new business Moe's butchers mark and Corbett prep

New Business x 3 hits EraserFarm

EraserFarm announces new partnerships with Moe's Southwest Grill, Butcher's Mark and Corbett Preparatory School. 

Creative agency continues to expand footprint with major brands, development groups

Tampa, Fla. (May 14, 2018) - EraserFarm, a creative and strategy-based agency, has been selected as agency of record for two notable brands and strategic campaign manager for a third, including both regional and national organizations. As a boutique agency, EraserFarm’s newly-named partnerships are evidence of the agency’s continued growth, direction, and best-in-class reputation that far exceeds its size.

Corbett Preparatory School and Butcher’s Mark have both selected EraserFarm as the agency of record, while Moe’s Southwest Grill Tampa Bay Advertising Cooperative have chosen the agency for its campaign management expertise. While each of the three clients represent specific industries with unique goals and objectives, all are unified with a common purpose of leveraging a highly-skilled agency to help tell their story and elevate their offering within the marketplace.

Founded in 1968 as an independent, nonsectarian school, Corbett Prep now serves more than 500 college-bound students in PreK3 through eighth grade. By weaving together multiple best practices in education, Corbett Prep produces students who are creative, innovative thinkers who collaborate and lead.

Like Corbett Prep, Butcher’s Mark was born on the idea of community. Drawing inspiration from the small butcher shops of New England, this brand new concept will be launched in Sarasota later this summer. Butcher Mark’s passion for providing only the freshest, finest, and most tender savory meats drove them to create a product unlike anything else available today. The results are marinated meats that face a strict seal of approval known as The Butcher’s Mark, guaranteeing exceptional quality and flavor.

“When it came to selecting an agency partner, EraserFarm’s experience in food, restaurant, franchising and history of challenging the status quo was exactly what I was looking for,” said ABL Brands president Charlie Haney. “They possess the branding and creative prowess we need in order to launch this new concept. But, most importantly, their ability to find that human connection between brands and their customers sets them apart from any other group I'd met with.”

EraserFarm will bring its strategic brand management and full creative production services to the partnerships with Corbett Prep and Butcher’s Mark. Moe’s Southwest Grill Tampa Bay Advertising Cooperative, which oversees the 23 stores in the Tampa cooperative, will look to EraserFarm for their restaurant industry expertise, campaign management and execution. A widely-known and recognized national brand, Moe’s serves Southwest fare at more than 700 locations in the U.S. and abroad.

About EraserFarm

EraserFarm is a Tampa-based advertising agency whose mission is to cultivate breakthrough solutions by pinpointing true, human emotions that powerfully connect with consumers. With a media-agnostic philosophy, the agency specializes in developing big ideas grounded in solid strategy and neuromarketing techniques that work across today’s evolving channels. The agency is proud to have client partnerships with organizations such as OttLite Technologies, Intrepid Powerboats, Mango Tree Coffee, Kinney Fernandez & Boire P.A. and The Homefront Foundation.


the Homefront foundation portrait

The Homefront Foundation Work Featured in Communication Arts

Every day, veterans return home struggling to tell their story. Struggling to readjust to the lives they are retiring to. But The Homefront Foundation encourages veterans and service members to tell their stories and helps them do just that. It's a powerful coping method and also gives these courageous men and women a chance to come together as a community. Using real veterans instead of actors gave this piece an authentic, believable message that connected with donors and veterans alike.Without a doubt, the shoot was emotionally taxing for both the crew and the veterans. Asking them questions took them back to a moment in time that was very difficult for them to recall and articulate. The easy part was finding the veterans and service members to participate. They all were very generous with their time, and so open to express themselves in front of us like they did—especially since they didn’t know what questions we were going to ask them. They only knew it was for the Homefront Foundation.

To have this piece featured in such a prestigious publication as Communication Arts is a validation of its authenticity and we are beyond honored to be included for the work we've done and continue to do for such a wonderful foundation.

 


photo of lake next to coniferous forest and mountains

The Flipside of User Generated Content

Consumer distrust. It’s a problem that runs through a marketer’s nightmares like a runaway train. User Generated Content is a good start to pull that train back into the station. And to no surprise, it’s become such a big part of current trends like influencer marketing. UGC is a more authentic than typical content. It is more relatable to consumers and is a great way to connect with them in real ways. Do we really believe a product or service is better because a celebrity is telling us so? I certainly wouldn’t. I am more inclined to believe someone who seems just like a regular Joe like me. The rub is that when brands engage their UGC with influencers who have tons of followers, relatability and authenticity of the content can get a little dicey. Particularly when you’re trying to differentitae between ad and advocacy.

