Brogan & Partners, chosen as first ad agency to test "AdBot" automated marketing tool, will scale back to a 2-day work week.

Adbot marketing automation tool

Marketing and advertising have become increasingly automated over the past ten years, especially in the digital space. You can find any number of companies and software programs that will help you implement elaborate email campaigns, for example, or place programmatic media. But if you want your advertising to stand out – to be creatively different – you have to do that yourself.

Unless you're Brogan & Partners.

Brogan has been chosen as the first U.S. test agency for AdBot, an automated marketing service that utilizes artificial intelligence to essentially clone a creative team.

By uploading all of a team's creative work into the system, AdBot actually learns to not only think creatively, but to think the same way those writers and art directors do.

Say you have a sarcastic, snarky writer whose style is perfect for one of your more irreverent clients. You can upload all of his or her work into a distinct profile within the AdBot system. Then when you need that writer for a new project – say, a :30 radio spot – you simply choose the parameters of the project and assign it to that writer's profile. AdBot will deliver you a creative spot written in the definitive style of that writer. Art directors can be "cloned" as well – the system will note favorite font styles, layout preferences, common color choices, etc. It turns out, as ad agency business teams have long suspected, you don't really NEED a creative department.

Media placement can also be mostly automated using AdBot, but the media team has to be in the office at least part-time to receive free promotional items and be taken out to lunch. Therefore, once the system is in place, Brogan & Partners plans to scale back to a 2-day work week, with customer service on call the rest of the week. The new job of the creative team will be to maintain the AdBot database, updating the creative input occasionally as trends change, and to fetch doughnuts for the account and media teams from the nearby Tim Horton's.

 

(Happy April Fool's Day!)

Weekly Recap - February 2, 2018

Sunday is Super Bowl Day. Check out these sneak peaks of some highly anticipated spots. Chris Pratt does yoga. Wendy's calls out McDonald's for frozen beef, again. And Alexa loses her voice.

DETAILS, Please

Michelob Ultra's second Super Bowl spot features champion athletes and Chris Pratt. You might think beer and fitness are mutually exclusive. Michelob Ultra thinks you're wrong.

Wendy's Super Bowl ad burns McDonald's. AKA the Frozen Arches. We're all familiar with Wendy's twitter beef, but Sunday's spot marks the first time the brand has called out its competitors through TV advertising.

Here's Amazon's 90 second Super Bowl spot. Seeing stars. From Cardi B to Gordon Ramsey, Amazon's ad is full of big names. And it's sure to be a Sunday favorite.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Healthcare Checkup - January 2018. Bests. Trends. Buzzwords. January is always a time to look back and venture forward. From our best healthcare ad campaigns to delivery trends and beyond, take a peek at our healthcare insights. And don't miss the viral human trafficking video we created for Michigan State Police!

Giving Birth to New Ideas: Some tips for creative conception. Pretty much everyone who works in a creative field has gotten the question, "How do you come up with your ideas?" And a lot of times, our only answer is a shrug: "Beats me!" It's true that the creative process varies from person to person, but it's not as big of a mystery as some people think.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Healthcare Checkup - January 2018

Bests. Trends. Buzzwords. January is always a time to look back and venture forward. From our best healthcare ad campaigns to Healthcare Marketing Bingo to healthcare delivery trends and beyond, take a peek at our healthcare insights. And in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, check out the new human trafficking video we created for our client, Michigan State Police. We couldn't be more thrilled it's gone viral!

VITAMIN B & P

2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and bingo. It's that time of year again. Everyone's talking 2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and big ideas. Here's our Healthcare Marketing Bingo card to get you through the next required conference call, webinar or go-to-meeting.

