Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Work: This one's a heart-stopper

IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular has been on a roll lately.

First, they put us in charge of reprising their award-winning "Thump Thump" campaign, which reminded viewers why Goshen is the premier heart and vascular center in the region.

Now, we've worked together to create an all-new, fully integrated campaign for heart attack response. 

During a heart attack, every minute matters. So needless to say, we managed to squeeze plenty of drama into the TV, radio, digital, outdoor, and print installments.

We're suckers for suspense, so of course the TV spot is our favorite. Get some popcorn ready, and check it out.

It's only 30 seconds long, so eat quickly.

That spot complements a wide range of traditional and online tactics, all driving to the whole story at the IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular website. Want to know how it all ends? Go see the whole campaign at our YouTube channel and our Facebook page.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

TAD spotlighted in "Leading Business" Magazine

Here at TAD, we've never been shy about sharing our expertise. After 28 years, we've got plenty to go around.

So when the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce gave us the opportunity to share our thoughts in November's Leading Business Magazine, we had plenty of thoughts to share.

Check out the article below, and get an industry insider's view from Steve Miller (TAD's Group Strategy Director). Today, having an ad agency on your company's side isn't just a luxury. It's key to survival:

3 Reasons You (Yes, Even You) Need An Ad Agency

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Work: The "Moments" campaign returns

Remember our "Moments" campaign for IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care?

The one that beat out almost 11,000 other entries across the world to win a 2012 Telly Award? Yeah, that was the one.

Guess what, it's back. And this time, it features inspiring stories from the very same people who inspired the original.

Watch as Paul (prostate cancer) and Jade (colon/liver cancer) share the moments that motivated them to fight cancer, and how IU Health Goshen gave them the support they needed to win.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Work: Ludwick Graphics

It's not every day that a company asks you to revitalize its brand. Especially a company that's 92 years old.

Then again, we're not your everyday agency. 

So when Ludwick Graphics entrusted us to develop an all-new website and new sales collateral to go with it, we took their confidence to heart. Then we rewarded them for it.

Introducing the redesigned and revitalized, the website that will cap off Ludwick's first brilliant century. To get your hands on the all-new sales collateral (or check out their extensive printing capabilities), swing by their store in South Bend.

Can you dig it?

We most certainly can.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Work: IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular

We love new challenges here. A favorite client of ours, IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular, recently gave us a good one.

They asked us to follow up on the successful "Thump Thump" campaign. We had to reinforce the existing message to maintain consistency with the original... but at the same time, keep it fresh.

Challenge accepted! Introducing "Thump Thump II," the second commercial from the Heart & Vascular series. In this :30 spot, we delve deeper into what makes IU Health the premier destination for Heart & Vascular care.

That's all we can say without giving the whole thing away. Better check it out for yourself.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The new is ALIVE!

Brace yourself, because we're about to deliver some big news.

This morning, we launched the new Todd Allen Design website.

As always, we're keeping our excitement under control.

What can you expect to find at the completely redesigned For starters, three great new features:

A new look at how we work
People always ask us how we come up with our big ideas. So we've pulled back the curtain to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our Three Pronged Strategy. It's our proven three-part method for developing creative work that actually works. We were too proud of it to keep it a secret anyway.

Our new social media hub
Now it's easier than ever to get up-to-the-minute news on what we're up to. Our new social media hub (conveniently located at the top of the screen) instantly connects you to our blog, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel. A one-stop destination for all things TAD.

Our favorite new projects
Since we last launched our website, we've completed lots of awesome projects for incredible clients. Here's your chance to check out a few of our favorites.

What, you're still reading? Go! Now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Advertising: So much more than selling

Everyone knows one thing about icebergs: The part you see above the waterline is tiny compared to what lies below it.

You'd be amazed how much icebergs have in common with advertising.

If advertising were an iceberg, "sales" would be its tip. After all, most companies view advertising as nothing more than a selling tool: "Run ads, reap sales, repeat."

But when you look below the waterline, you see just how big an impact it can really have.

The truth is, advertising's real benefit - that big part of the iceberg that's hidden underwater - is positioning. Showing what you stand for, why you're unique, and why everyone should care.

Print this out and nail it to your wall.

When you gain a strong position through advertising, sales take care of themselves. Just ask Apple.

Yet still, most companies continue to make sales their primary focus, leaving positioning to happen on its own. Then, they find out that their new line of hunting vests has become popular among 15-year-old girls. Like it or not, it's too late to do anything about it then. That's their position now.

Don't let it happen to you. Use advertising to steer your brand into a relevant and profitable position now. That's what it's really for.

When you use it as merely a selling tool, you miss the big opportunity that lies beneath.

