CALLAHAN • SELF-PROMOTION
HAPPY 40th, Callahan
Snooze-worthy social content had plagued Callahan’s previous company anniversaries, leading to mediocre engagement by pretty much everyone. We needed to find a way to make our upcoming 40th anniversary remarkable — both for us, and for our external audience.
Current Callahan employees and clients made up our primary (internal) audience. This audience knew about Callahan but chose not to engage on our social channels.
Potential employees, clients, and the surrounding community of Lawrence, Kansas made up our secondary (external) audience. This audience had little to no awareness of our agency.
Company anniversary content from other advertising agencies kinda sucked, too. They either droned on
about their history or waxed poetic about their accomplishments.
For 40 years, our values had been a huge part of Callahan’s culture. But the truth is, these values are shared by lots of businesses, including those in our own community.
THE STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITY
For our primary audience, there was an opportunity to strengthen company culture by putting our values into action. And for our secondary, external audience, we wanted to make a connection between the shared values of our company and those of other businesses.
To attract the attention of both audiences, we decided to celebrate our 40th anniversary by giving away $40,000 to four local businesses. Each one had a compelling story that tied back to one of our agency’s values. Businesses ranged from start-ups to longstanding community staples.
We captured a series of four videos featuring the stories of these local businesses, as well as four teaser vlogs to drum up excitement, encourage recall, and elevate Callahan as an agency. All content drove back to our website to promote traffic from current and future employees and clients.
A year-long celebration
THE VINTAGE HAWKS - COURAGE
In the first of four films, we celebrate our value of Courage. We know firsthand that it takes a lot of courage to run a business, whether you’ve been open for 40 minutes or 40 years, and we want to help these young entrepreneurs as they connect generations through the power of nostalgia. In 2020, twin brothers Tae-Vheon and Sae-Vheon Alcorn retired from the KU track team to focus on their futures. With a passion for entrepreneurship and a history of a million followers on Vine, they took that knowledge to found and run the online vintage clothing company @The Vintage Hawks. There, they curate and sell KU gear from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s.
LFK PRESS - RESPECT
In the second film, we celebrate our value of Respect by highlighting @lfk_press founder and owner Leslie Kuluva as our second recipient of $10,000. Leslie created the LFK, or Lawrence F*ing Kansas, moniker while touring the country supporting her favorite bands. She would tag LFK anywhere she could to share her love and the spirit of Lawrence. LFK grew into a community-wide rallying cry, but Leslie’s part in the story got lost somewhere along the way. As creators ourselves, we believe it’s important to respect artistic ownership by giving credit where it’s due. There’s no question that Leslie has made a huge contribution to the community with LFK. And we think that’s pretty F*ing cool.
PET WORLD EXPERIENCE - CURIOSITY
Our third film features Pet World Experience co-owner Sherry Emerson. Along with her husband Tim, Sherry works to inspire kids’ curiosity about animals. Pet World Experience partners with local schools to provide classroom pets and offers summer camps where kids ages 3-10 can learn about animals and nature firsthand. As a dual-license pet store and exotic animal shelter, they are uniquely positioned to cultivate compassionate curiosity among children. Callahan also believes in the power of curiosity. Our client partnerships are strengthened by tapping into our own curious natures. A love of learning opens new ways for us to serve those we work with and the Lawrence community.
LADYBIRD DINER - GENEROSITY
In our fourth and final film, Meg Heriford shares her story as the owner of Ladybird Diner in Lawrence. Meg exemplifies generosity by nourishing as many people as possible, regardless of the ability to pay. During the pandemic, she handed out more than 60,000 free sack lunches with the help of donations and volunteers from the community. Callahan is inspired by Meg’s continuous generosity and commitment to our community. We are not ashamed to care. About each other, our profession and our community.
“Having the opportunity to collaborate with the Callahan team was something I greatly enjoyed and am thankful for. Our family and community mean the world to us, and we’re glad that was exemplified via the film.”
American Advertising Awards