Producing ‘Create You’ Took Precision

The SUNY Purchase ‘Create You’ campaign was intended to speak to prospective students about how Purchase could help them take steps towards becoming who it is they want to be. The piece extended beyond academics, highlighting clubs, connections, and community they would be introduced to and become a part of while attending the college. We wanted to show the individualistic nature of the Purchase experience, a heavy lift for an eight-page booklet.

Four brochures for SUNY Purchase are spread out on a table. Each brochure has a student on the cover.

We honed in on demonstrating the way students have more than one side to them, reflecting the mirrored importance of their campus life and the things important to them outside of academia. Integrating overlaid cover images and using an angled die cut revealing the image beneath, we designed an approach that let us do more than a traditional viewbook. Put more simply, we designed extra covers. We intended to produce multiple versions, six total, to cover the wide range of interests, studies, causes, and talents of the student body.

Bright colored brochures open on a table.

To further this exploration into the students’ true personalities and to represent the freedom offered to them at Purchase, we allowed the students to costume themselves, no limits or censoring from the college or ourselves.

A split screen photo shoot with a male college student in two different outfits, the first in traditional masculine clothing, in the second he is in a burxgand lace gown.

Reading between the lines you could say that we created an unpredictable scenario with an incredible reliance on accuracy and continuity. We worked, on-site, with the incredible Kelly Campbell, a photographer closely associated with the college, to stage identical photos in completely different costumes for the die cut covers. The final result was, in my opinion, a great victory in producing unique higher ed content and overcoming the difficult production hoops one has to jump through when running wild with a unique idea.

A young black woman faces the camera wearing a black t-shirt with the BLACK LIVES MATTER written in bold red and white letters.

While working on this project I felt as though I was also undergoing my own version of the ‘Create You’ experience. It was an overwhelming and exhausting series of firsts—

The first time I had to fully execute a concept that was not my own.

An African American woman can be seen in front of cameras and lights through the back of a man and woman.

Rob works to set up the shot of a SUNY Purchase student, which will then be recreated with the student in an entirely different outfit and vibe.

The first time I had to consistently travel for work.

The first time collaborating with a freelance photographer.

The first time allowing models to outfit themselves (I’m still sweating).

The first time helping oversee the production of such a complex print piece.

All firsts, of which I hope there will be seconds and thirds and so on, and all things that will help to make me the designer/art director I want to become.

Cobleskill Through the Tramp Lens

 

An active video shoot on the SUNY Cobleskill campus. The sky is wide and blue overhead, two photographers stand on the bright green grass while another crew members holds a boom mic toward a blonde female student being interviewed.

Terese Garcia:

The Cobleskill series of collateral that we worked on was visually stunning because of its color, image selection, use of texture, a visual play on words, and overall unique physical features.

The first project of the Cobleskill series was the “Travel Piece.” This was a small piece that would cover both the school of Agriculture and the School of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences and be handed out to potential students as Cobleskill traveled to high schools. This is often the first interaction a student will have with a new college.

Photography, Typography, and Diecuts Telling a Rich Story

The travel piece was a 12-page brochure with a short fold cover and short fold center spread. The overarching theme on the cover was to have two images juxtaposition in content visually continue across the short fold. Image selection would be necessary to make that strong visual connection while at the same time be true to Cobleskill and show all that they have to offer memorably.

Two brochures for SUNY Cobleskill sit on a dark wood table. They have photographic images of a clock tower and a cow pasture.

There was also a type element that followed the same concept. Headline words that ran across the short-fold cover would finish similarly with purposeful letters from the reveal page. The message was strong.

BE A PART OF OUR CULTURE / BE A PART OF THE FUTURE.

A SUNY Cobleskill brochure sits on a table with a page break showing how the word culture on the front, switches to future when the brochure is opened.

This concept and design that incorporated image-precise short folds with sentence-finishing type reveals would play out on two other view books and the Junior piece. Production of these pieces and attention to detail would be necessary. Having an excellent printer would be critical.

The Cobleskill collateral also tested our color matching chops. Cobleskill’s orange is very bright—Pantone Orange 021 to be exact. As often happens, that Pantone color did not translate well to the four color process. It became very muted and soft. We chose two CMYK color breakdowns that we thought worked well. One to represent that Cobleskill orange and another to compliment the clapboard texture that was being used throughout.

