Bonitamedia’s Weblog

Creating a lasting impression for small business

Where has the creativity gone?

Is Advertising an art form or a science?  Great question!  (I was just interrupted by my salesperson Erin and got sidetracked – and right on topic!)  Erin has a new prospect – a large, nationally-known cleaning company.  She brought in all of their collateral (no slight on the local franchisee – everything produced came from the corporate gurus).  Everything will get noticed because the colors are bright, but really – who chooses the graphics?  What is being sold here?  Drives me absolutely nuts!

Ok – back on track….

First – I will admit that my level of creativity for my own company is lackluster – just ask Olivier Blanchard (, who by the way is one of the most creative people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

Our market, like all others, is cluttered with advertising campaigns that are unoriginal, boring and in many cases offensive.  Why is that?  Has every good idea been used up already?  William Bernbach once said “In advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal.”  That is so true.  The auto industry is cluttered with ads that, when you remove the name and photo of the cars, you have no idea what is being sold.  “I get 32mpg, have 4 doors, got a 5-star rating, who am I?”  That ad is obvisouly paraphrased, but could cover 6-8 difrferent commercials out there today.  How about “This woman got pregnant by a man she barely knows in order to buy me!”  Brilliant IMHO.  Throws you for a loop (also helps that Brooke Shields is the spokesperson).  Another great one – “When you turn on your car, does it return the favor?” (Cadillac in case you missed it).

The point here is creativity seems to be taking a back seat today to the “we’ve always done this, it kinda works, and I really don’t want to try anything new because I can’t afford to waste money” attitude.  Crazy if you ask me.

What if you were able to leverage the advertising dollars spent by your competitor for your advantage?  Take a look at what your competition is doing, what sales they run, where they place their marketing pieces.  I heard a story about a nail salon that really drives the point home.  The salon was located in a strip plaza next to a large grocery store.  Business was doing fine because they had no competitionto speak of.  Well – a competitor opened up across the street (an asian nail salon – promoted as such) and advertised “$9.95 nail sets!”.  Drove our subject nuts – and worse, business plummeted.  “How can anyone make a profit at $9.95?”  The new salon put ads everywhere, had a ton of new traffic coming through the door.  Our friend started a big advertsing campaign to bring buisiness back, but at $29.95, they were throwing good money after bad.  What was the solution?  Simple – about $50 for a sign in their window, facing the competition, that read: “WE FIX $9.95 NAIL SETS”

Think about it for a while – brilliant, inexpensive, and very simple to enact.

One of my favorite clients is doing a very creative campaign right now.  Diamond brokers, and avid poker players, Todd and Jason at the Diamond District are hosting a private poker tournament for anyone who spends $1000 or more at their store in November.  The winner of the tourney gets a trip to Vegas for 4 days and 3 nights PLUS their $10,000 entry fee into the World Series of Poker for 2009!  Brilliant campaign and think for a few minutes who that will attract!

Jon McLeod

Exposure Specialist


November 14, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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