Overall brand identity work, including logo, stationary, business cards, menus, gilded gold window treatment and signage, in addition to a tasty website for Bay Area restaurateur Nick Peyton (who steered two top tier San Francisco institutions: Restaurant Gary Danko and The Ritz-Carlton) and celebrity chef Douglas Keane's unique "home-style" restaurant in the wine county town of St. Helena.
Market's focus was on American classics – comfort food of the highest order, made with the freshest of local ingredients. Dishes include a hearty meatloaf, finger-lickin' fried chicken, flat-iron steaks, huge pork chops, a fine chopped salad and even a perfectly-created grilled cheese sandwich. Desserts are to die for, especially the s'mores, self-cooked at your table over a tiny open flame, as well as the restaurant's robust wine list.
The identity needed to reflect the new restaurant's high quality, yet understated cuisine, relaxed atmosphere, moderate prices, predominately local and affluent clientele, and wine country location. The result was an identity system that effectively did just that.
Market has received rave reviews, was featured in Esquire’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America, and Chef Keane named among the Best New Chefs of 2006 by Food & Wine, Chef of the Year by Esquire Magazine, and the title of Season 5 Top Chef Masters. After selling Market, Nick and Doug focused on their critically acclaimed, award-winning luxury restaurant Cyrus in Sonoma County.
Global Gourmet Catering creates incomparable experiences through highly customized food, beverage and event services, using sustainable practices and a customer service driven team to exceed all expectations for their clientele.
Because their websites were getting a bit stale, a new website was needed to freshen things up again, and also merge Global Gourmet Catering's separate corporate and wedding sites and company blog into one integrated website that can work across all platforms.
The objective was to redesign the site to feature a cleaner, more current/modern design, reinforce the company's position as an innovator and industry thought leader in a highly competitive, and much heralded Bay Area large scale catering marketplace, feature their high caliber, restaurant quality food through stunning new photography, provide state-of-the-art venue searching and online booking capabilities, and build an all new, fully custom Content Management System. All part of a refreshed brand strategy and digital presence that included a new logo design, and communicated through advertising, collateral, direct marketing and social media campaigns.
The stunning new, content rich, fully responsive design website delivered on the brand promise, in part, by showcasing food as an experience, while also offering a more streamlined user experience, improved SEO and a unified, holistic brand experience. The site’s information architecture includes paths for both corporate and weddings users, but grants access to shared content through thoughtful organization and clear navigation.
The California Culinary Academy, part of Career Education Corporation and the Le Cordon Bleu family of culinary schools, needed a new sales piece geared towards a young demographic of graduating high school seniors and community college attendees in the process of deciding their career path. The piece needed to serve as both an academic catalog as well as a promotional brochure covering the academy's Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry and Hospitality & Restaurant Management programs.
Used as part of a fulfillment kit for student prospects responding to our extensive new advertising and direct marketing campaign, the catalog needed to be informational as well as aspirational in nature. This design job called for a high-end brochure with elegant new photography, a sophisticated, yet modern look, success stories from past graduates and an overall sense of quality and opportunity. It needed to make a huge impression.
Special inks, choice paper stock, and a spot satin aqueous varnish as part of its high quality finishing all played an appropriate role in producing a quality piece that conveyed the impression the academy was looking for, and proved to be instrumental in securing prospects' enrollment in the academy.
The lead generation campaign utilized direct mail, print and online advertising, television commercials and an educational video to promote the California Culinary Academy (Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco) and to recruit future culinary stars. Those who responded received the scrumptious new catalog.
The school’s website also went through a major overhaul with regard to overall design, user interface and functionality.
I am a great believer in the power of advertising. Good advertising, that is. Innovative campaigns that stand out, get people to take notice and open their minds to new ideas or solutions. And most importantly, advertising that effectively builds a brand, sells products or raises awareness for a worthwhile cause.
Here are some good examples – print and online advertising campaigns promoting Kensington's family of ergonomic mice and trackballs, and their market-leading MicroSaver Security Cable for both consumers and businesses.
The last two ads shown here are part of a B2B campaign developed for the MicroSaver to reinforce Kensington's leadership position while generating leads for their sales force.
Research discovered that the highest demand for this product was at the corporate level where the majority of laptops are stolen each year – right from the office! So IT managers/directors were targeted in large organizations who are responsible for replacing these products – along with all the information lost as a result – and taking care of any possible security breaches that may occur due to acquired passwords from stolen notebooks. This becomes even more important with the threat of identity theft constantly on the rise and the need to keep customer information safe and secure.
