RIPPLE EFFECT


Liquid develops Super Bowl spot

February 10th, 2010

Watching the Super Bowl this year was a big deal for us at Liquid. We developed a 30-second TV spot for UGC Media, LLC – creators of TalentDiscovery.com that was featured on Super Bowl Sunday during the pre-game special on CBS.

The video wasn’t like your typical Super Bowl ad, or even like the standard commercial for that matter – it didn’t have any voices or funny themes but rather used a combination of sound and motion graphics to grab the viewers attention and convey their message. Steve Stith, CEO of UGC Media, LLC said, “Running our ad during the Super Bowl Kick-Off time slot not only gave us a bump in traffic – it also gave every person that contributed to the launch of TalentDiscovery.com a big bump in personal pride.” You can view the TV ad below.

Their unique Web site provides a way for talented individuals across the nation to be discovered by top entertainment business agents that can help them realize their talent potential but more importantly, their dreams. There are over 20 different categories that the users can submit their videos for judging to the site. The site is designed to have full scalability and accept a countless amount of video uploads.

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Expectations of Big Holiday Ads Are Anything But

January 7th, 2010

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During the Holiday season we can expect many companies to put forth their best attempts at marketing all year. They try to evoke a variety of emotions, from silly and comedic ads to marketing that aims at tugging on the heart strings and everything in between.  This year, a lot of focus was on the difficulty of getting through these hard economic times, and for good reason. After last year’s dismal Holiday season and most peoples aversion to spending a lot of money, companies are spending big bucks on advertising that will pull the crowds they need. As you’d expect, Walmart and Target top the list in a survey for the best Holiday ads. This year, Walmart reclaimed the number one spot from Target, who had held that position for the past 3 years.

Personally, I was not particularly blown away by any of the commercials I’ve seen thus far. I feel that a lot of companies played it safe. With times being as tough as they are, its easy to upset customers or tarnish brand loyalty.  However by avoiding any topics that might upset customers, many commercials were forgettable.  To me this was unfortunate, because watching a truly heart felt Christmas commercial makes me nostalgic about how excited I used to get as a kid.

Although nothing really stood out amongst the holiday hype, it apparently didn’t matter. Many of the bigger retail chains were able to make sales based on brand loyalty. So even though  creative and over-the-top holiday marketing is expected this time of year, it’s not what ultimately kept stores from finishing strong in 2009.

Regardless of this years lack luster ads, I’ve decided to post a couple that I thought were fun (Not all of them are from this year because I had such a hard time finding the few that I thought were good):

Waiting for Santa

Confession of a Bad Girl

Happy Thanksgiving

Holiday Horror

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Black Friday Fun

November 23rd, 2009

So less than a week to Black Friday, YAY! I’ve taken part in this madness a few times over the last 10 years and only woke up really early (or just didn’t go to bed) about three times – once just to go with a few people to hang out and twice to actually buy some things with family. Once + twice = thrice right?

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This is prime people watching time, all types of people come out of the wood works and it’s great. I remember working in retail during this time of year and would eat it up but I would also get so pissed at the deal crazed shoppers coming in and messing up the store on that day and over the entire weekend. There was one year when I was working at Target and I actually saw a mom smack her kid across the face because she was crying and that obviously made things worse. Maybe she was crying because her you woke her up and the butt crack of dawn to go shopping. Oh the joys Black Friday brings to everyone.

Anywho, on to the advertising/marketing side of things. I love this year how Kohl’s deals were “leaked” and next thing you know other companies followed or were just beaten to the punch. Oh darn, someone accidentally pushed the publish button and their deals were accidentally sent out to be public facing. Many companies, big and small are extending their hours more so than usual to maximize their sales as much as possible. Some are actual even doing midnight madness types of promotions which could end up working but they are making their employees get upset because of the different and longer shits. At least they still have jobs, it’s not like they are being asked to work the whole day without a break. I’m sure there are some people out there who would work those hours rather than being unemployed.

I hope these companies and/or their agencies have done their home work and planned accordingly so they are successful. There definitely is the chance to get noticed because of the strategy used and achieve better sales than the competition.

I will enjoy sleeping in and spending time with my family at home, wondering why our Detroit Lions lost again and continue to be so horrible – not in crazy long lines or overcrowded stores.

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With Wilson, it’s easy to be green

November 19th, 2009

Kermit the Frog always said “it’s not easy being green”. Although, small incremental moves by companies across the globe can collectively add up to a larger positive affect on the health of our environment. Simple, easy stuff, like the following example.

With so many companies of various scales and across a wide variety of industries conveying “green” messages, creating sustainable solutions and all of the other ubiquitous environmentally responsible messages flying through the stratosphere, I was pleased to stumble upon a little gem of a service offered by a longstanding American company, which beyond the surface, is actually a highly “green” offering.

My oldest daughter enjoys tossing the football around in the back yard with me on weeknights, and asked if we could get a “real” football rather than continuing to volley the dog-eared Nerf we’ve had for a long time. I remembered a vintage collegiate football that I had stored in our basement, made by Wilson Sporting Goods. It’s a great old ball, but had seen it’s better days – the ball could no longer be inflated, and the lacing had deteriorated. Being one to always get a thrill out of restoring, renovating, and/or making something out of nothing, I decided to bring new life to this cherished icon of my childhood.

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The only suggestions I received from sporting goods giants like Sports Authority and others was to “just buy a new ball”. Uh huh. Buy a new ball – which equates to roughy $90 for one of similar quality. With some digging online, I found that Wilson will restore your old ball for $15 – shipping included. I sent it to Wilson without a second of hesitation.

Two weeks later, I received the reconditioned ball, postage paid and carefully packaged with a small tag attached to the new, perfect lacing. The tag, in handwritten script, read “August 12, 1968”. Not only had they reconditioned the exterior of the ball, replaced the inner inflatable bladder and re-laced it, but they took the extra gesture of care and had provided the birth date of this little relic. For $15. Wow. I was so moved that I immediately felt an allegiance with the Wilson brand. For me, brand loyalty was immediately established, without multi-million dollar ad campaigns or extensive digital marketing. Even better, Wilson’s offer to restore the ball, with or without their knowing, is an incredibly powerful environmentally responsible message. Rather than chucking the ball into Thursday morning’s trash pickup, I was able to reduce the somewhat crazy cycle of purchase, consumption and disposal. Yes, a small carbon footprint was created due to the shipping to/from Wilson, but nothing compared to the carbon footprint created by the material manufacturing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, retail, purchase and disposal cycle related to the purchase of a new ball.

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In the future, I’d love to see more products that are designed on the front-end to be fully serviceable and restorable when they have neared the end of their lifecycle, to enable more consumers to take a simple step like this in the direction of re-use. With a little more foresight in design and creation of simple re-use instructions and services rather than new revenue trumping environmental responsibility, we’d have more walking the green walk as opposed to talking the green talk, and increases in brand loyalty would come free of charge. With this, it wouldn’t be so hard to be green –  even for Kermit.

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Super Bowl XLIV

September 18th, 2009

So football season is finally here. I’m very excited that Brett Favre has given us another year of gracing us with his presence and that my Detroit Lions have a chance to actually win a game this year. They’re not off to a good start but at least they have a pretty cool new logo and uniforms.

This is also the time of the year where discussions heat up about advertising during the Super Bowl. Ad spending is always at the top of the list when it comes to the Super Bowl, well at least for us marketers. Over the past four years the price of a 30 second spot has steadily increased –  $2.5 million in 2006, $2.6 million in 2007, $2.7 million in 2008 and $3 million for last year’s game. It is projected that this trend will not continue for Super Bowl XLIV. Despite the economic situation, an article on Ad Age says that CBS is reporting they are 70% sold out compared to 80% from last year at this time. I think that is pretty darn good considering the continued effects of the recession and how weird the market has been acting. It is also said that CBS is pushing pre-game broadcasts, more than likely to help offset some the unsold inventory and reduced prices.

I wonder who will be deemed the winner this time around and who will make waves in the news, a company trying to re-establish itself like General Motors or someone new coming from out in left field. Either way I hope the companies do their homework and give us nothing but awesomeness.

