The Blog and Pony Show

Author Archive

Schifino Lee - 12:03 pm November 2, 2018

It’s Scary How Talented Our Interns Are

This semester, we had six terrifyingly talented interns join our ranks who put their all into every project that was given to them. From Designers, to Copywriters, to Account side, every intern went above and beyond with every assignment they were given. Schifino Lee is proud to show them off and we hope you’ll love them as much as we do.

India Boeckh | Illustration Intern

India graduated from Ringling this past May with a Bachelor’s in Art. While working at Schifino Lee, she has produced beautiful illustrations for clients, such as Grenlec, as well as illustrations on the Schifino Lee Instagram page for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buccaneers. If you ask India, though, she will tell you that her favorite part of the experience was having the opportunity to work in such a collaborative environment and being able to work on projects she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.

India is looking forward to finding a studio job at an animation company, hoping to pursue opportunities in the United States, Canada, or Europe. |

Jaily Hernandez | Account Service Intern

Jaily is currently a Senior, studying Advertising at the University of South Florida. As an Account Service Intern, Jaily has been able to work on a variety of tasks including research, social calendars, and slide decks for client pitches. However, when asked what she enjoyed most, she’ll tell you she loved working in a fast-paced environment and experiencing what it’s like to work on an assortment of different clients.

Jaily is looking for another internship for the Spring semester and is excited to be graduating next Summer. |

Martina Beda | Graphic Design Intern

Martina is also a Senior Advertising major at the University of South Florida. This semester she has worked on an array of clients, from Gunster to CoLabs. Her favorite part about working at Schifino Lee has been the people, saying “I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really great people, oh, and the view isn’t bad either.”

Martina, who is originally from Italy, is very excited to be graduating in December and is hoping to find a job here in the United States. |

Matthew Corrado | PR Intern

Yet another USF Bull, Matthew is a Senior, studying Mass Communications. At Schifino Lee, he works on a variety of assignments, from revising press releases to managing different social channels for clients such as Alessi, Tampa Museum of Art, and the Cross Bay Ferry. His favorite part of working at Schifino Lee has been the opportunity to use the skills he learned in school in real-world scenarios.

Next Summer, Matthew will be studying abroad in Paris and Cannes with other students from the University of South Florida before graduating in August. |

Rachel Ames | Copywriting Intern

Rachel is our fourth Senior student at USF and she is studying Business Advertising. During her time at Schifino Lee, she has been able to apply her writing skills to clients ranging from Salem’s and The Cross Bay Ferry to Pinellas Education Foundation and Capital City Consulting. She will always say what she enjoyed the most was getting to know everyone she works with and being able to work on so many different clients.

Rachel will finish her senior year before graduating in August and is hoping to find a job as a Copywriter as she works towards her master’s in business administration. |

Jordan Prucnal | Graphic Design Intern

Last but not least is Jordan, who is a Senior studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Graphic Design at the University of Tampa. While at Schifino Lee, she has worked on a variety of clients, such as Salem’s, Alessi, and The Cross Bay Ferry. Her favorite part of working at Schifino Lee has been working on so many different clients and working in an energetic atmosphere.

While Jordan is looking forward to graduation, it feels bittersweet as she will miss a lot of the college experience. She is excited to start looking for jobs in NYC and LA. |

It’s frightening to think about all of these interns leaving us, but we can’t wait to see what’s next for all of them and we are so proud of everything they have accomplished this semester.

Schifino Lee - 2:21 pm October 15, 2018

Female Leaders at Schifino Lee Create Game-Changing Results

Tampa advertising professionals


Staying true to its long-time mantra of “Innovate or Die”, Tampa-based ad agency Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding is challenging societal norms with a majority female management team. These leading ladies are changing the game, managing a 20-person powerhouse of full-time employees to improve processes, grow business, increase revenues, improve client relations and foster a positive corporate culture.

Paola Schifino is a Principal and owner of the agency. She has won many awards for her business efforts, including Business Woman of the Year for 2017 by Tampa Bay Business Journal. She and Ben Lee built Schifino Lee from the ground up 25 years ago this year, and both strongly believe in the future of women in business.

“In achieving our goals, I truly believe women are resilient. In the past, we were like water in a creek, softly flowing around obstacles in our path. Now we’re more like a class-five rapid, crushing it,” said Schifino.

Schifino Lee is made up of six primary departments; four of which are led by women. Kerry O’Keef manages finance and administration, Amanda Koenn heads up account management, Jennifer Ruyle leads the agency in brand strategy and new business, and Bri Wagner manages social media and public relations.

Not only have these women contributed to diversity in gender, but also in age. The group includes leaders in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Kerry O’Keef

O’Keef was recently promoted to Vice President and Director of Finance and Administration. With a degree in business management, she brings over 25 years of corporate experience to ensure the financial and operational success of the agency. Among her responsibilities is overseeing the financial, organizational and functional operations including IT and HR. She encourages and promotes our staff to expand their skills and knowledge; assists our management team with training, mentoring and tracking productivity of their departments; and continually works with the agency principals to determine ways to make our agency more profitable.

“Since promoting more women into management roles, we’ve achieved a more nurturing environment to work and grow in. People support each other, mistakes are forgiven, voices are heard, self-expression is encouraged and learning opportunities are virtually endless,” said O’Keef. “We are empowering the young women at Schifino Lee to recognize their strength in femininity.”

Amanda Koenn

Koenn was recently promoted to Account Director where she oversees the all-female account management team. She not only assures that everything runs efficiently, but also works hard to improve culture and comradery.

“We’re focused on ensuring our employees know they are valued. Several new initiatives have been implemented since this new leadership team has been in place including a calendar of team bonding events, monthly team meetings for collaboration and idea sharing, and an employee recognition program,” said Koenn.

Jennifer Ruyle

From 2003 to 2010, Ruyle served as a copywriter and creative director at Schifino Lee, and then returned to the agency in 2018 as Director of Brand Strategy and Senior Account Manager. She serves the agency in account management, brand strategy and building new business.

“Having watched the agency change over the last 15 years, I can attest to the way it has evolved through having women in leadership. Teams are working together and collaborating more efficiently than ever before. People are listening to each other, teaching each other and growing together. It’s been amazing to see it all unfold,” said Ruyle

Bri Wagner

Wagner joined Schifino Lee at the beginning of 2018 as Social Media and Public Relations Manager. Part brand strategy and part creative direction, she oversees both internal and client-related initiatives in the public communications sphere.

“Giving women a voice at the table results in better outcomes for our clients. Advertising professionals need to consider how segments of a diverse audience will perceive the same message. By adding diversity to our team in both gender and age, we are able to incorporate different perspectives and produce campaign ideas that resonate with a broader audience. It’s our value added to our clients,” said Wagner.


Photo (left to right): Amanda Koenn, Kerry O’Keef, Paola Schifino, Jennifer Ruyle, and Bri Wagner.

Schifino Lee - 11:47 am August 7, 2018

Who’s really writing your brand story?

Build your brand story the right way, and they will come.

3 tips to shift from brand storytelling to brand storybuliding

The idea of developing a brand story is probably very familiar to most of us.

Typically, we’ve been taught to reach our consumers by creating a unified brand story to generate interest and desire for our products or services. Tell them all about our fine brand attributes. Tell them why our brand will make them happier, smarter, stronger. If we just tell our brand story, they will follow along and eventually take action. Not so much the case today.

I recently attended a seminar from FilamentInc.* about this topic and was quite enlightened about our role as marketers when it comes to brand building. There’s a big brand revolution happening right in front of us every day, minute, second. Just look at your smart phone. Brand storytelling is shifting to brand storybuilding. And we aren’t necessarily the authors.

Our customers and clients are the ones evolving our brand stories – good or bad. With full access to our brand at all times online, they are truly the co-creators and co-owners of brands.

The difference between brand storytelling and brand storybuilding is like the difference between a scripted play and improv.

Our job at hand today is to make the consumer feel alive, engaged and part of our brand. Here are some ways you can start the shift from brand management to conversation management, and create successful brand co-ownership.

Be experimental, nimble and data sensitive

These three traits are fundamental in storybuilding to ensure a successful brand. Brandbuilding needs to be in a perpetual beat mode, meaning it’s okay for trial and error, strategy and creativity. It’s good to post something about your brand and get positive or negative feedback. It’s okay to try a kitschy video on Instagram — even if you have a serious offering — as long as that content connects with your defined target. By “lighting fires” within your branding, you can put ideas out there, listen to what takes hold, and then respond to fuel these fires. And it’s okay to have many fires going at once. You may be surprised to see which ones start spreading.

Integrate content, community and causes into your brand story’s ecosystem

Content should affect the brand experience versus just promoting the brand’s attributes. To create a true participatory brand experience, it’s important to ask a few questions to help you generate the right content such as:

  • What is your audience really interested in?
  • What ideas will build a bridge from those interests back to your brand?
  • Is this idea or content worth sharing? Will it generate conversation?

Next, shared causes between a brand and its consumers creates an extremely powerful connection and brand loyalty. Find your brand’s social mission and conviction, and share it, share it, share it. Airbnb’s mantra is “We believe travel is better when you experience it as an insider.” Creating a brand with an authentic message is one of the most magnetic elements to propel consumers to co-own and advocate for your brand.

Creating communities and interactions to build on your brand story is also essential, again through the plethora of social media and digital outlets. It’s about finding what interests your audience and engaging them in an authentic way. For Oreo, they came up with a natural, fun, interactive way to allow their customers to share their own creativity through an online campaign, #playwithoreo. It was a sweet win for consumer engagement because it built on the brand’s core essence, not to mention elevated cookies sales.

Deploy multi-pronged campaign themes

We all know Geico and their overarching brand promise of “15 minutes can save you 15% on car insurance.” Geico is a prime example of using multi-pronged themes to share and fuel this message. When you do this, it gives consumers fresh ideas and a fresh canvas to share their ideas related to these campaigns, in social and beyond. It creates engagement and interaction in different ways. Some people love the lizard, some hate it. Going beyond television advertising, the Caveman campaign had fans reacting to a caveman runway shoot with Maxim magazine and a dance app. It even generated a TV show audience.

It’s a bold new branding world out there with so many opportunities in social and digital to build a never-ending brand story. Let’s embrace it and rewrite the book.

*Original content and presentation from

Schifino Lee - 4:25 pm August 6, 2018

Tampa-based Advertising Agency Schifino Lee Celebrates 25 Years

Ben Lee and Paola Schifino


Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding will celebrate its 25th year in business on August 19, 2018. Founded in 1993 by Paola Schifino and Ben Lee, SL is one of the few advertising agencies in the Tampa Bay area to experience such longevity. The organization has nearly doubled its revenues since 2013 and continues to innovate and evolve with each challenge or success that it faces. But like most 25-year-olds, the agency has only just started to reach its full potential.

SL comes from entrepreneurial beginnings, launching from a spare bedroom in Ben Lee’s home with just one client. Through the years, the agency has found continued success in its longtime mantra, Innovate or Die. The SL team prides itself on a forward-thinking mentality and fearlessness towards new ideas and technologies.

“In the early 1990’s, most agencies in Tampa Bay were mainly focused on design and graphics. They weren’t offering creative solutions that were tied to deeper strategic thinking. We saw an opportunity where the local ad community wasn’t delivering, and we jumped on it,” said Schifino.

Of course, no company makes it 25 years without adversity and SL is no exception. Roughly a decade ago, the agency’s office experienced a major fire that destroyed its entire workspace. Luckily SL was an early adopter of cloud technology, and its client data and electronic assets were unharmed. The fire also enabled the agency to move into its current Bayshore Boulevard space with striking views of the water.

The strategy of Innovate or Die has proven faithful to the agency time and time again. SL was the first agency to introduce Business Networking division of AT&T to digital advertising methods in 1999, and it was also one of the first agencies in Tampa to use geo-fencing for ad targeting. Today its consumer-oriented clients are generating significant results using social influencer campaigns, internet-based delivery services, and GPS-based foot traffic studies.

Again, with an eye towards innovation in marketplace decision making, SL has evolved its management team to be majority female. In addition to co-founder Paola Schifino, four of the agency’s six departments are led by women. The agency has subsequently introduced a number of new initiatives that have resulted in increased employee satisfaction and strengthened client relationships.

SL looks towards the future with enthusiasm and optimism. “Seeing our clients and team members achieve their goals has always been a great source of pride for me,” said Lee. “This year we celebrate 25 years of imagination and innovation. The natural next question is, ‘What’s next?’ Our answer is 25 more.”


Schifino Lee - 2:07 pm July 26, 2018

The key to record-shattering sales in 2018

How Schifino Lee Advertising increased sales for Gordon Chevrolet in Tampa, FL

You don’t have to be the biggest… to be the best.

When Eddie Gomez started settling in at Gordon Chevrolet last summer, he was excited about the opportunity to grow the dealership and build something great. To bring that dream to life, Gordon Chevy asked Schifino Lee to engineer a strategic, creative way to showcase their outstanding customer service—from their genuine, knowledgeable staff to their user-friendly website.

Once Schifino Lee got the green light, we wheeled out an integrated marketing campaign that included TV, radio, print, and public relations. And as for those who were already familiar with the dealership, we used carefully-targeted sales e-blasts to drive web traffic and purchases from loyal Gordon Chevy service customers.

So far, Schifino Lee’s efforts have helped shatter an 11-year monthly sales record, resulting in some pretty outstanding stats:

  • New Chevy sales are up 21%
  • Used car sales are up 26.4%
  • Total revenues are up 31.5%

Check out the full case study and see how our capabilities could help turbocharge your brand!

Schifino Lee - 9:13 am July 25, 2018

As the temperature heats up, so does the talent level at Schifino Lee

Schifino Lee Summer Interns in Tampa, Florida

This summer, Schifino Lee welcomed six new interns to the team. Eager to contribute, our interns brought in a fresh new set of skills and talent that we were eager to have. In exchange, our interns have gained that real-world experience they were hungry for through their time with us.

Jacqueline Disla | Account Service Intern

Jackie is a rising senior at the University of Florida studying public relations and marketing. Her favorite part about interning at Schifino Lee has been all of the hands-on experience she attained by working with clients like Farrior Plastic Surgery, Gordon Chevrolet, IntelAgree, and getting the chance to work with incredibly talented individuals. After graduation, Jackie looks forward to getting another internship before moving out west.

Chris Harris | Videography Intern

Chris is a senior public relations major at the University of Florida. As an aspiring videographer and editor, he loves to capture captivating visuals and turn them into meaningful stories that can speak to the heart of a brand, which he has gotten to do with some of our clients like Alessi and Sander’s Lead. Following his internship with Schifino Lee, he will return to school for his final year – after which he hopes to begin working full-time in production for a branding and advertising firm.

Lauren Santos | Writing Intern

Entering her senior year at USF, Lauren is majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Advertising. During her time at Schifino Lee, Lauren attended client interviews, edited blog posts and crafted witty headlines for some of our clients, like the Tampa Museum of Art and the Pinellas Education Foundation. She is excited to take her experiences and passion for writing and apply what she has learned with us into her future career as a copywriter. Being a city girl, when Lauren graduates, she aspires to land a job at an agency in a major city like Atlanta, New Orleans or our very own Tampa.

Samantha Bernard | Account Service Intern

Having moved from Jamaica when she was 13, Sam, a recent grad from USF, majored in Marketing with a concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management. As an account intern, she loves how Schifino Lee has given her the chance to learn in-depth strategies towards clients, like Farrior Plastic Surgery and IntelAgree—which can help tailor their target audience. After her internship, Sam desires to move to Atlanta and work as an account executive.

Jacob Warhop | Design Intern

Jacob is a rising junior at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), double majoring in Illustration and Advertising & Branding. After Schifino Lee, Jacob plans on graduating and using his interests in drawing, painting and writing to become an art director or copywriter, while also being an in-house editorial illustrator. His favorite part about Shifino Lee so far has been being able to work on material that is going to real clients, like the Hillsborough County Sheriff, Dewar Nursery, the American Marketing Association— and seeing all the different things that small ad agencies get to work on.

Brooke Worthan | Design Intern

A Tampa native, Brooke attended the Art Institute of Tampa for web and graphic design. She loves experiencing the day-to-day of working in a creative environment like Schifino Lee and getting to produce work for clients, such as Salems and Alessi. She has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the team and learn from a great group of people. After her internship, Brooke looks forward to beginning a career in the creative field and continuing to grow as a designer.

[note: no LinkedIn]

Schifino Lee - 3:30 pm June 25, 2018

Schifino Lee Announces Sponsorship of AMA Tampa Bay

AMA Tampa Bay


TAMPA, Fla. (June 25, 2018) – Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding is proud to announce its sponsorship of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Tampa Bay chapter. As an Annual Champion Sponsor and Marketer of the Year Sponsor, Schifino Lee will assist AMA on a variety of marketing projects including their annual Marketer of the Year event. From creative design to copywriting, Schifino Lee will continue to work vigorously in creating the industry’s leading marketing materials.

The sponsorship allows both organizations to cultivate a beneficial relationship for the marketing community. Schifino Lee will help AMA of Tampa Bay create marketing materials to increase brand awareness, drive membership and elevate participation from the local marketing community.

The AMA of Tampa Bay is a best-in-class national organization for marketers seeking professional growth. Their mission is to foster an interactive community for marketing professionals in the Tampa Bay area who are dedicated to the future of marketing. They provide innovative resources and tools, organize conferences and training sessions, host monthly keynote luncheons and workshops, and provide career resources, certification programs and job search assistance to their members.

Schifino Lee is a full-service advertising and branding agency in Tampa. Established in 1993, the organization is currently celebrating 25 years in business creating multi-faceted campaigns for companies like Vigo/Alessi, Tampa Museum of Art, WellCare, The Bank of Tampa, Salem’s Fresh Eats and many more.


Schifino Lee - 11:05 am June 18, 2018

Meet Our Savvy New Social Media Marketing Duo

Social Media Marketing Team

The team at Schifino Lee is ecstatic to announce the recent addition of two new social-ites to its all-star roster. With fresh, creative minds, Bri Wagner and Taylor Yianakopolos are taking our social media marketing department to the next level.

Bri Wagner, Social Media and Public Relations Manager

A world traveler, amateur chef, music enthusiast and proud cat mom, Bri touched down at Schifino Lee to spearhead our Social Media and Public Relations department just a few months ago. After earning a B.S. in public relations from the University of Florida, she began her career at a boutique PR agency in Miami that specialized in travel industry clients like Carnival Corporation, The Florida Keys and many more. After consuming enough café con leche and pastelitos to last a lifetime, she took her talents to Tampa where she gained experience marketing in the healthcare industry.

Bri has a constant thirst for adventure and perspective, which provides the imagination she thrives on to create innovative and fresh social campaigns. After a few productive months at the agency, she’s already built game-changing social media marketing strategies for Alessi, WRB Energy, CoLabs, Farrior Facial Plastic Surgery and many more.

“The key to using social media as a marketing tool is finding the right balance between results-driven strategy and creative wit. Every click should be tracked and every engagement analyzed. Each post should have a purpose to not only reach business goals, but also nourish the relationship between your organization and your audience,” said Bri. “Achieving this has never been easier with the team of talented individuals here at SL.”

