The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Print Ads for Toothpaste


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile a recent print/street campaign for Signal Sensitive Toothpaste.


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by Fausto Mendez / photo by agency Lowe

    Signal’s advertising team is on fire with these fascinating print/street ads. If you’ve ever felt the merciless tooth pain from biting into too-cold cold ice cream, the above ad will certainly speak to you. But I’m sure the brand’s target audience has had much more traumatic experiences with their own tooth pain, hence the hilarious contraptions in the ads.

    The ads pull the oldest trick in the book. They force the viewer to relive an unforgettable emotional experience in their lives, which makes the ads much harder to forget. Emotional experiences themselves are hard to forget, so if you can call up a strong emotional experience as the viewer watches your ad, you have a pretty effective campaign on your hands.


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(Source: ibelieveinadv.com)

How to do Better Business: Stellar Graphic Design Caused Massive Boost in Sales of Classic Novel Pride & Prejudice


In marketing, stellar design and great presentation are critical if your goal is to maximize brand awareness and sales, and this point is clearly illustrated with the sales spike in 2009 of the classic, heart-wrenching novel Pride & Prejudice


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by Fausto Mendez / photo by New York

    Design and presentation are often overlooked by too many small businesses because it can be costly (if you don’t know how to manage a graphic designer), and many hard-core, data-driven, business managers don’t believe that good design is worth their time and money. Personal opinions aside, it’s hard to argue with hard data, such as sales numbers. 

    In the above graphic, New York magazine put together an insightful bar graph of total sales of Pride & Prejudice at different points in time. For each point in time, Pride features a unique cover design. As you can see, less-exciting covers, such as the 1993’s text-book-looking Pride failed miserably. 

    However, the recent success of the Twilight novel series prompted Pride’s marketing team to design a cover that features a similar attitude as Twilight's cover. Clearly, Twilight's cover designer has a much better understanding of what moves the genre's target audience. The result was a massive spike in sales after the cover launched in 2009.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

How to do Better Business: Making Brand Evangelists


The brand evangelist is the holy grail of any marketing team. He/she promotes your brand to the most relevant audiences, and the best part is evangelists are free, unlike employees. But how exactly do you make a brand evangelist? 


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by Fausto Mendez / photo by Marcleh

    Brand evangelists are difficult to make, and some brands can never figure it out. Some companies never even give the concept a shot, assuming brand evangelists are impossible for their respective companies or industries. While it’s true that brands like the NBA have a much easier time developing evangelists than brands like Delta Airlines, it’s not true that it’s impossible to make evangelists for your specific business. Think about it…

Success Story: Virgin Airlines

    Prior to Virgin Airlines, it’s hard to believe that an airline could ever be a hip brand like Coca Cola, especially in social media, which is where many evangelists do some of their best evangelizing. But if you take a look at the company’s online presence, it’s clear there is an army of evangelists out there working on behalf of Virgin, and it could not have been as successful as it is today without those evangelists.

    What is Virgin’s secret? More importantly, what is the brand doing that other airline companies are not doing? The answer is actually pretty simple: Virgin has Richard Branson, the company’s CEO and ultimate brand evangelist.

    Branson is one of the most famous businessmen on the planet right now. His fame and work rival that of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. More importantly, the global impact of his companies are literally changing the world as I type out this article, not just in terms of technology but in terms of philanthropy as well. Don’t believe me? Check back in ten years when Virgin Galactic is shuttling tourists in space as one of the first space “airlines” for consumers. Oh wait, it’s already happening, and you can reserve your seat right now.

    You could argue that space flight is actually the answer to making brand evangelists for Virgin. After all, that is another major difference between Virgin and the rest of the airline industry, but you’d be wrong. There are a handful of other companies that have achieved similar feats as Virgin Galactic, but most people have no idea those companies even exist. Branson, it turns out, is the key to making brand evangelists out of Virgin customers.

Steve Jobs Illustrates the Importance of Public Leaders

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photo by / LJR.Mike

    Steve Jobs, Apple and its customers have a similar relationship with each other, but don’t misunderstand this. It’s true that you need to have a great product/service and a stellar marketing team to make brand evangelists. However, the company’s “fearless leader” is ultimately the foundation that ensures the existence of brand evangelists. Without the fearless leader, there’d be little to no die-hard fans, or evangelists.

    The Brand Mentalist describes the relationship between Apple and its fans in an excellent piece titled “Evangelism”. 

"Apple users are evangelists because they truly believe in the values of the company. They feel that the company’s motto (“Think Different”) is a reflection of who they are as individuals. Apple evangelists feel inspired and connected when they see Apple commercials, as these advertisements show people who share Apple’s beliefs, messages that challenge the status quo, and people who actually “Think Different.” Most importantly, all of Apple’s products are a reflection of this belief. The company has always innovated products that actually do “Think Different” from what the mainstream version of that product is.

It’s not a coincidence that the leader of Apple held the same beliefs as the company. Steve Jobs was a misfit. Everything he did in life followed the mantra “Think Different.” In fact, you can even argue that one of the reasons he died is because of this belief.”

    Apple represents Jobs, not the other way around. It’s important to keep that in mind when making evangelists. If your company doesn’t represent its fearless leader, you’ll never make evangelists.

"If you, as a leader, live a life that embodies your company’s meaning, and you make sure that all company decisions are a reflection of this mantra, your users will slowly begin to join you. Your users will start to advocate for you, and truly believe that your company is a representation of who they are. They will start to feel that your company always has their best interests, without even questioning you." 

    As long as your customers feel that your brand’s fearless leader shares their beliefs and values, they will trust the company and its decisions. They will even promote it to their friends and family for free. After all, who doesn’t love to share good news?

"This kind of loyalty has nothing to do with design or features; this is about the innate need of social creatures to join groups that represents their values."

    You can always break down any marketing strategy to basic psychological elements that accurately predict the customer’s behavior, and in this case, people naturally feel a primitive desire to join groups with members that share the same values. Exploit this psychological tick with your company’s fearless leader, and you have yourself a competent brand-evangelist-making strategy.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Pepsi on Halloween


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile Pepsi’s Halloween ad.


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by Fausto Mendez / ad by Buzz in a Box

    Pepsi dresses up as Coca-Cola for Halloween in the soda brand’s clever jab at its main competitor, sending the message that Coca-Cola is not the “real” cola. Coca-Cola is the fictional option.

    Sometimes I wonder if the two companies secretly work together to ensure that each company gets about 50% of the market share. If they only mention each other in their ads, consumers would, over time, become “brainwashed” that those are really the only two suitable options in the market. It would be a brilliant marketing strategy, but I don’t have any hard evidence to back up those claims.

   In any case, it seems like a no brainer. If I directed marketing for their companies, it’s exactly what’d I’d do.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Download this Free Font: The Hand-Drawn Set


Finding the best free #fonts isn’t easy (except when we post them here), but it’s always good for business to have some extra out-of-the-box typefaces within arm’s reach. That’s why we’re always searching the Web for its best-kept-secret fonts.


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By Fausto Mendez

    Your advertising materials, event supplies and promotional giveaways are only as good as your typefaces (and perhaps the graphic designer on your payroll). With or without a stellar graphic designer, the right fonts can make a huge difference, and these hand-drawn fonts should fit into any project that aims for a rough-ish, not-so-polished feel. Get the fonts at the links below (list courtesy of Uber Chic for Cheap).

Fonts:

Dingbats (symbols):

    Our goal is to help our customers find the right fonts for their advertising materials, promotional giveaways and event supplies, so if you’re in the mood to go font hunting, search for the #fonts tag on this blog. If you’re in the mood to add a logo, some custom artwork, or a fontified message to apparel or other promotional giveaways, check out the massive selection of over 40,000 products at AnyPromo.com.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Stanford Business: How to Spot Liars at Work - #MarketingMonday


A famous and respected business coach lectures enthusiastic Stanford students on how to spot liars at work. If you spend any time in any office, you should find this quite useful and utterly fascinating. 


By Fausto Mendez

    Watch business coach Carol Kinsey Goman break down ten different ways to identify liars in the workplace. She also offers tips on how to look honest when you are actually telling the truth. Both sets of tips are extremely useful in the marketing industry, but her advice can be applied across the board in all industries. 

    One sign of lying is the use of overly formal language, but you should be careful because “overly formal” is in the eye of the beholder. Do not add meaning where there isn’t, or you might easily become the office’s next disseminator of false truths.

    Keep in mind that these are just signs of lying and not proof of lying. People may give off signs of lying even when they aren’t lying, but having a keen eye for the presence of multiple signs could point you in the right direction when you’re not sure if you can trust someone.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: UN Ads for Women’s Rights


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile the UN’s new women’s rights campaign.


By Fausto Mendez

    The UN asked women in various countries to use Google search’s autocomplete feature to find out what people are searching for - in relation to women - in those parts of the world. The ads speak for the themselves, and if you do a similar search in Google in your region, you will most likely see similar results. Below, I screenshotted the sad results from my search with the query “women cannot”.

    My regions is Southern California in the United States, so it’s pretty sad that this is what came up. See the rest of the ads at the behance profile of Kareem Shuhaibar, featuring ads that show autocomplete results from various parts of the world. 


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Download this Free Font: 20 Harmonious Font Pairings


Finding the best free #fonts isn’t easy (except when we post them here), but it’s always good for business to have some extra out-of-the-box typefaces within arm’s reach. That’s why we’re always searching the Web for its best-kept-secret fonts.


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By Fausto Mendez

    This week’s featured free-font set takes a different approach than the standard weekly list. Instead of supplying a list of gorgeous fonts, Tutvid did something really interesting, pairing free fonts together that really complement each other.

    In the above photo, you’ll notice a quote by the legendary Star Wars character Yoda. The fonts in use are Alfa Slab One and Lora. This quote is one of my favorite lines in all of the Star Wars movies, tv shows, stories, etc. It’s very inspirational. 

    Check out the rest of the list at Tutvid. There’s 20 graphics like this, each featuring two fonts. Print them out, or use them as your computer’s wallpaper for your daily dose of inspiration. But don’t forget to download the fonts! Have fun!


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Promo Giveaway Success Story: Clean-Up Brush & Dust Pan for Janitorial Firm


We bring you real-life examples of businesses that successfully employed customized promotional giveaways and event supplies into their marketing strategies and business plans. 


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By Fausto Mendez

    A janitorial firm needed a low-cost and effective way to promote its post-construction cleanup services at a local business expo, so the company ordered a big box of custom clean-up brush & pan sets. The customization printed onto the brushes read, “Our Services Will Sweep You Away.” Unfortunately, we can’t share the name of the firm due to an NDA agreement. 

The Results

    The promotional item was a hit at the local business expo. In the following six months, the janitorial firm’s sales grew by over 30%. The relationships that were made and/or developed at the expo significantly contributed that 30% growth, and the clean-up brush & pan played a significant role in cementing those relationships for the long term.

    As potential customers used the clean-up brush & pan around the office or construction site, it served as a subtle reminder of the janitorial firm’s services. When their construction gigs ended and it was finally time to hire a post-construction cleanup crew, there was clearly only one brand on their minds.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

How to Run Killer Trade Shows: Get Fans to Brandish Your Promotional Swag with a Scavenger Hunt & Social Media


We introduce a new strategy to flood trade-show floors with fans brandishing your logo. Bonus: get exposure on social media at the same time!


