On Super Bowl Sunday, an estimated 98.2 million people tuned in to either watch the Rams take on the Patriots, Maroon 5 tackle the Halftime Show or see what delights advertisers had in store for us this year. By most accounts, it was a disappointing performance on all fronts. Still, several members of the team at Woodall Creative Group stayed glued to our HDTVs to select our personal favorites from the world of advertising. By our estimation, here are our picks for the best ads of Super Bowl LIII:

Tracy Woodall (company founder): Microsoft’s ad for the Xbox Adaptive Controller

This commercial shines the spotlight on physically challenged children who share the same desires as most kids their age… to have fun and play video games. To that end, Microsoft introduces the Adaptive Controller to help level the playing field. I am impressed that Microsoft used the large and diverse Super Bowl marketplace to promote a product that will meet the needs of a smaller audience. Microsoft focused on what is right and not what is most lucrative. Demonstrating a blend of innovation and compassion, this commercial will no doubt bring bigger dividends. Their slogan at the end of the commercial sums it up… “When everyone plays, we all win.” Watch Microsoft’s “We All Win”

Jim Balke (senior graphic designer): TIE… Burger King’s Andy Warhol Ad and NFL’s 100th Season

The NFL ad hit a lot of different demographics with historically noteworthy and legendary players spanning multiple generations of fans. It’s an entertaining “who’s who” of football that held my attention from beginning to end set against the fun backdrop of a tuxedo event. Watch SBLIII’s “The 100-Year Game” I also loved the Burger King spot featuring the late great Andy Warhol. Just like him, it was unexpected and different from all the other ads with its low-profile production. Its effectiveness may be questionable, but it was a gutsy move for BK marketing. Probably most importantly, I remember what was being sold, which wasn’t the case for most of the overly produced Super Bowl ads aired. Watch Burger King’s “Eat Like Andy”

David Wynett (senior strategy consultant): Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut”

What made this ad so memorable was that Amazon poked fun at itself by showcasing failed Alexia launches. It was hilarious to see the Boston Terrier ordering dog food again and again. Appropriate humor in advertising is always memorable.  Tie that with a leading brand, Hollywood legend Harrison Ford and you have magic! Amazon was successful in creating an ad that was not only talked about at the water cooler but was shared tens of thousands of times.  Humor in advertising can make ads quickly go viral spreading your message to millions who need a light-hearted break during the day. When your advertising budget is low look to humor to spread your message. Watch Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut”

Nonni Csoka (client relations): Budweiser Clydesdale Ad

OMG – where to start… this ad was an amalgamation of so many elements, so let’s break them down: 1 – the pooch with the wind blowing his flappy jaws… I was expecting to see his head sticking out a car window as the camera panned out, to find he was on top of the wagon – made us all giggle; 2 – the wheat fields that looked like fields of melted gold – was a magnificent way of communicating the purity of the wheat used for making their beer; 3 – Then of course the Clydesdales — they radiate beauty, strength, resilience, power and are a long-standing symbol for the brand; 4 – THEN the fact that they are utilizing wind power as a supplement goes straight to the heart for those of us who care about our earth and energy usage. It felt like a departure from Budweiser’s Super Bowl ads of old but was still highly effective. Watch Budweiser’s “Wind Never Felt Better”

Kasie Bolling (content specialist): Hyundai’s “The Elevator”

Call me shallow, but I really LOVE Jason Bateman. I also really HATE the car buying process. This ad resonated most with me because it combined those two things and delivered them with a healthy dose of good humor. Shot inside an elevator and likening the act of car buying with the pain of a root canal, the drudgery of jury duty, the discomfort of the middle seat on an airplane and the awkwardness of “the talk,” Hyundai holds your attention – without ever showing its product until 45 seconds in. A risky move but it paid off. Used as a “vehicle” (forgive the pun) to introduce its new Shopper Assurance program, the ad ends with a ride to the top of experiences where it’s all classical music, blue skies, feng shui, a top-of-the-line Hyundai SUV and some well-delivered messaging served with the promise that “it’s car shopping made better.”  Watch Hyundai’s “The Elevator”

Do you have a personal fave from Super Bowl Sunday?  We want to hear about it!

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Use the Digital Realm Effectively to Leave Your Competition Where They Belong…In the Rearview Mirror.

