Find Your North

Branding, design, and strategy are just some of the pieces to the puzzle that is Westchester North.

Westchester North is Northern Westchester’s newest, premiere gateway to local businesses, nonprofits, and community events empowering the Northern Westchester community to connect, taste, experience, and explore.

I worked with the Westchester North team to help launch the new entity and will be filming new content for their site and social.



Life. It’s Not What Comes To You. It’s What You Bring To It.


Everyday is a fresh start. With so many oportunities we have to make the most of it.

This little thought really strikes a chord with me. The landscape is constantly changing and like most people I have had to change with it. Work has been a roller coaster of intense deadlines, fierce creative and long nights. While rewarding in its own way, it does take its toll on me. I am wondering when I will have the chance to wind my mind down to catch a good deep sleep. Until then I am going to keep pushing, keep creating and keep finding new ways of doing.

Life. Make the most of it everyday in every way.

Advertising Obligations? What are they?


Do the creators of advertising have any obligation other than to drive results for clients?

Chuck Porter posed this question awhile back. My response:

I believe any opportunity to enlighten and inform is a good one. When faced with the typical advertising assignments we are often placing our client’s objectives (obviously) on the fore front. “Sell this” – “Drive this!”

It becomes the creative obligation of the team behind the idea to propel that notion forward.

Where we see true success is in our ability as creatives to infuse a broader message.

As you know advertising is reflective of the heartbeat of the people at any given moment. Truly successful campaigns tap into that rhythm and offer up innovative ways to “sell”, “entertain” and hopefully enlighten.

-Chris Valentino, ECD

Facebook: How to make it work for you

I am all about Social Media.  Infusing digital brand dialogue’s secret sauce into creating a batch of Social Brand Action.  While Social Media has many tentacles stretching across platforms such as twitter, google+, instagram, foursquare and more here are some tips I utilize when developing facebook campaigns.




  1. Give people a reason to like your page
  2. Stay relevant and active
  3. Pictures say a thousand words – use them as conversation starters
  4. Run a Contest or Sweepstakes
  5. Celebrate your fans, make the experience rewarding
  6. Take advantage of facebook ads’ Sponsored Stories
  7. Remember facebook fans are a network – and an extension of your on-air network (connect your website and social media outlets)
  8. Use Events as drivers for everything brand related to activate your fans


Be Likable

       Pages like RedBull and LL BEAN do a great job of like-gating offering an email opt-in as well.  This is great for connecting your web experience with facebook.

       It also create a visual presence on landing – make a splash.




Be A Part of Their Story

       Stay on topic

       Stay relevant

       Make your message cohesive using images, threads and contact with your fans

       Use the wall to jump start conversations and feed existing ones



Be Sharable

       Contests can be simple – from a scary quiz, to a sweepstakes, to recognizing your top fan interaction.

       Offer up prizes to drive interaction and promote sharing of your page


Take Advantage of your fans

       A little goes a long way with facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad offering. 

       Build relevance around a campaign by running a sponsored stories campaign in conjunction with on-air tent-poles

       Facebook Sponsored Stories Ads Have 46% Higher CTR, 18% Lower Cost Per Fan Says TBG Digital Test





Make a Great First Impression 

       Control what your fans see when they come to the page

       Welcome new fans with a landing page that directs them to like you

Featured Photos

       Get Creative

       Pick 5 relevant images to create a banner story

 Organize Left Panel Topics


       Keep Videos and Pictures visible

       Highlight applications

       Incorporate Twitter

       Start a Discussion

       Connect other Fan pages

-KEY is order!

Featured Likes

       Show Off Your Friends

       Pick up to 5 pages to feature here

       Add as many relevant fan pages to your own to connect with. This allows you to post as your page to their walls and attract new fans.





