Friday, December 08, 2006

Strange Soviet architecture

It's interesting things like this that almost make me want to get on a plane and travel. Almost.

Via Coudal

Erath on fire blog

I have temporarily set up a blog for the Erath on Fire project. I'll be following the Erath County Volunteer Fire & Rescue around for about a year and shooting everything they do. I'm doing it for a future publication of some kind, I'm just not sure what right now.

Until we get the official website up, the blog will be located here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Great post on from Seth Godin.

How many times you have seen something like this that made you wonder about the future of human kind? The sad thing is, things like this happen every day in business. The hard part is instilling enough pride in your employees that they take an extra minute to move the log.

Of course, this is exactly the kind of behavior that makes "The Office" so much fun to watch.


In addition to the list below, I would like to add a hot cup of Starbucks coffee. White chocolate mocha with extra white chocolate. Now it's the perfect day.

Three ingredients for a perfect day

Today we have the three things we need for a perfect day.

1. Snow on the ground
2. A fire in the fireplace by the Christmas tree
3. My wife's Coke Roast making the house smell great

The view from near the top

37 Signals brings us this great post on their blog about the advantages of being third in your market. As it turns out, the people in third place are usually making more money because they are not spending as much to stay in first or second. Very interesting.

37 Signals makes the phenomenal online programs Basecamp and Backpack, both of which I use here at Image to stay organized. In fact, I'll be writing a review of both programs for the January issue of The Business Journal.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bond is back!

If you haven't seen Casino Royale yet, please do so. It is a wonderful reintroducing to the James Bond character. It does a fantastic job of finally showing us what drives him and why he is who he is. This necessitates an incredibly dark ending, however it is worth it to restart the character for a new generation.

As a huge Bond fan, I loved it. It's definitely darker than past installments, but I like the direction they are taking it. It wanted to see another Bond film as soon as the credits rolled, which hasn't been the case with the past three entries in the series.

Daniel Craig makes possibly the best Bond since Connery. Connery will always be the perfect Bond, but Craig does a great job of giving us a Bond who doesn't have all the answers. He makes mistakes. He suffers for those mistakes. He also seems dangerous. Timothy Dalton was the last actor to play Bond that actually seemed like he could do all the things he was doing. It's good to have that edge back.

I even enjoyed the much maligned theme song by Chris Cornell (at least enough to give iTunes .99 for it).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pre-Christmas gift ... to me

Alright, I know it's probably wrong to buy something for yourself just a month before Christmas, but I couldn't resist. To go along with my new exercise regimen (by that, I mean actually excercising for once), I bought a new iPod shuffle. I owned an original iPod shuffle, but sold it after I found out I didn't use it that much. Instead I always opted to use my full-sized iPod to carry all of my music. Well, that didn't stop my from convincing myself I needed a new one today.

So far I'm incredibly impressed with the compact new design. It even comes with a tiny little dock to sync with iTunes. If someone on your Christmas list wants an iPod, I'd recommend the shuffle has a half-way affordable model.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hampton 100% Guarantee

This weekend we stayed a night at a Hampton Inn in Fort Worth. I was incredibly impressed with their 100% Guarantee. If you aren't 100% satisfied, you don't pay for the room. Now, being in advertising, I understand that this is mainly a marketing gimmick to make people feel good. Generally speaking they would charge your credit card when you arrived, and then if you weren't satisfied, probably hassle you about a refund and make it as difficult as possible to get.

Hampton was different, however. They did not charge our card until we checked out and they made absolutely sure we were happy. I left feeling like they really did care about my satisfaction and the 100% Guarantee was, in fact, not just a marketing gimmick. Because of that I will probably seek them out whenever we travel from now on.

Consider me 100% satisfied.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shaken, not stirred

I love it when a new James Bond movie is coming out. I can never get enough of the theme song, and it plays continually in ads and trailers. It's truly the most wonderful time of year.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lego the largest tire manufacturer

As a kid, I was fascinated with Legos. My brother and I built everything imaginable with our tub o' Legos. Now that I have three boys, they've inherited the love of building with those multi-colored bricks.

Now comes the history of Legos..

To me one of the most interesting parts was the following quote:
"Over time the wheel would become one of the most ubiquitous of all Lego elements. In fact, by the late 1990's Lego was producing more than 300 million tires a year, making them the largest tire manufacturer in the world."


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Frozen drinks with a rake handle chaser

Great product demonstration. Who wouldn't want one of these?

Via American Copywriter

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Holiday pounds

Most people complain that holiday weight-gain happens with all the Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings. After last night, I would argue that packing on the holiday pounds starts with the replenishment of the candy drawer on Halloween. I say this as I pound down my second mini-box of Dots today.

Everyone enjoy the post-Halloween binge.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ben-Hur vs. Anakin Skywalker

Watching a documentary on the making of Ben-Hur, I saw an interview with George Lucas. He compared the excitement of the chariot race in Ben-Hur to the race in Episode 1. He talked about wanting to convey the same excitement he first experienced while watching Ben-Hur.

While I don't think Lucas did a bad job of it, I think it shows the difference between live-action of old, and computer-generated-images of modern cinema. I've seen Episode 1 a few times, and the race isn't bad, but the sense of danger just isn't there. We rewatched Ben-Hur, and the race was absolutely engaging. You can just tell when it is real people riding real chariots in real danger. For all the advances of cgi, I sometimes long for the days when you saw something on the screen and were in awe because you knew someone really did it.

Stephenville represented by "older gentleman" with pocket knife

Imagine my surprise finding a story about Stephenville, Texas on a national advertising blog.

Thumbs of Fire

Probably one of the funniest ways I've ever seen Stephenville represented.

Apparantly I'm not the only one this week

More adventures from the waiting room.

Why do I think this is one thing that will never change?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Serving like doctors

A recent doctor's visit by my wife made me wonder what the world would be like if all businesses had customer service like the doctor's office.

After arriving on time for an 8:45 appointment, she was forced to wait over an hour before she could even see the doctor. In our current society where time is so precious, how could a business survive by treating customers like that? Well, doctors are essential. Where else are you going to go to get diagnosed and fixed? We have to remember in our businesses, however, that we are not quite as essential. We need to always respect people's time.

How would your business do if you made your customers wait for an hour for each meeting?

Doctors seem to make the most money by piling the day with appointments (even though they know they can't meet them all in a timely manner). I'd be curious to see if a doctor could make more money by adding staff and seeing clients in a timely manner. Wouldn't they become more popular for treating their customers differently and therefore garner more business?

Competition is good, even in fields like healthcare.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rearranging inspiration

While we're on the subject of desktops. If you find yourself in a funk and need something to inspire you, rearrange your desk. You'd be surprised how something as simple as moving a few monitors around will make things seem so much different.

After spending a little time doing this today, though, I would have one piece of advice. Don't move the trash can. You'll find yourself throwing trash on the floor where it used to be for days.

Tabletop influences

We are all a sum of our influences. Everything we take in influences us in some way, and the things we like help shape our personalities. This is incredibly important in the creative business. So much of our creative output is influenced by everything we have taken in since birth.

It's always interesting to me to observe other people's offices and see what they have around them as influences. I thought of this when I looked at the table in my office. It's contains a Communication Arts Advertising Annual, the coffee table book "The Cinema of George Lucas," and three books on church planting. This really tells a lot about my personality. So what's on your tabletop?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's hard to get it right

In this day and age, it's hard to "get it right." When you are trying to launch a new venture, rarely do you have the resources, people, or experience you need to really do something great. With time, you can, but most don't survive long enough to reach that point. There are just too many factors working against any new venture.

I point this out to bring your attention to the perfect storm happening right now in Stephenville, Texas. We just received the second issue of the Business Journal. Is it perfect? Nope. But, it's great. Why is it great? Because of the dedication each member of the team brings to the project. These are true professionals who are bringing their years of experience to bear on a single goal: creating something great.

Disclaimer: Yes, I do handle the creative direction on the Journal, so I am tooting my own horn, so to speak. But, you know what, that's ok sometimes.

I just wanted to thank Hal, Lainey, Pat and Michael for all the hard work and dedication they put into each issue. It's rare that you can look around at a particular moment in time and just feel you are part of something great. This is one of those moments.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Coolest thing (literally) ever

If you have kids (of which I have 3) you will probably think this is a really great product. Unfortunately it's not available in the U.S. so far as I can tell. Otherwise, they'd be sitting in my freezer right now.

Lego Ice Bricks

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The importance of EVERY transaction

Every business has a bad day. The key is not letting your customers feel it.

My wife and I recently had a date night and went to one of our favorite restaurants. Because of the crazy hours involved in the advertising business, date nights are rare for us. We have to make each one special. So naturally, our favorite restaurant was having a bad day. The food was bad, and the service slow. People at tables around us were quite verbal about their feelings. We decided to simply smile and tell the waitress everything was great. She was having a bad day and it wouldn't do any good for us to jump on the bandwagon. The thing is, not everyone is as understanding as I am.

What the owners may never realize is that they were paid $25.00, but they lost so much more. We trusted them with our precious time, as we have in the past. That trust was betrayed. The next time date night rolls around, I'm not sure we would trust them again.

Most people would then proceed to tell all their friends about the bad experience. I'm not going to do that, because I genuinely want this restaurant to succeed. However, every business needs to realize it's not about you. It's entirely about the customer their mind set towards you. These days, time is as precious as money. Whether they are trusting you with time or money, you have to deliver 100% every time. You never know who's date night you'll ruin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oh! That hurt big time!

I knew I was missing something by not watching those home shopping networks.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Building brand loyalty through good design

Ask me what kind of shampoo I use. Go ahead.

Garnier Fructis.

I'm a guy, I shouldn't car what shampoo I use, right? Right. And yet, here I am, loyal to a particular brand of shampoo. Why? Because of well thought out design. Does the shampoo make my hair look different than any other? No. I don't really care. What I do care about is the fact that the bottle is designed well.

See, the shampoo my wife is loyal to has a lid that you practically have to pry open with a knife. Not convenient when showering. I've always hated that thing. Along come Garnier with their bottle. The lid has a ball molded on the end so it's easy to push with one finger and pop open. Because of that one feature, I'm now loyal to a brand. Without that feature, I probably never would have used Garnier. Fructis just sounds a little too fruity for my taste.

Once again, great design wins the day. Because someone didn't settle for "good enough" on their lid design, they sell a few extra bottles a year. How often do you settle for "good enough" when it comes to design.

The "Asian" brand

Driving through many towns, you may notice a sign (usually in a shopping center) that simply says "Asian." Usually in bold red letters. Everyone knows it's a place to get Asian food.

My question is: Is there more value in simply using the word "Asian" as your brand than in building a unique identity? Sure building your own brand can be a long and hard process. Plus, if you don't know what you are doing, you can build a bad brand far easier than a good one. So is it just easier to piggy-back on the already established Asian brand? It is easier, but ultimately it's a mistake. Asian? So what? It doesn't speak to me as a consumer. If I see a McDonald's sign, I know exactly what to expect. If I see the famous Chili's sign, I know what to expect. What does Asian say? Nothing. You don't truly know what the food or atmosphere will be like.

But maybe I'm wrong. I've seen this multiple times in different cities.

So now ask the question, what does your brand say to people?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hot Off the Presses

We just recieved our first copies of the first issue of the Business Journal. It turned out great, but the deadlines were responsible for a complete lack of posting here. I want to thank Hal, Lainey, Michael, Pat and Tommy. It turned out incredibly well and is probably one of the smoothest "1st Issues" we've ever been involved in.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Image welcomes AWB&CJ.

Stephenville will be the home of a new monthly publication; the Area-Wide Business & Commerce Journal. Image will handle the creative design, art direction and some photography for the publication. We look forward to working with publisher Hal Graham and his team of incredibly talented writers.

Friday, July 28, 2006

More Bond Villain Bases

Japan must be a hotbed of super villian activity. Here's some more great shots from "Underground Japan." I would love to go shoot these things one day.

We do not tolerate failure number 3.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Small Design Touches Count

Ever since Target began to focus on design and bringing it to the general public, I've noticed lots of little design touches from other industries. Over the past two weekends we've stayed at two different hotels and I've noticed design seeping into the most interesting of places. Shampoo bottles. The little complementary bottles that you get in every hotel room have had cleanly designed labels and interesting bottle shapes. I just thought it was interesting. Sure the shampoo inside is probably the same cheap stuff it's always been, but you just feel like you're getting something nicer.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Superman Returns

I finally took my 6-year-old son to see Superman Returns this last week. I won't get into a full review, but it was pretty great. My only complaint was it was a little on the long side at 2.5 hours. Bryan Singer did a fantastic job. He seems to be the go-to guy along with Sam Raimi to guarantee a great super hero movie.

