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  • 26 Sep 2011 11:36 AM | Deleted user

    Who Took Home The Win At The Maven Awards
    September 26th, 2011
    By: Kristin Andreotes

    The Maven Awards winners were revealed at the culmination of The Ad Club’s 2nd Annual Media Innovation Day on September 22nd, 2011. David Wade, News Anchor from WBZ-TV emceed and welcomed up special guests and sponsors to present the finalists and winners on stage alongside President of The Ad Club, Kathy Kiely. While the finalists were announced via email two weeks before the event, the winners as chosen by our prestigious panel of judges were kept under lock and key. These judges included Cameron Burnham of Twitter, Sarah Fay previously of Aegis Media, Bill Ghormley of Xconomy, Paul Hochman of NBC’s Today Show, and Rob Willington of Swiftcurrent.

    On Twitter, pre-event and day-of, many companies were rallying for support of their award candidacy. As the awards show commenced, company teams sat together in close proximity to cheer for their finalist announcement and, if lucky, the win. The categories, finalists, winners, and why the winner was chosen are below.

    Best Use of Traditional Media
    Presented by Mammoth Media

    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work Tribe Hummus
    • Hill Holliday for their work Liberty Mutual
    • MPG for their work with Fidelity

    Winner: MPG for their work with Fidelity

    Fidelity Investments opened multiple branch locations across 15+ markets within the U.S. As is the case with the creation of any new “retail” location, the biggest challenge is to establish awareness locally, and ultimately drive quality foot traffic to each of these locations. The dual objective of driving awareness and traffic for new Fidelity branches (Grand Openings) within multiple markets required them to develop a strategy that would create both impact and demand [to visit a branch]. They also knew that the presence of multiple Grand Opening locations would challenge them to be smart about how to best utilize their media budgets without creating any ad waste. Given these needs, they partnered with Where Inc. to develop a hyper local, mobile media campaign that allowed them to deliver on all of these requirements.

     

    Best Use of Out of Home
    Presented by Simon Brand Ventures

    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with MFS Investment Management
    • MPG for their work with Carnival Cruise Lines
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with JetBlue

    Winner: Mediahub from Mullen for their work with JetBlue

    The JetBlue Getaways program is just over a year old and still has very little awareness. Many people know what JetBlue is but do not realize that the brand offers a vacation planning service, competing with brands like Orbitz and Expedia. Our strategy was clear-cut: make an impact on the daily commuter with something they could experience and interact with. Our solution was to take advantage of a time they aren’t hustling around the city and we have a moment to capture their attention: bus stops. We wanted to take advantage of the fact that Boston’s public transportation can be, euphemistically, a bit inconsistent in punctuality. So we invented JetBlue lounge chairs to place in bus shelters around the city. The bus may not be on time, but if you’re going to wait, do it in style in a lounge chair, getting some brief and necessary time off your feet.

     

    Best Use of Digital Media
    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with MFS Investment Management
    • MPG, Media Contacts, and Mobext for their work with McDonald’s
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with JetBlue Airways

    Winner: MPG, Media Contacts, and Mobext for their work with McDonald’s

    Changing customer perception is difficult for McDonald’s which is primarily known for their french fries and Big Mac and not as a beverage café destination. With limited store locations and a high level of competitive noise, it’s difficult for our target to see McDonald’s as a beverage destination. Various McCafé beverages were showcased and combined with “toasting” to what New York is known for, thus creating the “Toast Your Town” campaign. Residents of nine NY metro areas were encouraged to celebrate their hometowns and engage in a friendly competition to win McCafé "parties" (beverage giveaways at their local McDonald's).

     

    Best Use of Mobile Media
    Presented by Navteq

    Finalists:

    • Hill Holliday for their work with Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Liberty Mutual
    • MPG, Media Contacts, and Mobext for their work with JetBlue

    Winner: Hill Holliday for their work with Dunkin’ Donuts

    In the Spring/Summer of 2011, they needed to bring the Dunkin’ Donuts “What Are You Drinkin’?” campaign to life in the mobile space using the same strategy as in other media channels – intercepting consumers during their daily routines. With the insight that consumers have their mobile devices in one hand and a Dunkin’ Donuts product in the other, they created a fully integrated mobile campaign designed to provoke consumer engagement at various times throughout the day. Dunkin’ Donuts aligned with the top mobile applications and categories that provided the best opportunity to reach the brand’s target audience…while they were on-the-go.

     

    Best Use of Branded Content
    Finalists:

    • Hill Holliday for their work with Chili’s
    • MPG for their work with Carnival Cruise Lines
    • Starcom for their work with Merrill Edge

    Winner: Starcom for their work with Merrill Edge

    Merrill Edge is a new service, launched in 2010/2011 by Bank of America for its customers, designed to combine the use of a self directed investment platform alongside the full suite of Merrill Lynch investment products. Starcom recruited former CNBC personalities Jeff Macke and Matt Nesto to host the show and to scrutinize the market each day with fresh, custom content updated at multiple points across our 24/7 news cycle. Unlike some financial shows our content is constantly updated with significant changes 4-6 times each day. Instead of 5 contacts per week like the usual financial shows, our content could achieve up to 36!

    The result is a fully customized web show on Yahoo! Finance called ‘Breakout’ featuring original, timely and reactive programming for a vast audience who meet our ‘active traders and investors’ sweet spot. In the first two months of the campaign there were 12 million video streams, placing Breakout onto the top 25 most viewed original web series.

     

    Best Use of Social Media
    Finalists:

    • AMP Agency for their work with Staples
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Major League Baseball
    • MPG, Media Contacts, and Mobext for their work with McDonald’s

    Winner: MPG, Media Contacts, and Mobext for their work with McDonald’s

    The campaign as described before kicked off with a Twitter "Live Toast" event, in which people were invited to use a McCafé beverage to toast what makes their hometowns the best place to live. Digital Media was leveraged within the social media space, driving users to a McDonald’s branded micro-site showcasing live video reads of tweeted toasts. Mobile encouraged users to check into their local McDonald’s, download wallpaper, locate the nearest McDonalds and vote for their favorite McCafe beverage. User actions could be shared via Facebook and/or Twitter, spreading the message and contest.

     

    Best Use of New & Non-Traditional Media
    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with #TechInterruption
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Liberty Mutual
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Major League Baseball
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with JetBlue

    Winner: Mediahub from Mullen for their work with JetBlue

    Mullen had two core challenges to solve: Build the nascent JetBlue brand in the highly competitive Los Angeles market, and build awareness for “first bag flies free” as research shows that JetBlue was not getting credit for this meaningful “differentiation & product.” They created an event in which they secured A-list celebrities (Donald Trump, Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Snow, etc.) to donate a piece of luggage that could be put up for auction with all donations going to a Los Angeles charity. To promote the event, Mullen ran full-page print ads in the Los Angeles Times, Variety and People magazine. They also ran rich media cross entertainment sites/blogs, both online and mobile, that showcased the auction items and time left to bid. The most powerful element (and perfect illustration of a nontraditional way to use traditional media) was a customized interactive outdoor video unit that displayed the celebrity baggage at Santa Monica place, as well as QR codes that people could capture from their smartphones and be taken instantly to the auction site. Consumers could walk up to the video screen, select the celebrity of their choice, play around with pictures of the baggage and be able to bid in real time on their desired piece of luggage.

     

    Best Plan for Spending $1 Million or Less
    Presented by MNI

    Finalists:

    • EPS Communications for their work with Diabetes Care Club
    • Hill Holliday for their work with The Boston Police Department
    • Hill Holliday for their work with (RED)

    Winner: Hill Holliday for their work with (RED)

    In the fall of 2010 (RED) tapped Hill Holliday to help generate awareness around World AIDS Day and to build a media plan to promote their 2015 AIDS Free Generation initiative. To support their ambitious goals, (RED) needed a partner for media strategy, design and partnerships… to work with a budget of zero marketing dollars. (RED) is not about geography, it’s about participation. The client had a goal to educate the world about a critical milestone in the fight against AIDS – the virtual elimination of the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child. In 2009, 370,000 babies were born with HIV, but with increased awareness and funding, the world could see that number get close to zero. To raise awareness about this goal (RED) looked to turn the world (RED) on World AIDS Day - literally. (RED) lit more than 90 iconic landmarks the color red and online, actions taken in support of an AIDS Free Generation across all major social networks were visualized on a map hosted on joinred.com. The more actions in a region, the deeper the color red the map became. Through inventory secured by Hill Holliday in television, print, digital and both domestic and international OOH, we were able to unite, inform and motivate the world to participate in World AIDS Day and the 2015 AIDS Free Generation, and effectively turn the world (RED).

     

    Best Use of Research
    Finalists:

    • Hill Holliday for their work with Major League Baseball
    • Kelliher Samets Volk for their work with The Vermont Department of Health
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with Barnes & Noble Nook

    Winner: Mediahub from Mullen for their work with Barnes & Noble Nook

    The marketing challenge was simple yet daunting: Take on the 800-pound gorilla undefined Kindle undefined that has first-to-market advantage, a media budget that is roughly two and half times bigger than ours and who has 80% of the e-reader market.

    Mullen believes that great media plans start with unexpected insight and that today’s off-the-shelf research (MRI, SMRB, Nielsen, and MMR) is woefully inadequate in keeping up with what they call the “galloping consumer.” As a result, they have created a proprietary study dubbed Scout which is a battery of 45 questions among 3,500 consumers twice a year. The study probes mission-critical media behavior: like how fast are consumers moving from surfing the web on desktops to surfing on smartphones; how quickly are they moving from reading print on paper to tablets; and, what sources are most critical through the purchase funnel. Mullen discovered four main innovations through Scout, which they used to direct their campaign: moms with kids are a huge opportunity, cable shows are their favorites, product review sites are critical in  the decision process, and social is their lifeline.

     

    Best Youth Campaign
    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with Toy State
    • AMP Agency for their work with Food Bank for New York City
    • Hill Holliday for their work with The Boston Police Department

    Winner: Hill Holliday for their work with The Boston Police Department

    In the summer of 2010 the Boston Police Commissioner asked Hill Holliday to help him reduce violent crime and encourage residents to use the department’s anonymous text-a-tip line to report crime. The bigger goal? Get people in at-risk communities to trust the police. The biggest discovery came when the planner drove through a neighborhood in a police cruiser and passed by children whose parents pushed their hands back down when they tried to wave at the cruiser. Clearly there was an atmosphere of deep mistrust. They needed to get them talking. And they had to do something that would get community members to interact with Police officers and figure out how to work together to reduce violent crime. On July 23, 2010, Operation Hoodsie Cup rolled out. Hill Holliday created a vehicle that was half ice cream truck, half police cruiser. Uniformed officers in the truck handed out free Hoodsie Cup ice creams accompanied with custom-printed napkins reminding them to text-a-tip to CRIME. On hot summer days, without any warning, our ice cream cruiser rolled into at-risk neighborhoods, heavily armed with fun graphics and free ice cream. Community members were invited to follow along at a web site we created, Operationhoodsiecup.org.

     

    Best B2B Campaign
    Presented by The Wall Street Journal

    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with MFS Investment Management
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

    Winner: Allen & Gerritsen for their work with MFS Investment Management

    The biggest challenge facing MFS in 2011 came, ironically, in the form of a great honor when MFS was awarded a total of seven Lipper Fund Awards, including the highly coveted Overall Large Company Award. The challenge these awards presented was to develop, negotiate and plan a campaign that would allow MFS to broadcast their wins in a big way, letting Financial Advisors nationwide know about the awards, with only two weeks’ lead time. a&g developed a strategy for the Lipper Fund Award announcement campaign that revolved around using awareness-driving media, both off- and online, to announce the Lipper Fund Award wins and in doing so improve the perception of MFS funds among their target audience. Considering the high honor that the Best Overall Large Company award is, a&g wanted to make sure that any media that was considered was big and impactful. As a result only large, attention-grabbing units in Print, Out of Home, and Digital were included in the plan.

