Archive for category Copywriting

4 Key Steps to Rebranding


You’ve decided rebranding is the right choice for your product or service and it’s time to take the first steps. How can you ensure that the steps you are taking are the right ones? What does it take to successfully rebrand?

Lets take a look at the latest rebranding of McDonald’s and how they used these 4 steps to their advantage.

  1. Shine a light - highlight the product’s best features. McDonald’s wanted to refocus the view that consumers had on their product/service. They want to be viewed as an inexpensive high quality fast food restaurant. This involved playing up their customer service, and menu.
  1. Throw back- help the consumers remember why you’re product or service was so popular. McDonald’s does a good job of coming up with new ways to showcase the same old idea, and we’re “loving it”.
  1. Brand interaction- generate more consumer and brand engagement, and get them excited about the new campaign you are pushing. McDonald’s Super Bowl Ad, ‘Pay with lovin’, demonstrates consumer engagement at it’s best. From now until February 14th McDonald’s will randomly be select customers to pay with lovin’ or small acts of love.
  1. Define success-define your end gain and compose a strategy to reach your brand’s goal. McDonald’s wants to be known for being a well respected and trusted fast food restaurant. Their campaign focus around this sole idea and paves the road to their rebranding success.

McDonald’s is well on their way to success with their new rebrand. Do you think their rebranding is working for them? Tell us more on our Facebook page!



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We won gold for Best Social Media Campaign at NAHB 2015!









#‎TeamCEA started the year off on the right foot by winning a gold award for Best Social Media Campaign at the NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Nevada! Our “Be a Neal Star” campaign for Neal Communities soared to great heights, and we are honored to have received our FIRST national award!

Our social media contest and campaign featured residents from three different Neal Communities’ developments sharing videos about their favorite parts of life in their communities. The videos were shared on social media, with friends and family being encouraged to vote. By the end of the campaign, we collected over 25 videos, 16,668 page views, 55 organic searches, and 9,623 total votes! Neal Communities was able to create and repurpose content for web, social media, YouTube and blogs which increased brand awareness and improved SEO.

Are you ready to start building your social media presence with the experts? Contact CEA Marketing today!

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

( This picture was taken on my first day when my smile was eager and our building was purple. )


When I first started at CEA Marketing, I was a fresh out of college graduate with not clue in the world. I knew one thing and one thing only. I loved advertising and was ready for any challenges that would be handed my way.  With my whiteboard calendar in hand, I headed towards the welcoming front doors on my first day.

Since I have started, we have tripled our staff. It was just a small group of five who ran this show. (We did all right if you ask me). I am thrilled to have watched this team grow into the fabulous almost 15 people we have today.

In the next few weeks, my entire world is about to change. I have made the decision to pack up what belongings will fit into my golf cart sized car and head west. San Diego, California will be my new home. I have learned SO much in my time here at CEA and hope to continue helping in anyway that I can. Social media is not my final destination in the world of advertising but it was a great start.  I was able to get more hands on experience when it came to agency life.

I love this group of people and have made a couple of life-long friends. I am proud to say that I have taken our social media pages to new heights. I have tripled fan numbers and increased engagement throughout all pages. I have thought up, pitched and won numerous campaigns ideas that turned into REAL LIFE campaigns. Coming straight out of college that is all I could ask for.

It’s amazing to know that the crazy and sometimes unconventional thoughts I have are something I can make a career out of. I have loved every minute of working at CEA and look forward to seeing how they progress as the years pass.

Thank you to everyone who helped mold me, guide me and challenge me to think outside of the box. I will never stop dreaming or challenging myself to be bigger and better.

Love always,

Your social media butterfly,

Amanda Vinson


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What Makes a Great Billboard?

