Monday, August 22, 2011

It's not silence

Well, we're producing our first concert here at Woodstock Organic Concepts and it's a doozy. 2 performers and 3 assembled experts for the Q&A after the show. The performance will consist of Mimi Goese and Ben Neill (below) doing John Cage's classic piece, 4'33", during which they will put down their instruments and not make any noises for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The piece will be performed on August 29, a day before their new cd hits the stores. What a great promo! (If we do say so ourselves.)

Now, usually we pack these blogs full of links to this that and the other thing, but this time we already did it with the "alphabetical press release" we put together to promote this event. Click the link to check it out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Web design

Web design is so much fun. Maybe it shows in our work and maybe that's why we're getting so much more of it these days. Prospective clients always want to see our work as website designers and we always collect the best links and send them off. Not anymore. Now you can see our favorite web accomplishments here:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Butter paper

We don't do a lot of package design here at WOC, but when one of these fun projects falls into our lap, we're always happy to have a think.

This new line of flavor infused butters came into our lives last week.

The client was planning on putting 4 oz. of the product (one stick's worth of butter) into those little plastic tubs that they give you at the deli counter to put olives in, or cole slaw, or a small container of potato salad. Noooo! We screamed. Please don't!! After looking into numerous other containers (tiny earthenware crocks from Morocco for example), we hit on the supremely novel idea of putting the butter in sticks. And wrapping them with some gorgeous paper, as seen below.

Imagine going to the refrigerated gourmet section of your supermarket and seeing a stick of this all wrapped up and beckoning to you. Positively regal! That's what it is! The kind of packaging that says: "I'm expensive, but worth it."

Another fun day at Woodstock Organic Concepts!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Looks like we finally got approval for a logo we did a while ago. Yay! Energy Transformation Group helps buildings become more green. And hence the lovely color stripes transforming from black to green in the big little e.

We can't wait to get a t-shirt with this on it. Cause we love this logo. Go green!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Slow day

Well, we've had a few slow days in a row here in Lake Hill and now it's come to this: On slow Sundays, "fearless leader" takes out his watercolors and noodles around. On slow Mondays, he shows everyone in the office what he's done, saying shit like "Isn't it cool?!" or "I dunno, I just really like it." And god forbid we have a slow Tuesday, like this one is shaping up to be, fl says something along the lines of "Why don't'chew pop this up on the blog? Maybe we'll get more logo work." Fine. Whatever. Hope you're happy. Here it is. Now we're going out for an early lunch and won't be back until much later and no, we won't bring you a "small" something or a "medium" anything from Starbucks. Get over it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Branding with teeth

The best assignments are almost always the ones where we can be brought in on the ground floor. This is what happened with Unleashed, a syndicated radio program that was looking for broader nationwide syndication.

The best assignments are almost always the ones where the clients are awesome. That's what happened with this one: dJ/radio mogul Dave Leonard is thoughtful and insightful and helps us to do our job even better.

Here's how it all went down:

• Product name. The client's other, related business is called JTD, which stands for "Jeffrey the dog." He wanted something dog-centric for this venture too and was using "Unleashed" as the name for his radio program, which is a great name but: a) is already out in the world a bunch, b) is not as descriptive as it could be and, c) was not available as a URL. "", however, was available as a URL. Nicely descriptive, right on, dogwise, and ownable. We bought it. Our client thought it over for a few days and bounced it offa his staff and clients and finally bit: radioUnleashed it would be.

• Parity product. radioUnleashed sorts through all the music that's out there and brings its listeners only the very best of it. Heard that before? We had. Our client even noted that there were a few stations out there on XM and whatnot that promise the exact same thing. We asked him what he did differently than those stations and he told us that he does it better. Now, we, of course, believe him, but still, "we think we do it better" is not much of a hook to hang your hat on. So... not having a serious and ownable point of differentiation to talk about, we decided we could own how we talked about it. Let the other guys bring you the very best of it, we'd "sort through all the kibble and bring you the good bits." Dog talk all the way to the bank.

• Logo. Keeping with the dog theme, we did a bunch of drawings, some were versions of the JTD logo, some were brand new ideas depicting slightly more feral pooches. Eventually we saw a dog hanging its head out a window and the light bulb went off. Lotsa fun, a little indulgence and just a bit of danger, it was a perfect image. A few hours on the drawing board and we came up with the drawing, a little bit rough, a little bit fun, a little bit toothy. We liked it, the client liked it and after a little fine tuning, we had radioUnleashed's new logo.

• Tag line. "Music with teeth." No brainer. It's how we always described the common thread of the diverse range of music we like and now we could give it to our client. Music with teeth. Perfect.

Once the logo and the line were nailed, executing the rest of this stuff was an exercise in fun. Designing the website was a blast and a swell exercise in doggie free association. You can see it here:

Business cards would have a bite die-cut out of them...

...collateral materials would have the fun logo....

...or even better, they would more organically express the dog theme....
...and what the heck, maybe we should even make some actual dog bones to give out.
All well and good, the radioUnleashed brand is really starting to take shape. Fun logo, great line, and lots of fun executions. What about print ads? Well, just as we were starting to think about that, our client Dave sent us a scan of his playlist from the week before. Handwritten and perfectly descriptive of the kinda music you could hear on rU, it was a thing of beauty. Engaging and lovely and nearly the perfect print ad just as it was. So we threw the logo and line on there and called it done. One of the best, easiest, no-brainer print ads we've ever done. Here it is: (click on it or any of these images to see them bigger.)

We added a laundry list of associated promotional ideas ranging from art show sponsorships, guerilla concert "sponsorships", recording studio sponsorships, and our patented "9 ways to saturate the local bar scene with your image and URL" plan. In the next few weeks, we'll sit down with our fab client and sort all of this stuff into a sensible chronology following our "seed. launch. sustain." scheme. It'll be fun.

So that's the radioUnleashed story. Smart and fun and comprehensive. We're so proud of our thinking and our work and we're so happy to have a client as awesome as Dave. Now all that all of you have to do is to go give it a listen. Go to and click on "fetch" to hear last week's show. It's a great listen. Bow wow wow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

logo smorgasbord

Well the phone rang again this week with someone asking if we could do them up a logo. Times being what they are, we said "maybe" and updated a nice big jpeg with a few of the logos we've made over the years. Compressing a few year's work into one page almost always looks impressive, so we're always happy to do it and to share it with you, our loyal readers. Here they are: (click to see them bigger. Hollywoodstock was for the Woodstock Film Festival.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A new degree of awesomeness in social advertising.

Via, here is Spent, "an online game that challenges players to survive for a month in the United States after losing your job (and having no savings)."

An esteemed copywriter friend of ours from days gone by used to say: "nothing beats a good product demo" and we always agreed with him. A good product demo defines the problem and illustrates the solution. Here, the demo illustrates the difficulties of life as a minimum wage worker and ends with a plea to donate to help those who help those in need, the Urban Ministries of Durham.

In addition to being educational and engaging (a pretty great trick by itself) and a great demonstration, Spent ingeniously incorporates social media, creating its own mechanism for going viral.

Click on the link above and play Spent for yourself. We made it 24 days. See how you do.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh yeah? Well you had just the opposite effect on us.

We got, in our mailbox, the other day, a fine example of a recurring advertising problem.

The cover of this good looking, perfect bound catalog from Boden came with the fun and engaging headline "696 new reasons to be gruntled". Now, if you're like most people, you immediately think "oh, like 'disgruntled' but the opposite!" If you're like some people, you've maybe even wondered before what "gruntled" means and/or seen lists of words like it: "ruthless", "unkempt", or "dismay" to name a few. And if you're like a few people, you think "oh my, what if readers don't get it? They'll feel stupid and will hate our brand. We'd better add an asterisk and explain that "gruntled" is "*as opposed to disgruntled"" Ahhh. There. Idiot-proofed. So happy now. NOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOO! Don't do it. People won't hate your brand, the majority of them will feel an almost conspiratorial kinship with your brand. With a wink and an elbow nudge, you're inviting your readers in. And they'll be happy for it. And the ones who don't get it? That tiny under 10% of the people who don't get it? We've always asserted that those people will want to get it and won't be turned off, but will be tuned in, wanting to belong to that club they know is right there in front of them and happy that they weren't be spoken to like they're idiots.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ad of the year

...and new poster boy for our incessant talk of "badvertising" goes out to Vern Fonk Insurance. Look at it! It's on strategy, it totally DOES NOT look like every other crummy commercial out there, the track cuts through the clutter, the graphics are hilarious and it probably cost next to nothing. Badvertising at its finest. Shipoopi indeed.