The weekly recap - August 4, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Do You Know How to Delegate?
Should You Delegate That? Ask Yourself These Questions First.

Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #12: Arthur Andersen & Co
Brogan’s “the best bean counters” campaign helped Arthur Andersen & Co. lose their “bean counter” reputation.

8 Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn Power Users
LinkedIn can be a valuable professional resource, use these tips to get the most out of this social media site.

Study: 69% of Marketers Believe that Native Advertising Is Valuable
According to the respondents, the question is not whether to do native advertising, it’s about how.

Facebook Pages App Changes: What Marketers Need to Know
The Facebook Pages App is updating to make managing your pages more efficient.


Native advertising—an ad in news clothing?

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

I’ve been duped, and chances are so have you.

A few weeks ago, I was brunching leisurely over a Sunday edition of The New York Times. After chewing on the news and business sections, I reached for something sweet in the beautifully art directed features section. The story on the rise of female inmates in the U.S. caught my attention.  

I enjoyed every morsel, spouting little facts across the table to my husband before moving on to more news features. Only the story wasn’t news. It was paid content, sponsored by Netflix to launch the new season of Orange is the New Black.

Love it or hate it, native advertising is increasingly spilling onto the pages of long-esteemed news rooms, posing as real journalism. Some call it trickery, others genius.

Of course, I prefer my news served commercial-free and free of bias. Who doesn’t, really? But the information age has ironically compromised free press. With the Internet widely accessible and free, fewer people are willing to pay for news subscriptions. This has left the news media, particularly the print media, floundering for a new business model. Most didn’t look far, wandering the halls until they bumped into the advertising department.  News + Advertising = Native Advertising.

And they lived inconspicuously ever after?

Native advertising was once fairly conspicuous, hastily dressed in second-hand graphics, horsey headlines, and flagged “advertising content,” “advertorial,” “sponsored content” or just plain “advertising.”  There was simply no confusing news content from advertising content.

The New York Times committed to continued transparency when the publisher announced plans to adopt native advertising in December. In fact, Times CEO Mark Thompson promised "utter clarity" and "zero confusion" between what is advertising and what is journalism in a related Ad Age article.

But I was confused. And I like to think I’m particularly adept at spotting paid advertising. I started my career as small town daily news reporter, writing news and the occasional advertorial for home and garden tabloids and holiday inserts. But should consumers have to be experienced to tell the difference?

Native advertising can be smart. The format gives brands a long-form platform to articulate features and benefits in a story format. It works especially well for health and wellness products, as well as beauty and lifestyle. But it needn’t be deceptive to get the job done.

Political satirist John Oliver has an opinion on the topic. What’s yours?

Blog Category: 


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #12: Arthur Andersen & Co

Laura Pryor's picture

In the mid-1990s,  Arthur Andersen & Co. was looking to market their financial services and dispel the misperception that they were only “bean counters,” tallying up numbers and wearing pocket protectors. In reality, the company was more than just an accounting firm, offering a full menu of financial, planning, productivity and consulting services for companies of all sizes, but awareness of these additional services was low.

Brogan & Partners faced the number-crunching image head on, marketing Arthur Andersen as “the best bean counters.”  Four print ads promoted individual service lines—Family Wealth Planning, State and Local Tax Services, Business Systems Consulting and the Enterprise Group (services for small to medium size businesses). A fifth image ad touted their core accounting, audit and tax services.  

In addition to winning creative awards and earning high recall and awareness ratings, the campaign brought in new business for the firm, including current clients who added new financial services.  Cool beans for Arthur Andersen... and Brogan, too.

Which Brogan ad is your favorite?  To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series:  Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.


The weekly recap - July 28, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

CPG Marketers Are Going Digital With Loyalty Programs
Third-party data is helping marketers make the digital move.

Does Customer Service Actually Work on Twitter? 5 Brands That Do It Well
Learn from the companies that are successfully using social media for customer service are reaping the benefits.

TD Canada says “thank you” to customers in a viral video.
TD Canada is one of those brands taking “thank you” to the next level—and we love it.

