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After nine months of planning, 900 names, 30+ logos and taglines, more than 20 teaser ads and over 300 press event participants, our team was thrilled to officially launch Navicent Health.

The healthcare system, formerly known as Central Georgia Health System, has the second largest hospital in the state of Georgia (second to Emory), but was a virtually unknown entity outside outside of its core counties. Made up of more than 6,000 employees and 30+ facilities and service lines, we had the opportunity to rebrand the entire healthcare system. A new name, logo, tagline, brand standards, website, a brand essence video, press event and other content items are just many of the ways we’ve partnered with Navicent Health to unveil their new brand and mission. For more information, see our case study.

 

Healthcare Brand Launch

That headline gets your attention doesn’t it? It’s actually not far from the truth. While we’re not offering our services for free, we do want to point out one very simple marketing solution that, if your company sells a product and isn’t doing this, you’re missing out on free branding. Any company that is in a category like sports, outdoor, bicycle, music or any other type of performance, competitive or passion category absolutely needs to include a sticker in every product package that gets shipped to any distributor, retailer or consumer.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a high-interest category like sports or outdoors, your consumers will happily be brand advocates if they are just given some simple tools. Like a sticker. If your sticker makes it on the back of their car, do you know how many people see that? It’s free branding. And what if they have some other great brands’ stickers on the back of their car? Instant borrowed equity and synergy with other like-minded brands.

Consider it social media for the real world. And it stays on your consumer’s “wall” for a lot longer than a “Like”.

The only catch? You’ll have to shell out 12¢ for the sticker. 

Here’s one place you can buy stickers.

 

 

Free Marketing for the Sports and Outdoor Industry

Hegarty On Advertising, Turning Intelligence in Magic is written by John Hegarty, who I would consider one of the great minds in modern advertising. His agency, BBH which started in London and now has offices in New York, Singapore and other global cities, is behind the amazing campaigns for Levi’s from the late 80’s through the early 2000s. His outlook on creative, business, clients and branding is so honest and direct that it cuts straight through all the marketing jargon that other books ply. He touches on what Bernbach taught us about modern advertising and discusses what he learned in his early career, which influenced the great work his agency does today.

Instead of continuing to describe why this book is a must read, let us just give a few excerpts:

“Always remember that all information goes through the heart. Or as James Stephens, in his book The Crock of Gold, said: ‘What the heart feels today, the head will understand tomorrow.’

“You have to accept the creative process is completely dysfunctional. If you deny that fact, you will ultimately fail.”

“Great brands that continue to be succesful are so because they don’t think like a conventional brand owner who is obsessed only with themselves and the belief that the world revolves around them and their product. The key to great marketing is never stop thinking like your audience.

“So, in true BBH style, we put the brand at the centre of the advertising, made the product the hero (in fact created a product demonstration), but wrapped it in emotional power.

As a creative, account director, planner or a client, it’s one of the best advertising books I’ve read since “Hey Whipple, squeeze this!” by Luke Sullivan.

 

 

 

An Advertising Book Worth Reading

As the Atlanta economy picks up speed once again, many Atlanta ad agencies are feeling the uptick in business. Seed Factory has been around for almost 2.5 years and we’re busier than we’ve ever been. Our current roster of clients are keeping us busy with rewarding and challenging work.

Currently we have some exciting projects going in healthcare, DIY and home improvement, commercial construction, business consulting and outdoor sports categories.

We’re sure the bigger agencies in Atlanta, like BBDO, JWT, 22Squared, Ogilvy, Fitzco, Digitas and Moxie are putting in long hours trying to keep up with the work loads their Fortune 500 clients are piling on, just as we are putting in very satisfying, but long hours for our clients. Even the mid-sized shops like Brunner, BlueSky, ASOY, Three and Van Winkle are having to make sure they are properly staffed for the larger workloads.

As a boutique Atlanta advertising and PR agency with the ambition and talent to grow into a mid-size agency, our current clients keep continue to assign us more projects as we deliver exciting results and value. If you’d like senior staff working on your advertising, PR and branding projects, make sure to contact us to learn what we’ve been up to lately, and more importantly how we can help grow your business.

Atlanta Ad Agencies—Business is Good

The Seed Factory crew was recently invited to a Nike ID party, where each person picks and customizes their own shoes.  It was a small event hosted by a trade magazine and every attention to detail was thought through by the brand. We left the store being a bigger fan than before. (Disclaimer: We do not work for the shoe manufacturer).

The experience was a good reminder just how important each touch point is for a brand. From the personalized card that shows a picture of the finished product to the miniature Nike shoebox the custom card comes in—every detail reinforced the importance of the brand elements and how they are experienced by the consumer.

As companies view the full customer experience—from the first print or digital ad encountered to the experience online or at the retail store, all of these brand touch points make a difference.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to ensure your brand is sending a consistent message:

  • Are the hang tags a similar look and feel as the product packaging?
  • Does the print ad campaign match the visuals and tone of your website?
  • Do the product or brand videos showcase the emotional connection with the consumer?
  • Are you promoting these brand videos? A small investment can make a significant difference in who sees the video you invested in.
  • Is your brands voice consistent across all of your channels?
  • Is your product packaged well? When it is shipped to the consumer, is the first impression a positive one?
  • Can you clearly differentiate your product or service from the competitors?
  • Are your internal and external teams aligned—is everyone communicating the same product/service benefits? From the product platform position to the supporting points?

Nike had the insight to bring a customized experience to life and it was executed very well. These are all good reminders for marketing directors to think through the entire experience the consumer has with your brand, ensuring integration and consistency throughout.

 

Every Touch Point Counts—From the first experience to delivery of the product or service

Seed Factory is based in Atlanta. Sometimes we’re embarrassed by that. We couldn’t agree with Jon Stewart’s humor more. The fun starts about 1:49 into this video:

Atlanta Snowpocalypse—Seed Factory Stayed Open!

Here’s Part 2 of how to make a memorable video that is highly viewed. These tips will get you more views and help build your brand. Don’t forget to review steps 1-5 below this post.

6. Be weirder than weird. It’s always fascinating to watch weirdness and try to figure out why someone did something so odd. YouTube is a great place to do this and people love to share these “freaky weird” videos. If your brand is brave enough to go this route, it can pay off significantly because viewers will appreciate the risk your brand took to entertain them. Maverick brands that create this type of content can attract some of the strongest, most die-hard advocates on earth. Just remember to make sure that in all of its video weirdness, you understand who your audience is, you have an underlying brand message, or you’re willing to have the weirdness “sponsored” by your brand. As brands become facilitators of entertainment, it’s ok to simply be a curator or sponsor of content.

7. Put a prank or stunt in it. If you can pull off an amazing stunt or prank that people believe is real, or it looks so cool they excuse the slight of hand used to seam it together you can get major views as debates ignite over if it was real or not.

8. Put babies or really cute kids in it. Especially if the target audience is female, or better yet, mothers, your brand will win going this route. But again, it needs to feel honest, sweet or just captured as a sincere moment of life. If you can’t pull honest, sweet or sincere off perfectly, go with funny and still put babies in it.

9. Make it Beautiful. Get out your brand-building wallet and support a visually stunning, cinematic masterpiece with an amazing music score that explains what your brand stands for. No matter how busy and fast-paced our corner-cutting society becomes, people will take notice. There is something so eloquent in a great piece of film that has been crafted to show the world in a different, more beautiful light; Something that gets people to slow down, watch, appreciate and share (hint: sometimes that “thing” is the beauty of seeing the world in slow-motion).

10. Advertise and Promote your Video. Yes, that’s right, you can actually do a paid YouTube media buy for your video. And you can be very specific with who it’s served to and where they are geographically. How dare I suggest that you do a media buy for your video on YouTube? After all, it’s supposed to be this place where your video just gets all these free impression from people dying to watch what you created. But even with all the outlined video strategies, there’s no guarantee that any video you do will go viral. Remember your video will be competing against all the great video content that doesn’t have a brand message or any standards to uphold. These videos are the ones that often go viral and get millions of views because they really don’t have any other motive than to entertain. So why not, as a brand, pay to have your video shown “pre-roll” to another video? Or have it show up in Recommended Videos sidebar. And what might be the best deal around is that with a YouTube media buy, you can pick up thousands of brand impressions for nothing. Think of it as a sort of “value-add” to your media by if you set it up right.

As for promoting your video, you’ll want to do more than post it to your company Facebook page. You’ll want to dedicate a budget to a true PR effort aimed at blogs in your industry. If you can get a few good blogs to pay attention and push it out to their subscribers, you can gain 30,000 views overnight. And if your video has mainstream appeal or something unique and funny in it, then you need to put the effort into having it picked up by mainstream entertainment and news sites like Buzzfeed and Digg.

Whatever type of video you end up creating, chances are it won’t go viral on its own. It has to be good, and it has to be promoted.

 

Branded Video Content Ideas, Part 2

Getting a video viewed by more than the amount of employees in your company comes down to content quality and promotion (more on that part later), so here’s some ideas about what makes a good branded video.

1. Use physical comedy. We can’t stress this enough. People love physical comedy, and they love to share it in social media. Physical comedy needs to use shock or surprise to work. If what’s about to happen is telegraphed at all, it will fall flat and you won’t have true comedy that people want to share. The pure shock of physical humor jolts something in the human mind that makes people feel alive and energized. There is an art and a learning curve to creating quality physical comedy. Many don’t do it well, but good ad agencies and production companies understand it, so trust their instincts if you decide to go down this path.

2. Celebrate Human Feats. As much as we love amazing animals, we love amazing humans. Often this is the mainstay of athletic companies, but who says your brand can’t be related to human achievement? Red Bull isn’t an athletic company, but they’ve become synonymous with extreme athletes. Extreme athletes always make for video content, but think about what other human feats you can relate your brand and video to. Apple attaches its brand to amazing humans who Think Different. What about amazing musicians, ballet dancers, street dancers in a third world country? All sorts of amazing human achievements can make for great video content and a strong brand identity.

3. Create content that will get the commercial banned somewhere. People love things that are deemed “off-limits” to a group, or part of society. If a TV station or government has stamped the proverbial censorship rating on it, all that much better for the video’s chances of going viral online. Promote the heck out of it as a banned tv commercial. Just make sure it’s good or it will get many more thumbs-down than thumbs-up. One such commercial our Creative Director wrote the script for (that was more physical humor than edgy content, but was banned in England anyhow) had over 2 million views of the official video and multiple parodies:

4. Put a celebrity in it. If you have the budget, incorporating a celebrity into your concept can almost automatically generate video views. Look for celebrities that make sense with your brand and then create a contract that states they will promote the video on their own social media channels like Twitter. Some call this borrowed interest, but it works. We recently put WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio in a client’s commercial and for the product category, it did pretty well on YouTube because he has a built in following and blogs were more willing to promote the video because anything a public figure does, qualifies as news-worthy.

5. Put a cute animal in it. People love furry little creatures like puppies and kittens when they are doing something adorable, funny or amazing. Actually setting out to produce something like this is much harder than just spontaneously capturing it in a lucky video. For brands, this means your agency needs to have a well thought out idea, but you also have to be much more flexible, willing to experiment, or change the plan if something isn’t working. What this means is the highest level decision maker at a company should be involved if it’s going to work. You also need to be open to silliness as a brand as that is often where these animal videos end up.

Next week, we’ll post part 2 which covers more content categories that work well for online video. We’ll also talk about the importance of promoting your video.

Building a Brand with Video: How to Get More Views, part 1

Here’s an example of how a simple insight can lead to a strong campaign. It connects with users on an emotional level because it shows the company understands the culture and helps women indulge in their product without being taboo.

Smart insights create human connections

We are firm believers that there’s never a bad time for coffee. And lucky for us, our agency just happens to be located close to some of Atlanta’s best coffee shops. Here is a list of some of our favorite local spots to get you through the day.

West Side

Revelator – This is our in-house coffee-connoisseur’s go to shop. He swears the pourover brew is the best in the city. The absolutely gorgeous interior, paired with great coffee, keeps us going back.

revelator

Brash – Located across the street from the Revelator and housed in an overhauled shipping container, Brash brews up some mean espresso drinks. The small shop is perfect for a quick stop-in and the atmosphere provides a great backdrop to hang out and sip your brew.

brash

Chattahoochee Coffee Company –  Another Westside shop with delicious espresso is Chattahoochee. Along with great coffee drinks, it has an awesome view of the skyline from west midtown.

Octane – One doesn’t talk coffee in Atlanta without mentioning Octane. They’ve been keeping Atlanta caffeinated (with good coffee) for more than 12 years now.

octane

Star Provisions – This awesome little shop is tucked away and serves the Atlanta roasted Batdorf and Bronson coffee, and have an incredible selection of house-made pastries. Make sure to grab one of the coffee cakes too, they’re huge!

 

Other Locations

Chrome Yellow Trading Co. – Located on Edgewood, they brew delicious coffee in a gorgeous, well lit space. There’s also a trendy shop full of clothing and other goods in the back.

Taproom – Kirkwood’s hybrid coffee bar, Taproom serves fine coffee drinks and beers. They even feature a hop infused nitro cold brew they call the “beerspresso”.

Spiller Park – Spiller Park is located in the center of Ponce City Market. They have an awesome list of coffees for various roasters across the globe, and the selection is always changing. Go here for one of the best pourovers you’ve ever had and grab a Sublime donut while there.

Condesa – Another hybrid coffee bar, Condesa has been around for a while. With a location in downtown and one in Old Fourth Ward, they make great pour-overs and have a nice, chill atmosphere for getting work done.

Dancing Goats – Another shop serving Batdorf and Bronson coffee, Dancing Goats on North Avenue, is situated right behind Ponce City Market. What we love most is their killer patio – seriously, you could spend an entire afternoon there. They’re definitely a favorite for hanging out on nice spring days.

 

Top 10 Best Coffee Shops in Atlanta