The weekly recap - May 26, 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.

Why Business Blogging Works
Business blogging is an inbound marketing tool that works, here’s how.

Arby's 13-Hour TV Commercial Is Smokin' Hot
Arby’s fights claims against their brisket by letting you watch the whole 13-hour process, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest aired commercial.

The Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Myths
Trying to leverage Pinterest for marketing opportunities? Watch out for these five myths.

Top 10 Most-Shared Ads of April
Watch the 10 most-shared ads of last month.

Ad of the Day: Coke Designs a Friendly Bottle That Can Only Be Opened by Another Bottle
Coke creates an Ad to help college freshmen break the ice with their new peers with one “friendly twist”.


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.

Laurie Hix's picture

In 1984, Marcie Brogan along with her creative partner, Anna Kabot, left Doner Advertising to produce their best creative idea to date: a new kind of ad agency. One that was not only owned by women, but that was led by creative minds. So they founded Brogan Kabot, which later became Brogan & Partners. Because of its unique culture and leadership, it was the first agency of its kind. And it was the beginning of many firsts for Brogan & Partners. So as we celebrate 30 years of creativity and working with great clients who have allowed us to produce award winning work, we wanted to honor the work over the last three decades and share it. And I am privileged not only to be a part of this wonderful ad agency as the creative director over the last decade (well, for 9 years) but also worked in the 80’s at Brogan Kabot, with the brilliant, double threat (she could art direct and write) and beautiful Anna Kabot and was mentored in the 90’s by the witty and wise creative genius of Bonnie Folster. And of course, throughout the years, Marcie, even though she led the agency in an account role, was always there with her lightning fast mind and ability to pull puns and big ideas out of thin air.

So to celebrate our 30thanniversary, we will be blogging about our 30 best ad campaigns. As you can see from our award wall below, they have earned us many shiny accolades over the years. If you were a client or former employee or touched these in any way, we’d love for you to comment and share your stories. What creative have you liked best from the Brogan portfolio?

  1. Keep the Best Players on Bench
  2. Mountain Valley Water
  3. Sanders
  4. WJLB Radio
  5. Henry Ford Hospital
  6. Michigan Department of Community Health: AIDS campaign
  7. D.O.C.
  8. Chevrolet
  9. Michigan Department of Community Health: Women tobacco
  10. Michigan Department of Community Health: Teen tobacco
  11. KitchenAid
  12. Arthur Andersen
  13. Travel Michigan
  14. Joe Ricci Automotive
  15. Click on Careers
  16. Ford Field
  17. Michigan Department of Community Health: Women's Health
  18. Covenant HelathCare
  19. Michigan Department of Community Health: Healthy Michigan Launch
  20. Pro Bono
  21. Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  22. Detroit Convention Bureau
  23. Carmel Belle
  24. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  25. HoneyBaked Ham Company
  26. Brogan & Partners Self promo
  27. Comcast
  28. Gilbarco
  29. MI Healthier Tomorrow
  30. St. John Health

Brogan & Partners Awards Wall


With its new ad campaign, McDonalds proves less is more.

Deb Wood's picture

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A new campaign for McDonalds by TBWA Paris proves this statement true.

We live in an icon-driven world. (Think of your smart phone.) TBWA Paris took advantage of our icon-driven society and developed a simply beautiful campaign (emphasis on “simply”) for McDonalds. The campaign features six key McDonalds products illustrated in a clean, graphic-style nested in a field of white space. These illustrations speak for themselves, literally. The media they are featured on uses no headlines, copy or words of any kind.

This campaign relies on the strength of the vivid style of illustration, the consumer’s familiarity with McDonalds products and the fact that we have all become used to familiar things being represented in icon form. Being somewhat of an illustrator myself, I appreciate the simple, bold style that allows these products to be represented with the combination of a few simple shapes—that the products can be portrayed so simply and be recognizable speaks to the strength of the McDonalds brand.

