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Welcome to The Ad Club Blog.

With insights from our members, speakers, and partners, we're joining the ongoing and exciting conversation about everything that goes in on our industry.

The Ad Club invites you to join the conversation. We welcome guest bloggers, story ideas and submissions.
  • 14 Nov 2013 1:11 PM | Anonymous
    BostInnoCocktail-clad members of top ad agencies in Boston will flock to the House of Blues Wednesday night for one of The Ad Club's largest annual events, known as the Hatch Awards. Though guests will begin to trickle into the dazzling venue around 5:30 p.m., those dawdling behind won't have to miss a minute of the excitement going down inside. Read more »
  • 13 Nov 2013 1:09 PM | Anonymous
    BostInnoTonight, hundreds will descend on the House of Blues for the 53rd Annual Hatch Awards presented by The Ad Club. Once a year, Boston’s advertising and marketing leaders gather to honor their peers’ creative excellence, crowning hundreds across 36 categories. The Hatch Awards spotlights the best campaigns and the brilliant minds who brought them to life. Agencies large and small, established and up-and-coming, will be showcasing their work and applauding others. Read more »
  • 12 Nov 2013 12:44 PM | Anonymous
    BostInnoOn Wednesday evening, Boston’s top advertising talent will converge on the House of Blues to partake in the the Hatch Awards, the Ad Club’s celebration of the city’s most creative campaigns. This annual event reunites creative directors, copywriters and designers, all of whom gladly take the time to recognize other agencies’ innovations and reconnect. Read more »
  • 27 Sep 2013 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Annual Media Maven Awards is a juried awards show that recognizes local and regional media buyers and planners for creating and implementing innovative, creative, and effective media plans. This year's awards boasted one of the most prominent group of judges ever, with the majority being out of market, top-level professionals in the field. Each winner was recognized at the Ad Club Media Innovation Day on September 19th, a day dedicated to all things media.

    Congratulations to all of this year's finalists and of course to the winners. For a full list of finalists in each category, please visit our Maven Awards site.



    WINNERS:

    Best Use of TV - Hill Holliday for Dunkin' Donuts
    Best Use of Radio - Mediahub/Mullen for Jetblue Airways
    Best Use of Print - Mediahub/Mullen for National Geographic Channel
    Best Use of Out of Home - Mediahub/Mullen for Jetblue Airways
    Best Use of Digital - Starcom MediaVest Group for Bank of America, Merrill Edge
    Best Use of Mobile - Blitz Media for Bosch
    Best Use of Social - Kelliher Samets Volk for National Grid
    Best Use of New & Non-Traditional Media - PGR for Cole Haan
    Best Use of Branded Content - Blitz Media for Breville
    Best Integrated Campaign - Mediahub/Mullen for Jetblue Airways
    Best Plan for Campaign Spending $1 Million or Less - Hill Holliday for Samaritans
    Best Use of Research - Hill Holliday for Bank of America
    Best Multicultural Campaign - Havas Media for Choice Hotels
    Best B2B Campaign - Allen & Gerritsen for Boston University
    The Risky Business Award - Allen & Gerritsen for D'Angelo
    The Media All Star Award - Keith Lusby, Mediahub/Mullen
    The Rising Star Award - Kyle Graham, Blitz Media




  • 20 Aug 2013 2:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    On July 31st, a new 6.25% sales tax (included in the Transportation Finance Bill) on software design services went into effect. There are only three additional states (Hawaii, New Mexico, and South Dakota) that currently tax computer services the way Massachusetts now does. This tax has an enormous impact on our industry and the Massachusetts High Tech Council and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation have now joined forces to push for repeal.

    There is no question that members and partners of The Ad Club community will be highly affected by this new tax, and we have already begun outreach to learn more about what can be done. The Massachusetts High Tech Council and Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation both strongly encourage the public to make their concerns heard- a few ways to join in the conversation:


    We will continue to monitor developments and post information about the software services tax.

    Sincerely,


    President, The Ad Club
  • 08 Jul 2013 12:35 PM | Deleted user

    Last Tuesday morning, Meredith Verdone, SVP & Brand, Advertising, Research and Sponsorship Executive at Bank of America, unveiled the remarkable rebranding of Bank of America in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

    Date back to 2006 and Bank of America is leading the competition as the #1 financial services company. However, that period of extreme growth and wealth experienced a major shock when the financial crisis hit in 2008. To resurrect itself, Bank of America needed to overcome more than their financial setbacks. Despite their stock hitting $2.53 in 2009 after reaching an all time high of $54.90 in 2006, their most challenging task would be to transform their business from the inside, out to rebuild relationships and trust.

