Senior Account Manager
Hi, I’m Michelle. And I’m a juggler, minus the bowling pins and flaming swords. Instead, I juggle people, timelines, budgets and more as an Account Manager. I dive head first into our clients' business to help create the strategies (that inspire the creative) that moves the needle. It's a challenge that inspires me every day. Before joining KW2, I was fortunate to work on such brands as Kellogg’s, Heinz, Famous Footwear and GNC.
If there’s one thing that I love more than anything in my advertising job, it’s being with a logo at birth. Just the other day, we presented logos to a client after intensive planning. Long nights of strategizing, messaging discussions and brainstorming names. At long last, we could put a face to the brand. Choosing the right logo is a critical decision, so here are five criteria and examples to help:
A great logo is DISTINCTIVE. Not only does this mean that it is different from other logos in the market, but that it communicates an idea. The Mercedes logo is rich in history, with a three-point symbol indicating triumph over land, sea and air. It’s a unique and specific story for the brand that leaves you with a feeling of prestige, longevity and trust.
A great logo is RELEVANT. With the hard work that goes into understanding your target audience, being on brand and audience appropriate is a no-brainer. Disney’s eloquent mark is on cue with targeting families, representing the right mix of fantasy and fun. Interestingly, people think the logo is Walt Disney’s signature. Fans were often disappointed after receiving his autograph and realizing they did not match up.
A great logo is TIMELESS. Avoid choosing trendy colors or shapes. It should be as relevant 50 years ago as it is today and 50 years from now. Steve Jobs picked an apple and decided to include a bite to represent scale – so it wasn’t mistaken for a cherry. The simple mark has endured several iterations, and stands the test of time as the perfect example of a timeless symbol.
A great logo is VERSATILE. It should work across all media in different sizes, color or black and white. The Nike swoosh is on everything from shoes to packaging, clothing and electronics. Developed in 1971, Nike paid the designer $35 for her work. Although Phil Knight did not love the logo at first, there is nothing about it that limits where it can be.
A great logo is SIMPLE. It works quickly and singularly. You get the idea with a second’s glance. What makes the McDonald’s logo one of the most recognized logos in the world? Its singular color and shape. Inspired by the fast food chain’s building design, the logo lives on restaurants in 119 countries, across 35,000 outlets, serving 68 million customers daily.
The great Michael Bierut, a graphic designerknownfor his logo work, said: “Be purposeful and thoughtful in the choices you make when the options are nearly infinite.” No matter how large or small your business, the logo you decide on will be around for the long haul. Putting it against the five criteria above can ensure that your logo is not just good, it’s great.
More than ever, the onus is on advertisers to prove their commercial is worth watching. According to YouTube, 70% of audiences skip pre-roll advertising after 5 seconds. Could this be because too many TV ads are simply repurposed for digital media? TubeMogul’s 2014 Video Advertising Playbook reveals that custom web creative has an edge when it comes to influencing purchasing intent (1.4% vs. .8% of repurposed TV ads). So, how do you prove your commercial is worth watching? Consider the following examples and tips to make your pre-roll commercial unskippable:
1: Put the customer first
Recognize that you are interrupting your customer’s focused search with an unsolicited message. Online viewers are in a control mindset with their mouse in hand. They have a negative perception about the interruption before they even know the brand. So, how do you turn that around for your audience? See how Burger King connected with young men by relating to their pre-roll pain:
2: Make the first 5 seconds count
Remember the days when 30 seconds seemed like a short time to get message across? Now, we have 5 seconds to do something that connects with the viewer. Whatever you do in the first 5 seconds of your message, it must answer the question: “What will make this ad unskippable?” See how Madagascar 3 hit home with young children, front loading their spot with a winning combination: address the audience + ask a question + several fast cuts:
3: Do something worth sharing
Sharing your brand message with video is easier than ever via digital and social connections. All you have to do is give your audience something worth sharing. Give the audience a slice of entertainment that relates to your message. See how Kmart connected with their conservative shoppers and managed to stay on brand with an unexpected and sharable pre-roll ad laugh:
4: Ask for engagement
It should come as no surprise that viewers “skip this ad” with a ticker and button appearing right before their eyes. See how this job search website from the UK reaches into the psychology of their viewer with this over the top ad that asks for engagement:
I challenge you to assess your pre-roll creative differently than traditional commercials. Put your customer first, demand their attention in the first 5 seconds, do something worth sharing and consider asking for interaction. Following this new formula for digital commercials may force your brand into unexplored territory. Find a way to incorporate these ideas, while still being true to your brand.
I leave you with one final pre-roll commercial attempts to be the most unskippable to raise money for the ASPCA. Did they go too far? You be the judge. . .
Whether you are already working with an ad agency, looking to switch or hire a new one, the review process is a big undertaking. Much like hiring an employee, you hope that what you see in the interview is what you get once the work begins. I have worked in marketing and advertising for sixteen years at ad agencies like Leo Burnett, GSD&M and KW2. As an insider, I offer the following three questions to consider when hiring an ad agency:
1. How does your agency support employee work/life balance?
Make no mistake that agency folks work hard, long hours like you. Having an agency culture that puts the emphasis on “working to live” and not “living to work” comes straight from the top. Chat with agency management and staff to see how they promote a positive company culture and work/life balance. Agencies that treat their employees well will do better work for you.
2. How much agency push back should we expect on our creative feedback?
Before a marketing piece goes out to face the world, it is an individual’s art, and a team’s labor of love. It is not uncommon for clients to feel like their creative critiques are challenged to no end. A great ad agency should create strategic work that puts your customer first. Creative briefs should reflect this and be on hand for creative presentations. Agencies that put the customer first will challenge you for the right reasons.
3. What kind of socializing opportunities do you provide for your clients?
Great agency folks spend their waking hours thinking about your marketing. Even the smallest amount of your valuable time outside work helps them feel more like a partner than a vendor. The best agencies offer opportunities for client and agency to have fun together outside of work. This fosters positive relationships and gives agency staff a reason to go the extra mile for you, giving you more for your money.
Let prospective ad agencies wow you with their talents. Then, pull these three insider questions out of your back pocket to get a glimpse beneath the surface. The insights will give you confidence to choose the best ad agency.
We all know that feeling this time of year. Headache, runny nose, cough, maybe stomach trouble? You have a virus. Being ill sticks with you all day long.
Here’s the thing. . .if you have a great workplace culture, it’s sorta like having a virus. But, in a much more positive way. Here’s how:
When I started my career at Leo Burnett Chicago, I was given a BIG pencil (because big ideas come from big pencils). Everything that came to me as a new hire was bundled up in clean white presentation folders with the infamous red apple and Leo’s signature. It created a sense of “wow” and wonderment for what I belonged to. At GSD&M in Austin, TX, palm trees were flown in to adorn the front yard, company values were engraved on the atrium floor and a the smell of breakfast tacos filled the building once a week.
It’s these amazing things, no matter how big or small that define a positive culture. These days, I soak up the Lake Monona scenery on my commute to KW2. I arrive to “Good Mornings” from anyone within earshot. I find my common cup (personalized mugs made for everyone at the company) and add my fuel of choice while catching up with colleagues in the kitchen. Positive cultures are contagious. They become part of who you are. You come to work not because you have to, but because you want to. You are a happier person, and happier people do better work.
So, what can you do turn your culture into a virus? Perhaps you can suggest one or two different ideas to management. Wouldn’t it be great, if everyone’s screen saver had our values on it? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had matching umbrellas? It only takes one little germ to catch a virus.