For an iconic destination of profound national meaning, how are audiences from school children to academics, from Americans to global citizens, engaged to reconsider and hold close a man and his times?

All while honoring what began as the work of one courageous woman who grasped opportunity at a time when only men were granted such power?

The answers coming soon.

Published in Work
Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:02

St. Joseph's Indian School - Original Wisdom

St. Joseph's Indian School has served Native American children and their families for some 85 years.

The school seeks to develop a new annual cause marketing property, to increase national awareness and grow its funding base to better serve Lakota children.

The client needed this new cause campaign to stay true to the institution and honor Lakota legacy.

To achieve this required that we first examine the positioning of the institution itself, and address a variety of stereotypes, prior to creating a new cause platform.

Understanding that the client is all about promoting education + student quality of life + building pride in native culture, the institution needed a reintroduction to those that know of the School, and an introduction to those that don't, by reorienting the school's position in a manner snapping associated stereotypes.

Rather than a position and marketing message of sympathy for Native American children, we discovered the School is an institution possessing a quality much more profound and competitively distinct:

Original Wisdom

Native Americans possess the native - original - wisdom of the nation, a unique knowledge asset worthy of mining and sharing with all, in a manner offering contemporary relevancy to a wider audience than the school's current localized market footprint.

As no institution as yet claimed this position, the opportunity exists to move Original Wisdom from an audience engagement property to a growth asset.

With Original Wisdom as the foundation and turning to a new cause campaign, the entry-point narrative - including naming and key messaging - was created and verbally and visually expressed, including identity design.

Published in Work
Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:15

Cowley College


As one of 33 community colleges in the State of Kansas, Cowley College was in need of a signature communications strategy to move beyond indifference outside its base.

With the success of offerings such as a growing aeronautics specialty and an accomplished natural sciences and mathematics program, the College had a story as yet untold.

We were asked to find it. 


When established in 1922, the College had no physical plant of its own, with classes conducted in the service garage and basement of a high school.

This practice continued through the 1960s, even as the College grew, resulting in an alumni base with memories at what was informally known as Basement University.

We uncovered the buried story behind the institution and recast it, to resonate not only with alumni audiences, but also with today's student on a relevant and memorable basis, as the institution's beginnings offered parallels to the humble – and later successful – garage and/or basement origin stories of a number of what are now well-known and highly valued companies, such as Apple, Virgin, and Harley Davidson.

Our execution engages prospective students as digital natives, in addition to a flagpole speaker series and, for their accomplished athletics teams, new visual identity. 


The signature story emerged, referencing business success stories that began as area start-ups: 

Basement University.

Long ago our classes were held in a basement.  Of a high school.  But don’t let that fool you.  

Here you acquire the tools and the room to create the next big idea.  Much like other achievers who developed their big ideas in garages or basements, leading to successes such as Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, and Cessna.  

So, let’s see how good you really are.  In our Basement.

What before was seen as an ignoble beginning is flipped into a source of pride and affiliation drawpointing students to career success.

Since launch, a YOY 21.2 percent enrollment increase, along with a bump in philanthropic giving allowing expansion of associate degree offerings. 

Published in Work
Monday, 22 October 2012 16:00

Kansas State University


Kansas State University needed something new to grow awareness and reputation.  The task was to competitively elevate the University into difficult-to-forget status, to increase the reputation and influence of the institution, prompt investment and giving, and grow demand from new audiences.


We were enlisted to create a big idea, one easily understood and forever memorable, capable ofentering one’s head and instantly exploding into popular culture.

Understanding the institution’s history and values, we created an unheard-of-elsewhere story, supported and extended by a simple icon, authentic to the University and its people and the roll-up-their-sleeves, get to work reputation halo often granted among peers on East and West Coasts when moving professionally into the real world.

This message flips rural stereotypes to the University's advantage, to authentically drive a new conversation – which our soft data revealed a breakthrough into pop culture with large payback due, in part, to unpaid media, jump-starting growth in national reputation for desired results.  


The story about a university, where to succeed, one does not coast: 

“Some say culture trends begin on the West Coast, and national conversation on the East Coast. But at Kansas State University, there's no coasting here. We prepare smart thinkers. With no shortcuts. For the real world.”

The icon – rubber farm boots – in the sole color of the University, recast as fashion-forward apparel item honoring success, symbolizing the reward one earns through hard work, modeled by successful alumni wearing professional career attire.

Alas, the big idea was shelved with a change in University leadership, while singing our praises.

Yet at, we yearn for our purple boots.

Published in Work
Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:27

generation On


After acquiring Children for Children, a community service organization founded by a former First Lady of New York, the Points of Light Foundation needed to integrate the organization with their pre-adult “products” – Kids Care Clubs, HandsOn Schools and HandsOn Action Center-driven kids programs – to grow awareness and successfully engage teens, tweens and younger children, secondary audiences of teachers, school administrators and parents, as well as prospective funders.  


We jumped at the opportunity to solve the thread-the-needle task of creating a stereotype-snapping entry-point to successfully engage each of these client audiences. 

Knowing pre-adults prefer not to be lumped together with labels such as children or youth or kids – while also recognizing their almost-adultness– we navigated this delicate balance by drawing upon a whitespace opportunity, the power of the innate human need to help others. 

We created new brand assets as communications tools, including a new enterprise name, generationOn, placing power directly in the hands of the primary pre-adult audience, framed to to "make your mark on the world" through new online, social and digital tools.


generationOn has quickly grown beyond its New York City origins to become a global service movement igniting the power of all pre-adults to Make Your Mark on the Worldsymbolized by new visual identity, now a leading brand asset of Points of Light.

generationOn attracted Hasbro as its strategic philanthropic partner, cable’s Discovery Family Network as broadcast content partner, reaching over 60 million U.S. households, and The Walt Disney Company as leadership sponsor.

generationOn was honored with a White House event co-hosted by President Barack Obama and former President George H. W. Bush.

Published in Work


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