This before and after ad example will never win any awards, but, it could make the difference between being looked at- and being ignored.

The call came at 6pm tonight: Can you take this ad and make it better? In an hour?

This isn’t how to run a business, or how to get the best possible work, but it’s often the reality in advertising: you can have good, fast or cheap- pick any two.

The original isn’t really an ad at all. It’s an announcement. There isn’t really any type of call to action, or anything that would speak to the consumer emotionally. In fact, it’s mostly about the client- “the first place Dayton Bombers.” The ad was done by the ad department for a previous paid placement- you buy the space- we’ll have a flunky design something.

This is what we had to work with- plus the Kelly Cup logo. Some information could be stripped out- it wasn’t important to the customer: AA Hockey- well, there isn’t another team in Dayton, 1st place- doesn’t really matter in the minors as much as the majors, and the flow of white space is just all over the place.

Dayton Bombers ad done by the Dayton Daily News.

So- take the elements that they have used all season- and try to make them work. The visiting team logo is only important to the hardcore fans- no one is coming to see the visiting team play so we can make that smaller. The McDonalds promo isn’t happening- so we loose that too. We’ve looked at the audience- and know that this is a NASCAR, WWF, Tough Man crowd- that loves to see fights- and to taunt the other team- so making the word “Fighting” a key part of the ad- may get some attention.

Dayton Bombers ad done by The Next WaveIn less than an hour- this is the result. Not an award winner- but, at least bold, clean and making some sort of appeal to the emotional side of the fans.

What do you think?

We also threw together a low-budget TV spot to promote the game. Since we had no existing game footage to use (and couldn’t count on any great stuff in one game) we had to construct a concept that we could control. We were told the leading scorer spoke Romanian (not true) and thought we could have fun with a Borat style low budget spoof. The idea was to do something that would cut through the clutter of local ads (none have ever aired in Romanian in Dayton OH) and get people to look to their sets to see what’s going on. We also posted it on YouTube- where it has received over 600 views in 24 hours. The translator obviously knows less Romanian than we did.