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At 102 Years Old, Campbell Ewald’s Still Got It

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Campbell Ewald’s New Detroit Headquarters

Campbell Ewald’s New Detroit Headquarters

While some say Detroit has a long way to go, it is certainly on the upswing. With the idea of an Emergency Financial Manager looming, waiting on a verdict in ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s court case and other negative press that surrounds Detroit, there is still a sense of new beginnings. More and more companies are relocating their offices to Detroit since Quicken Loans first started the trend back in 2010.  Campbell Ewald is the next of the presumed many more such companies, especially advertising agencies and creative shops, to relocate to Downtown Detroit.

Rumors have been floating around for some time now, but Campbell Ewald held a press conference yesterday making its plans to move to Detroit official. Their new headquarters will be located in the former J.L. Hudson warehouse next to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. The new outdoor patio actually overlooks the outfield of Comerica Park, home of the American league Champion Detroit Tigers. Ken Burbary, Chief Digital Officer at Campbell Ewald remarked via twitter that “it’s going to certainly make attending games more convenient.”

To attend the press conference the company brought hundreds of its staff to the event in a convoy of school buses. Mayor Dave Bing was on hand to show his support and welcome CE to their new home. The inside of the warehouse is a blank slate now, but come this Christmas this historic building will have a complete face-lift thanks to the skillful hands of architects Neumann/Smith.

Campbell Ewald originally left Detroit for Warren in 1978 to be an earshot away from the GM tech center. Prior to that, CE was actually located in Detroit for 67 years. Leland K. Bassett, Chairman and CEO of Bassett & Bassett Communication Managers, welcomed Campbell Ewald back to Detroit via Twitter saying “We’ve been waiting 36 years for you to join us in Detroit again.”

At the press conference, CEO of Campbell Ewald, Bill Ludwig said, “I think it’s a very vibrant time in the city… it’s part of our DNA and I’m glad it’s being reawakened.” Mayor Dave Bing added “It’s going to take bold visions like Bill has done to bring Detroit back.”

Bill Ludwig and the team of approximately 600 at CE will certainly play a large role in the revitalization of Detroit. With CE now headed back to Detroit, this helps fulfill Dan Gilbert’s vision that he set forth with Opportunity Detroit. “When I graduated, I wanted a job in MI to somehow be a part of Detroit’s revival. Thank you @campbellewald for allowing me to do so,” said Kristen Selasky Account Coordinator at Campbell Ewald via Twitter.

The creativity and ideas flowing out of the heart of Detroit right now are unbelievable. When Frank Campbell and Henry Ewald started the company with 6 other employees in 1911 it is doubtful they would have imagined the company to be as large and agile as it is today. How many companies do you know of that are over 100 years old and still making tracks?

Look Out, Madison Ave; Detroit is Coming

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Bruce Lee once said, “We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. Yet it sometimes means that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents as well.” The Detroit advertising community has the talent and the intense desire. This was clearly evident at The D Show advertising awards last week.

Sponsored by the Adcraft Club of Detroit, The D Show is an annual event that celebrates Detroit’s best and most creative minds in advertising. There you will see shops of all sizes from small ones to heavy hitters like the Detroit offices of Leo Burnett, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Fallon, and WPP’s Team Detroit, comprising JWT, Y&R, Wunderman, Ogilvy, and Mindshare. The theme of The D Show was “Enter the D Show” which very closely resembled Bruce Lee’s infamous film, “Enter the Dragon.” It was described as the ultimate mental arts competition.

As the lights dimmed and the show took off you could cut the excitement with a knife, or a roundhouse kick, whichever you prefer. Stuart O’Neil of Team Detroit chaired the event and proudly noted, “First win the fight in your backyard, the make it on to the other show.” O’Neil speaking of “other” in reference to the Cannes Lions, Clio’s, Addys, and the like. Although The D Show may be a local advertising awards show, its ads have a global footprint.

As one may suspect, there were a lot of commercials and campaigns in the automotive sector. As one may not expect, there were a good number of campaigns outside of automotive, showing that Detroit is not simply a one-trick pony.

The D Show produced 85 awards in total. Below includes some of the stand-outs from the night.

  • One of the big local winners of the show was Yessian Music, taking home 7 Ds for original music and sound design.
  • The Richards Group won Best of TV with the Fiat commercial entitled “Seduction.” Watch the spot here.
  • In the Consumer TV category, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners accepted the D for their Chevy year-end sale event with St. Nick. Watch the spot here.
  • Capping off the night, Team Detroit won Best in Show with their Nanoblock print campaign for the Ohio Art Company.
  • See the entire list of winners.

