Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Evelyn Cook

Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Evelyn Cook

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Bouvier Kelly Q&A, we’re talking with our Art Director, Evelyn Cook. From design to baked goods, Evelyn can really do it all. Keep reading to learn more about her career and taste in movies and music.


BKI: Where did you grow up?

Evelyn: Well, I was born in upstate New York, and I lived there for about 10 years. Then my dad’s job brought us down to Claremont/Hickory, North Carolina. Then I moved into the Greensboro area to go to UNCG in 1998. And I’ve lived here and Winston, back and forth since I graduated.

BKI:  You said you bounced between here and Winston-Salem, so have you worked in both cities?

Evelyn: Yeah, after graduation, I worked for the American Cancer Society and the YMCA doing fundraising and event planning for them. And while I was with the YMCA, I had to work a lot with the design agency on the creative materials for the campaigns. I just really fell in love with the process. I’ve always gravitated more towards the arts, so I decided to go back to GTCC and get my design degree and then jobs after that led me to Greensboro. So back and forth.

BKI: Can you tell me a little more about your family?

Evelyn: I have four older siblings. I’m the youngest. I have two brothers and two sisters.

My parents have been married for over 50 years. My two sisters, they live up north. One in New Jersey, one in Iowa, and they both have a girl and a boy each. So I have nieces and nephews. My brothers, they live around here. One lives in Durham, the other in Hickory, and my parents live in Kannapolis. So at least I have a few close relatives around. But yeah, it was a good upbringing. You know, the antics of children, and being the youngest in the family.

BKI: What did your parents do?

Evelyn: My mom was a nurse, but then transitioned over to being a stay-at-home mom because my dad traveled a lot. Honestly just having a dog, I always tell her now, “I’m not even sure how you managed five kids,” you know? 

But my dad worked in the business realm. A lot with fiber optic cable technology and stuff. And he now works for the Bank of America doing their ATM processes. He loves to work. He’s almost 80 and still working. We’re like, “Dad just retire,” but he loves it. That’s his life.

BKI:  I know you bake and recently even got into cookie decoration, but tell me about your hobbies.

Evelyn: Baking, I would say, is my main hobby. My mom, being a stay-at-home mom, baked a lot. And so being the youngest and at home with her, I just gravitated towards it. It’s a big stress relief. I find baking is a creative outlet in a different way, you know, like you’re using different kinds of materials, but you’re still creating something artistic in my opinion. I call it edible art. So I love baking. I did have an Etsy shop for a while selling invitations and prints.

BKI: What does that entail?

Evelyn: That’s the kind of design I like. I like pretty design, girly design, I guess you could call it. But it’s a lot of work, and I put it on vacation. It’s not closed or anything. With the pandemic and all the shipping issues and stuff, I just didn’t feel like getting yelled at for a $5 card that didn’t arrive. You know what I’m saying? So it was just a little too much stress, but I still have it. I’ve considered opening it up and maybe doing a mix of tea towels and kitchen stuff to coincide with my baking hobby, as well as some printable kind of things. 

Also, my husband and I love to travel. Of course with the pandemic, that’s put a lot of it on hold, so we just try to do quick trips here and there. I’m big into physical activity. I love yoga and I loved running, but I’m suffering from some injuries right now that prevent me from doing that, but that’s a huge part of my life. Just exercise in general, staying healthy. 

My husband, Jason, and I have been married. We just celebrated seven years in early October.  We have a little doggy named Magda. She’s a shih tzu. She’s super spoiled, we love her to death.

BKI: Where did the name Magda come from?

Evelyn: Her full name is Magdalene. It came from a song by Alex Ebert, who is the lead singer of  Edward Sharp. Edward Sharp is how he’s mostly known, but it’s from his solo album, there’s a song on there that says, “Oh, Magdalene, I love you. You think I’m insane,” And so I’m always like, you know, she probably does think I’m a little insane because I’m always like talking to her, telling her I love her and stuff. So that’s how the name came about. Also, I like old people names like for pets. I don’t know. I just think they’re fun. I’m writing down other names, so when we get other dogs, I’ll have a list of potential old people names.

BKI: You mentioned you enjoy traveling. Where are some of your favorite places you’ve traveled?

