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partesotti Brand Strategist VCU Brandcenter

mollie partesotti Work TOC Sharpie Digital Strategy + Work Motel 6 Integrated Campaign Long’s Horseradish Product Launch + Integrated Campaign Spreadable Media White Paper Coca-Cola Creative Research + Brand Analysis Devolve Brand Development

Hello. I’m a redheaded, left-handed, 24 year-old from the Deep South. I live for culture. I live for ideas that move with culture, create culture. I keep a small memo pad in my back pocket at all times – to jot down thoughts. I’ve filled up twenty-two of them so far with ideas, insights, and observations. I believe we live in actions, not years. In thought, not speech. I count time by heartbeats – mine beats for inspiration, for life, for passion. Thank you and enjoy.

Mollie Partesotti Brand Strategist VCU Brandcenter 09 228.365.1359

VCU Brandcenter - Richmond

Master’s Candidate - Communications Strategy August 2007 - Present GPA 4.0 Learned to think creatively from the number one school in the industry. I’m studying in the most exciting track, communications strategy - a wicked blend of consumer insight, brand strategy, culture and media. I’ve embraced innovation, unconventional thinking, and holistic solutions. In addition, the program has been a vehicle to perfect my leadership and presentation skills through creative collaboration.

Loyola University - New Orleans

B.A. in Economics and Communications - Summa Cum Laude w. Honors August 2003 - May 2007 Living in New Orleans in Katrina’s aftermath was both a curse and a blessing. My apartment flooded 16 feet, but it allowed me to figure out what really matters in life - the intangible. As an economist, I can do a cost/benefit analysis for pretty much anything, talk incessantly about supply and demand, and draw a graph with guns and butter. This background allows me to approach issues from a holistic perspective and utilize analytical reasoning to solve problems in a broad social context.

Venables Bell & Partners - San Francisco

Brand Strategist - Summer Placement May 2008 - August 2008 Clients: HBO, Montana Meth Project, Audi Worked under visionary Strategy Director, Lucy Farey-Jones during one of the most exciting stints in my life thus far. I spent two weeks in Montana filming a documentary interviewing former Meth addicts in juvenile dentition centers across the state culminating at the famous Montana State Penitentiary. My obsession with internet paid off as I developed digital strategy and social media initiatives for HBO to appeal to younger demographics and launch content online. I also constructed consumer profiles, case studies, focus groups, creative briefs, and client presentations.

Trumpet - New Orleans

Planning Intern March 2007 - July 2008 Clients: New Orleans Tourism, CVB, New Era “Men (and women) wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” I worked directly under mentor Robbie Vitrano, President and CCD at Trumpet. At his little shop, I learned how to bundle my thoughts into strategic insights and thinking. His confidence in my abilities allowed me to get my feet wet and do cool work in the city I love.

VCU School of Communications - Richmond

Adjunct Professor August 2008 - Present Course Taught: Intro to Advertising The Dean of the School of Communications approached me about teaching after I was recommended by Brandcenter Faculty. In my first week on the job, I threw out all the dated textbooks and instead drew inspiration from the real world and focused on new media and the dynamic changes in the industry. Academia needs more innovative approaches to teaching fundamentals, especially for our future leaders.

The Gratis Group - New Orleans

Founder February 2007 - present It’s a simple idea: Inspire action. Change the world. Have fun. Because doing good shouldn’t feel like a chore. I founded a pro-bono group thru Loyola University that provides strategic consulting and branding identities to a variety local non-profits affected by Katrina. One of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

Awards and Honors

Brands I’ve Worked On X Games Audi Montana Meth Project HBO Burt’s Bees Piperlime Google Marimekko Motel 6 Ordinary People Change the World Yonex University of Phoenix Sansa Sharpie Long’s Horseradish

Dr. Pepper Chocolate Skittles Muhammad Ali Center Schwinn Tomos Scooters Red Bull BMW Aqualisa Quartz Circuit City MBT Shoes Time Warner Cable New Orleans Tourism New Era Coca-Cola Sheetz Camel

One Show Client Pitch Finalist 2009 Cannes Lion - Future Lion Award 2008 Cannes, France Gold Addy - New Orleans Tourism 2007 Editor, Sixty Magazine, VCU Brandcenter Student of the Year (2007) - School of Mass Communications, Loyola University Ignatius Scholar, Loyola University Paper forthcoming “A case for advertising in the modern economy” in Economics Journal 2009 Alpha Delta Sigma - Kappa Tau Alpha - Alpha Lambda Delta - Phi Eta Sigma



Digital Content Delivery Propagation Planning Future of Work, Digital Nomads Social Networking, Web 3.0 GLBT Consumerism

Simmons and MRI+ Adobe Creative Suite Final Cut Pro iWork and iLife Suite Everything Google

World Traveler Before coming to Brandcenter, I hopped on a plane and traveled around Europe for a while. I experienced many things from sitting on Fjords in Norway to roaming through the streets of Paris. I experienced more after I threw out my guidebook. Since then, my list of places to visit has tripled. I learned more about myself and other cultures than I could have ever imagined. I bring some of these experiences and perspectives to everything I do. Traveled to: Estonia, Mexico, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand

Interesting Facts I am a scratch golfer and a music composer. I studied Suzuki method violin for 10 years. I am obsessed with Thai and Indian culture. I am fiercely loyal. I am comfortable with change and embrace it. I love challenges - fear of mediocrity drives me. I wake up everyday wanting to change the world.

Mollie’s Tribes TRIBE

New Orleanean

Inherited workaholic overachiever

Refined Hipster



“laissez les bons temps rouler”

“good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better than best.” “i’ll just do it myself.”

“i am an individual”

“kissing smokestacks.”

Belief System

We say "y'all" and talk to strangers on the street. We walk slowly, talk slowly and invite the mailman over for dinner. We think food should be spicy, music should be celebrated, and the only place Jesus should be is hidden in the middle of a King Cake.

Brand Affiliations

Tribal Signifiers

your burial plot is six feet above instead of six feet under

you judge a restaurant by its bread

you still can’t believe that Mardi Gras isn’t a national holiday

sleep deprivation

Our last conscious thoughts are filled with all the things we must accomplish tomorrow. We are impatient, frustrated, and often disappointed by our peers.

keeping obsessive “to do” lists

excessive caffeine intake

We embrace pseudo-artistic image and have strong attitudes toward fashion, design, music, and urban culture. We believe in "counterculture," environments, artists, and thinkers. We are always in pursuit of independent, nonprofit choices of consumption in any and all aspects of life.

sizable collection of vintage clothing and decor

dark wash straight-leg denim

plastic rim eyeglasses

vinyl albums framed in living room

you think the Constitution is the only contract with America you need

We believe in the power of the individual especially in choice and freedom. Personal liberties are of utmost importance to the human spirit. Societies are at their best when there is limited government interaction and control.

working and/or reading during meals

not being able to identify with a political party


Any place with antiquated architecture and an abundance of culture

• desks • coffee shops • the office •

• the genius bar • 80s dance nights • local coffee shops • gallery openings

• •

Tribal Leader


Midwesterners Evangelicals • Brides to be • My Dad • •

Ignatius Reilly from Confederacy of Dunces

yoga masters slackers • buddha • free-riders • •

Dr. House played by Hugh Laurie

Preppies Goths • Republicans • Jocks • •

Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power)

Ralph Nader Government • Hitler • Socialists • •

Ayn Rand author of The Fountainhead


Digital Strategy + Work making the analog marker culturally relevant to a digital world

CANNES LIONS Future Lion Award 2008

The Avant-Garde are not afraid to express their ideas and opinions about the world, and they don’t take anything as gospel. They live life without much regard to rules or the status quo. These expressionists covet opportunities for personalization and customization within consumption (remix culture) and are always looking to find something undiscovered and “fresh” to pass along to peers. They are not afraid to publish their entire lives online as they see technology as giving them a creative voice and healthy virtual ego. Their self-proclaimed uniqueness and individuality are popular diversions within the context of web 2.0 and social media.

