Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ms. Brooks goes to Washington

Last week I traveled to D.C. to be a guest panelist on a live webcast at the NAB, or National Association of Broadcasters. The topic was “The Golden Years; Marketing to Seniors.” 

I was very excited because a) I had never actually been to Washington b) I can talk about senior marketing to a dog, and c) it was all expenses paid. So off I go to discuss what has inadvertently become second nature to me over the last 24 years – marketing to baby boomers. 

I was joined on the panel by other industry experts; Jim Glynn, Principal, GlynnDevins in Kansas City; Brian Wexler, Director of National Multimedia Accounts, WTSP CBS Tampa, FL; and Brad Seitter, Senior VP, Local Division at NAB. I was excited to see what similarities or differences they saw in marketing to this demographic.  

What I learned, all over again, is how much I enjoy working with this target audience. 

Over dinner with my colleagues I went on and on about senior’s decision making processes, their healthcare concerns, their family values, their buying power... until I was asked, "Why doesn't anyone talk about this market?"
My answer was simple. Because it’s not sexy. 
Advertising folks want sexy. Sexy commercials, sexy websites, sexy ads, sexy young. Sexy. 

But quite frankly, don’t get me started on marketing to our youth. Let’s just say they’re “special.” Try marketing to a group of Youtub-ing, Snapchat-ting, Starbucks-drinking hipsters that decide a new trend every 5 minutes? A market that tends to be fragmented, have no loyalty to brands, and have the attention span of a Vine video?

I think educated, voting, research-driven, brand-loyal, boomers who don’t take shit and know what they want - and mean what they say - is pretty damn sexy. Just look at these numbers:
  • 10,000 Baby boomers will be turning 65 every day – for the next 19 YEARS.
  • Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods & services  
  • The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percentage of the population in the U.S.
  • The 55+ age group controls more than three-fourths of America's wealth (ICSC). 

So what did I learn in Washington? I learned that I still love advertising to seniors. And I learned I can still learn more every day from my peers – even at a craft beer dive in Dupont Circle, DC. 

Diana Brooks

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We’re Loving Rob’s #VSBrooksDayOff

Yesterday Roberto Canales, the youngest member of our Client Service team, won the first VSBrooks Day Off with $50 extra bucks to help finance his newfound freedom. The only catch? Have some Ferris Bueller-style fun and share one social media post about it. That was it. But we were not prepared for how high the bar would be set for the next winner.

Rob immediately went to town—Wynwood to be exact—posting 2 funny, hashtag-happy videos on Vine, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on his way there! Soon after he shared more quirky photos of himself at the Wynwood wall, galleries and eateries. But last night he outdid himself, and our expectations with this Vimeo…  really blew us away! This morning it was all we could talk about at the agency. We are in awe of his creativity and sense of fun, because that’s what VSBrooks is all about. Well done, young Rob!

Check out the video and let us know what you think!

VSBrooks Day Off from Rob Canales on Vimeo.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rob Canales: First Winner of VSBrooks’ Day Off.

Today was our Monday morning all-company meeting, a monthly breakfast meeting where we were expecting the usual announcements and reports—both the good and not-so-good ones. But people had been asked to bring their business cards to this meeting…. Was it some kind of raffle? A parking space? We had no idea.

Then Vivian, Partner and head creative, read a line from her favorite philosopher of fun, Ferris Bueller:
Life moves pretty fast! If you dont stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.

She announced that she was going to draw a card from the bowl and the employee whose name was on that card would be given the rest of the day off, starting NOW, to do whatever he/she wanted. She then paused, grinned and explained that this was not simply a day to go home and catch up on neglected laundry, this was a day to “Live and do whatever you want — the one caveat: Post at least one photo of your fun day on social media and tag it #VSBrooksDayOff.” Then reaching into her back pocket, she pulled out $50 and tossed them into the bowl as an added incentive for the winner to enjoy this momentous fling at unrestrained freedom.

Forget the coffee, everyone’s eyes were now fully awake, open and fixed on the bowl as her hand reached inside and picked the card. She turned it over and read “Roberto Canales.” Rob, our newest member of Client Services, didn’t believe us—so we had to practically push him out the door.

We’ll keep you posted on his escapades.  Let’s watch @robotocan go!

Monday, July 28, 2014

It’s Great to Work Here … We’re One of Florida Trend’s 2014 Best Companies to Work For!

At VSBrooks, it’s our job to be fun, creative, and an overall great place to work. Not only do WE think we’re a fantastic place to come to work every day, but recently, the popular business news magazine Florida Trend agreed with us, naming us one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the state of Florida.

We were awarded in the Best Small Companies category (15-49 employees), in which there were 36 ranked winners. We’ll be recognized, along with the other winning companies, in Florida Trend's August 2014 issue.  
So, what does this list acknowledge, and how did we get it? Well, it recognizes companies that have built productive workplaces for their employees, strengthening their own as well as Florida's competitive advantage in the national and global arenas.

To participate, companies or government entities had to employ at least 15 workers in Florida and have been in operation at least one year. Companies that chose to participate underwent an evaluation of their workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The process also included a survey to measure employee satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the registration, survey and analysis and determined the final rankings.

We’re especially proud of this recognition, because if our staff is happy, then our clients are happy. Plus, “happy” is just an overall good thing to be.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We Won! 31st Healthcare Advertising Awards

After 18 years in business, it’s still extremely exciting for everyone at VSBrooks ADVERTISING when we hear that we won an award. So when we recently found out that we won awards for a print campaign we created for our client CarePlus Health Plans, we were downright ecstatic.

Healthcare Marketing Report – The National Newspaper of Healthcare Marketing – awarded us and CarePlus two silver awards in its 31st Healthcare Advertising Awards. We won for the stellar campaign we created to advertise CarePlus’ Medicare Annual Election Period (October 15 – December 7), the time when Medicare recipients over 65 can change their health plan.

The Healthcare Advertising Awards are the oldest, largest and considered the most widely respected healthcare advertising awards. A national panel of judges grants awards to entries that exemplify exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness.

In the statewide member testimonial campaign, we showcased today’s "senior" – not the traditional grandmother in a rocking chair of yesterday. We spent months identifying CarePlus’ members who are reinventing themselves for their next act – opera singers, dog walkers, motorcycle riders and more – to speak to their active lifestyle.

CarePlus Health Plan's award-winning print campaign.

It’s our business to create mind-blowing, unconventional ads. And we do it well. And … we love it. Not only do we wake up every day eager to develop amazing advertising for the healthcare industry, but also education, government, real estate, travel, retail and non-profit, among many others.

What will our next award be? Who knows. But we know we’ll have one heckuva great time creating the advertising to deserve it.