Friday, December 22, 2006

Local designer honored

Earlier this year, Treasure Valley Litho held a competition between local designers to create their company Christmas card. They sent out 40 invitations to designers, but only 8 chose to enter their designs. The overall winner was Kate Holgate of Stoltz Marketing Group.

Congratulations Kate. Send me a copy of the design and I'll display it here as well.

For more, check out the full story at the Idaho Business Review.

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New Hire at Oliver Russell

Mike Caplan has joined Oliver Russell & Associates as their Hewlett Packard Account Director. According to the announcement on Oliver Russell's website, Mike will be working out of the Portland office, but will travel to the Boise office frequently.

Congratulations Mike.

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New additions to the agency listings

Thanks to an anonymous comment on a previous post, I have added a couple of new agency links:

Blue541 in Coeur d'Alene.
Salty Design Foundry in Coeur d'Alene.

Now's your chance -- step up to the mic and introduce yourself.

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And in other news

Here's something completely unrelated to marketing, but I got a kick out of it anyways.

The space shuttle Discovery has been in orbit for the past 12+ days. It was scheduled to land yesterday, but bad weather has not allowed for it. Right now, they're considering landing sometime today at Kennedy Space Center, Edwards Air Force Base or the White Sands Space Harbor, which hasn't been used for a shuttle landing in 24 years.

While the folks over at NASA deliberate, the flight controllers in Houston are taking it all with a timely sense of humor:

Flight controllers in Houston, trying their hand at holiday songwriting, sent the Discovery crew in their daily messages lyrics to their version of the song, "Let it Snow."
"Oh the weather at KSC is frightful. But at White Sands it's so delightful. And since we have to land. Land White Sands. Land White Sands. Land White Sands," it said.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

What's happening up North?

Haven't seen or heard much out of the folks up in Northern Idaho.

Anything new or notable out of Hanna & Associates? Advantage Advertising? Smash Media?

Let me know if there's anything worth sharing.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

As year-end approaches

Will the next couple of weeks be a flurry of activity, or will everyone just coast through the rest of the month? Perhaps a good indicator would be to give North by Northwest a call and see if you can schedule any studio time before the end of the month. I'd be willing to guess that you won't be able to.

The reason behind it? Awards, of course. In order to qualify to next year's awards, a spot must run before the end of the year (see Apple's 1984 for a classic, and locally relevant, example).

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Recycled Creative

This one first crossed my mind around Halloween. I've seen and heard (mainly heard) several spots that have been using recycled creative lately. Much of it is time-specific, running around a certain time of year (Halloween or Christmas, for example). Now I'm all for developing creative concepts and executions that can be reused, but the exact same thing year after year?

A few examples:

  • Goodwill, and their "Three Witches" spot that has run around Halloween for at least the past three years.
  • Hertz Car Sales, and their modified "Christmas Carols" that have run for at least the past two years.
  • Ashley Heating & Air, with their "Employee Christmas Band" that is on its second year of rotation.
I'm not suggesting that these spots were all created by local agencies. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't -- that's not the point. The point is that there's a fine line between "Hey, I remember hearing this last year" and "Oh great, they're running that again this year."

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Latest from Moxie Java

I've seen the latest Moxie Java billboards around Boise recently, promoting Moxie Java Gift Cards as gifts this Christmas. The copy reads something along the lines of "Because coffee shouldn't be put in a box." The image is of a wrapped box, with a brown corner and liquid around the bottom of the box.

Here's the thing. I get the concept, I just don't like the execution.

  • The "coffee" leaking out of the box appears, to me at least, to more closely resemble the consistency of motor oil than it does coffee. Try this one for yourself -- pour a cup of coffee into a gift box, small cardboard box -- anything really. See for yourself how much is absorbed by the box and how much leaks out onto the floor/counter/table/surface.
  • Black coffee? Is that the best they could come up with? Moxie Java offers so much more than just black coffee. Yes, I realize that black coffee may be the easiest visual representation, but the easiest choice is not always the best choice.
Just my opinion, of course. I do not know who is doing work for Moxie Java these days, but I'd be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks about this one. Comment away.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And over in Eastern Idaho

It appears that Steele & Associates is still in search of a Media Buyer.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

The lines are blurring

An article on Adweek's website today once again underscores how the lines between traditional agencies and web-centric shops are blurring.

While the article focuses on the big-name national agencies, as Adweek is prone to do, the same principle applies even here at the local level. Traditional agencies are looking to beef-up their interactive abilities (es/drake, for example), while at the same time, interactive shops are looking to add talent with traditional agency experience (Blackfin Technology comes to mind).

Are there others? Sure there are. But one point that the Adweek articles misses is that this has been happening for years. Talent moves back and forth, and sometimes back again. The high-profile moves at these large, national agencies have simply served to shine a little more light on the situation (and I'm sure a little PR push helped move the story along).

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Job Opening - Marketing Account Manager

Blueline Grassroots Marketing has an opening for an Account Manager. This person will "manage innovative marketing strategies focused on new media technologies and social networking." The full job listing can be found here.
(Courtesy of Craigslist)

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Boise Advertising Federation Update

I received an email last night from Victor Obenauf at Platinum Advertising Group, who is the current BAF President. He let me know that the Boise Advertising Federation's website will be retooled in about a month, and there is also a luncheon coming up in January.

Also, there's a BAF holiday get-together tonight in the basement at Pair Restaurant. Here's a little information about it:

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Job Opening - Associate Creative Director/Art Director

Here's one for the "now there's a new name" column. Brick Group, which is described as a specialty agency that provides "kick-butt ideas to the real estate industry" is looking for an Associate Creative Director/Art Director.

In reading the description, found on both Creative Hotlist and as an anonymous post on Craiglist, what they're really looking for is a Creative Director, but they want to leave their options open.

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Many Thanks

While wandering around the Internet yesterday, I came across a couple of posts that link back to the Idaho Ad Agencies blog:

Tac Anderson over at Blueline Grassroots Marketing has an entry about Social Networking On and Off Line, in which he lists a number of blogs that he reads regularly, and I am honored to see that this blog is included in that list. Tac -- I got the hint, and one of these days we will have the chance to meet in person.

John Foster at the Idaho Business Review added a blog post on the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, and using local vs. national agencies recently, which included a quote from this site.

Thanks to both Tac and John for the coverage.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

An Open Invitation

When the Idaho Ad Agencies blog first began, it was intended to provide an avenue for discussion about the agency business here in Idaho. News, commentary, jobs, rumors -- it has all been fair game.

But a good discussion is not one-sided. I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to leave a comment on any of the topics that have been presented during the past year. You may not agree with what I've written -- hell, you may think I'm completely full of shit -- and you've got every right to have your opinion. I've got mine, as I'm sure you've noticed.

Now I'd like to take it a step further, and hence the open invitation. Do you have something you'd like to contribute to the Idaho Ad Agencies blog? If so, send it to me. Topics are pretty much wide open, as long as it relates somehow to the agency business and marketing environment here in Idaho.

Your contributions can be either credited or anonymous, just let me know which you'd prefer.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Boise Advertising Federation

So, can anyone tell me what's up with the Boise Advertising Federation? I haven't seen or heard anything out of that group in quite some time.

From their website, "Check back often to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings."

So I have. And there have been no updates. Of any kind.

Any BAF members care to share a little news about the group? Is there anything worth sharing?

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Marketing the market

As reported in The Idaho Statesman last week, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership has hired a three-company marketing team to promote the Treasure Valley for corporate relocations and expansions. That three-company team includes:

Porter Novelli, handling national media relations.
Scott Peyron & Associates, handling stakeholder relations, local media and brand development.
es/drake, developing a web site and advertising.

Now, there's a couple of different ways to look at this news. First of all, the report was compiled by "statesman staff," which to me suggests that someone reworked a press release for space and content, and then used it as filler material on a slow news day.

The more interesting part, however, is the combination of companies that are part of this team. Part of me tends to think that es/drake is doing more than just building a website and creating advertising. With their addition of Joanne Taylor earlier this year, they've got the credentials to handle most, if not all, of the PR for this, but bringing in a national PR agency such as Porter Novelli lends a little more credibility to it, especially on a corporate/national scale.

The addition of Scott Peyron & Associates is an interesting twist, however. Joanne Taylor came to es/drake from Scott Peyron earlier this year, where she was a vice president. Why, then, would they bring in another local PR agency to handle part of this work? This is where another part of me thinks that it might be Scott Peyron that is the leading force behind this. They are, after all, the ones who are managing "brand development." And brand development should drive the rest of the efforts of this campaign.

The jury is out on this one, but BVEP has got some money to spend in order to reach their goals of $650 million in new capital investment and $1 billion in economic development.

What do you think? Comment away.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

To everyone who has, and continues to read the Idaho Ad Agencies blog, I'd like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to enjoy some time with your friends and family over the next few days and weeks.

As for me, my family and I are over on the Oregon Coast right now, and this particular post is coming to you from the Five Rivers Coffee Roasters in Tillamook, Oregon (thanks for the WiFi Barb!)