The Avant-Garde see Sharpie’s boldness over any other product attribute. Above all things, Sharpie markers are BOLD. Boldness implies confidence, desire, and a sense of responsibility.

Anything worth writing should be written with a Sharpie.

But now, blogging, text messaging, and social media have offered digital forms of this medium. The Avant-Garde are more likely to use these forms of communication, however these devices lack an aspect that only Sharpie can deliver...

By incorporating tangibility and individuality through a digital medium, Sharpie can further solidify its role in the process of being BOLD and expressive. Therefore, the campaign incorporates the traditional characteristics inherent to the Sharpie brand with the digital elements and demands of the youthful generation.

click for campaign manifesto video

Five years ago, the internet was transitioning from an informational medium to a creative medium. As more people utilize emerging media for personal and creative expression, it was time for Sharpie to have a presence in the digital space. The juxtaposition between tangible handwriting and the digital environment is a perfect marriage for the Sharpie brand to stay culturally and socially relevant to consumers.

Using infrared motion sensors and cameras, individuals can express themselves through a digital interactive billboard. The person would use their hand motion to move the Sharpie and write a life-size message that is instantly displayed in front of them. During the periods where there is no consumer interaction, a slideshow of messages from past writings would be displayed. Digital Canvases are placed in high traffic, high density areas globally such as Union Square in NYC.

By utilizing the smart touch technology of mobile devices such as the iPhone, users can instantly download a Sharpie application that would allow them to write a message with their finger using the touchscreen. When finished, the user can bluetooth or SMS the message to the digital billboard within the event/stadium for the entire crowd to view. Such billboards are placed in high attended venues and stadiums during concerts, festivals, and sports events.

Sharpie takes over Twitter and restructures the aesthetics of the homepage to replicate the simplicity of the marker and the boldness of writing with it. Instead of updating their Twitter through traditional type, users can utilize the interactive Sharpie pen to write messages in their own handwriting.

AD: Jeremy Claud

Integrated Campaign making an aging brand relevant to younger audiences and a more frugal economy

Tales of an Aging Brand Motel 6ʼs offering of a no frills, quality motel endured for multiple decades, seeing in terms of location expansion and revenues but as as the brand has aged, so has its core consumer base and now stands on a precipice of becoming irrelevant to Gen X + Y travelers.


The rise of a new generation of travel consumers — with new ideas and evolving needs and wants — means that although the friendly, warm, down to earth Motel 6 might possibly retains its distinguishing characteristics from competitors, these attributes are largely no longer relevant to younger travelers.

Average age of a Motel 6 traveler is 52 years.

The Challenge How do we make Motel 6’s equity relevant to a new generation of travelers? The beneficial aspects of the legacy of the aging brand which provides scale, reliability, and value need to now be complemented by the personality of a youthful consumer.

Social and Cultural Mission Connect younger travelers to the 6 brand View Motel 6 as a smart, value oriented travel stop Improve the overall stay experience at properties Facilitate Motel 6 stays via internet bookings and mobile technologies


MOTEL 6 Core


Gen X + Y travelers


Young Road Warriors Motel 6 is poised to attract the Gen Y traveler, a customer who has grown up with the irreverent, smart service of Southwest Airlines, the work among the crowd Starbucks culture, and is accustomed to nice aesthetics at affordable prices via Target and Ikea. Gen Y brings a new array of travel preferences and expectations, far removed from their parents.

Males and Females

Ages 21-35

10+ hotel visits/year

high propensity to travel by car

17 MM Americans

Changing Perceptions But first and foremost we had to change the perception of the brand from Motel 6 being the cheap, dirty motel.

Insights + Observations Want a seamless, simple experience on the road

Cheap must be interpreted as value and use the Wants a seamless, simple experience on the road

Lodging is not the destination, but rather a means to the “experience” Wants a seamless, simple

existing equity of motel 6 relevant to the target.

experience on the road

What older consumers see as “attentive and responsive,” a younger traveler may seeWants as “tedious and unnecessary.” a seamless, simple Increased interest in experience driven branding; brands with a personality and pointWants of viewaonseamless, the world simple


experience on the road

experience on the road

Value Strategic Platform

Motel 6 is just what you need.

