• Pimp Your Ride

    Stock art can be a convenient and affordable way to make a project deadline or feed the daily appetite of blogs and social media campaigns. The drawback is that all those perfect and predictable compositions can look sterile and inauthentic. Plus, remember that those stock images are also available to everyone else too. So, to avoid finding yourself in a commercial version of the Fashion Face Off, click here for a guideline on how to make things original. Hint: You won’t find the image used in this post anyplace else on the Earth…

  • Quality Copy Counts.

    When engaging with a new content development project, the biggest task is usually getting things pared down to the most powerful and basic of prose. I find brochures, websites and press releases so dense with jargon and rationale that it's hard to make out the single big marketing proposition. Are you clear on what your Big Marketing Proposition even is? Unfortunately, there isn’t any fairy dust that will turn your convictions into eloquent and persuasive copy, but the tactics found in this Guideline might help get things tightened up and trimmed down.

  • Event Essentials

    It’s so easy to get distracted by the whirlwind of activity involved in pulling off a successful event. You are equipped with your pop-up display and nifty giveaways, even a strategic plan about exactly where to place the fishbowl. To avoid your plan being sabotaged by the small stuff, keep an event GO-Bag filled with this checklist of Event Essentials.

  • Portfolio Story: AxleTech

    AxleTech International, a division of General Dynamics, participates in military trade events throughout the world. The task is to design and manage production of appropriate sales materials before, during and after each event; create scripting for staff and produce appropriate videos and large format promotions. Coordinate with other divisions and staff on an international level. Oh yeah. And shipping tank parts to foreign countries. That too.

  • Matching Message & Medium

    Consumers are so used a customized content experience that they actually get super annoyed when you get it wrong. Consider the quagmire that your local white pages phone book found itself in, for example. An organization called banthephonebook.org makes the obvious (and good) point about the environmental impact of printing so many pages; but perhaps the reason why things grew into a whole entire movement was because people were so personally offended that someone would send them so much meaningless content without their permission. This is a great lesson in the value of knowing who your audience is and understanding how they want to hear from you (and about what). With a strategy, you can avoid spending precious marketing dollars that end up creating no effect…or worse.

  • Portfolio Story: Affordable Housing Solutions

    What is the meaning of the color orange? This was one of many brand therapy sessions that went into the creation of the creative strategy for Affordable Housing Solutions. As a shopping guide specifically aimed at low-income renters, we needed to stand out. We needed warmth. We needed to stimulate the imagination. We needed to convey value. We needed Orange. And a lot of it.

  • It’s Worth it to Have a Brand Plan

    We rarely hear clients announce that they need a branding strategy. Things usually start off with something like, “we need a new website!” or, “Holy crap, my marketing manager just signed us up for this trade show and now we need an exhibit booth, a brochure and a clever giveaway!” When production deadlines are looming, it’s hard to look at the big picture to make sure that your message, graphics and style are all tuned up. But jumping into production without that will lead to marketing tactics that lack focus and that have a very short shelf life. A good way to know where you are on the spectrum is to start with a Killer Creative Brief.

  • Portfolio Story: ProsperUS

    Multiple agencies collaborating on a new venture to inspire low-income immigrants to become entrepreneurs. Needing a naming convention and graphic ID that communicates "opportunity" and relates to a variety of ethnic groups, the media and the philanthropic community as well. A super-stable mark that holds up when mashed with others and that can also be customized for other communities.

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Stillwater Collective