By Rick Griffin
SeaWorld’s new 90-second video commercial for TV and social media, titled “From Park to Planet,” has been named the “Top Breakthrough Ad” for the third quarter by Ace Metrix, a marketing research firm that measures the attention and likeability of video ad creative.
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Ace said SeaWorld’s spot, created by Push Digital of Charleston, S.C., was better than General Electric’s “Meet Molly” about an amazing inventive young girl, and Walmart’s “Better Together” about hurricane relief. In fact, Ace said the SeaWorld spot ranked as the single highest-rated travel ad in its database, which dates back to 2010.
AdWeek, an industry trade publication, commented, “While there’s nothing revolutionary about the ad or its creative approach, those cuddly rescued animals and feel-good vibes did really resonate with viewers.”
Push Digital said it chose to emphasize Sea World’s broader missions beyond an entertainment venue. The spot ends with the words: “Your visit helps SeaWorld provide $10 million of donations and in-kind services every year for animal rescue and conservation efforts.”
“We took a creative and emotional approach with our direct message that SeaWorld is a premier destination that is a force for good in the world,” said Michael Rentiers, president of brands and advocacy at Push Digital. “Our goal was to cut through the clutter and present SeaWorld in a new light, with a larger mission that every SeaWorld guest contributes to. Together, we can save the oceans and ocean animals.”
“We just need to get the truth out there and show that SeaWorld is making the world a better place,” said agency CEO Wesley Donehue.
“From Park to Planet is part of a larger strategy to remind people of our common love for the sea,” said Denise Godreau, chief marketing officer, SeaWorld Parks. “SeaWorld has always been an ocean research and animal rescue company. We’re glad everyone is responding so positively to our commitment to make a difference.”
Canale Communications Nabs 11 Bernays at PRSA Awards
San Diego public relations firms Canale Communications received 11 awards and Allison+Partners took home nine awards at the recent 2017 Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence award program presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter. A total of 65 awards were presented Oct. 12.
Three entries were awarded Best of Show, recognizing the highest scores among the silver and bronze award recipients. Silver Best of Show awards went to City of San Diego and Katz & Associates in the nonprofit government association category and the J&J Team at Canale Communications in the reputation-brand management category. A Bronze Best of Show award was given to Allison + Partners in teh video programs category.
Five special awards were presented: New Pro of the Year to Olivia Stafford of Focuscom; the Eva Irving Community Service Award to Bill Johnson of the San Diego Padres; and the Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Charest of Katz & Associates. In addition, the Director’s Award — given at the discretion of the chapter board of directors — was awarded to the Nuffer, Smith, Tucker leadership team to recognize exemplary leadership following the passing of agency president Bill Trumpfheller earlier this year. Another special award, PR Team of the Year recognition, was presented to the Katz & Associates and City of San Diego Pure Water integrated team.
The awards are named after Edward L. Bernays, the man who launched the field of public relations in the 1920s. Often called the “father of public relations,” Bernays’ history-making campaigns explain why people eat bacon with eggs, women smoke cigarettes and bank managers join civic groups. He died in 1995 at age 103.
Digital Design Firm BVAccel Acquires Ohio-Based Rocket Code
BVAccel, a San Diego-based digital design, development and marketing agency, has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based Rocket Code, an e-commerce software and web solutions firm. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
BVAccel said Jonathan Poma, founder of Rocket Code, will become CEO of BVAccel and Dylan Whitman, former CEO of BVAcell, will become co-chairman along with BVAcell founder Kyle Widrick. The combined company now has more than 100 employees. Current clients include MVMT, Red Bull, Ivory Ella, Kopari Beauty and Boll & Branch. BVAcell also operates offices in New York, Los Angeles and Mexico.
“The strategic union of Rocket Code and BVAccel marks an exciting time in our company history,” said Poma. “Both companies were early market leaders in the Shopify space, and have continued to innovate as top partners to Google, Optimizely and Shopify Plus. As a unified company, we strengthen BVAccel’s position as the number one Shopify Plus Partner agency and thought leader in the evolving area of ecommerce. Together, as BVAccel, we will continue to serve a variety of national and multinational companies looking for explosive revenue growth in the retail and fashion, consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics, health and beauty and food and beverage industries.”
BAM Communications Names Two VPs, Adds ‘Insights’
San Diego-based BAM Communications, with offices in San Diego and New York, has added Katie Pierini as senior VP and Lauren Grassetti as VP to its San Diego staff. Both were previously with the San Diego office of Lewis Piston.
Pierini has worked in PR since 2000. She started with S&S Public Relations in Chicago and relocated in 2003 to open S&S’s San Diego office. In 2005, she joined Lewis PR as SVP and GM in San Diego to work on security, wireless and e-commerce clients. She also assisted in Lewis’ 2015 acquisition of Piston, a San Diego digital agency.
Grassetti started her PR career at Lewis in Boston in 2007, and relocated in 2009 to Lewis’ San Diego office. Her career has included integrated communications campaigns for clients in the U.S. and overseas.
“Adding two senior leaders in Katie and Lauren with backgrounds in PR, agency M&A, digital media and marketing services has dramatically increased our rate of change and growth in the short time since they’ve joined,” said Beck Bamberger, BAM founder and CEO. “I look forward to seeing their experience, along with our new PR analytics capabilities, further enhance the strategic communications leadership we provide to both early- and late-stage companies.”
BAM Communications also said it has added “Insights,” a suite of analytics capabilities that give clients a clear view into the impact of PR on their businesses. The service brings a digital component to storytelling and tracks metrics, including social engagement, website traffic and SEO impact, which can assist in measuring the effectiveness of PR methodologies and results.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.
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