McDonald’s Hearts of Gold

McDonald’s Hearts of Gold

McDonald’s Hearts of Gold Case Study

Background

It’s no secret that McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. And with nearly two million employees worldwide, they’re one of the largest employers in the world, too. So when local restaurant owners came to us looking to develop find a unique way to recognize the people who make their brand so great, we jumped at the opportunity to help.

The Challenge:

Like any good employer, McDonald’s knows that their brand’s best ambassadors are their employees. They also know that one of the most effective ways to recruit and retain stellar personnel is to show them that they are valued and appreciated. Because there are close to 100 McDonald’s restaurants in the Triad area, we knew there were sure to be plenty of special individuals whose contributions deserved to be acknowledged — and we wanted to know about all of them.

The Challenge:

Like any good employer, McDonald’s knows that their brand’s best ambassadors are their employees. They also know that one of the most effective ways to recruit and retain stellar personnel is to show them that they are valued and appreciated. Because there are close to 100 McDonald’s restaurants in the Triad area, we knew there were sure to be plenty of special individuals whose contributions deserved to be acknowledged — and we wanted to know about all of them.

The Campaign:

Our conversations with both upper-level management and employees about what they were looking for in a rewards program led us to develop “Hearts of Gold: A Campaign for Kindness.” The goal of the campaign was simple: to recognize and reward employees for their dedication to the McDonald’s brand and encourage them to continue going above and beyond for their customers and one another. We made a point to design a campaign that would allow us to recognize multiple individuals each month while still maintaining an air of exclusivity that would instill a sense of pride in the winners.

The Execution:

Our execution was two-fold: we not only had to get the new program up and running, but we also had to make sure management and employees alike were aware of its existence and wanted to participate in it, either by nominating someone or by working hard to ensure they had a chance at being nominated.

To raise awareness for Hearts of Gold, we created posters that explained the program and placed them in the break rooms at each restaurant. We also designed attention-grabbing mobiles with additional campaign messaging to hang in break rooms. We even took to social media and shared information about the program on the Triad McDonald’s Twitter account.

The Execution:

Our execution was two-fold: we not only had to get the new program up and running, but we also had to make sure management and employees alike were aware of its existence and wanted to participate in it, either by nominating someone or by working hard to ensure they had a chance at being nominated.

To raise awareness for Hearts of Gold, we created posters that explained the program and placed them in the break rooms at each restaurant. We also designed attention-grabbing mobiles with additional campaign messaging to hang in break rooms. We even took to social media and shared information about the program on the Triad McDonald’s Twitter account.

Our execution was two-fold: we not only had to get the new program up and running, but we also had to make sure management and employees alike were aware of its existence and wanted to participate in it, either by nominating someone or by working hard to ensure they had a chance at being nominated.

To raise awareness for Hearts of Gold, we created posters that explained the program and placed them in the break rooms at each restaurant. We also designed attention-grabbing mobiles with additional campaign messaging to hang in break rooms. We even took to social media and shared information about the program on the Triad McDonald’s Twitter account.

Our execution was two-fold: we not only had to get the new program up and running, but we also had to make sure management and employees alike were aware of its existence and wanted to participate in it, either by nominating someone or by working hard to ensure they had a chance at being nominated.

To raise awareness for Hearts of Gold, we created posters that explained the program and placed them in the break rooms at each restaurant. We also designed attention-grabbing mobiles with additional campaign messaging to hang in break rooms. We even took to social media and shared information about the program on the Triad McDonald’s Twitter account.

The Results:

Over the course of 23 months, we received a total of 853 nominations from our Triad-area restaurants and we were able to distribute 460 prize packages, totaling more than $20,000 in monetary rewards.

And, because this is a public relations campaign after all, we were even able to help McDonald’s gain some positive local recognition through this program. When we received a nomination about an employee who called and paid for a cab for a female customer with two children who had no transportation, we knew their act of kindness deserved more than a prize package. WFMY News 2 did too. After hearing this story, the local television station enlisted our help to set up an interview with the employee to share their good deed with our community.

