Discover Financial Airs Its First Six-Second Spot

November 28, 2017

Marketing Daily

Discover Financial Airs Its First Six-Second Spot 

by Tanya Gazdik

There are long-form and short-form ads. Now there are really short form ads.  

Discover Financial debuted its first six-second TV commercial during the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game on Nov. 25. The company is the first in the financial industry to move forward with this new type of TV advertising, according to Discover Financial.

The spot, created by The Martin Agency, aired twice during the game and will air twice more during the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 2 on Fox. Spark Foundry negotiated the contract with the Big Ten for Discover’s sponsorship, which included the 6-second spots.

The goal of the spot is to show the excitement and joy Discover’s Cashback Match program can bring to a new cardmember, says Vijay Konduru, Discover’s vice president of media and sponsorships.

“There is a nod to brand reinforcement in the sense that it plays off our doppelganger theme between cardmember and call center agents, but ultimately we are hoping that the six-second spot, in combination with our 15s and 30s, drives long-term consumer consideration for Discover,” Konduru tells Marketing Daily.

The goal is to place a 30-second spot in the first quarter. The next break will show an in-game billboard lead into the six-second spot.

“This process should repeat itself in the third quarter as well,” Konduru says. “We want the combination of the 30-second spots, the in-game billboards, as well as the six-second spot to effectively connect with consumers.”

It’s too soon to say whether a six-second spot as a standalone unit is effective, he says.

“What we are excited for is to use the six-second concept in conjunction with our 15 and 30s, and in the case of the Big Ten Football Championship Game, with our in-game billboards,” he says. “The key for us is how these units can work together to tell a cohesive story to our audience.”

Before looking at the programming placement of a six-second spot, Discover Financial needs to make sure the spot itself is resonating with a wide-reaching audience. 

“We also need to make sure it supports the more traditional 15- and 30- second spots it’s working with,” Konduru says. “If the combination tests well, tells a good story, and delivers a clear message, it should be able to be placed on a variety of shows and platforms.”

The company will listen to the consumer when it comes to deciding which commercials to use. 

“We are always looking at data and listening to feedback for insights allowing us to better serve the consumer,” Konduru says. “That customer-first approach drives our business, including our marketing and advertising decisions."

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Randy Jackson's 'Dawg' Show in Adweek

November 09, 2017

Randy Jackson Finds New Gig Judging a ‘Dawg’ Show in Geico’s Latest Ad Westminster Kennel Club awaits


Music producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson calls people “dog” so much, it became the central gag of a new Gecio ad.

This spot by The Martin Agency, titled “Dawg,” sees Jackson lend his patented brand of vague critiques to a kennel club dog show. He’s also wearing what looks like Will Smith’s prep school jacket from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

There’s a behind-the-scenes video for “Dawg,” too, and it might be even more staged than the ad itself. Watching Jackson try to coach a poodle through scene banter is totally worth it, though. His comedic timing works much better in interactions. And I mean, it probably beats working with Stryper again.

“Dawg” is part of Geico’s “It’s Not Surprising” campaign, where most (if not all) of the ads are built around obvious wordplay. It’s one of the insurance company’s most charming marketing initiatives, and has been in play for over a year at this point.

Read the full story here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

'It's Not Surprising' Featured by The Drum

November 09, 2017

By Kyle O'Brien

Geico hits the mark again with another spot from the Martin Agency, featuring a 'Casual Friday' beefeater at Buckingham Palace.

It’s the latest in the insurance company’s ‘It’s Not Surprising’ campaign, which has also included Ice T selling lemonade, an orchestral triangle solo and Tiki Barber running a barber shop.

‘Casual Friday’ finds a changing of the guard for the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace. While the outgoing guard is perfectly upright, stoic and on point, his replacement saunters in wearing the signature puffy hat, but also an unkempt bathrobe and tee shirt, plus flip flops and carrying a coffee drink and a bag of food as he sits in a folding chair on guard.

“Casual Fridays at Buckingham Palace? Surprising,” says the voice over. He goes on to say that it’s not surprising that people are saving money by switching to Geico.

"With a lot of Geico ads, we try to tap into human, relatable truths. Like say, butt-dialing or looking-busy-while-the-boss-walks-by from our 'It's What You Do' campaign," said Ken Marcus, senior copywriter with the Martin Agency. "Casual Fridays are pretty much a universal experience, so we tried to come up with a situation in which a Casual Friday would be unexpected and fun-to-play-with. Originally, we talked about 'Casual Fridays' at The Center For Disease Control. You know, all these folks are in hazmat suits and some guy in a bathrobe walks up, eating a donut. But ultimately, we felt like Buckingham Palace would be more visually interesting and well, surprising."

Marcus gives credit entirely to the team at Geico for the success of the campaign.

"They have this disciplined instinct to keep our messaging bone simple. In this case, demonstrating our savings claim with real customers. This allows us the time to let a joke breath and play out, versus cramming all of these RTBs into thirty seconds. Also, we try and mine our humor from everyday life. Versus just being weird for weird's sake. So hopefully, our material is always relatable and universal in appeal," he said.

Read the full story here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

DoubleTree Took Its Signature Warm Cookies On Tour

November 09, 2017

DoubleTree took its signature warm cookies on tour — and drove nearly 400K social impressions

By Peter Adams

When travelers think of DoubleTree by Hilton, one of the first images that pops to mind is the warm chocolate chip cookies the hotel offers for free to its guests. The service, core to DoubleTree's identity — it even has its own website page — is now being brought to life in new ways to meet the heavy demands of multichannel marketing.

This fall, the brand launched an ongoing campaign spanning digital and social media channels, as well as out-of-home activations and live events in cities including Malibu, Boston and Washington, DC. The idea driving "Your Warm Cookie Awaits" and the #SweetWelcome contest, according to DoubleTree's Vice President of Global Brand Marketing Stuart Foster, was to help spread the hotel's dedication to providing warmth and hospitality well past the check-in desk. 

To accomplish those goals, DoubleTree looked to offer a resonant experience that stepped beyond traditional brand advertising. Based on initial results, the approach is working: Just a few weeks after the campaign's mid-September launch, a gamified "Catch a Cookie" social contest drew 5,500 entries, exceeding the brand's expectations by 83%. Three of the live events also generated 44,000 Instagram Stories views, 398,641 social impressions and 5,428 total engagements via real-time posting, with plans to extend the tour into 2018.   

"People are sort of immune to advertising," Foster told Marketing Dive, calling out research that underscores how consumers have become completely inundated with online ads, receiving thousands of generic messages a day.

"You've got to do it in a breakthrough way," he said of his strategic mindset. "Otherwise no one's going to see you and no one's going to care. That's really what we're trying to do here — something different and more innovative."

Baking up a solid strategy

If Your Warm Cookie Awaits and the #SweetWelcome push have been a success, it's only because there was a lot of work put into getting them off the ground. From its genesis to planning and national rollout, the entire effort took anywhere from three to four months and required the help of four partner agencies: The Martin Agency, Ketchum Public Relations, HZDG and OMD.

Foster noted that the lengthy gestation process and scale of collaboration exemplifies the challenges brands are facing in developing truly multichannel campaigns for the digital age.

"My job and my team's job as a marketer or as a marketing team is just becoming increasingly complex," he said. "The number of channels we have to manage [and] the number of channels where we have options are definitely complex."

Those complexities included not just a big social play, but also properly tying the digital components to real-world and OOH elements — a feat DoubleTree finessed with skill.

Read the full story here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Finding the Poetry in Animal Feed

November 09, 2017

Martin Agency finds the poetry in animal feed appeal

By Stephen Foster

Mars animal feed brand Purina Mills is donating a dollar per pack (bale?) to look after retired horses so this, in a way, is a B2B ad.

