April 2nd, 2014

Kim Mickelsen

From Bad to Worse

We’ve all seen bad advertising. Really bad advertising. It’s pretty much everywhere, right? But today I was stopped dead in my online tracks. My jaw dropped. It was so horrific I thought for sure had been hacked by some prankster.

But alas, it’s real. LowerMyBills is known for some crappy ads, but this takes the cake. They actually paid someone to create this abomination. What’s worse, some hack used flash to create it. Wonder if they proudly display it in their portfolio? What’s really sad is that it is soooo horrifically bad that it’s probably getting good results. People like me, who were so shocked by it, we felt compelled to click to find out who was behind it.

It’s granny in a rocking chair with hands shaking.  Click here for the full effect>


And to add insult to injury, it gets even worse. Click to reload a few times and you’ll be presented with food fight grannies.

Sad. And we wonder why people think so little of our industry.

March 13th, 2014


David Moore Published in PRSA Nebraska Blog, PRSA NEws

Bozell’s creative director, David Moore, has been highlighted in this month’s PRSA Nebraska blog, PRSA NEws, with his article “Writing Your Brand’s Obituary Today May Save You From Extinction.” In it, he discusses how important it is for brands to question themselves. He says we should “think of it as a game to play every so often among an organization’s leadership.” He also includes his five favorite questions. To read the entire article, click here.

The PRSA Nebraska blog, PRSA NEws, provides tips, resources and insights from industry experts as a service to the more than 200 public relations professionals and affiliate organizations. Plus, current PRSA members can visit to find outstanding opportunities for professional growth, networking and community outreach.

February 17th, 2014

Laura Spaulding

What’s in a Title? Bozell Owners Take Their Titling Decision ‘Lightly’

Bozell, a full-service advertising and public relations agency, has named Kim Mickelsen as chief executive officer (CEO) and Robin Donovan as president in recognition  of their leadership, years of service, and above all their luck of the draw. Read More

February 12th, 2014

Andrea Groom

Bozell Receives Multiple Advertising Industry Awards

Creative marketing communications firm Bozell today announced the agency received multiple local industry awards for its advertising campaigns. Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the ADDY Awards are the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, recognizing creative excellence and the very best advertising worldwide. Read More

February 6th, 2014

Scott Rowe

Summer Internship

Are you raw and ready for a little seasoning? Well then, let us spice things up. We’re collecting applications right now for our summer internship program. There are openings in every department, so whatever you want to be, we’ve got a spot for you.

Learn more and apply at

February 3rd, 2014

Kim Mickelsen

Well played JC Penney

The game may have been a blowout, but more people watched it than Nielsen initially forecast. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox’s Super Bowl broadcast delivered an average 111.5 million viewers, besting the previous record holder set by NBC in 2012 by the slimmest of margins.

You’ve probably seen a host of top 10s on which spots were best.

Like this one from AdWeek

Or this one from AgAge

Or this one from USA Today.

But one of the big winners of the night was JC Penney. And they didn’t even buy an ad. When I first saw the tweets, I assumed (like everyone else), that there was a bit too much drinking going on. But we were punked. By JC Penney. Well played!

Check out the social media stats in the presentation below.

Social Media Trends from Super Bowl XLVIII from ExactTarget

January 28th, 2014

Deanna Meyler, Ph.D.

Farmed And Dangerous

Chipotle is at it again. “Farmed and Dangerous” is a new web series to be aired exclusively on Hulu. The premise is that a new animal feed is made directly from petroleum, a product used in much industrial farming. The new product cuts out all the growing steps by having animals eat feed made from petroleum. “Acceptable side effects” include spontaneous combustion of the animals that eat the new feed. Oops. Check out the trailer here.

This is brilliant. There have been many successful web based shows that parody what can be found through networks. If not familiar with Burning Love, a parody of The Bachelor, there are many funny moments.

But “Farmed and Dangerous” is more than just a parody. It has the lessons that Chipotle wants the audience to know. Lessons about how some food is made and the consequences of what they consider to be misdirected innovation. Chipotle wants the audience to be more mindful of their food choices and then choose Chipotle as a tasty alternative to other fast food chains that are not implementing the same sourcing channels.

The brilliant part, beyond the comedy potential, is the audience potential. Research has shown many times that younger people, Millennials in particular, are very comfortable watching videos and traditional television content online. They are more likely to be seeking new content online and then, if the content is smart, very likely to share what they enjoyed. There is high potential to connect with this younger audience through “Farmed and Dangerous.”

I highly recommend following all the links and watching the other pieces about the fictional company and product. Especially here. Funny stuff.

January 21st, 2014

Deanna Meyler, Ph.D.

Health Marketing Message Evolves

I recently attended a webinar about how everything is now health related. The idea is that every brand and service is somehow connected with health, mental or physical. Or at least it should be. Then I saw an article that shares connecting with wellness, responsibility, and empowerment are how to reach Millennials in 2014.

Certainly 2013 had a focus on the Affordable Care Act and its impacts that are already spilling into 2014, but has this translated to a need to discuss everything in terms of health?

Certainly, as marketers, we want to communicate in ways that connect with our audience. And, yes, many are thinking about health and wellness right away. But all the “sin” brands will have some difficulty talking about health. Although, it’s not impossible. Some of these are probably familiar:

  • Dark chocolate is full antioxidants
  • Gambling can help relieve stress
  • eCigs remove tar from smoking
  • Alcohol helps people relax
  • Wine is full of antioxidants

There are many others…

And yet, there are brands that should probably avoid the conversation. For example, foods high in fat/cholesterol/sugar should be eaten in moderation. Even Cookie Monster says cookies are a sometimes food.

Does every brand need to find their wellness angle? Many will. Some will do so just in case it connects with prospective customers. Others will do market research to support or abandon this angle for their products/services. I highly recommend market research as the first step.

As with many marketing message trends, this too will cycle through popularity with some brands experiencing success and others moving quickly to new trends.

January 2nd, 2014

Robin Donovan

Using Simplicity Brilliantly

We all have our own opinions about what makes for good ads, but there are undeniably some things that tend to crop up over and over again.

An ad can’t be good if it doesn’t get the point across in a way that resonates with and is compelling to the target audience. If it can achieve both of those goals and remain simple – it’s brilliant!

One ad that achieves all this is the Iams “soldier” TV commercial by Carat USA.

This TV spot tells the story of a soldier who has been separated from her dog while she’s on active duty, and their reunion. Product information borrows importance and even credence as it is woven into this simple, but passionate tale (no pun intended?).

This charming story is powerfully enhanced by the visual selection of Rocky, a dog whose size and color are a virtual mirror image of his owner, Dawn, in her military cammo attire. The effect is palpable.

And when Rocky and Dawn join in an all consuming horizontal embrace at the end – staggering!

As one of the millions of dog lovers in the U.S. I am significantly moved by this remarkable and genuine spot every time it airs, and I’m not alone. And when you add the dog lovers to the myriad of folks with unshakable loyalty to our courageous soldiers, the impact of this :30 spot is undoubtedly enormous.

And brilliantly simple.


December 19th, 2013

Deanna Meyler, Ph.D.


There is an interesting trend in our office. All our smokers have either fully transitioned, or are in the process of transitioning, to eCigarettes or eCigs. With all the news about legislation to quell “vaping” in public, we are clearly not the only ones.

Since eCigs are truly a trend, and research is showing increases in their use, I wondered how people were talking about it in social media. Places like Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs.

eCig WordCloud

In the last 30 days there were just over 63,000 mentions of cigarettes online. But for eCigarettes and vaping, what users call smoking, there were over 97,500 mentions. eCigs are now the social media conversation, not just part of the conversation, around smoking.

eCig Conversation

The majority of the conversation is about where to find eCig products and specials or coupons. Sellers are definitely taking advantage of social media to get the word out about their products. In Facebook, there is some conversation about support groups, which is not as prominent in the other mediums. While in personal blogs, writers explore their thoughts about specific eCigs and the various juices they have tried.

The conversations that are less prominent, but important, are those about the impact on health from eCigs. According to people in social media, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation concerning eCigs. Few are specifically calling for research to help everyone understand the true health impacts, but many are arguing with the information they have, true or not.

In 2014, I foresee a larger request for research into the health impacts of eCigs. Legislators are seeking to make informed decisions and users seek continued unrestricted vaping. I also foresee greater conversation as restrictions are implemented.