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Archive for the ‘advertising agency’ Category

Key Branding Lessons from Security Companies

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

It’s no secret that home security isn’t the sexiest industry in the world. Homeowners who are in the market for home security are looking for protection, safety and peace of mind. And because home security is founded in the concept of stability, it does not lend itself so well to trendy, eye-catching advertisements.

In fact, the true image of a successful home security system is almost inherently boring: a family living their normal lives, carrying out their daily activities without drama or conflict. And while this might be the most realistic image of a successful home security system, it’s not a particularly thrilling one.

So how do home security companies advertise their products in a way that still draws attention from potential customers? Here are a couple key ways home security marketing campaigns take a seemingly vanilla product and engage consumers anyway.

• Emotions matter. Eliciting emotions to create compelling advertisements is a long-standing and powerful tactic. While some home security companies used to rely on scare tactics (imagine a commercial depicting a woman home alone when her security system stops a threatening intruder), many providers have moved away from fear to focus more on eliciting positive emotions instead. Although the purchase of a home security system isn’t likely to generate ecstatic joy or elation, it can still summon one important and persuasive feeling: empowerment. Home security companies use advertisements to emphasize the notion that purchasing a security system can be a proactive step, not just a reactive one. By portraying confident, comfortable, empowered homeowners, security companies are able to engage consumers without creating grim scenarios.

• It’s OK to focus on secondary features. The central foundation of home security is protection, but home security companies have recently used secondary features to grab the attention of consumers. Security systems are no longer simple bread-and-butter alarms; they include high-tech features like remote monitoring, home automation, and more. Even though the core of home security systems is still safety, security companies have proven that it is sometimes beneficial to focus on a product’s bells and whistles, especially when consumers are already very familiar with the product’s primary purpose. Since most homeowners already know what a security system does, it is beneficial to captivate their interest by displaying exciting new features that they may not have already known about.

• …but still stay true to the product. Even though the consumer perspective on home security may be growing more sophisticated, it is important for advertisers to still remain loyal to their company’s overall brand image. At the end of the day, consumers looking for home security want a product they can trust, not just one that will turn heads.

Michelle Smith is a marketing guru and freelance writer. She can be found writing in her home in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle encourages your feedback via email.

“ASAP” Means Absolutely Nothing

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

ASAP Image

“Can you send me that thing ASAP?”

I’ve been asked that before. I’ve also asked it myself. It sounds silly in writing, but it’s a common request in the workplace. While “ASAP” may seem important, it’s a key component to an empty request. “As Soon As Possible” may mean you want it delivered within the hour but to your coworker it may mean you want it within the week. You have no concrete proof that this person will actually deliver on what you are asking within a certain timeframe. Nor that it will be done correctly.

Still skeptical?

I sat in a team workshop (what I often refer to as “a warm and fuzzy”) called “Conversation for Action” and was skeptical too. Were we really about to spend an hour learning how to ask a request? But I will be the first to admit that the impact was very real.

Since the workshop I’ve reshaped my every request and have since then seen three tangible deadlines met—photos taken for an eblast, an edited brand platform, and a designed brand architecture—in only three days of putting this new practice to the test. Previously these requests had a 50 percent chance of being fulfilled, and felt like pulling teeth.

So how do you make a request that actually sticks? And on the flip side, how do you build trust with your coworkers to ensure that requests are met? Start here.

1. Request with purpose.
Ask like this: “I request that you ________ BY ___________.” This makes it very clear that you need something by a specific time. Create a shared concern, give context around your request, share details that may seem obvious to you but may not be obvious to your coworker. Ask in person versus email if possible. Then ensure a confirmation.

2. Honor your word.
If you say yes to the request, then meet the request or the moment something interferes, communicate it.

3. Treat your requester like a client.
You always want a satisfied client. When you complete the request, follow up to ensure satisfaction.

Give it a shot and while you experience the results, I request that you “Like” this blog by end of the week.

Conversation for Action Workshop

Pathos in advertising

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Proctor & Gamble’s 2014 Sochi Olympics ‘Thank You, Mom’ Commercial nails it on the head with an appeal to the audience emotions. I would say it’s the first tear jerker in 2014 for sure. Frankly, I didn’t think it would get any better than the the Apple “Misunderstood” holiday ad that came at us full force starting in early December 2013 (also below). Both Weiden + Kennedy (P&G) and TBWA Worldwide (Apple) deserve a hat’s off and a hardy handshake for making us remember the importance of family, as well as doing a fantastic job of enhancing brand equity for both products lines in such a subtle, yet elegant and emotional way.

Proctor and Gamble Ad

Apple Ad

Sorry Pat Benatar…Teamwork is a Battlefield: Lessons Learned from Laser Tag

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Laser tag isn’t just for kids. It’s for CEOs, VPs, Account Managers, Creative Directors and Marketing Strategists—serious professionals. Grab your team, throw on the gear, position your laser, and prepare to sweat off all that stress.

As a part of our creative approach to every project, and our desire to fully understand our clients’ businesses, we took a field trip to visit our new client, ULTRAZONE. Let’s just say that after spending eight hours a day together, Monday through Friday, the JT team warmly embraced laser tag.

We listened to the rules: no running, no foul play, laser tag each other, laser tag the bases, laser tag the hidden targets, get special powers and more. We split into three teams: Green, Red and Purple. From there all bets were off. Firing a laser at your boss was fair game. In fact, our very own intern was our most fierce competitor.

Beyond learning about our client, we found that laser tag fostered teamwork in ways that surprised us. I guess all it takes is a disruptive approach like a battlefield to bring a team together.

Personally, my first instinct was to tag as many coworkers as possible, especially Les and Charlie, collect the most points, and bask in all the glory. This strategy put me in lousy eighth place. But I wasn’t alone in my competitive thinking; it turned out that the majority of us approached laser tag with the same mindset.

Even though we were assigned teams, our instinct was to act alone and score the most points…BIG MISTAKE.

Did I mention that laser tag takes place in a dimly lit, massive maze with dead ends and hidden spaces at every turn? Needless to say, navigating the maze is a challenge; you get lost and tagged A LOT. A solo approach was not the answer.

To survive, you needed your team for protection in order to move forward and gain the most points. On our first round, the JT winning team brought in 61,009 points. Before the second round, each team huddled up and planned a strategy for success. By working together, covering each other, and staying close to one another, this time the winning team captured 82,013 points—lesson learned.

In addition to tagging opposing teammates, the team that captures the most bases ultimately wins. Naturally all teams gravitate to the bases. In other words, you need a united force to conquer the other team. In the first round of laser tag, acting as individual agents, the winning team tagged eight bases. By working together in the second round, the winning team tagged 13 bases.

The experience opened up rusty lines of communication and reminded us of the importance of teamwork. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into individual routines. Developing a team strategy before diving into a new project, just like in laser tag, we can expect to hit fewer dead ends. And at the end of the day, when we work as a team by sharing the success and shielding each other from attack, everyone wins.