Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting The Hook Up

How do you find thousands of teens to interact with your brand, when you're a local provider of a product that is spread over countless rural towns?


Free photo booth + 10,000 FFA kids.


Yes, it's that time of year again, where if you want to grab a quick sandwich downtown, you better be ready to stand in line for at least an hour. It's the Future Farmers of America convention (the cool kids just say FFA), where those blue-jacketed, black-panted (or skirted) guys and gals descend upon the city from every Oklahoma town you can imagine. Just reading their jackets is like a lesson in Oklahoma geography...


But for Pioneer Cellular, they're a walking, talking, texting microcosm of their geo-targeted teen market.

Okay, I could get in trouble for the texting comment. Apparently those FFA kids are a disciplined bunch, strict dress code, strict behavior code. I think they may not be allowed to chew gum in their uniform, so texting's probably a no-no too.


The national cellular players are courting the young'uns like crazy, so Hook Me Up Pioneer is the teen focused "spin-off" brand we created, to get more young people to engage with the hometown provider.


Not even the frozen pickle pop booth drew such a gaggle of teens as the Hook Me Up photo booth. (Yes, frozen pickle juice in a tube is a real thing and the FFA kids go bananas... or should I say, pickles... for it.)


Black shoes, black hose, knee length skirt: FFA required. Cute pose: Third Degree recommended.


The props made it all the more fun. And the kids walked out with an instant touch point with the Hook Me Up brand...


... a full color photo strip that they could share for instant gratification, with a call-to-action to go online to download and share their pics digitally.


Of course I had to try it out.


Ah, to be young.


Kim and Donna, from Pioneer marketing, herded those teens like pros (including capturing their emails, reminding them to visit the Hook Me Up web site, and entering them to win Tim McGraw tickets).

Then they took a time out to test it out themselves. And when Kim and Donna are happy... we're happy. Pickle pops for everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Credit Union Takes A Branding "U" Turn

I just have to share this recent branding we did for a bright and plucky credit union in Rome, Georgia. Northwest Georgia Credit Union is a little bit down-home and a little bit bold.


So our discovery workshop a few months back revealed that Northwest just really wanted their outsides to match their insides. Not a bad problem to have. They had some spirited ideas for sure, like the themeline: Un-banking. Unbelievable. But our tour of their offices revealed a softer, warmer, more cozy vibe (flowers, wooden framed artwork, family feel) than their new corporate looking logo and brassy tagline led us to believe.

So we meshed the two together, and voila came up with "a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll" solution. Not really a u-turn at all, more like a bit of crafty mixology.



But of course we just had to have fun with the "u" words... I mean, how could we resist, right? We also gave them a visual platform based on these fun red objects and words that they could take and build on in the future...


... like updating their web site themselves (but still consistent, no?), basically giving them some building blocks to create everything from touchy-feely branding to zing-packed promotions.

Although I think the brand TV spot we created for them was pretty zingy and brandy (yes, that's the new hot advertising term for it.. brandy). The puppet-show-inspired animated approach ended up just right: un-corporate, un-stuffy, and a little bit unexpected.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sound Booth Science

So I'm trying a new experiment with our Third Degree on-hold phone message. First, I pick one of our core values, in this case, friendly.


Second, I spring it on three of our friendliest Third Degree-ers (in this case Liz, Jentry and Roy) that I need them in the recording studio, like, tomorrow please. Because everyone just LOVES the sound of their own voice, right?


Then once they get in the sound booth they realize the script I gave them has a bunch of blanks. As in, they have to fill in the blanks themselves on the spot.


Then to top that off I start taking their picture, per usual. As if they weren't uncomfortable or sweaty enough in that little padded room...


... a sweaty padded room that they couldn't get out of fast enough. Then I ask our sound producer, Randy at RK-1, to help me put together something that is actually cohesive from the chaos that ensued in above-mentioned padded booth.


And that, folks, is his stunned silence.

Well perhaps the experiment was just a little too behind-the-scenes, but it sure just got some attention after being on our phone system for just two hours. So, alas, we've pulled it and switched to music... that is until I concoct another scheme (insert evil laugh here).

But if you want to hear it you can go to the HOLD ON strip on our website to take a listen (be sure to pause that pesky video first or you won't be able to hear it.)