It’s all about the theme

While working with my peers, I often see the struggle during a brainstorm on what ideas to go for first. Should we introduce a new app to the client? Maybe have coverage from a certain network? However they need to be reminded that there needs to be a central theme to the campaign, and not just going straight for the next “big idea”.

In my campaigns class (which is my exit requirement for my degree) we are working on a pitch to a restaurant as our final project. My entire team is coming up with ideas, which they might be great in theory, but they are doing this all without the backup of research, and are forgetting the companies tone.

Remember, a company isn’t going to pick up an idea that isn’t central to the companies core values and tone. A funny, outgoing company with hilarious commercial ads isn’t going to pick up a commercial with a serious connotation.

Here are some tips on how to understand the company from every angle:

1. Research their past campaigns. What was the vibe of it? Funny, serious, informational, etc.

2. Look at how they executed them. Was it through print ads? Commercials? Watch and read about 60% of their past campaigns to make sure it’s not something they’ve seen already.

3. Gather your information. If you’re target audience is middle-aged business men, and you’re introducing an idea meant for teenagers, they won’t go for it.

4. During the presentation, make sure to mimic the tone of the company. Don’t try to be something they’re not. Make them feel “at home” with a presentation that will carry their tone, as well as the ideas.

5. Come up with a central theme. Maybe your strategy is to increase sales by giving the customer what they want, and when they want it, and to execute it, you want to do this through the use of a new app. Why is the app important? Does it go with the theme of giving the customer what they want? How will the customer benefit? Make sure it all related back to the main idea, and be sure to convince them that this will work.

Use these tips to create a great strategy, and wow the account.


Don’t waste your time with bad copy.

It has come to my attention that in the advertising world, everyone is trying to muster up the next “big idea” in as little time as possible. They’re rushing to get the catchy headline first, or the creative image, but what they don’t realize is it all means nothing without a strategy, and is quite frankly a waste of time.

And you’ll end up looking like this:

Putting in more work for the advertising, and not enough for the strategy can get you no where fast. That is why it’s so important to do the whole job 100% from every angle!

My tip to you: don’t rush! Whenever a project is presented to you, what do you generally do first? Think of a great headline, I’m sure. But just because it might be clever, or it might be entertaining, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re selling the product effectively. Why does the consumer need this product or service? Why does this need to be brought to their attention? Until you figure that out, you’re witty headlines won’t do you any good.

The key to great and powerful ads? Research. You know, the digging around for issues, understanding it from every angle, crack and crevice before you rush into your idea.

Take for example George Felton’s example in his book Advertising Concept and Copy:

If you’re creating advertising against teen-age drinking and driving, writing headlines like “don’t drive yourself to drink” or “Don’t take the car for a spin if your head’s spinning” or “how can you stay in a single lane if you’re seeing double?” is a waste of time.The real problems of drinking and driving are elsewhere, and you need to understand them. …You can only being to discover it by researching the problem, its social and psychological dimensions. You’ve got to get out there and talk to some people and do some thinking.

We all know that drinking and driving can kill, just like we know smoking can cause cancer. But how do you really hit someone where it hurts? What will really make them cringe at the thought of getting into a car accident while drunk?

How about these for starters:

  • Loosing your licence for good.
  • Costing you about ten thousand dollars in court fees.
  • You killed an innocent life, and you survived, but you will have guilt on your mind forever.
  • Going to the funeral of the person you killed.

An example from Felton’s book:

  • “Last night he celebrated midterms. Today he has the final exam.”

If we think more along the lines of consequences, then we’re more inclined to listen to the message. Why do we listen to rules and regulations at school or work? Because we’re scared of what will happen if we don’t listen.

Remember to think of how it really affects someone, don’t just state the obvious and put a cliche headline on it. That’s not what sells a product or service, emotion sells it.


Next week: Strategy versus execution. What’s the difference?

How To Start A Great Campaign

Often in this field, we find ourselves striving to come up with the next great idea; the next award winning campaign that will launch straight into the Addy Awards. However, getting there is the hardest part.

Firstly, in order to figure out just exactly how you’re going to execute this campaign, you need to look at all of your options. Should it be launched via newspapers, online, radio,or even TV? What’s your presence like in all of these facets of the advertising world? This, my friend, is where you begin.

According to Lon Safko, you need to first identify all of your existing Media:

“To start off, you need to look at all of your existing traditional media, whether it’s print ads, newspapers, trade journals, trade shows, radio, TV, telemarketing, billboards, door hangers, direct mail, whatever. Lock yourself in your office, turn off your phone, and start making a list”

By doing so, you will have everything your brand has put out there on the table, a full deck of cards in front of you, and no missing pieces to this creative puzzle. Then analyze your existing media strategy by sorting what has been effective and what has not worked so well for your company. Maybe the print ad campaign worked better for you than the direct mail. These are all topics you should have set aside in your mind so you know what to reference for your next strategy.

Finally, sort through your demographics, and analyze your communication strategy. Safko recommends you analyze each demographic group, and ask, “who are you?” What persona are you or your company portraying? Answer these following questions for each demographic group:

- What is your description for the demographic group?
– Who is your persona?
– What is your style?
– What is your message?
– What is your frequency
– What is your call to action (conversation?)

Think of all of these in a detailed manner. When you’re trying to start the conversation with your audience, how are you going to portray yourself? Most consumers would rather have a relationship with a person, and not just the corporation. Keep this in mind, especially online.

Your style should reflect your verbiage to the audience. I for one like to say “whatever” among my friends, and could use it in a target audience that has a younger and more relaxed generation. They would be able to relate to this more than an adult would in their 50’s, and might take it offensive. Just keep in mind who you’re talking to.

Here is a creative example how Heineken used their Instagram, something that has already been apart of their strategy, and turned it into something totally unexpected, and in turn increased their following on the platform by 20% (Source).

ImageHeineken uploaded pieces of a panorama to their Instagram, and left clues to find out which fan had the tickets to the US Open. By flipping your phone sideways, you could see the entire view of the panorama shot, and make out each fan. This strategy is most useful for a younger demographic (obviously, because your mom isn’t on Instagram), and wouldn’t have been as successful as this if it were launched on any other type of medium.

Now that you have all this information in front of you, what do you do with it? How can you implement this into a great campaign? Analyze your social media trinity: blogs, micro-blogging, and social media. Choose which source would be best for each demographic, then integrate the strategies. Make sure you set goals for yourselves, whether it’s to increase traffic to your site, or increase revenue. You need to have this outlines before you execute the campaign.

By having all this information now instead of later while trying to figure what to do with the idea, you will be steered in the right direction from the start.




Keyword tips on your website!

The key to any SEO in an organization is using key words and phrases that drive a certain audience to your page. Whether your page be about shoes, NASCAR, or frozen yogurt, your key words that you use to link to your article or website optimize the way your future customers find you in a search engine.



The definition of this feature is called keyword density, which (basically) combines all keywords relevant to the search to lead consumers to your page and points them in the right direction using this feature. Abusing this feature can be detrimental to your brand, though. The abuse of this feature, also called hijacking is also described by Lon Safko as follows:

Search engine spiders check this by analyzing your list of important keywords and checking the number of times those words are actually used on your web page. This helps to prevent a process called hijacking, which occurs when someone lists important words such as “presidential election” for a website that sells shoes so that it garners traffic for the site”


In all reality, this does nothing to benefit your brand, but actually affect it in a negative light. Think of it as false advertising. A potential customer is looking for an article on car parts for a BMW, lets say lights just to be specific. They type in on  search engine “BMW headlights”, and the SEO of the engine will lead them to your page via keyword and phrases. Come to find out, your article is really about ceiling fans and floor fans for your house, but at the bottom of the page, they list tags like this:

fans, ceiling, fans, vans, cars, sedans, BMW, house, lights, accessory, Audi, toothpaste, toothbrush, clothes, style… etc.


This might drive traffic to your page, but it will also be in the most negative way possible since it is not what the consumer is looking for. The key to this feature is to be specific to your audience, and tailor your message so it makes it easy to find the items or services that they are looking for, and aren’t disappointed when they stumble onto your web page and are displeased with what they discover.

If you want to maintain a good image for your brand, learn this trade now so that it doesn’t set your company up for failure. This could be a huge selling point for your company or brand, if done in the right fashion. Remember; consumers are more likely to remember something done wrong than remember something done right. You don’t want to give the wrong impression of your brand as deceitful in the beginning stages of development, no matter how desperate you may be for traffic to your page, which ever the outlet maybe. BE HONEST and be CONSIDERATE of your consumer. Deception will forever mark your name in the eyes of the consumer if one small aspect of the company goes south, which will make it extremely difficult to rebuild your brand again once that occurs.


Why you should make video for your brand!

Video media is huge in the social media world as of recently. And with the recent launch of Vine, and Instagram video, it’s becoming even more common place at the touch of our finger tips. However; how can this benefit a company?

According to business insider, if your video is compelling enough and good enough to share on social media, you can let the public do it for you without having to flip the bill!
Read the article here:

And according to Magnet Media, 69% of all internet traffic will be through video by 2017, (see video).

Better get started on the witty and cunning videos to draw attention to your brand! Don’t get left behind.:)

The Key to Social Media

Ladies and gentleman, the days of bringing over your photo album to Grammy’s house are long gone. Social media has made it possible to upload photos, tag those in the pictures to connect you and your friends, create albums for groups and categories, and so much more. All of this being online makes it completely revolutionary. When’s the last time you bought a disposable Kodak camera, took it to get developed and created a scrapbook to share the memories? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Now, when’s the last time you created a Facebook album for all of your sorority events that’s happened in the past semester, and tagged all of your sisters in it for the world to see? Probably multiple times.

Lon Safko, author of The Social Media Bible states, “The process of sharing photographs has now grown beyond the standalone digital camera and personal computer to include cell phones and smart phones, almost all of which include a high quality, built-in imager.” With these features, it makes it easier and more convenient to take pictures from our devices and upload them instantly, deleting any extra steps of traditional development of pictures in the process.

Now what’s so great about using social media to upload all of your photos and albums? You can not only use this for personal reasons, but also utilizing these features for your business can be the difference between making it and breaking it. Social media is so highly integrated into every advertising campaign now-a-days that it’s almost imperative to use its technology to make it successful. According to Lon Safko, “Businesses are using these techniques to share images of their products, tech support, employees, assembly lines, inventory, and happy customers.”  With this being said, customers can feel like they’re on a much more personal level with the company.

By using features that social media has to offer, like sharing and uploading photos your employee’s take around the office, followers of your brand get a feel for the person behind the mask. Your company, and brand, feel more human, instead of a lifeless machine just generating business via tweets and posts about their latest blog that you should read.

Now if your goal is solely to become an internet sensation, your objective should be to get as many followers, retweets, and likes as possible to give yourself a presence online. By doing this, you have a greater chance of getting recognized, and becoming the next YouTube or vine sensation.

This blog gives the top 10 tips on how to get recognized online and going viral, starting with staying current and on top of trending topics. Read about it here.

One of the recommended techniques is to simply make a video and post it online. Someone is bound to like it,right? When you have videos as bizarre as Psy’s Gentleman music video making it into number one spots, you have to wonder what people are doing with their lives. This video reached the top viral video spot of 2013, comparable to his “Gangam Style” video of 2012. Read the about it here.

As the blog mentions, some of these tips aren’t completely attainable, like getting recognized by someone famous, but you can apply this to your company’s perspective by getting recognized by big name brands like Pepsi or Doritos. If one of them re tweet one of your photos, links to your blog, or even videos on Facebook, you could be an instant sensation online, just like Rebecca Black and her “Friday” video… as awful as it was.

It’s all a matter of how you use these features to your advantage, and position yourself online. Who knows? You could be the next Jenna Marbles.

Faster than than the speed of mouth.

Social media has many uses for it’s existence; to stay connected, entertain, and gossip. But one way it can be put to use it as a marketing tool. By listening to what your customer wants to hear, before you start bombarding them with information about your product, you can get a betteImager feel for what they might be looking for in a product. By reading the Social Media Bible by Lon Safko, we can see that this approach is becoming more commonplace in our advertising world.

I love the example they use in the book, giving the ideal way this technique should be used. I would like to call this the wallflower technique; “You walk up to a group, interrupt everyone, announce your name, and start telling everyone what you do for a living, what you sell, and that they should buy from you! …You will probably make everyone angry at you.” And alternately, “You enter the room, choose a group, walk up to that group and say nothing. You listen first. You understand what is already being said and when you have something of value to contribute to that conversation, you wait for a break, and politely share your ideas.” Using this strategy is literally the only way to gain a new customer now-a-days! It’s been said that the customer no longer trusts corporate messages. They want to hear from people they know which is quite understandable, considering how many messages these corporations shout at us at any given moment. The days of standing on a rock trying to sell your goat, and all of it’s benefits are over.

Now when it comes to customer satisfaction, there is a great consumer reaction. If they are so reluctant to listen to our messages given by the corporation just for advertising a product, what happens when there is consumer backlash when a product or experience have gone wrong? In this article, a double amputee veteran is brought to tears by the treatment he received by Delta Airlines while aboard his flight:

Disabled Marine Brought to Tears on Delta

They carelessly wheeled him down the aisle, bumping him into people, and after others offered him their tickets to sit in first class, the flight attendants refused! How uncaring, inconsiderate, and dehumanizing they can be. This surfaced originally in 2012, and the story in a matter of days went viral, and I saw it on my facebook today! This just goes to show you that social media is termed by Safko as word of mouth at the speed of light, due to consumers being quick to bad-mouth your company to over 20 people when a bad experience happens to them. And when they have a good experience, it often is only spread to 9 or 12 people.

We have to listen to these consumers, because ultimately at the rate this is going, they will be the sole reason a customer comes to our store. Through their trust in their friends and family.