Monday, December 29, 2008

Saturn: Brand Makeover

Challenge: Revive a forgotten automotive brand that was well-loved in its hay day but hasn’t delivered on styling and craftsmanship in the past 10 years.

Insight: Saturn’s new vehicles are smartly engineered and appropriately sized for a nation that is facing $4 gasoline prices and over-priced European autos.

Solution: We chose to remind people that Saturn was a smart choice in a world gone super-sized. Our attitude in advertising communications attacked the excessive consumption of our society and offered Saturn as a smart and savvy purchase decision. We were able to make the brand relevant and unique because of it’s humble appeal, contemporary appearance and thoughtful engineering.

Monday, December 22, 2008

TGI Friday’s Brand Revamp

Challenge: Bring new life and pizzazz to a well-known brand that had lost just a little of its luster in the wake of new and more exciting restaurant concepts.

Insight: TGI Friday’s was the birthplace of fun but had become a cliché. It had become just a place to eat, rather than a destination for fun.

Solution: For starters, we reminded people that the Friday night experience was only a visit away. By taking ownership of the fun and excitement of Friday nights we were able to reinvigorate the brand with contemporary relevance, while retaining its core values. Our external and internal communications featured the updated décor, new tantalizing entrees and the flamboyant cocktails that Friday’s became famous for. We made Friday’s newly relevant – and fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fresh & Easy Launches in U.S.

Challenge: Create an entirely new brand from scratch in a category dominated by large established players. Design over 2000 private label packaging designs. Launch over 100 stores in the first year.

Insight: Consumers perceived that fresh food was the domain of the supermarkets and that convenience meant stores with a limited range of food at high prices. The opportunity existed for a convenience store that offered a comprehensive range of high-quality yet competitively priced fresh and pre-packaged food.

Solution: From packaging and in-store experience to offline and online advertising, the fully integrated campaign focused on quality, freshness and easy to shop locations.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why BJ's Restaurants are so great!

Last year I had never even been inside a BJ's Restaurant. My office had an opportunity to work on some FSI ads and do a little brand analysis for them. As it turns out, they didn't need much help. They have an interesting combination of elements that create a very unique "brand experience". First of all, the interior design is just funky enough to appease the elitist snobs who wouldn't be caught dead in a chain restaurant. Next, they have a very diverse menu which has a range of items to handle your entire crew, from pasta to burgers to pizza and beyond.

Okay, now comes the interesting part. They have plasma screens playing all the sports you could ever want -- and they have an amazing line-up of handcrafted beers on tap. Sounds like a sports bar, but doesn't look or feel like one.

It's all in the name: lots of snickering from my teenagers as we roll in for lunch... so should they change the name? No way!

I love BJ's.

Is it all just Tulip Mania?

Okay -- so gas is down to about $1.50 a gallon and the DOW is still fluttering along? Ever hear of Tulipmania? Yeah, well it's the phenomenon that rocked Holland in 1637. People went nutso for tulips as they were the new, cool flower that had never been experienced in that part of the world.

Then they suddenly realized that they were all over priced, stopped buying them -- and the bottom fell out. No more crazy prices... and lots of people burned by the "bubble" that was created. Hmmm. Sounds like the housing market.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pawn Shops and Thrift Stores thrive in Poor Economy.

Okay, let's be honest. We're all trying to curb our spending and be fiscally responsible in these tough economic times, right? But if you are looking for a sweet dea,l try your local pawn shop or thrift store. Maybe you were too cool to be looking around in these shops in the past -- but these stores are unloading tons of very hip, affordable goodies. You can play Santa while you sift through the bins at the Goodwill store or find a great deal on a slightly used SONY PS3 down at the pawn shop. And if you were looking for a musical instrument, now is the time to negotiate an excellent price on that axe you always wanted! This could be a good year for Guitar Hero after all.