Clearfork

Archives

January 19, 2015

Signs of things to come

The Story

Clearfork is a new mixed-use development on what was the last undeveloped piece of the legendary Edwards Ranch. Many Fort Worth landmarks like Texas Christian University and the Fort Worth Zoo now sit on what once was Edwards Ranch property, but the Clearfork portion remained virtually untouched since 1848. Having just completed the Clearfork branding and positioning, the client asked us to produce some vinyl banners to announce the coming development.

“Sure, we can do that, but…”

The Work

With a newly completed road cutting through the property, this was the first time most people had seen this property since before Fort Worth (the actual fort) existed. We felt this called for something a little more unique than a vinyl banner.

Pulling back from the assumed solution of banners and focusing instead on the goal of attracting passersby’s attention, our ideas included an iron ranch sign, cattle guards and a water tower. What won out in the end were what the team dubbed “word crops.” Three eight-foot-tall words were strategically placed around the property: discover, legacy and vision.

The road to the final product was a long one, since none of us had ever seen word crops before. We cut an “A” out of a sheet of plywood in the side yard of our office and hauled it out to Clearfork to see where the words should go. Our production manager then talked with a variety of vendors to see if anyone could do it on-budget (one could). We had a test letter made with three colors of paint to see which worked best (silver).

The Results

The word crops were a success in several ways. First, they captured people’s attention and made them curious about what was coming to the property. Second, they garnered some social shares as people took photos with the words and shared them on their networks. Thirdly, (shameless plug) they earned Schaefer the Best in Show American Advertising Award for 2014.

Best of all, they’re a perfect example of what we mean when we say, “Give us your goal, and we’ll seek what’s possible.”

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.
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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:
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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.

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.

Billboard creative for Nolan Ryan Beef and Texas Burger.

When the Fort Worth Zoo decided to update their brand messaging for 2013, Schaefer decided to pick up where our last campaign left off – clean, uncluttered imagery that kept the animals as the stars of the show.
We saw this new campaign as an opportunity to communicate the experiential and entertainment value the Zoo offers by reminding the people of Fort Worth and surrounding areas of their wilder neighbors. We did this by trying to keep animals as close to actual size as possible throughout the varying media.
We kept backgrounds simple to further call attention to the animals as they cropped up around their “natural habitat” of Fort Worth.
Our approach led us to the headline: Real. Fun. On the one hand, it’s self explanatory, but it’s also a subtle comparison to movies, video games and other virtual forms of entertainment.

August 19, 2013

Croppin’ Up

In anticipation of the Clearfork Main Street Bridge opening, which would open up traffic through Clearfork for the first time, we wanted to develop on-site signage that would call motorists’ attention to sheer size of the land and tease what was to come.

Rather than putting up traditional banners or billboard signage, we created a concept that used larger than life words to describe the soul of Clearfork. The words were placed at strategic points on the property and were made to appear as if they had grown out of the land. Thus, we referred to the project internally as the Clearfork word crops.

 

August 19, 2013

Croppin’ up

In anticipation of the Clearfork Main Street Bridge opening, which would open up traffic through Clearfork for the first time, we wanted to develop on-site signage that would call motorists’ attention to sheer size of the land and tease what was to come.

Rather than putting up traditional banners or billboard signage, we created a concept that used larger than life words to describe the soul of Clearfork. The words were placed at strategic points on the property and were made to appear as if they had grown out of the land. Thus, we referred to the project internally as the Clearfork word crops.

August 9, 2013

Out of This World

The headlining band at this year’s Beastro – a food tasting and live music event at the Fort Worth Zoo – was Starship. Creative director Todd Lancaster decided to take it in a Close Encounters of the Third Kind direction, and it turned out to be the winning concept. (Despite the illustration, no giraffes were served as food at this event.)
Along with more traditional media like outdoor, direct mail and banner ads, we went guerrilla on this project as well. We created a stencil based on Todd’s artwork along with spray chalk to advertise the event on Fort Worth sidewalks. The cans of spray chalk say they’re wash off in a week or so. The fact that we could still see them several months after the event had ended would indicate otherwise. Oops.
Anyway, the event was a lot of fun, Starship rocked the party and a ton of Fort Worth food fans got to stuff their faces and make new friends.