Tuesday, December 21, 2010


   It’s that time of year again where everyone is in a mad dash to find the perfect gift to give. “That red, white and green, reindeer themed cardigan would be perfect for…”
   Being in the field of advertising, we use our unique talents to essentially sell goods and services (even the cardigan) and promote the client’s brand. There’s nothing wrong with that - quite the contrary, this puts food on the table for everyone involved,which is a very good thing. But there should be more to it than that. There’s also food for the soul. Using those same talents for goodness sake is something we truly believe in at VSBrooks. We’ve focused our efforts on Feeding South Florida.
   Imagine going hungry, right here, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It hardly seems possible but it's true. The reasons are many: job losses, stagnant or declining wages, escalating costs and high medical expenses. The fact is, 49 million Americans are at risk of hunger. That's one in six Americans, and many of them are children and the elderly.
   Here's another fact that might shock you, 20% of all food produced in the United States goes to waste. That's where Feeding South Florida comes in.
   We had always been helping and donating to their former namesake, the Daily Bread Food Bank, but when they decided to rebrand, we took up the cause in full force. We started from inception with their new identity, branding strategy and collateral materials – “Fighting hunger, Feeding hope” became their rallying cry and our community answered in the thousands! Our inaugural event was a resounding success, and out of all that good we got an extra perk; the new website we designed and created for them won a W3 Silver award!
   This holiday season, we will be Fighting Hunger and Feeding Joy. Our clients’ gift will be a donation to the Food Bank in their name and some candy to sweeten the deal; the gift of giving is a wonderful thing. Way better than a reindeer cardigan!
  If you’d like to donate to Feeding South Florida, visit their site at www.feedingsouthflorida.org or text FEED to 52000 to make a $5 donation.

Friday, November 12, 2010


By: Vivian Santos

   You would think that after 30 years in the Advertising Business (15 of them as the VS of VSBrooks) I would be used to it. But, I’m not afraid to say it, “I’m still in awe that it works!”
   Diana (she’s the Brooks of VSBrooks) and I still get hives right before a campaign is about to break. Like the one that is about to happen Monday, Nov 15. This year AEP (that’s Annual Election Period for those of you who are neither in healthcare nor retired) is only until December 31, which means we only have 45 days to get seniors to switch from their health insurance plan to OURS!
   This year we’re going to keep calm and not surrender to our usual obsession. I refuse to be outside at 5 am waiting for the Miami Herald to be delivered. And Diana is NOT going to TiVo every commercial, on every station we’re on! We’ve done our job and it’s going to work! Why do I know this? Because we are professionals, damn it! And we know what we’re doing.

 One. We live and breathe the brand.
 Two. We know what our 65+ seniors want even before they know it.
 Three. Our strategy is straight-out on the money! Did you know that Seniors (65% of them) still get their news from TV?
 Four. Our creative works, it’s that simple. We make sure we have a message that is clear, honest and informative.
 Five. We light a candle and say a little prayer.
 So I’m going to relax and enjoy the ride. Taking comfort that we’ve done a damn good job!

   Oh-oh, my husband is beginning to stir, I’d better close my laptop and get back to sleep. Or maybe I should just get up? I’ll make breakfast for us - I WILL NOT GO OUTSIDE TO GET THE PAPER. Although ...the dog DOES have to pee. It’s not fair to make him suffer just to prove my point and if the paper is already there, might as well pick it up, right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


   Shriners Hospitals for Children’s goal is to help improve the lives of children through pediatric specialty care, specializing in burn care, cleft lip and palate, orthopaedics, and spinal cord injury. Any child up to age 18 is eligible for care based SOLELY on the child’s medical needs. Shriners Hospitals for Children relies heavily on donations and gifts to pay for treatments they administer. Having been around since 1922, they have come up with fun and creative ways to raise funding, with events like the East-West Shrine Game, that has become an annual tradition for the Hospital.
    Miami-based Inspira Films and VSBrooks ADVERTISING were hired to develop and produce the TV campaign for this year’s 85th annual East-West Shrine Game in Tampa with Super Bowl-winning Tony Dungy and Pro Wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Our own Diana Brooks and Eric Zamorano got a chance to meet these sports-world legends and both came out of there with a newfound respect for Tony Dungy and Jim Duggan and their involvement with the Hospital. “I admire them for their work done outside of the sports world. They were genuinely compassionate with the children,” said Diana. More exciting than the chance to meet such celebrities, however, was the effect that meeting the children and their families had on our crew. Diana was moved by the tenacity and drive of the children and their mothers'. Diana’s and Eric’s experience at Shriners Hospitals for Children brought home the purpose of the cause for the East-West Shrine Game.

