Innovation + Advertising
that gets noticed
Why We Win
No amount of spend can overcome insignificance.
The automobile aftermarket category was in a race to the bottom. And NAPA was along for the ride. A decades long reliance on a transactional UVP (Know How) had left the 100-year old company vulnerable in a category that was rapidly evolving away from DIY to DIFM.
They needed a new positioning that was more relevant to a new generation of driver and that would set NAPA up for years of future success. We re-positioned them as a mobility company. And appealed to everyone who loved to move; whether it was to the grocery store, or to the racetrack. We launched an emotional integrated campaign that disrupted a category and introduced the new tagline, “Get up and go.”
Because we think the enemy is indifference, we believe in difference.
Studies have shown that consumers have quadrupled the numbers of clothes they own over the past 20 years, and 90% of those clothes are thrown away before they need to be – crowding landfills and leading to a critical strain on the environment. Given that 10% of global carbon emissions are produced by the fashion industry, Electrolux sees a responsibility to help extend the lifespan of clothing to help reduce the carbon, waste and water footprints of those garments.
And when Electrolux North America embarked on one of its biggest product launches in recent years, the brand wanted to find an emotionally compelling way to communicate how its new line of washers and dryers can help to make clothes last longer with less environmental impact.
We unearth insights that transform our clients' worlds.
Every grill brand was saying the same thing. “Become a grillmaster!” “We have thousands of BTUs!” “Manly meat-eaters, unite!” But our strategy team’s body of consumer research uncovered an insight no one else had recognized: everyday grillers and potential grill buyers remain hesitant to grill because the food they cook may turn out disappointing and the technology in grills can be intimidating.
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 with a 4x brand awareness lift from video versus P&G’s norms. And we exceeded sales goals two years ahead of goal.
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.
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.
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.