Just Hand It Over And We’ll Handle It All

You don’t have to start all over again to start all over again.

Dr. Kidanu Birhanu is a physician with decades of experience, with multiple fellowships, certificates and recognitions achieved (including one of USA Today’s Top Doctors in 2011). In shifting his practice to concentrate on weight loss, anti-aging and sexual health in both women and men, he needed our help. 

His first need was a name and slogan for this new focus. We brainstormed dozens of ideas and presented him with a list of about 8. From this list, Dr. Birhanu chose 3 that he felt completely comfortable with. We created a focus group of women within our networks, both business and personal, formulated a brief survey and got input, feedback and results to tally, analyze and confirm. The name “ReNewYou” won by a considerable margin. That affirmation build a foundation for Dr. Birhanu’s success. The slogan was also determined by research, worded in such a way as to inform viewers of the entire practice subtly, with professionalism.

We went to work on a logo, again presenting Dr. Birhanu with many options. His three selections went in front of our focus group, in different color formats, to ensure that what we were planning on putting out there really answered what patients would recognize and respond to. When the logo was identified, we put together his website, selecting images, designing and writing the copy.

We’ve also created business cards. As Dr. Birhanu begins to market his practice through seminars (we’ll help him there too), he can leave behind a wonderful resource with a long shelf life, a bookmark. We’re helping with social media construction and with content, working to build Dr. Birhanu a following (Please LIKE on this Facebook page!)

Uninspired by your current marketing materials? Give us a call at 708-614-9766. We can help.

Do you know someone requiring design, advertising or marketing savvy, either starting from scratch or starting over again? Just forward this blog.

If you’re looking for a patient, thoughtful and attentive physician – who will really listen –  to help with general health and weight loss/bariatric surgery challenges, make an appointment with Dr. Birhanu via email or telephone, 708-229-1395.

Tide: Merely in Step With the Times, or Waaaaaay Ahead?


The other day, my husband, relaxing after a hard day’s work with his newspaper and pipe, pulled me out of the kitchen where I was preparing his meat and potatoes while wearing a dress, high heels and a string of pearls and asked me to watch a commercial. (Can you find all that’s wrong in that sentence? Tide could!)

Seriously now, he did call my attention to the above commercial. He asked me to watch it, without commenting. So I did (difficult as that was for me to keep quiet). He then asked me my opinion.

“Well,” I said, “I think Dad is just a little short-sighted. Why can’t he wash this dress while she’s in the bathtub, or sleeping?” He gave me an eye roll and said, “And…?”

“And I think it’s wonderful that Tide is getting with the times. There are so many dads who do laundry.” (ironic because he was folding some of ours at the time) “I think it also addresses the stay-at-home dad phenomenon which continues to grow in our society. ‘Nicely done,’ I would say to Tide.”

My husband, an extremely savvy media consumer, then asked, “Would you think he’s gay?”

I was flabbergasted. Because I was projecting my own biases onto this commercial, I saw a dad fully involved in every aspect of raising his child, with an ambiguous wife somewhere in my subconscious.

But throw the idea of this dad being gay out there and WOW!

If that is your reality, your bias, the story stills meshes seamlessly. Because Tide didn’t define this family visually, your mind completes it in the most familiar way. You enjoy the story, you relate to the dad’s laundry woes, you accept his recommendation on solutions (which, by the way, is almost textbook “Marketing To Women” techniques). Tide becomes an important part of keeping your whole family clean, healthy and happy – no matter what your family looks like.

So I say again, “Nicely done!”

A perfect location deserves a “perfect” advertising campaign.

As my advertising hero Don Draper likes to ask, “What’s the benefit?” In my own marketing philosophy, I always add, “What makes the product unique?”

Sometimes, in marketing a town or a region to attract tourism dollars (“heads in beds” or “feets in sheets”), the tendency is to emphasize benefits that are very commonplace. You see hundreds of the same billboards across the nation; “Great food! Charming downtown! Historic landmarks!”

Don’t you see Don shaking his head right now (and probably pouring a glass of scotch)?

The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) needed a new campaign for 2014 – and we needed to think about the unique benefits that could attract real dollars, across four entirely different markets; leisure, group tour, meetings and conventions, and sporting events.

