Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

A darn good “Gotcha!”

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

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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Did the LA Times sell out to Disney?

Friday, March 5th, 2010
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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Breaking through the blather

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

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? (more…)

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How tweet it is!

Monday, December 21st, 2009
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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What makes a good design “good”?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

How do you know it when you see it?

Should good design be judged on aesthetic principles, by the awards it has won, or should it be evaluated on how the market responds to it? Is good design only “good” if it’s effective?

What part does the vision of the designer play?  How important is or her background, training, experience?  Many people have access to the software programs designers work in, but few non-professionals are able to come up with a great piece of marketing communication. So what differentiates the “good” from the “bad” and the “ugly”? (more…)

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Year-End planning can be fun? You’ve got to be kidding.

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I’m not.  If you bring creativity to your year-end planning a) you’ll probably come out with better ideas and b) you’ll have some fun.

At The Next Level, we use creativity to develop marketing strategies and tactics as well as ads, brochures, commercials and web sites.  You can put that same creativity into your planning process by using one of the key creative tools we use— brainstorming.

Here’s how it’s done.


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