Supreme Court Justices Will Be Invited to So Many Same-Sex Weddings

April 02, 2015

1 April 2015, Creativity-Online, Editor's Pick

Tie The Knot, a non-profit organization that supports marriage equality founded by "Modern Family" actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita, is turning the traditional wedding "Save the Date" into ammo for its cause.

Along with the Martin Agency, Tie the Knot has launched "Supreme Save the Date," targeting the 14 U.S. states that have yet to legalize same-sex marriage. It will feature a "Save the Date Builder" that helps gay couples who hope to marry create their own Save the Dates and send them to Supreme Court Justices before they make their ruling on same-sex marriage in June. The idea is to potentially inundate them with wedding plans that can't move forward without the Supreme Court's help.

Continue to Creativity-Online for video and full article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Benjamin Moore Debuts Its Biggest Ad Campaign Ever

March 24, 2015

24 March 2015, Adweek, By Noreen O'Leary.

Benjamin Moore is launching its most aggressive advertising campaign ever, spending $50 million to differentiate the brand in a commodity category where paint increasingly is just seen as color on the wall.

Ron Schuller, who joined Benjamin Moore as CMO last November, said the initiative emphasizes its two strongest attributes: Consumers' perception of Benjamin Moore as a premium brand; and its distribution through smaller merchants, rather than big-box stores.

"In the first phase [of the campaign], we'll talk about product quality where the product is the hero," said Schuller, "while in the second phase we'll focus on our independent, expert retailers who give you the right advice and help you through the process."

The 132-year-old company's pitch, from The Martin Agency, uses TV, radio, print and digital and introduces the brand's new tagline—"Paint like no other." Benjamin Moore previously leaned on a more locally-focused approach. Schuller said the company had to turn up the volume with a clear positioning in a category where there's been "a lot of noise" in recent years, especially as the economy has improved and consumers return to do-it-yourself household projects.

The first phase of the campaign, "Feats of Can," which just broke, highlights paint coatings that correspond to different product offerings. Benjamin Moore lays claim to industry firsts like creating a product that combines paint and primer, and one with zero VOCs (symptom-producing solvents) and no emissions.

Continue to Adweek for full article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Penske Truck Leasing Debuts First National B-to-B Campaign

March 16, 2015

16 March 2015, Advertising Age, By Kate Maddox

Penske Truck Leasing today is launching its first national b-to-b campaign, designed to raise awareness of its truck leasing, rental and logistics services for businesses.

The campaign, which has the theme "Moving Forward," includes print, online and social media. Online videos break today on ESPN.com around coverage of the NCAA "March Madness" men's basketball tournament.

The ads use humor to show what can go wrong when businesses don't use Penske for their critical shipping and transportation needs, from chickens hatching out of egg cartons to truckers with lousy horns. The campaign was created by The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., and the budget was not disclosed.

"We have done a lot of advertising around our individual product lines -- primarily in trade-specific publications -- but we wanted to tell a broader story of what we do," said Sherry Sanger, senior VP-marketing at Penske Truck Leasing.

Penske has three main b-to-b product lines -- commercial truck rentals for businesses' short-term needs; full-service truck leasing for longer-term needs; and logistics, such as handling businesses' transportation and warehousing operations.

The company also provides truck rental services to consumers, although that side of the business makes up less than 10% of the company's total revenue, Ms. Sanger said. Penske Truck Leasing had total revenue of $5.6 billion last year.

"The consumer side is the most visible part of our brand. People are used to seeing our bright yellow trucks," she said. "What we really wanted to focus on is the commercial breadth of our offerings."

So Penske turned to The Martin Agency, its agency of record for the past three years, to develop an integrated campaign that would reach a national business audience.

"Many people in the b-to-b space forget that they are really talking to humans," said Cliff Sorah, senior VP-creative director at The Martin Agency. "We are showcasing the humanity behind the brand and connecting to the audiences with humor."

Continue to Ad Age for full article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Play with OREO in the Press

March 05, 2015

As part of the "Play with OREO" campaign, we sought out 10 emerging artists from around the world and asked them to share their creative OREO expressions of “play.” The results were showcased around NYC, LA and Indianapolis and were featured in Adweek, Creativity and Fast Company


Posted By: The Martin Agency

Common Sense Simple and Still Crazy Hard: Agency Onboarding

February 10, 2015

Common Sense Simple and Still Crazy Hard: Agency Onboarding

A group of valuable new employees you've diligently recruited shows up for their first day at the agency. They are eager, and maybe even a little anxious, to start their new jobs. Until now, they've known the agency by reputation only and they can't wait to be wowed by the most exciting, welcoming first day ever.

