December 11, 2013
If there’s one thing the EIM team has in common, it’s our love for a great home-cooked meal. Pair that with great company and a competition, and you’ve got the EIM Chili Cook-Off!
Meet our brave and talented chili chefs!
Beth: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
Mickey: Pork Shoulder Beer Chili
Marissa: White Chicken Chili
Don: Spicy Pumpkin Rib Eye Chili
I can personally attest to the sheer wonderfulness of each creation. Therefore, being a judge was not easy! Judges carefully ranked each cup of chili on five criteria: aroma, texture, eye appeal, taste and after-taste.
Once the judging was complete, we devoured the delicious delights with ease, enjoying the unique flavors and trying to figure out how we could re-create each masterpiece in our own kitchens. Then we anxiously awaited the announcement of the winning chili!
And the winner is….Mickey!
Envisionit’s Chili Cook-Off was a big success. In fact, we’re already thinking about what home-cooked meal we can serve up next!
December 3, 2013
As a digital agency, we have a lot of media to analyze. And it’s just our luck that the Internet is a constantly changing wave of user behavior, architecture and data complexity. However, one thing never changes – giving good data to smart people leads to good ideas.
So when we needed a new data analyst, we looked for a data and ideas person. Not an easy combo! After searching high and low, we would like to welcome Kirsten Keefe to the Envisionit Media family.
Kirsten was most recently an SEO analyst at TMP Worldwide where she used behavior analysis to help a global client attract the best people to their open positions. Prior to that, she worked in Ireland doing market research for WINSENT – The Wales Ireland Network for Social Entrepreneurship. This program brought together great minds and great hearts to build a culture of social entrepreneurship. Each project distilled a host of intricate data into actionable and effective solutions.
Data-crunching, globetrotting, idea-generating rigor? Needless to say, we were impressed.
A very short interview with Kirsten:
If you could trade places with someone for one day, who would it be and why?
Stevie Nicks because I love Fleetwood Mac.
Ed. Note – We’re going to remember that on karaoke night.
Fill in the blank: I can cook ______________.
An amazing apple pie.
November 14, 2013
When it comes to the crowded frozen pizza category, or really any category, it is key to identify and embrace your unfair competitive advantage. Luckily for Home Run Inn, they’ve been establishing theirs for over 80 years – all natural and fresh since the first pie came off the line. This promise of integrity is consistently delivered from their nine Chicagoland pizzerias to the thousands of frozen pizzas sold across the nation.
As we re-approached Home Run Inn’s digital properties, we immediately acknowledged that their story needed to evolve. While the history of this beloved brand has always been a hallmark, the need to leverage their competitive advantage was immediately identified as a significant opportunity.
Derived from their brand promise, Envisionit worked collaboratively with Home Run Inn to develop a narrative that can extend into their social and marketing initiatives. We aligned their site architecture with the new content strategy to interweave their history and commitment to fresh ingredients, allowing us to deliver our brand promise throughout the site. The evolved look and feel matches the visual tone established by the new locations while the responsive design allows visitors to order online or find a retailer on any device they choose.
With the new site launched, we continue working with Home Run Inn to expand their visibility and grow a loyal following. Check out the video below and get a taste for what this family-owned testament to deliciousness has been serving up for 80 years and counting!
November 5, 2013
To be a great graphic designer, you not only need ample talent but also a great eye for trends. That’s one of the reasons we brought on Caryn Jendro. She started in graphic design because of her love of the arts. Combined with her whip-crack sharp business sense, she turned out to be our ideal designer.
Caryn recently moved up to Chicago from Dallas where she had designed for Tribal DDB, TraceyLocke, and JCPenney HQ. Projects included a Super Bowl sweepstakes with Pepsi, Lays and Xbox called Match Snap Win that was so successful they extended it to this year’s MLB All-Star Game.
But what does she really remember as a high point?
“I got the chance to art direct a video series for the American Heart Association. It was about simple cooking for the heart and showed different healthy recipes. What really made it special was that one of the actresses actually had a heart condition, so the final product ended up feeling really connected to the issues we were tackling.”
Check out the video for Oven Baked Chicken and Steamed Squash.
An eye for art? Broad experience? A passion for authenticity? Sounds like the design trifecta.
A very short interview with Caryn:
What’s the one thing everyone should know about you?
I don’t have a middle name.
Fill in the blank: I can cook ________________
A mean artichoke three different ways.
October 29, 2013
No matter what your business, a fierce competitor is always just a few clicks away. A key step in thwarting that abandonment is by building your influence, but the recipe isn’t simple. It takes the right design, copy, product and tone. That’s why we picked Webs of Influence by Nathalie Nahai as our latest Book Club book. It reinforced a lot of what we knew and expanded our understanding of ways to develop a brand’s influence online.
Here are some key takeaways:
Design for your Customer
Influence is not universal. What influences one type of person may not influence another, so the demographics of your customer plays a crucial role in the design, content, and architecture decisions for a brand’s website. Much research has been done on how different types of people – even entire countries – react to the many design elements of a website.
For instance, Nahai cited studies that ranked countries on an individualist to collectivist spectrum. The United States is a highly individualist country. So it favors websites that reward individual actions, incite personal opinions and highlight individuality in the message, tone and design. But if your website is intended for the Chinese – a highly collectivist culture – an emphasis on group actions and universal rules will increase effectiveness.
Test, Optimize, and Repeat
Data should be at the heart of your decisions. If your website isn’t converting well, there are many different ways to analyze why users are dropping off.
