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Shout Out To Megan!

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Megan Harley’s route from her home in East Petersburg to the Art Institute of York, where she is working on her Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design, takes her right by our front door. She must have noticed that our Welcome mat is always out, and called us about doing an internship. We’re glad she did!

Megan spends a couple afternoons a week with us. We work in such a collaborative way that she is getting a taste of many aspects of our creative process.

“I want to learn as much as I can about the real business, how it all works,” says Megan, who described how her love of art began as a little kid and continued through high school. She “loves logos” and has a special interest in working with companies to develop their corporate identity and brand.

We expect to benefit from the internship almost as much as Megan will.

“In our business, learning never ends,” notes our art director, Kim. “Megan brings us a fresh perspective from today’s design classroom.”

A Little Gold Of Our Own

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As Hollywood was making final preparations for the Oscars, we learned that we had brought home a little gold of our own! With our client, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC), we were honored by Higher Education Marketing Report and their 29th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, earning Gold for Total Advertising Campaign. The campaign, focused on branding and boosting enrollment, included radio and TV spots, print and online ads, bus posters, mall signage, trade show and open house signage, and program sell sheets. In addition to the Educational Advertising Award, the LCCTC TV spot earned a Bronze Telly Award. The spot featured graduates describing how their LCCTC education had helped them find their “dream job.” Earning awards for our work is great, of course. But more importantly, the campaign for LCCTC helped them exceed strategic goals. For their 2013/2014 academic year, full-time enrollment has increased more than 100 percent and short-term program enrollment is projected to increase by 30 percent. That makes LCCTC the real winner and we couldn’t be happier.

What Makes A Winner

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Our friend Maureen Powers, CEO of the YWCA Lancaster, is a finalist for the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence honor in Central Penn Business Journal’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards. The program honors local community service and the Leadership Excellence category recognizes “an exemplary nonprofit leader.”

Maureen is exemplary – and a whole lot more. We’ve worked with her and YWCA Lancaster on their Race Against Racism for 16 years. Now, we are excited to be helping with their 125th anniversary celebration. Maureen has been the organization’s CEO for 28 years, demonstrating compassionate leadership and unparalleled dedication.

We are sure that all of the finalists for the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence award are dedicated and deserving. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on February 28. Regardless of the outcome that day, in our view, Maureen already is a winner.

Reframing

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We work in a fun and creative business and we’re some of the most talented people around. (We’re not just saying that; our clients tell us that all the time.) Creativity, like money, doesn’t grow on trees and even the most creative people need a little fresh thought and a nudge now and then. One resource we’ve used comes from creative coach Mark McGuiness. It’s a creative thinking booster called reframing.

Essentially, reframing moves you from one interpretation of an event, situation, behavior, person or object to a completely different interpretation. Maybe you’ve formed an opinion of someone as being difficult or unpleasant. Then you learn about a challenging personal situation the person is dealing with and your feelings turn from annoyance to sympathy. You’ve reframed your opinion.

Here’s another example: your daughter is failing math. She studies extra hard, does well on a test, and her grade rises. It’s still a failing grade, but her overall performance is on the upswing – failing vs. progress in the right direction. Framing her situation in a positive way does not change the essential nature of it, but your daughter feels better about herself and sees a good outcome from her efforts.

Creative reframing lets you see new possibilities. Where some might see an obstacle, you see an opportunity. With reframing, you are simply reappraising a situation, event, person, etc., which stimulates your thinking and recalibrates the way you feel.

McGuiness suggests you start reframing by asking questions such as these:

What else could this mean?
Where else could this be useful?
What can I learn from this?
What is the funny side of this?
How does this look to other people involved?
What opportunities are lurking inside this problem?
What does the solution to this problem look like and can I start doing that right now?

The best thing about reframing or any type of creative thinking is that it leads to creative doing. And that’s really the fun part!

true love

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“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Quotes about love abound, but this one by Dr. Seuss is one of the best.

In many ways, we feel we’ve been living a reality that other agencies may just dream of living. Here’s why: We love working together. We love the work we do. We love our clients, who work with us to create terrific advertising and marketing campaigns. We love the excitement as we begin to work with a new client. At the same time, we love the comfort of working with long-term clients who trust and respect us. We love seeing our clients succeed and knowing we’ve played a part in their success.

That’s a whole lotta talk about love, for sure. We know we’re lucky to have days filled with people and work we love. And sometimes we have to pinch ourselves just to make sure it’s not a dream.

we love our clients!

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Teamwork

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Hundreds of U.S. athletes are hoping to make history in Sochi this month. And thousands of supporters back home will be rooting for them to do so.

Long before they arrived in Russia for this year’s winter Olympics, these ‘best of the best’ athletes spent countless hours preparing. But they weren’t alone. A team of people – families, friends, trainers, coaches, teammates and other fans – devoted endless amounts of time and, in some cases, huge sums of money to help make their Olympic journey possible.

We’ve always been huge fans of teamwork. In fact, one of our criteria for what defines a good client is one that we can work with as a team. We find that the best client-agency relationships, and the most amazing creative, come from working together. Teamwork helps make magic happen.

Go Team USA!

Can Advertising Be Too Creative?

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We’d like to say no, never. But it just isn’t so. If your target audience can recall the creative approach of your advertising, but not your product or service, well……

Yes, your advertising concept needs to break through the clutter and grab your target’s attention. But your product or service must always be the hero of your advertising. Creativity is a tool we use to help advertising sparkle, but sparkly advertising is not the end goal. Selling your product or service and boosting your brand—that’s the point.

Now, if your target audience recalls your product or service and the creative way in which it was advertised, you’ve struck gold!

Happiness Coordinator

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Margie Seagers is the Happiness Coordinator for our agency. Her job title makes everyone smile. And that is the essence of her job—to make everyone smile.

On any given day, Margie may be working with clients to help keep their projects on track. She also could be knee deep in media planning and buying for various clients. She takes care of important agency details and operational processes like client conference reports and traffic. And she devotes considerable time to developing new business.

You can see how Margie touches many aspects of what we do. And she always does it with a smile. In turn, that definitely keeps us all smiling. We can’t help but think Margie was born to be In Charge Of Happiness!

Lorem Ipsum

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Have you ever looked at a layout or mockup before “real” copy was in place? You probably saw a bunch of letters that looked like nonsense and had you reaching for your secret decoder ring!

What you saw was Lorem Ipsum, a centuries-old solution for mock copy that is used so you are not distracted by words when we want you to concentrate on the layout. The printing and typesetting industry continues to use a dummy text standard that was first developed in the 1500s. A long-forgotten printer took a galley of type – allegedly classical Latin literature – and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. That scrambled type set has survived dramatic industry changes and is still in use today.

For more on the background and history of Lorem Ipsum, see: lipsum.com