Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman

Leading Women, Part 2: Advances in Technology cont.

If the tech industry were a boxing ring, Meg Whitman would arguably be its greatest cut man / woman. She accepted her role as Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive officer at a time when the world’s second-largest tech company had suffered savage beatings in the market, bleeding both profits and stock value.1 Given that Whitman had a board member’s view to the turmoil that led HP’s previous CEO, Leo Apotheker, to the chopping block after just 11 months, one would think she might have thrown in the towel altogether. Too smart and too tough to walk away from the huge upside the daunting challenge offered, Whitman accepted the job and began stitching up HP’s overwhelming damage.

The company’s Rocky-esque battle wasn’t over, and Whitman recognized that if HP was to climb back toward its once-impeccable profits margin, she first had to reduce the swelling. The quickest way to do so, she decided, was to significantly reduce payroll. Whitman implemented a “restructuring program” that includes cutting roughly 50,000 jobs—34,000 of which she announced in 2013 and up to 16,000 additional cuts she announced in May.2 While obviously tough on HP’s employees, the layoffs seem to have improved the company’s standings in the market. Stock for HP is up significantly in 2014 and had risen 13.6% by the time Whitman announced the latest round of layoffs.3

Heading a multi-billion dollar corporation requires the guts to make tough decisions in the name of profitability, and Whitman has long been willing to shoulder the burden. After graduating Princeton and achieving her MBA at Harvard Business School, she served in leadership roles for various companies including Proctor & Gamble, Bain & Company, Disney, and Hasbro. Whitman’s first stint as a CEO was stunningly successful. She took the helm at eBay in 1998 and would take the company from 50 employees and $86 million in year one to 15,000 employees and $7.7 billion when she stepped down in 2007.4

Tasked with reshaping a loosely structured company—previously run by its young, software-writing creator—into a fully legit IPO, Whitman started with some business basics. For example, she had “to introduce some basic management tools—like desk calendars, so managers could schedule meetings.”4, 5 She remedied any lingering low expectations by insisting on a global strategy and then shocked the naysayers by taking eBay public to the tune of $2 billion on the first day! Under her leadership, the company doubled its worth in 6 months and doubled again 1 month later. That’s $8 billion in a mere 7 months on the stock market.4

Whitman has a history of quickly hitting goals for the companies she leads, and she’s at it still today. While HP wasn’t in position to perform nearly as heroically as eBay did with Whitman in its corner, the skilled cut woman has already stopped the bleeding and has HP headed toward recovery.

References

  1. “HP Axes CEO Apotheker, Meg Whitman Takes Over.” (Sept. 22, 2011). Preimesberger, Chris. eWeek website. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2014, from eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/HP-Axes-CEO-Apotheker-Meg-Whitman-Takes-Over-172609/.
  2. “HP’s Whitman on PC Decline and Job Cuts.” (May 23, 2014). The New York Times, Bits blog. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2014, from bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/23/hps-whitman-on-pc-decline-and-job-cuts/.
  3. “HP to Cut up to 16,000 more jobs.” (May 23, 2014). O’Toole, James. CNN Money website. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2014, from money.cnn.com/2014/05/22/technology/enterprise/hp-job-cuts/.
  4. “Going, Going, Gone: Meg Whitman Leaves eBay.” (Jan. 25, 2008). Cohen, Adam. The New York Times, The Board blog. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2014, from theboard.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/going-going-gone-meg-whitman-leaves-ebay/.
  5. Margaret Cushing Whitman. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved Aug. 04, 2014, from 
biography.com/people/meg-whitman-20692533.

 

Drop back by the b!eep blog next week to learn a bit about Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

Leading Women, Part 2: Advances in Technology cont.

You know the scene: You take a YouTube break for “just one quick clip,” only to find yourself giving into the inevitable time-sucking vortex of inviting videos. Don’t tell the bosses, but it happens to the best of us. And it appears that sirens’ call is only going to get stronger. As of early February, recently appointed YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has been implementing plans to make us all love YouTube—and its endless list of cast members—even more.

Like Sheryl Sandberg, Wojcicki had previously made her biggest mark at Google, though she also saw successes at Intel, Bain & Company, and a handful of startups. She too hails from our marketing neck of the woods, having joined Google as its first marketing manager in 1999. Continually climbing the ranks, thanks to great ideas and strong leadership, Wojcicki worked her way to senior vice president, advertising & commerce at Google. When she finally decided to leave the Search giant earlier this year, she had already captained all aspects—from conception and design to engineering and ongoing improvements—of  many incredibly profitable online ad products and services.1 In fact, last year “Wojcicki’s work in Google ads represented the lion’s share of the company’s profits, or more than 91 percent.”2 Not too shabby.

So what can we expect from YouTube now that Wojcicki is at the helm? Somewhat surprisingly, the person hugely responsible for giant strides in online advertising sales is turning to print ad campaigns and other “traditional” mediums to drive viewership on YouTube. Just after she accepted her new gig, Ad Age reported that Wojcicki plans to leverage “TV ads, billboards, subway wraps and magazine pages” to market YouTube. What’s more, she is currently investing YouTube’s marketing budget on raising awareness and loyalty for the viewer-dictated stars of the company, starting with chef Rosanna Pansino and fashion & beauty clip hosts Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota. Haven’t heard of them? You will. The YouTube stars will be seen on both The CW and ABC Family, multiple teen magazines as well as Entertainment Weekly, and good, ol’ fashioned TV programming and billboards in two of the US’s biggest markets—New York and Chicago.3

Clearly, Wojcicki is taking a big swing with this multi-million dollar marketing push, but despite the pressure that comes with such a gamble, the Harvard graduate apparently isn’t busy enough. When she’s not hunting gobs of cash for YouTube, Wojcicki makes time to serve on at least three influential boards: HomeAway, Computer History Museum, and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her ties to UCLA also include earning an MBA there in 1998. Throw in her master’s in economics from UC Santa Cruz, and it’s easy to see Wojcicki has a real passion for both knowledge and business building.

All that education and her ongoing pursuit for new experiences continues to serve Wojcicki well, and we’re betting it will also prove beneficial for all things YouTube—from the stars to the viewers to Google’s shareholders.

References

  1. Susan Wojcicki Bio. (2014). CrunchBase website. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from
    crunchbase.com/person/susan-wojcicki.
  2. “Susan Wojcicki Named As YouTube CEO, Former Head Of Google Ad Sales (GOOG).” (Feb. 6, 2014). Halleck, Thomas. International Business Times website. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from ibtimes.com/susan-wojcicki-named-youtube-ceo-former-head-google-ad-sales-goog-1553648.
  3. “Exclusive Interview: Susan Wojcicki’s Plan to Make YouTube ‘Stars’ Real-Life Famous.” (Apr. 14, 2014). Learmonth, Michael. Ad Age website. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from adage.com/article/digital/exclusive-interview-susan-wojcicki-s-plan-youtube/292621/.

 

Next week we’ll post our piece on Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman.

Leading Women, Part 2: Advances in Technology

A Google search for women in technology yields many examples of organizations and initiatives that strive to bridge the gap in the number of men and women in the tech field. As an integrated digital marketing agency, we’re always pleased to see movements that grow the talent pool and result in additional candidates who would make excellent members of deep’s interactive department. As a group that simply loves the latest gadgets, we’re equally happy to see technological breakthroughs—whether led by men or women. Recently, women are directly shaping many of the companies delivering big gains in tech.

Let’s take a look at a few of the women whose work has made a major difference for their companies while setting shining examples for tomorrow’s innovative young women and men of tech. While we considered starting with DineEquity Inc.’s Julia Stewart or one of the many other women who leverage technology to impact the global foodservice marketing and advertising industry, we decided to run with Sheryl Sandberg first.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Who better to lead off our “Women in Tech” lineup of heavy hitters than the author of the best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead? The popularity of her book has brought much attention to the barriers women can face in the workplace. Some such deterrents to leadership positions, such as “bias, lack of flexibility, lack of opportunity,”1 are influenced by less-enlightened minds, Sandberg alludes. Others, she argues, are self imposed: “We also hold ourselves back. We don’t sit at the table; we don’t raise our hands; we don’t let our voices be loud enough.”1 That kind of realistic look at the landscape, coupled with an honest assessment of her personal accountability to her goals, has helped Sandberg navigate a quick and steady path to big-time leadership.

On stage during her famous 2010 Ted Talk, Sandberg addressed the need to participate in professional conversations and lean in to help lead every discussion, whatever it entails. She asked the audience, “Why does this matter?” She continued with the firm answer: “It matters a lot. Because no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side, not at the table.”2 Both her book and the international organization it spurred, LeanIn.org, focus on supporting women to embrace their loftiest ambitions. And Sandberg followed her own advice long before she carried the clout to so widely reach and encourage women.

After majoring in economics and graduating Harvard summa cum laude in ’91, Sandberg wet her feet as a research assistant to the World Bank’s Chief Economist Lawrence Summers, formerly her thesis adviser at Harvard. Driven by a constant need to know more and do more, in ’95 Sandberg earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, graduating with distinction. A year later, Sandberg brushed aside the sort of self-doubt she often references and jumped into a high-profile job—serving as President Clinton’s chief of staff to US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Summers, her old mentor. She remained Summers’s chief of staff for 5 years, including 3 years after he earned a promotion to secretary of the Treasury.3

Like so many chiefs of staff before her, when Sandberg’s party lost the office, she lost her job. The timing worked out well, though, and in 2001 Sandberg’s obvious economics acumen led Google to pursue her to lead the then 3-year-old startup’s online sales and operations. During her 7 years as vice president of global online sales and operations, Sandberg steadily drove Google’s online ad sales by overseeing the AdWords and AdSense services. She also increased sales of publishing products and profits as a whole. She joined the company as an extremely promising yet unproven leader who wasn’t certain she could do all the job demanded. But she again shook any natural insecurities, voiced her ideas and opinions loud enough to be heard, earned success after success, and eventually left Google as a highly sought executive.

Sandberg is currently crushing the challenge she first accepted when leaving Google in 2008: chief operating officer at Facebook. Her tenure there has seen Facebook become ever-more dominant as an online mainstay, and she played a crucial role in the company’s immediate success when it became publicly tradable in 2012. She oversees all business operations for the company, including “sales management, business development, human resources, marketing [our favorite], public policy, privacy, and communications” and makes herself well heard as the first woman on the Facebook Board of Directors.1

As a respected, best-selling author on the economic value of workplace equality, today Sandberg continues to lean in on behalf of herself and the countless women and men who will follow her lead.

References

  1. Sheryl Kara Sandberg. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from biography.com/people/sheryl-sandberg.
  2. “Sheryl Sandberg on Lean In” video. Lean In website. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from leanin.org/book/.
  3. “Biography of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, 2008-present.” (Oct. 2013). Information Please database. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from infoplease.com/biography/var/sherylsandberg.html.

 

Tune in next week for a look at YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Leading Women: Shaping the Marketplace

In June 2014, Forbes magazine published its annual list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” As usual, the list features 100 brilliant, forward-thinking, motivated individuals. If you’ll permit us to brag a bit, or even if you won’t, we’re happy to say the “Women Business Leaders” section of issues sold in Missouri includes a piece highlighting the success of our own Valeri Lea. The article, titled “deep Knows What’s Cooking,” discusses our agency’s work in the foodservice market and explores Val’s role as deep partner along with her passion for all things food.

Since the latest edition of “100 Most Powerful Women” marks the tenth anniversary of this list, Val finds herself included in the same Forbes issue as some of the figures she has admired over the years, as have many of the rest of us who swim in the deep. Reading up on the women who made this year’s cut has inspired us to write a little more about a handful of these leaders as well as showcase a few others who easily could have been included on the annual Forbes list.

Because we offer extensive interactive marketing solutions, deep is especially interested in the leading women of the marketing and tech industries. That’s one reason it was great to see so many women in tech make the Forbes list this year. True, the ratio of men to women in the technology field still leads to issues that cause dustups on Twitter and other social sites now and again, but with 18 of the top 100 most powerful women earning their livings in the tech market, the industry clearly owes many of its recent successes to members of the female gender.

The same holds true in marketing. In our experience, this is particularly obvious in the food merchandising and marketing industry. For quite some time, leading ad agencies have boasted the type of cross-gender collaboration that results in impressive—not to mention lucrative—advertising campaigns. And while we’ve got lots of love for the guys in the game, over the next few weeks b!eep is going to focus on a three-part blog series celebrating a few notable accomplishments of women in the tech and marketing fields.

This series will delve into the skills and decisions that earned some of the world’s most driven women power seats at their respective tables.

Up next? In “Part 2: Advances in Technology,” we’ll get more familiar with the impacts these four power players continue to make:

  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki
  • Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman
  • Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns

Then, in part 3, we’ll learn more about four women who keep their marketing agencies pushing profits:

  • Facebook VP, Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson
  • Ogilvy South Africa Chairman Nunu Ntshingila
  • Havas Worldwide Executive President & BETC Founder Mercedes Erra
  • Ogilvy & Mather Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus

 

Culinary Trends of 2014: 
Bringing Global Flavors and Gluten-Free Options to Pantry and Plate

Staying ahead of developing trends is vital to any business, obviously. To meet consumers’ needs before competitors make it clear they can too, it’s imperative to know what people will want before they know they want it. In the food and restaurant industry, this rings especially true, and it’s not always easy to predict what people will be hungry for next. Only by following the trajectory of current food trends can we get a glimpse of what most people will be eating in 2014 as well as what types of culinary experiences will whet their appetites when they head out for the evening.

In 2013, more and more restauranteurs jumped onto the gluten-free bandwagon, and that shows no signs of slowing down this year. Chefs who create menus with gluten-free products cater to the influx of people who suffer reactions to wheat and show symptoms of celiac disease. These thoughtful menus also appeal to the growing number of proponents of the paleolithic diet trend. The demand for gluten-free choices is steadily rising, so if a foodservice marketing agency’s clients are in tune with the market on this one, that agency had better be ready to let the restaurant world know about it.

This year, we can expect to see a whole lot of sales collateral materials showcasing foodservice companies’ new gluten-free products. It’s already working, as evidenced by the jump in restaurant dishes featuring pasta made of gluten-free grains like quinoa, rice, and buckwheat. Even patrons who don’t have an aversion to gluten are experimenting with gluten-free grains they may have not tried before, just to see what the hype is all about.

Perhaps one of the most exciting food trends predicted for 2014 is the integration of international flavors at restaurants. The industry saw the beginnings of flavor globalization years ago, but 2014 shows promise for ever-more rare and exotic flavors to show up where restaurant guests least expect them. Reflecting the coming trend in this year’s food and drink marketing campaigns will help show chefs, managers, and other product purchasers which food companies are on top of international culinary trends. Better still, it will give ad agencies the chance to offer foodservice personnel fast yet creative menu ideas that incorporate their clients’ new flavors into a fresh new dish.

As chefs increase their efforts to answer consumer demand for specialty foods, branding foodservice products with the artisan angle will become increasingly important in 2014. Farm and estate-branded goods have seen immense success in recent years, and smart campaigns that leverage the local or personal connection to the products an agency promotes will arm restaurant management with something they can tout: carefully crafted, gourmet and artisan products.

