Case Study :: Swizl :: Content and Social Marketing

For any brand in today’s marketplace, social and content marketing has become a pillar of both the outreach platform and the brand itself. This is especially true of Swizl because of its unique value proposition at the center of a nexus between savings and content. I personally led the charge on all of this for the brand, creating the social and editorial voices and standards for Swizl, marshaling internal and external resources to write, design and shoot content and often diving in hands-on and creating work myself. It’s been crazy, but a ton of fun!

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TasteCrate Full Package Development

This was the flagship of Inmar’s consumer exploration into subscription commerce. This one is very “me,” folks. I devised and sold the original concept, developed the identity, created the overall style, generated and designed the sales materials, scripted and directed video production, wireframed and creative directed web assets and acted as lead designer on a range of things from outdoor applications to packaging (crucially important for this concept) to “selfie walls.” We were working with a “sensible” budget, but that only added to the challenge and the fun. Though we couldn’t ultimately do everything we wanted, this was playtime to an extent for me. Fun!

Special thanks for working with me on the web for this, Javon Greaves. You are a talented gent! Romeo Mariano got a shoutout on the Baby Bundles work, but he was the man on the video work here. Thanks for putting up with my direction, my man. Big ups to Chris Dick on this one, too. His crazy animation skills were brought to bear.

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Propper Tactical Brand Launch

I’m pleased to share the final result of the Propper Tactical brand launch. In an earlier post, I shared a colorful and engaging exploratory concept for this assignment. In contrast, the selected approach shown here is rich, textural and “engineered” with a clear lifestyle focus. It was paramount with this brand launch to do something genuinely different; something real for a real, savvy consumer target audience. The iconography and brand elements here speak to the concept of a “tactical system” with integrated imagery and clarity of purpose. Sleek, tactile textures bring touch and a decided sense of quality to the piece while the white graphic bar overlays underscore the central concept of the rank of “officer.” This is a bold, smart brand for well-engineered gear for today’s intelligent tactical law enforcement professionals.

Again, I was the hands-on designer for all of this, a co-concept lead and wrote the line descriptors (“Be Cool.,” Blend.,” “Perform.,” and “Move.”) for the brand.

Shown Here: Teaser Videos, Brand Identity Elements, Hangtags, Sample Advertising, Site Design

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“Annabelle Lee” Sarah Jarosz Music Video

This was a labor of love that I created both inspired by and in tribute to the amazing work of three amazing artists ::

First off, the bone-gleamingly pure Sarah Jarosz who adapted a macabre classic into this bit of musical perfection. The second is the man behind that definitive poem, the peerless master Edgar Allan Poe. The third is less well-known (and it’s a crime). Lotte Reininger was a filmmaker and animator from the early 20th century, who’s seminal works include the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” from 1926. That’s 12 years before Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was released!

PLEASE view this in full HD either below or at this (preferred) Vimeo link. It’s meant to be viewed that way.

Words and Music — ©2011 Sarah Jarosz and Sugar Hill Records
Inspired By — “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
Video Concept, Illustration and Animation — ©2016 David Edward Johnson

Whole Foods Market Flagship App

The Whole Foods Market App is a discovery engine. With almost 4000 recipes and the ability to search, filter and add them to a shopping list in addition to cooking guides and other rich content, it’s meant to be a tool to both enable that discovery as well as help users begin to actualize that discovery.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to lead a massive UX / UI redesign for that flagship app and am leading the process of reworking and augmenting it as we move forward. Whole Foods worked with the team at SapientNitro on the project in addition to our robust internal iOS team. I creative directed the entire project, both managing the agency creative relationship and our internal design resources while partnering with the tech resources leading the development process. As a part of the relaunch of the app, we created our first Android version as well.

The app itself is an immersive look at the recipes, guides and content within, leveraging rich photography, typography and bold color to draw users in. This was a big step forward for the 4 year old app. We are, however, already beginning a process of evolution of elements of this design system to both optimize, capitalize on any shortfalls and create further opportunities for engagement.

This evolution is part of an overarching cycle of rework and augmentation as the app marches forward. This is a key part of the project as it allows us to listen to user feedback and adjust to that feedback, making the app better in a cycle of constant deployment. I am leading the UX/ UI team making the design adjustments on all of those features and improvements moving forward. No project is perfect when launched, nor will it ever be, so this is a vitally important part of the process of continually meeting user need in more meaningful ways.

Shown Here: Sample Screens from iOS App for phone and tablet

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STL Symphony Save Powell Hall Campaign

The Boston Symphony tweets: “Ha. Ha. Amazing. :-)”

The Riverfront Times says: “Save Powell Hall: Concert Marketing Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This”

From STLToday: “SLSO begs public: Save Powell Hall!”

An LA arts and music blog crows: “…By far, the best orchestral marketing and advertising effort I’ve seen lately — probably ever — is St. Louis Symphony’s “Save Powell Hall” campaign.”

