Posts Tagged ‘The Adams Group’

“L” Stands for loser.

February 10, 2012

Another Super Bowl is in the books. Over hyped? Yes! Bad halftime show? Yes! But the game was great and Super Bowl Sunday has become a holiday so why not enjoy.

Now it’s time to prepare for next season. The NFL players are resting, getting needed surgery and getting prepared for mini camps. Just like the players, the NFL is already working on future Super Bowls. And that’s a good thing because the NFL has a little problem with Super Bowl 50. Ever since the first Super Bowl, the league has numbered them using Roman numerals. That would make Super Bowl 50, Super Bowl “L”. “L” stands for loser. This creates a heck of a problem to solve. The league has managed it’s way through and around  Super Bowl IV in 1970 and Super Bowl XXX in 1996. But having a giant “L” with a sponsor’s logo like, say, Nike’s swoosh right above it could be a little awkward. Not to mention being awkward for the host city.

SO. Just like players trying to get stronger and faster, a crack team of designers and sharp thinkers are squirreled away trying to solve this big problem for a big client. Maybe they will take this opportunity to convert the Super Bowl to Arabic numerals. After all 50 is a huge mile stone. They didn’t think there would be ten Super Bowls let alone fifty. Maybe they’ll have the “L” stand for something other than “Loser” or find a way to hide it in the design. Who knows. But what a fun challenge that would be.

I have a lot of great ideas. I’ll just sit back a wait for the NFL to call.

Three births, three patient experiences.

March 29, 2011

My wife and I are the proud parents of three boys. I know, wow, three boys. Trust me, it’s a blast and we were blessed with three relatively smooth deliveries. Interestingly enough, each boy was delivered at a different hospital and each experience was very different.

The experience we had with the birth of our first son wasn’t what we expected. Your first child is never what you expect, but I’m talking about the patient experience. The hospital was cold and clinical, it was the area’s teaching hospital dedicated to “academic medicine.” My wife felt like a science experiment. The saving grace was a nurse working in the nursery at night; we’ll call her KT. She really loved babies and she loved her job. She made us feel like we had our own nurse caring just for us. We still remember her and I think my wife would include her in our will if she could find her.

Because of our first patient experience, we chose to deliver our second son at the local “boutique” hospital. It was like checking into a hotel to have a baby. It was quiet and comfortable, but we didn’t experience any hospital staff with the same passion of KT. We were treated fine and the delivery went well, but we didn’t leave feeling like we had been given care that was unforgettable.

Maybe I’m being too picky. I often think it’s unfair to expect everyone at a hospital treating my wife and me to exhibit the same kind of passion and zeal as KT’s. Or is it?

Recently my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our third son. We didn’t know what to expect. Our third son was delivered in a different city than his older brothers. My wife’s OB chose the hospital.

From the time we checked in to the time we left, we were reminded of KT because the entire staff worked with her passion and zeal. One nurse came to our room to check my son’s hearing. He started coughing and the nurse picked him up and cleared his throat. This is not uncommon but she did this gladly even though it wasn’t life threatening and not her job. Another nurse came by after her shift just to check on my wife before she left the hospital. It didn’t matter that another nurse was already on duty. Another nurse moved heaven and earth to get me a roll-away bed. I didn’t ask for a bed, all I did was make a joke about the couch being uncomfortable.

Not only are these doctors, nurses and staff members good at what they do, they love what they do and it shows.

I’m a Creative Director in the healthcare/hospital marketing field. One of the coolest things I get to do is witness the work of doctors, nurses and staff who really love what they do. When you talk with them their passion shines through. They believe in what they do and they love it.

As a “creative”, I’m always looking for new and different ways to communicate a client’s competitive advantage. I love what I do. We can saturate the market with a campaign message and light up the web with interactive and social media content. But the most powerful communications tool can be one doctor, nurse or staff member doing their job with a passion that makes them unforgettable to their patients. That’s a real competitive advantage.

While the recent great patient experience is still fresh in our minds, I know we will always remember this hospital stay with a smile. The same way we remember KT.

Breaking the Piñata: When is too much information, too much?

September 16, 2010

Four days, 6 general sessions, 70 break-out workshops, 119 exhibitors, dozens of exchanges during breaks and luncheons with fellow attendees and the SHSMD 2010 conference is complete.

Rich with content and excited to share these pretty, shiny nuggets of knowledge with you, I’m struggling to find a starting point.

It’s almost like cracking open a piñata and not being certain of the direction in which I should scamper. Which goodies do I want to hoard for myself? Which ones do I want to share with others? Which ones do I find fascinating and you may find irrelevant?

I could craft a summary of the SHSMD conference and provide an overview of all the tidbits I’ve gathered, but the final product would be more like a dissertation rather than a blog entry.

Bursting at the seams, I feel like Adam in Paradise Lost when Raphael warned:

 “But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less

Her Temperance over Appetite, to know

In measure what the mind may well contain,

Oppresses else with Surfeit, and soon turns

Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Wind.”

