Marketing in-person events comes with its own set of challenges, but after the pandemic struck, we were presented with a new range of obstacles to activate the community and generate awareness, excitement, and attendance. For the Kimbell Art Museum, we were tasked with creating a community activation campaign that highlighted Queen Nefertari’s Egypt exhibition and encouraged people to safely enjoy the exhibition in person.
Create community activation and engagement
Connect the exhibition to people and encourage them to enjoy it in person
Encourage community awareness of the new exhibition
Utilize social media to educate the public and generate buzz for the exhibition
Encouraging Engagement During Uncertain Times
Getting in front of your audience physically during the pandemic can be challenging, but there are creative ways to target and engage the community in the digital space that still leads to conversions. The Kimbell needed a big idea that could break the mold of traditional marketing, and we were up for the challenge!
Instead of relying on traditional marketing methods to encourage in-person attendance, we specifically utilized the digital space to accomplish this, examining new trends, tools, and opportunities to engage our audience virtually. While digital analytics are incredibly valuable, this presented another challenge because the ultimate measurement of success is in-person attendance.
Pivoting for Success
Rather than presenting a hard push to get people to the Nefertari exhibition in person, we decided to bring the exhibition experience to the community in a safe way. We created a series of outdoor installations that teased the exhibition and activated audiences in the safety of outdoor spaces. Our team created 3 different murals and 8 different ground clings that educated people about the Nefertari exhibition and encouraged them to experience it in person. For placement, we leveraged internal relationships to strategically set the murals and ground clings in areas that have high foot traffic and chose locations to help build the Kimbell’s network and local footprint. These installations allowed our audience the chance to walk in Queen Nefertari’s sandals and experience the magic of uncovering a hidden Egyptian ruin.
Leveraging a New Technology
To supplement the installations and ground clings, we sought a way to digitally engage our audience wherever they are and immerse them in Queen Nefertari’s Egypt. We worked with the Kimbell to come up with an engaging digital campaign to shift into the digital space. This was a big step for the Kimbell, since most of their previous campaign activations were created with traditional advertising methods. After careful market observation and extensive digital discovery, we found that more and more destination brands were incorporating augmented reality into their marketing plans.
Augmented reality takes many forms, but at the core of AR is the ability to partially immerse a user in an experience through a digital device like a phone or computer. For the Kimbell, we sought to create an AR campaign that brought Queen Nefertari to life and offered our audience a new way to engage with the exhibition. We created two AR filters that gave people two distinct ways to place them in Queen Nefertari’s Egypt.
The first AR filter we created features Queen Nefertari’s crown – a three-dimensional depiction of a flat hieroglyphic crown that people could wear and enjoy on Instagram and Facebook. The second AR filter features a series of hieroglyphs etched into stone laid behind the user to make it appear as if they had just discovered the ruins.
It was a challenge to take a flat hieroglyphic crown and turn it into an accurate three-dimensional rendering. But, after hours of research, testing, and iteration, we were able to take a piece of Art and turn it into a relatable and engaging piece of technology that was accessible and relevant to audiences everywhere.
Helped the Kimbell effectively reach max capacity of the Nefertari exhibition
More than 1.1M paid media impressions
More than 5 thousand tickets sold
The entire campaign resulted in more than $383k in revenue
AR filter earned 5.7K impressions and 3.6K opens
CTR of 1.71%, above the industry standard of .8%
308 shares of the filter ads
Incorporated new technology into our client’s marketing strategy
Produced and installed wall murals and ground clings
Building a website is an opportunity to hone in on specific marketing objectives and create a powerful digital space to engage consumers. We partnered with the Texas Ballet Theater to build a website focused on improving ticket sales through an improved user experience, and design it to share the exuberant spirit and artistry of ballet in its structure.
Develop a new website, and shift the focus to ticket sales
Develop content specifically to help visitors relate to the professional dancers
Highlight the ballet company and their role in the community
Create a website that is easy for the organization to update and change season to season through use of internal marketing resources
Defining a Clearer User Journey
When building a new website, understanding how people use it is key to pair functionality with supporting key marketing objectives. For Texas Ballet Theater, we took a deep dive into the popular user paths people take to purchase tickets and sought to understand the user experience. One critical point that we discovered was that there were far too many clicks and exit points between users and purchasing tickets. With that in mind, we defined clearer user paths and designed the structure of the new site to make it easier and quicker for users to purchase tickets.
Strategic Content Migration
As we shifted the new website to focus on e-commerce, we reduced the number of actions it takes to purchase a ticket down to two simple clicks and made the ticket sales portal readily available and visible on each page. To minimize the bounce rate and encourage more time on site, we improved the user flow by reducing duplicate pages and dead ends on the site. We also instituted analytics to track revenue data and connect e-commerce data to the ticketing system to monitor our progress.
The result of the strategic content migration is a streamlined site that is focused on guiding users to purchase tickets and learn more about the Texas Ballet Theater.
Site Architecture Aimed at e-Commerce
Through discovery and internal research we determined the key objectives were to restructure the site navigation to improve ticket sales, but also educate the public about Texas Ballet Theater beyond their on-stage product. The website needed to promote special events, highlight donation opportunities, and showcase the work that TBT is doing for local schools and young dancer education, as well as their many community outreach initiatives. So, we consolidated the number of pages to make it easier for users to navigate from the homepage to any section they needed and reduced the friction in navigating between pages outside of the homepage.
We carefully considered the different types of people visiting the website and used those personas to help create smoother user paths and a richer user experience for a wider audience.
An Improved Mobile Experience
As with any website redesign, a website needs to offer a seamless experience on desktop and mobile devices. When we designed the mobile site, we wanted to ensure that it served the same primary goal as the desktop version: sell tickets. So, we simplified the website to offer users the primary information through shorter users paths. We also improved the navigational elements to make the site easier to click through on mobile devices.
A Website that Communicates the Energy of Ballet
Our team sought to emphasize the spirit of the TBT brand in the final website design so that it was as beautiful as it was functional. Furthermore, we wanted to elevate the performances and dancers so that they took center stage as the visual standouts. We also sought to create a flexible framework for the web design so that each season of ballet felt fresh and exciting without having to undergo significant site construction to update it. The site can easily be updated by the TBT marketing staff, and it’s flexibility allowed for quicker performance updates during the pandemic.
Visually, the new website is driven by photography and highlighting the dancers. We elevated the typography choices and color palette to reflect the modern aspects of TBT so that the pages moved beyond the season and established TBT’s brand. To communicate the dynamic movement and energy of ballet, we used a non-traditional structure that fluidly moves users down the page. The final website design is one that balances form and function while standing as a testament to the fundamental motion of ballet.
The total volume of site traffic was impacted heavily in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, which also led to multiple performance cancellations. However, 2020 metrics still indicate significant increases in overall website performance.
More users clicked to purchase tickets to The Nutcracker 2020 compared to The Nutcracker 2019.
In December 2020, more than double the number of users clicked from The Nutcracker 2020 page to purchase tickets compared to the same page in December 2019.
Behavior flow to purchase tickets improved, with users entering the ticketing platform within just 2 clicks, as compared to 3+ clicks on the previous site.
Improved time efficiencies for updating the website, saving on future and ongoing web development
Incorporated pages where TBT can share about their artistic direction, where they’re going as a company, add their personality
Every year the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) hosts an event to honor and induct some of its biggest friends and supporters to the Conservation Hall of Fame. The event is one of the most prestigious conservation award dinners, attracting partners, ambassadors and donors from across the state to benefit the TPWF and amplify its mission.
The 2019 inductees strongly believe in the responsibility every Texan has to maintain our land and the life on it. The primary theme for the event focused on connection, more specifically on the flora and fauna that grow wildly across the Lone Star state, each native species playing a vital role in our ecosystem. To raise awareness and excite attendees, we set out to design an invitation suite befitting Texas’ most precious resource—all the wild things and wild places that make our state great.
The state of Texas is not only vast. It’s diverse. From the panhandle to the pines, every inch is famed for its beauty and defined by the iconic landscapes. And there’s no better way to appreciate those views than from the open road.
Seeking to capture that feeling of nostalgia for long drives and wide-open spaces, we built a conceptual theme centered around the classic American road-trip—Texas-style. A limited-edition postcard series served as the invitation, each featuring a hand-drawn illustration of true Texas moments from five distinct regions.
