A Lesson in Staying Relevant From Crayola Crayons

September 13, 2017
Crayola Crayons have been around since 1903. The name “Crayola” derives from the French word for “chalk” and the suffix “-ola” meaning oily, thus “oily chalk.” Its inventors, Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith, had been supplying chalk and pencils to schools. Crayola manufactures 3 billion crayons a year–about 650 […]

High Praise from the World’s Most Highly-Paid Ad Writer

August 15, 2017
A year ago, I was asked to update the tags to Clearview Eye Clinic’s testimonial ads, to introduce the new surgeon who’d joined the practice. I had misgivings about messing with the commercials that had taken so long to put together, I decided to enlist the help of Roy H. […]

Radio Vs. Pay-Per-Click

July 24, 2017
The following article is reprinted from the Monday Morning Memo of Roy H. Williams, July 24, 2017. Radio versus Pay-Per-Click Listen You hear a lot of talk these days about how no one listens to the radio anymore. Interestingly, the people who make these claims offer no evidence beyond the […]

For All Your [Fill-in-the-Blank] Needs

July 18, 2017
cli·ché (noun) – a phrase that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought Just for fun sometime, make a mental note of all the ads you encounter that contain these five words: “for all your __________ needs.”   Every time you hear or see that phrase, know that the copywriter […]

In the Studio with WSU Baseball Legend “Bobo” Brayton

July 7, 2017
In his feature story on Chuck “Bobo” Brayton following the legendary baseball coach’s death on March 28, 2015, SportspressNW.com writer Howie Stalwick provided a thoughtful summary of Bobo’s remarkable career. One sentence in particular made me smile: Brayton’s gravelly voice could often be heard on radio commercials during WSU baseball […]

“Hi, I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6, still kickin’ butt.”

June 2, 2017
In 1992, Tom Bodett’s “Singing Phone Number” spot for Motel 6 took the $100,000 Grand Prize in that year’s Radio Mercury Awards.  Since then, his radio spots have been Mercury finalists or winners 22 more times, with another Grand Prize win in 2009 for his clever “DVD” spot. The 2017 […]

The Secret Behind Amazon’s “Retailer-Wrecking” Growth: Love

May 17, 2017
Time, Inc.’s Money Magazine reported last month that more than 80 million American households now subscribe to Amazon Prime. Let that number sink in: it represents approximately two-thirds of our nation’s population. Amazon Prime members pay $99 a year to get free 2-day shipping on their purchases plus immediate access to Amazon’s vast (and […]

Pet Dryers, Pedal-Powered Appliances, and Other Innovations

March 31, 2017
Over the years, Howard Hughes Appliance, Television, and Sleep Shop has introduced consumers to surprising innovations in the realm of home appliances. Some of the more notable breakthroughs in recent years: Pet drying attachments for clothes dryers Pedal-powered appliances for the fitness-minded Self-cleaning refrigerators Holographic Transport Television (HTTV) Surprising new […]

Effective Advertising and the Law of Exclusion

March 15, 2017
Is your business defined principally by what-you-sell or what-you-do? Are these the things you talk about in your advertising? May I suggest that you are also defined by what you won’t do or sell, by what you exclude. The principle of exclusion conveys that you’ve drawn a line in the sand, […]
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