How We Keep Campaigns Fresh

April 28th, 2015

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.

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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 best—reliability, happiness, comfort, etc. It’s easily adaptable and can be used in many different contexts depending on what each Home realtor wants to communicate.

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For Woods Bros’ approach, we kept their current brand colors and standards. We implemented larger and bolder font treatments and standards while focusing more on the call to action. Woods Bros offers three main levels of service—listing the house and getting the word out, helping to shape the house up and showing it to potential buyers, and ultimately closing the deal in a short amount of time. We used this service philosophy to develop the tagline, “Listed. Shown. Sold.” This line can be changed to any three-step part of the home buying or selling process and is just as versatile as Home’s line. In addition to strengthening Woods Bros’ brand voice, we also set out to boost their social media engagement using the #keyswithease giveaway, which will be promoted through all executions from radio to billboards. Clients who post about their experience with Woods Bros, tag their realtor, and use the hashtag are eligible to win a bluetooth key fob. We’ve already seen some good engagement with #keyswithease and we expect to see it grow even more.

Home and Woods Bros came to us for a strategy to build upon the efforts of their current marketing teams. By boosting their current design and copy as well as helping to develop a social media strategy, we created something both companies can really run with. We’re excited to see where Home and Woods Bros go with the tools we were able to provide them.

To view our work visit us online at www.playcreativedesign.com

Engaging Your Senses Through Dynamic Print

April 14th, 2015

Good print unfolds like a good conversation. One that engages you, grabs your curiosity, isn’t long winded, listens to your desires, and closes in a saavy way, leaving you with something to hold onto. It plays with your senses, and invites you to invest your emotions in it. The piece featured below is a direct mail piece that does just that. It’s a piece we developed for Gotcha Covered. Their goal was to market to specific audiences and engage them not only to learn more about Gotcha Covered, but to respond by setting up a free consultation.

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Print vs. Online: There is a reason that the web is referred to as the “information highway.” You’re there to get to a destination, making brief stops here or there. The ads that you see are much like signs along the road… You’re going 80 in a 75, are you going to remember what they look like? They are information, yes, but they are gone in an instant. Print stays with you. It travels with you in your pocket… in your purse… in your briefcase. It allows you to hold on to it for the time when you need to reference back to it.

A printed piece can take the place of a physical person. It must reach and speak to the senses. It must grab the curiosity of the recipient. It demands eye contact, it doesn’t talk too much, it listens to your desires/needs and engages you to want more. It leaves you with its number and invites you to call. 

To view more of our work visit our gallery.

10 Print Marketing Stats You Should Know

April 7th, 2015

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Full article here – Sourced from Expandedramblings.com

99.999% Awesome!

March 31st, 2015

Logo

We love designing logos. It’s a way of taking all a company is—its culture, history, and goals—and condensing it into one symbol. So we were happy when our friends over at Five Nines came to us with the opportunity to redesign their logo. We figured we’d take this opportunity to give you a sneak-peek at our design process and what we take into consideration when creating a new logo.

The name Five Nines refers to 99.999% uptime, which is the closest an IT company can get to perfection. It’s both a reminder of why they started the company and the type of service they strive to provide. With this in mind, we considered dynamic and upward-moving designs that would demonstrate where Five Nines comes from and where they’re headed. Their three-part motto—“Solve. Secure. Advance.”—was also a big inspiration. It gives insight into the process Five Nines follows and the results their clients receive. We came up with many different designs, but our “Rise” design is the one that made the cut. It exemplifies Five Nines’ roots, the company it strives to be, and its motto. Be sure to watch the Five Nines’ video unveiling their awesome new logo.

FiveNines

Jana Schneider – “2015 Ad Rookie of the Year”

March 27th, 2015

Congratulations to Jana Schneider for being awarded, “2015 Ad Rookie of the Year” by AAF Lincoln. The Ad Rookie of the Year recognizes one individual that brings unmatched value to AAF Lincoln and the Lincoln marketing community, contributing extraordinary work both on- and off-the-clock. This award is given to someone who has been in the advertising industry for less than five years. Jana currently serves on the board as Programs Chair.

Jana is our rockstar Project Manager here at PLAY. It is easy to see why AAF has awarded her “2015 Ad Rookie of the Year.” Her organizational skills, leadership skills and an eye for detail make her a strong asset to any creative team. We are proud to have Jana amongst our team. So if you see Jana in passing or receive an email from her asking to meet a deadline, tell her congrats!

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PLAY team members photographed above left to right: Adam Lohman (Creative Director), Aaron Petersen (CEO), Colby Angst (Business Development), Jana Schneider (Project Manager) and Rebecca Fowler (Business Development)

 

Promoting Cybersecurity with Print

March 24th, 2015

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Back in the 90s (ah such simpler times), Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 was all the cybersecurity we needed. Nowadays, cybersecurity means a lot more. We were excited when Infogressive approached us to help get their message out that cybersecurity is a service every company—big or small—needs. Our approach was to create a data sheet that explained their high quality and easily customizable services in a way anyone can understand.

Our goal was to get the word out to small businesses that cybersecurity is something every business needs to invest in. We also aimed to let larger businesses know that Infogressive has the expertise and know-how to keep even the biggest accounts safe. There’s a lot of jargon to wade through when talking about cybersecurity and most people don’t know all the “computer-speak” involved. What most people do know is the importance of being secure on the internet and protecting their sensitive information. Anyone can fall victim at any time, from the big dogs to the local Joes, but getting the right message out to those who need it can be a little tricky.