The show was captivating and inspiring, marking a shining moment for the rebuilding of Detroit. Sherri Weitzman, President of Adcraft and National Advertising Manager at Cadillac, gave the closing remarks for the night, saying, “The out-of-town judges were blown away by the talent coming out of Detroit.” Weitzman elegantly concluded declaring, “We are back.”

Article originally published on Talent Zoo’s Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16148

Be Remarkable: Read Purple Cow

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Lately I have been more into books on CD for a couple of reasons. One, I like to continually learn new things. And two, listening to a CD in your car is much easier than trying to set aside the time to read when I get home from work. The last book I listened to was Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable by Seth Godin. It’s a quick read/listen but really gets you to think about different ways to do things.

Godin opens by telling a story of driving through the French countryside. While driving he see’s cows roaming mile after beautiful mile. But after a little while he grew very tired of looking at basically the same cows and landscape. Then he points out, if he were to see a purple cow, that would be remarkable. Being different and standing out from the herd of other ‘cows’ in your market is something a lot of us are trying to achieve.

pc1Godin points out that you don’t need to market to everyone – something that many companies try to do. In fact, no brand can be all things to all people. He says to focus the product and the marketing on are what he calls the ‘Sneezers.’ Sneezers are the first adopters that jump on board with a product early. Focusing on them and getting them what they need should be of the utmost importance. The Sneezers will then greatly help market the product for you through word-of-mouth and the like. However, for the Sneezers to latch on to your product and for it to do well, it must be remarkable.

Otaku. You may have never heard the word before. Godin describes it as “…a Japanese word that describes something that’s more than a hobby but a little less than an obsession.” Some may have a food otaku. It is what makes you drive to Corktown in Detroit for barbecue at Slow’s when there are over 110 other barbecue joints closer. Otaku is what makes you drive to Toledo for a hot dog from Tony Packo’s when you could just pick up one walking out of Home Depot. Everyone has an Otaku for something. Otaku makes you strive for the remarkable.

The largest takeaway I took from this book is that if it’s not remarkable it’s not worth doing. What would be the point of doing something just mediocre? Why do you think something that everybody else is doing would also work for you? It may work for a time but it won’t increase sales much, nor will it differentiate yourself from the competition. Find your Otaku. And as we all know, there are always new competitors trying to steal a portion of your market share. Being different is the best thing we can do. Incremental differences don’t count.

The end of the book sums its up best with Godin’s 4 main takeaways:

  1. Don’t be boring. Don’t blend in, stand out. This book is about being remarkable. Do it.
  2. Safe is risky. Playing it safe can be a recipe for disaster.  As mentioned, focus on the Sneezers and not the population. To get a product off the ground you must focus all of your efforts on the people who will use your product first. They will push along the ideas to the masses.  If you don’t get the attention of the Sneezers you’ve lost your investment.
  3. Design rules now. Design of a product should come before marketing. Let the designers have almost free reign. For the product to be remarkable, the design must be kept close and not diluted. The product needs to be unique to be remarkable.
  4. Very good is bad. Very good is not enough to be great. If you are very good you’ve missed the mark. We are shooting for excellence. Make it remarkable, not just very good.

To me this little book was a nice change of pace. Although I gave you a summary already, I highly recommend reading the book yourself. As I was going through it I found myself not only paying close attention to the ideas that Godin presents but also getting lost in my own thoughts. I think that is something that can’t be recreated unless you read it yourself. After all, who doesn’t want to be remarkable?

Detroit Tigers’ Marketing is Focused on Personalization

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The American Marketing Association (AMA) of Detroit held an event last Thursday on September 13, 2012 entitled “Marketing the Detroit Tigers.” Naturally it was a sell out. The presentation was led by Ron Wade, Director of Marketing for the Detroit Tigers. After an extensive tour of the clubhouse, dugout and press box we all gathered in the Champions Club at Comerica Park for the presentation.  Wade is a very dynamic speaker and with something as interesting as the Detroit Tigers he kept us all yearning for more.DetroitTigersLogo

The session started off watching the most recent “Who’s Your Tiger?” TV advertising spots. Then he spoke to us about the new Who’s you Tiger campaign for the 2013 season, and I must say, it’s clever. What struck me right away was that no matter how good their marketing is and no matter how much they do they are judged on ticket sales alone. It’s a good thing the Tigers are 2 games out of first place right now for their sake.

Ron and his team are the keepers of the brand. “The ‘Who’s Your Tiger?’ campaign personalizes the fan experience,” said Wade.  The campaign started in 2005 and continued for 3 years strong. After that the campaign took at 2 year break but the fans didn’t realize it was even gone. They would still come to the park with signs saying who their Tiger was. When asked why the campaign stopped Wade explained that when 2008 hit the recession was in full force and they really wanted to focus on heritage. And while the heritage campaigns were a nice sentiment, “Who’s Your Tiger?” came back in full force in 2010. Now, this campaign shows no signs of slowing down and neither does their partner ad agency in Troy, SMZ Advertising.

Traditional campaigns aren’t where this stops. They personalize social media far beyond what others would consider. These days people are watching the game on two screens, TV and via smart phone. To capitalize on that the Detroit Tigers use a variety of social networks including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For the sake of length I’ll just focus on Twitter.

On Twitter they have 4 main twitter handles for 4 different reasons. The main one is @Tigers. Then, since nearly 40% of Tiger’s players’ first language is Spanish they have developed the twitter handle @TigresdeDetroit. On top of that, their Spanish social media is handled in-house. Now, say you’re at a game relaxing and enjoying the day and you want to hear a certain song. You can tweet @ComericaParkDJ and they will play your song request throughout the entire park. Cool huh? Not only that but if you have an issue in the park you can also tweet @ComericaParkOps and they will take care of it for you. The Tigers also bring in social media activation by allowing fans to tweet their seat location to them during any game to be bestowed “Fan of the Game.”

The last way that fans can personally connect with the ball club on Twitter is through the players. Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander is among the players that tweet.  Wade admits that “Pitchers have the most downtime to tweet.”

To personalize their contact with the fans even more they are heavily involved in the community. With programs such as the Miracle League Fantasy Camp and Dreams Can Come True programs, the Tigers are very dedicated to making  to a difference in the community.  Wade said that the Tigers don’t publicize these efforts because “it’s just something that should happen.”

No matter what, Wade and his Tigers marketing team want to personalize every aspect of their marketing. What were some key takeaways to help you in your social media personalization? Wade gives us three things to do.

  1. Find your brand ambassadors and give them what they need. These key people can help you more that anyone else. Wade says you must “treat social media like free advertising and don’t oversell.” With the personalization tactics it connect fans directly with the brand. When a fan is connected with the brand they want to stay close with that brand. This is what propels these fans to keep coming back.
  2. Photos. Be social with what fans you do have and keep them connected with photos on Facebook and Instagram.
  3. Look to your competitors. It’s no secret what they are doing. “Sports teams are some of the biggest copycats in marketing,” says Wade.

Ron Wade’s future goal? To own his own minor league baseball team.

Next time you’re at the park you’ll have a lot more to think about. Tweet, Like, Post. Go Tigers!

Welcome to Advertorious

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One day a friend posed the question to me,  why don’t you write a blog? I thought about it for a while and thought, “why not?” I have a lot of insight, am always searching for more information and just generally love advertising. So here I am. I plan to roam through my thoughts of  all things related to advertising, marketing, and public relations throughout Detroit and beyond, such as:

  • Advice and helpful hints
  • Industry insight
  • Recaps of industry events that I have been to
  • Observations
  • Book reviews
  • And more!

You see, advertising intrigues me because it has the power to make or break a great brand. Audrey Hepburn said it best when she said “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” Advertising makes many things possible and that why I love being a part of it.

A little background on me

I am a no nonsense kind of guy. I like things clean and simple. Self-motivation is one of the keys to my success thus far. I lead all marketing and communications efforts at MMS Holdings Inc., a pharmaceutical service organization based in Canton, Michigan. Due to the nature of my position, I am very knowledgeable about a wide variety of areas. I still have a long road to hoe in my career ahead but I look forward to the journey. I have my Master’s of Business Administration with a Marketing Management certificate from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. Outside of work I play saxophone and sing in a oldies rock ‘n’ roll cover band. I am a 2nd degree black belt and instructor at Schollenberger’s Tang Soo Do Korean Karate Academy. And, I have a lovely wife named Jess.

Thank you for reading my blog. I look forward to continuing the conversation.