What you need to know about working with a full-service agency.

Working with a full service agency brings a lot of benefits to clients.

Working with a full-service agency brings a lot of benefits to clients.

The advertising industry has evolved since the days of the Mad Men. Full-service agencies have given way to specialty shops. These shops usually focus on one marketing tactic — PR, SEO, website design or maybe inbound marketing. And they tend to concentrate on only one or two industries.

I heard this line over and over at a recent conference:Read full post...

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10 marketing tactics to cut right now.

Are you spreading your marketing dollars too thin?

Are you spreading your marketing dollars too thin?

Each year it seems that marketing budgets get smaller. But your boss wants a higher return on everything you do, right? You have to be careful with your budget — and show how your marketing dollars lead directly to an increase in company revenue.

As a marketer, you may feel overwhelmed staying on top of all the new tricks of the trade and figuring out if they’re even relevant for your business. Read full post...

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Hey, it’s just advertising. Nobody dies, right?

This reassuring advice was offered early in my career, as I sweated over every word of a telephone-banking ad. Fast-forward to ab+c Creative Intelligence. Since joining the agency, I’ve transitioned from a purely b2b writer to also being involved in healthcare and life science accounts.

SYSMEX hematology analyzer ad

SYSMEX hematology analyzer ad

I’ve gone from promoting electronics, trucks, doors, chemicals and building products to writing my first six-page insert for transcatheter aortic valve replacement — a procedure that surgeons performed, mind you, on an 87-year-old woman while her heart was still beating! Along the way, I’ve also worked on endoprostheses (devices that seal off abdominal aneurysms before they burst), hematology analyzers that spot blood conditions before they become life-threatening, and more.Read full post...

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Taxicab advertising goes digital!

Taxicabs now offer digital advertising on their signature roof-mounted displays.

Taxicabs now offer digital advertising on their signature roof-mounted displays.

When it comes to media outlets our ever-increasing demand for interaction has forced certain traditional forms of advertising to evolve — or risk the fate of the eight-track player.

What comes to mind when you picture taxicab advertising — probably a small billboard atop a yellow car, right?

Well think again. Read full post...

Tourism is back in a big way — and your advertising plan should be as well!

Creating a brand promise and reaching out to new niche audiences with that promise is key to the growth of any business, including tourism.

Creating a brand promise and reaching out to new niche audiences with that promise is key to the growth of any business, including tourism.

Tourism advertising has changed with the times. Even though people still read magazines and news publications to “think” about where they might want to spend their hard-earned dollars, they do their actual booking and planning online.

Consumers today tune out TV commercials with their DVRs and TiVo’s, opting instead to listen to satellite or Pandora radio. Then they tune out those ads as well.

I’m not suggesting you completely abandon traditional ad venues. But maybe it’s time to reconsider the way you integrate digital and nontraditional advertising into your marketing strategy. Read full post...

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May 16, 2014

Top-of-mind awareness increases with new campaign

Abington Health, a healthcare system with locations throughout Montgomery and Bucks counties, conducted research showing that consumers and employees had low awareness of the advanced and complex services available throughout the system. After many brainstorming sessions and concept meetings, Abington Health and ab+c found a solution to the problem and the “Power” campaign was born.abingtonRead full post...

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The word is out: Diversity is in.

Big brands have woken up to the realization … that young Americans across the board value diversity.

Big brands have woken up to the realization … that young Americans across the board value diversity.

To steal a line from one of the best songs ever written, it’s been a long time coming — but a change has finally come to advertising. While the country generally has grown more socially liberal, advertising has lagged behind. According to a recent Ad Age article, advertising has proved to be the last frontier when it comes to reflecting societal changes. Let’s face it — pop culture typically sets the trends; advertisers follow. Why are we afraid to take a risk? It’s pretty simple — no one wants to hear negative feedback about a campaign. Speaking to where the public already is rather than leading them in a different direction has been the norm.

Until recently, that is.Read full post...

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Capturing the market on a single screen

Using one screen, advertisers will have to conjure a fully immersive visual, virtual and social experience for consumers.

Using one screen, advertisers will have to conjure a fully immersive visual, virtual and social experience for consumers.

Advertising optimism is on the rise again, and for good reason. Industry segments are hiring again, advertisers and their agencies are regaining budgets, consumer confidence is growing, and the mass adoption of advanced television and entertainment consoles may very well yield the next great surge of creative advertising and media marketing.

We’re heading into uncharted territory, where new mediums will finally marry the benefits of web and broadcast television advertising and revolutionize the kind of creative content we can provide for our clients. This new generation of technology, such as Smart TVs and next-generation gaming/entertainment consoles, should signal a golden age for marketers — particularly strategic- and creative-focused agencies such as ours.Read full post...

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The Super Bowl spot that changed the world

Happy 30th birthday, Mac.

Happy 30th birthday, Mac.

I had the TV on Sunday morning as I sat down to write about an Advertising Age article claiming that 80% of Super Bowl ads flop. In the background I hear Charles Osgood, host of CBS Sunday Morning, mention that this week marks the 30th anniversary of Apple’s famous “1984” Super Bowl commercial. A commercial that ran only one time, mind you. That is the antithesis of a Super Bowl ad flop. Thirty years later and people are still talking about it. Amazing. Do you think that in 2043 people will be marking the anniversary of the Go Daddy commercial in which supermodel Bar Refaeli makes out with the nerdy Walter? Not very likely.

The one-minute commercial — directed by noted director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) — was made for a then-unheard-of production budget of $900,000. It went on to garner millions of dollars worth of free publicity, as news programs rebroadcast it that night. It was quickly hailed by many in the advertising industry as a masterwork. Advertising Age named it the 1980s “Commercial of the Decade,” and it continues to rank high on lists of the most influential commercials of all time. “1984” was never ever broadcast again, adding to its mystique.Read full post...

Being there: improving recruitment efforts through search engine marketing

A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position.

A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position.

When I tell people I’m in recruitment marketing, they ask, “So you recruit doctors?” Or they nod knowingly, assuming I’m in traditional marketing. The words “recruitment” and “marketing” together have that effect. People find the concept challenging.

Unlike most of our colleagues on the services or B2B side, we work in a fickle climate. Job changes can be instantaneous or carefully thought out. A guy spills coffee on himself on the way to a job that has been slowly grating on his psyche, and boom — he starts looking for a new position. Or an employee gradually realizes she wants to be closer to her family and moves back to her home state. That’s why it’s so important to have the right message at the right time in the right place. That’s where search engine marketing (SEM) comes into play.

SEM allows your opportunity to appear through relevant searches and even on relevant content pages. If you’re not using SEM in Read full post...

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