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Our Bucket List [Just For Fun]

Our Bucket List [Just For Fun]

Two words. Bucket List.

Our team wanted to share some of our bucket list items that we are dreaming about. As you can see below, our lists are just as diverse as our team! Check out the fun adventures we want to go on and the things we want to accomplish.


Get my PhD - it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to earn my PhD - something I hope to start working on within the next few years.

Publish a book- I love to write and hope to one day actually finish one of the hundreds of manuscripts I’ve started over the years - then somehow accomplish the Herculean task of getting it published.

Skydive- leap from a plane and feel the rush of life. Sounds fun.

(Photo Credit: NASA /


I’ve always wanted to do a hot air balloon ride. I gave it as a gift to my son for his twelfth bday but he saw straight through it… i.e. that it was more for me than him…he got a Nintendo instead.  Ironically, last year, at the age of 27 he rode hot air balloon over the temples in Thailand.  I know I planted the seed!

I’d like to take the Great Books course at NWU.

Travel travel travel.  Anywhere! Especially to my ancestral countries, Denmark and Bohemia. And Machu Pichu.

Swim with the manatees.

(Photo Credit: Scott Webb /


Take a picture in front of the Leaning Tower of Niles and Leaning Tower of Pisa to see if anyone can tell the difference in the photos - I just discovered the Leaning Tower of Niles and am AMAZED.

Attend the Olympics (as a spectator, athleticism is not my calling)

Live out my Lizzie McGuire dreams and toss a coin in the Trevi fountain

Take a spontaneous trip somewhere. You know in the movies how people just walk up at the airport and say I want to go on the next flight wherever it goes, ya I want to do that. Who knows where it could take me?!

(Photo Credit: Chait Goli /

What are your bucket list items? Comment below! As you can see, Emily might need some inspiration to round out her list...

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

We hope everyone has a safe and fun Independence Day! We don't know about you, but we are spending the day eating popsicles with our dogs and watching fireworks (without out dogs, they get scared). Happy 4th from Black Rhino Marketing Group!

Our Favorite Chocolate Bars

Our Favorite Chocolate Bars

For many of us, chocolate can be our kryptonite. Try as we might, sometimes we just can't resist the call! Here are some of Black Rhino's favorite candy bars!


Take 5 : I have been known to gravitate towards salty snacks more so than sweet, but I simply can’t resist the Take 5 bar, which offers a perfect ratio of both. It’s five layers of pretzels, peanuts, peanut butter and caramel all wrapped in milk chocolate. I know it sounds like a lot, but give it a try- you won’t be disappointed.


My favorite candy bar is the 100 Grand Bar. It’s got everything.  Crunchy bits. Chewy caramel. Smooth chocolate.  Snickers runs a close second for similar reasons.


Skor. Remember this one? Thin, brittle toffee, dipped in milk chocolate. I’d love it if there was a dark chocolate version! A girl can dream. HOWEVER, if this was a “desert island” candy bar, it’d be Twix. Frozen. Do they have freezers on desert islands…?


My favorite candy is KitKat: I like it because I like it. It tastes better than the others! That's all 🙂I also like Ritter Sport, the one with hazelnut. 😉  


My favorite candy bar is also the KitKat. It's tried and true, simple and sweet. Name another candy that does chocolate and wafer like KitKat does. Gimme a break!

What are some of your favorite candy bars? Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments!


Black Rhino's AFI Top 100

Black Rhino's AFI Top 100

This week, we went through the AFI Top 100 List to see what movies we had seen along with which movie stuck out to us the most. 


- Seen 95 of the top 100

While there are several on this list I could fully recommend and have immensely enjoyed, the one that springs to mind the most of #9: Vertigo. This also happens to be my all time favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie (yes, I’ve seen if not all, most of his films). Given that it’s a Hitchcock film there it certainly has the prerequisite of suspense and thrilling scenes. My favorite aspect however is the twist – I won’t give it away if you haven’t seen it- but this is another example of a great film that keeps you hooked from the beginning and doesn’t disappoint.


