• Franke+Fiorella Rebrands Louellen Essex and Associates

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    Local shop Franke+Fiorella conducted a competitive audit, refined Louellen Essex and Associates' brand essence and personality, and developed key messages to inform the digital strategy and design.

    With easy retrieval of educational content, a key component of the user experience, they designed a responsive website that highlights executive material that’s accessible in various mobile formats.

    Custom photography and stock illustration were used to both engage and inform. A refresh of the corporate identity and stationery system completed the process.

    Check out more of the work here: www.louellenessex.com

    Or, read up on the case study: www.frankefiorella.com/case_studies/louellen-essex-and-associates

  • Center for #Selfie Improvement

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    Welcome to the Center for Selfie Improvement. Where selfies are a lifestyle.


    Client: Dell Computers
    Product: Dell Computers
    Director: Adam Gunser—US
    Agency: Young & Rubicam—NY

  • #32Under32 Interview: Elyse Ash, Sr. Copywriter at Clarity Coverdale Fury

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    Here's interview number three of our 32 Under 32 winners. Today, we're looking at you, Elyse Ash!

    Congrats on being selected for 32 under 32. The judges have reviewed and scored every entry, looking for professionals who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?

    "Although I've considered myself a 'writer' even before I could scribble stories on 1990s printer paper, I never thought I was 'creative enough' to be in advertising. Even in ad school, things didn't come naturally at first. It took me a while to learn how to solve brand puzzles creatively while staying on-brief (and even longer to learn how to stay on-brand and on-budget). So, I've always made up for my lack of confidence with work ethic. In headline writing class, what took one writer 20 headlines to crack, might've taken me 100 headlines. If I couldn't out-clever them at first thought, I knew I could out-work most of them. This creative endurance is not always easy, but I take solace knowing that for every one idea in your brain, there are 500 billion more hiding in there somewhere."

    What kind of accounts/projects do you currently work on?

    "At CCF, I work on a wide range of clients. Primarily, I work on Red Gold and Tuttorosso canned tomatoes, which is my first consumer goods brand. It's been a lot of fun learning about the process and the industry. I also work on Mayo Clinic, the Minnesota Zoo, the YWCA and Altru Health System. On any given day I might be writing radio scripts about giant spiders, TV concepts about canned tomatoes or banner ads about getting a colonoscopy. That's what I love about this industry: every day, every project, every client is totally different."

    What's the best advice you've ever received?

    "My grandmother used to say, 'Don't cry over anything that can't cry over you.' It's easy (at least for me) to get really emotionally swept up in work. As a naturally passionate person, I used to get upset over projects and things I had absolutely no control over. Lines would die. Concepts would die. Everything died all the time! It was very unsettling. But as I gained experience, perspective and control, I realized that it's just part of the business and it's not personal. It FEELS personal because we are our ideas to some extent. Regardless, my grandmother's advice serves as a good reminder that even though I love what I do, and it's certainly important, it's not as important as who I do it all for. Myself. My family. My friends."

    What gets you excited to come to work every day?

    "Knowing I get to collaborate with really talented, creative, ambitious, yet empathetic people. That's really what it comes down to. I thrive off of the energies of other people, so it's important for me to collaborate with imaginative, spirited individuals and teams who believe that one good idea can change everything."

    What has been some of your proudest work?

    "I worked on the Washington Area Women's Foundation at the beginning of my career and it's still one of my favorite pieces. The budget was minuscule, but the client was awesome. The organization helps donate money, training and resources to women in the DC area who need help getting jobs, childcare, food and health care. They have an annual conference and wanted to do a video to kick off the event. Well, the video we made for them was so well received by the attendees and donors that they started leveraging it everywhere. Before we knew it, it had thousands of views, had won an Effy and been featured in Archive magazine. That was a really emotionally rewarding project and experience all-around."

    Who is one person who has helped you get where you are? Or, one person you really look up to?

    "I think everyone in our lives helps get us where we are. That said, my parents/my sister/my husband were all so supportive of me going to ad school back in 2007. Instead of saying, 'Ya know, you sort of missed the grad school boat,' or 'Really? MORE student loans?' they ALL said I should go for it. My mom even helped me record my video interview (which I sent as a DVD...old school!). Without the support of my awesome tribe, there's no way I would have thought I was 'creative' enough to be in advertising. Also, I sort of cheated at this question. It said pick one person and I picked four. If this were an awards show, the orchestra would totally be playing me off right now.

    Anything you want to say to the Minnesota advertising, PR, marketing community?

    "Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose."
    —Friday Night Lights (This feels like a yearbook quote, but whatever.)

  • Indeed Brewing Has Some of the Coolest Cans in the U.S.

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    Thrillist recently awarded Minneapolis-based brewery Indeed's Midnight Ryder American Black Ale as one of the "10 Coolest Looking Canned Beers in America."

    The can is designed by Minneapolis-based artist Chuck U. And we're not sure what we like more, the beer or the can. (We'll take both.)

    Congrats to Indeed and Chuck alike!

