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Congrats to our very own Danielle Bender!

Each year, AdFed identifies 32 up-and-coming professionals under the age of 32 in the Twin Cities. The winners represent the next generation of leaders who will drive our industry forward and redefine the future. We are excited to share that our very own Danielle Bender, director of Research and Strategy, is a recipient of this award!

Danielle came to us as an intern seven years ago and tirelessly earned her way to our most senior level. As director, Danielle leads and oversees key financial client accounts. Her strategic insights have led to technological breakthroughs, successful product launches, and increased consumer acquisition and retention. In addition to leading client work and managing research team members, she has dedicated herself to ensuring constant innovation and efficiency within Fusion Hill since the start of her internship. Not only is Danielle committed to making Fusion Hill and the work we do better, but she extends this to her community. Outside of the office, her passion lies in creating opportunities for underrepresented and vulnerable populations. She is committed to the Human Rights Campaign to support the fight for LGBTQ equality and works with Macalester College, her alma mater, to help offset the rising educational costs for the next generation.

We couldn’t be more proud of Danielle’s accomplishments and how they have impacted Fusion Hill and the Minneapolis community.


| Culture

Tracking the impact of COVID-19

Over the past several weeks, COVID-19 has created extreme uncertainty consumers and businesses. In response, our team is compiling weekly trend updates that examine the current state and explore lasting changes the virus may bring.

So far, we’ve covered topics including how behaviors are shifting in categories such as health care and financial services and how brands can adapt their marketing efforts – and more trend updates are on the way. Interested? Download them here.


| Creative, Culture, Research

Feeding our hearts – and the community.

On January 20, we paused to serve our neighbors and communities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. This year, we gave our time to Second Harvest Heartland, whose belief is no one should ever go hungry.

Second Harvest provides children, parents and seniors the resources to find their next meal. They procure food from manufacturers, farmers, hotels and restaurants, and hold food drives where they are able to distribute enough food for more than 89 million meals annually, ensuring food safety throughout the entire process. This past Monday, we focused on providing food to the 1 in 8 children who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Alongside other community members, we sorted, repackaged and labeled donated items for children, parents and seniors. As a community, we packed 4,604 pounds of rice, which equals 3,936 meals.


| Culture

We laughed, We cried, We watched a lot of ads.

Each year, our team attends a screening of the British Arrows Awards, which celebrates the U.K.’s most innovative, daring commercials. When you work in marketing, watching ads can spark a number of thoughts and emotions. Initial reactions (whether tears or laughter) quickly turn into “Wait, what was that brand trying to accomplish? Who were they hoping to reach?”

And in that spirit, here’s a short list of ads that stood out to our team­ – both as consumers and as marketers:

Great Shows Stay with You: Most networks promote their shows through trailers. Amazon Prime took a different tack, imagining a world where viewers become the characters they watch. Farfetched? Absolutely. But its originality creates memorability.

#PhonesAreGood: Culturally, our relationship with technology is under fire. In this spot, wireless provider Three combats the negativity by reminding us of the ways smartphones make our lives better.

Skittles Pride: Plenty of companies participate in cause marketing, but few are able to find such a natural, humble way to connect their brand to the cause. And don’t miss the latest campaign extension – limited-edition packaging created by artists, illustrators and designers who identify as LGBTQ+.

IKEA Ghosts: This one is just plain fun. Enjoy!


| Culture

A Year Filled with Wisdom.

When we launched our Quote to Self project this past February, we were unsure where it would take us, who we would meet and if people would even participate. Asking the question “What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?” turned into more than we expected. Check out a few highlights from our team:

  • We met a man in Budapest who was reading on a bench by the Danube. When we asked him “The Question,” he thought about it, shook his head and said, “I can’t. That is too big of a question.” We were walking around a nearby park about an hour later when the same man came up to us and said excitedly, “OK, I have an answer now. I would tell myself not to be afraid. Fear is a lie. You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want to be.” We felt honored that he took the time to find us.
  • On a very hot June afternoon, we came across a photographer from California who was visiting Minneapolis. He answered our question in an extremely positive manner: “It will work out, and in the end you’ll get to where you’re trying to go. Crawl before you walk, crawl before you walk.” We laughed with him and had a short conversation. Afterward, he took our photo and we parted ways.
  • In Prague, on the Charles Bridge, we met a Scottish man who now lives and works in Prague. He said he rarely goes to the touristy parts of the city but felt the urge to visit that day. He, like most others we met, was skeptical upon our approach but quickly warmed up. We had a great five- to 10-minute conversation (much longer than most of our interactions), and at the end he said he was so glad he decided to follow his urge to be a tourist that day. His advice: “I trust my 15-year-old self to be the same as my now 50-year-old self. And I wouldn’t try to ask my 50-year-old self to give advice to me because I’m the same man as I was then and the same person. I don’t need to advise me and I couldn’t advise him.”
  • We asked a mother at United Noodle (an Asian marketplace) with two kids under the age of 7 – one in her arms and another at her feet. At first she was flustered by the commotion and our request, but then she paused to think about it and looked at her kids. Her response was a mixture of reflecting on her life and thinking about her kids. It stayed with us because it was such a great dynamic of looking into the past and the future.

Now, that’s just a snippet of what happened in the last 10 months. To see more stories, visit our Quote to Self webpage or our Instagram gallery.

 


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research
 
 

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