Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Always thinking...

Let’s face it, creativity is not a 9 to 5 thing. Brilliant ideas don’t necessarily track with one’s social calendar. I learned this lesson many years ago, and so did my clients.

I don’t know how they figured out that I was thinking about their projects even when not connected to my Mac. And I’m thankful they did. For some strange reason when I get a new assignment my brain starts exploring solutions, no matter whether I’m on the tennis court, wandering through South Coast Plaza or sitting at my desk. Perhaps it’s like the musician who hears the melody of their next song in the clicking of the windshield wipers.

One never knows where inspiration will hit.

I guess I’ve just realized that the sooner I can let my mind start working on projects, the faster solutions will come to me. And that has been the way I’ve run James Klein Creative.

In many ways, we are always thinking. Midnight epiphanies aside, this does not mean that we are staring at our Macs around the clock, however we are constantly looking at the issues from different angles. “What’s the right visual metaphor? The best twist of phrase? Is this just another me-too approach, or have we made things memorable and easy to understand without sounding like everyone else?” This even carries down to the best approach to produce a specific project or assembling the best team of consultants.

So when you ask us to work on a project, you know that you aren’t just getting some time slot on our schedule, rather you’re getting a share of our brain, and the desire to find a unique solution that works…and something that makes us proud.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Using transit to market transit assistance!

It made perfect sense to the OCTA marketing team.  Why not use buses to promote and support the regional rollout of 511 service.  After all, anybody who needs to navigate their way across Orange County can now receive real-time traffic and bus transit information by simply dialing 511 or going online at go511.com. 

James Klein Creative worked with OCTA to developed a series of bus wrap options that built upon the branding efforts and primary message developed for the regional campaign.  Our goal was to address transit riders and those in cars who want to avoid traffic.  To accomplish this, we used all four sides of the bus to address the multiple audiences.

The street side reaches out to people in cars.  Those who would use 511 to plan a trip or re-route their travels because of road closures or an accident.  Street side messaging focused on outsmarting traffic by receiving free real-time traffic updates.

The curb side of the bus targets transit riders.  It is the ideal way to direct those using the bus or Metrolink to 511’s free transit planner.

The tail of the bus is prime real estate and offers longer exposure to the message.  While ideal for those traveling behind in a car, the message was designed to address both audiences.  Again we used the outsmart traffic message while promoting the free traffic updates and transit planning features of 511.

In the end, all the messaging and 511 branding needed to be easily readable while negotiating all the windows, doors, flanges, signal lights and exhaust grates on a 40 foot LNG bus.

All five buses are now on the streets and fitting nicely into the marketing mix of billboards, online advertising, bus shelter posters and radio spots.

You can find more views of the 511 bus, and some of our other bus wraps on the James Klein Creative website.