Category: bk Opinions

07 Jan 2014
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Last chance to submit for ARF Ogilvy awards.

If you are reading this before January 10, 2014, then here is still time to submit for the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) David Ogilvy Awards.

 

For more than a decade, the ARF David Ogilvy Awards have recognized the critical role of consumer research in the creation of the most successful advertising campaigns. The awards are named after David Ogilvy, in recognition of his passionate advocacy for the role of research in developing strong brands and business results. David Ogilvy was a highly acclaimed advertising executive who cofounded what is known today as Ogilvy & Mather. Over the course of his stellar career, he shared many compelling tales of how insight inspired the brand story and how research enabled marketers to take creative leaps.

The ARF David Ogilvy Awards are bestowed very year at a gala dinner during the ARF Annual Conference. This year’s winners will be honored at the ARF David Ogilvy Awards gala, to be held at the New York Marriot Marquis during the ReThink Annual Convention on 25 March 2014. The advertising industry gathers at this celebrated event to honor those teams that have achieved notable market success through seamless partnership, brilliant insight, and creative that captures. The pinnacle of the event is the announcement of the Grand Ogilvy winner, the most exceptional example amongst the Gold winners chosen in every single category.

According to Gayle Fuguitt, CEO of the ARF, all advertisers, agencies, media and research companies are invited to submit one or more campaigns for consideration. Judges will be selected from all industry disciplines and committed to bestowing the highest honors to the utmost standards of excellence in categories of Consumer Goods; Consumer Services; Pharmaceuticals; Professional Services; Retail and E-Commerce; Restaurants and QSRs; Entertainment and Sports; B2B; Government, Nonprofit and Public Service. In addition to Gold Awards and the Grand Ogilvy, awards are also given for research innovation – the best example of ingenious research, both in terms of methodology and creative value; cross-cultural – the best example of an insight that resonated across multicultural segments; and cross-screen – the best example of an insight that drove the creative across multiple screens.

There are two rounds of judging for the awards, which include initial consideration of each submission and a second consideration of those submissions that make the short list. One Gold Award will be given per category, as long as it achieves the standards of excellence set by the judges. The highest honor, the Grand Ogilvy Award, will be given to the highest scoring Gold winner. Entries are judged on clearly communicated business objective, campaign development and execution; marketing strategy and big idea; quality and creative execution of the driver insight; research contribution to marketplace effectiveness and the business objective and apparent link between the research and campaign results.

To be eligible, submissions must have been in market during the past 24 months.

Says Fuguitt, “It is with great pleasure that the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) is once again partnering with Microsoft Advertising, our event sponsor, to host the 2014 ARF David Ogilvy Awards. Together we’ll honor the industry’s most inspired examples of ‘research as the creative muse.’ Please allow us to honor your work through your submissions and your participation in this wonderful night.”

Additional information on both the awards and the submission process, visit the ARF, or contact Zena M. Pagán, Leadership Programs Manager with the Advertising Research Foundation by phone at (646.465.5721) or by email at ogilvyawards (at) thearf (dot) org.

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bloomfield knoble, inc., founded in 2005, is a strategic advertising agency headquartered in Dallas TX. Along with general markets services, niche markets include financial and mortgage, outdoor sporting and retail foods. Clients include Fannie Mae, US Treasury, Core Logic, Temple Fork Outfitters, American Airlines Center and Nature Sweet Tomatoes. Contact us directly at 214-254-3805 or bloomweb.com/contact-us. To learn more, visit bloomfieldknoble.com.

31 Dec 2013

What happens in Vegas gets shared here.

I love Vegas. I do. I don’t go as often as I like, which is why I probably love it.

It’s not the gambling or nightclubs or shows that make me love Vegas . . . well, OK, that is part of it . . . what I really love about Vegas is the lifestyle. I am fascinated by the concept that one’s entire purpose can be built around generating the illusion of a certain lifestyle. Even in places like New York and LA, people pause every now and then to do something normal. Not Vegas. It’s always on.

So, I feel it is my duty as a Vegas lover to help promote that lifestyle. As such, I am inviting people to check out Vegasplusme, a social network dedicated to Las Vegas. Vegasplusme is a social network site and mobile app dedicated to Las Vegas and it’s free. Share, explore, buy, sell, get deals and collect everything all in one place. Vegasplusme is a part online/mobile store, trendy vegas magazine and ultimate want list. Members can add photos and video both online/mobile, use hashtags, mention anyone, make friends and send public/private messages. They can create a public group collection, curate the group collection for others to see or create a private collection.

Also discover what’s trending in Las Vegas right now on the trending page. Use the vplus bookmark tool to find other images and videos from other vegas-related sites and share them directly on Vegasplusme. Business members can sell goods and services or send users directly to their products/services using an offsite product link to a website. Businesses who would like to advertise can do so with sponsored posts for all users to see. Members can pay a subscription to receive the monthly Vegasplusme swag bag filled full of handpicked items. Businesses can also create their own swag bag and sell subscriptions as well.

Cory R Rinkin Sr., the Founder of Teknolotree Inc, says, “The reason we made Vegasplusme a social network site and app dedicated to Las Vegas was that it had never been done before. There is so much going on in this city, it just begs to be shared and connected directly.” He also goes on to say that “Las Vegas has so much to offer and so much going on, yet no one can find it all on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, it’s just to hard to locate. There has to be a better way to share as well as find content for this area. It just helps people access it fast and easy.” Cory affirms that Vegasplusme is the answer to the need for a social network for this locale. It gives the people, businesses and fans of Las Vegas a place of their own to share and connect without the outside noise of irrelevant content that other social networks seem to have.

It’s obvious, the city is begging to be shared, so with that in mind Cory would like everyone to say hello to Vegasplusme – a place for sharing and shopping the Las Vegas lifestyle.

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bloomfield knoble, inc., founded in 2005, is a strategic advertising agency headquartered in Dallas TX. Along with general markets services, niche markets include financial and mortgage, outdoor sporting and retail foods. Clients include Fannie Mae, US Treasury, Core Logic, Temple Fork Outfitters, American Airlines Center and Nature Sweet Tomatoes. Contact us directly at 214-254-3805 or bloomweb.com/contact-us. To learn more, visit bloomfieldknoble.com.

25 Jun 2013

RIP Physicist Kenneth Wilson

I was sad to read that theoretical physicist Kenneth Wilson, who was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize for Physics, died on Saturday 15 June at the age of 77. Wilson was the sole winner of the 1982 Nobel prize for “his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions”.

Like so many things I write on this blog, I am sure people are wondering (a) who? and (b) why? Even if you’ve never heard of him, you should thank him, because with all do respect to Al Gore, Wilson helped set the framework for the implementation of the TCP/IP internet protocol that is in use today.

Michael Banks, editor of PhysicsWorld, wrote an excellent obituary for him:

Born in 8 June 1936 in Waltham, Massachusetts, Wilson was the son of the prominent Harvard University chemist E Bright Wilson. After completing an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Harvard in 1956, Wilson was awarded his PhD in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1961, which he did under the supervision of the future Nobel-prize-winning particle physicist Murray Gell-Mann.

After a year working at the CERN particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Wilson joined Cornell University in 1963. He remained there for most of his career, later becoming director of Cornell’s Center for Theory and Simulation in Science and Engineering, which is now known as the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing. In 1988 Wilson joined Ohio State University and was co-principal investigator in an educational-reform project that was funded by the National Science Foundation. Called “Project Discovery”, the project aimed to develop more inquiry-based learning of physics in schools.

Wilson was awarded the Nobel prize based on his pioneering work developing a theoretical framework on the nature of phase transitions – such as when describing how a liquid turns into a gas by changing its temperature or when a material loses its magnetization when applying a magnetic field. Phase transitions can be characterized by an abrupt change in the value of some physical property or by a smoother transition from one phase to another. However, many previous theories – most notably Lev Landau’s 1937 general theory of phase transitions – failed to predict the behavior close to the transition, known as the critical point.

That problem was finally solved by Wilson in 1971. He realized that one has to deal with fluctuations over widely different length scales – taking into account short- and long-range fluctuations. Such transitions are then almost totally determined by the collective effects of every other object in the system. Modelling this behaviour near the critical point would require vast computing power but Wilson developed a method to divide the problem into a sequence of simpler ones based on renormalization group theory, which had been previously developed in the 1950s. Wilson’s theory for critical phenomena gave a complete theoretical description of the behavior close to the critical point proving that many seemingly unrelated systems – liquids or mixtures of liquids and ferromagnets – show identical behavior.

Paul Ginsparg – founder of the arXiv preprint server – studied for a PhD at Cornell University under the supervision of Wilson. He says that Wilson’s ideas in physics will continue to dominate the way that physicists think about the link between statistical mechanical systems and quantum field theory. Ginsparg also adds that Wilson was “decades ahead of his time” in computing and networks – writing code for parallel processor arrays to get round the problem of slow single-processor speeds, as well as calling for the implementation of the TCP/IP internet protocol that is in use today. “As a graduate student in the late 1970s, I had a unique three-decade window into the future,” Ginsparg tells physicsworld.com.

Wilson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1975 and the American Philosophical Society in 1984. Wilson died on 15 June in Saco, Maine.

# # #

bloomfield knoble, inc., founded in 2005, is a strategic advertising agency headquartered in Dallas TX. Along with general markets services, niche markets include financial and mortgage, outdoor sporting and retail foods. Clients include Fannie Mae, US Treasury, Core Logic, Temple Fork Outfitters, American Airlines Center and Nature Sweet Tomatoes. Contact us directly at 214-254-3805 or bloomweb.com/contact-us. To learn more, visit bloomfieldknoble.com, facebook.com/bloomfieldknoble.

02 Apr 2013

And the design “Oscar” goes to . . .

If the words ”design awards” make you think of yet another boring awards show, the new Designs of the Year show at the Design Museum, London, may force you to rethink how cool award shows can actually. The Designs of the Year awards, ‘The Oscars of the design world’ showcase the most innovative and imaginative designs from around the world, over the past year, spanning seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product. Category winners and the overall winner will be decided by a jury and announced to the public on 17 April 2013.

There is no shortage of A-list talent in this year’s nominations (Renzo Piano’s Shard building and Yayoi Kusama’s collections for Louis Vuitton), but at the heart of the show is a great enthusiasm for the democratized, DIY, human-centered design made possible by new technologies.

Take, for instance, the Child Vision glasses designed by London-based industrial design consultancy Goodwin Hartshorn and the Centre for Vision in the Developing World in Oxford, UK. The bright, chunky frames would look at home on a designer’s bedside table, but they are far more than eye candy: the fluid-filled lens allows for self-adjustment, giving children without access to opticians the chance to see clearly.

Then there is the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) (above), developed at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Less terrifyingly nicknamed “magic arms”, the device, a lightweight version of an existing adult product, helps children suffering from musculoskeletal disease with lifting and moving.

Open-source design (including a selection of projects made with the cheap, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer) and 3D printing make up a large percentage of entries. This is a trend that the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard, is keen to acknowledge. Designers are always quick to turn technologies to their advantage, he says, and this year is all about putting small-scale manufacturing tools into the hands of consumers.

The representative of such change, the MakerBot Replicator 2, sits rather uncertainly amid other entries, which were made, somewhat ironically, using it. The Replicator 2 is billed as “the first desktop 3D printer aimed at the consumer market”, and demonstrates a printed coffee mug – a symbol of its New York-based creators’ optimism that the machine will soon find everyday uses in the home.

An alternative use of the Replicator 2 is the Free Universal Construction Kit, also nominated. Designed by interdisciplinary, international design collectives Free Art and Technology Lab, and Sy-Lab, this series of printable “adaptor bricks” allows users to interconnect popular constructor toys to make completely new models.

This fits well with some words from an introductory panel about the show’s thinking:

Science alone is not enough to turn an idea into a product… it is a designer who can shape new technology by thinking about where it fits into everyday life.

And many of the entries do indeed put a thoughtful stamp on existing technology. There is the friendly Little Printer made by London-based design consultancy Berg, which churns out a tiny customized newspaper of news and social media feeds.

Then there is Chirp, developed by technology specialist Patrick Bergel and Anthony Steed, a computer scientist at University College London. This is a sharing application that converts digital information, such as photos and contact details, into sounds that mimic birdsong.

So who will take home the overall award, to be announced on 17 April? Last year’s winner was, perhaps predictably, the Olympic Torch, created by UK design duo BarberOsgerby. But in this year of celebrating the cheap and customizable, the money is on the Raspberry Pi to take the cake.

# # #

We build strategies and everything that goes with them.

Some of the largest organizations in the world, including many in the mortgage and finance industries, trust us with the most important aspects of their business. From defining clients’ brands and identities to developing ongoing campaigns in a variety of media, we provide the communications and measurement tools to move them forward. Applying our experience and dedication to the media and the message, bloomfield knoble handles every detail of our clients’ strategic marketing initiatives.

02 Apr 2013

And the design "Oscar" goes to . . .

If the words ”design awards” make you think of yet another boring awards show, the new Designs of the Year show at the Design Museum, London, may force you to rethink how cool award shows can actually. The Designs of the Year awards, ‘The Oscars of the design world’ showcase the most innovative and imaginative designs from around the world, over the past year, spanning seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product. Category winners and the overall winner will be decided by a jury and announced to the public on 17 April 2013.

There is no shortage of A-list talent in this year’s nominations (Renzo Piano’s Shard building and Yayoi Kusama’s collections for Louis Vuitton), but at the heart of the show is a great enthusiasm for the democratized, DIY, human-centered design made possible by new technologies.

Take, for instance, the Child Vision glasses designed by London-based industrial design consultancy Goodwin Hartshorn and the Centre for Vision in the Developing World in Oxford, UK. The bright, chunky frames would look at home on a designer’s bedside table, but they are far more than eye candy: the fluid-filled lens allows for self-adjustment, giving children without access to opticians the chance to see clearly.

Then there is the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) (above), developed at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Less terrifyingly nicknamed “magic arms”, the device, a lightweight version of an existing adult product, helps children suffering from musculoskeletal disease with lifting and moving.

Open-source design (including a selection of projects made with the cheap, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer) and 3D printing make up a large percentage of entries. This is a trend that the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard, is keen to acknowledge. Designers are always quick to turn technologies to their advantage, he says, and this year is all about putting small-scale manufacturing tools into the hands of consumers.

The representative of such change, the MakerBot Replicator 2, sits rather uncertainly amid other entries, which were made, somewhat ironically, using it. The Replicator 2 is billed as “the first desktop 3D printer aimed at the consumer market”, and demonstrates a printed coffee mug – a symbol of its New York-based creators’ optimism that the machine will soon find everyday uses in the home.

An alternative use of the Replicator 2 is the Free Universal Construction Kit, also nominated. Designed by interdisciplinary, international design collectives Free Art and Technology Lab, and Sy-Lab, this series of printable “adaptor bricks” allows users to interconnect popular constructor toys to make completely new models.

This fits well with some words from an introductory panel about the show’s thinking:

Science alone is not enough to turn an idea into a product… it is a designer who can shape new technology by thinking about where it fits into everyday life.

And many of the entries do indeed put a thoughtful stamp on existing technology. There is the friendly Little Printer made by London-based design consultancy Berg, which churns out a tiny customized newspaper of news and social media feeds.

Then there is Chirp, developed by technology specialist Patrick Bergel and Anthony Steed, a computer scientist at University College London. This is a sharing application that converts digital information, such as photos and contact details, into sounds that mimic birdsong.

So who will take home the overall award, to be announced on 17 April? Last year’s winner was, perhaps predictably, the Olympic Torch, created by UK design duo BarberOsgerby. But in this year of celebrating the cheap and customizable, the money is on the Raspberry Pi to take the cake.

# # #

We build strategies and everything that goes with them.

Some of the largest organizations in the world, including many in the mortgage and finance industries, trust us with the most important aspects of their business. From defining clients’ brands and identities to developing ongoing campaigns in a variety of media, we provide the communications and measurement tools to move them forward. Applying our experience and dedication to the media and the message, bloomfield knoble handles every detail of our clients’ strategic marketing initiatives.

19 Mar 2013

Never stop learning.

I tell my son to learn something new every day. It’s easy for him – he’s 8. For me, it’s a little tougher. I find myself so busy that I have to schedule time to try and learn something new every day. It used to be through books, then through iTunes U, and lately it’s been through MIT’s open online courses. I was quite excited to learn that the digital education initiative set up by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has just doubled its number of university partners and signed up its first members from outside the US.

The edX program, which offers free online learning, is now joined by universities in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Switzerland. “We have had an international student community almost from the beginning and bringing these leading international universities into edX will help us meet the tremendous demand we are experiencing,” says edX president Anant Agarwal from MIT.

edX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web. Based on a long history of collaboration and their shared educational missions, the founders are creating a new online-learning experience with online courses that reflect their disciplinary breadth. Along with offering online courses, the institutions will use edX to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning–both on-campus and worldwide. Anant Agarwal, former Director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, serves as the first president of edX. EdX’s goals combine the desire to reach out to students of all ages, means, and nations, and to deliver these teachings from a faculty who reflect the diversity of its audience.

Harvard and MIT both invested $30m in edX early last year and were subsequently joined in the initiative by the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Texas, Wellesley College and Georgetown University. Now, these six institutions will be joined by Rice University (also in the US), McGill and Toronto universities in Canada, plus the Australian National University, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. “Each of these schools was carefully selected for the distinct expertise and regional influence they bring to our growing family of edX institutions,” says Agarwal.

All six current edX members launched courses in 2012 and have new courses starting this spring. Among the new batch is a course on electricity and magnetism taught by Walter Lewin, an MIT physicist who already has a strong online following through earlier recorded lectures. Other existing edX courses include those on quantum mechanics and computing taught by Berkeley academic Umesh Vazirani, and on solid-state chemistry by MIT human-genome pioneer Eric Lander. According to edX spokesperson Dan O’Connell, Delft has already indicated that it will be begin offeringedX courses from autumn, including courses on solar energy and space engineering.

# # #

We build strategies and everything that goes with them.

Some of the largest organizations in the world, including many in the mortgage and finance industries, trust us with the most important aspects of their business. From defining clients’ brands and identities to developing ongoing campaigns in a variety of media, we provide the communications and measurement tools to move them forward. Applying our experience and dedication to the media and the message, bloomfield knoble handles every detail of our clients’ strategic marketing initiatives.

17 Jan 2013

Ah, CES, I hardly knew ye . . .

I survived another year of CES. I know everybody who attends writes about what they saw; trends; etc., and here’s another one!

I’m going to let you in on a CES tip: never go first day. I always go the last 2 days of the show, because (a) there are always less people on the floor and, (b) you would be amazed at how many vendors are willing to sell off floor samples. Friday of the show you would have thought I was Rick from Pawn Stars. Having said that, here are my thoughts about CES 2013:

The show floor

I heard the show was well attended and that it broke records for space. I believe the space part. Jeez. I walked the entire convention center, plus LVH, plus Venetian, and I paid the price. I wore my good shoes and everything, but it didn’t matter – my body just isn’t designed for trade shows anymore.

What every other booth had on display

I, literally, can not think of an accessory that you could want for an iPhone or a Galaxy that you could not find on the floor. It seemed as if every other booth had something for these phones. Cases, purses, clip on fish-eye camera lenses, bottle openers (really), battery packs, game controllers, speakers, I mean everything!

Don’t believe the hype

I made sure to make my way to see the 4k TVs on display. Meh. It’s still a TV and nobody has any content at 4K, so it’s really not that impressive. It’s cool, but I saw some seriously bright and nice home theater setups that would provide me an equal amount of happiness at 1/20th the price.

Do believe the hype

3D printers are going to change the world and there is no way around it. I saw several manufacturers, and Cube, especially, was showing off a range of consumer “desktop” printers that provide tremendous functionality for a very cheap price ($1299). If you’re not up to speed on 3D printers, you need to be. These things have all kinds of uses and scientists are theorizing that they can one day build organs to people in trauma and food for people in need. If I get started, I’ll end up writing a 10,000 word blog article that no one will ever read (so I’ll do it later).

Who would want this?

I really try to keep an open mind about products I see at CES. I recognize that the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some (bonus points if you got the Different Strokes reference). However, every now and then you see things that make you go hmmm . . . (C+C Music Factory). This year it was Justin Bieber.

Why don’t I already have this?

Stern Pinball was showing off a new “home” style pinball machine. It’s a full pinball machine, but uses LCD screen for the scoreboard and LED lights in the game itself. It’s not as sturdy as an arcade, but it’s not supposed to be. They had a bunch out on the floor and let people play to their heart’s content. Just awesome. I love pinball machines and these have all the bells and whistles. They are introducing a machine based on The Avengers this summer. Me want. Me want now.

How have I missed this?

I really think it’s because I only listen to music in the car or on an airplane. I already have a connection in my car and I use headphones on an airplane, so I have missed just how good little portable audio speakers sound now. I mean, these things are really, really good. I saw some very small speakers that were pumping out some really good sound.

How is this still alive?

I saw a very lonely sales rep sitting in a booth promoting accessories for the Blackberry. I forgot they still made them.

I found a hidden gem.

I did find a hidden gem tucked in a booth in a boring part of the floor. It’s a company called NivPat and they’ve got a cool logo recognition software that works really well. I think they are going places and I think there are some cool applications that we can do with them in the future.

I can’t find anything.

I was meticulous about filling out the MyCES app, but I couldn’t get it to pull up the exhibitors that I had tagged and many of the booths had covered up their booth ID signage, so I couldn’t figure out where I was on the floor. I’m going to blame this one on me, more than the app itself, but still – quite annoying. I punished myself with alcohol for being dumb later that evening.

So a funny thing happened in Vegas . . . 

I booked the Hard Rock Hotel through Hotels.com. I upgraded to a mid-suite (or something) with a Strip view. Go check out my Twitter to see the view.

Love and hate LAS

My friend Ray got there a day before me and told me that the new terminal at the airport was done. I flew American Airlines and instead of heading to Terminal 1 (the old way), I cut through to Terminal 3. Walked right outside and into a cab – no lines, no waiting, sweet.

When I leave Las Vegas, I head to the airport 2 hours early. Walk up to the (not bragging – just pointing out) First Class security line. 1 hour and 30 minutes to clear security. The wait for other lines was probably over 2 hours. 3 lanes open at 10 in the morning. Every person traveling must have had 1000 pieces of carry on luggage. So many foreigners in town for CES that none of them understood the directions – shoes on, hats on, jewelry on. DAMN IT!

And so . . .

Another CES done. Glad I went. I am confident that the effort will end up positive ROI for us. Not for me personally, I got killed. See you next year, CES. See you next year.

# # #

We build strategies and everything that goes with them.

Some of the largest organizations in the world, including many in the mortgage and finance industries, trust us with the most important aspects of their business. From defining clients’ brands and identities to developing ongoing campaigns in a variety of media, we provide the communications and measurement tools to move them forward. Applying our experience and dedication to the media and the message, bloomfield knoble handles every detail of our clients’ strategic marketing initiatives.

 

17 Jul 2012

Who’s bringing a gun to the knife fight?

This past week, I have felt a bit like Michael Corleone – “every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in,” because I am now caught up in the dispute between DirecTV and Viacom.  No, we’re not an agency for either of them, it’s because I have a 7-year old who can no longer watch SpongeBob or Big Time Rush (Nickelodeon).  I’m going to skip thoughts about the business aspect and implications of bundling and instead offer an opinion about the handling of the conflict from an agency perspective – specifically, who is winning the fight for hearts and minds?

(more…)

17 Jul 2012

Who's bringing a gun to the knife fight?

This past week, I have felt a bit like Michael Corleone – “every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in,” because I am now caught up in the dispute between DirecTV and Viacom.  No, we’re not an agency for either of them, it’s because I have a 7-year old who can no longer watch SpongeBob or Big Time Rush (Nickelodeon).  I’m going to skip thoughts about the business aspect and implications of bundling and instead offer an opinion about the handling of the conflict from an agency perspective – specifically, who is winning the fight for hearts and minds?

(more…)

27 Mar 2012

bloomfield knoble is a great place to work too!

So Advertising Age has published their annual list of great places to work.  Congratulations to everyone who made the list.  It must be a big deal, because the Twitterverse is abuzz with self-promotion and congratulations by companies that made the list.  I haven’t worked at any of those places, so I’m not really in a position to contend the results.  What I think is important, however, is to acknowledge that there are bunch of really great places to work, like bloomfield knoble, that aren’t eligible to be on the list.

Let’s start with how Advertising Age picked the winners:

“Because every firm has its own strengths, we turned to New York-based Buck Consultants to help us level the playing field. With nearly a century of experience in employee and human-resource consulting, Buck crafted two surveys to help us find the companies with the best benefits and most-engaged employees.  We used employee engagement as a measure that’s proved to work across industries and pay grades. So what is engagement? Employee engagement is an indicator of the degree to which employees feel involved and committed to their work. Key factors include open and transparent management, clear communication of company goals and obvious paths to promotion.

Who was eligible?

Any agency, media owner or marketer with more than 50 full-time employees was eligible. There was no cost to the companies to participate in the program.

How did we rank them?

Buck Consultants developed surveys for the employers and the employees. The employer survey contained nearly 75 questions and the employee survey comprised 50 questions covering 13 topics. Nearly 185 companies applied, and more than 100 completed both rounds. The employer portion included quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices and more.

More than 15,000 employees took the survey. The employee survey measured aspects of the workplace environment that contribute to an engaged staff, including matters such as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other workplace issues.  Providing great benefits gets a company only so far if no one likes working there, so we weighted the employee survey results as 60% of the overall score. That said, some companies had such great benefits that they were able to pull up less-awesome employee scores, and some companies with employees that were off-the-charts happy fell out of the top 40 because of low scores on the workplace-conditions side.”

We don’t have 50 employees, so we were out of the running.  Truth is, we don’t want 50 employees.  We have some really big clients and we offer really good service.  We use a ‘Tiger Team’ model so we don’t feel we need a lot of employees, or the overhead that goes with them.  I’m not knocking larger agencies – just not what we want to be.  So, please don’t take this as a knock against big agencies, but to me, a great place to work isn’t just about vacation time and career development and stuff like that.

To me, finding a great place to work is as simple as looking forward to going to work in the morning.  There are days when I dread a meeting or some task or deadline, but I don’t think I’ve ever woken up and wished that I didn’t have to go to work (which isn’t the same as wishing that I was rich enough that I didn’t have to work).

OK – back on track.  My point is that just because an agency doesn’t have 50 employees to make it to the Advertising Age list doesn’t mean it’s not (pardon the double negative) a great place to work.

I’m fairly compensated.  I have plenty of vacation time (even if I don’t use it).  I am able to take advantage of educational training and we have a bunch of other things that make our office a great place to work.  I, like most people, recognize that different benefits have greater impact than others.  For me, I place tremendous value on the fact that I don’t have to show up for work until 9:30.  This lets me walk my son to school every day – something that is very important to me.  I also get to wear shorts (except when clients are in the office), which is worth a lot to me.  My only real complaint is the inability of our office building to offer a consistent temperature (older building), but that isn’t really our fault.

So when it’s all said and done, there are a lot of great places (agencies) to work that aren’t going to make the Advertising Age list, and we’re one of them.

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We build strategies and everything that goes with them.

Some of the largest organizations in the world, including many in the mortgage and finance industries, trust us with the most important aspects of their business. From defining clients’ brands and identities to developing ongoing campaigns in a variety of media, we provide the communications and measurement tools to move them forward. Applying our experience and dedication to the media and the message, bloomfield knoble handles every detail of our clients’ strategic marketing initiatives.