Small and local businesses are generally not able to hire in-house IT professionals, so they need to understand their specific information security needs will be met while not getting bogged down by the finer technical details. We used infographics and careful wording in our data sheet creation to make the nature of Infogressive’s services easy to understand without sacrificing the technical specifics.

We like how the data sheet turned out and our friends at Infogressive said our work has “received a lot of praise from [their] business partners and customers.” We love working with these guys and we’re happy to add another successful piece to the books.

Now Hiring: Copywriter

March 12th, 2015

We are seeking a motivated, creative and inventive individual to add to our team. The ideal candidate would be able to quickly understand client needs, background and an overall voice to consistently convey during messaging. Work on projects like this! [Show More]

Episode 5 of Press Relief

March 5th, 2015

As we’ve gone through our previous episodes of Press Relief, we’ve covered how to create eye-catching print pieces. For our fifth episode, we’re going to detail about how we zero-in on the ideal campaign message and audience, and how we find out exactly how many eyes we’ve caught with our campaigns.

In this episode, PLAY CEO Aaron Petersen walks you through our audience-specific messaging and the number of ways we can implement campaign tracking into our print campaigns. From unique urls to custom phone numbers, we can show you how successful your campaign can be when you work with us.

You can watch the entire series of videos on our YouTube page.

Press Relief Episode 4

February 26th, 2015

Today we are premiering our fourth episode of Press Relief. This episode breaks down our conceptual process. Take a few minutes to sit down with our creative director, Adam Lohman, and learn about how focusing on unique ideas and the conceptual process shapes the campaigns we produce.

The concept and theme are a huge part of the creative process at PLAY. Everything is built on the foundation of a well-rounded concept.

PLAY’s Creative Director Presents to J-School Students

February 25th, 2015

PLAY Creative is eager to foster developing advertising talent in our community however we can, and last week we did it again. In his yearly presentation, our creative director Adam Lohman spoke to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campaign Strategy and Development class, taught by Adjunct Professor Kelli Britten, on the subject of campaign consistency and budget efficiency.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 5.19.14 PMIn his presentation, Adam discussed how PLAY Creative solves client issues using research, organized creative briefs, and experience to develop effective print campaigns with efficient budgets. He also talked on the importance of campaign consistency, making sure that all pieces produced for a client have the same messaging and tone, and how PLAY ensures consistency in our campaigns.

To aid the presentation, Adam brought several samples of PLAY’s work to help emphasize his points and promote our work. He also showed off our Project Details, our take on creative briefs that help guide us through the creation of our campaigns.

If you would like Adam to speak to your class or employees, send an email to adam@playcreativedesign.com

Presenting our Special Guest

February 20th, 2015

This week we have been host to a new cutie. His hair may be cut like a lion but we assure he’s all dog. Say hello to our newest buddy, Starfox!

Starfox

 

Starfox has been staying with us for the past week and he’s made plenty of friends around the office, even with the chief morale officer and company mascot, Heineken. It’s a shame he’s not staying forever, but it’s been fun having him here!

Also, can anyone explain why he’s been doing so many barrel rolls?

Press Relief Episode 3 – Creative Process

February 19th, 2015

This week, we’re thrilled to present the third episode of our video series, Press Relief. In this episode, our creative director reviews a number of print pieces we have designed and talks through the creative processes that we went through to bring these pieces to life. There are so many cool pieces to talk about that we had to split it into two videos!

Volkswagen Embraces the Year of the Horse

February 17th, 2015

At PLAY Creative, we specialize in dynamic, eye-catching direct mail advertisements and we love to see the awesome pieces other agencies produce. A simple but effective pop-up mail piece like this is something we are thrilled to produce for our clients.Volkswagen Horsepower

2014 was the Year of the Horse on Chinese calendars, so Volkswagen of Malaysia decided to incorporate that theme into promotional materials for their new Volkswagen GTI. The mailer, when closed, looks like the hood of the GTI with the intriguing tagline “Rev up for the Lunar New Year.” When opened, a stampede of horses pops up towards the recipient, signifying the power of the GTI’s engine as well as the mascot of the Lunar New Year.

Employee Spotlight: Jana Schneider

February 12th, 2015

Jana's-Desk

Q: What would you say…you do here?
A: I think this question would better be posed as “What don’t I do here?” My title, project manager, reflects a good portion of my daily to-dos herding the team about, but I help out everywhere I can. I’ve jumped on design projects when we are short-handed to make revisions or size materials out (my schooling roots in graphic design lend well to filling that gap), plus I’m part of the creative brainstorming process. I’ve also been dabbling in the art of fortune-telling to get ahead of projects. You’ve got to be pretty well-rounded in a small company, so I do it all!

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?
A: I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a talent, but I can ask “where is the bathroom” in 8 different languages.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: All of my “hobbies” come in and out in spurts. Currently, I’ve been running a lot as I’m training for my first half marathon in May. It’s also pretty safe to say that I like doing anything that your grandma likes to do: cooking, baking, knitting, crafting, binge watching television, going to bed at 9pm, and the list goes on.

