The Blog and Pony Show

Archive for July, 2011

Schifino Lee - 4:11 pm July 26, 2011

Schifino Lee illustrates presidential leadership qualities for Hillsborough County Bar Foundation


To promote the recent Hillsborough County Bar Foundation’s annual Law and Liberty Dinner, Schifino Lee combined symbolic art with inspiring messaging to highlight the appeal of the keynote speaker, best-selling author and TV commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin.

 In a phone conference with the Schifino Lee team, Ms. Goodwin said her speech would focus on the qualities that make an effective leader in time of crisis. Her examples would be Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Goodwin won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1994 for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and her 2005 bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is the basis of Steven Spielberg’s next film.

Goodwin’s phone conversation inspired Schifino Lee art director Eric Clark to create a stylized double portrait of Lincoln and Roosevelt that was used in advertising, direct mail and collateral for the dinner.

Clark said about his artwork, “The idea of a dual portrait of the two grew out of their shared values. We wanted the art to have an historic feel, but also evoke energy and fun because Doris Kearns Goodwin is a great scholar and a very entertaining speaker. The illustration mixes art deco style (which contrasts strength with delicacy) with contemporary digital execution that adds dimensional and thematic depth through subtle layering.”

When Goodwin saw the portrait she pronounced, “I love it!” immediately recognizing that the symbolism of the art paralleled her lecture, and the artistic elegance enhanced the theme.

With the speaker enthusiastic and the work receiving overwhelmingly positive responses from the dinner guests, Schifino Lee was proud to be a part of an enormously successful event that benefited an extraordinarily worthy cause.

Schifino Lee - 7:32 pm July 22, 2011

Rebranding helps “Fast 50” winners keep pace with growth.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently announced its Fast 50 Awards, recognizing the fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay. Schifino Lee congratulates all of the winners. And we are particularly grateful and proud to be branding partners with five of this year’s honorees:

  • Vology
  • Celestar
  • Audio Messaging Solutions
  • Franklin Street
  • Socius

Our initiatives with these companies all began with an important question:

Is your brand growing as fast as your business?

When a company is in fast-growth mode, a lot of things change. Increased logistics. Expanded customer service. Upgraded financial systems. Just about every facet of the company evolves and transforms as you grow.

The one thing that many growing businesses are slow to transform is their branding. As other facets of their business change, their image and message to customers – and potential new customers – can become outdated if the brand doesn’t keep pace with the times.

Frequently this “old” brand image will pigeonhole a company, or make them look smaller than they have now become. Growth can move a company into entirely new areas of competition, but they may appear “stuck” in their previous market space. The opportunity costs of an outdated brand can be huge.

Rebranding can address these issues by communicating who you are today. Rebranding can create new opportunities by getting customers to view you in new ways. It can address new channels of business and position you for future growth. Rebranding can also reenergize your team and company culture as well as attract a new brand of employee.

To accomplish a successful rebranding, it is important to partner with a branding professional who has a proven track record in this specific area of expertise. Ask to see examples of their work and consult references before hiring anyone.

Most importantly, consider the future growth opportunities that could be available to your company if potential customers were aware of how your company has grown and how far your brand has evolved.


Schifino Lee - 1:36 pm July 15, 2011

How do you rebrand a 110-year old company?

Gerdau evolves brand and engages Schifino Lee to create advertising campaign.

In 1901, the American League declared itself a Major League, six South Pacific British colonies federated and called themselves Australia, and the company that is now called Gerdau was founded.

Besides celebrating their 110th anniversary this year, all three of these events have something else in common. They all involve a crucial aspect of branding: what do you call yourself and how do you communicate this to your audiences in a way that is relevant for them?

The AL was originally a minor league known as the Western League. Then, when marketing innovator Charles Comiskey joined forces with Commissioner Ban Johnson, they rebranded as the American League. Most importantly, the AL eventually became home to our beloved Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay is also the North American headquarters for Gerdau. Gerdau’s history began in 1901 as a small nail factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil, called Pontas de Paris. As part of its 110-year anniversary celebration, Gerdau is introducing a new brand and visual identity that positions the Company for continued growth. In addition, the long steel and special steel operations of Gerdau in North America, Gerdau Ameristeel and Gerdau Macsteel, will now be called Gerdau.

Gerdau selected Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding to communicate this initiative in North America. Schifino Lee’s experience with rebranding campaigns for major divisions of AT&T combined with their team’s creative expertise communicating at a local level for brands such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Wyndham Hotels made them the best choice.

Schifino Lee’s campaign for Gerdau is built on the idea that, though Gerdau’s name has changed, one thing has remained consistent: the company and its people are committed to the communities it serves. Full-page print ads are running in over a dozen publications nationally.

Fledgling baseball leagues aspiring to be bigger. Former colonies getting together to become a continent. And one of the world’s most successful steel companies reaffirming their commitment to communities across America. It all really does go back to branding.