White Papers


The “Brown Age”

Change You Should Believe In

Diversity is Just Good Business

Hispanic Consumer Market

Multiculturism: A New Reflection in the Mirror

Simply Smart Marketing

The “Super-Sizing” of America

Unplug Me!

Press Releases

Hope Credit Union Promotes Financial Literacy to Underserved Markets Through an Innovative Social Media Contest

Hope Credit Union will launch its Facebook video contest “Video Share Win.” The goal of this promotion is to introduce Hope Credit Union and its broad range of community development and financial literacy services to a younger audience in the New South – most credit union members are over 40 years old. “By reaching young people where they are – that is on social media – we hope to introduce them to all the benefits that Hope Credit Union, a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) has to offer,” said Scot Slay, V.P. of Marketing.

This contest is an opportunity to share the amazing story of Hope Credit Union and the outstanding work that this organization has been doing for more than 20 years. There will be radio remotes in Memphis, TN; Little Rock, AR; New Orleans, LA; and Greenville, MS to announce the weekly winners. The contest is open to all members and non-members of the credit union. Participants are required to make a video sharing their experiences with Hope Credit Union, their financial needs and how Hope Credit Union can help improve financial lives. The goal is to get the most social media engagement (likes, comments, shares).



The contest will start on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 8am CST, and continue for a period of five (5) weeks. All entries are submitted online and must be in compliance with the official rules and regulations of the “Video Share Win” Contest. Each week, Hope Credit Union will reward one weekly winner with $100 gift card and one Grand Prize winner with $1,000 at the end of the contest period. The winning videos will be judged on social media engagement and compliance with the rules.

Do not miss the opportunity to share your story and help Hope Credit Union make a difference in the community. You may register online by visiting https://www.facebook.com/HopeCreditUnion.

About Hope Credit Union

Hope Credit Union is a community development financial institution that provides access to high quality financial products and related services in order to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid-South. Hope Credit Union offers checking and savings accounts, consumer and mortgage loans and commercial lending services. Since 2008, Hope Credit Union has expanded from 7 to 25 locations – many of which are located in communities where few affordable banking options exist. Hope Credit Union serves more than 30,000 members, one out of three of whom were unbanked when they joined. For more information about Hope Credit Union or a complete list of services and locations, visit www.hopecu.org.

The International Davey Awards Announces Winners | Hope Credit Union Campaign Receives Silver Honors

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2017) - The winners of the 13th Annual Davey Awards have been announced by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts today. The Silver Award was awarded for Hope Credit Union’s Better Banking—Better Lives advertising campaign. With nearly 4,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world, the Davey Awards honors the finest creative work from the best small agencies, firms, and companies worldwide.

The Davey Awards is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Code and Theory, Condé Nast, Disney, GE, Keller Crescent, Microsoft, Monster.com, MTV, Push., Publicis, Sesame Workshops, The Marketing Store, Your Majesty, Yahoo!, and many others. You can visit www.aiva.org for more information on the Academy and a full list of members.

“The agencies awarded this season truly reflect the notion that small agencies produce big ideas. The work entered into this year's Daveys portrays the smart approach to creativity that embodies the capabilities and talents of small firms from across the world” noted Derek Howard, Executive Director of the AIVA. He added “On behalf of the Davey Awards and our Academy, we want to applaud this year’s entrants for their dedication and commitment to their craft. We offer our congratulations once again to those selected as winners for the exceptional work they submitted.” The Davey Awards would like to specifically recognize the 13th Annual—Gold, Silver and Best-in-Show winners for their exceptional achievement.

Hope Credit Union’s Better Banking—Better Lives campaign received a 2017 “Davey Award” (Silver Award) in the Integrated Campaign category for the Non-profit Industry. The Davey Awards honors the best in Web, Design, Video, Advertising, Mobile and Social Media from small agencies worldwide.

The Integrated Campaign category includes television, radio, print, direct mail, billboards, transit posters and related public relations activities. The award also focuses on advertising impact or results—in this case new membership growth. As such, outstanding retail / branch management was essential to sustain the influx of new members. Accordingly, this recognition is truly for an outstanding team effort.

