Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on January 26, 2015

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January 2015 Brand Zeitgeist: The Iowa Brand, Late Night, & Poo Pourri

brand zeitgeist report

Each month as part of the On Brand podcast, we take a look back on the month that was. We’ll reflect on the brand builders we chatted with here on the podcast and also discuss the biggest stories and pop-culture funnery that made up our brand zeitgeist. To help with this, I’m joined by our special contributor Meghann Foster. Let’s take a look at January 2015!

Enjoy This Episode Now

The Brand Zeitgeist Report: January 2015

The Iowa Brand Was in the Media — With the recent season premiere of HBO’s Girls we rehashed the local debate about filming on campus in and around the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (a pivotal plot point in the series). We discussed what Girls, the Iowa Bachelor on ABC (#PrinceFarming!), and Joni Ernst’s state of the Union response means for the Iowa brand. The Iowa brand could benefit from Patrick Hanlon’s primal code!

Senator’s Ernst’s #breadbags meme left an opening for some humor from Iowa’s own RAYGUN shirts.

Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore, and Comedy Central Excel at Content Brands — As we said good-bye to Stephen, we reflected on the strength of his personal brand and how unique it was. Particularly the fact that his personal brand isn’t who he actually is. What will define the new Colbert brand? We also talked about the launch of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. This strong new show illustrates how effective Comedy Central is at creating content brands as Andrew Davis shared earlier this month.

Poo Pourri Went Viral — And of course, we saved some time to talk about poo! Specifically, we talked about Poo Pourri’s recent viral videos and how they too have mastered Hanlon’s primal code of branding (if you haven’t taken the hint, that was a pivotal episode if you missed it). Beyond the funny subject matter, this brand has succeeded by owning who they are and what they do. They’ve also deftly exploited the humor of the situation!

Here’s their hilarious Instagram feed we mentioned during the show.

What brand has made us smile lately? I loved Taylor Swift’s Swiftmas! There. I said it. What a great example of surprise and delight. Meghann gave a shout to Dorie Clark’s podcast episode while I pointed to recent episodes of Tom Ashbrook’s On Point and the Social Media Marketing podcast that focus on podcasting for brands.

To learn more about Meghann, follow her on Twitter and check out her work on the Iowa City Moms Blog and as organizer of our Brand Driven Digital event series.

A Few Final Reminders

A big thanks to a mentor of this podcast with a new resource that you should know more about. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has done it again. In addition to being a digital marketing thought leader, speaker, and best-selling author he’s now created a new online resource indexing all of the great marketing podcasts out there — it’s called Marketing Podcasts and you can find it at MarketingPodcasts.com. If you like marketing and podcasts you need to check this out.

Last but not least …

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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