Tuesday, November 12, 2013


By Victoria Sullivan, Senior Account Manager

The 97 Degrees West team, an international, award-winning advertising, marketing and branding agency has found a way to give back to the Austin community beyond a donation with a monetary value by announcing that they will be the sole provider of creative services for the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen® through 2014.

Discovering this unexpected way to give back, Vera Fischer, 97 Degrees West President, learned that Susan G. Komen Austin® wanted to consolidate all of their advertising and graphic design projects with one agency in the Austin area. “We didn’t want to just write a check. We wanted to give back to the community in a more meaningful and personal way that could provide benefits and support for the charity now and in many years to come and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.” Vera Fischer stated. 

In addition to the optimal timing of this opportunity, the core values of what Komen Austin was founded upon aligned with what the 97 Degrees West team was looking for in a local charity partner. Komen Austin raises money to fund breast cancer screenings, education and medical services to women residing in a 5-county service area in and around Central Texas. In fact, 75% of every dollar raised funds local breast health services and 25% is entirely dedicated to research.

While donating hundreds of hours of marketing expertise to the organization, 97 Degrees West has also been put in charge of rebranding Komen Austin for 2014. Executive director of Komen Austin, Christy Casey-Moore said, “We’re thrilled to have the 97 Degrees West team on board and have their expertise lead our creative design efforts for 2013 and 2014.”

About Susan G. Komen Austin

One out of eight women will have to fight breast cancer in her lifetime. That’s why, since 1999, Susan G. Komen® Austin has been hard at work here in the Austin area raising money to provide breast cancer screening, education and medical services as well as financial and emotional support. In fact, 75 percent of the money we raise each year is put to work right here in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties to improve the lives of everyone affected by this deadly disease. The remaining funds are entirely dedicated to research. For more information about the organization, please call 512-473-0900 or visit www.komenaustin.org.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Simple Steps to Writing An Effective eNewsletter

By Victoria Sullivan, Senior Account Manager

Did you know that 80% of your eNewsletters should be about engagement - while only 20% of the content should be promotional?  Many companies use eNewsletters as a promotional tool, rather than as an informative communication piece.

97 Degrees West uses these key tips when creating an eNewsletter:

  • Use at least 3 templates - keep your communications fresh and appealing by mixing up the layout design to best fit your content.
  • Never include a table of contents - your message shouldn't be long enough to require it.
  • Follow a simple 8.5x11" design - highlight your company news and important information, without information overload.  
  • Too much info? Simply add PDF links for the reader to open at their leisure.
  • Optimal sending time: between 10:00AM - 2:00PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 
  • Weekend Sending: Weekend open rates are steadily increasing because of mobile views and the email volume frequency often decreases, therefore your subscribers may be more likely to open your message on a Saturday afternoon rather than during the week. 
  • Make sure your eNewsletter is properly formatted in an appealing printable or PDF template.

What do you expect out of an eNewsletter?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sharing Your Stories at the 2013 Komen Austin Race For The Cure

By Victoria Sullivan, Senior Account Manager

As the exclusive Komen Austin® Race for the Cure creative services sponsor, the 97 Degrees West team is getting our pink gear ready for the event on Sunday, November 10!

Our film crew will be at the Race asking participants, volunteers, and survivors to “Share Your Stories”. We will share your powerful stories through a video gallery on our 97 Degrees West YouTube channel, helping to promote breast cancer awareness and donation support. Keep a look out for our camera crew!

Are you participating in this year’s Race for the Cure? We’d love to meet you and hear your story. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

97 Degrees West Announces Agency of Record Partnership with Komen Austin®

By Vera Fischer, President

The 97 Degrees West team has been chosen to be Susan G. Komen Austin’s All In Ad Agency partner for 2013/2014!  Through our partnership, we will be providing creative services for the Komen Austin Race for the Cure on November 10, 2013.

Komen Austin serves the 1.67 million residents of five counties including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Seventy-five percent of the funds raised throughout the year stay local to serve our community and the remaining 25 percent is entirely dedicated to research.  Next to the federal government, Susan G. Komen is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world and are making significant advances.

The 2013 Race for the Cure will be held in downtown Austin on Sunday, November 10, 2013. The event attracts thousands of running participants, volunteers, and cancer survivors – collaboratively spreading breast cancer awareness and celebrating life!

