Blog Archives

Two decades. Twenty years. Penna Powers just marked another major milestone, celebrating the twentieth year that our dedicated VP of Project Management, Christine Menges, has been in the building. Not only has she been in the building, she’s been rocking the very foundation of this place with elevated account service, polished professionalism and an unmatched penchant for brand policing.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Chris headed for the Beehive State after graduating from Portland State University’s School of Business. She arrived at Penna Powers after various gigs, from selling ads in the daily newspaper, to getting an ad agency education wearing multiple hats and kicking various asses all across town.

At Penna Powers, Chris blossomed into the plaid-hating, don’t-touch-her-lamp juggernaut she is today. Employees and clients alike have benefitted from Chris’s unique combination of Portlandia counter-culture personality and air-tight, borderline OCD commitment to organization and detail. Chris will always give you her best effort and marshal the agency’s forces in the most efficient and effective manner. And, always right on strategy and right on schedule.

So we congratulate Chris on her double decade derring-do. And welcome many more years of her grit and intelligence in taking our clients to the next level. But always remember this – at Penna Powers, dead men actually do wear plaid, if you happen to cross paths with the formidable Christine Menges.

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Gladys Pastor, brings her expertise to our Nevada office to serve as our Community Relations Coordinator. In her free time Gladys enjoys spending time at home, where you will likely find her reading a book by her favorite author, Paulo Coelho. A motto that she lives by is “wherever God plants you, bloom.” When Gladys isn’t planning her dream trip to Peru, or daydreaming about the day she finally gets a Jeep Wrangler, you will likely find her hard at work or eating her favorite food, tacos!

Christine Adams, graces our Nevada office with her talents and abilities to perform the duties as an Account Manager. One thing you should know about Christine is to never come between her and her chocolate ice cream. In her own words, she “sincerely loves chocolate ice cream!” She enjoys spending her days off work camping with her partner, son, four crazy Boston terriers and snorty pug. One quote that motivates Christine is “live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Charlene Coffman, brings her talents to our Nevada office as a hardworking Program Coordinator. A few of Charlene’s favorite things include Mexican food, Jeep Wranglers and Nicholas Sparks books. Whenever Charlene is off the clock she is likely camping somewhere or exploring new cities. In addition to camping and exploring, Charlene hopes to eventually get the chance to visit Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland and Italy. If she could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, it would be Joanna Gaines.

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Get your sword sharpened and pour yourself a glass of honeyed wine because winter is finally here. In honor of the season seven premiere for “Game of Thrones,” we’re taking a look back at HBO’s innovative marketing campaigns. Whether you are team Cersei or bow to the King of the North, here are our favorite “Game of Thrones” marketing lessons.

1. Print isn’t dead

Unlike most of your favorite characters, print and outdoor advertising isn’t dead in the realm of Westeros. “Game of Thrones” pulled a stunt to publicize its third season that was reminiscent of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio drama. The New York Times featured a full-page spread of mock articles with Drogon’s ominous form casting a shadow on the paper. The articles were “Game of Thrones” specific, telling stories ranging from “The Lion of the Desert” to “Medea Resurrects at the Abuelitas.” In addition to the newspaper spread, HBO’s office in Los Angeles featured a similar gimmick. The side of the building featured a large dragon shadow, making it feel as if Drogon was flying over your shoulder. Talk about forcing people to have a double-take when looking at your advertisements.

2. Interactive elements are crucial

If you’re not utilizing interactive content in your current marketing strategy, you need to introduce it—ASAP. Interactive content achieves four to five times more page views than static content and drives twice as many conversions. “Game of Thrones” rules its own Iron Throne when it comes to interactive content. Few brands are consistently utilizing innovative interactive content on their social channels. Before the fourth season, “Game of Thrones” hosted a social roast for everyone’s favorite villain: King Joffrey. Twitter users roasted Westeros’ most despised character using the #RoastJoffrey hashtag for over 48 hours. The campaign earned over 850 million impressions and a 367 percent increase in “Game of Thrones” mentions year over year. If those numbers didn’t impress you, the return on its next interactive campaign for season five will leave a lasting impression. #CatchDrogon was created as a social media game on Twitter to drum up hype for the season premiere. Twitter users were encouraged to set bait via specific GIF tweets in order to lure a tweet containing Drogon to their feed. Users then had to retweet the tweet before it expired and Drogon “flew away.” The campaign broke one billion impressions on premiere day and created more than 6.6 million interactions.

3. Use current events to your advantage


During the 2016 campaign season, “Game of Thrones” harnessed people’s desire to escape from current politics. HBO built a digital campaign that created election videos for Cersei, Daenerys, Jon Snow and Littlefinger. After watching the videos, fans were prompted to vote for their preferred candidate. Fans could support their political candidate by offering pledges in terms of social shares or purchases from HBO’s Amazon store. The total tally reached over 1.5 million ballots cast and the campaign was featured on various news websites.

4. Make visuals your centerpiece

Since “Game of Thrones” is known for its cinematography, it isn’t surprising that its advertisements are known for their visual aesthetic as well. During a 30-day countdown for the season four premiere, HBO featured 30 illustrations representing an iconic death from each episode. The illustrations were released one day at a time, keeping “Game of Thrones” at the forefront of its viewers’ minds. Facebook posts with graphics see 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images and tweets with graphics receive 150 percent more retweets than tweets without images. Encourage your designers to channel their inner Daenerys and unleash the creative imagery.

In Westeros, there are no limits as to what the characters will do to grace the Iron Throne. It also seems that HBO has no limits regarding innovation in their digital campaigns. Hopefully you can use these “Game of Thrones” marketing lessons to serve as inspiration to drive cutting-edge advertising.

In the meantime, you can catch Penna Powers in our loft streaming the season seven premiere. Leave us a comment with your best prediction as to which one of our favorite characters will die first.

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Elyse Freeman, graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism, and decided to bring her talents to Penna Powers to put her skills to work as a Content Specialist. When Elyse is out of the office you can be sure to find her outside, likely up Little Cottonwood Canyon or down in beaUTAHful Moab. Unless it’s bad weather of course, then you will likely find her reading her favorite book, Prisoner of Azkaban. When she’s not dreaming about olives or the day she can get a Tesla, she’s here up in the “Girls Corner” hard at work! Her life motto is “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.”

 

Aubrey Andersen-Bakker, a recent graduate from Converse College in South Carolina came back to good ol’ Utah after graduation to work as an Associate Project Manager here at Penna Powers. She believes that anything is possible and “change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Aubrey is a fun, outgoing free spirit who enjoys being outside when she’s not here, working hard. An easy way to win her over and be sure to get on her good side is with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, specifically Cherry Garcia!

 

Jennifer Beaudoin, a previous B2B digital media planning specialist brought her expertise over to Penna Powers to give us a piece of her magic. Jenny played Division I soccer for three years at Northern Arizona University, then finished her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing at Westminster. When she isn’t here putting her skills to work at P2, she spends her time as a full-time bicycle commuter, part-time botanist and part-time barista at the Red Moose Café. A quote that inspires her is “If you know the why, you can live any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

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Nostalgic Marketing Millennials

“Wonder Woman” just dominated screen ratings, the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is sold out and Atari just announced a new hardware system. You’re not mistaken if you think I’m talking about the late 70s or early 80s. However, I’m actually talking about right now. It seems as though the past keeps weaving into the future through nostalgic marketing, and for good reason too.

Companies ranging from tech to film are harnessing nostalgic marketing in their products and campaigns. Why is nostalgic marketing such a hit? One reason is that many people love being reminded of the good old days before responsibilities: childhood. With limitless impersonal marketing today, creating an emotional connection in marketing leaves a lasting impression.

Discover how some of our favorite brands are tapping into their millennial demographics with nostalgic marketing.

Atari

Atari, the preferred retro game maker of the 70s, has revived itself from the bankruptcy graveyard and announced a new hardware called Atari Box. Other than utilizing PC technology, not much else is known about the console. What we do know, however, is that the hardware will probably fly off the shelves.

Nokia

Nostalgic Marketing and Nokia

Remember your friend’s trusty Nokia that was sturdier than a brick? Nokia sure seems to, as well as the rest of the United Kingdom. Nokia recently relaunched its 3310 model and sold out online within the first week. The phone boasts an impressive 22 hours of talk time or month-long battery-life on standby. The best part? The cult-classic game Snake comes pre-loaded.