Yesteryear’s culinary curiosities are this year’s consumer trends, and we’re excited to see where consumer expectations are headed in 2014. Like other leading foodservice marketing agencies, we’re enjoying all the creative opportunity that comes with the focus on thoughtful diets, boundary-pushing flavors, and artisan products.

The Big Game Changers

The Super Bowl is one of the major payoffs we ad creatives look forward to each year, for obvious reasons. It’s always useful to see what one’s industry peers are up to, and the Super Bowl offers the very best that ad agencies have to offer. With the Seahawks blowout wiping away any gambling worries (for bragging rights only, of course), we had little to distract us from the real reason to watch the game: the commercials. So we’re adding our take on a few of Sunday’s best concepts to the pool of annual articles that break down the state of advertising after the Super Bowl.

After a slew of years when marketing and creative services agencies opted for campaigns that focused heavily on sex appeal, this year’s crop mostly ignored the libido and tugged at the heart instead. Even the normally hyper-sexual Axe Body Spray spot featured couples reuniting in emotional embraces rather than throngs of super models falling at the feet of some average-looking dude. GoDaddy also refrained from selling website domains through sex appeal, choosing instead to feature a puppeteer who used the hosting company to follow her dreams. Going the sweet-and-touching route, however, was just one of the trends agencies embraced this year.

 

 

 

A couple of the best food ad campaigns we saw during the game kept it wholesome with humorous spots. For example, Raj Suri pretty much killed it with the Time Machine that runs on Doritos. The commercial, which reportedly cost a mere $200 to create, won the chip company’s annual Super Bowl commercial contest and the cool $1 million prize that came with it, according to businessinsider.com. Kudos to Mr. Suri for a great piece of creative and a heck of a payday. Also on the funny front, Wonderful Pistachios gave us a peek into the nutty inner workings of a comedic genius, Mr. Stephen Colbert. The company can no doubt expect a rise in sales from the famous Colbert Bump.

 

 

 

Not to be outdone by our brethren in the foodservice marketing game, agencies for tech companies brought the funny as well. In a fairly bold move, RadioShack took shots at itself in the process of unveiling a new, modern image. The spot showcased some of our favorite faces from the ’80s looting the old RadioShack store, clearing the way for a clean, inviting store layout that will better resonate with today’s tech lovers. SquareSpace joined the fun too, bringing some of the best bad on the web to life.

 

 

 

Audi’s ad agency also took a comedic angle with the minute-long “Doberhuahua” spot. It landed on target, in large part due to Sarah McLachlan’s participation. The choice to build suspense with a pre-game teaser that ran a few weeks before the Super Bowl was a sound move, and it had us and a ton of other viewers waiting to see just what had the two “Logan Hills Dog Show” announcers running for cover. The teaser and the extended ad (60 seconds) during the game were part of a smart campaign kickoff that deserves applause.

 

 

Bringing things back around to the sweet side, a couple of commercials in particular have gained a lot of attention on social sites and blogs following the Super Bowl. For the first time ever, Microsoft joined the fun with a 60-second Super Bowl ad that shows all the best technology has to offer, culminating with a shot of former NFL player Steve Gleason, who is now battling ALS and uses Microsoft technology to talk to his son. While not quite as emotional, the Budweiser puppy who couldn’t be kept from his pal (a beautiful Clydesdale) was another fan favorite. And many sites are proclaiming the puppy as the big winner of the weekend.

 

 

 

For us, though, it’s hard to top the simplicity and ultra-relatable concept of the Hyundai Genesis ad dubbed “Dad’s Sixth Sense.” Moms and dads alike love the idea of kids counting on always-reliable dad to save them from harm, and we think the creatives behind this campaign found the perfect balance between emotional appeal and light-heartedness.

 

 

The 2014 Super Bowl may not have offered much in the way of on-the-field competition, but the ad world cooked up some heavy-hitting concepts to vie for viewers’ attention. We’d say that made it a game worth watching right to the end.

Life Goes On

The holidays have come and gone, and most people have come back to a great-big mound of work. We assume at some point even the most responsible among us will need a short break from playing catchup this week, so we’re opting to take another opportunity to share some good tidings and joy. Hope you’re not all joyed out already!

Often, we find that remaining an industry leader in food communications affords deep the opportunity to spread the word about other important things that impact our clients, families, and friends. The holiday season presented yet another chance to share a compelling story—with a happy twist to a fairly tragic plot.

The story of beetle kill pine begins with an epidemic currently impacting millions of acres in the Rocky Mountains. Hoards of mountain pine beetles continue to infest both ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees. The beetles come in droves to burrow into the pine bark, where they lay their eggs. Sadly, the beetles are not merely an annoyance. They carry a powerful chemical on their hind legs, and exposure to this chemical causes a reaction that prevents the natural flow of nutrients in the pines. The reaction not only kills the tree; it also transforms the color of the wood from natural pine to a blue-gray color.

What we at deep find so inspiring about this story is the way one local company in the region has responded to the problem. The innovative thinkers at the Azure Furniture Co. are bringing the plot twist: They’re using the still-standing, lifeless pines to handcraft beautiful furniture. The practice results in stunningly unique furniture featuring the dramatic character of the blue-gray pine. More importantly, each new piece Azure builds represents the removal of one more dangerous fire hazard from the Rockies. The small company’s new method of recycling ensures that the affected pines are not wasted, and clearing the remains of dead pines creates the space new pines will need to grow. We’re as thankful as we are impressed, and their efforts inspired us to do what we can to help.

Our food communications company sent Azure coasters as gifts this year.Some of the more essential persuasive advertising we did in 2013 came in the form of the gifts we sent our clients last month, because they essentially advertised about the pine epidemic. To support Azure’s work and let people know they can help the cause, we selected elegant drink coasters carved from beetle kill pine and stamped with pine needles and the deep logo. The accompanying cards we sent
Our food communications company stamped client gifts with a pine branch.offered clients our best wishes and touched on what moved us to choose beetle kill pine:

The evergreen has long been a symbol of the holiday season, so we thought this gift was all too appropriate. Thoughtfully crafted from beetle kill pine, these coasters offer a story of ingenuity and allow lifeless evergreens to continue bringing beauty to this season and all that follow.

Now that you know a bit about this story of renewal, we invite you to help keep a good thing going. If you received a little extra cash this season, visit azurefurniture.com to pick out an excellent present for yourself and help ensure new pines have room to thrive.

Countdown to New Opportunities

NewYears

It’s no surprise that the past year brought plenty of change to the deep family. We’re part of an always-evolving industry focused on helping clients succeed in their own ever-evolving industries. That’s a pretty good recipe for change. From meeting new co-workers to welcoming new clients, to coming up with exciting new projects and concepts on a regular basis, there wasn’t exactly much sitting still in our office. So it should also be no surprise that we can’t wait for the excitement 2014 is sure to bring.

Now don’t get us wrong—we had a blast in 2013. In fact, it was arguably the most successful year we’ve ever had here at deep. But rather than resting on our laurels, we’re more energized than ever to keep the fires of passion burning and hit 2014 with a full head of steam. Because with each new year, new opportunities arise.

Whether it’s a chance to craft a unique full-scale, multi-platform ad campaign or an opportunity to build a gorgeous, versatile website for a boundary-pushing client, nothing feels better than doing work that’s new, innovative and successful. That’s why we’re pumped for 2014—the future is definitely bright.

We hope you’re looking forward to the New Year the way we are. Because there really is a world of opportunity waiting for us in the next 365 days, and we plan on running full speed ahead into that world.

So enjoy the countdown to 2014, and have a happy New Year.

-deep

P.S. – Don’t forget to enjoy the sweet animated gif our awesome creative team put together for New Year’s. You can find it at the beginning of this post. It might be their best work yet. (So just imagine how great they’re going to be in 2014.)

