3934 S Corbett Ave.
Portland, OR 97239

(503) 231-3086


Brand Strategy // December 18th, 2020

What. A. Year.

Written by Maxwell

If 2020 wasn’t a lesson in resilience and tenacity we don’t know what was! Along the way, we had the privilege of doing some great work with some great people, and we’re grateful for it all. To close out the year — and gear up for a fresh outlook in 2021 — here are a few highlights from our 2020 Lookback Lookbook.


We Took It Outside

When a brand is this big on values, the marketing needs to be even bigger.

Why go big when you can go HUGE! Inspired by Dave’s Killer Bread’s passion for seeing the greatness inside everyone, we took the brand’s commitment to Second Chance Employment to new heights with larger-than-life, multi-city OOH campaign including billboards and wild postings. Our creative combined product with purpose and put real employees in the spotlight. The campaign, created (resourcefully) during a pandemic with existing assets, also included full-page back cover NYT Magazine ads featuring the brand’s powerful manifesto and commitment to Second Chance Employment. Leading with emotional and authentic storytelling, the creative kicked off during a time when people were especially focused on social justice and systemic change. As one reader noted:

“Just want to let you know how deeply moved I was when seeing the back cover of The New York Times Magazine this Sunday. I love what you do, and the excellent quality of bread you produce. You should be proud of your company, proud of your mission, helping people, one at a time, and then collectively, to get back on their feet. I applaud you.”

Shout out to our award-winning partner Exverus, which managed an impactful media buy.


We Got Virtual

A quick pivot turned an in-person event into an effective online gathering.

With in-person meet-ups firmly off the table (thanks, COVID-19), our team had to pivot — and fast — in more ways than one. Bob’s Red Mill was in the midst of planning a high-touch experience and quickly reconsidered how to accomplish an important brand introduction online. The end result was a completely virtual, socially distanced event that attracted 18 engaged partners and proved the brand’s charismatic founder, Bob Moore, is as personable online as off.


We Captured Adventure



With adventure grounded, we helped fans embrace a new way of eating.

When most travel came to a halt last spring and consumers stockpiled supplies, Mountain House freeze-dried Adventure Meals couldn’t keep up with demand. Typically considered a must for hardcore adventure, our research revealed a strong appetite for fresh ways to rip open and serve up a pouch, and an emerging new market of aspirational outdoors people. Identifying an opportunity to shift perception of the brand from gear to food, Maxwell’s creative team produced a library of content for social and beyond – easy recipes and pouch hacks, photographs of up-close prepared food and people enjoying tasty meals in more casual outdoor settings, and a new newsletter to inspire product usage – both at home and on the road or trail. Early results are already showing a positive impact on engagement and growth in the fan base as consumers dig into the new content.


We Flexed Our Storytelling


Who says a full-scale video shoot can’t happen during a pandemic?

When Forward Greens called on Maxwell to bring their passion for indoor farming to life we jumped at the chance, inspired by their commitment to sustainable practices and high-quality product. We styled delicious food in our in-house kitchen, shot talent around a family table and went onsite to capture the beauty of the growing process. We brought it all together with a custom script and tight edit.

Special thanks to Art Director Mike Garrett for helping it all come together.


We Got People Cooking

When home cooks stocked up during the pandemic and needed inspiration — we went to work.

As pandemic panic set in, we quickly realized the many consumers who had reached for nonperishables like pulses (dried beans and lentils, split peas and chickpeas) had no clue what to do with them. In support of our long-standing client, the United States Dried Pea and Lentil Council, we planned a series of Facebook Live events starring our own in-house Nutritionist and Kitchen Content Specialist to provide tips, tricks and inspiration. The videos garnered over 165k views. A robust influencer campaign also expanded reach and awareness, inspiring a new generation of pulse home cooks. 


The year one store became a full-on network of local markets.

What does it take to build a brand from the ground up and open 5 markets in under 3 years? Vision, dedication, craft, really great people and a sense of humor. Not only did our team build the brand framework – including values and messaging – we built a visual language to help Basic’s commitment to local, simple ingredients, regional farming and cooking at home come to life. In 2020 we applied the brand guide to 3 new stores, managing environmental design and art and signage installation for three new locations. Maxwell helped define the Basics brand experience, producing everything from hand-drawn illustration and graphics to selection of paint colors and tiles. Every choice represents the brand’s philosophy to nurture health through food.

Shout out to our partners on this project for making our vision possible: Gunderson Designs, PVS Graphics, Modern Artifacts and Bobland.



We’re Looking Brand New

Maxwell ReBrand

While no one was looking we quietly introduced a new brand.

Hey – check out our new look. Our own talented team of creators put the finishing touches on a new Maxwell brand this year that celebrates our creative spirit, diverse talents and integrated approach to building brands. We said good-bye to “PR” and embraced a more channel-neutral brand, better representing our business-driven approach to results and our creative ability to inspire people through meaningful stories, engaging content and impactful campaigns. While you’re there, check out the video tour of our in-house Kitchen Studio, where we produce tons of original culinary and lifestyle content for our rewarding clients.