    Meredith highlighted the need for a companywide transformation compared to a simple acquisition of capital as she shared the story of the infamous “$5 debit fee.” In 2011, in an effort to come back from the ashes, Bank of America briefly considered a $5 transaction fee for a fraction of its customers, and inevitably the idea was met with serious backlash from social media. 

    The swirling media attention that severely hurt Bank of America’s reputation taught the company a valuable lesson that would fuel the company’s rebranding.

    “The $5 Fee Heard ‘Round the World” taught Bank of America a tough lesson, but they gracefully embraced the incident as a pivotal moment in their rebranding and saw it as an opportunity to design a more holistic plan to rebuild the company in a way that extended beyond generating liquidity.

    Bank of America’s damaged reputation was not unique within its industry; the majority of financial services were suffering from a lack of trust, and Bank of America quickly realized “the era of too big to fail” would no longer suffice.

    Meredith’s emphasis on the depreciation of “too big to fail” is reflective of a greater change in societal attitudes. Meredith said, “trust in all institutions has been declining for decades, whether in organized religion, health care providers, big business or government.” To rectify theses changing attitudes towards big business, Bank of America ran with the idea of taking the brand from the “institutional era to the human era.” Meredith spoke extensively about how brands in the human era are “inherently human in the story they tell and the experience they provide.”

    To enter the human era, Bank of America choose to rebrand their company with the all encompassing phrase- Life’s better when we’re connected, because it’s “powerful, credible, timely, and timeless.” To implement the ideas of connectivity in the human era, Bank of America initially focused on their internal side because “real change starts from inside” and “the most successful companies create real change by starting inside the company first.”

    Meredith cited CEO, Brian Moynihan’s effort to change the behaviors of the company by restating the company purpose as one of the most important steps in the company’s rebranding. The goal of transforming Bank of American into a “Human Era Company” was brought to fruition by committing to the following series of key behaviors:

    • 1.     Become easier to work with
    • 2.     Make our expertise more accessible
    • 3.     Make relationships more real and human
    • 4.     Align our interests with those of our customers in shared success

    As Bank of America was committing itself internally and externally to the human era, their external campaigns made some of the greatest strides for the company’s rebranding. The series of advertisements that is centered on the idea that “Life’s better when we’re connected” demonstrated the appropriate empathy, humility, and integrity to tell meaningful stories and engage numerous and new demographics. The notable commercials that Meredith shared with us touched upon many relatable moments in our everyday lives, and it was evident in the room of over 250 attendees from various businesses, that these commercials truly strike a familiar chord within all of us. In particular, the closing of the Newfoundland Dog commercial achieved the reaction from the audience that you could tell Meredith and her team had anticipated. In the commercial, a young couple arrives at a farm to pick up their new puppy. As the husband observes the large full-grown version of his puppy, while the wife is simultaneously cradling the infant version, his reaction to a glimpse into his future is one of those priceless moments that everyone watching sees themselves experiencing at some point in their life. Whether it’s becoming a first time pet owner, getting married, growing a small business, or even experiencing the simpler moments, viewers are having meaningful interactions with these commercials because they are putting themselves on the receiving end of the stories.

    As Meredith’s presentation came to a close, I admittedly began to feel the connection to the company that they were seeking for their customers in the wake of this human era transformation. As a rising senior in college with a personal debit card from a local bank about to expire, I found myself ready to sign up for my new checking account with Bank of America for the simple, yet meaningful moments and life milestones they incorporated in their advertisements. The ability for big businesses to capture the connectivity and familiarity once native to small businesses truly changes the landscape for the future of companies like Bank of America and their customers.

    Check out other great “Life is better when we’re connected moments” from Bank of America.

    http://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/lifes-better-connected/brand-TV.html#fbid=AKnPOhDY5XZ

  • 04 Feb 2013 3:24 PM | Deleted user

    Storytelling at the Superbowl.
    Entertainment is one thing, but what’s the moral of each brand story?

    By Jeff Freedman, Founder and CEO, Small Army


    Last night, we were entertained with stories from more than 30 brands trying to win the hearts and minds of game-watching consumers.    But, entertainment value alone doesn’t necessarily do that.  The most effective stories also convey a moral that enables the audience to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the brand.   Based on this criteria, here are the true winners and losers from the game.


    The Winners:


    Volkswagen:

    Moral:  When things are built right, there’s no need to worry.

    Although this ad has received some (IMO, unwarranted) criticism for being racist, this ad was not only entertaining, but also clearly conveyed a moral that caused the audience to make relevant assumptions about the brand – safe, reliable, well-built, etc.


    Tide

    Moral:  Stains are never wanted.

    In this clever ad (also impeccably timed in the 4th quarter) Tide told an entertaining story that appealed to fans of both team.  They did not tell use how they got rid of stains or claim why they were better than their competitors.  Instead, they confidently expressed that no stain is sacred.  As a result, we will assume they do a great job of getting rid of them.


