October 7th, 2014

Laura Spaulding

AAF Omaha Announces 2015 Ad Pro and Ad Rookie of the Year Winners

AAF Omaha announces the winners for Ad Pro and Ad Rookie of the Year. Michael Johnson and Sarah Pieper will be recognized and awarded for their respective nominations at AAF Omaha’s BOOM! Roasted Awards Dinner on November 6 at 6:00 pm. The event will also feature the Roast of Mark Carpenter, Partner/Vice President of Creative Strategy & Production Services at SKAR Advertising. Carpenter is an AAF Omaha board member and currently serves as AAF Omaha’s Nebraska ADDYs co-chair. The Boom! Roasted Award Dinner will be held at the Pizza Shoppe Collective in Benson.

Sarah Pieper has been named the 2015 AAF Omaha Ad Rookie of the Year. She currently serves as Senior Account Executive at Ervin and Smith Advertising.

The Ad Rookie of the Year award is given to an AAF Omaha member with five or fewer years in the advertising business who demonstrates outstanding work both professionally and in the community, with attention to AAF Omaha service.
Pieper has held many positions within AAF Omaha, including serving as co-chair of the Education committee on the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2014. Pieper is currently Second VP on the Executive Board of Directors overseeing education, programs and AAF Omaha’s partnership with the 2014 Omaha Advertising Expo. Active in the local community, Pieper serves as the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae of Omaha fundraising chair and has also served as the development chair and an advisory board member for Launch Leadership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of youth leadership that she has been involved with since 2007. Pieper volunteered her marketing skills this past year with “Go Red for Women” campaign for the American Heart Association.

Michael Johnson is the recipient of the 2015 AAF Omaha Ad Pro of the Year Award. He currently serves as Senior Copywriter at Bozell.

The Ad Pro of the Year award is given to an AAF Omaha member who has a distinguished track record of service in advertising including professional and community service, with particular attention to AAF Omaha service.
Johnson has steadily served AAF Omaha for more than 5 years as a committee member, board member and executive board advisor. He most recently served as AAF Omaha’s 2013-2014 President and is now the organization’s Chairman of the Board. In the past he served as AAF Omaha’s Meet the Pros Chairperson from 2010 through 2012, Treasurer,  1st  and  2nd Vice President. Michael is always contributing and pushing the club to fulfill their role as the unifying voice for advertising in the Omaha community.

In the past year Johnson represented AAF Omaha at three national conferences; Advertising Day on the Hill in Washington DC, AAF’s ADMERICA! 2014 conference in Boca Raton, FL and the AAF District 9 Leadership Conference in Kansas City, MO. Johnson’s dedication and active involvement in AAF has caught the attention of others at the national AAF level, resulting in him being asked to serve as a regional board member after his AAF Omaha Chairman duties are fulfilled this year.

Johnson served on the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Creative Task Force and was instrumental in the collaboration of the recent “We Don’t Coast” campaign. Johnson is also a past leader of Lincoln’s Young Professional Group, past core committee leader for the Omaha Advertising Expo and volunteers annually with Omaha Public School’s student DECA competition.

Pieper and Johnson come highly recommended by their peers and colleagues and demonstrate the outstanding work ethic and dedication in advocacy to AAF Omaha. Join AAF Omaha in congratulating these recipients alongside a Roast of Mark Carpenter – November 6 at the Pizza Shoppe Collective in Benson, 6 PM cocktails, 6:30 PM dinner with awards and roast to follow dinner.

About AAF Omaha
For 108 years, the American Advertising Federation Omaha has served as a unifying voice for advertising in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area, advocating the rights of advertisers by helping educate policymakers, the news media and general public on the value advertising brings to the well-being of the community. AAF Omaha fosters the highest standards of practice and works to cultivate the industry’s present and future leaders. AAF Omaha has been honored on the district and national levels by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for its work in advertising education, communications, diversity, government relations, club management, programs, membership and public service. For more information, visit

October 1st, 2014

Laura Spaulding

Bozell Commercials Became a National Phenomenon 40 Years Ago

Award-winning Campaign Remembered

More than four decades have passed since C.W. McCall first pulled his 18-wheeler into the Old Home Filler-Up an’ Keep-on-a-Truckin’ Café, but Bill Fries recalls the story behind the award-winning campaign as though it happened yesterday.

As senior vice-president and creative director at Bozell & Jacobs, which later became Bozell, Fries was the driving force behind the acclaimed TV commercials that in June of 1974 were voted the best advertising campaign in the nation by an international panel of judges for the Clio Awards. Now living in Ouray, Colorado, Fries was writer, creative director, voice talent and producer of the Old Home commercials, which became a phenomenon during the mid-1970s.
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August 13th, 2014


Facebook Contests

Facebook has decided to change an important rule around brand-sponsored contests. Changing rules is not surprising since Facebook is consistently evolving. However, there are implications to how success and failure of contests may have been measured in the past.

Up to this point, contests have been a great opportunity to gain Facebook “Likes.” Often times, one of the rules to enter a contest was to first “Like” the brand page. First “Liking” has not been required, but if trying to gain an audience, this was one tactic to capture potentially interested people for your message. Read More

August 6th, 2014


Yelp Party

I tweet, Facebook, and blog about restaurants on a regular basis, but I don’t Yelp. I’m not sure why other than the fact that I don’t really use Yelp to help me find places to visit. The few times I have used it have been disappointing, probably because I am very picky.  Translation: I’m vegan and in the past the network has not been as helpful for my goals.

A couple weeks ago I was at one of my favorite local restaurants and the owner said his vegan cake would be at the Yelp party in a few days. Yelp party? What’s that? He gave me a flyer and explained that several local restaurants would be there and all were asked to have vegan options for guests. In addition, the event was an opportunity to help raise money for a local nonprofit that I like. I was in! Read More

July 30th, 2014

Robin Donovan

Please Don’t Ask Us to Promote Your Wrinkle Products!

There are millions of dollars worth of wrinkle reducing products out there. And there are millions of dollars working to promote them.

In order to conduct my own very scientific experiment on various wrinkle reducing products, I first had to search for folks with wrinkles (denial is really a remarkable thing – isn’t it?). Read More

July 21st, 2014


Uber Ice Cream

Last Friday, Uber, a ride-sharing program delivered through a mobile application, offered something out of the ordinary, ice cream. UberIceCream was available in 144 cities (38 countries on 6 continents) and allowed Uber users to request ice cream to be delivered to them. All costs are paid through the mobile app that users set up ahead of time, so there is no worry about how to pay.

Uber, and its fuzzy pink mustached competitor Lyft, has not been available in Omaha long. And, like in other cities, there has been some controversy that is not yet fully resolved. I have happily used both services. But, on Friday I wanted to have ice cream delivered and be part of a global event. Read More

July 16th, 2014


Smartphone Culture Shift

I can’t stop thinking about this article. A NYC restaurant wanted to understand more about why recent customer reviews included long wait times for service and food, so they watched video footage from today compared to 10 years ago. The incredible answer has nothing to do with the restaurant. The “wait” times are due to a dramatic shift in smartphone culture. As guests focus more on their phones, their time to decide what to order, when they begin eating, time to pay, etc., changes dramatically. Adding almost an additional hour to visits. But the restaurant has maintained delivery times for service and food. Read More

June 2nd, 2014

Robin Donovan

The inside scoop on Toilet Paper

A year or so ago I was asked – through my blog on menopause - to participate in helping to “name” a new product offering by Kimberly-Clark. They wanted a cute/clever name for the pairing of toilet paper and wipes for women 50+. I was aghast!

What were they thinking? More to the point, what were they implying? That women 50+ leak waste? Read More

May 13th, 2014


Are You Healthy?

Last year a study was released that shared Americans think they are healthier than they really are. Many in the study wanted to lose as many as 25 pounds, but thought they were healthy.

When asked why this is, psychologists may point to something called illusory superiority, or the idea that lots of Americans think they are above average in many skills. People will often give themselves higher scores for positive traits and rank others lower. Other cultures are less likely to do this, but Americans are notorious for it. Read More

May 8th, 2014


U.S. Instagram Users

A common, and smart, question asked by many clients is, “should we be in Instagram?” The number of platform users certainly continues to grow. Interestingly, the question is often followed by something like, “I keep hearing all the kids are there.” We could replace Instagram with Snapchat in this scenario, but let’s focus on Instagram.

Everyone should be asking if they are utilizing the right social media tools for their business/brand. It’s an important question and the answer changes as more platforms become popular and businesses/brands evolve. Read More