annual Christmas ad reveal, so every year @AECLondon, we embrace American football, grab the chips and dips and sit together to talk about the highlights, so here’s our view, grouped by theme and trend.

With 2017 being the year that it is, the overarching theme for the Super Bowl — with some of the most epic production and spend to bring it to life — is POLITICS. This begs so many questions, which could give rise to a whole other blog post, and we’re asking:

  • Politics may be more divisive than ever, but it’s now an omnipresent dialogue. Is it acceptable now to talk about politics…at work, on Facebook, at the Super Bowl? When will we get fed up, if ever?
  • Is it the role of a brand to comment?
  • Is it even authentic for brands to act like they care? Are they stepping in to save us when we’ve lost faith in everyone else or is their money at the root of their motivation and so therefore also suspect in the consumer’s mind?

Ponder that as you take a look at the ads that speak directly to this theme:

  • 84 Lumber, a building materials company, breaks our hearts with the most overt reference to The Wall and the promise that America holds.
  • In Born the Hard Way, Budweiser risked backlash with its immigrant founding story, as did Coke with its “It’s Beautiful” spot.
  • Airbnb comes at us with #WeAccept. See the attached spot and article to read how this is a through-the-line campaign with CSR and social attached, but also a refreshingly honest way to confront discrimination baked into their own model.
  • And Audi puts the pay gap under the golden lit set in Daughter. That’s right Audi. You go.

In the wake of Brexit, we saw some Christmas ads embrace diversity in England — note the multicultural cast of characters in the Sainsbury’s ad, but it has not yet been as overt as the above examples. No matter what you think, it seems more brands are playing the role of provocateur, so you may find your agency pushing your boundaries. It may be uncomfortable, but it may also be time to listen.

Another theme, in a fragmented America, is the idea of COMING HOME and all the comfort that brings, with a reminder that it’s a safe-haven (ideally) where love lives. Check out how Google portrays warm homes embracing all sorts of diversity in Home, By Google. Or Michelin bringing people home safely to events both mundane and memory-making in I Need You. What we like here is the subtlety of the branding. It’s imperceptibly perceptible. Is that a thing?

Celebs are not new to Super Bowl ads, but on the heels of losing so many ICONS in 2016, it’s worth pointing out that the likes of Peter Fonda (for Mercedes Benz), John Malkovich (for SquareSpace) and Arnie (Mobile Strike) get some recognition for their classic roles. On that star-studded note, Honda put forth a very sweet ad based on your yearbook-self giving advice to your older self as it pursues dreams (as the Honda brand promises always to do). These cameos are impressive and…MISSY ELLIOT!!!! Tell ‘em M-I-crooked-letter-crooked letter-Y!

And what about Being John Malkovich? Well, in a nonsensical year where a lot of us are asking WHAT THE?, he makes the question perfectly clear in the spot for SquareSpace.

On an even more nonsensical note, Bai uses discordance to sell a drink that manages to taste great and be good for you (and here we thought that was wine!). After Horse Whisperer, they give us Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake swapping roles. Finally, we really liked the spot about the Secret Society behind Avocados from Mexico (a Ketchum client), but we always enjoy a conspiracy theory here in the Big Smoke.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and are taking an informal poll here at Bankside, so Tweet us with any feedback @AECLondon.

 

Told Ya So: 2016 Trend Prediction Outcomes

Told Ya So: 2016 Trend Prediction Outcomes

Around a similar time last year, we gathered around a table with several months’ worth of notes to bat around what we believed would be the year’s biggest consumer trends.

6 rose to the top:

  • Peer Heroes – the idea that regular people are the new celebs
  • Big Emotions – leveraging our understanding of our emotions to live a better life
  • New Languages of organization – the shift in ways in which we communicate
  • Gender Neutrality – the continued blurring of the lines between male and female
  • Proliferation of VR/AR – how brands are now using it for good
  • Errorless Society – the rise of innovations that keep humanity from making mistakes

So, were we right with these trends? Did we see them continuously pop up in the market? Almost as much as the dab, with the exception of one.

Peer Heroes: We got to see big brands tap kids and their unique creativity – like Target, which leveraged a 7-kid team to make its Back to School ad. In a more grassroots example, CEOs in training created companies like iRummage – started by elementary school kids to raise money for their schools. As for stardom, music video lip syncing app Musical.ly made celebs out of normal teens who garnered fans across the globe and kudos from Billboard. Talent at its finest.

Big Emotions: We’ve found ourselves at a cross section between technology and emotions and how they work together to better people’s lives. Headspace, one of the most popular mental wellness apps has expanded its offering to children. Planextra – created by physicists and engineers – is a device that detects 64 emotions and helps humans better understand what sparked them. Zenta is the newest wearable startup boasting stress and emotional management. Imagine downward facing dog for your mind.

New Languages of Organization: Society is moving away from words and toward the visual, a la emojis. This can be seen in companies like Yarn – an entire platform dedicated to sending and receiving clips from movies and TV shows. Another instance of this can be seen in Thngs, the Russian Wikipedia database for physical objects or a digital museum of things. Need info on the original Gameboy? Here ya go, nerd. We’re even using WiFi as currency with companies like Velvet letting us buy and trade it.

Gender Neutrality: Though not a surprise, certainly relevant. Making history, this year’s first ever Coverboy was announced, James Charles, for makeup giant Covergirl. And now rewriting history, we’ve seen gender role reversals in mainstream movie culture – Ghostbusters, Splash, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to name a few. Who ya gonna call? Either sex.

Proliferation of VR/AR: So here, my friends, we admit defeat. This trend didn’t prove to go in the direction we thought, and in fact went in the opposite. We found an instance or two of brands using VR for things like supplemental patient care, but for the most part, it’s being used by brands for marketing and entertainment. Perhaps we were a little early to the call, so watch this space.

Errorless Society: Terrifying? Yes. Happening anyway? Also yes. We’re seeing just how smart we can get with brands like Multiply Labs that can 3d print pills in layers so that consumers can take a day’s worth of meds in one gulp while timing the layers perfectly so drugs don’t mix improperly. Beyond medicine, Fysiopal has created shirts that vibrate when the wearer has poor posture. Your nagging mom’s new partner in crime.

So it all begs the question, what could possibly be next? We’re so happy you asked! Stay tuned for our 2017 trends predictions coming soon to a blog near you.