When a Favorite Product Goes Away

Does everyone remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine discovers that her favorite form of birth control, the Today sponge, was off the market? She spends the first part of the show finding and hoarding the sponges from every available source. She fills a closet with her beloved sponges. But she goes beyond just gathering the remaining sponges, she rations them too. At the end of the show she queries whether or not a boyfriend is “sponge-worthy.”

Well, that scenario is happening to me. Years ago I fell in love with the Listerine jj-1894_1zPocketPaks Breath Strips in Fresh Citrus flavor. Then, the company that made them changed hands and through some terrible twist of fate, the Fresh Citrus flavor was discontinued. The horror!

I consider the Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century, right behind the automobile and the internet. I’m not alone; Esquire magazine has praised them as a modern marvel.

Like Elaine, I began hoarding. I ordered dozens of packages from every source I could find. I had stashes at home and stashes at the office. I kept looking for new sources and hidden caches to be uncovered. Alas, I’m down to my last couple of packs. I’ve ordered a few more off Ebay, paying well above retail price, but I know the end is coming soon and I will not be able to get them ever again.

I’ve started experimenting with other flavors. The Cool Mint is OK, and I can live with the Fresh Burst, but the Arctic Berry and Cool Heat are non-starters for me. But none of the new flavors come close to my favorite Fresh Citrus.

Yes, I’ve started to wonder whether the person I’m talking to is worthy of a coveted Fresh Citrus Listerine Breath Strip, or should I just confront them with bad breath. If anyone knows where a guy can score a few Fresh Citrus PocketPaks, please hook me up before I have to determine whether or not you are breath strip worthy.

– Jim

Ice Cream Bars Get Canned

After a long period of inadequate performance, we have decided to let go of Dean’s Country Fresh Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches, 10 pack. The decision was made after careful contemplation, and we believe it was in the best interest for both parties.

These things are never pretty.

These things are never pretty.

At first we were excited to have Dean’s ice cream bars aboard. They were fresh out of the grocery store and filled with potential and wonderment, and seemingly had a lot to offer our agency. But when the honeymoon phase was over, they quickly became stale and jaded (with ice crystals), and ceased to provide any kind of long-term value to our team. There’s just not enough room in our freezer for a snack that falls short of greatness; we simply can’t afford that kind of drain on our resources.

We’ve felt this way for a long time now. Having to see the underwhelming, freezer-burnt treat every day was a constant reminder of our oversight in bringing a less-than satisfactory snack to the company; we’re normally a better judge than that. At first we tolerated the once-celebrated bars out of pity, and just pretended they weren’t there. But we couldn’t hide from the truth any longer, as the ice cream sandwiches began getting in the way of everything we wanted to accomplish, from grabbing some ice cubes to getting the coffee. We just couldn’t have them interfering with our progress any longer.

Dean’s Country Fresh Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches, 10 pack, had been with us since the summer of 2012 – longer than some of our employees – but that doesn’t change the fact that the bars failed to perform on a consistent basis, after being given multiple chances.

“As a business owner, it’s disappointing when you invest so much in an individual snack, only to see its potential go unrealized,” said Principal Jim Mathis.

It was a tough call to make, but we believe it was the right one. We’ve learned and grown from this experience, and feel that we are now more equipped to select future snacks that better align with our core values and company culture.

We wish we could say this relationship ended on good terms, but it didn’t. Let’s just say that Dean’s ice cream sandwiches had to be escorted out of the building.

– Andrew

ADwërks Obtains The Most ADDYs

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This was just the beginning.

The 48th annual ADDY Awards Show, which was held this past Saturday in Sioux Falls, was rife with cut-throat competition between ad agencies, but out of everyone else, ADwërks is proud to announce that we probably obtained the most ADDYs – the name of the signature drink at the event – leaving everybody else with egg on their face. We attribute this success to our strict and rigorous training, which involves shutting down the agency early every Friday to drink. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication, but after receiving this honor, we know that it was all worthwhile.

On a side note, we took home some bling too.

Best of Class Award – Advertising For the Arts & Sciences – Non-traditional Category

We took home two Gold ADDY Awards and the Best of Class in Advertising for the Artsphoto for the SculptureWalk X campaign we did last spring. We created big metal Xs and installed them on all of the sculpture stands downtown to spread the word about the SculptureWalk eXpo, which was being held to celebrate SculptureWalk’s 10th anniversary.

As Jim put it, “It pays to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea.”

Gold ADDY Award – Newspaper Category

Andrew missed the announcement of these awards because he was in the bathroom relieving himself of all the ADDYs he obtained earlier in the evening. But we received a Gold ADDY Award and four Silver ADDY Awards for the print campaigns we did for the Falls Park Farmers Market. A couple examples are below.

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– Andrew

Celebrating The Life And Career Of Monday Mathis

It is with deep regret and heavy hearts we announce that we had to say goodbye to our Environmental Wagineer, Monday Mathis. We wish we could say that she was recruited by another agency with a promise of more doggy treats (hey, it’s a dog eat dog world), but instead, we’re sad to say that age and health issues finally caught up with our dear friend.monday-big_blog

Of course, in times like this, we remember the highlights of Monday’s life. And here at ADwërks, she had an accomplished and fulfilling career. Every Tuesday and Friday (despite her name, Monday probably hated Mondays more than Garfield), Monday came to the office to continue her lifelong work of closely monitoring the lunchroom, ensuring perimeter security, and keeping up employee morale. Over the years, she even enjoyed some moments in the limelight, with starring roles in many TV commercials, print ads and billboards.

Monday also enjoyed some press time with a couple local news stories about dogs in the workplace. There was one instance when one of the local TV stations was in the office filming her for a story. As we threw one of her toys down the hallway in an effort to catch her running on camera, Monday left a big steaming pile of over-excitement on the floor. We all had a good laugh, until it was time to clean it up…

But every hardworking dog needs some time to rest, and Monday could frequently be found sleeping on the job, either privately on her bed under Kara’s desk, or shamelessly out in the open, right in the middle of the hallway, as her snoring resounded throughout the office.

In addition to working hard and resting easy, Monday was a social butterfly and liked to have fun in the workplace as well, frequently joining us in our status meetings and making herself at home during conference calls with clients, innocently banging her tail on the wall with glee. She’d also greet ADwërkers by making her daily rounds to each cubicle, always leaving behind a bit of drool. But Mike seemed to get the butt end of that ritual, as his cubicle was her favorite place to break wind.

Monday brought a kind of energy and happiness to our office that can’t be matched, and we will all miss her dearly. Tuesdays and Fridays at ADwërks will never quite feel the same without her. But we celebrate her life and feel grateful that she has provided us with so much joy.

Rest in peace, old friend.

– Andrew

Celebrating 15 Years of Handcrafted Marketing Solutions, and “That’s What She Said” Jokes

On February 19, 1999, ADwërks opened its doors for the first time. Jim had boldly, and kind of crazily, decided to leave his stable job with a cushy office, for an unstable job with a home office, that also doubled as a spare bedroom.

There was no fancy ribbon cutting ceremony or popping of champagne (although there was a healthy supply of Maker’s Mark in the house). There was just one man (with 50% more hair) and one dream. And with that, Jim turned on his Windows 98 computer and fax machine, and began work for a couple of car dealers in Topeka, KS and Lincoln, NE. ADwërks’ first client grew up to be CarHop, and they are still a client today.

What began as a dream, quickly spiraled into a reality. Like, a real-employees-who-need-retirement-plans type of reality. Over the last 15 years, ADwërks steadily grew from one employee and a handful of clients, to 12 employees and numerous clients. Some clients and projects have come and gone, but many clients have been working with us since the beginning.

ADwërks has undergone many changes over the years – changes in staff, changes in locations, changes in clients – but there is one thing that has remained the same, and that’s the passion. It’s the same thing that motivated Jim to leave his job and go at it alone, and it’s what continues to fuel ADwërks today – a passion for advertising, a passion for producing great work, and a passion for working with great people.

Thanks to our friends, industry colleagues, clients, and all who has supported us over the years! Here’s to many more!

– Andrew

ADwërks Successfully Clones Kara

Of course by “cloning,” we mean that we hired an equally skilled and hardworking person Caryla-for-blogto take over some of Kara’s workload.

