Thursday, October 31, 2013

Absolut Vodka: My Favorite Print Ads (Part 1 of 4)

On each of the previous three Halloweens, I've posted my list of the best brands in the United States (part 1, part 2, part 3). This Halloween, I'm switching it up a bit: I'm publishing a four-part series of my favorite advertising campaigns of all time. Over the next three days, I'll post my favorite:
  • Print campaign
  • TV campaign
  • Digital campaign
  • Integrated campaign
Part 1: My Favorite Print Ads
In the 1990s, I fell in love with the Absolut Vodka ads I would see in our family's subscription to Sports Illustrated. They were simultaneously beautiful and witty. They inspired me to study marketing and graphic design, and ultimately choose to make this my profession.


It turns out I'm not the only one who loves these ads. There are several fan sites devoted to Absolut print ads. My favorite is AbsolutAd.com. I've spent a lot of time browsing on the site and I never get bored. The site takes me back to when I was a kid, dreaming of the advertising industry and what it must be like to work in it.

Just look at the ad I've included here. It's fantastic on so many levels.

Add This To Your To-Do List
Do you have a favorite print campaign? I'd love to hear about it.


There's never a lack of ideas.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Marketing's Golden Rule

Since writing my book and delivering my TEDx talk, several people have reached out to me and asked a variation of the same question: "What's the most important thing to do in marketing?" They're looking for marketing's Golden Rule. Well, the answer is actually very simple:
Create a product or service that is so awesome everyone will want to tell his or her friends about it.
"But that doesn't have anything to do with marketing" is a typical response. Actually, it does. Product features are a critical part of marketing (in fact, "product" is one of the traditional marketing 4 Ps). A slick marketing campaign and great packaging can't fix everything in the long term. Sure, you can quickly sell a lot of a bad product or service if you pour a bunch of money into marketing communication, but in the long term, people will figure it out and tell their friends how bad your product is. 

Buyer Beware
I love infomercials. Seriously. I watch them as often as possible. They're the happiest place on earth outside of Disney World. Recently I saw one for an expandable garden hose called the Pocket Hose. I thought it would be perfect for the front of my house. So I Googled reviews about the hose and learned the hose has terrible reviews on Amazon. So I didn't buy it. A great infomercial doesn't beat hundreds of authentic, negative reviews.

Add This To Your To-Do List 
If you aren't earning customers who have been referred to you by other customers, it's time to take a critical look at what you sell. You may need to stop spending money on marketing communication and improve your product or service. You can't sell a nicely polished turd forever.

There's never a lack of ideas.