Ad Love: Be Idris Elba’s Valentine

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and my plans are set. I’ll be having pepper soup and fufu with Idris Elba.

In a collaboration with Omaze, Idris is offering one lucky winner the chance to be wined and dined by him and put up in a four-star hotel on Valentine’s Day. Further sweetening the deal (as if that was possible) is the fact that each entry into the contest donates to nonprofit charity W.E. Can Lead, which raises money to provide young girls in Africa with education opportunities.

Check it out:

And enter for your chance to win here.

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IHOP’s Pancake Paradise

Pancakes bring me joy. I’ve never had pancakes on a beach but I imagine if I did, I’d be in heaven. I recently got a slice of heaven.

That’s because IHOP ran its first Facebook Live videos to celebrate its new Paradise Pancakes, which come in flavors like strawberry passion fruit, banana macadamia nut and pineapple upside down. The three videos were simple –  three gorgeous stacks of flapjacks appeared on a table on a beach, with no sound except the waves and occasional seagulls in the background. I wasn’t the only fan – the video had over 380,000 video views earlier this week and is IHOP’s top-performing social video to date.

Take a trip with me to Pancake Paradise real quick:

 

Ad Love: Hello Moto.

Back in the day, I had almost every cell phone that was on trend – the Sidekick, the Motorola Flip, LG Chocolate and eventually I landed on the Blackberry Curve. I have been a Blackberry fan ever since. I’m now on the latest, the Blackberry Priv, which is dopeness – don’t judge me. It surprises me that I never landed on #teamiPhone.

The phone that I lusted after was the Motorola Razr. It was thin, looked sleek and came in pink and gold. You could even get it covered in crystals! I have always been a practical girl, though and when I heard that the phone wasn’t really reliable, that was a deal-breaker for me. And so I lusted after it from afar.

I may get my shot at getting one now!  On June 9, Motorola will likely announce the return of the Moto Razr at the Lenovo Tech World conference in Silicon Valley.  In the meantime, they gave us a cool teaser  which transports us back to a simpler time and place – the early 2,000s. This makes me fall in love all over again.

Sidebar – it was a year ago that I was in a consumer marketing team brainstorming session about ideas we should pitch to one of our clients. I came up with two – virtual reality and nostalgia. As I sat in this meeting and explained why these themes would be huge in 2016, all I got was blank stares from a room that was as diverse as a box of Newport cigarettes. My ideas never made it to the client. This year, most major brands have tapped into those very two themes to sell products. Oh, and the firm that I worked for lost the business…

It makes me think about where I will spend my creative energy moving forward along with what type of teams/cultures will be most suitable for me and allow me to thrive. I’ll keep you posted on that.

In the meantime, enjoy:

Brand Tweets: Handy

I usually do a deep clean of my place on New Years Eve before I head out to celebrate. I can’t lie, it’s tough! This year, I am glad I had the help of Handy, “the leading platform for connecting individuals looking for household services with top-quality, pre-screened independent service professionals.”

I had low expectations for the service – it cost less than 30 bucks (a got a deep discount as a first – time user) for 3 -hours of cleaning. Needless to say, my expectations were surpassed! I tweeted out some love to Handy to show my appreciation and they kept on giving! Take a peek (click the pics to magnify):

 

Delta Makes Good Things Happen for Good People.

It has been a while since my last post. Way too much is happening – I may have to move, I am leading the re-launch of my agency’s website to happen this week and figuring out what the next step in my life is. I could certainly use a break. Maybe Delta Airlines will offer me one.

The team at Delta Airlines SkyMiles Credit Card is shelling out the goods by hosting a competition called “The Gift Back Project.”

The cute little video below explains it all. I love this. be sure to nominate your do-gooder by June 18th.

Finish Strong.

It’s hard to believe – 2014 will soon be over. This year has demonstrated tremendous lessons, both personal and professional. Here are my top five:
1. Great leaders make the difference. When the wrong people are in position, it can be damn near impossible to get things done. Being a capable leader doesn’t simply rest on your credential or a title. I’m means articulating a vision and trusting your team to execute. It means leading by example and never stooping to the lows of office politics. It means openly, genuinely and frequently recognizing the accomplishments of your team and not magnifying their failures. Dear friends, not all are built to be leaders.
2. Social customer care is everything. I’ve always been obsessed with social customer care before I even knew what that meant. ‎Three years ago I tweeted at Anthropologie and I remember, clear as day, they responded, located the item I was looking for and sent me a coupon within a matter of hours. To this day, I tell that story – they have set the standard for me. I cannot tell you (I’d be too ashamed to) the amount of money I’ve spend with them since then. Yes, I love the uniqueness of their merchandise. But more an that, I’m a fan of the brand and how they handled that incident. This year, as I encountered Pret a Manger, USPS and everyone in between, I carefully watched their moves when it came to customer response. Strong customer response via social matters to the bottom line.
3. You can’t control everything. This year ‎almost everything that I thought I could control slipped right out of my hands. I won’t go into too much detail but we have all heard the saying, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” That’s the absolute truth. At the top of the year, I became aware of the Sand Mandala. It is is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. . It amazed me that these individuals would spend so much time creating something so ornate and then destroy it.  It’s great to focus on a goal but not to be so tied into the process of how you ‎get to the finish line. finish-line-900
4. Take a risk and if you fail, take another. This year, I continued to try out new ways to engage my organization’s social audiences. The previous year, our Facebook and Twitter Chats had been successful. I decided to explore the possibility of using livestream video to bring our annual plan meeting to various stakeholders. Weeks of planning went into the ‘how’ as it was the first time the organization would attempt this type of broadcast. There was hurdle after hurdle: we didn’t have the proper equipment, the internet speed at the venue was shaky. Even two minutes after we went to air there was a glitch – Youtube shut us down as it was picking up the ambient house music and that was in violation if copyright regulations. My team quickly worked on a resolution and it was fixed just as the Chair and CEO stepped to the podium. Had we given up at any point, if we were not relentless about achieving the goal at any cost, we would have failed.
5. You belong. I’ve been attending conference after conference for a solid month. I wanted to gain knowledge in my area of expertise, showcase my skill-set as well as meet leaders in my industry. There was a VP of a worldwide company who was set to panel at one of the events I attended who I was anxious to connect with. I checked his name on the program, determined to speak with him at some point. At the end of day two, I had my opportunity: there he was, packing up his bag and standing alone. Yet, I felt my legs carry my body right past him and out of the door. “Wait, what are you doing?!” I literally said aloud. I walked back to him, stuck out my hand and introduced myself. Long story short, he gave me his direct line and email address. Had I allowed fear to grip me, I would have walked right out of the venue and been cursing myself on the ride home.
In the next 30 days, my focus will be on mindfully observing and influencing the above areas. I’m a strong believer in pushing hard the last leg of the race. Usually, I crank up my Jay Z and I go numb as I run to last mile. Nothing else matters. I’ll let you know how I do.