Since interning during the summer of 2004, I’ve supported or lead cross-functional teams for creative branding and marketing agencies, helping to solve business challenges for a wide range of clients. The solutions have come in a variety of forms – from television commercials to social media programs, large-scale brand campaigns to shopper marketing activations. But regardless of the medium, what drew me to advertising, and what I strive for in my work, is bringing these solutions to life in the most impactful, original and memorable way possible.
Below are a few of the brands I’ve worked with over the past 12 years, plus a few specific examples of the work I’ve helped create…
Business Problem: Business Problem: Business Problem: Business Problem:
Although business was growing for Hotels.com in 2009, the brand hadn’t fully committed to a robust social media strategy that would add a new source of traffic to their site in the years to come. We were tasked with designing an innovative way of engaging with new customers online, growing the brand’s fan base on social channels to generate new leads, and garnering press to expand impressions and reach.
We saw an opportunity to leverage and expand upon our existing brand campaign, which featured a series of claymation-animated TV spots, Print and OLA. Through a contest dubbed “Clay Yourself,” we encouraged fans to “audition” for a chance to be a part of the next Hotels.com TV commercial, by creating their own unique claymation avatar at ClayYourself.com.
A robust and engaging microsite offered users thousands of unique combinations to create their own personal claymation avatar, and enter for a chance to be a part of the brands next TV spot. With a voting component baked into the program, users would solicit votes from their Facebook friends and Twitter followers by easily adding their claymation avatar as their new profile picture.
Within six weeks the brand saw over 1,000,000 site visits, a 100% increase in Facebook followers, 40,000 clay avatars uploaded to Facebook, over 200,000 contest entries and 1,000,000 votes cast. The site was awarded the FWA Site of the Day award (February 18, 2011) and the contest earned millions of additional impressions for Hotels.com through PR outreach coinciding with the launch of the program and the announcement of the contest winner.
SVP, Group Account Director: Mike Hill
Executive Creative Director: Sonya Grewal
Creative Director: Chris Gedris
Producer: Kathryn Rowe
2 GINGERS Irish Whiskey
In the world of Irish whiskey, 2 GINGERS was a relative unknown—the newcomer in a stodgy category dominated by one player, Jameson. We needed to inspire whiskey drinkers who default to the only Irish whiskey they know, to choose differently by choosing 2 GINGERS.
With a limited budget, generating excitement for this launch among the brand’s Field Marketing teams in key markets was critical.
Our Print, OOH and point-of-sale campaign was designed to capture the fiery, adventurous spirit of the founder’s mother, Mary, and his Aunt Delia (the original two gingers) and celebrate the whiskey’s smooth taste and mixability. The reason to believe? While traditional Irish whiskies distill their liquid three times, 2 GINGERS uses a unique double-distillation process that maintains the flavor of the liquid and makes it more mixable in a variety of cocktails.
Five posters make up the campaign, four of which celebrate a specific cocktail--On the Rocks, the Big Ginger, Old Fashioned, and the Dublin Donkey--and gives the recipe, short and sweet, in text under the logo. Backgrounds for the posters were shot on location in Ireland; while the overall styling and atmosphere reflect Mary and Delia’s bold personalities and the untamed Irish landscape.
The poster series artwork was extended across an on- and off-premise (below the line) marketing program during St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the Summer.
Through provocative visual representations of 2 GINGERS, we let the world know that there is a refreshing new choice in a category full of stale, centuries-old brand relics. Field Marketing teams reported unprecedented enthusiasm in the brand’s key markets, included a sales uplift from down 200 cases to up 150 cases across Texas.
Executive Creative Director: Bob Winter
Creative Directors: Tohru Oyasu & Rainer Schmidt
Designer: Denny Liu
Strategy Director: Nick Cavet
Producer: Sari Row
Photographer: Vincent Dixon, Brite Productions
Safeway needed a way of driving awareness of the company’s new mobile application for their popular Just for U program. The Just for U mobile app offered customers a way to collect digital coupons based on the items they purchase most, and manage their grocery list from the palm of their hand.
With the Just for U program relatively well-known among Safeway (and Vons) customers already, the “news” was the convenience at which they could now manage everything without a computer or pen and paper. The Just for U mobile app offered customers the next generation of couponing.
Our team developed a :30 TV spot to run in two priority markets - San Francisco and Los Angeles (Vons) - to drive downloads of the app on mobile devices.
During a two-week local test in San Francisco and Los Angeles, downloads of the Just for U mobile app reached close to 15,000, up from an average of 6,000 downloads prior to the flight.
Executive Creative Director: Jean Batthany
Creative Director: Parry Metz
SVP, Group Account Director: Brian Hurley
Strategy Director: Lydia Kim
Executive Producer: Brigette Whisnant
Production Company: Elastic
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants
With a limited social media budget, and changes to Facebook's algorithm benefitting paid content and larger brands more and more by the day, Checkers/Rally's was struggling to maintain a conversation with their most loyal fans on social media.
To help drive engagement with the brand’s most passionate customers, but also address the challenges with reach that Facebook’s evolved algorithm presented, we set out to design a user-generated program that would originate from our most outspoken and creative fans, be shared consumer-to-consumer, then curated and amplified by Checkers/Rally’s.
We identified four key passions and drivers from the brand’s fanbase - Bold Self-Expression, Making Your Voice Heard, Fast Food Lifestyle, Hip-Hop Culture - and leveraged those insights to develop a program that would resonate in a big way.
The “Rappetite” promotion was on!
How it worked...
POST - We encouraged fans to record themselves freestyle rapping about a pre-determined weekly theme (e.g. Checkers Famous Fries, Late Night Faves, Bacon!), then post their video to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag “#RappetitePromo.” To help seed the program, we created a series of brief teaser videos to roll out in advance of the launch of the program, and at various times during the contest.
WATCH - User submissions were curated on a branded aggregator microsite, where fans could view and like their favorite videos.
WIN - A new winner was selected every week for 12 weeks based on the criteria of 33% creativity, 33% fit with the theme and 33% likes. Weekly winners were awarded $100 cash and at the end of 12 weeks, one grand prize winner received $1,000.
The Rappetite promotion outperformed our traditional social media creative in both engagement and reach. On average, each post reached 3 times the number of people (72k vs 21k), with 3 times the number of total impressions (74k vs 27k) with the same level of media investment. We expanded our fan base by 9,000 fans, more than the previous three quarters combined. Plus, the brand now had a variety of authentic content directly from our customer base, expressing the passion they have for the product and the brand in a fun and entertaining way!
Executive Creative Director: Jim Toth
Creative Directors: Tohru Oyasu & Rainer Schmidt
Senior Strategist: Marisa Rondinelli
Senior Project Manager: Ryan Paul
Production Company: OfferPop