SNAPS: Creative Consultant DIANE EAMES

12Oct11

Diane Eames is the founder of a creative consultancy that provides specialized marketing services to photographers. We spoke earlier this year about the evolving need to include relationship building in the marketing mix through more targeted programs. She recently worked with Michael Winokur on a very fun and smart targeted promotion that was perfect for SNAPS.

Diane was hired by Winokur to help generate awareness for the ‘Animal’ category on his site among Bay Area art buyers through the promotion of photography recently shot featuring “Lemondrop,” a Burmese albino python on special exhibit at The Academy of Sciences SF.

POP: How did the concept evolve?

The Academy of Sciences had used several images that Michael shot for gift-store merchandise. It was the beginning of August and the exhibition was closing after Labor Day. So at this point, we had a goal for timing, artwork and something to gift this targeted set of contacts. Beyond that, Michael had shot behind the scenes footage of the Lemondrop shoot and had a great film clip.

With all that to offer, I started to think that we could create a “countdown to Lemondrop” tool that we could repeatedly post. We didn’t actually need to get people to the Academy of Sciences because we were bringing them the best of it in our promotion – gift store swag, unparalleled photography and film footage of Lemondrop that a museum attendee wouldn’t be able to capture.

The next step was to figure out what we could offer that would make it more about Michael Winokur Photography…that’s when the idea of customizing the gift package started to take shape. We decided to develop a targeted promotion that would involve a custom package, hand-delivered to a targeted advertising and editorial list that would also have a social media component.

We selected a kraft box that would snuggly contain the merchandise and then began to personalize the piece. One of the gift-store treats was a reusable plastic summer drink cup (with lid and straw). I don’t like to send an empty cup, so we needed something to go inside. I found a recipe from a local SF bartender for a Lemondrop cocktail that called for smashed lemondrop pieces (lemon drop candies were another one of the merchandise gifts) and prepared a traditional looking recipe card in courier type to slip next to the cup. We added a customized business card with a shot of Lemondrop the snake plus two 5” x 7” cards with various shots of Lemondrop + an inset image of another one of his animal portraits, a bunny that fittingly has a worried look on its face.

The point of using the inset shot of another animal was to loosen up the theme and remind people that he has shot many more animals and the call to action was to see all the people and animals he has on his website.

In order to further personalize the piece and create a catalyst for follow-up, a handwritten note on Winokur Photography stationary invited people to enjoy the gifts and to invite them to call anytime they have a project appropriate for Michael and/or if they wanted to see a portfolio.

We focused on the outside of the package being fun and inviting, while high-quality enough to support the contents and dutifully represent Michael’s portraiture aesthetic. Michael created a custom snake sticker wrap for the box by compositing a repeat sample of Lemondrop’s skin plus a head and tail. Small-type rubber stamps were used to write “squeeze me” on the outside of the box, along with a gift tag with Michael Winokur Photography logo artwork.

POP: What response did this generate? Can you share any with us?

Sure! We had a great response from our recipients plus Michael was really pleased that he has a conversation to build on with potential clients. Here are just a few:

“Michael, what a lovely package of goodies you made. Thanks so much.  It sounds like youre having a lot of fun with the zoo.  We won’t forget you.  Thanks for thinking of us.”

“Thanks. That was a cute promotion and raised quite a fuss here. I’ll keep you in mind.”

“I loved the care package and your snake shots were fabulous!  Hope we get the opportunity to shoot some animals in the future, because I would  love to work with you.”

“LOVED  lemondrop, and have the snakeskin on my office wall.  Shared the ingredients with the “kids” here.  Thanks so much!!”

Thanks to Diane and Michael for sharing with POP.



One Response to “SNAPS: Creative Consultant DIANE EAMES”

  1. Brilliant! As creative as photographers are, they often fall short of pushing the envelope in marketing their work. Diane is filling a much needed void. I’m not surprised at the positive response Michael received, who could not take notice of those intriguing little boxes?!


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