Category Archives: advertising

How Branding and Advertising Form Your First Relationships

David Gusaas talks about how branding and advertising  form your first relationships.

“Friendship is so weird, you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like ‘yep I like this one’ and then you just do stuff with them” – Step Brothers

Though they of course have their differences, businesses as a whole are not that different from people that we form certain types of relationships with. If we’re lucky enough, they are just as weird as we are, and we come together like a Catalina Wine Mixer. Though, maybe not like the one in the movie..

In starting a business, everyone wants to get to that sweet spot where instead of going out and knocking on doors, people are coming and knocking on yours. The easiest way to do this is through branding and advertising.

Not just understanding this, but taking action on this, requires a strategy that includes branding and advertising as part of your start-up company’s budget, with someone who understands the dynamics of how this works most effectively, while retaining and conveying your company’s unique quirks and personality.

“There are millions of people walking around, there are millions of businesses to choose from – however both of them must earn the right to have a relationship with you.”

This quote from former Ogilvy & Mathers CEO Charlotte Beers, emphasizes this idea that businesses function on a relationship basis, and in a way similar to how our relationships with people in our day-to-day life may become friendships.

Strategies like cold calling and other traditional transactional outreach are at times necessary and even effective to a degree. But without a cohesive human element, and a personality so to speak to attach to the company, a brand to form a relationship with, the transaction remains just that, and is easily replaceable by a newer or cheaper competitor.

The relationship formed by connecting in a human way with a brand that speaks to something in someone else’s own personality, whether it be a certain sense of humor, world view, or other similar sensibilities, leads to identifying with this brand and developing a loyalty to them.

Within this equation, advertising plays a dual role. First, it introduces the brand to people who would otherwise be unaware of it, and it reminds them of the brand afterwards. Additionally, through the type, style, and way you advertise, you further the brand narrative, and connect with potential customers and clients who you will then form a relationship with.

This touches only briefly on how branding and advertising are a vital investment and a necessary part of your company’s successful future, and there is much more to it, so please contact us today to continue the conversation!

Traditional Media in a Social World — Is It Even Necessary?

MAD Contributor-Freak Ben Elijah discusses the necessities of traditional media.

As more and more people are using social media, marketers are left wondering whether traditional media is still necessary in a social world.

The answer is that of course it is. First of all, which business would give up an opportunity to reach yet another segment of the population? However, when digging deeper, we find that there are many advantages of traditional advertising over the newer methods. This holds true in radio ads, television ads, and good old newspaper advertisements.

The radio industry is still alive and blooming, despite Twitter and FaceBook. People enjoy listening to the good old radio for the news and to hear radio talk shows. Not everyone likes looking at a small screen all day. Radio is listened to in the car, at work, and while relaxing at home. The younger generation may use their smartphones a lot, but they still tune into radio shows on apps such as TuneIn Radio, so you will reach them as well.

Radio ads have the ability to be as effective as image based ads. Since there is no image to be associated with the product, sound effects and tone of voice can stimulate emotions, and really anything can be conjured up in the listener’s imagination.

With radio ads, you are always the main focus of your target’s attention. Unlike internet ads where your message is displayed as a side-note, with radio and television ads you are always at the center of attention, without any other distractions playing at the same time.

Newspaper ads also have a major advantage over internet ads: People reading a newspaper usually stay for quite a while on one story. This way, an ad can easily catch a reader’s attention. People on the internet, on the other hand, usually have a very short attention span, often quickly jumping from one story to the next, simply because there is just so much information out there on the web. Thus, readers are less likely to actually take the time to read an advertisement — they usually quickly scan through a web page and leave soon after.

For more information, feel free to contact us.

Traditional Media In A Social World: Why It Still Plays A Vital Role

MAD Contibutor-Freak Ryan Canady has something vital to say about traditional media.

“Ding, Buzz, Ring”, these are the pestering and seemingly never-ending sounds that emit from the smartphones of well over half the United States population at this point. As a country we love our phones and the social media world that Silicon Valley has created for us. However, at some point it all becomes a little overwhelming. Not only are we constantly bombarded with information, photos, and quirky status updates from our friends, but we also must respond to a relentless marketing world.

Toning Out The Social Media Marketing

Once they caught on to the marketing potential of social media, businesses latched to it eagerly. They saw new markets to exploit and profit from, and they didn’t waste much time doing so. As consumers of this information, we were at first pleased to hear from the companies and brands we like, but soon it became annoying.

These days, many social media users simply ignore, block, or delete marketing messages that they receive via their social networks. It is because of this that markets must once again reconsider traditional media in a social world.

Traditional Media Is Not Dead 

Do not fear the headlines that serve up the idea that traditional marketing is gone once and for all. It is actually stronger than ever, albeit with more competition for attention. lays out just how wrong those who predicted the death of traditional media have been,

It’s been fashionable for several years to predict the impending demise of traditional advertising and marketing tactics such as TV, radio, and print ads. Marketing thought leaders have advanced this view in many of the best-known and most influential marketing books published during the past two-plus decades.

While this type of prediction is great for selling books, it is also something that marketers should patiently reject and ignore. There is no basis for it, and it could be costly to them if they take this prediction to heart.

Repetition Defeats Novelty

Social media advertising is flashy and unique by necessity. It is competing with literally millions of other potential websites that an Internet user can select from. By contrast, traditional media marketing is repetitive in nature.

While repetition is often scoffed at, research shows that human beings actually respond very well to messages that they hear often. The familiarity alone engenders warm feelings about the product. As such, there is certainly still a place for traditional marketing as part of the overall advertising world.

Contact us for more information regarding traditional marketing and why it still matters to our daily lives.