We'll return to regular programming next week.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Hop On Board Revisited

A little over a month ago I reviewed es/drake's Hop On Board campaign for Valley Regional Transit and ACHD. Since then, its been bouncing around in the back of my head, and now seems as good of a time as any to revisit it.

After the initial splash of this campaign, it doesn't seem that there has been very much follow up to it. I haven't seen any of the television spots run lately, or heard anything on the radio. Nor have I seen much of anything on any of the buses or commuter vans around town. Was this whole campaign a one-shot deal? I sure hope not.

For now, let's assume that it wasn't. The whole Hop On Board campaign has "got legs," in my opinion, so the question now is what would you do with it next? Me, I'd do things such as:

  • Testimonials from actual riders -- I'm sure es/drake has been touting the increased number of riders as a result of this campaign, and Valley Regional Transit and ACHD are both schoolgirl-giddy about it. But why not share something similar with the intended audience -- the commuters? It could be in the form of testimonials from those who have recently started taking advantage of the program. It could be someone from ACHD talking up the benefits of the increased participation. Take a page from college recruiters -- if you can talk up, and demonstrate the success of the school/program/athletic team/etc. it makes recruiting future students/athletes/mass transit users much easier.
  • Continuity of the message -- I've beat up this subject already, but its worth mentioning again. It is much more difficult to see/hear the "Hop On Board" message, and then remember to go to than it would be to hear the message and then go to
  • Incentive to participate -- Give a little something away to those who are participating in the program. This time of year, its getting cold outside, so enlist the help of someone like Moxie Java or *gasp* Starbucks to offer certificates for free cups of coffee or something similar. It would be an added incentive for people to use the service, which would, in turn, provide increased revenue for Valley Regional Transit, as well as provide increased business to the respective coffee shop/chain.
  • Give riders something to occupy their time -- Have a selection of newspapers available for riders to read in their non-driving time. Create a podcast that riders can subscribe to, and listen to on their iPods during the commute. The options are limitless.

Will anyone over at es/drake take this advice or use any of these suggestions? I hope so. They're in a unique position right now to raise the bar on the work that they do, and this campaign could be a good first step. If they do use any of these ideas, I'll chuckle to myself a bit, and then send them a bill for consulting services...

In all seriousness, though, please chime in with any other thoughts or suggestions that you might have.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Job Opening - Copywriter

Blackfin Technology has an opening for a copywriter with 3-7 years copywriting experience in rich-media, direct and print, as well as 2+ years in an advertising or interactive agency environment. The full job posting can be found here.
(Courtesy of Craigslist)

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Other Notable Sites - New Additions

A couple of additions to the "Other Notable Sites" section of the Idaho Ad Agencies blog:

The Ad Feed

MarketingVOX is "The Voice of Online Marketing." Its a great place to stop by from time to time, and read the news in and around the marketing industry (it really does cover so much more than just online marketing).
The Ad Feed is a one-stop-shop for news and feeds from a range of marketing-related websites/blogs. In short, it takes the content from the feeds of all the other "must-read" sites and puts it all together in one nice, neatly wrapped, bow-on-top package.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Job Openings at Stoltz Marketing Group

Stoltz Marketing Group in Boise, which has added several new faces over the past year or so, is looking for more. They're on the hunt for an entry- to mid-level copywriter and a mid- to senior-level graphic designer.

Update: The graphic designer should have solid interactive and/or flash design experience.

Also, I have to give credit to the folks over at Stoltz for putting these jobs up on Creative Hotlist. Its nice to see someone other than Coldwater Creek posting their "creative" jobs on that site.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Conference Feedback

I was unable to attend the Be Your Own Media conference today at BSU -- scheduling conflicts wouldn't allow for it. I'd be interested, however, in hearing from anyone who did.

What did you think of the conference?
What were the good and bad parts about the day?
Was it worth your time?
Anything in particular that you'd like to share with the class?

While I don't recall seeing much of any press coverage around this conference, as opposed to the one that Blueline put on earlier this year, I do hope that it was well attended, at that the participants walked away with a different point of view, even if only slightly so.

Oh, and Tac -- thank you for the invitation. Hopefully I'll be able to sit in on the next conference.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Be Your Own Media Conference

Blueline Grassroots Marketing is once again presenting the Be Your Own Media conference, this time on the campus of Boise State University in Boise.

The conference is on Monday, November 13th, from 9:00am - 4:30pm in the Hatch Ballroom of the BSU Student Union Building. Cost to attend is $25, and registration begins at 8:30am.

Is it worth spending the $25 to attend this conference? I think so, as long as you go into it with an open mind. By no means will this provide all of the answers, but you might leave with a different point of view.

