Tag Archives: branding

power play

Sure, I believe some of the stuff I’ve written over the years has played a role in a purchase decision or two. But I never imagined I could have this much power. (cue wringing hands and sinister laugh)


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i guess advertising really does suck

As pop culture goes, so goes some advertising I suppose.

It all started back in the summer when I was concepting new brand spots for a state electric company. One of the messages we wanted to get out was about “energy vampires” (aka phantom energy). We even did a radio spot, with accompanying print ad and billboard, that helped get the word out about all they wasted energy people are paying for just by leaving things plugged in when not in use.

It’s only once these started hitting the market did I began to notice a similar theme in other advertising. (It’s probably like, once I have my eye on a new car that has my interest that I start to notice them all over the place.)

Here’s one print ad I recently came across in Wired magazine.

Even Microsoft is taking a bite outta the hype that is Twilight.

All told, I can’t be too surprised by all the different advertising messages using similar (if not the same) themes. But I am grateful that I didn’t have to sell my soul to continue working in a biz I really like….but not ready to die for.

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seeing the fruits of my labor

We recently relocated from Surf City USA to the Land of Enchantment. This move was for a few reasons, mainly lowering our cost-of-living and the potential of full-time employment.

Since we’ve been here, it’s been fun to drive around town and see the results of my creative collaboration with the agency here. Whether it’s the billboard along I-40, the print ads in the various local publications, or even a TV spot during the Olympics the other night, I still get a kick out of seeing my work out in the market. (I’ll admit to never listening to the radio in my car….so I haven’t had the chance to catch one of the radio spots.)

Here’s the main “brand” TV spot I contributed to back in the summer.

It’s great to begin the process of settling into a new area, and to be surrounded by such amazing beauty. The fact that I get to continue working with such a talented team — and seeing the results all across town — is just icing on the cake.

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Good enough?

There’s an article in a recent issue of Wired where the author lists a whole bunch of “technology” that, despite being inferior in build and results than more expensive competitors, is having a huge impact on the way business and industry are bringing their products to market. From video cameras to the MP3, today’s consumers are content to purchase products and services that are “good enough” for now, and almost adapting a disposable mindset.

Screen shot 2009-10-13 at 1.24.38 PM

So what happened? Well, in short, technology happened. The world has sped up, become more connected and a whole lot busier. As a result, what consumers want from the products and services they buy is fundamentally changing. We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now is more important than having it perfect. These changes run so deep and wide, they’re actually altering what we mean when we describe a product as “high-quality.”

And it’s happening everywhere. As more sectors connect to the digital world, from medicine to the military, they too are seeing the rise of Good Enough tools like the Flip. Suddenly what seemed perfect is anything but, and products that appear mediocre at first glance are often the perfect fit.

Is this new attitude making it more difficult to market products and services to the right target audience? It seems that, for a whole bunch of marketing communications, the thinking and creative behind them matches this “good enough” mentality. Especially in the digital marketplace.

The beauty (and possible flaw?) of most digital marketing is the ability to quickly adapt and change the look, feel, and message. It’s not like print ads or broadcast, where you want to be absolutely sure before you put something on press, on in the can.

But is this “hurry up and get the best message [for now] up” really doing a service for the advertising industry? I know there are still numerous agencies that still do focus group testing, and then use the learnings from such sessions to tweak and adapt the message to make sure they get the biggest bang [to the widest audience] for the buck. But that seems to be more of a rarity than the norm.

Of course, part of the challenge for this disposable thinking, is the constant shopping of ad business from ad shop to ad shop the minute sales stall or decline. Don’t people know that building a brand takes a little time? And that constantly changing your message leads to confusion, not brand loyalty?

Sure, there are times that I’ve adapted the “hurry up” approach to some projects. But only when it was appropriate. The rest of the time, I remind myself that, in this day of practically “no act left undocumented,” that it’s not just a company or product’s name on the communication. In a way, it also has mine.

Because of this, I’ll continue to take a little extra time to make sure the words are doing their job. And that I’m doing mine. Because anything less isn’t good enough.

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