Common sense tip for launching "the new big thing in advertising"

To all the über creatives out there about to launch your new “hot agency”- a few words of advice: launch a site before you send out your press release telling the world that you are open for business.

Unfortunately, most trade press doesn’t bother to publish your url, your phone number or your address so potential clients who are dying to hire a spin-off of Fallon, Wieden+Kennedy, The Martin Agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, TBWA Chiat/Day etc.

If I was a client, I’d assume that an agency is the first to realize that people can’t buy from you if they can’t find you, so, start off with your best foot forward.

Please note: this also means, don’t waste your money on a fancy Flash site- save that for when you are too big and don’t want business (unless you are really smart and know exactly how to make a Flash site that is both accessible for the blind- and search friendly- which few of you do). Google doesn’t like Flash much- and so all those people googling to find start-ups like Goodness Manufacturing, Toy, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy, and Brew Creative are ending up on some upstart agency site like this to find a link to your site.

There is also a bit more to it- web 2.0 and search require more than a brochure site- you have to continually add and update content to make your site relevant to search. If your agency doesn’t understand this, we’re happy to offer our consulting services to help you get the results you want.

Radio:Forget pay for play- it’s now play for pay

The payola scandals of the Fifties were a black-eye on commercial radio, where record labels would pay radio stations to play certain albums.

Now with corporate and satellite radio controlling the airwaves, and internet radio still in the nascent stages- the best way to get your songs played to mass audiences is to sell your song to a major advertising campaign. When Wieden + Kennedy bought the Beetles “Revolution” for Nike there was a major outcry of selling out. (Personally, this commercial still makes me love advertising- and what I do)

After the warning shot- it was a free-for-all, with every major advertiser buying top hits. Then Arnold changed the game again- by putting arcane, but catchy tunes into VW commercials- da, da, da, Dr. Roboto and the songs of Nick Drake– all turning forgotten tunes into hits.

But, besides bringing new exposure to old hits- or even hits in the making- there is also an area of concern for artists- will they be seen as selling out? Some artists have sworn off commercialization of their art- Bob Dylan taking a hit for selling music through Starbucks for instance.

So, when Crispin Porter + Bogusky follows in the footsteps of Arnold by putting Wilco’s “Sky Blue Sky” into a campaign, Wilco fights back- and in the tradition of David Ogilvy who believed you should use the products you shill, admits to driving V-dubs.

Pitchfork: Wilco Explain Volkswagen Ads
After millions of infuriated Wilco fans around the globe set fire to their copies of Sky Blue Sky and drove their Jettas off cliffs yesterday, Wilco took it upon themselves to explain their recent involvement in a Volkswagen ad campaign.

“With the commercial radio airplay route getting more difficult for many bands,” wrote the Chicago sextet on its official website, “we see this as another way to get the music out there.”

They continued: “And we feel okay about VWs. Several of us even drive them.”

Securing rights to popular music isn’t always easy- we once traded building a website for Buckwheat Zydeco in exchange for using his music as the background for a local neighborhood non-profit marketing piece- which cost us a bunch- but gave the neighborhood new life. Besides the website- (which has been sadly and badly basterdized over the years) Buckwheat gained a whole new bevy of fans- who would not have been exposed to his great music any other way.

With viral videos like Jud Laipply’s “Evolution of Dance” using a bunch of copyrighted music- the question is- is it better marketing for the music than the old school pay-to-play? If I was the copyright holder, I’d be thrilled to have “tastes” of my music given that much exposure.

It’s a whole new world out there in marketing, what you learned in school doesn’t apply anymore. Sharing is the new currency and attention is the new jackpot.

2007 National AAF conference: Louisville

First things first: Louisville’s ad federation has the right attitude- seems to be connected to the community, realizes the value of bringing people in from all over the country- and showing them Louisville’s best.

The hotel, didn’t look like much on the outside as I pulled up on the motorcycle after a really hot ride from Dayton- but inside- the place is grand. Really amazing main ballroom- and a lobby that makes you think back to the grand hotels of the 30’s and 40’s. It’s 2 years old- and a Marriott- only complaint I’ve heard is no wireless in the rooms (you have to use a cable and pay for access- although access is free downstairs if you type in “Public Wireless” and then give your name). Even heard the chef came out and made a custom vegetarian meal for one of the attendees- that’s customer service.

The goodie bag from AAF was OK- the one from Louisville AAF- rocked- a box of girl scout cookies, Makers Mark Burbon Chocalates (I had one and got a buzz) a t-shirt, and their club magazine “Communique” which is awesome. I happened to sit with their board at lunch- and the people were friendly and firmly believe that Louisville has a shot at becoming the next Minneapolis or Miami. It’s that kind of winners attitude that needs to come to Dayton.

