Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Merry Christmas, everybody! Happy holidays! We are excited to bring you this Group Team Effort podcast. So you’ll be hearing from most of the voices, if not all of the voices from Stratos Creative, so I’m excited for you to meet some of them if you’re new around here, or get to know them a little bit better. Here’s the question that we gave them. We did this last year as well. We gave them a question like, what has made it on your Christmas list because of marketing? So whether it is an ad, a promotion, whatever it might be, what has made it onto your Christmas list because you saw it in marketing? 

I’ll go first. This year, one of the things that I have seen pop up in my Instagram ads is a journal from Kept Collection. It’s a company that makes journals for mothers, like baby books. But this is the thing, you guys, is I am really, really good at starting things. And so, the idea of journals is great. You know how every mom is doing monthly updates of their kids? I have had to release myself from that because I took her seven month pictures when she was seven and a half months old. I’m like, well done is better than perfect, because I am not that sort of person. I had several people buy me, and I even bought myself one of those journals that you keep every week that you’re pregnant, half of the weeks are not filled out. So I have been really pondering, okay, if I was going to do a baby book, what would I do? Honestly, I had just put it out of my mind because I was like, I’m just not gonna be great at it. And even if I’m really good at it for the first kid, maybe I won’t be good at it for the next kid. And then what? 

But this tagline, it’s called the Baby Book Reimagined, and I’m reading off of their website; a thoughtful non-overwhelming birth to 18 “baby book” that focuses on the things that actually matter. Basically, it’s one book, and you get to put in details. One of their ads says it’s not too late, even if your kid is a few years old, you can go back and fill out these things, and so it’s not about statistics. One of their taglines is, questions that focus not on only what your child does, but who they are becoming. And so guys, I have these. I have one on my Christmas list, because I’m like, this is the kind of thing that I can sit down once a year and get done, and that is all I can ask of myself. And to be quite frank, I’ve put “multiple” on my Christmas list, so I don’t know how many kids I’m gonna have, but I’m like, “Well, let’s just get a few. And depending on how many kids we have, I’ll give away the others.” So this is what has made it onto my Christmas list. I’m really excited. If you are curious, and this is like, wow, that would actually be useful for me too, head over to our show notes, we’ll have everything linked there. All right. Let’s get to it and hear from the rest of the Stratos team. 

Savannah: Hey, everybody! Merry Christmas! This is Savannah. Recently, I have started wearing glasses. All of last year, I did not realize how much I needed glasses until I had to drive someone to the airport at night, and I realized I could not read a single road sign until I was literally right next to it. So shortly after that, I was like, I need glasses. I got some, and my life has been so much better since. But the targeted ads towards me have also found out that I’m now wearing glasses. Recently, I was just scrolling through Instagram, minding my business, and the cutest little faces were looking back at me of these little woodland animals wearing people’s glasses. And I was like, “What are these? These are so cute.” And so, what they were were all of these little wooden animals where their noses stick out like on a little knob and they’re glasses holders. I was like, “I need one of these, and I also just wanna buy them for everyone I know that has glasses”, because they had every animal you could think of, all these different breeds of dogs. 

The one that really stood out to me that I’m hoping for and is on my wishlist this year, is this little tiny fox, and it’s so cute, and the glasses just sit right on his nose. I feel like it’d be the perfect place for my glasses on my desk, because the other issue I’ve been having, I don’t know how these people knew to target me for this, but I lose my glasses all the time because I’m still not used to wearing them. When I need them downstairs, they’re upstairs, and when I want them upstairs, they’re downstairs, and I was like, I just need a central place to set my glasses at the end of the day, so I always know where they’ll be. I think that place needs to be a little adorable wooden fox. I cannot think of the brand off the top of my head right now, but if I get it for Christmas, I can share it with you because it’s just adorable.

Alison: Happy holidays to all, and to all, a what is up? This is Alison with Stratus Creative Marketing. I wanted to tell you about something I recently purchased for Christmas because of ads that kept popping up on Instagram. I am a sucker for anything personalized or customized, especially at Christmas time, especially of my kids. I’ve carried on a tradition with my kids of getting them an ornament every year, of something that they love, a character they love, something they might have done that year. My mom started that with my sisters and I when we were little. It hit me, when I kept seeing these ads, I have never actually gotten an ornament with a picture of my kids. Kind of crazy, I know. So I kept seeing these ads for these cutouts, and it was usually a kid playing a sport. My sister had come to my youngest’s soccer game this past year and took some amazing photos with her great camera, and I was like, I’m doing it. He will freak out, it’s a picture of him playing soccer, and his hero, idol in life is Lionel Messi. So I was like, I’m doing it. I am doing it. 

So I bought the ornament, and I’m praying that it looks as amazing and beautiful as I hope it’s going to look. But thanks to that Instagram ad that kept popping up over and over, it has been purchased. Hope you guys have an amazing holiday season and experience some love and joy and peace.

Kelsey: Hey guys, it’s Kelsey. When I was trying to decide what item off of my Christmas list to share with you all for this episode, I almost shared something that’s on my list for my daughter because the things on my Christmas list are things like a collapsible laundry basket and some new socks. Super exciting, I know. But then I started thinking about some of the things that I want that I’ve seen ads for mostly on Instagram. A little bit of background on me is that as a kid, I went to a sustainability camp. It was called Camp KEEP, and I think it stood for Kids for Environmental and Energy Protection or something like that. We learned about things like non-renewable energy sources and recycling, about taking care of the environment, things like that. A lot of what I learned really stuck with me and helped instill a whole attitude about caring for the environment. So I just have that belief system in place and those values. And especially in the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to be a more conscious consumer, so someone that cares a little bit more about the products I buy, and not only what they do to my body, but also their impact on the environment. So I’ve been seeing ads for things like bars of shampoo and conditioner, instead of bottles of those things, and recycled toilet paper, or bamboo toilet paper, which by the way, I am also interested in. 

