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October 2013

Throwback Thursday—Abuse for Two.

Here’s a case study that is sufficiently terrifying for October 31. And this is not make believe. Believe it or not, women in America are more likely to be battered during pregnancy than at any other time. We developed this campaign back in 1994-96 to promote this horror. Take a look. Let us know what you think. Check out the television here:

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Branding in space

This is the part one of what we hope will be an ongoing series about some practical branding issues. The series will address complications that arise from the fact that branding happens in a place you don’t own—other people’s heads. Among the “spaces” we will explore as we start to look into the issue of Branding in space are:• Head Space—where brands actually live and breath and claim their gray matter• Visual Space—the space from which brands enter the brand community’s brain• Sensory Space—the portals to the brain that allow you to deepen your brand’s impact• Physical Space—the place where…

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Throwback Thursday—Marlboro Country

Conventional wisdom is that advertising works by hitting consumers with product attributes and then tying those attributes to advantages that accrue to the consumer. One problem with this approach is that it is so cerebral. It assumes that people make purchasing decisions by way of logic. This is not totally true in any category. But in some categories it is barely true at all. Consumer taste testing has consistently revealed that consumers (even heavy consumers) of American beer, cigarettes, and coffee cannot identify the brand to which they claim to be loyal in a three-sample blind test. So, you can’t…

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Where does your pricing fit.

Pricing is a comparative thing. It’s almost never the deciding factor, but within the consideration set, it is often the tie breaker. “I like this one and this one. But this one is $10 cheaper. So, there it is.”Pricing is something you should be intentional about. It should take into account your competitor set, your cost to go to market, your feature | benefit proposition. Of course, in aggregate it should deliver the optimum profit. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the highest possible margin. There are six basic pricing strategies, with infinite possibilities for subtle distinctions within a market:• More…

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Throwback Thursdays—Because it’s there!

One of the more effective direct mail campaigns we ever developed was for The Cliffs at Glassy—a gentrified piece of the Appalachian range, between Traveler’s Rest and Landrum. When we visited, we learned that nobody walked the golf course. Why? Because it’s such a hike. We also learned that the development was especially attractive to “rugged individualist. So, we combined those two learnings with the question: Why would you ford streams, navigate boulders, climb uphill fairways, and stop just short of a thousand-foot cliff?The answer: Because it’s there!

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Throwback Thursday—1984!

Back in the day, advertising followed standard formulas. Television advertising worked something like this:• Open with an eye-catching shot along with a provocative statement having to do with a common problem or issue in the lives of your target audience• Demonstrate the product while extolling its features and benefits• List benefits on screen in supers• Wrap up with an answer shot to the opening shot, along with a smart, quippy announcer “wrap”• Beautiful product shot, with tag line said and supered• Fade to black.Then, on the 1984 Superbowl, Apple changed everything, when they did this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvjbmoDx-I

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Adverbs. The barnacles of the English language.

If you need an adverb you got the wrong verb. Unless you’re William Shakespeare and you’re describing “the most unkindliest cut of all,” you’ll do well to avoid adverbs. They are barnacles on the hull of your composition. They slow you down as your prose glide through the waters of audible meaning. They hitch a ride and eat into the metal of your sentence structure. They make lovely paragraphs ugly and ugly paragraphs uglier. The English language is simple. Nouns. Verbs. Periods. Exclams. Question marks? Okay. Our beautiful mother tongue, when it sticks to its Anglo-Saxon roots, is a kiss,…

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4 Hurdles for community bank marketers. READ BLOG >

8 Bank Marketing Priorities—in order. READ BLOG >

“What does the data say? READ BLOG >