Posted by truecreek on February 24, 2016 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

New work for the State Department Federal Credit Union.  SDFCU 4/C print and posters.

SDFCU Poster  SDFCU Poster SDFCU Poster SDFCU Poster

Kroon Hall at Yale University. An Award-Winner.

Posted by truecreek on June 8, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

I don’t normally comment on architectural design, but Kroon Hall at Yale University is just something special and deserves some thoughts.

A net-zero building, it’s one of the finest pieces of architecture I have seen in the U.S. in a long time.  It has solar panels, a geothermal energy system and was manufactured with more recycled materials than I would want to list here. They even use water from a pond to flush toilets.  Now that’s design.

Complete article here:

A Great Win for NBC.

Posted by truecreek on June 7, 2011 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics, to a point where it’s almost always recommended as a tactic for a client. Especially if there can be promotional tie-ins, merchandising and the like.  For NBC to lock up the U.S. television rights is a real coup.  It’s become their franchise.

One can only imagine how much cash was floating around that table.

NBC now will have exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen.

More here.



So Glad To See The U.S. Auto Industry Rolling.

Posted by truecreek on June 2, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

I am so glad to see that the U.S. auto industry has come back. Collectively, the domestic automakers have made some amazing strides in a very short period of time.  The culture change alone has been astounding, never mind what they have done on the design and production side of the equation.

The cars being produced by GM, Ford and Chrysler are amongst the very best in the world. As Chrysler says in one of their spots, ‘perhaps we should RAISE our standards and buy American.’  Or something like that.  I wholeheartedly agree.

For the entire article, click.

Going To Be A Huge Summer At The Movies.

Posted by truecreek on May 16, 2011 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Looks like we’re really setting up for a nice summer at the movies. If you haven’t placed your schedules yet, it’s time to move forward.  Summer is a tough time to reach your audience with your message. But it looks like they will be in the theaters!

Read it all here:

StratCom International. New Client. New 4/C Art.

Posted by truecreek on May 13, 2011 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

This Might Really Be A Game Changer.

Posted by truecreek on April 28, 2011 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

From AP in today’s USAToday.  Could really be a game changer when it comes to how we market food to our kids.  Several agencies have introduced new guidelines.  The story here.


Posted by truecreek on April 26, 2011 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

Spurlock’s Newest: “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”

Posted by truecreek on April 25, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Read the First Comment

Spurlock has done it again with “POM Wonderful Presents:  The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

As he did in “Super Size Me,”  Spurlock pulls you through the story, working hard to educate you on the nuances, verbiage and acronyms that are a critical part of the storyline. In this case, he’ decides to make a movie about product placement, financing it through product placement.  It’s just a hoot.

He gradually becomes a learned student of the process.  He makes one presentation after another to agencies and their clients, changing and adapting his pitch along the way. Finally, when he’s asked by one prospect “how much?’, he seems a bit taken aback at first.  Then he calmly spits out a fair, but low, number.

Many of the marketers he presented to seem to have been taken aback by his unpretentious nature in the meetings.  It’s was like like they were listening to their crazy brother or sister at the dinner table. You know what they are saying sounds weird, but than again….

You know he’s not trying to, but he makes more than a few of the marketers look pretty stupid in the process.  And I think that is one of the things I find most interesting about Spurlock; it’s his unpretentious nature. You just feel for the guy and know that he’s just trying to make things happen.  So what if he steps in it once in a while?

In one scene in the movie, he gets in the elevator after having pitched four or five great ideas to POM, only to be told that they would prefer another direction.  Of course, it’s the one that they have been thinking about since he last presented to them. His stuff didn’t have a chance.  How many times have we all been there?

This article from Ad Age speaks to the success Spurlock is having selling the movie.  But his success doesn’t surprise me.  He’s a great salesman. Perhaps he could offer versions of the movie as he adds more and more sponsors.  That’s how the industry would do it, right?

Read more about this in AdAge:

It’s a Media Thing.

Posted by truecreek on April 4, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

A successful media plan becomes the pathway through consumers’ protective radar with the ultimate goal of influencing their behavior. We produce plans that will capture the imagination of the consumer with a full spectrum of creative, well-researched solutions.

