Hiring a not-so-secret weapon led Seismicom to a major jump in its creative ranking from No. 26 to No. 4. The weapon? Marilyn Barrett, a veteran in the business hired in January 2003 as executive creative director. She had spent many years at Frankel building the Visa business and was brought in to take charge of creative for Seismicom.
“What Marilyn brings to the table is an extraordinary blend of strategic thinking and concepting as well as intense creativity, and that is something that is very rare,” says Kathy Mitchell, COO and CFO for Seismicom.
Despite the jump in its creative ranking, Seismicom’s overall ranking in the 2004 PROMO 100 fell from No. 31 to No. 49, largely due to a drop in two-year growth after taking on a sizable one-time project for Microsoft Corp. in 2001 to launch Ultimate TV. The firm reported 2003 revenue of $3.8 million, compared to $4 million in 2001. Some 50% came from new business, including work for Showtime Networks, Samsung, Citibank and Tilia/Foodsaver. It is also AOR for AT&T Wireless and Dole Fresh Vegetables. (The shop won an Honorable Mention in the 2003 Pro Awards for its Dole MyGreens campaign.)
Another campaign, Dole Crisp Cash, was aimed at driving packaged salad sales, increasing brand loyalty and building a database of consumers. Last year, consumers at Pathmark who bought one of 13 salad blends received a code on the checkout register tape to enter at a Web site.
Shoppers who entered three codes generated a $5 gift certificate to Pathmark that was mailed to the consumer. Sales for Dole salad blends jumped 42.4% during the promotion period. That promotion generated 11,108 registered consumers who receive future offers.
The promotion has since run again twice this year, bringing in another 30,000 registrants at one account. A lack of ad space and shelf signage caused a dropoff in participation at the other account, says Carrie Griffin, manager of customer specific marketing, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Salinas, CA. (No fault of the agency, she adds.)
She said customers got excited about the campaign, in particular one who bought 90 bags, prompting Dole to give her a call and make sure everything was on the up and up. The customer said she and her husband were on a special diet that required eating lots of salad.
For client Boeing, Seismicom came up with a Name Your Plane promo to generate awareness and media buzz around the new 7E7 aircraft. The program built a database of customers and positioned Boeing as an educator of future aviation enthusiasts. A Web site featured a 360-degree tour of the aiplane. Consumers voted for their favorite name to enter a sweepstakes that dangled a two-hour “dream flight” as grand prize. (The winning name was “Dreamliner.”) In all, 125,000 consumers joined the World Design Team to stay engaged until the plane enters the market in 2008.
This year, the San Francisco-based agency added sponsorship activation to its list of disciplines, which already includes sales promotion, event marketing, sponsorship marketing, merchandising, online promotions, direct response marketing and promotional media. It also plans to beef up its New York and Chicago offices.