LevLane Wins Five Trophies from Art Directors Club of Philadelphia’s 2016 Louix Awards/in Agency, Creative, Digital, Media, News, PR, Social /by Webmaster
LevLane Helps Rev Up Winter Restaurant Week/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Feature, Media, News /by Webmaster
Is there a restaurant your friends have been raving about and you’ve wanted to try? There is no better time to schedule that reservation than during Center City District’s Winter Restaurant Week. The event kicks off on January 18th and runs Sunday through Friday until January 30th. With more than 120 participating restaurants ranging from Italian to Japanese and from seafood to steakhouses, there are plenty of options to explore. Participating restaurants offer guests a three-course dinner for only $35 and many restaurants also offer a three-course lunch option for $20.
For more than 10 years LevLane has worked with the Center City District to create vibrant and engaging creative work for many exciting Philadelphian events and initiatives including Dilworth Park, the Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park and Center City District Sips. Throughout Center City, LevLane created and placed 64 brightly colored transit platform posters that reflect the livelihood of the city itself and the corresponding bus tails are sure to catch your eye as they pass by. Complimentary and unique web banners and online display ads can be seen online at Philly Style Magazine, Philly Weekly, or Philly.com.
Be sure to keep an eye out for all of the exciting creative work popping up across the city and make your Restaurant Week reservation today!
Philly’s Got Moves at new Rothman Institute Ice Rink/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Feature, Media, News /by Webmaster
On November 14th, Philadelphia’s newest winter attraction will be introduced: The Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park. In the past, Dilworth Plaza at City Hall was a dilapidated urban maze that left the Center City District (CCD) craving a fresh space that people would prioritize as a must-visit destination. In September, CCD unveiled its new $55 million park space as Dilworth Park. Now it is a centerpiece of the city, with multiple weekly activities such as concerts, movies, and festivals.
As winter brings bitter cold temperatures and covers Philadelphia in a veil of snow, people tend to stay inside instead of experiencing everything the season has to offer. This melancholic time provided LevLane the opportunity to bring the warm spirit of the city to Dilworth Park, and bring together two of the region’s most well-known entities to develop and establish the Rothman Institute Ice Rink: Center City District and the Rothman Institute. Both clients’ businesses and cultures are sewn into the fabric of Philadelphia, which makes them the perfect partners to create a space that provides a uniquely Philadelphian experience. CCD is one of LevLane’s oldest clients, which gives us the advantage of knowing who reflects the brand’s image. Rothman’s orthopaedics practice throughout the region provides services focused on the human form’s movement– from balancing on ice skates to gliding around the rink.
By showcasing the ice rink as a winter mainstay, LevLane’s goal was to make the ice rink a tradition synonymous with the Philadelphia winter season. We set out to create an area for visitors to meet, interact, and have fun. We placed transit ads, print media, brochures, posters, and banners throughout the Philadelphia region to drive people toward Dilworth Park. The campaign effectively hit all corners of the city and depicted the Rothman Institute Ice Rink as a gathering place during the winter months. At the ice rink, a snowflake containing the Rothman Institute logo is placed under the ice, and around the circumference of the rink are the names of Philadelphia neighborhoods, represented as ice skating moves (such as the “Kensington Crossover”). Skaters are encouraged to share their moves and enjoyment of the new rink on social media by using the hashtag #rothmanrink.
The Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park was an agency-wide project that was successfully implemented because of our talented employees and caring clients. This frosty new feature will be open daily from November 14th through February 22nd. Join us in making the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park a Philadelphia tradition.
LevLane’s Lively Speaker Series for Rydal Park deemed a hit, attracting sales prospects/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Feature, Media, News /by Webmaster
LevLane’s PR and Marketing teams played a vital role creating and promoting Rydal Park’s Lively Fall Speaker Series, taking place this month in its second year. The series presents well-known local media figures from radio, television and newspapers sharing highlights from their careers, “the stories behind the story.”
The events have packed Rydal’s auditorium with prospective residents and resident ambassadors. The program was launched as an effort to draw local residents who could be strong candidates for joining Rydal’s community. The five-part series provides casual opportunities for attendees to experience some of Rydal Park’s enlightening events and desirable amenities, while meeting engaging speakers and taking in a tour.
Harry Gross, longtime Philadelphia Daily News columnist and Rydal Park resident, hosts the series, charming the visitors and encouraging them not to wait to make the decision to move in. Gross and his wife, both still active, have lived at Rydal for three years. Oftentimes, seniors express their interest but suggest they’re “not ready yet.”
