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Be a Show Stopper

NBAA 2015 did not disappoint. In education, inspiration or deal making. Traffic among the thousand-plus exhibitors at the convention center and sold-out static display felt brisk and buoyant. The blue sky and idyllic temperature may have contributed to the overall optimistic mood, but I also felt momentum. People were not just tire kicking. They were doing business.

As a creative director, I pay attention to the way companies tell their stories. Display their wares. Draw you in. I learn as much from the bad as the good. Here, I’ll share insights based on outreach I found especially effective. For what didn’t work, talk to me in person.

Creative hooks entice people. Aerospace Technologies Group (ATG) relaxation pod

Aerospace Technologies Group (ATG) scored a homer with its brilliant futuristic, relaxation pods (used we’re told in the 2013 movie The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson). Curiosity drew you in. Comfort captivated you. Once you sat down on one of its three chaise-lounge-like chairs, a staffer closed the pod over your face and you happily viewed a short video of ATG’s offerings. From start to finish. It was a brilliant transaction. You gave your time in order to put your feet up. I have to think that future mentions of ATG will stimulate a sort of Pavlovian response. A subliminal, positive association. Great positioning for a company that aspires to be more than an aircraft supplier and craftsman, but a collaborator and leader. Someone you want to work with.

Thrill Of The BuildAPU repair capabilities Showing trumps telling. Dallas Airmotive put its expertise on display again this year will a follow-up to last year’s Thrill of the Build. It changed up and added to the experience by having technicians provide a running commentary of their activities. And instead of doing a full PT6 engine overhaul, this go-round it demonstrated its worldwide, 24/7 mobile APU repair capabilities.

Selfies increase shares. Phillips 66 selfie station

Phillips 66 offered a selfie station with a slinky-gown, feather-headdress-wearing showgirl. You could share on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #P66AV as part of a dig-for-gold contest. We never walked by the booth without seeing people taking photos. Score.

A million dollars really hooks you. Mente Group's pile of money

The Mente Group wowed the aisle with a big pile of money. If you snapped a photo and posted it online, you earned a chance to win an Apple watch. A fully outfitted guard added authenticity and showmanship. I always wondered what a stack of a million one-dollars bills would actually look like. Now I know and can share it with my friends.

Futuristic elements reinforce high-tech services.

SmartSky Networks used a virtual spokesperson named Sky to communicate the benefits of its new 4G LTE-based technology and what this blazing-fast air-to-ground network means to passengers and crew. From the number of times people stepped up and engaged with Sky, I’d say she did her job. Quite well. SmartSky virtual spokesperson

Bold, big design delivers impact.

Jetex has only been around 10 years, but it makes a statement with its yellow, logo-as-a-wall booth.

JetEx logo-as-a-wall booth

Simplicity stands out in the clutter.

Wichita got it right when it showed restraint in its booth. It features 14 partner companies, but asked each to follow specific design parameters so that the overall message could shine through for the greater good. The simplified palette, generous use of white space and succinct message help communicate Wichita is the Air Capital. Wichita is the Air Capital board

Interaction increases understanding.

Lufthansa Technik impressed our team first with an incredibly large and detailed aircraft model showcasing its VIP completions capabilities, but further won us over with knowledgeable staff who talked us through some of the intricacies of shaving weight off construction materials without sacrificing strength. Or beauty.

Lufthansa Technik showcases capabilities

Video adds energy.

All the OEMs leveraged supersized videos to showcase their products – and inspire you to use them. Global companies with complex offerings increasingly use video too. It simplifies and informs like nothing else. Use print for facts. Video for connection.

Global businesses need diversity.

Businesses that serve the world need to look the part. Don’t just show your aircraft flying over Lake Powell. Show different ethnicities, locales, genders and ages. NBAA reports attendees from 96 countries. There’s a good reason why you see maps in many booths.

FlightSafety videos showcasing  products Global-Colt social-media buzz

Entertainers pack a punch.

Aircraft manufacturers and major suppliers continue to tap into big-name entertainers for their private after-hours events. (I was more than a little envious to have missed seeing Keith Urban.) And, it’s always fun to see entertainers such as David Copperfield walking through the static display. Singer-songwriter and pilot Dierks Bentley captured the attention of the opening-session crowd and generated considerable social-media buzz.

