Category Archives: Creative Share: my weekly critique

I’m a practical soul, and while I enjoy the occasional philosophical discussion, what really interests me in my work is what works, and how to make something work better. The DMA calls on me to do critiques at their conferences and as a result I’ve discovered that this is something many other people want, too. My critiques are not mean-spirited, and they’re built for learning. You’ll even find praise and the occasional ‘I wish i’d done that, myself!’ It’s all part of our ongoing education to make us better at what we do!

And The BEST automotive advertising so far of this DECADE is….

Honda. Of course.

They don’t Jon Hamm’s voiceover but machts nicht. They have a hugely creative effort that was put out in 2015 and still amazes today. In fact, I am guessing there won’t be anything as good as this for the remainder of this decade. It’s just so damned interesting, innovative and impossible to stop watching and learning from!

By the way, it’s added fun to watch this next video, which tells the story of how they did this spot.

RPA, The creators of this spot have truly embodied Honda’s approach to R&D and engineering in this remarkable two-minute Honda spot. It tells/shows Honda’s entire history though an intricate paper-flipping journey. The effort delivers the Honda brand commitment, quality and promise by being as impeccably engineered as are the products themselves.

The spot is formally titled “Paper.” The film, while devised in CGI, was shot practically, with a few scenes stitched together.

Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of marketing for American Honda Motor Co., stated “This commercial stands for the courage and conviction to imagine and make dreams a reality and speaks to Honda’s innovative nature and respect for personal achievement and contributions.”

All i can ad to that is kudos to this amazing creative team that gives me back he hope I lose when i see substandard work. Congratulations on creating an ad that looks as fresh now as it did two years ago in its launch.

CREDITS
Client: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Title: “Paper” :117
First Air: 9/20/15

—TV

Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, CD/Art Director: Chuck Blackwell
VP, CD/Copywriter: Ken Pappanduros
Senior Copywriter: Chris Bradford
Art Director: Laura Crigler
Copywriter: Josh Hepburn
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Producer: Matt Magsaysay

SVP, Group Strategic Planning Director: Christian Cocker
VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme

EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Group Account Directors: Adam Blankenship & Jeff Moohr
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Executives: Susan Kim & Paul Sulzer
Product Information Manager: Marco Fantone

Production Company: Reset Content
Director: PES
Managing Director: Dave Morrison
Executive Producers: Jen Beitler & Jeff McDougall
Head of Production: Amanda Clune
Producer: Stan Sawicki
DP: Eric Adkins
Production Supervisor: Mario D’Amici
Production Designer: John Joyce
Motion Control Operator: Mark Eifert
Motion Control Assistant: Calvin Frederick
Animation Supervisor: Eileen Kohlhepp
Animators: Amy Adamy, Sihanouk Mariona, David Braun, Julian Petschek, Javan Ivey, Jen Prokopowicz, Brandon Lake, Ranko Tadic & Quique Rivera
Illustrators: Jerrod McIlvain, Nicole Cardiff, Vincent Lucido, Arwen King, Meghan Boehman, Monica Magana, Kei Chong, Trevor Brown & Alex Theodoropulos
Set Dresser/Painter: Veronica Hwang
Illustration Coordinator: Evan Koehne
Art Department: Nate Theis, Ellen Ridgeway, Melissa Quezada

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Stewart Reeves
EP: Angela Dorian
Producer: Leah Carnahan-Dogruer
Assistant Editor: Jasmina Zaharieva

VFX & Finishing: A52
VFX Supervisor & Lead Flame: Andy Rafael Barrios
CG Supervisor: Kirk Shintani
EP: Patrick Nugent
Producer: Lusia Boryczko
Head of Production: Kim Christensen
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
2D VFX Artists: Michael Plescia, Enid Dalkoff, Chris Moore, Cam Coombs, Michael Vagilenty
CG Artists: Aaron Baker, Mike Bettinardi, Michael Cardenas, Jon Belcome, Joe Chiechi
Pre-Viz: Ranko Tadic, Ingolfur Guomundsson, Benito Vargas
Colorist: Tommy Hooper
Online Editor: Dan Ellis
Color/Online Assist: Gabe Sanchez, Chris Riley, Erik Rojas
Roto Artists: Cathy Shaw, Robert Shaw, Tiffany Germann

