Posts Tagged ‘Brand Personality’

Write with 3 Balls

June 28, 2010

This year the Promax/BDA conference in LA brought in great speakers from around the world and smashed last year’s attendance numbers. We felt honored to be included.

We had a blast presenting “Write with 3 Balls” to the audience of marketing executives, and they returned the feeling. Loved seeing that SRO crowd. As promised, here’s what we showed. Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

[The presentation is packed with good stuff and videos–please give it a few moments to load up.]

Promax Presentation

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cooking lessons

June 22, 2010

Ever have an over-achieving sibling? Then you probably know that being born under the shadow of greatness can stink. Just look at Cain and Able, Jimmy and Billy Carter, or Marcia and Jan Brady.

My point is this, when one sibling is a star the other kids can have a tough time keeping up.

On the other hand when family dynasties work, they’re a thing of beauty; The Medici’s. The Kennedy’s. Venus and Serena Williams.

So when Scripps, parent company of Food Network, decided to birth a second channel dedicated to food and cooking, they faced more than the usual launch challenges. They had to find the sweet spot for viewers, advertisers, and affiliates, of course. But they also needed to create a sibling Channel to Food Network that carried a distinct personality without stealing Food Network’s thunder or encroaching on its loyal niche.

And they wanted to launch the network in five months.

It might have been impossible but Scripps put the seasoned pros from Food Network on the case; Michael Smith, Susie Fogelson, Patalia Tate, Katie Ilch, Joanne Harmon, and team. They knew to build Cooking Channel from the personality up. At the foundation was a distinct point of view, clear attitude, and language that resonated with the new audience.

Given our deep love of Food, and our passion for branding, being invited into the new network delivery room was a pinch-me moment for the Tooth+Nail team.  Early on we explored personality directions, clarified the target audience, honed in on a single voice, and crafted brand guidelines, language, and a tagline that captured the battle cry of all Food People, “Stay Hungry.”

Foundation in place, internal and external teams were off and running. The new network flourished: affiliate and ad sales marketing, graphics, packaging, the launch campaign, topicals, and the million other details. Creative partners included Leroy and Clarkson for the image campaign, Trollback and Co. for on-air graphics.

Enjoy the collected works of the Cooking Channel team. Think of it as a birth announcement. We’re so very proud.

Food Network, meet your younger sister, Cooking Channel. She’s so cute, and just the right kind of feisty.

aim true

May 31, 2010

Promax Boot Camp preview


Every award-winning spot shares one thing in common.

You’re probably thinking big budget, but not so fast. What’s the one single thing award-winning-wows-around-the-water-cooler spots have?

They have a single message. One point. One idea.

As Grandpa Button used to say, “You can’t hit two targets with one arrow.” It only looks easy. Nailing that single message takes plenty of practice so let’s give it a go.

Here’s a kick-ass spot. You tell us the single message. We’ll bet four to one you get the answer.

What is the main message?

A. OMG, there really IS a water shortage!

B. All my voice-overs should have a French accent.

C. Axe=Sex

Think you’ve got the hang of it–good. Next, how do you decide what that single message should be? That, my friend, is for Boot Camp.

At ease.

in the mood

April 28, 2010

The villa was lovely with its view of the beach and heated pool.  I could have remained on the porch indefinitely watching coffee cups, wine glasses, and olive pits pile up. Instead, a morsel of motivation prevailed.

We piled into the mini van and, after an hour of wrong turns and Google maps, found the village. A castle rose from the top of the hill, guarded by a statue of a 12 foot tall knight in full armor. Did someone say M’lady?

We passed through the gates and entered the 13th century.

It took me a moment before noticing the music.

No apps. No guided tours. Just the sounds of classical guitar filling up the courtyard and mingling with the ruins. We climbed ramparts and looked over the turrets. Easy to imagine busy markets or peasants below.

Sometimes, in advertising,  we get so caught up in embellishing moments with a special effect or over-the-top visuals that we forget the simple power of music to move us. It weaves an atmosphere and helps tell a story.

In this spot below for Che Men’s Magazine, I love how the music puts us in the mood.

What music puts you in the mood?

kicking ash

April 19, 2010

Airport shut-downs across Europe, thanks to a moving cloud of ash, seemed surreal. So much for being in control, with travel apps, Google maps, and carry-on luggage. The volcano was laughing.

While our European friends faced cancelled flights and airport slumber parties, we lucked out with a direct shot across the Atlantic. Momo and I arrived in Lisbon at the Promax/BDA European marketing event and discovered not everyone was put off by the hassles. Vanessa, who runs Promax Europe, hitched a 31 (not a typo) hour ride with the tech crew. She was waiting for us, bright eyed and lively as ever, to run our rehearsal.

Giant hassles are just gentle reminders that the only thing we control is how we respond to the curve balls that come our way.

How do you cope with the cabash on your well orchestrated life plans? Can you overcome the simple setbacks or, as the spot above shows, the major ones?

Tell us–what did you rise above to be here today?

good morning, sunshine

March 15, 2010

We love spring.  Crocuses nosing up from the earth. Sunshine spilling onto the sidewalk when you leave work.

But up in Inuvik, the Canadian Artic, sunshine has an even greater power. For sixty-six days of winter, they’re encased in darkness. Which makes this documentary style spot, from Tropicana Canada, so charming. And their message about brighter mornings so meaningful.

Find a story. Or make a new story that meshes with your brand. Tell it honestly. You invite people to experience your message, instead of bracing themselves for your sell.

What story is waiting for you?

lingo stars

March 8, 2010

Give me fifteen minutes with a new on-air talent. I’ll tell you if they have breakout potential. How? By listening to them talk.

Breakout talent speak a different language from the rest of us.

Cruise the top ranked personalities of 2009. Rush Limbaugh? “Dittoheads” know their leader. Oprah Winfrey has her “aha moments.” John Stewart, “Not so much.”

One of my favorites, Rachael Ray, brings a whole new vocabulary to cooking. When she calls olive oil “EVOO,” or declares “Yummo” after tasting a “spoonola,” she’s telling us that food isn’t serious. It’s fun and colorful and just us guys hanging around the counter.

What’s your brand lingo telling everyone?

can’t help ourselves

February 28, 2010


Thirteen of us crowded onto the sofa and chairs around the Superbowl, and this spot came on. A man, a boat, and a horse. The guys laughed because it poked fun at what they think women like: six pack abs, diamonds, and “tickets to that thing you love.” The women laughed because this guy is pumped full of himself.

Women and men: now that’s a tightrope of humor. Old Spice pulled it off, towel and all.

That’s the beauty of finding the right point of view in your brand personality. When it works, you can’t help yourself.

How have you used POV to grab someone’s attention?

*If you want to meet the guy behind the Spice, go here.

sounds like genius

February 22, 2010

First, a confession. I’ve always been a sucker for radio.

You supply the story, the audience supplies the pictures. Now that’s interactive. Plus, compared to print and television, radio is inexpensive to produce. $500 for an award-winning spot? That’s how much my first clio winner cost.

Turns out, audio is even more powerful that we thought. Two recent articles reveal how aural persuasion taps our unconscious.


In this week’s Time magazine,  Martin Lindstrom, author of the best seller “Buyology”, hooked up participants to neoro-sensors. He discovered that some sounds zap right past our thinking brains and compel us in primal ways. Irresistable forces.

The New York Times magazine looks at how the top two contenders for Best Picture, “Hurt Locker” and “Avatar”, both use sound to create entirely new worlds. The lush jungles of Pandora and the dry, still world of bomb defusers — would either movie be as effective without their world of sound? Not likely.

How are you using sound to change minds?

our favorite un-app

December 2, 2009

We love how, when everyone’s going in one direction, someone chooses to head in the other.

Like this spot for the Florida Keys. Simple. Memorable.

What’s your favorite twist?