Survival of the Fittest: Evolution of a Brand

Posted By Drew Adams / June, 11, 2015 / 0 comments

In 1947, Polaroid became the leading innovator in photography by making the first ever camera that developed pictures in a minute or two. After many years of success Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The failure of Polaroid was simple- it was really just a great product, but never a great brand. Around the same time that Polaroid was creating cameras, BMW started branding themselves as “ The Ultimate Driving Machine.” By doing this, BMW has successfully changed their brand image from building aircraft engines to building cars.

To become great, a product must evolve into a brand. By becoming memorable, a brand will succeed in areas other than what was intended. Building a brand means you are building recognition and setting yourself above the competition. At Johnson Gray we re-brand companies as a whole to make them last a lifetime. We are growing companies into brands one step at a time.

Creating Change in Laguna

Posted By Anthony Ellis / March, 11, 2015 / 0 comments

In Laguna Beach, art is ubiquitous. Art galleries seem to be on every block. Our office is next door to a sculpture garden and a two-minute walk from a ten-foot, bearded statue of Laguna Beach’s legendary “Greeter”. It’s as if the entire city were right-brained.

It is only fitting that the city would try to help out the local homeless population with a little bit of flare. In order to raise awareness on how to properly make a donation to the homeless and cut down on panhandling, local artists were commissioned to turn parking meters into eye-catching street art.

Scattered throughout the town, these meters serve a dual purpose. Upon closer examination, they are donation stations aiding homeless programs within the Laguna Beach area. The program is called “Create Change” and has been around since 2008.

We have found a couple of the meters in person and discovered a few more online. Let us know if there are any we’ve missed.


Social Media’s All-Time Most Viral Super Bowl Ads

Posted By Anthony Ellis / January, 29, 2015 / 0 comments

Just in time for Super Bowl XLIX, marketing technology company Unruly has released a list of the most shared Super Bowl ads of all time by measuring the combined Facebook, Twitter and blog shares per spot.

Originally aired in 2011, Volkswagen’s “The Force” ad tops the list with 5.3 million shares. The ad for the 2012 Volkswagen Passat features a kid in a Darth Vader costume attempting to use the Force on the family dog, a baby doll and a sandwich, among other household staples. When the child’s father pulls into the driveway in his Passat, the child rushes outside to try his luck on the car. In the next scene, the dad is looking through the kitchen window, tricking the child into believing he actually accomplished his goal of harnessing the Force.

The next year, Volkswagen followed up with another “Star Wars”-themed spot that appears eighth on the list with 900,000 shares. The ad features a group of dogs barking to the tune of “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)”.

Despite the successes, Volkswagen is sitting out the 2015 Super Bowl.

Budweiser appears on the list three times (2, 3, 4) with a combined 8.4 million shares, including a one-minute spot featuring the company’s iconic Clydesdale horses roaming New York City before kneeling down in reverence of the city’s altered skyline. The ad – entitled “Respect” – aired only once, on February 3, 2002, five months after the events of September 11th.

Also of note: three of the most-shared ads on the list were movie trailers, including two from the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.

The majority of the ads that appear on the list are from the last few years, reflecting the increasing ubiquity of social media in society, so it is very likely that a few spots from the 2015 Super Bowl will make it onto the next iteration of this list.

1. Volkswagen – “The Force” (2011)

2. Budweiser – “Respect” (2002)

3. Budweiser – “Brotherhood” (2013)

4. Budweiser – “Puppy Love” (2014)

5. Dodge Ram Trucks – “Farmer” (2013)

6. Universal – “Fast and the Furious 6″ Movie Trailer (2013)

7. Chevrolet w/ OK Go – “Needing/Getting” Music Video Trailer (2012)

8. Volkswagen – “The Bark Side” (2012)

9. Universal – “Fast Five” Movie Trailer (2011)

10. Paramount – “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Movie Trailer (2013)

Uniquely Laguna

Posted By Matthew Ellis / January, 8, 2015 / 0 comments

The happiest postal worker we’ve ever known. We always look forward to seeing him.


Looking for a beautiful New Year’s resolution?

Posted By Matthew Ellis / January, 6, 2015 / 0 comments

Since Johnson Gray’s move to Laguna Beach, we’ve noticed that every day around 5 PM people in the area all migrate to main beach to watch the sunset. Before we moved here, we were unaware of this daily ritual, but we can see why people do it. We enjoyed it so much so that we would like to share 7 reasons why you should make a sunset a regular routine in your life.

