And in contrast…

I posted about the Franklin Building Supply campaign a couple of weeks ago, which I still think is a well-done campaign overall. In contrast, however, I heard a radio spot recently for Hubble Homes that just cannot go without comment.

The entire :30 radio spot is nothing but one long cheezy jingle. Not just as an intro before the real meat of the commercial, but the entire thing! Its spots like this that will continue to drive both aided and unaided recall down, making radio as a medium that much more ineffective. I’m still a firm believer that radio can be an effective part of a good media plan, but you’ve got to give the listener something worth listening to!

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Let me get this straight…

Just from my own observations, it would seem that most of the agencies in Idaho are doing very little, or so the “news” sections of their websites would have you believe (if they even have a news section, that is)…

Here’s just a sample:
Stoltz Marketing Group – the last news item on their site is dated January 5, 2006. Apparently they’ve taken the rest of the winter off?
Noot Group – heck, from their site I’d guess they checked out almost a year ago!
What’s even more shocking is the number of agency websites that don’t even bother to include a news area within their own websites. Come on folks! Give people a reason to visit your site more than once every two years! How am I, as a visitor to an agency’s website, supposed to know what’s new if the whole thing looks exactly the same as it did the last time I was there. Added to your portfolio recently? Well then tell me about it. Odds are, I’ll read the news that’s there, and then go on to another section (such as a portfolio). See where this is going…

From a potential client’s point of view — give me a reason to go to your site regularly, and they’ll go back to your site regularly. The more often they visit, the better they get to know the agency. The better they know the agency, the easier time they’ll have deciding whether or not you’re the right place for them to take their business. If they never see any changes, though, the site, and consequently the company, looks stale — not the kind of place I’d take my business if it were my choice to make.

Now I’ve heard the arguments that this is a face-to-face business, and in a lot of cases, yes it is. But let’s face it (no pun intended), your website is the face of your business online. So why would you continue to have a stale, faceless site out there?

As always, there are exceptions to the rule, notably:
Oliver Russell – since the redesign of their site, they’ve done a good job of putting out bits and pieces in their “What’s Happening” section. A few stories each month/tidbits of info is all, but its enough to keep me going back to see what’s new.
Es/drake – for the past couple of months their site has been promising changes, but I’ve yet to see it happen. Jury is still out.

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At least its being discussed

The Idaho Business Review ran an article a few weeks ago on the changing focus that marketers/agencies are being faced with right now. First off, I say good for them for taking on the subject. No business wants to hear that the environment they’ve become accustom to is changing at a break-neck speed, as is the case in the marketing world today. Even here in Idaho.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that its good to be skeptical once in a while, but at the same time, being able to accept, if not embrace, change in this business will keep an agency at the top of their game. Oliver Russell gets it, I think. Es/drake is getting there too, from the sounds of it. But where is everyone else?

Here’s a PDF of the article.
(Courtesy of Oliver Russell)

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Other Notable Sites

You’ll notice over on the right sidebar is a section titled Other Notable Sites. These sites are, in my opinion, worth taking the time to visit on a regular basis, regardless of what your role in this business may be.

Ad Age Small Agency Diary – this “is a blog devoted to the daily realities of life within America’s small advertising agencies. It’s a frank discussion of the highlights, lowlights, challenges and controversies faced by agency executives in the trenches.” A good amount of what is discussed on this blog applies directly to what agencies in Idaho are facing this very day.
AdPulp – AdPulp follows the ins and outs of the marketing world. With their own observation and commentary, its a worthwhile read.
Adrants – “Adrants provides marketing and advertising news with attitude in the form of a website and daily email newsletter.” There’s no shortage of the attitude from Steve Hall et. al., but its well written, and right to the point.
Beyond Madison Avenue – Written with an outsider’s view of “Madison Avenue” marketing, it echoes the thoughts and opinions that a lot of us seem to have about marketing these days.

Now there will undoubtedly be others, but this should get you off to a good start.

Bad Form

So I signed up to attend the Be Your Own Media conference that was mentioned in a previous post. Received the confirmation email, schedule, map, etc. Figured I was good to go, right?

Wrong.

Got out to the BSU campus in Nampa, parked, etc. and went into the building. Once I got in there, what did I find? Nothing. No sign, no directions, no note on the door. Wandered around the first floor, still nothing. Went up to the second floor. Nothing. The end result?

I got irritated and left.

Moral of the story — the concept was a good one, but the execution was absolutely horrible. In its most basic form, the purpose of this event was to get people into the seats to listen what someone had to say. But they forgot to point out where the seats were. I know that my reserved seat sits empty today, I wonder how many others are…

Who will buy the awards this year?

I’ve noticed a trend in the Rockies in recent years — one or two shops will, without fail, submit an obnoxious number of entries into every award category that they can (with the accompanying entry fee, of course), thereby effectively “buying” that category. Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I, for one, think that shows such as the Rockies should be a showcase of your best work, not a chance to show off all of your recent work. Save that for your portfolio on your agency’s website. If all of the work that you’ve done over the past year is just that damned good, then by all means, enter away. If not, however, and you enter it anyway, then I’d argue that the agency in question is actually bringing down the level/quality of work that is produced locally. When judges are flooded with 15 entries from one shop, and one or two from a second or third shop, simple math says that the shop with the highest number of entries is more likely to win — even if the one or two “others” may have been better work.