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.
Schell’s Brewing Co.: Schell’s Dark
Schell's Dark Case Study
The challenge: save a brewery’s classic beer from the endangered species list. Borrowing from its Deer Beer heritage, we first updated its appeal with a new bottle and packaging design. Next, to boost taplines at key clubs and taverns, we put together an exclusive concert series and surrounding campaign featuring top indie bands such as Spoon, Mason Jennings and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. There was a 500 percent increase in tapline placement, sales were as robust as a pint of Schell’s Dark and the campaign won an EFFIE – the industry standard in marketing effectiveness.
Explore Minnesota Tourism: More To Explore
Video: More to Explore TV Video
We set our sights on the travelers who are more optimistic (cautiously optimistic, but optimistic nonetheless) and ready to experience life. They are curious to discover what makes a destination exceptional. Thus, the More to Explore campaign was born. Just as Minnesota is a state worth exploring, we set out to create a commercial worth exploring. Throughout the spot, visual surprises are sprinkled in to delight and, most of all, support the idea that there really is More To Explore in Minnesota. The biggest surprise of all was saved for the end of the spot when Joe Mauer, Minnesota’s favorite son (and MVP), made his singing debut. The result is a seamless, exuberant tribute to all that Minnesota has to offer. The television spot has become Explore Minnesota’s most buzzworthy initiative ever.
When it comes to promoting state tourism, Minnesota is routinely outspent by its neighbors at a ratio of up to 3 to 1. With the travel economy still in recovery and the state in a major budget-cutting mode, it was imperative for us to do more with less, while breaking through the mass of tourism advertising.
Rhymesayers: Paint It Gold
Rhymesayers - Paint It Gold
Visit the site: archive.collemcvoy.com/paintthatshitgold »
Internationally acclaimed hip-hop act Atmosphere wanted to create an online experience to match their much-anticipated release, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S*#t Gold. To build the hype (and their sales), we created Paintitgold.com, a site that allows users to tag anything they could find on the web while listening to tracks from the new album. In its first week, the site not only unleashed the talents of thousands of virtual vandals, it helped launch the album to the top of the iTunes hip-hop chart and #5 on the Billboard chart.
Music + Creativity: Part One
Stepping off the elevators at Colle+McVoy, employees and visitors are immediately greeted by sounds of Minnesota’s beloved, eclectic radio station, The Current, pumping through the speakers. Its presence isn’t just a welcomed distraction, it helps define and capture the energy of this agency. The Current doesn’t have a specific format — it’s not top 40, it’s not classic rock, it’s not lite jazz. It’s a station that tries to share the most creative and interesting music that programmers can find, whether it’s a gem from the past, or an obscure new artist on the cusp of stardom. Colle+McVoy has a similar desire — to foster a community of creativity and share the most innovative work we can with the rest of the world. Our music choice is definitely no accident.
It is apparent from one walk around the offices of C+M that our love for music definitely does not stop in the lobby. Desks are adorned with headphones and speakers of all shapes and sizes. Personal rock out sessions or cubicle dance parties can spontaneously erupt at any time. And there is always someone talking about a show they saw, will see, or wanted to see but couldn't attend. Music permeates our walls and ears 24/7. It truly is creative fuel that plays an enormous role in establishing a fun, inspirational and open atmosphere, rather than a stale, dry one.
So what is it about music that is so intrinsically tied to creative-driven industries, advertising in particular? According to Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect and a renowned authority on the transformative power of music, "Music can be used to stimulate, activate, and relax the mind and body.” All of which are key elements in a successful creative process, and hence, producing stand out work for clients. What’s more? Elena Mannes, author of The Power of Music, states, "scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function."
At Colle+McVoy —based in the heart of urban, arts-heavy Minneapolis— music offers employees respite in the middle of a stressful day, provides sonic caffeine for late nights and early morning deadlines, and gives us just the right amount of inspiration to successfully complete a project. For C+M, creativity is not a department, but an expectation of all employees. So although musical tastes are wide and varied at C+M, there’s no doubt that it positively impacts every individual, acting as a catalyst for us each to reach our full creative potential.
