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Surviving Instagram in 2018

Instagram has over 800+ million engaged monthly users. The photo-sharing platform is on track to hit a billion users this year, and currently boasts an estimated $100 billion market value. And while it falls behind its parent company, Facebook, in size and value, it outpaces Facebook’s engagement rates by over 15%.

While using Instagram may seem as simple as posting an image and calling it a day, the Instagram algorithm plays an important role in determining what each person sees when they open their phone. These parameters are an ever-changing puzzle, but if you understand how to leverage the rules you can take your Instagram—and your business—to the next level.

You won’t reach 100% of your audience. 

As a baseline, Instagram puts your content in front of a (somewhat) random grouping of users that make up 10% of your following. From there, it’s a race to get as much engagement as possible in the shortest amount of time. If your post shows an early burst of engagement, the algorithm determines that it’s content relevant to your audience, and puts it in front of more people. How do you get those infuriatingly necessary bursts of engagement? Read on.

Golden hour isn’t just for sunsetsBy posting at peak traffic periods, you increase the chances that your engaged followers will be online and ready to give your post the boost it needs to climb higher on the feeds of your followers. Users who regularly interact with your content are prioritized in the first 10%, so make sure you’re playing into their schedules. Trampoline’s prime posting time is Saturday at 1:00 pm, followed closely by Sundays at 2:00 pm. As a rule, weekday posts are optimal around 4:00 pm.

How do you know when prime posting time is? For the average user it’s as easy as trial and error. A safe bet for most accounts is early afternoon or late evening; times when people are taking a break or unwinding after a long day. Avoid the morning or right after the work day ends, people are traveling and not on their phones. Hopefully.

Shadowbanning; not as scary as it sounds. Ever wish you could put someone on mute? Instagram went ahead and did it. Shadowbanning is Instagram’s way of dealing with accounts that they consider spam. It’s a temporary ban that stops your content from appearing in search results and on most of your followers feed, a measure that the algorithm thinks will improve the average user’s experience. Engagement drops off dramatically, new followers will slow to a stop. Luckily, many of the ways you can avoid shadowbanning are also great for engagement (coincidence? Think not.), read on to find out more.

Think those hashtags through. The beauty and the nuanced headache of the new algorithm (which will probably have changed by the time I finish writing this) is the key role that hashtags now play. The days of engagement pods, purchased followers, and bots are screeching to a halt, and in their place rises the era of savvy hashtag leveraging. Where hashtags like #like4like #instagood #photography used to be a safe bet for legions of bot likes, now the only thing they’ll accomplish is a quick and silent shadowban on your account. A few quick hashtag tips below:

  • Five is plenty, less is better. Five relevant and well considered hashtags will do far more for your post than 30 irrelevant ones. The average amount of hashtags on posts made by accounts with over 100k followers is just two.
  • Don’t reuse hashtags too often. Want to gram something with #graphicdesign 12 days in a row? Instagram will flag that as spam, earning you a shadowban. 
  • There is strength in (small) numbers. Whatever you do, do not use hashtags that have over a million existing posts. There are few quicker ways to get shadowbanned, and by using a collection of hashtags with depths of 5,000–500,000 existing posts you drastically increase your chances of being seen in a search.
  • Don’t put hashtags in the comments. If you’ve been on Instagram in the last year, you’ve seen users commenting on their own posts with lists of hashtags. There’s logic in this approach—relegating the hashtags out of the caption and into the comments cleans up your post, diminishing the risk of a “read more” scenario. Starting in January of 2018, Instagram no longer includes images hashtagged in the comments in the search feature. All your hard work putting together strategic hashtag groups ends up wasted unless you keep them in the caption.

Engagement goes both ways. The best way to drive engagement is to engage in-kind. Spending an hour or so each day interacting with your followers through likes and comments is essential to a well-rounded social presence. While likes are great for getting the burst you need to climb the feed, genuine comments are even more valuable. In an effort to cut down on bot comments, the algorithm has deemed comments less than four words to be spam comments which don’t count toward engagement in a valuable way. If your followers are commenting less than four words, it’s no big deal, you can boost your own engagement numbers by replying back to them within the first hour with a four-or-more reply. Bonus points if your reply facilitates a conversation in your comment section. YOU get a comment, YOU get a comment, EVERYBODY GETS A COMMENT!

Utilize the valuable tool that is Stories. There has never been a better time to use the Instagram Stories feature. Instagram has positioned itself as one of the most valuable tools on the market for businesses, and Stories are more important than you may think for keeping your engagement numbers up. The new algorithm rewards accounts for posting stories, so dust off that iPhone and get to boomaranging!

  • Temporary by design, permanent by choice. The introduction of the Story Highlights feature took stories from a 24 hour blip to a permanent feed of dynamic content. Take your audience on a tour of your office, show them the behind-the-scenes process, or let your staff take the Story for the day and give a birds eye view of what it’s like to be part of the team. Want to feature a glimpse of everyone on the set of a video? Let it live for 24 hours. Want to give a tutorial that explains the basics of logo design? Save it to your Highlights—your followers and your engagement will thank you. 
  • People will watch, and that matters. Instagram Stories don’t live in a vacuum from the rest of your account. More stories equals more engagement, which in turn equals a higher placement on the feed.  
  • Prioritize interactivity. Tools like polls and hashtags allow you to get more engagement from each audience member, utilize them!
  • It’s all trackable. Like every other aspect of Instagram, Stories are trackable. Experiment with different tactics and styles and keep track of the swipe-through rate for each. You’ll be amazed by how much of what you thought was boring content is actually engaging, and vice versa.

Post it and leave it alone. One of the easiest ways to ruin your feed positioning is to edit your post in the first 24 hours. Making any changes to the caption will automatically kick you back to the bottom of your audience’s feed. You have two options if you spot a typo: ignore it and pray everyone else does too, or delete the post and repost it with the edits. Third option: proofread.

Here Through It All

Communicating a message seems straightforward until of course, you add in the noise, competition, misinterpretations, and fleeting attention spans. The ability and willingness to refine a message, as well as the presence of mind to make it about the audience, is imperative.

Glens Falls Hospital wanted to use the Olympics as an opportunity to speak to a happily captive audience. Using lush imagery that fit within the epic winter vistas of PyeongChang, a message of rebounding from injury much like an athlete, and concise iconography to illustrate the services that Glens Falls Hospital offers, this general awareness spot communicated without interrupting, because there is a time and a place for disruption.

 

We enjoyed creating this spot, but even more than that, we enjoy seeing it as we cheer on the fearless athletes.

The Price of Admission

Free of Charge! Live Music! Open Bar! 

These are a few qualifiers that never fail to draw a crowd. The first makes the wallet of a casual event goer happy and the second assures them they’ll be entertained (for free), while the third sets them up to crack open that very same wallet for other goodies.

I can confidently say that every one of the above exclamations has enticed me into an event of questionable interest.

Catch the eye of a stranger (and pique the interest of those who already support the product):

Events marketed by Trampoline are usually hosted by one of our clients. They have a brand that we need to reinforce, a clientele of their own to consider, and a regular means of sharing information. The point of event marketing is to reinvigorate the interest of those people and draw in newcomers.

One of our favorite ways to do this? Create new artwork for the event.

The best place to start is with the brand standards already being used by the event host and visuals centered around the theme of the event. From there, take creative risks – cultivate a sense of excitement. Build the information into an image, use a custom type treatment, or get outrageous with the size, color and/or content of your advertising. Find that inspiration and capture it to create something conceptual and new. You’ve got to stop those busy feet, eyes, and thumbs

The digital world, am I right?

I like to ask myself, “would I want this poster on my wall?” It’s rare that an advertisement stops me on my lunch break, but doesn’t make me interested in the event.

Create a unique experience:

When making weekend plans there is often simply too much to do. Life gets busy, so the audience has to be made to feel like the event is worthwhile.

What’s different? What’s new?