Bri has overhauled our social media menu with options to fit every organization’s unique needs. Whether it’s a strategy and process for your in-house marketing team, planning and managing a social influencer campaign, eye-catching graphic design templates to build up your brand, a short-term campaign to promote a limited-time offer, or ongoing management to reach new heights – rest assured, she’s got you covered.

Questions, comments, or just want to say hello? Drop her a line at

Taylor Yianakopolos, Account/Social Media Coordinator

After graduating from a New Hampshire high school with a class of 80 students, Taylor set her sights on the big city of Tampa. She arrived at the University of Tampa with an interest in photography and design—but wasn’t quite sure how to apply her talents. After realizing “something creative” wasn’t a major, she immersed herself in advertising and public relations.

Taylor’s summers consisted of internships in the advertising world, traveling from New Hampshire to Maryland and back to Tampa, providing her with enough experience to hit the ground running at Schifino Lee.

Since joining the Schifino Lee team in May, Taylor has worked on multiple social clients in the Tampa Bay area including Alessi, Tampa Museum of Art, Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office and WRB Energy. When she’s not working on social media accounts, you can find her capturing agency culture for our social channels and drooling over the work of our fellow creatives.

Want to welcome Taylor or request puppy pictures of her new fur baby, Boomer? Just email

Schifino Lee - 3:35 pm April 27, 2018

Is Your Website Worthy of Your Brand?

web design and development

4 Web Design and Development Tips to Convert More Online Visitors

Your website has less than a second to make an impression on visitors. That first glance can help convert someone into a customer, or bore them into hitting their browser’s “Back” button. The way your site looks determines how people interact with it—but in 2018, plugging and playing any old WordPress template may not be enough to capture their interest, or win their business.

You’ve worked hard to build and establish your brand. And when web design and development is customized specifically for it, you’re not limited to the layouts and design elements competitors are using. Rather than fishing from the same pond, you have the opportunity to deliver a truly unique and memorable experience by engaging visitors in a strategic, thoughtful and unexpected way. That’s the first step toward creating loyal customers.

Here’s how Schifino Lee designs and develops a website that’s worthy of your brand.

1. Incorporate brand storytelling.

A brand story goes way beyond the “About” section of a website. It’s more than who you are, it’s how you make customers feel. And a good brand story should extend to every facet of your business—from the people you hire, to the products you sell, all the way through the copy and imagery in brochures, social media, paid ads and, of course, your website.

A perfect example is our custom-built, brand-new website for CoLabs, a software start-up which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to simplify business processes. The company was founded by three experienced entrepreneurs who have each built and sold successful, multi-million dollar tech companies. As such, CoLabs’ brand story is that they unite to disrupt; the founders have come together to build category-changing solutions that transform how entire industries do business.

To convey the “unite to disrupt” on the homepage, the Schifino Lee team built a portion of the CoLabs logo as a microinteraction—the dots move in unison as you pull your cursor through them and then merge to re-form the “C.” This single animation gives users an immediate sense of the solidarity that comprises the CoLabs brand along with the innovation they are capable of delivering—they feel it, we don’t have to tell them.

Go ahead, play with it yourself and see.


2. Ensure consistent stylization.
While a website allows you to tell your story in a compelling new way, it shouldn’t be a giant leap from your existing brand guidelines. For instance, CoLabs wanted to appear innovative and forward-thinking. However, they didn’t want to come off as too stodgy or technical online because talent acquisition is very important for them. The Schifino Lee copywriting team kept the site content strong yet succinct, fostering collaboration and openness wherever possible.

Creating a set of brand guidelines before getting too far into brand personality of your site will help establish uniformity. This includes a consistent use of style, terminology and facts that can makes it easier for customers to recognize you while instilling trust and confidence in the brand. If you fail to create a distinctive voice or end up with multiple voices, it distracts from your online presence.

3. Always optimize for mobile.

When we presented the CoLabs website concept, the first question the client asked was whether or not the microinteraction worked on mobile. And for good reason. These days, nearly 60% of search traffic is done on a mobile device. So if you have a big idea for a motion graphic or video on the home page, it’s critical to ensure that it will work (and work well) on a mobile device.

Example of a website optimized for mobile in the context of web design and development.

Having a device-agnostic site that is high speed and easy-to-navigate ensures your website will work for users browsing by desktop, tablet or smartphone. Your mobile site should have the core elements from the main site and load quickly. To make the copy easier to skim on smaller screens, break up big blocks of text with section headers and numbered lists and/or bullet points.

4. Keep content fresh and relevant

Remember, a good website is never done. Even after the site is live, you should continually update it to show prospects, potential hires and industry pros that you’re always learning and growing. Make sure your product and service pages stay current, and share recent news and press releases. Utilize content marketing to create original videos and blogs that keep your audience aware of your brands’ presence and activity. No matter what type of content you create, everything should follow your established brand guidelines.

Together, these elements make for a better reflection of your brand and a more engaging experience for users, which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates. Want to learn more about web design and development that’s worthy of your brand? Email or drop by the Schifino Lee office to discuss it over some cold draft beers with our digital team.

Schifino Lee - 11:24 am April 10, 2018

Matt-Of-All-Trades Parades Conceptual Wit as Senior AD

Matt Kannenberg, an Art Director at Schifino Lee Advertising and Branding in Tampa, Florida

Matt Kannenberg has always had a natural knack for smart, cheeky, strategy-savvy advertising. As a St. Pete native with 15 years of experience at reputable local agencies like 22squared, Matt’s talent serves as a substantial addition to Schifino Lee’s ever-evolving creative team.

His well-rounded creative chops in digital design, art direction, and branding have allowed him to contribute colorful, award-winning concepts and hands-on artistry to projects of all shapes and sizes.

Whether this expertise is applied to local start-ups or internationally-known brands like Toyota, Marriott, and Publix, every client walks away with their very own Kannenberg creation. At Schifino Lee, his impact has already made waves with clients like CoLabs, Gordon Chevy, and Kuhn Torres.

When Matt isn’t putting pixels in their place at Schifino Lee, he’s spoiling his 2-year-old son, rehabbing vintage bikes (bicycles, not Harleys), and working on personal projects with his wife in their home studio.

Give Matt a warm welcome!

Schifino Lee - 5:52 pm March 15, 2018

Social Influencer Marketing: a Proven Recipe for Brand Success in 2018

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing was one of the top social trends last year, and it’s expected to pick up even more steam in 2018. It’s no surprise—research shows that influencer marketing can generate up to a 960% return on investment. But of course, that all depends on how well your influencer campaign is executed.

Schifino Lee has experienced great success working with influencers. For example, we leverage the power of well-respected recipe bloggers for Alessi Foods, a top consumer food brand. But before we break down our strategy, let’s take a step back to examine what exactly influencer marketing is, and why it’s such a powerful sales tool.

What is influencer marketing

As social media becomes saturated with advertising, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have recently restructured their algorithms to decrease brand visibility and increase person-to-person interactions. Influencer marketing is a strategy that circumvents these algorithm updates, utilizing key leaders to share a brand’s message with a larger audience. Consumers typically respond better to social media influencers because it’s like receiving a recommendation from a friend, rather than being targeted for an ad.

Influencer marketing case study: Alessi Foods

Last year, social media ad spends broke records with bidding wars driving up the costs on every single platform. To boost Alessi’s visibility without increasing the budget, we looked outside the box at an emerging trend with great potential: influencer marketing.

Our social experts carefully vetted food/cooking influencers from all over the United States, eventually settling on 30 well-respected bloggers to produce unique content for Alessi. By cultivating these relationships, we’ve been able to reach new followers and provide benefits to our brand’s loyal customer base as well. Each influencer puts their own spin on cooking with Alessi products; the influencer’s followers are enticed to make room for Alessi products in their pantries; plus, current Alessi fans are inspired to cook with their favorite products in a mouthwatering new way.

These tactics are really paying off for Alessi. Our latest influencer campaigns generated over 20 million impressions, nearly 120,000 reads, 14,627 likes and 23,183 shares.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing and whether it’s right for your brand? Reach out to, or pop in our office to discuss it over a beer. Our Social Media Team looks forward to sharing proven strategies for expanding your brand’s reach and maximizing ROI.


Schifino Lee - 9:50 am March 8, 2018

International Women’s Day: Q&A with Paola Schifino


Paola Schifino

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’d like to shine a spotlight on Schifino Lee’s leading lady, Paola Schifino.

Over the past 25 years, Paola has achieved many accolades, including her most recent honor of being named Business Woman of the Year for 2017 by Tampa Bay Business Journal. She has also been named a Tampa Bay Business Journal “40 Under 40” winner, a Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year finalist in 2008, and Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year finalist.

However, she considers her greatest business accomplishments to be growing our firm by increasing our clients’ businesses. We began working with a $60 million company called Network Liquidators and helped rebrand them into the $100 million+ success known today as Vology. Lifestyle Family Fitness was a business that was losing members faster than it was signing new ones before our campaign helped them grow over 20 percent annually and become an attractive acquisition for LA Fitness. Vigo-Alessi’s revenues increased millions only six months after our rebranding campaign for them launched.

Every strong and successful woman had to start somewhere; each with their own unique portfolio of experiences that make up who they are today. This year marks Schifino Lee’s 25th anniversary. Get a peek into what it was like to build a business from the ground up and what it’s like to be a woman in business with this quick Q&A featuring Paola Schifino.

Q: What does it take to run a successful company for 25 years?

A: Controlled curiosity. This is what feeds my passion for advertising and marketing as it relates to clients and their business, as it relates to innovations in the industry, as it relates cultural trends.  I preface curiosity with the word controlled because some entrepreneurs might display curiosity, but it might be unfocused, and as a result, they might be jumping from one unrelated endeavor to the next – building nothing.

Q: What’s the greatest bit of advice you could give to a budding female entrepreneur?

A: Success is 80 percent driven by intelligence, business acumen, hard work and the right advisors. The other 20 percent is swagger. Sometimes swagger comes naturally, sometimes it must be learned and sometimes it is earned. Either way: get it. And back it up with the 80 percent.

Q: What do you think it means to be an effective leader?

A: If the leadership scale ranges from zero to 10 with zero being a “happiness” style leadership (e.g. Zappos’ Tony  Hsieh) and 10 being a “dictatorial” style leadership (e.g. Apple’s Steve Jobs), I would say I run somewhere around a six.  I personally prefer a more democratic style of leadership, where I draw on peoples’ knowledge and talents to build consensus behind a particular goal.  But as you can see, any style of leadership can be successful as long as you surround yourself with like-minded individuals that thrive in that particular environment.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge women in business face today?

A: Women need to command respect. This type of respect opens many doors including the “money door”.

Q: What about our greatest strength?

A: In achieving their goals, I truly believe women are resilient and always have been. Except before, we were like water in a creek, softly flowing around obstacles in our path. Now we’re more like a class-five rapid, crushing it.

Q: What do you think the future of business looks like for women?

A: I think more and more women will establish their own business on their own terms, and hopefully some of these organizations will spin off into global companies. Then in ten years we will be chatting about the next round of remarkable founders and CEOs, and they will be female.

Schifino Lee - 12:26 pm February 21, 2018

Schifino Lee cranks their creative team to full volume

Against an industry backdrop that tends to blend together, Schifino Lee enlists two imaginative young minds that are sure to keep things interesting.



You might have caught a sneak peek of Johnny’s unique approach to comedic storytelling if you follow Kevin Hart or Waka Flocka Flame on any of their social channels.

His creative prowess also extends into the music industry. Johnny has toured the world for nearly a decade while juggling PR, songwriting, art/creative direction, merchandising, and social media for signed artists—including his own bands, Dark Sermon and Prison.

Here at Schifino Lee, Johnny is jamming with clients like the Tampa Museum of Art, Alessi, Vology, and Salem’s Fresh Eats, tackling social, video, and digital content.

When not slaying stages or cooking up culture-shifting brand campaigns, Johnny runs an SMS service called Cope Notes  that helps troubled young adults stay the course in the face of dark thoughts and hardship.

With a firm belief in the power of a positive mental attitude and matchless freedom of expression, Johnny is already bringing a refreshing flair to the agency.



Kelsey lands at Schifino Lee after ping-ponging from state to state throughout the U.S., learning loads along the way. She studied fine art, sculpting, and A/V production at the University of Cincinnati, and her film experience set the stage for a handful of short flicks with friends and an impressive level of cinema snobbery.

As for the art part? Well, that’s how she made it here.

From handling production design at Shutterfly to fielding studio art for national brands like Subaru, Kelsey is well-versed in crafting email campaigns, direct mail, and even trade show exhibits.

Whether she’s painting with acrylics or piecing together a brilliant collage, there’s no question that Kelsey’s multimedia talent will help elevate Schifino Lee’s creative output and innovation.

Make some noise for Johnny and Kelsey by helping us welcome them to the team!

Schifino Lee - 10:26 am February 13, 2018


A brief(ish) rant by Johnny Crowder


Working in a creative agency can downward-dog your brain into a flexible pretzel of brilliance… OR it can compress your spirit into a singularity of cynicism.

But here’s the good news: The choice is yours.

I’ve seen so many blameless concepts bleed out at the hands of a client, coworker, or computer glitch that, if I started getting teardrop tattoos, my artist would run out of ink. On some days, any workplace can feel like a graveyard. Cobwebbed tombstones of clever one-liners and eye-catching visuals litter the lifeless landscape.

So, if the choice is ours, why would anyone choose that?

The truth is that you don’t choose that option—Your ego does.

Your ego is what scowls when someone else coughs up a better tagline. Your ego is what secretly wishes a client would shoot down a genius campaign because it doesn’t boast your byline. Your ego is what pledges itself to a righteous vendetta the moment your cheeky script becomes fodder for the recycle bin.

This is why your ego needs to take PTO for the rest of your career.

There are safe ideas and absurd ones. There are groundbreaking ideas and predictable ones. But at the end of the day, you don’t get to crown the victor.

Beyond a certain mile marker, your ideas aren’t your own anymore. After you hone and refine and slather your million-dollar pitch with lip gloss, you hand it off to a client… And there is a very real possibility that they could ask you to start over. From scratch.

But guess what? You’re better for it. You’re better for raising it from infancy and watching it grow, change, and pass away before your very eyes.

When your creation is cremated, tell your ego to kick rocks. You spent all day utilizing parts of your cranium that other humans don’t even realize they possess, and that’s a triumph all its own.

Don’t just celebrate your ideas—Celebrate good ones, no matter who cooks them up. Stand behind your own work, but don’t defend it with rabid loyalty and bared canines. The people around you worked just as hard as you did to bring their bacon to the table. Every day is a new chance to hit a homer, and tomorrow’s W could have your name written all over it.

If you struggle to maintain that perspective, just keep this in mind: As creatives, we are fortunate beyond measure to call this “work.” Never, ever forget that.

Schifino Lee - 11:44 am January 23, 2018

Join us in welcoming Salem’s Gyros & More as our new client

We are proud to announce we have been selected by Salem’s Gyros & More to assist with their rebranding and marketing communications. Salem’s has 13 great locations throughout the Tampa Bay area and has been serving up delicious, high quality food for 30 years! From gyro to wings to fried chicken, Salem’s has something for everyone. We are so excited to be working with the Salem family!

“We want to make great food… but we also want to make a difference in the communities we serve.”

– Salem Gharsalli, Chief Executive Officer

Schifino Lee - 3:01 pm January 22, 2018

Schifino Lee Wins Big in 2018 Graphis Advertising Awards


Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding picked up two Platinum awards in the Graphis Advertising Annual 2018 competition. The Platinum award is the highest honor bestowed by Graphis, and Schifino Lee is one of just nine agencies worldwide to win in the “Video” category this year. The awards were presented for two digital videos, both produced by Schifino Lee for the Tampa Museum of Art.

“Our goal was to position the museum as a place for creative inspiration,” said Chad Grandey, creative director of the videos. “These ads show that art is for anyone—not just the elite. That’s why it’s such an honor to be recognized by Graphis for the spots.”



Graphis selects entries for the purpose of showcasing the best creative work of each year, resulting in a cross-sampling of superior pieces from specific categories. Both of Schifino Lee’s videos appear in the same category; the spots were shot and edited locally in Tampa Bay by Steve Widoff (director) and feature creative spins on how the everyday person can interpret art.

In addition to earning two Graphis Platinum awards, Schifino Lee’s integrated campaign has significantly increased foot traffic and general brand awareness for the Tampa Museum of Art. Since winning the account just two years ago, Schifino Lee has helped the museum achieve their largest July attendance on record and increased overall household memberships.

Schifino Lee - 11:38 am December 14, 2017

Five Interns to the Four Winds

This season brought Schifino Lee an international mix of interns with energy and initiative that livened up both the account and creative sides of the agency. Thanks to their funky flair and worldly creative perspectives, our clients were treated to some truly inspiring work.

Cristina Albers | Design Intern

Cristina lives for seeing the world and meeting new people. Born in Venezuela, she’s graced the University of Tampa with her wit and wisdom as an international student. A double major in Advertising & Public Relations, plus Graphic Design, she brings a keen artistic eye to Schifino Lee clients like Alessi and the Tampa Museum of Art. Looking towards the future, Cristina hopes to complete her master’s degree in global branding and communications in the distant land of Germany.

Lale Perez | Design Intern

After leaving friends and family behind in Venezuela, Lale embarked on the biggest adventure of her life and hopped on a plane to Florida. Excited to soak in a brand-new culture, she enrolled at the University of Tampa to pursue a degree in Advertising & Public Relations with a minor in Communications. At Schifino Lee, Lale has lent her artistic ability to the Tampa Museum of Art and Suncoast Team Services, among others. Down the road, Lale hopes to travel the world, creating buzz-worthy content for non-profit organizations globally.

Tristin Izzo | Account Service Intern

Tristin is a real go-getter when it comes to getting what she wants. Rounding out her senior year, Tristin is an Advertising & Public Relations and Interpersonal Communications major with a minor in Business and Integrated Marketing. Woah. Triple threat. She has a knack for understanding companies and has contributed to our work for Tampa Museum of Art and California Tacos during her time here. Post graduation, she’s determined to book a one-way ticket to England and find a great agency to work for.

Nicole Germany | Writing Intern

A little spicy and a little sweet, Nicole takes every writing assignment on as her next big adventure. After receiving a B.S. in Journalism and Communications, she was eager to take on a new roll – helping brand awesome companies. During her time interning, Nicole has worked with Vology and P&S Transportation, among many others. Her proudest moment was the first time she saw her byline in print. And yes, she framed it. Ultimately, Nicole hopes to land a job that gives her the opportunity to brand and manage social media for new and blossoming companies.

Jose Lazarte | Design Intern

Jose received his degree in Advertising Design from Ringling College of Art and Design. With his avid attention to detail, he has crafted graphics for Alessi, Vology and the agency’s own social media efforts. Beyond his design skills, Jose is pretty decent at hitting a tennis ball, having won first place in the regionals tennis tournament in Peru! One day he hopes to live abroad in Rome and immerse himself in the city’s beautiful culture and delectable food.