Outdoor advertising has played an important role in American business promotion for decades, especially so ever since President Eisenhower’s massive investment in developing the Interstate highway system during the 1950s. Throughout the ensuing years, savvy marketers have conducted extensive research with respect to the effectiveness and efficacy of this unique medium. Below are several basic guidelines to follow if you choose to include billboards as “part-and-parcel” of your overall marketing endeavor.


1. Messaging

The message should focus on a single, succinct idea, presented in a way that immediately captures attention, is easily understood and wholly memorable. Ideally, your message should be limited to seven words or less. Remember, your audience is traveling by car, often at a high rate of speed. You have only a few precious seconds to impart your message, and in such a manner that engenders future recall.


2. Font Selection

You can have the best-ever billboard message ever composed, but, if it cannot be read, all such effort will be for naught. Take care to utilize fonts that are highly legible. Overly ornate type and those fonts that are too thick or too thin should be avoided. Additionally, the lettering must be appropriately scaled. To test basic readability, write your message on the back of a business card and hold it at arm’s length. This roughly simulates how it will be viewed on a 10’ x 22’ billboard from a distance of around 200 feet.


3. Graphics and Images

The graphics and images you employ to support your message should be hyper-compelling. Refrain from including multiple graphics and images on your billboard. Typically, one high-impact image, if well chosen to thoroughly illustrate your message, shall suffice.


4. Design/Layout

Effective billboards make the most of a “clean” and “efficient” design. Take special care to avoid “clutter” and introducing anything that distracts from the message you’re conveying. In billboard design, less is truly more. Graphics/images should work seamlessly with the message imparted. Also, there should be a natural “eye flow” from graphics/images to text, and visa versa.


5. Color Choice

Bold, contrasting color usage grabs readership attention. Select colors that, first and foremost, highlight your message. Overall, the goal is to make use of a color combination that allows for both your message and graphics/images to significantly “pop” against the billboard’s background.


6. Explore “The Beyond”

There are several ways a billboard can be enhanced. For example, you can add an extension to increase impact and differentiation. Likewise, a number of vendors provide for the opportunity to use the “apron” portion of their board. This is the area under the “standard” saleable space. And, there’s the employment of 3-D elements (vis-à-vis, those spotted, Chick-fil-A® cows, remember?). Whatever “outside the board” tactics you desire to implement will be an additional cost, though often privy to negotiation.


In sum, it is vitally important to understand that outdoor advertising is indeed a unique medium, and must be addressed so to attain maximum effectiveness. Outdoor advertising should not function as an “add-on” to your overall promotional campaign, but, rather, individually addressed as a vitally important and integral component to an overall marketing mix.

Written by Dave Dubreuil

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Till Death Do us Part.

In a world where 91% of all people have a mobile phone, everyday emotions, buying habits and relationships are changing dramatically.

Out of this 91%, women have been found to have fallen deeply in love with their mobile phones. According to a new study from Time Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing, 60 percent of women name their mobiles as the most important devices in their lives. While men stand at a 43 percent.

78% of women say that their phone is the first thing they look at when they wake up in the morning. 98% take it with them whenever they go and 87% were brave enough to admit that they can’t imagine life without their phones. (Talk about a serious commitment.)

Even during their downtime, women say their mobile phone has an effect on their emotional state of mind. Throughout the day, women use their phones for engaging with social media, texting and even shopping. While this time spent on their mobiles would suggest opportunities to advertise to women, 91 percent of women dislike ads and consider them to be intrusive.

It was noted that 41 % of women ARE open to ads as long as they that let them control the experience. (Women wanting to be in control? No way. ) 52% are interested in ads that are relevant to the content being consumed. While 41% of women say that they would LIKE ads that give location-based offers.  (That means you geo-targeting ad companies)


Statistics brought to you by:


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5 important tips for writing an effective slogan

AdWeek released a silly yet true article entitled, “ If Brands Had More Honest Slogans”, featuring well-known brands exposing taglines that better suite their brands (although, they might not think so).  Take a gander at these puppies, enjoy a few chuckles but then let’s get serious.

