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You Bad, Bad Creative.

22 Sep

Floating through teh interwebs over the weekend I found this great little illustration depicting the commonly found varieties of creative critics. Because sometimes, just sometimes – words ain’t enough to tell this story.

Thanks to Tom Fishburne: This One Time at Brand Camp.


Just keep breaking the rules, Come on get ready to rule

15 Sep

According to some people, there exists only a few simple rules when it comes to advertising – for instance, use provocative visuals and the less copy the better.

Advertising rules (or what have you) are made to be broken and well, if you break them badly, there’s not much of a recovery, your product is lost like that brand …what was it called again…?

If you do it right – it sells the product, the message and leaves the audience wanting to know more and see more. Just like a little campaign running at the moment with Cadbury and the Phil Collins drumming gorilla. ‘Google it’ and you will find a tonne of blogs and articles talking about the nature and idea behind the campaign

“…what does it mean…I don’t get it…Have you seen that Cadbury ad…I can’t stop thinking about that Cadbury TV commercial…I love it…I hate it…etc…”
The point is, these people can’t stop talking about Cadbury and it’s spreading like wildfire, exactly as they’d hoped.

I want to bring up another campaign devised by Crowley Webb for an Irish pub in New York, called Garcia’s. Its an oldie, it ran through in 1989 and it is one brilliant campaign that broke a few little rules and is worth remembering.

Each week for nine weeks in a row, a new billboard would appear in the same location, with a simple “missed connection” message. The first three sported a white typeface on a red background and sounded like the typical love-struck guy…

– “Angel in red- Saw you at Garcia’s Irish Pub. Love to meet you. – William”

– “Angel in red- Still waiting: Garcia’s Pub, Friday? – William”

– “Angel in red- I’m going broke with these billboards. Garcia’s …please! – William.”

On week four William gets a reply (red typeface on a white background)

– “Hey Willie, I’m no angel, but I do wear red. Garcia’s Saturday. -Candi”

Then back to another Red Billboard –

– “Angel in red- Candi was tempting but she wasn’t you. Friday at Garcia’s Pub? – William.”

There are a few more twists and turns before William finally gets the girl.

But, notice the boards didn’t push the ‘Weekday Parma Special’ or promise us that same boring cliche that all restaurants promise. Instead, they invite us into a story. A story where we could all play a part in.
And that is timeless marketing inspiration.

And here’s the Cadbury video, just one more time…

We tried to make it work, you in a cocktail skirt…

26 Aug
say hello goodbye.

say hello, wave goodbye.

Last week, a friend and I were engaged in a conversation after a long anticipated wait for a table at a new-ish coffee spot in the burbs of Melbourne.
Now, I don’t normally trek that far away to find decent coffee, I know my sources, stick to them and enjoy them as they are. But this time, I was up for a challenge, and could no longer fight the rave reviews of this new little hot spot.

So open mind, empty cup and a sure a 25 minute wait (not necessarily a bad thing), we sat down.

The context was minimal and warming; the staff polite enough and the coffee? Fantastic, fresh and accompanied with swift delivery.


And there seems to usually be a ‘but’ lately.

The ambience took a plunge; the sound around us seemed to drop to a silent whisper as the waitress abruptly requested for the two women sitting adjacent to leave.

“Can you please clear up your bill and leave, we have got customers waiting for this table and you’ve had it long enough.”

And as she snatched the cash from the unwilling and embarrassed patron, she flicked her neck towards us and said, “We don’t usually ask our customers to leave, its just they’ve been there for 2.5hours on 2 coffees. You know?”

No. I don’t know.

Are we all on a timer here?

Now I have done my fair share of customer service, worked in a few cafes around the city. Never have I seen this form of customer service. I mean, we’ve all seen the soup Nazi on Seinfeld and laughed, but this was just plain ‘real life’ ignominy.

Which draws me back to a point Seth Godin makes about value of customer service:

“If you treat a customer like he’s wrong, he’s going to leave, and probably tell a bunch of other people.”

Calling new businesses.
One irrefutable way to market yourself is by word of mouth.

People trust personal experience. If my friends tell me it was a good coffee, I’ll bank on that, they tell me it was a horrible experience – I won’t waste a minute of my time. And I’ll be sure to pass that on for them as well.

Basic knowledge. These women were offended. Hell, I was offended. And they sure as hell won’t be returning with friends anytime soon.

And for those of you still unsure about the value of customer service?
Please. Do us all a favour and look at this.