Mermaids, Marketing and Work as Art.

 I was born in Santa Monica and learned to swim in the ocean.  I have always been convinced that I was a mermaid.

As a girl, I would cross my ankles in salt water and wait for the moment my gangly legs would transform into a graceful tail. I still do.

While walking along the beach in Santa Barbara, I came across a street (or sand) artist  who made his living by making mermaids.

And I realized that I make my living in much the same way. As president and creative director for an advertising and marketing agency that specializes in working for clients who make change in the world—I make art.

While my medium is different…words, type, graphics, social media strategies, web design, ads and brand architecture—it is art all the same.

My art is like sand. Brands are always changing. Time and market conditions wash away old campaigns and strategies much as the sea does with sand sculpture. The beauty is, there is always new art waiting to emerge. Just like my mermaid tail.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a global and mobile branding and advertising agency that specializes in working with businesses and organizations that are passionate about creating positive change in the world.

Ready for More Life in Your Life? Dance into Fire & Flow

Life is about movement—so why  get stuck in the steps when you can dance your way through it?

That’s what firefly180 client Jeanine Thompson, who combines her strengths as a former Fortune 50 exec, psychotherapist and energy worker, to bring leaders, visionaries and seekers Fire and  Flow—the hottest, coolest webinar series on the planet.

Not sure if Fire and Flow is for you? Take Jeanine’s Work & Life Energy IQ Quiz under Most Popular on her home page. You might be surprised to discover hidden energy leaks that are draining your spirit and keeping your potential for fun and joy on simmer.

As president and creative director of firefly180 marketing, it is pure delight to craft brands and messaging for clients like Jeanine. Every aspect of her brand, including logo, tagline, video content/delivery, web design and content, products and services, speak to not just a business, but to the core of this brand. And to the core of Jeanine.

Great brands are about truth. Transparency. And authenticity. They are not made in a factory. They emerge from the hearts and souls of businesses and their stakeholders.

Bringing forward great brands is about partnership. And partnership is what Jeanine Thompson is all about. And just as I joined Jeanine to support the launch of her brand. Jeanine partners with clients worldwide to unleash passion, purpose, love, and money—along with her special alchemy to expand time.

They say it takes two to tango. And while this is true, as each dancer opens to his or her own rhythm, the world dances joyfully along.

 

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing and Radical Acts of Spontaneity

 I was hiking among huge slabs of stone along the Pacific Coast recently, when I felt utterly compelled to launch into an upward dog pose. I simply couldn’t hold back. And I laughed as the seals barked their approval below me.

While this pose was in no way technically perfect, there was absolute perfection in the moment. I am no stranger to spontaneity—and am prone to goofy cartwheels on the beach or being the only one dancing in a room. For me, life is playful.

So is marketing. Yes, it’s serious business of course. It needs strategy, planning, earning targets and consumer insight. And yet it’s the unexpected moments that emerge. It’s the playfulness…that is often  most remembered. And the most high impact.

As president and creative director for a mission-based advertising and marketing agency that specializes in working with businesses that create positive change, I’m architecting new positioning for an author who is about to effect lives across the globe. Her brand is all business. Yet  there’s balance…and surprise in the words, images, colors, voice and messaging channels. You won’t have to read too far between the lines to discover fun. Delight. And joy. This brand, like everything my team and I work on—is a spontaneous and radical act of marketing.

Radicalism is a choice. And whether that means choosing radical happiness, success, impact  or peace—you don’t have to wear combat boots to get your groove on. In fact, some of our planet’s most famous change agents are most remembered in bare feet. Who knows, maybe they even tried an upward dog on a sun soaked slab of stone. I’m sure the seals below would have barked their approval.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.


 

Incredible Lightness of Living & Marketing

I am a creature of light. And on this brilliant afternoon on a beach in Monterey, the sun was particularly dazzling.

I had just left my office after a full day and was flowing seamlessly into life. And more light.

It’s been said that when you do what you love the money will follow. I’ve found this to be true. It  comes down to choosing love. Loving life. Loving work. Loving clients. Loving the creative process. And loving the audiences you’re speaking to.

As the head of a mission-based advertising agency that works with businesses that create positive change in the world, I’ve been working with  lots of start-ups lately. They’re excited. On fire. And a bit scared. They ask me, “Will this idea or venture really work?” “Are we crazy for even daring to think we can pull this off?”

I celebrate that willingness to step outside the familiar flight path. And their willingness to fly higher. If a bird never trusted the wind to lift its wings, it would never leave the ground. Like birds, business owners like myself have had to trust the fact that the act of  jumping into the unknown is the very path to discovering flight. Toward  more light.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

When it comes to life and marketing—bigger is better.

I discovered the Great Pumpkin—in Big Sur of all places. It was the Holy Grail of goodness. The bigger than life and better-than-I-could-dream-up, live it and love it grand slam. And in this week of treats; this is no trick. Like Charlie Brown on his pumpkin patch quest, marketers and brand strategists like me are always on a lookout for concepts and creative that are  bigger, bolder and a bazillion times better than anything that’s been done before. So are our clients.

And like a needle in a haystack,we find them. Not by searching, but by feeling for that moment when our hearts open. Our heads engage. And our stomach does flip-flops. Much is said about the strategic side of marketing. But the truth is, that it all comes down to feeling. To connecting. And creating a visual and verbal language that bridges brands with audiences.

 And whether that means launching new wellness brands, culture-shifting campaigns, organic food companies—or an entire array of businesses that  make the  world a better place; at firefly18o, we build brands that spark change. Like the candles that will sit at the center of pumpkins this week, each of us as businesses is a light.

Together, our efforts and intentions create brilliance.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Nature as Inspiration for Brands.

 

For me, there is no separation between life and work. So as I settled into a perfect sandstone bluff overlooking the Pacific, with seals chattering below and pelicans flying above—I felt the warmth and grounding of the stone. I was also working through the identity elements for a new brand firefly180 marketing  is launching.

The brand architecture and messaging strategy were complete, the logo and tagline were approved; and layout for business cards and other ID elements were underway. This new business is about to make change in a big way. And this moment, which merged sea, sun and stone, felt solid, balanced and supported. Which led me to suggest to the client, that  instead of using traditional business card stock, we should find a heavier,  more substantial and sustainable fiber to reflect the solid, credible and supportive services they’ll be offering. A simple suggestion, yes…but one that directly impacts this brand and would create a deeper, more memorable experience for clients and potential clients who receive this card.

As president and creative director for a  global and mobile advertising agency that works with mission-based based businesses, I’ve worked on brands from sailboats, beaches overlooking volcanoes, from trains in Argentina—even the Tenderloin District of San Francisco (where by the way, I found a great boutique hotel!) So whether it’s website content and design,  social media, print or digital ads…or every kind of communication strategy in-between, ideas flow from many forms.

As marketers and brand strategists, it’s those moments when we step outside the box—and out of the office, that can open us to to creative that may not have come otherwise. When we do, inspiration moves freely, like waves in an infinite sea.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

When it Comes to Cloud Cult, Love is the New Green.

 

I’m not necessarily a follower. But  I’m proud to announce that I’ve joined a cult. Cloud Cult, the indie band, originally from Minneapolis, that now lives on an organic, geothermal- powered Wisconsin farm.

At First Avenue a few nights ago, playing to two sold-out shows, this amazing group of artists put on a show that was pure magic.

Their new album Love, is beautiful, insightful, mystical, wise and takes listeners on an inner odyssey that is guaranteed to rock your world.

The band’s label, Earthology, is committed to greening the music industry, offsets carbon from tours and developed the first 100% post-consumer recycled CD packaging in the U.S. 

As a leader in the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) space, I know the power of music as a vehicle for change.

Working with green artists that include John Denver, Kenny Loggins, Jack Johnson and the Dave Matthews Band,  I know that music speaks to the soul and touches the heart in ways that words alone can’t.  Music and lyrics are the ultimate integrated marketing campaign. Songs become doors that open the mind to action. And for environmental artists, music can be a platform that becomes a springboard for change.

Cloud Cult doesn’t just write and perform music. They literally shower the world with love.  Just like all of us in  conscious businesses. Although not all of us can sing and compose music, our voices are heard just the same.

 

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

Plant Your Feet on Earth Day.

 While most of us are celebrating Earth Day in offices today, I invite you to join me in stepping outside.

Plant your feet. Get grounded. Scatter new seeds of intention. And action.

While Earth Day is celebrated just once a year—it is in fact a 365-day holiday.

In 1990, I became one of the first marketers in the U.S. to specialize in green branding and advertising. Then my clients included recycling companies, green lawn care services, green retail stores, organic food companies, non-toxic cleaning products—even musician and icon John Denver, who was a passionate environmentalist.

Today, it seems that not much has changed. And yet everything has. Much that has become mainstream; recycling, buying recycled, organic food, plant-based cleaning supplies and more were once new ideas. This I experienced first-hand, since as a green marketer, my job has been to educate consumers about their power to effect change.

Today will be marked by tree plantings, parades, speeches, news reports and actions big and small. Much will be said about how much more is needed.  I am celebrating Earth Day by looking back. And looking forward.

Looking back, I see that as consumers we have created the demand for hybrid cars, new wind farms, double-digit growth in organic food and energy-saving light bulbs of all kinds—where once these products didn’t exist.  And looking forward, I see a galvanizing force of open-hearted, committed people who are passionate about doing all they can to walk lightly on our Earth.

So as you take off your shoes and plant your feet on sand, soil, concrete or snow, remember that today we stand together. It is our collective actions that will continue to create the change we seek. And it is our willingness to pick up our feet, and move one step at a time forward, that is forging a new path for our planet and for generations to come.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

Springing into Green Branding.

 

 

I’m not an especially patient person—and often find myself wanting to leap ahead. Yet like the parable of the farmer who tries to tug at tiny, green shoots  in hopes that they’ll grow faster, only to kill the entire crop—the same is true for much in life. Especially branding.

As the head of a Minneapolis-based LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) advertising and marketing agency, I find that the extraordinary process of building a brand is much like planting seeds. While brand architecture and strategy is being created through process, meetings, collaboration, refinement and data-weaving, for those looking in from the outside, nothing much seems to be happening.

Like seeds buried in dark rich soil, this is where brands take root. It seems that the fundamental and foundational aspects of branding take place below ground; yet provide all the essential components that bring forward the colors, text, brand ID, web presence, e-blast campaigns, direct response, print and web ads, brand voice, community and full-on experience that brings businesses to life.

So at this time of year, when the ground is still frozen, yet the light and longer days hold the promise of spring, remember to honor the below-ground time. Be disciplined about rushing the process. Allow the seeds you’ve planted so carefully and so strategically to work their magic before tugging at their shoots to bring them to the surface.

You’ll be rewarded as your brand comes into bloom.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.

 

 

 

Life and Marketing As a Work of Art

Meet The Hand, by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázaba. Installed in Punta del Este, Uruguay in 1982, this sculpture was originally envisioned by the artist as a warning to swimmers about the rough surf just steps away. But to me, this iconic sculpture is more about hope. Humanity. Our connection with nature. And our ability as humans to keep reaching for the sky.

So it goes with art or any creative endeavor.  Meaning and interpretation contain as many layers as we have words to express. The same is true with marketing, messaging and branding. As the head of a global and mobile, Minneapolis/St. Paul-based advertising and marketing agency, I know that messaging that resonates with one person may not with another.

That’s the beauty of brands. Part art, part science,  brands that try to be a lot of everything; amount to a lot of nothing. Brands are unique. They speak a language all their own. They are how we connect emotionally to products, services and businesses. And of course, while a luxury brand might convey the quintessential aspiration for one person, the same brand could smack of needless excess to another.

Like art, we all see things a bit differently. And at the end of the day, perhaps branding is fundamentally all about offering a little helping hand. Connecting. Reaching out. Of being held. And holding.

 

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director of firefly180 marketing—a Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.