We’ve all had more time to reflect these past several weeks. It’s understated to say that all of us in business — or personally — could use a little pick me up right now. HS works hard daily to take care of our clients, and keep the good juices flowing with our creative team.
One of the most fun things we do is develop client appreciation ideas. We develop fun concepts to say thank you, celebrate the holidays, or welcome on a new account. And some concepts, we do just for fun and to keep our creative muscles sharp. Here’s a look back on some of the ways we’ve done just that.
A Look Back at 5 Projects from the HS Creative Team
Chinese New Year
One of the things we’ve always been a fan of is doing the unexpected. This past Christmas, we were considering client appreciation gifts. Someone presented a simple white Chinese takeout container and suggested we celebrate Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year takes place each year in February, a good time to send out a client appreciation gift and make an impression after all the hustle of the holidays. HS developed this fun little package complete with chopsticks and fortune cookies.
Every tasty little frosted cookie had a customized message predicting our client’s fortune for the coming year. The simple idea was so well received, we had some clients enlist us to do the same for their clients.
Senior Art Director Molly Kreutzfeldt worked on the project and said, “My favorite thing about the Chinese takeout boxes (besides sampling the cookies!) was hearing the feedback from the recipients and how they wanted to make their own takeout boxes and incorporate it to market to their customers.”
Kreutzfeldt adds that many don’t realize the amount of time that the HS staff spent researching the Chinese New Year year, the animals, and the traditions. “We wanted to stand out and be different from the average bottle of wine or box of cookies that is typically sent during the holiday season, and we did just that.”
It’s been a couple years since “Hamster Stacking” was front page news in Sioux Falls. Our fake election initiative “Vote Yes on IM 27” in support of hamster stacking both thoroughly confused and intrigued the public — and even some national media.
Launched to celebrate 27 years in the business, we created a website, social media assets and billboards around town to launch a not-so-subtle move from HenkinSchultz to HS. Hamster Stacking was a fun metaphor for how we organize and align the many moving pieces of a marketing plan.
“One of the things I really enjoyed about the campaign was how others picked up the ball and cleverly ran with it,” says Creative Strategist Toby Kane. “When friends, even strangers, started posting the hilarious pros and cons of hamster stacking, we knew we were on to something.”
HS even mailed some little furry hamsters to clients and prospects: stuffed, plush toys, not live, of course.
Christmas Window Displays
HS has a prominent building in one of the fastest growing areas of the city. Each year, we love to use our big street facing windows as a fun Christmas event display.
Using a video combination of staff at play, animated graphics and even our favorite dog, Gary, we project our windows for all to see. The result is a huge Christmas display for drivers-by. Onlookers can even tune their car radio to listen in on the fun.
Creative Director Lynell Weeg says, “I love the colorful and surreal way this project evolves from year to year. One of the things I love most about it is how it reflects our individual personalities and fun-loving office culture as we do our best to spread Christmas cheer from inside HS to onlookers outside “the box.”
We’ve never been shy about loving the salsa from Sioux Falls very own Inca restaurant. And nothing says HS quite like Hot Salsa.
With enough bags of tortilla chips from Hy-Vee to take over the better part of a garage, our staff went to work assembling chips and salsa treat packages for our snack-loving clients for Christmas. We designed a fun mexican themed package — and sampled a few of the goods along the way.
Speaking of food, there are few things our team likes to talk about more. Where they ate. What they ate. When are they going to eat? What are they cooking? So, we designed an HS Cookbook to feature our staff and their favorite recipes.
From easy scrambled eggs to fun cocktails to more elaborate Pinterest-worthy dishes, the team did not disappoint. Eye catching black and white photography, touched up with red accents, featured the HS team alongside their fun recipe of choice.
Some Final Reflections and Looking Ahead to More Fun
As our current airwaves are flooded with COVID-themed commercials and feel-good sentiments, it’s important to remember that our current environment is new to us all. And none of us know exactly how to navigate the day-to-day. But here are a few things HS is doing that may apply to your company or organization.
- Remember to celebrate the work of your team. It is a simple little pick-me-up that means a lot to human beings who are uncertain and stressed out.
- Set goals for what you’re going to do next. Yes, we are all pretty hamstrung right now. But spending some time looking ahead is a positive way to be productive.
- Reach out to customers so customers feel appreciated. The streaming service discounts, insurance company payouts and various incentives we see as consumers are all banking on one thing: Customer loyalty to that company when we come out on the other side of a crisis.
- Engage your employees in brainstorming solutions for your products or services. Innovations are almost always born from real problems.
HS encourages everyone to stay safe, reflective and creative! And as always, we’re here to listen, talk through and help. Contact us today!