by Denise Hollingsworth on Jun 23

BRAND BITE — #EmeraldBeauty

McKinney has created for Sherwin-Williams a beautiful and emotionally-charged view of its paint line, Emerald. The production of this TV spot was nothing short of technical mastery, made possible through high speed camera work, a precision guidance system and a room full of crew, agency and client representatives willing to put their nerves at bay as the paint flowed and the unexpected shapes came to life. In the end … mesmerizing perfection that portrays paint in a whole new light.


Brand Thought:

Sherwin-Williams—a key player in a category that tends to play it safe creatively—took a chance. The agency and client teams thought about ‘what if’ and weren’t held back by fear of the unknown or fear of potential failure. Just goes to show, when strategy and creative genius are at play, risk has its rewards.

by Megan Conner on Jun 14

BRAND BITE – #savethesmalltalk

The weather used to be a neutral, small talk-friendly subject. Now, however, a casual conversation about the outside temperature can easily lead to a heated exchange about climate change, or lack-there-of. The Weather Channel is promoting a new original video that acknowledges this issue and encourages education through viewing Weather Channel programs. By watching The Weather Channel, people can learn the facts about climate change, save the small talk and ultimately have informed, civil discourse about the topic.




Many companies and brands stay away from polarizing topics such as climate change. The Weather Channel’s #savethesmalltalk video, however, is an original piece of branded content that appropriately acknowledges the climate change debate. The Weather Channel exclusively focuses on the facts of the weather, as they always have, giving them credibility to shed light on the subject. They are also not picking a side. Rather, they are promoting education so viewers can peacefully and intellectually discuss their viewpoints. Peace and intellect: now that’s something we can all agree on.

by HMH on Jun 11

HMH Wins in National American Advertising Awards

IMG_6995 NatAddys

HMH received a Silver National Addy in the 2017 National ADDY Awards competition for the American Advertising Federation. The agency’s win comes on the heels of being named Best of Show in the Charlotte and Regional chapters of the American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards earlier this year.

The winning work, which involved taking over the Savannah Airport spotlighting the Lowcountry experience, was for the luxurious Palmetto Bluff, the largest remaining waterfront property on the East Coast and part of the Crescent Communities residential real estate portfolio. Through this experiential marketing campaign, travelers arriving at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport are reminded just how close they are to the Lowcountry resort and community. The in-airport tactics, including messaging printed on baggage claim belts, back-lit displays and airport walls, suggest many of the things visitors can do at Palmetto Bluff and invite them to stop by for a while, have a Lowcountry adventure, or stay a bit longer and make Palmetto Bluff their home.

The team for this campaign included creative director Shawn Kelley, copywriter Kathy Valenti, art director Teddy Shipley, designer Amanda Lax, media director Jenn Hausman, brand strategist Denise Hollingsworth, account executives Donna Forbes and Kevin Prenoveau, project manager Lauren Blumenshine and account coordinator Lauren Dixon.

by HMH on Jun 08

The Ad Blockers are coming! The Ad Blockers are coming!

To all fellow marketers out there, consider this your daily PSA. The digital media landscape is about to change again as ad blocking and privacy controls are expected to exponentially grow by double digits. Just this year, eMarketer expects 32% of U.S. internet users (roughly 91M people) will use ad blockers, and more and more users are going to great lengths to protect their privacy and create a better user experience. And now the big guns — Google and Apple — are getting on board.

Google logo

Google’s new 2018 Chrome filter will no longer allow any ads deemed unaccaptable by the Coalition for Better Ads, which includes four desktop ad types and eight mobile ad types. Google will also deploy a new tool called Funding Choices, which will allow publishers to ask users to disable their own third-party ad blockers and pay to go ad free. This is great news for users, but daunting news for us marketers.

Apple Logo

Taking it a step further, Apple isn’t far behind with their new “intelligent tracking prevention” Safari release, which will not block ads per se, but will protect user’s browser history and privacy. This is important to keep in mind when it comes to media placement and even more important for creative development — especially when it involves cookies and tracking.

As we grasp new and better ways to reach out audiences, here is a glimpse of the ad formats that will be disabled in the coming months by Google.


Desktop Ads

  • Pop-up ads
  • Auto-playing video ads with sound
  • Prestitial ads with countdown
  • Large sticky ads

Mobile Ads

  • Pop-up ads
  • Prestitial ads
  • Ad density higher than 30%
  • Flashing animated ads
  • Auto-playing video ads with sound
  • Postitial ads with countdown
  • Full-screen scroll-over ads
  • Large sticky ads

by Denise Hollingsworth on Jun 08


You may have heard that Alaska Airlines bought Virgin America last year. The intention behind the deal was, apparently, to retain two separate and strong brands. In the end, Alaska Airlines determined it could not succeed with that approach. Alaska Airlines, instead, will be retiring the VA brand in 2019. But Alaska Airlines will keep some of Virgin America’s unique and differentiating features (mood lighting, music and enhanced in-flight entertainment).  A nice brand mojo boost for Alaska.



Brand Thought:

Whether or not Alaska Airlines ever truly intended to retain the brand is neither here nor there. The fact that they have determined they could not maintain brand integrity is good enough for me. Their decision will keep Virgin America’s brand memory true and authentic. I’d rather go out with a strong, positive bang than with a watered-down and skewed whimper, wouldn’t you?

by HMH on Jun 05

Jenn Hausman Receives IAB Certification


The world of media is complex, and getting even more so as technologies blur the lines of what advertising really is. Knowing how to plan for and place just traditional media won’t cut it anymore, which is why we are so proud of our very own resident media director, Jenn Hausman, for becoming IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning certified!

Through this certification, which is the media planning and buying industry’s only globally-recognized credential, Jenn is armed with the latest information and training in media campaigns, digital strategies and media collaborations. Not that she wasn’t before (she’s been developing award-winning media campaigns for years), but she is now officially certified to coordinate media buys across a vast multitude of channels, ad units, technology platforms and partnerships.

Ready to put these skills to the test? Bring us your business challenge and let us show you how strategic media placement (and some killer creative) can lead your company to success.

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