    Jeep:

    Moral:  Appreciate the things that are best in life. 

    With one of the few ads that pulled at heart strings instead of funny bones, Jeep demonstrated that they appreciate the best things in life – in this case, the troops who are fighting for our country.  By associating themselves with the troops and honoring them in the ad, they elevated their message far above gas mileage and style.  And we all walked away with a slightly greater appreciation for the brand.


    The Losers:


    Kia

    Moral:  If the truth is touch to tell, make something up.

    While many found this ad entertaining, it would be surprising to see people running to Kia dealers to buy their next car.  Who wants to buy a car from a company that believes you should avoid the truth.  Seems a bit fishy to me.


    SodaStream

    Moral:  We can all reduce waste

    SodaStream had the opportunity to stand for something big, and get people excited about making their own carbonated drinks at home.  While the landfill/less plastic moral may be noble, it seems off the mark and not broad enough to make a real market impact (especially among the broad Superbowl audience.)


    Go Daddy

    Moral:  It’s fun to kiss a nerd?

    Go Daddy clearly goes for shock value.  While SuperBowl fans are all aware of Go Daddy by this point, how comfortable are they with having Go Daddy manage their domain name for them?  Fortunately for Go Daddy, the competitors are relatively unknown, so consumers are often left without a choice – so, perhaps they got their value.  But, imagine if they actually told a story that made them look good?

    Although many of this year’s stories were entertaining, it’s the moral of the story that will determine their ultimate effectiveness. That’s the moral to this story.

  • 04 Dec 2012 12:55 PM | Deleted user

    Oh the cool things I get to do at work. If you’ve read any of my blogs over the past few months, you know there are two things I love: sports and innovative marketing ideas. On November 29th, I sat at the intersection of these two passions at The Ad Club’s “Sports & Entertainment: A Marketing Summit".

    If you weren’t there, check out this roster; you couldn’t ask for a better group of speakers. The event kicked off with Sports Marketing committee chairman Chip Rives discussing the landscape of an industry worth over $50 Billion annually. Chip is no stranger to sports or sports marketing, being both the CEO of TRP Sports and Entertainment and a former Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year during his football career at Wake Forest.

    What I was most impressed with at the event was the depth and breadth of the speakers featured, as well as the consistently high caliber of their presentations.

    Manny Rodriguez was, in my opinion, one of the surprise presentations of the day. Rodriguez is VP of Sponsorship at NRG Energy, a global leader in solar energy. Rodriguez discussed how NFL stadiums are increasingly incorporating solar into their construction. NRG has installed solar panels at 8 NFL stadiums across the country, including Gillette Stadium. At the beginning of Rodriguez’s presentation, only three hands went up when he asked if people thought about their energy bill. After he finished, more than half the room agreed they wanted to know more about solar energy.

    Later on in the day, David Pace of Pace Sports Management discussed the sponsorship deal between UGG Australia and Tom Brady, providing very interesting insight into how a historically female-targeted brand came to partner with Tom Brady to promote luxury men’s footwear. It all came down to giving men permission to try a pair of UGGs. Pace shared a particularly funny story in the planning process in which an executive asked him to find the “Oprah of men.” The result was Tom Brady.

    Glenn Brown, Director of Brand Strategy for Twitter (@GOB for us prolific twitter users), spoke about new uses for Twitter in sports marketing, including Brad Keselowski tweeting live from NASCAR’s Daytona 500, and gaining over 100,000 twitter followers in the process. Brown also shared stories about objects that tweet, such as the NBA backboard cam at the Slam Dunk Competition this year, and the London 2012 pool cam.

    In a stats filled presentation, Clifton Ma, Yahoo! Head of Fantasy Sports, discussed the business behind the game. Did you know more people play fantasy sports in America than live in Canada? While we all love playing Fantasy Football, here’s why marketers love us playing fantasy sports. The average player is a male (80% of all players), will be on their league site or app for 500 minutes a month, and spend $468 dollars a year on fantasy sports. His average income will be $93,000! 40% of them will remember an ad that is on their fantasy page, as opposed to 31% normal ad recall. Oh the power of fantasy!

    The keynote for the night might have been my favorite presentation from a sports lover’s standpoint. Peter King, the legendary Sports Illustrated Monday Morning Quarterback writer shared stories from inside the world of the NFL with us. One of his best stories really illustrated the change in the sports economy over the course of his career. King told us (and I’m paraphrasing of course) of a phone call between him and legendary Packers QB Brett Favre in 1996 the night before Favre went into rehab for painkillers. Over the course of 45 minutes, in what Favre said was his last phone call before rehab, Favre discussed how “everybody wants to be Brett” and how miserable it really was, how he was destroying his life by popping painkillers just to get out of bed, and how he really needed to take care of himself.