Evelyn: Oh my, this is a hard question. I would say it was a tie between Ireland and Iceland. Both incredible experiences, vastly different in what we did, but both are incredible. Also skiing out west— top-notch. I don’t think I’m one of those bougie people that say stuff like, “once you ski out west, you’ll never want to see east again.” But they’re so right. It’s just a different experience. Like the snow is so soft and fluffy. The trails just are endless, like you could ski on the same trail for an hour. I would say those were probably the top. If I had to pick a location out west—Telluride. Just insanely beautiful out there. The people were cool. The town is like walking into a Western movie.

BKI: In addition to skiing, what are some physical activities you’re into?

Evelyn: Running, although I haven’t been able to run in almost two years. Yoga, hot yoga, especially. I absolutely love hot yoga, although with the pandemic, I haven’t been because I just cannot wear a mask during that. So I do yoga at home. We like to casually bike, like the Greenway, my husband and I. When we go to Hilton Head, we just ride our bikes everywhere.

We have a spin bike at home, so I do spinning. Lift weights, just your basic kind of stuff. I like to swim. I was swimming laps a lot, like a couple of years ago, but I canceled my gym membership just because I was basically just paying for the pool and it’s so expensive. I wish they would just sell a pool pass.

BKI: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Evelyn: Oh man. Everything from a veterinarian to an actress, which blows my mind now because I’m so introverted and have really bad social anxiety. Like I said, I always loved art. In fact, it’s funny that I am a designer because I took all the art classes I could in high school.

At UNCG, I wanted to go into graphic design, but they were just starting their program when I was going there and they didn’t have it filled out or figured out. And so basically they said I would have to go for an art degree and maybe take a few design classes. And my parents thankfully paid for my education, but I knew going to my dad and saying, “I’m going to major in art,” he would be like, “Sorry, no.”

BKI: So what was your major?

Evelyn: It was public health education because it kind of combined my interest in marketing and design with health, which I was also interested in. That’s kind of what led me to the American Cancer Society because I interned with the American Cancer Society. But I never really got to use that degree because I worked more on their fundraising stuff. So I always liked art, but you know, growing up, I thought maybe nursing too, because I took some medical classes. They had this assistant nursing program in my high school where you could basically get your CNA license after graduation. I’m glad I did that because like my senior year, you actually worked in a facility and that is not me. Bodily fluids and stuff like that are not meant for me. I couldn’t do it. I admire the nurses that are doing it daily.

BKI: What are some of your favorite aspects of your job at Bouvier Kelly?

Evelyn: I’ve had the opportunity as a designer to work both in-house and at an agency, which I think is a wonderful experience for a designer because you get to figure out what you like most. There’s positives and negatives to both. The positive with working with an in-house design is you’re constantly on that one brand. And so, you know the brand standards and the design in and out, but that’s also a negative because you can’t really expand out, you’re stuck in that box.

So I think I like agency life a little bit better because you get a mix of everything, especially here with the different clients that we have and the demands that they have. One day you could be working on print, which sadly is a dying form of communication because that’s my favorite part of design— print design. Then you work on digital. I’ve been able to learn a lot about how web stuff works, which is important to grow. 

This agency I really like based on the work-life balance, because I have friends that have worked for agencies where it’s lots of long nights and weekends almost all the time. I think that Bouvier Kelly has found that good balance, where you put in the hours that are needed, but most of the time it’s an 8-5 kind of thing, which is really important for me and I think for everybody. I need that because it helps with my creativity, because if I’m constantly bogged down with stuff, I can’t think, you know? 

I also had the opportunity to work with Phillip at another agency. He is by far—and I’m not just saying this because it’s being recorded—by far one of the best creative directors I’ve worked with. He’s very patient and he’s laid back at the same time, and he allows the people that he’s working with to think for themselves. Some creative directors are like, “Do it this way,” but he’s not like that.

BKI: What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on here?

Evelyn: The Rockingham County logo and brochure. By far my favorite thing I’ve done. The committee at Rockingham was very open to ideas, which is rare, especially with government-related projects. What they have to offer really helped with the whole design process, you know, the whole outdoor kind of stuff. So the logo came together really nicely. It shows all aspects of what that county has in a small, little piece of art. And then the brochure, it was just a lot of creative thinking because it was a mix of professional photography along with lesser quality images. So to figure out a way to utilize both in a creative way really allowed me to think outside of the box with a collage type of thing, and collage is just so artistic and fun, you know, piecing different elements together. And they were really open to it, which is awesome. 

So that was a good one. I really enjoyed working with the Burlington downtown project, cause it was a fun, hip, cool design. Then the UNCG magazine. That was good. One, it was my Alma Mater. Two, I haven’t worked a lot with heavy brand standards. Most of our clients do have brand standards, but with UNCG, you had to use their fonts, their colors, and certain ways that it should be laid out. And that’s a challenge to design something creative with a box. So it was a good learning experience. 

BKI: How has your position changed over the years? You mentioned print has faded out, but what are some other developments or trends you’ve noticed?

Evelyn: I guess the biggest change was just going from working five years in the in-house creative— mainly focused on print because they did a lot of catalogs—and then shifting over here and having such a variety of clients and different needs. And like you said, just the digital aspect. I’ve worked on a lot more digital here at Bouvier Kelly, because at Market America, I was on solely the print team. It was called print publication and then they had a separate digital team. So I wasn’t exposed to digital. So here just doing web banners, learning a little bit of web design from Matt [Smith] and stuff. 

I don’t know. It hasn’t been like a dramatic shift in any way. I think it’s just like the demands of the work have been different in the past 10 years.

BKI: Moving away from the professional questions, what are some of your favorite movies or TV shows?

Evelyn: I’m more of a TV person. You know, the reason I’m more of a TV person is because sadly, I can’t sit still. I have to get up every now and then. So committing to a two-hour movie is hard for me. But it’s funny that I say that, because then if I start a TV show, I can binge it for like four hours, you know? It makes no sense. But that’s a hard one because there’s so much TV out there. 

I can tell you what I’m watching right now. I just started the second season of The Morning Show, I liked that. Succession—I love that show. Chicago Med, I just binged all of Chicago Med. I don’t really like network TV, but for some reason I got sucked into it. Also your classics like Dexter, Breaking Bad, etc.

Great British Baking Show, it’s just a delight to watch. The Vampire Diaries, I’m a huge fan of Vampire Diaries. I watched the whole season when it was out, and then during the pandemic rewatched all ten seasons, it’s crazy. 

BKI: What are some of your favorite movies?

Evelyn: Movie-wise, I like scary movies. My husband does not, so I have my go-to scary movie watching friends and I go to their house and I watch scary movies with them.  My all-time favorite one is The Strangers with Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Oh my God. It still bothers me.

BKI: Who are some of your favorite musical artists? What kind of genres do you listen to mainly?

Evelyn: I don’t like to box myself in with music because there’s so much good stuff, you know? But if I had to pick a certain type of music, I would say probably indie. A lot of Del Ray—love her. I like My Morning Jacket, they just came out with a new album, which is really, really good. What are some other bands I like? Of monsters and men. The Fruit Bats.

My husband likes bluegrass, so I have landed into bluegrass more and more over the years and I’m really liking Billy strings lately. Then I like my pop, when I work out and stuff, like Brittany.  (Hashtag Free Brittany). I like her and then just your general indie pop.

BKI: If you could eat dinner with anyone—dead or alive—who would it be?

Evelyn: I think it would be a tie between Dolly Parton and Mindy Kaling. I love Dolly Parton. She is just so generous and fun, so full of life and experience, you know? And then, then Mindy Kaling, and I just love her. God, she’s amazing.

Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Phillip Yeary

Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Phillip Yeary

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Bouvier Kelly Q&A, we’re talking with our Creative Director, Phillip Yeary. In addition to overseeing our Creative Department, Phillip is also just a cool guy. We discussed everything from his experience in the marketing industry and trending topics to his upbringing in rural Virginia and his favorite musical artists.


BKI: Where did you grow up?

Phillip: I grew up in the mountains of Virginia. A little coal mining town in Coeburn, Virginia.

BKI: So growing up in the foothills of Appalachia, how do you think that has impacted your life?

Phillip: I lived there until I was a teenager. That’s a good question. You know, I had a small-town mentality, kind of underdog/challenger type sort of baked into my psyche. It was small, less than 2000 people. So you kinda know everybody. Everybody’s families have been there for generations. 

BKI: So was your family in the coal mining industry?

Phillip: Well, not my immediate family, but yeah, my mom’s dad was a coal miner and some uncles.

BKI: How did you end up in Greensboro?

Phillip: There was a big coal strike in the eighties, and the economy was just dead and my mom packed her bags and said she was taking the kids. And yeah, my dad showed up about two weeks later.

BKI:  Do you recall much of the coal strike and that situation?

Phillip: I remember as a kid, it was people like mine in the streets of, uh, these little towns throwing out these little spiked nails that have been welded together like this, covering the roads so the trucks couldn’t go. You know, whatever national news channels, all of a sudden they were in this little town. It was bizarre.

BKI: What was it like growing up surrounded by that?

Phillip: I had no idea, really what was going on. From an economic standpoint, I had no idea that it was as severe and impacting the entire country.

BKI: Can you tell me a little about your family now?

Phillip: I have two boys, both about to age up. Both October birthdays, 12 and 14, six and eighth grade, middle schoolers. Good kids. Sports. My wife’s name is Jill. She’s an interior designer, so we’re both in the creative industry.

BKI: Is that how you guys met?

Phillip: We actually attended the same high school. We had similar friends, you know, same or overlapping circles of friends, probably more like it. We knew each other then, but we started dating later on in college.

BKI: What are some of your main hobbies?

Phillip: I love golf, tennis, art, just being outside, spending time with family. Those are really my hobbies outside of work.

BKI: What did you want to be growing up?

Phillip: As a kid, we fished a lot. And so I just wanted to be a fisherman. I don’t know some weird dream, but now I can’t stand to fish. Really very boring. Too static, but I loved it. Loved it immensely growing up and did it all the time. I mean, Not much to do. Hanging out in the woods and playing. We spent a lot of time dipping lines in the water somewhere. But early on, I could always draw pretty well, so art was always a potential career path.

BKI: Was that something you initially started out doing in college?

Phillip: Yeah doing fine art and design, and that just shifted from fine art to more commercial art design.

BKI: So what made you shift from fine art to more commercial?

Phillip: Realizing I didn’t have the chops to be a fine artist. It’s interesting, just like anything you might be pretty good in a small pool of people, and then you get to college where everybody is equally talented or more talented. I realized I really didn’t have the discipline and the skillset really to pursue it. This design was a little bit more attainable.

BKI: And how’d you get your start in the industry?

Phillip: An internship. I worked at a company that was called DQ. It was an in-house agency for Cone Mills, one of the textile companies here in town.

BKI: What are some of your favorite aspects of the job?

Phillip: Just having to be creative all the time. Having to come up with ideas. Idea generation. I love that. I love just keeping up trend-wise, with what’s going on, with what’s happening. And I guess I love the idea of art and business overlapping. I enjoy learning about different types of businesses, obscure types of businesses or products. Things that exist that you don’t know about unless you’re involved in that specific industry, you’d never even know it now it’s there. And so learning about that, I really enjoy that. I love meeting people that are involved with those types of companies. Fulfillment wise, why I enjoy this type of job is it is very service-oriented.  You feel like you’re helping. You know, oftentimes it’s you know a person, or you might know the owner of a company, or it’s a marketing department. You feel like you’re really making their reality a little easier, helping them achieve whatever success they’re chasing.

BKI: You mentioned keeping up with trends is one of your favorite aspects, but what are some trends that you’ve noticed that you think will remain integral to your position going forward?

Phillip: That’s a difficult question. The power of a brand and its image and voice kind of transcends whatever technology is out there, whatever medium it may get displayed in.

There are brands that are not just about their product. That sort of represents a higher ideal. I think you see brands that are attached to bigger causes. Patagonia, Nike. Brands like that. 

Yes, they make wonderful, great, innovative products, but it’s also this idea that it’s just part of the culture we live in. And you see smaller brands trying to emulate that kind of stuff all the time.

From a marketing perspective, how can you help a brand do that with smaller-scale budgets? These other companies, they can throw millions and millions of dollars at it, and you know, we’re trying to figure it out on a shoestring. That’s what I’ve noticed on a subconscious level. It’s funny you ask a question and that really is what it kind of all points towards. Brands that have similar stances that you feel comfortable wearing their logo.

BKI: Do you think a brand can authentically do take a stance on an issue? Do you think the brands really care about the message they’re promoting or do they do it because they see this growing trend that people want them to take these stances?

Phillip: I mean, it’s probably both. Like anything when it first initiates, there’s probably a purity to it.

BKI: Having been in this industry for quite some time, what are some aspects of the job has changed pretty dramatically?

Phillip: Consolidation. There used to be just bigger teams, multiple art directors working on the same project. That still happens at larger agencies. Just with an agency of our scale, your responsibilities range and vary. Exploration a lot of times falls on one person to look at it from three different perspectives; to make sure we have something presentable.

BKI: Why do you think that is?

Phillip: Money. Budgets. When I first started in 2000. The year 2000—it was the future. That was kind of like the end of where marketing and advertising campaigns had these giant budgets.

So, 9/11 happened, the whole economy just went south big time, so companies were very cautious when they started spending money again. 

Whenever their markets kind of started opening back up, they tightened up, and of course agencies had to tighten up. That just meant people got laid off. So there were fewer people still doing seemingly the same amount of work. Everybody had to like up their hustle. Every industry is like that, right? Time goes by and you figure out, “Well trim the fat.” You become leaner,  more productive. That’s well and good, but long-term, it kind of squashes collaboration. But yeah, it was just different. 

That’s ultimately what it was: the size of budgets got smaller and smaller. Teams just got smaller. Your relationships with clients maybe improved though, because then you’ve actually built a relationship with the person responsible for the budgets for whatever work was being created, whereas before there was this hierarchy. All these layers of people and processes before you got the work. So it was filtered. The information you got was filtered. But you know, in a lot of ways it was probably filtered in a good way, right? Yeah. Cause you get more and more people looking at it and letting you know, “Here’s the real focus. Here’s what it really needs to work.” Versus just sitting right across the table, talking to the owner of some big company, and he or she is saying they want to do this. So you just start spitballing it. Sometimes strategy can get a little weaker that way. 

That’s just my experience. You know, the agencies I worked at before, you would never need a team. And so you work as hard as you could on something and your idea may be pretty good, but the person in the little cube next to you, um, they’re working just as hard, harder, maybe not as hard. And they come up with ideas that are better or weaker or stronger. There was collaboration. There was competition within the agency. If you look around, you don’t have that here. I don’t know if that ultimately leads to the best work. I guess we all have pretty defined roles. You start thumbing through some of this stuff and you know, you look at some of this work and why is it so good? Is it because it’s just a small, tight team of brilliant, smart, strategic, people working on it? Or is it, you know, ‘cause it’s coming from the bigger agencies where the team is competitive. The talent pool is just always kind of being churned.

BKI: Getting over to some less serious questions. What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

Phillip: I’m a sci-fi kind of person. So I love those types of movies. It’d be hard for me to pick out a favorite movie. I also love comedy. Big Lebowski is probably one of my all-time favorites. I love all the Coen Brother stuff anyway. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies. Let’s see. I mean, I was a kid in the eighties. Yeah. So Star Wars was just kind of part of my childhood.

So I loved that. I also liked things like The Matrix. I don’t know, I probably read more than I watch. Sci-fi short stories, stuff like that.

BKI: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Phillip: Asimov. I just comb the the internet for short stories. I don’t even know who I’m reading half the time.

BKI: Do you prefer shows to movies?

Phillip: Probably movies. The episodic show, they just suck you in. And next thing you know, you’re up ‘til the wee hours of the night. And then, you know, you’re doing it again the next night. So I can’t wait to watch the next episode. I like it, but at the same time, hate it. I get mad at myself. I should invest that time, playing guitar, piano, learning something. I should be painting. I should be drawing. Yeah. But I know it’s I like to think of it as like reading without the effort, you know? Man, it’s just so different. I mean, my kids are old now, but it’s like there’s no time. It’s like all your time, free time as a parent is not there. Or your free time is at 10 o’clock at night; from 10 till when you go to sleep. Not a lot you can do.

BKI: You mentioned you played guitar and piano?

Phillip: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 15, and I just started playing piano this year.

BKI: Wow, are you taking lessons?

Phillip:  No, I use just YouTube, or mostly transposing what I know from the guitar, trying to figure it out. I’m not very good, but somebody gave my wife a piano, brought it home, tuned it up, and I mess around with that.