We designed a campaign built around assets that can’t be found anywhere else in the whole U. S of A. and how those assets, as a matter of fact, make the Southland the right choice for these four markets.

For the leisure market, we emphasized the extensive (and yes, unique!) natural areas, forest preserves and outdoor activities, along with the largest outdoor sculpture park in the country. Group tour operators see the Southland as a perfect place to stay the night on cross country trips, with clean, safe hotels at a very reasonable cost. Sporting events also race to the Southland, with its plethora of facilities. Meeting planners like the newly-expanded Convention Center and Iron Oaks team building facility. The Southland’s biggest asset, applicable to all markets and emphasized as such, is its prime location, at the crossroads of America’s major interstates, both north-south and east-west. Free parking, highly beneficial and also unique, is strongly emphasized too.

The campaign includes QR codes unique to every publication, ensuring the CVB can track hits effectively, determining which magazine and guides are giving the most return on investment.

Unique benefits. Everyone has them. Make Don Draper proud and use them in your advertising.  

Chicago Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery gets a new updated look, keeping the (excellent) brand.

Waaaayyy back in 2009, we designed a (beautiful and effective) logo, business card, brochure and bio card for Dr. Gregory Primus, who was founding Chicago Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery in Tinley Park. Logo design is always an interesting journey and Dr. Primus was so smart about it, we actually wrote an article about that experience (click here if you’d like a copy).

Over the years, the practice has grown, added other physicians and specialists, physical therapy capabilities and more. It was time to update the mission materials, carefully protecting the established brand. We did not touch that logo and the design of all business cards remained the same.

We designed and wrote a new brochure; more “graphic”, contemporary, with bigger photographs and a little more flavor of the former Chicago Bear‘s favorite sport.

Because the clinic now conducts Saturday hours for orthopedic emergencies, we also designed and wrote an Urgent Care rack card, a piece that is chock-ful of information but very easy to distribute and, for parents, easy to hold onto.

The Chicago Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery continues to grow, now adding a chiropractic to the staff. Just as Dr. Primus is always there for torn ACLs and damaged rotator cuffs, we’ll continue to be there for him!

If you’d like to see the original materials we designed for Dr. Primus, click here.

Giving The Unforgettable Chef an unforgettable brand

The clients of Chef Tom Grotovsky think he is Unforgettable. He arrives in your home with menu planned and food, utensils and equipment all in hand. He prepares the food, creates a tablescape for you and your guests, simmers, sears and sautes. The gastronomic delight is elegantly served and paired with wine. You enjoy a leisurely gourmet meal in the comfort of your home, free to enjoy the wine, with no one waiting for you to leave so they can turn out the lights. And when you are finally finished? Your kitchen is in apple-pie order, as if the culinary experience appeared by magic.

Unforgettable, indeed.

Chef Tom also teaches cooking classes (he gave me a remarkable little tip about getting bits of eggshell out of batter that dramatically improved my chocolate chip cookies) and is happy to cook at charitable events.

Yes, Chef Tom is Unforgettable. But he needed an unforgettable corporate identity, from logo to business card, from website to coupons. Using black ink only to be cost-efficient and make printing a breeze, we designed a logo that is at once cerebral, elegant and “foodie”. The graphic conveys all those delicious bites, firmly entrenched in memory, and the calligraphic typeface is unexpected and refined.

We then created all the materials he needed to strengthen and build his brand. We even created a template that Chef Tom can use when he prints his custom menus for those dinner parties. Click here to see the website – and make sure you turn your sound up.

Then we had a real brainwave! As The Unforgettable Chef is a luxury item and our target is higher-income folks with a real appreciation for good food, we arranged with WBBM for The Unforgettable Chef Cooking Classes to be prizes for the daily Smart Quiz. The Unforgettable Chef was mentioned to thousands and thousands of listeners four times each morning for three days – with no funds spent on radio time!

XperiaPT offers “mom and pop” physical therapy clinics a way to compete with the Big Guys.

Neel Patel knows first-hand the problems small physical therapy practices are encountering. With reimbursements cut, visits denied and paperwork increased, it’s almost impossible to keep ahead of fixed costs. Add to that aggressive, non-stop marketing from bigger chains, and the family-owned practices could be looking at the beginning of the end. 

