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. 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


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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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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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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Built to Support


Integrated Campaign | Video

Made in America makes a difference.

CHALLENGE: Reliance Medical chairs have long been known for their durability, stability, and unmatched quality. But many customers – mainly ophthalmologists and optometrists – were unaware that their products were manufactured in the U.S., using parts and materials from over 150 U.S. suppliers.

IDEA: Reliance chairs are built to support: not only patients, but also practices and – by creating U.S. jobs and using American-made materials – an entire country.

STORY:  What started as a single ad idea five years ago turned into a foundational big idea that continues to this day. Haag-Streit, an industry-leading manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments and equipment, came to us to to create an ad for Reliance Medical Products, a Haag-Streit subsidiary. The singular goal was to raise awareness that Reliance exam chairs, unlike many of its competitors, were made in the U.S., using parts and materials.

Our solution? Reliance chairs are built to support your patients, your practice, and an entire country.

But we – and our client – soon recognized that the idea of Built to Support had a life beyond just a one-time ad. We created an entire integrated campaign to celebrate the Reliance “Made in the USA” difference. An inspiring video, landing page, print ads and emails drove home the idea that our reliance on the American worker, American craftsmanship, and the American work ethic is the reason why eye care practitioners are able to depend on Reliance products.

Soon after the campaign launched, it was lauded by Reliance Medical’s largest dealer sales groups, as it provided them, too, with support needed to sell product. Sales have continued to steadily grow – showing that this campaign was even built to support the company itself.

A video, landing page, print ads, and emails showcased actual Reliance employees to drive home the Built to Support idea.

Trade show displays helped to demonstrate the range of ways we support eye care practitioners.

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The Summit Country Day School

Brand Identity

A test of our strategic thinking.

CHALLENGE: The CD challenge was to help a venerable Cincinnati Catholic school communicate its distinctiveness in an increasingly competitive landscape, resulting in an advantage in student recruitment.

IDEA: While Summit Country Day has much to offer, including a beautiful urban campus and state championship-level sports, our idea was to establish the benefits of a SCD education that aren’t immediately apparent, but revealed through students’ acts of self-sacrifice and leadership. Our idea was to establish the Summit brand around turning students into leaders.

STORY: The Summit Country Day School is Cincinnati’s only independent Catholic school educating children from pre-school through the 12th grade. Founded in 1890, Summit has recently seen increased competition for students from a number of newer schools. Enrollment was declining, especially between 1st and 8th grade.

Their point of difference is developing students of high moral character under a strict program of academic rigor.

The objectives were clearly established. Our task was to refresh the SCD brand with a new identity and visualization framework that elevate their key point of difference to prospective and existing families. Increase the easy recognition of the Summit brand within a crowded marketplace of competing private and parochial schools. And to forge a deeper sense of affiliation among current and prospective community members.

We were faced with a number of challenges. Chief among these was Summit’s history which, while admirable, needed to take a secondary role in informing our brand refresh. Research indicated that Summit’s innovative teaching and progressive administration mattered more to potential families.

We presented to the Summit marketing committee a number of conceptual approaches, then finalized the SCD brand with a new visualization framework that celebrates their points of difference. Our work included refreshed identity, complete brand guidelines including essence pyramid, and website design.

The brand guideline formalized brand promise, organizational values, written tone of voice, tag line, and proper use of graphics, typography and photography. Second, we created a broad campaign of branded touchpoints.

The resulting elements, based on strong Creative Department thinking and precise design execution, position the brand strongly for competition for the hearts and minds of both parents and students. Our success was driven by a combination of old-school hard work and new school vision.

Communicate brand distinction in an ever-more-competitive landscape.

We updated the Summit sports logo with a sleek, modern approach while respecting the team’s legacy and history.

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America’s Jobsite.

CHALLENGE: CraftForce came to us as a start-up in need of a strong identity to match the strength of its clientele. Designed to be THE force in connecting skilled workers in manufacturing, engineering and specialty trades to the jobs that need them, CraftForce is essentially LinkedIn for blue-collar professionals. They were trying to revolutionize the way blue-collar professionals get hired – and when you’re remaking the hiring model for an entire industry, you need a big voice.

IDEA: We gave CraftForce an identity as loud as a steel mill. We brought a modern, bold design and voice to the collateral of the skilled trade industry along with an easily navigable, mobile-optimized website that allowed applicants and employers to handle the application process from any device. We then developed gritty, stirring videos and trade school materials that match the tone, mindset and attitude of the people we were trying to connect.

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The Reliance Premiere Collection

Haag-Streit Reliance

Campaign | Branding | Video | Digital Design

Built to last. Designed to love.

CHALLENGE: Reliance Medical Products exam chairs have long been known for their durability and reliability. We were tasked with launching a brand-new lineup of chairs that shifted the focus to style: they featured sleek new designs with a variety of upholstery options. Our target was physicians who care about the “aesthetics” of their office. This time, it was all about the look.

IDEA: The big idea was to compare the chair’s sleek look to trends in retail interior design, promoting the chair’s high end, premium look and feel. Customization was also key to the initiative. These chairs were “Built to last. Designed to love.”

STORY: Doctor’s offices don’t usually scream “style,” but the Premiere Collection sought to change that. New design themes plucked from spa and retail environments brought beautiful, modern aesthetics to Reliance’s already durable and reliable procedure chairs.

In every way, the Premiere Collection was a new opportunity for doctors to draw patients to their practices. The only thing left to do was convince practice owners that decades-old interior design didn’t have to be their future.

We concepted four chair styles: Industrial, Lucent, Woodland, and Harmony. The names and narrative for each came from a unique inspiration of visual elements and sensory appeal.

To highlight the bold new designs and features of the Premiere Collection, we created inspiring digital and print assets, from swatch books to trade show videos to direct mail. We also developed a digital sales tool for laptop presentations.

Of course, we communicated the benefit to the physician – setting one’s practice apart with designs that reflect a unique sense of personal style, making patients feel more welcome, and adding legendary Reliance durability to the office.

We succeeded at putting customization and modernization in the hands – and minds – of our prospective customers, making it easy to envision how the Premiere Collection could transform their practice.

The Premier Collection made its debut at the ASCRS show. The designs received rave reviews, and the sales team was excited about the interest and sales potential.

We created high impact direct mail featuring inspiration and photography for all Premier Collection designs:  Industrial, Lucent, Woodland, and Harmony.

Sales tools featured a swatch book and beautiful microsite communicating the benefits of modern aesthetics in a practice’s clinical setting.

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