But the results we’re most proud of aren’t the tangible ones. It is impossible to recall how many times throughout the campaign we heard from winners and their nominators alike about their admiration of the program, or the gratitude and pride they felt for being recognized for their hard work. We are proud to have helped shine a light on some of McDonald’s hardest working team members — one Heart of Gold at a time.

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853

nominations

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460

prize packages

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$20,000

in monetary rewards

Get Back UP Today Video Campaign

Get Back UP Today Video Campaign

Creative Services 2018 Video Project Case Study

Background

The Get Back UP Today movement, started right here in Greensboro in 2012, seeks to raise awareness for a common but rarely diagnosed condition called “Foot Drop.” This ailment, which most often accompanies larger health complications such as Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, Charcot Marie Tooth and spinal cord injuries, can present a severe impediment to mobility. Lead by marathon runner Beth Deloria and a group of a dozen or so athletes and everyday heroes also living with Foot Drop, TeamUP co-captains serve as the figureheads of this movement, showcasing just how much is possible when Foot Drop is treated with the life-changing braces made by Allard USA.

The Challenge:

The various members of TeamUP represent virtually every corner of the United States, from Philadelphia to Greensboro to Denver to Las Vegas and beyond. So when it came time to update the existing Get Back UP Today video library with a fresh take and look, we only had one option: the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Raleigh, NC, where Beth would be running her 100th Rock ‘n’ Roll race.

The plan was to invite as many TeamUP co-captains as could attend not only to discuss the team’s upcoming goals and race alongside their teammate, but also to film an entire new set of videos in the process. We would only have access to TeamUP for two full days, and with 13 different co-captains to interview and document, it was sure to be a busy weekend.

The Campaign

In an effort to reinforce the 2018 Get Back UP Today theme, “This is Foot Drop,” we wanted to learn firsthand from these inspiring people what life with Foot Drop was like. From their darkest moments to their proudest accomplishments, we wanted to showcase the wide range of experiences and emotions that TeamUP co-captains had experienced since developing the condition.

To that end, we conducted more than 15 hours of interviews with the TeamUP co-captains, in addition to following them around through the entire weekend, including during both race-time and down-time. We created a brief outline of the questions beforehand so each TeamUP co-captain could think about their answers, but the interviews themselves became much more conversational, going into new and unexpected places as the discussions unfolded.

 

The Campaign

In an effort to reinforce the 2018 Get Back UP Today theme, “This is Foot Drop,” we wanted to learn firsthand from these inspiring people what life with Foot Drop was like. From their darkest moments to their proudest accomplishments, we wanted to showcase the wide range of experiences and emotions that TeamUP co-captains had experienced since developing the condition.

To that end, we conducted more than 15 hours of interviews with the TeamUP co-captains, in addition to following them around throughout the entire weekend, including during both race-time and down-time. We created a brief outline of the questions beforehand so each TeamUP co-captain could think about their answers, but the interviews themselves became much more conversational, going into new and unexpected places as the discussions unfolded.

 

The Execution

With so much great footage, we were left with a fairly monumental task ahead of us. We knew that there were so many great moments that we couldn’t bear to part with. However, initial passes of our video edit clocked in at almost more than 10 minutes. In today’s digital world, we knew that we had to find a way to create a more digestible product.

So rather than sacrifice story and emotion, we made the decision to create one longer edit and then break that major footage into many different shorter pieces.

At first, we created 7 different vignettes that focused on various aspects of the main piece that felt thematically relevant to one another. From why the Allard AFO bracing system is so different than others to the proudest moments each TeamUP co-captain had experienced, we suddenly had a whole new series of 30-90 second spotlights to share.

Then, we created 13 individual vignettes focusing on each TeamUP co-captain, giving them a great opportunity to expound on their individual stories and triumphs.

So what started out as a singular 8-minute piece turned into more than 20 pieces of engaging, digestible content that could be shared across Get Back UP Today’s various social media channels.

Instagram Videos

The Results

By all the relevant metrics, this 2018 video series was a stellar success. Not only did we generate exciting levels of engagement and video views, we also saw a marked uptick in followers directly asking to learn more about the Allard AFO braces that underpin this entire movement.

118,000

Total video views

275,158

Total post impressions

5,542

Total post reactions
v

204

Total post comments

1,590

Total shares
Veeder-Root: Corrosion Campaign

Veeder-Root: Corrosion Campaign

Creative Services Case Study

Background:

Fun fact: What most people call “gas pumps” are actually just dispensers — they’re not pumping anything, per se. The pump itself, rather, is housed underground at modern fuel sites. Veeder-Root manufactures computing devices and underground equipment for fueling sites, working with their customers to improve their products and processes by providing critical information when it’s needed most.

The Challenge:

Sump tanks are subject to a number of harsh factors that can lead to corrosion. This corrosion not only affects the useful life of the in-sump equipment, but also the ability of contractors to service the equipment. Veeder-Root has developed several options to help their customers prevent corrosion, but they first needed to educate the audience on how corrosion occurs before they can determine the right solution for them.  

The Challenge:

Sump tanks are subject to a number of harsh factors that can lead to corrosion. This corrosion not only affects the useful life of the in-sump equipment, but also the ability of contractors to service the equipment. Veeder-Root has developed several options to help their customers prevent corrosion, but they first needed to educate the audience on how corrosion occurs before they can determine the right solution for them.  

The Strategy:

Veeder-Root provided us with all of the background on corrosion and the three main factors that cause it. They also gave us the skinny on their solutions and which factors they fight against. The first decision made was to develop a 3D model of a sump tank and in-sump equipment. This model could then be shown with or without corrosion and with different products. Then we worked on copy, creating headlines like “Combat Corrosion” that would help convey the seriousness of the issue as well as the solutions being offered.

The Strategy:

Veeder-Root provided us with all of the background on corrosion and the three main factors that cause it. They also gave us the skinny on their solutions and which factors they fight against. The first decision made was to develop a 3D model of a sump tank and in-sump equipment. This model could then be shown with or without corrosion and with different products. Then we worked on copy, creating headlines like “Combat Corrosion” that would help convey the seriousness of the issue as well as the solutions being offered.

The Strategy:

The primary focus of the campaign was a custom landing page that would lead the customer through the journey from problem, to possible solutions, to the solution right for them. This landing page links to other product pages and assets that give more background and information on the products being offered as well as an e-book with more in-depth info on corrosion.

CRH: The Madison

CRH: The Madison

Creative Services Case Study

Background:

Core Realty Holdings is a full-service real estate investment and advisory company based in Newport Beach, CA. They are a national brand, with properties in 5 states, including 4 properties in the Greensboro area of North Carolina.

We were approached by CRH to assist them in both a brand audit and creative refresh of one particular property, The New Madison at Adams Farm. We began by taking a deep look into their existing brand standing, including the advantages and challenges they had, before we engaged our Creative team to help with any aesthetic updates.

The Challenge:

Our first task was to understand where The New Madison sat in the crowded landscape of Greensboro’s apartment rental scene. Without getting a feel for both how current tenants viewed the property as well as how its competitors were positioning themselves, we’d be unequipped to make meaningful creative recommendations.

As such, we engaged in an extensive research project, speaking with current residents, management and staff, as well as tenants who had recently left the property. We also conducted “secret shopper” interviews at 3 other competitor properties to gain a sense of what their positioning was and how they stacked up to our client.

Through that research, we found that The Madison was indeed in need of a digital refresher, as the new amenities and upgrades to the property were not adequately conveyed on their website or social media platforms. We also learned just how important customer service plays a role in the success of a property/tenant relationship, and realized how helping the team revamp their social media presence would play a role in that process.

We also spent that time figuring out how to talk about The Madison in a way that was both engaging, enticing and true to the spirit of the property. Words like “secluded,” “peaceful” and “green” came up a lot in our conversations, so those kinds of feelings and descriptions formed the basis of our recommended messaging.

 

The Challenge:

Our first task was to understand where The New Madison sat in the crowded landscape of Greensboro’s apartment rental scene. Without getting a feel for both how current tenants viewed the property as well as how its competitors were positioning themselves, we’d be unequipped to make meaningful creative recommendations.

As such, we engaged in an extensive research project, speaking with current residents, management and staff, as well as tenants who had recently left the property. We also conducted “secret shopper” interviews at 3 other competitor properties to gain a sense of what their positioning was and how they stacked up to our client.

Through that research, we found that The Madison was indeed in need of a digital refresher, as the new amenities and upgrades to the property were not adequately conveyed on their website or social media platforms. We also learned just how important customer service plays a role in the success of a property/tenant relationship, and realized how helping the team revamp their social media presence would play a role in that process. 

We also spent that time figuring out how to talk about The Madison in a way that was both engaging, enticing and true to the spirit of the property. Words like “secluded,” “peaceful” and “green” came up a lot in our conversations, so those kinds of feelings and descriptions formed the basis of our recommended messaging.

 

The Execution:

Once we finished our brand audit and presented the results to our client, we began to work together to establish what items should be handled in what order. The first item on the agenda, clearly, would be to redevelop their digital presence — particularly in light of all the new and forthcoming amenities and upgrades we learned about during our brand audit.

This meant investing heavily in great visuals for The New Madison. We assembled a group of local talent and spent several days photographing and shooting high-quality video assets that would help tell the story of what life at the property was like. Once we completed those shoots, we began the work of figuring out what their new website would look like.

Any brand with a digital presence knows how important it is to keep their look and feel updated periodically. However, those brands also understand just how time-consuming and expensive that process can be. By taking advantage of a website and marketing platform built specifically for use in the real estate industry, The New Madison’s website could be easily managed without the burden of a full-scale developer.

However, while that management platform makes it easy to perform updates, it also makes it easy for sites to become generic or similar in look and feel. This is where our Creative team came in and found a way to work within the confines of the platform, choosing an updated, modern template that put our new photo and video assets front-and-center.

Whereas the older website conveyed all the necessary information, it did not convey the story we wanted to tell. The new website would utilize the messaging developed during the brand audit to convey what life for potential tenants would be like and distinguish it from local competitors.

We also applied the same messaging and creative assets to The New Madison’s Facebook and Instagram channels, making sure that any online research of the property would ensure the same experience no matter where the property was discovered.

The result is a much more modern, inviting look into the property. The green and earth tones of the property are emphasized in the design, and the use of people in the photos—versus just architectural photos—help prospective tenants visualize themselves in the property.

General Espresso Equipment Company

General Espresso Equipment Company

Digital Campaign Case Study

Background

Based here in Greensboro, NC, the General Espresso Equipment Company (GEEC) is the North American headquarters for espresso machine manufacturers Astoria and Wega. Their two distinct brands cover a wide range of needs for the discerning tastes of the espresso and coffee industry. While Astoria offers classic, elegant designs that harken back to the Italian origins of coffee culture, Wega brings a more modern counterpoint, with sharp lines and futuristic designs. Together, these two brands mean that GEEC is able to deliver quality design for any sensibility or need..

The Challenge:

There are more than a dozen direct competitors for both Astoria and Wega, some of whom have fiercely loyal users: it’s not uncommon, for example, to find baristas with tattoos of the La Marzocco “lion” logo. The first priority was therefore to distinguish themselves amidst this sea of competitors while generating solid, actionable leads.

GEEC’s main interest in working alongside Bouvier Kelly was to create and implement a solid digitally-focused strategy. They had dabbled in both social media and email marketing, but neither seemed to be generating the results they had hoped for. Our job was to find a way to reinvigorate their digital presence and explore avenues that the team had not previously ventured down.

The Challenge:

There are more than a dozen direct competitors for both Astoria and Wega, some of whom have fiercely loyal users: it’s not uncommon, for example, to find baristas with tattoos of the La Marzocco “lion” logo. The first priority was therefore to distinguish themselves amidst this sea of competitors while generating solid, actionable leads.

GEEC’s main interest in working alongside Bouvier Kelly was to create and implement a solid digitally-focused strategy. They had dabbled in both social media and email marketing, but neither seemed to be generating the results they had hoped for. Our job was to find a way to reinvigorate their digital presence and explore avenues that the team had not previously ventured down.

The Campaign

Before we began the work of dialing in a specific set of tactics, we engaged in an analysis of their competitive landscape. We wanted to see what their competitors were doing well in the digital space—in addition to finding where the opportunities for GEEC lay. While it was clear that both Astoria and Wega needed to bolster their social media presence (particularly on the industry’s preferred platform, Instagram), we also discovered that not many brands were using email to communicate with their customers. And where there is a gap, brands can swoop in to fill a void.

After we completed our analysis, we began building out our proposed campaign. It was clear that our focus would be primarily on a sound social media and email strategy, but because their brands occupy a unique position between the B2B and B2C worlds, we wanted to explore industry/trade advertising options, too. There are several high-quality trade publications in the coffee/espresso world, and each presented an exciting array of tactics to pursue.

However, before diving into a year-long campaign, we started with a 30-day “proof of concept” demonstration of our tactics that would also provide crucial data to shape the later, long-term campaign. This shorter flight was driven by several key components:

  • Because our long-term proposal emphasized the need for a consistent educational content program, we focused all our efforts around an “ROI calculator” program the GEEC team had designed to help their distributors and customers better understand their investments. This piece of content would be the destination for all the campaign CTAs.

 

  • Using automated email marketing software, we designed a series of emails around generating interest in this calculator, from initial touchpoints to automated follow-ups to gentle-touch reminders. These emails would be focused on a single CTA with a responsive, clean and minimal design. These emails would be targeted towards their existing email list which is composed of both distributor- and service-focused leads.

 

  • To draw other potential leads into this campaign, we created Lookalike Audiences on Facebook for each brand, showing a variety of different ads to draw users into the ROI Calculator. These ads would be shown on both Instagram and Facebook.

However, before diving into a year-long campaign, we started with a 30-day “proof of concept” demonstration of our tactics that would also provide crucial data to shape the later, long-term campaign. This shorter flight was driven by several key components:

  • Because our long-term proposal emphasized the need for a consistent educational content program, we focused all our efforts around an “ROI calculator” program the GEEC team had designed to help their distributors and customers better understand their investments. This piece of content would be the destination for all the campaign CTAs.

 

  • Using automated email marketing software, we designed a series of emails around generating interest in this calculator, from initial touchpoints to automated follow-ups to gentle-touch reminders. These emails would be focused on a single CTA with a responsive, clean and minimal design. These emails would be targeted towards their existing email list which is composed of both distributor- and service-focused leads.

 

  • To draw other potential leads into this campaign, we created Lookalike Audiences on Facebook for each brand, showing a variety of different ads to draw users into the ROI Calculator. These ads would be shown on both Instagram and Facebook.

The Results

The test flight succeeded in setting up the long-term success of the campaign by teaching us what works well and what needs improvement. We were able to draw a high percentage of the audience to the ROI calculator, but did not see the same results in form completions.

 

Here is a breakdown of our campaign by the numbers

%

Average Email Open Rate

[Benchmark: 23.12%]

%

Average Email Click-Through Rate

[Benchmark: 2.61%]

Average Social Media CPM

[Benchmark: $65]

%

Average Social Media Click-Through Rate

[Benchmark: .22%]

%

Average ROI Calculator Bounce Rate

So as we begin the next phase of the campaign, we can now focus our efforts better knowing:

GEEC’s industry is open and responsive to well-crafted, focused emails

GEEC’s industry prefers Instagram to Facebook

The high percentage of mobile users was likely the cause of the low conversion as the ROI Calculator was not optimized for mobile

We anticipated that the non-responsive landing page would result in a drop-off in conversions, but due to programming limitations, the campaign needed to move forward with the assets available. However, we were encouraged by the overall results and conclusions, and have worked with the team to decide how best to improve their email program going forward, as well as working directly with their existing audience to fine-tune the types of content that would be of most interest to them and their customers. Once these changes have been implemented, we are confident that the traffic their efforts drive will be more likely to convert into leads, who they would then nurture through intentional, tactful emails into customers.

 

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