Many people complained about Brandon Routhe as the choice for Superman/Clark Kent. He was the perfect choice. Sure he was just a model before this, but it turns out, he can act. He is Superman as much as Christpher Reeves was back in the day.

Go see this movie.

"It all comes down to hot dog management at this point."

Flipping through the channels last night I came across what I think was titled the "Major League Hot Dog Eating Contest." I was enjoying some Arby's at the time and let me tell you, this is not something you need to watch while eating. I actually wanted to throw up for these guys. Especially the winners who ate 53.75 and 52 hot dogs repsectively. It was probably the worst thing I've ever seen on TV. And that includes the show on Discovery about hiddeous wounds that wouldn't close up.

The best part was the announcers in the background giving a play-by-play. My favorite line was something like "Well, were in the last four minutes now, and it all comes down to hot dog management at this point." They act like this was a real sport, talking about strategy and technique. You shove hot dogs down your throat. Where's the strategy in that.

Maybe it is a sport. Maybe I just don't get it. However, it does make ESPN 2 look at lot more like ESPN 8 from the movie "Dodgeball." "The Ocho. If it's almost a sport ... we cover it."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Japanese Flood Tunnels

I have this fascination with architectural design on a scale of this size. These are some amazing shots. Sometimes I'm amazed at what the human race can accomplish.

Via Coudal.

Want to grab the consumer's attention?

It's Not About You, It's About Them

The link above is a wonderful article about connecting with people you are marketing to. Show how your product/service will fit into/impact their lives. The article goes on to compare advertising content with dating. If you go on a date and talk only about yourself, it's a complete turn-off (trust me on this one). Advertising is the same, if you only talk about yourself, the consumers will just roll their eyes and say "who cares?".

To take the dating theme further, you need to create some mystery with your marketing. This came up in a client meeting when we were discussing whether to put "0% Available" or just put the payment it would generate on a vehicle. Which would engage a consumer more?

Disclaimer: First I would rather find a way to show the consumer what they could do with the money 0% would save them, but that's not always what the client orders.

That said, I think the "0% Available" message would engage better. It creates mystery. When a consumer sees 0% financing, it may click in there mind, "hey, maybe I can afford that new truck at 0%."

Or, you can put $399 per month. That allows the consumer to make a snap judgment. Either I can or can't afford that price. If the answer is yes, you might get the call. If the answer is no, your ad has served no purpose other than to tell them they can't afford what they want. It has instantly turned them off to buying without giving your sales force a chance to work with them. Ads can't overcome objections in people's minds like a live human being can. Look through your ads before they run. Make sure you aren't giving people a reason to dismiss you.

Courtship is about mystery. It's about slowly getting to know a person inside and out. If you sleep with someone on the first date, there is no mystery and you can't build a lasting relationship based on that. Marketing is no different. You can't start any kind of effective, lasting relationship based on the power of $399 per month. 0% available creates some mystery which might lead to a phone call. Then you have a human connection, and human connections are something you can base a lasting relationship on.

Of course, if relationships are too much trouble, knock yourself out with $399 per month. You'll probably find a few people looking for a one-night-stand that will respond to the ad.

Original article via the always thoughtful Nick Rice

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Never Content.

This spot has been out for a while, but I love it more every time I see it. The little guys are always looking to be bigger, while the big guys are looking to be little. As an owner of a small business, it's always inspired me.

Now you too can have a disproportionately sized upper body

This reminds me of one of those toys from when I grew up. You know, the kind you just had to have and it worked maybe two times before it developed a hole. Looks like Superman has a bad case of elephantiasis (yes, it's spelled correctly). He should get that looked at.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

iPods as Cruel Messengers

I received an e-mail today from Apple promoting it's free engraving on any iPod. Apparently the copywriters in charge of this ad were in a cynical mood. The ad shows iPods with engravings like "It's not you. It's me." Honestly, if I wanted to say something like that to someone, I'm probably not going to put a $300 iPod in their hands to do it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

Here are some great photos of an abandoned Russian sub base. I can't read a thing on the site (it's all in Russian), however, it has some pretty great photos. I'm not sure why they are so great, but they do evoke images of a James Bond film, don't they?

