While there is a lot more to advertising than pretty pictures, an agency's portfolio is a quick way to get a sense of work experience, production quality, and client base. Print. Collateral. Direct Mail. TV. Radio. Web. Campaigns. Please keep in mind, however, that the underlying strategy and accompanying media plan have as much to do with a campaign's success as the final deliverable.” From a business perspective, good advertising is always more impressive when reviewed in the full context. Any and all work contained in this Web Site is Copyright© 2007 West Advertising. All rights reserved. No work may be used in whole or part, reprinted, re-aired or linked without the express written permission of West Advertising. Violators are subject to prosecution.
The Transplant Pharmacy.
This ad, directed at doctors who must prescribe ongoing medication for transplant patients, relied on an intriguing and positive image created by West Advertising. Our goal was to avoid the highly technical and often morbidly literal approaches found within medical publications, and, instead, communicate the impact doctors' decisions have on the lives of others.
Cost Plus Nursery.
All too often, interior designers ignore the impact of living plants. This ad appeared in a design-industry publication to introduce the concept of designers working with Cost Plus Nursery as a partner during the design process. It's an obvious concept… after someone calls it to your attention.
Sometimes subtlety has to take a back seat. In the highly competitive cellular phone market, discounts and rebates often dominate. So when the market was in a particularly price competitive mode, West recommended the direct approach. This was the first ad we did for CCI Wireless, and while it presented the same basic offers as their previous campaigns, it broke through the barriers they had experienced.
Redefining a click” as a snap” reflected the objective of this campaign: convince independent dental offices that developing a professional Internet presence was going to be easy. Netopia knew dentists needed to create websites, but that those same dentists often lacked the time and in-house skills to pull together a professional site. The graphics and single-word headlines of this ad underscored the simplicity of the client's product.
South Shore Center.
Helping introduce a new Trader Joe's to a community is risk-free assignment. We knew they would do well, and word would spread quickly if we just got it started. No one, however, was expecting the most successful opening in Trader Joe's history to that point. They made us look good.
Park Street Business Associaton.
The announcement that Starbucks was coming to Alameda's quaint, historic downtown was pretty much viewed as the end of the civilized world by a lot of long-time citizens. Like it or not, however, it was fact, and resistance was pointless. So what do you do? Relax. Poke fun at the panic. Welcome a new neighbor. Get on with life.
Navlet's Garden Centers.
This is one of our favorites, so we pulled it from the archives. Our goal was to present a series of ads that showed category dominance, even in things as basic as garden tools. In this particular case, rather than extol the virtues of new hoses, we chose to remind folks how frustrated they are with their old hoses. There must be a lot of kinky hoses out there, because it worked well.
Dublin Auto Center.
Sometimes less is more. In the case of newspaper auto sections, where ads compete like sardines in a can, it helps to look different. The visual here pretty much expresses the primary message of the ad, so why say more? It's an old ad, but we left it in the portfolio because we think it speaks volumes with few words. (And it pokes a little fun at the bad puns of some auto ads).
Contra Costa Newspaper.
This ad was part of a campaign that sought to promote various sections of the newspaper. By representing the subject matter with an image that demanded explanation, we used specific items as our introduction to the broader content. In this case, broken spectacles encouraged the reader to explore the benefits of an informed opinion. (And the risks of popping off without one).
West Coast Green.
Consumer focused print ad.
Park Street Business Association.
Holiday print ad.
General Vascular Surgery
Alameda County Industries / Recycling Guide
Who knew trash could be so clean and colorful? The challenge with creating a recycling guide that you want people to keep around the house is that the subject matter can be pretty unpleasant looking. West collaged images into a bouquet” of recycling waste to keep the content representative, but not too ‘real world'. The guide is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled stock. See the Campaigns” section for more on ACI.
City of Alameda, Environmental Services / Coloring Book.
When West produced a recycling poster for local parks that included a purple cartoon squirrel, the initial reaction was squirrels aren't purple”. (Neither were dinosaurs, we assume, but Barney did OK). As it turns out, the squirrel became so popular that he has been featured in two coloring books, and a series of puppet shows were created around the character and friends. This is the cover for the first coloring book.
Alameda Power & Telecom / Vehicle Wrap.
When you have a message, full vehicle graphics are a great way to take it to the streets. As a small, local cable service, competing with a huge national corporation, AP&T needed to raise awareness of its product and prove it was in the same game. There's no way to miss these vans driving around town. The graphics tied into a newsprint and direct mail campaign that launched at the same time.
Alameda Power & Telecom / Coffee Cup Wrap.
Just like the vehicle graphics mentioned previously, these coffee wraps were part of the grassroots marketing efforts West employed to help AP&T build community allegiance in the face of stiff competitive activities. These insulated coffee cup wraps were circulated to local coffee shops and tied into the Get Wired” campaign already in place.
Barclays / Regulations Pamphlet.
Barclays is the State of California's official publisher of regulations. To encourage business operators to take a moment and consider the importance of compliance, West tried to avoid overly official looking warnings and advisories, in favor of more thought-provoking images and headlines. These were fast-turn projects that also required extensive database list coordination.
City of Alameda / Historic Theater Project.
Preserving an architecturally significant historic theater was a shared goal among most Alamedans. The approach, however, was highly contentious, particularly the the addition of seven new screening rooms and a large parking structure. The challenge with this piece was to produce a series of posters and fliers that succinctly presented the history, plan, and context for the project, and avoided language that could incite further debate.
East Bay Restuarant Supply / Designer Trade Brochure.
When you're promoting $12,000 residential refrigerators, you need to keep the collateral materials consistent in quality with the featured products. This piece featured a die-cut front that profiled the refrigerator and range on the cover, inviting the reader to open the piece. The audience was professional designers and builders, and the piece emphasized the client's experience and level of service within the industry.
Elder Care Alliance / Facilities Brochure.
This is one of many brochures created on behalf of this chain of assisted living facilities. The brochures match folders, stationery, ads, and other pieces, all designed to create distinct identities for the various facilities, while unifying them under a common color and design scheme. See the accompanying folder design. There are more examples under the Campaign section.
Elder Care Alliance / Visitors Brochure.
These folders were developed to hold various materials gathered by potential residents during tours of the communities. See the accompanying brochure design. Also, more examples are under the Campaign section.
Alameda Hospital / Emergency Care Guide.
The twofold objective of this guide was to provide a useful emergency handbook to residents living near the hospital, and to build awareness of the hospital's superior patient response time. The inside pages contain easy-to-follow steps for basic emergency care, along with information about Alameda Hospital's services.
Alameda Hospital / Community Newsletter.
A community newsletter needs to reflect the community it serves, and, as with all newsletters overcome the challenge of gaining the attention of a time-constrained audience. Newsletters that fail to invite exploration through engaging images, or fail to tie into other marketing materials, won't be read. Alameda Hospital garners solid response to its newsletters, which tie other brochures and handouts they distribute. Park Street Business Association / Event Poster. West has submitted entries for the city's largest festival for several years, and had its posters selected to represent the event in four out of five consecutive years. These competitions are a great chance for West's designers to exhibit their individual styles and interpretations.
Toyota of Berkeley / Vehicle Wrap.
Hey, when you've been selling Toyotas to Berkeley and surrounding communities since 1968, there's no point in denying that you have a passionately individualistic clientele. So go with the flow and let your dealership reflect the fun side of the community you serve. It's hard to stand out in Berkeley, but these vehicles did the trick.
Navlet's Garden Centers / Die Cut Self Mailer.
This die-cut format begged to be picked up and read. The objective was to highlight Navlet's very aggressive price position on this product, and display its dominance within the category. Product sales were exceedingly strong, as were those for the many tie-in products.
Alameda Hospital / Emergency Room Postcard.
When it's an emergency, time is often the critical factor. And while Alameda Hospital is not as centrally located as others within the East Bay, it has been rated faster in terms of response time once at the hospital. After the campaign, the hospital actually had a gunshot victim from a neighboring city drive past another hospital just to get to its emergency room.
Tracy Dodge Chrysler Jeep / Service Postcard.
Nothing too fancy about this one, and that is probably why it worked. There is only a brief moment when mail is judged to be either "junk", or it is stuck to the refrigerator as a reminder. You don't have much time to grab attention. Direct, to-the-point text, and an uncommon treatment for the color and layout made this piece successful.
Gordon & Rees / Holiday Card.
Yes, attorneys are people, too. And they celebrate the holidays. Naturally, on a professional level, they have to do it in a politically correct and non-denominational manner. For this project, the client wanted to avoid off-the-shelf card layouts, in favor of something that was clean and current, and matched the color palette of other collateral materials.
Michael Stead Dealers / Service Reminder System.
Direct mail campaigns should not be a series of randomly designed printed materials. The sequencing of elements should emulate the buying cycle and expected thought process of the customer, and build upon the pieces sent previously. West manages a complex CRM system and direct mail effort for this group of five dealerships.
Dirito Brothers Volkswagen / Variable Data Printing.
Boosting response is the key to Variable Data Printing, or VDP. The process generates individual mail pieces based upon the recipient's unique records, stored within a database. Those records are matched to specific graphic elements, which vary on a piece-per-piece basis, resulting in a highly personalized mailer. In this case, each vehicle shown on the postcards corresponds to the recipient's current vehicle and data.
Laji / Grand Opening Postcard.
This piece was intended to inspire nearby homeowners to visit the new store, which was a small shop in a district not normally associated with home decorating stores. A mailing list was acquired that matched the shop owner's target market, and was mailed in a series of drops to distribute response over a few weeks' time.
East Bay Restauraunt Supply / Holiday Sale Catalog.
A lot of businesses have 1/2-off sales at key times of the year. Differentiating yourself while sticking to a common message is tough. For this annual event, West simply took the event to a logical, but unexpected visual interpretation to get the message across.
Beshoff MotorCars / Used Mercedes-Benz Postcard.
If you can strike up a conversation with your audience in the first three seconds, you've cleared the first hurdle. And sometimes, juxtaposing a word or phrase next to a contradictory image is all it takes. At the very least, this headline opened the door to the next objective, which was to build awareness that the client maintains a truly exceptional inventory of used vehicles.
Hilltop Dealers "Ever After"
Car commercials can all start looking the same if you're not careful. Heck, even if you're careful. Glamorous shots of cars driving down a road all look similar. So West took storytelling to it's simplest visual form: stick figures. If it was good enough for cave drawings, it's good enough for car commercials.
CCI Wireless "Money Talks"
Cellular phone offers can get pretty aggressive. Deep discounts, free phones, and cash rebates are common weapons. So when CCI Wireless, a chain of cellular stores operating in six states, said they wanted to offer big cash rebates, there was no point in being subtle.
San Francisco Examiner "Information Age"
When the new publishers of the Examiner wanted to re-launch the newspaper as the true voice of San Francisco's masses, West was asked to create something wild, different, and revolutionary. Of the several concepts proposed, this script chosen was assumed by West to be so far off the norm that there was no way the potential production challenges would become a reality. We were wrong.
IGetMedsOnline.Com "Get Meds Online"
Who can forget the dot.com phenom? We've tried, but we can't. And it would be disrespectful for an agency that's been around since 1988 to not include at least one dot.com-related piece in its portfolio, so here it is. Everything had to happen even faster than normal. This was no exception.
Tracy Mazda "Move Over"
Sometimes it's less about what you say, than how you say it. In the case of Tracy Mazda—a certified Mazda Speed dealership—we wanted to inspire young, male car enthusiasts to put Tracy Mazda on their shopping list. This was a brand new dealership, and they jumped off to a very fast start.
Contra Costa Times "My Times"
The Contra Costa Times is a award-winning publication, serving the highly desirable Contra Costa market. Their local audience is coveted by other major newspapers and frequently has to blunt aggressive competitive subscriptions drives. While maintaining there strong local ties, they also have to distance themselves from the perception of being a small-town publication.
McKevitt Volvo "Right On"
McKevitt is America's oldest Volvo dealership. Having just moved one of their two facilities from a small, outdated, downtown location to a bold new building in an auto mall, they needed to visually communicate their new personality.
Navlet's Garden Centers
"Hot Tomato" Price perception plays a big role in the plant business, with big box retailers claiming the perceived low-price position, and single-point boutique nurseries contributing to an illusion of high prices for independents. Navlet's Hot Tomato TV commercial was developed to reflect the quality of their product while fighting the misperception of high price. Over 500 customers responded to the TV offer.
East Bay Restaurant Supply "Oakland Expo (Spanish)"
Whatever our message, we have to anticipate the audience. In the case of East Bay Restaurant Supply, that meant multi-lingual campaigns, including TV commercials in Spanish. While consistent with the client's overall campaign, these efforts differ slightly to reflect nuances of the various ethnic markets.
