We Have Pests!!!  We actually want this one!

Category: Uncategorized • July 24, 2013

We are very pleased to announce Brandon Pest Control as our newest client to the roster.  Brandon has been serving Northeast Florida for nearly 20 years and it is one of the most recognizable brands in the market, and the state.  In addition to our excitement for working with Brandon as a company, we are looking forward to working with Brandon the termite dog!  Our goal is to grow our client roster to be as diverse of an ad agency as possible, and this is a new category that we are looking forward to servicing.

Stay tuned for more information to come with the Brandon account, as we begin work on the next steps of growing one of the great legacy brands in Jacksonville…some very exciting things are on the horizon for Brandon!

In addition to Brandon, we welcome these new clients, in what has been a great summer for the Mad Men team!  First Coast Technical College, Witt’s End Racing, Jacksonville Running Company,, Russell McCormick, Florida Real Estate Company, Sweet Pete's, Handy House, Classic Cottage, The Salty Fig and many more!  We are excited to see the growth of the Mad Men Family!

Penguins & Pandas

Category: Uncategorized • July 17, 2013

Having had a meeting with a client last week about SEO, I decided the topic of the conversation was a perfect subject to share. You may have heard people use phrases such as “panda updated” when referring to SEO practices. So, what does it mean?

Panda Updates

Panda updates are changes to Google’s algorithm, which penalizes sites that use thin content web pages on their site. An example of a thin content page would be a page stuffed with keywords having little to no actual value to a reader. These sites were created for the sole purpose of skyrocketing SEO.

Now, there have been multiple updates to the algorithm since the original update. When the update launched back in February 2011, it affected about 12% of all sites in the index. The update was to protect original authors’ content from scrappers. (Scrappers take content from another site and had the ability to outrank the original author.)

So now that you have a brief understanding of Panda updates, you may be thinking “Aren’t there Penguin updates too?” Yes, there are!

Penguin Updates

Penguin updates are slightly different than Panda updates in the fact that they flag sites for different issues. Mainly, the Penguin changes search for typical “black hat” SEO techniques, but as well as “gray hat” techniques. Stuffing a page with nothing but keywords and no real content value is a sure way to be flagged by Google, but it was harder to flag sites using linking techniques on valid websites in order to create a net of spam. This is where the Penguin update came into play. The update affected only about 3% of all sites in the index, but it was a noticeable change for many web site owners.

These are very basic concepts of Penguin and Panda updates, but hopefully it is informative to you. Fortunately, we understand the concepts on a deeper level, that we can ensure your site is panda and penguin friendly! I’ll quote what our client said in the meeting that sparked the idea for this blog post “I’m going to leave the Penguins and Pandas to you, and I’ll just focus on my business. Ok?”

So leave the SEO animals to us, and get back to work!

What is a mega-brand?

Category: Uncategorized • July 9, 2013

I was reading an article on Ad Age when I stumbled across an interesting artcile about “mega-brands”.  What classified a company as a mega-brand?  According to the article it is simple – they spend a TON of money.  And.  They spend a TON of money.  Oh and.  They spend a LOT of money.  Sitting at the apex of the list, living among the giants, are two communication mega-brands; AT&T and Verizon.  The top two brands combined for just over $3 billion in advertising budgets.  It's interesting at a second glance, both companies are down approximately 14% year over year in advertising spend. 

Coming to the “big dog” list for the first time in a while, at #21 – spending nearly $500 million – is Microsoft.  Microsoft also laid claim to the second biggest jump in year over year advertising at nearly a 70% increase.  No doubt driven by the new fangled device – or not so new fangled if you are familiar with the oh so trusty tablet world – the Surface. 

As for competing through advertising, I am sure we all agree there are benefits to a healthy competition.  Take Samsung – #1 on the list of biggest increases in advertising spending, at 125% in year over year spending, bringing their annual budget to just under $600 million in measured media.  So what makes these brands “mega-brands”?  Is it the dollar amount they are spending?  Not without great creative I say.  Samsung – you are winning right now – not spending as much as Apple, but gaining MAJOR market share in the ever crowded smart-phone mecca. 

I think that local companies can be “local mega-brands”.  I feel that it takes great creative and smart strategies at the end of the day to lay claim to a “mega-brand” and not just the money you spend!

Buying Media in Jacksonville

Category: Uncategorized • June 11, 2013

I have discussed in the past, the need for an experienced agency when buying media.  There is much to consider when you buy TV for example.  Do you what PUT is?  How about HUT?  Does it really matter? How can we better understand the market and how to buy our target demos if we are ill informed?  I always feel that a client that wants to understand too much is potentially dangerous.  It is an advertising agency's job to understand the market factors that attribute rates.  And don't forget – an advertising agency that knows how to leverage all dollars spent in the market, will almost always get better rates than going at it alone.  So what are some factors that can impact the market?  Below is a list and an explanation after that will shed some light on to why this matters.  

What effects the market?

1.  Political years – these will cause almost every advertiser some headaches – it is an infusion of money into an industry that can “pre-empt” you right of your airplane seat (in a matter of speaking)

2.  Annual buys – if you are looking to save money and actually have your ads run – consider laying in an annual buy.  This reserves the space essentially, it does not mean you can switch things up, just secures a dollar amount…in this case it is helpful to show your cards – media outlets do want to see you succeed. 

3.  National & Regional Buys v. Local Buys – National dollars can “come down” in an instance, and can be large sums of money.  When that happens, your radio and tv spots will more than have issues “clearing”, or running to the lay person.  It is hard to get around these monster buys, but again you can get some protection should have an annual on the books.

4.  Supply & Demand by the market itself – if there are 10 banks in the market all jockeying for the best placement and willing to pay higher rates, then all banks will find their rates increasing, and it is the same for any category.

5.  Ratings – high ratings = high rates.  It's pretty simple here, don't get lured in to buying an NFL Sunday Night spot for $5k just because it has the allure of the NFL and has 100,000 viewers.  You get 1 spot, that's it.  You could get 6 spots in local news and get nearly the same audience with much greater frequency.

Leave all the “fancy” buys to the national companies, as always, don't fall for the sizzle being sold to you.  At the end of the day you are buying a very specific thing, a person's attention.  It matters how many people you reach (reach) and how many times they see your ad (frequency).  it is not rocket science or magic, it's pure research and logic.  The above items are only a small part of the grand equation of negotiating the best rates possible, that will actually run!  There are some great companies here in Jacksonville that fully understand how to buy the market to suit your budget.  If you want to hear our opinion on how we achieve our results..give us a ring or drop us a line.

Bubba Watson’s Hovercraft: Marketing Genius

Category: Uncategorized • April 11, 2013

So, what does it take to create a sensational industry-wide buzz? Well, you need creativity, ingenuity, technology, a huge following, a name brand (or two), and perfect timing. Oakley, having teamed up with the advertising giant Thinkmodo, had all that and more when they released the video of Bubba Watson riding around on a golf course in his very own hovercraft golf cart. They even had him touting the benefits of this invention and how it alleviates some of the limitations provided by the “old fashioned” model. Taking the video into full blown believability mode, they recruited a scientist rattling off statistics as to pressure on the green and the technology behind it all.  It was very convincing, and Bubba plays his part well. If I didn't know any better, I would have believed it too!

Golf is such a time honored tradition. The Masters are coming up this week so the timing of launching this commercial featuring last year's winner riding around a golf course in a hovercraft was the perfect approach to generate a heap of buzz among links lovers! What makes this topic even more interesting is that Bubba seems to have a knack for generating his own type of buzz elevating him to almost celebrity status among golfers and non golfers alike. From music videos to amusing stunts, he does it all.  So, this newest golf cart, although most groundbreaking, is not surprising coming from this fun loving, “never had a lesson in my life” kind of guy. His ability to market himself, along with his national marketability, makes him very appealing to brands like Oakley. Bubba’s success seems to have a lot to do with his understanding of the times we are living in (apart from his “day job” of course). He's playing to the fact that times, they are-a-changing! There's no formula for a viral guarantee; but, if there was one… man, he and Oakley came close!

If you haven't seen the video, I strongly recommend checking it out, and the website Ad Age does a great job explaining the evolution of the project and how it came to be. All I know is, if we had Bubba, Oakley, and money to build a hovercraft… you bet your bottom dollar we would've signed up in a heartbeat!