• Chris Burns Talks Tech

    on May 27
    in Interactive
    with No Comments

    Our SHift friend Chris Burns talked tech on a recent PrairieCast, a weekly webcast presented by Silicon Prairie News. (Hint for the impatient: Chris joins the conversation at 15:37 with a nice overview of SHift and the work they’re doing.) Ben Sinclair also participated in a PrairieCast earlier this year.

    What is SHift? In addition to sharing our office space, they’re our go-to partner for all things cool in web and mobile development. Convenient, huh?

    For more on the SHift story, check out the article in Silicon Prairie News.

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  • ARTCRANK Showcases Local Talent

    on May 20
    in Creative, General, News
    with Comments Off on ARTCRANK Showcases Local Talent

    PMers hit the opening night of the second annual ARTCRANK event in Des Moines last night. The show features bicycle-themed posters by 30 local artists, with only 30 screen-printed reproductions of each design available for sale. This is the second time PM artist — and bike enthusiast — Paul Richards was selected to produce an original design for the show.

    Des Moines is one of the few cities that hosts an ARTCRANK event, joining Minneapolis, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, St. Louis, Bend (Oregon) and London. (More evidence of Des Moines’ coolness factor!) The event is presented by the Des Moines Bike Collective, a nonprofit organization that promotes cycling as a viable transportation alternative and advocates for making the Des Moines metro area more bike-friendly.

    Posters will be on display through the weekend, with prints for sale while supplies last. You can still check them out at The Des Moines Social Club in the Kirkwood Hotel at 4th and Walnut: Friday, May 20, from 5 to 10 p.m.; and Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Details are at http://artcrank.com/desmoines.

    Congrats again to Paul for another awesome poster design!

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  • PM @ Big O

    on May 18
    in General, News
    with Comments Off on PM @ Big O

    Photo Credit: Silicon Prairie News

    Take five marketing people, add equal parts sugar, Red Bull and portable electronics, and stir them up with two solid days of speakers on everything from LOLcats to innovation in third-world countries.

    Let it simmer and you get a whole new perspective.

    That doesn’t begin to describe last week’s Big Omaha conference, but trust me, it was an experience. Silicon Prairie News knows how to put on a show that energizes and inspires. Get this — every speaker gets a standing ovation when they walk on the stage. And I think it actually works. It’s tough to sum up, but when you listen to a bunch of incredibly smart and successful speakers, you look for the common threads. Here are some we noticed:

    • They find different ways to solve human problems. Tired of paying waaaaay too much for glasses? Warby Parker sells a complete pair for $95 — and donates a pair for every one they sell. (Todd is already wearing a pair.) Can’t get a cab in San Francisco? Uber lets you request a car from your smartphone. Need a laugh? Don’t underestimate the power of cat photos with misspelled captions.
    • They give back. Nearly every speaker talked about doing something to improve the world, through charity as well as mentoring others. Speaker Leila Janah founded Samasource — a company that connects people living in poverty to microwork (small computer-based tasks) to earn life-changing income.
    • They listen to the end user. As Gary Vaynerchuk said, “Now your ears matter more than your mouth.” Consumers are putting out a huge amount of content every day. It’s easy to tell the world about your experiences with a company, good or bad. So know what matters to your customers. Solve their problems. Lifetime retention is going to be the game in the new market.

    Final Thoughts …
    Just as interesting as the content was the audience. I was surrounded by people with their heads down, tweeting nuggets of wisdom from the speakers — completely without context for the people who weren’t there. (Thanks to Stan for observing that it sounded like we were at a Successories convention.)

    At any rate, it’s nice to see the Midwest get some much-needed recognition as a hip, happening center of innovation!


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  • Busy Week @ TOCA

    on May 16
    in Advertising, Creative, News, Public Relations
    with Comments Off on Busy Week @ TOCA

    The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) recently held its annual meeting in Asheville, NC. PM’s Kristine White was there to gather great insights on the turf customer audience … and we hear the mountain scenery wasn’t bad, either.