Just something interesting for your weekend.

Via the always interesting Coudal Partners

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Widescreen Mail

If you are an Apple user with a fairly new machine, there is a good chance you have a widescreen display. Apple's Mail application has never been designed for widescreen displays. Thanks to Aaron Harnley, Mail users can now have a 3 column widescreen view. It works great and allows for much better display of e-mail messages. It's great if you spend as much time as we do reading e-mail every day.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Things, they are a rockin'

I thought I would pull out the agency crystal ball and give you a quick glimpse into some things we are doing behind the scenes at Image. First, we are working on having our first podcast for Can We Add a Starburst?! done by the end of the month. Assuming it sounds decent (notice I didn't say good) you'll get to hear it too. We are also working on a script for a short film to be shot in the middle of July. July 1st will also see the premier of Image Magazine. Stay tuned to the blog and our main site for details on that.

We have all this in the works (in addition to all the client projects we are doing) in order to do two things. First, is to engage ourselves creatively in ways we don't get to on client work. One thing we've discovered already is it's great to have final creative say, but by the same token, we are also our own worst client because we are so picky. The other reason is to learn about new mediums to help promote our clients. Everything we do is with the goal of later using it to extend our clients' brands. Nobody really wants to hear us talk on a podcast, but if we can get people to listen to us, we can certainly get them to listen to our clients (who are infinitely more interesting).

Life Outside of Advertising #1

Outside of my life running the agency, I serve as the children's pastor for our church. If you are a minister or part of a growing church I would highly recommend Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Dirscoll. It's a great book about the pitfalls of ministry and the ways around the challenges we face every day. It's a very entertaining read. I'm about half way through it after just a few hours and it's highlighted like crazy.

Thanks to Perry Noble for the recommendation.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Things We're Proud of #3

This is the design for the t-shirts for the Bruner Motors 3rd Annual Classic Car Show. They'll be available the day of the event (June 24th) but only in limited supply.

UPDATE: Not sure why blogger is showing the art with an orange background. It should be blue. Anyway, the shirts will be blue. If you like the orange better ... sorry, you're out of luck.

How do you make washing machines interesting?

Washing machines are not the most interesting of products to market. I'm not sure if they just did the production for came up with the concept as well, but this commercial for Ariston washers is from BUF in France.

Click here to enjoy the commercial.

Via Ad Blather.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Could the iPod be beat by good marketing?

The iPod kingdom has been built on two things. Phenomenal design with integration into iTunes and even better marketing. When it was first introduced, everyone looked at it and saw an instant failure. Who would pay $500 to hold 1,000 songs? Plus it was only available to Mac users at first. But guess what. It sold. Then they opened it to Windows and it sold even more. Last I heard Apple commands something like 70% of the MP3 player market. No one has been able to unseat them. Many have tried.

Now it's Sandisk's turn. They are marketing the new Sansa e200. I like how they are marketing it, however. Through the website It's a call to all those who don't want to be a sheep. Those who don't want to have white headphones like the rest. It's an interesting approach. No corporate ads. Just a website and some guerilla marketing targeting a younger crowd. It's really inciting a revolution against the iPod phenomenon. There are even some nice features the e200 has that the iPod doesn't. So why won't they win?

Three reasons.

1.) Despite the anti-corporate revolution message, most people are smart enough to know this campaign was thought up by the fine people at Sandisk and their ad agency in the very corporate halls of their headquarters. The conference table they sat around probably cost more than the average e200 buyer's car. That doesn't exactly scream "REVOLUTION!" does it? There's nothing wrong with that, it's just hard for a corporation to put out an anti-corporation message. Plus, if the e200 really took off and they sold tens of millions of the players, then your revolution would turn into a large group of ... you guessed it ... sheep. That's always the irony of using anything corporate to show how unique you are.

2.) They can't put the Apple logo on the e200. As much as they might hate to admit it, Apple has the market cornered on cool. And they didn't do it by saying they are cool. They just are who they are, and if you think that's cool, great. If not, they are cool enough to not care what you think. Like it or not, Apple seems to be firing on all cylinders these days.

3.) SanDisk does not have a player that integrates seamlessly with it's own online store and jukebox software. At least not one as good as iTunes. I'll use myself to prove how important this is. I was never a huge music person before the advent of the iPod. Christmas of 2003 rolls around and I buy my wife our family's first iPod. She loves it, and I love it. I found myself listening to music more than usual but not a lot more. Still it was a great gadget. Then the iTunes Music Store appears a few months later. This was the hook. Four iPods and 3,000 songs later and I always have something going. The iPod in and of itself is great, but the music store is what hooks non-music people like me. Sandisk doesn't have this, and that is the single greatest reason this is a losing battle.

All that being said, I really do like their new campaign. It's an interesting approach that I haven't seen from the companies that have stepped up to try to compete.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Design does make a difference

More great thoughts from Mr. Rice on some recent studies.

While these studies talk more about the design of specific products, I think it also applies to the design of your business' image and branding. More and more, people are noticing great design. I think Target's focus on design over the past few years has done amazing things not only for the brand, but for sales as well. When people walk into your store, they need to see a consistency of design that makes them feel good about doing business with you. The design of POP needs to match the design of your advertising which matches the design of your employees uniforms which matches the design of the sign out front which matches ... I could go on. A focus on good design shows that there is thought put into the customer's experience, not just a bunch of random crap thrown on a shelf to make money.

Not to sell ourselves, but this is where keeping a design shop on roster puts you ahead of the pack. We are focused on the experience people have with our clients. Right down to the tags on the products. Sure, we want to design the tags, and even sell you the printing. But the point is that it will help create an integrated brand for you. Not to make a few bucks printing a tag.

Wow, that did sound an awful lot like selling ourselves.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Image + Image makes for a good team

We are proud to announce our new client Preferred Image Salon Suites. Jackie and Sandra are about to open a state-of-the-art 5,000 square foot facility in Joshua, Texas. Our first project was a new logo, and now we are working on various collateral pieces for the new shop. Our first public work will break in late July for the Grand Opening event. We have lots of great (and some charitable) things in the works for the Grand Opening, so stay tuned for more details.

We look forward to a great future helping make the Preferred Image brand famous.

Things We're Proud of #2

Creative Brief: Update the design of The page serves as a very simple launch pad to the two factory sites from GM, and Dodge. It is also a place to find information on upcoming events or sales. Very simple, just the way we like it.

Disclaimer: We know there is a starburst in the design. No, this was not requested by the client. Yes, it was our decision. We thought it was appropriate for the design. Yes, we feel a little dirty.

Coming Soon: Can We Add a Starburst?! Podcast

We are in the planning stages of a podcast for Image Marketing and our Can We Add a Starburst?! blog. We'll be discussing marketing issues for small market clients, national campaigns, and pretty much anything we feel like. It's guaranteed to be the one thing we do that probably isn't great, however it may be fun. We hope to record the first episode in the next couple of weeks. We'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Things We're Proud of #1

Rather than update our "Services" section of every other day, we decided to use the blog to showcase projects we are working on.

The creative brief for this one was for an ad featuring the Chrysler 300 for a very high-end magazine format. The concept was to present a series of ads that took an upscale almost artful look at the 300. It took a day of photography, and lots of digital trickery to get the look of a photograph with a shadow matte cut into it, but we think it turned out nicely. Roger Williams Auto Mall is a client we do occasional project work for.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Speaking of junk on YouTube

I just posted about the amount of crap on YouTube when I discovered this little jewel of a video. I especially love the ominous warning before it starts. Then you get to marvel at a guy jump over a fence. A very short fence. Maybe I was wrong about the whole "savvy audience" comment.

Great thoughts about online video marketing.

Nick Rice's Blog

Nick makes a great point about the emergence of online video as a more precise way of reaching consumers. For all businesses out there, you NEED to have something great on YouTube to promote your business. I'm not saying take your :30 spot you're running on local cable and stick it on YouTube. I'm saying develop a strategy to reach a different audience. Honestly, a more savvy audience. I spent a few hours on YouTube the other day just exploring what was out there. Let me tell you, there was a TON of crap. But, there was also some really great stuff that people are willingly seeking out and watching.

If ever there was a forum to promote your brand, this is it. Develop a series of entertaining spots that promote your brand. Make them as much entertainment as commercial. Make them great. You have an entirely new way to not only engage an audience, but have them seek you out. If it's good, it will spread.

It's also not something you need to dedicate a massive portion of your budget to. Not right now anyway. If you can produce something entertaining/informative the budget is not as important as on network TV. Just don't shoot it with a cell phone camera and you'll be good. The real key is having a strategy to go with the spots. Know who you are trying to reach, how they'll react to the content and start spreading the word.

What's really interesting to me is using something on a global scale like YouTube to promote local or regional brands. That's a little trickier than something like Coke posting a great video. You can buy Coke anywhere. This leads to your online component. Even if you are a small local business, make sure you have a great website and if at all possible, facilitate a purchase online. I realize not every business is conducive to online commerce (ours included) but if it can happen, make it work.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Site Updates

We made a minor update to the agency site today. Should load faster and look a little slicker. Enjoy.

Fleet Street Scandal

Artists Kevin Dart and Chris Turnham have just opened their new site, Fleet Street Scandal. Their art is phenominal. You'll probably see a couple of these prints hanging in the Image studio as soon as UPS can get them here. Great stuff.

New Chevrolet Campaign

Follow the links below for the new Chevrolet campaign out of Canada. This will probably appeal pretty well to the younger crowd. If you got "Napoleon Dynamite," you'll like them. They present the new Chevrolet cars along with three life lessons learned by Johnny. My favorite would have ot be "Principles." It's always nice when the nerd gets the girl(s).

Thumbs up!

Peer Pressure
Bad Crowd

Thanks to AdRants for the heads up.

Click here to smile.

This is some pretty creative animation. If you can watch this without smiling, you're probably a robot. Enjoy.

Thanks to Coudal Partners for the link

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bruner Motors to host 3rd Annual Classic Car Show

Bruner Motors, Inc. will host their 3rd Annual Classic Car Show on June 24th, 2006.
“It’s back,” said Dwain Bruner, President of Bruner Motors, Inc., “and this year we’re going to make it bigger than ever.”
This year’s Car Show will be feature the same great line-up that has made it a fast growing event.
“We are really hoping to beat last year’s record of almost one hundred classic cars,” said Greg Bruner, General Manager of Bruner Motors, Inc., “and of course, feed more people.”
“We fed almost 1,000 people our first year, and we hope to keep it growing for the third year in a row,” said Dwain Bruner.
Not only will the Bruners be serving up hamburgers and classic cars, they’ll be serving up a break from the heat.
“Our tents debuted last year, and helped make our car show different from the rest,” said Greg Bruner, “the shelter from the heat makes our dealership a great venue for events like this.”
As in past years, this year’s event is a partnership between Bruner Motors and D&D Rockin’ Rods of Fort Worth, Texas. Run by Dale and Donna Wilson, they host car shows across Texas in an effort to raise money for the D&D Rockin’ Rods Christmas for the Kids program. The program helps provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged families in the Ft. Worth and surrounding areas.
This year’s program we’ll be expanded beyond just classic cars with the inclusion of the GM Rides, Vibes & Chrome Tour.
“The Chrome Tour will provide something for new car owners to go along with all the classic car activities,” said Dwain Bruner.
The GM Rides, Vibes & Chrome Tour consists of a large eighteen-wheeler display of special parts and accessories for new GM vehicles. The Chrome Tour will be at the dealership on Friday, June 23rd, and Saturday, June 24th.
“It’s really going to be something to see,” said Dwain Howell, Parts Manager of Bruner Motors, Inc., “Accessorizing your vehicle has become the hot thing these days, and this will provide a great way to see the different options you have. From sound systems to grille guards, this will show it all.”
It all comes down to one day in June, but the work on the celebration began months ago.
“It’s a lot of work to put on an event of this size, “said Greg Bruner,”but it’s worth it. It’s a chance for the community to bring their families and enjoy time together for a day. We think it’s a great way to celebrate 37 years doing business in Stephenville.”
Along with all the activities of the day, the Bruners are also planning on a special anniversary sale.
“You think we would pass up an opportunity like this for a sale?” asked Greg Bruner, “Dad would kill me if we didn’t have a big sale up our sleeve for the celebration.”
Anyone interested in the event can visit for more details.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 goes live ... sort of.

Our agency website is up. While we've tested it on the various browsers on a Mac, we have not tested it on a Windows machine yet, so we're not responsible if it doesn't look great on Windows. Other than that, it's up. We hope you enjoy.