ProctorU: Keeping it real (with artificial intelligence)

December 18, 2018By francis-adminArticles, BUSINESS, General Biz, People, Tech

2018 Jemison Award Nominee (First Of Three) In 2008, Jarrod Morgan was Director of Technology at Andrew Jackson University (AJU), and his then-employer — an online-only school — had a problem: Namely, ensuring that its students didn’t cheat on tests.  “At the time, we had to send them somewhere to take their tests — typically in the presence … Read More

Blackjack Branding Campaign

August 8, 2018By francis-adminbrand marketing, Branding, BUSINESS, THE AGENCY, Work

In late 2017, Blackjack Horticulture hired us to update the brand-messaging strategy we’d developed for them in 2010. Our core selling message in 2010 centered around the company’s commitment to integrity in everything they do — both in the field and in business. Which is what led to their original brandline: The Right Way. Naturally. … Read More

From A Camel To A Racehorse? Almost.

April 13, 2018By francis-adminBUSINESS, THE AGENCY, Work

There’s an old ad-biz saying I’ve been repeating ever since I first heard it in 1991: “What’s a camel? It’s a racehorse designed by committee.” That came to mind when my longtime friend (and occasional client) Jeff Roberts told me he needed an ad celebrating Tractor & Equipment’s 75th year in business — and all the people … Read More

Selling Yourself In A Buyer’s Market (Dos and Don’ts. Mostly Don’ts.)

November 15, 2017By FrancisBUSINESS, Communications, FUN, Rants, Uncategorized

(Alecia Silverstone in the movie “Clueless”) My agency has an opening for an art director, and I’ve placed an online Help Wanted ad which includes one non-negotiable prerequisite: “Previous Ad Agency experience absolutely required.” Here’s a very brief (and verbatim) sampling of the responses I’ve received: “I am a graduating senior in college that is … Read More

When Clients Won’t Listen

October 31, 2017By FrancisBUSINESS, Communications, General Biz

Several years ago, I was at lunch with a buddy who posed a question I’d stopped asking in the late-80’s. Namely, “Why is radio in Birmingham so bad?” The broad answer is, “Because radio everywhere is bad.” That said, this is not a Bash-Birmingham-Radio column. There are plenty of good people working in commercial radio. And … Read More