Marketing 2.0: Branding and Storytelling


Your story. It may be why you started a business, or the recipe your mother passed down to you, or your discovery of a place, activity, taste or service that you now want to share with others. Whatever that story is, it’s the most important part of your brand.

Storytelling gives the consumer something to connect to. Studies show (and your own experience probably confirms) that people want to do business with someone they know and trust. When you introduce yourself and your product/service to consumers and then share your inspiration, you give them a reason to get to know you better. Consumers will remember you; they’ll connect with your product because you’ve presented it in a unique and personal way.

Your story may be your actual experience, or it may be a constructed story that creates a character and backstory. Let’s look at an example of each.

The Savannah Bee Company

Savannah Bee Company has grown from owner and founder Ted Dennard bottling honey in his kitchen to a company that sells honey and hive-inspired products nationwide. Honey is available almost everywhere, so what was it about Savannah Bee that captured consumers? Of course there is no one answer, but an important part of the company’s very savvy marketing beginnings was including stories about how Ted learned beekeeping and the inspiration he found in older beekeepers, bees, and the natural world. Every single product carried a story about the beekeeper and his bees, and it personalized the product for thousands of consumers.

One of the earliest boxes read:

The Savannah Bee Company took root when I was a child working with my dad on his coastal forest retreat. A battered pickup truck swarming with bees rattled down our little dirt road and into my life.Out stepped an elderly man, “Roy Hightower’s my name and I’ve been searching for a spot like this on which to make honey.” With a bee walking on his shoulder, the old man leaned toward me and winked.

These things actually happened, but the copy was carefully written. The dirt road, the battered pickup truck swarming with bees, the bee on his shoulder, the wink: all of these details draw the reader into the story (and the product) to the point where you can almost feel the humidity in the Southern air.

Brochure for Savannah Bee Company

Brochure for Savannah Bee Company

Oliver Bentleys

Eric Zimmerman came to Clark Creative with an idea for a company that evolved over several branding sessions into Oliver Bentleys Barking Bakery artisanal dog treats. A story was created about how King Charles spaniels came to hold such a position of prominence in the Royal Court and British society, due the heroic actions of a dog named Oliver Bentley. This story is tongue in cheek – it winks at the consumer as if to say: Let me spin a yarn for you – I know you’ll enjoy it as much as your dog will enjoy these treats.

…Previously lost in the backwaters and tidal creeks just outside the new world city of Savannah, Georgia a small and unassuming ship captain’s chest was found. In it, among the captain’s personal effects, was his ship’s log and personal diary. The log and diary were wrapped in a tattered piece of cloth of a unique and striking plaid pattern and curiously accompanied by a seaman’s daily ration or what was called hardtack, or a sea biscuit. The biscuit had a small paw print pressed into it. Between the pages of the captain’s log and diary was a small cameo carving of a dog bust and a smaller equally weathered swatch of the same plaid, on herringbone fabric, with which the items had been bundled.

Both the cameo and the plaid swatch marking the page began a series of entries chronicling how a small King Charles Spaniel named Oliver Bentley, referred to in the diary and log as Ollie B. and at times just Ollie, during an ill-fated voyage at sea saved the life of the then exiled young King of England, Charles II. The entries make clear that in so doing the young pup, Ollie B., in fact saved the monarchy and rightful heir to the throne…



Launch Packaging for Oliver Bentley's Barking Bakery

Launch Packaging for Oliver Bentley's Barking Bakery

The story shouldn’t stop at the copy on the website or packaging. It should guide design, color palette and even the way you deal with your customers. An old world nautical theme was developed for Oliver Bentleys, and a custom tartan pattern designed just for the product.

Identifying, developing, and integrating your story is the foundation of your branding. Your story may work best in the front seat like the two examples above, or it may be more of a backseat navigator – guiding your marketing decisions from outside the margins. Either way, it holds the map-or is the map-for you to find your customers, and for them to find you.


This post is third in a series of articles for Business in Savannah. This article appears in the May 11 Issue of BiS.

Blue Plate Specials from Clark Creative Let Farmers “Get Growing”!

Blue Plate Specials from Clark Creative Design

As Chit Chat readers know, Clark Creative had a booth at the Georgia Organics Conference this year, which was held at the Savannah Convention Center in March.

