Blog Archives

Telly Awards

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.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

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:


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%


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.    

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Penna Powers is celebrating Shark Week! While considered a bona fide holiday for many, we’re using the cherished event to drive awareness for our client Zero Fatalities. Over the course of Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days,” the majority of deaths on Utah roads happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’re creating original content for every single deadliest day in order to decrease deadly driving behaviors. For Shark Week, Penna Powers created Snapchat and Instagram Stories ads for Zero Fatalities. Utilizing these ad placements will be a first in Utah, with each social channel finally opening their ad platforms to agencies of all sizes.

In our research process, one thing we noticed was Utahns did not realize the extreme risk of buckling up when you’re in a car crash. Statistics from the CDC show that you have a 50 percent chance of surviving a car crash if you don’t wear a seat belt. However, many Utahns still refuse to buckle up when they get in the car.

Kenny Hammond, senior art director, designed the Snapchat and Instagram Stories ad to coincide with our “What are the Odds?” campaign that plays to the availability heuristic principle. Our goal is that Utahns will realize the gravity of not wearing a seat belt. The ads started running Sunday, July 23 and will run until Sunday, July 30.

At Penna Powers, we strategize media plans backed by research to show ads only where the audience interacts with content on a daily basis. We jumped on the chance the use the new Instagram Story and Snapchat ad placements to reach the key millennial demographic of 25-to-34-year-olds in Utah. Using the shark creative, we are able to split-test the two channels against each other with identical spends to see which performs best. For this flight, we will compare CPM, CPC, and CPV.

This Shark Week, Penna Powers hopes you realize the true danger at hand: not wearing a seat belt. Trust us, not wearing a seat belt is a risk you don’t want to take.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

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, 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.


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.


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.


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.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

One of the most difficult aspects of advertising can be trying to communicate a simple idea. Lucky for us, the language of love is universally understood. Powered by such a strong motivation, this means that Valentine’s Day is the perfect set up for clever and endearing advertisements. Here are our top ten favorite Valentine’s Day ads from the last 10 years.

1. Deadpool – True Love Never Dies

Just before last Valentine’s Day, Deadpool hit theaters. While Deadpool is actually a highly explicit, R-rated, 4th-wall-breaking comedy disguised as a superhero movie, it featured many prominent Valentine’s Day promotions that might have confused some potential moviegoers into thinking it was a Rom-Com. You never can trust advertisers, can you?


2. Durex – Happy Father’s Day

This ad doesn’t hold anything back when it proclaims, in perfect tongue-and-cheek, that other brands simply don’t offer the same protection as Durex.

3. Carphone Warehouse – Why Spend More?

Carphone Warehouse is a British mobile phone retailer who offers quick comparisons on phone prices, so you can get the most bang for your buck. In fact, they’re so affordable that they can even save you money on flowers for Valentine’s Day.

1-creative-valentine-ads4. HelpAge India – The Elderly Need Our Love Too

HelpAge India is non-profit dedicated to showing some respect to those who came before us. This clever ad reminds us that love isn’t just meant for the young.


5. McDonald’s – The Proposal

McDonald’s might not be your first choice for a romantic dinner with your special someone, but honestly, it’d probably make for a more memorable Valentine’s Day. Kudos to McDonald’s for trying.


6. Anthon Berg – The Love Experiment

Anthon Berg reminds us in this online video that telling those we care about that we care is good for our own health and happiness. And what better way to say it than with Anthon Berg chocolate (and some kind words of course)?

7. BMW – Motorbike Lovers

There’s definitely something romantic about riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle. I think this ad captures that feeling, don’t you?


8. Wilkinson – Smooth Valentine’s Day

Wilkinson Sword is a British company that offers precision shaving instruments. This creative outdoor execution shows that they believe a smooth shave is paramount to a smooth Valentine’s Day.

9. Hovis Bread – Valentine’s Day

Hovis Bread is the third British company to make the list. I don’t know if it’s the incredible food photography or just the simplicity of this ad, but I truly would kill for some toast right now.


10. Google – Love in Paris

Okay, technically this isn’t a Valentine’s Day ad, but when it comes to advertisements that make you feel the love, this commercial is one of the best.


Thanks for checking out our list of top ten Valentine’s Day ads over the last 10 years. Let us know which ad was your favorite in the comments below, or tell us if we missed an obvious winner.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Free. Everyone’s favorite word. A word that connects us all and draws in our attention. Sure, maybe you don’t REALLY need a lanyard with a company logo you’ve never heard of. Or a pencil or drawstring bag or an individually wrapped Starburst. But at the whopping price of FREE, who could resist? On the surface, giveaways can look like money pits. But in the grand scheme of things, nearly all companies who participate will ultimately boost sales in some way or another. Getting something for nothing will usually make the consumer unconsciously feel obligated to buy more. On Free Slurpee Day in 2010, USA Today says that even with 4.5 MILLION free slurpees given away, they still increased sales by 38% that day.

Below are some examples of some of the best freebie advertising in the game.

Free Slurpee Day at 7-11


My personal favorite, Free Slurpee Day, falls on my birthday every year. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I got you a birthday present! You can pick it up at the Sev!” But this day has become iconic, and is always top of mind.

Free Donuts on National Donut Day


Every year, companies like Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme draw in consumers with the allure of a free donut. But you can’t have a donut without coffee, right?

Free Pancakes on National Pancake Day


Come on, who doesn’t like a free short stack?

Do you see a theme here? But just because I’m hungry doesn’t mean that food freebies are the only thing that works! Companies have instituted a free comic book giveaway and logo swag giveaways at trade shows, just to skim the top. Has your company done a freebie giveaway? Let us know in the comments!

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Brand Hijacking

Brand hijacking could be one of the most effective ways to get your brand noticed. In the example to your left, a boutique kitchen supply company named Gygi in Salt Lake City designed its billboards to match that of Cavalia, arguably the largest billboard advertiser Salt Lake City has ever seen. This year, there was a Cavalia billboard on nearly every mile of the freeway and dotting every neighborhood.

This marketing tactic, brand hijacking, works because of the media phenomenon of frequency. When one sees an ad, one does not actually “see” it the first time. Your eyes looked, but the connection to your brain about the message just isn’t usually made in the first impression. In the case of billboards, it usually takes up to 10 ad impressions (times seeing the billboard) to actually recognize it. Between 10-20 impressions in a month is the sweet spot, because when one sees the billboard one understands the message.

Now here’s where brand hijacking comes in.

A brand, such as Cavalia, has spent a lot of money to get its audience up to a 10 frequency to really start understanding their message. Now when Gygi, runs it doesn’t need to spend the money to get up to a 10 frequency, the audience has already seen it. But with the subtle differences the audience recognizes it immediately. Their brains start comparing it to the boards they’re familiar with. And all of a sudden, when it’s time to buy kitchen supplies, they find themselves at Gygi.

Brand hijacking is used in every media channel. Probably one of the most common examples is where a commercial is shot with the same look and feel of the television show it’s running on. For example, you’re watching The Walking Dead and fast-forwarding through the commercials, when all of a sudden you see zombies so you unpause. You then realize it’s not The Walking Dead at all, but just an Audi commercial. Clever, huh?

Hopefully the next time you see a familiar ad you’ll think twice.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

unnamedWhen you hear the term Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), a good employee isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind… In fact, it probably isn’t even in the top 10 things that come to mind. 

When it comes to D&D, I’d wager that most people out there think the players are overweight nerds smelling up a room while systematically ensuring the safety of their own virginity. Others still imagine fantasy clad introverts eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew. Or maybe they associate Dungeon & Dragons with the Occult, luring unlucky kids into the demonic trap of unreality. I mean, look what a failed will save” did to poor Tom Hanks in “Mazes and Monsters”.

But I am here to tell you, that isn’t always the case. Imagine a world where students are leaving college, entering the real working world with no honest idea of what lies ahead: The drudgery of adulthood, the isolation of being the new guy (or gal) in the workplace, the ever-crushing weight of responsibility… Terrifying, right? That’s where Dungeons & Dragons comes in and saves the day. Let me tell you how D&D made me a better employee (at least I think it did, *rolls a D20, result: 17*, yup it did).


In D&D, you are usually part of a group or party. You go on quests and save the realms together. The key factor in making it through an entire campaign is working as a team. I mean, if you don’t work together, then there is no way in the Abyss you’re going to defeat that Legendary Colossal Red Dragon, am I right? Work is much the same way: We function in departments and teams consisting of individuals in all areas here at Penna Powers. The Developers (Mages/Wizards), the Media Team (Paladins), Creatives (Fighters/Barbarians) and the Account Managers (Bards/Clerics) all work together to make the quest go as smoothly as possible while we fight to achieve the ever-elusive treasure of client approval. Without working as a team, that goal is never going to become a reality.

Tyranny of Dragons - Campaign Art - Tiamat

Planning ahead

In life, both D&D and reality, there are so many paths we can go down each day. Knowing your endgame can really help along the way. Are you looking to become a lvl 15 Shadow Dancer? Or do you want to save the princess? Maybe you’re even trying to launch a multifaceted digital marketing campaign for a client. All of these goals have checkpoints along the way, and knowing those checkpoints while having plans laid out ahead of time will keep you, your co-workers and your companions on track to success!


Yes, that is Vin Diesel running a group. A critical is the best roll you can get.

Go with the flow

In Dungeons & Dragons, you’re always rolling dice to see if your desired actions are successful, and from time to time you’re going to roll a 1 (which is an automatic fail). It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing “boots of fleeing” or if you’re following a website blueprint perfectly… the DM (also known as “life”) is going throw a kobold in your path and your plans are going to change. When those guards catch you after stealing the Pearls of Argomon, rolling a 1 is going to put a kink in your escape. But, being able to stay cool and improvise is the difference between spending the next three game nights trying to pick the jail cell lock and celebrating in the Prancing Pony Tavern with the rest of the adventurers—sipping mead, listening to the pipes and planning your next sojourn—but I digress. The point is, things go wrong and plans change. Don’t let the dice (or the job) get you down.   

Keep an adventure log

Somewhere along the way on a project (or delving a dungeon), you’re going to get lost. It’s inevitable. It will be months, perhaps years, from the starting point and you aren’t going to remember who that farmer was who sent you to find their kidnapped daughter, or why you wanted to use a certain programing language on one page but not the others. Thank the old gods and the new you kept copious notes in your Adventurer’s Log (otherwise known as detailed project notes). These notes aren’t only a fun map of the journey you’ve been on, but they are also a fantastic resource to get you back on track when you’ve wandered too deeply into Fangorn Forest. An added benefit of Adventure Logs: Trustworthiness. DM’s (Dungeon Masters) aren’t infallible, having notes to prove him/her/she/he/it wrong is a great way to cover your tzarreth (“Butt.” Correct me if I’m wrong here, my Draconic is a bit rusty)!  

role playing game set up on table isolated on white background - stock photo

Roleplay, or how I learned to thrive outside my comfort zone

Not that kind of roleplay, sickos… But seriously, thinking and acting outside of your comfort zone is a great way to grow in all areas of life. I’m not really a suave pirate named Mortaemer Darratris, nor am I the stalwart Dwarven cleric Koth-Modan, nor even the Tree Frog archer Seronius Blek whose trusty companion is an oversize killer wasp… surprising right? But when I first left college, I wasn’t a working class professional either. I quickly learned that staying in my comfort zone wasn’t going to help my career at all. Reach out, take chances, and don’t be afraid to sound like an idiot when you join the party as a 3-foot-tall Tree Frog riding a giant wasp and saying “Hidee-Ho there.”

Office camaraderie

This goes beyond working together and helping the team/party succeed. Develop friendships with the people you work with. Spending eight hours a day with friends is much more enjoyable than eight hours with enemies. You’re going to be with these people more than your family in most cases, might as well enjoy the time. Remember, by the end of the journey, even the shady thief may shed a tear when the high-horsed Paladin dies in combat…


Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

At Penna Powers, we have a somewhat unconventional workplace. Just saying, “We don’t work in silos” is a bit of an understatement. We pride ourselves on the fact that it’s not uncommon to hear the whirr of a nerf dart flying overhead, or that no one will bat an eye if you wear slippers to work.

Red checkered slippers beside sofa. Pair of slippers near bed. They greet you every morning. Warmth of home.

Slippers at work? Yes please!

Here’s the thing, if you work in an office setting, you don’t really need shoes. I mean, what are shoes for? Their original purpose was to simply protect your feet. Sure, you could argue that over thousands of years style and comfort have become equal partners in that purpose, but ultimately the true design of a shoe is to prevent tiny, pointy objects from stabbing your foot. Slippers, on the other hand, were explicitly created to be comfortable. That’s their entire goal, purpose and reason for existence. So, with that in mind, riddle me this: How much protection do you really need for your feet? If your answer is anything less than “about 32.33% (repeating of course),” then here are three reasons it’s time for you to ditch the shoes.

1. Did I mention slippers were literally created to be comfortable?

First and foremost, slippers are relaxing, and relaxed workers are more productive. While I suspect most people have experienced slippers at some point in their life, just in case you haven’t, here’s how it works. Essentially, you take two tiny pillows of pure heaven and strap them to your feet in a way similar to sandals, only slippers look normal when worn with socks.

man in slippers

Nothing about this man looks normal.

Slippers not only help your feet feel better, they also help keep your feet warm, which can be a legitimate concern at least a few months out of the year.

2. Most people won’t notice, and the ones that do, will be envious.

If your job is anything like mine, a good portion of your day is spent working at a computer desk, and computer desks are excellent at hiding feet. In fact, taking a quick survey of all of my neighboring coworkers, I can’t see any of their feet without significant effort. If your coworkers aren’t likely to see your feet, you might as well be donning slippers.

But don’t worry, even after Jerry notices that your feet look at least ten times happier than his, he won’t be mad… he’ll be envious. And that’s because people who wear slippers to work have completely given up are super cool and everyone likes them. Poor Jerry, he could never pull off slippers like you can.

3. They slip on and off (I mean, it’s in the name).

Finally, slippers are extremely convenient and adaptable. Have a meeting mid-day? No problem. Just slip those slippers right off, throw some shoes on and no one will be the wiser. Going to be parked at your computer for a while? No biggie. Slip those slippers right on and give your feet a well-deserved break from the confines of shoes. Wore sandals to work but then realized that sandals are lame? No worries. Slip those nasty sandals right off and enjoy all the benefits of a regular slipper-user (even without socks).


Please note: While this man’s slippers are on point, I can’t condone the use of his sweats or a soul patch.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself some slippers today, and experience comfort on the job like never before.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

If you didn’t know, May the Fourth is officially Star Wars Day (as in, ‘May the Fourth be with you’). While Star Wars fans, robots and even a few aliens typically celebrate the occasion with parties, binge watching the entire cinematic series and arguing over the validity of midichlorians in the prequels, many advertisers spend their time coming up with clever ways to tie their brands to Star Wars. Here are some of my favorite ads released on Star Wars Day over the last year. Make sure to keep your eyes open this year for all of the new, fun ads that are sure to be created.


This clever USDA Food Safety ad makes me really hungry for some TaunTaun. I just hope they smell good on the inside.

Pillsbury ad for Princess Leia Cinnamon Buns.

Pillsbury ad for Princess Leia Cinnamon Buns.

Jolly Rancher ad - Which side will you choose?

Jolly Rancher ad – Which side will you choose?

This General Mills ad highlights the Fruit Roll Up as a tasty snack, or a nifty way to take out AT-ATs.

This General Mills ad highlights the Fruit Roll Up as a tasty snack, or a nifty way to take out AT-ATs.

I can't quite place it, but something is different about Yoda in this Long John Silver's ad.

I can’t quite place it, but something is different about Yoda in this Long John Silver’s ad.

Even Darth Vader uses Phillips bulbs for his light sabers. (Bonus points if you can tell me whose light saber Vader is using in this shot. Hint: It's not his own!).

Even Darth Vader uses Phillips bulbs for his light sabers. (Bonus points if you can tell me whose light saber Vader is using in this shot. Hint: It’s not his own!).

Yoda has never looked 'fresher' in this Subway ad.

Yoda has never looked ‘fresher’ in this Subway ad.

I'd be much more excited to fly if United gave their grounds crew real lightsabers.

I’d be much more excited to fly if United gave their grounds crew real lightsabers.

A delicious combination of Princess Leia, Oreo and milk.

A delicious combination of Princess Leia, Oreo and milk.

A very clever play on one of the franchise's most famous quotes.

A very clever play on one of the franchise’s most famous quotes.

Yoda's wisdom forever immortalized in the fortune cookie at Pei Wei.

Yoda’s wisdom forever immortalized in the fortune cookie at Pei Wei.

Don’t worry if you miss all the May the Fourth advertising this year… There’s always Revenge of the Fifth!

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter