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.