South Sound Together, a group of businesses, colleges and government organizations, hungry to show off the South Sound as a top place to work and live, wanted to turn to branding to solve the need. South Sound business leaders were skeptical. Previous group branding attempts failed. This time, the thinking would have to be bigger. The roots, deeper. And the results, unquestionable.
We wrangled the partners and facilitated the big conversations. How do we define the “South Sound”? What is it that can inspire our personality and promise? What does success look and feel like? The effort needed to span audiences, city lines, levels of expectations and communication channels. Most importantly, it needed to be meaningful to the area’s leading organizations while inspiring artists, makers and South Sound fans of all ages, too.
The South Sound Proud brand and badge came first. Then we created the Live Like the Mountain is Out campaign to launch it. After months of strategizing, conceptualizing and imagining, we set it all free via sidewalk chalk, guerilla art and a 28-foot crane banner no one saw coming. The carefully orchestrated launch was as broad as it was collaborative: teaser creative, website, online store, a Snapchat and Instagram strategy, an events street team and open-source graphics with an invitation to use them. Next, we sat back and watched the community make it its own.
In a word? Overwhelming. Residents, businesses and organizations quickly adopted and adapted the Live Like the Mountain is Out creative using elements on their websites, advertising, social media, murals and art. We saw a large following of Instagram followers within days, and 145,000 Snapchat filter uses in the first 24 hours alone. Local reporters were investigating on the day the guerilla tactics broke, trying to track down the source. Artists interpreted the brand in their own creations. And South Sound Proud merchandise at community events disappeared often within the first hour. Businesses contacted us to create items, and they’re still lined up to get campaign murals on their empty walls. The campaign earned continued funding. And the Live Like the Mountain is Out spirit is celebrated year-round in the community.