Archive for the ‘Marketing’ 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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Web site or blog?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

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. (more…)

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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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Blogging on Blogs

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

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. (more…)

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Pick yourself up, dust yourself off…

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

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

Monday, November 16th, 2009

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. (more…)

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How not to write an email subject line.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The two most important factors that determine whether an email is opened are the From line and the Subject line. Obviously, if the From is someone they’re familiar with, the odds of the email being opened are increased.
The Subject line can also  make a big difference.  Here are some things to avoid.
•    The word “Free” is a killer.  Don’t use it.  It’s a prime target of spam filters and it’s likely your email won’t get through.
•    These seemingly safer words won’t trigger the robotic spam filters but will probably trigger the human spam filter at the other end: “Help”, “% off” and “Reminder.”  Studies show that the open rates for emails with these in the subject line are abysmal.
•    Although there are some exceptions, generally subject lines with more than 50 characters have poor open rates.
•    And avoid ending a subject line with a “!”.  People have an emotional response to exclamation marks, viewing them as pushy and hard sell.  Don’t use them!

Note: This post is reprised from the first issue of our newsletter, “On the Level”.  So many of our readers commented on how valuable they found the information that we’ve added it as a blog entry. What have your experiences been with subject lines? Let us know if you have anything to add.

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Blogging on Blogging

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I’ve been intending to start a blog for quite some time.  I read several blogs on a daily basis, and even post comments.  I’ve sat in meetings with clients over the past couple of months and heard myself recommend to them that they start their own blogs, especially those who are experts in very niche areas. But as we all know the story of the shoemaker’s children who go without shoes, up until now, I’ve been remiss in actually launching a blog for the Next Level.

Yes, it’s been on the to-do list. I’ve made a commitment to do it, and have told my colleagues I’m going to do it. I’ve made a list of possible blog topics to write about so I’ve got a backlog of ideas ready to go.  And yet… (more…)

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