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Updated: Feb 11, 2019

No one loves the moments in between Super Bowl action more than I do. The ideas are big, bold and built to stir conversation. (And if you’ve ever read a brief for those things, that’s pretty much what they say.)

But I also get irrationally excited about the small, tactical things that will never make it on air, let alone secure a budget beyond $500.

Case in point, signage for The Watering Bowl’s third location.

The assignment was complex. The solution was simple. The points in between are what make this a story worth retelling.

The Watering Bowl had a brand new building, the one in the Manchester bottoms. It was big and retrofitted for their specific needs. But there was one glaring issue.

People driving by kept missing the place. The building started out as a factory. Retail traffic was of no concern. So, the fact that it sat back from the road, around a little bend, didn’t pose any problems.

Along comes The Watering Bowl. They’ve made a huge investment, and people can’t even see their big, beautiful sign until they pass the joint.

So, they did what anyone would do. They asked the city of St. Louis if they could hang some of those banners like you see around town on light posts. The banners sit right out on the street, and they’d be perfect for flagging down traffic.

But it’s never that easy.

Turns out, those pole banners are reserved for promoting neighborhoods or specific events. You’re not supposed to hang your sign from the city light posts. If you could, everyone would do it. And the streets would be as cluttered as a website in 2005.

So, the issue hadn’t disappeared, but the options were dwindling.

Meanwhile, we promoted the location through email, social media and a fortuitous billboard placement next to another new location—IKEA's.

Jeremy and Jim, The Watering Bowl guys, shared the whole story and got us thinking about it.

Then, it became clear. What if we named the neighborhood? Pole banners can represent a part of town, right

The area didn’t have a name. And it was between two well-known neighborhoods—Dog Town and The Grove.

On top of that, there are several dog-related organizations in the immediate area. Aside from The Watering Bowl, there’s The Humane Society, Hillside Animal Hospital and Gateway Pet Guardians.

So, the non-existent brief wrote itself. We needed to name a neighborhood and attract people to our area and, by association, our location. Oh, and we’re right between Dog Town and The Grove.

So, we submitted this to the city.

Voila. It’s a creative solution that you won’t ever see in our portfolios, but when we think about the way we’ve been able to work closely with The Watering Bowl over the years, this nicely encapsulates our relationship.

They’ve welcomed our ideas since before day 1. And we like to think we’ve pushed each other to make stronger, smarter work and uncover solutions we didn’t know we were looking for.


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