Category: Work

Great Ad Campaigns Push Boundaries

04/07/2011

Most people have a hard time stepping outside of their comfort zones. When it comes to advertising, companies are the same way. At Echo-Factory, we do our best work when clients give us freedom to step outside of the comfort zone. We end up creating ads that are unique, ads that get people talking and lead to big results.

The most recent case for creative freedom is our work with the city of Upland. Over the past year, we’ve worked on two major projects for the city: the Upland Farmer’s Market and the Upland Lemon Festival.

Advertising for farmer’s markets typically consists of a close-up shot of a fruit and/or vegetable along with the date, time and location of the market. These ads are safe, they tell you what you need to know but they aren’t memorable. They don’t stir up excitement. To promote the new Upland Farmer’s Market, we wanted to do something different from those fruit and vegetable images so we came up with the High Five a Farmer campaign. Through radio, television, print, direct mail, outdoor, social media and promotional giveaways, we encouraged people to support local farmers by buying food at the farmer’s market. Because the campaign emphasized the market as a community where local farmers are your friends, it made people want to go to the farmer’s market instead of a grocery store. Though the campaign was way different than the city’s past ad campaigns, Upland loved it and so did the target audience. People came out in record numbers during the market’s opening weekend in October and they’ve kept coming back ever since. This positive response is further proof that High Five a Farmer is not only creative but memorable too.

After the success of the farmer’s market, Upland asked us to help them create another memorable campaign, this time for the annual Upland Lemon Festival. Instead of giving them stock illustrations or photography of people having fun, we came up with the No Limes Allowed campaign, a campaign that focused on the lemon-lime controversy. Each ad features a smiling lemon and an unhappy lime. The lime is sad because he’s not a lemon – he knows the Upland Lemon Festival is three days where lemon is king and he’s dying to get in on the fun. Though the festival hasn’t happened yet (it’s April 29 – May 1), the ads have already generated a lot of buzz and excitement about the festival. We’re proud we got to do something different with this campaign, and more importantly, so is the client.

The best way to jumpstart your company or brand is to leap out of your comfort zone. Mix it up. If you’re used to filling your ads with copy, do a campaign that’s visually-driven. If you’ve always advertised on the radio or on TV, why not try advertising on Facebook or a little SEO? Go with a concept that’s edgy, a concept that makes you a little uncomfortable – often, these concepts are the ones people remember. 

An Intro to SEO - AKA, Making Google love your site

11/12/2010

At Echo-Factory, we build websites.  But what many business owners don’t understand is that often, launching a website is just the beginning of a process.  Let’s start with an example.

Say you’re a business that sells nose hair trimmers.  You’re ready to start selling them online, so you build a website, launch it, and wait for the customers to start rolling in.  The problem is, they don’t.  So you head over to Google and type in “Nose Hair Trimmers,” only to find that your site doesn’t come up anywhere in the search results.  Quelle horreur. 

This is where Search Engine Optimization, SEO, comes in.  At its most basic level, SEO is the process of convincing Google that your site is worth returning in searches related to your site. 

On-Page SEO

At Echo-Factory, we separate our SEO services into two areas, on-page SEO and off-page SEO.  On-page SEO refers to things that we can do on your site.  Things like making sure you have keywords worked in to your pages that will be relevant to what people are searching for, formatting and arranging things in ways that make it easy for Google to understand and index those keywords.  We think of this as the foundation of SEO.  Like in construction, evereything else we’re going to build depends on this foundation being solid, so we want to make sure we get it right.

Off-Page SEO

Once we’ve completed our initial on-page SEO optimization, we move on to off-page SEO. Beyond on-page optimization, the way that Google tells how valuable your site is, is by looking at what other sites link to yours. 

So, if you put your nose hair trimmer site online, and zero other sites link to it, Google thinks, “Well, nobody’s linking to this new site, so it’s probably not very valuable.” 

But the solution isn’t just as simple as getting a bunch of links.  The quality and type of the links you get matters as well.  Google assigns a ranking to every single page on the internet.  They call it a pagerank. The higher your pagerank, the more valuable Google thinks you are.  Sites like Wikipedia have a very high pagerank.  Sites that Google thinks are spammy or useless have a very low pagerank.  If you want to improve your chances of coming up in searches for your target terms, you need links from sites that Google thinks are valuable, sites with a higher page rank.

Of course, this just scratches the surface.  There are plenty of other variables that affect what sites come up for any given search. But the underlying principle remains the same.  If you can get a respected site to link to you, it will help your search rankings.

