Author Archives: meganolson4

Media Spotlight: Vice President, Megan Olson

MWcolor-42Editor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Vice President, Megan Olson

How long have you been working in media/advertising?: I started working for a Media Buying firm during my Senior year of College and they hired me full-time after I graduated. From there, I worked as a Media Director at a full service agency, then went to a bigger full service agency, and now I’m at Media Works! About 15 years, all in all.

Can you describe a day in your life at Media Works?: The best part about working for Media Works is that most every day is different! Some days, I come in and work on a project for an existing client, while other days I get to work on a New Business project. Sometimes I have internal meetings and sometimes I have meetings out of the office. And, there are days when I have to do a ton of paperwork, yet other days I’m knee-deep in a PPT for a presentation. It’s nice to have that kind of variety, but at the end of the day, my job is to oversee my accounts and make sure our clients are happy!

What are some of the challenges of your position?: Time – there’s never enough time! Also, I think it’s tough to make every client I work with feel like they are the ONLY client I work with.

What’s your all-time favorite ad campaign? What made it special?: My husband and I were both graphic design/art majors, so we are always moved by a good, visually appealing ad campaign. For that reason, I’d have to say that my favorite current campaign is the Sherwin Williams paint commercials that uses animated paint chips and the slogan “Where will color take you?” If we are watching something on TV and the spot comes on, we always stop to appreciate it, and even rewind it if we’re DVR-ing through the pod.

Can you name a recent campaign/commercial that you would’ve done differently? WWMWD?: I harken back to Terrell Suggs’ early days as a Baltimore Raven, when he was promoting Price Busters with his famous line, “That’s Whazzup!” The graphics were bad, the copy was bad, and were it not for T. Sizzle and his ridiculous tagline, I might look upon Price Busters as a place to buy furniture. Instead, it made me laugh at the brand and wonder how much they paid him to be in the spots. Sometimes, using a local sports celebrity is not the best way to sell product. Stick with what you’re good at – selling your product – and try to find unique ways of doing it.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?: Work your way up. Start as an intern or an assistant and learn the ropes. Volunteer to take on any task and do it well. When a project comes up, ask to work on it. Learn from those around you and always ask questions. And remember that at the end of the day, we’re in advertising…it’s supposed to be fun!

What’s something that no one knows about you?:  One of my most prized possessions is an autographed bank receipt with Cal Ripken Jr.’s signature on it. So, when I see him in Atwater’s next door, it makes me swoon inside. J


Too Soon for Holiday Ads?

With 96 days ‘til Christmas, most consumers are just coming out of the Back to School shopping season, and contemplating which costume to wear for Halloween. The thought of Thanksgiving turkey might be lingering in the back of our minds, but is anyone really thinking about Christmas yet?

K-Mart is banking on it. In fact, they rolled out their first Holiday ad on Sept. 8th promoting their lay-away program with a “Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you” message:

So when is it too early to advertise for the Holidays? Is it when the National Media picks up the story and weighs in, a la Today host Hoda Kotb? Is it when Facebook fans post negative comments:


Kmart isn’t the only one launching a Holiday campaign when temperatures are still in the 90’s. Walmart started promoting its layaway program a few days later. And, Target is expected to hit the market with its Holiday spots in early October.

Retailers believe getting a jump on the Holiday season will increase sales. And, with so many uncertainties with the economy, they’re willing to take the risk.

So, what do you think?

Is it too early to see Holiday advertising?

Download the Voto app to weigh in:


The 2013 Media Forecast

Will 2013 Media Spending Survive the Fiscal Cliff?

Compared to a robust year of media spending in 2012 which was the result of the Auto Industry’s rebound, Olympics and Political spending, 2013 looks somewhat bleak. Consumer spending is high right now, but with the Fiscal Cliff looming and an uncertain economy, we expect modest growth at best in media spending next year.

Here’s how the numbers look by medium:

  • Spot TV: Expected to grow by 4%

TV ad revenue will grow as the automotive industry continues to thrive. With consumer demand for new vehicles on the rise, automotive and other industries such as telecommunications, restaurants and retail will also see growth.

  • Cable TV: 7% Growth per year, for the next 3 years

The lines between Cable TV and Spot TV are starting to blur. Where there used to be a great divide between spending and ratings for both, we’re seeing a leveling of the playing field. We will also see more and more events that traditionally aired on broadcast networks migrating to cable. How else could we explain why Duck Dynasty was the top-rated show on TV last week?

Duck Dynasty

  • Radio: Ad spending expected to increase by 2.9%

The growth of radio for 2013 will not be with terrestrial stations, but with online/digital radio platforms.


