The MadAveGroup Blog
Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer
So, when long-time BusinessVoice client Binkelman Corporation asked us to apply a funny sensibility to their corporate videos, they knew what they were getting into.
We produced four quick videos for the industrial parts supplier, touching on their general capabilities, hose products, recruitment efforts, and the future of their customers’ industries. Take a look below.
"Creative Inspiration" - the self-promotional video we produced for the 2020 ADDY Awards ceremony - keeps on rollin'.
At this year's District 5 ADDY awards, the piece won both a Gold ADDY and a Judge's Choice trophy. The video earned the same two honors at the local ADDY Awards in March.
ADDY judge Gabrielle DeNofrio is the Creative Director at Pavone Marketing Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She chose our work as her favorite entry, writing, "Judge’s Choice for me! I love this. Sounds like my inner monologue!"
The District 5 ADDY Awards feature only the best work from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The winning entries from the competition move onto the national ADDY Awards which will take place June 11th.
"Entering the American Advertising Awards supports the entire advertising industry, because the AAF and its local and district affiliates use the proceeds to enhance advertising through programs such as public service, internships, advocacy groups, advertising education and consumer awareness," according to AAF.org.
Watch the winning video above.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To avoid running into the billboard.
Like many forms of domestic fowl, you, too, may consider marketing and advertising content to be an interruption. It gets in the way of what you really want to watch, read or hear.
You may try to avoid ads by reaching for the remote during commercial breaks or even moving to the other side of the street, as members of the poultry community so often do.
Those are two of the reasons we work to make marketing funny.
The Benefits of Humor
Humor encourages people to actively engage with marketing content rather than turning away. It also increases the likelihood that the audience will enjoy their encounter with the brand. When they do, they may be willing to look at the company's future posts or listen more intently to their next radio spot.
Jim Hausfeld agrees. He's an advertising agency Creative Director who heard our Humor On Hold while judging an awards show. Jim wrote, “Superbly written copy and extremely dry humor that was a perfect match for what could've been a dull subject. I laughed out loud at points, and when a caller starts with that reaction, it's a great way to start a conversation.”
We create Humor On Hold through BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency. We use it to turn the negative of holding into a memorable, positively surprising moment for callers all over the country. Listen to the sample in the video below.
More Than Laughs
When applied skillfully, humor can make content about products and services more palatable to an audience. “The On Hold Marketing scripts BusinessVoice creates are not only funny, but also informative,” wrote Steve Eaton, CEO of Med-Line Express Services. “They provide valuable information about specific aspects of my operation that some may not be aware of. In the 15+ years I’ve been in business, this is by far the best marketing money I have spent.”
This five-spot radio campaign we created for Ray's Trash in Indianapolis informs listeners of just about everything the company does, but with a humorous tone.
Using Humor Online
What about your company's online videos? Wouldn't it be great if more people watched, shared and remembered them?
Incorporating humor can help you meet those goals, while still leaving plenty of room to inform and persuade. Take a look at this quick capabilities video we created for Binkelman Corporation. It's the first in a series.
Here are a few of the comments LinkedIn users have posted about that video:
- "I. Love. This. Period." - Jeff S.
- "What a fantastic corporate video. Taking something that could potentially be stale to listen to and making it fun - not to mention memorable - is genius! Nicely done." - Amy J.
- "Love it! Great video. We need more creative work like this today." - Kerrigan Q.
The video above is a self-promotional piece we created. It won a 2021 Gold ADDY and a Judge's Choice Award. (Read the details.) Here's why Denver agency owner Jennifer Hohn singled out the work as award-worthy:
"It's one thing to land just one joke, but to be able to stretch this joke over a minute and 42 seconds is a pretty huge feat, and this video does that brilliantly. Really well done. Really strong stream-of-consciousness copywriting. Loved how it's something that you don't see every day. It's always fun to see work that stretches your mind and makes you laugh a little bit."
Before you as a marketer can hope to have a deeper conversation with prospective customers, you must first attract and keep their attention. Working with our team to put a humorous spin on what you do shows your potential buyers that you'll be fun to work with because you don't take yourself too seriously and that you make the effort to create content that people enjoy.
For many more Humor On Hold samples and reviews, visit our dedicated humor page at BusinessVoice.com.
The MadAveGroup team enjoyed a very successful 2021 ADDY Awards ceremony on March 4th.
During the online event, we won four ADDYs, including a Gold Award and a Judge’s Choice Award for our video called “Creative Inspiration.” Watch the winning work above.
ADDY Judge Jennifer Hohn selected our entry as her Judge's Choice Award winner. She's the founder & Chief Creative Officer of an agency called Articulation in Denver, Colorado. See what she enjoyed about our wok in the video below.
Our Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory wrote the copy, provided the voiceover and appeared on camera. “The story behind this video aligns with my lifelong belief in the power of unexpected content,” said Scott. “By infusing advertising and marketing materials with twists and humor, we can generate genuine audience interest and encourage interaction and brand loyalty, all while informing and selling.”
