Mountain House YouTube Video Campaign

We are happy to be working with the team behind Mountain House, a master-planned community east of Livermore, California that’s as special as the people who call it home. The best way to learn what it’s like living there is to experience it firsthand, but we wanted to help tell the story of Mountain House before potential buyers decided to visit.

Two YouTube video campaigns were created to share the narrative with as many people as possible. For the first, it was discovered that the early residents of Mountain House consider themselves to be pioneers and are bonded together in the shared experiences of living in this unique community. Called “Mountain House Moments,” the video series captures residents recalling memories and experiences that have made Mountain House home.

The second campaign, “Voices of Mountain House,” includes several videos that provide a kind of behind-the-scenes look at how various teams and entities have come together to execute the shared vision for the community. Key stakeholders such as new buyers, longtime residents, educators, builders and the developer talk about the thought and strategy behind Mountain House, from community planning, home design, education and access to nature and open spaces.

Check out a Voices of Mountain House video below. View more videos on the Mountain House YouTube channel HERE.

Green Shopping

The holiday season is upon us and consumers will receive  more catalogs, direct mail and coupons in the next few weeks, then they do the rest of the year.  If you are into going green, check out  The website allows you to sign up for electronic catalogs instead of being inundated with paper ones.   When you visit you can enter your customer data from the address labels of the catalogs you receive and either sign up for an iCatalog or cancel the delivery altogether.

Catalog Choice is a non-profit based in Berkeley.  For more information as well as to sign up and start reducing your paper and unwanted mail, go to:


20% For Parks – Symbiotic Union Between Advertisers and State Parks

Husband and Wife team, Christopher and Shari Boyer, have created a new company called Government Solutions Group Inc.  Their company is based on the principal that state parks are an untapped advertising resource, and if the state park allows them to sell advertisements in their welcome kits, 20% of the advertising revenue goes back to the state park.

The Government Solutions Group welcome kit contains a fold-out map, park highlights, suggested road trips, calendar of events and other information.  The kits are produced at no cost to the state, taxpayers or park visitors. The kits take 6-8 months to make and cost about $800,000.  They are distributed in May and updated annually.  Some of the companies that are already involved with the program are Coca Cola, Stater Bros. Markets, Nestle, Cascadian Farm, Odwalla Inc. and Geico.

So far, these welcome kits are in 11 states including California, New York, Texas, Florida and Ohio.  The money already raised by 20% For Parks program has gone to efforts to plant more than 1 million trees in California state parks, creating 7 playgrounds in New York state parks and has provided 4 vehicles for state parks in Utah and Colorado.

The Government Solutions Group has an exclusive deal with the state parks, which does not allow competitors to produce similar kits.  The firm expects to have distributed 6 million welcome kits by the end of 2009.

For more information, go to:,0,6687015.story

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times / June 30)

Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times / June 30

In Gayle We Trust

Are you intersted in watching a web series based on an American Family Insurance Agent?  NBC Universal is betting Yes.  NBCU and Mindshare Entertainment have produced the web series “In Gayle We Trust” as a way to feature American Family in its first branded entertainment role.

American Family believes these webisodes will drive home the brand positioning that “its agents are trusted advisors woven into the fabric of the community.”  The 10 webisodes are written by a writer for The Office, which will definitely give them some credibility.  Elisa Donovan, from Clueless and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch fame, will star as the “insurance agent who serves as the de facto life coach for a town of quirky characters.”

The webisodes can be seen at the In Gayle We Trust dedicated website, along with NBC Web properties, Hulu, iTunes and VOD services.  The shows are 3-4 minutes long and will be released weekly.

Well, for American Family’s first attempt at branded entertainment they certainly did not spare any expense.  With a writer from The Office and a well-known (B/C list actress) these webisodes might actually gain a following.  The big question is, will these webisodes sway you to try American Family as your insurance company?  We will have to wait and see.   Will our Rox readers be watching? If you catch an episode or two, write us! We would love to hear what you think.

