Kale, Banana Pops & Small Biz: Things We’re Thankful for at OBI Creative

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To say this year has been a challenging one is an understatement. Still, we’ve made it to the end intact; looking back, we can see we have so much to be thankful for. Not the least of which is the marketing ROI we’ve been able to achieve for our clients in 2020. 

When the pandemic hit, OBI Creative scrambled like everyone else to rapidly shift to a fully remote work environment. (The move was made all the more painful by the fact that we had just christened our newly minted Omaha headquarters office in the Lumberyard District.)

We learned how to use Google Hangouts and Slack (and then later, Zoom and Teams) efficiently.

We set up creative work at home environments and discovered new meanings to the term “multitasking.”

Finally, we assembled a Return to Work Taskforce and realized there weren’t many documents available to help professional firms plan a return to an office setting. 

So, we created COVID campaign materials and made them available to anyone who wanted them, completely free of charge, because we know getting people back to work safely is the best way to support our local communities and economy.  


Speaking of Work, Here Are a Few Good Ones From 2020.

We relish every opportunity we have to support the growth and success of our clients’ businesses. But because we know you won’t read a novel, we’re cherry picking a few projects that achieved demonstrable ROI in 2020 — something of which we are most proud. 


DIY Lava Lamps and Long Duration Isometrics at the Virtual JCC 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, it created chaos and challenges for everyone, including the Staenberg Omaha Jewish Community Center. Chief among those challenges was discerning how to best communicate the changes in protocol and continue to provide programming to members and the community. OBI Creative suggested, designed and launched a special website promoting virtual events and offerings.

The “Virtual JCC” site provided on-demand resources and virtual live events for members to remain connected and active during the tumultuous spring months. Our paid search and social campaign delivered nearly 21,000 page views, 1.1 million impressions and 19,000 engagements. The website played a key role in the recruitment of new members throughout 2020.


Cobalt Videos Bring People Together

When many banks and credit unions were forced to close their doors in the spring, Cobalt Credit Union was the only financial institution in Omaha offering video banking as a service. Members could sign documents, open accounts and apply for loans from the comfort of their couch.  

OBI created 15- and 30-second TV spots to promote the socially distanced service. It was a quick pivot to an authentic message that reinforced the credit union’s mission to be a trusted financial partner providing tailored solutions to support its members throughout their life events, which COVID-19 certainly was. 

The spots raised awareness of Cobalt’s video banking, and as a result usage is higher than ever. So high that Cobalt is staffed at 100% to handle the influx in volume.  


Kale? Yeah! Cool Spots for Coolgreens

When Joshua and Christine Vollertsen returned to the Big O from the Big Apple, they sought the healthy food options they’d grown accustomed to in NYC but found to be lacking in Omaha. So they did some research, discovered Oklahoma-based Coolgreens healthy eatery and decided to open a franchise of their own. 

Then they called OBI.

To help recruit team members and prep for a delicious, socially distanced grand opening, we pitched their story to the local press, developed a paid and organic social calendar and brought corporate’s brand standards, photography and punchy menu names to life via Facebook and Insta. Despite opening during the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, the launch was a success. 

Our strategy was to leverage location and buzz in the Loveland area where the store was located, to identify targeted media to reach in the greater Omaha area, to identify local reporters to promote the venue and to use social media to aid PR opportunities.  

The organic social campaign had an engagement rate of 6.33%, compared to the industry standard of 0.10%, and drove 365 new followers to the Facebook page for the Loveland Centre launch. A boosted influencer campaign achieved a 1.84% click-through rate, well above the industry average of 0.90%.  

Most telling of all, though, was the location’s top-three ranking out of all Coolgreens locations for opening sales numbers. During a pandemic. Kale yeah. 

Posting Big About Small Business for FNBO 

Can a regional bank grow a following on social media through smart campaigns that ring true without feeling gimmicky?  

We think so.

We loved having the opportunity to increase social engagement and brand awareness for First National Bank by creating a multi-touch social media campaign around Small Business Week with Omaha-area Instagram and Facebook influencers in the home and lifestyle categories.  

Our goal was to educate, engage and entertain First National Bank social media followers on First National Bank’s #WeGrowAsOne initiative by working with well-known and reputable social media influencers in the Omaha area.  

Our results included engaging 12 influencers, who created 4,909 total engagements at a rate of 4.17%, which surpassed the industry rate of 1.67%.  


Creating Excitement About The Crossroads for Lockwood

In late July, OBI was invited to the offices of Lockwood Development to work with them on what was described as a “major announcement.” When we arrived, we were told they, along with Century Development, would be announcing the development of The Crossroads and would like our assistance with PR and marketing efforts. We began to plan a news conference with the mayor, develop a landing page where renderings and the news release could live, write and build a distribution list for the press release, and overall management of the event, which was three weeks away.

We wanted complete coverage, across all media channels, throughout the metro area. Our objective was to get coverage in at least the early evening broadcasts either as a lead story or at the least in the first block.  

We had a total story count of 95 stories in print, online and on broadcast stations reaching a total print audience of 17,315,968 and a broadcast audience of 12,066,458 viewers. The total calculated ad value of coverage was $669,056/publicity value of $2,007,178. The announcement was on the front page of the daily newspaper and the lead story on the major network TV stations the evening of the announcement.  

We saw great traction in our initial social media efforts that included more than 160 posts with 252,000+ potential impressions by 80 unique authors. The engagement rate per message was 2.05% with a 65% positive sentiment.  

More than 100 people visited The Crossroads landing page, spending 4:21 on the page. The majority of the traffic was direct, driven to the page by media sharing the site.   

Particularly during the unique times we find ourselves in (including getting people to cover anything other than COVID), our performance exceeded expectations.   


Our clients are unique. Their success is not.

 We’ve learned that there is a formula for marketing success. We know that if we do X, Y and Z with our clients, their businesses will grow.  

Even during the worst pandemic in a century.

This holiday season, we’re most thankful for the growth we’ve helped spur and the amazing community we’re privileged to serve.  

As you turn the page on a new year, we’d love to be part of your success story.  

Connect with us now.