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Agrimarketing : October 2007
and Broadcast Editor Todd Johnson to film additional interviews and footage of the family's existing home. While Johnson shot footage of the family's cramped quarters, Willats planned her strategy for con- ducting the family interviews as sen- sitively as possible. Her background in account plan- ning proved to be ideal, she said. "We have expertise in interviewing," she stated, "and we know how to put the focus on the person we're interviewing and help tell their story. There's a fine art in asking the ques- tion and stepping back to let the answer come out." Willats interviewed only Vicki and Erik on the events surrounding Lee's death, and focused her inter- views with the children on their cur- rent situation. "It wasn't my goal to get tears," she said. "I wanted to make sure I did the work in a way that got them on the show but wasn't a further disruption to their lives." PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF Despite the team's best efforts, the Swenson-Lees were not selected for a home makeover during the 2006- 2007 season due to the challenges of building a home during Minnesota's harsh winter. Rather than giving up on the project, though, Gray contin- ued to stay in touch with the show's producer. He provided regular updates on the family, including Vicki's work lobbying for stronger legislation to protect victims of domestic abuse. Gray's determination paid off. The show's producers again considered the Swenson-Lee family when plan- ning the 2007-2008 season, and in late August the nine family members (a tenth is due in November) were pleas- antly surprised with the news that they were about to receive a brand new home. The message was deliv- ered in the show's trademark style: "Star carpenter" Ty Pennington arrived outside the family's house and shouted the news through a bullhorn. The Swenson-Lees were sent to Disneyland for a week while a team of 4,000 local builders and volunteers leveled their old home. The episode (the show's 100th) featuring the pro- ject is scheduled to air November 25, shortly after the Swenson's new baby is scheduled to arrive. The M|W team members say the expe- rience has been a pow- erful reminder of what the agency is capable of. Although the agency does work for a number of organiza- tions on a pro bono basis, the end product is rarely so tangible as a house built for ten. "It's rare in advertising that you have a chance to make such a difference," said Burgeson. AM For seamless outsourcing of your market research projects, trust Readex Research. Our menu of available services enables you to easily complete mail, phone, and online projects. Fit us in at virtually any point in the process, including: Project Consultation E-mailing Survey Invitations Project Management Data Collection Vendor Management Data Processing & Tabulation Questionnaire Design Database Management Sampling Analytic Services Web Site Design/Hosting Reporting Abandon the stress of having more responsibilities than resources. We'll handle your domestic or international projects from start to finish, or only the aspects you need. Call today to discuss your project 1-800-873-2339 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Experienced. Trusted. Insightful. Abandon the Stress--- Outsource your Research with Ease The Martin||Williams team included (L to R) Sandy Willats, Mike Gray and Betsy Burgeson. October 2007 AgriMarketing 55
November December 2006
November December 2007