A fierce advocate of music in almost any environment, Campbell believes, “More and more businesses are recognizing the importance of music in the workplace." This is certainly true at C+M, and has been for some time. Since music surrounds is ingrained in our culture and pushes us to do great work, we have decided to go one step further by bringing bands and musicians to perform live at the agency. This initiative, dubbed C+M Sessions, will kick off its inaugural performance this evening, Thursday, Aug. 2, with local roadhouse rockers, The 4onthefloor. It’s time to take off your headphones, put on your dancing shoes, and swill a cold beer to some rock and roll in the summer sun.
An Analysis of Social Media Engagement Tools
Maintaining a social media presence has become an essential part of the marketing mix for just about any consumer-facing brand. In fact, enterprise class corporations now have 26 employees on average creating social content on their behalf (Owyang, Jeremiah. Social Media Management: An Industry Perspective).
Although marketers realize that a social media presence is crucial, social media (or community) management is still a young discipline. Over 80% of enterprise-class corporations’ social media programs are less than three years old (Owyang, Jeremiah. Social Media Management: An Industry Perspective). The exciting part is best practices are still being forged all the time. This includes the emergence of a handful of social media engagement tools that aim to help social media teams listen to and interact with their communities.
It’s important for marketers to stay abreast of the tools that can make us more effective while engaging in the social space. That’s why we’re constantly evaluating social media engagement tools. Most of these tools include features like:
- Conversation streams from various social networks to keep an eye on what’s being said about your brand
- The ability to flag or assign posts for follow-up and facilitate collaboration between team members
- Publishing capabilities for multiple social networks to broadcast content to your community
- Post-level analytics to gauge the effectiveness of your content
Of course, you should always keep your specific social media objectives in mind when evaluating these tools. But, to help narrow the list, a recent evaluation from Colle+McVoy identified three frontrunners: Hootsuite, Buddy Media and SocialVolt.
In our particular case, we were looking for a tool with a good balance of collaboration features, real-time listening, post-level analytics and publishing capabilities across multiple networks.
HootSuite provides the most bang for your buck. It offers solid analytics, a decent user experience, and standard collaboration features like assigning community posts to team members for follow-up, for $5.99/month, plus $15 per additional user per month.
Buddy Media is a true enterprise solution, with a scalable offering that spans just about every social network. It is one of the few tools that provided options for publishing to a YouTube channel.
SocialVolt is solid across the board. Although more expensive at $1,800 per month for the professional edition and a website that leaves you needing a live demo for the full picture, we were still very intrigued.
The most important thing we learned through our evaluation is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. No silver bullet. It’s extremely important to articulate your goals for the social space and tailor your team and tools to them. We did arrive at a clear decision for the tool that best fits our particular needs: HootSuite.
HootSuite provides all the necessities a social media team needs in a clean and intuitive interface. Collaboration is streamlined. Publishing capabilities include almost all social networks and post types. Analytics are integrated across the board. Customizable conversation streams on the home screen allow you to keep an eye on the conversation. And, perhaps an often-overlooked benefit, the training necessary for a team to use the tool would be minimal.
If you’re part of a social media team that could use some streamlining, there’s a good chance one of these tools could make your life easier. Just don’t forget to consider the whole picture before jumping on the bandwagon of any single one. It’s a long list.
Eric Husband, Executive Creative Director
Eric began his career on the account side of the advertising world. But we are thankful that he quickly discovered the creative side of the hallway, where his true talents lie. Since making the jump, Eric has drawn upon his well-rounded experience to create award-winning campaigns for brands such as BMW MINI, Aveda, Caribou Coffee, Sun Microsystems, Nestlé Purina and Schell's Brewing Co. Along the way he has picked up every color of Effie award available.
His work, crossing all platforms from digital to outdoor, has not only been honored by virtually every award show in the industry, it’s also landed on the home pages of Mashable and FastCompany, appeared on ESPN’s Play of the Day and been enthusiastically discussed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Oh, and let’s not forget his work for MINI, which was named the year’s best print campaign by the Magazine Publishers of America’s Kelly Awards in 2007.
Eric has three girls (two of them identical twins) and two very large mutts. He’s been a snowboarder since ’87, owns a Vespa scooter from ’66 and hasn’t eaten butter since ’74 (due to a butter-related accident as a toddler). Don’t ask.
Phone: (612) 305-6127
C+M New Hires: Creativity Thrives
Lee Kimball, copywriter
If you were an advertising superhero, what would your name be and what would you do?
Exclaimo, Keeper of Superlatives. I would fly across the sky (in a glorious green, crushed velvet unitard) inspiring writers to gussy up their copy a bit and make everything grand.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Music is huge for me. I like listening to music that fits the tone of the brand I’m working on to give me creative concepts, and then I write like mad while listening to jazz or classical music (or maybe techno if there's a glow stick in the vicinity).
When you want to hide in the Twin Cities, where do you go?
It depends on whom I'm hiding from, but generally I go for the men's restroom at C+M. But considering I don't own a cell phone, it's pretty easy to hide pretty much anywhere.
Phil Kjelland, production artist
Superhero: I'd be known as 'Kern-Duder' – able to rid the world of all poorly kerned text…and the misuse of smart quotes.
Creative inspiration: I work with so many talented individuals that it's impossible not to be inspired by their creative thinking and design solutions.
Hiding spot: It wouldn't be a very good hiding place if everyone knew about it.
Nick Watts, interactive producer
Superhero: Tim Machine – A fan-boy of Web pioneer, Tim Berners-Lee, who after hacking into Lee's original CERN mainframe was mysteriously given superpowers, including the ability to vocally mimic the dial-up login sound, and a lifetime membership to America Online.
Creative inspiration: I'm a motorcycle and bicycle fanatic, so I get creative inspiration while out riding. When I'm in front of a computer, I follow tons of blogs. One of my favorites is The Selvedge Yard http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/. There's also a surprising amount of inspiration on Janet Reno's wiki page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Reno
Hiding spot: At 6'7" it's hard to hide anywhere, but I can always escape while riding my bicycle on the quiet roads along the Mississippi River.
Jonny Thompson, interactive producer
Superhero: That's a tough one, but I would want to be Jonny McFly. I would drive a DeLorean time machine with the ability to go back in time and create Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg.
Creative inspiration: I love watching TED talks. During my commute to work, I'll try to listen to one or two talks on my iPhone.
Hiding spot: I'm a big fan of Barrio in St. Paul. I drink their fantastic margaritas while playing Kung-Fu on the big screen. And if you go there in the summertime, they open up the giant doors to let in the cool breeze from Mears Park.
Sean Cooley, designer
Superhero: So as an advertising superhero, I believe my name would be something along the lines of Vectorer, Pica or maybe Steve the defender of Kerningville, not sure which one has the best ring to it. I feel like everyone needs a trusty sidekick, so maybe Sir Phot O. Shop (cousins of Sir Mix-A-Lot) or Madam Ill U. Strator. As a team, we would fight crime, kick butt, kern, track, lead (not sure what the verb is for adjusting leading) and maybe even start up a rec flag football team. My archenemies would probably be Widows, Orphans (not actual widows and orphans, but the ones that reference page layouts and design), Comic Sans, Curlz and Mayo (seriously that stuff creeps me out).
Creative inspiration: Not going to lie, generally the first 15 minutes at work, I kind of go through a list of design blogs for daily inspiration. The blogs' contents are anywhere from band posters, furniture design, illustrations, photos, diy projects, albums to just found objects. I'm a big fan of finding inspiration in the unexpected, whether it's music or something entirely unrelated to the current project.
Hiding spot: When I'm not out fighting crime, and I get some downtime in the Twin Cities, I tend to play Jenga against fellow competitors at the Jenga Centre just down the road from where I live or practicing the ability to bite my own ear (it has not been going well so far). Those more or less take up most of my time, but with the remainder hours, I frequent awesome places such as Bulldog, CC Club, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Triple Rock and Seventh St Entry. When I want to live life on the edge by crossing the river via car and running the risk of never finding another parking spot near where I live, I enjoy Northeast Minneapolis and Grand Ave area in St. Paul, especially burgers at the Blue Door. Biking is seriously bad ass in this town and I feel like it's a challenge to hit up all the routes, but something I'm definitely going to try and take on, granted it my be a 10 year process but I've got to aim high. I'm about 2% of the way there. Since I'm new to the area, I'm intrigued to take on the winters here, but definitely pumped about going to some hockey games. Yep, that's about it for now, oh and I'll get working on the logo for this superhero shindig asap.