Got to see three student NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition) presentations for Coke. One was great- from SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design)- the other two were weak. Going back to my judging of Postal Vault in the districts last year- same issues in presentation: the client doesn’t need to know who you are, what your name is- let the work, the ideas, the analysis be the star. Even if you are David Oglivy, Howard Luck Gossage and Bill Bernbach, the people who will see your ad won’t know, they’ll just like it- or hate it. With the average CMO life expectancy dropping by the day (the Macy’s CMO just left after 13 months) the only people who care about the names of people working on the account are the ones trying to use the old “no one ever got fired for buying IBM” (or any other leading brand). Face it- if your ads are working the checks keep coming- it’s only when there is a hickup do people start thinking “Oh, we need Agency XYZ working on the account.” So, students- all your school branding, titles, etc- are moot- just start out with- “I’m Jason, and here is the account planning data to justify our strategy” and move into the meat.

I’m also hating the memorized speeches that, if one person loses their lines- the others all pipe in – face it, if you want to deliver lines- don’t be in advertising, go into theater (or hire actors to deliver your pitches)- now, more than ever advertising is about having a conversation with the customer- you wouldn’t do that from a script, would you? Feel confident in your ability to deliver- ad lib- it has more authenticity and that closes deals- not a push paly and off you go type presentation.

In a forum session “Digital Innovations & Social Networking” they had to expand the room to get all the people in. Great, but, the speakers were in chairs- where anyone sitting in the back couldn’t see them, some staging would have been great. Well moderated session by Murray Gaylord of the New York Times- and by all means, moderating panels is an art- and this was better than most. The scary part was that probably half the audience had no clue what “Second Life” is- which means a lot of clubs should be adding speakers on Web 2.0 to their speakers lists asap.

Understand What Crispin Porter + Bogusky doesn’t flyer front

Which brings me to my last morsel of the day- I was dropping off my Understand What Crispin Porter + Bogusky doesn’t flyer (link is to a printable PDF) for club execs and schools to promote me as a speaker- and seminar presenter. Next thing you know- I’m being told to “Cease and desist” from my little guerrilla marketing effort. It’s unclear if it’s because I didn’t pay big bucks to be a sponsor, or because I said “Understand what Crispin Porter + Bogusky doesn’t” on the piece (apparently it’s ok to compare detergents in advertising- by name, but not ad agencies). This news was delivered by our club exec director who seems to feel that any kind of self promotion is evil- but, she gave me a card of an AAF executive that was the authority on this.

Back of Postcard with concepts that are covered in the seminar/talk

I’m almost surprised I wasn’t told to take off my Next Wave t-shirt. I’m tempted to wear my “I blogged your mom” t-shirt tomorrow- just to take the edge off these people. If you can’t have fun at a convention of ad people- what is this world coming to?

I’ll have more after Friday’s festivities. And, to any of you who are here- and have read this far- when was the last time you put some new content on your agency site?

And last but not least- If you are a student- and haven’t bought Steve Lance’s “The little blue book of advertising” yet- shame on you. It’s a classic- and well worth the $14 to have an autographed copy. Forget the mojitos- get some marketing mojo from someone who understands this new economy.

Consumer Generated Content gone bad

Call this round 5,839,493 in the continuing saga of letting customers generate your content. While everyone thinks they are an expert on advertising, few really are. While we live in a society that has the attention span that makes the 40 yard dash seem like forever- attempts to capture attention “by any means possible” are backfiring left and right.

Some may still believe that “Any press is good press”- but that was when newspapers ended up in birdcages instead of online forever.

When you start mixing religion with your brand- be aware, you could either lose or gain customers- and it may be permanent. Several times a year “Hobby Lobby” runs full page ads about Jesus- Christmas, Easter – and it makes me wonder how many Jews, Hundus, Muslims, Buddists etc. choose not to shop there every time.

When it comes to controversy as a marketing tool, it’s ok when you you are the upstart- but if you are the market leader, you are taking chances- here is the article about how God and Starbucks went on a collision course here in the flyover states:

Woman expresses indignation at quote on Starbucks cup
By Margo Rutledge Kissell Staff Writer

SPRINGBORO — – Michelle Incanno was an admitted Starbucks addict.

She’d buy the company’s coffee beans every week. Whenever she’d get the chance to drop by a Starbucks, she would, placing the same order every time: a large, house brewed coffee with nonfat milk and two Splenda. When the Seattle-based chain opened a drive-through near her Springboro home, she was in java heaven.

That was until she got an unexpected jolt last week from her coffee cup.

Printed on the cup was: “Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.”

It is attributed to Bill Schell, a Starbucks customer from London, Ontario, and was included on the cup as part of an effort by the company to collect different viewpoints and spur discussion.

