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

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  • 09 Apr 2012 10:17 AM | Joy Errico Seusing

    Guest Blogger: Joy Errico Seusing, Vice President, External Relations, Jumpstart; @Jumpstartkids

    Last fall, I left the retail industry after more than ten years to pursue a leadership opportunity at Jumpstart, a national non-profit organization focused on early childhood education. Having two preschool-aged children of my own and a passion for mission-driven work, I was humbled by the opportunity to join an organization that makes a profound difference in the lives of young children by helping them to develop the skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.  

    With the growing economic challenges in our country, there is increased disparity between the early education opportunities that children from underprivileged communities receive, as compared to those from more prosperous neighborhoods. In fact, in low-income communities, 50% of children start kindergarten up to two years behind their more affluent peers. Investing in early education has proven benefits for not only these children, but to our society as a whole, resulting in greater lifetime productivity in the workforce, lower crime rates, and higher graduation rates. Jumpstart tackles this divide by training caring adults to deliver a research-based program to preschool children who need it most. Headquartered in Boston, Jumpstart reaches 10,000 children in communities throughout the United States, including New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. 

    One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is the opportunity to connect organizations with Jumpstart’s mission to drive positive change for young people. A few weeks ago, I received a call from Starbucks to participate in a national cause marketing program that encourages Starbucks cardholders to vote for their favorite non-profit. Jumpstart was one of the beneficiary organizations selected from a pool of 300 non-profits to join the Starbucks Community Card: Vote. Give. Grow. program. Special thanks to all of the Starbucks employees who rooted for Jumpstart!

    With your support, Jumpstartcan secure $400,000 to help children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.  Here’s how you can help:

    1. Register your Starbucks Rewards card at, selecting your preferred community.
    2. Vote for Jumpstart using your Starbucks Rewards card at
    3. Vote for Jumpstart once per week through April 30, 2012 and tell everyone you know!

    Thanks so much for supporting our cause and please stay in touch with us @Jumpstartkids!

  • 05 Apr 2012 3:48 PM | Deleted user
    The AMA Boston Chapter held a Pinterest Roundtable last night in Westford, MA. If you haven't heard of Pinterest yet, wake up! The virtual pin board, which has been around since 2010, has exploded in the last few months, with off the chart results. Statistics indicate that over 20% of users have made a purchase from a pin!

    Awesome numbers, but does that mean you need a pin board? That is a fair question to ask. With limited resources and increased time being devoted to social media outlets, marketers and advertisers have to ask themselves this question seemingly every day as new networks rise and fall.

    So I set out on the drive to Westford, about an hour from my office in Boston, to meet the AMA group at the British Beer Company, which coincidentally is a nice place to have a meeting. I sat down at a table with people from NowSpeed, World Learning, Ross Simons, and more.

    The topics of discussion ranged from "What is Pinterest?" to "Where is the ROI", and everything in between. The wide range of experience, job functions, and organizations really made for an interesting conversation. Ideas discussed included the use of Pinterest to drive students and parents to a study abroad program via images, to using Pinterest to spread links to your content; all of which seemed to be pretty solid ideas.

    This all got me thinking; what are you using Pinterest for? And if you aren't, why not?

    Lets us know your thoughts @TheAdClub
  • 30 Mar 2012 11:05 AM | Fred Caserta

    The Ad Club in Boston, MA, in conjunction with sponsor Newsweek & The Daily Beast, gathered for the Mad Men Season 5 premiere. The Boston Sales Manager of Newsweek & The Daily Beast, Paul Gillespie, picked up the first drink for the first 100 people at the party. Guests came dressed in Mad Men attire and toasted the new season.

    Gregg Oberg, Social Media Manager for The Ad Club, also offered a special treat to the guests – get your photo taken in Don Draper’s chair from Seasons 1 to 3.  The chair was provided by A Chair 4 Charity, and all photo proceeds were sent to the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. You can see pictures of Don’s chair at the premier party on The Ad Club’s Facebook Page.

    Founder of A Chair 4 Charity, Fred Caserta (Principal/Creative Director of Stratford, CT-based Caserta Design Company, LLC), offered Don Draper’s chair to The Ad Club for the event through a social media posting.