But something I decided I’d really love is money to purchase a Take Back Bag from this company called For Days. For Days makes 100% recyclable fashion in a zero-waste environment, and so you can purchase clothes directly from them, but you can also purchase a Take Back Bag, I believe it’s $20, and then you receive the bag, and you can pack it full of your old textiles. That could be towels, sheets, pillowcases, old clothes, and as long as they’re clean, it doesn’t really matter their condition. So even if they have stains or they’re ripped, that’s totally fine. Then you send the bag back to them, and you get a credit for also $20 to spend on their sustainable clothing. They started this program because 85% of all textiles end up in landfills. That includes stuff that we’re donating to thrift stores, recycling, throwing away, et cetera. So it was interesting to me as I started reflecting on this that I decided I was interested in this organization, and wanted a Take Back Bag before I had even looked on their website to see what clothing they sell. So I was like, yeah, I wanna pay $20 to get a Take Back Bag and fill it with my stuff to send into you and receive this credit without even knowing if I would wear the clothing that I could get with the credit, which I think is funny.

But I think what that really told me is that For Days’ ads and posts have really spoken to my desire to be a conscious consumer and step away from fast fashion, and just make choices that are good for the world. So they’re not just advertising their products, but a mindset and a lifestyle. I think that is something that for my personality has been really important. They’ll even break down that each Take Back Bag saves 16,000 gallons of water, 15 pounds of clothing from landfills, 118 pounds of CO2 emissions. So it’s just really a neat organization, and they’re doing things that I really value and care about, and that makes me want to purchase from them more than just, I like their products. So if anybody has already purchased from them or utilized a Take Back Bag, I’d love to know more about it. Otherwise, when I do get my Take Back Bag, I’ll have to keep you all posted on what it’s like.

Ryann: Hello, it’s Ryann from Stratos, here to share my marketing story for the holidays. I’ve technically got two. First one is that I do have to say that Amazon’s algorithm does a great job of targeting me with ads all year round about things that they think I would like, that I sometimes add to my cart. But then also, I have lists of clothes, books, things that I can pile, that I may purchase at some time. Recently, Amazon, whether it’s a holiday or not, Amazon has been targeting me with this certain hat. Now, for those 90s babies out there, there was a show called The Secret World of Alex Mack, where it was a girl that somehow got special powers from accidentally getting hit with like radioactive goo. I could go on and on about that later. But anyways, on this show, the actress, Larisa Oleynik, had a hat that was a baseball cap but didn’t have a brim. And I thought it was so, so, so cool growing up, and I really, really wanted one, but in Kenosha, Wisconsin, there was no way that I could find a hat that was like that. And for some reason, Amazon knows that I like that type of hat. 

I’ve never searched for it in my adulthood, but it found them, and it keeps targeting me on Facebook ads for said hat. So I may be buying myself the Alex Mack, no brim baseball hat of my 11-year-old dreams for myself this holiday season. So good job, Amazon, and however you figured out that I wanted that, that I wanted it. I do wanna air holiday grievance marketing story though. There is a certain grocery store in Wisconsin, and you may already hear Frank barking. I wonder if this commercial is on. Anyways, they have a commercial where they have doorbells ringing, and they hear the bell song every time it is on. We have to mute it because my dogs flip out that they think someone’s at the house. I have no idea why this grocery store decided to do this to me and torture me in this way, but I do not shop at that certain grocery store during this holiday season because I am so annoyed. Anyways, happy holidays.

Kat: Hey everybody, it’s Kat. There are a few brands that I’m seeing Instagram ads for all the time that are just consistently on my wishlist. The first one is Cadence. They make these super cute hexagonal toiletry containers, so you can put in a few pills or a little bit of lotion. I love these things. I actually have a ton of them already, but I’m always finding new uses for them. So those are consistently on my wishlist. Another one is Baboon to the Moon. They make these really awesome bright, colorful bags. Again, I have four of these bags, but every time I see their ads or their content on Instagram, I just think, “Wow, I could totally use more of these”, which is ridiculous. I have enough bags. Lastly, is Rareform. This is actually another bag company. They take billboards and recycle them into bags, which I just think is so cool. I have one of their totes and I have one of their sling bags, but I feel like I could always use more bags. Maybe that’s a problem, maybe for Christmas, I should actually be asking for a cure to my bag addiction.

Julia: Guys, was this not the best episode ever? I swear, I love these group episodes because I get to learn new things about everybody. For example, Kat apparently is obsessed with “begs” or bags depending where you’re from. I’ve always said “beg”, which apparently is not the right way to say it, but that was a side note. And then Savannah apparently hasn’t been able to see for a while, and we had no idea. To our credit, she didn’t really know either. Excellent story. But I hope that you are enjoying this holiday season. I know that so often, these ads can feel like they’re overtaking our lives, or even the consumerism around the holiday can be really discouraging if you think about it too hard. But I really hope that you are spending some time with loved ones this season, and that you’re really finding joy amidst all of the craziness of the holidays. I hope you get a few moments where you can just sit and breathe. Like for me, it’s looking at my Christmas tree in a dark room, I love the lights, or maybe it’s something else that really brings you joy this holiday season. I hope that you can take a few minutes and just really, really truly bask in it. 

Anyway, from here at Marketing in the Wild podcast and from the Stratos Creative Marketing team, I just wanna wish you a Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. We will see you next week.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.