Archive for the ‘Seeds of Inspiration’ Category

Colors. A Key Element in Your Brand. – Written for tba | PR + Advertising

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Colors evoke emotions and feelings.

What influence they have on a consumer is not always easy to determine without keeping in mind demographics and your product or service’s messages.

According to a marketing study from the University of Loyola, Maryland, color increases brand recognition by 80 percent! When developing brand identities for our clients, we always evaluate the use of color knowing how important it is in the success of a brand and its identification in a crowded marketplace.

As a reference, I have indicated basic color meanings below. Note, these are not rigid rules, just general associations to keep in mind:

Blue = depth, stability, trust, masculine, tranquility, security

Red = intensity, energy, war, danger, love, passion, strength, energetic, urgency

Purple = soothing, calming, royalty, power, nobility, wealth, ambition, dignified, mystery

Yellow = optimistic, youthful, joyful, intellectual, energetic, cheerful

Green = nature, growth, fertility, fresh, healing, safe, wealthy, relaxation

Orange = aggressive, warmth, stimulation, enthusiasm, happiness, success, creativity

Pink = romantic, feminine, idealistic

Black = powerful, sleek, intimidating

Be sure to contact tba to find out how we can help boost your brand’s familiarity!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book #1 – Finished on January 24th!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

My great friend and co-worker Christina Knapp and I spoke about illustrating four icons to show the story behind the book once complete. I have chosen the four images below:

Reading has been great for me, especially now. Some may know that my mother passed away in January of last year, so anything that can keep my mind focused elsewhere has been more than helpful.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very different book from what I’m typically interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t put it down for even a moment to write out a blog charting my progress (no excuses though, no excuses). It perplexed me on several occasions and the characters decision making processes frustrated me to the point of gasping out loud. “WHAT?” – I caught myself saying several times throughout my reading adventure.

This thriller filled with mystery, murder and debauchery really surprised me at how captivated I quickly became of the characters. Stieg Larsson does an amazing job at creating a feeling of connection by thoroughly illustrating his thoughts and bringing the story and his actors to life for the reader. From book number one, I was able to take away several life lessons, including the ones listed below:

  1. A great boss can handle employees with warmth and trust but at the same time is not afraid of confrontation and can be tough when necessary.
  2. People always have secrets. It’s just a matter of finding out what they are.
  3. Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. Get to know everyone.
  4. Never engage in a fight you’re sure to loose. On the other hand never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength – even if you no longer need to strike back.
  5. Every action has it’s consequences.
  6. It does no good to cry. Every-time you do, it makes someone aware of something in your life, which makes your situation far worse.
  7. Keep those people who give you spontaneous good impressions from the very beginning close.

Now my question to you: What book(s) have you read recently that you were able to take away a great life lesson?

Today marks the first day for book number two on my reading list. In February I will be reading “Then we set his hair on fire: Insights and Accidents from a Hall of Fame Career in Advertising” by Phil Dunsberry. I am very excited about this one, as my interests in reading typically fall within the realm of business and inspiration. So 276 pages in 28 days. That’s about 10 pages/day. I know I can manage this book, and hopefully even write a blog or two along the way 🙂

I hope to hear from you all soon!


p.s. Thank you to Maria Rott, Lynn Cummings, Kris Spelce, Angie Dietz, Christina Knapp, Carolyn Kiser and to all of my bus buddies for supporting me and keeping on me about this project. You are all my backbone on this project!

Decoding QR Codes – written for tba | PR + Advertising

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

What are these fuzzy boxes of randomly sequenced black and white squares popping up all over the country, you ask?

Example of a text message QR Code

Example of a URL QR Code

They are called QR codes, or “quick response” codes. Essentially, QR codes are an alternate form of a barcode used to direct smartphones to a mobile website, product video, click-to-call number, or text message by using your device’s camera and a barcode scanner application.

And what’s great about these codes is that every smartphone operating system has access to free QR decoders — and there are an endless number of free websites that have the ability to generate them.

QR codes are quickly beginning to register on the marketing radar and businesses are looking for the most creative way to use them to best promote their company. Here are a few places these complex little communication channels have recently been seen:

• Magazines

• Billboards

• Business cards

• In-store displays and windows

• Print ads

• Television broadcasting
• Buses
• Event tickets
• Maps
• Trade show materials
• Direct mail campaigns
• Coupons

Really, just about any printed surface the general public would need to get more information about a business or product can have a QR code. They are structured in a way that is readable from a 360-degree direction and work on both a small and large scale, leaving endless possibilities for concept development.

Visit the Cellar Key website using this link.

You can order QR wrapping paper using this link.

Here are a few applications you can download for scanning QR Codes:

For iPhone or iPod touch:
QR Scanner

For both Apple and Android devices:

You can generate QR codes from a number of sites, but the one I have found particularly easy is Kaywa QR Code.

Because QR codes are customizable, users are able to measure how many people are being targeted with a particular marketing piece, in turn allowing for easier calculation of ROI or “return on investment.”

Neilsen reported that by 2011 51% of all Americans will be carrying smartphones. Will QR codes be the future of advertising? With society gravitating toward online gaming and viral videos, it’s only natural that QR codes will enhance our mobile experience. If you are interested in learning more about how you can integrate QR Codes into your marketing strategy, be sure to give us a call.

#, @, RT? Twitter: Back to Basics – written for tba | PR + Advertising

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I once heard someone say that people you are friends with on Facebook are the people you have once known personally, but don’t really have much in common with, and the people you follow on Twitter are those you don’t know personally but have a lot in common. How can you start interacting and making a connection on the Twittersphere? Many people are still unaware of the benefits of Twitter and how it can help a company or an individual engage with the public. Here are a few basic pointers on how to start doing this:

1. Hashtags #
A great way to get in front of like-minded individuals is to put a #hashtag symbol before a keyword. If you use a hashtag in your tweet, and you have a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag can find your tweet. Anything can be made into a hashtag, but there a several common ones that can be found here. As a side note, the location you put a hashtag into your tweet is really up to you. Most people put them at the end of their tweet, but you can also integrate them inside the tweet. This is also a great way to find out what people are saying about your company or industry.

2. @ Replies or “Mentions”
By using the @ symbol or #hashtag in front of a Twitter username to reply to someone or refer to their post, you are basically saying hey, @XYZTwitterUsername, I am paying attention to you! The user below prefaced his RT (which I will go into next) with a comment, which makes this a hybrid tweet. He both mentions @thebecheragency by making the comment “Hilarious!” and RT’s @thebecheragency’s post by saying RT before the username:

In this post, user @WhitleyGaffney mention’s #thebecheragency by using a #hashtag. It is not as easy for the Twitter user to notice these posts, but it is still searchable. Best practice would be to use the @ symbol when mentioning @XYZTwitterUserName in your post.

3. RTs or “Re-Tweets”
If someone posts something interesting on his or her wall, RT their post. This will share it on your wall and will appear to all of your followers. A standard RT does not include additional comments

4. DM or “Direct Messages”
A direct message is a private, off-the-record message that you can send your followers. Think of it as a short email. The only rules are that the user has to first follow you and the message has to be under 140 characters. One great way to use DMs is to send a short thank-you message to the user when they follow you, or to make connections with them outside of Twitter.

5. Follow Those Who Follow You
Personally, if someone is trying to sell something, speaking in a different language, or is posting vulgar information, I will not follow them back. If for example you are a contractor and another local contractor follows you, follow them back! Twitter is a very powerful networking tool that could potentially lead to strong partnerships and friendships. By following your followers, you can not only monitor the competition, but also re-Tweet relevant information of local and national companies or individuals who are in similar industries.

6. Find and Follow Like-Minded Twitter Users
This is crucial to learning more and engaging within your industry. The best site I have found for this is Twellow. It is very straightforward and allows you to add your username to certain categories. For example, @thebecheragency is listed under 5 categories:

  • Marketing + Advertising + Ad Agencies
  • Marketing + Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Marketing + Public Relations
  • Information Technology + Software Programming + Web Developer + Web Design

Social media is supposed to be fun! The more you do it, the more familiar it will become. It can seem like a lot if you are first starting out, but really becomes second nature when you dive in. Yes, social media is always changing, but please feel free to give me, or anyone at tba | PR + Advertising a call if you have any questions and if there is anything we can assist with.

TV Personifying Animals during Shark Week

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

During a Shark Week commercial break, these two commercials consecutively came on TV:

Travelers Insurance – Rattlesnake

2010 Kia Soul Hamster Commercial | Black Sheep Kia Hamsters Video

I had seen both of these in the past, but really became drawn to them, after seeing them one after the other. Both commercials give animals a voice and human-like qualities. The target audience is clearly different in both videos, but with the chosen music, effectively attains the intended message.

The Rattlesnake video focuses on an older crowd, while the Kia Hamsters video is geared towards a younger group. Regardless of your age, however, these critters are defiantly able to take your attention off your laptop or iPhone!

I hope you are able to enjoy these commercials as much as I do!