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Mike Brian

Child Playing in SandboxDo you remember when you were a kid and you’d hustle outside in the summer to play with all of your childhood buddies? Everyone’s experience was a bit different, but one thing that stuck out to me was spending all day making trails in the load of top soil near our house, and then rolling golf balls down these paths we made. Things got dicey when my trail would cross Russell’s. But, because we had a great relationship, we could always work it out.

Now, we’re all grown up and playing in a bigger pile of dirt—but the same rules still apply. If you look around you, you’ll find that successful people are typically those who are friendly and approachable. Nobody likes working with a bully or a recluse. When it comes time in your business to pay for a service or hire outside help, you look to those around you and think about who you can truly trust and rely on.

People generally do business with people they like, simply because they know they can trust them. But that trust has to be genuine. There are a few people out there that think they are above the pack and can just act the part to get the job done. They are called FRIENDORS. Definition: a person that acts like a friend, but only wants to be your vendor. These are the kind of people that when your golf ball tunnel bumps into theirs, yours gets pummeled.

A few things to think about:

1. Get to know your vendors and suppliers – Are they friends, vendors or friendors?

2. Set boundaries with your business relationships to keep them in perspective.

3. Never fake your relationship with a client/vendor – It will always come back to bite you in the end.

4. Change your attitude about your work. Make it play and it’ll be much more fun.

5. Every day, look for someone else to call your friend. It is easy to do and will cultivate a network of relationships that will payoff in so many ways.

Have you had any experiences with friendors? Let us know in the comments below.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Summer Olympic Games in London begin on Friday. For advertisers, it’s not soon enough. In a world of audience fragmentation dispersed over so much programming and so many devices, it really comes down to the Superbowl and the Olympics in plucking the mass out of mass media. We know there’s never going to be another M.A.S.HCosby Show or even Seinfeld. The way things are going, we don’t even know if we’ll be getting another American Idol.

This is just one of the reasons PPBH has several clients running in local advertising breaks within the Olympic Games.  Here are the other reasons:

  • The Halo Effect – This phenomenon occurs when our opinions and emotions about something are carried over and adopted to another. The Olympics are rich with compelling storylines and people who have sacrificed to excel and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to compete at the highest level. Throw in patriotic fervor and potentially exciting duels between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and you’ve got must-see TV that NBC wishes it could extend over the other 50 weeks of the year. These overwhelmingly positive emotions that viewers bring to the games are proven to extend to the brands that help underwrite them.
  • Word-of-mouth – Brands associated with the Olympics get extra mileage out of the positive word-of-mouth that the games generate. According to word-of-mouth research firm Keller Fay, the games yielded an “advocacy” score many times higher than all other sports.

  •  Engagement – Olympic viewers are less likely to use DVR programming. NBC does an outstanding job in packaging content and finding the right storylines and dramatic stories. The content is usually dynamic and events can be changed at any moment, so the usual stability that DVRs provide is often thrown out the window. You just can’t DVR “Michael Phelps winning his record-breaking 19th Olympic medal.” Like the Superbowl, advertisers often step up their game for the Olympics, which also helps stabilize viewer attention during commercial breaks.

While these are all great reasons to showcase your brand during the Olympics, we realize viewership is still on a downward slope. We encourage all advertisers to supplement their television investment with strategic online and mobile messaging as well.But if you happen to be at the games in London, don’t even think about telling us about it via social media.

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Dinosaurs, DNA, ecosystems, masks and minerals were among the 1.2 million artifacts and exhibits PPBHers recently explored at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center.

Our hosts, Justin Jones and Kyle Bennett from Rio Tinto Kennecott Utah Copper, organized a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s anthropology and archeology collections. We got the inside scoop of an upcoming exhibit featuring contemporary storyteller baskets coming up later this year.

