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January 2013
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Sometimes It's Just...Tired

We see this often.  A brand that enjoyed superior market share rests and  Jc penny logo starts to lose its way.  All the while the folks responsible for the marketing insist it is just a "blip" and things will turn around.  When they don't the folks in charge of the bottom line get involved and the heads roll...the brand has a new launch and...sputters.  Why?

That's a question that plagues our friends over at JC Penny.  In 2012, despite increasing their media spending by 14% to $504 million, the company posted a sales loss of 25%.  In the fourth quarter alone sales slumped by 28%.

We have a theory that the company simply waited too long.  They waited too long to re-brand the chain as "hip" and young.  They waited too long to adjust their media spending patterns to match the "new hip" JC Penny.  They had a "tired brand" and coming back is going to take...time and money.

So, what about your business.  No, you don't have the cash JC Penny does but have you seriously considered how relevant you are to today's market? Have you spent the time and money to sit down and review what you are doing and where you need to go?

You better...and while you are pondering your business future you might want to invite somebody who "reads consumers" to the meeting. They may ask the questions which will help wake up your brand.

What do you think?  What are some of the best moves to "wake up a tired brand"?  Go:




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Business Development - Betting on Rural Iowa

Betting on the future of Rural Iowa Calcium Products, Inc. has purchased a vacant  1960’s school building located in tiny Gilmore City (pop. 504) DSC_1840 web and is in the process of transforming it into their corporate offices. “We’ve needed more space for a very long time”, says Craig Dick, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the firm which manufacturers north America’s most effective soil amendments. “The offices we co-located at one of our manufacturing plants.  You cannot imagine how dusty our old offices were. This arrangement will allow us to keep a presence in Gilmore City and give a boost to the local economy.”

Craig Dick said Calcium Products is seeking to add a number of people to their growing support team including customer service representatives, DSC_1842 webaccounting and administrative roles, and employees for other various positions. “We’ve been asked if we thought being in such a rural area would hinder our hiring. While it can be a bit more difficult to find people, when you do find someone in a rural area, their quality as an employee is unrivaled. When people are offered a good job with a very stable company and can stay in the community or return to the community they grew up in, it’s a winning combination for everyone." (Image: Accountant Susan Flurer standing in the gym area which will be transformed into offices.)

The employees of Calcium Products, Inc. aren’t the only people excited about this move.  Dick “Putter” Jergens is the mayor of Gilmore City and was helpful in securing the abandoned building. “I’d say it was sitting empty for at least fifteen years”, said Jergens.  “The local Catholic Church once had used it for their school and social functions.  But, as time went on and the congregation aged the building was used less and less.”  When asked about the cities relationship with Calcium Products, Inc. Jergens was quick to respond, “We are so proud of Calcium Products and their founder Larry Moore.  He and his family have done so much for Gilmore City and this is just another example.  This is good for Gilmore City because it’s a major boost.  Heck, if they add five new jobs that’s one-percent of our population and that’s a good thing.”




If you wish to comment here, feel free or connect with us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page which is right here.

The Hashtag and Twitter Event Management

It happens all the time.  A group or promoter is holding an event.  They have a Twitter account and they are encouraging other "Twitter Engaged" attendees to "talk up" their event but fail to let folks know how to follow.

Just last week a client of ours was attending a regional meeting for Hashtag Sign organic lawn and garden items.  It would have been the perfect place to share stories, images and more about the conference.  However, the planners of this thirty-year old event had not considered a hashtag to help folks follow the conversation and simply directed people to follow THEM using their Twitter Handle.

Nope...won't work.

Engagement between attendees should be the goal.  After all, if you are bringing people together for an event you want to help them connect with each other...and you.  Attendee "side chat" is far more effective and it's much more personal...which is what social media is all about.

Creating a hashtag isn't hard but there are some considerations:

  • Length - Remember you've only got 140 characters on Twitter if you use up twenty-five of them with your hashtag it doesn't leave much room for comment;
  • Usage - You will want to find out what is being or has been used in the past.  We recently attended an event in Little Rock and used #NTPDA13 with is the association letters and the year.  That usually works pretty well;
  • Broadcast In Advance - Long before your event start sharing the hashtag with attendees or and folks on Twitter.  You can include it in the signature of your email, on your website in your blog;
  • Don't Over Explain - But, let people know.  Folks who are "into" Twitter already get it...but who knows, some new people might be attending so at registration make sure you push the idea...even maybe with a handout: "Connect with others during the event on Twitter by following #NTPDA13".

