Insider Info: How the Ants celebrate the holidays

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Some families have certain traditions that others don’t partake in. For the Ant family, celebrating the holidays starts with our 12 days of Christmas.

Now in its fourth year, the 12 days of Christmas signals the start of the holiday season and also the start of dressing up, taking pictures and sharing on social media for all to see. From hat day and pajama day, to twins day and throw back Thursday, the Ants put everything on display for their clients and followers. It’s a way to show people who normally aren’t around the Ant Farm just how creative and fun we can be.

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We aren’t all fun and games. We also give back!

Women in Recovery is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Women in Recovery is a program designed to help keep non-violent women out of prison and give them the tools they need to reunite with their children and break the cycle. Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state. Which is why this program is so important to our community. While in the program, women learn parenting and life skills, as well as learning what it takes to have a successful career and stay out of the prison system.

We support the Women in Recovery program in different ways each year. During Christmas, that means sponsoring graduates of the program and their children. This year, we sponsored 10 children and 50 women graduating from the Women in Recovery program. All from funds gathered from employees and matched by the AcrobatAnt partners.

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All these activities culminate in our Christmas party where we exchange handmade gifts to our Secret Santa recipients and have a fun and funny white elephant gift exchange. The Ants also enjoyed drinks, playing games and each other’s company at our holiday party.

From everyone at AcrobatAnt, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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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

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: Kolaches so good, you’ll want a second. Or third.

Each month, a group of Ants is heading out on the town to discover a little more about the little gems Tulsa has to offer. We’re putting in the legwork to keep you informed, one place at a time.

The first thing you notice when walking into Oklahoma Kolache Co. is the atmosphere—from the simple black and white pictures to the copper pans hanging on a door, Oklahoma Kolache Co. has a warm, cozy and inviting atmosphere that makes you want to stay for hours. The amazing customer service helps, too. Victoria, who’s worked there pretty much since it opened, gave us an amazing rundown of everything on the menu. Every question we had, she answered. And her favorite kolache? Mushroom and Swiss.

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Which may not have been what you were expecting to hear, as the traditional Czech kolaches are normally filled with fruits and cream cheese. But at Oklahoma Kolache Co. they offer both sweet and savory options. And they make everything in house, including some killer kielbasa. Tulsa’s very own DoubleShot Coffee Co. is served here, which makes it a great place for a cup of joe or the latte of your dreams.

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Our group tried seven different kolaches while we were there and we couldn’t pick a favorite. They were all that good. Even the kolache of the day, the Cherries and Cream cheese, was perfectly balanced. Just sweet enough to make you happy inside. The one item on the menu that threw us all for a loop was the Dirt Bomb, a cupcake/ muffin mix that is dipped in butter and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar. It was the bomb dot com.

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We talked to the chef, Matt, and he has some favorites of his own, like the Ranchero. But what he really loves is making new combinations for the daily special. Which not only keeps you coming back everyday because they’re so good and unique, but it also lets Matt’s creativity run wild. Past daily specials include: Snickers, Corned Beef Hash, Pistachio Truffle and Chocolate and even a take on the Rueben. All are wrapped up in a warm and fluffy dough that has the perfect amount of crunch.

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One thing is for sure, we’re all in agreement that it’s a dangerous thing Oklahoma Kolache Co. is so close to the office.

Ant’s Take:

Cayla // Kolache: Sausage Gravy
Take: “I’ve never eaten anything with the name ‘dirt’ that tasted so amazing as the Dirt Bomb.”

Rachael // Kolache: Ham, Egg and Chive
Take: “It is all around an ideal place to spend a morning eating, drinking and chatting with friends.”

Lale // Kolache: Banana and Nutella
Take: “I’ve yet to taste a bad kolache here. And the coffee was delicious.”

Shannon // Kolache: Pork Belly with Blackberry Sage Jam
Take: “Everything is well executed from the menu to interior design. I’ll definitely be going back.”

Angela // Kolache: Homemade Kielbasa and Cheddar Cheese
Take: “It was hard to not get another one after the first. The Crème Brûlée latte was the perfect side kick!”

Matt // Kolache: Ranchero
Take: “ I’ve had everything on the menu. Now I need to catch all the daily specials. So long, New Year’s resolutions.”

What’s your take on the Oklahoma Kolache Co.? Add it to the comments below.

Visit them for yourself:

Oklahoma Kolache Co.
1534 E. 15th Street
Mon–Sat: 6–11 am
918-295-8822
oklahomakolache.com

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Ants sponsor Women In Recovery apartment and get valuable lessons in return.

WIR ApartmentOn the way back to the office from the Women In Recovery apartment, everyone was quiet. With our rowdy bunch that is a pretty rare occurrence; but as we left the little home that will soon house members of the program, we took with us a few lessons in gratitude.

