Friday, September 3, 2010

MZD selected by Indiana War Memorial Foundation to develop major fundraising campaign

We're happy to announce our new partnership with the Indiana War Memorial Foundation. For those who may not be familiar, the Indiana War Memorials honor the Hoosier veterans and volunteers who served in and assisted our United States Armed Forces. Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana War Memorials is second only to Washington, D.C. in the amount of acreage and number of monuments dedicated to veterans.

MZD will develop a major campaign to assist the Indiana War Memorial Foundation in fundraising for the Indiana War Memorials. It will consist of traditional and interactive pieces; from a "showcase" video to mobile fundraising to an interactive website and social media sites, all designed to raise money to help support the Indiana War Memorial Foundation's mission.

We're excited to learn more and share with others the history of this hidden treasure, the Indiana War Memorials.

Press Release:

INDIANAPOLIS – MZD Advertising was recently selected by the Indiana War Memorial Foundation to help develop a major fundraising campaign to support the efforts of the foundation and the museum.

“MZD has been given the task of making our entire state aware of the gallant Hoosier men and women who participated in the many battles to keep us free, and the many who stayed at home and built the weapons of war to help us overcome our enemies” said Allan Zukerman, Chairman/CEO of MZD. “We want to raise the funds needed to keep our Indiana War Memorial the proud building it is, so all of us can remember the past and honor our future heroes.”

Zukerman said the staff of The Indiana War Memorial Foundation would also like to see the number of schools visiting the memorial increase each year.

MZD would also be shooting a video about the World War Memorial; designing brochures about the Indiana World War Memorial planned endowment and additional web site development.

Brig. Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin, Executive Director of Indiana War Memorials, said, “The Indiana War Memorial is very excited about MZD promoting our two museums and the 24 acres of properties we maintain to honor Hoosier veterans. Every day visitors tell us they have lived in Indiana for years and did not know what an amazing facility we operate. Lack of exposure is the primary reason we asked the Indiana War Memorial foundation to assist us in locating a firm that could heighten the awareness of our properties.”

Goodwin added that “The Eli Lilly Civil War Museum located under the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, plus the 30,000 square foot museum located in the Indiana War Memorial, along with the USS Indianapolis Memorial on the Canal are must see attractions for every Hoosier and visitor to our city. MZD has a proven record of promoting entities and we are positive they will be able to tell the story of the great military accomplishment made by Hoosiers throughout our nation’s history.”

Jim Campbell, President of the Indiana World War Memorial, said the Memorials throughout downtown, including the Monument on the Circle in the heart of the city, represent those who sacrificed to maintain our freedoms.

“The Indiana War Memorials Foundation Board has its mission to honor Indiana veterans,” Campbell said. “We have retrained MZD to help us on our effort to bring awareness and express appreciation to those Hoosiers who served in the military. We hope to encourage visitors to experience the Memorials and have students participate in history and allow visitors to share our commitment to military heroes.”

MZD Director Blair Englehart said, “We are honored to be selected to handle this most important assignment. This is a statewide campaign to build awareness and raise funds for the War Memorial which is a national treasure sitting in the middle of downtown Indianapolis.”

MZD Advertising will also provide the Indiana War Memorial with marketing support and enhance their social marketing tools. Erik Faigh, MZD’s Interactive Strategist, said, “MZD is implementing a social media campaign to raise awareness across the state of Indiana and the Midwest about the Indiana War Memorial, which includes rental of the properties for events. We will also be conducting online fundraising through a new interactive website for the War Memorial and we are planning a mobile donation campaign for them.”

About Indiana World War Memorial
In the memorial, on the upper level, is the breathtaking Shrine Room, symbolizing peace and unity. It is decorated with materials from all over the world, symbolic of the world wide nature of the "Great War."

The 24 blood red pillars made of Vermont marble support the vast ceiling. Hanging in the center of the room is the Star of Destiny made of Swedish Crystal to guide the welfare of the nation. Below that is the flag of the United States. In the center of the room, below the flag, is the Altar of Consecration, the altar to the flag. The altar inspires good citizenship and is a place to remember fallen soldiers and comrades. People who visit the Shrine Room leave with a renewed sense of patriotism and an appreciation for the sacrifices of those who fought in the "Great War.”

The main floor houses exhibit space, the administrative offices, two meeting rooms, and the 500-seat Pershing Auditorium. Listed on this level are the names of all Hoosiers who participated in WW I.

The building also contains a free military museum that portrays the history of Indiana's gallant veterans from the Battle of Tippecanoe, through all the wars in which the U.S. has been engaged, to the present.

Among the interesting items on display is the commission plate of the battleship USS Indiana, numerous military firearms, a Vietnam/Gulf War era helicopter, a Navy Walleye Missile that can be armed with an atomic nuclear war head, a complete working replica of the radio room from the USS Indianapolis, and thousands of other artifacts, photos and documents.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When your PR swerves off course . . .

