There are jobs and then there are stories. You know what we mean, the jobs are great; you have samples of the work, quick write-ups on the concept to strategy and execution to measurement process. You use these jobs on your proposals and on your website. They are safe, universal, and a vital part of business. But the stories? The stories are the projects that come from your marrow, they keep you up at night and they make you spring from your bed in the morning. Stories are what allow you to suspened your disbelief and and sustain the intensity needed.
We value these stories at Trampoline because for every snake oil salesman, for each ad that pigeonholes every dad as an idiot, and for the idea that cleavage is the best way to sell everything, there is a campaign that is mounted by people willing to work to find a compelling hook that makes everyone feel good without relying on cheap tricks.
The story we want to share started with a conversation that went a little like this:
“What if we got a small group of us together and we went in on some ads for downtown?”
It took a lot of knocking on doors. There were sheepish, “Oh, hey, it’s just me again. Just hoping to go over that group marketing idea.”
Six weeks after that first knock, an ad ran in The Chronicle to promote fashion in Downtown Glens Falls. Three ads followed, each being paid for by participating merchants. Emboldened, we knocked on more doors. People began knocking on our door, before we knew it there was a room full of entrepreneurs. We braced for discord and instead found consensus. After one meeting, a person walked down the hallway of our studio and stopped at the front desk.
“I came here thinking I’d listen to what you had to say. I had no intention of doing anything more than that.” He paused, looking at us with a kind of friendly chagrin, and said, “I want to write you a check,” which began the odyssey of the Glens Falls Collaborative.
The Glens Falls Collaborative was formed to be a mechanism for businesses in the downtown neighborhood to pool their resources and talents to market the area. Instead of one client, this project/story had 6, then 8, and then 12. Eventually we were 20-strong sitting in a room strategizing. The contributions to fund the project came in increments of less than $50 to start. Later sponsors came on board, from Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union underwriting the production of a billboard to the Glens Falls IDA and Glens Falls LDC contributing funds to lengthen the duration of the billboard buy. It was an inspiring and daunting cloud of bootstrapped, grassroots efforts to launch a Hail Mary pass.
Since starting the campaign we have contracted two billboards:
Mounted a comprehensive print ad campaign:
Designed and printed a pedestrian brochure with a custom illustrated walking map:
Created a series of note cards featuring watercolor images of downtown landmarks:
We mounted a Facebook campaign of interviews with downtown business owners and branded events:
There were t-shirts and caps:
Just as we began the second year of the campaign, with new creative featuring downtown merchants photographed by a local photographer:
The campaign was awarded a Gold ADDY at the Albany Ad Club MADDYs event. Also receiving a Gold ADDY was the series of notecards created for the Collaborative.
This recognition from a panel of judges hailing from outside the Glens Falls area, in a category that featured the work of amazing agencies for larger clients with vastly higher budgets was a huge surprise. We are undeniably delighted by the recognition, but the truth is that the most gratifying aspect of this campaign has been the genuine collaboration that grew from a dedicated group and the murmurs we’ve all heard, “Yes, I noticed those ads and wanted to come back downtown.”