When AWAKE Chocolate came knockin', they needed a complete brand overhaul. Three ex-Pepsi guys had bought the nearly defunct Canadian brand.
Our mission: Rebrand the first mass-produced caffeinated chocolate brand in North America. Oh, and there's no money. First, we zeroed in on college kids at the primary target (love caffeine but hate coffee). Then we created the name; as memorable as is it descriptive. Next, while the designers did their magic with a new logo, and packaging, I developed the voice. And with that, Neville was born. With our limited budget, Neville flew to social and amassed 14K followers on Facebook, 11.5K on twitter and more than a smattering on Pinterest and Instagram in the first 18 month—the majority of it non-paid media, too. We created the “Eyes Wide Open Tour” where we wrapped two old school buses and drove them across Canada, stopping at as many college campuses as there were hours in the day. (talk about a content generator…) We even did things like parter with Shop.ca where Neville got to re-skin and send out the daily sales email to 375k eager shoppers all over the Great White North. Sales to date are around $7.5MM with distribution in many major food, gas and drug retailers across North America. Working on AWAKE was a true labor of love. This work was produced at tether.
The motorcycle industry is hard. Not because the machines and the technology aren't sexy, but because bikes are a luxury item for most people. And an easy one to decide against when push comes to shove. BMW came to us with lagging US sales and a very un-American image. (They rule the roads in Europe and many other parts of the world, but are considered machines for leather jump-suited dweebs here.) With the European market saturated, BMW wanted to try and speed-shift their image in the US to try and catch up to the cycle culture here, attracting a whole new audience. In year one, we introduced a new tagline, “Feed Your Restless.” Along with a bevy of print, their first ever TV in North America, and 144 dealer experience material kits that reflected a more relevant tone for the US market. In year two, we introduced the R nineT just in time to ride the burgeoning retro roadster wave that was sweeping the country. R nineT sales were wait-listed for the better part of that first year with sales demands BMW hadn't seen in the states before. This work was produced at tether.
After several projects for Amazon, they wanted to see what we could do to with getting people to use their cloud storage feature (Free with Amazon Prime, yet research showed very few people even knew they had it). This campaign features extreme users that are victims of their various passions. Essentially, they’re everyday digital hoarders. And boy does Amazon have just the thing for that—Unlimited Storage! The click through rate on the banners was the highest the Prime group had encountered up until these ran.
“We need you to create a Nike Turkey Bowl in a Box.” So that’s what we did.
Take it outside. This Turkey Bowl kit on wheels can go anywhere; the most un-level playing field, or the frozen tundra if you prefer. No excuses, please don’t hurt grandma, yes, that gravy is for emergency purposes only, hydrate, play outside of your body, eat jerky, ice that hammy, celebrate in the end-zone and remember to give thanks. The cooler companion should keep you alive at least until the real feast begins. Have fun out there.
To celebrate all the great work that went into rebranding Gatorade’s signature sports drink into three separate and distinct applications—Prime, Perform, Recover—both client and agency wanted a way to showcase the 16-month journey. I concepted this video to run in lobby at HQ. With virtually no budget to work with, we utilized the studio for all it’s worth—featuring the designers responsible for each sub-brand in each segment. I'd never personally been this hands-on with a stop-mo piece before; this was a ton of figurin’, preppin’, coordinatin’, stagin’, producin’ and editin’. I also found and negotiated the music rights. This work was produced at tether.
Cloud technology is innovating so fast, that all the main players face a singular, similar problem—how to explain it all. The timelines are practically non-existent, the budgets for each new product/feature squeezed due to the amount of explaining there is to do across the board, and gathering key players (on three separate continents, so far) for meaningful conversations is in itself a daunting challenge. We started by creating a singular voice. Then developed a unique Microsoft illustrative style that could be replicated fairly quickly. Then let the international conference calls begin! To date, we’ve created a dozen or so of these script-driven videos, and barely scratched the surface. The intent here, is to create a unifying body of work that can easily be updated and added to—that in time will tell the full story of Azure, the Microsoft Cloud. Aside from writing the scripts and lending a hand with concepting the boards, I also do the VOs. Nice gig, if you can get it.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
For the Grand Opening of this batch-distillery’s first tasting room in Seattle, they wanted to make a potent splash in the neighborhood announcing their presence. Brian Piper and I developed a campaign featuring their signature whiskey, aimed at discerning connoisseurs. Steeped in attitude, with a touch of reckless abandon—just like a successful night out with your besties—these posters covered their Capital Hill neighborhood a week before opening. Coasters, framed restroom prints and a few other hand-crafted touches completed the on-site experience.
Hey, I did a Super Bowl spot! McCann in Chicago had a passel of teams working on the introduction of the newest Chevy Suburban—the TV would lead the rest of the creative for the line's first wave of marketing. The deadline was tight and the stakes were high, as they say. The brief was simple: this is a big family vehicle, made for hauling around big families and all their stuff. My initial concept featured meerkats (honestly, the way they just kinda stand around in groups observing life cracks me up…), but the die-hard patriots over at Chevy insisted meerkats were simply un-American. Enter the prairie dogs. Still a fun spot with a simple message, nonetheless.
Sold: The Movie
Based on the best-selling book, “Sold,” by Patricia McCormick, the movie adaptation had two goals. One, raise awareness about the horrors of human trafficking. And two, help raise money to fight this silent epidemic that is ravaging both the planet and future generations. Since it’s such a complex issue, they needed a way to quickly get their mission across to a variety of audiences one their world tour for support. We chose a video. A powerful prelude to each fundraising event; a memorable few moments to anyone who saw it. Essentially, it’s a mood piece that sets up a larger, more difficult conversation that uses jarring facts and emotion to encourage action. Now. This work was produced at tether.
These TV spots were part of a huge rebranding job for SunTrust; at the time, the 9th largest bank in the country. While I was the creative point-person on this account, SunTrust suffered from what most large banks suffer from—People hate banks. (Research showed the number of unequivocal haters at the time to be around 96%.) To make matters worse, they were known in the Southeast as the bank for old white guys; a diminishing client base on all fronts. Our job: humanize the bank, while helping them seem more accessible to, you know, regular folks. This campaign went a long way in creating positive chatter in the market, smoothing the way for the bank’s next regional acquisition, as well as helping repair the ailing client/agency relationship that I inherited. This is worked I both created and oversaw.
With motorcycle sales in the tank throughout the Southeast, the industry’s biggest market, Suzuki needed to figure out a way to move more metal—fast. With the research showing used bikes sales on the rise across the board and the competition gaining market share each season, this campaign was designed to do two things. First, get Suzuki’s name back in consumers’ minds with a wave of targeted outdoor that sold the pure joy of the riding experience as much as it teased their full line of bikes and ATVs. Second, we exclusively targeted the potential used bike purchaser through the industry’s number one resource for pre-owned merchandise—Cycle Trader. Half of these b/w ads touted gas efficiency and the love of getting your hands on a new bike. The other half compared the benefits of owning a pristine, technically superior, cost-friendly Suzuki over anything else on the page. Together with a strong dealer participation, we were able to not only halt their declining sales, but get ‘em turned around and heading in the other direction.