Emmanuel Ording, Multimedia Producer. Emmanuel makes videos and raises toddlers. Some of his finest videos feature toddlers quite prominently. That's about it.
There are so many two-piece bands these days that they are getting their own music festivals. Bands with two members have a lot of advantages in a music marketplace that increasingly dictates earning your living on the road. And when the paltry royalty fees do come in, it’s a 50/50 split. So if you can [...]
There are so many two-piece bands these days that they are getting their own music festivals. Bands with two members have a lot of advantages in a music marketplace that increasingly dictates earning your living on the road. And when the paltry royalty fees do come in, it’s a 50/50 split. So if you can pull off the act with two, why wouldn’t you? Apart from the financial reasons, there are a lot of mental health advantages to this configuration. Everyone’s life is a drama; being in a band means living in a psychodrama. The triangles and quadrangles of inter-band dynamics that can take down a larger group halfway through the second album are reduced to one “for-better-or-worse” relationship. But the best thing a two-piece band has going for it is underdog status. The audience automatically takes a half step closer to rooting for a two-piece because no one is certain they can actually pull it off. So when the band is good, there’s a double payoff for the audience in enjoying the music and seeing an underdog succeed.
Here are a few lessons that the two-piece band can teach all of us, no matter what our creative mission may be.
1. You Don’t Need the Keyboard Player
Don’t get me wrong; if your two-piece band is keyboards and drums, you need the keyboard player. But most good ideas suffer from embellishment. In fact, many two-piece bands will tell you that getting to a full and satisfying creative expression within their self-imposed limitations actually generates better stuff.
2. Stay Close to the Little Room
The two-piece shows us that at least 80% of the benefits of collaboration are gained from a group of two people. So what’s better: getting everyone in your company working on one idea, or getting 10 teams of two to tackle 10 different ideas? If those mini-teams get onto something big, support the idea as needed and then immediately transition the people to a new problem. Don’t let the “bigger room” of a successful idea prevent new ideas from developing. (The White Stripes wrote a song about this, so you know it’s true.)
3. Get in the Van
Great bands are born on the road. Every band you like sucked in the beginning and only became great after relentless touring and practicing. Deciding to be in a band is more important than being good. So let your small teams road-test their ideas and share them with people outside of the organization. It will only make them better innovators and lead to more ideas.
Good luck and don’t forget what when you get something going, PJA is ready to be your roadie . And if you’re curious to hear them, here’s a playlist of some of our favorite two-piece bands.
A little two-piece you might have heard of. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the 1970s
Hugh Kennedy, Partner, EVP Planning, Healthcare Practice Lead. Hugh joined PJA in 1992 and still loves coming to work. He also writes The Secret Life of the Life Scientist, a blog about marketing to those who discover. Hugh has three Swiss Mountain Dogs, two children, and one husband.
In the season finale of PJA’s The Unconventionals, our President Mike O’Toole hosts b.good Co-Founder and President Jon Olinto in an engaging conversation about business expansion, staying true to your mission, and making their own rules. They certainly fit the criteria of an “unconventional business.” 1. They consider their customers part of the family. Most companies [...]
In the season finale of PJA’s The Unconventionals, our President Mike O’Toole hosts b.good Co-Founder and President Jon Olinto in an engaging conversation about business expansion, staying true to your mission, and making their own rules. They certainly fit the criteria of an “unconventional business.”
1. They consider their customers part of the family.
Most companies call the people that frequent their establishment customers. A few go a step further and call them guests. Not many go so far as to call them family. And it’s not just some fancy marketing term either. b.good actively engages with family members and local communities. The b.good Family Foundation allows family members to vote on projects that will improve the local community. The top voted project receives a grant that will help fund the idea.
2. They award a customer of the year.
Everyone’s familiar with staff member of the month, but when’s the last time you heard of a customer of the year? Every year b.good invites family members to submit reasons why they deserve to win. In January 2013, the award went to Ryan & Beth, who ran 45 miles to every b.good location. You aren’t going to hear many stories like that about McDonald’s.
3. They’re on a first-name basis with farmers.
b.good prides itself on food made by people, not factories. Several companies have jumped on the idea that consumers want to know where their food is coming from. But b.good is one of the only restaurants that know not only where the food comes from, but also who made it. Frank made it.
4. The food they serve might just be grown on the roof.
Thanks to the miracles of genetic modification and global distribution, fast food companies can serve the same uniform food year round. That’s not the b.good style. That tomato you’re eating might have just been plucked five minutes ago. It doesn’t get fresher than that.
5. They make eating contests healthy…sort of.
Every fall, b.good closes a street in Harvard Square for the ultimate eat off—the garlickly greens eating championship. People fly in from all over the world for a chance to become sautéed spinach eating champion of the world. The winner gets a belt and all the burgers they can stuff in their mouth holes for an entire year.
Bill Fusco, Director, Accountability. Bill Fusco is the director of accountability at PJA. He creates marketing analytics and insight across the agency’s portfolio of clients. He is both a morning person and a night person.
Working social media into a marketing campaign demands a lot of thought. Measuring its effectiveness adds to the challenge, and requires discussion about social’s integration with other channels, its tracking infrastructure, and key performance indicators (KPIs) before going to market. When this pre-market preparation is done well, it is often possible to grasp a nugget [...]
Working social media into a marketing campaign demands a lot of thought. Measuring its effectiveness adds to the challenge, and requires discussion about social’s integration with other channels, its tracking infrastructure, and key performance indicators (KPIs) before going to market.
When this pre-market preparation is done well, it is often possible to grasp a nugget of insight that clarifies social media’s unique strength, not only for the current campaign but as a bit of knowledge for creating better programs in the future.
Since sharing among friends is a powerful force within social media, we wondered what would happen when it was built into a recent campaign as a simple, but core, user action. We were especially curious about the earned premium effect of sharing – not just how many shares happened initially, but, of those who saw the link on social media from their connections, how many clicked the button to share as well. The difference between this conversion rate among friends and that of the initial visit would be the earned premium’s added value.
After agreeing that the potential multiplicative effect of sharing was a defining characteristic of this campaign, we placed a tracking code on the link that went with every shared post. This code identified the visit as coming from the link, so we could report them as friends of the initial visitor.
As it turned out, visitors who came to the site as a result of clicking post links from their friends on Facebook were four times more likely to share than those who arrived via a display ad. We were thus able to see that a friend’s influence – due to the word of mouth power of a shared post, the strength of the story, shared belief systems among friends, or all three – could lift behaviors way beyond the observed average. This accelerated sharing rate contributed to the delivery of more shares than originally forecast.
The key takeaway here was preparation. Knowing in advance how the social aspect of the campaign was being designed gave us the road map for connecting, and then tracking, each of the campaign’s moving parts. Without this step being taken, we’d have been dealing with a frustrating blank spot in the story rather than a cool insight.
Mike O'Toole, President.In addition to running the day-to-day operations of PJA Advertising, Mike is the host of the Unconventionals Radio Show.
What do you top your burger with? It’s probably not tomatoes you grew on top of your building. That’s what happening at fresh burger franchise, b.good. Another unconventional company that’s defining business on its own terms. Tune into the season’s final episode with b.good Co-Founder and President, Jon Olinto, as we discuss: Why “healthy” wasn’t [...]
What do you top your burger with? It’s probably not tomatoes you grew on top of your building. That’s what happening at fresh burger franchise, b.good. Another unconventional company that’s defining business on its own terms.
Aaron DaSilva, VP Executive Creative Director. For the past decade, Aaron has been at the helm of PJA's creative department, helping to shape our clients visions, as well as our own with innovative, strategic thinking. He's also the father to two boys who are so much more athletically gifted then he could ever dream of being. He can thank his wife for that.
If the content arms race is on, it’s only natural to wonder who is winning. The companies racing to produce it? The consumer who gets to weed through it all? Or its creators, the ones either getting paid for —or some kicks out of —making the stuff? With content saturating almost every corner of [...]
If the content arms race is on, it’s only natural to wonder who is winning.
The companies racing to produce it? The consumer who gets to weed through it all? Or its creators, the ones either getting paid for —or some kicks out of —making the stuff?
With content saturating almost every corner of our lives, I’m not exactly sure. All I really know is that the beast must be fed and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
And it carries two hard truths for me.
First, most agencies don’t have the infrastructure in place to create, manage, monitor and distribute the volume of content, at the pace it needs to be produced, to do anybody any good. We have to evolve fast. Change is hard and the only thing standing in the way of building the infrastructure is ourselves. I have to remind myself, pretty much hourly, that it’s time to make the move, accept the change and start laying a new foundation that will help everyone —our agency, our clients and our customers— succeed in the content age.
Second, when an agency has to churn out multiple types of content daily, for months on end, it’s hard not to feel a little like you’ve sold your creative soul. This is the one I struggle with most because it carries the most conflict for me. Do we compromise quality for quantity? Is it now OK to let weaker ideas out into the world? How do we keep ourselves from becoming commentators on content versus innovators of it? Isn’t the whole idea of developing “quick” and “snack-able” content counterintuitive to producing a well-crafted, meaningful communication?
In my gut, I think I know all the answers to these questions. Then tomorrow happens and I have to rethink them all over again.It’s huge pain the ass, the hard stuff, our agency talks about. There is no content creation handbook out there, and if we we’re making it up as we go along, that’s OK. Why? Because getting a handle on this might be the most creative challenge of all time. So I issue this challenge to myself: Step up and meet it. So help your soul.