MIMA Member Profile: Preston Kelly’s Mark Jenson

We’re starting a new series on the MIMA blog today: Member profiles. The goal? To highlight just a few of our crazy-smart members and showcase who they are, and what they do.

Today, we’re starting with Preston Kelly’s Mark Jenson, who seemingly finds a way to make it to virtually EVERY MIMA event lately. Let’s meet Mr. Jenson.

Mark Jenson

How long have you been a MIMA member?

Almost 5 years

Why do you continue to renew your membership each year?

Curiosity. I’m a big believer in understanding how our business is moving forward. And MIMA provides another lens to see the big picture on all things digital.  A chance once a month to hear some talented people talk about what they are doing and how they see the digital landscape evolve and change.

You’re a regular attendee at the MIMA monthly events–why do you proactively make time to hit these events each month?

I think it’s a great opportunity to hear digital thought leaders speak in person.  You get so much more out of it than just reading an article or a blog.  The human interaction and passion in their delivery is something that you have to be there in-person to get.

And, what’s been the most impactful MIMA event you’ve attended over the years, and why?

The annual Summits are terrific. So thought provoking and energetic.  It’s a great day to re-charge your batteries. But a monthly program that really impacted me was Adam Singer a Product Marketing Manager from Google Analytics who spoke on modern digital marketing management.  A subject so important to truly understand in today’s world.

Your day job has you playing a lead role over at Preston Kelly as vice president–account director. What does your job entail and how does it connect to MIMA?

The role of the account person is still rooted in strategic leadership for our clients.  Setting the strategic foundation and then identifying the right platforms to get the brand messages out. Also I help provide agency training to enable us to better understand this complex and ever changing business.  The MIMA connection is to help bring the learning and experiences back from the sessions with other PK team members and share with the entire agency.  We do several brown bag lunches a year and we share what we’ve been seeing and hearing at the various MIMA events.

You’ve been in the creative industry for more than 20+ years in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago. You’ve seen an awful lot of change when it comes to digital technologies. What’s the one big digital trend right now that’s changing the way you work with clients?

Has to be mobile. It is a tidal wave as people are moving to mobile platforms. The customer experience is being driven by mobile. So as marketers we need to make sure that we are delivering consumers an optimal experience on all the different types of mobile platforms. Whether it is insuring that content is optimized for mobile devices or the importance of site speed for websites, we need to invest time to make the customer experience the best possible each and every day.

Finally, you’re a big Minnesota sports fan. However, times ain’t so good right now. If fact, they’re downright horrible. How you keep sane during these darkest of days?

Honestly, it’s pretty hard to be optimistic being a Minnesota sports fans these days. Thank goodness for the Lynx and Gopher’s  Women’s Basketball and Hockey programs.  Otherwise as you noted it is bleak – but hey aren’t the days getting longer?  That’s what I love about sports is the promise of the future.  And most of these teams have some great young talent in the pipeline.  So as a passionate Minnesota sports fan we always have to remember that there is always another game on the horizon. You just gotta have faith sometimes, albeit blind right now.

2013 MIMA Summit – Book Links from Presenters

The 2013 MIMA Summit was rich with presenters who have also authored books. Here’s a handy list of those titles.

Morning keynote SARAH LACY has authored three books. Here’s a link to her author page at MIMA Bookstore partner Barnes and Noble.

Afternoon keynote NATE SILVER has authored the best selling The Signal and The Noise.

Session speaker TOM MARTIN authored The Invisible Sale.

Session speaker STEVE PORTIGAL authored Interviewing Users, and thanks to his publisher, Rosenfeld Media, has extended a 20% discount code to Summit attendees (use “MIMA” at check out from the link to his book).

Session speaker MARGOT BLOOMSTEIN authored Content Strategy At Work.

Session speaker JOSH CLARK authored TapWorthy – Designing Great iPhone Apps.

And session speaker FRANK ROSE has authored several books, including The Art of Immersion, West of Eden and The Agency.