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By Fausto Mendez / Original Photo by Scott Swigart

    Promotional giveaways are an excellent way to advertise your brand at trade shows, but the vast majority of the time, they are tucked away into bags and backpacks, never to be seen again. Avoid that problem and maximize brand awareness with your limited budget by carefully planning a more strategic giveaway campaign. Today’s tutorial leverages a scavenger hunt and social media to flood trade-show floors with fans that brandish swag with your logo. 

    We previously covered a very different strategy with a focus on apparel, though it achieves a similar goal. But this new strategy incorporates a variety of promotional items that feature your brand name, so you’re not limited to just apparel. Here’s the plan.

How to Put Your Logo on Everyone

    You can get a lot of people to rush around the show floor in your shirts - carrying your bags, using your pens, brandishing your notebooks and other swag -  with a well-planned scavenger hunt that features a few grand prizes for the best players. You will, of course, have to advertise the scavenger hunt ahead of time in your regular marketing channels, including social media; otherwise, nobody will know about it.

    Start by posting the rules and requirements of the scavenger hunt on your social media channels. The first requirement should be to find follow/like/fan your most relevant social media channel. That could easily be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ for most companies. The second requirement should be to find one of your promotional shirts (or tote bag) at the trade show, put it on, and post the photo to your most relevant social media channel. 

    In this day and age, you should cleverly add a healthy dose of social media into all of your marketing campaigns, especially your presence at trade shows. In this case, I recommend using social media as the way to record each participant’s collection of the items to be found in the scavenger hunt. It’s best to use your own promotional items, such as pens with your logo, as the items for the scavenger hunt, but you can also throw in some items from sister companies or other companies that you work with.

    You should also mix in visually spectacular elements of the trade show show as items to be photographed - such as a celebrity, an impressive booth, a video presentation, a performer, a concert, a keynote address, a work of art, etc. - in order to make the participants feel like it’s not just one giant advertisement for your brand. And the reality is it is one giant advertisement for your brand, but the key is to make it feel like it’s just a fun game for attendees of the trade show.  

    Most major trade shows occur over several days, so it’s best to break up the scavenger hunt into “rounds”, one round being one day of the show. That allows players to feel like if they don’t do well one day, they still have the opportunity to win the next day. Each round should feature a few grand prizes for the best performers, and there should be one final grand prize for the best performer of all rounds. 

Example: Scavenger Hunt for a Fashionable Bag Maker at CES 2014

    For this example, let’s pretend that we’re a fashionable bag & case maker for gadgets and laptops, and we’re attending CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) as an exhibitor. Your most relevant social channel is Pinterest, so we require all players to record their collection of items by pinning the items to two boards on Pinterest. The first board is our own company board. The second is the player’s own board, specifically dedicated to the scavenger hunt. That’s is how you’ll verify items for the hunt. 

    Let’s pretend CES occurs over three days in 2014. The first day, you post the item list on pinterest. The item list is shared and re-shared by fans at the show, and it includes a good mix of hidden promotional items, shoutouts to partner companies, and fun sights and activities that should be experienced by attendees of CES. 

    Your promotional items should be relevant to your fans, so avoid items that your fans don’t care for, and you’ll have to hide them at different parts of the show, including no more than one or two items at your booth. As a result, you’ll have to pull some strings and favors to get other companies to allow you to use their space for your scavenger hunt. But that shouldn’t be too hard if you’re sending traffic towards their booths. If you ask very nicely and present a good case for why it benefits them, you may be able to use their space to hide some of your stuff; however, if you’re presenting at CES, I’m sure you have at least a few connections, such as partners or suppliers, at the show. Leverage your connections as well.

    You should incorporate time-sensitive experiences and items into the hunt, so eager hunters can’t finish the whole thing too fast. The key is to make the hunt last the whole day. Usually, at least a few attendees visit CES as announcers or promoters, so capturing a shot with one of them would be a fun item for the list. Flashy keynote addresses, important video presentations (such as the trailer for a new game), concerts and performances are also great ideas. 