MadAveGroup also earned a Silver ADDY Award for our #ShareTheLove campaign. “We wanted to empower recipients of our Valentine’s Day gift boxes to recognize colleagues on their teams - those who embodied the personas described on the boxes,” said Michael Seay, who developed the concept. “We know that receiving a gift feels great, but we also understand the joy someone feels by giving a gift, too. This project gave us the opportunity to do both.”
The BusinessVoice Humor On Hold production called “Hold It!” earned a Bronze ADDY Award. The odd game show parody was created for Lakeland Auto and Marine. Listen to the winning audio below or read more of the story at BusinessVoice.com.
Since 1959, the SMA has been presented once annually to recognize those who've made outstanding contributions to advertising, while demonstrating a commitment to the industry's highest standards, creative excellence and social concerns.
Level 2 Audio owner Mark Reiter won last year's award. In presenting the Silver Medal to Greggory, he said, “I like to call Scott a one-of-a-kind thinker. There’s just no one who looks at things the way he does."
In addition to his leadership role, Scott is a copywriter, producer and voiceover artist who's known for creating humorous marketing and advertising content. His “Humor On Hold” and other work have earned more than 125 local, regional and national awards for creative excellence.
“Scott is phenomenal when it comes to his sense of humor and [knowing] how to execute that sense of humor for a client’s brand,” said Jerry Brown, founder and CEO of MadAveGroup.
"He's incredibly creative," said Rebecca Conrad, Marketing Manager of Binkelman Corporation, a MadAveGroup client since 1996. "He is certainly not afraid to push the envelope. He's pushed us to really get outside the box. I don't think many people would have the guts to do what he does."
“Scott’s a genius writer. He has an unusual approach to selling a product with humor,” said Terry Lesniewicz, MadAveGroup’s Chief Brand Officer.
A Triple Threat
Greggory has been a creative leader with our agency since 1993. He’s the third member of the MadAveGroup team to win the Silver Medal. It was also presented to Jerry Brown in 2012 and Terry Lesniewicz in 2005.
As in the recent past, there were certain commercials that aired during this year's Super Bowl that looked like they cost a lot more money to produce than others. They were the spots that featured several celebrities or many locations or loads of computer-generated effects.
But I found those spots to be the least effective at communicating a memorable message. They came off as all flash and no substance. ("Look at how many famous faces we hired!") Or they were so quickly edited or crammed with visual elements that they were tough to follow.
Naturally, during the biggest television event of the year, advertisers want their commercials to stand out even more than usual, but within the game environment, the glitzy spots seemed to cancel out each other.
As a contrast, imagine a Super Bowl commercial featuring a stagnant shot of one person reading quirky copy against a white background. If well executed, the spot would pop against all the others if only for its simplicity and divergent tone.
A Few Takeaways
1) When producing your advertising and buying media, think context. Is the landscape you'll be participating in loud and fast-paced? If so, consider taking a soft and slow approach with your content.
2) Spending lots of money on the creation of your advertising doesn't guarantee success. Good ideas well executed can trump a big production budget.
3) Strive to deliver value to your audience. Don't leave them wondering, "what was the point of that commercial?" Make them happy they invested their time and attention in your message.
For the second consecutive year, MadAveGroup has been named one of Toledo’s Top Workplaces.
The winning organizations are determined by Energage, a company that specializes in defining and promoting the elements of successful business cultures.
Since 2006, Energage has surveyed 22 million employees in more than 66,000 organizations to compile their Top Workplace research. That insight has allowed them to identify “15 culture drivers that are critical to success in any organization,” according to Energage.com.
“We believe in the value of our unique, authentic culture. It attracts good people,” said MadAveGroup CEO Jerry Brown. “And it’s one of the reasons they stay here. We have team leaders who’ve been with us for 25 or 30 years.”
Brown said that “our clients can feel the difference, too. It comes through in how we care for them and our focus on long-term relationships.” MadAveGroup has served more than 100 clients for 25 years or longer.
“For decades, employee engagement in the U.S. has been stagnant at just 31 percent. Two out of three employees wish they were doing something else,” according to Energage. “But there are some standouts - organizations with double the engagement level. We knew if we could find these companies, pinpoint what they’re doing, and then use technology to replicate their success, we could help other organizations achieve the same.”
Interested in joining the MadAveGroup team? Learn more and take the first step here.
My wife Amy and I were shopping for our first house in 1993.
Our Realtor, Brian, walked us through a few homes during the first two weekends of our search. Then, on our third trip, he showed us six houses in just one afternoon.
By that night, I couldn’t keep any of the homes straight.
In my mind, I put the perfect kitchen from house number one next to the great room in house five. I moved the ugly fireplace from the brick two-story into the den of the sprawling ranch.
During our tours, I had to take in a lot of information with very little context. I was seeing the homes and their features for the first time in relatively quick succession. And since I couldn’t keep them separated, I wasn’t able to make a confident buying decision.
Brian called the next day.
“I think you should see the fourth house again,” he said. “It has everything you’re looking for.”