The Martin Agency usually finds a way with the most unpromising task and goes straight for the heart here – with a poem from one Jess Vee about Sam.

Only American agencies seem able to do this without emptying the room. Maybe it’s the nature of Americana – a set of myths built on sentiment.

Clever idea to use someone else’s words too – no self-conscious copywriter would own to such feelings. Been done before of course, most notably in The Richards Group’s ‘so God made a farmer’ celebrated Super Bowl ad for Ram Trucks.

Read full story here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Downtime: Santia Nance’s hoop dreams

October 17, 2017

Richmond Biz Sense

By Jonathan Spiers

When Santia Nance finished college in 2010, she found her life outside of work spinning in circles.

So, naturally, she picked up a hula hoop.

After googling “hooping” and taking a local class, the VCU grad, now a media planner at local ad giant The Martin Agency, found a pastime and passion she’s pursued ever since.

Recently promoted to media planning supervisor, Nance’s workdays are spent in the thick of Richmond’s biggest creative shop, strategizing media placements for ad campaigns for clients such as Land O’Lakes and pudding maker Kozy Shack.

But while her job is in the heart of the creative think tank, Nance said her own creativity comes out when she’s hooping.

“It’s like yoga in a way: it makes you feel at peace, it makes you feel yourself,” she said. “It makes you feel happy, because it’s so nostalgic, and you’re focused on something else versus thinking about other things. You’re just in your zone.”

Active with local hoop group RVA Hoop House, Nance can be spotted spinning hoops around town in group sessions and events such as Inlight Richmond, when she’s encircled with LED-illuminated hoops. She’s performed in theater showcases and in a burlesque show at Gallery5, often under her stage name, Santobella Spark. She’s even picked up fire hooping, spinning a circle of flames to the point that they make a whooshing sound.

“When you’re fire-hooping, you hear it. The rush is to hear it,” she said. “It’s hot!”

A Hampton native, Nance first picked up on hooping in high school, motivated in part by an unlikely source: Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire.

“For some reason I was obsessed with the Disney Channel in high school. (Duff) did this thing where she was a rhythmic gymnastics person or something, and she threw the hula hoop in the air, did a cartwheel and then caught it. I was like, ‘I’m going to do that!’”

After graduating from VCU with a degree in creative advertising, Nance revisited the activity when she found herself idle outside of a part-time job with Radio Disney.

“I was real bored. I didn’t have a job really. I was like, ‘What do I do?’” Nance said.

“In 2010, I just made it up in my head that this has to be a thing, so I googled it. That’s when I found my hoop mama, Stacey Firefly,” she said. “She’s one of the originators in Richmond who was hula hooping.”

Nance signed up for one of her now-mentor’s classes at Dogtown Dance Theatre, and she’s been hooping ever since.

“It was Oct. 13, 2010 – my hoopiversary. That’s a real thing,” she said, laughing.

Watch Santia Nance Hooping Outside The Martin Agency

When she’s not spinning her hoops or dancing in circles of flames, Nance said she’s found joy in her work at The Martin Agency since joining the firm in 2013, specifically planning digital media placements for campaigns.

“We have to figure out where the best place is to put the advertising,” she said. “Not necessarily just thinking about is it on TV or a magazine or a website; it’s usually which website, which TV show, which time, what makes the most sense and what’s the cheapest and what’s going to actually get people to do what you want them to do. A lot goes into that thinking.”

Focused on strategy at work, Nance said she releases her creative side out of the office in her performances, which she choreographs herself.

“I try really hard to come up with something unique for each event,” she said.

And when she’s not performing onstage as Santobella Spark, Nance said she helps “spread the hoop love” in group hooping sessions and community outreach events, helping first-timers pick it up and pinpoint difficulties.

Laughing, she said: “People call me the hoop whisperer.”

Watch Santia Nance Hoop With Fire

Posted By: The Martin Agency