Once Upon a Time… (Dog & Pony Communications)

The dog, the pony and Julie have moved to Eastown to join their friends at 8Legged Monster! Come along!

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Spring Recruiting 2008 (Davenport University)

After celebrating the completion of a successful winter image campaign at a local restaurant, the folks at DU walked me to my expired parking meter and said, “Hey….that was fun. Let’s do it again. How about a spring recruiting spot.”
“Yeah,” chimed in another, “we’ve got a little money leftover in the budget and 3 weeks until the recruiting season begins. Whaddayasay?”
“Gulp.” I replied. “I think I see a traffic cop nosing around my car.” Considering the ensuing ticket I would soon be responsible for, I cried out enthusiastically, “Count me in!”

So once again, we turned to the drawing board. Thank goodness for laptops, good software and vector art on the internet. Season with music and narration and voila…you’ve made a tv spot.

It really is a heck of a lot of fun.

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Fall Recruiting 2010 (Davenport University)

While I neither conceived or directed this ad, it is a significant addition to my portfolio from a producer’s side of things.

I had never done stop motion animation before…not even in college with little clay figures. That’s something boys did. We girls took rock music with overly serious lyrics and cut it together with shots of sunsets and footprints in the sand being washed away by the waves. This would be new territory for me and not for the faint of heart given a limited budget and weeks (not months) before air.

So how do you confront the unknown? I don’t know about you, but I called one of those boys who DID monkey with clay-mation in college. Hired him as my animation director and jumped feet first into the fire. The result actually came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

What a learning experience and a great opportunity. Just goes to show ya, you CAN teach an old..older dog new tricks even post graduation.


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Spring Recruiting 2010 (Davenport University)

With 3 weeks to air, how do you get a tv ad concept past a university president who has rejected everything presented to him including a campaign by one the midwest’s largest agencies?

Make HIM the concept.

Works every time. We started with one ad featuring Dr. Pappas sharing his vision for Davenport and by the end of the summer, he requested 6 more featuring students, faculty, administration and alumni. We recruited some great people who had really great things to say about DU. We supported each ad with an indepth interview on DU’s website. Turned out to be a very effective campaign for a reasonable sum…a rare occurrence.


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Double X (Quixtar)

Double X has been the flagship product of the Nutrilite company and Amway since 1948. The formula and marketing tools for this ever popular supplement are refreshed on a regular basis. In this case, we focused on the benefits of today’s Double X for the challenges of today’s “Real Life.”

This piece was the sales element of a comprehensive DVD that also included a video on the history of the product and a video on the science behind the product.

Some Beatles-like folklore: There are actually 2 versions of this video. The first version was much edgier and grittier…more like, well, real life. This is the tamed-down version that made it through layers of corporate approval. You won’t find our first attempt on this web site but with a wink and a nudge and the code word “Conquistador”…maybe just maybe…

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Spring Recruiting 2009 (Davenport University)

This campaign started with one objective on the client’s behalf…show students. My objective was to show real students in real settings as opposed to posing student actors in fake situations. The challenge was coming up with a shooting technique that had some style but was totally unobtrusive so we wouldn’t disrupt classes and so the students would ignore us and let us capture them doing what students do naturally…similar to shooting wildlife for National Geographic.

I’ve always been a fan of Super 8. It was my format of choice in college. Over the years I have kept track of the companies that still support the format hoping there would come a time I’d return to my roots. Well here was my chance. Super 8 has a style all its own, it’s low-tech and the equipment does little to impress anyone under the age of 35. So we were able to move in and out of study areas freely and quickly without drawing too much attention to ourselves…except I’d forgotten how loud those camera motors are. Anyway, it was a fun process and taught me that, yes, you can go back again.


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Spring Recruiting 2007 (Davenport University)

In the spring of 2007, Davenport University decided to return to television after a multi-year hiatus. Dog and Pony was called in late in April and presented with a great opportunity laced with a few challenges first being that the media buy started after Mother’s Day (for those of you calling up your calendar program, that’s mid-May). Two, graduation was over so there was no activity on campus. Three, we unanimously decided to avoid using actors since there was no time to decide who would be the best face to represent the school AND four, the only creative on the table was the new DU logo. What’s a girl to do? All I can say is that it came to me in a dream.

FYI…only the logo is computer generated..the rest was done the old-fashioned way.

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Image Campaign (Davenport University)

After our first successful TV campaign, the folks at Davenport started getting into the whole advertising thing. An image campaign was next on the agenda but again the question was…what do we do?

It came out during a routine meeting that DU had three distinguished deans of its three schools…an internationally renowned Epidemiologist, a technology expert who cut his teeth by putting At&t on the internet and a business expert born in Ghana and raised in four countries who approached business education with a world vision. This little known fact seeded the next successful campaign. It didn’t hurt that all three deans were fascinating to listen to and quite attractive…now that makes for good TV.

As a secondary objective, the campaign needed to drive people to the DU website. Each spot introduced a dean and led into an interview that we concluded on davenport.edu. It worked like a charm and all three deans became campus celebrities overnight.


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