Welcome to the Ampersand Blog

The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.

Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

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    kandpeeps | Friday, December 27, 2013 11 Comments

    Social Media’s Effect on the Holiday Season

    We all know just how heavily brands use advertising throughout the holiday season, but in the ever-evolving media world, have you ever taken the time to think about how much your Facebook and Twitter are influencing your spending as well? Shoppers are increasingly turning to social media to hunt down the best deals and gifts from both businesses and friends alike.

    I was recently surprised by an infographic I came across on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor highlighting social media’s impact on holiday shopping. It claimed that 65% of shoppers used social media to find gifts – and even more, 67% of these shoppers purchased a gift they saw on social media. My immediate reaction was that this was hyperbolized; dramatically skewed in some way and that no one really looks at the advertisements scrolling their Facebook pages.

    Then I got to thinking: it clearly wasn’t the direct advertisements that were social media’s marketing gold mines, it was the word of mouth. 60% of women use Pinterest to research the gifts they plan to buy. Why? Because someone they followed and trusted pinned it first. Their positive opinion on the gift makes others more likely to have the same positive opinions.

    Then I started noticing my own habits. I was one of the 67% of shoppers that used digital coupons I had seen on Facebook while at the mall. I was one of the 59% that found out about J.Crew’s Cyber Monday deal from a Twitter follower. I was even one of the 63% to click a link to a holiday giveaway (fingers crossed!). Social media had consumed my holiday shopping behavior and the more I thought about it, the happier I was— sales, sales, sales!

    What about you? Do you think your holiday shopping is affected by your social presence?

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    Anna McCarter | Friday, December 13, 2013 31 Comments

    A Nostalgic Look at Some of Our Favorite Holiday Commercials

    The holiday season is upon us and with it comes a new crop of holiday-themed commercials. This year, you’ll find Taylor swift and Justin Bieber making an appearance in a celebrity-filled Macy’s holiday commercial. You may have also seen the group of pant-less men “jingling their bells” in the risqué Kmart commercial. Companies put a lot of creativity (and money) behind their holiday advertisements, as it’s a key window to drive retail sales, but consumers more often remember the particularly heart-warming ads far beyond the season – sometimes for many years to come. In honor of the holiday season, let’s take a moment to look at some commercials of holidays past, which have become holiday classics.


    Who can forget the bright red Coca-Cola holiday trucks that lit up the night? As a true “Americana” brand, Coca Cola does a great job of associating their product with family traditions like waiting up for Santa – or in this case, waiting for the red Coca Cola trucks coming to town.



    In the early 1990s, Folgers Coffee pulled at our heartstrings with the “Peter Comes Home for Christmas” commercial. Folgers incorporated the

    classic scene of a person waking up to the smell of a fresh brewed pot of coffee. But on Christmas morning, the version is extra special with Peter’s surprise return home. This ad reminded us that no matter how many presents are under the tree, having your family home for the holidays is always the greatest gift. And of course, it reminded us that Folgers Coffee is perhaps “the best part of wakin’ up” on Christmas morning.

    Campbell’s hit one out of the park with their melting snowman commercial from 1998. As the snowman eats the soup, you see the snow melt away to reveal a young boy underneath. The commercial is clever, and most importantly, it makes you want to warm up with a bowl of Campbell’s soup after watching it. Their tagline says it all: “Nothing melts away the cold like a delicious bowl of hot chicken noodle soup.”

    In December, most people watch classic movies like “A Christmas Story” or “It’s A Beautiful Life” to get in the holiday spirit. In a similar way, these older commercials stir up holiday excitement and make us nostalgic for seasons past. What are some of your favorite holiday commercials from over the years?


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    Caitlin Gribbons | Monday, December 2, 2013 19 Comments

    Giving Back: The Reason for the Season

    With the holiday season in full-swing, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of shopping, decorating, and party planning. Don’t lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays, an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate in Boston. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Jenna Finn | Tuesday, December 20, 2011 11 Comments

    Hanukkah Ham

    Happy Hanukkah!

    Sometimes people have weird holiday traditions, but you cherish them because they are traditions. One of the traditions in my family is to have a ham at Hanukkah time.

    I know what you are thinking, “I thought Jews don’t eat ham?” and you would be correct. Kosher-eating Jews do not consume ham. My family, on the other hand, definitely does not keep kosher, hence the Hanukkah Ham.

    A few years ago, my father decided he wanted to have a ham at our family Hanukkah party and so we did. Out of that strange (and oh-so-not-kosher) craving, a tradition was created. Obviously, ham wasn’t the only delicacy on the menu. We also had the more traditional and kosher potato latkes (my favorite!), and some delicious Kugel, as well as other munchies and lots of wine! And the desserts! Yummmm!

    But this ham thing, it has garnered some pretty interesting controversy among those who hear about our little tradition. My family has never pretended to be hard-core celebrates of the Jewish faith. We have all had Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s and (some of us) go to Synagogue on the High Holy Days, but other than that, we’re pretty agnostic.  But on Jewish tradition alone, are we not allowed to indulge in non-kosher foods during holidays?

    A look at the Finn Family Hanukkah Party Menu.

    Top: Potato Latkes Middle: Hanukkah Ham Bottom: Kugel Right: Wine

    What are your thoughts? Would you indulge in some Hanukkah Ham if you had the opportunity? Do you have any strange Holiday traditions?

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