Event advertisements are constantly battling with movie releases, show posters and happy hour at the local watering hole. A fundraiser with music can be the same night as a good concert, but if that concert is presented as just another performance and that fundraiser seems like a one-time, can’t-miss event, decisions can be influenced. For this to occur there needs to be something about the event that stands out. Catchy naming, killer photography, and original art can go a long way.

Depending on the frequency of an event, the “unique” element can be tricky. This creates the necessity for consistency on top of captivation. If your event is going to happen with any degree of regularity, then it needs to have elements that make it special, and become a system onto themselves. Create a recurring poster style. If there will be multiple dates, give it different colors than the brand family. If there are different colors, make the fireworks those colors too.

Put that logo on some s#!t:

Repeat impressions. Repeat impressions. I repeat, impressions.

When the mark is made and the event announced, take that mark and slap it on everything you can. The strategy and planning of event marketing materials only carry so much weight. Good old fashioned exposure is your best friend.

At the risk of being garish, get that thing out there. If there is an ad, resize it for Instagram, Facebook, the newspaper, a web slider, a poster for bulletin boards, you name it. SWAG(Stuff We All Get), collectibles, stickers, apparel, and advertising that can also be sold as art are fantastic ways to add a little extra incentive to attend, while also giving your event recognizability. An event t-shirt that people want to wear after the fact is guerrilla marketing gold. A beer glass with a logo is going to remind guests about next year’s event every time they pour a cold one.

That beautiful poster? Now it’s on my wall, wonder what next year’s will be?

The above are just a few things to consider when creating marketing materials for an event. There are more and many things that can be done from visual, strategic, and incentive standpoints to draw crowds to your fundraiser, special evening, concert or trivia night. So long as you make the materials as fun as the event, you can’t miss.

If none of the above is working, just open the bar.

Resolve to Be Your Brand

As the calendar flips from December to January, the internet fills with articles on critiques, primers, and how-tos about branding. If the articles work for you, high-five. If they don’t, it’s ok. Here’s a small contribution from us and if you are a tl;dr type:

You are your brand, not the guy pontificating on LinkedIn or the x,y,z experts.
Decide who you are, what you want, and make sure other people understand that.

We like to say, “We’re with the brand.” It’s a little bit playful and also very true. Like the people who’ve committed to trekking, trucking, or thumbing across the country to follow they’re favorite bands, we match pace with our brands. Weaving through glades at Attitash or walking the halls at Glens Falls Hospital, traipsing through hop fields and boning up on the periodic table.

Our approach to creating, supporting, or strengthening a brand will always be rooted in really getting to know it. We also retain an outsider perspective because even the most focused among us can fall victim to forgetting how things look and feel for someone outside of the brand.

Personal Brand

On Brand

Corporate Brand

The phrases are real, the potential is significant, and the power is yours. Your definition of your brand and your execution are completely up to you. It’s important to consider things from the outside in, which is why getting outside help can be productive. It’s a little like the friend you know will say, “Yeah, navy isn’t your color.” That said getting too wrapped up in how people say it must be done can ultimately do more harm than good.

Our advice to you is in 2018 be proud of your brand—play with it, own it, and share it.

You have 215,000 new friend requests.

Here at Trampoline, we create a lot of content. How much content? Check out our “30 Days of Logos” series on Instagram. It’s easy to share rebrands and video clips on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but it’s harder to condense what we do for social media down to 1920 by 1080. Our work for Warren County Tourism has been a case study in growth and maintaining long term success. As our three-year contract comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our time with @LakeGeorgeArea.

In the summer of 2015, we jumped at the chance to apply our take on the region we call home. Warren County tasked Trampoline to increase their online footprint, drive traffic to their sites, and add followers. Our solution was to push high quality content with a consistent brand voice on a regular basis. Rather than telling people to come visit, we wanted to show them exactly why a trip to the Lake George Area was worth their time and money.

Pinpointing the Lake George Area audience was one of the most important factors in content creation. On Facebook, the average fan is a 35-44 year-old woman from New York State, likely from a rural area. The average Instagram follower is a 25 year-old woman from an urban center in the Northeast. The average Warren County Twitter follower? A 25-34 year-old Republican woman who is married, owns a home and has a household income from $150,000-199,999. Oh, and she only buys name brand. Details like this may seem insignificant, but they paint a picture of what content we need to be creating, boosting and strategically placing across our channels to optimize engagement.
For Facebook, we took a family-focused approach. Blog posts about back to school fun and lists of family-friendly weekend events filled our followers’ feeds. Our audience was more than happy to pitch in, often commenting their own recommendations and fond memories. Blog posts, image sets and Facebook contests kept people engaged on a daily basis, but it was the video content that stood out as a clear audience favorite. Our video depicting Warren County Events even won the County a 2017 Telly Award!

Instagram was a different case altogether. Where videos and images with text overlays went viral with the older Facebook audience, they only saw a small trickle of likes from young Instagram users. This audience clearly wanted an escape. They didn’t want to see other people having fun or to read a list of everything happening in the region, they wanted an attention grabbing image, free from the context of someone else’s vacation.

In 2017, the same filter heavy shots that received rave reviews in 2015 were the worst performers. High resolution images of sweeping mountain views and saturated sunsets far outperformed images showing people. Instagram, which as a platform has gained over 300 million users since the Warren County account began in 2015, is one of the most dynamic accounts in the Lake George Area suite.


With Twitter we found that the fast paced nature of the platform made it perfect for letting our audience know about the events happening in the area. Although not conducive to in-depth copy, 140 characters is a perfect amount to tell people what’s going on and where.

Living in Warren County gave us the distinct advantage. We drive, bike, hike and ski in the region on a daily basis. As a creative agency, we have the skillset to generate organic content with our audience in mind. Living our lives, camera in hand, has allowed us to create a library of active, first-person material.

 

The Results
Warren County gave us the broad goal of driving growth on their sites. By all accounts, we’ve surpassed this goal with an average fan growth of 2,645.6% across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Over the course of our contract with the Tourism Department, their Facebook likes have increased by 3,322.4%, with the account on track to surpass 300,000 likes before the end of 2018. The increase in audience engagement (likes, comments and messages) is even more staggering, sitting at 88,064% over the last two and a half years.

Instagram followers have increased by 4,245.8%, with audience engagement up  21,101%. 2017 alone saw the @lakegeorgearea account reach follower milestones of 4, 5 and 6 thousand.

Twitter experienced slower growth than Facebook and Instagram, with a 368.6% increase in fans. With Twitter’s growth as a platform flatlining in the past three years, we consider our success on the site a testament to the quality of the content being pushed.


The numbers are impressive enough on their own, but more so when you realize that for every like, there’s a real person engaging with Warren County. To put the numbers in context, the Census Bureau cited the population of the county as 65,707 in 2016. The combined total followers for Warren County social media is over 3.67 times larger than the county’s population.

What Next
Successful social media management is a balance between analytics and instinct. In the daily battle to reach wider audiences, having the ability to create content is perhaps a smaller factor than having the knowledge to get that content in front of the correct audience. While we couldn’t have anticipated the level of success we experienced with Warren County Tourism, we weren’t altogether surprised. Through strategic planning, regular analysis and a willingness to adapt, we’ve seen results and learned valuable lessons, preparing us for many years of social media management ahead.

Happy Trampsgiving

We enjoyed a bit of time off for the Thanksgiving holiday. As a matter of fact, on Wednesday we all walked out to our cars together. We swapped stories, shared plans, and maybe talked about the quirky relative we were looking forward to seeing (misbehave). Traditions, though they vary, offer a common thread. It’s often that connection we seek to unearth in the design process—creating unity through an unexpected, familiar, or striking element in communication.

Design can bring a community together, forward a mission and do good. Streamlined communication helps organizations to cut through some of the commercial clutter to deliver messaging that hits the mark.

Below are 10 non-profits that Trampoline has contributed to in 2017. As a group we’ve proudly donated design, funds and volunteer hours to assist as needed. Our reward has been seeing the impact of the effort. Whether the result is improved awareness, or an uptick in gifts—we’re on a mission (pun!) to have an impact on our region.