     

    The Media Responsibility Award
    Finalists:

    • AMP Agency for their work with Staples
    • Hill Holliday for their work with Liberty Mutual
    • Hill Holliday for their work with The Boston Police Department
    • MPG for their work with Goodyear

    Winner: Hill Holliday for their work with Liberty Mutual

    Liberty Mutual may be the “responsible insurance company,” but for some communities, it's perceived as an East-coast insurance giant that doesn’t understand local market needs. How could we prove that Liberty Mutual has local roots and helpful, compassionate Agents in hometowns across America? Increased investments in broadcast within these markets proved ineffective in changing local perception, so a more grass-roots media approach was necessary.

     

    The Risky Business Award
    Finalists:

    • Allen & Gerritsen for their work with MFS Investment Management
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with MassMutual
    • Mediahub from Mullen for their work with Zappos

    Winner: Mediahub from Mullen for their work with Zappos

    It’s no secret that standard banners are becoming less effective as 1 in every 1,000 people click on a banner. As a result, in the digital environment where the consumer is mission-oriented, Mullen’s biggest challenge was getting consumers to notice and engage with their communication. And let’s face it, to come up with a new rich media idea that their target has never seen before is close to impossible. This was their hurdle along with driving awareness that Zappos sells more than shoes. Mullen was also competing against retailers with much larger budgets enabling them to leverage TV and their own retail channels. To achieve their objectives, they knew they had to do something “risky” that would break through “banner blindness” in a startling and even controversial way. To drive impact and conversation, Mullen purchased a 50% SOV takeover on the Yahoo! homepage on July 27th featuring Arthur, their naked model with a strategically placed text box reading “more than shoes.” Since their Naked print ads running in magazines like Lucky, InStyle and Harper’s Bazaar had already generated significant press chatter during the two weeks prior, they felt that a single day takeover would build on the already established buzz.

     

    Media All-Star Award
    Finalists:

    • Adam Cahill and Cindy Stockwell, Hill Holliday
    • Ellen Comley, MPG
    • Shey O’Grady, AMP Agency

    Winner: Adam Cahill and Cindy Stockwell, Hill Holliday

    Cindy and Adam co-lead a truly modern, integrated media offering at Hill Holliday. They’ve structured every facet of the media practice, from people to tools to processes, to remove the silos that get in the way of integrated thinking, execution, and optimization. Together they ensure that digitally native thinking is embedded in Hill Holliday’s core ideas, not an afterthought. Cindy and Adam have shown a passion for keeping Hill Holliday on the front edge of the changing media landscape.

    Cindy has 20 years of integrated media planning experience at full-service agencies, working on major brands including Dunkin' Donuts, TJX, DeBeers' Diamonds, P&G. Cindy has led teams that have won Media Plan of the Year for the past 3 years (Dunkin', Marshalls and Dunkin') and Creative Media Awards for the past 2 years (Dunkin OOH and Dunkin' Media Plan). She has also have chaired the Ad Club Media Auction for the past 3 years resulting in annual revenue growth each year.

    Adam has spent his entire 15-year career leading digital marketing teams. He is a frequent contributor to the marketing industry’s leading publications, including Advertising Age, AdExchanger, and ClickZ. He speaks frequently at industry events like OMMA and Ad:Tech, and is actively involved in the startup community, serving as an advisor to Angel Street Capital, which provides seed funding to technology companies in the media space.

     

    The Rising Star Award
    Finalists:

    • Eric Leist, Allen & Gerritsen
    • Katie Thompson, Mullen
    • Nicky Alcorn, MPG

    Winner: Katie Thompson, Mullen

    Mullen describes a rising star as someone who before the age of 30 demonstrates the following characteristics:

    • Presents in high-stakes new business presentations and succeeds
    • Is at the center of the best ideas emanating from the agency
    • Is a go-to person and is on the short list of people senior management continuously asks for
    • Puts more pressure on oneself than any superior could do
    • Runs big pieces of business with very little supervision

    That perfectly describes Katie Thompson, Mullen’s newest vice president, and one of the youngest VPs in Mullen’s history. She is all of 28 and currently runs the $25MM+ JetBlue digital account. Katie is a woman with power, influence and at the same time humility and empathy. She is tireless (24/7 mindset) and is never satisfied. She has an insatiable curiosity for what’s next and has a direct pipeline to digital powerhouses like Twitter’s Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain and Google’s Rob Torres, who heads up travel.

  • 23 Sep 2011 5:03 AM | Deleted user

    Words of the Day: Media Innovation Day
    Kristin Andreotes
    September 23, 2011

    The Ad Club’s 2nd Annual Media Innovation Day represents the innovations, technology, plans, and professionals driving the future of media. Throughout the day, the over 550 attendees were busy tweeting and retweeting some of the most thought provoking and interesting content from each of the segments. The highly anticipated 3rd Annual Maven Awards winners were also announced after the content, and many of the companies nominated and in attendance were flooding Twitter with the excitement when they took home the win.

    The word cloud below represents what was being said throughout the day of the event (September 22nd, 2011) in the 352 Twitter posts using the #AdClubMID hashtag. Not surprisingly, the most commonly used word was Media, however, terms like TV, Innovation, Digital, Mobile, Great, and Maven were also seen in many posts. Joining and being mentioned in the conversation most often, along with @TheAdClub, were speakers Mike Proulx @mcproulx and @Droga5, introducer @SchneiderMike, and Maven Award finalist and winner @MPG.

    Thanks so all that joined us for this year’s Media Innovation Day and Maven Awards and for participating in the social media conversation throughout the day!

    Word Cloud Created Using Wordle

  • 19 Sep 2011 3:38 PM | Deleted user
    This post was written by Jay Acunzo, Melanie Collins and Jessica Andrade, college marketing specialists and account executives with CampusLIVE. Jay arrived at CampusLIVE from Google, Melanie from SHIFT Communications and Jessica from Yahoo!, after the Boston-based company received more than $3M in Series A capital.

    The college demographic is one of the most important audiences a marketer can reach: a $300B market composed of students making lifelong brand decisions now, from the clothes they wear to the food they eat to the cars they drive.

    Perhaps the three most common trends from FutureM’s “Tap into Gen-Y’s” student panel (held Monday at the Microsoft NERD), were these:
    1. On-campus brand ambassadorships are growing rapidly;
    2. Many companies are executing these programs poorly, or through the wrong channel;
    3. To truly connect with Gen-Y, brands must use new forms of campaigns that focus on honest engagement, adding value, and digital ambassadorship.
    Gen-Y looks for true engagement that adds value to their lives. Some brands are missing the boat on the developing (and evolving) college ambassador trend.  Yesterday’s open discussion shed some light on the issues and areas for improvement in marketing to college students by any means.  Here’s a recap:

    The campus ambassador boom.

    As the New York Times recently revealed, over 10,000 college students will work across hundreds of campuses to promote brands (for money, swag or experience). Brands have always recognized the value of the college market, but only recently have significant resources been spent creating these programs. Rather than targeting college via traditional media or digital advertising such as banner or search ads, these brands are focusing more on interaction and engagement.

    While college students may not make buying decisions beyond themselves, they are influenced by friends, have a broad social reach with an average of about 600 friends on Facebook alone (according to CampusLIVE data).

    They also serve as brand “distributors.” By buying into a brand now, not only are they setting up their lifelong loyalty, but they ”distribute” and influence brand loyalty up and down market to people they are closely connected to -- their parents and younger generations. While plenty of brands understand the need and value of engaging the college demographic, in the minds of the students on the panel, the current ambassadorships may not have the intended results.

    Right idea; wrong execution.

    The most common refrain directed at brands from the panel was simple:

    “How can you make my life better?”

    To paraphrase, they stated that throwing free swag around or pushing ads online or offline in hopes the message sticks is a turn-off: “That just annoys us. And all it takes is for us to try something once and if we like it, we’ll probably stick with it. So be interactive and show us how you make my life better rather than tell us.”

    They pointed to the on-campus ambassadors as the wrong execution of the right idea. Some -- like American Eagle -- set up experiences on campus that go beyond giveaways and friend-to-friend messaging, but for the most part, the panel agreed ambassadorships are more about the individual ambassador building a resume.

    “I was a brand ambassador for Windows 7, and honestly I owned a Mac”, one student said (paraphrasing). “There’s no way for me to track what I do on campus, and I don’t know how the brand tracks it either.”

    Another stated, “There’s no personal connection to brands on campus if they’re giving away free stuff. It’s just free. There’s no real relationship once the brand leaves campus.”

    The good news? There does exist a means to create lasting experiences that do foster relationships, influence students among their community and create brand loyalty.

    Everything comes back to digital.

    There aren’t any silver bullets marketing to college students (many on the panel decried the frat-tastic or do-good labels placed across all college students), and each brand needs to find a unique blend of college-relevant and uniquely cool, useful or exciting.

    But the students admitted they’ll typically give each brand a shot, provided they have the ability to interact, learn, connect and (yes) advocate for a brand where they spend the most time daily: online. They admitted:
    • They rarely watch much TV these days, and that their home base for media is their laptops (and, secondarily, their phones).
    • They’re hardwired to hate banners, pop-ups, pre-rolls, text ads and more.
    • They love contests with and against friends and peers (as long as the prizes are worthwhile), and would even readily upload photos to win (while videos require a much better payout).
    • Word of mouth and in-person is important, but it starts and ends with digital media interaction and engagement.
    • The panel was divided between their preferred social network, but most agreed that brand interaction is acceptable, even enjoyable. (One student raved about having open dialogue with the Bolocco social media manager, saying, “It’s like we’re old friends. He actually responds and we all love him at BU.”)
    According to them, because they spend so much time online (92-percent of Gen-Y uses social media), that’s the place where brand recommendations from friends matter. Posting to a blog, Liking on Facebook, Re-tweeting a brand message -- they know these recommendations are powerful and meaningful, since college students manage their digital profiles carefully among their peers, potential employers and the public.

    For brands to capitalize and reach this audience, they need to produce truly engaging moments, adding value to a student’s life and providing digital mechanisms to connect and interact. The rewards, however, are immense: brands create deeper loyalty, find broader reach, and ultimately build an army of the most powerful brand advocates online...if they follow the trend.
  • 12 Sep 2011 11:35 AM | Deleted user

    This post was written by Dana Satterwhite, one of the judges of this year's Hatch Awards. Dana has held full-time creative positions at Arnold Worldwide, Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty, and Gearon Hoffman and worked for DDB, Footsteps, Hill Holliday, J. Walter Thompson, Mullen, Ogilvy and Mather, Sanders Wingo, McCann Erikson, and Wieden + Kennedy among others.

    Judging is one of the hardest things I'll ever do. It's right up there with child rearing, solving a Rubik's Cube without pulling the stickers, and listening to Gilbert Gottfried for 3 minutes uninterrupted without cutting myself. Hard, I tell you. Really, really hard.

    So when I was recently invited to judge the 2011 Francis W. Hatch Awards in Boston, I accepted but knew it would bring with it some challenges. Nine creative people in a room trying to achieve some level of consensus? Hilarious.

    I served on a jury (not an award show jury, a REAL one) for the first time in my life earlier in the year, and that was a lesson in human behavior and courtroom theatrics. Everything you see on Judge Judy is true, all true, and then some. Still, that process pales in the face of determining creative award-worthiness and the pressures of deliberation.

    And for me, not having judged a show in several years, I could only wonder how things may have changed. Since print is dead or so they tell me, and the 30-second TV spot is headed the same way (again, rumor mill talking), do we completely reconfigure our standards and put a new system in place when separating bronze from silver from gold in the social digital age? Or do we take a step back and realize that there are certain things likeundefinedpardon the planner-speakundefinedprimal emotional drivers that will never change, no matter how savvy and hash tagged we get? I prefer the latter.

