special events

Use Video to Generate Enthusiasm for Your Organization’s Future

We worked with this health system to bring to life the successes they’ve experienced—so employees, physicians and board members could see the collective results of their work on their strategic plan.
Getting your team aligned with your future goals means making sure they understand both where you’re going, and how far you’ve already progressed towards your goals. Delivering this message in video makes it easy to show at employee events and share online.
What successes could you talk about to help generate enthusiasm for your future?

Give Your Audience a Reason to Reflect

It’s the end of an all-day meeting, where substantial, important ideas have been shared and discussed. This organization worked with us to create this video that invites the audience into a moment of personal reflection at the end of the event. Not only did it provide visual variety, it created a mental oasis for those attending.
Pairing inspiration with information is a successful way to convey strategy and build culture. Give people time to personalize strategies and messages, and see what happens.

Use Video as a Gala Centerpiece

This hospital video, developed for their anniversary gala, achieves multiple things:

  • Evokes cause for celebration
  • Tells what they’re most proud of
  • Invites donors and friends into the organization
  • Delivers a message of momentum
  • Conveys to the community their essential role in the hospital’s success now—and in the future

When you have a captive audience at an event like a gala, you want to make every moment build a feeling of pride and enthusiasm for the organization. Nothing does that like a well-produced video.

Are you using video to change how people feel about your organization?

When is an Event a Good Idea?


Events are expensive, time-consuming and sometimes a great idea.
But they can also be a really bad idea.
So here are a pitfalls to avoid when you’re deciding if an event is the best marketing tool for your goal:

  1. Consider the return on investment. Add it all up—the advertising, the time, the event costs—and divide it by the number of people who came. How does your cost per person compare with other ways of reaching your target audience?
  2. Think about the cost of lost opportunity. Maybe you get 50 people at the open house. But what else could you have spent your time and money on that would have had even better results?
  3. Don’t equate attendance to loyalty and business results. We all take advantage of free things, from time to time, even when we have no intention of returning with our business.
  4. Consider labor in the cost. When looking at return on investment, be sure to count the time of everyone involved—not just the people in your department, but throughout the organization.

On the other hand, there are some things for which events are the very best venue—like galas. Getting 400 people in a room to celebrate your organization’s biggest ideas can be the opportunity of a lifetime to make a connection and to leave people feeling like they are a part of the whole.
Make sure that you’re intentional about what you’re spending on events—and doing the ones that pay off and that don’t stretch your resources so thin, you can’t attend to bigger marketing initiatives.

Use Your Company Anniversary as a Brand Refresh

Celebrating achievements are important, but corporate milestones represent an opportunity for more than just celebration. They’re a chance to roll-out your story in a fresh way—to revitalize your brand.
We worked with Simi Valley Hospital to pull together their signature messages about quality and growth, then developed a year-long plan to deliver those messages as part of their anniversary campaign—making the milestone work harder for them and getting more for their investment.

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Banner

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Banner

Bigger. Better. More.

Bigger. Better. More. That’s the theme we created to help Littleton Adventist Hospital leverage their 25-year anniversary to refresh their brand and show how they’ve grown to meet their community’s needs. In addition to direct mail and print ads, we worked with them to produce a video, Web content and elevator wraps.

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video


Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Web Page

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps

Recognize Employees

Recognition is one of the top things employees want in a job—yet too often it’s far too scarce. Yet watch any sport on TV and see how the immediate response of the crowd affects the players.

Recognition not only helps job satisfaction, but it acts as a rudder—steering the organization in its desired direction. Employees focus on what is rewarded and celebrated.

So how can you communicate recognition better in the workplace?

  • Make personal communication specific, like this: “Your ability to bring disparate ideas together really made that meeting a success.”
  • Make it more frequent.
  • Recognize people in front of their peers.
  • Send a note to the person’s boss, and copy them in.
  • Use a picture of them in a corporate communication.

 Need some inspiration? >>

This video celebrates the work of a hospital’s volunteers with photos of them at work. It’s an easy and fast way to say thank you to the people who make your organization successful—and it also can be used in recruiting, to give prospects a sense of your organization.

By showcasing employees talking about what it means to work at their organization, this video recognizes their employees, physicians and volunteers.

How to Inspire Employees

Employees need reminders of the purpose of their work to stay engaged and motivated. It’s easy to lose the fire that launched one’s career in the press of our daily demands. This is one of the tasks of leadership—to kindle this fire with regular and authentic messages that help us return to our purposes.

In this video we developed as part of their Centennial messaging, Los Angeles’ White Memorial Medical Center celebrates the deeper purposes that drive their remarkable team to bring passion to their daily work. It reminds the hospital family—doctors, employees, volunteers and community stakeholders—why they do what they do, and why their work matters.

Leaders who want to inspire their employees to bring their best energies and ideas to work can draw from many tools—from their own conversations to a video like this, which speaks to both the visual and auditory senses. Its calm cadence and rich pictures provide a momentary oasis in the day where they can be drawn back to their core purposes. 

Almost all of the photos in this piece were custom shot, which made it a great value for the client. They finished the project with both a video, which was shown at their Centennial Gala and posted on their website and social media sites, and a library of authentic images representing their daily work.

How are you using communication to inspire your employees to do their best?

Reflections on Mother’s Day


With mother’s day around the corner, today I’m reflecting on some people in my life to whom I owe much.

First, my own mother, that industrious and creative Norwegian woman who lived life large and always let us know that family was first. She was what Martha Stewart would be without a staff. Her home, table and yard were her palette and she wove a lifetime of beauty and memories from everyday moments, recognizing that a pretty dish on a table wasn’t about pretentiousness but about caring. To this day she rarely serves from a kettle, because a pretty table is a welcoming table, and it’s worth the effort. Her garden is a reflection of her—colorful, immaculate, varied and magical. Mother loved creating a home but was also a beloved grade-school teacher who never met a kid she didn’t see promise in. As a teen I couldn’t share her perspective, but today it swells in me as well, inspiring me to love all kinds of kids in ways I never imagined. My mother worked ridiculously hard—sewing, canning, cooking, going to school, working full time—and our family was the richer for it. And today, in retirement, she redefines the word by her tireless devotion to the comforts and caring of her family and community.

Secondly, my sons who welcomed me to the world of motherhood. When I held my first born son I had the same doubts every mother has: how can I possibly live up to this thing called motherhood? And how on earth can I love someone I’ve only known for hours this much? My sons introduced me to the remarkable world of boys and men in ways I could never have known without them. I now stand in the shade of their 6-foot-plus frames and marvel at the men they’ve become—as my friend says, both because of me and in spite of me.

And so today we celebrate the gifts of motherhood that we receive from our mothers, sisters, aunts and girlfriends—and all of the women in our lives who have made our lives richer. We wish you a Mother’s Day weekend filled with all the things you love most.

15 Year Anniversary: Reflections on Running a Small Business

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I can’t think of a job I’d rather have. And so, on this 15th anniversary, allow me to share why it is that we love what we do—and are energized as we look to the future and contemplate even better ways to do our work. 

  1. We help other companies be successful. In partnership with their marketing and communication teams, we’re able to create communications that brings measurable successes.
  2. We’re creating jobs. It’s ever so gratifying to know that you are able to help others sustain themselves and their families by offering them meaningful work. Especially during a time of global financial instability, we feel like creating jobs is a very real way we can make a difference.
  3. Small is nimble. Having worked in national and international corporate settings (from which I learned much), I can say that I love the responsiveness that comes with being a small business owner. We can make decisions quickly—unhampered by long review and lead times or bureaucracies—changing course when needed in the blink of an eye.
  4. We have skin in the game. As a business owner, I don’t look at work as a stepping stone to my next job. This company is our destination—so we’re fully immersed in making it successful. This lends a continuity to a company because of the consistency of steady leadership.
  5. We are beholden to no stockholders. As a privately held company, we have the wonderful luxury of making decisions for the company that are in its long-term best interest—without being beholden to producing quarterly results that are sometimes produced at the cost of the future.
  6. We get to pick the people we work with. Most of us spend as much or more time during the week with our co-workers as we do with our families, and so the task of selecting high quality, motivated individuals who share one’s views of work is indeed one of the great benefits. In our company there are certain things we just don’t tolerate—laziness, sloppy work, lack of resourcefulness or an unwillingness to tackle whatever it is that needs to be done. The result is a highly productive, satisfying and collegial environment that allows individuals to do their best work—without wasting energy on distractions.
  7. It’s never boring. Not only do we work with all kinds of communication tools, but we work in different markets and in several industries—each of which teaches us something new.

The past 15 years of running this business have given us the chance to meet and learn from fascinating people doing interesting work. On any given day we might traverse the continent—talking with a client in LA in the morning and one in Denver in the afternoon. Each one brings energy, vision and their own unique approach to work that makes our lives interesting. We are always learning from and inspired by them.

Owning your own company isn’t for everyone. But for those of us who love to have a say in forging our futures, it’s the job of a lifetime—and not a day goes by but I am grateful to our team and our clients for being a part of this dream.

Showcase: Making the Case for Bread and Water

This week the entrepreneurial Wilkinson Baking Company launched the in-store testing phase of the world's first fully automated commercial Bread Bakery—a technology that mixes and bakes fresh, healthy bread from start to finish without any human involvement.

We worked with them to develop a series of electronic billboards (see below)—among other promotional elements—that deliver in-store key messages.

This one-of-a-kind technology has been in development for nearly four decades—and introduces a completely new way of thinking about bread. Using only the purest and best natural ingredients, Wilkinson bread is more affordable than other premium brands and has a smaller carbon footprint than national brands. They never sell any loaf older than 24-hours—and natural enzymes keep it fresh for at least seven days.

Taking inspiration from the creator of Tom’s shoes, WBC took the bread concept one step further and has committed a portion of every loaf’s sale to drilling and maintaining wells in Africa. Each loaf provides 77 cups of fresh, pure water to people whose only source of water is often filthy and several hours’ walk by foot.

This is a company to watch, so if you’re in eastern Washington, stop by Super 1 and follow your nose.

15 Year Anniversary: A Time to Be Thankful

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Celebrating a milestone like our 15th year in business immediately brings to mind the clients whom we have been fortunate to serve over the years. Many of them have been with us since our earliest days, and have helped our business grow primarily by word of mouth.

The creative work we produce with them is a direct result of how they manage, inspire and work with our creative team. Today we want to say thank you to those of you who have trusted us with your company’s image—and sent us other clients because of your referrals. 

15 Year Anniversary: New Ways of Helping You Succeed

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In response to this changing landscape, we’ve been thinking about what will make you more successful. Out of this has grown the addition of several new services—and enhancements of existing services.


We now have regional videographers in several major markets where we conduct a lot of work, so are able to compete even more competitively on the price of developing video productions. Consider us if you need:

  • Simple, affordable mini-documentaries that feature high quality interviews and b-roll. Video is now a medium of choice if you ask many consumers how they want information, and a must have for any progressive organization’s website. See examples.
  • Creative, emotive pieces that reinforce messages, mission and culture or inspire people to buy, give, support, join or advocate for your product or service. See examples.
  • Fun, entertaining, or reality-type videos that convey a message in unconventional ways. Remember that consumers are now looking for entertainment in advertising messages. 

Motion Graphics

These are perfect for stimulating Web traffic and delivering a message with words, photos, music and animation—without the cost of video footage. They can be produced quickly and affordably, and amp up the effectiveness of your message—making it more likely to be shared via social media. See examples.

Web Messaging

With Web moving to the center of all of our lives as a primary repository of communication, we can bring together all the tools needed to create a powerful presence for you—either by creating your website or by providing messaging and images for a particular product or service on your existing site. We can help you determine what your site should say—as well as do the writing, design and development. See examples.

Proprietary Marketing for Physician Practices

With decades of combined experience helping hospitals and patients launch new services and practices, our proprietary marketing for physicians can jump start your physician practice. If you’re paying a physician’s salary and he or she isn’t seeing many patients, this becomes a very smart business move that should easily justify its costs.

We continue to offer the services we have in the past—but with these new and enhanced services, we now offer more ways to help you tell your story, drive business, and drive revenues to your bottom line.

15 Year Anniversary: It’s a New Year, and a New Us

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This year marks the 15th anniversary of CMBell Company—a milestone in our dream to create a workplace that allows us to do work we care about with people we respect—for companies and causes that matter to us.

We’ll be reflecting on this from time to time right here on our blog, starting with today, where we officially roll out our own new corporate identity—and the second logo in our company’s history. It’s an act that signals new directions for our future—while acknowledging the many who have made the journey possible.

At the center of our logo is the fleur-de-lis, one of the most recognized symbols in the world and one that is rich in history and legend. Although used by monarchs throughout history and used to represent perfection, light and life, its own origins are unknown. Besides loving its visual beauty, we think it represents the pursuit of perfection and excellence that has characterized our firm from the beginning. Paired with typography that is both strong and stately, the logo suggests the unique trio of discipline, purpose and creativity required to run a firm like ours.


Eight Reasons to Celebrate Your Company’s Anniversaries

CMBell Company was in Los Angeles at White Memorial Medical Center last week to begin work on the planning for their Centennial

CMBell Company was in Los Angeles at White Memorial Medical Center last week to begin work on the planning for their Centennial

A company anniversary provides an opportunity to breathe new life into your organization—to offer a kind of oasis in the press of daily work. A strategically planned anniversary celebration can:

  1. Recognize the people who make your success possible

  2. Deepen bonds with your community, customers and staff

  3. Inspire deeper engagement

  4. Infuse the workplace with meaning

  5. Shift internal focus from problems to achievements

  6. Reinforce your culture, mission and values

  7. Attract positive press

  8. Provide a foundation for casting vision for the future

There’s no rule about which anniversaries you should celebrate. Whether it’s f a 15th (ours, next year), a 20th, or a 100th, these occasions provide valuable time for reflection and celebration—both of which yield subtle but important fruits in the work place.

Client Showcase: St. Anthony North 40-Year Collateral Piece

This is the final piece in a campaign to promote St. Anthony North Hospital's achievements via its 40-year anniversary. This printed piece serves as both a direct mail and a brochure that tells the hospital's story and casts a vision for its future. The campaign theme, "We," celebrates the team's efforts in reaching this milestone, while creating enthusiasm for the hospital's future. It pairs well with the employee video, where we build on a reality-style production to show what "we" means. 

The campaign included transit, outdoor boards, mall displays, building banners, kinetic typograpy, Web content, videos and print ads.

The focus of the messaging was not just about their accomplishments and plans for the future, but was a way to celebrate the achievements of the team, which always infuses energy into an organization.

We can't wait to see what they do together in the next 40 years.

How are you celebrating the achievements of the people who make your business successful? What company do you know that does this well?

Happy 4th of July!

Here are some fun facts about the 4th of July from the U.S. census bureau. Now when you light those firecrackers or raise that flag, you'll know where it most likely came from (you guessed it, China).

  • 2.5 million
  • In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
  • 309.6 million
  • The nation's estimated population on July 4, 2010.
  • $3.0 million
  • In 2009, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($2.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
  • $920,277
  • Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2009. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $333,882 worth.
  • $209 million
  • The value of fireworks imported from China in 2009, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $42.9 million in 2009, with the United Arab Emirates purchasing more than any other country ($14.5 million).
  • About 1 in 3
  • The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 34 percent of the nation's dry, edible beans in 2009. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 66 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2009.
  • 31
  • Number of places nationwide with "liberty" in their name. The most populous one as of July 1, 2008, is Liberty, Mo. (30,568). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.