  • Minnesota Love

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    Welcome to the work of Abbey and Gabe Pattison, a husband and wife duo creating and crafting awesome stuff right here in Minneapolis.

    They definitely have a lot of pride for their hometown, which is evident by their work. She's big into quilts. He's big into woodworking. And we're big into their love of this fine place we call home.

    Abbey's Awesomeness

    Gabe's Goodness

    Check out more from their shops here:



  • #32Under32 Interview: Justin Barrett, Director of Digital Strategy at Life Time Fitness

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    Here's interview number two of 32. Ready, set, read!

    Congrats on being selected for 32 under 32. The judges have reviewed and scored every entry, looking for professionals who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?

    "Probably two things: 1. I love what I do for the excitement and higher purpose. The passion I have for the work that I take on drives me to be better, and I think it motivates others as well. 2. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and I bring that mentality inside of companies as an Intrapreneur as well. Whether I'm running my own business or employed by a company, I bring a self-employed approach of personal accountability and drive."

    What kind of accounts/projects do you currently work on?

    "I am currently Director of Digital Strategy at Life Time Fitness, Co-Founder & President at Sealscreen Ventures and Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Starters. At Life Time, I manage consumer-facing digital properties including the website and mobile apps. Sealscreens is an exciting startup formed with a local neurologist and Starters is a group of entrepreneurs that helps companies like Whole Foods to develop early stage ventures and new revenue channels."

    What's the best advice you've ever received?

    "'Work harder on yourself than you do on your job,' and 'Adventure is out there!' from Up!"

    What gets you excited to come to work every day?

    "The creative process in business. I think my sweet spot is in the non-linear creation and development of early-stage business concepts. I love taking a business from idea to tangible results."

    What has been some of your proudest work?

    "Founding successful startup companies including Holy Cow, an organic clothing company which gained international retail distribution with Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Von Maur, Heroic, a Minnesota Cup Technology Finalist and Sealscreens, a company developing retina protective eyewear and covers for digital devices."

    Who is one person who has helped you get where you are? Or, one person you really look up to?

    "Gene Munster, Managing Director and Sr. Research Analyst at Piper Jaffray. Personally, I have incredible respect for how Gene lives his life. Professionally, Gene is the best at what he does and he earns it every day."

    Anything you want to say to the Minnesota advertising, PR, marketing community?

    "The greatest successes I have had thus far have occurred from walking directly towards my greatest fears. Mainly the fear of failure. One of my favorite quotes is from George Addair: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

  • Minneapolis Made

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    Welcome to Made. A company which invents, designs and sources custom-branded products.

    Founded in 2008 by Michelle Courtright and Kristin Hollander, Made is a one-stop shop for branded product design, custom sourcing, fulfillment and distribution, as well as consumer engagement and insights services. And with a client roster that ranges from agencies— CPB, BBDO NY and Carmichael Lynch—to global companies like The New York Times, Whole Foods, Target and American Public Media, Made is in the business of inventing almost anything.

    From bicycle beer bottle holders to wood coasters made from fallen trees to festival swag for Pharrell Williams’ non-profit i am OTHER, Made applies a purposeful approach.

    “We’re reinventing the custom product world—digging deep into a brand to create things people actually choose to own,” said Michelle Courtright, partner, Made. “Whether we’re designing products for sale in a museum shop, a giveaway, as a donor incentive or a merchandise line, we’re involved in every stage—from conceptualization to sourcing sustainable materials to overseeing manufacture by local artisans to delivering the finished product to the client.”

    Made was recently included in the running for a 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Product Design award for a series of block sets—modeled after the Twin Cities skyline—created exclusively for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The category, which is new to the festival, reviews the applied use of physical products in aiding the communication of a brand ethos.

    Head over to www.madetocreate.com to look at more of their work.

  • The Lacek Group Wins 5 Telly Awards

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    The Lacek Group (TLG), a Minneapolis-based customer engagement agency, was recognized with five awards in the 35th Annual Telly Awards for the agency’s work with DuPont Pioneer and U.S. Bank.

    With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, the Telly Awards recognized TLG’s work with two Silver Tellys in the categories of Motivational and Employee Communications for an internal video produced for U.S. Bank titled “Gamechangers.”

    The video was used to educate the bank's sales force about FlexPerks Corporate Rewards, an extension of the popular FlexPerks consumer rewards program into the business travel space.

    TLG also received two Bronze Tellys in the Business Equipment and Service category for the agency’s online video testimonials for DuPont Pioneer’s Optimum AquaMax product line. The agency received a Bronze Telly for a video introducing DuPont Pioneer’s new Encirca services, too.

    “We are excited to be recognized this year for our work with U.S. Bank, a longstanding TLG client, and proud of the continued success we’ve achieved for DuPont Pioneer,” said John Jarvis, Chief Creative Officer, TLG. “Plus, it’s great to have more hardware around the office.”

    “The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “The Lacek Group’s accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”

    Here's some of their award-winning work for DuPont Pioneer:

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