Category Archives: design

No Sleep for Local Agencies in 24 Hours of Pro-Bono EventSponsored by Scofield

Several members of Rise Innovations will be taking place in this charity event.

The following is a press release from Publicis Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 20, 2011) — Three local advertising agencies and one student team aredonating their talent and their sleep during the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) 2nd annual24 Hours of Pro-Bono event. The participating agencies will be partnered with a local not-for-profit and have 24 hours to create an advertising campaign that meets the goals and needs of theorganization. If the talented addies are still awake, they will present their creative campaigns topeers, the public and the nonprofit organizations at 6 p.m., on Thursday Jan. 27 at the IndianapolisCentral Library. All creative designs and concepts will be donated to the nonprofits.

This year students from the Butler University Center for Strategic Communication for Nonprofitswill be participating in the event with the professionals. The students will be lead by professors,but will have the opportunity to create and present with the agencies. Participating agencies includePublicis Indianapolis, Hirons & Company and Matchbook Creative.
The nonprofits featured are:• The John P. Craine House• Trusted Mentors Inc.• Worthmore Academy• Binford Redevelopment and Growth Inc.
The event is open to the public and tickets are $5 for AAF members and $10 for the public. Beerand wine will be served after the presentation along with light hors’doeuvres. Sponsors for the eventinclude Scofield as title sponsor, IMS Productions and Lamar Advertising donated in kind servicesfor each of the nonprofits and EPI Marketing Services provided printed materials for the event.
What: 24 Hour Pro-Bono
When: 6 p.m., Thursday Jan. 27
Where: The Indianapolis Public Library,
Cost: $5 for AAF members and $10 for the public

 

M edia Contact:Alicia Hammonds, Publicis(317) 644-8102alicia.hammonds@publicis-usa.com

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Holiday Promotions!

Advertising almost always plays a role in consumerism, but the holiday season is by far the most ad-tastic time of the year. Many companies leverage the holiday season to increase sales, and if you were one of the people who woke up at 4 a.m. on Black Friday, their efforts are working! Every single commercial is holiday themed, whether it’s trying to sell you coffee or cars. Retail stores explode with Christmas decorations and music to get you in the shopping spirit. (And it usually works!) As a consumer of every day media, I’ve been targeted countless times by print, web and ambient advertising around this time of year. But now, I’ve also experienced the other side of this craziness, and it’s made me think a lot about how much work companies put into holiday campaigns and promotions.

 

This year, I’m interning for a non-profit that essentially relies on the holiday season to get through the rest of the year. Therefore, they’ve kept me busy designing holiday displays, promoting Christmas sale events, and googling “holiday advertising ideas” for inspiration. Amongst all the other crap out there, how do you get your specific product or service to stand out? It’s a tough call. Our team has attended tons of events all over the Midwest, participated in Black Friday sales, and completely altered its social media strategy to better suit this time of the year. It’s impressive how well thought out the process is, and this is just a small non-profit. I can’t even imagine how much extra work large, national corporations and non-profits put into the holidays!

 

Going along with this holiday brainstorm here, I’ve noticed some pretty awesome gifts this year that aren’t necessarily traditional – and truly speak to the social media/viral phenomenon that our industry is experiencing. Obviously you can buy iTunes gift cards at most stores, but now you can purchase Facebook credit gift cards, too. This is the first year I’ve noticed that. And if you haven’t checked out the mobile app SWAGG, take a look at how it’s revolutionizing gift card giving for special occasions. SWAGG lets you send and receive gift cards, ditching the plastic for digital barcodes that stores can scan at the checkout counter. (You can use it for online purchases!) Just tap your screen to unwrap the gift, and you can even attach a video message for the receiver to view when they open it. Pretty cool stuff. And then, of course, there’s Groupon. My mom used a Groupon offer last week to save money at one of my sister’s favorite retail stores when she went Chrsitmas shopping. I can’t wait to see what else our industry’s masterminds will come up with, especially in regards to the holiday season. What else have you seen this month that’s caught your attention and encouraged you to shop?

 

– Lauren Fisher

 

 

 

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Social media’s influence on GAP

I went home for Butler’s fall break this week and was catching up with my mom at dinner one night. At some point in the conversation, I asked her what she thought of the new Gap logo and that whole controversy – to which she replied, “huh?” Shocked that she hadn’t heard, I filled her in. At the end of my spiel about rebranding, crowd sourcing and regret, she was stumped. “So…what’s the big deal?” she asked. Oh, boy….

