Toying with Emotions…Is It Worth It?

•February 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We have all seen it

I remember the first time I saw this commercial, I actually teared up a bit.  The vivid pictures of the helpless animals were so heart-breaking.

This commercial, like some, are made directly to effect the viewers heart or emotions, trying to cause them to react in a way to gain more money or in this case, adoptions.

Did it work for me, no.  The practicality of me having another dog is null and my charitable contributions go elsewhere.

However, it did create brand recognition for the organization.  Everyone was talking about the ASPCA commercial and how sad it was.  I think it was forwarded to me via email.  I am sure, for some, a donation was made.

In your opinion, do ads like this work?  Does it cause you to act?

Less is More

•February 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ok, so I might digres from the main topic, but I promise, that in the end, it will all make sense.

Less is more.

What does it really mean?  Will we get more from life is we do less work?

I had a long drive to check out a billboard positioning yesterday and had a lot of time in my truck, so I downloaded a book called The Power of Now to listen to on my iPhone.  The Power of Now Basically, the main theme of the book is that in order to reach full enlightenment, you have to stop thinking.

Absurd is what I said too.  How does one stop thinking?  I have thoughts racing through my head all the time.  Did I turn off the front light?  When will I ever get my school loans paid off?  Will I ever get a BMW?

So on and so on.

What the author is really trying to convey is that we all have an inner being that is not yet identified, that we identify ourselves by what we think about ourselves.  He also goes on to state that we allow our minds to rule our lives and in order to stop this, we must step outside our mind and observe our thoughts.  Are there any continual patterns in our thinking?  Are we compulsive thinkers about something from the past?  Just observe these thoughts, don’t judge them or even question how to deal with them.

Another underlying theme through the whole book is that we are all connected, that a power higher, more complex our physical bodies, dwells within each of us.  I am not saying this is or isn’t God or a Spirit or Buddha or anything.  Just that everything is connected via one conduit of endless unity, most of us just don’t access nor use it at all.

Now, what does this have to do with this blog?

Well, 24 hours ago, I wouldn’t have ever thought I would be talking about enlightenment.  I would have never thought about driving in the middle of nowhere and stopping to just look around.  I had a GPS system going, the audiobook, texting a friend all while trying to get a hamburger down while driving down I-65.

It was all just too much.  So, once I got my task done, I pulled over on the side of the road, and old country road and just stopped.  I stopped the book, the GPS, eating and just observed.  I observed what I was thinking.  It was very difficult and it only occurred for about 3 seconds but there was a point where thoughts stopped and  I really took in everything around me.

What happened?  Creativity happened from the simplest things.  A mountain scape inspired me to paint.  A winding road ahead inspired another project in the near future.

When I put together a message in the form of an ad, outdoorboard, etc.  I think about all that needs to go into it, what it needs to do, how will it get out, how much money will it cost, getting all the messages in, blah, blah, blah.

In actuality, I need to break it down to the most simplistic form.  What is the simplest outcome you want from an advertising message?

Find that answer and go with it.  Don’t add unnecessary confusion for the reader by added information that isn’t really needed.

Less is more.  Less thought, more results.

What a Wonderful Widget-Makin’ Website…

•February 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A widget.

We have all heard the term and we see them on our Facebook pages or on blogs, like the ones to the right of this text.  But do we really know what they are and what all they are capable of doing.

By definition, a widget is an online tool that permits a portion of one webpage to appear on other webpages.  These appearances look exactly the same and can be updated from a single source.

Easy enough, right?

Wrong.

I first heard of a widget when I got my Mac Pro computer a couple years ago.  I accidentally pushed the wrong button on my mouse and up pops 4 four or five little information boxes.  I then did a little research and, of course, downloaded like 40 more from Apple’s web site and boom, I was counting down the days until Christmas, feeding virtual fish and receiving live weather cam views from my hometown.

They were amazing.

It was until this year, I learned that I could actually make one.

And its actually very easy, I did my first one yesterday and already posted it on my Facebook page.

Sproutbuilder.com is a free widget making online tool that allows the typical computer user, meaning you don’t have to know web design, to create useful widget for any site.

From weather widgets to advertising widegts, you can make them all.  Wow, I am starting to sound like a salesman for Sproutbuilder.com.

I recommend it to anyone trying to push a web site, whether it be a blog or a large company, to check it out.

There are many other helpful features on the web site like the ability to track your widget to see the click thru rate and see on which days your widget was used the most.

Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery

•February 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As I was watching TV at a friends house last night, a commercial came on.  Immediately, my friend asked me if we produced a new Goodwill spot. “No,” I responded, baffled by the resemblance to our spots.  Finally at the end of the commercial, I learn that it is a spot for The Salvation Army.

See for yourself:

And now, our Goodwill ad:

Mo’ Money Taxes

•February 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ok, I will admit it.  Each night, like clock work, at 5:00 p.m., I watch Judge Judy.  There is something about her that she can make anyone look like a complete idiot.  I think it is so funny.

Also, like clock work, the advertisements for cash advance businesses come on.  My all time favorite is the ad for Mo Money Taxes.  The commercial is obviously supposed to be silly, but it takes it to a whole other level.

See.

So, I pose the question, do outlandish ads like this really work.  You know the ones that are just super silly.

If you were in a situation that you needed your tax refund back quick, would you go to Mo’ Money Taxes, based on their commercial?

Clip from One of My Favorite Blogs

•February 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Seth Godin, a genius when it comes to marketing authors one of the best blogs I have ever read.  It is creative and current.  Here is an excerpt that I found interesting and helpful.

Which parts are you skipping?

The top of a mountain is rarely the best part.

You can watch “the good parts” of a baseball game in about six minutes. The web has become a giant highlights reel… the best parts of SNL, the best parts of a speech, the best parts of a book.

We can skim really fast now. This is a problem for marketers, because it means that if they don’t make the good parts easily findable and accessible (and bold and loud and memorable) then the whole product becomes invisible.

As consumers of information, though, I wonder if the best parts are really the best parts. Yes, you can read a summary of a book instead of a book, or watch the trailer instead of the movie, or read the executive summary of the consultant’s report instead of the whole thing… but the parts you miss are there for a reason.

Real change is rarely caused by the good parts. Real change and impact and joy come from the foundation and the transitions and the little messages that sneak in when you least expect them. The highlights of the baseball game are highlights largely because the rest of the game got you ready for them.

Don’t skip that page, it’s there for a reason.

You can read more about Seth’s blog here.



 
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