What Drives Our Advertising Agency

August 16, 2012

How Keychains Obtain “Key Information” For Marketers and Advertisers Through Customer Loyalty Programs

We use our keychains every day to open the house, start the car and even store mega bites of information with. It’s interesting to see what we have dangling on our key chains and everything is on them for a reason. Do you fumble around searching for that single key because your key chain is clustered with so many gadgets and gizmos? You never know when the pocket knife is going to save the day. Everyones keychain is different but they all have one thing in common that gives marketers and advertisers a channel to make an impact with your brand: we take our keychains with us everywhere and we have them on our side at all times. Key chains are a great way to increase sales and help guide your marketing efforts. It is done in the form of customer loyalty cards.

Customer loyalty cards are a great tool for small businesses to get repeat business, obtain demographic information about buyers and track shopping habits. This information will help you track the success of your marketing efforts.

Here are the facts about customer loyalty cards

  • When the card is scanned, the information about the customer is sent to a data base that tracks information on what was purchased and what rewards are available to the customer.
  • Reward cards can be punch cards that you use at a coffee shop to receive a free cup of coffee after buying 9 cups
  • Loyalty cards encourage repeat business by offering special offers pertaining to the members of the business
  • The data captured via customer loyalty cards can be used to help your business keep stock on the products you sell the most of

Here are the keys of the Clay Creative team. Check out what drives us everyday!

These belong to our President and Clay Creative founder, Frank. He runs the show each day. Opens up the doors in the morning and locks them at night. He has access to every room in the building and is a member at urban active.

I have a feeling this set of keys belongs to our
in house photographer Chris Staley.
Chris is prepared to transfer music and photos at a moments notice.
Vice President and Creative Director Mike Meirow keeps a model of his Azzura convertible in his pocket as a charm to prevent hit and runs. 

Social media manager Jordan Youtz flaunts his Scandinavian heritage and racks up speedy rewards when he’s out on the road.
  Vice President and Account Director Jessica Clay “lives in the moment” of fitness. Jessica Clay is an avid athlete and health nutrition marketing blogger who always has one finger on her own pulse and another on the pulse of what’s new in health marketing.

3 Advertising Agency Tips On “Socializing” Your Event Marketing

July 19, 2012


Advertising campaigns constantly bombard their audience with a general message while event marketing targets a specific group of people at a gathering, makes strong impressions and engages with participants…in case you didn’t know.

I remember the long nights I spent studying at the library till’ the sun came out. Students would start dozing off and everyone’s energy would dwindle until the Red Bull fairies came around and passed out free cans of Red Bull like candy on Halloween. That’s event marketing. Another example was when I stepped inside a tent during a concert and was greeted by 2 girls that were giving away Swedish Snus. They verified I was 18 or older, quickly jotted down my address and then handed out vouchers for a free Monster Energy drink.

Strong connections are made when event marketing is paired with the right demographic and target. When you bring social media into the mix, you will increase your word of mouth advertising and strengthen these connections.

Social media has changed the way we collect information and event planners need to embrace the new media in order to increase the effectiveness of their event and to allow their message to resonate louder and longer with their audience.

Whether your preparing for an upcoming trade show or launching a new product at a concert, follow these 3 thorough tips from Clay Creative to help you socialize your event and expand your word of mouth marketing efforts.

  1. Actively use Twitter throughout your event to keep your audience in the loop! Twitter is a great place to generate buzz and awareness during your event. Use it to announce guest speakers, give-a-ways and contests. Encourage people to Tweet during the event.
  2. Create a facebook page for your event and use it as a pre-event promotion. When designing your page, remember to include the date and time along with pictures. Use your event page wall to share information about speakers, links to the event agenda and photos of a previous event.
  3. If your in a booth setting, provide your audience with a QR code to scan that takes them to a video related to your event. You won’t have time to talk to everyone but it’s important to make an impression on as many people as possible.

There are many ways to execute an event marketing campaign and no matter which route you choose to take, keep in mind that social media tools will allow your campaign to attract more people and make longer lasting impressions.

Mailamorphisis: From Snail Mail to QR Codes, Advertising Agencies Must Embrace The Change.

July 6, 2012


Mail Boxes… We open them every day to find birthday cards from our parents and wedding invitations from distant friends. Most of the time however, the mailbox is over flowing with utility bills and coupons. How nice would it be to have a “Spam” mailbox outside of your house to separate the mail that matters from the mail that wastes our time? Just a thought.

The Internet has grown faster than any other medium and successful Direct Marketers understand the benefits of executing multi-channel advertising campaigns, however, the traditional way of direct marketing is not dead. It has just mailamorphisized.

We recently created a list of 25 steps to avoid a direct marketing disaster. From creating an effective mailing list, offering an offer that cannot be refused to developing eye catching pieces, we outlined what we use to achieve our direct marketing success.

These 3 out of our 25 steps must be executed in the digital world and here is how to make your direct marketing stretch across multiple channels and increase your ROI.

  1.  Integrate a microsite that supports your campaign: Give your audience an online destination to learn more about your “special offer”
  2. Use a QR (quick response) code to drive traffic to your micro-site.
  3. Integrate your brands social media networks with the direct mail piece: Start a conversation on facebook about your upcoming sale or promotion.

Here is a quote from Deliver Magazine that gives hope to the traditional way of direct marketing.

“A recent consumer channel preference study by Epsilon Targeting found that “60 percent of U.S consumers enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail, and, compared with e-mail, direct mail is their preferred channel to receive financial service information”

It’s no surprise that the USPS released findings that supports their business. These results tell us that people do trust what they receive in their mailbox and that traditional direct marketing remains a successful channel to increase brand awareness and spark new business. But with todays internet frenzy and constantly connected audience, direct marketing goes beyond the mailboxes in our front yard and into the digital world.

We must give legs to our direct mailing pieces and integrate new technologies into the call to action. Mail has been around for centuries and advertisers and marketers reach millions of customers every year through the stamp licking process. We have one word to help you wrap your mind around the new world of direct mail: Mailamorphisis.

What Advertising Agency People Read

June 21, 2012


We understand. You probably don’t care about the books on our shelves here at Clay Creative or the literature we spend hours reading each day, so we’ll start off telling you something more entertaining! Like how we just ripped all of the carpet up at our office to reveal our new hardwood floors. Technically the floor is old but it’s new to us, so we’ll stick with calling it “New”. Whatever you consider calling it, these hardwood floors allow our great ideas and thoughts to resonate throughout our office a litter louder.

Built in the 1850’s, Clay Creative was once a mercantile building and we’re bringing back the look.

Aside from our weekly renovations, we’d also like to share how we stay on top of our game on the digital marketing and advertising industry. We value our favorite books and advertising magazines and we’ll admit that we enjoy to read and watch the ads we encounter on a daily basis. (at least some of the 3,000 messages that we are exposed to each day). It’s fun to analyze the appealing ads and laugh at the lame ones. Sometimes the commercial breaks are more fun than the TV shows. However, we mostly rely on our favorite publications and books to keep us up-to-date and informed on our industry.

A must read book is “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads“. The author is Luke Sullivan, an established and award winning copywriter. After exploring the famous ad campaign for Charmin toilet paper, the book examines many facets of advertising and provides many pointers and tips on how to create compelling advertisements for print, TV, radio, Billboards. All in an upbeat and entertaining writing style.

Here is a tip on the importance of well written body copy from page 99:

“I don’t think people read body copy. I think we’ve entered a frenzied era of coffee-guzzling, e-mail-sending channel surfers who honk the microsecond the light turns green and have the attention span of a flashcube…When I write body copy, long or short, I work hard at making it as smart and persuasive and readable as I can. Because afew people are going to read it and the one’s who do, you want. They’re interested. They’re peering in your shop window”

Each month we look forward to the new issue of “Ad Week” magazine. The latest issue taught us how the Mars candy giant redefined candy marketing. Can you recall those bizarre Skittles and Starbursts commercials? This issue redefined the importance of listening to your customers and understanding consumers insights.

Creative directors from Wieden + Kennedy’s Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal describe the candy giant as an innovator and risk taker, but one that is moved primarily by reasoning and consumer insights.

“We did do a lot of talking to teenagers all along, not just on Skittles but on Starburst, Combos and Snickers. We talked to consumers a lot. They were really good at listening to them.”

Read the full article from Ad Week.

Were taking a poll, please cast your vote!

From The Factory To The Shelf (starting at the advertising agency) : Package Design That Packs A Punch

June 18, 2012


“Oh how beautiful, you should save that one for last!” & “I wonder what that could be?” are common remarks you hear at Christmas time. The neatly wrapped and decorative presents always receive the most praise and attention. Most of the time, however, you receive a box covered with wrapping paper with a “to & from” sticker slapped on top.

There is always an element of surprise to unwrapping a present but the gifts that engage us right away are memorable and fun. They motivate us to pick them up, shake them and guess what’s inside. Like the time my girlfriend wrapped my present with the weather section of a newspaper article!


“Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.”

Customers are attracted to the products on shelves that call for our attention and our senses are overloaded with information everyday. It has been discovered that brands that communicate to their audience through all senses are more successful at creating stronger connections. Apple products appeal to our sense of sight and touch. They have a physical appeal and are easy to use. Read more about the impact that package design can have on a product: The Importance of Product Design and Packaging in Branding.

Vitamin Water has created an engaging product design for their bottles of water that has helped them stand out in the saturated beverage market. The package design provides a product experience that communicates a sense of freshness and clearness that often escapes other mineral/flavored water bottles. Vitamin Water engages its’ audience with a charming and easy to read paragraph of fun copy on each bottle:

“ah, orange juice commercials. funny stuff. mom cheerily prepares some huge breakfast while the rest of her family sleeps. sure, this could happen. but every morning? please. maybe if mom were heavily medicated, in which case, we wouldn’t condone operating a stove or any electrical appliance.

for those of us who don’t live in an orange juice commercial, there’s still a way to get your morning nutrition. this product has calcium and lots of vitamin c, so you can get your day started right, minus the whole stepford mom thing.”

Over the years, the Clay Creative team has developed numerous packaging, display and point-of-purchase materials for both national and international companies.

From birdseed to snack food, medical products and training materials, we take on package design as one more way to help create the overall brand experience.

We recently completed a package design project for our client Oasis International Inc. Check it out below.

Morethanbranding recently published an article on the important functions of package design

Here are 3 functions of package design:

  1. Constitutes the physical representation of a brand’s personality.
  2. Draws attention to a specific product in a crowded retail space. (in this case a product’s packaging serves as a great promotional tool)
  3. When a product design is groundbreaking, it can influence the way we use something specific by shifting behavior patterns.

Tell us about your favorite packaged product!

Clay Creative: Keeping Your Brand on “Track”

May 15, 2012

We had a sudden thought here at Clay Creative when the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus Train passed through our back yard the other day.

Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof: 

Oh yeah, about that sudden thought? It’s pretty amazing how some things don’t change. Like how the Circus has been traveling by train since the 1800’s and how people have always been attracted to entertaining concepts and big ideas.

We don’t juggle flaming bowling pins or ride unicycles 100 feet off the ground at Clay Creative but we are in charge of opening the eyes of our brands customers to create an emotional and satisfying connection. A connection that separates your brand from its competition and wows your target audience like an elephant doing back flips or a tiger jumping through a ring of fire. That’s pretty risky eh! Well so are we.

Frank Clay carries over 25 years of agency experience and welcomes you to hop on the train at Clay Creative. We promise to keep your brand on “track” and provide results for any project we take on!

While were on the topic, take an inside peak at Clay Creative and check out our very own vintage circus posters . Better yet, our doors are always open for your viewing entertainment so stop on in!

Jumbo The Giant Elephant

Clay Creative Client Testimonials—See What all the Chatter is About!

August 16, 2011

“Thank you for designing the PowerPoint slides and handouts for my presentation at the 2006 Critical Care Congress in San Francisco. I’m so happy you handled this project because everything looks fantastic. Your attention to detail made it a huge success.”

Dr. Alessandro Pontes-Arruda, Head of Intensive Care Unit
Fernandes Tavora Hospital, Fortaleza, Brazil

“I have learned that Clay Creative delivers a great product on time and done right! Add to that their design expertise, forward thinking and conscientious eye for detail—and you have a great combination.”

Pam Gaudet, Communications Department

“Thank you for designing our great, eye-catching Call for Entries piece. The entire ADDY committee was very impressed with your concept, especially considering our short deadlines. The photography and layout of the entire piece tied in just great!”

Faye Oney, ADDY Chair
The Advertising Federation of Columbus

“We were in the midst of researching ideas when we received a promotional piece on a metal license plate that read: CRE8TIVE. It was from Clay Creative, and we wasted no time contacting them. Our experience with Clay Creative has been very productive; just look at our sales growth over the years!”

Ron Boylan, Manager
Scotts Training Institute, The Scotts Company

“Our business has grown by more than 35 percent this year, thanks in part to the creative direct-marketing experience of Clay Creative. They recently developed our new Web site and direct-mail campaign, which helped us to land many new customers.”

Diane Fields, President

“In a word—WOW! The work Clay Creative did on our Speakers Bureau sales aid was simply wonderful—and most impressive. You were able to capture and convey the exact message and image we wanted, and we really appreciate the effort.”

Oather J. Talley II, Community Relations Director
The Salvation Army

“This has been one of our most successful lead-generating campaigns in more than 10 years; it brought in more than 1,000 responses almost immediately. The piece has also captured the attention of other departments because of its intriguing design.”

Rugenia Henry, Marketing Manager
McGraw-Hill Education

“Clay Creative has been a valued vendor for more than 18 years. Their work is innovative, attractive, and most important, it supports the marketing message. The Clay Creative staff is dedicated to getting the job done right, on time—and at a competitive price.”

Larry Miller, Production Manager
McGraw-Hill Education

“Thanks to Clay Creative for helping us to understand the need for a long-term marketing plan. What began as a specific effort to market just one area blossomed into a marketing plan designed to represent our entire facility. As part of that plan, Clay Creative worked with us from developing a positioning statement to a new logo and a capabilities brochure. The results have been fabulous, and our employees feel great about the message and the quality product we deliver.”

Jeffrey, Marketing Director
Health Care Nutrition