We were deeply impressed by the organic farmers, food producers, farmer’s markets and CSAs who came by, many of whom said that they desperately needed design help with their business – a logo, website, brochures, packaging – but that cost was a barrier. It became clear to us that in order to help folks in the farm and organics community, we would have to come up with a special price structure. And that’s what we’ve done. Enter the Blue Plate Special – a Get Growing Initiative we designed to provide farming businesses with effective design and web services at a fraction of normal pricing.

So, what’s the catch? The offerings will be simple, straightforward and will not involve the same number of options, revisions, website pages and so on that we normally offer customers. Naturally, there are parameters, so that everyone knows what to expect. But the good news is, we’ll take care of the branding and the farmers can Get Growing! (Then we can all reap the benefits at our Farmer’s Markets and Farm Stands.)

For details, give us a ring at 912-233-1160, or drop us a line at

Marketing 2.0: Effective Use of Twitter for Business (2.0)

Marketing 2.0:

Effective use of twitter for your business 2.0

This article has information for readers who already have a working knowledge of Twitter and are looking for ways to use it as a more effective business tool. If you have heard about Twitter but haven’t gotten started, check out last week’s article in Business in Savannah Magazine (@bisSav) or online.


In Part One of this article (Twitter 1.0), we created a fictitious business so that we could give specific examples. We’ll continue to use that example in this article: a pet store in Savannah named Savannah Natural Pet. We decided that the business would focus on natural products, have an ecommerce website, and be a supporter of the Humane Society. We set up a demo Twitter account for @SavNaturalPet.


Now that you have an account and know how to move around in Twitter, spend time getting acquainted with it and doing some research. A good place to start is with the search function at Search your keywords, both with and without hashtag memes (Twitter users apply the #hashtag sign to tag their posts so that users not following them can find the post). In our example, you might search #pets and pets, #dogfood and #dog food etc. Hashtag searches will return bloggers, retailers, and users who are actively reaching out to Twitter as a whole, while the untagged searches will return those talking about their pets – both of which will tell you how other businesses and pet owners/potential customers are using Twitter. Unlike Google, the search returns are displaying in real time, not by ranking, so repeat your searches. Make notes about Twitterers that come up often in your searches.

Try searching without Hashtags

Try searching without Hashtags

Or try the advanced Search Option

Or try the advanced Search Option

For different results

For different results

Check out how other businesses in your industry are using Twitter. Notice if a business is engaging with customers and other users, or if it is just a series of posts with no Retweets or Replies. Profiles like the latter are Twitter at its least effective – a company that decided that they had to have a Twitter account, but didn’t want to put the time or energy into using or building it. It is often an auto feed from a blog or other social media account. These accounts are little more than placeholders.

By contrast, companies that have embraced Twitter and have a real person (or people) reading tweets, posting, and using hashtags have had great success with it. Here are a few examples, both large and small:

@FLWbooks flashlight worthy books – two people, a website, and 150,000 followers.

@HumphrySlocombe – a small ice cream shop in SF with unique flavors and lots of attitude.

@Zappos – the Zappos CEO

And our very own @VisitSavannah. (There are great Twitterers in our area. You can find many of them by watching the hashtag #Savannah.)

Customers who follow a brand on Twitter are often extremely engaged. @PhilPeterman, a Savannah analytics consultant who previously built and managed Paula Deen’s social media, noticed that although (at the time) @Paula_Deen had 250,000 Twitter fans and 1.2 million Facebook fans, the Twitter fans were five times more likely to act on a sales opportunity (like a new cookbook) announced over social media. Of course this depends entirely on how companies use their Twitter accounts to connect with their customers.

In a recent article by social media trailblazer David Meerman Scott (@dmscott), he spotlights how individual Nordstrom’s salespeople are making great use of Twitter to keep in touch with their customers.

Brand, Brand, Brand!

As we discussed in Twitter 1.0, you can use a default Twitter background, but it is ideal to have a custom background that features your logo and communicates your brand. You can also customize the Twitter badge that appears on your website/business cards/brochures etc.

You can change your background image by going to Profile-Design

You can change your background image by going to Profile->Design

By uploading a photo and choosing Tiled Background you can create a quick unique background.

By uploading a photo and choosing "Tiled Background" you can create a quick unique background.

A custom background will go the farthest to communicate your brand

A custom background will go the farthest to communicate your brand

You can also customize the twitter badge, or icon that you put on your website/blog – and/or add a widget that allows people to see your recent tweets. In this article by @Mashable he outlines some basic free options, or you could choose to have a badge and widget designed to integrate seamlessly with your brand.

Early tweets:

As your searches give you ideas, start posting tweets. Smartphones will allow you to post text and photos automatically to Twitter, and there are also many apps that will do the same thing from your computer. You could take a picture of a hamster running on the wheel and include it in a tweet:

Meet Winkle, the fittest #hamster in #savannah!

This alerts Savannahians who are interested in hamsters that your store has something that interests them. If you blog, you can tweet a link to your blog post:

This week on our #natural #pets blog, new eco-friendly #cat litter products

You can also use your activities outside of your business to build your Twitter following. To draw attention to your business and support the Humane Society, you could decide to post a photo every day about dogs for adoption, link to the Humane Society post, and remind folks that you have food, beds, leashes etc. Then create a meme for your project – something like #dogaday – and generate some buzz.

Cora is up for adoption-wouldn’t she look great in a new pink #leash? #dogaday

Then rewrite your bio to draw attention to your project:

Our pet store features natural products for all pets. When we’re walking the dog here in Savannah, you can find us on the web and at #dogaday. We ship anywhere!

Once you have a good body of tweets up and are starting to feel comfortable with the information you share and how you share it, start following people. Go back to the list of the folks you saw posting frequently and follow them. Many businesses make the mistake of following lots of people right away without having much in their profile, which results in fewer follows back.

The more time you spend on Twitter, the more you will see how these hashtags are used. Many people participate in #followFriday, sometimes shortened to #FF, where users highlight people on Twitter that they follow and think others might benefit from as well. If someone you are getting great content from posts a #FF, check out the recommendations!


In addition to putting the Twitter “badge” on your website/blog/ads, ask your customers what they would like to see. Specials? Contests? Implement these ideas and grow your use. Read tweets and respond. If you do a search for #natural #petfood and see someone posting that they are unhappy what they are feeding their parrot, you can respond:

@birdland12 We have had great success with Xbrand #food for our customers’ #parrots. Would you like a #freesample?

The link would go to the page on your site where the food is featured.

If you are not interested in a national audience, be very focused in your research-find people in Savannah and surrounding areas who use Twitter, and engage them.


Twitter allows you to create lists to organize people you follow. With @SavNaturalPet you might have lists like Savannah pet owners, Other Retailers, Friends, and Savannah Folks or you might get more specific with Dogs, Cats, Birds, etc. You can make lists public or private. You can also check and see what lists other people have created, and if you are interested in the subject, follow the entire list (if it is public). It also allows you to focus on what one segment of people you are interested in are discussing. There are many more ways to use lists-for instance, large companies create lists of all their employees/departments on Twitter. You can explore lists by following leaders like @mashable, reading the Twitter blog, Googling Twitter Lists, and seeing how others use their lists.

Create lists to organize your followers

Create lists to organize your followers

You can customize lists to meet your needs

You can customize lists to meet your needs


Once you start following and getting followed back, actively using your account and engaging other Twitterers, you will start to see organic growth in your account. When folks follow you, glance through their bio and posts and see if you want to follow them back-Twitter is not immune to spam. It is important to post at least every day, and it is more in the spirit of Twitter to check in several times a day.

I don’t have time for all that!

Twitter and other social media are free only in that you don’t pay for the service. It does require a significant amount of time, especially as you are getting started. Once you are up and running, it can be done very efficiently. It can make a lot of sense to use a company offering social media services to help you get started by setting up your accounts and designing backgrounds – even doing research – but you’ll get the best results by eventually having someone in your company handle your account. As with most social media, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Mary Siceloff was an early Twitter doubter, but has become a big advocate of its business value. She handles communications @clarkcreative in #Savannah. You can reach her on Twitter @mary_siceloff, or via email at

Put a Bird on It

Marketing 2.0 – Twitter 1.0

Marketing 2.0:
Effective use of twitter for your business 1.0 and 2.0

This an an online version of an article originally printed in BiS (Business in Savannah)Magazine, March 23, 2011.

