Move Over Santa, Here Comes The Great Pumpkin!

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Once reserved for the single last day in October, Halloween was a time when younger children donned costumes and set out throughout the neighborhoods of America, knocking on suspecting home dwellers and recounting the term “trick or treat,” the seemingly timeless plea for candy instead of a trick; the latter usually manifested in a soaped window, a tissue adorned tree or burning bag of poo on the front porch. Celebrated for hundreds of years in communities across North America, Halloween is becoming a more popular holiday and an increasingly bigtime marketing opportunity for commerce.

The Great Pumpkin, of Jack-o-lantern fame, and his compatriots the ghosts, goblins, witches and ghouls are arising from the patches, cemeteries and the darkness of night to claim a stake in the list of universal celebrations. It is estimated that consumers will spend $6.9 billion on Halloween this year, an average of $75 per person, an increase of nearly $30 since 2005. Children’s trick or treating is still Halloween’s leading characteristic, but adults are the main funders of the increased holiday spending.

Research conducted by The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that while the majority of Halloween celebrations were among 18-24 year olds, more than 60 percent of those above the age of 34 were now expected to join in the revelry by conducting larger “event” parties attended by elaborately adorned party goers. This year, spending on house decorations for Halloween is expected to rival that of the Christmas holiday season and candy buying at Halloween will outpace that spent on Easter for the first time. It is clear that the Great Pumpkin has arrived and is throwing down a respectable challenge to the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.

Marketers, take note! Positioned perfectly between the lucrative back to school selling events and the profitable Christmas holiday sales season, Halloween is an opportunity to build on your year-end strategy for closing the gap on profitability. Whether digital, mobile or traditional, the trick is to engage in effective Halloween marketing activities to capture your share of the holiday’s treats.


Junction Creative Solutions Client Launches a Refreshed Brand and New Online Experience


October 23, 2014 – ATLANTA, GA: Junction Creative Solutions’ (Junction’s) client Integrated Performance Consulting (IPC) recently  launched a refreshed brand and online experience to better position the Atlanta based consulting group in an expanding global marketplace. IPC provides sustainable and powerful organizational solutions with a broad range of expertise in marketing, finance, human resources, business psychology, instructional design, and executive coaching.

Junction collaborated closely with IPC stakeholders to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, refresh the existing brand including the logo and marketing collateral, as well as to launch a new website that reflect the vision and personality of the company and IPC’s team of professionals.

“We wish IPC continued success,” comments Julie Gareleck, Managing Partner, Junction.  “It’s critical for companies to not only develop a strategy for growing the business but also for evolving the brand in order to better compete in a global marketplace.”

To view the new website and learn more about how Integrated Performance’s versatile and expert team of professionals can add sustained value to your organizational efforts, visit

About Junction Creative Solutions

Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) combines the intellectual capital of a consulting firm with the creative execution of an advertising agency to create effective and measurable strategies and solutions. The solutions align with specific business goals and objectives, and provide consistency from strategic planning through execution. As a result, our clients are able to maximize opportunities to react, adapt, and thrive — ultimately creating more sustainable and competitive businesses. Junction’s award winning portfolio boasts successful strategies and agency solutions for SMBs and Fortune 500 companies.

Defining the Role of Strategy in an Organization


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One of the most used and least understood terms in business is strategy. While nearly every organization’s success can be traced to a well-founded and directed plan of action, or strategy, many within today’s company hierarchy would be hard pressed to articulate their company’s strategic plan or their specific role in the process of implementation. Much of the misunderstanding stems from a lack of clear articulation of the plans content and who in the organization is responsible for its success.

The Roman philosopher Seneca is quoted as saying: “If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable.” Strategies role in any organization is to collectively focus its resources and assets on achieving a tightly defined course of action towards achieving a set of common goals and objectives. Flexibility is necessary in deploying a strategic plan in order to address original assumptions that become ineffectual when the plan meets the reality of an ever changing marketplace. But while some flexibility in the process is necessary, maintaining a clear focus on the desired objective is essential to garnering cooperation and understanding from all those who are on board.

Whether a company’s strategy is founded on the internal strengths and beliefs of the organization or guided by a belief based on their customer’s sense of the company’s value to fulfill their expectations, without a clear and compelling vision of where it is headed, an organization is destined to be lost.

The leader’s responsibility to its organization is to set forth a vision for the company that engages the understanding, acceptance and participation of its associates. Peter Drucker, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation noted, “An effective leader knows that the ultimate task of leadership is to create human energies and human vision.” While leadership provides the vision and forms the strategy, it is the organization that engages and carries through on its implementation. Successful strategy is dependent upon the participation and buy-in of all individuals in an organization who have clearly assigned roles and a timeline with predetermined milestones along the path to success.

