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  Case Histories

First American Bank

Problem: Back in 1988, a modestly sized, privately owned Chicagoland bank with 9 branches and $350 million in assets, came to us with a challenge to make them a leader in the Chicago retail banking market. It would be a daunting task – Chicago is acknowledged as the most aggressive, competitive retail banking market in the country.

Solution: We developed a three-fold strategy: raise awareness of the bank’s name, create a strong positive perception of their products and service, while increasing the volume of retail loan and deposit business. With a limited budget, we launched an award winning radio campaign that broke the mold of Chicago bank advertising and generated excellent response. We also created a charming, slightly off-beat newspaper campaign that gave great product support and credibility to First American Bank brand equity.
Both of these broadcast and print programs are in force today.

Description Action
Grandma’s Cruise
Bank Humungo
Chump Change
Boris Who
On-line Grandma
Big Bank Secret
Is That A Question

Results:Today, with more than 330 bank and thrift brands doing business in Chicago,  First American is now the largest privately owned bank in the metro market - with 53 branches and over $4.5 billion in assets.

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Assurance Agency, Ltd.

Problem: Assurance Agency, Ltd., a growing, medium sized insurance brokerage firm in business for over 45 years, wanted to establish a new corporate image that reflected dynamic growth and enhance their brand identity, all in conjunction with relocation to larger office space.

Solution: Matrix developed a two-phased program that created a new corporate graphic identity and re-branding program and then implemented the new image throughout the company to coincide with their move to the new facility. 

(old logo)   (new logo)

Results: The new graphics were introduced, first to the Assurance employees and then to their client base. An array of internal and external collateral materials were developed, including an announcement package. Additonally, the new illuminated corporate signage sits proudly atop the new building. The new brand image has been met with rave reviews both among Assurance clients and the industry in general.

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ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company

Problem: ISMIE is the state’s largest insurer for medical liability, however, attracting new physicians and keeping them in Illinois was next to impossible given the legal climate and lack of med-malpractice tort reform.

Solution: ISMIE called on Matrix to develop an advertising campaign that would defend the practice of medicine in Illinois and provide a means to protect practicing physicians. Through a series of print ads, Matrix reinforced ISMIE’s position and underscored their commitment to the physicians of Illinois.

Results: The campaign has garnered tremendous support by physicians in Illinois and progress has been made in the fight against malpractice liability issues.

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Illinois State Medical Society

Problem: Illinois health care system was in serious crisis with an out of control legal system of excessive, non-meritorious litigation and skyrocketing jury awards in medical liability lawsuits. Illinois physicians were leaving the state in droves to practice in less litigious areas and patients were hard pressed to find adequate medical care.

Solution: Illinois State Medical Society partnered with Matrix to call for changes to the out-of-control medical litigation system. Matrix developed a two phased radio and newspaper campaign that targeted both the legislators as well as the patients who would be affected by the defection of physicians in Illinois. At the same time Matirx worked to get Republican Judge Lloyd Karmeier elected to the Illinois Supreme court in the mostly-Democratic Madison County, dubbed the “judicial hellhole” by the American Tort Reform Association.

Description Action

Result: Governor Blagojevich signed legislation that would help put an end to frivolous lawsuits and skyrocketing awards while protecting injured patients’ access to the courts. The legislation set an award cap of $500,000 for non-economic damages from doctors.

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Illinois State Medical Society

Problem: Although the medical reform legislation was signed by the governor, by mid-year a constitutional challenge was issued as trial lawyers fought to overturn the reform law.

Solution: Matrix created a series of print ads, radio commercials and an outdoor billboard campaign that blanketed the state of Illinois. Through these efforts, ISMS continued to respond to anti-reformers by presenting the facts through the media and beat back the ill-conceived constitutional challenge.

Result: The battle rages on in Springfield and ISMS continues to respond to anti-reformers that tort reform, not insurance reform, is responsible for lower insurance rates.

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Chicago Board of Trade

Problem: How do you capture the world’s attention to introduce a new commodity product in an already overcrowded market?

Solution: Produced the first ever CBOT television commercials which introduced the ground breaking Dow Jones Futures and Options contracts to the world. Supported with additional media, i.e., print media, internet, direct mail, and broker co-op efforts.

Description Action

Results: Most successful new contract launch in CBOT history, generating record trading volume.

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St. Pauli Girl Beer

Problem: How do you reposition image and rebuild brand equity for a beer that had its identity and market share seriously eroded by years of marketing mismanagement?

Solution: Rebuild the St. Pauli Girl consumer franchise by linking their 400 year brewing heritage to a proprietary and sophisticated branding program. With a little help from Smokey Robinson and the platinum hit, “My Girl,” plus a follow on with a special treatment of the Nat Cole classic “That Sunday, That Summer,” we created a nostalgic television campaign that had a strong impact on our target audience. 

Description Action
St. Pauli Girl (1)
St. Pauli Girl (2)

Results: This 3 year campaign, using television, magazine, radio and outdoor – plus our complete redesign of SPG labels and packaging - turned volume losses to gains averaging 8 % annually, in a fiercely competitive and heavy spending domestic/import market.
The campaign also vaulted St. Pauli Girl into the number two U.S. sales position for imported German beer.

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Yamaha Corporation of America

Problem:  As the worlds largest manufacturer of musical instruments, Yamaha faced the perception that as the “General Motors” of the business, they turned out mass produced, modest quality instruments aimed at entry to mid-level market segments. They faced stiff competition and sales erosion from respected niche-product brands like Gibson, Selmer, Ludwig and others, all of whom positioned their brands under high quality umbrellas.

Solution: Based on our new theme line - “Play the Very Best You Can”, we developed a campaign strategy that presented each Yamaha instrument line as a work of art; unique, custom-built examples of the craftsman’s time-honored artistry and skill.

Description Action
Yamaha - Band is Cool
Yamaha - Billy Sheehan

(place buttons for Yamaha print/TV ads here)

Results: This positioning of Yamaha as a heritage-rich, quality-focused company whose products best enable all musicians to make the most of their talents, has kept the Yamaha brand #1 in the marketplace.

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Midway Airlines

Problem: Due to over expansion and a rapidly changing marketplace, the original Midway Airlines, ( Midway I ) was driven out of business, leaving a significant void in reasonably priced business class service to and from Chicago’s Midway Airport. How do
you successfully launch a “Midway II” with intense competition in the Chicago market?

Solution: Recognizing an underserved market, we worked with a small group of investors to build a totally market-driven airline – designed from the ground up – around the business traveler. Service was started between Midway and top East Coast business destinations with a fleet of brand new, Fokker F-100 airplanes. We created a compelling marketing campaign (including designing the logo and airplane paint scheme), that spoke directly to the needs, concerns and desires of the business segment, projecting messages in print, broadcast, outdoor and direct media.

Results: Reservations and the startup took off. After the successful Chicago launch in fall of 1993, Midway management decided to move the airline to Raleigh-Durham in 1996, to take over the vacated American Airlines hub operation.

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McDonald’s Corporation

Problem: McDonald’s was looking for a way to increase their “kids” store traffic with  added incentives for repeat business. 

Solution: Created concept, wrote and produced first ever McDonalds Happy Meal boxes for national audience. Written in a themed series, decorative boxes contained riddles, games and a prize as well as discounted burger, fries and a beverage.

Results: After 25 years, Happy Meal boxes remain the single most successful McDonalds promotion in the company’s history.

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