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Interview

Interview: Surfing the Wave of a Viral TikTok Sensation, with Trace Rutland, Digital Hub Director at Ocean Spray Cranberries

Every brand leader dreams of that truly authentic viral social media moment that will juice sales and transform the brand for a new audience. Turns out, if it happens, managing that fleeting moment is a tricky exercise, for which there are no rule books. Trace Rutland, Digital Hub Director at Ocean Spray Cranberries, was the leader in the hot seat when Nathan Apodaca, DoggFace208 on Linkedin, showed up on TikTok with a longboard, some Dreams, and a 64 ounce bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry. The rest of the story is now marketing legend, and we’ve got Trace here to talk about it.

SHOW NOTES

Doggface208's iconic video

TRANSCRIPT

Peter:

Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age. Hey, Peter Crosby here from the digital shelf Institute, every brand leader, dreams of that truly authentic viral social media moment that will juice sales and transform the brand for a new audience. It turns out if it happens managing that fleeting moment is a tricky exercise for which there are no rule books, trace Rutland digital hub director at ocean spray. Cranberries was the leader in the hot seat when Nathan Apodaca dog face on LinkedIn with two GS showed up on Tik TOK with a long board, some dreams and a 64 ounce bottle of ocean spray cran raspberry. The rest of the story is now marketing legend. And we've got trace here to talk about it. So trace first of all, thank you so much for joining us to talk about this amazing story. It's it's a pleasure to have you on.

Trace:

Thanks for asking me. I'm excited. So I'd

Peter:

Love to just start by having you describe to our listeners how you first heard the name Nathan Apodaca, and what he did that got your attention.

Trace:

Well, actually the first thing we heard was, uh, this guy dog face, which, um, for, for a while, we actually just called him that because I think nobody really, uh, do that much about him. But, um, actually, um, when one of the people on my team got a text from a friend that she, uh, played soccer with to say, Hey, have you seen this guy on a skateboard? Uh, it's really cool. You should check it out. So she went and looked and um, she thought it was, it was cool and interesting and you know, a little bit funny and had just this very, like a good vibe feel to it and shared it with the rest of us. And we were all like, yeah, I mean, that's kind of, you know, it's, it's, it's a nice video. And, um,

Peter:

For our listeners, this was a guy who, um, had posted a video of himself heading to work, I think. And, and, uh, he was listening to dreams by Fleetwood Mac. This was on Tik doc, of course. And, uh, and he was drinking a 64 hounds bottle of cran, raspberry juice while listening to dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Right. And, and, and, and someone said, you should take a look at it. Cause it was starting to take off a little bit. Right.

Trace:

Well, and the person that sent it just really liked it. It was, yeah, it was kind of funny because actually the, um, when we re posted it, cause we usually repost, uh, with permission, uh, anything that we think that is, you know, interesting or fun, and the caption was say 64 ounces, a single serve after all which I thought was pretty funny cause drinking it like it is a, you know, a smaller bottle, but it's this giant bottle of cranberry raspberry. So yeah, I mean, we were, we were, I wouldn't say unimpressed, but we were definitely not. Um, in intrigued by it, we were more like, well, this is, this is some nice user generated content. We we'd love to repost it. And um, we thought then we saw it started to pick up a little bit and we're like, you know, yeah. I mean, it was just the right thing.

Trace:

Cause I think it was, you know, it broke when we were really starting to realize, I think that the quarantine, the COVID was going to last for a while. I think at that point I already sort of had given up on, uh, getting back out in the world. And I think seeing Nathan on that skateboard, uh, just chilling, you know, very relaxed and just having a good day in the sun just resonated with people, but we liked it. But like again, it's sad. We were, we weren't like, wow, this is going to be a phenomenon. And again, we didn't even, we reached out to him and that's how we found out his name. So that's the first time we found out his name and um, you know, my thing was like, this is like an older guy. This isn't like a teenager doing something wacky on a skateboard.