Alameda Marketplace "What We Eat".
Respect the budget and still respect the product; that characterizes a successful local campaign. In this particular case, the client wanted to incorporate an offer to gauge response to the store's first-ever TV campaign, without cheapening the tone of the commercial. A lot of buzz, and a lot of tote bags given away. Alameda Natural Grocery is ready for another TV campaign this year.
Dirito Brothers Volkswagen "Rock and Roll Road Trip".
What a great client! Ron and Don have essentially let us embarrass them in front of a camera for about 15 years, then pay to have it broadcast all over their market. It's worked well for them, too. They are the #1 volume VW dealership in Northern California, and occasionally hit #1 in the USA.
Why is that some auto dealerships think that a free balloon or hot dog is going to inspire someone to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a car? Dublin Honda certainly doesn't. No harm in throwing a BBQ for your customers, but let's entice them with genuine savings. Also, talk to the audience; don't yell at them.
If you are in the auto industry, you know there are Tier 1 (national), Tier 2 (regional), and Tier 3 (local) advertising levels. West has a lot of experience at the Tier 3 level, and some at the Tier 2. Most Tier 1 is handled by big agencies, which also handle the Tier 2 creative. There are occasions, however, when the Tier 2 dealership groups want a Tier 3 approach. We like it when we get those calls. This was one of them.
Contra Costa Times
The Contra Costa Newspapers is collection of local papers that evolved into a single, award-winning enterprise. It serves the highly desirable Contra Costa market and, as a result, periodically comes under aggressive competition from the Bay Area's major metro paper. This spot was part of a campaign to emphasize that the publication is no longer strictly local news, but a bona fide source of national and world news, as well.
What do you do when you sell a luxury sedan that ranks among the World's finest in terms of reliability and performance, but is burdened with an unfair reputation for mechanical problems and is perceived as a woman's car? You try to set the facts straight. Jaguar's true legacy is racing, and the XJR is not only fast, it's impressively dependable.
Know your product. Know your market. In California, that means the ability to translate your message persuasively into Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Tagalog, and others. Even Braille. (For those of you who don't speak Spanish, this is a really great spot. Really. Trust us).
Navlet's Garden Centers
Sometimes the only trick to radio is picking the right stations, keeping the tone appropriate for your audience, and making sure the jingle is up-to-date. The rest is just keeping it consistent with the campaign.
You've gotta love a client who let's you call him "crazy" on air. With this campaign, Crazy Leon knew the spot was working when his kids started saying their friends at school were talking about their father. Even his old high school friends started calling him by that name.
Bay Area Land Rover
At any given point in time, only a very small percentage of the population is actually in the market for a new vehicle. So you have to consider at least amusing the vast majority who aren't interested in your product at that moment, but who may remember it later if you can manage to hold their attention. To our knowledge, this was the first Land Rover spot to feature rhinos.
Walnut Creek Nissan
When you are a small dealership, it's best not to sound too big in your commercials. A little humility and humor goes a long way towards getting people to overlook a humble facility. The Nissan franchise in Walnut Creek has since moved to a new location, but we include this spot because it still makes us laugh, but mostly because it was from the era when we made sound effects by hand and edited spots by splicing tape. There was nothing digital about creating this commercial.
A website should serve as a window to the organization it represents. The tone and tempo should reflect how the business operates and whom it serves. Alameda Hospital is a community hospital with an emphasis on personal care. As importantly, the site should provide critical content in an easy-to-access manner.
Christine Peat Intenational.
This website took the client from zero to sixty... instantly. The company's prior website was a poor reflection of the organization's work. Additionally, it provided little in the way of functionality. West worked with the client to design a more professional site, and to engineer a sophisticated online booking system that allows clients around the world to have varying levels of access to real time event scheduling.
Alameda County Industries.
This website is based on the extensive collateral work West had already completed for the client. The backend functionality includes a dynamically updated categorization of recyclable items, plus a searchable database to let residents research collection dates by street address.
Navlet's Garden Center.
People who love plants do not necessarily love computers. As a result, many sites for garden centers are pretty amateurish. The objective for Navlet's was to create a site that provided valuable information for gardeners; looked professional; and was streamlined in terms of regular updates. Mission accomplished.
