Innovation + Advertising
that gets noticed
Because we think the enemy is indifference, we believe in difference.
All grill manufacturers were saying the same thing: “We cook lots of hamburgers!” “We have lots of BTU’s!” “We are for manly men! MEAT!” And it was getting annoying. To disrupt the category, we helped Char-Broil leverage a game-changing technology they invented called Tru-IR. Rather than talk about how bros would love our grills, we gave grillers what they were really looking for and branded Char-Broil grills as “The Most Forgiving Grills on Earth.” The competition was not forgiven, as consideration numbers jumped through the roof (and Facebook wrote a global case study about our success).
It’s the last unfair advantage we’re allowed to take over competitors.
P&G had a nighttime bedwetting underwear (Underjams) that was not doing well. They were either going to exit the category or completely re-imagine the product. We encouraged them to pursue that latter because we felt like the category was ripe for creative disruption. In the category, everyone was talking to parents. But no one was addressing the kids. The category needed a brand that wouldn’t embarrass the older age of the bedwetting spectrum (6-12). So we named, branded and brought to market Ninjamas. And we karate kicked the competitions’ @sses as sales goals were exceeded two years ahead of goal.
You can't advertise yourself out of a broken business model.
Energy drinks were getting ridiculous. Even the names (ROCKSTAR, MONSTER, AMP, FULL THROTTLE, BANG) were ridiculous. We thought the world was ready for a better-for-you alternative so we invented, named, branded, manufactured and brought to market Sunshine. It was made for those of us who wanted a kick-in-the-pants, not a punch-in-the-face. The competition, however, did get punched in the face, as Sunshine exited to private equity a few years ago.
Brands spam things. Communities share things. Build brands through community.
Oklahoma Joe’s makes great smokers. But more than that, they make great fans. After we uncovered a huge bourbon affinity common to smokers, we put together a content series called Bourbon Trailgrating to engage the community. We accompanied an award-winning chef, Edward Lee, as he toured the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and stopped to learn more about the distillery and highlight a bourbon-focused smoking recipe. The result was a highly motivated community and Oklahoma Joe’s sales that defied their modest advertising spend.
We are a group of big agency refugees brought together to grow your business.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork. So when we started to think about what we could do to put the terrible year that was 2020 behind us, we felt like there was an opportunity to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. While everyone else was poignantly longing for “better days”, we created a black Friday promotion called “The Year to Forget Event” that kicked 2020 in the shin and offered to help brands get back on the good foot in 2021. The whole thing, a few videos, a song, a website and a bunch of crazy deals were all created, shot, scored and acted by The Variable employees (special shout-out to CW Lauren Supron for her crazy rollerblading skills)
People don't buy what you make, they buy why you make it.
Everyday, we leave the plants, pets and people we love to spend more time with our work family than our real family. So we figure it should be worth it. We try hard to create a culture that rewards entrepreneurship and free-thinking. That celebrates kindness and inclusion. And that creates a place where everyone can find a way to succeed. The way we see it, a value that isn’t written down is a secret. So we wrote them down and we put them on our walls. That way no one is confused about the things that make The Variable, The Variable.