This Social Agency Scooped Up Some Tillamook Biz While Pivoting Away From Travel

By Doug Zanger Comment

When perusing the list of work for Portland, Ore., social agency Sparkloft Media, it’s hard not to notice a wide range of tourism clients. The Port of Portland and Travel Oregon count as more locally based clients. Yet, the agency also has Crystal Cruises, South African Tourism, Brand USA (a travel program encouraging tourism in the country) and many others on its work roster.

Of course, the travel category fell on hard times due to the Covid-19 outbreak. And though Sparkloft has chops in the space, it continues to diversify the portfolio. Recently, the agency snapped up a plum assignment: Tillamook’s consumer-facing social media content.

72andSunny remains the farmer-owned dairy cooperative’s agency of record. And the Los Angeles agency is known for a whimsical take on the brand. For its part, Sparkloft continues to develop interesting, visually compelling and relevant social content, especially as the nation grapples with people still remaining at home.

 

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So many ways to BBQ. One sharp way to top them all off. #TillamookCheese #NationalBBQMonth #NationalBurgerDay

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“Tillamook is in a category, comfort food, that people are gravitating toward,” said Sparkloft CEO Martin Stoll.

According to Stoll and John Gross, the agency’s director of business development, it was critical to read what’s happening within society, adjusting to a new reality. As Sparkloft was finalizing its initial content calendar, it leaned into insights about consumer behaviors and especially shopping habits.

“A majority of Tillamook’s distribution is through retail, which is a unique and good position to be in,” said Gross. “Some of the clients we’ve had were more focused on restaurants. The overall Tillamook messaging takes what consumers are going through during a pandemic into account.”

The quickly shifting dynamics also mean that the content calendar remains fluid, with Stoll noting that brands he’s interacting with are not planning more than three months to read consumer sentiment.

While coronavirus has had an impact on messaging, the current civil action around race and police brutality is another component. Earlier this month, Tillamook’s president and CEO, Patrick Criteser, posted a statement supporting the need for systemic changes. Additionally, Sparkloft posted its own commentary in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

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As a social media advertising agency, we see first hand how these platforms are fundamentally changing the world we live in. It has brought us together in ways and torn us apart in others. At Sparkloft, it is our mission and commitment to be on the right side of history, using our everyday actions to serve as allies to the Black community and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The issues the Black community faces day by day extend beyond the senseless deaths of men, women and children at the hands of racist policing and into every aspect of their existence in the country they were forced into building. These systemic racial issues cannot be left for only the Black community to challenge and oppose. Their fight for civil rights is not a cry for special treatment, but to simply be treated with the same fairness as their fellow Americans. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “No one is free until we are all free.” Do your part in living his dreams. Reach out to your Black brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors in support. Let them know that although you cannot fully understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes, you will march toward a better future with them. Let them know that you hear, empathize and share their frustrations. Use your own privileges to fight against their systemic disfranchisement. Use your voice to spread love louder than those that teach hate. We are better, stronger and greater than ever when we all stand together. To our Black coworkers, neighbors, friends, family and community as a whole: Trust that we love you, we appreciate you, and we will stay in your corner until the fighting is done. Rest in Peace to George Floyd and countless other lives we’ve lost to hate and racism worldwide. #BlackLivesMatter

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From a business perspective, the move to a more diversified portfolio is not necessarily just out of necessity—and Sparkloft isn’t abandoning or reducing its footprint in the category—but what can be characterized as a natural evolution.

 

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Just a shred of grateness for your feed. Find Tillamook Baby Loaves near you at Tillamaps.com. #TillamookCheese

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“We thought, ‘Let’s build on [our expertise and experience],’” said Stoll. “Travel and tourism are impacted at the moment with clients pausing and pushing projects back. That’s the opportunity to look at our resources and accelerate business development efforts, case studies and the like for nontravel and tourism clients. I think for us, the whole area of consumer insights is going to be one that will be hugely important and can very easily be transferred between industries.”

Critically, though, Stoll said that he’s “glad we are in the social and digital space,” noting that marketers that traditionally rely on print and more rigid content and production schedules could be at risk as the coronavirus issue is far from being resolved, especially as signs show that a resurgence of the virus is underway.

“Do I want to commit to a print ad in a magazine that comes out in October when everyone is talking about that second wave that might be coming?” pondered Stoll. “Or, would I rather stick with something digital that I can stop with the push of a button?”

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