Friday, March 29, 2019

Gilbert & Associates Announces New Account Executive

Gilbert & Associates is pleased to welcome Mehana Lee as its newest Account Executive. For almost 50 years Gilbert & Associates has served large and small companies across the Hawaiian Islands, and on the Mainland, assisting with their marketing needs in advertising, public relations, design and production. Mehana previously worked for the Maui based agency as a part-time Social Media Strategist.

“We are excited to see our team grow with awesome talent like Mehana,” said Larry Gilbert, President and Owner of Gilbert & Associates. He added, “Her passion for writing, love for creativity, and go-getter attitude make her a great addition to our core team of ten professionals.”

Mehana will take the lead on managing numerous clients and facilitating their marketing, advertising and social media needs.  She will also assist Ann Nicol, Strategic Communications & Marketing Executive, on shared accounts and projects.

A Maui native, Mehana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic and Corporate Communication Studies from Chapman University and is an alumna of Kamehameha Schools Maui. 

“I couldn’t be happier with my responsibilities here at Gilbert & Associates,” she said.  “Not even in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I’d have the opportunity to return home to Maui while pursuing a marketing career,” she continued.  “I am truly excited for the opportunity!”

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Welcome to Our Negative Space

No, it’s not what you’re thinking - Gilbert & Associates does not foster a negative work environment. We’re actually on the other end of that spectrum and it’s apparent once you step into our office.

I’m talking about good negative space. Believe it or not, there is such a thing. In fact, negative space is celebrated in the world of graphic design. Our award-winning Art Director, Amy Landin, can attest to that.

So what is negative space and why is it so important to graphic design? According to SitePoint, “Negative space is the empty or open space around an object that defines it. In layman’s terms, it is the breathing room around the subject that determines how appealing it looks.”

The importance is beautifully explained in that negative space gives us “breathing room.” I personally don’t know anything more important than that, with negative space or anything else in life. Breathing room gives us balance and time to evaluate what we’re feeling, thinking, seeing, hearing, tasting or touching.

Designs that incorporate negative space creates an opportunity for an effortless analyzation of the art. Intelligent graphic design achieves this by utilizing a healthy balance of open area and a thoughtful design.

Negative space is a design aspect that our Art Department strategically uses. I won’t share all of their graphic design strategies: 1). Because we don’t give all our secrets away and 2). Because how they design so magically and effortlessly is something beyond me.

For our Art Department, creating beautiful, innovative and captivating designs are second nature. We are truly grateful for the talent that has walked through our office doors and we’re anticipating another successful year of design.

Want to see what we’ve been working on? Visit to take a look at our portfolio.
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Friday, March 8, 2019

Larry Gilbert Promoted to "Executive Office Stuffer"

After years of hard work Larry has recently been awarded the internal title of “Executive Office Stuffer."

Seen here in his natural habitat, utilizing his skills to stuff 4,000 Easter eggs.

“He really has a talent. I am glad that he is finally getting recognized for his stuffing abilities.” - Amy Landin, Art Director

“I find my new role very eggciting.” - Larry Gilbert, Executive Office Stuffer and President

We're getting ready for all of our clients' Easter activities and it's been nothing short of uneventful here at our office. 😉 Click here to read entire post!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

An early birthday celebration for Ceci. Thai food and a special dessert from Stillwell's bakery. So many laughs and good times! Happy Birthday Ceci!

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Friday, June 29, 2018

The Importance of Hashtags & When to Use Them

Hashtags. They're more than just a nuisance. In fact, they play a crucial role in developing interest and gaining exposure for your social media accounts.

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are keywords that relate to your content, preceded with a hash symbol (#). Hashtags enable users to categorize their posts and facilitate a search for it.

Image via Shutterstock

Why are hashtags important?

Utilizing hashtags can assist in increasing your social media presence, reach audiences who are interested in your niche, and create a more recognizable brand image. Ultimately, hashtags help by leveraging your exposure among users and categorizing your content.

Fun fact: In a 2014 study by Simply Measured, they found that Instagram posts with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags

When and how should I use hashtags?

Although hashtags seem like the answer to all of your problems, proceed with caution. With great power comes great responsibility. Sound familiar? #Spiderman.

Choosing the right hashtag can actually be pretty difficult. If done incorrectly, hashtags defeat the purpose of you using them in the first place.

