Take the mask off.

 

There’s usually more to a logo than meets the eye. And we’re going to help reveal the meaning on some of the best designed and most well thought out logos out there. Each logo below has a hidden message. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal look at these world-renowned logos.

 

 

FedEx-Express

Most people probably already know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, but did you know that when FedEx was presented with the logo, the agency chose not to tell the FedEx executives it was there. Luckily, one of the spotted it and it was chosen as the winning logo. Go figure.

 

 

logo_amazon

Amazon’s logo actually has two meaning to it, not only does the logo have a great smile, but the arrow points from A to Z. highlighting the fact that Amazon carries a wide variety of products. And the smile is just not for a happy logo, but represents their great customer service.

 

 

baskin-robbins-logo

Baskin Robbins’ hidden feature isn’t actually all that hidden. The pink parts of the BR in the middle make out the number of flavors they have. And if you don’t know, it’s 31. That’s a pretty impressive amount of flavors.

 

 

goodwill-logo

Goodwill’s logo may look like a Lego head, but it’s more than that. It is actually a big G. Which the g is taken from the Goodwill text at the bottom of the logo.

 

 

LSO-Logo-1024x682

The London Symphony Orchestra logo might be one amazing organic-looking brush stroke, but it is so much more. Not only does the line spell out LSO, but it also looks like an orchestra conductor. You might have to look at it for a few. Start from the outside and work your way in.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Research first. Post second.

Anyone who writes social media was reminded of a good rule yesterday when DiGiorno Pizza used a hashtag that they shouldn’t have. And that rule is do your research before using a hashtag that may seem good for your brand, but turns out it isn’t.  Here is the tweet in question:

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.30.04 PM

 

 

 

 

If you are not aware, the #WhyIStayed hashtag is used for domestic-violence victims to speak out and tell their stories, not for pizza companies to promote pizza. It’s unfortunate that the person who posted it did not research before posting. The person that posted the now infamous tweet spent the next few hours apologizing on Twitter to people that were offended.

So, what’s your take. Honest mistake or just a brand going too far?

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Pick the right medium.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” But what exactly did he mean? Well, we won’t get into that today; however, the quote lends itself to advertising quite well. Because the medium you end up using dictates your message.

Whether you are using billboards, radio, television, print or online, each one is good for different types of messages. The following is a best-use list of which medium is best for what messaging.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Say This, Not That.

Have you ever heard of the abbreviation KISS (keep it simple stupid)? Because that should be the golden rule when you write. Keep the language simple and tailored to your audience.

When a patient picks up a doctor’s rack card, he or she should be able to read every word on the card and understand it. If they can’t, then you aren’t sticking to the golden rule.

We have a list of buzzwords or jargon that we try not to use when writing for our clients. But we’ve picked our favorite, or most hated, buzzwords to stop using. We also translated them into plain English. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Blog_sayThis

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: When design makes you say, “What?”

What makes a design good? Maybe it’s how copy flows, or maybe how the designer pulls in a client’s colors and fonts. Or maybe it’s how the images and graphics look like they are in certain places on purpose and not just placed randomly. Maybe it’s all of the above.

To illustrate what good design is compared to bad, we had one of our designers, Cayla, take some made up copy and turn it into two flyers. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Bad

Let’s start off with the bad one first, because it’s laughable (although that picture is awesome).

Bad

Here’s where it went wrong:

  • The copy rambles.
  • There is a liberal use of gradients and interesting color combos.
  • Clip art and drop shadows.
  • The call to action asks you to call, but there is no phone number.
  • And finally there is no address for the event center.
  • It is very busy and lacks white space.

Good

This is one good-looking flyer. Take a minute to look it over and compare it to the bad flyer above.

Good

Here’s why this one is good:

  • Copy is short, sweet and to the point.
  • The colors all work well together and make sense.
  • The background is clean and simple. Copy is easy to read.
  • The call to action is clear and has a number to call.
  • The specific event center is named and place of meeting is listed.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Seven tips that lead to great copywriting.

