Morton Salt Rebrands With Smart Bold Behavior

What  a fantastic, energizing example of marketing to hear about to kick off a New Year! Morton Salt shows the world what REBRANDING can truly mean. Their first in 168 years!

Salt. That’s right, salt. What used to be thought of as just table salt, with that little girl with the yellow umbrella, in our mother’s kitchen cupboards. (So don’t say you work on a “boring product.”)  However, add some (IMHO) brilliant strategic thinking, an eye to the full potential of the product, and a major dose of thinking outside of the pantry (to include usage in healthcare, farming and more), and this brand is playing in a modern marketing space in a powerful way.

The “Walk Her Way” campaign was designed to take the brand beyond being a kitchen commodity to being  an “emotional lifestyle choice.”

But a change like this wouldn’t simply happen in a boardroom or in some Powerpoint presentation. And it sure wouldn’t come without changing long-standing behaviors in an enormous way.

Like sponsoring a rock band video (salt?) — the revolutionary  OK GO‘s 17 million view awesome video, “The One Moment.”  Because “It only takes one moment to make a difference” in the Morton Salt point of view.

Like linking with PARTNERS such as Blair Brettschneider, founder of Girl Forward, the Chicago non-profit to help local female refugees,

And Seth Maxwell and his Thirst Project who parlayed $70 from a bunch of college friends into more than $8million, by tapping middle school, high school and college kids to aid in the mission to provide clean drinking water around the world.

Like looking INSIDE as well as outside for change, in places like the health & wellness programs the company offered, the nature of the company workforce, even the company’s office space as well — not only moving its HQ, but creating its 1st open-plan setting in history.

This is courage to change. This is forward thinking. This is REbranding.

Morton Salt gets a GWH WTF (Winner, Toss-Up, or Flop) WINNER Award with really loud applause! Will be watching your success.


Source: Digiday 1.10.17

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Socks Don’t Stink This Holiday. So Have A Good One!

Feeling the love for the holidays this year — as a result of who we hung out with.

We decided to showcase an Austin organization called Mitscoots, a purveyor of  “Gear with a Mission.” For every piece of Made-in-America wear purchased, they give an equal quality item to someone in need. They employ the transitioning homeless to package things up. And, on top of it all,  the founder is one of the nicest guys I have ever done business with.

So we here at GW Hoffman Marketing helped them give a whole bunch of socks away! And boy did that feel good.

Mitscoots Gives Back


But apparently it felt good to others, too, because the emails and calls we have gotten from appreciative friends, clients and business partners has been astounding, including too many to count who have gone onto the Mitscoots site themselves to buy more wear.

So, no, socks do not have to suck as a holiday gift. We, our valued client partners and Mitscoots have seen to that!

Happy Holidays to one and all!

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Godiva’s Creativity Multiplies


It’s not very often a single gift can encourage so many acts of giving. But this season, Godiva managed to do just that, with a little creativity.

Think “whimsical Russian nesting doll containers” meets “decadent Belgian confections”. The first recipient appears to get one box of chocolates, but it’s really two boxes, one to keep and the other to give to someone else. The next recipient receives two boxes as well. And the giving continues.

Talk about an ingenious way to create numerous brand impressions all while promoting the spirit of giving! And with gifting being such a huge part of Godiva’s business, “The Box That Keeps Giving” couldn’t be more spot-on. Creativity multiplied.


Source: Adweek 12/8/16

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Girl Scouts, Marijuana and Trump. Oh My!

Marketerof The Year Honor RollThere is really nothing more to say about this year’s crop of Marketer of The Year runner-up honorees than “Read their stories and learn!” Crowning Netflix with Marketer of The Year top honors was great enough. But this year’s runners-up spanned such diverse industries, marketing applications and willingness to challenge the status quo, break the rules, and truly think creatively, that it puts them in a whole different league.

So proud of what creative thinking can accomplish when one pushes the limits.


Source: Ad Age 12/5/16

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H&M, Wes Anderson and Nostalgia Work Together

A charming little holiday film from H&M, done as only quirky director Wes Anderson could do it. “Come Together” has everything fans (and critics) have come to expect from Mr. Anderson: long tracking shots, symmetry, quirky dialog, Adrian Brody.

As a train conductor, Mr. Brody is alerted that his train will be delayed for hours, so he arranges an impromptu party for the travelers on board. Closing with both a bit of John and Yoko’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and the title “Come Together”, it left me with one of those delicious chills that I seem to get whenever well intended nostalgia gets mixed together with a general feeling of peace and togetherness.

H&M has always done a wonderful job with their long-form advertising, and this current effort continues the tradition. Nice to see brands break rules and still come out winners. In this one, we all do.



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Starbucks Brings Back Christmas

Every holiday season since 1997, Starbucks has served its customers coffee in cups uniquely decorated with traditional symbols of Christmas. Warm, holidays, makes sense.

Last year when Starbucks introduced its plain red cup, it was met with some very unexpected drama. The intent of the red cup was to provide a blank canvas for the coffee giant’s doodling customers to tell their own Christmas story.

The problem: 1. Not everyone’s an artist and 2. When it comes to the holidays, Americans like tradition (no matter how modern and simplistic we profess to be).

The public’s reaction was insane. Based on the social media frenzy, we were all pretty sure Starbucks had just killed Christmas.

Fast-forward to holiday cup 2016 where Starbucks has brought Christmas back in a big way! Thirteen traditionally, festive red and white cup designs have been unveiled, which are the result of crowd-sourced customer contest curated via Instagram last December. It was a smart move on Starbucks part to quickly create a consumer engagement program to help justify the plain red cup. Another smart move, Starbucks takes that multitude of angry 2015 tweets, posts and videos and uses them in the brand’s 2016 holiday cup teaser spot.

Now that’s how you turn an unforeseeable debacle into a winning campaign! Fantastic!




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Sincerely Celebratory, Not Self Serving

Cubs Social Media SaluteAs Cubs fans recently breathed perhaps the biggest sigh of relief the sports world’s ever, it’s no surprise brands wanted to join in on the monumental celebration. But with the spontaneity of social media, it’s too easy to post or tweet before giving the message real thought.

Enjoy these fun, notable tweets where each brand or organization not only conveyed a clever, sincerely celebratory message, but also managed to infuse it their personality.

Easy to do? Usually not, as the suspicion of being self-serving is always the concern. But when a brand speaks with a true, simple sincerity, it not only removes suspicions, but it can lift the hearts and spirits of many a loyal fan.

And that’s now something even a goat can’t argue about!




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