Creative Platform Just what you need. A Manifesto.


We believe the essence of travel is the destination. Bathrooms

We're not talking about all that 'life is journey, not a destination' stuff. We're talking about actual traveling. We're talking about road trips.



The co-op brings together businesses that are viewed as value brands and those which resonate values important to our target. It was important to prove the value of having of a relationship with Motel 6. We did so by partnering with brands who highly valued a similar lifestyle group. By co-opting such equity, Motel 6 could further prove its value while offering exposure to its partners.

We're talking about bathroom gas stations that you have to have a key attached to an anvil to get into. We're talking about leg stretching in the drive thru line. We're talking about the insanity of a traffic jam on an interstate and the calm feeling that comes with finally getting there. And 'there' is why we are here. To give you what you need And nothing you don't. Motel 6 would make minor changes to each property’s rooms by adding products of partner brands. To assure traveler benefits, all products chosen display the greatest values each brand has to offer. To assure both partners and travelers are interacting, a special catalog would be produced for each room showing the specific product located in each room and where they can be purchased.

Print //

Spots “Silence” :30 Radio Spot Click to listen “Escape Extravagance” :30 TV Spot Click to View

“Wake Up” :15 Mini Spot Click to View

The 6 Room Selector

The website was redesigned to offer visitors just what they needed, a simple, seamless way to make reservations online.

In addition we added a feature that airlines had been using for years that provides equal utility for Motel 6 guests. During the online booking process, give guests the opportunity to select their own rooms, whether it be closer to an elevator or the lobby.

6 Mobile Application Users also have the option to book while on the go/road.

Biodegradable Road Cooler To add to the seamlessness from room to road we reinvented the ice bucket. These biodegradable boxes can serve as ice buckets in the room or a cooler to-go in the car after checkout.

6 “Stays” Gift Cards Instead of traditional monetary gift cards. The 6 card is charged with “stays” instead of dollars. It also gets travelers points in the 6 club.

Express Check In Stations Self check-in stations allow travelers to check in and receive their room key from the automated kiosk at properties.

6 Brand Gear Motel 6 apparel would be available at Target Stores nationwide to facilitate 6 culture adoption among younger travelers.

BBTC = Bed. Bathroom, Television, Clean - the pillars of bare essentials Creative Team: Mollie Partesotti, CS Charles Hodges, CW Husayn Raza, AD Leo Pike, AD Jordan Childs, CBM

Connections Plan A connections plan was used to pull our target through the integrated branding efforts.






Make the brand relevant to younger travelers

Re-introduce brand to younger travelers

Facilitate brand consideration among lodging possibilities

Enable connection and interaction with Motel 6 and services

Provide opportunities for individuals to adopt, pass along 6 culture



Website RADIO

Room Selector/Self Check in


Spreadable Media


“6” Merch Wake-up Calls Gift Stays To Go Ice Box

Our goal was to make an aging brand relevant again to show how frugality can be cool given the right mindset.

Motel 6 didnʼt have to change what it is to stand out,

but simply embrace and accentuate what it always has been:


lers n e v a r t t a h w t jus

Product Launch + Integrated Campaign how make a tiny horseradish brand appeal to discerning foodies

client pitch finalist

The Project: Take handmade farmer’s market horseradish and introduce it to the growing gourmet industry

The Challenge: Reposition Long’s as a high-end specialty food brand, appealing to affluent and discerning food enthusiasts

Brand Background:

Long’s Horseradish has been around for more than 100 years. Since 1901, four generations of Longs have have been handcrafting small batches of fresh horseradish condiments and selling them at the Central Market in Lancaster, PA. Today, Long’s has brand aspirations that go beyond its fame in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Objectives: Grow Long’s from a local, handmade product in Lancaster, PA, to a premium accouterment natinally recognizable become a recognizable brand within the Foodie movement.

The New Oxford American Dictionary 2008 Word of the Year was locavore. “The word ‘locavore’ shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment,” said Ben Zimmer, editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. “It’s significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way.” Beloved as a local Lancaster icon, Long’s Horseradish has the potential to be the locavore’s champion. Long’s has a foundation of care and craftsmanship, and is ready to tell its story by connecting with consumers who can appreciate its simplistic, yet bitter purity. Long’s inherently has a quirky irreverent personality which we want to share with the world. Most condiments, besides the cliches of the hot sauce world, don’t have a point of view.

The opportunity: It is critical for the Long’s to develop a personality and point of view that transcends the simplicity of the horseradish and facilitates a connection with your desired target of sophisticated consumers.

The Target Localvore Men and Women (35-60) Average age is 44… Highly educated Affluent: HHI $76,118 More Urban - 52% are residents of major metro areas

Other considerations: • Locavores are the ones salivating over restaurants, recipes and radicchio… foodies consider food to be an art on a level with painting and drama • They are dining hobbyists • They are culinary brand advocates

Strategic Platform: It’s bitter because it’s pure, and it’s pure because it’s Long’s.

Bitter taste. Bitterness often has a negative stigma, but, in essence, it’s the purest form of food and flavor. Think about it: coffee, chocolate, wine, are some of the classic symbols of refinement in the world and, not coincidentally, some of the most bitter tastes in the world.

Bitter tone. Bitterness has always symbolized an intellectual form of cultural commentary in the form of satire. Satire is considered to be the most intelligent form of commentary on life, society, humor, because it requires such a complex understanding of its subject. In the past it has been popularized by writers such as Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, and Chaucer. Today, satire has found huge popularity in American culture through popular figures like Stephen Colbert, John Stewart and pop culture items such as Some E-Cards, Hallmark’s Maxine, Graphic Tees, and The Onion.

In the case of Long’s, its simplicity, just the root with a bit of vinegar, inherently casts it among the world’s most bitter flavors. Bitterness brings out the truth of a food, revealing characteristics that otherwise would not be discovered.

Connecting bitter taste and tone: The bottom line is that, in today’s world, satire has become an effective tone of communication, especially when married with the appropriate product and executed in the correct fashion. Our hope is to take this societal insight and translate it into a platform that gives Long’s a place to have a unique, bitter, and truthful conversation with consumers.

Creative Platform:

Pure Bitterness.

Tone = witty, satirical, honest, bold

Print //

Web //


The bitter part of the palette is the most sophisticated part of the palette the last one to mature. It takes a refined person to appreciate this corner of the culinary world. But bitter is different. Bitter is strong. Bitter brings out a different side. It pulls out the truth of a food. It is a test of one’s culinary endurance. Bitter is better. There is no better messenger of bitter than horseradish. And there is no better form of horseradish than Long’s. Long’s is pure bitterness. Want some?

Longʼs Homepage

Foodie Earth A user generated mapping tool of hard-to-find sources for great ingredients. Small farmer’s markets don’t have websites. And neither do stands on the side of the road. Foodie Earth is a way to log and share your finds of places with the freshest ingredients.

New identity and package design further revealed the brand’s personality to consumers.

:30 “pure bitterness� local spot and spreadable media

AD: Julia Melogrania CW: Charles Hodges

Rich Media Banner

Spreadable Media White Paper an examination of sociability in media and planning


By Mollie Partesotti We all know we’re living through a digital media/ revolution. But this knowledge is only a limited help for a couple of reasons: revolutions are impossible to make sense of while they are ongoing, and they are nearly impossible to accurately predict before they finish. That being said, it is important for communicators to at least understand the caveats of the changing landscape, and begin to smartly navigate in the revolutionary waters. Some have argued: Peer recommendation is the new ‘persuasion’, and ‘social networks’ the new TV networks. Arguably, there is a future where paid media is a secondary option for conveying a message, and non-paid or alternative forms are much more effective. Online consumer-generated media such as blogs and forums have helped supercharge the phenomenon know as “viral marketing.”

Viral: a missed diagnosis The term “viral” has had a prior association exclusively with biology and infection. In its correct context, when something spreads virally, for instance the flu -

people become infected without realizing so. The germ is hosted and passed without the individual even being aware or without any effort. Or if someone is aware they are sick, they have to try hard not to spread it. So the word ‘viral’ transferred to a communications context would thus mean that if one creates a great ‘viral’ campaign the receiver would be without ability to resist, and spread the message before they were aware.

But this is quite the opposite case of how such content is encountered and disseminated to others. Things are spread ‘virally’ not because individuals don’t have control or are not aware, but the exact opposite - they want to spread it. The term “viral” is thus completely inaccurate and misleading. Content cannot be “viral” unless the consumer wants it to be, and makes it so through premeditated social action. Noah Brier contends that content cannot be viral unless, “lots of people choose to propagate it. It requires people to do something. Voluntarily. It [viral media] suggests we push, when in fact they [the consumer] pull.” Many marketers and communications professionals continue to make this mistake. Coca-Cola, arguably one of the world’s smartest brands, even lists videos on its website as “viral” spots - promising a social outcome though content. A new term has emerged as the correct classification of such content: spreadable media. No matter the definition, marketers need to be less obsessed with trying to make spreadable content “viral” and more concerned with understanding what people would like to spread and why.

To make a virus, give control

A successful viral piece depends on nearly infinite numbers of variables, but the most important is that of distribution. When an agency creates a traditional ad, print, television spot, or online banner, the vehicle of dissemination have been premeditated. No matter if the ad is subsequently successful or not, there is no question that the intended target will encounter the ad in the intended context. But viral messaging has an entirely different dissemination all together. Content achieves exponential exposure as a direct result of many individuals choosing to tell others about the content. Thus, this pass-along behavior is a determinant of such success. One of the things that makes ‘spreadable’ media successful is giving the consumer a rather increased amount of content control. Paul Parton, of Brooklyn Brothers NYC, stated that, “We should give people tools, assets, help and permission to be active participants in the content they want to pass along.” This is a scary idea to many brand managers, but giving consumer’s more say in content gives them more incentive to pass and spread the message. Ideally, from this perspective, consumers would be able to pull the message, play with the content and get involved, package it back up / provide commentary, and then pass it along to their social network. In providing such opportunities and in the process of doing these things, the message actually gets stronger to those it is disseminated to, not weaker and more fragmented as it is often

perceived. If you think about it, if a consumer is able to shape or guide content before it is spread, the messaging has a huge potential to become even more relevant to those its passed. This is because it allows for individuals to spin things, add commentary, or modify content in ways that become more relevant to their individual tribes.

FIND the

right hosts

Another important consideration when creating “spreadable” content is to have a compelling point of view. Its important that the message have some intrinsic value, whether informational or entertainment that the audience finds use in spreading it to their social network. It is equally important that initial messaging is delivered to people who care, especially those who are introduced to it first. The internet and specifically social media have made the task of finding groups of likeminded people that much more easy. But arguably, almost nothing becomes “viral”

without supporting mass media (see “convergence culture”). Behind many successful “viral” hits is a reasonable amount of mass mass media. Whether it paid through an integrated campaign, or earned through subsequent news media, little is left to not at least be pushed along through complementary mass support.

Play the odds

Yahoo’s Duncan Watts, in his “influencers” research, used a lighting many fires analogy that points to the fact that ‘spreadable’ media is susceptible to cumulative advantage. He suggests brands are better off to “place lots of bets to give you the best chance of starting a full forest fire - start lots of fires in lots of promising places.” This approach challenges the way we approach communications planning - suggesting there is no longer a need for one unified strategy, but rather the possibility of many interrelated strategies. The cost efficiencies of digital media allow marketers to hedge bets and not bet the farm on one thing - make 10 and see what takes.

