Creativity or Client Needs.. Which comes first?

While reading a recent article in Ad Age, I noticed the author's plea to not drop innovation and creativity just because the client does not ask for it.  The ability to come up with great ideas is the whole reason we are in this business.  Most anyone can do 'research' to find ways to 'best' the competition, but creativity and ideas come very specific to particular minds.  That's how inventions are stumbled upon; innovation is our “standard” at Mad Men Marketing.  If the only constant is change, then how can we thrive on anything but ideas?!

Creativity is typically the main reason companies shop for agencies in the first place.  Not to see who's come up with the best analytics, or how you can beat your competition on the battle field of sales… but who is the most creative with their thoughts, ideas and execution along with their ability to conceive of something no one has ever seen before – therefore giving you the edge no bar graph can.

SO,  give agencies a chance.  Let us do what you hire us for… And if you didn't shop an agency with creative intention, hear them out every once and a while, they might surprise you – and if they don't… well then, maybe you're with the wrong agency.  Bigger isn't always better.

GM partners with Manchester United

This change comes with a change in advertising for Chevrolet to a new advertising agency, Commonwealth. They replace the approximately 70 agencies that have worked on advertising for Chevrolet. They have changed up their thinking and are working to create more effective spending. An example of that is the 20 or so TV commercials pumped out for the Chevy Cruze, when only a half dozen were needed, as stated by Chief Marketing Officer for GM, Joel Ewanick.

Manchester United has long been one of the most popular soccer teams in the world. With 659 million followers, they are easily the most popular club in the world. For example, in a regular season game featuring Manchester United versus fellow EPL great, Manchester City, there was a recorded 600 million viewers, and compare that to the 110-115 million viewers of the Super Bowl in recent years. Looking at these numbers, it's easy to say they made the right choice here.

In other soccer and GM related news, GM has recently announced a plan to donate 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls all over the world (137 countries have already received soccer balls). This is a part of the project One World Futbol which started in 2010.

“We’re not one at a timin’,  We’re MASS communicatin’ . ”

Category: Advertising,Jacksonville Ad Agency,Media • May 29, 2012

I would like to take Papa John's as my normative example here. Obviously, you can reach any Papa John's by simply showing up to their store and placing an order or making a phone call, but be prepared to hear “Thank you for calling Papa John's. Can you please hold?”. What has the pizza giant done to remedy the situation? Papa John's has maintained a HUGE internet presence. If you were opportunistic enough to sign up for Papa John's internet-based ordering service before the Super Bowl, you got a free large pizza and a 2 liter beverage. The fun doesn't end there, lucky consumer. For every 5 dollars you spend with Papa John's via their web ordering system, you earn 1 “Papa Point”. Once you've accrued 25 of these points, you have just earned yourself a free pizza.

I would like to take this time to say that Papa John's is NOT my favorite pizza, and I don't think it tastes the best of all the options that I have, BUT it IS the MOST CONVENIENT option, and that speaks volumes. I know that every 5th order or so, I can look forward to a free meal. It may seem a bit gimmicky, but this strategy works! Jimmy John's has also streamlined their internet ordering services, complete with boxes that can be checked and drop down menus to customize your sandwich.

When I was in Japan during my tenure in the Navy, everyone delivered, even Subway. It's my stance that everyone SHOULD deliver. Until everyone catches up with that concept, Jimmy John's and Papa John's will be getting my take-out dollars. Who's getting yours? Clearly these companies grasp the concept, “Interact. Don't Interrupt”.

Oh, Soft Drinks, Thou Art Silly!

Let us further assume that your preference is Coke over Pepsi. Coca-Cola has not one, but TWO zero calorie cola beverages out there. Coke Zero is advertised as having REAL cola taste and ZERO calories. My question is, “If Coke Zero has zero calories, and Diet Coke has zero calories but apparently tastes LESS like REAL cola, WHY would you EVER drink Diet Coke in lieu of Coke Zero?”. Keep in mind, I didn't say that Diet Coke doesn't taste like cola. Diet Coke's OWN parent company made that implication when they branded their other product that way.

Pepsi is no better. There is Diet Pepsi. There is Pepsi Max. There have been several iterations of a clear or “Crystal Pepsi”. To be honest, at first I thought, “Hmmmm, ok, well they replaced aspartame with better tasting sucralose, or Splenda” but NO…they didn't! Both products use the sweetener, aspartame. Basically, you've gone through the trouble and expense of creating a new beverage that creates no new market, but only further divides an existing one while only incurring greater cost by diversifying your beverage line (ingredients, packaging, etc…).

I will only briefly touch on Dr. Pepper excluding half of the earth's population by blatantly saying Dr. Pepper's new 10 calorie beverage is JUST FOR MEN. Am I then to infer, that men don't like zero calorie diet beverages, and that those ten extra calories make it bold, and tasty, and maybe that the beverage doesn't go flat as quickly as would, say, Diet Dr. Pepper, which used to be branded as tasting “more like regular Dr. Pepper”?

Ladies and gentlemen of the business-blogging community, I ask you, “Do you not demand more of your beverage companies?”.

Tune in next week for my exciting rant on the microbrew industry.

The Importance of Staying Power

Is it really a great commercial, if you don't remember the product after you've seen it?  I agree that without entertaining or visually captivating material, TV commercials would have lost their value years ago.  However, can being too “creative” actually hurt a campaign?
I would like to be clear before I continue…  If you have read or heard anything about our agency, you know how much we believe in and thrive on creativity.  It is the cornerstone for any good campaign and the catapult for a great one – but this specific argument is more about the different types of creativity; the best being the ability to create a campaign that not only entertains, but also has foresight, adaptability, and of course, staying power.

OK, so returning to my point…  It is my belief that some creators allow an idea to get away from them.  They can get so carried away and forget the idea's place in relevance to the campaign all together.  The effect of that being, their efforts are lost on the consumer.  To ensure this does not happen, the industry needs to get a prescription for something I'd like to call “AADD” (Advertising Attention Deficit Disorder) – to keep our heads from spinning in random directions while determining the course of an idea.

SO, instead of having your customer watch a man start on the couch, leave to play racket ball, go to the doctor, wear an eye patch, ride a bus home, be mistaken for a tough guy, get attacked, and end up in the gutter…?  Why not simply show three frogs, sitting on lily pads, croaking out three recognizable syllables, while craving an ice cold beer…  Remember that one?

You can push your mind creatively (through different characters, themes, scenarios, etc.), while still staying on track and being aware of the bridge between the product and the consumer.  Here is the formula that will ultimately steer them right to your door – smiling the entire way… and if you're lucky… they'll remember how they got there for years to come.