Blog1

However simple it may sound to you, copywriting is a hard task. But with time and practice, you can be a great writer. And deliver great ads. We’ve scoured the Internet and the agency to see what causes the most frustration for designers, account executives and our proofer (thanks for having our back, Jessica) when it comes to copywriting mistakes.

Here are the top seven responses:

Not including a call to action
Including a call to action (CTA) on your advertisements seems like something you learn on the first day of school, but unfortunately it can happen.  CTAs do not always have to be full sentences, they can be as simple as including a phone number. As a writer, you need to provide your audience with something to do. You have all this great copy that pumps a consumer up, but forget to give them a way to act on it. Shame on you copywriter.

False sense of urgency
Creating urgency in an ad is a skill in itself. That’s because people really just don’t like to do what you ask of them today; they’d rather complete it tomorrow. Why should I sign up for the seminar today if it’s three weeks away? In order to have a real, genuine sense of urgency, you have to provide people with reasons why they shouldn’t put off what you need them to do. Maybe you do this by telling a touching story that makes them act or maybe you give a reward to the first 100 people to register.

Use of buzzwords
Ah, buzzwords. Buzzwords are great for confusing people. And that’s about it. Do you ever read something that is full of words you think are made up or misused? Those, my friends, are buzzwords. Confusing the consumer is definitely not going to make them buy from you. In fact, they probably won’t even finish reading the ad. Use plain English. Here’s an example.

Buzzword version:
I am going to utilize my robust bandwidth to double down and be pro-active about our content.

Plain English:
I’m going to use my time to focus and write new blog posts.

See? Simplicity rules.

Longwinded descriptions
This goes along with using buzzwords. The shorter the description the better it is. The next time you go to write something, pretend that you are giving an elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet with just enough information to get your point across. Nobody is going to read paragraphs of irrelevant information about your new hospital wing or product. Just tell the consumer why they can’t live without it.

Relying on spellcheck
Spellcheck is great. But it doesn’t always catch everything. Common mistakes and misspellings are what the software excels at, but context isn’t really a strong point. Language is complicated and relying on a program to realize you used its when you meant it’s will cause errors. Take the time to read what you wrote over a few times. Run spellcheck, read it over and then read it over again.  That way you don’t have an unhappy client on your hand when you provide them an ad with simple errors.

Not writing to your audience
Finding out who your audience is and writing to that audience is one of the most important parts of copywriting. In order for your ad to be effective, you need to know who you are writing for. An easy way to figure out who your audience is and how to reach them is to do research. A quick search will give you some general information and the best ways to make a connection with them. An older audience may not be as comfortable signing up on a website as they would be calling someone, whereas a younger audience usually doesn’t want to interact with people at all. Using research will help you effectively reach the audience.

Listen to the client
When you meet with your client, go into the meeting prepared to listen and ask for clarification. Make sure you know what they are really looking for. One way to do this is by asking questions. Clients don’t mind questions at all; in fact, it can show that you are listening and interested in learning more. If your client is asking you to explain a new product to the consumer and not sell it, do just that. It might be hard not to sell, but do what they ask first.

Let us help you
If you need some help reaching your target market and getting some results, we can help. Visit our website and see how we help our clients reach their targets. And see the cool work we do at acrobatant.us. Or if you prefer talking it over in person, give us a call.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

You are what you spec.

To borrow (and rephrase) a standard question from a famous interviewer, if you were a typeface, which typeface would you be? AcrobatAnt challenged its art directors to set their own names in a typeface that reflects who they are and their point of view, then let other office colleagues try to match the art director with the typeface. Here are our results, a mix of surprising and expected. What typeface are you?

AA-140507_Designer_Danny

Danny Sadler
Franklin Gothic Condensed

AcrobatAnt’s creative director chose this traditional font because he can subtly kern certain characters to make them flow together better. He likes its tall X height (the torso of the letters, the middle ground above the descenders and below the ascenders). Casual. Readable. Just a good, classic face. A foundation face that’s powerful and carries its weight. Good for invitations, too.

