TTI, Inc.

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November 19, 2014

Adventures of the Specialist

The Story

TTI, Inc. is a $2B Berkshire-Hathaway company that supplies electronic components to practically every major electronics company in the world. A few years ago, Schaefer created TTI’s spokesman, the Specialist, whose ongoing adventures have been a successful video series for the company. Three seasons in, they asked us if there was a way to expand the Specialist into other media and broaden his reach.

The Work

Comic book movies are coming out left and right, but our idea was to do the reverse. The Specialist had always been a live action video character. Why not got 2-D with it? We proposed comic book-style direct mail series that would take the Specialist and his adventure directly to the desks of our target audience. We sourced an illustrator who could do the old-school comic book style, and wrote a series of adventures involving everything from jetpacks to spaceships – two things we (so far, at least) haven’t been able to pull of in video.

The Results

In just a few months, TTI was able to grow their direct marketing database by 500 leads, and they have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both clients and partners. To date, we’ve produced seven issues of The Adventures of The Specialist and have more issues in the works. What crazy jam will the Specialist find himself in next time? Schaefer only knows.

 

November 8, 2014

Malware Apocalypse!

At this year’s Spice World expo in Austin, Texas, Schaefer client McAfee Security was there in force to help all those IT professionals keep both their I and their T safe. The concept, Malware Apocalypse, likened all the computer-eating monsters roaming the internet to our favorite brain-eating monsters roaming various movies and TV shows.
We helped deck out the booth (and the humans) in all sorts of zombie hunting gear. We had zombie themed props and giveaways – we even had makeup artists at the booth to give people the undead makeunders they always wanted. No surprise, it was a hit. The client agreed it was one of the most successful Spiceworld showings yet, and there’s no doubt that our concept left a lasting impression on attendees.
 

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).

The Scan—a web video series on technology security—came about just like any other project. A former Schaefer employee who now works for McAfee Security saw some silly videos we made and posted on our Facebook page. She thought, “Hey, that might work for us, too!” Happens all the time, right? She called, we said sure, then we had to figure out how to make it happen.
All we lacked were studio lights, a teleprompter, microphone, sound recorder, editing software and the know-how to use it all. Other than that, we were set. So in true Schaefer form, we got the things we needed, figured out how to use them and created a well-received web series that’s been going strong for a year. Take a look at the episode below, then go watch all the rest on YouTube.
 

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.

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.

UPDATE:

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

 

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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.