Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps is a national world class marching arts organization from Portland, Oregon. The main ensemble consists of brass players, percussionists, and color guard who spend an entire summer touring the US to compete against other drum corps and perform a 13-minute show, which leads to World Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. Oregon Crusaders is a single corps under the umbrella of Drum Corps International and has two other performance ensembles in OC Indoor (winter percussion) and Compass Rose (winterguard).
Members of drum corps are between the ages of 14 to 21, with 21 being the “age out” age and the oldest a member can be to compete. Auditions begin in November of the previous year, and are a weekend event. Multiple auditions occur in a variety locations (as an example, Oregon Crusaders hold auditions in Portland and Houston, Texas). Auditions tend to occur in November and December only, while other weekends afterwards are considered Rehearsal Camps. The bulk of recruiting happens in November and December. Tour begins late May, with “all-days” or “move ins” being all day rehearsals where the corps lives together and rehearses all day every day. Tour itself starts differently for all corps, with OC beginning in early July and finishing mid-August and Championships.
The campaign is a membership recruiting campaign, promoting auditions for the corps. It is called “On The Hunt” based on the last years show entitled “Hunted” as well as expressing our need for auditionees. Membership recruiting campaigns are an annual occurrence.
I personally chose this organization because of my personal connection of being an alumni from 2011 and 2014, as well as currently being one of their marketing managers. The campaign of this project is based similarly on an earlier campaign the corps did.
Location: Portland, Oregon
The Oregon Crusaders may seem like a recent phenomenon, but OC has a history larger than you might think. The organization has restarted at least 5 times, most recently in 2007 under the management and direction of Dr. Phil Marshall, Mike Quillen, Jeff Bush and Travis Moddison. But while the “Little Team from Oregon” you see today grew from those modest 2007 roots, our prior chapters tell a larger tale of drum corps in Oregon, dating back to 1971. It was at that time that David and Ron Jones, only 15 and 16 years old, decided to start a drum corps called the Oregon Crusaders. David and Ron went on to do wonderful things in their lives, and they remain close to the OC organization today. Yet more
chapters of OC were driven by extremely generous people, from Rick Wise with the help of Dan Perry restarted the
Southern Oregon Crusaders, and Bill Perkins who returned the group to Portland in 2002. The history of our organization is about people – all who have heroically devoted a portion of their lives to making this organization great.
The Oregon Crusaders we know today began in 2011, with their production of The Blue Hour reaching the highest score in the history of the corps at the time, and almost taking the title of Open Class Champion. 2012 the corps became Open Class champions and were upgraded to World Class starting in 2013. Since then, OC has been creating modern musical performances in World Class and continously growing as an organization. The most recent show to date is the 2016 tour of Hunted which took the corps to semifinals at DCI World Championships.
What We Do:
The Oregon Crusaders’ mission is to provide education through performance to youth in the areas of musical and visual ensemble artistry.
Through the group’s achievement of artistic and performance excellence, Oregon Crusaders provides the
educational, cultural, interpersonal, physical and emotional growth necessary for young people to persevere and excel in life. A national touring youth performing arts organization with 150 performers, over 40 designers and instructors, and with two additional winter ensembles.
OC employs some the most talented design and instructional professionals in the country, who design programs that over 250 talented performers convey through a powerful, athletic and artistic performance. Oregon Crusaders produce three ensembles, including the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, OC Indoor winter percussion ensemble, and OC Independent winter colorguard.
Target Audience consists primarily of the following:
Students in marching activities, ages 14-21, Pacific Northwest and Texas.
Parents of these students
Donors, Music Educators, Constituents of DCI
The specific campaign is for recruiting membership,
promoting first auditions to students in Portland, OR and Houston, TX. This is one of the largest campaigns for OC that happens annually. Strategies for this campaign predominantly involve social media, with some print and face-to-face campaigning at marching events in the Pacific Northwest.
This campaign is titled “On The Hunt” to reference the 2016 show concept “Hunted” as well as expressing the need for students to audition for the organization.
