Think Tank Rocks Out CreateAthon

The Think Tank Ninjas at the beginning of the CreateAthon 24-hour blitz.  Ready, set, CREATE!
The Think Tank Ninjas at the beginning of the CreateAthon 24-hour blitz. Ready, set, CREATE!

As many of you know, we Ninjas at Think Tank participated in the nation-wide CreateAthon event this year and we are psyched to report that we made it through unscathed – a little tired perhaps – but definitely unscathed.

What started as a call to action to local non-profits resulted in 6 Ninjas helping 5 amazing organizations in 5 days. We topped off those 5 days with a 24-hour design blitz finish for the cherry on top of our CreateAthon sundae.

CreateAthon is a week long event where advertising agencies from around the United States generate creative services for local non-profits that have little or no marketing budget. The event is held each year in September, and has benefited over 1,000 non-profit organizations with 2,248 projects valued at more that $10 million since 2002.

This year the recipients of Think Tank’s CreateAthon were:

Go team!
Go team!

The Glen Ed Pantry
The Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto
SNIP Alliance
Habitat For Humanity
Gateway Greening

Not only are all of these organizations amazing groups who do so much good throughout our community, but we had so much FUN brainstorming and coming up with their marketing materials. Seriously, it should be criminal to have that much fun at work.

We also greatly enjoyed being part of a national effort – where we were a part of something simultaneously happening with other firms all over the U.S. You should’ve seen us all tweeting, facebooking, and live-streaming video with one another. We kept each other awake, we told each other jokes, we encouraged one another, we inspired one another, and we made it through to the next morning arm in arm with one other. It was incredible. It was unforgettable. It was totally inspirational. It was Ninja.

Oh, and we rocked out some AAAAAAAMAZING work.

All week we’ve had meetings with our chosen non-profits – going over our storyboards, deciding on last minute changes, and getting all our creative briefs done for the big 24-hour blitz. It has been a blast, all of us Ninjas working together, divvying out the work, and coming up with a plan.

Honorary Ninja Sherrie Hickman lending us her design skills.
Honorary Ninja Sherrie Hickman lending us her design skills.

We also convinced some honorary Ninjas (designers in our town) to come on board and create with us for our blitz. Our friend and phenomenal designer Sherrie Hickman of Creative Options came on board with us for our blitz and she even wore her Ninja duds. (Oh, yes she did!) It was hilarious and made us laugh – and it inspired us to work harder, brainstorm bigger, and pull off the unimaginable.

Oh, and it made us take dance breaks too.

One of our many signs we made throughout the day.
One of our many signs we made throughout the day.

We kept the energy levels high by doing things like posting posterboards in our windows of what we Ninjas were doing (with strobe lights after dark), drinking lots of coffee, playing some hilarious movies in the background on the big screen, and having food – lots and lots of food – at our disposal.

Plus, there is just something fun about working in your jammies, slippers, and funky eyeglasses. It seems like you are at one big slumber party – except you actually have to work instead of freezing the bra of the girl who falls asleep first.

In the end, we pushed out some pretty incredible work that will hopefully go on to help our non-profits be even more successful. We are proud of what we accomplished. We are proud of our organizations that we chose. We are proud of each other.

And we are tired.

And, secretly, we are a little (just a little) disappointed that none of our Ninjas fell asleep so that we could pull some Ninja tricks on them. I guess the slumber-party-prankster never dies in any of us. Hmmm…well, there’s always next year…

In the meantime THANK YOU. Thank you to all the Ninjas who worked so hard. Thank you to Sherrie Hickman who made our night awesome and lent her talents to us. Thank you to Riggs who developed CreateAThon and let us come on board. Thank you to Redpepper who kept us laughing all night with their live feed. Thank you to Ryan O’Day of Wang Gang Asian who brought us delicious food. Thank you to Kathy Wilson of the Boys and Girls Club who stopped by late at night and brought us much needed sugar.

Ninja Power!
Ninja Power!

Thank you to everyone who supported us by Facebooking us, Tweeting us, and honking at us as they drove by our offices. We had an awesome time and can’t wait until next year.

Yep, the Ninjas ROCKED CreateAthon!