Blog Archives

Zombie

Contributed by Eugene Kim

You probably won’t believe it, but zombies have been around for quite some time. These creepy, soulless, brain-devouring corpses have been haunting our nightmares for almost 2,000 years and, the best part is, they are still kicking. But what led zombies to become the best known monsters in the world? Follow along, and I’ll show you!

The Event
Whether it was a decapitated corpse, a drained cadaver or a beast-mangled body, it all started with an event that triggered panic within an ancient (I’ll get back to this) population. And let me assure you, these weren’t your everyday occurrences. I mean these historical events weren’t like the everyday stab victim you hear about on TV. These were the incidents they make movies about. These were the Ted, Rudy smoking bath salts with a chainsaw incidents that left a town shaken and disturbed.

Now, with modern day technology, it wouldn’t be too difficult to discern what exactly happened with Ted and his victim Mary Ann Poppo, but back in the day (and I mean BACK IN THE DAY) local constituents would have no way to determine what happened. So what did they do? They tried to explain the incidents the best they could, and to keep faith in humanity, they said Ted was no longer human. He was a monster. A dirty, stinking monster.

The Stories
Like any good citizen, it would be just wrong not to talk about what happened to poor Mary Ann Poppo, especially since, you know, people needed to know! So Sally would tell Sully about the chainsaw victim with bite marks on their face, and how some undead monster named Jack rose from the grave with a hankering for some filleted human flesh. Of course, the story would evolve, since it was essentially a long game of telephone, and it would ultimately reach this conclusion: ZOMBIES.

The Consistency
These stories wouldn’t just stop after it reached the last town inhabitant though. It would spread, as some people tended to give into their flight instincts and skip town. These wussies would then meet with other people and tell their tale.

Now, let’s say a new character steps into the picture. Let’s say Zodiac Jack had a mental break down after someone took the last Twinkie on the shelf (pre-being bought and revived) and went on a Jure Grando-esque killing spree. Now with past evidence, provided by said wussies, this event would soon be classified as a zombie event as well.

This is how the idea of zombies essentially started some thousand plus years ago, but it would take some serious commitment to keep these ideas going throughout time. These incidents occurred over and over again, some within months of each other and others years apart. But they happened, again and again and again. Soon they were added into literature (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for example) and even though the majority of people stopped believing in the possibility of the undead actually existing somewhere in the 1500’s (thank God for the Renaissance) they lived through novels and continued to evolve into what we know them as today.

How Does It Relate
Now many of you probably wouldn’t think this relates to advertising, but it does! Zombies are probably one of the oldest and strongest brands around today. It might seem like a stretch, but you know zombies, you have emotional ties to zombies and zombies churn out some pretty amazing sales (like the World War Z book). And how is this possible? Let me spell it out for you with some examples from our recent Harmons campaign.

The Ted Rudy incident from way back when, is a public event that doesn’t occur on an everyday basis. Our version of this one-time public event was when Harmons handed out free cupcakes in the Gallivan Center. It’s pretty much the same as the bone chilling murder, except without the murder… and it’s actually quite enjoyable. Then, people start talking and sharing the story. In addition to word-of-mouth story telling, technology is here to help the process speed along. And sooner or later, Harmons will come out with another public stunt, sparking more conversation. Those events, mixed in with other consistent efforts in TV, radio, online and PR, give you the making of a strong brand.

The key is to create a strong, story-provoking event and follow up with consistent activity. Your brand will also have to evolve with time to stay relevant (think Night of the Living Dead zombies from 1968, compared to World War Z zombies now). Lucky enough for you, PPBH is right here to offer a helping hand.

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In the mirror

The hardest thing to tell a client is that his opinion doesn’t matter. Now, his opinion certainly does matter when it comes to brand strategy and marketing objectives or understanding his customers, but when it comes to deciding whether his sales pitch should be on sports radio, Top 40 or Pandora, his opinion gets a little sketchy. And a little vain.

Because even when he isn’t among his brand’s target audience, he turns fanatically to his trusty and always unreliable Focus Group of One (or FGOO). Have you ever witnessed or taken part in this diabolical FGOO? It’s best summed up like this: “I disagree, no one does that anymore. At least I don’t. Therefore, no one else does.”

A few years back I was presenting a media plan to a home builder. The room was full of men, mostly over the age of 35. We talked about the home builder’s core target, a young, married female hoping to move her family into a little more space than her starter home could offer. After discussing some online targeting platforms, I started to throw out a few options for using radio and mentioned some stations that delivered our female target most efficiently. Then, everything went FGOO.

One of the men in the room, who mostly worked on the financial side of things and had looked bored, piped up.  “What about AM stations?”

“AM stations? You mean, like KSL?” I replied, a bit confused as to why Amplitude Modulation would be a point of preference.

“No, AM stations like KFAN or The Zone. You know, like sports stations. How do those do?”

“Yeah, we really like those stations,” said another in the room, his job description more closely related to marketing.

I hesitated, trying to formulate a proper reply. Telling them that these sports stations wouldn’t even crack the top 20 on a radio station ranker for our target audience would be like telling a five-year old there is no Santa Claus. I finally told them the truth, yet the cold hard facts about actual audience data often die a hot fiery death in the face of the irresistible FGOO.

“Well, we don’t generally like radio anyway, but if we’re going to do it we need those AM stations.” I had just been FGOO’d.

Clients aren’t the only ones who do it. We all FGOO from time to time. Media planning and buying is really a balance of science and gut, but it’s very tempting to let your gut take over. Because we are most familiar and intimate with our own experiences, we project our tastes and preferences onto the general population. “I love college football”, one might say. “Who doesn’t love watching college football?”  Well, a majority of the population doesn’t love college football and might rather prefer to watch figure skating, Dancing With the Stars, or even update their Facebook page or hang out on Pinterest for insane amounts of time.

So the next time you’re feeling the temptation to go all FGOO on everyone, stop, collaborate and listen to the facts about how best to reach your target audience. And yeah, throw a little gut into it. But not too much – you may need to trim that sucker down.

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We recently added two new members to the PPBH team: Michelle Buhler, who has taken on the position of Traffic Manager and Rachel Morrey, who is a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Zero Fatalities Utah program. To get to know them a little better, we asked them to answer some random question about themselves:

rsz_mbuhlerMichelle received her BFA in photography from U of U and started with PPBH in early August. If she was stranded on a desert island and had to choose only one food item to bring, she would bring Takashi (the whole restaurant) to the desert island, which is kind of cheating but we will let it slide. The first concert she went to was Neil Diamond, the most recent was Youth Lagoon and Grizzly Bear. Her dream car is no car at all, although if she had to have one, it would be a Vespa.

 

RachelRachel received her degree in public health from BYU and came to PPBH after gaining experience at the Utah County Health Department. Her favorite quotes are “You can’t be 100 percent every day” and  “A person’s faults, are largely what make him or her likable.” She likes imperfection and thinks it’s a charming quality that people naturally possess. When asked which famous person she would like to meet she replied “All the band members of One Republic are much needed in my life. I am flirting with a fine line between love and obsession with them at the moment.” Her favorite movie quote is, “I don’t understand fishing metaphors!” and if you know which movie that is from, you are her instant friend… so you better get to researching.

 

Welcome Michelle and Rachel! We are excited to have you.

 

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Parents and Teens work Together

Contributed by Lora Stead

It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week October 20-26 and this year’s theme is “It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving.” The No. 1 killer of teens is car crashes, and parents are key in combating this serious issue. In fact, statistics show that teens with involved parents are:

  • Twice as likely to wear seat belts
  • 70 percent less likely to drink and drive
  • Half as likely to speed
  • 30 percent less likely to drive while on the phone

Parent involvement is vital in teen-driver success and UDOT’s Zero Fatalities program offers resources to assist parents, including:

  • A newly-designed Don’t Drive Stupid website with specific sections for parents and teens.

Parents, don’t wait for a crash to get involved and make an impact. There are many ways you can help new drivers succeed. Please let us know if you have additional ideas or comments about the resources we mentioned.

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food_drive

Contributed by Britni Brozo

As the football season continues, so do the school rivalries. PPBH put these rivalries to good use by organizing an alma mater food drive including Brigham Young University (BYU), University of Utah (U of U) and “other” alma maters.

BYU started off strong with a grocery bag stuffed full of dietary essentials. From there the drive was a little slow going, but with each day the lead passed from one alma mater to another. At one point referees were called in to address a claim of donation tampering—all was set right by the referees.

As the food drive came to an end the underdog came through with a last minute bulk donation, which proved to be a strategic game changing play.

Determining a winner was likely to bring about accusations of favoritism. Therefore, an unbiased judge was selected—a gentleman named Mike who didn’t go to any of these schools and just happened to be in the office lobby when it was time to pick a winner. And here it goes…

The 2013 Alma Mater Food Drive champions included:

  1. The “other” alma maters, comprised primarily of Utah State University support
  2. U of U
  3. BYU

Note: Food bins were not of equal size, making visual representation inaccurate.

The “other” alma maters were selected as having the most food as well as the most likely to be eaten food. The University of Utah was commended for their donation of protein rich items.

Although school rivalries run deep at PPBH, we were able to come together for this effort. Sorry to sound so cliché, but our local community was really the winner, and we are excited to donate all of our collected items to the Utah Food Bank.

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Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat seems to be known as the naughty social media channel. In fact, when the idea of this post came up, that is the first thing that came out of everyone’s mouths. I had heard this about Snapchat when it first surfaced but thought the trend had been squashed by the overabundance of forewarning media. I was mistaken, in fact some companies are using the brand’s risque reputation to their benefit by experimenting with Snapchat advertising. And with the newest addition of Snapchat Stories, which allows users to send short compilations of video, the advertising possibilities seem endless.

One clothing brand called Karmaloop has gained thousands of followers by intermittently sending provocative pictures and images from their newest look book. It is perfect for them because it reaches their target demographic and allows them to show off their fun, sexy side.

Obviously advertising on Snapchat is not for everyone. You aren’t going to find a huge following for brands like Buick or Dr. Scholl’s. But what about brands who don’t have nudity in their brand guidelines and still appeal to the Snapchat audience (males and females age 13 – 25)?

Taco Bell has been usingtacobell Snapchat to promote the launch of their new burrito, and other local brands have been using it to offer their consumers deals, without exposing them to nudity. Different techniques can be used to give out deals. You can send a coupon code for them to write down, or you can send them one to open only once they are at the counter making their purchase. But you can only offer them so many cool deals… so how do you keep your followers entertained? How long until they get bored of burrito pictures and block your chats?

I think the key to Snapchat is to continuously mix it up. When I receive one from my friends, I never know what it is going to be, the randomness of it all makes it exciting and fun. Send them product info and coupons, but throw in the occasional cat picture or goofy video. And don’t send them too often, if someone sends me a Snapchat every day, even if it is my best friend, I am going to get annoyed.

There is definitely a lot of potential here. The likeliness that your followers will open the chat is very high. First of all, because receiving a message seems much more personal than the average ad, and second of all if they don’t open it, they have that annoying little circle in the bottom left corner of their app that says they have an unopened message. They are also more likely to watch Snapchat Stories than videos on other media outlets because of the short time limit. Once you have them in your line of fire, it is almost flawless. The key is getting them interested enough in your brand to actually add you to their list.

 

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horrormoviemonth

Lately something strange has been going on in the basement at PPBH, more specifically in the area where our interactive team sits. Usually I avoid going over there as much as possible. While they are always good for a laugh, you will most likely step into the path of a random flying object, or into a conversation that you may not want to be a part of. But this month, I have not been able to ignore the fact that each day, a different horror movie is playing on a vacant computer screen. So I ventured into the depths of interactive land to figure out what was going on, and the explanation was actually much cooler than I thought it would be.

In the spirit of Halloween, they choose a  handful of different horror movies to watch each day. The movies are then reviewed and added to a website created by our Multimedia Producer, Tyson. His site is called Horror Movie Month and it is dedicated to helping others find scary movies to watch throughout the month of October (or any other month if you really want to). The home page provides a reviewed list of horror movies that Tyson has been compiling since 2009. He writes a review for each movie and ranks them on three different scales: Creepy Rating, Wife Scare Factor and Overall Rating. You can search movies by genre or name and if you click on the “Make Your Own Deal” tab, the site will even generate a unique list of 31 different horror movies for you; one for every day of the month.

Even if you are scared of the dark or don’t like scary movies, I would check out the site. He includes movies that vary from family-friendly to extreme horror. Plus, the reviews and site content are very entertaining to read, you might even get a little chuckle out of it…mwuahahahaha.

 

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IMG_5020

School is back in session and the change in routine makes it a good time to remind kids and families how to stay safe. To help get the word out and share important safety tips, PPBH and Primary Children’s Hospital recently partnered to host an event called “Safety Saturday” at The Leonardo science and technology museum in downtown Salt Lake City. The event was designed to highlight everything Primary Children’s Hospital does to help keep kids safe. Some of the programs featured included:

We had a fantastic turn out with 35 bloggers attending the event along with their families. Everyone had a wonderful time exploring the kid friendly educational displays provided by Primary Children’s Hospital. A crowd favorite was the seat belt safety display where kids enjoyed drawing their own face on an egg, placing it on a toy car, then watching it smash to pieces to demonstrate what happens when you don’t wear a seat belt. Everyone also enjoyed the melon drop, where cantaloupes were used to simulate what happens if you don’t wear a helmet while riding your bike.

Blogger events have proven to be a great way to help clients reach their target audiences. From large scale events, to smaller, more intimate blogger tours, Q&A sessions and more, PPBH can help clients of all sizes design a blogger event to fit their needs and goals. If you are interested in finding out more about our capabilities, email us at pr@pennapowers.com.

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With how much we work together, PPBH can feel like family. Sometimes we start to think the same way or finish each other’s sentences and we’ve all noticed, especially lately, a lot of matching outfits. See for yourself.

    britandalli

    rsz_wendy-and-stephanie-1024x768

    WendyandGeoff

    JustinandGeoff

    christieandbritni

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    Dave and Justin

    Feet

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    photo 5

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    Triplets

 

 

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ProfessionalDevelopment

Contributed by Jane Putnam

I know, the thought of adding another “to do” to your ever-growing list seems a little overwhelming, but trust me, this is a worthwhile item to add to your list. Professional development is a great opportunity to learn from other experts in your field, strengthen your skills, grow your area of expertise and network—all four, crucial things to developing your career.

So, how do you get involved? The communications industry is chalk-full of opportunities for professional development, including local, regional, national and international. Some of these include, and are worth checking out for networking events, conferences and luncheons:

In addition to these groups, consider taking advantage of conferences and webinars hosted by other professional communication companies, such as Ragan and PRSA.

The opportunities don’t stop there! Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are great places to seek out listings of events as well as forums and online conversations about the field, what we do, tips, etc. Some of those I’ve found to be helpful include:

The lists and opportunities can go on and on. Tell us, what are your favorite professional development opportunities? Where have you learned or gained the most? Let us know in the comments.

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