Trace:

He's just, you know, he's not doing anything particularly, um, you know, fancy, he's not particularly good looking, he's not, um, you know, he's just, he's just every guy. Right. So I, I didn't really think too much about it. And um, we talked about, we saw it gaining a little more momentum and that was like, I think Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And we're like, Oh, well, you know what? Um, we'll reach out to him on Monday if this continues to, to, uh, progress, but we think it will die. And uh, we think it will die out by Saturday. And the opposite happened. I mean, uh, news organizations picked it up and it just went very viral. You know, this, the virality of it just exploded. I don't know for formalities a word.

Peter:

I think it well, if it isn't in the dictionary, it's certainly used a lot for sure. One of the things I love, I thought part of what the story really took off. If I remember correctly was that his car had broken down and he had to get to work. And so he just got on his skateboard, grabbed a bottle of ocean spray, put on Fleetwood Mac and just got there. And he had this just joyful look on his face and we'll put the link in the show notes for anyone that didn't happen to catch it. But, uh, drinking 64 ounces of cram raspberry juice, like he was so like chill for a guy that was under this pressure of like, I'm going to be late to work. My car has broken down. Uh, he just decided to make a moment out of it for himself. I thought that was part of what really stood out. Right. Do you feel, do you agree?

Trace:

Yeah, I do agree. And by the way, it's a longboard, so it's important for these and I, I slip up and say skateboard too, but he was longboarding and there is a difference, but yeah, no, I mean, it was, and that's kind of what we found out when we reached out to him. Uh, well, so he had been asking for donations, like once, you know, when, when he saw it, uh, start to pick up, he asked for donations to fix his car. Cause all he wanted to do was fix his car. And uh, we were like, well, do we give him money? Cause it felt that didn't feel really authentic or it just felt a little uncomfortable. Right. Awkward. So, um, as we saw it explode by like, I guess Saturday afternoon we started talking about it my Sunday we had decided, Hey, we don't want to give him money because that just looks too corporate and it's just not us. Let's how do we help him? How do we, um, go ahead

Peter:

Before I just wanted to say, I, I kind of would like to spool this out a little bit in a little bit longer fashion before we get there. So I just, let me just recap it for a second for our listeners, like sort of where this went over time. And then, um, and then Molly might have a question for you sort of about in that moment when it started to rise, we'll dig into what happened. But over time, like I just checked, it's had almost 13 million views since that time, Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks made versions of it. Jimmy Fallon made a version of the governor of Montana, made a version of it. And um, and it turned out Fleetwood Mac that song received a 374% jump in sales and 89% jumping streams. And it hit the billboard charts for the first time in a very long time. And the average daily uses of dreams and Tik TOK videos went up 1380% in the month following like that's the power of the Tik TOK platform, right? It's the power of user generated content. So now that we sort of now sort of that sort of the end story, which is kind of this just took off and it's not something you ever could have planned Molly. Um, I think the hop in with your,

Molly:

Yeah, so Tracy, when we first discussed this, um, we were talking about the moment when, you know, the interwebs basically slow pitch to a viral phenomenon and you know, you had said something to me like, well, I would like to tell you that we had everything in order and we knew exactly how to respond, but this is what happened. Can you sort of take us back to that moment?

Trace:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I really would like to tell you that because it would, it would definitely sound a lot worse, smoother and sophisticated, but no, the truth was, um, we didn't have, we didn't have a particular strategy in place. We didn't have, um, really a thought like we were, we were kind of all like wondering like how do we deal with this? Because as we saw it, um, increase, we, we wanted to respond and we, uh, there then, you know, just, uh, a repost we wanted, we wanted to be able to do something about it, but we didn't know what to do. I mean, we knew, um, if we just latched on to it and took it over, it would look like this big corporation taking advantage of this, you know, really nice guy. Who's just trying to get to work and yeah.

Peter:

Were you saying like take a breath before you do it right. And yeah. And so it kind of felt like you didn't, you don't want to screw it up, right? Like, cause you want to treat it with respect, I guess. Right. Is that right?

