Archive | July 2013

New PSA Campaign Gives Garbage a Second Life

Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council have teamed up to get people motivated to recycle. The new PSA campaign uses plastic bottles and aluminum cans – recycled into a bench, bike, sports stadium and more – to illustrate how recyclable materials can be given a second, useful life. The national campaign includes print, outdoor, radio and TV spots.

The first Keep America Beautiful campaign in the 1960s used “Susan Spotless” to promote anti-littering efforts with taglines like “Every litter bit hurts” and “Don’t be a litterbug.” (Oh the days of simple messaging…)

In its 60+ years, Keep American Beautiful, has used many strategies to encourage people to be responsible for their trash and raise awareness about pollution. In fact, four years ago the agency created a recycling department, which solely focuses on waster diversion and partners with state organizations, government officials, trade associations and businesses to advance its goals.

To get a handle on why its important to remind people to recycle consider these statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2011 survey…

  • The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash annually (that’s more than 250 million tons of trash for the country as a whole)
  • Only about 35% of this trash was actually recycled, while 52% of people say they are very or extremely knowledgeable about properly recycling.

So if people are aware its important to recycle, why aren’t they?
According to Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council says its “partially because many of them do not know what they should recycle.” This campaign will help people make the connection between products that can be recycled and the value they can have when reused.

Of course the campaign has its own new URL, where you can learn more about giving your garbage a second life and find your local recycling center.

So before you throw out that next can of pop, think… “When I grow up, I don’t want to be a piece of garbage. And if you recycle me, I won’t be.”


Creative Ways to Capture Leads

794887_penWhile not everyone is the best writer or can afford to pay one for every marketing campaign, it is critical to communicate your products and services and their value to prospective customers.  Fortunately, I came across this great article on Optify about campaign strategies to capture new leads without doing a lot of writing.

Businesses can take advantage of offers in a marketing message to enhance the effectiveness of the campaign and get people to opt-in. Soft-ask campaign offers include things like eBooks, blogs, and whitepapers. These types of offers require a long writing period and editing, and if you chose to use a professional technical writer, it can be expensive to produce.

So what are some of the things you can offer to a customer to get them interested in  your business products and services without a lot of writing?

Let’s start with the Free Consultation. This is one of the easiest ways to get interested prospects to opt-in for your messages. Everyone likes the word “Free” and a consultation is your opportunity to sell your products and services.

Another freebie to consider is a Free Quote. By offering the free quote you have interested buyers reach out and opt-in.Adding a landing page as a buffer to see pricing is another way to get your interested prospects to give you their contact info.

Customized sweepstakes and messages focused on giveaways is a great way to get more leads who are in the research phase of the buying cycle.

For people who are more visual, talking is much easier than writing. When creating a video, use a brief voiceover about a specific topic and find interesting graphics, photos or screen shots of your product – talking heads are boring so keep it visually interesting. Also, we suggest you keep your video/podcast under 90 seconds.

Making a list, checklist or scorecard does not require a lot of writing but can engage your prospective customer. People like to read lists (hey you’re reading one now). Its simple, useful and effective. Consider giving a preview of the list on your landing page and offer the complete list in exchange for an opt-in.

Finally, consider hosting an Open House or event (or be part of an event) where you can directly interact with customers and prospects. It may cost some for light refreshments or a booth, but making personal connections with customers is priceless.

Have you tried any of these with your marketing campaigns? What other ways have you used to communicate with prospective customers?

Google Changes Ranking Advice… Again


According to SearchEngineLand  Google recently made new changes to how it ranks your website. While we believe that social media, photo/link sharing and content are playing a greater role in how search engines rank websites, Google is taking it moving away from it.

The change comes as Google tries to stay consistent with its general messaging that content is what webmasters should focus on, not links.

… Interesting change. I wonder how many webmasters are going to begin making updates to client sites. I know I’m going to reread the content on my site a little closer.

As a bonus, this video from Google’s web spam fighting team head, Matt Cutts, was really helpful. It answers some key misconceptions in the SEO Industry.

25th Anniversary of the Last Great Ad Slogan

Let’s join AdWeek in wishing a Happy 25th Birthday to the Nike “Just Do It” slogan created by Wieden +Kennedy, possibly the last great tagline in advertising history.



The 2013 Weinermobile Run

Finally some summer weather and I can’t help but think of sunscreen, ice cream and Wienermobiles… well hotdogs really but in this case its Oscar Mayer.

The great Wienermobile Run of 2013 encourages consumers to follow the promotion on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagam) and watch for each “Hotdoggers” team progress… the team names are nearly as ridiculous. The Autobuhn, DriftDog and SpeedyWiener, Borntobun, Bunderstruck, and Hellonbuns teams are racing around the lower 48 states accumulating points as the drivers perform tasks and challenges submitted by the public through the company website:

The longstanding tradition of engaging customers with the Wienermobile is expanding its efforts to use social media to further engage with its customers. The teams blogs are fun and filled with video, photos and travels of each team meeting real fans. If you visit the site and join a team you also get a bumper sticker and a chance for a free Tshirt if your team wins the race.

Then participate for your team to help win challenges like this one…Everyone is crazy about bacon! Take photos of people using fully cooked, real bacon as a mustache. The team with the most photos by Monday, July 22 earns the 50 points.

What could be better than hotdogs and bacon?

The Wienermobile Run is not the only example of how social media are transforming event marketing (experiential marketing). More advertisers like Silverado, A.1 and Cabela’s are joining the road trip experience and engaging with customers in new ways.

In an article on the New York Times:
The A.1. campaign is being created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, part of MDC Partners. “It’s letting A.1. lovers know we love them back,” said Bob Winter, executive creative director at the Crispin Porter office in Miami, by “not just talking about the spirit of ‘A.1. for life,’ but by demonstrating it in the real world, creating experiences to help people see what it’s like to live A.1.”

I wrote recently about reaching Millenials through engaging marketing efforts… I can only see this type of trend growing.

Tips for Managing Creative People

I have to share this article from co.Create on Managing Creative People… some good advice in here from the best professionals in the business at Crispin Porter +Bogusky/ CPB. Regardless of what you believe, there is an art to getting the most out of your teams of creative professionals.

The perfect idea comes from the right combination of inspiration, hard work, experience, intuition and confidence, so getting the best work out of creative people on a consistent and efficient basis can be challenging.

Here are a few of their ideas for motivating and maximizing your talent.

SET THE BAR. Every agency works differently, so different skill sets or different temperaments work better at different places.

IDENTIFY AND LEVERAGE TRAITS OF INDIVIDUALS. Have an up to date understanding of each persons talent. What are the skills and traits people need for certain roles? If you have an objective assessment of everyone, you can work to optimize those strengths by assembling the right skills and talents for projects.

CATER TO STRENGTHS. Knowing the ways in which people produce great work is as important as knowing what specific skill they can add to the team.

KEEP YOUR HANDS DIRTY. When mentoring and managing the agency talent, get involved with the actual work. Lead by example.

SUGGEST- BUT DON’T NECESSARILY IMPOSE- A PROCESS. Creative people are often as protective of their process as they are of their ideas.

CREATE HEALTHY CONFUSION. While structure has its benefits, so does a bit of chaos. Its important to work on multiple projects… not to overwhelm you but to give you time to focus on something else while your brain processes and works on the concept over time.

ENCOURAGE SWITCHING OFF TO SWITCH ON. Being prepared ahead of time is the biggest key… keep calendars of when meeting and deadlines are scheduled, employee vacations, etc. to keep everyone on board and on task.

KEEP THEM PRODUCING. Try to ensure people are continually putting new work out into the world. It sounds simple, but it’s about keeping in mind how to keep people in positions to get things done.

MAKE RETENTION A CONSCIOUS CHOICE. Part of the job is to foster an environment that people don’t want to leave.

KNOW WHEN TO- AND BE ABLE TO- SPEAK THE TRUTH. “Sometimes saying the hardest thing is the best mentorship you can give, as opposed to letting someone stay in a rut.” Consider encouragement, organization, keen pairing, and  offering really tough advice.

Another Sign of Digital New Changes

The New York Times recently changed its policies to limit the number of free articles that people can read online and through its mobile app as part of its effort to increase paid online subscriptions.

While newspapers and news media in general face a continued advertising slump, outlets are seeking opportunities to generate revenue from their online news sources as more readers turn to digital media for their news content.

According to a recent article on Ad Age, “Last year, revenue from subscriptions surpassed ad sales – turning the typical business model for newspaper publishers on its head.”

“They’re trying to make the online product more valuable,” said Edward Atorino, an analyst at Benchmark Co. “Any step to get more digital subscribers is important because that’s the way the industry’s going as print circulation is going down.”

The New York Times Co has seen success in its paid subscription strategies. It first introduced the online pay wall in 2011 and tightened its monthly limit on free articles on the web to 10 from 20 a year later. The company plans both cheaper, more limited digital subscriptions and a more expensive package that would also include “extras” like preferential access to Times events.

I think this is definitely a trend we are going to see more of as the newspaper/media industry experiences fewer paid print subscriptions and more online subscriptions for major city new dailies.