Are the Yellow Pages still relevant?

/Observations/

phone-book-pile

I came across this image a while ago, and it made me chuckle. I took a similar picture (albeit without the clever sign) a few years ago at my old office. The new phone books were delivered, and everyone was sort of nonplussed about the whole event. These giant books don’t mean much anymore, but no one is quite sure what to do with them. The volumes sat in a pile outside of every office for a few days before people started bringing them in because they looked bad just sitting in the hallway.

I recently spoke to a client about her ad in the phone book. She pays about $600/month, which is pretty small for the Yellow Pages but still got her the largest ad in her section. I challenged her to measure how many new clients she gets from this listing, so she tracked the numbers for three months. She found that she received, on average, about 3 new clients a month from the Yellow Pages. Each client brought in about $80. Therefore, she was spending $600 a month to get $240 of business. What was her number one source of new clients? People seeing her building or pylon signage.

Dropping Yellow Pages ads may not be for every business, but it’s certainly worth looking into.

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Stunning skills in Tetris

/Observations/,

I will never be as good at anything, as this guy is at Tetris. About five minutes in, the blocks actually turn invisible.

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Selling a Volkswagon like it’s a Ronco

/Observations/,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dDVGtojJTI

I absolutely love this demonstration. It reminds me of the kind of boardwalk-style pitches that Ron Popeil became famous for. Ad people tend to snicker at infomercials, but if executed properly, infomercials absolutely can drive sales.

Actually, it’s easy for those of us in the ad industry to get wrapped up in things like positive messaging and brand awareness. But for a lot of businesses, it’s a clever and passionate sales force that really generates customers.

Consider the following further reading:

Gladwell, Malcolm. What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures. New York: Back Bay /Little Brown, 2010. Print.

In one section of this book, Gladwell writes a really compelling profile on Ron Popeil that’s well worth reading. You’ll gain new respect for Popeil’s ability to create a product and sell the heck out of it. There’s a lot more to him than the Food Dehydrator and the Showtime Standard Rotisserie.

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The Exorcist

/Observations/,

A really clever little spot for XXXX (company name removed so as not to spoil the twist). This is the kind of fun work that inspires people to get into the industry. The kind of work that makes people in the industry shake their head at and say “I wish my clients would let me do work like that.”

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Networking using guilt

/Observations/,

costco

Today I bumped into an old business associate while shopping at Costco with my family. I haven’t seen or heard from him in over three years, though I still receive his weekly emails that I can’t seem to unsubscribe from.

Our conversation centered on three main points:

  1. He’s not busy.
  2. He wants to know if I have any work I could send his way.
  3. Maybe if I send him some work, he’ll reciprocate.

This would not build a strong business relationship! While relationships should be quid pro quo, it’s imperative that they’re genuine. Do you want work (or anything else) from me? Then take an interest in me. Put me in your debt. Be a nice person, genuinely. Make me like you.

Do not imply that if things don’t turn around for you soon, you’ll have to sell your house.

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Sierra Vista

/Portfolio/,

The developer of this real estate development in Belize came to me with a collection of renderings for her proposed project. From this I created a stylish, modern identity, as well as a set of collateral that accurately reflects the vision of the project.

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Los Porticos

/Portfolio/

I developed this collateral for a property developer in Belize. A giant, three-page presentation folder houses additional print materials that are updated frequently.

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Muscle Matters

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Muscle Matters is one of Edmonton’s top massage therapy clinics. I had the privilege of working with this clinic from its inception to create a rich, polished brand that is expressed in all aspects of the client experience. The distinct aesthetic and tone eschew the clichés found in competitors’ marketing. Clean, bright, and well-put-together is the Muscle Matters experience.

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Mayfair Shoes

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I worked with Mayfair Shoes to redevelop its brand, taking the company from Edmonton’s premier provider of women’s odd-width shoes to a fashionable and trendy retailer. Starting with the updated logo lockup, I helped the company create a fashion-forward aesthetic, develop creative concepts with rich personality, and design a new website to properly reflect the upgraded brand.

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Landale Signs

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Landale Signs was in the middle of a rebranding effort. Its internal art department had been developing a new logo for months, but lacked the experience to carry the project forward into all of the brand touchpoints. I worked closely with the Landale Signs’ team to develop an identity system and all of the necessary collateral.

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