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made's 11th Annual Brandathon: The Highlights

by Ashley Miller

Most adults will tell you that the last time they pulled an all-nighter was in college, or as a parent of a newborn. For the MADE team, the only excuse we need is the opportunity to give back to our local non-profits. In early February, after reviewing dozens of Brandathon applications, we narrowed our selections down to seven incredible non-profits who requested a variety of projects. As March approached, we began preparing for these requests through mini-discovery sessions with each non-profit and on March 3rd, the day finally arrived. 

With the MADE team there are bound to be many highlights spanning these 24 hours of togetherness. Let's review a handful or so...

The Opportunity to Give Back

Part of the fun of Brandathon is reviewing the applications. We are reminded how fortunate we are to live and work among so many generous, dedicated, and passionate organizations who serve a diverse array of clients. The organizations we chose span the county and impact the lives of everyone from children to college students, the working uninsured, our homeless population, and the community at large. 2022's selections included: a new logo for Greater Works Ministries of Winter Haven, a t-shirt design for Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County, social media strategies for Campus Outreach of Central Florida and Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, a children's ministry logo for Christ Community Presbyterian Church, a social media design package for Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland, and a communication strategy for the Polk Museum of Art.

Feeling Inspired by Students

This year we had some very special guests join in on the fun! We were approached by the Florida Southern College student chapter of the American Marketing Association with a request to learn more about what we do at our agency. Perfect timing, we thought. Not only did these bright college students have a chance to learn about what we do on a day-to-day basis, they also had the opportunity to participate in one of our favorite traditions. Honing in on the college student demographic, the club contributed helpful insight toward the Polk Museum of Art's communication strategy with a particular focus on social media. They left us feeling energized, impressed, and inspired by their visit!

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Brain Breaks, Jammin' Out, and Straight Up Goofin' Around

When I tell people what we do at MADE, they always say, "that sounds like a lot of FUN!"—and it is. At the same time, we take great pride in our work. While we do have our fair share of fun, we also have to get serious in order to produce quality work and successful results for our clients.

However...put the five of us together for 24 hours straight and it's about to get pretty silly. On about hour 6 of listening to our Brandathon playlist, we started questioning every song choice. There were also some totally "necessary" and completely "well-balanced" snack choices making the rounds. Think Cheez Balls, Twizzlers, and a tin of popcorn large enough to feed a small country (thank you, The Shippers Group). I'm personally grateful for our fairly-new Keurig, as I'm certain that our old one would have bit the dust on March 3rd. My personal favorite moment: while the world was sleeping around 2am on March 4th, our team was sitting around the conference room table playing a game which requires one to recite weird and random phrases in various voice styles including, "princess," "mime," "shouting," and "cowboy." Speaking of games, here's a #ProTip: if you stay up all night, you can play two Wordles in one day!

That Feeling of Sweet, Sweet Sleep

Ahhh...that moment when you finally get home to your bed the next morning! When all is said and done, how great is it to be able to rest well knowing you did something to help someone today? Sweet dreams...