Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Open. Honest. Hardrocking: Credit Union Internal Rebrand Launch

ABNB Federal Credit Union is a progressive, people-friendly credit union out of Virginia that prides itself on being open, honest, and hardworking – and they needed a platform that would reflect that.



And that's where Third Degree came in. Ta-da!

ABNB whole-heartedly embraced their new look, and wanted to make sure their employees felt the love before unveiling it to the rest of the world. Smart. They launched the brand internally first, and made a day of it!

We made these cool internal culture books for each of their employees. They tell the ABNB story and introduce everyone to all the upcoming awesomeness.


"Better than a bank" was ABNB's previous tagline. But we thought we could make it... well... better.




ABNB was actually considering a possible name change as part of the rebrand. But decided to embrace telling their story versus changing out the sign on the door.

"What ABNB Stands For Today: So while Amphibious Based Naval Base has come and gone, the acronym, ABNB, is here to stay. Why? Because it has come to stand for so much more. Our employees sometimes joke it stands for Apples Bananas Nuts and Berries. But when they wear that ABNB logo, or say they work at ABNB, they know it's special. Perhaps Able, Brilliant, Nice, Brave are words more fitting of our credit union. But when it comes down to it, we have more than words to tell our story. At ABNB, our actions speak volumes."



ABNB had their corporate headquarters wrapped and lightpole-banner-ed out to surprise the employees for the internal launch event. They've since wrapped all 13 of their branches as well.


The all-staff event included ABNB VPs leading skits, sharing stories and singing songs to get everyone excited about the new brand. Rock on.


When there's fake mustaches, you know it's serious.


And each employee left with a small gift (branded,of course ) as well as a homemade mixed CD from their CEO to help express... well, his feeling, naturally.

Of course, never underestimate the power of video to bring an idea to life. The brand video was played at the internal launch, as well, and has since become the platform for a series of spots, as the brand is now in the external phase of it's launch, with television, radio, in-branch signage, merchandising, video and web. So ABNB can let the rest of the world know exactly how open, honest and hardworking they really are.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Creatived. We Forumed.

Today wraps up the last day of the Creative World Forum 2010, which was held in Oklahoma City this year, and within walking distance of Third Degree.


This map was helpful, I almost made the wrong turn at the end of our street. Whew! I could have ended up in Catalonia.


And actually, helpful, was my first impression of the conference. As I was greeted at about every three feet by a friendly, smiley, shiny, happy, young student ready to help us creativity-seekers find our way. They were everywhere. And so were these...


These amazing, weird, cool balloon sculptures by artist Jason Hackenwerth. They were part of a "Branching Out" theme woven through the conference.


You can even get inside them. That is if you don't have a phobia of a.) small confined spaces b.) insect-like appendages or possibly even c.) cow udders. I thought these things were the bee's knees. Or should I say, the bee's fuzzy appendages.

The balloon sculptures were just a hint of how well produced the opening ceremonies would be (full orchestra, theatrics galore, and some stirring Native American performances) and what fantastic speakers would start the show.


Like the Toms Shoes founder and "chief shoe giver" Brandon Myoskie. And this guy, Blake Logan, an Oklahoman born boy, who just happens to be the president of Oprah! I mean Harpo! (Same thing. No, literally, same thing, just spelled backwards.)


From Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind (Roy loves this guy, FYI), to David Pogue who helps all us dummies, to Sir Ken Robinson who is a world speaker and thinker on finding your creativity and passion and how the education system doesn't help you do either, but should. Plus, he could have spoken all day in his lovely accent, with his dashing cane, and his salt-and-pepper hair and suave glasses... oops, I digress.


Other people could digress as well. In between sessions this labyrinth was among many interesting and entertaining diversions. I think there was a Thriller flash mob even at some point. I missed that one.


The Wishing Well, water for the world project was a big presence as the conference. Over a hundred students walked barefoot carrying jugs of dirty water across downtown and right up onto the arena stage. Then a gospel choir sang We Are The World.

It sounds hokey. It seemed hokey, honestly, when it was happening.

But tell that to the business man sitting next to me who was trying not to notice as I was trying to pretend I wasn't wiping the tears off my neck (you know it's bad when they have run past your face, but then you can usually just use your collar at that point).


I decided to send Daniel in my place the second day (with my pass). I know, shady behavior.

But I thought he could use a good inspirational cry. But the robot dude just got all uber-geeky-nerdy inspired by these bad-ass "agents of the future" speakers Pranav Mistry and Andrew Zolli as they debated whether people should have moments of disconnection from the flow of technology or if they should be constantly immersed. And that's my dumbed-down version of how he excitedly described it to me. I think most of the audience probably tuned out as those two guys started their super-cerebral debate. Daniel ate it up.

In fact, he had to wipe the drool off his neck. You know it's bad when it's gotten down past your face.

I recommend using the collar.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Third Degree Monster Mash

Never ones to shy away from drama, or costumes... or a theme, we Third Degree-ers had to come up with a dress-up theme that would meet the standard we set with our Mad Men Halloween from last year. So what to do? What to do?


When in doubt. Go classic Hollywood movie monsters.


Tara, Creative Director, Bride of Frankenstein (with $8 worth of hairspray holding up one hair-do)


Daniel, Senior Art Director, The Wolfman (during transformation)


Brett, Art Director, The Invisible Man


We didn't even see him coming.


Jared, Account Coordinator, Chef from Blood Feast (did we mention part of our Halloween tradition is a potluck lunch?)


Amanda, Director of Strategic Planning, (and Strategic Vamping) as Bride of Dracula


Amy, Director of Marketing, Cleopatra and her Mummies


Misty, Operations Coordinator and Mutant Spider


Bring on the atomic mutant bugs! Caroline, Admin Assistant, as an Atomic Ant


No wire hangers!!! Account Executive Natalie as everyone's favorite silver screen mom, Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest


Priceless. CEO Roy as Vincent Price. Squinty equals sexy, right?


The scream queen Janet Leigh as portrayed by Pam, our numbers queen and Director of Operations


Who let the birds out? Who else could play Tippi Hedren...


... but our own blonde with a dramatic streak to match, Accounts Director, Kande

Oh, there's more. You can see all our Halloween pics here.

Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Bulletin Is Anything But Bored

Someone once told us they felt like they already knew the people at Third Degree just by visiting our web site. It's true, we do post a lot of pictures of ourselves. Sometimes in costumes. We tweet. We blog. We post our key-lime-throwdown and our frying-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk results on Facebook. But there's also a good old fashioned way to get a peek into our agency culture.


Our break room (we call it the diner) bulletin board.


Fight On storyboard and diner sign we made as prop for end of video.

Sometimes it reminds of our favorite projects.


Tin cans for our Inside Voice video. Liz's idea day one-sheet about handcrafted elements in design.

We like to give props to our handmade props.


Idea day show-n-share, favorite outdoor boards.

Our office coordinator Misty handmade this billboard replica for idea day. I personally think it's better than the original.


Sometimes it's a place to find inspiration.


This is like a multi-tasking creative's version of a kitten hanging from a tree poster.


This looks like a harmless calendar. That's because we finally started covering up what's on the top half (which is not covered up at all).

Sometimes it just keeps us on schedule.


Like our idea day schedule.


Which is no laughing matter. We're hungry people. Now what's your freakin' idea!?


It's a place of thanks.

Our clients are nice. And have good manners. Like, they probably don't say freakin' as much as we do.

Roy's daughter Kendall's artistic contribution. Third Degree creative director 2030.

Our kids are nice, too. And, they probably do say freakin' as much as we do. Because we're bad influences that way. But at least the creativity is rubbing off. And the boastfulness. But, hey... what are bulletin boards for?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting Famous, People

There's this exercise we do when we're digging deeper into an organization's brand. It sounds a little hokey at first, but it actually sparks a ton of conversation and really does give us (and them) a different way to view their organizational "personality" as a whole.


We ask them to answer this question: "if you're organization were a famous person, which famous person would they be?"

Hey, it's not like we're asking what kind of tree they would be.

This particular group represented above, had a very rugged, of-the-people, vibe. And they like hats (even though Reba wasn't wearing hers here).

This was actually a voting ballot we created after we got everyone's answers.

John Wayne won. Of course. Who can beat out the "King?" Wait, no, the "Duke?" Wait, no... that's right. I just Googled it.


Sometimes we'll go a step further and then compare how the organizational persona stands up to their customer's persona. So from Bill Gates on one end to Average Joe on the other, it can be a telling exercise.


How we work out the customer persona is a lot less about celebrities and more about focusing in on all the things that make up that real person: life stage, age, gender. Sometimes when we get a really enthusiastic group, we'll even talk about where they vacation and if they own a boat. It happened. See "Bill's" boat up there?

This is all done through group collaborative discussion (sometimes shouting, the good kind) and a whole lot of gettin' crazy with the markers.

Of course we always like to do these exercises on ourselves as well.

So when we asked Third Degree-ers what famous person our agency would be, we got some really interesting answers. Here are just a few:


Tina Fey actually got two entries.

"She is smart, quirky, hard-working and coming into her own."

"She is witty, edgy and respected. The first woman head writer for Saturday Night Live.
And like our CEO, Roy, she tests the boudaries of appropriateness :)"


Jean Chatzky, Money Magazine editor and Today Show guest contributor.

"She works to break down complex messaging into practical, useful and compelling information relevant to the target audience."

Wow. Very practical answer. One guess which Third Degree-er that came from.


Robert Downey Jr.

"We've been around the block, know what's up and are still a bit of an underdog...."


"... plus Iron Man's pretty much branded with our colors."

One guess what department the person who made that comment came from.


The Brat Pack

And speaking of the edge of inappropriateness. Guess who chose the entire Brat Pack as our Third Degree persona? Roy. A true eighties boy. And his words:

"They were hip for their time, slightly irreverent, but made one hell of a splash together. They had the look and the attitude to back up their popularity. Individually they all had their own accomplishments, some more than others. But almost everything they did as a team was a success. So that's us... just a pack of brats."

Well said.