My wife's car has been in the shop for the past few days. A few weeks ago the entire suspension system had to be replaced. That was awesome. Problem is, the computer component that regulates said suspension system was bad and that's what was causing the suspension problems to begin with. So a month later, it had to be replaced again. Under warranty... no big deal. BUT, that computer component had to be replaced as well so that was another sum of money I hadn't really planned on forking over. Anyway, the fella at the auto shop told me that the dealership had to reprogram the thing. They installed it and were to take it over to the dealership first thing Monday for reprogramming. I'd have it back by end of day Monday.
So Monday comes and I hear nothing from them. End of day Monday comes and I finally call to see what's up. No one answers. So I literally run to the place from work (as I have no automobile) to try to get there before they close. I arrive and find the guy leaving the place. I flag him down and give him some version of, "WTF, mate?" He says, "Oh, man... I totally forgot to call the dealership." Too late to get the car by this point, I'm another day without the car. I've already been without it for 5 days and have made due. But based on his promise that I'd have it back Monday, I made plans for Tuesday that required me AND my wife to have our own automobiles. And all those plans were shot because dude "forgot" to call the dealership. It's not like he just couldn't get the job done or that a new problem came up and the project was delayed. He forgot.
And that made me mad.
Old Hat has many core principles and a brand promise that I've blogged about. But man... none of that matters if you don't follow the one rule that should be common sense. Do what you say you're going to do. And if for some reason you can't, do anything you can do to make it right. And that's another area that my auto shop failed. He didn't do what he promised. And made no attempt to make it right.
I run into so many businesses that stay afloat despite their inability to follow this rule. They might not be Fortune 500 companies but they've been in business for many years. But time and time again, they don't do what they say they're going to do. And it boggles my mind that they are still around. But what that tells me is that if these people can stay in business, think about how successful they could be if they just did what they said they'd do.
This blog seems like more than a rant than anything offering any real direction. But I guess what I'm saying is that if you own a business... if you work in a business... if you want to be succesful in whatever it is you're doing... Do what you say you're going to do and your path to success will be a lot smoother.
Hello Old Hat blog readers! We're starting to get into what I call "Photo Season" here at Old Hat. This is the part of the year where we go around and capture the video footage and photographs that we'll use for clients throughout the fall sports season. The biggest one of these is obviously football materials.
Once we get a little further along into the summer and things are humming along for football, we'll go out to schools and capture stuff for basketball and other sports.
This year I've already had the opportunity to do some very cool and different things with some new schools that we may have worked with before, but not captured video or photos for. And that's definitely an awesome thing.
This past weekend we were in Lubbock capturing photos for their football campaign at Texas Tech University. You can see a short Exposure story on that here.
The week or so before that we were lucky enough to be on Tulsa's campus shooting photographs for their football campaign. Keep an eye out for those materials starting at their spring game this Saturday, the 19th. I think we did some very interesting stuff for them.
We've got trips lined up in the next few weeks with the University of Wyoming, University of Cincinnati and the University of Utah. Stay on the look out for more Capture related info in the coming weeks.
At Old Hat, we post a lot of videos of us doing stupid things around the office. It's an expression of our personality. We're stupid... or at least we like to do stupid things. The funny thing though is that because of this outward display, people get the impression that the offices of Old Hat are a laugh-a-minute. And as much as I'd like for us all to get paid to do stupid things all day, I haven't figured out a way to monetize our stupidity. But I think people get the impression that when they come to work at Old Hat or come to visit us, it's going to be like a scene from Animal House. When they actually see us at work though, the comment I get over and over is, "It's like a library in here! I'm afraid to speak!" That's because for the vast majority of every day, our staff is hard at work coming up with the most amazing creative in the sports marketing realm. In order to do this, they have to CONCENTRATE. So they put their headphones in, tune out the world and work.
Don't get me wrong. We have fun here. We have donuts and play a game every Monday morning. The beer flows from the taps in our office bar every Friday at 4p. We take breaks mid-day to take silly photos or shoot a video. But for about 7.5 hours out of every day, it's like a library in here. Our product... the thing we sell... is our time. And we can only sell our time if that time is spent sitting at a computer editing, programming, animating, designing, etc. But it would be really boring if we posted photos or videos of that. To prove my point, here's a sample video of what we do most of the time:
Old Hat is a really fun place to work. And we hope you'll come visit us sometime. Just please don't make any noise if you do.
Yeah, me too. It's not looking good, but congrats to our clients in the Sweet Sixteen! We're quite proud of your accomplishment! As we continue on this week a good majority of schools are returning from Spring Break. It's obvious that that's the case here in Norman because the traffic has increased considerably. Gotta love those student drivers!
Anywho, I'm one of those weirdos who misses school. I don't miss the 20+page grad school research papers, but I do miss the learning. I've always said if I go back for a PhD someday it would be for the cool title (to make people call me Dr.), but in all honesty I dig the challenge of a classroom. I recently discovered an incredibly cool YouTube Channel called "Crash Course." It's an educational channel that covers History, Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Ecology and Psychology. The videos are totally engaging and informative. I'm a big fan of their humor and fantastic animations as well.
Now, I don't think you can learn everything about a subject in a ten-minute video, but that's not the point of these videos. I think it creates a foundation of interest in the subject matter and that's thanks in large part to the presentation of the material. I really got into history at K-State because of the faculty who presented their subjects with passion and unique and engaging presentations. To this day I still love history and enjoy reading and watching all things about that subject. On the other end of the learning spectrum, I absolutely disliked my trigonometry class because the professor was abysmal at presenting the information to the students. To this day I throw up a little when I hear anything about sines, cosines and tangents.
That same basic principle can be applied to sports marketing campaigns and in-game entertainment. You want to create an interest in your team/school and the best way to do that is with a creative presentation of your team/school.Presenters (teachers, marketers) play a big role in how the fan/student connect to a subject and how you will continue to connect in the future. Anybody can throw some highlights in a timeline and set it to some epic music and have a video. Anybody can talk about an historic event and throw around dates and names and teach a class. But those things don't make a good video or a good teacher. I like to think that's why schools, teams and organizations come to Old Hat. We get that a poster is more that just photos, fonts and photoshop. We get that a website is more that just text, photos and clicks. We get that a video is more than just clips cut to music. We get that videography and photography is more that just pointing and shooting a camera. And we get that good customer service is more that just answering phone calls and emails. I think when you start to devalue these things you're devaluing your message or your product and you're devaluing your fans.
Now please excuse me as I learn about Taxes and Smuggling:
All of the gymnastics preparation started in June when I moved to Salt Lake City.
Within the first few weeks of moving, I snapped some photos of the team at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City for their "Great Gatsby"-themed poster. That look lasted the summer and started to generate hype for a strong Ute gymnastics team with all of its members returning from the previous season.
By the fall it was time to revamp the look. Gymnastics at Utah is a production. Deep down its core experience resonates with the classic feelings of "Showtime." After lots of dialouge trying to discern what is showtime and how it can be crafted into a campaign, we made this poster. This poster may be my favorite of the pieces I've produced for Old Hat. It went on to inspire some other campaigns for different schools and completely sold out before the last home meet.
With all of the work before the season, I feel we set the bar pretty high for the Utah gymnastics experience. We made some killer pieces for the campaign and, not too surprisingly, the team lived up to the expectation.
Saturday was the final home meet against Georgia. The Utes won in what was a close meet for a while, finishing a successful season. It was so successful, in fact, it set a school and national attendance record.
When the campaign and the season come together and both show signs of success? I think that's what we Hatters enjoy the most.
Every time my turn to blog comes up, I struggle to find something to write about. I have no problem just sitting down and writing when I want to, but for some reason when I have that “assignment”, I struggle. When I can’t think of anything, I start asking people for ideas.
Today Kelby told me I could write about the Southland Conference. Unfortunately, I have not worked on many of their projects and don’t have a great depth of knowledge about the conference. This led me to Robert’s office to ask him about the work we did for them. Robert asked why I was going to blog about Southland and that led to a conversation about why we have a blog.
Old Hat had a blog before I got here. It was something I inherited and was told to manage but it was not something that I brought to the table. So why do we blog?
If you look at Robert’s blogs you might think his purpose to blog is to show you what artistic project he has been working on over the weekends. If you look at Zac’s blogs you think we blog so he can talk about how he has developed his management philosophy over the years. If you look at my blogs you probably think our blogs are made for some one to aimlessly ramble.
The more I think about this, the more I think that is the point. We are Old Hat Creative. We are a full service marketing agency. We have six divisions and we have some personality. That is the point of our blog. We want you to get to know us. We want you to trust us and we want you to understand the company that produces all of the work that we do. Robert may blog about his kids, but that is who he is and who he is, is a VITAL part of Old Hat Creative. Deb may only blog about video work we do, but that video work is one of the biggest reasons Old Hat is known in the industry.
When you read our blog, I hope you enjoy it. I hope it shows you the amazing work we do and the amazing people we have who produce that work.
Think we should blog about something else? Let me know @kk13cball
That's a photo of Sir Richard Branson giving the thumbs up to Getty Images new decision to make 35 million of its images free for non-commercial use. This represents a serious shift in how one of the the world's largest photography agencies is approaching the appropriation of it's pictures.
Are you a teenage girl who wants a photo of Prince Harry for your ITOTESLUVROYALS blog? (Not an actual blog...at least I hope not.) Go to Getty and get one from his latest public appearance.
Want to put up a pic of Malin Ackerman for your Oscar's blog? Be my guest.
Things are changing people. If you want a much better rundown on what this means for Getty and for the web then I suggest you check out this article here.
Fortunately, it's not just in my MIND that I'm going to Carolina. I'm actually going there. I'm going there in my mind too. I mean, my mind will be with me while I'm there. But so will my body. And my wife's body. And her mind. So just to recap, both the minds AND the bodies of Zac and Holli Logsdon are going to Carolina.
Now that we've established that, let's talk about why. One thing I've learned in my time on this planet is that people in the Carolinas are more educated than anyone else in the country. If you're not from this area, don't be insulted. I'm not from North or South Carolina either. And I've conducted no scientific study upon which to base this opinion. This statement is based purely on the fact that there seem to be more major universities in this area than anywhere else in the country. Again, ZERO research went into this but the fact is, I'm heading out to Charlotte, NC in a couple of weeks and I'm going to be able to visit 12 of our clients' campuses in a 7-span.
One of the great pleasures of having the job that I do is that I get to visit college campuses. I absolutely love getting to meet the people we work with, see their campuses and facilities and also see the work we've done for them displayed around their offices. It's rare that we actually get to see the billboards, posters, intro videos, etc. printed, hung and shown. Over the past many years, Old Hat has just kept adding and adding clients from North and South Carolina. With the latest additions of Clemson and ECU, my wife and I decided that it was time we get out there and see how many of them we could visit.
Here's the list of campuses we plan to hit during the trip, in the order we're going to visit them. Make sure to follow me on twitter @zaclogsdon to see lots of photos from our #OHCarolina Tour.
3. Presbyterian College
4. South Carolina
5. College of Charleston
7. Wake Forest
8. High Point
10. NC State
11. East Carolina
I was really hoping to be able to get up to App State as well but I don't think it's going to work out. Still, 12 clients in 7 days is a lot. Really looking forward to meeting the clients I've never met in person and seeing those that I've know for a long time.
We recently had the opportunity to work with Clemson on two unique baseball videos.
The first project Clemson wanted us to create was a 2-minute video that showcased the rich history of the Clemson baseball program along with the team's current success. This would be done by using a variety of photos, video footage and radio calls supplied by Clemson combined with cool graphic elements created by Old Hat. We decided to use two different songs for the video. One to use while showcasing the program's past accomplishments, and one to use during the more current team highlights. The end result was a powerful video of the history of Clemson baseball.
The second project Clemson wanted to create was a 1-minute video that focused on the tight-knit community of Clemson, the University and the baseball program. Dustin and I traveled to Clemson to shoot footage of the town, campus and baseball program. We worked with Clemson to compile a list of locations and scenes to shoot while there. Additionally, Clemson worked with the University to gather stock footage of the campus for us to use as well. For the video shoot, we spent one full day on campus shooting things like staged shots of the baseball locker room, landmark buildings and businesses around town and campus as well as time at a baseball practice to help capture the family feel of the team itself.
Once we had all of the stock footage and content from our video shoot secured, we were able to create a unique video that captured the community feel of Clemson and the baseball program.
We had a great time working with the Clemson marketing and baseball crew and are excited to cheer on the Tigers this season.
If you saw my posting on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, you know that yesterday (February 16, 2004) was Old Hat's official 10-Year Anniversary. We had our party a couple weeks ago but yesterday was the official date. Ten years ago yesterday, yours truly was sitting alone in a tiny office at 763 Asp Avenue on Campus Corner in Norman wondering what the hell he had gotten himself into. I remember spending about $150 on office supplies and worrying that I couldn't afford it. I remember negotiating my $350/month rent and being sick to my stomach that I wouldn't be able to pay it. And I remember having a LOT of free time.
It seems like forever ago and it seems like just yesterday. We occupied about 100 square feet back then and now our office space is about 5,000 square feet. One employee and now 28. One Apple computer and now more than 30. One client and now more than 90. The only thing that has decreased in the past 10 years is the number of hairs on my head. In celebration of our 10 years in business, I have decided to make a list of the Top Ten things I have learned over the past 10 years (about running a business, that is).
10. Don't be a flake - I feel like one of the primary reasons we have had success is because we actually do what we say we'll do. So many creative agencies are known for missing deadlines, being unavaible, etc. But our focus has always been on giving our clients what they want as quickly as possible.
9. Always say yes - Sometimes a "yes" should be followed by a "but"... but we always try to start with "yes." Yes, we can turn that project around in a less than desirable time, BUT here are the restrictions and/or it's going to cost more. Yes, we know how to do a website that does that. Yes. Yes. Yes.
8. Slow and steady wins the race - I think that some companies simply grow too fast and don't take the time to build a proper foundation that can handle their success. Old Hat has definitely grown rapidly but we've always limited our growth to what we felt like we could handle without sacrificing the quality of our work and of our customer service.
7. Give back - Take some time to do something to give back to the community that allowed you to prosper. We have done an annual fundraiser every year for the past 5 years and it's not only the right thing to do, it's a great team-builder and gives your staff something to rally around.
6. Say Thank You - To everyone that does anything for you, say thank you. Over and over and over again. Thank your clients. Thank your staff. Thank your janitor. Be grateful for what you have and you will have more of it.
5. Have fun - It's hard enought to get through a workday without also feeling like you can't have any fun. Take some time out and do something fun during the day. I don't think we do this enough but we should.
4. Red and Black - If you're running a business, learn how to manage finances. I've blogged about this before but I can't stress the importance of this enough. For 7 years, I really didn't have anything to do with our day-to-day finances. But I was finally forced to learn it and the past 3 years have been by far our most successful because of it.
3. Rotten Apples- The single most important factor in the success of any company is the people it employs. Find good ones and do everything you can to keep them. Identify the bad ones and allow them to find a different opportunity outside the company. One bad apple can definitely spoil the bunch.
2. Read y'all - Another thing I've blogged a lot about. Read! Learn from other people that have been successful. Learn from their mistakes. There are hundreds and hundreds of books out there that tell you how to effectively run a business. If you don't read them, you have no excuse for failure.
1. Be Ridiculous - Less than 4% of small businesses ever make it to 10 years. That's because in order to succeed you have to be absolutely ridiculous about making yourself succeed. Be ridiculous about customer service. Be ridiculous about over-delivering on promises. Be ridiculous about providing the best of whatever it is you sell. Be ridiculous about how you market yourself. For 10 years, Old Hat has been ridiculous. And our goal for the next 10 is to make the first 10 look like child's play. We were just getting warmed up for those first 10 years. The next 10 are going to be ABSURD.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you that have made the past 10 years possible. I'd list out everyone that has contributed to our success but there are too many to name. You know who you are. And know that I'm looking at you when I say: