REBUS St. Louis

For The Love of Moose or… The Buzz of Baskerville.
April 20, 2010, 1:35 pm
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There is nothing quite like Moosylvania. The brainchild of Norty Cohen has emerged on the STL stage as a leader of the pack, a refreshing flirt that likes to play with preconceived ideas, and push the envelope. And as the April’s REBUS event indicated, the beauty of moose is that in this case, for once, more is more.

It’s not just an agency, it’s a self-proclaimed EMBASSY. Home for Moose is massive – a multi-story former church, which begs for the description grandiose. And in addition to the size, it’s delightfully distinctive. The space is church meets agency. It’s a visual pun on the idea of religiously marketing and a case study in what branding and environmental design should be. It’s hard not to love. Walking through it, if the altered “altar” doesn’t impress you I guarantee the gigantic moose head will.

It’s not just the building that is grand, the thinking and strategy in the company is broad and pushes beyond the standard lines of agency roles and resources. They consider not only the “who”, with portfolio gems like Grey Goose, Bacardi, Dean Foods and Sapporo, but the “why”, by utilizing Hatch, their global marketing division, and even the “how” with the launch of Buzzhound, a venture that educates on the oh-so-hot SEO sector. This diversification seems smart and very useful and nobody else is offering it.

Buzzhound deserves a separate mention, because it holds potential for the whole market. Want to learn about SEO from a master?  Visit them here.

Overall from the space, to the presentation, and down to a display of treats so great I actually said “wow” outloud.

The entire event was not to be missed.

Tour their space here.


Light painting and Meatballs: The Meoli REBUS event
March 1, 2010, 9:37 am
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Let it be known… Meoli Studio cemented itself as a rock star REBUS event through a clever interactivity and a decidedly chill environment.

They began properly. Upon walking in one visited the beer cooler/wine table and were encouraged to do quick lap to check out the nibbles. Meoli staff intermingled and engaged in conversation, wafted yummy smells from the covered dishes in our direction and heckled each other constantly – which went miles in making newcomers comfortable and setting the mood.

Talking was minimal, they were not wasting time. Guests were treated to a break-neck history lesson of the studio and a Cliff Notes approach to lighting and photography techniques. Examples were showcased in the background while the daylight studio (that allows them constant natural lighting) was promoted verbally. I was impressed with the stop-action beverage work and explanation of process as well as the information vs. speed ratio they adhered to.

The highlight followed when Tony Meoli took center stage and called out for drink refills and audience participation for light painting. A brief explanation later – it’s a technique where a long exposure occurs in a dark space with hand-held light sources in motion – and we jumped right in. The crowd got more and more adventurous with the mini flashlights (light sources) with each exposure, and the engaging experience is documented in the artworks accompanying this story. For reference all the white lines in the photos were caused by the lights. It’s like imaginary drawing until the exposure happens.

There was Addy buzz, Superbowl talk, networking and, of course, toasted ravioli and beer, pretzel bits and wine, dill bread dip and beer, and veggie trays as far as the eye could see (with wine of course). I went home completely stuffed…both physically and intellectually.

Good luck upcoming agencies – Meoli set the bar pretty high!

See more photos, and a video on our Facebook page.

Is Different too Wild? – Giddyup.
February 8, 2010, 10:20 am
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Whoever said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” most certainly did not work in advertising.

As ad-ites, we do the opposite as part of our job. It’s not about tricking consumers, but rather, tapping into human instinct. As a rule, people judge based on senses, sight included. Knowing this proves there is power in the creative. How it looks is a large part of whether or not the products will sell or be memorable.

The McGowan Crain REBUS event highlighted this principle when they unveiled a new brand of Vodka.

Typically each liquor has a persona. Gin plays the part of a prohibition gangster, scotch breathes old money, rum will take you to a pirate riddled beach, whiskey rides rough, tequila revels in crazy, and vodka has airs like a snotty rockstar.

Not 1860s American Vodka. Inspired by Soulard staple drinkery, The 1860’s Saloon, its design casts aside stereotypes, and creates a a bit of a shelf-presence whore. Nestled in an embossed leather sleeve with side lacing, it works hard to look tough, and is clearly designed to capitalize on an untapped segment of the spirits market- the rough neck vodka drinker.

5 times distilled and charcoal filtered, 1860’s boasts a unique, smokey taste that further heightens it’s testosterone infused personality. A vodka that grows hair on your chest? Who would have thought it.

There’s no doubt it will get attention, if nothing else, on the wings of being a novelty. But will it succeed long-term? There’s danger in being too different, and it does have a small, if only momentary twang of awkwardness. Akin to seeing James Bond in boots and Levis.

And maybe that’s the genius of it.

’09 in Review
January 15, 2010, 11:16 pm
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To say 2009 was a good year is like saying Velveeta is real cheese. It was bland, chemically enhanced, and wobbly. However, it did spur an appetite for networking, ideas and fuel that solidified REBUS as a staple of STL AdClub.

People came in droves (which means many).  As more abandoned their Macs to talk with 3-dimensional people we found ourselves popular. And this influx of (semi) sober industry members connecting was so poignant, most became regulars and events became as social as the bar scene. (Added bonus we remember your name tomorrow…or, at least, your face.)

Popularity (shocker) demanded that dry monologues be replaced with entertaining, relevant content. Over and over hosting agencies triumphed over A.D.D. to engage, enlighten, or at least make us a little less dumb. Soon events were filled with useful nuggets like how to turn off annoying Mafia Wars updates.

However, no matter how thought-provoking the talk, the food always plays an important role. If the animals aren’t fed, retention levels drop. So thanks for every beer, pretzel, quesadilla, cookie and carrot stick thrown our way. After all, everyone knows nothing turns an industry event into a success faster than the smell of bacon.

For those who weren’t cool enough to be there (your dog died right?) … the highlights of ’09.

Best Spread:  Cannonball’s appetizer-worthy menu of veggies, cheeses, ravioli, quesadillas and hot wings–oh my.

Greatest Snack: Avatar ‘s bacon-wrapped shrimp  thing-a-ma-jiggers. People swooned, Really.

Best Bar: Hoffman-Lewis’s happy mini-kegs and wine to the degree that one wondered if God was in the back working some charm with the Aquafina.

Most Interesting: Firecracker Press for a killer space, a talk on the virtues of letterpress that made me want to sell my soul for one, and an on-site printing demo of jolly roger posters to proclaim your office pirate-ness. P.S. If you need a company pet I volunteer.

Best DIY Talks: Tie between Rob Grimm’s “How to go from drinking beer to photographing beer.”  and Cannonball’s “How to go from drinking beer to selling beer on TV.” Invaluable knowledge presented in a way that “Advertising for Dummies” would be proud of.

Most Motivational: TOKY’s inspiration on using advertising for good. One look at their book will grow some warm pro-bono fuzzies in anyones heart. Count me in.

Most Futuristic: Ngage for showcasing  a green office. With a focus on renewable clean energy and roots in interactive and digital media – green is definitely not a pms reference.

Best off the Duff: Habenero’s  live action simulation of networking in the old-timey days. Back when your parents were kids they had to get off their rears and go MEET people to get friends. Excellent way to point out the benefits and pitfalls of the fast growing social media phenomenon.

Most Surprising: Hoffman –Lewis’s reel which made us rethink STL’s amazingness, proved local clients can produce first rate work, and for bringing a real client to show-and-tell to prove good clients do exist.

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