Posts tagged ‘advertising’

Coca-Cola: A Different Kind of Brand

I remember hearing that the most commonly recognized word in the world is “okay,” and in second, “Coca-Cola.” I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it wouldn’t be hard to believe. Coca-Cola is “a 67 billion dollar empire that sells its products in 206 countries and in the farthest reaches of the globe.”

I started thinking about the brand earlier this week when I ran across a documentary on CNBC titled Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing.  If you ever get a chance to catch this documentary, I would definitely recommend it. Among many topics, it chronicled the company’s marketing history—including the iconic Santa Clause ads and the sheer chaos that followed the decision to change drink’s formula and name it “New Coke.”

The program got me thinking that although many brands have a long history, not many have a storied past when it comes to marketing. Since the early days, Coca-Cola has been trying to establish a relationship with consumers. One of the first initiatives was to create a uniquely shaped bottle with the intent that people would know that it was a Coke simply by touch.  Now, the brand will go as far as building top-secret labs that mimic shopper environments to research and test the motivations behind a purchase.

Personally, I consider Coca-Cola a lovemark of the world. A lovemark is so much more than “liking” a product—it’s a loving relationship with the brand.

Coca-Cola is one of the few brands that transcend global boundaries—the brand is a product all on its own.

In your opinion, what are other lovemarks of the world?

03/04/2010 at 4:23 PM Leave a comment

Simple tips for applying for jobs

Snow certainly makes things difficult for Texans. My friend from New Jersey asked if anyone possessed an ice scraper here. The short response is typically laughter. With that said, the remnants of mother nature were certainly memorable—I have never seen that much snow in D/FW, 12.5 inches, in my life.

This unexpected weather made getting to the office difficult as well; my car was literally covered in 5 inches of caked-on snow and ice, so today (because I was the one laughing at the ice scraper comment), I’m writing from my humble abode at TCU.

On another note, we apologize for the sporadic posting over the last two weeks. Things have picked up very quickly for Zag, so we’re sorting all of the cards in our deck and we will be back to our regularly scheduled postage soon!

Now, onto today’s post:

Now that it’s February, graduation talk is getting hot and heavy for a senior like myself. Along with that, the notion of finding a job upon entering the “real world” is a bit terrifying. Here are some measures that I take that make the process as calm as possible:

Make a list. Scour job search engines, Google and postings from your school’s career center. Then, make a master check-list of potential companies you want to send your resume. Put it up somewhere—mine is directly in front of me in my room. A large visual reminder really helps to keep me on track.

Set a goal. In addition to the check list, setting a goal for the number of resumes I send out each week helps to keep the search moving along. For myself, I try to send out at least two resumes per week—I think it is a nice, reasonable goal that I can hit each and every week—but obviously you can send out as many or as few as you want.

Tailor yourself. For cover letters and resumes, you want to tailor everything to the potential employer. This takes some research. The easiest way for me to do this is to work with a large master resume and portfolio. With all my work in one place, I can pick and choose what to give to an advertising agency compared to a more conservative public relations firm.

Clean it up. Spell check is your friend, but please use it wisely. By that I mean, look at the context of everything spell check is “correcting.” For instance, there is a big difference between there, their and they’re. Simple spelling and grammar mistakes can really hurt your chances of landing an interview.

Send it off. This step is always the most difficult for me. Once your resume leaves your hands, or your e-mail outbox, it is out of your hands for the most part. Make sure you follow up with your contacts—showing the extra effort really can help.

02/12/2010 at 5:28 PM Leave a comment

My first rodeo experience

It was off to the rodeo for me last night, and man was it fun! It was my first time there, and I was impressed. When I first walked in to the stands at Will Rogers Coliseum, it was dark, but loud, with the sound of the MC echoing throughout. It was a major production – there were lights, fireworks and even a woman from Canada doing a handstand on her horse as it trotted along.

I immediately wondered – where do they get the money to put on this show? Granted, our seats were $22 a piece, but then I realized sponsor logos were all over the place. XTO Energy, Lone Star Ag Credit (a GCG client), Justin Boots and Harris Methodist seemed to be the primary sponsors for the night. So, of course, I had to weigh the pros and cons of this marketing strategy, and I decided to share them with you.

1. Awareness, awareness, awareness! The amount of people that see and hear each company’s name is remarkable (I’m assuming the sponsors remain for the entire rodeo.)

2.  Targeted marketing – this one can be a pro and con because on one hand you’re able to reach your target market all in one place (i.e. Justin Boots and Lone Star Ag Credit), but on the other hand you could be spending a lot of money simply to be reaching one of your target markets (i.e. XTO Energy and Harris Methodist).

3. There is a lack of messaging for each company. Thankfully these four companies are Fort Worth-based or so widely known that key messaging isn’t really needed, but if another company were to come in and sponsor, people may not recognize it.

