Check out our blog for industry related posts focused on helping you achieve your advertising and communication goals.

Color Me Crazy


I was aware that I wasn’t fond of the color of my office walls at work, but I didn’t realize just how much the color affected me until I recently switched offices. I went from feeling blah and at odds with my palest of gray/green walls to feeling a sense of ease and invigoration within the bright and warm beige refuge of my new office. Call me crazy, but I believe the paint color of my old office actually frustrated me with its lack of commitment–is it gray or is it green?

Crazy or not, color psychology exists and is a study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Color psychology has been used by companies for years to improve the moods and reactions of their customers and workers. Looking to reduce stress and fatigue in your work environment? Blue and green hues have been known to create calming environments that are easy on the eyes. Want to stimulate creativity or energize your employees? Yellow and orange hues when chosen correctly can increase productivity. A red hue when used as an accent within an office space can evoke passion and emotion from your employees.

While color psychology and it’s use in the workplace is fascinating, color psychology in marketing and branding is a whole other ball game. Color psychology in marketing and branding is both widely used and widely debated. The reason for this is the margin for error – it is difficult to predict with 100% accuracy any given individual’s response to a color. The application of color psychology to marketing and branding requires an understanding of color theory combined with a good amount of research and a healthy dose of gut instinct. Even with those three things applied, your desired effect for your brand or your product is still at the mercy of consumers' personal preferences.

If you want to learn more about the use of color in marketing and branding, the article “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” on is a pretty good starting point. Be prepared though, the more you increase your knowledge of the use of color as it applies to the consumer, the more you may drive yourself crazy analyzing your purchasing decisions.


Cool or Creepy? Snapchat’s New Feature Toes the Line


Have you ever wondered what your friends are doing and wanted to track their exact GPS location in real time with your smartphone? Probably not, but thanks to Snapchat’s latest update, you can now do just that!

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Frank Lloyd Wright: Branding Master

Rockford is home to a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian house, the Laurent House.

A man of many hats, Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect, interior designer, writer, educator and visionary. Yet, until I read "Frank Lloyd Wright Was A Great Architect–But He Was Even Better At Branding," I had not put much thought into how the renowned architect really had a knack for branding.

Just like the iconic “swoosh” is synonymous in your mind with Nike, if you’re familiar with Wright’s work, you seem to know it when you see it! Although his building designs evolved over his career, much of his work is immediately recognizable -- the horizontal lines, open floor plans and custom furniture and furnishings.

His brand, however, extended beyond buildings. His brand encompassed his philosophy on design, industry expertise, customization, level of service and persona. His brand, like any, was more than what he made or the services he offered.

John Williams of Entrepreneur once offered a simple explanation of branding, "Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be."

From his over the top models and distinct product to his well-known persona and beliefs, Wright was selling more than buildings. He was establishing a differentiated presence in the market.

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Website Re-Engagement Best Practices


How can I increase my website conversions or site engagement? Or how can I capture a few more email addresses or leads each month through my website? These are challenges marketers ask themselves on a daily basis. One method we have found effective is re-engaging website users with pop-ups that appear based on pre-defined user patterns. This method is called website re-engagement: Re-engagement pop-ups are everywhere these days and most are annoying at best.

Website re-engagement works when done right. And to do it right, evaluating user experience is crucial. Study your analytics to identify user behavior patterns and then set your set behavior criteria conditions. For example, if a visitor shows interest in a particular service or product, but does not take inquiry or purchase action, you can set a condition to display a pop-up offer. Again, the goal is to increase website conversion, whether to sign up for your newsletter, fill out a contact form or complete a purchase.

An important note to remember is Google penalizes websites that implement re-engagement on mobile devices. So, make sure your re-engagement pop-ups are disabled on tablets and phones.

I suggest giving website re-engagement a try to see if it makes sense for your organization and marketing goals. It has worked for KMK and our clients very well under the right conditions.

Website Re-Engagement Case Study

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Fail to plan and plan to fail


There is an old saying in project management: "How do you want it? Good, cheap or fast?"

Known as the “triple constraint,” the sentiment is that you can pick two of the three characteristics to get the job done but three out of three won’t work.

Regardless of your industry, if you've ever worked on a medium to large project, you can probably relate to the struggle. When it comes to marketing, communications and advertising, the triple constraint is exceptionally applicable. Why? Because effective marketing, communication and advertising take thought, planning and creative time to execute.

Project management gurus often tout that 20%+ of any project is planning alone. If you're under a time crunch, it's easy to be tempted to skip the planning and go straight to the execution. Unfortunately, skipping this planning step can be detrimental to the project as you may underestimate resources or miss critical objectives.

In advertising, we call the planning process "a creative brief." It involves identifying many things about the project, including:

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Bad Taste or Good Advertising?


If you are familiar with Skittles, then you are probably familiar with their long-running line of edgy and absurd commercials.

Skittles has been pushing boundaries and possibly taste levels with their commercials ironically featuring the tagline “Taste the Rainbow” for almost a decade. While kids and adults alike consume Skittles, their commercials employ weird and abstract humor some adults might struggle to understand.

The commercials go back as far as 2008 with odd classics such as piñata man in “Chocolate the Rainbow” ( and the miserable man with the Skittles touch in “Touch the Rainbow” ( Skittles continued to evolve in bizarreness when they released a series of sensory commercials that included the YouTube viral hit “Lick the Rainbow” (

While Skittles commercials may have left people scratching their heads over the years, it’s hard to argue with their success at garnering an audience just based on their online presence alone. Skittles has continued to grab the attention of consumers with recent gems “Trap the Rainbow” ( and “Settle the Rainbow” (, but it is their latest commercial that has many people asking, “Have they gone too far?”

Just this past Mother’s Day weekend, Skittles released the commercial “Cut the Rainbow” and I must warn you that it is disturbing. The ad features a mother and grown son connected by an umbilical cord enjoying Skittles together. The question remains, is the most recent Skittles commercial still considered good advertising due to its effective attention grabbing and having gone viral or is it just in bad taste? For those of you brave enough, you can watch the video here –


United Airlines and Their PR Facepalm

United Airlines and Their PR Facepalm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you’ve no doubt seen the uproar caused by an incident where a United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from a flight just prior to takeoff. The situation led to international backlash, countless jokes and Internet memes at United’s expense.

To make matters even worse, United CEO Oscar Munoz released an initial statement that was criticized by many as tone-deaf and insensitive. It also contained one of the most infamous made-up words of all time, stating his regret when United Airlines had to ‘re-accommodate’ their customer.

As with most high profile PR blunders, the blowback from the United Airlines incident wasn’t so much about the removal of the passenger itself, but the company’s seemingly apathetic response. Munoz eventually changed his tune, however, and apologized for the situation, labeling it as a “mistake of epic proportions.”

Eventually public outcry will die down and the event will be remembered as an embarrassing blemish in the company’s history. However, for the time being, ‘United Airlines’ is just about synonymous with ‘root canal’ or ‘telemarketer.’ Here are a few other well-known PR goofs that might make the folks at United feel a little bit better about their jobs.

Phillip Morris touts the financial benefits of death from smoking

In 2001, tobacco giant Phillip Morris published the results of a study that outlined the positive financial impact of early deaths due to smoking. The study examined the economic benefits from smoking deaths in the Czech Republic – stating that smoking “resulted in a net gain of around $147 million, including saving between 943 million and 1.2 billion korunas (about $24 million-to-$30 million) in health-care, pension and public-housing costs due to the early deaths of smokers.” Not surprisingly, the company was grilled by media outlets around the world and eventually apologized.

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Shaun Kehoe
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Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:15

Style guidz? Grammar rules in marketing and advertising and when to break them

Style guidz? Grammar rules in marketing and advertising and when to break them

“Eat More Chikin.” “Got Milk?” “Eat Fresh.”

English teachers and grammarians alike groan when they see these slogans, and fellow marketers like me give the brands a nod of approval for their cleverness. These ad campaigns are all grammatically incorrect but are memorable and appeal to their audience.

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Leverage Demographic and Socioeconomic Data to Make Sound Marketing Decisions

Leverage Demographic and Socioeconomic Data to Make Sound Marketing Decisions

Whether, researching the best area to place your marketing dollars or identifying the best location to open a new business, Census Business Builder Small Business Edition is a wonderful resource to quickly gather data on your market. And it is free. Census Business Builder, is a tool that leverages various demographic and socioeconomic data to help marketers make sound business decisions.

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Dove’s 2017 “Real Beauty Pledge”: A demonstration of social responsibility and effective storytelling

Dove’s 2017 “Real Beauty Pledge”: A demonstration of social responsibility and effective storytelling

Eleven years ago, Dove’s “Evolution” video went viral. The 60-second video illustrated how lighting, make-up and Photoshop completely transformed a model. It was compelling and eye-opening for consumers, yet did not sell a product. Instead, it supported Dove’s social mission and resulted in becoming one of the most shared and talked about videos of the year.

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Who We Are?

KMK Media Group is a full-service communications firm focused on helping businesses succeed through consistent creative, message and tone.

What We Do

Our services include award-winning design, web development, social media management, video production, public relations, ad campaigns and more!

Where to find us?

716 North Church Street
Rockford, Illinois 61103
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