As part of the Minnesota Ad Fed‘s speaker series, Peterson Milla Hooks president Tom Nowak spoke about “Life Beyond the Bullseye.” Up until May of 2011 and their rather public replacement on the Target business, they were essentially a one client shop. And at only fifty people, they punched far above their weight. The way PMH helped that brand evolve is nothing short of remarkable and seeing the work again this morning was a hill of fun.
Two things Tom said really stuck with me. First, he talked about how losing Target forced them to define their agency and really assess where they excel. That led to their unspoken but undeniable philosophy toward the work: ‘EMOTION TRUMPS INTELLECT.’ They never want to leave people with just an intellectual thought but rather leave them with a feeling for a brand. That feels so true. Back in Chicago, a saying on the glass of my office read “Emotion is more powerful than Logic. No one ever went to war over logic.” Given how well our philosophies align, Tom clearly must be some kind of genius…
The second thing he mentioned was that the white English Bull terrier with the strangely circled eye was “not planned, it just kinda happened on a shoot.” At the moment, a lot of people might have just considered it a $1500 overage that annoyed the client. But ultimately, Bullseye became a charming visual brand asset for Target, and all that grumbling over the upcharge faded into the small arcania of history as Target seized this gem which they are still running with years later.
Science can be good. Art can be amazing.