Highlights from ANA Brand Activation Conference, Part II

May 7 2018
I learned so much when attending the 2018 ANA Brand Activation Conference in Chicago this spring. While there were many terrific presentations, I gathered my “top six” to share on the YA blog. This week, I’m covering the presentations from Deluxe Corporation and Oscar Meyer.

“Small Business Revolution”

Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, Deluxe Corporation Deluxe, the check company.

 Exactly what I thought. Yet for years Deluxe has been much more, providing a wide array of products and services for small businesses. Amanda Brinkman was looking for ways to better illustrate the ways Deluxe helps small businesses succeed. She decided to try a series of short films showing how businesses in small towns–with the right resource–can thrive. The Small Business Revolution was born.




The Small Business Revolution YouTube Channel

Deluxe created a contest focused on finding a small town to help transform their Main Street, partnering with Robert Herjavek of Shark Tank to help. Ms. Brinkman and Mr. Herjavek visited the winning small town and choose five businesses to help transform. Their business advice and resources helped the five businesses thrive, bringing the entire town up with them.

Ms. Brinkman explained how important it has been to create separation from SBR and Deluxe, on focusing on authentic storytelling (“films,” not “videos”) and creating the “movement first” and believing the marketing success would follow.




Deluxe leverages the SBR content across all platforms

Season 3 Trailer: After finding success in Seasons 1 (Wabash, Indiana) and 2 (Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania), Small Business Revolution is completing Season 3 in Alton, Illinois. The show is now available on Hulu. Deluxe has been amazed with the results they have seen, and they claim the media impressions they have garnered are twelve times what they would have received via paid ads. They create a soft transition from to, staying true to their “movement first” mantra and accomplishing business success by “doing well by doing good,” to quote Ms. Brinkman.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Start with your brand value proposition and find the ways you are helping customers. Enable those stories and share them, and business success will follow.


“Going to Great ‘Lengths’ to Get a Better Hot Dog in People’s Hands”

Greg Guidotti, Head of Marketing, Oscar Mayer, The Kraft Heinz Company

When Mr. Guidotti took the stage wearing a “Wienermobile” belt buckle, it became quickly apparent we were about to hear from a brand advocate. He delivered, talking about the passion he, the team at Oscar Mayer and the “Hotdoggers” out in the field have for their product.

Oscar Mayer refers to their Field Marketing team as “Hotdoggers.”

In October of 2015, when the World Health Organization released a report linking processed meat to cancer, it hit Oscar Mayer and their hot dog business hard. Greg and the Oscar Mayer team built an aggressive brand activation plan, running the gamut from new packaging to more aggressively leveraging the Weinermobile and their Field Marketing Plan. They invested heavily in more “Hotdoggers,” creating
content they fed to social media and public relations channels to create a more positive attitude toward the all-American favorite.


Key Takeaways: Greg Guidotti’s Closing Slide
  1. Real issues require real change

  2. Turn beliefs into actions–actions speak louder than words

  3. Work backwards from the headline you are chasing

  4. If content is king, context is King Kong

  5. Take a retail mindset…get out early and win the day, week, season

  6. Leave no stone unturned–scenario plan over and over


Let’s talk

If you’d like to learn more about how YA can help you acquire new customers, retain the ones you have, and build lifelong loyalty, then I’d love to begin a conversation with you. Contact me to learn more

Dan Ribolzi is the Vice President of Sales, Manufacturing Vertical at YA 

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