Getting To The Heart Of Advertising In Tampa Bay

A local organization is proving that Mad Men Don Draper and Pete Campbell aren't the only names in the advertising game.

Ad 2 Tampa Bay, an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, is a group for young advertising professionals in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Ad 2 holds monthly educational and social events, but public service is a large part of the club's focus. Each year, the group designs a full-fledged campaign for a local nonprofit, completely free of charge.
 
In 2012, Ad 2 designed a campaign for Ovacome, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of gynecological cancers and providing support to survivors and patients as well as their caretakers.

Hunter Taylor, an Assistant Account Executive at ChappellRoberts, worked with Ovacome on the campaign. Fellow Ad 2 board member Allyson Simms was the creative director for the campaign. Prior to the campaign, Ovacome had previously done no advertising. Rather, members got the word out through community outreach events and their Facebook page.
 
What concerned Taylor and Kim Snyder, the President of Ovacome, was that nearly 40 percent of the respondents to a survey conducted by Ad 2 Tampa Bay had no knowledge of the symptoms of gynecological cancer, which can include bloating, fatigue and fluctuations in weight. The subtle nature of the symptoms can often result in misdiagnosis, according to Snyder.
 
Snyder's own battle with cancer illustrates this problem. Snyder had been trying to have a baby with her husband when she began feeling the symptoms, and decided to do her own research after several misdiagnoses.

"I had to be my own advocate,'' says Snyder, who discussed her findings with a new doctor and shortly afterward was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer.

Taylor was moved by his meeting with Snyder, as well as the other women of Ovacome, whom he described as "some of the most positive people you will ever meet.''

Taylor knew he wanted to convey the positivity he felt through the campaign. While he worked with the campaign team outside of his job at ChappellRoberts, Taylor says it was not difficult to find motivation.

"We wanted to help them in any way we could,'' says Taylor. "That's what fueled the late nights.''

Giving A Face To Ovacome

One of the biggest challenges of the campaign was branding gynecological cancer.

"We don't have a pink ribbon,'' says Snyder. "There is so much marketing and information about breast cancer out there, but ladies don't know they have a support system for gynecological cancer.''

Ad 2 and Ovacome decided to make the lotus flower the organization's symbol and teal its official color.

"We were really inspired by the story of the lotus flower,'' says Taylor. "It grows at the bottom of the lake in the mud, but it slowly rises to the surface and emerges as a beautiful flower. The women have been through hell and back, but they were still so positive.''

Snyder agrees with this sentiment. "Just because you're diagnosed, it's not a death sentence,'' she says.

Ad 2 members used their connections to local media outlets to increase support for the campaign. Advertisements for Ovacome appeared in many different mediums, including print, billboard, radio, television, online and on buses. Ad 2 received over $158,000 in donated media and created 17.3 million media impressions for Ovacome.

Even though the campaign has ended, Ad 2 and Ovacome have maintained a partnership. Taylor joined Ovacome as their official marketing director and plans to provide long-term support for their website and upcoming events, including their fundraiser in September, Teal Triumph.

This Year's Campaign

Randi Sether, a freelance Consumer Strategy Consultant, and Mandy Eyrich, Account Manager for digital media company Triad Retail, will spearhead this year's campaign. Applications are now being accepted, with a deadline set for July 19.

Both Sether and Eyrich graduated from the Zimmerman Advertising Program at the University of South Florida. Eyrich says her involvement with Ad 2 "is a lot of work, but it is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life.''

There is not one perfect candidate that fits the bill for the campaign, though Eyrich notes that the committee is primarily seeking more established nonprofits.

"We want to know how much they are really affecting the local community, and how far we can take their campaign,'' says Eyrich.
 
Once the top organizations are narrowed down, the committee will invite them to present to the board, and the chosen winner will begin working with Ad 2 immediately.
 
The success of the public service campaigns has led to the club’s national recognition. Each year, the 25 chapters of Ad 2 meet at a national conference, where each club presents its public service project and competes for the best campaign.

"It gives us competitive incentive, and we get recognized by allocators, which raises further awareness for the client,'' says Eyrich. One chapter is also recognized as club of the year, a distinction that Ad 2 Tampa Bay has received a dozen times.

The source of this success, according to both Eyrich and Taylor, is the connection that develops between Ad 2 and the organization during the campaign, something Eyrich hopes will continue.

"It's the passion that gets me. I want to be a part of it because I really want to help these organizations for the rest of my life,'' says Eyrich. "When the campaign ends, I don't want the relationship to end. I want Ad 2 to stay connected to the organizations after this is said and done.''

Lucy March, a feature writer living in Tampa, completed her bachelor's degree in History and Asian Studies at Davidson College in North Carolina, and is interested in all things related to local history, fitness and food. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.
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