Trying to Be Someone You Might Not Be: Jim Beam

Jim Beam’s been around two centuries, huh? When celebrity endorsements have graced the marketing industry 50 years or more, it’s surprising Beam chose Mila Kunis as their brand ambassador. Long term ambassador at that.

Ambassadors have long been successful ways for your audience to aspirationally connect with your product, when the celebrity’s personality aligns with the brand and its audience. You can imagine how that might get tricky. But David Ogilvy supported celeb endorsements in the ‘50’s, saying “Testimonials from celebrities get remarkably high readership… The better known the celebrity, the more readers you will attract.”

Kunis is well known, and she’s “liked as much by guys as girls,” claims Chief Marketing Officer Kevin George in a recent Ad Age article. Can you please elaborate on that? I’m pretty sure the reasons guys like her and girls like her don’t line up.

I will argue that men don’t aspire to be Mila on an every day basis. Ogilvy also said “people take more interest in movie stars with whom they can identify” and “men don’t like the same kind of girls that girls like.” Perhaps the strategy for the $13-a-fifth brand found that Kunis’s recent movie roles and demeanor are attractive to men and women. Maybe Kunis is the kind of girl that guys like, and some girls like her too. The ad does mention fashion and staying true to who you are, which I can see both men and women relating to.

All these feelings derive from the fact that the strategy is after men, of course. If Jim Beam wants to use Kunis to win more of the female whiskey audience, that’s great. But the second you turn feminine on a historically masculine product, I feel they’ll lose male marketshare. And maybe Jim Beam is okay with that. Maybe they’ve been losing male marketshare for awhile now. I need more numbers.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the “long-term partnership” and how it develops as Mila’s character identities continue. Will they bring in a guy to repair the damage if it fails? Or will they just let it fail straight into the ground? Or, will it succeed?

All I know is that I still identified with Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, despite Mila’s more attractive laid back, sensitive, tough girl attitude compared to an immature Segel with his life being in all sorts of shambles. And I definitely will drink whatever Frank Sinatra drank over a current day actress, or probably any other celebrity for that matter… as long as I can afford the $150 price tag.

Mila Kunis Jim Beam Make History Ad

Mila Kunis my Jim Beam rep? Not quite feelin’ it.

Sidenote: Frank Sinatra edges Mila Kunis in the PPC ad battle. Kind of helps to have your own line of whiskey products to make Product Listing Ads. Keep an eye out for more PPC ads driving queries to branded media pages. Sometimes a brand struggles to beat the ad and news websites to the top of the white space (organic) listings, and the brands have to pay for the ad in order to be seen.

jim beam mila kunis serp Frank Sinatra Jack Daniels Serp

Image source:


Ogilvy, David. “Confessions of an Advertising Man.” London: Southbank, 2004. Print.


Predictably Irrational: Why People Do What They Do

Predictably Irrational Summary Notes Print

The first book recommended to me by an advertising mentor was “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions” by Dan Ariely. Ariely’s backstory is incredibly interesting and worth researching, but it’s best to know he’s become a keen observer of people’s behavior and has written several books covering his experiments. Within a year after listening to this book during bike commutes to work, it’s arisen in numerous conversations and has given reason to why I and others behave the way they do.

Yes, these tactics can be used in advertising, but they can also be used by the consumer. For example, if you understand the concept of the anchor and how your first experience with a product (ex. – your first car) becomes your measuring stick for the next product, you won’t settle for anything less than your first car. Following your second purchase, you’ll then want an equivalent or better car, and so on. Thus, it’s important to remember the reason you made your first decision. If that was three cars ago and you’re now with a newer, nicer car, chances are your standards have changed even though you claim you’re the same person deep down inside. Each point can help you understand why you’re about to make a decision, and perhaps help you reconsider if the motive behind your choice is why you truly want what you do.

Many of these concepts should be familiar: Fear of Loss, Sex Appeal, The Price of Free, and perhaps a few more. One fascinating point about the price of free is that people are more willing to do something for free when the effort is exchanged for something related to social norms and cannot be defined by monetary value. For example, your friend says he’ll help you paint your house if you help him move this weekend. The answer is most likely yes. But if the friend says he’ll give you pizza and beer for helping him move, you then associate the pizza & beer with a cost of $20. Compared to a the salary of a moving company, $20 for a day’s work leaves a sour taste in your mouth and leaves your friend to find another mover. To make things even more interesting, a friend is more likely to help by treating it as a goodwill / friendship deed than offering to pay them less than a) what they make at work or b) what movers make, which would be their anchors.