    The sun will always rise in the east. Most mystery meats will always taste just like chicken. Emotions will always drive behavior. Professing the death of traditional ads in the wake of digital diversions is kind of like saying a sudden spike in the population of oxygen bars is going to revolutionize the way we breathe. Or a sparkly new fleet of Rascal scooters parked inside the sliding doors of our favorite big box retailer is going to completely change the way we shop. For a few of us? Absolutely. My early-adopting brethren will go skittering down those wide aisles, popping wheelies while filling their baskets full of mega-roll toilet paper any day. But for the great majority, it's a novelty; a supplement; a welcome distraction. Then life as we know it resumes.

    What became overly apparent in the throes of judging is that great ideas will always rise to the top, despite how we define them, where we place them, and beyond their ability to live in a virtual social space. Social media is revolutionary in some respects but in others it's primal and its prominence, as the next shiny object comes along, will wane. It happens with everything. Disagree? You're entitled. When you get a minute, Google "Friendster" or "MySpace."

    True, the internet has put many an encyclopedia salesman out of business, but the precious content of those extinct volumes lives on in perpetuity. It's still very much the wild west out there and these media, like all media, need to be understood and used appropriately. And not by everyone. Toilet paper companies, I'm talking to you. Not gonna "Like" your 3-ply fan page. Don't care how many coupons you promise in your sweepstakes. Not gonna do it.

    Has embracing social worked wonders for certain brands, like Old Spice? Wieden's happy and I bought a stick. I hear sales are still flat but Isaiah Mustafah's glistening, rippling pecs have captivated more Tubers and Tweeters than any other campaign known to man. But no matter how you slice it, where you watch it, or if it's got Fabio smeared all over it, you're still consuming content, brilliantly written, wonderfully executed content. What we consume hasn't changed very much at all. When, where, how, and why have. But even that, in the grand scheme of things, is a grain of sand on an isolated beach. Maybe a beach where the Old Spice guy hangs out when he's not shooting 71-second spots that will air on Youtube. You never know.

    In the end, I met some really unique and talented people on the panel and at the Ad Club. The process was smooth and things ran like a top. Though there was mild dissension in the ranks when it came time to agree on best of show, we worked it out. If we all saw eye-to-eye, that would defeat the purpose of a panel.The iPod's role in changing the way we listen to songs? Undeniable. The digital camera's role in the way we capture images? Humbling. The DVR's role in the way we watch commercials? Not as catastrophic as presumed but still apparent. Other than how it's packaged, coded, or otherwise compressed and streamed, the impact on our lives is negligible. Music is still music. Photos are still photos. Stories are still stories. Brilliant ideas are still brilliant ideas, and our industry could always use more of them.

    Having said all of this, thank you for welcoming me back to the New England ad community, if only for a short few days. It was great to be among you. I continue to judge as I've always judged and encourage you to do the same, tallying with your heart, not your device.

  • 01 Sep 2011 12:32 PM | Deleted user

    This Ad Club CMO Breakfast is brought to you in partnership with The VIA Agency.

    At the heart of Matt Wohl's presentation at last Wednesday's #AdClubCMO Breakfast with Welch's was Brand Purpose. Those of us in attendance learned the what, why and where of Brand Purpose, and how that fits into Welch's business plan. And now I present you with A Lesson in Brand Purpose, by Matt Wohl.

    Brand Purpose: The brand's inspirational reason for being - Articulates a "service" the brand provides and the impact the brand seeks to make in the world.

    Purpose = Why | Equity = What

    Brand Purpose is WHY a company exists - it's an internal point-of-view.

    Brand Purpose Can:

    - Inspire people to be part of something bigger
    - Articulate a service to people
    - Drive and demand action within the organization
    - Convey a strong point-of-view
    - Fight against something
    - Transcend a category
    - Stick as a concise and memorable idea (poetry over prose)

    Examples of Brand Purpose:

    Crayola - We exist to unleash the artist in every child.
    Red Bull - We exist to uplift body and mind.
    Harley-Davidson - We exist to free people from the cage of convention.

    The role of Purpose in a brand's path:

    - says WHO the brand is
    - says WHY the brand exists
    - influences the brand internally and externally
    - is an enduring characteristic

    How to reveal Brand Purpose:

    - Understand your brand's history
    - Know your customers motivations
    - Articulate your brand's essence
    - Find what your brand values and believes

    The key takeaway:

    BELIEFS + VALUES = PURPOSE
  • 29 Aug 2011 4:39 PM | Deleted user

    “The American consumer is changeable. He wants X. No, he wants Y. Never mind, he wants Z."

    "We used to quiz him with focus groups and mall intercepts. But these days, he's not sure. It's not that he won't tell us. It's just that he can't. “

    These are the opening contentions from Grant McCraken’s post on Harvard Business School, What Marketers Can Learn From The Food Truck Trend.

    McCraken goes on to argue that marketers must look at the aggregate in order to detect the patterns that will ultimately reveal what consumers want, using the recent food truck craze/trend as an example:

    “What can we learn from the food truck? What are the cultural trends and trajectories in evidence here? Consumers are telling us that they prize drama over utility, scarcity over ubiquity, novelty over the guaranteed sameness of the national brand. They want brands that are porous to the world, that integrate with the world. They are prepared to embrace brands that take a little more effort, especially if that effort rewards them with something that is exciting and rare."

    "Yes, consumers are willful and contrary. But in the process they are signaling us that the old rules of innovation, marketing, and retail (keep it simple, make it cheerful and unmysterious, lay it on everywhere, and lead with the functional benefit) are now in shambles. The world is changing.”

    McCraken, who keynoted our #AdClubEDGE Conference (video above), is a smart man. His insights, especially the “scarcity over ubiquity” part, are spot on. In fact, I might argue that ubiquity is dead – at least to some consumers.