It’s encouraging to see a company that’s been around for so long step out and take this bold, fresh approach to its advertising.

What do you think of the new McDonalds campaign? Does it resonate with you?


The weekly recap - May 19, 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. 

A.1. Sauce breaks up with Steak on Facebook
Take a look at the clever way A.1. Sauce uses Facebook to tell a story.

9 Quick Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
There are two big hurdles that beginner inbound marketers face when it comes to running a blog.

14 Ways to Get More Use Out of Your Buyer Personas
Ah yes, the excitement of creating your company’s first buyer persona.

Listening to Beyoncé? Facebook Has an Ad for You
The fine line between social sharing and eavesdropping.

A Great Company-Wide Social-Media Policy Starts at the Top
There’s an emerging trend where companies are thinking more creatively about their social-media policies and encouraging their staff to think smartly about how they present themselves as individuals online and in the real world.

How to Use Behavioral Triggers to Spur Social Media Actions
Did you know using facts and figures instead of images can lower interaction?


A.1. Sauce breaks up with Steak on Facebook.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

It can be tough to get your message noticed on social media sites. On Facebook, your content competes with that of 1.11 billion people who are using the site each month. With 255 million monthly active users on Twitter sending 500 million Tweets each day, your content is easily buried.

To create great content that stands out, you have to think outside of the box—doing unique and emotional things that people will not only relate to, but will feel compelled to share.

A.1. had no problem doing that.

On Wednesday, the company revealed they were changing their label to say “A.1. Sauce” instead of “A.1. Steak Sauce”—a simple action that could’ve been done with a simple Facebook post or Tweet announcing the news. But, would that have stood out? Probably not.

Instead, the company created a video depicting A.1.’s Facebook page activity. Initially, A.1. is exclusively “in a relationship” with Steak. You see photos of the two together and get to read their comments to each other. They are a happy couple, until A.1. gets a friend request from Pork. In the friend request box, the mouse moves reluctantly from “Confirm” to “Not Now,” and you feel the commitment issues with which A.1. is struggling. Eventually, A.1. decides to accept friend requests from other foods, and is soon friends with Salmon, Fish Tacos, Meatballs, Crab Legs, Corn on the Cob, Green Beans and more, which makes things “complicated” for A.1. and Steak.

By the end, A.1. and Steak become friends again, with the understanding that they can see other foods.

And by the end, A.1. has made us laugh, cry and stare in amazement at the brilliance of the video.


Healthcare tries Google Glass on for size - Finally a target market that fits.

Kristin Morris's picture

Healthcare is becoming more innovative every day. We see it with robotic surgery, electronic medical records, minimally invasive procedures and much more. Today, with people constantly consumed by technology, it was only a matter of time before healthcare crossed paths with technology that allows doctors to transmit information “face-to-face,” rather than verbally via telephone when they cannot be in the same room.

A year ago, I questioned whether Google Glass would be the vision everyone wants in the future, but I wasn’t referring to healthcare, I was referring to consumers. Google Glass currently targets early adopters and technology enthusiasts - “explorers” as Google calls them. It was expected to become mainstream in 2014; however, the product has not taken off as projected and was sold to the public for the first time at a PGA tournament earlier this month. Maybe the Google Glass marketing team should be focusing on marketing to a different audience, hospitals and medical centers. In fact, our Client, The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, is among the first few medical centers in the world to embrace Google Glass technology and use it as a tool to enhance their medical procedures.

Google Glass

Photo Credit: Google 

At Karmanos, the Head and Neck Oncology Multidisciplinary Team has teamed up with Wayne State University and is using Google Glass to monitor patients in both Karmanos’ inpatient unit and the Intensive Care Unit. They will use it on patients who’ve received a tissue transplant surgery because they must be monitored every hour for the first 48 hours following surgery to check the transfer of tissue (referred to as a “flap”). The study is still in a pilot stage, but will be ongoing. According to Sagar Patel, M.D., resident with the Head and Neck Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, they will use Google Glass “to transmit and record the status of the flap between resident physicians and their supervising physicians.”

