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That's clever: Addy awards recognize state's creative minds.

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WORKING IN A CREATIVE field may be its own reward, but hey, awards are good too. The Addys are the coveted awards of the American Advertising Federation, AAE headquartered in Washington, D.C. It's the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals and spreading its influence through 200 ad clubs across the country. Indiana has six AAF-affiliated clubs.

"It's a vehicle for expression, a vehicle for honor and recognition for those in the advertising industry," says Allison Meadows, Indiana state director and past president of the North Central Advertising Federation, Lafayette, the AAF affiliate club of the year in 2007.

Who did that billboard?

Just ask Pearson Partners, Indianapolis, what's likely to catch your eye and make an impact in outdoor advertising. It garnered a gold Addy for its "Burn Crash Quake" campaign for client Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. "The key to the concept was to keep it simple," says Ron Pearson, president and CEO, adding that there is way too much type on most billboards.

"We wanted to build the next evolution of the Indiana Farm Bureau brand," says Pearson. It created three different messages on 14-by-48-foot three-dimensional vinyl boards that were strategically placed around the state and rotated. The insurance company has a presence in all 92 counties, so the agency's media buying team was kept busy doing research and driving around the state to find the right locations. "The billboards pointed to problems that are very efficiently and quickly handled by local claims people."

For "burn," the board looked like a house on fire; for "crash" a car is crumbled in an accident...you get the picture. "We used a clean white board with faux damage in a 3-D effect," says Pearson. "It really broke out of the clutter of the typical billboard."

The billboards were part of a larger ad campaign. The print, radio and "IV segments were all able to give more detailed information about the company "The billboards created a regular reminder because people were exposed to other media." About a dozen of the agency's 20 people "touched" the whole campaign, says Pearson, with four or five dedicated to the account on a daily basis. What happens when a billboard campaign is over? The boards are stored, he says, but may never see sunlight again. "The very first people to get tired of a creative are the company and their ad agency."

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E-blast away. LaBov & Beyond, headquartered in Fort Wayne, won both gold and silver Addys for knowing how to e-blast. Now in its fourth year, its VW campaign sends creative e-mails to purchasers of certified "pre-loved" Volkswagens who sign up for the service. "Every month they receive an interactive, off-the-beaten path communication via e-mail completely designed to reinforce their buying decision and remind them of the benefits that come with the purchase of a certified pre-owned vehicle," says Ann Jones, vice president and account supervisor. That includes such things as roadside assistance, warranty and trip-planning assistance--things they might not even know came as part of the purchase price of their vehicle.

"It's done in a very Volkswagen way," says Jones, "with a lot of humor, a little bit of geekiness or campiness, and each one is different than the month before. It could be an interactive game, a simulated video game, an Internet-based seek-and-find competition." Some of the incentives or giveaways that have been used as lures to participating are iPods, cards for music downloads and satellite radios for the car.

The planning for e-blasts is done in much the same way as an editorial calendar for a magazine, says Jones, with 12 months planned in advance and signed off on by the company "We get client buy-off on the concept from the very beginning where it's not sort of a start from scratch time after time. They sit with us and say these are our targets for the year--say percentage of owners that we want to buy another Volkswagen. Then we come at it from a business standpoint; how can our creative messages help impact their business? So with certified pre-loved, we don't just make wacky e-mails to send to owners every month, they are always tied back to the client's own business objectives."

Jones says her agency's approach is slightly different than what she has seen with other agencies. "We're very business-focused first, and then the creative comes out of that."

Shooting video. Winning a silver in the broad category of Interactive Media, Gray Loon Marketing Group, Evansville, member of the Advertising Club of Evansville, created a corporate Web site for Thompson/Center Arms, the New Hampshire based gun manufacturer, which became part of Smith Wesson in early 2007. Tom Lewis and John Ruthenburg are the principals of the agency founded in 1994. The Thompson/Center site features entertaining short videos. "Let's face it, people would much rather watch a movie than read a book," says Lewis. But visitors can easily move on to research products and order online if they don't want to view the video.

In a great number of their jobs, Gray Loon is the agency of record, says Lewis, but in the case of Thompson/ Center, it worked collaboratively with the company's ad agency in Atlanta to ensure brand continuity. It took about five months to get the Web site completed in 2006. As the months have passed and the Web site is continually updated, Gray Loon has worked more directly with the company.

When Gray Loon started 14 years ago, print catalogs were a big item with clients, says Ruthenburg. "That business has taken a back seat to more expanded Web development." Sophisticated measurement tools are in place on the back end to see where the traffic is going on its Web sites and changes are made as a result. "Our Web sites are very dynamic, changed daily and weekly. We adapt the ongoing development to the measurement tool."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:MEDIA & MARKETING
Author:McKimmie, Kathy
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:989
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