1. Double H Ranch

The Ranch was one of our very first clients, circa 2003. Maybe that’s why working for Double H always feels like coming home. Our team spent some time on campus in the fall, cleaning and preparing for an October Survivor’s Weekend. Getting our hands dirty in a brand always makes the design mean more. This year’s biggest triumph was a 25th Anniversary book that chronicled a quarter-century of camping and caring. Currently: drafts for the Winter 500 event branding!

2. Canal Street Marketplace

A Farmer’s Market in-the-making needed a representative logo to communicate the rehab of an unused barn in downtown Fort Edward, NY. We’re big fans of using what you’ve got, so the whole concept of placemaking was exciting on a number of levels. The lead designer was a Fort Edward native and Rob poured some local love into the creation. Next harvest: Merchandise!

3. Glens Falls Community Theatre

The Magee family’s involvement in the Glens Falls Community Theatre production of Oliver! The Musical led to the creation of a series of videos that featured cast members and costumes. This actor-friendly, community based content was shared hundreds of times and the series of vignettes racked up over 20,000 views in the week before the show.

In the spirit of the Lionel Bart’s opening song: Food, Glorious Food, the production set a framework in place to donate items to the Open Door Mission. Cast members led by example, arriving at tech rehearsal with over 200 donations, but that was surpassed by the Glens Falls community who attended the performances. Social media messages encouraged audience members to donate items as well, and at the end of the run, over 600 non-perishable food items had been collected and delivered to the Mission.

4. The Open Door Mission

A new facility—still under construction—and a recommitment to the homeless population in our region, meant that the Open Door Mission was ready for an updated identity. Staci has managed a team of designers since the summer to create and develop a mark that will connect with users and donors alike. There is much in store for this organization, and their good works in Glens Falls. We’re honored to have a role in their process.

5. Queensbury Schools

Music is a big part of everything that we do at Trampoline, and music education is something we’re passionate about. We’ve contributed to the orchestra and band programs at Queensbury, where our own artistic children play, creating wearables that make the musicians the envy of the school. Crescendo: we’re at work on merch for the Select Show Choir.


6. West Mountain School

As passionate as we are about the arts, the outdoors might matter even more to this Adirondack Agency, and skiing is at the top of our activities list. Local learning programs and access to training are essential to the future of the sport. To help put planks on kids we turn to West Mountain—their after school programs and ski-team development help to instill a love for the sport, and the season. The expenses associated with skiing and riding can be prohibitive for some, but the West Mountain School is doing all that it can to make the mountain accessible to as many families as possible. Oliver is working hard to create marketing pieces to help support the school. In the race gates: Snow!

7. SerioüsFun Children’s Network

Paul Newman’s legacy lives on at camp. The parent company of Double H Ranch, SerioüsFun, along with their sister organization: Newman’s Own Foundation, operate camps around the world—offering unforgettable experiences to critically ill children and their families. It’s important work, and cannot happen without support. This year’s annual report, designed by Leslie, will help deliver the SerioüsFun message, and show their effective use of donated funds. Next up: the SerioüsFun Gala in New York. Save us a seat (and a pint of The Tonight Dough or Marshmallow Moon) Fallon!

8. The Rotary 5k

Each and every April we lace up our kicks and hit the pavement for the race that raises money. Glens Falls Rotary uses the event to generate donations (there’s a different beneficiary each year). We’ve worked with Jim Goodspeed and company since the event began, and have had a team in place to run it every year, as well. We rub shoulders with some of the community’s best, and sweat side-by-side with clients and friends including teams from Mannix Marketing, Hudson Headwaters, and Glens Falls National. Pro-tip: bankers talk a surprising amount of trash during, and after the race. Here’s to healthy workplaces, and healthier donations!

9. Pitney Meadows Community Farm

Access to fresh food and the knowledge of how to grow it is an important issue in Upstate New York. Families continue to struggle with availability of produce and the understanding that some of the best food available can be grown, not bought. Pitney Meadows in Saratoga Springs is a farmstead that was rescued from the sprawl of development in order to help educate and inspire a new generation of agriculture.