AR! Some days I feel like a pirate.

by Chris Valentino, Partner/ECD


Aaarrrrrr! Okay, let me explain. AR has been the buzz word around the office for some time now. When people ask what we are talking about “AR” rolls off the tongue as eloquently as a quesadilla on Cinco de Mayo. Of course, AR is not a word in the traditional sense. So let’s think of it as a technological piece of the big consumer puzzle. I am sure by now most of you have heard of it, some may have played with it and others have asked “Jane, what is this crazy thing?”. AR is short for Augmented Reality which Wikipedia defines as “a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input.” I am sure that cleared up things for you, but to truly understand AR you have to see it in action.

Like any new technology there are bound to be a lot of questions and a short list of trailblazers willing to risk using it for the sake of making noise. For us, AR is very exciting for a number of reasons. One reason is that we jumped into the playing field early to both test the waters and see what was capable from a creative and technological standpoint. Another reason is that it gives users control over their “ad-vironment” (my other buzz word). With AR we have the ability to set new creative benchmarks. The more we talk with businesses and brands the more we visualize possibilities. Industries can take advantage of this technology in ways that are both unique to their brands and services and creatively informative for their consumers. We know a good deal about this having had quick success with a location based scavenger hunt which became one of Layar’s (the big player in the AR community) favorite apps of last year. (You can see an overview on our site for Most recently we launched a campaign with Mazda to feature their new Mazda2. In both we utilized traditional print advertising and social media marketing to drive and educate the consumer. In short we leveraged key components of the technology and available platforms to present the best marketing plan for the individual brands.

New technology also means new challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge for AR is consumer and client education. There are other challenges for brands to effectively integrate AR into their marketing campaigns or as a standalone effort. For one your target audience needs a smart phone or camera enabled device such as a laptop, desktop or tablet. Two, they need to download and install an AR browser application such as Layar, Junaio, Wheremark, Wikitude or mTrip (mobile carriers and device manufacturers are now starting to preinstall which is great for the long run, for example LG is poised to support Wikitude on the 3D AR home front very soon). Three, they need to open a specific brand page for your project to launch your awesome campaign that we created just for you.

Now, that may seem like a lot, but let’s look at the benefits Swiss watchmaker Tissot launched an incredibly successful AR campaign wherein users could virtually try on any watch from their home computer. The user simply placed a paper watch on their wrist and held it in front of their computer camera; they could then simply select any style and watch it appear on their wrist. The online campaign soon transitioned to their retail store and the benefits yielded a boost in overall sales. You can find the video demo on YouTube easily enough.

Perhaps the most recent and talked about AR campaign has been for Lynx deodorant (we know the Unilever company as AXE here). Their innovative idea was the Angel Ambush at London’s Victoria Station. As commuters walked past a specific (marked) spot they suddenly saw themselves on a large video screen by the departure display. It was there they discovered they were not alone. An augmented reality angel was right beside them stirring a commuter commotion and consequently a viral sensation on YouTube.

AR has also made its way to other brands and products such as trading cards, retail shops, milk cartons, fashion and of course video games. Enthusiasts have found ways to create their own augmented reality applications (such as AR Tatoos) for devices such as the Nintendo 3DS. Esquire magazine even launched a Robert Downey Jr driven AR issue.

As much as tablets signaled a change in traditional publishing, AR is signaling a change in the static promotion. Any print ad can be transformed to offer a consumer a whole new world of information and brand awareness that can move with them. With the ever increasing penetration of smartphones technology is within reach of most anyone (and at the very least the most common target demos). We are limited only by our creativity and strategy for reaching the consumer audience.

As with any campaign though you have to look at the big picture which includes the marketing plan, the design and the target audience. It is a good idea to market your efforts in areas that will drum up interest and discussion. Hit your facebook and twitter fans, let them know how awesome you are. Get it in front of the tech blogs if you are breaking new ground. Get it on the park benches, bus stops and billboards.

It goes without saying that this technology will continue to evolve and that awareness will continue to grow furthering my hope that I no longer sound like a pirate to passersby. AR!