Archive for January, 2009

A Typical Adchick Day

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

So, a day in entreprenuerial advertising went something like this:

Wake up late, grab coffee, race around to get out the door.  (Just me, no kids, no pets, no significant other…what the hell am I doing?)

Get all the grocery items for the price-item TV doughnut that MUST  be shot today to make deadline.

Hit the post office on the way across down (our drive time is about 15 minutes) … check the mail box.  No Checks.  Payroll is Friday. Damn.

While  cool camera guy works his magic with canned corn, I finish buying February media for the last client, fax off the schedule.

Field a call from some girl named Holly selling space in the County  Fair Book … honey, it’s JANUARY!  The efffing Fair is in August. Leave me alone … and by the way, NO! 

Field a call from a client who loves his new web site and had two minor changes, then he tells me his business is rockin’ and he loves what we do. Sweet.

Look over  the last round of logo changes for a new product.   Hope the 60+ male clients will choose the right one (after all, the audience is 25-45 women). We show them what we want them to see and hold our breath.

Eat microwave soup at my desk for lunch left over from shooting the grocery store ad.

Try not to spill soup on the papers I prepared for my 1:30 meeting.

Meeting goes over two hours…but these were motivated clients and I walked out with a bunch of new work.  They like me.

Field a call from my most conservative client.  He decides cautiously to continue to run some ads in February.  Gee, thanks.  Glad you decided to keep the doors open.

Whip out a press release for a favorite charity.  Easy.

Late in the day. Here comes an email from the health care marketing girls.  Their “Marketing Committee” met. They have a few “suggestions” to the last three TV ads.  (They should all be selling Mary Kay…wait, maybe I should be selling Mary Kay.)  Bitches took the icing off the cake. I feel my blood pressure jump and resist the urge to kill someone.    My cool camera guy, however, is just that. Cool. No big deal.  He makes their “suggestions”.  

I weigh my choice between red wine or a workout.

Whaddya think I decided to do??                       images-15

More do-gooding

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

And while we’re on the subject of using your power for good, not evil, please take a look at this Public Service Announcement produced for a local children’s advocacy group.  The artwork was done by a fine local designer,  I wrote the copy and my video guy took photos (most are his own kids who are NOT neglected, by the way) then produced a lovely 30 seconds worth.  All at no charge. Because we have the power to do a good thing…and we all should.

Work a Cause

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I’m a “tree-hugging, save the children, stop the abuse” kind of chick. Our little agency has given literally tens of thousands of dollars in services to a variety of local charitable organizations.  Advergirl’s Jan 4th post was a great piece on non-profits using the web more effectively.  I’ll take it to the Local Womens Shelter Board.

Seems to me if we worked as hard selling the services of worthy non-profits as we did cars and shampoo, maybe we could start to save our little corners of the planet. (I can hear the cynics now!) I am especially interested in the issue of family violence.  This little 30 second spot was done in a day, at no charge.  The voice work was free, and our very generous local cable company aired it…a lot.  Turns out, this little PSA was directly responsible for two women turning their lives around and since the awareness campaign began, the place has been full of women and children.

Everybody is in the business for their own reasons, money is usually in the top 2, but damn…put your skills to work for something that really matters.  Creatives have a great opportunity to really make the world a better place…we’re supposed to be selling stuff, so let’s sell a little human kindness.   Put the cynicism aside.  Find a wrong and make it right.  

 

I'm getting a new nest!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Soon, adchick will have a whole new look! I work with a damned fine illustrator who has captured the chick’s likeness very nicely!  There will also be a better format, thanks to my favorite IT guy.  (Hey, I can’t know everything, OK?  My eyes glaze over  when I see all that programming jibberish!!)   Get the paying work outta the way…my nest needs an update!  And I need more time!

Coffee with the health care marketing girls.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

In case you haven’t noticed, every health care center within a hundred miles wants YOU. Advertising for patients is good business for creatives. We lure them with that enticing, original promise of “compassionate care from a dedicated and experienced team of professionals”. Because that’s what the health care marketing girls, hired by the doctors and the hospital bean counters want them to tell us to say.

We do a lot of health care advertising in Hooterville. Recently, I met for coffee with health care marketing girls from competing entities who share a campus. They decided it would be smart to combine their resources and tell everyone there’s no reason to go to the big city…all the health care you could ever want is right here. It’s all here … in Hooterville. No brain surgery, but just about everything else. They told me that their Doctors (ie, Bosses) from BOTH places had instructed them the commercial must mention both facilities equally, mention all the services and procedures they both offer, how they have all the best equipment and latest technology, how doctors from all over the country are flocking to Hooterville to practice and live because the quality of life is so wonderful, and not forget to mention how qualified, experienced, well trained, caring, compassionate, dedicated and professional their entire staff is…including housekeeping and security.   

I know a setup for failure when I hear one.

I told them I would like to meet with their Boss Doctors. At the meeting I would provide the following demonstration: I’ll bring a gallon of water and an 8 ounce glass. I’ll pour all of the water out of gallon jug into the glass.

It’s impossible. And so is what you’re asking.

The cubicle be damned

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

In response to Adscam’s all too funny post about office max reaching out to the 80 million cubicle dwellers who hate their work space, I thought you’d like to see where we work here in Hooterville.

 

 

No white walls here! Thanks to our (now deceased) Art Director who spruced up our 3000 sq feet in an old factory building over looking the BIG Muddy.  He came into my life from a big metro market (Ace Hardware, Swift, and others), drank too much, almost put us outta business, but by God, he gave us a cool space.  Watermelon stripes, curved walls, purple paint with rose accents…People come into our studios and are either politely shocked or genuinely impressed that someone would actually have the chutzpah to decorate a work environment in this way … only in Hooterville. You shouldn’t work in a place that isn’t conducive to your productivity.  It’s home, and the fridge always has cold beer.

Weekend Nestings

Monday, January 12th, 2009

TV

Who the hell is Flavor (or Flava) Flave?  And who in the hell watches this crap?  If they’re the customers of my clients, I’m screwed.  If we’re defined by the kind of TV we watch, then I probably need to see my therapist. What’s a middle aged, small town chick doing watching Family Guy? Fringe?  24?  Daily Show?  Colbert Report?  PBS?   I’m supposed to be a church-going, Palin-loving, NRA member…aren’t I?   I’m pretty sure I was dropped here by an alien ship.  So was Flavor Flave.  

Alien??Insane Marketers

I could totally relate to Freakin Marketing’s bit on Insane Marketers.  That’s the majority of our clients…Insane.  Nice people, but Insane.    ie:  Recession.  Oh my GAWD!  Let’s keep doing the same crap the same way and hold our breath and hope a Republican will swoop in and change things because that damned Obama is not for small businesses like us and oh yeah, cut the ad budget.  It would be inconvenient and a lot of work for us to try something different. 

Ahhhh…it’s maddening.  I love these people, but damn. No one said independent retail was gonna be easy.   Are all clients like this..everywhere?

Just us chickens

It’s about time that BIG city folk caught on….urban chickens are the new thing.  I work with two people who have chickens inside and out of the Hooterville City Limits. Fresh eggs for everyone!

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Top Ten Faves

Friday, January 9th, 2009

(mostly related to advertising)

I recently shared my Top Ten Peeves … now, my Top Ten Faves.

1 The web sites of the other “agencies” in my geographical area… and many beyond.  Whenever I feel our work isn’t all that good, I look at theirs … and I feel better.  

2 Smart creative.  Strategically planned, not just because the client’s cousin liked it.

3 New Media.  It’s an exciting (if not dizzying) time to be in this business.  I have a tough time keeping up, but I love it.

4  Clients who say:  It’s working!

5  The process of collaboration.   It’s a beautiful thing and everybody benefits.  

6   Pencils.  Not the mechanical kind. Black Warriors are the best.

7  The Sharpie Campaign:  Write Out Loud.  Perfect.

8  The e*trade campaign. Now, whenever my new Grandson spits up, we ask him:  Did you just buy stock?

9  Smart, well-intentioned sarcasm.

10   Working with men.  Women (most, not all) are just mean, bitchy and carry that hidden agenda around in their whatevers.  Men are (typically) straightforward and down to business…(except for that one mean little gay guy I have to put with.  All my other gay friends are cool.)

All it takes is one.

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

We’re in the bank drive-up to make a deposit.  Days before, I heard the president of this bank on a local radio station blathering on about how they’re the friendliest bank in town.

So, we give Heather the deposit and ask her to please make a copy of the check and for a receipt.  As she trounced off to fulfill this simple request, we wondered why she was so put out until we saw the reason….a heaping helping of potato chips at her teller window!!  If this bank was that friendly, Heather might have offered us a chip while we waited as she thundered off, torn from her snack.

All it takes is one “Heather” to destroy Mr. Bank Presidents empty claim and piss off a customer forever.  I happened upon Pete Blackshaw’s blog,  Consumer Generated Media is (I’ve added him to my Chicks Picks).   His new book will soon be on my shelf Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.  Here in Hooterville,  just like in the big city, clients struggle with the customer service issue.   We’ve produced videos, developed secret shopper programs, surveys, focus groups, you name it, to help our small town clients train better and be better at delivering the most important thing they sell…service.  It’s a constant struggle, a daily effort.

In another Chick Pick, Where’s My Jetpack entry of Tuesday Jan 6th, discusses the use of social media and Twitter (I guarantee you no Hootervillian client of ours would know what Twitter is except a noise a bird makes).  He comments on how marketers could use Twitter as a way to engage and earn precious consumer loyalty to deliver what really brings in the money … SERVICE!!

I’m one of those customers who believes it’s my sworn duty to fill out the survey, call the service desk, the manager, whoever, and tell’em what the hell is up.  I know they need to know…and I rather enjoy it.  So Heather, pack up your chips, honey.  All it took was one…and you’re it.

I’m telling.

 

Creative Happens.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Doesn’t matter if you’re in Hooterville or New York City creative people just do it…they can’t help it. They see things in a wonderfully different way and no matter if they get published or aired, they can’t deny the urge. 

Great big markets don’t have a corner on the good ideas.  Here in Hooterville I work with people who possess not just talent, but bring a diversity to the table that the big agencies would envy.  We have a designer who illustrates and raises chickens, a married couple who not only design, he’s a licensed pyrotechnician (call for your next fireworks show) and she’s a diaper maker (and a very good mommy) and herb gardener. Then, there’s our camera/video/audio guy… when he’s not doing paying work, he listens to podcasts about videography, he’s an attentive husband and dad, and takes guitar lessons.  We’re  going to produce a PSA for a local childrens advocacy group.  He was gathering images to begin the process and captured this.   baseball where it belongs

Major League Baseball needs an extreme makeover.  They could start by lowering ticket prices and bringing player salaries back to reality, then announce their intention on bringing the game back to everyday people…they could use this image in their new campaign.   Very nice.