Caryla Chambers has joined ADwërks as our Cog Whisperer. Her main duty (ha, duty…) is to coordinate and manage all of ADwërks’ production work for McDonald’s, guiding it from creation to completion, and making sure that it is produced and delivered efficiently, correctly and on time. Additionally, Caryla will oversee the production work for ADwërks’ other clients, which includes updating the daily job sheet and ensuring that each project is progressing on schedule. In other words, if the creative team is wasting time drawing pictures of Batman and watching cat gifs when they’re supposed to be working on a project that’s due in two hours, Caryla will lay the smack down.

Caryla has been in the advertising business for more than 30 years, and over that time she has accumulated an impressive amount of experience. Heck, she was laying the smack down before The Rock grew into his speedos. She worked as a production manager at Lawrence & Schiller for over 14 years, she was a traffic manager at Avera for over five years, and she was a production/traffic manager at LodgeNet for nine years, to name a few.

Caryla was born and raised right here in Sioux Falls, but she has kicked around a bit, including a stint in Minneapolis and taking up residence in Missoula and Bozeman, Montana, but ultimately family brought her back to South Dakota.

The self-proclaimed workaholic (an addiction that is fueled by another addiction – coffee), still manages to find time doing the things she loves, which includes spending time with her husband Dar, her two beloved cats, and spoiling her 7-year-old granddaughter. Caryla also enjoys gardening, drawing and painting. Plus, as a dedicated Cirque du Soleil fan and art buff, she travels the region to attend every show and gallery possible.

We’re confident that Caryla will be an excellent fit for our team and our clients, and we look forward to her future here at ADwërks. Feel free to help us welcome her aboard!

Toulouse-Lautrec & His World Campaign

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s art has captivated the world for decades. His immersion into the theatrical and decadent nightlife of 19th century Paris influenced his creation of a wealth of prominent and iconic works. To celebrate these works, an exhibit called Toulouse-Lautrec & His World has come to America for the first time, and the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls is one of only four stops around the country. ADwërks was honored to have the opportunity to promote it.

Since we knew the exhibit would appeal to a diverse group of people, we created and implemented an extensive marketing campaign that’s sure to reach everyone.

TV
Accompanied by 19th century cabaret music, images of some of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most recognizable pieces transition from one to the next as a French woman’s sultry voice communicates the message.

Radio
Taken from real quotes from art critics of the time, the radio spot features two cynical French men scrutinizing Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. But hearing their rants today, they actually provide us with an accurate description of his art. What some may have considered Toulouse-Lautrec’s flaws during his time, we view as his strengths today.

Digital
This is one of four animated GIF ads we created. They resemble the same look as the TV spot. To replay, just click it.

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Posters
Since a good portion of our target audience frequents downtown Sioux Falls, we created posters that were displayed in the windows of downtown shops.

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Additionally, we created some print ads and a billboard to help get the word out.

The exhibit will take place January 25th through June 8th, and will be held in the Everist Gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion. It will feature 150 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s original works, including 12 of his famous posters and 35 sketches. If you enjoy art even just a little bit, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Toulouse-Lautrec’s work firsthand.

– Andrew

Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons Campaign

Being a Girl Scout is much more than just selling cookies. The program offers young girls GSDH HiResa world of new experiences and opportunities, empowering them with the confidence to do almost anything, even making a commercial. That was the idea behind the public service announcements (PSAs) ADwërks and Mud Mile teamed up to produce for Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons.

First we had to put together a group of Girl Scouts from around the Midwest to star in the PSAs, so we sent out a request for submissions. Any Girl Scout who wanted to be in the spots just had to send us a video containing whatever content they wanted. Some told us why they wanted to be in the PSAs, others introduced us to their families and pets, and one little girl even launched a rocket into the sky. She made the cut, obviously.

Once our stars were selected, we scheduled a production day here in Sioux Falls, and the day was jam-packed. After the girls got their hair and make-up professionally done, they learned about the field of advertising and what the motive was behind the PSAs we were about to make. They also got a rundown of the video production equipment, from the green screen, to the cameras, to the lights and the audio, so that they could run the equipment when we were ready to shoot.

After a long day of shooting, the girls were sent on their way. To thank them for their participation we sent them home with a goodie-bag that included their very own movie clapboard, which was probably the most popular gadget among the girls on the set.

The day gave us enough footage to make three different PSAs, and we’re pretty proud of how they turned out. Check them out below

Along with the PSAs we also produced a billboard, some radio spots, and did some work for their website.

– Andrew

A Not-So-Politically-Correct Holiday Letter From ADwërks

It’s been another great year here at ADwërks – a year rich in achievements, milestones, and slightly inappropriate comments from around the office that we will always cherish.

A few ADwërkers experienced some major milestones this year. Sara had a baby, Andrew got married, and our illustrious leader Jim Mathis had a birthday, and coincidentally, they were all scheduled for the same day. Yes the universe can be quite the jokester. Jim couldn’t help but think that Andrew’s wedding reception was nothing more than a lavish birthday-bash held in his honor, and the birth of Sara’s first-born baby was clearly an homage to him, and she would likely name her new bundle of joy after his namesake. It turns out Sara’s baby boy was born before her due-date, and she and her husband named him Elis, but… close enough.

Also, Kara experienced a rare milestone that is just a pipe dream for most nerds around the world – she can now technically call herself a cyborg. She underwent a surgery that left her with some robot discs installed in her neck (at least that’s how Andrew understands it), and is currently on the path to recovery.

Over the year, ADwërks saw many changes in its staffing (there was an intern in there somewhere, she rocked), but at the end of the year we are now left with the fantastic addition of Kristi Cornette (who joined as a media buyer in February), along with some extra office space.

With the passing of another year, comes valuable experience and wisdom gained. To help pick up some of the workload that came along with the recent changes to our staffing, Jolene, our MBA-holding, talented public relations specialist, has learned how to try to answer the phones at the office. Sure, some callers have been accidentally hung up on here and there, but it’s all a part of the learning process. And now she can boast a brand new skill on LinkedIn – Phone Etiquette. Oh, and Magazines for some reason; I guess she’s just really good at magazines.

Reflecting upon this past year, we experienced many ups, but also experienced some downs, just as everyone does. But they sucked; they just… sucked. So we’ll just tell you about one. Not to dismiss them, but we’d like to keep a light-hearted tone in this letter… Andrew’s cat had to have his penis removed. Moving on.

As in any office setting, there’s plenty of every-day (and not-so every-day) conversation that takes place on a daily basis here at ADwërks. And through that conversation, several classic quotes emerge from the mouths of ADwërkers, like, a ridiculous amount, sort of like a Christmas elf sweat shop. Multiply that by 365 days, and there are just too many quotes to count. So here are just a few from over the year, that are either intentionally taken out of context, or we literally just can’t remember the context, which makes them even more magical.

  • “I’m going to tie your dickless cat to the train tracks next to you.”
  • “We wouldn’t have to worry about this sh*t if dinosaurs were still alive.”
  • “Can you take the R-ball off the funny band?”
  • “Is your butt purring?”
  • “Turn your teeth in backwards and eat yourself.”
  • “Elvis poopy-butt.”
  • “You can’t bulk up wrist.”
  • “Can I access your server?

Wow… so wise, so inspirational…

As much as we love producing great work, ads and campaigns come and go, but fond memories endure, and we look forward to another productive year.

Merry politically-correct-Holidays from everyone at ADwërks!

Are You Our Next Account Executive?

We currently have an opening for an energetic and strategically minded account executive to work on major accounts in the quick service restaurant industry. The perfect applicant will have experience with multi-location retail advertising and marketing communications strategy.

The account covers 70 quick service restaurants across 5 states.

This could be your opportunity to join a fun and vibrant agency and work with one of the world’s most recognized brands.

Outstanding benefits include: heath care, dental, life insurance, long-term disability, bonus plan, 401k, profit sharing and salary commensurate with experience.

Desired Skills and Experience
Required skills include:
Excellent written and verbal communication
Leadership
Strategic thinking and planning
Research
Organization
Planning

To apply, send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to: rodbender@adwerks.com