Let’s start at the very beginning – Twitter 1.0: For readers who may have heard about Twitter, but haven’t gotten started. (The next article in this series – March 30, 2011 – will have information for those who already have a working knowledge of Twitter, but are looking for ways to use it as a more effective business tool.)

You’ve read the articles: Use social media! Get on Facebook and Twitter! What is Twitter and how do you put it to use for your business? Why would anyone want to know that you’re waiting for a coffee? The answer is: they don’t. They want to know more about your business, your products, your services, and the personality of your business: in short, your brand.

What is it?

Twitter is a social networking online community where people connect with short text updates (up to 140 characters) called tweets. Your tweets appear in your profile, and you can subscribe to (follow) other users. People who subscribe to your profile are your followers. A real-time display of all the tweets from people you follow will appear on your twitter page.

In order to give specific examples of how to implement the suggestions in these articles, we’ll say your business is a pet store in Savannah named Savannah Natural Pet. You focus on natural products, you have an ecommerce website, and you’re a big supporter of the Humane Society.

Start by going to and signing up for an account. You will need to choose a ‘handle’, the tag that you will use to identify yourself in Twitter (these always begin with the @ symbol). You want this tag to be short and easily identifiable. If you try @naturalpet, you’ll find that it is already in use. @natural-pet is available but that could easily cause confusion, so you choose @SavNaturalPet, which identifies you and places you in Savannah. Upload a profile image. This could be your logo, or a picture of you or a pet.

Write a concise profile so that people who visit your page can quickly decide if they want to follow you (Twitter gives you 160 characters for your bio). Yours might be something like:

Our pet store features natural products for all pets. When we’re out walking the dog here in Savannah, you can find us on the web. We ship anywhere!


Setting up a profile in Twitter
This communicates your personality, and lets folks know that you have a natural focus, that you are in Savannah and online. There are several default backgrounds available in Twitter, and you can create a semi-custom background by tiling an image, but it is much better to have a custom background if you can swing it. Again, branding.

Basic Tiled Background

Basic Tiled Background

You will be prompted to find people to follow, and to find friends on twitter. Until you get your account going, it’s best to wait on this step. You may make your tweets public or private, but keep in mind that Twitter is the ultimate open community, and if you’re worried about people reading what you write, perhaps it isn’t for you.

The lingo:
When you sent a message, you have 140 characters (including spaces). This is a tweet. If you see a tweet in your feed and you think your followers would like to see it, you can retweet it at the touch of a button. This is like forwarding in email or sharing on Facebook. Everyone who follows you will see this post.

Sending a tweet

Sending a tweet

If you retweet this post written by @mary_siceloff

It would display as

RT @mary_siceloff 3rd annual Yappy Hour Blue Jeans Ball in Savannah February 19 Benefits Coastal Pet Rescue


Retweeting from the Web


In some platforms, you can also edit your retweet, (in this case, adding hashtags – more on that later) so it might say

RT @mary_siceloff 3rd annual Yappy Hour Blue Jeans Ball in #Savannah February 19 Benefits Coastal #Pet Rescue


Retweeting in Tweetdeck

You can reply to a tweet without retweeting, just like replying in email except that it is public – everyone who follows you will see it. It would look like this:

@mary_siceloff Thanks for posting about the Blue Jeans Ball – Can’t wait to go!

If you don’t want everyone to see a tweet, you can send a direct message (DM) to someone. This is only visible to the person you send it to, and will not appear in their public page or yours. You can only send a direct tweet to someone you follow who also follows you.

D mary_siceloff Great news about the Blue Jeans Ball – do you have a contact there?

Hashtags. When you add the hashtag before a word or (unspaced) phrase, anyone who searches that hashtag can see your tweet, not just those who follow you. In the examples above, the words #Savannah and #pet are tagged. This is a way of getting your tweets out there to folks who might be interested in your business, but don’t yet follow you. If they watch that hashtag (or meme), they will start seeing your posts and if they see value, will start following you.

Hashtag search

Hashtag search

These tags develop organically on Twitter – no one decides what they will be. You might see both #pets and #pet in tweets – you can use either or both, and also create your own.

Links, pictures, and video:
Many tweets have links to articles, blog posts, websites. The actual URL is usually much too long to include in a 140-character message. There are many link shorteners, and almost any platform you use to manage twitter will have an automatic link shortener included as a default. When working from the Twitter website, you will need to shorten the link externally, on a shortener like When you shorten a link, it will go from this: to this

Link before shortening in Bit/ly

Link before shortening in Bit/ly

Link Shortened in

Link Shortened in

Photos and videos can be uploaded similarly, with slight variations in each platform.

You can use Twitter from the website at, but you may find it much more manageable to work from an interface that helps you sort and manage tweets and contacts. Some of the many are Tweetdeck, Twhirl, and Hootsuite. Each of these has lots of wonderful tools to help you manage your Twitter account. There are great videos in YouTube with tutorials on each. Here is one on Tweetdeck: Twitter TweetDeck Tutorial

Coming Soon:
Twitter 2.0: The next article in this series will cover researching your business on Twitter, early tweets, engaging your audience, who to follow, using lists, more on memes, building your followers, and creating buzz.

Mary Siceloff was an early Twitter doubter, but has become a big advocate of its business value. She handles communications @clarkcreative in #Savannah. You can reach her on Twitter @mary_siceloff, or via email at

Computers…gotta love ’em!

How many cliches fit into one blog post? When talking about computers (and software, and full moons), the list seems endless:
It worked YESTERDAY.
What broken link?
I’m not having that problem.
What browser are you using?
Oh, that’s going to take some time to fix…



The Georgia Organics Conference – Go Grow!

Georgia Organics Conference Savannah

Georgia Organics Conference Savannah

The 14th annual Georgia Organics Conference met in Savannah for the first time last week (March 11 & 12). Over 1,000 people registered, many of them traveling in from around the state to take part. More than 100 vendors – including Clark Creative – exhibited at the expo. Organic enthusiasts of all stripes attended educational sessions, visited local farms, and learned of new products and services at the expo, saw the premiere of the GROW movie and attended the farmer’s feast – a meal to end all meals, with chefs from across the state (led by Chef Matt Roher of Cha Bella) cooking with meats, grains, produce and other products all produced by Georgia organic farmers. Monteluce vinyards provided organic Georgia wines. As if that wasn’t enough, we got to witness local trail-blazer Ralinda Walker win the 2011 Land Stewardship Award.

The Clark Creative Booth

The Clark Creative Booth

At the Clark Creative booth, we got to meet farmers, soon-to-be farmers, cattlemen and women, seed companies, poultry farmers, chefs, natural product makers and local visitors interested in and excited about local products, sustainable production, and above all – growth! The theme of the conference, GO GROW, fit right in with what we do at Clark Creative – we grow brands. We made wonderful contacts and look forward to working with them.

Now – go grow!

Yes we do!

Yes we do!

Oh, yes we do!

Oh, yes we do!

Clark Creative Wins at Florida Print Awards

Clark Creative Design of Savannah received two awards at the 23rd annual Florida Print Awards, the printing industry’s largest and most prestigious statewide graphic arts competition. Clark Creative was presented awards for its design work on projects printed by Florida-based Rapid Press, Inc.

With almost 700 entries from printing and graphic firms across the state, Clark Creative received a Best of Category (Catalogs, sheetfed) for a Brodie International project titled “Engineering the Future”. Clark Creative also won a Judges Award for designing a presentation folder for JT Turner Construction.

“Rapid Press is a tremendous resource for our projects,” said Cari Clark Phelps, owner and creative director at Clark Creative. “A strong relationship with a talented printer always produces the best results for our clients—as these awards demonstrate.”

George Ryan, president and CEO of Printing Association of Florida (PAF), agrees. “Year after year, the quality of the submissions for the Florida Print Awards increases, raising the standard to which they are held. Clark Creative should be very proud of their outstanding accomplishments.”

The Florida Print Awards recognize individuals, companies and organizations responsible for the creation or production of print communications. The competition promotes excellence in the industry and recognizes companies and individuals who produce the best in print media.

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


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


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!



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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