    A while back, Caserta received an e-newsletter (yes, a loyal fan, he joined the show’s mailing list) and learned that Mad Men was going to auction the set from Seasons 1 to 3. Still disappointed Jon Hamm’s appearance fell through, Caserta felt he owed the club some piece of the show, and if he couldn’t produce Don Draper in person, at least he could provide the chair.

    Caserta said, “Owning the chair is like having a piece of television history.” Several of Mad Men’s promotional posters and ads showed Don Draper in the chair. The chair was, after all, where Don Draper smoked, had a drink or two, took meetings and even voted on merging his agency with another. It was the one item that anchored Don Draper over the first three seasons.

    Auction Cause managed the auction for Lionsgate and AMC TV; eBay® facilitated the online bidding; and uShip’s Help on Wheels was the charity delivery vehicle. Bidding for the chair started slowly, but rose to a frenzy right before the auction closed, and Caserta had the winning bid. 

    Since ten percent of the proceeds from the auction went to City of Hope cancer center, Caserta thought he could continue to use the chair to do some good. (Hmm, wonder if Don Draper would vote “yea” on that!)

    So, Caserta created A Chair 4 Charity. It’s Caserta’s way to share the chair with not only the fans of Mad Men, but also the advertising industry and aficionados of mid-century modern furnishings and fashion. Caserta makes Don Draper’s chair available for events -- proceeds from getting your picture taken in the chair benefits the charity the event sponsor chooses. So far, the Advertising Club of Connecticut held a benefit for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and The Ad Club in Boston sent donations to the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston.

    Mad Men’s set decorator Amy Wells has said that the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, wanted such vérité on the sets that he requested “gum under the desks.”  Sure enough, next to the prop department sticker number, there’s a wad of gum under Don Draper’s chair!

    If you would like to use Don Draper’s chair to raise money for charity at your event, contact:, Twitter: @AChair4Charity, or call 203-378-5358.

  • 20 Mar 2012 1:16 PM | Deleted user
    I've been seeing a lot of material around the Presidential campaigns over the last few months, and increasingly more now that President Obama has begun campaigning in earnest for reelection. The purpose of this blog is just to point out a few observations, which, regardless of your political affiliation, you'll find interesting.

    Like most American men, I'm a sports junkie. That being said, I absolutely had to fill out a bracket this year for March Madness. Which, of course, requires hours of watching Sportscenter to prepare for, days of viewing celebrity and expert brackets online, and a whole lot of pretending to know what you're talking about.

    So when I saw the opportunity to pit my bracket against Obama's, I had to do it, if only to fill out just one more bracket. Although the page looked different when you could still submit a bracket, check it out here to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

    The first thing I noticed on the site was how much thought, work, and probably opinion polling went into it. You'll notice the picture of Obama in the background (still there in the current version of the page) is the President shooting hoops, looking rather normal. The larger background picture, featuring Obama along the right side is conspicuously missing a coat, a common theme to his 2008 campaign, which hasn't reappeared much during his Presidency.

    Now here is where you note the brilliance of this "campaign". Sure, the pictures are subtle and subconsciously convey a calming feeling with the blue coloring; the images convey a normal man who likes basketball, and the verbiage is colloquial; meticulously designed I'm sure. But the brilliance here is in the actual submission of your bracket. You put your Name, Email address, and zip code into the form to submit your bracket. And trust me, they're not asking for your email to notify you if you win. I've been emailed by both Obama and Biden already (addressed to "friends" by the way). Once you submit, you're also redirected to a page to donate to the campaign. Well played!

    What an extraordinary example of social media being used in cross platform promotion. All the relevant network buttons are located prominently on the bracket page. Obama's campaign has taken something as trivial as picking winners in March Madness, and used it to drive a following of 25 million "likes" to a page that essentially asks you for your email address and what state you live in. Then, he goes on Sportscenter and promotes it; all the while humanizing himself as an every man.

    Love him or hate him, you've gotta admire this example of engaging with fans. It sure impressed me. Seen any other examples of innovative outside the box marketing around the campaigns this year? Tweet me your favorites @GreggOberg or to @TheAdclub.

