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The real story behind the Addys: Great Clients

Posted on February 21, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It was a great Saturday night last weekend for our company, TRUE visionary marketing, at the Northeast Arkansas Advertising Federation Addy Gala.

Not only did TRUE bring home the most awards of any entrant by a nearly 2-to-1 margin — 11 in all — but we also dominated the broadcast advertising categories again this year (only one other company even placed). TRUE won all of the radio commercial awards, plus six out of seven television category awards.

TRUE also won the only Addy awards given for mixed media campaigns.

And, for the third consecutive year, TRUE was awarded the Broadcast Best of Show Addy, indicating that when it comes to delivering breakthrough creative in the cluttered mass media advertising market, nobody does it better than TRUE.

We couldn’t be more pleased.

Except the Addy Awards don’t tell the whole story.

Speaking with more than 25 years of experience behind me, I can tell you that great advertising starts with great clients. Every ad that makes you take notice began with some invaluable input from the client. Advertising is always a team effort, and one of the reasons TRUE does so well at the Addy Awards each year is that we have fantastic team players on the client side.

Looking through our awards this year, the client Team Captains are stellar performers in their own right. Our Broadcast Best of Show Award also won a Gold Addy for Regional TV Campaign for Liberty Bank, which wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Selena Barber, Liberty’s VP of Marketing.

Her team’s ideas, input and information were the genesis of the work. Partnered up with our TRUE team, the end result was award-winning accolades in television, radio and mixed media campaign categories.

Then there’s the VP of Marketing at St. Bernards, Laura Pickens, who worked with TRUE to produce the award-winning mixed media advertising breast cancer awareness campaign. Like Selena, Laura not only challenges all of us at TRUE, but also inspires us.

Other clients are equally involved — and responsible — for the work we do that is recognized for excellence by our peers: Christina Ryan, executive director at HMG, for whom we won a TV award; Dr. Russ Harral at Vision Care Center, whose spurring on helped us collect two Addy awards; and marketing executives Susan Christian and Jane Marie Woodruff at Ritter Communications, whose collaboration on ideas produced two Gold Addys in the local television category.

Another essential part of the team effort that produces award-winning work is the talented production partners who work with TRUE. Companies like Anthem Pictures, Faultline Studios, Soundscapes and The Works — just to name a few — help us and our clients turn ideas and concepts into finished commercials.

Thanks to our clients for giving us the opportunity to do great work, thanks to the TRUE team for always putting forth the extra effort required for excellence, and thanks to our production companies for never settling for “good enough.”

Great clients. Great Team. Great work.

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Worth reading on a rare snowy day…

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

John Greenleaf Whittier composed some 40 volumes of poetry, but perhaps his best-known work is Snow Bound, from which the following excerpt is taken. With our rare heavy snowfall, I pulled Whittier off the shelf and re-read it this morning. Worth sharing:

Snow Bound, A Winter Idyl

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,
Brought in the wood from out the doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The cock his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.
Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingëd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse thrust his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The cock his lusty greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.
All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art
The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”
The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemd where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

Read the entire poem (which is brilliantly penned and incredibly moving), if you wish, here:
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My favorite Thanksgiving poem…The Pumpkin

Posted on November 22, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |


OH, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin—our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

—by John Greenleaf Whittier

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My Weekly Columns

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’ve started a blog to post my weekly columns appearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which is the oldest daily newspaper west of the Mississippi River (that distinction originally belonged to the Arkansas Gazette, which was purchased some time ago by the Arkansas Democrat). This will make my meanderings more accessible to people, including many friends, who frequently ask about my topics. Enjoy!

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Hello world!

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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