This month in our spotlight is Crunch Brand Communications in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Ted Schuelter gave us the dirt on how they work and gave us a peek at the agency's work.
Caff: Show us the Crunch creative hot spot. Where are the ideas born?
Crunch: Crunch is located in Charlestown, MA, and overlooks the famous Mystic River. Our halogen-lit, exposed brick, orange-painted offices don't exactly fit in with our surroundings. When we sit down in our conference room to brainstorm, we look out onto a landscape that's gritty and industrial. Some might say it's bleak. But for us, it's a reminder of the kind of tough, challenging environment we were trained to thrive in. In fact, all of us at Crunch attended the Boulder Outdoor Survival School (B.O.S.S.) where we learned to subsist in the harshest conditions and how to optimize limited resources. We find that the principles we learned there teamwork, innovation, drive, persistence constantly come into play in the work we do for our Brand Partners. No matter how tough the market landscape gets, we know how to help companies survive and flourish.
Caff: Caff: What is currently the best work to come out of Crunch Brand Communications?
Crunch: We're especially proud of the work we did for K2, a multi-sport manufacturer based in Seattle, WA. Most people know K2 for their exceptional ski equipment. But K2 hired Crunch to build brand awareness for their mountain and road biking line. The goal was to position K2 as credible, authentic brand in the biking category. We helped them succeed by developing a distinctive, engaging positioning and voice for their brand. We brought their "Break Away" positioning to life by developing an integrated marketing campaign that was innovative in its look, feel and cost-effectiveness.
One part of the K2 campaign.
Caff: What prompted you to start your own agency? Is there an interesting back story you'd like to share?
Crunch: Everyone at Crunch has worked for big, global ad agencies where we got to see "the good and the bad." After gaining valuable experience at these companies, we decided it was time to build a new breed ofcommunications company; one that would focus solely on "the good." To do this, we knew we had to uphold high standards across the board?from our process to our services to our hiring process. We've seen how egos and politics can cloud a company's vision and taint its culture. That's why Crunch maintains an environment that's respectful, positive, collaborative, and empowering.
Caff: Bernbach said that advertising should be different to stand out. With this follows that an agencies culture should be different to make work that stands out. What does Crunch do different within the agency?
Crunch: Everyone at Crunch is on the same page. We share the same values and are driven by the same goal: To help our Brand Partners succeed. To do this, we know it's critical to work as a team, to encourage relentless blue-sky thinking and problem-solving, and to know that great ideas can come from anywhere. In fact, we see our entire company as the "creative department."
Caff: Show us some work you did!
On the postcards we developed for FRAM we actually utilized thermographic printing to simulate the rough texture of the slip-resistant plastic used on the product. That detail brought the products innovation to life for the target audience.
With every bartender on the island of Nantucket reciting the poem we created you could hear the "cheers" all the way to the mainland. Some of us are still hung over.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA, part of the Department of Commerce, is well known for its weather radio, but did you know it also protects ocean mammals, such as whales and porpoises, as well as the nation’s fishing resources? If you didn’t you’re not alone. There in lies the challenge. Simply put, NOAA could be more effective if greater awareness existed of its efforts.
Caff: There has been a lot of discussion in the media and the world about advertisings "moral" responsibilities. Sexist ads are slammed, spam is universally hated, deception is employed by viral marketers and "ad creep" where soon every public area carries an ad is getting people worried. While this is a fuzzy question, we'd like to hear your input on this, do you think advertising - the business - has a "moral responsibility"?
Crunch: It's true. A lot of advertisers these days will do anything to get people's attention. At Crunch, we only do what's smart. For us, thatmeans producing work that respects our Brand Partners' product and/or service, as well as the target audience they're trying to reach. You don't have to be crude or chauvinistic to be provocative. But you do have to make a connection; to show the consumer that you understand their world, recognize their needs and challenges, and appreciate their point-of-view. Crunch does this successfully by taking the "high road;" by developing creative that has memorability, not shock value.
Caff: Thanks for the chat Crunch!