Maybe it’s a cup of coffee? Maybe it’s a pair of lucky skinny jeans? Maybe it’s a disembodied rubber Batman head that rests at the base of your iMac to remind you of childhood, or … of what might happen to you if you miss a deadline? The truth is, we all have a few things we consider essential when it comes to our creative happy place. And so we ask the question, what are your creative essentials? This round, we spoke with our very own Jr. Strategist, Kendra Siebert.
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As our Manifesto proudly declares, “We Believe In the Tin Man’s Heart. Soulless brands are only meaningful when giving a fleshy, beating heart.”
Today, millions of heart shaped candies, cards, balloons and chocolate boxes are being doled out generously between starry-eyed lovers. In a day long-lauded for ceremonial gift giving, our hearts and minds are focused on LOVE... Brand Love. So it begs the question: Why should people love your brand if your brand doesn’t love the world?
A series of insightful questions to use in branding … and dating.
Because it’s not just about looking good. It’s also about being interesting.
The goal of any advertising campaign is to earn a special place in the hearts and minds of the public. This is how we earn market share, after all. “Mindshare” is that top of mind recall that puts your brand on top when someone finds themselves in want/need of your product or service. It’s the only way to build brand equity. But what is it that makes a brand truly memorable?
We’re always exploring different problem solving techniques for helping our clients solve their brand challenges. Through years of strategy and research, we’ve become very logical thinkers. We embrace consistency and forward linear process. But often times, when challenges and thinking hit a roadblock, we hear things like, “let’s take a step back”, “let’s start over”. But instead, maybe we should be saying, “let’s do this backwards”. Changing up the conventional process of problem solving can occasionally influence a fresh, unexpected and potentially stronger perspective.
You may have heard this simple adage from PR 101. But here’s a twist: Advertising is what you say about yourself. PR is what they say about you. Earned media is owning the conversation between.
The concept of earned media is a practice that was born out of the ineffectiveness of traditional media buys. Build it, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. Earned media is rooted in the belief that good content and great ideas will sell themselves. So, sure, we set in motion our brand stories by buying some media, but the real win is earning a place in the cultural conversation.
The tiniest details can often make the greatest impact. Our third Table for Ten dinner was meticulously hosted at Tanner Goods' Cascadian Fabrications workshop, with an exciting collection of guests and event partners in tow. Our ocean-inspired indego table setting brought both brand mavens and creatives from the likes of Nike, SOREL, Instrument, Leatherman, Tanner Goods, Widmer, Conscious Box and artist Kate Bingaman-Burt, who graciously shared their time and stories with us, producing another awe-inspiring batch Table for Ten alumni. The backbone of these dinners lies in storytelling, an exercise that helps break barriers and unite our guests with a common thread of creativity. Paying homage to our host Tanner Goods, we adopted the local leather manufacturer's tag line, "Worth Holding Onto", and asked our guests to bring an item with this mantra in mind. We heard tales about where creativity starts, love ends, and dreams become reality. In addition to our guests, our generous partners provided an experience that was truly worth holding onto. Guests were treated to a tour of the leather fabrication studio before urban winery Clay Pigeon provided swoon-worthy libations paired with exquisite seasonal fare from Cyril's. Handmade stoneware from Mazama graced our guests' palms, each of whom took home both a Spanish-inspired wine cup and a fresh-from-the-barrel bottle of Rosé. And, once again, our continuous partner Appetite Studio curated an environment that left our group of creative masterminds visually delighted.
Table for Ten is a curated creative dinner series meant to facilitate a meaningful interaction and build lasting personal and professional relationships. Hosted quarterly at some of the city's most inspiring locations, we're strengthening the creative community one meal at a time. Learn more about Table for Ten and watch a recap of our second event here. More photos from this Table for Ten can be found on Manifesto's Facebook page.
[imagebrowser id=19] Last week, Manifesto hosted its second Table for Ten at New Deal Distillery in southeast Portland. New Deal and Park Kitchen generously sponsored the event, coming together to create an elaborate four-course culinary experience paired with signature New Deal cocktails.
As a quarterly event, each Table for Ten invites ten incredible guests to converge on a unique dining environment for an evening of food, drink, conversation and connectivity. From innovators, creators and disruptors, to entrepreneurs, makers and philanthropists, Table for Ten is designed to facilitate a meaningful intersection of unique individuals and build lasting personal and professional relationships organically.
Guests at last week's event included brand marketing mavens, creative directors, talented photographers, and even a design researcher turned slam poet.
Decor was provided by Something Borrowed and Appetite, and Kiriko, a Portland-based company that creates accessories from vintage Japanese boro fabric, sent our guests home with a hand made pocket square.
Manifesto’s Best of 2013
At the beginning of every year we make resolutions. The organized group we are, these resolutions tend to fall into categories: relationships, health, self-improvement. And then, there’s work. How can we make our work better each year?
A category all of its own, we set our goals high and our expectations higher. 2013 has brought us some awesome clients, interesting challenges and a lot of work to be proud of (even an Award of Excellence from the Rosey’s). We thought before we set out to make some new resolutions, we’d take a minute to celebrate the year in review.
Since our Little League and soccer team days, we've been quietly yearning for trophies. A token that speaks to our commitment and perseverance, our dedication and quirks. Last week at the 2013 Portland Rosey Awards, the top local award ceremony for advertising and creative work, we were pleasantly surprised to win an Award of Excellence in the experiential category for our work with Arby's Foundation on the Hungry For Happiness campaign.
We turned the would be 90-minute PowerPoint marathon into a theater in the round experience called Vision360. The event featured GE Healthcare verticals including powerful storytelling from Tom Gentile, CEO of GE Healthcare Systems and Bob Schwartz, head of GE Healthcare Global Design. Ben Arment, Founder and Curator of STORY emceed the event and seamlessly transitioned the audience between presenters and compelling content. The event included stunning sizzle videos, rousing intros and music, and powerful presentations that delivered on the Vision360 ethos.
In November we wrapped up a new and improved Arby's Foundation website. Manifesto has been working with the Arby's Foundation for the past few years to get consumers engaged in helping to end childhood hunger in America. Currently, 1 in 5 children in America are food insecure, and together, the Arby's Foundation and Manifesto are working to make that number zero.
The new Arby's Foundation website has been revamped and features a responsive and user-friendly design. The site includes elements of the Hungry for Happiness mobile tour microsite that we built for the foundation earlier this year. The Hungry for Happiness mobile tour just wrapped up its second year this summer, visiting 45 cities and distributing over 11,000 healthy kids meals.
While we try to remain impartial to all the work we do here, one project earlier this year stands out as a great exercise in pairing disruption and design. Working with Lands’ End School Uniforms to build a new brand platform, Manifesto helped to position Lands’ End as a category thought-leader and created a fresh approach to engage administrators and teachers at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools conference in Washington D.C.
Weeks before the event, a select number of Lands’ End School Uniforms prospective clients, school administrators in the rapidly growing charter space, received an acceptance packet welcoming them to the Lands’ End Academy. Veiled as a cheeky prep school, the packet served as the invite to a myriad of activities hosted by the fictitious school.
The goal was to create disruption, consideration and brand affinity for Lands’ End School Uniforms through an interactive experience for the attendees. Components of the event included roving hall monitors, a “Brand Building 301” breakout session, and Detention (cocktail hour). We’re so pleased we had the opportunity to create such a fun, fictitious school – Lands’ End Academy: The most buttoned up school you’ve never heard of.
A good dinner party is more than just a gathering of people and a smattering of food. There has to be intention, from the decor to the food to the carefully crafted guest list.
This past fall we launched a new dinner series called Table for Ten, a curated dinner series for 10 of Portland’s most interesting creatives, thinkers, doers and makers. A passion project of chief strategist Dave Dyer, the goal for the dinner series is to engage a group of Portland creatives by creating an intimate dinner experience aimed at authentic storytelling.
The first dinner was held at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft’s joint MFA studio. The art-laden environment was a perfect location to host a wide range of creatives for a night of artisanal wine and decadent food. As we head in to the next dinner in early 2014, we’re excited to host a new roster of guests and continue the fine craft of planning this intimate dinner series.
2013 was a busy year for the Manifesto family. From newborns to new employees and many changes and challenges in between, it’s been a fruitful year and we have so much to be grateful for. However, we recognize that without our clients, our community, and the brands and partners that inspire us every day, we wouldn’t have made it this far.
As we look to 2014, we hope that you will reflect fondly upon this year as well. Wishing you a happy holiday season and joyful New Year.
We love giving. Giving a client a great new logo, giving a consumer an amazing experience, giving the office dog a treat – all of it! When it comes to the holidays our feelings on giving don’t budge, and like everything we do, we go back to our manifesto for guidance.
With this in mind, may we present you with the Manifesto Holiday Gift Guide! This holiday season let’s let our dollars tell a story with more chutzpah than a Black Friday deal, with more meaning than your favorite holiday ornament, and more backbone than a Christmas turkey.
