Sibcy Cline

Brand Identity | Campaign | Video

A new direction for a classic brand.

CHALLENGE: After 62 years as Greater Cincinnati/Dayton’s leader in real estate marketing, Sibcy Cline needed a brand refresh and new agent recruiting materials. The challenge was, how do we update their long-standing logo and positioning yet still maintain a valuable emotional connection with the past?

IDEA: Reinterpret the logo without sacrificing recognition, while creating messaging that positions Sibcy Cline’s unmatched training, technology, support and experience as being at “At the heart of all great moves”.

STORY: As the largest independent broker in the region, Sibcy Cline is known for its commitment to its agents. Creative Department’s brand immersion process, which included interviews of current agents, revealed that their training program and agent support – including technology and tools – was unparalleled. The company stood perfectly positioned to leverage the story-rich mission, expertise, and reputation established over the last 62 years, and to gain momentum with new recruits and the communities Sibcy Cline serves. They just needed a brand refresh that would lead the way.

We started with logo exploration. The color red had been Sibcy Cline’s signature color for decades so there was a lot of equity in, and company love for, the color. The logo itself, however, was dated and not representative of the modern, technology-focused company they’d become. While our task wasn’t to completely reimagine the mark, there was opportunity to evolve it.

We decided to simplify it, using a clean font that works harder within the technology space. The lantern was their signature icon, conveying warmth and welcoming. We moved away from the lamp post to a more streamlined lamp, still preserving the suggestion of an inviting light that guides you to your new home.

Beyond the logo, the positioning and messaging were aimed at recruiting new agents, with the tag line “At the heart of all great moves.” as its foundation. We executed a robust collateral system that pushed out the brand, revealing it all in an inspiring video for the brand launch at the annual sales conference. The video received a standing ovation. The client continues to applaud the new brand, too, as recruitment efforts and home sales are stronger than ever.

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Clink Barware

Branding | Digital Design | Social Marketing

[Clink] Here’s to bringing a brand to life.

CHALLENGE: Clink makes custom monogrammed high-end crystal and glass barware. It’s beautiful stuff. Yet the company was founded as a wholesaler, and they didn’t know how to translate their exceptional product into a consumer-focused retail brand. Fortunately, we knew precisely how to proceed.

IDEA: To engage their target audience – affluent man-cave dwellers – Clink needed an identity and attitude that could stand apart in a crowded industry.

STORY: The first thing we developed for the brand was a name. We wanted something fresh, fun and memorable, and “Clink” was an obvious winner. It played nicely to the sound of high-end crystal “clinking” together.

Additionally, we developed a mark for the brand, as well as an e-commerce-ready retail website. And all of it with a fresh, engaging look and feel. The brand was ready to compete and win.

Yet there were additional challenges. Because while the product is excellent, it’s no easy task to reach their more affluent target. We needed awareness for our products, as well as clever messaging to differentiate our product offerings from the everyday.

Next, we developed consumer engagement ideas for the brand that were both introductory and promotional. Our crowning campaign achievement was a national e-mail promotion we built with Groupon, which resulted in nearly 7000 purchases and created a database we can use in future promotional efforts.

Of course, we built the brand a consumer-facing e-commerce website, as well as a comprehensive advertising campaign featuring both digital and traditional executions.

We made Clink part of a bigger celebration, one that called for raising a glass to endless lesser-known – but arguably more epic – occasions. Those moments in life where an ordinary glass just won’t do. The new campaign, and the results, were definitely cause for celebration.

From branding to measurable promotion, a highly successful partnership. #We’llClinkToThat.

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Walk. Waddle. Gallop. Give.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Campaign | Event Signage | Video

Another wildly successful Walk.

CHALLENGE: A short walk can go a long way. Cincinnati Walks for Kids began as a way for patients, families and others to financially support the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the many children they help. But for 2016, the location of the walk was changed to the Cincinnati Zoo. Our job was to continue awareness and promotion of the event, but clearly communicate the new location.

IDEA: Our idea was to promote the event in a way that clearly said “zoo” in a memorable, energetic way. Use the equity in the Cincinnati Zoo brand to strengthen our appeal, creating a fantastic concept for the event – “Give Like Wild” – that started us on the path to a super successful campaign.

STORY: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best, with both world-class clinical care and groundbreaking research. Their annual Cincinnati Walks for Kids is their largest single fundraising event, and it also serves as a much-needed celebration for patients, families, and staff.

Cincinnati Children’s is held in high regard in the community, considered to be a true local gem. But being a prestigious hospital creates the unintended and false perception that the institution doesn’t require donations to maintain its standard of excellence. The task was to remind Cincinnatians how important the hospital’s work is, and why it is worthy of one’s hard-earned money.

To create energy around the new location, we encouraged everybody to “Give Like Wild.” Based on that concept, we created a comprehensive campaign, including event graphics, outdoor, social media, website redesign, shirt design, and a video, encouraging everyone to join the walk and give.

Our campaign featured real Cincinnati Children’s patients and photos of zoo animals. Messaging was engaging and fun. Headlines invited people to “Walk, waddle, hop, skip, gallop.” Communication was simple and impactful, creating a unified message across the city.

And the result? Beast mode. The people of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky stepped up and close to $900,000 was raised for a very important cause. That was a step in a very important direction.

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Wild Ambition

Cincinnati Zoo

Integrated Campaign

Saving species. And the world.

CHALLENGE: Create a campaign to inspire potential donors to give to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s More Home to Roam $150 million capital campaign.

IDEA: Use storytelling and powerful imagery to captivate and educate audience on why giving would quite literally mean the world.

STORY: Launched in 2018 with a goal of $150 million, the Zoo’s More Home to Roam capital campaign will dramatically transform their animal habitats and expand.

While the Zoo’s initial messaging focused on how habitat expansion would improve both the animals’ and visitors’ experience, Creative Department worked closely with the Zoo to dig deeper into everything the campaign would mean. What we learned was that the Cincinnati Zoo plays a leading role in the conservation of endangered species around the world. In fact, if it weren’t for the Cincinnati Zoo, some species would be much nearer to extinction.

Shortly after our work on the project had begun, a United Nations Biodiversity Report sounded the alarm that nearly one million species face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken.

The urgency of the UN Report delivered clarity and confirmation for our messaging: the Cincinnati Zoo’s conservation expertise has never been more important. The More Home to Roam improvements would not only increase the reproduction and well-being of endangered animals at the Zoo, campaign donations would multiply its global conservation efforts.

Storytelling was needed to shine a light on the campaign’s greater importance: giving would truly mean the world.

Storytelling was needed to shine a light on the campaign’s greater importance: giving would truly mean the world.

A 44-page, oversized full-color brochure gave likely donors a fresh, close-up look at the Zoo, its mission, and the More Home to Roam campaign.

A rich color pallet and distinctive UV spot varnish underscored the power and beauty of the wildlife the Zoo works so hard to save.

An accompanying website reached a wider audience, providing strong messaging support with a quick way to donate.

Outdoor stressed the urgency of giving.

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Bloom-shaka-laka

Benken Garden Center

Brand Refresh | Campaign | Digital Design

Bringing new energy to a long-established garden center.

CHALLENGE: Breathe new life into a family-owned Cincinnati nursery in order to compete with big-box garden centers with volume-based, value-priced inventory.

IDEA: Modernize the Benken brand with a fresh, imaginative visual style and messaging, engaging both current customers as well as a broader, younger audience of plant enthusiasts.

STORY: Benken Florist & Garden Center is a Cincinnati institution. For almost 80 years, Benken has prided itself on quality and service, combined with a friendly, expert staff armed with a knowledge of plants and flowers unmatched in the city.

But while the Benken name reflects the dedication to quality established by Harry and Johanna Benken in 1939, chain garden centers were drawing customers away with lower prices and numerous locations across the city.

To support this effort, we undertook a brand refresh and pushed it out through site design, social media, display ads, and outdoor, deploying attention-grabbing headlines tied to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers.

A major driver was social media engagement. We wrote attention-grabbing headlines, tied them to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers, and shared them across social platforms.

To support this effort, we undertook a brand refresh, site design, social media, display ads, and outdoor, deploying attention-grabbing headlines tied to rich visuals of beautiful plants and flowers, We even proposed a series of truck wraps. It was beautiful work for a client that understands how beauty can improve lives.

We helped Benken attract younger consumers through aggressive social media and a spirited attitude.

Seasonal changes provided clear opportunities for engaging messaging and product promotion.

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Ending the silence. Stopping the stigma.

Lindner Center of Hope

Integrated Campaign | Video

Raising awareness and $50 million.

CHALLENGE: Inspire donations to the Lindner Center of HOPE (LCOH), a national leader in mental health care and research, and help them reach their most ambitious goal ever – $50 million. And at the same time, lift the shroud of silence and stigma surrounding mental illness.

IDEA: Using powerful statistics, storytelling and imagery, captivate readers and viewers with a campaign developed around the concept of a “Silent Epidemic”.

STORY: The statistics are nothing short of staggering. Mental illness is the #1 health problem facing our nation, yet research and access to treatment are severely underfunded, the mental health system overburdened.

Magnifying the problem, mental illness remains shrouded in stigma. So millions avoid seeking treatment and suffer needlessly.

Having served as a lifeline for more than 40,000 patients since opening in 2008, few places are as qualified as LCOH to effect lasting change in the understanding, treatment and management of mental illness. But to have the necessary impact, the non-profit needs the support of thousands of caring and generous people in Cincinnati and beyond.

Their goal was aggressive and exciting – to raise $50 million in donations and grants. To be heard, we knew we needed to stand out and be disruptive.

Though nearly everyone has a story of how mental illness has touched their life, it’s spoken of only in hushed tones in our society. The shame, silence and stigma cause millions to avoid seeking treatment.

To end the silence, we set out to start the conversation.

A 48-page full-color brochure revealed the breadth of the problem and asked for supporting donations.

The brochure alone has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, including a single donation of $250,000.

ChallengeofHope.org was launched to provide foundational messaging.

All communication, including :30 TV, print, radio, social media and murals throughout the city, directed people to the site, educating them on mental illness and the mission of LCOH. It also invited them to “Make Waves”, i.e., “sound waves”, by recording and sharing their stories on the site.

For the Center’s annual fundraising gala, a video told the emotionally gripping story of an LOCH patient.

The gala raised $3,721,000 in donations – the largest amount ever generated for a non-profit in Cincinnati by a single event.

Initially intended to run only once, the spot was so well-received the client continued running it locally for several months.

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Never go solo

EVA

Brand Identity

Making beautiful music together.

CHALLENGE: Help a Nashville-based online music booking startup find their distinctive voice with a strong brand and campaign materials in support of their launch.

IDEA: Celebrate EVA’s proprietary booking technology, but deliver the brand expression in a youthful, energetic way – reflecting the energy and passion of the company founders, and their commitment to ensuring event planners and artists never have to “go solo”.

STORY: EVA is a time-saving online technology that helps event planners find the right artist or act, depending upon genre and budget.

The company was founded by two recent college graduates – Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel. Both have fantastic energy, experience booking talent for college concerts and festivals, and a passion for professional entertainment.

EVA is a connector; they make a nerve-racking experience simple and easy.

It was clear to us that this idea would be a success, and we were eager to help Channing and Makenzie finalize their brand and share their story. We wanted to create something brilliantly simple to help them stand out in the category, and they were enthusiastically open to that thinking.

We built the brand around the “better mousetrap” concept, celebrating reliability, professionalism, and ease of use, as well as the energy of great music. The brand focus became the stress-relief benefit to event planners.

Our most important contribution, the foundational element, was the creation of the EVA identity, which communicates the brand’s distinctive vitality and positions them miles away from their competitors.

Beyond their identity, we helped EVA formalize their branding and advertising, including brand promise and expression, brand guidelines, website design, copy, and an entire campaign of communication touchpoints, both digital and traditional.

Their business continues to grow, and they are well on their way to becoming  music industry superstars.

Our tagline “Never go solo” stated our benefit to event planners.

The brand reflects the energy and passion of its owners.

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DCG Radio

Digital Design

Diversified Communication Group saw opportunity in a stronger digital presence. So we turned up the volume.

CHALLENGE:  For more than 30 years, Diversified Communications Group (DCG) quietly provided radio communication for companies across America. But under new ownership, DCG wanted to increase the power in their digital communication, and grow awareness. These efforts will result in business growth.

IDEA:  DCG wants to be known in their territory as the top provider of two-way radio communications solutions. For a small company, competing against major players, that’s a big ask. But our idea was to make DCG appear larger than they are through a website redesign and SEO.

STORY:  Diversified Communications Group (DCG) is a high-quality two-way radio communication solutions company with over 30 years of experience serving clients in a wide variety of industries including aviation, healthcare, public safety, transportation, hospitality, and manufacturing. But their website didn’t communicate the strength and depth of the company.

Their unique selling proposition is that they create long-term relationships with clients, and provide whatever is needed in the way of service. For example, the company’s owner has a cell phone with him 24-7 and he never turns it off. If there’s an emergency in the middle of the night, DCG goes to work in the middle of the night. But this was another element that was under-communicated.

Clearly, they needed an improved website, start to finish, elevating the design and distilling the user experience for the brand to build confidence, gain stronger awareness of the unique offerings and generate engagement/interest from the target audience. DCG wants to be known in their territory as the top provider of two-way radio communications solutions.

Their target audiences are quite broad. While 70% of their business is within the aviation industry, they also provide radio communication for healthcare, hospitality, security, transportation and commercial operations such as Amazon.

We started with content planning and big ideas, created both sitemap and wireframes, as well as an SEO plan. The overall design was modernized and simplified. We strengthened the brand expression through improved case studies, high-impact photography, and benefit-driven messaging. Additionally, we created the site to become utilitarian — an informational resource for those using radio communication. Through these measures, DCG has a better opportunity to grow their business.

The DCG website was lacking in solid communication of who they are. But through our improvements, their strengths – decades of experience, drop-everything service, and technological acumen – come through in shining fashion. DCG isn’t a large company presently, but we believe that will be changing very soon.

Search engine optimization helped DCG’s campaign come through loud and clear.

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A TEN-MILE WORKOUT FOLLOWED BY A TEN-MINUTE CHAT WITH FRIENDS.

FITWORKS

Brand Identity | Campaign

The perfect fit for a struggling brand.

CHALLENGE: Over the years, competitive fitness operations have come and gone. FITWORKS, an exercise and fitness gym with multiple locations throughout Northern Kentucky and Ohio was in a fight against newer, sleeker, cheaper fitness chains. How could they compete with that? They needed real transformation, inside and out.

IDEA: We set out to unify their brand and messaging system-wide, and strengthen the core of what they do and why. We started with the concept at the heart of FITWORKS equity: “fitness works.” That simple truth became the foundation of all brand communication.

STORY: To help our client meet their business goals, we brought serious strategic and creative muscle to the assignment. The business target was middle-class adults who found fitness centers intimidating and were seeking a more welcoming and laidback alternative. They were looking for a supportive environment rather than the aggressive “no pain no gain” approach to fitness.

But there were numerous barriers to business success – a very crowded market, and near constant member turnover, since 70% of people who start a gym membership stop using it after 90 days.

The plan was to motivate people to believe they could get the results they want, and live healthier lives.  We created the tagline, “Do what works,” a simple, clear call to action. Do what works so you can look better, feel better, and live healthier. But the path is different for everyone, so FITWORKS helps members choose the program that’s best for them: their “custom fit” fitness.

These concepts came alive in our campaign, as we focused communication on FITWORKS’ supportive approach, world class training, and laid-back staff.

We started by creating a clean new identity, and built a platform of complementary materials around it, from a website and social media campaign to print advertising and out-of-home. We also implemented SEO to make sure our digital presence remained healthy.

All with a consistent, target-friendly look and feel through art direction, graphic design, photography and copy.

The FITWORKS brand offered something unique and appealing to their target. Our creativity make that uniqueness work even harder.

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CINCINNATI BENGALS

Integrated Campaign | Video

Claim your place in the Jungle.

CHALLENGE: The Cincinnati Bengals asked us to develop a campaign that promoted the irreplaceable experience of being at the game, in person, screaming your heads off at Paul Brown Stadium, rather than at home or at a bar. A campaign that would drive on-site attendance. That was the challenge the team gave us.

IDEA: The idea started with an insight: For players and coaches, it’s all about the game. The speed, strain and sweat, it’s 100% intense. You wallop somebody before they wallop you. But what about the fans? Shouldn’t their experience be just as intense as that of the players? (Short of walloping anyone, of course.) We needed a campaign that pulled fans from their couches and barstools, to claim their seat in The Jungle.

STORY:  The Cincinnati Bengals enjoyed an era of success in the seasons between 2009 and 2013, winning their Division twice, and making the playoffs in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. And the entire city, in addition to the team’s ownership and management, was excited about the team’s great run.

But that success did not result in increased home attendance. Surprisingly, there were many open seats at Paul Brown Stadium. Fans had to be convinced that seeing the game in person was an irreplaceable experience, unmatched by anything you could see on a tv screen.

So the Bengals decided to make a change. The team had relied upon an internal department for marketing and promotion for decades, but after an agency search, we were selected to join the Bengals team. We were the Bengals’ first-ever outside advertising agency.

Increasing home attendance was our initial assignment. So we did our research, channeled our inner linebacker, and developed “Let’s Roar,” a stop-fans-in-their-tracks rallying cry.

It was a reminder that being at a Bengals game is a unique experience that beats watching at home or a bar any time. To take our new mantra to the fans, we made high-energy TV, outdoor, digital banners, social posts and radio spots.

The creative execution featured dramatic photography of fans overlaid with slashes of orange, and strong calls-to action. There was no mistaking the mark of the tiger. We’re proud that elements of that campaign are still in use today, showing the staying power of a strong creative message.

We’re proud that our support provided the foundation for the Bengals’ 50th anniversary season.

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