Archive for the ‘ Creative ’ Category

Build-A-Brand Brilliant!

Build-A-Bear WorkshopHere’s an inspiring “Think Differentiated” moment written by Fortune Magazine’s Dinah Eng on (3/19/12) focused on Maxine Clark’s brilliant Build-A-Bear brand. Maxine Clark got the idea for Build-A-Bear from a frustrated little girl. Maxine was shopping for Beanie Babies with Katie Burkhardt, the daughter of a good friend. There wasn’t anything new to buy, and Katie suggested making her own bear. “Her words gave me the idea to create a company that would allow people to create their own customized stuffed animals,” says Maxine, who at the time had left her job as president of Payless ShoeSource because “the retail world had lost its spark.”

Her vision was to create “a theme park factory in a mall,” and the adults didn’t get it. “Every parent said, Why would you want to make your own stuffed animal when you can buy it at Target?” But their kids loved the idea. Maxine didn’t conduct any focus groups, but did create a Cub Advisory Board, in which kids could offer opinions. She took $750,000 out of her retirement fund to open her first store, and secured a bank line of credit, with her home as collateral. A story in the St. Louis Business Journalattracted an investment firm. When Maxine’s first Build-A-Bear store opened in the St. Louis Galleria, “there was a line out the door.”

Originally it was “just bears and clothes,” and then came “shoes, accessories, then more animals.” Licensed products from Disney and Major League Baseball teams followed. “We hit a good nerve,” says Maxine. “At a time when everything was going high tech, high touch and hands-on was a good balance.” That was back in the late ’90s, but today Build-a-Bear “operates 425 stores” in 19 countries (almost 40% outside the US) and in 2011 had revenues of $394.4 million. “We focus on good price, convenience, and location, and we hope that when you leave, you have a smile on your face,” says Maxine. “Successful retailers — whether it’s Macy’s or Apple — do these things.”

There’s Now An App for That: Seek and You Shall Find…An Internship!

Internships.com | Internship Seeker Mobile Appication

Internships.com | Internship Seeker Mobile Appication

Circle®Brands is thrilled to announce our client, Internships.com, the worlds largest online database service for student internships, has just created and made available their first iPhone/iPod App: Internship Seeker.

The  free mobile application provides access to thousands of available internship listings. Features include search by keyword or location, detailed descriptions, save searches, share listings with friends and more. Click on the link to download the Internship Seeker app from Internships.com.

Download Internships.com new Internship Seeker Mobile App here: http://www.internships.com/mobile

Circle®Brands Creates New Youth Center Tagline: “Your Zone Away From Home”

The 'field Zone Opening

The 'field Zone Opening

Circle®Brands is proud to announce that the tagline we created, “Your Zone Away From Home” was recently selected as the new tagline for the City of Southfield and Lathrup Village’s state-of-the-art youth center: The ‘field Zone.

The 'field Zone | Computer Tech Room

The 'field Zone | Computer Tech Room

The city notes that the ‘field Zone was designed as a public center where leadership, recreation, creativity, community involvement, academics, technology,arts, and music inspire our youth. This youth center stands to become the ‘hub’ of community activity, open to middle school and high school students, who reside in or attend the City of Southfield and Lathrup Village schools.

The 'field Zone | Youth Center

The 'field Zone Youth "Zoned Out"

The ‘field Zone features a snack bar, internet café, game room and lounge area, music studio and practice rooms, activities room (dance, martial arts), theater, and group study rooms. A fun, safe, drug and violence free environment where teens are welcome to hang out and become involved with a variety of positive recreational choices. The center is located on the campus of Southfield Civic Center, directly below the Southfield Pavilion, close to the library, baseball diamonds, public pool, sand volleyball, tennis courts, and other recreational activities. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday 2:30 pm to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 2:30 pm to 10 pm.

Check out the ‘field Zone at this link: http://www.thefieldzone.org/

Circle®Brands | Power to the Pupil™

Power to the Pupil™ is a call to action campaign to inspire and invigorate the educational process and the future of students worldwide. Take charge of your education and your life! Power to the Pupil!™

Power to the Pupil™ is a powerfully empowering, aspirational and memorable tagline and brand driver that exudes attitude while offering a galvanizing value proposition. Power to the Pupil™ employs a meme that harnesses the inherent power of familiarity of the catchphrase “power to the people,” a phrase that’s embedded in the public consciousness. A “meme” is a concept that replicates by passing from one person to another verbally, visually or symbolically. A powerful brand name or tagline is a virulent meme, like a virus it spreads across the cultural mindscape on its own power.

Additionally, the alliteration and rhythm in Power to the Pupil™ is another well-known mnemonic (memory aid) tool that helps convey the message quickly and assures that the message gets locked in the memory. Fact: the right mnemonic in the right strategic situation is a gold mine. And when you add the value of leveraging “sound” as a sensory touchpoint by way of the familiar music, you’ve now covered both the auditory and visual senses – adding up to a commanding brand experience; and one that is ready to be shared across a variety of popular social media channels.

Interacting with a brand is analogous to a personal relationship: we’re generally attracted to confident, interesting people and find those who lack such qualities and who don’t stand for anything to be rather bland and inconsequential. Power to the Pupil™ fosters a vital sense of community and effectively captures students’ attention while communicating promise, personality and performance. Consumers play a greater role than ever before as ambassadors for brands. They are the ones that create buzz, pass on viral messages and bring brands alive in pop culture, so it makes sense to make this process easy for students by giving them Power to the Pupil™ to stimulate reaction, word of mouth and ultimately mind and market share.

A great example of a celebrated tagline that struck a chord with consumers is, “Where’s the Beef?” These words became a national catch phrase in the mid 1980s and catapulted the Wendy’s® hamburger chain into the limelight as a major player in fast food sales. Prior to “Where’s the Beef?” Wendy’s was a fledgling burger joint trying to compete with the two big fast food companies. Wendy’s credits the “Where’s the Beef” ad campaign with a 31% jump in sales and a 24% boost in year-end profits. What’s more: the classic tagline has endured the test of time and is still one of the top-rated slogans today.

Similar to “Where’s the Beef?” Power to the Pupil™ lends itself well to merchandising and an opportunity to create a lucrative source of auxiliary revenue. Power to the Pupil™ resonates with students and invites them to express their innermost thoughts on their outermost clothing.

Circle®Brands Creates New Internships.com Logo Animation

The work showcased herein was done for Robin Richards, former Vivendi/Universal chairman and CEO and founding president of MP3.com, now CEO of internships.com. His newly retooled internships.com brand goes live 2.15.10.

For starters, the client’s creative brief was just that: brief! Our client understood that internships.com is a very good “generic” name that tells consumers what it does (function), but one which lacks personality and emotion. They wanted a powerfully compelling visual and a distinctive byline to provide an emotional hook, set them apart from competitors and fortify their position in the marketplace.

For the brand’s graphic representation, the client wanted to emphasize the “i” in internships.com while evoking a sense of the benefits that accrue to students (their primary target market) by way of engaging with the newly retooled brand. They also wanted a byline – a short and clever descriptor that encapsulated the brand idea.

The logo we created for internships.com speaks volumes, working on a multitude of levels to communicate the brand promise. The front and center “i” functions both as a person (the pupil) and as a door of opportunity that’s opening for the pupil, suggesting the immediate benefit of working with the internships.com program. The animation brings the internships.com logo and brand to life, suggesting all the pieces coming together at internships.com and the doors of opportunity that will be opening for students by way of the internships.com employers and educators.

Shown with the logo is the byline, “Hired Education.” Hired Education™ cleverly illustrates the value of the internships.com program by suggesting the on-the-job education that students will receive when hired as an intern.

There’s No Business Like Shoe Business

Always attentive to great advertising in a sea of mostly mediocre marketing; this ad by The Brand Union NYC got our attention. Clearly, Taryn Rose is enjoying the high life! That’s ‘shoe’ business for ya…Thumbs (& heels) up!

Great creative is at once rare and wonderful. It is an immense source of inspiration for us. If you respect people’s time (or mostly lack thereof), you make sure your creative is worthy of it. All great advertising shares this quality; respect for the viewer’s or listener’s most precious commodity: time. Anything less is like teaching a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig!