Not to Brag: Part 1

This news is so exciting that we had to break it into two parts.  Our office is growing again. No, we didn’t add a third conference room, but we’re thinking maybe wMr. Ward Ertze should. We kicked things up a notch and brought in some accomplished talent to work directly with our valued clients. Ward Ertz accepted the position as Director of Client Services, and our clients will be thrilled to work side-by-side with him, creating strategic project plans, driving revenue growth, and building their businesses.

Ertz’s business background includes significant roles in organizational leadership and management, revenue and margin optimization, project management, P&L accountability, and admirable experience in advertising and marketing strategy.

We are so excited to have Ward here that we polished up our New Hire Orientation, which includes: the Office Tour, Icebreaker Challenge, Scavenger Hunt and New Hire Kit. Our new-and-improved Office Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at our two conference rooms, Carol’s office, newly-renovated printer area, and the hidden coal room. In the Icebreaker Challenge, introduce all the office technology and phone system, while trying not to break ADwërks. We encourage our new hire to participate in a self-guided Scavenger Hunt, for all his desk necessities and paper products. Ward passed this test with ease. Finally, our New Hire Kit includes a memorable ADwërks rocks glass, fashionable ADwërks hat, full access to our refrigerator, a guarantee we won’t tow your car from our parking lot.

Welcome to our playground, Ward.

P.S. We forgot to include in our handbook that all the discarded pictures from the New Hire photo shoot will be shown as entertainment at the Holiday Party.

Stay tuned for Not to Brag: Part 2, where we will share more exciting stuff happening at ADwërks!

Nikki

Notes from the Intern

Only a chosen few have been offered internships at ADwërks. We like to call these select few the lucky ones, the cream-of-the-crop, the pick-of-the-litter…well, you get the point. We want our interns to be successful, provide them with motivating experiences and insight, and show them that fun is not just exclusive to Friday’s Beer-Thirty or the holiday party. We asked Michael what his favorite part of the internship was:

“In our meetings, there were a lot of things said…a lot of things from the BINGO card, actually. But, I also learned a lot about budgeting and interaction between companies, while learning the marketing side of things. I want to thank Jim for giving me this opportunity. After graduation, I’d like to travel and eventually end up back in Texas where I want to open my own business. Jim’s story is inspiring, and I like the fun and professional culture here. They have lots of fun and get the work done.”

At the beginning of his internship, Michael was handed a mission:  How will you illustrate your experience at ADwërks? Here’s a glimpse at the Internship Chronicles, a documentary from Michael.

P.S. The big ‘who’s-making-coffee-now’ dilemma has been resolved.

Nikki

The Art of Not Shaving

It’s been 11 days, 8 hours, and 41 minutes since Jim’s razor went into hibernation, and we weren’t sure if the stubble would abide for the No-Shave movement. We also weren’t sure if Kara was ready for this War of Whiskers, or if a protest would take place behind closed doors. Fortunately, Jim’s whiskers are stepping up their game and starting to look more like a beard and less like he’s homeless. This is great for Kara and great for the cause!

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Day 11

The last time Jim put the razor down for an extended period-of-time (and

Jim and Monday

Jim and Monday

wore a kilt) was roughly 16 years ago. No wonder he is getting so many observations on this epic beard!

Follow along throughout the month, as we track his beard’s progress and how much this grooming challenge has raised for cancer research. Remember, Jim will match donations up to $250! We’re very excited about the donations received so far, but there’s still time to seize the opportunity and help cancer research and awareness, by donating https://no-shave.org/member/ADwerkerJim . It’s also not too late to participate in your own No-Shave November fundraiser. Every little bit helps, and it’s never too late to support a great cause. If you would like to participate, but are unable to grow a beard, please take one of our complimentary mustaches and get out there and raise some coin!

Nikki

Complimentary Mustache

Yes! (That’s What She Said)

We have big news. We asked and she said YES! This definitely calls for an open bar. We are eager to announce that we’ve recruited another ADwërker, and another similar name for Caryla to mangle. Sarah Van Westen accepted our proposal as Digital Medialogist, to work with our team on one of our largest accounts.sarah-vw_for-blog

Sarah, a Sioux Falls native, completed her bachelor’s degree at SDSU, and went on to finish a master’s degree at University of Washington. Sarah’s background includes working for Sanford Health and The Seattle Public Library, as well as in-depth experience with writing and editing, information organization, and HTML elements. We were so fascinated by Sarah and her credentials that we could only do one thing: Hire her! Now, let’s celebrate!

When Sarah’s not kickin’ tail with her mad digital skills, she can be found enjoying a variety of local food and spirits, spending time with her adorable animals, or being a sophisticated traveler. Best of all, she’s got one of the shortest commutes in the entire office, or perhaps the entire world. Not as convenient as when someone has to crash on the couch in the “Cool Room,” but pretty darn close. Welcome to ADwërks, new workmate and neighbor.

Tonic Turns Two

Monologue:  It’s My Birfday and I’ll Bark if I Want to.

