• Advertising • Video Production • Illustration / Animation • Motion Graphics Design
VersaMe needed a YouTube video campaign that not only explained their revolutionary early-education wearable, but also caught and kept a notoriously ad-adverse audience's attention. Our campaign garnered an astounding 25% view through rate.
VersaMe's product is the Starling – an early-education wearable that, when worn by a child, will count the number of words that child hears every day and send that feedback to your smartphone so you know how much engagement your child is getting every day. Why? Because over 30 years of child development research has found that between ages 0 and 4, the brain needs all the verbal engagement it can get as it's developing. The more engagement, the more likely that child will reach his/her full potential.
Still with us?
Kind of a lot to explain, right? Here were other issues:
• we had three weeks to launch a full suite of videos from concept to finish
• VersaMe is a startup so it had to be done very, very, very inexpensively but look like a million bucks
• The ads were running on YouTube - which meant they needed to get a viewers attention and keep it if they were going to survive the 5 second SKIP THIS AD button
We started with scripts that were necessarily-but-entertainingly chock-a-block with everything we had to say about the Staling. We then orchestrated VersaMe's small photo library, some stock photos, custom illustrations and animations by Dave, a VO by Kelly, and went to work a talented After Effects editor.
Our crazy recipe was a success, crushing through the 5 second SKIP THIS AD button and pulling a 25% view-through rate on YouTube.
• Rebranding (from name to email signatures) • Advertising
A small, local communications provider wanted a new brand identity that could compete with the big out-of-town competition (Spectrum, Windstream, etc.), but still retain a local flavor. We delivered a complete system that projects reliability with a nice dash of neighborly charm.
What do you do when your competition offers everything you do and has deep enough pockets to undercut your price whenever they want? You focus on what the big guys can't do.
We started by creating a name and identity package fit for a giant big-city communications conglomerate to reflect Continuum's reliability. Next we leaned into the two things that sets Continuum apart from their competitors – being a local business and having excellent customer service.
The result is a strong, confident brand that is also very human.
Mooresville Downtown Commission
Downtown Mooresville is charming. Late 1800's brick architecture, early 1900's storefronts, wide sidewalks and an old train depot right on Main Street. There's even a train that still rolls along the length of Downtwon every day. As if it were purposefully staged to recreate the historic scene. The only thing Downtown didn't have were people who knew it existed.
Mooresville as a whole is like two cities in one, with a two-lane freeway cutting through the middle. On one side is Lake Norman (man-made in the 60's) and all the big box stores, chain restaurants and upscale grocery stores you can ask for. On the other side is where its heart lies. The depot Downtown was literally where the town was born in 1876. Historic homes surround the small 4 blocks but even families living in sub-divisions as close as a mile away didn't know this gem of a Downtown existed.
In 2007 gave Downtown it's first comprehensive brand identity. We began with a logo/tagline lockup that resembled old train depot signage from the past. An even though there was not much happening Downtown, the MDC had plans to launch a bushel of events that would hopefully attract folks Downtown. Those new events would be our proving ground and our tagline, "It's Happening Downtown", not only heralded a change coming, it suggested that perhaps it was already happening.
There was an exhausting amount of launch materials. Everything you'd expect was prepared (brochures, street banners, identity packages, ad templates, maps, website overhaul, etc.) along with some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve our goal of getting people talking about what's happening Downtown.
Within one year of the launch, Downtown was able to attract two new restaurants and a bar featuring live music. And one evening, a news crew from Charlotte's WBTV appeared on Main Street to film a story on Downtown Mooresville's success.
In the following years we created a customer loyalty program that allowed citizens to become card-carrying, life-long "members" of Downtown Mooresville. We even gave them a title – Downtownies™. In 2007 the program was recognized by the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Main Street Center with an award for Best Innovation.
Currently, we're working on yet another set of innovations for Downtown. Making sure that there's always something happening Downtown.
Downtown Mooresville - Identity
Downtown Mooresville - Collateral
Brochure - Downtown Mooresville
Downtown Mooresville - Downtownie™ Logos
Downtown Mooresville - Website
Downtown Mooresville - Street Banners
Downtown Mooresville - Merchandise
Downtown Mooresville - Photo Bank
MI-Connection Communications Service
In 2007 the towns of Mooresville, Cornelius and Davidson bought the bankrupt voice, internet and cable provider, Adelphia. To say it was an unpopular decision would be a gross understatement. Not much later, it proved to be to be a financially devastating decision as well. MI-Connection went quiet, working on righting the ship with a new CEO with high-level Time-Warner experience and a plan.
In 2012 things were looking better for MI-Connection’s ability to deliver quality service, and they were looking for a way to begin wooing customers in earnest. But the stigma of the purchase never faded. Public officials who had anything to do with the purchase weren’t re-elected. The name itself was a bad joke. It was in this environment that we presented our strategy for changing the conversation and getting people to love the cable company they loved to hate.
