By, Subrina Hudson
Costa Mesa-based marketing and public relations firm Idea Hall wrapped up a rebranding effort for client Ready Capital Corp. (NYSE: RC), a New York-based commercial real estate investment trust, previously known as Sutherland Asset Management Corp.
The project included creating a new company name, logo, ticker symbol, website, creative style guide and brand evolution video.
Idea Hall Group Director of Account Services Dave MacLeod said in a statement that Ready Capital challenged the firm to help unify “its disparate business lines under one brand architecture.”
The company’s logo has the characteristics of a city building at night with its grid of dots mimicking a cube. The dots represent the company’s team members and their relationships, which formed the company’s success, according to Idea Hall.
Ready Capital has more than 400 lending professionals nationwide.
Idea Hall, launched “Brainchild” with the goal of inspiring others to bring their own ideas to life. The series launch coincides with the agency’s 15th anniversary. It’s available for viewing via Brainchild’s website and this Vimeo channel.
Each short video features one idea creator and shows their creative process, vision and execution. The first in the series features David Gonzalez, president and founder of World of Dance, with HQ in Fullerton. This TV show — based on the original, live, dance events — just wrapped up its second season.
Future installments include Don Hahn, the executive producer of Disneynature films and the producer behind award-winning films like “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the first animated film to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture; the founders of Dogeared jewelry, with HQ in Culver City; and the creators of Early Warning Labs, which created an earthquake warning system and has HQ in Santa Monica.
“We believe in the power of ideas and want to grant people permission to find inspiration in any place, especially the unexpected,” said Rebecca Hall, CEO of Idea Hall. “We hope Brainchild motivates people to follow their own passions and discover new ideas.”
Idea Hall is an award-winning, independent, creative agency that works with B2B and consumer clients in realms including commercial real estate, banking and nonprofits.
Its services include branding, advertising, public relations, website, digital, video and virtual reality.
By Subrina Hudson
Monday, October 15, 2018
Professional race car driver Collete Davis hits the gas in the latest spots for Kia Motor America. The Irvine-based automaker released its latest marketing push for the 2019 Kia Forte, which began arriving in showrooms last month.
The car starts at around $17,700.
The ad campaign includes three 30-second television spots meant to show how the Forte has “transformed from a basic commuter into one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles.”
Through September, Kia sold about 75,000 Fortes, representing about 17% of total U.S. sales. Forte is the company’s fourth best-selling brand so far this year, trailing Sorento, Optima and Soul.
Forte sales are down about 18% year-over-year through September.
One spot, “Forte vs. Forte,” shows Davis speeding down a track, then driving up a ramp to soar above another Forte fashioned into a drift car covered in Red Bull’s logo.
Vice President of Marketing Communications Saad Chehab said in a statement that the campaign screams “look at me” and that the brand is “delivering an entirely new take on what many people see as a daily commuter car.”
Kia also collaborated with Red Bull to develop a three-part YouTube series hosted by Davis and Red Bull drivers Joe and Elias Hountondji. The video series shows how a specially designed Forte drift car was built and includes on-track testing. There’s also a long video version showcasing Davis’ jump from inside and outside of the Forte.
Costa Mesa-based marketing and public relations agency Idea Hall wants to recognize great ideas with its project, Brainchild.
The video series, which lives on its own website, brainchild.tv, goes behind the scenes to explore how entrepreneurs and creative leaders find their inspiration and execute ideas.
Chief Executive Rebecca Hall said the agency is committed to being an “engine for great ideas.”
“We’re excited to commemorate our 15th anniversary with the launch of a series that represents our passion as an agency and tells the stories behind some of the greatest ‘brainchildren’ in our community,” she said in a statement.
The first video features World of Dance founder David Gonzalez. The three-minute video produced by Idea Hall shows viewers how Gonzalez and his Fullerton-based company started a NBC reality dance-competition series and how it grew to one of the largest dance competitions, whose winner walks away with a $1 million prize.
It’s received more than 17,000 views on Facebook and reached more than 26,000 people, according to Hall.
Future episodes will feature Executive Producer and Oscar-nominated Don Hahn, whose credits include “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast;” the founders of Culver City jewelry line Dogeared; and Santa Monica-based earthquake-warning system Early Warning Labs.
Irvine-based marketing, consulting and advertising firm Envoy has rebranded itself after acquiring two firms.
The company is now known as Envoy Group after acquiring strategy and design studio Bulldog Drummond in San Diego and creative agency Leviathan in Chicago last month. Terms of both deals were undisclosed.
Envoy Group employs more than 100 people and will offer strategy, design and tech services to clients that include Vizio, Tender Greens, McDonald’s and Verizon.
President Kevin Bauer said the company isn’t going to operate like a traditional holding company.
