One of central Illinois' oldest automotive groups faced a problem: 6 stores with different names and a dated look.
Working with David Wanless, Moore & Scarry's Art Director, we developed a comprehensive rebranding idea that would go beyond a refreshed look.
By shortening the name to "WM Automotive Group" and having each store fall under the group's umbrella naming scheme, e.g. WM Nissan, WM Ford, it would follow what major industry players including AutoNation and Sonic Automotive are doing.
The new names were short, simple, and reflected their corporate identity to go along with a new look and a new tagline that encompassed the group's history of moving the community forward since 1949.
A second obstacle was a lack of a unique selling proposition (USP). Implementing the "WM Preferred Price" brought unity to each store and assured a clear, upfront price that would save customers thousands without a need to hassle or haggle; another concept leading industry players are turning to.
The WM Promise drove it home, with a robust and easy-to-establish set of benefits that separated the group from their competitors.
It's the question every retail automotive client is asking: how do you sell cars using social media?
Moore & Scarry Advertising developed a social media application designed to capture a customer's biggest moment (buying a car) and have it automatically sent to their Facebook timeline so their friends and family could see the news. Acting as a sort of "Instagram for car dealers," those who commented or SPARQ'd (basically our own version of "like") a photo, their information would be sent as a lead to the salesperson at the dealership.
Prior to SPARQ, a dealership would post content on social media, but never see significant action taken from viewers. Now, SPARQ is using the power of word-of-mouth advertising to drive leads to sales teams at a rate never seen before in the industry.
From the branding of the application, to website content, and additional B2B and B2C messaging, I helped shape SPARQ into what it is today - an award-winning innovation, being named Best of Fort Myers – Information Technology Services Award for 2015.
The Sun Dome is the iconic sports/event venue at University of South Florida's Tampa campus. As such, any changes are going to be a big deal; this one turned out to be a $35 million big deal.
As one of two student representatives selected to be on the decision-making team, it was my responsibility to translate the culture and traditions of a 40,000-member student body back into the design.
Colors, designs, features - all of it is a partial result of my input. Working with Selbert Perkins Design and various university officials, I'm proud to say the new Sun Dome is a state-of-the-art facility that ranks among the best in college venues.
During the 2012 election, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Tampa was the host city for the Republican National Convention, the University of South Florida was the largest university in the area, and somehow a debate happened right on my doorstep.
As the Associate Director for the Student Government Marketing Team, it was my team's job to help raise event awareness on campus. We also had the opportunity to assist in the construction of the event, working with NBC, The National Journal, the Tampa Bay Times, and numerous university and political officials.
Not only was the high-profile event a success, our on-site live stream brought a capacity crowd; demonstrating the interest of an engaged campus audience.
Establishing MSA En Español
Hispanics are one of the fastest growing groups in the United States, with a buying power estimated at $1.5 trillion. They consume different types of media and respond to authenticity in advertising.
When the industry standard was translating creative developed in English, I recognized the potential for something better.
I hired the necessary talent to assist in the creation of Spanish-language creative; with experience advertising to the demographic and the linguistic intricacies of a properly tailored message. Together with the Media Director at Moore & Scarry Advertising, we established MSA en Español.
The result was more targeted and more effective creative. This gave Moore & Scarry a distinct advantage over its competitors in Hispanic areas across the country, from Central Florida to Central Texas, and helped position the agency for additional success in the future.
In its first year as a stand-alone program under the Center for Student Involvement at the University of South Florida, Bulls Nite Out started off as a huge success, drawing 1500 students for the first of what would be weekly events taking place on Friday or Saturday nights throughout the year.
However, over the course of the first semester, we faced a recurring problem: attendance continued to fall, down to an average of about 150 students per event.
A small drop in attendance was expected, but we needed to do something to raise our event attendance. I worked with my colleagues and program leadership to devise a low-cost grassroots marketing plan that would raise awareness of our program and our events.
The idea was to let word-of-mouth marketing do the trick. For a small expense, special promotional items could be handed out during an on-campus promotion prior to an event, as well as during the event itself for the first 50-100 students.
In addition to forming partnerships with other organizations for promotional purposes, I also acted as the event photographer, with branded photos being posted to Facebook and Twitter, to add even more “exclusivity” to being at a Bulls Nite Out event.
The result was a huge success: we were soon up to an average of 450 students per event, a more than 200% increase, achieved in just a few months, and a transformation that held through the closing months of the second semester.
9/11 Remembrance Video
A 10-year anniversary is a major milestone for anyone. For the events of September 11th, 2001, it requires a deft hand, especially when creating a remembrance video for a college campus.
The University of South Florida is a rather diverse one, with a large military presence (located in the same city as MacDill Air Force Base, the Forward-Operating Base for efforts in the Middle East), as well as a large Muslim student population.
I felt it was important to include both of the groups so tied to the events that transpired after 9/11 and my interviews revealed a narrative; a theme that would become the framework for the remembrance video.
However, in meetings with top-ranking University officials, concern was brought up about including a certain group in the video; that it could stir up certain emotions from those in the audience.
It was that perception – that potential problem – that I felt was so important to address. As the video would reveal, the events of 9/11 affected people at home and overseas, and the emotions shared across cultures are what could transform our understanding of the world today.
It was an experience that showed me a controversial subject, how different cultures and different groups could react, and the greater understanding that requires careful navigation to find and reveal.