Content remains king

shutterstock_248890441Content. The little seven letter word that everyone is talking about. And you should be, too. In this age of marketing, content is paramount. What is content? Content is anything you put out that people engage with. Articles, blogs, social posts, radio, TV, online advertising, anything and everything.

When you begin to think about a new campaign, you have to think about the new campaign as an ecosystem. This ecosystem contains all the ways you plan to reach potential customers or clients. As the marketer, you must have a strong content ecosystem.

Today’s content ecosystems look vastly different than content ecosystems even just a few years ago. Today’s content ecosystems are filled with social media, blogs, sponsored posts, advertorials, print, broadcast and pretty much any other way you can put your advertising in front of people.

While content is important, it’s imperative to produce content that connects to your audience. This is how you secure your customers. It’s not always about creating content yourself, but curating the best content available.

With traditional advertising mediums like broadcast, print, etc., once you distribute the content, there’s nothing left to do but count impressions. With digital, there is a constant flow of content. If there is an article or blog written about your industry, leverage that and share it with your followers. If someone produced a fancy video of your product, leverage it. If someone wrote a great review, share it. Content curation will save you many hours of producing your own content and help you keep the cycle moving forward.

In this day, content is critical to driving brand awareness and giving your customers a reason for sticking with you. And at AcrobatAnt, we believe in great content. We are here to help your marketing department create and curate the best content that delivers results you can take to the CEO.

The Ant Farm has a fresh coat of paint and then some

Phase one of our office redesign and renovation is complete and the Ants are excited and inspired by the sleeker, cleaner look.

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The earth tones have been replaced with a fresh and modern color palette that reflects a creative environment. An desks have been rearranged and positioned to create more interaction between employees and also to help with the work flow. 10548111_10153233700776580_7044311393898893702_o

The blue table is now black, the brown carpet is now multicolored and the officeoverall feels happier and bright to AcrobatAnt. There’s now seating under our staircase and a big, steel desk at the front – featuring a very prominent letter A – welcoming guests. 12495923_10153233700631580_7514008136984586002_o

When asked which aspect of the redesign was his favorite, Danny Sadler,Creative Director, had this to say, “We wanted our office to be a place for when clients or guests come through the door, they get a sense of what we are about.” 12819168_10153233700706580_8233534876064799325_o

Another big focal point of the redesign was accentuating the texture and character of the historic building. The majority of the exterior walls were kept white so the exposed brick would stand out. The exposed brick helps bring some added warmth to the office and reminds us all what the Lincoln Plaza once was, a giant school on the corner of 15th and Peoria.

Keep your eye our for more changes in Phase Two of our redesign.

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Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

Mobile is key.

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You’ve probably heard it before time and time again, mobile advertising is the hot trend right now. But mobile is more than a trend, it is here to stay. This year looks to be a breakout year for mobile advertising and for a good reason. “Consumers today are addicted to instant gratification and ads need to serve up not only what they’re trying to sell, but the benefits as well,” said Tamara Green, AcrobatAnt Media Director. As mobile advertising has matured, so have the data companies. From precise geo-location data to more refined demographics, consumer data collected through mobile advertising is robust.

In order to be successful with mobile advertising, you have to deliver memorable content. “You have little time on mobile and an even greater challenge to gain the consumer’s attention because consumers are easily distracted as they swipe across to the next image/page/comment/post/status/etc.,” Tamara said. In mobile advertising, you have less than five seconds to capture the consumer’s attention. Meaning that creativity in message delivery is more important than ever. A simple banner ad will no longer sustain the results they used to. Advertising content needs to be dynamic, personal, engaging and customized for the target audience. It needs to look like it was made just for that single consumer.

With Facebook video now dominating the newsfeed, it’s time to really consider spending the money to integrate video content into a campaign. Integrating video is also one of the keys with mobile. There isn’t just one media type to satisfy the needs of a brand. It needs to be a well planned mix of all mobile has to offer based on data that has been collected. Paying more attention to data will guide and help a campaign improve over time. Tamara added, “Consumers are more and more demanding that the click takes them somewhere, tells them something, provides some benefit. A click with no benefit, just content will result in the consumer dropping off and possibly passing you by.”

To learn more about how we can help you, or if you have any questions regarding mobile advertising, send us an email or give us a call.

