Foram Patel

Public Relations

Samsung: Advertising for a Good

Advertising, like Marketing is perceived many times as a brand’s attempt at convincing a consumer to drop money on a product they may not necessarily need. This evidently is the dark side of marketing, however I like to think that brand’s are doing more than pushing their product to the forefront of a consumer’s mind. They’re telling a story – this Samsung ad is an excellent example of how brands can really touch consumers.


Super Bowl XLIX: Ad Roundup

The Super Bowl this past weekend was pretty great, but of course I also want to bring attention to this year’s ads! While there were some great advertisements, I want to share with you my favorites and least favorites.

This year, many of the advertisements were in quite different from what we have seen in the past. We saw that there was a more serious undertone to these commercials and we also saw a “dadvertising” trend. Both of these new trends have led to some great spots and I want to highlight two spots that I am especially glad were part of the Super Bowl.


Every year, Doritos does a fantastic job finding the perfect combination between funny and brand promotion. This is most likely due to the competition they hold, but this just shows how consumers are able to create the most relevant and engaging content. This specific commercial is no exception to this trend. Hands down, the funniest commercial this Super Bowl.


For this category, I would have to say it was a tie between these two, in my book. Like last year, Budweiser did a great job bringing this pup back, and how can one not love this ad. Though, on the other hand, this new trend of “dadvertising” brought in many commercials with dads as the main characters. I really like how many spots focused on the hard work of fathers, but this Nissan #WithDad spot really did it for me (I won’t disclose if tears were shed or not).

Least Favorite: 

This Game of War commercial was definitely the worst spot I had seen during this year’s Super Bowl. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but Kate Upton and this game have been hijacking my smartphone app commercials for the past three months, and I still have no remote interest in playing the game. This spot definitely overdid the Kate Upton and Game of War combination for me.

Now, onto the more serious stuff.

I mentioned earlier that this Super Bowl had a more serious undertone. Of course, like we all say, there were still many sentimental and humorous spots, but there was also a throw in of some serious material- something that we’ve never seen before.

Here’s one:

This anti-domestic violence PSA was the first of it’s kind to be featured in a line up of commercials that are trying to sell us products. While this PSA played largely due to the NFL, the message is still important and powerful.

Here’s another:

This spot isn’t a new one, necessarily. It was released earlier last year, but premiered for a much larger crowd during the Super Bowl. The message of this spot is definitely a powerful one, and in my opinion, a much needed one in the world and time we live in, today. If you would like to read more about my thoughts on this spot, feel free to read the post I wrote last year.


Well, these are my thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl commercials. I definitely enjoyed the game, but these commercials definitely made the commercial breaks enjoyable! I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the commercials, feel free to leave a comment!



Introducing Snapcash- A Snapchat feature!

The second half of 2014 has been a time of big changes for photo messaging application Snapchat. In October the application debuted its first advertisement for a new movie, and earlier this month Snapchat did something new and revealed a feature that allows you to send cash–Snapcash.

Snapcash is a feature, first of a kind, that pulls away from disappearing messages into reality. This feature is built directly into Snapchat and allows users to send cash to friends through messaging using a third party app called Square Cash. The process is quite simple; the user opens messaging and types in the amount of money they would like to send, which in turn opens a page that asks the user to type in their credit card number and voila the money is sent to their friend. This feature is definitely a game changer for Snapchat, as an app that was meant for casual photo messaging has more real life effects.

There are definite perks to this feature, along with a new problem. The new problem that these features bring up though don’t have to do with being unique, but instead with the safety and privacy of Snapchat users.

If you remember, in early October Snapchat was hacked and about 98,000 Snapchat pictures and videos were posted online. While this was the first hack of its kind, this attack demonstrated how vulnerable users can become without their knowing. After this incident, bringing in financial information into the picture can seem like a risk.

Even though the financial aspect of the app is handled by Square Cash, I know I am hesitant to send money through Snapcash. I am an avid user of Snapchat, but I do not see it as a reliable channel of sending money. Ironically, I have used Square Cash (the app that handles the transaction) and find it very convenient, but it will take a couple of updates and months for me to get used to concept of having a social app that has money transferring capabilities.

What are your thoughts on Snapcash? Are you eager to use it or no?

Here is the video that Snapchat released to reveal its new feature:

Edelman Trust Barometer

In January of this year, Edelman released its 14th annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a global survey on trust involving 33,000 people in 27 different markets globally. This year’s survey revealed the largest gap between trust in business and government since the start of the study. The reasons for this gap are plenty; factors such as lack in government transparency, as well as the continued destruction of trust in government and a increase in trust in businesses. Of the 27 nations surveyed, the greatest decline of trust in government was seen in the U.S, Mexico and Poland. In about of the nations surveyed, the gap in trust was larger than 20 points.

It is also important to understand the four factors that help shape the trust people place in businesses. The four factors are:

  1. Industry
  2. Enterprise Type
  3. CEO Trust
  4. Country of Origin

Each factor influences which businesses will gain the trust of their consumers. For example, businesses located in the BRIC suffer a trust discount compared to Western based businesses. As businesses strive to gain the trust of a larger number of people, it is important to understand that the most trusted individual in a business is not the CEO– it is the employee. Businesses should take advantage of the internal ambassadors to help build trust.

This report outlines a problem, the trust deconstruction, and a sort of solution, the factors that will help rebuild trust. It is up to businesses and more importantly the government to reestablish trust with the people that it serves.

As the new year approaches, it will be interesting to see what the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals. Will the new report reveal a steeper decline, a increase, or even no change?

If you want to learn more about the report and findings, visit the Edelman Intellectual Property Page



Taco Bell Goes Mobile

During this week, the world of social media marketing experienced a brand do something it had never done before– a blackout.

If you follow Taco Bell, a chain that serves Tex-Mex food, than you know exactly what I am referring to. On October 28, Taco Bell’s official Twitter page, Facebook page went dark, removing all previous posts and followers. On Twitter, specifically, all 40K Tweets since 2007, disappeared into nothingness, except one. The remaining Tweet said, ” Mobile Ordering is here. Download Now:” with a link. Also in this post, Taco Bell unleashed a hashtag- #OnlyInTheApp.



The official Instagram account displayed nine queued pictures that created the same message as the Twitter account, shown below:

Taco Bell goes black.

Both accounts directed users to Taco Bell’s first online ordering and payment app.This launch makes Taco Bell the first fast-food chain to launch an app that allows for mobile ordering and payment. Through the app users are able to order ahead, and pick up orders through drive thru or in-store at about 90 percent of the 6,000 stores across the country. While other fast food chains, such as Burger King, McDonalds, and even Starbucks all have mobile apps that allow users to search for locations near-by, as well as reward programs, none offer the ability to order ahead for drive thru and store pickup.

The launch of Taco Bell’s app now takes competition within fast-food chains to a new level. In the next couple of months, or year, it will not be too surprising if various chains across the country launch their own versions of this app, based off of the success that Taco Bell is already experiencing. In the first day of the launch, it seemed as if Taco Bell’s paid off. According to ADWEEK about 75 percent of all Taco Bell stores across the country had processed at least one mobile order.

Going dark was definitely a bold move, but also created a lot of buzz for the brand. This effects of the blackout could be seen on Friday, when Taco Bell’s app was ranked No. 1 on Apple’s food and beverage section App Store. What I’m most interested in is seeing whether or not Taco Bell’s app success will continue to grow, or whether consumers will choose to order in store. One of the pros of a fast food chain is that it is fast and convenient, but mobile ordering takes convenience to a new level.

I know I will definitely use this app the next time I go to Taco Bell. Will you be using this app anytime soon?

Snapchat’s First Advertisement

Like many other avid social media users, I’m an active user of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

While the popularity of these platforms has continued to grow over the years, a new trend has also been emerging. Over the years, one after another, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have updated to allow brands to join into ongoing conversations through sponsorship, or paid posts. Everyone of these platforms have gone through the same cycle. They were funded initially by investors, and were able to generate buzz, but sooner or later the buzz starts to dwindle, and the company is forced to go public and sell stock. Once at this point, companies have to prove their worth to shareholders through revenue- and that’s where the ad feature enters. On Facebook, this feature is called a “boost post”, on Twitter, Facebook, and most recently Snapchat a “Sponsored post”!

On Saturday, Snapchat debuted its first ad featuring a 20-second trailer for Universal Pictures horror film, Ouija. This new sponsored post capability took users by surprise, considering that users have never a sponsored ad in their feed. This change, though, was not as sudden as it may have seemed. In just the past year, Snapchat users have introduced to features that allow them to use the app to communicate with people other than just their friends. Snapchat has slowly allowed users to join in on live events- such as, football game days, music festivals, and most recently Kentucky madness.

Snapchat has definitely come far from its release 2011. Businesses and brands, too, have the ability to engage with users in new way. The sponsor feature is a great new opportunity for brands and businesses to create a brand buzz quickly, as well as curate new content through user engagement with the brand. Though unlike all other social media platforms, Snapchat content is 99% visual, which will be most beneficial for brands that can follow this trend.

While this feature is a great addition for Snapchat and brands, users may not be too excited for this change. In many ways, this sponsorship feature is disruptive advertising that catches users off guard. I’m not sure how I feel about watching a horror film trailer without any warning, if this trend continue—but I am interested in seeing how the new ad feature will continue to grow, and whether it will move beyond movie trailer advertisements.

AdWeek recently wrote an article on the pros and cons of Snapchat joining the advertising business. How do you feel about this advertisement feature?

Curious to see what the first Snapchat ad looked like? Watch the Ouija movie trailer.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Today’s Friday Finds feature is on the topic of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge! I’m sure you’e all heard or done the challenge yourself, but if you haven’t heard of it, let me give you a general idea.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was started in late June, and what the challenge involves is pouring a bucket of ice water on yourself in support of finding the cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. There have been 2.4 millions videos relating to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge uploaded online. These videos have helped raise more than 100 million dollars. That is insane.

I cannot remember the last time I saw something as powerful as this campaign. The best part of this challenge is that it wasn’t created by the ALS Foundation, but someone who felt moved to start a fund for his friend. Which of course, makes it even more extraordinary that this challenge went viral so fast.

Was this because it was a very very simple challenge (all you have to do is dump ice water on yourself & donate) or because it was a challenge. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say it was because of both factors. A challenge leads to friendly competition, and who doesn’t love friendly competition? The simplicity factor, though, took something big (approx. 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS yearly) and allowed us to feel like we could make a difference.

Even many celebrities have taken this challenge, including Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Matt Damon. One video that has really caught my attention is that of Anthony Carbajal! Anthony’s video is different. Anthony has ALS, and until last year he was a well established photographer who loved his career. Today, though, Anthony cannot do what he loves because his hands are no longer steady.

While I was definitely pushed by my friends to do this challenge, this video pushed me even further. I’ve never been affected by ALS, nor have I ever taken the time to learn about it, until now. This campaign does make a difference for people who are facing this disease. Watch the video, and I don’t think you will regret it. While the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is slowing ending, I still challenge you to donate a couple of bucks to this great cause.






A while back, I was on Youtube ready to watch a video, when this commercial played. I typically just mute this commercials or skip them, but this specific one was titled #LIKEAGIRL, and something stopped me from doing just that. This commercial, wasn’t typical- it wasn’t trying to get me to buy a product, but instead start a conversation about what it means to be a girl, and more specifically what does “like a girl” mean?

I’m sure all of you have used the phrase “like a girl” before.. whether that be in the context of “hitting like a girl” or “running like a girl”.. you get the point. We throw around this phrase like it’s not a big deal, but in retrospect, it is a BIG deal. 

Whenever we do use this phrase, it’s usually never in a positive light. We tell little boys that they throw like a girl, or run like a girl. When a girl can’t lift large weights, we tell her she’s such a girl.  But what really makes “being a girl” such a bad thing?  In reality, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As a female, of course the things I do will be like a girl. I’m going to run like a girl, walk like a girl, hit like a girl, because I’m being me- a girl.

Somewhere along the way, this phrase grew into a negative thing, but without consciously thinking about we’re really saying when we use the phrase, we aren’t exactly helping the situation. It’s easy to watch a video and feel it’s effect but then not make a conscious effort to make a change or think any further about it. I challenge you to have more conversations about this topic, and help change this stigma!

Have you seen this video before? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments!




Internship Search: 3 Things that Matter Most

Hi there! So, I don’t know about you, but right now I’m knee high in my internship search for Fall semester. Before the school year starts up again, which is soon(!!), I’m hoping to land an internship to get some hands on experience with my field of study.

During this search, and interview process, I’ve come up with a list of 3 tips for a successful internship search that I’ve learned or been told as most important– which I hope will benefit you, as they have me!


1. Know the Job/Internship & Why You’re the Perfect Fit

It is so very important to know the ins and outs of the place you are interested in working. The person interviewing will want to make sure that you know about the company as a whole, and what they are about- because this shows that you are truly interested and serious about the position. Also, after doing this research, make sure you can specify why YOU are the best person for this position. What do you specifically bring to the table?


2. Show Off Your Stuff

What I mean by this is, show off your past work- the stuff that isn’t typically listed on your resume. I’m sure you’ve created and achieved some great stuff before this interview, and show off the things you are most proud of. Go into interviews ready to show off your portfolio, or a collection of work. Also, other than your physical work, make sure you tell your interviewees what strengths make you the best candidate, and why you are the best candidate.


3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

This might seem obvious, but it’s always good to be reminded! Don’t ever forget to prepare before an interview– you want to show up confident and ready to show your interviewees why you should be hired. You should always prepare for the most asked interview questions- such as, what is your biggest weakness, what do you bring to this company, etc. Being able to answer these tough questions without struggling will give your interviewees a whiff of your confidence- and that will definitely work in your favor!


Are there any tips that I forgot? Let me know in the comments!