   As the Hospital’s biggest event of the year, the East-West Shrine Game has been played every year since 1925 and directly benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children. It is one of the Hospital’s longest standing traditions and is considered the most-respected all-star college football game in history. The quality of athletes and coaches that participate in the game ensures an exciting match each time. Last year, the East beat the West 13-10, with the point difference of a simple field goal!

   We’re thrilled VSBrooks ADVERTISING and Inspira Films has been allowed to help promote such a worthwhile cause. No matter the outcome of the football game, the real winners are the kids.

  This week Diana, Eric and the Inspira Films crew are out shooting commercials for Shiners Hospitals for Children’s East-West Shrine Game. On set they have Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy and Pro Wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, both of whom will be talking about the game and their participation with Shriners Hospitals for Children. Diana and Eric are huge football fans, and who didn’t love wrestling in the 80’s? So, on top of the wonderful opportunity to work with Shriners Hospitals for Children, they get to meet these legendary sports heroes!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


By Vivian Santos
I know what you’re thinking: nobody’s perfect. Although, when my son, Raymond, was about 8, he lost a Spelling Bee to a classmate, Rebecca. I tried comforting him, by explaining the fact that “nobody’s perfect”, he instantly disagreed, stating that in fact Rebecca was perfect; best speller, most A’s, great at drawing and she could out run all the boys. Crap! She was perfect, but I wasn’t about to let him know that. So I brought out the secret weapon - “Only God is perfect, Ray.” He nodded in agreement and reflected before adding, “And Rebecca.”

Like Ray, we all have an ideal of what is perfect. Me, I’m always in search of “The Perfect Client”. After 30 years in this business I’ve been lucky to have a few (still do).

Now, before I give you my top 3 attributes of The Perfect Client, there is certain criteria that is a given: The client’s product (service) must be a good one.


They must have a sense for what is good and let The Agency show them the best Advertising they can get. Like my friend slash copywriter Mary Ellen once told me: “Clients get the Advertising they deserve.”

That means you’ve got to trust The Agency and share essential marketing information with us. Keeping straightforward communication with your Agency will fuel the passion we need to feel for the Brand. This passion is contagious, it’s what keeps this business of ours engaging and stimulating for both of us.

If you leave no room for the agency to make a profit, the end product will suffer. Just show The Agency some respect and we’ll do amazing things for you.

OH AND ONE MORE THING: You’ve got to actually like each other, if you don’t have a real connection the relationship is doomed. Yes I know, that makes it 4 Qualities instead of 3, but hey - nobody’s perfect (except Rebecca?).

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Panoramic Picture Tutorial With a TSotwist (or a roundhouse kick in this case).

By: Daniel Timiraos
I’ve been toying with the idea of shooting The Living Room in our office for a while now. This is the space where, among other areas, we generally hold our client meetings, staff meetings and over all get-togethers. It has a sweeping view of downtown Coral Gables and affords amazing sunsets thanks to the floor to ceiling windows of our building. It’s our epicenter if you will.
   In order to capture this, a panoramic shot was a no brainer. I’ve created many of these for our clients so I went to work on one of our own. Tutorials on this abound on the web, but it case you’d like to know how I went about it:
 -Set up tripod at corner of the room that would provide the sweeping views. The image is shot in pieces and then stitched together in Photoshop CS5 using the photomerge feature. Without the tripod it would make things WAAAAY more difficult than need be.
- Set up camera to shoot vertically. I know it sounds weird since it’s a panoramic your shooting for, but in the end your final stitched image will be overall large and have more detail than is you’d shoot horizontally. Also this way you avoid shooting wide, which would distort the image causing your more “headache time” in Photoshop.
- Find and set your exposure manually to assure even exposure through the images in the stitching process. I shot with a 17-35 set at 35mm and the Aperture set at F11 to provide sufficient depth of field.
- Start shooting. Each shot should incorporate 20% - 30% of the previous shot to ensure a seamless stitch.
- Load the images into Photoshop and let in work it’s magic.
- Retouch and color correct final image.
- Rinse and repeat.

Simple enough and as you can see the results are pretty dramatic.

