Category: News

01 Aug 2018
walking-dead_google

America Loves a Hero with a Familiar Face, Even in the Zombie Apocalypse

 

Image result for rick daryl walking dead amc

The Walking Dead may not survive upcoming major cast changes, and I’m worried that this is the end. Such as in the recently cancelled Once Upon a Time, an adult Disney adventure drama, and Scrubs, a comedy drama set in the everyday world of doctors, some characters become too entwined in the story for tv viewers to feel okay with their departure [despite an in-show reboot or character replacement]. At some point, you lose enough of your main cast that it doesn’t feel like the same show anymore, and this is the ultimate hit or miss. In the case of The Walking Dead, it has been confirmed that Rick will die and be replaced as leader by Daryl in Season 9. Is this a potential threat for the show?

There’s a chance that The Walking Dead may go the fate of Game of Thrones. I mean, they both aren’t scared of killing off characters… or are they? Granted, The Walking Dead has cut main characters, but with Rick standing in the center alive and, er, well, the core team can withstand the deaths and the viewers. If you think back to the show Lost, the writers were so afraid to kill off their cast that they brought them all back with lazy twisted finale. It’s understandable—why would you want to upset your fans after all this time, which is really why we’re in the situation we’re in. They want the show to continue and they’ve gone as long as they can with Rick. It’s just been too long.

I will say, though, that The Walking Dead keeps it more fresh than Supernatural (Why is that still going?!), when it comes to villains and general story.

Image result for the walking dead amc lion

With long-running shows, the audience tends to fall in love with a cast/characters just as much as the shows themselves. Due to this, shows have specific formulas that stand strong, even in an apocalyptical setting; the main one being the familiar gang in a series of uncomfortable situations, which is ALL of the aforementioned shows have developed.

This is not to say that some shows overcome this their loss [although some were better than others]:

  • US Office: Michael Scott (Steve Carell)
  • Cheers: Diane Chambers (Shelley Long)
  • Charmed: Prue Halliwell (Shannen Doherty)
  • Three’s Company: Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers)
  • Game of Thrones: Ned Stark (Sean Bean)

But most end up dying after just another season:

  • That’s 70s Show: Eric Foreman (Topher Grace), then Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher)
  • Two and a Half Men: Charlie (Charlie Sheen)
  • The X-Files: Fox Mulder (David Duchovny)
  • Spin City: Mike (Michael J. Fox)
  • Grey’s Anatomy: Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray)
  • The O.C.: Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton)

With so many characters gone from The Walking Dead, is Daryl a strong enough character to take the helm? He’s a fully-developed personality and beloved by fans, but leaders usually have a love/hate relationship with their audience. This is due to the small, yet impactful decisions that only they get to make that cause internal conflict and future plot points. Are we sure Daryl can survive this? I wonder if it will feel more like a spin-off than the next season. With the ratings falling as they are, this could be the final choice that ends the show.

On some level, I do want the show to end. How much torment too much when it comes to the end of the world? If we are to assume there is never a cure, do we have to watch every last character die? Honestly, maybe this should be end of the show, with its this-might-as-well-happen ending.

I also can’t help but wonder, if this was done years ago, would the audience be more acclimated to the dead of a leader, or would the show have ended sooner?

Sources: All photos by AMC.

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

 

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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

30 Nov 2017
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Interview with Randy Skattum, Celanese – Global Marketing Communications Director

I find that most people have a path or at least a pattern to their careers that are, of course, easier to see when looking back on it or from an outside vantage point. I enjoy interviewing people for this blog on careers and how they got where they are and what they do. I have to say that Randy’s path might appear less straightforward than most careers, but I do see a continued pattern of success and career risk-taking that is noteworthy in his journey. He most recently has been involved in Celanese’s efforts to integrate two acquisitions of companies based in foreign markets. We talked about the challenge and success of these integration efforts and I think there is a lot to learn from him in that arena.

celogo_02-2015

Randy and his team are responsible for accelerating the sales cycle with a focus on engaging clients – domestically and internationally – in a meaningful way to assist in driving commercial interactions. Celanese is a global chemical and polymers company that manufactures a wide range of material solutions used in many everyday items including automobiles, personal care products, electronics, paints and medical equipment. To quote a line from an old movie, The Graduate, Celanese does, “… just one word. Are you listening? … PLASTICS.” But really they do so much more. Here are some interesting responses from my interview with Randy:

 

Q: Who is your target audience?

A: Our audience is fairly diverse. It includes engineers, designers, and procurement professionals that need to choose the right materials within very defined specifications to create the components and parts of larger projects (e.g., trim pieces in automotive interiors, grips on hammers).

 

Q: How long have you been at Celanese? And, in the Global Marketing and Communications role?

A: I started in strategic marketing and new business development seven years ago. Following that role, I led the global business for our specialty derivative chemicals. I’ve been managing our Global Marketing and Communications efforts for the last four years.

 

Q: What are the key deliverables your team provides to the global sales force?

A: Simply stated, it is sales tools, sales training, customer engagement opportunities and content materials. But the difficulty in that task is providing a simpler process for Celanese employees to provide pertinent information to support complex conversations with our clients and potential clients. Our polymers portfolio is quite complex and materials can be used in – or modified – in multiple ways to address a wide range of operational, functional, or financial needs. We strive to make it as easy as possible for clients to find the right solution that they need, when and how they need it.

 

We reach our audiences in a number of ways: in person meetings, emails, trade shows and conferences and most recently in an online, video-based technical exchange forum that has been successful in the Chinese market.

 

Q: How do you reach your global audiences and maintain regular communications?

A: We reach our audiences in a number of ways: in person meetings, emails, trade shows and conferences and most recently in an online, video-based technical exchange forum that has been successful in the Chinese market. This new method allows people to learn about our solutions through short lectures and to also discuss the nuances of product requirements in a forum that can provide support for material selection. We strive to meet the customer in the way that works best for them.

 

Q: What did you do prior to Celanese, and how did it help you in your current role?

A: I worked in the strategic consulting world prior to Celanese. I found that by working with various companies and across industries that the core elements of marketing strategy translate regardless of product or service offering. It breaks down into three key elements:

  1. ROI – companies need to ensure that where they spend money they are providing a return to the bottom line.
  2. Marketing Strategy – understanding complexity of products offered, solutions required, and the situations that motivate a client to action.
  3. Sales Support – providing the frontline people with the process and materials to best communicate a company’s capabilities.

 

Q: Sounds like you had a great background for this role. Was there anything missing in your experience that you had to learn on the job?

A: Yes, the global nature of this job was new to me, my prior experience was U.S.-based.

 

The solution to integrate one new company let alone two new companies at any one time is always more elegant on paper than it is in actuality.

 

Q: Let’s talk about Celanese’s most resent acquisitions. What was the biggest challenge in taking on the integration of two different companies, in three different countries, at the same time?

A: The short answer to that question is people and processes. The solution to integrate one new company let alone two new companies at any one time is always more elegant on paper than it is in actuality. There are two highly linked processes in play in each integration, client integration and employee/staff integration. Client integration provides an excellent opportunity to cement and combine existing client relationship by offering more solutions and/or to simplify their purchasing processes. However, most companies need to realize it is easier to integrate customers than it is to integrate employees. Integrations with employees require managing both the systems people work under, the processes they follow, and the roles that define them and their contributions as an employee. The desire is always to maintain people – and their engagement – but that requires a lot of communication. We have worked hard to keep the employees as involved as possible in the integration process. Any company purchase will involve employee role revisions as companies often end up with job and customer overlap and the new role may require some specialization or rescaling to fit into the existing corporate structure.

Conversations with staff should include candid discussions on what is going away and admitting that not all answers are immediately defined. The process of integrating people as well as procedures requires learning from each company and integrating the best of both to provide customer engagement that makes the most sense.

 

Q: What advice would you give other Marketing and Communication Departments who are in the process of planning for integration of an acquisition into their existing business?

A: When integrating new companies and employees into your organization these three key things need to be understood:

  1. Everything you know about your company is BRAND NEW to the newly acquired staff. Institutional knowledge and how to provide value to the customer is a foreign language for both sides of the house and must be shared. A training session should be set up to train each other on history of the company, products and the why’s and how’s of each company’s processes. In other words – put things in context and help the acquired company to become an insider.
  2. Secondly we need to know and share what the end state of the merger looks like. Be as specific as possible and still maintain flexibility. What roles individuals will have in the new organization will become clearer as the integration efforts play out. It’s important to understand the solution will probably be some middle ground from each company that allows better customer and employee engagement.
  3. It’s very important to start integration as early as possible! Once due diligence is complete, Marketing Communications staff needs to be heavily involved. In many organizations Marketing Communications is a tertiary consideration in company acquisitions after due diligence. There are many reasons you should involve Marketing Communications early on. Things that need to be taken into consideration are:

 

  • How does the new company attract customers? How similar / dissimilar was your market place positioning?
  • What brands do they have? Will the brands be consolidated?
  • What trademarks are you purchasing? Are you planning to sell those products in new geographies? (New trademarks may be required in those new regions.)
  • What is their sales model (i.e., Direct, Distributor, Agent)? Who are their distribution partners and is there an overlap?
  • Does their brand development / marketing approach align with your company? What brand/marketing partnerships do they have? (Such as sport teams or naming rights.)

 

Q: What advice would you have for people who want to work their way up to your level of an international company?

A: I would say there are five actions that would help anyone progress in a Marketing Communications role in any company. They are:

  1. Take on complexity. Help to move complex situations forward by breaking them down into their critical elements and providing structure to generate a solution. Leverage your company’s core strategies and institutional knowledge.
  2. Remember that marketing should help to grow the company. Align to the vision and growth plan; support it and set your vision for how marketing can evolve to meet longer-term goals and objectives.
  3. Have a curiosity of products/processes and have a willingness to learn. Understand your business products and services. Visit with your customers and understand how they buy from your company. Ask questions; ask “why?”
  4. Recognize others have done this before and build strong relationships with people doing the same thing. Network, network, network.
  5. Take these actions to help your career:
  • Attend peer to peer events
  • Read or listen to books on tape
  • Absorb the communications from around your organization and know how other leaders are shaping their functions
  • Try marketing something that works in one place and apply it to another situation; translate the successes
  • Learn from your success and mistakes; rewrite your play book often
  • Get input from others including your direct reports
  • Take risks
  • Have a passion for the business

 

______________________________________________

 

Randy provides some really useful information for anyone trying to consolidate new acquisitions but even more insightful are his career actions steps above. It appears to me that he takes his own advice when it comes to his career path. The key thing I see that he has always done is to take smart, strategic risks. The fact that he was willing take the risk of stepping into a global role and learn all he could about Celanese, their products and the additional element of working around the world makes him a singularly unique marketer today. Fortunately, Randy is willing to share with others his path to success. He is often asked to speak at events because of his successes and ability to communicate a clear path for others in our increasingly global marketplace.

 

 


About the Author

luann-boggs-headshot

Luann Boggs is the Vice President of Business Development for bloomfield knoble. She works with new and existing accounts as a liaison between client and creative. Her favorite part of the job is meeting and working with interesting and intelligent people. Her personal interests are family, friends, good books and travel including all 50 states and over 25 countries.
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Dec 2015
austin-featured

Southbound ‘Thirty-Five’

2015 has been quite a busy year, one that has brought about a number of changes for both bloomfield knoble and myself. Most notably, I was recently afforded the opportunity to become somewhat of a conquistador, planting the orange bk flag in a new center for emerging ideas, creative ventures and business prosperity…

Untitled

In September, bk officially opened its doors in Austin, bringing the same unique and effective marketing solutions we have practiced for years in Dallas a bit closer to the Heart of Texas! Considered a hub for inspiration and innovation, Austin provides an excellent opportunity for bk and myself to grow and provide even greater service to our existing and soon-to-be Austin clients.

While a new city brings new horizons, it brings even more opportunities to be better. At bk, we’re always striving for better. So if you’re ever in Austin, drop us a line—we’re just around the corner, happy and willing to help.


 About The Author

andy-edwards-headshot

Andy Edwards is an Associate Art Director with bloomfield knoble. His interests include shredding on the guitar, pumping iron and, of course, beer. At bk, he is the wearer of many “hats” (figuratively, not literally, of course), in which he especially contributes his creative eye to design and video production. The Force is strong with him.
Connect With Andy Edwards
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# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Dec 2015
austin-featured

Southbound 'Thirty-Five'

2015 has been quite a busy year, one that has brought about a number of changes for both bloomfield knoble and myself. Most notably, I was recently afforded the opportunity to become somewhat of a conquistador, planting the orange bk flag in a new center for emerging ideas, creative ventures and business prosperity…

Untitled

In September, bk officially opened its doors in Austin, bringing the same unique and effective marketing solutions we have practiced for years in Dallas a bit closer to the Heart of Texas! Considered a hub for inspiration and innovation, Austin provides an excellent opportunity for bk and myself to grow and provide even greater service to our existing and soon-to-be Austin clients.

While a new city brings new horizons, it brings even more opportunities to be better. At bk, we’re always striving for better. So if you’re ever in Austin, drop us a line—we’re just around the corner, happy and willing to help.


 About The Author

andy-edwards-headshot

Andy Edwards is an Associate Art Director with bloomfield knoble. His interests include shredding on the guitar, pumping iron and, of course, beer. At bk, he is the wearer of many “hats” (figuratively, not literally, of course), in which he especially contributes his creative eye to design and video production. The Force is strong with him.
Connect With Andy Edwards
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

24 Sep 2014

This Is The First Awesome Post

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

Photo by Unsplash

 

Introduction

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

The Plot

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame.By Some Thinker

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

30 May 2014

Duplicating things

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.

A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table – Samsa was a travelling salesman and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame.By Some Thinker

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. “What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.