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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lemons At The Boathouse

Yesterday we held Pioneer's annual planning meeting at the Chesapeake Boathouse.


It's actually a really great space to have meetings.


The OU rowing team was practicing right outside...

PioneerBrand the Third Degree and Pioneer teams got the meeting started on the inside. Presenting new creative platforms for 2010 was one of the big orders of business.


But first we took a moment to gawk at the rowers in awe and respect (which lasted for about five minutes, and then everyone started asking where the heck the coffee was).


We had a lemon theme for the day based on the basic marketing principals of a lemonade stand.


Jentry definitely had the right outfit for it. Always critical.


After tackling more serious stuff for the majority of the day, we spent the latter part doing... crafts.


Actually, the assignment was to make your own lemonade stand poster that reflected your accomplishments from the year, similar to Third Degree's heart project.


Roy, as always, found something inappropriate and hilarious to say. In this instance, having to do with putting that lemon somewhere. Hmmm.


But of course, his poster reflected his own ability to not take himself too seriously.


So, we'll hold off on sending him up the river (at least for this year).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sick Day!

Actually, it was Don't Get Sick Day! Our across the street neighbor and client, ACOG, is always having some sort of small event to promote general health and well being (like a fitness demonstration a couple days ago.. man I wish I had brought my legwarmers that day!)


Still Shots

But today they had a clinic come in and give flu shots to their staff and neighboring companies. They invited anyone at Third Degree who wanted to trek across the rainy street, shell out a bit of cash, and get stuck with a needle to come and get ready for sick season.


Hallie Hysteria

Some people were naysayers. But Daniel was pro flu shot, quoting that if 85% of people got vaccinated then it would ultimately prevent the rest of the population from getting sick, too (he always has some sort of sociological statistic like that rattling in his head).


Mob Mentality

People quickly divided into camps.

(Except for Lynn who said he was getting his flu shot "later." Uh huh.)


But Daniel stuck to his guns, and... got stuck in his guns. Get it! Get it? (Or does that sound lewd and I don't know it. That happens to me a lot.)


Roy, our fearless leader put on a brave face.


We quickly learned there is no shame in getting half undressed in front of your coworkers. Our clients especially love it when we whip out the camera to include them in the fun (specifically when they are in their undershirts, and don't give me consent to post their photos online.)


Amanda realized that her top would require some more serious removal, so she discreetly retired behind a screen as to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions.


We harassed her anyway.

Did I mention that Third Degree has no in house HR person. There's a reason for that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Flight Delays and Free Drink Coupons

So on my recent NYC trip I saw this photocopied flyer posted in the entryway of a greasy spoon breakfast place we were eating at:


It caught my attention because I recognized it as an ad for a new quirky HBO show. And I love the lead actor, Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, Darjeeling Limited, etc...)


I immediately tore off one of the little slips and dialed the number. What I heard on the other end was a voice mail from Jason (I call him Jason), as this fictitious private investigator who spiraled into this really long winded apology to his fictitious ex-girlfriend and how he wasn't drinking as much any more, etc, etc.

I thought, what a clever low tech marketing tactic. I decided on my next business trip (which was only a few days after this one), that I would document some cool advertising on my travels.

Knowing that I would mostly be in airports on this trip I would focus my search for really engaging in-airport advertising.


But then I got distracted by our gate agent's skinny jeans.

Have you ever seen such a casual chic airline employee? P.J. (that's her name, P.J., but I think of her as Uma), had to help us find a new flight out of OKC, because we were seriously delayed.


So we made lemonade out of lemons, and made friends.


I told Roy he was looking sassy, too. It's his new jeans.


Notice the contrast stitching?


I, on the other hand, despite the efforts with the scarf, was not looking so hot. Alarm clock malfunction at 5:30am equals a mad dash to the airport minus shower, makeup and my dignity.


But, thanks to Uma (I mean P.J.), we were rescheduled on a later flight, sent home, and I arrived at the airport later that afternoon somewhat sassy-fied.


But Roy had already made a new friend, another super perky, super friendly ticketing agent who, thanks to his charms, got us.... wait for it...

BloodyMary drink coupons for the plane.


I had long since forgotten to be photographing any groundbreaking advertising, so I decided to draw my Bloody Mary.

Inspired by


Because Roy, per usual, was occupied reading his latest marketing guru book (with a highlighter in hand, of course). But forget that nerdy, compulsive behavior... and check out his stylish new reading glasses.


We landed in the Detroit airport, which I now call "The Airport of Tomorrow" because you have to go through this tunnel that is filled with all this moody, magical music and lights as you are transported down a conveyor belt.


It is especially nice after drinking Bloody Marys.


We both agree, the Detroit airport is really cool.

So I guess I realized the neatest brand interaction I had in transit was, A.) with the actual Delta airlines staff, and B.) an airport that has invested in creating an unexpected experience for weary travelers, plus...


...a rental car company (will go unnamed) that gave away our car because we arrived so late. So we just made the most out of what was left over:

Our awesome minivan.

We loaded up, turned up the radio and our adventure continued by road. (And I still have Roy singing Whitney Houston stuck in my head.)