Rodgers Townsend News / Views


Humans and Robots: Better Together

At the recent AT&T Business Summit, experts in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and big data extolled the virtues of all that advanced technology provides us. Thermostats order groceries, trucks tell drivers when to take breaks, and the CIA mines social media data in the name of national security. Or so they claim. This discussion got us thinking about how people fit into the proliferation of robots and machines.

With every technology update, it seems there’s an accompanying push back. Automation replaces jobs as Facebook reads our minds. We dream of and dread the impending robot dystopia we’ll be forced to endure. The more machines learn to learn, the greater the chance they’ll eventually turn on us, right? Regardless of a person’s connection to IoT, AI and the like, it seems humans and machines are opposing forces meant to replace one another. But that’s not necessarily the case.

As marketers, we can help businesses understand how to use both effectively, including within our own walls. There are lessons to be learned all around. Specifically:

Optimizing repetition

Advanced, connected technology has a place in virtually every business. The key to successful implementation is determining what processes are repeatable, and where data can be collected. Those are the areas IoT and AI make the biggest difference. Machines can quickly learn and execute specific steps, as with real-time bidding in media placements, automated marketing systems and retargeting ads to consumers. These processes save time and eliminate errors people are more prone to making.

Mechanizing information

As they carry out these processes, machines are masters at collecting massive amounts of data quickly and accurately, outpacing human capability. This provides businesses, and especially marketers, access to increasingly rich and extensive data sets. They can also scour them quickly in search of trends or abnormalities. Any deviation raises a flag that warns of a potential issue.

However, the data sets machines can build and parse quickly are susceptible to noise. Robots can’t always tell when a data point is acceptable or a sign of a larger problem. Automated ad purchasing may suggest sites quickly and efficiently, but if they’re at odds with a brand’s positioning, or explicit and elicit, only people can step in to ensure a mistake isn’t made. A major retailer even sent targeted coupons to a customer who fit the profile for expectant mothers – but the customer was a teenage girl, revealing to her family that she was pregnant. The oversight created a backlash from people upset that their use of data went too far. As consumers accept the reliance on digital automation, the personal touch and human filter from a brand becomes critically important.

Driven by data, delivered personally

Robert Cardillo, Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, was asked how he balances incorporating machine capabilities without detracting from his employees. He noted that automation needs to elevate an analyst in order to amplify the analysis. That can only happen when a human is in charge. Often the answer lies in what isn’t in the data. What’s missing is often as important as what is there. A robot or algorithm can’t figure that out. But it’s intuitive for a human.

Applying nuanced problem-solving to rapid, efficient processes allows for the greatest production at the highest level of skill. Machines can help us recognize potential issues faster, giving people more time to diagnose situations and offer solutions. But relying too much on the robots subtracts the value of logic that only a human can provide. Because while people accept and understand the role of machines and big data in their lives, they’re still more likely to trust another person.

Fanning the flames of desirability

Team RT had the privilege to attend The AT&T Business Summit recently – joining a couple thousand of the brightest business folks around. All of us were in search of sights and trends to better inform and infuse into our work.

The Summit let us immerse ourselves in technology, big data and innovation across industries. However, shortly after the commencement ceremony, the conversation quickly pivoted away from business capes and value props, and toward a deeper and renewed focus on the single-most critical factor for success in business:

Not just the customer – but the ongoing, ever-changing customer relationship.

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, noted how the smartphone revolution forced us to rethink how businesses work and consumers interact with them. No longer could businesses dictate inflexible, longstanding, contractual terms of the relationship. This shift continues in a market where customers decide what they want, and companies either keep up or risk being discarded for a competitor.

It’s here where the most interesting conversations at The Summit were kindled. And the burning questions probed how to actually do so.

As one attendee noted when he called upon an old Bill Gates book, “business now moves at the speed of thought,” especially as it relates to a customer’s needs. If a business or customer has an idea, there must be an immediate action following it in order to meet the need. Any hesitation or delay increases the likelihood of falling behind.

Knowing this, here are three ways marketers can sharpen what they do every day:

  1. Listen More Intimately

 Businesses need multiple lines of communication in close proximity to the customer. It’s not enough to have employees act as gatekeepers while the rest of the organization remains hidden, which wastes time and hinders accuracy. Opening up the organization so more people hear feedback directly makes them better able to find solutions for unexpected or unforeseen problems.

  1. Respond Emphatically and Empathetically

It’s not news that the pace of change in business is accelerating. But it was discussed as a factor that stimulates advancements and innovation. Messaging and media that enable quick response and brand personality to shine, like social, play a huge role in this. If customers see the business in a more human way, then evolution feels natural, and quick changes can be welcomed. Not doing so leaves a business vulnerable to competitors who are ready to react with purpose and passion.

  1. Create and Cultivate Desirability

When businesses optimize what they can best create and deliver, they prioritize feasibility and viability. Namely, they capitalize on what the business is good at (feasibility), and that adds to the bottom line now and moving forward (viability). But once we know what pains our customers, what drives them and what gets them to believe, we must find an emotional reason for them to act. It’s desirability that turns a good idea into a solution to propel a business forward.

Focusing on the customer simply isn’t enough. We must listen more intimately, respond more empathetically and make our customers actually feel something – to want, need and desire engagement. And perhaps most importantly, we must do it all at the swift and decisive speed of business, focusing our response to customer need above all else, rather than what we want to sell them.

Friendsgiving Is Officially Having Its Moment

There’s a new holiday in November that you may not have heard of, unless you were born between 1982 and 2002 – the unofficial age brackets that define the millennial generation. Similar to Festivus, Friendsgiving was born out of the desire for a better holiday gathering. One devoid of family drama, political squabbling or awkward conversations. Where the host chooses who gets a seat at the table, and guests can focus on having fun instead of thinking of good excuses for Aunt Carol about why they haven’t settled down yet.

Millennials across the country have hosted Friendsgiving celebrations for the past few years to supplement their own family gatherings. While the holiday has grown organically, brands are starting to take notice and invent novel ways to participate. The days leading up to this year’s Friendsgiving offer three lessons for marketers looking to make meaningful connections with a millennial audience.

