What’s Up, Landslide?

Kevin: What’s up, Landslide?

Stephanie: I think I need, like, 100 hugs.

Kevin: I can give you 1.

Benchmade Knife Company

Brand Spirit:  Striking in their grace

The Challenge:  Benchmade, a maker of premium knives, wanted to grow but was concerned that moving their production overseas would damage their reputation and sales. How do you launch a foreign-made, value-priced line of products for a premium brand without damaging the equity and prestige of the parent brand and company?

Insight:  Being handmade in the U.S. is integral to Benchmade’s perception as a premium brand. Any move downmarket by manufacturing overseas would have to be countered by a move up market.

Big Idea:  Create a portfolio of products that would allow for increased production overseas but wouldn’t hurt Benchmade’s reputation by maintaining an “equilibrium of premium.”

The Work:  We created a new product line structure that color-coded line extensions at price points both below and above Benchmade’s original range. Red represented the entry-level products produced overseas. Blue, the color that was already synonymous with Benchmade’s premium knives, and gold was for a new line of ultra-premium, limited-edition knives that counterbalanced the red line. We also created a black class for military and law enforcement products. Beyond our portfolio work, we rebranded Benchmade with a greater emphasis on the premium nature of their knives, then introduced the new products to consumers.


Tillamook Cheese

Campaign: Equate tasty goodness with love

The Challenge: Tillamook is the #1 natural cheese brand in the West. Our challenge was to justify Tillamook’s price premium when compared to its largest competitors – Kraft and private labels.

Insight: There is already a strong correlation in people’s minds between higher prices and better taste; we just had to make taste emotionally resonant.

Big Idea: Invoke a brand spirit that is playful and optimistic to correlate with the giddy love audiences have for Tillamook Cheese.

The Work: Oregonians already know that Tillamook cheese is special, worthy of nostalgia, something you miss when you are away. So we decided to tell that to the rest of the country. We cast the uniquely shaped Tillamook Baby Loaf as the catalyst of love between brothers, neighbors and teenagers. Each execution tells the story of love enabled by Tillamook and creates an emotional value around taste.

In addition to traditional print advertising, the campaign spurred a handshake marketing effort that included mini VW buses painted to look like the iconic baby loaf.

Results: Our initial efforts led to a 16% sales increase and subsequent interactive work has resulted in click-through rates over four times higher than industry standards. Tillamook continues to grow into new markets and is accepted due to the playful, optimistic personality we developed.



Ah, yes, the work week begins with a bang.

Friedrich Air Conditioning

The Challenge:  Friedrich Air Conditioning is well known in New York. In the finer buildings you’ll see their window and thru-the-wall air conditioners studding high-rise apartment buildings in Manhattan. The trouble is, cheap-labor manufacturers were gaining market share based on price. Friedrich’s response was to innovate by offering a well-made, price-competitive unit with an important new feature: the ability to change color to match your interior decor. The question to Leopold Ketel was: How do you market that?

Insight:  Friedrich’s dealer-customers and consumers believe in the heritage and reliability of the brand. Our job was to update the company to communicate reliability well into the future.

Big Idea:  Reinvigorate the entire brand to match their cool new line of air conditioners, signaling a change in the company from the inside out.

The Work:  We began with an updated brand look and feel, making the Friedrich badge on their new units contemporary and upscale. Our work on the brand extended to create an anthemic video to reintroduce dealers and employees to the heritage of Friedrich and express their vision for the future. We named the new units “Kühl” (the German equivalent of “cool”) and launched the brand with targeted lifestyle magazines and behavioral digital ads, flipped on during the hottest days of the year.


Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Challenge:   Reverse the trend of declining attendance that started when Keiko the whale (of Free Willy fame), left in 1998. The Aquarium wasn’t able to replace the big draw of Keiko and was also challenged by being three hours away from Portland, the nearest major metropolitan area.

Insight:  Kids drive family activities and parents want those activities to be a mixture of education and fun.

Big Idea:  Turn the Oregon Coast Aquarium into an entertainment destination that kids and parents would want to visit.

The Work:  Our work has brought the exciting and unique elements of different aquarium exhibitions to life in a way that excites kids. We used catchy, easy-to-sing songs on radio and playful outdoor to target busy mothers who spend a lot of time in the car driving from errand to errand.