Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Say No

There is a whole lot to like in this blog about saying no to dropping your fees.

Amen, brother.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Color Correction

I know these rants get old, but here goes:

I'm watching a baseball game, and on comes a 15 second spot for an alcohol-branded drinking/drinking facility attached to the home stadium of one of the teams. Big time sponsor here. The exteriors look fine, and then they go inside.

You guessed it- it's a bit blue. Not-Oh-My-God-Everyone-Is-A-Smurf-Blue, but blue enough that:

a) it looked odd by itself
b) it looked horrible intercut with properly colored exteriors

I never know if I should be relived or appalled that the clients approved such a spot, or that the folks who produced the spot presented it to the client without fixing the color issue. Which is worse?

Should I be happy that the bar is so low, increasing my confidence in finding future work, or be frustrated that someone got paid despite negligence?



Monday, May 18, 2009

Good, Fast, Cheap

There is an old joke that you can get something done, good, fast and cheap as long as you only pick two options. The third is always impossible given the other two. Good and fast is never cheap. Cheap and good is seldom fast. Fast and cheap is rarely good. it applies to most things in life.

I chuckled today as I read the ad for a local video production company. The bottom of their ad reads: "Fast- Easy- Inexpensive" which is dangerously close to: "Fast- Good- Cheap".

So either this company has somehow overcome one of the constants of the universe, or they are setting up conflicts with clients when the results- in this case, the "good" side of the equation- don't meet client expectations. Perhaps it is really just a teaser ad, "The first taste is free" come-on, where the buyer ends up paying dearly in the end. But it raises a bigger question- what kind of client is this ad going to attract?

If I have learned anything in my career its that the last client you want is the one that is price sensitive. The price sensitive client only came to you from someone else because they percieve a lower cost or greater value, and will just as quickly abandon you for the next guy willing to deliver the same product for less. Margins will be wafer thin, and the client will be constantly beating you up over price, hacking away at that tiny margin. You will be busy and barely keeping yourself fed. Sounds like fun.

When you put the word "Cheap" in your marketing materials you immediately cede the advantage to the client; you can never submit a bid with any kind of decent margin because you have already labeled yourself as the low-cost provider. You had better have serious capacity in place because you are going to need to run insane margins to pay the bills.

You can be Good, Fast and Cheap, but only two things at once. Nobody can be all three.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Captive Ads

One of the few places that advertisers have a truly captive audience is the movie theater. While waiting for Star Trek to start (worth all of the praise, BTW) I had the choice of either playing with my phone or watching the ads. I chose the latter.

My only complaint is that some advertisers choose to run their regular TV ad, which sometimes improves on the big screen, and sometimes does not. Like advertisers who do not submit an HD ad to an HD program they have bought into, I am surprised that companies don't present something unique in the theaters.

The movie ad can still present the marketing message of the day, but an ad that only appears in the theaters will have added impact of being new to most of the audience. Take another step forward and utilize the large screen to ad impact to the message. Try a longer or shorter legnth than you normally do.

Do something for gosh sakes. I am a captive audience- show me something new. Entertaining me would be a bonus.