Red Sauce

August 23, 2011

Cutting the cord, promoting peace and throwing parties

Tutu talks, Tacoma swoons

“We’re going to see some Tutu guy talk.”

A teenage girl said that as she boarded a YMCA bus bound for the Be the Spark event at the Tacoma Dome.

JayRay and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation knew it might happen. An older audience would be familiar with Archbishop Desmond Tutu but appealing to a younger—and key—group would be trickier.

The power of promoting peace
JayRay's design set the stage for advertising elements that launched the campaign. In the weeks leading up to Tutu’s keynote, signature Be the Spark T-shirts were spotted all over town. Billboards featuring event details and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate’s smiling face graced high traffic areas in Pierce County. And a pre-event teen talent competition and open mic night brought an array of people together across Tacoma.

A city aflame
The design, public relations and advertising efforts created a perfect storm: the Tacoma Dome event sold out. Though some teens may have walked into the Dome without any knowledge of Archbishop Tutu, they left inspired.

That inspiration lingered in the air in Tacoma for weeks following Tutu’s address. From coffee shops and dinner tables, business meetings and YMCA youth programs, Be the Spark did more than create talk about town—it made us all feel like we were an integral part of the movement.

Learn more about JayRay’s work for Be the Spark

Check out photos from the event

Look Ma, no hands!

By Kacie McKinney

Last summer, Xbox told the world that it captured lightning in a bottle. It called it magic disguised as technology.

Xbox unveiled that magic—the latest gaming console, Kinect for Xbox 360—at a launch party in Los Angeles in June 2010. With Cirque du Soleil at the helm and celebrities and media on the red carpet, attendees caught a first glimpse at Microsoft’s new world of controller-free gaming.

A series of carefully staged events followed in the months leading up to the official Kinect release on Nov. 4 in Times Square. 2010 made Xbox history. Kinect sales hit 1 million in 10 days. Eight million in 60 days.

It doesn’t take millions of dollars or high wire performers to remind me that events are powerful. They capture our attention, deepen our engagement and connect us to a brand like nothing else.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Dance Central Kinect is calling my name…

Kacie, a JayRay advisor and social media enthusiast, hails from the Stadium District in Tacoma. When not at work, she can be found networking at events around town or at the Goldfish races with her friends at the Tap Room.

So, you're planning an event

Picture your favorite Fourth of July fireworks display. Explosive and sparkling, fireworks sure have a way of epitomizing spectacular events.

While oohs and aahs are a good mark of a successful shin dig, we know not every event we  plan can end with a pyrotechnic bang. The moment the fireworks go off isn’t the moment that makes an event fabulous, it’s the thousands of little moments leading up to the big day.

Sweat the small stuff!
You’ve heard it said: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Well, we’re here to tell you to do the contrary when it comes to events.

We want to help!
We’ve developed our Event Planning Kit filled with everything you’ll need to help you get started. It’s a party unto itself: tabulated plan sheets, vendor applications and phone trees. Download the Kit now

Having a party?
Be sure to invite us! And let us know your thoughts about our kit: