Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #2: Mountain Valley Spring Water.

Laura Pryor's picture

One of Brogan’s early clients (back in the ‘80s when we were still Brogan Kabot) was Mountain Valley Spring Water.  Bottled water wasn’t such an easy sell in the ‘80s; the prevailing thought was, why pay for water when you can turn on the tap?  Mountain Valley’s differentiator was the spring:  their water came from a natural spring in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and they’d been bottling and selling it since 1871 (they still do).  With 153 distributors, Mountain Valley was doing well.  But we helped them really pour it on . . . so to speak.

Brogan created image and retail print, sales materials and some broadcast advertising.  As with many of Brogan’s early clients, the budget was small. In print ads, the visual was almost invariably a black-and-white photo of the product.  And since water is not much to look at, we had to rely on headlines.  Touting the ancient spring, one ad proclaimed, “The freshest water you can buy is 3500 years old.”  To combat consumers’ reluctance to pay for something they could get for free, Brogan conceived the themeline, “The only water worth paying for.”  

Sales went up.  In fact, they went up enough to make the company interesting to a large conglomerate, which bought all of Mountain Valley’s liquid assets.  Unfortunately, the conglomerate had its own stable of large ad agencies, and left Brogan high and dry.   But that’s all water under the bridge.  

Do you remember when buying water was only for health nuts?  What other everyday products can you think of that once seemed like luxuries?

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

Mountain Valley Water print ad

Mountain Valley Water print ad


The weekly recap - June 2, 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.

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A Decade of Homepages: An Inside Look at Our Website Redesign Strategy
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4 Ways Marketers Will Benefit From the New iPhone
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Millennials Check Their Phones 43 Times a Day. This Is What They're Looking For.
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Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #1 Keep the best players on the bench.

Laurie Hix's picture

Marcie Brogan has always had a passion for politics. It was evident even way back in the beginning of the agency with the iconic campaign for the Oakland Circuit Court Judges Re-election. Five judges already sitting on the bench were up for re-election and the committee to Re-elect Judges Templin, Andrews, Schnelz, LaPlata and Mester had Brogan come up with a cost effective and high impact multi-media campaign. The clever campaign, with the memorable line “Keep the Best Players on the Bench” featured the judges like baseball players. It was a home run, resulting in the re-election of all five judges by their widest margins ever. And the extra media attention we scored was a big hit as well. This campaign won many creative awards, including an Emmy.

This little campaign did big things for the creative start-up Brogan Kabot. It showed how two creative women could play in the big leagues, making big creative plays just like the big ad agencies they came from.  Do you remember this campaign?

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

Judges of the Oakland County Circuit Court

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Dream big with LinkedIn.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

To some people, LinkedIn is just a website where users document their work experience. To us, it's much more.

LinkedIn is a powerful resource that professionals use to market themselves. On the site, you can apply for jobs or let your profile show why you deserve one. LinkedIn can do you wonders for your professional life if you're willing to work with it, which is something we recommend.

There are more than 200 million users on LinkedIn with two new users joining every second. More than 2.7 million business pages are on LinkedIn, sharing job postings and recruiting new talent, including Brogan & Partners. Brogan hired four new employees in 2014 (including myself), and all of them applied to work with us through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is not just listing previous job titles and employers, it's showcasing your talents and abilities. It's not just connecting with people you know, it's networking with people you want to know more about. And it's not just listing your goals, it's sharing your dreams.

Luckily for us, our four new hires' dreams were to work at Brogan. What's yours?


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. Gilbarco
  26. Comcast
  27. St. John Health
  28. HoneyBaked Ham Company
  29. Political
  30. Brogan & Partners Self promo

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
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9 Quick Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
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14 Ways to Get More Use Out of Your Buyer Personas
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Listening to Beyoncé? Facebook Has an Ad for You
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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
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Strategic Planning Builds Brands Through Real-Time Multitasking
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Why You Should Timestamp Your Blog Posts
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How to Stop Facebook Contest Fraud and Deter Prize Hunters
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The State of Content Marketing in 2014
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8 Companies Totally Rocking Their LinkedIn Company Pages
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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? 



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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