Mad about advertising

Mad Men“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” ~ Don Draper, Mad Men

This suggests that advertising is more than just selling a product. It’s the feelings you get, such as happiness, freedom and or reassurance which hopefully persuades you into purchasing a product or service. Even though the fictional TV show Mad Men is set in the 1960s, the concept is still valid in today’s world. Mad Men has to be one of my favorite shows and since it is set way before my time, it allows me to get a glimpse of the society, the culture, the fashion and of course, the advertising.

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What In a Name?

Isis chocolates“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

What Juliet was trying to convey to Romeo in the popular line is that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, that she loves the person named “Montague”, not the Montague name or the Montague family. So Romeo, star-crossed though he was and inspired by his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name, denies his father, and is “newly baptized” as Juliet’s lover.

Yikes, pretty heady stuff – brings new meaning to that “It’s Complicated” checkbox on social media!

I’ve always found this subject rather intriguing – the fact that society can plunk a moniker on something, and it changes our collective view of that very thing. I’ll use tissue as the most obvious example…because most of us call it ‘Kleenex’. But it’s tissue.

Think of your friend Michelle (because according to my research, most people have a friend Michelle); would she be different in your mind’s eye if she decided to change her name to Olivia? Conventional wisdom says she would seem like a completely different person to you, and changing her name to Olivia would mean that you might feel the need to re-establish virtually every aspect of your friendship, even though nothing has changed except her name.

I found this article about 11 brands that had to change their names for various reasons endlessly fascinating. Imagine a company that’s been in existence for 91 years having to abruptly change their name because the name is now being used by international criminals? Sometimes trademark infringement ‘cease and desist’ orders just aren’t going to cut it.

While we can’t promise to foresee these outlandish scenarios playing out, we do know what works in terms of appealing product, service, and company names – so contact us today.

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Google Mobile Search Rankings

Google-Mobile-AdsFor two years now, Google has been talking about mobile search results and that your sites’ mobile friendliness will affect its search results rankings. June of 2013 saw the discussions around mobile friendly factors and that site speed ranking factors would be coming to mobile pages. It now looks like they are taking the biggest step toward that end on April 21 with change to their search algorithm.

The announcement from Google is that they will improve rankings for sites with mobile friendly experience which will also effectively demote those sites that are not. But what does that mean? What should you do?  Continue reading

How to reach your social influencers

Social InfluenceBrands have always used celebrities such as movie stars, tv icons and sports players in their advertising. We look to these A-listers to promote the latest fashions, technology, automobiles, food and drinks. However, it seems nowadays the definition of a celebrity is changing. Social media popularity is also defining a celebrity which is affecting how brands are advertising. Is it just celebrities and social media icons that influence our buying decisions? Who else holds the power of social influence?

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Well Played, Halifax

Halifax-datingMy blog today is basically a shout out to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. Trust me, not something I ever thought I would be writing about, but their recent marketing initiatives simply must be acknowledged.

I first came upon the gem in this article, which helps to explain the context of the campaign and where the idea originated. It seems that dating in Halifax is such an arduous process that the local business commission decided to get involved and clear the path for romance, as it were.

Of course, being the (ahem) online marketing expert that I am, the next place I went was their website to check out exactly how they had poised these Downtown Halifax Date Night Packages. As it turns out, the page describing the packages is not only clever and witty, it also gives users ideas to plan their own date night in Downtown Halifax – how lovely.

Having spent the better part of a decade single and dating in my own fair city, this type of resource would have been greatly appreciated. It’s nice to see that business commissions, associations, and similar organizations, are trying to become less stuffy, and their marketing messages certainly reflect this.

In the case of Halifax, I’m sure they realized the parameters of their target market, and decided that they could simply talk to them openly about the perils of dating.

This is great marketing; when an organization can remain a serious authority and resource to those audiences who need them to be, but can also be lighthearted and approachable in their messaging to capture the demographic that needs to be targeted using humour.

One question that an organization needs to ask is “How do we remain useful to all of our customers, regardless of their needs?” If you can address this question succinctly, you will have achieved a very important aspect of marketing: recognizing that you are there to solve your customers’ problems, not the other way around.

So to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, I say bravo!

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Sometimes you get what you pay for, or do you?

It’s called Value and in its’ simplest terms, describes the relationship between what something costs, and what the benefit of ownership that particular product or service brings to the buyer.

Value-Propositions-Price-BenefitIn marketing, we talk about perceived value which refers to your product or service value when compared to the competitive product or service. This means that value is not strictly based on facts and numbers but has a subjective component to it. The perceived gain that a buyer gets could be emotional, social, cultural, environmental and economic. It’s not always just about the dollar. It’s almost always a relative reference. Higher value at a much higher price actually has a lower perceived value. At the other end of the scale, low value at a much lower price also has a low perceived value.

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Why you should know your customer, like totally

Three's Company

Three main groups of generations in Canada include Baby Boomers (roughly between ages 50-69), Millennials (roughly between ages 15-35) and Generation X (roughly between ages 35-55). The interest in targeting Baby Boomers has increased since they make up the largest part of the population with the most disposable income. In fact Canadians, aged 50 to 54 have 64% more disposable income than that of 25 to 29 year olds.  Millennials make up the second largest population in Canada. Marketers are eager to think outside the box to gain attention of this interesting, media savvy group. And just like the middle child, Generation X often tends to be forgotten.

Who’s who?

Baby Boomers, born from 1946-1965 did not grow up in the digital age and can be classified as less tech savvy but are individuals that do embrace technology. More of this aging group is entering retirement every day. Many are trying a fresh approach on marketing to Baby Boomers. Many companies are now using mature models in their advertising campaigns. One example is seen from L’oreal Paris which uses Helen Mirren as their spokeswoman, looking beautiful at 69 years old.

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How to build an awesome website

Before you go too far here I must warn you, this will not give you details on how to program a website. After all I’m not a programmer.
I’m not a plumber either, but that’s a different story. You can read about that here if you like:
So what can I tell you about building an awesome website? Continue reading