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.
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.
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.
Google+: Searching the Social Network
Colle+McVoy’s FEED IT educational series was created more than three years ago with the purpose of spreading inspiration and sharing knowledge throughout the agency and with our clients. We’ve had a wide range of amazing speakers, including Scott Belsky, Robert Stephens and Alex Bogusky. Independent film director Hunter Weeks will be coming to the agency to kick off our 2012 FEED IT series in January. As an extension of FEED IT, we launched our inaugural digital excellence session last week. These sessions take an active approach to learning through demonstration with a focus on emerging media and technology. After each of these sessions, we will post our presentations to the C+M blog, so you’re able to follow along, comment and ask questions.
This month's topic was Google+. We started by framing up Google+ within the context of Google’s greater mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This, of course, placed an emphasis on search as we talked about the purpose and long-term validity of the network. The point is that Google+ is more than a social network. It’s an opportunity for Google to integrate their ecosystem of products and services (e.g., Gmail, music, photos) through a consumer-friendly social platform with targeted sharing functionality. Google+ also primes the pump for +1’s, which have a positive impact on search relevancy as people can easily find endorsed links from people within their Circles. The deck also informs the audience of the network's usage activity, demonstrates its main features and outlines implications for marketers. Click through the deck and let me and Dan Mandle know what you think.
Colle+McVoy’s Guide To Northern Spark
The Twin Cities is getting its own Nuit Blanche and we couldn’t be happier. We fully embrace and support our amazing local arts community, but we think it deserves a lot more attention. That’s what the international Nuit Blanche movement is going to bring.
Nuit Blanche (literally White Night, All-Nighter or Sleepless Night in French) is an annual all-night or nighttime arts festival that opens museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions for free and provides space for art installations, performances (music, film, dance, performance art), themed social gatherings and other activities.
This Saturday, June 4, the Twin Cities is joining the movement by hosting Northern Spark , the area’s first ever, all-night long arts festival transforming the cities’ urban landscapes into a Twin Cites' wide art gallery. More than 60 regional and national artists together with the Twin Cities’ arts community will display new art installations at public places and unexpected locations throughout the cities. Directed and produced by Northern Lights.mn and funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board, Northern Spark takes place from sunset on June 4 (8:55 p.m.) until the morning of June 5, 2011 (sunrise 5:28 a.m. ).
While there are lots of events and places to visit, below is a quick rundown or cheat sheet of key events from our friends at Pop Fizz Daily:
8:55 p.m. : At Upper Landing Park in St. Paul, Philip Blackburn has composed a car horn fanfare. It will be accompanied by the lighting of Jim Campbell’s "Scattered Light" . More than 1,600 suspended LEDs encased in standard light bulbs are programmed to play a video. Then follow "Nightmare" (The eerie and unexpected vision of a white horse galloping on the Mississippi at night, produced by towing a video screen on the river) as the horse begins its trek.
11 p.m. : We’ll head back over to Minneapolis. There will be 10 art projects on the Stone Arch Bridge, such as "MURMUR," which are select photographs that will be projected in large scale on the Gold Medal Flour silos, and "Ceil," a laser that sweeps across the Mississippi River to create a canopy.
12:30 a.m. : Snack time! There will be food trucks scattered throughout the city and free coffee at Black Dog Cafe
2 a.m. : We’ll also be dropping by the Walker Art Center , which will have galleries open until 6 a.m. and a lawn full of projects such as "The Shape of Night" (2 a.m.), you can bring your sleeping bag and be documented creating your own special sleeping position.
2 a.m. : Swing by MCAD, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, the Soap Factory and Soo Visual Arts Center . See listings here .
4 a.m. : Feel the heat at a bonfire in Loring Park .
5:30 a.m. : A pancake breakfast will be served at Intermedia Arts .
Starkey Brings Hearing to New Orleanians
The Starkey Hearing Foundation Brings Hearing to New Orleanians during 2013 Super Bowl
Starkey Hearing Foundation turned to Colle+McVoy's public relations partner, Exponent PR, to raise awareness of its commitment to provide 100,000 hearing aids to people in need annually, and one million by 2020, as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. With many foundations doing great work, it’s difficult for consumers to realize the true impact Starkey Hearing Foundation has and continues to have, both domestically and internationally. Hearing loss is pervasive, affecting 34 million Americans – or one in 10. Exponent leveraged compelling patient stories and the power of celebrities to resonate with media and the public —ultimately elevating awareness of Starkey Hearing Foundation and its missions.
For Starkey Hearing Foundation’s first domestic mission of 2013, Exponent launched a hard-hitting media relations program announcing two missions taking place taking place in New Orleans during Super Bowl weekend. With the help of country music superstar Garth Brooks, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and NFL players including Greg Jennings, NFL Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph, Brian de la Puente, and Will Witherspoon, more than 100 people, including 50 children, were fitted with customized, digital hearing aids—some hearing for the first time.
Between the human interest angle, timing and location, Exponent was able garner extensive coverage during one of the busiest media times of the year. Exponent secured an Associated Press placement that was picked up immediately by The Huffington Post, CBS Sports, and ABC News, as well as in-depth broadcast and feature print coverage in the New Orleans market. And, the story continues to spread.
· American Idol winner Jordin Sparks sang “Happy Birthday” to a young boy who was being fitted for a hearing aid on his 14th birthday.
· New Orleans Saints player, Brian de la Puente, has a personal connection to the cause – his sister is hearing impaired.
· One of the missions in New Orleans took place in the Musicians Quarter at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Several musicians, including Smokey Roberts, drummer for Fats Domino, were fitted with hearing aids.
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.
C+M New Hires: Account Service + Strategy Teams
We have a ton of fresh faces in every discipline at the agency. Below is a list of just a few of those recent new hires in our account services and strategy teams (pictured from left to right):
- Melissa Meyer, Account Director, has worked at creative agencies throughout the U.S. on the Old Spice, Uncle Ben's, Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean and Nestlé Purina brands. She’s also worked with artists such as Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas to develop strategic partnerships in the music industry.
- Kyle Johnson, Social Media Monitoring and Web Analytics Strategist, gained considerable technical experience working at tech-focused startup companies in San Francisco and the Twin Cities. He also earned his MBA from the University of San Francisco.
- Caitlin Roemhildt, Assistant Account Executive, brings her experience in market research and account service from working with household brands that include Hormel and Target.
- Tricia Schlaefer, Assistant Account Executive, worked most recently with the Arthritis Foundation and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
- Colleen Marion, Business Manager, joins us after spending many years working in finance for a Twin Cities construction company.
C+M-Produced Film Honored by Midwest Film Festival
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 6, 2010 - The Colle+McVoy-produced film, LOTOLOGY, won Best Short Documentary in the 2010 Midwest Advertising Community Shorts Program during last night’s Midwest Independent Film Festival in Chicago. Presented by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Midwest, the program honors outstanding movies created by filmmakers in the Midwest advertising community.
LOTOLOGY is a heart-warming, laugh-out-loud short documentary that explores the lives of a group of lottery ticket collectors who believe an unscratched "mint" ticket is worth more than the potential prize lurking under the latex.
"LOTOLOGY explores the lives of "lotologists" and captures their passion for a very unusual hobby that most of us have never heard of," said Nina Orezzoli, senior art director at Colle+McVoy and co-director of the film.
"Producing this film was a unique opportunity for us and a project the agency loved to support," said Mike Caguin, executive creative director, Colle+McVoy. "We thrive on finding creativity wherever we can, as well as producing work that stands out, whether it’s a film, ad campaign or viral video."
A trailer of the film, original music and more information can be found at www.lotologythemovie.com.