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Cadillac is Back at Hero Status

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bob_ferguson_cadillacOn June 14, 2013, Bob Ferguson, Vice President of Global Cadillac, spoke to a large group of industry professionals at the Adcraft Club of Detroit GM Day. Ferguson is clearly focused on the long-term brand strategy to bring Cadillac back. After some neglect and declining market share for more than thirty years, Cadillac recently has had its highest sales spike since 1976.

Ferguson focused his discussion on Cadillac as an epic tales of sorts. The hero is the automobile, with various sections of the story revealing its true character. Ferguson describes it as a tale with three acts.

  1. Act One: Cadillac is described as the hero in its infancy. It is born. It leads. It is iconic. It holds the virtues of the American public. As many know, Act One lasted for many years, from approximately 1902 through 1976.
  2. Act Two: Things were shifting and the hero that is Cadillac was lazily focusing on size and its past status. Cadillac, the hero, slumped. It was caught off guard by its enemies and the new idea of what an iconic car should be.  Act Two lasted a lot less longer than the previous act, from approximately 1976–2012.
  3. Act Three: Cadillac is described simply as redemption. The hero…

Read my entire article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the Brand here: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=17905

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?

NBCUniversal Says Loyalty Has Declined

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curvenotesAfter my haircut this weekend at local old school barbershop Roger and Rod’s, Rod asked me if I needed more hairspray to get me to my next appointment. “Sure,” I said without hesitation. Rod’s place is actually so classic that they do not actually accept credit, cash or check only. After I told him I did not have cash, Rod said “You’ll pay me next time.” I was stuck in my tracks. When was the last time you heard that? Even after I offered to go to the ATM and come back he said not to worry and to just remind him next time. Now, I have only been to Rod’s twice but he trusts me and my word alone. That solidified me as a loyal customer. Rod helped me step back in time to realize that the honor system and loyalty are lost in this day and age. This story is the preface to a few my notes taken from NBC Universal’s latest research for advertisers from The Curve Report.

The bi-yearly Curve Report is based on extensive surveys performed within the 18–49 year old market. At an event hosted by Adcraft and NBCUniversal last week in Birmingham, Melissa Lavigne-Deville announced that loyalty in today’s society exists on a 6–12 month cycle a majority of the time. As NBCUniversal’s Vice President Trends & Strategic Insights, Melissa knows her trends intimately. Discussing this further, she pointed out that loyalty does not exist like it did for parents and grandparents in days gone by. Melissa pointed out that this trend is important especially for automotive advertisers. Think about it; this is not even the length of an automobile lease.

Just a few years ago, loyalty was one of the keys to getting business done in society. You had a ‘guy’ for everything. Most people can think back to that one place their parents always used to go to eat, a beer your dad always drank, one brand of car that your family had to drive, and the list of ones go on. The shifting digital landscape has given younger generations more options. According to NBCUniversal, a fourth dimension has been created. One in which smartphones are changing our neighborhoods and making a personal grid, akin to what Melissa describes as a “topographic light bright.”

Gen Xers and Millennials have shaped, with the help of technology, a new future for business and the way advertisers reach out to consumers. It is up to advertisers, strategic thinkers, and innovators to cultivate the next wave of loyalty. To give consumers an online experience similar to my offline experience at Roger and Rod’s Barber Shop. The statistic of loyalty surviving on a 6–12 month timetable is not an easy pill to swallow. It is your job to figure out how to be the minority and to increase your client’s satisfaction enough to keep them coming back past the average drop off.

What do you do in your business to attract and retain loyal customers? What could you be doing better?

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at:  http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17077

Berline Says “Brand Yourself”

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pencilFifteen minutes into a talk to advertising greenhorns Jim Berline, of the Berline Advertising Agency in Detroit, said “Brand yourself, it’s all about perception.” While the students in Adcraft’s ADvance class may have not known what to think, he went on to say “Perception is more important than reality.” What is your brand? How is it perceived? Did you know there was such a thing?

Berline specified four characteristics needed to thrive at his agency, and any agency for that matter, that are part of personal branding.

  1. Be competitive. Love the thrill of the fight. Self-confidence is key here. You need to have relentless motivation and drive. Always strive to make yourself better and learn from any mistakes.
  2. Be bright.  Know how to multi-task, well. In fact, in today’s day and age multi-tasking should be …

Read my entire article on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16699

Why Radio Will Never Die

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bob-pittmanOver the last couple of years the argument that radio is a waste of time and money has surfaced. We hear estimates on when radio will die. Millions of people are seen daily with iPods stuck in their ears. One could start to see where people would think radio may have a hard time continuing. Who better to speak on this topic but none other than Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel Radio and founder of MTV? Last year, the Adcraft Club of Detroit brought in Pittman to speak during the advertising club’s annual Radio Day.

“Radio is America’s companion,” said Pittman, who commanded the stage from the start. “It’s the first social media.” Think about how social radio really is. There are disc jockeys who bring you curated content, events hosted in your local area, you can call in to interact, and now you can even tweet, message, and share with them as well. With radio advertising, it is one of the most flexible forms of media. One can change the copy of an advertisement in a single day. In radio, commercials also have many forms and for its reach is relatively inexpensive to create. Not only are they inexpensive to create but they are much less expensive to run as well. For local advertising especially, Pittman says, “Radio is the king of local.”

Bob Pittman also reminded us advertisers of something that we can tend to forget about: “It’s very close to the point of purchase.” Driving in a car, walking through a store, and streaming on the computer at work or home, radio is there to remind consumers about their product or service. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you were hungry and while you were driving were reminded that McDonald’s had a new juicy, tasty burger to fulfill all of your non-diet-food cravings? You are already in the car and next thing you know you spot a McDonald’s. That is the point. Radio is where consumers are. Nobody can honestly say they do not hear radio at least once a day. Whether you are walking down the street, at a store, in your car, in someone else’s car, or just about anywhere else, radio is there.

In speaking about digital radio Pittman let us in on a little secret, saying, “Digital is 5% of radio listening, it’s just the beginning.” Clear Channel Radio-owned iHeartRadio has helped change online radio listening by allowing you to listen to over 1,500 live radio stations online. Compared to some of the other “radio” sites such as Pandora and Spotify, he says they are “massive collections, not radio.” Pittman reminded us again why live radio will always work and always be a viable advertising medium, radio is social. He explained why radio is social in six points saying, radio:

  1. Is curated
  2. Changes constantly
  3. Has human beings to bond with the audience
  4. Has big brands with strong, loyal audiences
  5. Local content, promotion, and events
  6. Has an interactive relationship with the audience

The biggest takeaway from the meeting was, everybody has a radio. While radio may no longer be the first thing everyone thinks of, it is where everyone is. How many times a day do you hear a radio? Once you start really paying attention you may be surprised.

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16626

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