Celebrating the Holidays—Ant-style

Over the years, AcrobatAnt has developed some unique holiday traditions—a good blend of fun and heartfelt, silly and serious.

Secret Santa

In early November, we draw names for a Secret Santa gift exchange that takes place at our annual Christmas party. Why draw names so early? Because our tradition is that each gift must be handcrafted in some way and personalized to the recipient. Sometimes the gifts are touching, sometimes silly and sometimes downright bizarre, but they’re always highly creative.
Senior Art Director Dell Chambers, with a custom clock modeled after himself.

12 Days of Christmas

Everyone knows the traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas” song. The Ants deliver something a little less-than-traditional on each of those 12 days, e.g., Crazy Sock Day, Ugly Sweater Day, Twinsday, Why-Is-This-In-My-Closet Day and, of course, Pajama Day. Every year we mix it up with new themes, so be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram to bear witness to this year’s shenanigans.
Ants showing their pride and cool graphic tees.

Seeing double for Twinsday!

Craft-building at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis

One of the privileges of working with Saint Francis Health System is the annual opportunity to share an afternoon with some of the greatest kids you’ll ever meet—at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis. Creating Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations with patients and their parents is a wonderful experience and a great way to get into the real spirit of the season.
Account Coordinators Rachael Cervenka and Jennifer Hardgrave crafting with a patient from The Children’s Hospital.

Supporting Women In Recovery

The holiday season is all about giving, so one of our favorite traditions each year is making Christmas a little more special for those in the Women In Recovery outpatient rehabilitation program. Donations by the Ants help many of these women afford Christmas gifts for their children and essential items for themselves. A Family and Children’s Services program, Women In Recovery is operated in partnership with The George Kaiser Family Foundation.
Hot chocolate and bonding with some members of Women in Recovery.

The Ant family wishes you and your family the best holiday ever.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

IP Targeting—Leveraging Your List

We have all heard the expression “right person, right message, right time” when it comes to developing effective marketing strategies. With great lists and on-target messaging, direct mail can still be a viable tactic to include in your communications mix. Because direct mail falls short when it comes to message frequency, including it as part of a multi-tactic plan is needed to be effective. Unfortunately, other mass media tactics often fall short when it comes to being able to precisely target messaging to an audience.

Most companies spend valuable time and money to ensure that their direct mail audience list is as targeted as possible to help improve conversions. It is now possible to take that exact mailing list, with names and physical addresses, and target the same households digitally; IP targeting. This technique allows you to add frequency of message to your already targeted prospects to improve conversions more than direct mail alone.

If you have been in the marketing world for a while, you are probably familiar with the Rule of 7. The marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to hear your message at least seven times before they’ll take action. In today’s cluttered marketing landscape and bombardment of messages, it will likely take more than seven impressions to be noticed and make an impact on your target consumer. Another benefit of IP targeting is being able to deliver targeted, frequent impressions to reinforce the message to the prospect, who also received the same message via direct mail.

Digital impressions are viewed while prospects are engaged in their daily digital activity; checking their stocks, reading the news, exploring social media, etc. That being said, to get the most out of IP targeting, it is important to (1) serve enough impressions to each household to be noticed over a period of time and (2) utilize remarketing to engage those who have shown interest after they leave your site. The prospect may not have time to complete the action immediately, so reminding them that they were interested may encourage a conversion when they are not actively engaged elsewhere online.

If you would like to learn more about IP targeting, remarketing, list acquisition or direct mail, contact Angela at 918-938-7912 or via email.

See our results from an IP targeting + direct mail campaign by reading this case study.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ants Get LinkedIn at Talent Connect

AcrobatAnt Account Supervisors Angela Harless and Audrey Chambers attended the recent LinkedIn Talent Connect 2017 conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

In today’s business world, recruiting, branding and marketing continue to converge into a single unified strategy to reach business goals. The theme of this conference, “Where Instincts and Insights Meet,” was reinforced through many excellent keynote presentations and breakout sessions. Here are our Top Ten takeaways:

1) 76 percent of candidates want to know the recruiter before applying because they:

      • Feel they can get a leg-up on the hiring process
      • Can get an inside view of the company
      • Can better stand out as a candidate
      • Can see if the recruiter is qualified to recruit for their skillset

What would key candidates find when researching your recruiters?

2) 90 percent of people on LinkedIn have indicated that they are open to new opportunities, while 63 percent say they feel flattered when approached by a recruiter or company with a position that is a good fit for them.