    Admittedly, the original thoughts that you’ll read below have very little to do with McCraken’s - I can’t quite draw the connection, but I think there’s one somewhere... Either way, what lies below was definitely inspired by McCraken’s post:

    There are and will always will be consumers who don’t know what they want. Some of the greatest products and services that have been created are the ones that nobody asked for, or - even better - the ones that most people thought would fail until they were actually made.

    But we are marketers. We communicate on behalf of brands. Seldom are we given the opportunity to create our own products and services inside our workplace. But why is that? Marketers are constantly analyzing, discussing and delivering presentations on popular trends, products and services - that’s why the levels of creativity and strategic thinking in agencies are so high. So why is it that there are more examples of individuals leaving the advertising world to create things than there are agencies fostering their employee’s creativity and autonomy? Why are so many cool start-ups being created inside companies (not agencies) like Google?

    What if it were the norm for agencies to have an in-house start-up incubator? Imagine the new agency portfolio being a combination of client work and completely original, and, most importantly, launched products – how awesome would that be!? These start-ups may be products, toys, services, websites - whatever – and they don’t even have to be profitable! Their cost can be justified as part of corporate culture, community service, new business initiatives, or just plain old fun.

    The only agencies that come to mind who believe in this – creation for the sake of creation - are IDEO, Breakfast NY and The Barbarian Group, or what they call “non-traditional agencies,” but there must be more.

    We’d love to hear of other agencies that support this behavior, and your thoughts in general - please share your examples with us on Twitter, @theadclub. We welcome any and all feedback!

  • 12 Aug 2011 11:29 AM | Deleted user

    When we asked a few of our friends how they stay on top of the crazy fast-paced industry that is the world of marketing and advertising, the number one answer was, of course, Twitter. Many of the Twitter accounts that people follow, however, are the accounts of popular websites, as opposed to people. So we thought it would be incredibly useful to create the ultimate list of websites/news sources and their corresponding Twitter accounts to follow to stay in touch with the industry, and what better way to create this list than by crowdsourcing it?

    The idea is to knock out the big ones here and let you fill in the blanks. Please share the sites you use to stay on top of the advertising world with us on Twitter, then we’ll update our Ad Sites Twitter list with the best of the best! Tweet your responses @theadclub with the hashtag #AdSites.

    Industry Sites: Agency and industry news at large - personnel changes, account changes, and editorial pieces.

    Ad Age

    Ad Week

    Agency Spy

    Media Post

    The New York Times: Media and Advertising

    Inspiration Sites: Pictures, videos, and articles on the latest trends, topics, and creative work.

    Brain Pickings

    PSFK

    The 99 Percent

    TED

    Contagious

    Digerati Sites: What’s new on the internet and in gadget land.*

    Mashable

    The Next Web

    Read Write Web

    TechCrunch

    Gizmodo

    Honorable Mention: Sites I love and frequent that just didn't quite fit one of the categories above.

    Creativity Mag

    This is my next… (transitioning to The Verge)

    Brand Channel

    Marketing Week

    Fast Company

    BostInnovation

    * There are A LOT of tech/gadget blogs out there. When tweeting us your favorite advertising-related sites, please use your discretion as to which one’s are strictly tech, or high-tech, and which ones are truly relevant to the advertising industry.

  • 26 Jul 2011 2:17 PM | Deleted user






    Who's winning the battle of the bathrooms?

    Let's be real, Original Old Spice Guy, no doubt! Woooo #TeamOldSpiceGuy 4 lyfe!

    But, no, not really - it's Old Spice (and Wieden+Kennedy).

    Breakdown: Late last week the first New Old Spice Guy Fabio spots were on YouTube, this weekend they aired on TV, and yesterday we saw the promoted tweet: Fabio defeats Old Spice Guy? shake up the Twitterverse. From there, we were lead to a video in which Fabio challenges The Old Old Spice Guy to a duel (duel?), Live at Internet Stadium, which The Old Old Spice Guy then accepted.



    Where are we now, about 4 hours into the duel? Well, by my calculations we're in the middle of round 14 (in Twitter responses, that is), and, not to my surprise, the original Old Spice Guy is winning - at least that's what the views, comments, tweets and posts are indicating. Mustafa's videos are receiving a lot more views than Fabio's, and as for Twitter, well, there's no way to say for sure but from what I've seen #TeamOldSpiceGuy (@OldSpice or @IasaiahMustafa) is beating #TeamFabio (@fabiooldspices) - and badly. (The staring contest win was yet another for #TeamOldSpiceGuy).



    But let's take a step back.

    In the red corner, you've got the reigning champ, Isaiah Mustafa, aka The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, aka The Old Spice Guy. He's witty, outrageous, deadpan, verbose, and quite prolific in his content generation. He made The Man Your Man Could Smell Like one of the most talked about campaigns of last year, and he racked up over 100,000 Twitter followers in the meantime.



    In the blue corner, the challenger's corner, you have Fabio, The New Old Spice Guy, an Italian model who's most famous for writing romance novels with titles like "Viking" and "Champion." In his Old Spice videos he, too, is outrageous, speaks broken english, and his hair is equivalent to Mustafa's torso. In the past he's done some acting and he's actually been a spokesperson before (remember I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?), but his roughly 5,000 Twitter followers speak volumes in a battle going down in Internet Stadium.



    I think this begs the question, was this ever a fair fight?

    My answer, although still speculative, is probably not.

    News: Remember when The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign was fresh (pun intended)? Mustafa was doing hundreds of Twitter responses, and everyone was asking whether all the Social Media mumbo jumbo actually worked. Well, guess what, it did. So what's the deal with New Old Spice Guy Fabio and the lopsided duel between him and The (original) Old Spice Guy? They're doing it again, but this time, it's head to head, and we get to choose the winner. But no matter which spokesperson loses, Old Spice wins.

