We're Making News
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.
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.
On Sunday, March 22nd, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued a “Stay at Home” directive for all Ohio residents, ordering that non-essential businesses cease all but minimum basic operations.
With help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Director Acton identified those essential businesses, as well as supporting companies.
Since MadAveGroup provides essential communication and media services, we are considered an Essential Business and will continue to operate at full capacity.
We also support essential businesses, such as community-based government operations and those in the healthcare, finance, food, production industries, and other essential fields.
While most of our agency’s employees will be working from home, our offices will remain open to conduct services that cannot be fulfilled remotely. Feel free to contact us as you always have.
Of course, health and safety is paramount. So, we will continue to take every precaution to keep our team members and their families safe while we work to fulfill your marketing and communication needs.
We’ve been creating video, audio and digital content for many of our clients so they can share their response to the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve also prepared several blog posts with tips on how you can adjust your marketing strategies and content for this unique environment. Here are the links:
• Prepare Now for the Post-Pandemic World
• Think Strategically About Your Response to Coronavirus
• How to Update Your Digital Marketing in Response to COVID-19
• Can You See an Opportunity?
We can provide the strategic guidance and tactical execution to help you through this crisis and then emerge even stronger when the outbreak subsides.
For 30 years, we’ve been working to help our clients grow. We have no plans to stop now.
Jerry Brown, Founder & CEO
MadAveGroup was chosen as a Top Workplace based on responses to an employee survey conducted by Energage. They study successful organizations and apply the findings to their Intentional Culture Platform to help other companies improve.
And culture is a subject that MadAveGroup founder and CEO Jerry Brown takes seriously. “Most of us spend more time with our workmates than we do with our families,” he said. “So, it’s imperative that we do all we can to make sure that time is enjoyable and rewarding.”
One of the aspects of MadAveGroup’s culture that many staff members enjoy is the openness and authenticity. “It’s honest and direct, and yes, it’s politically incorrect sometimes,” said Brown, “but everyone is free to express themselves without having to worry about the consequences of offending someone.”
We also earned one of seven special awards. We were singled out for "Superior Appreciation" since so many of our team members wrote that they feel appreciated at work.
According to the Energage website, “Creating a top workplace is about more than offering great benefits and vacation time. It’s about organizational health. Employees want to align with the company’s vision, be challenged by a high-performance culture, and feel that they are valued and that their voices are heard.”
“At MadAveGroup, our employees come first, their family comes second, and work comes third,” said Brown. “We also work to ensure that people are in the right roles by matching both their technical skill sets and personality propensities with their job.”
Brown also stressed that “we train heavily, provide the tools and direction, and then give our people the freedom to do the work as they see fit.”
And while we work hard, we play hard, too. MadAveGroup employees can take advantage of the annual President’s Club vacation, our in-house Social Club, and many events, including the MadAveGroup Olympics, quarterly fitness days, the Downtown Toledo scavenger hunt, the Chili Cook-Off and others.
Roiann Gunnells died Monday, January 20th.
She was our Fulfillment Coordinator from the fall of 2013 until December 2019 when cancer started to get the best of her.
“When I would make client calls, Roiann would sit next to me and ask if I needed anything,” remembered Courtney Buczkowski, our Service and Production Coordinator. “Or she would tell me to give her some of my work to do because she wanted to help me out. She didn’t ask if she could help; she told me she was going to.”
That's how Roiann was. “She always put aside what she was doing if anyone needed a hand,” said BusinessVoice Director Steve Evert. “Roiann was always a team player and willing to help anywhere she could, even while she was sick,” said Accounting Associate Cheri Stewart.
Roiann struggled with her illness for several years, yet her sass and resilience still came shining through. “Once I told Roiann I was having a bad day,” recalled Cheri. “She looked at me and, in her typical Roiann tone, said 'just because you're having a bad day doesn’t mean it's okay to be a jerk to people.' It was the best advice I ever got, and now I smile more every day because of her.”
Nikki Brown is the Director of the MadAveCollective. She knew Roiann long before they worked together at MadAveGroup. “After 20 years of friendship, I have more than a few stories about her. I'll miss hearing her answer the front desk phone and helping callers who just couldn’t get her name right. I’d hear her say, 'It's Roiann. ROI-ANN. No, ROOOIIIII-ANNN.' That always cracked me up.”
“Roiann would bring me lunch sometimes,” said Courtney. “She'd bring in meatloaf when she made it at home because she knew it's my favorite. And hers was the best. I also made her write down her sloppy Joe recipe. I still keep it in my wallet.”
“She always wanted the work done right,” said Fulfillment Manager Susan Harris, yet “I'll miss her laugh and her sarcastic sense of humor the most.”
“She was outgoing; always the life of the party,” according to Cheri.
Courtney said, “Roiann would sing along with the songs that came on the overhead [music system], especially 'Diamonds' by Rhianna. She would sing it obnoxiously, and then we'd just 'shine bright like a diamond' for the rest of the day. Oh, and whenever 'You Raise Me Up' by Josh Groban played she would intercom Jess down the hall and let her know it was on. She knew Jess doesn't like the song, so Roiann called her just to kind of torture her about it. She thought it was funny.” (It was.)
“I'll miss our daily lunch conversations, her hugs after work, and the light that beamed from her beautiful soul,” said Cheri. “I loved her so much.”
“I could go on and on about her, but I think my eyes may float out of my head,” said Courtney. “I miss her already.”
Roiann was just 48 years old.
Portions of a video we produced for Toledo Public Schools have been incorporated into another video that's part of the Robert F. Kennedy / Discovery Education compilation called "Speak Truth To Power - Master Class Series."
"TPS asked us to create a documentary about the Ohio Teacher of the Year, Mona Al Hayani," said Michael Seay, Director of our branding, advertising and design agency d2i. "Mona is also part of the RFK Human Rights group. She was honored by the organization for her focus on human trafficking after she created a curriculum on the subject to educate both teachers and students."
Click here to access the RFK video. After a quick scroll, look for the title "Speak Truth to Power's Cross-Curricular Ties" and click "View Video."
The list of the 2019 MarCom Award winners includes national brands like Nationwide, AARP, Cisco, Dell, Fender and Morgan Stanley. And once again, MadAveGroup is on that list, too.
Platinum Award: Lakeland Auto & Marine - “Previously”
Platinum Award: Binkelman - “Time Stands Still”
Gold Award: Binkelman - “All Roads”
Honorable Mention: Med-Line - HIPPA-tastic”
On its website, the MarCom Awards is described as “an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.”
Entrants range from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies, and come from throughout the United States, Canada and dozens of other countries.
MarCom Award judges reward those entries that “exceed a high standard of excellence and serve as a benchmark for the industry.”