Event Wrap Up: Pal’s CEO Thom Crosby

Thank you to Pal’s for hosting our March 24th lunch at their corporate headquarters in Kingsport! A big thank you also goes out to Tony and Teresa Treadway of Creative Energy for convincing Thom to host. Pal’s has been a Creative Energy client for over 25 years – a tremendous partnership that’s very different from most food/agency relationships.

Pal’s opened their first location in Kingsport in 1956. After a bit of espionage by their founder, Fred “Pal” Barger, and a chance meeting with McDonald’s founders Ray Kroc and Fred Turner, Pal’s has become the #2 restaraunt in the Tri-Cities and a unique cultural icon for our region.

The restaurant industry as a whole has a turnover rate of about 60%, but Pal’s have maintained a rate of only 18% through their unique training methods and their focus on Performance Excellence. They have 29 stores, owning all the land and buildings with no debts owed to anyone. Their leadership program (Pal’s BEI) has trained business leaders all over the globe from companies like Coca-Cola, 3M, NASA, American Greetings, and more. They teach their tried-and-true 8 step business excellence model, and Thom went through each of those steps with us:

  1. We only work on high value problems.
  2. Every standard is stated as a gap. We’re here, want to be there, how to we get there?
  3. Root cause analysis: ask “Why?” 3 to 5 times to find out the real problem. Any problem is really either a management, equipment, or process design problem.
  4. Create a pool of solutions and pick the best one.
  5. Implement
  6. Verify
  7. Once we know it works, we standardize it and create documents and training around this new standard.
  8. We then market it to everyone in the company.

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Event Wrap Up: Preparing Students (and you) for the Experience Age

Dr. Stephen Marshall hosted our monthly lunch event at East Tennessee State University today, giving us a lot to consider in the Experience Age. As many companies transition from promoting their platform to promoting an experience around their brand, they need marketers and advertisers able to deliver their message through a variety of mediums.

ETSU is the first of over 2500 universities throughout the US to take advantage of a partnership with Adobe to prepare college students for the Experience Age. The number of jobs in digital marketing continue to rise higher than the number of qualified applicants, and Dr. Marshall is helping to alleviate this issue one student at a time.

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He gave us so much info, it’s probably best to list it all in bullet format.

  • The average person checks their phone over 150 times a day
  • 90% of marketing professionals feel behind in their digital knowledge
  • 51% of consumers discover new companies on their phone
  • 1 in 3 phone users purchase from a company other than their intended search
  • 40% of users abandon a site that takes 3 seconds or longer to load
  • 90% of consumers use multiple screens. Make your site cohesive, simple, and quick on all platforms.
  • 48% buy from companies with instructional videos

If you came, thank you! We would love it if you could leave us a comment here:

 

Event Wrap-Up: How to Find Your Flavor with Jose Castillo

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2016-12-15-12-17-37On December 15th, entrepreneur and 3rd generation advertising pro Jose Castillo shared his story with AAF NETN at the Birthplace of Country Music. From his grandfather’s advertising firm in Mexico City, to his father Joe’s stint on America’s Got Talent, to Jose’s company Flavor Inc, the Castillos have cemented their legacy for doing “spicy” things all over the world.

Bland is the Enemy

If being flavorful and impactful is our goal in what we do, then being bland is the enemy. Here are the ingredients that create Jose’s recipe for being spicy:

  1. Unique – Copying others isn’t going to cut it. You have to find your own voice and share with the world what makes you or your company different from everyone else.
  2. Honest – Tell the whole story. Don’t be afraid to get real.
  3. Shared – You can’t share your flavor if you hoard it all to yourself. You have to share to grow.
  4. Inspired – Can you impact others in a way that they want to take immediate action?

2016-12-15-12-33-08In sharing his family’s super secret Pico de Gallo recipe, Jose shared the ingredients which each make up a part of his life. The tomatoes are the sweet base, giving him a foundation of goodness. The onions are the sad or difficult parts of life, necessary to create a truly flavorful life. The cilantro, lime, salt, and jalapeños all add their own unique flavor to create the final, tasty recipe.

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Event Wrap-Up: Radio Advertising with Pandora

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San Francisco-based Pandora advertising executives Mark Gill and Chase Martin brought their expertise in using the Pandora platform to the Tri-Cities on Oct. 13th. Gill and Martin shared how companies are using Pandora to reach their customers in unique and successful ways as well as some general information about the Pandora network.

pandora-radio-event-013 Advertising Truths Today

  1. Attention Economy – You have 8 seconds of attention to capture before that person moves on.
  2. Show Me You Know Me – Don’t just advertise, engage with your audience.
  3. Sonic Boom – Look around: many people are wearing headphones or listening to music.