Neel came up with a fantastic idea – a marketing “consortium” if you will, with the power of numbers behind the family-owned practices. By pooling funds and buying power, sponsorships become accessible, advertising becomes affordable and overhead is drastically reduced. Now how to sell it?

Neel came to us to design a media kit to mail to all single location physical therapy clinics in the greater Chicagoland area. We designed a piece that pops in the mailbox, with a gatefold to entice readers. After that first piece mailed, we tweaked things a bit, switched it up, to create a slightly different message to catch readers for the second mailing. We even designed a business card to match.

Snakes, Harleys, Aerialists and Natural Lighting

The Tinley Park Convention Center recently completed a MASSIVE expansion, giving them the opportunity to attract larger, more populated shows. The expansion nearly doubled their floor space and the Center was fortunate to see positive, glowing press and wanted to continue that buzz. 

Over the course of three months, we wrote a series of six press releases, explaining how different features of the Convention Center and the surrounding area benefited their shows and visitors. We talked about the natural lighting, the higher-than-usual ceilings, the fully carpeted exhibit areas. We promoted the Center’s handling of the Reptile shows, the Corvette Convention and Harley-Davidson event. The Center’s unique and advantageous location and free parking were explored. The Village of Tinley Park’s attractions were explained.

The releases were distributed through a wire service and we saw terrific results. To date, the Convention Center releases have had over 9,000 hits and reposts, with hundreds of click-thrus. Our article about the June Illinois Republican Convention at the Convention Center was even picked up and posted onto that party’s site (SCORE!).

Click here to see the full releases.

Fireworks, Bands, Food & Summer Fun. All in one brochure.

Orland Hills has been using our design services for several years, both for their annual summer fest and their recreation catalogs. This year, Orland Hills named the fest “Party in the Park” and asked for a more mature design, something to attract adults to the bands, the food and the fireworks, while retaining a sense of family fun. We needed to convey a sense of excitement at first glance. 

We designed the logo, gold on a black background, filled with fireworks and tree canopys, grounded by a line of grass. Then we devised a funky, fun angular theme for the brochure, which walks the reader clearly through the three-day festival and the extensive schedule.

Mailing to thousands all over the region, the event was a huge success. I watched the fireworks and enjoyed them immensely!

Seminars WORK to attract new patients. And clients and customers.

TRU Rehabilitation and Wellness is located in Glenview, Bloomingdale and Arlington Heights. The family-owned healthcare organization is very committed to improving the health of those they treat and TRUly (get it?) hope that their patients are short-term – because they get better.

Because of this, they need to always cultivate new patients. But they were initially hesitant to our idea of public seminars. We presented several ideas that tied TRU healthcare professionals with other experts, including an ergonomic gardening seminar. By explaining that there are a great deal of people just NUTS about gardening (their agency’s creative director among them), we were able to convince him to give it a try.

We named the seminar, created the artwork for advertising and posters, wrote a press release and did initial groundwork for location and relevant speakers. (Yes! We can plan an event from initial idea all the way through to location arrangements, catering, entertainment, favors, registration help and day-of assistance) The advertising ran twice in the Northbrook Tower and the Glenview Lantern, both 22nd Century Media publications.

Partnering with Five Seasons, a large local sports club and the Chicago Botanic Garden who provided their Horticultural Therapist as a speaker, the event was a success. 70 people registered, 50 of those attended the seminar. After raffle prizes were awarded, participants lined up for goodie bags and ten people (that’s 20%!) made appointments with TRU facilities, with many more asking about their free exercise classes.

Re-shoring is a Real Thing for Great Lakes Mechanical Services, Inc.

Great Lakes Mechanical Services, Inc. was founded by Gary Lombardi, a man who “can look at a machine, figure out how it works, fix it, and get it work even better.” Gary is devoted to doing the job right the first time and to helping America retain and bring back quality blue collar jobs. Great Lakes has been growing by leaps and bounds, hiring and expanding their facility.

This summer, Chris Lombardi made the decision to advertise in The Fabricator. Seeing as we had done a bang-up job with a widely-successful press release (even picked up by a steel publication in FRANCE!) and newsletter earlier, Chris called us back to the table. Because of their deep commitment to “old-time” values and career paths, we wrote a series of ads that reflect that commitment very strongly.

If you happen to get The Fabricator, email Chris and let her know you saw the ad!