3) Ed Nathanson’s session about the importance of using humor and heart in content was a great reminder that recruiting and content marketing go together. He reminded us that consumers (even candidates) use emotion to purchase: “Positive emotions toward a brand have greater influence on loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on brand attributes.” His takeaway: Think about your employees, how/why they do what they do, and use that to drive emotion and authentic communications. These emotions can make online content go viral:

4) Goat yoga is awesome. We’d heard that Nashville had goat yoga, knew we had to try it and are so glad we did. We stretched and strengthened, had lots of laughs and got walked on by baby goats. Thanks for a unique experience, Shenanigoats.

5) A big part of successful recruiting is collaboration across an organization to build the brand. One company that understands this is Heineken, which created a great interview and recruiting video that stays true to its brand while enticing audiences through interactive and unique content. Take a few minutes and start The Interview.

6) Brene Brown’s presentation was equally inspirational and challenging. We could write pages of takeaways about courage, vulnerability, leadership and gratitude, but we’ll limit it to a few quotes that should inspire you to listen to her TED talks or grab one of her books:

        • Vulnerable systems are different than vulnerable relationships. We don’t want vulnerable systems, but we need vulnerable relationships.
        • Vulnerability is about showing up. It’s having the courage to show up and be seen even when we have no control over the outcome. It’s not weakness. It’s the foundation of courage.
        • If you’re brave, you will get your butt kicked.
        • It’s not the critic who counts. If you aren’t in the arena getting your butt kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
        • The Four Pillars of Courage are Vulnerability, Clarity of Values, Trust and Rising Skills.
        • Reality-check the story that you tell yourself. Your brain always wants a story; it’s the way we are wired. When faced with an uncomfortable situation, say to yourself: “The story I’m making up right now is…”

7) If you are trying to get people to relocate to your small town for a position, communicate your culture. What makes your location different? Where does it win out and how can it compete with other markets (traffic, cost of living, weather, etc.). Talk to people who have relocated to your company and/or area; their unique insights could help determine your points of differentiation, which include people, culture and location. How can you use points of differentiation to tell a story that sets your brand apart? Inspire people with your love for your town and your company.

8) LinkedIn knows how to throw a party. #NashvilleNights at #TalentConnect was one of the best conference events that we’ve had the privilege to attend. They wanted us to experience “Music City” to its fullest and even provided acoustic performers on the bus transportation to downtown Nashville. Once we arrived, there was an abundance of live music, food, drinks, saloons, activities, and plenty of photo ops and fun. We sang karaoke, screenprinted our own T-shirts and two-stepped with new friends from LinkedIn.

9) Sarah Wagener from Pandora reminded us to follow our instincts when it comes to career-defining moments. Data and insights only go so far—following your insights can lead to a fulfilling career.

10) LinkedIn is developing some exciting new tools that utilize membership data to leverage talent surplus, compare talent between organizations and source candidates. One new platform, Talent Intelligence, will provide the data needed to help leverage and support instincts for more efficient recruiting. We’re excited to get access to this new tool on behalf of our clients in the coming months.

Talent Connect 2017 was a great event and we look forward to utilizing these insights to improve our clients’ branding and recruiting strategies.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Audrey Chambers

Audrey Chambers
Account Supervisor

Trace your work history leading up to your employment at AcrobatAnt.
I started working when I was 15 years old and really haven’t stopped. After graduating from Oklahoma State University, I accepted a position in Human Resources at the Walmart home office in Bentonville, Arkansas. I later moved to Recruiting and ended my time there in Marketing. It was an amazing learning experience, but I knew I didn’t want to stay there forever, so I took a job as an advertising agency account director and stayed there for a few years. I was in northwest Arkansas for a total of seven years before I made my way back home to Oklahoma. I’ve been at the Ant farm since 2011.

How would you describe your job?
I used to say I see my job as relationship-building, which is still a very important aspect, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. I now realize a large part of my job is to make everyone’s lives easier, which I do in many ways—mostly in how I communicate, both internally and externally. I feel it’s my responsibility to take stress off of my clients by delivering great work and being strategic. I try to do the same for the creative team by clearly communicating objectives so we can find the best solution together. I’m the middle-man, the last line of defense, the one held accountable for everything, and I don’t take this responsibility lightly. It’s a delicate balance of organization and remaining calm for the immediate needs, but also looking ahead to see how those things will affect the future. I have to be adaptable and ready for anything!