I could go on about the others, but the one that’s changed me the most is the point about perception. I’ve thought that if something’s overly described as positive, it will end in letdown because it did not live up to the hype. And that may be true when taken to the extreme. But when you continuously focus on the positives and what’s going to be great about something, you convince yourself to make it great. Based on a get-together or two throughout the year, I can attest that this notion does indeed work.

Predictably Irrational Summary Notes

Click the image to print a 11″ x 8.5″ version from your browser.


How to Get Smarter: Tips to Increase Your Intelligence

Man, it’s been awhile since July, hasn’t it.

Anyways, this link was passed around in Moz’s Top 10 Links of the Week, and it was a pretty enjoyable read. I really enjoyed learning the science behind building your brain power, and have often wondered if you’re born with a high IQ or if it can be developed and improved, much like athleticism. I summed up my notes & printed it off for myself and thought the internet might like one as well.

So internet, here you are.

how to get smarter tips

Notes from an article by Andrea Kuszewski on the Scientific American blog. Click to print!

source: “You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential.” Andrea Kuszewski, March 2011

Five Printable 5×7″ How To’s of David Ogilvy’s ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man’

Confessions of an Advertising Man David Ogilvy

by Nate Schrader

Confessions of an Advertising Man David Ogilvy


It’s tough to know where to start. There’s just that much to talk about.

To sum it up, you can benefit from reading David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. Ogilvy wrote it primarily as a recruiting tool for attracting new business and new talent for his advertising agency, but I imagine he also wrote it because:

  1. he was fed up with poor advertising, (you’ll get that vibe when you read it)
  2. he wanted to help people advertise better, and
  3. he probably wanted to write his thoughts on paper to reach a new understanding of his craft.

If you’re in marketing, I don’t need to tell you what you’ll appreciate in these tips. And even if you have nothing to do with advertising, you’ll now know a few of the tricks advertisers use to get you to the cash register, and what a bad ad might look like!

Before you get reading though, remember, OGILVY WROTE THIS BOOK IN 1963. Times have certainly changed, which is why you won’t find anything from his chapter on creating TV commercials. The economy is different, people’s buying behaviors are different, and their attitude toward a brand’s role and that brand’s advertising in their life is different.

So, take these tips for what they’re worth. Most still ring startlingly true today.

Chapter II How to Get Clients

Ogilvy Advertising Tips Poster How to Get Clients

(click to print in your browser)

#7 describes why is One Click Ventures’ best property – they have a low unit cost, people everywhere NEED reading glasses, and they are in frequent purchase because owners lose them all the time.

Chapter III How to Keep Clients

Ogilvy Advertising Tips Poster How to Keep Clients

(click to print)

Number three is quite interesting. Ogilvy may mean figuratively sitting on the same side of the table, but it really does help soften things if you do physically sit next to the person rather than across from them. I always thing it’s interesting all tables for two are set up with the seats set across from one another rather than beside one another. If you’ve had a bad date, blame that.

Chapter V How to Build Great Campaigns

Ogilvy Advertising Tips Poster

(click to print)

Number one can be discouraging if you’re in the art world, but it is important to remember the message and purpose matter first. I really wish more advertisers had families with kids to act as a conscience, as in #9, and I think #7 can be a good guide to getting things done efficiently.

Chapter VI How to Write Potent Copy

Ogilvy Advertising Tips Poster How to Write Potent Copy

(click to print)

This little guy is a good reminder for anybody wanting to earn readership. Headlines arouse curiousity, and should promise a benefit. Hopefully you wanted to know what Ogilvy’s 5 How To’s were or to print these graphics. Otherwise, I’ve misread my audience. Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz closed his speech with making the internet a better place. For me, that gave advertising a purpose. Whether you educate, entertain, or inform about a product, it’s imperative your content provide value to the reader.

Chapter VII How to Illustrate Advertisements and Posters

Ogilvy Advertising Tips Poster Illustrate Ads and Posters

(click to print)

Again, we hear substance is more important than form, but one may argue that form may get people to actually stop to read the substance. My favorite is #10 – count just how many billboards on the interstate you absorb that have more than six words. Did you catch the message? Did you know who or what it advertised? What billboards do you even remember, right now? Of course, street corners with stop lights are different, as are subway line graphics. It’s important to remember the needs of the immediate audience from an environmental standpoint and not just a psychological one.

And there you have it. You can now advertise like a genius in the 1960s, and with a little digital education, today as well. I hope this helps you become more aware of your communication and business approach, and that you read Ogilvy’s book. As another internet marketer and SEO friend of One Click Ian Lurie (Portent, Inc.) said in this post back in 2006, it’s a great tool to “return to it often for a renewal of purpose.” The book covers the basics, reminds you to tell the truth, and tells you to provide value to other people. Those things alone are worth the read.

Chicago Beer Growler Guide: Where to Get Your Fill

Chicago Growler Fill Map Guide

When times call for quality over quantity, Bud Light just doesn’t quite cut it.

As craft beer explodes across the country’s bar scene, it can be pretty pricey to support our local breweries.  A pint of Indianapolis craft draft beer usually costs around $5. Maybe $3.50 on a good night. And while buying them in cans or a six-pack can be cheaper, it still comes out to about $2.00 per pint.

While this doesn’t seem like much, we all know how a few beers at the bar can add up. Luckily most breweries offer the option to fill a giant 64 ounce jug with their beer for a pretty low price aka a growler fill. In Indy, a Sun King growler fill can get as low as $1.25 per pint. PLUS you can fill them on Sundays. That Indiana law may change til next football season, but a growler could be your next hero on that empty-fridge summer Sunday cookout.

I decided to give my brother a growler from Sun King (a Indiana brewery with Wabash ties) that he could fill in Chicago. To make the barrier to entry even lower, I made him a guide with location, hours, pricing, and specials. It took awhile to dig up the info, which is why I want to share it with the world. So if you’re someone in Chicago that’s ever wondered, “Where can I get a growler filled in Chicago?” look no further. You’ve found the treasure map you’re looking for.

Click the image below and print it from your browser if you like.

Chicago Beer Growler Fill Guide Map

Any of the locations above will fill any growler you bring in as long as it has the surgeon’s general warning on the back (except Rock Bottom – you may have to do a little negotiating).

Stay tuned for the Indianapolis version. That one will probably be more extensive, and hopefully with the lowered cost of living!

Living: Indy – 5×5: Indianapolis Arts and Innovation Entry

Living Indy Location by Nate Schrader

indy 5x5 postcard front


I thought it was fate. It had to be, right? While waiting in the lobby of a Wabash connection’s office after work, I picked up an issue of the Indianapolis Star sitting on the coffee table. I almost routinely picked up the sports section, but I snapped out of it and grabbed the Culture section instead. In the corner was a competition for an arts & innovation idea involving art and technology in Indianapolis and a $10,000 grand prize. Why not, right?

So I gathered a few friends in various technology areas (web, programming, and engineering) and we brainstormed for a bit. I can’t say it was as good as a Leo Burnett ‘Farmhouse’ session, but Burnett was right in that it’s best to join great minds from various disciplines to tackle a problem. Now I’m not saying our team had great minds by any means, but I feel we came up with a pretty unique solution that one of us couldn’t have come up with on our own.

Basically, the idea was to use air-cleansing paint to create a mural and combine it with current social and Bluetooth signals to show the real-time activity of Indianapolis in an interpretive way.

Did we make the top 5? Not in the judges’ book. I like to think we placed 6th of 50. Read below for our submission, and click here to view the final five. The event takes place February 8th at 7pm, and I look forward to the learning opportunity. And to celebrating some other pretty fascinating ideas.

The project may fit a future contest later in the year, so stay tuned for that submission… Enjoy.

Living: Indy

Nate Schrader, Mike Korb, Joe Fruland, John Nail

Image 1:

Living Indy Location by Nate Schrader

Image 2:

Living: Indy Map Mural by Nate Schrader

Image 3:

Living: Indy lighting by Nate Schrader



Just another Midwest city.

To visitors in the past, these labels may have applied to Indianapolis. But our piece, “Living: Indy,” aims to show Indy natives and visitors alike that Indianapolis is an exuberant, ever-changing, always moving city where a nap may be the only sleep you have time for. Our concept is simple: create a map that visualizes the activity in Indianapolis in real-time with three goals. It should:

1. encourage current activity,

2. improve the environment,

3. instill a sense of pride.

