Category: Outrageous Outdoor
June 25th, 2015

Shaking up San Francisco in the Most Amazing Way.

Take a jaunt around the Exploratorium at Pier 15 for a head-to-toe experience that will have your senses jolted in a truly unique (and legal) way. The Exploratorium is San Francisco’s museum of science, art and human perception; the quintessential place that illustrates our city’s commitment to innovation. It serves children and adults—and everyone in between.

The Exploratorium came to us wanting a big idea for their Spring-Summer 2015 campaign to remind people—both locals and tourists—that to truly get to know San Francisco, the Exploratorium is THE place to start. People flock to this great city because it’s a world-renowned focal point for everything that’s cool, quirky and truly unique. And the Exploratorium is San Francisco’s epicenter for all that and then some.

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We learned that the majority of people visiting San Francisco (and locals) don’t have a trip to the Exploratorium on their must-do list. We set out to change that by creating a campaign called “Your Epicenter for Amazing.” The campaign utilizes four words to end the sentence “Your Epicenter for…” including: amazing, quirky, curiositivity and what the…? — all a nod to the inquisitive-fueling exhibits.

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If you’re roaming San Francisco streets today, you can’t miss the outdoor campaign—it’s literally everywhere. We’ve wrapped MUNI light rail trains and double decker Hop On Hop Off tour buses. The city is blanketed with ads on news racks and transit shelters, as well as landmark kiosks. As you travel into the city, you’ll even find the campaign in both East Bay and San Francisco BART stations. If you find yourself downtown and near the water, you might run into our work on the backs of pedicabs shuttling tourists up and down the Embarcadero.

With 600+ hands-on exhibits, we wanted to highlight that the Exploratorium is San Francisco’s focal point for interactivity… and everyone’s epicenter for amazing. We sought to “shake up your plans” in the coolest way possible.

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January 21st, 2015

Mortar’s Work. Spread the News, or Pour Some Booze?

When you go to museums it usually involves learning about something or someone else. The Exploratorium’s new Science of Sharing exhibits are something completely different. You actually learn about yourself. Will you like what you learn about “you”?

Ponder that, people.

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Do you act for the common good, or your own good?

 

Over the past few months, we partnered with the Exploratorium to promote the exhibits to the entire Bay area. But first we had to learn everything we could about The Science of Sharing. We were taught that similar to chemistry and physics, there’s also a science behind human thought and behavior. The Science of Sharing exhibits take societal challenges—like trust, cooperation and competition—and turns them into fun, problem-solving activities and experiences.

During our concept phase, lightning struck. The aim of the exhibits is to generate discussion and provoke thought around why we do the things we do, right? So why not create ads that do just that? Get Bay Area residents to ponder their behavior right in their native environment.

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This billboard was placed at the 101/80 ramp in San Francisco, a hotbed for road rage.

 

From bus shelters to digital billboards to coffee sleeves, we sure got people pondering. The units even featured a hashtag (#SocialDilemma) so they could weigh in on why they do the things they do. But we went way beyond just ads. We also made the discussion mobile by taking over San Francisco MUNI trains and turning them into “Conversation Cars.”

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Our Conversation Cars turned passengers into ponderers.

 

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Each Conversation Car posed questions that were relevant to a rider’s experience and got people contemplating while commuting. Do you put your bags on the seat, or at your feet? Should you just sit there, or is it okay to start talking to strangers? Is MUNI a call-free zone, or do you blab loudly and incessantly on your phone during the entire trip, annoying riders that are even three cars away? (Not that we’re judging.)

We also posed San Francisco denizens with perhaps one of the most pressing dilemmas of our times…especially in a city where the dogs outnumber the children.

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We created quite a movement.

 

A guerrilla-style marketing attack in the form of hundreds of pieces of fake dog poop scattered in San Francisco parks and on city streets was launched last week. Each “land mine” featured a sign asking passers-by if they’d clean up after their dogs if no one was around. The stunt was so attention-grabbing that our plastic poop propaganda pieces became collector’s items as people scooped them up and carried them home.

Also running are the following radio spots we produced for Pandora. There’s no judgment here.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

The Science of Sharing exhibits are open now at the Exploratorium, so head over to Pier 15 and get baffled by your own behavior.

And the next time you’re merging onto the Bay Bridge, eating a curry dish on BART, or taking Fido out to do his business, don’t be surprised if you hear a little voice in your head asking, “Why do you do what you do?”

(For those keeping score, the answer to the question in the headline of this post is: BOTH.)

August 4th, 2014

There’s a Place for People Like Us! (And It’s Not the Nuthouse).

Our summer campaign for the Exploratorium is live, and it feels so good.

Using exhibits at the museum, we produced a series of short films that were shared on the Exploratorium’s social media pages (see the rest of the videos on their YouTube page).

And then we took over the entire city of San Francisco.

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Mortar’s biggest ad of the year.

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Our Thursday night campaign targeted young locals (and, we’re pleased to report, Thursday night attendance numbers have soared since the campaign’s launch.) The current summer campaign aims at the hordes of tourists trudging aimlessly toward Fisherman’s Wharf, because that’s all they’ve ever known. We’re here to let them know there’s more to San Francisco than whining sea lions and sourdough bread. Head down the road to Pier 15, and your brain just might get bigger.

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Because the Exploratorium’s exhibits play with perception and encourage interaction, we created a campaign with plenty of “head-tilt” factor. The black and white photos, which came from the Exploratorium’s archive, all depict actual exhibits from the museum.

For Pandora radio, we wanted to make people stop and tilt their headphone-wearing heads. So we created anthem-like spots that glorify everything the Exploratorium…isn’t.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

We’re sure there’s a place for non-curious people, too, but we couldn’t tell you where it is.

 

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The above billboard was supposed to go up at the Pier 39 parking lot, but the Port of San Francisco requested that we move it to Union Square. (So now we’ll catch the tourists before they board their cable cars.)

And of course, the new work is expected to draw more locals to the museum, too. At 100,000 square feet, you literally discover something new every time you go. Curious? Well, we know a place.

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June 4th, 2014

Exploratorium the for Work Our Out Check.

Over the past few months, we’ve journeyed with the Exploratorium from the strategy phase to creative execution, and man-oh-man what a sweet ride it’s been. The people who work there are so flippin’ smart, we get butterflies when they speak. For those not privy, the Exploratorium is a museum unlike any other museum. Part science, part art, and centered around interactive exhibits, it’s a full-blown cognitive and sensory experience – no matter what age you are.

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The museum recently relocated to Pier 15. Stunning architecture and avant-garde outdoor exhibits draw you before you even step inside. 

As you might predict, the Exploratorium is a haven for families with kids. But on Thursday nights, the museum is open exclusively to adults 18 and over for $10-15, a discount off the regular $25. Basically, you pay less, you’re allowed to drink alcohol while touching everything in sight, and you don’t need to take down a mob of five-year-olds just to see the concave mirror exhibit. It’s clearly a win-win-win.

We knew the Exploratorium wanted to promote their Thursday night events. We also knew that their exhibits play with perception, presenting the world in ways you’ve never seen it before. So we created ads that do just the same. It was almost too easy. (Just kidding. Nothing we do is easy. Except Spoonrocket. That ish off the hook.)

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The posters are currently up at Muni stops, BART stations, as well as thousands of local store and restaurant windows. Also running are the following radio spots on Pandora. We hear Yoda is a huge fan.

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Exploratorium, “Perception Flipped #1”

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Exploratorium, “Perception Flipped #2”

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For the optimal viewing experience, continuously rotate your computer screen 180 degrees.

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The next time your Thursday night plan involves Blokus and a 72-ounce Gatorade, haul your rear to Pier 15 instead and experience the transcendent wonder that is the Exploratorium. You really have to see it to understand it. And even then, mystery a still is it.

May 20th, 2014

A BART Domination, a Billboard Sensation, and a 20-foot-tall Norwegian.

An economic upswing is good for just about everyone. Except for graduate schools, who historically see enrollment go down when job prospects go up. With that top of mind, GGU’s new marketing director was looking to make a big impact this year to reverse that trend. Like, Prince George’s baby kangaroo backpack big.

Uhm…yes, please! All we do is sit around waiting for clients to ask us to go big. GGU’s graduate audience is an ambitious group who are wont to react to energizing, active language that helps them envision their future impact on the world. So we readied an arsenal of powerful headlines, refreshed the design, and proceeded to make our mark on the Embarcadero BART station.

 

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Whether you’re familiar with the GGU brand or not, know that you’re looking at a lot of firsts here. The layout and imagery are bolder and more contemporary than before. It’s the first time we’ve done location-specific ads for GGU, playing off different areas in the Bart stations. And, it’s the first time we’ve executed a programmatic campaign that calls out specific degrees.

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Program-specific ads. Because the more tailored your message, the stronger you’ll resonate with your respective audiences. 

 

But most notably, it may very well be the first time an agency has launched this many ads at one time. Knowing that volume = impact, GGU chose to flood the Bay Area with 900-odd ads. (There aren’t even that many grocery stores in San Francisco!) In addition to hitting Embarcadero and Powell BART, we placed billboards in the East Bay and posters at Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Pleasant Hill stations. And that doesn’t include the litany of digital banners that are running. The sheer quantity of work produced is astounding – as is the amount of booze and snacks that was required to keep us alive.

But wait, there’s more! Have you seen the billboard up on Bryant Street between 3rd and 4th? Call an Uber and hightail it over, cause this is huge!

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The biggest challenge was finding a Scandinavian woman tall and willing enough to stand up there for an entire month. Don’t worry, we’ll tip her well.

900 ads, a billboard, and a brand that’s more relevant to its audience. If you’re a Bay Area resident who’s even flirting with the idea of maybe, possibly considering a graduate business degree, you’ll now be thinking about GGU. Our work here is done. (We think. Unless those are the footsteps of the account team running to hand us another deliverable. Quick – to the fire escape!)