The answer’s been there all along. With so much talk about “the ROAD to success,” it’s clear – particularly in this day and age – that in order to be successful, you also have to be prepared to take your show on the road. That’s not to say that you need to start selling your wares and services out of the trunk of a car like the door-to-door salesman of old, but it does mean that you should have a solid digital presence that includes an effective mobile marketing plan.

According to Pew Research Center:

  • 77% of Americans own a smartphone – that’s more than double the 35% six years ago when Pew conducted its first survey of smartphone ownership in 2011!
  • Of households that make $75,000 or more annually, 93% own a smartphone
  • A little over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone only” internet users – this is particularly true of young adults.• Of course, mobile devices don’t begin and end in smartphones. Nearly half of all American adults own a tablet and one in five own an e-reader.

But what do all of these folks use their smartphones for, you might ask. Pew Research also asked that question in a 2015 study and found that – while text messaging, phone/video calls and email ran a close 1st, 3rd and 4th – Internet use came in at a solid 2nd (97% of users aged 18-29, 90% aged 30-49 and 80% aged 50+), with social networking coming in at 5th (91% of users aged 18-29, 77% aged 30-49 and 55% aged 50+). Needless to say, given social media’s continued meteoric rise in popularity, those numbers have likely increased in the two years since the survey was conducted.

Because so many people are on the go – using smartphones or mobile devices on a daily basis and you hope to reach them whenever and wherever they are with your marketing messaging, mobile marketing has become an invaluable extension of internet marketing. Well-liked brands who’ve developed strong relationships with their fanbase often find great success in opt-in text messaging that may include news of a sales event or link to an online coupon. Brands who are just building their fanbase must resort to other means of mobile marketing, such as a dedicated mobile site or responsive website for mobile users who may want to learn more about them, an engaging brand-specific app that could include a “loyalty club” for discounts and exclusive deals, and/or a mobile-friendly e-commerce site that features the ability to pay through a mobile device. Beyond your own brand pages, social media provides a veritable promotional playground between sponsored ads and boosted posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and a wealth of opportunities to share your online video ads at little to no cost on YouTube and any social media platform with video upload capability

This is not to say that mobile marketing is the end all, be all of marketing campaigns – but it should be a strong component of your cross-platform marketing strategy. Expand your thinking beyond the target audience within a 15 to 20-mile radius of your brick-and-mortar location. Mobile and digital marketing helps you open up all new horizons – expanding your reach across town and around the globe. So buckle up and be prepared for an exciting journey!

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating mobile marketing into your current traditional advertising and marketing strategy? Atlanta-based Woodall Creative Group welcomes the opportunity to help you write your roadmap to success! To learn more about us, visit www.woodallcreative.com or call us at 706-658-0244.

Sources: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

Just as phrases like “clothes make the man” and “you’re never fully dressed without a smile” might indicate, appearances are extremely important in this very visual world in which we live. And that’s not merely the case for individuals, but businesses, as well. Whereas a person heading to an interview might make sure they are properly attired, with not a single hair out of place – a business will also want to put their best face forward for what they hope will one day become their adoring public. A great looking store front or office environment is one essential element, as are smiling employees – but to really grab their attention from the get-go and create a visual go-to image in their minds, a company will want to employ a professionally designed, well thought out logo to identify itself.

Why should I pay a company to design a logo for me?

Just like you wouldn’t trust yourself to tackle a salon-quality haircut on your own, for best results you shouldn’t try to tackle logo design, either – unless you happen to have an artistic eye paired with a degree and several years of experience in graphic design. Much like your stylist, a marketing agency that specializes in brand development can become your very best friend in this instance. They can help you identify all of the elements that will go into the creation of an eye-catching, brand identifying logo – complete with artwork, font and color selection. After all, this is a big deal – the end result will appear on all of your marketing materials, your website, your store front and more.

What colors should I select for my logo?

The colors you select for your logo – and the colors that will become part of your brand guide for future marketing materials – should say something about your company and all for which it stands. According to Pantone – THE authority on color for the fashion and design industries – much like words, colors carry meaning and can affect perceptions. The same holds true for tone, vibrancy and color combinations. For instance, red is often considered a power color – indicating love, passion a
nd fire, while blue is soothing, tranquil and cool. Green is often linked to growth, life and (of course) money, and yellow means sunshine, happiness and warmth. The psychology of colors is wide-reaching – and a professional design house can help you find the right colors to identify your brand and evoke certain emotions from your audience.

