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Ad Campaign Wanted

March 21st, 2007 by Bob Bly

My office is in the NYC area, and in the mornings, I listen to the Z100 Morning Zoo.

They recently ran a spot asking for help creating a new ad campaign.

And here are the qualifications they asked for: “Can you draw? Know PhotoShop? Familiar with YouTube?”

Huh?

What does all this have to do with the core of successful advertising — a strong, compelling, well-crafted sales message stated in a fresh new way?

This is like help-wanted ads I see for freelance writers where the employer doesn’t seem to care about writing skill or subject matter expertise, but instead says they are looking for a writer who knows how to operate PowerPoint or Excel.

Has what’s important in marketing changed, or are the loonies ruling the roost?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007 at 6:49 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

53 responses about “Ad Campaign Wanted”

  1. John Dumbrille said:

    I see your point, but they may just be checking to see if the applicant is familiar with contemporary tools.

  2. Chris Lake said:

    I can’t stop laughing–my first reaction to “can you draw?” was “Draw Tippie!” from the matchbook covers. I would say with those three qualifications, the radio station is calling more for a Web designer than an advertising person.

    I am afraid there is a lot of confusion between medium and message right now (a tip of the hat to Marshall McLuhan). I am educating the majority of my clients about the continued importance of off-Web advertising. Too many otherwise smart marketers seem to believe that just getting a Web site up will change everything for them. They hire Web designers and put up a home page that looks zippy and doesn’t convey a darn thing a visitor wants to read.

    So yeah, I know PhotoShop, and I write HTML and PHP code by hand, but that has nothing to do with my ability to write copy that sells. Good copy handwritten on yellow Big Chief tablets and faxed to the client is infinitely more valuable than vacuous type in beautifully drop-shadowed 48-point Bauer Bodoni on a computer screen….

  3. Suzanne Ryan said:

    I’ve only been copywriting for 3-4 years so I can’t compare what I observe now to some trend of the past.

    But the more I learn, the less I understand what some ad agencies are up to. A case in point is television commercials. A lot of them seem to be created to entertain and grab attention–which is fine if the underlying message is about the effectiveness of the product. But quite often I am unable to associate the product with the commercial–even after numerous viewings. Maybe it’s just me tuning out?

    Do these commercials yield the desired results, or do marketers not learn from others’ mistakes?

    On the other hand, I’ve heard there are some odious, obnoxious commercials that do sell the product. Go figure!

  4. John Platt said:

    Loonies. All the way.

  5. Fern said:

    Looks like they’re trying to find someone who can create a hit on YouTube. There’s beeen some breakthrough “favorites” on YouTube that have seen millions of hits and are circulated like mad via e-mail from friend to friends. (You can go to YouTube.com and look at the all time most viewed/favorited to see some examples.

    Seems like the strategy is pretty dopey. I don’t think anyone knows when/why a particular video goes to the head of the list; but seems like the advertiser is looking for something that likely isn’t going to happen – instant success with a YouTube video.

  6. Sean Woodruff said:

    A “campaign” has many parts. Writing the ad is just one of them.

    Bob, you answer your own question with “stated in a fresh new way.”

    The words are still the driver of the sales delivery vehicle but the sale may arrive in a pick-up truck or the trunk of a red Camaro.

  7. Sheri Cyprus said:

    Hi Bob — glad to be back to your blog and catch up on all your great posts. I saw a job listed recently for a copywriter/quality control expert and that one had me puzzled… The company went on to say how creative they wanted the copywriter to be and then said he or she must be able to work with the other copywriters to be sure they are meeting control standards according to strict company requirements. What’s that really about, I wonder?

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