  1. Use Unexpected Data to Uncover Organic Relevancy

While the unofficial holiday is popular, no one had been able to agree on what the actual date should be. That is until McCormick Spices used Google Data to formally put Friendsgiving 2017 on the calendar. According to McCormick, Google searches for classic Thanksgiving recipes like “Turkey Recipe” and “Stuffing Recipe” are relatively stable the week of Thanksgiving, but increased more than 300% year-over-year the week before. That makes Saturday, Nov. 18 the most likely day for Friendsgiving 2017.

In addition to tapping into millennial culture, the McCormick story is also a good lesson for brands to mine and market data in unexpected ways. Think about what data, internal or external, your brand has access to. Consider using it not just to target or sell more, but to uncover insights that lead to more relevant, surprising and meaningful conversations with consumers.

  1. Bake Social Good Into Brand Experiences

This new holiday isn’t just about escaping your relatives; it’s taken on a social-good component. Earlier this month, Aldi and Venmo announced a new campaign with the goal of helping Americans give one million meals to families in need in honor of Friendsgiving. Venmo, the preferred millennial peer-to-peer payment method, has created a custom “Turkey Hand Friendsgiving” emoji that consumers can use in the app. For every Turkey Hand emoji in a Venmo payment note, Aldi will donate 10 meals to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

  1. Make It Easy; They’ll Participate

Besides being altruistic and lending purpose to the brands, the Venmo/Aldi promotion is also beautiful in its simplicity. Whatever the category, consumers are far more likely to engage if brands make it easy for them. Buy a pair of TOMS, and they give another away. Reorder an item with Amazon’s “One-Click” button – no searching necessary. It’s all easy and automatic. All things equal, it’s far easier to remove friction than it is to increase motivation. What are the points of friction consumers experience with your brand? Start by making changes that minimize those pain points to encourage engagement and participation.

While undeniably fun, Friendsgiving has become more than just an excuse to party. The rising popularity of the holiday provides insight into what millennials value: authenticity and relevant experiences, social good and brands with purpose, and table stakes of ease and usability.

When Shopping Lists Go Bot

One of our account directors, Laura, has been ordering dog food through her thermostat. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, her Nest is connected to her Amazon Prime account, or something equally nerdy.

Amidst 21st century methods of buying dog food at home, and simultaneously diving ever-deeper into the world of “connected retail” on behalf of our AT&T and Schnucks client teams, we’re noticing an exciting comingling of high-tech retail trends – voice-assisted shopping among them. The technology is adding a new, unique element to the customer journey – transforming retail in unprecedented ways.

“Alexa, Add Milk to My Grocery List.”

Consumers first started talking to computers in the 1990s, when AT&T used early voice recognition software to route customer calls. But today, chatting with Alexa or Siri isn’t clunky – it’s natural. Over a third of Amazon Echo users are using Alexa to maintain a shopping list. And 17% of them use Echo to add items to an online shopping cart. So what are people asking Alexa to buy? The top categories include household supplies, pet supplies, and packaged goods and snacks. (Source: Field Agent, “Shopping on the Cutting-Edge: Shopper Attitudes Toward 3 Trailblazing Retail Technologies”)

The premise seems futuristic, but the logic is simple. If you’ve ever logged in to Amazon and purchased, for instance, Bounty paper towels, then Amazon has a record of that purchase and assumes Bounty is your preference. So a few days later, after a kid’s particularly messy milk spill, Echo users can simply say, “Alexa, buy paper towels,” and the tech gears start turning.

It’s not just the online-retail behemoth Amazon that’s onto the game, though. Target and Google recently announced a new partnership enabling Google Express customers to order from Target using Google Assistant. It’s safe to assume that more technology is on the way, and existing channels will become smarter and more intuitive. Welcome to the future. Here’s what it means for marketers:

“Top-of-Mind” Overtakes “Front-of-Shelf”

The easily visualized image of a customer standing in an aisle of wall-to-wall laundry detergents, comparing labels and weighing the merits of stain remover versus color protector is becoming less of a “given.” In the world of voice-assisted shopping, being top-of-mind is more important than being front-of-shelf. With a marked decline of in-the-aisle research, a consumer’s unaided, mental consideration set is more powerful than ever.

Brand Loyalty or Brand Stickiness?

For challenger brands looking to upset category leaders, the Alexa factor raises the bar. Instead of making a deliberate, recurring choice to purchase Bounty over Brawny in the aisle, shoppers are digitally automating the choice by defaulting to the brands of past purchases. The challenge lies in upsetting consumers’ status quo choice.

Bringing Brick-and-Mortar Touchpoints to Digital

For brands that market physical products, it’s easy to think of the physical store as the holy grail of consumer-to-brand interaction. But as consumers increasingly turn toward e-commerce platforms for shopping, marketers must ensure that a consumer’s online experience with the brand aligns with the brick-and-mortar experience.

For instance, ensure that consumers can see fabrics and textures close-up. Make sure SKU descriptions and product details align. Make it easy to compare claims across brands. The task is daunting, but essential to creating a digital experience that offers the benefits of brick-and-mortar experiences.

No matter which retail evolution happens next, the heart of retail’s digital transformation lies in creating smarter and simpler, streamlined customer experiences. It’s important to remember that retail begins long before customers enter the door, and transcends basic transactions.

 

In a world of cloud-based recruiting, hiring and payroll solutions, we sought to bring back the human side of human resources. Our new campaign for Paycor introduces the latest technology and innovation in applicant tracking, benefits management and electronic on-boarding solutions, through a personal, emotional brand film.

The spot illustrates the impact one HR manager has made across her entire company, thanks to intuitive and intelligent tools from Paycor. Shot by up-and-coming director Elle Ginter, a 2016 New Directors Showcase and DGA / AICP Commercial Directors Diversity Showcase selectee, the film was produced in partnership with Sanctuary Films L.A. and 90 Degrees West in St. Louis.

The cutting-edge recruiting and applicant technology frees up H.R. professionals to identify and connect with the best candidates—the special individuals that create culture and build companies over the long haul. As an agency recognized for our culture, we couldn’t agree more.

Check out the spot here: https://youtu.be/DxF2cTNPvjU

Andrew Dauska Joins Rodgers Townsend as Chief Executive Officer

August 21, 2017 | Rodgers Townsend, part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE; OMC), announced today the appointment of Andrew Dauska as Chief Executive Officer. Effective August 30, Dauska will partner with Michael McCormick, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, taking over from Tim Rodgers, one of the agency’s two founders, as he enters retirement.

Dauska joins from Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day where he served as Managing Director and lead client partner for Nissan North America. Previously, Dauska helmed Wunderman’s Minneapolis office and led accounts including Allstate, Delta Air Lines and Heinz for Leo Burnett and as Director of Account Management at Carmichael Lynch where he served on the agency leadership team and was a principal architect of the Effie-award winning, “Love” campaign for Subaru of America.

Reporting in to Wendy Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer of DDB North America, Dauska and McCormick will lead top clients such as AT&T, The Hartford, Spectrum Brands, and others.

“Andrew’s experience, creative intuition and Midwestern sensibility made him a stand-out recruit to lead Rodgers Townsend,” said Clark. “I’m excited to see all that Andrew, Mike and the team will accomplish in this exciting, next phase of RT’s journey.”

Dauska added, “In RT, I found a commitment to craft, an amazing partner in Mike, and a unique inflection point as we prepare for Tim’s retirement and to broaden our footprint. It’s a true honor to continue living out the vision he and Tom created for how an agency can put the interests of its clients, the work, and our people front and center.”

After 41 years in the industry, 21 of those at the company he founded with Tom Townsend, Rodgers is handing over the reins.

“When you leave a group of people and a company you love, you hope you’ll be able to find someone you know in your heart feels right. With Mike, we knew we had someone who understood what matters, and with Andrew, I knew we’d found someone who would build on and surpass what we’ve started, and be someone our clients would want to look to for marketing counsel,” said Rodgers.

Clark continued, “Today’s announcement comes with mixed emotions. We bid farewell to one of ad-land’s greats, honoring Tim, and welcome Andrew sure to be among ad-land’s future greats.  The gift with both Tim and Andrew is that they are both genuinely authentic, smart and kind people that all of us are fortunate to work with.”

The appointment of Dauska adds to the agency’s recent move to a new space in the St. Louis Place building and follows the selection of a Cannes Young Lions Cyber team and Cannes shortlist at the recent Cannes Festival of Creativity.

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About Rodgers Townsend

Rodgers Townsend is a nationally acclaimed, full-service marketing communications agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. The agency provides strategic planning, advertising, digital, social and direct/one-to-one marketing, and design services to a wide range of clients both nationally and regionally.

Current clients include: AT&T, The Black Rep, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Enterprise Holdings, Great Circle, The Hartford, Luxco Brands, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, St. Louis University, Schnucks Markets and Spectrum Brands.

For further information on Rodgers Townsend, please visit rodgerstownsend.com.

About Omnicom Group Inc. 

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

For further information on Omnicom and its brands, please visit www.omnicomgroup.com.

Dare to be Mysterious

I’m feeling all inspired by The Mysterious Package company. They sell “stories you can touch” with multimedia narratives you ponder and piece together over a series of mailings; the final mailing is always a crate with an artifact to memorialize the experience. The Mysterious Package Company taps into the delight people feel from a good surprise, the resolution of anticipation and suspense.

The experiences tend to be supernatural, horror or adventure themed. They aren’t for everyone. But over 500,000 people have signed up to send snail mail ranging in price from $29 to $299. They won’t give you many details and are actually quite stubborn about it. They swear you to secrecy and make you wait for your membership application to be approved. The whole process is frustratingly compelling.

“People tend to over-communicate or explain too much.”

Jason Kapalka, cofounder of The Mysterious Package Company

I recently sent The Lost Treasure of John Augur to a friend for her birthday. The month-long production lead time built anticipation and I waited impatiently for the experience to start. I finally got an e-mail from The Curator saying it had begun and freaked out like it was Christmas morning. I found myself obsessively checking the tracking number to see when it was delivered. I Facebook stalked my friend to see her reaction: “This is the coolest thing ever!” Then there was the psychological torture (and glee) of secret-keeping under persistent questioning: “Is it you? I know it’s you. Confess. You did this, didn’t you?” I could neither confirm nor deny. The Curator sent me updates along the way. He claimed to be my humble servant, but true to the brand, he was more entertaining than helpful. And I loved every minute of it.

The Mysterious Package Company is a great reminder that …

1) Mail is a great medium for pure storytelling.

2) A little mystery leaves room for the audience to engage.

3) It’s OK to be stubborn and uncompromising to create delight.

Searching For Purpose at PSFK

At the end of May, I headed East for the PSFK Conference in New York. The theme for 2017 was “Innovation with Purpose,” and focused on “the importance of purpose in our work and the personal, communal and global impact that such an approach could have.” The day felt like a series of mini, easily digestible TED Talks. Which I think I prefer to the full-length TED Talks. Presenters included film-maker Morgan Spurlock, chef Nicholas Morgenstern and speakers from Facebook, Google, Peloton, Alfred and Dame Products.

I came back inspired, energized and with every intention of writing a recap immediately afterwards. But the big office move, Memorial Day and life got in the way. Now that we’re settled into the new space at 200 N. Broadway (and Laura is hounding me), I thought I’d share a couple links to the speakers and topics from the conference that really stood out to me.

  1. What Three Words

This blew my mind. It’s based on the insight that an overwhelming amount of places on this planet lack a formal, physical address and the problems that can cause. Think disaster recovery or emergency services in remote villages or crowded urban centers without permanent street addresses. To solve this challenge, the organization has mapped out the entire globe into 3m x 3m squares, and given each square a unique three-word address. Go ahead, discover the three words for your little corner of the world here: https://what3words.com

  1. Ginkgo Bioworks

“Have you ever really looked at plants? They’re insane!” proclaimed Christina Agapakis, Creative Director of Ginkgo Bioworks. Christina’s enthusiasm and sense of humor were infectious, and the work she does reminds me of our clients at the Danforth Plant Science Center. Ginkgo Bioworks is a team of organism engineers who “learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.” Christina joked that “biology is nanotechnology that actually works.” She also said, “thinking about poop as technology is really interesting.” I totally agree.