By David Ayers
We've been following the action of the Tour de France lately, and while there haven't been any doping scandals yet (cross your fingers or knock on wood), it does bring back memories of all the controversies over the past few years. Floyd Landis' particular situation comes to mind.

In the wake of his recent admission that he used performance enhancing drugs to fuel his victory in the Tour de France in 2006, it is safe to say that the wheels have officially come off the public relations strategy used by disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis.

For four years, Landis spent time on the grassy knoll of conspiracy and blamed faulty drug tests for his problems. And, then, after finally admitting he had cheated, he threw away any remaining credibility he had left by accusing former teammate Lance Armstrong (and others) of doping as well.  

His admission – coming years after the apparent victory – smacks of Pete Rose (not a good thing) in that he had every opportunity to own up to what he did and made it worse by living a lie. Heck, he even went out and solicited contributions to a “defense fund” in an effort to fight the allegations.

But, in the end, it was the simple premise of just telling the truth that now leaves him in the category of disgraced former athletes, ala Marion Jones, who is now working her way back by playing women’s pro basketball following a drug scandal that led her to forfeit her Olympic medals.

And, that’s really the point – telling the truth is the noblest of PR strategies. It’s just too bad that our heroes and heroines of the sporting world forget that when it’s time to step up in a difficult situation when the game’s on the line.

A respected public relations counselor and former sportswriter, David Ayers serves as the Director of Public Relations at MZD Advertising.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MZD Looks to Revitalize Historic Hoosier Restaurant Chain

Last week, The Indianapolis Star featured Allan Zukerman, Chairman/CEO of MZD and Bill Church, Executive Director of Food Service and Retail Development for MZD in an article about the revitalization of a local brand name restaurant chain that brings back a lot of warm memories for Hoosiers: Mr. Dan’s Hamburgers.

Here's an excerpt:

Mr. Dan, the well-known restaurant chain that specializes in The Big Dan, a made-to-order burger and Nathan’s hot dogs, as well as other food items, is going to be franchised nationally through Mr. Dan’s Franchising LLC.

Church, president of Mr. Dan’s Franchising LLC., said it is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs. 

“A lot of people have special memories of Mr. Dan’s,” Church said. “It’s a familiar name to many people who grew up in Indianapolis.”

The first Mr. Dan’s was opened in 1950 at the corner of 14th and Illinois Streets by Richard Hogshire, the founder of Mr. Dan’s, who is still active in the business. The original name, Gay Dan’s, came from the Gay 90s era and adopted the circus wagon look for a Gay 90s hot dog stand. The name was changed in the 1970s to Mr. Dan’s.

One popular location was right next to the old Bush Stadium on W. 16th Street in Indianapolis, which was home to the Indianapolis Indians for years.

The original menu was hot dogs, baked beans and a fresh cup of coffee. After the first few years of business, it became obvious that the hamburger was necessary to attract more business. Over the years, the burger process has been standardized and remains as a fresh grilled burger. Mr. Dan’s now sells The Big Dan Hamburger 10 to 1 over hot dogs.

Over the past 50 years, a total of 16 Mr. Dan’s have opened and closed. Most locations have ceased operations due to lease terminations, change in markets and a change in traffic patterns and road access.

Two Mr. Dan’s locations are currently in operation: one at 4390 N. Keystone Avenue, just north of Fall Creek Parkway, and another at 34th and Massachusetts.

“The menu and operations reflect years of success in defining the Mr. Dan’s niche,” Church said. “The entire business has sought its own level of customer needs.”

Mr. Dan’s current menu consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, tenderloins, chili, and French fries. A limited breakfast menu is available late night and early mornings.

“The Big Dan hamburger is the mainstay of the business,” Church said. “The burger is widely known in the community as the best. They are always cooked to order and served hot.”

The business is open 24 hours a day, six days a week and closed on Sundays.

“Because Mr. Dan’s is located in urban areas, it does not compete with the big boys of fast food,” Church said. “Mr. Dan’s stays within its niche and serves hamburgers cooked in sight and to order. The Coney sauce and seasoning salt are proprietary items manufactured under the Mr. Dan’s label.”

Charlie and Barney’s Award Winning Chili and Nathan’s Famous All Beef Franks are also served at Mr. Dan’s.

Zukerman noted that Mr. Dan’s Restaurants Franchisee LLC is separate from MZD Advertising.

“We have been starting to host Mr. Dan’s Franchise seminars to inform people who may be interested in opening their own franchises,” Zukerman said.  “The restaurants will have a positive impact on their communities and offer employment opportunities. We plan to begin franchising in the Midwest, starting first in Indianapolis, and then Louisville, Dayton, Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland and Detroit.”

Church said the first franchise seminar was successful. 

