Call it poetic justice. Or the irony of ironies.

But Minneapolis-based Fallon earlier this month won one of the most prestigious advertising awards in the industry for onetime client Cadillac, which let Fallon go as its agency of record almost exactly a year ago.

Fallon received a Gold Effie for its “ATS vs. the World” campaign, which led Cadillac’s successful entry into the compact luxury segment of the auto world, an area where BMW is the category leader.

“This campaign helped the Cadillac brand begin to elbow its way back into the Tier 1 luxury conversation,” Fallon said in a summary of its Effie entry, noting that 70 percent of ATS purchasers were buying a Cadillac for the first time.

“It’s nice to be rewarded for good work and strong results,” said Fallon CEO Mike Buchner. “It’s extra special given our circumstances with Cadillac.”

A year ago, Cadillac put its advertising account up for bid after a nearly three-year run with Fallon and awarded the work to a new agency. Cadillac said it needed a “stronger and larger marketing team” to grow globally. Buchner said Fallon “was fired.”

“This is an outcome we do not deserve,” Buchner said in an internal memo at the time.

“I stand by everything I said to our employees,” Buchner said last week. “We’re very proud of what we accomplished.”

The integrated, multimedia advertising campaign for Cadillac featured the ATS tackling some of the toughest and most picturesque roads in the world. Footage was shot on location in Chile, Monaco, Morocco and China.

University of Minnesota advertising Prof. Jennifer Johnson said in her mind that the Effie stands for “efficiency.”

“Generally it indicates that the advertising met the business goals in a big way,” Johnson said.

Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said the ATS vs. the World campaign was “a dynamic way” to enter the sport sedan market.

 

But wait, There’s more

The fast-growing Minneapolis agency Solve also won a Gold Effie in the same contest as Fallon for its work on behalf of Medifast. Solve’s “Becoming Yourself” campaign for the weight-loss company featured real Medifast clients filmed as they began the program and again nine months later, edited to show touching and emotional conversations between their current thinner and former heavier selves.

And the Martin Williams agency won a gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation for a commercial it did for the Minnesota Twins Community Foundation. Titled “Hockey Season,” the commercial showed a group of kids lacing up their skates and shoveling snow off a frozen pond so they could play — baseball. The ad won in the public service division for television.

Minnesota has 3 fastest-growing woman-owned businesses

Three Minnesota businesses are ranked among the top 50 fastest-growing woman-owned companies in the world by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). Appearing on this year’s list of WPO growth companies of at least $1 million in revenue are Morning Star Financial Services of Golden Valley, eCapital Advisors of Bloomington and Innovative Office Solutions of Burnsville.

Minnesota, with five WPO chapters, is the organization’s second-largest state behind New York with more than 150 WPO-member owned businesses. WPO has chapters on six continents.

Lisa David’s company, eCapital Advisors, moved up 12 places in the “50 Fastest” rankings since first making the list last year.

“Business analytics is a fun industry,” David said, adding that most of her customers are women. “It’s refreshing to see a lot more women in technology.”

Innovative Office Solutions’ Jennifer Smith, a WPO member for 10 years, said Minnesota’s climate for businesses owned by women is strong. Her company has earned a place on the “50 Fastest” list four years in a row.

“WPO is a place where successful businesswomen network and learn from one another,” said Smith, who added that consulting with other female business leaders helped them move through the Great Recession of 2008-2009. “We want to help each other get to the next level.”

Marsha Firestone, president and founder of WPO, said member-owned businesses are growing faster than their markets, according to the statistics, and “women entrepreneurs are making inroads in nontraditional businesses, such as information technology and transportation.”

WPO is a nonprofit professional association of more than 1,800 female-executive members and 114 chapters around the globe.

Neal St. Anthony

Timberwolves choose little to revamp image

Call this Plan B if Kevin Love hits the road.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to revitalize their image. The organization has hired the design-and-branding agency Little to develop a new brand identity for the team.

“We are partnering with Little to refresh our brand, for both fans and employees, to enhance the entire Timberwolves experience,” Kristy Badger, vice president of marketing for the Wolves, said in a statement.

The brand revitalization could range from “refreshing the vision and mission” of the team to “enhancing” employee interaction with fans, said Little President Joe Cecere.

A run deep into the playoffs would help, too.

record entries for cup

The Minnesota Cup has selected 70 semifinalists out of a record 1,250. The semifinalists, one-fourth of which are led by women — another record — will be honored at a reception Wednesday at the Carlson School of Management. Finalists for prizes totaling $300,000 will be announced in September. The Minnesota Cup, a new-venture competition, is now in its 10th year.

Top entrepreneurs honored

Six Minnesota firms have been selected for Upper Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year honors by EY, the business adviser also known as Ernst & Young. They are:

Accurate Home Care and founder Amy Nelson of Otsego; digital publisher Capstone and principals Thomas Ahern and Robert Coughlan of North Mankato; data manager Code 42 and CEO Matthew Dornquast of Minneapolis; JAMF Software and managing partner Chip Pearson and founder Zach Halmstad of Minneapolis; sales consultant Magnet 360 and managing partners Scott Litman and Dan Mallin of Minneapolis; and Renters Warehouse and founder Brenton Hayden of Minnetonka.