BKI:  Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Phillip: I like lots of different genres. Rock-wise, I’m a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. Their guitarist is one of my favorite guitarists, John Frusciante. I mean, I’m kind of a student of music. I’m a big Beatles fan. Beach Boys. Rolling stones, all that kind of classic rock and pop. I love all that. Love all the heavy seventies. Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, that sort of stuff. I was a teenager during the grunge era, right?

I’m sure all generations you look at what’s going on and what’s popular now and think, “Nah, music used to be way better.” I think if you listen to the right kind of stuff, every genre, there are people doing it that have soul. People who truly have talent and put their heart into it, you know, the product is usually something that has a certain character to it.

BKI: And if you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Phillip: Sushi.

BKI: If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you choose?

Phillip: My mom.

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Marketing Insider, we’re talking with our Digital Media Art Director, Matt Smith. In addition to the web and digital design he does, he is also our in-house video editor. We talked through some of the differences in marketing videos versus other kinds, the production process and the value of video for brands.


Bouvier Kelly: Let’s start by getting some background information. How did you get into videography?

Matt: I was fortunate to go to a high school that had a broadcast program, so I utilized their cameras, computers, and editing suites and spent all my free time diving into videography and the production of the school’s tv station. From there, I learned a lot of non-linear editing, often using VHS or other traditional editing techniques, and over time taught myself a lot of new things. Fast forward to college, I went to school for computer animation and was able to grow my skillset in film making, animation and motion graphics. When I began working at a marketing agency, I got to mesh my experiences with both animation and videography to create content for brands.

BKI: That’s awesome and a perfect segue to the next question: How are marketing videos different from other types of videos? 

Matt: All videography tells a story, but with marketing there is a lot of thought behind which way is the best way to tell a story to a specific target audience. Some groups may be more interested in an interview style for web, while others are more interested in a commercial format for broadcasting. Producing content that will best serve a brand’s goals is the main difference. The content needs to fit the brand’s style and also be unique enough to get clicks, views or some sort of engagement.

BKI: What does your research process look like when creating a video for a brand/client and what information do you need from them?

Matt: Typically, we go ahead and get the client’s logo and brand guide. Then we look through the client’s previous content to make sure any content we create is cohesive with their reputation and what they are known for. We also look at current trends for their industry in video and animation. Once we gather enough initial research, we begin brainstorming ideas. In this step it can be difficult to verbally explain a video plan to clients, so we create storyboards and style frames to describe what will happen and how it will look. It is important that this process is very detail-oriented, because if we are thorough in our pre-production work, the production and post-production work is efficient in both time and cost.

BKI: How fast is the turnaround time for making a video and what elements can affect it?

Matt: It all comes down to length and complexity. If you would like to create a couple of 30 second videos that include static graphics, footage and simple animated motion graphics that could be done in a week or two. On the other hand, if you’d like several two to three-minute videos produced for a commercial or YouTube channel with plenty of complex motion graphics and multi-camera footage that could take up to a month or longer. Something that is very important when doing a film shoot is making sure you have the right crew and you’re getting all the necessary shots, because once you get into the edit, it’s quite expensive to do a re-shoot and creates huge delays if you have to wait on additional assets. That comes back full circle to good planning in the pre-production stage and making sure you get more shots than you need while filming. When you have all the pieces to the puzzle, it’s a lot faster to assemble it.

BKI: Overall, what makes a good, high-quality video?

Matt: The concept is important, but budget is often the key. Shooting in 4K, getting drone footage, hiring actors and voice actors, good equipment to have on set, CGI assets (3D computer-generated-Imagery), paying for extra time in the concepting phase, the list goes on. But the larger the budget, the more some of these high-quality elements can be incorporated.

BKI: The cost of producing a video has some businesses questioning if it is worth it, but many marketing strategists see it as a must have. What makes a marketing video so valuable?

Matt: Brands can get so much use out of a single marketing video when it’s done right. A single video can be a commercial, a social media post, a digital sign, website content, etc. Plus, once you have all those video assets, they can be repurposed for other videos or elements of your campaign. That single investment has a lot of value and creates so many different avenues for a brand.

Learn more about the video production process or check out our YouTube channel to see some samples of our work.

