We help companies develop compelling selling conversations that connect with their best customers, both internal and external, offline and online. When that happens, our clients sell more stuff. Think of us as a creative juice bar for fresh ideas - branding, advertising, graphic design, copywriting, TV & Radio concept and production, social media strategy & more.
Thanks to Scott Monty, head of Social Media at Ford Motor Company, for this insightful infographic. For more awesome social media advice and info from an acclaimed master of the art and science, check out his musings at The Social Media Marketing Blog!
Sure it's a little early, but let's face it, how many of you would actually be reading this ON Thanksgiving? So here's something for you to gobble, gobble up before the big day! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Atomic Ideas!
Give the people what they want and they will flock to your door, whether it is a product, service, or in this case, a blog. By incorporating the "fad of the day" -- ie the Stock Market Crashing recently, into the headline, I can attract customers - in this case, readers to the blog. But like any advertising venture, if the product - in this case this blog, doesn't measure up to the expectations in the headline - ie info on the stock market - I not only lose the reader (customer). I probably alienate him or her from ever buying (in this case reading) my product ever again .
This is where truth in advertising comes in. Only by communicating a "marketable truth" (a real advantage or value) that the product possess, can you attract AND retain a customer. Communicate a "false, fabricated or over-blown" promise, and you will probably attract potential buyers, but once they check you out, and you don't deliver what they are expecting, they will be alienated from your product or service for life.
At Atomic Ideas, we focus on finding and communicating your "marketable truths" so you can attract and retain more customers...AND sell more stuff!
We're absolutely convinced at Atomic Ideas that bullshitting consumers won't help our clients sell more stuff. Not surprising since our overarching raison d'etre is to take the BS out of brand strategy.
The problem is, many advertisers still think that bullshit will help them move the needle. Case in point, Burger King and their advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the latest victim of BK's marketing malaise.
Yes indeed, they're getting dumped by Burger King (oh, and Groupon just dumped them too after another self-indulgent fiasco). But from the agency world perspective, many of us wish we could be just like CP+B. But honestly, why? Here is an agency that arguably does more to publicize and advance its own agenda through its strategic and creative executions than it does for its clients. If everything you do is designed to gain attention for yourself as much as for your clients, maybe there's a problem. Of course, we are also aware of the fact that even CP+B may have caved to the clients demands. After all, 300 million is an awful lot of momey no matter how big an agency you are.
For seven years, CP+B garnered recognition, awards and peer accolades, and also much criticism for its Burger King work... from "Subservient Chicken" to sometimes bizarre and creepy "King" commercials to "Whopper Sacrifice". The problem is, that apart from an initial boost in sales, Crispin basically failed to help BK sell more stuff in the long run... much like their predecessors. Burger King is famously famous for switching agencies when nothing goes their way.
"Before Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Burger King went through creative agencies like shit through a goose."
In our humble opinion, BK is as much to blame as its agencies. Burger King is a company that simultaneously dropped its "flame broiled" and "have it your way" differentiation in favor of... well, what? A guy in a mask? Most guys with masks are either terrorists or bank robbers. And if you can't have it your way at BK, well you definitely can't have it your way anyplace else. So what's the difference?
There is no question that "Have It Your Way" must have presented some difficult operational issues for Burger King. On the other hand, if they would have spent as much money figuring out how to make it work for their operators and franchisees as they did on the inane, useless advertising they have put into the marketplace over the past decade and more, they may have actualy gained market share against McDonald's and other competititors.
From our perspective, the real reason BK has gone through so many agencies is partly their fault. The idea that advertising can solve all a company's problems is completely fallacious. It's an excuse to cover up poor management, poor vision and a general misunderstanding of what consumers want and desire from a brand. On the other hand, Crispin's desire to make a splash for their own brand certainly didn't help them solve BK's business problems.
Most of what Crispin put out for BK was entertaining, sometimes bizzare, buzz-building bullshit, and it didn't work. Obviously, their client bought into it (and probably even asked for it). But at the end of the day, numbers show it did not communicate marketable truths about the product that would move the needle for the brand and help them sell more stuff. Both Crispin Porter + Bogusky and BK got a lot of attention, but for what? Alex Bogusky quit, and now BK quit them. Quit Pro Quo.
So now BK is looking for a new agency... again. Unless BK actually owns up to the fact that they (and maybe their products, management and operational isues) are a big part of the problem, rather than the agencies they hire on a regular basis, they will once again be pissing in the wind.
Hey BK, Atomic Ideas may be small, but we say what we think and we won't bullshit you or your consumers. Besides, we're fairly sure we would be a hell of a lot cheaper than all those big boys that have so far failed you. Give us a call if you're looking to actually sell some real Whoppers!
This is the perfect definition of a viral video. So funny. So spot on, that people play it over and over again and send it to friends. What is it selling? NOTHING. Advertising clients often ask agencies to "Make a Viral Video" then force them to cram all kinds of sales points into it. And god forbid anything in the video make the client or product look the least bit goofy, or in any way be "edgy." As so...it never goes viral.
But that's not what I really wanted to talk about today, which is: casting! Take a look at this talking dog video. The voice used for this dog is perfect. It fits the character of his actions and the dialog. So many clients want a "funny" radio spot but want to cast "straight-up" announcer boring voices. Or vise-versa, they will only buy a straight script but then want to put a "funny" voice in it "to make the spot funnier." Neither works. A spot needs the proper synergy of character, delivery and dialog. Screw up any of these and a potential customer's BS meter goes off and you've lost them (ie you've thrown your money away).
