Archive for 2017

MKTG NY Volunteers at Gods Love We Deliver

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Yesterday members of MKTG NY spent the afternoon volunteering at Gods Love We Deliver packaging food for those in need. The mission of GLWD is to help alleviate hunger and malnutrition by delivering over 7,000 nutritious meals daily to those who are suffering from serious illness. We are thrilled to support such a great cause and look forward to continuing to do so in 2018!

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December 15th, 2017 at 11:04 am

2017 TopSpin Charity Event

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For the eighth year in a row, MKTG was proud to produce another successful TopSpin Charity ping pong event last night at NY’s Metropolitan Pavilion. TopSpin raises awareness and provides funds for exceptional nonprofits that provide educational opportunities for under-served youth.

This was by far our most attended event with attendees spanning across brands, properties, media, leagues and agents. This year, 13 of some of NYC’s top restaurants provided amazing samples from their menus. Similar to recent years, bars were fully stocked with themed cocktails and this year’s silent auction brought some amazing sports memorabilia, including Shaq’s size 23 sneaker. Take a look below for photos from last night’s event!

Photos by Mitch Plaise @sh0tbyp

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December 7th, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Our CEO Charlie Horsey’s World-Renowned Chicken Chili Recipe…just in time for the holidays!

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• 6 (1 lb) Cans of Navy or Great White Northern Beans

• 3 Cans (6 cups) of chicken broth

• 2 Chicken bouillon cubes

• 1-2 cloves of garlic

• 1 large White Onion Chopped fine

• 2 (4oz) cans of chopped green chilies

• 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes/chilies

• 1 tbsp ground cumin

• 1 tbsp dried oregano

• 1/4 tbsp ground cloves

• 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper

• 4 Cups of shredded cooked chicken (hint: get a cooked

rotisserie chicken and shred it!)


Combine above ingredients in crock pot and simmer all day or use stove top

method below….

Stove Top Method

• Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and onions in a large soup pot and

bring to a boil

• Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours

• Add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour longer


Top as you choose, but I suggest you garnish with monterey jack / cheddar

cheese, sour cream, jalapeno peppers (Mrs. Renfros are the best), and, of

course, Fritos when you are trying to impress!

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December 4th, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Experience

A Day In The Life of…Guinness Ambassador Ryan Wagner

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It’s that time again! Time to get to know another one of our amazing #HumansofMKTG.  To finish off the year, we’re taking a look at a day in the life of Ryan Wagner, our Baltimore-based Guinness Brewery Ambassador.

What exactly does it mean to be a Guinness Brewery Ambassador?

Well, there’s a team of nine of us around the country, we divide up the country evenly. My territory is Maryland, DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It’s our job to kind of spread the gospel of Guinness in any way that we can. So it’s mainly focused on education, and whether that’s getting in front of the sales team at a distributer, or getting in front of the bartending staff at an on-premise account and making sure that they’re up to date on Guinness’s quality standards and pouring techniques and all those things. Then it’s also designing consumer-facing events. I’m working with the Maryland Zoo for instance, in creating a program surrounding live zoo animals and the animals that are on the Gilroy posters from Guinness. So I do whatever I can to increase awareness of the things that we’re doing and making sure that everyone is as educated as possible about the world of beer. Not just the world of Guinness, because if people are smarter drinkers, then we hope that’ll lead them to Guinness anyway. And then also because I’m based in Baltimore and our new brewery is being built here, I’ve been spending a lot of time helping everybody get up to speed at the brewery and in the taproom as well.

The cat that’s “probably screaming”

Would you tell us a little bit about your morning routine?

Because I work primarily with staff at bars and restaurants and things like that, I tend to use my mornings to get caught up on admin work, whether that’s responding to emails or dealing with expenses. So I usually take my time in the mornings because, more often than not, I know it’s going to be a later evening. I’ll spend the earlier part of the day working on the busy work.


What about first thing when you wake up in the morning? The before work stuff…

Oh my goodness. I hit the snooze button like 17 times. I deal with the cat that’s probably screaming at me. If it’s the day my fiancé doesn’t open the gym where she works, then I’ll get up and make breakfast for us. If she’s already gone and it’s just me then breakfast is something really simple like cereal. Then I sit down and turn the TV to CNN or ESPN and get caught up on what’s going on in the world. Finally, I open the computer and get to work.


Are you a big podcast listener?

Occasionally I’ll listen to a couple of the beer podcasts. Some of the stuff that the guys at Beervana do or Good Beer Hunting to, again, keep up with what’s going on in the market.


