10 Advertising Resolutions for 2009
Most New Year's resolutions are about personal goals. Lose weight, reduce stress, manage debt, eat right. These are all worthwhile pursuits. But as we head into 2009, I'm here to provide a voice for the voiceless. You may not hear its pleas but I can assure you that your brand is crying out for a few resolutions of equal importance.
Now, please raise your right hand and repeat after me.
I will bust out the bar napkin.
In advertising, it's all about the big idea. Without one, strategies and media platforms mean nothing. So, if your advertising message lacks a big idea then task your team to put a pen to paper and create smart, ownable ideas worthy of your marketing dollars. Do this anywhere, any place, at any time.
I will brand from the inside out.
Texas-based success stories like Whole Foods and Southwest Airlines work hard to synchronize their brand personality, values and corporate culture. Do your employees understand, embrace and reflect your brand message? They need to.
I will police my brand.
Everything that touches your customer must have the same look and feel. Create a Brand Guidelines Manual and refer to it often. Make sure colors, fonts, tone and voice are always in sync.
I will utilize every touch point.
Nantucket Nectars puts fun trivia on the bottom of every bottle cap. Burger King serves up "Have it your way" messages on everything from tray liners to trash cans. You need to use all available touch points to spark a dialogue and build a relationship with your customer.
I will be media agnostic.
We recently had a client come to us "needing" a radio campaign. Our first question: Why radio? As it turned out, what they really needed was a targeted mix of print, online, direct mail and only ONE radio spot. Lesson: don't fall in love with any single tactic. The media landscape changes daily and what worked yesterday may not work today.
I will set aside personal biases.
Sorry, it's not about you. Or me. It's about the consumer. And all creative decisions should be made with this end user in mind. You may not like the Jonas Brothers, but if demographic research shows that your consumer does, you best tighten your lips and hum along.
I will increase search engine marketing.
This is the most cost-effective way to affect low-hanging fruit. Invest more into it and you'll see measurable results in real time.
I will be a smart email marketer.
Simplify your offer, strengthen and segment your list, fight spam and create a consistent distribution schedule. Such improvements will make email marketing an even stronger ally throughout this economic downturn.
I will Serph.
Set aside a few minutes every day to use Serph, a search engine that allows you to track online buzz in real time. Search for your name and company. See where people are talking about you and then join in on the conversation.
I will commit to the long haul.
Branding is a long-term investment. And the more consistently you invest, the better the payoff. Companies like Nike, Apple and Target embrace this concept. Smaller companies with less brand equity need to embrace this even more. It's akin to the most popular New Year's resolution of all: lose weight. There is no quick fix. But a long-term, dedicated program will yield powerful results that benefit body and brand for years to come.
Our Teen Years
Outside of NourzAds' first office in Elgin, Texas. Local fixtures (and brothers) John and Loyd point the way in.
Ah, bring on the Proactiv. This year Door Number 3 celebrates our 15th year and, unlike many 15 year olds, there are thankfully few awkward moments, no retainers (of the metal variety) and our room is pretty neat. The agency got its start in Elgin, Texas in 1994 as NourzAds, with MP working out of her home. Our inaugural client was Kendle International, a contract research organization out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Soon it was time to expand to offices in downtown Elgin, then a few years after that, a move to the nexus of Austin. Our client base has shifted from B-to-B to B-to-C over the years with lots of laughs, great clients, wonderful agency alumni and friends who have helped us get here. We've learned a lot along the way, weathered the dot com bust, changed our name, celebrated marriages, babies, birthdays, wins and losses (of all kinds), and continue to startle ourselves that we get to do what we do, make a living and have fun along the way.
Big shout out to our great staff and those NourzAds/Door Number 3 alums who are treasured FODN3. Many thanks:
Erin Pugh, Meme Bobo, Lisa Jasper, Henry Medrano, Heidi Adams, Carol Cain, Nathan Procknow, Linda Hernandez Haas, Andi Scull, Melva Tally, Karen Ratcliffe, Lisa Dollinger, Kelly Blanscet, Trent Shepherd, Lucy Moran, Kathryn Stephens, George Elliman, Brittany Kirby, Tara Tang & Mary Katherine Woltz.
Stuff We're Into
There have been many negative aspects to the current world economic crisis, some expected and some not. But perhaps there's one bright spot – you can get a sweet deal right now on a gently used corporate jet. JamesList is sort of the eBay of exclusive luxury goods. While you may not be seeing the Door Number 3 Powerboat anytime soon, it's still nice to dream.
Twitter this, Twitter that. By now, everyone has an opinion on the much-loved or much-blighted social service. We even chipped in a few thoughts on our blog. Twitscoop is one of the better 3rd-party sites dedicated to Twitter. It's basically a pulse, showing the viewer in real time what the hottest topics on Twitter are. Try checking it out during a major event, like a presidential inauguration or a Super Bowl.
This site took one good, simple idea and built a successful blog around it. Sleeveface works because it's a perfect confluence of elements that make web 2.0 great – user-generated content, music history, photography and, yes, a good dosage of nerdiness.
Fresh off the assembly line, here's a glimpse at some new work from Door Number 3.
Central Texas Blood and Tissue Center
Print + TV. Campaign for the Blood Center's "Give a Pint, Get a Pint" Holiday Drive.
Book Cover Cover design for Planet Cancer's upcoming book about facing cancer (with humor) in your teens, 20's and 30's.
Before Thanksgiving, Door Number 3 organized a food drive that brought together clients, our office neighbors, and friends to help those in need. We're happy to say that together we hauled in 730 pounds of food – that's 584 meals to help feed hungry Central Texans. Thanks to Aspyr, Bigfoot Networks, CEDRA Clinical Research, Premier Research, ResearchPoint, Business Investment in Growth (BiGAUSTIN), RebelRebel, SoundLab, 501 Post, TRNSFR, and Production Block for participating and their donations.
Door Number 3's print campaign for Marfa, Texas was featured as the "daily showcase" on Commarts.com. The campaign, with photography by Eric Kiel, will also be profiled in Communication Arts March/April 09 issue.
SYNAGRO Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, recently selected Door Number 3 as agency of record following a formal review. SYNAGRO is the largest recycler of organic residuals in the United States. They have operations across the U.S., serving more than 600 water and wastewater treatment facilities. We are pumped to be working with them on a variety of branding projects.
The first pleasant days of the new year always make us think of SXSW, the annual interactive/music/film festival that takes over two weeks of March every year in Austin. For the last two years, Door Number 3 has brought you in-depth coverage and commentary on all the marketing, advertising, technology, and trends – and this year will be better than ever. Once again, Door Number 3's Subcultural Anthropologist, Bryan Keplesky, will lead the coverage. Stay tuned to this frequency for more details. And if you want a refresher from last year, check out our SXSW archived blog.
Door Number 3 Art Director Taylor Harkey and Writer Phil Davies discuss Super Bowl ads on Austin Fox affiliate Channel 7.
Catch the Super Bowl commercials? So did we. Check out Door Number 3's Super Blog for our reactions to this year's spots. And brace yourself for the truth.