This is exciting news for the world of healthcare and we cannot wait to read the findings of the study once it is published. If successful, we have to wonder if hospitals around the world will embrace Google Glass technology to monitor patients, transfer information “face-to-face” or even diagnose patients.  

What do you think about using Google Glass in hospitals and medical centers? Is the future of Google Glass in marketing to hospitals and doctors? 


The weekly recap - May 12, 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. 

Instagram Ads Are Getting Instant Recall
Taco Bell and Hollister seeing picture-perfect results.

Strategic Planning Builds Brands Through Real-Time Multitasking
Planning can no longer be a haven for meticulous, deliberate academics.

Why You Should Timestamp Your Blog Posts
For the most part, blogging isn’t about the short-term successes.

How to Stop Facebook Contest Fraud and Deter Prize Hunters
Did you know that some Facebook contest entries are fake?

The State of Content Marketing in 2014
Advertisers don’t want to just make ads that run alongside other people’s content anymore; a surging number of them want to be publishers themselves.

8 Companies Totally Rocking Their LinkedIn Company Pages
Over the past two years, LinkedIn has quickly evolved from a cocktail party for recruiters and job seekers to something much more substantial: an epicenter for content -- particularly branded content.


Guided Search: A Pinteresting way to aid your searches and your emotions.

Maila Kue's picture

It wasn’t long before Pinterest became one of the most popular websites. In fact, it holds the record for breaking the 10 million unique visitor mark faster than any other site in history (Techcrunch). With the recent launch of Pinterest’s new Guided Search function, which narrows your search into specific categories, the website makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for – without eliminating the element of discovery. The Pinterest blog writes, “Search engines are great for answering specific questions…but Pinterest can help with the questions that have more than one right answer…It’s made for exploring, whether you know exactly what you want, or you’re just starting to look around” (Pinterest).

Pinterest promoted this feature through a series of creative online videos – with an introduction spot titled “Introducing Guided Search.” The spot captures different stories of individuals who use the Guided Search function to answer their questions. What recipe should we use?  What kind of running gear should I buy? How should I trim my beard?

However, Pinterest chooses to answer these questions with very little dialogue. The silence leaves room for the spot to visually capture the mood behind our moments of discovery. This strategy immediately appeals to our emotions. Our attention isn’t so much on the logistics of the new Guided Search function. But rather, it turns our attention back to our emotions as it captures feelings of inspiration (to get fit), curiosity (to explore), and intimacy (with our father) to name a few.

The Guided Search function is more than just a tool to simplify searches. Pinterest conveys that it’s not just about helping us find a good recipe and the perfect running shoes. It’s about telling the story of love through rainbow pancakes and accomplishment as we run another mile. Pinterest becomes the platform that guides our most intimate moments of curiosity. It allows us to get lost in our journey of discovery with the promise that it’ll lead us to find exactly what we need. And whether or not we know what it is that we’re looking for, our curiosity will leave us feeling inspired.



As a creative, I am always seeking to create marketing that emotionally engages. What are your thoughts on Pinterest’s “Introducing Guided Search” video? 


The weekly recap - May 5, 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.

Snapchat for ... Marketing? What the Curious Should Know.
If you'd like to explore Snapchat for marketing, this post should give you a rundown of everything you need to know.

Samsonite's Brand Strategy: 'The Product Is the Hero'
Samsonite products have been charged by a bull, caught in revolving doors, tossed out of cabs and mauled by the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

Want to Shop on Twitter? Amazon Has a Hashtag for That
Amazon has made a mission of cutting the time between “want” and “own” through various innovations, such as the 1-click purchase option and Amazon Dash.

Here Are the 10 Brands Moms Like Most Right Now
The research firm polled about 5,000 mothers in April to better understand which of 1,250 leading brands they favored, cross-referencing this data with the preferences of all consumers polled during the same 30-day period.

4 Hacks You Should Know Before You Craft Your Next Email Subject Line
Every day people are flooded with emails they must decide to open or ignore.


Slim. Charged. Ready to go. Are electronic cigarette ads targeting kids?

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Growing up in the 70s, I was surrounded by smokers. Dad smoked. Mom smoked. Teachers. Priests. People on TV. People in office buildings. Doctors. Even Wilma Flintstone smoked.

So, kids openly pretended to smoke. How else could one make-believe if our characters weren’t believable, complete with a burning accessory? Every doctor, veterinarian, secretary, homemaker, firefighter and bus driver we imagined had a cigarette perched in her mouth or tucked between her fingers, occasionally tapping out the ashes for dramatic effect.

Sometimes we’d score candy cigarettes. Those little packs of sugar sticks made our scenes sing, punctuated with little powdered sugar clouds. We felt like John Wayne on the set of True Grit.

Cigarette consumption consumed us all. That’s why it’s taken more than four decades of regulations, taxes, public policy, public ridicule and clever social marketing campaigns to inspire consumers do something else with our hands, and give kids something better to emulate (texting?). In fact, cigarette smoking didn’t stop being cool until 2012 (Reuters), as evidenced by the record decline in teen smoking.

Now teens are just pretending to smoke, vaping electronic cigarettes at a rate of one in 10 (Centers for Disease Control). And while e-cigarettes may taste like gummy bears, chocolate and cherry, they’re not made of candy. They’re made of nicotine, which can come from tobacco.

Chocolate flavored cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine to the user as a vapor. They are usually battery-operated and come with a replaceable cartridge that contains liquid nicotine. When heated, the liquid in the cartridge turns into a vapor that's inhaled. Teen-friendly flavors add to the allure.

They’ve been on the market for about a decade, but it wasn’t until 2013 that manufacturers opened the advertising floodgates on broadcast TV, complete with rugged actors and hot models reminiscent of tobacco advertising lore. Yesterday John Wayne, today Stephen Dorff.

Electronic cigarette producers have become increasingly brazen in their advertising, employing old school tobacco ad tactics to attract new consumers—largely school-age consumers, critics argue. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition this year featured the toned torso of a bikini bottomed model, her navel and bathing suit branded with Blu e-cigarette’s logo. The copy reads “Slim. Charged. Ready to go.” Talk about teen spirit.

The Food and Drug Administration is not entertained. The FDA recently proposed new rules that would give the regulator power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, as it does traditional cigarettes. The rules would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and regulate the amount nicotine in the devices.

"This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. According to the FDA, much is still unknown about the effects of e-cigarettes, including whether they could be a gateway to smoking.

Electronic cigarette ads threatening decades of social marketing progress?

A JAMA Pediatrics study found that adolescents who have smoked and also used electronic cigarettes were less likely to have given up smoking than those who didn't use e-cigarettes. The authors concluded that the use of electronic cigarettes doesn't discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use among kids.

Electronic cigarette proponents say that vaping is harmless and helps smokers kick the habit. My 13-year-old son backs this up, citing his sixth-grade health class. He remembers them being ranked with nicotine patches and nicotine gum as a viable way to quit smoking.

The FDA has only begun to take formal action toward regulating electronic cigarettes, initiating a public comment period whereby all interested parties—including the companies and public health advocates—can register their opinions. It may take years before the new rules take effect.

Meanwhile, expect electronic cigarette advertising to heat up as competitors vie for lucrative market share. In 2013, annual sales were more than $1.7 billion. Both Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, and R.J. Reynolds plan to start national marketing campaigns for their electronic cigarettes later this year, according to the New York Times.

Of the five kids in my family, three of us would become smokers. Blame it on the ads. Blame it on our role models. Blame it on those sweet little candy cigarettes. They’re terrible odds, unless you’re betting on cigarettes—electronic or otherwise.

At Brogan & Partners, we’re betting electronic cigarettes have a future in social marketing.

