Schaefer Advertising Co.

Attractions, Tourism & The Arts

If you think a corporate planning session sounds kind of boring, you clearly haven’t been to one that was hosted by Schaefer and TTI. This long-standing client tasked us with inviting their company brain trust together to discuss the coming year’s business and marketing strategies over fine wines and delicious food at Del Frisco’s Grille in Fort Worth. Designer Blair Babineaux came up with this cheeky little custom wine label that paired perfectly with the evening (which was a big success, by the way).

October 13, 2014

Squirrel City Ink

Each year, the street in front of our office shuts down so local artists can put their work on display inside local businesses. Musicians and food vendors are there too to keep the crowds fed and entertained. And we’re there, too.
Since we’re proud residents of the Near Southside, we like to do something fun and interactive. And what better way to endear ourselves to our neighbors than open a tattoo shop?
The idea for Squirrel City Ink came about randomly, as these things always do, when art director Charlie Howlett wondered aloud if it would be funny to pretend the little building next to our office was a series of businesses that were “coming soon” but never opened. One of the ideas was a tattoo shop, and it stuck.
The name Squirrel City Ink was derived from Squirrel City Bombers, the name of our fake agency motorcycle gang, which never managed to assemble, let alone rumble. Anyway, with tattoo shop name in mind, we painted the building to match, created signage and even tatted up a mannequin.
For the event itself, we turned five hand-drawn designs into temporary tattoos, which we passed out for free. We also hand-drew two t-shirt designs that were sold and printed on site by our friends at Trust Printshop. In sourcing the t-shirts with them, owner Matt Lucas let slip that they had portable presses that would allow them to print shirts one at a time as people purchased them. Done and done.
Turnout was great, and everywhere you looked people were sporting our (temporary) ink. But what does all this have to do with advertising? Branding, like a real tattoo, is best left to the professionals. Otherwise, you’ve got a lifetime of embarrassment ahead of you.

Last year, Schaefer got to be in on the surprise as the Fort Worth Zoo prepared for the births of not one but two baby Asian elephants. It was a lot of fun to get to announce these oversized bundles of joy to all of Fort Worth (and beyond) using a variety of media.
And while we knew about the second baby before you did, it was still quite the surprise! After all, media for the first baby had only been up for a few weeks at that point.
With the baby healthy and ready to meet his new fans, we had a quick-turn situation to revise the still-fresh creative. Our solution conveyed our surprise:
Recently, this campaign earned a Marketing Excellence Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which put us in the company of agencies like M&C Saatchi, whose work for the San Diego Zoo is routinely recognized as some of the best in the business.
Big things come to those who wait.

September 19, 2014

Zoo Ball

The Story

The annual Fort Worth Zoo Ball is their largest fundraising event of the year in support of the nonprofit, privately owned zoo. This is an elite affair put on by a committee of top Zoo donors who rely on Schaefer to help execute the annual theme. For 2014, the theme was inspired by the annual Festival of the Elephants in Jaipur, India. The central piece was to be a high-end invitation that would make Fort Worth’s elite excited about coming to the ball.

The Work

Our first step was immerse ourselves in Indian culture (via Google and World Market rather than the subcontinent itself, sadly). Through colors, textiles, patterns we began to get a good sense of direction for the piece. If only we had a designer who was really into elephants. Maybe one who has an elephant pen and mug and figurines all over her desk. Oh, right. Blair.

This theme was tailor-made for designer Blair Babineaux, whose love of elephants (and good design) made her the obvious one to take the lead. Both of these loves were apparent in the final result.

Describing the details of this piece would take approximately forever, but here are some highlights (or you could just look at the picture, right?). The six-panel invitation is printed on a thick pearlescent paper that was flooded with red on one side. Each unique panel was intricately laser cut by the folks at Artifacture in Dallas. Once folded, the invitation was secured with a die-cut bellyband featuring even more laser-cut elephants. The metallic gold envelopes were beautifully hand addressed by Lauren of Blue Eye Brown Eye calligraphy using a custom-mixed ink.

All told, we partnered with six different vendors to make our vision come to life (each of whom might lock the door when they see us coming next time).

The Results

The event was a big success, and the invitation was unanimously well received. Eight-foot replicas of the invitation panels were used as decorations at the Ball, and the chairwoman of the planning committee said, “This is my favorite invitation yet. I’m not sure how we’ll top it next year.”

We don’t know either, but, as always, we’ll seek what’s possible. Even if it does give us all gray hair.


Schaefer was awarded a gold national Addy for the 2014 Zoo Ball invitation. This is our first national Addy award, and to give it some context, we were one of only 77 gold winners out of 40,000 entries. Needless to say, we’re proud and excited to represent Fort Worth among some of the top agencies in the country.

Check out the complete List of 2015 National Addy Winners



September 12, 2014

Riff. Ram. Bah. Zoo.

The video was part of a broader initiative to get fans more engaged in the game atmosphere, giving the TCU football team more of a home field advantage. Our approach was to have the TCU faithful renew their pride in the school by drawing on the proud history of the program. We wanted the fans to feel like they were a part of the team.

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After developing several concepts, we worked with TCU Athletics to produce a 90-second video that featured TCU’s Riff Ram chant. This chant has been around since the 1920s, and our video builds on that history as well as its universality amongst Horned Frogs of all ages. We’re asking the TCU Horned Frog Faithful to AMP IT UP (TCU Football’s campaign this year) and help make Riff Ram a tradition at home games again. Go Frogs!

Here is a collection of shots from behind the scenes.
Produced in partnership with Nutter Productions.

September 1, 2014

Stick a fork in it

Here’s a riddle: What says “You’re important, come to this tasting event and here’s a bribe?” You guessed it, a foil-stamped invitation with a gold fork and mini chocolate cake inside.
Client Hurst Conference Center hosted an event for local event planners to show off all their amenities, including adaptable spaces and a full-service kitchen. Since the event would include a tasting menu prepared by their on-staff chef, we decided to tempt attendees with a taste of what was to come.
“The good stuff is in the middle” relates to Hurst’s prime location in the heart of the metroplex, but of course it always applies to desserts. Of course, we being the thorough and thoughtful partners that we are did diligently sample a range of desserts to pick the one that was most likely to attract a crowd. All in a day’s work.

August 25, 2014

Making EVERY DAY Zoo Day

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” – Mythbusters, Paul Gilbert, Liberace probably, et al
Recently, the Fort Worth Zoo asked us to continue running their long-standing membership campaign. The existing creative had been in-market for almost four years, and the expectation was that we simply reuse the exiting creative for digital and outdoor media.

The concept centered on the headline: Meerkat Monday, Tiger Tuesday – make every day Zoo day. Our intrepid young graphic designer, Blair Babineaux, wondered if we couldn’t expand this creative to not only include additional benefits, but to take full advantage of the digital billboard medium to run multiple creative messages for each day of the week.
Blair got to work creating seven billboards with a different animal for each day of the week. This also opened up space to include additional membership benefits.
And so, with a little thought and a few questions, we were able to push beyond the original idea (without additional cost).
“This is how we do it.”– Montell Jordan and Schaefer Advertising Co.

The Story

When the Fort Worth Zoo tells you they’ve got something big coming, you naturally go think elephant, giraffe, hippo – that kind of thing. Not even close. This time it was bugs. Enormous, animatronic bugs that moved, flapped, hissed and even sprayed. Thirteen of them would be located throughout the park to greet visitors who thought the lions and snakes would be the scariest animals they were going to see that day. Schaefer was tasked with creating a name, identity and marketing materials for the exhibit. Most of us were fine with it. Certain people were less than enthused to learn of the existence of a car-sized spider in Fort Worth – even if it was a robot.

The Work

For the name of the exhibit, we went with GIGANTABUGS!, which was fun and playful but still conveyed exactly what people were in for. And since these bugs were larger than life, our marketing materials had to be “GIGANTA,” too. Our TV spot featured a variety of enormous bug shadows invading well-known Fort Worth spots. To further tease the exhibit, we applied ten-foot bug decals to a three-story building and the sidewalk in front of a busy grocery store.

The Results

This wouldn’t be a case study if our marketing didn’t work, so you probably saw this coming. Our TV spot and guerilla efforts received positive feedback and a lot of social shares leading up to the exhibit. And during the months the exhibit was open, Zoo attendance surpassed their goals by 5%.

May 19, 2014

The Spotlight

Our friends over at TCU Baseball finished the regular season strong with a 38-15 record (17-7 in the Big 12). The Frogs will be the No. 2 seed going into the Big 12 Tournament. Good luck in the tournament and congrats on a great season!

April 21, 2014

Find your favorite spot

The theme for this year’s Zoo Preschool is animal markings and habitats. And because the whole point of the preschool is to teach young kids about animals, we decided to make the direct mail piece interactive and educational. The piece featured a soft, natural color palate and a fun illustrated style, which was carried out across all media including the campers’ t-shirts. Any day we get to to create cartoon animals is a good day. And from the photos, it would appear these preschoolers found their favorite spot at the Fort Worth Zoo.