The Magic Touch

Carol H. Williams Advertising conjures up winning campaigns and huge billings using an enchanting mix of business savvy, creative talent, and unbridled passion

analyze shifting consumer needs and track revenue performance. In short, CHW measures how much product it moves off convenience store shelves as a result of one of its campaigns.

“Carol knows how to balance between the magic and the logic. So the magic is to attract consumers — to make sure that your commercial is going to have relevance with that consumer. The logic, because ultimately we’re trying to build a brand and sell a product. We need that logic to be persuasive with consumers. Achieving that balance is difficult,” Paul Mendieta, Coors Brewing Co.’s director of ethnic marketing says of CHW, which has developed commercials that have been used to reach ethnic and general-market consumers over the past five years. “What I can tell you for sure is that the attitude of African American young males toward our company and toward the Coors Light brand has increased significantly and that not only has an impact on our African American business, but [in the general market, as well] because African American consumers in urban markets have a lot of influence on what’s cool with the general market.”

When it comes to the development of marketing campaigns, CHW spends a great deal of time figuring out what elements will connect with consumers. Burned in the minds of its creative personnel is the company mantra: Whose eyes are you looking through when you view the world?

Asserts Clemons: “I don’t know how to make sushi. I know how to eat it. I know how it’s made, but that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to be a good sushi chef. Something about what we do makes us good chefs. We understand who it is we are speaking to. We understand it because we live it every day. We look through the eyes of our consumers.”

CHW used its signature approach in developing an innovative campaign for the Allstate account. The creative team first conducted exhaustive research, examining all aspects of the African American market. Then it mapped out a strategy to effectively marry Allstate’s business objectives with the consumer’s needs.

Using qualitative and quantitative research, CHW cooked up the commercial “Family Reunion” — a sentimental spot focused on enduring family values. The voice-over supplied by African American actor Dennis Haysbert (President David Palmer on FOX-TV’s 24), who is also featured in a series of Allstate’s general-market ads, connects to the viewer through this CHW-inspired monologue: “‘Need a tune-up, call Uncle Bobby. Need a job, call Aunt Gracie. You need insurance, just ask around because Allstate’s been in the family for over 50-something years.”

“[Our] creative is really smart because it is strategically creative and creatively strategic, and it all comes from consumer insight,” says Clemons. “When our consumers see it, it feels familiar and resonates from a place in their own mind-set — with the right triggers. When it comes out of Dennis’ mouth, he’s no longer only talking from the voice of Allstate. He’s also talking with me.”

The commercial also resonated with Allstate’s marketing brass. True to form,

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