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Branding

FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Let’s Get Rid of Performance Based Marketing, Huh?

January 29th, 2009

So apparently the Internet Advertising Bureau is dissatisfied with search-based Internet ads.  Seems they want to “overcome perceptions of ‘creative shabbiness’ in online media, and to help prevent the slide toward a ‘performance-based’ Internet advertising economy.”  Ouch.

While I can’t help but shake my head at the elevated nose and depressed intelligence of a dying attitude that associates “performance-based advertising” with creative shabbiness, that’s not what really bothered me about this piece.

What bothered me was two-fold:

1)  …

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FutureNow Article
Monday, Dec. 8, 2008

Branding Through Reverse Camouflage

December 8th, 2008

Do you have the courage to say what you’re not?

Most people don’t want to draw that sharp line of distinction, and it’s why their marketing efforts blend into the clutter.

Discernible edges and silhouettes allow us to visually “grip” an object and separate figure from ground.  Eliminate those edges and you’ll effectively camouflage yourself.

In the picture above, notice how the legs present a solid silhouette and are easily identified, while the man’s upper body camouflage breaks up his silhouette and…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Sword Arms vs. (Semi) Scientific Advertising

November 17th, 2008

While most copywriters have avidly studied Claude Hopkins’ Scientific Advertising, very few have even heard of Theodore MacManus, let alone read his book, The Sword Arm of Business.  And yet MacManus was, in some ways, a more successful ad man, having:

Established his own (very successful) ad agency Launched the Dodge and Chrysler brands Hired and mentored Leo Burnett, creator of the Marlboro Man, Tony the Tiger, Pillsbury Doughboy, and many other advertising icons that made his clients rich Turned positioning…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

The Brand That Sneezed Its Way to Success and Then…

October 28th, 2008

Caught a nasty coldIn an earlier post I challenged readers to come up with a brand that was built within the last 10 years largely upon advertising, and without the benefit of a manifestly superior product or service.

Most people failed by mentioning brands that were built well before the 10-year limit.  But one reader suggested Airborne, and I had to agree that it met the criteria, even if it was the exception that proved the rule.

How so?

Well, first off,…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

Microsoft’s Ad Vs. Apple’s Three Move Set

October 24th, 2008

First, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch Microsoft’s response to Apple’s infamous “I’m a Mac” campaign.

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s the question: what do you want to bet that Apple has been just waiting – even itching – for Microsoft to release that kind of response to their “I’m a Mac” campaign?

Why do I ask that?  Because I’d bet anything that Mac’s marketing was smart enough to engage in what Mike Smock has termed The Three Move Set.  You see, when…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

Are Political Consultants Better at Marketing than Most Marketers?

October 21st, 2008

It sometimes looks that way to me.  At least they seem more tightly focused on creating effective messaging than many marketers.  Political campaign consultants routinely manipulate the nuances of words in order to consciously frame and re-frame the way people think about a topic, while far too many marketers don’t.

Here’s an example from the world of politics:

When California’s conservatives wanted to define the word “marriage” by law, Proposition 22 was added to the California ballot.  It was…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Dear Airline Industry, Being “Least Awful” Won’t Save You

June 25th, 2008

derrie-air airlinesEach day it seems there’s a new headline about the latest “amenity” for which an airline plans on charging us, which, of course, causes a ripple effect as every other airline chooses to follow suit with a justification that comes across as, “Well, now that Airline X doesn’t have to give you free water, neither do we.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this sound like the opposite of the effects competition is supposed to create?

Like us, many of you…

...continue to read "Dear Airline Industry, Being “Least Awful” Won’t Save You"

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

Superhero Copywriting Tips: “Holy Persuasion, Batman!”

June 11th, 2008

future web copy superheroDo you have unique, untapped talents to show the world but find your efforts frustrated, either because you’re an outsider or because your own internal resistance gets in the way?

Would it surprise you to realize that most people self-identify with that description?

At some level, all of us feel alienated — from others, from ourselves, or both. We worry about not living up to our talents, so we gravitate toward things that allow us to feel empowered.

(iPhone 3G, anyone?)

Audiences love superheroes because…

...continue to read "Superhero Copywriting Tips: “Holy Persuasion, Batman!”"

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

“Green Marketing”? Save Some for the Fishes…

June 11th, 2008

Oceana and World Ocean Day are one example of Blue MarketingHere’s a great opportunity: The oceans are dying.

Seriously, the oceans are in horrible shape, and it’s your fault. You did it, Supply, Demand, Pollution and Overfishing. And if we don’t take ownership now, our brands, our children, and our collective appetite for seafood may never forgive us.

I’m not trying to bum you out, but the next time you feel the need to impress clients or co-workers with your sushi-ordering skills, you should at least know whether you’re eating sustainable fish.…

...continue to read "“Green Marketing”? Save Some for the Fishes…"

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, May. 27, 2008

I’m Not Illiterate, But I Did Stay at a Holiday Inn Express

May 27th, 2008

holiday inn express stay smartYou’ve probably seen the commercials: Nuclear meltdowns, pro sports athletic training, rodeo clowns, daredevil motorcycle riders — all sorts of people are smarter and more prepared for life because of their choice of hotel.

“Are you new to the team?” asks the nuclear engineer of the stranger who saves a frazzled control room from reactor meltdown.

“Actually, I’m with the tour group, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Holiday Inn Express has a brand promise: “Stay Smart.” Well, I…

...continue to read "I’m Not Illiterate, But I Did Stay at a Holiday Inn Express"

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