Why did you get into advertising?
I like the thrill of it, the variety of work and the things I get to do on a daily basis. I also feel like it is a field that helps me utilize some of my strengths. Plus, I get to work with some really amazing people. I’ve learned so much over the years and I enjoy that growth. It’s still work, but it’s a fun industry to be a part of, for sure.

What inspires you at work?
I love having an idea and seeing it brought to life in a very tangible, creative way. I am particularly inspired by the people we interview for the Saint Francis Health System account. We have the opportunity to feature real doctors, nurses, volunteers and patients in ads, and their stories are incredible. I feel so fortunate just to visit with them and learn about life. These people have shared some really special moments with us—why a doctor or nurse chooses the medical profession, what it’s like for a mother to see her child suffer with an illness. Their stories move me and make me proud to work on the account.

What inspires you outside of work?
Life! I am a lover of life, food, adventure and my people. I really enjoy traveling to see new things and opening my mind to the big, beautiful world out there. I plan all of my vacations (and my life schedule in general) around good food, and my husband loves it, too. I love my amazing friends and family who challenge me to be better, laugh with me and help me keep everything in perspective. And my kids, Nola and Kai, inspire me on a regular basis. At the end of it all, I’m just trying to make a positive difference.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ant Q&A: Matt O’Meilia

MattOmeilia

Matt O’Meilia
Senior Copywriter

How would you describe your job?
My job is fast-paced, demanding and challenging. On any given day, I change gears frequently to adjust to the unique brand personality of each client. So, there’s a lot of variety, both in the types of clients and the things each client needs: ads, brochures, web copy, direct mail, TV and radio copy, short copy, long copy, clever copy, serious copy. Whatever it is, about 99 percent of the time it is HOT copy.

What projects/activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
I play drums in a couple of bands, play guitar when I have time and try to keep in shape by walking, running, biking, and playing golf and tennis.

What kind of music do you like best?
I grew up playing rock and roll, mostly, but I’ve grown to love playing any music that is good, whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, country, folk—any music played with actual musical instruments. I prefer to listen to and play a wide variety of stuff, and the people I tend to play with have similarly varied tastes.
Why did you get into advertising?

With two degrees and seven years of college under my belt, I was ready to become the greatest English teacher in the world, moonlighting as a bestselling author. Eventually I lowered my sights to any job that would enable me to move out of my parents’ house. A friend told me about an ad agency looking for someone with an English degree to be a copywriter. I didn’t know what a copywriter was, but I had an English degree. I applied and got the job. This was in September 1988, when we were still using typewriters and Wite-Out. Now I know what a copywriter is.

How is copywriting different than other types of writing, and what do you like about it?
As I see it, copywriting has three objectives, in this order: get the reader to feel something, learn something and then do something, e.g., make a call, visit a website, order now. Any other writing I do outside of work—letters, songs, books—typically has only the first two objectives. What I like about copywriting is that it challenges me to quickly process a lot of information and boil it down to a simple message containing the fewest words possible. It’s great exercise for any writer. I can make a living as a copywriter, too, which is another thing I like about it.

What do you wish every client knew about copywriting?
The time it takes to compose thoughts and the time it takes to physically type those thoughts on the page/screen are two radically different things.

Anything you want to add about your job or yourself?
I’ve already revealed far more than the world needs to know.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Wacky Wednesdays at the Ant Farm

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Ants start the day with a brief meeting that we call “huddle.” Our employees are split into groups of three or four and a different group leads huddle each week. Each huddle begins with announcements and ends with an activity. The theme of the activity varies depending on the day of the week. Wednesdays, in particular, are always of the wacky variety.

Wacky Wednesday activities can range everywhere from a few rounds of hangman or Pictionary to an afternoon ice cream social to beat the heat in mid-July. And when big events are approaching, Wednesdays get even wackier—evidenced by our Superbowl “tailgate,” complete with a mini-cornhole tournament and our March Madness mini-basketball shootout.

From group coffee runs to the café next door to participating in chair yoga sessions or watching a compilation of funny YouTube videos, the possibilities for Wacky Wednesday are endless. All wackiness aside, huddle is a great way to get our employees engaged and excited for the day ahead.

Ant Q&A: Dell Chambers

Dell_Chambers

Dell Chambers
Senior Art Director

How long have you worked at AcrobatAnt?
Six wonderful years.