Friday, June 15, 2012

3 reasons why brands are better than salespeople

We've all heard (or said) this one: "I don't need to advertise. I get plenty of business through my sales team." Fair enough. But are you sure you want to build your company's image on a foundation that's so unpredictable? So ever-changing? So... human?

Don't get us wrong, we love people. Some of our best friends are people. But for a stable, long-lasting corporate identity, we love brands more. Here's why:

Brands are consistent.
To customers, your sales rep is your company. So when customers see a flaw - say, your rep is late for a meeting - they assume your whole company is unreliable. He's poorly dressed? Your company's unprofessional. Even if you do your best to hire great people, it's always a struggle to make sure they're portraying your company's image and values.

Your brand, meanwhile, offers another kind of personality: One you can control. One that represents your values perfectly. One that will never put off a prospect with its bad breath.

Brands won't leave you...
Studies have proven that people will do just about anything to avoid "breaking up" with a long-time sales rep. Yes, that includes switching vendors, and even buying an inferior product.

Brands don't retire, or leave you for another company because it offered five more vacation days. Sales reps, on the other hand, come and go all the time. 

Losing a rep hurts - but hey, it's part of any business, right? You're more worried about losing a customer. Well, since you bring it up...

...and take your customers, too.
So when your rep leaves for a competitor, what will your customers do? Stick with the person they've been friends with for years? Or stick with your company - which they only knew through their friend anyway? Those customers are as good as gone, and your products probably won't have anything to do with it.

Your sales force is an important part of your identity. But it shouldn't be your whole identity. If you want your company to last, a strong brand is more than important. It's vital.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Work: True Celebration 2012

Every year Todd Allen Design produces the welcome video for IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care’s True Celebration, an event that pays tribute to all of their cancer survivors.
Countless hours of planning, interviewing and film editing are poured into this project each year, and it is one of our favorites. After all, what could be more inspiring than talking with people who face cancer with such strength, courage and determination? 
To put things into perspective, one survivor jokingly testified, “Some folks complain about ‘bad-hair days.’ Try having a no-hair day.”
This year’s video theme "It’s a new day” is beautifully filmed by Overdun Productions and features emotionally-charged testimony from five Goshen Center for Cancer Care patients who have fought and defeated cancer. The setting is the historical Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart.
We’re sure you will enjoy it, but you may want to grab a box of tissues before you watch it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Wrong Way to Choose an Ad Agency

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than hiring an ad agency? There are so many to choose from, and no surefire way to make the right choice.

But there is one surefire wrong way: Letting yourself be sold by a "pitch team."

Maybe you've already seen The Pitch on AMC. If not, we'll sum it up for you. Two agencies bring together their best and brightest employees to win an account. Naturally, the agencies' best employees produce great work. The clients are blown away, pick a winner, and presumably live happily ever after.

No reason you can't do the same, right? But before you buy into an agency's dog and pony show, ask yourself: If I give my business to a talented pitch team, what's next?

Surprise! They'll never touch your account again.

Sorry, your future is now in the hands of the other people - the ones who didn't make the cut for the pitch team. Meanwhile, the pitch team is off to win someone else's business.

Don't panic, there are ways around this. The first one's obvious: If agency reps introduce themselves to you as "the pitch team" or something like it, tell them not to let the door hit their portfolios on the way out.

Second, find out who will really be working on your account. Can you meet them? Can you interact with everyone instead of just executives? These are fair requests. If an agency turns them down, turn down that agency.

Third: Look at small- to medium-size shops (10-15 people). Agencies with fewer than 10 people usually can't afford stars. Meanwhile, the giant agencies often spread their stars too thin. Medium-size agencies, on the other hand, have stars who work on your account daily. And there's no room for pitch teams.

Finally, take your time. Choosing an agency is a big deal, like a marriage.

Will yours be made in heaven, or hell?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Facebook is no substitute for advertising

Reason #4,389 businesses think they don't need advertising: "I get enough publicity through Facebook."

We can understand that. With everything Facebook can do for free, it's easy to think it can build a brand for free, too. It's also very, very wrong.

Here are a few things people say to convince us that Facebook is just as good as advertising... and why we're not convinced.

"Facebook is how new customers find us."
Does anyone ever truly "find" a business they've never heard of on Facebook? More likely, they'll visit you in real life first, THEN find you on Facebook. They're existing customers, not new ones. If your goal is for someone to buy from you, they've usually done that by the time they see your company profile. They already liked you before they "Liked" you. Same goes for people: You meet them in real life first, THEN friend them. Unless you're creepy.

"Why pay for a website when Facebook is free?"
This only makes sense if your goal is to stand out as little as possible. Because currently, the only ways to really differentiate yourself on Facebook are through a profile picture and cover photo. Meanwhile, your competition will use ads, websites, and whatever else it takes to beat you. Think your Facebook page is enough to stop them? Ever heard the expression "Taking a knife to a gun fight?"

"But if someone Likes us, their friends will see it!"
Sure, if Likes weren't the hardest things to see on the whole site. When someone "Likes" you, it pops up on the news feed. "Steve likes Hopmonster Brewery." Yes! Free publicity! Two seconds later, that measly little line is pushed down by a friend's hilarious status update. Then by pictures of someone's vacation (or more likely, their baby). Then by an entertaining news story - also with pictures. In just a few minutes, your free PR is swept away and buried. So much for that.

OK, that's enough Facebook-bashing for now. After all, we're probably using it as you read this. It's one of the greatest inventions of our time, one that can help you find old friends, and turn acquaintances into new friends.

And best of all, it's FREE!

Just beware: You'll get what you paid for.

Monday, April 30, 2012

TAD "Moments" campaign wins 2012 Telly Award

We knew our "Moments" spot for IU Health Goshen was good... but was it good enough to beat almost 11,000 entries at the most prestigious TV award show in the world? Only one way to find out.

Turns out, our confidence wasn't misplaced. "Moments" landed among the very top of its class at the international Telly Awards, winning TAD's fifth Telly since 2007.

Bringing home some of the ad world's most coveted hardware is great. But we're more proud of what the commercial has accomplished - namely, helping IU Health Goshen cement its position as the premier cancer care center in the region. This one's for them.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Already beating the competition? Advertise anyway

Recently, a few of us were watching TV with friends when a Coca-Cola commercial came on.

"Why does Coke keep advertising?" one of them asked. "They're already one of the biggest brands in the world. What more could they possibly get out of it?

Us: "Well... does your wife love you?"

Him: "Yeah, of course."

Us: "Then why don't you stop talking to her?"

Just like your loved ones have a relationship with you, Coke drinkers have a relationship with the Coke brand. It doesn't end at a single purchase - like any relationship, it needs constant communication and reaffirmation to survive.

Many companies rely on their salespeople to maintain their relationships. But beware: Competitors can lure your salespeople away with just a small pay raise. And when they leave, the relationships you count on can go with them.

Communicate with your customers through your brand, not just your sales staff. That way, when your staff changes, your customers will have a constant reminder that your core values are still the same.

Of course, "not communicating at all" isn't an option. Even if, like Coke, you don't get any immediate gains from it. On the contrary: When you're the leader, communication is more important than ever.

Being #1 doesn't mean you're special. It just means you have the most to lose.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TAD rocks NYC

Have we told you lately that we have the greatest clients in the world? Last week was proof: Vandoren sent us to the Big Apple to photograph a dozen of NYC's most famous woodwind musicians for their We Are Vandoren campaign.

How famous, you ask? Well, we had Grammy-award winners David Sanborn, Paquito D'Rivera, and Jon Manasse; Grammy nominees Jimmy Heath and Bruce Williams; and the highly acclaimed JD Allen, Ralph Bowen, Sharel Cassity, Dennis Diblasio, Mike Dirubbo, Pascal Martinez and Lenny Pickett.

We were especially excited to work with Sanborn, one of the biggest contemporary saxophonists in the world (24 albums and six Grammys). He played on Stevie Wonder's Talking Book album, jammed with the Rolling Stones, and toured with David Bowie. Remember that great sax solo on "Young Americans?" That's him.

Then there's Jimmy Heath. He's performed with nearly every jazz icon from the past 50 years, including Coltrane, Dizzy, Miles and Wynton. But our favorite part of his career may have been just before this shot was taken, when he said Todd has "Justin Bieber hair."

We agree with Jimmy on this one.

After that we met another David Bowie connection: Lenny Pickett, tenor saxophonist and musical director of the Saturday Night Live band. It's a good thing cameras have gone digital, otherwise we would've run out of film by this point.

Another day, another degree closer to Bowie.

Believe it or not, all this excitement was just a lead-in for the grand finale, the VandoJam. That's where we got together with Vandoren artists Ralph Bowen, Denis Diblasio and Mike Dirubbo for an exclusive midnight session at Iguana Lounge.

Mike Dirubbo, VandoJamming.

Of course, the trip could only end one way: With a monster pastrami on rye from Carnegie Deli. We took home some of their incredible cheesecake too, but forgot it in the hotel room fridge. Sorry for such a sad ending to a happy story. But at least we can sleep at night knowing that no one can ever take the pastrami away from us.

I will remember you... will you remember me...

All told, it was definitely a time to remember. But if you think that was cool, wait until you see the finished product.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Don't have competition? You still need branding

Imagine that you’re a king. Your kingdom is in the middle of nowhere, with no potential threats for miles. Would you build a wall to protect it?

If you say no, you'd have a good point. After all, why should you? There’s no one to protect it from.