For the full article, go to:


Want A Greener Home? Here Are 12 Great Green Appliances has done some digging and has provided a list of 12 Earth-friendly appliances that are actually green.  If you are in the market for appliances that not only save you money on your utilities, but that are actually better for the environment, then check these items out:

  1. Xeros Washing Machine – This new washer promises to clean clothes with just one cup of water and thousands of nylon beads.  The carbon-footprint of this prototype is 40% less than the current most efficient washing machine.
  2. Equator 375 Refrigerator – Not only is this fridge quieter than most, but it only uses $50 of electricity per year!
  3. Aeromatic Oven – This high-efficiency stand-alone oven bakes, grills, broils, fries, toasts, steams and roasts your smaller meals in the time it would take to microwave them, but uses 80% less energy.
  4. Bosch Evolution Plus Dishwasher – The Bosch Evolution 800 Plus is not only 160% more energy efficient than traditional models but it also has the capacity for 15 place settings.
  5. Tankless Hot Water Heater – The tankless systems can lower your costs and save you time, because your hot water is delivered instantaneously.
  6. AO Smith Vertex 100 – The Vertex 100 has a 90% better efficiency rating than anyone else on the market, which will provide you a 30% savings on your utility bills.
  7. Motion Sensor Lights – Though these have been around for quite a while, the Levion Decora 150 switch senses when a room is empty and turns the lights off for you.  Saves a lot of money on electricity and avoids fighting between parents and their kids.
  8. Toliet Lid Sink – When you flush the toliet this addition takes the clean water from the tank, through the spigot for hand washing, before actually flushing the toliet.  May sound a little gross, but is completely sanitary and saves your household water.
  9. Santerra Green Composting Toliets – This toliet/composter helps evaporate your ‘business,’ so that what is left can be turned into compost.  It promises to be odorless and save you water.
  10. Cool ‘n Save – This eco-friendl’ier’ air conditioner is helpful because it sucks the heat out of nearby air, therefore helping to lower your bills by circulating the cooler air through the house without having the unit on Artic temperatures.
  11. ShowerStart – The ShowerStart system slows hot water to a trickle once it hits 95 degrees, so while you are letting the water run to warm up before hopping in, this system takes the water wastefulness out of the quick errands before showering.
  12. Methane-powered golf cart – Although still in its experimental stages, this idea could help us save a lot of gas and money if we are going quickly around town.

For the full article, which explains the positives and negatives of most of these products, go to:


Pop-Up Stores Popping Up

Temporary stores have started to emerge as a solution for the cash-strapped brand.  With all the empty properties about, brokers and landlords are more willing to take some rent for a pop-up store, than leave the space empty waiting for a permanent tenant.  Brands are using these pop-up spaces as a way to create buzz, test new concepts and evaluate a new neighborhood or city they are looking to launch in.  With rents now affordable again, these shops are being views “as a logical, and even inexpensive, marketing tool.”

High-end brands like Hermes, Emilio Pucci and La Perla and have started to embrace the concept, as have Gap, Seven for all Mankind and Daffy’s.  One extremely successful example of a pop-up store was The New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism which opened a shop on Broadway between 11th and 12th streets in Manhattan.  The temporary shop garnered nearly $1 million in media, between the 46 broadcast segments and 21 print and online placements they received.  They also had an average of 1,000 visitors go through the store each week and 500 pieces of collateral were handed out daily.  The bulk of the budget was spend on the $20,000 a month rent, but with the figures listed above, the efforts more than paid for themselves.

AdAge has provided a list of 5 things to consider before taking on a venture like this for your brand:

  1. Do your research – why is the space empty? Lack of traffic in the area? Some issue with the property?
  2. Don’t scrimp – make sure your budget keeps within the brand’s image, if you are a high end brand, you will need to spend a little more building out the space
  3. Get creative – as more brands start the pop-up store you will need to make sure your space still attracts attention
  4. Don’t expect a profit – the purpose of the pop-up store is to create buzz, not profits
  5. Take a chance – don’t be afraid of trying a new neighborhood, new design, new product or new marketing tactic.  Pop-ups are temporary so if your gamble doesn’t work, you haven’t boxed yourself in

For the full article, go to:


Proximity BBDO Grows Own Talent At “The Farm”

Proximity BBDO in Brussels, Belgium has created an innovative way to lure in and keep Belgium’s top advertising recruits.  The agency has opened up “The Farm” its agency-within-an-agency, where 12 young recruits will get an opportunity to work on many of Proximity BBDO’s top accounts, including Pepsi, Nestle and ING.  The concept of “The Farm” is to grow creative talent and to give these recruits the experience necessary to create great campaigns for large clients.  The apprentices will also be working on experimental side projects that will test them and their skills.

There were 90 applicants for the 12 slots and although they are not getting paid, Proximity BBDO is giving them free lodging and cleaning services in the big mansion next to the agency.  “The Farm” apprenticeship will be one month long and at the end one student will win $7,000 and six weeks of work experience at Proximity London.

Proximity BBDO’s “The Farm” idea started because in a perfect world they would be able to hire six new grads every year.  With the current economic climate they couldn’t afford to hire on full-time employees, so instead of 6 grads they upped it to 12 and are now only paying for housing. Knowing how driven, ambitious, tech-saavy and cheap these new grads are, it is a win-win situation for both parties.  The agency gets cheap labor and the graduates get a once-in-a-lifetime actual agency experience.

Honestly, I think this is a brilliant idea! Althought it is similar to the “Intern” concept, I think it has the potential to be much more serioius for the grads than the typical internship of filing papers.  I know as an intern I was never allowed to work on the BIG clients, nor was I allowed in actual client meetings.

I think Proximity BBDO will get some really relevant, innovative work out of these grads.  It will be exciting to hear how the experience was for both groups.

For the full article, go to:

Pizza Hut Rebranding: The Hut

It seems like there is a trend starting in the QSR business, rebranding.  First, we had KFC which is still trying to make its shift to KGC or Kentucky Grilled Chicken and now we have Pizza Hut who is heading an effort to rebrand itself to “The Hut.”

One of the main components of The Hut’s rebranding tactics includes in-store digital video (Hut TV) that is designed to engage customers.  So far it is only in 20 stores, sixteen stores in Jacksonville and four stores in Dallas, but the company is planning it’s bigger roll out for 2010.  The content includes three section features: entertainment (trivia or games), short customized segments from CBS-produced programs and a news ticker at the the bottom of the screen.  The right hand of the screen will be dedicated to Pizza Hut’s menu which will list ingredients and/or any promotions that are going on.

Pizza Hut believes this rebranding will help its somewhat stagnant sales by positioning themselves as a solution for home meals.  They have new menu items and they hope that their new in-store experience with Hut TV will engage the consumer enough that they want to come into the store because their perceived wait time will be less and they will be entertained while their fresh meal is being prepared.

Denny’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Hardees and even McDonald’s are all planning to experiment with video networks.  The difference is that the companies just mentioned will by handled by IndoorDIRECT, while Hut TV is owned by Pizza Hut and will have full control over its content.

For the full article, go to:

Would You Pay $99 To Get Into Disneyland 3 Times?

From the OC Register:

Hey, Southern California residents, would you pay $99 for three entrances to local Disney parks that you have to use over 45 days?

Well, the folks at Disney are betting that you will.

In a nod to the slumping economy, the tickets will be offered from June 1 to August 23–the time when usually your cheaper annual passes are blacked out due to summertime crowds!

Have fun at the Happiest Place on Earth!

To buy tickets, go to:

Free Root Beer Floats at O.C. Sonics

Participating Sonic Drive-Ins are thanking customers with Free Float Night on Wednesday, June 3.

Specifically, restaurants are giving away 10-oz. Root Beer Floats from 8 p.m. until midnight.  The chain, which has two restaurants in Orange County, expects to hand out more than 3.5 million Root Beer Floats, according to QSR Magazine.

The Sonics in Anaheim and Mission Viejo are participating  in the giveaway.

  • Anaheim Sonic is at 1632 N. Lemon Street. Phone: (714) 992-4500.
  • The Mission Viejo Sonic is at 25502 Jeronimo Road. Phone: 949-472-4690.