Blog Archives

Earlier this fall, Penna Powers celebrated the five-year anniversary of the day Charlotte Chen first graced the halls of our agency. Today, she’s an accomplished project manager who is loved by clients and coworkers alike. She’s the epitome of professional. She’s smart, honest, organized and disciplined—pure gold on the inside—but she’s also taught us a thing or two about looking the part on the outside.

To celebrate five awesome years of working with Charlotte, we’re sharing five of her best style secrets.

  1. It’s not how much it costs, it’s how you wear it.

Penna Powers’ clients have communication budgets that span a broad range. It’s not the size of your budget, but how you use it that matters. To maximize effectiveness, be strategic about how you showcase your brand. When the branding fits your audience well, you’ll get results.  

  1. Don’t wear something just because everyone else is wearing it. Know your own style and be true to it.

Everybody is on WhatsApp, right? You’re not sure what to do with it, but your top competitors are using it and you don’t want to be last to the party.

Hold on! Before you jump into any marketing trend, ask yourself a few questions. Does it suit your audience? Is it the best medium for the message? Can you execute it well? Most importantly, can you experiment with this new, shiny thing without sacrificing resources for proven marketing efforts that meet your objectives?

  1. Don’t mix and match patterns.

Charlotte has a great sense of style, but she is not a graphic designer. However, she is really, really good at taking clients’ ideas to our talented team of designers and coming back with great creative work. One of the perks of working with Penna Powers is that you have a team of design pros who you can always count on.

  1. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Accessories, including shoes, are a great way to put your own personal spin on your OOTD (outfit of the day). Likewise, there’s no better way to elevate your marketing than to make sure your brand’s unique identity is evident—not overpowering, but elegantly tying your communication efforts together into a cohesive package.

  1. Blazers are total wardrobe staples. They can take your outfit from regular to classy/chic. 

A great blazer tops off an outfit like a great presentation tops off smart communication pieces. Charlotte’s clothing never has a loose thread or a stain. Likewise, when Charlotte sends an email, makes a call or a comment in a meeting, her ideas are never hasty or half-baked. Take your work from regular to chic by presenting it with polish.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Charlotte’s style secrets. Thanks, Charlotte, for five years of smart sophistication!

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Reddit Ads

Reddit has grown from a small community forum to one of the top influential news sources online. Because of its passionate audience, Reddit has the 5th largest website audience in the United States with the most influential community online. Because of Reddit’s nature, many users often ask for advice in areas that are not their expertise. Using Reddit ads, your brand can provide the answer to their questions.

Reddit’s advertising platform is simple. Advertisements may redirect to a Reddit thread (subreddit) or redirect to a website. You can narrow the funnel depending on interests and also by location. Sponsored advertisements appear in a native content form, which blends well with organic content.

Bidding works similar to other content platforms, such as Facebook, and offers daily or campaign max spends. The platform also offers a creative preview, so you can see exactly how your advertisement will look on the website.

For our client Nevada Health Link (NHL), we saw an opportunity to reach the 18- to 35-year-old male demographic through organic and paid advertising on Reddit. This demographic is often hard to reach, especially on a topic such as health insurance.

For organic advertising, NHL will utilize the popular Reddit “Ask Me Anything” series. The feature has hosted everyone from an appliance repairman to the President-elect of the United States. It allows Reddit users to ask questions based upon a host’s knowledge and experience. These series are often successful and receive thousands of organic impressions.

For paid advertising, NHL will extend the longevity of the “AMA” series by linking advertisements to the subreddits. Advertisements before the “AMA” series will increase brand awareness and drive enrollments to their website.

With many of the health insurance questions on Reddit already focused on millennials enrolling for the first time, Nevada Health Link will be able to get on 26-year-olds’ radars and assist them with their first health insurance enrollment process. Be sure to look for our Reddit ads and “AMA” series during open enrollment from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Reddit Ads

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On the morning of Halloween in 2012, something stirred within the agency and things would never be the same again. Citizens of The Underground, the creative team’s lair, were up to business as usual when the sultry notes of “Careless Whisper” started flowing through the basement.

Bobby Brinton, copywriter savant, sauntered into The Underground and serenaded everyone as the Sexy Sax Man. Everyone stopped what they were doing, instantly enamored by Bobby’s dance moves to George Michael. Rumor has it that Major Street’s shenanigans are attributed to the sweet, sweet music that Bobby created on that fateful day.

More than just a pretty face, Bobby also possesses the highest power of the pen at Penna Powers: senior copywriter. His nationally-recognized creative has earned awards ranging from an Emmy to multiple Addys. He strikes fear into the heart of the content team with his red pen and is the ultimate authority on AP Style. Every other copywriter pales in comparison to Bobby… except when it comes to skin color.

Intentional and articulate in everything he does, Bobby has commandeered the creative team on many occasions. Account services often refer to him as “Father Bobby” for his role in keeping everyone on track. His direction, along with partner-in-crime and fellow Kelly Osbourne fan Kenny Hammond, steers Penna Powers’ creative team toward an innovative future.

Bobby makes sure that any and all creative tactics are executed flawlessly, even if it means providing thousands of dollars in talent for free. If he had a nickel for every time he provided free voiceover, he would already own a Tesla. For now, he’ll just have to settle for being the agency rock star as the former lead singer of the Sony-signed Hudson River School band.

Thank you, Bobby for five years—minus eight days—of kickass work as our copywriter. While we appreciate your impeccable writing, we admire your sense of humor and witty personality even more. We’ll never be able to get the sight of your Sexy Sax Man costume out of our minds and we’re pretty okay with that.

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Q1 Media

A lot of innovative media and technology providers pass through the halls of Penna Powers. We’ve decided to showcase some of these partners, tell you a little bit about what they do and/or how they have been a part of campaign solutions.

“We could always open up the targeting a little bit”

Hyper-targeted campaigns can be difficult to deliver on the local level. Too often local campaigns are faced with an inability to scale against the targeting that has been sold in. Common “solutions” to this under delivery is to open up the targeting, eliminating the customization that a campaign requires. Q1 Media has a solution that historically has delivered without compromise.

Q1 Media established their business 14 years ago in Austin, Texas. They recognized at that time that smaller publishers would need help moving into the digital media age and monetizing their websites. They saw this as an opportunity to begin establishing partnerships with publishers to develop custom digital media placements. In return, Q1 Media received premium inventory not available anywhere else.

As Q1 has grown, so has their breadth of publisher partnerships and targeting capabilities. One of their relatively recent partnerships includes targeting capabilities using polygon location targeting. Polygon targeting allows an advertiser to map an area -or multiple areas- to expose those within, to the campaign messaging. In our case, we used this technology to map specific road ways. This targeting allowed our campaign to capture all the people who had traveled through the mapped area.

With this captured audience pool, we could serve media to them in the mapped area as well as save them to serve later throughout the entire campaign. Additional customization included audience segmentation to deliver custom messaging. Q1 Media proved to an excellent vendor, in combination with the Polygon targeting and premium publisher inventory, our campaign earned an engagement rate 8x above the industry average.

Thank you Carlos Casas and Drew Warriner, we are excited to see what’s next.

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Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive

Penna Powers recently participated in Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive and we’re pretty proud of our employee participation.

We like a little competition here at P2—naturally—so we created a contest to finally determine whether U of U or BYU is the best school ever.

Employees could bring in cans of food or donate to a virtual store. While the Cougars showed a promising start, the Utes ultimately came out victorious. The third barrel representing other darn good schools also had a nice showing.

P2 Utah Food Bank’s Summer Food and Fund Drive Results:

U of U raised $330 in virtual donations and 37 items donated.

BYU raised $194 in virtual donations with 34 items donated.

Other darn good schools raised $94 in virtual donations with 33 items donated.

Overall, P2 employees donated $618 and 86 pounds of food. The agency matched $500 of donations to bring the grand total up to $1,118.

For every $1 donated to Utah Food Bank, the organization receives $7.81 in goods and services. That means our $1,118 donation from the Summer Food and Fund Drive actually provided $8,731.58 in goods and services to the local community. Way to go P2!

If you’re interested in hosting a food drive, learn more from Utah Food Bank.

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It’s 8:35 a.m. on a Tuesday, Penna Powers headquarters is dark and quiet as people slowly make their way into work. They walk into their offices and begin scanning through emails, easing into the relaxing morning, when out of the silence comes a sound so vulgar yet humorous that everyone jumps from fear and simultaneously laugh uncontrollably. The phone speaker system has just been fart horned by the only person in the Underground in so “early,” our resident superhero, Thor.

Known for being reliable, speedy and incredibly talented, this designer has officially celebrated five years at Penna Powers. You can catch him working on projects for UDOT, Zero Fatalities, UCAIR, Utah Cancer Control Program and many more. Usually the first person in the building every morning and one of the last to leave at night, he is perhaps the most upbeat and positive guy in the Creative department. Even after a long day staring at a screen, he’s one of the first to volunteer or join in on the staff extracurriculars, participating in our MS Ride, Summer Games and most notably as the secret weapon on the agency’s soccer team.

In his spare time, you’ll find him combing his long golden locks, heading into the mountains to climb, hike or camp, building fires with his bare hands or listening to an audio book while cuddling with his best friend… no, not Tyson… Kiki, his cat.

He’s the type of guy you can always count on and is so crafty he’ll literally build props for photo shoots to ensure the job gets done right. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Thor for these past five years and look forward to many, many more. Thanks for always putting a smile on our faces and providing such stellar work!

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We can hardly believe it’s been five years since Justin Smart, or “Trusty Justy” as some call him, joined the Penna Powers team. From his role as Director of Public Involvement to Vice President of Client Services, he has provided our agency with exceptional growth, focus and joy.

Known for his way around a white board, Justin has a knack for communicating with people (particularly those who are fired up) and explaining things clearly while keeping a positive and upbeat attitude. No mountain is too high to climb in his eyes, so long as we have the right team in place and gear to support us.

Between strategizing, planning or managing a crisis, Justin has more meetings than anyone in the agency. And in the off chance he has a break, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of him in his sweater vest at the nearest gas station indulging his craving for a hot dog, which will likely take him an average of 54 minutes to consume. Don’t even get him started on the “best” Mountain Dew in town, he’ll drive however long it takes just to enjoy the perfect ice to bubbly soda ratio.

We’re so proud to call this techie, tenor (ask him about his role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and father of four, one of our most trustworthy and fearless leaders.

Thank you for all that you do, Justin. We’re honored to celebrate you.

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There is a sixth dimension beyond that which is understood by man. It is a dimension as vast as the universe and infinite in time. It is the space between shadow and light, between superstition and science, and it lies between the depths of man’s fears and the peaks of his knowledge. This is the dimension of fantasy. It is an area which we call the Tyson Zone.

Witness, if you will, a basement, made out of Nerf dart black holes, spews of profane expletives and soothing essential-oil blends that stretch to infinity. The basement, or as we know it, The Underground, has inmates from the Creative, Production and Content teams. One inmate stands out amongst the rest.

His name is Tyson Holtkamp. His occupation—IT/Operations Manager at Penna Powers. At present, celebrating his tenth year of techie techniques, zombie apocalypse survival tips and fighting mysterious malware. He’s a man in his mid-thirties of medium height, perhaps a little more gluten intolerant than most men. His face was once that of a baby. Now covered with hair, it is no longer. There is no horror film left that he has not seen and no server issue he cannot resolve. He is the first to quote Stephen King and the last man standing in the face of a good tumbler of whiskey.

Down below, in a heated debate of Game of Thrones theories, is but a fragment of a man’s imagination. Left to admire is the cleverness of his humor and the patience needed to teach you of your technological mistakes. Without his help and guidance, the team at Penna Powers would disintegrate from the email spam, computer viruses and mutants that act upon them. Of all of Mr. Holtkamp’s strengths…it is his commitment to excellence, paired with his jest and wit, that make him such a joy to work with. Here’s hoping this is just the eve of the beginning…in the Tyson Zone.

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We may need to invest in another cabinet to showcase our awards because Penna Powers is adding three more trophies to the mix. Our team took home three bronze awards from the 38th Annual Telly Awards, which recognized the best videos across all screens. With over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five countries, we’re proud to be recognized for our work by the selection committee.

Watch our winning videos:

Utah Zero Fatalities:

“Potty Mouth” – Television

“Slow Pour” – Television

Utah Clean Air Partnership:

“Causes of Inversion” – Online video

The videos were viewed on websites, social media channels, in-banner paid video promotions and in movie theaters.

Thank you to our clients for placing their trust in us to create innovative social change campaigns. While being recognized for our work is rewarding, what’s more important is the behavior change that we are able to accomplish in partnership with our clients.

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Native advertising is currently one of the most overused buzzwords in the advertising world. Many people are quick to roll their eyes at native advertising, thinking of the original click-bait nature of headlines and the cheesy descriptions publishers used to lure the audience in, only to have them immediately bounce out. The channel has now evolved from click bait headlines, to include video with engaging content the audience seeks out. The ability to retarget off each unit is another fantastic feature found in the native space. As a result, content can more closely resemble a publication’s editorial content across a website, lowering advertisers cost and increasing engagement.

Two main units we look at and the cost associated with them include:

Native Articles:

This placement has expanded from simple CPM (cost per thousand) buying to now include CPC (cost per click) and CPE (cost per engagement) depending on the buying objective. Now more than ever, the buyer and the content strategist can work as one tying together the goal of the content and how its written with how the ad is bought. For example, one piece of content in a campaign could be bought to generate awareness while the second piece to go live could utilize the generated awareness to increase website traffic and website conversions. As mentioned, native articles previously served as a vehicle for click bait, but now with vendors like StackAdapt and OutBrain, native strategies can be taken to the next level.

Penna Powers Native Article Averages:

CPM: $4.45

CPC: $0.83

CPE: $2.94

Time spent on site (LP): 1m 38s

Native Video:

Video has been on a hot topic for a few years now with YouTube popularizing video as an advertising placement. Depending on video length a video will fall into one of two native camps pre-roll, playing before other video content and out-stream with the later only playing when in-view. By now you’re most familiar with pre-roll running pre, mid, or post and out-stream videos running within a piece of content, breaking up a Forbes article for example. One of the greatest features of the native video placement is the ability to retarget an audience based on completed video views. This allows the advertiser to further engage with the audience and lower the cost of a conversion since the audience has previously interacted with the brand

Penna Powers Native Video Averages:

CPM: $13.04

CPCV: $0.03

Viewability %: 57.87

Completion Rate: 67.34%

CTR: 0.33%

Display working with Native

These days everyone either hates online ads or blocks them all together. Insert display ads working in conjunction with Native articles and/or videos. The key difference when using display in a Native campaign is the ability to bid on a CPE model if you’re looking for engagements on a piece of content. Display ads offered by vendors such as StackAdapt provide a great opportunity to retarget your native campaign audience, further increasing engagement and post-click activity.

Penna Powers Native Display Averages: (Currently we are only using native display in retargeting campaigns)

eCPM: $4.74

eCPC: $3.56

CTR: 0.13%

StackAdapt Benchmarks:

Native

eCPM: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPC: $0.80 – $1.50

eCPE $2.00 – $3.00

CTR: 0.40% – 0.80%

Avg time on site: 55s – 1m5s

​PreRoll Video

eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

eCPC: $9.00 – $12.00

eCPCV: $0.02 – $0.05

CTR: 0.10% – 0.20%

Completion Rate: 70% – 80%

Native Video​

​eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

​eCPC: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPCV: $0.05 – $0.07

CTR: 0.50% +

Completion Rate: 40% – 60%

Display

eCPM: $1.50 – $3.00

eCPC: $1.75 – $3.00

CTR: 0.10% – 0.15%

Despite the perception, native advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon. Based on a IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough study, consumers looked at native ads 52 percent more frequently than banner ads. Native advertising presents a huge opportunity for agencies and their clients to create a lasting engagement that leads to further brand interactions and sales.    

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