May 26

Facebook’s takeover of the internet is good news…

Posted by: Chris Wexler, Media | Comment (0)

Facebook’s takeover of the internet is good news…

…for brands with great products.   In recent weeks, Facebook was integrated into their 250,000th site  ( .  What does this mean?  That ideas now have a nearly omnipresent channel to spread among friends.  Now you will be able to see what Washington Post articles your friends are reading or what they are buying at   Why do we as marketers care?  Because peer-to-peer endorsement is about to go to scale. 

Remember the old joke “the best way to kill a bad product is advertising?”   Facebook integration being ubiquitous means that our “targets” will constantly be in touch with their peers.  If we create a great digital experience, there will be channels EVERYWHERE for people to find it.   And even better, we aren’t interrupting, but their friends are introducing us.  The flip side is that if we produce bad products and ads, their friends are going to bury us.

This is the challenge to all ad agencies and our clients:  How do we change what we do to make it more socially viscous?  We need to adjust how we think about talking about brands/products.  Do we focus on providing utility?  Value?  Entertainment?  Just blasting product attributes won’t get social magnification.  And building our messaging without “social spread” eventually will be viewed as fiscally irresponsible.   The interruption model is breaking down (showing its age for sure) – Facebook Connect and feature embeds are the first opportunity to communicate on a different level of scale. 

I, for one, am excited.

-- Chris Wexler, vice president, digital media strategy, Campbell Mithun’s Compass Point Media unit

May 20

2010 Upfront Season: Show by Show, Skit by Skit; The dirt from the Big Apple on the Big 5

Posted by: Harv Furman, media | Comment (0)

I attended the Network upfronts in NYC this past week. Good, bad and indifferent, here is my Twitter-take on the Network presentations.


 In NYC for the annual network programming presentations wondering what will be this year’s theme? HFurman


 The Chase. High intensity cop drama with an extremely attractive female lead with ninja skills and genius IQ. Do these women really exist?

 The Event. Are people ready for yet another serial drama with nonlinear plotlines? My DVR can't tape every episode I might miss. -H. Furman

 Half way through the week. Refreshing to see NBC investing in character driven shows again instead of character driven reality. Hfurman

 Outsourced. Not sure continuous string of stereotype jokes won't grow old. HFurman. Vp Broadcast

 Love Bites bites. Nothing much more to say. VP Broadcast.

 The best comedy writing was for Alan Baldwin's opening skit. Perhaps NBC should hire them for Thurs night. HFurman VP Broadcas


 At Fox upfront. So if the network has a 28 index over cable, shouldn't it be just 28% more expensive? I'm just saying... Hfurman vp broadcast

 The Good Guys. Mindless summer comedy cop show. Refreshingly it laughs at itself, so others might just laugh too. HFurman. VP Broadcast

 Lonestar. PT soaps are back. If JR was a young con man who'd shoot him. His girlfriend or his wife? I guess we'll find out. HFurman VP

 Raising Hope. Smart writing, believable eccentric characters, and a really cute baby. Raising Arizona meets modern TV audience. Hfurman

 Mixed Signals. 'A comedy about men that women will like'. Except I doubt any women would actually like these men. Hfurman. VP Broadcast


 At ABC upfront. Half way through the week and still waiting for a clever comedy 1/2 hr. All the good writers leave for the net? Hfurman VP

 ABC pushing the 650M IPAD downloads. Um, isn't network prime supposed to be about big reach? HFurman VP Broadcast

 Detroit 187 and The Whole Truth another cop procedural and overacted courtroom based drama. So uninspired. Hfurman VP Broadcast

 Body of Proof. Quincy's looking good in 2010. HFurman VP Broadcast

 Remembering the novelty and risk when ABC launched Lost. Hoping that programming courage shows itself this year. HFurman. VP Broadcast

 No Ordinary Family Fantastic 4 meets The Incredibles meets network prime. Right.... HFurman. VP Broadcast

 My Generation. Compelling story telling with an interesting twist. Ask yourself who will you be in 10 yrs? HFurman VP Broadcast

 ABC's streak is alive. Jimmy Kimmel remains the funniest thing we see all week. HFurman. VP Broadcast

 Better Together. Smart funny multigenerational relationship comedy. Right in ABC's wheelhouse. Nicely done. HFurman. VP Broadcast

 Happy Endings. Looking to be the new 'Friends' of 2010. Will audiences be as friendly? Time and Nielsen will tell. HFurman VP Broadcast.


 Waiting outside #Turner #upfront. Curious, George, did Conan ask you how you felt about being bumped? HF/VP Bcast

 Conan is a funny funny man. And a smart writer for a smart audience. #upfront #turner . HF/VP Bcast

 Yes it was one year ago Monday Conan was given the mantle of the tonight show. This business is sooo sureal. #upfront #turner HF/VP Bcast

 And he can sing too. Great talent is not long unemployed in a business of pretenders #upfront #turner HF/VP

 TV viewing hours up 3hrs a wk? Yes it's true all you digital salesmen/TV undertakers. #upfront #turner . hf/vp bcast

 Brands 'in context' or brands in content. Why are we here this week? To see the content! Less selling more programs please! #upfront HF/VP

 Neighbors from Hell. Saw this last year. Yawn. It put me to sleep then too. #upfront#turner HF/vp bcast

 Lopez’ ‘An hour later for less pay, a Latino dream.' Love a guy who still realizes he's living the dream HF/VP bcast 

 Turner adding a 4th night of originals. If they'd make more than 11 episodes per, they really could be a network. #upfront #turner  HF/VP bcast 

 Cast of Leverage. Why is it Hollywood actors always look so stiff on a New York Stage? #upfront HF/VP Bcast

 Ms Sedgwick. Such a tough character on screen. Such a classy and gracious woman on stage. #upfront HF/VP Bcast

 Cop shows and quirky lawyer procedurals. Turner really is taking the network formula for themselves. #upfront  #turner HF/VP bcast

 Conan and Southland. For yrs Turner has run NBC sitcoms. Now a second chance destination for a quality 1st run. Good job Turner! #upfront HF

 Fallen Skies. If gritty/real it just may play to us scifi geeks. Go mainstream and I'll stay home with my Bstar reruns. #upfront HF/VP bcst

 Men of a certain age. Ray and gang. Funnier on stage than in mid life crisis show. HF/VP bcast


 Carnegie Hall. Since 1891 home of performance, beauty & the CBS Upfront. They're not that old of a network #upfront HF/VP

 Finally a network that will call bull%#^* on the TV is dead research. #upfront HF/VP Broadcast

 CBS (Consistently Better Scheduled). Can they keep the streak alive? #upfront HF/VP Broadcast

 Mike & Molly's 'larger' stars may not yield larger ratings but nice to see real sized people starring on TV #upfront HF/VP

 'My Dad Says' remember to always laugh at yourself. So does William Shattner to our benefit.  #upfront HF/VP Broadcast

 CBS Monday comedy still on track with new shows and '2 1/2 Men' not one man short wearing prison stripes. #upfront HF/VP 

 Would you want Jim Belushi as one of your 'Defenders'? What happens in The Defenders should stay in Vegas #upfront HF/VP 

 Blue Bloods/Tom Sellick. CBS knows its audience and the rugged male leads they like to see. Oh Magnum #upfront HF/VP Bcast

 Hawaii 5-0. I don't recall Dano ever looking so good or surviving so many explosions. #upfront HF/VP Broadcast

 CBS=Consistently Better Scheduled. Low risk dramas & comedies fit their audience. I wouldn't change it either #upfront HF/VP


 New shows of waify girls/rich boys. Only VP Diaries had real fangs. Feed on more sustenance this yr, CW #upfront HF/VP

 CW smartly keeps music front & center for audiences & advertisers. KT Perry Rocks! #upfront HF/VP

 Gossip Girl moves to Paris. Parlez vous Francais? City of love should give plenty to gossip for 1 more yr. #upfront HF/VP