How will the virus affect us? The implications of new media and spreadable media are abundant. Specifically, the planning and strategy behind content will become more important because a larger amount of money will shift towards a less standardized planning model. There will be less premeditated “placement” and more thought given to environmental context and entertainment creation.

Some assert, such as Ivan Pollard of Naked London, that communications planning is evolving to a far more anticipatory model called propagation planning. Propagate is defined as “to increase by natural process; to multiply; to pass on; to transmit; to spread from one to another.” Propagation planning is defined as not only planning for the people you reach but also for the people they reach. One must plan beyond (and invest behind) the way those first affected go on to influence and affect others. With this theory, no longer can the planner just look at the brand’s targeted “first contacts” but try and also account for the subsequent, collateral impressions and anticipate them appropriately. With this planners can no longer just think of the “target audience” as the end of communication but rather look to them as partners in not only spreading the messages, but modifying it, creating it, and possible re-producing it. Regardless of what happens and what new techniques and strategies will enter the marketing mix in the future, one thing is for certain, companies need to constantly be looking for innovative ways to present ideas. As the marketplace grows and consumers are faced with more options when selecting products and services, companies cannot afford to blend into the background. Spreadable media and viral marketing may just be one of a series of epidemics to infect the advertising landscape. With the addition of each new ‘virus’ or strategy, consumers will develop more ‘anti-bodies’ in an attempt to block the feeling of bombardment, and so advertisers need to do what they can to always stay one step ahead. Much is still unknown about spreadable content and it is often times quite plainly a gamble. But most often its a $5 dollar buy in at the craps table rather than an “all-in” no limits bet - and through such techniques many brands have hit the jackpot.

Creative Research + Brand Audit a campaign connecting with multicultural youth.

Creative Research Using the classic Coca-Cola bottle as inspiration, customized primary research was conducted in which the target was asked to tap into their creativity: Message in a Bottle • Distributed blank paper bottles and markers to 241 individuals in the target who were asked to fill the bottles with written or visual messages of self-expression that reflected their personalities, perspectives, or emotions. School Graffiti Walls • 8 large bottle graffiti walls were constructed and hung at area schools and common gathering places. Equipped with markers, respondents “tagged” the bottle with expressive thoughts and drawings. Community Graffiti Wall • Provided an opportunity for local graffiti artists to express themselves through Coke message walls. In agreement with local warehouses, walls were provided to create a unique canvas. The art, produced over two days, was well received by the community and many stopped to participate and observe.

School Graffiti Walls

Sally, age 20

Instructions on paper bottle read: “This is your bottle and we want you to send us a message. Write us a note. Draw us a picture. Do anything. We’re the stranger on the other side of the sea and we’re waiting to stumble upon your message. Maybe you can inspire us.”

Message in a Bottle

Community Graffiti Wall

Damien, age 17

Situation Analysis Coke Mythology Coca-Cola Classic is the undisputed king of the soft drink industry. That said, Coke is losing ground with America’s youth. The brand is seen as dated, traditional, and conservative. Products that have strong associations with past lineages have trouble connecting with younger audiences. There is opportunity to bring Coca-Cola Classic back to the forefront of beverage choice for today’s generation. Coke can be presented as classic, but youthful. A beverage that is part of all facets of life. One that provides a vehicle for experience, growth, and individual expression.

Past • The American Icon • High Brand Loyalty • High Preference

Present • Global Conglomerate • Our parentsʼ soda • Passeʼ and conventional

Future • Strong connection with youthful consumers • Brand that creates movement in society

Problem: Who is Coca-Cola Classic? Coke has never revealed its personality to this audience. The target perceives Coca-Cola Classic as dated, traditional, and conservative. It’s been the juggernaut, the 800-lb. gorilla, that doesn’t connect with the target.

Objective: Reveal Coca-Cola’s brand personality through an integrated campaign that will make the product culturally valid and relevant to the target. Take the current association away from an inherited relationship and turn it into an introduction that will connect strongly with the consumer.

