John Siddall to Speak in Reston Museum’s 50th Anniversary Series

Richmond, Va., November 26, 2012 – John Siddall, chairman of advertising and new media agency, Siddall, Inc., will speak on November 29 at the Reston Museum in a history series leading up to the community’s 50th anniversary in 2014. The special program, The Early History of Reston – Marketing, Sales & Public Relations (1964-1974) “Translating the Dream to Reality,” will feature panelists Peter McCandless, Houston Park, Lee Shur and Chuck Veatch along with Siddall who were on the original team in charge of marketing the nation’s first large-scale planned community.

Panelists will discuss the origins of now “world famous” Reston, a concept which changed the face of suburban landscape in America. The presentation will highlight founder Robert E. Simon Jr.’s unique vision for Reston which included blending contemporary architecture and clustered, mixed-use land development within the traditional “colonial” style of Northern Virginia suburbs. Speakers will also discuss the market challenges facing Reston today.

“It was an honor to be a part of the marketing team beginning in 1974. For the next two decades, our agency helped Reston find its voice and tell its story. We helped the community gain wide acceptance and transition from an “experimental idea” to the best place to live Northern Virginia,” said Siddall. “We were gratified when Reston became the model for suburban planning in America for the next 50 years.”

This free program is presented by the Reston Historic Trust and the Reston Museum. It will take place on Thursday, November 29, 2012, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center – Lake Anne Reston Community Center – Lake Anne, 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190. For more information, call the Reston Museum at 703-709-7700, email restonmuseum@gmail.com, or visit www.restonmuseum.org.

More about Siddall, Inc.

Siddall, Inc. is an award-winning advertising and new media agency located in Richmond, Virginia with 37-years of experience in corporate, government and non-profit areas of industry. Siddall is a member of Worldwide Partners, Inc., the largest owner-operated advertising and marketing communications network made up of 86 agencies in 52 countries managing $3.4 billion in advertising expenditures. For more information, visit www.siddall.com or “like” on Facebook.

Speaker Series with Mike Hughes

Mike Hughes at the Brandcenter:

We had a great turnout for the inaugural event in our new speaker series. Mike Hughes, President of The Martin Agency and an important creative leader in the Richmond advertising community, spoke at the VCU Brandcenter about his life and career.

Mr. Hughes opened his talk with an overview of what’s happening at The Martin Agency today, followed by some words of wisdom—although, with his trademark humor, he said he was irritated that wisdom hasn’t come with age.

In a generous Q&A session, he offered some advice for building a successful agency: “Be really good at something.” While the industry has changed since he joined The Martin Agency, he said the core of the business remains the same—attract good talent, foster collaboration, and bring big ideas to life.

Thanks to Mr. Hughes for the wonderful conversation, to the VCU Brandcenter for hosting the event, and to everyone in attendance. We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Special thanks to Metcalf Photography for all of the great event photos.

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Barber Martin Makes Ad Age

Elephant Auto Insurance
“The company’s latest TV ad features Tai, an elephant who appeared in the movie “Water for Elephants.” In the spot, a man spots the pachyderm in his front yard. “It’s just hanging out,” he says. His wife replies, “Honey, it’s auto insurance. It’s supposed to be there when we need it,” while the voice-over steers viewers to Elephant.com. The spot is by Barber Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., where Elephant is based.

Still, Elephant is not interested in matching the ad spending of its big rivals or does it come anywhere close. The marketer spent a mere $3.35 million on measured media in 2011, according to Kantar Media.

The big marketers have “almost created this expectation that you’ve got a have a flashy new ad every week, and that gets really expensive,” Mr. Minkler said. “You’ve got to have a presence and it’s got to be memorable on TV” but “there’s a point at which it becomes overkill and it becomes about agencies trying to win awards or a company trying to say they’ve found the cool next character people will talk about.”

View the full article here.

Online Bullying

Five different speakers addressed the sensitive topic from personal and professional perspectives. TMI Diversity, Inc. (@RVADiversity), specialists in civic engagement and inclusion, sponsored the gathering and moderated the discussion, with audience members providing instantaneous feedback through “clicker” response technology to further fuel the discussion.

The news organization’s view was presented by Kevin Clay, Editor of GayRVA.com. Getting the group to focus on “What kind of community do we want to be?” was Richmond’s ‘KindnessGirl’ Patience Salgado. Salgado’s KINDNESS CHANGES EVERYTHING message never wavers, but it was somewhat of a shocker to hear the beloved Kindness Girl confess that she sometimes feels anything but kind! And turns out that’s okay – she’s still loveable and we are too.

It might take effort to be kind. Make the effort.

Perhaps the most personal story of the night came from Chad Brown, who came to this issue from the other side. Brown relayed his own history as an internet troll and explained why for several years he actually thrived on clever put-downs and high-tech hijinks orchestrated at the expense of others. Although he never meant any true harm, he explained he did not really consider consequences of his actions, outside of thinking it was all highly amusing. Until his online actions seriously impacted his life. And ruined relationships. Now, Chad has a new perspective:

You can still have fun on the internet, have a sharp sense of humor, and not be mean. What you say will impact people – so think about that when you post online.

For more about this story here.

“Simple Survey”

RVA Startup Weekend
Chances are you’ve never heard of Simple Survey, a startup that makes it easy for restaurants to get feedback from customers.

After all, the company didn’t even exist at 9 p.m. Friday night.

But marathon sessions of strategic planning, Web development and customer surveys this weekend brought the company to life. A group of entrepreneurs who spent the weekend developing Simple Survey pitched their concept Sunday night during the conclusion of Richmond’s first Startup Weekend at the Virginia War Memorial and took first place.

The idea for Simple Survey grew out of separate pitches Friday from Rob Forrest, who was thinking about new ways to do surveys, and Martin Romero, who pitched an idea for creating paperless receipts that could be sent to phones.

Once they recruited additional team members, the group spent Saturday talking to local restaurants. Owners and managers told the team they struggle to get consistent feedback from customers and want an easier way to get that feedback.

Helen Dow, an accountant on the team, said she was impressed by the product’s financial viability.

“I think the customer research we did was key,” she said. “We’re going to meet soon and set up the corporate structure. We definitely plan to keep going with this.”

The other team members were Chase Worthington, James Goodwillie, Lee Gimpel, Joey Figaro, Hope Norman and Tim Masterson.

Startup Weekend is a global series of events backed by The Kauffman Foundation”

Check out the original article here.

Kicking Off a New Campaign

“Until now, [VCU] has kept a fairly low profile and done a poor job of telling the story — locally and nationally — that it is a major research university with top-tier programs, including its medical school, arts school, the Massey Cancer Center and the da Vinci Center for Innovation, Lepley said.

To send the message it wants, VCU had to find a single voice that it could use as it recruits students and faculty as well as communicating with alumni, donors and lawmakers.

“We’re a very large, complex organization, so bits and pieces of it have been communicating on their own,” she said. “All of this is to have us have a consistent and relevant brand.”

Communicating its message under a unified brand and showing off what the university has to offer students and faculty, in and out of the lecture halls, is a major component of the campaign.

That is essential if the campaign is to succeed, Rust said.

“Every school is trying to do this,” he said. “To cut through the clutter, schools must have something unique and verifiable to communicate, not just happy talk or grand, but vague, pronouncements. ‘We are great’ won’t sell, but ‘We are unique and interesting’ might.”

The rebranding is scheduled to last for five years because it takes time for a campaign of this magnitude to take hold, Lepley said.

VCU turned to two advertising and marketing agencies to help it come up with the campaign: Massachusetts-based Fuseideas and Richmond-based CRT/tanaka.”

VCU Rebranding Campaign Video

For the full article, Click here.

Has anyone ever told you that you have a great voice?

Ever thought of doing voice-talent work for radio? Then, enroll in Studio Center’s Voice-Over Academy! Studio Center’s exclusive Voice-Over Academy will teach you the top tricks of the trade. Attendees will learn from the best in the business at one of the nation’s largest production companies.

    Studio Center’s Voice-Over Academy includes:

  • 8 Classes taught by a “Top Ten” Working Voice-Over Actor
  • Diverse “Real Life” Curriculum Dealing with “Today’s Voice-Over Market”
  • “Live In Studio” Training
  • Fully Produced Demo with Completion of Each Class
  • Small Classes With In-Person Instruction for One-on-One Training
  • Guaranteed Audition for The Studio Center Roster

So if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a successful voice talent, visit studiocenter.com/voacademy or call 1-866-515-2111.

What would you do with one million Twitter followers?

A team of ad creatives from the Martin Agency decided to find out. In an experiment to test the value of social media, Neel Williams and some of his co-workers created Twitterich, a site that aims to collect a million Twitter followers and give one random winner the account with all of the followers.

Twitterich asks viewers to first follow the account and then share the link with as many friends and contacts as possible. Once the site reaches one million followers, the account will then be handed over to one lucky follower. “It could end up going to somebody who just wants to tweet about what they want for breakfast or knock-knock jokes,” says Williams.

Want to enter for chance at one million followers? Visit Twitterich.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend.

This is where you and a team write, cast, direct, shoot, edit and score a short film — in just 48 hours! This year, Richmond was one of more than 125 cities invited to participate.

On Friday, July 13th, each participating team randomly selected a movie genre. From there, the organizers announced that the films created must include the following mandatory items: a flashlight, a door-to-door salesman named either Adam or Alana Nicholson and the line of dialogue, “Why am I always first?” In addition to fatigue, teams were forced to work around inclement weather and the imminent threat of a power outage. All in all, Richmond had 43 teams sign up, 34 films turned in by the July 15th deadline and 42 films shown at the premier screening.

The event, sponsored by TruTV, Yelp, The Virginia Film Office, The Virginia Production Alliance, The Byrd Theatre and The Camel, attracted many talented professionals from our advertising community. Samantha Tucker, the Richmond Producer of the 48 Hour Film Project, works full time as a Producer at the Martin Agency. Mark Meyers, an Assistant Editor at Running with Scissors, also pitched in time to help edit the main reel for each of the film screenings. Of the teams that participated, creative professionals from Big River, Dreams Factory and the marketing team at Channel 12, among others, submitted films. In fact, Final.Revised, Channel 12’s team, had the pleasure of showing their film at Cannes in last year’s competition.

The Best of Richmond screening takes place on August 4th at The Byrd Theatre. Tickets are $10 (cash only) at the door. If you’d like to learn more about the 48 Hour Film Project, visit 48hourfilm.com.

The Second Phase:

We’re proud to launch the second phase of the Richmond Ad Club Mentorship Program, an initiative aimed to help nurture the advertising careers of students and young professionals in the Richmond area. Last year, we had 38 participants that included mentors from The Martin Agency, Big River, Feedback Agency, The King Agency and more as well as mentees from VCU, The Brandcenter and even Capital One. We’re eager to begin our second round of the program and we’re currently accepting applications for mentors and will begin accepting applications for mentees in September. Stay tuned for more information to come, in the meantime you can visit our mentorship page or email mentorship@richmondadclub.com for more information.

At Richmond Ad Club, our goal is: “To unite our ad community through service endeavors, education and the celebration of creativity.”