Monthly Archive: November 2011

Client Showcase #12

With all the digital this and digital that on our plates, it’s easy to lose touch with your roots in this business.

Thankfully, there’s still a need for print advertising, because making a new two-page spread for a client is the kind of assignment that brings you back — to Earth, and to the reasons you got into advertising in the first place.

Our client Danville Development Corp. of Salt Lake City manages 15 well cared for properties for low income seniors and people with disabilities. The Danville team also helps people navigate the HUD application process and find a comfortable home for their retirement years. Therefore, we chose to step away from the typical product features approach you see in ads in this category and focus instead on the brand benefits.

As for the choice to run print, Danville’s prospects use the web like everyone else (and this ad drives people to the web), but the media buy here recognizes that searching Google is not the end all and be all for every product or service, nor for every audience.

The new ad will run in Seniors Blue Book, a pub that reaches 150,000 people via its printed Utah edition.

We’re Not Hypnotists, But We Do Ask Clients To Get Out of Their Head

Raf Stevens, author of the newly published book, No Story, No Fans, has an important message for those of us busy developing content for our clients.

What helps great content to spread is how compelling and inspiring the message is, not how it slants toward positioning your company as the only one to buy from. Content should make connections. I’ll go even further than that. Content follows connection. First, you need to engage, build rapport, and make your audience trust you. Pure information or marketing messages do not make that happen. If you communicate in facts and figures, you are communicating “brain to brain.” To be a successful storyteller, you need to communicate human to human, heart to heart, and emotion to emotion.

Interestingly, the best ads also reach people at an emotional level. Yet, clients who pony up big bucks to create and place an ad or to improve their website are acting rationally. They want more business and are willing to do what is necessary to make the register ring. The take away here is that it is imperative to move from the rational to the emotional when appealing to prospects and customers.

Yesterday at a Portland Ad Fed luncheon, a principal of another Portland agency told me that content marketing is just writing. No. It is writing and/or video created on a client’s behalf, but there’s no direct sell packaged up in the message, rather there’s entertainment or utility worth seeking out and sharing courtesy of the sponsoring brand.

Let’s take a look at this new content offering from Patagonia, a master of the form:

Six and a half minutes of video from an outdoor clothing company, and no mention or even a hint of product marketing. There’s no need for it, because Patagonia knows what matters to its customers — in this case environmental damage being done to a wild place.

That’s the model in a nutshell. Find the shared points of interest between the company and its customers and focus there. Perfectly executed content marketing like Patagonia’s doesn’t do away with salesmanship. In many cases, traditional marketing is still needed to induce transactions. Content doesn’t replace advertising, it lives side-by-side with it.