Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

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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Ant’s Choice Blog: Tulsa’s The Best Place To Be in October

There are many great events that happen in Tulsa throughout the year, but in October, two very big events take place. One that even attracts international guests and performers alike.

One of those events is the Tulsa State Fair. The fair technically started this year at the end of September, but ran through the beginning of October. Featuring all the rides, games and fun you would expect at any other county fair, but the Tulsa State Fair is massive. There are livestock and horse shows, competitive exhibitions (like home brewing, fine art, etc.) picking and fiddling championships and even the Miss Tulsa State Fair pageant.

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Besides the competitions going on and the rides and games on the Midway. A lot of people go for the food. And it’s just not any food. At the Tulsa State Fair, the selection of food vendors is second to none. You can find cereal-coated corndogs, maple bacon donut burgers and all the standard fair food you would expect.

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The Tulsa State Fair is a big enough event to satisfy most people for a whole month, but in Tulsa, we don’t stop with just a fair. At the end of the month, the adults have their own event. Enter, the Linde Oktoberfest. Ranked as one of the top Oktoberfest events in the world, the Linde Oktoberfest is not to be missed.

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The Linde Oktoberfest is more than just drinking beer. Yes, it is a big part, but the event also draws in some of the best entertainment from across the country, and in fact the world. With bands coming from as far away as Germany, you can expect to be as close to the real thing outside of Germany as possible. One of the best new additions to the entertainment lineup this year was Das Glockenspiel from Cleveland, OH. Providing the masses with some comic relief and great themed skits throughout the weekend.

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The other great addition this year was the Seigi’s brat eating challenge. Featuring world-renowned eater Joey Chestnut, this challenge was for real. In 10 minutes Chestnut managed to gobble down 66 brats. On top of that he celebrated his flawless victory with a couple liters of beer.

Not only is there great entertainment and beer, but also great food. From schnitzel and sausages to flakey and delicious strudel, you leave know your German food tooth was satisfied.

Both of these events are why Tulsa’s best month is October. No doubt about it. If you haven’t been to the Tulsa State Fair or the Linde Oktoberfest, you are definitely missing out on some great Tulsa traditions.

Ant’s Choice: Food Truck Wednesday

What started out as a small gathering of delicious food trucks on Wednesdays has turned into a weekly lunchtime ritual for many Tulsans. Trucks come from all over town and converge at Guthrie Green from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., once a week, and provide visitors a great mix of cuisine to choose from. IMG_7819

If venturing out to this event, be prepared to wait, as lines can stretch on. It’s worth it, believe us. The food offered is different than what you find at your typical lunch restaurant. You’ll see interesting combinations, dish options and pairings. There’s everything from gourmet grilled cheeses and French-Korean fusion bahn mis to delicious fish tacos and artisan mac and cheese. There are so many options, one trip isn’t enough. You’ll leave wanting to come back to try something new, or perhaps after one trip, you have a favorite food truck and will continually crave it on Wednesdays.

After asking around the office to see what food truck Ants crave, here are just a few of the answers:

Lale
Favorite truck: Lone Wolf
Favorite dish: Kimchi fries. “They’re just so good.” IMG_4087

Matt D.
Favorite truck: Mr. Nice Guys
Favorite dish: Jerk chicken tacos. “So much flavor your head explodes.” IMG_7822

Brooke
Favorite truck: Lola’s
Favorite dish: Gypsy tacos. “I wish I could eat Romesco sauce on everything.”  IMG_4086

David V.
Favorite truck: Andolini’s
Favorite dish: Pepperoni pizza. “Quality ingredients and big slices!” IMG_4090

By no way is this a definitive best of Food Truck Wednesday list; all the trucks aredelicious! As the weather starts to cool off, there’s no better time than now to go to Food Truck Wednesday for your first time. You won’t have to wait out in the heat and eating is a lot more comfortable, too.

Let us know what trucks you love most. Reach us through Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section.

Ant’s Choice: Boomtown Tees

IMG_5909This month, we checked out local T-shirt store, Boomtown Tees to see what they were all about. After talking with Cheryl Quetone, who is the store manager, we learned a lot about the place. Read our interview with Cheryl and let us know what you think in the comments.

How long have you worked at Boomtown Tees?
5 years. I was originally at Joe Momma’s and Blake (owner of Joe Momma’s) approached me with the idea of a T-shirt shop and I was 100 percent on board in helping him open the store.

When did the store open?
I think our official open date was May 18, 2010. I know for sure we were open Blue Dome Fest of 2010.

Why a T-shirt store?
Tulsa was growing and although we were proud, we also still loved the nostalgia of things like the Camelot, the Rose Bows and Bells.

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Are all of the T-shirt designs you sell from local artists?
Yes. Some are local artists’ recreations of old logos and some (i.e. rest in pizza, I’ve never been to Heaven but I’ve been to Oklahoma, etc.) are original designs celebrating Tulsa and Oklahoma in general.

Do artists come to you for shirt designs or do you approach local artists to create the t-shirts you sell?
We have some in-house artists who do many of the designs we sell, but we also hire freelance artists to help create art for custom orders.

Do you print the T-shirts in-house?
We do all printing in-house. And all of it is screen-printed. While a lot of places have a minimum order of 40+ shirts or so, we have no minimum order as long as it’s a one or two color print. We also print all of our Boomtown brand shirts in-house.

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What’s the price range for the T-shirts you sell?
Our shirts in the store all range between $15-$30 per shirt.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Boomtown?
I love our location. We are always getting to meet new people and hearing peoples stories about growing up in Tulsa, coming back to town after many years or bringing a loved one here for the first time. It’s a great way to start a conversation about Tulsa whether they’re a first time visitor, returning after a long time or just born and raised here.

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Do you offer custom T-shirts?
We do. Our custom order prices vary depending on the brand of t-shirt and the different ink colors. Email sales@boomtowntees.com or go to www.boomtowntees.com for a quote. Our turn around time for custom orders is one to two weeks.

Thanks to all of the folks at Boomtown Tees for letting us invade their space. If you haven’t checked out Boomtown Tees yet, you should. It is worth a visit. And after you visit Boomtown, check out the newly reopened White Flag and grab a great burger. We hear the Uma Thurman burger is amazing.

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Boomtown Tees
114 S. Elgin
Tulsa, OK 74120
918.938.6000
sales@boomtowntees.com
Store hours:
Tues.-Sat. 11:30 – 7:30
Sunday 12:00 – 6:00
www.facebook.com/boomtowntees
www.twitter.com/boomtowntees
www.instagram.com/boomtowntees

 

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.

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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