Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement (JA) is a global 100 year old nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children. JA's Rocky Mountain chapter is extremely involved in local communities and is a household name at many Colorado schools. Our relationship with JA began when their Director of Communications, Chris Silberman reached out to us to rebrand their annual "Business Week" event. JA needed the look and feel of this one-of-a-kind event to be a much more attractive to modern, tech-savvy, high school-aged kids. What happened? We created a uniquely branded look for this event which appeals to their target audience. This new look established a well received visual structure for a very successful Business Week and created a backbone for continued success with their annual event. As our initial branding effort for Business Week provided an incredibly positive response, we've been working heavily with JA on a variety of marketing and design projects ranging from print collateral to social media campaigns, motion graphics to animated digital ads. The content that follows is our opportunity to showcase some of the very fun, thought-centric work for our friends at Junior Achievement–Rocky Mountain, Inc.

What we did

Staying in the constant know as far as what brands resonate with the high school-aged audience as well as visual trends and aesthetic appreciations, we constantly have pushed the envelope on JA’s brand evolution with each and every project we’ve done for them. We have introduced new colors, illustration styles, gradients, photography considerations and modern marketing practice to JA’s routine way of appealing both to kids and adults alike. Other national JA chapters have adopted many of the updated brand aesthetics that we have integrated into JA–Rocky Mountain, Inc’s regular creative content.

 

Brand

  • Logo & Identity
  • Strategy & Positioning
  • Brand Book & Style Guide
  • Voice & Tone
  • Art Direction
  • Illustration & Iconography

Interactive

  • User Experience Design

Marketing

  • Content Strategy & Creation
  • Print & Publication Design
  • Digital & Traditional Advertising
  • Videography
  • Copywriting & SEO
  • Brand Activations

Results

In the 2020 year, JA had confidence in us to help them with a few “firsts.”

  1. One “first” was JA’s trust to have an external agency (Brent Thelen Design) run a very important media campaign for them. This media campaign coined “Who Took A Chance On You?” was run during Colorado’s Annual “Colorado Gives Day” and aimed to encourage charitable giving during the holiday season. As the global COVID-19 pandemic, halted many of JA’s in-person programs to be put on hold, we really wanted the look concept of this campaign to visually appeal to both the “new normal” concept of everyone now working remotely and interacting via Zoom and other video conferencing meetings, coupled with the emotional appeal of showing respect for those who have helped get us where we are in life. We executed this concept through a series of 8 video interviews with subjects who spoke of their mentors who have helped them get to where they are in life. We locked up these very candid interviews with modern motion graphics and illustrations which visually eludes to the nostalgia of life’s relationship-centric, professional journey.
    •  JA really wanted to see a donation amount to be around $40,000 for this campaign alone, but knew that it would be a huge challenge considering the state of the world. In spite of odds being against us, our well executed campaign creative, copywriting and media placement, we exceeded their goal by over 50%, raising over $60,000 in donations through the course of this campaign!
  2. The next “first” was moving their highly circulated Annual Report to 100% digital. We reproached this 30 page publication to be built and designed for the modern world. Complete with a fresh look and feel which we have since incorporated into many other projects, we really wanted to treat this project request as an engaging interactive experience. With this in mind, this publication is filled with links, page transitions and was circulated as both an Interactive.PDF and an ePublication.

As the year came to a close and many great projects were produced, we’re keeping up the momentum with further collaboration and the continued evolution of the JA brand.

In my 22-year marketing and communications career, I’ve worked with several contract graphic designers and branding experts, but working with BTD has by far been the best experience I’ve ever had. I always feel like Brent is as invested in the outcome of Junior Achievement’s work as I am, and it always feels like a true partnership.

When I first began working with Brent in 2019, I told him we needed to break out of a brand identity that felt heavily “corporate.” We needed an across-the-board makeover that felt fresh, exciting, and cutting-edge, while maintaining the professionalism of a nonprofit that needs to appeal to educators, students, volunteers, and corporate partners. What he has created in the two years that followed for our materials and campaigns far exceeded anything I could have hoped for. Even now, he is constantly looking to push our brand identity, which I greatly appreciate. He is also the most responsive designer I’ve ever worked with, and has bailed me out more than once with some emergency needs that required a fast turnaround! I highly recommend BTD to anyone looking to elevate their brand. Chris Silberman - Junior Achievement–Rocky Mountain, Inc.