Nestled into the musty, moody underground cubbyhole of Al’s Den a few weeks back, the entire room full of our colleagues and some of Portland’s creative community sat in silent rapture at the thundering presence that is Rene Denfeld, author of the award winning new novel, “The Enchanted.” She brought to us the most recent event in The Persuaders Society, a brainchild of Blue Collar Agency c. 2012.
Wonderbag, the non-electric, portable slow cooker isn’t just a great kitchen tool, but also a life-changer for African women living below the poverty line. And now, they’re a Facebook success story.
From November 2014 through January 2015, Blue Collar worked with Wonderbag to run targeted video ads and link ads on Facebook to promote the North American launch of its portable, energy-saving heat-retention cooker. The Facebook ads resulted in 20,000 views at $0.04 per view. Social success!
We’re thrilled to welcome Jaime Singer to the garage as Graphic Designer.
Born and raised in Lancaster PA (yes, Amish people live there), Jaime grew up with three older brothers, who she credits for her thick skin and sense of adventure. After high school, she moved to Salt Lake City to be a full-time ski bum. (And attend university, of course).
Always a creative and hands-on person, Jaime earned her BFA in graphic design with a minor in photography at the University of Utah. Go UTES! After graduation, she moved to Hood River on a whim and fell in love.
Get to know a little more about our newest creative team member with some Q&A.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love the fact that beautiful, functional design is number one here. Blue Collar stands behind their concepts and works hard coming up with unique solutions to the task at hand.
How did you get involved with Blue Collar?
I was freelancing and the stars aligned! It worked out perfectly. It was hard transitioning back into 9-5, but working with such fun and talented people makes it pretty easy. I am a young designer so I’m excited to be able to fine-tune my skills and learn from Blue Collar.
Blanketed in drippy mosses and mists, one usually ventures to the beautiful and serene Columbia River Gorge to escape the hustle and grind of the workplace. But the rush that comes from a breath-taking view after a strenuous slew of switchbacks certainly doesn’t end at the doorstep. Au contraire, inspiration from the wilderness is an integral part of any Pacific Northwest venture and here are five reasons why people who know how to have a good outdoor adventure know what it takes to produce good marketing:
1. What’s not to love about a well maintained trail beyond a hidden trailhead?
Sometimes an excellent well-traveled roadside marvel like Multnomah Falls is convenient and irresistible. Those that thirst for real adventure know there is something much more satisfying about a well kept trail behind a hidden trailhead. Off highway 14, up a residential backroad, it’s easy to miss the turnoff to a favorite hidden gem in the Gorge: Wind Mountain. The trailhead is marked by a humble sign but that only adds to the adventurer’s delight of a beautifully maintained trail to an excellent lookout. True, a nationally compelling, emotionally provocative, what-you-see-is-what-you-get Multnomah-like campaign, is undoubtedly effective. However, there is something much more satisfying and organic about a less ostentatious, speak-for-itself sort of tactic. Poler Stuff’s commandeering of the sweet and compelling #campvibes has social media working for them and their commitment to profiling real backyard adventures makes it feel as though we have stumbled upon a trove of amazing gear behind a mysterious trailhead.
Pinterest is an effective way to market and portray your brand. But how do you do it? And furthermore, who cares?
Pinterest hit the lime-light with it’s debut in 2010. Since then, it’s grabbed the attention of nearly 20% of the US population. A pin-board should read like a fine glossy magazine, clad with clear images and relevant content. No need to fluff it up with artsy photo filters like those commonly found on Instagram (don’t worry, we’ll breakdown Instagram in another post). The modern pinner wants niche topics, something specific that they can come back to. Whether it’s a new Tesla, an exotic destination—we’re dreaming of Corsica, or a flashy carbon mountain bike, a pin says “I’m interested”. Once you’ve got them interested, the next step is “I need it!” This is where you capitalize with Pinterest. Business2community.com says that “Many retailers saw the opportunity to leverage Pinterest and the stats are there to support that decision. Research from Bizrate Insights (2012) says that 70% of Pinterest users use the platform as inspiration for their purchases.”
I have fallen madly in fascination with the Mars One venture. For a number of reasons. The project aims to send four astronauts on a one way trip to Mars to create and inhabit the first permanent galactic colony. (No, this is not a scene out of your guilty pleasure space fantasy novel…) With the rise of a new wave of literal starry-eyed dreamers saying “thanks, no thanks” to government-backed rockets, blueprints are being rolled up and hauled into private pockets. This means that not only are these pioneers looking out from their rolling chairs onto the endless galactic horizon, but also onto the bold untamed frontier of market strategy. There are no rules when it comes to private funding on this massive scale, and as far as I can tell, the strategy thus far has been go big or go home.
When it comes to developing a brand, the work doesn’t end when the new identity is inked into a guidelines document. The hard part is consistently extending the voice and identity across every medium it touches. Sometimes this is out of our control, but fortunately CRKT understands the importance of maintaining and protecting the brand.
It all started with a trip to Portland with two goals in mind. 1. Find the best food trucks and carts for design and typography; 2. Enjoy eating some PDX delights. This is the story of the Extensis Food Cart Font-Off.
Blue Collar is proud to announce our newest client, Mason County Tourism, located on the Southwest side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Not only is this assignment in an incredibly beautiful part of the Northwest, it includes waterways of Hood Canal and Puget Sound. This is first time Mason County has outsourced this work and we’re humbled by their selection and excitement to work with us. We’re ready to do this—tourism or bust!
During our first few visits to this “hidden gem” area of Washington, visions of future road trips danced through our heads. As we wound through the evergreens and hopped inlets, we could hardly contain our excitement to share all Mason County has to offer for exploration, adventure, relaxation and local delights.
Let’s be real. Discovering new pockets of beauty in the Pacific Northwest is always exciting and not really hard to do when you’ve got the inside scoop—and the curiosity. We might be biased, as we live on the border of Oregon and Washington, but we think “Cascadia” is the best place in the whole world. And we couldn’t be more energized to inspire travel and tourism to the Hood Canal area.
Mount Rainier looms over the still waters of Totten Inlet. Mason County, Washington.
Since Blue Collar was born six years ago, a lot has been accomplished. Gallons of coffee and glasses of bourbon have fueled countless long days. Miles of trail have inspired ideas. The collection of gas pumps and car grills has grown to surround us. Our most important accomplishment to date is assembling a team of talented and dedicated mechanics. So, what’s the driving force behind all this momentum? The leadership.
In this blog series, we’ll introduce the partners of Blue Collar Agency. What makes us blue collar? Why are we doing this? What does the future hold? Read on to learn more about Tom Lehmann, Partner and Creative Director with BC.