Since it's much easier to take steps to prevent a computer from being stolen in the first place, the ad campaign focused on demonstrating that this $49.99 cable & lock device was a viable, inexpensive, first-line-of-defense against theft and possible security breaches. (If your notebook's unlocked, your network is too.) And in the process, it reminded the target that the little slot located on the side of almost every laptop sold today was designed by Kensington, specifically to fit this security cable.
To help generate leads, a monthly drawing promotion was added where prospects could win a free MicroSaver Security Cable. Respondents entered though an online landing page/form and were also given the opportunity to opt-in to receive periodic updates.
After the first four and a half months of the campaign, Kensington reported an overwhelming response, receiving over 20,000 hits from print ads across ten publications. Over 3,000 people registered to win free MicroSavers or asked for more information about the product. As a result, this campaign successfully achieved its goals of creating product awareness and generating qualified sales leads, and ranked as one of Kensington’s most effective advertising campaigns to date.
Print advertising, technology white papers and product data sheets were created to promote NEC’s line of tough notebooks and innovative blade servers among discerning corporate IT customers.
NEC notebooks went through rigorous testing to ensure their durability, which included subjecting them to extreme temperatures, a series of thorough beatings, and, yes, dumping coffee and other liquids onto them. Who hasn't done that at one point or another, and what better way to communicate these notebooks' quality and toughness?
An integrated print and outdoor campaign for the San Francisco Maritime National Park. The ad campaign, along with a durotrans for the San Francisco Visitors and Convention Bureau, and a set of rack-cards distributed at tourist destinations, was designed to help raise awareness of the Park's various highly immersive attractions, including the Maritime Museum, tall ships and a WWII submarine, and to increase visitation among both tourists and locals.
And because I'm only a little bit of a narcissist, it was particularly gratifying to hang out at the waterfront and see people actually turning around after viewing the large banner hanging off the Pier 39 parking garage (which took some doing) and start walking toward where the USS Pampanito sub was docked to go check out the "danger."
Launch materials for Hewlett-Packard's family of PostScript printers for the Macintosh market – a completely new market for them at the time – included a consumer brochure, sales support materials and in-store poster. Other work includes pan-European print advertising, direct mail and channel materials for HP toner cartridges, supplies and accessories products.
The National Kidney Foundation of Northern California website needed a complete overhaul. A new site was created that presented a more personal and professional image, made it easier to navigate through and provided a seamless way to make donations and process transactions online.
A new logo/brand Identity system for an Independent Publisher of Big Ideas located in Berkeley, California, committed to publishing the absolute best work available for nonfiction books about real estate, business, lifestyle, history and sports.
Platypus Wine Tours is a tour and transportation company specializing in unforgettable Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wine tours, offering a lighthearted and fun approach to wine tasting and learning about wine. If you're looking for an anti-wine snob wine tour, this is the one.
They needed a new website featuring a clean, modern design along with a much improved SEO/SEM strategy to go with it, to more effectively present their available tours, guide customers quickly and easily through the reservation process, elevate their brand and acquire new customers.
The new website, along with a targeted online advertising campaign on TripAdvisor and other travel websites, rack cards placed at hotels and other tourist locations, integrated blog, and promotional video resulted in above average response rates, increased tour reservations, a significant and consistent growth in their business, and allowed Platypus to expand into new markets.
Mendocino County needed to establish a brand to differentiate itself among DINKs and WOOPs from other popular California destinations, and increase visitation (heads in beds) during the spring and fall.
An integrated marketing campaign consisting of new branding/positioning, print advertisements running in Via, National Geographic Traveller, Sunset, and CondeNast Traveller, online banner ads, direct mail, HTML email blasts, advertorials, airport kiosks, Search Engine Marketing, rack cards, a 24 page brochure and a microsite promoted breathtaking ocean views, hiking and biking trails, unpretentious wineries, whale watching and many other reasons to visit this largely undiscovered, unspoiled gem.
The online banners alone generated 2,186,640 impressions and 28,074 visits to the microsite, and maintained a solid .13% CTR, (well above industry standard for non-enhanced rich media). The print campaign generated 8,828,000 impressions and over 500 visits to the microsite and 6088 response cards received (an outstanding response).
Extensity offered a suite of Internet-based, enterprise wide software applications that enabled employees to automate mundane tasks, plan business travel, file expense reports, request and approve purchases, and capture time for project and payroll management – essentially freeing them up to do the actual jobs they were hired for in the first place.
Extensity was about to go public, so they needed an ad campaign to help raise awareness, evolve the brand, establish positioning and lay the groundwork for the IPO.
Research led to the creation of the Work Wonders tagline, which summed everything up perfectly, and was included in the rather unconventional brand and product advertising that ran in BusinessWeek, Fortune, CFO and The Wall Street Journal, a complete collateral package of data sheets, partner profiles, case studies and presentation folder, email marketing, and a new award-winning website.
Extensity ended up having a very successful IPO and was eventually acquired by Toronto-based Geac Computer Corp., for $46.2 million.
PS’Soft needed to raise awareness and establish a unique, viable and sustainable long-term brand position among a tough C-level audience, demonstrating that this company with a European heritage is serious, contemporary and reputable in the US market as well.
Their old identity looked outdated and didn't reflect the company's true brand image or personality. A new visual identity, positioning strategy and tagline (Efficiencies are there. We find them) were created to make the company stand out among its better-known competition in a crowded high-tech marketplace.
This new identity was expanded to include a new product naming strategy, PowerPoint templates, HTML emails, webinar invitations (so popular that On-Demand versions had to be made available to keep up with customer demand), and product datasheets.
A new website was also developed that creatively incorporated the new PS'Soft logo into the main imagery (and used for other advertising and marketing communications), was easy to navigate, and for the client to maintain via an extensive content management system, and worked across multiple languages and cultures.
The repositioning work was so effective in taking PS’Soft to the next level, the company was eventually acquired by Allen Systems Group (ASG).
SwitcHouse.com provided online swapping of videos, CDs, books and computer games among an audience of mostly twenty-somethings. Registered users list the various items they no longer want and wish to trade for the things they do. The site would then search its database, find matches and put people in touch with one another to make trades, and created a sense of community in the process.
Actual titles of popular movies, games and artists were used in a combination of print advertising, online banners and HTML emails to help demonstrate the diversity of the various categories on the site, educate the masses, and ask the all important question: "So, what'cha got?"
IPAC needed to present an overall improved, professional image and raise its profile as an established, trusted, customer-focused, global source of quality petroleum and additives products within the industry.
A new logo and brand identity, positioning, and tagline (Never underestimate the power of the independent) were created along with a “bigger doesn’t mean better” message strategy (based on insights obtained through customer research), communicated through advertising and a new company brochure as part of an integrated global campaign.
The launch ads featured imagery of dinosaurs and referred to IPAC’s larger competition as “lumbering giants” and demonstrated that while IPAC competes on the same level as its larger competition in terms of product quality, competitive pricing, global reach and overall product effectiveness, they can consistently beat them up on customer service, relationships and responsiveness, every time.
The response was extremely positive, unless you’re the competition. The ads scored well above average in readership studies for awareness, large orders were placed as a direct result of the new advertising, the industry was buzzing, and for the first time, competitors became nervous, a little pissed off, and noticeably concerned. Mission accomplished.
After conducting an internal brand audit and primary customer research, VIP needed a new corporate identity and to be repositioned in the marketplace as a provider of more than just pet vaccinations.
The company name was changed from VIP Vaccine to VIP Petcare Services, and a corresponding logo and overall more warm and fuzzy brand image was created, along with a revamped website, retail advertising (including the use of post-it notes in newspaper ads) and a direct response campaign. All designed to create awareness, increase lead generation and help highlight the more robust preventative petcare services offered by licensed veterinarians through VIP’s mobile pet clinics. You might see them at your local Pet Food Express on any given Sunday.
Double page spread introducing Gravis' new Xterminator Dual Control joystick for gamers young and old. The campaign consisted of print advertising, banner ads, landing pages and an interstitial (mini commercial) highlighting the element of surprise the user has over their opponents as a result of using the product: the ability to sneak up on them before they realize it and it's too late – game over!
The print advertising ran primarily in computer and gaming pubs, while the banner ads and the short interstitial were placed on gaming sites like gamespot.com and was downloaded and viewed while users waited for their online game to load.
Conducted primary consumer market research consisting of focus groups, triads, quads, in home interviews and on street intercepts, developed recruitment screeners and discussion guides, and crafted reports of key findings, analysis and recommendations for the brand development, positioning and message strategy, and launch of AT&T’s U-verse television, Internet and phone service to the hungry masses wanting to take their Walking Dead to work with them.
Advertising, direct marketing and branding work for my San Francisco ad agency Amp Communications – a small fish in a big pond with lots of other fish big and small, all offering the same thing and competing for the same business. So how do you stand out and compete in a dotcom busted, post 9/11 recession in the Bay Area?
You run a tight ship, keep your overheads low and you give your potential new budget conscious clients something to smile about during an economic downturn: all the big ideas from big brains without the big agency bills, so they can remain competitive and top-of-mind without blowing their entire budget.
We helped clients amplify their messages not by being louder than everyone else, but rather smarter – by finding the single most important truth in their product or service and filtering that message though all the noise and clutter in the marketplace, and in the most targeted, cost effective manner possible. The result: highly creative advertising that gets though to their audience, resonates and gets remembered without breaking the bank.