“Our digital DNA and commitment to flexibility allow us to work beyond the rigid holding company structures of yesterday,” Bauer said in a statement. “We are able to think more like business consultancies and execute more like creative agencies.”
Bauer will lead the new company, while co-founders and brothers Ryan and Russell Rommelfanger will serve as co-executive creative directors. Michael Bennett will serve as managing director of Envoy Group.
Bulldog Drummond founder Shawn Parr will be chief strategy officer at Envoy Group, and Leviathan will continue to be led by founders Chad Huston and Jason White.
Bits & Pieces
Seal Beach-based swimwear label TYR Sport Inc. signed Olympic Gold Medalist and World Championship Medalist Jack Conger. Terms of the sponsorship deal were undisclosed. … Housing data firm Meyers Research in Costa Mesa added Catherine Patience as marketing communications strategist and Todd Ford as senior graphic designer to its newly created marketing team.
CHICAGO — Edelman has named four senior leaders to drive growth in its Chicago office. They are:
• Steve Yuan, named as executive VP , integrated analytics and innovation. He previously was director, global communications planning at Abbott Nutrition where he led advertising strategy and production for key innovation launches.
• Felicia Joy, named senior VP, advisory services. Joy a joins Edelman with 15 years of experience in reputation, crisis and change management, brand expansion, repositioning and more.
• Kris McDermott as senior VP, ecommerce. Most recently, she led the commerce solutions team at Resolution Media, where she was responsible for developing an array of capabilities and solutions within the retail and performance spaces.
• Aniesia Williams as senior VP, brand. Williams has more than a decade of experience across digital and experiential marketing, branding and publicity and has a strong journalism background, working as a freelance editor and regular contributor for Business Insider, Black Enterprise and The Root.
NEW YORK — Jacqueline Wilson, who once served as RF|Binder Partners’ EMEA senior managing director, has returned to the firm as an executive managing director. Wilson (pictured) will report directly to CEO Amy Binder, and lead strategic initiatives for the firm. In this newly created role, her primary responsibilities will include strategic positioning and planning, operational efficiency, talent and culture development, new business development, corporate and public affairs advisory and strategic consulting. Wilson comes most recently from serving as senior managing director and senior advisor at Teneo, where she was a founding member and responsible for special projects for chairman and CEO, Declan Kelly.
NEW YORK — Vested has named Silicon Valley veteran Kevin Trowbridge as chief technology officer. Trowbridge will oversee the development of Vested’s proprietary PR solutions and drive efficiency into the firm’s professional services offerings. Trowbridge, who has significant experience as both a software developer and a project manager, has held leading roles at numerous startups, including The Bold Italic, An Event Apart, Creative Bug, Wheelz, HitRecord and Ariba.
WASHINGTON — Subject Matter has expanded its senior leadership with the addition of Audrey Chang as senior VP, strategic communications. Chang comes to Subject Matter following 17 years at The Harbour Group, the last six of which she spent as managing director. Earlier in her career, Change worked in the Washington offices of Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy Public Relations.
LOS ANGELES — Spotlight Marketing Communications has named Rebecca Cleary, a 15-year financial services marketing communications veteran, managing director. Immediately prior to joining Spotlight, Cleary served as VP, head of corporate communications and marketing for Colony Capital, as which she was responsible for overseeing and executing company-wide strategic marketing and communications initiatives including sales support, collateral development, online marketing, brand management and directing day-to-day activities of the marketing department.
LOS ANGELES — Steve James has joined Englander Knabe and Allen as a joint venture partner. With 25 years in law enforcement, 20 of which included labor leadership, James was tapped to enhance Englander Knabe and Allen’s work in the public safety arena. James led the Long Beach Police Officers Association for 17 years.
MIAMI — Llorente & Cuenca has named Julieta Suarez senior director in Miami, part of the continued growth of the company’s US/regional Latin America operations. Suarez has more than 15 years of experience managing internal and external communications for global companies such as Microsoft, Visa and PlayStation, in addition to agency experience in corporate, brand and crisis communications. Most recently, she worked at Alcatel, leading the communications strategy for the Latin American region.
NEW YORK — Baretz+Brunelle has named Amy Hanan the firm’s as chief digital officer, a position in which she will work with B+B’s client base to develop digital marketing strategies and will design the next generation of products for them. Most recently, Hanan built the marketing department from the ground up at Reorg Research, a financial media firm focusing on the restructuring industry. She previously held various positions at ALM Media, including VP of strategic communications & creative services.
WASHINGTON — Qorvis Communications has named Kristen Thomaselli VP of public affairs. In Thomaselli will develop and execute strategies for Qorvis clients that help advance their advocacy goals both inside and outside Washington. Thomaselli began her career in the office of US Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and has directed strategic communications and public affairs efforts at Keybridge Communications and Forbes Tate Partners.