“If you can’t measure it… don’t do it— the Davey Award recognizes the international impact that Big Ideas from Small Firms make for consumer brands and throughout society.”

– Michael Steele, President/CEO
Advantage Communications, Inc.

At Advantage Communications, Inc. we believe the tangible results for our clients are the best ‘awards’ that we receive. However, it is always nice to be internationally recognized in your industry, and by your peers for an outstanding advertising campaign. More importantly we want to thank everyone at Hope Credit Union who made this possible and allowed us the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization and our community.

About The Davey Awards:

The Davey Awards exclusively honor the “Davids” of creativity, the finest small agencies, firms and companies worldwide. David defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock - the sort of thing small agencies do each year. The annual International Davey Awards honors the achievements of the "Creative Davids", who derive their strength from big ideas rather than big budgets. The Davey Awards is the leading awards competition specifically for smaller agencies as they compete with their peers to win the recognition they deserve. Please visit www.daveyawards.com to view the full winners list.

Download a PDF of the press release here

Advantage Communications, Inc. Releases Whitepaper. Michael Steele Gives Advice on Rebranding to Stay Relevant

(LITTLE ROCK, AR – March 13, 2014) Today, Michael Steele, President and CEO of Advantage Communications Inc., released a whitepaper detailing the importance of being strategic in your rebranding approach. “Rebranding: Connecting with Your Audience to Remain Relevant” expounds upon a topic that has perplexed marketers and executive teams for the past 50 years.

“What was once regarded as the bailiwick of seasoned professionals is now a common occurrence. Brands are constantly repositioning: many in the right direction, many more in the wrong direction. Marketers must help these companies make the right choices”, says Michael Steele.

Advantage Communications, Inc. is a full-service advertising and public relations agency that specializes in creating value for its clients and partners and providing multicultural marketing expertise. Advantage Communications, Inc. proudly serves a variety of clients, some of which include Verizon Wireless, General Motors, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Pfizer, Central Arkansas Water, Arkansas Adult Education, and more.

Advantage Communications, Inc. To Mentor New Interns
A Marketing and PR Agency Works to Mold Young Minds

(LITTLE ROCK, AR – March 24, 2013) Advantage Communications, Inc., a full-service advertising and public relations agency, welcomes three interns this semester. Mario Burnett, Diamond Lewis, and Michael Frank Steele are taking on the challenge of marketing, advertising and brand promotion for multiple clients in an agency setting.

“It has been more than rewarding. The knowledge and skills I have acquired working at this firm will benefit me the rest of my career”, says Lewis, a Marketing major at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “Every day is a new real-life experience. No two days are the same, but they all are eventful”, says Burnett, a senior at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The Advantage Communications, Inc. Intern Program provides students with in-thetrenches marketing, advertising, and public relations work. Interns work closely with the Advantage Communications, Inc. team to provide quality work to their numerous clients. “We have sourced an excellent batch of up-and-comers this year”, says Michael Steele, CEO and President of Advantage Communications, Inc. “Upon working closely with some of the best and brightest of the next generation of business men and women, I find they will prove a major force in the shaping and growth of this nation.”

Advantage Communications, Inc. Selected as Strategic Partner for the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice

(LITTLE ROCK, AR – April 4, 2013) Advantage Communications, Inc., Little Rock-based advertising, marketing and public relations agency, has been selected to execute public relations services for the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) in support of its 40th Anniversary Conference themed “NABCJ – Celebrating 40 Years – A Review of the Past, A New Course for the Future”.

The Conference will take place in Little Rock July 20-25, 2013. As a strategic partner, Advantage Communications, Inc. will work with NABCJ to create awareness of their 40th Anniversary and its celebratory activities – one of which includes an R&B concert scheduled to take place July 20th at the First Security Amphitheater.

The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice is a non-profit, non-partisan association created in 1974 to promote the interests of blacks and other minorities in the justice system. Its members consist of criminal justice professionals as well as those in law enforcement, institutional and community corrections, courts, social services, academia, religious and other community-based groups.

