Research | Brand Strategy | Print | Outdoor | Website | POP | Direct | Digital | Media Planning & Placement
Founded in 2005, Armstrong Athletic Club offers world-class facilities, equipment, trainers, classes and health diagnostic services. Despite several marketing efforts and the purchase of cutting edge equipment, new memberships were in a multi-year decline. To make matters worse, Armstrong had the reputation of being an expensive “old-person’s gym” due to their minimum age requirement of 30.
National chains like Gold’s, 24-Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness and Planet Fitness had entered the crowded local market and were advertising cut-rate initiations and dues. Armstrong was struggling with how to position itself and give people a reason to believe their higher membership cost was worth it.
We visited competing gyms and assessed their facilities and marketing. We researched national fitness trends and uncovered some interesting stats:
• 67% of gym members never use their memberships.
• 80% of gym members who do use their memberships quit after the first three months and never return.
Even with the best intentions, most people simply don’t have the willpower to stick with a fitness routine. What the market needs is a gym that can motivate its members to keep coming back.
We repositioned Armstrong with a simple but powerful promise – Armstrong will help you get into and stay in the best shape of your life by being the willpower you lack. We created a massive integrated campaign designed to fire up potential members including:
• A complete re-design of the interior of the gym with motivational signage and images throughout
• An inspiring website designed to demonstrate Armstrong’s commitment to its members
• A massive floor-to-ceiling pledge signed by every employee
• Impossible to ignore print, cinema, direct, classifieds and outdoor executions
For maximum impact, we started running the campaign two months before its competitors. The results?
• Unique visitor web traffic up over 1,175% from its all-time high
• 286% increase in page views
• An explosion in positive Word Of Mouth
• A healthy increase in new members and leads that continues to grow
• A strong uptick in member retention
• A featured article in the local newspaper
• A happier, healthier membership
• Easier trainer recruitment
Consumer Research | Brand Strategy | Print | Outdoor | Website | Direct | Digital | Media Planning & Placement
The student housing market in Greensboro, NC is saturated with new over-the-top, amenity-laden and party-driven apartment complexes offering everything the hedonistic coed could want. Burkely Student Communities entered the market on the opposite end of the spectrum. With a portfolio of dated, amenity-deficient properties how in the world could we convince students to live in a Burkely Student Community?
Student research revealed two key insights:
1. Students living in complexes with extensive amenities like gyms, social rooms, and swimming pools don’t actually use them.
2. The majority of students are actually more interested in studying than partying. With the rapid increase in the cost of a college education and the tightening job market, kids know they have to do well academically to successfully compete for jobs when they graduate.
We positioned Burkely Student Communities as the apartments for serious students - “Success incubators cleverly disguised as student housing.” In direct contrast to their competitors, we created a new mission for Burkely – “To help students achieve their academic goals by delivering off-campus student housing designed to inspire and motivate higher learning.”
Using a combination of found media (beer coasters, Burkely’s buildings, T-shirts) and more traditional channels (student newspapers, direct mail, online and OOH), the word quickly spread that serious students - the smart kids - are moving to Burkely. We created a new website to support the new positioning, replacing descriptions of pools and parties with discounts for high GPAs, in-community study groups and free exam-time coffee. The management staff became one of the primary drivers of the campaign by signing a pledge posted in each complex - to help, motivate and inspire residents to do well in school.
Two years after campaign launch, all Burkely Student Communities are either 100% occupied or a couple of percentage points off full occupancy. Due to the campaign's success, Burkely has grown from 10 to 13 communities with more on the way.
Research | Brand Strategy | Print | Out-of-Home | Outdoor /Direct | Digital | Media Planning & Placement | PR | POP / In-Store | Collateral
French luggage manufacturer Delsey needed to distinguish their brand in the U.S. market. While virtually a household name in Europe, Delsey was struggling to increase market share in the States against bigger competitors like TravelPro and Samsonite.
Research identified lightweight as the single most desirable attribute travelers wanted and confirmed that Delsey’s newly developed lightweight line was far superior to the competition.