Eye- and click-tracking software gives amazing insights into the effectiveness of a website’s design. Once employed, these testing methods can help you tweak your site to direct the user’s focus to the call to action. You may find that different colors or simple adjustments to design elements improve conversion. But you won’t know if you don’t test, optimize, and repeat.
read the full story...
October 3, 2013
One of the most gratifying things about agency life is seeing our clients do amazing things. Last weekend our client Bright Pink raised over $450,000 during their annual fundraiser, FabFest. The donations will fund efforts to increase breast and ovarian cancer awareness.
Chicago’s very own E! News star and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic hosted the event, which focused on the health and wellness of participants. Through high-energy workouts, beauty consultations, health education, and goal-setting workshops, FabFest helped these young women proactively take control of their health – a founding tenet of Bright Pink.
Working with clients that spend their time and resources helping people live happier and healthier lives inspires us to capture their positive energy in our own work.
For more info on supporting Bright Pink’s FabFest, visit the fundraising site by 5:00pm on Friday, Oct. 4 to help out.
September 26, 2013
Today it was announced that one of Envisionit’s clients, payment platform Braintree, was acquired by eBay for $800 million in cash. We would like to be one of the first to congratulate them.
From their beginnings in 2007 in a small office in Chicago to today’s 200-plus person team, Braintree has been working tirelessly to empower the online and mobile payments space–both in developing tools, and by providing a level of service unheard of in the industry. Now, they bring those tools of innovation and commitment to customer service to a partnership with PayPal to help established businesses and fledgling entrepreneurs the world over.
In a blog post on Braintree’s website, CEO Bill Ready expressed the continuation of Braintree’s mission. “The entrepreneurs and developers of the world have only just begun to build an entire next generation of commerce experiences and we want to give them all the tools and support they need to do so.”
We are proud to have helped the entire Braintree team bring their message and services to the world–from the smallest mobile banner ad to an all-encompassing international online presence.
Braintree, on its way to handling more than $12 billion in online and mobile payments this year, will operate as a separate service within PayPal while expanding their reach and continuing to develop new ways for businesses to grow.
A heartfelt “congratulations” to everyone at Braintree.
September 4, 2013
Account Managers hold one of the most critical roles at Envisionit: Knowing our clients thoroughly and ensuring their needs are met by the different internal teams. They’re a key component in building brands and the work isn’t easy. Staying abreast of the latest digital trends and opportunities for clients often keeps the lamp oil burning late into the night.
But now that Nicole works in our office, we know that late nights aren’t the only option. Ever the early-riser, she’s usually three hours into her workday when the rest of the office starts arriving. And her early-to-rise habits have had some impressive results.
She once worked on a campaign for Carnation Breakfast Essentials where the client wanted to grow their online database of contacts by running a sweepstakes where the winner would receive six months of free product. Traditionally, a campaign that builds a digital database would be exclusively digital, but Nicole and her team thought beyond that.
Families everywhere need quick, simple and healthy breakfasts. So they took the campaign to where families went like jazz festivals and state fairs. By combining the digital campaign with a rich experiential program, they shattered the expected 25k new contacts by growing the database by 750k contacts. No misprint there – that’s 18,750% above expectations!
That’s exactly the sort of results we love to see from our account team. Now if we could just get used to the 5 am emails…
A very short interview with Nicole…
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I once ran over a squirrel and felt so bad that I wrapped it up and took it to a vet. They looked at me laughed and then felt bad when they saw that I was in hysterics. So basically, you can say I am seriously empathetic to animals of all kind… but not insects!
read the full story...
August 28, 2013
The specter of cancer is very real in our society, but to a small percentage of the population who carry a mutation on the BRCA1 gene, the risk is particularly worse. This mutation increases the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by 87% and ovarian cancer by 54%. The good news is that medical science can now easily test for this mutation so people who carry it can take preventative measures.
That’s where Bright Pink comes in. Lindsay Avner, the non-profit’s founder and a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation, found a severe lack of resources for healthy women who want to proactively reduce their risk. This realization during her own journey to protect her health led to the creation of Bright Pink – an organization that has built a support community devoted to helping young women learn, prevent and overcome cancer. Or, in her own words:
“Being Bright Pink is all about being bright, being smart, being positive and being in control of your breast and ovarian health.”
One-on-one support, a technique that Bright Pink uses, is also employed by another non-profit helping with those who have cancer – Imerman Angels. This organization was also started, perhaps not surprisingly, by another young person directly affected by cancer to add to the spectrum of cancer services.
At 26 years old, Jonny Imerman was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Despite the support he received from doctors, nurses and his family and friends, he lacked someone who truly understood how the disease and treatment felt physically and emotionally. Only someone who had been through the same battle could help him in that way. He needed a mentor who was a cancer survivor.
read the full story...
August 14, 2013
Navigating the shifts in the digital advertising technology landscape takes the mind of a virtual Magellan. We found the perfect mix of broad knowledge and heat-of-the-moment brilliance in Azra Grudic. She comes to us most recently from Havas Media and has done work for some illustrious brands including Scotts Miracle Gro, Sports Authority, Carhartt, Cadillac, Buick, and Panasonic.
Among the feathers in her cap, working on Panasonic’s Pin it to Win it Purewow campaign still brings her pride. As one of the first Pinterest campaigns, Panasonic partnered with PureWow for a “Photo of the Year” contest that drew over 10,000 submissions and 40,000 repins!
Did we mention she speaks 5 languages too? If you’re in the office, be sure you say hi, hallo, cao, zdravo, or Ћао. (That’s English, German, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, respectively.)
A very short interview with Azra:
The cartoon character most like me is…
Goofy because he is clumsy, silly and has a good heart (plus he looks like my twin)
Three things I can’t live without are…
Family, tea and music.