Target’s Super Black Friday Ad Campaign

Kudos to Target and its Ad Agency Weiden + Kennedy for their spot on Black Friday advertising campaign featuring this overly excited and anxious shopping FANatic.

And, file this effort in my “Darn I Wish I Did This Ad Campaign” folder.

Target is using 5 spots from last year (why not – who says an old great campaign can’t be re-engaged?) combined with another 30 online.  And, he talent casting, honest copy, imagery, sound and smart campaign integration (see all 35 videos) off and online is simply brilliant and off the charts.

It’s a great example of how ad campaigns should be run. Read Adweek’s take on it here.


Join BrandMill’s Bosom Buddies

Join our BrandMill Bosom Buddies Team and help us Make Strides Against Breast Cancer!

And, when you donate $50 or more to our BBB team, you can get a FREE limited edition T-Shirt with our team logo!

Click here to donate now!

Or help us save lives from breast cancer by joining the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk in Pittsburgh.

Here are the details:

Saturday, October, 29th at the North Shore Riverfront Park Great Lawn on the North Side.

Registration is at 8AM and the Walk starts at 9AM.

Hope to see you there!


Hopeful Marketing Ideas to Help Homeless

One of the things that sickens and saddens me in homelessness.

On a such special day as today – Mother’s Day – where is our “mothering” skill when it comes to others – we’re all connected aren’t we?

In this rich country of ours, these homelessness statistics are mind blowing to me:

  • About 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year
  • 40% are families with children—the fastest growing segment
  • 1.37 million (or 39%) of the total homeless population are children <18.
  • 1 out of 50 American kids will be homeless

And, with people losing their jobs the homelessness situation is getting worse.

Last Friday, we helped out our good friends and former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley reconnect with the super cool folks at KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live TV Show (many thanks to KD’s super producer extraordinaire Jill Neely) to talk about their 8th Annual Walk for the Homeless on Saturday, May 15 – benefiting Pittsburgh’s area homeless via the unsung heroes at Light of Life Rescue Mission on the city’s North Side.

Check out the very funny and yet touching Tunch and Wolf KDKA-TV video here.

What can you do to help?

Here are a few more marketing ideas that might spark a few more from all of you terrific marketers and brands:

Love this gal – one of my new heroes – Shay Kelley and her Project 50/50 – here’s her amazing story about helping the homeless after becoming homeless herself as told by CNN – Jobless woman finds generosity on the streets

Here are three great Web sites to kick start your thinking:

  2. Invisible People
  3. Homeless Children in America

And, here’s a list of more ideas and ways (some overlap of course) to help:

Granted, a lot of the ideas are tactical in nature, but certainly a lot of tactics can build up to a strong strategy.

You know one thing for sure and that is, your good, sainted mother would be proud of you, if/when you would help those less fortunate than you.

I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and
the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for,
to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody [to no one].

Mother Teresa  ‘My Life for the Poor’


25 Brand Marketing Lessons From My Mom

This weekend is always a great time for me, because it gives me extra time to truly pause and reflect on my super Mom – I adore her (same goes for my mother-in-law too) and am so very blessed to have her in my life. Now, I’ve always been a believer in the Big Guy upstairs, but I’ll tell you if my Mom doesn’t make it to heaven, there just simply isn’t one!

While Mother’s Day comes just once a year, every day should be Mother’s Day for the incredible role they play in all of our lives.

Don’t you agree?

Salary.Com, has highlighted all of the job titles that best define all of Moms’  responsibilities which are (in order of hours spent per week): housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, computer operator, facilities manager, van driver, psychologist, laundry machine operator, janitor and chief executive officer. I’d add dog walker/caregiver, guardian/protector, nurse/doctor, motivational speaker, cheerleader, life coach, healthcare consultant, gardener (PLUS – “day job’ working mom if it applies) and I’m sure my Mom could list more!

So what is Mom worth?

For me, and I’m sure for you, Mom is priceless, however Salary.Com gave it a shot to actually put a price tag on Mom’s work.

Based on a survey of more than 28,000 mothers, determined that the time mothers spend performing 10 typical job functions would equate to an annual salary of $117,867 for a stay-at-home mom. Working moms ‘at-home’ salary is $71,868 in 2010; this is in addition to the salary they earn in the workplace.

Here’s a really cool thing you can give Mom on her special day – a customized paycheck – now you can’t put a price tag on your Mom, but Salary.Com is certainly giving it a go!

In Marketing, strong Brands are what it’s all about, so what you can you learn about brand marketing from Brand Mom? Here are 25 lessons (in no particular order) from where I’m sitting:

  1. Have unconditional love for your family
  2. Tell the truth, admit when you’re wrong and be truly sorry
  3. Leave things and people better off than when you found them
  4. Stand for something – Care
  5. Clean up after yourself
  6. Don’t be a blind follower – lead
  7. Surround yourself with positive people
  8. Do good work and be proud of your work
  9. Perseverance – have resolve
  10. Be a team builder
  11. Be positive and enthusiastic
  12. Be respectful and respect yourself
  13. Be disciplined and follow through on execution
  14. Keep your word – walk your talk
  15. Servant leadership – serve others without looking for payback or PR
  16. Smile, be nice and be courteous – say thank you and please
  17. Speak up, speak clearly and write well
  18. Say thank you and mean it
  19. Plan ahead and be resourceful
  20. Have faith, hope and dreams – think big
  21. Know the value of a dollar – save money for raining days
  22. Learn how to bounce and roll because you’ll fall and fail often
  23. Sweat the details, but don’t sweat the small stuff
  24. Be true to yourself – don’t be someone you’re not
  25. Money isn’t everything, but Family is

Thanks Mom!

How about you? Anything to add?