How would you describe your job?
Challenging, interesting and ever-evolving. I take input from clients and come up with a compelling and clean design to achieve their goals. It’s kind of like a puzzle, figuring out what goes where, and it’s very rewarding to see the final picture come together.

What projects and activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
Painting is something I thoroughly enjoy, along with trying new foods and health/fitness. Some employees have actually hired me to do their weekly lunches; they call it the Dell Plan.

What’s your favorite artistic medium? Why?
Acrylic paints. They dry quickly and I can blend them well. I started my illustration work early on with colored pencils (which have no drying time) and I feel like they were a great base for my knowledge of color blending. It carried into my use of acrylic paint almost seamlessly.

What do you wish every client knew about design?
When there is some space around elements and they are allowed to breathe, a layout can convey a message more succinctly and powerfully. This is the ultimate goal I have for everything I design.

Share a cool experience you’ve had recently.
I did a West Coast tour in June to celebrate my 7th wedding anniversary. We flew to San Diego, CA, drove to Sedona, AZ, then to the Grand Canyon. On the 7th and 8th day of the trip, we stayed in Las Vegas. The experience was great for the senses. We ate amazing food and also got to enjoy breathtakingly beautiful scenery. It was an amazing trip!

Some of Dell’s Paintings are below… great job, Dell! 

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Adaptive Content

Adaptive website design“Adaptive content” picked up steam as a buzzword a couple years ago. It’s one of those phrases that’s a little vague and hard-to-define, but once you pin it down, the concept is important to consider.

Content specialist Noz Urbina defines adaptive content as “a content strategy technique designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels. It is content that is conceived, planned and developed around the customers: their context, their mood, their goals.”

Basically, it’s personalization—but adaptive content must go far beyond just slapping a customer’s name on an email or letter. It has the specific aim of making brand experiences interactive.

Urbina provides a great example of adaptive content’s potential in an article for the Content Marketing Institute. He attended a wine-tasting event where the winery provided tablets which allowed attendees to view products on their website. Cool, right?

Right, but Urbina said the winery could have also:

  • Allowed check-ins by social media
  • Displayed a personalized welcome screen on the tablet
  • Used the tablet to suggest wine lists and pairings, such as cheeses
  • Adapted the micro-copy and tone of the website based on the user’s visit

Most importantly, he said, they should have allowed tasters to select wine on the website and then had it ready to purchase at the register when they left. In neglecting to do so, they missed an incredible opportunity for increased sales and a streamlined, interactive experience. Thinking above and beyond like this is one of the core tenets of adaptive content.

Using adaptive content is a complex endeavor and can be a challenge. Many companies simply don’t have the technology and the scope of content to fully implement an adaptive content-based business model. Here are just some of the factors that can affect the content you choose to create:

  • Device (operating system, mobile, tablet, desktop, screen resolution)
  • Context (time, location, velocity, humidity, temperature)
  • Person (age, gender, stage of life, language, relationships)

Additionally, Urbina warns, it’s easy to accidentally take “personalized” into the realm of “creepy.” However, he maintains that the benefits of adaptive content outweigh the costs:

  • According to a Google Smartphone User study, 88 percent of users who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day—mobile users are action-oriented, making the platform ideal for conversions.
  • According to McKinley, adaptive content converts three to 10 times more viewers than average.
  • And according to a survey of 17,000 people (Gen X, Y and Z) by Time Inc.:
    • 90 percent like the idea of custom content
    • 89 percent see it as an effective way to break through the clutter of brands online
    • 92 percent think brands have expertise on certain topics
    • Two out of three consumers trust custom content more than traditional advertising

While adaptive content may not be feasible for everyone, it’s never a bad idea to consider how you can personalize your customer’s experience. Check out these sites for suggestions on how to get started:

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/02/adaptive-content-customers/

http://www.intelligentcontentconference.com/5-ws-adaptive-content/

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Make Direct Mail Cool Again

Even in the digital age, it’s not a bad idea to get back to our roots with a direct mail campaign. Direct mail provides an opportunity for visual and tactile creativity that no digital advertising can provide, since a mailer is a physical item that people can interact with.One of the main goals of direct mail is to make the recipient interact with the mailer for more than just a few seconds. That said, your direct mail must not only look cool, but have a strategic goal behind it—like any other advertising venture, it’s unwise to get wrapped up in the creative side of things without crafting a plan for maximum ROI.

One of the main goals of direct mail is to make the recipient interact with the mailer for more than just a few seconds. That said, your direct mail must not only look cool, but have a strategic goal behind it—like any other advertising venture, it’s unwise to get wrapped up in the creative side of things without crafting a plan for maximum ROI.

Here are some examples of direct mailers that checked all of the boxes for cool, creative and effective.

Zimbabwean Direct Mail Image

After the Zimbabwean newspaper was forced into exile and hit with a 55 percent luxury import duty, it became inaccessible for Zimbabweans. TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris raised awareness of the issue with an eloquent symbol—the Z $ trillion note, made worthless as a result of hyperinflation but still perfectly useful as an eye-catching direct mailer. The resulting campaign is a clever, resourceful and poignant example of “the medium is the message.”

The Natural History Museum needed to produce a cost-effective direct mail piece that would raise awareness of the talks at the Darwin Centre. The eraser, produced as direct mail by Hat-Trick Design, provides a tangible visual that literally places the issue of extinction in the recipient’s hands.

CEO Lights Mailer Candle

To encourage corporate CEOs to shut down all the lights in their buildings for a single hour, WWF sent these candle mailers to their offices. As the yellow candle is removed from the office-shaped box, the “windows” go dark. The visual message is brilliantly simple and well-executed. Corporate support reportedly increased by 260 percent following the release of this mailer.

Gibson Direct Mail Sample

Griffiths, Gibson and Ramsay Productions created a working record player out of cardboard to promote their sound production services to various agencies. The mailer ships flat, holds the record and folds into place in one step. At first glance, this mailer seems like a lot of effort for little return, but it was apparently so impactful that the agencies who received it called GGRP to ask for extras to bring home to their kids.

Planet Kids Direct Mail Sample

Happy Creative Services created an invite for Planet Kids to announce their Annual Day celebrations. The invite folds into a whimsical hand puppet and was given to parents through their students. This is a great example of a direct mailer that’s cost effective, but still engaging and interactive.

Great Copy Mailer

While this mailer for Sprig isn’t particularly interactive, it offers an example of great copy. The visual is clear and inviting, while the centerpiece is a focused statement which sums up the service in just one sentence: “Simple, organic, ready-to-eat meals in just 15 minutes.” Recipients will understand the company’s features and core values in a matter of seconds—and when it comes to direct mail, a few seconds can make a big difference.

Not to toot our own horn, but here’s a few examples of AcrobatAnt direct mailers that also hit the mark. Send us an email or give us a call to learn more about our direct mail expertise.

Sonic Franchise Direct Mail

Parallon Trade Show Direct Mail

Sheridan Healthcare Direct Mail

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Thank you to our sources who found some excellent examples:
https://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-direct-mail-award-winning-work/

12 Brilliant Direct Marketing Pieces You Have to See

6 Effective Direct Mail Campaign Examples That Work by Hot Tech Startups

10 Creative Direct Mail Examples

Ant Q&A: Donna Keffer

Donna_Keffer_Fun

Donna Keffer
Account Manager

How would you describe your job?
Relationship Builder. My job is to make sure my clients are happy and help them look good by reaching their goals. I try to know as much as possible about them and their business as possible. I manage Mountain States Hospital System and St. Luke’s Health System, which both do things very differently. It is challenging and fun to find ways to manage those unique relationships and keep both clients happy—both with me and the work that we create on their behalf.

What inspires you?
Giving back. Empathy. I love opportunities to give back to my community. I want to make sure my kids look around and see the world and how blessed we are, and never think twice to stick out their hand to help someone else up. It has become so easy to say and do things and never feel or understand the repercussions of our actions. That hurts my heart. Take a second when no one is looking to go out of your way to make someone else’s day.

What projects/activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
I am married and have two very active children. When I am not working, I am usually carpooling to dance or soccer. Both of my children attend a Spanish immersion school, and my 10-year-old will spend eight weeks in Madrid this fall. We are currently spending a lot of time focused on getting her ready for that adventure.

 Why did you get into advertising?
I worked in the hospitality business as a director of sales and marketing for 15 years before I joined AcrobatAnt. After having my second child, I wanted to slow down a little. AcrobatAnt was looking for someone to manage a region of hospitals, and my hospitality marketing experience parlayed nicely to the healthcare industry as it becomes more retail oriented. It has been a relatively easy to transition this knowledge and skill set from one market to the other.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912