The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Hires Advertising Agency LevLane

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society — producer of the Philadelphia International Flower Show — has hired its first brand agency.

LevLane, a Philadelphia advertising agency, was hired after a three-month review that included six agencies, LevLane said.

The Flower Show, held each winter in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, attracted 265,000 visitors this year and has an annual estimated economic impact of $61 million.

LevLane has been hired to for what is being called “an organization-wide rebranding,” with promotional work to be placed on broadcast, print, outdoor, digital and social media. The budget for the work was not disclosed.

“They have the awareness. And they have all the ingredients to grow their love. This is a prominent Pennsylvania client with a regional footprint and aspirations that go way beyond that,” said Bruce Lev, executive creative director at LevLane.

Kate Wilhelm, senior vice president at the horticultural society, hinted that the campaign may stress issues that have been part of its 184-year history.
“Some of the concepts we’ve championed over our 184-year history, green ideas like sustainability and community gardens, are now societal essentials,” said Wilhelm, who was brought in a year ago after her tenure at the Fairmount Park Conservancy, a nonprofit that raises money for the park.

The society was founded in 1827 and claims to be the oldest and largest horticultural society in America.

LevLane, which is based in Center City and has offices in West Palm, Fla., and Atlanta, has a range of clients, including KFC/Taco Bell, Beneficial Bank, Kennedy Health System, Fairmount Park Conservancy and Center City District, among others.

Philadelphia Journal Business Journal:

A Search for Bargains Goes Social- New York Times

Decades ago, Macy’s proclaimed, “It’s smart to be thrifty.” Now, consumers who are concerned about the economy have elevated thriftiness to a lifestyle, as evidenced by everything from TV shows about “extreme couponing” to retailers that try to turn shopping into a quest for values.

Costco, for instance, is known for deals, found among its general merchandise, that are available one time only. The Burlington Coat Factory retail chain has a new commercial that carries the theme “Brag about it,” encouraging customers to boast about the buys they discover at “up to 60 percent off department store prices.”
Joining the trend is a chain in the Philadelphia area, Jomar Stores, which caters to households with average annual incomes of $25,000 to $75,000. Jomar has introduced a campaign from its new agency, LevLane, proclaiming that its specialty is “Retail treasures.”

The theme is underlined on a redesigned Web site,, with a section labeled “Treasure Chest,” containing offers that are available only to members of the Jomar frequent-shoppers program, known as the Treasure Club.

“Members get more,” text in the section reads, like “instant updates on new shipments” arriving at the five Jomar stores.

“That way you can snatch up the new stuff before nonmembers do,” the text declares.

Getting the jump on other shoppers is of interest to Jomar customers because the stores are not stocked like most other stores: Jomar buys returned merchandise from retailers like department stores, meaning that many of the items it sells are one of a kind.

A shopper who sees a red scoop-neck blouse in size medium at a Jomar store may want to buy it at once, because there are probably no others like it. By comparison, retailers like Marshalls, Ross and T. J. Maxx usually have items in much larger quantities because they buy lots of overstock and closeout merchandise.

To build traffic for the Jomar Web site and encourage membership in the Treasure Club, the campaign features a promotion in the form of an online contest, Show Your Jomar. The premise of the contest is summarized succinctly on “If you got a bargain, flaunt it!”

A customer can enter the contest by taking and uploading a photograph of “you and your favorite Jomar item: clothes, fabric, pots and pans, whatever.” All who enter receive $5 coupons.

Six grand prize winners will receive prizes that include iPads, $200 Jomar gift certificates and appearances on the home page of the Jomar Web site.

The campaign is being promoted on signs in the Jomar stores as well as bag-stuffers — fliers included in the bags shoppers carry out of the stores.

There is also a robust presence in social media: on the Jomar Stores fan page on Facebook, at, on the Jomar feed on Twitter and on the chain’s photo stream on Flickr.
The campaign, with a budget estimated at $60,000, is the first in several years for Jomar, which is part of a family-owned company, Jomar Textiles. The chain’s previous campaigns, on television and radio, featured a family member, Mark Segal.

“I was telling Philadelphia how wonderful my stores are,” Mr. Segal, vice president at Jomar Textiles, recalls. “My mother loved it.”

At a meeting last year with LevLane executives, he says, they told him that Jomar might be better off using new media rather than traditional tactics.
“I’m close to 50 years old,” Mr. Segal says. “I’m television and radio.” He was open to new ideas, he added, but wanted to learn more about the media consumption habits of Jomar’s working-class customers.