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Demand for freelancers

The demand for freelancers is getting greater and greater these days, to the point that companies are even posting "help wanted" ads specifically for freelancers.

The latest is from the Idaho Craigslist job board.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Job Openings at Closed Loop Marketing

Closed Loop Marketing in Boise has openings for the following positions:

Account Executive
Account Supervisor
Senior Art Director

Details on each of these positions can be found on The Idaho Statesman's CareerBuilder section here.

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Monday, November 06, 2006


Marketing Media Group in Boise is doing a little remodeling, on their website at least.

It would appear that they've also picked up shop and moved to a space downtown. The new address listed on their website is on 6th St., rather than their old address on Parkcenter.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

New faces around the garage

While poking around on the Oliver Russell & Associates website, I noticed a few new faces among the list:

Dan Chapman
Roy Kimball
Matt Gitchell

First and foremost, congratulations to all. I'm guessing that they are working from Oliver Russell's Portland office.

Also, while her quote is still in rotation on the home page, Holly Kerns is no longer among the list of people at the agency.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Job Opening - Web Developer/Programmer

Es/drake in Boise has an opening for an entry to mid-level developer to "assist in web development within a quickly growing marketing communications company." The full job description can be found here.
(Courtesy of CareerBuilder)

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Those crazy kids in Kansas

They're at it again.

Those crazy kids at Sullivan, Higdon & Sink have a job opening, and just as before they've posted it on the American Copywriter blog.

If you're not familiar with American Copywriter, you should be. It is more than just a podcast, and much more than just a blog. Its a brand. And just as they did before, SHS is using the power of the American Copywriter brand to assist in their recruiting efforts. They are taking advantage of a resource that is readily available to them, and (at a very minimal cost) reaching potential employees that are already familiar with the agency.

The question remains -- how long until anyone in this neck of the woods does anything similar? Every job listing I've seen for agencies in Idaho has come from either a typical job listing (either online or offline) or the agency's own website.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And in breaking news

Goodby Tops Publicis For HP Global Assignment

I know, you're wondering what this has to do with agencies in Idaho.

Well, Goodby Silverstein & Partners will be taking work away from Publicis in Seattle. The Publicis Boise office is, for all intents and purposes, an extension of the Seattle office. Therefore, Goodby Silverstein & Partners (in theory) has just taken away a chunk of work from Publicis Boise.

Once again, this business, even at the local level, does not operate in a vacuum.

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Which is an easier change?

As an employee, do you think it is easier to go from working on the client-side to the agency-side, or vice-versa?

A couple of notable examples on the client-to-agency side:

Moves from the agency-to-client side tend to be a little less obvious, for a couple of reasons:

  • Agencies don't want to admit that they've lost talent, which could mean a loss of future business.
  • Hiring someone away from an agency just doesn't seem to have the same newsworthiness as an agency hiring someone away from the client side.

What do you think? And what about agency-to-agency? Is that its own ballgame?

Feel free to leave a comment here, or send an email here.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Blueline picks up Flat Planet

No, its not the title to a scene out of some bizarre sci-fi comic -- er, graphic novel as they're apparently called today.

Blueline Grassroots Marketing of Nampa recently acquired the web development company Flat Planet, also of Nampa. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they are both located out near the Idaho Center, in the TECenter on the BSU West campus.

The two companies have worked together in the past, so this shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone. After all, it was just this spring that es/drake purchased AB Positive and merged it into their agency. Since they are two small companies, hopefully the Blueline / Flat Planet integration doesn't come with the same headaches that seem to come with the territory.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Hire at Oliver Russell

John Liebenthal has returned to Oliver Russell & Associates as a Senior Copywriter. This is John's second stint with the agency -- he was with the agency for a couple of years during the heady dot com days, before moving over to Publicis in Boise, and most recently The Kern Organization in Los Angeles.

Welcome back John.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Job Opening - Graphic Designer

Okay, okay, so I know I'm a few days late in posting this.

The Boise Craigslist website has an anonymous job listing for a Graphic Designer. From reading the listing, I gather that they're looking for a jack-of-all-trades sort of designer, who can do a little bit of everything.

Once again, this is an anonymous listing via craigslist, but from there are certain lines within it that lead me to think that the hiring agency is.......any guesses? I've got mine.

Oh yeah, and before I forget -- thanks once again to Danny G over at AdPulp for the mention recently. I appreciate the kind words.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Oh the Irony

A little over a week ago I made a post about Albertsons/Supervalu making a switch from one agency to another on some of their work. At that time, I also posed the question of whether or not local agencies do a significant amount of work for Albertsons.

