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March 2013
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Grab the Hanky - Emotion Rules

Let's say you are trying to re-brand your product or service because you've had a recent spate of bad press or sales have slumped or your brand is just "tired".  What would you do? Man Eyes Emotion

Many marketers would look to reinforce their image by creating a campaign that speaks to the cost/benefit aspect or perhaps go out of their way to become "historical" by saying they've been around a long time so..."trust us".  Or they might use the compare/contrast campaign.  Trouble is, none of them work as well as...emotional messages.

Smart marketers know the real way to re-brand is the campaign that tugs at the heart.  The campaign that makes the brand more "human" and less "corporate" will win the day.

In our marketing presentation "Five in Twenty Four" we talk about how emotional advertising trumps "fact based" campaigns and reference the study done by Hamish Pringle and Peter Field published by our friends at Advertising Age in March 2009.

This past week we've seen a couple of giants roll out emotional based campaigns.  Dove used a forensic artist to draw images of women as they said they saw themselves and then as other saw them.  It's a campaign that works...and now has nearly 30 million views on YouTube.

Now Johnson & Johnson is making an emotional appeal an an attempt to put some bad press in the rear-view mirror.  Here's a sample:


Once again it works. 

So, the message here is when you're considering a re-branding campaign spend the time and money to do something worth remembering.  Emotion...rules.

What do you think?




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  You can also join us on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!

Unity Point Health...WHAT?

During the past week we've seen and heard a bunch about the new name for Iowa Health System now called Unity Point Health.  We understand this name Unity Point Iowa Health logo transition has been going on for a while.  We can't confirm but sources have told us the effort has been going on for nearly two years. Clearly, based on the large number of television ads, the marketing team has been working on this for a long time.

We "get" the name change.  After all when the company is doing business in multiple states it makes sense to brand the product using a more universal name.  However, as you can see by the logo...not much really changed.  We would have rather seen a more dramatic alteration of the old logo but, here too, we understand the emotional attachment to the old.

However we're puzzled by the scripts used in the radio ads and voice overs.  Here is an example.  Listen carefully.


Not trying to be snarky but is Iowa Health, now Unity Point, admitting that for decades they have had this health care thing all...wrong?  Just now they have decided to put patients first?  Just now they are coming to grips with coordinated health care between the physician, hospital and clinic?

It's a head shaker and the result of when scriptwriters get ahead of themselves trying to re-make a brand when, in reality, only the name has been changed.  That's our take...yours?




If you want to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or join us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by...

Customer Service Lessons from...Chubby Checker

We're sure you are wondering, "How could Chubby Checker hold the keys to improving customer service for my business?"  OK..fair question and here is the story.

Chubby Mike WindishA couple of weeks ago I made contact with Chubby Checker about his appearance in Iowa.  We've been friends for years but I'd never seen him perform.  He, right away, shot me an email saying, "Love to see you! Here is the contact information for my road manager Mike Windish."  If you've had any experience with the entertainment industry you know that customer service is often lacking.  But I called Mike and left a message.  Within thirty minutes he called me back to make "arrangements".  I told him we'd buy tickets and he said, "No sir, Chubby insists" and asked me to call once we arrived.  I did and he was there to greet our party of three and the experience was...great.

So...what are the lessons your business can learn from Chubby?  Here you go:

  • Return Phone Calls - many times we are the folks wanting to buy but trying to get a return call is often futile.
  • Take the Time - Mike Windish is a busy guy with a family and a very public job (he's also the drummer in the band) yet he took the time to visit about a variety of things and that was surprising.
  • Follow Through - It could have been, "Your tickets will be at Will Call" and that was it.  But, Mike followed through with a text and a phone call to make sure.
  • Be Nice - We had NO idea what Mike looked like.  Yet when we entered the concert area my phone rang again. "I think you just walked past me..."  When we met he said, "I figured that was you. You have a presence..."  He didn't have to say that.
  • Make It Easy - It was all Mike Windish who set up the after concert meeting.  Made sure security knew who we were as well as the band.
  • Never Forget - Who the customer is...and what they can mean to your business.  Mike...gets it.