The only problem was that the image was missing the one element that really makes the room come to life; the quirky and charismatic bunch of people the make up VSBrooks Advertising. Without them it’s just another room in another office building - looks great but has no life. And more importantly, how can I show and accurate depiction of the Living Room with having Veronica roundhouse kicking our punching bag!?!
   So I re-set everything up with the exception of having me shoot it (thanks, Jimmy!) at a time when we were in our goings on at the office. Veronica randomly kicks the dummy throughout the day so I’ll fess up, that portion of the shot was staged. The slices would have to be strategically shot so as not to cut anyone in half. Also, in order to show motion, I had to drag the shutter to achieve the effect.

Voila! The Living Room comes to life!
   Now with people in it, the image is a panoramic with a twist, much like everything else here in the office. The people in the shot make something good become great. It’s our specialty. We interact with (and around) each other “seamlessly” (pun intended), making great things happen for our clients. It’s a slim slice of the dynamic life at VSBrooks.

If you'd like to see a larger version of the final image, head over to our Facebook page.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hey clients! If you think your customers aren’t paying attention…. Think again my friends.

By: Diana Brooks
It seems that Gap, the retail chain, who in my opinion, is a branding champion, recently launched a new logo on their website. They've spent the last two years working hard "evolving" the brand, convincing themselves within the confines of their four walls, that they needed a new contemporary and hip logo, that still honored the heritage of the brand.

Not a big deal to your common, cattle-herded customer, right?

   So here’s the funny part... they changed it, very quietly, as part of an overall rebranding strategy. And their customers went nuts! They flocked to their social media outlets, enraged and betrayed by the brand they had been so loyal to. As an agency owner, I have to admit I feel vindicated.
   After years upon years droning on to clients about how important a logo is, and a brand is, and blah blah blah ad nauseum… I feel great to be able to read this article and say :


I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!”

   Even the greats have to learn the hard way how important your customer is, how you have to keep them in mind every step of your strategic way, how RESEARCH will SAVE you money and more importantly, how people EMOTIONALLY connect to your brand.

Read on and learn more….http://adage.com/article?article_id=146353

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Retail, Retail, Mighty Retail!

By: Christina Alvarez
   It ain’t been good for retailers and suppliers of merchandise lately. Two years after the recession threw us a curve ball and that consumer spending plummeted (mine included), we are still seeing shopper caution, cash being conserved for the uncertain future, businesses not hiring back, and retail expansions at a hold.
   True, about fifty per cent of retailers and their suppliers expect consumer spending to pick up in 2011, while others postpone upsurge to 2012 and beyond. And there is that small, dark, pessimistic minority that says it will never happen again. Don’t you hate nay sayers? But all in all, things seem to have taken an upturn.
   Retailers are increasing inventories from last year, but doing so with caution. You can see lots of sales going on, indicating they don’t want stationary merchandise. My motto is “Stationary merchandise is bad… Sales are good.”  Before the recession, retail environment showcased an obscene inventory fest, with merchandise flooding floors, and retailers expecting the customer to buy something, anything. As the consumer became careful with spending dollars, retailers became overstocked, unable to move their stuff, and forced to dump it. This impacted the whole retail chain, from raw materials to warehousing. (It’s probably been sucking a little bit for China also.)
   Because retailers are stocking with caution, suppliers that can produce and deliver in shorter times, are high in demand. Companies don’t want to keep excess stock, but they want their merchandise when they want it. At another level, tracking has become THE thing in doing business today, with companies measuring demand and purchasing closely, while Internet is growing and growing, taking away from brick and mortar.
   As retailers become leaner (less employees, less stock, more tracking) and the economy starts recovering (tell that to the 12.5 unemployed!), some have seen higher profit. Realism is no longer a literature genre but has become a retailer reality. You hear things such as “let’s be prepared for a double dip recession,” which means in retailerese, stashing profits under the mattress or squirreling away for the proverbial wintertime.
   Following up on this trend, the holiday shopping season will see a smaller inventory of goods and greater sales. I particularly think that smaller inventories are not necessarily bad. Sometimes I’m driven insane by the variety of products I see in a store and my inability to choose among so many options. I can give my brain a rest this season, and get some good bargains at the same time.
   So after analyzing the retail scenario in-depth (it’s called first-hand shopping), the great authorities put forth five strategies that retail chains can do to improve profits or even keep operating:
- Cash flow, baby. Do not overstock, do not overexpand, do not overinvest.
- Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. Sales are up or sales are down, respond wisely to demand.
- More for less. Be more efficient and invest in Internet channels.
- Track your inventory and sales. Invest in software (yeah, go ahead, put some money in technology).
- Cooperate with suppliers, sharing forecasts, trends, and measurements.
   As far as the so much taunted social media, there are no real indicators that social networks drive sales. But it does seem that retailers can boost sales from their own sites by inspiring social interaction, such as allowing customers to design outfits and send them to their friends, or for consumers to be able to review stores and products. (Just thought I’d throw some social media into the mix. One can hardly go without paying homage to the great digital goddess.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby Boomers: How many will be missing out on Medicare?