For Trampoline, the project was a natural evolution from our work in the Capital Region with Capital Roots, and other agri-brands for small businesses like CLS Farms in Moxee, WA and Lakestone Family Farm in Rochester, NY. The project became a tapestry of old friends and new clients as familiar faces like Kim Feeney and Kevin London mixed with the Arnold Family and overlapped with the butchering program at SUNY Cobleskill. Give thanks for good food!

10. Paul Smith’s College

The College of the Adirondacks produces a different breed of graduate—leaders, doers and resourceful entrepreneurs. Smitties are the stuff of legend, and we’re proud to tell the story of the college. Recruitment materials for PSC continue to tell the story of Adirondack ingenuity and drive, and the staff at Trampoline is ready to jump to the task—no matter how immersed in the St. Regis they become. Next semester: A pro-bono logo for the Osgood Pond Program. In the classic words of John Cougar: “Yurts So Good.”

Making Payroll in the Gig Economy

There’s a thing that happens in our studio. Inevitably, someone ends up dressing like a coworker. We all point and laugh. Knowing that next time it might be us. With an ad agency in the Adirondacks, there’s bound to be repeat flannel.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

This anecdote illustrates that our shop is full of creative professionals, every day. Some of us have worked side-by-side for 15 years, others have contributed for 15 months. We look out for each other, riff off of one another and rely on the strengths of our cohorts.

Our studio is 3,000 square feet of open space, dedicated to design, production and concept sessions.

The staff trades barbs, album reviews and Stranger Things commentary as we tackle communication campaigns for clients.

The partners arrive with groceries and everyone works together to fill up the fridge and stash chips in cupboards. What does any of this have to do with business? Why should you care that a designer is setting type while crunching on agency-bought Doritos?

Camaraderie, culture and support make for better ideas, that’s why.

Stability helps to create an environment where concepts can flourish. These people are familiar, they’re regular. Each talented in their individual ways, that contribute to what we do as a team.

Why risk it?

At creative conferences and in business pubs, we’ve seen the gig economy celebrated. The flexibility of low overhead, the freedom to dodge and weave around process as it suits.

The gigpreneurs guffaw and hook their thumbs at agencies like we’re all wearing the same outfit.

Lunch & Learn at Staci’s station.

“Why would you pay for that office space? I have meetings in cafés. No rent.”

“Why pay all those people when you could contract out?”

It’s a fair question, and a tough one to argue, from a savings standpoint.

Then again—soloists are, by nature, accustomed to a singular perspective. The benefits of staff and space are seen from a client’s viewpoint: where issues of timing, volume, and consistency are every bit as important as design.

Back when we started out, the advice was “Be brave enough to hire people who are better than you.” Now it seems to be “Make sure you have them fill out this W9 form.”

If being a free agent is so great, why, I wonder, do so many virtual creative companies take great pains to appear as robust agencies, with a deep bench of talent?

Halloween 2017

There are freelancers, and LLCs that are true to their size. Partnerships who don’t misrepresent themselves as more than a dynamic duo. There’s something confident and wonderful about that. Those who are successful, and selective, have had the talent and dedication to take a client to market and rise to the deadlines.

At Trampoline, having dedicated pros to the left and right of us is inspiration to do better. It’s a push. You celebrate wins together, and when a difficult situation arises, there’s support.

There’s always more inspiration to be found, though. And so, we happily announce the addition of Mikaela Shea as Marketing Production Specialist. Mikaela’s creative path has been a Long Trail that winds from Burlington, Vermont, through Purchase College and television networks to Glens Falls. She’ll help to manage the design workload, and see projects through production, packaging and merchandising.

Summer Favorites; Beverage Edition

It’s no secret that the staff here at Trampoline enjoy a good drink or two. So much so that we’ve dedicated a significant chunk of our working lives to them. Visit the office and you’ll find a well stocked fridge, bar, kegerator, and coffee pot. Catch our team on the weekend enjoying a variety of alcohol related pastimes, from brewing beer (Staci is our fearless leader in this regard) to jamming out at a local watering hole. It’s safe to say we take our fluids very seriously.

For most of us, the competition for our beverage of the summer was stiff, no pun intended. The following list is a collection of drinks, artwork, and thoughts on what it means to be refreshed in the summer months. Pour yourself a beverage of your choice (we don’t judge!), sit back, and pick our brains.


Allison
:

My favorite summer drink is kind of a cheat answer because it involves two of my all time favorite drinks: gin and champagne. Mix those two with some lemon juice and simple syrup and you get my favorite cocktail: the French 75. It’s fizzy and botanical and just plain delightful. Drink it pinky up!

Rob_Blog_1

Rob:

Oh G and T, Oh G and T,

You are the summer drink for me,

You’ve got the lime, you’ve got the bubbles,

Have 1 (to 10) and forget about your troubles,

Its fresh and crisp and easy to sip,

Great for a back porch or a boat trip,

Oh G and T, Oh G and T, the summer drink for me

Is it 5 o’clock? Alas, I long for thee

John:

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a fan of an ice-cold beer – preferably a strong IPA — after a long work week. It helps when your client, Druthers, serves up one of your favorites — the All-In IPA. A close second to IPAs are wheat ales like UFO, Hoegaarden or Allagash White. Unlike some craft beer connoisseurs, I won’t turn my nose up at a Bud Light or a cold PBR on a hot day! Hoo-ray Beer!

1stCup

Amanda:

My favorite drink is always my first drink. Which, in the summer, means at dawn. Yes, I’m deviating from the largely alcoholic list, but the truth is that coffee will never let me down-iced or hot, espresso or straight joe. The sensation of that first sip, no, even before that, the anticipation of the first sip, feeling the mug in my hands, smelling the sharp aroma and feeling the warmth from the pot, it is exquisite.

The perfect cup has cream, not creamer, thick, white, and ideally poured from a glass vessel. Not much sugar, but enough to stir a couple of times with a small spoon, the clinking of metal on ceramic priming me for the sensation of that first sip.

FullSizeRender

Derek:

My fave summer sipper/slammer is also non-alcholic (surprise), as seen in a creative brief.

SummerBev-9PinPeach copy

Leslie:

My favorite summer beverage is refreshing and crisp with New York State apples and a hint of sweet: Peach! and more Peach! This cider pairs great with lakefront and adventure, two pups in the water and humans tagging along with their thirst-quenchers. Cheers to never-ending summers and Nine Pin Specialty Peach Tea Ciders!

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Sean:

In a home with three pre-teens…you drink what’s available.

I could fill a steamer trunk with Capri Sun™ straw wrappers.

Beerscape

Oliver:

The Uinta Detour double IPA packs a delicious punch, and sends me deep into aromatic memories of a Rocky Mountain Pine Forest on a warm summers day. Both me and Uinta were made in Salt Lake City, Utah, and appreciate the allure of a refreshing brew paired with a big mountain view. The Detour is my go-to companion for any summer adventure.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 12.09.58 PM copy

PaulaYou get the gist.

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Staci:

Bell’s Oberon

When our Communications and Media Specialist Megan asked what my favorite beverage is, it took me about three days to really wrap my mind around it. You see, I take my beer very seriously. My husband and I are homebrewers, plus I’m 4 months pregnant, so I wax nostalgic about the memory of it quite frequently.

Bell’s Oberon is my favorite Summer beer. It’s an American Pale Wheat Ale: a limited release with a smooth, citrus taste and fruity aroma. It has a brightly-colored, funky sun label design that draws me in, too. Brewed in the great mitten state, it takes me back to my Michigan roots. It wasn’t always readily available here in New York, so when I discovered that they started distributing here, I was excited.

Oberon is a great beer for a backyard barbecue, a camping trip, or a nice dinner out with friends. Now, if only Bell’s would release a clone recipe so I could brew some myself, I’d be thrilled.

Cheers!

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Megan:

I’ve been trying for a long time to be a beer person. As a brand spankin’ new college graduate, I have a special place in my heart/liver for $2 Busch Lattes and Natty Light pints (Busch Light and Natural Light respectively, for those with anything resembling self-respect). Craft beer is a staple in the office, with packaging (and samples!) coming in and out faster than you can pay your bar tab.