Those are just a few things I noticed from the rodeo last night. If you haven’t gone yet or just want to go again, go online and see the schedule of events at Have fun!

01/26/2010 at 12:05 PM Leave a comment

Mad Men in the real world

Have you ever watched AMC’s Mad Men? Well, I hadn’t before last Thursday night, but I’m definitely going to get it programmed into my DVR now. I had the opportunity to meet Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, executive producer and head writer at an AAF event last week.

Mad Men is set in New York during the 1960s and follows the lives of “the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.”

The series recently won a Golden Globe and has a stable of stars, including Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery.

After listening to Weiner speak, I realized just how important, and similar, the creative process is in both the advertising and television. Weiner talked about how he gets his story ideas — it was simply through the experiences he and colleagues have in the world around them. That process is surprisingly familiar as I watch our graphic designers and copywriters come up with ideas.

I also caught another fascinating comment Weiner made — he said the TV show was more about life in general than it was advertising. I realized that, just like advertising, the message is 100 percent in the eye of the beholder. When one person sees one thing, another can see the exact opposite. That’s one of those anomalies that make advertising such an interesting industry – you’re always trying to send out a message that you hope at least one person will actually get.

Thanks Matthew for coming to Fort Worth. It was a real pleasure.

01/21/2010 at 5:02 PM Leave a comment

Celebrate your creativity!

Earlier this week, I learned that January is International Creativity Month, and being as how I work at a place that has a whole department dedicated to creativity, I felt like I should bring this to light.

Creativity is arguably the most subjective thing the world has to offer. What is creative to one person could be meaningless to another — this is why the critic exists. However, there is something about creativity that I feel can be universally agreed upon: everyone needs some form of creative outlet.

Creativity keeps our minds active and simply makes life more fun. What you do doesn’t matter; you can write a story, make an existing recipe your own or even invent a new drinking game ­— the avenues are endless.

So keep that in mind for the rest of this month. Add a little creativity to your day and see where it takes you.

To celebrate International Creativity Month, I have put together some of my favorite examples of creative outdoor advertising. My gift to you.

01/15/2010 at 4:16 PM Leave a comment

The future starts now?

Christmas has come and gone, so now it’s time to take our focus off Santa and Christmas lights and turn it towards confetti and falling disco balls.

However this December 31st, we will welcome in not only a new year, but a new decade — anyone who tells me the new decade doesn’t start until 2011 needs to be welcomed to the real world. This got me wondering how close are we to the future we have seen in the movies – more specifically, in regards to advertising. Filmmakers have given us plenty of examples of how they view the future of advertising, but how close are they? Lets take a look.

1) Back to the Future Part II – Jaws 19 holograph

You couldn’t possibly expect me to write about the future without including Marty McFly’s trip to 2015. In this future full of hoverboards, power laces and yet to be discovered Elijah Woods, Marty stumbles upon an interactive ad for Jaws 19. The shark rises from the marquee, music and all, and takes a harmless swipe at McFly (to his horror).

While I love this bit, I don’t see this trend really catching on. Movie marketing is using the Internet and guerilla tactics to set themselves apart today. Plus the holographic route seems a little 1980’s to me.

2) A.I. Artificial Intelligence/Children of Men – Motion billboards

The audience only gets a quick glimpse of the future of ads; you really have to look for it but I promise it’s there. The outdoor ads in these movies stood out to me because none of them were static. Billboards, bus wraps, you name it, it’s going to be moving.

This is actually not a far-fetched idea at all. With more billboards going digital and the introduction of “electric ink” that can move, it seems only a matter of time before moving ads are a reality.

3) Minority Report – Interactive and Customized ads

In order to make the movie more realistic, director Steven Spielberg brought together a “think-tank” comprised of MIT students and asked them to imagine what advertising would be like in 2054. Furthering the whole “people from MIT are smart” theory, the group was able to produce some very good ideas.

The ads in Minority Report would either be able to recognize you personally and identify your consumer patterns or they had the ability to be manipulated by the user. We are actually seeing this from cell phone newcomer Droid, which set up an interactive ad that can be controlled by anyone who has the ability to touch a screen. Overall, I think this movie did the best job in seeing the trend of marketing to the individual a good five years before it really took off.

4) Lots of movies – Using TV spots

Be it Robocop’s attempt to sell Sunblock 5000 or I, Robot’s commercial for the new robot models, apparently TV is still the best route to take as far as advertising goes in the future.

While it still holds sway, TV is definitely NOT getting more popular as an advertising medium. For a perfect example, take a look at Pepsi. They just recently announced they will not feature an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl– to put a little context on that, they have ran Super Bowl ads for the last 23 years . If that’s not a trend, I don’t know what is.

12/28/2009 at 4:12 PM Leave a comment

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