What It Looks Like

When we take on an SEO project, we start with on-page content, building the foundation for what we’re doing next.  When that’s done, we move on to off-page SEO.  Practically, this means creating reasons for other sites to link to our clients, and convincing them to do just that. 

In practice, SEO is hard work.  It takes time to create good content, and to approach other webmasters and bloggers, develop relationships with them and convince them to link to our client’s site.  But when it’s done properly, it pays off.

The Payoff

The reason we often encourage our clients to invest in SEO is that it often pays off in big ways.  The obvious alternative to SEO is paid online advertising.  While paid online advertising can be effective, long term, good SEO campaigns can give a far higher return on investment. 

With paid online advertising, you generally pay per visit to your website.  Say the keywords you’re targeting cost $1.50 per click.  That means that bringing 5,000 visitors to your site will cost $7,500, and once you’ve spent that money, the ads stop running and the visitors stop coming.

If you invested that same $7,500 in SEO, you might not get 5,000 visitors immediately, but you’ll likely get far more than 5,000 visitors in the long run.  And unlike paid advertising, the benefits of SEO can keep bringing visitors to your site long after the campaign has ended.

Pitfalls

The world of SEO is filled with less than honest providers. The truth is that good SEO takes hard work, and if anyone promises you great SEO results for incredibly low prices, watch out. 

We’ve worked with a few clients who have fallen prey to SEO schemes.  These schemes will promise things like “1000 links for $50” - and while they technically deliver these links by throwing up thousands of junk links on a network of spam sites, they do more harm than good. 

In the cases where we’ve taken on sites that have fallen prey to these schemes, we’ve had to spend several months simply undoing the damage that’s already been done. 

Learn More

If you’re ready to learn more about SEO, Wikipedia is a great place to start.  If you’re interested in trying it on your own, our favorite tools are Google Analytics and Mint for tracking your site’s traffic, SEOMoz for some of the best SEO analysis and tracking tools on the internet, and Scribe for monitoring the SEO potential of any article or blog post. 

And of course, if you’re interested in Echo-Factory taking on your site’s SEO, let us know.  We’d love to hear from you. 

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Claremont Educational Foundation Wraps Up a Successful Campaign

09/08/2010

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to do some pro-bono work for the Claremont Educational Foundation, designing their 2010 fundraising brochure.

Claremont Schools Are Facing $7 Million In Budget Cuts.  They Need Your Help.The foundation supports the Claremont Unified School district, providing funding for technology, music & arts programs and general funding to Claremont’s public schools.  We were honored to be able to work with them.

A few days ago we heard from the foundation.  Their efforts have been overwhelmingly successful.  They raised more than $350,000 this year that went directly to Claremont schools.  The funding purchased new technology, restored 16 class sections in grades 7-12 and helped preserve smaller class sizes.  And perhaps most remarkably, in a time or rampant cuts in education, no Claremont School District teachers were laid off this year. 

So, to the board members and sponsors of the Claremont Educational Foundation, congratulations!  Thanks for letting us be a small part of your success. 

Hitting The Monopoly Big Time with Maglite

09/03/2010


We’ve never thought of ourselves as a Madison Avenue style ad agency - but we are apparently getting close to Boardwalk.  A while back, Mike took some photos for a MagLite law enforcement campaign, and just a couple weeks ago one of the photos was used on the gameboard of the soon to be released Monopoly:  Law Enforcement Edition. 

I can’t say we ever expected to see our original photo peering down into the corner of a Monopoly board. 

Should you want to friend Monopoly: Law Enforcement Edition you can do so on its Facebook page, or pre-order your copy today for November delivery. 

New Health Care Client

08/13/2010

We’re happy to announce that Echo-Factory has become the agency of record for Allied Anesthesia, an Orange County group of 42 highly respected anesthesiologists.  We pitched the medical group in July, and were selected through a competitive agency review.  The pitch was against other Southern California advertising agencies and Echo-Factory was chosen to be Allied’s new agency of record.

We’ve already started on several projects for Allied, including an initial rebranding.  You can expect to see some of that here in the future.  In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more, check out our press release on our newest client. 

NALMCO - Now With 100% More Branding & PR From Echo

08/06/2010

Echo-Factory is happy to call NALMCO, interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies, our newest client. We got to know NALMCO through our involvement with PEERS and our relationships with [P2] and other lighting industry clients. In June, NALMCO put out a RFP for a PR campaign and some advertising materials.  We put together our pitch, and when the dust settled, we were their new agency. 

Our work started out with a rebranding project.  NALMCO has a reputation for offering the most respected certifications in the lighting industry, so we created a logo that compliments that reputation.

NALMCO launched its new logo in July, and we’re currently in the middle of a three part PR campaign, so keep your eyes peeled for more from our new lighting buddies.

The association’s president, Jim Frank, was nice enough to give Echo a shout out in its monthly magazine, LM&M

“One of NALMCO’s initiatives is to increase awareness of our association in the energy market.  [...] For this reason, we are in the early stages of image branding and media campaigns.  We contracted with Echo-Factory of Rancho Cucamonga, California, to consult with NALMCO on matters of image and media.  [...]  Some might ask, ‘What was wrong with the old NALMCO logo?’ Or, ‘Why do we need to hire an outside consultant to handle NALMCO media campaigns?’ The answer is that we need to elevate and maintain a stronger and more visible presence in today’s market.  And today’s market needs NALMCO.”

Thanks Jim, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

Our Niche In Energy Efficient Advertising

04/23/2010

We’ve always thought of ourselves as a green agency.  We like the environment, and we try to do things in a sustainable way.  But, beyond making sure our RedBull cans end up in the recycling and trying to convince our clients to use sustainable printing practices - there’s not too much of an environmental impact we can have in our normal in-house operations. 

If we - as an agency - are going to have a significant environmental impact, it’s going to be through our clients.  Lucky for us, we’ve been able to carve a niche for ourselves in advertising for the energy efficiency industry. 

Precision-Paragon [P2]
Precision-Paragon [P2] was one of our first clients.  Headquartered in Yorba Linda, [P2] makes energy efficient lighting for commercial and industrial buildings.  They estimate that their products have saved more than 12-Billion Kilowatt Hours of electricity.  And, using the energy-savings calculator we built in to their website, you can see that savings translates in to the CO2 emissions reduction equivalent of preserving more than 64,000 acres of forest. 
P2 Energy Saving Equivalency

American Lighting
Through our early work with [P2] we were introduced to American Lighting, a San Diego company that performs energy-efficient lighting retrofits.  In 2009 they were awarded for creating more than 27.7 Million Kilowatt Hours of electricity savings in the San Diego area alone. 
American Lighting Stimulus Package

The PEERS Alliance
In mid-2009 we worked with NALMCO and [P2] to create the website and branding materials for the PEERS Alliance - a nonprofit industry association that is going after federal funding for energy-saving commercial and industrial retrofits.  The proposed program has the potential to hugely reduce our country’s energy consumption. 

In January we did a bit of lobbying work and set up meetings between PEERS Alliance board-members and some receptive congressmen in DC.
PEERS Committee Members Meeting With a Congressional Representative

Every Watt Matters
A few months ago we began to work with Every Watt Matters, a company that provides home energy audits and energy efficient retrofits.  Since their launch in March Every Watt Matters has already moved into three California markets (Yucaipa, Claremont and Sonoma) , and they’re poised to go national. 

According to a recent study, retrofitting a single 1960’s era California home with the type of energy saving upgrades that Every Watt Matters performs could save 8.5 Tons of CO2 emissions.  Applying that figure nationally gives some staggering results.
The Average American Home Wastes The Equivalent of Nearly 500 Gallons of Gas A Year.  That's Enough to Drive from LA to NYC and Back. In a Hummer.

A Sustainable Place
Greenwashing is an all too popular trend.  But our energy efficiency clients are doing real, significant things that directly reduce energy consumption.

No advertising agency wants to be typecast in one industry, and we do have a wide-range of clients in other industries.  But, if Echo-Factory is going to gain a reputation for working in a niche - one that has such a positive impact on the planet isn’t such a bad role to be cast in.

A Grammy Winner + A Credit Union + Echo-Factory = Lots Of Win

02/11/2010

What do Taylor Swift, Altura Credit Union and Echo-Factory all have in common? Generally, not too much, but right now they’re all key components of an advertising campaign.

Late last year Altura created a checking account for 18-24 year olds and we helped them brand it as iChecking. As great of a product as iChecking is, 18-24 year olds don’t have much natural interest in financial products.

So, we created a contest - sponsored by Altura and iChecking - that will give one lucky Taylor Swift fan a chance to meet the Grammy-winning star.

Then we created a radio, outdoor, print & web campaign that promoted the contest and tied together iChecking and Taylor Swift. To prove that it worked, we funneled the Taylor fans to text messages and a custom-built website, both of which are hooked to advanced tracking software so Altura can see exactly what our campaign did for them.

Listen To The Radio Spot

Check Out The Sample JumpThenFall.com

See The Print & Outdoor Ads

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