What Is Your Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is the most anticipated and talked about event in the advertising industry. It’s our Oscars, Grammys and Fashion Week wrapped into one. We expect to see some of the best creative, soundest strategy and most effective marketing of the year. But with all the flash and hoopla, how does it affect the average marketer? What can the millions of marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs take away on Feb 3rd?
First, they should ask, “What is my Super Bowl?” Instead of looking at the event as the advertising star-studded night it is, consider it just a platform, a launching pad that top tier advertisers decide (or can afford) to leverage. Every marketer has a “Super Bowl” or big stage and you don't need $4 million plus (average cost of the Super Bowl media buy) to own it. While helping Caribou Coffee with a major rebranding effort, we approached the design of their coffee cups as their Super Bowl. After all, to the nation's second largest premium coffee shop, their cups actually garner the sort of impressions a commercial during the Super Bowl does. All of a sudden, the cup designs became a lead element in the campaign and everything followed.
And with Land O'Lakes, we treated their new mobile site as their Super Bowl. Today's busy Moms (and Dads) are turning more and more to mobile devices to plan and prepare meals, so we placed great emphasis on creating a user experience that was intuitive, simple and inspiring. After all, it will be used by millions of people.
Once you identify your Super Bowl, it might not reach hundreds of millions of viewers in one fell swoop—or feature the mishaps of Janet Jackson— but there are some things we can all learn from the big game that can be applied.
It's not just about showing up, it's about standing out.
Whether it's at a trade show such as CES, packaging on a store shelf, or something as simple as a sweepstakes—just think, what would happen if you treated it as if everyone was watching? Pretend for a second that USA Today is going to gauge your efforts with a meter the next day. That your family and friends are going to point out "I know the person who did that…" The reason so many Super Bowl spots are memorable isn't just because they cost a lot of money. It's because a lot of thought went into them. No one wants to disappoint.
Make sure it’s the right kind of memorable.
Too often, in their efforts to stand out, advertisers make the mistake of not linking their creative idea to the uniqueness of the product. They do a great job making people laugh, or maybe even coaxing a tear or goosebumps with a heartfelt message, but the viewer is unable to remember what brand moved them in the first place. Will your audience walk away your Super Bowl message the way you'd like?
Get the most out of your investment.
Two trends have emerged from advertising during the big game. First, creating buzz for your ad prior to game day is a great way to make your marketing dollars work harder. Can you tease your Super Bowl effort before it launches?
Second, advertisers are doing an increasingly good job of tying a social component to their spot, whether it’s an online game or asking viewers to vote for the ending of the spot on Twitter. By doing this they engage consumers, increase conversations and build buzz. Be sure you’ve employed all the tools in your marketing toolbox to promote your Super Bowl.
Open Advertising: Inspiring Intellectual Diversity In Agencies
As advertisers, we have incredible influence to move things forward and take on challenging issues of culture, society, technology and economics. We can spur honest conversations (even if they’re difficult), and create work that broadens discourse instead of reducing it.
In order to accomplish this, our industry needs diverse intellectual talent — people who see and experience the world in many different ways. But a disturbing trend is emerging: women and men who would have once pursued a career in advertising are being lured away with tempting offers from startups and tech companies (see 8 Reasons To Choose A Startup Over A Corporate Job). Attractive new job offers, coupled with a less-than-favorable reputation as an industry (advertising is the 10th most hated profession in the U.S. according to Gallup), means that advertising could be facing a very real shortage of diverse intellectual talent in just a few years’ time. A lack of talent means our industry’s point of view will become staid and our ability to create change will quickly fade.
The issue of talent is precisely what we set out to address in our recent collaboration with the 4A’s, a leading ad association looking to jump-start a dialogue with the next generation. The project was designed to share untold stories of real people who work in agencies. But before we could tell their stories, we needed to know what we were up against.
We began by talking with college students and young advertising professionals in order to understand the gaps that exist between students’ perceptions and employees’ reality. We asked similar questions of both groups and then compared their responses. The results were staggering: the things that students are most wary of are the same things young working professionals enjoy most.
In general, students believe that 1) You have to be a brilliant creative genius to make it in our field, 2) There aren’t enough ad jobs to go around for those who are interested, 3) Digital agencies are the only ones that work with new technology, and 4) Agencies are cutthroat, backstabbing places that eat their young.
Most of these perceptions are unfounded. First, young professionals told us that they thrive on the creativity in agencies, whether they’re an account executive or a copywriter. Second, they found jobs by landing internships, meeting the right people and having the right attitude, even when the job search sucks. Third, they work with emerging technology every day — it’s actually an area where they feel the most empowered. Finally, those just starting out in advertising told us story after story about how much they enjoy collaborating with coworkers, how welcoming agencies are, and how most of the folks they work with are driven to create great work rather than clutter the world with more garbage.
The disparity between perceptions and reality means that it's up to us to redefine creativity and show that there are many seats at the table, help students understand that finding the right internship is the first step toward finding the right job, communicate that technology is the lifeblood of every agency and an area where young talent rules the roost, and last but not least, show that advertising is the new team sport.
On the heels of our research came a new website, openadvertising.aaaa.org, designed to open up the walls of our agencies and welcome those who are skeptical, excited or curious about our field. The site features short videos from art directors, writers, strategists, analysts and account executives that show what a day in the life is really like, which we hope will dispel misperceptions along the way.
Colle+McVoy had the pleasure of creating four videos for the site that feature our employees. Take a peek at our stories (and the new OpenAdvertising site). We’d love to hear what you think about where our industry is headed and what we could do to make it better than it’s ever been before.
We Eat, Sleep and Silkscreen Cycling
Art Crank Posters
It’s no surprise we’re a culture of cyclists at Colle+McVoy. Our latest output comes from Aaron Purmort, Lindsey Aho and yours truly. We’re three of the 40 local artists in the sixth annual ArtCrank - a poster art show that celebrates cycling. I asked Aaron, a returning artist, and Lindsey, a first-timer, about their experiences going from idea to execution.
Mike: Lindsey, this is your first time participating in ArtCrank. What made you decide to throw your hat in the ring?
Lindsey: I've always wanted to participate, but somehow have managed to miss the entry date. Not this year.
Mike: How about you, Aaron? You’re a veteran. How are you feeling about this year?
Aaron: I think it's very exciting every year. It's by far the biggest showing of screen-printed posters under one roof in our city annually, and I love screen printing. Seeing what other people come up with is always the best part for me.
Mike: How did your arrive at your idea? What was the inspiration behind it?
L: I didn't want the focus to be on just one type of bike. I wanted everyone to be able to relate to my poster.
A: I did a lot of drawing by hand while I was on medical leave from work, and I think that has influenced my designs since coming back to work. I do a lot more sketching now, and I've always loved drawing type by hand, I just do it more now. When I visited my parents in Scottsdale, Arizona this winter, I went on a bike ride to see my grandparents, who live on the other side of the city. The paths and roads down there are amazing for biking, and it got me thinking a lot about how cities other than Minneapolis have really started encouraging and putting money toward biking for commuting and recreation. Also, I had been doodling the American flag a lot lately, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my poster design somehow.
Mike: Did your idea come to you right away or did you labor over it? What was your creation process?
L: It was actually the first visual I saw in my head. Making it, though, was laborious. I always start out in pencil. Draw, redraw, trace, erase and draw some more. Then I ink. And finally, I take it into the computer and work on it some more.
A: I labored over how to fit the flag into a poster about biking, and after a ton of pretty horrible ideas, I started seeing the stripes in the flag as something that could be bent and warped instead of just straight lines. That led to my final illustration. I then worked with a friend who runs Big Table Studio (a fantastic place for printing!) in St. Paul on the printing.
Mike: Are you an avid cyclist?
L: Like most, I have enjoyed riding a bike since I was little. It's something that will always be a part of my life.