A museum can’t be beat for learning about our past and even glimpsing what may be next for our future. Venturing through the Rio Tinto Center was extraordinary. Between the stunning architecture and the world-class exhibits, it is definitely one of our state’s showcase venues not to be missed.

The time we spent on our tour there also reinforced to me the importance that research, databases and current conversations play in gaining a good understanding of context and reality about a subject. It’s equally vital whether to merely expand our own knowledge or to educate, inform or persuade someone else. In our current environment of instant and abundant access to information sources, following is a brief list of online (gratis) sources that are a good place to start:

The New York Public Library of How and Where to Look It Up

Director of Open Access Journals


Find Articles

What other research sources do you rely upon that should be on this list?

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There's a delicate balance in creating a new brand position in the minds of the public, and many are falling into the trap of inexperience.

In today’s heavily communicated space, companies are recognizing that they must find a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. There is a delicate balance in creating a new brand position in the minds of the public, and many are falling into the trap of inexperience.

Current market spaces are overly crowded with very aggressive competitors. Sometimes the products and services are virtually identical. In these cases, marketing directors are given the task to “make us different.” That is a daunting task. More and more, marketers are trying to move away from feature-versus-feature comparisons, mainly because of two primary factors. First, there is no feature difference, and second, it typically ends up pushing all of the products in the space into a price war.

So, marketing directors start working on other tactics. They will employ mascots, celebrities or “out-of-the-box” ideas in an attempt to shift the focus off the product’s or service’s features and move the demand to an emotional level. This typically works very well, but most companies can’t afford a professional athlete or super model in their strategies. This is where we see companies stooping to unbelievable lows in an attempt to be “different.”

Marketing directors and others, here are a few things to think about:

  • If you have a good brand position, don’t risk it. Instead, refine it.
  • Do some research and find out what your target audiences want you to be. Most of the time you’ll find a chicken suit isn’t the answer.
  • Typically, pushing the edge in dangerous campaigns usually blows up or will erode your brand equity to an irreparable level.
  • Remember that trust is the key element when it comes to winning over new customers.
  • Try to evaluate where your “out-of-the-box” thinking will land you. If it might land you “out of the market,” pick a different tactic.
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Check out some of the top websites Utah-based Penna Powers Brian Haynes visits for creative inspiration

Contributed by Patty Clark

Sometimes staring at a blank sheet of paper or an empty Word document just doesn’t ignite creativity. When I’ve reached a block in my creative process, here are some sites I visit to rattle the creative jellybeans in my head.

Creativity Online
This should be the staple website of every advertising professional. If you’re looking for the most effective and popular advertising campaigns of the week, Creativity Online is the place to check. It features the creative standouts of interactive, broadcast and print production, as well as interviews the best professionals of the industry giving insights into the business and their creative practice.

Ads of the World
This site is a creative archive of all notable advertising executions. If you’re brainstorming and trying to find relevant campaigns to look through, Ads of the World is a great place to start.

If I had to describe this site in two words, it would be eye candy. Every day Abduzeedo posts Daily Inspiration, a collection of recent work from artists. The site also features free fonts and textures, tutorials, artist highlights, architecture and typographic art.

280 Daily
Erasmus once said, “The desire to write grows with writing.” For copywriters, 280 Daily is a journal site that limits daily posts to 280 characters. I’ve committed to writing creative blurbs in this journal to practice my craft outside of a client brief.

I grew up in a digitally connected generation, sending my first instant message in the sixth grade. This news site caters to this generation with articles about things like viral videos, digital innovation and social media.

TED Talks
Creativity without variety is uninspired. If anyone expects to come up with good ad ideas in isolation, their ideas will probably be used and worn out. TED talks features speakers in the widest variety of topics. Something as far and unrelated like astrophysics could help bring that spark you’re looking for. My favorite? Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action.

The 99 Percent
Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.” While we seldom have very little control over when the big idea strikes, we can control how hard we work after an idea is conceived. This site centers around the 99 percent of work we need to do in order to bring an idea to life by offering tips, advice and general articles about the creative world.

Lynda is the right hand man (or woman) for any aspiring and professional creative. This site has a tutorial for nearly every creative program and every tool you can imagine. You do need a membership, but many companies and universities subscribe to Lynda.

SLC Egotist
For the local creative, the SLC Egotist has articles, job postings and interviews specifically focused on the Salt Lake area.

This Advertising Life
This site is not so much informative as it is fun. It’s a blog that features gifs and how they illustrate the everyday emotions of life in the ad industry. Warning: this site is pretty addictive.

There are a lot of other advertising website staples out there. Let us know which ones we missed in the comments below.

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PPBH's managing partner, John Haynes, shares is 30+ years of industry experience and insight on how to develop the perfect tagline to represent your product, brand or service.

Contributed by John Haynes

In the early days of advertising, taglines were called “campaign slogans.” They were originally used to sum up what the campaign was all about. Today, they have become increasingly important in differentiating you from the competition and simply explaining what is in it for the consumer or end-user.

Taglines are a big deal. We spend a lot of time developing them here at the agency. While I hate to admit it, I have actually had dreams about taglines (and in color too!).

See if you can name the product or company that matches up with these 18 famous taglines.

OK, so you most likely knew most of them. You are hooked on taglines like everyone else here at the agency. Why? Because we all love the way these clever little phrases communicate critical business operations and capture the very essence of a brand.

How do you come up with these short lines that say so much and make such lasting impressions? Here is quick overview of what goes into creating those few words that string together into an unforgettable tagline:

Know who buys your product. List the benefits that research shows your target audience is looking for.

Write a target response statement. How do you want them to respond after seeing the tagline? What do you want them to think? What do you want them to notice? How do you want them to feel?

Use the whiteboard:

  • List words or phrases that communicate your idea.
  • What does the dictionary say about the words?
  • Use a thesaurus to find similar words and make a second list.
  • Use this list to generate new ideas.
  • Narrow the list to a few favorites.
  • Cut the list to your top few choices.

Keep it simple. Remember, in most cases, shorter is better than longer.

Rewrite. Sleep on it overnight. Review and simplify some more the next day. Make more changes. You’ll know it when you have it.

Google it. Check to see if anyone else is using a similar line. There is nothing worse than finding out you have borrowed a line that is already being used. Actually, there is something worse: when a client finds someone else already using it.

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Contributed by Jane Putnam

No matter the sector of business in which you work, maintaining strong relationships and trust with your clients and other partners is key to a successful working relationship. Good, regular and consistent communication is essential to buildings and maintaining these relationships (and who better to validate that than a full-service communications firm? We communicate for a living!).

Pick up the phone. Email is great. No matter the time zone you’re in or the hour of day or night, an email can be sent without interrupting the recipient—they can pick up the email at their convenience. However, some issues or conversations are best had over the phone. Tone and intention can be hard to interpret from an email, and sometimes a simple phone call can eliminate that confusion and come to a solution more quickly.

Face-to-face communication is not dead. Sometimes, email and phone calls are beat out by an in-person, face-to-face meeting. We’ve found brainstorm meetings, presentation of creative or campaigns and lengthier meetings are best held in person, where we can see each other face-to-face. It some cases, it’s been crucial to reading the body language and inflections in voice, movement and even facial expressions that help us best understand the needs, wants and expectations of our clients.

Working toward a relationship. We are all busy. Many of us, in fact, are too busy. However, don’t let the bustle and busy-ness of life and work get in the way of developing important relationships with your clients, vendors, colleagues, industry leaders, etc. Taking an extra minute or two to get to know each other will make those long meetings, late nights working against a deadline and other interactions more enjoyable, or even fun.

Clearly, relationships are important. A relationship can be the key to a business deal or inclusion in a project. Legendary ad man David Ogilvy said it best: “The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor.”

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