In creating the Speaker Series in June 2013, LevLane integrated marketing and PR tactics to attract qualified sales leads for the senior community and to effectively communicate the community’s unique sense of “spirited living”. Rydal’s target demographic remains loyal to traditional media, and the featured speakers have been prominent with local media outlets for many years.
Oldies DJ Jerry Blavat spoke to the crowd about growing up in Philadelphia and the music scene, sharing stories about big name entertainers, local radio and nightclubs. At 74, he told the seniors he stays young with regular exercise and keeping a positive outlook on life.
The speaker series was promoted with a direct-mail piece targeted towards local prospects, in addition to media outreach and postings on RydalPark.org and its Facebook page.
Sarah Jolles, executive director of Sales and Marketing for Rydal Park, called the inaugural series last year a huge success, the program is now referred to as a “signature event.” The events last year trumped Rydal’s previous highest direct mail events by 40% and brought in the most repeat inquiries among all direct mail events last year. “I’ve been thrilled. This series has just gone so great,” she said.
With the concurrent celebration of its 40th anniversary this fall, the 2nd Annual Rydal Park Lively Fall Speaker Series featured: Glen Macnow, longtime sports radio 94WIP radio host; Lu Ann Cahn, NBC10 reporter and eight-time Emmy Award winner; Jerry Blavat, oldies radio DJ and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee; Clark DeLeon, longtime Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and Philadelphia historian; and Dan Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer deputy metro editor/Enterprise.
By Gina Turdo, PR Intern
When Center City District wanted to re-brand Philadelphia’s newest park, it chose LevLane/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Media, News /by Webmaster
It was known only as barren, uninviting and often restricted.
Now, it is Center City’s lively new centerpiece around Philadelphia’s City Hall.
After years of construction, Dilworth Park finally became a reality in September, attracting local workers, families and tourists to the transformed space with more improvements soon.
When the Center City District needed a partner to brand and promote Dilworth Park, it chose LevLane. Another cool project for a client we’ve loved for more than 10 years. Levlane has helped promote CCD’s Restaurant Week, Lunchtime Concert Series and other special events.
LevLane was excited to help Center City District position Dilworth Park as the new place to live, work and play in the city. It’s the stage for quiet gatherings for people from all sections of the city, for children to play in the fountains, and for entertainment and family fun. Dilworth also would be the new gateway for hordes of commuters using mass transit with the dramatically improved underground entrances to SEPTA’s subways and trolley lines.
New name, more action. CCD turned Dilworth Plaza from the inaccessible, multi-level mass of hard surfaces around City Hall into a fresh, green well-maintained public space with the new name, Dilworth Park. It features expanded public space with groves of trees and a lawn, a café operated by famed local chef/restauranteur Jose Garces, a programmable fountain that will become an ice skating rink in the wintertime, and space for plenty of benches and chairs for people to hang out.
LevLane’s objective was to develop a multimedia campaign that would reach local residents and workers, young professionals and families with young children, as well as public officials, civic leaders event planners and donors. We created fresh new identity for Dilworth Park to attract locals and encourage them to take advantage of the new cafe and events.
From lifeless in the past to lively today. LevLane created new branding that positioned Dilworth Park as a place with energy, a place with planned entertainment and arts and cultural events year-round, like weekday happy hours with a DJ and movie nights under the stars.
The campaign creative is evident in newspaper, magazine, digital and radio ads, outdoor signage and giant banners, transit signs and bus wraps, brochures and event promotional materials.
“LevLane played a huge part in developing all of the signage and marketing for the park. It was a long road to get everything done, but another job well done by our team!” said Josh Lev, account director for CCD. “The branding and promotion of the city’s newest was a great opportunity to demonstrate our creative and media capabilities. We were happy to support a project that would be so visible and positive for Philadelphia.” Along with Josh and Stephania Marsico from account services, LevLane’s team included RJ Cassi, Evan Monsky, and Gabby Shirdan.
Center City District works year-round to ensure that Philadelphia’s downtown not only looks welcoming, but also is brighter, safer and more accessible. The $55 million Dilworth Park project was the fourth and most prominent city park to be re-developed and managed by CCD. All renovations are expected to be complete in November.
A sample of events at Dilworth Park:
- Pictures in the Park with Tuesday night movies al fresco under the glow from City Hall, the first on Sept. 30 with Seabiscuit
- Live @ Lunch — Philadelphia’s center stage shines every Wednesday afternoon with a showcase of local music, dance & performing arts.
- Style Pop – Thursdays at Dilworth Park, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dilworth becomes a chic, cutting-edge designer pop-up market with designer apparel, accessories & crafts.
- Grooves in the Grove – Every Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. pack a brown bag lunch or grab some treats from the café and settle in for some shoulder-bopping, hip-swinging, head-bobbing tunes.
- Octoberfest – Saturday, Oct. 18 and 25 — This fall festival will fill the park with a series of fun activities & games, plus a social 21+ beer garden.
Bringing home the ADDYs gold/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Feature, News /by Webmaster
Last night LevLane received four ADDYs from the Philly Ad Club’s annual ADDY Awards! Some of LevLane’s finest suited up for a night of celebration at Vie on North Broad. Other than our shiny new awards, the best part of the night was seeing the awesome opening video from Shooters Inc that features Bruce, Lori, Drake, Randy and Crystal. Be forewarned that you will never get Pharrell’s “Happy” out of your head after watching.
Now onto the good stuff.
Gold ADDY Award: Spirited Living for Rydal Park
Category: Sales Promotion, Brochure-Four Color
Bruce Lev, Chief Creative Officer
Debbey Racano, SVP Creative Director
Crystal Irvin, Associate Creative Director
Randy Malone, Senior Copywriter
Gold ADDY Award: Annual Report for Support Center for Child Advocates
Category: Public Service, Collateral-Annual Report
Bruce Lev, Chief Creative Officer
Debbey Racano, SVP Creative Director
RJ Cassi, Art Director
Evan Monsky, Copywriter
Silver ADDY Award: Be In On It for Center City District
Category: Direct Mail, Single (B2B or Consumer)-Flat
Bruce Lev, Chief Creative Officer
Debbey Racano, SVP Creative Director
RJ Cassi, Art Director
Evan Monsky, Senior Copywriter
Silver ADDY Award: Restaurant Week for Center City District
Category: Sales Promotion, Poster-Single
Bruce Lev, Chief Creative Officer
Debbey Racano, SVP Creative Director
Gabrielle Sheridan, Art Director
Evan Monsky, Senior Copywriter
The Philly Ad Club really knows how to throw a party. Until next year, cheers.
#SMWNYC Recap: The Future of Social Media and Content Creation/in Account Service, Agency, Digital, Feature, Media, News, PR /by Webmaster
Last week, we sent our Social Media Manager Erica Nardello to the Big Apple for Social Media Week NYC. In two days of SMW sessions, expert panelists from socially savvy agencies and brands discussed continuously changing social media platforms, revolutionary content strategies, and evolving analytics. Check out Erica’s key takeaways from select sessions below and, if you were in attendance at #SMWNYC, let us know what findings you found most valuable in the comments!
The Language of Social Media is Visual
The internet was built on text. From search engine algorithms and queries to website and application coding, words have defined and shaped the digital experience. But, as JWT Trends Strategist Will Palley pointed out in a session on Thursday called Reading is No Longer Fundamental: The Shift to Visual Vocabulary, “new social platforms force people to learn new languages.” Increasingly, those languages are not always (or only) verbal. With the rise of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, the language of social media is evolving from words (and even limited characters) to images. DigitasLBi SVP and North American Mobile Practice Lead Chia Chen said in The Changing Face of News Consumption, Hosted by WSJ, “The currency of social media is imagery.” As users increasingly turn to animated stickers and emoji to communicate, brands need to evolve to learn from, understand, and embrace these languages – to “listen visually,” said Palley. But how?
“We need to restore context to content,” said Curalate CEO and Co-Founder Apu Gupta. That context can come from comments, emoji, metadata, and more. While users may be pinning your brand’s products or posting photos of your signage on Instagram, it’s important to understand the users, read their posts, and know that they could be sharing the content because they love it or because they hate it. Brands have the opportunity to create that context by inviting consumers to participate in the content creation process. Rather than simply taking and repurposing user-generated content, Craig Hepburn, global head of digital & social at Nokia, recommends that brands start building relationships with (but not paying for the involvement of) key influencers. Curalate’s Gupta cited a really amazing example of work with Urban Outfitters, which leveraged user-generated content to create a digital experience based on the real style of its customers on its homepage. But the best part wasn’t the “influence” of the customers featured on UO’s website – it was their enthusiasm. “We talk so much about influencer marketing, but that’s to the detriment of loyalists,” Gupta explained. The success of the efforts to incorporate visual user-generated content depends largely on the type of brand and the type of consumer, but one thing is for sure: the visual language of social media is still in its infancy and it will only continue to grow and change.