We are strategic media thinkers, creating media plans that dramatically optimize communication.

We specialize in maximizing the yield on your media investment. We utilize the most current and sophisticated planning/buying research materials, including geographic and psychographic market information as well as quantitative and qualitative measurement tools.

If you are looking for innovative planning, placement and reconciliation, give us a call today at 703-256-2913, or ping us at joseph@truecreek dot com.

Is Film Dead?

Posted by truecreek on under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

I’m working on a new project right now with one of my favorite directors.  He’s recommending we shoot this series of commercials with the new ALEXA, from ARRI.

He’s all pumped up about the extraordinary 35 format film-style digital camera system. He insists it’s just perfect for what we’re looking to do.

The camera will give us outstanding image quality with the organic look and feel of film, but what happens afterward is what is juicing him so much.

We’ll shoot with the HD on-board recording  and after our shoot, we’re just going to pull out the large card we’ve recorded on and move the files right over to the Mac to edit, saving a tremendous amount of time and money in the process.

It does beg the question.  Is film dead?

More here:

The Summer Movie Season is Almost Here.

Posted by truecreek on March 25, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

My clients are well aware of my affinity for cinema advertising. I just love the tactic.  With cinema, you have a captive audience that considers movie advertising a part of the experience.  The demos are great and your message is not lost in the clutter we see every day in other forms of media.

We’re closing in on a great summer movie season, with dozens of potential hits coming your way to the big screen, like . This is going to be one of the big hitters, I think.  Captain America, another great Marvel story.

Next Stage. 4/C Print for Comcast.

Posted by truecreek on March 23, 2011 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

Home Sweet Home. New 4/C Print for Comcast.

Posted by truecreek on under The Work | Be the First to Comment

PWC Study: More TV Now Viewed On Computer Than TV.

Posted by truecreek on March 8, 2011 under More Dam News, Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

Surprising to see this happen so quickly. I would have thought this shift would have taken another ten years or so.  It must be a youth thing because I prefer HD on a big screen for my TV and gaming.

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable

Consumers are spending about 20 hours per week accessing digital content-including video games and print content–on a cell phone, computer, or mobile device, with the majority of that TV shows, movies and other videos.

That is according to a just-released consumer research study from PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). The study found that across all age groups, respondents watched 12.4 hours of TV shows/videos and movies online, while only 8.9 hours of that content on network TV and basic and pay cable.

Not surprisingly, the 44 and under crowd do the majority of that digital viewing, but even the 45-59 age group was close to even, with 9 hours of traditional video watching vs. 8.3 hours of online video viewing.

Mobile devices trailed as the screen of preference, in line with PWC’s forecasts that mobile TV is a very small percentage (1%) of the total TV subscription marketplace. The study found that 80% of respondents would not pay a premium for early access to content on their mobile device.

When asked about the ways they obtain movie content, only 12.9% cited purchasing via VOD from their cable company, which put that ninth on the list behind streaming from Hulu for free (30.7%), renting from an actual brick and mortar store (23.3%), or borrowing one from a friend or relative (19.8%). The two top answers were renting an actual copy from a Netflix (42.6%) and renting an online copy (31.7%).

More about this article here.

What We Do At True Creek.

Posted by truecreek on February 1, 2011 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

At True Creek, we are into big ideas. The Creekbed draws from the brightest, most creative minds in the industry today; people who have shaped brands like the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, Intel, Apple, Nissan, Best Buy, Volkswagen, Cox, Comcast, NASA – and many local and regional names that are big fish in a smaller pond.

We offer our clients a wide variety of services:  Media Planning, Placement and Reconciliation, Television and Radio Production, Newspaper, Digital and Video Production, Four-Color Magazine, Collateral Materials, Direct Mail, Promotional Merchandise, Point-of-Purchase, Outdoor and Out-of-Home, Logo Design and Corporate Identity/Graphic Standards.  

Our agency is based in Oakton, VA, which is just outside the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C.

Please take a moment to tour the site.  Afterwards, let’s talk about how we might be able to help you.   703-281-2165.  Or send a note to joseph@truecreek dot com.  

