College students have lots of misconceptions about financial aid. They think they’re not eligible for it because their parents make too much money, or because their grades aren’t good enough, or because they don’t have good credit. But in fact, nearly everyone is eligible for some kind of aid. And the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid program needed to counter these misconceptions. However, countering them can backfire, causing people to actually reinforce their own wrongheaded beliefs.
What to do?
Well, we partnered with Adam Conover, CollegeHumor star and host of TruTV’s show Adam Ruins Everything. In the show, Conover reveals the real truth behind everyday myths. And he has millions of college-age fans who watch him BECAUSE he counters their misconceptions. To them, he’s a trusted source.
And the campaign—including a video with over two million views—delivered a 21% increase in financial aid applications compared to the year before.
Sunglass Hut's Apex retail stores sell sport performance sunglasses. They wanted to create an in-store display that would help customers experience how the eyewear protects them from elements like wind and glare.
So we did just that.
The Apex Explorer Chamber is a conditions simulator, built from the ground up with touch-screen technology, glare reflectors and wind turbines. (The video shows the prototype we made. The photos show the actual simulator in store, plus various screen shots.)
First, customers put on a pair of sunglasses. Then they choose a sport by tapping the screen—mountain biking, snowboarding, rafting, motor cross, skydiving, etc. The chosen video plays, allowing them to experience that sport in action, from their own POV.
Glare appears so they can see how the glasses reduce sunlight and bright reflections.
Also, wind from two portals flows onto their faces. This wind matches the typical wind speeds of each activity, allowing customers to experience how the eyewear protects them from dry eyes. Customers can also adjust the wind speed using on-screen controls.
Other screens explain the benefits of high-performance eyewear.
The overall experience is not only fun, it helps increase the amount of time customers spend in store. And the experiential element, along with the rational benefits provided on screen, help sales reps close the sale.
Folgers is the number one coffee brand in the U.S.—even bigger than the mighty Starbucks. It's been here for more than 150 years, too. But the increasingly crowded coffee aisle, plus people's changing attitudes and buying behaviors, meant a refresh was in order.
The goal was challenging: Keep the mature, loyal customers who identify with Folgers' rich history, while attracting younger customers, especially millennials. Obviously, growth depends on a newer generation developing a relationship with the brand.
One way we're helping do that in the digital space is with a brand new, fully responsive website.
Website. The brand message: That little moment you spend with Folgers, no matter what time of day, is the catalyst that helps you make the day happen.
Psychological studies show that telling your goals to others actually helps spur you to reach those goals. And with this new website, the home page itself allows you to declare your day's purpose, then share it out to your friends on social channels. Each share is accompanied with a campaign hashtag: #MakeTodayMatter.
The site is in development now.
App. There's something new for mobile, too. The Folgers Hello Sunshine app combines technology and your phone's camera, allowing you to create fun, custom photo greetings, then share them with friends through social channels or email.
HTH makes pool and spa chemicals. Chlorine, sanitizers and whatnot. Not exactly exciting stuff.
So how do you make chlorine sexy?
One way is to make the chlorine company a little more human, helpful and fun.
Online videos. The first one, featuring kids performing a choreographed Bellagio-style water show with water guns, has gotten more than 1.8 million views so far. It was featured on websites like Chicago Tribune, MemeMachine and the MSN.com home page, plus was shown on the Discovery Channel show Daily Planet.
To create the unending streams of water, we customized the plastic water guns ourselves, then rigged them to 12 different hoses attached to two neighborhood houses. (Whatever you gotta do to make it work, right?)
For the second video, we built a full deck and pool inside an office building to surprise workers. We set the expectation with the client that it probably wouldn't join the "1 Million Views Club" like the first video did, but this one ended up with more than 31,000 views—still nothing to sneeze at.
Instructional videos. We re-edited and re-shot some of their existing instructional videos, plus added graphics to make them easier to follow and a little more playful.
Sunbelt has been making granola bars and cereals for more than 30 years.
One big problem for the granola industry is that customers have grown more concerned about ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and preservatives.
So recently, Sunbelt decided to rebrand itself with a story customers didn't know: It's actually a granola bakery that uses wholesome ingredients and no preservatives.