“We shared a lot of franchise opportunity information with influential members of the community about the concept and a lot of people are excited about it,” Church said. “What really got our attention was the return-on-investment on this concept and the low cost of entry.”

Hogshire said it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.

“It’s a tried and true concept that we have had over the past 50 years,” Hogshire said. “It has done well over the past five decades. It is simple and can be duplicated very easily.”
Just in case you may not be familiar with Mr. Dan's, it's first location was built in 1950 in downtown Indianapolis. The restaurant is themed after the hot dog stands of the era. Its original menu consisted of hot dogs, baked beans and coffee. The restaurant’s popular “Big Dan” was introduced in the mid 1950s. The restaurant has evolved over time to offer breakfast and began serving 24 hours a day in the early 1970s.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Dan’s refined its menu and operations to better meet the demands of many loyal customers.

While improvements over the decades have better positioned Mr, Dan’s in the marketplace, The “Big Dan” has remained just the way it was back in the mid 1950s.

We've tried the food (always a requirement before we work with any franchiser) and have to say that it's one of the best burgers in town.

Let us know if you've been to Mr. Dan's, had any of their food and how your experience was. We'd love to know.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We know how to throw a party

Last Saturday, June 26, the folks at MZD helped throw a party for our client, J. Solotken and Company, Inc., a scrap metal dealer and recycler. J. Solotken has been around since 1914, and just this past year they decided to expand their services and moved into a newer facility. Well, everyone knows you have to have an Open House party if you move, so J. Solotken turned to MZD to help them plan and throw one great bash for their friends, family and clients. Over 300 people RSVP'd to the event and we had a great turnout despite the 90 degree temps. To add to the evening's festivities we also announced the winners of our "The Art of Scrap" metal sculpture contest. They are as follows:
  • 1st – Trent Lannan – Jasper, IN - $2,500
  • 2nd – Lyndsay McBride – Bristol, IN - $1,500
  • 3rd – D. Delreverda Jennings – Indianapolis, IN - $1,000

Catering and additional event planning was done by Jeremy Hamilton and the crew from Indianapolis Dine. Needless to say, everything was first-rate!

Take a look at just a few of the photos from the event below:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Meet the Interns

School may be out for the summer, but not everyone has stopped learning. Here at MZD, four interns are spending their precious summer days plugging away, learning the ins and outs of agency life. Let us introduce this dedicated crew . . .

Jake Donnelly, Public Relations Intern

Jake is a student at Anderson University and is pursuing a degree in Marketing. At AU, Jake has been involved with a group called SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise), which gives him the opportunity to get involved with local businesses throughout the community.

“One of my goals is to learn something from each person I come in contact with at MZD to better myself as a person and as a working professional,” said Jake.

When he’s not at school or MZD, Jake likes to play golf any chance he can get, as well as spend time with his new fiancé.

Emily Haley, Account Service Intern
Emily is a junior at Ball State University where she is majoring in Telecommunications. She decided to do an internship at MZD to gain real life experience and hopes to learn what the industry is all about.

“I also hope to get a better understanding on which direction I want to take in the world of telecommunications,” said Emily.

“The work that gets my attention most that MZD has done is the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) commercials,” she said, “Particularly the one with the child in the back seat of her mother’s minivan where her mother rolls up the windows, locks the door and lights a cigarette.  I think that commercial is very powerful.” 

When Emily isn’t at school or MZD she likes to spend time with her friends and family, as well as waitress at Outback Steak House in Muncie. 

Taylor Orf, Public Relations, Account Service Intern

Taylor has a degree in Public Relations from Ball State University where he wrote for the Ball State Daily News for a semester and was also PR Chairman for his fraternity.

“MZD is a well known, respected local firm that has nationally recognized clients as well as local clients. I also liked that MZD did work in advertising and marketing, as well as PR so that I could attain experience in all three areas,” said Taylor. “I really hope to learn what my strengths and weaknesses are pertaining to the PR/Marketing/Ad industry. I am excited to see what transfers from the classroom to the office.”

Taylor enjoys travel, snowboarding, intramural sports, St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, and “general shenanigans” with his friends.

Brian Willsey, Account Service Intern
Brian has a B.A. from IU Bloomington in Communications, where he minored in Business. He is currently a grad student at University of Indianapolis where he is getting his MBA with a concentration in Marketing.

Brian decided to do an internship with MZD because he wanted to learn from an experienced firm with deep ties to the city of Indianapolis.

“Especially in such volatile times, I wanted to be a part of a place that has seen the ups and downs of the industry and knows how to bring about success,” said Brian. “I hope to learn more about the behind the scenes activities concerning a marketing and advertising firm. How exactly do you get to that finished project? I want to get real world experience that I can not only translate to future classroom settings, but also translate into a future career.”

When he’s not at MZD, work or in class, Brian likes to play golf, work out, check the stock market and read.