Our approach was simple. We called the campaign “Straight Talk” and each component was less an advertisement as it was an of open letter from MI-Connection to the public. Being such, copy tone was everything. Head-on, every piece of criticism from the past was addressed with confidence, wit and intelligence. They were bold, surprising and sometimes even shocking. Each was a full-page ad in every the local newspaper. And we ran a new ad every week, for 13 weeks. It was a barrage of positive messaging and by the end of it’s launch, the blow-back was nonexistent. And new subscribers began signing up.
Over the last five years, we‘ve helped MI-Connection to become a thoughtful, important part of their community. By creatively rewarding their subscribers (while gently reminding potential subscribers know what their out-of-town provider isn’t giving them). MI-Connection is currently enjoying financial success that has surpassed expectations. And we are (and always were) proud to be associated with them.
MI-Connection - Print
MI-Connection - Print
MI-Connection - Print
MI-Connection - Print
MI-Connection - Print
Safe Baby Handling Tips
Having your first baby is a terrifying experience. That's what we thought when we had our boy. You have no idea what you're doing and your spouse is equally clueless. Everything you read is scary as hell. The classes you take are downright scary. OMG, what if we break him!?
But you know what? You gradually learn that if your aren't a complete imbecile, you'll probable do ok. You might even find you're GOOD at it. That was our inspiration to write and illustrate Safe Baby Handling Tips in 2005. A board book full of very important tips on how to (and how NOT to) handle your newborn.
Despite becoming a popular internet meme (you can easily find every page circulating on Reddit and countless parenting blogs), its sold over 700,000 copies to date. It's even been translated into French and German for, what we hope is an audience that knows the tips are intended to be humorous.
In 2015 we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Safe Baby Handling Tips by adding new Tips (Sharing Baby News on Social Media, among others) to make it "even more helpful".
You can find Safe Baby Handling tips in any of the few remaining bookstores and on amazon.com. You can also find it in an exclusive, limited edition gift bundle on wrybaby.com.
Safe Baby Handling Tips - Cover
Safe Baby Handling Tips - Spread 1
Safe Baby Handling Tips - Spread 2
Safe Baby Handling Tips - Author Note
If you've had kids, you've probably gazed into your newborn's eyes and wondered, "What will you be when you grow up?". Similarly, if have you ever looked at a professional Flamenco dancer and asked yourself, "Did they ever, as a child, think they'd be doing THIS?".
In 2009 we conjured up a mysterious, mystic mentalist named Mysterio who can see into the FUTURE of any and every baby on the planet. And rather than just say that future out loud, or write it on a scroll of fine parchment, he emblazons that future on a cute little baby shirt. What future will baby get? There's a list of possibilities on the back of every package, but ultimately no one knows which is in each bag (except Mysterio, of course).
And if that's not amazing enough, consider this – Mysterio is so confident in his abilities that his predictions are GUARANTEED TO COME TRUE or your money back! It's all on the guarantee card that comes in every package (we suggest you pay close attention to the copious legalese at the bottom).
Mysterio has taken on a life of his own. He's sold hundreds of thousands of his baby predictions and has gained a sort of cult following. He's always going on adventurous buying trips and he let's his fans follow along on Twitter and Instagram. He's currently working on writing and illustrating a book that he hopes to launch late 2015. You can find his products for sale on wrybaby.com
An amazing baby shower gift and a keepsake parents will treasure as they anxiously await the fulfillment of Mysterio's amazing prediction.
All 12 futures have recently been refreshed, so your baby may become...
a Soap Opera Villain Career College Student Extreme Coupon Clipper Hamster Advocate Pickle Merchant Roller Coaster Tester Phone Psychic Sword Collector Prize Poodle Breeder Double Agent Lottery Winner Badminton Instructor
Let Mysterio predict your baby's FUTURE today!
Mysterio Predicts - Packaging Front
Mysterio Predicts - Packaging Back
Mysterio Predicts POP Counter Display
American Greetings Properties
American Greetings Properties (AGP) is the brand management arm of American Greetings. They're the gatekeepers for properties such as Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and Holly Hobbie. They also create new properties, which they license to the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon. In 2013 they brought us in to help with a "re-staging" project. They wanted a new skin to wear for a couple of years that would shake up AGP's corporate image and, frankly, make them look like the hip, young idea-makers that they actually are.
We presented a slew of ways to position themselves, and a remote, self-sufficient island of make-believe fun won the day. All their properties (young and old) could live together on this fanciful online archipelago. Visitors could click on the many villages to learn more about each creative property and its licensing opportunities.
“Happiness Happens Here” was our theme line for them and the execution was not only pulled through the entire AGP website (mobile, tablet and desktop), but extended to identity packages, PowerPoint templates, trade show booth graphics.
American Greetings Properties - Website
American Greetings Properties - Website
American Greetings Properties - Detail
American Greetings Properties - Trade Show Booth
American Greetings Properties - Logo Lock-up
The hardest questions we're asked at parties is, "What do you do for a living?".
We spend our time swinging between projects like designing and producing a modern line of plush dolls to a poster for a local farmer's market. Writing and illustrating books for publishers like Random House and Abrams then presenting strategy at a communications company's quarterly board meeting. It's exciting, challenging and we wouldn't have it any other way.
This page represents some of that eclectic problems solving we do. And if you haven't decided to yet, do give us a call. We'd love to hear about your opportunity.