One thing that drives me nuts about the advertising business is that many clients still think of spending money on advertising is a gamble. I’ve never felt that way, because, as our motto says “our job is to make you more money than you pay us.” Advertising, when done right, is never a gamble- it’s an investment.

ECHL Kelly Cup 2007 logoSo why am I feeling like a gambler for the first time in my ad career today? Because our client (of late) the Dayton Bombers, are playing game 7 of the Kelly Cup semi-finals tonight- and if they win, we get to do the campaign for the finals and if they loose- we don’t get the job. Money riding on a hockey game- who woulda thought?

As I said, it’s a first. We’ll know more around 10 pm tonight.

Because we believe we have to provide something useful in everything we post- a few tips on making sure your advertising doesn’t feel like gambling:

  • Advertising is a more like a marriage, not like a date. Think about the long term, and invest in campaigns that will have “legs” - a concept, or idea that lasts. Think like Apples “get a mac” campaign instead of Burger King’s one shot “Manthem” (of which more was written about here).
  • Branding is a shorthand for what your company stands for- make sure you think about it in everything you do, from what your employees wear, to how you answer the phone- and then get it to communicate clearly in your advertising.
  • Consumers are getting very smart about marketing messages- never; lie, deceive, or talk down to them- they now have the ability to talk right back and it may come in higher in search than your message.
  • Embrace the Internet, it’s everything you want your best employee to be- if you take really good care of it.
  • The immortal words of Howard Luck Gossage are even more important today than 50 years ago: “People don’t read ads. They read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad”- so make your stuff interesting, make it art, make it entertaining- but what ever you do, stop saying things like “make the logo bigger” and start saying- “can we make the idea bigger.”

Hope that helps. Now, all the Bombes have to do is win tonight, so we get to keep building their brand.