It was a big effort, with communication across all touch points.
TV. These spots focus on the bakery story, complete with a baker as delivery man (more frequent delivery is part of their story as well). The spots also have the wholesome tone that Sunbelt is known for.
In-video iMedia. This was part of the preroll video buy, and allowed users to explore the new brand and its products without having to leave the video screen.
Social. We extended the rebrand to social with announcements, giveaways, the brand history, product details and more. Within weeks of the launch, the fan base grew significantly.
Radio. A humorous take on the reality of the cereal aisle, with a spin that communicates the wholesomeness of Sunbelt's granola cereal.
Slack is a new work communication platform. And it’s already valued at nearly $3 billion even though it hasn’t done much marketing.
When they finally decided to plunge in, they asked us to communicate the factual benefits that current Slack users are experiencing. We started by approaching it from the other side — the joy that comes from simpler, more efficient communication at work.
Why do people get discouraged about their health and fitness? Because they've tried and failed too many times. Or they don't have time to go to the gym. Or they don't know where to even start.
Meeting people where they are is the idea behind Streaks for Small Starts. It's a health and fitness app designed to help people get started by taking the tiniest healthy steps.
Drinking a little more water every day.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Adding just one serving of fruit to their daily meals.
Ridiculously small steps like these are so easy anyone can do them. And once they start a streak of success, it helps them stay motivated to keep going. By using Streaks, they can get daily reminders and high-fives from other people using the app, too. Add all these small steps up, and over time they lead to big health changes.
Millstone is an affordably priced premium coffee sold in grocery stores all over the nation. But (there's that dreaded word) because of its boring, easy-to-miss packaging, many shoppers perceived it as a generic store brand.
Millstone needed a rebrand. Badly.
So once a new package design was created, we went to work on the digital space. With its new website, we helped change the perception of the brand into a premium-yet-approachable coffee dedicated to those who appreciate the process of a finely crafted cup.
It starts with a rich, premium feel to the design. Then, a full story detailing the origins of Millstone's Arabica beans and the care their master roasters take in crafting them. Short, helpful how-to videos feature a light yet sophisticated tone. Product pages are written with SEO in mind. And recipe pages are easy to follow.
Of course, we carried the new look and tone across Millstone's entire social presence, too.
Momentive is kinda like BASF—they make chemicals and materials that make other stuff better. Stuff like car upholstery, plane wings, circuit boards, flat panel displays, medical technology. You name it.
Problem is, they make so many products in so many categories that site visitors were having a hard time finding what they were searching for.
The solution: Mega Search.
We designed search right into the home page headline. Users simply type in the term they're looking for, and the search results automatically populate, all organized for easy discovery. It's fully responsive for access on any device, too.
The site is in the planning stages now.
Lately, regular eggs have taken a beating in the press, all thanks to three words: fat, calories, cholesterol.
But switching from regular eggs to Egg Beaters can reduce all of them. And the longer you eat Egg Beaters, the more benefits you get.
Many people still don't know how much healthier Egg Beaters are, though. Or how much better off they'd be if they switched.
So we created a calculator that does the math for them. Just plug in how many shell eggs you typically eat each week, and the calculator tells you how many calories, fat grams and milligrams of cholesterol you'd avoid if you ate Egg Beaters instead.
The calculator is now the focus of the website, and we're even considering an API that can be incorporated into other health-related sites.
Proctor & Gamble is the company behind more than 50+ brands including Tide, Bounty and Duracell—brands that people love and use every day. But too many people don’t know that P&G is the innovative company behind them.
So recently, P&G decided it wanted a campaign to communicate how its full breadth of products affects people more than they may know.
That’s when The Everyday Effect was born.
Similar to the idea of “the butterfly effect," The Everyday Effect is what happens when a cleaner shirt (Tide), a brighter smile (Crest), or a restful night without a leaky diaper (Luvs) helps change the outcome of an entire day.
This campaign includes a centerpiece based off the functionality of the successful "P&G Thank You Mom" campaign's Facebook page, but in this case users are able to not only share how P&G products help them, they can also upload photos and videos.
