Designing for The Great Outdoors

April 20, 2014

My career in commercial design has had me working a a wide variety of different marketing arenas. But one channel that I’ve rarely had an opportunity to work in is outdoor advertising. That changed this month when I took on a billboard design project for Hornblower Cruises.

And this, my first ever US Interstate system billboard advertising design gig, was one of the largest sizings offered by Lamar/Clear Channel: a 14′ x 48′ behemoth cuddled up to the I-8 freeway with an estimated 100k views per 24-hour period. I build my gallows high, baby.

140420-billboard

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Filed under: Advertising, Blog, Copywriting, Marketing, Outdoor Advertising by SF

Solid Gold Sustainability: Agrarian from Williams-Sonoma

May 10, 2012

The PR about Williams-Sonoma‘s new Agrarian collection is all around us this week. Agrarian is a line of “DIY” merchandise targeted to the upscale sustainable farmer.

If you know anything about Williams-Sonoma, you already have surmised that this merchandise is targeted to a special breed of farmer. The kind of farmer who likes their planting equipment coppered, monogrammed, patinated and distressed. Who likes chicken coops priced well into 4 figures, and for them to be of an iconic, prefabricated appearance to trumpet the designer label origins. And for farmers desiring White Glove delivery, where the term “do-it-yourself” temporarily takes on another meaning and becomes a simple command to the delivery driver who is expected to assemble it on-site with the gentleman farmer looking over his shoulder.

You could poke fun at this concept all day long, as many pundits are doing. Which is what intrigues me about Agrarian: It’s too easy to laugh at. But the fact is, when a top brand pulls something like this, they’ve usually got some business fundamentals behind it.

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Filed under: Blog, Branding, Identity Design, Marketing, Retail, Social Media by SF

MINI USA Thanks Me For Being a Friend

April 5, 2012

Those wacky marketers at MINI USA. Always up to something.

As a MINI owner on the BMW/MINI house distribution list, I recently received a message from them thanking me for being such a wonderful customer and enticing me to follow a link where I could further bulk up their customer data about me for more accurate targeting in the future receive their humble gratitude.

I clicked through. I had to look. Wouldn’t you? And like me, aren’t you dying to know how they personally thanked me for being a MINI-ite?

MINI USA Personal Email Campaign

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Filed under: Advertising, Blog, Branding, Direct Marketing, Email, Facebook, Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media by SF

Martha Stewart’s iPad Magazine is a Good Thing

November 19, 2010

Martha Stewart. Inside trader. Domestic dominatrix. Employer from Hell. Electronic media pioneer.

That last tag may seem out of place in Martha Stewart‘s dark cloud. But it’s true. She’s reworked her magazine into iPad format that acts as a showcase for the capabilities of the device.

Martha Stewart Living for iPad

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Filed under: Apple, Blog, Interactive, iPad, Marketing, Mobile, Publishing, User Interface by SF

Mini vs. Porsche – Mini USA’s Race Challenge

June 14, 2010

As a satisfied, opted-in owner of a 2009 Clubman, I’m a recipient of all sophisticated components that emanate from Mini USA‘s online marketing machine.

So it was through an email blast that I learned about their latest wacky stunt, the Mini-vs-Porsche challenge. Yes, Mini USA has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Porsche to a race, and all Mini enthusiasts are summoned to cheer Team Mini to victory. If there was any doubt to the authenticity of this event, the irresistable tag line “THIS IS NOT A JOKE” put them to rest.

MINI USA vs Porsche email message

The punch line of course is that there is seemingly no way for a 170hp Mini to beat a 380hp Porsche in head-to-head competition. But then it’s anyone’s guess as to how this will play out as the details of the contest have yet to be revealed. Will it be on a test track? Through the hills of the Italian Riviera? Quarter mile? Paris-Dakar?

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Filed under: Blog, Branding, Email, Facebook, Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube by SF