A: I'm not hard-core enough to bike in wintertime, but I try getting out as much as I can. It's been a little hard getting going this spring on bike commuting to work, because I've been more tired than usual due to medications. I wish I biked more, and will start to soon. I just sold my car, so I hope that will force my hand more this year.
Mike: Knowing that nearly 3,000 people attended ArtCrank last year, were you nervous during the process?
L: Yes. I'm fairly decent at procrastinating. But I didn't this time, because I didn’t want to screw anything up. It's always nerve-racking to show your work, and I don't think I'll ever stop caring whether people like it or not.
A: I'm always a little nervous showing work, but it's not really a forum where you're judged on the finished piece. It's definitely more of a celebration and a party. Thinking about the show that way helped.
Mike: What's your twitter handle so people can absorb your infinite wisdom?
Mike: Are you going to the opening?
L: Heck yes.
A: Hell yes.
Mike: Me too. Can’t wait.
Now Hiring: Art Director
As a junior to mid-level art director at Colle+McVoy, you’ll be responsible for wowing our creative directors with your ideas, design skills and entertaining YouTube video finds. You’ll spend a lot of time with a copywriter dreaming up ridiculously big ideas. Once you and your writer friend strike gold, you’ll be responsible for bringing your big idea to life. Sometimes you’ll work with outside vendors such as photographers, retouchers, illustrators, directors, animators, editors and print vendors. You may even work with an animal trainer or a chainsaw juggler at some point, if you’re lucky. So, if you’d like to work for an agency that has a sweet rooftop deck overlooking downtown, a beer trike and was named one of the Best Places to Work by Advertising Age and Outside magazine, then show us what you’ve got.
Click here for full description and application.
Colle+McVoy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
C+M Wins Best of Show in NAMA National Awards Competition
MINNEAPOLIS, April 19, 2011 - The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) awarded Colle+McVoy Best of Show (advertising) at the national 2011 Best of NAMA awards ceremony in Kansas City. The advertising Best of Show award was one of four first place wins for Colle+McVoy and its PR partner Exponent PR. The Best of NAMA program recognizes excellence in advertising, public relations and digital communications in agribusiness and related industries.
"Colle+McVoy strives to provide smart and creative work that achieves strong results for our agribusiness client partners," said Christine Fruechte, president and CEO, Colle+McVoy. "We are honored to have the work of our growing Food & Agribusiness practice recognized."
Colle+McVoy received the Best of Show and first place win for its Winfield Solutions, LLC 3-D direct mailing. The high-tech, high-impact direct mail piece featured mini-TV screens embedded in the brochure and played videos, highlighting Answer Plot® Knowledge Events and promoting products. In addition, NAMA awarded Colle+McVoy first place for its Winfield Solutions, LLC AgriSolutions® print ads (less than one page) that dealers could customize for their local markets. The agency received a merit award for an Answer Plot® direct mail campaign for Winfield Solutions, LLC.
Additionally, Colle+McVoy earned a first place award for the 2009 Annual Report and Stewardship Report for CHS, Inc. that featured dynamic photographs and stories highlighting individuals within the CHS system.
Colle+McVoy was awarded another first place award for the humorous invitations the agency created for the Region III Best of NAMA awards program.
The agency received a merit award for a DuPont Crop Protection advertorial describing the benefits of using DuPont® Matrix® herbicide for tree nut producers. The national awards are in addition to eleven regional NAMA awards won by Colle+McVoy and Exponent PR.
C+M Recognized With Bicycle Friendly Business Award
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 27, 2010 - The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Colle+McVoy as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB). As an award winner, Colle+McVoy is providing a more bicycle-friendly lifestyle for its employees and serves as an example for best practices and innovations in bicycle friendliness at the workplace.
"Colle+McVoy is making a difference for employees, clients and communities," said Bill Nesper, Director of the Bicycle Friendly America Program. "The agency promotes bicycling as a viable form of transportation and gives their employees choices and options that make biking to work easy and fun."
Colle+McVoy makes bicycling an easy option for transportation and provides amenities such as a locker and shower room for changing, in-office bike parking, direct access to hundreds of miles of bike trails and free bike repair gear. It also offers incentives such as an employee bicycle financing program.
"We are proud to be recognized for our efforts to make Colle+McVoy and the Twin Cities a more bike-friendly place," said Christine Fruechte, president and CEO, Colle+McVoy. "Part of our commitment to the outdoor recreation category is encouraging our employees to live the lifestyle. Supporting bicycling is a big part of this and allows us to promote something we love, as well as health and wellness. It’s a win for everyone."
The Bicycle Friendly Community and Bicycle Friendly Business programs are generously supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign.
C+M Recognized at Best of NAMA National Awards Competition
MINNEAPOLIS, April 22, 2010 - Colle+McVoy received several awards from The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) during last night’s national 2010 Best of NAMA awards ceremony in Kansas City. The Best of NAMA program recognizes excellence in advertising, public relations and digital communications in agribusiness and related industries.
"Colle+McVoy is dedicated to creating powerful communications that lead the agricultural industry," said Christine Fruechte, Colle+McVoy president and CEO. "We are grateful and honored to receive this recognition of our teams’ impactful strategic thinking and fresh creativity."
Colle+McVoy received a first place award for its Answer Plot® campaign created for Winfield Solutions, LLC. The multimedia campaign strategically encouraged growers to attend Answer Plot® Program experiences that showcased the technological benefits of Winfield Solutions, LLC products.
Colle+McVoy also earned a first place award for the This Could Be the Year campaign created for Nestlé Purina PetCare Company’s line of Purina® Pro Plan® dry dog food. The campaign advertisements, targeted to dog breeders and enthusiasts, used beautiful photography and bold headlines to emphasize the influence of high-quality nutrition on a dog’s performance.
Colle+McVoy also received a merit award for company magazine work on behalf of CHS Inc. These national awards are in addition to eleven regional NAMA awards won by Colle+McVoy and Exponent PR, the public relations division of Colle+McVoy.
C+M Wins 2010 Buzz Award
MINNEAPOLIS, April 13, 2010 - The Colle+McVoy-produced Web site www.YearbookYourself.com won the award in the online category of the 2010 Buzz Awards. The Buzz Awards honor the best in brand/media integration and recognize campaigns that catch fire, produce brilliant product placements and use media in innovative ways that invade pop culture.
"Winning this award in the online category is a real honor and a testament to our digital expertise," said Mike Caguin, executive creative director, Colle+McVoy. "Generating buzz for a client is one thing, but creating something that becomes a pop culture phenomenon is rare. We are grateful for our forward-thinking clients like Taubman who appreciate transformative ideas."
There is only one winner per Buzz Award category (17 total) and YearbookYourself.com is the only winner in the online category, which recognizes the most attention-getting and effective use of the online medium to market a product, such as through a blog, short film or a viral e-mail campaign. As a result, the site will be profiled in a full-color spread in the May 3rd Buzz Awards section in Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek and online. This is the second Buzz Award for Colle+McVoy, which won in 2007 for the Minnesota State Lottery Don’t Belittle Powerball campaign. A full list of 2010 winners can be found at www.adweekbuzz.com..
Over the last two years, www.YearbookYourself.com became an instant hit and a pop culture phenomenon featured on more than 45,000 Web sites, blogs and media, including USA Today, Tech Crunch, ESPN, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Early Show on CBS and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Numerous high-profile personalities embraced it, including Lance Armstrong and Pee-wee Herman, and Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, changed his profile picture to a Yearbook Yourself photo. More than 15 million visitors uploaded photos to the site to see themselves with classic hairdos and in vintage outfits spanning five decades. Once "yearbooked," people sent their pictures to friends and posted them to blogs and social networking sites (more than 11 million Yearbook Yourself photos were shared via email or posted to Facebook). And the Yearbook Yourself Facebook fan page garnered 70,000 fans.