Here’s what I don’t understand…How come everyone looks forward to Superbowl Sunday not just for the game but for the (mostly) clever advertising. Then on Monday it’s back to so much crap, especially on TV. I don’t know about you but I hardly see those very special ads again. I see the same stuff from advertisers who have no comprehension of the “wear out factor” They run the same stuff over and over again. (Sometimes in the same pod!). Honest to God, sometimes we (Advertising folks) act like the baseball team that finally wakes up in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. PLEASE treat everyday like Superbowl Sunday.
Business development for an Agency212 is a selective process on both sides. From our perspective we are looking for a solid challenge where we can use, first, our strategic abilities leading us to great creative that articulates the strategy in a way that meets and exceeds the client objective. AND we want these clients to be a NICE PEOPLE.
I am pleased and proud to announce that we have just added two such new clients to our masthead. They are:
1. NYSSA (New York Society of Security Analysts ). A very proud organization founded in 1937 by a group of professionals that included Benjamin Graham (“Father of Security Analysts”) And since our agency has represented many financial institutions over the years we feel we are in very friendly waters. Can’t wait until we can share some of the work on our website.
2. Royce Chocolates. The best of Japanese chocolate sold through three retail stores in New York City and many countries throughout Asia. Once you taste any of their very special chocolates you will be hooked. We are!
More to come. Please stay tuned!
Simply put; Nothing good happens until someone gets excited. Really, think about it…. How much uninspired crap do you see on your TV and the internet daily? I think anyone worth anything in the creative community knows why this happens…nobody (including the client) was showing any inspiration or heart for the project. This is why, sometimes, it is most interesting to work with an entrepeneur. He or she will most often be animated about the possibilities. You cannot help but feel this and be inspired by it.
WANTED: More entrepreneurial clients please….call me, we will participate in your inspiration. 212 994 6601.
I have said many times that there is nothing more inspirational in this business than uncovering that insight that feels like you just discovered the Rosetta Stone. There are a number of examples that I was either proud to be a part of (Read: Collaboration) or to actually be the “discoverer” of. I have already mentioned the Volvo single core value of SAFETY. Brilliant, I think you would agree.Others came out of the automotive aftermarket world, mostly. Like a discovery during a tour at the Champion Spark Plug factory. A large pile of discarded plugs that were rejected because they were not absolutely perfect. One could argue that we don’t want to focus on our mistakes. OR you could take a simple position of “EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES. OURS NEVER LEAVE THE FACTORY.” It worked.
Or in the mid 90′s taking note of the fact that there were more 4×4′s on the road than ever. And convincing Quaker State Motor OIl to create a category of semi-synthtic motor oils formulated just for 4×4′s. AND creating this new category in a stunning clear bottle that all DIY’ers thought made perfect sense and said they would pay more for.
Then there is the ferociously competitive Bra Business where the Rosetta Stone is COMFORT. It’s been called the Holy Grail. So when our Warner’s client actually created a Bra that was superior comfort-wise the real challenge became; how do we tell women about this with hardly any advertising funds. And, of course the answer was in the name. Through a series of focus groups it became clear to us that the positioning would very simply be in the name ‘THIS IS NOT A BRA” A major breakthrough in the world of Bra Marketing. Probably the most successful new product launch (Bra category) ever.
There are many more. And without these brilliant insights your creative output can never be laser focused enough to meet your product’s potential.
For many years I have avoided that description for our agency. Why? Because in this world of huge Wall Street agency holding companies it seemed like “critical mass” was King. But ever since the latest Ad Agency Holding Company mega merger was announced I have had a bit of a paradigm shift. After all the true definition of a “boutique” is: “a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele”. And if I were a client that would be very attractive to me. Maybe not for the clients who want the same message across their global empire but certainly for North America. So I have made friends with the notion that we are a “boutique shop.” We are unique because we are a people business. Meaning it all comes down to how smart and creative the people we bring to the table are. And where we can’t claim a billion dollars in billings we can claim that the staff members we have at this boutique can more than compete with the staff in any huge holding company. The difference is we truly treat our clients like they are sophisticated and SPECIAL.
“I don’t know what it is but I will know it when I see it.” I can’t tell you how many times I hear this. Of course, everyone THINKS they want breakthrough advertising BUT most don’t realize it takes courage to stand out. There are guidelines you can Google but it really all comes down to the question of HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO STAND OUT? It takes courage and conviction. But, on the other hand, it is not a dart throwing contest either. You should take comfort in any Breakthrough recommendations that come out of a strategically sound insight about your brand.
Breakthrough advertising that is grounded with a unique strategic insight is a win/win. With all the humility of an Ad Agency Principal, allow me to direct you back to our website and specifically to our “What Competition?” book of case histories to see how a somewhat simple BREAKTHROUGH strategic insight worked for many of our present and past clients including Warner’s bras, Quaker State Motor Oils and [yellow tail].
Yes, it takes courage but it is SO worth it!
One very significant way the Ad Agency business is evolving is in how “Traditional” agencies are morphing with the digital side. In fact we started out before there was digital and when it appeared, the majority of clients (and agency people) looked at it as something so new and different they were certain they needed a speciality agency. And I suppose it was true. Now fade to present day and I think the “magic” is gone. In this day you, as an agency, must be truly media agnostic. I always compare our media people to ER Docs who always have to be up to date on the latest drugs (minus the drugs, of course!). Our EVP of Media is constantly meeting with digital content reps in order to stay countless steps ahead of anyone else out there. It is quite the spectacle to sit in a room with him when he is presenting to one of our digital clients. It’s like a game of “stump Evan.” NEVER HAPPENS , he always has a solution for any objective (kudos Evan!).
So my point is that there is no need for both a digital and traditional agency any longer. At least not with Agency(212). We are conversant in both and blur the lines with ease when meeting our client’s challenges.
If you have read any of my other blogs you know, as an agency, we are very focused on strategic insights that take us to what we hope will be brilliant messaging. To that end we tend to “take the temperature” of the marketplace by client category from time to time. Most recently we conducted a quantitative survey with a total sample of 612 people defined as frequent travelers (ie: traveled for business or leisure on at least 5 occasions in the past year). Interestingly enough, just a few years ago you would never have combined the two types of travel (Business and Leisure) but today it is more than appropriate. For example 68.7% have traveled for BOTH leisure and Business travel. AND they are traveling for leisure almost as often as for business (67,8%report they travel for leisure once every 3 months or more). Some of this shift reflects the entrance of the young professional (22-34) into the mix. In fact the young professionals are on the road most often for work and play.AND they want to be loyal to a brand (72% of young professionals belong to a loyalty program) but would flip for the right incentives (yes, we know what that incentive should be).
In terms of amenities it should be no surprise that free internet tops the list. What’s way down on the preferred list? Turndown service and a Mobile app for the hotel. There is much more to this study including some very interesting and actionable insights. If you contact me I will be glad to send more info along. Keep in mind what I always preach about strategic insights…the definition quite simply is “THE ABILITY TO IDENTIFY WHAT IS MISSING AND BRING IT TO LIFE” And we can do that with this study.