Posts Categorized: Marketing

What is a good ad?

The best ads are the ones that make us feel “If I had this [product or service], my life would somehow be better.” Think about it. If the product or service doesn’t have the ability to inspire that thought, that’s a problem. And you won’t be able to create very convincing advertising or much in… Read more »

Hiding in plain sight

  Another example of a logo that looks deceptively simple but contains a hidden element that you may not see at first glance– This logo for the London Symphony Orchestra reads nicely as a graceful abstract shape, and on closer inspection you can see the shape consists of the initials “LSO”. But…there is yet another… Read more »

The message IS the message

You may have heard the saying “the medium is the message”.  Not so. Sometimes we think “What I need is a brochure!” or “A new website will increase profits!” when what we really need to be thinking about is getting the right message to the right audience. Once we have the strategy for that worked… Read more »

After Mad Men

Before Mad Men, there was The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, a seminal 1955 novel by Sloane Wilson, later made into a movie classic by 20th Century Fox. In it, Gregory Peck represented the archetypal mid-century advertising man and established advertising stereotypes that persist to this day. What’s ironic is that advertising principles of… Read more »

Benefits vs Features

You’ll notice that the actual product being sold on the left is only a very small part of the entire ad. Now imagine the same ad space showing only the product, with callouts identifying its features: size, materials, weight, etc. Which ad do you think is going to sell better? This ad is focused on… Read more »

Advertising mixup: Santa, meet CONAD!

On December 24, 1955, Sears ran an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper which included a special phone number children could call to talk to Santa. Unfortunately, the phone number was misprinted; it turned out to be the number for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Despite this inauspicous beginning, volunteers working with CONAD started… Read more »

Hidden in plain sight

I’ve always enjoyed the smiling Amazon logo but didn’t realize I was missing out on a more subtle message it contains as well. What I hadn’t noticed was that the smile is also an arrow. An arrow that points from a to z, referring to Amazon’s amazing breadth as a retailer. Many logos contain somewhat… Read more »

Can you hear color?

What if you heard a piano concerto whenever you saw the color pink? Or tasted blueberries when you saw the numeral 7? How about describing the smell of a hyacinth as a series of  concentric circles? Believe it or not, some of us do just that. Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon that combines two (or… Read more »

When the message is hard to hear

Sometimes we need to communicate a message about a very serious subject and yet engage readers with an image that is pleasant and inviting. Dining Out for Life is an annual fund-raising event. The image for this campaign manages to deliver two seemingly unrelated topics: you can treat yourself to a dinner out knowing that… Read more »

Cherchez la femme

The Starbucks siren/mermaid (see previous post) is not the only company figurehead who had to clean up her image. In a logo designed to promote tourism, Marianne  (France’s female counterpart to America’s Uncle Sam) was depicted along with the slogan “Rendez-vous en France”. All good. Then it was pointed out that Marianne was a little… Read more »