I didn’t want to celebrate my birfday this year, but these jolly jackholes decided otherwise.

Instead of laying around the house, and having a nice, relaxing day watching for the mailman–he doesn’t bring phone books anymore, so it’s fun–I took a car ride to the office.

I toddled in on my leash, as usual. It looked and sounded like another typical day. Tyler was on the phone, so I couldn’t play with my squeaky toys. My tennis ball from yesterday was still wedged under the Craftsman, and the coffee snobs were hard at it again. Today should be a doBlog 1g-gone good time. Ruff.

These birfday bandits must not think I have any friends because they only invited themselves. Well, the UPS guy stopped by for a minute and brought me a treat, which he does every day. Oh, and the guy from the dry cleaners stopped in, but I don’t think he knew it was my birfday. He just nodded. Hazel wasn’t even here to Paw-ty. Her mom probably doesn’t think she’s mature enough for a shindig of this caliber. Ruff.

I figured I better check out the ballyhoo going on downstairs.  Maybe someone took the last Diet Coke from the fridge and all hell was breaking loose. Then, I spotted the massive white bone. Blog 2‘Guys, you shouldn’t have,’ I thought. Even new food bowls packed with tasty treats, just for me?!  I sat and waited patiently as the Empress and the Scribe held the camera in my face. “Smile, Tonic,” they said at this angle. “Stay, Tonic,” they begged at that angle. I only smile when I’m about ready to puke. They should know this by now. The Cog Whisperer turned into the Dog Whisperer by using Milkbones as a decoy to get my attention for the party hat. Party Hats?! You know I don’t like hats! Why did you bring hats?! You should have just put phone books all over the kitchen if you wanted to scare me silly. Ruff.

The treats weren’t even scratch and sniff. But, there were Milkbones. I love Milkbones. And toys. The front office now looks like a dog-toy crime scene. The party was over in less than 30 minutes. Thanks, party animals.

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Tonic

P.S. Mike is still my favorite, and Nikki ate three cupcakes.

(Ghostwriter: Syntax Architect)

 

ADwërks Announces Royal Recruit

Well, we did it again. We weren’t able to clone anyone, but we were able to recruit fresh talent for the office, to join our jolly bunch of jackholes, conceptual connoisseurs and marketing masters. We’re pretty excited that we found someone with great energy, and eye for creativity, and who partakes in our office shenanigans (and doesn’t get offended when Caryla mispronounces their name). We’ve committed to being on our best behavior and haven’t scared her away yet, so we’d like to introduce the newest media strategist, our Empress of Engagement, Kirsten Smith.

A recent graduate from Augustana University, where she was a star on the Augie Women’s Soccer Team, Kirsten brings with her a Business Administration and Marketing degree. Yeah, she’s a smarty. She’s the type of smarty an agency is proud to have on their team. Whether her team is oKirsten_forBlogn or off the field, her stunning skill-set, and qualities of leadership and positivity, earned her the title of Empress. She will be engaging in social and digital media strategies for some of our largest accounts, including McDonald’s. In addition to being results-driven and an exceptional problem solver, Kirsten’s competitive demeanor is a perfect fit for our client’s brand.

When Kirsten isn’t at the office, she enjoys exercising, painting, and shopping. She’s an Omaha native with Sioux Falls roots, and revels her free time with friends and family.

Meet Our Newest ADwërkers

It’s not you. It’s your cover letter.

Who knew, that such a profound job posting could attract so many potential candidates? We’ve had our hands full these last few weeks, combing through the mounds of cover letters, in search of our future counterparts. The responses we received were unprecedented, and we’ve definitely had our work cut out for us. With a little help from the Advertising and Marketing Gods, we were lucky enough to come across two brave, qualified candidates who accepted the challenge as our new Copywriter and Social Media Strategist.

Hire an English major, they said. It will be fun, they said. Well, it was! We found our very own Jill-of-all writing trades, a human catchphrase wrapped in Banana RepuNikki_for-blogblic, and someone willing to make coffee every morning. Nikki Beck joined our team as a Syntax Architect. She’s an experienced writer, with a Bachelor of Arts in English, from the University of South Dakota. She has an eye for quality, a knack for creativity, and is someone who defines our core value of handcrafted, from her composition to her glasses. She’s our very own advertising think-tank, and we’re glad to have her on board.

When she’s not drafting up her newest project, Nikki enjoys visiting the downtown area’s local shops, eateries, and music venues. She also enjoys the outdoors, visiting new places, being a Halloween enthusiast, and long walks around T.J. Maxx.

We’ve also hired a Marketing and Communications prodigy. She’s not just any presentation genius—she’s an experienced and well-rounded graphic designer, publisher, communication specialist, and graduate from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Oh, and she can do a headstand. We like that, and we liked her so much thSharz_for-blogat we gave her the title Digital Mechanic. Whether she’s managing various media platforms, developing social strategies, or interacting with consumers, her certified skill-set will shine through her personality and work. We are more than ecstatic that she chose to shine with us.