Pandora Stats

  • 75% of people choose music as entertainment
  • Audience play: 20 minutes per day, 84 million visitors
  • The power of audio, aka the Headphone Generation
  • 65,000 listeners in the Tri-Cities
  • 1/3 of Americans listen to Pandora
  • #1 on mobile time spent: 21 hrs
  • Data Driven: over 1 billion data points

With Pandora, you can address your listener specifically with call outs like, “Hey mom” or “Hey voter” allowing you to sell to them casually without the hard sell. As a brand, you also have the ability to craft your own station that plays only your advertisements for your listeners.

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Event Wrap-Up: Clark Rector from AAF National on Advertising & Government Relations

Last Thursday, Clark Rector from AAF National came and gave us the rundown on how AAF lobbies in Washington DC for advertisers across the country. While government may not be the first thing you think of when you think of advertising, Clark showed us all just how much of our day to day lives are affected by his work.

Over his last thirty years in Washington DC, Clark has advocated for diversity and minorities in the advertising industry to make the industry as a whole more inclusive. In addition to that, his overall goal is to educate lawmakers at all levels about the benefits that advertising poses to the economy and job market. Representing the interests of all who work in advertising, AAF has done studies to show the positive economic impact that advertising has in our state, and even in our region directly. Clark told us that one dollar spent on advertising, creates nineteen dollars in economic impact.

“Advertising pushes the economy, and needs to be encouraged…” Rector said.

One of the biggest projects everyone has seen but not necessarily understood, is the AdChoice logo on most online ads. Clark explained that, “Most consumers, once they learn about what is happening [with targeted ads], they generally get more comfortable and don’t opt out…it’s a place where we’ve gotten ahead and educated consumers.” Defending the right to free speech and the right to advertise, Clark explained the difficulties the pharmaceutical industries face with scaring off potential patients with disclaimers. Another particularly difficult industry? Surprisingly, food. Advertising has recently been blamed for the obesity crisis in America, and part of AAF’s work has been defending the right of companies to advertise their product despite no correlation between obesity rates and advertising spend.

Event Wrap-Up: Brad Magnus on 3D & Virtual Reality Video Editing

With the advent of new technology comes new opportunities to create immersive experiences for marketing and brand exposure. Brad Magnus joined us Tuesday to show us how 360 degree video and virtual reality can transform the creative scope of what agencies currently offer clients.

While some technology may be fleeting, the investments major corporations like Facebook and HTC have made in virtual reality in recent months boosts the likelihood that virtual reality is here for good. Brad made the point that the majority of 360 degree content can be consumed via cellphone now unlike other recent tech ventures like 3-D TVs –further ensuring that this technology is here to stay.

“What makes [360 degree video] applicable is you can experience those 360 degree experiences on a cell phone unlike other technologies that have failed in the past…”

Alongside the usual video production timeline of script writing, planning, and scouting of locations, the timeline for 360 degree video also needs to leave ample time for the processing of the footage. The workflow for this type of video looks more like the following due to the unique nature of what these new cameras capture:

  1. Capture the video: Find the budget you want to work within to determine what equipment you’ll want to purchase/use for the project. Cameras can range from a few hundred, to thousands of dollars depending on their resolution —so plan accordingly.
  2. Stitch the videos together: Each camera’s capture is different, some include software to do it for you, some do not. Make sure to leave ample time in your production workflow for this process as it can take up to 24hrs to process.
  3. Edit the videos: Using the Adobe workflow, Brad showed us how you can seamlessly switch from Adobe AfterEffects to PremierePro to add text that seamlessly integrates into the 360 degree video capture, and how to edit video in this new dimension.
  4. Export the videos: Exporting and compressing the video to make it usable for marketing efforts is the most important part in order to allow all your hard work to be seen. Facebook’s investment into the technology has made for an easy avenue to showcase your handiwork.

From patches to account for adding animations and text to the 360 degree video, to the stitching process, and variety of equipment set ups, Brad gave us the run-down on what the opportunities are for the next age of media. As promised, Brad covered his eyes, and drew a winner for the year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and Greg Nobles was the lucky recipient.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, working with Brad, or joining his monthly video club meetings to discuss technologies such as this, you can check out his website: bradmagnusdesign.com.

Be sure to mark your calendars for our next event at the Gray Fossil Site with Clark Rector from AAF National on September 15th at 11:30!

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Connecting the Unconnected

Event Wrap-Up: Connecting the Unconnected

Thank you for attending
Connecting the Unconnected

We all packed into Main Street Pizza KPT to hear Mike Watson, founder of Heart-centric Leadership, speak on Connecting the Unconnected. He referenced Darwin, Einstein, and Picasso. He taught us about theme mapping and how we can discover what seemingly unrelated objects, like an automobile and a room, have in common. Mike shared with us three common hiring blueprints for startups and told us which was the most successful. Then, proceeded to tell us why even the most successful model would fail over the long term; leadership should willingly invite in diversity and opposition. If everyone is the same, you weed out diversity and your thinking as a group becomes narrow.

Most importantly he shared with us this key message: It is impossible to think creatively by looking harder in the same direction. Good advice to remember next time you hit a creative wall (which happens to us all at some point or another – event though Christian was the only one to admit it).

Mike was kind enough to share his presentation and notes from last week’s event. (download PDF  | download PPT). Enjoy!

We look forward to seeing you again July 20 at 11am in Eastman’s Toy F. Reid Center, Room 225 for our next event. Details to come.

Exploring the History of the Magnavox Brand

Event Wrap-Up: Lunch & Learn, Dec. 3, 2015

George Collins and Magnavox presentation slide

Last Thursday, George Collins, of The Magnavox Historical Preservation Association and curator of the current exhibit at Reece Museum entitled “Magnificent Magnavox,” spoke to us about the history of the Magnavox brand and its connection to Northeast Tennessee. If you were unable to attend the event, here are just a few of the interesting facts Mr. Collins shared with us about the Magnavox brand, as well as some snapshots from the exhibit (there’s still time to catch the exhibit, which runs until Dec. 15, 2015):

  • Magnavox is Latin for “great voice.”
  • At its peak, Magnavox was the fifth largest employer in Tennessee, employing over 500 people in the Greeneville manufacturing operations alone.
  • During WWII, Magnavox launched an ad campaign featuring artwork. They made this artwork available for purchase to consumers, believing there should be music and culture in every home. In order to receive the artwork, you simply clip the order form out of the ad, send it in, and then Magnavox would send you a copy of the artwork.
    Magnavox art
  • In the 1950s, movie stars’ contracts prevented them from being on television. However, Magnavox’s lawyers discovered the contracts did not prevent them from being in ads for televisions. The company used celebrities in their print ads and also featured them on the televisions pictured in the ads.
  • In the 1960s Magnavox began utilizing product placement with a portable TV on Gilligan’s Island.
  • In the 1970s:
    • Magnavox introduced Odyssey, the first home video gaming system in the country. (introduced in 1972)
    • Frank Sinatra became a spokesperson and released a limited edition Magnavox record.
    • Hank Aaron also became a spokesperson.

Interested in learning more about Magnavox?
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Magnavox, visit www.magnavoxhistory.com. Follow The Magnavox Historical Preservation Association on Facebook for up to date information and photos from the “Magnificent Magnavox” exhibit.

Magnavox television

inside a Magnavox

Magnavox television

Magnavox televisions

Magnavox Odyssey gaming system

Odyssey, the first home video gaming system in the country.

Storytelling with Clay Prewitt of The Tombras Group

Event Wrap-Up: Lunch & Learn, Sept. 17, 2015

Earlier in the fall we welcomed Clay Prewitt to AAFNETN. As Associate Creative Director at the Tombras Group, Clay has scripted and produced award-winning spots. Raised on stories at his grandfather’s knee, Clay’s now a master storyteller himself, sometimes through songs and sometimes through slogans, sometimes in many words and sometimes in very few, but always with the ability to connect people through the experiences and emotions of the stories he tells.

Clay with guitar opening Sept. 17, 2015 AAFNETN event.

As attendees filled the room and gathered around Clay, it felt more like he was the one welcoming us. He broke the ice with his guitar and a cover of John Prine’s “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round”. Then we were treated to several humorous stories from his childhood. Stories first told to Clay by his grandfather. Clay poetically described how his grandfather used his wit, quick thinking and verbal rhythm to tell a successful story.

“Granddad used crescendos and pregnant pauses; he knew when to talk and when to say nothing at all.”

So how does storytelling relate to advertising?

Every new campaign is the opportunity to tell a story. When telling your stories, take a cue from Granddad:

  1. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. (Granddad always put himself into the story.)
  2. If you don’t believe it, no one else will. Your job is to convince the consumer to believe what you say.
  3. It ain’t for everybody. If you’re going to take a chance to reach the right people, you’re also taking a chance that you’re going to offend others. Some people will like it, and some won’t appreciate it at all.
  4. Know when to shut up. Resist the urge to add more – edit yourself. Sometimes you have to let silence do the talking, like the pregnant pauses Granddad used so well. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all to tell a story. Clay recalled the ‘Shopping Cart’ spot from Volkswagen’s ‘Driver’s Wanted’ campaign which did just that. He credits it as the first spot to attract his attention to advertising as a method for telling stories.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. To illustrate this example, Clay shared a story. Granddad wore a Member’s Only jacket – apparently long after the trend had passed. When Clay asked why, his grandfather responded, “That’s what was in style the last time I cared.”

The moral of the story?

No matter what aspect of marketing or advertising we’re in, stories matter. From the creative brief to the creative pitch, from the drawing board to the board room, it’s stories that connect, persuade, and influence people. Good stories accomplish great things, and whatever our job titles may be, in reality, we’re all aspiring storytellers.