WordSmiths - The Smith Brothers Agency Blog


Living on the edge in a CPG world.

If you’re anything like me, you spend each work day balancing your intake of two extremely necessary “life force” beverages – coffee (for energy) and water (for hydration). But what if there was a drink that combined these two benefits in one nutritious and delicious package?


In CPG advertising, Mom rules. And for good reason: moms still have the most influence when it comes to the food decisions for her family. P&G has spent billions, and created some beautiful, emotional ads thanking mom over the last few years. But… have you noticed more men walking around the aisles of your nearby grocer?

In a recent study from Edelman, more than 50% of households reported both parents shared the food planning and purchasing responsibilities. To quote Edelman senior food and nutrition strategist, Mary K. Young, “As dad continues to elevate his role within the home, we believe he’ll become an even more influential force in the food purchases.”

There’s a reason to celebrate every day. January 19th is popcorn day. The middle child gets 24 hours of attention on August 12th. Bat Appreciation is celebrated on April 17th.  And there is even a day devoted to Waffle Irons on June 29th.

Embarrassingly enough, we’ve all probably created content around at least one of these made-up holidays at one point in our advertising careers. So it’s only natural that June 30th is set aside to celebrate social media!


I had the pleasure of speaking at Pittsburgh TechFest again this year, which took place back in early June, and it was amazing! This was my second year as a presenter and I was slotted for the late afternoon to close out the day. It’s a rough time slot but I viewed it as a great opportunity to make an impact at the end of the conference.

On June 30, Constantine James (@consjames) from Twitter visited the SBA office for Pittsburgh’s official 2014 Social Media Day. Early in the day, Constantine treated SBAers to a small scale free-form chat after he tried his first ever Primanti Bros. sandwich – cap & cheese. We drilled him with questions about what’s next for Twitter and how we can continue to rock (and grow) our brands on the platform. During the main event, Constantine was the keynote speaker and talked about the state of Twitter and what’s trending in Pittsburgh.

Shana A Beer With

A Beer With: Shana Braun

A few weeks ago, the SBA Wellness Committee held our very first Healthy Potluck. For weeks beforehand, people were buzzing about this event, and it was well worth the wait.


How do you measure success?

Okay, all of you CPG marketers out there: how do you measure the success of a promotion?

If you said, “ROI,” we need to talk (and you need to keep reading).  If you said, “Against past performance,” well, now we’re getting on the same page.

Past performance, after all, allows us to gauge growth (or loss) by isolating our most valuable variable—our own brand. Now that we’ve established this crucial point, let’s back up a bit.

For this week’s Try it Tuesday, the agency team and I thought we’d compare different examples of the world’s second most favorite chemical compound—good old H2O (O2 being first!). We found multiple brands of the bottled variety, and I had the bright idea to suggest a blind taste test—only to be immediately held to it. But after comparing a bunch of brands, we all concluded that, while there were more differences in flavor and texture than we’d originally anticipated, there were no “HOLY S**T” moments. And here at SBA, when we do a Try it Tuesday, scrutinizing yet another consumer packaged goods segment, we always strive for what we call the “HS” moment.