29 08, 2017

Rock Your TASTE Buds!

08/29/2017|Our Work - Branding, Our Work - Campaigns, Uncategorized|

Each year, thousands of people gather around various spots across the Midwest for food shows separately hosted by The Thompson Company, Braunger Foods, and Variety Foods. This year, parent company TOBA Inc., had something much bigger up their sleeve. TOBA approached PLAY with a sizable request, asking us to facilitate all the branding for the first event that would combine all the three companies food shows into one massive event. From beginning to end, this project was in our hands, quite literally. We began with a name concept, jumping around before finally landing on ‘TASTE!.” We selected this name as it embodied the event, yet also could last for years to come and various themes the event will showcase in the future. With 80’s arena rock favorite, Loverboy, headlining the show, a rock band concert theme was in the back of our minds, we just needed a clever way to integrate it across all medias. (Shown above: A few sketch examples of logo ideas that we later brainstormed and refined as a team.) (Shown above: The final logo we designed, developed font styles and color treatments.) (Shown above: The final icons we developed for each feature of the show.) The [...]

1 02, 2017

Connecting Colleges and Students Through Strategic Campaigns

02/01/2017|Our Work - Campaigns, Our Work - Dynamic Print|

(Campaign design examples shown above: Postcard top left and a dynamic fold mailer design bottom right) When it comes to higher education, students have options. And when it comes to finding the right students, institutions face a few different challenges. Recruitment isn’t necessarily easy, which is why finding a partner who can help identify the right messaging and tactics becomes so important. We recently teamed with Southeast Community College (SCC) to help fuel its recruitment strategy. After learning about the school’s process and existing strategies, we went to work to develop a campaign strategy (Sample shown here of the the campaign development plan strategy) that included a mix of tactics and a schedule that would help strengthen the effectiveness of SCC’s message. Using a combination of emails and physical mailings, we can measure the effectiveness of both tactics, as well as specific messaging. From there, the campaign can be adjusted to enhance response rates. The first three months of the campaign included sending a series of emails and physical mailers to a prospect list provided by the college. Frequency was carefully executed, leading to each prospect receiving three emails and three mailers. Each piece included a strong call to action, [...]

3 11, 2016

Strategy and Design to Help Credit Union Members Freshen Up Their Rides

11/03/2016|Our Work - Campaigns, Our Work - Dynamic Print, Our Work - Financial|

Earlier this year, Mainstreet Credit Union approached PLAY Creative to relieve some of the pressure its marketing team was feeling. Its marketing director recognized that the team had an abundance of work, with very little breathing room. But there was more work to be done — so PLAY was brought into the fold as an extension of the Mainstreet Credit Union team. Mainstreet Credit Union recognized a need to reach out to those customers nearing the end of an existing auto loan. This was the ideal time to begin communicating with these customers about opportunities for low-rate loans for a newer vehicle. The key to success for this campaign was reaching this audience at specific timeframes, before their loan was completed. Research says that 36 months is a typical lifespan of an auto loan, meaning that most people have their vehicle paid off within a 36-month timeframe. This knowledge helped PLAY develop a strategy that included a series of mailers, being sent automatically at 24, 30 and 36 months. The campaign included a series of three mailings: 24 months focus - postcard; 30 months focus - pop-up mailer (Shown below); 36 months focus - a second dynamic mailer. The campaign featured [...]

6 10, 2016

A Campaign Driven By Speed

10/06/2016|Our Work - Campaigns|

In March, Credit Union of America approached PLAY with a tall order: help the credit union improve teamwork across departments in each location… And help them collectively sell $60 million in auto loans by September 1. The PLAY team crafted a strategy that included communications for internal teams as well as a fully integrated external marketing plan. The strategy document involved materials to not only educate branch location staff about the challenge, it also provided tools for helping them make the sale. By engaging internal teams and creating friendly competition between branch locations, PLAY could shift gears to energizing the external audience, consisting of existing CUA members and non-members. To support the internal staff, PLAY created a full suite of creative communications to help encourage action by CUA’s audience, including: • Local educator handouts • Drive-up banners • Direct mail • Lobby posters • Electronic billboards • Online advertising • Print advertising • ATM advertising CUA exceeded its goal at the end of the campaign by topping $70 million in auto loans. Every branch location hit their individual goal, which demonstrates success in communication and support materials. This campaign is an example of how PLAY listens to the goals of [...]

19 04, 2016

A Celebration of People, Culture and What’s Yet to Come

04/19/2016|Our Work - Campaigns|

Assurity Life, a diversified and innovation-focused financial services company, combines the strengths of three Lincoln-based insurers: Assurity Life, Security Financial Life and Lincoln Direct Life. With a rich history of serving policyholders across the nation, the company approached its 125th anniversary without pause. To best serve its clients, Assurity has office locations across the United States and a corporate office located in Nebraska. It needed a campaign that could bring its staff together in celebration of the success they helped create. After learning more about this complex company, its culture and vision for its 125th anniversary, the PLAY team set out to brainstorm a creative theme and overall strategy for the campaign. Last year, 125 Years of Amazing was born. This fun, employee-focused campaign utilized a comic book style theme. At the center, monthly heroes, or real life members of the Assurity team. Throughout the next 12 months, people were transformed into heroes, with full superhero bios, cards and other materials. To conclude the campaign, a complete comic book was created that featured every hero and their bio. The commemorative comic book consisted of 52 pages of inspiring individuals and teams of people who have helped Assurity become the company [...]

2 02, 2016

Increasing Web Traffic and Accounts with an eStatement Mail Campaign

02/02/2016|Our Work - Campaigns|

Shown above is a 3 piece direct mail campaign. Mailer #1 was a trifold that inserted into a custom printed envelope. Mailer #2 & #3 were 6"x11" postcards. Our Task: A 2015 business goal for Columbus United Federal Credit Union (CUFCU) included growing e-Statement enrollment, which would: 1. Reduce expenses associated with producing paper statements, and 2. give customers a safe, convenient and faster delivery of bank statements. Having strong member incentives, like monthly $50 VISA gift card drawings and a Dell laptop as the grand prize, PLAY created a campaign that launched in August 2015. The campaign kicked off with an introductory dynamic mailer, which was followed up by a series of two creative postcards. The clean, icon-driven design was carried over into supporting elements housed inside and outside of CUFCU locations. These included: drive-up envelopes, web banner, lobby signs, drive up signs, and tent cards for desks. Shown above left is mailer #1, the trifold interior and back view. Shown above right is mailer #2 front and back. On December 31, 2015, the e-statements campaign goal of 30% of online users stood at 27.7%, which Columbus United considered a great success. Overall, the total of e-statement enrollees for [...]

27 01, 2016

A Campaign Driven by a Microsite

01/27/2016|Our Work - Campaigns|

Our Task: Our goal was to showcase the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees (EST) program and its benefits to utility companies and municipalities. A digital campaign was built to create engagement and lead generation. A key piece of this campaign included educating the audience on how the program benefits their organization and homeowners alike. Using strong proof points, the campaign encouraged demonstrations of the program, which more easily lead to sales. Target Audience: The target audience centered on the Arbor Day Foundation’s top 200 prospects from across the United States. This included vegetation management and marketing department professionals from: utility companies (gas and electric), city offices, and municipalities. These are individuals with some knowledge of the Arbor Day Foundation but who might not have much awareness of the EST program. Our Approach: To help build consistency and recognition for the program, the campaign included a central theme: “Simple Act. Huge Impact.” A thoughtful design and clear messaging drove the audience to the website to request a demo. To enhance results, the campaign included several pieces. An email was established in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s vendor, CreateSend. A microsite that featured an iFrom to gather contact information and draw [...]

15 09, 2015

Assurity Life’s Heroes Have Landed!

09/15/2015|Our Work - Campaigns|

We recently helped Assurity Life Insurance Company announce its 125th anniversary celebration by launching The “125 Years of AMAZING!” campaign featuring a microsite, hero cards for the Home Office and monthly mailers sent to their marketers and distributors. But there’s much more to this momentous occasion than what we featured in our last Assurity Life article. Now that the secret is out, we can share everything that the hype was about. Throughout the next several months we’ll help Assurity Life recognize and celebrate members of its team—both in the Home Office and across their marketing and distribution channels. Each month a select few are nominated as “heroes” for Assurity Life and, if chosen, their picture is transformed into a comic book illustration. Each of the Home Office associates and distributors selected will receive a poster of themselves in their true hero form to commemorate their hard work and achievements. The Home Office winners even get their posters displayed for all to see, encouraging other associates to strive to be the next to appear. [metaslider id=1008] Each month the website, 125yearsofamazing.com, will also be updated with the latest Assurity Life heroes, including their comic illustration, hero name and a brief bio showcasing [...]

14 07, 2015

Everyday Heroes Take Campaign Above And Beyond.

07/14/2015|Our Work - Campaigns|

Any milestone in a company’s history is worthy of a little celebration. But when it comes to reaching your 125th year of business, serious attention should be paid. We had the privilege of helping Assurity Life Insurance Company commemorate its 125-year anniversary, creating a campaign that not only celebrated its team, but also recognized the company’s commitment to service. The 125 Years of AMAZING! Campaign includes engaging Assurity Life’s internal associates, as well as its distributors in the field. The campaign brings together the work ethic of Assurity Life associates and the intrigue of comic book-inspired graphics. Combined, the campaign showcases the strength and dependability of Assurity Life Insurance Company while creating an opportunity to celebrate its rich history. Now through February 2016, the 125 Years of AMAZING! Campaign will create an ongoing opportunity to recognize and celebrate those who make Assurity Life a success. Taking a queue from the company’s core values, six symbolic characters, in the form of comic-inspired super heroes, were created. These heroes appear on the ’hero cards’ that are being distributed as part of the internal, home office campaign – as well as the campaign website. The heroes embody the characteristics that Assurity Life associates [...]

28 04, 2015

How We Keep Campaigns Fresh

04/28/2015|Our Work - Campaigns|

Home Real Estate and Woods Bros Realty recently approached us with the opportunity to develop a fresh campaign strategy. When we approach projects like this, our process is to first identify the area of our client’s marketing strategies that need to be refreshed to meet their goals. Then we formulate the tools or tactics to fit within the developed campaign strategy. Home Real Estate and Woods Bros Realty are sister companies who together make up the majority of the Lincoln real estate market. For both companies, we identified the opportunity to speak directly to each of their target audiences while strengthening their brand voice. To do this, we developed a unique, polished, and consistent theme for each company that compliments their current and previous marketing efforts. For Home, we reworked their current brand colors and standards by adding elements that are directed more towards a younger audience. The elements we included in the design follow current design trends and are meant to make the main call to action really pop. For the content and call to action, we came up with the line, “Come Home to _________.” This blank can be filled in with whatever the realtor thinks will fit [...]