Q: Why are you so possessive of your office supplies?
A: Office supplies make my life SO much easier when it comes to my organization and management of projects. Considering I am the only one in the entire office who is fully-equipped, I’ve got to hang on tight to what I have. It’s not that I don’t like sharing, but I don’t like sharing knowing that I will never see my stapler/scissors/post-it notes/sharpie pens again!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

February 9th, 2015

That time of year has come again friends. A time of joy and delicious treats. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even Halloween. I’m talking about Girl Scout Cookie season.

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The Girl Scouts have been a wonderful for client to have at PLAY and we love working with such a great organization. And now that it’s the season for selling their delicious cookies, it’s clear they love working with us too! We are so appreciative for such a fun and generous client!

And now you can order your favorite Girl Scout Cookies online through their digital cookie program to support education and growth for local girls while enjoying the tastiest cookies around!

Soup day!

February 5th, 2015

Anyone in Lincoln knows that the past few days have been cold and bleak, with loads of snow and ice. At PLAY Creative, we had enough of this dreary winter weather, so Becca and Matt threw together a Soup Day!

Chili-Day

As you can see, the Soup Day was a big success! We had a delightful array of soups, from matzo ball to chili to vegetable stew. On top of that, we had potato salad, cinnamon rolls, cheese bread, and snacks of all sorts for us to enjoy!

The weather outside tried its best to get our moods down, but warm food and good company showed Old Man Winter who’s boss!

A Peek at our Process

February 4th, 2015

Proposal Prep 3

Today is a big day for us at PLAY, we’ve got two presentations to make and we’re pumped up about it! We wanted to show you all a bit what our process is like behind the scenes. Here we have our two proposals ready to go, accompanied by two potential mail campaign choices each. Our team worked hard to put these together and we’re eager to get started on these great campaigns!

Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Fowler

January 29th, 2015

Becca's-Desk

Q: How would you describe what you do here?
A: At PLAY, I promote our offerings to the community by developing relationships and keeping others informed of what we can provide to meet their needs

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
A: I am passionately curious about everything, so it really all depends on the day. usually, I’m trying something new, be it a craft, seeing a play, trying to do yoga, enjoying new foods and/or beer with my amazing husband, or just hanging out and laughing with my family-in-law. I’m also in school full-time so, on occasion, I do homework

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at PLAY?
A: Definitely the people. Everyone here is uniquely their own and not afraid to show it. Everyone has an element of creativity to bring to the table and it shows in the results!

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I’m a fan of fantasy novels, my favorite of which being the Black Jewel Trilogy by Anne Bishop. I’ve read that series no less than 6 times.

Nescafè Brightens The Morning With Conversation

January 23rd, 2015

The morning is a solitary thing. Everyone is grumbling and groggy, isolated at their desks as they try to get their gears turning. But Nescafè wanted to change things, so they developed a mailer to help people come together with warm conversation and warm coffee.

Nescafe paper cups

The Nescafè Pop-Up Cafè mailers were part of a protective jacket for the MetroNews paper and was given to people in Paris, France. When the cover was opened, recipients found an invitation to start a conversation and two foldable paper coffee cups. They were encouraged to share the moment with others, starting up a conversation that would never have happened otherwise.

This is a brilliant idea, stealthily including foldable branded cups that actually hold coffee in the morning paper so everyone gets it, and not only that, but making sure there are two, so you get people naturally talking about it when they show it to their friends and coworkers to share. Nescafè let people play right into their hands, getting more word-of-mouth through simple print pieces than they could have in the crowded digital space.

We’re Turning 8!

January 15th, 2015

Way back in the distant year of 2006, two men decided they were tired of having their creative ideas limited by other people’s rules, so they founded their own design studio. Those two men were Aaron Petersen and Adam Lohman and that agency was PLAY Creative.

PLAY back in the day

 

Picture above: Aaron Petersen (left) and Adam Lohman (right) from a press release published in 2007.

Today, PLAY marks the start of our eighth year of business, and we want to thank our community, our staff, and most importantly our clients for all the support you’ve given us over the last few years. We’re looking forward to another wonderful year with even more amazing work to come!

Toronto Gives a Warm Welcome

January 8th, 2015

2015 is here, and we figured that we would welcome the new year by highlighting a campaign that was a welcome gift itself.

Pandas again

To celebrate the arrival of two Pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, and the opening of their Panda exhibit, the Toronto Zoo worked with Canadian agency Cundari to develop these adorable mailers. The box featured two tea cups set into a pattern to resemble a panda’s face, and two bags of tea, one white tea and one black tea, ready to be prepared an enjoyed by the recipients. In addition, there was a note declaring the arrival of the two pandas and encouraging the recipients enjoy the tea in honor of the arriving animals.

The box was sent to strategic media outlets, including two Chinese language newspapers, Sing Tao and Ming Pao, as well as Canada’s leading multicultural television network, OMNI TV, and radio station, Fairchild Radio.

This campaign is not only adorable, but also is a great talking point for the media personnel it was sent to. People love to talk about free things they get, especially when they are clever or noteworthy like this mailer campaign was!