Instead, they get a quick introduction to their new teammates who are running late for a client call. They may even hear the refrain: "It's not always like this but today is crazy busy." Then they're ushered into a conference room where they face a mountain of health insurance and orientation paperwork and a cold box lunch.

Sound familiar?

Far too often, in hectic agency environments that are increasingly time starved, new employee onboarding simply doesn't get the attention it deserves. Yet, a recent Aberdeen Group study found that "new employees are 69% more likely to stay longer than three years if they experience well-structured onboarding."

That statistic was the nudge we needed to completely overhaul our onboarding program. We shifted our mindset and worked to make orientation a personal, enjoyable immersion in our business and our culture. This allows new employees to actually hit the ground running and contribute more quickly, which, as we all know, is one of the great joys of work. Most importantly, we're hearing from our new hires that this process is helping reinforce that they made the right career choice.

Here are a few changes we've made that are making a big difference:

You Told Them You Wanted Them, Now Show Them. Rather than a dull conference room, orientation takes place in our gallery, which is a bright, busy, open space at the center of the agency. During the next few hours, new hires hear from our CEO, Matt Williams, about our culture of "Good & Tough" and our Chairman, John Adams, talks to them about our company values that he penned in 1996. Next a creative director pops in to talk about our approach to the work followed by a seasoned project manager who explains in detail how work moves through the agency. By the end of these sessions, new employees know exactly who we are, what we do and how we do it. Finally, at the end of the day, they are invited to an informal mixer where their supervisors and colleagues gather to welcome and get to know them.

Throw the Book at Them. Our new hires say our Welcome Book (onboarding journal) is one-of-a-kind. It arms our new employees with a personal map for their adventure at The Martin Agency, guiding them through a four-month immersion into our company. It gives tips and ideas for engaging with supervisors and teammates. And to show that we don't take ourselves too seriously, each tab features doodles and notes sections with page 34 even encouraging 'your best conference call art.' The book was conceived and written by a team here at the agency with a production assist by The Frontier Project.

Save HR & Paperwork for Day #2. HR plays an invaluable role in the new hire process and we've got a fantastic HR team. But we made the decision to minimize their involvement on the first day by engaging employees from across departments to lead the orientation charge. It can be a project manager and an AV specialist working together, or a copywriter and a producer teaming up. They're given basic guidelines and material to cover, but are encouraged to put their own personal touch on the day.

Show Them the Ropes – No Excuses. When we asked some relatively new employees about their onboarding experience with us, we learned we suffered from another common onboarding faux pas. New hires couldn't contribute right away because no one had time to train them. The solution was simple: Have a training plan and stick to it. Now, departments customize specific plans for onboarding new talent that are faithfully completed during the employees' first few days at the agency.

Play Matchmaker. Nothing makes new employees feel more welcome than other employees. And if these new friends are folks they might not otherwise get to interact with in their first 90 days, all the better. With our new buddy system, we find out our new hires' interests and hobbies, how old their children are, where they're going to live, etc., and connect them with like-minded employees. It's like Match.com, but for work friends (and without the .com).

Tell Us What Your Fresh Eyes See. We love new hires; they bring an invaluable fresh perspective and we find it invigorating to talk with them. From the beginning, we go to great lengths to make sure their voices are heard and to remind them that we really want their opinion. At every orientation, an executive committee member welcomes the group. We share our story and talk candidly about the agency and the industry. We remind them that they're bringing something to the table that the rest of us can no longer bring and that's a fresh set of eyes without a Martin filter. That's critical to us and we encourage them to be vocal and have a point of view on what we could be doing better. We tell them our doors are always open and to stop by often. In fact, our CEO meets with new hires monthly.

"The onboarding process was ground-breaking for me when I started The Martin Agency," said Lauren Prociv, an Experience Planner in our strategic planning department. "Not only did I meet people that became good friends, I learned about the Good & Tough culture of the agency – good to each other and tough on the work – which instilled in me the confidence to immediately share my ideas despite being an ad rookie."

While none of these steps may sound individually earth-shattering, we've found that when everyone faithfully does their part, the combined effect really does make a big difference both to new employees and to all of us who welcome and learn from them.


Beth Rilee-Kelley is the chief operating officer of The Martin Agency and has been with the company for 31 years. She has worked in the account management and creative departments, and right before stepping into the COO role she was head of the company's human resources group. She is a tireless mentor and sponsor for women.

Posted By: The Martin Agency