    King recalled getting off the phone with Favre, on a Tuesday night, knowing the Sports Illustrated publication deadline was Monday night. In a pre-internet environment, King just hoped this bombshell of a story would hold until the following Monday to go to press, and until the following Thursday when it would release. So he waited, and he read newspapers, and he hoped. And shockingly, at least to us in a instant information society, the story held, and Peter King broke one of the great personal stories in football.

    In today’s world, says King, he would have immediately tweeted out two quotes from Favre teasing of a story to come, posted the story to SI.com shortly after, and been on ten TV and radio programs by the morning. That is how much sports has changed in 15 years. From a world in which 15 reporters show up to the NFL combine, to a world in which 700+ show up and the event is televised live.

    King wrapped up his presentation with one of his famous lightning rounds of questions from the audience, in which both the question and his answer must take one minute to complete. It was during one of these rounds that my favorite quote from the event came out. Again, paraphrasing; King said of his access to the NFL “I love my job because I get to take people places they can’t go”.

    What did you think about the event? Tell us in the Sports & Entertainment Marketing survey, we appreciate your feedback. Connect with us on Twitter @TheAdClub and tell us what you enjoyed most!

  • 07 Nov 2012 1:56 PM | Deleted user

    When the office first started kicking around the idea of an Ad Club “sports and entertainment marketing” event this year, I was thrilled. Being a life long sports fan (Lets Go Kings!), the idea of working on an event centered on sports stirred fantasies of listening to local sports legends such as Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, or, dare I say, Tom Brady speaking at an Ad Club Event.

    While that would be amazing, I quickly realized I was focusing on the “sports” part and neglecting the “marketing” aspect; which may actually be even more interesting given the time we live in. Sports have existed as long as men have wanted to prove their superiority to each other…so basically as long as humans have existed. But never have we been able to consume sport in the way we do today.

    The ways we consume sports is as wide as the world of sports itself. We’ve got social media breaking news of trades before the media, and sometimes before even the players involved know about it. As fans, we can use our mobile devices to stream 24/7 sports, or connect with fans around the globe with tools like Liverpool’s LFC Connect app. Fans are talking to their favorite athletes via social media, and in many cases, the players are even talking back and meeting their fans. And how can we forget fantasy sports (Although I may want to forget this season)? It’s a whole new game out there!

    Sports & Entertainment: A Marketing Summit, The Ad Club’s premier sports and entertainment event on November 29th , will explore the fast-changing marketing landscape of sport and entertainment, both on the global and local level. Join fans, brands, and marketers to examine the business, identify opportunities for advertisers, and assess the major trends and issues influencing the wide world of sports + entertainment, media and marketing at The Ad Club’s Sports & Entertainment: A Marketing Summit on November 29th.

    Follow us on Twitter @TheAdClub
    Connect with me on Twitter @GreggOberg
  • 05 Nov 2012 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    Rules of Employee Engagement

    According to Forbes, “employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” There are many different theories and rules on how to have a successful employee engagement program, and the challenge is figuring out which approach is best for individual companies.

    “5 Companies, 5 Different Takes on Employee Engagement,” from GreenBiz.com gives an in-depth look at different companies and their uses of employee engagement. Each company focused on one very specific aspect of employee engagement instead of a list of rules. SAP AG tried to implement a “shared vision” regarding their employee commuting which led to an increase in “SAPs green commute program.” The companies saw success with their emphasis on particular pieces of employee engagement theories, but I think employee engagement is much longer of a process than just a one-step quick fix.

    BI WORLDWIDE, a company that focuses on helping businesses with employee engagement believes that the rules of employee engagement have changed. After extensive research, BI WORLDWIDE has developed ten new rules of engagement that take a deeper look into what makes employees the most successful.




    • 1) Get Inside Their Heads
    • 2) Make Them Fearless
    • 3) Make Money a Non-Issue
    • 4) Give it Meaning
    • 5) Be Boldly Transparent
    • 6) Keel Them Healthy
    • 7) Make it Cool
    • 8) Let Them Lead
    • 9) Magnify Their Success
    • 10) Take it to Extremes

    “The New Rules are a contemporary approach stemming from BI WORLDWIDE’s extensive experience in behavioral economics and our latest research into the drive of today’s employee,” says BI WORLDWIDE.

    I think the ten new rules cover everything about employee engagement and are a foolproof plan for a successful engagement program. They put emphasis on every aspect of an employee and how to engage them, not just how to "make them happy." Employee engagement is always changing and BI WORLDWIDE'S new rules are the most modern example of this.

    For more information on The New Rules of Engagement by BI WORLDWIDE, check out Rodd Wagner, VP of Employee Engagement and Rick Pulito, VP of Marketing Development at The Ad Club’s Under The Dome Event on November 7th, 2012.


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