Now This is a Real Eye Opener. Men Control the Shopping Cart?

Posted by truecreek on January 17, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them., Research | Be the First to Comment

For years, it’s been a given that women were primary decision-makers in most households, especially in the grocery store. They were always the keeper of the checkbook.  But tough times can often change things and this recession has been no different.  We’re spending less and watching our dollars more closely than ever before.  But there is something more to the story.

I would never have thought that more than half of the Men surveyed now think they control the grocery cart.  That is a HUGE shift from most current perceptions and might just mean a sea change in the way grocery stores market.  A new survey from Yahoo is striking in it’s results.

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — Mom is losing ground to Dad in the grocery aisle, with more than half of men now supposedly believing they control the shopping cart. The implications for many marketers may be as disruptive as many of the changes they’re facing in media.

Through decades of media fragmentation, marketers of packaged goods and many other brands could take solace in one thing — at least they could count on their core consumers being moms and reach them through often narrowly targeted cable TV, print and digital media.

But a study by Yahoo based on interviews last year of 2,400 U.S. men ages 18 to 64 finds more than half now identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households. Dads in particular are taking up the shopping cart, with about six in 10 identifying themselves as their household’s decision maker on packaged goods, health, pet and clothing purchases. Not surprisingly, given that such ads long have been crafted for women, only 22% to 24% of men felt advertising in packaged goods, pet supplies or clothing speaks to them, according to the Yahoo survey.

The Great Recession has thrown millions of men in construction, manufacturing and other traditionally male occupations out of work and by extension into more domestic duties. At the same time, gender roles were already changing anyway, with Gen X and millennial men in particular more likely to take an active role in parenting and household duties.

More about the story here.

Congratulations to GM. It’s All About the Product.

Posted by truecreek on November 17, 2010 under More Dam News, Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Just yesterday, General Motors announced a 31 percent increase in the amount of shares the company is going to issue in common stock for their IPO tomorrow. It very possibly could become the largest IPO in history.   This dramatic increase in issuance is due to the demand generated by the buzz associated with the offering. And it’s a buzz that is not all about just the financials.  UPDATE FROM AP:  GM’s landmark stock sale is now set to raise up to $22.7 billion, the biggest IPO in history.

I think it says a lot about the product offering. Dropping Saab, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer has allowed the company to FOCUS their attention on their four remaining core brands:  GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac. GMC trucks are some of the best in the world,  the Chevrolet and Buick brands are on fire and Cadillac is staying strong.

According to the company, year-to-date, combined sales of the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Camaro, Buick LaCrosse and Regal, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon are up 323 percent.

And today, even more good things to say.  The highly anticipated VOLT has been named Car of the Year by Motor Trend and Automobile. I’m sure Car and Driver won’t be far behind.  Without a single car having been delivered.  Now that’s confidence in a product.  Add to that, GE’s decision to buy 25,000 Volts by 2015 and you have a winner here.

The quality of the GM build today is second to none.  Factories are in the best shape ever, utilizing build and production techniques that will assure buyers of a high quality product with minimal defects.  Reliability and quality engineering is  now a part of the overall message for all the brands. Take a look at some of the new GM advertising.  Best in a long time.

So, tomorrow will be a good day, maybe even a great day, for GM.  And they deserve it.

(Chevrolet’s SS concept, from GM’s North Hollywood Design Center.)

Another Great Year Ahead for Cinema Advertising.

Posted by truecreek on November 16, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

2011 is set up to be another exciting year at the movies. There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone with plenty of thrillers and comedies. Just throw in some romance, a little horror, lots of drama and exciting action and you have another great year in cinema.

It also looking to be the biggest year ever in 3-D.

Here are just some of the blockbusters you’ll see in 2011:

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Hangover 2
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom
The Dark Fields
The Green Hornet
The Rite
Scream 4
The Green Lantern
Cars 2
X-Men First Class
Transformers 3
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II
The Three Musketeers
Twilight Saga
Happy Feet 2
Mission Impossible 4
Sherlock Holmes 2

NBCU: Old Is the New Young.

Posted by truecreek on November 3, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By John Consoli

NBC Universal wants advertisers to know that when it comes to consumer spending based on what they see in television ads, the 55-64 demo is the new 18-34—or it’s just as important as that younger demo.

NBCU on Tuesday (Nov. 2) gave the media a sneak peek at a major presentation it will make on Thursday to its advertisers, their media agencies and Nielsen officials. The presentation will offer data showing that the adult 55-64 demo is as vibrant as younger demos in ad spending, and should be targeted (and not ignored) when television marketing plans are created.

Allen Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBCU, presented evidence from assorted sources—including one-on-one interviews with adults in the demo—that dispel myths about how adults 55-64 respond to advertising and spend as consumers.

Wurtzel said the demo, which he’s labeled “AlphaBoomers,” “has been largely ignored by advertisers and marketers.”

“Every seven seconds someone turns 55 and once they do, they are eliminated from the highest-end Nielsen demo measurement: 25-54,” Wurtzel said. “It is the fastest-growing demo group in the country and now numbers 35 million people that account for close to $2 trillion in annual spending.”

Wurtzel said NBC research and a survey it commissioned of people in the 55-64 demo counters common perceptions that they make less of an income and spend less on advertised products; are technophobic and brand loyal, and therefore, cannot be motivated to switch brands.

“Our goal is to raise a discussion among CMOs at the various companies and to get Nielsen to begin offering ratings data for the 55-64 demo,” Wurtzel said. “They have the data. It’s just a matter of creating the software and adding staff to distribute it.”

Other findings include:

* AphaBoomers spend more on home improvement products, home furnishing, large appliances, beauty and cosmetics and casual dining than adults 18-49.

* A similar percentage of AlphaBoomers have high-definition TVs, use DVRs and broadband as adults 18-34

* 70 percent of AlphaBoomers buy at least one product a month online

* 59 percent of AlphaBoomers send text messages via their cell phones

“This is not something that is just going to affect NBCU,” Wurtzel said. “Down the road as more people leave the 25-54 demo, it will affect every network.”

More here.

Men Will Pause for a Cause, Survey Suggests.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

I am not surprised at all by the results of this research. Men really do care about a lot of things that matter to all.

By Stuart Elliott

For many years, the assumption on Madison Avenue has been that cause marketing — doing well (selling products) by doing good (helping causes that matter to consumers) — plays more strongly with women than men. That may not be the case, according to a new survey.

The 2010 edition of the PR Cause survey, co-sponsored by the trade publication PR Week and Barkley, an agency in Kansas City, Mo., found that men were nearly as supportive of cause marketing campaigns as women.

Eighty-eight percent of the men questioned for the survey said they believed it was important for companies to support causes. When the question was asked last year of women, 91 percent of respondents said they agreed.

“Men do have a heart,” said Mike Swenson, president at Barkley. The agency suggested to PR Week that part of the survey be devoted to men’s views of cause marketing, he added, and the publication agreed.+

The survey, as usual, also canvassed corporate marketing executives for their opinions about cause-related promotions and advertising. Two-thirds said their companies engaged in cause marketing, versus 58 percent in the survey last year.

However, 68 percent of the marketing executives who were questioned for the survey said they had no plans to aim cause marketing efforts at men.

“It’s certainly an open door for brands that cater to men,” Mr. Swenson said.

A cause marketing program centered on breast cancer, which Barkley created for Lee Jeans, part of the VF Corporation, also has a male target audience in addition to the obvious female audience. The idea is to generate men’s help to fight a disease that affects the women in their lives.

The results of the survey showed that the economy “hasn’t affected corporate support” of cause marketing, said Erica Iacono, executive editor of PR Week in New York, owned by the Haymarket Media Group. In fact, it may have increased that support because consumers are more interested in causes after going through tough times.

“Last year, we had two clients that, while making other budget cuts, each started a new cause program,” Mr. Swenson said.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Stunt. Brilliant?

Posted by truecreek on October 26, 2010 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Today’s zombie commute in NYC must have been really something to see.  Hopefully, there were enough of them on the streets to really make a visual impact. Probably one of the more inventive uses of social media that I have heard about.

