Making a Fashion Statement: Place d’Orléans Spring Campaign

Spring and fashion just naturally go together. That’s why the spring campaign for Place d’Orléans showcases the latest trends defining the spring season. And — from tangerine and polka dots to colour blocking and coloured denim — you can find them all at Place d’Orléans.

This season, we took the photo shoot out of the studio and into a private residence, bringing home just how accessible the new looks are for any lifestyle.

To make the campaign pop, BSL created print, radio and transit advertising, plus in-mall signage. We’re also harnessing a growing array of social media platforms, including new addition Pinterest. You can also check out elements of the campaign at Facebook, Twitter and placedorleans.com.

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Making a Splash at the 2012 Iridium Partner Conference

When you think of Hawaii, chances are that swaying palm trees, pristine beaches, and swim-up bars are the first things to come to mind. Exhibit halls, executive presentations and professional networking likely never come into it.

On February 7-10, Iridium Communications Inc. managed to combine them all seamlessly when it hosted one of the satellite industry’s most coveted conferences in Oahu aided by a significant team from Banfield-Seguin Ltd.

The three-day Iridium Partner Conference, which took place at the spectacular JW Marriott, Ihliani Ko Olina, offered more than 350 attendees the opportunity to gain insight into Iridium’s growth, product innovations and financial health. 40 exhibitors were also able to take advantage of a forum to discuss their latest Iridium-enabled solutions.

Iridium strategically positioned the 2012 Iridium Partner Conference as a professional event with plenty of return on investment for partners, and enlisted BSL to help articulate a new identity for the event. What started as a passionate discussion and a few sketches on a napkin soon evolved into a conference name, acronym, messaging and logo.

Everywhere is Here was born.

The new identity played off the global company’s corporate mark, Iridium Everywhere, with proof points of Here for Business, Here for Innovation and Here to Connect.

In the months leading up to the Conference, the Everywhere is Here identity, visual approach and messaging were implemented across a central webpage on Iridium.com. The login-protected page served up information regarding the conference, positioned it as a valuable business investment and hosted HTML forms where partners could register to attend, exhibit or do both. Creative themes were also displayed in interactive header graphics.

With registration rates surpassing expectations in November and December, the pressure was on to deliver an expertly marketed event. In close collaboration with Iridium, we went to work creating, designing, copywriting, editing, producing and outsourcing production requirements.

The outcome was an impressive array of strategically and visually stunning branded deliverables including all manor of signage, 5 videos, 50 executive and break-out session PowerPoints, electronic communications, displays, print collateral, …*gasp for air*… agenda, exhibitor guide, social media editorial calendar and branded giveaways.

Instead of third-party outsourcing, BSL — with our expanding video capabilities — was also tasked with of the on-site filming and shooting at this year’s event. Our crew of three photographers roamed the premises and attended evening events, snapping over 7,000 images. Testimonial videos were filmed in a dedicated studio area while product demo videos were captured in the exhibit hall.

Feedback for the event was overwhelmingly positive — and we feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute to its success. Now we can’t wait to see what Iridium has in store for its partners — and us! — at the 2013 Iridium Partner Conference in Panama!


11 Things You Need to Know about Pinterest

1. How does it work? You join, you surf the web, and you "pin" things you're interested in. Then Pinterest helps you choose the best image, and voilà... it becomes a “pin” on Pinterest.com for those who share your passion to enjoy!

2. It's a very visually oriented social media tool. It’s a social bookmarking tool with pictures and a wicked layout.

3. You could call it "pine-" terest. Members pin pictures of things (and people) that they pine over - think Ryan Gosling, chocolate cake and those great new yoga jeans.

4. It's growing very fast – Pinterest had 104 million visits in March 2012, putting it in third place for most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter (and ahead of Google +, LinkedIn, Flickr, Picassa).

5. Pinterest has achieved 10,000,000 members faster than any start up in US history.

6. Recently, 97% of all Pinterest fans on Facebook are women, and about 60% of Pinterest users in the US are women.

7. Pinterest drives more referral traffic to websites than Google+, YouTube and LInkedIn combined.

8. It's used by brands such as Gap - Pillsbury - Whole Foods - UNICEF.

9. You can use it for your brand to promote your best (and most photogenic) products and services.

10. If you’re going to use Pinterest, be careful to add value to the Pinterest user experience through what you’re advertising. You’ll turn Pinterest users off with shameless self-promotion.

11. You can give your brand personality with Pinterest. Pin stuff your brand is interested in. Design company? Pin beautiful art and design. Travel company? Pin images of remote locations.


Prepare to Interface: UI/UX Designer Craig Hooper joins BSL

We’re pleased to welcome Craig Hooper to the BSL team as our new UI/UX Designer. What does that mean? User Interface/User Experience Designer. Okay, but what — exactly — does that mean? It means he makes websites better and easier to use for those who actually use them. 

And he’s awesome at it. 

Craig excels at delivering design solutions that provide the end-user with smart, elegant, memorable, and intuitive online experiences, while solving specific problems and meeting business objectives at the same time. His talent for process, layout, conceptualization, typography, and design thinking clearly shows through in his work. 

Craig comes to us with nine years of experience as a professional interaction designer. You name it, he’s done it. He’s plied his trade at agencies, as a freelancer, and as a partner in his own design studio. He’s designed for virtually every sector and industry you can think of. 

And now he’s at BSL, ready to take on the next UI/UX challenge. Maybe yours?


Getting our Right Brains Turned On at the OFF Conference

At BSL, we’re always hunting for the latest trends and techniques. We read blogs, subscribe to magazines, take part in training seminars — all in an effort to find the best, most creative solutions to meet our clients’ marketing and communication needs. 

Image: Infopresse via Flickr
As part of this quest for “what’s next,” BSL recently attended OFF, the first annual conference on the future of creativity and innovation in business, presented by Infopresse at the Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal. 

Here are some of our key takeaways from the daylong meeting of the minds:

First, according to INSEAD professor and Harvard Business Review author Hal Gregersen, it seems that only 33% of human creativity comes from our genes. For Gregersen, this means that anyone, in any profession, can learn to be creative in their own way under the right conditions. In other words,
“It is possible for creativity to be “forced” and fed. You just have to know how to think differently. And to think differently, you have to act differently. And to do that, you have to talk to people who are different from you. You have to be curious, observe and make connections that others don’t see.” 
Others, like Yannick Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, believe that creativity is a much more complex and delicate thing to achieve, especially at the organizational level. “It cannot be simply integrated, it must be lived on an everyday basis. It is not implemented, but rather revealed,” said Mallat. And this starts with an organizational culture that embraces disruptive elements and makes breaking from the status quo a part of the daily routine. 

For many companies, the challenge with making a commitment to this kind of game-changing creativity is time — or the lack of it. For Francois Lacoursière, Senior Partner at Sid Lee, the solution is to "develop processes that favor speed and efficiency" for less creative tasks, like answering emails for example. If done diligently, this should free up more time to spend on what Lacoursière sees as the basis for innovation: non-linear work, collaboration, idea clashing and experimentation. 

Image: by Infopresse via Flickr
This organic, trial-and-error approach is also endorsed by Patrick Beauduin, Executive Director of radio at Radio-Canada (the French CBC). “The important thing is often not the results you get, but the path you take to get there,” explained Beauduin. “You have to tolerate error, and put your trust in it, because a failure can still be a success in the long run.” 

In the end, based on everything we heard at OFF, it seems that unlocking creativity and innovation, both at the individual and the organizational level, boils down to confidence. It requires a judgment-free environment where risk-taking is rewarded, where people actively listen to each other, and where a strong sense of trust and togetherness exists amongst team members. 

We hope that this information will get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to “run towards tension,” as Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen put it during his presentation. 

Maybe you can start by identifying one thing you can do differently — right now — to make creativity a bigger part of your work/ company/ life? 

We would love to hear what that would be. And to help you make it happen. 

For a video recap of the OFF Conference, visit: http://www.infopresse.tv/videos/off-2012

For a photostream of the event, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/infopresse/off-2012


Getting marketers re-thinking at MARCOM

The MARCOM Professional Development Forum will take place at the Ottawa Convention Centre on May 15 and 16, 2012. BSL was proud to work in partnership with CEPSM, who produces the event, to develop the Forum’s theme design again this year.

Because this year’s event is all about doing things differently, BSL developed a bright, mind-opening concept centered on “Rewiring the Marketing Mind”. The concept communicates the reality that public sector marketers can no longer settle for what has been done in the past.

“At this year’s conference,
we want to challenge participants to re-think marketing and communications initiatives, given our current environment. We want the theme to foster discussion around leveraging new technology, discovering new methods, and creating new frameworks for our work. BSL always does great strategic and creative work for us and this year is no exception.” Said Claire Mills, Vice-President, Professional Development for CEPSM.

MARCOM is the premiere educational forum for public and not-for-profit marketers and communicators. It is a great opportunity to discuss pressing issues and interests with subject matter experts. To learn more and register, click here.


Southeast Ontario Counties to Adopt New Branding Developed by BSL

Cornwall, Ontario – April 16, 2012 - The council for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry have approved a logo design developed by BSL. “The Counties SDG” logo is comprised of a bold SDG acronym and bright colour strips representing each of the counties' 6 townships.

“The brand strategy we developed for the region leverages its many strengths, including accessibility and opportunity.” said Christina Flavell, Director of Marketing Strategy for BSL.

“The colour choices were inspired by the river, agricultural land and sky. They symbolize the pure nature, energy and vitality of the region, while the wave shapes represent strong, upward momentum and growth.” said Senior Designer and Associate Creative Director Peter Mulder, who designed the logo.

Looking for a fresh perspective, the SD&G Economic Development Working Group contracted BSL in the spring of 2011 to develop a unified brand strategy, name and design. The objective of the branding project was to increase awareness of the three counties and enhance positive perceptions among key external target audiences - particularly those focused on tourism and economic development.

With the name and logo design approved, BSL will now provide tag line recommendations, additional designs for specific marketing materials, templates and a brand strategy guidelines book, as part of the branding project.


Truth in Advertising: NAC Orchestra 2012-2013 Season Video

When we do work for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, we usually emphasize how amazing it is to experience live music. And with good reason — not only is it a key differentiator for the Orchestra, it has the added benefit of being absolutely true. There really is nothing quite like it.

In marketing terms, this is known as a slam-dunk.

But don’t take our word for it. To launch the 2012-13 Season, we created a video featuring testimonials from actual NAC Orchestra patrons. They speak passionately and in their own words about their love of and connection to live music. They use words like “chills” and “butterflies”, and phrases like “powerful moments” and “brought to tears” — and they mean them.

What’s so special about classical music? It’s timeless. It’s emotional. It’s cerebral. It’s personal. And it can be transformative. Subscriber Ann Ketchenson sums it up this way, “It’s music that was written to be live. And I guess it brings you to life, too… if you listen to it.”

Along with testimonials, the 3-minute bilingual video contains upcoming season highlights. It is also being used on the NAC website, and before each remaining 2011-12 concert to inspire, spark musical memories, and drive subscriptions.