- Seen 25 of the top 100

My favorite movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I have watched this film in its entirety at least 30 times. Probably more. It has been a Christmas tradition since my childhood and has continued ever since. I love this movie. I can rattle off most of the dialog and lines from this script are sprinkled in conversations with my family throughout the year. Good movie, good memories.


- Seen 78 of the top 100

The one movie that left the strongest impression on me when I saw it was 12 Angry Men.  Shot in B&W, set entirely in a jury room with only 12 men, it was a brilliant demonstration of what happens when people are challenged to verbalize their thoughts and conflicting points of view; the impact of prejudice (hidden or open),  close proximity, and emotional fatigue; and the influence people can have on each other, especially a calm and intelligent leader.   I remember being shocked that the jury was all male. Just 3 years after my birth.
- Seen 75 of the top 100
My favorite movie on this list is Gone with the Wind because I love the characters, the setting, and the story. I have loved this movie since I was a child. I also really like Scarlet because she was strong (except for the times when she was around that boring guy she was in love with).
- Seen 24 of the top 100
As a millennial, the movie that excited me the most was Toy Story. It's got everything I love: comedy, good story, and nostalgia! I still have my work cut out for me it seems.
How many movies on the list have you seen? Let us know in the comments!

Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Our Favorite Holiday Traditions


Around this time of year, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or what-have-you, every family has a tradition unique to them. Here are some of our custom traditions!

Andrea, Managing Director

My favorite Christmas tradition in my family is Christmas Eve. Every year since I can remember, we go out once it gets dark and drive around, listening to Christmas music to see all the lights nearby. As a child this was a spectacular display as some of the homes in my hometown went above and beyond for decorating with lights. Once we return home, we each get to open one gift. Every year, that gift is a new set of pajamas that we then get to wear for the first time that evening and wake up in on Christmas Day. Despite the fact that all of us are now adults, we still do this every year. My husband has also come to love this Christmas Eve tradition.

Laurie, Communications Director

My family has several Christmas traditions but I’ll just mention three of my favorites.

1. When we decorate our tree, the oldest member of the family hides a pickle ornament (this is a Germanic tradition).  On Christmas morning when we open presents, whoever finds the pickle first gets to open their present first.  

2. But more than that, they distribute all the presents to everyone and we go around the room opening one present at a time, so everyone sees the gift, which creates the opportunity for acknowledgement and comments.  That way, the gift-opening lasts a long time and every gift and every person gets its due appreciation. The experience ends up far more meaningful and joyful (let alone civilized) than a free-for-all.

3. I’ve carried on this tradition since childhood: our Christmas Eve dinner is always homemade chicken and dumpling soup (mine is a bit more seasoning-embellished than the one my mom made with just salt and pepper).

Soulmaz, Graphic Designer

I really like Christmas time! Trees, lights, songs, everything. But let me tell you something, I was born and raised in Iran and since I am not Christian we do not celebrate Christmas like you do and like, lots of other Iranians, I thought Christmas trees and Santa Claus (we say Baba Noel in Iran) were part of a New Years tradition. 

One of the Persian celebrations around the same time as Christmas is Yalda Night also known and Cheleh night. It’s the longest night of the year, but it’s a celebration of light since after that, days start getting longer than nights. It is one the most important Persian celebrations. It’s a time that friends and family get together to eat, sing, and wish for better days.

We have a poet named Hafez who has the most beautiful (and hard to read) poems. Iranians love him and sometimes when we have questions we ask him and open his book randomly to get our answer. This is also part of the Yalda Night - everyone make a wish for the future and we open the book to see what Hafez says! This is my favorite tradition of the night especially because Hafez will never disappoint you. He says if your wish is not coming through it’s because better thing will happen to you.

Jeff, Project Manager

Everyone in my family is reasonably broke and thus can't afford to buy EVERYONE a present. So, to avoid breaking our banks at the end of every year, we decided to start a Secret Santa Grab Bag. Once you reach a certain age, you join the Secret Santa list. This means we no longer consider you a child who deserves a gift from each of us. Whoever you pull from the bag, you must get them one of three gift options previously provided by the person. The spending limit is $50.

This way, we only have to get gifts for kids, elders, and ONE family member. Not only does this help our wallets, it guarantees that everyone will get something they WANT as opposed to a bunch of socks or something. My list has the same three things every year: an Amazon gift card, a Visa gift card, or straight cash.

Dane, Strategy Director

Every Christmas for the last 11 years, on Christmas Eve night we all make our own individual homemade pizza. It's been cool to see how the kids' pizzas have evolved over the years to a point where now Morgan's & Faith's actually look and taste good. Grace, who's 5, is still working to perfect her pie.

After that, the kids exchange the gifts they bought each other - real thoughtful stuff with their own money. Plus Over-priced, I mean OBERweis, eggnog.

Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

NOVEMBER 14, 2018

We’ve all had client presentations of new branding or creative work go this direction, and it makes everyone at the table feel proud and happy. I'm sure there have been many times when you've either nailed a client project or come close -- with a few minor adjustments, you can turn it into a "wow" moment...


Should I Say Merry Thanksgiving or Happy Christmas?

Should I Say Merry Thanksgiving or Happy Christmas?

NOVEMBER 9, 2018

I saw my very first Christmas TV ad of the 2018 holiday season on Friday November 2nd around 9p CST. Now I'm not saying that the one I saw last Friday was the very first Christmas TV ad of the 2018 holiday season overall that ran, just the first one that I personally saw. Since seeing that first one just last Friday, I can now say that I have seen countless Christmas ads. Literally countless. I had attempted to keep track of how many I had seen after having seen that first one, and lost track sometime on Saturday evening, at which time I was up to 14 ads. This, given the fact that I had not watched a ton of TV between 9p on Friday and 8p-ish on Saturday.

As one who loves Christmas and looks forward to the Holiday Season, I am always amazed at two things:

1. How quickly the season comes - each year my wife, our kids and I always say the same thing; "I can't believe we're already heading towards Christmas!"

2. How early the Christmas and Holiday ads start running. (lovingly referred to as Christmas Creep)

But is there any truth to this perception of Christmas and Holiday advertising starting earlier and earlier each year? Well the answer is yes...and no. While traditionally, the Christmas and Holiday advertising push usually began a week or so before Thanksgiving, and then began in earnest immediately afterwards on Black Friday, research has shown that many retailers in fact have routinely began their advertising pushes right after Halloween, with a fair number having done so prior to Halloween. So in actuality there really is a rather established history of Christmas and Holiday advertising beginning in October or early November.

However, the fact of the matter is that the perception that holiday advertising is beginning earlier, doesn't actually stem from how early the advertising is first being seen (again research shows Holiday advertising in October & early November has been occurring for quite some time), but rather it stems from the sheer increase in the volume of advertising that is now being seen earlier. This increased volume comes from more, and new, retailers beginning their advertising earlier, as well as from increases the amounts of advertising these advertisers are putting in-market. And of course, what also significantly lends to the perception of the advertising beginning earlier is the increase in the media outlets through which these campaigns are now able to reach us; all forms of broadcast, cable and subscription-service TV & radio, myriad print formats, plus, social media portals, web and mobile...not to mention sponsorships and tradition & digital Out-Of-Home.

So, whether Christmas and Holiday advertising is beginning earlier each year depends on how you look at it...pun intended! But regardless of whether it is or isn't beginning earlier, we at Black Rhino Marketing Group wish you a warm and safe Holiday Season, Seasons Greetings and a Merry Christmas!

Black Rhino Weighs In: Big Brothers' Re-Branding

Black Rhino Weighs In: Big Brothers Big Sisters' Re-Branding

OCTOBER 26, 2018

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program recently issued a press release to roll out their re-branding and volunteer recruitment campaign. Their new website can be found here.

Here's what the Black Rhino Marketing team had to say on the matter...

