I knew at a pretty early age that I wanted to pursue a career in advertising, so I was thrilled to accept a job offer the day before my college graduation from the Denver office of Saatchi & Saatchi. After 3+ years working on the Toyota account in Denver I decided to seek a warmer climate and more challenging environment so I packed my bags for Los Angeles. There I worked at Deutsch on several high-profile accounts, including Saturn. I moved to Charlotte in late 2010 with my husband and found myself fitting into the grooves at Birdsong Gregory, a smaller agency than I was used to, but found out quickly that smaller doesn't always mean less. In this case, I found BG bringing out my entrepreneurial spirit and cunning ability to connect with clients from all different industries. These days you'll find me riding lawn mowers through photo shoots, picking out the right environmentally responsible paper for my needs, eating Chobani yogurt on the streets of NY and shopping the grocery store aisles for consumer insights. Yes, life in Charlotte couldn't get much better than this.
You can't always believe what you read...no bg is not going bi-coastal, but I (Tabbetha Powers) however am. I'm re-locating to the West Coast, San Francisco to be exact, so I thought before I say "sayonara" to Charlotte and the team I would write one last blog post.
birdsong gregory, a boutique shopper marketing agency in Charlotte has become a place of true inspiration for me. The team here at this powerhouse shop has grown over the last 10 years from a partnership of Leslie (Birdsong) and Jim (Gregory) to a dynamic group with a plethora of talents, experience and knowledge. From the account team with shopper insights and a roll-up-your-sleeves mentality to the creative group of passionate, "burn the box" results-driven people, bg delivers it all. Over the past year and a half I have learned from the best of the best and am armed and ready to take on SF with a wealth of knowledge and experience. From working on the launches of eco-friendly paper and riding lawnmowers to creating in-store signage, mailers and grassroots campaigns for a niche grocery store to promoting family-friendly communities and Greek yogurt, I have really expanded my vision and experience.
It's going to be tough to leave the bg team, my clients, and the amazing city of Charlotte, but I know it's going to be a cherished chapter in my life. Thanks birdsong gregory for everything!
From the bg team:
Thank you Tabbetha, for your awesome dedication and talents. We will miss you and butt rubbing Miller. When can we come vist you in San Fran?? Jealous!
These days you can find bg'ers hitting the books, well one book in particular that is: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. We have scoured the pages looking for inspiration, tips and advice for pushing the creative envelope. Reading new books with unique insights really opens new windows to think outside the box. Most of the time people get caught up in the day to day routine without reflecting on what they are actually doing. This book is the gateway to thinking more creatively and still being who you are. There's no secret formula or science to it, just 10 themes that come together to help you mold your creative persona.
Do yourself a favor, read the book and find something new to inspire you everyday.
If you have been driving around South Charlotte recently you may have noticed a change in the scenery. Thanks to our client, Crescent Resources, our North Carolina ad agency has had the chance to go big & bold with an advertising campaign featuring some of their prime real estate properties around the greater Charlotte area. In addition to the billboards, we are also connecting with Crescent's target audience through targeted digital ads, websites, print advertising, direct mail, realtor events, social media and sponsorships. To check out a few of the properties and to see the new website, visit: chapelcove.com and springfield-crescent.com.
This month after a year long planning process, our client Resolute Forest Products (formerly Abitibi Bowater) launched their environmentally responsible paper line, Align. birdsong gregory was there every step of the way to market this line of paper, from brand identity, logo & tagline, product kit & packaging design, website, digital ads, e-blasts, newsletters, to videos and print ads among other things, all in English & French. We are even up for an Addy award for the Align video (above). We really enjoyed the process from concepting to launch with Resolute, and think not only the paper, but this campaign will make an impact today, tomorrow and hopefully for years to come!
So, if you are looking for a paper that is environmentally responsible and saves you money, check out Align paper: www.alignpaper.com
In it's sixth year, the DC Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show asked Bloom to be one their elite sponsors. Having found this sponsorship as a unique opportunity to speak to their target demo in a market with a sea of competing messages from greater DC grocers, Bloom decided to continue this venture to get in front of their potential and already loyal customers. This year, however, Bloom decided to go bigger and bolder and for this they came to Birdsong Gregory to manage, execute and creatively develop every detail. Having worked on all the in store decor and messaging for 2011, we were well versed in the Bloom strategy and shopper experience.
Our strategy for showcasing Bloom at the Metro Show was two-fold: bring the inside of the beautiful stores out- showcasing actual store fixtures and wallpaper while sampling some of the unique Bloom offerings (such as Gluten-Free and Private Brand products) and make this event engaging and memorable for DC Metro Cooking patrons. We did this in two different spaces within the Convention Center, one that was set up as 3-round foodie competition that attendees of the show could compete in to win tickets or gift cards. The other space was set up to mimic the inside of the Bloom stores (unapparent to patrons who have never shopped Bloom or only driven by) and sample their specialized & local products. Additionally the sponsorship included TV coverage, print in TIME Magazine, social media plugs, and flyers that included store locations and coupons to drive sales back to the store, just to name a few.
All in all, about 20,000 people attended the event, redemption of the flyers came in at a record high and Bloom's positive exposure in the DC market was endless. To top off the successful event, Birdsong Gregory even won a Charlotte Addy Award! Stay tuned to see if we win Bronze, Silver or GOLD on March 7th.
Take a peek at the 2011 DC Metro Cooking & Entertaining Show
Iconic brands, such as Hostess and Little Debbie bring back memories of happier childhood days when things were easy and care-free. The advertising campaigns and packaging design were targeted at children and boded well with their target audience. As these kids grew older and the Twinkie (& Hostess brand all together) remainded unchanged buyer behavior adjusted. Those kids became parents and food trends evolved. Parents became more concerned with eating and feeding their family healthy, quality options, rather than fast, cheap ones.
In the Wall Street Journal, Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for a consumer markerting research firm confirms that "Consumption of healthy snacks is growing, too. About 32% of Americans ate yogurt at least once in two weeks in 2011, for instance, up from 18 % in 2000. "We're less likely to be snacking on items that we shouldn't be snacking on." Instead of adjusting to the trends of more healthy snacking, Twinkie stood by their old memorable brand model, so it's no surprise that this company is now filing for bankruptcy for the second time. In order to maintain sales with your target audience, companies need to adjust to developing trends.
However among rumors of the company going bankrupt, customers are coming to the rescue. Even though most Americans have changed their shopper behavior to fit a more healthy lifestyle, they still cannot stand the thought of losing the Hostess brand and all the childhood memories and emotions that came with eating those delicious and mal-nutritious Twinkies. Will this quick attempt to save the company work? My guess is no, since people may not be willing to change their healthy lifestyle to make up for Hostess' loses.
On May 21st, the day of my first NASCAR race – the 2011 All Star Race, I knew that I was in for a treat with screaming fans wearing wife beaters and drinking beer, rubber burning on the track and cheering on my favorite driver- Jimmy Johnson, but I had no idea I was in for a bigger surprise than that. Come to find out, it also happens to be the day the Lowe's Motor Speedway is debuting the world's largest HD TV! This TV officially surpassed the Dallas Cowboy's stadium TV under construction and is larger than the White House, coming in at whopping 200 feet wide and 80 feet high.
Working at this shopper marketing agency, my mind can't help but wonder – will advertising on this massive screen support the bigger is better theory?
Just as racing season hits its peak in Charlotte, with the Coca Cola 600 this weekend, I encourage you to check it out, and get a double dose of live experience mixed with heart-pounding action on the world's largest HD TV.
Facebook announced that they are launching their version of Groupon called "Deals" on Tuesday April 26th. It was reported that Deals first launched in the following 5 citites: San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Austin and San Diego. These deals will be delivered through the user's facebook feed and via email. Users can share the details of the deals with their friends through messages, likes or posts.
Facebook is now not only a social platform to connect people, it's a social platform to connect people to companies and events and offerings. This expantion of services really opens the gates to gain shopper insights and buyer behavior.
Here in the Charlotte Social Media world, the big companies that offer local deals are Groupon, Living Social, Charlotte Half Off, and Restaurants.com where offers are emailed to you directly. However, I don't know how I feel about advertising the fact that I bought teeth whitening or boot camp to the entire facebook community. Also, as much as I care about Sue eating lunch, or Bob going to France, I really could care less what they bought that day for half the price. And it's just another way to fill up all your friends walls and inboxes, cluttering things up and potentially annoying all the friends you have.
Needless to say, I will never opt out of a deal if it seems to fit my lifestyle, so I am curious what the results will be from this program and how facebook users will take to this extra additive. If you live in one of the above cities, I encourage you to check it out, and post a message back to me talking about your experience.
2011 has been a busy year for Birdsong Gregory, Shopper Marketing agency out of Charlotte, NC. One of our big new ventures this year has been launching a campaign for our client, Husqvarna with a new category of riding lawn mower. With this, we created campaigns and brand identities around their three core brands: Weed Eater, McCullouch & Poulan Pro within this new division. BG promoted this new product by creating identities through naming, logos, print ads, banner ads, videos & websites for each of the three brands and the category.
To learn more about this new product and to see some of our work, please check out the following:
Who was it that said there's no such thing as bad PR? Maybe Charlie Sheen's agent. From winning to warlocks, it appears Charlie Sheen has officially lost it (thank you Jimmy Fallon). And merci, Charlie Sheen, for giving me a reason to wake up in the morning and peruse the latest rant on an episode of Sheen's Korner (sic). Then dive into Shopper Marketing Weekly.
Funnily enough, although the TV producers and writers for Two and Half Men may want nothing to do with Sheen, the media cannot get enough.
At bg, our buzz-conscious North Carolina ad agency works hard every day to deliver the right message for our clients and to build brands that shopers respect and trust – which makes Sheen's unraveling all the more interesting.
Just because an ad or a marketing ploy gets noticed, that free attention doesn't always mean it's the right message or image for that brand.
Back in the days of traditional advertising, before the days of social networking, the path-to-purchase was a clear and distinct road to follow:
awareness--> consideration--> preference--> purchase--> retention
Now that there are new realms to influence decision making, the brick and mortar, in-store marketing is taking a back seat to social media. So much can be done online, and every step of the purchase funnel now includes some aspect of online presence.
Shopper insights take the form of facebook posts, yelp reviews, product review websites. More than ever brands are finding new ways to get their message out there in more targeted forums that hit the consumer from every angle, rather than just radio, TV, print or OOH. This can be a positive point of sale for a brand and a free boost in a brand's image (through Word of Mouth), but can also pose a potential risk if consumers have even just one bad experience. Brand's beware, shoppers have a strong influence and voice today.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Gordita Supreme Court|
As the saying goes: "Any press is good press." For Taco Bell this may ring true. In light of the Taco Bell beef controversy, the company has taken this opportunity to embrace the press by placing full page ads in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times thanking Beasely Allen for filing a class action lawsuit against them, enabling the release of the not-so secret ingredients in the seasoned beef. The company has even addressed this issue on their web and social media sites adding a little humor stating that "plain ground beef tastes boring."
Domino's took this same approach with their "Oh yes we did" campaign by admitting that their pizzas were not up to par and working to make sure the taste, quality and ingredients used in their pizzas were not just sub standard, but a notch above the rest for a mass produced pizza chain. Late night hosts asked people walking down the street how they felt about the news of the Taco Bell scandal, and most people didn't seem to care. They didn't go to Taco Bell for a quality or nutritious meal, as long as it tastes good, they are happy. My fiance and his friends went as far as supporting Taco Bell even more now that this news has broke, claiming that "as long as there is not cat meat mixed in, a couple oats and some sand are not going to hurt me."
There's something about being honest and taking accountability in order to make things better. It's often referred to as brand transparency and can do wonders to gain trust, respect and brand loyalty with consumers. Case and point: Domino's alone had a 14% increase in 1st quarter sales, due in part to their advertising campaign. In an economy where trust is hard to come by, it's a breath of fresh air to have all the facts up front. If consumers find that a brand is continuously transparent and doing "the right thing," they will become repeat customers, and word of mouth marketing will be the primary source of communication. And what company doesn't want free word of mouth marketing? So, Taco Bell, props to you for taking the high road, and making your beef transparent.
What will Google think of next? The newly released Google app for your iPhone or Android has a function that recognizes a product simply by hovering over it, regardless of whether you're holding your phone over a bar code, packaging, or even a print ad. Although this technology may not work as well as typing search terms into a web browser, it certainly makes it easier for brands to be recognized at the point of sale.
Working at our Charlotte ad agency, my mind can't help but explore the possibilities this object recognition app could bring to the fabulous world of branding? Featuring products could become an art form. No more bad ads with page cluttered by huge logos and tacky starbursts.
For now at least, Google has done it again and Googles 1.3 provides consumers with another source for obtaining information about a product with a simple click of a button.
During the holidays many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget to focus on what this time of year really represents. Not only do we tend to be greedy, gluttonous, envious and boastful, but we come to expect the most and forget the reason for the season.
At our North Carolina based ad agency, birdsong gregory, our client, Bloom however has not forgotten the true meaning for this holiday season. Now through December 26th Bloom has partnered with Feeding America to provide food to families in need. So while you are picking up your last minute shopping items before your great-aunt Judy and uncle David arrive, visit Bloom or donate directly to Feeding America and don't forget the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!