When we were leaving I asked Mike how it was that a 32 year old (former school teacher by the way) understood how critical his job of "customer service" is.  He said, "I am honored to be working for a wonderful teacher.  Chubby Checker is the very best at understanding what needs to be done...every remain successful."





If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or let's get together on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for coming by!

Social Media Strategist?

If you were to "Google" the words "Social Media Strategist" you would Wizardfind an endless stream of people selling their knowledge about this new media.  LinkedIn offers this definition:  "Social media strategists are marketing professionals who specialize in the research, planning, development and (often) implementation of a business' social media program. Companies need to understand that social media is not a single campaign. They must "socialize" in the arenas where they create a presence."

I agree and it is that final sentence that you and your business needs to understand. 

Over the past few years we've run into dozens of "social media strategists" or at least they bill themselves as such.  Not long ago we asked on our agency Facebook Page and on Twitter for a recommendation or two so we might visit with them to learn exactly what

The response was underwhelming.

So here are a couple of tips when and if your business goes out seeking a "social media strategist" to help your marketing efforts:

  • Investigate - It's pretty easy to find out who is and who is simply posing.  Check their social media feeds and see exactly how active they are.  What kind of content do they deliver and are they the right fit for your business;
  • Understand Marketing - Look again at the definition. " media is not a single campaign."  In other words it will not replace all existing marketing efforts. Anybody who suggests it them the door;
  • One Trick Pony - If the person who is pitching you understands only Facebook or only uses Twitter and isn't able to talk the many other forms of social media...beware;
  • Coach or Take Over - Some in the field offer "coaching".  They realize the best social media program comes from people deeply involved with the product or service.  We tend to favor that method rather than simply being the "voice" long term. 
  • A Good Fit - Whomever you choose to help needs to have an understanding of your business and your market.  On the job training of your social media strategist takes time...and money.

Not every person involved in social media is a "strategist".  While anybody can throw together a few Tweets, a Facebook Post or a Blog...not everybody understands how to plan and make  Good luck out there and be careful.




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or let's connect on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for reading!  

Video Worth Sharing...Dove

Over the years we've produced hundreds of hours of video for television and the web.  That process is so much more complex than most business people realize.  To produce a high quality video for business it takes planning, talented staff and a firm grip on the "end result".

That's why we want to share this powerful piece with you.  Dove is an old brand and we would bet it's not on the "want list" of many young women.  However, this very classy piece may just change that.


Well written, filmed and scored it is a very touching piece that, we think, ranks among the very best pieces of marketing video...ever.  And, again, that is no accident.  This took lots of time, talent and work.  Well done!





If you have a comment, feel free to post here.  And/or follow us on Twitter @InsightAdv and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Get Ready Main Street - The 800lb Gorilla is Coming

Wal Mart New LogoIf you own a small business this news should warm your heart.  Walmart has announced that it will shift some of their national television advertising dollars to local TV in some 60 markets. The company will create 1,500 "hyper-local" television ads targeting price.  Actually, they will be targeting the local retail stores which dot Main Street.


Because they want a bigger slice of the grocery store business.  But, you can bet it does not stop there.

The retail giant will not only produce a mind-blowing 1,500 ads they will also extend the life of the campaign by using social media.

Before you put up the "Out of Business" sign some things you can and should be (Uhm...HyVee, Fareway, Dahls and others...)

  • Hammer Local - You are already the local business.  Today get "hyper-local" in your marketing efforts.  You live in the community.  You give back to the community.  You serve local community friends, family and neighbors.
  • Get Creative - There are a dozen ways in which you can top this move if you sit down and think, "How do I better serve shoppers?"
  • Get Personal - While Walmart is going to highlight price by comparing sales receipts you can highlight the people you serve and the people that serve the consumer.  Make it a personal experience.
  • Get Help - Trust me, you can't do this alone. I realize you "think" you know advertising/marketing it's not your core craft.  You make stuff to sell stuff or buy stuff to sell stuff.  Marketers are the folks who help you sell...more with better communication.

You can not attack this with Facebook alone.  You can not respond with cool signs.  You cannot do this with newspaper ads.  You can't do this with a speech at your local Chamber.  You can't.  It is that simple.  To be able to extend your brand to your core audience you must employ a host of methods...and you might want to get started today.

If you would like to read the article from our friends at Advertising Age, here you go.




If you would like to comment here, have at it.  To connect with us on Twitter it's @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by...and hope it helps.  Michael

The "Welcome Brand"

Sign Dont do thisThe other day I was having a discussion with a friend whose wife works in the service world.  Think maybe YMCA, apartment leasing, laundry, or other public accommodation business.  

When she became the boss one of the first things she did was stand back and examine how the business communicates with the public with...(ready?) signage.  You know, those (usually home-grown) signs that inform the public about what they should not do?  Signs that sprang up because somebody did something and it was deemed this activity was not to be tolerated so the answer became, "Let's put up a sign!".  Usually a sign that deals with the negative aspect of an action.

  • "Do Not Use This __________!"
  • "If You Remove This _________ You Are Liable!"
  • "Use of foul language is grounds for immediate dismissal!"
  • "Failure to sign in is against company rules!"

Notice that "negative branding" also requires you to use multiple fonts and sometimes color.  Pretty huh?

That got me to thinking about what creates a welcome brand.  (Tip: It ain't  any of the above.)

So what about your brand?  Is how you communicate with consumers positive or negative?  In advertising do you highlight the benefits of your product/service or do you contrast and compare?  Are your marketing messages direct and to the point or do you tend to use "soft" & "friendly"? Do you "listen" to your customers and then distill what they have asked for and match it with helpful advice or set yourself up as an authority?

My point is if you work hard at becoming a "welcome brand" by pushing the negative to the background you'll be more successful with more consumers.  People not only buy from people...they also buy from "nice people".




Got an opinion?  Feel free to share here.  Or, let's connect on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!

Networking in Silos?

This past week I've gone to several networking events.  Some formal like the Social Media Club of Des Moines and some very unstructured like SMCDSMCentral Iowa Bloggers.  Three interesting thoughts:

Networking for Business - Networking does not always mean business but these events do stimulate the thought process as we interact with friends in person rather than digitally.

Networking Silos - Just like neighborhoods the networking events I've been to over the past week are populated by...the same core group of people.  Sure new people pass in and out but, for the most part, these gatherings are places where we see many of the same folk. If you are shy and withdrawn sometimes it's hard to make new friends/connections.  Reach out and introduce yourself.  

Original Networking - I belong to two Chambers of Commerce. These, I think, are the "original networking events".  Friendships are made but the "talk" is vastly different. The events that are dominated by younger independent business people are peppered with one idea after another and creativity seems to be the topic of discussion.  When I go to a chamber event it feels different.  The conversation is friendly, supportive but not very "creative".

My point in all of this is to urge you to branch out and go to different networking events where the conversation and "feel" are not always the same.  Who may pick up a golden nugget of wisdom.



If you would like to connect shoot me an email.  Or let's get together on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by! Michael Libbie

Just for FUN:  "The SHOCKING Story of Central Iowa Bloggers!"



Sending Folks to the Competition...

The other day I was visiting with a sales and marketing professional who works in a very competitive industry.  He was calling on a perspective client, learning how they approach the marketing their product. Man Pointing Away

When the discussion came to "leads" the perspective client said, "This is the email I send out to individuals who have contacted us and want more information about our company."  The form email said, in part, "If you would like to see photos and find out more information please go to..." and at the bottom of the note were two live links to national websites that specialize in this industry.  No, not THEIR website...but sites that contain nearly every competitor in their business.

My friend asked, "Why would you send your leads to the competition?"  The employee had a "blank look" on her face and said, "Because it helps me get leads!"  My friend answered with, "But, Susan, you already have the lead in your hand.  When you send the person to a mega industry site that has nearly every competitor also vying for business your begging them to look elsewhere."

She still didn't get it.

Sometimes business people don't "get it" and just because they have always done something the same way, over and makes it "right".

The question needs to be asked, "What changes can you make in your marketing/advertising methods that will improve your chance of closing the sale vs. sending your customers elsewhere?"




Let's connect by email, give us a call or on Twitter it's @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!