About Us

Looking for the unexpected? You've come to the right place! Welcome to de Novo Alternative Marketing.

We are equal parts advertising agency, marketing firm, video production house, social media geeks, guerrilla marketing thought leaders, web development and design firm and brand development resource all with a focus on content and experience.

Literally meaning “a new” or “starting over”, de Novo Alternative Marketing offers just that – a new alternative to your marketing campaigns. Our mission is simple: Create relationships and build emotional connections between consumers and your brand. Historically this was achieved by purchasing TV spots, billboards, and full page spreads in the yellow pages. This may be what is right for your brand, but why limit yourself? It is high impact marketing that brings a brand’s qualities and information directly to consumers often in areas they are not used to seeing advertising, therefore making a stronger imprint on the desired target. Right place, right time, right consumer in the right frame of mind (it even rhymes a bit if you word it correctly).

We’re ready to take your marketing challenges, throw them into our expert think tank, and produce something you’ve surely never thought of before. de Novo is dedicated to cutting through the “white noise” of marketing messages that consumers have learned to tune out. It’s not hard to put an ad in a paper or even on some outdoor billboard, but what will make that ad get NOTICED? There’s a never-ending supply of innovative and unexpected underground media vehicles lurking beneath the traditional channels – street teams, impromptu events, sampling, stenciling, hand-delivered chocolates to a potential client… the list goes on and on.

Alternative Team Page

The best way to assure we provide the best for our clients, is to have the best ourselves! At de Novo Alternative Marketing we have assembled a team that is sure to think "de Novo." Coming from a broad background, our team will be able to solve whatever you throw at us (kind of like Vanilla Ice). As strategic thinkers, we are here to help you identify your target audience (you’d be surprised just how specific it can get), create your marketing plans, and execute them in a way that is credible, relevant and unique.


  • Advertising

    We can refine, redesign, and re-awesomize your existing campaign, or completely create your next winning campaign.

  • Direct Mail

    Sometimes the best way to get your message across is with a delightful home delivered mailer. Avoid the trash; we'll keep it creative.

  • Event Planning

    Do you have a holiday fiesta in the works? We cover the spectrum. Full fledged eventing planning & staffing all the way down to concepts.

  • Video

    Our Addy Award winning videographer will create a piece you (and everyone) will love. YouTube, TV, Presentations, and anywhere else you have a screen.

  • Websites

    Everything is web based these days. Updating a website is crucial. Don't be stuck with a basic HTML site from the early 2000s - the web has evolved, maybe it's time your website has?

  • Product Development

    It takes a creative, marketing focussed, team to develop the best product. We keep your end user in mind and crafts products just for them.

  • Email Marketing

    Your Customers sleep with their phones. They get your emails to their phones. It's as close as you can get to sleeping with your customers.

  • Graphic Design

    Have custom graphics on all of your marketing materials designed right in house. Maybe you could use a new logo? Company initials surrounded by a circle? It's been done.

  • Social Media

    Connect with your customers on a real time basis. Social Media is a 1-to-1 conversation. This can do WONDERS for your brand image.

  • SEO

    Search Engine Optimization does just what it's name suggests - it makes Google like you more and show your page before your competitors.

  • Public Relations

    Tarnished company image? Need a little pick-me-up? There are plenty of ways to solve this mild predicament.

  • Photography

    Add that extra personal touch to your marketing materials with custom photography of YOUR products, YOUR employees, and YOU.

  • Experiential Marketing

    Sometimes it takes more than the marketing PUSH. Involving people and making them EXPERIENCE your brand is a great way for them to remember you.


Here is just a little taste of what we have to offer...


We like to make things easy. Any way you'd like to reach us...do it. We just want to hear from you. Like something we've done? Interested in creating something for your brand or company? Hated something we've done? Let us know. Just like any individual, we grow with feedback. We'd love to be your marketing agency. Let's hear what you have in mind.

Phone: 319.265.6686 Email: info at thinkdenovo.com

USA, Cedar Rapids, 52401, 329 10th Ave SE, Suite 112

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February 2014

Hyped to Death?

If you were let down by this year’s Super Bowl commercials, it’s not your fault. Commentators built up hype for the contest between the NFL’s number one offense and the number one defense for weeks. On top of that, Super Bowl commercials have a reputation for being more entertaining than the game itself. Sunday night left almost all but diehard Seahawks fans disenchanted with a blowout game and lackluster commercials.

Overall, the commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII were not as comical as most of us expected. However, Sunday’s big game brought us advertisements that were thought-provoking, clever, and record-setting.

On top of the commercial hype, Twitter took center stage once again after Oreos quick and cheeky response to the blackout that happened in 2013. JCPenney stole the Twitter spotlight this year with a series of…poorly typed (interpreted as drunk) texts.

As more and more companies saw these posts, they couldn’t help to react.

Shortly after two typo-filled tweets, JCPenney  let us in on their little trick. They were #TweetingWithMittens in order to promote their new mittens. They followed this with photos of their staffers typing with mittens in a warm office and even added in some photos of them eating Doritos and attempting to open a Snickers all with the “GO USA” mittens on.

Coca Cola gave us a polemical rendition of America the Beautiful, although many of those who took offense were (and still might be) under the impression that it is our national anthem. Additionally, we witnessed the return of Cheerios’ multiracial family that sparked controversy in the summer of 2013.

A larger-than-usual amount of commercials reached out to the good in viewers. Chevy raised awareness for World Cancer Day. Microsoft reminded us of how much positive impact technology has on our lives.U2 and Bank of America raised money for RED by giving away music, and Chrysler teamed up with Bob Dylan to revitalize our passion for American-made cars. And as usual, Budweiser melted our hearts with cute animals.

Sunday night did deliver some comic relief to those left brokenhearted by the game. RadioShack issued an ‘80s star-studded commercial making fun of its reputation of having outdated stores, Hyundai reminded us teenage boys are still completely unable to function around girls, and John Stamos still only has one thing on his mind (other than Dannon Oikos).

Despite the loss of viewers over the second half of the game, Esurance came away with the most widely talked (or tweeted) about commercial of all. Claiming they saved $1.5 million by airing their commercial after the game, Esurance vowed to pass along that savings to one lucky person who tweeted using ‘#EsuranceSave30.’ The following Wednesday, John Krasinski and Jimmy Kimmel surprised the winner with the 1.5 million…in cash!

In other commercials, Scarlet Johanson’s operating system enjoyed homemade soda, Volkswagen’s Engioneers had rainbow butts, and Danica Patrick yet again made a Super Bowl commercial appearance but went largely unrecognized in a muscle suit for GoDaddy’s small business solutions.

How did you feel about the commercials this year? Do you think that the “commercial teaser” is here to stay?

February 6, 2014 0
November 2013

REDACTED: You are Screwing your Customers

Note: this blog post was freaking awesome until Heather Smith Friedman made me take out all the names.

Small and even medium sized businesses are used to being sold a bill of goods by slick-talking phone book reps  who talk in circles and seemed to be trained in fact obfuscation. But what is happening more frequently is this:

REDACTED and other companies that capitalize on buzzterms, like SEO and SEM, are making promises that they can only fulfill by screwing the client. For example: we recently discovered a new client had signed up for Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) through both REDACTED and REDACTED. The biggest problem here is that his Adwords are competing against each other – driving up the price of each click he pays for. Hmmm.

PPC Marketing

Second, and most detrimentally to businesses, these companies, in their SEO/SEM efforts build a second company website – that most of their customers aren’t even aware of (who reads all that small print?). Their PPC marketing then drives clicks to this other website. For some very small clients these cheap websites (which are mostly outsourced overseas for fast production) are satisfactory, but what happens in most cases is that there is already a website in place (good, bad or ugly) and this creates duplicate content, (which Google doesn’t care for) and steals potential traffic from the customer’s primary site.

Additionally, these website factories don’t optimize well, have viable keywords, and also lack clear calls to action and conversion paths.

Third, in many cases they drive the paid clicks to a directory listing that the phonebook company hosts. How does this help the client? Their messaging isn’t consistent, their branding isn’t prominent and the customer has to click further to get to the actual website. Sure, there is a phone to call, but in general, this creates more barriers  to the potential customer.

So, in recap, don’t let the REDACTED reps sell your company any paid search, web services or anything other than a listing in the phone book (if you even need that). They are neither the experts in pay per click and search, nor do they have anyone’s best interests in mind but their own.

November 21, 2013 2
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