New Stuff and Inspiration
Changing the story for underprivileged kids.
There’s a crisis in American education that has been brewing for decades. More and more kids from low-income families are falling through the cracks. It’s a situation that no one denies and yet for the last 40 years the debate about how to solve it has raged on. These kids can’t wait for the bureaucrats and administrators to agree on a universal solution. They need help now.
That’s where ACE Scholarships comes in. They provide partial scholarships to low-income kids so they can go to the school that best fits their needs. And their approach is achieving incredible success. 90% of ACE Scholars graduate high school and 78% go on to college. You can’t argue with those numbers.
With this kind of success, ACE is poised to expand across the country. But like many organizations and brands on the verge of growth, they needed help crafting their story. They needed to make their message and brand even more compelling in order to attract a larger donor base. We helped them infuse emotion into their solid facts-based argument. And we also helped them change the way they told their story. ACE always began by telling people how they do it – with school choice, a politically charged idea that shuts down far too many potential donors. We helped them understand and communicate why they do it. ACE Scholarships exists to help change the story now, for kids from low-income families. This approach makes all the difference. It entices everyone to lean into the conversation to understand more.
ACE Scholarships has always had proof of their effect on kids’ lives. Now they have a way to communicate their brand and mission in a way that will attract a much larger set of donors.
Generation Z, we now dub you Generation Wild.
Kids today spend less time outdoors than any other generation.
In fact, they only spend an average of 4-7 minutes a day outside in unstructured play. While that does mean they’re doing a great job of keeping off our lawns, it’s not so great for their health and happiness. Our friends at Great Outdoors Colorado, an organization that builds parks and trails around the state, were brave enough to take on this tremendous challenge, and they called on us to help. They challenged us to do something that had never been done before: create a campaign that would inspire kids to want to trade their phones and tablets for rocks and stinkbugs.
So we devised a plan to change this generation of kids, to turn them from Generation Z, a generation known for being helplessly addicted to their devices, into Generation Wild, a generation known for loving nature and enjoying the outdoors.
In order to do this, we had to first get inside the heads of the people who run these kids’ lives: their moms. We conducted ethnographic research with moms from all different ethnicities, backgrounds, and income levels around the state. What we found was that moms connected their own memories and experiences to the outdoors and already understood all the benefits that being outside had for their kids. The issue was finding the time and energy to organize and encourage their kids to play outside. Their lives were already packed full of responsibilities and commitments. Practices. School events. Countless other activities. What they needed was some inspiration and a little bit of help reprioritizing outdoor playtime.
Our idea was to make life easy on moms and remind them that getting your kids to enjoy nature doesn’t require a trip to the mountains; it’s right outside your door. Plus, to get kids interested, we would show off just how fun the outdoors can be. We launched Generation Wild with an enticing bucket list of things to do outside called 100 Things to Do Before You’re 12. Because while there are millions of amazing things to do outside, there are 100 things that you’ve absolutely gotta try when you’re a kid. It was the perfect way to give kids a taste of how fun the outdoors can be and inspire a lifelong love of nature in them.
To introduce Generation Wild and 100 Things to Do Before You’re 12, we created an integrated statewide campaign. Since moms spend a lot of time in front of screens, we knew we would need a strong digital campaign to get our message out. We used a highly-targeted, cross-platform approach. We leveraged video, display, and social media on desktop and mobile to hit moms wherever they may be online and coupled that with data analysis and optimization to ensure we were reaching moms who are the most receptive to our messaging. By combining a strong digital effort with our billboards and bus shelters, we were able to drive higher awareness and improved recall.
With the help of artists from Belgium, Israel, Toronto, NYC, and right here in Colorado, we created seven 15-second TV spots. The first spot introduced Generation Wild and the other spots each highlighted a different task from the list.
We also put up billboards and interactive bus shelter installations that helped kids tick things off the list.
And of course, we hit parents where they are most, social media.
As it turned out, GOCO wasn’t the only organization that loved Generation Wild. We helped recruit more than 50 others to join the cause, including the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, REI, Cabela’s and Girl Scouts of Colorado.
After only a few days of launch, word is spreading. The campaign was has been featured on television news channels, Colorado Public Radio, the Denver Post, and more.
And moms are doing just what we thought they’d do, spreading the message among friends and family with hashtag, #100ThingsToDo. And we’ve had over 20,000 visits to the website in the first few weeks.
Your move, Minecraft.
It didn’t rain every day in Denver this May. It just seemed like it.
People get why we should conserve water when we’re in a dry spell. But what do we tell them when it’s coming down in buckets?
We tell them an indisputable truth. How much water we get isn’t up to us, it’s up to nature. Water is a non-renewable resource we shouldn’t waste no matter what the weather.
We can’t make the stuff. But we can make that point. And to do it, we used almost 6,000 Legos, over 2,000 square inches of Blue Model Magic clay and 255 yards of string to create stuff that looks like water.
Artistic, yes. Thirst quenching, no.
It’s an urban art show, the first of its kind in Denver, on display in bus shelters throughout the city.
