Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

Billboards are nice, but …

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Burma Shave

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin


BILLBOARDS ARE NICE, BUT …

Ever drive past a billboard and get frustrated because you can’t figure out what it says? I do. Billboards can be an extremely effective method of advertising when done right. When not done right, they can be an enormous waste of time and money.

You have a very short amount of time to get your message across on a billboard. You have anywhere from 3-6 seconds, if you’re lucky and traffic is reasonably slow. That’s not a lot of time. I constantly see businesses trying to cram in all their information on billboards. Address, phone number, a picture of the owner with his dog, the product, a customer testimonial, the product logo … it goes on and on. The message gets lost and nothing is remembered as the driver tries to drive and read through the jumble.

MY RULE OF THUMB HAS ALWAYS BEEN …

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What’s Your USP?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

What’s a USP?

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin


WHAT’S YOUR USP?


I spent a week in Chicago many years ago. I attended a school put on by the Giant Killers, a marketing instruction company. The first question they asked us was… What’s your USP? Well, we all looked at each other, shrugged and developed blank stares. Our instructor continued to explain that a USP is a “Unique Selling Position”. Basically, what makes our product the best buy.


YOU NEED TO DETERMINE YOU USP FOR YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

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The Car Dealer & TV

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Know who’s gonna drive!

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin


THE CAR DEALER & TV

Years ago I represented a Chevrolet car dealer. He was reasonably successful, but wanted to take the dealership to next level and he hired me to accomplish this. One of the things he wanted to do was sell Chevets, a good solid second family car. It’s low price made it a great car for the blue collar family.

I produced a nice TV spot featuring the car and proceeded to map out the running schedule for the ads. When I presented the budget to the dealer he immediately threw out all the 11:00pm news spots. I protested, but he wouldn’t budge on the ads.

THE SCHEDULE WAS PRODUCING RESULTS, BUT NOT TO THE DEGREE I WAS LOOKING FOR.

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A Camera Doesn’t Make You A Photographer

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Always use a professional photographer.

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

A CAMERA DOESN’T MAKE YOU A PHOTOGRAPHER

I hear the same comment over and over…”I can take the product shot. I’ve got a digital camera”.

A few years ago, I was walking through “Ace Bargain Center”. Ace was a combination of connecting buildings that went for an entire city block. This store had every kind of used merchandise you could possible imagine. It was like an indoor junk yard (but clean and safe). As I was walking by one of the rooms I noticed that it contained all the materials for a complete operating suite; gurney, cabinets, lights, autoclave and even some surgical utensils. I realized that for the paltry sum of a couple of thousand dollars, I could set up my own operating room. I would have the equipment. The problem was, equipment doesn’t make you a surgeon, talent does. The same thing goes for photography.


A GOOD PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER IS MORE ARTIST THAN PHOTOGRAPHER.

A pro realizes the effect of lighting, positioning, backgrounds and even the image your product conveys. Lots of people can take “good” photos with a digital camera and they can be the hit of the picnic, but the professional photographer takes it the extra mile to make your product shine.

You’ve put a lot of time into developing your product and you’re proud of it. Put your best foot forward and show it in the best possible way. I think you’ll find that most photographers can work wonders and are a lot less expensive than you’d think.

Another tip: Don’t dictate to the photographer, let him ask questions and give you his best possible recommendations. If you let an artist use his vision, chances are you’ll get something much better than you had hoped for. In my 35+ years of experience, it’s worked every time.


Next week: The Car Dealer and TV.

Always let the artist make the suggestions!

Bob Martin is principal of Martin Creative Consultants, providing advertising consulting and services to manufacturing and retail businesses. His MCC VoicePros division creates audio voiceovers for radio, TV, internet ads and presentations.

Advertsing’s Acceptable Lie

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Hey, This doesn’t look like the photo!

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

Advertising’s Acceptable Lie

Truth in advertising is one of the most important rules in business. It’s what drives the ridiculously long disclaimers in automotive advertising and the list of discouraging side effects when the pharmaceutical companies hock their latest medical miracles. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the side effects of some of these meds, I wonder if the ailment isn’t better than the cure.

So, I enter my favorite fast food restaurant and order that perfect cheeseburger pictured so deliciously over the counter. I take my treasure to the table and unwrap my sandwich to  find a squashed bun, most of the melted cheese sticking to the wrapper, catsup all over the place and a pickle stuck to the underside.


What happened to my picture perfect meal?

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Don’t Make Them Look For You

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Most consumers won’t spend time looking!

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

DON’T MAKE THEM LOOK FOR YOU!

About a year ago, I saw a great pizza shop ad on the back of a newspaper tab. It was full color, full page and it looked great. The ad actually made me hungry for pizza, so I decided to order. There was this great effective ad, but no phone number or address. I had no idea where the shop was. My resolve was to order from a competitor.

THIS AD WAS A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY.

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The Three Rules of Advertising

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

Bob Martin’s career has spanned almost 40 years of media, marketing and ad agencies, including 19 years as Manager of STI Creative. He’s kindly offered to provide us with weekly articles on advertising for the small to medium size business. I’m pleased to welcome him to Thinking Big Works.

Yes, it’s Monday and Bob’s posts will show up on Thursdays. So look for a bonus this week – two posts instead of one.

David VanAmburg

The Three Rules of Advertising

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