Case Studies

Medical Illumination – Making the Audience Sweat

Medical Illumination is one of the leading manufacturers of surgical lighting, and have led the way in low-heat-emitting LED surgery lights. Our new print ad dramatizes the experience of operating under traditional halogen or incandescent lights versus MI’s ultra-cool LEDs.

The ads ranked among the highest-read ads in their respective publications based on readership surveys. Here’s what some of the readers had to say:

“Excellent ad—good eye-catching display and offers an explanation of why I should go to the website and review their products.”

“Graphics got my attention and made me want to read the ad.”

“Great image—we’ve all been there!”

“Perfectly explains and the pic is humorous because we’ve all been there!”

“This ad is effective as it is because it shows me something I can relate to.”

“This is what I purchased.”

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Customer Acquisition + Product Sales Promotion = $3.4 Million for Public Schools

Wells Fargo Banking On Our Schools

The Challenge: Develop a customer acquisition and product sales promotion campaign that would generate sales while demonstrating Wells Fargo’s longstanding commitment to its local communities.

The Approach: With thousands of schools and school districts throughout the nation facing severe program cutbacks or eliminations, LA ads created a campaign in which Wells Fargo would contribute up to $40 per customer to their local school district based on the number financial products that the customer signed up for.

This was a “win-win-win” for the customers, the community and Wells Fargo. Because this program directly benefited their local communities, our client’s staff could feel a sense of pride in their efforts while customers could feel good about their choice to bank with Wells Fargo. A fully-integrated marketing program was initiated ranging from internal communications with Wells Fargo team members along with communication to school districts, public/media relations activities, online, in-branch merchandising and general marketing advertising efforts on TV, radio, out-of-home and print.

The Change: The “Team Up For Schools” program was an immediate success, with numerous news stories on television, radio and newspapers (many showing the marketing materials). In the program’s first year, Wells Fargo donated more than $3.4 million to schools and districts in the bank’s 23 regional banking states. This program is still ongoing.

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Rebuild a Brand’s Proprietary Advantage After Their Patent Ran Out

HoneyBaked Ham Hamming it up for the Holidays

The Challenge: Rebuild the proprietary advantage for HoneyBaked Hams that was lost when the patent on the spiral slicer ran out in the 1980’s and supermarkets became the dominant competition.

The Approach: There simply isn’t a supermarket ham in the country that tastes like a HoneyBaked. The strategy was to educate consumers that just because a ham is spiral sliced to look like a HoneyBaked brand ham, supermarket hams can’t measure up to HoneyBaked’s sweet, smokey taste and tenderness. LA ads also reminded our target audience (mostly women) of the risks associated with buying the wrong ham. Large family-oriented get-togethers such as Christmas and Easter are much too important to risk ruining with a less than perfect ham. A fully integrated campaign involving television, radio, print, in-store merchandising (posters, brochures, videos), website, direct mail and customer emails was initiated leading up to the Christmas holiday.

The Change: As a result of this campaign, sales jumped 23% in the Western region (everything west of the Mississippi River) … the first sales increase in over 3 years. This strategy was continued for the next 1½ years and despite the continued assault from supermarkets and other specialty ham stores, HoneyBaked’s sales grew 27% YOY and led to the opening of 8 new stores…the first store openings in 4 years.

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Brand and Launch a New Flight School at the World’s Busiest General Aviation Airport

Hollywood Aviators – Hollywood Aviators Takes Off

The Challenge: Launch a new flight school at the world’s busiest general aviation airport – competing with six already established competitors.

The Approach: Being close to Hollywood, LA ads determined that the branding should be strongly connected to the romance of aviation in the movies, from “Wings” to “Top Gun.” That gave us the impetus for the name, the logo, even the office decor, which featured floor-to-ceiling photos of famous movie aviators.

The branding was front and center on all marketing, from the website to print ads to online commercials, all on a shoestring budget. Knowing that customer service was weak among competitors, we emphasized “Red Carpet Treatment from the Ground Up.” PR promoted gift flights for Father’s Day, Christmas and Valentines Day, which got significant media attention, as did our creation of the only summer camp where kids could pilot a real plane.

The Change: Within just 9 months, Hollywood Aviators became the second busiest flight school at the Van Nuys Airport. Search engine efforts moved the school to among the top three rankings for all Los Angeles, CA area flight schools. Less than two years later, it was flight-for-flight, operating at the level of the oldest, largest flight school on the field, allowing the owners to sell the business for a substantial profit.

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Focus on Visible Superiority Establishes a Late-Entry Digital Camera Above Expensive Competitors

Vivitar – The Proof is in the Picture

The Challenge: Establish credibility for a late-entry digital camera line belonging to a brand regarded as second-tier.

The Approach: Vivitar was late to enter the digital camera category. However, it was clear that the image quality of their lower-priced camera was in fact superior to its more expensive competitors. We arranged several photo sessions in which we lined up competitors’ cameras and Vivitar’s to take the same shot. In print ads, we showed the results in mosaic photos that demonstrated our client’s visible superiority, and provided documentation of the comparison process for anyone (including the competitors’ lawyers) who asked.

The Change: The demonstration was unassailable. The ads were run in both trade and consumer media and retailers were quick to pick up Vivitar’s new line of digital cameras. Its success let to Vivitar’s expansion into other digital products  including scanners, webcams, and printers, allowing the company to transition away from the quickly fading traditional film camera category.

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Develop Sales and Awareness for a Greener Drive Train System for EV/HEV Heavy-Duty Trucks

Enova Systems – Driving a Greener Drive Train

The Challenge: Broaden visibility and enhance perceived relevance for a relatively new manufacturer of EV/HEV (Electric Vehicle/Hybrid Electric Vehicle) drive system technology at a major national tradeshow.

The Approach: While Enova Systems had been developing a new more environmentally-friendly drive system for EV/HEV heavy-duty truck, bus and fleet operators (saving them significantly on fuel costs), sales and awareness were seriously lagging. We recommended that the company make a splash at one of the nation’s largest trade events: the National Truck Equipment Association tradeshow. The importance of making a big impact at this show could not be understated with major vehicle manufacturers from both US and Europe attending.

We started by heightening awareness and interest among a small targeted list of prospects two months before the show, providing them with product information, promotional materials, booth and special event invitations. But we didn’t stop there. During the show, in addition to booth activities, we positioned highly visible branded product messaging on vehicles outside the hotels and convention hall that included “ride-along” demonstrations.

The Change: 70% of the targeted audience visited the booth and Enova sales personnel were rewarded with 28 high level sales appointments (they were optimistically hoping for 12). Marketing activities at the tradeshow also generated interest among a prized group of “second tier” customers which ultimately resulted in orders from key accounts such as Staples and Isuzu.

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B2B New Product Launch, without a Booth at the Largest Electronics Trade Show

Clifford Electronics – Presenting the Fourth Generation

The Challenge: Introduce an established mobile electronic company’s new car alarm line in the face of emerging competitors and alternate technologies, all without the benefit of booth presence at the industry’s largest trade show, CES.

The Approach: In order to garner B2B excitement for Clifford Electronics’ new product line, we created a brand hook that identified the series as the “next generation” of mobile security technology: G4. Rather than spell out the entire story, the agency built interest and curiosity with a series of teaser ads, direct mail and commercials targeting the larger retailers, inducing them to visit Clifford’s private hotel suite during CES.

As an added incentive, key retailers were sent a creative direct mail piece offering a bonus gift for showing up at the suite. At the suite, retailers were presented a compelling 10-minute promotional video that spelled out all the break-through technologies that went into the G4 series. Of course, an entire sales kit of materials, including brochure, sales sheets, ad kit and the DVD of the promo video, complemented the presentation.

The Change: Better than 75% of key targeted retailers signed in at Clifford’s private suite, along with a full house of other retailers each day of the show. Orders at CES well exceeded the client’s expectations. In addition, Clifford earned significant trade media coverage during CES and in post show publications. The G4 series was launched within all targeted retailers and G4 and G5 products are now a permanent part of their line.

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Re-introduce a Previously Well-Known Athletic Shoe Brand

AVIA Athletic Shoes – Putting Ourselves in Women’s Shoes

The Challenge: Re-introduce a previously well-known athletic shoe brand and its new product line to retailers and consumers after many years of marketing inactivity.

The Approach: While AVIA makes both men’s and women’s styles, the women’s line accounted for the vast majority of sales. The primary strategy was to address women with “life truths” messaging that was both inspirational and aspirational.

The launch of this integrated campaign was initiated with the sponsorship of high profile women events (i.e., Race for a Cure) and aerobics competitions. Product literature highlighting AVIA’s history as well as its advanced technology and features coupled with on-site demonstrations helped the customers feel confident knowing that they were purchasing a very high quality product. A promotional campaign around the idea of “Take AVIA out for a test drive”was developed and activated shortly after the official launch.

The Change: This promotion proved so successful that 2-month sales at targeted retailers exceeded sales figure forecast for 6 months! This promotion also helped secure highly visible in-store product positioning and provided the foundation for the successful brand sold in athletic shoe retailers today.

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Create a Full-Scale Branding & Marketing Program to Leave 1980 Behind

Bet Tzedek – Justice For All

The Challenge:  Develop a full-scale branding and marketing program to bring this 35-year-old pro-bono legal services network into the 21st Century.

The Approach: Over two months of in-depth research helped us identify what the Bet Tzedek brand meant to its various stakeholders, from program clients to service volunteers to major donors. Out of this we created the umbrella theme “Justice for All” that perfectly encapsulated Bet Tzedek’s unique mission.  Branding included logo and tagline, branding guide, website and literature formats, and a new ad campaign that demonstrated its ability to enact powerful change for its clients, many of whom are society’s unforgotten.

The Change: Within 6 months, donations significantly increased as did the number of law firms interested in providing their pro-bono support to Bet Tzedek clients.

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Grow Grocery Sales on a Limited Marketing Budget

Papa Cantella’s Italian Sausages – Phoenix Comes to Papa

The Challenge: Grow grocery sales for Papa Cantella’s Italian Sausages within the Southern Arizona marketplace on a limited budget.

The Approach: When money IS an object, guerilla and street-level marketing become a necessity. To increase Papa Cantella’s sales at the stores, we created sampling events at high traffic venues in addition to sampling at selected stores. Grilling up sausages under a custom designed tent featuring key brand  messages, we allowed consumers to try freshly grilled sausages while handing out recipe booklets with cents-off coupons to encourage repeat purchases. This was supported synergistically with on-pack coupons, a limited campaign of ads and free-standing inserts in local publications and a new web page to download even more recipes (while capturing names for future marketing).

The Change: During the 2-month introduction, over 20,000 people sampled Papa Cantella’s. Over the course of the program, product sales tripled in the meat case. The success of the program has led it to become a road map for introducing new products on a market-by-market basis as the brand grows in sales and awareness.

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