How Clear Is Your Brand’s Voice?

This man had a distinctive voice. Does your brand? That voice. I heard it, softly, from a table 10 feet away.

It was 1990. We were in a quiet, trendy Hollywood restaurant whose name I never knew and I doubt still exists.

I was with an agency producer, working on a TV job for a large telecom client.

It was the unmistakable voice of an old friend. I wanted to jump up, hug him and tell him my whole family and all our friends missed him.

But I didn’t because he was speaking softly, it sounded private, and I didn’t want to interrupt.

Besides, we had never met, and I didn’t want to scare the hell out of him. Continue reading

Your marketing message: Does it connect?

From 25 years ago, the words of David Kennedy, co-founder of Wieden + Kennedy: “We’re really not in the business of making ads. Our job is to make a connection.”  Today you could add websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, email and much more to his list of stuff we’re not really in the business of making. It’s always about the connection.

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Sometimes you can tell right away if the marketing effort connects. It hits you in the gut.

Other times, you can only tell something about the quality of the design and writing.

And yet well-written, well-designed work often misses the mark. Sometimes terribly. (Just look at two-thirds of Super Bowl commercials, and four-fifths of all websites.) So for each of these samples from my portfolio, I’ve given some context. To view the work, click the images above or the links on the left.

“5 reasons you no longer need an ad agency”

This post by Sean X Cummings covers a favorite topic: the evolution of the ad agency business. There’s plenty to agree and disagree with in Sean’s post. If you’re currently with an agency, or own one, maybe you’ll agree with the post, and at the same time think: He’s talking about OTHER agencies… We’re different. Continue reading

The “vision thing”: part II

Last year I wrote about how to create a more useful vision statement (here). But vision means different things to different people. So recently, I loved hearing two great presentations that dealt with the importance of vision — they were talking about two completely different ideas.  Continue reading

The “vision thing”: Who needs it?

Most “vision statements” end up as self-serving, wishful thinking with questionable value. But a client of mine recently learned how valuable a vision statement can be — when created with the right purpose in mind.

Comments welcome at the end of this post. Or email me directly.

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