By: Cristina Alvarez
   Hey, there was a time, in my twenties, that I dreaded the thought of turning thirty and becoming an old bag. And then the thirties went by and they were pretty darn good. The forties were actually very revealing. I even found a hot boyfriend at forty-five. I now remember longingly when I turned fifty and am approaching the Medicare coming of age with trepidation. Perhaps my heart is skipping a beat or maybe it’s just fibrillating.
   Anyway, don’t they say that the fifties are the new thirties? I’m getting confused with all the numbers and decades. But what I do know is that in 2011, the oldest boomers will become 65 and enter the Medicare club.
We are not aging gracefully (although some would say it’s totally the opposite), utilizing our country's greatest brains to develop new forms of cosmetic surgeries, exercise mechanisms, skin preparations, and even miracle garments, to hide the inexorable action of gravity. I guess some can pull off the Botox and nips and tucks and look handsome. Well, you know how others look, rather like zombies in dire need of sleep.
   But I’m digressing… baby boomers better fez up! Quickly. If not, you’ll be missing out on the enrollment window of three months prior and three months after your birthday, and pay a penalty for it. What’s more, you could actually be disqualified for the Medicare Supplement, horror of horrors!
   If you’re a Supplement Medicare insurance company, think about the opportunity now. It has been researched, I swear, that older people rely more on intuition than rationality. That sounds irrational, right? For me, intuition is pent up rationality, waiting to jump out, but without an attitude. So if you are a marketer for this segment, employ images that promote strong positive emotional responses. Following that trend of thought, first impressions, which have a heavy emotional charge, are also more durable for older than younger adults. So be very careful and put your best foot forward.
   First you engage them and then you throw information at them. They do want the information, but get them interested first. But oh please, don’t give them more than what they need. Remember, their clock is ticking away, so be respectful of their time. That doesn’t mean you’re going to give them choppy phrases or bulleted lines. Older adults process thoughts slower, so be clear, but to the point. If you can, make a little story of it, peppered with emotional cues. You can’t lose with a. information they need, b. to-the-point information, c. information that touches their soul in some form.
   One thing that us mature audiences hate are absolutist statements about religion, politics, philosophy, companies, about almost everything. So make sure you present your information deferentially, in the “if you allow me to explain” mode. But… take advantage of our greater sensitivity to subtlety… go ahead, don’t be shy, throw in a metavalue about your services to make it more attractive… it’s allowed, and good marketing too. But put it within context and make it holistic. For older adults, it’s about the whole experience, because they’ve reached a point of synthesis in their lives.
   Baby Boomers are turning 50 at a dizzying rate of 1 every 10 seconds. That's more than 12,000 each day and over 4 million a year for each year of the next decade. And for the health plan companies out there trying to cash in on this emerging target, 2011 will be a wild feast. By the way, analysts say that this increase in the number of Medicare enrollees is projected to contribute 2.9 percentage points to growth in Medicare spending by 2017. Not good for the government, and eventually, not good for the aging.
   Typically, emerging markets consist of younger (or underdeveloped) people coming of age (or to quote an Evangelist, people “Seeing the Light!”) and beginning to consume a product that wasn’t available to them before for reason of price or maturity. In that sense, we can truly say that the Baby Boomers are babies that have finally grown up. Not grown old. Medicare will become the insurance for the boomers, not the insurance for those on their final trek. Some say the healthcare system is not prepared for their grand and copious entrance, that 36,000 geriatricians would need to be activated by 2030.
   Who knows about those geriatricians? 65-year-olds ain’t no grandparents no way no more. They are mature, coming of age, sophisticated consumers. They do not feel antediluvian. In fact, they feel energized, ready for another round. Many boomers will work past their seventies, and at more than 100 million strong, this group and other customers born before 1965 will be - in fact are - the single most important consumer group in the U.S., in addition to being the wealthiest, best educated, and most sophisticated of purchasers. They’ve become the new customer majority.
   By the way, new statistics just came out on life expectancy: a man currently age 65 can expect to live until age 83, and the average 65 year old woman until 85, according to the Social Security Administration. And why would they lie? For them it’s best that we all conk out sooner rather than later.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Distracted Driving Campaign from the Florida Department of Highway Safety awarded to VSBrooks Advertising

VSBrooks Advertising was awarded the Media Campaign project directed to Hispanics, handling creative, production, and media planning and buying, as well as community outreach through earned interviews.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hispanics And Social Media: A Match Made In Cyber Space

By: Cristina Alvarez
   Holaaaaa! (equivalent of Helloooo!) Being social is part of the Hispanic DNA (ADN en espanol). Hispanics are friendly and fun; even when they get mad, they entertain. Creative expletives involving mothers and sisters, convoluted curses, and facial and body gestures, offer a tremendously dramatic moment that carries an underlying twist of humor.
   So here we have a fun and friendly Hispanic, and we have someone that loves technology and cell phones, and on top of that consumes media by the ton, and aquí está! (Spanish for voilá!), we come up with a tremendously social media Hispanic!
   Did you know that Latinos are more connected to broadband than the general market? That they have more wireless connections to the Internet? And that they way over index on texting? Definitivamente.
   We’ve come up with someone that doesn’t live in the silo and barrio of his own culture anymore. We have someone that reaches out globally, to his blood relatives, to his cultural family, to his pale neighbors, and to el mundo at large. Someone spreading the culture. And who doesn’t love Latino music, food, humor and passion? Hispanics love to share food, advise, political opinions. And social networks give them a huge platform from where to impart their views. It also gives brands a friendly forum through which to converse with this chatty audience. Here’s where the brand ambassador comes in.
   La embajadora invites the cyber Hispanic to come into the brand’s world, an embracing environment, where he will feel a sense of belonging, where he will connect with the company and with other consumers, Hispanic or not. Connection feels good. Hispanics hate aloneness. Message, to-the-point information and brand must bundle up intelligently, so that Hispanics entering this world feel they are where they want to and need to be. Of course, this creates a sense of appreciation. They’ve arrived. They find useful content. They belong. They feel comfortable.
   Now that they are cozily situated inside, they can communicate themselves among friends. Other amigos will join in. Collectively, they will express their thoughts, needs, solutions. Ah, it feels good to hear and be heard. To influence and receive advise. While Hispanics are busily expressing their views and opinions, they are providing a service to the community, the family at large. At the same time, all answers they receive will come from that same community. The bonds of friendship and feelings of belonging grow stronger.
   Getting feedback from community members of other cultures opens up the door to different scenarios. It’s no longer the Latino street or Hispanic barrio, or cultura de mi gente. Now they are exposed and getting the best of two worlds. Connecting, exchanging, teaching, learning. As a treasured consumer of a brand, one that seeks them out, courts them, and invites them to their inner circle, Latinos thrive with the attention and provide insight right back to the brand, within the perspective of their rich cultural heritage. Brands should consider this a bonus.
   The relationship becomes intense, intimate, and visceral. Hispanics are ready to advocate and defend their brand with all they’ve got. The ambassador has opened the door, the social network has provided the platform, Hispanics are now the evangelists.
   Which brings us back to what Hispanics of all ethnicities and social upbringing where searching for when they moved to the U.S.: success for themselves and their families. In retrospect, the journey travelled fills them with joy: they have arrived. And now they belong. And now they extol. Oh sí, Hispanics are social media beings. They are good chatters, texters, and bloggers. Come recruit them to your network. Pronto!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vivian Santos and Diana Brooks selected as two of the top 50 business leaders in Florida!

   Today the Commonwealth Institute-SF and The Center For Leadership at FIU will be hosting a luncheon honoring Florida’s Finest Women-Led Companies. Vivian Santos and Diana Brooks will be among the honorees.
   The The Commonwealth Institute is one of the premiere organizations in the country solely dedicated to advancing the careers of both women business owners and senior executives. The Center for Leadership at Florida International University is committed to becoming the premier center for global leadership research and development, and training in the nation.

Congratulations to Vivian, Diana and all the honorees!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hurricane season checklist: Water, batteries, Twitter account?

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season and South Florida knows its best to be prepared. Water, flashlights, batteries... Twitter account?

After the earthquake in Haiti, social media played a pivotal role, not only in facilitating donations but in keeping families and friends connected. During the first week of the disaster, news reporters would tweet locations and ask for assistance via web 2.0. Now with hurricane season upon us it would be wise to remember "social media is not just for gossiping".

Recently quoted in a Sun Sentinel article on the topic, Sarah Marmion, spokeperson for Florida power and Light Co. said, "We know how important it is to communicate with our customers during a storm situation". FPL is both on twitter and Facebook.

Among the technological advances since the very active 2005 season that brought Dennis, Katrina and Wilma to our shores, the St. Petersburg Times lists social media outlets as sources to communicate to the public. "While officials still urge the use of battery-powered radios during power outages, they realize many people use their cell phones for text messaging or to access the internet."

The Sun Sentinel article can be found here. The St. Petersburg Times article can be found here here.

Daniel Timiraos

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Three-Minute Rule: A little extra time provides great marketing insight.

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Anthony Tjan, explains an interesting rule that they follow at his venture capital firm to gain more insight into their client's behavior. Using this rule, the firm finds that they can better understand and improve their client's usage of the firm's products and services.

Tjan goes to explain that this rule can be applied to better understand other products or services, thus improving understanding on how consumers buy or use them. The article is a worthy read.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

VSBrooks Advertising receives honorary silver dog tags from Feeding South Florida.

For all their hard work and dedication to making the Feeding South Florida inauguration even a success, Vivian Santos and Diana Brooks received honorary dog tags from Feeding South Florida.

The entire event turned out to be a complete success. LivingFLA.com was present and did a great job covering the event - pictures can be found here.

Congratulations to Vivian, Diana and all involved with Fighting Hunger and Feeding Hope.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope.

We've been working hard preparing for our first assault in the "Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope" campaign, which we developed for Feeding South Florida. Today, the Fight against hunger escalates to an all out war as Feeding South Florida prepares to inaugurate their new facility with a large, by invitation only event that will feature some of South Florida's top chef's.

Feeding South Florida is a not-for-profit organization that empowers over 800 South Florida not-for-profit organizations to assist people in need and improve their lives. Feeding South Florida does this by providing food and other grocery products; and by educating and engaging our community to fight hunger and poverty. Feeding South Florida strives to serve children, the elderly, the mentally and physically challenged, veterans and the working poor with compassion and integrity. Feeding South Florida is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

In conjunction with the inauguration, we've launched a new face for Feeding South Florida with their new website, where you can learn more about the food bank, volunteer your time or make donations, or if you need support, find a local agency to assist you.

If you'd like to learn more about the food bank, the Miami Herald has written an in depth article about Feeding South Florida's expansion, or to make a donation please visit Feeding South Florida's website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ideas spread farther than Ash

Or Rather TEDx Versus the Volcano. Stranded in London due to a cloud of ash drifting from the erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, gourp of a group of "entrepreneurs, thinkers, tinkerers and creatives" hosted TEDxVolcano. TEDx is an independantly organized version of TED Which"is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. At the TED site you can find presentations from anyone from Al Gore to J. J. Abrams. Cool stuff.

The unedited (read long) video is embedded below. It takes a bit to get going but considering the conditions and time in which the presentation was put together, it is a very worthy effort.

Friday, April 9, 2010

AdAge: Study Reveals Habits of Hispanic Internet Users

Here's a great AdAge article about what U.S. Hispanic internet user trends. Among other informative results from the study it was found that internet users surveyed are paying more attention to online advertisements versus their television watching retention. Very interesting outcomes from the study. You can see the article here.

Daniel Timiraos

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taking care of three generations instead of one, middle boomers create their own paths.

As the US demographics shift a relative new portion of it comes to light, the "Middle Boomers." Middle Boomers are adults ages 51–57 years old in 2009, born between 1952 and 1958. At 29 million people, Middle Boomers define the largest demographic segment of the Boomer generation, representing about 38% of all Boomers. The MiamiHerald has an article on these new boomers which explains how this generation is still raising its children and grand children, while taking care of elderly parents as well.

Daniel Timiraos

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You count! So make sure you're counted!

Today, the once every decade US Census kicks off. If you haven't received your form in the mail yet you will shortly.

"When you receive your 2010 census, please fill it out and mail it back" Quoted in a great article over at ABC News, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves was quoted saying "It's one of the shortest forms in our lifetime with just 10 questions very much like the questions James Madison and Thomas Jefferson helped craft on the very first census."

Back in the 2000 US Census the national participation average was 72%. Locally, Miami-Dade County had a 67% participation rate. You can see how your area did you can do so on an interactive map on the official 2010 Census website. Hopefully, more people will participate so we can get a better idea for who we really are as a nation.

So go ahead and fill it out. You count!

Daniel Timiraos

Monday, March 8, 2010

"The Time Has Come!"

Barbara Streisand's words will reverberate for generations to come. Staying up to watch the Oscars was definitely worth it! Congratulation to Kathryn Bigelow for her double Oscar win for Best Director and Best Picture!

Here's a great article on the big win for her and women directors everywhere!

Diana Brooks



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What the beginning of an effective rebrand looks like...

As part of our rebranding strategy for Navarro Discount Pharmacies, we put together a comprehensive marketing study tailored specifically to the Hispanic pharmacy chain.

Along with traditional demographic and marketing studies, we employed our guerilla research to identify the demographic qualities of the current Navarro customers (Juana) as well as an untaped customer base (Carmen).

Seems like we hit the nail on the head (again)!

Navarro has adopted the brand recommendations whole heartedly and together we are moving forward on the rebranding efforts.

The Miami Herald has just published an front page article today that delineates our recommendations and the marketing directions we provided to Navarro. As the article states, "Navarro Discount Pharmacies wants to be known as more than just the store where abuelita shops."

Want to hear more about Juana and Carmen? Check out the article here.

A different approach to art history...

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Daniel Timiraos

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Straight up and down is so yesterday!

Here's a site that's taking a common place retail graphic and turning it on it's ear. Vanity Barcodes redesigns its names sakes and turns them into decorative artwork while still keeping their scanning ability. The possibilities for retail applications are endless.

Acoording to the site "It's a great way to add brand value and engage customers in a way that no other graphic design can!"

Daniel Timiraos

Monday, February 8, 2010

So how about them Super Bowl ads!

As happy as we are for the Saints on their first Super Bowl win, we must admit that some of us were watching the Big Game solely for the commercials (and The Who of course!). Today, conversations around the office were focused on which one was best, worst, funniest, etc. Surfing the web for others opinions to support our own we found a some related articles on the subject that were worth sharing.

First up is Slate Magazine's best and worst list which we pretty much all agreed with. Seeing Betty white and Abe Vigoda getting tackled made us all laugh out loud!

Advertising Age had an interesting breakdown as to why the Super Bowl ads don't hold as much weight as they used to.

And finally, Creativity Online had the top 20 Super Bowl ads ever. Great stuff!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taking product placement to the next level in the Hispanic market..

Seems like everyone in the land of tele-novelas drives a Ford! Here's a great article over at Advertising Age covering Ford's new product placement within Telemundo's Spanish-language novela, Perro Amor.

"Viewers can follow the heroine, Sofia, online and navigate a virtual version of her Ford Fusion Sport, peeking at Sofia's text messages or iPod playlist as they try out the car's multimedia system and other features."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where's Adobe Flash in the iPad?

This is one thing we were throwing around the office yesterday after Apple's latest tech breakthrough announcement. The iPad is, without a doubt, going to be a revolutionary communications tool, but the lack of Flash support really handicaps its usage. Not only are most ads up on the web rendered in Flash but many of the video sites and apps that we use online are Flash based. Here's a great Ad Age article on the subject.

Daniel Timiraos

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Launches the iPad!

The new iPad from Apple has just been announced! We can see ourselves walking around the office using these. Among others the creatives around here are salivating over the iPad Brushes App. The Apple press conference replays in its entirety on CNN at 5pm or you can get more info now on the Apple website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A new door opens in 2010.

We're currently shooting the new OEP campaign for CarePlus Health Plans. We're sure it'll be magical! Follow us on Twitter as for more details.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Keep your eyes peeled. An new VSBrooks site is in the works!

We're in the process of creating a new VSBrooks site and we have quite a few surprises up our sleeves. If you haven't visited our current site, please feel free to take a look and tell us what you think. But hurry it won't be up for long!