Our group gusted up the stairs along with the cold front and into the modest two bedroom apartment where we were greeted by two program participants as well as Mimi Tarrasch and Diane Hughes from the Women In Recovery administration. After a quick tour of the apartment that we helped to stock, furnish and decorate, we all sat down to talk about what the apartment will mean to the women and/or children who live there.

First and foremost, this home is a safe place. It is a place where participants can rebuild their lives without fear of being assaulted, burgled, having to move without notice or otherwise not have any control over what happens inside those walls.WIR sign

It is a home to women who have been living in jail, under bridges, in a car if they were doing really well, squatting in abandoned buildings with no heat or running water or other such things to survive. As one participant said, she had reduced her life to living like an animal in a cage. Now that she has been inside the program for about a year, she is grateful that she no longer has to do that.

It is a step towards independence. The goal of Women In Recovery is to keep nonviolent female offenders out of prison by helping them learn to become self sufficient, productive citizens. Gradually they increase their work hours and take on the responsibility of paying their living expenses.

If you would have asked her a year ago as she was sitting in jail if any of this was possible, Melissa* says she wouldn’t have believed it.  While living in her addiction for the last nine years, she thought there were only two ways out—suicide by cop or suicide on her own. Now Melissa is living in an apartment, working and in talks with her supervisor about taking a management position.

When talking about the remarkable transformation of her life, she said simply, “I can find gratitude in anything now. In anything.

For more information or to donate to Women In Recovery, please call 918-991-6200

*Name changed for privacy

AcrobatAnt named one of Tulsa’s fastest growing companies for third year running.

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The Ants celebrated last week at the Tulsa’s Fast 40 Dinner as AcrobatAnt was named #16 on the list of Tulsa’s fastest-growing privately held companies by The Journal Record. We’re proud of how much we’ve accomplished in the last few years and looking forward to many more great years to come!

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

AcrobatAnt Halloween 2012: Pirates, Ants and one hell of a dance.

AcrobatAnt Halloween 2012: Pirates, Ants and one hell of a dance.

We Ants hosted our biggest Halloween party last year. Our agency was transformed into a ghostly pirate galleon complete with Jolly Roger, grog and hundreds of pirates.

In the middle of the festivities, a flash mob broke out as several Ants performed a 5-minute ditty we’d rehearsed for the past few months. Thanks to Amanda Vavra who whipped us into ship-shape just for the occasion.

This year is our third annual Halloween blast and it promises to be the biggest and best yet. We Ants have chosen our theme, but you’ll just have to wait to find out. Hint—coulrophobes beware! How do you celebrate Halloween?

It’s the agency that keeps on growing.

We’re honored to be named one of Tulsa’s Fast 40 growing businesses by The Journal Record for the second year running. A few of the other honorees include Andolini’s Pizzeria (just down Cherry Street), Elote Café and Catering, MESA, M&M Manufacturing Inc., Pardee Construction and Vacuworx Global.

What’s the reason driving all of the growth here at the Ant Farm? We think it has to do with our culture. A great work environment and coworkers who treat each other like family members make for happy employees, which in turn leads to a happy culture and one of the best places to work in Tulsa.

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AcrobatAnt Joins the Task Force

We’re always excited to share when our Ants are quoted in the news. Angela Lawrence, managing director and co-founder of AcrobatAnt, recently served on the Business Services Task Force—a committee dedicated to brainstorming ideas about how the City of Tulsa can more efficiently serve the needs of budding businesses. A proposal and other recommendations made by the task force will be discussed at a city council meeting in late January 2013.

AngelaAnd adopting these task force recommendations could pay off for the City of Tulsa. “Perception matters for new businesses working with the city,” Angela states in this Urban Tulsa Weekly article, “I think businesses that were looking at Tulsa as a potential place to open would see it as a business-friendly community from the beginning and have a positive attitude and be more willing to relocate to Tulsa.” Find out how Angela and the task force plan to fight for the rights of Tulsa business owners: http://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A56111.

New Graphic Artist has a flair for sports

With college football right around the corner, we thought it only fitting to mention the newest member of the Ant Farm, our resident Fantasy Football organizer,  Dell Chambers.

Dell (right) meets Darren McFadden, 2008

Dell is a native Tulsan who like many from this great state played sports for most of his life. His love of sports growing up was coupled by his love of visual arts, leading him to earn a degree in graphic arts.

With a unique sense of what makes an athlete great, Dell transforms his strong attention to detail and insight into amazing hand-illustrated portraits.

Recently, Dell donated his work to The Color of Hope Gala in Arkansas and all proceeds were donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Dell’s Portrait was auctioned for $5,000.

Congratulations, Dell, you make a fine Ant and good luck with this year’s Fantasy Football League!

Are you a sports fan? Check out Dell’s work!

www.dellchambers.com