 Nikita's Maggie Q shines as modern LeFemme Nikita. CW might even capture a few young men for a change #upfront HF/VP Bcast

 Cheerleader Hellcats lacks smart writing/believability. CW might tell program mid-season to 'Bring It On' #upfront HF/VP

 Plain Jane connects the emotions teens feel in modern makeover show. What teen wouldn't want a happy ending #upfront HF/VP

 It's a good thing for Gossip Girl TV puts on 15 lbs. Someone buy that girl a meal! #upfront HF/VP 

 Just met Lana & the Salvadore bros. Not sure Brom Stoker could ever envisioned eternal life looking so good #upfront  HF/VP

 Nikita's skinny legs might break doing her own stunts, but she's as charming on stage as appealing on screen. #upfront  HF/VP

 Harv Furman, VP broadcast and tweeting media maven, Compass Point Media

May 19

Campbell Mithun’s Compass Point Media Division Wins “Media Plan of the Year” for Johnsonville Campaign in Out-of-Home Category

Posted by: Kristine Olson | Comment (0)



The 2010 Mediaweek award marks the third national honor received by Campbell Mithun in recent weeks

MINNEAPOLIS – A strategy of “going local” across the country brought home a prestigious “Media Plan of the Year” award to Compass Point Media (a division of Campbell Mithun) for an out-of-home media campaign developed for Johnsonville Sausage’s “Blank-Ville” advertising campaign.  Mediaweek magazine sponsors the annual competition and will honor the 2010 winners June 16 in New York.

Capitalizing on relatable, engaging and locally relevant reasons to prepare sausage, the agency’s media plan placed targeted billboards in key locations around the country:  “Adiosville” greeted California travelers en route to Mexico, “Vacationville” appeared near resort areas, “Bleacherville” ran near Chicago’s Wrigley Field and “Badgerville” appeared near Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin.

“A market-by-market tailoring of the media placement allowed us to convey the versatility of the campaign idea,” said Jim Romlin, senior vice president, Compass Point Media.  “We married the media plan to the creative and connected Johnsonville with a locally relevant moment.”

Creative for the campaign was developed by Cramer-Krasselt (C-K) and also just received a Silver OBIE from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, as one of the outstanding outdoor campaigns of the year.  Compass Point Media and C-K collaborated deeply to unify the plan and execute the local-market strategy.

Going beyond the out-of-home placements, to further strengthen consumer engagement with the Johnsonville brand, the media agency also brokered a digital partnership with Evite as part of its execution of the “Blank-Ville” campaign.  That custom sponsorship, featuring Super Bowl invitation templates and an unprecedented inclusion of Johnsonville recipes within a potluck feature, helped put the brand on consumers’ shopping lists and on their game-day tables.

Serving up big awareness / sales gains

Research documented consumers’ response to the campaign.  After the program, brand awareness jumped 50 percent nationwide.

“We’re pleased with the success the Blank-Ville campaign generated, and we look forward to continuing to build out elements that make it even stronger,” said Ryan Pociask, Johnsonville senior brand manager.  “This campaign has proven to be relatable and memorable, and we credit much of this success to the creative and placement executions our agency partners helped us achieve for the campaign.”

Good news comes in threes

The Mediaweek award is the third national award Campbell Mithun has received within the past six weeks.  Other recent awards include:
* Gold Ogilvy award (honors the use of research in advertising) for its campaign to introduce a new Hefty kitchen trash bag product
* Three first-place Best of NAMA awards, presented by the National Agri-Marketing Association, for its work on behalf of Syngenta Seeds. 

About Campbell Mithun
Campbell Mithun (, with its media division Compass Point Media (, has been Johnsonville’s media agency for the past four years.   Recently celebrating its 77th anniversary, the agency excels at making Everything Talk for client brands at every point of consumer engagement.

About Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage ( is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links.  Johnsonville employs approximately 1,300 members.  Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and “Big Flavor” of Johnsonville Sausage.  Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today. 

May 17

Celebrating with Johnsonville brats

Posted by: Jessica Nytes | Comment (0)

I enjoyed my first Johnsonville Brat of the season last week (Turkey Cheddar), a sure sign that summer is right around the corner!  Last week’s first bite was extra special because Compass Point Media was celebrating our MEDIAWEEK’s 2010 Media Plan of the YearAward for Johnsonville Sausage’s “Blank-Ville” advertising campaign.

As a native-Midwesterner, I grew up knowing Johnsonville as a family-owned business. To maintain the small town charm of Johnsonville’s roots our media plan had to connect with the consumer on a personal level. 

Our plan, and consequently award, focused on the out-of-home category. The campaign had large coverage, but tied creative to the locality and culture of each market. Whether it was the “Bleacherville” bulletin outside Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the “Badgerville” bulletin that directed traffic towards Camp Randall ( University of Wisconsin stadium), or the “Vacationville” version posted on the way to my parents’ weekend cabin, our media connected the consumer to the special moments depicted by the creative.

Fancy awards aside, the campaign delivered. Consumers noticed the bulletins and Johnsonville’s awareness grew. The campaign had such positive results that we have developed version 2.0 for this year.  Starting this week (May 17th) our bulletin placements will once remind consumers to pick up a pack of Johnsonville on their way to the cabin or to grill some links at their next tailgating party.  

 (Need the classic Johnsonville Brat Hot Tub recipe?  Click here.)

 Jessica Nytes, media supervisor (and grill master extraordinaire), Compass Point Media

May 13

Learning from local Minneapolis artists about better brand positioning

Tagged in: Everything Talks
Posted by: Lance Saunders | Comment (0)

The many local artists in the city of Minneapolis probably don’t think of themselves as great marketers -- art and commerce do tend to hold each other a bit at arm’s length, after all – but several exhibited some great brand positioning at recent Minneapolis art shows. They’re even behaving as if they might have an MBA tagged onto that MFA.

Dogs of Edina

I was invited to last week’s Dogs of Edina exhibition opening at the Galleria Mall, the latest and third exhibit by local artist Jessie Marianiello. (She calls the show a “celebration of dogs and the community they create.’’)  The paintings are absolutely beautiful, and my wife and I were lucky enough to have Jessie paint our 8-year-old Portuguese Water Dog “Bello.” 

Guests lined up to inquire about future dog sittings; they’ll now wait up to a year to see their final pooch painting. No too bad in a down economy.

Besides being a wonderfully gifted fine artist who started out painting portraits of people, Jessie is a very smart marketer. She has positioned herself quite uniquely in the art marketplace:  rather than trying to be all things to all people, it is now what she does not paint (people) that makes what she paints (dogs) so desirable.

Art Crank

Perhaps you have heard of Art Crank which they describe as ‘’poster art for bike people’’ where for about $30.00 you can take home a very limited poster run of some cool bike art done by local artists. Charles Youkel, curator and founder, started it all in 2007 and has seen it grow every year, expanding to multiple cities across the nation -- packing in art-and-bike lovers, or bike-and-art lovers, not sure which.  

You can catch the Minneapolis Art Crank if you hurry, at Lure Design in the Northrup King Building during this month’s Art-A-Whirl, May 14-16.  Marketers: notice the customer lines around the block.


That brings us to our very own Art-A-Whirl, where local artists open up their studio spaces to let us peek underneath the proverbial curtain or, in this case, “canvas.”  We have all been reading endlessly about brand engagement and the death of passive one-way communication.  Art-A-Whirl offers an alternative to staring passively at a painting on a gallery wall by allowing potential customers to visit studio spaces/galleries and to engage in the artistic process. (The event isn’t even really all that “niche” as it is supposedly the largest open studio and gallery tour in the U.S.)

Targeting everyone is not good positioning

We have all sat in meetings discussing various primary and secondary targeting strategies and target audience -- Adults 25-54, moms and kids, moms and teens, or moms, dads, kids and teens, etc. -- but inevitably that can become “trying to be all things to all people” rather than being truly selective.

Good positioning, as they say, is as much about what you choose to leave out as it is what you put in. (Example: our work for Famous Footwear has a narrow target of  women who are “value-shopping shoe lovers” versus everyone needing shoes for their feet.) But as marketers, we often want it all by not alienating anyone or by having multiple targeting strategies to talk to everyone in general and no one in particular.

Most segmentation studies don’t really segment at all, but put clever cutesy names on all of the segments that we want to talk to. I would argue that if you have nine segments, you have a universe not a segmentation study.  That’s lazy and, more importantly, not profitable in the long run.

If these artists can prove they have found wide and profitable audiences for dog lovers, bike lovers, or people willing to engage with the artist/art/studio, who is to say we cannot do the same?  I think if we marketers were asked to do art, we likely would run a focus group about what people like to stare at the most, paint it in a rainbow of colors because everyone has their favorite, and then coat it all in black velvet “just in case.”  

Instead, let’s pick up a brush and paint a new targeting or brand strategy that leaves a lot of stuff out.  Who knows?  We could have people flocking to see the latest brand exhibit.

-- Lance Saunders, EVP, director of account planning

May 11

Brownstein Describes Correct Role for Social Media

Tagged in: Everything Talks
Posted by: Don Kvam | Comment (0)

I saw this in AdAge this week and thought it was one of the best items I’ve seen recently on the right role for social marketing.  The POV is especially interesting (and impressive) given that the author is part of an agency with a robust social/digital offering.

He highlights both the strengths of social marketing in creating consumer relationships, but also the weakness of relying exclusively upon it as the only tool to build awareness and identity.  

Finding and using the right marketing tool for each client’s unique needs is one of the most challenging tasks facing agencies today.  

Check out the article for yourself at

May 06

Campbell Mithun wins three first-place awards at Best of NAMA

Tagged in: News Releases
Posted by: Kristine Olson | Comment (0)

MINNEAPOLIS – Campbell Mithun’s campaign to launch NK-1 Class Soybeans for Syngenta drove high-performance yields at the recent Best of NAMA awards.  The agency received first-place awards in three different categories of the competition sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association:  national multi-media campaign, single-page print (single ad), and radio (series).

“We were thrilled to have NAMA confirm what we already know about this campaign,” said Lori Thomas, head, marketing services, Syngenta Seeds.  “From the beginning, it generated incredible buzz throughout the category and successfully launched our NK-1 Class Soybeans.”

Development of the agency’s “Beyond Expectations” campaign leveraged strong creative to garner attention for the new product and employed a multi-pronged media plan to give the campaign legs and push it into the digital space.

The ads depict everyday events happening in extraordinary ways to communicate that the high-yield soybeans perform beyond expectations:  a cat stakes out a mouse hole with a gun, a dog mops up his own muddy paw prints, and a rooster actually pours coffee in the kitchen.  Radio ads mention a garage-sale painting being a Rembrandt, an ultrasound predicting a baby will bat .400, and a dog fetching the paper and a cold beverage.

“We needed to communicate a real product breakthrough to high-acre growers across the country,” said Reid Holmes, executive creative director at Campbell Mithun.  “But merely boasting would have been met with resistance.  This campaign conveyed the product’s business advantage in a message delivered with charm and endearment.”

The agency’s three national NAMA wins build on last year’s regional accolades as well as its win of the Plambeck Award (distributed by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters) for the Beyond Expectations radio ad.

The Best of NAMA competition is sponsored annually by the National Agri-Marketing Association to honor the best in agricultural marketing communications.  This year’s competition included 1,169 entries submitted by companies and agencies at the regional level; after being judged, 465 entries advanced to the national level.  Awards were distributed in 59 different categories.


Campbell Mithun ( just celebrated its 77th anniversary and remains the Twin Cities-market leader.  The agency and its media division Compass Point Media ( remain dedicated to making Everything Talk for client brands at every point of customer contact.

Syngenta ( is one of the world's leading companies with more than 25,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to one purpose:  Bringing plant potential to life.  Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to customers, Syngenta helps increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.

Everything Talks