Tips from Ogilvy

Aint' much different going on in the world. Yep everything has changed but really nothing has. Or at least the important things never change. I recently have read a few books authored by maven, David Ogilvy. Such that I may better remember what I found most interesting, I write down this book report on the blog, thinking it would be interesting to share.

Great Ads (yeah I know we are beyond just doing ads now but the point is the point of disruption or awareness is what he refers to)

The viewer should experience: "wow that is right, or wow I never knew that ". They should never say "wow that is a clever ad."

Great ads and creatives should keep these points in mind:

1. Ads should be about what you say NOT how you say it.
2. Ads must have an idea.
3. Ads should excite. You can't bore people into buying.
4. Advertising must at some point reveal the facts.
5. For creatives: Don't be a clown. Be well mannered. You are a salesman.
6. Make it feel modern.
7. Committees can criticize ads but they can't write them.
8. Runs the same creative until it stops working.
9. Don't lie. Don't make ads you wouldn't show your family.
10. Creative should uplift the image of the brand.

Other tidbits I found to be a nice reminder of what is important in a creative environment:

1. We must provide an atmosphere where creatives can do goodwork.
2. Employees must: pull their own weight, be the smartest, be honest, be sunrise people, and have a path for upward progression.
3. Hire ambitious people from modest backgrounds over a high-priced fugitive from a fashionable agency on Madison Avenue.


Who needs a Web site anymore?

I use an iPhone app to handle my banking transactions. My sister follows her favorite restaurant’s menu on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which is their only digital destination. My friend, someone who never bought a Tivo, now loves ABC’s iPad app that enables him to watch any TV show at any time in beautiful HD-like quality.

I can’t wait to see Wired magazine’s upcoming iPad publication, which might prove to be the future of publishing. Penny-pinchers eagerly await their daily Twitter coupons. A former colleague of mine views shared imagery from his various friends on his Apple TV. Our walled and password-protected worlds of social environments and content are available to us on a myriad of devices but often are unavailable to search engines. One friend of mine told me a few weeks ago he unsubscribed to all his e-newsletter subscriptions and gets fresher content via RSS feeds on his mobile device.

The digital world is experiencing a dramatic change. People are going to digital destinations to share and receive content on a variety of devices. Forrester ably labeled this phenomenon, which has crept into our world over the last few years, “The Splinternet.” And that is just what it is; the fragmentation of online destinations. For me, it is typified by clients asking: “Should I be spending my allotted Web budget on the corporate Web site, or Facebook?”

Do brands still need Web sites? Yep. One foot in the old world and one foot in the new world will serve most brands well. The time is now to embrace all these new platforms, but only if you are clear that your users/customers/prospects are already there or will be soon.


Inspiration from People and Places

I work at an advertising agency. I have always been priveledged to work in "nice" spaces. But until yesterday I had never worked in "inspired" spaces. Our office moved. And we moved into a newly designed and built space that is all about the people. It is all about inspiring and providing people the opportunity to collaborate. Simply put I can't wait to drive into work and begin a new era of ideas, collaboration and creativity.

In a creative industry you can be inspired by people, the things they create and the places in which we do them. I am honestly surprised what a sudden boost of momentum and energy the people in the office seem to have. Never underestimate the power of creating inspiration wherever you do creative work. Attention to your space and where you work can do wonders for the soul.


What has your brand created for me lately?

Every once in a while a product comes along that sells itself. (Think of Apple's iPhone. All you had to do was hold it and you were sold right?) And sometimes there are brands that transform customers into admirers, followers or even advocates. (I'm told once you drive a Ferrarri you never go back to a Volkswagen. Or once you own a Leica you’ll sell your Nikon etc.)

But for companies who fight the tough fight, trying to gain market share by convincing prospects of a superior brand, features, benefits or better differentiated solutions, there might be hope.

Increasingly brands can provide something that is useful, usable and desirable to the customer that does not happen to be either their product, services or solutions.

Think of these examples:

1. Nike sells shoes and clothing. And with “Nike +” they also provide a utility platform that allows runners to connect socially.

2. BF Goodrich sells tires but recently created a social community called “Nation of Go” the heart of which is the Web site and App that allow drivers to share, contribute and create their favorite driving tours.

3. Hasbro needs to sell “Monopoly City Edition” game sets and creates a 3D Monopoly inspired online game attached to Google Maps and Google Earth that allows users to compete for big prizes.

4. Nokia sells phones among other things.They created a mobile App called Nokia Money to do basic financial transactions through their mobile device.

You get the idea.

Think of it like this. Marketers have always given stuff to customers and prospects to keep them interested in their brands. And it used to be good enough to offer a coupon, a whitepaper or more recently watch a video of a white paper as a means of connection. But now brands need to try harder to become more customer-centric and connect in more meaningful ways. We need to be asking: “What do my customers need, want and desire? What would make their jobs easier, their lives more fulfilled and maybe more fun?”

Combining that customer insight with creative and engaging solutions, is the key to creating usable, useful and desirable experiences that ignite your customers and your brand. Activity like that keeps your brand alive and well considered for the slam dunk purchase.


Old Photos

Evelyn and Annabelle, originally uploaded by Mike Tittel.

I have been looking through old photos during my holiday break. Amazing what you can find the "second time around". Not sure of the story here but I love the reflections and composition. Shot with the old Leica M6 and Tri-X. This must have been about 3 or 4 years ago.

I think I'm finally done being convinced film is the way to go any more. Darkroom is a true time suck and the chemistry is really bad stuff for humans.


German Beer

L1020011, originally uploaded by Mike Tittel.

Two trips to Munich have now turned me into a beer snob. I think it was Warsteiner that uses the line "Life is too short to drink cheap beer." And that is exactly how I feel. Love the stuff.

Christmas 2009

L1020051, originally uploaded by Mike Tittel.

Playing around with light and camera angles. Most of what I enjoy with this photograph is the idea that I had 5 minutes to really look at something and have some fun.