Trace:

Right. Yeah. Yeah, no, it's true. We didn't want to, and we were, we were afraid of it cause you know, how, when anything goes big, uh, everybody in your company wants to has an opinion about how it should be handled and wants to be part of it. And we said, we didn't want that to happen. I mean, that's, I think that was the thing, um, about taking a breath and just, uh, a little bit putting the brakes on to our, um, we did, we did, you know, like I said, we did a little bit of, uh, reposting, but other than that, we just wanted to make sure that what we did just felt right to the company and didn't seem like we wanted to, um, take advantage of this person because that's not who we are as a company. And so there wasn't, you know, I, and uh, a couple of people, my team were pretty, pretty adamant internally of, you know, what we work on to do. And I think my advice to anybody would be as, you know, go ahead and run down the list of the things you shouldn't do while you're in that pause phase, as opposed to, um, think of all the things you should do.

Peter:

Yeah. It must be hard to pause when it's social media. Cause it, the moment the moment could pass any second really

Trace:

Well. Yeah. I mean, you're afraid of that. You're like, well, I mean, when you talk about screwing it up, you don't want to look authentic, but you also don't want to do any, you don't want to sit on your hands and wait too long to see. I mean, it's like a sweet spot of when do you, when do you interject and how do you interject? But it's also, you know, how do you not let it go too long? You don't want to take too long of a breath because what if you do that? You miss the moment and if you miss the moment and then try to jump on it, that really looks in Phenix.

Peter:

Once you took your deep breath, what, what did you decide to do?

Trace:

Well, that's something we, we decided that we wanted to show up with a truck for Nathan with some Korean raspberry in it. Cause we felt like that was what we would do if we just knew someone had a need. You know, like if somebody, somebody in our, um, in our company had to law enforcement, I mean, it was miles. It wasn't like he was like around the corner. It was, uh, he, he had quite the little trip on his lawn board to take, uh, so, you know, how would we help? What would be helpful to him? And at the same time, you know, uh, share what ocean spray really is, you know, not just as, not just as a drink, but as a company, so, and not to get super too touchy feely. I mean, that would be disingenuous. I mean, we wanted to make sure that we, we were able to advantage of the moment and be part of the moment. Right. Um, and I think that's the whole thing. Be part of the moment. Don't be the moment. Cause the Nathan's the moment. Um, actually we're um, go ahead.

Molly:

Well, Theresa, I mean just what I'm hearing is you wanted to make it really mutual. So there was a place for ocean spray that had naturally occurred in Nate's life. And so you add him, we're getting the benefit of it, but you were getting the benefit of it and it was really, he was causing it. So it sounds like what you were trying to do is continue on the spirit of that mutuality and whatever you chose to do.

Trace:

Yeah, absolutely. And since Nathan, as things have come along, there's certainly been people who who've wanted to, you know, be the moment instead of just being part of the moment. And you know, we've had to say to, you know, to people who have advice that's out, people always do, Hey, you know, you know, we've got to, we've got to let this, uh, we can only be part of it. Right. We can't take it over. Um, and we don't want to take it over that. It's just, it's just not the right thing to do. Um, internally or externally or for the company or for the person who's had this great idea or this great concept. And you know, the thing with Nathan, I think that the reason he's so appealing to people and the way he's gotten so many views and, uh, there's been this love for him that frankly we didn't expect either that also surprised us is because he's, he's not, um, he's not in it just, just for, you know, money or fame. He, he was just doing this thing that resonated with people. And matter of fact, is somebody asked him what happens if it all goes away? And he goes, well, then I just go back to, you know, being a potato processor, he goes, it's, you know, I'm not gonna, um, pretend like it's something not, he didn't, he didn't wake up the next day and decide he was a celebrity.

Peter:

Go ahead, Molly. Sorry.

Molly:

Oh, thanks. Um, this is so fascinating. We're both wanting to jump in, but can you talk to us a little bit about what taking over the moment would look like as a distinction and maybe, you know, share a couple of bad ideas that you

Peter:

Was there, a blimp involved?

Trace:

Yeah. No. Well, I mean, taking over the moment would have certainly meant, um, you know, turning it into a TV commercial, which was suggested, um, that would've, that would've been awful or, um, you know, taking the video and superimposing product or, you know, having a bottle of ocean spray skateboard with him, you know, like do a, uh, a stitch or do it on Tik talks. There were, there were really a lot of bad ideas about how far we should go with it. And should we, you know, offer him a contract immediately and, and not use that for the commercial, put him in our ads, all of those things would have taken over his moment and the best thing

Peter:

Flash back to Jared. I just flashed back to Jared from subway.