No more than a week later, I came across this news on Oliver Russell's website. While it isn't quite on the same scale as the work mentioned in the original article, the timing of the news seems, so me at least, ironic.

It should be noted, however, that the bulk of the work around the avenu special offers was/is done by Concept Shopping, which is located just outside of Chicago. The way I read the article from Oliver Russell, they did the branding and messaging around it.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor Campaign

A friend of mine passed this along to me, and asked if I'd help to spread the word. Sharing it here is the least I can do...

The United Way Day of Caring, benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho is coming up on October 19th. This event gives people a chance to become familiar with the BB BS program, and learn more about becoming a mentor to a child in the program.

These pro-bono spots were done by Stoltz Marketing Group, and produced by North by Northwest.

For more information, you can go to either, or

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Review: Hop On Board Campaign

I've had a chance to catch most of the Hop On Board campaign that es/drake recently did for Valley Regional Transit and ACHD. Overall, I think they've done a good job with this campaign.

The message of this campaign is appealing on several levels. It offers a solution for those who are environmentally-conscious, and concerned about the effects of automobile pollution. It offers an alternative to those concerned about the growing traffic problems and congestion on city streets in and around the Treasure Valley. It also presents itself as a stress-reliever of sorts, in that riders need not worry about the stress of driving, traffic, etc.

Admittedly, I did not catch the "massive downtown event" (as per the es/drake news article), so I have no comments about the effectiveness of that event. Here are, however, a few of the highlights of the campaign (based on what I've seen so far):

Television Spot -- Probably the single most effective visual example of what Valley Regional Transit and ACHD are trying to accomplish. A number of individuals were seated, at roughly the distance from each other that they would be if they were each in separate vehicles. The next shot is those same people, spaced at roughly the distance they'd be from one another if they were all on a single bus. The visual is striking, and it delivers the message(s) quite well.

Radio -- I recently heard a traffic report on the radio, sponsored by Valley Ride (Valley Regional Transit). This sponsorship ran during the 5 o'clock hour, and was well placed spot to reach the very commuters who could benefit from the service.

I do think, however, that there are some areas that could be improved, or in some cases where es/drake has missed the boat:

Transit -- I see a fair number of buses and commuter vans on a daily basis. Since this campaign broke, however, I have yet to see the Hop On Board message on any of these buses. Its not for a lack of available space, either. Several of those same buses have been running with empty panels recently.

Look and Feel -- Looking at it from strictly a design standpoint, I like the "urban, contemporary, and bold graphic design" of the campaign. Putting it into the context of the audience, however, I don't know that it will appeal to / get noticed much by the 35-40 year old professional who commutes from Meridian to downtown Boise every day. I see it being very effective with a younger crowd, college-aged, perhaps, but the message seems to be directed toward the "working professional" who is also a homeowner, has mortgage and car payments, and could see the financial benefit of commuting.

Website -- I do like the fact that the website has the same look and feel as the rest of the campaign, and give es/drake credit for that. The think that stuck me immediately, however -- the tagline of the entire campaign is "Hop On Board" however the URL of the site -- Why not take the extra step to make sure that your website's URL is easily associated with the rest of the campaign? A quick check revealed that (as of a few days ago), and were all available to register. Huge disconnect, in my opinion.
I do like the Savings Calculator feature on the site, but I don't find it useful personally, as my daily one-way commute is less than 15 miles. I'd be interested in seeing what I could save by using public transportation, but I don't have that option.
Finally, why not put the television spots up on the website as well? You've already done the work on them, it serves as one more way to engage the customer/visitor, and provide just that much more incentive to use the available services.

There are other suggestions that I could make that would, in my opinion, improve this campaign, but I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach. I don't think that this has completely played itself out yet, and I wouldn't be surprised if the folks down at drake have more pieces to this campaign that just haven't been seen yet. If they do, great -- it'll build on some strong initial work. If they don't, this is still a good campaign that will generate some good response and better involvement in public transportation.

Overall, I commend the staff over at es/drake for a good campaign for their client. I think that they missed out on a few opportunities to make it a great campaign, though.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Craigslist Job Posting - Advertising Media Buyer

From the Boise Craigslist website: Advertising Media Buyer

An interesting little bit that I picked up on from this post -- they're looking for someone who has the "ability to engage in high-level negotiations with media sales representatives, utilize market and media research, work with basic media software..." However, in the "Compensation" field at the bottom of the page is listed as "Entry Level."

