Hangin’ With Mrs. Cooper

Someone once said of their professional drive: “It’s smart people, doing smart work.” That person? Sonya Cooper, 160over90’s new Executive Director of Client Services here at 1 S. Broad.

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A Detroit native and Midwesterner at heart, Sonya’s spent most of her professional life navigating the small, intersecting world known as the Philadelphia ad industry. While she brings 15 years of work experience and perspective to the table, plus the occasional mom gear, there’s one thing that really sets her apart—her history with the agency. Sonya was a member of the 160over90 team way back when… when Tiger Woods was still a champion golfer, when velour tracksuits were stylish, and when Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” topped the Billboard charts. In the early 2000s, she worked her way up from Account Executive to Account Director in our newly formed branding shop, and built and implemented many of the agency processes that are best practices today. Fast forward nearly 10 years, and Sonya is back in action at 160over90, with “Executive” in her title.

After giving her all of, maybe, four days to get settled, we tapped Sonya for a glimpse into 160over90’s early days, what brought her back, and what makes Sonya, Sonya.

Q. Back in 2002, what was it like to work at 160over90?

A. We were certainly a smaller agency—small and nimble. There was this “all hands on deck, get it done” mentality. No matter the category, project, or scope of work, we would find a way to make great work. We didn’t feel like a small agency. We did a ton of work and we did it well.

Q. Since leaving the agency in 2006, what was the main impetus to return?

A. This agency has continued to grow and define its place in the industry. It’s never stopped challenging itself or its employees. When I was here before, higher education was a growing practice, so it’s amazing now to see us as leaders in this space, alongside consumer and sports specialties. Plus, we’ve formalized the agency structure and systems. What was organic account movement is now a defined process. The agency now approaches scheduling and project management with more rigor—all great assets for continued growth and opportunity.

Q. Being a mother of three, what is going to keep you going in this new role?

A. If I’m going to be away from my three little ones all day long, the work has to be meaningful and rewarding. To me, the key is working in a place that has an energy that makes me excited to come to work every day.

Q. In your experience working with various brands, is there one niche you especially enjoy?

A. It’s not about a particular industry or vertical for me. I love solving brand challenges. I’m category agnostic. Finding consumer insights and how they can impact a business challenge is really what drives me.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to an account person who is just getting started in the business?

A. In a collaborative, creative agency, everyone’s voice should be heard. So speak up!

And now for the burning questions…

Q. Deep Dish Pizza or Cheesesteaks?

A. Thin crust

Q. The Broad Street Line or “the L”?

A. Broad Street Line

Q. Favorite thing about the City of Brotherly Love?

A. Walkability.

Q. Funniest mom ‘accessory’ that’s made it into work?

A. Barbie’s high heels

Q. Guilty pleasure music choice?

A. If I’m being honest, the Frozen soundtrack!

Q. Favorite show to binge watch.

A. Currently, VEEP

Q. Fun fact.

A. I’ve never had a cup of coffee…in my entire life.

Q. Any hidden talents?

A. I can recite the alphabet backwards… in four seconds. Hit the PLAY button on the left of the audio player below.

160OVER90 SAYS HALO TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Angels Baseball recently called up 160over90 West. The MLB team was ready to launch a new premium seating option in their repurposed press box and was in need of head-to-toe branding.

Right next to the owner’s box, it’s an ultra exclusive experience featuring all-inclusive, globally inspired dining, a highly attentive personal staff and the best sight lines in baseball.

We started with naming the space HALO then built a brand, identity and aesthetic to appeal to the affluent, event-savvy demographic found in Orange County. It’s baseball, but with a polished, airy, lounge-like atmosphere. We wanted everything to have a premium, considered feel from the sales materials to the tickets to tiny surprise and delight moments on coasters, glassware and a photo wall backdrop for entering guests.

Below are just a few of the pieces we developed as well as photos shot during the launch of the new space.

The Team:

Creative Director & Copywriter: Kyle Arango

Executive Creative Director: Jim Walls

Lead Designer: Bryan Hill

Senior Designer (Logo Work): James Snyder

Project Manager: Anna Mumford

Account Director: Isaac Bodenhamer

Account Supervisor: Jeremy Groff

Producer: Thomas Ammon

Photographers: Foxes & Wolves

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Adding a Little Perspective

Sometimes it pays to step back and put things in perspective. That’s the approach Providence College takes, and incidentally, applying the college’s philosophy when concepting new admissions and marketing pieces for them allowed us to create something far better than our original task outlined.

To help roll out their new brand (which centers around the idea that there’s value in looking from more than one perspective), Providence College asked us to undertake two projects: an admissions video and an admissions microsite. “Sweet,” we said. “We can’t wait.”

With a fresh brand and an excited team, we set forth. But almost as soon as our projects kicked off, we reevaluated them, this time from a new perspective. We realized (well actually, ECD @onetallsteve realized, but who’s counting) that since our video would likely drive to the microsite, and our microsite would likely house our video, the two were not distinct tasks.

“This isn’t two jobs,” we thought, “It’s one.”

And with that, we launched a new project: build a super-powered video-based admissions microsite for Providence College that delivers content in a way a 17-year-old might actually care about.

Just a few short months later, vantagepoints.providence.edu is a real (virtual) thing. And apparently, Sidebar, Awwwards, and Commarts think it’s pretty special, too.

Friendships

Partners: Shannon Slusher, Darryl Cilli
Executive Creative Director: Steve Penning
Executive Producer: Tom Ammon
Digital Creative Director: Konstantinos Psimaris
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Chara Odhner
Video Editor: Elizabeth Kalbach
Developer: Cameron Baney
Motion Graphics: Chris Lee
Interactive Designers: Kelly Clawson, Tim Beitz
Account Supervisor: Kierstin Loper
Project Manager: Michelle Shekari
Video: Washington Square Films

A LOT OF LATE NIGHTS WENT INTO LAST NIGHT.

The making of “We. Make. Believe.” for the Atlantic 10 Conference.
This wasn’t our first national TV spot. But no matter if it’s for a Grand Slam, the world’s most applied-to university, an NFL franchise, or in this case—a college athletic conference—every time is sort of a first time in its own kind of way. And on this type of project there are moments when everything can feel like it’s up in the air until the spot finally goes on air. But once it does, like it did last night, it’s surreal. It’s like one final big group check-in. Just like we’ve all sat in together countless nights before. Only this screen isn’t attached to our computer. This feed is beaming down from a satellite. Those are our words. Those are our edits. And effects. And suddenly, it is very, very real.

Pulling it off, takes a lot.

It takes a client willing to take risks and trusting enough to cooperate.
It takes the URL we wanted to somehow be available for $12.99.
It takes flexibility, and it takes patience.

Because when you work on something that you care about so much, so closely and so intensely, there’s inevitably gonna be some friction. This project was no different. It saw CCO* vs. CD, CD vs. Editor, and Editor vs. the state of Texas.** And through it all, we stood, together—just like we did last night.

So back to last night, anyway. Here’s the spot:

It was a long winding road getting there. It started with five of us packed into the back of a van for an all day shoot in Richmond, Virginia. From there it was up to NYC to record VO with artist Saul Williams who you may know from this, this, or…that. Next up, RJD2 hopped on-board to mix the track.

Wall of A-10 work at 160over90.

The A-10 wall at 160over90.

160over90's film crew

Setting up to shoot at VCU’s Siegel Center.

Shooting at The Palestra.

Shooting some dusty banners at The Palestra.


All along we were shooting whenever we could find a window into the busy lives of the A-10’s student-athletes. They are the ones who this spot truly starts and ends with.

These students play on the biggest stages in college sports while graduating at a higher rate than most of the big-name teams they beat regularly out on the court. But somehow that’s not the story. Somehow, they’re not America’s favorite collection of teams. Well, not yet anyway. Because now we’re helping them tell their story to a wider audience: that winning doesn’t mean having to lose what you stand for.

Over the past several months we’ve all become big fans of the A-10. Along the way we realized we share something in common. Whether it’s producing a national spot, earning the grades, or playing late into March—for us, the most important project is the one that lies in front. And then the Next one.


** The Lone Star State may have won, but Max’s mustache remains undefeated.
* Canada Dry lost a good one.


Agency: 160over90
Chief Executive Officer: Shannon Slusher
Chief Creative Officer: Darryl Cilli
Executive Creative Director: Jim Walls
Director of Client Services: John Campanella
Creative Director: Timothy O’Donnell
Digital Creative Director: Konstantinos Psimaris
Copywriter: Kris Blake
Motion Designers: Chris Lee, Joe Dunlap
Video Editor: Max Paolucci
Executive Producer: Tom Ammon
Producer: Nick Pitcavage
Designers: Nick O’Brien, Dan Kent
Project Manager: Jamie MacNamara
Account Directors: Lindsay White, Andy Starr
Account Executive: Jasmine Rupert
Web Developer: Cameron Baney
Sound Design: Tom Lebeau
Musical Score: RJD2
Voice-Over: Saul Williams

The One Thing 17-year Olds Won’t Think is Lame: Themselves

susu

 

The best way to reach accepted students? Use their own words.

That’s what we did for Seattle University.

SU’s admissions officers pulled out quotes from their essays and we created something beautiful around it. Each accepted student got his or her words in a custom poster along with their acceptance letter.

Check out the hashtag #SUOneofOne on Instagram and Twitter to see the overwhelming response. Below are just a few of our favorites.

 

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