We don't often use this blog to share what we do at our respective agencies but, in this case, it's for a good cause. We recently launched L'Desh Fresh, a new global brand of naturally enhanced water to raise awareness for the importance of the work done by Water Partners International. Beyond the online stuff, we're also mounting live tasting events and a few other surprises.
Every dollar we raise will help save lives. If you're interested in receiving a tasting kit to mount an event in your city let me know via Twitter @americopywriter and I'll get you on the list. Thanks to Back Alley Films, T2, rw/2 studios, evolution audio and rw/2 for helping SHS make it happen.
It's an oldie but a goodie from Sullivan Higdon & Sink. Try your hand at the "Beat the Sheep Pinata" game. Hint: Note the level of the sheep pinata before you are blindfolded. Then watch the sheep shadow. Or, hell, just swing wildly. Enjoy the day, friends.
Note to Brazilian Art Director: Wish you were here!
Some people call it, "Never Have I Ever." Others call it, "I've Never." A few call it, "Well, I Never." And, I think, four people call it, "I Have Never." Whatever it's called in your neck of the woods, I'm talking about the drinking game called, "I Never." This is a game where a statement is made about never having done something, and for those who HAVE done said deed, they take a drink. For example, if the statement "I never hated on a commercial," were made, we all (yes all of us) would have to take a drink.
Usually the game takes place in a bar, basement or campground. But now you can play "I Never" online with your friends who live across the street, or far, far away. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
What's your Second Life name? How many hours have you logged? How many islands have you been to? How many stores have you shopped at? How many political speeches have you heard? How many musical shows have you attended?
Never mind, I don't really care that much. I say why run around in a made up virtual world, when you can start to experience your own real world, albeit virtually? That's why we at Sullivan Higdon & Sink say Second Life is so 2006.
Back in April of '06, Google released their free 3D modeling tool called SketchUp (there's also a Pro version, too, but that costs money). When SketchUp went gold, Google also opened up their 3D Wharehouse -- a place where users can share their 3D creations made with SketchUp. Not only that, but Google also released the 3D Warehouse Network Link (read more about the Network Link), which allows users to see placed models of real buildings inside of Google Earth. Remember those ugly gray box buildings? Well, if there's a shared model that can replace said ugliness, it'll show up in Google Earth. And the best of all, with the release of Google Earth 4, some of these placed models show up automatically in some cities.
That's why we went ahead and made a virtual model of the Kansas City office of Sullivan Higdon & Sink (yes, we took the liberty of putting a huge sheep head on the roof, but everything else is anatomically correct). Currently, you can only see it inside of Google Earth if you download the KMZ file or use the 3D Warehouse Network Link.
Second Life? Pssshaw. Welcome to 2007.
We’ve got a flash itch that needs to be scratched in the worst way. Think you can help? Then, here’s the thing – we’re looking to add some more brainpower to our interactive department. If you know anything about SHS, you know we hate sheep. That means we always try to stray as far away from the flock as possible, and we encourage our clients to do the same. So, if you hate sheep as much as we do, and have some mad skills with Flash, ActionScript and Shape Tweens (sorry, we had to stop and laugh at that last one for a minute), we might be interested. Just send us a link to your one-minute or less explanation as to why you hate sheep as much as we do. If we dig your work, we might want to meet with you in a flash. OK, that was bad, and we apologize.
Adweek named a Sullivan Higdon & Sink spot for the Kansas Health Foundation, called "American Classic", as one of its best spots for September. Pretty cool for us since its in a batch with Hummer, Fed-Ex and The Gap.
You can see the spot, and the rest of the campaign, here. The dedicated site that goes with the campaign is here. You can also download a "widget of change" here and/or here. It was Apple's featured widget for a time. Also cool.
The campaign goes easy on the preachy. Which the research tells us is right. There's plenty of stuff out there pushing a quick fix. This campaign is designed to go the opposite direction. Adopt small changes first and build from there. Walk before you run so to speak. The spots only run within the borders of the Free State.
Congrats to the team, P. Scott Flemming, Stephen Hobson, Rob Loud, Carrie Lindeman, Seth Gunderson, Craig Kobler and Joe Norris.
File under news from Sullivan Higdon & Sink
Today, our agency was informed that we were not selected as the winner of a recent pitch. It was for a piece of business that we wanted, and it would have been valuable to us. The potential client had good things to say about the thinking we demonstrated. One of the determining factors, we were told, is that our agency culture wasn't the best fit for them.
As competitive people, we hate to lose for any reason. However, losing (at least partly) because of our agency culture is actually good news. For us and for our not-to-be client. Much better to remain friends than get involved in a relationship that wouldn't work in the long term.
Our stated business goal is to become an agency that is intensely appealing and valuable to a small pool of clients who need our strengths and share our beliefs.
We believe in our goofy sheep-hating mantra. We believe engagement is much more important than exposure. We believe in the kinds of minds that we've hired. We believe in the way we encourage those minds to work together to solve challenges for our clients. We take the work seriously. We take fun seriously. We believe in shooting straight about who we really are.
If those beliefs are starting to cost us money, then I have to believe we're doing something right.
File under news from Sullivan Higdon & Sink
We came in from lunch and heard the screams. They weren't exactly horrific. Still, we could tell something was afoot. As we arrived on the second floor of the agency the issue became very clear. A bat was swooping in and around workstations. People were literally diving to the ground to avoid the flying mammal. I was raised in a desolate place where you come to know the habits of creatures like this. Bats out in the daytime aren't right in the head. So, I kept my distance. Everyone else's curiosity could not be contained. I will say it's amusing to hear your male co-workers squeal. In the end, a humane capture was made. In today's paper was this headline: Rabies Alert: Diseased Bats Found.
The story doesn't mention our cute 'lil "Foamy." Still, I'm keeping my eyes on the Brazilian Art Director today. He was the one closest to the little bugger.
Three weeks ago, Sullivan Higdon & Sink launched a campaign for our financial client UMB that relies heavily on consumer-generated content. It's our first real foray into CGC. We've learned a few things along the way. For instance, if you've been dealing in CGC for awhile a "bad word filter" may be basic to you. To be honest, we'd never really had a need to build such a filter before. And they are tricky beasts. For awhile, ours was kicking out banned words inside words. If you tried to use a word such as "basement" the filter would reject the post. Look at the word closely and you'll see why. As is the case with everything, God is in the details.
The campaign is called My Ugly Room and it centers on myuglyroom.com. At the site, registered users upload photos of their ugly rooms and fill out a profile. Other users vote to give the rooms the "thumbs down.' Each week we give a $100 to a random winner from the top ten ugliest rooms. At the end of the contest, the top ten rooms, as chosen by users of the site, will be placed in a drawing for $10,000 to redecorate. Along the way, we give everyone a chance to redecorate now with a little help from UMB. We've promoted the site in a host of borderless ways, including redecorating some of the bank's lobbies with ugly furniture and signage like the mock-up you see here.
Playing host to the audience and watching them play along has been a lot of fun. Some of the posts have been very clever, and, as the contest has progressed, the photos of nasty rooms have become increasingly entertaining. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how revealing people have chosen to be about their lives, but, really, I have been. Lots of "stuff" come out in the messiness of a room. It's great.
It's also been interesting working with the client through the process. Questions such as how many entries do we need to consider ourselves successful? How fast can we expect word-of-mouth to drive traffic? How much is the buzz worth? These are all things we've talked about and I've got to hand it to our client on this. UMB has been very open to experimenting with this campaign, and, in the end, that's been as exciting and gratifying as anything. We've both learned a lot.
Oh, you can play if you want. Unless you have a UMB in your community, you can't win the $10k. However, you can win the weekly $100 prize. Feel free to share something ugly.
File under news from Sullivan Higdon & Sink
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