Trace:

Oh yeah. Well, you know what, and there's always that fear with Pharrell and that's another reason we were all kind of holding on and taking that breath because we're like, we don't know this guy. We don't know who he is. We don't know what he's been involved with. Um, you know, he, he could not be this nice guy on a longboard after all. Um, so we've got to be careful about how we associate our brand with it. So it's, I mean, it was, it was the happy accident and, and thank God we didn't screw it up, but it would have been super easy. Cause if we had latched onto him, um, and started pushing him out and then found out that he wasn't the nice guy that he is, uh, it would have been really bad. Right. Um, I mean that Jared moment for subway took a really long time, but uh, certainly ingrained in burned in all of our memories.

Trace:

So we, yeah. I mean, that was the thing. Um, and you know, you don't want it, you don't want to be exploitive, uh, because well, I, it doesn't work and B it's a bad thing, but then how do you incorporate yourself into it, you know, to your point, like, how do you part of it versus the center thing and let's face it. Um, that video is not the same without the cran raspberry, because, you know, we also talked about, well, do we need an exclusive deal with him because what if he does it with, um, you know, Welch's grape juice and we all agreed that it wouldn't be the same moment. Right. And his audience, the people who love him for who he is, they would say, Oh, this is just, you know, was this tacky?

Peter:

Yeah. This product product placement versus authentic. Yeah. Yeah.

Trace:

Yeah. And with another song, like to the point about the dream song, also not a song we would have picked if we were going to do something, we wouldn't have hired Nathan. We wouldn't have used dreams. I mean, we wouldn't have used the 64 remotes. I mean, nothing about that.

Peter:

Yeah. Yeah.

Trace:

It's all like, it was all the genius of Nathan and, um, and I think that's why it became what it did. So,

Peter:

So, uh, time passes. Right. And, uh, because your initial thing was, we're not making a TV commercial with this guy. We're going to let this moment pass, et cetera. But, um, time passed and you changed your mind, uh, right. You ran a Superbowl campaign with him. So tell me about that, that, that shift and what allowed it to have the space for you to feel like you're doing that. And had you ever signed an influencer before? Like all that stuff? Oh yeah. I know

Trace:

We use influencers, um, actually Wells from the bachelor, the bartender we did, um, he did a cocktail hour for us early, um, early COVID like probably, uh, June. No, actually, um, the reason we, the super bowl idea didn't even come from us. We had Nathan fans, cause his fans are very loyal and they love him so much said, Oh, you should put Nathan in the Superbowl. And multiple times, like it wasn't just one or two people. It was, it was, uh, an F of, I guess, a contingency that we thought, well, there's, this has legs. Right. This could gain some traction. So we approached him about it and he was like, yeah, I'd love to do that. And by, by the way, in the process, actually the Superbowl had considered inviting him. So we were also like, we had spent all this time, we started putting it together last minute.

Trace:

Right. I mean, it was like, I think four. Yeah, yeah. Super last week, last minute. Sorry, last minute. So, um, and we were all like scrambling, trying to get everything together and get, uh, you know, crew at his house. Cause he did it at his house. Um, and then we found out he was on the like list to be invited, but at the bottom. Right. And we were like, Oh, if he gets invited, we've already invested all this time and money into this. What are we going to do? Because then that's not going to look real, you know, to be showing these tech talks of him dancing and him sitting at the super bowl, which you didn't get invited, which I'm sure he was disappointed, but it worked out for us. So, um, yeah. So we sent a crew at, he actually did it. Yeah.

Trace:

All that stuff that he did was just literally the day before. I mean, it was very tight timelines. Um, thank goodness. We were nimble enough to, to be able to handle that. But yeah, it was very last minute, uh, because we had, like I said, it wasn't our idea. It was came from his fans and uh, we had to sell it in, you know, the whole thing where you have to, you know, get the money for it and um, get everybody convinced. It's a good idea. So, um, yeah, and the dance, we asked him to create a dance for like, Oh, well, and actually what we pitched to them was would you like to create a super bowl dance? And he was like, Oh, that'd be great. Cause you don't know if you ever watch these other videos, but he's a dancer he likes. Yeah.

Trace:

And so, um, so we went and we asked him to pour the Creamery, uh, career cocktail on his head and he did that. So we got some great, um, Jeff's out of it. And um, yeah, I mean, it was, it was a great thing and it was great compensation for him. And um, we got a lot of nice footage out of it. So it was a, and again, it was very mutual, um, situations. So that, that's how we got to the super bowl piece of it. It was great. Cause it got picked up. Um, we pitched, we, we did, we did pitch the idea to the networks and um, right away when we decide, when we got the yes to do it, uh, so he was actually on a extra and, and other, I think, good morning, America talking about the super bowl dance. I traced

Molly:

If you need people to pour cranberry juice on their heads, um, and be highly compensated, Peter and I are available that's Tuesday for the record.

Trace:

Uh, he was, um, yeah, we have to do it multiple times, Molly. So I'm not sure if you want to spend like two hours doing it. I feel like Peter and I could handle that.

Peter:

I am a big cran raspberry fan, so I would have, it would have to be specific, but I could, I could go for it for sure. Yeah.

Trace:

Yeah. So, and he had a lot of fun with it. He gave us some extra footage. Cause like I said, he's, he's a good guy. He's just a Joanne his moment. And you know, the last thing we'd ever want to do is take his moment from him. So, and I think we've done a great job of not doing that.

Peter:

So how did, how did I, so, uh, you know, this is lightning in a bottle or whatever metaphor you want to use, analogy, metaphor. Yeah. Metaphor that you want to use. Um, how did, did that alter your view of the ocean spray brand and how you connect with your consumers? Like yeah. W w how, cause you had said earlier, like he wouldn't have been the guy that wouldn't have been the size. That would have been the, yeah. Tell me a bit about, about that.

Trace:

Um, it, it did. It did. And I just play, I was relatively, well, I wasn't even a year into the, into ocean spray when this happened, when all this happened. So, um, it was something that I was so happy about. I mean, I mean, I couldn't believe it to be honest. Um, some days I still can't believe it and cause I don't, it's funny. Um, we were, we were trying to think like, how do we make ocean spray juice, uh, more relevant to a younger audience because it sort of had that reputation of being like your grandma's juice, you know, it's in her refrigerator when you go to visit, okay.

Peter:

You can see you manifested him, trace,

Trace:

Manifested, you know, someone really hot. So

Peter:

Some celebrity

Peter:

You've always wanted to meet that would have been.

Trace:

Um, but I'm glad it was him. Cause like I said, it it's perfect the way it is, but yeah, no, but, but we were like, you know, how do we do that and not look stupid? Cause you see brands who try to like, they wake up, everybody wakes up one day and says, Oh, we've got to appeal to a younger audience. Let's you know, do a tech talk or let's do a Snapchat. And um, and then it just really looks, it's awful. And everybody's like of does that grown when they see that, um, we didn't want to do that. So we were, we were talking about how do we get there? And then this guy shows up and like ages us down immediately. I mean, in a way that, that we could have never guessed. So I mean, as a matter of fact, Dolly say like I went out and bought his t-shirts cause you know, he sells the t-shirts um, and uh, sweatshirts and I'll give him a plug.

Trace:

You can find this March online. Um, but I was like, this guy did us a solid, you know, in a way that, that no matter what don't think we could ever compensate him for. Um, thank goodness. He's not trying, but uh, cause he's a good guy. But like, I mean really like if you think about that MasterCard priceless thing, this, this was priceless. Um, and I think it was priceless because it was so real and because he wasn't the guy, you know, I mean, there's just no way someone would've come up and there's no way that the struggle was social is you can't predict a pet or fat, Oh, this is great story. I'm on a call with our, uh, at the time director of PR she's now left in our VP of marketing and she goes, well, why don't we, why don't we catch this earlier? Isn't there an algorithm that can predict it? And I'm like, no, no, no. I mean, you don't know. Sometimes people gain, um, gain followers and views and then it just stalls out, which is exactly what we thought was going to happen tonight. Your word clouds. And we see an analogous formation around a longboard, 64 ounce and core breakdown trace. You should have predicted that.