Dutch Agency Gets Sassy With Marketing

December 31st, 2014

Brick House, an advertising agency in The Netherlands, is like many other ad agencies around the world in at least one way, they constantly have their work scrutinized and derided by people and companies who think that they could do just as well without the agency’s help. So Brick House decided to help agencies who want to fly solo by issuing DIY advertising kits. The kits came with a variety of materials, including tape, scissors, and more than a little attitude. We love this fearless attitude. And it helps to remind people that we provide a service you can’t get anywhere else.

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Happy Holidays from PLAY!

December 24th, 2014

Break out the eggnog and snuggle up next to the fire, the holidays are upon us. Here at PLAY, we hope you have a magnificent holiday, no matter which holiday you may celebrate. Now is a time to be with your friends and family, eating an amount of food that we can all agree is a little worrying, and staying inside to escape the weather. From all of us here at PLAY, we hope you have happy holidays!

The Pies Have It

December 18th, 2014

At PLAY, we are proud of our open workspace. It helps us feel more connected as a staff and lets ideas flow easily between us to grow and improve. One of those ideas recently was Pie Day. While we were working, the topic of best kind of pie came up in the discussion. Almost everyone had their personal favorites, we decided to have a pie day, where everyone would bring in their favorite kind of pie and we would all eat all the kinds of pie and decide once and for all the best kind of pie.

Now, traditionally Pie Day, or rather Pi Day, is on March fourteenth, because 3/14 is like 3.14. But with the help of some iffy math, we figured out that December 10th is 3.14 months before 3/14, so we declared that our Pie Day. The day came and we had quite the bounty.

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We had key lime pie, blueberry pie, pecan pie, and strawberry rhubarb pie, plus whipped cream and two kinds of ice cream! By the end of it, all the votes had been cast and the winner was decided: Us. Admittedly, it didn’t settle the argument but we were too happy to care. Another wonderful day at PLAY.

Credit Union of America’s Pairings Spell Success

December 18th, 2014

If you remember a few weeks ago, we showed you all our Financibility campaign videos for Credit Union of America. Now we return with our heads held high in success!

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To refresh your memories, Credit Union of America approached us to help them open more checking accounts with both existing CUA members and non-members. We created a campaign with the theme of couples and compatibility, much like the old Dating Game game show. We filmed TV ads and distributed Switch Kits, kits that helped people easily move their automatic payments to their new CUA account, as leads in the campaign, along with email ads, radio spots, and web banners.

In only two short months, Credit Union of America has met their goals thanks to our Financibility campaign! And they haven’t just achieved their target, they overachieved, with more than half of their branches getting over 100% of their goal! We’re incredibly proud of ourselves and Credit Union of America for executing such a successful plan!

Tooting Our Own Horn

December 11th, 2014

At PLAY, we spend our days promoting other businesses to help them gain customers and awareness in the mind of the public. But today we’d like to take a break from that (we want to assure all of our clients that this will be a short break) to do a little self-promotion.

Earlier this year, we created a website for the Rael Development Corp that they will soon launch to help them better display the features of their buildings to potential residents. We were so proud of our work, we submitted it to the Nebraska American Institute of Graphic Arts, or AIGA, competition for design. Our website went against submissions from all across Nebraska and came back with a bronze!

AIGA-Award-2014

Our employees and their combined effort are our greatest asset and highest point of pride, and that’s saying something considering all the great work we do!

Don’t Count Print Out

December 11th, 2014

We’ve disputed the claim that print is dead before on our blog, but we never miss an opportunity to remind everyone that print advertising is still one of the most potent forms of advertising. An article was published on the site Business 2 Community that further exalts PLAY’s favorite medium.

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The article touches on 6 powerful traits of print advertising, including direct mail personalized mail, custom die cut pieces, custom printed materials like t-shirts, keychains, and more, and the powerful union between social media and print advertising.

Among the things mentioned, the vast flexibility and customization of print is a major point of the article. Print pieces can be cut into an incredible amount of different shapes and folds, as well as made to incorporate several pages in inventive ways to simulate everything from a restaurant to a TV. Beyond that, the recipient’s name can be inserted into key points in the copy to help the piece feel personalized and help customers establish a more potent emotional connection to the piece as well as the company that sent it.

At PLAY, we love to create cool new die lines to make our print pieces interesting and eye-catching. We develop die lines for pieces that allow them to be folded into castles or fit together like building blocks or even cause a coin to flip when you open a letter. We know print is still thriving and so are we, which we can use to help our clients’ businesses.

Giving thanks PLAY-style

December 4th, 2014

We’re deep into the holiday season so we thought we’d give you a look at the inner workings of PLAY as the holidays approach. Here at PLAY, we know that good food and good company is the best way to celebrate! For our PLAYsgiving celebration, everyone at the office made food for all of us to enjoy!

PLAYsgiving

Everything you see in the picture above was made by a PLAYer! We had a veritable buffet of homemade food, like smoked pork shoulder, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, corn, cranberry sauce, and even an ice cream cake! And to make all this wonderful food even better, we sat down together as an agency as we ate. Nothing brings people together like a big meal of delicious food and with a banquet like this, PLAY is close as can be!

Our Legacy of Work

November 26th, 2014

The Legacy Retirement Community is an assisted living community dedicated to helping the elderly of Lincoln live healthy and fun lives in their advancing age. They genuinely care about their tenants and go the extra mile in making sure they are happy and comfortable, providing meals prepared by 5-star chefs, live music performances, game nights, shopping outings and more.

The Legacy Retirement Community is one of our most loyal and treasured clients. We have worked with them since 2010, making a variety of wonderful pieces that we’re very proud of. This year was no different. We produced six awesome and creative pieces that we’re excited to show you. From industry events to family gatherings, we’ve helped The Legacy reach more potential residents and become a part of their communities at all four of their locations.

The Arbors – Wine and Cheese Event

The-Arbors

The Arbors is a facility developed by The Legacy specifically to help those who need memory care support. Serious effort goes into keeping it up to date and comfortable, requiring help from other companies like Hospice Care. Those companies deserve recognition and appreciation, so a party was thrown in their honor with wine, snacks, and music.

To promote this event, we designed invitations that followed the theme of the party, specifically wine and relaxation. These invitations were hand-delivered to the companies that assist The Arbors in maintaining their high standards of excellence in care. The Wine and Cheese event enjoyed a healthy 32% response rate thanks to our efforts.

The Legacy Terrace and Legacy Estates – Legacy of Learning

Legacy-Learning

The Legacy of Learning program was a series five of classes and talks to help the elderly and their caretakers realize that just because a person is getting on in years doesn’t mean that their lives are over. Each one of five classes had a specific purpose, from training and sharpening one’s mind to preparing healthy yet delicious meals to easy exercises that help an older body stay limber. Professionals in their field were brought in to talk on these topics to residents of the Legacy Terrace and Legacy Estates, as well as anyone from the nearby community and those who had expressed interest in Legacy living before. These lessons showed not only that life can be fun and healthy at an advanced age, but also that The Legacy was the best place to get this type of living.

In promoting these talks, we created a mailer that encompassed all five events, but was designed to highlight each event individually. A packet was mailed out to the nearby neighborhood and prospective residents that contained five separate cards that detailed the five events. They were bright and uniquely colored to catch the eye of the recipient, as well as designed to be mounted on a refrigerator or cork board in a family home as a reminder. In addition to the packets being mailed out, individual cards for specific upcoming events were handed out to attendees at Legacy Signature Events. The five events individually saw as high as a 5% response rate.

The Legacy, Legacy Terrace, and Legacy Estates – Patio Party

Patio-Party

The annual patio party at three of the four Legacy locations is a very special gathering. It allows those who live near The Legacy as well as those who have expressed interest in Legacy living to see beyond the walls of the building itself. These parties allow visitors to see the fun of living in The Legacy Retirement Community. The parties feature outdoor food and gathering, prepared by the 5-star chefs employed by The Legacy. Visitors got to see the beautiful landscaping of the Legacy, including a duck pond, a variety of gorgeous trees, and wide-open green spaces.

To promote the patio parties, we devised a rather clever plan: we created a single, multi-use outer shell for our mailer in the theme of a cheeseburger picnic, capturing the fun and outdoors of the Legacy parties. But to make sure each invitation would work for each of the three parties, we developed three different inserts, one for each of the three parties. Depending on who the mailer was going to, an insert relating to the appropriate Legacy location was put into the outer shell. By doing this, we were able to spread the word about the three parties without having to develop three separate mailers. We also developed a web banner to advertise for the parties as well as creating a new Facebook cover photo for the Legacy’s Facebook page. Through this combined media campaign, we had around 450 attendees for each of the parties, which is good on its own but even better when you consider we sent out 400 mailers!

The Legacy – Confection Celebration Banana Bonanza mailer

Banana-Bonanza

As a Legacy Signature Event, Confection Celebration is a yearly event that brings the community surrounding the Legacy together for a night of delicious sweets and treats. The 5-star chefs employed by The Legacy bring out their A-game when creating delicious desserts for guests, such as luscious chocolate fondue and bombastic bananas foster. Beyond the amazing food, these events give community members and potential residents the chance to take a tour of The Legacy and see what Legacy Living is all about. Guests are encouraged to walk the halls and see all of the wonderful amenities The Legacy offers to its residents as they nibble on delectable delicacies.

In marketing this event, we knew we had one focus: the delicious treats of course! And what better front man for this band of bodacious bonbons than the big man himself: bananas foster? Our design revolved around this flammable foodstuff, with a picture of a burning banana right on the front of the invitation. Recipients of the mailer, those who lived in the areas near The Legacy and had expressed an interest in Legacy Living, were instructed to peel the banana itself, interacting with a party invitation in a way they never had before. We combined this with appearances on morning radio talk shows to promote the event, as well as an ad in the Neighborhood Extra of the Lincoln Journal Star and a new Facebook cover photo for the Legacy’s page. When all the bananas were eaten and the dust settled, we found that the event had enjoyed a hearty 29% response rate.

The Legacy Estates – Chef Fest

Chef-Fest

Another Legacy Signature Event, Chef Fest is when the 5-star chefs who work at The Legacy really get their chance to shine. Preparing delicious entrees like shrimp scampi and beef bruschetta, they are able to really show off their culinary chops to party-goers. Even the head chef cut loose and carved a piano from a single block of cheese! There is no limit to the capabilities of The Legacy’s team of chefs, which is why they love to invite people in to show them off to potential residents of The Legacy Retirement Communities.