Nintendo

Before “Pokemon Go” and the Switch, Nintendo was facing a sales slump that was easy to see from a mile away. The Wii U’s expected sales in its first fiscal year were only one third of what the company expected. While Nintendo started to look like a sinking ship, it rebooted its NES with a nostalgic marketing campaign that garnered millions of views. If you’ve tried to get your hand on an NES, you know how difficult it is. I’m talking standing in line at Best Buy for hours after tracking shipments difficult. Now that the company has stopped producing one of the greatest consoles of all time? Almost impossible.

Netflix

Nostalgic Marketing and Netflix

If you weren’t hiding under a rock this past Halloween, you know that Eleven from Stranger Things was the costume of the year. “Stranger Things’” subtle nod to 80s pop-culture phenomenon’s such as “Alien” and “ET” was an instant hit. In a more obvious note, Netflix brought back a “Full House” remake as well as “Gilmore Girls.” While Netflix doesn’t share ratings information, it’s safe to assume millennials binged both shows. I know I sure did.

Here at Penna Powers, we’re no strangers to nostalgia. Nerf Gun fights are a regular occurrence in the office. The Underground (the name of our creative/development team)—I’m looking at you Thor—can’t stop talking about the “Godzilla” remake. We know firsthand the effect of nostalgic marketing and aren’t afraid to utilize it. Appeal to something that millennials already love and you’re almost guaranteed to create an emotional connection—or at least tap into their social media base.

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In a world where technology is so prevalent, working a 9 to 5 job can become hard to maintain. With access to work at your fingertips you put yourself in a role that means working an “always on” job without even realizing it. When you are always available you face the challenge of following a healthy work-life balance because instead of dividing your time evenly between the two, you give all your attention to work only.

Another factor that causes an unhealthy work-life balance is the fear of job loss, which can make you feel the need to work longer hours. Harvard Business School found that 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important for your mental and physical health. Focusing on things other than work such as family, friends and extracurricular activities not only keeps you active but keeps you sane as well. Too much stress and focus on a never-ending work day can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Here are 5 tips to help you get on track to maintaining a healthy work-life balance:

  1. Add downtime into your schedule

When you are planning your week, add in time for friends, family and activities that allow you to relax, enjoy yourself and recharge before the next work day. If you don’t schedule out down time your free time will likely get filled with whatever you feel like needs to be done in that moment, such as things like work or catching up on emails. Making sure you have scheduled downtime will help you remember to actually take some time for yourself.

  1. Take a break

You may not be able to take a break every day, depending on how busy your day is. However, you should at least take thirty minutes to an hour for lunch each day. Taking a lunch that forces you to focus on something other than work, reboot and come back full and ready to work again. It also gives you the “break” you need each day. Make sure when taking your lunch break you are getting away from your desk. Even if you brought lunch from home eat in the break room or even go outside if the weather is nice.

  1. Unplug

Technology has probably helped your life in several ways from working, to communicating and especially accessibility. The problem is that the work day never seems to end. If you have a hard time putting your phone down and focusing on things other than work when you’re supposed to be off, then consider unplugging. A lot of work problems that come up after work hours can’t be solved until the next day anyway. So instead of stressing about them all night, turn your phone/computer off and deal with it the next day.

Schedule weekend plans and vacations

Believe it or not, you company wants you to use your PTO. That’s why they give it to you because they understand that everyone needs a break sometimes. Often times, companies have a “use it or lose it” policy associated with PTO too, so why wouldn’t you use your days? There is also a reason you’re given days off. Even if you don’t have weekends off per say, you do have days off that you consider your weekend. Plan something for at least a few hours on your day off to get you out of your normal weekday routine.

  1. Make time for family

Your relationships with your family and friends are the best source of happiness. If you become a workaholic and allow it to damage your personal relationships, you will not be happy in your work or home life. Some days you will have to work overtime and that’s understandable, you just want to avoid letting it become an everyday thing that will ultimately cause you to be unhappy. Making personal relationships a priority will actually improve your productivity and efficiency will at work.

Bottom line, start small and build from there. Don’t try to change every bad habit all in one day, it won’t work. Pick one thing to start with, work on it until you’re where you want to be and then move onto something else. Small successes, less stress and a happier mentality will encourage you to keep improving.

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There are pros and cons to everything in life, but one of the most talked about is technology. Most likely because technology is constantly evolving, and in doing so it consumes us more and more. Every new advancement intrigues us just a little bit more, which can be seen as good or bad depending on the way you look at it.

No matter what your feelings are regarding technology, it’s easy to agree that it would be hard to live without if it suddenly disappeared. We rely on technology so much now-a-days for communication, work, education, dating, staying in touch, shopping and much more. So what does that say about us? It isn’t completely a bad thing, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing either. So here’s the good, bad and the ugly of technology and what it says about us.

Good:

Without a doubt, technology is definitely good for us in numerous ways. The use of computers and smartphones allows us to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in seconds. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have to use paper maps anymore. You can type an address right into your phone and directions of how to get there immediately pop up right at your fingertips. If you don’t have time to run to the bank or the post office to pay a bill, no problem. Online banking allows you to pay bills, transfer money and even deposit checks now. Technology even provides education for people with the ability to complete college via online courses. The ability to find out family history and research ancestors is also a great resource technology allows us to use.

Using technology to teach others and spread positivity through acts such as, blogging, sharing quotes, motivational videos and more is also a great way to use technology. Pinterest and Facebook both provide inspiring and educational videos and photos for a number of things. A couple of the most popular and favorite ones are cooking and exercising videos and photos. However, you can find just about anything from home improvement projects, DIY projects, event planning, ‘how to’, fashion and much more online.

Bad:

According to CNN, Americans devote 10 hours a day to screen time. The more that technology evolves, the more addicted and reliant we become. While technology can be healthy and useful, we need to remember to use it in moderation. When is becomes valued as a necessity is when it becomes a problem. In today’s world, we hate to be bored. However, if you have a phone or a computer, you don’t have to worry about that, and that’s the problem. Any time we feel bored, what’s the first thing we do? Pull out our phone or computer and find something online to pass time. Instead of sitting in silence with our own thoughts or talking to someone next to us, we find more comfort in our devices. The things that draw us to our screen are anything from games, to social media, apps and even emails. There is always something new to see or learn online, whether that be a photo, video, article or something else, we don’t have to worry about missing out with our constant access to technology.

Ugly:

Although there are multiple ways that technology is good for us, there is also an ugly side to it. The truth is that not everyone who uses technology, uses it for the rights reasons. For example, instead of using the internet to learn, people use it to view or research inappropriate content. The fact that you can find anything on the internet, can be a good and a bad thing. When it comes to the bad things, people need to remember that just because it is available doesn’t mean you need to look at it or read about it. In addition to viewing inappropriate content, technology can also be used to threaten or bully others. With everyone using social media, it makes it almost impossible not to find someone online and reach out to them. While this can be a great way to stay in touch, not everyone uses it for that reason, causing the Internet to be a scary place for those who have been victims of bullying.

Technology has played a big role in our lives, and as it continues to evolve, it will only become more popular. So, it is your responsibility to stay up-to-date with technology and use it only for good. Technology is not the problem, how we use it is. The way we choose to use it and how often determines if it’s good or bad, and helpful or harmful.

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Being tied down to your desk all day, rather than on your feet and active is obviously a problem for your health. In fact, siting all day long is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Dr. James Levine, an Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who has researched the impacts of sitting, describes sitting as the “new smoking.” Spending more than 6 hours a day sitting increases blood pressure and puts you in danger for diabetes, obesity and depression. On average, Americans sit anywhere from 7-9 hours per day. Unfortunately, even if you exercise regularly, that doesn’t outweigh the dangers associated with sitting.

After working all day, it’s hard to find time, or even want to find time, to exercise. When you get home from work, you are tired and might not be in the mood to go burn calories at the gym. Not to mention, many people have other priorities to attend to before and after work, therefore exercise often isn’t even an option for them. So, what should you do? Simple, adopt new practices and habits while sitting at your desk to maintain your health. Here are 10 options to get you started on a healthy and active work routine:

  1. Take an hourly walk

Whether that be to the drinking fountain, a co-worker’s office, the restroom or even just a lap around the building, try to make it a habit to get up and move every hour.

  1. Stretch

If you can’t take a walk, there is always the option to stretch. Stand up, move your legs and stretch.

  1. Count your steps

Consider investing in a wearable step device to track your steps and remind you to get up and move.

  1. Forget your phone and email

Try to walk over to a co-worker’s office and talk instead of emailing or calling them. This will get you up and moving and likely get your question answered faster too.

  1. Set alarms

When you get busy working, you tend to forget to move. Use your phone, your computer, or your smart watch to set alarms that remind you to get up and move.

  1. Choose healthy snacks

Instead of eating candy bars, chips and whatever else comes in the nearest vending machine, try healthy alternatives instead.

  1. Drink a lot of water

Bring a reusable water bottle with you to work and try to drink one full bottle before lunch and one full bottle before you leave.

  1. Say no to sweet treats

No matter how many tempting sweet treats are being offered at the office, always say no. If you really want a snack, try eating fruit or nuts instead.

  1. Skip eating out

Try making larger healthy meals at home so you can take leftovers to work with you. That way you won’t be tempted to eat out if you already have a meal planned.

  1. Swap out your chair for an exercise ball chair

This might sound crazy, but it can really help. Exercise ball chairs improve your posture, strengthen your core and even burn calories.

Adding simple exercises to your daily routine at work doesn’t have to be hard. Once you are used to the change in your routine, it will become the new normal. You will feel better throughout the day and even burn additional calories you wouldn’t normally burn. So don’t wait, get moving!

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“Moonlight” winning the Oscar for best picture this year got us thinking about what movies were the best at telling the stories that live within advertising. After popping up a batch of popcorn (with extra butter, of course) and breaking out the M&Ms, we cast our votes for the following categories.

Best channeling of a target market—Going beyond Scarborough data and other secondary research, Mel Gibson embarked on a journey of primary research to best market a new product to women. For dedication and the best attempt to getting into the personae of the target market (and learning much more than he anticipated), the winner is “What Women Want.

Best ‘giving it your all’ in a creative presentation—Creative types often read lines and show story board of what ad is going to look like, but Tom Hanks and his team went the extra mile getting into costume, breaking out props and acting out their concept of A Trip to Grandma’s to win a major airline account for their Chicago agency. “Nothing in Common gets our nod for best presentation of a creative concept. Note: We couldn’t find clip of this scene online, but it’s worth the watch to check out the full movie.

Best creative lines a client would never approve ­– Deadlines and long hours leads an overworked AE, Dudley Moore, to lose all filters and begin delivering campaigns with the honest sell including “Buy Volvo. They’re boxy but they’re good” and “United, Most of our passengers get there alive.” This is a favorite because these truth is funnier than fiction and everyone who has worked in an agency knows lines like these are part of every brainstorm, Though, much to our chagrin, never see the light of day. For entertainment value, humor, truth “Crazy People wins the golden statue.

Best look at what keeps us up at night —Beyond brainstorms and creative briefs, this movie pulls back the curtain on a real look into the creative minds and methods behind the ads we love. Before the ‘big idea’ see what goes into developing a strategy, the stressors of channeling creativity today and worrying about where it’s coming from tomorrow, and the role advertising and PR has played and plays in our lives today. For best portrayal of the 60 hour work week, the Oscar goes to the documentary “Art & Copy”.

It’s been too long since we’ve had an ode to all that is advertising on the silver screen. Here’s hoping for a new release in the coming year. In the meantime, what can’t miss ad movies would you add to the list?

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Cash Erica Marley at Penna Powers, how bow dah? Erica is a recent graduate from BYU Idaho, and joined the team as a Social Change Coordinator in December. When she isn’t hard at work on the Utah Cancer Control Program, she spends most of her time outdoors: mountain biking, rock climbing, and playing water sports. Although she has yet to sing for us, one of her favorite memories was making the finals for a regional NATS singing competition. She is inspired by the quote: “If you can’t teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” -J.M. Barrie

We like that Kelsey. That is a nice Kelsey. As a recent graduate from the University of Utah (go Utes!), Kelsey Hess brought her journalism background to her role as Social Media Content Coordinator. When she isn’t planning her dream trip to Bora Bora or jamming out at country concerts, you can find her in the ‘Girl’s Corner’ of Penna Powers, speed-writing for a number of clients. Once, when she was losing in Wendover, a fortune cookie told her: “The bad times are behind you.” And we agree! Welcome to the team, Kelsey.

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