Hashtags should be used strategically. 

Keep your hashtags short. No one likes seeing #ExtremelyAndUnnecessarilyLongHashtags.

Use hashtags that relate to your content and company. Think of a hashtag that YOU would search for.

Don't overuse hashtags. Stick to an average of two hashtags per post.

Ultimately, how you use hashtags can determine your amount of exposure to your target audience. Research shows that hashtags are effective when used correctly. In other words, don't be a hashtag monster. Use them strategically! 
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Privacy & Relevant Ads

Respecting the public's desire for privacy on the web while still providing relevant advertising content is a complicated equation. On May 25th, 2018, Europe's General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. This changed everything for companies who use platforms like Facebook and Google to run ads.

What is the EU's General Data Protection Regulation law? The GDPR gives web users more control of how their data is collected and analyzed by companies. Simply put, the GDPR protects and strengthens the rights of individuals. Companies who violate the regulations can face a hefty fine of 4% of the company's worldwide revenue. Yikes.

So the question is, "How does this affect advertisers who are trying to collect relevant information to appeal to their target audience?" The biggest change that advertisers need to assimilate to is the increased autonomy individuals have when it comes to restricting access to their personal information and online behaviors, making it easy for new potential customers to hide at the slightest provocation.  

Let's look at this from another perspective.

Before the GDPR went into effect, the loose restrictions resulted in a marketing numbers game. Ads could be flashy, irrelevant, and, frankly, annoying. Ads became "noise" instead of relevant content that users wanted to engage with.

Think of the last time your recent search history followed you around from website to website flooding you with not so relevant ads for the grill you thought was interesting but had no intention of buying. It makes browsing the web overwhelming and frustrating and now users will have the power to say, "No Thank You."

Advertisers will need to be more thoughtful in their actions. Meaning that brands should be encouraged to put more effort into creating content for users who will actually enjoy being engaged. The new requirements are likely to motivate advertisers to research quality leads and nurture them.

This shift in the relationship between user's privacy and data collection from companies will surely result in something less annoying and more relevant content-wise. Companies and their consumers can benefit from those personalized efforts and thoughtfulness. It's a win-win situation.

Although this sounds like more work (which it is), brands have the ability to establish trusting relationships between them and their consumers, resulting in more revenue for the company.

The GDPR really shows us the speed in which policies can have an influence on how advertisers work. It's one of the many exciting aspects of the advertising and marketing world.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Employee Birthdays!

We love celebrating our employees! On our employee's birthday, they get to choose their ideal meal and finish it off with some good 'ol frosted birthday cake.

Today is Ann's birthday (AKA our Strategic Communications & Marketing Executive superstar), so we had a delicious lunch from Thailand Cuisine. We couldn't get enough of the pad thai!

Thanks for the awesome food choice and for being born today, Ann 😉 We really appreciate all of your hard work!

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Important Brand Personalities All Companies Should Foster

We love to feel personally connected to what we're consuming. As advertisers and marketers, it is our duty to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness between our audience and our brand. We want to create an everlasting brand feeling that people recognize and associate with our business. It all starts with authenticity and responsiveness with consumers.

In a study by Sprout Social in 2017, researchers found that consumers positively respond most to responsiveness from brands. That means, responding to questions or comments on your content, engaging with followers by liking or commenting on their content, or doing contest giveaways with followers.

Consumers appreciate the extra effort that companies take to personally reach out to them because we all love feeling special, right? Right.

On top of being able to immediately connect with consumers, social media allows companies to create communities with their followers. We are given the tools to have computer mediated communication (CMC) and foster relationships with consumers - something that would be unheard of a decade ago. Social media provides consumers with a specific type of immediacy that they may not otherwise get through other platforms.

In the same study by Sprout Social, they said that, "Brand personality is what connects your products to its consumers." Consumers reported that they prefer to see the honest side of companies more than anything.

Companies are able to gain trust with their consumers when they are authentic, and one of the easiest strategies for this is to be transparent with your consumers on social. Creating an authentic and honest brand personality on social is something that all companies can achieve (and should achieve).

Advertisers and marketers need to take advantage of the relationship-building platform that social media provides. There is beauty in fostering a community and creating authenticity around your brand because not only does that establish trust between the company and consumer, but it also means more revenue.

Moral of the story? Just be yourself on social (but maybe a little less dog obsessed and a little more timely).

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Judge's Award at 2018 Pele Awards

We really appreciate the kind words from Jenn Maer, Design Director at IDEO for the "This Card Gives You Gas" gift card! 

We are honored to be one of three recipients for the Judge's Awards during the 2018 Pele Awards. 

Mahalo Jenn!

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Why Print Media is Still Relevant

What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you think "print media?" Prehistoric? Expensive? Useless? (Ouch, you don't need to be so harsh with print media. I heard that he's a pretty sensitive guy).

While some agencies have completely migrated over to the web, we continue to put energy into print media. Contrary to popular marketing and advertising beliefs, print media is still an extremely useful tool in the marketing world for various reasons.

One of the most important reasons why we choose to focus on print media is because of the niche audiences that we are able to effectively target. Placing ads in specialty magazines helps us reach audiences that would otherwise be harder to reach online.

Take for example: tourists. People visiting Hawai'i for the first time do not necessarily know which activity companies to book, malls to shop, or places to eat at. Print advertising gives us the ability to say, "Hey, I know you weren't specifically looking for us, but look at how enticing and awesome we are!" as they flip through a publication while waiting for their interisland flight.

Another reason that we continue to use print? Less competition. As more businesses are relying on digital media, print advertising has become less crowded which can be used as a marketing advantage. The less that other marketers and advertisers are using print advertising, the more space there is for your ads to stand out.

Print ads also give a sense credibility. Digital media can be overwhelming with all of the animated and flashy ads on a webpage. Users might be afraid to click on the ads because they're too worried about getting viruses on their computer. With print advertising, there is no fear because there is no imminent danger.

It is important to find a balance between all advertising channels and to utilize those channels to its maximum capacity. Although print advertising is not the focus anymore, that doesn't mean that it should be dropped entirely. Understand the benefits of print, and implement it in any way that will help your agency reach every target audience member.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

The ROI of Social Media

It's one of the most frequently asked questions by clients at Gilbert and Associates. In fact, it's probably the most frequently asked question among all businesses who are focusing more on their investments in social media.

The big question: What's the ROI (return of investment) of social media?

People want to see the measurables, especially those who are a little skeptical of implementing social media into their business plans.

Social media ROI can be seen in various ways, depending on what your company wants to achieve. Achieved social media ROI objectives can be seen in actual revenue generated or in audience reach, engagement, and site traffic.

I can go on and on about the value of social media, but frankly, talk is cheap and stakeholders and clients want to have the ROI of social media in measurable and specific outcomes.

Social media facilitates your business with gaining exposure and meeting those goals.

Using your social media wisely can result in reaching a wider audience in the matter of seconds, keeping in constant communication with your clients or customers, and generating a greater revenue.

Yes, the world of social media is always transforming and progressing. And sometimes it's difficult to keep up with current trends. Using the right tools can facilitate you in keeping track of your social media ROI.

There are so many resources that can be used to analyze data from your social media accounts. Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Facebook Insights, to name a few. Familiarize yourself with those platforms and learn how to recognize what's successful and what needs improvement on your social media accounts.

Analyzing the metrics will really help in gaining social media ROI. The nature of social media is constantly evolving, so don't be surprised when one tactic worked last week and isn't working out so great this week. ROI of social media can be extremely rewarding, you just have to be a little patient and flexible to the nature of social media. Click here to read entire post!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2018 Pele Awards

We are very proud to announce our success at the Pele Awards held this past weekend on Oahu.

As a team we walked away with two prestigious awards:
-Gold in the packaging category for Minit Stop & Ohana Foods gift card “This Card Gives You Gas” 
- We were then very honored to receive the coveted Judges Award, awarded to only 3 candidates and chosen among hundreds of other entries

We are beyond thrilled with the awards and to be recognized among Hawaii's best in design and marketing.

Thanks for the support!!

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Need a little afternoon adrenaline kick? 
Check it out!

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Playing Hooky At Our Favorite Zipline! Beats Work Anyday.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Random Facts About G&A: Fact #11 (of 52) 
Nicholas loves to hunt. We have started to notice little targets set up throughout the office. Now we are all on guard for when his impromptu target practice will take place.

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