The Blog and Pony Show

Archive for June, 2017

Schifino Lee - 11:38 am June 26, 2017

Crafting the Hydroponic Difference

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Farming just got a makeover. It’s been cleaned up, freshened up, and the results taste better than ever. Red Barn Hydroponic Farms, home of Art of the Seed, is a 1,800 square foot seedhouse feeding an ever-evolving 22,000 square foot state-of-the-art growing greenhouse. Just a few miles east of downtown Tampa, Art of the Seed takes a new and innovative approach to typical vegetables, fruits, herbs and specialty crops, using a method known as Hydroponic Vertical Growing. Through this controlled environment, each seed is given the proper care and devotion necessary for prime growth each year, resulting in pure, healthy crops.

In order to help the company grow from the ground up, Art of the Seed partnered with Schifino Lee to develop branding, messaging, supporting marketing materials, and communications strategies. The goal of this branding initiative was to effectively establish them as an industry leader – a unique destination for agricultural retail, culinary experiences, and outdoor activities – by touting their innovative techniques and deep respect for nature.

To start, Schifino Lee created a gorgeous logo with modern, hand-crafted characteristics, as well as a brand strategy focused on positioning Art of the Seed as the future of traditional farming. The marketing communications included a unique brochure, stationery package, social media strategy, and website, while the updated, vibrant photography accurately depicts the Art of the Seed brand. The website touts the company’s philosophy, their strategic and unique farming methods, and the remarkably fresh produce that’s currently available at their roadside stand. Stop by and taste the fresh, environmentally friendly produce for yourself at 10302 McIntosh Rd., Dover, FL 33527, or visit us online at artoftheseed.com.

 

Ben Lee - 11:44 am June 16, 2017

Finding Inspiration at Local Art Shows

Local art shows are always a great source of inspiration for me… some better than others.

Wandering through the aisles of a show, a select few pieces will grab my attention and lure me into the artist’s booth. There I stop and focus and usually discover a greater sense of appreciation of the work. And when I meet the artists themselves, I gain a deeper level of admiration, connection and understanding. I usually grab a card from every artist that captures my attention – and the collection of cards becomes a mosaic of my mood that day. Here’s what caught my eye at the recent Gasparilla Arts Festival in Tampa.

And, by the way, money spent on a piece of art is always money well spent.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 4.00.48 PM Turnstiles by Sean Berry

 Untitled by Randall Smith

Every Block a Brand New Game Every Block A Brand New Game by Michel Delgado

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 4.02.11 PM River Shadows by David Skinner

asanka-lady_1_orig Asanka Lady by William Kwamena-Poh

Rooster Love Rooster Love by Missionary Mary Proctor

 

Mitch Feickert - 2:04 pm June 9, 2017

It’s Human. It’s Nature. It’s Not Human Nature.

A tiger shark gliding gracefully past accompanied by a remora fish

Avoiding animosity in an agency setting can be tricky. Clashing ideas, looming due dates, and the never ending pile of work-I-haven’t-gotten-to-yet can lead up to a stressful environment, inhabited by coffee crazed creatives and account managers weaving through the ever-intensifying minefield of client questions. But, if we substitute out the ole’ thinking cap for our best Steve Irwin khaki cap, we find that biology can offer a pretty simple solution to the disparity that occasionally forms between the type-a account side and the sometimes barely type-b creative side. We just have to start forming symbiotic relationships.

Chlorophyll. Photosynthesis. Mitochondria. We’re not scientists here. But we can learn from the relationships formed in nature, and apply their wise teachings to our own agency settings. A symbiotic relationship is formed when two species can’t live without each other: The anemone protects the clownfish from predators, so the fish returns the favor. Bees pollinate flowers, and consequently are able to make their honey. Account managers ward off clients so art directors can continue to craft ideas, and are rewarded with quality work to impress their customers. The only difference in the advertising world is that it takes a bit more communication to achieve a relationship that benefits everyone. But evolution isn’t perfect.

So, instead of sitting at your desk stewing in solitude, make an attempt to befriend those strangers on the other side of the office. Make clear goals. Share all key insights. Explain your creative ideas and show how they match with client KPIs. Because when communication fails, so do we. Let’s be stronger together.

Schifino Lee - 10:11 am June 7, 2017

Schifino Lee adds a Coxswain and a Super Computer to its crew

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Look what we did. We’ve upped our playing field, multiplied our mind power, added some sharp new strategic knives to the Schifino Lee arsenal. Our fresh, new pair of account managers is ready to take on the world, starting with some of Tampa Bay’s finest clients.

Elizabeth Ayers, Account Executive 

If you’re ever looking for some strategic skills in the advertising field, look no further than, well, down on the field. Elizabeth has gotten her hands dirty in the marketing and PR departments of several big leaguers, from the Baltimore Orioles to our very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She was even a Division 1 NCAA athlete herself while at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, leading her crew to victory as coxswain of the rowing team. Now she’s an advertising pro, with an uncanny ability to analyze stats and figures, and then design a game plan that gets clients to their goals. And when she’s not in the office, we hear she’s a real connoisseur of baseball cuisine.

Mackenzie Reed, Account Coordinator

Mackenzie excelled through the advertising program at University of South Florida, nailed internships at PPK and Schifino Lee, and now impresses clients like the Tampa Museum of Art and Alessi with her fresh strategic thinking. All because inside her head is a super computer, fueled by coffee, that outperforms on every project that comes her way. Equal parts humble and brilliant, Mackenzie would probably be Prime Minister of Europe, or something, if she weren’t addicted to advertising. But lucky for us, she is. So we try and keep her happy by letting her handle all the super-challenging assignments. .

Stop by our office to meet Elizabeth and Mackenzie any time. Just be sure to bring lots of crackerjacks and coffee with you.

Paola Schifino - 5:28 pm June 1, 2017

Brands that #RefuseToLose

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Recently, a potential client was sharing his background and mentioned that while he had studied advertising in college he knew that to support his family he needed to take a real job—not settle for some typical fly-by-night advertising agency.  Mind you, he was talking about different times, so as the co-founder of my own agency, I didn’t take offense. But it did get me thinking about how, over a period of 25 years, Schifino Lee has managed to beat the ad industry odds to successfully remain one of the premiere boutique firms in the southeast?  The secret boils down to constantly revisiting and redefining our brand’s value proposition in order to turn adversity into opportunity.

Years ago, at a time when most agencies serving the mid-market were focusing on design and aesthetics, Schifino Lee was focusing more on strategy and results. With that value proposition, our small firm was able to win major brands, such as AT&T and The New York Yankees. During our history we have constantly reevaluated our brand, going from Schifino Lee Advertising to Schifino Lee Advertising and Public Relations to Schifino Lee Advertising and Marketing, and last but not least, to Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding.

Today, the world of branding reaches far beyond traditional media to affect digital media, social media and even culture—and so does our agency.

There are many triggers for reevaluating your business’ brand.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Launch of a new product or service offering
  • New competitor entering your space
  • Your brand is stale
  • Technology has changed your business
  • Your business is experiencing significant growth
  • Sales are trending down for a significant period
  • Your brand no longer represents who you are

No matter the size of your company or its past success, achieving real longevity means refusing to lose by regularly evolving your brand to stay in step with the times.