As their tenure at Schifino Lee wraps up, the winter wind is taking them to their next big challenge. Their contributions have been invaluable and we wish them the best with what’s to come.

Schifino Lee - 11:12 am November 16, 2017

Schifino Lee revs up creative team

More creative horsepower for our clients.

Schifino Lee welcomes Lenna Curry, a powerful new engine for creativity, who’s driven by expertise in digital marketing, loyalty marketing, and brand advertising. As our newest content strategist and word wizard, she brings savvy big league experience from Subaru of America, Mercedes-Benz USA, and more.

Lenna began her journey at The University of Northern Iowa, where she earned a B.A. in Marketing/Advertising. Following graduation, she turned an internship into a full-time job crafting social media and web content for an automotive agency.

One particularly chilly Iowa day, she decided to ditch her bulky snow boots for flip-flops and flew south. Once settled in Clearwater, she began working at AutoLoop, writing and directing email and print communications for national auto brands, while simultaneously handling AutoLoop’s B2B messaging.

When not wowing clients with her word prowess, Lenna is a master curator of Spotify playlists who’s amassed hundreds of thousands of playlist subscriptions. They were so bomb that she sold her account to a sub-label of Atlantic Records. Yeah, you could say she definitely rocks.

Give Lenna a holler and welcome her to the Schifino Lee team at

Schifino Lee - 3:36 pm November 3, 2017

The Early Bird Gets The Eggnog

Don’t do cookie cutter holiday campaigns.

This season, stand apart from store-bought cards and passe fruitcake. Whether you’re looking for a heartwarming print greeting or a hard-hitting e-blast, Schifino Lee has the creative wits and strategic know-how to deliver the goods. Our award-winning creatives custom tailor campaigns to fit your business – no two are ever the same. Now is the time to take advantage of proven strategies and trail-blazing holiday creative—from one-off e-blasts to all-in multi-channel campaigns.

To get your holiday concepts cooking now, contact Greg Davis, our VP of Client Services.

Schifino Lee - 11:07 am October 17, 2017



While the branding campaign we created for Grenlec, one of the Caribbean’s leading electric utilities, was still generating buzz three years later, Schifino Lee decided it was time to dial things up a notch.

Building on the “Energising Our Grenada” marketing message, we developed an integrated campaign for 2017 around the theme “Good for Grenada.” We reinforced the utility’s positioning as a reliable, forward-thinking provider and introduced a new mix of broad-based advertising, email, social, and other tactics to share all the ways Grenlec serves its customers and communities.



The Facebook campaign alone generated millions of paid ad impressions, hundreds of thousands of organic impressions, and more than a thousand new followers. Not bad for an island of 106,000 people.

For more energizing creative, check out the full Grenlec case study on our site.

Schifino Lee - 11:54 am September 18, 2017

Advertising as a Catalyst for Change

Cannes Blog_image_part3

In the third and final installment of my inspired takeaways from this summer’s Cannes Lions experience, I want to highlight the presentations around the true good that the advertising industry does. Unfortunately, much of our industry has a bad reputation because people associate us with late night infomercials of guys screaming at you about amazing cleaning products you need right now—for only $19.99! When in actuality, the advertising industry is able to put out beautiful things that really lift society up. We boost NGO’s, do pro-bono work, promote government initiatives, and much more. Done right, advertising can be good for everyone.

In support of that point, the Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke about how creativity and advertising can make a significant difference in the world. He said, “Brands are the islands of stability in the current chaotic political and social climate. Advertising brings issues to the forefront of society. We can do well in the world with creativity and imagination. Creatives can use imagination in a way that politicians can’t.” He went on to point out that we can use creativity to make a difference in the world by addressing ignorance, and giving voice to those who don’t have one, in an engaging way.

In the presentation What the World Really Needs is More Advertising,hosted by BBDO and featuring their President & CEO, Andrew Robertson, and CCO, David Lubars, they acknowledged the undeniable fact that there’s a lot of bad stuff happening in the world right now. Then they highlighted some work the advertising industry has done to make a connection between brands and what really matters to consumers, which has made a difference in their lives. Following the tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, the families of the children who were lost that day created a non-profit organization called the Sandy Hook Promise. They raise awareness of gun violence, provide programs demonstrating practices to use, and teach others the signs to prevent other shootings. BBDO did pro-bono work for the Sandy Hook Promise and made this powerful, unforgettable  video. It won several lions at Cannes, as it should have.

If you haven’t met Graham, who won the first Grand Prix award this year,  I’ll formally introduce you. He was designed to promote road safety. Graham was created for the government-owned Transport Accident Commission (TAC). BBDO included Graham in the TAC Towards Zero campaign. Graham was made specifically to answer the question: what would we look like if we were to evolve to survive our dangerous roadways? Created by leading trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield, crash investigator David Logan, and world-renowned artist Patricia Piccinini, he very dramatically made people aware of the vulnerabilities humans have in our daily lives.

Another surprising example is Barbie. As a kid, I must have had at least 50 Barbies over the years. So I was shocked to hear that Barbie’s sales have dropped by 12% in recent years. Then this commercial aired on television and it didn’t take long before sales were back up by 8%. Over 25 million people have received the message that we should empower young girls to be anything they dream to be.

On a much grander, global level, there’s the Common Ground initiative. United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, explained in her presentation Can the Creative Industry Act as a Force for Good? that Common Ground is a pact the world’s six largest advertising holding companies made to work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The holding companies involved are Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group, IPG, WPP, Dentsu and Dentsu Aegis Network, and Havas.

This was a big deal when it was announced at last year’s Cannes Festival because the agencies that these companies own are the very ones that often go head to head at award shows like Cannes. The CEO’s of these companies made this joint statement…

“The Common Ground initiative recognizes that the global issues the UN has identified transcend commercial rivalry. By working in partnership to support the Sustainable Development Goals, we want to demonstrate that even fierce competitors can set aside their differences in order to serve a wider common interest. We hope others in and beyond our own business decide to do the same.”

 Each holding company chose a different goal to focus on. Publicis chose goal #2: Zero Hunger; Dentsu chose goal #3: Good Health & Well-Being; Omnicom chose goal #4: Quality Education; WPP chose goal #5: Gender Equality; IPG chose goal #6: Clean Water & Sanitation; and Havas chose goal #13: Climate Action. Some of my favorite campaigns are “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” and “Buy a Lady a Drink.” You can see all of the campaigns made for Common Ground here.

Sure, our advertising messages can inspire actions like “act now for free shipping and handling and get this is amazing price of $19.99!” But, we can do so much more. We can use creativity to engage people, get them to care about helping others, and ultimately, be a powerful catalyst for societal change.

Schifino Lee - 9:37 am September 6, 2017

How to be Authentically “Authentic” with Your Brand Authenticity

Cannes Blog_image_part2

In part two of my series on key takeaways from the 64th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, let’s talk about the power of authenticity for both personal and corporate brands. When you think of “authenticity”, what does that mean to you? Do you think of how it relates to your work, or maybe the future of your career?

To me, being authentic means staying true to yourself and your values. You aren’t catering to someone else’s desires. Creative people, whether through writing, performing, designing, whatever, are all essentially expressing themselves. It doesn’t matter what form of media you use. It’s true to you. So it wasn’t surprising that authenticity was a hot topic for several speakers at the Cannes Creative Festival.

Ashley Frangipane, better known as singer/songwriter Halsey, spoke about authenticity on a personal level and as it relates to company brands in her presentation Authentic, Creative, and Unafraid. On the personal brand level, she said to always remember that your social media accounts are your brand. Anyone who views your profiles should be able to know who you are, what you do, and what you believe in. On the company brand level, Halsey advised to still write and share personal experiences to make it authentic, so everyone can relate to it. It will better resonate with people that way. “You can create a product that will adapt to culture, or you can create a culture that will adapt to a product,” Halsey observed. Whatever level you’re working on, be authentic to your brand and that’s what people will trust in.

For rapper and Creative Director, Rakim Mayers (a.k.a. A$AP Rocky), authenticity is driven by passion. You need to truly believe in something if you want other people to also believe in it. “If you stick to the good authentic ideas, you don’t need a bunch of money to push it, because people will gravitate towards it,” he noted. People hate when they know they’re being advertised to, and they don’t want to hear generic sales messages. They want something that will actually benefit their lives.

Platon, the world-renowned photographer, took the festival crowd through The Craft of Authenticity. He said, “Advertising teaches us to say powerful messages… advertising is a window to the world. [As storytellers] we get to choose what to say.”

As an example of big brands that use authenticity and transparency effectively in their ads, McDonald’s came out on top in several lists. Now, McDonald’s wouldn’t have been my first thought, but their “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign is one of the more transparent campaigns in recent years. The whole idea was to take common myths and address them publicly. McDonald’s has long struggled with ingredient and processing concerns. With new brands championing with healthier options, they had some questions to answer. Literally. The result has been one of their most talked about campaigns ever. With over 5.4 million views, and 42,000 questions asked and answered, McDonald’s has been able to address their customer’s concerns and reinstate their values.

In summary, we get authenticity when we combine what we know with what we love. That’s how we truly make a difference in the world. More to come on that in the third part of this series. Stay tuned.

Schifino Lee - 11:00 am September 1, 2017

Give Creative Brands Purpose and They Just Might Make a Difference.

Cannes Blog_image_part1

A little over a month ago, The 64th Annual Cannes Lions Festival was in full force. The Mediterranean Sea sparkled next to the festival grounds as storytellers, designers, artists, political figures, celebrities, and CEOs rushed to and from the Palais, trying to make it to the next big presentation. I was part of that very fortunate crowd that was feeling inspired by the creative spirit in the air.

The Cannes Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind event that brings people from all corners of the earth to South France to celebrate the best work to come out of the advertising and creative communications industries, and other related fields. It’s also a platform for some of the world’s biggest game changers to talk about issues facing the industry, explore new ideas, share success stories, and learn from failures.

For me, one of the most talked about and fascinating topics covered throughout the festival was brand purpose. What is it? Does it matter? How can we use it to develop better work? Brand purpose is the reason a brand exists. It’s something consumers can align their own values with. Brand purpose is what your brand stands for; what makes it stand out amongst competitors. For example, Coke’s brand purpose is to share happiness. They’ve focused on that in all their worldwide marketing efforts. Conversely, what is Pepsi’s brand purpose? To promote peaceful protest? #adfail (Sorry, too soon?) Brands with a well-defined brand purpose are able to communicate much more than just their functional benefits.

Civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson, put it this way: “People are buying brands that take a stance on an important issue.” In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek makes a similar claim:  “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” Time and time again we’ve seen the brands with purpose come out on top: TOMS over Vans, Starbucks over Dunkin Donuts, Dove over Olay.

So how does it work? Well, it takes trial and error. But when you do get it right, your work has clear meaning, you create work that matters, and your work is able to emotionally move people. David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer at BBDO, cautioned that “It’s important to make your advertising focus on a single issue or topic. Don’t try to hit too many points at once, or you just might miss the target completely.”

Of all the presentations at the festival that touched on brand purpose, my favorite was the one that really broke it down, Does Brand Purpose Really Drive Creative Work? It was hosted by Diageo and featured their CMO, Syl Saller, and their Global Head of Beer, Mark Sandys. Diageo has over 200 big name brands, including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, and Guinness. They used the example of Smirnoff’s brand purpose. Smirnoff is a brand that features colorless, odorless, and overall unexciting alcohol in its general functional use. Any alcoholic brand could automatically be written off as bad, just because it’s alcohol. However, Smirnoff decided to change the story. They use the power of good times to move all of us to be more inclusive through stories of real people (like Chris Fonseca, a deaf dance teacher) that promote their brand purpose. In the end, it doesn’t matter if other brands also focus on inclusivity, it’s strong enough if it’s true to the brand.

The Diageo hosts also shared the original failure story of Captain Morgan to get across that it’s not going to be a win every time you assign a purpose to a brand. Captain Morgan lost sales when craft drinks came into play. The original solution they came up with was to make Captain Morgan more real. The result was this confusing ad. They soon realized that they had it all wrong since the strategic credibility wasn’t there. Instead they discovered the best solution was to change the story to make the power of fun champion. Captain Morgan has always been about fun, so they’re getting back to their roots. Now, they make ads like this, to align with their brand purpose and make the brand image stronger.

Mark Sandys said that the next time you “unleash creativity” for a brand with purpose there are seven C’s you need to keep in mind: Clarity and credibility, collaboration, courage, consistency, commitment, and content. What leads to success in the long run is asking the important questions in these seven categories, such as Who is the right partner for the content you’re making? and most importantly, Are you willing to stick with a purpose, so that it truly becomes what the brand stands for?

Now think about your favorite brands. Are they your favorite because they represent something you stand for? Do they work towards a cause you believe in?

Schifino Lee - 10:20 am August 25, 2017

Meet Summer’s Fiery Female Team of Interns

Summer Intern group image

Schifino Lee has had a talented set of interns this summer. We’re grateful for their contributions to the agency and for their fresh perspectives on so many projects. It’s been a blast getting to know them, and we wish them the best in their very bright futures.

Alicia Chen | Design Intern

Alicia has spent the summer in Tampa, but she spends most of the year at Washington University in St. Louis. She’s studying Communication Design and minoring in Psychology and Computer Science. Great combo. When she’s not busy illustrating or designing, she likes to twiddle her time away crocheting. Sounds very calming. She daydreams about heading to a big city one day to work as a designer for an agency, or possibly a professional illustrator.

Noelle Griffin | Writing Intern

Noelle, a Tampa native, has been the woman with the words all summer at Schifino Lee. She’s graduating from the University of South Florida this fall with a B.A. in Mass Communications, with a focus in advertising, but plans to continue her education at grad school. She dreams with her heart first, as she hopes to someday make a difference at an agency that specializes in sustainable and eco-friendly brands. When not writing or chugging down coffee, she might catch her zenned-out in down dog. She’s a certified yoga instructor on the weekends. Namaste.

Aimee Iglesia | Photography Intern  (not pictured)

Aimee is a go-getter who started her own photography business about five years ago. We brought her on board to capture all those picture-perfect moments in the office and on location with clients. She graduated in the Spring from the Art Institute of Tampa photography program with a Bachelors in Fine Art. Her short term plan is to focus on her photography business. Not only is she talented behind the lens, but in front of the camera too. She sang at Madison Square Garden at the age of 16. With Marc Anthony. No big deal.

Carter Johan | Account Service Intern

            Carter is a junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, but Tampa is her home. She has extensive experience in human resources at other marketing firms. Amongst her many skills, SCUBA diving and being able to keep calm and carry on while swimming with sharks. So obviously, office sharks should be no biggie for Carter. This fall, she’ll be finishing up her degree in Human and Organizational Development while getting a minor in Corporate Strategy.

Cassie Rankin | Design Intern

Cassie is the Creative Cloud Queen. In fact, thanks to her vast skillset, she works at the USF Digital Media Commons teaching students the in’s and out’s of all Adobe programs. This Fall, she’s going into her last year of study at USF in the Mass Communications Advertising program. While waiting for software updates to install, you might find her rocking out on the ukulele or obsessing over Disney. Cassie takes a of love of Disney to a whole new level, as she’s the Vice President and Marketing Chair of the Disney Club at USF. Brownie points for that resume experience.

Erika Suarez | Account Service Intern

Erika has been soaking up rays in the Bay this summer, but she’s going to be heading north this Fall to finish up at Florida State University and receive a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media, with a minor in Communications. She’s leaving here with some amazing experience under her belt, that she hopes will one day land her at a top agency with fun clients. If she doesn’t make it big in advertising, keep an eye out for her name in lights on Broadway. Erika loves to sing. A solid plan B.

Catherine Weaver | Account Service Intern (not pictured)

Catherine is a fashionista and killer account service intern. She worked at boutiques and shops like Anthropologie before joining the Schifino Lee gang. She aspires to one day combine her love of graphic design, social media, blogging, and website design with her passion for the fashion industry. Advertising, however, is her second career choice. She actually wanted to be a Rockette up in NYC. Just eight inches too short.




Schifino Lee - 12:05 pm August 3, 2017

Creating a stylish new way to shop for authentic Italian products


Schifino Lee’s latest creative initiative for long-time client Alessi Foods was to dramatically spice up their website with new design and functionality. Thanks to the strategic success of Alessi’s social engagement over the past year, both among millennials and our core target audience, the need for an update to their existing website had become a priority. Our social media efforts have delivered a huge increase in visits to the Alessi website and doubled their online sales, so it made sense that a new and improved web experience would drive time spent on the site, and online sales, even further.

Our web solution features a visual look and brand voice that syncs up nicely with our social media presence and other digital media tactics. We also cooked up a much improved consumer e-commerce experience with new features like a quick cart, more convenient product and recipe suggestions, and a series of helpful how-to videos. And just as importantly, the new site is more mobile-friendly to appeal to the younger audiences which make up a growing part of Alessi’s target market.

So now everyone can easily shop on the go and still experience the authentic Italian qualities Alessi is known for.

Read more about this case study.

Schifino Lee - 12:47 pm July 24, 2017

Reaping the Benefits of Hard Work


It’s safe to say that 2017 is going to be an impressive year for Schifino Lee. It’s only July and we’re already proudly displaying six new creative awards around the office—three GRAPHIS winners, two Davey’s, and a shiny Telly.

A 30-second video for the Tampa Museum of Art titled “Imagine That” received a prestigious GRAPHIS 2017 Platinum Award. Directed and shot by Steve Widoff, it’s prominently featured in the Ad Annual and online. In the same competition, we also received a Silver Award for our Clemente Museum poster. They’re both nice complements to the GRAPHIS Silver Award we won earlier in the year in the Logo Competition for the Athletes + Causes Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation logo. GRAPHIS is dedicated to recognizing exceptional work in Graphic Design, Advertising, and other fields. They feature award winners in their annual publications and on their website.

Hanging in our hallway wall are two new Davey Awards. One for the “Dog Origami” poster we created for Cody Consulting. Another for our TV commercial “Monolith” for Black Rock Grill. The Davey Awards feature the best ideas to come from smaller agencies with smaller budgets.

Last, but certainly not least, Schifino Lee brought home a Bronze 2017 Telly Award for our Homee TV spot “Shocking.” Special thanks to director Rob Tiisler and Company Man Studios for a marvelous production on Homee, as well as Black Rock Grill. The Telly Awards support and honor creative work in TV, cable, digital, streaming, and non-broadcast media.

Finally, we want to give a shout out to our wonderful clients on these projects for supporting great work, plus putting so much trust and confidence in the entire Schifino Lee team.

Schifino Lee - 1:41 pm July 12, 2017

Schifino Lee is right-brain ready with two new hires


We just added two fierce female creatives to our team. This pair could run laps around any other gang in the game- literally. Not only are they creative aces, able to solve problems with a pinch of copy and a dash of design, they’re also pros at brightening up the office with their positive attitudes and witty banter.