Celebrity testimonials wow.

William Shatner social media Bombardier made the best use of star power with business jet user,advocate and pilot William Shatner. He helped launch Bombardier WAVE, high-speed Wi-Fi service for Bombardier’s Global family of aircraft. Star Trek’s former Captain Kirk gave the system a first-time trial as he flew into Vegas for the NBAA convention. In addition to coverage by the aviation trades, social media further magnifies the spokesperson role. You can read Shatner’s personal posts on Twitter and watch his demo on YouTube.

People seek open bars.

By the time cocktail hour arrives, attendees need a pick-me-up. Feet ache. Backs hurt. Come 4 p.m., you see a definite shift in the flow of booth traffic. People migrate to those exhibitors with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. BBA Aviation’s happy hour is always one of the highest attended. It brings the show day to a nice, social conclusion. BBA Aviation’s happy hour

NBAA15 featured aircraft that go higher and faster. In-flight Wi-Fi that replicates the in-office experience. Manufacturers and service providers doing business. And dynamic outreach that builds brands. Bravo.

Kansas State Fair TV Commercial Wins 4th Telly Award

Greteman Group, agency of record for the Kansas State Fair, has earned a Silver Telly for the 2014 Kansas State Fair TV commercial.

The 36th annual Telly Awards honors creative excellence in film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.

The judging panel consists of more than 650 accomplished industry professionals, all past winners of a Silver Telly and members of The Silver Telly Council. The organization receives nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 Silver Telly Awardsstates and numerous countries. Less than 10 percent of entries are chosen as winners of a Silver Telly, the highest honor.

Greteman Group has served as the agency of record for the Kansas State Fair since 2004, and this this is the fourth Telly it has received for the fair. In its first campaign (2007-2008), fair slogans included “Hanging with the Hogs,” “Check out the Studs” and “Pick up Some Bunnies” – all under the theme of “It’s a Wild Ride, Baby.” It won the overall best advertising campaign for fairs in its division from that year’s International Association of Fairs and Expositions’ (IAFE) convention in Las Vegas.

“Great creative only gets produced with clients who recognize and want work that pushes boundaries,” says Sonia Greteman, agency creative director and president. “The Kansas State Fair management team and board have supported us from Day One. That willingness to be bold has led to more than awards; it’s helped the fair realize increased attendance in a climate where other fairs have experienced decline and even closure.”

While other fairs nationwide suffer from declining attendance, the Kansas State Fair stands apart. Its record attendance of 369,322 for the 2015 fair beat the previous record set in 1995 by more than 7,500 attendees.

The recent and award-winning campaign creative capitalizes on thefabulous fair foods, top-notch entertainment and ever-popular midway. Its theme communicates a core human need – food – and adds the urgency of not missing this must-attend social event. To view the spot, visit

ABOUT THE TELLY AWARDS Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

ABOUT THE KANSAS STATE FAIR It’s always a blast call at the Kansas State Fair. From the opening bell to the final grandstand blockbuster. So get on a stick and head for the world-class Midway, blue-ribbon animals and family-friendly activities. It’s pure Americana – an event not to be missed. Party with your pals and hear the hottest performers at the Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand. Tour the many agricultural and educational displays. Win prizes. Brave heart-pounding carnival rides. Sample some fried ’n’ joy – and other culinary delights. Enormous vegetables, odd artifacts, homemade crafts and the infamous butter sculpture provide something for everyone. Nonstop fun from Sept. 9-18, 2016, the event is the largest in the state of Kansas with crowds numbering more than 350,000. The fairgrounds are in centrally located Hutchinson, Kansas. Mark your calendars now and plan to join Kansans from across the state – along with visitors of true discernment from around the world. For more information, call 620.669.3600, toll free at 800.362.FAIR or visit

Hutch Post
Wichita Eagle

Advertising in an Ad-Blocking Environment

Online advertising began as a dream mechanism to track and measure the effectiveness of a campaign. It filled in where other media failed to tell the full story. Publishers boasted their ability to provide premiere placement and high impression counts while advertisers sold based on the ability to track return on investment from ad view to website consumption.

But the Internet has become a convoluted highway full of digital banners that not only blare bright lights on the side of the road, but interrupt the flow of traffic and cause major pileups.

Know your digital audience, and target appropriately.Not So Dreamy?

Internet users dislike most ads, especially in the mobile environment where one wrong scroll can send you to a website of no interest. While a click appears as a measurement of success, in some cases the user isn’t even paying attention. They’re grunting back to the previous website in hopes for round two, or disappearing all together.

Developers have answered this annoyance by delivering ad-blocking technology – the new headache for advertisers, publishers and brands alike. With this technology, users have the ability to turn-off advertising completely. The result: an almost 40 percent decrease in ad revenue. While users jump for joy, brands desperately try to find a solution.

The Good News

Impressions are still served and unlike the TV environment where subscribers can switch providers or cut the cord, Internet users grow every day. So while the chatter of ad blocking raises several concerns, the industry actively engages in these conversations. Even the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) admits that in its mission to empower the media and marketing industries for the thriving digital economy, the consumer experience was forgotten. Completely. Today, town-hall-style meetings with publishers and advertisers seek a way to minimize ad-blocking acceptance and increase the availability of more premium placements. Pop-ups and interruptions generate negative impressions.

Things to Consider

While the future looks grim for digital advertising, don’t rule it out. The thing is, when digital advertising is done well, consumers are receptive and in return deliver positive results. Moving forward, here are some things to consider. Why People Don’t Like Your Ads

  1. The ad isn’t relevant to the audience.
  2. The creative is bad.
  3. The placement is too intrusive.

Combat each of these turnoffs. If the ad isn’t relevant, simply target appropriately. Know your customers and give them messages that hit at the right time in their decision process. If your goal is to obtain more leads as well as increase purchases, use at least two different messages and two different targeted placements to reach these individuals.AdBlocking-Grphx_01-03

Give creative its due. Nothing good comes from cramming multiple calls to action in a small space or in a short video. Its lack of direction confuses the audience. Protect and promote your brand. You have mere seconds to create a first impression. Make it great and lasting.

Finally, choose placement wisely. Pop-ups and interruptions can generate tremendously negative impressions. Digital placements that are more organic in nature flow with the viewing pattern and add to the user experience. Understand how your customers navigate the web, what they’re trying to accomplish and how you can support their efforts.

Planning your digital media strategy with these tips in mind, can make all the difference.

This column ran in the November 5 issue of Bluesky Business Aviation News.

SmartSky Networks Turns to Greteman Group for Nationwide Rollout

Greteman Group has been engaged by SmartSky Networks to help spread the word about an upcoming revolution in air-to-ground communication, entertainment and connectivity. Agency support includes marketing, advertising and public relations.

“Greteman Group impressed us first with their creativity, but as we’ve worked together, we’ve also come to appreciate their understanding of the aviation industry and absolute dedication to getting each project right,” says SmartSky President Ryan Stone. “They have taken our team’s vision of driving transformational change in cabin and cockpit connectivity to heart, earning our trust, and making us confident that they will get our message out to the aviation market in a manner that will be easily heard and understood.”

The Aviation Industry’s Authentic 4G LTE-Based Network

Anyone who travels by corporate aircraft has experienced agonizingly slow in-flight file download and upload times, the inability to stream videos or to conduct real-time conference calls. SmartSky’s 4G LTE-based network will change that. 4G LTE – which stands for Fourth Generation, Long Term Evolution – delivers the most advanced speeds, enabling users to exchange data fast enough to support smooth live high-definition (HD) video streaming and a growing number of bandwidth-hungry applications.

“Business jet travelers have been promised an office in the sky forever and SmartSky 4G will deliver the missing piece – fast and reliable business-grade Wi-Fi,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “You can imagine how enthusiastic we are about telling fliers their struggles with sluggish in-flight Internet will soon be over.”

Greteman Group created print and digital materials for an early-bird promotion running now. Watch for more announcements at NBAA 2015 this November.

IMAGERY Images can be downloaded from


Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., SmartSky Networks was formed in 2011 and is comprised of senior aviation and telecommunications executives seeking to leverage disruptive communications technologies to transform aviation. In conjunction with leading aerospace and technology partners, SmartSky plans to beta-launch its innovative air-to-ground network, SmartSky 4G, in late 2015, followed by the rollout of nationwide commercial service in 2016.

BlueSky Business Aviation News
Wichita Eagle