WordSmiths - The Smith Brothers Agency Blog


Living on the edge in a CPG world.


America has spoken, and the message is clear: “pumpkin beer rules.” As inexplicable as that may seem, even traditional “macro brew” drinkers seem enthused about the seasonal beverage, as each year more breweries release their product earlier than ever. First to the shelf or tap means more sales, even if that in turn means drinking a traditionally autumnal beer in early August’s heat and humidity. Perhaps we as consumers have reached critical pumpkin beer mass.


The announcement earlier this month that General Mills will acquire Annie’s1, one of the largest independent natural/organic food brands, is a bellwether that consumer demand for healthier options has finally reached the tipping point. With the natural products category poised to exceed $226 billion by 2018 (representing more than a third of all U.S. retail grocery sales) and growing by almost 9% YOY2, traditional CPG manufacturers and retailers are carving out significant room in their brand portfolios and on store shelves for products that represent the ideal balance of taste, nutrition and corporate/social responsibility that modern shoppers seek.


Over the course of my 12-year career in marketing, I’ve created, executed and publicized a number of consumer promotions. Most of them are digital, these days. Clients often ask me if promotions are worth it. “Are we getting the right type of consumer to participate,” they wonder. They want to know if promotions have a positive impact on their brand and their business. While it is hard to directly attribute sales revenue to a digital promotion, I wanted to address this question by showing “how” promotions are carried out matters.

There’s one guarantee in Social Media – things never stay the same. While we may grumble about certain changes from time to time, change just means that Social Media is adapting and growing.

Part of our job in the Social Media department is to keep the agency and our clients up-to-date on all of these changes.  Here’s a quick glimpse into the latest updates and what they mean for brands and agencies.

Platform Analytics Updates: Surprisingly, even some of the biggest Social Media platforms have lacked an analytics suite to date. Without a proper analytics tool, Social Media platforms are not performing to the best of their ability for brands and advertisers.

Ashley A Beer With

A Beer With: Ashley Rader

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.