    Kristine’s luggage was a bit heavier on the return flight with the six TOCA awards she brought home for us. PM was recognized with awards for a variety of Toro pieces, including a Gardner Award in the design — marketing communications category. Only a handful Gardner Awards are given out for the 300-plus entries, so this was a real honor for us. Here’s a full list of the awards:

    2011 Gardner Award — Design — Marketing Communications
    Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual (Best in Category)

    First Place
    Toro Advantage E-Newsletter (Writing for Electronic Newsletter)
    Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual (Design – Printed Special Projects)

    Toro Walk Power Mower Brochure (Overall Collateral Design)
    Toro GIE+EXPO Media Kit (Overall Media Kits Design)
    Toro GIE+EXPO Media Kit (Writing for Company Media Kit)


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  • Our Host With the Most

    on May 13
    in Advertising, Creative, News
    with Comments Off on Our Host With the Most

    PM creatives were out in force last weekend to support our own Paul Richards (shown above), current president of the Art Directors Association of Iowa (ADAI). Paul emceed the 53rd annual ADAI Design Exhibition, which showcased work from area designers. While we were there, we also picked up a couple of awards for PM. Not bad for a night out!


    Award of Excellence: Self Promotion


    Award of Excellence: Sales Promotion

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  • Who Doesn’t Like Free Creative Stuff?

    on May 11
    in Creative, General, Interactive
    with 1 Comment

    Here’s a little bonus for checking out our new blog redesign — free wallpapers for your desktop, iPad or mobile. Everyone on the Performance Marketing creative team contributed a design (can you guess who’s who?). We thought it would be a fun way to share the PM love.

    Each wallpaper design is available in a variety of sizes, so just click to download the one that fits your needs.
    It’s not a contest, but the most-downloaded choice will bestow some bragging rights!


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |  1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |  1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |   1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |  1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |  1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)


    1920 x 1200 |  1680 x 1050 |  1440 x 900 |  1280 x 800 |  1024 x 768 |  960 x 640 (mobile)

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  • PowerPoint Does THAT?

    on May 6
    in Creative, Trade Shows
    with 1 Comment


    I have a confession to make. After years of avoiding PowerPoint, I have to admit that the new Mac 2011 version is not that bad. In fact, it can do some pretty amazing stuff. With transitions, animations and timing you can create a video that takes bullet points to a happier place.

    Check out this video we created for Terex Utilities to use at CONEXPO and you’ll see what I mean. Terex only asked for a slide presentation, but thanks to PowerPoint, it turned out to be more. And it only hurts me a little to say that. We also created similar videos for the other Terex business segments at the show.

    Have you been digging PowerPoint lately? Drop me a line. As a recent convert, I’m always looking for cool tricks and new ways to use it.

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  • Make the Product the Hero

    on May 4
    in Advertising, Creative, Interactive, Media
    with Comments Off on Make the Product the Hero

    That’s exactly what our friends at MK Electric did with their recent launch of Masterseal Plus™, a commercial-grade enclosed socket. We helped them bring their Masterseal Plus man to life in marketing with a sophisticated upgrade to his looks and a variety of marketing support.

    The campaign included collateral, in-store POP and print ads driving readers to a website to enter to win prizes. Creative showed the little hero in a variety of harsh environments, demonstrating how he “masters the elements” — from desert wind to jungle heat to arctic cold.

    The product was also prominently featured in Electrical Contracting News (ECN) with three full-page ads and a cover wrap that opened the magazine to a center spread article about the product (how convenient!). Sales have substantially exceeded the initial launch goals … just what we love to hear.


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  • Now That’s Gutsy

    on Apr 13
    in Construction, Creative, Trade Shows
    with Comments Off on Now That’s Gutsy

    Terex just launched a new line of skid-steer loaders in a market dominated by the other guys, and they didn’t do it quietly. (These brands are to construction what Kleenex is to blowing your nose, so kudos to Terex for being bold enough to take them on.) In our Reality Check campaign, the new Terex models go head-to-head against the competition, based solely on the facts. Check it out at terexrealitycheck.com. We hear it paid off with brisk sales at The Rental Show in Las Vegas — where the Terex Reality Check booth happened to be steps away from Bobcat. Awkward …


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  • Vegas, Baby, Yeah!

    on Mar 11
    in Construction, News, Trade Shows
    with Comments Off on Vegas, Baby, Yeah!

    Know what PM has in common with excavators, inflatable bounce houses, chocolate fountains and Big Ass Fans (no kidding)? They all were at The Rental Show, the American Rental Association’s annual trade show in Las Vegas … along with PM clients Toro, Terex and Genie. PM staff were there to shoot video, handle the press room and get their rental industry groove on. Sounds like exhibitors and attendees had a lot of positive things to say, so congrats to our ARA clients for putting on a great show. Check out the 2011 wrap-up video on the Show’s YouTube page for a quick look at the highlights.

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