Monday, January 28, 2013

Beware, Millenial on Board!

Recently, I attended a regional retreat in Chicago. Chapter leaders from the American Marketing Association met to review best practices and share ideas about advancing the profession, connect with others and generally learning from each other. It was during a lunch break that I met Emily. She is an account manager from and advertising firm in Iowa.

The Iowa chapter researched travel options and decided to try the MegaBus. The cost per person was just $39 and has a convenient and a routine departure from Des Moines at 8:00 a.m. The trip was advertised to be a civilized 6 hour 20 minutes. So Emily was among the four Iowa chapter leaders who travelled from Des Moines to Chicago via MegaBus.

Emily’s account of the trip had me laughing almost from the start. Her story started with the planning and preparation for their chapter trip and meeting up at the bus terminal in Des Moines. She and her chapter colleagues were underwhelmed by the experience. The bus was too hot and crowded. Emily responded as many Millenials would, by tweeting, “OMG, this is a bus trip from hell. It’s hot. Every seat is filled – no room to stretch. 6 hours and 20 minutes to Chicago.” A few hours into the trip, Emily wondered how fast they were moving. So again in step with how a Millenial might respond, she downloaded an App. The App allowed her to determine the bus was only traveling between 49-52 miles an hour. She tweeted again, “I can’t believe this. I will NOT recommend MegaBus to anyone…Ever!”

Emily and her colleagues arrived in Chicago, albeit behind schedule, and as they thought about the adventure, they joked and shared amusement and a little bit of dread about the return trip. Generational differences present particularly as the digital age changes how we communicate and how we respond to the world around us. Emily’s story is a good illustration. MegaBus, on the face of things, offered a reasonable value ($39 for a trip of 350 miles). However, they might need to look after a few details related to customer satisfaction. Emily belongs to a generation born after 1982. If you are running a bus line and expect to transport Millenials, you better be ready for immediate and brutally honest customer reactions.

The reality is something to think about. How will you plan your marketing in the face of instant communication and feedback?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Thank You ADDY Judges!

The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the nation’s oldest national advertising trade association, and the only association representing all facets of the advertising industry. The AAF has 15 districts located in and representing a different region of the nation. The AAF operates a host of programs and initiatives including the ADDY Awards. It starts with local advertising clubs like ours in St. Louis. 

My experience includes 15 years of local St. Louis Addy and one District ADDY (Not to mention three years prior involvement in ADDY competitions in Raleigh and Miami). My specialty: I secure the judges, and in the process I never tire of the experience of this annual confluence of advertising creativity. The judges are always a blend of geography, specialty and seniority. All have enthusiasm and a love of the game.   

This year is no different in that regard. Our judges are from Nashville, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and NYC: they are Sharon, Jeff, Pat, Rietje (pronounced re-cha/rhymes with glad to meet-cha).  Sharon is a take charge personality (in Nashville she is well known as a creative leader). She is the sort of person you want around in a crisis. (Case in point; while her husband screams in panic during a 7.3 Earthquake, Sharon calmly thinks through the aftershocks as their vacation bungalow in Honduras shakes on its shabby foundation.) Jeff is a Tri-Athlete and a former Navy Aviator who once aspired to be an astronaut (his extended household includes a wife and five children), Pat has the ad biz in his blood and has traveled widely in pursuit of his career. Rietje is a passionate and precise designer. Matt is unable to join us as he deals with the occupational hazard of working overtime on a new business pitch.

Reviewing hundreds of finished products of work submitted by agencies and marketers the judges take the time study design, copy, art direction and concept as it is translated to everything from posters and digital executions to television commercials. The experience almost always results in a bonding between these diverse and talented professionals. I feel fortunate to be the equivalent of the “bug on the wall” eavesdropping on this deliberation each year as the judging weekend unfolds toward a consensus on what deserves the spotlight.

Congratulations to all the winners over the years. I truly believe this kind of award program depends on the quality and credibility of the judges. We want it to mean something. Thanks to the judges. You are all-stars. You have contributed in a meaningful way to the legacy creativity and great work. You are a reminder that the art and craft, even in a commercial pursuit, adds value and is worthy of recognition.    

THANK YOU JUDGES 2013 - Sharon Harms – Buntin (Nashville); Jeff DeGarmo – Cubic (Tulsa); Rietje Becker – Sterling Brands (NYC); Pat Harris – Engauge (Pittsburgh); 2012 - Sharon Hinmon – Wyse (Cleveland); Hal Collins – Acrobat Ant (Tulsa); John Walsh – Leggett & Platt (Carthage, MO); Susan Cook – The Cook Consultancy (Ft. Worth); 2011 - Lisa Sanger – (Cincinnati); Jodi Greene - Barefoot Proximity (Cincinnati); Patrick Scullin (ATL); Matt Rand (Dallas); 2010 -Keith Harmeyer – Smart Stoming (NYC); April Koenig – Creatives on Call (Cincinnati); David Marks – The Collaborative (KC); 9th District Addys 2009 - Don Sedei CD/Partner– Calise & Sedei (Dallas); Glen Fellman ACD – McKinney (Durham, NC); David Korchin – Sr. CD – Ogilvy (NY); 2009 - Colleen Fahey - Star Farm Productions (Chicago); Wade Alger - Martin Agency (Richmond); Steve Lageson - Wyse (Cleveland); 2008 - Gordon Robertson – Group CD, MARC USA (Pittsburgh); George Tenne – Creative Consultant 10e (Chicago); Julia Hoffman – Interactive Art Director, Crispin Porter Bogusky (Boulder); 2007 - Nancy Rice - College of Art & Design (Minneapolis); Rick Boyko – Virginia Commonwealth University AdCenter (Richmond); John Pattison – CD HSR Business to Business (Cincinnati); Kevin Endres – ECD J&A Partners (Brentwood, TN); Christine Taylor – Designer – Hallmark (KC); 2006 - Tim Ryan, Freelance CD/AD – (Bloomfield Hills, MI); Bill West, Creative Director and Senior Partner - French, West & Vaughn (Raleigh); Jessica Englund, Freelancer - recently Art Director Liggett-Stashower Advertising (Cleveland); Mike Fetrow, Creative Director - Colle+McVoy (Minneapolis); 2005 - Carolyn Rayner, VP, KWCC, Inc. (Dallas/Houston); Jenn Sedlecky, Writer, Wyse (Cleveland); Steve Mapp, Sr. AD, Goodby Silverstein & Partners (SF); Rahmin Eslami, Sr. Designer, Landor (Cincinnati); Rudy Banny, Chief Creative Officer, Neiman Group (Harrisburg, PA); 2004 - Steven Rank, Associate CD, Siegel & Gale (NYC); Tracey Turner, Executive Director of The Creative Group (LA); Rob Simpson, Creative Director, GJP Advertising (Cincinnati); Dave Clemans, Associate CD, The Martin Agency (Richmond); Bill Wright, CD, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Miami); 2003 - Marty Orzio, former ECD and partner Merkley Newman Harty in New York City moved to BBDO (Chicago); Chuck Meehan, Associate CD at David & Goliath (LA); Margie Koyak, Sr. Copywriter at Caldwell Van Riper/MARC (Indianapolis); Anne Simmons, VP of Strategic Services at Willoughby Design Group (Kansas City); Jim P. White, Chief Creative Officer at Doe-Anderson (Louisville); Amy Sunderman, Sr. Designer, Landor Associates (Cincinnati); 2002 -Gary Backaus, Creative Director, Archer>Malmo (Memphis, TN); John Bacon, Designer/Art Director, Sullivan Higdon & Sink (KC); Silvia Albertelli/Masek, Wyse Design (Cleveland); Rich Tlapek, VP Group Creative Director, GSD&M, (Austin); Nancy Rice, Worldwide Creative Director, The Miami Ad School (Minneapolis); 2001 - Mark Eimer, Designer/Art Director, Muller & Company (KC); Michael Landon, Designer, Maximum Design div. of Square One Adv, (Dallas); Gary Schoenike, Creative Director, The Solis Group (Denver); Bill Daniel, Washington Daniel (Chicago); Donn Ditzhazy, Creative Director, RMD Advertising (Columbus); 2000 - Christine Beougher, Sr Designer, Barnhardt/CMI, (Denver); Michael Hart, Copywriter, Carmichael Lynch moved to Fallon McElligott (Minneapolis); Rob Burnham, Creative Director, Kuester Group (Minneapolis); Louis Moses, AD/Partner, Moses Anshell (Phoenix); Tom Schultz, Publicis & Riney (Chicago); 1999 - Nancy Johnson, Owner, MarketForce (Raleigh); Jason Strong, Designer, Duffy Design, (Minneapolis); Terry Slaughter, Creative Director, Slaughter Hanson (Birmingham); Lynn Lilly, Liggett Stashower (Cleveland); Mike Jones Kelly, Creative Circus (Atlanta); 1998 - Doug Trapp Sr. AD, Martin Williams (Minneapolis); Bill Wright, writer, Crispin Porter Bogusky (Miami); Randy DeMuesy, VP/ACD, Meldrum & Fewsmith (Cleveland); Ron Huey, Partner, Huey Popprocki,(Atlanta); Tom Lunt, VP/CD, Leo Burnett (Chicago); Sonia Gretemen, Principal/CD, The Gretemen Group (Wichita)