Is it Better to be Bad than Good?

That is the second half of a question that’s been bouncing around in the back of my head for some time now (we’ll get to the rest of it in a moment).  Allow me to explain…

When it comes to marketing and advertising, good is just that — it’s good.  It meets the client’s objectives.  It pays the bills and keeps the lights on.  Good work breeds good work.

But is it memorable?

Bad work certainly is.

Let’s play a little game called recall.  The topic: Advertising for local car dealerships.  Television spots, specifically.  Glamorous, I know, but it serves the point.

When I mention the following Treasure Valley dealerships, do you remember what their recent spots looked like?

Meridian Ford
Dennis Dillon
Edmark Superstore
Team Mazda Subaru
Lithia of Boise

Of the five examples above, which garnered the most immediate or strongest response?  I would be willing to bet that it was Team Mazda Subaru.  You know the spots.  You’ve seen them.  Thanks to some effective media buying they’re hard to miss.  And that leads to the rest of the question:

If you’re not willing to be great, is it better to be bad than good?

Bad, in most cases, is just that.  It makes people cringe.  It elicits a strong reaction.  But it’s also memorable.  Despite your best intentions, I’m sure you can rattle off at least a half-dozen examples of bad advertising that you’ve seen over the years.  And in each case, I’d bet you can remember exactly who the ad was for, and what it was about.  Try as we might, bad ads are unforgettable.

But so are great ones.

The great ones do more than just meet the client’s objectives.  They influence an industry.  They change a culture.  As those who study this business come to realize, it’s the great ads that set, and in many cases reset, the bar by which others are judged.

Lest you think this discussion is limited only to television, it isn’t — it applies to all mediums.  The Bad / Good / Great distinction can take place anywhere.  In broadcast, online, direct, even face to face.

In all cases, Bad is just bad — memorable, but bad.  Good is effective and meets expectations.  Great is a game-changer.

So how do you define the difference between good and great?  What are you doing on a daily basis to push your own work from good to great?  Does it matter to you?

AIGA Idaho Event: Finding the Creative Path to Happiness, Nicky & Stuart Alden

AIGA Idaho’s next event is in the works: Finding the Creative Path to Happiness, Nicky & Stuart Alden.

An excerpt from the event description on their site:

The small, multi-disciplinary creative studio of Idaho Stew was created to combat “getting stuck” with always doing the same thing for the same client day after day. Born in Idaho, raised in the countryside of Northern Colorado – Stuart decided to play off his name while being honest to his roots. He wanted the freedom to continually explore all areas of creativity and find tangible ways to apply to client work.

At close to 20 years post-graduation from college – they have found an unusual creative path to happiness. And coming mid-November they’ll be excited to share some stories about what keeps them inspired, and host a workshop to get your hands off the keyboard – and immersed in ink.

To get a glimpse of what keeps them busy you can visit their websites: or

Details about the event are as follows:

Date:  Thursday, November 19th
Time6:00pm – 9:00pm 5:30pm – 8:00pm
LocationTBD The WaterCooler, 1401 Idaho St., Boise
Cost:  Unknown

For more information about this event, contact AIGA Idaho.

Flying High with Harrison Ford

That’s just what the folks from Peppershock Media Productions did last month.

In September, Peppershock was asked to help shoot aerial footage of the Idaho backcountry for Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.  More specifically, the footage was shot for a piece that will be shown during the 6th Annual Spreading Wings Gala, honoring Harrison Ford for his “tireless dedication to promoting aviation and the aerospace community.”

Footage from Idaho was shot over the course of several days, with flights originating from McCall each day.

Peppershock has more details about the experience, as well as a variety of behind-the-scenes / location photos on their blog and Facebook Page.

BAF Event: An Evening with George Parker

The Boise Advertising Federation kicks off it’s annual speaker series with decorated copywriter, one-of-a-kind blogger, and “change artist extraordinaire” George Parker.

George, notorious for his writing on AdScam, author of MadScam and The Ubiquitous Persuaders, and contributor to PSFK, aims to “bring the goodness back to our rapidly evolving industry, even if it means pissing a whole lot of people off.”

Details about the event:

Date:  Wednesday, November 4th
– 5:30: Cocktails and Appetizers
– 6:30: George Parker
– 7:30 – 10:00: Music by The Naughties
Location:  The Rose Room, 718 W. Idaho St.
– BAF Members and member spouse/guest:  $25 per person
– Non-Members:  $35 per person
– Students:  $15 per person

Doors will open to the public at 8:00 for the remainder of The Naughties performance with a $5 cover charge.

RSVPs for this event should be sent via email to, or by telephone to (208) 336-7511.

This is an event that should not be missed, and a great event to kick off the BAF’s 100th year.

George Parker Intro