Friday, May 21, 2010

HP: The New Fashion Accessory?

By Kiley Kellermeyer, Account Executive

Several of my friends have been excitedly gossiping about Sex and the City 2, set to hit theatres May 27.  Not having watched much of the series or first movie, I have no connection to Carrie and her crew.

However, I have to admit I was intrigued to learn that Hewlett-Packard had finagled their way into City, kicking out Carrie’s very prominent Mac Book. Carrie’s Mac was featured in nearly every episode of the television series, or so I hear. And just think, when Miss Bradshaw flips open her laptop, moviegoers won’t see that shiny white apple on the cover.

Carrie will document her memoirs on an HP, and there are alleged stills that show Kim Cattrall using a desktop version of the HP TouchSmart.

HP apparently partnered with the movie franchise to increase its brand recognition with stylish women.

Well, I suppose it’s worth a shot, as I’m sure PC sales are slumping. They’ve got to do something, right? But sticking HP products in this particular movie is, to me, a bit like serving pizza rolls and Bud Light at a black-tie ball.

In three words: Doesn’t. Quite. Fit.

Everything in Sex and the City smacks of fur coats, cosmopolitans and Manolo Blahniks. Those ladies eat, sleep (and sleep with) and breathe high-class, high-end, and expensive. Would any of them choose an HP over a Mac when Apple has so cleverly cornered the digital market on style?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rick's Weekly Wrap-up: Why Print Still Matters

It's not all doom and gloom for print media, although most would like to believe that. After reading the following article on (alright, you caught me, I read it online, not in print, but let's ignore that for now, shall we?) I was reminded again of the rapid changes taking place with traditional print media. Take a read:

The article reports on the declines that newspapers and magazines are experiencing in circulation and ad revenues.

The future, in general, does not look bright for either medium.

Now, with that being said, let's talk a closer look.

A key fact not addressed in the article is that the declines are primarily limited to major titles with large circulation that try to be all things to all people.  Most of these titles are seeing erosion from either their own internet sites or comparable sites that report on similar information, but do it in a timelier manner. Community newspapers that report on local events, schools and community happening are not experiencing the same downturn.  They serve a niche that the large metro dailies have long since abandoned.  Similarly, special interest magazines that serve highly targeted interests have also been able to avoid the downturn.  Both may have seen a downturn as the result of the economy, however they should be able to rebound with the recovery, unlike their larger counterparts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MZD Garners Heavy PR for Family-Centered Metal Recycler That Moved Into New Facility

 A fresh-coat of paint goes up on the new J. Solotken facility.

MZD Public Relations was recently able to garner several media placements for its new client: J. Solotken and Co.
J. Solotken and Co. – an Indianapolis company whose ‘family-centered’ business as a metal recycler spans more than nine decades – was recently featured in the pages of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis Business Journal, as well as “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick”, and some prominent trade publications, thanks to MZD.
MZD was able to get Indianapolis Star Reporter Bruce C. Smith wrote a great feature in The Star detailing J. Solotken’s recent move to a 140,000-square-foot facility on the city’s Eastside. Read the Indianapolis Star article.
J. Solotken’s new building houses 35 employees and state-of the industry equipment for recycling valuable scrap metals, at 6701 English Ave., in what was formerly a fabricating facility of the Frank E. Irish Co.
The company invested approximately $4.5 million to acquire and refit the building to sort and compact nonferrous metals, particularly copper, aluminum, nickel, brass, bronze, lead and zinc.
After 74 years in the same location at 101 S, Harding St., the company moved from its aging brick building near Downtown Indianapolis to its new location.
Joseph M. Alpert, the company’s president, told The Star that J. Solotken has prospered with “…hard work and good luck.”
Vice President Brian Nachlis, said the new facility includes energy-saving and environmentally-friendly features that wouldn’t have been possible at the old Harding Street site.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

MZD Generates Some PR ‘Hits’

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: 2010 Mizuno Hoosier volleyball tournament

In what is fast becoming an annual tradition, a journalist covering the annual Mizuno Mid-East Qualifier, an MZD client, took a header from an errant ball that hit him during one of the matches.
A FOX news cameraman got hit filming the 2010 Mizuno Mid-East Qualifier in St. Louis. The ball hit him in the face, knocking off his glasses, but he took it in stride and proved to be alright.
Last year, WTHR reporter Cat Andersen was hit in the back of the head with a flying volleyball while she was off camera waiting for her next remote. She was also okay.
The good news is that, in both cities, MZD was able to get the news, sports and business media to take a strong interest in the tournament. In St. Louis, the local FOX channel covered the event and so did a sports reporter from The St. Louis Business Journal.
In Indy, MZD was able to garner a great deal of online coverage in the form of an “photo gallery” which featured 24 images from the tournament taken by a Star photographer. On TV, three stations – WISH-TV, FOX 59 and WTHR Channel 13 – featured the event on its newscasts. Channel 8 anchor/reporter David Barras said he was “blown away” by the scope of the event.
The tournament featured some 520 teams and 6,000 girls in Indianapolis. The tournament, according to organizers, was also expected to attract more than 250 college coaches, who were on hand to witness many of the country’s top volleyball players in action. Players from more than 40 states participated in the event.
The tournament, which was organized by Capital Sports Center Inc. of Plainfield, Ind., literally unfolded on 63 courts inside the Indiana Convention Center and 60 courts in St. Louis.  
“I couldn’t believe how huge this is,” Barras said. “I had no idea there were this many people here.”
Tournament director Lance Keating said the tournament provided an economic impact estimate of $18 million in Indy and between $14-15 million in St. Louis.
Hopefully, next year the PR hits will be limited to the action on the courts and not send any reporters to the sidelines.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


  Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau staff, board members
and MZD staff posing with the "Fast Track to Fun" midget race car.

Tourism Officials Cite Agency’s “Enthusiasm” as Key Factor in Earning Business

INDIANAPOLIS – Citing its enthusiasm, innovation and creativity as key factors in its decision, the Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau recently named MZD Advertising of Indianapolis as its new advertising agency of record.

The decision followed an intense competition in which 17 agencies submitted proposals in vying for the account, according to Ray Volpe, who spearheaded the agency’s effort to earn the tourism business.

“We were most impressed with the enthusiasm MZD showed throughout the selection process and the attention they provided to the task of investing their knowledge in the communities in Hendricks County and the destinations we want people to visit,” said Jaime Bohler Smith, associate director, Hendricks County CVB.

As part of its winning bid, the MZD account team embarked on a day-long road trip and visited every town and city in Hendricks County. From the road trip, it developed a series of post cards featuring a variety of destinations, including the Challenger Learning Center in Brownsburg and the Mayberry Café in Danville, among others. The post cards were presented to the client. 

In what could only be described as a tribute to the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, the team presented its journey using a traditional 35mm slide show. “We thought it would be a great touch to go back in time a bit and present the visit as if the folks from Hendricks County were sitting in our living room, so to speak”, said Volpe, noting that the production of the slides required sending the images to a firm in Kansas, as it is one of the few places left nationally capable of making 35mm slides.

In earning the business, MZD – for its agency visit – displayed signs incorporating the Hendricks County CVB’s existing ‘Fast Track’ theme and used a genuine quarter-midget race car as part of a display in its lobby to ‘drive home’ its commitment and build on the messaging the tourism agency had in place.

“A key part of winning their business, I believe, had to do with the fact we embraced their ‘Fast Track’ theme and we gave it a new touch,” said MZD Chairman/CEO Allan Zukerman. “All of us – and everyone in the agency – enjoyed working hard to earn their business and we’re excited to help encourage more people to visit Hendricks County and all of its wonderful destinations and attractions”.

Respected Tobacco Control Expert, MZD Client Appears on “60 Minutes”

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Ever heard the question, “What do you do when “60 Minutes” is at the door?”

For Karla Sneegas, executive director of the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation agency, it was no problem.

Sneegas, a nationally-respected tobacco control expert, appeared on the April 4th edition of “60 Minutes” in a segment about a tobacco product known as snus entitled “Will New Smokeless Tobacco Products Cut or Boost the Smoking Rate?”

Sneegas was interviewed last November in Indianapolis for the segment, in which she gave her opinions on snus with CBS Correspondent Lesley Stahl.

“At this point in time, I cannot say these products are safer,” Sneegas told Stahl. “I think these products are going to end up leading to dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and we have no idea whatsoever what is the outcome, what’s the health impact of someone not quitting and using both products.”

Sneegas added that she was also skeptical of “harm reduction” because tobacco company executives promote it, such as Susan Ivey of R.J. Reynolds, the company that makes Camel Snus.

Sneegas noted that R.J, Reynolds has pilot tested another smokeless product known as dissolvables in Central Indiana and believes it is being targeted for use by teenagers, something that the company denies.

During the “60 Minutes” segment, Stahl asked Sneegas, “You pulled together a group of high school students to discuss orbs. What did they tell you?”

Sneegas replied, “One it looks like candy. And who’s candy made for? Who’s attracted to candy? We are. Kids.”

Stahl reported that the students noted that Camel Orbs look a lot like Tic-Tacs and have the same minty taste. The orbs can also be used to circumvent tobacco free campus policies in schools and workplaces. Sneegas said it is frustrating because smoke free air laws have been successful in getting smokers to try to quit.

“More smokers do quit,” Sneegas said. “They cut back drastically. And you know cutting back is a great first step. Sometimes they go to the point of saying, ‘Well I can’t some at work anymore. It’s time to quit. I want to quit anyway. It’s time to quit.’”

In terms of the experience of appearing on the respected program, Sneegas said she was pleased to have the opportunity to deliver a positive message and educate tobacco users about the potential impact of these new products.

“Entire new lines of tobacco products are saturating the market in every flavor and form imaginable.  Many of these products are novel in their method of delivery – such as the dissolvable tobacco products – and that drastically increases their appeal to teenagers,” said Sneegas.

Monday, March 15, 2010

MZD Director Interviews Former President Carter

Steve Zukerman, founder of Soapbox Media Group, L.L.C. and director of MZD Advertising LA Inc. recently interviewed Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in his hometown of Plains, Ga. concerning Carter’s involvement and work with Habitat for Humanity International.

Zukerman is directing a film entitled “Beyond the American Dream,” an upcoming documentary based on the life of the late Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing.

Zukerman, who hails from Indianapolis, is also a producer on the film. MZD Advertising LA Inc. is an office of Indianapolis-based MZD Advertising.

Zukerman said that in a single defining moment, Fuller, a millionaire entrepreneur, at the age of only 29, chose to walk away from his life of affluence.

“He and his wife, Linda, decided to leave behind a lifestyle most people spend a lifetime chasing,” Zukerman said.

Selling their company, giving away their money, and divesting themselves of all of their material possessions, the Fullers set out to renew their relationship, re-evaluate their decisions, and find a higher purpose for their chosen path in life.

Fuller and his wife devoted themselves to helping those less fortunate by creating Habitat for Humanity, a worldwide movement. With intelligence, a relentless work ethic and extraordinary charisma, Fuller reinvented philanthropy by inspiring others to donate money, material, and labor to build homes with low-income families.

Before his death, Fuller’s pioneering ideas and determination led to the construction of homes for more than 1 million people in more than 100 countries.

Although Fuller’s legacy lives on in the exponential growth of both organizations, his loss has, nevertheless, impacted them. “Beyond the American Dream” aims to tell the story of this remarkable man and lend renewed passion to his dream of providing all people with a “simple decent place to live.”

Zukerman said he has been working with Chad Adair, director of photography, on the film.

“One of the focuses of the film is how Fuller overcame numerous obstacles in his lifetime,” Zukerman said. “He was an amazing person, but like the rest of us he also had his flaws. What set him apart were the choices he made at the most difficult moments in his life.”

In September, 1996, then-President Bill Clinton awarded Fuller the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and said, “Millard Fuller has done as much to make the dream of home ownership a reality in our country and throughout the world as any living person. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Millard Fuller has literally revolutionized the concept of philanthropy.”

In October 2005, the Fullers were honored by Former President George H. W. Bush and The Points of Light Foundation with a bronze medallion embedded in The Extra Mile national monument in Washington D.C.

Having built more than 200,000 homes in more than 100 countries, the Fullers inspired countless people around the world to join their mission during their 30-plus year crusade that continues to this day through the work of The Fuller Center for Housing, Habitat for Humanity, and the incredible legacy that Millard Fuller left behind.

In fact, last fall, The Fuller Center for Housing of Central Indiana, Inc. announced that the City of Indianapolis won its bid to become the “International Host City” of the second annual “Millard Fuller Legacy Build (MFLB) 2010 initiative.

As part of the global home-building event, the Central Indiana Covenant Partner, in cooperation with “South East Neighborhood Development” (SEND) will construct nine new homes and rehabilitate 20 others in a near Southside Indianapolis neighborhood in the 1100-1200 block of Saint Paul Street, in just five days on Sept. 6-10, 2010.

“All of the great things he did are still moving forward,” Zukerman said. “He has made such a positive impact on so many people, and our hope is that “Beyond the American Dream” will inspire a new generation to step up and work together to not only better their own community, but also the world around them. As Millard said “It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree, or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts.”


About Stephen Marshall Zukerman, Writer / Director / Editor
As President and Director of Soapbox Entertainment – a full-service production studio based in Los Angeles – Steve Zukerman brings his vast experience as an award-winning producer, writer, director, cinematographer and editor to MZD’s team, providing comprehensive film and video production services, as well as expert counsel on all facets of the entertainment industry.

Steve has lived in Los Angeles since 1996, working in the entertainment industry as a writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. Clients include FOX Television, ABC, CBS, NBC, Bravo, Columbia Tri-Star, New Line Cinema, MTV, Sony Pictures, Comedy Central, Nike, The Speed Channel, and

Steve served as Executive Producer, Co-Director, and Director of Photography on the award-winning documentary feature film project “Bleeding Ohio”, which takes an in-depth look at the events surrounding the 2004 Presidential Election. Steve is also currently slated to direct and produce a screen adaptation of the highly-acclaimed novel,   Scenes From A Train Window.

