A History Lesson About Social Media as told by an Infographic

A History of Social Media [Infographic] - Infographic
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40 Ways to Take a Break

just breathe

Sometimes we fill our calendars with so many obligations, we tend to burn ourselves out. But hey, we’re busy. We have work, household chores, social activities, homework, practice, and many other things to do. When we finally have some downtime, we’re too tired to do anything but sleep. I like to stay active and have side projects outside of my work. A couple things I like to do is blog for KSDJ 90.7, this blog and research advertising, copywriting, digital marketing strategies and creativity. But when I reach that point where my work brain begins to “turn down (for what)” I start to panic.

I ask myself questions like, “Am I really tired right now?” or “What else can I get done?” Or I tell myself to make a to-do list. Instead of caving in to my desire to remain motivated, I’ve been allowing myself some break time. So I compiled a to-do list of things to consider when your schedule opens up. Hope you find some of these ideas helpful 🙂

  1. Take a bath.
  2. Light a candle.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Read a book.
  5. Listen to a guided relaxation.
  6. Take a deep belly breath.
  7. Write in a journal.
  8. Walk outside.
  9. Go for a run.
  10. Stretch it out.
  11. Eat a meal in silence.
  12. Turn off all electronics.
  13. Take a bike ride.
  14. Go to a park.
  15. Drive somewhere new.
  16. Examine an everyday object with fresh eyes.
  17. Color with crayons.
  18. Paint on a surface other than paper.
  19. Write a poem.
  20. Climb a tree.
  21. Pet a furry creature (or friend).
  22. Go to a farmers market.
  23. Read poetry.
  24. Take a coffee break.
  25. Join a yoga class.
  26. Engage in a small act of kindness.
  27. Put on some music and dance.
  28. Give thanks.
  29. View some artwork.
  30. Smell relaxing scents.
  31. Meander around town.
  32. Call a friend.
  33. Sit in nature.
  34. Watch the clouds.
  35. Rest your legs up on a wall.
  36. Listen to music.
  37. Take a nap.
  38. Fly a kite.
  39. Write a letter.
  40. Watch the stars.

Combine a couple of these ideas for an ultimate relaxation combo! Now, how do you relax? Comment below!

Shake It Up™ with Tic Tac’s Latest Digital Marketing Campaign



What’s one ritual most of us think to do before a date, following a midday snack or after a morning cup of coffee?  Check your breath.  One quick remedy to the uncomfortable feeling of a dirty mouth is to pop in a breath mint.  This small chore of sucking on a coated, capsule-shaped mint can make a big impact on your breath, confidence level and reactions of those you face in upcoming close conversations.  There are many companies that produce mints out there, but one company stands out.  That company is the manufacturer of the widely known Tic Tac® breath mints.

Back in 1969, the Ferrero Company launched the classic fresh mint flavor of the first Tic Tac® product.  As the years progressed, additional flavors were unveiled.  In present day, the popular mint is available in spearmint, citrus twist, wintergreen, orange, and cinnamon.  Handfuls of Tic Tac® mints rest packaged in tiny, transparent plastic packages and make a distinguishable rattle sound when shaken. Not only is this product recognized in America, it’s available in nearly 100 other countries all over world.  Besides being an iconic breath mint, the product also has a unique digital media strategy and style.

The Ferrero Company wanted to market their Tic Tac® brand in a new way.  So the company hired Merkly + Partners, a New York-based advertising agency, to come up with an interactive and mobile-friendly campaign and Total Immersion, global leader in augmented reality, to integrate real-time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream.  Together, the companies came up with a 360-degree marketing campaign entitled Shake It Up™.  Shake It Up™ encourages Millennials to escape their mundane activities and discover new, unusual ways to spend their time.  Interactive television, outdoor and print advertisements feature odd facts, games, pick-up lines and other tidbits of information that all seek to enlighten consumers.  The ads contain clever, quick witted sayings, with bold color schemes and moderns designs.  Focal pieces of copy are made up of thousands of tiny Tic Tac® mints in one uniform mass of color.

For example, a print advertisement that reads, “Most Americans Spend 13 Years Of Their Lives Watching TV,” has a call-to-action that requests an individual to “shake up” their routine by pulling out their smart phone and viewing the advertisement with augmented reality.  Augmented reality is a new technology that superimposes graphics on the real world image.  The user is able to watch an animation and interact with the brand.  So while the individual looks at their smart phone upon viewing the Tic Tac® ad, a sequence of facts, jokes, and interesting material pop up that all relate back to one concept.  That concept is the fact that we spend too much time doing dull, meaningless activities and we really need to “shake up” our daily lives.

After plenty of research, Ferrero discovered a couple key insights about the millennial generation. “We learned that they want to be surprised and entertained.  Our response was to create a campaign that inspires them to spontaneously break up their routine,” said Noah Szporn, category manager at Ferrero U.S.A., Inc.  “The 360-degree Shake It Up™ campaign goes beyond traditional advertising, especially through the mobile technology of the Tic Tac® Viewr app, which allows consumers to engage with Tic Tac® mints wherever they are through a medium that they never leave behind” (Geffroy, 2012).

Merkley + Partners designed the Tic Tac® Viewr app while Total Immersion developed it.  They shared the same goal, and that was to excite the millennial generation with an unusual perspective on the world around them.  The app is available for iOS and Android mobile phones.  Consumers may also use tablets and iPads to experience this augmented reality.  The versatility of using the app from a variety of devices gives it more reach and therefore, brings the brand more success.

Outside of this digital tactic, the Tic Tac® brand seeks to illuminate the crowded streets of New York City.  A Times Square ad interacts with consumers by giving them the option to create a personalized billboard image from a consumer’s smart phone by downloading the application.  They can then share the image on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three.  User-generated content like this is important to create participants in a brand.  This ingenious idea makes the Tic Tac® brand stand out and adds a personal touch – which the Millennial generation enjoys.  Consumers can also subscribe to the Tic Tac® YouTube Channel, “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

On the Tic Tac® Facebook  and Twitter pages, the brand likes to follow three rules.  Those rules are to remain consistent, to incorporate trending topics, and to have a great sense of humor.  They captivate their audience digitally by posting relevant content that relates back to their Shake It Up™ theme.  Consumers are asked to “shake up” their taste buds by liking, favoriting, sharing or commenting on their content.  Their brand voice is upbeat and attracts millions of loyal fans giving them a very high reach and engagement.  The about section on Facebook even reads, “The Tic Tac® brand wants to provide a gentle reminder to those who may have nodded off in life, that sometimes each and every one of us needs to shake things up” (Zog Digital, 2013).

The Tic Tac® social media strategies are a great example of how brands can bring personality into promoting their products.  Facebook users need a reason to follow you, and entertainment is a great way to spark their interest.  By incorporating trending topics like Throwback Thursday and using hashtags, Tic Tac® is able to remain current and forward thinking.  The brand still uses promoted posts and contests, but they make sure to use a strong sense of humor to spread happiness and engage a loyal fan base.  Sometimes they come up with fake Tic Tac® flavors such as cheese fries, popcorn or salted pretzel.

Latest Musical Discovery: Real Estate

Most people tend to know what they like when it comes to their musical preferences.  Some are even very opinionated of musical matters – and I am definitely one of those people.

I’d have to say my true musical taste didn’t thoroughly develop until I reached my freshman year in college. As I look back on that first semester, I remember moments of clarity and realization as I really began to connect with artists like The Strokes, The White Stripes, Dashboard Confessional, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck, Pixies, Bloc Party and so, so much more. But this was just the beginning.

As I explored other similar artists such as Dinosaur Jr., The Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins and The Black Keys, my mind went crazy. Why did I spend all those years in high school listening to mindless, mainstream, top-of-the-chart hits?! I never could relate to those songs, I only listened to them because everyone else did.

After I discovered more and more bands through my next couple years in college, I realized this passion would never run dry. I am a stone cold music junkie. What started out as simple curiosity and musical wanderlust has lead to an incessant need to know more artists.

As you might be able to tell, the genres I prefer are alternative, folk, classic rock, and indie. With that, I’ve decided to add my first regular post series. The idea hit me today – on my day off from work and class – and I feel very excited to get started!

So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to my latest musical discovery:



Real Estate is an indie rock band hailing from Ridgewood, New Jersey, and currently living in Brooklyn, New York. The first song I heard from this very talented group was Talking Backwards. The melody immediately relaxes you as the lyrics draw you in. What I gathered from the lyrics is that it’s about trying to maintain a long distance friendship or relationship and not always being able to say the right things.

Outside of Talking Backwards, I’ve listened to Fake Blues, Kinder Blumen, and Green River. Real Estate features Martin Courtney, Etienne Duguay, Alex Bleeker and Matthew Mondanile. Before their union, the group had played together in other bands – including a Weezer cover band – during high school but didn’t officially become Real Estate Until Martin returned to the Garden State after attending college in Washington.

Real Estate has a total of three albumss so far, including Suburban Beverage 7″, Days and Atlas. Check this group out!


Team Spark Wins First Place at the 2014 NSAC District 8 Advertising Competition!


Wow, what an incredible semester it has been. As most of you know, I’m an advertising major at South Dakota State University. This year, we were presented with the challenge to come up with a full repositioning campaign for Mary Kay, a national direct-selling makeup company.

Our challenge was to increase awareness and positive perception for Mary Kay makeup to female Millennials (18-25). We were also asked to increase consideration for product purchases and business opportunities.

After many long days and nights of working with an amazing group of talented classmates and friends, our hard work payed off. We won the competition! I’m so proud of this group. This experience has been unforgettable and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for each of us. Go Team Spark!

Seeking Inspiration

Each day, I strive to find meaning and inspiration. I look to many places to find this. Normally, inspiration finds you, whether that be with your family, friends, professors, coworkers or even random strangers. People and new faces reach out and touch your heart every day.

I’m a strong believer in living a balanced life and taking time to enjoy the little things. Here’s one of my favorite Henry David Thoreau quotes:

“How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” – Henry David Thoreau

Another place I look to feel inspired is from one of my favorite poets, Pat Cegan. I subscribe to her blog and read her poems and short stories every day. Her soul breathes through her words and I look forward to reading each post. Here’s a link to her WordPress blog:  www.patcegan.wordpress.com

Here’s a little taste:

The Collective Dream
There is a creative
Force in the collective
desires of mankind. Our
thoughts, like radio waves,
go out to merge with the
like energy of others. This
Force of intention attracts
what is needed to materialize.
To reverse a negative situation,
we must change what is creating it–
the source of its power.
Our thoughts are so much more
powerful than we realize. We
must discipline our minds to
stay focused on what we wish to
create. When we dull our minds
with anger, idle chatter, selfish
desires, over-indulgence, we
dilute this Force of creation
and live watered-down lives
of despair.

I believe it’s important for each and everyone of us to find meaning in the every day. Have I inspired you? Where do you find your inspiration? Share your thoughts with me and comment on this post 🙂