Archive for January, 2015

Raising the Roof at the Heisman House

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They say all good things have to come to an end, but we say not before one last hurrah. Which is exactly what ESPN and psLIVE did with the Nissan Heisman House on its final tour stop in Dallas. The 10-stop tour visited major universities throughout the season, helping bring the advertising campaign to life, but the final event happened at the Championship Tailgate Party prior to the National Championship Game.

Over 10,000 consumers made their way to the Heisman House, where they snapped photos with the Heisman Trophy, sat in a (digital) car with a Heisman winner, and tossed footballs in our virtual QB Challenge cage. A steady stream of top talent and past Heisman winners, from Herschel Walker to Troy Smith and Joey Harrington, graced our threshold. All were interviewed on our ‘Late Night in the Middle of the Day’ set, hosted by ESPN Sportscenter’s Neil Everett.

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The only two-time Heisman winner, Archie Griffin, also stopped by to film a segment played on ESPN and ESPNU during pre-game coverage as well as a :30 vignette that will air on ESPN this week. The Championship was the perfect place to close another great season of the Heisman House tour.

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ESPN and Aloe Blacc: A True Night of Champions

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As the inaugural match for the new College Football Playoff format, we knew the 2014 National Championship Game (Oregon Ducks v. OSU) would be history-making by default. But we also knew that ESPN was part of college-football history, so we set out to prove it with its night-before-the-game VIP party called “Night of Champions.”

1200+ VIP guests were treated to specialty cocktails and photos with the National Championship Trophy, the All-State Field Goal and the ESPN the Magazine news desk. Along with interactive sponsor activations, guests were entertained by DJ Krakernuttz and a Campus DJ Spin-Off Championship, in which each school’s best DJs battled for bragging rights – and a record contract.

But the night’s biggest moment came when a local high school marching band wove its way through the crowd to the main stage, illuminated by a National Championship bracket showcasing each team’s season-long video highlights. While marching to ESPN’s SportsCenter theme song, the band made way for the evening’s top act: Grammy- and BET-nominated artist Aloe Blacc and his 12-piece band.

Everyone danced and sang through the early morning hours. It was historic.

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House of Walker Delights Austin and NYC

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The House of Walker, Johnnie Walker’s traveling experiential tour, opened in New York City this December for the Holiday Season. This marks the second stop on the 2014/2015 tour after Austin, Texas.

Consumers began their night with a tasting of Black Label and Double Black with Master of Whisky Stephen Wilson. This year featured an interactive tasting table showcasing custom whisky content that complement the tasting experience. Following the tasting, guests were welcomed at the Red Label and Black Label cocktail bars, which offered cocktails created by some of New York’s best bartenders, such as:

Midnight Waltz
(Created by Pam Wiznitzer from Dead Rabbit)
.5  oz Johnnie Walker Double Black
.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label
.5 oz  Zacapa Rum
.5 oz Pedro Ximenez
1 bar spoon Demerara syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes mole bitters

Stir and strain up in a coupe glass. Garnish with orange oils.

Drink You Away
(Created by Jessie Duré from American Whiskey)

1 oz Johnnie Walker Red Label
.5 oz Ruby Port
.5 oz Fresh Pear Juice
.5 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Maple Syrup
2 thick slices of Ginger
4 Juniper Berries
1 Cinnamon Stick

All ingredients steeped together for about 10 minutes and served hot in a tea cup.

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The Lion in Winter
(Created by Gates Otsuji from The Standard)
1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Red Label
.25 oz Licor 43
.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
(optional: .5 oz Becherovka)

Shake all ingredients and strain in a rocks glass

After sampling Johnnie Walker’s lower marques, guests were encouraged to explore the higher-marque lounges, including the Platinum Label area, which was lit like a photo shoot.  After sampling Platinum, a second Master of Whisky took guests through an intimate tasting while a photographer took candid photos for easy sharing through RFID card. A separate room was dedicated to Gold Label Reserve, which featured high-energy music and was housed in an illuminated Scotch-and-Soda bar offering three custom soda recipes (spicy, savory and floral) specifically created to complement Gold Label Reserve’s flavor notes.

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The night hit a crescendo with a Blue Label Tasting and Flavor Conductor performance**.  The Flavor Conductor was engineered to influence the perception of taste through a multi-sensory performance including sound, projection mapping and sampling. Twice a night, Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador Tom Jones and well-known organist Simon Little took the stage to give an unforgettable musical Blue Label tasting experience. As in past years, Johnnie Walker partnered with Meridian Audio, Fever-Tree Ginger Beer and Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water, all of which were showcased throughout the House.

This year’s House of Walker was a mixture of guided mentorship and self exploration. Each variant’s personality was brought to life in a unique way to portray the brand story, while allowing guests to enjoy a night out with their friends.

**The Flavor Conductor was concepted by Bompas & Parr Agency as a Johnnie Walker Global initiative. This instrument will tour the globe as part of a larger activation titled “Symphony in Blue.”

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New Faces: COO Peter Office

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FullSizeRender[2]For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Peter Office, who has joined MKTG INC as Chief Operating Officer. A 25-year industry veteran, Peter shares his thoughts on experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice he’s ever received.

Welcome to MKTG INC! Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been in the experiential marketing industry for a long time, watching the industry go from unsophisticated one-off programs to fully integrated experiences. I started my career in brand management at Pepsi and then moved into the experiential space working for several agencies… from producing B2B meetings to building and managing hospitality villages at Super Bowls, PGA Championships, Ryder Cups and U.S. Open events. I moved to the B2C side by producing marketing and entertainment tours, pop-up retail, location-based experiences and promotional events around the world.

