News

Tennessee: My vacation hot spot

“You’re from California, and you came to Nashville for vacation???”

Why, yes. Yes, I did. The cashier at the coffee shop asked that with a note of disbelief. But it’s true. This year vacation took me to Tennessee, namely Nashville, Memphis and whatever towns happened to separate the two (I do remember seeing a sign to turn off for Oakland, and wondered momentarily whether it was all just a dream).

First stop was Music City. Nashville. Which more than lived up to its name, with live music everywhere, in bars and on streetcorners, and tons of music history, too. Mandatory stops were the Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B and the Ryman Auditorium (the original location of the Grand Ole Opry). I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of country, but the history would fascinate any music lover. The small, unassuming Studio B holds such history. So many people got their start and recorded so many well-known songs there. Elvis exclusively recorded there when in Nashville (more about him later). For me, the most remarkable thing about the studio was the way they recorded compared to modern studios: live musicians actually playing together, at the same time, in one room. So much more pure and simple. At the Ryman, we got treated to some unexpected live music as bands practiced for that evening’s International Bluegrass Awards. And all I can say to them is, I hope you all won; you did a great job, even at practice.

Hatch Show Print was a must-see. Being part of the print production section here at Duncan/Channon meant I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the oldest operating letterpress in the United States. These folks are keeping the ancient craft alive and continuing to make a name for themselves in the modern design world. And I must say, based on a browse through their poster portfolio, they deserve that name. We were lucky enough to get an impromptu tour from an employee, who showed us all around their printing presses, ink, blocks, stacks of in-progress posters and two resident cats. A stuffed poster tube then travelled home with me through three states and three modes of transportation, car, plane and BART.

While in Nashville, we also found out that hard-to-find places are often very worth the effort of finding, one seemingly leading to the next. These are places you feel cool just going to, like you’re on a VIP list. There seem to be lots of them in Nashville, a city being revitalized by people setting up shop in old buildings and producing unique and well-crafted, well, stuff. Just ask a local. Everyone seemed willing to point us towards something good. We had the best coffee, bbq, cupcakes, pizza, beer and cocktails that I could have ever wanted. (Thank you Crema, Dee’s Q, Cupcake Connection, City House, Yazoo and The Patterson House.)

Back to Elvis. Graceland. What else to say, except that I am a fan. So I had to see it at least once. The man and his music are the stuff of legend. And the amount of work he produced in his short life, between music and films, is really astounding. But so are his home, cars and airplanes — let’s just say Elvis had eclectic taste. In a nice coincidence, I also saw his trademark lightning logo everywhere at Graceland, which I had just finished retouching for our Hard Rock client.

Memphis also included trips to the Peabody Hotel and a tour at the Gibson Factory. Why the Peabody? They have marching ducks, of course. I’d heard of the place, and then, suddenly, there it was, directly in our path. Sure enough, there were ducks, there was a crowd, and they (the ducks) successfully found their way into the fountain, a Peabody ritual that’s been repeated daily for decades. The Gibson Factory tour was another eye-opener. I couldn’t believe the number of unassembled guitar pieces and the craftmanship that goes into every single instrument. It made me want to pick up my own set of strings again at home.

All in all, I’d go back again to see the things we missed and catch a favorite band playing at the Ryman. And who knows, maybe next time I’ll meet the King himself.

Work + News

Vaccination: our state’s best shot

As reported in AdAge and Adweek, DC was awarded the state’s $40 million campaign to bolster public confidence in Covid-19 vaccinations. And work is already underway on this critical effort.

Animating anti-smoking

The spots are animated. The struggle is real. True tales of former smokers on the perilous path to quitting.

InnovAsian: The Next Generation

DC is back with seconds of our award-winning, supply-chain-busting InnovAsian Occasion campaign now running on stations across the nation.

Kona Brewing

Not only did viewers rank the TV spots above those of market leaders Corona and Dos Equis, they gave them the third highest score for any alcohol-related ad that year. Which might be one good reason for a frothy 37% sales increase.

Beautyscape in the Bahamas

Created by DCLA for e.l.f., the fifth installment of the award-winning influencer program is now underway in the Bahamas. And garnering more heat than ever.

Two female presenting teens are at a table in a school library. One female with dark curly hair is sitting down with her back to the frame. The other is standing over the table with SweeTarts gummies in both hands and smiling.

SweeTARTS' Be Both is back

After the sweet success of last year’s 'Be Both' launch, SweeTARTS is doubling down on the campaign to Gen Z with brand new work in market now — and more to come in 2021.

CBS x Alfred Coffee · Emmy Awards

DCLA partnered CBS Studios with Alfred Coffee to reach Emmy voters and garner support for Star Trek: Picard. The timely work tapped into the diversity and inclusion central to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision.

Action shot of a pink nike shoe as it hits the concrete. The person wearing the shoe is running. A pink Rakuten logo appears above the shoe as if it popped out from her shoe indicating the runner is a Rakuten user.

Rakuten

Loyalty or discount program advertising often dwells in the downscale world of the coupon clipper — a turnoff to savvier online shoppers. Our strategy was to present Rakuten as every bit as premium as the brands it offered rebates on.

StubHub

Even the mild-mannered have something inside that drives them wild. And thanks to StubHub that wild thing is busting out all over.

Gap · Dress Normal

Gap asked us to build consideration and generate trial for their newly launched “Dress Normal” brand platform. Thirty influential Instagram photogs helped us do just that.

This way to health insurance

Today marks the launch of our first campaign for Covered California as part of a five-year, $400-million effort to help all Californians get the health insurance they need.

Kettle Brand

The “Stirring the Pot” work celebrates Kettle Brand's counterculture legacy and all those that zig when others zag.