One of the unique elements of UGC is that it taps into consumer trust and relationship building. It’s a good tactic, for sure.  Particularly when used with influencer marketing because the content users create is presented organically to those users’ social audiences. In fact, I recently saw a study conducted by Reevoo that said “61 percent of people would be more likely to engage with an advertisement if it contained user generated content.” And another from Bazaar found that “51 percent of Americans trust UGC more than other information on a company website.”

But….

And this is a big “but”. UGC is just half of a story that needs the whole story told.  I wholeheartedly believe that organic distribution is perceived as more authentic than paid, but when all brands care about or hone in on the size of someone’s audience, they risk missing out on the other powerful half of the user content story. And that is User Inspired Content.

Organic stories are more powerful than organic reach. And that’s why we should stop focusing in on how content is distributed and instead create the kind that people actually want to listen to. Content people want to read about and content people want to watch. The kind that places the user in the spotlight.

Take Patagonia, for example. This is a company whose mission is rooted in social responsibility. A lofty and worthy goal, and not one that’s easily communicated through banners or 30-second ads. To get its message across, Patagonia uses content to build a passionate community of people who share those values – and eventually support the company through purchases. They’ve produced and supported short films that tackle environmental issues, such as “The Refuge”, about two women from the Gwich’in people of Alaska who are on a quest to protect their land. They didn’t send them gear with the agreement that they’d post images wearing their stuff. Instead the powerful and emotionally charged story connects with users because it’s real and far from feeling anything remotely close to advertising.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4DH5cK37Y8

REI, another outdoor company with strongly held beliefs and a passionate and devoted following, released the 30-minute film “Paul’s Boots,” that tells the story of a hiker who dreamed of completing the Appalachian Trail but passed away before ever starting. A group of hikers carried his boots along the trail to realize Paul’s dream. The film has garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube.

The risk you run by passing your voice to an influencer is you are fueling the relationship they have with your consumers. Is that a risk you’re willing to take considering the investment you’ve made cultivating followers and reach through your own channels, your paid media and PR?  Instead, why not give your advocates the podium, like Patagonia or REI did? Their story is the star. And because your brand plays a supporting role, the User Inspired Content is real and authentic. And it’s content a consumer will believe. And become an advocate themself.


ottlite varieties on desk

EraserFarm Selected as AOR to Help Re-envision OttLite.

National Consumer Packaged Goods brand, OttLite, has chosen Tampa-based EraserFarm as its agency of record. The partnership was a natural fit for the two organizations, combining... EraserFarm’s branding and storytelling abilities with OttLite’s innovative products and proven health and wellness benefits.

Using intelligent design and LED illumination, OttLite products bring the power of natural daylight indoors through one-of-a-kind natural daylight bulbs. In addition to energy efficiency, OttLite bulbs help to show colors more accurately and clearly, reducing eye strain and increasing productivity.

“We recognized that one of the greatest strengths of EraserFarm is that they are incredible storytellers,” said OttLite Chief Executive Officer, John Sheppard. “We could think of no better partner to highlight the incredible health benefits of OttLite products and to reach the new audiences that could benefit as a result.”

According to the National Eye Institute, there are currently 4.2 million Americans ages 40 and older whom are visually impaired, and that number is projected to reach 7.2 million by 2030??  With products that reduce eye strain by 51 percent, OttLite manufactures the healthiest light you can buy. Through this new partnership, EraserFarm will help OttLite reposition their story and extend their product offering to the consumers and markets they could most benefit


colorful wormholes

The Surprising Way to Win in the Digital Age

Technology has caused major disruption. The Digital Revolution has impacted almost every aspect of daily life. It’s torn down global barriers and empowered average people everywhere.

Sure it feels like digital has significantly changed the way marketers think about marketing. There’s access to more data. People have control over the conversation. And answers are expected real-time. But even with all of this change, marketing in the Digital Age is really quite simple. It goes back to mastering the basics.

Here’s an easy analogy from fellow strategist Ingmar de Lange. Take the idea of a baker.

Pre-Industrial Revolution, the baker was a central part of a small village.

  • He had personal relationships with his customers.
  • There was daily dialogue between him and his customers.
  • There was a shared context as everyone lived in the same village.
  • He offered a consistent habitual experience.

The Industrial Revolution changed things. The local, familiar butcher was replaced with the faceless factory.

