Big created the brand for Alabama Gulf Seafood over 10 years ago, after the emergence of the 2010 Gulf oil spill as a way to rally the Alabama community behind our seafood industry. Since then, the Alabama Gulf Seafood brand has developed a legacy of its own. Our task in 2021 was to modernize a brand that boasted a lot of classic character. To do this we would need to shine a new light on Alabama Gulf Seafood, one that didn’t outshine its authenticity.

So what did we do? We dove deep, connecting with true Alabama Gulf fishermen and seafood workers. We found real people with real stories and captured their industry through profound behind-the-scenes film and personal interviews. We redesigned eatalabamaseafood.com to house these genuine, long-form stories and shifted its focus to discuss the rich recipes and seasonal flavors of Alabama Gulf Seafood. This switch in tone allowed us to stray away from the informational and embrace the conversational, adding elements that would draw in consumers and keep them up to date with the brand. By integrating creative, content, and interactive, we have carried on the Alabama Gulf Seafood legacy while adapting it for a more modern style.

Equal representation in a divided state.

Alabama is a historically disparate state—demographically, morally, politically, and geographically split. We had just over 8 months to bring them together. With $13 billion in federal funding and a congressional seat at stake, inciting action was paramount. We divided our efforts to meet people where they were allowing us to push our message to even the hardest to reach places.

See Results

 

We developed a community-centric resource complete with downloadable toolkits tailored to our diverse audiences.

A global pandemic halted grassroots efforts leading us to adjust our media approach to target the changing landscape.

We created a 4-week bracket that paired 32 county schools with the lowest census response rate head-to-head to win $65,000.

With less than 60% of people counted and only 2 months left to reach our goal, we shifted our approach to address the most apathetic audiences.

Our campaign overcame every challenge along the way to ensure all Alabamians received equal representation.

Over the next decade, $13 billion will be allocated towards healthcare, education, infrastructure, and other life-changing resources.
With Alabama’s population accounted for, a full 7 congressional representatives will keep their voices heard in the capitol.

Many companies sell motor oil. But only one brand truly defines it. And Valvoline has been defining the category since 1866. Fact: Valvoline was America’s first motor oil brand. Like, ever. And that status, as the originator of a whole category, means Valvoline isn’t merely another motor oil. It’s an American icon.

But being an original isn’t just about being first. It’s about being true. Blazing a trail where others see an obstacle. It’s fearing nothing, and yet having the courage to do something that has never been done. Then doing it over and over and over. That’s what we had to remind consumers, DIYers, race fans, brand collaborators, and anyone who was paying attention. Being original is what matters. And that’s just as much true now as it was 150 years ago.

blue and red stock car

Launched in February 2020, the Apple-backed Ed Farm provides technical and coding education for Birmingham’s most disadvantaged students. Big not only created the Ed Farm brand — with visually appealing three-dimensional iconography and vibrant gradients embodying transition and change — but also planned and executed an event featuring Apple CEO Tim Cook to publicly launch it in a way that earned media attention, excited the community, and embraced the future of technology throughout Birmingham. For its collective efforts — and due to the successes Ed Farm has experienced since launch — Big was named a national 2020 PR NEWS Platinum PR Award winner in the Community Relations category.

Ed Farm icon
Ed Farm icon
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the reveal of the Ed Farm Brand.

When the United Soccer League announced the launch of a professional soccer team in Birmingham, Big was tasked with building the brand from scratch — team name, brand identity, uniform design, team mantra, social media, stadium banners, paid media and more.

But the real task was to rally a city. To fill the stands. To build community pride in a city where pro sports teams had never previously flourished. To do that, we knew that it has to be about more than a perfect name or a well-designed uniform. It’s about connection.

Hammer + Anvil
Unifies our cheer of “Hammer Down.”

Our Shield
Pays homage to our unified attack on the pitch.

Our Sparks
Embody our fiery spirit and define our character.

The proof is in the stands. In March 2019, Birmingham Legion FC opened its season to a sold-out game. Eight months later, they average 88% home game attendance, making Legion FC 13th in attendance out of the 36 USL Championship teams.

We worked together with local musician, The Green Seed to create a custom track for our hype video. The Legion Soccer Anthem is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Play on Spotify     Play on Apple Music

 

Photos by Hal Yeager, Governor’s Office

In September of 2017, Alabama was one of only six states in the U.S. without statewide ridesharing legislation. Ridesharing giant Lyft wasn’t satisfied with “almost,” though, so they enlisted Big’s proven public affairs team to put the pedal to the metal here in the Heart of Dixie.

It wasn’t as simple as putting butts in car seats, though; this plan had to pass the Alabama State Senate and House, where a similar bill had just failed. So we aligned with Lyft and Montgomery-based lobbyist firm Fine Geddie & Associates to create a statewide coalition of third parties to educate legislators and the public on the many benefits of a statewide ridesharing network. The ultimate goal? Present a bill during the January 2018 Alabama Legislative Session and get it all the way passed.

To start, the coalition needed a name, an online presence, and a digital community. “Ride For Alabama” was born, launched, and galvanized all in a matter of weeks, including a Big-designed coalition website, an educational video, various social assets, and a complementary one-sheeter that was distributed to both House and Senate members prior to voting. Additionally, we put together a media tour and a coalition kickoff event (featuring a key address from Governor Kay Ivey herself) to generate coverage and introduce ridesharing representatives to influential reporters. The result? More than eight million media impressions statewide—and a very big win for the Ridesharing Bill.

According to the testimony of John Horton, public affairs representative at Lyft, we passed their challenge with flying (or maybe driving?) colors: “This bill was previously attempted to be run in Alabama the previous legislative session. It failed. It did not make it to the Senate. Once we hired Big, we were able to file the bill, pass it out of both chambers—28-0 in the Senate, 97-3 in the House—and signed on the Governor’s desk within 11 days, which is a new record for us as a company as far as how quickly we are able to move legislation through a state capital.”

In fact, Lyft was so pleased with our work here at home that they brought us on board to get a statewide ridesharing bill passed in our neighboring state of Louisiana. And we have to say, after the big win in Alabama, we like our chances.

In September 2017, Amazon announced it was in search of a second headquarters, setting off a frenzy among cities hoping to capture the tech giant’s gaze. The appeals for attention ranged from off-the-wall to more mundane, and right here in Birmingham, a group of economic development leaders tasked Big with crafting the city’s own response. Big envisioned a campaign that would not only work to attract Amazon with its creativity, but one that would mobilize our entire city behind it, both on and offline. And so the BringAtoB campaign was born.

We had to ensure the launch of BringAtoB caused a splash—a big one. The core idea from our chief creative officer, Ford Wiles, was simple but bold: Place a series of giant Amazon replica boxes in prominent spots throughout the city.

To give that unveiling a jolt of media presence, our PR team organized a press conference at Railroad Park, where city and county elected officials and business leaders, flanked by one of the giant replica boxes, announced Birmingham’s intention to go full-tilt at Amazon’s RFP.

With media relations in place, we turned our creative focus to a modern, social-driven component to help bolster the campaign. Utilizing Big web developer and technology DIYer Robert Brodrecht, Big assembled two oversized Amazon dash buttons for installation in key, high-traffic areas of the city. Passersby could then “press” the buttons, initiating one of hundreds of pre-generated tweets from the BringAtoB account. The tweets, speaking directly to Amazon, contained reasons why the tech giant should consider the city for its second HQ.

In addition to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts were also created, helping to popularize the #BringAtoB hashtag. To give the campaign a community element, locals were encouraged to use the hashtag and give their own reasons for why Birmingham should be considered. Through the duration of the campaign, the three social media accounts attracted over 4,600 followers, 874,000 impressions, and nearly 2,500 uses of the #BringAtoB hashtag.

And of course PR played perhaps the most significant role. The unconventional elements of this campaign naturally drew a lot of attention and struck a chord with a national media that was growing weary of Amazon news and gimmicks. This BringAtoB campaign was unique enough to cut through the noise, receiving mentions via USA Today, NPR, Seattle Times, Washingtonian and Good Morning America, among countless others. In all, an astounding 802 million media impressions were generated via print, online and broadcast media throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The campaign was so successful that it took us from the bottom of the considered set list to the the top of everyone’s most talked about list. And more importantly, the campaign helped Birmingham land an Amazon fulfillment center, which for the city and the state, is a huge win. One that results in jobs, new opportunities and progress – all boxed up and delivered on Birmingham’s doorstep.

As part of a rebranding effort for the Alabama Department of Commerce, we created an identity that would be smart, yet approachable; one that proudly expressed Alabama’s point of view as a workforce, a people, and a state. Instead of an elaborate logo and identity system that would date itself over time, we created a mark that stands for what we value most in Alabama—both as a manufacturer of industry and ideas.

Made in Alabama | BIG Communications
Made in Alabama | BIG Communications
Made in Alabama | BIG Communications
Made in Alabama | BIG Communications

Your reputation is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. The good has the power to direct that conversation. The great can start or stop the dialog. Set the tone.

Public Relations is more than an exercise in relationships and releases. It’s about fostering and fomenting action through conversation. It is not mountains or boulders, but well-placed stones that are capable of giant-killing.

Change Perception

Mind shifts happen when truths collide. But that can only occur when those truths are seeded with intention.

Influence Behavior

Action begins with knowledge. And with the right support, it turns from motion into a movement.

Inspire People

Information wins minds. But positive momentum comes from connecting both heads and hearts.

Most people think the key to a successful career begins with a four year degree. While a college education is a great start for many people, the long term effect of that preconception has been a serious depletion of younger workers into the skilled trades. Now, for every four tradesmen set to retire in the next few years, there’s only one in the training pipeline. That means the industry is about to be hit hard by a supply/demand ratio that will drive up the cost of labor and create serious logjams in construction queues.

Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications
Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications
Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications
Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications
Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications
Go Build Alabama | BIG Communications