Sunday, April 05, 2009

We've Moved

The Blogger platform has been good to the Idaho Ad Agencies blog for the past four years. But it's time for the blog to stretch its legs a bit.

That being said, you can now find the Idaho Ad Agencies blog at

Please feel free to head on over to the new site, or wait just a moment and you'll be redirected automatically.

Thanks to everyone who has visited the site over the years, and we look forward to seeing you at the new Idaho Ad Agencies site.

Friday, April 03, 2009



That's the headline you've probably seen by now on billboards around Boise. Three different billboards - each with a portrait of a woman who has undergone cancer treatment, and the side-effects that go along with it - are around the valley to promote Boise's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

The women featured on the billboards and in other pieces for the Boise affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure are Susan Chapman, Bobbi Fuller, Margo Vaughn, Cheryl Imlach and Stephanee Rowbury.

The billboards, website, and other support materials were developed by Stoltz Marketing Group. From the story on their website:

In the new "Imagine" campaign, the women's portraits are embellished with imaginary hairstyles, illustrating what they might look like if a cure is found. The resulting race posters, web site and other collateral material are the work of SMG's Crissie McDowell, Kate Holgate, Lindzee "Screw the Budget" Frei, and friend Katie Shamberg who together have raised more than $40,000 to find a cure over the last few years through their own nonprofit Think Pink, Inc.
Photography for the campaign was done by Todd Meier Photography.

There are a number of events leading up to the Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 9th. Be sure to check out the website for all the details.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Anniversaries and Milestones

Congratulations are in order for a couple of shops that are celebrating anniversaries today:

Congratulations to both.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 30th

Product Placement Goes Local - via Ad Age

Study Finds Americans Becoming Screen-Based Multi-Taskers, But TV Still Dominates - via MediaPost

Media X: Past Perfect - via MediaPost

Siloed: Clients Lag Agencies In Integrated Opportunities - via MediaPost

Newspapers Fail To Harness Readers' Social Power - via MarketingVOX

Do You Have a Killed Idea?

Steve Hall, Publisher of AdRants and co-founder of MarketingVOX, together with the folks at Blurb, are looking for the best of what never saw the light of day: the Killed Ideas.

From the Killed Ideas website:

We want ideas that could have changed the face of advertising, elevated a client’s brand to new heights, or won a webby – but instead ended up on the cutting room floor. TV campaigns, microsites, print goodness, viral – you name it, we want it. Whether it’s traditional or cutting-edge, we’re looking to show the best ideas to an audience who appreciate a killer campaign when they see it.
They've been accepting submissions for just over a month, but have extended their deadline until Tuesday, April 7th.

So if you've done some outstanding work that just never made it out the door, submit it at Killed Ideas and see how it stacks up against the rest. And of course, you can also follow Killed Ideas on Twitter.

Upcoming AIGA Event - Drink for Design

The next AIGA Idaho Drink for Design event is coming up on Thursday, April 23rd. From the group's website:

All designers need to be hydrated to keep up with all that creative genius out there, whatever your choice of liquid may be, i.e., vitamin induced pump-you-up water, cola, beer, mixed drinks... Come and enjoy liquid refreshment together and refuel your creative juices*.
*please no spewing

Details are as follows:

Date: Thursday, April 23rd
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: The Modern Hotel, 1314 W. Grove St, Boise ID

For questions or more information, contact the AIGA Idaho folks.

Idaho Business Review's Idaho Women of the Year

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2009 Idaho Business Review's Idaho Women of the Year honors.

As always, the 50 women selected are all incredibly talented in their own right. This year's honorees include a couple of familiar names in the marketing world, such as:

Congratulations to both, and all of this year's honorees.

Oliver Russell Wins in Houston

Work from Oliver Russell was recognized recently at the Houston Advertising Federation's ADDY Awards Show.

In total, five campaigns that Oliver Russell produced for Hewlett Packard's Personal Systems Group were recognized, including:

  • Two Gold ADDY Awards
  • Two Silver ADDY Awards
  • One Citation of Excellence.

The agency has made photos of the work available on their website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Memorable Avocado

Nation's Restaurant News recently recognized work produced by Stoltz Marketing Group for Simplot Food Group. The piece, a print ad for Simplot's avocado products, was named the highest performing ad for 2008.

The magazine’s ADinsite™ study surveyed readers on twenty ads for recall, believability and both short- and long-term interest in the product advertised. The Simplot ad outperformed efforts by recognizable brands including Heinz, The Beef Council, Idaho Potato Commission, Butterball and Tyson.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

New Hire at Justinen Creative Group

Justinen Creative Group in Nampa has added Steve Creitz as Senior Illustrator. Steve will be managing JCG's various illustration projects, as well as assisting with in-house development of JCG's sister company Good Salt.

Steve has a decade's worth of experience in print illustration and art direction, and was previously an Art Director with Narrow Gate Media in Vancouver, WA. He will also be receiving a MFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco this coming year.

Congratulations Steve.

IN PLAY: Idaho Lottery

As many already know, the Idaho Lottery has issued a Marketing Services Request for Proposal.

From the press release:

The Idaho Lottery is asking marketing and advertising firms to respond to three main service categories that include “Account Services”, “Creative Services”, and “Media Services”.

The initial term of the current advertising and marketing contract with Drake-Cooper of Boise will expire at the end of this current fiscal year on June 30, 2009. Drake-Cooper has been the advertising agency of record for the Idaho Lottery since operations began twenty years ago. “Going out to bid for these services is not a reflection on the performance of Drake-Cooper, but rather a responsible look at how we are doing business,” added Anderson.
Those who wish to respond to the RFP must submit a letter of "Intent to Bid" to the Idaho Lottery no later than 5:00 pm MDT on Friday, March 27th, and written proposal responses are due no later than 5:00 pm MDT on Friday, April 29th. Additional details about the RFP process, timelines and such are available on the Idaho Lottery's website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Makes a Good Creative Director

Our friends at The Denver Egotist recently published a two-part series (and rant) on What Makes a Good Creative Director.

Some highlights from Part 1:

The creative director is the last line of defense.
That is the last line of defense. When no one else in the creative department knows where to take a job, or how to crack a brief, the CD can do it. They have the experience, the savvy and the ability to produce the work when no one else can.

The creative director is well-versed in all crafts.
Great CDs are chameleons who understand the balance between concepts & strategy, and copy & design. Which is a nice segue into the next point.

The creative director is well-read.
But by reading a wide variety of books, periodicals and websites, the CD is furnished with a mind that can think outside of the annuals, and guide work that other agencies will follow.

And a few nuggets from Part 2:
The creative director produces work
But a good CD will still want to do some of the work, usually about 25% of it. As a creative, that scares me. The idea that I could only spend one-quarter of my time doing what I love most is a chilling thought, but perhaps when the time comes I’ll be ready to slow down on the work and see a bigger picture. But the fact remains, creative directors should still have the ability to take a brief and produce some terrific work.

The creative director knows every creative brief intimately
The brief is the lifeblood of any campaign, and it should never be allowed to be anything less than perfect. I’ve worked in agencies that gave account managers ten days to write the brief and creative teams five days to solve it. This may seem out of whack to the uneducated, but when the creative brief is tight and provides solid, focused direction, the ideas flow.

The creative director can sell or present anything, and do it well
Selling and presenting is a skill; by the time you’re elevated to the dizzy heights of CD, you should be damned good at it.

Finally, the creative director improves the work
A good CD will improve the work. Period.

Now this is by no means a complete summary of the series that Felix put together. I encourage all of you to take the time to read the entire thing (yes, both parts). If you find something that interests you, or sparks a thought, take the time to leave them a comment.

Upcoming Event - Magic Valley Advertising Federation Luncheon

The Magic Valley Advertising Federation, together with Yellow Book USA, are presenting a luncheon event entitled How to Effectively Use Yellow Page Advertising in your Media Mix featuring speaker Matt Beck, Area General Sales Manager of Yellow Book USA.

Details about the event:

Date: Thursday, April 9th
Time: 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Twin Falls Shilo Inn, 1586 Blue Lakes Blvd N, Twin Falls ID
- Members: $10
- Member Guests: $20
- Non-Members: $25

Additional details about the event are available here (registration required). To RSVP, contact Melissa Crane, either via email or by telephone at 208-308-0488.

Job Opening: Graphic Designer

Balihoo Creative in Boise has an opening for a Graphic Designer. Qualified applicants should have a degree in graphic design or closely related field, 1-2 years of agency or freelance experience, a solid online portfolio, etc. etc.

From the job listing on Craigslist:

The position “graphic designer” is pretty broad, you’re saying to yourself. Well here are some more details. We hesitate to call this “entry level,” but this is for someone at the front end of their career. The majority of the work is “nuts and bolts” - taking client approved concepts and building them out to print and online media. That being said, this isn’t a mindless job for an ape-like automaton. There’s really no such thing as a “junior” in our shop (except for maybe “mints”) so our new graphic designer will have the opportunity to work directly on identity, creative concepts and comps for significant client engagements.

Full details about the position can be found on the Craigslist listing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2009 Rockie Awards Show

The Idaho Advertising Federation is presenting the 2009 Rockie Awards Show on Saturday, April 18th. Details below.

As promised above, here are all the details you'll need:

Date: Saturday, April 18th
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Knitting Factory Concert House, 416 S. 9th St, Boise ID
Cost: $45 per person, or $350 for a table of 8

RSVPs should be directed to Sandy Anderson, either via email or by telephone at 208-867-1299

Friday, March 20, 2009

REMINDER: Call for Nominations - IAF Silver Medal Award

A reminder that nominations for the IAF Silver Medal Award are due by Friday, March 27th. Details about the award, and the nomination process, are available on the original post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Award Winners in Northern Idaho

The Spokane Advertising Federation held their 2009 ADDY Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 6th, and among the winners were several from Northern Idaho.

