Archive for 2017

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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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 2nd, 2017 at 11:30 am

Posted in Experience

MKTG Stands With DAN to support GLAAD On Spirit Day

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On October 19th, MKTG teams across the US sported their favorite purple to show support of GLAAD’s Spirit Day to show support for LGBTQ youth and take a stand against bullying.  For every photo tagged #DanSpiritDay and #spiritday DAN donated $5 to @glaad, and the team knew they had to get on board.

Shout out to the Westport team for the amazing turnout for such a great cause.

 

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 20th, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Posted in #mymktg

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MKTG Charlotte – Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Fundraiser

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In September, MKTG Charlotte partnered with a local restaurant in Uptown Charlotte, 204 North, to host a fundraiser for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. They chose a day and time frame where 15% of all food and beverage sales were donated to the fund. They pushed the fundraiser in many ways to raise the most money possible, including creating a graphic to distribute, spreading the word on social and inviting family and friends to attend! In total, the MKTG efforts resulted in $200 raised for Hurricane Harvey relief!

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

October 18th, 2017 at 9:12 am

Brands Should Be ‘Fearless’ In Sponsorship Marketing

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Brands with smaller budgets need to be “fearless” when it comes to sponsorship marketing, Colin O’Toole, marketing manager for the Cadbury Premier League Partnership, has said.

He added that businesses also need to put their trust in the agencies they work with and make sure they are fully behind the strategy.

O’Toole was speaking on a panel held by MKTG today called The experience economy: driving business value through sponsorship and shared experiences.

He said: “We have a lot of smaller brands and they don’t have the budget that Cadbury has [such as Green & Blacks]. You need to focus on what you are trying to do, so on one metric and [be brilliant on that].

“Be fearless about what you’re trying to do. If you don’t take a risk you’re going to get lost, but there’s a fine line between fearlessness and stupidity. You’ve got to trust agencies that they will do their job and give you the best advice and then you have to back them.”

O’Toole explained that the campaigns that Cadbury’s has been able to deliver successfully are ones that the brand has “pushed the boat out a little” but has remained within its values.

 

Read the rest of the article here

Article written by Gurjit Degun

 

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

October 13th, 2017 at 10:42 am

MKTG Milan Brings Timberland and Marracash Together For A “Concert in the Sky”

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To support Timberland’s launch of the new FLYROAM sneakerboots, MKTG sought to produce a unique, integrated event that would function seamlessly online and onsite. On October 3, Timberland was really aiming high, so that its consumers, having purchased and challenged the odds in a contest, were able to take part in the first ‘Concert In The Sky’ where they would enjoy with the Milan rapper Marracash, on a suspended platform 40 meters high.


Over 2,000 people gathered at Porta Genoa’s Gateway to witness a never-before-seen happening. The event sparked viral stories, videos, and selfies on social media. The King of Milanese Rap moved smoothly inside the flying platform and put on a fantastic  show that spectators on the ground were able to watch on screens over the stage, where Marracash later finished his performance.

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

October 12th, 2017 at 10:15 am

Media Agencies MKTG, Posterscope and PSI launch fundraising initiative for local soup kitchen on World Mental Health Day

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Today’s is World Mental Health Day and MKTG UK is taking action. Read below to learn more about the great work they’re doing in their local neighborhood and consider donating HERE.

 

World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10th October) has seen the launch of a crowdfunding campaign by MKTG, Posterscope and PSI, who aim to raise £30,000 through crowd-funding site Chuffed, to hire a full-time mental health professional, based at the Whitfield St Soup Kitchen.

There are approximately 1600 soup kitchens in London. Between them, they have one goal: to help the 180,000 people officially designated as homeless in our capital city (data from Shelter).

The Whitfield Soup Kitchen is one of the many organisations helping to overcome the issue of homelessness in one of the richest cities in the world.

But there’s a problem

Although the reasons for homelessness are varied, one significant contributory factor is mental illness, which many of the guests at Whitfield St suffer from, to some extent.

Being homeless adds an extra obstacle to accessing the already reduced funding for mental health services, and if left untreated, may guarantee that they remain homeless. Homelessness also reduces the likelihood of being seen by a regular, mental health professional.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

Knowing this, media agencies MKTG, Posterscope and PSI are endeavouring to create the first ‘no appointment needed’, no obligation, mental health drop-in centre, actually located inside the Soup Kitchen. Not only will the agencies hire a mental health professional (link worker) to be present at the kitchen for 2–3 days a week across a two-year period, but they will also fund the building of a small, private consultation room, to give the homeless a secure environment with someone they trust to share their issues. If successful it is hoped this will provide a model for other soup kitchens.

Advisors at Mental Health Charity Mind said:

“The support available to homeless people for mental health are sometimes complex to navigate, and people often stop engaging with the support offered. The provision of a link worker will help support people to be aware of options and where to get help with practical and social needs.”

The agencies’ aim is for a professional link worker to build dialogue, trust and relationships, with the regulars to and accelerate their path back to health.

You can donate on Chuffed here.

You can read this original post here.

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 9th, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Experience

Who is Your Favorite Past Celebrity Endorser?

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MKTG members Kyle Goncalves, Geoff Biss, Marlie McLaughlin and Katherine Allen get together and discuss their favorite past sponsorship deals, why it appeals to them and how it has made an impact within the industry.

“Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series was a trailblazer in bringing skateboarding into mainstream and sponsorship culture.” — Kyle

KYLE:

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater shaped the world of skateboarding – it was more than just a video game. This popular series was one of the first and leading platforms, catapulting the sport into mainstream culture. To some, skateboarding was seen as a rebellious activity, but I believe that has shifted due to the work and talent of Tony Hawk as the series brand ambassador. In the late 90s and early 2000s, Activision (video game publisher) leveraged one of the best skaters of all time (Tony Hawk), and created a sense of credibility on a fun platform that allowed room for consumers to truly engage in skateboarding culture. The series and work of Tony allowed the industry to embrace the sport which created a new world for a variety of sponsors to dive into.

Whether you skateboarded or not – you knew the name and importance of Tony Hawk. Tony Hawk as a face for the series was a perfect choice due to his high performance and demeanor. He elevated the sport which opened the door for sponsors to consider skateboarders as marketable athletes – he definitely paved the way.

KATHERINE:

“Peyton Manning’s persona is strategically highlighted in MasterCard’s Priceless campaign” — Geoff

 

To read the rest of the article, click here 

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

October 9th, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Think Pink | MKTG Westport Raises Awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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MKTG Westport rocking that pink!

October means a lot of things: Halloween, MLB Playoffs… and of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  On Friday, Oct 6, MKTG Westport dedicated their day to raise awareness for the cause.

Employees were asked to wear pink to the office, and with an enthusiasm they obliged.  The pink didn’t stop there, as the team updated the Lego board, and Westport trainees decorated the office beer cart for a special run.  Even the beverages offered were pink-themed – Rosé, Zinfandel, beer in pink cans, and Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade.

 

While the trainees made their rounds with the beer cart, they included a “tip jar” in which employees were encouraged, but not required, to toss in any pocket change they had laying around.  The office pulled together, and raised about $100 to donate to Breast Cancer Awareness & Research organizations.

Every little bit helps, and we’re proud of the Westport team for coming together for such a great cause!

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 9th, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Posted in #mymktg,MKTG 4 Good

MKTG Westport: Toiletries for Troops Initiative

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All year long the MKTGers of Westport, CT collect toiletries from our business trips, homes, and dollar stores to donate to A Project from the Heart, a local organization in Fairfield, CT that sends packages to our troops overseas. Our troops are always in need of these small items while living away from home. We feel it is important to give back to the troops to say thank you for all they do. Below are letters that A Project from the Heart has received from troops expressing their gratitude for the packages. This definitely makes us smile!


 

 

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

October 9th, 2017 at 10:59 am

Toyota Racing and Team USA

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MKTG has united two of TOYOTA’s major sponsorships in a never-been-done-before manner.

Before heading off to PyeongChang for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Team USA will make a few pit stops for TOYOTA along the way. In a concentrated effort ideated, developed and executed by MKTG, TOYOTA is leveraging its Olympic/Paralympic partnerships AND NASCAR assets to bring Team USA athletes to the race track. At four races during the NASCAR Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Playoffs, Team USA athletes will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver and lead the field of race cars from behind the wheel of the 2018 TOYOTA Camry.

A robust and ambitious content capture plan was implemented, where every moment of each Team USA athlete’s race day experience was captured by an MKTG crew. Each Team USA athlete experienced TOYOTA’s at-track touch points, including personal interactions with TOYOTA Racing’s top-tier NASCAR drivers. A fully-integrated social media campaign was designed, including TOYOTA-owned channels (TOYOTA Racing, TOYOTA USA & Team TOYOTA) and partner channels (NASCAR, Tracks, Drivers and U.S. Speedskating), which included both organic and paid content.

As the Official Pace Car, the 2018 TOYOTA Camry, featured U.S. Olympic, U.S. Paralympic, and Team USA branding, further reinforcing TOYOTA’s commitment to both its motorsports and Olympic/Paralympic partnerships. With two Team USA-paced races already complete, MKTG will look to augment this unique program at upcoming race weekends. So be on the lookout!

The TOYOTA NASCAR & Olympic/Paralympic pace car program schedule:

• Chicagoland (9/16 – 9/17): US. Olympian and Team TOYOTA athlete Sugar Todd served as the honorary pace car driver for the NASCAR MENCS race at Chicagoland Speedway. Sugar Todd also took part in a content capture opportunity with Erik Jones, driver of the #77 TOYOTA Camry.

• Dover (9/30 – 10/1): US. Paralympian, and Team TOYOTA athlete Hannah McFadden served as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the NASCAR MENCS race at Dover International Speedway. Hannah McFadden also took part in a content capture opportunity with Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 TOYOTA Camry.

• Charlotte (10/7 – 10/8): US. Olympian and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the NASCAR MENCS race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hannah Kearney will also take part in a content capture opportunity with Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 TOYOTA Camry.

• Kansas (10/21 – 10/22): US. Olympian and Olympic silver medalist Brian Hansen will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the NASCAR MENCS race at Kansas Speedway. Brian Hansen will also take part in a content capture opportunity with Daniel Suarez, driver of the #19 TOYOTA Camry.

Contributed by Lauren Hoffman and team, MKTG Charlotte
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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 2nd, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Experience