Social Brands We Love
Why do we love them? Because by supporting these brands, you’re shopping in support of a cause, and the only thing better than finding the perfect wool knit hat is to know that the craftswoman who made it in Peru is directly benefiting from your purchase. (We might have to add “your winter accessories should stand for something more” to our manifesto.)
These sleek bullet casing necklaces are a stark contrast from the not so pretty cause they’re supporting – hunger. The founders of Half United started with $200 and a desire to start a business that would affect the world positively. To date, they’ve provided over 98,000 meals across the world to families and kids in need.
Warby Parker Warby Parker is hot stuff, so hot that it’s easy to forget that they are a one-for-one operation. As of this summer, WP has given away half a million pairs of glasses. Thumbs up for high style, high global awareness and low cost. (Warby’s are another office staple for Manifesto, surprised?)
541 Threads Looking for a cozy cotton hoodie with just the right cut for that early morning Christmas unwrapping fun? Look no further than our own backyard. Founded in Bend, Oregon, 541 Threads gives five meals to those in need for every piece of clothing purchased. 26,000 meals given away–and counting!
Sseko’s story is founded on one objective, to enable higher education for women in Uganda. Half of Sseko employees’ wages go into a savings account to serve as their tuition fund after their 9 month stint making beautiful Sseko sandals, bags and scarves. We love Sseko not only because their products are swoonworthy, but because we admire the founder’s commitment to creating a sustainable business with purpose.
Cuppow turns your beloved mason jar into a foolproof coffee mug or resilient and compartmentalized lunchbox. Made from 100% recycled materials, 5% of Cuppow profits go to organizations that promote environmental stewardship, recycling, and social awareness. Small but impactful, it’s a great stocking stuffer for your friend who’s constantly lamenting about their granola getting soggy in a tupperware full of yogurt. Our account coordinator swears by the lids!
If we weren’t so busy declaring brand beliefs and telling stories, we’d be learning how to turn a tree into a canoe Ron Swanson style. We love a well made product that comes from the meticulous eyes of a fine craftsperson, and supporting these makers is part of our mission.
We prefer our wallets to last and our belts to age with as much dignity as their owners. Handmade in Portland, Tanner’s goal is to produce strong, beautiful, durable handmade goods. We love their traditional approach to timeless leather goods and their emphasis on quality you can see and feel. If you ever run into creative director Sam Huff, make sure to ask him about his grandfather’s leather camera strap that inspired him to start Tanner Goods.
Lands’ End recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and it’s definitely a Silver Fox in our book. The Canvas line is the tried and true Lands’ End look and values with a trendy twist for a slightly younger audience. We love them because it’s iconic, durable, the right price, and they have the best customer service bar none. (Did you know they were the first clothing retailer to sell online, to have an 800 number, and have 24/7 customer service?)
Great shave. Fair Price. Simple. That’s the Harry’s moto. German engineered blades, ergonomic handles and premier shaving cream are delivered right to your door, just pick what you want and when you want it. A subtle way to tell the men in your life that they need to get their groomin’ on. Harry’s donates 1% of their sales and volunteers 1% of their time to organizations that prepare people for personal and professional success.
As the saying goes, for the person who has everything, buy them salami. Portland based charcuterie shop will send an artisanal salami every month for a year with a Salami of the Month Club subscription. Wine club memberships move over, Portland’s redefining the goods-by-mail landscape. Causes We Admire
Changing the world isn’t easy but somebody’s got to do it! These are causes we’re happy to get behind. Giving to an organization in honor of a friend or loved one is always the right color and size.
Many of us here at Manifesto have had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat, creating a deep appreciation for this behemoth of an organization. Give the carpenter in your life a holiday card saying a box of nails and roof shingles have been donated in their honor.
Sometimes a vacation will change your life. That’s what happened to founder Alezandra Russell after visiting Thailand years ago. A small donation will help Urban Light outreach, the only non-profit in Chiang Mai fighting to end the exploitation of young boys. Manifesto is excited to be working with Urban Light to reinvent their brand and visual identity, launching 2014.
Soles4Souls provides new and used shoes to those in need around the world through two avenues. First, they address the issue first hand by donating shoes directly to those in need, and also by giving shoes to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations in order to provide training, jobs, and sustainable income to desperate communities. Donating $20 allows Soles4Souls to donate 20 pairs of shoes.
This holiday season let’s give consciously and remember to ask ourselves why before we buy, because giving is more fun when your dollars stand for something more.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Manifesto