Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who is the Broca guy & what's he doing in your head?

Dr Broca was a scientist who discovered the part of your brain that acts as a gatekeeper of sorts, filtering out the uninteresting & unnecessary so you can be more efficient comprehending the important things.

In other words; Broca's area of the brain keeps OUT most advertising. The lame, the cliche, the dull, the inane...never even has a shot at getting into your viewer's/listener's mind.

To combat Broca, creative types, like us at BigMouthAudio.com, have to come up with new & interesting & witty & unexpected ways to make Broca's area say "Oh, wow...I've never seen that before...I'll let it into the brain." A great example of that are these 2 European market commercials for Mazda's totally redesigned MX-5 Miata roadster. Just click the link above & enjoy!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Craigslist. Good for business!

I'm sure that even Craig is impressed with the size & attitude of Craigslist.com. For sure, what was a small idea at first, has grown to a national powerhouse of awkward, quirky, fun, sexy & adventurous. It is, perhaps, the best kept secret that's not much of a secret anymore.

When I was growing up in Detroit, there was a small weekly newspaper called the Metro Times. It had the same feel as Craigslist: it featured plenty of lifestyle articles, but the best read were the ads in the back. Strange little boutique companies. Artists. Fashions that you'd never wear in front of your mother. The first time I ever saw an ad for Women Seeking Women (I was 14...that was HAWT!)

But, it's the creative minds behind all that that kept us reading every week. It challenged us to challenge ourselves & the way we thought. Today, Craigslist does that too...and so should your advertising. Honestly...if you're saying the same thing as your competitors are, what makes you any different than them? "Competitive Prices" means your prices are "about the same as everyone else." Surely, the consumer could care less that you're "Locally owned & operated" (that's for another blog another time).

No...what you need is something out of the ordinary. Something perhaps even beyond your comfort zone...something that is as unique as the people & services you find at Cragislist.

BTW, I happen to know a company who can help you with that...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I know...sometimes I get "preachy..."

...but everyday, my homily rings true on the big stage of branding.

First off, a personal story (quickly, I promise!). Back in the mid '90's, I was the host of the "Z Morning Zoo" on WHZZ, Lansing, MI. We called the radio station "The All New Z101.7" everytime we talked on the air. It was a really great slogan for about the first 10 months...when I left 5 years into the run, we were still calling it "The All New Z101.7" and we sounded like a bunch of tools. We're not new...don't claim to be something everyone knows you're not.

Just up the street from our new office is a strip mall being put in. On the corner of it is what will be a new burger joint. It's name includes the term "Famous Burgers"...and that's killin' me everytime I go past. They CAN'T be famous if I've never heard of them! They're claiming to be something we know they aren't. The burger may be great. It may even be famous someday, but right now, they're the new kids on the block...they're not famous to anyone...except perhaps the lender who's backing their construction loan.

Here's the point: we're a terribly cynical group, us consumers. We don't belive the hype...rather (see it coming?!), we'd prefer you to Say Something Important!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Marketing & Motorsports

NASCAR is a multi-billion dollar a year entity. It's the largetst spectator sport in the country and motorsports in general is the fastest growing sport several years running.

But you can't afford to be part of it.

Face it, Jeff Gordon's #24 team costs in excess of $20 Million per year. "But I still want to be in auto racing!" you say...Boy, do I have great news for you!

The same folks who create incredible advertising campaigns just happen to have a racecar that would look amazing with your logo on it! The BigMouthAudio.com SpecMiata races all across the SouthEastern United States, complete with it's own high-profile driver (and BMA Creative Guru) John Hammer.

For less than the cost of 1 set of NASCAR tires, your company will be logoed all over the BMA SpecMiata for an entire season. Are you going to see it in victory lane? Not unless the entire field, except for Hammer, crashes out. However, you will have access to the team at race weekends, plus special hospitality opportunities for employees, co-workers & clients. In addition, the BMA SpecMiata is your tool for promotional visits to your office or event.

Check it out now...and contact Hammer for all the details!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Car Dealers...yikes!

I'll start by saying there ARE some great car dealers out there. I remember Rick Kehr, the GM of Press Kool Chevrolet in Okemos, MI. Rick is to this day, a stand up guy, an honest businessman and someone I'd recommend you to do business with. He also "gets it" when it comes to building your brand. I'll tell you how he did it in just a moment.

But first...

There are 4 men in red jumpsuits, kneeling in front of a row of cars & pointing at the camera. They say together in an odd little Car Dealer Kumbaya Chant "We'll see YOU in Victory Laaaaaannneeee!"

Then there's this guy:

"I'm out to sell 150 cars this month & I need your help" Right. I'm going to "help" you by buying a car? C'mon man. I buy a car for ME, not to "help" you.

One of my favorites...just because he's got a funny name: Bunky Gandy. Yep. Bunky Gandy comes on my TV and says that he's right next to the fire station. Here's the problem: Bunky's business is the "Auto Exchange", but he forgets to tell me that. Only by seeing the sign behind him in the camera shot do I ever find out what his company is NAMED.

These car dealers here in Charlotte are typical of a majority of car dealers around the country. They're so busy trying to outscream the guy down the street, that they've not even thought about why YOU should come in the door. IF you remember anything about these guys, it's the silly jumpsuits, the outrageous claims and the "cheese" that we've associated with car salesmen for all these years.

Hey, what about Rick Kehr, the guy I liked from all those years ago? Rick "got it" and built his brand. At the time, I was hosing a morning radio show and Rick did a live commercial with us each day at the same time. However, instead of yelling prices & rebates & monthly payments, we just talked about the news of the day, then we'd segue into ONE idea; one day it would be Mrs Williams' Impala in for service, the next it would be how they helped a newlywed couple buy their first new car...each day it was one story that made me feel comfortable with him. After giving the story of the day, it was wrapped by simply saying "...it's a better way of doing things." See? Simple. And they sold a record number of cars. Without pushing price & item, without screaming like a ninny. Without wearing stupid red jumpsuits.

Rick told me "Why", then waited for "When." What are you telling your customers?
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