"We are excited about our new partnership with Advantage Communications, Inc. as they proved to directly identify with NABCJ’s mission and our goals to celebrate our 40th Anniversary," commented Andrea Carson, National Vice President, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice. “Their approach to our needs was strategic and centered on adding value. We look forward to working with Advantage Communications on this event and hopefully in the future.”

“NABCJ’s mission and beliefs as an organization so closely mirrored ours that we jumped at the opportunity to serve,” said Whitney Albert, Director of Account Services, Advantage Communications, Inc. “For years, our agency has advocated community involvement and participation. Our goal is to not only support NABCJ but to raise awareness across the state of Arkansas of their 40 successful years of providing services to our community.”

CEO of Advantage Communications, Inc. to Speak at Food Marketing Conference
Michael Steele To Share Insights into Changes in Consumer Behavior

(March 26, 2013) Today, Michael Steele, President and CEO of Advantage Communications, Inc., will speak at the 48th Annual Food Marketing Conference at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Food Marketing Conference, sponsored by the West Michigan University Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Program, attracts hundreds of students and professionals involved in the food marketing industry. This year’s conference theme is “Moving the Metrics on Performance.” The two-day event activities began yesterday at 2 pm.

Mr. Steele will speak tomorrow, Tuesday, March 26th at 11:15 am on the changes in consumer behavior and how their ever-increasing selectivity affects the landscape of the food marketing industry.

“Consumer behavior is constantly changing in reaction to the booming quantity of content available to them, making them more selective about the brands and content that interests them,” said Mr. Steele. “Marketers who can build a message based on the new consumer mindset will be able to know their customer better and deliver what they want in the right format, at the right time, and across the right channel.”

Also slated to speak at the conference are Supermarket Guru from the NBC Today Show, Phil Lempert; motivational speaker, Erik Wahl; renowned authors, Kevin Coupe and Tom Furphy; famous radio personality, Tom Sullivan; and VP of Sam’s Club, Todd Harbaugh.

Mr. Steele is a seasoned marketing and advertising innovator in both domestic and international markets. He offers a unique perspective on strategic and highly-targeted communications approaches, steaming from his extensive experience in brand marketing with the Stroh Brewery Company and the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to establishing an outstanding track record for new product innovations including Stroh’s Light and Diet Coke, Michael successfully led a group of investors in a management buyout of Home Banc Mortgage Corporation. Michael earned degrees from Western Michigan University and Bowling Green State University.

General Motors Logo

Advantage Communications, Inc. Selected as Strategic Partner to General Motors

LITTLE ROCK, AR – January 23, 2012 – Advantage Communications, Inc., Little Rock-based advertising, marketing and public relations agency, has been selected to execute creative services for General Motors (GM) in support of its Minority Dealer Development (MDD) Program. As a strategic partner, Advantage Communications, Inc. will work with GM representatives to develop the re-design, theme and content framework for the MDD INFORM communications platform.

Since 1972, GM has provided training opportunities to qualified minorities to help develop them to become future dealers. GM was the first US automaker to institute a formal minority dealer initiative in the industry. Through Minority Dealer Development, General Motors has created a program where potential minority dealer candidates can learn the business, and current minority dealers have access to resources to help them grow their businesses.

"Advantage Communications demonstrated that they understand what we are trying to accomplish through our program communications," commented Marina Shoemaker, Director of Dealer Development and the GM Minority Dealer Development Program. Their approach is refreshing, very creative and we look forward to developing this partnership with them."

“We are simply humbled to be a partner to such a prestigious organization as General Motors,” said Michael Steele, President and CEO of Advantage Communications, Inc. “For years, our agency has advocated for the development and enhancement of career opportunities within minority communities. The GM Minority Dealer Development program is the epitome of diversity initiatives working at its best. We look forward to not only spearheading the redesign of the MDD INFORM communications platform but building an added-value partnership with the GM family.”

Central Arkansas Water Logo

Advantage Communications, Inc. Receives International Recognition for Annual Report

(Little Rock, Arkansas – December 3, 2012) Advantage Communications, Inc. – a full service marketing, advertising, and public relations agency based in Little Rock, Arkansas – has received notification by The International Davey Awards that its work in consumer communications will be honored by the organization.

