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Rolling With the Campaign Curveballs: Tales from Mower Agency

OOH Agency Today —

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OOH Agency Today —Mower Agency

by Sarah Druhan, OOH TODAY Journalist

“It’s been proven that 95% of all purchasing decisions are based on just emotion,” says Kevin Tripodi, Senior Vice President of Mower Agency. Fresh out of a meeting, he’s kindly taking some time to give me a quick rundown of the core values at his award-winning advertising agency. 

“We believe most people already know what they want in a campaign,” he continues. “You know, what we like to say is that emotion decides, and logic validates…so that goal of emotional connection has always been our holy grail.”

Based in Syracuse, this ‘holy grail’ of Mower’s has ensured that their reach now extends across over a dozen cities, from Boston to Atlanta. With capitalized billings of around 150 million and an ANA Midsize Agency of the Year award under their belt, Tripodi attributes much of Mower’s successes to their principle of ‘fierce friendship.’ “We all have our different circles of friends,” clarifies Tripodi. 

…attributes much of Mower’s successes to their principle of ‘fierce friendship.’

“At Mower, we’re always trying to drive clients into that ‘innermost’ circle. We want that loyalty, but also that ability to really challenge each other. A good teammate can give you a pat on the back…but they can also get in your face a little bit when the game gets tough.”

message for Circle Graphics

And when it comes to campaign curveballs, Mower has seen their fair share. A couple years ago, Tripodi and the team were approached by the New York-based Iroquois Health Association for help with recruiting more employees for their struggling care facilities. After some brainstorming, Mower whipped up some billboards asking viewers if they had the ‘Caring Gene’: an innate sense of compassion that would take them far in the healthcare industry. The ads were bright, they were engaging, and they were all set to keep rolling out—then an obstacle appeared that changed everything.

And for OOH, I think that’s really where the power is. The simplicity of it.”

“Boom! Pandemic hits,” confirms Tripodi. “Things changed so much, especially in the caring industry…we suddenly needed to make this drastic shift.

“At that time when everyone was working from home, we knew we really wanted to evoke this feeling of coming together. So we started riffing off these old WWII propaganda posters, tapping into that retro, emotional feeling of national pride as well as celebrating the real heroes here: our healthcare frontliners. We also had this image of Lady Liberty with a mask on…it ended up becoming a very iconic visual. We had one billboard with her out in Albany with LED backlighting, so at night the torch actually glowed. “In a very short amount of time, we were hitting around 725,000 visits to the brand website. We were amazed by the overall response, especially at that time…we really felt we were helping people. And that campaign ended up being one of our most recognized yet.”Mower Agency’s recent successes seem to be just the launching point for bigger and better campaigns. What’s for sure is that the past few years have only strengthened their commitment to the OOH medium. “Out-of-home is a genuinely unique art form,” says Tripodi. 

“Being able to synthesize a platform down to its most essential elements—that’s what makes it really interesting and impactful. You know, there’s this really great saying from Mark Twain: ‘If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.’ And for OOH, I think that’s really where the power is. The simplicity of it.”

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