Friends of the Park.
For a non-profit foundation, a credible web presence is critical to soliciting donations. Prior to this site, the Friends of the Parks Foundation had no distinct Internet identity. Now the organization has a platform for its fundraising efforts.
General Vascular Surgery.
This site represents a group of highly qualified specialists in the field of vascular surgery, which needs to relay a great deal of information to prospective clients without sounding overly clinical. Additionally, they need to distinguish themselves from the field of primarily cosmetic surgeons who address many of the same vascular symptoms.
Park Street Business Association.
This was a fun one. The campaign itself was lighthearted, and the associated graphics were already established. The only challenge was to code the sight in a manner that allowed the client to seamlessly provide updates without any understanding of basic HTML. It also has a searchable database for local merchants.
In this case, the client was so pleased with a catalog West had created on their behalf, they asked that we redesign their website in the same style. Pretty basic stuff, but you would be amazed at how many companies fail to maintain consistency between their various marketing efforts.
It's nice when you can dedicate resources to a local cause. In this case, West used its marketing experience to join a community campaign to elect (and re-elect) Mayor Beverly Johnson. Our first move was to abandon conventional color schemes and create a distinct graphic identity. Letterhead, lawn signs, direct mail, and the website all showed a consistent and noticeable style.
Alameda County Industries.
ACI is an integrated waste management company with sophisticated recycling services, including a progressive food scraps recycling program. West helped launch their services in Alameda through a comprehensive campaign that branded the company and added a decidedly human touch to the complexities of waste disposal.
East Bay Restaurant Supply.
Established in 1934, East Bay Restaurant Supply is now run by the sons and grandchildren of its founder. As the trend to use professional-quality kitchen equipment in residential settings grew, they contacted West with the objective of expanding that market while refining their approach to the commercial audience. West introduced a more professional, consistent look to their materials, including television and radio.
Dirito Brothers Volkswagen.
This was a campaign waiting to happen. Fun-loving, identical twins Ron and Don Dirito provided the perfect material for a long-running Wild and Crazy Dirito Brothers” campaign that helped propel the dealership to #1 in Northern California, occasionally ranking #1 in the USA. The campaign has included double-headed bobble dolls, inflatable bop bags, and more, all featured in cheerful TV, newsprint, direct mail, and outdoor ads.
To survive in the new, more competitive health care industry, community hospitals must market their services professionally. A key competitive advantage for Alameda Hospital is their personal care, including an incredibly fast emergency room wait time. The success of this campaign was evidenced by a gunshot victim from a neighboring city who drove past several other hospitals to receive treatment in Alameda.
Even luxury products go on sale occasionally. So if you're going to do it, do it right. West has worked with Cole European for roughly 14 years, but his 3-month campaign was a focused effort to push immediate sales. And it worked. In the first month, the dealership topped all other Land Rover dealerships in the region for the first time in its history.
Elder Care Alliance.
This faith-based group of elder care facilities had the wisdom to start the branding process early. They contact West over a decade ago to unify marketing materials for the first two facilities, both operating under different names. Elder Care Alliance has tripled in size since then, now operating six residences, all with marketing materials consistent in design and tone.
Alameda Power & Telecom.
Formerly the City of Alameda's Bureau of Electricity, AP&T launched a bold foray into cable and Internet services. That meant taking a 100+ year old municipal utility's marketing approach (that of an incumbent monopoly) and turbo-charging it to be the newcomer in a highly competitive, high-tech environment. Subscriptions rose dramatically in West's two-year engagement.
Navlet's Garden Center.
West has worked with Navlet's since 1990. A privately-owned chain of garden centers started in 1885, Navlet's challenge is to compete with the national home center chains while not losing the local charm of a true nursery. They need to appear professional, high quality, and still battle the misperception that only big-box discount stores have good prices.
Park Street Business Association.
What can you say about an historic downtown business district in the process of reinventing itself amidst the highly competitive retail markets of the San Francisco Bay Area? Well, don't promise anything you can't deliver. In fact, focus on your small town charms and quit worrying about what you're not. Park Street is booming, folks. If you haven't been there, you should visit.
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All contents ©2012 West Advertising, Inc. West Advertising is a San Francisco
Bay Area advertising agency specializing in advertising strategy, consultation, creative, media planning, media buying, graphic design, web design, marketing, and production
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