Friday, January 27, 2012

OCNN: Ochocinco News Network

By Katy Fincham

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, chances are you have heard of Chad Ochocinco. The NFL veteran is best known for his flashy end zone dances and over-the-top comments. Despite your feelings about the man, I think he deserves some respect for taking advantage of his over-exposure and turning it into a clever marketing and business scheme.

In 2009, the then Bengal’s receiver, launched OCNN (OchoCinco News Network) in Miami at Super Bowl XLIV. In partnership with Motorola, Ochocinco enlisted the help of his friends and current NFL players Chis Cooley, Ray Rice and Darnell Dockett – all three of which are some of the most active and popular NFL athletes on Twitter, much like Ochocinco himself (currently 3,179,555 followers).

The off-the-wall news network seemed to be a joke at first, until many realized that it leaned more towards serious sports reporting than expected. Since then, OCNN has been a staple amongst the outlets cover the Super Bowl and present on “media row.”

This year, Ochocinco decided to reach out to his fans and give them a chance to be a part of a once in a lifetime experience. The OCNN by Motorola Super Bowl Reporter contest gave fans the chance to submit a 30-second video explaining why they should be the official correspondent for the network during Super Bowl XLVI.

In a recent interview with, Ochocinco said: “This year I'm flipping it around and the folks who send in videos -- who will probably be journalism majors and other people who love journalism and sports and football itself. And so it'll help springboard whatever else they have going on.”

For those who think Chad Ochocinco only cares about himself, he seems to be doing an excellent job of taking his public love/hate relationship and turning it into something positive for fans, but also beneficial to his future career after he hangs up his cleats.

I will be tuning in – Will you?!

Katy Fincham is an Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her at

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Puppies, Babies, and Old People…How they can make you a Millionaire

By Sarah Gubara

Got a mediocre product? Got a small budget for your commercial? No worries! For everyone who can’t afford to hire Kim Kardashian to endorse your products, you too can sell!

In light of the biggest showdown of commercials this year (the Super Bowl), it’s important to realize you don’t have to spend bazillions of dollars to have a great commercial that people will talk about for days. While jam-packing celebrities in a commercial (cue Kobe) can be entertaining, below you will find three categories that will help give your commercial “The X Factor” at a reasonable cost:


Many commercials have seen success with cute babies and kids like Dairy Queen, Ally Financial, Wendy’s, Nike, Pepsi, and more. But the award for the best baby commercial campaign goes to the E*Trade baby! Do you know what the E*Trade app does? Do you even need to use E*Trade? Probably not. But I did not change the channel—I wanted to see what this baby had to say!

It’s a very simple model: cute baby, deep voice-over, and boom! I’m sold. Today’s media and popular culture are saturated by images of women’s bodies selling unrelated products, so when a little person in a diaper starts talking to me—I listen.


Like babies, the advantages of using puppies (and other cute fuzzy creatures) are a no-brainer. While some furry spokesmen have disappeared (we haven’t seen the Taco Bell Dog or Target’s Bullseye in a while), Target and others have continued to employ a number of dogs for use in their commercials.

Others have followed suit and made a splash in the cutesy scene such as the Travelers’ Insurance dog. We’ve seen him lose his bone, find love, and have pups of his own. But no one has come to match the Geico Gecko, normally an unwelcomed creature, his animated persona has won over many—because who wouldn’t trust their car to a British lizard, right?

Old People:

This is by far my favorite category. While many criticize these commercials for portraying the older generation in a negative, stereotypical light, old people generally make for great, entertaining commercials. They’ve cracked us up and shocked us numerous times, from the “Where’s the beef?” lady to the Chevy Cruze commercial (which uses the stereotype of loss of hearing to make its messages stick).

But my favorite commercial character of all time, the same person who inspired me to write this blog, is Ethel. An incredible cook, whose secret ingredient is Franks RedHot Sauce…”she puts it on everything.”

So before you go out and book Tim Tebow for your commercial, do a cost-benefit analysis….you might find out that Ethel is a way better option.

Sarah Gubara is Manager of Social Media for Maroon PR.  Contact her at

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet M&M’s Chief Chocolate Officer, Ms. Brown

By Kate Korson

With the NFL Playoffs coming to a close, Super Bowl Hype is in full swing. We’re only two weeks away, and the sports world is gearing up for the biggest week of the year. Second to the football, beer and wings; fans especially anticipate one aspect of the whole shebang —Super Bowl Television Ads. 

In the past few weeks we’ve heard Super Bowl advertising announcements and sneak peaks from Doritos, Lexus, and H&M, among others. One announcement that personally excites me is the unveiling of a new M&M’s character, Ms. Brown. Despite the fact that she shares a name with my high school disciplinary vice principal, the character seems intriguing. After serving 70 years behind the scenes as Chief Chocolate Officer, Ms. Brown will step into the spotlight during the Super Bowl on February 5th. Firstly, I would like to note that the title Chief Chocolate Officer is something that every company should create (ehemm John Maroon).

According to a press release from Mars Chocolate North America (M&M’s parent company), Ms. Brown is witty, extremely intelligent and wise. She decided to emerge from behind the scenes after witnessing the success of Pretzel M&M’s, and believes she can show the world that M&M’s are not your average milk chocolate.

Ms. Brown launched a Twitter feed on January 16th with the inaugural tweet:

I think M&M’s has a promising social media opportunity with Ms. Brown. Currently her tweets sort of lack originality and variation but if M&M’s take advantage of her potential to be witty, funny and informative, she could be a social media hit. Given the sports world’s obsession with Twitter, I would hope that her Super Bowl ad includes some type of hash tag or her Twitter handle. Ms. Brown should live up to her title and give the Twitter world an inside look at her duties as Chief Chocolate Officer. I’d love to see some photos or interesting facts about M&M’s milk chocolate, who wouldn’t?

Kate Korson is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Betty!

By Eve Hemsley

Most actresses in Hollywood are afraid to look like they’ve turned 40, but today marks the 90th birthday of a woman who embraces her age proudly, the beloved Betty White. To celebrate the occasion, NBC threw Ms. White a star studded birthday bash (which aired last night, Jan. 16) featuring guests like Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett and William Shatner. Many stars that couldn’t be there in person sent pre-taped birthday wished including our very own President Obama.

White’s careers spans seven decades and covers a variety of accomplishments including game shows, television series and feature films. She is best known for her comedic performances in shows like The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland. White is also a successful author and a life-long animal advocate, receiving the American Veterinary Medical Association's Humane Award in 1987 for her charitable work. In 2012 White will start a new venture hosting ‘Off Their Rockers,’ a new senior citizen hidden camera show.

Among White’s many accomplishments is one perhaps a younger generation will be most familiar – the grassroots Facebook campaign to get White to host Saturday Night Live. Created after White appeared in the very popular Super Bowl ad for Snickers candy, the Facebook page “Betty White to Host SNL (please?!)” garnered much attention in only a few months. Several hundred thousand Facebookers signed the petition urging SNL producers to ask White on the show and on May 8th their wish came true. Betty White hosted SNL’s Mother’s Day episode featuring former cast members such as Tina Fey and Molly Shannon.

Although the Facebook campaign was responsible for motivating producers to have her on the show, an act which truly flattered her, White is still not convinced of the sites necessity. In the opening monologue of her appearance White admitted, "I didn't know what Facebook was. Now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it seems like a huge waste of time."

Even Hemsley is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wake-Up (Really Early) To Success

By Mitchell Schmale

The next time your alarm rings in the early morning hours to welcome you to a brand new day and you are tempted to hit the snooze button (maybe more than once) and roll over for a few more minutes of sleep, remember this… that extra slumber is not a practice associated with successful people throughout history.

The Business Insider recently featured an interesting look at 23 successful CEO’s in different industries and business who all share a common trait… waking up REALLY early to get a jump on life, work, family and any other challenges facing them during the day.

From Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to Benjamin Franklin, these successful business leaders have found an early start to their day allows them more time to run their business and also accomplish the things that are important to them, such as having time to reflect, strategize and look at the big picture, be responsive to emails, read to stay informed on topics and trends, mentor younger professionals, or have more time for their families.

So the next time you think about hitting the snooze bar, consider the alternatives and lessons learned from these business leaders. It worked for them, it can work for you.

Mitchell Schmale is Vice President of Maroon PR. Contact him at

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tebow Time Takes Over Twitter

By Kristen Seabolt

I had to do it. As a Baltimore Ravens fan, I am not only ecstatic that the Broncos defeated Pittsburgh in the fastest overtime victory in NFL history, but I am also excited that all of the hype makes for a great social media blog this week.

On Sunday night, Denver Broncos Quarterback, Tim Tebow, broke all kinds of records in an unforeseeable win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most of these records were related to the game of course, however, one of his most impressive achievements came from social media. Tebow rocked the Twitter world when his touchdown pass generated 9,420 tweets per second, the highest number of sports-related tweets per second in the history of Twitter (2nd overall behind the opening of a Japanese movie).

According to ESPN, Tebow’s victorious pass beat out some of the top moments in Twitter sports history, including Team USA’s loss in the Women’s World Cup to Japan (7,196), Barcelona’s victory over Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final (6,303) and the Miami Heat’s embarrassing loss to the Mavericks in the NBA Championship (5,531). On Sunday night, almost 7 percent of tweets posted were about Tebow and the Broncos.

Tweets ranged from “In Tebow We Trust” to “Tebow for President” to “316 passing yards, 31.6 yards per completion, John 3:16.” Tweeters recited religious passages, questioned Tebow’s immortality and even picked up on the fact that Demaryius Thomas’ birthday is on Christmas. Of course, there were haters too. But even they joined in on the chaos.

For those of you who may not be sports fans or are not that impressed with this historical feat, allow me to put it in perspective …even the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death didn’t generate as much Twitter reaction as Tebow’s win. Bin Laden’s death only received 5,106 tweets per second.

That’s the power of social media for you. While 45 million viewers watched the game on TV, making it the highest rated AFC wild-card game in 24 years, more than 17 million Lady Gaga followers received her tweet, “Giants fan but wow. #Tebow That’s what the **** a champion looks like.”

Oh, and while the rest of the world was obsessing over the Broncos remarkable win, Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver who caught the game winning pass, admitted he didn’t even know the game was over...

Kristen Seabolt is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact her at

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tapping into an Audience

By Pete DeLuca

Fifty years from now, when my grandchildren ask me what television shows I watched when I was their age – what will I say? I’ve had this conversation with my parents and grandparents and each time I am amazed at the nostalgic look on their face as they recall their favorite episodes of “I Love Lucy”, “The Honeymooners” and “The Andy Griffith Show”.

The sad truth is, in the 21st century the majority of the hit shows involve some form of reality television. It can be as entertaining as Flavor Flav trying to find true love, or as dramatic a group of Staten Island Mob Wives.

But amidst all of the housewives and rose ceremonies there is one form of reality television that is way over done – the talent show. American Idol, the X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Top Chef – at their base, they are all talent shows. It’s the same formula, recycled and transformed on a new network with a frying pan instead of a microphone. It’s over played and boring.

With all of the monotony among these types of shows – NBC’s America’s Got Talent made a move to break from the pack by signing radio personality Howard Stern as a judge last month.

Why Stern? The answer is simple: numbers. In over 30 years of broadcasting, Stern accumulated an audience of millions of extremely loyal fans. With his followers, Stern’s nationally syndicated radio show became the number one draw in nearly 60 major markets in the 1990’s. His two books, Private Parts and Miss America, both appeared on The New York Times Best Sellers List. In 1997, a movie of his life generated $41.2 million and the soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 chart.

Recently, Stern broke ties with terrestrial radio and signed a contract with Sirius Satellite Radio – that day; the stock price tripled. During the last five years, subscribers to the service increased from 1.4 million to over 15 million. With the merger of XM and Sirius in 2009, Stern’s audience is estimated between 15-20 million paying listeners daily.

Is Howard Stern a qualified judge – who cares? Will he bring a new dynamic to the show – probably not. But Stern will bring millions of new viewers. America’s Got Talent, which is already the most viewed show of the summer, may have pulled off a publicity stunt that could make it the highest rated show of the year – or (gasp) of all time… It makes me cringe when I think about what I’ll tell my grandchildren.

Pete DeLuca is the Manager of Creative Services at Maroon PR.  Contact him at

Monday, January 2, 2012

NBC Sports Network Could Be Healthy for Everyone

By John Maroon

This afternoon the little known sports network, Versus, was re-branded as the NBC Sports Network. This is shaping up to be exciting and could, ultimately, cut into ESPN’s dominance as the driving force behind all sports coverage.

Initially, the primary programming on NBCSN will be the NHL, Major League Soccer and the Tour de France as well as a few hours of NBC’s 2012 Olympics coverage. Don’t snicker at those non-major sports. Any of us old enough to remember ESPN’s early days recall a lot of billiards and rodeo before they started cracking into the big time…and the difference is that NBCSN has the power of NBC and Comcast behind them and it doesn’t get much bigger than that.

I hope that they make great strides and provide more options for our sports news. As much as I love ESPN (and I LOVE ESPN!) it is a good thing for them to not necessarily dictate all of the sports news and decide what is and what isn’t newsworthy. It will be good for ESPN too…competition is always positive…it keeps us sharp and creative.

ESPN will always be ESPN and we will tune in and love them, but NBCSN has a chance to make a difference and be a player in a one horse town when it comes to sports reporting. Other networks like Fox and Turner have brilliant sports coverage but they don’t have their own all sports network to tout.

No one news-gathering agency should ever be the lone voice determining news and that is what has happened with ESPN. They are great at it but it just isn’t how it should work.

Back in the 1970’s when newspapers were all powerful one stood above the rest, the New York Times. When they reported on something significant, the following day all the other news gathering agencies would do follow up reports on the Times’ story.

It came to be known as the New York Times effect. Today we have the ESPN effect. If they report on a potential coaching change, off field incident or trade rumor, almost immediately other outlets will report and build upon their story.

Here’s hoping that NBC Sports Network makes some noise and captures our attention and that ESPN continues to work hard and maintain their status as the worldwide leader in sports… if they compete the way the people they cover do, we, the fans, end up winning.

John Maroon is President of Maroon PR.  Contact him at