Sometimes, it’s about acts, not ads.

Author: Andrew Gall

Make no mistake. We are in the advertising business. Therefore, we make ads. It just makes sense. And it is what advertising agencies have done for decades. Ads! TV spots. Radio commercials (jingles, for a time!). Digital. Social media! Points-of-Purchase! That’s right, our advertising agency loves to make ads!

And ads we do well. We at CF have been surviving (and those glass-half-full-types would say, thriving!) on the business of doing ads for some 25 years now.

But ads aren’t everything. They can’t do everything a brand needs. And sometimes, what we are faced with isn’t really an advertising challenge at all. Ironic? Yes. Challenging? Absolutely. Fulfilling as hell when we figure it out? You bet.

To get specific about a recent project of ours: a formidable challenge for many cities is how to continue to make their destination more accommodating and accessible to travelers of all kinds. And in fact, for Visit Seattle (one of our destination marketing clients), one of their most important core values is to ensure everyone feels welcome when they enter our city.

We were faced with a different kind of creative challenge, which forced us to open our brains to think about true societal benefits in the context of what our city has to offer.

Here’s where it led: our city currently plays host to the biggest glass art festival in the country. What if we could make that uniquely beautiful scene more accessible to more people?




This project necessitated a new kind of creative approach that couldn’t be solved with an ad—it would require an ongoing commitment and exploring potential partnerships (which we’re no stranger to) in order to make it happen.

What we love about brand partnerships is their ability to help brands take things to a higher awareness or consideration level than smaller-than-ideal marketing budgets can dictate on their own. And thanks to our truly dedicated Visit Seattle client, who pulled in a number of museum and gallery partners together with our color blind glasses partner Enchroma, we made it happen. And we couldn’t be prouder of the end result: as stated in the case study video above, Seattle now has the highest number of EnChroma glasses available to borrow in the world.

Sometimes, the biggest creative lift isn’t creating a tear-jerking brand anthem, clever social post, or gut-busting audio spot.

Sometimes, when it comes to changing the conversation and truly making a difference, acts are far more important than ads.