Class A Valet
330 First Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Please drive up to the parking attendant booth. You will need to give them your keys and they will park your car for you. Please bring your parking ticket with you.
Butler Square Parking Lot
100 N. Sixth St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Please enter the parking lot on the South side of North 1st Ave. across from The Loon Café. You will receive a parking ticket from the machine or attendant. Please bring that with you and we will validate at reception.
Explore Minnesota Tourism: Minnesota in Six Words
Just how far do you need to go to showcase how awesome the Land of Sky Blue Waters is? How about 1,500 miles, give or take a few.
Showing off the North Star State—the Gopher State, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesnowta, especially Minnesnowta, these days—was just what Explore Minnesota asked us to do.
But here’s the thing: We didn’t want to churn out a standard-issue tourism spot filled with a montage of prairie, lakes and more prairie and more lakes. That’s not how things are done here at C+M. Instead, we challenged ourselves to find six words that would seamlessly tie together compelling Minnesota-centric activities. The words that bubbled to the top were: spin, try, hold, rock, share and catch. Each word was the focus of its own 15-second spot.
Over the course of last summer (and deep into fall) we set out to bring this campaign to life. It was a fantastic experience. During 11 full days of shooting (not in a row), we covered more than 1,500 miles and captured exactly 52 different shot set-ups.
It was an amazing experience set against the backdrop of an amazing state.
Minnesota. Explore it.
The "Dark Social" Meme
Senior editor at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal, last year published a blog post about social media and its impact in generating web traffic: “Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong.”
With approximately 5,400 Tweets; 4,600 Facebook Likes; 1,200 shares on LinkedIn; and 1,100 +1s—to say nothing of the blog commentary and other related discourse in digital channels—it’s fair to say that “Dark Social” was a sticky idea that went viral.
To me, the main point of the post is that today's web analysts are decreasing the perceived value of social interactions in their reporting by relying on tools that track visits by referral sources—tools that invariably allocate otherwise socially driven traffic coming from, say, instant messenging and email to generic sources such as “direct” means.
Other, more general implications include:
- The notion that optimizing for social media means more than looking at Facebook and Twitter. The content itself has to be appraised.
- Formal social networks have brought a form of structure to social interactions that did not previously exist (in as simple a format).
- Along with the structure of formal social networks there is not only a loss in privacy, but a gain in social record keeping.
There have been plenty of counterpoints to the Alexis piece. For instance, the notion that the web has only been social since the rise of social networks (ca. 2005) ignores the fact that the Internet—of which the worldwide web is a part—has been social since its inception. Is anyone up for a dial-up chat on a local bulletin board service (aka BBS)?
Regardless of semantics about the Interwebs, I was intrigued by the notion that our analyses might be downplaying the true role of social interactions simply on account of our toolsets.
I therefore replicated the Chartbeat methodology Alexis outlined in “Dark Social” and ran a test of the site Colle+McVoy launched earlier this year for the Pedal Minnesota campaign (www.pedalmn.com).
- Exclude Sources (relevant to the site I analyzed)
- Specific media vendors/partnerships (i.e., exploreminnesota, bringmethenews, tuneupstation)
- Exclude Media (relevant to the site I analyzed)
- CPC, organic, email
- Exclude Landing Pages (clearly not “Dark” in their nature)
- Home page (i.e., /)
- Main section header pages (i.e., /map/|/events/|/resources/|/pedal central/|/contact/|/partners/
My results reflected the general patterns Chartbeat isolated with traffic data to The Atlantic. At first glance, this might suggest we need to be more thorough with any site reporting that requires us to be 100 percent certain about all socially derived visits. However, owing to other truths about site analytics and methodologies (deactivated cookies, for instance, decreasing what we can actually report as full and complete records), we will never be 100 percent certain about all such visits.
Analysts working in agencies should keep this in mind. As much as we'd like to report firm campaign results to our teammates and, ultimately, our clients, courtesy of web analytics tools that purportedly count unique visitors to your properties and tally the sources of their arrival to those properties, we need to be transparent about the fact that—unless we're pulling server logs—our data is always going to be directional.
Pedal Minnesota: Inspiring People To Explore The State By Bike
Pedal MN Case Study
Research shows that if people were inspired and made more comfortable with biking, they would do it more often. So we created Pedal Minnesota, a campaign that celebrates all the things that make biking in Minnesota so great. The campaign itself is built around a new slogan that rightfully declares Minnesota, “The Bike Friendly State.” This simple, memorable statement conveys many of the reasons why Minnesota is a great place to ride: accessibility, culture and inclusiveness.
To inspire and mobilize bikers we needed to make biking – and information about it – more accessible. PedalMN.com does just that. A biker-friendly website that serves as the ultimate go-to resource on biking in the state, PedalMN.com features an interactive map, lists of bike-related events, safety tips, trip-planning ideas and much more in one friendly, easy-to-use site. Other elements of the integrated campaign included online video, SEM and high-impact outdoor, including bus shelters that were converted to bike tune-up stations. Just launched in the summer of 2012, the campaign has already garnered media attention and rallied the support of six state agencies and a major corporate sponsor.
Minnesota is a great place to ride a bike. We have more bike commuters per capita and thousands of miles of paved and off-road trails. We have the largest bike share program in America. The state regularly appears at the top of “Best Places to Bike” lists. And our distinctive, rich and active bike culture is second to none. Despite this vibrant bike lifestyle, there are still those who are intimidated by the idea of throwing a leg over a saddle and going for a ride. Our challenge was to create a consumer campaign that would inspire and mobilize new or infrequent bikers to get out and ride more often, and create a hub for all things biking in the state.
Welcome to the New ColleMcVoy.com
We’ve been working hard to bring you an experience that tells you who we are, why you should work with us and - ultimately - inspires you to make a difference and join us in our vision to stand out.
We pushed ourselves to treat this project as we would any other client assignment. The clients in this case were the leadership team, and I had the pleasure of leading our internal team all the way from strategy to execution. This approach encouraged accountability and challenged us to practice what we preach. We learned a ton along the way, and we’re proud of the work we produced.
As we assessed our previous .com and social media presence, we realized there was opportunity for improvement. Our previous interactive experience didn't accurately demonstrate who we are and what we're great at. It also didn't allow for the flexibility required by the dynamic nature of social media and agileness of mobile. If we could improve in these specific areas, we knew creating a stand out interactive experience was achievable.
Insight + Strategic Direction
Our findings from the qualitative and quantitative research we conducted uncovered what makes C+M more than an advertising agency. We invent analytics tools from scratch. We write job descriptions for clients. We offer strategic counsel on business-level strategies. We offer fulfillment capabilities in house. We build 3-D dioramas. The engine that makes all of this possible is the people who work here. And here is a special place. Employees and clients described the feeling they get when they walk off the elevator at C+M, and that feeling is what we wanted our online experience to emulate. We worked off the key insight that C+M is more than just a workplace; it’s the incubator for and manifestation of the vibrant, warm and open spirit of its people.
Audience + Architecture
With this insight in mind, we initiated a complete run-through of potential conceptual architecture solutions before creating visual design concepts. We explored organizational schemes based on four distinct audience profiles that we brought to life through personas and use case scenarios. We mapped out an agile experience that made itself smarter over time. An experience based heavily on search and a sophisticated tagging system, allowing site visitors to surface content they find relevant and useful.
Our user experience strategies led to design concepting. We generated multiple concepts and put them up on the wall for review. One prevailed. The one you’re experiencing now. As we brought people through a prototyped version of the Web site, they reacted positively to the design and photography style. We hope your reaction is the same, but we also want to make sure the experience delivers on getting you to the information you’re seeking easily and efficiently.
During our usability sessions, we also observed people hesitantly browsing through our progressively created navigation system. A system built on the search-based tagging previously described. We offer five ways for people to navigate: 1) entering a search query, 2) clicking on a trending topic, 3) vertically scrolling through image tiles, 4) horizontally browsing via contextual links and 5) using the keyboard. Usability findings led to design and functionality tweaks that resulted in an experience surpassing the standards our team set. Time to go live.
An Experience Built From Behavior
Going live is only the initiation of what the experience will eventually come to be. The Web site as it exists today serves as the foundational platform we will constantly monitor and change to adapt to visitor behavior. Meaning, the next time you come back, your experience will be better. Furthermore, we continue to add content to the site (e.g., case studies, blog posts). Another reason to come back. In the meantime, I encourage you to leave a comment below or offer feedback through the survey we’ve created.
Colle+McVoy: Super Chatter XLV Case Study
Colle+McVoy Super Chatter
By creating search queries in Collective Intellect and Radian6, we analyzed how people shared their Super Bowl experiences across the social Web via tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts and more. Once our analysis was complete, we designed an infographic to visually display the top ten themes and served it up using the Google Maps API. To bring awareness to Super Chatter™, we relied entirely on the media that covered the Super Bowl to spread itself. One tweet and Facebook post sent thousands of visitors to collemcvoy.com/superchatter, where they spent an average of 23 minutes browsing through the infographics. While the idea of Super Chatter was spreading through social media, our brand sentiment was the most favorable it has ever been, and visits to the Work section at collemcvoy.com increased 40 percent.
We set out to monitor the social Web and uncover how the Super Bowl influences people’s behavior throughout the nation. While numerous agencies focused on assessing the impact of TV commercials, we broadened our analysis to identify the top behavioral themes by dissecting the social media footprint of Super Bowl XLV.
Take Me Fishing: Website
Selling a million new fishing licenses in the highly competitive leisure market was the challenge issued to us by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. A 2,500-page online fishing compendium was the core of our solution. TakeMeFishing.org is the definitive destination for all things fishing. Want to learn to cast? Check out Fishopedia, the A-to-Z guide to catching, cleaning and cooking fish. Want to tell people about your favorite fishing spot? Upload it to Hot Spots, a Google Maps-enabled, first-of-its-kind web application.
Visit the site: www.takemefishing.org »
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.