4 Silver ADDY Awards, 1 Honorable Mention

Hanna & Associates:
6 Gold ADDY Awards, 11 Silver ADDY Awards, 4 Honorable Mentions

Imagination Graphics:
1 Honorable Mention

Salty Design Foundry:
Designer's Chair, Best of Division, 3 Gold ADDY Awards, 3 Silver ADDY Awards, 4 Honorable Mentions

Student Award:
Grant Hoki, North Idaho College
Honorable Mention

Congratulations to all of the award winners. A full list of winners from the club (which could very likely include some Idaho shops that I've missed) is available via the Spokane Ad Fed's website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 17th

Outdoor Spending Plummets 15% - via MediaPost

Advertisers, Agencies Split On Overall Ad Optimism, Agree Onad Online - via MediaPost

SEM Spend to Top $26B by 2013; Cannibalize Print Media - via MarketingVOX

Tough Times or Not, the Approach Should Remain the Same - via Adweek

Upcoming Event - Ignite Boise

Ignite Boise has been in the works for a few months, and the event is finally upon us.

What is Ignite Boise, you ask? Well, in a nutshell:

Ignite Boise is a 3 hour-ish idea feeding frenzy that brings together artists, geeks, entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, and others to share their ideas in fast-paced, bite-sized presentations. It’s a great opportunity to meet smart, interesting people (if we do say so ourselves) and maybe even learn something.
The presenters have all been selected, the venue set, and 600 or so tickets have already been reserved.

But if you didn't get a ticket already, there's still hope: Those who have reserved tickets for the event will be allowed in starting at 5:00 on the evening of the event, and public (general) admission begins at 5:30. So if you have a ticket, be sure to get there early. If not, have faith, and there will likely be room for more.

All the details you might need about the event:

Date: Thursday, March 19th
Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Seating for reserved ticket holders begins at 5:00 pm
- Public admission begins at 5:30 pm
Location: Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St, Boise ID
Cost: FREE

Still more questions? Send the organizers an email or catch up with them on Twitter.

Good Work. Good Cause

To support the Nampa Family Justice Center's Hearts of Hope Gala, Peppershock Media Productions produced the PSA below.

If you'd like to attend, details about the event are as follows:

Date: Saturday, March 28th
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. South, Nampa, ID
Cost: $45 per person

NOTE: Registrations were due by Saturday, March 14th, but you may still be able to attend. Call the Nampa Family Justice Center at 208-475-5700 to find out more.

Job Opening: Creative Director

CLM in Boise has an opening for a Creative Director.

From their job listing on Craigslist:

We are a Boise-based agency with a diverse client base looking for someone with a great book (emphasis on visual), lots of energy and desire to succeed. We want to hear from you if you love finding creative solutions for business problems and opportunities, have strong concepting, creative development, and presentation skills, and are willing to personally handle tactical executions from time to time.
Word from the agency is that this is a new position, not a replacement of an existing position. Full details about the job and how to apply can be found here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

DaviesMoore Hits the Streets

Seen last week on a sidewalk off of Idaho St, between 5th and 6th in Boise:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Call for Nominations: Idaho Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award

The Idaho Advertising Federation is currently accepting nominations for the AAF Silver Medal Award.

The AAF Silver Medal Award is presented annually by the Idaho Advertising Federation to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to advertising by furthering the industry's standards, creative excellence, and responsibilities in areas of social concern.

From the IAF:

Who is eligible?

  • The Nominee must have achieved success in an advertising agency, for an advertiser or in broadcast or publishing.
  • He or she shall have shown consistent creativity and have worked to raise the standards of the advertising profession.
  • He or she shall have been active in civic, religious, or other groups dedicated to some phase of human or social welfare and must be currently active in advertising.
  • The Nominee need not be a current member of the Idaho Advertising Federation.

How to submit a Nominee:

  • Please submit nominations on 8.5" x 11" pages outlining in detail the extent to which the Nominee has met or exceeded the Silver Medal Award Criteria. You are encouraged to expand on the Nominee's experience and contributions to such degree that judges will be fully informed. Please be advised that abbreviated nominations may be dismissed as insufficient to demonstrate a Nominee's true qualifications.
  • Provide the Nominee's name and company affiliation on a cover page with the contact information of the nominator, followed by all pertinent qualifications of the Nominee for consideration on subsequent pages.
Nominations should be submitted to Bob Rosenthal, Vice President and General Manager of Journal Broadcast Group via email, or mailed to:

Idaho Advertising Federation
Silver Medal Award Program
P.O. Box 2691
Boise, ID 83701

Nominations should be submitted no later than Friday, March 27, 2009. Nominations received after this date may not receive consideration. Should you require additional time to complete a nomination or if you have questions, please contact Bob Rosenthal at 208-381-6601 or 208- 947-5408.

If you'd like more information, this PDF provides just about all the information you could need. And if you still have questions, you're welcome to contact either Bob Rosenthal or Sandy Anderson.

Internship Opportunity - Graphic Design Intern

Mitchell + Palmer in Boise is on the hunt for a Graphic Design Intern.