5 New Social-Media Platforms Worth a Look
New social media networks arrive on the scene each year with potential to grow in popularity the way Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Pinterest have.

Introduction to Eye Tracking: Optimizing Your Content for How People Read [Infographic]
Essentially, you need to know the basics of eye tracking research to make any website redesign successful.


8 Apps to Make Social Media Management Easier: #3: Bitly.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

If you’ve ever wanted to shorten a link—whether it’s to make a status update look cleaner or to save characters on Twitter—Bitly is the (free) app for you. Once you have it downloaded on your smart phone or tablet, you simply paste a link into Bitly and press “Go.” The app will shorten the link for you in seconds, giving you a clean and concise URL to post with your Facebook status update or Tweet.

In addition to speedy shortening, Bitly also keeps track of how many clicks your links receive, making it easy to track which content does best.

Although there are certainly other link shortening websites and apps, Bitly is my favorite. It makes social media management easier. Will you use it?

For more apps to make social media management easier, check out my blog series: 8 Apps to Make Social Media Management Easier.

Blog Category: 


TD Canada says “thank you” to customers in a viral video.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

Saying “thank you” is a simple action. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s protocol. These days, brands should be thanking their fans after every interaction, and most do. They verbalize a polite and proper “thank you” and then send customers on their way, but there are a few brands who choose to do more. TD Canada is one of those brands taking “thank you” to the next level—and we love it.

This week, TD Canada released a video (that’s since gone viral) of customers all across the country stepping up to one of their ATMs to make a financial transaction and discovering that the ATM had been transformed into something different—an Automatic Thanking Machine.

Each ATM interaction was tailored specifically to the customer, in which the ATM knew personal things that each person was struggling with. Then, they gave each person a gift to make their struggles a little easier, including everything from throwing the first pitch at a baseball game to an all-expense paid trip to Disneyland.

Ultimately, this is the type of campaign we love—one that tugs at our heartstrings, does good for others and raises an incredible amount of awareness and respect for the brand. So, while TD Canada is thanking its fans, we’d like to thank TD Canada for all of their efforts and for giving us a new video to admire.

What are your thoughts about the video?


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #11: KitchenAid.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

Think about all of the times you’ve gone into a store for just a few things, but end up leaving with so much more. Your cart ends up filled with a few movies that caught your eye, a new shirt with peppy colors and a kitchen utensil you just have to have. But, do you know what you’ll never casually leave the store with?

Thirty years ago, while working on an advertising campaign for KitchenAid, we noticed a trend that still exists today. Consumers, in general, are reluctant to purchase large, high-priced items unless they’re absolutely necessary. When it comes time to buy a new refrigerator, oven, dishwasher or washing machine, there will be no impulse buys—no rationalizing with your husband by saying, “It was close to the register!”

So when KitchenAid asked us to create their quarterly merchandising promotions, we knew a flashy campaign that made its viewers “ooh” and “aah” wouldn’t get us anywhere. We needed something clean, clear and straight to the point. Something that would make consumers think, “If I have to buy a new (insert appliance here), I want it to be from KitchenAid.”

To get consumers to that point, we came up with simple messaging, promoting efficiency, effectivity and features—all of the things that really matter when you’re making a big purchase—and it worked. During the years we were lucky enough to work with KitchenAid, sales of their appliances increased approximately 15 percent per year.

There’s something that makes us “ooh” and “aah.”

To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.


Most women favor childhood immunizations, despite vocal opposition

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Most women favor childhood immunizations to protect kids from serious diseases like polio, tetanus and measles.

This is according to the latest survey of Brogan Talks to Women (BTTW), an informal community of female consumers we engage regularly for opinions and insights about marketing and advertising. With some 30 years of healthcare marketing experience, Brogan & Partners was naturally curious about the impact social marketing is having on childhood immunizations.

Of the 189 participants—65 percent of whom are moms or guardians—95 percent support childhood vaccinations. The primary reasons cited were to guard against serious disease (93 percent), evidence provided by public health agencies and other experts (59 percent), having been vaccinated as a child with no ill effects (55 percent), a family physician’s recommendation (40 percent) and having vaccinated their kids with no ill effects (35 percent).

Pfizer Ireland recently began a program to raise awareness of the importance of childhood vaccinations.

Of the 5 percent who oppose childhood immunizations, the chief concerns noted were potential side effects such as autism (56 percent) and suspicion that immunization against relatively harmless childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in autoimmune diseases since mass inoculations were introduced (44 percent).

Opposition swelled after fraudulent article was published

Since the 1990s, vaccines have become somewhat controversial. Of particular note was a fraudulent article published in 1998 in the medical journal The Lancet.  The researchers suggested a link between the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, fueling the anti-childhood vaccine movement. The cause soon migrated from academic publications to mainstream, attracting celebrity spokespeople like actress and mom Jenny McCarthy.

According to the Pediatric Academic Society, childhood vaccinations in the U.S. prevent about 10.5 million cases of infectious illness and 33,000 deaths per year. A vaccine, like any medicine, can cause a reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In fact, immunization is one of the most important things a parent can do for their children’s health, protecting them from 14 serious diseases, according to the CDC. And failure to vaccinate may mean putting children at risk for serious diseases.

Social media popular debate channel for Millennial moms

Still, parents worry. Particularly Millennial moms. In addition to conflicting news stories and public health campaigns, Millennial parents are caught up in Facebook news feeds where childhood immunization opinions are as common as cat photos.

“Some posts on Facebook spurred a conversation with my doctor, specifically about the Tdap and keeping current,” said a BTTW respondent when asked about recent information that has influenced her position on childhood immunizations. “Social media has caused me to question many times, especially when seeing opinions from people I know, but it is easy to get inaccurate information.”

Doctors’ offices and clinics were ranked the most reputable sources for information about vaccination, with 89 percent of respondents, followed by health and parenting magazines/books (32 percent), Internet (19 percent), friends and family (13 percent) and television (5 percent).

“I trust my children's pediatrician believes what she says and I believe Internet sources such as Natural News is reporting the truth too,” said a BTTW respondent. “It is challenging to reconcile the varying opinions and make the decision that I feel is best for my children.”

CDC spends between $8-12 million annually to promote vaccinations

Expect the CDC to continue to be a significant part of the narrative. Overall, the CDC spends between $8 million and $12 million each year on a wide range of vaccination messages focused on topics from childhood inoculations to flu shots for the elderly. In addition to traditional media, the agency employs an arsenal of earned, owned and paid nontraditional channels to encourage vaccination. The CDC even has an app for physicians to stay on schedule.

Why the big media spend? Because the CDC and other world health organizations are concerned that controversy over childhood immunization has sparked an increase in preventable diseases.

In the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough increased in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year, cases dropped to about 24,000. Still, this is more than 10 times the number reported back in the early 1980s when the bacteria infected less than 2,000 people. This interactive map illustrating the rise of preventable diseases around the world from the Council on Foreign Relations presents a pretty compelling case for the CDC’s campaign marketing spend.

Are you female and interested in joining Brogan Talks to Women? Click here to learn more.


The ultimate #tbt: Brogan & Partners celebrates 30 years of magic.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

On July 24, Brogan & Partners celebrated its 30th birthday with current and former employees, past and present clients, friends, family and agency admirers. People came from everywhere—from California to down the street—to reunite, reminisce and reflect on how the agency impacted their lives. In the hours spent at the party, stories were told, speeches were made and pictures were taken. There was laughter, tears and excited screams, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to have a spot in the Brogan family.

As a new employee who has been lucky enough to experience the magic that is Brogan & Partners for the last few months, I already feel like part of the family—a part of something bigger than myself—and I think that says a lot about the agency. It’s a special place—built on a big dream and a lot of determination from our founder, Marcie Brogan, and her first partner, Anna Kabot (who made it to the party to celebrate with us!). Perhaps my favorite story was Marcie telling us that when her and Anna decided to start the agency, then called Brogan Kabot, the two of them were set up at a folding table, ready to take on the advertising world. And that’s exactly what they did.