The event helped raise private dollars for public funding. And the invite provided guests with a tangible piece of Texas they could collect or share with others to inspire conservation. A tribute to the landscape and a call to experience the wild, Texas Road Trip won awards at the local and regional American Advertising Awards in 2019.
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fort Worth Zoo needed a way to sell holiday adoptions and memberships. More than that, they needed a campaign that cut through the clutter of holiday advertisements to connect with consumers and convince them that a Zoo membership is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys a unique and rewarding experience.
Promote Zoo memberships and holiday adoption packages
Communicate the new delayed activation component of Zoo membership
Boost membership sales by defining the target audience and tailoring messaging to that base
Recapture some of the membership sales lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Help the Zoo sell 200 adoptions and boost membership revenue
Identifying the Right Audience
Before launching the campaign, we needed to identify and target the right audiences that were likely to purchase a holiday membership or a holiday adoption package. Before determining audience demographics we isolated Tarrant County as the primary market in which membership conversions would be most attainable
It was a challenge to promote both adoptions and memberships in one campaign, since the target markets aren’t the same. So, we had to carefully design our target audience to maximize exposure and conversion.
To define our audience sets, we identified parents with young children as a primary marketing target, and general audiences as a secondary target likely to buy holiday adoptions. We also incorporated strategic site retargeting to market to users that have visited the Fort Worth Zoo’s website, and targeted additional users searching for terms related to the Zoo and holiday gift ideas. We excluded current Zoo members from all marketing.
Refining a Compelling Message
For the first time ever, the Zoo offered memberships that allow delayed activation for up to nine months, which allows consumers to select when they begin their membership. This was done to help quell fears about the coronavirus pandemic and give Zoo members a chance to begin their membership when they feel safer. We created campaign messaging that reflected the new membership activation and featured it prominently across digital banners and paid social ads. The central campaign line of “Give now, enjoy later” communicates the spirit of giving a gift for the holidays, and indicates that it can be enjoyed at the recipients’ leisure. We featured the additional line of “choose when your membership begins” prominently across mediums to further communicate that a Zoo membership can begin whenever the member is comfortable.
of Holiday packages Sold
Return On Investment
Total Revenue Increase (December 2019 vs 2020)
Thriving Under Challenging Circumstances
The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the need for brands to think outside the box and find new ways to make their products, services or experiences accessible and safe for consumers. For the Fort Worth Zoo, that meant creating a new delayed activation membership and connecting with people that are ready to experience the Zoo under different circumstances.
The Gary Patterson Foundation raises thousands of dollars every year to benefit various education and children related entities. After experiencing Mack, Jack & McConaughey in Austin, the Gary Patterson Foundation was inspired by MCM’s efforts to empower kids through 2-days of fundraising and fun. After careful consideration, they decided to shift their traditional Joe T’s annual event into a weekend filled with fundraising activities from golf to galas. With a shift as big as this, they needed to create an impactful brand.
Develop brand name, narrative and messaging for the non-profit event series
Create a dynamic brand identity system that communicates the values of the non-profit
Finding the Way
We worked closely with the Gary Patterson and his team to better understand the audience and impact of the new events, and create a strategy that would speak to their target audience. The events needed to attract all generations of donors in North Texas, and be accessible to those that would like to donate for the first time. The new initiative also needed to be the core fundraising event for the Gary Patterson Foundation. So, we had to position it as an accessible, diverse non-profit open to those that aren’t passionate about sports, but also welcome those that are – it had to be inclusive and suitable for a diversity of mediums. From black ties to tailgates, the mark needed to be flexible enough to feel at home at any type of fundraising event.
Plenty of Good to Go Around
To communicate the breadth and impact of the fundraising efforts, we knew the brand and mark had to be big. With an emphasis on the good.
The organization landed on the name, “The Big Good,” which is direct, yet powerful. Its strength is in its simplicity. A quick read with enough flexibility to cover more than one specific event or fundraiser. The Big Good indicates the diversity of events and their monumental impact on North Texas families and beyond.
The typographic logo is purposefully simple to communicate the variety of events at the heart of the Big Good. Each of the letterforms is customized and unique which further emphasizes the diverse structure of the Big Good. The crossbars on the “H/E/B/G” are all different and intentionally illustrate the fun and engaging nature of the events that offer something substantial for everybody, and specific need in Dallas Fort Worth.
A subtly simple mark, paired with a direct brand name can make an impactful and memorable impression. The Big Good branding illustrates the power of using simplicity to communicate and represent a brand.
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has served the business community within the Fort Worth area since the late 1800s, playing a pivotal role in nearly every major milestone that has occurred in the city. Moving into 2020, the Chamber’s CEO of over 30 years retired, opening the door for a new, visionary leadership team to continue the Chamber’s momentum in driving forward the success and growth of Fort Worth business.
The emerging Chamber team developed a specific vision and strategic plan to capture and sustain growth for the City of Fort Worth, serving as both the champion for existing businesses while executing aggressive economic development efforts. Critical to the success of this plan was to reintroduce the Chamber to our business community, influencers, and new prospects in a manner that would enlighten them to the value of the city and engage them with the Chamber. To accomplish this successfully, the Chamber team partnered with Schaefer Advertising to refine the communications platform and brand identity.
Each of our brand initiatives begins with a critical analysis of an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and differentiators. We immerse ourselves in the vision of the company, including all marketing and business objectives. With the FW Chamber, we identified the opportunity to capitalize on the legacy of the organization while creating a more defined and contemporary position that was current with today’s business climate. Through the development of a Brand Archetype, coupled with a defined brand position and targeted key messages, we created a communications platform that the Chamber can use in their marketing efforts moving forward. This platform also fully informed the creative development of a new brand identity.
A Heroic New Mark
Our exploration process revealed that the Chamber was defined as a Hero archetype, a persona defined by strength, courage, commitment, and a drive to move things forward. Taking direction from that archetype, our creative team explored a multitude of solutions for the new Chamber brand. In keeping with our process of immersion, the team explored other related and competitive organizational brands, the history of Fort Worth, and the Chamber to inspire the recommended design solutions.
The resulting mark is simple, bold, and includes a star as a subtle nod to a boot spur and a connection to the prior iteration of their logo. The new identity evolves their brand to better represent the community it serves and the institutions it champions.
Places are defined by people, and the Near Southside is among the most vibrant and diverse communities in Fort Worth. So, when they approached Schaefer to help them rebrand their identity, we focused on the neighborhood they create and the people and ideas the Near Southside attracts.
We wanted to present that the Near Southside is first and foremost a community where people and business can thrive in an inclusive and supportive environment. The result is a design balanced in minimalism and boldness that allows the artistic soul of the Near Southside to come through, but also be functional enough to carry the brand across everything from way-finding signage to social. The new color pallet represents the diverse voices that stand up for and continue to create opportunities that cultivate community. The updated identity is malleable enough to work across mediums but enduring enough to be used over decades to come.
It is a pleasure to partner with local organizations that build up our community and help them identify their message and purpose, and carry that through to representing their brand. By creating a flexible mark that more accurately represents the community and culture of the Near Southside, we’re hopeful that their message will resonate more deeply with future community members and contributors. The Near Southside is an excellent ambassador and cultivator of the arts and culture that permeate our neighborhood and creating something that elicits that same level of passion is why we come to work every single day.
River & Blues Fest is a new kind of music festival, featuring a uniquely American lineup of longtime favorites and soulful up-and-comers in country and blues. Launching its inaugural year right here in the heart of Fort Worth, the River & Blues Festival needed a dynamic identity system to engage and attract music lovers and artists alike across a primarily digital landscape.
Launching a New Identity System
Drawing inspiration from the rhythm and the river, we turned up the volume on the ethos and the experience to allow the vision of the festival to come through. The result was a scalable brand identity that represented the heart and soul of the music itself—a perfect balance of grit and a good time. With so many moving pieces, it was important to create a system that easily blended photography, motion and print elements, but most importantly position this instantly legendary weekend as one that can’t be missed.
Connecting with Our Target Audience
Launching any new brand can be a challenge and making noise about a music festival can be especially challenging in Texas. But, a clearly defined vision and a true one-of-a-kind blend of country and blues music is a fantastic experience to position. To connect with a wide audience, we needed to communicate that the River & Blues Festival is not just a blues festival, but also a country music festival, which appeals to a wide range of local music fans spanning demographics. Furthermore, we wanted to bring the river through in our messaging and identity to illustrate that the festival takes place on the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion in the heart of Fort Worth.
Concert Going amid Covid-19
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. But, what no one accounted for, or could have foreseen, was the covid-19 pandemic. River & Blues Fest was meant to make its first-ever debut during the summer festival season. As it turns out, that fell right during the height of the coronavirus lockdowns. Like other big-name events, we had to shift from a traditionally communal live music experience to a socially-distant, socially-conscious festival. Which meant more than a new date to ensure the people attending, playing and working not only felt safe but participated responsibly. In addition to new precautions we needed to communicate that, while the experience might look different, the music still sounds the same. And after all this time apart, maybe sweeter.
Total digital campaign resulted in more than 3.2 million impressions and an above-average CTR
New website generated 82.5K pageviews, 50.2K sessions and 42.4K new users
Brought a new brand to market and established their brand foundation
Created a flexible brand identity system
Partnered with artists to cross-promote on social and traditional radio
Built an email database from no subscribers to just over 1,500
Make Life Better
Artists and the people who support them rely on gigs and performances to make a living. River & Blues Fest is, without a doubt, going to be a good time. But it’s also going to prop up an art form, a nearly forgotten genre that survives with every chord. More so, it supports the artists, especially the grassroots, independent and often local musicians still waiting to be discovered. We are so proud to work with a client that uplifts the local creative community and is flexible enough to adjust their brand-new music festival to be safe and socially distant. Bringing people together safely is important now more than ever.
How do you get an entire community to see things differently? Our challenge was to celebrate the Near Southside’s milestone moments at an annual event that invites business leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and friends to gather and give to the organization and district at the single biggest fundraising event of the year.
Inspired by the very optimism that shaped the Near Southside and continues to move it forward, the event focused on the possibility of perspective. A key part of this community’s identity and a driving force behind its transition from forgotten frontier to one of the city’s most vibrant places to live, work and be.
Perspective is more than a way of seeing things; it’s a pursuit. And one we wanted to challenge everyone to actively engage in from the moment they opened the invitation. So we applied a visual trick using red and blue ink and an overlay that allowed us to reveal each message by shifting each guest’s perspective, literally.
Boo at the Zoo has long been the unmissable Halloween experience for many families in Fort Worth. Since 2011, Schaefer has been tasked with keeping Boo at the Zoo top-of-mind for old fans and the next generation of families looking to establish a Halloween tradition.
Working on Boo at the Zoo is a rewarding creative problem for our team to solve each year, and it illustrates the variety and volume of strategy and thought that goes into marketing an event year after year – and staying relevant and top-of-mind in the local market.
Boo at the Zoo is a big deal in Fort Worth. It gives children a chance to celebrate Halloween alongside some of their favorite wildlife animals. This well-loved local tradition has cemented itself as one of the best family-friendly events in North Texas, and it’s our job to not just create awareness but inspire action and encourage the decision-makers in the family to purchase tickets before they sell out.
We’ve had the opportunity to work on this campaign since 2010. Each year we face the unique challenge of reinventing and refreshing the event to excite the attention and interest of children and parents in North Texas. The creative hurdle remains the same each year, but this year, the global pandemic created an entirely new set of logistic and messaging challenges.
This challenge requires us to the table each year with a set of new ideas that each communicates the value and excitement that this event provides for families across North Texas.
For 2020, the Zoo decided to alter the usual format from on-foot trick-or-treating to a drive-through event that ensured safer social distancing measures were addressed. Covid-19 health protocols presented another ripple in planning the creative assets and messaging that we pitched to the client. During the pandemic, normal protocols are out the window, and we had to illustrate that this year’s Boo at the Zoo was going to take place in the family car rather than on foot. It was imperative that we clearly communicated that this event still packed the same fun-filled adventure of years past, while offering a safe way to enjoy Halloween during the pandemic.
Boo at the Zoo is a rite of passage for many young Fort Worth families, and we’re so proud to work with the Zoo and play a part in this enchanting local tradition.