Monthly Archives: January 2011

Ted Williams and Your Brand

Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice who just a few months ago couldn’t afford a warm meal, has had a sudden rise to fame. He was discovered by a reporter who posted his voice on a video clip online. Life has not been the same for Mr. Williams since, but with all the recent controversy and bad press, will the fairy-tale story end badly?
Would you take a chance on hiring him to represent your brand? Well, good luck trying to afford him these days. He has done voice overs for Kraft and MSNBC and is being pursed by many others like Oprah and ESPN. He has also reportedly been offered a 5 second appearance in a Super Bowl commercial.
Our culture has become so tired of celebrities and their bad behavior that endorsements no longer drive sales like they once did. Consumer skepticism of endorsements was confirmed when the Tiger Woods scandal broke. Will we see Ted Williams lucrative endorsement deals evaporate as his secret life mysteriously unfolds?
For me, it is a bit different with Mr. Williams. By my very nature, I am always rooting for the underdog. I want Mr. Williams to succeed, purchase the house of his dreams and never go hungry again! But alas, our 24/7 news combined with social media platforms has made it impossible for anyone who is thrown in the spotlight to keep any secrets!
The moral of the story? To protect your corporate reputation, no celebrity should totally define your brand. Your corporate brand should be supported with messages that speak about its unique product benefit and selling point. Focus on the benefits NOT features that really matter to your customer! Celebrities will come and go, but […]

By |January 28th, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|1 Comment

No website? Believe It or Not!

Here’s a weird story that will shock and seem so strange and unusual that readers might question the claim. A majority of all consumers turn to search engines when looking for local services, yet a staggering percentage of small businesses still don’t have a website!

What an astonishing claim! To even consider operating a business in this day and age without a website? Even Robert Ripley himself would be horrified. When I am a customer, the first thing I look for is the company’s online presence. Forget the Yellow Pages! I haven’t used one of those for at least a decade and let’s just say I am old enough to remember a rotary dial phone.

It is hard to believe that many small business owners think that having a website today is just not an essential part of their business. I am also surprised by how many people I meet and talk with who don’t understand how to use the web beyond searching for something.

In most cases, when I run across one of these business owners they tell me they don’t need a website because their customers aren’t on the internet. I have even been told they don’t want, or need any new customers. Really? I guess that means all potential customers are finding their competitors online and they don’t care?

We even had a client approach us to create a social media strategy for their company, yet they still did not have a website. That’s kind of like putting the cart before the horse. The success of social media has proven that people are interested in the story of your company.

A website gives a business a chance to do just that, tell their story. Your website is […]

By |January 21st, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|5 Comments

Are you shocked into spending your money?

Before I begin, let me be upfront and tell you that this article does not contain statistics. Just my unscientific opinion and 27 years experience in the field of advertising and the subject of using shock value to sell to the public.

That being said, can advertisers really change someone’s behavior by shocking them into reality? We all understand that cigarettes, drugs and texting while driving are bad for us. Yet, can we really change behavior based on unexpected and fearful images and language?

Most people change unhealthy behaviors based on a strong emotional belief that they need to change. A shocking image may grab the viewer’s attention, but if it is too scary or gross, most people will turn it off.

Most of us do generally agree when an advertiser has gone too far and crossed the line from clever to offensive. In doing so, these advertisers may actually create negativity toward the very product they are trying to sell. Consumers may avoid them like the plague!

However, if advertising is all about attention and buzz, then shock in moderation may be pretty effective in getting the pubic to see and remember them! To keep up the shock value, advertisers will need to keep going further and further because people become desensitized and accustomed to seeing outrageous things.

Maybe the pendulum should swing back from showing negative emotions and focus on the positive things that make us feel warm and cozy inside.

What do you think?

By |January 14th, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|3 Comments

I resolve to NOT let this year be a losing year!

The holidays are finally over and some of you have set New Year’s Resolutions. Whether we keep them or not, most of us start the year wanting to do better in some area of our lives. Since this is a blog about advertising and marketing, lets start their. Below are a few suggestions to help you work toward a more prosperous 2011.

Resolution 1: Create a strong marketing strategy that reaches your target audience. For your marketing to be truly successful, it is important that you know and understand your target market inside and out. Ask yourself if your market is local, regional or national. Where does your target market shop and how old are they? Research, then test. Find out what marketing message works and what doesn’t.

Resolution 2: Participate (and that means do more than just join) in at least two networking groups. Sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many businesses get this backwards. They think just by joining networking groups, more sales will magically appear. Make it a point to actually connect and begin to build relationships with people that will last for years.

Resolution 3: Look for ways to help your brand stand out from the crowd. You may not have the advertising and promotional budget of a major corporation, but people in your area are searching the web for products and services. Can people find your business online? Do you stand out? Are you worth talking about? Do you look believable, ethical and professional?

Resolution 4: Use various marketing techniques, both online and off. Successful marketing is all about consistency and multiple touch points mixed together to create a strong brand presence. So, your offline efforts (storefront, word of mouth, business cards […]

By |January 7th, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|0 Comments