“As someone who loves God, I was so offended by that. I don’t think there needs to be religious dialogue on it. I just want coffee,” said Incanno, a married mother of three who is Catholic.

She wasn’t satisfied with a company disclaimer saying the quote is the author’s opinion, not necessarily that of Starbucks. It invites customers to respond at www.starbucks.com/wayiseeit.

Starbucks spokeswoman Sanja Gould said the collection of thoughts and opinions is a “way to promote open, respectful conversation among a wide variety of individuals. “

But Incanno said her Starbucks days are over.

“I wouldn’t feel right going back,” she said.

This morning- it was the “most popular story” at the Dayton Daily News site- which means it will be making the rounds- and eventually becoming sermon fodder for the fire and brimstone set- and possibly setting off yet another Starbucks boycott.

I went to the Starbucks site- and couldn’t find this quote on the site (btw- the site wasn’t very web 2.0) and am already wondering if this had been pulled because of complaints already.

Often times agencies look for “hot, young, talent” to “spark” their creativity- and with many of the big agencies isolated from “mainstream America” by being in the major meccas of advertising- sometimes the sensibilities of business get overlooked.

No matter what your position on religion, it’s best to check it for being a universally accepted theme before allowing it to make it into your advertising.

Note: a quick Google of this phrase only brings up the Dayton Daily News article. I’m sure that will change soon.

The Next Wave list of Dayton Ad Agencies is a prime Marketing Resource

Typically, the only thing that my alma matter does for me is call to ask for money. Found this backlink at the Wright State College of Business for links on resources to help find jobs in marketing. We are the only listed local resource.

Typically, every single job hunter looking for a position in advertising in the Dayton, Cincinnati or Columbus area has been to our site thanks to our page: Agencies that aren’t The Next Wave, a list of ad agencies.

It’s so popular- we’ve even been copied by Brainwave Connection who now claim to be “The Next Wave of E-marketing” in an attempt to confuse people and get higher search placement. (update 2021- they’ve disappeared)

Career Services: Alumni: Services: Major Specific Links: Business
Marketing
Advertising Age
Business Job Finder: Explore Business Careers
Careers in Marketing
Economists and Marketing Research Analysts
Marketing & Sales Jobs Page
Marketing Jobs
Marketing Major in the Raj Soin College of Business
Public Relations Society of America
So You’re Thinking About a Marketing Career
The Ad Council
The Next Wave: Dayton Area Advertising Agencies

We believe that our job is to provide useful, helpful content on the web- not just to be “The Next Wave of e-marketing” – but to help people find jobs and the best ad agencies in Dayton to help them solve their specific marketing challenges.

We also do it because we understand the web- and guerrilla marketing- and if you don’t believe us- you can always look to see what BrainWave Connections says about us:

For more information on competitive online ranking and positioning, contact BrainWave Emarketing.
The Next Wave

Leading practitioners of (guerrilla marketing). Not for the feint of heart.
www.thenextwave.biz
100 Bonner Street
Dayton OH 45410
937.228.4433

Here is a frame grab of the above, just in case they get embarrased about giving us such praise: The Next Wave, Dayton’s Guerrilla Marketing Agency

Guerrilla marketing and the golden rule

Guerrilla marketing started out as a way to get attention when a business had no cash to buy traditional media. Now, it’s what big companies look for when they are trying to make up for bad ad strategies.

The ad that was mistaken for a bomb.Turner Broadcast Systems is probably reconsidering the cost effectiveness of a recent “guerrilla marketing” campaign for its Cartoon Network show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” where NY agency Interference placed signs that were mistaken for bombs in major cities including Boston.

FOXNews.com – Turner, Interference to Pay $2 Million for Botched Cartoon Network Ad Campaign in U.S. Cities – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
BOSTON — Turner Broadcasting Systems and Interference Inc. agreed Monday to pay $2 million for an unconventional Cartoon Network advertising campaign last week that caused a widespread bomb scare, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.

This isn’t the first time that “guerrilla ads” for major corporations have caused more headaches than they were worth. Sony did a graffiti campaign for Playstation portable, and Microsoft plastered a city with static cling decals for a software product with similar bad PR results.

Chalking sidewalks, human billboards, street teams, PR stunts are all pretty harmless and effective tools. And while some may say that this botched campaign got lots of press, it didn’t end up being cheap or positive press for the client. Before considering a “guerrilla campaign” the question one must ask is: how would I feel if someone did this to my mother? My sister? Me? The golden rule applies.

Advertise onto others, as you would have others advertise onto me.

And, if you think you are getting a free lunch- here’s a tip: there is no such thing as a free lunch, just ask Turner Broadcast Systems.