As Adam Sandler said repeatedly in an SNL game show skit called ‘Stand-Up & Win’ back in the day…Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”

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The Denver Egotist Mentions Lasertag Cartel and Liquid inc

August 26th, 2009

The informative and hilarious Denver Egotist mentioned our friends at Lasertag Cartel for their incredible work on Liquid inc founder Eric Winslow’s skateboard deck.  Here’s a link:

The Denver Egotist: Praise for Lasertag Cartel

Keep coming back here for updates on the deck and if you missed it you can catch up here: Preppy Punk, Preppy Punk 2, and finally Preppy Punk 3.

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Preppy Punk #3

August 20th, 2009

Alright, I am real excited how the design looks on the board after having it lasered. It turned out really great thanks to the folks at Lasertag Cartel, especially Kurt Barbee. He was very knowledgeable with setting everything up so that the depths of the laser etched parts were done just the right way. This effect will add a lot of class and uniqueness to the board. I was amazed at the details. Even the six point type came out nice.

The next phase of this project is to paint the recessed parts similar to the colors in my last post. I expect it to take me a bit longer than these last stages. There is a lot of detail to cover. I may try and work in some subtle patterning in the stripes. I am really digging the modern hard edge shapes with the organic treatment of the crest. It is almost like they don’t go together, which creates an interesting tension in the design. Having it done in the same style helps tie everything together nicely.

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Preppy Punk 2

August 10th, 2009

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Well, I have been so focus on our clients’ deadlines that I missed my own last week. Okay, so I have come to some finalist on the board designs for my son skate deck. You can see where I am mixing the preppy lines with the crest that is a bit rougher in treatment. I thought I would use Harrison’s coat of arms I developed for him when he was born. I worked in a lot of symbols to represent him and that ties back to the symbols the Winslow family has been known for since before we came over from England on the Mayflower.

The symbol below the crest, sort of an upside down crown stands for first born. The symbols inside the crest, starting from the upper left moving around clockwise, is a chevron which represents protection or faithful service. The acorn stands for antiquity and strength. The stump with the new limb growing out of it represents the new emerging from the old. And the last symbol on the inside of the crest is for constancy,  or steadfastness, usually granted to commanders. The lion is the astrological sign of Leo, as well as dauntless courage which suits  Harry’s personality when it comes to skate boarding and biking.In addition to the colors I have on these comps I am going to add silver which represents peace and sincerity.

To create a bit more splash I plan on having the board laser etched then I will fill the recessed areas with paint. We’ll see how that looks. A lot of work for something that is going to get scratched up. I have got a plan for that too but you’re going to have to come back and check out how it is progressing. I am getting more excited as I get into this.

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Marketing is still a scary commitment these days!

August 10th, 2009

SLOW DOWN!!!

SLOW DOWN!!!

Working in the service industry, you see a lot of different businesses handling the recession in a wide variety of ways. Some shutting down all of their marketing activity completely, while others are still trying to do more with less and finally the majority is attempting to band-aid their current GTM’s plans just to stay a float…dancing the 2-Step with their budgets.
In any case, it makes the jobs of consultants and marketing service companies a lot tougher. Consumer confidence is still questionable at best which as a result, manufactures, distributors, wholesalers, re-sellers and retailers aren’t willing to commitment unconditionally as in years past.
For some of us, we have never really experienced this type of “extreme customer behavior” in our professional lives. It is definitely something to learn from and grow from as marketing professionals.
Stay Positive, we’ll get out of this – Together!!!!

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Preppy Punk

July 29th, 2009

Blank canvas

Blank canvas

I have started a project that I have been meaning to start for some time, developing a one-of-a-kind skate board deck for my son who loves to rip it up at the skate park. I am starting from this extra white deck I picked up last year. Follow me every week as I progress to see where I land with the design. Currently I am thinking of blending a bit of the preppy stripes you would see on a Ralph Lauren polo shirt and a rough hand style illustration of some sort. A little of the refined with the unrefined. Check back next week!

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