Ant’s Choice: Center of the music universe

In its third year, the Center of the Universe Festival (COU Fest) is quickly becoming one of the best music festivals around. With consistently over 100 bands spread across three stages and countless local bars and venues, COU Fest has the momentum it needs to continue growing and bringing in the best acts to Tulsa.coufest

But just like other festivals, COU Fest is more than just music, it’s a massive bizarre of shops, food trucks and everything in between. There is definitely something for everyone, even the kids.

Being hosted in the Brady Arts District, one of the many up-and-coming districts in Tulsa, means festival-goers have prime access to some of the best restaurants around. Which not only lets you cool off in some much needed air conditioning in the Oklahoma summer heat, but also means you don’t have to leave the festival grounds to score an awesome dinner with your friends. image1 (1)

One of the things that COU Fest continues to get right is their scheduling of acts. No matter what bands you want to hear, the stages are close enough together that you’ll be able to make your way over and listen to all your bands of choice. And the times are staggered, too. Allowing you to hear snippets of multiple bands no matter where you are headed. There is always music playing somewhere, which keeps your attention throughout the long two-day festival.

Center of the Universe Festival draws in people from all over. And if you haven’t been, you need to. The festival may even be bucket list worthy to some. We’re already looking forward to the lineup for next year. For more information and to learn all you need to know about this amazing Festival, head over to centeroftheuniverse.com.

Or find it all over social media.

Facebook:
Center of the Universe Festival

Twitter:
@COUFest

Instagram:
@COUFest

10 best practices on how to talk to your agency

When it comes to talking and dealing with your creative agency, there are a few tips that help get the most out of your partnership that you may not know, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. We polled our office and got some good feedback on how best to talk and deal with an agency. Hopefully these tips will help next time you and your agency hit the roadblock. (In no particular order)

1. Understanding the problemshutterstock_258823979

Allow us to do that. You may want to try and define the problem yourself, but including your agency in that process can be very beneficial. The more information we have about your brand and your goals the better equipped we will be to offer valuable input and produce something that delivers the results you want.

2. Include as much information as possibleshutterstock_261566594

The more information the client can give to the agency at the beginning of the project, the better. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want. Provide all input/assets at the start of a project. Often, changing direction or new information mid-project causes the scope and budget to change.

3. Be transparentshutterstock_164665187

With transparency, time is used effectively and problems or issues are defused. It allows for the relationship to be authentic, in which trust is created, and the client and agency can work in harmony. There is a mutual respect in what the client brings and what the agency brings in the relationship.

4. Give good feedbackshutterstock_228790603

Client feedback is crucial to the creative process. Before providing feedback, gather a full consensus from your team so everyone is on the same page with any design or copy edits. This will save time and production costs in the long run.

5. Be concise shutterstock_256115929

The more concise you can be, the more likely the agency won’t miss something. Use bullets or organize content so it’s easy to make sure things aren’t missed. Writing one long paragraph may lead to items being missed.

6. Be clear about requirements, optional items and wish list itemsshutterstock_161233412

Be very clear about what is required and how success will be measured. Separately, indicate wish list items and optional items- if we know the ultimate wish list, we can try to achieve it. Itemizing must-have and ‘nice-to-haves’ is a good way to give the creative folks freedom while making them aware of what would exceed expectations.

7. Remain present and engaged in conversationsshutterstock_254080660

Remain present and actively engaged in the conversation, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Remove distractions and be open and honest, both in listening and communicating back to the agency. If you are demostrating that you are making the project a priority, the agency will too. Direct and honest feedback is the best way to communicate.

8. Give accurate and achievable deadlinesshutterstock_184538510

In order to do the best work possible the agency needs deadlines that can be met while maintaining internal agency processes that are in the place to ensure the best product from the agency. There are times when rushing something is unavoidable, but with proper planning and preparation clients should be able to provide the agency with the time necessary to develop great work. Rush deadlines should be the exception, not the rule.

9. Know what your objective isshutterstock_277496639

What are you looking to accomplish? Are we driving traffic to a website or event? If not, what is it you want to happen? This is very important information to provide when it comes to creating a campaign that is not only creative, but also effectively meets your need and produces the results you were expecting.

10. Be clear on what not to includeshutterstock_107966306

If competitors use certain elements in their branding, pass that information along to the agency. If there are certain themes or colors to steer clear of because of industry connotations or CEO preference, it is better to know upfront rather than to find out after the first design options have been developed.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other best practices when it comes to communicating with creative agencies. 

