About the author  ⁄ Dave Saunders

Hey folks,

It was a busy week at Madison+Main as May rushed in. The Madison+Main-iacs and I have been attending events nonstop this month. On May 1st we sponsored the RVA Creativity Awards. On May 2nd we attended the Richmond Ad Show. And this week, I had an after-hours event every single night. That, combined with early morning meetings and late night cocktails means we’ve been burning the candle at both ends. Needless to say we’re happy the weekend is here so we can recharge our batteries. Oops, no sorry, we can’t. Graduation and lots of other events are “on tap” for tomorrow and Mother’s Day is Sunday. Oh well. That’s May, for ya.

Monday (5/5) – On Monday we said goodbye to super-intern Brandon “Dingles” Singletary, who is a rising senior at VCU. We also finalized a PR agreement with the Lightning Protection Institute for Lightning Safety Awareness Week coming up in June. We’ll be producing a national Public Service Announcement (PSA) about lightning safety.

At 5:01pm on Monday we donned our sombreros, fired up the margarita machine and celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Madison+Main-style: Fiesta de Bananas.

Ole! Ole! Fiesta de bananas was a big hit.

It was a great night and we were happy to see so many clients and friends.

Tuesday (5/6) –  On Tuesday I was moving a little slower, which is completely understandable considering how many margaritas I had Monday night. Tequila affects me much differently now at 47 than it used to when I was 27. Viva la vida! Surprisingly, everyone made it in to work on time Tuesday morning, which was important because we had a very busy day in front of us. We launched a new product video for Pro Safe Lift and had a great Lunch & Learn with our friend Brendan Kennedy from MNI. Brendan told us all kinds of cool things about new online and mobile ad networks, as well as behavioral and content retargeting. It’s cool stuff and I can’t wait to apply it to some of the campaigns we’re running. Give me a call if you want to learn more.

Between leaving work Tuesday night and meeting a client for drinks, I insisted on dropping byManchester High School to put a little life back in my work-life balance. I was treated to an amazing and spirited performance of the Bailey Bridge Middle School 6th grade band and was inspired by the flawless performance of first chair trumpet, Jack “Satchmo” Saunders.

I photoshopped Jack’s head on Louie Armstrong.

Wednesday (5/7) – On Wednesday morning I had breakfast with my buddy Jay Crabtree, president of Auxo Medical. The only thing more impressive than my chicken and waffles atBaker’s Crust is how Jay has grown and expanded his company over the past 16 years. Kudos.

On Wednesday we got a lot of things done, including writing a couple of new radio ads for our friends at Vera’s Fine Jewelers. If you’re looking for a last minute gift for a grad or Mom, you really should drop by and see Mike and Vera. Whatever the reason, whatever the season.

We hosted the Virginia Council of CEOs at our offices in the afternoon. Thanks to David Dye of Tax and Business Solutions for presenting to the group on ways to reduce their overall tax burden. Dave and his partner Dan Davies help business owners like you and me pay less to Washington. I think the CEOs like hosting events at our place, simply because we have a bar.

Thursday (5/8) – On May 8th, Sammy Yatco celebrated her 2nd anniversary with the company. We spent the day praising her and promoted her from Account Executive to Account Manager. She’s awesome and she’s earned it. #SammyIsANinja

I had a working lunch with Roger Pell and Harry Garmon, owners of Top of Mind Communications. Roger and Harry help B2B companies market themselves with greeting cards, enewsletters and animated videos.  Check out their new name, look and website:TOMCrva.com.

In the afternoon, intern Rocky “Mullet” Granam stopped by to say goodbye. We wish him the best of luck tomorrow as he graduates from VCU. Good luck in Boston, Rocky. #DontPahkYahCahInHahvadYahd

On Thursday night we rolled out our brand and marketing discovery for the Chesterfield Chamber and I’m happy to announce that they have approved our new logo, tagline and other brand elements that we developed for them. Sammy and I left one Chamber and went to another as we joined the rest of the Main-iacs at the Richmond Chamber’s annual picnic, aka Schmooza Palooza. I’m proud to say that Kelley Miller and Lindsey Durfee won third place in the Cornhole Tournament. As it turns out, they are both deadly accurate at throwing things while intoxicated.

Our M+M’s Kelley L. Miller and Lindsey Durfee are accosted by Peter Larsen of Cobb Technologies at the Schmooza

Friday (5/9) – Today has been productive, but I won’t bore you with all of the details because I’m late for another client cocktail meeting and I’ve gotta get the Weekly Report out before 5. I hope you have a great weekend, and if you’re out and about, make sure you visit the Virginia Hops and Barley Festival. I’m proud to say Madison+Main is once again a sponsor. We love Powhatan, we love Rotary and we love beer.

And for all you mothers out there, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day.

Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz, Oh What A Relief It Is!


David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer
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It’s Award Season!

Hey folks,

RVA Award Season is in full swing. It’s that time of year where generally mild-mannered business types forgo formalities of humility and strap on cocktail wear to self-congratulate one another. And why not, darn it? There are people out there who deserve a little recognition for things like hard work, creativity and giving back to the community. It’s Award Season, and the Madison+Main-iacs humbly submit the Weekly Report for your review…and praise. #humblebrag

Monday (4/28) – On Monday we submitted 10, count ‘em 10, TV productions to the Telly Awards, our largest nomination pool in the history of our company. Special thanks to our partners at Broadscope Media, Abandon Films, BES Studios and Studio 108 for working with us to deliver top-notch TV spots and video productions this year. Win or lose, these partners of ours are all winners in my book.

Click here to see a link of this year’s Telly nominated productions.

On Monday we also managed to meet with a couple of our favorite folks at Virginia Women’s Center: President Brenda Burgess and Marketing Director Kate Mendez. We have some very exciting news to share with you — Virginia Women’s Center is opening its Midlothian location in July, and we’re kicking off a experiential marketing campaign at Chesterfield Town Center later this month. VWC in Midlothian is booking appointments now here.

On Monday night, our pals at WTVR-CBS6 dropped by to interview me. Anchor Lorenzo Hall and Photojournalist Chris Norton did their best to make me look pretty for the 11 o’clock news. They failed. But, they did produce an excellent story about sponsors such asCarMax abandoning the LA Clippers.

Tuesday (4/29) –  On Tuesday we agreed to again sponsor the Women on the Move Luncheon, a MS Society fundraiser that acknowledges the contributions of extraordinary women and their commitment to helping those living with MS. I ran into last year’s winner Lisa Schaffner at the MS Walk last Saturday and just found out who this year’s winner is, but shhhh, I can’t tell anyone just yet. Please join us at this year’s WOTM Richmond event on June 12th; get your tickets here. This is one award show you don’t want to miss.

On Tuesday afternoon Ann Smith from the Progress-Index dropped by to tell us more about the Petersburg downtown daily newspaper. We’re big fans of the P-I editorial staff, especially staff reporter Vanessa Remmers, who always does a good job coveringRichard Bland College news.

Wednesday (4/30) – ”We just got a letter. We just got a letter. We just got a letter. I wonder who it’s from?” –Blue’s Clues, circa 1996

On Wednesday we got a letter from the Greater Richmond Chamber and found out we have been nominated for the Impact Award.


For the seventh time.

While we’re honored to be nominated, we’ve never won the Impact Award. It seems we’re the Susan Lucci of Chamber Awards.

Wednesday afternoon was busy with a couple prospective client meetings — yay business development! :-) I ended the day with a tour of Sound Pit Studio’s new recording and production space. Special thanks to our pal Brad Roberts for inviting us over. Brad is better known as JizMak Da Gusha, drummer and primary song writer for GWAR. I was impressed with the studio, which has two big Grammy nominations on the wall. We’re very excited about working with these guys. In the meantime, you should visit GWAR.net, if you dare.

Thursday (5/1) – On Thursday morning Mark Collins and Kelsi Hairfield came in fromSpeedPro Imaging and impressed all of us with the cool things they can do with signage, vehicle wraps and trade show displays.

We launched our latest TV spot for CowanGates on Thursday morning and we think it’s going to be a big winner. Click below to see the spot and tell us what you think.

Click on the image above to see our new spot for CowanGates.
Click on the image above to see our new spot for CowanGates.

At lunchtime Thursday, I dined at Little Mexico with the lovely and talented Liz Ogren and learned that Signs By Tomorrow is rebranding next week as Image 360. Congrats to Liz and her crew on the new look!

On Thursday night, Madison+Main sponsored the inaugural RVA Creativity Awards, alongside The Martin Agency, Free Agents Marketing, Center of the Universe Brewery,James River Cellars, La Difference and West Broad VW. It was a great celebration of creativity on all fronts, and the highlight of our night was tapping “Bold Brand Beer,” our new brew that we made in partnership with the fine folks at COTU in Ashland. The beer was met with rave reviews and the keg was drained in minutes. Maybe we’ll go into the beer business next. How ’bout them apples?

Friday (5/2) – Today we said goodbye to this semester’s scrappy team of Madison+Main interns with a deluxe lunch from Alamo BBQ. In addition to their many contributions this semester, we all got a big kick out of their video project; a recruitment video for future M+M interns. Caution: this video may be NSFW (not safe for work), as it contains “naked intern buttocks.” However, no interns were harmed in the making of this video.

Madison+Main Intern Video Project - Spring 2014
Madison+Main Intern Video Project – Spring 2014

The mother of all self-congratulatory award shows will be held tonight at Plant Zero, when the Richmond Show 2013: Quest for the Cannonball takes place. Winners in advertising, design, interactive, production and student work will be named at Richmond’s biggest and longest-running award show for the ad biz. Who knows? Madison+Main may pick up an award or two. To ensure victory, I am wearing my lucky seersucker. #WishUsLuck



They like me! They really, really like me!


David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer
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Sit Back and Relax: The Boss is on Vacation

Believe it or not, Constant Contact was down all day on Friday, so the Weekly Report is three days late.


Happy Monday! Molly Quarles, VP of Operations here, writing Dave’s Weekly Report since he was out galavanting on a beach somewhere.


#RealLife #NotPhotoshopped

I figured it’s only fair to let @madmain have a vacation every now and then, and I promise, we didn’t burn the place down while he was away.

Many of you I have met personally, and if I haven’t, I’d love to! Dave is always out and about, but I’m behind the scenes while he is plotting to take over the creative universe and doing all of the fun stuff.  We started our week early, as in, last week never really ended…

Saturday (4/12) AM – I couldn’t let Dave enjoy an entire week of vacation, so I forced him to come in on Saturday to help Geoff, Katie, Kelley, Lindsey, Sarah and myself with the office Spring Cleaning. We organized, donated, trashed and recycled to get our files, closets, basement and supply room tidy. I have to boast: Madison+Main is so lucky to have amazing people that pitch in whenever needed. Whether for our clients, for each other, or even when I ask that they clean out the basement on a gorgeous Saturday, this team offers it all. Need anything? Just ask; the Main-iacs will make it happen!

Saturday (4/12) PM through Sunday (4/13): Eat, Sleep, Party, Repeat. Cleaning all day on a Saturday deserves a bit of fun, right?

Monday (4/14) – Digital Marketing Manager Dorsey McFadden, VP of Brand Strategy Kara Forbis and Marketing Administrator Lindsey Durfee strategized our Madison+Main social media plan to make sure we are on top of our platforms and utilizing our online presence as much as possible. We continually focus on learning the newest techniques to stay ahead of the steady changes online. Have a question about Facebook ads or want to optimize your presence on Google? Ask Dorsey, she’s our Certified Google Adwords Expert who lives and breathes this stuff: dorseym@madisonmain.com.  #itsbananas

On Monday, MarCom Executive Sarah Murphy hit the PR trail hard on behalf of our client, Virginia Ear, Nose & Throat. The four-location practice just added top of the line Xoran MiniCAT CT Scanners to their West End and Midlothian locations, allowing for quicker, more accurate scans at a lower cost to patients. We love clients who are ahead of the curve; they just make our jobs easy. :)

Tuesday (4/15) – Moan, groan, it was tax day. But I won’t bore you with that–instead, let’s focus on the positive! Our client Richard Bland College of William & Mary has extended their application deadline until May 1st, 2014.  Did you know that Richard Bland College is Virginia’s only two-year residential college with automatic transfer agreements with almost every college and university in the Commonwealth? If you known someone looking to further their education at Richard Bland, they can apply here: RBC.edu/apply.

Wednesday (4/16) – On Wednesday, Account Manager Kelley Miller and Marketing Administrator Lindsey Durfee had the pleasure of taking Village Bank Marketing Specialist Lauryn Adams ”out to the ball game.” The trio took in a noon game at the Diamond and saw the Squirrels defeat the Reading Fightins, 4-1. Special thanks to Ukrop’s Dress Express for the tickets!

Working hard, or hardly working?

Thursday (4/17) – Our Account Managers and Creative Team conducted intern interviews for our upcoming summer internship program throughout the day on Thursday. Think you know what it takes to be a Madison+Main intern? Stay tuned for the recruitment video our current interns (Dingles, Mullet, Dragon Ballz and Cheeeetah) are creating this semester.

A sneak peak of the video our interns created. Full video coming soon!

Friday (4/18) – On Friday, Art Director Geoff Glisson, VP of Brand Strategy Kara Forbis and Senior Account Manager Katie Hurst joined me for a short presentation about an awesome new project management software to help make sure we are working as efficiently as possible behind the scenes. What tools do you use to keep organized professionally or personally? If you don’t utilize any, check out the 99 Sites That Every Professional Should Know About and Use to get you started.

In all, it was a solid, productive week at Madison+Main, even without the Bossman around. That said, we’re excited to have our creative and fearless leader return. So, Dave, if you have a moment to look up from your margarita and check your email, all the Madison+Main-iacs say: Love ya, Miss ya! #MeanIt

David Hasslehoff-Saunders


Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

Molly Quarles

VP of Operations


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Hey folks,

I’m the kind of guy that always tries to be on time. It’s been the same for everything: school, work, church and no one has ever called me “late for supper,” but this week I had to travel to Northern Virginia and Virginia Beach for client meetings and I was late for both.

I hate traffic and this week’s edition of the Madison+Main Weekly Report comes to you from mile marker 276, approximately seven and a half miles on the wrong side of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. I know that I have many friends in high places that read the weekly report so perhaps one of you can put a bug in the ear of Governor Terry McAullife about fixing Virginia’s roads, because quiet honestly I’m tired of being late. I guess that is the long way to explain that this week’s missive is coming to you after EOB.

It was a good week at Madison+Main, despite the fact that everybody had a case of “the grumpies.” Something about Mercury being in retrograde or some other astrological B.S., I’m not so sure.

Monday (4/7) – I got stuck in traffic on Monday morning and arrived to work 15 minutes late. I was greeted by VP of Brand Strategy Kara Forbis, who got up extra early to make the long drive in from our Blacksburg office. It was a busy and productive morning as we worked on some new projects for Pro-Safe Lift, a division of LinkMasters LLC, who will be unveiling their new brand next month.

The highlight of my Monday was visiting with Kate Mendez and Brenda Burgess at Virginia Women’s Center. We worked on finalizing the marketing plan for the Grand Opening for their new location in Midlothian. Yes, Virginia Women’s Center is headed to south side this summer.

At lunch on Monday, I was able to reconnect with longtime pal Trina Willard, President of Knowledge Advisory Group, a consultancy that guides non-profit organizations to achieve their goals. Trina brought us a couple of opportunities that we may partner on, and as always, we are thankful for that.:) We ate across the street at the diner formerly known as “Becky’s,” but now known as Cary 100, or something like that. I’m not quite sure.

On Monday night, Molly, Kara and I had a “meeting of the minds,” and since there aren’t enough hours in the day, we conducted a “working dinner” at Max’s on Broad. Dinner was 101% better than lunch and I was excited to find this new Belgian-themed spot in the most unlikely space on Broad Street. I love this place and highly recommend it.

Tuesday (4/8) – The trend continued Tuesday morning as I was 10 minutes late to my Rotary meeting, but I soon got back on track at the office while working on concepts for Sky Zone and putting the final touches on their second quarter media plan.

We were also very excited on Tuesday to release our latest TV spot for Howell’s Heating & Air entitled, “Comfort Club.” I’ve always tried to throw myself into a spot, and this time, I succeeded. Check out the spot below, complete with a cameo of yours truly in a bubble bath. #Seriously

Howell's Heating & Air - Comfort Club
Howell’s Heating & Air – Comfort Club

On Tuesday afternoon I was due at Toast, and I was even half an hour late for drinks. What’s wrong with me? I’m never late for drinks.

