May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Everyone knows that effective advertising has the ability to influence thoughts and opinions. Whether it’s the latest SUV, a box of detergent or a breakfast cereal, marketing campaigns lead us to believe that choosing a certain product will improve our lives, change the world or possibly bring about world peace.
While not meaning to diminish the power of fresh breath and a white smile, there are times when advertising is used to bring attention to events that truly are world changing. With Memorial Day coming up, Quest WANTS YOU to take a look at some of the classic posters of World War II.
One of the most famous advertising pieces ever produced, this recruitment poster for the US Army has been often imitated and just as often parodied. Featuring J.M. Flagg’s definitive illustration of Uncle Sam, this poster was first used near the end of World War I, but called back into service for World War II. With a classic, clean design and a message that is direct and “to the point”, this poster is as effective today as it was almost a century ago.
Another famous image is J.Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster. As record numbers of men were being shipped off to war, women were called upon to fill the traditionally male jobs in factories and manufacturing plants, often producing munitions and war supplies.
In 1942, the Westinghouse Company commissioned Miller to create a series of posters to recruit women to the work force. Now associated with “Rosie, the Riveter”, the fictional working woman from a song that came out that same year, this poster continues to inspire. Its positive message and portrayal of women’s strength made it a natural choice for the feminist movement of the 1970’s.
As in other types of advertising, war posters were often designed to play heavily on the viewers’ emotions. As we see in the examples below, the designers of these posters used humor, a sense of duty, or fear of the enemy to call the public to action.
Today, many of the ads and posters of World War II would not be considered politically correct. Some may be considered jingoistic propaganda by contemporary standards. It’s true that much of the artwork presents a romanticized version of war. Still, there are examples where the true cost of freedom is dramatically presented in this somber, yet compelling poster.
This Memorial Day, Quest Group encourages you to take time to remember the men and women who have given their lives in the military service of our country.
May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Whether you call it amethyst, eggplant, violet, or wine. Purple is a rich, mysterious color, and is associated with both nobility and spirituality. The opposites of hot red and cool blue combine to create this intriguing color.
Did you know:
• Purple was the color of the first dye made by man. It was called “Mauveine” and was made out of coal tar. The recipe was discovered by William Henry Perkin in 1856.
• Purple is the color of mourning for widows in Thailand.
• Purple was the favorite color of Egypt’s Cleopatra and has been traditionally associated with royalty in many cultures. Purple robes were worn by royalty and people of authority or high rank.
• The Purple Heart is a U.S. Military decoration given to soldiers wounded in battle.
• In Christianity, purple is associated with Advent and Lent. Catholic priests wear purple vestments before performing Reconciliation.
• Even in U.S. politics, a state with equal distribution of Republicans and Democrats is referred to as a “purple state.”
• Purple is the color of the highest denomination poker chip = $5,000.
– Beth Barron
May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
There is a paradigm shift underway in the global community. For the first time in (dare I say) forever, a company’s reputation is quickly becoming less about who it declares itself to be and more about who the public says it is.
By spending enough dollars on advertising, a large corporation has always been able to tell people how to think about its brands and company in a relatively unchallenged environment. Well, hold the presses! That is no longer the case. In the ever-expanding online community the public has gained a level of control unlike anything we have seen in the past. Companies are losing control of their messages and must adapt.
Advertising still has a vital role, but we must shift our view on how to manage it.
First, a company (small or large) must learn to listen to its consumer market. How well it listens to what is being said will determine its future. What are customers satisfied or dissatisfied with? What products do they wish were on the market? How important is a company’s social and environmental responsibility policy? Paying attention to what your market is really saying and not making assumptions is the first step. Not only will it improve what you do, but it can also inform and strengthen your advertising message.
Second, a company must join in the collaborative spirit of the online conversation. In Cyberworld, community members expect to find valuable information, discounts and other incentives — and get this, they want all this for FREE. You can have a long debate about the merits of delivering free gifts, but it’s not going to change the expectations of consumers. My advice — find a reasonable level of what you are able to provide, work it into your budget, then get happy about it. Getting happy is key. If you don’t, your insincerity will be quickly recognized by this savvy bunch. Plus, you don’t want to deprive yourself of the innate joy that comes from giving.
Finally, sincerity counts. As referenced above, this new Internet-connected public will quickly see through any attempt at self-service. You must first earn a consumer’s trust before ever attempting to sell him. The customer wants an honest advocate on his side, not a salesperson trying to take his money. This advocate offers advice, provides price comparisons, evaluates a consumer’s current situation and more. His primary concern is about what’s best for the individual with whom he’s working.
Some companies are handling these changes better than others. It’s actually very simple. Forget all those sales and marketing gimmicks you learned as an adult, and start acting like your mother taught you to. Be considerate of others. Help when you can. Do a kindness without expecting anything in return. You know — it’s that voice of sincerity that you have to stomp down every time you try to hard sell someone. There’s something in our gut that just doesn’t feel right. So, good news! No longer do you have to trample that little voice. Let it rise to the top. We’re finally in an environment that values what it has to say!
Have you had personal experience shifting from a sales mentality to an advocate mentality? We’d like to hear your comments and stories.
– Kathy Kenne, Partner