Feeling American today.
by Nate Schrader
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:
- he was fed up with poor advertising, (you’ll get that vibe when you read it)
- he wanted to help people advertise better, and
- 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
#7 describes why ReadingGlassesShopper.com 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Stay tuned for the Indianapolis version. That one will probably be more extensive, and hopefully with the lowered cost of living!
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.
Nate Schrader, Mike Korb, Joe Fruland, John Nail
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 (huffintonpost.com, theriskexchange.wordpress.com). 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 (idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com). 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.
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.
Traditional horizontal with possible backside:
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…
followed by the style he wanted, a one-sided graphic on which he could hand-write:
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.
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!
Prepare yourself for a few more of these…
On December 10th, Adweek announced agency Droga5 as the US Agency of the Year. They credited Droga5 with the award after Droga5 won the Cannes Grand Prix for Good award this past year for their bone marrow donor campaign for Help Remedies along with another gold Lion for its Prudential campaign. Oh, and don’t forget about their departmental expansion of adding analytics, PR, and strategy departments plus their digital tools development project, De-De. With such growth, it may not surprise you that they increased revenue by 43% at $41 million. While they were at it, they raised another $1 million for Unicef’s Tap Project that provides nonsustaining countries with clean drinking water. Not too shabby financially for some award winning-advertising.
Later in the article, Adweek mentions the financial success of several brands, like Newcastle’s 5% YOY sales jump and Honeymade’s 17% sales increase. However, they fail to mention anything about Help Remedies’ or Prudential’s sales increases. I’m completely for a bandage campaign raising money; helping others is my favorite type of advertising. I just like it when an agency shows their campaign is good for the client so more of it will continue. (After watching the video, sales went up 1900%. Probably not much to start with, but still, that’s a big jump!)
Financial stuff aside, this campaign is absolutely awesome. Help Remedies‘ audience clearly cares about health if they’re willing to buy premium bandages, which makes me think they’re likely to donate to a good cause when their pockets, er, hearts feel like it. I’ve been reading Leo Burnett’s HumanKind after finishing Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. Basically Burnett’s current mindset is to participate with their audience and solve their audience’s problems, not just the single problem the advertised product solves.
And that’s exactly what Droga5 did: they solved a giant problem for their brand’s audience. A problem bigger than a single cut. With those extra departments they added, Droga5 could’ve discovered one way or another that bone marrow donation blood samples were tough to get. Then, they did a little more than just say, “Hey, why can’t somebody do something about making donor registration easier and more well known?”
Droga5 found a solution, or found the people with whom to create the solution. They put a simple & quick registration form inside a bandage box WITH THE BANDAGE. The donation solution is so close to the Help Remedies consumer; you’re already cut and bleeding, the perfect time for a swab sample! The best part in my mind is that after having bone marrow deficient patients on your mind plus your dainty little cut, you just might put on the bandage and think, “Wow. This is nothing compared to a bone marrow transplant.” Then, you might feel guilty or appreciative of your own life and send in your completed donor form… To save a life.
That’s not advertising. That’s not an attempt to win an award. That’s just making the world a better place.
And by the way – check out Help Remedies’ website. It’s a great example of something that’s interesting and clearly shows their brand just wants to help people. Even if it means showing them with which fork to eat your salad.
image source: The Help Remedies campaign video via Droga5