 

I won’t bore you with the story of what happened with Gap. (If you don’t know about it, read here.) And I definitely can’t offer insight or opinion on the topic better than the next person who’s blogged or commented on the situation thus far. However, the conversation with my mom made me think about something entirely different. For those who aren’t connected on Twitter, read blogs, and constantly interact with people/resources in the advertising industry – are rebranding efforts THAT big of a deal? Does an altered logo change consumer behavior for all other audiences who couldn’t care less if a color or font is suddenly different? It also made me wonder to what extent a logo can change before “mass” audiences notice. For example, MasterCard changed their logo about four years ago (did you notice?), and State Farm Insurance recently updated theirs as well. I’m curious to see how many people outside the industry notice these things, and what it takes for them to talk about it.

 

It’s hard to put myself in my mom’s shoes, because I’m all over the design and advertising industry, and make it a way of life. But I’m interested to see if the off-Twitter community and older generations even care about efforts like these. To me, the whole Gap situation was a terrible mistake and I can see why the company went back to the old logo. It totally changed my perception of the company, even though I don’t shop there and don’t know much about it. But is that a universal reaction? I doubt it. Hmm…

-Lauren Fisher

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PORTFOLIO: Barefoot for Bare Feet Micro Site

By now you’ve probably heard we are helping out Samaritan’s Feet by planning and implementing their first ever student-run social media campaign.

Along with other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., we developed a campaign micro site to give a one-stop information hub for people to understand what Barefoot for Bare Feet is all about.

We wanted to simplify the mission of Samaritan’s Feet by making the site only a few pages of useful information in a visually appealing manner.

Please visit the site, if you’re not already, start following the movement!

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Push That Envelope…or Dollar Bill

Class has been in session for just under a month. My brain has shifted from constantly being stimulated by the designs surrounding me at my summer internship back to late night study sessions where my best friends include my text book and Starbucks. At my internship this summer one of my favorite things we would do is have inspirational meetings where each of us had to bring something that inspired us design wise. I always enjoyed this time because it grounded me and reminded me of why I love design so much. It fascinates me to see how other people can look at something in a totally different perspective than I can.

So on Sunday night while I was procrastinating my homework, I decided to rejuvenate my creative juices and stumbled upon the Dollar ReDe$ign Project, whose mission is to rebrand the US Dollar. When I saw this article I immediately clicked on it because how would you even go about rebranding the US Dollar? I mean is this even legal? The US dollar has been one of our nation’s signatures since the 1930s. That is the exact reason that I loved this idea though, because I never would have thought of it.

There is such a wide variety of styles and possible branding directions that have been submitted for this year’s competition, but I’m definitely drawn towards the designs titled ‘Relative Value’ by Dowling Duncan. The neon colors really make the bills pop, and the vertical layout is unexpected. I also like how not just presidents are featured on the bill faces. It gives a more thorough representation of our nation’s history. Another one of my favorites has the bills formatted like movie tickets, bar codes included, which gives them an over simplistic feel that is unique.

Also here’s a fun fact: according to Dollar ReDe$ign’s poll, Captain Jack Sparrow and Barack Obama were voted as the favorites to appear on the new dollar bill design. I would have to look at Johnny Depp’s face forever printed on the dollar? I wouldn’t mind. And with Britney Spears being voted as the performer to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the ReDe$ign launch party, I’m for sure there if I’m “Lucky” enough to get invited.

Aside from the odd polls and claims that this dollar revamp will boost our economy, I took something away from this site. You can’t stay inside the lines if you want to make an impact. Submitting a green rectangle with a past president’s face on it is not going to win the competition. In order to make a difference you have to push the envelope in anything you do whether it is public relations, advertising, or design. So the next time you’re in a rut take a time out to be inspired by something that’s outside of your perspective.

For more about the Dollar ReDe$ign Project visit their homepage.

-Erin Hammeran

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Strange Opportunities Can Reveal Strengths

I didn’t get the summer internship I was hoping for, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed in going back to my old summer job. But then a strange opportunity came my way.

My mom is an account at an answering service company in Green Bay, and they were looking to hire someone for a direct marketing campaign.  My mom went out on a limb and suggested my name, and I got the job!  So, despite my initial set back, I was going to be able to get creative this summer making a sales flyer, brochure and direct mail postcards for the company.

I got started on the brochure first.  I went to the office and took a picture of an old switchboard to use for the background, and the creativity just flowed from there.  I easily knocked out a first draft in two days.

I sent the brochure to the boss, and instead of just getting comments back an even more unlikely task was given to me.  He wanted me to work on their invoice layout—to make it “pretty.”  Now I am a more artsy person, and I definitely do not know what makes up an invoice nor have I had any experience with invoices; however, I knew I could probably help them with the “pretty” part.

Little did I know that not only would this be a new experience, but it would be a frustrating but revealing one as well.

The program I had to use to create these pretty invoices is TERRIBLE!  It is not intuitive and there seems to be no standard format.  Everything had to be created from scratch.  I spent the first day at the office just trying to figure out what everything meant.  Even the full-time employees in charge of billing and invoices didn’t know the program very well (once again because it is a terrible program).

Once I got working, I realized learning what things did was the least of my problems.  I found that once I moved one thing- even just one-space over-it changed everything around it A LOT.  The layout in the working format was not actually what the format looked like when you printed it.  Oh and there was no way to align things.  As is clearly evident from the above evidence, it is a TERRIBLE program.

On a particularly frustrating day, I took a break and talked to my dad.  I told him all my complaints and wined to him for about five minutes.  Then he said, “Well just think what you’ll be able to do with a good program.”  That made me realize that even though I complained a lot and got frustrated a lot, in about 3 weeks time I had overcome the program (well mostly, I am still working out a few little kinks in the layout).  During the process I had made a list of problems I couldn’t seem to figure out and that I was going to have to talk to one of the software’s tech supports about, but I never ended up making that call.

Lesson learned: Persistence and determination do pay off.  I didn’t want to have someone else tell me how to do it; I wanted to figure it out myself.  And even though I had to use a terrible program, the layout I created was what the client wanted (and they were impressed that I got the program to make what I showed them).

As a public relations/advertising practitioner, we have to strive to make the most out of what we are given, whether it is budget or clients or even software programs.   Also, we can use every opportunity that comes our way to not only increase experience but also reveal our strengths.

-Nicole Hangartner

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Finding the “Wow”

I recently finished reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, a book that supports the notion that right-brained thinking is the way of future advancement in any industry.  Previously, (for the most part) the world has been ruled by analytical, straightforward thinkers.  It was those with knowledge of numbers or systems that made the world turn.  Pink insists that those predecessors have now paved the way for creative minds to flourish.

Pink separated the book into six different chapters, each highlighting a specific aspect of “R-directed” thinking. One chapter, specifically, stuck out to me.  It was titled “design.”  Pink explained that many companies have begun to recognize they are pretty much on pace with their competitors in terms of technology and advancement.  With similar innovation levels, price generally follows suit, so the difference amongst these competitors comes down to aesthetics.  Those products, atmospheres, or event marketing materials with the cleverest concepts or intriguing designs are the entities that remain in consumers’ minds.

After reading this chapter, I found myself noticing even the subtlest differences in design or approach.  One example that stands out was a restaurant I visited with my girlfriend and her parents a few weeks back.  I’d never visited or even noticed this hole-in-the wall establishment, but I’d go back in a heartbeat.  It was an Italian joint close to campus, and the following aspects made the ethic culture resonate much more than traditional restaurants.

  • It was SMALL and the tables were very close together. Now, I’m not Italian, but from what I hear, family is very important.  So at first, these close quarters seemed loud and inconvenient. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was part of the atmosphere.  It was by intentional design that this restaurant wanted people to feel a more intimate connection to the tables close by—almost like an extended family. 
  • They only served Italian wine and beer. This doesn’t take much explanation, but it was a nice touch and forced me try something new.  I enjoy trying new things, but this gave me that extra kick in the butt to make sure I would not order Bud Light.
  • We had unusual Parmesan cheese and red pepper shakers. I’ve never visited Italy, so this might be normal over there.  Instead of traditional cheese shakers, the Parmesan cheese and red pepper were in open containers with little wooden spoons used to sprinkle the contents over our pizza.  This really isn’t a huge deal, but my hat goes off to the employee who proposed that idea.  I can use normal shakers at Pizza Hut, so to me this small touch made my experience more authentic and memorable.

It’s been said before, but don’t settle for good ideas.  I’ve found myself trying to notice what makes designs different, why it was done that way, and how I can make my ideas more impactful.  What subtle examples of great design have you noticed?

-Ryan Pylipow

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