Stay tuned to this page for the latest in trends, updates on TKO and stories about our clients' successes.

  • TKO Receives High Honors with Hermes and Summit Awards

    [April 7, 2014] Soquel, CA—Last year TKO undertook orchestrating large integrated marketing campaigns, and the hard work paid off. The agency has just received Platinum Hermes and Gold Summit Awards for their efforts on the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and "Liquid Ingenuity" campaigns.


    Now in its third decade, The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition that awards work from agencies and in-house creative teams. As one of the largest competitions in the industry, it attracts entries from small agencies to national firms. TKO was thrilled to learn that out of thousands of entries—their Cloudy 2 campaign received its highest honor, a Platinum award.


    The agency also received a Gold award for the B2B direct mail marketing campaign for client Duda Farm Fresh Foods, as well as an Honorable Mention for its "Liquid Ingenuity" campaign for client Rain for Rent.


    The Summit International Awards recognize agencies through a judging process that leverages industry peers to review thousands of entries. TKO is honored to have received another Gold Award for the Duda Farm Fresh Foods B2B campaign, a Gold Award for the "Liquid Ingenuity" Rain for Rent Campaign, and a Silver Award for the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 campaign.


    "The true challenge for marketers today is to effectively stand out. That's why on top of the results we drive for our clients, these acknowledgements are gratifying. Our peers in the industry have a shared appreciation of the dedication that goes into successful campaigns," commented Melissa McDill, the agency's Creative Director.





  • Infographics and e-Books

    Although a relatively new concept in the world of marketing, inbound marketing has revolutionized the field as a new school of thought when it comes to bringing consumers closer to your brand.  Rather than attempting to buy attention, companies are realizing the value in earning it by offering meaningful content through various channels.  Customized infographics and eBooks prove especially effective, combining educational content with entertaining creative.


    Here are 5 benefits of utilizing
    eBooks and Infographics:


    1) Make your company easier to find

    With the world’s knowledge at their fingertips, the internet has completely changed the game when it comes to how people discover new brands and products.  Materials such as infographics, eBooks, blogs, social media, etc. increase the amount of relevant information available from your company, making it easy for visitors to find and learn more about you. Bonus – you can track downloads for added measurability.


    2) Attract the right kind of people

    Every company has what they consider a "dream customer".  Customized eBooks and infographics allow you to easily tailor content to those individuals most likely to develop a long lasting relationship with your brand and thus be motivated to become true brand ambassadors.


    3) Generate qualified leads

    Inbound marketing efforts have proven time and again that consumers are willing to read and interact with something that interests or benefits them directly.  Customized, downloadable eBooks are a great way to collect contact information for qualified leads while offering up information, recipes, ideas, and more in return.  With this information, you can easily create an ever-growing database and interact with a more targeted audience.


    4) Cost-effective, and suitable for both small and large companies

    Releasing content through eBooks, infographics and other forms of inbound marketing allows you to reach your target audience without pouring large portions of your company’s budget into ads, TV, and other forms of traditional advertising. The options for subject matter are limitless with the help of a capable creative team.


    5) Simultaneously engage new and existing patrons

    Continuously presenting new and interesting content attracts new customers, while still delighting the devotees.  Customized eBooks are a great example of how to actively maintain brand persona and messaging.

    TKO offers clients a chance to present compelling content backed by captivating creative in the form of eBooks, infographics and more as part  of a viable inbound
    marketing program.



  • TKO Honored with Davey Award

    [December 3, 2013] Soquel, CA - No stranger to the spotlight when it comes to recognition from the International Academy of the Visual Arts, TKO Associates has been honored with another Davey Award.  Out of nearly 4000 entries submitted this year, TKO's Excite video project captured the Silver Award for Videography/Cinematography.


    The International Davey Awards is one of the largest competitions to specifically recognize the work of what they deem the “creative Davids” of the industry. But part of what makes the Davey Awards so special is the emphasis placed on both creativity and execution - after all, it wasn’t just the slingshot that made David triumphant, but how he used it.


    For more than 30 years TKO has demonstrated their natural talent for creating beautiful imagery with impact. The Excite videos are a portfolio piece that exhibits how TKO took this skill to the next level, incorporating it in one of the most up and coming mediums of our time – digital video. Although concise, these bright videos really pop, engaging audiences by spicing up the way recipes are shared.

    Creative Director Melissa McDill acknowledged this Davey award was particularly significant for TKO.


    “The Kennedy Organization has built a reputation for consistently coming up with uniquely creative concepts that resonate with our clients.  The Excite videos were a great opportunity for our creative team to add some of that TKO finesse to this captivating medium. We are especially honored by this award because it realizes our goal of becoming a contender in the realm of digital video production, as we look forward to continuing to expand our client’s marketing portfolios in new and intriguing ways.”



