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posted by Apprentices Oct 27,2009 @ 12:11PM

New Work: Poochapalooza

CreateAthon clients The Heartworm Project and PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services)
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These fantastic organizations co-host a fundraising event they describe as a “poker run-style dog walk.” At least until our CreateAthoners looked over the list of activities and deemed the description lacking. It’s an entire afternoon of dog party! A dog fest! A day where dog is king! And Poochapalooza was born.

Work included identity, two custom illustrated posters (Lauren Bowles) an event website, and a promotional lawn sign.

CreateAthon Poochapalooza Creative Team: Lauren Bowles, Katy Miller, Cathy Monetti, Jay Coles, Julie Turner, GP Worrell, Jason Smith

Special thanks to our printers, The Half and Half of Columbia, SC



The Heartworm Project is a volunteer nonprofit organization that provides medical care for shelter animals in need. The Heartworm Project’s original goal was to treat heartworm positive dogs at local shelters who were scheduled to be euthanized because of their illness. But they’ve expanded their mission to include any medical attention that shelters cannot provide to dogs and cats of all ages.

PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services) is a nonprofit organization that serves the community by training assistance animals to help individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness. The animals assist with educational and recreational activities for those with social needs and certain physical disabilities.

- Lauren Bowles

posted by Cathy Monetti Oct 23,2009 @ 12:40PM

If a good idea becomes a mediocre idea, is it still worth launching?

I read a blog entry this morning written by Alex Bogusky that I just can't get out of my mind. While the perspective he offered was smart from beginning to end, one section continues to whirl around in my head—so much so that I simply have to address it here before I can get on to the "the deadline is approaching" projects on my desk today.

"The market forces created by the rapid demise of mass media and traditional media models have made the real business we're in clearer than ever. We're in the business of . . .creating new ideas . . . so compelling and entertaining that the consumer searches them out. . . . Brilliance will be more powerful than ever, and yet everything from above average on down will become invisible. Produce ordinary ideas and nobody will ever see them."

This is a very real and incredibly powerful shift in the business of marketing. In years past, if we produced work that was average (or God forbid, below average), we could still produce some modicum of impact because it could be forced on unsuspecting consumers via mass media interruption. Some sort of intellectual or emotional exchange would still take place. But today, the penalty for generic is this: It goes completely unnoticed.

I spend a lot of time these days talking with clients about the need to develop content so irresistible consumers are attracted to it. It is our goal on every project to produce something magnetic; an idea or execution so educational, or funny, or emotionally powerful they seek it out, rather than the other way around. This is a tall order. And it is made even more difficult—make that impossible—when the idea is compromised as it makes its journey from concept to marketplace. The result is often just what Bogusky warned—invisibility.

It is a core value at RP to listen generously as suggestions are offered along any creative path, and I believe many a good idea was made better through collaborative input. But it is our professional responsibility to stand tall for ideas worth protecting. And that is a truth worth remembering.

posted by Ryon Edwards Oct 19,2009 @ 11:20AM

New Work: Preservation Trust of Spartanburg

CreateAthon client Preservation Trust of Spartanburg



Three small space newspaper ads and a yard sign for patina, vintage home outfitters.

CreateAthon Preservation Trust Creative Team: Kevin Smith, Ryon Edwards, George Fulton, Courtney Graham Hipp, Lauren Bowles, Jay Coles

posted by Cathy Monetti Oct 14,2009 @ 03:02AM

The Power of Authenticity

Seventh in a series analyzing seven new economy trends

There is an episode of Sex and the City in which Carrie and the girls attend a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. This scene lives in my memory because Carrie sits there in a rather empty upper deck, rather decked out—in fur.

For you male NEC followers, this is noteworthy because 99.9 percent of women would have pulled a “sporty” outfit from the “this is what one wears to a baseball game” section of their closet. Cute jacket, sure. Hooded sweatshirt, yes, particularly if you are a serious baseball fan.

But fur? Outrageous. And absolutely, completely, unabashedly Carrie Bradshaw.

This scene inspires me because I believe it was not Carrie’s intent to be outrageous. She was simply being exactly who she is, unchanged by circumstance or surroundings. Strong and distinctive, true to her most authentic self.

There is a lesson here for all of us influenced by environmental dynamics. Last fall we awoke to a radically changed marketplace, with an economy in freefall, and we looked for ways to survive. We cut overhead and restructured; we reconsidered and repackaged. We diversified and discounted and promoted like never before, using every trick in the book (with good reason) to make a sale and stay afloat.

I suggest to you that this is a good time to take stock. For a moment, acknowledge what an accomplishment it is to simply be still standing. And then assess any damage caused by the compromises you had to make. Risks include:

1) Losing focus on your core business.

2) Confusing your customers and potential customers with inconsistent messaging.

3) Performing poorly in an arena that may not be your specialty.

4) Diluting the power of your greatest asset, your brand.

Deliberate experimentation is a vital component of any healthy business plan, particularly when environmental circumstances change. But the most authentic brands align those initiatives with an unwavering core truth their customers recognize and trust.

Is there anything more powerful than that?

posted by Ryon Edwards Oct 13,2009 @ 10:30AM

New Work: Preservation Trust of Spartanburg

CreateAthon client Preservation Trust of Spartanburg


Nonprofit Preservation Trust of Spartanburg recently launched Spartanburg Architectural Salvage, a retail store that caters to owners of older homes, DIYers and architects looking for period pieces salvaged from old homes and buildings. We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with these folks since salvaging these items keeps them out of the landfill. Plus, wouldn't you want something original and authentic if you were fixing up an old house? Or even building a new one?

The first order of business: a new name and identity system, including a series of custom illustrations and three distinctive logos. The business cards doubled as hang tags.




More patina work coming to the blog soon.

CreateAthon Preservation Trust Creative Team: Kevin Smith, Ryon Edwards, George Fulton, Courtney Graham Hipp, Lauren Bowles, Jay Coles Identity design: Ryon Edwards, George Fulton




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