  1. The calming effect of a sunset can slow your perception of time.
  2. It’s only 20 minutes a day.
  3. A dose of fresh air promotes a sense of vitality.
  4. It’s healthy, whether you walking, running, or simply observing.
  5. It will force you to put your phone down.
  6. It will help you appreciate life’s gift.
  7. They can inspire you.

To see what time the sunset is today, visit this page.


3 Days til Christmas…time to see if you’ve got enough Christmas Spirit

Posted By Matthew Ellis / December, 23, 2014 / 0 comments

Which Holiday Movie Character are you? Quiz

The Most Influential Brands on Social Media

Posted By Anthony Ellis / November, 17, 2014 / 0 comments



If you’ve visited Amazon’s site lately and noticed the logo smiling a bit wider than usual, it may be because the company was recently named the most socially influential and engaging brand by Klout, a website that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to social influence.

For the rankings, Klout reviewed the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brand report, a definitive list of the world’s most valuable brands, then assigned each brand a “Klout Score” – a 100-point numerical grade that measures the scope and strength of a brand’s online social influence – to create the Klout 50.

One of the insights gleaned from the study is that having a strong, well-recognized brand does not necessarily translate to success in social media. For instance, Apple was ranked first on Interbrand’s most valuable brand list, but found itself 28th on the Klout 50 behind less top-of-mind brands such as Audi, Adobe, Nokia, Goldman Sachs, and Tiffany & Co. In fact, Google, Microsoft, and McDonald’s were the only brands that ranked in the top 10 of both studies.

The purpose of this blog post is to show examples of what the highest-rated of the Klout 50 – Amazon, Microsoft, and MTV – are doing right.

Amazon typically reaches out over social networks with context-based engagements with offers in tow, such as this “Back to School”-themed question meant to provoke nostalgic responses as well as send users to the Back to School section of Amazon.

Amaz0n Social Engagement

Intermingled with news and offers, Microsoft has a #5to9 campaign, asking users how they spend their post-work hours. These updates are accompanied by inspirational images of scaled mountaintops or children learning, and the photos are tagged with hard-nosed acronyms like ASAP and ETA with reimagined meanings – “All Summits Are Possible” and “Educating Tomorrow’s Artists” respectively.

Microsoft FB ASAP

One of the things I found most impressive was MTV’s dedication to social media. The brand ranks 80th Interbrand’s list but brings home the bronze on the Klout 50. Their handling of their television show “Teen Wolf” gives great insight into executing a broad, socially-engaging campaign. MTV uses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, YouTube, and even YouTube personalities in their social media efforts. In addition to the official “Teen Wolf” account, the show’s cast and crew contribute a large social presence, and the fans of the show react in kind.

Such an example is that of Quinn Wentz, a “Teen Wolf” fan who uploaded a song to YouTube based on the trailer of an upcoming episode on January 9th, 2014. The music video soon garnered the attention of not only the official “Teen Wolf” Twitter handle, but also several members of the main cast.

Teen wolf tweet 1

By the end of January, MTV was using Wentz’ fan-made video as an official promo for the show.

Teen wolf tweet 2

MTV also has four social media-centered shows involving “Teen Wolf” streaming on Two – “The FANtastic Show” and “The Teen Wolf After, After Show” – are hosted by YouTube personalities Tyler Oakley and lohanthony, respectively. In the third, “Pack Reacts”, the aforementioned lohanthony reacts to the reactions of fans coming in through Instagram video. The last, “Wolf Watch”, consists of the entire cast in a talk show-type setting, talking to a different fan every week through Skype.

With all-encompassing social media efforts such as this, it is easy to see how MTV landed so high on the Klout 50.

Teeing up for the Blind Children’s Learning Center

Posted By Anthony Ellis / November, 10, 2014 / 0 comments

The Blind Children’s Learning Center held its 2014 Fall Golf Classic on November 3rd, 2014 at the El Niguel Country Club in Laguna Niguel, CA. Proceeds from the day – amounting to $90,000 – will help to provide a “Total Communications Plan” for every child the organization serves that is blind, deaf-blind, or multi-disabled. The event consisted of 18 holes of scramble golf on the private, member-owned country club, as well as a blindfold putting contest, a post-tournament cocktail reception and silent auction, and capped off with an awards dinner and live auction.

2014 BCKC Golf Carts

Johnson Gray has proudly been teaming up with the Blind Children’s Learning Center since 2010, assisting them with charitable events as well as their advertising needs. It is common for a child with visual impairments to have expressive and receptive developmental delays. With the “Total Communication Plan” provided by the Blind Children’s Learning Center, a certified deaf-blind intervener studies each child’s mode of communication and behaviors to develop and implement a communication system created specifically for each child, helping them to reach their full potential. To learn more about the Blind Children’s Learning Center, please visit