The International Davey Awards recognizes the outstanding creative accomplishments of advertising agencies. Now in its eighth year, The International Davey Awards accepted nominations and reviewed submissions by a team of creative experts. Advantage Communications, Inc.’s work for Central Arkansas Water was recognized from a pool of thousands of entries.

The Consumer Confidence Rule requires public water suppliers that serve the same people year round (community water systems) to provide consumer confidence reports (CCR) to their customers. These reports are also known as annual water quality reports or drinking water quality reports. In compliance and adherence to this rule, Central Arkansas Water releases its Water Quality Report each year. Central Arkansas Water’s 2011 edition of its Water Quality Report has won this recognition by The International Davey Awards.

“This recognition demonstrates the commitment of Advantage Communications, Inc. to produce consumer communications materials that speak to the needs of our valued citizens,” stated Michael Steele, President and CEO of Advantage Communications, Inc. “We are honored to have received recognition from the Davey Awards in support of the great work spearheaded by Central Arkansas Water. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this client to share with Arkansans why our water is truly Essential and Exceptional.”

Advantage Communications, Inc. is an award-winning advertising agency. Over the years, Advantage Communications, Inc. has received awards such as the W3 Award, Addy Award, Public Health Award, The Communicator Award and the Small Business of the Year Award.

Whitney Albert

Advantage Communications, Inc. Promotes Whitney Albert

(Little Rock, Arkansas – November 26, 2012) Whitney Albert of Little Rock has been promoted to Director of Account Services at Advantage Communications, Inc. – a full-service, marketing, advertising and public relations agency.

In her new role, Albert will continue to develop and execute strategic marketing and communications plans for clients including General Motors, Stamp Out Smoking/UAPB, the Arkansas Department of Health HIV/STD Section and the Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center. She will also continue to provide public relations support and services to these and other clients of the agency.

Additionally, Albert will now oversee the overall operations of Advantage Communications, Inc.’s client accounts and public relations department. She was previously an account executive with the agency.

“Whitney’s stellar work ethic and zest to create value for our agency and clients ultimately secured this opportunity,” commented Michael Steele, President and CEO, Advantage Communications, Inc. “Our industry is driven by new talent such as Whitney, and we are proud of her progress. At Advantage Communications, Inc., we believe in investing in young people as part of our succession plan for this agency. This is a step in the right direction for the future of Advantage Communications, Inc.”

Albert joined Advantage Communications, Inc. in early 2009. A Little Rock native, Albert earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in Applied Communications Studies/Communications Leadership from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Prior to joining Advantage Communications, Inc., Albert was a public relations specialist for Trent Capital Management in Little Rock.

Black Enterprise Magazine Graphic

Advantage Communications, Inc. Recognized in Black Enterprise Magazine

Black Enterprise Recognizes Arkansas Agency in their Top 100

(Little Rock, AR – July 9, 2012) – Advantage Communications, Inc., touted as the fastest growing full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency in the South, has made the #10 spot on Black Enterprise Magazine’s top 100 Black Businesses. Among the list are agencies from all over the US.

“We consider this recognition a true testament of our commitment to servant leadership, brand marketing, discipline and innovation at Advantage Communications, Inc.,” said CEO Michael Steele. “Having made value added marketing the cornerstone of our company’s culture is one of the many things that has allowed us to exceed our client’s expectations. We thank Black Enterprise for this prestigious honor.”

Advantage Communications, Inc. has had the privilege of working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies including General Motors, Verizon Wireless, Federal Bureau of Investigation and brand development work for strong regional campaigns such as Stamp Out Smoking and HIV/AIDS. ACI’s portfolio showcases prestigious regional brands and non-profits such as University of Arkansas, Foundation for the Mid South and Adult Education. Advantage Communications, Inc. has also received recognition/awards such as Small Business of the Year, The Communicator Award, The W3 Award, Addy Award, Davy Award and the Public Health Award to name a few.

Marking Black Enterprise Magazine’s 40th year, this year’s list, is featured in the June print edition as well as online at http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/13-most-successful-black-companies-2012-be-100s/.