Published September 16, 2008
Volume 16, Number 9

When it Comes to Advertising, Creativeworks Lives Up to Its Name

Sheldon Schachter and Carol Dickinson of Creativeworks.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

These days it is not enough to come up with imaginative, attention-getting advertising content. That same vein of creative thinking has to find fresh ways of disseminating the message once it has been carefully crafted. 

Sheldon Schachter and Carol Dickinson, co-owners of Creativeworks, a full-service advertising and marketing agency located at 5990 Stoneridge Drive in Hacienda, are up to the challenge. “One of the questions I often hear from clients is ‘what can you do for me that’s different?’” Dickinson confides. “Businesses continue to evolve, and as an ad agency we had better do the same.”

Like many other Hacienda companies, Creativeworks was started by people who learned their craft while working for larger corporations and then struck off on their own with alternative ideas. Schachter, who serves as creative director, and Dickinson, who heads up marketing and account services, were both veterans of big ad agencies in Detroit and New York, respectively, before starting Creativeworks here in 2001. The agency now consists of six full-time employees and a handful of contractors.

The duo finds that running a small business has helped them understand the needs of their own client base, generally small to mid-size concerns. “We know that every dollar in the budget is dear, so the communications tactics we recommend must go after the potential audience appropriately. It is critical to be very targeted, almost laser-focused on whom you are trying to reach and what you are trying to say,” observes Dickinson, who heads up marketing and account services.

“Targeted” used to translate into direct mail, but now there’s the Internet, with not just search and key/ad words but “a whole world of new media options, like posting television commercials on YouTube,” she explains.

“The other part of the targeted effort is mining your own customer base as much as possible. There are more cost-effective ways now to reach out to a client’s client base than what has ever been available before.” 

Keeping up with the need to innovate, the partners have developed three new product offerings, each uniquely targeted at a specific niche. Clutch CRM is a tightly focused customer relationship management program for automotive dealers that has the potential to be “retooled” for other clients. The second product, Pre-Roll, is a 15-second video business highlight, summary, or “commercial,” which can be broadcast on the website of the company or by a third party, such as local or trade media. “Clients think these videos are expensive or complex, but now we have several options for taking different kinds of material and making a dynamic clip that takes advantage of this opportunity,” Dickinson points out. The third, WebRezs, allows students to create an attractive digital portfolio of their accomplishments—whether sports, the performing arts, or other activities—online, in a polished environment.

The agency has recently immersed itself in the "green" culture on behalf of new client ForeverLawn West, headquartered in Tracy, a licensed distributor of ForeverLawn synthetic grass products. Creativeworks' commercials promoting the company's K9Grass product is airing on the 10-week CBS series “Greatest American Dog,” which runs through mid September.

For more information and samples of the agency’s work, visit www.cwsfba.com, or call (925) 327-1920.


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