This Christmas, It’s What’s Inside That Counts

xmas_deep

With Christmas nearly upon us, our team here at deep has had plenty of time to reflect on the spirit of Christmas. Our company Christmas party focused on the important things—ugly sweaters, always-surprising (and occasionally bizarre) gift exchanges, and of course, fantastic food. But along with all of the fun, laughter, and dessert consumption, there was another thing our company Christmas party reminded us about.

No matter what happens throughout the course of the year—no matter which client projects achieve their potential, no matter which ads or campaigns exceed expectations—the most important work we do is inside our building. The relationships we build and strengthen every day with our teammates. The creative ideas that blow our minds (and often proceed to blow our clients’ minds). The laughter-filled meetings that make coming to work fun. And the sincerity of friends who truly want the best for each other.

All of those things, the aspects of deep that the outside world, our clients, and even our families, don’t always get to see, that’s what makes every day at deep an unforgettable experience. We’re fiercely proud of the work the world sees on the outside, but we place even more value on what happens inside. Because without the people here who make deep what it is, we’d just be another ad agency.

So as you celebrate Christmas this year, we hope you enjoy the food, festivities and fun that only the holiday season can bring. And we also hope you’ll take a little time to reflect on what really matters—the stuff on the inside that makes Christmas special. Because that in itself is a pretty awesome gift.

Merry Christmas, from your friends at deep.

P.S. – We hope you enjoy the animated gif some of our creative team members put together. Feel free to share it with your friends, seeing as it IS the gif that keeps on gif-ing.

Incentivizing Healthy Habits

Healthcare has been at the forefront of the media’s focus for quite some time. Judging by its lasting presence in the news and its popularity as fodder for political commentary, it’s clear the topic will not be falling by the wayside any time soon. However, not everyone is concerned with the major political aspects of healthcare. Many people are more concerned with establishing healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyles than they are with debating the merits of universal coverage. Some companies are known for providing incentives for employees to lead healthier lifestyles, like offering gym membership vouchers and other related discounts. But what better way to encourage healthy eating habits than by making healthy food more affordable?

HumanaVitality, a division of Humana insurance, has teamed with Walmart to form the VitalityHealth program—the first incentive of its kind that offers up to 5% discounts to its members on select foods displaying the Great for You label. These discounts are loaded on a card the shopper can redeem for discounts during future shopping trips. The types of food products that will soon appear in Walmart’s aisles sporting the new Great for You label will feature a variety of healthy options, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products to note just a few.

Such incentives are valuable to the field of food market research, as studying consumers’ responses to programs like HumanaVitality helps leading ad agencies determine what will motivate buyers. Innovative foodservice marketers also track the success of companies that help consumers make informed choices about their eating habits. Why? When we’re able to show our clients hard evidence that similar measures to incentivize healthy lifestyles will benefit all parties involved, we can then guide them to launch an exciting campaign that helps further the migration toward healthier eating.

It’s clear the consumer benefits from the 5% discount on healthier food options. The Great for You food merchandising labels at Walmart will also motivate customers to return more often to redeem their discounts. And Humana will likely benefit as its insurance customers become healthier and require fewer payouts for health problems.

After the HumanaVitality program and others like it have run long enough to produce solid metrics, we look forward to seeing exactly what kind of impact such incentives have on consumers’ buying choices. We’re also excited to consider how reward programs for featuring healthy menu options may be useful when selling food to restaurants, as many of our clients already recognize that healthy options have proven quite profitable.

Whether implementing reward programs for grocery customers to lead healthier lifestyles or launching a foodservice campaign that encourages chefs and restaurateurs to focus on healthy dishes, providing more affordable health food options may just set foodservice companies apart from competitors. By incentivizing healthy eating habits, food marketing groups and their clients may likely increase sales while also creating PR topics that could improve brand loyalty. That seems like incentive enough to explore the opportunity.

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