About William Chad Adair, Director of Photography
A Georgia native, Chad is a celebrated visual artist, both on screen and on the canvas. As a freelance film and video director in Los Angeles, Chad has worked with a host of top entertainment industry clients including 3 Arts Entertainment, Dreamworks Television, ABC, and Touchstone Television. He served as a Director of Photography on the hit TV series “Arrested Development” for FOX Television, and as a Cinematographer for the series “Carpoolers”.

Chad is a graduate of the MFA program in the Motion Picture Department at the Academy Of Art College in San Francisco. Chad currently resides with his wife and two children in Asheville, NC where he continues his work as a visual artist.

About The Fuller Center for Housing
The Fuller Center for Housing is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. By forming partnerships with local organizations, The Fuller Center provides the structure, guidance and support that communities need to build and repair homes for the impoverished among them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snicker bars and search engines: How Betty White and Google won our hearts during the Super Bowl

By Kiley Kellermeyer, MZD Account Executive

Let’s face it.

This year’s “Big Game” was mired in a lot of low-brow comedy. Drew and Peyton were sandwiched between so many rodents and Go Daddy Girls it’s a miracle either quarterback could lift a cleat from the muck.

Luckily, if you were willing to search through the commercial haystack, there were a couple of shiny needles to be found.

The ad-aficionados at MZD have spoken, and while our Colts may have lost the battle, we think that Google won the war.

Sure, there are no pasty thighs, furry animals or racecar drivers in various states of undress, but we think the simplicity of Google’s ad is what made it so appealing. The love story told via search terms tugged at our heartstrings and won us over.

“The Google spot did something most brands never do,” said MZD Account Executive Erik Faigh. “It told the story using only its product, and I'm not sure all the production money in the world could have done any better to make a better spot. Google boiled their brand down to a computer screen, a blinking cursor and a user who uses the tool to fulfill their dreams. Everything else in life happens after you ‘Google.’ A life not spent ‘Googling’ the answer? Well, it's just not a life worth living.”

Google’s commercial, however, wasn’t the only favorite amongst the staff at MZD.

Snickers scored big among the agency staff, with senior citizens Betty White and Abe Vigoda getting tackled and muddied on the football field.

The ad got first place on USA TODAY’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, meaning that experts and the Average Joe alike agreed Snickers' ad was sweet. That’s good news for the candy company who got themselves in hot water three years ago for what many perceived as an “anti-gay” ad.

Summary: Mars played it safe this year, Betty and Abe “played” hard.

So, what do we love about seeing octogenarians knocked about the yard? Was this physical abuse of the elderly cruel, comical or just plain clever?

Or was it simply, as MZD Senior AE Ray Volpe put it, “a better football game than the real one”?


To see USA TODAY’s Ad meter, visit

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Show your Colts team spirit!

Have you heard - the Colts are in the Super Bowl this Sunday!!!

It's great to live in a community that really gets behind our team. How is your workplace getting into the spirit this week?

Here is what we did to show our TRUE BLUE colors click here!!!

Go Colts!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Veteran Media Director Takes Helm at MZD

Rick Doyle recently joined MZD Advertising of Indianapolis as the agency’s Media Director.

Prior to joining MZD, Doyle was a Media Director and Partner for GMI Partners in Fort Myers, Fla. He developed integrated media promotions using retail focused communications and local market saturation through the combination of national and local broadcast, print and interactive media for several national and local advertisers.

At GMI Partners, Doyle also combined the affinity of targeted radio, special interest cable television and other offline media with performance based accountability of online and other digital media to deliver performance based promotions for their clients.

Previously, Doyle also worked at Whitney Information Network, Cape Coral, Fla., as its Media Director.

“When I first got into this, the only pay premium channel on cable that was big was HBO,” he said. “I knew a long time ago that the growth of cable television would surpass the growth of interactive television. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, there was a lot of talk about interactive television being the next big thing, but watching television is a passive activity, not an interactive one.”

Doyle was accurate in his prediction that more people would embrace satellite television.

“I also thought that TV would end up being popular to watch on your computer,” Doyle said.

“It will be interesting to see how the social media will take off,” Doyle said. “I am very impressed with how the mobile phones have taken off. The smart phones seem to be the wave of the future and the technology is there for a lot of people to make this even more successful. The infrastructure is growing.”

Doyle has also seen a lot of interesting trends in the Indianapolis television and radio media.

“In the radio area, there are a lot more portable people meters,” Doyle said. “With the Arbitron rating system you used to be able to fill out a diary. The people meters have changed all that. They are a lot more accurate measurement of the popularity and tell us more about the actual amount of listeners.

With TV, the local people meters are allowing more in-depth viewership measurements.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MZD Creates New Site for Flanner and Buchanan

Flanner and Buchanan, a client of ours with over 125 years of expertise in the funeral care business, came to us with the need to refresh their Website,

The site had grown significantly over the past few years as the company introduced new services and divisions.

 It was becoming difficult to navigate from a consumer's perspective and difficult to keep up-to-date from the client's perspective.

 We felt it was critical to harness the diverse offerings of Flanner and Buchanan under one brand umbrella and to provide the client with the tools necessary to keep their site updated easily.

Along with a design concept that spoke to Flanner and Buchanan's commitment to their community, we were able to enhance the navigation and usability of the site. We also incorporated new features, such as Flickr feeds to embrace emerging social media trends.

The site was built with a content-management system designed to allow the client to help keep the site current and up-to-date. The overall goal was to make their site easy to use and easy to maintain.

 Ongoing plans for the site include an interactive funeral planning tool and other features designed to keep Flanner and Buchanan as an industry-leader in funeral care.

Can You Own a Holiday?

Coca-Cola and Christmas. Hallmark and Valentine's Day. Cadbury and Easter. And now, Spaghetti Warehouse and National Lasagne Day.

Our innovative social media promotion for the Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant chain, effectively branded July 29 as National Lasagne Day.

Spaghetti Warehouse is a regional Italian-American casual dining chain with 20 locations in nine different states, headquartered in Irving, TX. They have been in business since 1972 and came to our agency this year looking for guidance on how to enter the social media realm and embrace new trends in the digital advertising age.

Our agency was able to establish the Spaghetti Warehouse brand on a variety of social media platforms and crafted a social media strategy to gain new consumer awareness and increase trial of their brand. Social media offered a cost-efficient way of conducting advertising campaigns while also exposing awareness of the Spaghetti Warehouse brand to a new consumer demographic.

Utilizing the offer of Free Lasagne for Spaghetti Warehouse Facebook Fans, we generated over 5,000 fans for the page within 48 hours. (Click to visit page)

The promotion was picked up by national trade publications, such as Chain Leader (Click to view article), regional news networks such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and a wide variety of popular blogs such as Gizmodo, one of the top 5 most-read blogs on the internet.

And it all began by building a brand presence of Facebook and Twitter. And by offering a lot of free pasta.

Find Your Purpose

By Jason Acquisto - Director MZD Interactive

“Are you drifting through life? What’s your purpose?”

The man in the video is not preaching at me. He’s just asking questions.

“Have you really asked yourself the question ‘why am I here?’?”

He’s passionate, articulate and compelling.

“I want you to know that you do have a purpose.”

The man is David Greene, Pastor of Purpose of Life Ministries in Indianapolis. The video is his personal greeting for those visiting their website

“In a day and age where the unemployment rates are excessive and crime is on the rise,” says Pastor Greene,

“Our ministry is driven to help individuals center their focus during difficult times.”

“We truly believe that when you walk in God’s purpose for your life, you are a happier person.”

In 2009, Pastor Greene approached MZD and shared his vision for the church. Recognized as the oldest Black Baptist Church in Indiana, the church – located at 3705 Kessler Blvd North Drive, had thrived under their previous name (Second Baptist). The dynamic new focus of the church is to assist individuals from all walks of life in finding their own life’s purpose.

The exciting new direction of the church called for a complete “re-branding” process.

This process is where MZD excelled, creating an identity system (logo, tagline, literature, signage, etc.), PR campaign, media program and an all new website. The new Purpose of Life Ministries brand was unveiled at their annual Watch Night service on New Year’s Eve.

How fitting … a new year. A new beginning. New goals.

Says Pastor Greene, “I believe that we can change the dynamics of our community.”

Is that some kind of New Year’s resolution?

No, it’s something far greater. It’s a whole new purpose.

What’s a Smart Phone and Why Should It Matter to Me?

By Rick Doyle, MZD Media Director

A smart phone has many names. A Droid. an iPhone. a Blackberry, a Palm. It’s the new generation of mobile phones, but it’s much more than that. The smart phone is the harbinger of a new medium. Smart phones make mobile advertising, interactive advertising and highly targeted customer focused communications possible.

What took cable television 20 years to accomplish and the internet 10 years to achieve, mobile media will achieve
within the next two to three years. That is, a level of penetration in the market that makes the medium a viable platform for both national and local advertising.

Unlike cable, which took nearly 20 years to wire the majority of U.S. households or the internet, which took 10 years to grow high-speed broadband connections into the home, the mobile “3G” platform is already established. All that is required is the expansion of hardware, the actual phones themselves. Currently, one study indicates 29% of all U.S. adults own a smart phone. Nielsen projects that by mid 2011 that number will reach 50% or 150 million smart phone users.

What happens then? As people become more familiar with the features and capabilities of their mobile devices, they will become more comfortable accessing web content and using their mobile device much like there home computer. They will also become more comfortable with direct to customer communications from companies they do business with. That could be their local grocer, their favorite restaurant, the dealer who services their car. The possibilities are endless and we are only at the forefront of this new medium.