Katelyn Sykes, Copywriter Check her out on Linkedin
Katelyn is avid. At almost everything. She’s a runner, a seamstress, a mouseketeer, an avocado farmer, a coffee chugger, a double-triple college majorer, and a nerf-gun enthusiast. But above all else, she loves writing, which was one of her many majors at USF. It’s also why she interned at PUSH in Orlando and Schifino Lee before we offered her a full-time gig. Now she hones her style every day and delivers for clients like Alessi, The Tampa Museum of Art, and Ameriflight. She’s who every writer wishes they could be, if they wanted to run 13 miles every day while reciting unrequited puns from Star Wars.

Delaney Parsons, Production Artist Check her out on Linkedin
We have a feeling Delaney might be a spy for the illuminati, because when it comes to print production she truly is the all-seeing eye. Not one nitty-gritty detail escapes her notice. She’s a pro at helping us go from concept to flawless execution on every project. Delaney graduated from the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg with a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History. She then put those skills to work as a Junior Art Director at Dunn&Co., working on clients such as Tijuana Flats, Baxter Healthcare, and United Way, before joining our team. Her attention to detail extends beyond our four agency walls to everything from fashion and makeup, to fitness and form-perfect pushups. Don’t let her fool you though, we’ve seen her sneak a doughnut (or two) in the office.

When they’re not busy being creative craftsmen, these two are always up for good conversation, so feel free to stop by and say hello.

Schifino Lee - 11:38 am June 26, 2017

Crafting the Hydroponic Difference


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


Schifino Lee - 10:11 am June 7, 2017

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


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.

Schifino Lee - 4:55 pm April 10, 2017



No one wants to be sold to. Or worse, lied to. Which is why Schifino Lee, an advertising agency, doesn’t believe in advertising. 


Intriguing campaigns are still king at capturing attention, but holding it now means less professional copy and more conversations. 


So don’t sell. Connect. 


The how is easy. Your audience is looking for something to belong to, something to root for, something to believe in. You can offer that. You can offer a cause. Companies like Coke, Apple, and TOMS are wildly successful, blossoming through the stratosphere because they offered a cause. Coke had happiness, Apple had a new way to think, and Tom gave back. Those are all big ideas that people believe in. Groups they want to assimilate with. Causes they want to be a part of. 


Which means, you need to know your true product. 


If you make widgets, make them because you have a reason in doing so. Maybe you think you can provide adventure, stir an emotion, help the elderly. But it’s not just a widget, its an opportunity. Here’s an example:


A coffee shop brews coffee so good it’s worth waking up an extra five minutes for. That five minutes could be used to do something nice for someone. Your brand is about doing something nice. “We believe five minutes can change the world” becomes your platform. You don’t make coffee, you make compassion. That’s your true product. And you get to reach a new audience. One that likes coffee. Another that wants to do some good. 


No more shrugging of the shoulders saying “I dunno. I exist to make money.” Instead, stand for something. People will follow you. Give them something to root for, they will cheer you on. Give them something to believe in, they’ll believe in you. Give them a cause, and they’ll buy your product. 


 Go team. 

Schifino Lee - 2:45 pm March 23, 2017

Schifino Lee Expands Social Circle


With social media’s explosive growth making it one of the most powerful weapons in the marketing arsenal, we wanted to add more firepower to our social media team. Our latest weapon is Kate Dempsey, SL’s new Social Community Coordinator.

Kate’s talent in navigating the endlessly evolving intricacies of social platforms comes from years of experience as a Social Media Manager at Savannah List For Less and as a PR professional at The Brandman Agency in New York City. Once she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Communications from Florida State University, she headed to Tampa to take on a new challenge.

Well-armed with an intuitive knack for strategic thinking (and quoting 80’s movies), Kate assists in social content creation, managing client social media calendars, and spreading the word about our clients’ offerings to every corner of the Internet. Her expertise compliments our talented team of digital sharpshooters in the Social Media department by taking perfect aim in targeting our client’s audiences and building relevant connections through influencer marketing. Kate’s unique skillset in digital branding makes her a perfect fit for Schifino Lee: smart, crafty, and here to put the world at your fingertips.

Feel free to send her a welcoming email at

Schifino Lee - 4:54 pm March 9, 2017

At the 2017 Addy Awards, Seven is Schifino Lee’s Lucky Number


All the outstanding work we did for clients last year continues to win big at award shows. Schifino Lee’s latest recognition came in mid-February at the 2017 AAF Tampa Bay Awards Gala, where we scored two Gold and five Silver awards.

Our award-winning work spanned a broad range of categories, from videos to out-of-home to digital to integrated campaigns; it also spanned a broad mix of clients, including the Tampa Museum of Art, Waypoint Capital Partners, the Clemente Museum, and Scream-A-Geddon. Several winners will advance to the Fourth District ADDY Awards where they’ll compete for the chance to go to the big national show in June.

“We’re proud to have another strong showing at the ADDY Awards this year,” said Ben Lee, Principal and Co-Founder of Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding. “It’s further proof of our focus on delivering the best quality work for our clients.”

The American Advertising Awards (the ADDYs) is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local Ad Club competitions. The mission of the American Advertising Awards is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

To see how we can bring the same award-winning strategic and creative thinking to your next project, contact us

Schifino Lee - 5:29 pm January 18, 2017

Bringing Home the Silver for Athletes + Causes


We are proud to announce that Schifino Lee will receive a Silver Award from the International GRAPHIS 2017 Logo Competition for their work for Athletes + Causes Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation. The logo, designed by Associate Creative Director Chad Grandey, combines the elements of a dog house with a baseball diamond’s home plate, constructing an identity for the pet adoption organization that also reflects Lance McCullers’ baseball career as a pitcher for the Houston Astros.

The International GRAPHIS Logo Competition is an organization that recognizes and promotes excellence and talent in the realm of graphic design, advertising, art and photography. Their competitions cover a wide array of visual design, and winning entries are featured in annual publishings. Chad’s work will appear in the 2017 Logo Design 9 Annual.

Athletes + Causes is a non-profit organization that supports philanthropic and charitable efforts of athletes. The Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation aims to create programs, promote pet adoptions, and raise awareness to homeless animals and the high use of kill shelters, especially for larger breeds of dogs that are less likely to be adopted.

Schifino Lee - 1:09 pm December 7, 2016

Cross-Bay Ferry sets sail to success on first Month of Service

cbrfSchifino Lee was selected to create the brand and marketing plan for the new Cross-Bay Ferry completely from scratch. Armed with a goal of top-notch results for our client, we set out to position the ferry as more than a mere means of transportation, but rather a “destination on-the-water experience” between St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Now, after months of anticipation, the initial results are in and our hard work has paid off. The Cross-Bay Ferry exceeded expectations for ticket sales on each of its paid round-trips in November, with over 70% of all seats sold from Friday through Sunday. Nearly half of the one-way trips sold at least 90% of the vessel’s available inventory. Even the Tampa Bay Lightning got on board with the project, giving St. Pete fans a treat by sending their cheerleaders and mascot over to a game on the ferry.

These impressive stats were achieved thanks to exceptional creative thinking, a dedication to meeting tight deadlines, and an ability to build strategic partnerships between the ferry and local businesses. Key partnerships include:

  • Tucker/Hall – public relations services
  • Tampa Bay Times – print and digital advertising
  • Frontier Communications – cable TV advertising
  • iHeart Media – radio advertising
  • Clear Channel Outdoor – billboard advertising

“The Ferry’s weekend ridership was comparable to the number of passengers carried on a weekday basis by all of HART’s express, limited express, and flex service buses combined,” said project advisor Ed Turanchik.

The Cross-Bay Ferry is set for a six-month trial run, and while it is yet to be determined if the ferry will become a permanent addition to Tampa Bay, it seems to be on a very promising path. But the work is far from done. Schifino Lee continues to handle all aspects of marketing for the ferry including TV and radio spots, billboards, and social media. Tucker/Hall handles the PR and media relations as part of the Cross-Bay Fery team.

Schifino Lee - 3:37 pm November 28, 2016

The Scream-A-Geddon results are in. And they’re scary good.

We constantly strive to push past barriers, surpass goals, and create amazing results for clients. So when Scream-A-Geddon, Tampa Bay’s first independent horror park, challenged us to beat the results we achieved for them last year, we weren’t scared in the least.

How exactly did we pull it off? By coming up with an outrageous, newsworthy, creative idea that tapped into the real world horrors of this year’s election. Our double billboards spanning both sides of Interstate 275, with larger-than-life images of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, generated a ton of Internet buzz for our client. Photos of the billboards on Scream-A-Geddon’s Facebook page garnered over 3,000 likes and 978 shares. Local news outlets ran stories on the very timely executions. And the campaign’s mobile ads on Pandora snagged 25,000 clicks and reached over a million people in less than a month’s time.

But the most important result, by far, is the crowd our work helped drive to Scream-A-Geddon. Park attendance jumped a whopping 50% from last year. Not only did we hit our client’s aggressive sales goals, we made them a true competitor to some of the biggest horror attractions in the whole state.

Now that’s an awesome way to keep even a client who specializes in horror… smiling.

Schifino Lee - 1:39 pm November 2, 2016

Schifino Lee selected to handle branding, advertising and marketing of new Cross-Bay Ferry service

Tampa, FL. (November 1, 2016) – Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding was recently selected by HMS Ferries to brand and market the new Cross-Bay Ferry, a high-speed transportation service running between St. Petersburg and Tampa. The agency will position the ferry as an on-the-water destination experience linking the two cities for residents and visitors alike.

Within three short months of winning the assignment, Schifino Lee has completed the naming selection, logo design, advertising media and website development. The website ( highlights the focal points of each city, including attractions and restaurants, and positions getting there by ferry as an integral part of the overall experience.

The agency’s marketing efforts go beyond the standard commuter market into leisure travelers, conventioneers, community grass roots and special event goers. “We feel the most promising approach is to promote the ferry service as a fun, destination experience for both residents and tourists alike,” said Ben Lee, principal of Schifino Lee on the ferry pilot project.

The media advertising campaign is set to include billboards, TV, radio spots, print ads, rack cards, and an onboard publication called Destination, all of which will be rolling out over the course of the next six months.

Schifino Lee has also partnered the ferry with the business community to connect passengers with great brands on both sides of the bay. So far, media partnerships have been forged with the Tampa Bay Times, Frontier Communications, iHeart Media and Clear Channel Outdoor.

Weekend service of the Cross-Bay Ferry begins November 4th. For ticketing and more information, please visit:




The Schifino Lee team brainstorming creative concepts for the upcoming launch campaign.



The website,, is an ideal resource to discover more information about this program, purchase tickets and plan your trip.



The logo was designed to stand out and accentuate the colors for the boat.


Schifino Lee - 4:04 pm October 28, 2016

Greg Davis brings valuable experience to new role at Schifino Lee


Schifino Lee’s latest addition to our talented crew is Greg Davis, our new Vice President and Director of Client Services. With an impressive roster of former clients such as Alabama Tourism, Food Network, and DIY Television, plus over 25 years of experience in the industry, Greg will be a key player in both building current client-agency relationships and establishing new ones.

Before arriving at Schifino Lee, Greg served as the President of d groupe, a division of Lewis Communications in Birmingham, which he founded in 2003. During his career, Greg has gained comprehensive experience in account planning, strategic media planning and creative strategy for regional and national accounts.

Greg came to be an ad guru after following in his father’s footsteps, both literally and figuratively. He went into the business after his dad’s work in the industry led them around the globe to London, Brussels, Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. Prior to attending and graduating from the University of Alabama, Greg received education at the American School of London and International School of Brussels.

Greg’s combination of razor sharp industry expertise and a laid-back, southern personality make him a welcome addition to the Schifino Lee family. Other big name clients he’s applied his branding skills to include Home & Garden Television, DCH Spine Care Center, First National Bank, U.S Department of Justice, St. Joe Company and Bridgestone USA.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Greg as he settles into the team. He can be reached at

Schifino Lee - 3:39 pm October 5, 2016

Reality-Is-Scarier-Than-Fiction In New Campaign From Schifino Lee


We’ve done something tremendous. Looking party affiliates in the eye and daring them to laugh at a new reality. Whatever you believe, whomever you stand for, it’s time to smile, and make lite of the terror we’re all undergoing.

Mirroring the opening of Scream-A-Geddon — Tampa Bay’s scariest horror park — our nation’s scariest election is also taking place. Around the water cooler and across the media channels, we’re caught in a storm of worst-case scenarios where, if our candidate doesn’t win, you can’t imagine the screams that will be heard.

Scream-A-Geddon is now open, where the bravest souls enter the gates of Dade City’s haunted woodlands. Though, unlike the political realm, this phobic dream will be worse than the worst case scenario. And as such, we’ve highlighted your fears and displayed them by erecting unique double billboards that span Interstate 275 in Tampa.

Rather than take the typical path of showing off some hideous creature from the park, the tandem billboards will help break through the clutter and differentiate the attraction from its bigger competitors in Tampa and Orlando. These two tandem boards will also produce over 6,512,072 impressions during their 4-week period they are in-market. The full multi-media campaign placed by Schifino Lee also includes radio, Pandora and TV running from now until October 21st.

The billboard has only been posted for one week and has already garnered media attention from Tampa Bay Times, Brandon Tribune and NBC in addition to receiving 237,751 social media mentions.

Schifino Lee - 2:24 pm September 20, 2016

Schifino Lee Hits Homerun for Houston Astros Pitcher’s Foundation



Schifino Lee recently teamed up with Athletes + Causes, a non-profit organization that creates and manages the charity organizations of professional athletes, to brand and launch the Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation for the Houston Astros pitcher and Tampa native.

When we met with McCullers, it was clear that animal advocacy would be the focus for his foundation. An already-avid volunteer and spokesperson for Houston Pets Alive, McCullers was a pro at promoting adoptions and raising awareness to end shelter euthanasia. He expressed that he especially wanted to help larger breeds because they are less likely to be adopted and tend to have higher kill rates, compared to puppies and small breeds. So, we knew his foundation’s logo and website should energize his community to save more animals through adoption and awareness.

The logo features a large dog in a house, representing the foundation’s goal of putting a roof over their heads. The house casts a shadow resembling a home plate – a subtle nod to McCullers’ career.

For more information or to get involved with the Lance McCuller’s Foundation, visit:  Or to learn more about Athletes+Causes, visit


Schifino Lee - 3:13 pm September 12, 2016

Cooking Up Delicious Results For Tampa Maid Foods



This past year, Schifino Lee has been working our marketing magic for Tampa Maid Foods, the leading provider of innovative and value-added food products in North America.

To promote their top-quality land and sea creations, we needed to show B2B customers why serving up high quality, premade products is the easiest avenue to creating irresistible, unique menu items that bring ease and innovation to every kitchen. Our integrated outreach plan utilizes digital and social platforms, email marketing and white papers, among other content-driven tactics to position their premade products as delicious, professional-grade, versatile, and easy to prepare.

To express that Tampa Maid’s top-grade products can give a creative twist to every menu, we crafted the central idea, “Look What New Can Do.” Authentic videos were developed for each new product, from beer-cheese stuffed shrimp to sweet & spicy pickle chips.

A vibrant campaign microsite was launched to showcase Tampa Maid’s original recipes along with the video series. By highlighting their products’ limitless potential for versatility and deliciousness, we also captured lead generation from many valuable sources.

This being Tampa Maid’s first social media marketing campaign, meant developing FacebookTwitter and YouTube platforms from scratch. With the overarching goal of grounding Tampa Maid as an industry thought leader, we engaged heavily with potential B2B customers and big-name restaurant brands by sharing original content, uncovering relevant trends and topics, and positioning Tampa Maid as the premium solution on these platforms.

The new Tampa Maid campaign will continue through the end of 2016, and we’ve already experienced some very impressive results:

44,000+ Clicks to the website

1,200,000+ Impressions on Facebook & Twitter

50+ Qualified B2B Leads

Schifino Lee - 2:14 pm July 27, 2016

To Lure High-end Prospects, We Created An Irresistible Brand Story



One of the Southeast’s top real estate development firms, Pollack Shores, came to Schifino Lee with a tough challenge: they needed to brand their new luxury apartment community, Marisol at Viera, in a distinctive way that stands out to prospective residents interested in experiencing the finer moments in life, together.

As a result of our strategic discovery process, we differentiated the community in a crowded marketplace with a brand story that transforms the target audience’s value of high-end amenities into a celebration of high-end experiences. With “live in the very moment” at the core of our messaging, our brand story inspired the target audience of older, double-income families to enjoy their surroundings and take part in all of life’s little excitements.

Through an integrated branding campaign that includes website, sales kit, collateral, signage, and environmental pieces, we’ve dramatically increased visibility of Marisol, captured over 60 leads from the website alone, and most importantly— exceeded goals for net leases and move-ins.

Schifino Lee - 9:53 am July 20, 2016

Schifino Lee announces partnership with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay


In advertising, our primary goal is creating strategically-driven work that produces results for our clients. Usually those results come in the form of sales leads, website traffic, email subscriptions…but sometimes, our success is measured by benchmarks that are slightly warmer and fuzzier.


Schifino Lee is excited to announce that we’ll be partnering with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on a campaign to support fundraising efforts and community awareness for our furry friends. If you live in Hillsborough County, you’re probably familiar with the shelter from their exceptional local presence through adoption events, “block pawties” and happy hours. However, the true extent of their unwavering dedication to saving animals is astounding. In 2015 alone, the HSTB saved over 7,000 animals, saw over 40,000 pets in their Animal Health Center, and provided 189,000 pounds of food assistance, as well as 1,500 free vaccinations and microchips, to help disadvantaged neighborhoods or financially-struggling homes.

Humane society blog

This will be Schifino Lee’s second time teaming up with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. In 2014, we lent our services to a pair of pups in need through the “Sabrastian” campaign, resulting in a successful joint adoption.

We’re proud to join forces once again to help this hardworking organization make strides towards eliminating animal homelessness in Tampa. And if we happen to adopt 6, 7, 10 office pets along the way…so be it.

HSTB blog 2


Schifino Lee - 3:36 pm July 15, 2016

Remarkable Law Firm Advertising. We Do That Too.

PEBK blog header


Paul, Elkind, Branz & Kelton, is one of the premiere legal firms in DeLand, Florida. They are known throughout the surrounding counties for their passion, integrity, and personal care. However, the market was largely unaware of the full extent of services offered and was not reaching out to the firm for additional types of legal assistance. Schifino Lee was glad to remedy that. In order to create brand awareness and drive inquiries and referrals, we answered every query that could be asked of PEBK’s breadth and scope. Estate planning? Marriage contract? Equine law? “We Do That Too” became our client’s rally cry as the variety of specialties began headlining billboards, banner ads, and all forms of marketing collateral in DeLand. Furthering their brand awareness, we developed a positioning statement that encapsulated their comprehensive legal offerings and holistic method of operation. Paul Elkind Branz & Kelton became “The Total Law Firm.”

The strategy was brought to life through eye-catching design and exuberant headlines. Schifino Lee developed the firm’s new logo, website, and collateral materials as well as designed and placed billboards and a digital banner ad campaign.

Paul, Elkind, Branz & Kelton is a full service law firm, and wherever you are in life, they can help. For more information, check out the website we designed for them at

Click here to view the full campaign casestudy.


Schifino Lee - 4:47 pm July 5, 2016

Strengthening the Pride and Perception of Gerdau Steel

Gerdau Steel Proud cover blog


While the media often paints a less than stellar picture of the steel manufacturing industry, our client Gerdau Steel (one of the industry’s global leaders) was interested in painting a more positive, and much more accurate, picture. One that touts the 11,000 high-paying jobs Gerdau provides to communities across the U.S. and Canada. Plus highlights their status as one of the top three recyclers in the nation, with a long commitment to sustainability. And most importantly, shows off the genuine pride of their hard-working employees.

So Schifino Lee took on the challenge, with the goal of not only enhancing their brand recognition with the American public, but also getting more talented recruits to join the Gerdau team. The solution is an integrated campaign of outdoor boards, airport signage, and digital banner ads driving to a landing page that lays out the striking numbers behind the economic benefits, sustainability initiatives and social responsibility of the company.

The “Steel Proud” campaign focuses on three key U.S. markets where Gerdau has a particularly vital impact on the communities, with executions featuring local landmarks built from Gerdau steel and actual steelworkers. We’re proud to say that though the campaign just recently debuted, we’ve already received great responses from our clients and the communities.

Schifino Lee - 4:24 pm June 10, 2016

Sizzling Ad Campaign for New Steakhouse Chain

BRBG eblast

Black Rock gives its guests the opportunity to choose from an award-winning selection of steaks and seafood to personally cook on top of a 755° volcanic rock. This unique experience makes Black Rock the perfect place to cook up rare and tender moments with family and friends.

The Michigan-based chain of restaurants recently selected Schifino Lee to promote its expansion into Florida and the South. When our creative team conducted customer interviews at Black Rock’s original location in Michigan, elated guests described their dining experiences as so amazing, they were already yearning for more: more fun, more play, more taste, more interaction, more memories, and, naturally, more steak.

So of course, Schifino Lee created an outreach campaign that centers on the core messaging strategy: Crave More Black Rock. “We want to give our guests an experience like no other. We knew Schifino Lee was the right agency to craft that message,” said Paul Samson, co-owner of Black Rock Bar & Grill.

Recently, Black Rock Bar & Grill opened its new Windermere, FL location to great success.  The grand opening campaign included an integrated mix of radio, outdoor, digital, and social media. Combined with PR and a superstar management team at Black Rock, Schifino Lee knocked it out of the park. “It was slammed packed and our guests were thrilled with the experience. We even received tons of media coverage,” Samson said. Black Rock’s new Carrollwood and Brandon locations are scheduled to open in coming months.

Schifino Lee - 5:16 pm May 25, 2016

Schifino Lee Opens New Office in South Florida


Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding has expanded its presence to South Florida with the opening of a new outpost in the Downtown Las Olas area of Ft. Lauderdale. This is an opportunity to bring the same kind of smart, high-touch service, and award-winning solutions to brand challengers in South Florida that the agency has provided clients in the technology, real estate, legal, food service, and healthcare industries for over 22 years.

With headquarters in Tampa, Schifino Lee has been representing clients in South Florida and nationally for years, including companies such as WellCare, Gerdau, and Zeno Office Solutions. Account Executive Kendra Mahon is spearheading the expansion effort to better support current and prospective clients in South Florida. “In today’s high-tech world, we believe a face-to-face presence in every client relationship is more important than ever.” stated agency founder Ben Lee. In 2015, Schifino Lee opened a similar presence on the island of Grenada to better serve its energy client Grenlec.

“Our team reached new heights last year with 47 creative and marketing awards and we attribute our success to our ‘Force Multiplier’ strategies. We are very excited to expand Schifino Lee to South Florida and reach a whole new audience of clients.” says Paola Schifino, co-founder of Schifino Lee.

Schifino Lee - 6:06 pm April 18, 2016

Schifino Lee Hooks Tampa Maid as Advertising Agency of Record



Tampa Maid, the leading provider of innovative, value-added food products in North America, has appointed Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding as its new advertising agency of record.

Our goal is to position Tampa Maid as the leader in profit-driving, quality menu items, as well as an expert culinary resource within the food service industry.

Schifino Lee hooked Tampa Maid by addressing their business-to-business challenges with a new, strategic outreach plan to reach untapped markets. By shifting the brand’s messaging to align with their segmented audiences and by formulating an approach to thoughtfully engage them, we’ll meet multiple objectives from both a sales and communications standpoint.

Our two integrated campaigns, including digital and social media platforms, as well as a lead-generation microsite, YouTube pre-roll videos, email marketing and trend reports, will establish Tampa Maid as a valuable, thought-leadership partner to their customers.

“We are very excited to work with this fantastic business”, said Ben Lee, co-founder of Schifino Lee. “We look forward to what the future has in store for our partnership with Tampa Maid. ”

For more information on Tampa Maid, visit Follow Tampa Maid on Facebook and Twitter, plus check out to see the rollout of the new marketing campaign in coming months.

Schifino Lee - 3:02 pm March 30, 2016

Ready, Set, Go: Advice from Schifino Lee Intern Marissa Vega

Going in as a new account services intern at Schifino Lee, I was hoping to gain a lot of firsthand experience interacting with clients, facing deadlines and putting research to use. So far, that has been just it. I have been able to jump right in and be a part of the team. There is nothing like getting to work with and observe people who know how to think strategically and are willing to teach you the ropes. Here are some principles I’ve learned so far:

  1. Ask smart questions

No one can improve without asking and receiving feedback. There is always room for growth so ask.

  1. Respond to inspiration

Great ideas can come from anywhere, but you have to be open and do something about it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

  1. Be ready for anything with a positive attitude

When you’re surrounded by people with a winning attitude, it’s contagious, and when you are willing to help in any way, more opportunities come up too.

As I graduate in May, I’m getting ready to enter the “real world,” though those late nights of studying seemed pretty real to me. I’m excited to find an account services job and officially be a part of the advertising world. Most of all, I’m grateful for this internship that has helped prepare me for the industry, and has taught me lifelong principles that I won’t ever forget.

Schifino Lee - 12:58 pm March 10, 2016

New Creative Director is a Natural Fit for Schifino Lee Team



After big wins at the recent 2016 Tampa Bay ADDY Awards, how does Schifino Lee raise its creative bar evenhigher? We found the answer in Rob McCormick, our new VP/Creative Director at Schifino Lee.

Rob was most recently Creative Director of Fry Hammond Barr (now &Barr), and before that Art Director at PUSH in Orlando. He began his career at the Miami Ad School, where building things that last was the main highlight of every course. It was there that epiphanies became a daily habit.

Where others see obstacles, Rob sees opportunities and ways to create things both new and emotional. He brings with him new perspectives that are guaranteed to change the way people think about advertising. Over the past 20 years, Rob’s creativity has set the bar high on some of the nation’s biggest brands and his uniquely artistic angles have touched multiple industries including: casinos, cruise lines, hotels, healthcare, restaurants, retail, television stations, tourism, spirits, sports, adventure parks and many more.

His co-workers say as a mentor, and friend, and a thinker — Rob’s different. When you need to clear your head, you may go for a walk. Rob goes for a 35-mile run. Or if you’re looking for adventure, you take a ski trip to Aspen. He takes a dip in the Amazon River. Maybe for vacation, you head to the beach. Rob spends 10 days meditating in the remote hills of Georgia. He’s always at peace, always thinking, and always ready for the unexpected.

Please join us in welcoming Rob to the team. You can reach him direct at

Schifino Lee - 4:31 pm March 2, 2016

Advertising Ideas That May Or May Not Be Genius

Unconventional ads are becoming more bizarre every day. And this new trend of eccentric advertising draws a fine line between praise-worthy and weird. As demolishers of inside-the-box thinking, Schifino Lee would like to pay homage to three, insanely unique ads from our right-brained friends from around the globe.

Visit Philadelphia – Philazillas.

Kelsea Blog Photo - Philly

Philadelphia’s wacky new tourism ad sparks many questions: Why does skyscraper-size Ben Franklin have lazer-beam powers? What does this founding father have against an equally large philly cheesesteak? Who is the victor of this Godzilla-style battle?

The answers can only come from the creatives in charge at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. The agency’s goal was to attract new visitors by having fun with the city’s famous icons, like history and cheesesteaks. Who could attest to a better combination? See the victoriously bizarre battle in action here.

Branded dreams

All in favor of putting paid advertisements into our dreams say … what? That’s right. Dutch production company, Studio Smack, is delving deeper (in our brains) than ever before. Recent brain science technology might just make a foreseen nightmare of branded dreams a reality. Before we jump ahead of the times, we should probably ask one question: does Coca-cola really belong in our REM cycle?  See what Studio Smack imagines branded dreams to look like here.

Agency Builds A Shower-Brainstorm Room

Every creative knows that the most genius ideas come in the shower. According to science, a shower’s warm water and relaxing environment produce high dopamine levels in our brain, which surge creativity. The Rhode Island-based agency, Nail, took this fact to heart and actually built a shower-brainstorm room in their office, so creativity could flow like the water. Perhaps it’s genius; perhaps just a wet mess. See the whole-hearted attempt here.


Schifino Lee - 5:41 pm February 21, 2016

Two, New Fresh Perspectives


Introducing Our New Social Community Coordinator and Junior Copywriter


Last year ended strong and 2016 started even better at Schifino Lee. Thanks, in part, to the fresh perspectives of our two newest team members. Alecia Jurado, community coordinator, and Kelsea Fowler, junior copywriter, are first-hand experts in the ever-mysterious millennial perspective. Alecia’s skill for growing communities in social media pairs naturally with Kelsea’s love for writing. Yes, an alliance has been formed and Schifino Lee is enthused to nurture such a positive partnership.

Alecia Jurado, Social Community Coordinator

Born and raised in Tampa, Alecia received her Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University, where her passion for growing social communities led her to amazing advertising experiences. She’s a true Tampa-loving, ocean-obsessed, football-frenzied blondie with a propensity for social media. Alecia has created and implemented social media and community outreach strategies for well-known clients like National Geographic, The Florida Aquarium, Tenet Healthcare, Alessi, P&S Transportation, Ashley Nation, and many others. 

Kelsea Fowler, Junior Copywriter

Also a Tampa native, Kelsea has an affinity for creative writing. She graduated from Florida Southern College with a B.A. in Advertising. Previously a Schifino Lee intern, Kelsea’s passion for crafting phrases led her down the path of copywriting.  She’s a nature-loving, multi-instrument musician, and quite possibly a hippie in another life. When it comes to writing, Kelsea is a connoisseur of current language trends and aspires to be a game-changer in the creative ad industry.

Drop by Schifino Lee to meet our new additions! Alecia and Kelsea’s zesty, millennial perspectives are just what you need to get a daily dose of freshness. Already, they’ve put their thumbprints on the business community.  We can’t wait to see what’s next for this fantastic duo!


Schifino Lee - 11:06 am February 2, 2016

Schifino Lee Wins a W3 Award!



This was a pretty sweet win for us at Schifino Lee. Not only was it an awesome site, but it was our own. The W3 Awards, judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, only recognizes greatness as it exists on the internet. Websites are judged on their “creativity, usability, navigation, functionality, visual design, and ease of use.”

W3 Award 3           Website Wording Capture

What started as a simple grid based website turned into a full team effort. Creative directors, art directors, videographers, photographers, copywriters and programmers were all working behind the scenes to bring this site online. We first hit you in the face with our bold message of “Outsmart” on a simple orange background. Scrolling further down reveals a basic grid layout, however our homepage comes to life with the ability to start a video by hovering over each of the squares.

Geez, this was a lot of work. Just one square alone, the “WaZoo Beer Festival,” required building a very slim aquarium to hold the poured beer, but still allow the art work to be seen after the pour. We blended beers to get the right color, and tried several pours to get the right speed and foamy spillover. Which continued to spillover. Everywhere. The office smelled like a frat house in the middle of summer.

Another favorite was for Westshore Pizza, where we ordered the pizza, put it in a new clean box, and then shot it from above. The office immediately consumed every slice. Did you notice the random werewolf hand at the end?  Go back and look, it’s there.

The team page also followed this format, with each team member bringing their own personality to their own unique feature video with a Brady-Bunch-esque layout.

The about page is a super cool addition, diving more into our philosophy of “Outsmart” with a user controlled journey down the page.

So check it out, tell us what you think, and revel at our digital prowess.

Schifino Lee - 12:14 pm January 14, 2016



What’s it take for an advertising campaign to create thrilling results that exceed revenue goals and attendance projections? To dramatically outperform expectations, you need strategic media ideas that engage your audience in just the right context.

Schifino Lee approaches media as both an art and a science. So when horror park Scream-A-Geddon came to us with a formidable challenge, we wowed them with frighteningly impressive results.

The Goal: Attract throngs of Halloween enthusiasts by building public awareness, engaging key influencers, and driving ticket sales.

The Challenge: Promote a new event in a new area against big-name competitors like Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.


Our integrated advertising campaign introduced the theme park through a unique strategy of broadcast and outdoor media, as well as elaborate digital assets (including pre-roll video, banner ads, and mobile geo-fencing strategies). Our full service capabilities eliminated the need for outsourcing and minimized project segmentation. Plus, our understanding of the media landscape helped garner promotional support and added value—permitting the budget to expand further into the digital realm and creating a competitive presence against the big name theme parks.

The Result: We vastly exceeded Scream-A-Geddon’s overall attendance goal for 2015 and greatly increased the client’s digital presence through social media optimization.


Schifino Lee implements a holistic strategy when creating a campaign’s media mix, which is individualized per client, per industry and per region.

To hear how we can create equally thrilling media results for your campaign, contact our VP/Media Director, Nordin Benhalima at 813-258-5858, ext.236 or at

Schifino Lee - 2:27 pm December 30, 2015


Written by our Fall Creative Intern Thomas Mariani.

This fall has provided Schifino Lee with a set of interns with diverse skills, interests, and future goals. As the fall session ends, it seems like the perfect time to highlight the extremely talented, energetic interns that helped make the agency’s recent success possible.


Will Vargas | Media Intern

Will, a UF graduate with a BS in advertising, was raised here in Tampa. He has been working on SEM campaigns for our clients and utilizing his skills to master both traditional and digital mediums in terms of planning and buying. Ideally, he would like to use his multi-faceted talents to land a gig as a “hybrid worker” for one of the local agencies.


Pareesa Al-Ansari Khwaja | Creative Intern

Pareesa is about as diligent a designer as you can imagine. A native of the east coast of Florida, she’s a senior at USF who’s dedicated to the world of advertising. A major part of what makes Schifino Lee so great for her is “… whenever the opportunity arises to teach us something new, they don’t hesitate to bring us along and guide us though it while still utilizing our talents to our full extent.” This spring, Pareesa will be graduating from USF and hopes her intern experience has helped prepare her for a role as a graphic designer at a major firm in Tampa Bay.


Courtney Holliday | Account Service Intern

Courtney is a junior at USF, double majoring in Advertising and Sociology. Courtney originally hales from Philadelphia and has a passion for snowboarding, rollerblading and any type of water sports – all with a GoPro strapped to her head. Yet, one of her most enjoyable activities has been tackling the various challenges of an account service intern. Once she wraps up at USF, Courtney hopes to pursue a career as an account exec for a large ad firm in LA.


Kelsea Fowler | Creative Intern

A senior at Florida Southern College, Kelsey was first indoctrinated into the ad business by her father, who runs local audio production company, Sound Asylum. Kelsea has contributed her writing skills to various Schifino Lee clients, including Alessi and Lowry Park Zoo. Her goal after graduating? Getting paid to do the thing she truly loves. We have a sneaking suspicion that will soon come true.


Lexi Dannemiller | Account Service Intern

Lexi’s journey is a bit more circuitous than our other interns. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in psychology, but found herself drawn to Tampa Bay to focus on a career in advertising instead. Always willing to contribute, Lexi loves the thrill of working at a competitive place like Schifino Lee. Fortunately, one of Schifino Lee’s clients recognized Lexi’s enthusiasm and skills, and has hired her on as part of the marketing team for Franchise Edge. Congrats, Lexi!


Thomas Mariani | Creative Intern

Thomas is yet another Tampa native on our team, having graduated from Florida State University earlier this year. Though he’s interned at multiple advertising agencies and for media-centered websites, none of them have the type of camaraderie on display at Schifino Lee. “People love to say they have that kind of kinship, but this is one of the rare places where everyone feels genuinely helpful, courteous and fun.” Following his internship, Thomas plans to get a job in entertainment exhibition or marketing, specifically for films and television.


Lissette Deza | Account Service Intern

A senior at USF, Lissette has actually been interning for Schifino Lee since July. One of her proudest moments involved client Ashley Nation’s big Twister Event. After going all over USF to promote it, she took great pride in seeing so many happy attendees make it a huge success. After graduating this semester, Lissette is aiming for an account service job at an ad firm in New York or LA. We like that big league ambition.

Schifino Lee - 11:40 am December 11, 2015

Think Outside the Gift Wrap


Each year, Schifino Lee celebrates the holiday season through Random Acts of Merry, as a way to give back to the community or various charitable causes. This year, we invite you and your friends, family and coworkers alike to participate in a social media campaign that will bring the community together in the most random ways – and we’ll match you! To get involved, all you need to do is take a photo of a random act of kindness and share it on Instagram with #randomactsofmerry. Examples of these acts include dropping off food/clothes at a homeless shelter, paying for a stranger’s lunch order, or helping and elderly neighbor hang their holiday lights.

All photos shared with this hashtag will be aggregated onto our campaign landing page, through a live social feed. The campaign will launch on December 12th and run until December 25th.

This year we are thrilled to be supporting three main charities as a part of our outreach — The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, onbikes and The Salvation Army of Tampa.

You can specifically support one of our featured charities by tagging the charity of your choice within your social media post. As an incentive, Schifino Lee will match each tag with a donation to that specific charity. Donations from Schifino Lee will come in the form of food, blankets, toys, etc for the Humane Society, canned food and toiletries for the Salvation Army and employee participation in onbikes’ “Bike Build.”


The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is dedicated to ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort for companion animals in need. On December 12th, the society is pairing with Mastro Subaru for their annual “Subaru Share the Love ” event to help collect donations of pet food and supplies.


onbikes is a non-profit organization that delivers new bicycles to at-risk and foster children in our local community. On December 12th onbikes will host their annual Winter Wonder Ride – a community bike ride through the heart of Tampa. All proceeds from the ride go towards the purchase of bicycles and helmets for at-risk and foster kids throughout the Tampa Bay area this holiday season.


The Salvation Army in Hillsborough County exists to save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity. Volunteers are needed throughout the month of December to organize gift distribution to needy families and help with food prep and services in emergency and transitional shelters.

Visit for more information.

Schifino Lee - 11:51 am November 3, 2015

Learn how to start a branded revolt.

To compete at the highest level, and take on the market leaders, your brand has to stand out. That means focusing on a single powerful, ownable idea that creates a true brand differentiation. An idea so heretical it has the power to disrupt the entire category and upend the status quo.

Schifino Lee invites you to join us on November 18, from 8:00am – 9:00am, to learn what it takes to be a challenger brand. We’ll walk you through our process for creating the most memorable branding and advertising possible for your business. We’ll demonstrate how best to communicate your singular message in today’s media environment. And we’ll even show examples of challenger brands that have successfully revolted against the status quo.

This free workshop has been developed for CEOs, CMOs and Marketing Directors of B2B, consumer and professional service organizations. Space is limited, so please RSVP to by November 13. A Q&A session will follow with Schifino Lee’s principals, media director and creative director.

Schifino Lee - 12:24 pm September 11, 2015


chad and marySchifino Lee would like to welcome two, true citizens of the advertising world to its creative team. Chad Grandey and Mary Rach, perhaps two of the biggest graphic design enthusiasts you might meet, are hopping aboard the S.S. Schifino Lee to continue their specialized journey in Art Direction.

Chad hails from the top creative shops of the Lone Star State (Texas). Powered by coffee and more coffee, it’s no surprise that Chad puts so much energy and let’s say, orderliness, into our company culture. Chad + caffeine + anal retentiveness (or excessive organization) = National ADDY’s and a potpourri of awards, which is fine by us!

Chad joins our team with twenty years of experience. After receiving his graphic design degree from Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Chad’s metaphorical Chalice of Experience is filled to the brim with national work for Best Buy, Delta Airlines, Samsung, and National Geographic. His trophy shelf is packed with National ADDY’s, Healthcare Ad Awards and Flagler Awards: Best in Show. Even Adweek, Creativity, Graphis, and Archive magazines feature Chad’s unmatched knowledge of all things artsy.

Mary exudes the aura of a Zen, quirky creative and has the client fan-base to prove it. After hours, Mary gets her adrenaline fix by searching Zillow and Trulia for quality real estate listings. Don’t we all! She is also a proud dog-mom.

Before joining our team, Mary earned her graphic design degree from Kendall College of Art and Design. She also worked with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Experience Kissimmee, First Watch, and Moffitt Cancer Center. Her work has also been honored with three Gold and four Silver regional ADDY’s and multiple district level trophies.

Swing by Schifino Lee to meet our new team members! If you happen to pass a coffee shop, Chad could probably use another cup of joe. It’s been about an hour since his last coffee. Then take a second to meet Mary- she’s awesomely artistic!

Schifino Lee - 5:18 pm August 28, 2015

The Creative Process by Pat Floyd

I was recently in a client meeting presenting logos and the client asked about a favorite logo. “How did you come up with that?” they asked. My answer was, “Beating my head into the concrete for days on end.”

This particular logo was defeating me. I was losing a battle because I just couldn’t seem to come up with something beyond the ordinary. Although ordinary is easy, easy is boring. For me, I stare at great logos for hours. Then, I create okay logos for hours. Then I create more. Then I delete most of them. Then I create more. I then end up with a few logos I’m happy enough with to show to the team. In this client’s case, there were definitely a few good options there, but I really needed one more solid concept; so, back to beating my head into the concrete.

What’s funny about the creative process is after thinking you’re never going to come up with a logo that will please yourself, the answer is easy. It just pops into your head like a random thought fairy. Most of the time, like this one, I wasn’t even exactly thinking about the problem. But when I did, it was a rush to get it out of my head and onto the screen (I’m a digital doodler- many designers will sketch every idea first, but I find I can do it faster and better going straight to Illustrator).

Creating the logo in this case took maybe 30 minutes after deciding on a direction. The road to get there, however, took hours and dozens of failed attempts. You just can’t stop at the easiest solution. Keep thinking. Keep doodling. Keep daydreaming. I can’t stress this one enough.

Schifino Lee - 12:58 pm August 5, 2015

The Campaign Behind the Campaign

BillIn the fall of 2014, Bill Schifino — respected Tampa attorney, managing partner of Burr & Forman – Tampa, and husband of our very own Paola Schifino — began his campaign for the position of President-Elect of The Florida Bar. The next six months were a test of endurance for both parties. Bill met the voters while speaking at conferences, offices, receptions and events all across the state. Schifino Lee went to work behind the scenes, developing messaging, advertising, and a website for his campaign.

GGGGWe focused the campaign message on Bill’s “show, not tell” integrity. Our strategy used social media, videos, and email marketing to effectively showcase his strengths. We made it clear that his extensive experience in the field of law paralleled his sincere focus on family and community. This resonated well with voters as they were able to see how Bill’s proven leadership would extend beyond Burr & Forman to The Florida Bar.

Unlike normal product advertising, this political campaign challenged us to adjust our way of thinking. The concept was built with a foundation based solely on the merit and skills that Bill possessed, not in comparison to his competitors. We wanted his past alone to dictate his future. This meant keeping our social media efforts up to date with Bill’s intense campaign schedule. As his endorsements came in, they were captured in the website database to keep track of them for future correspondence and support.

“Not only did we work hard, but the quality of what we, as a team, put out there was tremendous. I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve received about the campaign. The website was amazing and I’m sure the eblast with the letter to all the membership cemented the victory,” said Bill of the support our team provided him and his campaign.

Bill Schifino’s campaign for President-Elect, and the work developed by Schifino Lee in support of it, proved to be abundantly successful. He was sworn in on June 26, 2015, as President-Elect and will serve one year before being sworn in as President of The Florida Bar in June 2016.

Schifino Lee - 9:31 am July 23, 2015

Schifino Lee infected with laughter and ethics.

Mitch and HarraIf our walls could wear ear plugs, they would. Though we have a lot of fun here at Schifino Lee throwing darts at doors, concepting across the hall, and testing our latest guerilla marketing stunts, we also have a serious job to do. So we felt lucky when our most recent team additions were a great deal of fun and also pretty incredible at their jobs.

Mitch has done everything. Both sides of the industry, both sides of production, and probably both sides of the law. Mitch is crazy. The kind of crazy you want to hang out with. He’s a crazy talented daredevil. He’ll eat anything hot. Like really hot.  Like “don’t try that, it’s too hot” hot. But he’s also a crazy talented production artist.

He joins our team, with seven years of invaluable experience in print and pre-press campaigns with clients the likes of which people say “wow” to —Kraft Foods, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Target, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Busch Gardens, Time-Life, and National Geographic. Wow. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from IADT.

If laughter is the best medicine, she’s a world’ renoun surgeon. Harra just might be the happiest, person we’ve ever met. But it’s her diverse background that makes her such a valuable asset to Schifino Lee’s media team.

Harra graduated with two Bachelor degrees; one in Interior Design and one in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Before joining our team, she worked on many projects including The Dali Museum, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Reeves Import Motor Cars, Visit Florida, and the University of South Florida.

Swing by Schifino Lee for a visit and please bring Mitch some milk. He just burnt the inside of his body with terrible peppers. Then just take half a minute to meet Harra — you’ll find yourself engaged with the most delightful connection in all of Tampa. Man, what a laugh.

Schifino Lee - 12:07 pm July 16, 2015

Katie McGirney

11167671_10203959884052651_5774319700370801960_nOur third intern spotlight is on account service intern, Katie McGirney. Katie is a self-proclaimed goofball from Tampa, Florida, but has felt a yearning for the Northeast her entire life. There she will begin her sophomore year studying Communication and French at Boston College this fall. Beyond the goofball, Katie is a great energy around the office and is a hard worker willing to help with any project. Look for her laughing at her own hilarious jokes, or writing about all things sports for The Gavel, a student publication at BC.

1.) What made you want to get into Advertising?

I actually began college as a math major (thinking I wanted to be an engineer before I got to school) and soon realized that was not what made me happy. I want to be able to let my personality show in the work that I do, and interact with others and build relationships on a day-to-day basis, and advertising gives me that opportunity to work a job that is anything but ordinary.

2.) What’s your favorite ad/campaign?

The Dove True Beauty, Real Strength and Care campaigns are a few of my favorite, along with the always “like a girl” campaign. (No, I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye.)

3.) If you had one super power what would it be?

Only one? Contrary to popular belief, being asked this question since I was in Kindergarten does not make giving an answer any easier. After long deliberation, and switching my answer at least 12 times, I am going to be selfish and indecisive and go with time travel or teleportation. But if were talking about standard genetic abilities that can be mistaken as superpowers, I would go with the ability to eat anything without gaining any weight; dessert foods for every meal!

4.) What do you hope to accomplish during this internship?

I hope to not only gain valuable experience in the advertising world, but I am also using this to test the waters and see if I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life and making a career out of it.

5.) What are you like outside the office?

Outside of the office, I am probably the same as I am inside of it: speaking with an “inside voice” that is ten times too loud, cracking jokes so bad that they’re good, making the best of every situation that life throws my way, and trying to keep a positive outlook on just about everything.
I also like to eat good food and watch sports, a lot.

Schifino Lee - 2:33 pm July 8, 2015

Schifino Lee Hires First International Employee

Zoe Hagley

Schifino Lee is excited and proud to welcome our first international employee: Zoë Hagley. Zoë is working as the Media and Communications Coordinator based on the island of Grenada. She is charged with the responsibility of implementing advertising, public relations and social media campaigns through various marketing channels for our clients in Grenada. “I’ve worked on the client side for quite some time, so I’m very excited (and intrigued) to finally be on the agency side of the advertising process. I’ve already learned so much and I’m sure this is just the beginning,” said Zoë.

Working abroad for Schifino Lee has been a bit of an adjustment for Zoë. “Sometimes it’s a challenge to merge the American and Grenadian cultures, but we make it work. Grenadians are very laid back. On the other hand, the American culture is very fast paced. So far I’m enjoying working remotely – I get to be on my beautiful island while working for an amazing company in another country,” she said.

Over the past two years, Zoë gained invaluable experience across various aspects of media and public relations. Following a brief stint as a journalist with Grenada’s largest media house, she built a prosperous career managing all internal and external communications for LIME Grenada – a major telecommunications company on the island.

Apart from her passion for Media and Communications, Zoë has an unwavering love for the performing arts and as an actress has performed for several theatre productions in Jamaica, Grenada and Toronto. She also loves to scuba dive and recently received her PADI certification. She advised, “If you think the Caribbean is beautiful on land, you should definitely see it underwater!”


Schifino Lee - 10:58 am July 7, 2015

Haley Greene

schifino lee haley

Our second intern spotlight is on account service intern, Haley Greene. Haley is a Tampa, Florida native and will enter her third year at the University of Virginia in August where she is studying Leadership and Public Policy. She’s looking forward to getting outside of the classroom and learning through industry experience. At the end of her internship, she will be traveling across the pond to study abroad at Oxford University in England.

Q. What inspired you to go into advertising?

A. Don’t know if I’ve been inspired yet. I’m using my time at Schifino Lee to see if I’m inspired. I am enjoying it so far, though.

Q. What’s your favorite commercial or campaign?

A. I took a class titled Mass Media and American Politics last semester and I honestly find any ridiculous campaign ad amazing, all partisan preferences aside. Personal favorites include Gary Peters – The Loan SharknadoChristine O’Donnell denying her involvement with witchcraft, Joni Ernst’s revealing her hands-on experience with hogs,  and Christopher Knight’s iMovie rendition of Star Wars and how it relates to Rockingham County schools. The more ridiculous, the better.

Q. If you had a super power, what would it be?

A. This is a cop-out but I would definitely rather go to Hogwarts than have a super power.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish during this internship?

A. Gain some real experience in a real company instead of being shamelessly used by family members and friends to create logos and collateral for school organizations/family businesses/community events.

Q. Who is your favorite ad icon/character?

A. Does Don Draper count? If not, then anyone/anything that is not Flo from Progressive. Or both.

Q. What’s your guilty pleasure?

A. Ice cream. People might think this is a lame answer, but I eat a lot of ice cream. I would drop anyone/anything to be a Flavor Guru for Ben and Jerry’s. The job description can be found here.

Schifino Lee - 9:20 am June 24, 2015

Dina Ghioto

Our summer interns have been hard at work at Schifino Lee. They’ve brought excitement, wit, youth, and vision to our office. We’ve grown quite comfortable to them being around to lend a hand or take a look at something with a fresh set of eyes, and now we want to show them off. Our first spotlight is on the organized, smiley, and vivacious Dina Ghioto. She’s an account services intern majoring in Advertising at the University of Georgia.

Q. What inspired you to get involved in advertising?

A. Ironically, bad advertising inspired me to get involved in the advertising world. I am a fixer, so I loved looking at billboards, listening to the radio, and watching television commercials as a kid and dreaming up ways to improve the ads and make them better.

Q. If you had a super power, what would it be?

A. If I had a super power, it  would be the ability to speak every language fluently. I love to travel and I think that superpower would be beneficial and fun to surprise people with.

Q. What’s your favorite commercial/campaign?

A. My favorite campaign has always been and will always be Chickfila’s “Eat Mor Chikin” Campaign. It was one of the first times I understood and appreciated the genius behind innovative, creative, and unique advertising. It doesn’t get much better than an illiterate cow, aka future hamburger, urging you to eat more chicken while hanging from a billboard or water tower to get your attention.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish during the internship?

A. During this internship, I hope to get a better understanding of the advertising world by working with real clients, creating real work, and being a part of a real advertising team. I know I will gain valuable experience and a deep knowledge that I could’ve never acquired  in the classroom. I want to walk out the doors knowing I really applied myself, learned, and grew both personally and professionally.

Q. What are you like outside of the office?

A. Outside the advertising world, I am an adrenaline junkie, world traveler, and lifelong dancer. See photo above (that’s me, bungy jumping in South Africa with my dance partner, Patrick Swayze).


Schifino Lee - 3:11 pm June 23, 2015

Aerial Adventure Park Coming to Tampa Bay Area

Schifino Lee recently collaborated with Point Summit to develop the brand identity, name and media strategy behind a new aerial adventure park in Dade City. The name TreeHoppers was deemed worthy of the new attraction’s intrigue, excitement, and adventure. TreeHoppers will provide customers with an exciting day of exploration that challenges and inspires them.

Opening in August, the park will feature nearly 100 aerial components, including dozens of zip lines, rope bridges, and aerial climbing elements, to make up eight unique courses. TreeHoppers offers a course for everyone. Children over the age of 5, athletes, experienced climbers, nature lovers, and everyone in between will all find a course that fits their skill and comfort level. Each course will be different so that an adventurer can return to TreeHoppers again and have a completely new experience each time. Climbers will be equipped with the latest safety climbing technology and receive full safety instruction from highly-trained climbing instructors. TreeHoppers will fully utilize its 60 acres on Saint Joe Road in Dade City to allow visitors to travel through the canopy trees and cross picturesque landscapes of hilly forests with sprawling oak trees and beautiful lakes.

The park is opening in Dade City, just 35 minutes north of Tampa. Dade City is the perfect location for an aerial adventure park because it has been dubbed “Tree City, U.S.A.” for its highly wooded areas, is home to people who are known for loving the outdoors, pulls from the tourist-friendly attitude in the nearby Tampa Bay area, and has great weather year round.

With an exact August opening date still to be determined, TreeHoppers will be open year-round, 7 days a week. Check them out on Facebook or their website for more information.

Schifino Lee is excited to venture out into the canopies of TreeHoppers for our next outdoor bonding activity!

Schifino Lee - 10:00 am

“Little Free Library” Discovered on Schifino Lee’s Adopted Mile

As part of the Schifino Lee adopted mile of Bayshore Boulevard, we discovered a “Little Free Library” located between S. Dakota Ave and S. Oregon Ave. The library is the size of a bird house and is part of a lending program with the notion of “take a book, return a book”. Anyone may stop by the library and take a book — as long as one is left in its place. This initiative began in Wisconsin in 2009 and has since grown throughout the country; the mission of these libraries is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.

Each library is unique but they all share a common theme of exchanging books and bringing people together. These libraries help build a sense of community by sharing creativity, wisdom, and a little part of ourselves with our neighbors, strengthening the community and spreading knowledge through the exchange of books.

Any books may be left in the library, from your favorite Fodor’s travel guide, to your favorite childhood storybook, to even your old chemistry textbook. If it’s a book, you can leave it.  

There is something so special about getting lost in a book, you can immerse yourself in whichever world you so choose and be whoever you want to be. Celebrate summer and let yourself enjoy a good book, and if a book has changed your life, what is better than sharing that with others? That is what the little free library allows you to do.

Schifino Lee is excited to be a part of this community building program.

Schifino Lee - 10:57 am June 18, 2015

Redefining The Powers Company from Consultants to “Unsultants”

Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding partnered with The Powers Company to shake up the management consulting industry with unconventional branding and messaging focused on the company’s unique new positioning as unsultants. The company’s new website reflects this unexpected, customer-centric philosophy.

During the discovery phase of our rebranding process, Schifino Lee realized The Powers Company was truly different in their approach to doing business. In addition, the target audience of C-level executives had a jaded perception of the consulting industry in general. Schifino Lee created the unsultants positioning to overcome the industry’s unfavorable stereotype as well as capitalize on the client’s authentic uniqueness. The Powers Company immediately embraced the campaign’s new positioning.

“At The Powers Company, we don’t see ourselves as consultants. We’re collaborators who partner with your team and leverage the ‘Power of UN’ to unleash your organization’s true potential,” said Randall Powers, President and Managing Partner of The Powers Company. “It’s an uncommon approach you won’t find anywhere else except from our unsultants.”

In addition to new branding and a redesigned website, Schifino Lee developed an integrated campaign of web videos, emails, social media elements, and various collateral pieces that bring the unsultants philosophy to life.“We created a visual language for this campaign that’s as unique, professional, approachable, and unstuffy as the unsultants themselves,” explains Schifino Lee Associate Creative Director, Kevin Byrd. “No matter what medium we’re playing in, it instantly stands out in the category as The Powers Company.”

The unsultants campaign, produced by Schifino Lee, was recently awarded a local Gold ADDY in the Integrated/Regional B-to-B category of the 2015 American Advertising Awards.

To see more of our latest work, visit

Schifino Lee - 9:51 am June 11, 2015

Schifino Lee Keeps Tampa Bay Beautiful

You might’ve noticed that a new sign has gone up on Bayshore just before the Bank of Tampa, near the Schifino Lee office. The sign is a reminder to our agency and Bayshore drivers to keep our watershed litter free. As part of the “Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful” program, we have adopted 1 mile of Bayshore Boulevard and pledged to keep it clean. From West Bay Street to South Dakota Avenue, we are responsible for picking up debris and trash from the roadside, Bayshore’s sidewalk, and the grassy area between to keep one of Tampa’s most beautiful areas pristine.

“Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful” strives to provide environmental education and volunteer opportunities to the citizens of Tampa Bay. The program creates environmental awareness, encourages and develops environmental responsibility and stewardship throughout the community, provides community service opportunities, and empowers individuals, corporations, and groups to take a proactive approach to environmental concerns.

Schifino Lee completed three clean-ups in 2014 and is excited to continue service in 2015. Last April, our friends at Westshore Pizza even joined us in the clean-up. Getting outside to give back to the community and spend some time in the sunshine is one of our favorite breaks from the everyday routine at the office.

We are so proud of the work we do at the agency, both in the office and out in the community. Schifino Lee looks forward to many more years of service in our beautiful Tampa Bay!


Schifino Lee - 3:01 pm June 10, 2015

Art Truly Imitates Life

As the aunt of a teenager with Asperger syndrome, I was astonished how closely “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, a beautiful Broadway play, depicted life through the perspective of a young boy named Christopher afflicted with Asperger syndrome, an autistic disorder.

The play was made all the more poignant to me with Taylor Trensch (in photo above) playing the part of Christopher. Taylor is my significant other of six year’s son, and shares the lead role of the play with Alex Sharp (winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actor). His portrayal of this syndrome was deeply moving for me as I recognized in it the effect of the syndrome on my nephew, my brother, sister-in-law, and their family.Those who suffer from this disorder experience great discrepancy between their intellectual and social abilities. It is rare to find artwork that truly imitates the realities of life, and further even rarer to find artwork centered on such a particularly unique and specific perspective.

The purpose of art is to express. In the case of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, the objective is to allow viewers to experience the story line of the play through Christopher’s perspective. Marianne Elliot’s leadership and direction of the play allow all who experience this performance to fully immerse themselves in Christopher’s world-view and understand his actions, thoughts, and words in a way that would be impossible to replicate in reality.  For that, she deservedly received the 2015 Tony for Best Director for the play.

“Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won five of the six 2015 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role of a Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play, and Best Lighting Design of a Play.

I am immensely proud of my nephew for his bravery and continued success in facing Asperger syndrome, my brother and sister-in-law for their continued support and strength, and Taylor for his ability to accurately and sensitively share with the world the struggle experienced by those with this disorder and their families.

Schifino Lee - 10:30 am June 9, 2015

Creating A Sharper Brand Image for MaxiVision

With many new competitors entering the eye health dietary supplement space, MedOp Inc. knew it was critical that they revamp the look of their MaxiVision line of products. So they reached out to Schifino Lee to partner with them on the development of a new brand identity, along with packaging, that reflected their high-quality premium products which improve and maintain vision affected by age-related macular degeneration.

The result is a lineup of sleek, clean designs for MaxiVision’s bottle labels, boxes, and drink packets. A fresh color system was utilized to differentiate between each of the product offerings: Eye, Eye & Body, Whole Body, and Ocular.productdisplay

“Schifino Lee gave us the fresh, contemporary update our products needed,” claims Brenda Gaulin, MedOp Director of Marketing. “Reaction to the new packaging has been very positive from our team and our customers.”

Once the packaging redesign was complete, the Schifino Lee team moved on to creating promotional support including point-of-sale displays, trade show banners, a presentation box, and an engaging outreach campaign that targeted optometrists.

To see more of our recent work, visit

Schifino Lee - 4:53 pm May 4, 2015

Schifino Lee Wins Big at the 2015 ADDY District Competition

This past weekend, the Schifino Lee team took home a Gold + Charlie Award  for Best Overall Newspaper Ad for our Sweetwater Organic Newspaper campaign as well as several Silver awards at the American Advertising Federation’s 2015 District ADDY competition in Orlando, Florida. Next up, Nationals in Las Vegas!

Schifino Lee - 12:34 pm May 1, 2015

A Memorable Taste of Reality For Spring Interns

As we bid a fond farewell to April, so too do we say goodbye to our spring class of Account and Creative interns. And how better to capture the value they got from their real world experience then to hear directly from a few of them.

Alexis Kressu, Account Services Intern

“Interning with Schifino Lee has taught me how to think outside the box using an original, strategic mindset. As an Account Service intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Account, Media, and Creative departments as well as several clients in the Tampa Bay area. I enjoyed assisting with photo shoots, creating competitive analyses for new accounts, and gaining experience as to how an ad agency truly operates. Being a Marketing major had restricted my ability to see the artistic side of things. At Schifino Lee, I developed an appreciation for graphic design and branding. As I pursue future endeavors, I hope to find an agency where I can apply my extended knowledge in the advertising field.”

Carlos Agatep, Account Services Intern

“Schifino Lee gave me my first real-world taste of what their website calls “the secret strategic sauce”. Over the last three to four months, I’ve had the chance to try the “sauce” with just about everything: aiding the Account team in developing competitive analyses for clients of various industries; performing market and media research for media buying purposes; and seeing first-hand what creative minds can develop to help keep businesses relevant in their respective industries. The team at Schifino Lee has a perfect blend of incredible work ethic and the ability to have fun. It reminded me why I wanted to get into Advertising in the first place – it doesn’t feel like just a job, it’s something I love. As I leave Schifino Lee, I hope to find a team of my own to improve upon the recipes for success I’ve had while tasting their secret sauce. I’ll be looking for my shot to use my strategic mindset with creative expression in the Tampa Bay area. I leave with a greater understanding of what advertising is truly like in application, the myriad opportunities I can have within an agency, and a desire to be part of the industry more than ever before.”

Tom VanderVelde, Creative Intern

“When someone asks me what I learned, I always have trouble answering. In fourth grade Science, I could just say something like “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell,” and that would be good enough. But this is a little more abstract. I definitely learned things during my time at Schifino Lee, I’m sure of it. Just this morning, I learned that popping your knuckles isn’t bad for you, or so Dan claims. Beyond that, I got the quintessential “experience in an agency setting” that all advertising job postings ask for. Prior to interning, I attended portfolio school, which was supposed to emulate an agency setting. I have to say, nothing compares with the real thing. Schifino Lee is an excellent place to get the real thing: small enough that I know everyone by name, but big enough that there are some really cool projects to work on. As I move on to the next big thing in my career, I’ll fondly remember my time in the creative department, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work with some great people.”

The Schifino Lee team wishes all of our Spring 2015 interns the best of luck in their future adventures as we now turn to plans for giving our upcoming summer interns a true taste of the real ad biz.

Schifino Lee - 11:52 am April 29, 2015

Scoring big with Bradshaw & the HCBF

The Hillsborough County Bar Foundation’s (HCBF) big annual fundraising event is the Law & Liberty Dinner. Each year it features a well-known celebrity keynote speaker and this year the spotlight is on one of the biggest: four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Terry Bradshaw. As we have since 2008, Schifino Lee partnered with the HCBF to develop all the creative materials that attract donors to this prestigious event.

Playing off of Bradshaw’s larger-than-life personality and his long and storied Steelers career against some of the league’s toughest competitors, we developed a hard-hitting print ad, save the date mailer, invitation and event program.

On May 14th, Tampa Bay gets to see and hear firsthand what makes Bradshaw an NFL Hall of Famer, best-selling author, Emmy-winning TV co-host and much more. For more information on the event, visit The Law & Liberty Event Page. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To purchase tickets, call 813-221-7777. For sponsorship info, call 813-221-7774.

Schifino Lee - 10:42 am April 7, 2015

National Beer Day

National Beer Day

In honor of National Beer Day, let us toast the benefits of liquid inspiration!

Schifino Lee - 10:40 am April 3, 2015

Tom’s Thoughts: Grape-nuts

Tom's Thoughts: Grape-nuts

Always Deep.

Schifino Lee - 10:34 am March 19, 2015

Tampa Bay Beer Week: New Keg

The Patmeister

In celebration of Tampa Bay Beer Week, a new keg was tapped last week at Schifino Lee. The Patmeister presents our latest ‪#‎beer‬ offering: “Wheat Stroke”, from Ybor City brewers, Coppertail Brewing Co. “Wheat Stroke” is a smooth and refreshing American ale with a hint of citrus that quenches the thirst during this 86 degree ‪‎Florida‬ spring day. Come stop in and share a pint with us.

Schifino Lee - 10:07 am March 12, 2015

Schifino Lee Hires Train Robber and YouTube Star for Creative Team

There are a couple of talented new art and copy slingers at Schifino Lee with an arsenal of creative experience behind them. Beyond their award-winning work and experience with national advertising campaigns, they’re also pretty cool guys.

Mike Looper, Copywriter

Mike “Loop” Looper claims to be a former train robber and a one-time almost-extra in a George Clooney movie, though it’s his skills as a writer that make him an excellent addition to our creative team. He’s worked on projects for HondaJet, Lowes Foods, BASF, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Moffitt Cancer Center, Ekornes, Lennar Homes, S&N Communications, Polivka International, and Texas Children’s Hospital. Before getting into advertising, Loop studied Writing and Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Using the majority of what he acknowledges as an “empty head”, Loop brings an exciting new point of view, voice, and personality to a wide variety of Schifino Lee clients.

Jon Rodriguez, Senior Art Director

Jon “No Nickname” Rodriguez is an Art Director/Carl Sagan superfan with considerable talents as an illustrator and designer. He also writes and produces his own music and, just to round out the triple-threat, he hosts a show broadcast on YouTube called Zen with Ben. He’s worked on projects for Toyota, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Buffalo Wild Wings, Shoe Carnival, Publix, Sweetbay Supermarket, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Florida’s Natural, and Costa Rica Tourism. Prior to working in advertising, Jon exhibited his illustrations in galleries across the country with some of his work being featured in various books and art blogs. He earned his degree in Graphic and Interactive Communication at Ringling College of Art and Design.

If you see them, welcome them to the Schifino Lee family, and be sure to call them by the wrong name.

Schifino Lee - 4:18 pm March 9, 2015

Joanna Lord at GIF: Community Over Everything

Last week I had an opportunity to attend a portion of the Gasparilla Interactive Festival. As I listened to Joanna Lord speak about her passions and the growth of her business, it really sparked something in me; Business shouldn’t  just be about products and revenue, but it should also have a large emphasis on community.

If you want a successful business, you need to go the extra mile and do something completely unnatural to increase your growth as a company. Joanna talked about taking risks and empowering everyone to be their best selves.

For Porch, the company she currently works with, she discussed how an employee is chosen randomly each month and they are allotted a certain amount of money to do what they feel will help the company (whether it is an social outing for the employees or it is to bring a speaker in for a day to teach them something new). She said that the title of the person has no relevance in this matter, because everyone has something they can bring to the table.

She stressed how important community is within the company, and to make sure that all employees are happy, which increases their chances at being successful as a whole. Which make sense… if employees are unhappy coming to work; they won’t perform as well and in turn the business will suffer. Therefore, community and employee happiness is key in a successful company.

Schifino Lee - 2:32 pm March 3, 2015

Our Biggest Night Ever at the Tampa Bay American Advertising Awards

Last Thursday night the Schifino Lee team attended the American Advertising Awards Gala (they’ll always be the ADDYs to us) at Port Tampa Bay. We won big, coming home with 13 awards including 7 Golds and 2 “Best of the Bay” trophies. Here’s a list of everything we won:

  • Best of the Bay, Gold, and two Silver awards in Newspaper, Color category for Sweetwater Organic Farm, “Ourganic is Better Organic”
  • Best of the Bay and Gold award in Advertising Industry Self-Promo category for “Be the Santa Toy Drive”
  • Gold award for Gerdau Ameristeel “New NY Bridge” print ad
  • Gold awards in Digital Advertising and Elements of Advertising categories for Ameriflight website and photography
  • Gold award in Integrated Campaigns category for The Powers Company’s “The Power of Un” campaign
  • Gold award in Elements of Advertising category for P&S Transportation photography
  • Silver award in Radio, Campaign category for Lizard Juice
  • Silver award in Television category for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s “London Frightmare” TV commercial

The American Advertising Awards, formerly the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition for creative excellence. It attracts over 40,000 entries every year in local ADDY competitions. Thursday night’s local show was sponsored by AAF Tampa Bay. The winning work now moves on to the district level competition in Orlando on May 2 for a chance to compete at the national level in Las Vegas in June.

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients and production partners! We’re grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to produce excellent work this past year and we’re committed to raising the bar even higher next year.

Schifino Lee - 11:44 am February 26, 2015

Schifino Lee Named Agency of Record for Gasparilla Interactive Festival

Schifino Lee has partnered with the first-ever Gasparilla Interactive Festival (GIF) as Agency of Record and a festival Founder. The GIF festival, to be held on March 6, 2015, is anticipated as the Southeast region’s showcase event for cutting-edge technologies, digital innovation, and entrepreneurial inspiration as well as a long-awaited addition to Tampa Bay’s multi-faceted Gasparilla Arts Month.

Schifino Lee agreed to the pro bono agency partnership with GIF including the creation of branding, logo, print ad campaign, posters, a website, visual designs, broadcast radio, and festival banners. The concept for GIF’s branding evolved out of the festival’s focus on interactivity and connectivity: each part of the logo is autonomous yet, when banded together, creates something greater than each individual part.

“Our commitment to the Gasparilla Interactive Festival aligns with Schifino Lee’s goal to seek out new and innovative creative solutions in the digital world; the fact that it also supports Tampa’s business and creative communities makes our support even more important,” said Paola Schifino, Principal and Co-founder of Schifino Lee. “We are honored and excited to be involved with this inaugural festival and look forward to this event being an integral part of the Gasparilla season.”

In addition to becoming integrated into the Tampa Bay Area’s festival-packed Gasparilla season, March 6, 2015 has been named “Gasparilla Interactive Festival Day” in Hillsborough County by the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and District 2 County Commissioner Victor Crist.

The festival features compelling presentations and forums from the brightest minds in emerging technology, interactive media, and disruptive entrepreneurialism. It includes exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, a keynote speaking series including Faris Yakob, Joanna Lord, and Peter Shankman, two speaker panels, and an expo open to the public.

The Gasparilla Interactive Festival is a community event organized by Gasparilla Interactive Festival Inc., a Florida non-profit organization which was founded by leadership members of the American Advertising Federation and Ad 2 Tampa Bay chapters. It is made possible through the collaboration of Tampa Bay’s public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions including Schifino Lee.

Schifino Lee - 1:25 pm January 29, 2015

Pumping Up a Unique New Fitness Brand

When the former Executive Vice President of Operations at Lifestyle Family Fitness and the founder of Advance Physical Therapy came to Schifino Lee with their innovative vision for a fully integrated fitness concept, we knew just how to whip their brand into shape for a grand opening.

Today’s workout achievers and weekend warriors are desperately looking for a combination of fitness, wellness, and recovery services previously only available to professional athletes. So, we created a name that perfectly captures the path of balance, performance training, recovery, and fitness education on which these individuals would travel to optimal fitness: BODYSSEY.

We brought these 4 fitness pillars and the BODYSSEY brand to life through logo design and brand identity elements, followed by a webpage, collateral, social media support, public relations, and dramatic oversized wall graphics to support their VIP grand opening.

The awareness and buzz we generated resulted in an outstanding event turnout along with strong consumer interest, media coverage, site traffic, and membership signups.

Schifino Lee - 12:18 pm

Strategy, Planning, & Bumper Cars

How freeing it is to slam the pedal all the way down, pushing so hard you almost crack through the floor. Smile. And navigate like a drunk baby. Not without a care- not like Louise letting it all go over the edge- just the opposite. In a bumper car, your cares are lifted and you are free to cruise in any direction.

I’ve been in four wrecks over the past 32 years. The first three turned me into a timid driver; the last one-  a terrifying head-on collision-  gave me confidence. I realized there’s no point living a life filled with fear. It’s too heavy a burden and we can accomplish so much more without it.

When we create, we have to be the same way, confident and free. Our best solutions hit when nothing is holding us back. So, we open our eyes to new possibilities. We say powerful things like “What if” and we take chances. A lot of chances. The greatest minds are not the greatest minds because they drove a 2007 Toyota Corolla like it was a 2007 Toyota Corolla; they drove it like it was a rocket-fueled Bumper Ferrari.

This year, plan for success. Build a strategy around research and big ideas. Define your goals and aspirations. And take every opportunity available to say “What if” and see where it leads.

Schifino Lee - 5:01 pm January 15, 2015

Schifino Lee’s Creative Excellence is Rewarded with Three Davey Awards

Schifino Lee‘s work for three of our clients was honored with gold and silver trophies from the Davey Awards. These international creative awards recognize outstanding big ideas from small advertising and design firms around the world. Nominees are carefully selected by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, which oversees all judging.

“Our agency is incredibly honored to be recognized with such prestigious, highly respected awards for our hard work and creativity,” said agency principal, Paola Schifino. “We’re a group of passionate, creative people who take pride in our work and are happy our passion came through in these campaigns.”

Schifino Lee won a gold award for HOPCO’s memorable direct mail campaign featuring actual worn out shoes, a silver award for posters promoting the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Law & Liberty Dinner, and a silver trophy for Lowry Park Zoo’s WaZoo Beer Fest posters with bottle cap animal art created by our team.

Schifino Lee - 1:16 pm January 9, 2015

Schifino Lee Named Agency of Record for Gasparilla Interactive Festival

The first Gasparilla Interactive Festival will be held on March 6, 2015 as part of Gasparilla Arts Month at Port Tampa Bay, Cruise Terminal 3. The Gasparilla Interactive Festival is Tampa Bay’s showcase for cutting-edge technologies, digital innovation and entrepreneurial inspiration.

The Gasparilla Interactive Festival features compelling presentations and forums from the brightest minds in emerging technology, interactive media, and disruptive entrepreneurialism and includes exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders. The event will have a series of speakers and an expo. Confirmed speakers include Faris Yakob, Joanna Lord, and Peter Shankman. More speakers will be announced in the coming month.

The festival is a community event and is made possible through the collaboration of Tampa Bay’s public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions. Partners of the Gasparilla Interactive Festival include AAF Tampa Bay, Ad 2 Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County, EDI2, Schifino Lee, the University of Tampa, Port Tampa Bay, Visit Tampa Bay, and the Gasparilla International Film Festival.

“Our pro bono commitment to the Gasparilla Interactive Festival shows our dedication to and support of the digital and creative industries in the Tampa Bay area,” Paola Schifino, co-founder of Schifino Lee and the designers of the festival’s logo, website and branding materials.

The festival is organized by the Gasparilla Interactive Festival Inc., a Florida non-profit organization that was founded by leadership members of the American Advertising Federation and Ad 2 Tampa Bay chapters. Founders of the festival include Akerman LLP, de la Peña & Holiday LLP, Hillsborough County, EDI2, Pinstripe Marketing, Port Tampa Bay, Tricycle Studios, Sign-Age, Ad 2 Tampa Bay, and AAF Tampa Bay.

Attendees can register beginning today at an Early Bird rate of $125 or purchase a Founder’s Club membership for $1,000. Founders and sponsors will be invited to an Opening Reception on Thursday, March 5 in the evening. Visit to register and for more information.

Follow the Gasparilla Interactive Festival on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Schifino Lee - 5:56 pm December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays











As the holidays are just around the corner, we are continuously bombarded by messages of season’s greetings everywhere we go. However, over the years, messages have changed from “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” to “Happy Holidays”. Companies under pressure to avoid alienating their customer base have made decisions to go with a generic message.

Having been raised in a household which celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas, this has always interested me. In fact, as I write this, I sit between a Christmas tree and a menorah.

So what do you think? Is “Merry Christmas” an acceptable festive greeting or a religiously alienating term which has no place in corporate America?

Many religious and political organizations have taken a stand on either side of the fence regarding this topic.  The American Family Association (AFA) has started a naughty or nice list which calls out major retailers using the more generic season’s greeting in their December advertising. This year’s “naughty” bunch includes companies such as Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, and Victoria’s Secret. The AFA has even gone as far as to spearhead a one-month boycott of PetSmart for their censorship of the word “Christmas”.

According to the AFA, the trend is swinging back in favor of Christmas as they’ve seen the percentage of retailers referring to Christmas in their holiday advertising rise from 20 percent to 80 percent over the past 5 years.

Personally, I have no problem with saying “Happy Holidays”. However, if you feature a Christmas tree in your ad, you may as well say “Merry Christmas”.

Schifino Lee - 4:14 pm December 22, 2014

Schifino Lee Takes Ameriflight’s Brand to New Heights

Ameriflight, the world’s largest regional air cargo carrier, looked to Schifino Lee to help them develop a clear and consistent brand which embodied their focus on customer service. In addition, they wanted to feature the true heroes of their business: their people.

Schifino Lee brought these ideals to life with Ameriflight’s new “Above & Beyond” campaign. Original photography featured their mechanics, pilots, and employees front and center. A new Ameriflight website and new collateral explained how Ameriflight’s people go above and beyond in all aspects of their work.

The website was developed around an innovative bottom-to-top parallax design which literally takes visitors from the ground up into the clouds. It also features a dynamic aircraft gallery, interactive route maps, and a media center with company news, videos, and downloads.

The new branding positions Ameriflight as the industry-leading company they truly are. To view the website or find out more about Ameriflight, visit

Schifino Lee - 1:53 pm December 12, 2014

Help “Sabrastian” Find a Home for the Holidays

This year, in keeping with our tradition of Random Acts of Merry, the Schifino Lee team is putting our considerable creative talents to work helping a pair of “adoption-challenged” canines find a loving home in time for the holidays.

To hear their touching backstory, see our efforts to raise awareness, and find out how you can help, check out our “Two Is Hotter Than One” video.

To follow their story and spread the good word about these wonderful pooches, like us on Facebook.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Schifino Lee.

Watch the video we made to help support Sabrastian and find them a forever home this holiday season:

Schifino Lee - 1:46 pm December 11, 2014

Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding Wins Six National MarCom Awards


Schifino Lee was presented six 2014 MarCom Awards honoring its creative advertising campaigns for Ameriflight, Sweetwater Organic Community Farms, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, P&S Transportation, and the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation. The MarCom Awards are judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an international organization which consists of several thousand leading creative professionals.

Schifino Lee was awarded two Platinum Awards, one for Ameriflight’s “Above & Beyond” website (, and one for Sweetwater Organic Community Farms’ print advertising campaign. They were also honored with four Gold Awards, one each for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Wazoo “Bottle Caps” poster series, Ameriflight’s “Hero Pilots” photography, P&S Transportation’s “Truckers” photography, and the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation’s annual Law & Liberty Dinner poster featuring speaker Ben Stein.

“We’re incredibly honored to be recognized with such prestigious and highly respected awards for our innovation and creativity. We are a passionate and creative team who takes great pride in what we do and it comes through in our work,” says Paola Schifino, Principal at Schifino Lee.

The MarCom Awards is a national creative competition sponsored by the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals. The award recognizes individuals or companies involved in the concepting, writing, and design of print, visual, audio, and web materials and programs. The MarCom statuette graces the trophy cases of top businesses and communication firms throughout the world.

Schifino Lee - 11:46 am November 19, 2014

New Branding for An Established Leader: Great Insights + Passions = Greater Outcomes

Tindale Oliver has provided industry-leading planning, design and engineering to public and private sector clients throughout the United States since 1989. However, the company’s image and message had not kept pace with its national growth and expansion of service offerings. So Schifino Lee was engaged to refresh Tindale Oliver’s branding, website and collateral as part of its 25th anniversary.

Schifino Lee brought this plan to life with a new brand positioning: “Great Insights. Greater Outcomes.” It demonstrates how the company’s depth of knowledge results in unique solutions for clients. Schifino Lee brought the campaign to market with a new logo, new case studies, new website, and new corporate identity as well as new collateral and digital materials.

More importantly, Tindale Oliver’s updated branding was well received by their clients:

“The site and mission are wonderful! You can tell how much research and planning it took to make that happen. Not to mention some amazing java script work! You should be very proud! Congrats!”
– Marissa Segundo, Recycling Coordinator with City of Largo

“We here at HCPS just rolled out a new design as well – I looked at yours and felt so ‘invited’ to click in further and further. So easy to navigate…pleasing to the eye and an easy-to-use page.”
– Lorraine Suarez, General Manager of Growth Management & Planning with Hillsborough County Public Schools

Tindale Oliver also saw a dramatic increase in website engagement following the rebrand launch. The number of viewers on the site nearly tripled from August to September from 650 views to 1,687, with new visitors also tripling from 431 to 1,110.

Tindale Oliver’s rebranding effort was featured in the Business Observer on September 26. To view the article click here.

For more information about Tindale Oliver, please visit

Schifino Lee - 5:10 pm November 5, 2014

Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding Honored with Three Davey Awards

Schifino Lee was recently presented three Davey Awards honoring its creative advertising campaigns for HOPCO Foodservice Marketing, the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Law and Liberty Dinner, and Lowry Park Zoo’s WaZoo Beer Fest.  The Davey Awards are judged and presented by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

The Davey Awards are international creative awards focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work for the best small firms around the world. Nominees are carefully selected by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts who oversees all judging and maps the strategic direction for the Davey Awards program.

“We’re incredibly honored to be recognized with such a prestigious and highly respected award for our hard work and creativity. We are a group of passionate and creative people who take pride in our work. We are happy our passion was able to come through in our campaigns,” says Paola Schifino, Principal at Schifino Lee.

Schifino Lee was awarded a Gold Award for HOPCO’s Direct Mail creative campaign and two Silver Awards for promotional materials surrounding the Law and Liberty Dinner and Lowry Park Zoo’s WaZoo Beer Fest.


Schifino Lee - 3:15 pm October 30, 2014

What Is In a Name?

Dayton Hudson Corporation became Target and has shown growth in the billions. The Quarrymen became The Beatles and took the world by storm. In 2010, Schifino Lee helped Network Liquidators become  VOLOGY and it has grown into a  $100 million+ success story today.

Our philosophy is: A brand’s culture guides its name choices.  A name choice can inspire a culture.

That’s why when we brand or rebrand, name or rename a client’s business we make sure we take not only its vision and culture into consideration, but also that client’s customers and their needs, the competition, market atmosphere, and trends.

There has to be criteria for naming and branding a company or consumer product: features and attributes, brand promise, emotional and functional benefits, goals, consumer insights, and there also has to be a strategy for communicating what the new brand and name means to its consumer, what they can expect from this newly named or rebranded product, service or company.  Finally, there needs to be a concerted outreach to your target audience in the form of advertising, direct communications (email or direct mail), digital presence, etc.  You can’t just build it and they will come, your customers need to know why to pay attention and take action.

Nike and Target established their cultures, their brands, and the spent time and money to tell those stories which enabled them to drop their names from their logos, only use their logos and still have everyone know who was speaking to them. Their personas grew from great communications with their consumers and have become known to stand for the culture they have built.

So what’s in a name?  Maybe millions.  In fact,  we recently rebranded a client who then sold their brand and name for $5 million.

Schifino Lee - 11:33 am October 22, 2014

Terror Has a New Address and We Helped Put It There

To scare up ticket sales for ZooBoo, the annual Halloween event at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Schifino Lee created a frightening new advertising campaign that’s currently running throughout Tampa Bay. Print ads, billboards, digital, collateral materials, radio, and even TV, all feature creepy creatures from ZooBoo’s newest haunt, London Frightmare.

“Each year, we gather as a team with the client and brainstorm innovative ways to up the ante from the year before,” said Dan Stevenson, Executive Creative Director at Schifino Lee. “London Frightmare will be an eerie yet fun campaign to promote this annual event.”

Set in 1800’s London as evil overruns the city, London Frightmare features werewolves, a Jack the Ripper-type character, creepy storefronts, a haunted toy shop, and more. It’s one of six haunted houses at ZooBoo, which is open during select nights in October.

Company Man Studios handled production, graphics and editing of the TV commercial. Sound Asylum provided the audio mix for TV and produced the radio spot. Schifino Lee Art Director (and aspiring actor) Pat Floyd was voice talent and on-screen talent for the broadcast spots.

Watch the final spot here:

Schifino Lee - 5:23 pm October 21, 2014

Schifino Lee Creates Original Artwork to Promote Tampa Museum of Art’s Pavilion XXIX Gala

Original artwork created by Schifino Lee Advertising + Branding is being used to promote the Tampa Museum of Art’s Pavilion XXIX gala. The artwork features the human form illuminated by glowing hand-drawn letters in multi-colored light, depicting the word “Pavilion” and the museum’s logo.

The artwork conveys the fundraising event’s theme, “Immersion of Light & Art,” as well as the immersive experience attendees can look forward to. Schifino Lee created the black-tie gala’s invitations, posters, Save-the-Date mailings, and patron invitations. Schifino Lee contributed its work pro bono in support of the museum and its arts culture.

Pavilion, in its 29th year, is Tampa Museum of Art’s premier black tie gala and its biggest event of the year with over 400 people anticipated to attend. The event will feature fine dining, music, dancing, a live auction, and an original interactive art installation created by Chicago-based Luftwerk to be unveiled during the event.

“This year Schifino Lee embraced Pavilion’s use of artistic and freeform illumination to reflect the theme in a new and different way,” says Ben Lee, a Founder and Principal at Schifino Lee.

Pavilion XXIX will be held on Saturday, November 1st from 7:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Visit for more information.

Schifino Lee - 3:04 pm October 7, 2014

Schifino Lee’s Triple-Load of New Talent

To ensure our clients get the freshest thinking and highest quality work, we’ve added three outstanding young members to our account and creative teams: Junior Art Directors Heather Fitzpatrick and Heather Fako, along with Account Executive Kendra Mahon.

Kendra Mahon, Account Executive

Kendra brings extensive agency experience to Schifino Lee in tourism and hospitality having worked with brands such as VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Tampa Bay, The Epicurean Hotel, and The Dali Museum. Before Kendra began her agency tenure, she worked on global branding and original content development for the IRONMAN brand and the World Triathlon Corporation.

A Boston native, Kendra moved south to earn a double major in Creative Writing and Communications from the University of Tampa before gravitating to the account side of the business. She’s fond of Tina Fey’s approach to life and business challenges, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.”

Heather Fitzpatrick, Junior Art Director

Originally an intern for our agency, we liked “Fitz” so much, we recently made her a full-time part of the creative team. Before joining Schifino Lee, Heather had valuable internships at Atlanta’s Finished Art Inc, and Philly shops Lunchbox Communications and the Foster & Redmond Creative Agency. Her diverse client experience includes Coca-Cola, Odwalla, PBS Sports, Zoo Miami, and Constitution Center.

Heather is a University of Tampa alum with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She likes Andy Warhol’s belief that, “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

Heather Fako, Junior Art Director

Our other new Heather (Heather Fako), also a junior art director, comes to Schifino Lee from Chicago by way of Tempe, Arizona. She has impressively diverse agency experience with clients such as Heineken, Jim Beam, Xcel Energy, Boston Scientific, Fairmont Hotels, and Invetech. Heather’s not only a talented graphic designer and art director, she knows her stuff when it comes to animation and motion graphics too.

Born and raised in Chicago, she headed to Arizona State University for her BS in Visual Communication Design before venturing to Europe to study abroad for nine months.

Please join us in welcoming Kendra and the Heathers to the Schifino Lee team.

Schifino Lee - 4:57 pm September 18, 2014

Who Created a Winning Case with Ben Stein? Anyone? Anyone? Schifino Lee.


The Law & Liberty Dinner is an annual fundraising event put on by the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation that Schifino Lee has been a creative partner for since 2008. Once again, we developed the creative materials used to introduce the keynote speaker and attract donors for the event. This year’s speaker was Ben Stein, who most people know for his role in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the Clear Eyes commercials. But he’s much more than just a one-trick pony.

In addition to being an actor, Ben Stein is truly a jack of all trades: attorney, economist, professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, political commentator, speech writer and Emmy-winning TV game show host. So it seemed only fitting to commemorate this modern-day Renaissance Man by creating a bust in his likeness—which was used in all event collateral and communications, including a print ad, invitation and on the program cover. The result? The 550-seat ballroom at Hilton Downtown Tampa was packed with Foundation members anxious to hear Mr. Stein’s words of wisdom.

During a photo opp at the event, the team had a brief chat with Mr.Stein. After learning Schifino Lee was responsible for the event’s creative, he asked where the physical bust was. Unfortunately we had to break it to him that it was all done on the computer. We’ll take that as a compliment.

Schifino Lee - 11:46 am August 29, 2014

The art of media planning/buying at Schifino Lee

Summer intern Paige Colloredo provides this entry about her impressions of learning the art of media planning/buying at Schifino Lee.

I am extremely thankful for the internship opportunity Schifino Lee gave me this summer. The lessons I have learned and experience I have gained will aid me not only in the post-graduation job search, but also throughout my future career as an advertising professional.

I began my internship at Schifino Lee as an enthusiastic yet inexperienced advertising student, vastly unaware of how an advertising agency even worked. As a rising senior, I still had no idea how the information I learned in my advertising courses was applicable to the real world. I knew I was interested in media but was unsure of how media planning and buying worked. Through my internship I have acquired a thorough understanding of the media process, i.e. conducting research, developing the plan, negotiating with media vendors, trafficking ads, reporting results, reconciliation, etc.

In addition to the media experience I have attained, I have learned how an agency works and what is expected of employees in each position. The upbeat and positive people at Schifino Lee have revealed the utmost importance of being able to work well with a team. I have learned that being able to communicate effectively with colleagues allows for projects to be completed quickly and effectively. Schifino Lee has provided me with the advertising experience that is crucial in moving forward with my career plans. The firm’s inviting culture allowed me to easily ask questions and gain hands-on experience in advertising.  I especially enjoyed how the team bonded in and outside of the office. I can only hope to find a job somewhere as remarkable as Schifino Lee.

I cannot fully express my appreciation for the entire team here, especially Tamara.  I will forever be grateful for the time she has invested into making my experience here at Schifino Lee exceptionally rewarding.

Schifino Lee - 4:21 pm August 21, 2014

Paola Schifino, Principal and Founder of Schifino Lee, To Speak at AAF AdSessions Event

We are proud to announce Paola Schifino, Principal and Founder of Schifino Lee Advertising & Branding, will be featured as a panel member at the AAF AdSessions event next Thursday, August 28. Find more information and receive a coupon for your attendance fee here.

Schifino Lee - 12:03 pm

New International and Digital Firepower for Schifino Lee

As our client roster continues to expand, so does our creative team. Two new senior level additions bring over 25 years of industry experience to Schifino Lee, along with vital digital skills and some international flair.

Howard Beauchamp, Senior Art Director

The agency’s first British art director, Howard Beauchamp, has a resume packed with over 15 years of award-winning work for some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Panasonic, Labatt Breweries, Roche and Proctor & Gamble. After stints at top shops like TBWA/UK, Chiat Day and Crispin Porter Bogusky in Canada, Howard made his way to the states. Over the years his work has been used to inspire university students and snagged prestigious awards like a Gold Lion at Cannes and Gold at The One Show, to name a few. Howard’s work has even been inducted into the Canadian Advertising Hall of Fame. His creative philosophy is nicely captured by ad legend John Cage: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

Pat Floyd, Digital Art Director

Arming the agency with more web design, graphic design and brand-building firepower is art director Pat Floyd, whose client experience runs the gamut from tourism to medical to e-commerce. He’s loaded up on his fair share of awards at a variety of Bay Area graphic design firms and ad agencies after graduating from USF with a B.A. in Mass Communications. His creativity even extends to the musical world where his tunes have gotten airplay on stations as far away as Belgium. He loves the creative challenges he tackles each day, because as Ursula K. Le Guin puts it, “The creative adult is the child who has survived.”

Please join us in welcoming Howard and Pat to the Schifino Lee team.

Schifino Lee - 5:33 pm August 18, 2014

Schifino Lee says Bon Voyage to Jazz guitarist Les Sabler

Les Sabler, famous jazz guitarist, played what will be his last show in Tampa Bay for a while at the Lobster Pot inClearwater last night.  He is leaving the Bay area after 36 years of playing great music and handling commercial real estate. Sabler is off to Nashville with his wife to produce more CDs (he has seven out already) in his new home which includes a private recording studio.

He’ll be back for several engagements in the Bay area next year, so be on the look-out. We wish him well and look forward to his next release!

Schifino Lee - 9:25 am August 14, 2014

Summer Sets On a Hot Group of Interns


It’s been an incredibly busy, exceptionally successful summer here at Schifino Lee. A big part of that is due to the outstanding class of summer interns we were able to round up. Our creative, media and account teams all benefitted from these six smart, spirited, and hungry to learn newbies. So as summer wraps up, we want to profile what lies ahead for each.

Heather Fitzgerald, Creative Intern                 

To say Heather is a self-motivated, go-getter is an understatement. Originally from Philly, she’s a recent University of Tampa grad with a B.A. in Graphic Design. Her passion for design and branding proved so infectious, and the speed and quality of her work so good, that we decided to bring her on as a full-time Junior Art Director.

Rebecca Scott, Account Service Intern                                                              

Energetic, confident, and curious about all aspects of the business, Rebecca recently graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Anthropology. Her combination of smarts, efficiency, positivity and openness to learning earned her a full-time role with our account team. Go Gators!

Malcolm Vieux, Creative & Account Service (hybrid) Intern                                                              

Fascinated by the influence advertising has on pop culture, Malcolm plans to one day use that power to create healthy social change. He certainly had a big influence on the agency’s work, both on the account side and creatively as a writer. This Fall he’s headed to Chicago to land a big-league ad gig and to pursue grad school as well, building on his B.S. in Business Administration from High Point University.

Paige Colloredo, Media Intern                                                                        

Prior to her senior year this Fall as an advertising major at the University of Florida, Paige wanted to get ahead of the curve through some real-world experience. She got plenty of that and more working closely with our media team. Armed with new knowledge and skills, she should be well on the way to her goal of becoming a media planner in New York, L.A. or Nashville.

Katey Powers, Account Service Intern  (Not Pictured)                                                    

With a strong business sense, and knack for sales and advertising, Katey knew the right internship could help her focus her professional goals and her future. As a go-to resource for the entire account team, she got invaluable exposure to the ad business that will serve her well as she continues her marketing major at Liberty University in Virginia.

Sierra Starkey, Creative Intern                                                                 

Originally studying Pharmaceuticals at the University of Florida, Sierra made an impulsive move to graphic design her sophomore year. Good thing for us, because we put her design skills to good use on several big projects. She’s returning to UF in the Fall to start the upper division BFA program and serve as the university’s social media design intern.


We’re proud to welcome some of our summer intern class as permanent members of the Schifino Lee family and wish all the best to the rest who’ll be sorely missed by colleagues and friends. Now…time to get started on Fall intern interviews!