ARS Blog Archive

Archive, Success Stories category

2015 Krasl Block Party

July 15, 2015


Good music, great conversation, local brews and plenty of sunshine—these barely scratch the surface of what this year’s Krasl Block Party had to offer to members of the community and those who traveled from around the nation to attend. From setup to teardown, visitors were able to experience, firsthand, the excitement of the Block Party along with the hard work that went into making it happen.

Just three years ago, ARS first teamed up with the Krasl Art Center to support the annual Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff. What started with creating the official poster, guidebook and T-shirt has turned into a true passion for promoting creative outlets within Southwest Michigan. This year, ARS took its involvement a step further.


The agency’s own Mandy Lattin rallied the troops here at ARS to volunteer their time, along with volunteers from Krasl, Whirlpool Corporation and the community. Together, they effortlessly juggled both work and play. It was great to see every worker and volunteer enjoy the night as much as every artist, community member and visitor.

Over 600 people were in attendance, making the turnout even greater than anticipated. Partygoers had the pleasure of greeting some of the 200 artists who were to be featured at the Art Fair—painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and more. Even Josh Coté, the featured artist chosen for this year’s poster, was in attendance along with one of his spectacular pieces.


The lot started filling up even before the start time of 5 p.m. Crowds continuously poured in all night, up to the last minute, where some were sadly turned away, and all were disappointed to hear that the 2015 Krasl Block Party was coming to a close.

It was a great way to say thank you to all of the artists and volunteer support and a perfect way to kick-start the 2015 Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff, which has an annual attendance of over 50,000 people from around the United States.


Everyone came together for some dancing to the rock and reggae sounds of Mike Struwin and Roots Down. Food trucks lined the parking lot with Camzies Pizza, Baja Gringo Tacos and GelatoWorks. Those in attendance (and of age) were able to cool down on a warm summer’s night with a taste (or should I say, a cupful) of Southwest Michigan thanks to Lemon Creek Winery, Round Barn and Tapistry Brewing.

It was a Norman Rockwell painting come to life … or maybe just a Krasl original.


ARS Rebrand for Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor Receives Regional MAC Award

June 08, 2015

BGC Rebrand4

For over 15 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor has been helping kids between the ages of 6 and 18 create great futures through after-school activities that promote academic success, character and leadership development, and healthy lifestyles. And for nearly the past decade, ARS has proudly partnered with the Clubs to support this important work in our community.

The agency’s involvement with the Clubs touches nearly every individual in the office, from SVP/General Manager, Kim Finch, who serves on the Board of Directors, to the account executives, designers and writers who have developed strategies, branding and collateral for capital campaigns, fundraisers and signature events. ARS also sponsors and contributes materials to the art and drama rooms at the Fettig Youth Campus.

So when the Clubs approached ARS about rebranding all marketing touchpoints and communications, the agency eagerly got to work exploring concepts. The resulting new branding Each Day Makes a Difference is fresh and bright, capturing the energy and optimism that Club members, staff and volunteers bring to the organization’s activities every day. It provides an excellent canvas for the countless youth success stories that begin at the Clubs.

With Each Day Makes a Difference, the Clubs aimed to show capital donors the impact of previous gifts and the ongoing need for financial support, raise awareness of Club programs and grow its network of supporters. The rebrand achieved its goals, gaining community recognition with media impressions, funds raised, new recruitments and positioning within the community. In recognition of this success, Each Day Makes a Difference recently received the Michigan/Ohio Area Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Marketing and Communications Award.

Our clients’ success is reward in itself, and even more so when their work does as much for our community as the Clubs do. Congratulations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor on its many accomplishments and the well-deserved recognition!

5 Tips for Instagram Success from Brands That Are Rocking It

May 20, 2015

With over 70 million photos uploaded every day to Instagram, how do you keep your brand’s posts from getting lost in the volume? Whether you’re just getting started or looking to step up your brand’s game, check out some of our favorite tips, picked from the feeds of the 20 most popular brands on Instagram.

photo 1 nike

1. Share inspiration

Instagram’s visuals help your fans connect with your brand’s lifestyle and bring your products’ benefits to life. Take a lesson from Nike. With action shots of athletes, both famous and everyday, and captions that urge fans to #justdoit when it comes to making each performance better than the last, the brand’s content encourages fans to aim high, makes their goals feel attainable and motivates them to share photos of their own feats with the tagline/hashtag.

photo 2 gopro

2. Regram your fans’ content

The best messaging comes from happy customers. Show them you appreciate their engagement by liking, commenting on and regramming their posts. And be sure to thank them for sharing! Or do it like GoPro and encourage submissions with a link in your profile. Their photos and videos of the day highlight their customers’ active lifestyles, with images of skydiving, surfing, motocrossing and all the other activities your average camera isn’t up for.

photo 3 zara

3. Engage influencers

In addition to posts featuring the latest styles, global fast fashion retailer Zara peppers its Instagram feed with images of bloggers, creatives and models sporting their favorite pieces and sharing a bit about themselves with the hashtag #zarapictures. Make a list of bloggers and social media personalities who would be interested in testing or modeling your product and start connecting.

photo 4 bmw

4. Take fans behind closed doors

Behind-the-scenes photos give your fans an intimate look into your company’s culture and mission. Whether it’s sharing milestones in the brand’s history, early concepts of a newly launched product or a sneak peek of what’s coming soon, your fans will love feeling like insiders. BMW does this with frequent posts on the evolution of their cars over decades, connecting today’s drivers to the brand’s legacy of luxury.

photo 5 nba

5. Mix it up

Keep your fans’ attention by keeping your posts fresh. To avoid repeats or forgetting to post regularly, manage Instagram as part of your overall content strategy and calendar. Plan ahead for holiday-themed posts, new product launches and other important dates, while interspersing branded posts with images from fans. And experiment with both photo and video posts to see which get the most comments and likes. For inspiration, look at how the NBA’s posts give each team its moment in the spotlight with photos and videos of game highlights.

Of course, some tactics work well for some brands, but not others. The great thing about social media is the opportunity it presents to find out what resonates with your fans, so don’t be afraid to try out new ideas until you find what works best for achieving your goals.

Emerald Avenue + Aisle Rocket Studios

September 26, 2014

Emerald Avenue challenged Aisle Rocket Studios to create a Destination Marketing Campaign to raise awareness and boost tourism to Southwest Michigan’s agribusiness destinations — wineries, distilleries, orchards and farm markets.

As part of the year-long campaign — and inspired by the subscription boxes like Birchbox, Julep and Graze — ARS created a fun and casual way to engage members of the media — an actual media kit. Included in each were artisan products and rural charm from each Emerald Avenue location (cherry jam, dried cherries and blueberries, whiskey barrel wood chip, wine bottle cork, and a vintage wine bottle label) and a new publication that acted as a source of material for the media to write their pieces.


The publication was The Emerald Avenue magazine — that helped define the brand’s essence and served as the focal point of the kit. The magazine’s purpose was to function as more than just a large brochure, as the magazine used imagery — both graphic and prose — to let consumers know what Emerald Avenue was all about.

The kits were sent to 40 members of the regional media and were bundled with Edible Michiana and Edible Chicago magazines. Sarah Jollay, Emerald Avenue president, received numerous inquiries from media reps to obtain more information about the cooperative. Editorial content was also posted to media blogs and online newsletters in addition to call-outs in a handful of publications.

Emerald Avenue was so enthused about The Emerald Avenue magazine they wanted to publish it annually and use it to add new members to the cooperative. Several of these members are also part of other tourist organizations and let Aisle Rocket and Emerald Avenue know they’d never received this level of attention and understanding for their businesses.

Four Great Brands. One Powerful, New Company.

May 15, 2013


Every team has a star player. It’s the same with multi-brand corporations. Each one has a few brands that stand out above the others. Monessen Hearth Systems Corporation (MHSC) was no exception.

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Cook More & Love It with Kenmore

May 15, 2013


Kenmore customers love to cook. For years they’ve been asking, “Where’s the Kenmore cookbook?” So when Kenmore’s 100-year anniversary rolled around, it seemed like the perfect time to give people what they’d been asking for. Thus, was born.

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“Do Life. Not Dishes.” videos

May 15, 2013


Traditionally, appliance feature videos are chock full of useful information about what makes a complicated doodad run better, faster, and more efficiently. All this info is great, except for one thing — nobody is listening. Read more

ARS gives the Kenmore Genius blog a makeover

April 22, 2012


Social media is not just a vehicle for communication. It is more than just content and comments. It is an organic phenomenon, always changing alongside the people that interact with it. Read more

Plan a child’s party like never before

February 22, 2012


Kids’ birthdays are a time to celebrate with friends, including their favorite characters. Parents want to get their child’s character-themed birthday just right, so ARS and our client PBS KIDS have joined together to build an easier way to make kids’ birthday party dreams come true.

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ARS rethinks garage organization

December 15, 2011


Remodeling takes planning, hard work and a big toolbox. It also takes vision. That’s why we created the Gladiator® GarageWorks Design Studio — a tool to help you imagine, design and build your dream storage space. Read more