To me, that says that the employer (whomever they may be), wants to find an experienced media buyer, but they're only willing to pay an entry level wage. In today's job market, I just don't see that working out very well for them. Sure, they might catch someone just out of school, but I'd think its the wrong time of year to take that approach.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

And as a follow up... the previous post about Supervalu/Albertsons, the day after the move to Dailey & Associates was announced, Adweek reported that the former agency Duncan & Associates would be closing.

Conventional wisdom, and some basic business knowledge, says that in this type of business you shouldn't depend on one client for the majority of your business. The general rule of thumb that I've heard over and over is that if more than 50% of your business comes from a single client, you should worry. This is a glaring example of why that is the case.

Overall, I believe that most of the agencies in Idaho do a pretty good job of not falling into this trap. Every once in a while, though, it helps to take note of examples such as Duncan & Associates, to prevent it from happening in your own shop.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Local work for large clients - does it happen?

I ran across an article yesterday on Adweek's website, noting that Supervalu has shifted some of the work for its chains to a new agency. While this happens on a daily basis, and I wouldn't normally take too much notice of it, part of the article got my attention:

Interpublic Group's Dailey in West Hollywood, Calif., takes over on the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw's/Star Market properties. Independent Duncan & Associates in Los Angeles had handled those accounts.

So here we have Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, California, taking over the portion of the Albertsons business that Supervalu purchased back in June. This portion of their business was previously handled by Duncan & Associates, in Los Angeles, California. For those keeping track, Albertsons was founded in, and had their corporate headquarters located in Boise, Idaho.

This got me thinking -- when was the last time that an agency in Idaho handled any significant amount of business from Albertsons? Ever? Sure, there are piece-meal projects that likely pass through the local shops, but they come no where close to the $137 million in media alone that Albertsons ($100M), Acme ($20M), Jewel-Osco ($15M) and Shaw's ($2M) spent in the last year and a half.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More Job Openings

While thumbing through The Idaho Statesman this weekend, I caught a couple of jobs in the careerbuilder (formerly known as the equally descriptive, but less branded-content name of "help wanted") section.

Associate Creative Director/Art Director at Rizen Creative. Yes, this is the same position that I made note of last week here.
Sales / Marketing with DTX Media. That particular job was horribly non-descript, but you can find what little information they did provide here.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

This Will Serve As Your Reminder Notice

If you're a student that is considering entering The Chevy Super Bowl Ad Challenge, registrations are due by tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Anonymous Job Postings in Boise

I ran across a few more anonymous job listings on the Boise Craigslist site:

Editing/Proofing Position at Marketing Firm - for a "progressive and rapidly growing advertising and marketing firm in downtown Boise"
Part Time Public Relations/Media Writer - Looking for a strong part time public relations writer/assistant who can create media releases, work with clients to create media opportunities, call on editors and write short articles etc.

Once again, if anyone would like to shed some light on who these openings are for, I'm sure there are readers who would like to know.

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Job Opening - Associate Creative Director/Art Director

In addition to the anonymous jobs mentioned a few days ago, Rizen Creative in Boise is looking for an Associate Creative Director/Art Director. The full description can be found here.
(Courtesy of CareerBuilder)

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Outside Review of Radio

While I haven't stayed away from criticizing local radio advertising, here's something from outside of the Idaho Ad Agencies Blog:

Dum adds: Weight Watchers, Body Wraps & Saturn -- Don over at Idaho Radio has a few critiques about a few of the more recent spots that have been on the air as of late.

My two cents worth -- it is this kind of continually bad advertising on the radio that has led to the fact that, on average, only 1% of the listeners are paying attention to a given commercial.

In regards to Don's comments about the Zamzows spots -- those spots work, even with Jim Zamzow doing the voice work, because they aren't trying to explicitly use the spot to sell something. They're offering advice on lawn care, pet care, etc. and what you may hear on the radio is the same information that Rick will tell me the next time I go into the Zamzow's on State Street. Is it all part of some grand marketing plan? A little, perhaps. But more than that, it is Jim, and the rest of the Zamzow's staff, offering up some good advice, telling the Zamzow's story, and offering a subtle reminder that they're the place that where you can get everything that you need. Call it neighborly advice that doesn't have to try to sound like "neighborly advice."

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Anonymous Job Openings in Boise

I came across a couple of anonymous job openings posted on the Boise Craigslist site this morning:

Marketing Concept/Copywriter - Looking for a copywriting concept pro.
Art Director/Graphic Designer - Looking for an experienced designer who can create just about anything.

Anyone care to shed some light on who might be doing the hiring?

UPDATE: I received a tip that these are positions at Rizen Creative in Boise.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Es/drake work recognized

Es/drake's work for the Idaho Commerce & Labor's Division of Tourism has been recognized at the national level.

The 2006 Idaho Travel Guide was named the best travel guide in the U.S. by the Travel Industry Association of America. More information about the recognition can be found here.

Congratulations to the folks over at es/drake for the nod.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Calling all students

Chevy announced last week that it has invited students to participate in The Chevy Super Bowl Ad Challenge, which will allow a team of 2-3 students to create a concept for a spot to be aired during the Super Bowl in February 2007.

John January wrote up a great recap on how the whole creative process might play out over at the American Copywriter blog. Coming from the creative/agency point of view, I think John is spot-on in his assessment of what will happen. That being said, however, I'd still encourage any interested student to take a look.

Registration must be completed by September 22nd, and submissions are due by October 13th. Its high pressure on a short timeline, but that's life in the advertising business.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Now this is the kind of attitude to have

So this story isn't necessarily marketing or advertising related, but it does involve a local business, and its just too good not to share.

I just read on The Idaho Statesman's website that the women's fashion boutique store Ishi is going to be closing. Business concerns were a factor in the decision, of course, but the very last line in the article sums up a fantastic attitude to have:

“Every year I would say, next year I’ll have more time to garden and spend time with my husband Pete,” she said. Now, it’s here. “I’m creating my next year.”
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Friday, September 08, 2006

Random observation on a Friday

Why are there so many radio spots lately that include emergency service-type sirens? Every time I hear something like that in the background while driving, my first reaction is to look around to see where the sirens are coming from, and if I need to get out of the way. Then, once I realize that its actually part of a radio spot, I'm immediately irritated.

I'd be willing to bet that I'm not the only one. So just why would you want to purposely create that kind of negative association with your product/service/message by doing something like that?

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'll give partial credit

If I were a teacher, I guess I'd be the type to give partial credit for attempting to answer a question or taking the right action.

That being said, I have to give partial credit to Stoltz Marketing Group. They have been occasionally updating the news on their website, including some news items that I've previously mentioned.

But here's the kicker, and the reason that they only get partial credit. Unless you dig into Stoltz's website, you'd never know that they have been posting any of their news. The reason? When you first enter their flash-only website, the "Latest News" section of their main page indicates that the most recent news is from January 5, 2006. Once you dig into it, however, you'll find that the most recent news piece is from July 1, 2006, not January 5th. Why is this?

I'd be willing to bet that there is a very simple explanation -- the site was built by a developer who is no longer with the company. This developer, I would assume, was the only person who knew how to make the whole site work well, and now that they're gone, the people who are left are forced to piece it all back together. If this is indeed the case, it begs the larger question -- what do you do when a key member of your staff leaves the company? How do you make sure that they're not taking the full scope of knowledge about a particular subject (in this case, how to update your company's website) with them out the door?

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Friday, September 01, 2006

New Hires at Es/drake

Es/drake in Boise has announced three new additions to their staff:

Amanda Cash has been hired as an interactive project coordinator.
Alison Eatough, formerly a public relations intern, has been hired as a full time public relations specialist
Kristine Andrew has been hired as a media buyer.

Congratulations to all.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Client Win at Oliver Russell

WaterShed Rainwear in Salem, Oregon has selected Oliver Russell to develop an interactive web tool that will allow customers to design their own rainwear. This tool, according to Oliver Russell, will be similar to those currently being used by footwear manufacturers, allowing customers to put their personal touches on products (Think NIkeID products from Nike).

Congratulations to the staff over at Oliver Russell on the new client win.

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Job Opening - Media Buyer

Closed Loop in Boise has an opening for a Media Buyer. The full job posting can be found here.
(Courtesy of

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Three Months Later

And Rizen Creative is still feeling a little awkward.

Have they really been that busy for the past several months? If that really is the case, good for them! But given the trend in the agency business, things tend to slow down a bit in the summer months.

I know I sound like a broken record, but doing your own internal work is just as important as doing client-specific work. While this internal work is not billable time, it can lead to future billable work, which ensures the ongoing success of your agency.

Now is an agency's website the end-all be-all when it comes to attracting new business? Of course not. But it is low-hanging fruit, and you're missing a piece of the puzzle by not taking advantage of it.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Job Opening - Media Buyer

Steele & Associates in Pocatello has an opening for a Media Buyer with two- to four-years media buying/planning experience. The full job announcement can be found here.

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Something is brewing on the horizon

I came across an interesting article today from AdAge, discussing the "crisis" that the advertising industry is going through, particularly when it comes to hiring talent with digital experience.

While I don't expect it to happen on the same magnitude here in Idaho, it is interesting to see what's going on at the national level. In most cases, I don't believe that agencies around these parts bought into the dot-com hype as much as those in larger markets. Still, there was fallout at the local level from the overall slowdown in the economy, and it'll be interesting to see if those who were formerly in the industry get snapped up again as this apparent upswing in business filters down to the local level.

You can read the article for yourself here: Digital-Talent Dearth Breeds Crisis
(Courtesy of AdAge)

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Friday, August 18, 2006

And in related news

Not only has c308 Marketing made a couple of new hires, but they are also packing up and heading to a new space in the Hoff Building.
(Thanks Boisee for the tip)

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Hires at c308

c308 Marketing in Boise has made a couple of new hires:

Katie Kerby has joined the company as an account manager.
Tom Labrecque has been hired as a project manager.

Congratulations to both.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Taking the easy way out

On the radio this morning, something caught my ear that just cannot go without comment...

There is a spot currently running on at least one, and likely more, of the Citadel stations in Boise for the Mountain Home Auto Ranch. That, in and of itself, is no big deal. The content of the spot itself is what left me scratching my head. The ad is for what they are calling Project 307 -- they "need" to sell 307 vehicles by July 5th.

July 5th.

Today's date? August 10th.

So, that begs the question -- why would an advertiser choose to run spots with a message that is outdated, and an offer that has long since expired? I'd be willing to guess that there was a conversation with the radio account exec. and the end result was something along the lines of the client saying "just use one of the spots that we've run recently." Okay, fine, but why would the account exec let a spot run with an outdated message? (Answer: he/she doesn't really care about the content of the ad -- as long as the air time has been paid for, he/she is getting their commission, so life is good in their eyes.)

By letting something like this happen, the account exec, and ultimately the radio station, is doing a huge disservice to their client. They are serving as nothing more than order takers (the client said run a recent spot -- here's the most recent spot we have), and are doing nothing to build/further the ongoing relationship between the station and the client.

While this may seem like an isolated incident, it really is symptomatic of a larger issue that pops up in advertising/marketing world: Taking the easy way out. It was easier just to grab the most recent spot for Mountain Home Auto Ranch and use it to fill the air slot. There was no actual effort involved, no service to the client. This is a service business, whether you'd like to admit it or not. Agencies are in existence to provide a service to their clients, not to simply take their orders and churn out a result. If that's all you want to do, go take orders at a restaurant. Even in that scenario, though, the better servers -- those that people come back and specifically request -- are those who go above and beyond the level of order taker.

Now the other side of the coin, of course, is the client. Is the client to blame for this situation? Of course they are. They allowed it to happen just as much as the radio station did. But at the end of the day, the client (in this case the car dealership) isn't in the business of buying advertising time. They're in the business of selling cars. Advertising is a piece of their business, yes, but not what they spend their whole day on. This again, is where its the responsibility of the agency (or account exec at the station) to act in the best interest of the client.

Did the radio station act in the best interest of their client in this case? No.
Is it going to happen again? Probably.

Are you, after reading this, going to keep the lesson in mind in the future?

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Job Opening

Lexa Marketing has an opening for a Graphic Tech with Corel, Illustrator or Photoshop experience. The full description (poor grammar and all) can be found here.
(Courtesy of CareerBuilder)

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Agency Addition

Temel has been added to the list of agencies here in Idaho.

While they are based out of Boonton, NJ, they do have an office in Boise, Idaho, which appears to support Hewlett Packard, primarily.

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New Hire

Roy Kimball has joined the Oliver Russell staff in Boise as a production designer.

Congratulations Roy.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Job Opening

Earlier this year, most of the hiring that happened 'round these parts were creative-type positions. Well, now that several shops have ramped up on that side of the house, it seems that the pendulum has swung back to the account/client services side.

Within the past few months, Oliver Russell has added a couple of new people on the account side, Stoltz Marketing Group has added to their account services staff (speaking of which, did they ever find their Director of Client Services? Anyone?), and Rizen Creative has also beefed up on the client services side.

That trend continues.

Oliver Russell is looking for an Account Services Director with 10+ years of professional experience, preferably including advertising/marketing agency experience. The full job opening can be found here.
(Courtesy of Monster)

Now, being somewhat familiar with the staff over at Oliver Russell, I think I can make an educated guess on who's coming and going. For the time being, however, I'm going to keep that one to myself.

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Thanks for the nod

Thanks to Danny G. over at AdPulp for the nod yesterday.

Yes, its true that this is not the most active blog in the world, but by trying to keep the discussion limited to what's happening in and around Idaho, there are some pretty quiet days.

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