b. Washington, D.C. Followed grandma’s roots and ended up at UNC. Followed job offer to Chicago. After Tony Bennett put his words to music in a radio jingle, decided work there was done.
Returned to NC to build big brands for small companies–and because it was closer to Key West, ground zero for Parrotheads. Returned to UNC to teach big ideas to tomorrow’s underpaid ad hopefuls.
Distinctly recalls being influenced by ad icon-wannabes like Goofy Grape and the walking, talking Koogle jar, which advertised products that were parity and disgusting, respectively. Abhors irrelevant celebrity spokespeople and contrived cross-promotions. Currently admires the strategy and tagline (but not so much the executions) of Expedia’s “Travel Yourself Interesting” campaign.
Since social media has spawned countless self-proclaimed “experts” on every subject under the sun, Bill would like to stake his claim on the following:
- Jimmy Buffett: Crowned Raleigh’s Biggest Parrothead by Raleigh News & Observer.
- Frank Sinatra: Ever since high school, where it did little to build his popularity.
- Vintage Popeye cartoons: Black and white, hand-drawn, pre-War…nothing funnier.
- Microbrews & Homebrewing: Has actual samples in office, of indeterminate age.
- Newspaper Comics: In general, Peanuts in particular.
The Challenge: Rocky Top Hospitality realized that if it was going to build on the success of its initial concept, Michael Dean’s, it would need to create a distinct food service brand around it, and around every subsequent restaurant it opened. The Solution: Michael Dean’s wood-oven-based menu changed monthly, so we built a food service…Keep Reading »
The Challenge: Salesforce.com’s partner program, designed to provide members with training materials, useful info and enhanced sales commissions, was languishing in the absence of focused support and promotion. The Solution: Using an integrated online/offline campaign, we packaged the program as a “right turn.” Trying to keep the message simple and direct, we targeted prospects with…Keep Reading »
The Challenge: Cisco contacted us to help them develop a solution to help their channel partners market Cisco products more consistently and effectively online. While the lifeblood of the Cisco business model, partners’ sales were suffering, and as a result, so were Cisco’s. The Solution: We built a web-based marketing solution, known as SharedVue, that…Keep Reading »
The Challenge: Parker Gas, a NC-based propane company, wanted to raise awareness of its established RapidXchange propane tank exchange service, every bit as good as—and in many ways no different than—market leader Blue Rhino. The Solution: We uncovered real drama in RapidXchange’s “12-Step Quality Inspection Process” and created an original brand mascot to personify this…Keep Reading »
The Challenge: Builders Mutual, an insurance company serving the homebuilding industry, was entering a crowded marketplace with low awareness and a parity product (workers’ compensation). The Solution: Turn a limitation into a strength. Because of Builders Mutual’s exclusive focus on the homebuilding industry, we were able to position them as “the industry authority” using the line…Keep Reading »
The Challenge: With explosive growth on the horizon, we sensed Builders Mutual’s usually stellar customer service could be poised for a hit and we were prepared. The Solution: We recommended Builders Mutual not only retrain its staff to improve its customer service, but advertise these very efforts. “Service Outside the Box” became its own brand…Keep Reading »