We are coming up on nine years of having our marketing (PR & Advertising) agency, Seed Factory. When we started the agency, my business partner and I committed to investing at least one year to making a go of it. We didn’t start the agency for financial prosperity, but instead it would give us a chance to work together, do great work and have some control of our lives. After working at global agencies, the last thing we had was control of our schedules or the clients we worked with.
Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with both global and regional companies across many industries and sectors. We’ve recently taken the time to think about some of our most endearing, satisfying and memorable projects over the years. Because we’ve worked with many companies, on more than 1,000 projects, it was tough to drill down to our ultimate favorites, but here’s what stands out (in no particular order):
1. Atlanta Humane Society (Photography & Website)
One of our first non-profit clients was the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS). We updated their brand, built a new website and introduced their second location through PR and Guerrilla marketing. As MAJOR animal lovers, this was a dream project. One of the first priorities was to have AHS stop using stock photos of animals and instead, take photos of the more than 500 animals that are in their care at any one time. Our photography focused on the emotion of the animals and tried to tell their stories, one image at a time. We felt proud of the work, and I came home with one feisty little dog named Valencia that showed us old dogs can give the best of love. This effort also led us to work with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to design and develop a new website, which launched this week.
Take-away: The experience matters. In this case, people wanted to see the real animals of AHS and get a sense of optimism and hope from the feeling the website projected.
2. Johnson Battery Technology (Marketing Strategy)
This was aspirational and motivating work as we got to meet and work closely with former NASA rocket scientist (and the inventor of the super soaker), Dr. Lonnie Johnson. I got to sit across the table from him—discussing battery technology, top-secret customer visits, a new website, PR strategy, marketing activations and his view of an achievable future that ran on renewable energy. He shared his incredible journey from growing up a poor child in Alabama to a millionaire inventor of the Super SoakerTM. Working with a client on life-changing work that will impact all of our lives sooner than later, was a personal career milestone.
Take-away: Leadership matters. The leader of this organization was brilliant and hired the best and brightest to see his vision through. We were able to help him understand the value of marketing, which was a big accomplishment when working with a rocket scientist.
3. Werner Ladder (NCAA TV Spot)
This was our first official client (and still a current client) that allowed us to start the agency. As Werner is a sponsor of the NCAA, we shot their first ever national TV spot on location at our local Ace Hardware in Decatur. The owner (and neighbor) not only let us shoot there, but loaned us his daughter’s car when we needed to break a windshield with a sledgehammer, over and over again. We’ve gone on to produce multiple TV spots for our client and have led PR efforts since day one, but the making of this commercial brings back lots of fun memories.
Take-away: You don’t need to spend $250k to produce a national TV spot. If you have a strong idea, you can produce an award worthy spot that gets people’s attention and is remembered for years to come.
4. Navicent Health (Rebranding)
Mark, our creative director, has 15+ years’ experience in healthcare and public health sectors (even won an Emmy for one of his TV campaigns) so we jumped at the chance to work with the second largest healthcare system in the state of Georgia, Navicent Health. Formally known as Central Georgia Health System, we had the chance to rebrand the system (came up with their new name after concepting and testing over 300 names), produced multiple TV spots (including my favorite), and launched their brand at an official press conference. This was truly an “integrated” effort where all channels worked together on one common goal.
Take-away: What worked here is a CEO with a vision (and leadership), direct agency-CEO communications and finding a brand positioning that resonated with the community and Navicent Health’s 8,000 employees.
5. CDC Foundation (Rebranding)
The CDC Foundation is another one of our favorites as their mission is focused on the greater good of our society. They came to us for a brand refresh that included updating the non-profit’s brand positioning, visual identity, logo and tagline to better connect with their key stakeholders – influential donors and partners, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The positioning, logo and tagline now clearly articulates the mission of the organization and better supports its benefactor, the CDC, with a mission of saving more lives. We’ve since partnered with them on multiple community-driven initiatives and programs for the betterment of public health.
Take-away: By closely working with the C-suite and senior leadership teams, we were able to get buy-in and approval from the board, who is actively involved. The internal team had built a trusting relationship with the board and leadership teams to make the process very smooth. They also happen to be one of the nicest clients we’ve worked with – they are smart, respectful and strategic every step of the way.
6. Kontrol Freek (Branding)
We were hired to create a brand identity refresh in celebration of their 10th anniversary. This was a satisfying branding project because we uncovered insights from studying teen gamers culture – who they are, what they identify with and the visual language surrounding their social, digital and physical environments. Along with the branding, we created videos and animation for all their digital needs and a holiday campaign.
Take-away: Know your audience and you’ll be able to create successful brand and marketing objectives for anyone.
7. Atlas Roofing Corporation (Veterans Project)
This has been one of our longest standing client relationships. What started out as one brochure project has turned into a six+ year partnership. One of the most notable was Atlas’ support of the Veteran’s Community Project, in which they donated products to construct tiny homes for homeless veterans. This initiative is coming to additional cities across the U.S. and hopefully including Atlanta in 2022.
Take-away: It’s not always about directly selling a product. Altruistic deeds from brands can come to life in their support of key initiatives for the community and their employees.
8. Anchor Hocking (Woman Strong Campaign)
Chances are if you have a measuring cup in your house, it’s more than likely made from one of two 100-year old glass manufacturers— Anchor Hocking or Pyrex. We launched several new products for them and one of the highlights as an agency was going to their manufacturing facility in Ohio to see first-hand how glass is made. From launching new products to introducing woman-strong branditude campaigns, this was a trusting client relationship that came from working together at a previous agency and brand.
Take-away: Working with clients that understand the importance of audience research, positioning, strategy and strong creative will always make the work more effective.
9. Beauflor (Introducing the global brand to North America)
Beauflor is a large global company with headquarters in Belgium. In 2016, they opened a 500,000 sq. ft manufacturing plant in North Georgia and needed an agency to build their U.S. brand, creating awareness among their business and consumer audiences. From setting their brand standards to defining six design profiles, launching the U.S. website, activating PR, advertising, social campaigns and designing the trade show booth, this was an excellent client to work with. We enjoyed having an impact on the adoption of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) as it first gained traction in commercial builds (hotels, restaurants, retail and healthcare) and now is a go-to flooring choice for new residential builds.
Take-away: An integrated approach with one agency partner lets a brand find, and execute, its voice consistently.
10. Arborguard (Website & Video)
This regional company was one of our first projects that we landed from simply taking the chance and leaving a note on the owner’s porch. We lived in the same neighborhood and Mark, who isn’t afraid to take a risk, simply left a nice note at the front door of his house introducing our agency. The owner called us as he needed a new website, video work and he wanted to work with a local company if possible. This was one of the kindest clients we’ve ever worked with. Unfortunately, he recently passed from cancer, but the foundation of his company is what we’ve always strived for – kindness, integrity and hard-work.
Take-away: Spencer taught us that authenticity and kindness will always be a solid platform for any business.