CrowdStreet, a commercial real estate investment platform has appointed New York-based The Gate to be its agency of record to build awareness, trust and interest in the brand.
The Gate is tasked with positioning CrowdStreet as the most trusted resource for alternative investing in the real estate sector and making it part of the mainstream financial conversation.
The agency has designed a campaign around the insight that “investing in something real matters” and is intended to remind consumers of important assets they collected in their youth like baseball cards or records. Sample the work here.
The Gate is a full-service advertising agency with $250 million in client billings. In addition to its New York headquarters, it has offices in San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, and Shanghai.
Vitabots, a brand-new children’s vitamin brand, has had no problem developing a good relationship with its ad agency. That’s because Los Angeles-based agency Arcana Academy is not only developing the brand’s creative. It also developed the brand itself.
Yes, Arcana is now directly in the CPG and D2C business, after having spent the past eight years developing Vitabots — from sourcing its manufacturer (Vitasome Labs) to fulfillment and distribution.
The product, under a new entity called Professor V, LLC, is now sold through Amazon and plans “to remain direct to consumer for as long as possible,” Arcana creative director and co-founder Shane Hutton tells Marketing Daily. “We will likely begin targeting brick and mortar after our first 18 months.”
How and why did Vitabots come to fruition?
“We have regular ‘What’s Your Best Idea?’ meetings at the agency. Doesn’t matter if the idea is related to advertising or not. If we love it, we’ll do it,” explains Hutton in the press release announcing the new product. “Well, nearly a decade ago, a big idea came through: a better children’s vitamin.”
We’ll let the Arcana-created Vitabots website pick up the story from there:
“Our story begins in the lab of Professor V, a selfless doctor who works tirelessly to find a way to provide proper nutrition to children around the globe.
“When Professor V’s groundbreaking formula of nutrient-delivering, nano liposomes garner him worldwide success, his ex-colleague and rival Dr. Osteo goes mad, stopping at nothing to rid the world of Professor V’s work.
“In response, Professor V creates the Vitabots, a team of super robots whose main function is to stop Dr. Osteo’s nefarious plans, ensuring the health and safety of the world’s citizens.”
In non-kids speak, explains Vitabots, “the Vitamin C is wrapped in a cloaking device that makes your white blood cells just think it’s a normal everyday cell. The result is way better absorption of the Vitamin C. They are also delicious, made with organic ingredients, gluten-free, and don’t have that chalky Vitamin-y taste.”
The agency is first promoting Vitabots on Amazon and social channels, and hopes to start paid media in three to six months.
Merchandising the Vitabots characters that it has created, Arcana also plans to sell a coloring book and a set of action figures.
Future plans include education videos about vitamins, minerals, and healthy eating.
“Professor V’s Vitabots,” as the brand’s label puts it, is currently selling for $31.99 on Amazon. That gets your kids 60 fruit gummies boasting of “Sour Power.”
One- to three-year-olds should take one gummy daily, and kids four and up two gummies.
If you’re talking about just one gummy, incidentally, we’d suggest not calling it a Vitabot, which is an entirely different company in the private-label online meal planning business.
HADLEY — Paul Kozub said his conscience and his commitment to the people of Eastern Europe made the decision for him.
“I feel I have to go Poland,” said Kozub, whose company, Valley Vodka Inc., will donate $1 for every bottle sold in March to assist refugeees from war-torn Ukraine.
Valley Vodka, headquartered in Hadley, is the maker of V-One Vodka, an award-winning brand that Kozub created. He is expected to arrive at the V-One distillery in Kamien, Poland on Sunday.
The distillery is located about two hours from the Ukraine border, where refugees have been crossing the border in droves.
“I feel such a connection to Eastern Europe. This will be my 60th trip in 17 years, but only my second in the last year and a half,” Kozub said. “I’m overdue. I used to go three or four times a year, but then COVID-19 slowed us down. My last trip was in June of 2021.”
He is not only going to the distillery he owns with a partner, but bringing $5,000 of his own money to support the refugees pouring over the border from war-torn Ukraine. The current exchange rate for currency will work favorably, he said.
“The exchange rate is usually about 3-to-1. But with all that’s been going on, it’s up to around 4-to-1, so my money will be worth 25% more,” Kozub said.
Announcement of his support has been posted on Facebook and other social media outlets. It was not a hasty decision, and the region’s volatility gave Kozub pause.
“I have a wife and four children under 8. I began to think that maybe I shouldn’t go. But I have to go,” he said.
”My life was forever changed for the better when I made my first trip to Eastern Poland 17 years ago to start my craft vodka business. In 2019, I purchased a distillery in Kamień, just a few hours from the Ukrainian border. I feel compelled to do something to help the people of Ukraine.
Kozub owns 51% of the distillery in Kamien. In addition to visiting the plant, he will travel to the Ukraine-Poland border to meet directly with refugees.
When I first became a spiritual guru, I was working in Boston on a series of print ads for the Hummer H1. It was 2001, pre-September, everybody’s Chakras were still relatively aligned.
The Hummer H2 was soon to launch to the masses. To help broaden appeal to a larger audience, we wanted to soften the oversized, aggressive image the brand had at the time.
In essence, we decided to use the H1 campaign to shift the brand’s dosha a little away from fire and a little closer to air.
To find images that fit the tagline “Like Nothing Else,” we traveled to the four corners of the world and depicted the biggest, baddest truck on the planet, dwarfed by the landscapes it was designed to conquer.
Places so remote really do make you “Feel small,” as one headline invited the audience to do. The isolation reminds you of your insignificance and makes you introspective, softly forcing you to be present in the moment and consider your place in the vista.
The headlines reflected my inner monologue, asking the high-net worth iconoclasts attracted to the Hummer brand, “What good is the world at your fingertips if you never actually touch it?” and “How’d my soul get way out here?”
Tying all the headlines together was a “bridge line” (in the bottom left of the ads) that summed up the sentiment in the clean, symmetrical, circular style copywriters like: “Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.”
I don’t know how. I’m not sure when. But in the two decades since the ads ran, the line has taken on a life of its own. It studied yoga, did Ayahuasca in the Amazon with a shaman, slept in a Yurt and went to Burning Man back when it was still cool. Today, it is a wellness advisor and lifestyle coach, while I’m co-founder and ECD of a creative agency in L.A.
Last weekend I wanted to show a friend the H2 ads, so I typed that bridge line into a search engine and this is what came back, attributed to “author unknown.”
Shane HuttonShane Hutton is co-founder and executive creative director at Arcana Academy, a Los Angeles-based creative advertising agency with a full post-production and audio suite.More from Shane Hutton