In real estate, a “sea of sameness” exists that engulfs the majority of brands. From real estate companies to master-planned communities to apartment complexes, there is a lot of branding overlap that makes it difficult for consumers to differentiate one brand from another. But, this industry-wide ubiquitous branding opens the opportunity for other brands to rise above the noise and connect with more consumers on a deeper level. For Hillwood Communities, that meant telling unique brand stories for multiple communities beneath one parent company.
Analyze each community individually, and define their brand’s differentiators
Perform detailed market research to discover how each brand stands apart from the real estate market as a whole
Develop branded material for each of Hillwood’s communities that can be used across mediums for various marketing goals
Tell distinct stories for each development that will better resonate with target consumers
Navigating The Sea of Sameness
There’s a widespread marketing problem – the sea of sameness – that affects a variety of industries, but it is particularly prevalent in real estate. The sea of sameness occurs when marketers and brands capitalize on similar strategies and KPIs, resulting in identical tones, marketing approaches, and even branding aesthetics. This ultimately dilutes a brand’s market impact, and waters-down the effectiveness of marketing strategy. This market saturation makes it incredibly hard for brands to create real connections with the consumers they serve and hurts their ability to build long-term relationships with consumers.
Strategizing Brand Differentiators
The sea of sameness isn’t all bad, though, and gives willing brands a clear opportunity to use distinctive branding and different marketing tactics to overcome the ubiquity afflicting their competition. For Hillwood, we treated each individual community as its own entity and branded around what makes each community a unique and identifiable neighborhood.
Union Park is an active community that features an onsite elementary school and expansive green spaces. We wanted the community’s energy to shine through, so we used bright, vibrant colors, and highlighted some of the young residents having fun at the park, which better connects to the young family demographics at Union Park. The energy pops off the page, and the brand lives up to the tagline “live a vibrant life.”
Wolf Ranch is situated in the Texas Hill Country and offers a scenic, relaxing way of life hidden along Georgetown’s San Gabriel River. The residents of Wolf Ranch seek escape and adventure, so the brand had the opportunity to really lean into that with messaging and creative. We chose “the hill country is calling” as a tagline, warm, natural colors, and stunning photography of the community and the surrounding Hill Country in the brochure to mimic the nature surrounding Wolf Ranch.
Bluewood is a community in every sense of the word, where residents come together to form real connections and friendships. The community offers an abundance of features such as a community pool, trails, and an on-site elementary, all within a very attainable price point that appeals to Millennial and first-time homebuyers. To brand Bluewood, we chose bright, bold colors that help communicate the community’s exuberant energy. We brought through some of the blue colors used throughout the development and chose the tagline, “a community without compromise” to better highlight all the offerings at an affordable price.
Each specific brand identity is built with identifiable marks that express the community’s individuality. That same individuality allows the brand marks to be fluid and flexible, and useful on a variety of mediums. From brochures to websites and outdoor signage, the brand is clearly communicated and identifiable. By making that connection, we’re able to help spread broader awareness of Hillwood Communities’ developments, and more meaningfully connect with a larger audience of potential home buyers.
Created a full brand platform and messaging pillars for each community
Full asset creation and ability to utilize assets across platforms
Created a unified brand message, look and feel for each brand
Telling the story of an elite collegiate baseball program is a large task – and it’s one that we help TCU Baseball accomplish every year. But, like every task that our team tackles, it’s best to take it one small step at a time, day in, and day out.
Since 2014, we’ve worked with the TCU baseball team and Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle to create a video that helps attract the best baseball players from across the nation and shares the team values. We work closely with Coach Schlossnagle to talk about team dynamics and the themes that the team will source for inspiration that year.
This year’s theme was “consistency of purpose” applied throughout all walks of life. Beyond being baseball players, each athlete is also a student, a child, a friend, an ambassador, a budding young professional – the list goes on. For Coach Schlossnagle, if all that the TCU baseball program focuses on is getting better on the field, then they’ve failed these young players as mentors. The video serves as a reminder that the team believes in producing well-rounded young men that are capable of accomplishing goals on the field, in the classroom, and in their personal and professional lives.
The video starts small, focused on feet on the floor – the first step anyone needs to take to accomplish their goals is getting out of bed and setting upon their course. The video gets wider and walks the central characters through multiple scenes of their everyday life – from bedroom, to the gym, walking around campus, getting food at the cafeteria, through practice on the field, and back into bed – a day in the life. The process repeats as the camera expands its view of the subjects, and then focuses on all of the little aspects the characters practice on the field as they build toward the big game, while intercutting more of their personal lives as students and young men.
The narrator speaks to the value of consistency, and honestly depicts that it’s an inglorious, repetitive process that gradually builds a person up to be better than they were yesterday, brick-by-brick.
“The goal isn’t to better than the other guy. The goal is to be better than myself. At least 1% better than I was yesterday. Day, after day, after day. Consistency isn’t exciting – it’s necessary.”
The entire video communicates the small steps that we each take toward bettering ourselves. The editing and musical elements speak to that consistent repetition as the scenes cut in and out and the beat builds – small, consistent stylistic elements that communicate the overall message of the video.
Making Life Better
Motivation isn’t a concept specifically reserved for baseball players and athletes – it’s a fleeting feeling that every single one of us has to find, harness and control to meet our own goals. With this video, we hoped to create a message that extends beyond baseball and motivates each of us to use consistency to accomplish their goals every single day – day in, and day out.
Credits: Concept by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and Scott Porter Produced by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and N8 Visuals Inc. Music: The Seige by Run For Your Life – Licensed through Musicbed Voice Talent: Zach Mayo
There is no limit, no maximum and no end to what can be achieved by simply opening the door to potential. This type of potential—the kind that’s filled with possibility—runs abundantly inside the halls of the Key School. It pours itself into its surroundings to empower teachers, parents, students and even the very ground on which they stand.
The educational environment of the Key Center for Learning Differences caters to the unique identity of each student and focuses on them as an individual, rather than their learning difference. They are building a new central campus on a 14-acre property in Fort Worth. It will provide easy access to all of Tarrant County with room to grow their program for generations.
Since 1966 the Key School has served students of Tarrant County with learning differences like Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and ADHD. In 2018 they expanded their services to include specific training for educators and support for families with struggling students. All three programs are now housed within the Key Center for Learning Differences. As a brand, they needed tell their story more effectively and highlight the monumental impact they have in the lives of the children they serve, their families and our community as they bring their vision for their organization to life.
The Schaefer team set out to create an emotive video that brings to life the impact that the Key Center for Learning Differences has on students, parents, and our community. We wanted a broad audience of community members to understand what they do and why we so desperately need organizations like this for the future of Fort Worth. They debuted the video at a luncheon announcing their new campus and honoring the late Dr. John Richardson – a legendary doctor and Fort Worth icon that helped shape the medical landscape of Fort Worth for more than 40 years.
Make Life Better
1 in 5 children are living with dyslexia, and only 1 in 3 children living in Tarrant county are reading at their grade level. The Key Center for Learning Differences is doing work that unlocks children from the burden of their learning difficulties and helps them to see that their future is limitless. The children that pass through the halls of the Key Center have the potential to shape the world, and the educators at the Key Center help their students realize that their futures are full of endless possibilities. It was an incredible honor to work with the Key Center team to create this video, and help spread awareness about the crucial work they do to positively impact children across North Texas.
Meaningful moments happen face-to-face, not when scrolling through your Instagram feed, or diving into the latest trending topic on Twitter. Unfortunately, facilitating those moments can be incredibly difficult – for everybody. Luckily, the holiday season gives us a chance to take a break from our regular routines to reset with the people that we love most and enjoy priceless time together. This year, as you’re making your way to your parent’s place, or visiting family in far-off places, we want to encourage you to bring something to the table beyond just your phone and create meaningful memories with your loved ones.
“Be Present” Schaefer Playing Cards
Every year, the Schaefer team creates a Christmas card to help celebrate the season and share some holiday cheer. But, the thing about cheer is that it’s an infectious feeling that can’t be contained into one card. In the spirit of spreading cheer, we approached the 2019 Christmas card asking ourselves “how can we make a card shareable?” So, we created a deck of playing cards that encourage people to gather their family and friends and play some card games together.
Inside The Package
Each box of cards comes in a small package that is marked with a Schaefer acorn sticker. Inside the package is an insert that explains the intent of our playing cards: to be fully present in the moments you share with your loved ones. The reverse side of the insert contains the rules and instructions on how to play four classic card games: Crazy Eights, Slap Jack, Squirrel, and Rolling Stone.
The box of cards is adorned with the classic Schaefer squirrel, which is also shaped into the letter “S.” The back of the deck instructs people to “Be Present,” and encourages them to take the cards wherever they travel this holiday season.
The cards themselves have been designed to represent different personalities found inside the halls if Schaefer Advertising. You’ll find the detailed designer checking her fountain pen for ink; the meticulous production manager measuring projects with his many rulers; the Jack of accounts, staying in constant contact with the client; the developer magically riding his unicycle and balancing his laptop upon his knees amidst a flurry of flying papers; and you’ll also spot the art director conceptualizing the next great idea, creating light and energy with his fingertips.
Each of these archetypes are loose interpretations of some of the very real people that make Schaefer the magical place that it is today.
Making Life Better
At Schaefer, we come to work every day and use fun as a tool to explore new creative ideas and create compelling strategies; as a way to connect with our co-workers, break down barriers and discover the best ideas together. We aim to make life better every single day, and we hope that we can use our work to bring joy to others and facilitate more meaningful moments between people. This holiday season, we’re using our Christmas cards to encourage you to put away your phone, gather your loved ones around a table and give them the gift of your presence.
When Sight Sciences approached Schaefer to help launch their new OMNI® Surgical System , we set our eyes on the prize and got to work.
The OMNI Surgical System Breakthrough
The OMNI Surgical System by Sight Sciences is a ground-breaking solution for ophthalmologists that allows them to perform two different procedures on patients who need intervention in the conventional outflow pathway. It also allows surgeons to treat patients who had prior cataract surgery where they couldn’t before. That’s a long way to say, OMNI does something no other device on the market can. Clearly, we were looking forward to the challenge of launching the new OMNI Surgical System.
Devising core brand messaging takes hours of research, strategy, discussion, and countless iterations to finalize a succinct message that cuts through the noise of a competitive space. Ultimately, we selected the core brand message of “Intelligent design meets the proven pathway,” which is a powerful message to ophthalmologists. It speaks to OMNI’s ability to impact 360-degrees of the conventional outflow pathway with one device, which was impossible in prior devices, making the procedure much more convenient.
Since OMNI is the next generation of two previous devices, it required a new identity and logo that represented the innovation and elegance of the new and improved OMNI Surgical System.
We created a mark that conveys the functionality of the device and nods to the shape of the eye. The single circle represents the unity of the OMNI device, while the two circles contained within point to the two procedures it empowers surgeons to perform. When added together, the three complete circles illustrate the three points of resistance in the conventional outflow pathway which can be navigated by the new OMNI device.
Launching a new ophthalmic product is no easy feat, and the Sight Sciences team was looking to make a splash in an extremely competitive landscape. The new OMNI device launched in September of 2018, and because of its quality and utility, quickly gained traction from surgeons.
OMNI released their new device with incredibly lofty sales goals for the first quarter of 2019. We’re proud to have helped them meet their goals sooner than expected, and place the new OMNI device among the top tier of surgical devices for ophthalmologists in record time. Now, the industry is taking notice and key industry thought leaders are singing the praises of the OMNI device, which only solidifies its place as one of the leaders in the market.
Making Life Better
Schaefer Advertising is always searching for ways to use our work to make life better, and it’s clear that the new OMNI surgical system can have a large, positive effect on many people.
Before OMNI, ophthalmologists would have to use multiple devices to achieve the same end goal. OMNI provides an elegant solution for ophthalmologists and its dual-purpose design makes it an excellent option for treating a wider range of patients. OMNI gives surgeons a powerful way to help people address a sight-threatening condition.
When the Fort Worth Zoo enlisted Schaefer Advertising to help drive people to their new African Savanna exhibit, we couldn’t wait to take the bull by the horns and get to work. Our team was able to come up with a rich campaign that encapsulated the spirit of the exciting new exhibit.
The new African Savanna exhibit was built around a central prairie that houses giraffes, springbok, ostriches and many more species all in one exhibit. A winding path gives visitors a 360-degree view of the animals in the prairie and allows people to get closer to the animals than ever before. This creates a truly unique experience for each visitor and ensures that no two visits are alike. The main attractions are the hippo exhibit that includes above-water and underwater viewing, and the giraffe feeding deck. The new Savanna exhibit features shaded viewing spaces and is surrounded by an aviary that houses a variety of bird species.
Generate awareness of the new African Savanna exhibit
Send interested web traffic to the Zoo’s website
Drive more ticket sales centered around new exhibits
The Get Closer campaign was created to highlight the capabilities of the new African Savanna exhibit and emphasize the intimate experience that the space offers visitors. We needed to clearly communicate that the African Savanna allows patrons the opportunity to get closer to the animals than ever before, and illuminate the giraffe feeding platform, and the hippo exhibit.
Before launching the campaign, our team developed a detailed multimedia strategy that would get more people interested in exploring the African Savanna exhibit. To deploy a fully-integrated campaign, we incorporated digital and broadcast ads alongside more traditional out-of-home ads in the form of pole banners, billboards and bus benches that were placed in strategic positions throughout the metroplex.
The campaign featured the two stars of the new exhibit: the underwater hippo viewing area, and the elevated giraffe feeding station. Schaefer developed concepts that communicated the intimacy of the space, while also inviting audiences to look adventure in the eye.
We really enjoy using a medium to its full potential and thinking about new ways to use traditional mediums that command consumer attention. For the Get Closer hippo billboard, we used extensions to maximize the real estate on the board and communicate the capability of the new hippo viewing area. By extending the hippo’s head over the top of the board, we were able to mimic the water line and show viewers the capabilities of the exhibit.
Savanna TV Spot
We chose to use the African Savanna TV spot to expand and support the campaign’s core idea of “getting closer” to the animals and take local families on an authentic African safari right in the heart of Fort Worth. The commercial features children and families getting close enough to the animals to play a small game of “monkey-see, monkey-do,” and interacting with the new exhibit’s animal kingdom. Filming animals is unpredictable, but the “talent” decided that they were ready for their closeups and behaved like seasoned professionals.
The weekend after campaign launch saw a 316% increase in ticket sales compared to the weekend before campaign launch.
The 60 days after campaign launch sold greater than 35,000 more tickets than the same 60-day segment in 2017, for a 14.3% increase in ticket sales.
Standard media display click-thru-rate 216% higher than industry benchmark of .06%.
Rich media display click-thru-rate 46% higher than industry average of 2.25%.
Making Life Better
At Schaefer, we strive to make life better with each project that we take on and in every conversation we have. Going to the Fort Worth Zoo is an incredible experience, and it’s an honor to work with an organization that practices such extensive conservation efforts. Feeding a giraffe or standing eye-to-eye with a hippopotamus is such a joy for people of all ages and working to share that experience with a wider audience was the big cat’s pajamas.
Every year, Christmas always seems to arrive quicker than the year before. It can be easy to find ourselves running through the motions of holiday activities that we forget to savor and revel in the holiday spirit like we did when we were young. Even though we grow older and have busy lives, we should always try to find the time to express our appreciation to whomever or whatever is special and dear to us.
Our Christmas card features illustrations that each represent the best parts of our year as an agency. Work, clients, new babies, agency culture and a tribute to Boone. These acornaments are a fun way for us all to reflect on the last 12 months, literally. That copper foil is really shiny!
Life is busy and Christmas can become routine, but this is the time to cherish what means the most to us. Get wrapped up in the little things like spending time with someone who you hold dear, slow down and make a batch of hot chocolate for all your family, or even give an extra-long walk to Fido at his favorite park. It’s the little things that add up and can really make this season special.
Thank you to the clients and vendors for working with us. Thank you to all of the friends and family members who have supported our employees and the agency.
So, from our tree to yours, Merry Christmas. Enjoy this acornament from all the squirrels at Schaefer.
One of our clients, Air Comfort, is located at the heart of Southeast Texas, where Hurricane Harvey hit a few months ago. While the area was still reeling, they came to us with an urgent request – help us create a powerful video that embodies how we’ve been part of the community effort in dealing with this natural disaster. Through our partnership with N8 Visuals, we were able to bring that request to life.
Creating this video was a delicate line to walk, showing the damage and rebuild without appearing to capitalize on the situation. It was also an incredibly time sensitive assignment, where we needed to be nimble and move quickly.
With that in mind, the concept we developed relies on storytelling VO and speaks more to the community’s spirit of resilience and heart rather than focusing on Air Comfort. We were inspired by the true stories of a community coming together and helping their neighbors, and it showed. Air Comfort employees opened their homes to our team and let us film during an incredibly sensitive time, laying bare entire neighborhoods that were destroyed.
The results of those efforts show in the final video, and we couldn’t be more proud. #SETXSTRONG
On June 11, TCU Baseball punched a ticket to their 4th consecutive College World Series. To break it down for you, they have finished their season on the field in Omaha in 2014, 2015, 2016 and now 2017. We are beyond proud of our client’s achievements but also honored to work with such and elite program with tremendous character.
Since 2014 (notice a theme?), we have partnered with TCU Baseball and head coach, Jim Schlossnagle, to create a video that embodies the brand of the program and establishes a tone for the upcoming season. We bring to life the vision that the coaching staff establishes each day, on and off the field.
They started the 2017 campaign with a pre-season No. 1 national ranking and Coach Schloss challenged his team to rise to the ranking. This year’s video, Work Wins, illustrates the truth that working hard is how you set yourself up to win games. Each player must physically and objectively work out a win each day. No superstitions. No momentum. Victory is found in the details, the routine, the compounding choices and the mindset.
Our job doesn’t stop with the finished product. Just like anything we create, we fight to make sure it performs. And this video has really caught hold. Over the course of the season (February – May) here’s a few stats: