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Posts by Jeff Sexton

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner

July 28th, 2009
Human nature hasn’t changed and neither have the priorities required for successfully conveying your message.

Ogilvy on Advertising-1Contrary to common opinion, David Ogilvy didn’t have a preference for long copy.

What he had was an overwhelming bias towards anything that had been proven to work (which included long copy).  Ogilvy’s real, professed preferences were for consumer testing, research-driven techniques, and performance-based advertising in the truest sense of the term.

Based on those things, the conclusion he came to was that messaging and relevance had…

...continue to read "Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

The Princess Bride, Frame Switching, and Kick-butt Ads

July 22nd, 2009

Do yourself a favor and DON’T watch all of this video right off the bat.

Just watch the first 20 seconds of this ad and then pause it (don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you).

YouTube Preview Image

Now, how do you feel.  How much emotional punch did the scene carry?

OK.  Now restart the video and watch it through to the end.

****Gratuitous space strategically placed so as to avoid any plot spoilers *****

**** Keep Scrolling *****

****More Gratuitous space  *****

****Almost there ****

So even…

...continue to read "The Princess Bride, Frame Switching, and Kick-butt Ads"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Is Twitter ‘Digg’ing Their Own Ditch?

July 20th, 2009
So here’s the 5-step scenario I keep seeing repeated:

Twitter Ditch1) A new technology or application comes out.

2) It actually gives us a reliable signal. Something closely correlated with how things actually are.

3) The technology or application catches on and gradually becomes a social force of its own – or at least a social force amongst early adopters.

4) These next two happen more or less simultaneously:

It becomes the next big thing and the place where the cool kids hang out…

...continue to read "Is Twitter ‘Digg’ing Their Own Ditch?"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

Strong Copy vs. Cheeky Design

July 15th, 2009

Cheeky kid courtesy of ShutterstockMy previous post comparing billboards to online banner and space ads garnered positive comments and reviews – for the ads rather than my analysis!

Still, there was an unmistakable cry for more, and being the reader-pleasing whore that I am, well… here are some more innovative billboard ads ;)

So for the copywriters out there, here are a few examples where great copy/message beats clever design and visual puns:


Ouch!  Starbucks can’t be happy with that one.  Doesn’t get much more powerful that…

...continue to read "Strong Copy vs. Cheeky Design"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

Can Copy Create (added) Value On Its Own?

July 13th, 2009

ebay_pokemon_cards_bidIf a pack of Pokemon cards cost under $7 new, how much do you think an unopened pack would go for on e-bay?

What if the seller told an amusing story about that particular pack of Pokemon cards in the product description – would you bid more based on that?  Do you think others might?

Sounds silly, but based on a real-life incident, one mother collected $103.50 from the top bid (out of 44 other bids) on her pack of Pokemon…

...continue to read "Can Copy Create (added) Value On Its Own?"

FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jul. 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Pringles use of Story Appeal

July 9th, 2009

Pringle AdIf you haven’t heard yet, Pringles has received some rather high praise for a humorous and clickable banner ad.  But if you look past the fun-to-click aspect of the ad, you’ll find that the actual invitation to click the ad is rather subtle.

Nothing in the ad itself looks “clickable” – no colored and underlined text, no 3-d lighting effects or button-ish looking objects, etc.

Just a small word bubble from the Pringles guy saying “click.”  And if you scroll…

...continue to read "Pringles use of Story Appeal"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm

“C’mon, Man, Do Some of that Optimization Sh*t”

July 7th, 2009

hotshots-1With apologies to Anthony Edwards, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures, that’s what it feels like (some) clients say after looking at a set of more challenging Website improvement recommendations.

These clients want their conversion rates to improve, but they don’t want to have to change much.  After hearing tales of magical conversion rate lifts from simple tweaks, they look past the hard recommendations and ask that I “do some of that optimization stuff“.

And to be fair, sometimes easy website changes…

...continue to read "“C’mon, Man, Do Some of that Optimization Sh*t”"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2009 at 8:20 am

Billy Mays: If All You Remember is the Voice, You’re Missing Out.

June 30th, 2009

HE HAD A VOICE NO LIBRARIAN COULD LOVE – CAUSE HE ALWAYS TALKED LIKE THIS.  But look past the booming voice and easily parodied stage persona of the late Billy Mays and you’ll find an extraordinarily gifted pitch-man, worthy of his own TV show.

A pitch-man whose fame and success made him the target of more pitches than he ever gave.  Pitches made by desperate inventors looking for him to save them after they’d already mortgaged the house, spent the…

...continue to read "Billy Mays: If All You Remember is the Voice, You’re Missing Out."

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009

Are Your Analytics Causing You to Lose 30% of Your Sales?

June 16th, 2009

Most companies measure keyword performance – and especially PPC keyword performance – based on one factor: did that word or phrase bring converting visitors to the site on the visit in which they converted.

So the natural thing to do is trim non-performing words and phrases in order to increase the efficiency of your PPC spend.  And that’s exactly what one client did, except rather than increasing his efficiency, he dropped his sales by 30%.


Because, depending on what you…

...continue to read "Are Your Analytics Causing You to Lose 30% of Your Sales?"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jun. 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Visual Scandal, Story Appeal, and Banner Ads

June 8th, 2009

Steve Krug has famously compared Web pages to billboards, meaning that Web visitors are task oriented, and therefore on-the-move.  They click through websites, sizing up any individual page’s content in about as much time as a driver takes to glance up at a billboard, roughly 7 seconds or so.

The difference of course, is that material in the active window is being actively and consciously engaged and evaluated by the Web visitor, who can then slow down and read material…

...continue to read "Visual Scandal, Story Appeal, and Banner Ads"

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