Let us know what you think. Join our informal panel, Brogan Talks to Women, and take our short survey about electronic cigarette advertising. Your participation is strictly confidential and you could win a gift certificate just for taking the survey.  


Time for your hospital to get a responsive website? New panel results say yes!

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

If you’re in the healthcare marketing world, I’ll wager you’ve heard this stat a multitude of times via a plenitude of forums: 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information in the past year.* It stands to reason that they’d also value easy viewing of hospital websites from their mobile phone. We checked with our Brogan Talks to Women online survey panel to verify this hunch and found that ¾ of our 105 respondents felt it was at least somewhat, if not very, important for a hospital to have a mobile-friendly (responsive) website.

While we were at it, we asked a few other questions (couldn’t help ourselves) which revealed some information worth sharing. The highest rated selection factor for choosing a hospital among our panel was not a doctor referral, but expertise in a specific illness, followed by reputation. This warrants hospitals communicating with the female healthcare decisionmaker about those clinical areas of expertise that set them apart, under a consistent brand umbrella.  We know that healthcare consumerism means women (mostly Gen X and Millenials) are online learning about specific programs, physicians, ratings, outcomes, etc. to determine where they and their family members should obtain healthcare for specific illnesses.

When queried about the specific area of orthopedics, our panel says they want “highly-trained, board certified orthopedists” above all else. A “comprehensive center with a range of services” would be to their liking as well. They’d most appreciate finding information on the website about the orthopedists and procedures, noting that patient testimonials and physician videos about the orthopedic care would be of value. This is not surprising since mobile video viewing is predicted to reach 50% of all online viewing by 2016.*

Our panel gives us an informal, topline pulse on how women are thinking and behaving. These healthcare snippets fuel further strategizing and querying with our clients. Did you find any of our panel results helpful or surprising?

*Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 2013


Three things I learned having breakfast with Sheryl Sandberg today.

Laurie Hix's picture

It’s not every day, a female trailblazer like Sheryl Sandberg comes to town. As a leader at an ad agency that specializes in marketing to women and social media, I was excited to hear the Facebook COO speak to the Detroit advertising community at an Adcraft breakfast today.

She gave a great speech, filled with personal anecdotes, that was appropriately tailored to the Motor City audience and marketing crowd. But my favorite part was what the author of the bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, said in the Q&A.

As she answered questions about balancing being an entrepreneur, raising a family and what we can do to create more female leaders, it is there she shined. And I was inspired.

Here are the three pieces of leadership advice she would pass on to women. First, acknowledge there are gender differences. Women are often wrongly labeled as whiny, looking to get special treatment or about to sue. Biases exist. For example, she says if a woman and a man’s performance are the same, the man will get more credit. This is because a man usually attributes success to himself, but a woman will attribute it to hard work, team collaboration and a bit of luck. Second, once you accept those differences, you need to adjust. Invite more women to the table to close the leadership gap. Third, encourage girls at a young age. While little boys can be labeled as leaders, little girls can be labeled bossy. She says recognize that those little girls are demonstrating “executive leadership skills.” I especially loved the part of her speech, because it showed her humility. Even though she is so accomplished (went to Harvard for undergrad and MBA, worked as an economist at the World Bank, worked at Google, now COO at Facebook, and sits on the Board of Directors for Walt Disney), she openly admits she struggles with self-confidence at times and recognizes that this is ironic, considering she just wrote a book telling women to believe in themselves.

I came back to the office and Sheryl is everywhere I look now. She just wrote an article on Beyonce for Time. And now I am obsessed googling her appearances like this Ted Talk where she addresses why we have too few women leaders.  Today, Sheryl had the podium in Detroit, but every day she has a much larger one that she is using to inspire other women to lean in and make a difference. In fact, even though she is a few years younger than me, I think I want to be Sheryl Sandberg when I grow up.

What do you think of Sheryl Sandberg and her ideas about women in the workplace? I’d love to get your insights.



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.

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