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.