  1. Con Body

Coss Marte was the last speaker of the day and arguably the crowd favorite. He shared his amazing story of growing up poor in New York City, running one of the Lower East Side’s biggest drug rings, spending four years in prison and ultimately creating a prison-style boot camp so popular it has an outpost at Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s an emotional, uplifting story about the power of perseverance, ingenuity and the importance of second chances. To read more about Coss’ journey, check out this NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/nyregion/at-a-gym-in-manhattan-fitness-tips-from-ex-convicts.html

MAGIC HOUSE TV WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2017

MAGIC HOUSE TV CAMPAIGN WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
St. Louis Children’s Museum’s “Remember to Play” Campaign, Created in Partnership with Rodgers Townsend and Bruton Stroube Studios, Receives National Silver ADDY

ST LOUIS (June 22, 2017) – The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum’s “Remember to Play” TV campaign recently received a National Silver ADDY from the American Advertising Federation, the industry’s largest and most representative competition. With over 40,000 entries nationally, the “Remember to Play” campaign was recognized as the only Silver winner in the Local Television Commercial :60 Seconds or More category.

The Magic House campaign was created in partnership with two of St. Louis’ most influential creative companies, Rodgers Townsend, who created the overall creative concept for “Remeber to Play,” and Bruton Stroube Studios, who produced it. The campaign shares a community-wide message stressing the importance of play.

“Play is an important part of child development; but today, children’s free and unstructured playtime is declining due to the demands of homework, extracurricular activities and hours of screen time,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President at The Magic House.  “As a children’s museum, we felt a responsibility to be an advocate for play and share this important message with families. The teams at Rodgers Townsend and Bruton Stroube Studios helped us bring our vision to life; to be one of the only local organizations recognized nationally for our efforts demonstrates the unsurpassed talent we have right here in our community.”

“We were delighted to represent St. Louis as the only local agency to win National ADDYs, but we’re most proud to help raise awareness of the importance of children learning through play in support of The Magic House, a great St. Louis organization,” stated Laura Duplain, VP/Account Director of Rodgers Townsend.

The “Remember to Play” campaign launched during the summer of 2016 and included messaging at The Magic House as well as on billboards, radio and television. A video appeared in movie theaters and was also accessible through a variety of social media sites.

Video Link: Remember to Play.

About Rodgers Townsend

Rodgers Townsend is a St. Louisbased integrated communications agency, expert at helping marketers achieve market share that far exceeds their share of voice. RT’s services are holistic in nature and tailored to meet each client’s need, with specialists in strategy and brand development; digital, traditional advertising and direct marketing; social media strategy and management; brand identity, sales support and employee engagement. Rodgers Townsend clients include: AT&T, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Enterprise RentACar, Great Circle, The Hartford, LouFest, Luxco Spirits, Mayflower and United Van Lines, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Saint Louis University, Scottrade and Spectrum Home and Garden and Pet Brands. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, RT is part of the Omnicom Global Agency Network. To learn more, visit RodgersTownsend.com.

About Bruton Stroube Studios

We are an independent studio of creative collaborators working together to create beautiful imagery through still photography and motion – all under one roof. We have a squadron of more than 30 full-time employees. Our 55,000 square foot work space was originally built in 1896 as a Beethoven Music Conservatory on the outskirts of downtown St. Louis. It houses three shooting spaces (each with a full kitchen), a retouching/3D department, five editing suites, audio engineering and custom composition, an entire floor dedicated to prop and wardrobe storage, and an Elton John-themed pinball machine. Check out what we make at BrutonStroube.com. 

The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum

The Magic House is a not-for-profit participatory museum that provides hands-on learning experiences for children and families and encourages experimentation, creativity and the development of problem-solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic. Regular Museum admission is $11 per person. Children under the age of one are free.

The Magic House is located at 516 S. Kirkwood Road, one mile north of Highway 44 in historic downtown Kirkwood, Missouri. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; Friday, 9:30 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:30 pm. Parking is always free at The Magic House. For more information, please call 314.822.8900 or visit The Magic House online at www.magichouse.org.

#LearnToPlay #PlayToLearn #TheMagicHouse

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Black Rep Posters

Rodgers Townsend brought home six awards from the National ADDYs, which took place this weekend at The Roosevelt in New Orleans. The awards stretched across four different clients in multiple categories.

The Black Rep Season 40 posters, pictured, were the most awarded, winning three Silvers across various categories. The Chevy Show poster series took home the Gold. Check out the full list below:

  • Chevy Show Poster Campaign – Gold
  • The Black Rep, Miss Julie Poster – Silver
  • The Black Rep Poster Campaign – Silver
  • The Black Rep Poster Campaign – Silver
  • Magic House TV Spot – Silver
  • The Hartford Brad Snyder Video – Silver

“Very proud that six of our favorite St. Louis creations paddled down river to shine in New Orleans,” said Michael McCormick, chief creative officer. “And some of our favorite people were there to soak it in.”

11 Things I’d Tell My 22-year-old Self

Since it’s graduation season, some advice. Not guaranteed keys to success or rules to live by. Just humble guidance and personal philosophy from the kid I am today to the kid I used to be.

1 – It’s not a sprint.

Took me a long time to find advertising, but when I did I sure was in a hurry. Why’d it take me so long? I was too distracted. Too curious. Too stubborn. All the character traits that led me here tripped me up along the way. Initially, I was also too sensitive, couldn’t handle a hard critique or objectively listen to what others thought of my writing. But there were two moments. A high school English teacher saw something and encouraged me to channel it. Then an undergrad instructor saw enough to offer me an internship (in my fifth year of college). Embrace your own journey. Whatever it is, it makes you unique.

2 – You can’t change culture.

At least not right out of school. I landed at my first real job in advertising with a small collection of CAs, One Show annuals and Archives thinking I was going to light the place on fire. The reality shocked me and shook me. I witnessed blatant manipulation of ideas. Motivation by fear. And a hostile environment that just didn’t seem conducive to creation. So when you’re still figuring it out, don’t forget that fit matters. Trust your instinct. If it’s not right for you, keep searching.

3 – Don’t dwell in the morgue.

Get used to dead ideas. Because ideas are fragile, especially when they’re freshly hatched. They can perish for so many reasons and oftentimes for no good reason. I used to neatly stack the bodies and visit them often to reminisce about what could’ve been. But what’s the point? Good ideas die. Your job is to make more. And when those die, make more. This can go on for months. But you can’t quit. Your last idea has to be your best idea because it might be the one they buy.

4 – Admit it, you’re in sales.

I fought this for the first decade of my career. I’m not in sales. I’m not some schmuck, pressing flesh and yuking it up at happy hour or picking up the tab on the 19th green. But at some point you realize, we’re all in sales. You’re selling yourself every time you present an idea. You’re selling your ability, talent and work ethic to your partners. You’re selling your understanding, your inspiration and your loyalty to your clients. And like any good salesman, you’re building trust—not with strip steaks and martinis—but with unexpected thinking and inarguable results.

5 – If there is no wind, row.

Make your own breaks. Be the one who starts in the mailroom if you have to. Good luck with a self-promotion piece, but anything is possible. There’s simply no right way in. No guaranteed path. Do what it takes wherever you are. Find the best shop around and throw yourself on their tracks. And however long it takes, keep working with people to improve. It’s a connected world. Find talented people willing to take the same risks in pursuit of the same dream. Fall in love with your own voice, even as it’s still developing and trust where it leads.

6 – Sleep around.

This is all an experiment. So don’t get locked into one way of doing things or the same people you’re doing it with. Different ingredients lead to different cocktails. Our creative department doesn’t have a single exclusive team. Sometimes being hitched absolutely works, but not for us right now. And it shouldn’t work for you right now. Seek diversity. A collision of backgrounds and talent leaves unpredictable and occasionally beautiful wreckage.

7 – Writers write.

Whether you’re a planner, an account person or creative director, writers write and rewrite until it’s right. Some days I think our best writer is an art director. Title doesn’t dictate behavior. Inspiration can come from anywhere. But you can’t be afraid to bleed all over the page. Let it out. Long copy is rarely the end result, but glints of gold are never just lying around on the surface. You have to move some earth if you ever hope to move the Earth.

8 – Every day is Birke Day.

One of my most special partners was Dave Birke. Cancer stole him from his friends, his family and his fiancée at 29. But knowing him and losing him taught me so much. Befriend your inner child. Plant tomatoes. Learn to fly. And when you make ads, make little kid faces. Dave was never afraid to make sound effects and act out his ideas. Nor afraid to crinkle his nose when an idea smelled funny. Fear is learned. Try not to learn it.

9 – Don’t chase it, make it.

Quitting is easy. Taking your ball and going home is loser talk. Some drift and new experiences are a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But while you’re here, don’t waste time with one foot out the door. How can you build anything of quality if you keep taking your eyes off the workbench? So when you find a fit, throw your heart over the fence. Stick around and make it something special. Everyone plays a part in culture.

10 – Nice guys don’t always get crushed.

Life’s too short to work with jerks. 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of Rodgers Townsend. Started by two of the nicest, smartest and most competitive guys I know, our little shop in St. Louis has been a salt marsh of sorts, protecting and nurturing talent recognized from South City to the South of France. People like transparency, honesty and a seat at the table. Find a place that invites you to sit, debate and create, then challenges you to do it better next time.

11 – Care.

You can forget everything you’ve read, but don’t forget this. Care. Arrogance and apathy will get you nowhere in this business. Never be too cool to care. It’s too easy to rant about everything you’re up against. Or how stupid clients or lack of budget sank your battleship. But if you care enough, most times you’ll find a way to still make something that moves the needle. Just care. If I interview someone, there will be questions and I’ll look at her work or talk about where he went to school and so on, but what I want to know more than anything is DO YOU CARE?

You cared enough to read beyond the first 140 characters. That’s a good start.

 

 

RT WUZ HERE

Dear 1000 Clark,

I’m not good with breakups. But I wanted to see how you’re doing. Maybe, I don’t know, I just wanted to see if you’ve thought of us? I’ve thought a lot about you. I think I just … needed to say something … to pretend this isn’t really over.

I took the long way home yesterday, turning down Spruce to see how you’re holding up. Not sure if you saw me (I wasn’t crying), the sign (not important), or heard the horns (those cars were jerks). I drove off, letting the words I wanted to say disappear in the exhaust. Side note: I still need to get that emissions test.

I know I’m rambling. I’ll try to hold it together.

My friends thought you were the one. They told me every time they saw us together. You were a beautiful, modern throwback. We made memories. Happy hours, late nights, early mornings. The silent elevator rides with strangers from other floors, our glances darting between phones and buttons.

During the day you came alive, but at night you really shined. You were there when we needed you, there when we didn’t. I never said this before, but I also thought you were the one.

But anyway.

We’re at our new building now, and we can even see you from our new space. We’ve unpacked boxes; maybe soon it’ll feel like home as we make new memories. We’re happy, really. Maybe this was for the best. You’ve come so far since we first met youI don’t think you know how great you are. We had to grow up, and you needed someone new. 

I’ve found myself looking toward you often. I hope that someday, when you’re ready, we can at least be friends again.  

💖 you,

Tim Jr.

P.S. Can you check and see if we left any beer? If so, please forward to 200 North Broadway, 12th floor.

 

Here’s that C-Word again

“If you’re not creating meaningful content that drives business, you’re only contributing to the noise.” – Shafqat Islam, Co-Founder and CEO of NewsCred

Content. The word is everywhere. That’s because content is everywhere. And that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Recently, we were invited to attend the NewsCred #ThinkContent summit on behalf of our client, AT&T. It was a full day of inspiring brands sharing their success stories through the content they have developed – both internally and with agency partners. Below we present our top 5 highlights from #ThinkContent 2017.

  1. Relevance is fleeting; culture is the connection that makes us hang on.
    Creating continuous moments isn’t easy. When developing content, determine what defines the brand and bring it into sync with your audience to make the brand’s personality shine. Influencers are also impactful, which can further define the content journey and story hook. Occasionally, disregard the numbers. It’s not an easy one to swallow as a brand or an agency, but it takes a lot of work and time before results may be seen.
  1. Building a brand takes long-term vision. You can’t hack growing trust.
    Many brands, National Geographic for example, have been around for 129 years and still have to grow trust within their audience. The trust has now spilled over into social media and has made National Geographic the most followed brand across all channels.Trust is more than awareness and likes. When creating content, we have to think like a customer and ask ourselves the question, “is this going to help build trust with my customers?”
  1. Everyone can create content. But not everyone can create value.
    Content is at our fingertips whether we want it there or not. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on developing valuable content. While trust is a necessity, creating work that puts the audience first is key.
  1. Recognize the responsibility to the people’s stories we tell.
    The truth matters, and authenticity is key. We all know exceptional storytelling performs. It elevates the emotional priorities of the audience and demonstrates the brand understands what their worlds are really like. Ask yourself these three questions when you are planning content: Does our brand fit in this story? Where does it fit? How can we reveal it in the right way?
  1. Create meaningful content: Be the thing they are interested in vs. interrupting the thing they are interested in.
    Authenticity is the new authority. With authentic content, we create value for our audiences. But we’re up against a lot of content out there – some noise, some inspiration and some filler. To stand out from the crowd, you have to truly understand your customer, their mindset and motivations, and deliver something that resonates with them culturally and contextually.

For even more inspiration, check out these content pieces. There it is again. That C-word.

National Geographic
Nike
Optum

Photo used with permission from NewsCred.

Rodgers Townsend creatives Angela Bode and Erin Holcomb have won the U.S. Cannes Young Lions cyber competition. Out of all U.S. entries, Bode and Holcomb took the prize in the cyber category and will be representing Team USA at the 64th Annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June. 

The team was tasked with creating an innovative campaign for Brave Beginnings, a program that provides healthcare professionals with life-saving neonatal equipment for premature babies within the U.S.

To check out their winning entry, click here.

“One of the proudest achievements we’ve ever announced. These two are ferociously talented and proof that a roar can be heard from anywhere,” said Michael McCormick, chief creative officer at Rodgers Townsend.

The Cannes Young Lions awards celebrates the next generation of creative stars, and highlights some of the best talent in advertising. To view the full list of winners, click here.   

ST. LOUIS, APRIL 20, 2017 – Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24. And 90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness.1 To reduce these startling statistics, it’s imperative to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and start the conversation that could save a life.

Project Wake Up, a federal and Missouri state 501(c)3, is working to eradicate the stigmas of mental health and suicide. The organization was started by Alex Lindley in September 2014 after he delivered a eulogy at the funeral of his close friend, Ryan Candice, a University of Missouri student who took his own life that same year. Candice was the second friend Lindley lost to suicide.

Today, Project Wake Up launched a brand new commercial to create awareness around the current climate of mental health in the United States. The spot depicts a high school student, David, who goes through his day with a large wound on his side. The wound, completely unnoticed by David’s family, peers and even the school nurse, is later revealed to be representative of David’s struggles with mental illness, demonstrating that mental health issues often go unseen before it’s too late.

“Nobody just wakes up one day and decides they want to have a mental illness,” said Lindley, founder of Project Wake Up. “The only difference between a physical injury and mental illness is the ability for people to actually see an injury. If we start perceiving mental health in a different light, we can shift the conversation and those struggling can begin to receive proper treatment.”

The commercial is not the first endeavor that Project Wake Up has created to increase awareness. Two years ago, the organization started its journey with this 13-minute short that shed light on the impact suicide has on loved ones. “To my knowledge, Wake Up is the only mental health organization to tackle the issue from both a documentary and drama standpoint,” Lindley said. “With our initial 13-minute teaser, we proved that we have the ability to do something special. This commercial solidifies that and shows we have the knowledge to talk about mental health from a wide range of angles.”

Project Wake Up intends to continue this important conversation by creating a documentary that dives deeper into the effects of mental illness and suicide. Earlier in April, Wake Up held their second annual silent auction and trivia night and raised an additional $67,000 towards this endeavor. They now plan to begin production on the documentary this winter.

“It would be irresponsible for us to not thoroughly study the many industries that have a hand in the current mental health climate before moving forward,” said Danny Kerth, vice president of Project Wake Up. “We constantly remind ourselves we only have one shot at doing this, so let’s make sure we do it in a way that has a true, lasting impact on everyone affected, as well as those who determine how mental health is treated.”

Rodgers Townsend, an advertising agency in St. Louis, developed and created the commercial. Nate Townsend, a director/editor at Rodgers Townsend, is the director of Wake Up’s 13-minute short, the commercial and the upcoming documentary.

“I’ve seen PSAs and spots that cover mental health in the past, but this takes the conversation to a whole new level,” Townsend said. “Too many families and friends have experienced the harsh realities of suicide, but things still aren’t changing. That’s why this piece is so gripping and real; like the rest of Project Wake Up’s work, it’s rooted in the experiences of the people who are a part of the organization.”

Michael McCormick, chief creative officer at Rodgers Townsend, said, “In many ways, the era of social media has given us more ways to disguise how we really feel about ourselves. We form surface-level social connections. With this film, we are proud to put something out into the world that starts a deeper conversation. Where we can look one another in the eye and really, truly ask ‘how are you doing? I want to know.”

Suicide and mental illness are topics no one wants to talk about—but they need to. It’s time to start the conversation. Visit www.projectwakeup.org and donate today.

About Project Wake Up

Project Wake Up is a nonprofit mental health organization created to expose and eradicate the stigmas behind mental health and suicide. Created in 2014 after the loss of two friends to suicide at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Wake Up aims to change the tone of the conversation around mental health through a feature-length documentary that will highlight inadequacies in treatment, funding and overall perception of the issue.

Project Wake Up is a federally recognized 501(c)3 and is also registered in Missouri. To learn more, visit ProjectWakeUp.org or their Facebook page at facebook.com/ProjectWakeUpOfficial.

About Rodgers Townsend

Rodgers Townsend is a St. Louis‐based integrated communications agency, expert at helping marketers achieve market share that far exceeds their share of voice. RT’s services are holistic in nature and tailored to meet each client’s need, with specialists in strategy and brand development; digital, traditional advertising and direct marketing; social media strategy and management; brand identity, sales support and employee engagement.

Rodgers Townsend clients include: AT&T, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 39° North, Enterprise Rent‐A‐Car, Great Circle, The Hartford, LouFest, Luxco Spirits, Mayflower and United Van Lines, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Saint Louis University, Scottrade and Spectrum Home and Garden and Pet Brands. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, RT is part of the Omnicom Global Agency Network. To learn more, visit RodgersTownsend.com.

