I was recently treated to a very compelling website with a video… but it wasn’t for something sexy like tech or the arts. It was for a plumbing product. Now, I can tell you from experience that it’s often tougher to find a creative solution for low- or no-tech products than for more – er – sophisticated products and services than it is to develop something cool or interesting for a new or cutting edge product. When we developed our Master Blaster campaign (see image posted here) for Remington Arms, for example, it meant changing the product name and developing a lead generation campaign with two highly targeted dimensional mail packages. But that was a few years ago. What would we do today?
I like to think we could potentially have come up with what David Polisky did for Flex-Drain! see their lead-generation solution at http://www.flex-drain.com/challenge/
This is for a flexible hose product that requires fewer, if any, cuts and “elbows” when it’s being installed underground, and this video actually shows a race, complete with a referee, during which the team at flex-drain compete with a standard product for the same use, but which requires more work to install. There’s a ticking clock, a race route that we can look at to monitor their progress and in the end, a big winner.
Now, when I show work like our Master Blaster — that is, low-tech B2B solutions that are wildly successful — to just about anyone in marketing or creative here in the Silicon Valley, they look at me with a bit of boredom, or even sadness, like ‘oh, you poor thing, you had to make do with such mundane product.’ But frankly, since my job is to find workable, measurably successful creative solutions to marketing problems, anything that presents an interesting challenge is worth my time and keeps me very engaged! We do whatever it takes to get the attention of a good prospect using whatever lead-generation vehicle we have at our disposal. And then the outcome… when we start seeing the numbers roll in (in the case of the Master Blaster, it was phone calls, from highly qualified prospects, leading to sales and long-term relationships) is enough to make my heart skip a beat. Yeah! That’s what it’s all about!
So if you do creative work, and feel like every project is less than engaging, take a look at the Flex-Drain video and be inspired by the imaginative solution these folks developed. If you’re hiring creatives to help you get a breakthrough, remember that while it takes a great creative to develop such work, it takes a great client to approve it.
By the way … If you enjoy hearing about wildly creative solutions to challenging product promotions, plan now to attend the DMA 2011 in Boston from October 3-9, and attend our Creative Slamdown session! Featuring three outrageously talented creatives – Alan Rosenspan, Otis Maxwell and Nancy Wahl — they’ll show you top notch creative solutions that worked to successfully and measurably sell very unusual and less than exciting products. Attend and be inspired!
And meanwhile, if you wish you had attended our Creative Slamdown session at DMA 2010, you can request a pdf of the PowerPoint from that session by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll see why I say, there are no boring products… just uninspired creatives. Don’t let yourself be one!