Do you have any go-to lunch spots?

Yeah, Smoothie King! When you work in beer, and you know you’re going to be drinking a lot of it, you know a lot of your calories for the day are going to be coming from beer. So you have to try to keep it light for lunch. It’s not always easy, but if there’s a Smoothie King around I try to have that for lunch.


What about an after work activity? Do you have a favorite?

Spending time with my fiancé. We both work a lot. Depending on the time of year I work three or four jobs and she’s busy as well. She’s a group fitness director for a regional chain of athletic clubs so my favorite activity is literally something as simple as an SVU marathon and laying on the couch and just being around each other.

So you said you’re typically working 3-4 jobs at a time, can you tell us a little more about what those are?

Yeah it’s quite a few things! My background is really varied. Obviously, Guinness is my fulltime job and where I spend the majority of my time. In addition to the experience I have working with beer, I have a couple other part-time gigs that are a lot of fun that I like to do whenever I have the opportunity to. One of them is teaching a class called Body Pump, which is a group fitness weight-training class. So I’ll typically do that once or twice a week it’s usually early in the morning where I’ll go to the gym and teach a class. And then I also work for the local CBS radio affiliate in Baltimore doing sports talk radio. So I’ll do that a few times a month, where I’ll pick up a few hours and go in and talk sports. Then I also work for the Orioles when they’re in season. I am the announcer at the ballpark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so I’m the public address announcer at the stadium.


So let’s say the Orioles are in season, what does your workweek look like?

I mean it depends. So they’re home 81 times a year typically for anywhere from 3-10 days in a row at a time so it really just varies from week to week. But if I’m working all of my jobs simultaneously, which doesn’t happen terribly often, I might wake up at 5am to go teach a 6am class. I’d get back to the house at 7:30, have breakfast, and work on some admin stuff until it’s time to go on the road and go do my Guinness day. I’d visit a couple of accounts, do a staff training, work with bartenders on Perfect Pour, meet with a distributor. I’d meet with my distributor manager, see what’s going on for the week with him. Then I would be at the ballpark by 5 or 5:30. The game would start at 7. I’m there until 10. Then there are days where I go right from the ballpark to the radio station to do 10:30 until midnight on the radio. Again, it doesn’t happen often but if I’m doing all four in one day that’s what it’d look like.

It was a pleasure speaking with Ryan about life as a Guinness Brewery Ambassador, sports announcer, group-fitness instructor, and radio host.  You can keep up with Ryan on Instagram and Twitter @rwags614 or just catch him at the Orioles home games next season.  

Now that we’re wrapping-up 2017 A Day In The Life pieces, I highly recommend closing your year by sitting down with a colleague you don’t know so well and getting to know them better. It’s a privilege to hear the stories of the people we surround ourselves with every day. One thing’s for sure, MKTG is full of some pretty amazing humans. – MaryKate




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November 30th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

MKTG Wins “Best Use of a Digital Influencer in a Social Campaign” at Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards

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MKTG was rewarded for their continued work around client, IBM’s, Tony Awards Influencer Watch Party (#WatchPartyIBM) at the Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards. The category contained quite a few reputable programs making the victory extra sweet. For more background see details of the award-winning program below:

Category Finalists Included:

• Turner Sports – #ArtOfTheDunk

• MTV EMA – Viacom International Media Networks

• Viacom – 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards – Social Squad

• Nickelodeon – Kids’ Choice Sports Social Campaign

• Oxygen Media – Snapped – Influencer “Evidence Unboxing” Campaign



In 2014, through the utilization of proprietary social listening tools, MKTG identified a lack of social conversation and attribution surrounding IBM’s partnership with the Tony Awards. Aditionally, MKTG noticed a strong desire amongst theatre aficionados to share their Tony Awards viewing experience, but what was lacking was a physical and digital community where they could all come together under one umbrella. From this insight, #WatchPartyIBM was born in 2015 to drive home the association of the partnership and bring attention to IBM Watson solutions.


In 2017, MKTG revamped the 3rd annual Official Tony Awards Watch Party in a NYC penthouse by inviting 35 unpaid influential voices in the theater, tech, and sports communities to come together to amplify the IBM partnership and share their experience on Broadway’s biggest night.