We leveraged Delsey’s lightweight innovation with fashion-forward concepts to create an unforgettable emotional connection to the brand message.
Using a combination of conceptual advertising, an aggressive media strategy and a comprehensive public relations effort, the campaign successfully
positioned Delsey Luggage as the leader in the lightweight luggage
category - a position they’ve held for more than 5 years. To date, the
campaign has generated more than 35 articles featuring Delsey’s
lightweight luggage for an estimated 3 billion impressions for the brand.
• First year sales increase: 86%
• 5-year average sales increase: 44.5%
• More than 3 billion media impressions in the first 24 months
• Unaided awareness among consumers:
72% in 3 years
• Creative campaign has generated
• Delsey successfully positioned as the lightweight category leader for more than 7 consecutive years
Research | Brand Strategy | Broadcast | Print | Outdoor | POP | Direct | Digital | PR | Promotions | Media Planning & Placement
The Museum of Life + Science is a venerable institution. Serving the Triangle for over 65 years, it has entertained and enriched generations of children. With 80+ acres of outdoor exhibits, live animals, trails, a butterfly and insect house and 50,000 square feet of indoor exhibits, it has been one of the area’s major attractions. However, the tremendous variety of things to do has created confusion: is it a museum, a park or a zoo? By trying to appeal to everyone, the Museum had lost its identity. Without it, the Museum was floundering, and attendance was sliding to unsupportable levels.
Consumer research revealed a key insight. When we asked mothers to describe their ideal children’s activity, they said, "something that’s both engaging and entertaining, that sparks their curiosity, and ideally teaches them something." Without realizing it they had perfectly described the Museum. Everything they want for their children the Museum delivers in spades. With all the new family activities in the Triangle they had simply forgotten about the Museum.
The solution couldn’t be clearer. All we had to do was remind them. Armed with a new purpose "to be a perpetual curiosity machine that sows the seeds of lifelong learning," we re-launched the Museum brand.
Moms are busy and often distracted so our ads had to work extra hard to get noticed. So we created a variety of impossible to ignore concepts for outdoor, radio, direct mail, local family magazines, guerrilla and targeted blogs. Each execution is an intriguing visual question mark answered by a mind-blowing scientific fact and the tagline: "Know Wonder."
The downward spiral in revenue and attendance the Museum had been experiencing ceased almost immediately after launch and continues to move exponentially in the right direction. To date, the Museum has increased general paid attendance by 21% and continues to rise with some days getting 30-40% more visitors than average.
Brand Strategy | Video Production | Print | POP | Direct | Digital | Tradeshow Booth | Lead Gen | PR | Website | Media Planning & Placement | Brochure | Boat Graphics | Company/Model Naming | Environmental Design
After the market collapse in 2008 almost 40% of boat brands disappeared leaving dealers with huge stocks of boats no longer backed with factory warranties, parts and services. As a result, dealers are more skeptical than ever of new brands. To be successful, new boat brands need to convince dealers their models are well made, backed by a solid company and most importantly, have a strong marketing program that will drive customers to them.
Two former clients introduced us to Hudson Wang, an extremely successful Taiwanese manufacturer who wanted to make and sell his own line of boats in the US.
Over a twelve-month period we helped Hudson and his team identify market opportunities and design two innovative lines of power cats and pontoons built to match consumer wants and needs.
Pontoons come with ramps that will allow sportsmen to carry their ATVs across the water. Removable camouflage turns certain models into duck blinds. Seating can be removed from other models making them the ideal floating platform for camping. The dual hulled power cats handle like a small sports car on the water and can race through chop no other boats their size could handle.
We named the new company 33rd Strike Group. Well-built but affordable, 33rd has the mission of making boating accessible to all. In keeping with our military theme, each model sports striking WWII fighter plane graphics. We created:
• A brochure and website based on WWII aircraft spotters guides
• A custom graphics program allowing owners to personalize their boats
• An integrated campaign to drive traffic to dealers
Even though the campaign won't officially break until mid-2015, dealers and potential customers who’ve seen test models have been blown away by their design, functionality and performance. At its first annual dealer meeting, 33rd hit 70% of its entire sales goal for 2015 in less than 48 hours.
America is in the midst of an unprecedented savings crisis. The billions spent annually on retirement plan enrollment and education programs is failing miserably at persuading people to save.
iJoin is the first mobile-based, open architecture, responsive and transactional 401k enrollment system designed to motivate and empower participants to save more and save more often. The problem is, no one's heard of iJoin. To compound the challenge, iJoin must convince the 401k industry to adopt it and motivate end-users (plan participants) to save more to be successful.
Research confirmed our client's initial hypothesis. Retirement enrollment and education is notoriously tedious, mind-numbingly boring and overwhelmingly confusing. On the other hand, a University of Michigan study found that savers are more attractive to the opposite sex than spenders. Hmmm.
We solved the boring, tedious and confusing enrollment problem by helping iJoin create a simple and intuitive user-interface to create an experience that can almost be described as enjoyable. To stimulate end-users to use iJoin and to invest more in their 401ks, we created an integrated campaign utilizing cheeky double-entendres declaring Saving is Sexy. In-office posters, savings tips via emails & texts and direct mail inspire and motivate year-round saving.
To get the industry fired up we challenged DCIOs, Brokers, Financial Planners and Planned Sponsors to Get America Saving Again through impossible to ignore imagery and statistics about America's looming savings crisis.
iJoin debuted at the National Association of Plan Advisors summit. The response to the company and work was overwhelming. As of this post, iJoin is in negotiations with several major financial institutions to use its game-changing solution. Stay tuned for more.
Direct Mail | Lead Generation | Online | Print | Tradeshow | Event Planning | Competitive Analysis | Media Planning & Placement | Video
March Networks is the world's largest provider of sophisticated video surveillance equipment and software for banking and retail companies. The surveillance category is filled with parity brands with no distinctive voice. March Networks needed a look and a voice that would not only make them stand out from the pack but make them leaders.
For the past three years, we've done just that through a series of smart, in-your-face campaigns highlighting their solution for three verticals: Banking, Retail and Transit. Each campaign plays off the tagline See More and challenges potential clients to take a closer look at March Networks cameras, NVRs and software.
Through tongue-in-cheek executions across direct mail, print, banners, emails, landing pages, tradeshow booths and events we gave March Networks a distinctive voice and a fresh look and feel. We used highly targeted media to reach hard to find security decision makers in large retail, financial and transport institutions.
While the client prefers to keep detailed results under wrap (you know… security), the See More campaign platform was successful in standing out and ultimately helped deliver hundreds of sales leads for March Networks. The fact that the platform was used for several years is a testament to its likeability and effectiveness.
Brand Strategy | Broadcast | Print | Outdoor | POP | Digital | Promotions | Media Planning & Placement
Mark Jacobson Toyota is one of the top Toyota dealerships in the country. Located in Durham it's served the Triangle for over 15 years and has sold over 35,000 cars. Mark Jacobson, the owner, is a local celebrity famous for his silly but endearing TV spots.
Mark has had a hard time capitalizing on the growth of Raleigh and Cary due to new competitors in those markets. With a new pre-owned super store and revitalized truck and new Toyota dealerships, Mark hired us to help him develop a new marketing strategy and integrated campaign.
Instead of creating more me-too dealer ads screaming the lowest prices and best trade-ins, we created a campaign showing a side of Mark nobody knew about. For years Mark has anonymously and generously contributed to the community.
Paid off by the tagline, Mark's Got Your Back, each month we showed Mark paying it forward. To support sales initiatives, we created hard-hitting spots called Question Mark where customers' problems were always solved by Mark's great car deals.
Each campaign was mirrored through print, online, in-dealership and radio executions.
After just nine months:
• New Toyota vehicle sales increased YOY by 11%
• Pre-owned sales are up over 33%
• The sales gap between MJT and its biggest competitor closed by 79%
• CTRs for online banners are triple the national average
• Pre-roll views doubled