Branding for Business: Steps to Building an Effective Message

We’re presenting to a class at the University of Georgia’s Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) in Savannah about branding and business identity. Check out our presentation!

Clark Creative, Coastal Marketing Group & Spyhop Productions Team Up To Take ADDY Award’s Best of Show

And the Winner Is…

o o o o o o o { drum roll } o o o o o o o

We’re pleased to share the news of our recent wins at the 2010 ADDY awards! A big thank you to our clients that allow us the opportunity to not only work on their projects, but to add creativity, thought and process behind them. While we only entered 5 this year, we’re happy with the results – four awards!

Toombs County Development Authority

Silver ADDY – website
Bronze ADDY – sales packaging collateral material

CREDITS

Clark Creative – Design
Tim Johnson – Photography
Karl Stauch / Coastal Marketing Group – Copy
eMarketSouth – Web Development
Rapid Press – Printing

Savannah Development and Renewal Authority

Gold ADDY – cross platform campaign
Best of Show ADDY


The Official Release for the Best of Show award for “My Savannah Is” campaign:
Savannah, Ga. – The Savannah Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) awarded its “Best of Show” highest honor to the team of Coastal Marketing Group, Clark Creative and Spyhop Productions last night at its 2010 ADDY awards dinner. The award recognized the exceptional work the team produced for the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority’s (SDRA) television and print ad campaign launched in August 2009. The ADDY Awards held every year in February recognizes the top creative work in advertising, design, packaging, web/interactive and related fields.

The campaign entitled “My Savannah Is…” was developed for the SDRA by the creative team of Karl Strauch at Coastal Marketing Group and Cari Clark from Clark Creative Design. The creative team selected Spyhop Productions’ veteran director Jim Carswell and producer Mari Carswell, to lead the broadcast production, working with cinematographer, Mehmet Caglayan. Motion-graphics were created by Andrew Davies with Paragon Design Group and still photography was produced by Kevin Banker of Banker Optical Media.

In all, the team of Coastal Marketing Group and Clark Creative were awarded four awards. Spyhop Productions also won a Silver award for Cinematography for the campaign.

“As you can see, it was truly a collaborative effort and a lot of fun” said Clark (Art Director), who along with Strauch (Writer) served as Co-Creative Directors for the entire SDRA campaign effort.

“It’s a good feeling” added Strauch, who also penned the new Downtown Savannah tag line It Never Gets Old. “This is a creative community and there was a ton of good work out there. We did not enter as much volume as we saw from others but we won the whole enchilada for a 5th award at the end of the night – and it was the best recognition of all.”

The award caps off a recent run of brand development & creative assignments that the team of Coastal Marketing Group and Clark Creative has collaborated on in recent months – and economic development appears to be a niche. Both Strauch and Clark have worked together on assignments for various municipal chambers, economic development bodies and tourism clients not just in Georgia but the southeast region including South Carolina and Florida.

However, on this night, it was all about Savannah and pure teamwork. The SDRA bought into the vision, the approach and contributed greatly to the creative team’s success and the creative team itself spent months in focus groups, research and planning even before concepts were generated. Early in the process, Strauch had also sought out Spyhop Productions, knowing its reputation for quality work. Ultimately, Spyhop was selected to execute the broadcast effort adding tremendously to the final product.

“Jim doesn’t just hang lights and roll the cameras out” said Strauch, “he and Mari spend a lot of time dissecting the concept and improving upon it. That’s what we were looking for in a collaboration”.

“I think one of the reason’s this campaign worked is because the team focused on connecting emotionally with the viewer” said Jim Carswell. “The day and age of “selling” is gone. Today’s marketing needs to resonate with and engage those we are trying to reach.”

As Gold and “Best of Show” award winner, now the team moves on to see how it fares regionally in AAF competition.

“Maybe we have a good shot at winning that too” mused Clark. “After all, the brand is Downtown Savannah and shows most beautiful place in the world. Who wouldn’t love that?”

The Process:

Check out behind the scenes shots of the photo and video shoots. This concept sketch (below), drawn by SCAD graduate Vincent Zawada, is one of many we presented in the process of pitching our ideas to SDRA. We envisioned showing a coffee house scene at Gallery Espresso. In the end, it made much more sense to show the exterior of the business, showcasing it’s beautiful location next to one of Savannah’s beautiful historic squares.


More about the ADDY’s…
“The ADDY’s is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, recognizing and rewarding creative excellence in the art of advertising.

All across the country, local entrants are vying for recognition as the very best in their markets. Local winners then compete against other winners within their regions in one of 15 District competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the National ADDY Awards competition. Entry in the Savannah Advertising Federation ADDY’s competition is the first step toward winning a National ADDY’s.