10 best practices on how to talk to your agency

When it comes to talking and dealing with your creative agency, there are a few tips that help get the most out of your partnership that you may not know, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. We polled our office and got some good feedback on how best to talk and deal with an agency. Hopefully these tips will help next time you and your agency hit the roadblock. (In no particular order)

1. Understanding the problemshutterstock_258823979

Allow us to do that. You may want to try and define the problem yourself, but including your agency in that process can be very beneficial. The more information we have about your brand and your goals the better equipped we will be to offer valuable input and produce something that delivers the results you want.

2. Include as much information as possibleshutterstock_261566594

The more information the client can give to the agency at the beginning of the project, the better. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want. Provide all input/assets at the start of a project. Often, changing direction or new information mid-project causes the scope and budget to change.

3. Be transparentshutterstock_164665187

With transparency, time is used effectively and problems or issues are defused. It allows for the relationship to be authentic, in which trust is created, and the client and agency can work in harmony. There is a mutual respect in what the client brings and what the agency brings in the relationship.

4. Give good feedbackshutterstock_228790603

Client feedback is crucial to the creative process. Before providing feedback, gather a full consensus from your team so everyone is on the same page with any design or copy edits. This will save time and production costs in the long run.

5. Be concise shutterstock_256115929

The more concise you can be, the more likely the agency won’t miss something. Use bullets or organize content so it’s easy to make sure things aren’t missed. Writing one long paragraph may lead to items being missed.

6. Be clear about requirements, optional items and wish list itemsshutterstock_161233412

Be very clear about what is required and how success will be measured. Separately, indicate wish list items and optional items- if we know the ultimate wish list, we can try to achieve it. Itemizing must-have and ‘nice-to-haves’ is a good way to give the creative folks freedom while making them aware of what would exceed expectations.

7. Remain present and engaged in conversationsshutterstock_254080660

Remain present and actively engaged in the conversation, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Remove distractions and be open and honest, both in listening and communicating back to the agency. If you are demostrating that you are making the project a priority, the agency will too. Direct and honest feedback is the best way to communicate.

8. Give accurate and achievable deadlinesshutterstock_184538510

In order to do the best work possible the agency needs deadlines that can be met while maintaining internal agency processes that are in the place to ensure the best product from the agency. There are times when rushing something is unavoidable, but with proper planning and preparation clients should be able to provide the agency with the time necessary to develop great work. Rush deadlines should be the exception, not the rule.

9. Know what your objective isshutterstock_277496639

What are you looking to accomplish? Are we driving traffic to a website or event? If not, what is it you want to happen? This is very important information to provide when it comes to creating a campaign that is not only creative, but also effectively meets your need and produces the results you were expecting.

10. Be clear on what not to includeshutterstock_107966306

If competitors use certain elements in their branding, pass that information along to the agency. If there are certain themes or colors to steer clear of because of industry connotations or CEO preference, it is better to know upfront rather than to find out after the first design options have been developed.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other best practices when it comes to communicating with creative agencies. 

We love moms

MomsDayCollage (1)Happy Mother’s Day to all the great and caring moms out there. Every year we celebrate this day as a way to say “thank you” to moms for everything they do.

We polled the office to find out what everyone’s favorite Mother’s Day video is and then voted for the overall best one. But, we couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are the top two favorite Mother’s Day videos, as voted on by the Ants.

A little advice — keep a box of tissues close by.

World’s Toughest Job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY

What the Ants thought:

“I loved the World’s Toughest Job campaign because it keeps you interested and hooked throughout the video. It entices you to keep watching and find out what this crazy, unheard of job position is.” — Lale

“If this doesn’t make you want to call your mom and thank her for everything, I don’t know what will. The setup is priceless and the reactions are even better.” — Matt

Here’s to the moms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRDyP2DcEds

What the Ants thought:

“I like this because it’s a happy, contemporary celebration of moms everywhere. The videos and the photos make the message of gratitude and love even more powerful.” — Anna

“Any time you can use real people in a genuine setting, it adds a very emotional element for the viewers. That’s what I enjoy about this ad; it’s relatable. It reminds them of the impact their moms had on their lives.” — David

Here are a couple more that didn’t make the top two, but are just as great and memorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwFso7NeuA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBMQcW6S11Q

Meet the Ants—Sarah Haertl

Behind every great ad, there’s a problem-solving Ant who knows how strategy and tactics work together to achieve positive results. Here’s your chance to meet one of our crew.10940638_369303236587977_3056284665325395157_n

Sarah Haertl
Director of Sales and Marketing

How did you first meet the Ants?
I relocated to Tulsa from Wichita as Regional Director of Marketing for the BOK Center. One of my first assignments was to hire a creative agency to design a national trade publication campaign for the venue. The objective was to sell the BOK Center and Tulsa to national promoters, artists and agents as one of the top concert markets in the country. From the first meeting, I knew the Ants were special. We just clicked. I loved the Ants’ passion for their work and their out-of-the-box ideas. To boil it down: They just got it.

What did you like about the Ants?
Working with the Ants from the client side was easy. It was the perfect blend of professionalism with edgy, creative ideas. Our meetings were fun and productive, all at the same time. It’s easy to see why so many Ants have stayed here for many years. This team knows how to have a good time, while getting the job done.

What would you like a prospective client to know about working with the Ants?
Having been a client of the Ants, I can confidently tell prospective clients to expect the best working relationship you’ve ever had with an agency. We meet deadlines. We over-deliver. And the work is good—really good!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned or done since you’ve been here?
My first project was the marketing plan and media buy for Center of the Universe Festival. I love this project because it lets me utilize my concert marketing experience. I also believe Center of the Universe Festival is a great asset to the city of Tulsa. It’s a “quality of life” enhancer that makes Tulsans proud of their city. How could I not be excited about the opportunity to help make my community better?

What have you learned about being on the agency side of the marketing equation?
I’ve gained an even greater respect for all those creative people. The work our designers create and witty prose our writers craft is unbelievably good.

What do you for fun or stress relief? What’s your favorite pastime?
I would love to say something daring like skydiving or swimming with sharks, but honestly, I work out and read, both for stress relief and for fun. On a side note, I did bungee jump when I was in college and I’ve promised my 12-year-old daughter that I will take her sky-diving for her 18th birthday, so I guess I’m not completely boring.

You’re so shy, Sarah. How can we bring you out of your shell?
I am a people person. Don’t ask me to do any technical like set up a computer or assemble furniture. My idea of torture is reading the instruction manual to anything. Set me free in a room full of people, and I’m in heaven. I love talking to people and hearing their stories. This business is about relationships. Even though I’m still relatively new to Tulsa, I hope my willingness to get out there and meet people will help ensure my success.

Why Great Danes?
I blame Scooby Doo. As a child, I was obsessed with him. My weekly ballet classes were the same time Saturday morning as Scooby Doo. This was long before VCRs or DVRs. My mom told me I had to choose between the two. That decision was easy…bye, bye, ballet. I currently have two Great Danes and they call them gentle giants for a reason. They are kind and loving and—and as painful as it can be—they really want to be lap dogs. Ours weigh close to 200 pounds each, so that’s a whole lot of dog… and a whole lot of dog slobber! (You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?)

Research first. Post second.

Anyone who writes social media was reminded of a good rule yesterday when DiGiorno Pizza used a hashtag that they shouldn’t have. And that rule is do your research before using a hashtag that may seem good for your brand, but turns out it isn’t.  Here is the tweet in question:

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If you are not aware, the #WhyIStayed hashtag is used for domestic-violence victims to speak out and tell their stories, not for pizza companies to promote pizza. It’s unfortunate that the person who posted it did not research before posting. The person that posted the now infamous tweet spent the next few hours apologizing on Twitter to people that were offended.

So, what’s your take. Honest mistake or just a brand going too far?

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Pick the right medium.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” But what exactly did he mean? Well, we won’t get into that today; however, the quote lends itself to advertising quite well. Because the medium you end up using dictates your message.

Whether you are using billboards, radio, television, print or online, each one is good for different types of messages. The following is a best-use list of which medium is best for what messaging.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Say This, Not That.

Have you ever heard of the abbreviation KISS (keep it simple stupid)? Because that should be the golden rule when you write. Keep the language simple and tailored to your audience.

When a patient picks up a doctor’s rack card, he or she should be able to read every word on the card and understand it. If they can’t, then you aren’t sticking to the golden rule.

We have a list of buzzwords or jargon that we try not to use when writing for our clients. But we’ve picked our favorite, or most hated, buzzwords to stop using. We also translated them into plain English. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912