  • TKO Wins 4 More Honors from Hermes, Summit Creative, and ADDY Awards

    [June 26, 2013] Soquel, CA— The Kennedy Organization, a marketing and design firm based in the Monterey Bay area, has been recognized by industry leaders yet again for innovative packaging, marketing, and design work.  TKO received a Platinum Hermes Creative award for a self-promotional photography and “Excite” video marketing campaign, and their already critically-lauded Laptop Lunches packaging and design campaign for Obentec, Inc. was recognized with a Gold Hermes Creative Award, a Bronze Summit Creative award, and a Bronze ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation of the Silicon Valley.


    Creative Director Melissa McDill responded to the awards announcement with: “Now in our agency’s 35th year, TKO has received numerous awards recognizing the quality of our campaigns and designs, and we are not surprised when our team’s talent is recognized by such discriminating critics again and again.  We take special pride in these awards, as they highlight our work across the range of our engagements; from photography and video to package design.  Of course, our client’s success is always our most shining achievement.”


  • Spring Cleaning Your Advertising

    Have you been using the same ads season after season? If the answer is yes, it’s time to clean house and bring in something fresh this spring! The TKO team is here to collaborate with you on a new message and design that will break printed and online clutter by following some tried and true guidelines.


    Pique Their Interest

    Our first goal is to capture and keep your audience’s attention with a colorful design, a strong headline, and custom visual content that all help to convey your core message. We’re all about keeping it strong and simple. A well-designed ad will be eye-catching without distracting from your purpose.


    Tell a Story

    An ad is your chance to educate consumers about your company’s values, history, and product offerings in an artful way. Consider proving your brand’s credibility with real-life examples, key product benefits, and concise messages explaining how your brand is specially suited to meet their needs. Readers like to be surprised and wowed by an intelligent ad and to feel like they have “inside” knowledge about the company. As you can’t always count on who will see it, make your story relevant to the largest possible audience.


    Light a Fire

    We always encourage our clients to capitalize on their ad spend by including an actionable step. Don’t skip the call to action because you think it’s cliché. Even something as simple as adding a URL to the bottom of your ad can bring in new revenue streams, but don’t let that hold you back from brainstorming a clever prompt that will spark curiosity. Be sure to measure the call to action during and after the ad has run.


    Check It Twice

    Nothing’s worse than finding an error in an ad you’ve invested in. Carefully check the ad at every point in the design phase and always do a final proof of all the copy for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors as well as any font, color, or graphics inconsistencies. Another important step is double-checking the ad specs before and after production and following up with the publication to confirm materials were received.


    Trust The Kennedy Organization for ad creative that adds value to your media spend.


  • TKO's Work Featured in Brand Packaging

    [February 12, 2013] Soquel, CA—The Kennedy Organization, a marketing firm based in the Monterey Bay Area, has just been published in the national magazine Brand Packaging for its Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware packaging redesign for Obentec. Laptop Lunches, a line of waste-free containers for meals and snacks, was created by two local Santa Cruz moms and is sold in national retailers such as Whole Foods and on the company’s website.


    Obentec partnered with TKO to revamp its product messaging as well as its packaging for the Bento-Ware line. Primary goals of the redesign were to better communicate product attributes and provide ease of merchandising to retailers. The redesign has been credited with increasing sell through rates by 20% and has earned the agency an Hermes Award and Davey Award. Brand Packaging, a leading publication in the design and marketing industries chose to feature the project for its (Re)New section, a before and after comparison of packaged goods.


    “We are thrilled to have earned coverage in a magazine that is so well respected and known in our industry. The project is a great example of how much impact packaging can have on our clients’ sales and marketing,” commented Melissa McDill, Creative Director for The Kennedy Organization.


    The article is in the January/February issue of Brand Packaging and can be seen online.


  • What is Pinterest, Anyway?

    If you haven’t heard of it yet, we’re sure you will any day now. Pinterest is the newest social media platform that is gaining the attention of consumers across the world. Officially one of the fastest growing social networks, Pinterest is defined as a “virtual pinboard.” In essence, Pinterest offers a visually engaging format to organize the millions of ideas, products and images that come across the internet every minute. Who needs bookmarks when you can “pin” instead?


    Think recipes, links, DIY crafts, etc.—all in neat and tidy boards that you can access and share from any device connected to the web. The potential for marketers is incredible, just read this article that found how many “pins” lead to purchases.


    Ready to get Pinterest on board (pun intended) with the rest of your marketing? We’re here to help.


  • TKO Takes Home Two More Davey Awards

    [November 7, 2012] Soquel, CA—A small agency with big ideas, The Kennedy Organization has brought home to the Bay Area another two Silver Davey Awards: the first for its packaging refresh for Obentec, Inc., and the second for its seasonal citrus photography shot in its on-site studio for Duda Farm Fresh Foods. TKO's  packaging and photography were selected as winners out of over 4,000 entries submitted by the top small firms from around the world.


    A marketing and design firm with over 30 years of proven results, The Kennedy Organization has earned numerous prestigious awards since it's founding. The agency is well known for its world-class brand strategy, packaging, promotions, photography, and web marketing solutions and has strategically applied its services to develop effective and comprehensive marketing campaigns for clients in a range of industries. These latest entries are strong examples of the kind of visually striking photography and on-trend packaging TKO consistently delivers to its clients.


    Creative Director Melissa McDill responded to the awards announcement with: “The Kennedy Organization has received a number of Davey Awards over the past decade, and each time, we are honored to be selected as a winner. These awards are a testament to our hard work and dedication to our clients’ success, and I am proud to have my team and their creative recognized by the prestigious panel of judges assembled by The International Academy of the Visual Arts and the Davey Awards. Our clients continually put their trust in our expertise, and I am proud to say the TKO team doesn’t disappoint.”


    TKO Design Associate David Padron, who hand-drew much of the packaging details for Obentec’s line of bento lunchbox ware, had this to say about the award: “This design was a unique and exciting challenge, and we’re proud of the end result, which was not only an award but also a more than 20% increase in sales for our client. That speaks volumes about our work and how dedicated we are to creating quality, eye-catching designs that allow shelved products to sell themselves.”


  • The Kennedy Organization Wins a 2012 American Graphic Design Award

    [September 27, 2012] Soquel, California—Design and marketing agency The Kennedy Organization has added another award to its list of noteworthy honors. The agency, now in its 34th year, recently won a 2012 American Graphic Design Award for its Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware packaging for Obentec, Inc.


    The packaging recognized by AGDA was designed for an innovative product line of waste-free packing for any meal or snack. The packaging design incorporated original illustrations and key messages developed to broaden the appeal of the nationally distributed line. A messaging and positioning exercise defined the direction. Conceptualized and overseen by Creative Director Melissa McDill, managed by Director Lisa Hansen, and executed by Design Associate David Padron, the design was selected as a winning entry out of over 8,000 entries for its creative excellence.


    Tammy Pelstring, co-owner of Obentec, had this to say about the design: “Once our new packaging hit the stores, we saw an immediate improvement in sell-through—over 20%. The bright colors really catch shoppers’ attention, and TKO was able to hone in on the right messaging to convert the sale.”


    She went on to add: “Packaging our product has always been a huge challenge for us. The solution TKO came up with far exceeded our expectations. They were able to create a fun and eye-catching design while keeping in mind the retailers’ need for a small footprint and ease of merchandising. Their expertise and creativity really knocked it out of the park.”


    Creative Director Melissa McDill responded to the award announcement by saying: “We truly enjoyed the challenge of producing a design with clear goals in mind, and we’re thrilled with our client’s success. It’s gratifying to have our hard work grab the attention of such a well-respected and seasoned panel of judges. Our entire team shares in this honor with Obentec.”


  • TKO Published in LogoLounge

    Design and marketing agency The Kennedy Organization was recently recognized with publication in the seventh edition of LogoLounge, which prints only 2,000 of the best and most recent logos created by both luminaries and rising stars in the world of design. TKO's design, a refreshed logo for a local Santa Cruz therapeutic product manufacturer, beat out over 30,000 other online submissions to receive publication. Judged by a handpicked group of eight leading international designers, LogoLounge boasts contributions from members in over 100 countries worldwide, but only showcases the most exceptional and brilliant designs of our time online and in its publications.


    LogoLounge singled out TKO's update and evolution of the client’s original logo for effectively capturing the current cultural climate and the latest trends and representing them through an artistic identity design. The logo redesign began as a packaging revamp for a therapeutic wrap. Once the packaging had been updated, the client agreed with TKO's vision of revamping the existing logo to a more modern and streamlined look that matched the overall look and feel of the new packaging design. Artistic Director Melissa McDill and Design Associate David Padron worked in tandem to revamp the two initials, WC, into a highly stylized design that made the packaging line and company logo come together as a seamless unit.


    The final design was influenced by the client’s original concept, which was to represent the area where his company does business—the West Coast. The world-famous Santa Cruz waves and slower pace of life easily come across in this fresh and breezy design that has a measure of relaxation in it—the perfect marriage of design and product. The client was thrilled with the logo redesign and how well it represented his business, his product, and his location. The refreshed logo can now be seen on several of the client’s latest packaging designs and marketing materials.


    When asked about the logo’s publication in a volume referenced and discussed by identity designers everywhere, Melissa McDill said: “This is truly a great honor. We are humbled that our design was selected as a prime example of logos with initials. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome, and I am grateful to David Padron for taking the initiative on this design and on our submission to LogoLounge. We are continually being recognized because of our top talent, and I am pleased to be sharing this honor with him and the rest of the TKO team.”