From the folks at Mitchell + Palmer:

  • 3 month internship, paying $200/month
  • Part-time, hours will be flexible and erratic, sometimes we have lots to do, and other weeks not so much; so someone who can be flexible with us and we will be flexible with them
  • Must have your own computer with Adobe Creative Suite (Flash is a plus but not required) and be able to work from home or from the office, depending on what we have going on
  • Ideal person is a graphic design student or recent graduate from design school who is looking for experience and to learn in a real-life setting—talented, ambitious and committed to doing what it takes to get into the design industry; someone who really wants to make this their career path, not just dabbling in design
To be considered for this position, submit your resume and work samples or digital portfolio to

New Client Win for DNA and Kerns

DNA Advertising and Kerns Brand Marketing, working in partnership, were recently named as the agency of record for Spine Idaho & Associated Physicians.

Spine Idaho & Associated Physicians is affiliated with Skyline Surgery Center, Idaho Medical Imaging, Rehab Authority and Idaho Pain Group. The 16,000 sq ft facility housing their operations is located in Pocatello, Idaho.

DNA and Kerns will provide branding, advertising, media and public relations services for the organization.

Oliver Russell Featured in HOW Magazine

Work from Oliver Russell has once again been featured in HOW magazine.

In this case, the work that Oliver Russell did on the identity known as "Sassy the Sasquatch" won a merit award in HOW's logo category. They were also recognized with a merit award for their "Big O" Award, which is an environmental graphics display in the agency's office in Boise.

Photos of the award-winning work can be seen on Oliver Russell's website.

Congratulations to everyone that was involved in these projects.

Job Opening - Designer

I have to say, it feels good to be able to write about someone hiring...

Noot Group in Boise has an opening for a Designer. Specifically, they're looking for someone who has experience in graphic, interactive, and multimedia design. From the job listing:

Interactive Designer? Multimedia Designer? Graphic Designer? It’d be an injustice to peg you to just one title because your work kicks, regardless of the medium.

You know Adobe CS, Flash and Dreamweaver so well that you could tour the country giving seminars on all the short cuts. Your strength is collaborating with an Art Director to produce the best out of a concept with fresh, creative ideas and executions. You thrive on a high volume of work for a diverse list of clients in a creatively driven, fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment. You have 2+ years agency experience in digital and traditional media, obsessive organizational skills and will take initiative when needed.

Full details about this position are available via the job listing on Craigslist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 10th

Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google to Some Sites - via Ad Age

CMOs Say Agencies Add to Their Woes - via Adweek

Quality, Creativity, Trust Are Keys To 'New Normal' - via MediaPost

24/7 Wall Street Predicts the 10 Newspapers to Fold Next - via Media Buyer Planner

The New Boise Agency Suspense is Over

A little over a week ago, NewBoiseAgency first appeared on the scene, with a full page ad in the Idaho Business Review, a Twitter profile and a teaser website. The folks behind the scenes started following, and actively engaged with many within the marketing and advertising community on Twitter – myself included.

Central to their campaign was the reveal of the merger of two Boise advertising agencies.

Today, that reveal is complete.

Davies Rourke and Marketing Media Group have joined forces to create DaviesMoore.

From their official announcement:

Two Boise based advertising agencies Marketing Media Group (MMG) and Davies Rourke announced Tuesday that the two companies will join forces to form DaviesMoore.

“We are all excited about this union as it will not only benefit both agencies, but it also greatly benefits our clients because they get both years of experience and wisdom combined with an abundance of energy, talent and fresh ideas,” said Edward Moore, president of DaviesMoore. “On the surface, there’s a contradiction because we are a truly diverse group of people with differing perspectives, yet it’s clear that we have a common goal: to provide the best marketing recommendations and solutions possible to generate positive results for our clients in a time when they need a positive return on their investment more than ever.”
DaviesMoore, who can now claim to be both the newest and oldest advertising agency in the state of Idaho, draws on the history of Davies Rourke, which was originally founded by Ken Davies as Givens-Davies Advertising in 1953, and then incorporated as Davies & Rourke Advertising in 1973. It also harnesses the momentum that MMG has gained over the past 11 years. MMG, founded in 1998, has grown from an original staff of three and a shared office space with the Idaho Steelheads to their current size and a client roster that includes sport entertainment, recreational, retail, higher education, packaged goods and more.

DaviesMoore will service the existing client rosters of both Davies Rourke and MMG. The combined offices will be located in what is now the former MMG office space, at 6th and Bannock in downtown Boise.

To Edward Moore, Jeff Nielsen and the entire staff of DaviesMoore, congratulations on the merger, the week-long launch anticipation, and what will certainly be a long and successful tenure in the business.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 9th

The Surprising Economics of Digital Advertising - via Adweek

Are Banner Ads Poised for Creative Renaissance? - via Adweek

NBCU To Agencies: Let's Create Branded Web Content - via MediaPost

Why You'll Be Seeing More Ads in Public Spaces - via Brandweek

Upcoming AIGA Event - The Quest for Quantification

Continuing at their typical break-neck speed, AIGA Idaho's next event is coming up on Thursday, March 12th, featuring Rob Wallace, Managing Partner of Wallace Church, entitled The Quest for Quantification - Proving Design's Return on Investment.

From the AIGA Idaho website:

Referred to as 'the thought leader on design ROI', Rob will share Wallace Church's process and data. He then will lead an active discussion on the impact of proving design's value. Can it be done? Should design be quantified? And what do we do with this information once we have it? Team discussion will lead to how quantifying design can be structured into your best practices.
All the details you'll need:

Date: Thursday, March 12th
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Boise State University, Liberal Arts Building, Room LA 106
- Members: Free
- Non-Members: $10
- Students: $5

Contact the folks at AIGA Idaho with any questions or for more information.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Job Opening: Brand Ambassador - onsite at Idaho State University

From the Eastern Idaho Craigslist:

NYC based Marketing Agency Seeking two outgoing Brand Ambassadors for exciting promotion with well known brand at Idaho State University campus in Pocatello. Candidates must work on three days, 4 hour shifts each day. Days flexible andbegin ASAP. Compensation competitive!
Additional details about the position are here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 5th

Media Metrics:The Sizzle and the Sell - via MediaPost

Professor Likens Brand-Building To Movie Making - via MediaPost

Utah Lawmaker Wants To Ban Trademark Triggers - via MediaPost

CMO Survey: Traditional Branding is 'Broken' - via MarketingVOX

Playing the Guessing Game

That's been the activity-of-the-week in the Treasure Valley, in parts of the marketing and advertising world at least.

Why, you ask?

Because everyone wants to know who "New Boise Agency" is.

Let's rewind just a bit.

On Monday March 2nd, a full page ad was published in the Idaho Business Review, teasing the launch of a New Boise Agency, with the question of "What happens when creativity and experience join forces?" and directed readers to the website.

At the same time, the New Boise Agency Twitter profile was created, and they began following those in the marketing world in and around Boise. They also integrated their Twitter updates into the teaser website, and have been regularly updating it throughout the past week.

So, the question remains -- just who is this New Boise Agency?

I have my hunches, as I'm sure you do, but I'm going to keep it to myself for the time being. The clock is ticking on this new organization, as they've made their intention to launch on March 10th very public.

In the mean time, I'll be watching closely.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Headline Roundup for March 2nd

Bank Marketing Fails to Reassure Wary and Befuddled Customers - via Ad Age

Niche Web Sites Buck Media Struggles - via The Wall Street Journal

Is marketing evil? - via Seth Godin

Local Ad Outlook: Protracted Downward Spiral - via MediaPost

Upcoming AIGA Event: Semi-Annual Mix/Mentor Event

Short notice on this one, but still worth getting the word out...

AIGA Idaho is presenting their Semi-Annual Mix/Mentor Event this Tuesday, March 3rd. This event is "a great chance to see what BSU Graphic Design students are up to and opportunity to offer up some professional advice and direction."

AIGA Idaho is also looking for members who are willing to serve as mentors and share an hour of time each month to work with students. If you're interested in becoming a mentor, send the AIGA Idaho folks an email, and they'll get you all the details.

As for the Semi-Annual Mix/Mentor Event, here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, March 3rd
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Boise State University Fine Arts Building, in Capitol Village on University Drive.

For more information, contact AIGA Idaho.

Technorati tags: , ,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MMG's Work for University of Idaho Awarded

Marketing Media Group's Legacy of Leading campaign for the University of Idaho was recognized recently by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The agency, along with the University, received two Gold Medal CASE Awards at this year's CASE District VIII Conference, held February 18 - 20 in Seattle.

Specifically, MMG and U of I were honored in the Video and Multimedia category (Advertising Spots and Public Service Announcements) for their 60-second television spot titled, “I am more than the University of Idaho,” and also in the Web Site category (Web Site Special Feature) for the university’s innovative degree finder.

North by Northwest handled production of the television, and c308 Marketing developed the website.

The 60-second spot was primarily used at recruiting and alumni events and was part of a television campaign that featured three other 30-second commercials that ran in the Boise and Spokane markets. The Degree Finder Web Site is an addition to the university’s revamped Web Site and features a user-friendly method of matching prospective students’ interests with multiple degree options.

Congratulations to MMG, University of Idaho, and everyone else involved in this campaign. If you'd like to learn more about how it all came to be, MMG also has a Case Study of the entire process available on their website.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Radio is Taking a Beating

Idaho Radio News has the coverage, but in a nutshell:

Layoffs of part-timers and salary cuts at Peak Broadcasting
Tough 4th quarter for Journal Broadcast Group
Lite FM running on a very light staff

Not the most pleasant of news in the broadcast world these days.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Upcoming BAF Event: Three Courses + Cake Luncheon

By now you've already saved the date, but here are a few more details about the Boise Advertising Federation's upcoming Three Courses + Cake luncheon, featuring Alan Wolk.

Date: Thursday, February 26th
Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location: The Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St., Boise ID
- Members: $18
- Non-Members: $25

RSVPs should be directed to Greg Giersch via email, or by telephone to 208-336-7511.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

REMINDER: Rockie Awards Late Entries Deadline

One final reminder that the extended deadline, with associated late fees of course, for the 2009 Rockie Awards is coming up this Wednesday, February 18th.

If you're still on the fence as to whether or not to submit your work for this year's awards show, you have until the 18th to make up your mind.

Technorati tags:

Side Door Media is No More

It is now known as Balihoo Creative.

During a recent spin around agency websites, I noticed that all links formerly associated with Side Door Media are now directed to Balihoo Creative. No announcement from the company or official word on the change (that I'm aware of, at least), but it has happened nevertheless.

For those who may not be familiar, Side Door Media grew out of Balihoo, by offering a full set of agency services to those who needed more than just the media planning and buying capabilities that Balihoo offered. By all accounts they've stayed consistently busy since then, so perhaps this is an effort to more closely align their services with, and support, the Balihoo brand.

Anyone else have more information? Feel free to comment away.

UPDATE: Dave Yasuda, General Manager of Balihoo Creative, left a comment providing more context (and some good-natured sarcasm aimed my direction) about the name change.

Technorati tags: , ,

February Coffee Morning

Well, January came and went without a Coffee Morning making the calendar. So what do you say we try not to let that happen again in February?

With that in mind, the February edition of Coffee Morning is scheduled for this coming Friday, February 20th.

Details are as follows:

Date: Friday, February 20th
Time: 7:30 am - 9:30 am (you're welcome to show up any time in between)
Location: Java Downtown, 6th & Idaho, Boise ID

For those needing a refresher, Coffee Morning is a loosely organized event that gives folks (in this case) in the marketing and advertising industry a chance to get together and chat about whatever topics may come up. There is no formal agenda, no planned speakers or presentations. Just a chance to get together and chat.

Any questions - feel free to send them along.

Technorati tags: ,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Headline Roundup for February 12th

Lamar Testing Solar-Powered Digital Billboards - via Mediaweek

Local TV Stations Face a Fuzzy Future - via The Wall Street Journal

Marketers Report Further Budget Cuts - via Adweek

Event Marketing Makes Gains - via Adweek

Technorati tags: , ,

Strong Man, Strong Kids, and Funny Valentine's

For the second year in a row, the folks at Oliver Russell are putting on their "My Funny Valentine" promotion on Friday, February 13th.

The event grew out of questions that the agency has gotten over the 'I LOVE YOU' strong man mural on the side of their building. Last year, they invited the public to have a Polaroid photo taken for Valentine's Day.

This year, they're asking a $5 donation with each picture, which will go to the YMCA Strong Kids program. Oliver Russell will match the donations, up to the first $1,000.

If you feel so inclined, go get your picture taken on the 13th (Friday the 13th jokes aside, of course) and help support the YMCA.

Technorati tags: , ,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Save the Date: BAF Luncheon Featuring Guest Speaker Alan Wolk

The next edition of the Three Courses + Cake luncheon series from the Boise Advertising Federation is scheduled for Thursday, February 26th.

The guest speaker at this event will be Alan Wolk. Alan is a Social Media Strategist and Creative Director through his Toad Stool Consultancy. Prior to stepping out on his own, Alan spent the better part of the past two decades at shops such as Anderson & Lembke, AtmosphereBBDO, Frankfurt Balkind, Ogilvy, JWT and most recently DraftFCB.

He has written for Adweek, has been featured on several marketing-related sites such as AgencySpy, AdPulp, and MarketingProfs. Alan regularly publishes The Toad Stool Blog, and is active on Twitter.

More details about this event will be available from the BAF soon, but be sure to get this on your calendar right away. It's not one to be missed.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , ,

Blue541 Work Hits Communication Arts

Recently, Blue541's work for The Resort Boat Shop in Coeur d'Alene was featured on the Communication Arts website.

From the Communication Arts feature:

When local ad agency BLUE541 launched a newsprint ad campaign, it seemed fitting to illustrate the fine art aspect of boat-building. With inspirational imagery, and copy to match, the ad touches an emotional chord for the faithful devotees who eat, sleep and breathe for wood boats and water.
Congratulations to the folks up at Blue541 for the recognition.

Technorati tags: , ,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SOVRN Creative Featured in Idaho Business Review

SOVRN Creative in Boise, whom you may remember from an introduction on the Idaho Ad Agencies blog back in October, was featured in this week's Idaho Business Review.

An excerpt from the article:

SOVRN (pronounced “sovereign”) specializes in advertising, corporate consulting and planning, direct marketing, environmental design, merchandising, motion graphics, product packaging, video production and Web site development. Its three principals – Brian Cottier, Philip McLain and Joe Rice – are all in their 30s and have years of experience in the field.
The article also goes on to mention, among other things, SOVRN's recent work on behalf of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, as well as the principals' history, and how the firm came to be.

Technorati tags: , , ,

REMINDER: AIGA Event - Von Glitschka, Illustrative Designer

Just a reminder that AIGA Idaho's upcoming event featuring Von Glitschka, Illustrative Designer, is coming up this Thursday, February 12th.

Technorati tags: ,

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Upcoming PRSA Event - Effective News Pitching Practices


The Idaho Chapter of PRSA is focusing their programs during the early parts of 2009 on collaboration and information sharing, especially in terms of creating more dialogue among its members, and tapping into local resources.

Their upcoming event on February 11th reflects that focus. From the event's description:

Bring your sense of humor and war stories to this meeting where we’ll share pitching methods and techniques, successes and failures. During this session we will:
  • Learn how to develop finesse in:
    • Phone pitching
    • Email pitching
    • Micro/speed pitching
    • Approach (by target)
  • Practice live pitching
  • Share our lists of top 5 things to avoid when pitching
  • Bring examples of effective pitches and pitch results
Details are as follows:

Date: Wednesday, February 11th
Time: 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Location: The WaterCooler, 14th & Idaho, Boise
- Members: $8
- Non-Members: $10
- Cost includes lunch

RSVPs should be sent to Robbie Johnson via email or telephone at 208.387.6228 by Monday, February 9th.

Technorati tags: , ,

REMINDER: Rockie Awards Deadline

Unless you're fond of paying late fees, entries for the 2009 Rockie Awards are due by Sunday, February 8th.

Late entries will be accepted through February 18th, however they are subject to an additional fee (don't say I didn't try to warn you).

Technorati tags:

Headline Roundup for February 5th

Reward Program Members Are Brand Champions - via Adweek

Big Screen: Study Touts Cinema Ad Effectiveness - via MediaPost

Study: Ads make watching TV more pleasurable - via The Live Feed
and, as a follow up:
Q&A: C’mon, do ads REALLY make TV more fun? - via The Live Feed

Denny's Grand Slam Giveaway a Hit With 2 Million Diners - via Ad Age

Technorati tags: , , ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Upcoming AIGA Event - Von Glitschka, Illustrative Designer

AIGA Idaho has yet another event on tap, and this looks to be a good one. Von Glitschka, Illustrative Designer with Glitschka Studios, will be presenting to the group on Thursday, February 12th.

From the event's description:

Have you ever thought of a unique concept, but then wasn't sure you could pull it off because it required a good amount of illustrative work and frankly speaking that intimidated you? Or your budget was such that you couldn't hire it out either? So, instead you just pursued another design direction? Von's "Illustrative Design" presentation will walk you through systematic illustrative design methods you'll be able to integrate into your own creative process. In the end you'll be better equipped to pursue those design ideas that require an illustrative touch far more effectively, thus expanding your overall creative potential and skill set as a graphic designer.
Here's the skinny, for those interested in attending:

Date: Thursday, February 12th
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Beside Bardenay, 612 Grove St, Boise
- AIGA Members: $10
- Non-Members: $20
- Students: $7
- Ticket price includes admission, drink ticket and appetizers

Samples of Von Glitschka's work are available at either or

If you have any questions about this event, or would like more information, contact the folks at AIGA Idaho.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Headline Roundup for February 4th

A New Dimension - via Adweek

Baked Into Buildings' DNA - via Mediaweek

The Age of Discovery - via Adweek

Vanity 800 Numbers More Memorable than URLs - via MarketingVOX

Technorati tags: , ,

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Special Request: Support for the Special Olympics World Winter Games

This morning I received an email from the folks at Balihoo that I felt was worth passing along:


I’m sending you this email as a fellow business colleague to ask for your support for the
Special Olympics World Winter Games being held in Idaho this week.

The 2009 World Games still needs to raise money to support these phenomenal athletes, and I believe the Idaho business community can help. The World Games challenged Balihoo to find a way to help. Our idea: offer a Winter Games Commemorative Shadow Box for businesses that donate $500 or more to the games. Each shadow box will contain one of the original, hand-knitted blue and white scarves, which have been prominently featured in the news. These scarves were handmade by volunteers across the country and sent to Boise for the games.

Every limited edition, numbered shadow box will also contain a letter from one of the volunteer knitters and a personalized “thank you” to your business. We think they are perfect to hang in your office as a long-term reminder of your company’s support for these games and their legacy on our community.

You can go to the following website to learn more and make your pledge:

I know times are tough and we’re all feeling a squeeze right now, so asking for a $500 pledge from a fellow business certainly comes with a bit of apprehension. However, this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Idaho and a similarly unparalleled opportunity for the Idaho business community to show its strength and commitment to the greater good. The shadow boxes will be available only until February 13th.

Finally, please forward this email to other Idaho business leaders who you think can help!


And as a reminder, the Games begin February 7th, and run through February 13th.

Technorati tags: , ,

Headline Roundup for February 3rd

Agency Clients Slash Budgets 20% or More, Digital Only Bright Spot - via MarketingVOX

Reverse Trends: 6 Ways To Improve Broadcast TV - via MediaPost

The Economics of Giving It Away - via The Wall Street Journal

Is Community Service the New Green? - via Brandweek

Technorati tags: , , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More on the Idaho Department of Commerce Public Relations Contract Saga


There's been a flurry of talk, rumor and speculation around the Idaho Department of Commerce, and the news that they had awarded their Public Relations contract to a firm based out of New York.

First, some housekeeping. For those who are not yet aware, word came out Tuesday afternoon via the Idaho Business Review that the Department had selected Development Counsellors International to handle the PR contract. This (Thursday) morning, however, the Department announced that it had withdrawn that decision, and they would be "negotiating exclusively with Idaho firms using Idaho talent".

Commerce Director Don Dietrich provided this statement:

After thoroughly reviewing the contracting process and its result, I determined that it was inappropriate to hire an out-of-state vendor to help us revitalize and expand Idaho’s economy and produce Idaho jobs. The intent letter sent to DCI is being withdrawn, and we will be negotiating exclusively with Idaho firms using Idaho talent for the Idaho Department of Commerce’s public relations needs.
The news has also been picked up nationally, most recently being reported by PR Week.

Since this story first broke, there's been an uproar throughout the marketing / advertising / public relations community, both online and offline. Much of it is based on a very simple, yet valid argument: With this decision, the Department of Commerce is contradicting it's mission statement in the worst possible way.

From the Department's website:

The mission of the Idaho Department of Commerce is to create jobs, strengthen communities, and market the state by:
  • Fostering economic development by assisting the growth of existing Idaho businesses and attracting new businesses to the state.
  • Assisting Idaho businesses in the exportation of goods and services to nations throughout the world
  • Cultivating the development of new businesses and job opportunities across the industry sector
  • Expanding Idaho's tourism and recreation industries
  • Promoting Idaho as a location for feature film and commercial production
Through this decision, the Department effectively demonstrated that it had no intention of living up to it's own mission statement, specifically that of "assisting the growth of existing Idaho businesses."

Now, let's step into the Department's shoes for a moment.

For this, or any government agency, decisions are a numbers game. Typically, those numbers are preceded by a dollar sign. In this case, it came in the form of scoring on a points system. This type of decision-making allows those involved in the process to take any emotion out of the equation - it's a competition, and the highest score wins.

From an operational point of view, this format is understandable. Without this type of process in place, decisions might never be made. Public agencies, State and Local Governments are under enormous pressure to avoid even the hint of impropriety in their decision-making process. This type of system is in place for that very reason, and it's not likely to change.

Was there preference given to in-state respondents? Yes, in the form of a 50 point bonus in the scoring. Was the intent of the bonus points to discourage out-of-state responses? Doubtful. It did, however, demonstrate that the Department made a good-faith effort to give those respondents based in Idaho a leg up on the competition.

Knowing that this is a number's game, let's look at it from another angle. By selecting an out-of-state agency, the Commerce Department made a huge gamble. The argument can be made that they were gambling on the fact that the revenue that would be generated for the State as a result of future PR efforts would exceed the revenue that the State would receive through employment taxes, sales taxes et. al. as a result of keeping the work in-state. Although the reported $200,000 value is not a large contract when compared to other state agencies, it's still real money. And it pays salaries, keeps people employed, prevents layoffs, allows companies to hire additional staff. The list goes on and on.

And given recent news about budget concerns for the State of Idaho, that's a very real concern in the hallways and offices of State Government. Case in point: the PR Week report suggest that "the decision to rescind the offer was a result of internal discussions", and by "conferring with the Governor's office". I'd be very surprised if that wasn't a topic in those 'internal discussions'.

So, the question now at hand is: what will the Idaho Department of Commerce do next?

The original RFP was issued in late October/early November, and it took until late January to reach a decision. Will the whole process begin again? If that's the case, it is likely that everyone involved would have to start from scratch as well, resubmitting their entire proposals and all related materials. And based on that timeline, It's not unreasonable to think that it could be April before another decision is made.

Or, they could award the contract to the highest-finishing in-state respondent. That would likely prompt others involved to file an appeal, based on the current circumstances alone, which, in turn, would drag out the decision-making process just as long.

Finally, they could piece-meal out the work to a handful of agencies that responded to the RFP. That seems the most likely, and the quickest, solution to the situation. The danger in this course of action, however, is that the Department will likely end up being counseled in several different directions by those involved, and will suffer from a lack of a single, cohesive vision and strategy.

All of the above is pure speculation on my part, of course.

So, who are the winners and losers out of this whole ordeal? Let's examine:

DCI. They played by the rules that were set forth at the very beginning, and according to those rules, they won. They were at a points-disadvantage because they were out-of-state, but they overcame that deficit and still finished on top. There will be those, undoubtedly, that side with DCI in the opinion that they got a raw deal. And perhaps they did. But they've also received a tremendous amount of exposure, seemingly none of it negative, for their involvement.

Idaho Department of Commerce. This is a no-brainer, but worth mentioning nevertheless. The Department of Commerce is going to be sporting a black eye because of this, and the way the news of the selection was handled. Will they recover? Yes, but it'll take time.
Idaho PR Agencies. They're going to be a casualty of this entire event as well. Fairly or not, these agencies are now going to be under enormous pressure to produce spectacular results. That pressure, especially by those watching from within the PR/marketing/advertising world will be unreasonable and unfair at times, but it will still be there. Any misstep will be painfully public, no matter how small. Unfair? Yes. Unreasonable? Yes. The way of the world? Yes.

But then again, I could be wrong about all of the above. It's been known to happen before.

UPDATE: Andrew T. Levine, President of DCI has submitted A Letter to Idaho: DCI Reponds to the Public Relations Award Retraction (via the Idaho Business Review). Andrew makes very reasonable arguments / points on behalf of his firm, and it's worth taking the time to read.

And, for what it's worth, I agree with Andrew and his belief that there are no winners in this whole situation. It would be unfortunate, on several fronts, for the Department of Commerce to have to start from scratch. RFPs are a time- and cost-intensive process for all parties involved, and in any organization those are limited commodoties.

Technorati tags: , , ,