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March Luncheon – Tennessee Uncharted: Entertainment as Advertising

DMG Bluegill

Luncheon Sponsor

Tennessee Uncharted: Entertainment as Advertising
Wednesday, March 11
11:30am to 1:00pm
The Foundry – Register Now!

Tennessee is home to some of the nation’s best natural resources for hunting, fishing and outdoors recreation experiences. Yet, there are those in our state who rarely step outside of suburbia. With goals of reaching these audiences, as well as hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, the Tennessee Wildlife ResoTNunchartedurces Agency (TWRA) partnered with Designsensory to share our state’s one-of-a-kind outdoors story by capturing and conveying moments in an entertaining, compelling way with a new TV show.

Singer/songwriter Erick Baker hosts Tennessee Uncharted, a 30-minute weekly television show currently airing on PBS stations across Tennessee. With each episode, Erick and the crew lead viewers through breathtaking beauty, deep-rooted culture and heart-pounding adventure, mined from the outdoors of Tennessee.

Hear how entertainment as marketing inspires viewers and captures market share, and how Tennessee Uncharted has evolved from the show’s conception. Learn about unique approaches to marketing the show, which has become so popular that it boasts over 20,000 views on YouTube and 1,600 followers on Facebook since its debut November 1, 2014.

Tennessee Uncharted is produced in close partnership between Designsensory and TWRA. The exclusive production partner is PopFizz. For more information and to watch previously aired episodes, go to


Joseph Nother
PopFizz_pic_JosephNAs a founding partner, creative director and producer for PopFizz, Joseph helps grow brands that surprise and delight the world, one story at a time. He is also founder and principal for Designsensory, where he oversees teams that solve complex business problems and marketing challenges with thoughtful strategy, human-centered design, rich storytelling and robust technology.

He has over 15 years experience working with brands like the state of Tennessee, Scripps Networks, First Tennessee Bank, BASI Pilates, Tennessee State Parks, PetSafe (Radio Systems Corp.), Varsity Athletics, The Congressional Medal of Honor and Lamar Advertising.

Taylor Walters
Website-TaylorTaylor Walters has been an advertising professional for the last nine years. After receiving a degree in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and pursuing postgraduate work in the field, she realized that a professional life devoid of creative pursuits would never leave her satisfied. At that point, she accepted an internship in copywriting and began familiarizing herself with the ins and outs of the advertising world. Three years later, she accepted a position in PR with Allstate, utilizing her penchant for writing, but soon after accepting quickly became aware of the fact that her heart and professional passions would forever lie in the day-to-day strategy, logistics and execution of the broadcast production field. Not long after, Taylor stepped away to pursue a full-time career behind the camera in feature film and commercial production.

Taylor has worked on ten full-length feature films, as well as over 600 local and national commercial broadcast productions, to include Diet Coke, NFL, Duracell, UPS, Jack Daniels, Vogue and Keds. Her familiarity and experience with advertising, public relations and production have allowed her to assume pivotal roles in managing both grassroots as well as large-scale campaigns, from concepting through to delivery. Most recently, Taylor joined the PopFizz team as producer of their latest PBS broadcast series, Tennessee Uncharted. Outside of work, Taylor is an avid runner, climber, backpacker and kayaker.

Erick Baker
Website-ErickMusic has been one of the greatest blessings in Erick’s life. It’s taken him to parts of the world he would have never seen, connected him with people he would have never met. It’s given his life purpose. Erick says, “Without music, I may have never met the two greatest loves of my life: my wife, Mandy, and my daughter, Annabelle Rose Baker. My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that has led me here. They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie within each of our everyday lives.”