AA-140507_Designer_Dell

Dell Chambers
Da Streets

He’s an illustrator and painter, so you can guess what kind of typeface Dell would choose: a brush font. There’s nothing demure about this one. Edgy. Fun. Aggressive. With some “pow” to it. He says it fits his personality. For the record, he didn’t fool anyone in the office. Dell tied with one other art director for getting the most correct votes matching him with his typeface.

AA-140507_Designer_Chance

Chance Walentiny
Sloop

Chances likes plenty of things about this classically elegant script typeface. See the way the H thins out? Chance especially likes how each character has little details and nuances that make a big difference.

AA-140507_Designer_Cayla

Cayla Spears
Eyes Wide Open

Cayla must’ve made her typeface choice while looking in a mirror. She picked one that’s girly, but just sort of girly, not too girly. Not too elegant, either. Hers is a down-to-earth option that’s easy enough and thick enough to kern. Most of all, she picked it because it looks like real handwriting.

AA-140507_Designer_Bryan

Bryan Cooper
Flemish Script

You think you know an art director, but no one in the office matched Bryan to the font he picked. To him, though, it made perfect sense. His fine art often focuses on the historical, Victorian and ornate. He loves antiques and collects old photography. And with this particular typeface, the thick and thin elements aren’t too exaggerated, making it a nice, easy script to read. Great for monogramming, too, as a fellow art director pointed out.

AA-140507_Designer_Jinni

Jinni Giltner
Mohave

Jinni goes for the tall, dramatic and condensed type. Her choice is available in regular and bold. Caps only, no lower case, so her headlines are shouting all the time. She likes this newer approach to clean and simple. Nothing crazy. And she likes that the G doesn’t mess with the spacing, as it so often does.

AA-140507_Designer_Will

Will Skaggs
Steelfish

It’s simple enough. Not the least bit obnoxious. Will’s pick catches your eye, but doesn’t have even one letter that’s hard to work with. It’s agreeable, has a good weight and looks good kerned, too. There are no other variations, but it works as is. Everyone likes Steelfish. (Nerd alert: If this typeface looks familiar, it’s because it’s used for the end credits of The Big Bang Theory.)

 

Take our quiz to find out what typeface you should be here.

Download our case study, Fonts Deconstructed, here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ever since thinking outside-the-box became so inside-the-box, we just did away with the box and got an oval.

AA-140602_Blog

Who’d ever guess that one of the Top 5 Pollstar entertainment venues on the planet is right here in Tulsa? The BOK Center. Prior to the food venues, we have worked with the BOK Center to create some outstanding ads for trade publications, but this new project took our partnership to new heights. Our project was to take their existing concession stands and transform them into irresistible food havens for arena visitors. Thankfully, we have some amazing wordsmiths and designers that bring fresh ideas to life.

This resulted in Graphex 45 award-winning concession stands with fantastic food. And also some earned media in the Tulsa World and other news outlets.

“The concession stand remodeling project was so important to us because we know it will vastly improve the customer experience for guests who attend BOK Center events,” said Sarah Haertl, SMG Regional Director of Marketing, BOK Center. “We enjoy every aspect of working with the Ants. Their enthusiasm for our project and their level of commitment to our satisfaction made this project an enjoyable experience.”

How does it feel working with your agency? Gratifying?

Check out more of our work:

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

UPDATE:

We’ve just learned that our “Bring out Your Inner Rock Star” ad won the Best Trade Pub Ad at the Second Annual SMG Marketing Awards held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. More than 70 SMG marketers from over 49 venues across the U.S. and Puerto Rico voted on the ad produced by Amy Smith. We are excited to be able to showcase our talent on behalf of clients like the BOK Center.

AA-140602_blog_Rockstar

Only Mad Men Like Advertising; Customers Want Content

4934882110_87025eb586_oMarketers who are driving growth and building stronger brand connections with their audiences are doing so by providing value outside of a purchasing need. 

 

As we’ve discussed in our last few blog posts on content marketing, consumers have crept into the driver’s seat and have virtually shut off the world of traditional marketing as we know it. It doesn’t matter whether you sell to businesses or consumers—a buyer is a consumer and vice versa; their behavior is what they’ve acquired in their retail experiences.

A consumer’s brand experience begins online.

Marketing’s dependence on mass promotional campaigns with goals of reach and frequency are being replaced by messaging, information, tools and interactions that target, position and differentiate you from your competitors. This shift in thinking is much different than the promotional marketing efforts you’ve traditionally launched to publicize your product or service or your brand as a whole.

If you remember, we defined content marketing in a recent post, Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm, as:

the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Selling needs to be kept under the radar. What you’re trying to do is build your case and establish trust with prospective buyers. Make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. Make them want to buy from you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. So get to know your customers. Be likable. And by all means, be trustworthy.

Content marketing helps you get found by the people who matter to your business.

Think about the different types of content that contribute to your buyer’s journey. How can you capture attention and inspire them?

Here’s a simple example of the difference between “promotional marketing” and “content marketing.” Let’s use healthcare marketing, which is one of the industries struggling with the move from promotional marketing to content marketing.

Which of the below scenarios is an example of content marketing?

  • Running an ad touting your joint replacement surgery center
  • Creating a video that provides tips on how to treat knee pain after jogging

The print ad is promotional marketing because it will appeal to very few people who need a specific procedure—joint replacement surgery—at the time they see your ad. The content marketing example is the knee pain video because it will connect with a far broader audience who suffer from knee pain.

Understand that content marketing as a philosophy alone will not ensure success. If you take the idea of creating a video on knee pain and run a search for “knee pain video,” it will more than likely result in over a million hits. In order to show up through all of the clutter, you have to create a relevant, compelling program that differentiates you.

How do you begin? By asking the same questions a marketer would normally ask:

  • What are our goals?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Who is our primary audience?
  • What are our differentiators?

Once you determine the answers, you will want to think in terms of providing relevant messaging and content to an audience that may not have an immediate need to buy today. Focus on driving actions unrelated to making a purchase, like signing up for a seminar, requesting information, downloading a case study or white paper, or participating in a webinar. In other words, you are striving for engagement.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Townsend via flickr

Smart Moves for Getting Started with Content Marketing

Image

Smart marketers understand that today’s consumers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and choose messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently.

 

It’s no wonder then, that content marketing are now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in business and consumer marketing. So what do you need to get started? This is the first question of many that marketers ask themselves.

For starters, a carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation is required to be successful. In the content marketing efforts we manage for clients and ourselves, we’ve discovered six components that are imperative in getting started on the right foot, regardless of the business you are in.

  • Establish target market. Who will you talk to? Everyone? Think again. That net is much too wide. Is your target a specific age group? Parents? Medium-sized businesses in a specific revenue bracket? This is one of the initial steps to take before one piece of content is created. Establish who your target audience is for your content marketing plan and base it on age, location, income and other demographic information.
  • Create reader profiles (or personas). This technique is fairly simple. Start by identifying the attributes needed for someone to be your customer. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. Going through this exercise will help to personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your target audience and create more practical content with their needs in mind.
  • Determine digital distribution. How are you distributing your content? Before you create it, decide where you will host, publish and post it. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because you can disseminate content through a blog, photo gallery or downloads such as ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc. From it, social media should play a major role as distributor, as we advise in Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects.
  • Research keywords. What words do users type when they are searching for your products or services? It’s of the utmost importance to do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.

For example, “urgent care” is a phrase with lots of competition, but in spite of the amount of monthly search volume, it isn’t practical to incorporate into a keyword strategy. A good tool to use is Google’s Keyword Planner; it will help you find “long-tail” keywords and phrases such as “urgent care for children in Tulsa, OK” that will garner better traffic results for your site.

  • Think like a publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates and buying cycles, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. It also allows you to see connections within your content, get ideas on how you can repurpose it and ensures you have key information for SEO.
  • Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure your progress to see what’s working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

These are the critical components to put in place that will ensure you are on the right path for success.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912