Oct 28

TV Ads Keep on Shrinking

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


Oct 27

Giving Back Means Getting Back

Tagged in: Everything Talks
Posted by: Steve Wehrenberg | Comment (0)


I met Ray Mithun.  And, believe me, I’m no Ray Mithun.  But I sure do agree with a lot of the stuff he said.  Peg, from our library, found this quote of his:  “There is no lasting success, happiness or reward unless a man [and by that we mean person] is truly useful—useful to his family, to his business and to his community.”

Ray was saying that giving back means getting back.  This year I had the honor of joining the board of the Greater Twin Cities United Way.  My involvement has helped shine a new light on the importance of business giving back to the community.  And the rewards that come with it. 

I am proud of our commitment as an organization.  For the past six years, we have supported the Greater Twin Cities United Way by developing its annual advertising.  This year’s “When you can’t do, donate” campaign is designed to help the organization achieve an aggressive goal:  $87 million.

We also have had a tremendously energetic and successful internal giving campaign, historically driven by the great people of our Compass Point Media group.  Last year CM was a United Way Silver award winner for per capita employee giving (between $200-299).

We have done a lot of cool things over the years, like donating and building playground equipment at a local women’s shelter.  A new twist this year will be our “Minute to Win It” all-agency competition October 27 at Hell’s Kitchen.   Here’s a promo-video peek at the fun (and yes that’s me in the beginning balancing a cookie on my forehead):  http://bit.ly/CMcares

This year, more than ever, we need to give back.  As Ray said, to feel useful we need to be useful. 

-          Steve Wehrenberg, CEO

Oct 26

Compass Point Media Wins Minnesota Department of Public Safety Account

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

MINNEAPOLIS – Compass Point Media just “buckled up” for another three years as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) strategic media planning/buying agency.  The state agency awarded the October 1 contract to the media unit of Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun after a state-mandated competitive review (required every three years).

This marks the second contract renewal for Compass Point Media, who has driven the DPS media account for the past seven years to maximize statewide exposure of the Department’s safety messages.  (By the way, the DPS just announced that year-to-date traffic deaths are just one higher than last year at this time; 2009 marked the lowest annual fatality count in Minnesota since 1945.)

“We view this renewal as an affirmation of our great work for the Department of Public Safety,” said Dick Hurrelbrink, president of Compass Point Media.  “This is a rewarding partnership; we couldn’t be more proud to help keep Minnesota drivers safe.”

Compass Point Media delivered DPS messages about speeding, seat-belt use and impaired/distracted driving to Minnesotans via a strategic mix of TV, radio, digital, out-of-home, print and event-sponsorship channels. The creative work, directed federally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is done by The Tombras Group (Knoxville); the DPS also uses StoneArch Creative of Minneapolis.

About Compass Point Media

Compass Point Media, the media unit of Campbell Mithun, creates highly effective programs for clients using digital and traditional media.  With the seamless integration of strategic planning, execution and negotiation, the media agency builds client marketplace success by making Everything Talk for brands at each point of customer contact.  Websites:  www.cmithun.com; www.compasspoint-media.com

About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is an enforcement, licensing, and services agency that develops and operates programs in the areas of law enforcement, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, fire safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration, emergency management and public safety information. The DPS is committed to protecting citizens and communities through activities that promote and support prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, education and enforcement.  Website:  www.dps.state.mn.us 

Oct 20

Digital Adds Real Relevance to Brand-Consumer Interactions

Tagged in: Everything Talks
Posted by: Bob Panger | Comment (0)

My girlfriend asked me the other day, “Can websites follow me around the Internet?”

She asked because a clothing retailer delivered her an ad shortly after she left its website.   I explained to her that, yes, the retailer’s site deposited a cookie onto her computer and retargeted her with an ad later in her browsing experience.

 I then continued with an internal dialogue as the GF settled back in to watching Project Runway (go Mondo!). If that advertiser were smart, I thought, they would have retargeted her with a creative execution focusing on the product she was looking for on the site using dynamic creative. It’s the same concept as mailing offers to shoppers for products in which they have historically shown interest. Except in this case, they are two clicks from the store.

 In an advertising world where sections of the purchase funnel have been traditionally split between different agencies with different responsibilities, digital communication allows us the ability to converge these elements into one seamless process (see: Joe Marchese). Someone who has seen a branding ad can be identified and retargeted with a more specific message encouraging trial. People who have seen the call-to-action message can be bucketed into two groups: those who took action and those who didn’t. Those who didn’t can be retargeted with the same ad, while those who did can be moved even farther down the funnel with loyalty or advocacy messaging.

 As Forbes’ Avi Dan illustrates, consumers today are more educated than ever, and they don’t want to enter into a relationship with a brand from which they get no tangible benefits. More than simply providing customer service, it’s up to us as marketers to better understand each consumer and address his or her needs appropriately. That way, when we provide a gentle nudge to move from awareness to consideration, to conversion and beyond, at least we’re nudging in the right direction.

 This concept can be applied across all brands and industries – from B2B to CPG. It will manifest itself differently depending on the industry and a brand’s individual marketing goals, but for all advertisers it’s a consolidation of our customer relationship efforts in the one space where two-way communication is most possible.

 Which brings me back to my girlfriend:
“What did you do when you saw the ad?” I asked her. “They tricked me,” she said.  “I went back and bought something.”

-- Bob Panger, consumer geek, digital strategist/planner at Compass Point Media


Oct 20

Some Workplaces are No Friend to Facebook

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


Oct 14

Which Social Graph is Your Search Using?

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Yesterday’s announcement of the partnership between Bing and Facebook to deliver a more personalized search has me thinking.

titleFirst, I should say that I’m really excited about the prospect of enhanced search to provide more relevant results based on my friends’ “likes.” It’s a huge step toward the concept of social search that many of us have been waiting for, and I think it will rock the world of many SEO analysts who have been making a respectable living helping their clients optimize websites. But this is only the beginning.

Here’s the thought that kept me up last night:  I spend only a small percentage of my online time looking for things on a personal front, but a whole lot more of my time searching, reading and liking content related to work topics  -- most of which I don’t really care whether my “friends” like or not. (No offense, friends.) However, it matters a whole lot to me what work topics my colleagues have “liked.”

True, there is overlap between my purely social relationships and many of the insightful colleagues I’ve also friended on Facebook, but I’m one of those odd people who actually segments between social friends and professional connections. Unless we’ve shared a meal or a drink together at some point, I’m not likely to friend a colleague on Facebook, but I definitely do want to maintain our connection through a professional network like LinkedIn.

So, where am I going with this? While Bing is leveraging Facebook data to determine who the “experts” are in my social graph, their approach does not help me at all if I’m searching tech articles or trends in mobile marketing. The best it will do for me is reveal that some of my friends may have an interest in a few of the same topics.

The killer app will be one that can tap into my personal social graph (via Facebook) when I’m looking for a great pair of shoes or planning my next vacation AND automatically knows to tap into my professional social graph (via LinkedIn, for example) when I’m searching for work-related content. Now THAT would be cool!

-- Adina “Like Me” Dahlin, VP, director of digital experience

Oct 07

How Ronnie the Sandwich Dealer Serves Up “Brand Experience”

Tagged in: Everything Talks
Posted by: Jayme Anderson | Comment (0)

Have you heard about Ronnie, New York’s Lower East Side sandwich dealer? And by dealer, I actually mean dealer. He’s the guy who turned his ability to make a mean grilled cheese sandwich for his friends into a business (though not a legitimate business for tax and, um, health-code reasons). He’s quite an inspiration for those of us who make a living developing new brand experiences for consumers. (Check out his recent interview with public radio’s “Marketplace” or this piece by NYPost.com)

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  So, here’s the deal (pun intended): To order the sandwich of the day, you text Ronnie, being sure to include your location. Ronnie will send a text back with the delivery time, and like any good dealer, he works around the clock to exchange your sandwich for a mere $5 - 7.  Ronnie calls his business “Bread.Butter.Cheese.” and has a Twitter handle @ breadbutterchz and Facebook page (3,600+ fans) where he posts the ‘grilled cheese du jour” (and how many more sandwiches he can make in a day).  Recent features: Holland Leerdammer with Virginia Smoked Ham, Spanish Malvarosa Layered with Caramelized Onions and Raw Jalapeños, Cinnamon and Sugar French Toast with a Spread of Mascarpone and Topped with Cinnamon and Sugar Bananas.

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Does the thought of texting a coveted number and waiting on a street corner, in utter suspense, for your grilled cheese sandwich to mysteriously appear just give you the chills? Two strangers, exchanging unmarked dollar bills in the night . . . now that knocks the pants off passively grabbing a hot wrap out of the infrared cooker at the 7-Eleven. 

What Ronnie does is genius, not because it’s actually genius, rather because it’s so simple. (File away in the ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ category.) As planners in the communications industry, we often think about how our brands and products fit into our consumers’ lives, but how often do we truly push ourselves to create a more meaningful brand experience and open up a new perspective for consumers to consider? (Related content: Lance’s recent post about Food Carts, Pop-Tarts and New Marketing.)

In the case of Ronnie, creating a unique brand experience meant tapping into a genuine consumer insight – that people thrive on mystery and crave novelty in an otherwise “been there, done that” kind of world. People crave a sense of exclusivity as much as they crave melted American cheese on Rye. Not just anyone can get their hands on one of Ronnie’s sandwiches. The spoils come only to those in the know; call them Brand Champions, if you wish.

So am I saying that consumers secretly desire the thrill of a late night drug deal on a New York street corner? No, not at all, but what I am saying, is that people are actively seeking new experiences. And it’s our job to give them what they want: something new. In the case of brand experimentation, trying something is better than doing nothing at all, or worse, doing the same thing over and over.

How do we find these new ideas? How can we take a category or idea that’s unrelated to our brands or products and make it sing (à la drug dealing and sandwich eating)? Listen to what your consumers want. What underlying consumer desire or ‘pain point’ can your brand tap into? How can your brand solve that tension, or at least acknowledge it? Stretch your thinking, and maybe next time, the big idea (or simple twist to an existing one) will be yours.

 -- Jayme Anderson, [Hungry] Account Planner

Everything Talks