  • The Proof’s in the Recipe

    The average household uses at least one recipe a week or more, usually for dinner; that’s 38 million households a week and 11 million a day looking for a meal solution. The shift toward eating more at home is a direct result of families trying to cut costs. Home cooks find that recipes stretch. It’s no wonder then that consumers consistently reward brands that provide easy, delicious recipes printed directly on their packages; it’s a meal solution and shopping list all in one.


    If you’re not printing a recipe on your package, you just might be missing an opportunity to get on home cooks’ weekly shopping lists and inadvertently sending them elsewhere in search of a meal solution. If you promote the right recipe in front these emerging home cooks, your product just might sell itself.


    Case in point, a supermarket chain, a mayonnaise producer, and an ad agency came up with the brilliant idea to install recipe-generating software at registers in roughly 100 stores in Brazil. The registers were equipped with the ability not only to print a recipe on the receipt when mayonnaise was purchased but also to customize the recipe based on whatever else the shopper had in his or her basket. Within one month, mayonnaise sales jumped up an amazing 44 percent.


    If you’re in the food category, recipes just might be the best way to reach your target audience. TKO specializes in product packaging, recipe development, and photography. If you’re looking to a add a meal solution to your package or to photograph recipes for your website, look no further. TKO can provide your brand with a number of creative solutions to meet your needs.


  • TKO Makes Space for Three More Hermes Awards

    Innovative marketing and design agency The Kennedy Organization has brought home another three awards to add to its growing list of prestigious recognitions. The Hermes Creative Awards has distinguished The Kennedy Organization as a leader in its industry with two of this year’s Platinum awards: the first for its inventive self-promotional cereal box mailer geared towards its target category—food and beverage—and the second for its visually striking Duda Farm Fresh Foods citrus photography shot in its full-service studio in Soquel. The agency also took home the Gold award for its Tom Lange Company brochure produced to educate trade customers about the company’s family of partners and the range of services they offer. TKO also received Honorable Mention for its new Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems Herbal Prescriptions packaging line.


    An international competition judged by members of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), Hermes Creative Awards cited TKO’s outstanding quality, creativity, and resourcefulness and exceptionally high standards on artwork creative as determining factors in the agency’s selection.


    Upon receiving the recognition, the agency’s creative director, Melissa McDill, said: “I’m proud of our team and excited about the work we’re doing every day! We’re grateful to our clients for the trust they place in us and for the opportunities they give us to work on a variety of exciting and challenging design and strategic marketing projects. The success of our clients’ products and services is our greatest reward, and we’re thrilled when our work is so well received. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with them.”


  • The Kennedy Organization Wins Four ADDY Awards!

    Up against agencies all across the San Francisco Bay Area, The Kennedy Organization has received four 2012 ADDY awards from the Silicon Valley chapter:


    • Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Citrus Photography Series: ADDY

    • TKO, “Fun Shoot” Photography Series: Gold

    • Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems, Herbal Prescriptives Packaging: Silver

    • BCOWW Outfitters, LLC, Lounge Lizard Towel Packaging: Bronze


    We proudly share these awards with our clients and are honored to be recognized among the high caliber work in Silicon Valley. Our ADDY and Gold awards automatically advance to the district competition…fingers crossed!


  • Own Your Image

    In marketing, image is everything. From your messaging and collateral, to packaging and your website—the image you project defines how people perceive your brand. A lot goes into building your brand’s image and at the foundation, is visuals. At TKO, we’re constantly challenged with creating high impact visuals that create appetite appeal, communicate specific messages and in the end, drive purchase intent. And because we work a lot in the food, beverage, and fresh produce categories, visuals often require top-notch photography.’


    With budget constraints, timing, Mother Nature and a million other variables—getting the “perfect photo” is often Mission Impossible. So like many other agencies, marketing professionals and designers, we turn to stock photo sites. Inexpensive and immediate, stock photography has become a necessary resource. But it has its drawbacks. And now more than ever, we’re realizing that the cons outweigh the pros.


    For us, the biggest issue with using stock photos is the “ownability” issue. From a legal standpoint, in most cases you can’t ever “own” a stock photo outright. Some photographers will offer a complete buy out, but not always. The buy out is sometimes priced out of reality to ensure the photographer can continue to resell it. You don’t exclusively“ own” it if you download it, there are licensing rights and restrictions to wade through (oh yeah, and they change a lot and vary from vendor to vendor).


    Logistics and legal hurdles aside, here is the real issue: if your image is everything, why would you not want to truly OWN it? Sure, you get what you pay for and custom photography is an investment. But there’s a real value on knowing your image is yours and yours only. And that is truly priceless.


    For samples of our photography, click here.


The Kennedy Organization

Atlanta-Chicago-San Francisco

T: 773.213.2303