Archive for October, 2014

Live from Atlanta, It’s psLIVE

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Photo courtesy of psLIVE

As you’ve probably heard, MKTG INC was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network this fall. With this exciting development comes the great news that psLIVE, another Dentsu agency, and MKTG INC are now in the same happy agency family. Here’s a note from our new friends in Atlanta:

“With the recent addition of MKTG INC to the Dentsu Aegis Network family, we here in Atlanta are looking forward to working with a great, innovative group. And you then must be wondering – what is with those guys in Atlanta? Who are they? What is their office like? Does it smell like Chick-Fil-A?

Well first, psLIVE is made up of brand strategists, creatives, producers and innovators with a passion for doing things different in order to deliver a better live brand experience. And to be honest, that pretty much describes every one of us. We are a small group of around 60, so each of us wear a lot of hats. We’re all creatives who find ways to do things differently for our clients. At the same time, we’re all producers with frontline field experience. Whether behind the desk or behind the pallet jack, we love every step of the process, from start to finish.

Part of the reason we’re so hands-on is that we have the privilege of having our office attached to our warehouse of truss, trucks and toys. Between our office, warehouse and outdoor storage of buses and trailers, we come to work every day to a 100,000-square-foot operations center. This allows us to be active with our inventory on a day-to-day basis and gives us the space to experiment and have fun. At times our warehouse has been home to inflatables, a functional bar, a helicopter, and a fully serviceable batting cage. Not to mention all of the internal events and parties we can throw in the vast space!

A few of our key clients include AT&T, ESPN, PepsiCo, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Southwest Airlines, the NFL, the USTA and ConAgra Foods. In addition to Atlanta, we have people in Norwalk and Chicago.

IMG_3235We are excited about having MKTG INC within the Network and we continue to look forward to creating and innovating together.

And yes, we are obsessed with Chick-Fil-A. It’s the best.

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MKTG INC Makes It to the Top

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promo-top-shops-headerMKTG INC is excited to announce that we’ve made PROMO’s 2015 Top Shop list.

Top Shops is a searchable directory of the Top 100 U.S. promotion agencies and is compiled by PROMO’s editorial staff.

We’re pleased to be included among such great company! See the full list here.

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Written by Katie Kirby
Katie Kirby

October 31st, 2014 at 11:47 am

What’s in Your Wallet?

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Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). In our new column, we take a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hear the stories behind them. Here’s the story behind the business card of Kevin Collins, General Manager of MKTG INC’s Chicago office.

Kevin owns a tuxedo T-shirt.  On the back it says, ‘Drive it like you stole it.’  Other than lacking the embarrassment gene, that pretty much sums up his attitude as he works on both new business and account services.
What a quote, right? I heard this from my grandfather many years ago as I packed up my truck and drove from Chicago to San Francisco for my first job. It was perfect timing for these words – push the pedal down, all the way down, and don’t look back. So wise were those words that I tossed them on the back of a tuxedo T-shirt, softball uniform and this business card – tipping a cap to it every place I could.

Those that know me know that quotes like this are a microcosm of what you get. I like to push limits, keep things light, have fun, enjoy what I do and I never, never ever, never ever ever, think about pulling my foot up off the pedal. Because anyone that’s ever stolen car knows that the minute you slow down is the minute you get caught. Write that down.

His ability to build consensus and get everybody to pull in the same direction is another useful quality.
I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people and forming new relationships. I thoroughly enjoy growing and nurturing existing relationships. I thoroughly enjoy bringing people together to successfully attack a goal.

When he’s not driving at high speeds, Kevin enjoys country music, line dancing, hand shuffleboard and all things Chicago.
Donny & Marie Osmond (as did some other people) once sang, “I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n’ roll.” I like that lyric. It helps me articulate my approach to life. I can drive at high speeds and reach destinations, but I also know now, better than ever, when to down shift and enjoy the moments – personally and professionally.

Growing a family over the past decade (wife Margot, daughter Rockey, brand-new son Dodge) has put a lot of things in perspective – the importance of maintaining my pedal-down approach with clears eyes and a full heart (#coachtaylor) and the even greater importance of balancing it with my happy places – family, friends, country music, hand shuffleboard and, of course, all things Chicago.

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“I Am the Queen of Chicago”

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Eliud Kipchoge Rita Jeptoo

The Chicago Marathon is the definition of an epic event. Television and radio commercials take place leading up to the big day, getting the city prepared and excited for the ordeal. 1.5 million — that’s right, million — spectators get out on the sidelines to cheer on strangers by their first names (which are often proudly displayed on their shirts).

To a runner, this weekend is the world. I will always hold my marathon race-days as the best days of my life. If you really think about it, you’re a celebrity for a day. Streets in 29 different Chicago neighborhoods shut down simply to let you run through them. Strangers tailgate for hours just to cheer you on while they enjoy a good bloody mary. The entire city is asking questions like, “What are you doing for Marathon?” As a runner, you get to say, “I’m running it,” and enjoy all the #respect that comes with that declaration.

Last weekend marked the first in 2 years that I was not lining up with 45,000 other runners getting ready to #OwnChicago. It was a rather bittersweet experience, though it did allow me to experience a part of the race I had not yet seen: the elite runners.

This year, I watched from the sidelines at Mile 24, the mile I remember as being the first moment you truly know you’re almost done. You’re running in the direction of the finish line, you can vaguely see your last turn, and even at your absolute slowest run you don’t have more than 12 minutes left. This mile means so much more to the elite runners. This is the moment of truth. This is after the runners kick up their speed for that last drive. You can feel their passion as they fly passed. I quickly realized I couldn’t even sprint at their marathon pace.

I watched as the fastest men passed, knowing that it would be close as they all picked up their speed moving toward the finish line. Eliud Kipchoge ultimately took first place. Kipchoge missed a personal best by just 6 seconds, and it was his fourth time finishing under 2:06. The only other three men who have met this milestone have been the fastest men in the world at some point in their career. As Kipchoge passed the finish line, we saw the first woman elite runner, Rita Jeptoo, pass by our cheer-station. She was amazing, fearlessly running towards the finish line. Jeptoo went on to finish as the woman champion of the 2014 Chicago Marathon. She is one of 6 women in the world to win the Chicago Marathon two consecutive years.

Jeptoo’s quote of the day, according to ESPN, is “I am the Queen of Chicago.” That she was, and hopefully every other person passing the finish line felt overwhelmed with a similar sensation. As far as I’m concerned, those finishers, elite and otherwise, do #OwnChicago and, even for a mere moment, they’re Chi-Royalty.

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 17th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Using RFID to Improve the Customer Experience

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Photo courtesy of Tomorrowland.com

Today, RFID technology is so much more than an IPass or a race-timer. The technology has changed the way big corporations such as Wal-Mart handle their supply chain management, the way retail stores prevent shoplifting, and the way experiential marketers make use of their spaces. Here are a few ways events are utilizing RFID technology to improve experiences:

Tomorrowland Music Festival:
This Belgium music festival took to the wristband trend over the traditional admission ticket. When guests received their wristbands in the mail they could register their band to connect with their Facebook page. During the course of the two-weekend event, if any two guests pressed the button on their wristband at the same time while they were close to one another, the other person’s Facebook info would be shared via email. Every day that the guest attended the festival, they received an email of all the people they met that day.

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Taste of Toronto:
The Taste of Toronto used RFID a little differently than just an admission ticket. They said goodbye to the dated ticket method for paying for food and drinks and instead provided each attendee with an RFID card. The guests could load money on the card and use it to pay for all food and drinks at the event. At the end of the day, if there was money left over on the card it was donated to Second Harvest Food Rescue.

C2MTL:
C2MTL, the Commerce and Creativity conference in Montreal, used UHF tags (similar to RFID but functions from as far away as 30 feet) to help staff the event. The tags were on each badge of the guests and the chandeliers were UHF-enabled to receive information from the guests’ badges. Producers knew when people entered the building and passed security successfully, and they also knew when to add extra staff to popular food stations.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival:
Bonnaroo draws thousands of guests to Tennessee each June. Guests registered their RFID wristbands online before attending the event, and in Bonnaroo’s partnering with Microsoft, linked them with a Microsoft OneDrive account. Every time the guest visited a photobooth or viewed a performance, they could scan their RFID band and have photos sent and saved to their account.

Checkout more smart uses of RFID in the BizBash article “6 Events Using R.F.I.D. Technology to Improve the Guest Experience.”

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Not Your Grandfather’s Gin: Tanqueray Raises the Bar

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Zacappa 1Photos by Kelly Puleio

The Tanqueray Green Room is back and better than ever. This event series invites owners, bartenders and servers to spend three days enriching themselves with new techniques, category expertise and leadership philosophy. The goal of the Green Room is to not only educate guests about gin and Tanqueray, but to leave them inspired and energized to raise their game, either behind the bar or in leading a team. Green Room 3.0 launched in San Francisco on September 22-24, and each day was filled with bartenders eager to learn and get their hands wet behind the custom bars.

On Day 1, Sean Finter was welcomed back to the program by a large group of bar owners and managers. During this seminar, Sean broke down the guest experience into touch points and set out a simple system for turning casual consumers into ardent fans, and managers into leaders. Each year, Sean’s lecture continues to draws a larger crowd.

On Day 2, National Brand Ambassador Rachel Ford led the morning session that was geared toward servers and aimed to turn order takers into order makers. Rachel shared her own experiences of good and bad service, and broke down how to be the best at your job. Guests walked away from this session with a better understanding of how to direct customers to an enjoyable evening, while increasing their tips.

From Old Tom to London Dry, Tanqueray sets the standards for gin. During the afternoon session on Day 2, Global Ambassador Emeritus Angus Winchester spoke about the three primary gin styles and their respective uses. Angus used this session to not only educate bartenders on gin, but to reinforce that hospitality is a significant part of the job. Bartenders also had the opportunity to create their take on a modern classic cocktail, using books and unique bar tools from Angus’ personal collection.

Zaccapa 2

After an extremely successful event in NYC last spring, Tanqueray brought back Hidetsugu Ueno to lead Day 3. News spread fast and the event drew a record-breaking crowd of 84 bartenders. This session focused on the nature of Japanese bartending, and his techniques on stirring, shaking and pouring. Ueno San’s presentation was so compelling that you could hear a pin drop. The event ended with numerous laughs, a great question-and-answer round, as well as numerous pictures with the world-renowned bartender.

The Green Room will visit five additional markets, starting with Dallas later this month.

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