Monday, February 28, 2011

The Power of a Simple Idea

 The challenge for those of us who create advertisements is rarely finding a good promise to make. More often, it’s deciding which one message will be the strongest—and having the discipline to trim out all the other good, but nevertheless diluting, messages.

This ad shows how much more powerful a single, well-executed idea is than an ad that tries to say too much. By focusing on the “forty cents” concept, the message is unmistakably clear and memorable.

Of course, more could be said. But they wisely resisted the urge to give added facts or details that compete with the main message.

Sometimes it’s what you edit out that makes what is left work so well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Client Showcase—Real People Count on Memorial in TV Ad

The second television ad in a series for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, this ad continues to deploy a warm, personal mood like the first one, but features people in the community who have counted on Memorial in some of their most challenging moments.  Still images of local people are paired with voice-overs of them saying why they’ve counted on Memorial.

When it comes to conveying a message about your organization, no one can do it with as much believability and pathos as a real customer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reputation or character?

Legendary UCLA Coach Wooden understood how to inspire success in others. His focus on character was foundational to his leadership. As he put it, character is what you are, and reputation is what you are perceived to be. This is true not only of people, but of companies. Although our work as communicators is about building reputation, it is always in adjunct to the organization’s work to be a company of character.

Wooden also believed that how we make the journey is more important than our final destination, and redefines winning by how we conduct ourselves along the way. “You can outscore another team and lose, and you can be outscored by another team and win,” he says in this inspirational interview.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Power of a Story: Mayo Clinic Documents a Patient’s Journey Through Cancer to Hope

In the spirit of an on-going TV reality show, Mayo Clinic chronicles MaryEllen’s journey through cancer in a series of episodes posted on-line. With commentary by MaryEllen, the patient, as well as by her physician, the series gives perspectives from various vantage points. 

As the healthcare industry looks for ways to peel back the curtain on the patient experience, the power of personal stories—told in their own words—resonates with patients and their families.

While this application shows what can be done in healthcare, don’t dismiss its potential for other industries, as well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Client Showcase—Key Technology Annual Report

For a decade we've had the privilege of working with this innovative manufacturing company on their annual report. This year's starring photos were staged at a historic landmark overlooking the beautiful valley in eastern Washington where their international headquarters are located. This beautiful setting, paired with an abundance of fresh produce, helped convey their brand promise to deliver fresher, safer and purer products through new technologies that sort, process and remove defects.

The piece was printed on a suede-like paper that provides a richly tactile experience with the piece, and lends an organic air to itreinforcing the message of quality and freshness.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Should you be using 2D barcodes in your ads?

In the past year or so, you may have started to notice some odd-looking box-shaped barcodes on advertisements. They come in a variety of formats and are usually accompanied by a line of text that asks the viewer to scan the image with their smartphone.

Welcome to the world of Matrix/2D Barcodes. When scanned, this code will open content on your phone's internet browserand often this content comes in the form of video, editorial, coupons and such.

Matrix codes are relatively new to the scene here in the US. In a recent survey, nearly 57% of smartphone users have scanned at least one mobile barcode. They are rapidly becoming popular as a means of quick information access. Rather than waiting to get on a computer, consumers who have smartphones and the appropriate apps can have near-instant access to more information while their interest is still piqued.

In addition to providing an added service to consumers, they offer benefits to the marketer. In many cases, advertisers can track detailed demographic information about those who scanned the code and use this to better measure the success of a particular campaign.

Depending on what kind offer or content you have and who your target market is, these might be worth considering in your next campaign.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Right Typeface: A Writer’s Secret Weapon

The choice of a typeface is more than utilitarian. Yes, it must be easy to read. But it also must convey the precise mood that you wish to convey. Compare the typefaces in these two ads:

It’s the job of the professional communicator to compel you to read his or her work. Your words, and their presentation in font, must lure, entice, perhaps even beg.

As Matthew Butterick says on his very insightful web site on typography for lawyers, “… typography matters because it helps conserve the most valuable resource you have as a writer—reader attention.” Most people have more reasons to leave your writing unread than they do to read it, so dress it up. Find the font that tells the story you want to tell.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Color Psychology—Make a Statement With Orange

When oranges were introduced to Europe, they were known as the fruit of the gods, emperors and kings. They quickly became popular in fine art and represented exotic lands. By the mid 20th century, however, the color orange lost popularity with the elite and came to represent fast food restaurants. It is currently enjoying a new popularity in web, industrial design and consumer products.

Orange adds zest and is suggestive of tangy, spicy foods. Because of its close ties to red, orange is a physical, high-visibility color that demands attention. However, its connection to yellow tames it, making it a more friendly and warmer color than red. It is gregarious, fun-loving, optimistic and a favorite of children.

Wondering if orange is the right color for your business? Consider the many faces of orange:

  • Peach: nurturing, soft, delicious, fruity, sweet, inviting, warm, intimate, modest
  • Coral: life force, energizing, flexible, desire
  • Tangerine: vital, juicy, fruitful, energizing, tangy
  • Vibrant orange: fun, whimsical, childlike, happy, glowing, hot, energizing, active, friendly, jovial, persuasive, animated, loud, raucous, frivolous
  • Ginger: spicy, flavorful, tangy, pungent, exotic
  • Terra Cotta: earthy, warm, country, wholesome, welcoming, abundance

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