McDonald’s Love Notes

Isn’t it nice when someone leaves you a little love note just because?

Whether it’s a note from your mom in your lunchbox:
“Have a good day sweetie!” (Hopefully only when you were a kid)

Or a note from your adoring husband, left on your pillow:
“Just wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful and I’ll love you forever.”

Or a romantic note from your loving wife:

  • Take out the diaper garbage. It’s stinking up the bedroom.
  • Pick up more diapers.
  • Pick up the dead spider on the floor. I used your shoe.
  • The cat puked on your chair. Clean it up.

That was the idea behind these love notes we created for McDonald’s. They were randomly slipped in the food bags of McDonald’s customers in the drive thru. Just because.

LoveNotes

KSFY & Washington Pavilion Media Camp

By: Carol Oren

Last week I was honored to be a part of the first ever Washington Pavilion/KSFY Media ksfyCamp. The idea was the brainchild of General Manager Jim Berman. When I was approached to be the client the kids would pitch the sponsorship to, I enthusiastically said, “YES!”

The camp was free of charge and open to high school students. Applicants were to submit a 3 minute video and were hand-selected by KSFY staff. These young adults learned all aspects of a television station from writing, reporting, weather, and even sales. That’s where I came in. They sat down with my Account Executive, Leah Jones to learn more about the agency and the client they were going to pitch the sponsorship to, PizzaRev, a real ADwërks client.

washingtonpavillionI was ushered in to the board room on the 4th floor of the Washington Pavilion to hear the presentations by 3 separate teams. What I expected to get out of the experience and what I actually got was nothing in comparison. These kids were polished, professional and had statistical information regarding news viewers, social media followers and what they were going to bring to the table for PizzaRev.

The first group was a little nervous and mostly read from their scripts, but the second and third groups blew me away! One young lady really stood out. She walked in the room, dressed in a business suit, walked over to me and shook my hand. She then led the group by introducing herself and her team. This young lady wowed me with the social media stats of all the campers, and she explained what that could mean to the viewership level of the two newscasts. She then handed the pitch over to the rest of the team – what the client would get, how much it would cost, etc. These kids put their everything into selling the sponsorship to PizzaRev so their newscast would air on Friday.

We had time after the presentations for a question and answer session and I also offered up some advice and tips on selling to a client. When all was said and done, the group came in at a higher priced sponsorship than I expected, but paying it was well worth seeing the huge grins on their faces when I accepted the sponsorship.

If you missed Friday’s newscast, you missed a glimpse at our future anchors. These youngsters hit it out of the park! They were dressed professionally, smiled and were well-polished on camera. Way to go Washington Pavilion and KSFY! I hope you make this an annual event for kids to learn more about the world of journalism.

Falls Park Farmers Market 2014 Campaign

Because we love advertising AND local produce so much, every year ADwërks puts together a humble, yet bold ad campaign for the Falls Park Farmers Market, the largest farmers market in Sioux Falls with over 100 years under its belt.

The campaign consists of periodic email blasts that let customers know what’s new and in season at the market along with some print ads in the Argus Leader. The concept behind this year’s campaign was to position the idea of buying local produce from people in your community against faceless factory farming, rather than just doing things like childishly, yet still hilariously, drawing similarities between produce and the human anatomy, like we did last year. See a few examples of this year’s ads below, along with the aforementioned immature ads below that.

2014

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2014_04_FPFM_Ads_Argus-Leader_10x2-5_JPG_ProdTest_Corn2013

2013_08_FPFM_Ad_ArgusLeader_10x2.5_NiceMelons2013_04_FPFM_Ad_AL_10x2.5_PullFingerBeans2013_05_FPFM_Ad_AL_10x2.5_SoilYourself

 

 

 

Celebrating 15 Years of Handcrafted Marketing Solutions, and “That’s What She Said” Jokes

On February 19, 1999, ADwërks opened its doors for the first time. Jim had boldly, and kind of crazily, decided to leave his stable job with a cushy office, for an unstable job with a home office, that also doubled as a spare bedroom.