By Deepti Hajela

As if the morning commute wasn’t odd enough, intrepid New Yorkers trying to make their way to work on Tuesday had to battle past hordes of the walking dead.

Two dozen zombies, their clothes spattered with fake blood, were staggering up and down the block outside Madison Square Garden. Downtown, others shuffled across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Some pedestrians looked startled or amused by the ghost-white actors with bruised-looking eyes. Some people ignored them entirely. Others whipped out their cell phone cameras.

Horror movie fan Linda Emery was thrilled to see the creatures.

“I’m into zombies, anything with zombies,” said the 58-year-old home care provider from Brooklyn. It made a change from her usual commute.

“You see a lot of stuff, but not this stuff,” she said.

Erik Machado, an audio engineer heading to work in New Jersey, was unfazed and passed by the scene with nary a glance at the nightmares walking around.

“Gotta commute, gotta go where I gotta go,” the Queens resident said.

The stunt was part of a campaign in 26 cities worldwide promoting the Halloween premiere of the AMC television series “The Walking Dead.” The show is being broadcast outside of the United States on Fox International Channels.

It’s Dems vs. the GOP for Brand Domination.

Posted by truecreek on October 25, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

Well, it was bound to happen.  Someone was going to look at the relationship between a brand and a political party. Perfect study for this time of year, don’t you think?

This is only the top 10 for each and the only thing I don’t see is Apple on the list for the Dems. To me, that would be a no brainer, but I’m sure it’s on the big list somewhere.

I love Craftsman tools, but big with the liberals?  Don’t know about that.

Fox New Channel the #1 brand with a bullet for the GOP. Who would have guessed?

Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe’s.

Posted by truecreek on August 25, 2010 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Beth Kowitt, FORTUNE.

Apple’s retail stores aren’t the only place where lines form these days. It’s 7:30 on a July morning, and already a crowd has gathered for the opening of Trader Joe’s newest outpost, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The waiting shoppers chat about their favorite Trader Joe’s foods, and a woman in line launches into a monologue comparing the retailer’s West Coast and East Coast locations. Another customer suggests that the chain will be good for Chelsea, even though the area is already brimming with places to buy groceries, including Whole Foods and several upscale food boutiques.

But Trader Joe’s is no ordinary grocery chain. It’s an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience. It stocks its shelves with a winning combination of low-cost, yuppie-friendly staples (cage-free eggs and organic blue agave sweetener) and exotic, affordable luxuries — Belgian butter waffle cookies or Thai lime-and-chili cashews — that you simply can’t find anyplace else.

Employees dress in goofy trademark Hawaiian shirts, hand stickers out to your squirming kids, and cheerfully refund your money if you’re unhappy with a purchase — no questions asked. At the Chelsea store opening, workers greeted customers with high-fives and free cookies. Try getting that kind of love at the Piggly Wiggly.

It’s little wonder that Trader Joe’s is one of the hottest retailers in the U.S. It now boasts 344 stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and strip-mall operators and consumers alike aggressively lobby the chain, based in Monrovia, Calif., to come to their towns. A Trader Joe’s brings with it good jobs, and its presence in your community is like an affirmation that you and your neighbors are worldly and smart.

The privately held company’s sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods’ and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list. Unlike those massive shopping emporiums, Trader Joe’s has a deliberately scaled-down strategy: It is opening just five more locations this year. The company selects relatively small stores with a carefully curated selection of items. (Typical grocery stores can carry 50,000 stock-keeping units, or SKUs; Trader Joe’s sells about 4,000 SKUs, and about 80% of the stock bears the Trader Joe’s brand.) The result: Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double Whole Foods’. The company has no debt and funds all growth from its own coffers.

More about Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe’s here.

You Think This is a Bike Store?

Posted by truecreek on August 18, 2010 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

What a brilliant way to market a bike store.

From Photoblog:

Co-owner Christian Petersen looks out of a window at his bicycle shop in Altlandsberg, north-east of Berlin August 17, 2010. The owners attached about 120 bicycles on the facade to advertise their shop.

Photo credit:

Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters