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The Never-Ending Mac vs Windows Debate

My first Apple computer was purchased while at Florida State in about 2005. I got an iMac Desktop and I fell in love quickly. After I got past the differences in the operating system, I realized how much easier it was to use. Even little perks like dashboard and expose were genius to me. A simple way of displaying all your open windows and easily moving from one to the other, and a place to put sticky notes as reminders, ESPN scoreboards for scores and news, weather, etc, were great ways to make life easier for you. The all-in-one monitor was also a huge deal to me. Not having a huge tower getting in your footspace under your desk was an awesome improvement from Windows computers. My second Mac is another newer model iMac, and I plan on buying a new MacBook Pro in the next couple months. The main thing I notice was the newer Operating System on my iMac, Lion. It fixes some of the minor things it could have, and added some cool features. One of these is being able to use spaces which essentially puts different windows and programs into different spaces on your Mac, which lets you swipe your mouse to get to the next space easily.

Apple has been around since the late 80's, and Windows only a couple of years before that. So, there's not a big advantage there. I remember the older apple computers in the 90's, with their bright colors. I didn't actually get on a Mac until I started college in 2005. My friend had bought a MacBook and we also used iMacs in all of my design classes. As stated before, the Operating systems are different, but easy to get used to. But, for some, after being with Windows for most of your life, any change is a big change. But, once you do its definitely worth it. Part of the whole argument for Windows users to switch to Mac would have to be the pricing. These days, there are hundreds of PC's being sold for half the price of any Mac. You're not getting the power that the Macs come with in those cheaper PC's. Mac's always come stock with higher-end processors, aluminum casing, and great battery life. Most PC's can't stand up to Mac, unless your willing to spend the money. Another thing is the selection you could get with a PC compared to a Mac. Mac has the one brand, Apple. Windows has much more to offer, with Sony Vaio's, Dell's, Asus's, Toshiba's, HP's, etc. Macs have a little more straight forward approach, with different screen size choices, etc.

So, I'll leave you hear with this subject. Choose wisely and enjoy your new computer. Take what you will from this blog and others about this never ending debate and make your own decision. Although I'll never go with another Windows doesn't mean I won't be happy with a Windows, I just prefer my Mac.

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.

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.

Mission Statement VS Branding Statement: Marketing 101

To some, the single most challenging aspect to creative advertising is drawing the line between a company's Mission and their Brand.  To put it simply, your Mission is about YOU, your Brand is about the CONSUMER.  Although it may seem like a simple concept to grasp, surprisingly enough, when you're in the thick of it, working with a company who bleeds their mission, making the distinction between who they are and what their consumer wants, is like ripping off an over-sized band-aid from Robin Williams' forearm.

Getting a company to let go of their mission (if only for a moment), to recognize that it relates very little to the needs of the consumer, and then allow a seemingly irrelevant brand to be broadcasted mainstream… doesn't make much sense to an organization whose sole purpose is to serve the customer.  It's thinking from an entirely different perspective… like learning to write with your opposite hand.  Unless you’re ambidextrous… in which case, I feel you would be very suited for the job.

So, let us bring the conversation back to Nike.  As seen in the above picture, their Mission is to “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”.  Now, what does that mean to you?  I mean, personally as a consumer..?  Absolutely nothing.  What do you care?  That's what they do, and that's great for them… but what about YOU?  Well, they don't tell you about their mission, now do they?  This is what they say to you, Mr. Consumer… “Just DO it.” – Thinking about going on a run today..?  Just do it. Thinking about going to the gym?  Just do it.  How about going out for a round of golf?  Just do it.  Thinking about buying yourself a new pair of shoes?  Just do it…  Oh, and by the way… why not make it Nike?  I mean, after all, they are the ones telling you to get out there, aren't they?  SO, why not try their stuff?

There is such a large distinction between a company's goals and what that means to those who will buy it.  Nike does a great job talking directly to the consumer, inspiring them to do, and in order to DO, you might just need some Nike shoes, or one of those fancy no sweat, dry fit shirts…  That is the innovative thinking that keeps you relevant.  And that's what companies need to survive and achieve greatness!

So, the next time you are trying to come up with a branding statement, remember – JUST DO IT.

Working hard, hardly working…

We work hard, but you can hardly call it work when you enjoy it so much! We say we are the best creative agency in town! It's not only because we come up with the best ideas, but also due to the fact that we truly love what we do. Not to say that others don't, I can only speak for myself and my partners on this; but for us, there's nothing better than seeing your creations grow to fruition.

Stay tuned for another magical Mad Men production. We shall not disappoint!