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Our BusinessVoice team won a 2022 Communicator Award of Excellence for a Humor On Hold production created for Lakeland Auto and Marine in Port Clinton, Ohio. The audio, captured in the video below, is titled “What’s This Sound?”
Communicator Award entries are judged by members of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The panel consists of professionals from media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. Members represent major organizations, including Amazon, Conde Nast, Disney, ESPN, GE Digital, Spotify, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.
Scott Greggory - Writer / Voiceover
Chris Zaharias - Recording Engineer
Amy Scott - Voiceover
MadAveGroup CEO Jerry Brown opened the 2022 Toledo ADDY Awards ceremony with this message.
If you believe that participation trophies are dangerous, if you think the term “hero” gets tossed around a little too easily these days, if you believe in pushing forward regardless of the obstacles you face, you may identify with Jerry’s take on “Winning.”
Design2Influence (d2i) won three Bronze awards at the 2022 ADDY Awards, presented March 10th by the American Advertising Federation of Toledo. d2i is MadAveGroup’s branding, advertising and design agency.
These are the winning entries.
2021 MadAve Music Fest Poster
Credits: Greg Stawicki, Sr. Designer
Terry Lesniewicz, Chief Branding Officer
Greg worked directly with our CEO Jerry Brown to create the poster for this first annual event. He incorporated Jerry’s love of guitars into the design.
Sylvania School District Rebrand
Credits: Greg Stawicki, Sr. Designer
Terry Lesniewicz, Chief Branding Officer
Michael Seay, Agency Director
Superintendent Dr. Veronica Motley shared her vision for Sylvania Schools with us. It included elevating the district’s brand and building community support, while paying homage to the city’s two high schools. In the logo we created, the arrow pointing upward represents Northview High School, while the arrow pointing downward represents Southview High School. The word “Our” in the logo reminds community members of their importance to the city’s schools. And the tagline - “Excellence Through Opportunity” - honors both the district’s heritage and its future.
Watch the video below.
Anthony Wayne United Logo Design
Credits: Greg Stawicki, Sr. Designer
Greg has coached a soccer team in the Anthony Wayne school district for many years, so this project had a personal meaning for him.
Twenty-five-year relationships are rare, especially in business. That’s why we’re so proud of this list. It includes the clients we’ve worked with continuously for a quarter of a century or more.
Growing a list like this requires honest communication, strong questioning skills, powerful ideas, creative execution and, most of all, trust.
We’re so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with all the companies you see below for so long. And we’re grateful for the chance to add even more names to this special list in the months and years to come.
“In the middle of The Great Resignation, our team is growing,” said Jerry Brown.
In fact, since January 2021, the size of our staff has increased by 25%.
“I’m convinced it’s because of our unique culture,” said Brown, MadAveGroup's CEO. And once again, there’s evidence to support that belief.
For the third consecutive year, MadAveGroup has been named one of Toledo’s Top Workplaces.
Since 2006, Energage has compiled their Top Workplace research by surveying 23 million employees in 70,000 organizations. That insight has allowed the company to identify “15 culture drivers that are critical to success in any organization,” according to Energage.com.
“When we first meet people who want to work here, they’ll often say they’ve heard great things about our environment. And when they factor in the variety and quality of the work we do, they can’t wait to be a part of this agency,” said Brown.
Interested in joining the MadAveGroup team? Learn more and take the first step here.
“When I would be at conventions, I’d tell people about the kind of On Hold Messaging we have. Then, when I was out in Vegas one time, I called back to the office and had myself put on hold so the people at the convention could hear it. And they were laughing because it’s just so funny. Your service is very valuable to us.”
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.
In April 2021, the Wall Street Journal reached out to BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency, for insight into On Hold Marketing.
The Journal’s May 20th online article, “How Companies Make Sure You Don’t Hang Up When You’re on Hold,” explained the different options available to companies, from “music, marketing and informational messages, humor, silence and an option to get a call back.”
Writer Dan Weil quoted our founder: “Businesses with successful hold programs ‘look at it as part of their overall marketing plan,’ says Jerry Brown, president of BusinessVoice, a firm that helps companies create those programs. ‘You have to look at it not just as a selling tool, but more importantly as a customer experience tool.’”
Weil noted that, “if customers are calling to make a purchase, there is no harm describing products and prices, industry pros say. But it very much depends on the type of company. For certain services, a softer branding message is more suitable. ‘If I’m calling Apple to buy something, I would expect to hear about products,’ Mr. Brown says. ‘But if I’m calling a nursing home to talk about whether my mom might go there and I get hard-sell marketing messages, that’s not so good.’”
The Funny Angle
The article also referenced BusinessVoice’s unique use of Humor On Hold.