If you ask any copywriter, coming up with the ultimate slogan for a brand is one of the hardest yet challengingly fun tasks to be given.  How do you differentiate your product or brand while also underscoring the company’s mission all wrapped up into one perfect collection of words?  A slogan/ tagline is the first impression for many potential consumers.  So make it a good one. says the 5 most important tips for writing an effective slogan are:

1. Give them a rhythm, rhyme, and ring.

Slogans, whether read or heard, should be pleasing to the ear; rhythmic and fluid-sounding slogans are much more recognizable and memorable for later recall.

2. Highlight a key benefit.

Isolate one key area of your business, and find a way to integrate it into the slogan.

3. Explain the company’s commitment.

Slogans devoted to customer service, especially ones that guarantee quality and satisfaction even if it’s at the company’s expense, play extremely well with the public.

4. Stay honest.

Be realistic. Find a clever but real way to emphasize your company’s perks.

5. Keep it short.

Slogans should never be longer than a sentence and ideally should hit the sweet spot between six to eight words.

I challenge you to take these 5 tips and create some of your own slogans. Even if they are silly “ honest “ slogans like AdWeek came up with.


Until next time, your Social Butterfly Amanda



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You can run but you can’t hide.

If you own a computer, you most likely have been a victim of retargeting. You know, that pesky little ad that seems to find you no matter what website you land on? For consumers, it can often represent as a reminder. “ OH yeah, I forgot I loved that sweater. Oooh, and now it’s 30% off. BUY!” For advertisers, it’s a way to continuously poke at a consumer to ensure they are not forgotten.

Facebook released Tuesday that they are introducing the ability to retarget via mobile devices.  They are now able to target consumers as they jump from laptop, to tablet, to smartphone.  Facebook spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana said, “We are giving marketers more flexibility in the way that they can target.” She continued, “in turn it’s good for people who see the ads because the goal is for them to be more targeted.”

Today’s ad advances are Facebook’s first attempt at bridging the device divide between mobile and desktop that has vexed marketers. (

Chris Cunningham, CEO of social advertising firm appssavvy said,  “ The ability for advertisers to reach consumers across their many smart devices is a crucial step for marketing.” “It’s a growing trend,” he said.

The upgrades to “custom audience” advertising offer a simplified version of retargeting. Facebook plans to open the new capabilities for select partners only over the next several weeks.

So beware computer addicts, those pesky sweater ads are about to follow you all the way to your phone.

Love always, Social Butterfly Amanda


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A whole new world

For many brands, their website is the hub of communication. Where they display their products and services, where they are able to showcase customer reviews and testimonials as well as a place to inform consumers of who they are and what they do. 21% of web traffic now come from tablets and smartphones. (  With this growing statistic, brands are having to accommodate with how consumers are viewing their websites.

Creating a separate version of their website for each unique device would be impossible, or at least impractical. Should business suffer the loss of visitors because their site is impossible to view on mobile devices? Or is there another option?

The answer is creating an all-in-one solution for viewers. The answer is to create a responsive website.

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. ( As users switch from their desktop to their mobile phone, the website will automatically switch to the appropriate viewing sizes for all resolution, image size and scripting.

Brands are no longer having to design three separate and unique websites for every device under the sun. With responsive web design; consumers can view the message with ease. The days of pinching, sliding and zooming are over.

Welcome to the world of responsive web design.


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5 Ways to Create Incredible Headlines

First impressions are either a blessing or a curse, depending on the day and circumstance.

Headlines are no different. When an email drops into your inbox, the headline either grabs your attention or motivates you to delete before even opening it. To a business owner and marketer, that hurts! A lot of time, thought, and money go into the creation of emails and their headlines…so how can you be sure your emails are being read?

It begins with the headline.

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 of those 10 will read the rest. Make every word count. One sentence will lead them to the next sentence, to the next, and so on and so forth.

Here are three things that have been proven to make a headline better.

  1. Use a number. People are always in a hurry these days. If the article reads 3 tips to better headlines, they know the article can be read in a short amount of time and they can go about their day.
  2. Use adjectives. Awesome adjectives make everything better. Try using words like Free, essential, incredible, beautiful, fun in your next headline.
  3. Remember your who, what, when, and how’s. You are trying to persuade someone, and something getting the to answer a question is a great way to do that.
  4. Make a promise. Tell your reader what they will gain from reading the email, but make sure you always deliver.

For example, your headline could be How to Sell Your Home, or it could sound like this:  “How You Can Effortlessly Sell Your Home In One Week.”

The next time you want to write a compelling headline, remember this formula:

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise


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Left Brain vs. Right

In the agency world, I’m an oddball. Many would say that I’m an oddball in general, but that’s beside the point. Ever since that first assignment in my sophomore year copywriting class at Florida Southern College, I wanted to be a copywriter. I knew I had a gift—at least people told me I did. All I dreamed about was seeing something I wrote in print or on the air. I finally got my chance when I joined the creative team at the Lipphardt Agency in Tampa.

Within a month, I had written my first national TV spot for SunJet Airlines (which shortly thereafter filed for bankruptcy—no fault of mine, I might add). Over the next four years, my fellow right brainers and I brainstormed and concepted our way to win over one hundred awards for creative excellence. We basked in our quirkiness. We celebrated our zaniness. We turned “the pit” into anything but the pits.

But then one day, all of that changed.

You see while my right brain was busy being all creative and stuff, my left brain secretly somehow had been playing its own little game. During client pitches, my left brain was paying attention to the research and the numbers and the statistics—all those things that made my right brain want to turn in to Jell-O. My left brain somehow taught itself how to connect those numbers to reason. My right lobe discovered my left lobe’s betrayal and they’ve been at war ever since.

My former creative partners insist that I have gone to the dark side.

But how can they? How can they not see the beauty in what true research tells you? Whether it’s a focus group or a mall intercept or a trend article or a fully blown-out quantitative target segment analysis or segmentation study (OMG, I’m drooling!), research tells a marketer so much. Not just about who your target is, but also about their media consumption, their interests, behavioral patterns—even the messaging that they’re most likely to respond to.

The right side of the brain, aside from tuning out all things numeric or analytic, doesn’t like that. Research brings out its defensive side, and the two sides argue.

RB: Well that takes all the creativity away.

LB: How so?

RB: I wanted to use a talking baby.

LB: The research shows that most women in our target demo expect to start a family within the next two years. Why can’t you use a baby?

RB: Well… because… because… well, it’s just not as much fun if it makes sense!

LB: Besides I think a TV spot like that would be great based on our media schedule. Our research tells us that we should be placing spots on networks like WE, Oxygen, HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime. They’ll LOVE your talking baby.

RB: Well that media plan isn’t very creative.

LB: Whattya mean?

RB: Well you didn’t really create it, did you? That ‘research’ of yours did all the work for you.

LB: I did plenty of work! I mean all those data fields didn’t cross-tabulate on their own!

RB: Ooh! Big word man!

LB: Look, why don’t we float the idea past a focus group to see if you’re on the right track?


LB: Why not?

RB: Remember that last focus group when that one lady said she didn’t like the creative?

LB: Yes.

RB: I didn’t like her.

LB: Yeah, well, we ran the campaign anyway because you wouldn’t stop whining and it was a flop.

RB: When did you become… such a… such a… boobie-head?

LB: Boobie-head? Is that the best you can do, word boy?

And so on.

So anyway, when you’re trying to figure out your next campaign, take some time and do some research. It can make everything from your creative to your media planning and public relations strategies much more successful and on-target. Doing it right isn’t free—but if you take the time to work with someone who understands how to structure a research project effectively, the return on investment can be staggering.

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