Have you registered for the Komen Austin Race for the Cure event? Register here!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 Steps to Create Your Brand's Social Voice

By Emily Mokotoff, Social Media Intern

Social marketing helps strengthen, personify, and direct your brand - it's your "Social Voice". Since the world of social media has grown so quickly, it's important to contribute to conversations by reflecting the inherent human characteristics of your brand. 

Step 1: Up Front & Personal.
Consistency. It's extremely important to show how your brand is reflected - seamlessly integrating throughout all platforms. Just like any creative in print or media, your brand's personality should always be clear and never ambiguous. Here are some questions to ask your team:
  • What tone of voice (formal, causal, fun, sarcastic, etc) should our brand reflect?
  • Do we use preferred grammar, verb tense usage, or particular sentence structure? 
  • Which components of our brand's personality are going to be voiced socially?

Step 2: Keep An Open Mind - (but know what it is off limits!)
Social is challenging because of the unpredictable nature, but it's helpful for your team to try and plan ahead to establish what conversations are "off limits". This helps to formulate your brand's reaction to unexpected or wild card conversations:
  • How opinionated is our brand? 
  • Are we using social as a means of support for our customers or a resource? Or both?

Step 3: Respond & Refine.
Social is quick. It's "real-time". While there is certainly a level of managing your platforms, it shouldn't take away from the fun! Entertain the nature of social media we all know and love:
  • What tools are we using to analyze the success of our social voice? 
  • Have we established a person of contact to make sure we still exuding our tone of voice? 

Don't be afraid to take risks! Sure, you may make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes as your brand begins to make a presence. Find your way through the vast ocean of social media possibilities

Click here to explore our social voice! How do you measure social media performance for your brand?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Branding - Back to the Basics

By Victoria Sullivan, Senior Account Manager

The ultimate branding challenge: Attention. Summed up into a simple word, attracting attention to your brand isn’t always a simple task. It’s been a common challenge for decades across businesses of all sizes and industries. 

Our team here at 97 Degrees West took a deep dive back to the fundamentals of advertising to unveil a simple philosophy that is often dismissed. In the early 1900’s, St. Elmo Lewis pioneered the AIDA philosophy:
AIDA brand philosophy

A – Attention: focus your advertising initiatives to magnify attention to your brand. Who is your audience and what are your initial plans to grab their attention?
I – Interest: Create an interest once you’ve grabbed their attention. Understand your audience’s needs, problems, and concerns to captivate their interest in your brand.
D – Desire: Not to be confused with interest, desire is an emotional connection or bind to your brand that is controlled by your audience. Once you’ve grabbed their interest, it’s time to step towards evolving their desire for your product or service.
A – Action – The last piece of the puzzle is when you have captured your audience’s desire. It’s now time to take action with them by using calls-to-action and positioning your brand to provide value for your future customer. 

Taking a step back to the basics of advertising allows us to evaluate new strategies for our advertising and brand marketing efforts. Are you familiar with the AIDA model? What are some advertising principles that you use?

Friday, October 4, 2013

How Popular TV Shows Influence Social Media

By Emily Mokotoff, Social Media Intern

You may be familiar with Breaking Bad, a wildly popular American television series of which sets a remarkable example of incorporating social media with the episodes and cast members. In fact, Jimmy Fallon claims it to be one of the best shows ever to exist on television!

Playing off the addictive nature of the show, the Breaking Bad team creatively invented the #bbaddict app. The app allows fans to complete challenges and answer trivia questions to win various prizes and contests. The name of the app, #bbaddict, uses a hashtag which stimulates optimal social sharing on Facebook and Twitter

So why is this such a genius move?
#BBaddict helps to play off the branding of the series and allows fans to prove their knowledge and passion for the show, stirring up a viral phenomenon. 

What are memes?
Breaking Bad’s social efforts also use memes, in which a picture is captured from the show and a caption is placed on it.  These captions can either be a quote or promotion for the next episode, displaying the personality of the brand. Either way, it helps stimulate optimal content sharing.

Takeaways for your brand:
From television to corporate, a brand’s use of social media should be a way to engage your target market directly at their level. This branding serves as a resource to provide more information and easily communicate your brand’s personality.