Andrea, Managing Director

The idea of new branding is a positive step into the future. The Big Brothers Big Sisters brand has been somewhat stale for a while now, and has needed a fresh new look. Considering that they are focused on recruiting more diverse volunteers, the old purple and people logo wasn’t appealing, nor was it assisting them in their goals. However, something still feels off with the new brand. While it is fresh and new and lends itself to an ethnic interpretation, and the logo is “clever”, it doesn’t appear to match the organization’s mission and values. To me, it feels like it’s too blatant and trying to hard to convey it’s “hipness” if hipness is even a thing. It feels like a vast departure from what they do as an organization, as the colors, fonts and overall design are too graphic, too sharp and too boxy. That doesn’t convey the message of being a welcoming, safe haven for youth, and volunteers alike.   It’s a step in the right direction, but there is more work to be done.

Laurie, Communications Director

Exciting, provocative and impactful new branding that says “Now” and represents the diversity of their participants. The logo is outstanding and has meaning. Brilliant way to transition from old site to new site (that’s obviously still in the works)…i.e. they give a taste of the new branding on the old site, which directs you to the new transition site, which is essentially a scrolled landing page…while they complete the new site.

HOWEVER—the copy font is really unfortunate, as it’s virtually impossible to read the copy—it has been far too compressed to be legible, and it’s only worsened by the fact that it’s reverse. Works fine in the big headlines, but not in the small copy. The branding launch video is powerful: simple powerful people images and simple powerful words.  That’s all you need to convey the new image and message (We Defend Potential).

Soulmaz, Graphic Designer

When I checked the website, it did not mention that Big Brother is a “youth mentoring organization” (I’ve never heard of them before). The color-palette, the logo and the website, reminds me of something related to the music industry. The logo is too solid, bulky and very boxy! It is a nice logo, but not for this purpose. It needs to give you a feeling of mentoring, not dictation. It needs to be freer with more room for creativity.

I understand their concept, but it does not tell me what they have mentioned as a concept. And it is about the overall design, logo, color-pallet, and web design. It is good to update the brand, but in my opinion, this new transformation is too modern for this matter.

Jeff, Project Manager

More proof that we’ve entered an era of re-branding. But this is an example of re-branding gone right! I find the logo to be fresh and inspiring. I love logos that subtly, but strongly convey the message of the business, similar to the “secret” FedEx arrow. The “lower b” and “complete the B” aspects tell you exactly what Big Brothers and Big Sisters is all about. This to me, is an improvement from the old logo, less succinct in its message yet, at the same time, too on the nose with the imagery.  The font could use some work, as I had no interest in struggling to read such skinny text, but besides that, I think this will be a very good business move. Especially considering that the Big Brother program has been on the decline in the marketing/awareness department for some time now.

Dane, Strategy Director

Smart that they realize they need to evolve, however they still need a strategy to address the following:

It's not just volunteers that are needed, they also need the young people - and unfortunately they can't sign themselves up, but need their "parents" i.e. mothers to do it. And it will most likely be "mothers" signing up the young people, not "moms" - there's a distinct difference. Or grandparents will be signing up the young people, they made no mention of that. They are going to need an effective message to resonate with these 2 distinct groups, as well as with the young people in order for them to really want to participate - as much they are with the volunteers

Not sure of the average age a little brother/sister comes in (thinking it might be between 10 - 13), but they may also need to consider changing the language from referring to them as "Littles" to Young People, especially if they want them to stay in the program between the ages of 14 - 18, which is age-range where young people if they do drop out are most likely to derail their potential

As far as messaging, I hope they talk to schools and even the police, as both audiences are on the front lines of seeing what happens when unguided youths don't have anyone helping them realize their potential, and likelknow what types of messages a young person who spark to to turn that around.

What are your thoughts on the new look?

Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

AUGUST 17, 2018
Every business owner knows you need to have a clear idea of who your target audience is. This is usually developed by thinking about who you had in mind when you created your product or service offering. Then, you think through what that person looks like, where they live, how much money they make, their age range and so on...