Monthly Archives: April 2015

Newspaper Headlines and Your Headlines.

NY POSTTiger Woods misses a few shots and the NY Post sums it up with a front-page headline:


A while back, US Senator Al D’Amato headed to a showdown with Soviet leader Gorbachev. The NY Post headline read:


But then there’s the most famous NY Post  headline of all. Maybe you remember it:


You don’t need me to tell you headlines like these stop people and sell newspapers.

They break the pattern of indifferent communication; they get people talking.

But how about marketing and advertising headlines?

Modern advertising can be largely wordless, but you could argue that the words that  feature are more important than ever.

So to get attention and change minds, are we doing enough to write riveting headlines and content?

The opinion of those at a recent seminar is telling.

We heard that emails and Websites are often written in the old school broadcast way. One-way communication.

They interrupt an audience and tell a story from their point of view, rather than the view of the prospect.

Maybe some marketers out there should stop taking their own advice.

Then we heard something about ‘acceptable work’.

It’s content that’s ‘okay’ as it ticks all the boxes.

That may be true, but it begs a question  …

Who sets out to create content that’s just okay?

Moreover, who has the patience to read content that’s merely passable?

The good news is that you can begin to remedy all this in a weekend.

A study of the advertising award books can help you develop messaging with more attitude and thus, more stopping power.

It can help you acquire a greater respect for your target audience and build an appreciation for their problems, needs and desires.

Think of the award books as a resource.

They can help you perfect strategies and create work that gives you an advantage when it comes to competitive forces.

After all, isn’t the purpose of better content to make it easier for you to compete?

Equally, you can learn how to add greater appeal to generic products and those that are short on charm and appeal.

It might have been Bill Bernbach who said there are no boring products, just boring writers.

More to that, there’s was a newspaper story about the bureaucracy of a local committee on road improvements.

Not exactly a fascinating subject.

But those NY Post editors were at it again. Their headline was anythting but boring.



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An Ad Agency Shouldn’t Be a Marketer’s Expense Item.

Ed CatmullMore than a few marketers are impatient with their ad agencies.

Some are even annoyed.

We all know the agency/client relationship isn’t what it once was.

In fact, an old joke sums up the mindset of some CMOs.

They can be like the Roman Emperor Nero … but in reverse.

They burn while their agency fiddles.

Or so many say.

Still, one thing’s for sure …

An ad agency shouldn’t be a marketer’s expense item.

The best agencies address ROI with strategies that make it easier for their clients to compete.

They lower the risk of investing dollars in marketing with messaging that changes hearts and minds.

They come up with thinking that creates the moment someone buys.

They know the definition of marketing can be boiled down to four simple words.

‘Make people choose you’.

But when clients brand agencies as ‘merely suppliers’ and keep them at arms length, more needs to be done.

Maybe agencies could acquaint themselves more with their clients’ problems.

Maybe they could develop a greater understanding of the complexities and difficulties marketers face.

As they say, advertising isn’t rocket science; but business can be.

Agencies are about creativity.

Their clients are more about management, organizational efficiency, production, marketplace competition and numbers.

But agency people and their clients can begin to think both ways with a book that creates revealing talking points.

The book is Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull.

It’s about developing organizational creativity in a company.

You get a picture of how to build a business as well as a culture.

It’s a culture that puts a premium on thinking that’s the opposite of dull, drab and wearily familiar.

Ed Catmull should know about the last as he is a co-founder with Steve Jobs of Pixar.

So you benefit with an insider’s view of how Pixar flourished as a creative source and a business.

It’s a model companies might want to study.

Agency heads could do worse than buying Creativity, Inc. for themselves and a copy for each of their clients.

That way they can begin to act less as suppliers and more as partners.


Share with us. Leave your comment below. Thanks for reading Regards, Steve Ulin LinkedIn: