Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Work: True Celebration 2012

Every year Todd Allen Design produces the welcome video for IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care’s True Celebration, an event that pays tribute to all of their cancer survivors.
Countless hours of planning, interviewing and film editing are poured into this project each year, and it is one of our favorites. After all, what could be more inspiring than talking with people who face cancer with such strength, courage and determination? 
To put things into perspective, one survivor jokingly testified, “Some folks complain about ‘bad-hair days.’ Try having a no-hair day.”
This year’s video theme "It’s a new day” is beautifully filmed by Overdun Productions and features emotionally-charged testimony from five Goshen Center for Cancer Care patients who have fought and defeated cancer. The setting is the historical Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart.
We’re sure you will enjoy it, but you may want to grab a box of tissues before you watch it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Wrong Way to Choose an Ad Agency

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than hiring an ad agency? There are so many to choose from, and no surefire way to make the right choice.

But there is one surefire wrong way: Letting yourself be sold by a "pitch team."

Maybe you've already seen The Pitch on AMC. If not, we'll sum it up for you. Two agencies bring together their best and brightest employees to win an account. Naturally, the agencies' best employees produce great work. The clients are blown away, pick a winner, and presumably live happily ever after.

No reason you can't do the same, right? But before you buy into an agency's dog and pony show, ask yourself: If I give my business to a talented pitch team, what's next?

Surprise! They'll never touch your account again.

Sorry, your future is now in the hands of the other people - the ones who didn't make the cut for the pitch team. Meanwhile, the pitch team is off to win someone else's business.

Don't panic, there are ways around this. The first one's obvious: If agency reps introduce themselves to you as "the pitch team" or something like it, tell them not to let the door hit their portfolios on the way out.

Second, find out who will really be working on your account. Can you meet them? Can you interact with everyone instead of just executives? These are fair requests. If an agency turns them down, turn down that agency.

Third: Look at small- to medium-size shops (10-15 people). Agencies with fewer than 10 people usually can't afford stars. Meanwhile, the giant agencies often spread their stars too thin. Medium-size agencies, on the other hand, have stars who work on your account daily. And there's no room for pitch teams.

Finally, take your time. Choosing an agency is a big deal, like a marriage.

Will yours be made in heaven, or hell?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Facebook is no substitute for advertising

Reason #4,389 businesses think they don't need advertising: "I get enough publicity through Facebook."

We can understand that. With everything Facebook can do for free, it's easy to think it can build a brand for free, too. It's also very, very wrong.

Here are a few things people say to convince us that Facebook is just as good as advertising... and why we're not convinced.

"Facebook is how new customers find us."
Does anyone ever truly "find" a business they've never heard of on Facebook? More likely, they'll visit you in real life first, THEN find you on Facebook. They're existing customers, not new ones. If your goal is for someone to buy from you, they've usually done that by the time they see your company profile. They already liked you before they "Liked" you. Same goes for people: You meet them in real life first, THEN friend them. Unless you're creepy.

"Why pay for a website when Facebook is free?"
This only makes sense if your goal is to stand out as little as possible. Because currently, the only ways to really differentiate yourself on Facebook are through a profile picture and cover photo. Meanwhile, your competition will use ads, websites, and whatever else it takes to beat you. Think your Facebook page is enough to stop them? Ever heard the expression "Taking a knife to a gun fight?"

"But if someone Likes us, their friends will see it!"
Sure, if Likes weren't the hardest things to see on the whole site. When someone "Likes" you, it pops up on the news feed. "Steve likes Hopmonster Brewery." Yes! Free publicity! Two seconds later, that measly little line is pushed down by a friend's hilarious status update. Then by pictures of someone's vacation (or more likely, their baby). Then by an entertaining news story - also with pictures. In just a few minutes, your free PR is swept away and buried. So much for that.

OK, that's enough Facebook-bashing for now. After all, we're probably using it as you read this. It's one of the greatest inventions of our time, one that can help you find old friends, and turn acquaintances into new friends.

And best of all, it's FREE!

Just beware: You'll get what you paid for.