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.