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.

When it comes to banking, nothing is more important than the customer. Period. America’s First has always known that. And their members know it too. That’s how they got a 98% member satisfaction rating. Our job was to prove it to everyone else. AmFirst made it easy. Simplify the messaging, consolidate the brand, make it more memorable, and always put the members first. It’s member-driven design, plain and simple.

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.

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

After an extremely successful campaign promoting the women’s services of Birmingham’s Brookwood Medical Center (Also known as #ichooseb) through TV, print and digital ads, and social components, we were approached by their parent company, Tenet Healthcare, about executing a similar campaign—only this time on a national scale.

In order to advertise the Labor & Delivery services for more than 60 different hospitals in dozens of diverse markets across the US, Tenet needed a smart, scalable solution that was both effective and cost-efficient. Finding the threshold between creativity and compromise was a must. We asked ourselves: How could we gain greater efficiency on production costs while still being able to effectively target our audience digitally through pre-roll?

We turned a question into an answer. Our solution was to execute a modular, customizable campaign kit that we could specifically version to fit the various markets. For us, the first step was research: understanding each hospital’s audience, position in the market, and tangible benefits allowed us to formulate an efficient plan for creating television, digital ads, and social content that could be easily tailored to fit every individual organization. After gathering intelligence from each hospital and market, we partnered with research organizations to thoroughly test messaging, hashtags, and creative concepts via online forums and live video focus groups comprised of our various target audiences.

Our primary message vector was the idea of “Ask Your Friends” for facilities where the hospital OB line was established, already competing in the space, and where doctors would support a positive reaction should a consumer literally “ask their friends.” We also created additional message vectors, “Every Story Has A Beginning” and “You Have Questions. We Have Answers” to test in hospitals with newly-established OB services or who were in competition with OB providers close to them with well-known doctors. Based on messaging results and creative feedback, we solidified our creative concepts by casting a mix of talent featuring various ethnicities appropriate to each market and made sure we covered every variable benefit for each hospital. Once it came time to produce the actual assets, execution of the customized TV/pre-roll and digital was a breeze thanks to all the groundwork we laid ahead of time.

The result has been universally praised throughout the Tenet organization, as well as in the individual hospitals having also benefited. In return, it’s allowed us to add additional medical service lines on a national scale, work with 65 individual hospitals across 30 markets, and grow Big’s footprint in the healthcare industry.

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

 

Creature is the coming together of two radical-thinking companies. Golden Construction, a leader in the construction industry for over 20 years and Appleseed Workshop, an innovative architecture / design / manufacture firm. Their mission: radical change. The result is a single company where design, manufacturing, and construction are seamlessly integrated – dramatically reducing costs and timing throughout the project lifecycle while simultaneously improving quality. Radical change requires a brand that embodies this spirit. From the name of the company down to the color of their hard hats.

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.

Bringing futbol to football country might sound odd at first—until you check the numbers. For many years, Birmingham has been among the highest TV audiences for men’s and women’s U.S. soccer matches.

That’s why the United Soccer League (USL) targeted the Magic City for a 2019 league expansion. However, bringing a brand new professional team to a city focused on college athletics would take a calculated approach. We worked with the USL and the newly minted executives of the Birmingham team for a Phase I rollout that would include preliminary brand identity, video assets, social media channels, and a full PR campaign to build excitement within the city and aid in selling tickets and securing sponsorships.

Our first big measure of success was the announcement itself. Centered around a press conference and launch party at Good People Brewing Company featuring USL execs, city of Birmingham officials, and more, our PR team delivered a calculated ad value of $34,391 and 36,054,722 total potential impressions behind the strength of 50+ media hits. On social media, utilizing both paid and organic tactics, we captured over 460,000 impressions on announcement day.

Additionally, by week’s end, brand new social accounts for USL2BHM across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram had amassed 2,700 total fans. This combination of PR and media tactics ultimately resulted in more than 200 individual ticket reservations for the 2019 season in 24 hours.

Now that the city has already begun to rally around the new team, we’ll be working on further branding and implementation leading up to the team’s debut match in March of 2019.

Pistons pumping. Molecules flying. Oil sloshing. Hot cars in the desert. NASCAR. Insert every automotive cliché possible to see how the global giants of motor oil try to science their audience into submission.

Not Valvoline. We helped the 150-year-old American brand, who has a long and storied history of innovation, break new ground by speaking to the heart, over the mind, of DIYers. Thereby challenging the industry to try harder, think deeper, and celebrate the people behind the machines.  Abandoning traditional messages of molecular structures, service intervals, and racing celebrities, instead focusing on the fragility of time, life and self.

Dale and the Track That’s Too Tough to Tame. The Southern 500 returned to Labor Day this past year, and with it came a throwback celebration.