Marketing Insider: Lesley Thompson

Marketing Insider: Lesley Thompson

Marketing Insider Lesley Thompson

For this edition of Marketing Insider, we interviewed Lesley Thompson, our Integrated Media Director. As the conversation jumped from Nielsen ratings to negotiation, it was a pleasure to learn more about how the media landscape has changed throughout Lesley’s career.

Bouvier Kelly: You have quite a complex job title that leaves many people asking what you do. To start, could you break down what it means to be an Integrated Media Director?

Lesley: Shortly, I develop the overall distribution strategy for our clients and buy media. A more in-depth description would be that I research the target audience, develop the best plan of action to reach them, then figure out the cost.

BKI: What does it mean to be “integrated”?

Lesley: It refers to the ways in which the media landscape has changed. I have been in the media industry since 1991, when advertising was less digital. Being able to go from tangible tactics like billboards and traditional TV commercials to digital advertising on streaming services and social media is what it means to be integrated. It basically means we have progressed.

BKI: How has the process of media buying changed because of these new advertising channels?

Lesley: For digital advertising, it is less about negotiation and more about strategic selection of tactic(s). Digital advertising is like a marketing vending machine. With the myriad platforms, creative options, and performance KPIs, the opportunities seem endless – unlike traditional media that is limited by commercial breaks or magazine pages.

BKI: How have a growing number of platforms and digital advertising impacted the way marketers’ find their audience?

Lesley: Largely through the research needed to discover where target audiences are obtaining their news and entertainment. Before digital, you could advertise on television and radio based on Nielsen ratings and Scarborough metrics and have confidence that a majority of the target audience would see it, but today you have people with the same interest or demographic with multiple options of how, where and when to get news and entertainment.

BKI: How can people with the same interests or demographic be so different? Wouldn’t they be more inclined to like similar things?

Lesley: Yes, they may like music from the 80s, but it does not mean they both listen to the local 80s radio station. They may stream audio from a multitude of services. In our digital world with streaming services and various social media platforms, there is a portion of people who use them, a portion of people who do not, and a portion of people who may use one platform but not the other. The diversity amongst the target audience has always been there, but it is now greater.

BKI: From the standpoint of an outsider looking into the media buying industry, it seems like determining the most effective use of a client’s budget could be very complex. Especially when it comes to placement selection and negotiating ad prices with media representatives.

Lesley: It can be. Ultimately, it is about creating value for our client. Cheapest is not necessarily the best option. The goal is to negotiate or buy effective schedules as cost efficiently as possible to achieve stated goals within budget. Successful campaigns depend on a thorough understanding of the media landscape and target consumers’ media habits. Most times nothing is a “must-have” for an ad schedule to be successful. It’s really an art and a science.

For more on the shifts in Media Planning and Buying, connect with Lesley or check out this blog on tangible vs traditional media or this one on the effectiveness of print media.

Marketing Insider: Donnie Turlington

Marketing Insider: Donnie Turlington

Marketing Insider Donnie Turlington

For our latest Marketing Insider, we interviewed our very own Donnie Turlington, Director of Strategic Communications, to get the scoop on his role with Bouvier Kelly and what Strategic Communications really means for a brand.


Bouvier Kelly: In your own words, how would you describe your role as Director of Strategic Communications?

Donnie: Being Director of Strategic Communications at Bouvier Kelly is about helping businesses tell their story. Public relations is about positioning brands as a storyteller. As a brand, you want to make sure the story you are telling resonates with your audience and lays the foundation for your reputation. Strategic communications looks at storytelling through multiple communications channels and planning out how a brand is going to connect with its audience.

BKI: What does an agency provide for brands that they may not be able to provide for themselves when it comes to communications? 

Donnie: We can provide guidance, validation, and the execution of ideas. One person or small team may think a certain way, but a marketing agency is an outside source that has done research on best practices for more effective communications. When we collaborate with a brand, we can take their ideas and tell them if we think it will work, how it could be better, or provide a totally new outlook. I‘ve led strategic communications for local and national nonprofits, local government, higher education and for businesses before and I use all of that experience to inform my thinking and guide our feedback and response to assist clients. An agency takes some of the stress off the brand.

BKI: When do you think a brand should consider seeking help with communications? Does it depend on size or the presence of conflict? 

Donnie: People often think of seeking public relations help for a crisis, but really it should be sought out whenever there is a story to be told. Every business, regardless of size, has a reason for doing what they do. When it’s time to get that message out there, it’s best to work with a professional so that it’s well-crafted and reaches the target audience. That message builds your reputation and can also help with what we call “issue management”, which is dealing with a problem before it becomes a crisis.

BKI: How do you decide which strategy is good for each business? 

Donnie: Strategy is most closely aligned with audience. At Bouvier Kelly, we look at communications through channels. Different channels can include various media outlets, social media platforms, face-to-face, email, etc. For each of these channels, the strategy changes based upon the goal as well.

BKI: Wow, so it seems like there’s plenty of variety in your role as well.

Donnie: Yes, the role is constantly evolving. A few decades ago, it was all about websites, news releases, and media relations. We still look at all those things, plus social media, email campaigns, podcasts, etc. There are now more tools for communication in the toolbox which is good because audiences are far more segmented than they’ve ever been.

BKI: What’s the best part about being in this position?

Donnie: Reflecting on the 20+ years that I have been doing this, I have to say that helping people has been my overall favorite part. When you help a brand connect to an audience, it’s really just creating human connections. Looking at brands behind the logo and seeing them as real people trying to make real connections, is what it’s all about for me.

Marketing Insider: Pete Parsells

Marketing Insider: Pete Parsells

Marketing Insider Title

Last week our team had the pleasure of kicking off our new series of Insider Interviews with Pete Parsells, our President and CEO. Through these interviews, we will cover issues surrounding the marketing world right now and how businesses can tackle them. Pete offered insights on finding your audience, supporting a cause as a business and evolving marketing tactics. 



Bouvier Kelly: The coronavirus pandemic has placed a dent in the wallet of many business owners and corporations. To combat this financial turmoil, some businesses have decided to cut back on marketing activities to save money. Why do you believe that marketing is still worth the investment during these challenging times? 

Pete: Because you can’t leave your audience behind. While now might not be the time to push products or services, depending on your industry, now is the time to get out the message that you are still the right company. Get the word out that you are helping your community during the pandemic or show how you support your audience, but you cannot just stop all marketing, because your company may be forgotten, and it’s hard to come back from that. 

BKI: How do you think that consumer behaviors have changed during these times, and how does that impact marketing? 

Pete: Consumer behaviors have changed. More people care about social issues than ever before. Consumers want to see how businesses are supporting various causes and, once again, what they are doing to help the community. Saying you support a cause, then not proving how you support it can hurt business because consumers are doing their research. 

BKI: Very true. Many people have more time on their hands. Whether it be that they are working from home or facing unemployment, they now have more time to fact-check and do research. How do you think businesses should go about marketing moving forward? What strategies do you think they should implement now, and how should they keep it going? 

Pete: It all depends on your business and your markets. What you do and say all depends on your audience, and even in good times marketing must be continuously evolving. You cannot always go out with the same message. 

BKI: I agree. For example, I think everyone is getting tired of the same “unprecedented times” lecture that’s in every ad. 

Pete: Exactly, and it doesn’t show your audience that you care. You have to say what you are doing for the cause. 

BKI: Why do you think some companies don’t back up their claims of support for a cause? 

Pete: Bluntly, some companies don’t really care. They just want to seem politically correct. Other companies are just trying to please everybody, but any position taken could offend someone. It all comes back to “who is your target audience?”. 

BKI: What do you say to businesses that are feeling the pressure to address social issues? 

Pete: I’d advise them to build a program first, then let their consumers know what they are working on. As long as they have started some kind of involvement, they can say they care and are involved. 

BKI: So, it sounds like you think businesses should stand for something and be involved in their communities to some degree. 

Pete: Yes, to some degree. Maybe not so much for business to business relations, but especially for business to consumer relations. Modern day consumers want to be associated with brands that matter and make a difference.  

BKI: People have an increased interest in ethical consumption. 

Pete: They do. Back in the day consumers were only concerned with getting the product they wanted or service they needed for the best price. That was my generation, but things change with every generation and that’s why marketing must continuously evolve. We have to stay on top of changes. 

BKI: How do you suggest companies stay on top of change? 

Pete: Several ways, but a big one for me is reading. 

BKI: Reading what? 

Pete: Everything. Newsletters, research, social media, even books although they are often outdated. It goes past just a 9-5 job. You’ve got to do some homework. 


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