The competition begins with a call for entries in late December. Then selection of the most creative entry in each category is effected by a scoring process in which a panel of judges evaluate all creative dimensions of every entry. In each category, a Gold ADDY is recognition of the highest level of creative excellence and is judged to be superior to all other entries in the competition. Entries that are also considered outstanding and worthy of recognition receive a Silver ADDY. The number of awards given in each category is determined by the judges, based on their opinions of the quality of work in that category.” SOURCE

design_workspace

Office Services

No, we don’t do that.

We started discussions with Office Services over a year ago in regards to their advertising campaign. The idea was to put the Savannah company out into the public eye with a big push leading up to their 10th year of being in business. On top of that, they had a brand new showroom they were working on that they wished to promote to the architect / design community.

Shown Above: The meeting space and teaming room for designers and creative professionals is one of our favorite spaces of the showroom.

Fast forward about 12 months – another meeting with Office Services. Got to take a peek at their beautiful HON furnishings design showroom. Great design details and workspace throughout. Turns out, they needed assistance for their 10th anniversary celebration. Do we offer event planning services? No, we sure don’t. But, after some support and “you’d-do-a-fantastic-job. we trust you” type conversations, we said yes. After all, there were invites, signage, collateral, and promo items to be designed (oh, and logos to put on custom cookies!). Here’s how we did it… Read more >>

Optimistic Savannah

Goodbye 2009.
It is time to look ahead towards all the positive change and inspiring thought in the year ahead. At the end of every year, I participate in a physical burning of negative ideas and thoughts. No more questioning of the vitality of Downtown. No more businesses closing in our area. No budget cuts, especially in areas where businesses need it most – exposure and advertising. 2010 will be a year of growth and prosperity. Positive thoughts.

I came across this interview that I did with Mark Tate of the Tate Group Law Firm in early 2009. I seemed to have started that year with this optimism. Why not? How else can you possibly start 365 days of life? Enjoy.

Topics include: business in downtown Savannah, economy, crime in Savannah (or lack there of commercial crime), cSpot, TCCa, branding, marketing, networking, new business

Speaking geek.



Geekend 2009

Nov 6-8

What’s Geekend? Straight from the geek squad, “An annual gathering of the geek tribe in Savannah, Georgia. Geekend is what you might call an interactive conference with some truly awesome parties. It’s the kind of event that you’ll be texting, tweeting and Facebooking from and all your friends back home will be super jealous.”

Cari Clark Phelps / Clark Creative teamed up with Janna DeVylder / SCAD, Andrew Davies / Paragon, Ariel Janzen / brightwhitespace to present the session entitled “How to be a Great (Interrogator) Designer.” We presented a 30 minute presentation about simple how-to’s for clients and designers alike. What questions to ask or prepare for, how to make a project stand out to generate results, consideration of the environment in which work will be placed, and subjects including context and competition were discussed.

Andrew Davies, Ariel Janzen, Cari Clark Phelps chat with inquisitive minds after our session

Andrew Davies, Ariel Janzen, Cari Clark Phelps chat with inquisitive minds after our session

And we made the front page of the (insert Exchange Section) Savannah Morning News!

With plans to attend another session if only 10 people showed up, we were pleasantly surprised to have a packed room with attendees overflowing the provided seating, making a comfortable spot on the floor and leaning up against the back and side walls. Thanks to all those who showed their support!

Hello Colorful World!

One of my favorite final steps of the design process is making color selections and determining the printing processes we’ll use. The tool of choice? THE Pantone book!
The Pantone Color Matching System, or PMS for short, is largely a standardized color reproduction system used by graphic designers, reproduction and printing houses for a number of years now. It keeps us all on the same page (or should I say guide?) when communicating color.

Pantone swatch books, CMYK chart and buckets of perfectly mixed ink

Pantone swatch books, CMYK chart and buckets of perfectly mixed ink

Pantone, as it is today, was founded in 1962, when the company—at the time a small business that manufactured color cards for cosmetics companies—was bought by Lawrence Herbert, who had been an employee since 1956. He immediately changed its direction, developing the first color matching system in 1963. He only retired recently from the company as CEO.

The company’s primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small (approximately 6×2 inches or 15×5 cm) thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color swatches and then bound into a small flipbook. For instance, a particular “page” might contain a number of yellows of varying tints. One of my favorite guides includes all the tints of one color. This is super handy when working with limited ink colors (sometimes translated to small budgets). I’ve learned to master eye tricks with using one or two colors to create much more depth and interest by using this handy guide.

The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to ‘color match’ specific colors when a design enters production stage—regardless of the equipment used to produce the color. Pantone recommends that PMS Color Guides be purchased annually as their inks become more yellow over time. Color variance also occurs within editions based on the paper stock used (coated, matte or uncoated).

Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, ‘PMS 130′). PMS colors are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation (to describe the colors of flags). In January 2003, the Scottish Parliament debated a petition (reference PE512) to refer to the blue in the Scottish flag (saltire) as ‘Pantone 300′. Countries such as the USA and South Korea have also chosen to refer to specific Pantone colors to use when producing flags. U.S. States have set legislated PMS colors of their flags.
A great gift for any color addict

A great gift for any color addict

If you are color fanatic or know a graphic designer who is, these mugs, inspired by Pantone Color charts, may be the best gift idea yet. Nice clean ‘chip chart’ packaging too.

Savannah Bee Company history

Savannah Bee Company – Ted Dennard
Savannah, Georgia
It was probably in 1999 when I started working with Ted Dennard, owner of Savannah Bee Company. I was working part-time then at a printing company in Downtown Savannah. Our first project involved the smallest label for the all-natural lip balms he sold in stores around the area. For the next 8 years, I learned a lot about the honeybee and its products. I was fortunate to design all the honey packaging you still see today. Ted learned the craft of beekeeping as a child in South Georgia from a man he knew as Old Ray. He has kept bees ever since. Ted is passionate about beekeeping and taught me so many interesting historic facts about the honeybee – and importantly, how to eat it. Delicious! I’m proud to see these products across the United States – gorgeous golden award-winning artisan honeys. It’s wonderful to see such a success story and someone living from the fruits of their passion. Plus, branding the product with the city of Savannah’s name on it does wonderful things for this creative coast.

My Savannah Is…

Savannah is… on the map. Everyone’s checking it out. Most recently, we had three guys whom I had met in Vegas visit us all the way from the land of Oz (Australia). Why Savannah? Because they heard it was a cool place. You betcha!

yup, those are my feet

(yup, those are my feet)

But, we have one slight problem on our hands. Locals – even Savannahians – forget how cool and great we’ve got it. The Savannah Development and Renewal Authority tasked us with promoting and supporting businesses in the downtown historic district. They hired us Clark Creative and Coastal Marketing Group to develop a campaign to get locals to come downtown. With the tremendous talent and help from Spyhop Productions (music and talent sourcing; video production) and Paragon (the animated swirls and bubbles), we produced these two beautiful spots. Enjoy – and come visit us!

Time vs. Money – Which will Prevail?

This article appeared in my inbox this morning. Great timing! Working on a series of ads for a variety of clients this afternoon. What stands out most is the surveys and simple field tests.

“On a Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, Mogilner and her co-author’s six-year-old sons set out to sell lemonade along a path in a park. Every 10 minutes or so, Mogilner switched the sign that publicized the lemonade stand according to one of three messages: “Spend a little time, and enjoy C & D’s lemonade”; “Spend a little money, and enjoy C & D’s lemonade”; and “Enjoy C & D’s lemonade.” To further test the impact of the messages, customers were told they could choose to pay anywhere from $1 to $3 for the product. Forty out of 391 people who passed by the stand that day purchased lemonade, and customers were surveyed about how they were feeling while they sipped. When the results were tallied, Mogilner found that a greater proportion of passers-by bought lemonade when the sign mentioned time rather than money. What’s more, customers who viewed the time message paid more for their cup of lemonade, and enjoyed the product more.” Published: September 16, 2009 in Knowledge@Wharton

Read more…

Ah, the taste of lemonade! Isn’t it worth the time?

Are you using your Think Tank differently?

This post is all about Thinking

Thinking Differently…
We’ve heard it all before – statements that start out with “well, in this economy…”. And I will… In this economy, we must think differently about business. How to market. Where to trim. What we excel at. Through this process we develop a meaner, leaner more productive machine. Sometimes we must look at how we operate our business and find opportunities in the otherwise dark holes.

Case Study: Savannah Mall
Large retailer Steve & Barry’s announced their closing in the first quarter of this year. Occupying an enormous footprint of 90,000 sq/ft in the mall’s center, all knew this couldn’t be a pretty void. In normal markets, a leasing manager would seek other tenants. At this grand scale, the odds were slim for 2009. Enter creative thinking and strategy. The Savannah Mall is launching an innovative concept – an indoor marketplace supporting smaller retailers with complimentary products, making it easy for both shoppers to find all they are looking for while provide store owners lower rent and easy storefronts to get into.

We hope you’ve seen the campaign which launched mid-July and the series of digital billboards, personalized direct mail and print ads placed throughout the creative coast, tempting might-be entrepreneurs to take these tough times as a tool for empowerment and business ownership.

Check out the interview and report, aired on July 27th, on Fox Business News. Clark Creative is responsible for many of the marketing concepts, media plan (with support from Sandy Traub for Public Relations and Senea Crystal, Marketing Manager of Savannah Mall, for the expansive radio blitz), direct mail, copywriting and tagline, “Retail – Redefined.”

Positive Thinking
And just for fun… the advertising world is being clever about how to think positively in this ‘down time.’
Check out this commercial for VW Passat.

How do you think?
We all use both hemispheres of our brains to some degree, but typically, for most people, one side dominates. I’ve always thought I must be 50-50 in terms of use. A creative thinker and graphic designer – but heavily focused and involved on the business side and problem solving as well. I took a test and found out I’m actually 49% – 51%. Pretty dang close.

Take this quiz and see how you rate.

Lights. Camera. Action!

Savannah Development and Renewal Authority (SDRA) began production in late April on two 30-second commercials focusing on Downtown Savannah. So “no”, those camera crew sightings around the squares and landscape downtown are not for the upcoming Hanna Montana movie – but they are all about the wonderful, personal and sensory experiences of our very own Downtown, and feature among other residents – our very own Stephanie Edwards of American Idol fame. Production continues through May and the commercials will air in June.


We continue to have a wonderful time collaborating with Karl Strauch of the Coastal Marketing Group on this project. Check out our photos to take a sneak peak of the action.

Client Appreciation Event: 2008

We made it. Five years in business! And what better reason could we have had than to throw a party? On November 19, we had our first Open House / Client Appreciation event to celebrate this milestone. We couldn’t have done it without you – our clients.

We appreciate all the clients that were able to stop by our office. If you missed it, you missed a great time – if we do say so ourselves. We have proof others had fun too – just check out these photos our photographer, Bunny Ware, snapped.

A special thanks to those who helped make our event a memorable one: Zunzi’s – what a great feast. The chicken was a hit! Papillote (French Carry Out To-Go, coming soon to Broughton Street) – the sweets could not have been more delicious or visually tempting. Thanks to our print vendors, Accurate Lithography and Digital Image, for donating raffle items. Lucky winners were Hansen Architects (design services), Cay Insurance (printing), eMarket South (iPod Shuffle) and Papillote (poster print). Bill Smith, guitarist – thanks for the musical tunes; and finally, Eufloria for the floral arrangements.

We are grateful for the love and support our clients and friends have given Clark Creative over the years. We are looking forward to continuing this relationship for many more years to come. Thanks again – and cheers!

steammachine2

Vans-a-go-go

Remember Scooby-Doo? How could you not, right? Close your eyes for a minute and picture the Mystery Machine…the glorious van which transported the ghost-hunting team on its shenanigans. Remember the flower power wheels? The free-flowing type? The shag-a-delic color scheme? (in the event you weren’t allowed to watch cartoons as a child, click here)

Well, it seems a lot of people in the design world are remembering these same visuals. Over here at Clark Creative we’ve noticed 70’s & retro-inspired pieces popping up all over the web, direct mail and typefaces.

We recently purchased a House Industries font for a campaign, and the promotional pieces which arrived with the font are groovy examples of this retro epidemic. House is promoting its Street Van font kit, about which they say:

Whether you’re taking a weekend trip to the beach or just out “trollin’ for tuna,” the Street Van’s six “hopped-up” typefaces have the power to leave your competition laggin’ and the looks to leave ‘em gaspin.’

House Industries Street Van set

We also stumbled upon the Nike Vintage site, whose opening animation is….that’s right…a van! The site is a gold mine for 70s throwback goodness. You can download wallpapers, iron-on t-shirt art with slogans such as “Hell on Waffles” and Macho Makers, which are actually printable mustaches. Who can resist the Handlebar?

Nike Handlebar

Steam Whistle Brewery out of Ontario utilizes a vintage fleet of vehicles to promote & transport their product. “The Steam Machine,” in particular, was inspired by the aforementioned Mystery Machine.

Steam Whistle Vintage Fleet
Steam Whistle Steam Machine

We’re not quite sure what sparked this van craze. Maybe its an age thing…with many of today’s designers having grown up in that era, they could be pulling from childhood memories. It could also stem from the media, with movies such as Semi Pro in theaters. Whatever put the van pedal to the metal…we can dig it.

Why Blog? Because it’s awesome.

Everyone blogs for different reasons, but in the end it all comes down to one philosophy: Sharing.

On the Clark Creative blog we will share our ideas, our process, our passions, our personalities…all so you can get to know us a little better and see first-hand how awesome we are. No, we’re not full of ourselves, we have actually been dubbed “awesome” by the kind people over at MyEmma…we have a medal, so its official:

Medal of Awesomeness

We’ll share tidbits like how Cari drew inspiration from a charity trip to Guatamala or how Melody cared so much about making a client happy, she created a custom plaid for his packaging!

In the world of creativity, anything is possible and everything matters. This philosophy is what we plan on sharing with you.

Enjoy our blog!

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