I know, I know, it's Friday and I promised you "funny" in the title. So enough pontificating. Here's the video. Enjoy!
As we all know, money talks. So this week GenisysCredit Union debuted two new radio spots which feature a likeable, relatable character named "Cash" who is in essence, your hard earned cash - ie. your money! Targeted to "GenY" and "GenX" men and women, these spots, written and produced by Atomic Ideas, casually inform listeners of the benefits of Genisys Credit Union versus banks or other credit unions.
These spots also roll out Genisys Credit Union's new web address: genisys.me utilizing the just released ".me" suffix. Why use the new ".me" instead of ".com"? Because Genisys is all about you -- or as the consumer internalizes it, all about me!
In just two and a half days on the air, Genisys has already seen a bump up in auto loan originations -- the subject of the first two spots. Future spots will highlight other areas in which Genisys has a unique selling proposition or "marketable truth."
Take a listen. Then maybe take your cash to Genisys Credit Union!
Many smaller agencies stretch the truth when they tell you they have the depth and expertise to understand every marketing challenge. But at Atomic Ideas, each of of our idea makers has at least 20 years of advertising and marketing experience. So it comes as no surprise that together or individually our staff has pretty much done it all. In fact, just tooling around YouTube brought up yet another spot (uploaded by a consumer who evidentially liked it), which was created a few years ago by one of our very own Atomic Ideas creative folk.
From Retail to Consumer Products, from Restaurants to Hotels to Hospitals, from Broadcast to Direct to Social Media and more, Atomic Ideas has done it all. So you don't have to spend big money to hire a huge agency just to get the experience you need (we've worked at some of the biggest). And you don't need to sacrifice quality in order to save money with a smaller agency (we've worked at a few of those, too). You just need to hire an Idea Factory that has the experience to solve your advertising and marketing challenges.
Over the holiday weekend, the topic of radio advertising came up. I heard someone actually say, "Radio is Dead." Sure regular broadcast radio has some competition from satellite radio and iPod recordings, but for a good percentage of Americans, their car is still "a radio on wheels." And to say Radio is not a viable medium for advertising is just as wrong as saying Social Media is the only medium to advertise on. They're both just tools and both excell at reaching certain types of customers at certain times, and at certain points in their purchase cycle. A well written radio commercial can be every bit as effective at reaching a target audience as a well written TV spot or a well written web video
In any advertising effort, the first step is to develop a sound advertising strategy which is simply identifying a company's best customers, then reaching them with a message about the company's marketable truths, through the most appropriate medium(s) -- which often includes radio.
In short, Radio can create, enhance and build a brand or drive traffic as well as any other medium -- provided it fits with the individual company's aforementioned strategy. It can also be one of the most entertaining and cost-effective advertising mediums.
Here's a few radio advertising classics for your listening enjoyment:
This campaign was so successful they put visuals to it:
A.I. recently teamed up with production company Rare Medium/Well Done and Director Steve Witham to shoot a new three spot package for Belle Tire featuring real customers and their stories. Editorial was completed by the competent gang at HD Studios/Grace & Wild.
The commercials range from heartwarming to dramatic and are recreations of stories told in letters sent by customers to Belle Tire thanking them for going above and beyond their expectations. The actual customers introduce and narrate each commercial.
The first spot just hit the airwaves and we're proud to showcase it right here, right now!
With the first Chevy Volt rolling off the assembly line today in Hamtramck, Michigan (gateway to Detroit) -- which incidentally, requires a government incentive of $7500 per car to have any possibility of selling -- I have to ask the question, "Where's the government incentive to buy advertising services?"
I know it sounds silly. Why would the government support a for-profit business, like advertising?
To which I ask, "Why would they support a for-profit business like automobile manufacturing? Or a for-profit business like banking?"
I know, the argument goes something like, "if the car companies (and/or banks) go under, so does our economy." Well, what happens when advertising goes under??? How will companies sell more stuff? This is an important point because if they don't sell enough stuff, they go under -- and so does the economy!!!!
Advertising has lost (by several estimates) over 160,000 jobs that will probably never come back. That's 160,000 people not paying taxes, or buying cars, or putting money in banks. And you know what happens when people don't buy cars or put money in banks? That's right, the government bails them out!!
Where was the government when Doner cut hundreds of jobs? When BBDO cut thousands of jobs? When Campbell-Ewald cut hundreds of jobs? When the networks, newspapers and radio stations cut thousands of jobs? I could keep going, but you get the jist. Advertising agency blended rates have not increased in more than 10 years (and in some markets have even retracted), while at the same time, clients are cutting budgets and squeezing agencies to provide ever more service for the same dollar amount.
I'm not complaining. I'm just saying, as Sally did in A Charlie Brown Christmas, "All I want is what I've got coming to me. All I want is my fair share!" I'm not asking for a government bailout, just a government incentive for advertising. Maybe a tax break for advertisers who could then use the money to pay their agencies more, or at least use it to advertise more!
The Volt and Leaf get government subsidies because, "they help reduce our dependance on foreign oil and (supposedly) cut greenhouse gasses." A government subsidy for advertising would reduce our dependance on word of mouth which would (supposedly) cut CO2 (a greenhouse gas).
At Atomic Ideas (a Michigan advertising agency and idea factory), we're doing everything we can to stoke the fires of capitalism by supporting advertising in all it's various forms -- from :30 TV spots to Magazine Ads to Billboards to Social Media campaigns. Or as we like to say it, "Atomic Ideas, Saving Advertising, One Tag Line At A Time!"