Legistics site wins Gold Communicator Award

trophy_goldOnce again, our website for Legistics has been recognized by an international design competition. We’ve received a gold Award of Excellence from the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards. Our site was selected from among some 6,000 entries, as one of just four to be honored in the Law and Legal Services category.

“The work entered…serves as a benchmark in gauging the innovative ideas and capabilities of communications and marketing professionals around the world. Each year, our entrants continue to amaze by reinventing the ways we communicate and market in an ever-changing industry.” noted Linda Day, executive director of the AIVA, the organization that sanctions and judges the competition. The Academy of Interactive and Visual Art is an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms.

Congrats to our talented team: creative director Josh Freeman, designer Anat Rodan, writer Emily Hutta, videographers Joel Lipton & Carlos Gutierrez and developer Stephen Slater. Huzzah!

Legistics website wins Davey Award

davey_silver_thumbOur new website for Legistics, Inc. has been recognized with a Silver Award in a major international design competition. The 11th Annual Davey Awards are issued by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. With nearly 4,000 entries from across the US and around the world, the Davey Awards honors the finest creative work from the best small agencies, firms, and companies worldwide (hence the name, based on David and Goliath).

The Davey Awards is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Code and Theory, Condé Nast, Disney, GE, Keller Crescent, Microsoft, Monster.com, MTV, Push., Publicis, Sesame Workshops, The Marketing Store, Worktank, Yahoo!, and many others.

Many thanks to our visionary client, Legistics – and especially CEO Phil Frengs – who let us take a powerful idea and run with it. And congratulations to our talented team: designer Anat Rodan, writer Emily Hutta, videographers Joel Lipton and Carlos Gutierrez and developer Stephen Slater. Awesome job!

New FreeAssociates site

Come on down! We’ve launched our new and improved website today. And we’d love to share it with you.

We invite your comments and suggestions. Thanks for your interest, your support and your friendship. We can’t do this without you.


40 years of practice makes perfect

No, not me. Apple.

Here’s an amazing archive of 40 years of Apple advertising. It took them a while to get it right, but when they did — wow!

Apple ad from 1976

Apple ad from 1976

It’s fun to see how a company with ideas this innovative, this targeted, this elegantly simple, still had to struggle through a whole lot of mediocre concepts to find their voice. Then, of course, in 1981, they hired Chiat/Day. And the earth shook.

Back in the Dark Ages, I did some computer programming. Just a dab of Fortran on those hideous punchcard-driven mainframes they had at UCLA. I thought it was something I ought to know about. But an Apple II was the first personal computer I ever got my hands on. One of my business partners bought it for himself  — he didn’t bring it to the office, since there wasn’t yet anything you could do with it that we needed. Or so we thought. But when he showed me VisiCalc (the precursor to Lotus 123 and Excel) I was blown away. We tend to forget the horrible experience of running estimates through an adding machine, then typing them up by hand. Then having to change one figure and re-doing everything. Auuggh!

Apple changed everything. They realized you had to design the whole computing experience. They introduced us to the graphical interface. They brought us the mouse. Safe to say, there would be no Windows without Apple. But even more than that, they made using a computer fun.

And their advertising reflects all that. “1984” was as cool a commercial as the Macintosh was a computer. The simple ads where translucent, colorful iMacs are arranged like a flower transformed how people perceived the entire category. The iPod billboards were knockouts in their graphic impact and unspoken message of utter coolness. And I can’t wait to watch the new “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” TV spots.

What a treat to be able to look back on this stuff all in one place and revel in all the captured genius.

Audiobook rave

As quite a few of you know, I’m a huge fan of audio books. If I’m not on my cell phone in my car (and we’re no longer supposed to be doing that, are we?) I’m usually listening to a podcast or an audio book. It’s like watching a movie while you drive, without the sticky floor and the lady with the tall hair sitting in front of you.

I’m just on the verge of finishing Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, which is read by the British comedian Lenny Henry. It’s a fascinating, part fantasy, part horror, part parable, very funny, charming adventure about a very normal guy who discovers he’s the son of a god…and that he has a long-lost brother. The world Gaiman creates is a joy to inhabit. Which, I suppose, is why it was on the bestseller lists for so long.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve been enjoying it. I think I’m going to listen to it again with my family while we’re on vacation!

If you’re not a subscriber to Audible.com, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. If you log on here (MacBreak Weekly’s link) or here (MacCast’s link) you get a free audiobook when you sign up.

AbilityFirst Capital Campaign

Developmentally disabled kids come from all walks of life. But the one thing they all need is a shot at becoming the best they can be.

AbilityFirst Capital Campaign logoSounds trite, I know. But it’s true. And our client, AbilityFirst, gives them that shot.

Unfortunately, their facility in Inglewood, California, is too small and too old to do the job. (Kind of like my French teacher in high school.) So AbilityFirst is putting together a capital campaign. And guess who’s helping them by designing the identity package, brochure, and other communications tools?

Yep. Us. 

The theme is Building Independence. Celebrating Community. And the goal is to raise $5 million to build a new Joan and Harry A. Mier Center so that the job of educating, training and housing disabled kids and adults, and offering support and counseling for their families, can continue. So far, so good.

AbilityFirst (which used to be known as the Crippled Children’s Society) can be explored here. Wonderful folks doing wonderful work.

90,000 Run/Walkers and us

We love our work. But when our work can help change people’s lives, we love it even more.

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, 50,000 people gathered in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park to support research for a cure for breast and ovarian cancers. It was the 15th annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women — and the 10th year of our involvement as design and advertising agency for the event.

A week earlier, 40,000 New Yorkers ran and walked from Times Square to Central Park for the Revlon Run/Walk there. And we handled all the marketing materials for that event as well.

Revlon Run/Walk home page By the time the pledges are in next month, these two 2008 events will have raised some $6 million to fund research in the ongoing battle with women’s cancers. All in all, the RRWW has generated more than $50 million, and has helped fund development of the drug Herceptin that has saved the lives of tens of thousands of women around the world.

From website to signage, from t-shirts to ad campaigns, from videos to victory medallions, FreeAssociates helped The Davis Group in Los Angeles and Rehage Entertainment in New York get the word out. We are thrilled to have been a part of this mind-boggling bi-coastal event.

Karito Kids rock the mouse

Kid Power 2008
Breakout campaign of the year? Wow!
We just found out our client, KidsGive, was awarded top honors at Kid Power 2008 in Orlando, FL! We beat out Kelloggs and a whole bunch of other kid-centered companies with our launch of the new line of dolls and books, Karito Kids.

Sure, these ethnically accurate, international dolls are gorgeously sculpted, the books are a joy to read, and the fashions are truly cool. But there’s an even more important part of the concept: it gets kids exposed to giving. 3% of the purchase price of every Karito Kids purchase goes towards the international children’s charity, Plan. When little girls take them home, they get involved on-line — playing great games, earning extra points and directing the donation to one of four areas: school, home, health or food. 

So, here’s what the Kid Power site says about the awards:

The Kid Power Awards have been established to honor, recognize and promote the most innovative Kid’s and Families Marketing Campaign. To identify these organizations and individuals, the Kid Power Xchange has enlisted a prestigious list of recognized industry leaders to accurately and objectively evaluate your campaign.

This one’s in addition to the 16 or so awards they’ve already captured in their first year of operation, including the prestigious Oppenheim award and being named No. 1 Toy of the Year by Family Fun.

We are so proud of our talented team of creatives — Kevin, Wendy, Anat and Janina  — and of our amazing, visionary client, that we had to let you know about it. Here’s a link to the KidsGive site. (Yep, we designed that, too.)

BAI Retail Delivery

Just got approval to move ahead with our new campaign for this year’s Retail Delivery Conference & Expo. The theme is “Where innovation meets action” and it’s all about how the banking industry can use fresh thinking to survive and even profit during the current (and coming) economic doldrums.  Wendy Tigerman and I developed the overall direction. She’s writing. Anat Rodan is designing the materials.

We kick it off with a new print ad, then we’ll be doing web ads, direct mail, and video concepts for the event itself. It’s the largest industry conference & expo in — I  think — the world and we are thrilled to be working on it for our third year.