They’re eye catching. They’re getting talked about. And they’re helping demonstrate that even after 9 years, Sukle is still finding great ways to remind people to please, use only what you need.
Location: Colorado Blvd and Exposition Ave Denver, CO
Fiberglass and molding clay sculpture
Description: 30 packets of Crayola® Model Magic® affixed to a fiberglass mold.
Water Drop #2
Location: 9th and Lincoln Denver, CO
Post-it® notes on particle board
Description: 243 pink and 102 blue Post-it® notes.
Water Drop #1
Location: 21st and California Denver, CO
Embroidery thread on particle board.
Description: 7 different colors of embroidery thread and custom nails.
Location: 71st and Tower Road Denver, CO
LEGO® on particle board
Description: 7 different sizes of LEGOs totaling 5,000 in all.
Location: Arapahoe and Adams Centennial, CO
Sprinkler and embroidery thread on particle board.
Description: 75 individual strings in 3 layers, using 10 different colors, emerge from an actual sprinkler.
Glass of Water #1
Location: Kipling and Jewell Lakewood, CO
Stained wood on maple board
Description: Made from maple wood held together with wood glue.
Location: Colorado Blvd and Virginia Ave Denver, CO
Knitted and crocheted yarn
Description: A 90-foot knitted stream of water made from 14 skeins of yarn on a crocheted background, emerging from an actual metal spigot.
Water Drop #3
Location: Kipling and Bowles Littleton, CO
Crushed aluminum cans on particle board and vinyl
Description: 123 cans attached with nails.
Location: Alameda and Pierce Lakewood, CO
Colored pencil sculpture on particle board.
Description: 17 different colors for a total of 1700 pencils, all sharped to the exact same length and attached with Gorilla Glue.
Glass of Water #2
Location: Kipling and Ken Caryl Littleton, CO
Post-it® notes on particle board
Description: 345 Post-it® notes used, blue, dark blue, yellow
Ed Norton Loves His Droid
Street artist Daan Botlek seems to know how advertising creatives feel
Street artist and illustrator Daan Botlek is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and it almost seems like he gets the game we creatives go through on a daily basis, searching for a fresh insight. We often must shed our preconceived notions and look deep within ourselves, or others, to get to that one great idea that really sings. And sometimes getting there feels like you’ve been flattened by a rock.
Dogs are neat
Typicall, there’s a few pooches strolling the grounds here at Sukle, so we’re always pleased to come across some visually stunning work that includes them. Hence our posting of this video that’s a tease for the book Shake. The book is filled with hilarious shots of dogs mid-shake, drool a-flyin.
My, how the neighborhood has changed
We used to find Mad Dog 20/20, then Colt 45 on the stoop when we’d come in. Next, it graduated to PBR. Nowadays, this is the kinda stuff we’ll find when we get here in the am. Just a sign of how much this neighborhood has changed in the 12 years we’ve been in this building.
Ned Breslin’s story: becoming a social entrepreneur
At Sukle, we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with visionary clients — people who know that to make change in the world, you’re going to come across a few roadblocks. One such client is Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People. Ned attributes his success as a social entrepreneur to lessons he learned in the mosh pit. Listen to the entire story of his path from punk rocker to social entrepreneur in the first installment of his podcast series called “The Social Disruptors.” Ned’s approach to storytelling is unexpected, and very real. Have a listen for yourself.
Ned Breslin received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2011. Water For People and Breslin were honored for their work in creating sustainable, locally-maintained water and sanitation solutions in developing countries.
Congrats to our friends at Noodles & Company
Recently they went public and their stock price promptly doubled.
Our relationship with Noodles & Company started in 1998, when Aaron Kennedy, the founder, hired Sukle to create an engaging brand for his concept. The restaurant chain had just two locations and we were a young agency, hungry to make our mark. We didn’t care that the budgets were small. In fact, their very first noodle doodle ads were created by scanning dried pasta on our flatbed scanner. Over the course of the next 10 years, they grew and we grew with them. Noodles grew from two restaurants to over 200. The budgets got larger and the work better.
Many of our philosophies about marketing, media and brand momentum were developed from working with Aaron and his talented team. It was a great ride. We’ll always be fans of Noodles & Company and wish them continued success.
Mike Sukle Interview on Osocio.org
In the early days, when we first started working for social good, with NSCD, the Arc and RAAP, we considered Osocio the authoritative voice on social marketing. We still do, many years later. Osocio is an online hub where thinkers from around the globe write about public health efforts and non-profit campaigns. Marc Van Gurp, the founder, has written about Sukle’s Denver Water campaign every year, except one, since the campaign’s inception in 2006. Today, they post an 8-year retrospective of the Denver Water campaign, along with an interview with Mike Sukle, Creative Director and President of Sukle Advertising.
“We’ve always been more interested in the challenge of a problem or the potential of something than the budget or type of industry a client may be in. And we’ve always felt that advertising could be used for good.” —Mike Sukle
Read the whole interview here.
We are proud to have Osocio’s ongoing support, and to be included along side the best communicators in the field.