We agreed to another tour. But this time, we looked only at the fourth house.
As we walked through that second time, everything came into focus. I was able to concentrate on the amenities and details. I could see the advantages of owning that home.
I was also amazed at how I missed all those benefits during the first tour.
We bought the house, started our family there and made it our home for nine years.
The Advertising Equivalent
Your potential customers live in a cluttered media marketplace. There’s a lot to see and hear, and there are countless others clamoring for their attention. It’s no wonder your message could get lost, forgotten or confused with that of other brands.
So, do what Brian the Realtor eventually did: help your audience focus. Make it easier for them to see - and remember - you and your message.
A few suggestions:
Commit to your channels. For instance, don’t air radio spots for a week and then bolt. Stick with your chosen media at least long enough for the audience to think of you as THE provider of the product or service you offer.
Limit your message in each channel to one key point. Make it easy for your prospective customers to associate your name with your primary product, service or benefit.
Introduce other services slowly. Resist any urge to tell your audience about everything you sell right now. Wait until you own your keyword or phrase before giving your audience more to remember.
Keep it simple. Whether you’re developing an online, outdoor or broadcast advertising campaign, don’t overwhelm your audience with content. Use simple language. Include plenty of white space in your visual ads to easily draw attention to your most important point. You might even consider adding silence or “a little room” between the audio elements of your radio, TV and video messages. That quick “break” may give your listeners the time they need to absorb your key points.
What will 2021 bring for marketers? How will channels and technology change? Could we see new concepts emerge or will we re-discover tried and true foundational ideas?
I asked a few MadAveGroup staffers to look into the future and offer their thoughts.
Gwen Brassell / Marketing Specialist
I predict the rise of short-term content marketing. As Generation Z progresses into adulthood, marketers will need to adapt to that audience’s shorter attention spans. Platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram offer companies an opportunity to create that short-term content and engage those users.
The traditional ways of marketing are changing. Companies need to create unique experiences for their customers. Instead of placing a print media buy, consider investing in influencer marketing. If your Facebook post engagement has fallen flat, shift some funds toward creating powerful video marketing to tell your story. Whichever method you choose, I urge you to take creative risks to attract a new audience.
Don Miller / Director of TouchStone Digital
Once we emerge from the pandemic, the restaurant and entertainment industries will see a huge boost in traffic. People will be anxious to spend money in these sectors, but those businesses will still need to ramp up their marketing and creativity to stay competitive and stand out from the crowd.
Also, I’d like to see smaller local businesses take advantage of the e-commerce economy, while still being hometown destinations that care about their customers and community and act accordingly.
Every local company should be using Google My Business (GMB) to make sure they’re put in front of customers when a need for their business arises. GMB helps a company show up in Google search engine results and populates Google Maps and other maps. That’s important because customers are usually ready to make a purchase or take some other action after that search.
Lou Perlaky / Marketing Specialist
I predict that in 2021 data and analysis will be more important than ever. Due to the pandemic and remaining uncertainty, many industries are dealing with a whole new world and they may still not be sure of how their customers will respond to the new rules, from reduced hours and customer capacity to smaller inventories and less foot traffic. In the past marketers have used historical data to predict future trends. Now that we’re all in new territory we need to use our data carefully to guide strategic decisions.
It’s a good time to review your marketing, digital plan, web goals and strategies. If the pandemic affected your 2020 goals, do you need to reset your expectations for 2021? Are the goals you thought you’d have for this year still realistic and attainable or do you need to make adjustments?
Ready for a conversation about your marketing in 2021 and beyond? Call us at 419/473-9000.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve somehow become addicted to the videos on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Facebook page. (Please don’t judge me. I feel greasy enough about this whole thing already.)
One of the videos, though, reinforced a couple of business / marketing truths we’ve covered before in this blog.
A restaurant owner featured on the show refused to believe that all of her customers didn’t love her food, despite the feedback Gordon was giving her.
The cameras caught waitresses throwing away almost entire plates of food that customers sent back for various reasons. Yet even when confronted with that evidence, the owner vehemently denied there was a problem.
The wait staff didn’t tell the owner about the returned food for one or both of these reasons:
1) They didn't see it as a problem that customers left a lot of food on their plates.
2) They were afraid to alert the owner because she would respond angrily.
Reason 1: The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded all of us how valuable each customer is. Companies that encourage their employees to be proactive problem solvers are more likely to stay nimble, focused on improvement and committed to delivering positive experiences. So, set the expectation that each employee’s duty is to actively look for and acknowledge signs of trouble, whether your customers are leaving food on their plates, complaining online about your service or communicating their dissatisfaction at any other touchpoint.
Reason 2: As I advised in our post “Are You Prepared for Failure?” always “encourage your employees to manage up. If they know of a problem anywhere in your organization - especially if it affects the customer experience - they should feel free to tell their supervisor. Develop a culture or a process that makes managing up easy and non-threatening. The information you get from the front lines will be invaluable.”
As much as possible, take advantage of any pandemic-related downtime to better position your company for success following the return to our normal business environment.