Thursday, January 27, 2011

Advertising Savvy—Craft Catchy Headlines

For headlines to be effective, they must be engaging and connect with the reader. The best headlines resonate emotionally with viewers, either amusing them, unsettling them, or making them curious or thoughtful.

Compare the headline in this first ad with that in the second. 

The second ad, by STIR, features a short but arresting headline. Only four words long, it speaks to a legitimate fear, luring the reader into the copy in search of the promise.

Which one most compelled you to read on?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Printing Tip #3—Fit

Had we not been in this business, we would not have believed the remarkable range of printing estimates one can receive on the same job. The variances are so wide that at times we have to wonder if they are talking about the same job.

Several factors impact pricing, but today we'll talk about fit.

Printers all have their niches. They each have different types of equipment that are suited to various jobs. Putting a small job on a large six-color press simply won’t be competitive, no matter how they sharpen their pencil. You have to know your printer, and know which jobs they are best suited for. This will impact not only your price, but the quality of your printed piece.

Stay tuned for more printing tips.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Rhythm of Rest Fuels Your Creativity

World-famous designer Stefan Sagmeister discusses the year-long sabbatical that his New York studio takes every seven years. He thoughtfully distinguishes between a job, a career and a calling, and shows how his time off brings him back to design as a calling. While in Bali for a year, Sagmeister and his team collect enough inspiration and creative to last for the next seven years of work.

Though a year off isn't feasible for most of us, it serves as inspiration, doesn't it? Consider providing a regular rhythm of rest and renewal between periods of work, and see how this impacts your work productas well as your life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Client Showcase—Hospitalist Brochure

The concept of hospitalists—hospital-based physicians whose exclusive role is to manage the care of patients who are hospitalized—is still new to many consumers, and many don't understand how a hospitalist might benefit them. To explain this, we developed this piece for the hospitalist program at Avista Adventist Hospital. We paired text that addresses likely consumer concerns with images from both our private stock collection and the hospital to create a custom piece that helps set a patient's expectations about working with a hospitalist—and allay their fears about this new way of delivering inpatient care.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Every Headline Knows

Words all have their jobs. The headline’s job is to get you to read the subhead, and the subhead’s job is to get you to read the copy. Sometimes a caption or bullet list stand in for these.

These are the gatekeepers to the message—so pick them with care, test them on innocent bystanders, and then rewrite them until you’re sure they work. Here's how it works.

Start with a killer headline.

{Like that. See, you want more.}

Make them a promise they can’t refuse.

{Want more?}

OK, I’m going to stop there—I don’t want to spoil the fun by writing the whole story, but I think you get the point. Make those headlines do their job, or send them to headline heaven and spare the reader the yawn—and your client a wasted encounter.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Events That Make Sense

We're very cautious about recommending events because of the time they consume (often not calculated in real dollars) and the potential pay-off when compared to other marketing tools.

But here's one example of an event that made sense. Outside shopping malls in Shanghai, China, in-line skaters dressed as prawns, pork, eggs, carrots and fish skated on a giant wok to demonstrate its non-stick surface. After a 20% increase in sales, Supors is looking to take the show on the road.

More and more, we see entertainment themes as underpinnings of successful creative promotion. It would be impossible to miss a show like this if you were a bystander, wouldn't it?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Client Showcase—PSMMC Spine Brochure

This spine brochure was part of a spine campaign for one of our clients, and served as a flexible tool that not only promoted the program but its numerous physicians. To make the piece easily customizable for each physician office, we created a folder in the back to hold a card on each physician. As physicians came and went, these cards could easily be updated without outdating the brochure.

But creating a brochure is just the first step. Give thought to how it will be distributed. We recommended to this client that they mail it to referring physicians with a cover letter, distribute it through the participating physicians' offices, and distribute it to hospital staff, since they serve as sales people.

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