Sound Design: Factory UK – Sound Design Studios
Sound Designer: Phil Bolland
Head of Production: Lou Allen

Mix: Lime Studios
Re-Recording Mixer: Dave Wagg
Assistant Re-Recording Mixer: Adam Primack
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

—Social

VP, Creative Social Media Director: J Barbush
VP, CD/Art Director: Chuck Blackwell
VP, CD/Copywriter: Ken Pappanduros
Senior Copywriter: Chris Bradford
Art Director: Laura Crigler
Copywriter: Josh Hepburn
Producer: Matt Magsaysay
Editor: A’sia Horne-Smith

EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Group Account Director: Adam Blankenship
Account Supervisor: Renee Egizi-Finger
Account Executive: Kaelin McGill

VP, Associate Director, Digital Marketing: Aaron Dodez
Supervisor, Digital Content Strategy: Mike Dossett
Sr. Specialists, Digital Content Strategy: Tyler Sweeney & Hartman Wong
Associate Digital Producer: Connor Gomez
Program Manager: Melissa Heitman

—Behind The Scenes

Senior Copywriter: Chris Bradford
Art Director: Laura Crigler
Copywriter: Josh Hepburn
Producer: Matt Magsaysay
Associate Digital Producer: Connor Gomez

VP, Group Account Director: Adam Blankenship
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Executive: Susan Kim

Post Production: Bo’s House of Visual Arts @ RPA
Post Producer: Eddie Granado
Editor: Wendy Sandoval
Lead Cameraman: Zach Grant
Cameraman/pick up shots: Mark Tripp
Graphics: Michael Kelley
Color: Augie Arredondo

Final Mix/Audio: Lime Studios
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas

—Interactive

Video Technology: WIREWAX
Business Development & Creative Services: Bea DiCarlo
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, Digital Design Director: Michael Takeshita
VP, CD/Art Director: Chuck Blackwell
VP, CD/Copywriter: Ken Pappanduros
Art Director: Jesse Echon
Copywriter: Michael Chen
VP, Director of Digital Production: Dave Brezinski
Executive Digital Producer: Linda Kim
Associate Digital Producer: Connor Gomez

EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Group Account Director: Adam Blankenship
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Executive: Susan Kim
Program Manager: Melissa Heitman

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy, Marketing Strategy

And the worst automotive advertising of the 2017 season is…

And the worst automotive advertising of the season is…GM.

Why am i not surprised? The big American brands have had mediocre advertising strategies for years, and they throw money at wide mass markets instead of using smart targeted marketing to find their true audience.

But this one reaches a new pinnacle of mediocrity and amateurism. GMC Acadia for 2017.

GM presents us this drivel that actually makes me embarrassed for the professional conductor who is featured in the ad. Who, by the way, is Maestro Kazem Abdullah. A native of Indiana, Abdullah, 36, has served as the Generalmusikdirektor of the city of Aachen, Germany since 2012, and has led orchestras the world over. A real talent.

But unlike the conductor who is an expert in his field, the supposed-professionals who developed and approved this ad seem to have no real experiential knowledge of the vehicle, so they start making shit up. It could have been the answer to an assignment given to a freshman art school class: how would you advertise this truck if you had NO experience with it before? How could you make it stand out from the crowd of 2017 automotive ads that are starting to appear?

The agency should be embarrassed by this effort but they are probably not. But the CLIENT — well, whoever approved this or possibly pushed for it on the client side should go back to operations or financial or wherever the hell they came from because they have no business leading and approving marketing and advertising expenditures.

By the way, I’ve seen a tagline for GM where they describe their greatness as
The New Standard of the World.  HOLY CRAP! THE WHOLE FRIKKIN’ WORLD!???

Wow, that would be impressive if they were, but of course they are nowhere close to that. I know from my own past automotive experience that they don’t even manufacture their own engines. So I’m not impressed.

The thing that makes me feel like weeping is that I know wht kinds of budgets these things take, and there could not be more of a waste of money in the world of advertising than when this kind of thing rears its ugly head. At a time when American auto manufacturers should be grateful to be alive and determined to produce and advertise better than anyone out there.

I feel nothing but pity for the people who worked on this who know better. I am wondering if it was Leo Burnett. Not sure. If anyone knew this was a terrible direction to go,  they didn’t really have the guts to stand up for producing great work for their clients.

All involved should be ashamed.

NEXT up: The BEST automotive advertising of the 2017 season.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy, Marketing Strategy

Schola Cantorum season brochure 50th anniversary season

Roll folded self mailer utilized in-concert photography of the choir in action, to convey the excitement of performance

Roll folded self mailer utilized in-concert photography of the choir in action, to convey the excitement of performance

One of the most important pieces of branding and promotional work for a musical arts organization is its season brochure. The Schola Cantorum season brochure must be hard working, visionary and exciting enough to keep a reader’s interest long enough to get them to pick up the phone or go online and order season tickets.

This piece also is an essential piece when going for grants — the more confident, professional and powerfully a group is portrayed, the more likely they will earn funding for their future endeavors.

Schola Cantorum has a history of artistry and over 50 years has presented over 100 world premieres of commissioned works. This history and integrity of musicianship is what we have portrayed in this season brochure.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Copywriting, Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy, Design, Marketing Strategy

The secret weapon that drives qualified prospects to your site: direct mail

Now that the dust has settled in the web world, ecommerce players are finally past the ‘trying to stay alive’ phase and are seeking ways to grow.

The ultimate survivors have been catalogs, who have mailed aggressively for years and utilize their catalog to draw the great majority of traffic that enters their sites.  They also utilize the mailing of their catalog to remind their customer base of the products on the web, and catalog mailing is actually at its best performance when reactivating customers – I’m sure this is no surprise.

Their close cousins, eCommerce Sites (without a printed catalog) depended for the past few years on the availability of unsolicited email as one growth option, plus the various search engines, banners and technology that would entice prospects into their site. But the truth is, once they turn to direct mail (and printed catalogs), that’s when their numbers start growing profitably.

We all know what’s happened to unsolicited emails.  But, aside from that, what makes direct mail so appealing, even with  those other e-alternatives? It’s the power of today’s mailing lists.

With the capability of digging through databases to identify your prospects in order to match the profile of your best customers, direct mail can deliver more hits to eCommerce sites out of sheer volume – direct mail lists are deep and can be very accurate.  While your average order sizes may be higher for the web-generated hits, both direct mail and web-generated prospecting need to be part of your healthy marketing mix.

And the juicy part of mail, of course, is that by contacting experienced buyers from catalog and mail (the mailing lists used should have that feature), you’ve got access to the top tier of prospects… the ones who are willing to buy, sight unseen and untouched, and have it sent to them. Laugh if you want but that number never seems to get much above 50% of the US audience, willing to suspend fear of a failed purchase and buying in other than retail.

DMB Realty Sliverleaf landing page and brochure cover

Seduction by hotbuttons

Nearly any company who has a web site can benefit from using smart, well-executed direct mail to draw attention to the site. DMB Realty has, for example, developed a program that includes direct mail and space advertising to draw prospects into their site.  The mailing lists they use weed out all but the highest level prospect who might be interested in, and be able to afford, a multimillion dollar property.

Silverleaf direct mail brochure doubles as lead generation collateral

When the mail drops, DMB sees a surge of activity on their site – although out of their need for privacy, many won’t actually register at the site until they feel they’re truly ready to look at the property. Meanwhile, at the web, the prospect gains in-depth knowledge about the progress on the properties, the golf course and clubhouse, and even get a sense of who their neighbors might be. Direct mail with this much information would be unwieldy and inappropriate for lead-generation… but the web is a perfect place for all those details.

Notice one of the key ingredients to the success of this combination – the brand is apparent in all of them.  Through careful consideration and development of brand standards, DMB set the stage for what is a relatively cohesive program between direct mail, space advertising and web. While those standards must be adjusted here and there, the outcome still has that strong, branded look.

For example, the brand called for some paper choices that were luxurious, but expensive. Manufactured envelopes of the suggested paper would have been difficult to address without smearing, and also might have looked uninteresting in the mail with its smooth surface. We chose instead to manufacture the OE, letter and reply form from a ‘classic columns’ paper that’s rarely seen in the mailbox – and would likely get the attention of a high-level prospect.  All of the paper choices, including the brochure, were downgraded but none of the elements looked cheap. The savings from that came to many thousands of dollars in paper alone! These were necessary breaks from their brand standards.

However, in the long run, what really mattered the most was the ‘act of seduction’ that took place when the direct mail landed in the prospect’s mailbox – showing the golf course, the privacy, the unspoiled beauty of the area were just the hot buttons needed to generate acceptance by the prospect. The repetition of those hot buttons at the site increased the prospect’s comfort level when they ventured from the printed piece into the web.

QCharts direct mail elements address each concern an investor may have.

Showing your prospect a brighter future

Another example of driving activity to the web using direct mail is Terra Lycos and their online financial/investment service, QCharts.  The pictures you see here confirm again how consistently the brand look and feel is supported in the direct mail, so that when a prospect arrives at the web, they know they’re in the right place and will likely stay and look around.

However, notice again where the differences are: in the actual copy/concept. In order for direct mail to be responsive, it needs to address the hotbuttons of the prospect as soon as possible. This particular package confirms the fact that making money is, for this prospect, ‘what it’s all about’ …. And QCharts is just the tool they need to make more of it.  So the mail is far more conceptual and hardhitting than the site, since it has the task of driving the recipient into the web, prepared to consider the service.

It doesn’t have to be complicated … but it had better be good.

While direct mail is at its most trustworthy as a solid direct mail package, often times the postcard or self mailer is a fine way to pull prospects into your site. Again, the most important elements of this mail are addressing your prospects needs and seducing them with the promise your product or service can deliver, in a compelling way.

The effort it takes to produce a great postcard is sorely underestimated.  I frequently receive postcards that look carelessly designed, given to a junior, poor copy and so on.   Just a little more effort could make these cards so much better a site activity generator. For example, a stock photo sends me a postcard to announce the fact that they have a fantastic array of unusual photos, such as those from National Geographic. Their fatal flaw on the big picture side is in the execution – they chose a very complicated photo, and the card image is so confusing that it loses all appeal.

The other, huge error by many who send out postcards is remembering what the customer sees first. Yes, there are great deals on postcards with a process color on one side and black ink only on the other side. But considering that the prospect sees the address side facing up, that most often means that the prospect will be confronted with a boring, type-only card with their address on it. And the chances (statistically) that they’ll turn it over are surprisingly small.  So that savings in the printing  (color on both sides typically doesn’t even add 20% more to the printing cost)  is penny wise, pound foolish, since response is depressed.

Let’s be clear – you have something on your site that you want them to see.  You want the site to look like a place they’d like to explore. Therefore, both sides of your card need to be glorious color and show off your site and its offerings at their best. Your prospect needs to see variety to draw them into your site. You can choose a hero for the big picture side – or one hero and three separate smaller insets – but it must be absolutely clear what you’re selling, and it needs to look really good, or you’ve wasted your money.

Cost effective and highly effective: offer-driven mail to Isuzu prospects generated new customers and great ROI

Make me an offer

Probably one of the strongest tools in effective direct marketing – mail included – is an offer.  Yet most mailings meant to drive prospects to the web completely miss out on that.  An offer doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be something imaginative and something that sweetens the pot so your prospect will take that extra few minutes to visit your site. After all, this is their time you’re asking for … and these days, time is an extremely valuable commodity.

If you’re a site like QCharts, that offer could be a free ‘test drive’ of your software or service site. If you’re an automotive company looking to draw prospects to the web to see your latest vehicle, you might try a monthly polo-shirt giveaway for all who register at your site and answer a few questions. If you’re a restaurant chain trying to show people your new menu, posted on your site, you can offer them a printable coupon for a free dessert when they come and register, and look over your improved menu.

There’s a stock photo company out there who has monthly drawings for gadgets like iPods, and every time you visit the site and check in, you get another entry into the drawing.  If you’re a wine merchant, you can’t offer free wine (by law) but you CAN have a sweeps for a trip for two to wine country, or a colorful free bottlestopper worth $12 retail when they make their first purchase of $60 or more.

These offers are very little money in the grand scheme of things, but they make your direct mail – and your site – newsworthy. And that’s one of the ingredients needed to get your prospects logging on to your site.

Mail that doesn’t ask them to do anything…huh?

As a frequent customer of Southwest Airlines, i get a nice - and often funny - birthday card annually.

One of my favorite kinds of mailings is the well-timed Thank You mailing. For a company like Southwest Airlines, who needs the majority of their prospects to visit the web, it’s a bold move to maintain a birthday card mailing for every customer in their database. Every year I get one, and it never, ever promotes the site – it just wishes me “plenty of birthday cheer to go around”. And as hokey as this may sound, this just plain feels good.  It reminds me of the nice individuals who make up Southwest, whose primary function it is to get us on planes quickly and efficiently, and deliver  us safely home.  They don’t need to put their website address, or a free drink coupon, or even a phone number in this mailing. The sheer power of its sincerity pays off for Southwest time and again, making their customers visit their website to order tickets, again and again.

How can I tell if it’s working?

Of course, a key to discovering what your ROI is in these direct mail efforts is to measure them religiously and accurately – this is very possible with the web, through individualized landing pages and other technology – and testing efforts against each other to find out which one brings you the best customer for your site. After you run your program and continue to track that customer activity, you’ll be able to determine your ROI. For some of you, you’ll have that information in a matter of months. For some lead generation programs for expensive items like real estate or automotive, it may take six months or a year. Be patient and keep testing and measuring.

If you’ve never tried using direct mail before to promote web activity, or if you have, and it’s been disappointing,  now’s the time to try this vibrant media out again, using this article as a checklist. When you do, you’ll discover how direct mail can help your site grow and flourish with an ROI you can live with. And if you’re frustrated by a mail effort and want to brainstorm on what happened, I’d be glad to check out the effort and help you get your breakthrough.

Leave a comment

Filed under Copywriting, Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy, Design

Humor in advertising: how NOT to do it.

When I teach seminars for marketing creative, one question that invariably comes up is, ‘Does humor work’? The answer, ‘It depends’ sounds like a weenie response, but that’s the best I can do.

That’s because humor is a tricky creative tool. It seems easy – who doesn’t like a good joke – but in truth humor can be very regional and it’s often done at someone’s expense. Heaven help you if the one whose expense it’s done is the market you’re going after.

That is precisely what’s going on with the replacement for “Got Milk?” that the CA Milk Processor Board’s agency has just created for them. These are the “Got Milk?” folks. but they’ve been led astray…

This campaign was brought to my attention by Mike Cassidy, of the SJ Mercury News, in this article:
http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_18464120

Those of you who know me are aware that I have a very broad sense of humor. In other words, you could use me for a human laugh track for almost anything. So when something strikes me as very UN-funny it’s got to be pretty bad.

At first I was simply ‘put off’ by the campaign. Then I really started to get truly annoyed by the campaign created by probably by 20-something guys and approved by 50-something guys.  Annoyed by their arrogant stereotyping of women and hormonal swings.

Some of the taglines include, “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant,” and “We can both blame myself.” There’s also a website at EverythingIDoIsWrong.org, that asks “are you a man living with PMS?” Pooooor babies, they work sooo hard to keep the peace with their unreasonable wife.

This kind of “Take my wife” crap embarrasses me for the milk industry, who obviously fell for this campaign. How could they not have seen how dumb and sexist it is? And how their target market is made to look like insane pms-driven shrews… who have some poor innocent man falling on their sword to try to keep the peace. Please.

This afternoon I got word that the controversy was just too much, and thank GOD, they’re scrapping the campaign. Here’s a link: http://blogs.forbes.com/marcbabej/2011/07/21/got-milk-pulls-its-pms-themed-campaign-amid-controversy/

The lessons from this are many but the most obvious ones are:

1. Don’t market for the people who live with your target market! Market to the ones you want to buy your product. This is a real ‘D’oh!’ but they really missed their market in this situation.

2. Never assume that just because your agency thinks it’s funny, that it really is. Agency people are not like your public. They have different taste and are probably from a whole different place in the world and in their lives. Often they have no real interest in what your market lives with every day. And many of these folks are so smitten with their own ideas, so narcissistic,  that they can sell terrible concepts with a clear conscience. To do great work you absolutely must love the customer you’re marketing to.

3. Research, research, research. I am convinced that if the milk board had done a good solid sweep of e-research into a broad market, using an expert researcher like my buddy Brad Peppard, they would have spotted this debacle in plenty of time before kicking it off and shaming themselves. Sometimes internal marketers think they can do it themselves with something like Survey Monkey but their research will always be tainted because they have a goal in mind. And more often, they cut corners and don’t do it at all. Here is why it costs more to NOT do research than to do it.

4. Always evaluate the work of your agency as they are on a project. Don’t assume that because they are rock solid in their reputation that they will be flawless.The agency who did this – Goodby Silverstein & Partners – is solid gold as far as I am concerned. But for the first time, there’s some idiot working in there who is too self-absorbed to be truly good at this. Someone inside needed to provide some checks and balances, and apparently now at Goodby there are things like this that slip through the cracks. It’s a terrible disappointment, because i was a real fan of the agency. But how can you trust them to do the right thing after seeing this crap?

5. Remember that advertising, web, mail, outdoor boards… all of this stuff is there to ultimately sell something. Sell a product or service. We are not doing this advertising work to amuse, impress, entertain… sometimes you can get some of that done but if it doesn’t sell, it’s not worth putting out there. Thank you David Ogilvy for that wisdom.

This is not a call for ‘creative by committee’ but it is a call for common sense!

1 Comment

Filed under Copywriting, Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy

Now, what is it that you do?

The advertising world is full of good and bad examples of creative. But one approach that is among the most popular, but measurably least successful, is the ‘visual analogy’ approach.

The B2B tech world is especially prone to using this direction, because

1. it’s a helluva lot of work to try to explain what they do and who their customers are;

2. they hire lazy agencies who love to do this kind of ad and are really good at selling this approach. Often they’re ‘art director’ driven rather than copy driven, but in any case, they really don’t understand the value of creating a clear, benefit-driven advertisement;

3. they are just arrogant enough to believe that “our potential customers know who they are.” Oh, please.

Accenture is hugely into this kind of work, and God knows, they must ask for it because they keep getting it. They had ads with Tiger Woods for awhile that had the taglin e “be a tiger” and they bled that almost dry when Mr. Woods had his dalliances and subsequent meeting with a golf club aimed at his head.

Another blog said it well: When you build your brand on the shoulders of another, make sure their brand remains solid

read his comments at http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/5945/accenture-branded-by-the-tiger-woods-mess/

Now that their hero, Tiger, is no longer anyone’s media darling, they’re on to another campaign that is even more subtle in its reasoning.

Now, I know how compelling it can be to add a celebrity to a campaign. When i worked on Players Club, the first club for midrange gamblers, we used Telly Savalas as a spokesman. Nobody could have been more perfect. He added cred and class to the club. But Telly had been around a long time and was a reasonable price; plus we knew a little more of what we were getting. Tiger is young and very expensive… and apparently,unpredictable. Oopsie.

Accenture bears its soul (pun intended)…

Now Accenture’s campaign has a polar bear in it, with a goldfish in a big cube of ice… see the attached ad. I caught my shot of this in Heathrow Airport this past week on my way back from Europe. (Sigh, what a jetsetter I am…)  And as much as I love animals — polar bears are so darned cute!! — this ad tells me nothing at all about what Accenture does. Not one thing.

No doubt the agency who did it had a great old time in the brainstorming session! And while I’d like to think they used a stock photo, you never know. What I’ve noticed is that the art directors who design this kind of hack stuff are really big on location photoshoots. It’s something they can brag about during the awards ceremonies. yawn.

This also reminds me of some work i did recently for a company called Xtime – they develop sophisticated  customer relationship programs for forward-thinking automotive dealers. Explaining how their program works was a real challenge. We were comparing the multi-faceted Xtime system to a crack pit crew where each of the mechanics is expert at what they do… but this concept, as colorful as it was and theoretically ‘tied’ to the automotive client, did not quite hit the mark.

So, digging back in again we came up with a concept based on the viewpoint of the operations manager. We contemplated, “what does his life look like, and what does Xtime do to make it better?” … and the first thing that came to mind was that when I’ve been in the office of a fixed ops manager in a dealership, there are a zillion post-it notes on their monitor. People put them there so that their message can’t be ignored.

We realized that this was our opportunity to say that whatever area of the dealership is putting demands on them for improvement, Xtime is able to handle it all — unlike the ‘auto-mail’ cards and ‘robo-calls’ for service, this is more personal and the database helps them keep track of everything they need to know about a customer’s history. A complicated concept that can turn into chest beating with the wrong delivery. According to my client, we’ve nailed it.

Now i wonder what we’ll do for the next round? Stay tuned!

Cheers! — Carol

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Copywriting, Creative Share: my weekly critique, Creative Strategy, Design