“We did have an e-mail list, so we knew a chunk of customers were online,” Mr. Segal says, and after LevLane staff members “spent a few months in our stores, interviewing our customers,” they determined there was enough Internet usage to make an online campaign worthwhile.

And if his customers didn’t go online, he adds, their children did, so “we felt it was viable, a tool we could use.”

The campaign is intended to encourage loyal Jomar customers to shop there more often as well as to recruit new customers through word of mouth.

“My customer gets hurt by the economy,” Mr. Segal says, and is “scared about losing their jobs.”

As a result, the size of each translation has declined, he adds, and “we are combating that by working on less margin.”

Bringing in new shoppers is a challenge, Mr. Segal says, because Jomar is not that well known outside “a segment of the population.”

“The lady shopping at Macy’s knows there’s a Ross,” he adds, but the Ross shopper — or the Macy’s shopper — may not necessarily know about Jomar.

Complicating matters, he adds, is the penchant among department stores for “advertising sales every week,” compared with perhaps “two sales a year” a decade ago.
Someone from a department store told me that only 7 percent of the merchandise is sold at regular price,” Mr. Segal says, which conditions a Jomar shopper to expect sales, too, even though the merchandise is already discounted.

“Our prices are 75 percent off regular retail, so a $100 dress is $25,” he adds. “But now, on Tuesdays, it’s 20 percent off the $25.”

The campaign is being accompanied by a remodeling of Jomar’s stores, which run from 30,000 to 50,000 square feet and have a warehouse, thrift-shop look.

“We’ve softened them,” Mr. Segal says, by changing the yellow and red color schemes, which were “screaming discount colors.”

“I feel more comfortable now doing this advertising to invite people to the party,” he adds.

Josh Lev, senior account manager at LevLane, which is also based in Philadelphia, agreed that the Jomar colors were, as he puts it, “not very inviting.”
The stores were “not the warmest environments,” Mr. Lev says, and the changes, which also include new signs, are making them “a better place to shop.”
The research that preceded the campaign took place among employees as well as customers, he adds, and “we found out a lot of good information.”
For one thing, Jomar shoppers describe themselves as “very loyal,” Mr. Lev says.

He recalls talking to a customer in line at a store who told him she was not happy that the promotion was intended to bring more shoppers to Jomar.

“She said, ‘I don’t want to give my secret away,’ ” Mr. Lev says.

Jomar customers also talk about how proud they are “of what they find there,” he adds.

“What’s unique about Jomar is the aspect of the single items” they buy from other retailers to sell in the stores, Mr. Lev says, which prompted the idea of Jomar as “a treasure chest.”

“You’re really digging for gems,” he adds.

While the current Jomar shopper “skews a little older,” Mr. Lev says, there is “an opportunity to go after a new target audience” of younger consumers.
“And when we go after the younger target audience, we know they’re online,” he adds.

It is no coincidence that the campaign, which began last month, will continue through December. After all, the fourth quarter is the most important for retailers as consumers shop for Christmas.

“My feelings for the fourth quarter are upbeat,” Mr. Segal says, despite the recent uncertainty about the course of the economy. “I think people are going to be shopping.”

Mr. Lev says that he hopes the campaign will be extended into 2012 with “more consumer-facing” elements like commercials.

Why I won’t buy the iPhone 4S (Brilliant play by Apple)

UPDATE: October 10, 2011
Told ya’ —> As iPhone 4S sets records, Apple’s legacy models show strong sales too –

FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Big Announcement.

New iPhone called the iPhone 4s.

  • Twice as fast
  • Advanced Voice Recognition software, Siri
  • Better camera
  • High definition video capability, with image stabilization

Biggest Disappointment: No iPhone 5.

Conclusion: Just fast and different enough to stay ahead of the pack, but far from the hype of the expected iPhone 5.


THE PLAY TO THE MIDDLE: The Big News News No One Is Talking About.

  • 3 tiered models – Free iPhone 3G with contract – Expect this to be the dagger in the heart of entry level Android phones.
  • Tiered iPhones means rapid deployment – Apple will sell more, phones to more people at a more rapid pace than ever before.
  • First dual ban iPhone – Compatible with both AT&T, Verizon and Sprint (more on that in a minute). This approach, which I’m sure is to become a rule, will allow Apple to focus on one tier model at a time, without having to develop the same model phone for separate carriers. Brilliant. Say it with me now Android users, “No fragmentation”.
  • Sprint gets iPhone – A Sprint iPhone is big news. Sprint has 35 million postpaid customers, many of which I’m sure have always wanted an iPhone. Sorry Android 🙁 .

This play to the middle market is brilliant, even if not obvious. If you have Apple stock, hold on, to it this will be a great year. iPhone sales will far eclipse this years sales. RIM is dead and Android will become the current day RIM.


It’s not GREAT enough.Because, the iPhone 4 I have, is great enough…for now.

Because, its the software stupid. – With all the new toys that are about to launch on the 15th, My iPhone 4 will feel like a brand new phone.


There WILL be a iPhone 5 in 2012 and we top tier users will be there lining up to buy it. Until then, we will wait.


Listening to CNN coverage of the death of Steve Jobs. Sad day.



LevLane Promotes Steve Lipenta As Media Manager

LevLane has promoted Steve Lipenta from media coordinator to media manager, responsible for KFC, Philadelphia Center City District and ALI-ABA, among other LevLane accounts. Lipenta joined the agency in 2008.

LevLane is a full-service marketing communications agency with offices in Philadelphia, West Palm, Fla., and Atlanta. Clients include regional KFC, regional Taco Bell, Beneficial Bank, Jomar, ALI-ABA, Saul Ewing, Phila. Recycling Office, WXPN, Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Senior Care Development, Wesley Enhanced Living, Kennedy Health System, and The Phila. Center City District, among others.

Philly Ad Club:

LevLane Promotes Dan Hall to VP, Group Media Director

LevLane has promoted Dan Hall from associate media director to vice president, group media director, responsible for LevLane accounts Taco Bell, Kennedy Health System, Senior Care Development and Saul Ewing. Hall rejoined LevLane in 2002 after a two year stint as online marketing manager at

LevLane president David Lane states, “This promotion makes official what’s already clear within the agency: Dan Hall is a leader, not just in his media work—he’s our go-to expert on new avenues like search engine marketing and mobile media—but also in developing a best practices culture throughout the department and even, crossing disciplines, in developing broad strategies for new and prospective clients. His influence deserves to be recognized.”

LevLane is a full-service marketing communications agency with offices in Philadelphia, West Palm, Fla., and Atlanta. Clients include regional KFC, regional Taco Bell, Beneficial Bank, Jomar, ALI-ABA, Saul Ewing, Phila. Recycling Office, Fairmount Park Conservancy, WXPN, Phila. Corporation for Aging, Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Senior Care Development, Wesley Enhanced Living, Kennedy Health System, Kennedy Health Network and The Phila. Center City District, among others.

Philly Ad Club:

A nun walks into an ad agency

…that was right after she marched into City Hall and then the Philadelphia Streets department, looking for the people responsible for the UnLitter Us campaign. Ok, I dramatize. Sister Anne hardly marches about, but rather strides with quiet purpose. And when I met with her, she was on a mission.

The diminutive Sister Anne teaches an art class at the John Kennedy Mental Health Center on Broad Street. Every Monday, she takes the subway from her convent in West Philadelphia to her subway stop at City Hall, where she is greeted by the dramatic faces of our campaign. With close to 100 posters lining the tracks and walkways underground, they were hard to miss this summer. Sister Anne’s voice is delicate as she describes standing on the platform surrounded by the expressive words and faces of our poets, marveling that we chose to fight filth with beauty. Sister Anne not only felt the soul of UnLitter Us, she was intellectually curious about the strategy we chose. She thought that by understanding the thinking behind the campaign, she could better help her students. Ultimately, the Center helps to rebuild lives based on the foundations of respect and dignity. Sister Anne helps her students purge their negativity and find what is beautiful inside of them to express through art.

So she delved…the focus groups, the findings, the creative strategy, the process, the elements of execution. Her questions were intelligent, her comments insightful. No detail was too boring for Sister Anne, so I lavishly divulged the intricacies of the ad campaign that became somewhat of a spiritual journey for the team who nurtured and brought it to fruition.

We always hope our creative strategy will hit the mark and move our intended target – in this case, urban youth 18 – 25. And yes, we have metrics and that show progress city-wide. Inspiring Sister Anne, however, and providing even the most modest assistance in her mission is an added bonus of a much higher order.

Jason Rossano: People On The Move

Jason Rossano

Date added: October 31, 2011

Submission Type: Promotion

Current employer: LevLane

Current title/position: Vice President

Industry: Media & Marketing

Position level:
Vice President

Position department: Marketing

Previous position:
Account Director

As vice president, Jason Rossano will be responsible for LevLane’s Yum! Brands accounts including regional Taco Bell and KFC. Rossano joined LevLane in 1998, as a media intern.

Company headquarters: Philadelphia