Archive: November 2012
November 27th, 2012

miraDry Radio Spots: From Conception to Birth.

Imagine having an evil perspiration fairy who follows you around and decides at the most inappropriate moments that you will sweat like Iguaçu Falls. For 1 in 5 Americans, constant sweating is a very real problem, and no one had figured out a lasting way to fix it. Until, that is, our client miraDry developed an innovative procedure that eliminates underarm sweat by over 80%, giving hope to sweat-gifted people everywhere.

miraDry asked us for a campaign that would hook the female segment of this audience, since initial research showed women were more open to finding a sweat solution. Our strategy team recruited female super-sweaters (imagine breaking the ice on those phone calls) and spent days in focus groups asking them what it’s like to sweat too much, and the million ways it makes everything harder. First dates. Job interviews. Wearing any color besides Johnny Cash black. Or even just walking down the street. Some stories were near-painful, but the women were glad to openly vent about the issue.

Of all the insights we unearthed, one rose to the top: Your sweat doesn’t define you. We needed women to realize that they aren’t the problem – sweat is the enemy. It’s an intruder that prevents the real you from shining. These women could be feeling spectacular, when for some unknown reason their pits activate like loose sprinklers, making them look and feel nervous, verklempt, and just plain out of whack.

It was clear that sweat felt like some “thing” that takes over women’s bodies. So we thought: What if we brought Sweat to life? Gave it a voice? Translating those awkward feelings into words was bound to be funny – and it positioned sweat as the problem. Radio was the perfect medium, and a campaign was born – or at least, conceived. Like any healthy being, it needed to incubate, grow, and pass rigorous testing before it could enter the world.

We brought our focus groups back to test the radio spots, and the women devoured them. The work both entertained, and appealed to the emotions they deal with regularly. Five months after our research phase began, the spots have begun running in Miami and Atlanta on Pandora’s web and mobile sites.  In its first week, click-through rates notably outperformed the average for local campaigns.

Like we always say, it pays to do advertising the right way. By not jumping straight to the pretty pictures, but instead starting with a carefully crafted plan based on actual, confirmed facts. Yes, this means successful creative can’t just be birthed overnight. But when it finally comes to life, it’s breathtaking. Or in some cases, it’s the grating voice of a 40-year-old woman from the Bronx.

Listen to the spots below.


miraDry: “First Date”

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miraDry: “Job Interview”

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November 26th, 2012

Honesty is Hard. It’s Also Mandatory.

We’ve been accused of taking too long to get to the point. ⬆ This is the point. ⬆ Read the post anyway.

So we’ve spoken before about brands and Radical Honesty. We’re going to speak about it again, as this is a lot for marketers to get used to. Remember, we’re the same people who used to go home and sleep like babies after a hard day of telling the world about Camels satisfying your T-zone. But so many nice folks sent us links to this Daniel Baylis article in Fast Company, that we figured we’d better pipe up once again.

It’s a good little article with a couple important takeaways. Like this one:

“The biggest misconception is that brand perfection is necessary before honesty is a valid brand strategy.”

That’s nice, right there. It reminds us that people, for the most part, want to like you. They’re not only looking for a reason to buy, they’ll even help you make your case. “But baby, we need that 75,000 BTU grill! For the children! Won’t you think of the children!?

This one, too:

“In a recent report on transparency in corporate reporting among the 105 largest publicly listed multinational companies, it’s surprising to see that oil companies such as BP and ExxonMobil (also far from perfect) rank much higher in transparency than popular tech companies such as Google and Apple. And in terms of integrity, public perception of Google and Apple continue to fluctuate. If I were a PR executive at these tech companies, my palms would be sweaty.”

Excellent point. Say what you want about BP and ExxonMobil – they’re evil, but they’re reasonably on the up-and-up about it. Meanwhile, Google and Apple, two brands that once possessed halos as bright as supernovaas, now battle it out to see who can embrace the dark side of the Force more quickly.

Our point? We go on and on about Conversation Marketing because we believe your brand is part of a conversation. Moreover, we think you ought to be a good conversationalist. You already have impeccable etiquette – we’ve seen your posture and your Latin declination – don’t forget to use it. Be honest about yourself – customers have highly-developed bullshit radar systems. Have a sense of humor about yourself – better to beat the world to the punch. In general, be someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck in the corner at a party with.

The big finish? This – Mr. Baylis spent a whole lot of column-inches full of words telling you the following: Be honest. Be nice.

Thanks for reading.


November 12th, 2012

Mortar – Where Attitude Meets Gratitude.

Let’s start off with a shout out to all who serve:

“Today, a proud nation expresses our gratitude. But we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade, no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service. For that, we must do more. For that, we must commit—this day and every day—to serving you as well as you’ve served us.”
—President Obama

OK, tissues down.

Speaking of gratitude and those who’ve served with honor, what’s this?


A moving-in gift from Mortar alumni Will Kim? That is just so thoughtful and classy and awesome. Thanks, Will.

Which brings us to the big Veterans’ Day Mortarblog Tie-In. Ready?  In the military, success is about knowing the person next to you has your back. Same principle applies in the trenches of the Mortar. Always has. Always will. If you’re a veteran, talk to us. You may not have traditional experience. But you probably do have perspective we could desperately use.  Also: none of us know how to fire an actual mortar, which seems wrong.

As for the rest of you Mortar veterans, is this a cheap ploy to shame you into sending us spiritous liquors?
We think you know the answer to that.

November 1st, 2012

Saddened, We Are.

Are we broken up about Lucasfilm selling out to Disney? Or just jealous of George’s $4 billion retirement package? In either case, the artwork comes from our own Dan Youmans and Mark Lawson, who remind you to let the Wookiee win.