A photo of stacks of print poofs of unfolded brochures with images of a clock on the Cobleskill campus and a post it with Pantone chips and a color formula for accurate printing of specific colors.

This was a project we had the good fortune of shepherding on press. We were also able to have more than one piece printed at together: the travel piece, two view books, the Junior piece and two postcards to be exact. The benefit of that was that once we had the color adjusted and all of the pressmen on board, there would be color consistency across the pieces. This little tear from a color proof and chicken scratch on a post-it note served to be very important throughout the proofing and press-check process as well as for future pieces (that die-cut cow!)

Nine pieces of print collateral for SUNY Cobleskill displayed on a table. Two very pronounced pieces include a diet cow and a die cute of a building on campus with a cupola.

In the end, we were able to provide Cobleskill with a series of pieces that were bright, inviting and memorable. Important when trying to catch the eye of a prospective student or reassure a future student that Cobleskill is the college for them.

A photographer crouches and laughs as he pets the head of a flirtatious goat.

Bringing Collateral to Life Through Illustration

Oliver Derosier:

Cobleskill is an institution that stands apart from the pack. Students explore complex ecosystems in one classroom and re-assemble tractor engines in another. Cows are tended to in a dairy barn with the colorful Schoharie hills in view. A few hundred feet away, a kitchen full of eager young cooks preparing a chocolate fondue.

I was lucky enough to experience this vibrant campus culture first-hand on a photoshoot. Every classroom felt like a world of its own and yet there was an undeniable connection between each space. Subjects varied from a horse therapy class to students mapping out farmland with drones. A collective enthusiasm for the present and future was observed in every corner of campus, and we raced to capture all of it. We had the opportunity to witness the unique experience Cobleskill has to offer. For those intangible moments and feelings that Photography couldn’t quite capture, we turned to illustration.

When the time came to consider how students would receive their highly anticipated college acceptance letters, we knew It had to be big, bold and undeniably Cobleskill. Through extensive research and teamwork with the admissions department, we landed on the concept of a larger-than-life campus panorama. Instead of a realistic view, structures and scenes were arranged to create a sense of the passing of time, from the start of a day to its end. Little details like the school’s tiger mascot and the famous campus clock tower especially resonated with Cobleskill’s team. Vibrant colors and art-style helped to paint a picture that we felt could instantly feel like home to anyone.

Through photography, we were able to capture so many moments grand and small that were all crucial to the bigger picture. Illustration allowed us to depict scenes that blurred the lines between memory and imagination. Having both tools available to us and the skills to execute a shared vision lead to a suite of materials that we were all beyond thrilled with. In a poster for counselors and students, the glow of a campfire beneath the pavilion and a bright starry sky portrayed the splendor of Cobleskill’s scenery, and the limitless potential to grow and succeed there. In a piece for prospective students, the image of a class conducted in a freshly cut corn field was juxtaposed against a 3-D printer in action. Bucolic images accompanying those of tomorrow’s technology and jobs re-inforced Cobleskill’s tagline.

To capture both the spirit and characteristics of such a place requires more than a camera and more than a pen and paper. Our relationship with Cobleskill is one that flourishes with teamwork and a shared passion for thinking differently. Courage to hold firmly to values and culture, and vision to look progressively to the future.

 

From Pigeon to Peak

Pass revenue for Peak Resorts is up 20% year over year. It’s a great way for us to start 2019, but we do have to go back a bit to explain the title of this post and the value and significance of relationships.

The story of Trampoline’s path to Peak Resorts can be traced back to our very start:

It was the spring of 2004 and we were waiting to pitch the yet-to-be-opened Ridge Street Coffee Company. I was pacing on the sidewalk outside, leafing through portfolio samples, wondering if it was a waste of time. A coffee shop wasn’t going to be a flagship client, after all. But, it was in a high-profile location, and that meant everyone would see our work.

The bird guano hit my shoulder and brought me back to the task at hand. I looked up at a pigeon perched high on a streetlight. Fresh poop was splattered on my brand new sportcoat. Derek started laughing and Amanda shrugged and said, “Hey, it’s supposed to be good luck.”

It turned out to be. I pitched in shirtsleeves and soon we were creating a retail environment and ad campaigns for the café. It became a favorite among locals and one regular in particular asked who did their marketing. So it was that we met John Duncan.

John was an outdoor-nut-turned-retailer operating several outdoor gear shops (Syd & Dusty’s) in resort towns like Stratton, VT and Lake George, NY.

He also owned a rafting outfit on the Sacandaga River. John hired Trampoline to rebrand the Sacandaga Outdoor Center, and create a series of ads, brochures and a website to capture the eyes of Adirondack visitors.

After several seasons of summertime support, and steady growth of tourist paddlers, John took Trampoline with him to his winter gig at Alta Ski Resort in Utah.

Derek is a regular in the Wasatch Range, so the opportunity to create materials for Alta was a dream come true. John wanted merchandise that was unique and distinct from the offerings at nearby resorts and Trampoline did not disappoint. We still tell the story of the phone call to notify us that an entire order of shirts had sold out in 45 minutes.

The shirts read: 6” is so Vail.

On-property spending improved so much at Alta that John Duncan mentioned us to his childhood friend, Paul Slutsky. The Slutsky family owned and operated Hunter Mountain in the Catskills of NY for generations.

Hunter had a bit of a reputation as a rough mountain for hard-charging skiers and even harder partiers. Gerry Tchinkel, Hunter’s Director of Marketing and Sales, took a chance on Trampoline to soften that image, and make Hunter the destination of choice for skiers in the NYC Metro market.

Hunter Life Magazine

For several seasons we tailored the Hunter Mountain image to a family-friendly, four-season destination. In addition to their snowmaking prowess, we promoted weddings, summertime concerts, zip lines, and off-road challenges and watched awareness grow. Gross sales steadily improved 15% annually.

The Hunter: It Gets in Your Head campaign cemented the resort as New York’s favorite ski mountain, and won Best-in-Show at the Capital Region Ad Federation’s ADDY Awards, and was also awarded a NYSTIA Award of Excellence.

Hunter looked the part and was still rising in popularity when it was purchased by Peak Resorts in 2016. Peak kept Trampoline on as a vendor, and we met Greg Fisher, the Northeast Director of Marketing for Peak Resorts. He was carefully vetting his team, assessing needs, and who best to tell the stories of seven different properties.

Over the past three years, Trampoline has played an increasingly important role in support of marketing teams at Peak resorts in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Four of the seven mountains have been rebranded and received a complete communications overhaul, with positioning statements, ad campaigns, collateral, broadcast, outdoor and social impressions contributing to ticket sales.

Peak Properties are well-represented in the New England landscape, and, with the acquisition of three new mountains in Pennsylvania, opportunities to communicate with skiers in the Mid Atlantic states will create a sales funnel that looks a lot like a Black Diamond.

In 2018 Trampoline targeted the coveted 18-29 year-old demo specifically. The Drifter campaign resulted in a 27% jump in sales since last year. Traffic on Peak sites spiked on Cyber Monday, thanks—in part—to a carefully choreographed social onslaught of content. Measured against the previous season, 2018’s hits were five times the amount of last holiday season.

Incredible outcomes—the result of consistent messaging and repeat impressions. Trampoline has worked hard with the team at Peak to position each property as a guaranteed good time, and cross-promote their properties whenever possible. After all, a rising slide lifts all coats, or something like that.

Numbers are the proof of a successful campaign, examined afterward in a black and white comparison of efficacy, a post-mortem of sorts. Measurements help hold marketers accountable, and we love to move the needle on market share. The results are only half of the story, though. The success of any campaign is built on partnerships, suggestions, referrals, and risks.

A coffee shop > a whitewater rafting company > a Utah outfitter > a mountain in the Catskills > Property magnate with $132,000,000 in annual revenue.*

I doubt that we could have planned for things to progress this way, even though there were strategies and growth plans in place. Much of the success was due to the contributions of partners outside the agency.

Katie O’Connor, Jack Fagone, Thad Quimby, Greg, Gerry, John—pros that we’ve worked and played with. Outdoor adventure lovers who set goals and are willing to let us do what we do best to accomplish them.

* NASDAQ:SKIS

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