Wednesday (4/9) – On Wednesday morning I got stuck in a hellacious traffic jam on River Road trying to make an 8:00am meeting at the Country Club of Virginia. Apologies to my colleagues at the Virginia Council of CEOs for being “tardy to the party.” It was a good and productive meeting.

While I was doing fun stuff at work, Sue had a slightly tougher meeting with a few of Jack’s teachers. All is good now, but I think a couple of them wanted to send a warning shot across the bow of this sixth grader. The teachers say my son is a jokester and seeks the limelight constantly. He obviously gets that from Sue’s side of the family. #ISaidItWithAStraightFace

Thursday (4/10) – My Thursday travel buddy was Sammy “The Ninja” Yatco and we spent most of the day driving to and from beautiful downtown Strasburg, Virginia, where we conducted two social media trainings focused on leveraging LinkedIn for the First Bank team and its leadership. It’s always good to see the fun and fabulous folks at First Bank and we were able to preview their latest TV spot. Once I get final approval, I’ll be able to share it with you next week.

Friday (4/11) – I arrived this morning at 7:05, exactly five minutes late, to meet Kieran Wagner at our office, who has been helping us with a video project for the Chesterfield Business Council. I did, however, bring him a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit from Hardee’s and he forgave my tardiness.

After the early morning shoot, I dropped by VCU’s Student Commons to deliver a Keynote address to PRSSA students from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia. I was happy to meet so many young and enthusiastic future PR practitioners. Special thanks to VCU Professor Bill Farrar and PRSSA Vice President (and Madison+Main Intern) Brandon Singletary for inviting me.

I ran back to the office quickly and picked up my travel buddy, Kelley “Buttercup” Miller and we hightailed it to Virginia Beach to meet with some clients. Actually, Hampton Roads likes to be referred to as “Coastal Virginia.” I’ve lived in Virginia all of my life and just heard about this, but apparently, this was only decided yesterday. The client meetings went long and for once in my life, I think I will be late for supper.

Next week is Spring Break and the Saunders clan is headed south on NC Highway 12 to hide out on Ocracoke, just like Black Beard the Pirate did 300 years ago. This time, however, there will be more rum. #ARRGH #SurrenderTheBooty

Next week I’m handing over writing duties for the Weekly Report to the lovely and talented Molly Quarles, VP of Operations and Madison+Main Partner. Why not? It’s Good Friday and Molly blogs about good deeds on SproutLaunch.com.

Got a little Captain in you?


Dave Saunders

Chief Idea Officer




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Hey folks,

“Bold Brands Win” is a mantra we have held “near and dear” at Madison+Main for a number of years, and over the past few months I’ve tried to share that with entrepreneurs, MBA candidates and anyone who will listen. I’m trying to “spread the brand gospel,” so to speak, and have had tons of speaking engagements recently.

It was a big, bold, beautiful week at Madison+Main as we were able to spread that message all over the Commonwealth of Virginia with a little bit of “Gorilla” and “Guerilla” marketing. I am phoning in the Weekly Report this week, literally, as I am headed back towards Richmond from a highly productive 48 hours in Charlottesville.

Monday (3/31) – On Monday, Sarah, Sammy, Colleen, Lindsey and I showed up two hours early at Madison+Main to play a fun prank on our colleagues, friends and neighbors in anticipation of April Fools’ Day. We fueled our banana content marketing campaign with this video, entitled, “Madison+Main Loves April Fools’ Day a ‘Bunch!’” It was “Gorilla Marketing” at its finest.

Madison+Main Loves April Fools' Day a
Happy April Fools’ Day from Madison+Main

In the afternoon, Sarah and I worked on new website copy. The bigger, better, bolderMadison+Main website will launch next month. #StayTunedAlso on Monday, we were excited to sign a contract with Link Masters, our first bit of direct proof that the banana campaign is reaching the right people: business owners. We’re very excited about working with the team at Link Masters as they roll out a revolutionary new product at next month’s National Hardware Show.

Tuesday (4/1) – On April Fools’ Day, several fellow Rotarians tried to prank me at breakfast, but I didn’t have enough coffee in me to understand what was going on. However, we did have a great presentation from Kingdom Life Ministries, who are working with men in the Richmond City Jail to make sure they don’t go back to jail.

After a busy day, we got to hangout with our marketing partners Todd “Parney” Parnell and Mike “Murph” Murphy to learn more about the Flying Squirrels’ sponsorship opportunities one week before Opening Day at the Diamond. The Squirrels are one of the best entertainment experiences in RVA–if you haven’t been to a Flying Squirrels game yet, my advice to you is Have Funn, Go Nutz!

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowds…”

Wednesday (4/2) – On Wednesday morning I worked with the Account team to write and review marketing activity reports for many of our clients. I’m thankful to my friend Tom Earlof Cloud Solution Group for introducing me to Dan Woods, President of Collegiate Marketing Concepts. Dan has a great company and we enjoyed a good meal at the Grill at Waterford. Whenever possible, I try to eat at locally owned restaurants. And why not? They’re better, the food is fresher and when I spend money with them the majority of it stays here in the community.

On Wednesday night we traveled to the Center of the Universe. No really, we went to Ashland and the Center of the Universe Brewing Co., where we met with the brewmaster brothers Chris and Phil Ray and put together ingredients for Madison+Main’s Bold Brand Beer, which will be unveiled at the RVA Creativity Awards on May 1st. What do a bunch of marketing and PR people know about beer? As it turns out, a lot more than you might think. We can’t wait to share our brew with you soon.


Madison+Main partners with Center of the Universe to produce Bold Brand Beer

Thursday (4/3) –  On Thursday morning I hightailed it to the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville for the Virginia Council of CEOs Retreat. I couldn’t stay over Wednesday night because the place was sold out and there was “no room at the Inn.”

While I was surrounding myself with some of the best and brightest business minds in Virginia, the guys and gals back at the office were hard at work on several new broadcast, web and “Guerilla” marketing campaigns that will be launching in the next few weeks.

One of the best lessons I’ve learned so far at this conference is not to play poker with other CEOs. I lost $40 and a small piece of my pride, but the damage could have been far, far greater. I want to personally thank Joanne Rossi of Zooom Printing for taking it easy on me.

Have a ball with Melissa Ball of Ball Office Products

Friday (4/4) – This morning after only a few hours of sleep, I was back and engaged at the conference, which is hard to do when you stay up too late drinking Maker’s Mark and playing poker. Meanwhile, at the Retail Merchant Association’s First Friday Forum, Sarah, Lindsey and Kelley did some “Guerilla” marketing with a gorilla. As the RMA Brochure Sponsor, we decided to give attendees bananas with a sticker that reads #BoldBrandsWin.

Gorilla marketing v. Guerilla marketing

This morning in C-Ville I did an Ignite Presentation (an Ignite Presentation, incase you didn’t know, is a 5 minute talk about a personal passion, with 20 slides that move every 15 seconds whether you’re ready or not). I tried to spread a little Brand Evangelism among the Council of CEOs; don’t worry, I taped all of the Ignite presentations and will share them on our YouTube channel next week. I think I did a good job because a dozen people (out of a hundred or so) walked up and told me so.

This afternoon at the conference I ran into an old friend, Michael Barnett, President and CEO of Romp n’ Roll. I told him what a big fan our VP of Brand Strategy Kara Forbis is; she takes her daughter Sutton there frequently. If you have little ones, visit Rompnroll.com– they have locations all over, not just in Blacksburg.

After the conference I handed out 50 pairs of my marketing balls. #BoldBrandsWin

We think handing out your business card with a pair of balls is bold.

I wanted to personally thank a lot of folks for their positive feedback on the Weekly Report. I had a lot of praise for it at the VA CEO Retreat. If you know someone who would like to receive this email each Friday, or get some free marketing advice, check out my blog at madmain.com.

Just do it,


Dave Saunders

Chief Idea Officer




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Hey folks,

It was a busy week at Madison+Main, but we took some casualties. Winter threw its last punch at us, with snow flurries on Monday and 17 degree temps on Wednesday. A large percentage of the Madison+Main-iacs were down for the count; Molly, Kara, Dorsey, Kelley, Colleen. I got the sniffles on Tuesday night, but they went away after two medium-sized glasses of Maker’s Mark.

For the rest of the crew, who actually made it in to work, they found we had run out of coffee and it looked like a scene from my new tv-watching addiction: The Walking Dead. And the fact that it was  no-make-up Monday had nothing to do with it.  🙂

Monday (3/24) – It was an early (7:30am) call for the first location of our latest TV production for Howell’s Heating & Air. Later that morning I joined the production team from Broadscope Media at our second location, Nesbit Salon. Special thanks to the managers and owners of Nesbit for allowing us to shoot all day Monday at their amazing location on Main Street.

No, that’s not a Zombie in the tub. It’s me. #BathingDead

Monday marked one year since last year’s Walk MS: Richmond, where Team Madison+Main raised money AND awareness for the MS Society. We’re walking again this year (April 26th) and we need your help… ANY amount helps. Click here to support the Madison+Main-iacs at Walk MS. This year we’re thinking of dressing up as Zombies and walking around Innsbrook… waddya think?

1,400 Richmonders Do the Harlem Shake for MS
We created a “Harlem Shake” video at last year’s MS Walk in Richmond

Tuesday (3/25) – It was good to be back at Rotary on Tuesday morning and I got several questions about my comments in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week. Here’s a link to the article in case you missed it. I also had some questions about Madison+Main’s Banana Campaign, a multi-platform content marketing campaign that we launched a couple of weeks ago. At 9am I met with a new prospective company and received first-hand proof that the campaign was working. Me: ”So, how’d you hear about Madison+Main?” Prospective Client:“I was on Facebook and saw these girls dressed like bananas with a gorilla. I clicked the link and thought, ‘These guys look fun!’” #BoldBrandsWin

Madison+Main takes its Banana Campaign to the streets of Carytown

That afternoon we presented some 3D direct mail concepts to our buds at Village Bank and I jumped in the studio to record some new radio ads for Howell’s Heating & Air. On Tuesday evening I was invited to give a lecture at UR’s Robins School of Business. Great kids, great class and great questions.

Marketing Tip of the Week
(compliments of my buddy Scott Shufflebarger at Hertless Brothers)

In the nightcap, I finished season 1 of The Walking Dead on DVD, scared myself silly and couldn’t sleep til the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday (3/26) – On Wednesday morning I was so sleepy I couldn’t wake up in time to do the Greater Richmond Chamber Lead Investor Breakfast. I only have myself to blame. But I was able to bounce back into a series of productive client meetings with Greg and Lynn from Davis & Green Electrical and Mike Caniglia from Vera’s Fine Jewelers. I was also delighted to host Dr. Debbie Sydow, President of Richard Bland College, at our offices in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, we had a strong showing at the PRSA Luncheon with MarCom Executive Sarah Murphy, Digital Marketing Manager Dorsey McFadden and Account Services CoordinatorBrandon Singletary representing Madison+Main.

Brandon, Sarah and Dorsey learned about the Law of Social Media at PRSA on Wednesday

I met with our interns Wednesday evening after hours and helped them with their video project, which reminded me: we’re now accepting applications for summer interns. If you know a bright young undergrad or recent grad who likes branding, marketing and making coffee, please have them send a letter and resume to me at shout@madisonmain.com.

Thursday (3/27) –  On Thursday we sent Kelley Miller back to New York. #fugetaboudit

In the morning I worked on my upcoming Ignite presentation at the Virginia Council of CEOs retreat. Thanks to Dale Carnegie‘s JJ White and VACEO’s Executive Director Scott McRoberts for talking me into this. It’s going to be fun… and frightening.

On Thursday we finalized our sponsorship of the RVA Creativity Awards. We are proud to announce that Madison+Main is a Bronze Sponsor of C3‘s inaugural community creativity awards. The event will be held on Thursday, May 1st at the Hippodrome, bringing together artists, composers, communicators, writers, publishers, web designs, marketers and many more from RVA’s vibrant creative community. Tickets available here.

Friday (3/28) – Today is Kara Forbis‘ birthday. In her honor, we all started drinking wine at breakfast. By lunchtime everyone was stumbling around, glassy-eyed and mumbling like Zombies. So, Art Director Geoff Glisson and I grabbed my bag of guns and drove toColonial Shooting Academy and popped off a few hundred rounds at paper targets, that look like… wait for it… Zombies. I am on my way to NBC12 right now to meet with their TV production team and watch a Village Bank financial literacy shoot.

Our friends Greg Hofbauer and Bart Levy from Nimble Pitch dropped by this morning. They have a really cool product and have been getting a lot of press recently. Learn more about digital interactive storytelling here.

Tonight I’ll probably finish off the second season of Walking Dead. What are you doing this weekend.

Fight the dead, fear the living,


Dave Saunders

Chief Idea Officer




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Hey folks,

This week’s Madison+Main Weekly Report is coming to you 2 hours early so I can play hooky this afternoon and watch basketball. Besides, it’s really hard to type inside of a crowded BW3.

Last weekend’s whirlwind tour of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn is now just a memory, and sadly the A10 #2 seed VCU lost a heartbreaker to #4 SJU in the Championship, 65-61. Luckily VCUenters the NCAA Tourney as a #5 seed and plays #12 seed SFA tonight at 7:27pm EST #GoRamsGo. My ESPN bracket has me scoring 120 points, with a 67.7% win percentage, since I correctly picked 12 out of the first 16 games. I am currently ranked 797,512th out of 10 million brackets…whew.

It was still a highly productive week at Madison+Main, even though everyone caught a touch of March Madness.

It was a week full of numbers…and acronyms.

Monday (3/17) – On Monday, most schools were closed, but CCPS opened 2 hours late. The hearty souls at M+M “slid” into work on time.

We set up our 3rd creative concept session for Village Bank on Monday afternoon and celebrated Lindsey Durfee’s 1st anniversary with the company Monday night with a 3 bottle champagne toast. During the day we worked on M+M’s new website, version 6.0 (we’ve been in business 8.5 years and this will be our 6th website redesign…when was the last time you redesigned your WWW?)

Tuesday (3/18) – On Tuesday we learned that the VBA (Virginia Banker’s Association) awarded our client FBK (First Bank) the “Best in Broadcast” award for a TV spot we produced for them in 2013. Tuesday afternoon we launched their latest TV spot, called “First in Business.”

Click above to see our new First Bank TV spot


Wednesday (3/19) – On Wednesday “I left my heart in San Francisco,” as our universally loved VP of Operations Molly Quarles left “on a jet plane” to celebrate her 29th birthday on the left coast. Did you know that Molly launched SproutLaunch.com, a website that rewards people for doing good deeds, in 2010? Follow Molly on Twitter @SproutLaunch. She only has 14,011 followers and she needs more friends.

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Lindsey and Katie join Molly for a birthday selfie

Over 100 people attended the March Media Mixer at Tobacco Company Wednesday night. Be on the look out for an invite to our April Mixer at Morton’s on 4/23/2014, which is also Administrative Professionals Day. The Bar Bites are on us. Be sure to join our LinkedIn group (669 members and growing!) for details on our monthly Media Mixers.

Thursday (3/20) –  On Thursday morning, it was my turn to present at Insiders, so we hosted 23 of 24 members at 101 E. Cary. 3 tubs of coffee, 2 dozen donuts and 10 breakfast sandwiches were needed so no one would fall asleep during my presentation.

I spent most of the day working on market research for the Chesterfield Chamber. Did you know the Chesterfield Chamber has an introductory membership for only $295? Call Membership Account Executive Carol Taylor at (804) 748-6364 if your business needs a boost.

Friday (3/21) – By now, a lot of people have seen our “Banana Campaign.” In fact, after only 2 weeks we’ve reached thousands of people online, and we haven’t even kicked the campaign into high gear. What’s the Banana Campaign, you ask? Madison+Main is conducting a 90content marketing campaign designed to increase awareness, our social media presence, and drive business owners, marketing directors and other potentates to our declaration page. Does marketing your company drive you bananas? If the answer is yes, CLICK HERE.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 4.26.27 PM


Wow, I coulda had a V-8,


David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer


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Hey folks,

If I could sum up Generation Y in one word, or better yet in one hashtag, it would be #YOLO: You Only Live Once. I’m surrounded by twenty-somethings and their “take no prisoners” attitude suits me just fine. It was a #YOLO kind of week at Madison+Main: busy, productive, fun and edge-of-your-seat excitement. Last Sunday night, I barbecued steaks in the rain. On Monday morning, I dragged my kids around the neighborhood, hooked to the back of my Jeep, through the snow. Why not? #YOLO

Monday (3/3) – It’s ironic that a generation that embraces fearlessness falls apart at the first sign of the powdery white stuff. So, we closed our offices Monday and worked from home in our flannel finery. But never fear, work was done, campaigns were launched and clients’ deadlines were met. At Madison+Main, we work hard and we play hard.

On Monday we also kicked off our latest integrated marketing campaign with this Instagram post:

For more information on Madison+Main’s “Banana Campaign,” visit madisonmain.com/bananas.

Tuesday (3/4) – On Tuesday we were back in the office and helped our friends at the Central & Eastern Chapter of the National MS Society kick off MS Awareness Week. We did our part by wearing orange — the signature color of the MS Society — and want to thank our friends in the media (like Julie Bragg, Rob Cardwell, Morgan Dean, Kerri O’Brien, Ryan Nobles and more) who wore orange ties and orange scarves in support of MS Awareness Week.

Sarah Murphy and I had lunch with Richmond Times-Dispatch business reporter Randy Hallman, and it was great to catch up and swap “war stories.” Be sure to check out Randy’s weekly Metro Business column, BizBuzz, in print and online.

Wednesday (3/5) – On Wednesday everybody dressed to the nines, hair was perfect, and the office was meticulous. The reason? Our friend Scott Elmquist stopped by to snap some photos for our website. Two reasons I like my new headshot: 1) it’s funny, and 2) it hides my fat face.

On Wednesday afternoon we had a very productive Virginia Council of CEOs meeting at the office of Keener Communications (thanks to Jannemieke Keener for hosting), and we invited estate and elder law attorney Scott Stovall, partner at CowanGates, to speak to the group. Scott did a great job and everyone was very impressed by his knowledge and experience. If you, like me, are dealing with the complexities of aging parents, I would highly recommend you reach out to Scott.

Thursday (3/6) – The Insider’s Annual Breakfast was held Thursday morning at the Commonwealth Club for the 42nd consecutive year. I am now the mayor of the Commonwealth Club on foursquare. #YOLO

In the afternoon we had a very productive meeting with the leadership at Village Bank and we are about to launch their new marketing and PR campaign. Stay tuned and #banklocal. And speaking of buying local…

On Thursday night my beloved VCU Rams squeaked by cross-town rival University of Richmond (56-50). Earlier in the day VCU unveiled its new athletic logo…designed by an agency in Ohio…despite the fact there are so many good branding firms here in Richmond…and despite the fact they have the #1 graduate advertising school in the country…and despite the fact it looks eerily similar to the Buffalo Wild Wings logo…and despite ALL of this…I STILL LOVE MY RAMS.

Friday (3/7) – On Friday I took advantage of the gloomy weather and an open calendar to lock my office door and catch up on all of my “writing” assignments. To ensure productivity, I grabbed a six-pack of Diet Cokes, a Padron 1964 (cigar), and put this sign up on my door.

I got a lot of work done and I downloaded a new app called Map of the Dead. It’s an iPhone app that allows you to find places that will help you survive the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Check it out here.

The Alberta Smith Sharks lost in the first round of the playoffs last weekend. #sadface It was a good and valiant effort and I’m proud of the boys for going 9-2. But I AM counting on the Rams winning the A10 Tournament in New York next week. They better win…I’m driving to Brooklyn.

We bring good things to life,


David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer

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Hey folks,

When I say things to myself like, “I’m glad February is over,” and “I waited almost two hours to get my oil changed,” I am ashamed of myself. When I get angry and walk around my house brooding for two hours because VCU lost a game they should have won to UMass, I take a step back and think, “your priorities are all out of whack.” People in the Third World have real problems. We don’t. Not counting First World problems, it was a great week at Madison+Main.

On the bright side, it didn’t snow last week…

Monday (2/24) – I have never liked the month of February. From a personal standpoint, it’s cold and dreary. From a business standpoint, it’s cold and dreary and 10% shorter than other months. That means business in February should automatically be 10% down, right? #FirstWorldProblems

On Monday afternoon, we worked on creative concepts for Virginia ENT and developed a new tagline for the practice. Out of five choices, one was a “clear winner.” In the afternoon, I played Dr. Dave and took Nurse Sue to Advanced Orthopedics, where Dr. Ellison gave us the official prognosis: She’ll be off her feet for at least two more weeks. (My wife broke her knee skiing…#FirstWorldProblems.)

Madison+Main got a shout out from Richmond BizSense reporter Brandy Brubaker in The Pitch on Monday, with the release of First Bank‘s new TV spot “First in Loan$.” Thanks to Broadscope Media for doing such a FINE job. Take a look and let us know what you think. Click here to watch!

Tuesday (2/25) – On Tuesday we hosted some clients for lunch, and in the afternoon I gave a presentation on Branding and Social Media to three dozen marketing and business development executives at Hunton & Williams. Two dozen were in the room, and another dozen were scattered across the globe watching via video conference. Conclusion? My jokes fall really flat over video conferencing. #FirstWorldProblems

Wednesday (2/26) – On Wednesday, Sarah Murphy, Brandon “Dingles” Singletary and I traveled down to Richard Bland College to quarterback a joint press conference with Fork Union Military Academy. Sarah did a great job getting lots of coverage for a historic agreement between the two schools. The story was picked up by a wide variety of media outlets, including NBC29 in Charlottesville, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Virginia Business, just to name a few. PR tip of the week: don’t pitch reporters, try to HELP them.

FUMA President, Rear Admiral J. Scott Burhoe, shakes hands with Richard Bland College President, Dr. Debbie L. Sydow

Thursday (2/27) – On Thursday morning we met with the marketing and event team at the Central & Eastern Virginia Chapter of the National MS Society (in case you didn’t know, Madison+Main has provided pro-bono marketing and PR services for the Society for almost five years). We put the finishing touches on 2014 event marketing plans here in Central Virginia and in Tidewater. The Madison+Main-iacs will Walk for MS on Saturday, April 26th; we hope you’ll support us by clicking here and making a small donation. In the afternoon we met with our new client – and my son Jack’s “all-time favorite place” – SkyZone. In case you haven’t heard, SkyZone–a fun and fabulous 37,000 square foot indoor trampoline park–officially opened one month ago and business is jumping.#ILoveAGoodPun (We’re very excited about working with SkyZone…what a fun brand!)

On Thursday evening we got the chance to show off our new team shirts at theChesterfield Chamber’s Bowling Extravaganza and host Uptown Alley got to show off it’s brand new website, which Madison+Main designed and programmed.UptownAlleyRichmond.com

The Madison+Main-iacs are terrible bowlers. #FirstWorldProblems


Friday (2/28) – The March Media Mixer will be held on Wednesday, March 19th at Richmond’s landmark restaurant, The Tobacco Company. Click here to RSVP.

Friday, we put the finishing touches on a “gorilla” marketing campaign that we believe will have everyone in Richmond going “bananas.” It launches Monday. Stay tuned.

This fierce looking team is now 9-1.

“I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say –
bananas have to ripen in a certain way,”


David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer

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Hey folks,

It was a busy and productive week at Madison+Main, as I was able to see lots of clients face-to-face, which I think is better than following their exploits on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, a 16-year-old told me last week that Facebook was “dead.” Although I don’t agree with this, a recent University College of London report states that “…with 16-18 year olds, Facebook is not just on the slide, but it is basically dead and buried…” The logic behind this stems from the fact that Facebook usage among teenagers has dropped 25% in the last three years. However, the article fails to mention that Facebook doubled in size in that same time period and grew in every other age segment except 15-18. Long live Facebook.

And long live meeting people face-to-face.

Monday (2/17) – Monday was President’s Day, one of my all-time favorite holidays. Most people take the day off, but at Madison+Main we were hard at work, trying to make some more “Dead Presidents. I took a brief break to drive my wife Sue to Advanced Orthopedics, so they could look at her knee. The other weekend Sue nearly escaped death when she fell off the side of Wintergreen and broke her tibial plateau. (She’s doing much better, thanks for all of the kind words and wishes you sent our way last week.)

We welcomed in a new batch of really fun, cool, smart young people this week, also known as the Madison+Main Interns, and at our Monday Morning Meeting we were treated to their “nickname presentations.” When you call the office next week and Kristen answers, just simply call her “Cheeeetah.” Rocky is now “Mullet,” Brandon is “Dingles,” and Josh is“Dragonballz.”

Don’t ask.

Tuesday (2/18) – I was back in the saddle at Rotary and got some face-time with lots of friends, including Jimmy Hyman, who next week becomes the new GM at Green Top…one of my favorite stores on Earth.

In the afternoon we sat down for a good face-to-face with Greg Green and Lynn Green, our friends at Davis & Green Electrical, where we presented the quarterly marketing report and talked about their next series of PR and marketing initiatives.

I also got some time in the studio at Broadscope Media on Tuesday, putting the finishing touches on our new series of TV ads for First Bank. The spot is SO HOT that the Richmond Fire Department showed up halfway through our recording session.

No one died during the making of our new ad for First Bank

Wednesday (2/19) – On Wednesday morning I had a one-on-one with the lovely, talented Terri Jones with Wordplay Creative. Special thanks to Trina Willard from Knowledge Advisory Group for making the introduction…via LinkedIn. Trina, when will I see your lovely face again? Soon I hope!

Speaking of lovely faces, Sarah Dawes Murphy and I met with the marketing committee for the National MS Society of Central & Eastern Virginia on Wednesday night. My first suggestion? Let’s rebrand with a much shorter and simpler name. (Don’t you think MS Society of Virginia would be a better brand name?)  🙂

Thursday (2/20) – Lots of work during the day, but the highlight was meeting with Richard Bland College and some of my favorite clients, Dr. Debbie Sydow, Laschrecse Aird and Jenna Chaney.

I got a call in the middle of the day from the nurse at Bailey Bridge Middle School who told me that my son Jack had a concussion. It appears that the boy banged his head into the locker door above him. His mom said, “send him back to class.” I said, “there is no way you can get a concussion banging your head on a locker door two inches away.” The teacher and nurses aid begged to differ and sent him home…diagnosis: concussion. A couple hours later at basketball practice, the younger Mr. Saunders had made a miraculous recovery. The Sharks are 8-1 after an impressive victory last week over Bettie Weaver – the school, not the lady.

Friday (2/21) – My face-to-face week continued into Friday morning as I spent three hours meeting with the attorneys of CowanGates. We had a very productive meeting and it was very good to see both Franks, Neil, David, Melanie, Mike, Brandon, Scott, Heath,Rusty, Deborah and Maryann. I walked out of Salisbury Country Club and into a tornado.

This tree branch fell right in front of me at Salisbury Country Club. I almost died.

Friday afternoon — I am not kidding — we received a call from a funeral home that needs help with marketing. I hear every agency in town is dying to get that business. #ILoveAGoodPun

Raid Kills Bugs Dead,

David Saunders
President & Chief Idea Officer

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