Emily McDowell & Camp + King Are Ready to See Love Through the Fog
Things are looking up for your artisan stationery and gift business, but you want to broaden your burgeoning fan base. What do you do? Reach for the sky, of course, and just add lasers!
For a decade, Emily McDowell was a successful art director, writer and creative director for top advertising agencies learning how to make people want things, and now she gets to use that knowledge to make things people want. Four years ago, she decided to fly solo and, basically, “make things that weren’t ads”.
The Los Angeles-based entrepreneur hadn’t a clue what those creations were going to be when she gave notice, but soon realized her lifelong love of lettering and storytelling was a great place to start. She began posting her cheeky, inspirational handmade design declarations on blogs and social media sites and soon enough, communities were clamoring for McDowell prints they could hang on their walls.
After the initial viral success of her Etsy shop in February 2013, she launched her wholesale collection of greeting cards and art prints in May 2013. Before long, the artist was branching out to totes, mugs, notepads, and other media to showcase her witty, human sayings, such as “I Will Not Compare Myself to Strangers on the Internet” and “I’m a Grown-Ass Lady and I Do What I Want”.
Her stationery and gift products are now sold in over 1,300 stores around the world, and she also sells directly on emilymcdowell.com and Etsy. Her team includes six (soon to be eight) full-time employees, working out of downtown Los Angeles, as well as a fulfillment house in San Diego. She does all the creative and runs the company, despite not having a business background, which is a relatively unusual approach in this industry.
This Valentine’s Day, McDowell kicked love letters up a notch with a project that brought her back to her ad-agency roots. She commissioned San Francisco shop Camp + King (C+K) to broaden her brand with a guerrilla marketing campaign called “See Love Through the Fog.” (Fun fact: C+K Partner/CCO Roger Camp hired McDowell for one of her early ad gigs at Fallon in Minneapolis). McDowell’s art and copy were projected on the canvas of S.F.’s ever-present haze.
In preparation for the holiday, C+K used a high-powered projector to cast the love notes onto the famous fog that hovers near the Golden Gate Bridge along with McDowell’s URL so people can go view the full array of cards and purchase from the site. Sample sentiment: “There is no one else I’d rather lie in bed and look at my phone next to.”
C+K and production company Immersive filmed the colourful citywide messages for use as web content.
To support the skyline stunt and gain momentum on McDowell’s popular social channels, C+K asked fans to send their “stories of perfectly imperfect relationships & love” to the artist’s email address. (Some submissions were incorporated into the Valentine’s fog projections, while others were paired with designs and became personalized V-Day cards on McDowell’s Instagram page.
Brand: Emily McDowell
Creative Agency: Camp + King
Digital Production Company
Digital Production: Immersive
Genre: Experiential , Stunts