 

1 – Statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov.

RT brings home 13 District ADDY Awards

Today we’ve been honored with 3 Golds, 9 Silvers and 1 Judges’ Special Citation in the District 9 ADDY Awards. The awards span across 5 clients—local as well as national. Here’s the complete list:

 

Gold:

The Black Rep – Miss Julie – Poster

The Black Rep – The Black Rep Poster Campaign

Museum of Transportation – Chevy Show Poster Campaign

 

Silver:

AT&T – #AgilityIs Integrated Campaign

The Black Rep – Lines In The Dust – Poster

The Black Rep – Seven Guitars – Poster

The Black Rep – The Black Rep Poster Campaign – Illustration Series

The Hartford – Brad Snyder Video

The Magic House – Magic House TV

 

Judge’s Citation:

Museum of Transportation – Chevy Show Poster Campaign

 

Thanks to our clients who empower us to do our best work every year. Next up: Nationals.

SXSW 2017 Recap

During a whirlwind 68 hours in Austin, TX this past week, information, inspiration and lots of tacos were on the menu at SXSW, one of tech’s premiere conferences. The global celebration of innovation and interactive trends is a melting pot for marketers, entrepreneurs and the generally tech-savvy. And while I experienced just a small slice of the weeklong festivities, I flew home with a notebook filled with new ideas for my team and my clients. Below are my top 10 takeaways, in no particular order.

  1. Virtual Reality is Very Real.

VR experiences dominated the panel discussions and the tradeshow flow at SXSW this year. It seemed that every. single. booth. was selling a VR solution, or demoing VR hardware or using VR to invite visitors to immerse themselves in a branded experience. Whether you were virtually flying over rooftops around the world, playing a virtual turntable as a virtual DJ or diving into a 360-degree virtual beer tasting, you couldn’t escape the virtual experiences. VR is undeniably the new playground for marketers to provide a branded experience for consumers – but the challenge will be to do it well, with purpose, and in a way that stands apart from the crowd. And that’s still a very high bar.

  1. ROAS is the new ROI.

Because we don’t have enough acronyms in our lives, social media scientists spoke of “Return on Ad Spend” as the new primary metric. A small but important shift from traditional ROI measurement, ROAS puts marketing at the forefront of the investment, measuring the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising (vs. the profit relative to the cost).

  1. We all just need to take a minute to breathe.

SXSW 2017 had a heavy focus on health and well being, so I attended a panel moderated by Ferny Barcelo, a local therapist, who offered tips and tools to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into everyday life. As a budding meditator, I was inspired to make the practice a part of my routine, taking the time to be present and to be proactive in my own wellness. Research shows that as little as 5 minutes a day can have a profoundly positive impact on stress, anxiety, depression and self-esteem. And who doesn’t want that? Namaste.

  1. Instagram is innovating.

One of the best panels during my time in Austin was moderated by Michael Hondorp, the retail category lead for Instagram’s Brand Development team. Michael highlighted the new tools that Instagram is offering to advertisers – Stories, Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout, to name a few – that enrich the connection between user and brand. He also showcased the new “Tap to View Products” functionality that invites brands to create an immersive shopping experience that mimics the brick-and-mortar approach. It’s more than just selling a product – it’s a fully merchandised store experience, offering inspiration, discovery and story telling.

  1. Tacos are appropriate for every meal.

Breakfast. Lunch. Appetizers. Dinner. I did it all, and I don’t regret it. My personal favorite is the fried avocado taco at Mighty Cone food truck. But in Austin, you really can’t wrong with any taco, any time.

  1. Predictive modeling is the future of path-to-purchase.

Both Diageo and Kohl’s shared case studies on the use of data (big and small) to drive a better experience for consumers in the store and at the bar. While the collection of data is up for debate (see #7 below), savvy marketers recognize that micro and macro trends can enrich a brand’s connection with consumers at retail and increase the basket ring.

  1. Big brother is watching.

Retailers are tracking your movement around the store via their Wi-Fi network, to better merchandise the floor. Facebook is monitoring how you react to big events like the Super Bowl and Academy Awards, to understand why you’re using the platform. The University of Pennsylvania analyzed your tweets to better predict your risk of heart disease – and did so more successfully than the CDC. So if you weren’t paranoid before, you should be now. But (for the most part), these prying eyes are using data to enhance our lives, our brand experiences and our social outreach. That said, the collection and analysis of this data is hotly contested; most panelists agreed that consumers should “opt in” to data collection. Though none really spoke to exactly how that process works for their brands.

  1. Do good and be happy.

That advice from Aristotle was central to a panel presented by Austin entrepreneur and unofficial spokesman Roy Spence, a longtime friend of RT and a co-founder of GSD&M. Roy shared advice on finding purpose in business and in life, with anecdotes from his decades in advertising. His belief that we must ladder up to a higher emotional purpose, that we need to shift from what we do to what we stand for, was a rallying cry for anyone looking to make a difference in their organization and in the world. That’s some good ol’ Texas inspiration, y’all.

  1. The gap between Facebook and Instagram is widening.

A team from the Marketing Science division of Facebook and Instagram shared a multifaceted research study that identified the differences and similarities in user behavior on and attitudes toward Facebook and Instagram. Not surprisingly, Facebook is the place for “real-time information and opinions” while Instagram users seek “inspiration and exploration.” And while the two sibling platforms now offer more integration than ever, a separate yet complementary strategy that plays to the strength of each can have a significant impact on results – with Instagram delivering upper-funnel metrics like recall and awareness, and Facebook delivering lower-funnel metrics like preference and sales. The one-two punch offers advertisers a larger, more active audience than any other channel available.

  1. Walter White would be jealous.

The hands-down best activation of the week was courtesy of AMC, promoting its “Breaking Bad” spinoff series “Better Call Saul” (that you should watch, immediately, if you don’t already). Without giving away any spoilers, a fast-food chicken chain called Los Pollos Hermanos is central to both shows – and for three days in Austin, fans were transported to Albuquerque via a real-life brick-and-mortar popup restaurant. Anyone who braved the long line was treated to free curly fries, and stars of each series even signed autographs and took photos behind the counter. It was a fan’s dream come true, and if the hashtag search is any indication, it was SXSW’s most popular exhibit.