Brogan's best ad campaigns of 2017. Together with our clients, we connected with consumers to help improve their lives and their communities. Check out some of our best work (no surprise it's mostly healthcare related!) for Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Covenant HealthCare, Michigan Hospital Association, Delta Dental and Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Incentives for health: When it literally pays to get well. Employers want their workers to be healthier — they're more productive that way. Workers want to be healthy, too. But in the short term, when the donuts are calling and the treadmill is not, we all need a little bribe — er, incentive — to do the right thing.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS

New video educates service workers on human trafficking signs. With over 6.3 million views and 92,000 shares thusfar, this new video we created for our client, Michigan State Police, is getting attention throughout the world. See why and share it to join in the fight against human trafficking.

Millennials would sacrifice voting rights for loan forgiveness. Struggling with student loan debit? What if you could exchange something to be rid of it? Interesting facts on what Millennials would sacrifice.

INDUSTRY PULSE

Four health systems band together to create generic drug company. Kudos to these leading health systems for taking matters into their own hands to lower generic drug costs across their 450 plus hospitals.

Ear to the ground: 5 healthcare delivery trends for 2018. Efficiency. Physician burnout. Convenience competition. Scope-of-practice. Community partnerships. Hear about top healthcare delivery issues from the new top guy at AMGA.

5 words and phrases we should ditch in 2018. "Disruptive." "Thought leader". What terms should you eliminate from your diction to "take it to the next level"? (oops, I'm "actually" culpable...)

MONTHLY DOSE

Looking to market to all generations but don't have the budget? Not a problem. There's one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

Weekly Recap - January 12, 2018

Up +10% from last year. Easier checkouts mean more mobile shopping. The year of you. Expect more personalization in 2018. Alexa continues to gain traction. And brands are wondering how to bring voice to their products. Tech is still a boys' club. These women are shaking up the status quo.

DETAILS, Please

Mobile shopping grew during the 2017 holiday season. The data has spoken. 50% of orders were done on phones on December 25th.

5 ecommerce trends to pay attention to this year. Personalized checkouts, voice shopping, diversity in the workplace. We want it all in 2018.

Marketers are racing to reach growing audiences on Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. Alexa and Google Home have sold 27 million devices in the U.S. What does the popularity of voice assistants mean for marketers?

What these 5 women are doing to solve tech's diversity problem. Inclusive AI and coding communities. These women are leading the charge toward a more diverse workforce.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Brogan sharpens the saw, strengthens team at Camp Tamarack. Trust, communication, respect, collaboration and responsibility are fundamental attributes of high performing teams. In the four hours the Brogan Team spent at Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center, we worked these skills silly – both figuratively and literally.

Millennials would sacrifice voting rights for loan forgiveness. Struggling with student loan debt? What if you could exchange something to be rid of it? Millennials would.

2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and bingo. It's that time of year again. Everyone's talking 2018 healthcare marketing trends, buzzwords and big ideas. So we thought it might be fun to give our lingo a new twist with this Healthcare Marketing Bingo card.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it's important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper "8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Brogan sharpens the saw, strengthens team at Camp Tamarack.

Brogan sharpens the saw, strengthens team at Camp Tamarack.

I hate being picked up. Yes, I'm an adult but it may have more to do with control than age. So when I found myself being hoisted five feet in the air, threaded headfirst through a manmade web as part of a team building experience at Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center, I braced for the worst.

But it was fun. Really, really fun.

Once in my team's hands, I didn't worry about my weight or breaking my neck. I didn't fret over injuring someone. Instead I felt almost weightless and perfectly safe.

Trust is a powerful thing. It's also the foundation of successful teams and strong leadership. Communication, respect, collaboration and responsibility are also fundamental attributes of high performing teams. In the four hours the Brogan Team spent at Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center this winter, we worked these skills silly—both figuratively and literally.

Our Tamarack guides, Jess and Tyler, kicked off the morning's events with a short hike through the camp's densely forested trails. They rounded us up at a village clearing for a game of rock/paper/scissors meets simulated balance beam, wrapped in enthusiastic fans and supporters In addition to learning how flexible your team members can be, the point of this exercise is to experience the roar of the crowd. (It feels really good, especially when your peeps chant your name.)

Brogan sharpens the saw, strengthens team at Camp Tamarack.

They divided us into two tidy groups of 12 and we went our separate ways for a couple hours. Tyler led my group deeper into the woods where a thick rope hung from a tall tree. Five or six feet from where the rope knotted near the ground stood a circle of eight, vinyl record-sized tree slices. Our job was to get every team member to the slices without touching the ground after leaving the rope.

The challenge was draped in a story that involved rabid monkeys, a science experiment gone awry, apocalyptic climate conditions, all complicated by mandatory silence. After crushing the task (thanks in part to the climbing rope that a teammate had stowed in his backpack), Tyler took us through two more group initiatives.

We reunited with the other team at a climbing wall, roughly 12 feet tall and smooth to the finish. The final group challenge was to evacuate all participating members over the wall to safety before a platoon of towering alien penguins reached our fortress. Everyone was required to participate actively, though no one was required to scale the wall.

In fairly quick order, the team had selected candidates to be human step stools and the first pair of arms to hoist climbers within reach of the top of the wall. Like the other group initiatives, the exercise demanded communication, trust, cooperation and courage. One of our team members had a terrible fear of falling. During an early challenge, she sang her way through her fears. When she began to doubt her resolve, we drowned out her reservations with cheers. The final tally: Brogan Team, 24; Mutant Penguins, 0.

Before hiking back to the parking lot, Jess and Tyler gathered us in a circle to review the morning's events. Teamwork and trust were central themes. Some discovered new attributes like leadership and risk-taking in colleagues they'd worked with for years. Many were proud of their individual accomplishments and freely credited the team for their support and encouragement. Everyone enjoyed the outdoor setting, deep enough in the woods to escape the confines of an office and reach of cell phone towers.

"It was a great office bonding experience," said the president. "We had so much fun, laughed a lot, and got to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors."

"It got us outside and out of our comfort zones so we can come together," said an account team leader.

"It was a really fun way to get out of the office and problem solve in a unique way," said a copywriter.

"Pick me up!" said the director of strategy.

Weekly Recap - January 5, 2018

Will 2018 top the engagement seen in 2017? Check out this review of last year's most engaging social content, and start thinking about how to top it this year. Cause marketing. Don't miss Matter Unlimited's call for equal opportunity. The year of the podcast. Listeners loved true crime, political discussion and food in 2017.

DETAILS, Please

The most engaging brand content on social media in 2017. Diversity, dog moms, nuggets and more. These ads had brands interacting with consumers all over social media.

Steph Curry, Chance the Rapper and Obama appear in PSA for My Brother's Keeper. Men who make a difference. Three of America's most inspirational men encourage viewers to join the My Brother's Keeper Alliance.

2017's best podcast episodes that raised the bar for storytelling. Podcasts aren't going away in 2018. Marketers, you don't want to miss out on this platform.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Brogan Volunteers 2017. As part of our commitment to community, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to participate in community volunteer activities. Throughout 2017, nearly every Brogan employee took advantage of their volunteer day. Team members worked with homeless shelters, animal rescue centers, high schools, local nonprofits and more, both in state and out.

Incentives for health: When it literally pays to get well. Employers want their workers to be healthier – they're more productive that way. Workers want to be healthy, too. But in the short term, when the donuts are calling and the treadmill is not, we all need a little bribe – er, incentive – to do the healthy thing.

Brogan's best ad campaigns of 2017. We're taking stock in a year well spent and a job well done. We provoked. We tested. We challenged. And we learned a lot along the way. Together with our clients, we connected with consumers to help improve their lives and their communities. Best job ever.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper "3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Brogan Volunteers 2017

Brogan Volunteers 2017

As part of our commitment to community, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to participate in community volunteer activities. To support this goal, employees are offered one paid day each year for volunteer service.

