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Lost & Found – Fresh Ideas

Category: Uncategorized • June 25, 2012

The company was a great place to have great ideas. If you had an idea, and it made financial sense or was a good enough idea to take the risk, then your idea was put in play. I was 21 when I became General Manager of the Jacksonville office. At this point in my career risk was all I had. Risk and good ideas that is. I found myself becoming a maverick among many great account people, managers, creatives, and just about any other position you might find in an advertising company. I learned a great deal from one of my RVP's, he said that you have always be “to grading” – not up grading. Building teams around great ideas and instilling focus. This led me to believe in one great driving principal that you will find at Mad Men Marketing – clarity of vision.

So where is clarity of vision in most companies today? I see a lack of creativity almost every time I see an add or a sales piece. Why do companies tend to lose that “idea edge” over time? What is it that happens? I think it is lack of clarity of vision. I can assure you that every company in the world is in need of a “vision check”. Here is the test you should be taking to see if you, as a marketing person or person in a C level suite somewhere:

1. When did your company begin to lack clarity of vision? Believe me it has most of the time.
2. When did experience matter? Remember when you started your company, or you heard about the humble beginnings of the now corporate giant you may be working for?
3. Why should it matter now? Again, at one point your experience or your company's experience did not matter, it was about being a focused scrappy up-start.
4. How can I change it? It starts with one step….you have to be willing to hear some hard discussions about your marketing efforts.

Call today, take the test, call today…the creative lost and found bin is Mad Men Marketing – take the test.

Buck this! GM at it again…I love it!

Category: Uncategorized • June 18, 2012

What's even better is that the networks apparently think they can do without a share of that $1.8 billion in advertising revenue.  Lest they forget there is an outside chance that if they take no share of on-air dollars, they will get no share of the digital dollars?  Coming from a broadcast television station I have seen it hundreds of times, tell them we don't need their money (Q1), to maybe we should have taken the money (Q2), oh well we have political now and don't need it (Q3), audit report comes out and stations find a major shift in rev share – why didn't we take the GM money (Q4)?!  I say continue to act on this well planned and well played attack on an industry that needs to have a trend bucked from time to time.

I think the best thing to do is buck the traditional spot schedules and force a more competitive interactive approach from the networks.  Make them earn the ad dollars by being more creative than punching some numbers into a system and generating a schedule with day parts that are “must-have”.  Force the network hands to creating a package that a $1.8 billion budget demands.  There has to be a better effort at product placement, social contesting and interactive digital experiences, to warrant any real investment.  I would challenge the networks to develop an interactive online campaign that the market has never seen, really make the digital dollars go to the next level.  If you can tell we have some ideas for you…

At the end of the day just continue to do what you are doing and it will be just what the media industry needs…to be bucked!

Broadcast Televsion Part II

Category: Uncategorized • June 15, 2012

I think it stands to reason you can understand the PUT would be much higher for Monday Night Football, or Sunday Night Football (NBC).  But if you are a local business can you really afford to pay $3k-$5k to reach all these people using television?  Here in Jacksonville you can get a spot in one of these programs for pretty close to the above mention rates…and the program will do a fairly good number, could be as much as a 20.  Which means that program was watching by 20% of the entire television viewing audience.  But what if the game is a blow out?  What if that “20” was only a true 20 for the first half or worse yet the first quarter.

You see you really have to be careful not be sold a shinny number that is all mirrors.  Again, like last week, when buying a program you have to be careful to be sold on the sizzle of a program.  TV stations would rather put you in a program that cost them upwards of $75k to air, and free up some inventory for other spots that need to run for a national buyer or inventory that was oversold previously.  Getting you to buy 1 spot for $3k, if you are moving money, means a TV station can free up as many as 5 or more spots that you had reserved for your schedule.

While on it's face buying a great “number” in a special program seems like a great thing…stick to the day parts I discussed last time and never sacrifice frequency for sizzle.  Next week I am going to discuss how TV inventory works and why you should know how to play the game.  Stay tuned…

WARNING: You really don’t know that much about branding…do you?

Category: Uncategorized • June 12, 2012

 I bet if you are in marketing you probably have no clue why a good brand is important…or what you think a brand is, truly isn't what a brand should be…only read on if you are ready for some podium soap box  ranting about branding…well lack there of – WARNING: this is kind of winded. I learned a great deal the past 7 years being steeped in brand strategies.  I have a learned a great deal the past 7 years from hearing colleagues discuss what a proper brand strategy is.  I have even learned a great deal in the past from previous clients as to what their thoughts are on branding their company.  The most important take away from all this “learning” – companies need to do some “learning” about what brand strategy really is.  It appears to me that most brands out in the national spot light are becoming too self-serving.  What if Anhueser-Busch had worked to develop “This 110 calories is for you” – well it passes the consumer driven approach we preach here at Mad Men Marketing.  Or even worse, they could have developed “Introducing Our Flagship Light Beer”, or “Our Flagship Light Beer Since 1982”.  Bud Light – “This beer is amazing!”, Bud Light – “Our beer is low in calories”…and so on.  You see Bud Light and Budweiser thrived for years with the brand statement – “This Bud's For You”.  It IS NOT about them.

Which brings me to the genesis of my rambling – Why is branding so terrible now days?  Why have companies seemed to forget that everything is about the consumer, not their product or service?    You see this is not a new topic for me, I have brought up consumer driven advertising in the past and will continue to bring it up as long as I continue to see terrible advertising in the market place.  UPS – what can brown do for you? – I don't know you tell me in a way that is memorable in your spots.  Chevy – an American Revolution – really?  I mean really?  I am not going there.  How about Pizza Hut – wait are they still making and delivering pizza?  I have tried to find their brand statement to no avail, but I did find “Big-Time Value Lives Inside The Box” – jazz Yum Brands!  “Think Outside The Box” and now “Think About What's Inside The Box for Another Brand?”

You see this is the kind of thinking that get's a brand (Pizza Hut) in trouble.  What if I went to the store and got some things and came back with the bread and milk and said “Honey I got the bread and milk but dang it I forgot the “Big-Time Value Lives Inside The Box” at the store – I will be back I HAVE TO have some “Big-Time Value Lives Inside The Box” – it really get's me thinking about how delicious Pizza Hut pizza's are and makes me want to get some for dinner.

I am sorry this went on for so long, but the lack of consumer driven brands must stop.  Call our office and ask for me and I will be HAPPY to explain to you my thoughts on this topic!  If you can't tell it is important to me.

Broadcast Television

Category: Uncategorized • June 8, 2012

Better yet, if you are small business with a budget of less than $100k per year – have you ever considered buying broadcast?  You may be shocked to learn some things…Have you ever wondered how great it would be for your business if you could have a spot in American Idol? Or CSI, Blue Bloods or any other big prime time show? Isn't it great how well the local broadcast stations sell – yes I am going here again – THE SIZZLE? Prime time is some sort of mystical day part for some reason. So you spend $1200-$5000 on this mystical day part…and why? Because you get convinced it does a great number? By number I mean ratings of course. Did you know you can get the same number of eye balls if you buy local news or syndicated programming? The same people watching American Idol are the same people watching other programming…programming you can buy more efficiently and get more frequency. So you pay $1,200 for a local spot in prime…did you know that gets you a weeks worth of spots in a local news/syndicated programming schedule. Your best bet is to stay away from prime programming, unless you really want to waste your advertising budget. Next week I will discuss this problem more in depth. Stay tuned!