Have you sufficiently defined the role of strategy in your organization?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Color Over Content Cools NBC’s Brand Success In Competitive Morning Market

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NBC’s decision to sack Ann Curry from the “Today Show” co-host position after just one year may have been a pre-tell of things, not so good, to come for the morning news program that had dominated the early morning time slot since its inception in 1952. Dave Garroway, the program’s original host, was credited with winning viewers with his easy style and his success established forever the importance of personality in achieving TV ratings success for the show that is celebrating its 62nd anniversary on NBC. With the early departure of Ann Curry in 2012, and most recently David Gregory, many are questioning whether the presence of any one or team of personalities can be enough to move the show into a sustained hold on the number one slot against an expanding array of formidable media competition.

With new competition from non-television, Internet and social media outlets, “Today Show” producers appear to be stumbling around the news media universe looking and hoping to find a formula that will return them to the ratings glory days of old. The introduction of the “Orange Room” last year was the first effort of its kind to integrate social media into a live morning broadcast and to connect and interact directly with viewers in real-time. It was also a clear effort to stay relevant in a quickly changing media environment. While the experiment found immediate success, it was soon tempered when ratings rival ABC introduced their “Social Square” a few months later.

With a determined focus on ratings, network executives pulled out all the stops in repackaging the “Today Show’s” persona, building a bright orange set, adding new aesthetic accessories, introducing creative camera perspectives and remaking the images of the show’s hosts. A series of special events, featuring the latest popular, big-name entertainment produced a flurry of new viewers, but proved to have a relatively brief impact on ratings gain. The focus on repackaging and image polishing led Don Nash, the “Today Show’s” executive producer, to comment, “The viewers aren’t just going to come overnight. It’s going to take them a while to recognize that it’s time to come back, we have built it, and now we just need the viewers to come. And they will.”

Nash’s optimistic reference, first popularized by the 1989 film “Field of Dreams,” supposes that building a new structural venue will in itself result in viewers flocking to the new shiny stadium, but fails to realize that attendees will remain and come back only if the content of the entertainment within the shiny new stadium meets their expectations and fulfills their need to be entertained. The strategy also assumes that the networks’ numbers focused executives will give Nash’s renewed strategy the time necessary to attract his anticipated field of viewers, an assumption not likely in an industry dominated by a sense of ratings immediacy.

If “Today” is going to overcome what NBC News president Deborah Turness called, “a long, slow decline,” it is going to take a strategy that addresses more than a new box and the hanging of some technological bangles and bows.  The pathway back to the top will require a strategy focused first and foremost on identifying and fulfilling the viewer’s desire for relevant content and quality entertainment.

In Time, Some Things Old Become New Again

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Fashion trends tend to repeat a cycle every 20 years, except, we hope, polyester leisure suits. The Hula Hoop, model trains and hats enjoy regular reclaims to fame over time. It is attributable to nostalgia or an unexplainable desire to relive past styles, to reminisce a simpler time or revisit yesterday’s fashion or technology. Consumers’ most reliable mantra could be, “don’t throw anything away – eventually everything comes back in vogue.”

In the 1970’s, digital electronic technology burst onto the scene with the introduction of digital calculators (you could even divide and multiply) and the digital watch, a revolutionary way to tell time from your wrist. Predictions were that this new concept of telling time would soon replace the millennium – old devices with three moving hands; one long, one short and one even longer that continually floated gracefully around the dial or clicked, clicked, clicked with each passing second.

But the initial excitement over digital watches soon cooled. As is often the case with some things new and cool the sense of fashion and style over-rule the sense of easier and cheaper. Before the decade was done, digital watches were relegated to “geek” status and joined the ranks of cuffed bell bottoms, five-inch wide ties and disco dancing. Today the few available nerdy devices account for just 23 percent of the wrist watch market, while the time pieces from the sun-dial era make up for the remaining 77 percent of time keepers.

But the digital watch is about to experience its own comeback! The once clunky and garish appearance of digital watches is being replaced with more style and sheik, rivaling their ancient predecessor’s knack for high-fashion and flare. Digital’s, less-smart, high fashion return to fame is being led by three luxury brands: Diesel, the style leader; Citizen, the high-quality contender; and Casio, the never give-up-on digital award winner. Pundits all things fashionable are urging those who want to stay on top of evolving trends to buy a digital watch.

But the likelihood that the new digital watch fashion will remain a staple of style and not resort to passing fad status, could depend more on newer technology and the purveyors of electronic wizardry. The new smartwatch era, digital watch will be linked to the smartphone, monitor the wearer’s vital health indicators, provide the latest weather, entertain, make a call; and yes, tell the time anywhere in the world all from the wrist and with style. Analog, meet your demise.

The refurbished and refined digital-watch niche is soon to be dominated by names like Apple, Samsung Electronics, Pebble, Sony and Google, to name just a few. History’s former time-keeping leaders may soon find affinity with the likes of Kodak, the fallen king of imagery.

The digital watch of the 70’s generation may have just been ahead of the technological curve, behind the trends of fashion and style or may have just have met a market too comfortable with a time past. But the new era of the digital watch has arrived. Could it be that even though in time all things change, with the passing of enough time, some things will reclaim their rightful place, in time?