 

Sharz Miar and her fiancé, proud Minnesota natives, relocated to the Sioux Falls area from the Northshore region of Minnesota. Sharz plans to keep herself entertained by exploring state parks and breweries, creating new recipes in the kitchen, and practicing yoga.

National Award Announcement For The Washington Pavilion

We had the privilege of working with The Washington Pavilion to announce that their washingtonpavillionAction Arts and Science Program won a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This honor positions them as one of the top arts and humanities-based programs in the country. Michelle Obama will even be presenting them with the award in Washington D.C. tomorrow, so yeah, this is kind of a big deal.

We were excited to lend a hand because 1.) We love and support the Washington Pavilion and all of the great things they bring to Sioux Falls, and 2.) Their Action Arts and Science Program brings amazing learning opportunities to kids that don’t otherwise have access. And quite frankly, this program doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves.

The Action Arts and Science Program offers super cool arts and science activities to children in Title I schools in Sioux Falls, from the art of graffiti, to the physics of skateboarding, these activities truly make learning fun, and they sound so awesome that they should maybe consider an after-WORK program for adults… please? Preferably a class that teaches you how to make your own personal robot. I’d name mine CyBoris.

The goal is to expose students to these subjects in a fun and engaging way to inspire confidence, teach creativity and problem solving, and set them up for a lifetime appreciation for the arts and sciences. Doesn’t that sound like something we all should be getting behind?

To prepare the Pavilion for this big announcement, we partnered with our best pals at Mud Mile to create a video featuring interviews of students and teachers, plus a 30 second PSA. We 2015-10_Washington-Pavilion_NAHYPA_Brochure_VFIN_JPEG_1also made a brochure to educate people about the program and the award, and we offered our all-around guidance and strategy when it came to making the announcement in the press.

It was a great project to work on, and downright inspiring to see such a wonderful program for so many wonderful students in the community get the recognition they deserve. Check out the video made by Mud Mile below. And if you want to learn more about the program go here. Thanks to the Washington Pavilion for letting us be involved with such a rewarding and meaningful program!

:30 PSA

McDonald’s Love Notes

Isn’t it nice when someone leaves you a little love note just because?

Whether it’s a note from your mom in your lunchbox:
“Have a good day sweetie!” (Hopefully only when you were a kid)

Or a note from your adoring husband, left on your pillow:
“Just wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful and I’ll love you forever.”

Or a romantic note from your loving wife:

  • Take out the diaper garbage. It’s stinking up the bedroom.
  • Pick up more diapers.
  • Pick up the dead spider on the floor. I used your shoe.
  • The cat puked on your chair. Clean it up.

That was the idea behind these love notes we created for McDonald’s. They were randomly slipped in the food bags of McDonald’s customers in the drive thru. Just because.

LoveNotes

The Passing of a Legend

By Jim Mathis

You’ve probably never heard of Tony Mikes, but he has made a tremendous impact on my life, helping to shape my career and my business. It’s a bit of a strange path from his home in Eastern Pennsylvania to my small agency in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but I’m a better person for taking it. Tony Mikes passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2015. I’m proud to call him a friend and he will be missed.

In 1988 Tony started a company called Second Wind. Second Wind is a network of smaller to mid-sized advertising agencies, design firms and marketing shops all over the country. What Tony did was give the owners and managers of these businesses a place to come together, learn from each other, share successes and failures. For more than 25 years, Tony sat at the helm of Second Wind, helping agency leadership find their way through this tumultuous business. Craig Lawrence and Paul Schiller (the founders of Lawrence & Schiller) were early members of the network and the agency still belongs today.

secondwind

Prior to starting Second Wind, Tony had a successful career as an advertising agency owner himself. He had already experienced many of the growing pains and tough decisions that the network members were experiencing. He was there to help guide and grow; the perfect mentor for small agency owners like me.

I met Tony over 20 years ago. I was a media director for Lawrence & Schiller. The agencytonymikes had planned a manager’s retreat in the Twin Cities and Tony was brought in to facilitate. At the time, I was a disgruntled employee; not happy with some of the direction I saw the company going and was seriously considering quitting. At the end of the meeting I was feeling better, but I still had reservations. Then I had the opportunity to drive Tony to the airport (which was more coincidental than intentional, I was picking up Kara so we could spend the weekend in Minneapolis), but the 45 minutes I got to spend one-on-one with Tony were invaluable. He was able to see my concerns and walk me through them. In that short ride he talked me off the ledge.

Years later when I started ADwërks, I decided to join Second Wind as soon as I could afford it. Since then I’ve made many dear friends in the Second Wind network. I’ve learned things that have helped make me successful and avoid many pitfalls that could have been quite costly. In mid-July I’ll be traveling back to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania to spend a few days with other small agency owners at the Second Wind headquarters. I will miss Tony, but I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned from him and the others in the Second Wind family.