Trace:

And I'm just like the whole time. I'm just like, yeah, well, whatever. I mean, you know, we do the best we can. We watch what, you know, we obviously watch what, what pops up. And then we look at user generated content and all of that, but yeah, I mean, no, no one knows and it could have easily gone the other way. Um, and then that would have been a big investment for the company and we might've had egg on our face. So, um, you know, there was a risk they are, and I'll give a lot of, um, you know, props to the people who are willing to, to ride the risk because there's

Peter:

Yeah. And I wanted to say that's, to me, this, this whole thing says a lot about ocean spray and the team that you have and, and for you a year in to be able to express your sounds like very clear opinions upon what's right. And what's wrong for the brand when there was all of that pressure coming in and not that people had bad intentions or anything, they just want to make the most of the moment. But I love that, um, that your instincts and I'm sure your, your, your bosses, um, kind of won the day. Uh, and, and you kept it, you kept it authentic and that, and th that's hard.

Trace:

Oh, I know. Yeah, no, you can't. And you know, I, I mean, I'm the person, I'm the person who gets in trouble for speaking up. I don't think anybody goes very long without my opinion on a print, anything. So, um, which is we get along. Yeah, absolutely. Um, but, um, but you know, you also, you have to do it because I mean, you have to be, cause I mean, our jobs, I always say at the end of the day, um, and I learned this a while back is, is to protect the business, right. And to protect the business, you don't just protect the business from people outside the company, protect the business from people inside the sometimes because again, yes, Molly understands you have to do that.

Trace:

You really do that. It's just part of your job. And so that was really important and you know, you gotta, you might be wrong and I could have, you know, I could have been dead wrong. It could have been a weird situation where the right thing would have been to like, you know, to do a TV commercial, and I could have cost the company millions of dollars and probably been out of a job, but, you know, just, it's just, it just was the right thing in it. Um, and it certainly turned out really well. I mean, again, he has so many followers. We still find that we repost his content. That's when we get the most, like some, we get the most engagement even now, but as actually like, even with the super bowl, um, when we first started seeing the comments about it, we were like, Oh, he'll be dead by then.

Trace:

Not, not literally the viral. He he'll be fine, but like, you know, his moment and his, his 15 minutes of fame will be over. I mean, the fact that they lasted to Thanksgiving really shocked us, but the fact that even in December, that's when we really started hearing that we should put them in a Superbowl ad lasted that long really surpassed anything that we imagined could happen. I mean, I don't know if you know, but he was invited actually to the fact that was actually an internal thing about, Oh, you know, it's just not going to, it's not going to continue. And he got invited to be in the inaugural parade by, uh, president Biden. So he was part of that. And I was like, man, he's still, he's still got legs here. Right.

Molly:

Wow. I heard something about the next space mission, um, that he's been invited. I'm just kidding. Well, this wouldn't be a business oriented conversation without a small talk about measurement. Uh, when you spoke about this experience with the digital shelf Institute, exact forum, you talked about, uh, your experience measuring the ROI on these types of activities. Um, how did you think about that and how do you think about it now?

Trace:

Yeah, I mean, we, well, we talked about it and think about it a lot still because, you know, we have a, obviously an insights department that does a NMM to try to tease it out. Um, the challenge we had was that, um, because of, uh, because cranberry, uh, curries are good for you and in an immune health way, and it's a shelf, stable juice, our sales were good before nights. And so it's actually really hard to tell, um, the impact that he had because the sales have been so good. Thank goodness. Um, during this time. So, uh, you know, we can, we certainly the media impressions, we track the PR impressions, which we got like 2 billion of those. I don't remember the exact number, but it was billions of PR, um, Tik TOK. And I haven't mentioned this, but definitely need to give them a serious shout out.

Trace:

Um, they were so excited and so impressed with, um, with what was going on that they turned Nathan's skateboard ride and Fleetwood skateboard ride. And our CEO did one, which when, actually, when that was pitched for him to deal with it, I was like, eh, that's cheesy, except he's a very charismatic person. And he also knows how to ride along board. So it worked out, um, uh, Tom Hayes, if you Google it, you'll be able to find it. But, um, anyways, so they're like, we want to take all these users who've because that was the other thing right with it. So users replicated the moment. Um, you had everybody doing it. Some people, one girl did it with a sauce with the cranberry sauce here for Thanksgiving, which, um, some people, we actually had people who couldn't find Korean raspberry because they went, did that, did fly off the shelves that we could track because, um, people look specifically not just for Niesha spray bottle, but for current Asbury.

Trace:

And, um, so, uh, we, all that user generated content was being, uh, it was on tick tock, tick tock said to us, Hey, um, we'd like to put all this together in a commercial, uh, would you partner with us on it? And I was like, sure. And I thought it was going to cost a lot of money and I never get the money approved. And really, um, they just ask us for, to pay for the licensing for the song. And we got this and it, and they ran it in the, um, uh, baseball playoffs in basketball, all the live sports that was such a big deal at that point, you know, where we have very little live content and very little sports. Um, they ran it in, uh, several award shows. So we got, um, you know, millions of TV impressions for free or for the cost of the licensing.

Trace:

And that that's never in my media buying career ever happened that you got. And if you look at the commercial, it is nothing but ocean people drinking ocean spray until the very end where they say it starts with Tik TOK. I mean, it looks like a commercial. We may see the point of a commercial we made. So that was just, that was like, I mean, like I almost cried. I mean, when I saw where they were putting that commercial, you know, coming from just that media background where they were putting it and how much it's like the fact that all of it was oceans, where I was like, this never, ever happens in anybody's career. So, um, and speaking of ignoring like good things are actually the day that it really started to, um, to take off, there was an email from Tech-Talk right as a, you know, in my, um, inbox.

Trace:

And I saw it and I get a lot of people pitching me all the time. And so I'm like, I didn't even open it. Like I did not open the email for doing talk. I was like busy doing something else. And then, um, a friend of mine who works at Adobe, um, he used to be a two mogul that I know said, Hey, so-and-so who used to work with us is trying to get in touch with you. She's at tic cough now. And I was like, Oh, and I write. And she's like, all right, fine. I'll look at me email. And it's like, Hey, we say this taken off. We want to work with you. And I'm like, well, I'm an idiot for not looking at that sooner.

Peter:

My next lottery ticket please. Oh my gosh,

Peter:

Tik TOK to really leaning into things like this like that. I think they're being, you know, especially given the headwinds that they experienced with the last administration. I think they're being incredibly creative and, and committed to their, their brand ethos, their, uh, you know, their, um, their audience in a really cool way. Well, I was trying to monetize the platform increasingly of course.

Trace:

Right. I mean, I'll just be honest if that any other, any other platform and, you know, I'm actually thinking of one specifically would have said,

Peter:

Would have said, Hey,

Trace:

We'll do this. You know, we'll amplify this for you. If you give us like, you know, a $2 million media buy. I mean, that's really the way that happens in the real world, the everyday media world, nobody just offers you a partnership, uh, for a small cost of entry, just to help amplify both of our brands. Right. Um, so I mean, it, it earns huge amount of respect for me. And actually now everybody in the company, that's the first thing they ask is like, you know, are we doing somewhat Tik TOK week? And I just don't like, pay them back. I mean, obviously we see the power of the vehicle. It's amazing. But at the same time, you know, people want to work with them. They're, you know, a preferred partner of ours now. And all because they went, they approached in a way that was, was fair and authentic and not like, you know, let's just, you know, grind every penny out of this. So, um, yeah. Yeah. And it was great for them. I mean, I think I hope so too, but you know, it did, it did a lot for them. It did a lot for Fleetwood Mac. It did a lot for us. And, you know, to your point though, about impressions and measurement, I don't know how much, but how do you measure rebranding your, uh, product without lifting a finger? I mean, I don't even know what the dollar value of that would be,

Peter:

You know, the dollar value of a rebrand exercise and that is not small.

Trace:

No, no. I mean, you know, but, but

Peter:

They're superior superior from sound of music. How do you hold a Moonbeam?

Peter:

Yeah.

Trace:

And I always send you the answer delicate. I mean, I would say delicately, right? It's that same thing of, you know, making sure that things are mutual between us and Nathan or anybody else that we work with. And my other favorite funny thing was like, to the point of, we didn't have a strategy, we didn't have a team, we didn't have a process. We didn't have anything. Um, I mean it was literally chains of emails and, um, and, uh, somebody, but somebody said, yeah, we need to, you know, we need to, to, to codify this, we need a process because what would it happen again? And I'm like, you do understand that that is never going to happen again. I mean, I can say never, but like, but the, that moment and that, um, the love for it and, you know, frankly, I do think if it had happened a year before, a year after, I don't think it would have been what it was. I think it was the right thing at the right, you know?

Peter:

Yeah. I mean, just seeing somebody where everyone has their version right now of their car breaking down and some way bigger and some smaller, but, uh, everyone's re trying to, needing to remind themselves of, of finding that moment of Zen or moments of Zen in the midst of all of this. And, and he just spoke to that in a really beautiful way. And then you joined him in that. And I think that that's really impressive and wonderful and, uh, a nice moment in some, you know, some challenging times. So Tracy, I'm sorry, go ahead.

Trace:

Just say it. I mean, it was it, and again, it was the kind of thing that like, uh, you know, I personally, um, have so much gratitude for, because it changed my job and made my job better because now I had, you know, the, uh, permission and the ability to, uh, use our, our media to talk to younger consumers and, um, to, to just really, uh, rethink who we are to people and, um, and what people want from us. So it, it just, I mean, you just can't ever, um, become, uh, jaded about something like that. I mean, I'm certainly not, I mean, it's just an and like I said, he has his fan love, um, so much loyalty and, you know, he, he helped, he's helped us so much. It's like, um, it's just incredible.

Peter:

Well, I, I mean, I just watching him and looking at his feet, I just wish him all the bad, like you just root for him. And, and like you said, you can't that can't go into a creative brief, you know, it's it's, and that's the beautiful thing about, you know, keeping your, your eyes and ears up for these moments that you said, like you said, might happen once in a career, but you want to be ready for them when they happen. And that's approaching your brand with, uh, knowing your brand enough that you can react in the moment and do the right things, which is very cool. So, uh, trace, uh, as a final, as a final question, a final piece of wisdom for our listeners. So your car breaks down and you're on your longboard. Um, what ocean spray product would you be vibing to and to what song?

Trace:

Oh my gosh. Um, well, I mean, it would definitely be, I'm a big cram pineapple fan. I mean, I like the original, but I like it. Yeah. I, well, actually we have a cran watermelon who's now, uh, that just came out. It's vying for my favorite second favorite. Um, but yeah, those two are mine. Um, I'm actually not that big of a raspberry fan, so it wouldn't be current answer. Um, so it would be that, and, you know, with me, it's like, he can't ask me like, uh, what's her favorite song? Cause there's, it's the moment. But in that moment, um, I probably would've, I probably would've picked something a little more mailer, mellow ear, like some Jimmy Buffett's something probably in my song. Um, unless I was like that might've been something a little faster, but yeah, I would say that, you know, it'd be that, um, something like that,

Peter:

I don't, I don't wish, uh, the car breaking down on you, but I do wish you moments of Zen, uh, as we enter, as we continue into 2021 and trace this, thank you for contributing to the DSI community, both in the executive forum. And, and by coming on this podcast, we are super grateful and so happy that you shared this story.

Trace:

Oh, no, thank you. Cause I get so much out of it. I mean the form itself, it's always something that I didn't even know that I needed to know. I mean, it's the information and the, um, the people and the, uh, that I get out of it, it's just because I think, you know, in our, in our world, um, there's, there's not a lot of people who do what we do. Right. And especially if you, you know, if you think about the, the MarTech piece of it, but there's just not. And so being able to talk and share, um, information and advice and perspectives, because we all have different perspectives, just like if another company this had happened to, they would have handled it differently. And I'm not even going to say that it wouldn't have been the right way. I mean, what we did worked for us in our brands and maybe it would have gone differently, but, but being part of this forum, I think gives us all that chance to grow and learn. So, um, I am, uh, I am also grateful for that opportunity and, uh, you know, I love to talk, so this is great.

Peter:

Well, uh, thanks for giving back and, uh, and we really appreciate it.

Trace:

Thanks.

Peter:

Thanks again, to trace for sharing her journey through unexpected brand transformation. Please share this with your colleagues and leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for being part of our community.