The MadAveGroup Blog

Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 16:29

Ready to be Inspired?

Seek Inspiration 1

Do you allow yourself time to be inspired?

Do you put yourself in situations to experience everyday life in new ways?

Especially if you’re a writer, designer, videographer or anyone else who makes something from nothing, seek inspiration often.

When you have more experiences to draw from, you have more perspectives and solutions to offer.

I encourage our creative team to explore music, fine art, nature, even unique foods. Then, I remind them to keep their senses tuned into those experiences. The sights, sounds and flavors can inform their work and infuse it with a fresh excitement.

One example: our agency’s writers spent a recent afternoon at a glassblowing studio, learning how to make glass paperweights. (Watch the video.) That work has nothing to do with the marketing services we provide, but it put our team into an unusual creative atmosphere for a few hours and allowed them to use their imaginations in a different way.

And at least twice a month, we analyze the work of creators from many diverse disciplines - never to copy it - but to expose ourselves to other points of view and see how we might apply the essence of what we like about it to our own content.

You can't pull water from a dry well. So, regardless of what you do, give yourself and your team permission to refill your creative tanks now and then. Read. Travel. Learn a new skill. Work with a different set of tools. Volunteer. Talk to strangers.

Actively seek inspiration.

It’ll be time well invested.

Monday, 20 December 2021 10:42

Hang The Wreath TV Campaign

We had fun with this three-spot TV campaign for MadAveGroup. 

The goal: drive curious viewers to the humorous HangTheWreath.com website where they could vote for #TeamDoor or #TeamWall, send us comments, download screensavers and meet the cast of the commercials.

At the bottom of the site, we reveal that MadAveGroup is beind the cryptic commercials. If visitors appreciate that we drew them to the site, they might engage our agency to create similarly effective content for their companies. 

Watch all three 15-second spots below and then visit HangTheWreath.com
 

Thursday, 16 December 2021 16:52

Is Everything Fine?

Welcoming Customer Feedback

During my lunch at a local restaurant yesterday, the waitress asked me three times, “Is everything fine?”

Yet, each time she posed the question, she was walking away from my table.

It was clear she didn’t care about my reply. In fact, she was almost out of sight each time I answered.

She was merely checking a box.

And checking boxes doesn’t produce memorable experiences, in a restaurant or any other kind of business. It won’t create loyalty or spread great word-of-mouth, either.

Doing only “what you’re supposed to do” will never surprise and delight a customer. And it won’t encourage your audience’s empathy. (Read how Minneapolis residents came to the rescue of a beloved local shop in May of 2020.) 

Is a similar lack of sincere interest in your customers’ feedback showing up anywhere in your organization?

  • Have you buried your company’s contact information deep within your website?
  • Do you purposely keep callers on hold for long periods so they’ll hang up?
  • Are you ignoring comments on your company’s social media pages?
  • Have you avoided asking key customers for their input before developing a new service?
  • Do you quickly email customers post-sale for their positive feedback even without expressing concern for their needs before the sale?
  • Have you delayed training every member of your team on how to respond to customer complaints?

It’s important to always be asking some version of “is everything fine?” But it’s even more important to actively listen to each customer’s reply, then respond in a way that makes them glad they answered your question.

RELATED POST: Will You? 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 16:18

Our 2021 Thanksgiving Video

Have you ever wondered what happens when a videographer goes rogue in the editing suite?

Probably not.

But this video will give you a taste of the level of terror that can ensue. 
 

Thursday, 11 November 2021 15:43

BusinessVoice Wins Three 2021 MarCom Awards

“When I would be at conventions, I’d tell people about the kind of On Hold Messaging we have. I’d be out in Vegas, calling back to the office, having myself put on hold so the rest of the people at the convention could hear it. And they’re laughing because it’s just so funny. Your service is very valuable to us.”

That’s a quote from Dan Kazmierczak, CEO of Binkelman, and a long-time believer in Humor On Hold™ from BusinessVoice, our caller experience marketing agency. 

Dan knows first-hand how his customers respond positively to a creative and memorable caller experience.

The judges at the 2021 MarCom Awards see the unique value, too. They named three of our Humor On Hold™ productions winners in this year’s competition.

• Platinum MarCom Award: Binkelman Corp. - "The Binkelman Bus Tour"
• Gold MarCom Award: Med-Line Express Services - "Communal Shower"
• Honorable Mention: Town and Country Resort San Diego - "Drunken Monkey"

Listen to the winning work in the videos below.

 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021 16:39

Glassblowing Writers

We're always encouraging our copywriters to "refill their creative tanks" by exploring art, music and nature and by experimenting with different types of creative expression.

On November 10, 2021, they spent some time at the Gathered Glassblowing Studio in our hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Thanks to Mike and his team for the great experience.

 

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 08:00

Are You Creating Memories?

The Cleveland Press Pumpkin

For more than a century, The Cleveland Press was a daily newspaper.