Thirty years later, the agency has become a place that fosters creativity and innovation—making for a creative history that knocks most peoples’ socks off (thanks in large part to our creative directors over the years: Anna, Bonnie Folster and Laurie Hix).

Thirty years later, the agency has built a family of employees who not only embody our five core values, but who instantly fall in love with the agency and become determined to see it succeed. Whether these employees leave for another agency or simply take time off from the industry, they always seem to find their way back to Brogan—proving there’s something so irresistibly special about it. And those employees who have yet to leave can’t imagine doing so—finding themselves just as happy with their work as they were on their start date. (And of course, we have our CEO and managing partner to thank for that. Thank you to: Maria Marcotte and Ellyn Davidson!)

Thirty years later, the agency has worked with almost 100 clients who have given us the opportunity to research, manage, write and create. They’ve given us projects and campaigns that challenge us to think outside the box—to step outside of our comfort zones. They’ve trusted our intuition and let us share in their success, and for that, we’re forever grateful.

And with only these few months under my belt, I already feel forever grateful to Brogan & Partners—the place that keeps me and those long before me feeling inspired, intelligent, driven and creative. The place where I can learn from those who already know so much. The place where I can be surrounded by supportive coworkers all wishing each other success. And the place where I can only hope to spend the next 30 years.

Happy Birthday Brogan, and thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us!


A creative social media campaign that is #BreakingStereotypes.

Maila Kue's picture

One of the best things about a social media campaign is how easy it is to spread the word. This worked in TrulyMadly’s favor with the launch of their #BreakingStereotypes campaign. When this matchmaking website realized the stereotypes that surrounded Delhi, they looked for a way to shatter these myths and share it with the world. So, what better way to do this than social media?

TrulyMadly went around and asked people across Delhi how they defy stereotypes. The results? A makeup artist with a science degree. A model who loves to eat. An artist who isn’t unemployed. These photos were posted on their blog, where onlookers could easily share the photos via Facebook or Twitter and help Delhi debunk stereotypes.

 This social media campaign is truly powerful. As experts in social marketing and social media, we find it especially inspiring. What stereotype do you break?


The weekly recap - July 21, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

13 Essential Copywriting Tips to Help You Rank in Search in 2014 [Infographic]
Trying to abide by Google’s ranking factors can often feel like trying to work with a boss who is impossible to please.

Family Kicked Off Southwest Flight After Father Tweeted Complaint
Agent demanded tweet be deleted before they could re-board.

8 Apps to Make Social Media Management Easier: #2: Later.
With Later, a free app, you can schedule tweets to go out to your followers at a later time or date. 

9 SEO Techniques to Dominate the Most Popular Methods of Content Discovery
Though Google gets roughly 3.5 billion searches a day, there are really only three types of searches that people perform -- navigational, informational, and transactional.

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility
Do you want more visibility on LinkedIn? 

Facebook introduces a “Save for Later” feature.
How many times have you been scrolling through Facebook to pass time before a meeting or as you’re about to fall asleep?


8 Apps to Make Social Media Management Easier: #2: Later.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

If you’re a social media manager, your job never stops. You may clock out at 5:30 p.m., but you’ll continue to spend hours on your phone—keeping up with all of the content shared on your favorite social channels.

Eventually, you’ll stumble upon a link that would be great to share on behalf of one of your organizations, but would it fit their brand to share it at 1 a.m. when you find it? Probably not. That’s where Later comes in.

With Later, a free app, you can schedule tweets to go out to your followers at a later time or date. (You can even schedule text messages and emails.) Once you do, you’ll get a notification at the time you scheduled it for, which asks you to confirm that you do in fact want to send it. With a tap of your screen, you can then push that content out to all of your eagerly awaiting Twitter followers.

What do you think about using Later to schedule your tweets?

For more apps to make social media management easier, check out my blog series: 8 Apps to Make Social Media Management Easier.

Blog Category: 



Why Brogan?

Results. Strategic insights that deliver more "aha" moments. Creative that makes an emotional connection. Account service that creates happy clients. And metrics that move your business forward. We guarantee you'll be delighted.

Read more

Tweets, Blog Posts and Tidbits...

Connect With Us