TJ Beagan, broadcast producer and manager
Superhero: The Grinch – with a mission to eradicate poor planning.
Creative inspiration: The cinema.
Hiding spot: Any racquetball court.
Explore Minnesota Tourism Ad Wins National Mercury Award
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 31, 2011 – Explore Minnesota Tourism, Minnesota’s tourism promotion office, was awarded the prestigious 2011 Mercury Award last night by the U.S. Travel Association for the “More to Explore” television ad, created by Colle+McVoy, its advertising agency partner. The spot, which launched last spring, was recognized as the best state tourism TV ad broadcast in the country this year.
“It’s very exciting to have our ‘More to Explore’ spot named as the best state tourism TV ad in the country,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. “We wanted to stand out among tourism ads by being fun and memorable, and our ‘More to Explore’ ads definitely achieve that.”
Showcasing a variety of fun things to do in Minnesota, the ad features playful graphics, a catchy song and quick sketches of Minnesota activities to convey the message that “There’s more to explore in Minnesota.” It also features cameo appearances by Twins baseball player Joe Mauer, Minneapolis indie band Solid Gold and other Minnesotans as they sing about all there is to see and do in the state. The spot has become Explore Minnesota Tourism’s most buzzworthy initiative with extensive traditional and online media coverage in major Minnesota media markets, the generation of nearly 28,000 YouTube views within the first week of airing and over 45,000 views within one month, and yielding over 28,000 page views on exploreminnesota.com.
“By choreographing the more to explore concept, we created a vivid and memorable spot, which was very well received,” said Eric Husband, group creative director, Colle+McVoy. “We are grateful for partners such as Explore Minnesota Tourism who champion great work that stands out.”
In addition to the award, John Edman was elected vice chair (and next national chair) of the National Council of State Travel Directors.
Video and audio files can be downloaded here >>
C+M Named To Outside’s Best Places To Work List
Colle+McVoy was named to Outside magazine’s prestigious Best Places to Work list published in the September issue. The agency was ranked No. 10 out of 50 companies nationwide for its efforts to enhance employees’ enjoyment of active endeavors and make environmental and social involvement a priority.
C+M Launches Caribou Coffee Fall Effort With Jack & Gourdo
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 8, 2009 - A wisecracking pumpkin and dimwitted gourd are the stars of a new Colle+McVoy campaign for Caribou Coffee, the second largest company-owned gourmet coffeehouse operator in the United States. The comical characters were created to promote the company’s Flavors of Fall lineup of handcrafted drinks and bakery items.
Breaking today (Sept. 8), the campaign features The Autumn Adventures of Jack & Gourdo in a series of online videos, in-store signage and point-of-purchase elements, which highlight special features of the seasonal offerings through funny and often irreverent conversations between Jack (the pumpkin) and Gourdo (the gourd).
"Jack and Gourdo are meant to be fun ambassadors of fall," said Eric Husband, group creative director, Colle+McVoy. "Caribou Coffee is serious about coffee, but they never take themselves too seriously—they’re not afraid to have some fun. Jack and Gourdo is a great example of this."
Components include five spots of varying lengths breaking today on Caribou Coffee’s YouTube channel, which can be viewed at http://www.JackAndGourdo.com/. Colle+McVoy collaborated with Minneapolis-based Puny Entertainment to develop the video animation.
The campaign promotes Caribou Coffee’s lineup of limited-time-only products, including the drinks Wild Pumpkin, Wild Pumpkin Cooler, Wild Caramel Apple and Wild Caramel Apple Cooler drinks, as well as food items such as Maple Scone, Reduced Fat Cinnamon Bundt Cake and Pumpkin Bread.