The idea started with KNOxOUT catalytic paint. When John said a square meter of this stuff reacts with nitrus oxide in car exhaust to form as much harmless nitrogen as one mature tree, the light bulb turned on (, This paint seemed perfect for a mural in a tight, treeless space like underneath the bridge on Meridian & South St. where foot traffic is high and car exhaust exudes from passing vehicles and idling police cars. Essentially, the paint helps the tunnel last longer and look better as it cleans the air for passing and gathering people. For site study, see Image 1.

The mural itself should feel familiar, but more than a map. It should feel like a living being. Painted directly onto concrete, the mural will portray Indy with soft lines and shapes as seen in Image 2. Offset a few inches from the concrete rests translucent plexi-glass panels coated in clear catalytic paint ( In image 1, you’ll also see that digital LED strip lighting attaches behind the light-diffusing plexi-glass and follows the map’s streets. Meanwhile, LED clusters mark lively spots like arts buildings, restaurants & bars, theaters, hubs of public activity, etc.

To make the mural come alive, the lights sync with social data from Twitter’s API or by using BlueTooth presence detection. Either data source gives geographic coordinates to smartphone signals that we use to determine population, population change, and current mood of an actual landmark in the city. Paired with digital programming, these qualities are indicated as such in Image 3. Thus, you could have seen an instance like a thrilled or upset fans during this year’s downtown IU vs Butler game during which LED strips circulate that energy to Mass Ave. All while sad IUPUI students study away. (Image 2).

Additionally, we can tag landmark LEDs with a number and index them with their location information and a scanable QR Code that leads a smartphone user to the landmark’s current events webpage or Twitter feed (Image 1,2).

In the end, a passerby sees Indy as the always-beating place that it is while learning current city happenings. With air-cleansing, concrete-protecting paint, organic design, and real time socially responsive lighting, we hope to surprise visitors and instill the notion that the people are a part of Indy as much as Indy a part of its people. India-No-Place no more. We’re putting Indy on the map for good.


Catalytic KNOxOUT Paint: video here, another article here

Clear Catalytic Paint:

LED Clusters

Digital LED Strips

Business Cards & Stationary for Kyle Bender, TFA Corps Member 2012-14

Modern teacher's stationary front 1

Awhile back, my good Lafayette area friend and past college baseball teammate Kyle Bender and I ran into each other. Kyle said he was with Teach for America and his school didn’t have any business cards. So, I made him some.

Of course, I played it safe with the standard traditional format, but I had to take a gamble and do something a little different. Those business cards seem to be kept the longest and remembered the most in my book – the ones that don’t always head straight to the top of the dusty deck in your desk’s bottom drawer. For the unique cards, I tried put the card viewer into a setting like Kyle’s to really appreciate what he’s doing. Kyle chose the standard, most affordable card which probably feels the most professional coming from an educator following a handshake. If the client’s happy, I’m pretty happy.


Kyle Bender Vertical Business Card by Nate Schrader

Traditional horizontal with possible backside:

Teach for America Corps Member Business Card

Kyle also asked for stationary to write thank you’s, notes, and other networking whatnots. After a few emails, I came up with the front of a few cards…

purple templated stationary by Nate Schrader

aged label stationary by Nate Schrader

Note Card Stationary by Nate Schrader

Modern teacher's stationary front 1

Modern Teacher Stationary Front 2 by Nate Schrader

followed by the style he wanted, a one-sided graphic on which he could hand-write:

Professional Stationary Notables by Nate Schrader

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. Amidst busy schedules and a few emails, we should’ve conversed over the phone or met in person to really understand what the other was thinking.

If you need cards or stationary, don’t be afraid to ask. I’m happy to help where I can.

Advertising Tips: David Ogilvy’s 11 Commandments for Building Great Campaigns

Click here for Ogilvy’s 11 Commandments along with how to get clients, keep clients, write potent copy, and create illustrations.

Something I wish I could’ve done more of in college is morph books into useful, memorable graphics. I’m wrapping up a few books right now, and so follows these quotes from David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. Some claim it’s a bit outdated, and I will agree, there is quite a contrast with the way an advertiser approaches the consumer today. There really isn’t anything in the book about campaigns that help people other than having helpful messages, but the 1960s were a different time. Still, I think all of these points ring true today.

Click the poster to print, if you like. You may have to zoom in the new window first!

Ogilvy quotes on how to build great campaigns poster

#12. Click this, print it out, and tell all your friends where you found it.

Prepare yourself for a few more of these…