I spent 10 years at Momentum leading the Live Events teams and had a stint as Chief People Officer. Most recently, I have been consulting for a variety of marketing agencies.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
As Chief Operations Officer, I will be working with all departments to figure out methods to streamline operations and become more efficient so our teams can spend more time focusing on providing great marketing solutions for our clients while improving margins.

As an industry veteran, how would you say MKTG stands out in the marketplace?
MKTG has the nimble approach of a small boutique with the resources of a large agency. The size of the agency makes it feel personal. The energy and enthusiasm of so many smart people working together is a great environment.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Two pieces of advice stand out: (1) “Make every decision as if you owned the business.” If you think like an owner, you are always working to do the right thing. (2) “Always hire people smarter than you are.” Smart people make you and the company better – never be scared to have them around.

MKTG was recently acquired by Dentsu Aegis. What does this mean for MKTG staff and clients?
Being part of a global agency provides opportunity. Opportunity for us to provide smarter integrated solutions for our clients. And personal opportunity for individuals to learn new disciplines and to develop new expertise.

What are your predictions for the event marketing industry in 2015?
A continued blurring of the lines between social and experiential. The creation of content for social amplification will require live experience as more people look for authenticity. The importance of the human connection will continue to grow as consumers tire of the always-connected world. The tangible experience our industry provides will be welcome as people want to touch, taste and feel brands. Live interaction will be appreciated as a “tech timeout.”

Technology will continue to play a greater role in events but content and the experience will be personalized. Personalization, tailored conversations and immersive experiences will make each interaction unique.

Experiential marketing will continue to evolve from tactical/executional projects to larger strategic platforms. We will continue to see greater integration and closer working relationships with other marketing disciplines as experiential provides the platform for sponsorships, PR and digital.

What publications/websites do you find most relevant to your career?

I start the day with the NY Times and then run through a variety of news, blogs and RSS feeds (Trend Hunter, Springwise, PSFK, Mashable, Seth Goodin, HBR.org, Wired and others) using the Feedly reader. I keep up with the industry news reading Crains, Advertising Age, MediaPost, Adweek and Event Marketer. LinkedIn is my go-to site for gathering intelligence about people and companies and finding networking contacts.

What are your favorite apps?
I use many apps regularly but a few daily use apps include: Keeper, Evernote, ScannerPro, IFly Pro, HopStop, Uber, The Weather Channel, Urbanspoon and BizXpense Trkr.

As a frequent flyer, what are three things you always pack?

A water bottle, granola bars and a phone charger.

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MKTG Holiday-Party Hilarity

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NEW YORK
MKTGNYC Holiday

This year’s holiday party proved once again that the New York office really knows how to “shake things up.” As guests stepped into our snowglobe-themed party space they stepped inside the wintery world of an MKTG snowglobe. Glittering gobo snowflakes fell from the ceiling while polar bears posed for selfies, loving coworkers pelted each other with fake snowballs, and the snowmen of IT mosh-pit the red-hot dance floor. In a word: face-melting.

ATLANTA
Atlanta

psLIVE Atlanta hosted its Ugly Sweater Party on December 18th, utilizing our very own expansive warehouse space, and it was a huge success! Our annual traditions were intact—volunteering at the Salvation Army in the morning, a heated Bingo competition, Secret Santa gift exchanges, and our awards ceremony.  We were spoiled with a southern style BBQ dinner before the awards which gave us the energy to celebrate all night! We crowned our very deserving award recipients as well as our Ugliest Sweater victor and moved out on the dance floor.  With so many talented dancers, an impromptu dance-off went down and it epic!  Victors were crowned and moments were forever burned into our memories.  It was a great night of fun and camaraderie with friends and colleagues alike.  We can’t wait to do it again next year!

CHICAGO
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The MKTG Chicago holiday party took place on December 11th in the covered patio of Stella Barra Pizzeria. The team enjoyed countless snacks, fancy seats, the company of special guests such as Ron Burgundy and Storm Trooper, homemade ice cream, and a very exciting White Elephant gift exchange. The team finished off the night with some extreme karaoke and a second feast of leftover pizza.

View the Beautiful Memories Slidely Slideshow here.

CINCINNATI
Cin Holiday Party

The Cincinnati office gathered for an ugly sweater & cookie exchange day! Some folks made sweaters, others borrowed and sadly – a few even owned. Our VP of Creative has a special name for these “ugly sweaters” and refers to them as “Holiday Awareness Sweaters”. She claims to own none. A fun day was had by all and even those too lazy to bake (the men) were lucky enough to get a few leftover cookies of their own. Merry Christmas from Cincinnati!

LONDON

MKTG London celebrated the holidays with some new friends this year.  With Charlie Horsey and Matt Manning making appearances we were kindly invited to the psLIVE Christmas party.  The celebration started with a quiet team lunch at a French Brasserie in the new neighbourhood in North London.  We then headed down to the psLIVE office and got a tour of the new digs and had a cocktail hour to meet some of the new team.  The party then made its way to Shoreditch House in East London to carry on the festivities.  The memories came rushing back from 2012 and the Olympics activation as we made our way up to the rooftop.

Great views, great food and great company made this end to 2014 one to remember for MKTG London as we move into a new era in 2015.

SAN FRANCISCO
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The 12 Days of (an SF) Christmas
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my favorite clients gave to me:
12 blank event credentials,
11 custom workout kits,
10 photo booth templates,
9 menu tastings,
8 approved signage plans,
7 Hangout meeting requests,
6 custom playlists,
5 stage renderings,
4 program managers,
3 consumer journeys,
2 coffee options in the kitchen,
And an IT ticket filed electronically!
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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

January 7th, 2015 at 1:15 pm