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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Selling Cool 

Speaking of mental pollution (see my last post), here's a nice roundup of magazine ad creative that dances, sings and takes your order (well, not really).

As I've written before, I like cool creative, even though I know that this particular cool will only sell for so long--e-Paper applications are going to eventually be cooler than print popups, sound chips and those annoying smelly fragrance strips.

Even so, I applaud publishers and ad salespeople who are working hard to create differentiation and value in the eyes of advertisers. That's cool.

I've long seen the connection between a big hairy creative proposal to an advertiser and a long, mutually profitable relationship. Maybe one in twenty or thirty advertisers buys off on the big hairy proposal (or at least part of it). But almost all of them appreciate the effort and the thinking, and many show that appreciation through new or enhanced business. That's why I'm flummoxed by ad salespeople who use cookie cutter pitches drawn from the media kit in an effort to sell ad pages (with maybe a little merchandising thrown in).

Selling ad pages isn't cool: selling personalized, creative, audacious solutions (that happen to involve ad pages) is very cool.

Think about that the next time you're assembling a sales letter using template blocks. Advertisers get those all the time. And think about that the next time your phone or in-person conversations with advertisers starts to bore you from the sheer repetition of it. You're not the only one.

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