Another year, another great Saint Francis Tulsa Tough

FullSizeRender (1)Saint Francis Tulsa Tough has been around for a while now as the go-to cycling event, drawing a crowd of people that come from all parts of the country. But this event is more than a crowd pleaser. Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is all about the community.

This year marks the ten year anniversary of Saint Francis Health System sponsoring the event. And as a sponsor, Saint Francis does it to help give back to the community and encourage Tulsa residents to remain active and have some fun.

They even have a cycling crew, the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Divas. Which is comprised of women of all ages and backgrounds, that come together not only to ride in Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, but also to stay active and enjoy each others camaraderie year round.

image2Saint Francis Tulsa Tough consists of three days of criterium racing, two days of Gran Fondo races and the “come as you are” all-ages Townie ride, which is very popular among enthusiasts and families a-like.

Each day of the event takes place in a different district of downtown Tulsa, showcasing what our city has to offer. And offer it does. With the recent revitalization of downtown, there is something for everyone. From restaurants, bars and comedy clubs, to bowling, grocery stores and Drillers baseball.

This year’s event could have taken a turn for the worse when a cyclist collapsed near Cry Baby Hill, the toughest section of the ride. But luckily, Officer Don Holloway was there to help. The cyclist collapsed and Holloway sprang into action. He made a call to EMSA and then started giving the man CPR. A great action that Holloway thinks of as just part of his job.

If you didn’t make it out to this year’s event, make sure you do next year. So you can enjoy the fun activities put on by Saint Francis and everyone else involved. Maybe you’ll even join the Townie ride, who knows.

For more information on the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough event, visit www.tulsatough.com.

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Celebrity Status

image3 (2)When you step inside Celebrity Restaurant, you get transported back in time. To a time when people cared about service, relationships and treating people with respect. And you shouldn’t expect anything less when you learn that long-time owner, Mike Samara, is a 91-year-old World War II veteran.

During the war, Mike served as a surgical assistant with an infantry division. He got a couple weeks worth of specific training and then was sent off to fight and help save lives in France, Belgium and ultimately Germany, where he stayed until the war ended.

When Mike took over Celebrity Restaurant in 1963, there had been three different owners in the previous year alone. All failing to turn the bar around and make it a success. Mike decided to take a different approach when he took over the reins. He brought in outstanding food, like the signature fried chicken — which is his favorite dish, and provided excellent service to everyone. His famous smile rubbed off on all who passed through the doors and before he knew it, Celebrity Restaurant was a runaway success.

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If you’ve never been to Celebrity Restaurant, you should go. Not only for the great food, but also for all the stories hanging on the walls. As the name implies, many famous people have stopped in and enjoyed the food and drink offerings of Celebrity Restaurant. Like Bob Hope, one of the funniest comedians ever, who made it his duty to make sure our service men and women were entertained while fighting for our country. The posh chairs and inviting staff make sure you are comfortable while dining on great dishes made by great people.

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Mike owes much of the success of his food offerings to his first cook, Mattie. Whose fried chicken recipe is still in use today, as are the same iron skillets from 1963.

What started out as a private club is now the cornerstone of 31st and Yale. Mike Samara has not only left a lasting impression on what it means to be a great restaurant owner, but also on what it means to serve your country.

This Memorial Day, take the time to thank all the military members that went out of their way and served this great country we are lucky to call home.

Thank you.

About Celebrity Restaurant:
3109 S. Yale Ave.
Tulsa, OK
918-743-1800
celebritytulsa.com

Hours:
Open for lunch Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Open for dinner Monday-Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

We love moms

MomsDayCollage (1)Happy Mother’s Day to all the great and caring moms out there. Every year we celebrate this day as a way to say “thank you” to moms for everything they do.

We polled the office to find out what everyone’s favorite Mother’s Day video is and then voted for the overall best one. But, we couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are the top two favorite Mother’s Day videos, as voted on by the Ants.

A little advice — keep a box of tissues close by.

World’s Toughest Job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY

What the Ants thought:

“I loved the World’s Toughest Job campaign because it keeps you interested and hooked throughout the video. It entices you to keep watching and find out what this crazy, unheard of job position is.” — Lale

“If this doesn’t make you want to call your mom and thank her for everything, I don’t know what will. The setup is priceless and the reactions are even better.” — Matt

Here’s to the moms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRDyP2DcEds

What the Ants thought:

“I like this because it’s a happy, contemporary celebration of moms everywhere. The videos and the photos make the message of gratitude and love even more powerful.” — Anna

“Any time you can use real people in a genuine setting, it adds a very emotional element for the viewers. That’s what I enjoy about this ad; it’s relatable. It reminds them of the impact their moms had on their lives.” — David

Here are a couple more that didn’t make the top two, but are just as great and memorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwFso7NeuA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBMQcW6S11Q

Ant’s Choice: Early person gets the produce

Saturday mornings are best spent at farmer’s markets. And one of the best Tulsa farmer’s market to spend your morning at is the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market off 15th and Peoria.

A couple weekends ago, a few intrepid Ants left the colony and ventured out our front door to marvel at all the amazing foodstuff and other products the various venders have to offer. From vegetables, flowers and grass-fed beef to herbs, breads and even clay goods, there is something for every food lover. And something even if you’re not interested in the food at all.

When it comes to selection, Cherry Street Farmers’ Market makes sure it’s all represented–if it’s in season. That’s one of the best perks to shopping at a farmer’s market, you get access to vegetables, fruits and other goods that literally just came off the farm. It’s about as fresh as you can find. We talked with a couple of venders and they all said that the majority of the foods they had for sale were picked within the last 24-48 hours. And you can definitely taste the difference.

One vendor, Blakely Family Farm, has some of the best eggs we’ve ever had. Hailing from northeastern Oklahoma, Rae and Lyle Blakely have been selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market for the past 18 years. It takes over two hours to set up, but as the owner said, “My favorite thing about [selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market] is meeting all the people that come.” image2

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Needless to say, for the next however long they are selling those eggs, the Ants will be buying them.

For the non-food goers, Fat City Clay offers a number of amazing handmade clay products. From coffee cups and pitchers, to bowls and plates, every product is unique and beautiful. We spoke with Joe Staskal, from Fat City Clay, who’s been selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market for 15 years about what makes him keep coming back year after year. “The people are my favorite thing about doing [the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market] every weekend. It’s like another day off for me.”

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The common thread here is the goods are just as good as the people around the market.

If you want to get some fresh goods, and don’t mind waking up early, we highly suggest you check out the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market. Which happens every Saturday from now through October, starting at 7 a.m. and ending around 11 a.m.

What do you like about the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market? Let us know in the comments.

CONTACT INFO:
The Cherry Street Farmers’ Market
15th St. and Peoria Ave.
www.cherrystreetfarmersmarket.com
www.facebook.com/cherrystreetfarmersmarketassociation
www.instagram.com/tulsafarmersmarket
www.twitter.com/tulsafarmersmkt

Meet the Ants—Sarah Haertl

Behind every great ad, there’s a problem-solving Ant who knows how strategy and tactics work together to achieve positive results. Here’s your chance to meet one of our crew.10940638_369303236587977_3056284665325395157_n

Sarah Haertl
Director of Sales and Marketing

How did you first meet the Ants?
I relocated to Tulsa from Wichita as Regional Director of Marketing for the BOK Center. One of my first assignments was to hire a creative agency to design a national trade publication campaign for the venue. The objective was to sell the BOK Center and Tulsa to national promoters, artists and agents as one of the top concert markets in the country. From the first meeting, I knew the Ants were special. We just clicked. I loved the Ants’ passion for their work and their out-of-the-box ideas. To boil it down: They just got it.

What did you like about the Ants?
Working with the Ants from the client side was easy. It was the perfect blend of professionalism with edgy, creative ideas. Our meetings were fun and productive, all at the same time. It’s easy to see why so many Ants have stayed here for many years. This team knows how to have a good time, while getting the job done.

What would you like a prospective client to know about working with the Ants?
Having been a client of the Ants, I can confidently tell prospective clients to expect the best working relationship you’ve ever had with an agency. We meet deadlines. We over-deliver. And the work is good—really good!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned or done since you’ve been here?
My first project was the marketing plan and media buy for Center of the Universe Festival. I love this project because it lets me utilize my concert marketing experience. I also believe Center of the Universe Festival is a great asset to the city of Tulsa. It’s a “quality of life” enhancer that makes Tulsans proud of their city. How could I not be excited about the opportunity to help make my community better?

What have you learned about being on the agency side of the marketing equation?
I’ve gained an even greater respect for all those creative people. The work our designers create and witty prose our writers craft is unbelievably good.

What do you for fun or stress relief? What’s your favorite pastime?
I would love to say something daring like skydiving or swimming with sharks, but honestly, I work out and read, both for stress relief and for fun. On a side note, I did bungee jump when I was in college and I’ve promised my 12-year-old daughter that I will take her sky-diving for her 18th birthday, so I guess I’m not completely boring.

You’re so shy, Sarah. How can we bring you out of your shell?
I am a people person. Don’t ask me to do any technical like set up a computer or assemble furniture. My idea of torture is reading the instruction manual to anything. Set me free in a room full of people, and I’m in heaven. I love talking to people and hearing their stories. This business is about relationships. Even though I’m still relatively new to Tulsa, I hope my willingness to get out there and meet people will help ensure my success.

Why Great Danes?
I blame Scooby Doo. As a child, I was obsessed with him. My weekly ballet classes were the same time Saturday morning as Scooby Doo. This was long before VCRs or DVRs. My mom told me I had to choose between the two. That decision was easy…bye, bye, ballet. I currently have two Great Danes and they call them gentle giants for a reason. They are kind and loving and—and as painful as it can be—they really want to be lap dogs. Ours weigh close to 200 pounds each, so that’s a whole lot of dog… and a whole lot of dog slobber! (You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?)

Ant’s Choice: Breathing new life into vintage home goods.

Located off 12th and Harvard, Retro Den is a vintage home store not to miss. The outside is bright and vibrant and the inside is just the same. When you first step inside, you are surrounded by beautiful succulents and other plants, some of which have been growing for over 20 years. But when you look past them, you see what the Retro Den is really about: quality and reasonably priced vintage home goods that you can actually use.

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Retro Den does a nice job of arranging their items into different areas and rooms—just like IKEA. This gives you a sense of completeness. Looking for an entire dining or living room solution? They have it set out and ready to purchase. The wide-open interior makes it easy to survey all the goods and find the hidden gems.

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Their glassware selection is second to none. Having been there many times, there is always a new set ready to be taken home. Need new glasses? Check. A serving tray? Check. If glassware is your thing, you need to stop in and see the amazing and diverse collection they have.

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Retro Den isn’t only about selling vintage items. Owners Ashley and Ashley have done a great job of curating local craftsmen to supply them with amazing furniture and accessories. From handmade pillows and paintings, to custom bar carts and desks, they even have a reupholsterer in-house to make sure their items are in the best condition possible.

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If you’ve never been to Retro Den, you need to go. There’s no question about it, Retro Den is one of the best stores in town for vintage goods. Oh, and they have an interesting system for rewarding frequent shoppers. Buy an item, post it on Instagram and tag @retrodentulsa and you get 10 percent off your next purchase. Pretty cool, right?

About:
Retro Den Tulsa
1216 S. Harvard Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74112

918-794-7118
www.retrodentulsa.com

Hours:
Tues. – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Was $4.5 million worth 30 seconds at the Super Bowl?

The last minute of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing, but what about this year’s ads? There are mixed reviews. Some people say they were weak, while others believe it was a good change of pace. But we aren’t here to weigh in on whether the ads were good or not, but rather was the money spent advertising worth it. And it was a lot this year. The cost of a 30 second spot was $4.5 million, up from last year. And $9 million for a 60 second.

Which got us thinking, excluding production costs, which can run upwards of $1 million, how many products would Super Bowl advertisers have to sell to cover the cost of airtime?

We worked out the numbers for some of the advertisers and found out that they would have to move a lot of units to cover the airtime. Check it out for yourself.

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AcrobatAnt named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News

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Tulsa, Okla. (January 30, 2015) – AcrobatAnt was recently named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News on its “Besties of 2015” list. The annual awards are voted on by Tulsa’s business community and are awarded in a variety of categories.

“Our focus is always on keeping our clients happy, so it’s great news for the Ants when others in the community appreciate our work, too,” said Danny Sadler, AcrobatAnt owner and creative director. “We’re especially honored because we know there are so many good agencies in Tulsa.”

Founded in 2008, AcrobatAnt is a full-service advertising, marketing and digital agency. The company’s client list includes national and regional brands as well as local names such as Saint Francis Health System, Oklahoma Central Credit Union, Mazzio’s, BOK Center and Sonic.