There was no fancy ribbon cutting ceremony or popping of champagne (although there was a healthy supply of Maker’s Mark in the house). There was just one man (with 50% more hair) and one dream. And with that, Jim turned on his Windows 98 computer and fax machine, and began work for a couple of car dealers in Topeka, KS and Lincoln, NE. ADwërks’ first client grew up to be CarHop, and they are still a client today.

What began as a dream, quickly spiraled into a reality. Like, a real-employees-who-need-retirement-plans type of reality. Over the last 15 years, ADwërks steadily grew from one employee and a handful of clients, to 12 employees and numerous clients. Some clients and projects have come and gone, but many clients have been working with us since the beginning.

ADwërks has undergone many changes over the years – changes in staff, changes in locations, changes in clients – but there is one thing that has remained the same, and that’s the passion. It’s the same thing that motivated Jim to leave his job and go at it alone, and it’s what continues to fuel ADwërks today – a passion for advertising, a passion for producing great work, and a passion for working with great people.

Thanks to our friends, industry colleagues, clients, and all who has supported us over the years! Here’s to many more!

– Andrew

Toulouse-Lautrec & His World Campaign

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s art has captivated the world for decades. His immersion into the theatrical and decadent nightlife of 19th century Paris influenced his creation of a wealth of prominent and iconic works. To celebrate these works, an exhibit called Toulouse-Lautrec & His World has come to America for the first time, and the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls is one of only four stops around the country. ADwërks was honored to have the opportunity to promote it.

Since we knew the exhibit would appeal to a diverse group of people, we created and implemented an extensive marketing campaign that’s sure to reach everyone.

TV
Accompanied by 19th century cabaret music, images of some of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most recognizable pieces transition from one to the next as a French woman’s sultry voice communicates the message.

Radio
Taken from real quotes from art critics of the time, the radio spot features two cynical French men scrutinizing Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. But hearing their rants today, they actually provide us with an accurate description of his art. What some may have considered Toulouse-Lautrec’s flaws during his time, we view as his strengths today.

Digital
This is one of four animated GIF ads we created. They resemble the same look as the TV spot. To replay, just click it.

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Posters
Since a good portion of our target audience frequents downtown Sioux Falls, we created posters that were displayed in the windows of downtown shops.

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Additionally, we created some print ads and a billboard to help get the word out.

The exhibit will take place January 25th through June 8th, and will be held in the Everist Gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion. It will feature 150 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s original works, including 12 of his famous posters and 35 sketches. If you enjoy art even just a little bit, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Toulouse-Lautrec’s work firsthand.

– Andrew

ADwërks Helps Engineering Firm Rebrand Itself

Over the past year ADwërks has worked with its client DGR Engineering to help redefine and modernize its brand.

The firm has been around for more than 60 years, and as their business grew, their number of clients, employees and locations grew as well (branches in Rock Rapids, IA, Sioux City, IA and Sioux Falls, SD). And you don’t grow as large and successful as they have without running into a few snags along the way. So they turned to ADwërks for help.

DeWild, Grant… Who?

The new logo and name, brought to you by ADwërks.

The new logo and name, brought to you by ADwërks.

Part of the rebranding process involved revisiting their company name. Since 1952 they had been known as DeWild, Grant, Reckert and Associates, named after the original founding partners. The problem was that today it’s an employee-owned firm, and the founders’ connection and relevance to the company has ceased, making it hard for clients and employees to relate to. Not to mention the name was a bit of a mouthful and a little confusing, spawning many different variations, from DeWild, Grant and Reckert to DGR Consulting Engineers.

So we suggested they officially change their name to DGR Engineering – concise, memorable and descriptive, without deviating too much from their roots. And this way the name remains consistent across the board.

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

A crucial part of the rebranding process involved brand discovery. We helped the company discover and define who they truly are as a brand. We did this by meeting with a few employees at each location and subjecting them to rigorous interviews and tortuous self-realization; but it was ok because we brought them food. In reality, we only helped these employees have a great open dialogue; we just took notes. We asked them questions that got them thinking and talking about the company and brand, who they are and what they stand for – discussions you don’t normally have with your co-workers day-to-day.

The interviews helped us create a brand manifesto that solidified what everyone was thinking. The manifesto established and redefined their brand, producing a mutual understanding of their brand identity by every employee and creating brand unity across the company as a whole.

New Look, Same Great Brand!

With the interviews finished and the new name established, we went to work, creating a bunch of new materials including a brand new logo, website (desktop and mobile using responsive design), brochure, brand standards manual, the aforementioned brand manifesto, marketing materials, the photography that was used in these materials, plenty of new stationery and business documents, and finally a press release announcing the newly rebranded company and its new logo.

DGR-blog-photo

The brochure.

DGR-Ipad

The new website with responsive design, complete with desktop and mobile versions.

All in all we had a great time helping a great company. The entire experience was rewarding for us and we are proud of the work that came out of it.

Check out DGR Engineering’s new website here, and for more examples of our work check out our website and YouTube channel.

– Andrew

134 Minutes as Jim Mathis

Not often you can justify spending several hours on a Saturday staring listlessly at the SyFy channel watching alien movie marathons, but all that time watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers proved its worth in 134 minutes. My 134 minutes as Jim Mathis.

I headed off to the South Dakota AdFed Chili Cook Off Contest last Thursday. With my bald cap in place (I couldn’t summon the courage to Britney Spears it and just bic my hair), vogue sweater vest (several sizes too big, stolen from the bottom of my husband’s closet, but still as sartorial as Ric Santorum or Ryan Tysdal) and big bowl of chili, the pot brimming with pork perfection, I set out to be Jim’s culinary copy, his sarcastic sous chef stand-in sans several inches. And in that two and almost a quarter hours, I realized pitching Three LIttle Pigs chili should be served with the same zest you pitch a client. Not everyone likes pork, just like not every client likes the creative we may pitch. But sometimes it’s just a bad taste from a mom who over-peppered pork chops, so a nibble or new presentation, makes it palatable.

When it comes to the recipe, remember the rules but add your own spice. The chili I dished up took a twist on the traditional, not just using so much pork you needed to do some extra push ups to pull the spoon up, but putting in that little extra (and no, not love… in this case, bacon, which is probably about the same thing). When working on projects, time-tested ideas can always work, but when we remember to make it just a little different, those ideas stand out from the others.

Did we win? No, tied for second. But the biggest lesson is, in the end you just need to be you. So while I spent 134 minutes as Jim Mathis, that time quickly came to an end when I ran into the gas station, bald cap burgeoning from the top of my head, and scared a small child. Probably best to stick to being a blonde with mediocre kitchen skills.

– Jolene

Catty Clients

Catty Clients May 31, 2012

Insomnia can be insidious. You eventually learn about every type of beauty balm shopped by Photoshop-friendly ex-super models, the hottest trend in pint-sized grills and of course, the latest way to convert from couch potato to a lean, mean fitness machine. But the other night, I landed on another world… more like a fur, feather and fishy universe called Animal Planet and a rerun of My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet. Intrigued by the name, it pulled me in like catnip.

I learned about Duff, this puff of peaceful white that suddenly become a demon when brought home to its new owners. And teaching Duff to not mame, bite or amputate his owners became the challenge of Jackson Galaxy, also known as the cat whisperer.

But I started to realize cats like Duff can sometimes be all too similar to clients. The relationships start off with the best of intentions. Like taking Duff home, it all seems so picture perfect. But sometimes, within just a short time, the claws come out. While we may charm and put on the perfect smile to schmooze a client to sign with us, how often do we ask ourselves if it’s the right fight? Or as clients, figure out if the decision goes beyond the best bottom line numbers to personalities that work well together. To avoid an intervention with a crazy facial-haired cat whisperer, that’s where it becomes important to take a pause (or paws) and make sure that the people work so the work can do its work.

– Jolene