Problem: The target sees Coca-Cola as a giant business entity. Untouchable and powerful. In the past, Coke has advertised in an imperative tone leaving little room for the target to build a relationship with the brand.

Objective: Recognize Coke’s position as a reflection of the strength of brand offering. A Gentle Giant. Use Coke’s visibility to leave a good footprint for today’s generation, and allow audience to self-define their relationship with Coke.

de volve Brand Ideation and Development assignment briefing: create a brand from ground up. conceptualize a product then build brand values and attributes accordingly.

de volve

Brand Values

classic expression. modern sophistication.

Brand Manifesto “de volve reclaims the right to a more simplistic living. we reject the manufactured mobility of words and relationships. we refuse to have our voices filtered through Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial. we do not fear wires or wi-fi, rather, we are wary of the space they take between us. we believe that there is no truer form of human interaction than human instinct. we believe in the beauty of untainted feeling. we draw from the past to lead us into tomorrow, while trusting in the honesty and potential collected in our hands.”

unfiltered expression


de volve

Brand History like many great ideas, this one started with a question. if new orleans were a brand, what would it be like? that’s how de volve was born. capturing the essence of new orleans, a city built on heart, soul, and human spirit; a city that is simple in nature and embraces the past; a city with impeccable style and taste, de volve embodies the movement towards simplification in today’s increasingly complicated world. de volve revives the humanity of communication.

human connectivity

Brand Affiliations

Positioning Statement de volve revives the humanity of communication through sophisticated style.

PRODUCT Development


New York Magazine Product Editorial Spread

SHIRT Extension

de volve

Mollie on having an opinion: I know that above anything, it is critical in our business to have a point of view and perspective on everything. Without it...well, you don’t exist. Here are a few of my thoughts on random topics:

On believing:

On winning a war:

On commoditization:

Sometimes getting people to believe in an idea is similar to getting people to go to a party, it

I believe that a ‘War on Terrorism’ cannot be won with traditional means because it is not a traditional war. It seems to me that

I understand that the ability to add value to a brand is constrained by the effects of commoditization. While Starbucks was extremely successful in selling a coffee drinking experience, their ability to price above cost has come to a halt within the past year. Their share price has fallen considerably in the last six months, the Economist ran a story on the ‘commoditization effect’ of their brand (people began to perceive their product as just another cup of coffee), and several websites are dedicated to disseminating anti-Starbucks propaganda. The fact remains that consumers are beginning to understand that the value-added coffee Starbucks sells isn’t worth the $4 per cup.

all comes down to game theory. Its success depends on the turnout of cool, interesting people. The tricky part is convincing cool and interesting people that other cool and interesting people will be there. It boils down to expectations of the expectations of other likeminded individuals. The secret is talking to the right people with the right message at the right time.

we should engage in a war of ideas to effectively denigrate acts of terror. As

seen with piracy and slavery, implementing a concerted effort on the part of the international community to stigmatize acts of terror coupled with an effective policing strategy can achieve dramatic results. By crowding out the extremist ideas that become embraced by disaffected youth who lack viable economic opportunities with positive ideas that will drive social change, perhaps a peace can be achieved.

The experience they are seeking can be found at the local coffee shop and not at “FOURbucks.”

Mollie Partesotti

Brand Strategist VCU Brandcenter 09 228.365.1359

References please do not hesitate to contact:

Caley Cantrell Professor and Head of Strategy Track, VCU Brandcenter / 804.827.8861 Rick Boyko Former CCO, Olgivy & Mather Worldwide Director, VCU Brandcenter / 804.828.8384 Robbie Vitrano President and Creative Director, Trumpet, New Orleans / 504.525.4600 Cabell Harris ECD Work Labs Creative Professor, VCU Brandcenter / 804.828.8384 Charles Hall Creative Professor, VCU Brandcenter / 804.828.8384

Profile for Mollie Partesotti

Mollie Partesotti - Brand Strategist // Brandcenter Portfolio  

graduate level portfolio case videos:

Mollie Partesotti - Brand Strategist // Brandcenter Portfolio  

graduate level portfolio case videos: