Epic Presence has a soft spot for Boulder. Not only is it a great city, but one of our first clients is a company that has served that community for more than three decades.
Our affection for the city aside, it is also a renowned hub of tech innovation, creativity and craft beer making. We’re about to touch on all three of those subjects in one way or another.
Below are eight Colorado marketing agencies, in Boulder specifically, doing great work. We wanted to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on those agencies and also explore what, from a marketing perspective, makes the examples below work.
Michael J. Fox Foundation Site Redesign by Imulus
Imulus reports that when it was approached by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, to redesign its website, the first thing the agency’s team noticed was how hard site clutter made it for users to find ways to get involved.
You can see above how they restructured calls to action, with three donation links prominently displayed above the fold as well as options to help raise funds and take part in local events. “Through the redesign and tremendous effort of the digital marketing team at the Foundation, key metrics improved dramatically,” Imulus writes.
Interesting trivia about Imulus not related to the above project but worth noting anyway: President and co-founder George Morris says his very first ventures into web development included a site for Rage Against the Machine Fans to trade bootlegs. He built the site on Prodigy in 1993, which means that site is now old enough to order a beer in the United States.
Sarcastic NBH Bank Ad Campaign by Victors & Spoils
There is a lot to like about Victors & Spoils, starting with the ad agency’s great name.
It’s the company’s sense of humor that is really on display in its campaign for NBH Bank, which operates banks in Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Colorado. The campaign, which included video and billboard ads, leveraged the general distrust Americans have developed for banks and positioned NBH as a member of the community instead of some financial monolith.
“Getting an actual person to answer the phone or having a banker remember your name has become nothing short of revolutionary,” V&S writes. “But after working closely with our client, we discovered that these common sense things are far from rare at NBH Bank. They actually still happen every day.
“As they should. So from this simple insight was born a pretty simple campaign that lets the world know loud and clear: what’s been missing from banking is still available at NBH Bank.”
Victors & Spoils was founded in 2009, and in just a few years it has already made a name for itself nationwide thanks, again, in large part to its sense of humor. In early November 2014, Jami Oetting at The Agency Post, an online publication covering the advertising and PR industries, wrote about the creative evolution of V&S as demonstrated through 4 of the firm’s ads.
Room 214’s Infographics for Verizon
In 2014, Room 214 celebrated 10 years of elevating clients’ digital and social assets through sound research, strategy and execution. The company’s client list is impressive as a result: The Travel Channel, Microsoft and Verizon have all hired Room 214 for their digital marketing efforts.
And it’s the work Room 214 has done for Verizon that we want to highlight, particularly all the great infographics the teams has created for the telecom giant. Take the image above, taken from an infographic about mobile technology’s role in weddings — in the planning, in the big day, in the gift-giving, all of it.
It’s a given that infographics with such potentially huge audiences need to look great, which this does, but the value this information brings to readers is tremendous. Really, if you have a big wedding season coming up this summer, bookmark this thing so you know what gifts to buy. That’s a great example of content marketing.
Movement Strategy Helps USA TODAY Own Social Channels
American news outlet USA TODAY, the paper that revolutionized the industry in the ‘80s with its focus on visuals, sought out Movement Strategy to get traction on social media. As you can see from the share counts, especially on the left image, the agency delivered.
“An early success on this platform has been the distinctive way in which we use the iconic USA TODAY logo,” Movement Strategy’s team wrote on the company blog in September 2014. “Adding the circle and caption to our images allows for expanded storytelling and more personality within each post.”
That’s just Facebook, though. Movement Strategy also leveraged Tumblr’s visuals-friendly platform to share GIFs and infographics. And on Twitter, the team creates spot infographics about trending topics to join that conversation in real time and give it context.
Regus’ Digital Strategy, as Conceived by SRG
We love how the Sterling Rice Group recognized an opportunity when the firm was approached by UK short-term office space company Regus to target potential customers via digital channels.
SRG decided to target mobile workers who tended to create ad hoc offices in coffeeshops and at their kitchen tables. “SRG’s integrated approach included everything from contextually relevant dynamic display banners and airport Wi-Fi sponsorships to hyper-local geo-fenced online placements, targeting professional commuters coming in and out of New York City,” the campaigns organizers write.
Part of this included giving Regus a strong presence on those splash screens you see when you connect to the Wi-Fi networks at Starbucks, chain restaurants and airports. The ad on the Starbucks splash screen is pictured above, and it’s easy to imagine how effective this message could be: It catches users at the very moment when they’re most likely to regret their decision to work from a Starbucks corner table.
“All efforts beat standard industry benchmarks for engagement and helped Regus meet or exceed lead generation and occupancy goals throughout their network,” SRG reports.
These Websites by Moxie Sozo
Sometimes, you just have to appreciate beautiful design for its own sake. We’ll let the following website designs by Moxie Sozo speak for themselves. Clockwise starting from the top left are site designs for Eat Pastry, Gaiam, SmartWool and Beyond Clothing.
Moxie Sozo owner Leif Steiner spoke to The Denver Egotist in 2009 about how his company regularly gets such good work from its designers. Steiner said a few things contribute to Moxie Sozo’s good design work, but it starts with the way the company hires new people.
“When we hire or bring on an intern, I rarely consider only the resume,” he said. “One of the best designers we’ve ever had was from India. She showed up for the interview in full Indian regalia, complete with a flowing sari, elaborate makeup and an ornate bindi on her forehead. She hadn’t slept in 24 hours because she had driven to Boulder nonstop from San Francisco, assembling her portfolio along the way.
“In general, I search for people who possess an inordinate amount of passion, drive and desire. Smoldering souls who never rest and never give up.”
The Beer Mode App That Made Movement Created for New Belgium Brewing
Beer drinkers will probably be quite familiar with New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. The company that makes Fat Tire Amber Ale reached out to Made Movement to do some content marketing by creating a smartphone app, and the two companies nailed it by taking a contrarian approach.
“New Belgium … didn’t want to just create an app that showcases all the great beers they make,” Made Movement writes on their site. “They wanted to give people the opportunity to actually enjoy those beers, too. Enter Beer Mode, an app that lets you go offline, without anyone realizing you’re gone.”
Beer Mode, billed as an “anti-app,” posts content to users’ social networks automatically over a preset period of time, freeing the user up to focus on more important tasks such as enjoying a good beer.
OK, so maybe that’s a strawman argument, but it’s a message that resonates with enough people to get a chuckle. And, hey, the app has 3.5 stars on the App Store.
TDA_Boulder’s Jimmy Barr Fan Page for Deschutes Brewery
TDA_Boulder is a heavyweight in the city’s advertising community, but that doesn’t prevent them from understanding the power of being humble.
Some backstory is necessary: Deschutes Brewery in Oregon makes a world-class American-style porter, and five years ago a fan of that beer, Jimmy Barr, created an unofficial fan page on Facebook just for that brew.
So, in August of 2014, TDA_Boulder and Deschutes turned the brewery’s official Facebook page into an unofficial Jimmy Barr fan page to return the favor. “The way we see it, the only thing better than a ‘like’ is an unofficial like,” Deschutes Director of Marketing Jeff Billingsley told MediaPost during the campaign. “That’s where Jimmy comes in. We’re glad to have him aboard.”
The brewery’s tribute to Barr also earned it some visibility and at least 8,000 new Facebook fans, not to mention a truckload of goodwill.
lead image by:
Bo Insogna / Flickr
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