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March 2007
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May 2007

Is Advertising Dead?

054 Paul McEnany has an excellent article at The Madison Avenue Journal about the current status of traditional advertising. 

"It's a brand new day for advertising, but more so, it's a brand new day for people."

If Roy Williams was right, a massive cultural shift began in 2003 with the end of the Age of the Baby Boomer.  You can read about it in his Monday Morning Memo entitled "Marketing in 2005 and Beyond."

The internet is allowing humans to make purchasing decisions the way they want to.  The "big bang" in consumerism has happened.  It's a world of freer-thinking individuals you must conquer, not a mass market.


Good Brochure Design

We've all seen plenty of brochures (and websites) that fail to accomplish their purposes.

Here's a pretty good article with tips on good brochure design.

5-Minute Brochure Design Trash Test

I think the creative process for every brochure (or website, etc.) needs to start with a purpose statement for that promotional asset.  Too many organizations waste money on creative projects that are designed to please "the boss" rather than accomplish their purpose in the marketplace. And it's almost always best for the purpose to be narrow and focused rather than broad and scattered.

Really good creative requires strategery - a well thought out strategy combined with effective imagery.  And strategy begins with understanding purpose... what are we trying to accomplish here anyway?  Then every element of that creative asset needs to be molded around its purpose, or eliminated.

Purpose provides a critical touch point in the creative process. 

I'm amazed I see it used so infrequently.

I Wish I Knew What to Think

053 It's the evening after the Virginia Tech massacre.  I don't know what to think.

My day was pretty much the usual.  Phone calls.  Emails.  Meetings. Lunch at Senor Tequilas. Coffee at Starbucks.

I don't think I met anyone else today who knew what to think.  We talked mostly about routine matters.  When we talked about the massacre there was usually a short acknowledgment  of the tragedy.  Expressions of sorrow for the families.  Possibly some speculation about the fate of the VT President.  But really, we had no idea what to say.

My son graduates from college in a few weeks.  Thirty-two innocent victims in Blacksburg will never cross the stage under the gaze of proud parents.  It touches me deeply yet somehow fails to faze me at all.

I know there are a lot of people in tremendous pain.  Yet, I really don't know.  I wish I knew.  But I'm glad I don't.  I wish this had never happened.  But it did.  In America.  In beautiful Blacksburg of all places. Dammit.

We struggle to make sense of it all.  Yet, there is no sense to be made, fabricated, or even imagined.

I'd ask you what to think, but I'm afraid you'd actually try to tell me.  And it would probably be stupid.  Or clich├ęd.  Or trite.  And even if you're right, I don't want to hear it.

People should be able to learn without getting shot.

Teens Willing to Pay $500 for iPhone

052 High school teens say they'll plunk down $500 for an iPhone.

85% are aware of the iPhone.  Of those, 25% say they would be willing to spend $500 (the indicated price when the iPhone goes on sale this summer) to own the device.

Devices such as this are providing the technological context for our massive cultural shift.  What does this survey tell us about the increasing cultural impact of the emerging generation?

  • It's a personal communications device.  Emphasis on personal. Teens nearly have a relationship with their cell phones and iPods.  Now, both in one device.  Computers are not as portable or personal.  Neither are flat screens and subwoofers.
  • It's a wide screen iPod.  Great for watching downloaded video.  While you walk.  Or ride.  Or anything else.  It's not G3 compatible (yet) so it won't play mobile broadcast video.  But that will likely change. 
  • It's a totem of cool.  Having an iPhone may be more important to your image than the car you drive.  At least with teens.  What car allows you to be so connected with your friends?
  • It has much improved internet browsing compared to other cell phones.  This laptop of mine is starting to look like a boat anchor.
  • You can sync contacts on the iPhone with your computer.  Can you imagine the day when your personal communications device will be the key to your home and car?  Instead of a debit card you have a debit chip in your iPhone.  Or maybe someday download a movie to your iPhone and then play it back through a wireless connection to your 102-inch flat screen?
  • I think this generation will be collaborators.  All this connectedness will pay big dividends as they mature and use their implicit communications skills to pool collective wisdom and solve problems that loners could not subdue.

Methinks the future is looking pretty good. 

Especially for AAPL.