When you’re putting on an event of this culinary caliber, what more do you need to tell people? Our invitational mailers went for that exact angle: at The Legacy, you or your aging loved one will experience a new world of yummy morsels, even if they are getting on in their years. The mailers, designed on a unique die-cut and featured a theme reflecting the bevy of dining options, were sent to the neighbors of The Legacy locations and people who had been looking into Legacy Living. We combined this with appearances on morning radio talk shows to promote the event, as well as an ad in the Neighborhood Extra of the Lincoln Journal Star and a new Facebook cover photo for the Legacy’s page. Our efforts saw a return rate of 31%, a party almost as full as the guests’ stomachs!

The Legacy Terrace – Town Carnival

Terrace-Carnival

The Town Carnival at The Legacy Terrace is the third Legacy Signature Event. Instead of focusing just on potential residents and their caretakers, the Town Carnival is a show for all ages. Featuring bounce houses, clowns, a classic car show, and all the fair food you can eat off a stick, the Town Carnival is the epitome of Legacy’s fun living. Attendees tour the facility, visiting different attractions as they move from location to location and seeing the joys of Legacy Living firsthand while eating corn dogs and funnel cakes and more.

When we were tasked with promoting Legacy’s big top event, we embraced the carnival feeling and took it to the next level. Our mailer was themed after the classic carnival feeling of flashy tents and delightful rides, everything you remember as a child from your summers at the fair. But on top of that, we made our mailer more interactive by featuring not one, but two layers of fold-out design, keeping the users more interested and for longer. The mailers were sent to specific families who had been looking into Legacy Living recently as well as a large number of people from the surrounding communities. We combined this with appearances on morning radio talk shows to promote the event, as well as an ad in the Neighborhood Extra of the Lincoln Journal Star and a new Facebook cover photo for the Legacy’s page. Thanks to our mailers, the Greatest Show on Earth saw a 24% response rate, nothing to throw peanuts at!

Reebok knows that CrossFitters Love Bacon

November 20th, 2014

It’s only slightly hyperbolic to say that everyone loves bacon. Some of bacon’s biggest fans are the CrossFit community. So when Reebok wanted to tap into the CrossFit market, they knew their opportunity would be hosting the 2014 CrossFit Games. And to ensure the CrossFit community would be on board, they sent out the greatest gift of all: bacon.

Reebok Bacon

 

Sent to notable CrossFit athletes and community members, the Reebok Bacon was prepared in accordance with the “Paleo Diet,” a diet followed by many CrossFitters, was uncured and contained no msg, sweeteners, nitrates, or preservatives. Those who received the packages were encouraged to share it with friends and talk about it on social media.

On top of the boxes sent out, Reebok hosted a Reebok Bacon food truck that served paleo-friendly entrees featuring their signature bacon. A secret menu was also available, promoted through Reebok’s social media pages. When one of these special dishes were ordered, the customer would also get a special prize.

By tapping into the core of their target demographic, Reebok was able to capture the hearts and minds of the CrossFit community by harnessing the atmosphere of their audience. This campaign is so deliciously clever that you can almost smell the bacon cooking!

Making a Microscopic Difference

November 13th, 2014

How do you get your product in front of scientists who have their face up to a microscope lens all day? You make your product get down to their level. That was the thought behind 3M and Maruri Grey’s 500 Nanometer Mailer campaign.

3M nanometer

Production giant 3M needed to get more scientists in Ecuador using their Petrifilm brand microscope sample plates. But most labs were sticking with brands they had been using traditionally for quite some time. Maruri Grey had to get creative in order to sell them their product. So they used a powerful laser to create a sales pitch that was only 500 nanometers tall. If you’re not familiar with nanometers, the message was 0.0005 centimeters tall or about the size of a single bacterium.

Promotional mailers were sent out to Ecuadorian biology labs, complete with sample Petrifilm plates with a message inscribed on them in microscopic scale. The message promoted how efficient the plates were, shaving off 4 seconds per procedure and providing a 45% increase in overall productivity in laboratories that used them.

After the mailers were sent out, recipients were interviewed about the minuscule mailers. They found that the scientists were delighted and surprised to see a message on a scale they had never seen, or even thought about, before. 87% of all laboratories to which the mailers were sent converted to using the 3M Petrifilm plates in their day-to-day usage, which was a huge sale 3M.

PLAYing Matchmaker

November 6th, 2014

What’s the connection between Jim Lange and Credit Union of America? The Dating Game of course! When CUA came to us, they needed to find a way to bring more outside customers in to open checking accounts, and to encourage existing members to open a checking account with them. But they wanted it to be fun and friendly, so we came up with “Financibility.”

Financibility is financial services and compatibility combined, showing that Credit Union of America is the right fit for every type of customer. Whether they’re looking for security, friendliness, or convenience, Credit Union of America is exactly what they need in a financial institution. The biggest challenge in getting customers to switch checking accounts is the hassle of changing their automatic payments to their new accounts. Many people would rather stay with an inferior financial institution than switch to a better one just to avoid all that work. We took care of this by developing the “Switch Kit,” a printable pdf form where potential members could fill in all of the information of all their automatic payments, and Credit Union of America would take care of the switch for them, taking away all of the hassle.

In addition to the Switch Kit, we developed two television ads, a radio script, billboards, print ads, web ads and banners, developed a new logo, launched an email campaign, and created a microsite to help promote the message of how easy and smart it is to switch your checking account to Credit Union of America. The TV and radio ads were themed after online dating services, matching potential members with CUA representatives as if on a date. The microsite hosted all of the media as well as additional information on the services CUA provides.

We showed you our behind the scenes video for this campaign’s commercials last week so we figured we’d show you the final pieces today!

Credit Union of America – Financibility – Kyle from PLAY Creative on Vimeo.

Credit Union of America – Financibility – Sarah from PLAY Creative on Vimeo.

Pay Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

October 30th, 2014

At PLAY Creative, we take pride in our work and have fun with it too. So when we were setting up to shoot a video spot for our client Credit Union of America, we thought we would set up an extra camera that would film the team instead of the actors.

Our behind-the-scenes camera was set up to record the effort and creativity that goes into setting up and shooting our commercials so you get a real understanding of everything our team can do. Then we sped it up a bit to make sure you didn’t have to devote your lunch hour to watching our team get the set going for a commercial shoot. We love sharing our process with you so check out the backstage video and then the commercials that came from all that effort!

CUA • Commercial Setup Time-lapse from PLAY Creative on Vimeo.

Print isn’t dead, and we’ve got the proof!

October 23rd, 2014

It’s almost a certainty that at some point you’ve heard someone say that print advertising is dead, or at least dying. But the people who say that don’t realize how wrong they are! Here at PLAY, we focus on creative and eye-catching print campaigns, so we thought we’d share with you an interesting article on the subject of print advertisements to prove there are still great results from print!

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Nuvali’s Edible Invitations

October 16th, 2014

On the island of Luzon in the Philippines, in the province of Laguna, there is a town called Calamba. In Calamba, there is a revolutionary new community called Nuvali, focused on sustainability and harmony with nature.

One of their biggest attractions is a man-made lake inhabited by thousands of koi fish. To get people and businesses talking about their new community, they sent out invitations to visit. But instead of sending out cards that would just be thrown away, they took a different approach: They made their invitations out of a special blend of materials that are entirely digestible by the fish. Not only that, but they made six different styles of invitation themed after the six most numerous breed of koi in the lake. So when visitors would come to see the new community, they could feed their invitations piece-by-piece to the koi, making happy fish instead of wasted paper.

 

nuvali invite picture

 

This is an impressive idea that drives home the feeling of harmony and balance that Nuvali is embracing as a community. Going the extra mile and theming the invitations after the different breeds of koi in the lake to educate visitors about the koi gives it even more impact. The campaign brought in “hundreds of foot traffic” to help promote families to move in and businesses to set up shop in the Nuvali community and embrace a balance with nature. To learn more about Nuvali, click here.

Thrive With PLAY

October 6th, 2014

Last month the PLAY Team undertook a project to help our sales staff interact more efficiently with prospective clients. The project was to help them qualify prospects so they could focus more on turning them into leads and booking meetings. The campaign was successful, so we thought we’d show it off!

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Creative Share

September 25th, 2014

Every Wednesday at PLAY, we huddle up for ten minutes to discuss creative work we’ve seen recently that inspires us. Sometimes it’s great design, a television ad or a really clever marketing strategy. Seeing as it’s Wednesday, we thought we’d share a few of our favorites with you. Here it goes: [Show More]

Youtube vs. Vimeo

September 17th, 2014

Choosing the right platform to share videos can have a major influence on their success. Many channels are intended for a specific purpose or dictate content with short time limits, like Instagram and Vine. But two major platforms give users the freedom to post lengthy content: YouTube and Vimeo. So what’s the difference? We did a little research to find the distinction. [Show More]

Insect Insight/Insect In Sight – A Photographic View From A Tallgrass Prairie

September 9th, 2014

Photos and Description by Britton Bailey

These photographs were taken over a three year period from 2007 to 2010 at Spring Creek Prairie. My love of nature-focused photography has grown over the years as I dedicate more and more time to explore. Spring Creek Prairie has played a big part in this process and has offered an endless supply of nature to photograph. As a family, we spent countless hours discovering the nooks, ravines and woodlands along the flowing tall grass hills of Spring Creek Prairie.  [Show More]

Credit Union of America Surpasses Goal for Auto Loan Promotion

September 5th, 2014

 

EditedAll

In 1935 a teachers credit union was chartered to serve the educators of Wichita, Kansas that would later become Credit Union of America. The institution eventually opened its doors to workers and residents of multiple counties in Kansas. Still headquartered in Wichita, CUA now serves 54,000 members, has 12 retail locations, and $575 million in assets. [Show More]

Employee Spotlight: Will Schneider

August 29th, 2014

Will's-Desk

Q: What’s your role at PLAY?
A: I let people know how PLAY can help develop and grow their business. Our awesome team creates things that grab attention and produce results. I simply let them know that they can grow by using our services!

Q: What’s your day-to-day look like?
A: Generally my day is spent on the phone speaking with people or sending emails. On a good day I have time to help the team in their quest to accurately complete the community crossword puzzle.

Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
A: My favorite part about the job is meeting new people who do different things. I find it fascinating to learn what others do in the world. Also, I like telling them about the really cool things we create. I genuinely think the pieces we make are fun and I like showing them off.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: In my spare time I hang out with my family. I’m getting married on Oct 17th, so I enjoy being with my fiancé and her kids. I like running, playing piano and playing guitar at my church. Of course, watching a good show or playing a game with friends is a lot of fun.

Fun Facts
I’ve met Morgan Freeman. I love to snowboard. I enjoy a good beer/whiskey/wine (but not all together).

Grow with PLAY! Internship: Assistant Video Producer/Editor

August 21st, 2014

Gain experience with PLAY! We are currently seeking a motivated and inventive individual to add to our team. The ideal candidate possesses the basic fundamentals to video production but is willing to work closely with the PLAY team to learn and further their skills. [Show More]

Our Web Development Environment | PLAY Creative

June 5th, 2014

Web development comprises a large amount of our work here at PLAY. Every business, both large and small, should consider a website or an updated standards-compliant website so they can be found easily. We’ve recently implemented a new development environment within our Web department that makes coding a more approachable task for our complex site builds.

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Improving SEO

May 21st, 2014

PLAYCreative Logo

There’s a lot of buzz around the term “SEO” right now. At PLAY, we understand that everyone wants to know how they can ensure their site will turn up in an online search. We thought we’d offer some quick tips for improving your search engine optimization:

1) Have a look over Google’s SEO standards and practices. This is really the ultimate guidebook in figuring out how to best improve your searchability. Use this, and you’ll be found easily.

2) Utilize an SEO plugin on your website’s CMS to manage SEO keywords and descriptions. Each page on your website should have a description of what exists on that page, so when it is indexed by search engines, it gives an accurate (and easier-to-find) snippet of content to display.

3) Use Web-friendly content, copy and accurate title tags. Put your writing skills to use to improve your SEO by name dropping your company, its type of work within its respective industry and make sure that your headline tags are used correctly.

4) Update your site often. Using a blog or an area where content is continuously updated helps search engines find your website; especially when the content uses your company’s name or has relevant content and tagged/named photos or videos.

Once you’ve gotten your content up to par, it is time to submit your site to the larger search engines. Use the following links to find out how:

Google
Bing
Yahoo

Design Blogs to Follow

May 15th, 2014

Design is a huge piece of what we do at PLAY. It’s important to us not only to exercise our own skills, but also to be knowledgeable and up to date on what other designers are creating. Plus, it’s cool to look at.

There’s a number of design blogs on the Internet. So many, in fact, that sifting through them can be daunting. We’ve asked our designers, Emily and Peter, to offer suggestions on which blogs are the best follow. Here’s what Emily had to say: [Show More]

First Fridays with PLAY: Tom Meyers (June 6th)

May 7th, 2014

You’ve seen his work throughout Lincoln – chalkboards filled with vibrant imagery paired with clean type that adorn the menu boards of your favorite restaurants and bars. Daily specials depicted in a realistic fashion make you double take to assure yourself you aren’t seeing things. He is one of Lincoln’s most known unknown artists, and his name is Tom Meyers. [Show More]

Employee Spotlight: Colby Angst (Business Development)

April 11th, 2014

Below: Rooney’s first painting, Nebraska Wesleyan mug, REF 534 hair cream, metal beard comb, iPad 2 16GB, iPhone 4S 32GB, Apple ear buds, Gerber Artifact Multitool Key Chain, Movie Poster by Claudia Varosio.

Colby's-Desk
Q: What would you say…you do here?

A: The billet is ‘Business Development.’ My main priorities are to ensure that the company achieves the financial and growth goals. This includes setting internal procedures and creating new ways to create partnerships and revenue streams. Without a dedicated account manager, I mostly fulfill that role in ensuring that we continue great relationships, our clients are happy and we are constantly exploring new partnerships and applicable markets. When I was hired, Aaron Petersen told me that PLAY prides itself in ‘doing cool sh** and generating money.’ I do my best to continue that.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I spend as much time as I can at home. Spending time with my wife Jessica and daughter Rooney is often hard with my schedule. Whenever there is a break in my schedule I focus on them. For leisure, I spend time remodeling our new home, experimenting with smoker recipes, digging for music and reading.

Q: Favorite part about working at PLAY?
A: PLAY is dynamic. Not only in what we produce but the types of industries we work in, the people I meet and concepts that they are asking for. Few things repeat at a company like PLAY and that always keeps my day fresh. One day I am working on increasing foot traffic to a brick and mortar store here in Lincoln and the next day I am assisting with an interactive website that attracts college students to Georgia.

Q: What kind of hair product do you use?
A: I don’t know. I believe it is REF (with some number). My barber gives me everything and teaches me how to style. Without her I would be clueless.

Q: What’re you currently reading?
A: Currently reading A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. Reading Hemingway is effortless and being a veteran I love how he romanticizes the ugly truths of war. Also, currently/constantly on Reddit.

Other: I used to run a collection agency here in Lincoln. I currently have a process serving company that delivers legal documents to individuals that do not want them. Every year I get at least one naked guy that answers the door.

We’re Joining the Voice over IP Crowd

March 31st, 2014

Recently, we’ve decided its time for us to better our system of communications for both us, and our clients. After doing some research on companies and plan tiers, we have selected to go with a Voice over IP (VoIP) system for a number of reasons:

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PLAY CREATIVE CAN BE YOUR GUIDE TO CONVERTING LEADS TO SALES THROUGH PRINT CAMPAIGNS CONTACT US AT 402.235.1328 OR HAVE US CONTACT YOU!

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