Then, use it and start connecting with attendees, friends and fans of your event.




If you would like to comment here, feel free.  Or let's connect on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here


What Makes You Stop?

We've been in the world of advertising a very long time and Alaska Fish Signalways fascinated by what gets a consumer to stop...pause and consider a product/service. 

Countless print, radio and television ads have been created over the years and, we believe, the most effective are those which are simple and easy to understand.

Here's an example of what we  This is some signage posted in a grocery store near the fresh seafood section.  It was produced by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute promoting their industry.  Great photography and a fantastic headline, "Before you cook up a storm, we weather one."  Nice and it caught my eye.

There are others.

Mad HousewifeHere's a POP display for the wine Mad Housewife.  Funny and you can't miss it.  (However we would have opted for ONE sign rather than the two used here...but it's clear they are made to stand on a single case.)

The bottom line here is that great images and great copy can go together to win the attention and get a consumer to stop and...consider the message. 

For those of you who are still committed to loads of copy and all kinds of confusing images (think yellow page advertising or some newspaper ads) good luck.  Chances are very good the consumer is blowing you off.




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

Go Mobile or Go Away

For several years we've shared with our clients (and anybody else who  Mobile graph  would listen) the importance of creating a mobile version of your website.  We had watched as more and more people used phones to tablets to access web information and read the surveys which say by 2014 mobile internet search/use will overtake desktop.  And, if you are not ready...that could be very bad.

Below are two images.  The first is non-mobile.   Go ahead...wanna call them?  You've got to pinch, enlarge and seek.  Not a good first impression for any business.

So the message continues to be clear...go mobile or...go away.  

What should your mobile platform include?  We think:

  • WHO - Who are you?  Think "About Us" only much shorter.  You Photodon't  have to re-write "War and Peace" to tell potential users who the heck you are.  Keep it to under 75 words;
  • WHAT - What is it you are doing?  What are you selling?  What is it that you want other to know?  That also takes just a few words;  
  • WHERE - Where are you?  If you are a eating establishment where are you located (with a map).  If you are retail, where are you. Etc.
  • CONTACT - The MOST critical of the mobile site items.  Nothing  happens until somebody make contact with your business.  Contact should include the ability to call directly from your mobile site and the ability to send an email. Photo 2 Remember, they are looking at you on a "phone".  That contact button (just out of sight on this screen shot) allows you to phone them or send an e-mail directly from;
  • OTHER? - Other nice items you might want to include may be a video link so folks can see your video presentations and a link to your blog so folks can read that. 

It once cost several thousand dollars to create a mobile site...not anymore.  But, as always, buyer beware.  Free is not always...good.



If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or join us on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.

The Emotional Connection

In our advertising seminar "Five in Twenty-Four" we share with Clock Face 2 attendees the five things a business can do in twenty-four hours to better engage consumers and sell more of their product/service.

Item #5 speaks to "Effective Advertising".  We think it's silly to buy space in print or time in radio/television or web and then forget about the creative aspect of advertising.  Survey after survey suggest "creative ads" are 11 times more effective than advertising which is "free" or "thrown together".  In other words, if you buy $3,000 worth of space/time wouldn't you want your message to be...effective?  If you do...that takes work.

And, when we talk about effective ads "emotional" ads out perform "rational" ads by a large margin.  Want proof?

Last week the top ads, ranked by the USA TODAY'S Ad Meter were:

  1. Horse & Trainer Reunited (Budweiser) - :60 Score 7.76
  2. Miracle Stain (Tide) - :60 Score 7.75
  3. Farmers (RAM) - 1:20 Score 7.43
  4. Fashionista Dad - (Doritos) - :30 Score 7.27
  5. Families Waiting - (JEEP) - 1:20 Score 7.20

All were very creative and three out of the five tugged at the heartstrings and memories of viewers.

The bottom line is this:  The next time you are considering your ad campaign make sure you spend as much time, effort...and money...on creative vs. free.

If you would like to see all of the rankings from USA TODAY here you go.




If you would like to comment here, feel free.  And/Or you can follow us on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.