In a move to raise awareness of Kansas City’s treasured Powell Gardens and attract new families and visitors, the Sterling-Rice Group of Boulder has undertaken an integrated positioning and brand campaign for the property. The new initiative brings to life the new ‘Natural Joy’ platform that SRG and its designers identified as a way to distinguish Powell Gardens and its environs.
With its botanical gardens surrounded by prairie, outside of Kansas City proper, ‘Natural Joy’ speaks to the experience visitors have when visiting its wide open spaces, special events and beautiful gardens. The agency developed the positioning into a multifaceted communications platform following extensive visits and research at Powell Gardens. The agency is working for Powell Gardens on a pro-bono basis. Its CEO, Cindy Judge is a resident of Kansas City.
“Powell Gardens is a special cultural attraction in Kansas City that offers a rich outdoor experience during all seasons, and is uniquely suited for the challenging times we are in now given its expansive space, wide trails and the gardens themselves,” explained Cindy. “This new campaign brings forth the magic of Powell Gardens and we are excited to help build awareness and support of this Kansas City gem.”
SRG’s creative team was inspired by the sense of wonder one has when wandering through the Powell Gardens, which is both awe-inspiring as well as restorative. The agency created a series of social media and marketing ads that stand out from more traditional botanical-type marketing efforts, giving Powell Gardens a distinctive identity and look.
“The design work uses a layering of images to build up a rich emotional alchemy that’s simultaneously new and old,” explained agency designer Frances Parker. “In the mix we’ve used a strong arts-and-crafts font, varied illustration styles, snippets of found materials, whispers of mid-century children’s book illustrations, earthy jewel tones pulled from site visits, and smatterings of cool graphic elements to keep the mix contemporary.”
The agency has created a series of ads that are reminiscent of post cards and posters to promote and celebrate events at the garden from its butterfly exhibit to its current holiday ‘Festival of Lights'. A more extensive branding campaign will launch in 2021.
“This whole campaign was built with our guests in mind and what they can see and experience when visiting our gardens,” explained Tabitha Schmidt, CEO and president of Powell Gardens. “The partnership with SRG and their focus on the visitor experience resonates with our strategic plan which today is focusing on activating our purpose to best serve the public.”