  • The factory had no relationship with its customers.
  • Factories talked to their customers; there was no dialogue.
  • With distance grew lack of shared context.
  • The focus was on product and operations; there was no personal experience.

The Digital Revolution is disrupting things again. This time, it’s boomeranging marketers back to the basics. Today’s brands, big and small, are behaving like those local, familiar village bakeries from days long gone.

  • Brands strive for personal 1:1 relationships with their customers.
  • Rather than talking to their customers, brands are creating more dialogue with their customers.
  • They embrace shared contexts with their customers.
  • The focus is on brand experiences and not just functional product features.

Lesson for the Digital Age is to put focus back on the basics. Embrace the shared overlap between brand and customer. Develop a genuine relationship with customers. Live the brand’s core purpose. Have a consistent brand personality.


listening ear cartoons

What Every Client Wants to Hear

I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read that talk to what “every young account person should know.”  The reality is we all need a swift kick in the keister once in a while – whether you’ve been in the business 25 years or 25 days.  It’s extremely easy to become complacent and take advantage of client/agency relationships, especially when they are of the good, long-standing kind.

But, as quick as the account was once won, it can be lost because the relationship wasn’t as strong as it could have been.  All kinds of issues can be salvaged if the agency/client relationship is solid.  And, who normally leads that charge?  Yep, you guessed it. The account person.

So what can you do, newbie or veteran, to assure you indeed have the relationship that keeps business?  Here’s my client affinity model:

LEARN THEIR BUSINESS – really understand how they make money; what are their margins; ROI is extremely important to them; talk their talk, and more importantly mean it.  You’ll never know as much as they do, but you should push yourself to try.

INITIATE SOLID STRATEGY – from more intricate brand positioning, purpose and voice development to something simpler like creating a brand messaging strategy, ensuring that clients understand its importance is key.  This includes a full evaluation of the brands’ business objectives and KPIs, which are imperative to providing the ongoing monitoring and analytics necessary thus creating more opportunity for sales success.

SALES GROWTH AND… – are you really watching this?  Both overall sales and comparable sales are key to business success.  It’s not just about winning great creative awards, unless of course it’s an Effie.  In that case, you’re probably already using my model.

TRAFFIC INCREASES – whether your goal is to increase visits from current brand ambassadors or drive new trial, growth in this area should be monitored and analyzed consistently.  As we know, customer visits have a direct link to sales, therefore you need to know the brand’s customers – understand them – please them so they return…and bring their friends.

ENGAGE DEEP ON ALL LEVELS – make sure your relationship with your client isn’t superficial.  Every business has layers and layers of systems, processes, products, etc. that can add or detract from its success.  This is especially true inside of franchised businesses.  Local marketing effectiveness relies heavily on solid brand strategy and leadership. Make sure you are neck deep in all of it.

NEVER STOP EVOLVING – great brands get this:  Disney and Madonna are two solid examples.  They continue to evolve and attract new fans/customers without alienating their strong historical existing brand base.  Ensure your clients understand the importance of this.  Lead this charge.  Keep the brand relevant and fresh with continuous consumer insights and innovative media and creative approaches.

Of course no model is complete without an acronym, right?  Can you spot it?

L-I-S-T-E-N

If there’s one thing I hope someone takes away from this post, it’s that.  Please, please, please LISTEN to your clients.  Most often that’s what they are begging for – even internally at their own company. So, give them just that.  The rewards are truly amazing.

– Cindy


Eyeidea stock video portfolio

6 Reasons Why Video Content is Better Than the Written Word

1. Millennials have ADD With Twitter, Facebook feeds, and being able to text instantaneously, it’s not a surprise that younger audiences want information even faster than it already is. You’ll have an easier and better time engaging millennials with video content as opposed to making them read long blogs and articles about your product. (why turtles?) I like turtles.

2. Faster engagement Being able to say a lot more in such a shorter amount of time allows your audience to be able to respond to Call To Actions and know where to go for more information faster. You won’t be able to sell anything unless your audience is engaged and, let’s face it, even interested themselves.

3. It’s easily shareable. A clever headline for a video will grab the attention of a viewer, much like a billboard does for people in their car. After that, it’s up to the video to keep the consumer engaged. If it’s relevant and interesting, the viewers will advertise for you.

4. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Videos may be in the millions. We’ve all heard that old saying, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, if that was true, then a video gets more bang for your buck.

5. Pretty much everybody has a smartphone or tablet. Let’s be honest, when you go to a concert you barely see lighters in the air any more when the artist is doing their thing. What you do see is an entire stadium full of backlights from their phones as they’re recording. The net for engaging people on their phones is growing more and more every year. These devices can easily play your video content and they can look at it by themselves or even with a group of friends, all at the same pace.

6. It’s just cool. Simply put, we are an extremely visual society and video is just a much cooler, engaging way to relay a message to your audience.

– Will Rossiter, Founder of Slice


live tree vs dead tree

What’s Better - Agency or Client Side?

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo …

Choosing your career path is a big decision – no doubt. But, sometimes life presents you with an opportunity to change that path mid way. And in marketing and advertising, more specifically for account people and marketers, that opportunity is always looming.

So, the big question therein lies – Is one direction better than the other? To answer that, you must ask yourself several questions:

  • Do I have an initial preference, or am I leaning one way more than the other?
  • Do I really understand how the roles/responsibilities differ and how my current skills are/are not transferrable?
  • Is there an opportunity to develop myself and advance my career by “switching sides?”

These are just a few questions to consider. But there are also several myths you must weigh as well.

  • Client side doesn’t always pay more.
  • Client side hours aren’t always better or more structured.
  • Agency side isn’t always as glamorous as it may appear.

The reality is there are truly advantages to experiencing and learning both sides of the business. Personally I have jumped twice to each side. And, each time provided enormous amounts of knowledge that I would not have gained otherwise and that I will continue to share with my staff and with my clients. It has made me appreciate how both sides are extremely similar and extremely different.

I know for a fact (now that I own my own advertising agency) I treat my clients with even more respect than I did in the past. I understand their daily challenges; I empathize with the magnanimous amounts of decisions they make in a day; I feel for the fact that they too don’t always get to spend enough time with their families.

Spending the years on the client side that I did has indeed made me a stronger, more effective account person. I’m honored to have been a part of the growth and marketing strategy developed while I was on the client side, and truly appreciate the tireless energy my account teams expended on me on behalf of the agencies that served our brands.

And now, back on the digital marketing agency side as I continue to grow my own firm, I will pass on this amazing learning and serve our clients in the manner they deserve. I will entrench myself in their marketing strategy, understand how they make money and drive customer traffic and trial and make them even more successful than they are today with stand out creative work that will blow…their…minds!

– Cindy Haynes


help! on typewriter

5 Rituals to get you to that Big Creative Idea

As a writer, sometimes the hardest thing to do or the biggest fear to overcome is uncovering that big creative idea. No matter how long you’ve done it, that little voice in the back of your mind otherwise known as doubt seems to be there taunting you. Daring you to squash it. And so you fight through it. Sometimes with the help of others. Sometimes with the help of dangerous amounts of coffee. But in the end, usually, that other voice inside you otherwise known as confidence wins out. And all is good.

 

Well hopefully these few rituals can help bust through that block. They are pretty useful when used together or individually.

 

1. Keep tear sheets to get inspired. When you are stuck on a project, it can be good to refer back to things you have done to get over the hump. Tear sheets or digital ads from magazines, beautiful packaging or anything that inspires you. Keep your past work whether produced or not. Flip through them for idea starters.

 

2. Step away from the computer. Remove yourself from the setting you work in regularly and get away from the business of the day and your workstation. Even if it’s for 10, 20 or 60 minutes. When you rest your mind, ideas will come easier.

 

3. Exercise. Sometimes either exercise or meditation can be strong tools for smashing down these annoying walls that block creative thought. You feel more alert and focused and ideas streamline through that energy.

 

4. Write, write and write. Jot down key words that you associate with the project. As many as you can. It doesn’t matter how weird or inappropriate they are. They’re for your eyes only so no one but yourself will ever know how demented you may be. All kidding aside, it helps. Even write down the opposite of those words. You may find a hidden gem.

 

5. Hit the bar. Or a restaurant if you don’t want to come back to the office smelling like Maker’s Mark. Or go after work. Either way, go, sit and relax. Start scribbling stuff on napkins. I know, the old” it came to me in a bar and I jotted it down on a napkin” cliché. But just remember this: the cliché started somewhere. Of course, you can also just go sit in the park, or a coffee shop, or yes, even your car. But have fun explaining all the steamed up windows to the police.

 

Anyway, these are just a few ways that we find helpful. Everyone will have their own quirky ones and those are fantastic too. So we hope these assist you in placing your foot on the neck of your “doubt” and stamping it out like an old cigarette.