Top Ten Bob Lefsetz Posts – A Guide for 2013 MIMA Summit Attendees

On Tuesday, October 15, we’re going to close out the 12th annual MIMA Summit with remarks from noted music, tech and business pundit Bob Lefsetz on our theme, the State of Change. Bob’s made a 25+ year career talking truth to power and illuminating the causes of change. Here’s a list of ten Lefsetz posts — in no specific order — we think demonstrate his unique style of writing and powerful vision. Consider this your introduction to the wisdom of Lefsetz:


Rebecca Black Lessons

At its heart, every brand wants to “go viral” on its own merit, but in a crowded, noisy marketplace, the concept of organic success is increasingly impossible. But not Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which garnered more video views than Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” and arguably, had a catchier hook. In this post, Bob analyzes 23 lessons any promoter can learn from watching Black’s viral sensation topple all the traditional paradigms.


The Tesla

Is Elon Musk the new Steve Jobs? Bob takes the new Tesla electric sports car for a test drive and expounds on the success of visionaries who expel themselves of expectations, ignore the naysayers and deliver something jaw-dropping. And it’s not marketing selling the Tesla, says Bob. It’s word of mouth and genuine value you can’t live without once you’ve tried it — like the personal computer, smart phone and listening to the Beatles. Gentleman, start your engines.


Bezos/Washington Post

More than a few marketers were less than thrilled with the Jeff Bezos purchase of The Washington Post. Why are our colleagues and clients so fearful of change? In this post, Lefsetz commends The WaPo for doubling down in a crisis, explaining that he who controls the news is king while drawing parallels to Apple, Microsoft, Spotify and a good old bashing of the local TV news.

Seinfeld on Stern

In this post, Lefsetz argues for a content strategy based on quality, because “…we‰Ûªve got unlimited time for that which interests us.” Most artists and brands fail at content because artists and brands favor quantity of communication over quality. “…you need an audience. That‰Ûªs your goal. And if you think you gain an audience through an album, you‰Ûªre clueless about relationships. Relationships are fostered on specialness, then you bring on the quantity.”


The Hypebot Article

Sometimes Lefsetz connects the dots better than anyone. “Want to get rich? Go into tech. …We‰Ûªre moving to a new paradigm. One in which nobody owns anything and you get paid based on usage.” This article sums up the confusion and complaints around Spotify and payments made to musicians.


Facebook Is For Old People

Lefsetz dissects the tech divide and dissonance between older, monied leaders (and marketers) and youth. “The oldsters are rarely early adopters. They know the value of money, they‰Ûªre set in their ways. For all the old bloviators bemoaning the loss of privacy online, it‰Ûªs the kids who got the memo, that if they post pictures of illicit activity they might not get a job in the future. Kids believe in evanescence, oldsters believe in the permanent record. Ergo, the growth of Snapchat.”


Spike Publicity

Try this exercise: Replace all of the music celebrity names in this missive with major brand names. For example‰Û_ ‰ÛÏ[Brand Name] got everybody to pay attention for twenty four hours. And now we‰Ûªre done. [Brand Name’s] reign was a bit longer ‰Û_ but we all know when the [product] comes out it will sell for a week, and then fall off the chart. Used to be it took forever to reach everybody. Now everybody knows in a day and then moves on.‰Û


Nile Rodgers In Ibiza

Lefsetz nails the creative process: It’s fueled by necessary mistakes. (On Nile Rodgers‰Ûª performing his guitar riff for Daft Punk‰Ûªs ‰ÛÏGet Lucky‰Û at an industry confab):  ‰ÛÏAnd he starts off all wrong. Finally figures out it‰Ûªs in B minor… What comes out first sucks, but when he‰Ûªs done, it‰Ûªs magic! We saw this exact process in front of our very eyes!‰Û


Breaking Bad

In articulating the genius of a TV show, Lefsetz provides useful instruction on how to succeed in the modern age. ‰ÛÏSo you‰Ûªve got to be on a mission. Of personal exploration and greatness. You can‰Ûªt expect immediate success. You probably don‰Ûªt deserve it. But when you find your way, deep in your career, when others have already given up and gone back to graduate school, then maybe you have a chance. … Our culture doesn‰Ûªt celebrate conformity, just the opposite. But everyone is too afraid to be outside the mainstream public eye so they play by the rules.‰Û


And finally…


Nate Silver

Immediately following Obama’s second term Presidential victory, Lefsetz offered cogent analysis on our 2013 MIMA Summit afternoon Keynote, Nate Silver. If you want to understand the genius of Nate Silver, learn about it from the perspective of Bob Lefsetz.


REGISTER TODAY to see Bob Lefsetz, Nate Silver, Sarah Lacy and over 32 other awesome presenters at the 2013 MIMA Summit.


Why You Don’t Want to Miss Bob Lefsetz Closing Out The 2013 MIMA Summit

“Don’t assume anyone’s seen anything in the media today, we’re all so drilled down into our own little holes that everybody misses much, and doesn’t care when they’re called out on it. The concept of feeling better about yourself because you know about something somebody else does not, or you know it sooner, is passÌ©.”

You probably don’t know the name Bob Lefsetz, but we guarantee you will remember him after his closing keynote at the 2013 Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) Summit on Tuesday, October 15 .

Depending on who you ask in the music industry, Lefsetz is either a well-respected thought leader and trend spotter who tells it like it is… or a bitter, unappeasable troll who gets off on bashing the mainstream.

Personally, I think he’s both, and I respect him on both fronts.

“You can tell your own story online. If you’re concerned about the truth, do so. But the real story is you can’t inform everybody, no longer how much you protest, people will spread rumors and false information. Focus on your work, not the sales pitch.”

Why a Music Expert for Marketers?
Although his expertise and passion focuses on the music industry, Lefsetz has his eyes open to the changing nature of human behavior — and how that evolution is impacting media, marketing and sales, why things go viral (and why they don’t), and why we marketers are so often messing up everything that’s good about the world.

“Furthermore, what is a sale anymore? Does that metric even count? What we really want to know is whether anybody LISTENED to your music! Then again, the entertainment business hates statistics, at least those it can’t manipulate.”

You see, Lefsetz has no tolerance for manufactured, disingenuous experiences — whether that’s a new pop album, buying a new cell phone, the state of journalism today, or the ways brands interact with customers online. Lefsetz calls it like it is.

The Lefsetz Letter
Bob’s art form is an newsletter that you can only get in email form. It effortlessly flows from an observation to a thought to an observation to a revelation and then a biting coda (often followed by a Spotify link). He’s as invigorating as Seth Godin, as insightful as Avinash Kaushik or Guy Kawasaki. And his subscribers read like a Who’s Who in music, technology and entertainment.

Relevant Readership
The entire music industry reads Bob, and in the spirit of the listserv, Bob also often sends emails featuring replies to his letters — and the replies are from an amazing caliber of people. When he writes a review of Steve Miller’s gig at The Greek, Steve Miller responds. When Bob wrote about Kid Rock’s new ticket pricing strategy, Kid Rock replied. When he writes about the Amanda Palmer controversy, Amanda replies. Quincy Jones, Steven Tyler and Irving Azoff read Lefsetz. So does Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church. And more than a few MIMA members have come forward as die-hard, daily Bob-readers.

State of Change
The record industry went first. Now we’re living through disruption in publishing, manufacturing, retail and marketing. Bob Lefsetz has cogent insights to share across all of these industries. He truly understands and can persuasively articulate the state of change. Take his recent letter, Facebook Is For Old People

“The oldsters are rarely early adopters. They know the value of money, theyå_re set in their ways. For all the old bloviators bemoaning the loss of privacy online, it’s the kids who got the memo, that if they post pictures of illicit activity they might not get a job in the future. Kids believe in evanescence, oldsters believe in the permanent record. Ergo, the growth of Snapchat.”

I’m very excited to interview Bob Lefsetz on stage during closing remarks at the 2013 MIMA Summit.


And here’s the extended version of this post on my blog, Perfect Porridge.

GREG SWAN is SVP Digital Strategy @webershandwick | @wsmpls, music blogger @perfectporridge, Founder @smshepherds, Citizen journalist, father of three.

The next generation of MIMA leadership

Dear MIMA Members,

It’s time to evolve, and I’m thrilled. In my six years with the MIMA Board, we’ve grown the association from almost 800 members to over 1,300. We’ve produced almost 100 events and welcomed over 300 speakers to help elevate talent here in Minnesota. 

Every two years the MIMA Board votes on a slate of executive leaders including the roles of President, Treasurer and Vice President(s). This Executive Leadership Committee (ELC) helps to guide the 16-member, all volunteer Board and insure productive governance for our association.

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013 the Board held ELC elections and I wanted to share those results with you. 

President Elect: Nathan Eide

Treasurer Elect: Jeff Sauer

Vice President Elect: Jill Gutterman

Vice President Elect: Ryan Arnholt

This next generation of MIMA leadership will take office effective January 1, 2014. The current ELC will work through the next five months to insure a solid transition.

I am very confident in MIMA’s next generation of leaders! I know they will endeavor to sustain the powerful ideas we’ve built together and illuminate new and needed direction.

I have been very fortunate to serve alongside so many dedicated volunteers — over 80 individuals by my count — on the Board and within MIMA’s committees since 2007. Their collaboration is the real fuel driving MIMA forward. If you have considered volunteering with MIMA, I highly encourage you to submit your name. But with a challenge: Volunteering requires effort and persistence. It is not always easy. If you are willing to sacrifice your time and give away your passion, it can be worth it. 

Who knows? You might wind up leading MIMA one day. 

I am forever grateful to Jason Kleckner, Christopher Pollard and Jill Gutterman for their current commitments on MIMA’s ELC, and thank them profusely for their leadership over the past two years. It’s been an honor serving alongside you three.


Tim Brunelle, President

Taxing services is a bad idea for Minnesota

Authored by Tim Brunelle, MIMA President

Minnesota is a highly innovative state in many regards. We often lead the nation on issues and ideas related to the arts, education, medicine, retail, design, technology, marketing and non-profits. Minnesota created the very first Advertising Federation, the first Better Business Bureau and the first Interactive Marketing Association (in 1998). We don’t need to become leaders in bad tax policy.

I believe Governor Dayton’s proposal to tax business services is a bad idea for the members of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. 

As a marketing and advertising entrepreneur and small business owner, I am convinced Governor Dayton’s proposed tax on services would cause much more harm than good. Firms like mine could not pass along a proposed 5.5% increase in our costs when we compete locally or nationally for clients. Never mind the additional financial strain to account for the complexities of such a tax. It would likely cost my firm more to administer the tax than the tax would bring Minnesota.  

As a participant in the Minnesota Communications Industry Coalition (http://mncic.org) the Board of MIMA stands against such policies; and we endorse the content of the CIC’s letter reprinted below. We encourage state legislators to reject the expansion of the sales tax to advertising and and advertising services, as well as repeal of the long-standing sales tax exemption covering printing and publishing. 

I believe MIMA should refrain from engaging in political activity as much as possible — unless such activity is ultimately in our members’ collective best interests. In this case, I believe standing against a tax on services is in our members’ best interests. I encourage MIMA members to contact their state representatives and voice opposition to the business services tax proposal.

Here is the full letter from the CIC which was sent to state legislators, the Governor and Commissioner Frans on Monday, February 18, 2013: 

+ + + 

Dear Minnesota State Legislators, Governor Dayton and Commissioner Frans:

We write on behalf of a coalition representing tens of thousands of employees working for a wide spectrum of communications businesses in Minnesota. Coalition members include the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM), the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA), Minnesota Forest Industries (MFI), the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA), the Advertising Federation of Minnesota (Ad Fed), the American Association of Advertising Agencies-Twin Cities Council (AAAA), the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association (MMPA), Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Association (MOAA), Public Relations Society of America, Minnesota Chapter (PRSA), Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA), and The Minnesota chapter of AIGA (the professional association for design). The businesses we represent employ tens of thousands of workers, and add billions of dollars to the state‰Ûªs economy each year.

The Legislature is now debating possible changes to Minnesota‰Ûªs sales tax law. Those changes could include expanding the tax to services and repealing some existing exemptions. As this debate unfolds, we want you to be aware of our deep concerns about the proposed expansion of the sales tax to advertising and advertising services, as well as repeal of the long-standing sales tax exemption covering printing and publishing.

Those changes would have an immediate, severe, and in some cases, devastating impact on virtually all of the state‰Ûªs communications businesses, to the many thousands of employees who work in them, and to Minnesota‰Ûªs economy more generally. Our members willingly expect to pay their fair share of taxes in Minnesota. But they also expect that the state‰Ûªs tax policy under which those taxes are levied is economically sound and capable of being fairly administered‰ÛÓa tax on advertising and publishing clearly fails both conditions.

1.  A sales tax on advertising and on publications that distribute advertising would discriminate against Minnesota communications businesses, and effectively end Minnesota‰Ûªs status as one of the top advertising and communications centers in the country. Inevitably if such taxes are enacted here, they would cause the many major Minnesota companies that rely heavily on advertising and promotional activities (like General Mills, Hormel, Target and Best Buy) to move their advertising agency accounts and purchases away from the state. They would also reduce their advertising buys in Minnesota, as would most smaller companies that are in no position to increase advertising budgets in the current economy. The resulting loss of millions of dollars in revenues would severely harm all Minnesota communications businesses, a result that would be especially unfair at a time when they are facing intense competition from out-of-state and Internet-based advertising enterprises, which the state generally can‰Ûªt tax.

2. No state currently applies a sales tax to the purchase of advertising or related services, and the states that tried to (like Florida and Iowa) quickly repealed it. In the past two or three decades, approximately 40 other states have looked at adopting such a tax, but after considering the possible impacts, decided not to do so.

3. Studies conducted by Dr. Robert Kudrle, a professor at the U of M‰Ûªs Humphrey Institute who teaches microeconomic policy analysis and econometrics, document the harmful effects of a sales tax on advertising. In the 1990s, Dr. Kudrle performed a detailed analysis of the impact that an advertising tax might have in Minnesota. He determined that it would cost the state almost $300 million in annual business revenues, and nearly 6,000 jobs. Several years later, he followed this study up with a similar one in Wisconsin. His report there, issued in 2003, states that ‰ÛÏthe taxation of business services such as advertising serves neither equity nor efficiency in a state economy,‰Û and it ‰ÛÏerodes the state‰Ûªs competitive position while it particularly disadvantages small business,‰Û concluding that ‰ÛÏthe advertising taxes examined in this study would disrupt highly-successful Wisconsin industries and would hobble their efforts to compete in the national and international economy.‰Û After Florida briefly imposed a sales tax on advertising in the late 1980s, Wharton Econometrics projected that had the tax remained in place, it would have cost the state more than 50,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in personal income after 30 months due to the loss of out-of-state advertising money and the decline in promotional efforts by businesses.

4.  A sales tax on advertising and publishing would be extremely uncertain and expensive to administer. Defining exactly what ‰ÛÏadvertising‰Û consists of and administering a sales tax applying to it in a fair and workable way would be extraordinarily difficult, and would require an army of accountants and lawyers. Are Little League uniforms included? Grocery receipts? Business cards? Branded sports arenas? Logos on clothing? This complexity is magnified by the Internet, since the state‰Ûªs legal power to collect the tax on Internet-based advertising and promotions is not only very complex, but notoriously inconsistent. After Iowa enacted and then repealed an advertising tax, the Iowa Attorney General stated, ‰ÛÏTaxing advertising was like trying to tax the elements of nature.‰Û And during Florida‰Ûªs six-month ad tax experiment, they found that the cost of processing transactions involving some kinds of advertising exceeded the tax collections.

5.  Most advertising is sold on a business-to-business basis, and a tax on advertising and publications distributing advertising therefore results in double taxation‰ÛÓonce on a  product‰Ûªs advertising, then again on the product‰Ûªs retail sale. Advertising is not an end product, but rather part of a process aimed at an eventual consumer sale. ‰ÛÏPyramiding‰Û‰ÛÓstacking sales taxes on top of other sales taxes‰ÛÓis universally recognized to be bad tax policy, because it tends to deter and disrupt economic activity. Since advertising is a cost of doing business, it is already included in the final selling price, and taxed at the point of sale.

6.  Advertising is one of the most important drivers of economic activity across the state. A tax on advertising and advertising publications especially hurts local economic activity‰ÛÓwhen the cost of advertising goes up, the amount of advertising goes down. That deters competition, lowers consumer demand, and reduces local employment. Especially at a time when the state and national economies remain relatively soft, suppressing advertising and promotional efforts used to stimulate business activity would be remarkably short-sighted and counter-productive.

The members of the Communications Industry Coalition ask the Legislature to reject an expansion of the sales tax to advertising and publishing which would almost certainly end up costing the state far more revenue than it would ever recover. We would also appreciate the opportunity to visit with you about this issue, and are happy to answer any questions you might have.


The Minnesota Communications Industry Coalition


Top 5 In-Demand Marketing Jobs of 2012

As “the premier marketing and creative staffing agency in Minnesota,” it comes with a great deal of authority to have one of our lovely sponsors, Celarity, espouse on the top marketing jobs of 2012. Check back later this month for a look at how 2013 is shaping up.

2012 is proving to be a heck of a year for the creative industry. Hiring managers across the country are digging deep for in-demand candidates. The marketing and creative world is unique, with ever-evolving trends, new ideas and technology.

Marketing Analysts fifteen years ago looked at surveys and figures, never able to see a direct correlation between their efforts and the business‰Ûª success. Now, a Marketing Analyst has to be Google certified and understand the plethora of information that comes their way from social media to traditional marketing. Several skills have become extremely sought after. Here are the 5 most in-demand positions in 2012.

1. Web Developers

The people who make your website functional. Demand for talented Web Developers sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market. This position has become in-demand due to the continuous need for broad expertise in a variety of languages like CSS, JavaScript and HTML.  There are currently 1,300 open Web Developer positions in MN according to Indeed.

2. Analytics

Data is much more accessible and detailed these days. We no longer look at a simple graph, we have programs that analyze every single click and impression, this takes an expert to analyze. Many decisions are often made based on the analysts findings. 490 current open marketing analytics positions open in Minnesota.

3. Project Managers

PM‰Ûªs have become a hot commodity in the creative world. A Project Manager must have excellent communication and organizational skills but also the ability to manage budgets. Project volume has increased over the past year and so has the need for experienced project managers. 1,330 openings for Marketing Project Managers in Minnesota.

4. Marketing Professionals

This could range from a standard marketing representative role to a Social Media Manager. Whatever the position, marketing has expanded vastly in the past few years. From community  management to traditional marketing reps, it has all become much more complicated with the addition of social marketing. Currently 840 mid-level marketing positions open in Minnesota.

5. Interactive Creative Designers

These positions are heavily involved in the user experience side of the creative world. Interactive Designers work closely with design teams to ensure that designs are visually compelling, coding and testing websites and are in charge of critical changes to a website. Most companies are trying to create a a well-rounded user experience, creating websites that are more interactive and mobile, which makes these experts tough to find. 1,031 open creative design jobs in Minnesota.

Want to learn what jobs are in demand at Celarity? Check out our current openings in marketing and interactive roles or stay up to date on the local market with our Scoop Newsletter.

Having trouble filling these types of positions? We can help. Learn about our client services or contact us today!


MIMA Summit Recap: Aunt Jemima ‰ÛÏLive from the Line:‰Û How Social Video Brought an Underdog

This is a recap of The 2012 MIMA Summit Presentation Aunt Jemima ‰ÛÏLive from the Line:‰Û How Social Video Brought an Underdog, by Marcy Massura of Weber Shandwick and Mitchell Reichgut.

Blog post by Lindsey Frey


Illustration by Derek Bressler


Waffling the Competition
Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast was being outflanked and outspent by much larger rivals. Lacking the budget to compete in traditional media, the brand created an innovative social platform that straddled the line between paid and earned media. The videos featured real employees, and they were shot on location at the Aunt Jemima plant in Tennessee.
The Sticky Situation
- Minor brand, licensed from Quaker
- Limited awareness and recognition
- Small market share (regional product distribution ‰ÛÒ only stores east of the
- Limited budgets
- Limited time
- Could not compete with Eggo on their terms
- Budget did not exist for a full-fledged traditional ad campaign
- Lacked differentiation or a unique selling proposition
- Location involved live, noisy factory with access restrictions
The Aunt Jemima team had some key realizations: Who wants to watch a video by a brand? Nobody does. They had to create a reason, and it needed to provide value.
Conclusions? Connect consumers with the brand on a more personal level, and target them by providing the content where they already are want and with incentive to view it (social games).
Results ‰ÛÒ Leggo‰Ûªd Eggo
- Increased market share
- Measurable increases in sales and coupon redemption
- Significant marketshare gain from Eggo
- ~$2MM budget
- 138MM media impressions
- 150,000 coupon downloads
- 10.4MM views
- Established a Facbeook presence and earned 238,000 followers
- 100% positive/neutral earned messaging
Cooking Up an Idea
The team‰Ûªs approach to developing the video content was simple: connect
consumers with the people that make the product every day at the plant, and educate them about Aunt Jemima‰Ûªs commitment to be a more wholesome, honest product. Hearing the brand‰Ûªs core values first-hand from its employees would more relatably translate transparency and authenticity.
Once people could see how the products were actually made ‰ÛÒ with real ingredients, by real people and flipped on a hot griddle just like the pancakes mom makes athome ‰ÛÒ they would have a higher intent to purchase.
The online video strategy that developed leveraged the brand‰Ûªs strengths and evened playing field with Eggo:
- Authentic product
- Wholesome story
- True underdog status
- Passionate, charismatic people
The video concept that developed revolved around genuine, heartfelt messages from the people who make Aunt Jemima products every day. Video length would vary between 30-second spots, with expanded versions as long as a 1:20.Talent focus was non-union, real plant workers, not actors. The three workers selected for the videos had volunteered for the opportunity and did so well in the videos, that Aunt Jemima has since brought them to live events as spokespeople for the brand. The personal enthusiasm and joy they have displayed for the brand shines through in the videos. Much of the results and impressions are attributed by the marketing team to the passion they expressed.
‰ÛÏGood content leads over any great strategy idea,‰Û said Marcy Massura, digital strategist for Weber Shandwick. ‰ÛÏFinding the right, passionate talent was the number one priority.‰Û
In order to overcome the location challenges, extensive planning, pre-interviews with talent and tours of the factory were key to establishing initial challenges and finding solutions ahead of time.
‰ÛÏIt was very important to set expectations in the beginning,‰Û said Mitchell Reichgut, CEO of Jun Group, which worked as Weber Shandwick‰Ûªs partner for the video project. ‰ÛÏThis is a budget-protecting measure. Hiring the right director also proved to be critical because he could tell everyone very frankly and very nicely, ‰Û÷Here are the limitations we have to work around.‰Ûª‰Û
Distribution Challenges
- Generate millions of opt-in views of long-form content
- Target moms (with an African-American skew)
- Place the videos in brand-safe, relevant environments
- Limit the scope to certain areas of the country
The team developed a distribution strategy around video placements in leading social games, such as Mall World, It Girl and Happy Aquarium. Users would opt in to watch the video in exchange for virtual goods in the games. With approximately 290 million people regularly admitting to playing social games, and 55 percent of them women, the Aunt Jemima team had a strong audience targeting capability through
this strategy.
Results of targeting via social games:
99% of users completed the video
77% of audience was female
83% of total users were 25+ (in age bracket desired)
Key takeaways from the presenters:
- Define clear success metrics in advance
- Select specific earned media metrics that matter
- Find a partner that addresses your biz goals
- Always insist on site-specific transparency and reporting
- Provide users with tools and incentive to engage

Where‰Ûªs your five-year plan?

This is a recap of Matt Creamer’s 2012 MIMA Summit Presentation.
Blog post by Alexandra Heide
Illustration by Derek Bressler
It could have been the overeager hand-raiser from class, a corporate executive presenting the company‰Ûªs goals, or even yourself: Chances are you‰Ûªve heard the phrase ‰ÛÏfive-year plan‰Û uttered at some point. The concept is so ubiquitous that it prompted Matt Creamer, editor at large at Ad Age, to seek the answer to the following question: ‰ÛÏWhy don‰Ûªt advertising agencies have five-year plans?‰Û
I know what you‰Ûªre thinking‰ÛÓHow can we possibly plan for what‰Ûªs next when the world has changed so drastically in the past five years? And you‰Ûªre right. Five years ago there were no Androids, no app stores,
no GPS-enabled phones, no tablets, no Instagram‰ÛÓyou get the idea. While Creamer acknowledges that these unforeseen advancements seem like a logical reason to shy away from five-year plans, he urged us to ‰ÛÏalways be looking down the road,‰Û and more importantly, be looking to data when planning for the future.
So what does the data say?
Well, in 2017, we can expect a new media and marketing order to take root. Unsurprisingly, mobile will be more impactful and overall, more central in our plans. However, marketers who want to ‰ÛÏwin the mobile battle‰Û will need to think outside the box and use the channel as more than a place for repurposing ads. (Creamer suggests looking to Nike+, Starbucks and Tesco for top-notch applications.)
This change in the structure of our plans will also require a change in the structure of agencies. Chief Marketing Technologists will be hired to meet the needs of increasingly gadget-obsessed consumers and
cross-disciplinary teams of strategists, developers and IT professionals will work together to ensure that all customer interactions are designed with a focus on UX.
So while we may not be able to accurately predict the next disruptive technologies, we can certainly organize ourselves around directional trends‰ÛÓthat way, we‰Ûªll be prepared to tackle whatever comes
-Alexandra Heide

The Quest for Emotional Engagement: Informational Visualization

A recap of Stephen Anderson’s 2012 MIMA Summity Presentation: The Quest for Emotional Engagement: Informational Visualization.
Blog post by Christine Taffe
Illustration by Todd Balthazor
When I say villains, you may think about the Joker, Bane, or Ursula for you Little Mermaid fans. Well, you‰Ûªre wrong. Stephen Anderson gave us the four villains of the digital visualization world in his presentation, The Quest for
Emotional Engagement: Informational Visualization: e-commerce grids, search lists, spreadsheets and dashboards.
Everyone says they hate spreadsheets, but why? Why are you picking on the cornerstones of my daily organization and wireframing, Stephen? Because we‰Ûªre not trying hard enough. We‰Ûªre not using the innovative capacities that got us into this field in the first place. We‰Ûªre not thinking of the humans that will be using these tools (that means us, too, you know).
Of all the villains, Stephen spent most time on the grid: a product photo atop a row of rating stars atop product description atop sharable links. It‰Ûªs a tool that pretends to be useful and engaging by being visual, but aside from a
picture or product shot, nothing much else is added; it‰Ûªs simply list data, disguised as more. It‰Ûªs what we all know, but why do we put up with it? Amazon.com, the largest e-commerce site in the world, is one of
those complacent companies turning out low-functioning information visualization. Stephen proposed many solutions to this problem, such as placing products on a XY matrix (we marketers do this constantly when creating competitive analyses, why can‰Ûªt we extend this kind of clarity to consumers?) or wedged targets, but what blew my mind‰ÛÓand by
the whispers in the room, I‰Ûªm assuming I wasn‰Ûªt alone‰ÛÓwas organizing products by responsive proximity. Imagine you‰Ûªre searching for cameras on FutureAmazon.com and it‰Ûªs changed from grid to responsive proximity
sorting (Stephen‰Ûªs example, not my own). Instead of referring to the scrollable sidebar list of search categories (price, color, ratings, etc.) and then scrolling through pages of ‰ÛÏmost relevant‰Û products within your search, you click on your desired categories and all the cameras reassemble into clusters and resize to what is most relevant or irrelevantto you. I want the reddest, highest-rated camera, and now the biggest camera sitting in front of me is the most red, highest rated camera that Amazon carries, with all the low-rated black, white, silver cameras shrinking and falling
behind. It‰Ûªs so simple that the first reaction is that it must be missing something. But it‰Ûªs the simple that‰Ûªs the understandable.
Stephen may not have dressed up like a character from Braveheart, but his presentation was nothing less than a battle cry.
A rally for all the disheartened and disillusioned UX conceptors, designers, and developers: Let‰Ûªs take the burden of functionality and usefulness off of the user.
Let‰Ûªs start making things that not only sell things, but make
some damn sense.
-Christine Taffe