    Make sure that you throw in at least one or two items or landmarks that aren’t directly on the show floor to get folks visiting the outside area, if it’s worth visiting. CES is held in Las Vegas, so that’s a no brainer. A famous statue, hotel, sign or art piece should be easy to find and photograph, so use a few landmarks as items for your list. 

    You’ll end each day by posting a new item list for the following day and by announcing the winners, which are the players that found the items first. In order for a player’s list to be evaluated, he or she should visit your booth, and you’ll have an employee review the player’s items. If it is determined that the player won, he or she will take the prize right there and then. Of course, you’ll capture a photo with of the winner and prize, and you’ll post that to your social media channels. The player, of course, must be wearing your promotional shirt and/or bag the whole time. You might also award a larger grand prize to anyone that wins more than one day. 

The Results

    If you play your cards right, the end result should be a ton of people running around the show floor in your promotional shirts and/or other promotional apparel, finding and keeping promotional items that feature your brand or the brand’s of other companies that you’ve partnered with. The sheer spectacle of the hunt will shine a giant spotlight on your brand during the show, attracting the attention of the media, potential customers, skilled professionals that need jobs, and future partners. And, of course, you should receive a lot of social media engagement.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Corona Beer for Day of the Dead


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile Corona’s 2013 Day of the Dead Campaign.


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By Fausto Mendez

   Above, we posted the full-size version  of one of the print ads for Corona’s Day of the Dead campaign, which you might see in magazines, on billboards, at bus stops and other places on the street. Below, is more of a web presentation of the same idea, though I can easily see this appearing on the side of a bus. 

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Illegally Perfecting All-Natural Ice Cream with Nitrogen in Silicon Valley


Stanford Grad Robyn Fisher started her business by illegally selling all-natural ice cream on the street next to unemployed chefs. Today, she’s the proud owner of the super popular Smitten Ice Cream shop.


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By Fausto Mendez / Photo by Robyn Fisher

    Wired interviewed Stanford Grad Robyn Fisher on her recent successes as the owner of a made-to-order, all-natural ice cream shop that started out as an illegal operation on the street.

Wired: When you launched, it was sort of a pirate ice cream enterprise wasn’t it? Not strictly legal?

Fisher: At that time I started getting my ice cream out there in 2009, all these chefs had been laid off from restaurants. So they went to the streets to sell their food, and I joined them. We used Twitter and Facebook and about 12 of us would set up in a park or on the street and say “come and get it before the cops come.” It was totally not legal. We would get hundreds of people coming, and it was amazing. I learned so much from all of those street food chefs about pricing, marketing all sorts of things.”

    Fisher partnered up with laid off chefs to improve her recipes and business model. Around the same time, she also perfected the art of using nitrogen, all-natural ingredients, and a custom mixer to instantly freeze the ice cream sans freezer, and it’s not just flashy tech for flashy tech’s sake.

    The nitrogen technique creates the perfect texture in ice cream because the instant freeze enables her to skip some of the chemicals that ice cream makers inject into their product in order to achieve similar textures. Fisher does a really great job of explaining the science behind the cream during the interview.

"Wired: I know ice cream is cold, but what does the nature of ice crystals have to do with how good the ice cream is?

Fisher: The general gist of it is freezing speed makes all the difference in crystal size, and the smaller, the better for mouth taste and creaminess. Freezing speed is correlated with freezing temperature. So if you can freeze it really, really cold, you can get smaller ice crystals.

And if you can freeze really cold, you can freeze really fast. The benefit of that is if you make small enough batches you can freeze to order. Therefore you don’t need any of those extra ingredients that make ice cream far from natural.”

    Smitten Ice Cream is now one of San Francisco’s favorite ice cream spots, and it continues to reach new heights of fame as travelers from around the nation and the world visit the shop during their stay at the Bay Area.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

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