The additional pieces of this campaign include emails, a YouTube reskin, and iMedia.
Corporate website. P&G is a company devoted to innovation and technology, and it needed a corporate website that communicated that outlook.
So we designed a temporary site that could lead the way till the full site was ready (which we also designed).
The first two website pages you see here are part of the temporary site.
The third page is part of the full site, which reflects the innovative outlook of the entire corporation.
Propex is an American company that makes concrete reinforcement materials for roads. They’re damn good materials, too. A little more expensive, and worth it.
Print ad. This one, for its Fibermesh product, was aimed at contractors who typically use less-effective rebar (those long metal rods) to reinforce their concrete. Obviously, it was an eye-catcher in the trade pubs, which tend to be snooze fests.
Dollar bill. When the government passed the $780 billion stimulus package, $43 billion of it was slated for transportation infrastructure—and Propex thought “Hmmmmm, opportunity.”
The goal: Appeal to contractors’ worries about the bad economy, and convince them to choose American-made materials for their new infrastructure projects. This would not only help create new American jobs, it would help U.S.-based companies rebound during the recession, too.
Here was one of the ideas—a removable sticker placed on real $1 bills and handed out to contractors at trade shows. All designed to get their attention and encourage them to visit the website for more details.
EPB is an innovative utility company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Not only do they provide electric power to hundreds of thousands of customers, their fiber optic network offers the fastest Internet speeds in the country.
Yes, I mean the fastest—1 Gigabit of speed (in other words, 1,000 Mbps) for just $69 month. Which is why tech startups are setting up shop there.
Pop-up book annual report. When the company was applying for a government grant that would help it expand its fiber optic network, it needed an annual report that would get the right people's attention. And they needed it to tell their story in a unique way.
So we created a pop-up storybook.
It got the right people's attention. EPB got the grant. And the annual report got featured in Print Magazine's Regional Design Annual.
Online annual report. Later, as the fiber optic network was being built, we created another annual report, this one made exclusively for an online audience. Here are a few pages from it.
For a lot of people, typical wireless service isn't an option. Either they can't get it because of credit issues, or they can't afford it, or they hate contracts. Or all three.
For them, Bark Mobile is a great option.
Teaser outdoor. Before the service launched, we created a teaser campaign that hinted at what was to come: a service with no contracts, no minute limits, and no shockingly big bills.
Website. Once the service launched, so did the website. Simple, easy to navigate, and kinda purty.
Radio. We went with humor. People seem to like humor.
This poster helped publicize the center’s annual fundraising event: Donate $25, and in exchange you get a killer, sweat-inducing workout from a certified fitness trainer. This got potential donors’ attention before the big day.
Litespeed is one of the most technologically advanced bicycle designers in the world. A few years ago, Lance Armstrong even rode one to a Tour de France victory.
Yeah I know, I know.
Regardless, they’re badass bikes. And when they introduced two updated models, they wanted print ads for the bike magazines.
The first, for the Litespeed Antares, focused on its new vibration-absorbing rear fork.
The second, for the Litespeed Vortex, communicated the main benefit of its new, more aerodynamic frame.
Paddy’s Pub is an Irish drinking establishment located in Tennessee. So it’s got a unique blend of Celtic origins and Southern hospitality. This campaign let new customers (especially tourists) know what they could expect when they walked in.
In the shipping industry, annual driver turnover is nearly 100%. No, seriously. Which means driver recruitment is a big deal.
Print ads like these helped change the game for U.S. Xpress—the 5th largest shipper in the U.S.—by getting drivers' attentions and increasing applications. And when other major shippers in the industry tried to copy the style and tone of the ads, it showed just how much impact the campaign was making.
Direct mail. When the recession hit and gas prices started to soar, many smaller shipping companies suffered, even to the point of shutting down operations.
But since U.S. Xpress still had plenty of freight to ship, it decided to partner with these smaller companies to get the job done—a win-win for each company.
How would it contact them? Direct mail. Or technically, direct delivery (tomato, to-mah-to).
Each piece in this campaign cost upwards of $50, but the company reached its partnership goal way before the budget was reached.