Throughout 2017, nearly every Brogan employee took advantage of their volunteer day. Team members worked with homeless shelters, animal rescue centers, high schools, local nonprofits and more, both in state and out. In total, our team donated over $300,000 in combined pro-bono, board work and financial contributions.

Volunteering is good for the soul - and it inspires us both personally and professionally each day.

Here are the stories of Brogan's 2017 employee service days:

JANUARY

1/11 (and throughout the year) — FORCE

Tami spent her volunteer hours with FORCE, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. During 2017 she sat on the patient panel for the first-year med students at Oakland University, lead outreach support meetings at Beaumont Royal Oak, contributed to the patient panel during the Beaumont HBOC symposium and participated in the MDHHS Cascade Call to Action Planning Meeting.

FEBRUARY

2/22 — Fleece & Thank You

On Feb. 22, our team worked with Novi-based Fleece & Thank You to make colorful blankets for children at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. After making more than 20 cozy blankets, we recorded a video message to deliver to the hospital with our gifts.

Fleece & Thank You

APRIL

4/19 — Humane Society of Huron Valley

Caitlin spent her volunteer day completing orientation and the necessary training to work with animals at the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Since then, she has gone to play with, walk and care for shelter animals.

MAY

5/12 — Human Trafficking Symposium

After spending hundreds of hours attending committee meetings, offering marketing advice, creating ads, PR, posters, postcards, billboards, etc., Julia achieved a sell-out attendance of over 400 people at the Pearls of Great Price Coalition's Human Trafficking Symposium.

Becky and Laurie H. spent their volunteer day listening, learning and joining the fight against human trafficking.

JUNE

6/4 — Stampede Scleroderma

Stampede Scleroderma, the Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter's largest event of the year, raises funds for scleroderma support, education and research. Katie supports the SFMC by sitting on the board, and spent her volunteer day taking event photos and coordinating event details.

Stampede Scleroderma

6/8-6/10 — FORCE

Ellyn participated in the National Conference for FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered where she serves as Board President. Throughout the three-day conference, Ellyn met with potential donors, spoke about the importance of financially supporting the organization and led the staff and Board of Directors meeting focusing on strategies to increase organization funding. In addition to the conference, Ellyn commits hundreds of hours throughout the year to FORCE, Winning Futures, the Michigan Women's Foundation and many other organizations.

JULY

7/19 — Game on Cancer Fundraiser

All hands on deck, Brogan employees volunteered to raise funds for Game on Cancer throughout the year. Our team promoted the event, obtained silent auction items, donated food and hosted a wine evening to support Henry Ford Health System's initiative to fight and win the game against cancer.

SEPTEMBER

9/8 — Tamarack Camps Fresh Air Society

In addition to sitting on the board throughout the year, Carly attended the Tamarack Camps Fresh Air Society Board of Directors retreat on Sept. 8. There, she helped plan for fundraising efforts to raise scholarship money to send kids to camp.

9/15 — Arts & Scraps

On Sept. 15, Colleen, Ashlen, Caleb, Taylor and Tami volunteered at Arts & Scraps, a Detroit nonprofit organization that annually recycles material to help children think, create and learn. Here, they sorted and prepared craft materials for Detroit's youth.

Arts & Scraps

9/23 — Muir Valley

Lori traveled out of state for her volunteer day to work with Muir Valley, a nonprofit nature preserve in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. On Sept. 23, she and her family joined 100 other outdoor enthusiasts to groom trails, build benches and bridges, paint outhouses and secure routes and belay areas for rock climbers.

OCTOBER

10/20 — Mason High School

Abby went back to school on Oct. 20 to share her experiences with high school students. She presented insights on new digital trends, gave real-world advice for college, job searching, internships, etc., and spoke in depth on the world of advertising and marketing.

NOVEMBER

11/7 — First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor

Deb led a group of Ann Arbor youth to Cass Social Services where they prepared and served lunch to workers, homeless individuals and local neighbors. They also worked with Cass Social Services employees–many of whom have risen out of homelessness–to manufacture doormats from used car tires.

11/21 — Operation Good Cheer

Each year, Ford Motor Company sponsors foster children in Michigan through Operation Good Cheer. Abigail supported these efforts by collecting, wrapping and organizing gifts for ten children, ages 18 and under.

The organization received more than 20,000 gifts as a whole. And on delivery day, 300 pilots loaded up their planes at 26 airports to distribute gifts and joy throughout the state.

11/23 — Grace Centers of Hope

Grace Centers of Hope provides refuge, safety and security, a home for those without one, and a wide range of programs to help people rebuild their lives and re-enter society. On Nov. 23, Lauren and her husband helped prepare and serve holiday meals to Grace Centers of Hope visitors.

11/27 — Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center

After completing an orientation, taking a tour and learning animal safety procedures, Laura spent her volunteer day walking dogs and caring for animals at the Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center.

DECEMBER

12/2 — Adcraft PM x Fleece & Thank You

On Dec. 2, Chrissy organized an event with Adcraft PM to make blankets and bring smiles to children's faces. She worked with Fleece & Thank You, a local charity, as well as members of Adcraft to cut, tie and package fleece blankets for children in hospitals.

12/21 — Grace Centers of Hope

Katie, Becky and Kim volunteered with Grace Centers of Hope Pontiac for their Dec. 21 volunteer day. Here, they prepped food and meals for homeless individuals, and cooked for the women's/children's shelter holiday party.

Grace Centers of Hope

12/21 — COTS

Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) is a homeless shelter in Detroit that provides housing and long-term supportive housing for families. Celeste served early morning breakfast at COTS, and then helped sort donations. Kaitlynn worked in the "Santa Shop," where individuals can "shop" for donated items for their families during Christmas.

12/22 — Salvation Army

Ashlen rung in her volunteer day by working with Salvation Army as a bell ringer. She spent the day collecting change for the Salvation Army to support local programs in Ann Arbor.

12/22 — Adopt a Family

This December, Brogan employees sponsored four individuals in need with holiday gifts and cheer. Our team purchased numerous gifts for the two adults and two children, wrapped the presents and dropped them off in time for the holiday season.

12/22 — Grandvue Nursing Home

Kelly spent her volunteer day at Grandvue nursing home in East Jordan, MI. She helped bring residents to mass, visited with them and made festive Christmas crafts.

Grandvue Nursing Home

12/26 — Special Olympics Skiing Practice

The Special Olympics hosts one or two practices for kids each week at Bittersweet Ski Area, and Taylor volunteered her time and expertise on Dec. 26 to teach skiing tips and accompany children them down the runs.

It's been a big year for our company and our employees. Stay tuned to see what causes we work with in 2018.

Interested in learning more about Brogan volunteer days? See what Lori had to say about her time spent with Muir Valley.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.
Spot the Brogan & Partners team member among the volunteers at this year’s Muir Valley Trial Days in Kentucky.

My job recently took me to Slade, Kentucky, home of Muir Valley—a nonprofit nature preserve in the Red River Gorge.

The Valley is a rock climber’s paradise, featuring 360 acres and seven miles of Corbin Sandstone cliffs with traditional and sport climbs that run 20- to over 200-feet-tall. Climbers trek here from all over the U.S. to discover more than 400 routes amid classic crags like Bruise Brothers, Midnight Surf and Land Before Time.

Here it’s not just the destination. The journey is equally spectacular, lined with oak, hickory, sugar maple and hemlock trees. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and bigleaf magnolias stretch and hover thick across the valley floor. Trails twist and climb, presenting waterfalls, caves and mountain streams.

This is a marketer’s dream. The creative brief would practically write itself. The Brogan Team would have a field day promoting this place.

But I didn’t go to Muir Valley to pitch business. There would be no campaign. Brogan sent me here simply to do good.

Like many progressive companies, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to contribute back to the community. We’re paid for a volunteer day annually and rewarded for sharing our time and talents to serve on nonprofit boards and committees. The agency partners with several nonprofits throughout the year, providing significant pro bono work and raising money for organizations like Game on Cancer.

Why doing good leads to great.

My volunteer day brought me to Muir Valley because it’s given my family so much. It’s where my son, Nick, travels with his rock climbing team in the summer. It’s where my daughter, Sofia, reads in peace and finds inspiration for short stories. It’s where we road trip on long weekends, catching up on the six-hour trip along I-75 and winding down in the hills of Kentucky.

At the very least, we owed Muir Valley a day’s work.

We joined 100 other outdoor enthusiasts to groom trails, build benches and bridges, paint outhouses and secure routes and belay areas. We met lots of new people. People just like us who had come to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from far flung places like Brooklyn, N.Y. and Muncie, Indiana. And people who call the Valley home and volunteer regularly to ensure its integrity for generations.

We worked alongside Mike, a volunteer search and rescue team member at Muir Valley and longtime climber. Under his supervision, we pick axed, shoveled, dug and scraped post holes for new benches in the training area.

This was unfamiliar work for my family. We hiked to the job site with tools and relay teamed the building materials to the site. We learned how to use a green bar to break up a rock bed and how to secure a post by compacting soil, layer by layer, with a sledge hammer. We learned how to be flexible when nature proved otherwise.

It was hard work. By the end of the day we were exhausted and achy. But we felt amazing.

Volunteering is good business.

Volunteerism is good for the workplace, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey. It can boost morale, atmosphere and brand perception. It can make Millennial employees more proud, loyal and satisfied, and attract Gen Y talent. Survey results found that nearly two-thirds of Gen Y employees surveyed prefer companies that let them volunteer their skills.

These benefits span all generational cohorts, per the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) research. According to CTI data, older generations feel it is important to give back to their community or wider world through their workplace. This is true for 91 percent of Gen X women and 76 percent of Gen X men, and 90 percent of female and 79 percent of male Baby Boomers.

At Brogan, volunteerism contributes directly to our agency mission: creating an inspiring workplace and culture. I may have built benches in Kentucky but I came back to Brogan with so much more. Mission accomplished.

Want to learn more about what makes Brogan & Partners unique? Learn more.

Weekly Recap - June 2, 2017

Raise your hand if you’d like more people checking out your content. Take a look around. You’re in good company. Every Marketer is looking for that prospect juice. You may find insight in these seven tips, complements of Search Engine Journal. Need a little creative pick-me-up? Look no further than this collection of May’s best. Think you’re mom’s favorite? Sorry, Instagram. Try harder.

DETAILS, Please

8 of the top marketing challenges marketers face today [new data]. And more importantly, what to do about them.

7 tricks no one told you about content promotion. No company wants to be less popular. Get more clicks with some tips on promotion.

10 of the best ads from May: Hot dogs, rhinos, and an accidental viral hit. Learn from the best, from Play-Doh to Sweden.

More than 90 percent of U.S. moms have a social media account. You can never have enough data!

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

A healthcare marketer’s cheat sheet: What to advertise, and when. We know all about winter flu season, Heart Month and World Health Day, but what about other “seasons” that healthcare marketers could capitalize on?

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

When agency work feels more like a mission.

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Making a difference.

It’s a powerful motivator. Positive change is the primary goal of most of our clients—whether encouraging healthier behaviors, job growth, financial literacy, sustainable communities, and more. It’s the kind of work that feels more like a mission than a job.

Like our recent work with Reading Works, a Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to improving adult literacy. Reading Works collaborates with community impact partners like Focus Hope and Southwest Solutions to teach adults to read so that they can enjoy a better life and greater opportunities.

The cause is critically important.  One in three adults in Metro Detroit reads below a sixth grade level—twice as bad as the national average. The problem of low literacy is even worse in Detroit where it impacts 40 percent of adults.

Adult illiteracy casts a long shadow. Children of low-literacy parents are 87 percent more likely to be growing up in poverty. When adults learn to read well, it’s life changing. Increased adult literacy corresponds to decreased poverty, decreased crime, reduced overall health care burden, increased child literacy, long-term economic growth and increased per-capita income.

Moreover, improving adult literacy is key to Detroit’s revival. A great workforce, robust neighborhoods and confident children succeeding in the classroom depend on it.

Still, adult illiteracy is overshadowed by other causes. And most people aren’t aware of the magnitude of the problem, according to a recent informal Brogan Talks to Women survey. Nor are they familiar with Reading Works.

  • 40 percent are surprised to learn that one in three adults in Detroit read below sixth grade level.
  • 12 percent have heard of Reading Works.

But people are ready to lean in and learn more. They’re especially interested in its impact on poverty, job skills, crime and community revitalization. Of the 133 respondents surveyed:

  • 96 percent agree or strongly agree that adult literacy is “critical to addressing employment, education…healthcare, citizenship, incarceration and neighborhood revitalization.”
  • 89 percent are compelled by the fact that children of low literacy adults are far more likely to grow up in poverty.
  • 87 percent are motivated by the statement “adults who achieve reading proficiency qualify for better jobs that can move their children and families out of poverty.”

These insights helped inform our creative strategy to bolster awareness and spark action, beginning with a short video to frame the issue. The video was launched earlier this month as part of Reading Works’ bid to win up to $100,000 from A Community Thrives.

Take a look and let us know your thoughts. (And vote for Reading Works through May 12, 2017.) We’ll be reshaping this creative for other channels to connect with volunteers and donors. For more of our social marketing work, visit our portfolio.

Brogan team straps on wearables for a little healthy competition.

I can’t sit still.

I’m looking for excuses to trek upstairs and parking further away from the office. Yesterday, I marched in place while blowing my hair dry. This morning I cha-cha’d at the stovetop while scrambling eggs. My husband smirks. My daughter rolls her eyes. The cat hides. I double-tap my Fitbit.

All this newfound energy is the direct result of a little healthy competition at work. Ellyn, our managing partner, recently threw down a four-week fitness challenge. Those who log 250,000 steps get a check towards the cost of a Fitbit or similar device. Rack up another 120,000 steps over the following two weeks, cha-ching. Another little bonus. There are also weekly incentives to get us moving to the tune of 70,000 steps a week.

Talk about happy feet.

Turns out, our little office competition is part of a big trend. Corporate services is one of Fitbit’s fastest-growing areas of business. Target, Adobe and BP are using the fitness trackers to help improve employee health and cut down on healthcare costs, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

In Arizona, the Local Government Employee Benefit Trust is banking that increased exercise could lessen their most expensive health issues, according to a story in Nogales International. Workers in six counties will receive Fitbits and meet with medical professionals to better their health.  

As part of its Team Member Wellness Initiative, Target in 2015 provided all U.S. employees with a free or discounted Fitbit and hosted activity challenges to create a healthier corporate community. One team competition rewarded the highest performing teams with a share of $1 million to benefit the local wellness nonprofit of their choice.

Competition doesn’t always bring out the best in people. Some creative Fitbit users are finding ways to rack up steps by attaching them to dogs, power tools and electric fans or even by giving the device a spin in the dryer, according to a recent article in Fortune.com. In some instances, cheaters are motivated by prizes. But in other cases it’s simply contestants’ competitive spirit run amuck.

So far, the Brogan Fitbit challenge has sparked a lot of healthy conversation and smart ideas. Like, how about we take this meeting for a walk?

Want to know more about wearables mean for the healthcare industry? Check out our blog “Everything marketers need to know about fitness apps and wearables.”

Brogan: Best of 2015.

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating the new year. But before we do, we’re celebrating the past year by recapping some of the best campaigns we created with clients in 2015. From TV spots and radio commercials to social media posts and brochures, the team at Brogan had a great year full of brainstorms, collaboration, research and creativity. We had the privilege of working on a lot of great projects, but we narrowed down a list of campaigns that really stood out.

Here’s a look at Brogan’s Best of 2015:

  1. Michigan First Credit Union: 365 Live Campaign

    How did we tell people about Michigan First Credit Union’s one-of-a-kind 24/7/365 call center? With melodramatic dilemmas, slow-motion effects and humor, of course.

  2. ComForCare: Best Life Possible

    ComForCare wanted a brand that would help them stand out among competitors. So we created a campaign featuring elderly patients with a lot of energy and a youthful vibe.  

  3. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Colorectal Cancer 

    How do you tell the older men in your life to get a colorectal cancer screening? We stepped up to the challenge with a baseball analogy. Listen to our radio spot to see how the campaign was able to hit a homerun.

     

  4. Consumers Energy: Generation Genius Campaign 

    Consumers Energy invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in initiatives nurturing the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) talent. We created an inspiring campaign called Generation Genius that encouraged students, parents and leaders to get involved with STEM-related programs in their communities.

     

  5. Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter: Blog Launch

    In June, we celebrated Scleroderma Awareness Month by launching a blog for the Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter. Since then, we’ve curated more than 25 blogs with tips, recipes and resources to help individuals who have been affected by Scleroderma.  

  6. Scleroderma Aware: Hard Word Campaign

    Scleroderma is a hard word to pronounce, but it’s an even harder disease to live with. For Scleroderma Awareness Month, we created the Hard Word campaign by implementing social media and blogger outreach strategies. The results? More than 1,400 took the pledge to tell someone about the disease.


  7. Karmanos Cancer Institute: Outdoor Board

    We took a step away from traditional outdoor boards and created an inspiring and hopeful billboard for Karmanos Cancer Institute.

  8. Franciscan Health: Perfectly Human Campaign

    If there are two things we specialize in, it’s women and health. So when Franciscan Health asked us to create a Women’s Health Campaign, we knew exactly what to do. We created an inspiring campaign that reminded women just how amazing their bodies are. 

     

  9. HoneyBaked Ham: Holiday Lyric Video
    You can’t celebrate the holidays without turning on some holiday music and singing along. This holiday, we helped HoneyBaked create their own special tune by changing the lyrics to “Oh, Christmas Tree.” Can you sing along to HoneyBaked’s song? 
     

     

    Oh HoneyBaked

    Sing along. You know the song.

    Posted by The HoneyBaked Ham Company on Wednesday, December 16, 2015
     

  10. Covenant HealthCare: Advanced Orthopaedics Video

    We also created another musical tune to promote the Covenant Center for Advanced Orthopaedics, using the famous tune from Carmen the Opera. Although we intended for it to be a radio spot only, we decided to take it one step further and created a fun video. 

  11. Frankenmuth Insurance: Frankly Speaking Campaign

    Frankly speaking, insurance advertising shouldn’t be boring. We created an entire brand platform for Frankenmuth, with the campaign themeline “Frankly speaking…” that would really resonate with agents, policyholders and consumers. The campaign included fun internal posters, creative social media visuals and a brand video to showcase the brand’s honest service and values.  

  12. Michigan Women’s Foundation: Enough SAID Campaign

    Earlier this year, the Michigan Women’s Foundation asked us to help create an initiative to end the rape kit backlog in the city of Detroit.  We were privileged to be a part of such a great cause that raised more than $1.3 million dollars in private funds and $8 million dollars in public funds.  Not only was the work was featured in several news outlets, including PRWeek, the front page of the Detroit Free Press and New York Times, but it also won Best in Show in Detroit’s most prestigious advertising awards, The D Show. 

2015 was a great year, full of wonderful opportunities, creative campaigns and amazing clients. Now we’re looking forward to 2016 and we’re ready to put our best foot forward. Stay tuned to see what new campaigns we come up with. We can’t wait to share them with you. 

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