Weil wrote, “[BusinessVoice client] Binkelman, an industrial-parts distributor based in Toledo, Ohio, has taken the comedic route for its on hold customers. Callers to Binkelman are often put on hold, and the company wants to keep them entertained. It’s about finding humor in products that aren’t sexy - bearings, belts, hoses." (Listen to a sample here.)
“Some outsiders might find a few of the jokes off-color, but the company’s customers love them, says marketing manager Rebecca Conrad. ‘We’re in a mostly male industry, where guys like NASCAR and Bud Light,’ Ms. Conrad says. Customers often call just to get put on hold, so they can hear the jokes, she says.
"A recent example: 'Thanks for calling Binkelman, where we’re changing lives with our pioneering approach to male-pattern baldness,” the voice says. “We slice ContiTech Insta-Grip 300 Push-On Hose into thin strips to make fun toupees that look and feel like the mane of a real donkey. Choose from three colors and four scents. Then, just staple your new rug into place and blammo! People will like you again. Ask for the Binkelman wig shop.'”
Learn more about On Hold Marketing and the value of BusinessVoice’s multi-award-winning Humor On Hold.
"I never called him Don," remembered Creative Consultant Bob Seybold. "He was always authentically Bink."
That's how we all knew Don Binkley. He was Bink, one of our original recording engineers.
He was a part of our family for a long time - through two buildings, lots of growth and many advancements in studio technology. More than 17 years total.
"Bink was a perfectionist and he made everyone’s work better," said Creative Consultant Andrea Poteet-Bell.
Bob agreed. "He was conscientious about his work. If there was ever a question about a script he was producing, Bink would reach out in his gentle, self-effacing way to make sure that he was doing it right."
"Bink was so sweet. He had such a tender heart and would do anything for anyone," said Client Relationship Manager Courtney Buczkowski. "And he loved his family so much. He would talk about his kids all the time and just beam with joy."
Over the years, Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory recorded at least 5,000 On Hold Marketing productions with Bink behind the board. "I always knew Bink cared about what he was doing. I could trust him to do great work, represent us well and provide our clients with the best product possible. He was solid."
EVP Fulfillment Valerie Likens recalled a time she provided a quick voiceover for Bink. "He recorded me laughing in between takes, then emailed that audio clip to me. He labeled it ‘Val’s Reply to Most Requests.' I still have the clip."
A Musical Life
Bink was also a working musician. In fact, aside from his family and friends, he loved nothing more than writing, recording and playing music. He was a talented singer, guitar and bass player who entertained countless people at area clubs, bars, weddings and corporate gigs for decades.
He was perhaps best known as one half of the longtime duo Dan and Don. Dan O'Connor, Bink's musical partner of more than forty years, is a former MadAveGroup employee and still a dear friend of our agency. "Every time we worked together," Dan said, "I just felt better at the end of the night. Music allows you to harmonize and vibrate together, so even if one of us had a bad day, we'd start to sing and the rest of the night would be wonderful."
Dan said that Bink made a point of connecting. "He always wanted to reach out to help others and care for people. From day one, we were brothers, and over the 40 years we were together I saw him as a wonderful gentleman. I was proud to be considered his friend."
"Everyone loved Bink, especially my family," said CEO Jerry Brown. "He spent hour upon hour with my sons discussing, playing and recording music. Whenever you'd see Bink play, you’d think he was playing just for you. He'd flash you this sly smile or eye contact, or he'd play a special riff - those were his ways of showing his appreciation. Bink was a sensitive sweetheart."
"Bink and Dan played often at a bar I worked at 25 years ago," said Nikki Brown, Director of the MadAveCollective. "On Fridays, when I had a few tips, I would run over to the stage, throw a couple bucks in their jar and request 'Southern Cross' by Crosby, Stills and Nash. It was always the highlight of my night. When I began dating Jerry [Brown], I didn’t realize that he, Dan and Bink were pals and co-workers. It was a nice surprise. Jerry and I would go see them play almost weekly and, without fail, Bink would sing my song for me."
He sang for a lot of people.
Bink passed away May 9, 2021 following a fight with throat cancer. He was 66.
He leaves a wonderful legacy: a loving family, more friends than you can imagine and a life spent making music for the joy of others.
What else is there?
Along with many pictures of Bink, the video above features the last song he ever recorded. It's an original piece he called "We Will Meet Again."
"Jack," the work our team created for Binkelman Corporation, begins with an interview with a donkey and continues with several unusual segments.
"Hold It!" is a game show parody brought to life for Lakeland Auto and Marine.
Listen to the winning productions in the videos below.
The Communicator Awards is an international awards program that recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications. The show is overseen and judged by members of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only organization of leading professionals from various forms of traditional and interactive media.