Inspire Your Clients
Inspire Your Clients

Having wrapped up a week of video shoots, facility tours and consumer focus groups, I’m flying home and checking Twitter at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport when I see a headline from AdWeek about George Lois and Lee Clow’s talk at Cannes about the future of advertising.

The AdWeek article covers two creative giants in advertising who have made their mark with incredibly entertaining and successful work. But further down in the piece, one quote from Lee Clow really sticks with me.

“But the moment in time that I’ll never forget is when we produced the ‘Think Different’ commercial and campaign (in the late 90s) and gave a new voice and a new energy back to the Apple company, and gave permission for all their designers to go do the amazing stuff that they ended up doing.”

The energy the campaign created certainly improved Apple’s standing with consumers, but that would have been short-lived without a renaissance of the products Apple offered their customers. The second part of Clow’s statement is far more important. The campaign reminded Apple’s employees that they were capable of doing really amazing things and helped inspire them to “Think Different” and create an even stronger foundation for the future of the brand.

At Lewis, we talk a great deal with our clients about how important their “internal audience” is, but it is easy for client and agency to get distracted and focus more exclusively on promoting a brand to the consumer. In one quote, Lee Clow reminded me that our job as an agency is to help lead and inspire our clients to live up to their brand’s lofty ideals and meet their full potential.

For a health care client, we need to remind physicians and staff how heroic and life-changing their work is. For an RV manufacturer, we try to focus on how their vehicles create an entirely new lifestyle for their owners. And for a small craft brewer, everything from our package design to web design has to live up to their incredibly high standards for ingredients and process they use to brew.

All things being equal, I’d rather hear this in person hanging out in Cannes. But even reading it from afar, I love the reminder that the work we do in advertising has a much more profound impact than just building awareness and intent to buy.

New Campaign Launch for Stony Brook Medicine
New Campaign Launch for Stony Brook Medicine

Today we launched a new name, branding and service line advertising campaign for our client, Stony Brook.

In early 2011, our client asked us to take a look at how we might update and expand their brand structure and identity. Stony Brook had faced inconsistencies over the years in how their brand was communicated internally and externally.

They asked for our help in developing a larger, more academic and research-focused brand.

A solution and strategy emerged. Our answer was to unify all entities—the hospital, five health science schools and 35 off-campus healthcare facilities—to establish a solid brand structure that allowed for improved communication internally and externally. The new brand that emerged was Stony Brook Medicine.

» Visit the new Stony Brook Medicine website:

In addition to developing the strategy and naming structure for Stony Brook Medicine, we also created a new look and feel through logo development for Stony Brook University, their overarching brand, as well as their five health science schools, major centers and institutes. Our work in brand identity and logo development included everything from stationery and business papers to interior and exterior signage for Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine.

Throughout the remainder of 2011, a new website,, was also created. We developed the site’s design, worked hand-in-hand with the client on sitemaps, built the site templates and launched the site this past February.

Earlier this year, we went into campaign production on multiple advertising elements that would launch internally at Stony Brook Medicine as well as externally though paid media. This week, the external advertising campaign launched with TV and radio spots, banner ads with videos and print ads.

We are very excited and happy to share the advertising campaign. You can view the new campaign for Stony Brook Medicine at the link below on their new website:

And now, if you listen closely, you can hear the corks pop as we celebrate with a bottle of champagne!

Design from a New Vantage Point
Design from a New Vantage Point

I am an aesthetics over analytics girl any day, and I always have been. I pursued my degree in interior design because I love to be surrounded by a purposeful beauty, but in my final year in the interior design program at the University of Alabama, I realized I yearned to experience something more.

I had become trapped in the idea that the only choice I had in my career was whether to go “commercial” or “residential,” and I was suffocating. I was on the UA Greek system’s governing board, as well as an active member of the Student Government Association, and I adored planning our big events and being a part of all the small details that take something from good to great.

And then entered Lewis Communications and the world of advertising.

It was a conversation that was had often during that final semester. The summary goes like this: “I have no idea what I am going to do. Help.” Then, during one of those conversations with a mentor and dear friend, I learned about summer internships at Lewis Communications. I had never thought about taking my love for aesthetics in the advertising direction, but I was quite intrigued by the idea.

