Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Advertising Savvy—Use Visuals that Work

Although ads don't require visuals, research has shown that 70% of viewers will look only at the visual in the ad, where only 30% will read the headline.

Of course, the quality of the visual will also determine who stops to read the ad. Photographs tend to have a higher impact than illustrations. This might be because viewers can relate more to the realism of photography than the conceptual nature of an illustration.

Whether you choose photography or illustration, make sure that your visuals are captivating and arresting. They will make all the difference in getting your ad the attention it deserves.

Lets take a look at two similar ads that promote giving the gift of higher education. The first is quite text-heavy and relies on a rather pedestrian graphic. Which one is more likely to get your attention?

The second, by Red Square Agency, is nearly all graphic, but conveys the message much more clearly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's have an open house!

The good is often the enemy of the great. Consider the special event, for example. Very often, event planning uses extensive internal labor resources while producing returns that don't merit the cost. Since labor costs are often hidden, many times the event's true costs are not identified.

When determining if an event is a good marketing investment, begin by adding up the cost of the promotion, the event expenses, the hours staff spent to organize it (including support departments like maintenance and food service). Then ask what value it brings to the organization. Does it recruit new customers? Change consumer perception about a critical service or product? Does it create the desired goodwill among the right audience?

If the same resources were used for direct sales calls, would the impact on the institution be greater? With time at a premium, make sure that your efforts are focused on enhancing revenue and improving the organization’s image with the largest, most influential groups. And remember that choosing to do one thing always means that you are choosing not to do another.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Client Showcase—Hospice Print Ad

We designed this ad as part of our Cottage in the Meadow campaign for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Through the creation of a visual oasis, the ad steps outside of the expected and inspires readers to become a part of the building of a new home-away-from-home for hospice patients in their community. It appeals to the human longing to do something bigger and more lasting with one's life and gives the reader opportunity to donate to a project that promises this kind of fulfillment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Client Showcase—Emergency Department Campaign

Everyone who has ever been to an emergency room can relate to this message, which promises shorter wait times. There's always a delicate balance in this kind of advertising to be sure the message doesn't promise more than it can deliver. We've seen other similar emergency room campaigns that feature bold promises that are weakened in the body copy with all kinds of disclaimers. Others are cagey--and if you're not discerning, lead you to believe that you'll see a physician right away, but actually promise only that you'll be taken to a patient  room right away. It's always better to "under promise" and "over deliver," but a promise that is too soft can fail to compel.

We shot a custom image for this ad to make it distinctive, and featured a promise that was both relevant and truthful. It's impossible to miss this message even if you just glance at the ad quickly--as the story and headline deliver the punchline without making the reader work too hard.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day—Inspiration for Overcoming Obstacles

You never know where a dream will take you, but you can be sure obstacles will arise along the way.

Christopher Columbus earned the right to make this quote: “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

Image Source

Friday, October 8, 2010

Naming—See It, Say It, Hear It Before You Buy It

A good company, product or service name can help set your brand up for success. When selecting a name, think not only about what it conveys and how it sounds, but about what will it look like on a business card, a sign, a package, or an outdoor board.

The Visualizer, by Catchword Branding, allows you to see how it might appear in different applications.

Although this is just one aspect that should be considered when choosing a name, using this simple tool can help you assess your test name's visual effectiveness.

Are there any names you think work especially well visually?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Client Showcase—Law Firm Direct Mail Piece

When the growing southern California law firm of Gresham Savage brought on a successful new attorney, they wanted an announcement that would be memorable and impressive. We designed this five-panel piece to introduce him to their clients, using confident colors and sophisticated imagery to make a winning first impression.

This direct mail piece won a 2010 Silver Award in the 7th Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Test Your Tagline

Is your tagline a winner?

Maybe. Is it simple? Succinct? Believable? Clear? Original?

The Tagline Guru offers 20 attributes on which you can rate your tagline. To find out if your tagline is genius, or a snoozer, take this quick test.


Copyright © 2009 CMBell Company, Inc.

Unless otherwise credited, all content copyrighted by CMBell Company.