The thought process I took into redesigning the logo was largely based upon the already defined brand personality of the Oregon Crusaders. According to their brand guidelines, the following is the Oregon Crusaders brand personality:
Oregon Crusaders is effect-driven, modern, entertaining, and powerful. Our students and staff reflect a professional character with a confident sense of self and a strong sense of organizational history and organizational style.
With this logic in mind, I wanted to take the traditional compass rose symbol and modernize it while continuing to use the same brand colors (greens, black, gray). This transitioned into using green as the primary color for the brand, with black and grey accents. The original logo is predominantly used on a white background, with a black background variant, while my redesign is versatile in its single nature.
The original tagline of Performance. Art. is driven by the brand mission: Our purpose is to provide education through performance in the areas of percussion, brass, dance and visual ensemble artistry.
We believe that through the group’s achievement of artistic and performance excellence, the organization provides the educational, cultural, interpersonal, physical and emotional growth necessary for our young people to become leaders.
Because performance and artistic excellence is a large focus for the organization, and is mentioned numerous times on the site and brand guidelines, I chose to keep the same basic concept of the original tagline but adding the addition of excellence and creating more rhythm in the phrase itself with Performance. Artistry. Excellence.
There are two key purposes I had in mind when creating the print materials for the campaign: recruiting and auditions themselves.
The postcard and poster designs are for recruiting materials at events, such as marching competitions in the Pacific Northwest, and for distribution among marching organizations such as high school and college marching band programs and during winter season for drumlines and winterguards. Having represents at these events and organizations to talk about OC and pass out the postcards will help give a face to the brand while promoting opportunities to audition and become a member.
The folder design is for an audition packet, that prospects receive at auditions that include the various forms to be completed and information post-contract.
All of the print materials are targeted toward the primary target audience of student between the ages of 14-21 in marching arts organizations. Parents are the secondary audience for these materials.
Oregon Crusaders current primary social media is Facebook. Because there is an off-season for drum corps, the style and types of content shift periodically through the year. The current social media plan operates on various annual campaigns (auction event, auditions and recruiting, Drums of Fire show, and tour schedule), daily hashtag schedule in the off-season (currently in use #OCWednesdayWisdom, #OCThrowbackThursday, #OCSelfieSunday), and during tour content (rehearsal footage, show announcements, behind-the-scenes).
Because Facebook is already the primary platform, creating more consistent and high quality content should be the primary objective for this organization. Video content performs better overall, particularly content with more production involved.
As for other platforms, Instagram is highly popular for the organization in terms of following and engagement. Further utilizing this platform will be great for connecting to the primary audience of students. Another platform I’d recommend is Snapchat, particularly during tour season to show behind-the-scenes of rehearsals and performances. It’s another platform that has more direct interactions with the primary audience.
Overall, OC should use social media to show the experience of marching in drum corps, both in performances and during rehearsals. Video content should become the primary form of content, and then image and graphics as secondary. Consistency is important, especially during off-season where news is slower for corps.
- The site is responsive, so it is mobile accessible.
- Home page feels dynamic and animated
- The overall design of the site matches the brand guidelines well.
- Membership pages are organized well with good content
- Headshots are not consistent in size on staff pages to a distracting level. Having consistent size (i.e. all square) would clean the layout and be fresh and appealing aesthetically.
- Some pages have text that is too difficult to read because of its color. The text needs more contrast so either the dark gray or black should be used instead of the light gray.
- The navigation menu is in a strange order. Rearranging the order can make some of the navigation easier to find.
- Some pages need updating, particularly in the About section. Some of this content hasn’t been updated since 2014.
- Some pages have backgrounds that distract from the content on the page. These should be cleaner pages to make reading the content easier.
- Some pages take some time to load, probably because of large background images and other media content. It would be good to assess what is necessary on these pages and clean some of the larger media out that isn’t needed to improve loading times.
If you would like to review the full campaign document, you can do so here.
All information for this project has been obtained from the following sources:
Oregon Crusaders (http://oregoncrusaders.org)
Drum Corps International (http://dci.org)
Oregon Crusaders Brand Guidelines
See other projects for this course on the Graduate Projects page.