Posts Tagged ‘Charles Lodge’

King St. Q&A w/ Charlie Lodge

Friday, November 18th, 2011

As he mentions in question #1, Charles Lodge is a Junior Planner at SaatchiNY. He’s also hilarious. Like, really, really funny. Follow him on twitter (@QuidProBro) and you’ll see what we mean.

WHAT DO YOU DO AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
Technically I am Junior Planner, but overall, I guess my job is to keep it real.  

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
The summer after freshman year of High School I mowed the playing fields and painted classrooms at the middle school I went to. So short answer . . . janitor.

WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
The first internship I had (between freshman and sophomore year of college) was at a production shop called Smuggler. That summer marked the six-year anniversary of the company’s existence, and they had already won a Palme D’or at Cannes for Best Production Company, so I got to see a lot of phenomenal work going on. From that point on I knew the only thing I wanted to do was write ad campaigns.  I also like to think that I could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves.

WHAT ARE YOUR LOVEMARKS?
Volkl skis, Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire, JetBlue, HBO.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AD (ALL TIME OR CURRENTLY)?
I have always really liked this one for Minute Maid:

And this one is awesome (won a gold lion last year):

IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO DO?
Well, my favorite vacation activities are golf and skiing… but I’ve always wanted to learn more languages, and how to play the piano. I’d probably also see more live music.

FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN TO?
Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
My black lab, Sam.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?

But all this guy’s videos are pretty funny.

WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU MAKE REALLY WELL?
Chicken Parmesan

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WARM-WEATHER NYC ACTIVITY?
Anything on a roof deck, even though I’m not fond of heights.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHTIME SPOT NEAR THE OFFICE?
Mamoun’s on MacDougal. The hummus is out of this world.

WHAT’S YOUR GO TO KARAOKE SONG? (COME ON, WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE).
My singing voice is too pure for the likes of a karaoke microphone, but I like anything that would have been sung at Lilith Fair. Amy Grant, Bonnie Raitt.

WHAT’S THE BEST MEAL YOU’VE EVER HAD?
There’s a Chinese restaurant in Midtown called Tse Yang that has AMAZING Peking duck. My dad lives in London and we go there whenever he visits NYC. It’s an old favorite.

IF YOU COULD BE THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER OF ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My friends and I made up this thing called the sitcom challenge . . . it’s where you watch an entire day of sitcoms in one sitting (so 48 episodes). It’s not in the books yet, but I’d like to think I could do it. #30rock. #NYCdelivery.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
Cooking and woodworking.

Charlies most prized posession (the pup) stands in front of a chair made with his bare hands. Impressive!

WHAT BLOGS/MAGAZINES/BOOKS/PAPERS/WEBSITES CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
I just started reading Vince Flynn. He writes CIA “novels” about a counter-intelligence spy who kills terrorists at will. Total “airport bookstore crap,” but between books I actually miss his lead character, Mitch Rapp.  I also love FastCoDesign.com; it’s amazing what people are building these days.

WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT EVENT YOU WENT TO?
I went to the Rangers’ home opener two weeks ago; despite the loss it was an amazing game.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Nothing worth having ever came easy. I know it’s trite and not true in every single case, but it’s a great thing to remember when you feel like giving up.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE STORY?
When I was in High School some friends and I drove up to Maine for a camping/hiking trip in Baxter State Park. The finale of the trip was to be climbing Mt. Katahdin (the highest Mountain in Maine), and traversing the peak’s “knife edge” and then going down the other side of the mountain.  On the day we were supposed to summit the beast, the weather turned sour. There were 50 mph gusts and terribly flat lighting at the peak, but we decided to at least give it a shot.  We climbed the 5,268 feet to the top, only to find that the knife’s edge trail was closed; what was supposed to be the ‘best part of the trip’ had been stolen. So we turned back down the trail we had just come up, disappointed and disheartened.

While we were sitting around the campfire that night, discussing which interstate to take home the next day, one of my buddies stood up (just like out of a movie) and proclaimed he was not leaving Baxter until he had crossed the Knife Edge.  So the next day we got up a little before 4 am, crushed some granola bars, filled our water bottles and headed back up the same trail we had traveled twice the day before.  This second try came on one of the most glorious Maine mornings I have ever seen (this coming from someone who has spent a lot of time in The Vacation State).  At around 8:00am we reached the top of the mountain, enjoyed the view for about ten minutes, and then started our traverse of the mountain’s peak.  We were so excited to be allowed on the trail that a half-mile drop on either side of the three-foot-wide path barely fazed us.

Again, I’ll remind you that I am not fond of heights, but I wasn’t about to be the sissy who, for the second time in as many days, prohibited the group from crossing the knife edge.  We made it across and down the other side all safe and sound, and hitched a ride on a summer camp bus back to the park’s main campsite.  Several hours later we were crossing the border on our way out of the great State of Maine, and I have never been so happy to have “given it another try.”

 

Latest Obsessions: Gaming

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A few weeks ago, some of us were sitting around a table discussing future features for H/H, almost all of which began with – “oh my god, have you seen this film?! Or; woah, did you hear the new [insert band name here] album?!? In other words, our “latest obsessions.” Enter:  an ongoing profile of latest pop-culture obsessions from around the agency.

This week marks our second such feature, with a focus on gaming. Our author, Malcolm Egun, was particularly amped about Modern Warfare 3. Rather than writing a review, he thought he’d ask people in the office about their all time favorite video game obsessions. Below are the results.

JOHN COMETTE

GAME: Uncharted 3 for PS3.

WHY?: “It’s like playing a movie: innovative and interactive.”

RITA MAURER-HOLLAENDER

GAME: Sonic for Sega Genesis

WHY?: “I was good at it!” It was also my first game on my first gaming system.” Ah, nostalgia.

LAURA MULLOY

GAME: Angry Birds for iPad

WHY: “Because it satisfies my destructive urges.”

GAME: Super Mario Brothers for Nintendo

WHY?: No explanation necessary. We totally get it.

JASMINE WOODARD

GAME: Solitaire for everywhere

WHY?: “I can play Solitaire anywhere and everywhere. Computer, phone, or even regular cards!”

CHARLES LODGE

GAME: Fight Night 3 for Nintendo 64

WHY?: “Toggles, not buttons. Did really well with that.”

Category: Creative, Our People

Local + Mobile

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Hyper-local is the next big thing

Following up on yesterday’s post from Cristina Pansolini, we’ve got some more great insights coming out of Digiday’s Local conference here in NYC last week. Today, Strategic Planner Charles Lodge offers his take on the synergy between local and mobile, and what it all means for the industry.

Local marketing has shifted from traditional channels into digital channels that offer powerful solutions for brands to reach local consumers.  Mobile, social and other local digital advertising technologies and platforms are quickly becoming a must, and  brands are seeking higher ROI and one-on-one connections with consumers.  As technology moves off your desk and into your pocket, social and local media are giving advertisers the opportunity to enhance a “clicks to bricks” model with localized calls to action.  By combining behavioral and geographic tracking, communication is becoming localized down to the city block, driving real foot traffic to real brick and mortar stores.  However, with this change in communication venues we’re also seeing a change in the rules of advertising; social and local media is about giving people knowledge, not a compelling argument.

LOCAL AND MOBILE GO HAND-IN-HAND
Local advertising, by definition, is opening a golf magazine and seeing ads for golf equipment. But these days we can deliver content relevant not just to a publication or network demo, but to location, activity, interests and even mindset.  This progression of media into local atmospheres is directly in line with the appearance of new mobile technology, and “local” and “mobile” absolutely go hand in hand.

In 2003 brands were asking their agencies to help them have a greater digital presence. In 2007 they were all trying to connect with consumers in various online social spaces. This year they’re striving to connect with their consumers on a local level.  In the recent past there were generally two ways to find your target consumer’s location — a computer’s IP address or a mobile device’s GPS locator. That’s not the case anymore.  The rise in mobile coordinate-based services, such as GoogleMaps, gives context to location-based searches, adding a third means of specializing your targeted content.

GOOGLE MAPS
GoogleMaps has become the pillar of Google’s local strategy; regular users use it an average of 25 times a month . . . literally telling advertisers where they are and where they’re going.  And now, pairing Google with a GPS device, allows users to search by a destination (IE: “Saatchi & Saatchi”) instead of an address (IE: “375 Hudson St”) which is both user-friendly and creates an opportunity for advertisers to know not just where their consumers are . . .  but what they’re doing while they’re there.  This flood of location data is a valuable tool for advertisers; while we have always known that our communication will reach someone, we have seldom had any guarantee that our ads will be relevant to the viewer.  With more surgical installations of communication we are expected to produce better returns on investment, and contextual targeting can ensure that the media space we buy will match up with the target demographic.

LOCAL CALLS TO ACTION
The recent growing demand for “deals near me” has gone hyper-local in the daily deal ecosystem (Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.). 51% of consumers say they are willing to share their location in order to be exposed to ads relevant to their position. The CTA surrounding all of local media placement is providing consumers with real-time information about deals in stores near their current location.

And we’re finding that if you can get location specific you get real results—deals near me offerings have better than a fifty percent buy rate. While the next step may be a digital overhaul of the Sunday circular, right now the best way to get a good ROI out of local media strategies is to connect consumers with local discounts that are actually local—not deals in their county, but on their street.

SHRINKING YOUR WAY TO GREATNESS: BIG RETAILERS ARE PLAYING SMALL BALL
Online video content is becoming a more reliable and effective way to communicate with your target consumers and a recent trend of localizing online content has proved efficient at generating specialized messages and increased returns.  Schwinn and Lowe’s have both learned how a national campaign can hit local parameters, embracing strategies aimed at giving extra incentive—depending on location—for consumer-action.

Schwinn has over 6000 different spots in rotation, and each gets neighborhood-specific, using various calls to action within their creative, such as referencing the particularly high gas prices of one town, or the bike-friendly nature of another town’s streets.  Lowe’s, on the other hand, uses local factors like the weather to determine what sort of spots to run in a location. If it is raining out, Lowe’s will play a spot about what great deals they have on interior home design materials. If it’s sunny, they’ll talk about deals on exterior paint and lawnmowers.  With the examples we saw at DigiDay, only the voiceover was specific to each spot, exemplifying the elasticity of a national message, portrayed on a very local scale.

Lastly, and this is probably the best part, part of the model of this form of advertising includes the ability to test the effectiveness—beyond click-through rate—of these personalized spots versus traditional TV buys.

AND IN CLOSING
We “check-in” or “allow” nearly every day of our lives—some more than once a day—and advertisers and marketers stand to gain both a huge return on their investments and great insight into the way consumers move, shop and communicate with brands and each other. While any business stands to increase profits by creating local buying-incentives, the learning we stand to acquire during this time creates huge potential for the streamlining of future brand strategy.

The “big idea” of localized media is to drive foot traffic into real stores, but we are responsible for the lifeblood of our brands and we have the creative license to designate what our brands do for consumers.  If we can take what we learn from contextual targeting and plant that within a national brand’s strategic direction, not only our media buys, but also the gravity of our communication will benefit greatly.