Pandora continues to gain subscribers, while Apple will launch their answer to online radio in Q1’13, adding to the competition.

  • Newspaper: Small .5% increase

Newspaper spending may actually be on the rise in 2013, but mainly due to print’s online products and a “reinvention” of the medium. The local weeklies and dailies still have a unique place in the market, so we anticipate growth there as well.

  • Online: Internet advertising expected to grow by 14.6%

The real media growth in 2013 will be online. Brands are already re-evaluating their spending on traditional media and shifting to the world of digital. The increasing demand for video units and innovative display advertising programs will drive much of the growth.

Online Display

  • Mobile/Tablet: Expected to grow by 11.3% from 2012

Retailers are starting to realize the potential of reaching consumers via mobile and tablet devices. Tablets will account for 53% of Mobile ad dollars in 2013, compared to 47% for Mobile handsets.

How the Automotive Industry will Cope with Sandy

It’s hard to escape the images on the news networks and the Weather Channel: Homes knocked off their foundations, burned houses, washed-out neighborhoods, flooded streets and downed power lines. 39 people lost their lives, more than 8.2 billion homes and businesses lost power, and early financial estimates show at least $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. These are staggering figures…

The Automotive industry is also feeling the effects of this “Frankenstorm.” Just as it was poised to finish strong in 2012, experts foresee several possible outcomes from Sandy – some good, and some bad:

Decreased month-end sales for October

  • Dealerships typically push month-end offers/specials, but when Sandy hit on the 29th, both foot traffic and sales were affected in Northeast.

Fear of buying a Used car flooded by Sandy

  • Experts say that more than half of the cars flooded by Hurricane Floyd were put back on the road. Buyers beware of cars that have been damaged by Sandy and re-sold; once an engine is damaged by flooding it will most likely never be the same again.

Power outages may cause All-Electric and Plug-In vehicle owners to reconsider

  • With the constant push for fuel economy and eco-friendly models, the recent power outages have left many All-electric and Plug-in vehicle owners wondering how they will charge their cars.

Special offers for Sandy victims

  • Some manufacturers and dealerships have already made special offers for Sandy victims. These good-will gestures may go far for PR and customer retention, but will also help with sales in the next few months.

Possible sales spikes in the Northeast

  • Many vehicles that fell victim to Sandy will need to be replaced. And, combined with the fact that the average age of a car today is approximately 11 years, car owners affected by the storm may be shopping for a car in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see how the Automotive industry reacts and moves forward in the wake of Sandy.

Getting Creative with Smart Spot Placement

Advertisers are getting more and more creative with ways to break through the clutter of traditional advertising. If you watched ”New Girl” this week, you couldn’t miss the overt product placement for the new 2013 Ford Fusion. It was overtly woven into the storyline and Ford even ran a spot in the adjacent break, just in case you missed it during the episode.

Even our own clients are getting creative when it comes to aligning their brands with popular TV programming. AMC’s much-anticipated Season 3 of the Walking Dead premiered on Sun. 10/14. The network also ran a 2-day Walking Dead marathon leading up to the premiere, and when one of our auto dealers in Houston realized this, they got creative too.

Joe Myers Mazda Kia is a mid-sized Imports dealership in Houston, well-recognized for their TV creative which changes monthly. Their ads feature the dealership’s GM, his son and a cast of characters with an often entertaining, themed and in-your-face message. In October, they focused on a Halloween themed spot centered around zombies, and what better place to run their spots than in the Walking Dead?

Media Works worked with the Joe Myers Imports’ marketing team, and the local cable provider to place their TV spot in the Walking Dead marathon in targeted Cable zones surrounding the dealership. Spots were also placed in the premiere and in new episodes each Sunday after the premiere.

Armstrong’s Fall From Grace and the Sponsors that Ditched Him

One day, you’re the most renowned cyclist in the sport, heading up your own charity to help fight cancer, after successfully beating it yourself. You win seven Tour de France titles, companies endorse you, people wear bright yellow wristbands to support your charity, and along the way, you get engaged to Cheryl Crow.  The next day, you’re facing mounting accusations of doping by the USADA, they strip you of your titles, your sponsors drop you, and you are essentially forced to step down as the CEO of your own charity. Is this the very definition of “hitting rock bottom”?

This week, Nike and RadioShack announced they would no longer sponsor Armstrong. Then, several of his other sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch, Trek Bicycles, Easton-Bell (maker of the Giro helmet), FRS (an energy drink company) and Honey Stinger (an energy food manufacturer), also decided to terminate their contracts. Even the Armstrong-branded 24-Hour Fitness Centers and Nike’s Lance Armstrong Fitness Center in Oregon all decided to drop his name.

How ironic that these same companies relied on Armstrong to help boost their business. Now, on the heels of Armstrong’s doping scandal, they’ve abandoned him. At the end of the day, we’re left wondering what will happen to Cycling now that Armstrong has been banned from the sport.  And, how will this affect his sponsors over time?

Didn’t Armstrong learn anything from Tiger Woods though??

After his string of mistresses emerged, several of Woods’ sponsors dropped him, fearing their affiliation with the golf great would alienate consumers. AT&T, Accenture, Gatorade and Gillette all feared the ill effects of being tied to a self-admitted adulterer, and bolted. And, although Nike stood by Woods, they saw a significant decline in Tiger’s Nike apparel line across a number of retailers.

The scandal had a negative effect on The Tiger Woods Foundation too. Woods was unable to play at the Chevron World Challenge in both 2008 and 2009, one of the tournaments that directly funds his Foundation. It’s tough to solicit donations for an organization whose founder is not only absent from his own tournament, but was in the midst of a national PR crisis.

Should companies be a little more cautious when sponsoring a celebrity? Should they ask the burning question up front: “Is there any reason we might regret this affiliation someday?” Clearly, there’s much we can learn from these athletes and their downfalls.

Orioles Baseball 2013 – Buckle Up and Get Ready for the Post-Season!

I’ll admit it…I was wrong about the Orioles this year.

When I wrote my Opening Day blog back in April, I was certain that the Orioles would have yet another losing season. But somehow, the season went down to the wire with the Yankees, and Baltimore fans watched as the Orioles battled for 1st in the AL East, and will be playing the Rangers tonight in a one-game playoff for a Wild Card seat? Certainly not me.

The odds of the Orioles going from worst to first seemed to be stacked against them:

Big Players with Big Injuries

Some of the Orioles’ pivotal players suffered major injuries this year:

  • Brian Roberts came back from his concussion injury and then had season-ending hip surgery in August
  • Nick Markakis broke his left thumb in September and is still out
  • Nolan Reimold had season-ending neck surgery in June to repair is herniated disk
  • Jason Hammel missed two months after knee surgery earlier this year, and is still out after re-injuring his knee
  • Wilson Betemit re-injured his right wrist in September and is still out


Some say that the Orioles’ best pitcher may still be in the minors: Dylan Bundy is 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA this year. Hammel is still dealing with his knee injury, and although Chris Tillman went 9-3 this season and Wei-Yin Chen lived up to his expectations, the Orioles haven’t really had a stand-out starting pitcher.


There seemed to be a revolving door between the Majors and the Minors this year, and it seemed like the O’s were suiting up new players every week. Nearly half of the team’s active players (18 of 35) played in the minors this year.

Lackluster Offense

The stats speak for themselves: The O’s were 10th in the AL in runs scored, 11th in batting average and 12th in on-base percentage. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are our only hitters that have an above-average batting avg. with .287 and .298 respectively.


Winning Close Games

They won close games. The Orioles were 46-18 in games decided by one or two runs, and 28-9 in one run games alone – the best record in the . In extra inning games, the Orioles are 12-2.

A Great Bullpen

They had a great bullpen. How’s this for a stat: The Orioles are 73-0 when leading after seven innings. Jim Johnson was stellar this year, with 50 saves. Chris Tillman went 9-3 this season Buck simply knows when to pull the starters and put in the closers.

A True Team Effort

Although Adam Jones was a stand-out this year, playing in all 162 regular season games, and quick with the pies afterwards, there’s really been no one superstar or one go-to guy in the Orioles line-up. They’ve ALL been stars, and each game seemed to highlight a new player.

  • First baseman Chris Davis had 33 home runs this year and even beat the Sox from the mound in the Orioles’ win on May 6th.
  • The Orioles brought up Manny Machado, and in his first game in an Orioles uniform, he goes 2 for 4. In his 2nd game, he hits 2 home runs.
  • Nate McLouth came out of nowhere to become the lead-off hitter and in September alone hit .286 with 4 home runs, and 4 stolen bases.
  • The Sheriff, Mark Reynolds, may have struck out 169 times this year (hence the nickname), but when he was on, he was ON, hitting 23 HR’s and 69 RBI’s.

The Media Works team wishes the Orioles good luck in tonight’s game and can’t wait to see them back at home this weekend against the Yankees!