Blue Collar Interactive Moving and Shaking in a Slow Economy

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New interactive agency boasts new project launches, new digs, team growth, account and award wins

We’re rolling with the punches, expanding our expertise with projects that include global brand development, mobile site design and development, new social media integration techniques and pushing the limits of WordPress.

Just six months after opening up shop, Blue Collar Interactive (http://www.bluecollaragency.com), a full-service interactive advertising agency focused on delivering breakthrough creative work and honest client service, is flexing some serious creative muscle and showing exciting growth during a time where many others in the industry are struggling. Between awarding Habitat for Humanity a $20,000 creative services package as part of their launch campaign, to a big first site launch for Sigma Corporation of America, to adding award wins and clients to their roster, to creating a “modern vintage” office space and hiring a new full-time team member, Blue Collar is proving that they are here to stay.

“We attribute our success to the fact that we’re staying true to our dedication to exceed our clients’ expectations,” said April Donovan, Partner and Co-Creative Director. “We’re rolling with the punches, expanding our expertise with projects that include global brand development, mobile site design and development, new social media integration techniques and pushing the limits of WordPress.”

Blue Collar’s first official project was the launch of a fully-redesigned website for Sigma Corporation of America (http://www.sigmaphoto.com) in Feb. The new site for the photography lens manufacturer features an immersive, customer-centric experience with the Sigma brand and photography products and set a new standard within their industry. It has since garnered a number of accolades and Sigma was so impressed with Blue Collar’s work that they officially hired them as their agency of record to lead their marketing initiatives for the company, creating and managing online advertising and email marketing campaigns for the remainder of 2010.

Blue Collar has also been busy working with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, the winner of the Blue Collar Creative Open House and recipient of a $20,000 grant for creative services. Blue Collar launched the campaign in January and took nominations from Oregon-based businesses and non-profits who were in desperate need of creative and interactive marketing services to help them survive the rocky economy. After community voting, Habitat for Humanity demonstrated their strong core values and commitment to the community and was named the winner. Donning hard hats in March, Blue Collar got their hands dirty and went to work on a job site called Jubilee Commons, to fully understand what Habitat for Humanity does for the community. They also completed a full analytics and SEO review for Habitat’s current website to help them increase conversion of donations and volunteers on their site. Blue Collar will be working with Habitat in the coming months to develop interactive strategies and web initiatives that will help them raise much-needed donations and awareness for their cause within the community.

And what can you expect to see from Blue Collar in the near future? They are already hard at work on website projects for Rollic (gear for dirt, water and snow), Tactical Distributors (tactical gear for the armed forces and law enforcement community) and the Right Brain Initiative (a collaboration among artists and other community members working to develop a systemic and sustainable solution for providing whole brain learning opportunities for children). Other projects that Blue Collar will launch shortly include Regence: What’s the Real Cost? (a public awareness campaign designed to educate Regence members and community leaders about the drivers of health care costs) and a mobile site for the easy-to-use email marketing service, Mail Chimp.

With a plan to move into their long-term office in early fall, the BC team is putting considerable energy into making their current work space something truly exceptional. Going for a mix of modern and vintage, the team has picked up some great pieces that really speak to the Blue Collar brand—a rebuilt Sinclair gas pump, 1948 Jeep Willys grill, and 10’ mounted marlin they call Marvin.

To add to all the excitement going on at the shop, Blue Collar has been quietly adding a few creative awards and accolades to their portfolio. Including an Interactive Media Award, DOPE Award, and American Design Awards for both their portfolio site and the Sigma Photo website. They were also recently profiled in the Portland Business Journal as professionals to watch in the advertising industry.

Blue Collar also recently hired a new mechanic to the Account Services team, adding the talent and energy of Jay Gifford, a strategist whose main focus will be leveraging social media campaigns to raise awareness and help clients reach their audiences online. Gifford hails from the Sportsgrants Foundation where he worked to spearhead a series of fundraising initiatives for organizations such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Prior to that, Jay worked with Outdoorplay where he helped the company grow into one of the largest online kayak retailers in the world. An avid kayaker, Gifford was selected by the National Geographic Explorer to participate in The Kamchatka Project, an expedition paddle throughout the month of July into the depths of Siberia to collect research on the place, its people and its fisheries.

Founded on the idea that a small group of talented people can ultimately do great work with a smaller budget, Blue Collar Interactive offers a wide range of creative and client services, web development and interactive marketing services. Their management team consists of three founding senior partners and an advisory board of junior partners that leverage a well-balanced suite of expertise to offer clients “one-stop-shopping” for their interactive needs. Blue Collar’s gritty, hand-shake approach to creative marketing solutions, is backed by a dedication to strong business relationships through hard work, brutal honesty, integrity and trust. For more information about Blue Collar Interactive and their suite of services, visit: http://www.bluecollaragency.com.

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Jami Beaton
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