By @ 04/10/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends

touchscreenIn a study undertaken with the University College London Business Psychology School, participants were asked to read a reduced edition of Metro on a tablet, with one group asked to navigate using a traditional mouse and a second group asked to use the touch screen to navigate. The results revealed that spontaneous recall of six adverts was on average 28 percent higher among those who’d used the touch screen as opposed to those who had used the mouse. The study found that the advertising was also received more positively when consumed using a touch-screen device.

By @ 04/09/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends

Looks like the majority of Americans are hooked on online videos. We’re pretty sure several someones definitely watched 397 cat videos to hit their average.


61% of the American population watched an average of 397 online videos in the month of January, 2014. Of those, 36% (or about 143 per person) were advertisements. This is more than double the number of ads from 2011, when 15% of online videos were ads.

Another key trend points towards higher mobile usage–in 2012, 1 in 12 videos were watched via mobile, while in 2013, that frequency jumped to 1 in 6.

These stats come from Shutterstock and comScore, who partnered to create a video documenting the herculean rise of online video within the digital world. “Show Me Something” tells the story of how our relationship with moving pictures has evolved since they came online.

By @ 04/07/14 in Marketing Trends

Kickstarter, one of many crowdsourcing platforms that have taken off int he past few years, recently posted its first ever quarterly report.

In just the first quarter of 2014, the site showed:

  • $112 million in total pledges
  • 680,000 new backers
  • Nearly 4,500 projects were successfully funded
  • Donors pledged more than $1.25 million per day to campaigns

Why is this interesting?  The marketplace–and its direction–is no longer limited by lack of power or access to major funding. The “people” are funding the shows, products and causes they want to see–and doing so with just $1, $5, $50, or $1,000 to give. And these campaigns-made-good are making a big impact.

Recently, Oculus VR, a project funded through Kickstarter, for $2 billion in March, made news when Facebook acquired it after it’s grassroots buzz. Also in March, The Square was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category, making it the seventh Oscar nomination for a Kickstarter-backed project. Four separate Kickstarter projects were also nominated for Grammys in January. On March 14, Veronica Mars hit theaters after raising more than $5.7 million on Kickstarter last April.

Grassroots marketing is now big business.

By @ 03/31/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends

Here at 3fold, we’ve built our reputation on our ability to integrate communications strategies to benefit our clients in new and innovative ways. And, we’re often asked, “How do you do it?”

Well get ready Sacramento, because we’re pulling back the curtain in a new monthly series with one of our favorite local publications, Comstock’s Magazine.

Already known for our unique culture and one of the best places to work – we have the proof – it doesn’t come as much of a surprise our first piece of advice centers on employees.

So just how should you integrate employees into the dreaded but oh-so-necessary staff meeting? Improving comprehension and maximizing retention is as easy as 1, 2, 3:


1. Commence: Keep your agenda to 3 priorities

  • By entering your business meeting with 3 priorities, it allows for a more organized approach where you can categorize ideas, issues or news and spearhead plans with a more tactical approach.

2. Condense: Condense each discussion to its simplest form

  • By utilizing 3 points, your already half way there! Discussions are meant to be inspiring, so shortening your content into a simple form of discussion allows your team members to speak up, be creative and discuss areas of interest or opinion.

3. Dispense: Reinforce outcomes by dispensing key takeaways

  • Creating a business meeting centered on one theme can be hard enough. After a creative, positive and prioritized discussion, make sure to reiterate those key points so team members maintain focus. Remember: everyone needs to be on the same page!

Pick up your March issue and tell us what you think! And, keep an eye out for the next issue of Comstock’s Magazine, where we breakdown what makes a brand a “triple threat.”

Studio Sacramento
By @ 02/13/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends

Emilie Cameron, our Sr. Public Relations Manager and chair of Metro EDGE – the young professional program of the Metro Chamber, recently joined fellow YP leaders Dr. Michael Marion and Dean O’Brien for a conversation with Studio Sacramento host Scott Syphax about envisioning what it will take to attract and retain the next generation workforce in Sacramento.

By @ 02/06/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends

With Super Bowl XLVIII over and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games opening ceremonies kicking off this evening, it’s time to turn our attention away from the drought plaguing Northern California and focus on some snow and ice… as well as some truly great ads.

As with most advertising professionals, the Super Bowl is always my favorite time of the year to celebrate our craft, and with the Olympics beginning less than a week after the big game this year, it’s sort of an extended holiday of sorts for us ad folk.

While ads for the Super Bowl try to be funny, clever, over-the-top or all of the above, ads for the Olympics typically take on a different approach.  Olympic ads use storytelling – touching on the emotion of the athlete’s journey, the drama of competition and national pride.

Below are 3 ads we believe will be taking home the gold at this year’s games.

P&G “Thank You Mom”

In the continuation of a highly acclaimed campaign that launched during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, P&G thanks all of the moms out there for the sacrifices they make while encouraging their children to keep trying and chase their dreams.

BBC – Sochi 2014 Promo

The BBC’s use of Charles Dance, who plays the frightening patriarch Tywin Lannister in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” sets the tone for this dark and ominous computer generated promo for the Games.

Guinness – Barnes Twins, Biathletes

While the Guinness ad will not actually air during the Olympics broadcast, the simplicity of the creative execution, the beautifully touching backstory, and the raw emotion it evokes have already made it a viral success.


By @ 01/06/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends


Three is a magic number. Yes it is. It’s a magic number.

If you’re humming the lyrics to the iconic Schoolhouse Rocks song, then you are 1) over 35; 2) a Blind Melon-Head; or, 3) already in-tune with the Strategy of 3.

I’m not the first, last or even the third person to embrace, practice and write about the Strategy of 3, but it’s something worth repeating, as it is a valuable tool for many successful leaders and businesses.

So let me offer a proven way to implement the Strategy of 3 into your internal business communication.


Large or small, weekly or impromptu, internal communication simply drives and defines your business. The Strategy of 3 is a simple and effective way to communicate where the highest levels of comprehension and retention must be achieved. Think Commence. Condense. Dispense.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. COMM3NC3: Identify a simple 3-point agenda and announce it at the commencement of the meeting. (i.e. We need to address Three Things – 1) the Triad Campaign 2) the Trifecta Team Building Effort; and, 3) the Trilogy Website update).  
  2. COND3NS3: As the first point is properly communicated and discussed, condense the outcome into its simplest form. (i.e. We agree that the launch date for the Triad campaign is March 3rd, Trey Triple III is the lead. Lets move onto Trifecta Team Building with the Trilogy Website to follow).
  3. DISP3NS3: At the conclusion of the meeting, repeat the 3 point agenda AND dispense the key takeaways from each discussion including, action items, leads and learning. Note: There’s a 3-point bonus if you have 3 team members repeat them rather than the initiator.

Commence. Condense. Dispense.

The Strategy of 3 can be applied in so many areas of business. It can have tremendous impact on creative design (rule of thirds) defining your brand position (awareness, consideration, conversion) and of course storytelling (trilogies, 3D, Three-Act Structure).

So while most of us aspire to be number 1, just remember, 3 is a magic number.

Three Links:

  1. Rule of 3 in content marketing
  2. Rule of Thirds (photography)
  3. The Power of Three

By @ 01/02/14 in Everything, Marketing Trends, Social Media and Tech

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s that time of year again to take a deep breath and brace for the trends of the upcoming year. For 3fold’ers, it’s a competitive opportunity to place our bets on what will rock the creative, digital marketing, and media industry in 2014.  Each member of our team have focused hours of research, energy and insight to be able to preview sure bets for 2014! Grab a pen, because you’ll want to make note of these tips – for when we told you so, of course.

#1: It’s going to be all about the “happiness factor.” Seeing how the world works up close is critical in this industry, but getting there can be draining. New mobile apps will revolutionize the days of weary road warriors. At the top of the list will be Routehappy, (especially for traveling 3fold’ers) a real-time ability to pick flights based on “happiness factors,” from legroom and chair width to connection length and amenities instead of the standard price-only comparisons.

– Gordon Fowler, Fearless Leader

#2: Real-time marketing is going to be even bigger. The right message to the right person at the right time will yield greater success than mass marketing tactics of the past. Social media showed just how effective this style can be this year when DiGiorno live-tweeted The Sound of Music, or Oreo’s quick tweeted off the Super Bowl blackout.

– Angela Criser, Number-Punching Tech Geek 

#3: Gamification will be a critical tool for brand to meet their business objectives. As the fusion of content marketing and customer data becomes the standard, look for creative “gamification” models to become a critical strategy point for brands and businesses.

– Craig Amazeen, Creative Genius  

#4: Data and analytics will be just as valuable – if not more – off the field as on. Brands will expand the use of and focus on data and analytics, focusing specifically on tracking fan engagement from time and money spent to influence.  In particular, sports organizations will try to tap into the heartbeat of their loyal fans and followers to determine the value of these interactions.

– Scott Moak, Culture Curator

#5: The new emphasis in marketing will be images. Consumers will demand image-centric content. The rapid rise of social media platforms like Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Instagram and Vine verify image-based content is the wave of the future. Successful campaigns must integrate visual components, from compelling images accompanying blog posts to infographics visually representing statistical information.

– Emilie Cameron, PR Maven

#6: Differentiation, positioning and smart targeting will be keys to success for brands. You don’t have to struggle to sell a product that’s relevant, differentiated and positioned correctly. If your business needs a boost, 2014 is the year to take a look at how you’re talking about and marketing your brand and products. In short, start marketing. Stop selling.

– Liz Divelbiss, Resident Robot

#7: Content marketing will be bigger than ever.  Using a business’s social media networks, e-newsletters, posting content on their website, and more. It will begin to edge out traditional marketing channels like TV, radio and print, meaning valuable and engaging content will be more important than ever to turn followers into brand advocates.

– Jamie Von Sossan, In-House Charmer

#8: If you’re not mobile, you’re missing your customers.  You’ve built an audience online, but are they getting the same brand experience on smaller screens? Mobile advertising will continue to grow as the use of smart phones rises and consumers are more comfortable purchasing good/services on their devices.

– Matt Marshall, Campaign Crusher

#9: Design will be more angular, simplistic and futuristic. We’re often overloaded with information and data.  To counteract this, refined, ultra-simplified designs will strip out unnecessary fuss.

– Landon Lee, Design All Star

#10: BABIES!! For the ringer, we predict welcoming a total of four happy and healthy babies into the fold in 2014!

Shop Local Image
By @ 03/01/13 in Archive, Community, Everything, Marketing Trends

The “shop local” movement has been growing the last few years, and it’s a concept me, and my company, are proud to support. However, as a business owner, I’ve always been a little concerned by the focus being so much on restaurant and retail, and often leaving out other small businesses in the push.

As an example, Sacramento has quite a few fantastic “shop local” efforts underway including:

Looking at those, though, is it any wonder why many of us only think about “shop local” when we’re grocery shopping, going out to eat or looking to buy a gift? This needs to change.

Shop local applies to more than just restaurants and retail.

As a marketing agency, one of the most frustrating things we deal with is when other local companies choose agencies outside of the region to do their marketing or rebranding work. The perceived glitz of a San Francisco or New York or Chicago agency overshadowing the very real benefits of what a local firm brings to the table—namely, local expertise and inside information. While some businesses of course need a cross-regional/state/national/global approach—and we work with several like this, so we know it can be a different story—most are focused primarily on audiences closer to home. So, “shopping local” would get these businesses more targeted and effective branding and messaging, connect them faster to important stakeholders, and streamline their media placements. It would also prove they understand the importance of supporting their fellow local businesses.

When we limit our “shopping” to dining and retail, we’re missing the entire point of “shop local”.  It is not JUST about eating lettuce grown within a 75 mile radius – it’s about supporting local small businesses and building local economic security. Whether we’re talking lawyers, accounting firms, doctors, business consultants, or, yes, marketing agencies, look local first. My agency does when we need services—and we’ve found the talent in our own backyard.

Across the board, industry-to-industry, I’d stack Sacramento’s businesses up against any “big city” competition. Our only downside is an unfortunate lack of community confidence. The second we stop thinking of ourselves as “just Sacramento” and start recognizing our own incredible value as a creative hub, pushing “shop local” won’t even be needed…it’ll be assumed.

Super Bowl Commercials 2013 Header
By @ 02/04/13 in Everything, Marketing Trends, Our Culture

This year’s Super Bowl was doubly exciting for many 3folders–cheering on the 49ers as well as viewing the latest crop of Super Bowl ads. While our hometown(ish) team didn’t take home the trophy (a result apparently caused by Gordon’s kids, who failed to get a lucky 49ers beanie on their cat’s head in time for kickoff, completely blowing the mojo), we did still enjoy a few well done commercials.

While the debate is ongoing about whether any of these ads would be added to last year’s list of favorite Super Bowl commercials of all time, a handful of spots sparked conversation in the 3fold breakroom this morning. Here are our top 5 favorites for 2013:

5. Budweiser – The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood”

4. Audi – “Prom”

3. Tide – “Miracle Stain”

2. Ram Trucks – “Farmer”

and, drumroll…

1. OREO – “Whisper Fight”

On top of their stellar commercial, OREO’s social media team also scored major points with a quick and humorous shout out tweet during one of the game’s biggest moments: the 30-minute stadium blackout. Bravo, OREO, we’re buying a bag for the office out of respect.

Now it’s your turn – what was your favorite commercial from this year’s Super Bowl?


Header photo taken from NFL.com.