STLMag.com states: If we don’t take action now, Powell Hall is going to explode.

And… The St. Louis Business Journal, too.

I love creating disruptive marketing solutions. I feel it’s been a hallmark of my career. This very recent campaign for the St. Louis Symphony was a wonderfully fun example of that.

I acted as the concept, design and copywriting lead for the campaign, creating the initial idea, flowing it out to a signature style for the campaign, penning copy throughout and creative directing any other moving parts with the Symphony’s internal team and contract specialists. The campaign featured postering, an engaging website that acted as a hub for the campaign, outdoor applications (both for billboards and metro transit stops) and a “viral-style” video shot by Brant Hadfield with SFX and production by Terry Coolidge.

All of the coverage for the campaign was gratifying to see, but the fact that sales were up was the real “reward,” here. In all, a fun and engaging solution for a gem of the nation’s arts landscape.

Shown Here: Campaign Video, Mark Design, Sample Poster & Wheatpasting, Website, Sample Outdoor Applications and Poster Concept

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The Goddard School Video Microsite

This microsite for The Goddard School is a wonderful example of a laser-targeted solution for the digital space that puts users’ wants and needs directly at its center. Representing Phase II of a brand development / launch that I was very pleased to be an instrumental part of, this project is also a great example of how brands can come to life in very innovative and visceral ways.

Here’s how it works ::

Users select what is most important to them in an early childhood education solution for their child by clicking boxes next to qualities inherent in the Goddard experience. The qualities are all represented by branded iconography, both underscoring the brand style itself, but also encouraging users to interact and play with the intuitive interface. When users submit their choices, the system auto-stitches together a custom video showing them the true Goddard School experience based on their input. Each custom video is organized into chapters showing the qualities selected and featuring authentic video of real Goddard parents and teachers speaking to their real-world experiences. After each video users are then prompted to sign up for their own tour of a local Goddard School location. Tours are the primary conversion point for the schools and our go-to call-to-action for all outreach. Users were able to perform all tour scheduling functions on the site directly. The site is also responsive, resizing and adjusting the experience for the range of mobile screen sizes.

This was my concept and I was the design lead on the project. I also acted as hands-on creative director for the project as it moved into production and my ever-talented UPBrand team of creatives and video editors got involved.

Perhaps the best feedback one can receive for a project like this is that it’s working in spades for the client. The conversion numbers have been great here. A recent potential customer sent a follow up email to his local school after experiencing the site that read :: “If your school is half as impressive as your microsite, I know I’ll be sending my children to The Goddard School.”

PS — I can’t share a link to the site here as it is a private direct-marketing tool for each school.

Shown Here: Screens / Interaction Paradigm and Detail Images

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Hardee’s 50th Anniversary Campaign + Tour

50 years of great Thickburgers, beautiful girls and good times, now that’s something to celebrate. When Hardee’s was looking for a unique way to spread the word about it’s 50th anniversary, 4ORCE got the call. This concept incorporates a heavy brand push into a buzz-generating tour and social media campaign. The central idea: building the ultimate girl country band for a national Hardee’s 50th birthday party — “Electra Starr and the Heartstrings” (and then “Stealing Angels”). The campaign is a home run for Hardee’s midwestern values with a mildly sexy wink and builds on existing brand sentiment while providing bold new texture to Hardee ’s reputation in the marketplace. I lead the development of all aspects of this brand campaign. From development of the campaign’s central theme and brand integration down to design of all touchpoints personally, I had a ton of fun with this one.

I’ve included just a few selected examples of my design work for the campaign for flavor below. Shown here :: Posters, Vehicle Wrap, Apparel and Digital Assets

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My Work Video Montage

This is a collection of my work set to some rock and roll. It works as a really fun overview. For the best view, click the “HD” button in the upper right corner of the video. Turn it up and enjoy!

The Goddard School Rebrand

In this business, we all have projects that are as rewarding as they are challenging. This rebrand for peerless early childhood educational leader The Goddard School falls directly into that category.

At once contemporary, approachable, bold and authentic, this new approach to the brand breathes a very fresh wind into the sails of the 25+-year-old franchise education provider. I was a creative lead on the project, filling the roles of Creative Director, Lead Designer, On-Set Director, Producer, Motionographer and (in some cases) Copywriter. Operating on a tight timeline, we executed a full rebrand plus campaign-driven materials to better tell the Goddard story. I was very blessed to work with a very talented crew internally at UPBrand that brought the signature style established here to a variety of additional projects not pictured here, a totally first-class DP and shooting crew, a really great editor / video team and a savvy and very hip client on this as well and I wanted to give props.

When the brand was rolled-out to both internal and franchisee stakeholders at an annual event in Florida, I am gratified to say that the work actually inspired some tears from those closest to the brand. A rarity, but always fun to see.

Shown Here: Sample Television Advertising, Brand Identity Elements, Responsive Site Design, Collateral, Print Advertising

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