 Now that consumers have developed an excessive craving for conversation, education and details, what makes for a successful online interaction?

Just like biting into a juicy apple, you want to give your consumer digestible bits of information.

As marketers, we need to get out of broadcast mode where we craft our talking points, add some nice graphics or even a video, and post content to the web as another means of pushing out our messages. As The Cluetrain Manifesto laments, we’re still treating the online market as “eyeballs” rather than as people engaged in conversation.

Similar to chatting it up with a fellow attendee at a conference, you need to have a genuine delivery that leads to a positive exchange of ideas and dialogue. Not too much information where you overwhelm the other person and turn them off. Rather, the right balance of content that leaves them satisfied – and wanting seconds.

I can keep serving up my sampling of the conference, but what are you craving? Click brochure to get an overview of the SHSMD 2010 conference. Then, send me a note at and tell me what topic you would like discussed next.

SHSMD 2010 Conference: Healthcare on the Winds of Change

September 14, 2010

Karolynn Cionek reports from the SHSMD  trenches:

One could easily assume the theme of the annual AHA conference in Chicago was selected to address the changing role of the healthcare industry as it relates to the impending Health Reform.

However, as I delved into workshops and chatted with fellow attendees, it quickly became apparent that the underlying current was addressing change as it relates to the communications landscape.

After decades of media stasis, the online arena has fundamentally changed how we communicate with our consumers.  

Traditional, offline strategies relied heavily on interruption and coercion to push information out to the masses. Now, consumers are expecting marketers to pull rather than push by delivering useful content at the precise moment they need it.

A 2009 Pew survey reported 61 percent of American adults look online for health information. Thomas McCormally of Cincinnati Children’s, led the Storytelling and Multi-media workshop to further explain that, of those online, 59 percent have done at least one of the following activities:

  • Read someone else’s commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website, or blog
  • Consulted rankings or reviews online of doctors or other providers
  • Consulted rankings or reviews online of hospitals or other medical facilities
  • Signed up to receive updates about health or medical issues
  • Listened to a podcast about health or medical issues

The Web has become a trusted source for people trying to make a decision or solve a problem – particularly when it comes to healthcare.

That last sentence is key to understanding what exactly changed in the communications landscape: trust. Disruption is being replaced by engagement, persuasion by influence of trusted sources.  

With millions of one-way, seller-spun advertisements bombarding us on a daily basis, even in healthcare, we eventually became numb to the noise. We quickly tired of being sold, turned off and stopped trusting advertising.

With advancements in online technology, marketers have a new opportunity to connect to consumers. Rather than drilling down messages into the lowest-common denominator, you can now interact, inform, educate and provide details that were lacking in the broad reaching techniques of yesterday.

While traditional offline outlets remain vital aspects of an overall marketing campaign, the change comes in acknowledging the new consumer wants more substance. They expect a dialogue.

 As a marketer how are you adapting to this new environment?

How hot dogs made us socially acceptable.

August 20, 2010

With a growl in our stomachs, we went in search of the city’s best hot dog. Little did we know what we’d find were the makings of a social media success story.

It all started with a friendly argument. As we wrestled over what makes the perfect hot dog and where one can find such an exalted treasure, we decided there was only one way to settle the matter. We’d put our city’s hot dog vendors to the test.

In true Adams Group fashion, we soon had a name for our little venture, a logo, a scoring system and parameters to guide us on our quest for the preeminent pup.

So, we set out to our first hot dog hawker, ate way too much, took a bunch of pictures, tabulated the scores and posted everything to our Facebook page. The Dog Fight was born, and it was fun.

Every week we ventured into dives and delis, gas stations and gourmet restaurants, in search of perfection. Every now and again, someone would comment on a Facebook photo, or recommend their favorite source of such succulent sustenance. But overall, things were quiet on the Facebook front. Until, one week, we took a frankfurter furlough.

The minute we failed to post our regular update, people began asking questions. What happened? Where are you? Our adventures were being followed on a grand scale – we just didn’t know.

Within weeks, we were at the center of a foodie frenzy. Other companies’ employees challenged us to Dog Fights, we hosted “celebrity” guests, and our own dog fighters were recognized around town (and heavily questioned about where to grab a good dog).

We even got the attention of traditional media, which exposed our Friday lunch activities to tens of thousands. Dog Fight had taken on a life of its own – a life that is thriving today.

Why tell this tasty tale? Because it taught us a lot about achieving social media success:

First – Have fun. Share something that interests you and, chances are, it will interest others as well.

Second – In these cases, traditional metrics may not be giving you the full story. You probably have more followers than you think.

Third – This is not a push marketing medium. Invite people into your experience, and share with them.

Fourth – Be honest, open and transparent. If you are, the medium will reward you.

 Finally, if you know of a great hot dog place in South Carolina, let us know.

27 Things You Don’t Know About Karis Hallman.

April 16, 2010

Life's less like a box of chocolates and more like a bag of corndogs for Karis.

This month, Karis Hallman celebrates her 27th year at The Adams Group. In all those years of late-night press checks and pencil breaking estimating sessions, we’ve learned a lot about Karis. Like these 27 things you probably don’t know. Enjoy!

  1. She drives or rides in an antique car in the Calhoun Falls Christmas parade every year.
  2. She is the adoptive mom to many, very lucky four-legged children.
  3. She was a cheerleader at Eau Claire High School.
  4. Her favorite holiday is Halloween.
  5. She usually has a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter in her office.
  6. She’s been to Brussels, twice.
  7. She a rabid Gamecock fan and has a PhD in tailgating.
  8. She started at The Adams Group as a graphic designer.
  9. She has an accessory for every major holiday and most of them blink or make noise.
  10. She prefers the Pronto Pup and leaves the fair with an entire bagful of them every year.
  11. She enjoys Amy’s Pilates classes or pretends to, we’re not sure which.
  12. She once had horses that smiled a lot. We can’t tell you why.
  13. She used to drive a copper 280ZX.
  14. She’d rather be at the lake, at Murrell’s Inlet or at your house eating snacks.
  15. Whether it’s midnight or a major holiday, she can get a Heidelberg cranking.
  16. Her pimento cheese recipe rivals both Paula Deen’s and Augusta National’s.
  17. She is a Columbia College graduate.
  18. She enjoys long bike rides with her hubby, Jimmy.
  19. She wants both halves of the donut, but only takes one at a time.
  20. She has more fans than Nickelback.
  21. She is a patron saint of St. Patty’s in Five Points and Sherlock’s Pub.
  22. She is not color blind and appreciates Goldschläger as much as purple hooters.
  23. She can do a proper pushup given the right motivation.
  24. She’s a wonderful and giving caretaker for both her and Jimmy’s parents.
  25. In her world, drinking beer and an enjoyable day on the lake are one in the same.
  26. She’s the lone customer of the in-office M+M machine.
  27. We can’t imagine The Adams Group without her.

This post was greatly enhanced by the clever minds of Amy Carter, Paula Mallory, Debra Branson, Andrew Evans, Sue Watson and Jeff Davis.

Super Bowl Commercial MVPs

February 8, 2010

This image provided by Doritos shows part of an ad submitted by one of six finalists in the fourth annual Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" challenge. (AP Photo/Doritos)

The day after the Super Bowl is like Christmas day for ad professionals. Today we recollect and dissect the Super Bowl commercials from last night. We usually talk about our favorites in the hallway or by the coffee maker but this is the Internet age. This year, we’ll congregate on the blog.

Melissa says the Doritos spots did a great job of portraying the fanaticism of their audience. Her favorite and Dean’s, too, was the House Rules spot. “One, keep your hands off my mama. Two, keep your hands off my Doritos.” Remind me to watch out for a Dorito in the neck from Speir this afternoon.

As much as the Dr. Pepper spot made him happy because it brought Mini Kiss to the masses, Denny’s owned the Super Bowl for Andrew. He says he understood and retained exactly what they wanted him to (free Grand Slam Tuesday, Feb. 9 and on your birthday) and their spots were entertaining to boot. “In space, no one can hear chickens scream.”

For Amy this year is was all about who made her laugh. She loved the Dodge Charger ad, Man’s Last Stand because it was so relatable and the Punch Buggy ad with Stevie Wonder.

Liz agreed, picking the Man’s Last stand ad and the dog’s revenge ad from Doritos as her top picks.

Anyone who knows me probably knows my favorite: the Google Love Story ad. I loved it first because it was smart. It didn’t rely on special effects to make a point and talk about showcasing the product. Then, the ending. Just a great spot in my book and only a caveman could forget who the spot was for.

Which was your favorite?

Celebrating Creativity

September 25, 2009

One of the most rejuvenating things about working in advertising is the creativity.

When Liz had back surgery awhile back, we created a Liz-edition Operation game. When the agency had our 25th anniversary, we didn’t get a Lucite paperweight; we got cool bowling shirts. With our names embroidered on them. That we wore bowling that afternoon. For my own baby shower last year, we had a potluck lunch and all the food had bacon in it. And, this past week we have been celebrating Andrew’s wedding.

There are plenty of people who go to work every day at a place where there’s no room for fun and laughter in-between all the real work. I am glad I am not one of them.

Mad Men Continue to Influence Consumers

August 14, 2009


Me, as a Mad Man

Me, as a Mad Man

Check out this article about how the guys and gals at Sterling Cooper have transcended the realm of fictional ad agency characters to materialize as their own very real, and quite valuable, brand.

Oh, if you haven’t made yourself a Mad Man for our Facebook page, you’d better get on that. The series premiere is this weekend!

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