Sunday, December 14, 2008

DIGITAL World. New Reality

Digital TV, digital cameras, digital mp3 players, watches, computers, sensors... and the list goes on.

It used to be that manuscripts would be transformed into lead blocks (usually called fonts, which not too long ago came from founderies) and used to carry ink on paper, thus creating a printed piece.

Very few of our customers currently have real manuscripts. There are of course handwritten corrections to an older version of a document, but pieces fully created with a pen and paper?, no; you hardly see those any more.

Computers brought the level of simplicity up significantly, but let me point out other reasons why you might want to explore the use of a computer the next time you create a document that needs to get printed:

  1. Even if you're not a fast typist, the opportunity to redo your work with just a few clicks is amazing. Clarifying concepts on the fly, rewriting from a different perspective and then deciding to go back to the previous version, or even comfronting are not only simple, but possible to a degree that had been unthought of.

  2. Nobody else than yourself will be able to make the point exactly as it should be made. You know much more about your trade than anybody else, so by presenting your ideas in an organized way make a world of a difference

  3. Last but not least, if you type a document yourself, you'll save some money by not paying a professional typist. Of course, companies like ours offer professional copy writing and editing, but very often, just by taking advantage of your own digital talent, you'll come up with the piece that's just right.

If you're still not convinced about the advantage of self expression and content generation, try a very simple exercise: Think of a topic and write about 200 words on a lined paper. Then go to the computer and do the same (same topic), give it a few minutes for you to re-read it and a few more to tweak it a little bit, and you'll see the magic that you can come up with.

This coming holiday season is giving us a great opportunty to work on creation. Take some time to play with ideas, concepts and flows of ideas.

I look forward to seing you shortly.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Don't follow the crowd!

The crowd is in panic. Only today we've learned that our country is formally in a recession. Not only that, but we've been in one for the last 12 months.

The good part of the news is that we are closer leaving it behind (which will eventually happen).
But what should we do until our news anchors formally inform us of the end of this chaotic period?
Would it be downsizing? Would it be taking a winter vacation?

The way in which I see things is that this is a time of opportunity. This is a time to reposition yourself and to look at your inner strengths, and to gain room.

It's time to advertise and to promote yourself and your business. This is the time to demonstrate your mastery and leadership. Show your commitment to your audience.

Your message will come out clear and distinctive. Less people are willing to show themselves off and run the risk of advertising.

I can't promise the world, but your chances are definitely better than on regular days. Do your promotions right now. Not when the news anchors tell you so. What'll happen then is that it'll take time to find your advertising company, to get them to work on your projects and worst of all, you'll see in front of your eye the opportunities gone.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What a performance by Sarah Brightman in South Florida!

Last night Sarah presented her show at the Bank Atlantic Center with the mastery we all expected from her.

It was not only about her singing, but about the wardrobe, the dancers, the technology in place for this show.

At moments Sarah looked like she was flying in the air, at others the images that were projected on the angled mirror "garage-type" wall created astonishing effects.

Her orchestra and dancers were superb, and no one was disapointed by her performance. You know it because the applause went on and on....

Why would this concert be relevant to my usual printing tips?
The reason is this: the visual effects (and I don't mean Terminator-like situations) were soft, creative and smart. The performance hit the audience through the senses at different levels at the same time. The result is the satisfaction of the audience.

When designing an advertising piece, try to imagine those types of events where all the senses have something to say. Create having different objectives in mind. Work on the visual effect, but work on the intellectual side as well. Allow readers of your advertising piece to connect through different ways. In that way they'll be embracing what you have to say.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A good point for your next advertising campaign

Do you remember Amex's 2007 ad showing Beyonce traveling around the world and enjoying the lifestyle that "the card" implies?
Watch the video on youtube

Those times are gone for some time at least. Those extravagant situations do no longer apply to real life nor they seem appropriate and therefore you don't even want them on your wish list at this time.

So what's for advertisers to say to one another?
Well, we'll start to see charming scenarios: back to family values, tender relations and a lot of support among friends, relatives and co-workers.
We all look for support in times of crisis, and this is one of those!

It's probably the time of nice gestures rather than the time of an exotic lifestyle.
We'll start to see this trend everywhere. A sweet chocolate bar will start to mean a lot again and maybe we'll re-connect with some of those values that we had not taken care of lately.

Do you agree with me?

See you!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Outsourcing short run color printing might be the best option for your company

It may be the case that your company is overspending when the topic is "Color Copies"
Take a minute to ready the resolution that Citigroup made in early September 08 as per what a memo seems to circulate:
The memo sent out from the company includes the following item: “The use of color copying and printing dramatically increases our copying and printing costs. Color presentations are unnecessary for internal purposes; therefore going forward color copying and printing should only be used for client presentations. Also whenever possible, presentations should be printed double sided to reduce unnecessary paper usage. Over time, we will be removing color copiers and printers from the locations where they are not essential for purposes of preparing client presentations.”

Citigroup has probably about the best contracts in the industry for their copier machines. Even though that strengh, they still know that owning the printers does not do them any good.

They still carry the following expenses:
  1. Maintenance contract with the copier vendor
  2. Employees that must be technologically inclined, ready to understand software and the requirements of the printed jobs. Preparation of the jobs could vary significantly: different types of paper might be involved, a "combo" of color and black and white documents might be needed, post-printing processing might be needed (collating, coil binding, numbering, etc)
  3. On top of the investment, the training of employees that might move into a different area shortly or even leave the company, plus the time it takes to run jobs.
For all of this reasons we think that outsourcing entirely your printing needs makes so much sense.
A brief email with an atachment are usually enough to run a job. Companies such as Color Copies USA utilize online forms and proofing methods that improve the purchasing experience

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Printing in Times of Elections 2008

The world of printing in times of elections is as strange as you might imagine.
Not only people are exceptionally worried about the current crisis, but the slowdown that drags from the summer is still around.

Printing companies, marketing offices, digital printing services and color copy shops know this very well and find their patterns of business altered. I see first hand at the Bulk Mail Office at the USPS how fewer mailing companies drop mail. By the way, haven't you seen less mail in your mailboxes lately? (non-political mail, I mean)
You (an advertiser) just can't compete against what is main stream and this year it is Obama-McCain - ELECTIONS 2008.

Next week it'll be a whole different game.
After elections day, just plug those new batteries into yourself and back to the "Make-it-happen" mode. Minds will be clear about half of us enthusiastic and the rest getting busy just to forget a bad day.... and I bet that you'll start to think again in those promotions that you want to run, that jingle that's resonating in your head and so much more.

Tell me if I'm wrong:
Two weeks from now, your mailbox will be full again. (no credit card solicitations, I'm sure) Printing will be all around us again and creativity will be at its highest level.

See you!