Measurable results begin with strategy.
Unlike a design or production company, we join the project as soon as a group is ready to define what they want to say and to whom. We help define ways of measuring success. Then we produce the story, often through a branding exercise, followed by design, filming, and editing, then we help clients assess the work and move forward.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
PSCAA faced a momentous challenge on a tight timeline. A large portion of Pierce County was just months away from breaking the federal deadline for reducing air pollution. At stake were millions of dollars in federal money. The chief offender in this region was old wood stoves. But stoves have a romantic appeal to their owners and this largely rural audience would likely not respond well to an authoritarian message. So we developed a series of :30 and :60 comedies, a send-up of the emotional relationship people have to their stoves. Each centers on the break-up of a young woman and her animated old wood stove. Check it out on our website. Targeted cable and social media were used together to win an historic victory: twice as many stoves were removed during the campaign period as any other period before, and the federal deadline was met.
We’re part of an ongoing campaign by pioneering chapter 1199. In fact, our relationship dates back to the rebranding of the union at the national level in the 90s, when Kurt designed the logo, now in use for more than 20 years. David Rolf, head of the chapter, and Doug Crooks, communications lead, expect results. The numbers have to show success. We’ve helped them reach and exceed expectations with films that made social media records in the re-election of Jay Inslee, recruitment films that have helped accelerate growth, and convention presentations that have added to the cohesiveness of a diverse leadership. Check out “Raise,” “15Now,” and “4J” (FOR JAY) on our site. Our creative strategy is to focus on the people and their clients. Limit talking heads. Encourage familiarity and connection. Speak in blunt, personal terms about big ideas. About values that bring us together or threats that bring us together. Because we are stronger, together. (the slogan that remains from our rebranding work in the 90s.)
What comes to mind when you hear the words, “facilities management”? Do you think innovators? Climate pioneers? Heroes? MacMiller is all of these things on a massive scale. The guys who work on new buildings and retrofit old ones so that they save up to 80% on their energy bills. We help tell the “secret” news about MacMiller ‘s accomplishments, including an innovative dashboard of nearly 30 films that walk clients through every product and service. They are provocative and trustworthy. This also lets us talk about their values and work products in down-to-earth, non-bs ways. The pay off for their time and energy is considerable. Every quarter, we hear back that our films helped seal the deal on multi-million-dollar new business. Check out “Miles and Miles”, “MacMiller Style”, “Why MacMiller” and “Deeper Shade of Green”.
When President Clinton launched AmeriCorps in 1994, his vision was ambitious: to create a domestic Peace Corps. One of the most challenging parts of that vision was to connect deeply with Generation X, young Americans who were more cynical than those of earlier eras. As creative director on the project, Kurt sought a creative approach that would inspire. “AmeriCorps: Your World. Your Chance to Make it Better” was the winning message, respecting the fact that Xers did not believe they could change the whole world, but perhaps their day-to-day community. This message became the hub of AmeriCorps’ first-ever national branding, including print, online, outdoor, collateral and TV advertising. Kurt directed creative for all Corporation for National Service (CNS) efforts, including VISTA, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and AmeriCorps NCCC. Nearly 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours to the nation.
Integrated campaigns often begin with branding. For those who have been subject to months-long, expensive branding ordeals, take heart: our branding work can require as little as one half-day retreat, followed up by two sessions to understand and apply what is discovered We cover the identity of the organization from mission and scope to attributes, “elevator speeches” and creation of a style guide for use of your logo and other brand materials. We do most of the homework, including writing, design and analysis. On several occasions, groups have changed what they do and how they do it after learning more about themselves during branding.