    Full-circle conclusion:
    Wieden+Kennedy nailed it for Old Spice. Garnering something around a quarter of a million views in just a few hours, giving Old Spice fanatics (at least on the Internet) something to get excited about, and essentially taking the internet by storm in a single day AGAIN, they've capitalized/revived on an old idea/campaign that will (and already has) get people talking about Old Spice and their men who you could smell like all over again. The best part about this win (yes, I'm calling it early), is that they've done it without reinventing anything. W+K took a campaign that worked, shook things up dramatically by changing the spokesperson, gave everyone a new reason to take to the Tweets, and added something new - a real-time crowdsourced campaign where fans can actually back their favorites. Where many campaigns might have died, or at the very least lost considerable steam, Old Spice has maintained constant dialogue. Granted they've had their highs and lows - right now being a high - they're not going to let you forget about Old Spice and your scent. Not even for one long-haired Italian second.

    What's next: This may be too much too soon, but since I'm already calling #OSGFTW (that's, Old Spice Guy For The Win), I bet they take this bathroom business to the streets, literally this time. Imagine Mustafa responding to people IRL (in real life), live from a porta-potty in the middle of Times Square... Ok, just kidding, but it seems as if the next step in this campaign is to bring it out of the internet and into the real world. I, for one, Can't wait to see how W+K does it.

    Thoughts on any of this? Am I totally and completely wrong? Call me out in the comments!


  • 11 Jul 2011 3:57 PM | Deleted user

    There's been a LOT of talk about Google+ lately. Between first-round invites going for $20 on eBay, and the latest news, that Google+ is expected to hit 10,000,000 users today, the buzz in the blogosphere for the new social network is almost deafening. However, one thing that has stood out to me over these first few weeks of trial, especially once invites were made available again, is that while there are a LOT of users being added, there HASN'T been a lot of posting. I believe this is because there is a bit of a barrier of entry to the network, from a logistical point of view.

    A few people have asked me, personally, for a little Google+ lesson. And it makes sense, while the interface may be intuitive for a social media junkie like myself, it may not be to the average Joe with a Facebook and a LinkedIn. Seeing as the first wave of adopters, but probably not yo momma, have gotten an invite already, I figured it’d be a nice time to give a quick overview on the search powerhouse’s latest social network (after Orkut, Wave, and Buzz).

     

    If you’re on Google+ or are waiting for your invite, I’m going to assume that you’ve created a profile (of any type) before, so I’ll just skip “uploading a photo” and “creating your bio” instructions and all that stuff. (It should be pretty self-explanatory, anyways).

    What isn’t necessarily self-explanatory, however, is the basic nature of Google+, or, how it functions, logistically, as a network.

    So, the first thing you might want to do, through the 700-million-user lens of Facebook, is “write on your friend’s wall.” In Google+, there are no “walls,” per se. All you can do is write posts, which can include mentions (which you do with the “+” just like twitter and facebook’s "@" functionality), which will automatically ping, or notify, the person you’ve tagged. Posts can also include rich data such as links, videos, photos, locations, and all that good stuff. Furthermore, you can then share this post with as many or as few people as you would like. For example, you could make the post public, meaning that everyone can see it (even people without Google+), or you can share it with individual Google+ users, or groups of users, which, on Google+, are called Circles.


    Circles are how you organize your connections through Google+. Every time somebody adds you on Google+, you then add them to a Circle, or a group of connections. Google supplies you with 4 default Circles: Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following. You can also create custom Circles. The beauty of Circles is that nobody can see which Circles you are putting them in. So now, with one click, you can share that slightly NSFW video with your "Good Friends" and not your "Work Friends." Also, you don’t have to put connections into Circles at all, which puts their posts under the Incoming tab under the Stream options on the left. So, to get to my point, when you create a post, you can share it with a Circle, or specific group of connections, which is a big time-saver if you’re smart about organizing your circles (hint).


    You can also filter your Stream, all of your connections’ postings (as well as your own), by Circle. This is akin to Facebook Groups and Twitter Lists. For more about Circles head over to Alan Lepofsky’s blog.


    And then there’s the +1. +1’s are equivalent to Facebook’s “like,” except with a broader reach. Google allows you to +1 posts, comments, and even web pages right in Google Search results. Google records all of the pages you’ve +1’d in your Profile, under the +1 heading. Click the picture below for the official +1 video from Google.


    So what’s left? Sparks, Hangouts, Chat, and the Navigation bar.

    Sparks is Google+’s curation engine. Click on Sparks, explore the featured topics, and try punching in some of your own. Add a topic to your spark, and you’ll find that under the Sparks link in your stream, you will now have shortcuts to the topics you’ve pinned.

    Hangouts is Google+’s video chat feature, which allows for up to 10 users to chat with one another. You can add users individually, or by Circle (notice that Circle’s are everywhere).

    Chat is just Gchat in Google+, or AIM for the old-schoolers. No explanation required.

    Finally, we have the Navigation bar. You may have noticed Google’s slick new black-and-red bar at the top of your existing Google products. Well, in Google+, you’ll find some new additions, justified to the right. There you have Settings, Share, Notifications, and [Your Name].


    Settings are pretty self-explanatory - you can control which types of notifications you get emailed for, extended privacy settings etc.

    The Share button at the top of the Navigation is great - you can share from anywhere, like from an organic Google Search, without having to navigate back to the Stream.

    Finally, Notifications, which turn red when there are new ones, are also very intuitive. For example, when a new person adds you to their Circles, you are then given the option, via drop-down menu, to add them into your Circles. Also, when somebody comments on your post, a post you were tagged in, or a post you’ve commented on, you can reply, share, +1, and all that jazz, right from the Notifications drop-down!

    Under [Your Name] you have the option of jumping to your Profile, Circles, Account Settings, and Privacy Settings.

    And that concludes this very basic Google+ lesson, hope it helps!

    PS: Great way to see what your Privacy settings are ACTUALLY doing – go to your Profile and click, “View as…”

  • 30 Jun 2011 12:13 PM | Deleted user
    Twitter was abuzz Monday, June 28th, as the crowd at The Liberty hotel frantically tweeted under the hashtag #AdClubRetail. The buzz was for The Ad Club's first ever retail event, Breaking the Retail Code, which drew such diverse speakers as Jay Gordon, CEO of Bodega, Steven Davis, President of Rue La La, Michael Hendrix, Location Head & Creative Director at IDEO, Dave Powers, VP of Global Retail at Converse, and Co-Founders of Partners & Spade, Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti. Big brands and little brands shared stories of success on a stage decorated with mannequins…


    Maven of all things digital, Mike Schneider, started the day off with a talk titled, The Game Done Changed, which covered the various ways in which the digital world is affecting retail. Delving into various applications and experiences that effect the shopping experience, Mike set the tone for the conference, the key takeaway being that brands must "engage, and engage often," because "through devices, everywhere is a marketplace, everywhere is a store."

    Mike stayed on stage, iPad in hand, to moderate the panel titled, "Shopping Without Boundaries: Buy Anything, Anywhere, Anytime," featuring Nataly Kogan, VP Consumer Experience at WHERE, Inc., Andrew Paradise, CEO of AisleBuyer, and Jeong Eun Woo, Associate Director at Microsoft. Nataly shared how her company, WHERE, is attracting users with targeted deals. "Reach, relevancy, and redemption," that's what it's all about for WHERE. Andrew spoke about how his app can help streamline the checkout process by allowing customers to create custom shopping lists and use their mobile phones to self-checkout. Finally, Jeong demonstrated the power of the Microsoft X-Box and Kinect, which allows users to make purchases through the X-Box without ever getting off the couch through voice control!


    Next, John Mulliken, VP of Media & Strategic Initiatives at CSN Stores, shocked us all when he told us that CSN stores is the second largest online retailer of home goods and housewares and the 10th largest online-only retailer, period. The Boston-based company is a conglomerate of 200 separate e-commerce sites, employing over 800 people in the area.

    The next panel, “Retailing in a Digital World: How Leading Brands Are Finding Ways to Win,” saw a new moderator, Stephen Arthur, Head of Industry and Retail at Google, take the stage, joined by 
Nancy Dynan, VP Corporate Marketing at L.L. Bean, 
Dustin Humphreys, Director of Digital Strategy & Operations at CVS, and
 John Mulliken, VP of Media & Strategic Initiatives at CSN Stores. Nancy informed us that while catalogs are still L.L.Bean’s number one seller, they learn much more about pre-purchase behavior from online sales. Furthermore, customers who call L.L.Bean direct are the most loyal – for some reason, people just like to talk to people from Maine! Dustin told us all about how the CVS Customer Care Card, catalog (digital and print), and pharmacy are key drivers of their business.


    After lunch, the final panel, Death of the Wallet, began, this time moderated by Mark Borden, author of B Drive and former Senior Editor at Fast Company. The panelists, Tom Burgess, CEO of Clovr Media, and Rich Muhlstock, VP of Brand Advertising and Marketing at American Express, told us two very different, but very persuasive stories of new technologies that are eschewing paper payments. First, Tom explained the mysterious name of his company, which conveniently represents what it is they do - that being the creation and implementation of Card Linked Offers (and) Virtual Redemption. Card Linked Offers, or CLO’s, are banner, text, video, or mobile ads that, when clicked, or Virtually Redeemed, apply savings directly to a consumer’s credit or debit card. Next, Rich told us about American Express’ new project that he’s heading up called Serve. Serve is American Express’ take on the mobile wallet, a mobile app that allows you to load money onto your Serve account from your American Express card, and then use the app to pay for things and transfer funds securely, wherever American Express is accepted.

    #AdClubRetail’s tallest speaker, Jay Gordon, towered over our on-stage mannequins to tell us about his big retail idea – to open a store and do everything wrong. Jay is the owner of Bodega, a well-hidden limited-edition sneaker store disguised as a crummy convenience store. Jay told us how exclusivity, a lack of advertising, word-of-mouth, and a little known, yet starved community of young sneaker-heads allowed for a store where you have to step in front of a soda machine to enter to flourish. Now that’s some serious retail power.


    Prompted by Stephen Arthur, Steven Davis, president of popular flash-sale site Rue La La, told us about the power of a passionate community. Rue La La’s community is highly engaged, and for good reason – the sales are consistently luxury brands, and they’re packaged the right way – with custom modeling and a fancy splash page. Now, 10% of Rue La La customers head to the site around 11am (when the day’s sales are released) EVERY DAY, and 20-30% of their weekend business comes from mobile! That’s a dedicated customer base. And it only gets better – Steven told us that Rue La La is better serve their male customers, and that we can expect a much more personalized, tailored Rue La La experience in the future.

    Next, Michael Hendrix, Creative Director and Location Head at IDEO, and Dave Powers, VP of Global Retail at Converse, took the stage to tell about the fact-finding mission that lead to Converse’s first batch of retail stores. Turns out, Converse owners are a specific type, but they’re very hard to pin down into one category – that’s because they aren’t defined by any one tribe, but rather, how they float between several tribes. This lead to the eclectic Converse stores that we now have where old Chucks hang from the ceiling, customers can design their own shoes and have them made in-store, and the aesthetic of the unorganized totally works.


    Our final presenters to grace the stage, Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, brought retail into a new light with their presentation showcasing their work with J. Crew. When the mega-retailer came to Partners and Spade in need of a brand pick-me-up, What Andy and Anthony proposed sounded ludicrous: an unbranded bar-turned-retail store that was also a functioning art gallery and used bookstore. That idea became The Liquor Store, and without solicitation, The Liquor Store was picked up by major news sites and fashion blogs around the world, and provided the brand buzz that J. Crew needed. And the idealogy behind all this? “The bigger a brand gets, the smaller it should act.” Smaller, meaning more fun, whimsical, and local, not cold, self-promoting, and omnipotent. Why? “Because no one likes big.”

    Be sure to check out the full Retail site, browse the photo album on our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter to keep up with us in real time!

     

     

 

© The Ad Club 2014
22 Batterymarch Street • Boston, MA 02109 • 617.262.1100


 
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