    Thanks for the read, I'll be posting my observations of marketing and advertising periodically, so look out for my "Daily Ramblings"!
  • 08 Mar 2012 2:17 PM | Deleted user

    Ok, so I’ll admit it, I found out it was International Women's Day via trending topics on Twitter today. Half of my readers have now stopped reading! For those of you that are still here, I wanted to discuss the actual meaning of the day. What is it? What does it mean? 

    The first thought that comes to mind is all the way back in middle school; women's history month. I’ve got fond memories of sitting in class in Southern California, my classmates'/friends' mothers coming in dressed as Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, and countless others. But it occurs to me that International Women’s day must be much more than women in history, or we wouldn’t need a whole day for it.

    So maybe it's like Mother’s Day. A day set aside to honor the women who raised each and every one of us, through the tough times and the good times, and loved us no matter what. But we’ve got a day for that too, so it obviously can't be like mother’s day. 

    Running out of ideas. Maybe it's about women in business today. Strong, powerful, successful women such as Charlotte Beers, who broke the glass ceiling in advertising and forever altered the creative scene in the United States. Or Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, Senator, legitimate Presidential candidate, and current Secretary of State; in short one of the most influential PEOPLE (not just women) in the world today. 

    Maybe that’s too “big picture”. What about the women we work with every day, without whom, the day to day operations of the company would be impossible? The star saleswomen, the executives making the tough calls, the creative women designing today’s top marketing campaigns; is International Women’s Day about these wonderfully talented women? 

    Could it be a political movement? A call to action to eliminate the pay gap between hard working women and their equally hard working, better paid male counterparts? Is it about empowering women in countries less fortunate than the United States, such as the nations of the Middle East?

    Are any of these definitions, or the infinite ones that could follow, the correct definition? In reality, I think thats a trick question. International Women’s Day is just that. A day across the world dedicated to women. To all of these things; not just one. Because in the end, women are a combination of all these things. They’re loving, smart, creative, driven, innovative, talented, and more! So for International Women’s Day, I’d like to thank all the women who make a difference in the world. 

    That’s what International Women’s Day means to me. What does today mean to you? Tell us what you think on Twitter: @theadclub #InternationalWomensDay. 

  • 07 Mar 2012 10:32 AM | Deleted user
    I can't begin to say how excited I am to hear Adam speaking at The Ad Club's CMO Breakfast on March 27th. This will be just my second CMO Breakfast, after joining The Ad Club at the end of Feb. Adam Grossman is the Red Sox SVP of Marketing and Brand Development. I for one am very interested to see how he manages such a strong global brand.

    Although the details are being finalized as to what he will discuss, I'm hoping he will talk about (or somebody will ask) how they've handled the fallout from last season's beer and chicken collapse. Either way, with all the unique challenges a sports team faces, this should be a must see.

    Don't wait too long to get your tickets, I'm sure they'll go fast! Visit our events page to sign up today!
  • 06 Mar 2012 3:53 PM | Deleted user

    in Share

    I got a really thought provoking email from Ad Club Entrepreneur member Babson College, asking me to “define entrepreneurship.” All of us will say that we know what an entrepreneur is, what one does, and be able to point one out. But in actuality, could we define entrepreneurship? Would it be a definition that we’d all agree with?  It occurs to me that there are as many different definitions of entrepreneurship as there are entrepreneurs.

    Babson College wants to redefine what it means to be an entrepreneur, and they want the world to help them do it. Their new site, Define.Babson wants you to help determine the new definition of an entrepreneur. The site poses the question: “Technology has evolved. The economy has shifted. The world has changed. And today’s entrepreneurs do more than just start businesses. The world needs a new definition of entrepreneurship. We’re writing it here.”

    I honestly had to sit and think for quite a while on this question. Sure, I can give you plenty of great examples; Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who runs the pizza place across from my apartment (and does a damn fine job might I add), but can I find one definition that crosses all these people and explains who they all are?

    So here is what I came up with. “Entrepreneurship is about doing what you think is right, when you think its right, regardless of the consequences, results, expectations, or risks. This definition, I believe, truly encompasses all levels of entrepreneurship, from the inventor starting out against the world with his product, to the revolutionary fighting convention, to the investor putting his money where is mouth is. Ultimately, an entrepreneur is less of a person and more of a personality trait. We’ve all got it, just in different shapes and sizes.”

    Agree? Disagree? Thing I’m just crazy? I know there are those of you that fall into each of these categories. So tell the world what you think it is! Be part of this “survey”, if you will, and let the world know what you think it means to be an entrepreneur.

  • 05 Mar 2012 12:23 PM | Deleted user
    We at The Ad Club launched our Facebook timeline today, and I'm not ashamed to say, I think it looks pretty solid. I know there are plenty of you who haven't yet launched your brand's timeline, or maybe not even your personal time line yet (again, guilty), but it really isn't difficult. Timeline is an excellent way to show some personality and let people see what is important to your brand. Its not just a generic picture anymore at the top of your page. It's a cover now. 

    I know the change is scary, but keep this in mind. As the admin of the page, you can view and edit your page in timeline form before publishing it. So play around, get it the way you want it, and take it public before Facebook makes the change for you. 

    The first tip I've got for all of you is the cover image. Pick something that really tells about your brand. It's a lot of space, 850x315 to be exact, so you've got plenty of room for detailed images, text, whatever. Those minor details that make the image won't show up in the smaller default picture square, but they shine in timeline. So don't be afraid to play around with it. And don't be afraid to change it often based on what you're working on this month, major events, holidays, etc. Keep it fresh!

    Second, play around with the options to pin posts to the top, hide certain posts, and highlight others. By pinning a post to the top, the chronological order of posts will be modified to highlight the post at the top of your page. By highlighting a post, it will now take up both columns on the page, drawing in the viewers attention. This is best uses, in my opinion, for posts with photos or videos. 

    Third, hide and modify posts. There are some really cool examples of companies who have gone back through their timeline to their beginnings and created some very cool content. I particularly like the Manchester United example (not just because I'm a fan) in which they uploaded pictures of their 1908 season. This is a very creative way to highlight the history of your brand and show some creativity at the same time. Also, don't forget to hide posts that are no longer relevant due to their time sensitive nature. Just quickly scan through it all before you publish; double checking your work never hurts. 

    Other than that, have fun!

    Follow us on twitter @TheAdClub

  • 01 Mar 2012 5:23 PM | Deleted user
    After much hype, we are proud to announce, in partnership with GPJ, that the Student Brand Experience Competition will begin accepting registration today. Teams of up to 3 students will be working on every aspect of a marketing and promotion plan, from the strategy, to 3D design, and experiential marketing. 

    The brand you'll be working on; Liverpool FC in the USA! I can't wait to see how many students from top universities across New England we can pull in for this amazing opportunity to prove who's the best.

    Think you've got it? Think you've got game! Enter HERE and prove it. Show your excitement on Twitter using

  • 01 Mar 2012 10:47 AM | Deleted user
    Yesterday morning, The Ad Club was proud to host Boloco CEO John Pepper at our monthly CMO breakfast. Nearly 150 people turned out for what ended up being quite a fun filled presentation. 

    This was my first CMO breakfast as a member of The Ad Club, and I've gotta say it was absolutely amazing! Starting the day on a strong note, Boloco provided outstanding mini breakfast burritos of all types. If you haven't been a Boloco fan in the past (guilty), give them another try, because it was one of the best burritos I've had in a long time. That's saying something coming from the Californian in the office.

    Once the room settled in to hear John speak, the fun kept rolling. John touched on topics ranging from the humble beginnings of Boloco to what's next. Some of the best insights John offered related to Boloco's well known affinity for giving away free burritos. Against conventional wisdom, John has found that giving away free product creates a permanent and positive impact on sales. "20% won't make people come in, 50% you'll get a few, but free is like magic. It makes people forget about the value of time", said John. 

    From a consumer standpoint, I was also very impressed with Boloco's dedication to service. They treat each tweet as a customer in their restaurant, and commonly RT negative feedback. John and Boloco definitely made a believer out of me; and I guess that free burrito worked too, seeing as I went and paid for one for dinner last night.

    Thanks for the great morning John. Feel free to tweet John some love @bolocoCEO, I'm sure he'd love to hear it!

    Be on the lookout for the Big Orange Couch with John; video coming soon!
    Share your favorite quotes from John on our blog or on Twitter #AdClubCMO

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