But honestly? If I’m ordering myself a drink in the summer, expect it to be mixed.

There, I said it.

It’s summer, it’s warm, it’s the only time of the year that it’s acceptable to sit outside under an umbrella with a nacho in one hand and something cold and fruity in the other. Does this make me less “chill”? More high maintenance? Do I care? Ask me again after a few refills.

Join the Team-UPDATED (a second time!)

Summer is winding down and things are revving up here at Trampoline, which is why we are here sharing this throwback commercial from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s time for us to find that perfect mix as we grow our team. This clip will demonstrate that we aren’t afraid of a little bit of low-res cheese. It’s also foreshadowing that we are looking to do more than staff an open position, it’s to connect people and ideas in a way that strengthens our team and gives you an opportunity to sweeten your skills.

 

 

Ideally, you will be open to learning new things, being flexible to adapt to changes in workflow or assignments, and also a fan of this area.

Things we aren’t: a massive agency, a huge town, users of words like maven, thought leader, or ____-preneur.

Things we are: Passionate about design, solving communication riddles, flaky pastries, craft beers, and kombucha. Ok, so that last one may only be Megan and Amanda.

Graphic Designer

We don’t take adding designers to our team lightly, but the time has come. We are looking for someone with 3+ years working as a designer. We value opinions and confidence, particularly when they are paired with an appreciation for design, typography, process, and clear communication. The process at Trampoline involves collaboration between the different members of the team—one of the reasons why we do require that this position be on-site.

Designers (we currently have 8) work with clients as well as production vendors. The work in the shop ranges from branding projects and ad campaigns, to print magazines and annual reports, with a bit of social media and digital advertising thrown in for good measure.

Fine print: Must have a mastery of Adobe Creative Suite, Word, ability to do battle with Publisher through clenched teeth and a smile. Some familiarity with HTML, video, and photography would be swell.

This position will report to an Art Director and assist in mentoring junior designers.

Please respond with work samples, availability, and references.

 

Junior Graphic Designer

We don’t expect you to be an expert, but we do expect you to be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite. You can anticipate acting as a support for our current design staff. This could involve re-sizes and re-prints, assisting with proofing and research. If you have video/animation skills, or an interest in learning, all the better. We love a well-rounded, knowledge-hungry designer. As a member of the team, you will participate in creative concepting sessions and the crit process. There will be times when you go on-site for client meetings and events. Our clients range from higher-ed and health care to ski resorts and non-profit organizations.

You’ll have a senior team member who will serve as a mentor. We understand that there will be times when you have questions or need guidance; there isn’t a day at Trampoline when someone doesn’t learn something from a co-worker. Our goal is to have you grow into a larger role, but to do it at a managed pace. There are opportunities to allow everyone a chance to spread their creative wings.

We hope that you will be someone who wants to be here for a while.

When you respond, please send work samples and references.

 

If you think you might be a fit for either of these positions please send us an email with your resume.

 

It’s Up to You

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People like to give advice, sometimes it’s a gift, other times it’s predictably hot air. 

Specialize in something.

Establish your niche.

Narrow your focus.

Stay in your lane.

The tricky part of navigating life, relationships, and the marketplace is to know when to listen, when to nod politely, and when to trust your instinct. Over the course of our nearly fourteen years in business we have heard a lot of advice, some we quote greatly for its evergreen brilliance. 

“If it doesn’t work, kill it quick.”

“If you don’t love it, don’t show it.”

“That’s not how the internet works.”

There are other moments we look back on and realize we should have listened to our gut. This is a long-winded way of saying that no one knows what’s best for you, but you. Have some fun. We guarantee that when you enjoy what you are doing and who you are doing it with, it comes through in the final product. 

Listen, keep what works, and move along.

Building a tower of TP for Morcon at the Wood Theater in advance of the Adirondack Theatre Festival‘s production of  The Boy in the Bathroom .

Design delivered from the 518

Get in touch with us!