Friday, December 18, 2009

Hats & High Tea

Over the holidays Third Degree and some of our clients descended upon the decadent and historic downtown OKC Skirvin Hilton Hotel for their Holiday High Tea, which is like right around the block from our agency (okay like four or five blocks, whatever).


We've been promoting their holiday happenings like Breakfast With Santa and the High Tea with direct mail and radio liners on Magic 104, which has a huge ratings boost in December because it plays all Christmas music all the time. I think they especially play Michael Bolton renditions of Christmas songs because I hear those a lot. Not judging. Just saying.


How Many Hats Can You Fit in an Elevator?

So, the neatest part of the tea? Serious. Giant. Fabulous. Hats.


Can't fit all the hats in the elevator? Take the gorgeous marble staircase.


Our clients were good sports considering we totally sprung this hat thing on them once they got there.


Brett, one of our few guy guests, was a good sport, as always. He even spoke in a British accent for us. We commenced with an impromptu tea game: name your favorite British person and/or fictional character (leave it to me to make people wear hats and play a game). Answers included Mary Poppins, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and, of course, Jude Law.


Mickie's tea was a little stronger than the rest of ours. She may have snuck in a flask, but will deny it if you ask her. She will probably also stop talking to me after seeing I post this pic.


Overall our tea etiquette was a little rusty. We kept spilling stuff. And we sort of devoured all the cute little scones and finger sandwiches. But you can't tell from these very proper pictures.


Very proper, right?


Pinkies up ladies!


This is before Mickie started "drinking."


This was either right before or right after I knocked over a vase of flowers in the lobby. Yep. Did I mention the Skirvin Hotel is a client of ours. You just can't take us anywhere.


Will we do high tea next year? Most definitely. But we'll have to up the stakes. I'm thinking white gloves required next time.

Haven't had your fill of high tea pictures? Of course not! See more here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vegging Out This Christmas

'Tis the season...


... to get stuffed.

This year we took our general agency love of food, combined with my love of fake food (and my personal collection of hand sewn stuffed vegetables I picked up at a yard sale years ago) and constructed a handcrafted Third Degree holiday card for 2009.

For a retrospective of past Third Degree holiday cards (some more controversy-sparking than others) click here.


We were going to arrange real Christmas lights around the fabric beets and tomatoes and carrots, but were struck by inspiration to hand make those, too, out of yarn and tissue paper. Kathleen photo directed the eggplant. They can be such divas.


Next on the merry-making agenda? Packaging up our homemade salsa for everyone. Unlike our crafty little Christmas lights, we did not technically make the salsa with our own hands. We have a salsa lady for that. What? Don't you have a salsa lady? We highly recommend it.


But we did make like little elves all assembly line style during our Monday agency lunch to get our salsa all packaged, labeled and topped with bows.


For extra inspiration we made sure to have a classic Christmas movie playing in the background.

Christmas Vacation? No.
Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer? Nope.
Charlie Brown Chrismas? Uh. uh.

Love Actually. Actually.


Because choosing to address all our Christmas posts by hand (no laser printed labels for us, no way!) takes a little Hugh Grant, a lot of holiday cheer, and probably not as much vegging out as the title of this post might suggest.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fire In The Breakroom

We have a lot of stuff tacked on the bulletin boards in our agency diner. So it might take a double-take to notice our latest pinup.


The 2010 Oklahoma City Firefighters calendar.


Simon Hurst who did the photography asked us at Third Degree to help design the actual calendar. The proceeds go for a good cause, Shout OKC, which helps young women cancer survivors.


When the calendar was still in production (i.e., deciding who would be December, is March's pants perhaps inappropriately low, etc.), the calendar made a News9 story because of it's mission to support cancer survivors.


Of the fifteen or so women working at Third Degree, I thought it was ironic that we relied on our all-guy art director Brett to do the calendar layout justice (with the help of our intern at the time, Jason, who had no idea what he was getting into). And although the photo featured above is a closeup of one of the clever fire-related quotes, probably 80% of the time Brett was working on this project his computer screen was zoomed in on sweaty abs, bulging tattoos, and squinty-staring-into-the-sunset hazel eyes of heroes with names like Bart, Jesse and Gabe.


But this parting shot, is for Joey. So if you're grabbing a cup of coffee at your next agency visit, or heating up one of the forty-two Lean Cuisines we have in the freezer over lunch, you can take a moment and learn that Joey is six feet tall, loves helping people in their greatest time of need, and enjoys extreme sports.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Going To The Mall

Maybe you grew up like me thinking the mall was a mecca for all things wonderful - everything you could ever want with an Orange Julius on top. Or maybe you aren't as keen on this particular shopping concept avoiding all things "mall" (mall stores, mall food, mall walkers, mall rats.)

But the reality is, especially with the holiday season upon us, that you are going to find yourself in the mall sooner - rather than later.


We recently got some seriously oversized, and seriously impactful, Planned Parenthood messaging in the Crossroads mall.


Jentry and Holly, who are always on the lookout for interesting media opportunities, scouted out some unoccupied storefronts in high foot traffic areas and negotiated some great placement for this not-for-profit client. Then we got busy putting together some larger than life designs, and our installers got cracking.


One location, which we thought was truly inspired, was across from what I like to call "the kid pit." You know the area where the moms and dads take a break with about fifty screaming corralled kids who are bouncing off big foam owls or lily pads or whatever.


Well directly in the line of vision of any young mom who might be zoning out in "the pit", is the "our family is just the right size" storefront banner. We thought it was appropriate. Right?


Our second location is a series of several panes along a major corridor with images of young, prepared and incredibly large-headed people with a positive message to share. You can't help but look at them. And, if you look closer, you can get a list of services that Planned Parenthood provides.


We think it's definitely space well used.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scary Good: Buck The Norm Parade Part II


Well, after Kathleen and I tag-teamed applying makeup to 24 zombies in our agency parking lot (a mix of Third Degree and TFCU staff volunteers)...


...(yes, Will, you have to put on that green lipstick)...


... our corporate zombies for the Buck The Norm float entry in the Ghouls Gone Wild Parade turned out fantastic.


We even had enough time (just barely) to do our own makeup.


Everyone really got into character while waiting for the parade to start. (Growing even more popular this year, with 80 float entries and close to 50,000 attendees!).


So much into character that we had to divert them from eating their props...


...eating other parade participants...


...and even stopping them from eating the mimes (we were on the fence about letting Thurman go through with that one).


Kathleen represented for the indebted and undead by giving an interview.


We quickly brushed up on our zombie choreography.


And then we were off.


It wasn't all ugly, though. We had our brightly colored, multilayered, spirited and sassy Buck The Norm revelers as well.


Their task was to march in the wake of the zombie troop, waving huge speech bubble Buck The Norm signs, shouting out "Buck It!" and passing out glow sticks and candy to the crowd...


... and to just generally look fabulous.


We were all completely hypnotized by our media buyer, Jentry's, fake eyelashes. We told her she should wear them to work every day because everyone was crushing on her.


Especially these guys.

Thanks everybody for all the hard work! Can't wait 'til next year. Buck the norm!

Want to see more pictures from the parade? You can see more here of our Buck The Norm pics and here of the Ghouls Gone Wild parade in action (including us) on Flickr!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Creating Corporate Zombies: Buck The Norm Parade Part I

We're devilishly busy producing the second-year evolution of the Buck The Norm float for the Ghouls Gone Wild downtown parade this weekend. This year the float will be led by an undead horde of corporate zombies, who will represent "the norm."


So what does it take to create a ghoulish vision of the indebted and undead?

(My husband designed this year's Ghouls Gone Wild poster, tacked here in our Third Degree diner breakroom. He's lead art director at the Oklahoma Gazette who puts on the event.)


First: the perfect zombie hand. Lynn was quickly yanked out from behind his accounting desk, stuck under some dangerously exposed desk lamp bulbs, and forced to contort his hand into the perfect menacing claw.


We snapped the perfect shot.


And Lynn was a good sport.


And look at his hand (post Photoshop treatment, of course). It looks fake it looks so good!

These lightbox signs will be up on poles above the crowd, leading our zombies. This is Eaton Quade's warehouse, where get-it-done-Doug oversees all our float and large prop production.


Next step: creating costumes for our walking corpses.


These can't be just any old rag-tag, decomposing ghouls. These zombies are "the man." So matching corporate suits and ties for all, stuffed with money and complete with over sized coffee cups (also stuffed with bills.) Fake blood, green ooze, and all manners of clippings are now littering the back room of our agency. Yep, looks pretty much like any other day back there.


Last: the choreography. Teaching zombie steps like 1.) The Shuffle 2.) The Random Claw. How ironic that Kathleen is teaching TFCU volunteers how to walk like corporate zombies in their own boardroom. But, since it's a credit union boardroom, it's not quite so ironic.


Okay, that's not really the last step. There's so much more to do and share.

So wish us "buck!"

More to come after the parade. See last year's winning parade entry, here and here, awarded Beast In Show.