Why a Smart Business Owner Should Use Traditional Media in a Social World

By MAD Contributor-Freak Chris Coffee

For more than a decade now — as the internet has grown and developed an identity — the grip that traditional media held on the advertising dollar has loosened. The advent of venues such as YouTube and Facebook has provided businesses with a relatively inexpensive advertising platform.

And why not? The opportunities are vast; they provide advertisers a way to hit their target audience (via geo-fencing, honing in demographically, etc.); results are tracked and verified; and costs are built on cost-per-impression, cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand, and so on.

However — be it television, print or radio — there is a place for traditional media in a social world. When approached logically, traditional media can target a specific audience (a 25-54 demographic, for example) with verified results and at a controlled cost.

All media have their pros and cons. A simple Google search will give you plenty of material on why TV, print and radio are each better or worse than the other. However, know that advertising in your local media builds trust with your customer and shows commitment to the community.

There are several reasons why traditional media still is a viable option for advertisers. Consumers still tune into their local media sources for various reasons. Local media are the go to source for weather and news. And, despite the introduction of MP3 players and satellite radio, your local terrestrial radio stations have popular morning shows, run contests, cover local sports, and typically offer a variety of music or talk genres.


Consumers are drawn to local media that develop their own content. This is everything from local news events, up-to-date weather, area sports coverage and so on. As the pie continues to grow and shares continue to shrink, it’s this local content that’s vital to advertising success. Content is king.

If available, you should choose advertising opportunities that engage the consumer. Consider sponsoring or developing contests, sponsoring events, branding on specific pages, or even developing your own niche (i.e. being the legal or medical resource for the news department, or your restaurant being the house chef for the morning news program). The ideas and opportunities are virtually limitless, but it takes thinking outside of the box.

If you need someone to help you think outside of the box or have questions about another topic, don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to Make a Creative Brief and How to Use It

By MAD Contributor-Freak Corinne Enright

Have you ever felt like you and your creative partners don’t see eye to eye?

Advertisers feel this way all the time. One of their most common complaints is that clients provide them with a vague description at the outset of the project, then shoot down the final product with a vague criticism like, “I don’t know . . . it just doesn’t pop enough,” or “It doesn’t fit with our vision.” It’s just as frustrating for the client: after all, if you could set down a clear vision for the project in just a few well-chosen words, you wouldn’t need contractors. Fortunately, most advertising agencies (including The MAD House) realize this, and clear up confusion at the outset by making creative briefs.

To make a creative brief, you and your creative partners will have a series of meetings (can be in person, on the phone, or even online questionnaires), making sure to involve all interested parties. In those meetings, you’ll be asked some questions like these:

  • Who is the audience? You know more about their market than the agency ever can. You know how old the average buyer is, how many men and how many women use the products, and the kind of personality the brand appeals to. Also, maybe more important: are you trying to appeal to your current base, or expand?
  • Who is the competition? If you have a competitor, it’s because they provide a similar product or service. What sets their product apart? Why is your product better than the competition’s? The answer may end up as the focus of the ad.
  • What is the message? What do you want communicated? Be as specific as possible. Try to express the tone the ad is supposed to set, and what feeling it’s supposed to communicate.
  • How radical should we be? An amazing number of corporate disasters start with a miscommunication on this score. Explain whether you’re looking for a slightly updated version of your current direction, or a complete overhaul.
  • Who needs to know what we’re doing, and when? Make sure the creative team knows whom they’re reporting to, how soon their deadlines are, and their preferred means of contact. Preferably, there is a single point of contact.

These are just a few examples, most questionnaires are a bit more in-depth. Everything you learn in those meetings will be written down in one detailed, well-organized memo – the creative brief. The brief will be the creative team’s bible for the rest of the project. They’ll check it regularly, and refer back to it whenever they get stuck. Through the brief comes clarity. Hopefully, you won’t have any more trouble with communication.

For more about the creative brief, click through to visit our website. If you have questions about this or any other topic, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What to Consider Before Hiring an Advertising or Design Team

By MAD Contributor-Freak Aja Putney

A lot of research goes into picking someone who can help benefit your business. It is a personal decision based off of trust. There are also many factors to consider. Some important factors when considering an advertising or design team are:

  • How long has this company been around? In other words, how many years of experience—if any—does this company have?
  • What financial condition is this company in? Everything from the location of a company to the people they employ can speak volumes about their financial conditions. Basically, will they be around next week, next year, in ten years?
  • Does this company even seem interested in me? Am I simply another customer to them? Is it only the money they seek? Am I valuable to them and do they treat me as such? Do they ask the right questions and are they trying to understand my business?
  • Can they make my vision come to life? Essentially, can my ideas and goals for the company be transformed by their hard work and dedication? Can I trust them enough with my thoughts and ideas?
  • Can I relate to these people? Will they be respectful of my culture, religion, likes, dislikes, and personality in general?
  • Can I see them being a part of my success? If and when my business takes off, can I see myself thanking them for their help?

Other things to consider include the location of the advertising and design team. The world has grown smaller with internet and cellular communication. If you do not feel comfortable with telecommunication, you will need to search for local companies. Additionally, it is important to ponder whether or not you can see yourself in a long-term business relationship with this team. After all, the design and advertising business are subject to change at all times. Are you willing to be in contact with these people to keep updated on the new trends in the industry? Finally and perhaps the most important question to answer is the idea of whether or not your budget allows for an advertising or design team. Is your business able to accommodate an additional cost every year, month, or even week?

In conclusion, there are countless things to ponder before hiring an advertising or design firm. Even if a specific company does not require a contract-based relationship, you may want to ask yourself if this is a team you can work with for the long haul. If you are on the fence about hiring an ad and design firm, contact the Mad House today. We’ll be happy to talk it out with you!