What’s the best way to pick a font for my logo?

A font can also say a lot about your company. A bold font marked by strong, straight lettering could indicate that you are trustworthy and powerful, while a soft font marked by graceful lines might declare that your company is sophisticated and fashionable. A playful script might say to your audience, “We’re fun – come play with us!”

What is logotype vs logomark, and which one is right for me?

A logotype features the name of a business that is designed to stand out on its own. Some highly recognizable examples of this are Coca-Cola, Google, Disney, eBay and FedEx. A logomark is a stand-alone, company-identifying symbol such as the Nike swoosh, the Apple apple, the Target target and the NBC peacock. Sometimes, you’ll see a combination of the two – like the Starbuck’s mermaid with the familiar “Starbuck’s Coffee” typeface encircling her, the Chick-fil-A logo marked with a chicken likeness in the “C” and the popular potato chip logo with the man in a bow-tie – the word Pringles emblazoned upon it. A very good branding agency will come up with several options from which you can choose.

What if I already have a logo?Blog_Logos_new

Good for you!  Now ask yourself… do you LOVE your logo?  Is it still fresh and exciting?  Does your target audience respond to it?  If you answered “No” to one or more of the aforementioned questions, it may be time for a rebranding campaign. Even the largest companies in the world have undergone a rebranding at one point or another. Kentucky Fried Chicken overhauled their look – and name – in 2006 to a more updated “KFC” with the likeness of the Colonel for a cool retro feel. In 2008, retail giant Walmart took its former navy blue Wal(star)Mart logo and transformed it with a more vibrant blue, shifted the star to the end and replaced it with a yellow starburst. A seasoned design house that lists branding among its directory of services can tweak your current logo to something that will resonate with your customers – old and new!

Atlanta-based marketing agency – Woodall Creative Group – not only excels at logo design and full-blown brand development campaigns, our skilled team can also assist you with the creation of collateral materials and a public relations plan to unveil your new logo to the world (or at the very least, the city where your company is based)! To schedule a meeting to discuss your new logo design, call the Woodall Creative team at 706-658-0244, send a query via e-mail to design@woodallcreative.com or fill out our convenient online contact form. To view our full list of services and “meet the team,” visit us at www.woodallcreative.com.

The Key to Loving Your Creative Partner

When executed properly, a marketing plan should be something that elicits feelings of adoration – particularly as you witness each element roll out, further solidifying your position in the marketplace and building your company’s one-of-a-kind brand (as well as your bottom line). The same should hold true for your creative partner – the one with whom you collaborated to create a marketing plan you both adore. In the event that you DON’T adore either, you may want to ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. Does My Creative Partner Respect My Team?: Whether an internal marketing department or an outside agency, your creative partner should not only want to hear your ideas, but should request them. While you’re likely partnering with them for their expert marketing status, no one knows your company and industry better than you and your leadership team. That said, a show of respect should also be seen in the way your creative partner strives to become a student of your company, industry and direct competitors.
  2. Is My Creative Partner Up-to-Date on the Latest Marketing Trends and Technology?:Thanks to the ever-evolving state of technology, the world is spinning even faster than in years past. It’s vital that you foster an environment of continuing education within your internal marketing department or expect your outside agency to stack its roster with some of the most knowledgeable digital marketing experts.
  3. Is My Creative Partner Truly CREATIVE?: Innovation is the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace – whether referring to your product line or your marketing messaging/visuals. You may be blessed with a marketing manager on your own staff who has great ideas, but lacks the graphic design skills to execute them. If that’s the case, forming an alliance between your internal marketing department and an external agency could prove a match made in heaven.
  4. Is There Chemistry Between My Team and My Creative Partner?: Like any great love affair, there HAS to be chemistry for the relationship to last.  You may have found a creative partner through the referral of a trusted colleague, but when you brainstorm or roll out a campaign – there’s no real spark. You owe it to yourself to find a creative partner that makes your heart go pitter pat… and send your sales through the roof.
  5. Is My Creative Partner a “Cheap Date”?: We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you paid for,” right? While all companies have budgets that they must work within, marketing – which entails the shaping of your company’s brand to the public – is not an area where you should cut corners. A friend of a friend who can design a website for next to nothing is probably not a wise investment if it could potentially harm your company’s brand image. You’ve worked too hard to build your company’s reputation and image to have it damaged by a few financial missteps.

Depending on your answers to the questions above, it may be time to find a creative partner you absolutely love!  If not, be sure to tell your current creative partner how much your relationship means to you. Creative people THRIVE on praise.

About Woodall Creative Group: With more than twenty-five years and a treasure trove of awards to its credit, Woodall Creative Group excels at combining artistry with strategy, regularly implementing imaginative corporate branding campaigns and designing top-quality collateral materials such logos, brochures, marketing materials, social media branding, and packaging – among others. The Atlanta-based agency has served a wide variety of clients from a broad array of industries. Included among them are Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies, Naturally Fresh, My Friend’s Place, Tri-State Tire and Carino’s Italian Grill, just to name a few. Additional services available at Woodall Creative Group include website development and design, advertising, marketing, social media management, public relations, experiential marketing, promotional products and more. For additional information, please visit www.woodallcreative.com.

biggest matchup of the year just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to liken the importance of strategic marketing planning to the beloved gridiron game. After all, both involve key players, competitors, fans, coaches, proven plays, specific goals (… to WIN!) and a game plan to get you there.

  1. Gather in the Fieldhouse Before Taking the Field: Long before the coin toss, football coaches and players study their competition and formulate a strategy to come out on top. At the same time, they practice and train to develop their strengths before they take the field. The same holds true for marketing. In order to develop an impactful marketing strategy, it’s vital to look at competing companies and examine your own company strengths before launching any campaign. You can work with skilled “coaches” at a marketing agency who will bring out the best in your team and help you develop a strategic marketing plan that’s designed to make your company a champion to your fan base.
  2. Set the Parameters for Play:  Do you consider yourself to be at the rec league, high school, college or professional level regarding marketing skill set and budget? Both will determine whether you can look outside your own team for professional guidance and which elements you can afford to add to your game plan.
  3. Go for the Goal:  In football, it’s far easier to determine the ultimate goal – to win the game. In marketing a company, your goals could be varied. However, it’s important to know the preferred destination in order to determine the best way to get there. Are you looking to hit certain revenue goals, strengthen your brand image or grow your online presence, perhaps? Setting clear cut goals should serve as a foundation to any strategic marketing plan. This will help determine the effectiveness of your strategy, as well as return on investment.
  4. Line up your Offense and Defense: Those x’s and o’s on the chalkboard in the locker room aren’t all that different from the various elements of an effective marketing strategy. The players serve as vehicles to move the ball towards the goal line – and they may hit obstacles along the way. A strong and well-studied game plan lays out a path to achieve your goals – touchdown after touchdown to raise cheers from the crowd and ultimately help you win the game. From a marketing standpoint, your players may be social media, digital marketing, a new website, a new mobile site, collateral materials, experiential marketing, print ads, billboards and more. The specific plays will be the messaging, visuals and overall campaigns you place in the hands of each player. Of course, it’s also vital to know what your obstacles might be so you know how to move around them. Those impediments could be lack of marketing expertise, limited access to graphic design software/skills, insufficient knowledge of digital marketing and more – all of which could be solved by budgeting for and finding a strong creative partner.
  5. Hail Mary Pass: Don’t fall into the trap of believing that if you don’t have a strategic plan mapped out at the beginning of the year, you may as well “fake it ‘til you make it.” Instead, if you know you’re in over your head or have too much on your plate, you can look to your bench to find a creative partner – either through outsourcing or teaming up with an agency. Once you have one in place, you can toss them the Hail Mary Pass to help save the game at any point during the calendar year.

With an effective plan and skilled team in place, you’re all set to go for that championship ring – whatever that might symbolize for you. Now hit the field and WIN!!

About Woodall Creative Group: With more than twenty-five years and a treasure trove of awards to its credit, Woodall Creative Group excels at combining artistry with strategy, regularly implementing imaginative corporate branding campaigns and designing top-quality collateral materials such logos, brochures, marketing materials, social media branding, and packaging – among others. The Atlanta-based agency has served a wide variety of clients from a broad array of industries. Included among them are Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies, Naturally Fresh, My Friend’s Place, Tri-State Tire and Carino’s Italian Grill, just to name a few. Additional services available at Woodall Creative Group include website development and design, advertising, marketing, social media management, public relations, experiential marketing, promotional products and more.  For additional information, please visit www.woodallcreative.com.