New to 2017, MKTG developed a 10-person Host Committee which included current Broadway actors and actresses (featured in acts like Hamilton and others) as well as past Tony winners. This Committee was devised to spark conversation amongst attendees while initiating the #WatchPartyIBM social community to extend the conversation beyond the 3-hour award show. The week of the Watch Party, influencers received a personalized social asset from IBM on Twitter as well as an informative email to set the stage for the event, introducing them to Watson Cognitive technology. Post event, Getty Images were sent to the influencers, encouraging additional social sharing after the award show.


On Tony night, MKTG hosted the Watch Party at the Skylark in New York City.  Onsite were unique activations to enhance the experience and encourage social content sharing including: an interactive IBM branded selfie mirror, custom Snapchat Spectacles (with 2 geo-targeted Snapchat filters), a photo opportunity with an actual Tony Award, an officially sponsored Periscope channel, an opportunity to contribute to a crowdsourced video, and interactive Tony themed games and contests awarding signed Broadway memorabilia. Not to mention, Chef Watson tech-inspired chocolates and signature cocktails, and the infamous Watson Beat activation where guests could create an original Broadway composition on a keyboard piano. Following the live broadcast, guests were transported to the Tony Awards Gala at the Plaza Hotel to rub shoulders with the stars.

Evaluation of Success

Across all social platforms, there were over 2,100 unique IBM and Tony Awards conversations (38% growth from 2016) including 1,600+ unique event hashtag uses totaling 34MM potential impressions.

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November 29th, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Experience

Wells Fargo Mobile Food Banks

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Food is the cornerstone of the holidays, but for 1 in 7 Americans, this means relying on food banks for support. This holiday season, Wells Fargo will use the power of their 6,000+ branches and 265,000+ team members to help collect the food so many people rely on. As part of the overall effort, Wells Fargo has created a mobile food bank to travel the country this holiday season, raise awareness and collect non-perishable donations at events in four regions and 16 different markets until December 30th. This is a large nation-wide initiative with national and local media efforts, as well as a partnership with United Way and local food banks to do the most good in each market on the tour.


You can catch a Mobile Food Banks in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Des Moines, St. Louis, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. between now and December 28, 2017.

Check it out on Good Morning America here!

Click here for more info on the Wells Fargo Food Banks

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November 28th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Experience

Discussing EventTech with Gavin Blawie

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We asked MKTG SVP Gavin Blawie some questions about his EventTech talk: IBM Sports & Entertainment Partnerships: Rules for a Wired World.


You spoke about our work with IBM at the recent EventTech conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Can you share a few things to help those of us that couldn’t attend get a feel for your talk and also some key take aways from EventTech in general?

MKTG was at EventTech to share our integrated activation framework for IBM, and how over the last 3 years we have helped raise their social game through influencers and content made to share to better amplify tentpole partner events like the US Open, the Tony Awards and Pebble Beach, which are used by the client to demonstrate their technology expertise and build relationships with clients and prospects.

Overall it was a privilege to share MKTG’s success with IBM to a larger audience, and our approach to earned media is both a differentiator and a proven model that unlocks significant incremental value and amplification, and which is now applied across their partner portfolio.

How long was your presentation and were you solo?

I had planned on attending this session with our IBM client, but she was unable to travel at the last minute so I handled our presentation solo.

At EventTech we shared our philosophy of leveraging not just official partner content and feeds from IBM’s marquee sponsorships, but the idea that we enlist credible 3rd party influencers and their social graphs and feeds to personalize their sponsorships, and earn the partnerships exponentially more conversations and sharing.  Now, if you plan and execute events with a social mindset, you can unlock thousands of pieces of user generated content and tens of millions of incremental media impressions.

What major subjects did you cover? Did you get any great questions from the audience?

Best part of our presentation was our strategic framework to the larger event model, whereas most of the audience was focused on the physical, live aspects of wiring events to capture content and share, our approach stood out as a pre/during/approach social mindset to events as much as model to harness conversation and sharing.  Truth is brands always have tons of incremental content and conversations earned which flow out of and around events, the trick is typically that value dissapates like so much heat and light.  Now, it’s incumbent on MKTG as an agency partner to wire events to be shared to benefit the brand, using unified hashtags like #WatchPartyIBM and incenting people to share and spread the word at scale, it’s the difference between a great one off event for a small handfull, vs social conversations that travel across hundreds of personal feeds.

What were three key things you learned from the show floor? What was hot, and what was less impressive?

Augmented reality was everywhere, especially with the new AR kit in the latest Apple OS, and supporting tech to facilitate onsite sharing via hotspots and beacons, but still felt more like it was all a great tech coming than stuff which is actually here yet.  Lots of innovative camera rigs and technology to seamlessly stitch together 360 content, as fostering greater ways of personal, camera first storytelling from multiple POVs becomes the new model.

Overall, what were your impressions of the event? 

Event Tech Live was overall a very well run event, 3 full days of content, tech and partner overviews, as everyone in the space (client and agency) navigates the ongoing revolution.  Definitely much smaller an event than CES, but a great vibe and positive forum, and great reception to our thinking and approach to maximizing event impact through digital and social, as we were all from the same dedicated audience of experts in live & experiential meets tech – the show itself was probably attended by over 500, with a large standing exhibition space and 5 separate break out stages, which was larger than I had expected.



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November 28th, 2017 at 10:23 am

Posted in #mymktg,Events

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MKTG Westport Partners with Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk for Red Cross Blood Drive

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Westport MKTG partnered up with  Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk to join them in their first Red Cross Blood Drive. Did you know that donating just one pint of blood can save up to three people’s lives? The combined effort collected 26 units of blood which can save 78 lives. If you are thinking about donating blood, get out and do it. The event was a success and we look forward to co-sponsoring a bigger event with our friends  next June.

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November 17th, 2017 at 11:22 am

Posted in Experience

MKTG wins Diageo’s ‘Breakthrough Performance’ Award at Supplier Awards

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Thrilled to share that MKTG was honored by Diageo North America for “Breakthrough Performance” at the 2017 Supplier Awards. Thank you to our long-time partners at Diageo, and to our amazing team for all of their hard work and dedication.

See here for the press release


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November 2nd, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Series Launch! Five Questions With…Markus Sheldon

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Markus’ first selfie taken nine years ago..before selfies were a thing. #innovator

We are thrilled to kick off our first edition of “Five Questions With…” with MKTG NY’s Markus Sheldon who is our VP of Innovation. This series will share a deep dive into what makes the Humans of MKTG tick and help make up this great family. Enjoy!

What’s a typical day/week like for you at MKTG New York (who do you interact with, what keeps you busy)

Thankfully I can say that in my role, the word “typical” is rarely something that comes to mind when thinking of the daily grind. No two days/weeks are quite the same and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could be leading a pitch presentation Monday morning knowing that after the presentation I have to fly west for innovation workshops with clients Tuesday. All the while, requests are coming through; new client briefs, working with the creative team to formulate new ideas, or in some cases leading the charge on proactive pitches. At the end of the day, everything has to get done, so a lot of my week is also about managing priorities and expectations to make sure that what needs to most attention gets it, and nothing falls through the cracks.

I also get to interact with our Dentsu Aegis sister-agencies, strategic partners and a short-list of vendors to develop solutions. Internally, I find myself partnering with anyone who is in need of solutions that involve technology or those that I’ve worked with on past projects who just want to pick my brain for a POV. Coincidentally, the conversations often start with technology, but lead to a conclusion that it isn’t the entire answer. Sometimes it’s an hour-long conversation, sometimes it calls for me taking the lead on a longer tail discovery effort. It always calls for problem solving, empathy, un-divided attention, and a willingness to acknowledge when I don’t know the answer, all while understanding what it will take to find it.

In your five+ years here at MKTG, how have you seen what you do affect the trajectory of MKTG’s business (you can be high level here or give examples)

I’ve seen a pretty massive shift in the agency from where it was 5+ years ago. In my humble opinion, I think we’ve never had as much momentum producing technology-led solutions as we do now. I’ve noticed an evolution in our day to day behavior, our conversations, and our level of strategic thinking around innovation and technology. It is what gets me excited every time I take the 6:37AM train in to get to the office, and what keeps me motivated every time I head to the airport on a Sunday night for Monday meetings. Credit is due to the general pervasiveness of technology in society today, but the genuine interest of my fellow MKTGers, and a recognition of what innovative technology can bring to the forefront has brought us to where we are today.

I’ve never been bullish on the idea that driving further awareness and adoption of an innovation mindset is going to happen by writing decks and presenting slides. I’d rather we show the world we have an innovation mindset through the experiences we create, as opposed to telling them that we are innovative. To that end, we’ve been doing just that. Over the last couple of years, we brought to life a few campaigns that involved pretty complex technology solutions that solved real problems.

We launched the award-winning Gatorade Fuel Lab and the lifestyle-gem that was Smirnoff House. Both harnessed technology to immerse guests into the experience but also to make each more dynamic, more memorable, and more measurable for clients.

We capitalized on forming new partnerships with Brandzooka and Cinebody to support a big experience for Tropicana early this year, who challenged us to deliver an event that is “experienced by few, seen by many”. This resulted in a new formulaic approach to capturing and distributing compelling content at the speed of social, something that I believe represents a huge opportunity for us.

We then pitched and won a game-changer project with Beats by Dre, offering the agency the ability to define, develop, and own a business intelligence platform. It represented a new beginning for the agency, where we own an equitable product that will be able to support a wide range of business needs in the future.

All said, I still believe that we’ve only just begun to establish our identity as it relates to innovation and technology. To that end, I’m focused on formalizing the discipline in partnership with our leadership, while proving our value with the output.

What excites you about your work?

I get most excited when we collectively identify an opportunity to go into uncharted territory and capitalize on it. I’m a firm believer that it is impossible to innovate without challenging the status quo, without feeling a bit uneasy, so any time we step out of our own shoes, read what the brief doesn’t say and think differently is when my mind gets giddy like getting a full-size Snickers bar at Halloween. I want MKTG to be known for delivering positive firsts, so any time we begin to move into new areas I get pretty stoked.

Independent of that, I get excited knowing that what we are doing is providing a positive impact for the agency, clients and consumers who engage with our experiences.

What has been the most meaningful advancement(s) you have seen that has moved/can move our business forward?

Like I was saying earlier, over the last couple of years there has been a pretty massive shift in both interest and day-to-day dialogue around innovation, technology, and solutions that live in the digital space. I’ve seen a very positive shift in both our capability to think integrated and our ability to deliver on the promise through the output. I see a lot more integrated strategies that combine technology, culture, and content to drive a closer connection between brands and humans, which gets me very excited about the coming year. We’ve seen a lot of positive momentum on the accounts where we push the limits of our experiential purview, delivering ideas that extend through the line. We’ve also seen a drastic expansion in the staff that can support delivering innovative solutions, and every office bringing ideas to the table that will bring the agency to new heights. Ultimately, the most meaningful advancement has been the people, the mindset, and the focus. Everything is a bi-product of that.

Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it?

You’ll have to check back with me again come February, as there will be a baby boy blowing up my days. I’ll focus on highlighting my morning routine when I am in town, as my travel mornings tend to be a bit more streamlined due to a much simpler commute.

My wife and I both wake up between 5:30 and 6AM, sometimes earlier for me if we have a pitch that morning and I want to get in early. We get ready together, chatting throughout our preparations about the upcoming day. We collab on making coffee, letting the dogs out and feeding them, prepping any left-overs or bagging aussie bites (from Costco, they are amazing). We then usually head down the hill together to ride the train in from Highland Avenue. There are times where we have to head in at different times, so when that happens I walk down the hill to the station, which gives me a nice (but distant) view of downtown along the way. When walking down the hill I tend to get into a meditative mindset where I focus on appreciating the fresh morning air, contemplating the day, and most importantly getting a smile going.

When we ride together, we’ll sit together in the quiet car every once in a while, whispering back and forth to the chagrin of fellow passengers (even though whispering isn’t illegal). Most often we’ll sit separately, because the train is pretty full by the time it hits our station. She gets off at Newark Broad Street and then I head into Hoboken. When she exits we always say goodbye and tell each other, “I love you.”, whether we sit together or not. I know that may seem sappy, but it is something that I learned from my grandpa who passed away when I was in my late twenties. Every morning and every night, he’d tell my grandma, his wife of over 60 years, that he loved her. While he never explained it to me directly, it meant much more than the words to me – It was more about making sure that neither person start the day or goes to bed angry. It isn’t always easy to do this when I travel like I do, but I always find a way to tell her so she knows I am thinking about her.

Now back to that routine….

I tend to let my ride in adjust to what inspires me that morning. I’ll mix things up; listening to a Spotify daily mix, scanning my Flipboard and Medium to catch the latest in tech/innovation trends and stories from the previous day, listening to podcasts, reading a book, or playing a mobile game or two. I am definitely a creature of habit with where I sit on the NJT train, where I stand on the platform and within the PATH train, and the path I take in walking through and out of the Oculus and up Church street to head into the office. It isn’t that I am against breaking the pattern, because I sometimes stop along the way to grab pastries or even an extra coffee for the day, but I like the consistency of the process, and being deliberate about my way in.

When I arrive I always greet the guys downstairs, use my wallet to tap the elevator buttons, and I always follow the same general process when I get to my desk. After that, everything changes. Like I said before, no two days are the same, that is, aside from the bookends.

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November 2nd, 2017 at 11:30 am

Posted in Experience