Fort Worth Zoo

Strategy

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%.

November 21, 2013

Nethery Eye Associates

An opthamology practice with five physicians, Nethery Eye Associates tasked the Schaefer team to develop an integrated marketing plan to increase patient traffic in light of a more competitive marketplace. We evaluated and refreshed their current branding to support these marketing efforts and executed the refreshed brand in a website, collateral and other patient education tools, and an online media campaign.

Educational Video Series
for Nethery Eye Associates

October 19, 2013

Small change. Big Impact.

The Story

JPS Foundation is a non-profit arm of John Peter Smith Hospital that helps raise money for things the hospital budget doesn’t cover such as baby supplies for low-income women, clothes for the homeless and medicines for those who can’t afford them.

When it came time for their annual employee giving campaign, they came to us with a challenge. Donations had been in decline for several years, as well as the number of employees who were donating. Employee involvement is an important metric when applying for funding, so it was up to us to bring the numbers up.

The Work

When you think of fundraisers for non-profits, you might think about the poster board thermometer that is gradually filled in with red sharpie. When the goal is a large sum of money, it can easily feel like the dollar or two you have to spare won’t make much of a dent. Since we needed as many people to participate as possible, we had to overcome this perception.

Our idea was to show that a small donation—even as little as a dollar—could actually have a real impact. That’s because many of the things JPS Foundation provides, such as a pair of socks or a pedometer, cost very little. We called the campaign Small Change, Big Impact and used a series of four videos to show how even inexpensive items could make a big difference in a person’s life.

The Results

It’s clear that JPS employees took the message to heart. JPS Foundation raised over $200,000 as a result of this campaign, up from $95,000 the previous year. The number of employees who participated also rose from 685 to 1019 in one year. And while it’s always great to see that a campaign worked, we’re most proud of the real, life-changing impact those stats represent.

Happy Friday, everyone. And to the Rangers fans among you, happy Home Opener Day as well.

This season is particularly exciting for us because one of our clients, Nolan Ryan’s Beef, is beginning their reign as official beef and hot dog sponsor of the Texas Rangers. While this probably isn’t the most shocking news you’ve heard all week, it does mean you can look forward to some pretty tasty food at the ballpark this year.

It’s been a scramble to get everything done in time for today’s game, but it’s also been a lot of fun. One of our first assignments was to create a ten-second jumbotron animation to promote dollar dog nights. Now, to be fair, dollar dogs kind of sell themselves. Apparently, senior designer Charlie Howlett recognized this and chose to use it to his advantage.

Everyone, meet Howdy, the official Hot Dog of Nolan Ryan’s Beef. Be sure to keep an eye out for him next time you’re at the ballpark.


Recently, I caught up with Charlie outside the Schaefer men’s room to see what he had to say about creating a new American icon.

Scott: So Charlie, what do you have to say about creating a new American icon?
Charlie: I can only hope he becomes an American icon.
SYou’re being too modest. So how did Howdy come about?
C: It was pretty natural, actually.
S: Care to expand on that?
C: Well, [creative director] Todd and I got the assignment and decided we needed to create a character – a walking hot dog. So I sketched him out on the window with a dry erase marker and we knew we were onto something special.
S: Were you worried the client wouldn’t go for him?
C: We always hope that clients will find the humor…
S: Slow down, I can’t type that fast.
C: Well, you should record it. That’s what real journalists do.
S: I’m not a real journalist, Charlie.
C: Fine. We. Always. Hope…
S: Stop it.
C: (laughs) We always hope clients will find the humor in what we do. Luckily, the NRB folks loved it.
S: So how did we land on the name Howdy?
C: We had been tossing some names around, but it was the client who suggested “Howdy.” That’s when we knew they loved him as much as we did. (pauses) We thought he had legs before…
S: (groans)
C: …but that’s when we knew he could really run.
S: (groans louder)
C: That’s the truth, Scott. That’s how it happened.
S: Sure it is. Anything else?
C: Actually, seeing Howdy helped my (3-year-old) son get a better idea of what I do all day.
S: Well, not all day, but that’s cool. So is he a fan of Howdy?
C: He is.
S: That’s how you know you nailed it. Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Charlie.
C: My pleasure, Scott. I’m going to go get a hot dog. It’s Opening Day, you know.
S: I did know that. That’s what this blog is about.
C: So are you going to take me out to the ballgame? You know, take me out to the crowd?
S: Okay, I think we’re done here.