COSTA MESA, CA — Idea Hall has hired industry veterans Bill Kauker as creative group director and Erin Warady as group director, consumer PR. Kauker brings more than 25 years global agency experience to the role, in which he will lead Idea Hall’s creative department, serving as chief creative strategist responsible for the agency’s creative practice in both B2B and B2C. Warady, who has spent nearly two decades in the industry, leads Idea Hall’s consumer PR practice which includes the creation and execution of insight-driven media and influencer strategies and creative campaigns for the agency’s consumer clients.
130-Year Old Swinerton Plays Up Staff Ownership
San Francisco-based construction firm Swinerton Inc. wanted to mark its 130th anniversary with a new identity.
Two years ago it tapped Costa Mesa-based advertising agency Idea Hall, and last month, the builder behind projects like Great Park Ice and Sports Complex, John Wayne Airport terminal improvements, Radisson Hotel at Disneyland and the Long Beach Airport, unveiled its fresh look.
Idea Hall revamped Swinerton’s logo of the “pointing” builder and architect, produced a brand video, and created a website dedicated to explaining the company’s brand evolution.
Idea Hall Founder and Chief Executive Rebecca Hall said Swinerton needed to make sure the new look represents its 3,500 employees and wide-ranging clients, from Bank of New York Mellon to LinkedIn.
“Swinerton is a $5 billion company, [and the branding] is much more robust because there’s more on the line at scale,” Hall said. “This needs to last until they evolve the brand again. We spent the time and research to really find out what they were best at, better than their competition, and that’s a hard question.”
The agency spent the first year researching Swinerton’s business, including one-on-one interviews with executives, employee surveys, and reaching out to clients. It also analyzed the company’s positioning. Last year, it focused on brand design, from creating a new logo and style guide, to the brand video.
“What we learned is the cost of entry in this business [is high],” Hall said. “You don’t even get asked to compete if you haven’t done it many times before.”
Idea Hall found the key positioning for Swinerton was its employee-owned legacy and the trust she said clients feel when working with the builder.
“Because of its pride of ownership, employees give clients peace of mind, and everything was built around that concept,” Hall said.
CalAmp Corp. set out to reinvent businesses through telematics, or technology that remotely monitors assets, such as cars. But the Irvine-based firm realized it needed to reinvent itself after acquiring Canton, Mass.-based vehicle tracking company LoJack Corp. in 2016 for $134 million.
The company spent the past year unveiling a new look and “The New How” campaign while overhauling its marketing strategy, including reorganizing sales teams in each of its business groups. It wouldn’t reveal how much it spent on the redo. A look at its 2016 financials shows about 25% of the company’s revenue was spent on selling, general and administrative expenses. In fiscal 2017, the figure jumped to 36%, and they’re not done.
Vice President of Corporate Marketing Nadine Traboulsi said customer feedback on the “clean, refreshed” new look “has been very positive” and “represents us more appropriately.”
Now, CalAmp has its eyes set on LoJack’s sales and marketing tactics. Starting next week, the company will send iPads loaded with a dealer sales app to its top 100 U.S. dealerships, expanding the program to additional dealerships next year.
Traboulsi said the goal is creating an easy way to train dealers about LoJack’s technology, given dealerships typically have high turnover rates.
“LoJack needs to carry its own weight at the dealership and be able to be self-explanatory,” Traboulsi said. “Its size in the theft-recovery category is like Kleenex generalizing the tissue category, [but] today’s consumers are not going to just buy into something. They want to understand how it works, so this is our opportunity to be much more open and educational.”
The LoJack acquisition has helped bolster the company’s business. CalAmp reported record revenue of $94.4 million in the fourth quarter, up year-over-year from 9.6%. For the full fiscal year, sales were $365.9 million, up 10% year-over-year.
The deal also plays into Chief Executive Michael Burdiek’s long-running strategy to diversify services. But for a 37-year-old company that’s catered to corporate clients, such as Caterpillar Inc. and Verizon, adding a consumer-facing brand like LoJack highlighted the need to create a unified brand image.
“We needed to bring marketing to the forefront, to become more relevant to the industry and find ways to touch users and consumers,” he said. “For CalAmp, the rebrand was important to express our transformation into a leading-edge, high-tech global company. For LoJack, it was important to refresh the brand, which hadn’t been marketed in a contemporary way, and create alignment with CalAmp.”
Trying on a new look can be great, but it’s a risky proposition for a publicly traded company such as CalAmp, whose competitors include Orbcomm in Rochelle Park, N.J., Canadian firm Sierra Wireless, and Danlaw Inc. in Novi, Mich.
Idea Hall founder and Chief Executive Rebecca Hall said one way to avoid a branding disaster is bringing key stakeholder groups into the rebranding process to consider their views—something the Costa Mesa-based ad agency did when it helped commercial construction firm Swinerton Inc. rebrand last month.
“The biggest risks to avoid is in creating confusion or lack of adoption, or in the infamous cases of J.C. Penney and the Gap, outright consumer rejection,” Hall said.
Gap Inc. decided to change its signature logo in 2010. It ditched the navy-blue square for a small gradient-shaded box placed at the top-right corner of its name, and changed the font to Helvetica, a generic typeface that was used by the now-defunct American Apparel. Public reaction was so bad and swift that the company returned to the original six days later, losing its estimated $100 million investment in the rebranding process.
“When people love a brand, we recommend evolving it to stay relevant and move the company and product forward, rather than throwing out the old and starting completely new,” Hall said.
Traboulsi, who joined CalAmp in 2016, said it brought on San Francisco-based ad agency Salt Branding and spent a year researching strategy, including a new website and logo.
Salt co-founder and Managing Director Rick Herrick said the first step was understanding the company’s business, from growth plans to how CalAmp and LoJack were viewed in the marketplace.
The agency held about 25 interviews with executives and senior management, and conducted over 700 online surveys to see how CalAmp and LoJack were perceived by businesses and consumers, then studied the competition.
“[CalAmp] had this vision of the future of the connected car and the telematics market and where it’s going,” Herrick said. “We thought that vision was quite advanced from what was out in the marketplace, and we tried to put a positioning around this vision, and that is the idea of The New How, an entirely new way to connect cars and the power of telematics.”
CalAmp traded the royal-blue boomerang-shape in the middle of its name for a simple aqua-colored slash. LoJack’s was also toned down with the same slash mark in red instead of its signature red lightning bolt.
Sure, we’ve all heard of the Googles, the Facebooks, the Nikes, and the Hiltons of the world — the “bucket list” companies that both millennials and baby boomers pine over. But what about those of us who don’t make it past the looming wall of HR, and instead, get lost amidst 10,000 other eager resumes floating in their online database? Are we destined to a mundane cookie cutter job that barely motivates us out of bed in the morning?
NO. Think bigger.
There are hidden gems hiding around every corner that are equally, if not COOLER companies to work for. Zoning in specifically on Southern California, check out the below “hidden gems” that might just actually be THE coolest places to work in Southern California.
Global Marketing, Advertising, and Design Company
Playa Vista, California
This global marketing, advertising, and design company describes themselves as follows: “We’re makers and doers, idealistic, and uber-modern. We embrace difference, strive for generosity over egos, are culture-driven, and gif-sharing obsessed. We’re hell-Yes’ers!, perpetual learners and a sunny side-up kind of team. We’re looking for like-minded people to join our team, so get clicking!” With an animal-friendly office located in Playa Vista, 72andSunny provides Free Food Fridays, unlimited vacation days, and internal learning sessions, speakers, and events to inspire and enhance employee skills. The company even celebrates its own birthday by allowing employees to get away from their desks with the objective to try new things, meet new people, and celebrate its collective accomplishments. 72andsunny.com, @72andsunny
Innovative Telecommunications Company
Headquartered in Camarillo, GeoLinks is a leading telecommunications company nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions. Ranked No.5 by category on Inc. Magazine’s 2017 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America, GeoLinks was recently named a Top Innovator in Diversity and Inclusion alongside industry giants such as Nike and Intel. With a founding mission to cultivate the best company culture around — one that combines respect, collaboration, and a “best idea wins mantra” — the company recently moved into a 38,000 square foot office building fully equipped with an employee gym, basketball court, spacious kitchen stocked full of complimentary food and drinks, and a break room with shuffle board, pool tables, a retro jukebox, air hockey, foosball, and vintage arcade games. With local brewery Institution Ale Company located just steps away, happy hours and lunch breaks are encouraged to celebrate team wins, in addition to mid-day pickup basketball games, and frequent taco trucks. Offering employees a variety of free online training and education courses, it’s no surprise that the company is rated a remarkable 4.9-stars on GlassDoor.com. GeoLinks.com, @GeoLinks_USA
Organic Sunscreen + Organic Suncare Company
With celebrity fans including Jennifer Garner, Kerry Washington, Ryan Reynolds, and more, this 50-person operation based out of Carlsbad is quickly becoming a trendy house-hold name in the world of sunscreen. In-house, the company upholds a laid-back vibe where sandals and short sleeves are the everyday norm, dogs are encouraged, employees rock stand-up desks, surfboards adorn the walls, and bikes and paddle boards are available for everyday use. One other perk? Unlimited sunscreen. Coolasuncare.com, @COOLA_Suncare
Hybrid Marketing and Public Relations Agency
Costa Mesa, California
Located in the city of Costa Mesa, Idea Hall is a hybrid creative agency that provides branding, PR, advertising, digital, and video services. Amongst a variety of benefits, the company offers a Wellness Reimbursement Program to employees that covers up to $200 per month for fitness classes, gym memberships, massages, chiropractors, etc. Around the office employees can enjoy giant darts, mini bowling, casual Fridays, a fully stocked kitchen, and an “Employee of the Month” parking spot and car wash. A firm believer in annual retreats, in 2017 the agency went to Disneyland where the day started with a private Q&A lead by one of Disney’s top producers, and evolved into Mickey ears and front line passes to all theme park rides. On top of all this, Idea Hall provides access to Franklin Covey (an online professional development database) for employees to participate in online courses to grow in their careers. ideahall.com, @ideahall
Construction Project Management Software company
Nestled in a contemporary nine-acre campus on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean in Carpinteria, this Construction Project Management Software company believes in the power of openness, optimism, and ownership. Whether it’s by providing employees with the latest tech, catered lunches, onsite massage and haircuts, or a variety of fitness programs, they believe in going the extra mile to make their employees happy. Need to take a vacation? Procore provides value-driven paid time off with no accruals and no “use it or lose it” game playing. Employees also have the opportunity to take personal ownership in Procore through employee equity plans. Procore.com, @Procoretech
Full-service Marketing, Advertising, and PR agency
San Diego, California
Fidelitas Development, a full-service marketing, advertising, and PR agency, is headquartered in downtown San Diego in a former Wonder Bread Factory—a recognized historic landmark. Also located directly above local Mission Brewery, Fidelitas employees can take advantage of cool perks like a fully-stocked bar, weekly team lunches, a nap room, and luxury seating from client 4Seating.com. Outside of the office, team members can enjoy work-from-home Fridays, unlimited time off, training programs, and transferrable certifications. Centered around its culture, Fidelitas remains focused on adding A-level players to its team that treats teammates like family. Fidelitasdevelopment.com, @_Fidelitas
Coupon Codes and Deals Website
Santa Monica, California
Promocodes.com, a coupon codes and deals website providing verified offers from the nation’s top retailers, is headquartered in Santa Monica just steps away from the Third Street Promenade and a couple of blocks from the beach. Rocking a nautical office vibe (think wood floors, wood ceiling panels, beach-themed artwork, and a dramatic metal staircase), the company has a tiki bar and a gigantic rooftop where employees enjoy hosting frequent BBQs. Whether it’s sweating it out at their bimonthly company-sponsored spin class, or catching up at weekly office lunches, the company states that every single member of the Promocodes.com team is part of the family, and thus managers work hard to organize ample team bonding activities that everyone can enjoy. Promocodes.com, @Promocodescom
Online Legal Filing Services
Work hard, play hard — that’s the MyCorp way. Located in Calabasas, the online legal filing services company is proud of their open floor layout that duels as the perfect stage for hosting employee talent shows and spontaneous musical karaoke announcements. Casual dress to work is always encouraged — AKA, dress up if you like, but Lululemon yoga pants and sneakers are cool too. In the summer employees head to “Camp MyCorp” for a week full of fun and festivities including picnic potlucks, team spirit dress days, and hula hooping (yes, hula hooping). The company also celebrates the winter holidays with the “12 Days of MyCorp” in December, kicking off the month with an epic holiday party that is hosted anywhere from Malibu Wine Safari to a local escape room. Stating “We’re pretty big on celebrations,” MyCorporation takes every opportunity to throw a party. From an employee anniversary, to a birthday, to a baby shower, the office hosts themed potluck team lunches as frequently as possible. MyCorporation.com, @mycorporation
Alumna Rebecca Hall’s agency celebrates a year of major success
By Melissa Grace Hoon
Idea Hall, founded by Rebecca Hall ’96, a full-service branding, marketing and public relations agency, is celebrating the closing of a year full of new business, including seven new clients.
The agency is expanding into new markets beyond the roots of real estate and finance, while continuing to maintain its foundation in those sectors.
Rebecca continues to Think Chapman First by hiring Panthers! Currently, Jeff Cole ’01, Haley London ’13, Bill London ’13 (MBA ’15), Gina Petraglia ’16, Kate Engler ’18 and Haylie Bantle ’21 are part of Idea Hall’s team.
As business booms within the Orange County creative industry, the growth at Idea Hall is especially exciting, both for the agency and the county.
Chapman University: What has been Idea Hall’s evolving role in the expansion of Orange County’s creative industry?
Rebecca Hall: When Idea Hall launched in 2003, we set out to take a leadership position in our industry. While traditional PR agencies focused on services such as reputation management, crisis communications, press releases and etc., we knew we wanted to be different. We created a hybrid model so we could go beyond those foundational services– like creating websites, digital advertisements, video and more.
Since our inception, we said, “Let’s lead with a strategy, not just a tactic.” That’s exactly what we do every day – we lead with strategy and choose from our wide array of service offerings to cater to that strategy.
We kick off each client relationship with a strategic plan, to discover their objectives and what they’re trying to achieve. We ask questions like, “what does success look like?” and “who do you want to reach?” so we can form a strategy that caters to their needs and business objectives. For example, one of our newer clients, came to us with two objectives – bolster lead generation and increase employee engagement. With these insights, we used a combination of our of branding, design and video services to create a powerful theme, messaging and company story that inspired employees and set the vision for the company at their annual meeting.
As the public relations, marketing and advertising disciplines evolve, so do our services. One of our latest offerings is virtual reality (VR) 360-degree video. To stay at the forefront of the industry, we invest in the latest technology and VR is no exception to this. For our travel and tourism and real estate clients this is a breakthrough technology that allows viewers to truly immerse themselves into a location from anywhere in the world. If you visit ideahall.com/vr you can see our latest 360-degree video that takes you through a virtual tour of the City of Anaheim. This is an example of how we started with the client’s objective, which was to drive convention and business meetings at the Anaheim Convention Center, and harnessed the power of VR 360-degree video to achieve those goals. As a result, viewers can watch a dynamic video that allows them to see – and experience – Anaheim’s evolution as a premier destination.
CU: Discuss the progress Idea Hall has made from its founding to the present.
RH: To remain a leader in our field, we’ve made a lot of operational adjustments. Since we opened our doors, we’ve grown our team size, expanded into new office space and added new services to our current offerings. In 2003, social media didn’t exist, but now it’s a huge part of our service offerings. Each year, we commit to evolving, growing and integrating the latest technological advances and appropriate services for our clients. It’s simply part of the job.
A number of clients have been with us for more than 10 years. We’ve continually worked to honor those relationships and update our programs to stay current with their business objectives. We have always been a trusted agency partner, which in turn has allowed us to gain new business through referrals from our web of legacy clients. At our core, we’re continuing to bolster our real estate and financial accounts as we enter new markets such as wine and spirits, tourism and travel and technology.
CU: Why is Idea Hall unique in comparison to other agencies in its field?
RH: It’s very unique to be able to offer the breadth and depth of services we have in a boutique agency. Usually this hybrid “one stop shop” model is only found at global agencies. We’re homegrown, from Orange County, and we stay true to our roots by serving clients in our own backyard. We’re fortunate that these clients also allow us to stretch beyond Southern California and into the West Coast and the nation.
CU: Why is it important to Idea Hall to “Think Chapman First,” meaning Panthers hiring Panthers?
Because Panthers are the best! Supporting fellow alumni is very important to me and our team of Chapman alumni. When I graduated, there was limited alumni support because there just weren’t that many people in the communications industry. Since then, our network has grown, and I’ve served on the alumni board, and as president. I believe that supporting Chapman is walking the walk. If you want to get support, you have to give support. We’ve been very successful in recruiting Chapman alumni. Six out of our 30-person team are alumni.
CU: How did your Chapman experience impact your professional life?
RH: Chapman instilled in me the belief that if you can dream it, you can do it. That was truly embodied by President Doti, who was a new president when I started my Chapman journey. He came in with a big dream and made big things happen. To a young student who was fresh and energetic, that had a huge impact. I saw the power of his vision and the people who came to support it. I saw his vision grow, our rankings rise, and our campus expand and hire best-in-class faculty. Now 20 years later, we have national rankings and are consistently portrayed positively in the news. When I started, Chapman College had just changed its name to Chapman University. Chapman is now a force to be reckoned with and its growth is not yet done.
As a student, alumna and Alumni Association board member, Chapman gave me tremendous support when I started my business. I wish that type of Chapman support system for all of our students and alumni who are pursuing their dreams. In life you get what you give, so in my personal experience, I want to keep giving back. I was just a simple kid born and raised in Orange who went to Chapman on a scholarship. It changed my life. When I started at Chapman, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but by the time I reached my senior year I had a lot of encouragement to get into public relations and advertising, and that’s where I’ve built my career.
My love for PR began after I enrolled in Janell Sheerer’s public relations and industry class during interterm. It took off after Ginger Sherman, alumna, adjunct professor and head of advertising at Taco Bell, at the time, encouraged me to apply to an agency for an internship, which I received. If you nurture the relationships you make at Chapman, whether they’re fellow alumni, professors or students, they will nurture you. The key to my success is the important relationships I’ve built and maintained over the years.
Anaheim has entered the virtual world.
The tourism and marketing arm of the city, Visit Anaheim, has introduced a virtual reality video giving people a first-person view of some of the city’s landmarks and popular venues.
“We’re always looking for new ways to showcase our destination,” said Jay Burress, chief executive and president of Visit Anaheim, which also promotes visitors to Orange County. “We think virtual reality is a great way to do that.”
The high-tech offering is just the latest the tourism bureau is doing to bring in more visitors and conventions to highlight the city. The tourism bureau, along with its partners from the Orange County Visitors Association, recently announced the opening of a third office in Guangzhou, China. In 2013, offices opened in Shanghai and Beijing.
Last year, more than 100,000 visitors came to Orange County from China, Burress said.
And, more than 23 million people visited Anaheim last year, the group said. Since 2011, visitor numbers have increased 35 percent.
The city relies heavily on visitors staying in local hotels and shopping in the area to help pay for day-to-day operations such as providing police officers and firefighters, parks and road maintenance through its general fund. In the next 12 months, the city’s general fund is expected to increase by 4 percent to $312 million.
The two-minute virtual reality video made by Costa Mesa-based marketing agency Idea Hall is available on YouTube. Filming began late last year and wrapped up after the NAMM convention. Visit Anaheim declined to disclose the cost.
When Visit Anaheim officials attend sales conventions, they bring two Samsung Oculus systems. Visitors don the virtual reality goggles which visually take them around the Anaheim Regional Transportation Center, the Anaheim Convention Center, the Packing House, Unsung Brewery and the Ranch restaurant. Visit Anaheim also gives away cardboard VR goggles.
“This is just the first iteration of our use of virtual reality,” Burress said. “Disneyland is not the only thing in Anaheim. We want to highlight other parts of the city and this gives us a sophisticated and fun vehicle to do that.”
Orange County’s Idea Hall, an integrated agency offering branding, advertising, public relations, and website/digital/video production, has added virtual reality capabilities to its offerings.
360º virtual reality videos for client Visit Anaheim are paired with insightful narrative to give event planners and organizers the ability to experience some of the Southern California destination’s newer and unexpected features that go beyond established attractions.
“Virtual reality creates a sense of presence and first-hand experience unlike anything previously possible,” Jeff Cole, senior creative producer at Idea Hall, told O’Dwyer’s.
Cole explained that it’s important to help clients understand that virtual reality is an umbrella term that can take shape in different forms such as video footage captured on-location or computer-generated content that introduces viewers to architectural renderings of places that don’t exist yet.
“We remind clients that the technology is only a part of it. Our virtual reality experiences pair best-in-class visual craftsmanship with authentic, story-driven content that inspires and engages,” Cole said.
Award-Winning Creative Agency Introduces New Ready Capital Brand Identity and Platform to Unify and Position Company for Continued Growth
COSTA MESA, Calif. – December 11, 2018 – Idea Hall, a hybrid branding, marketing and public relations agency, today announced the strategic rebrand of Sutherland Asset Management Corporation to “Ready Capital,” (NYSE: RC), a multi-strategy real estate finance company headquartered in New York City. With the goal of unifying diverse business lines under a single Ready Capital name, the launch of the brand included the unveiling of a new name, logo, website, brand evolution video and creative style guide.
“The rebrand initiative reflects our promise of ‘creative solutions, reliable results’ and our commitment to the real estate finance sector,” said Carole Mortensen, Chief Operating Officer at Ready Capital. “Our new identity and messaging simplifies our story, unifies our brand and positions us to reach our goal of being the largest non-bank lender to small business owners and investors in small-balance commercial properties.”
A key feature of the new brand is the innovative logo which is designed to exemplify Ready Capital’s core values – responsive, creative, personable and dependable. The logo features a dimensional grid of dots mimicking a cube and has characteristics of a city building at night. The arrangement of the circles shows openness, flexibility and creativity. The dots represent Ready Capital’s collective team members and their relationships, and together they form the company’s network of success that builds strength with each sequential transaction and connection.
“With any rebrand, our goal is to not only help the company identify who it is at its core, but also help build the brand’s value,” said Dave MacLeod, group director of account services at Idea Hall. “When Sutherland Asset Management Corporation challenged us to create a new brand positioning that unified its disparate business lines under one brand architecture, we delivered a creative solution with the Ready Capital system that both streamlines their story and enables them to effectively communicate the firm’s values and brand promise to clients and shareholders.”
Award-winning PR and advertising industry veterans Erin Warady and Bill Kauker to lead agency’s rapidly-growing consumer practice
COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 2, 2018 – Idea Hall, an independent, full-service advertising, branding and PR agency named as one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Orange County by the Orange County Business Journal and Best Companies Group, today announced the appointment of industry veterans Bill Kauker as Creative Group Director and Erin Warady as Group Director,
“Two years ago, we made a conscious decision to diversify Idea Hall into an equally balanced B2B and B2C agency by building upon our foundational expertise in commercial real estate and professional services to grow a consumer lifestyle practice focused on Southern California’s hottest sectors including travel, tourism, hospitality, education, healthcare and technology,” said Rebecca Hall, CEO, Idea Hall. “The additions of Bill and Erin further deepen our strategic advisory team in the key areas of integrated consumer marketing, advertising and communications. We’re thrilled to have them as part of our agency leadership and bring their expertise to our valued clients.”
Kauker leads Idea Hall’s creative department, serving as chief creative strategist responsible for growing the agency’s creative practice in both B2B and B2C. He brings more than 25 years of global advertising agency experience, championing many of the world’s favorite brands including: Apple, Taco Bell, XM Satellite Radio, Microsoft, Nissan, Infiniti, Energizer, Callaway Golf, the LA Dodgers, Nestle, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Honda Motorcycles, American Express, Montage Resorts, MGM Grand Resorts and Orient Express Worldwide to name a few.
“What drew me to Idea Hall was this well-established boutique agency with a big-minded integrated model. It’s the way things are headed… traditional advertising needs to reinvent itself to stay relevant in today’s landscape,” said Kauker. “Idea Hall is primed to lead this curve and has great talent in a variety of disciplines. I’m excited to see all the great creative work
these minds will produce.”
Warady leads Idea Hall’s consumer PR practice which includes the creation and execution of insight-driven media and influencer strategies and creative campaigns for the agency’s consumer clients. A seasoned strategic communications leader, she brings nearly two decades of experience in social/media relations, influencer engagement, events and experiential, brand storytelling and issues management for dozens of global brands including Hilton Hotels, Tourism Australia, Travelocity, Ivory Soap and Old Spice, with Anvil Award-winning work for Princess Cruises, Sony Electronics and DIRECTV to name a few.
“As an OC native and marketer, it’s hard to ignore the great work coming out of this agency,” said Warady. “Idea Hall has a rich history of developing creative solutions for some of Orange County’s leading brands and companies. I’m excited to join this talented team and bring my passion for great storytelling, hard-hitting creative campaigns and business-driving results to their clients and agency offering.”
COSTA MESA, Calif. – May 24, 2017 – Idea Hall, a hybrid full-service branding, marketing and public relations agency based in Orange County, Calif., took home four premiere industry awards in recent weeks, including a Bronze Anvil and Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America; a Bronze Addy sponsored by the American Advertising Federation; and a Silver Telly, the premier award honoring the finest video and film productions and online commercials, videos and films.
“This is a proud moment for our agency and our clients,” said Rebecca Hall, CEO of Idea Hall. “Idea Hall continues to defy the status quo with our fully integrated agency model and these awards are a testament to the strength of this offering to help our clients
achieve their business goals.”
Idea Hall and its clients won awards in the following categories:
Bronze Anvil – Media Relations B2B
“Cox, Castle & Nicholson Thought Leadership Media Relations Campaign”
Cox Castle & Nicholson with Idea Hall
Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation – Magazine External Audiences Primarily“
Inspiring Hope and Empowering Progress with Cystinosis Magazine”
Cystinosis Research Foundation with Idea Hall
Bronze Addy – Elements of Advertising Visual
“Kelly Slater Photography”
StorQuest with Idea Hall
Silver Telly – Non-Broadcast Video
“Big Brothers & Big Sisters Gala Video”
Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Orange County with Idea Hall
For more than 45 years, the Bronze Anvil Awards have celebrated the “best of the best” in public relations tactics, while the American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition for creative excellence, and the Telly Awards, founded in 1979, is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders with less than 10 percent of entries chosen as winners of the Silver Telly, its highest honor.
COSTA MESA, Calif. – April 25, 2017 – Idea Hall, a hybrid full-service branding, marketing and public relations agency based in Orange County expands into several new markets with an influx of new business in the first quarter of 2017, the company announced today. Since the beginning of the year, Idea Hall has won seven new accounts, expanding into new industries spanning wine and spirits, travel and tourism and technology as well as bolstering its current business mix of leading commercial real estate, banking and financial services accounts.
New clients include:
The agency also won two additional clients that strengthen the agency’s reputation in the commercial real estate, banking and financial sectors. Both are under NDA and cannot be disclosed at this time. Idea Hall’s strategic plans include further expansion into new industries and a continued strong foundation in the real estate and financial sectors.
“Idea Hall is making strides in becoming one of the top full-service creative agencies in Orange County,” said Rebecca Hall, CEO of Idea Hall. “We are committed to being at the forefront of the markets our clients reach and offering them distinguished service and technology that they have come to expect of our firm.”
To support its growth goals, Idea Hall also recently made a strategic hire appointing Rachel Svoboda as its vice president of business development. Rachel joins Idea Hall with 15 years of experience working with clients in a variety of sectors. Clients have included: Toyota, LAX, Panasonic and the Irvine Company. Svoboda has been integral to the success of Idea Hall’s new business growth.
“Orange County is a destination market, where people are inspired to do their best creative work,” said Svoboda. “Idea Hall’s wide range of service offerings uniquely situates us to be a trusted partner to each of our clients offering one-of-a-kind integrated programs tailored for each client.”