Here I am today, fresh off a photo shoot for Tiffin Motorhomes. In my role assisting the stylist, I have served on both the creative side and the account side, and I’ve been able to combine my love for visual beauty with my organized, detail-oriented nature. Though it may seem like styling a photo shoot can’t be that different from designing an interior space, I have learned there are so many little things that go into photography that engages consumers. It’s about creating the right shot list with the right colors for each unit for the right medium. Scale and proportion that seem great in person may not translate well in photography, and I have loved taking on design from this new vantage point.

I’m now off the shoot and in the office, and I can’t wait to see what all the work we’ve done thus far will turn into. Already I’ve learned how captivating various images can be for different audiences, and I can’t wait to learn more.

In the battle between Canon and Nikon, both camera companies are trying to cram more and more megapixels into their sensors. And people are buying into the more is better theory. Although some photo pros need these advances, the majority of the population can save their money and stick with fewer pixels.

I used to carry a 21-megapixel camera with me everywhere. It was rare to see me without it. But something strange happened about a year ago. I started seeing some amazing photography by pro Chase Jarvis. That is nothing new. He is a world-famous commercial photographer. What surprised me was that the shots were taken with his 2-megapixel camera phone. After seeing such awesome photography, I started thinking, “it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer.” So I began shooting with my iPhone daily, trying to capture better shots. I shoot anywhere from 1 to 50 shots a day. And I truly feel that it has helped me become more creative, which carries over to my commercial photography assignments.

The purpose of this story is to get you shooting. It doesn’t matter if you are using your camera phone or a Hasselblad with a 50-megapixel digital back. The more you shoot, the better you will be. And it will show in your photos.

Five feet high and rising
Five feet high and rising

The headline in Monday’s Tennessean read simply, “Overwhelmed.”

Fourteen inches of rain in two days will do that to a city.

And it’s easy to feel that way yourself when you see entire neighborhoods under water. When a grotesquely swollen river swallows your city’s most recognizable landmarks. When the inventories of entire lives sit ruined at the curb. When you learn that at least eighteen of your neighbors have lost their lives, swept away by the unstoppable water.

In Lewis’ Nashville office, we feel incredibly fortunate that everyone here came through this catastrophe relatively unscathed. I’ve never felt so lucky to have a leaky roof.

As the floodwaters recede, the clean up begins. Despite the once-in-a-thousand years nature of this devastating flood, my hope is that what we remember is how the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee came together to care for each other.

My fellow Tennesseans apparently have the same hope. Volunteer organization Hands On Nashville’s website has crashed several times this week because so many people want to sign up and help. On Monday morning, the Davidson County Animal Shelter let it be known that they needed food for animals rescued from the flood. By Monday evening, the pile of donated pet food blocked the halls and reached the ceiling. And, this being Music City, shows benefiting flood victims are popping up at venues all over town. The Volunteer State has never deserved its nickname more than it does right now.

But we can always use a few more extra hands.

To donate your time:

Hands On Nashville
All Metro Nashville relief efforts are being run through this organization.

Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest needs volunteers to sort food and transport meals for the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. They also need monetary donations.

To donate money:

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee Red Cross
Text “RedCross” to 90999 to donate $10 to flood relief. This charge will show up on your phone bill.

Partner Is Greater Than  Vendor
Partner Is Greater Than  Vendor

When I first started out in advertising, a very smart copywriter told me that you can either be a vendor or a partner to your clients. If your client sees your agency as a vendor, you can do fine work. But, if you can become a true partner with your client, those are the relationships that allow you to do your best work.

For many business people, the word “vendor” isn’t meant as a slight and I certainly don’t take it personally when the term is used. But as my friend Gary Brandon says, “Words matter,” and I’ve tried to be mindful of how I describe the companies that our agency works with to produce marketing and advertising for our clients.

Having just completed a lengthy RFP, the words “trusted partner” have been typed fairly often on my laptop. The truth is, Lewis has dozens of “trusted” and “valued” partners and very few vendors.

A couple partners I’d like to mention just helped us with a project in Haiti. Steve Moe of Wahoo Films here in Birmingham has shot dozens of spots with Lewis over the last 20 years and has long been a “go to guy” for our agency.

Proton, an edit house in New York, is a more recent partner the last five years, but has consistently delivered amazing work.

The video here is a labor of love for a pro bono client, The Joseph School. Steve traveled with our team to Haiti and shot most of the footage. Keith Olwell and James Long of Proton both gave generously of their time to make this project so successful. And, they introduced us to a very cool band from Iceland, Sigur Rós, who has graciously allowed us to use one of their songs as the soundtrack for the video.

So, whether your partner is in New York, Reykjavik, Nashville, Port-au-Prince or Birmingham, remember that you’ll always get their best work if you truly allow them to be your partner.

The Real Winner of the 2012 Presidential Election
The Real Winner of the 2012 Presidential Election

Regardless of your political preference, the upcoming 2012 election has been fascinating to watch on Twitter. Think back to the 2008 election. Hardly anyone knew anything about Twitter. Yes, Facebook was growing and so was the concept of social media, but Twitter only had around 1 million Twitter users during the fall of 2008. Today, Twitter has over 500 million and counting. Big difference.

Fast forward to October 2012. Since the first debate started on Oct. 3, Obama’s campaign Twitter handle, @BarackObama, has gained over 847,000 followers. @BarackObama now boasts over 21 million followers and is in the top 10 of all Twitter accounts. A 4% increase in just three weeks. A side note for those who care—Lady Gaga has the most Twitter followers at 30.6 million and counting.

On the other side, Mitt Romney’s campaign Twitter handle, @MittRomney, has gained just over 310,000 followers since Oct. 3. @MittRomney now has over 1.5 million followers—a 20% increase in three weeks.

No matter which side of the political fence you sit on, Obama and Romney are in a tight race. Yet, Obama has the opportunity to tweet to almost 20 million more followers than Romney—nearly the population of the state of Florida. While his following is considerably smaller than President Obama’s, Mitt Romney has more followers today than total Twitter users from 2008.

So why bring up all these stats? Brands who are seeking to influence groups of people, small or large, need to consider the best combination of media to generate conversations about their respective brands. Twitter is a fascinating and non-invasive social media outlet in that users can pick and choose whom they follow. In essence, they can easily manufacture the type of content (or people) they are interested in.

The social media impact on the Presidential Election of 2012 has definitely provided a huge awareness boost for the two candidates when compared to previous elections.


A print campaign for The Scribbler was named Best of Show in the 7th District ADDY Awards in New Orleans (the 7th District encompasses most of the southeastern United States and includes Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Lousiana). The campaign of small space ads for a Birmingham-area stationery boutique was created by ACD Roy Burns, designer Holly Cook and senior copywriter Kathy Oldham. The accolade also marks the second consecutive Best of Show District win for Lewis Communications.

Aubie and Big Al
Aubie and Big Al

My family moved to Birmingham from Los Angeles when I was a kid. It seemed like everyone on the playground that first day asked me if I cheered for Alabama or Auburn. “I cheer for USC,” I proudly told them. The other kids didn’t seem impressed. Instead, they further pressed me, “War Eagle or Roll Tide?”

I quickly learned how insane this rivalry is, and it was absolutely necessary to pick a side. The emotions around the Iron Bowl run deep, and all year long. It’s definitely not just a game.

Recently, fans have shown that there are no limits to how far they’ll take things, from vandalizing the lawn in front of Bryant Denny to poisoning the trees at Toomer’s Corner. If you watched the Roll Tide / War Eagle special on ESPN this week, you would agree that it certainly encompassed the extreme nature of the two fan bases. It is a deeply rooted hatred. Fans here mean business.

This summer, we shot new TV spots for one of our clients, Tiffin Motorhomes, who sponsors various SEC football programs, including Alabama and Auburn.

The spots feature Aubie and Big Al poking fun at each other and playing pranks. The mascots put this playful, innocent spin (especially when Big Al steals Aubie’s toilet paper!) on a rivalry that often runs deeper and more extreme than seems reasonable.

I love how these two mascots are able to make light of a situation that can get a little crazy, both on and off the field. Aubie and Big Al are never going to be best friends, but instead of hating each other, they channel their emotions and intensity into silly pranks and poking fun.