Currently, Erick is pursuing a new adventure, one that’s led him back home. After touring for years, Tennessee called him back where he belongs. As host of TWRA’s new television show, Tennessee Uncharted, Erick has the opportunity to rediscover how great his home state is, one adventure at a time. He observes, “Our lives are full of uncharted places, and this show is about getting out and exploring those places because you never know where they may lead you,”

PopFizz: Brand Storytelling
When brands and agencies look to achieve bold and memorable results, they add a little PopFizz™ to the mix. We help brands truly express their story with rich media: photography, video, motion and film. PopFizz is a collection of artists—photographers, creatives, editors and storytellers—that unite to create truly compelling stories that leave a dent. Images that make people smile. Films that inspire people to act. Videos that spread through culture.

Register Today!

Black Thursday is the New Black Friday

Here are some thoughts to consider long before that Thanksgiving meal settles. Thanks to KAMA member Kathleen Atkins for contributing this guest post:

Last year, I documented the day after Thanksgiving shopping madness I have annually participated in and has been dubbed by retailers and consumers as the biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. The article was based on a tweet from @LauraLPotts: “Black Friday is like zombie apocalypse: you’re either one of them, or you’re locked inside praying that loved ones don’t get trampled.”

This evening, as I’m scouring the Internet doing my research, I’m prepping and flipping through Black Friday ads that have been pre-released, scanned, and posted on various web sites. I’m beginning to formulate my plan of attack.

But this year is different.

Nearly all of the stores are now opening at midnight or earlier. Gone are the days of 5 a.m. store openings I was accustomed to in the “early days.” Black Friday has evolved into Black Thursday, a round-the-clock, nationwide, sleep-deprived shopping massacre.

Black Thursday is the new Black Friday.

I will be among the thousands lined up on a sidewalk or in a parking lot with red blood-colored cranberry sauce stains on my shirt, and everyone will be facing the store’s front door just waiting for the doors to open. Traffic will be at a standstill in Turkey Creek and West Town Mall, and the struggle to obtain the best deals has never been so perilous.

The zombie shopping fever has spread, and I’m afraid it’s hit a pandemic level. I can’t help but wonder, what would Rick from The Walking Dead do?

Zombies in The Walking Dead are quite similar to Black Thursday shoppers:

  • They devour any living thing (deal) they can catch.
  • They never sleep.
  • They are more dangerous in large numbers.
  • Loud noises attract large herds of them.
  • They stand still or shuffle around rather slowly. However when in pursuit, they move much more quickly.
  • They may turn what would normally be a harmless household item into a weapon.

As I prepare to head out into the darkness the evening of Black Thursday, I will be double-knotting my tennis shoes and keeping in mind that the swiftest shoppers can be far more dangerous than the walkers roaming the earth.

Swag Happens: Stephen A. Burroughs Talks Marketing

“When Stephen A. Burroughs was in the womb
his mother could feel his beard kicking.”

The Knoxville chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted viral Internet sensation and local personal injury attorney, Stephen A. Burroughs at its October luncheon at The Orangery. KAMA’s theme this year is “Shift Happens,” because it’s not business as usual any more, due to changes in demographics, economics and technology. Burroughs was speaking to the change in his marketing strategy and the impact the recently launched Facebook memes page has had on his business.

The story about the University of Tennessee freshman who created the tongue-in-cheek Facebook page has been well documented by Carly Harrington in the Knoxville News Sentinel. The Stephen A. Burroughs Memes page gained 21,000 fans virtually overnight and led to Swagfest, a party at the Sunsphere attended by 14,000 members of Burroughs’ “swag posse.” Talk about a branding bonanza – you can’t buy that kind of awareness and exposure. Not to say Burroughs hasn’t been spending heavily on outdoor advertising and bus wraps over the past several years. He said he took advantage of a downturn in the economy that left billboards vacant to negotiate a sweet deal with Lamar Advertising.

The man himself, Stephen A. Burroughs

The man himself, Stephen A. Burroughs

This deal has made Burroughs omnipresent, or “top-of-mind” as we say in the biz, plastering his face on 31 outdoor boards and more than a dozen KAT buses. Burroughs had perfected his “Blue Steel” gaze and had become something of a Knoxville celebrity even before the memes page took off, catapulting him to viral marketing legend status. Now he’s Knoxville’s own “Old Spice Guy,” if you will. Or perhaps “The Most Interesting Lawyer in the World,” in a nod to the famous Dos Equis campaign.

Laura Bower and Dottie Ramsey

Laura Bower and Dottie Ramsey

Burroughs delighted KAMA’s audience of marketing professionals with anecdotes about Swagfest, like the one about the girl who tattooed “SAB” on her forearm. “The whole thing was pretty surreal,” he said. Burroughs is already planning Swagfest 2, but he’s eyeing corporate sponsors and considering a charitable slant for the event.

“Right now, I’m in the hole,” said Burroughs, when asked about the return on his six-figure investment in Swagfest. However, he believes he’s building brand recognition with future clients.  After all, his business model is driven by car wrecks; he’s ready to help “when the need arises.”

“It’s not like someone’s going to say ‘Stephen seems really cool. I think I’ll go get an injury,’” quipped Burroughs.

Just Desserts

Just Desserts

Burroughs described his evolution from radio to TV to outdoor advertising, which he thinks is the ideal channel for him. On TV you have to be outrageous – the guy in the giant monkey suit, according to Burroughs.  He aspires to a more professional image.

“The message has to fit the medium,” he said.

Who says this guy doesn’t know marketing?

*This post is used with permission. The original blog can be viewed at

Healthcare Marketing: Making An Emotional Connection

When it comes to choosing hospitals and healthcare providers, consumers think with their hearts. Regardless of the research and statistics, the industry citations and even the insurance coverage, people consistently make life-and-death decisions based on the emotional connections they form with caregivers.

Patients don’t want to hear only about equipment and research, they also want to know how it affects them in a profoundly personal way.


The challenge for clients is to keep the message patient-centered and communicate the benefit in a clear and compelling way. All that really matters to patients is their ability to survive and get well. Kentucky’s Saint Joseph Health System Cancer Center’s “Survivors” campaign is an example of how one healthcare provider got the message right. The Tombras Group created a signature TV spot that is visceral and heart-wrenching, because it features real survivors and real stories. It’s authentic, genuine and focused on patients, not providers.

Eighty percent of healthcare decisions are made by women, who are also more likely to be caregivers when family members are sick or injured. But it’s not about gender, it’s about humanity. The disconnect for physicians, who often matriculate to senior management positions within the hospital administration, happens when they focus on the science of medicine instead of on bedside manner.

“One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Another example that gets it right is St. Thomas Health Services’ “More Survivors” campaign. Our creative strategy was based on the heightened awareness and sensitivity that heart attack survivors describe as the new outlook they gain on life. The time-lapsed photography emphasizes this concept, which Tombras executed across all of the screens that consumers interact with: mobile, computer desktop and television.

Often, hospitals are under internal pressure from administrators (who are not marketers) to deliver a message that is hospital-focused: “We do this; we do that. Ours is the biggest and best. We have the smartest physicians. We have the most cutting-edge equipment.” The challenge is to take these inward-facing attributes and position them is a manner that matters to patients.

Additionally, many consumers now expect hospitals to have great physicians and wonderful equipment. These attributes alone are no longer the compelling, unique propositions that they used to be.

Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) built a new facility, and the administration was understandably proud of the expanded infrastructure and services. Tombras worked closely with our client to ensure that the new hospital was not about what MTMC had built but about how it would benefit patients. The campaign’s consistent theme was “Built Around You.”

Allow us to leave you with a final thought: call your patients “customers.” The word “patient” implies someone who has a lack of choice and empowerment – someone who is simply on the receiving end of care and service. Customers have a choice. They shop; they choose, and they go somewhere else if they’re not completely satisfied with their overall experience.

This post is used with permission. The original blog can be viewed at

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