July 1st, 2010

A darn good “Gotcha!”

When I brought in the LA Times this morning I was stunned when I read about the destruction in the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. My grandson was coming to California for the first time next week and that was at the top of his list of must-sees. I was already late for an early morning meeting and didn’t have time to read the whole story.

When I got to the office later and discovered the truth I was really irritated. What I had seen was a wraparound advertising section promoting the new King Kong attraction at the park. It duplicated an ordinary Times front page except for the small red “advertisement” at the top that, in my hurry, I had missed.

As annoyed as I was by this initially, as an advertising person, when I sat back and thought about it I actually liked the piece for a very important reason—it proved that print advertising is still alive and working. To paraphrase Mark Twain’s remark about rumors of his demise, the reports of print advertising’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
While there certainly is a marketing shift toward the Internet and social networking, print media still offer space where original and creative advertising can command attention and take the time to tell a more complete selling story.

The Times Universal wraparound was definitely a “Gotcha” but, to me, the point it proved was more important—I’ll bet a lot more people will be eager to see their new King Kong attraction because of it. My grandson Aaron included.

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May 26th, 2010

Web site or blog?

Recently we’ve been advising a number of our clients who’ve come to us to develop their web sites to consider designing a blog site. There are two good reasons to do that: search engines and visitors. Read the rest of this entry »

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March 5th, 2010

Did the LA Times sell out to Disney?

I picked up my LA Times from the driveway this morning and was faked out by seeing a full page photo of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in the Disney/Tim Burton movie “Alice in Wonderland” on the front page. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t really the front page at all, but a full page ad (actually a 4-page wraparound) for the movie that obscured the real front page of the Times. With my background as an ad agency creative director, my first thought was “wow…what a creative use of media!”.

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March 1st, 2010

What was your favorite Olympics commercial?

I loved watching the Olympics.  The competitions were great. As a skier I loved the slalom and downhill events.  And the snowboard half-pipe and the skiing freestyle aerobatics were stunning.  I even grew to enjoy the finesse of curling despite the fact that I went into watching it with a cynically curled lip. (No pun intended.)
Read the rest of this entry »

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February 23rd, 2010

Breaking through the blather

These days we’re all buried in clutter. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere.  Information is constantly coming at us over the floodgates.

The amount of information we see, hear and read every day has mushroomed a thousand-fold.  That makes the task of creating a unique message that breaks through the clutter even more daunting. In a world where a clever video or a scandalous piece of news can go viral in a matter of hours, how does one get a message through the over-information pipeline? Read the rest of this entry »

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January 13th, 2010

Blogging on Blogs

The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), of which I’m a member, just published its list of the top 20 marketing blogs top marketers read. This list was gleaned from a survey of the membership, nearly 2000 strong, which is made up of senior level marketing executives from around the country. The poll asked which blogs (by non-MENG members) they actually read, which blogs were their favorite reads, and which ones were the most enjoyable to read. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 31st, 2009

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off…

Forget ’09.  2010 is a NEW year.  We can’t change history but we can create the future.  That goes for marketing too.  As we said in our brochure, “Tighten Your Belt Too Much and You May Lose Your Shirt,” studies have shown time and again that companies that promote when times are bad recover faster and can get a big leg up on their non-marketing competition.  Your spending on marketing doesn’t have to be lavish but whatever you devote to it is money well spent.  As one famous marketer says, “Just do it!”

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December 21st, 2009

How tweet it is!

I was surfing the web this afternoon looking for something interesting to blog about when I was rewarded with a great story on Mashable about Trident Layers. I’ve seen their TV commercials, in which people trade their work for the gum as payment and I’ve thought they were pretty silly. But I think their use of Tweets as testimonials in a full page, color print ad in USA Today was brilliant.
What happened was this: The Trident people searched on Twitter and found ten unsolicited, authentic comments from fans, contacted each person to get their approval, and then ran them under the headline “The People Have Tweeted”.
It’s a great example of a brand integrating print and online communications in a very clever way and making the most of both the “old” and the “new” to reinforce each other. Now if only they had integrated those TV commercials into the program….

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November 16th, 2009

Making web ads that click…or that make people click.

I read a piece the other day that really got to me.  It talked about a book that discussed a study of what draws people to a web ad.

Now you have to understand I’ve spent my whole career working hard to create advertising that has stopping power — ads, commercials, direct mail pieces, etc. that have a unique graphic, message or story that attracts people’s attention.

But the study found that what draws people to a web ad isn’t fancy graphics or animation. It’s text. Plain ol’ text. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 9th, 2009

What my yoga teacher taught me about business development

A couple of times a week I take a wonderful yoga class at the SportsClub LA. What makes it special is more than the physical exercise; I also go for the metaphors on life that my instructor, Chad Hamrin, points out during every class. Using wisdom and humor, he shows us how the challenges of doing the poses translate into common sense lessons we can apply to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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