Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Playing With Blocks

How do you get to play with blocks as part of your grownup job?


You work in advertising. That, and you have a client like Cox Communications who lets you use blocks to illustrate how their local stores are better than what their competitor – sounds like A-Gee & Gee – is offering.


The featured medium of this campaign is television, so we gathered together the contents from the bottom of my kids' closet, and shot stills of a little neighborhood scene that we then had animated to create the final commercials.


We also created digital outdoor boards using the same imagery.

Beep, beep!

Kathleen was the lead creative on this campaign, which is running here in Oklahoma starting this week. Since Cox is the local cable provider (in addition to providing telephone and high speed internet service) they get lots and lots of play on the tube, (i.e. television... I don't think TVs actually have "tubes" inside them anymore?)

I actually wanted to name this post Playing With (Sounds Like Begos), but we're trying to avoid getting in legal grey area. If you'll notice on the final animated commercials, all the distinctive circular pegs are Photoshopped off the tops of the "blocks" to give them a more generic appearance.


But, lets just say, I am nuts about Begos! I love to build fancy Bego houses and stuff from scratch (this is the front of a bodega style market I brought from home), but then it makes my five year old feel bad: "mom, why isn't my Bego house good like yours?" So I may have to start playing with Begos in private (or in this case, at work) so he doesn't get a complex. It may be too late – especially if I keep calling them Begos.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Facetime With Bucky is back with a new contest. TFCU is asking young people to submit their own photo of Bucky over the summer, and the best one chosen gets to be Bucky's facebook profile pic, and the winning entrant gets a free digital camera.


We've worked so much on buck the norm around here, and had gotten so used to calling the "spokesthumb" of the campaign, Bucky, that we thought it might be a good idea to formally introduce him to the buck the norm audience as well. So we decided to do a video about him.

First step, get his face right. We'd gotten a little rusty drawing the perfect Bucky face, so we had to practice... a lot.


Fortunately we had a lot of volunteers around the agency (if you consider forcing people to let us draw faces on their thumbs with permanent marker volunteering).


Finally, it was perfect. Good match, don't you think? This is actually my thumb, which plays Bucky Number One in the video.


Daniel has more experience starring in buck the norm videos.

His thumb is Bucky Number Two.

(That sounds kind of gross...if you're five years old I suppose... but I have one of those, too... so I went there.)


We decided that my desk area had the most natural light, so we set up our little makeshift studio there: easels, foam core, poster board, and dangerously hot desk lamps and shop lights rigged up at precarious angles.

We were too lazy to move my desk. Or clean it.


Brett was our official stage hand-slash-camera man. He's about to go union.


We actually had a guest star Bucky. Here I am holding her hand up so it shows up in the frame.


And here I am going all stage mom on her. Her real mom, Kriste, our media buyer, is in the background. She's about to come throw me down. I'm pretty sure she could take me.

But at the end of the day it was worth it.

Presenting our handmade video.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Who Says Print Is Dead?

I walk into our agency "diner" the other day and there's Jentry our media buyer finding a creative use for newspaper.


She was decoupaging newspaper onto our exposed warehouse pipes (with, I should add, "The Office" Season 1 DVD blaring in the background.)


Papering the pipes was a design element she concepted as part of our diner remodel that we did ourselves. But she hadn't had a chance to complete it yet.


As a media buyer, it's Jentry's job to really be strategic about the mediums we take advantage of. Hmmm... is this a commentary on the state of newspaper as a media avenue?


Nope. It's just a creative way to make the most of what we've got.


Michael Scott approves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Get Going With Your Scootery Self

My coworkers love it when I shoot pictures of them really closeup on the way places, like in airplanes, or cars. When I say love it, I mean hate it, because it freaks them out a little, and they sort of retract their heads away from the camera that's suddenly right in their face, which gives them a frozen smiled "why-are-you-doing-this-to-me?" expression.


But that doesn't mean I've quit doing it. Account coordinator, Hallie, is looking slightly frozen but very summery as she drives us to an equally summery promotional event, the Get Going radio remote and registration at TFCU (that's what the flyer's about that I'm sticking in her face, as well as my camera).


It's a sunny blue-sky day and one of the outdoor boards promoting the event is located right by the branch we're going to, so it's a good photo opportunity. Although the drivers who have to slow down because I'm standing in the middle of the street to take the perfect shot are perhaps a little annoyed.


But I had to get a good angle, because I'm really thrilled with how the scooter rear-view mirror extensions turned out. The outdoor company used real metal bars which look great when the sun hits them as you drive by.


The scooter is the big draw of this promotion. This is the second summer Tinker Federal Credit Union has done the Get Going promotion where they give away a pair of Buddy Scooters plus a $100 gas card. It's wrapped around an auto loan push including boat loans, RV loans, motorcycle loans... you know, all the ways you get going.


There were lots of people signing up, and the radio station that was hosting the remote had pizza, music, and other extra activities going on. Most of the TFCU branches are able to display a real scooter provided by Atomic Brown Scooter Shop.

They had a sign taped on the scooter that said "please don't sit on the scooter." Yeah, we were really great example-setters on that one.


The Get Going promotion was pretty successful for TFCU last year, so this year we tried some additional mediums. Like the outdoor with extensions, in-branch standees, and these cool floor clings placed in the entry ways and near teller areas.


They also used Get Going themed "It's On Us Cards," which TFCU often uses to reach non-members in close proximity to the branches at coffee shops or Sonic drive-thrus, surprising customers by having prepaid for their drinks.


Plus, they commissioned some whimsical window paintings for their front doors. These remind me of the ones Allegiance Credit Union did a few months ago that were surprisingly easy, inexpensive, and effective. For a fun or humorous promotion, it fits right in and especially lets current members know there's something new going on.