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Exciting new services. Awards and recognitions. New clients, business partners and employees. You'll find details on those topics and many others here on our News page. To access our press releases, just click on the links 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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Our humorous approach to marketing has been honored once again.
The judges at the 2020 MarCom Awards presented us with the following:
- A Platinum Award for “Hold It,” Humor On Hold created by BusinessVoice for Lakeland Auto & Marine.
- A Platinum Award for “Creative Inspiration,” a video produced by MadAveGroup for the 2020 Addy Awards ceremony.
- An Honorable Mention for “Jack,” Humor On Hold created by BusinessVoice for Binkelman.
“Humor can be so effective at attracting attention and drawing people into the message,” said Scott Greggory, our Chief Creative Officer. “We look at humor as a way to give to the audience, rather than taking from them.” (Read more about that philosophy here.)
"Humor is a tool you can use to surprise and delight your customers," said Scott Greggory, our Chief Creative Officer. "It can be especially effective when it's unexpected, like it is in the on hold environment and many other customer touchpoints, from website copy and direct mail to packaging and corporate video."
And when mixed with information that serves a real need, humor can attract and maintain an audience's attention longer and create memorable brand impressions.
Our unique work for Lakeland Auto and Marine called “Previously” was acknowledged with a Gold Award. "All Roads," an On Hold Marketing production we created for Binkelman, won a Silver Award. You can hear both winners in the videos below.
The Communicator Awards is a leading international awards program that recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications. The show is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only organization of leading professionals from various forms of traditional and interactive media. The current membership is a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising and marketing ﬁrms, including GE Digital, Republica, Tinder, PureMatter, Tool of North America, Fast Company, Territory Studios and others.