Happy Mother’s Day Super Moms Everywhere!


Modern Family Marketing Rocks

…and “Average Joe Marketing” is for losers!

If you’re wondering why your “family-based” marketing strategy isn’t working like it used to, maybe it’s because you’re treating everyone the same. Sure you should treat your customers the same with regard to being respectful and being nice, but your marketing should treat them different with uniquely targeted messaging, services and products.

Today, America is a big diverse nation of over 300 million, with no single dominating household arrangement. America’s “nuclear family” of today consisting of a married couple with their own kids is a prejudiced old-fashioned, out-of-date model often seen as the quintessential average American family.

In 1970, 40.3% of U.S. households were nuclear family ones, but today these households count for <25% of all American households. And consider these facts:

  • Married couples without children count for 28.7% of households (bigger than nuclear ones)
  • Single households – single persons residing alone – count for 25.5% of households
  • Single male households are about 11% of all households

Telegram: There are no average American families – no average Joe’s or Joannne’s!

If your marketing is “family-based,” make sure you’re speaking the right language and using the right visuals. A big reason, this year’s big TV hit series and family comedy Modern Family is doing so well!


March Madness Diversity Lessons

Growing up I was fortunate to be a decent athlete and play a lot of sports. Fortunate to be healthy, having fun and connecting with so many different people from all walks of life, races, creeds etc., that I never would have been influenced by or had the pleasure to meet.

While watching these crazy NCAA basketball games throughout March Madness you see the positive impact of team diversity – pay close attention and you’ll see and feel it. There were 11 different conferences represented in the Sweet 16, but the magic and excitement of seeing diversity goes so much deeper. Big schools, small schools, freshmen stars, senior role players, blacks, whites, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and so much more.

Really, do you remember a more exciting tournament? Diversity rocks!

The success of diversity leaves clues people.

Take for example, my McAlma Mater and good friends at McDonald’s who’ve been rocking these days. Check out McDonald’s Board of Directors and of the 15 representatives listed, you’ll note 4 women (yes – 4 women), 2 Hispanics, 1 African American (who happens to be President and COO), a European and I’m sure there are more diversity examples that are not visible on the surface such as work experience, cultural experiences and more.

I’m lovin’ McDonald’s Diversity lessons and you should too.

Diversity wins games and market share.

P.S.: One of my mentors Tom Peters agrees that diversity wins.  And, I’m happy to say one of McDonald’s Directors Jan Fields in a former boss of mine – you go Jan!


BrandMill Campaign Helps Priory Hospitality Group Win Pittsburgh’s Grand Marketer of the Year Award from American Marketing Association

AMA Priory Pittsburgh's Grand Marketer of the YearFor the second consecutive year, a BrandMill marketing campaign has helped a client become a Marketer of the Year recognized by the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association. However, this year’s recognition is extra special because BrandMill client, the Priory Hospitality Group took home first prize honors as Pittsburgh’s Grand Marketer of the Year!

Here’s the full press release from the Pittsburgh American Marketing Association.


Media Contact:
Kim Butler – President, Pittsburgh AMA

The Priory Hospitality Group Named Grand Marketer of the Year

PITTSBURGH, PA – December 15, 2009 — The Pittsburgh chapter of the American Marketing Association held its 3rd Annual Marketer of the Year Awards ceremony Wednesday, December 10 at LeMont. Bill Flanagan served as Master of Ceremonies. The Priory Hospitality Group was presented with the 2009 Grand Marketer of the Year Award for its Winter White Wedding marketing campaign.

“The Priory Hospitality Group is thrilled to receive the Grand Marketer of the Year award from the Pittsburgh AMA,” said John Graf, co-owner of the Priory Hospitality Group.  “It is an unexpected and treasured honor to be recognized among some of the illustrious brands that call Pittsburgh home.

Winners of Pittsburgh’s only results-based marketing competition were recognized in 9 categories for their marketing excellence and effectiveness.  The 9 finalists and Marketers of the Year in their respective categories are:

  • Art Institutes of Pittsburgh, EDMC, Education
  • Benner Commerce Park, Real Estate
  • Butler Health System, Medical/Healthcare
  • Channellock, Industrial/Manufacturing
  • Giant Eagle, Retail
  • Pitt Ohio Express, Business/Professional Services
  • Priory Hospitality Group, Sports/Entertainment/Travel/Hospitality
  • Private Wealth Advisors, Financial Services
  • Sauereisen, Construction
David "Mr. McFeely" Newell of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Accepting Fred Rogers' Pittsburgh AMA Hall of Fame Award
David "Mr. McFeely" Newell of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Accepting Fred Rogers' Hall of Fame Award

Mr. Fred Rogers was honored posthumously at the event as a local and legendary brand and inducted into the Pittsburgh AMA Hall of Fame for his unique and impressive marketing impact throughout western Pennsylvania and the world.  Dr. Dean R. Manna, Robert Morris University, was honored with the Distinguished Educator Award.

“The event was a huge success,” said Kim Butler, President of the Pittsburgh AMA.  “We are honored to celebrate such phenomenal marketers in the Pittsburgh region and to shine a positive light on the marketing profession.”

About the American Marketing Association and its Pittsburgh Chapter
The American Marketing Association, one of the largest professional associations for marketers, has 38,000 members worldwide in every area of marketing. For over six decades the AMA has been the leading source for information, knowledge sharing and development in the marketing profession.  For more information, visit

Founded in 1946, AMA Pittsburgh is celebrating its 64th year as the largest marketing association in the region with more than 300 members and supports an additional 900 professional marketers who utilize AMA services and resources. Its mission is to support the professional growth of these 1,200 marketing executives through a variety of initiatives such as educational seminars and programs, a luncheon speaker series and networking events.  For more information visit

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