The Evolution of Content Creation and Sharing
Propelled by changes in consumption habits and platform preferences, storytelling has changed forever. Still, there are great opportunities and challenges for community managers and content creators of all kinds, but they’ve evolved with the times and with us. “Most people have thought of stories as having a beginning, middle and end,” said Jim Roberts, executive editor and chief content officer of Mashable. “For the consumer who has time to consume it, it’s a really rewarding experience, but most people don’t have time to do that anymore.” Now, brands and media companies are being forced to tailor their content to evolving consumer preferences.
Liz Heron, emerging media editor at The Wall Street Journal, explained that content, especially content targeted to millennials, needs to be characterized by three things: presence and share-ability on social and mobile platforms, rich visuals, and emotional relevance and resonance. And really, in a sea of content that is constantly fighting for our attention and our love, that couldn’t be more accurate. Without content that tugs at the heartstrings and engages with imagery on the social and mobile channels at our fingertips, media companies and brands cannot hope to connect with modern consumers. “The pace of change that we experienced… in the ’90s was nothing compared to the pace of change in recent years,” said Roberts. Clearly social media trends are leading the way forward and show no sign of slowing down.
Erica’s recap can also be found on her blog, ‘ello.
Takeaways from the Social Media Leadership Awards #SMLA13/in Agency, Digital, Feature, Media, News, PR /by Webmaster
On December 9th and 10th, Tracy Dabakis, Erica Nardello and Eric Spector, members of our PR and Social Media team, traveled (in lots of snow!) west on Market to attend the Social Media Leadership Awards‘ Best Practices Conference. Held at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, our LevLaners learned from some of the industry’s best and most innovative about using social strategies for customer service and community creation/management, and overall best practices. Check out the top takeaways from the conference below. If you were in attendance at #SMLA13, let us know what you found most valuable in the comments below!
The Power of Social Media
The common thread of every presenter’s story was, of course, how powerful social media can be and how it explicitly positively impacted their company, no matter the industry.
Jennifer Sengupta, Manager of Social Media at National Geographic Education, stressed the importance of knowing your audience. Once she was able to create two separate social media plans for Nat Geo Education’s Facebook and Twitter, Jennifer saw the brand’s overall social engagement increase 3300%. Prior to this, Nat Geo Education’s social presence was “sporadic at best”, and entirely self promotional. Jennifer explained that social media works best when it’s used as an engagement tool, not a marketing tool. Amanda Hite, Co-founder of BTC Revolutions, suggested that by engaging brand enthusiasts, they become natural ambassadors and can do more than an entire marketing team, which is exactly what she did when promoting No Kid Hungry‘s Giving Tuesday campaign. The power of social media is essentially word of mouth, as users place more trust in their peers than brands, and can ultimately smell ingenuity from the first tweet.
Steve Wick, Founder and CEO of FanNewscast, mentioned that in 2011, time spent on social media surpassed all of dot-com. Read that again. Time spent on social media surpassed all of dot-com. This fact is the sole reason why Wick and his associates have invested all of their efforts into social media and native advertising, which was another popular topic for the Social Business panel. Wick has seen a trend shift to native advertising, specifically in-stream advertising. Nearly all of the panelists mentioned native advertising and personalization as “the next big thing” and the trend to look out for in 2014.
For several years (and many years to come), the be-all and end-all of social media is Facebook. Lou Kerner, Co-founder of The Social Internet Fund, put it this way: “Facebook is the second internet. Anything that happens off of Facebook, will then come to Facebook.” This rings true for users who share their photos and thoughts on the site daily as well as advertisers. Kerner and Wix both predicted a shift in ad dollars from display to Facebook in order to reach consumers where they are (nod to the native and in-stream advertising discussed earlier). It’s no secret that Facebook has the ability to target you brand’s ads to the Nth degree based on consumers online behavior. Most consumers aren’t aware that Facebook is also working with several companies to collect your offline buying habits and personality, which will intensify the capabilities of Facebook advertising, making “traditional” digital display outdated and ineffective.
The Integration (and Separation) of Social Media and PR
The moderator of the Social Media for Customer Service panel, The Wharton School’s Sr. Director of New Media Stefan Frank, pointed out that 50-75% of social media managers are still part of larger PR and communications teams. From proactive blogger relations to crisis management, PR and social media teams work collaboratively as close partners, even if they are not one intertwined team. Those who work with or serve as part of social media teams will not be surprised by this, but the fact of the matter is that this can be both an asset and a detriment to social media strategies, if not managed properly. While many PR strategies focus on specifically-worded answers to customer inquiries or problems, the canned response is met with disdain in the social sphere.
Still, that doesn’t mean that elements of traditional PR fall by the wayside in a technologically modern world. As Bianca Buckridee, VP of Social Media Operations for JPMorgan Chase, explained during the panel, it’s crucial for PR teams to communicate with social media teams regarding buzzworthy events (from both a content strategy perspective and community management perspective), as well as anticipating and planning for positive and negative reactions across different media. This doesn’t mean latching onto one canned response for the duration of an event, however. Brian Mook, AVP Social Media at Barclaycard US, said that his team often crafts several different ways to communicate the same message, so that customers don’t lash out about being served the same response repeatedly. It seems like a no-brainer, but you might be shocked to see how few brands actually utilize this simple tactic. In fact, those varied and personalized responses are the primary way in which social media and PR strategies diverge when it comes to customer service. Buckridee emphasized that at JPMorgan Chase, they have (and use) brand and conversation guidelines for customer service issues, but the most important thing is that their team members’ personalities shine through. They, after all, are the voice of the brand for each customer – and that voice needs to have a human touch. Personalized responses may sometimes require a little background research (and almost-daily coaching and education to determine which responses work best), but the pay-off of having a happy customer is so worth it.
In fact, The Wharton School’s Frank pointed out that, “You can delight people the most in a crisis because they expect to be let down.” But what do social teams need to do before and during crises in order to delight, rather than dismay? As Dennis Stoutenburgh, Co-Founder of Social Strategy1, explains, it’s about using social media tools to anticipate reactions or issues and to communicate with the larger team to proactively reach out or to provide valuable reactions to those issues. “Social care can be the early warning system that helps to create a good coordinated effort.” Once an issue has reached crisis-level, American Airlines’ Sr. Analyst, Social Communications Katy Phillips, emphasizes three things: honesty about the situation and what it means for customers, delivering timely updates, and (perhaps most surprisingly) knowing when to let the crisis go.
As David Berkowitz, CMO at MRY, put it in a later panel on content and communities, “Real-time marketing [or response, for that matter] is too late.” That’s exactly what the day’s #SMLA13 sessions were all about: the need to anticipate, predict, and respond in strategic, delightful ways for customers and stakeholders, alike.
What was your favorite part of the conference? Did anything surprise you? Share your comments below!
A New Life For ‘UnLitter Us’/in Account Service, Agency, Creative, Digital, Feature, Media, News, PR /by Webmaster
In 2010, the Philadelphia Streets Department was looking for a campaign to inspire residents to take action and rid the city of litter. We were proud to deliver the UnLitter Us campaign, but to us, it was more than a campaign; it was a movement to inspire a mindset change and motivate anti-litter behaviors.
The UnLitter Us movement has been a steady presence throughout Philadelphia since its 2010 launch. In 2011, the program saw heightened visibility for the program message and strengthened partnerships in what we call the “UnLitter Us Network,” a group of involved and prominent community groups and city organizations who are all working together toward the common goal of a litter-free city. In 2012, we continued to promote, integrate and socialize the program, engaging with residents at several points of contact. However, we realized that in order for the City to reach its litter-free potential, the UnLitter Us program would have to grow and evolve into a new, more actionable campaign.
Enter the 2013 UnLitter Us program, a time to celebrate, authenticate, galvanize and support. The 2013 UnLitter Us program approach focuses on two key areas: 1) Telling the stories of real Philadelphians and their efforts to clean and improve their neighborhoods and 2) informing and educating the citizenry on current City and partner programs that are impacting our City in positive ways.
By featuring the real work being done to create cleaner streets, neighborhood improvements, and stronger communities, we introduce authenticity to the message and make action a tangible thing. The simple, clear-cut way we do this is through the evolution of the UnLitter Us rally cry; shifting the tagline from “Join the Movement” to “Join Me.”
To reach a wide audience, we leveraged our message in the following spaces:
Street presence on bus exteriors:
Broad exposure on other out-of-home units:
Subway platform posters
Bus window clings
Streaming pre-roll video, leveraged on social media and web:
Online Display Banners and Web Takeovers:
Strong social media presence to voice the UnLitter Us “rally cry”:
So what do you say? Join Me. UnLitter Us.