It was the first of many owned by the influential E.W. Scripps Company, later known as Scripps-Howard. The Press was recognized for its journalistic excellence and, in the mid-1960s, was named one of America's 10 best papers by Time Magazine. And when I was growing up in the 1970s, The Press was delivered to our house each afternoon.

Yet, even with its rich history, its impact on the city and the hundreds of articles I read about my beloved Indians in its sports section, one memory of the newspaper stands out above the rest.

Each October, on the Friday before Halloween, the paper published a gift for the kids of Cleveland. It was the pumpkin pictured above, printed across two full pages.

Every year around trick-or-treat time, we'd see that familiar fold-out taped to windows and storm doors all over town.

Displaying his smiling orange face was a tradition as important as any associated with Christmas. I'm not exaggerating when I say the pumpkin seemed like an old friend who paid us an annual visit.

He was a unifying symbol of our city, linking us together, house to house and across neighborhoods. He was something we looked forward to; something we had in common.

So, when I saw The Cleveland Press pumpkin on a Facebook page a few weeks ago, I was immediately taken back to my youth and memories of that funny grin peeking out from homes all around town. One person who commented on the post wrote that, when he was a child, The Press pumpkin was the only Halloween decoration his family ever had.

It was just an image on a piece of newsprint. Yet, more than forty years later, that pumpkin still evokes powerful feelings for me and - I've no doubt - thousands of others.

What if your brand were the source of a wonderful memory like that?

I'd bet the people at The Press didn't set out to create a local tradition. My guess is they just wanted to surprise their readers that first year. Then, the pumpkin caught on. When you start with intent that pure, your efforts are likely to mean more.

The idea is not to sell something; it's to give of yourself for the joy of others, in however small a way. (Here's another example.)

Fulfill a need. Share your talents. Print your pumpkin.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, 20 September 2021 14:27

What You Can Learn from Norm Macdonald

What You Can Learn from Norm Macdonald Microphone on a Comedy Club Stage


After Norm Macdonald died on September 14, 2021, praise for the writer / comedian poured in from all corners of social media.

And one thought appeared more than any other: there was no one else like Norm.

Talk show host Conan O’Brien: “Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered.”

Comedian Whitney Cummings: “Norm is the pinnacle of originality.”

Actor / comedian Steve Martin: “One of a kind.”

Comedian Sarah Silverman: “Norm was in a comedy genre of his own. He was derivative of no one.”

Derivative of no one.

What a compliment. It’s an acknowledgement that Norm was not only a different type of thinker, but that he also had the courage of his convictions.

In an industry that’s filled with sound-alikes, sequels and a desire to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Norm dared to be his own type of creator. He made his individual art, presented it unflinchingly and signed off on it proudly.

Did everyone get Norm or find him funny? No. But he didn’t need total buy-in to be successful or influential or lasting.

And you don’t either.

MadAveGroup CEO Jerry Brown often expresses this idea: "I'm okay if we actively alienate 25% of the audience. I'm okay if we don’t appeal to another 50% of the audience. I just want our agency to stand out and be meaningful to that last 25%." Because, like Norm, we’re not for everybody, whether you’re a prospective client or a potential employee. And we’re not willing to change our unique perspective or culture simply because “that’s not how everyone else does it.”

What about you and your brand?

Are you unafraid to be yourself, whether it’s in how you market your company or the type of work environment you encourage?

Are you focused enough for your brand to be strongly associated with one quality as Norm was? If not, the benefit you provide might be watered down or too generic to stand out as memorable. As a result, yours may not be the first name that comes to mind when your audience needs what you sell.

Are you cultivating what’s unique and special in your team members? In your ongoing brand story? In your marketing touchpoints? In your customer relationships?

Are you bringing your singular personality and humanity to your work each day and looking for new opportunities to apply them? Norm did. And because of that, the world will be talking about him for a long time to come.

RELATED POSTS: Marketing with Humor
Are You Sounding Familiar? 
Are You Too Chicken to Stay True to Your Values? 

 

Monday, 28 June 2021 10:20

Winning

Written by Jerry Brown, Chief Executive Officer

Some folks have a loose definition of winning.

Here’s how we look at it.

Winning begins with a genuine commitment to a goal and can only be realized with a sincere, focused effort to fulfill that commitment.

That means putting in the hard work, learning from your mistakes, demanding more of yourself and those on your team, even when it’s uncomfortable.

It means caring about what you make so much that the world won’t ever see it until it meets your standard.

Winning is not about finishing first, making the most money or living in the tallest building.

And, as nice as they are, trophies and plaques don’t define winners.

Winning is giving everything you have to the people who depend on you; the people who look to you for leadership and inspiration. Winning is raising the bar, setting the example, day after day after day.

Winners don’t quit - ever - regardless of the nature of the obstacles they face.

Not everyone is a winner, not by any definition.

True winners understand that.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Thursday, 24 June 2021 20:16

The MadAve Music Fest

On June 12th, 2021, friends of MadAveGroup joined us in our on-site social club for a night of food, drinks and live music. We're hoping to grow the MadAve Music Fest into a larger outdoor event. Until then, enjoy the video below. 

 

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