 

AT&T and RT go Bragh

Twenty years ago today, we began a long and proud journey with a company that would become our longest client relationship.

 On that day in 1997, Southwestern Bell selected Rodgers Townsend to handle their small business advertising. Less than a month later, SBC purchased Pacific Bell and moved its Business Sales division to San Francisco. We went on to make a lot of new friends there, too, as well as at Nevada Bell, Ameritech, Southern New England Telephone, Cingular, Yellow Pages and, in 2005, AT&T. 

 After twenty years, five different headquarters locations, and more logo changes than you can count, we’re still celebrating our partnership.

 And still thankful that Irish eyes were smiling on us that day.

Who run the world? GIRLS

International Women’s Day invites us all to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of women around the globe – and within our own organization. Our executive team consists of 10 strong, successful women from diverse backgrounds, each bringing a unique perspective and set of experiences. And this year, more than ever, we recognize the need to foster support and community, from one generation of female professionals to another. So we asked each of RT’s female directors, in her own words, what advice would you offer to your 22-year-old self, just starting out in your career?

“Remember that what makes you different makes you special. And soon, you will find your people.”

-Kay Cochran, Group Creative Director/Copywriter

 

“Ask for help when you need it. No one expects anyone to have all the answers. Too many times people are afraid to ask for help because they might seem weak but the truth is – people want to help out others – it’s in our nature. But it’s also in our nature not to force help on someone else.”

-Cheryl Sparks, Director of Production

 

“I would say a couple of things: first, that you can’t be naïve that, in business, you have to figure how to play the ‘game’ of being a woman in the workplace. And second, you should always know that you can ask for help, and be unafraid to delegate.”

-Debbie Steppig, Director of Direct Marketing Production

 

“Have a voice. Be bold, be brave, be heard.”

-Patty Ivey, Account Director

 

“1. Have more fun and try to have a life outside of work. 

2. Believe in yourself. You are worthy. You got this.

3. Reject the myth of the Strong Black Woman who has to bear all the burdens like the mule in Their Eyes Were Watching God.

4. Cherish the work-place sisterhood.

5. Don’t spend all day Saturday in the beauty shop or at the office.”

-Crystal Merritt, Director of Account Planning

 

“Learn to listen. You’ll uncover insights, better understand concerns and opportunities will present themselves. Oh, and ask questions – smart questions. You work with talented people with rich experience (both clients and agency colleagues), soak up as much as you can.”

-Laura Duplain, Account Director

 

“Be kind, and treat every person – no matter their role – with a spirit of collaboration and inclusivity. Embrace bold lipstick. Talk less, listen more, read a lot more. Invest in a ‘forever’ bag that can hold a laptop, a pair of flats and an umbrella. Say yes to every opportunity and every project, even when you’re too busy already. And most importantly, understand that every job has its ups and downs, its challenging moments and rough days. But if you work with people that you love, a team that becomes your tribe, then you’re super lucky – and you should do everything you can to enjoy every day with them.”

-Laura Yarbrough, Account Director

 

“- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It won’t matter when you’re 40. I promise.

– Don’t burn bridges. Advertising is a small, small world. 

– Continue to self-educate yourself after college. 

– Clients are people, too. Treat them that way. 

– Experiences outweigh objects.”

-Suzanne Lange, Account Director

 

“Relationships are the foundation for everything. In a way, it’s more important than the work itself, because without strong partnerships internally and externally – the best work won’t ever be created or sold in. The key to strong relationships is simple: sincerity + trust + the golden rule. And learn how to be brave enough to be honest with yourself and others about your mistakes so that you can learn from them. It will create an atmosphere where it is okay to fail. Without failure and honesty, you won’t experience growth – personally or with your team.”

-Melinda Christman, Director of Digital Production

 

“Don’t be afraid to use your voice. You have a point of view that will be valued and respected. And don’t worry, you won’t have to wear pantsuits your entire career.”

-Carrie Muehlemann, Director of Talent and Agency Relations

 

Presos, Panels and Plexi

ADDY Week is our annual rite of self-congratulation, and self-evaluation.

It also serves as a demarcation point from one year to the next—and sometimes in our business, from one era to the next. ADDY Week is always cause to stop and reflect, which none of us seem to have enough time for anymore. It’s also a time to renew old acquaintances, see new possibilities and form new alliances.

This year, I was honored to present at the ADDY Student night, where I did my best to convince them that a life in advertising can lead to happiness, and that the qualities that help you succeed in advertising can lead to a fulfilling life beyond it. Though I can’t be sure I was convincing to them, talking with our next generation convinced me the future is in good hands.

The topical panels that followed over the next three days were insightful and motivating as well, and the many RTers who participated got as much as they gave. Anyone attending those sessions had to have come away thinking there’s work to be done, both in St. Louis and in our industry, and that advertising and marketing continue to offer limitless possibilities to those who are willing to work for it. It’s interesting to note that just this week in Money Magazine online, Mark Cuban said, “In ten years a new skill will be more in demand than it ever has been: creative thinking.”

The highlight, of course, was the ADDY Awards ceremony, which was held this year at the spectacular Bissinger’s Caramel Room—itself a testament to creativity and rejuvenation. Socializing on their spectacular outdoor deck with February temperatures in the 60s, it seemed the gods were indeed favoring our passionate pursuit of the coveted plexiglas idols.

Congratulations to all of the other winners, and to the breadth of work recognized. In our case, our 24 Golds, 19 Silvers, 2 Best of Shows and a Special Judges Citation represented clients including AT&T, Black Flag, The Black Rep, Cutter Insect Repellent, Everclear, LouFest, The Hartford, the Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Rebel Yell Bourbon, Saint Louis University, Scottrade and Spectracide Bug Stop. Most importantly, this recognition is testament to those special bonds between client and agency that nurture and nourish great work.

To all of the Ad Club people who worked long and lovingly to pull it together – you more than hit your mark. And the rest of us leave this glorious week behind more inspired, more determined, and more certain than ever that this is the only profession we want to make our own.