Local designer honored

Earlier this year, Treasure Valley Litho held a competition between local designers to create their company Christmas card. They sent out 40 invitations to designers, but only 8 chose to enter their designs. The overall winner was Kate Holgate of Stoltz Marketing Group.

Congratulations Kate. Send me a copy of the design and I’ll display it here as well.

For more, check out the full story at the Idaho Business Review.

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And in other news

Here’s something completely unrelated to marketing, but I got a kick out of it anyways.

The space shuttle Discovery has been in orbit for the past 12+ days. It was scheduled to land yesterday, but bad weather has not allowed for it. Right now, they’re considering landing sometime today at Kennedy Space Center, Edwards Air Force Base or the White Sands Space Harbor, which hasn’t been used for a shuttle landing in 24 years.

While the folks over at NASA deliberate, the flight controllers in Houston are taking it all with a timely sense of humor:

Flight controllers in Houston, trying their hand at holiday songwriting, sent the Discovery crew in their daily messages lyrics to their version of the song, “Let it Snow.”
“Oh the weather at KSC is frightful. But at White Sands it’s so delightful. And since we have to land. Land White Sands. Land White Sands. Land White Sands,” it said.

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As year-end approaches

Will the next couple of weeks be a flurry of activity, or will everyone just coast through the rest of the month? Perhaps a good indicator would be to give North by Northwest a call and see if you can schedule any studio time before the end of the month. I’d be willing to guess that you won’t be able to.

The reason behind it? Awards, of course. In order to qualify to next year’s awards, a spot must run before the end of the year (see Apple’s 1984 for a classic, and locally relevant, example).

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Recycled Creative

This one first crossed my mind around Halloween. I’ve seen and heard (mainly heard) several spots that have been using recycled creative lately. Much of it is time-specific, running around a certain time of year (Halloween or Christmas, for example). Now I’m all for developing creative concepts and executions that can be reused, but the exact same thing year after year?

A few examples:

  • Goodwill, and their “Three Witches” spot that has run around Halloween for at least the past three years.
  • Hertz Car Sales, and their modified “Christmas Carols” that have run for at least the past two years.
  • Ashley Heating & Air, with their “Employee Christmas Band” that is on its second year of rotation.

I’m not suggesting that these spots were all created by local agencies. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t — that’s not the point. The point is that there’s a fine line between “Hey, I remember hearing this last year” and “Oh great, they’re running that again this year.”

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Latest from Moxie Java

I’ve seen the latest Moxie Java billboards around Boise recently, promoting Moxie Java Gift Cards as gifts this Christmas. The copy reads something along the lines of “Because coffee shouldn’t be put in a box.” The image is of a wrapped box, with a brown corner and liquid around the bottom of the box.

Here’s the thing. I get the concept, I just don’t like the execution.

  • The “coffee” leaking out of the box appears, to me at least, to more closely resemble the consistency of motor oil than it does coffee. Try this one for yourself — pour a cup of coffee into a gift box, small cardboard box — anything really. See for yourself how much is absorbed by the box and how much leaks out onto the floor/counter/table/surface.
  • Black coffee? Is that the best they could come up with? Moxie Java offers so much more than just black coffee. Yes, I realize that black coffee may be the easiest visual representation, but the easiest choice is not always the best choice.

Just my opinion, of course. I do not know who is doing work for Moxie Java these days, but I’d be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks about this one. Comment away.

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The lines are blurring

An article on Adweek’s website today once again underscores how the lines between traditional agencies and web-centric shops are blurring.

While the article focuses on the big-name national agencies, as Adweek is prone to do, the same principle applies even here at the local level. Traditional agencies are looking to beef-up their interactive abilities (es/drake, for example), while at the same time, interactive shops are looking to add talent with traditional agency experience (Blackfin Technology comes to mind).

Are there others? Sure there are. But one point that the Adweek articles misses is that this has been happening for years. Talent moves back and forth, and sometimes back again. The high-profile moves at these large, national agencies have simply served to shine a little more light on the situation (and I’m sure a little PR push helped move the story along).

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