Thanksgiving Turkey

Retail’s Impact on the Day of Thanks

Posted by | Advertising, Seasonal | No Comments

When did this happen? Christmas has taken on its’ own Hollywood personality. December 25th has moved up in the batting order to the day after Halloween, the start of the holiday season.

There are visions of sugarplums dancing down isles in every major retail store in America. St. Nicholas will surely grace the cover of Vogue before the fresh, fallen snow.

Huffington Post states, “Thanksgiving Day is no longer all about turkey: It’s eating away at Black Friday shopping.” Thanksgiving Day originated more than 200 years ago and is known as a day of rest, family gatherings and celebration. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a family tradition in households across the country.

In this frazzled, stressed-out society we live in, Thanksgiving Day should be set aside as a day of rest and rejuvenation. The last Thursday in November is a day to spend with loved ones and share a meal together.

Instead, the third Thursday in November is translating into unprecedented savings and the chance to purchase the hottest holiday gifts of the season. Not even Tom the turkey is immune to this modern-day phenomenon.

Will you allow tablets, laptops or cellphones at your dinner table? Retailers are opening their online sales earlier than ever this year. “Mobile purchases will account for 31 percent of total online sales on Turkey Day, compared to 21 percent in 2013, according to an Adobe holidays shopping forecast” (Adweek).

With all these deep discounts and savings, who has time to give thanks? Who can compete with the allure of BOGOs, brand names and limited editions? After the last piece of turkey and second helping of cranberry chutney it’s Dominic Toretto and Vin Diesel fast all the way to the nearest mall. Don’t forget that over-stuffed wallet, ready to dish out precious time and savings into the catacomb of holiday shopping.

Stores such as Macy’s, Sears, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Staples and Belk plan to open their doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Dare to say, dinners have been snubbed to lunches and the day of thanks snubbed to the day of buying. Quality time is being stripped from the schedule.

According to Adobe, with an average discount of 24 percent, discounting the most-treasured gifts of the season, this new reality will be a hard one to ignore. According to a poll done here at Frederick Swanston, 13 percent will participate in holiday shopping and only two brave souls will venture out Thanksgiving evening.

Likewise, 67 percent of our office continues holiday traditions with their families and 87% cook their very own Thanksgiving feast. The History Channel cites, “The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total consumed in the United States—are eaten at Thanksgiving.”

The childlike wonder of the holiday season should include Thanksgiving, no matter the food or fancy stuffing. I believe the electronics could use a rest from the incessant, habitual typing of this digital age. In the end, we do live in America. The 27th of November is your day to do what you may.



When You Follow Your Heart

Posted by | Healthcare, Uncategorized | No Comments

At Frederick Swanston we like to think of ourselves as more than just an advertising agency. The agency employees, our clients and our vendors are truly a family. And right now one of our family members is in need. Associate Creative Director, Dustin Hall, and his wife Jessica have started down a life-long journey with their youngest daughter, Mallory. Two-year old Mallory’s heart is too big for her tiny body. She will likely need three heart transplants over the span of her life and with each transplant comes a series of obstacles from health-related concerns to financial obligations.

Right now Mallory sits patiently at CHOA Egleston in Atlanta, awaiting the call that will give her a chance for a normal life. Until then, she will remain a resident of the hospital. The length of her hospital stay will be determined by a complicated algorithm prioritizing other children in need, blood types, health issues and, most importantly, organ availability. Mallory’s condition is so severe that she is listed as 1A, which is the most urgent listing for a transplant. Still, the average wait time for a new heart ranges anywhere from three months to a year. That is a year of hospital living, a year of parents dividing their time between their heartbroken angel and their energetic, older daughter Madison. That is a year of deductibles, copays and some uninsurable expenses. That is a year of both parents somehow maintaining their full-time jobs in order to make ends meet, while also staying day and night with Mallory in the hospital and Madison at home.

The FredSwan family is asking for your help. Our goal for Mallory is to garner 100,000 prayers, 100,000 shares and 100,000 dollars. We need prayers for health, courage and strength, shares on social media to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and $100,000 to help cover a lifetime of transplant-related expenses for Mallory.

Watch Mallory’s story here to learn how you can do more. #FollowHerHeart

The Eight Elements for a Successful Retail Campaign

Elements to Successful Retail Marketing

Posted by | Retail | No Comments

Frederick Swanston has been successful in retail marketing since before handheld electronic devices and the Internet. And while overtime technology has changed, the ingredients that compose an effective retail marketing campaign then are essentially the same ones that work now:

You have to have a compelling marketing strategy that appeals to a major market segment and is impossible for competitors to replicate.

Retail Customer Experience identified Eight Characteristics of Successful Retail Concepts:

  1. Have a clear vision
  2. Evolve offering
  3. Execute
  4. Develop a strong culture and set of values
  5. Deliver emotional and self-expressive benefits
  6. Address a real unmet need
  7. Scale
  8. Integrate social and environmental programs into the brand

Let’s look at one very successful retailer and manufacturer – Ethan Allen Inc.

Ethan Allen’s retail marketing strategy has successfully appealed to a broad range of middle-income consumers with one simple concept – “We want to help you have the home you’ve always wanted.”

How have they approached this overarching marketing plan? In addition to following the eight steps for a success retail campaign, they also:

  1. Strategically place stores to be convenient for customers
  2. Staff retail locations with trained associates who can help customers with solid decorating and design recommendations
  3. Evolve product offerings to fit customer preferences and marketplace demands
  4. Train designers to take advantage of the in-store design center
  5. Educate employees on the annual marketing strategy and the important role each individual plays in reaching the agreed upon objectives
  6. Assure customers get their furnishings on time and in good quality through a broad network of plants in the USA and overseas

This marketing strategy has helped Ethan Allen evolve from couple of wood plants in New England under the Baumritter label, to the second-largest home furnishing manufacturer/retailer in the United States.

The Ethan Allen marketing example is great because it’s a successful organization that’s maintained the same overall marketing objective for years notwithstanding the vast changes to the technology landscape. And they will undoubtedly stay the course and continue to see successful results from their diligence and commitment.

Celebrity Endorsements - Leo

Are Celebrity Endorsements Worth It?

Posted by | Advertising, Branding | No Comments

When it comes to celebrity endorsements there’s not a secret formula for when it’s appropriate to incur the steep fees celebrities charge to give your brand a face.

A Dutch research firm writing in the Journal of Economic Psychology said that, “celebrity endorsements alter brain activity, as buyers feel affection toward these celebs.” Well that’s a plus, but on the other hand – AdAge did a study showing that a celebrity endorsement of a product is unimportant in determining whether the ad resonates with viewers, “In fact, one-fifth of celebrity ads had a negative impact on the advertising effectiveness.”

Who are we to believe?

We compiled a list of the some instances where celebrity endorsements damaged the brand image:

  • Legende de Michael Jackson – bombed – not his fan base.
  • Lance Armstrong – Nike really took gas backing the Big Doper.
  • Lindsay Lohan – was hired to join Proactiv and immediately got put in the slammer for drugs and booze.
  • Madonna got $5MM from PepsiCo for a song, Like a Prayer, which a Catholic bishop filed a complaint over and the ad was pulled.
  • Tiger Woods’s sex scandal made Nike take a very deep breath, and then backed off quickly.

There are some huge success stories:

  • Jennifer Aniston – Smart Water
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – TAG Heuer
  • David Beckham – Adidas
  • Robert Di Niro – American Express
  • Jennifer Lopez – L’Oreal

What can we say? It all depends on the chemistry between the product and the celebrity and how that chemistry translates to their each fan base.


Promotion to Junior Art Director 2014

Craft Beer and Typography

Posted by | Advertising | No Comments

Congratulations are in order for Elias Julian, our design intern who was recently promoted to Junior Art Director.

Elias enjoys food that comes wrapped in aluminum foil, working with his hands, art directing, craft beer, typography, taking photographs, and art zines. He’s from Norfolk, VA and graduated from Radford University with a bachelors degree in Advertising and a minor in Graphic Design.

He’s a welcomed addition to the team and will be helping on several accounts including (but certainly not limited to) Ashton WoodsPADV and Shepherd Center.

But don’t fret because we still have career opportunities available. If you want to join the FredSwan Family you can apply here one of the many benefits of working here is hanging out with awesome people like Elias!

Website Relaunch

Website Redesign in Wake of New Growth

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Alpharetta, GA – Continued growth and success called for a new online experience for Frederick Swanston, a mid-size advertising agency located in Alpharetta, GA. The visually stunning and content-rich site promises to show off the breadth of client experience in industries ranging from health care and technology to resort and business-to-business.

Several new faces grace the halls of the newly renovated ad agency, most notably members of the flourishing digital department.

In the past two years, new clients including Ashton Woods, MetroHealth, Americold and Bankers Fidelity have contributed to the expanding client portfolio and the need to refresh the agency’s website,

“As with every agency on the planet, we’ve seen a seismic shift toward digital. We want our clients, both current and potential, to know we have the in-house muscle and expertise to keep up with their growing digital needs,” said Bill Swanston, partner and executive creative director at Frederick Swanston.

Frederick Swanston is an Atlanta-area advertising, branding and digital agency that combines exceptional creative with the finest client service.


The Brand Value of Team USA

Posted by | Branding | No Comments

As a soccer fan and former college player, it’s been thrilling to watch the country unite together in support of Team USA and their journey to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Those who once knew nothing about soccer are suddenly experts in hamstring injuries, corner kicks and far-post runs. Dempsey, Bradley and Howard are now almost household names. And it all got me thinking about the raise in value for Team USA’s brand. Read More

Retail Renovation

Retail Renovation

Posted by | Retail | No Comments

Enclosed retail shopping malls started to pop up all around the country about 60 years ago. They prospered by offering appealing shopping opportunities while providing a variety of products and a sense of shopping excitement. Of course, there was the food court and sometimes even upscale dining. Read More


Snap Counts and Socializing: How Advertising has Affected My Social Life

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

I won’t say that I went to college for the intramural sports, but that statement might not be far from the truth. I remember looking at my schedule and not thinking about exams but rather which nights I had games. Fast forward a few years and college is a distant memory. I spend my days sitting behind a desk, and most nights, I don’t have the energy or determination to move from the couch. When I came to the realization of how lazy I had become, I knew that I would have to seek out sports leagues and ways to stay physically active. Playing in these leagues has given me the opportunity to meet new people and talk about how much I enjoy advertising, and more specifically, my work at Frederick Swanston. Read More