That may be true...until it isn’t. Let’s face it: someday, someone will come. They’ll ride into your kingdom with swords unsheathed, hell-bent on taking what’s yours. And when that happens, it’ll be too late to build your wall.

Medieval analogies aside, it’s a good lesson for a seasoned marketer. Your kingdom is your product’s position in the marketplace, and your wall is that product’s brand. The stronger the brand, the stronger the wall.

To protect your position, you need to have a strong brand in place long before a competitor threatens you. That means hiring an agency that can guide you toward years of focused, on-strategy branding ­- even if you don’t think it’s necessary yet.

It may seem like a waste of money, just like that kingdom wall. But so does health insurance, and damage protection for your rental car. It’s all a waste of money...until it isn’t.

Prepare your company for the future. Hire a great agency to make your brand strong before you need it.

That way, when competitors come to take what’s yours, you’ll be ready.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Noteworthy news

We made front-page news last week in The Elkhart Truth.

The City of Elkhart asked us to create a new advertising campaign for the city noise ordinance.

In the works are four billboards that will be placed around the city and a public service announcement that will air on local television stations. Newspaper and radio ads will also be a part of the campaign to help make the city of Elkhart a more peaceful and healthy place to live.

Here's a link to the article:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Work: IU Health Goshen "Often Imitated, Never Duplicated" Campaign

Laughter truly is the best medicine.

That was our approach to a recent challenge for Indiana University Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

Cancer is no laughing matter, that is for sure. And health care organizations should not make empty promises or claims when it comes to this kind of care, either.

That is a philosophy IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care has always upheld, but when local competitors began claiming to offer the same kind of compassionate, integrated, team-oriented, patient-centered care as Goshen, our client decided it was high time to call their bluff.

Although IU Health Goshen has been attacked in smack-down campaigns by competitors in the past, they have always elected to take the high road. So imagine our surprise when they told us they wanted to be “more direct” in addressing the misleading claims of their counterparts.

The challenge: how do you expose competitors on their untruths while maintaining integrity?

TAD’s shockingly simple solution: sophisticated humor.

Enter: the metaphorical parrot.

Yeah, you know, the talking bird that never says anything original; it just repeats what everyone else says.

Here’s how things turned out...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Work: Scorpion Logo

We pride ourselves in doing great work, fast. So it's only fitting that our latest logo design for Scorpion was seen going 200 miles per hour last week.

An industry leader in truck bed liners and window films, Scorpion asked TAD to create a logo that not only captured their aggressive look and attitude, but also the protective qualities of their products. And just like that, the Scorpion shield was born.

The new Scorpion logo is scheduled to make a few more appearances in NASCAR races this spring. Don't blink, you might miss it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Work: We Are Vandoren

Baptiste Herbin is among the artists featured in the campaign.

At Todd Allen Design, we always look forward to working on location with Vandoren. For some lucky creatives, it means a trip to France! For the rest of us, it means we get to marvel over gorgeous photos and video footage of Paris and the Mediterranean seacoast along the Var Region of southern France.

One of Vandoren's cane fields, overlooking the Mediterranian coast.

We consider it an honor and a privilege that Vandoren trusts TAD with their 100-year-old brand that spans three generations of the Van Doren family. In our latest work, we chose to build a community with our “We Are Vandoren” campaign that invites professional musicians, teachers, students and merchants to be part of this rich family heritage.

A full-spread ad featuring Bernard Van Doren.

The vibrant imagery and messaging of this campaign captures the essence of the people, places and products associated with the Vandoren brand in a way that transports you right into the sights, sounds and vibe of French culture.

Visit to see more of this current campaign.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Work: Capturing the “Divine Moment”

Before he decided to change his life, Marcus weighed nearly 450 pounds and playing basketball seemed only a dream. Since contacting Team:Bariatrics, Marcus has lost 210 pounds, (that’s an NBA shooting guard!) and he’s back on the court, living the dream. Determined to help others actualize their own dreams, Marcus made a bold move by sharing his story and telling those still struggling with obesity, “It’s time to take your shot.”

Todd Allen Design teamed up with Overdun Productions to shoot this :60 TV spot at Rockne Memorial Gym on the campus of Notre Dame. Excited about the natural light this gymnasium offered, the entire crew was especially delighted when an amazing amount of light began pouring through the windows halfway through the shoot.

“We could not have planned it any better. Some of the crew called it ‘God Light.’ Guess that's a perk of shooting at Notre Dame,” TAD Creative Director Jeff Middaugh said.

You can witness this divine moment for yourself at the :30 mark, when Marcus begins to talk about Team:Bariatrics and how they helped change his life. The light continues to get brighter throughout the remainder of the shoot.

Seriously! Indiana. Basketball. Newt Rockne Memorial Gymnasium. Notre Dame campus. A personal success story. And a gift of radiant light. Now, how righteous is that?