Guaranteed Indeed

Copywriting, Direct Marketing
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was an extraordinary philosopher, renowned to this day for his words of wisdom, but if what he said about life's uncertainties were to still hold true, 21st century consumers might even be more reluctant to part with their money. “In this world,” he once opined, “nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes.” Of course, Ben wasn’t around when L.L. Bean guaranteed the first pair of boots its founder sold in 1912. But seriously, the world in which Ben lived was obviously far, far removed from ours today, a world in which almost everything is guaranteed – and rightly so – by those in sales. As Dean Rieck, President of Direct Creative, writes in a recent (October 18, 2004) issue of DM News, “If you really have a…
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Scared Into Submission or Frightened Away

Advertising
There are a number of reasons why people are motivated to speak up and take action, many of which could be chalked up to feelings, not facts. Those in the business of proselytizing – such as lawyers, preachers and, yes, politicians – know that much, if not more, about the human nature of their target audience. And so do the more experienced direct marketers and advertisers among us. Play to people’s greatest fears and desires, and chances are they will respond accordingly. You can either place doubt in their minds or provide them with hope on the horizon, depending on the emotions – and response – you want to trigger. This is all easier said than done, of course. It’s not a stratagem to be taken lightly. After all, whether…
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The Art of Client Service

Client Service
If it wasn't for a pair of brown leather cowboy boots, my career in direct marketing may have taken a different turn a long time ago. The year was 1984, and I had a great job as a copywriter at RCA Direct Marketing. But when a friend told me about another job as an account executive at Grey Direct, my youth and ambition got the best of me. I applied for it. The interview went well, but word got back to me afterwards that I hadn't dressed the part. Sure, I was wearing the requisite Brooks Brothers blue pinstripe suit, but my feet were covered in Dingo boots instead of classic wing tip shoes. My bad! Today, of course, I would like to believe the fact that I didn't land…
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A Reasonably Good Ad Campaign

Advertising
With the home team in the American League Division Series and playing baseball like they really mean it this year, it certainly is a good time to be able to call yourself the Official Hospital of the Boston Red Sox. After all, winning is contagious. But that's just one thing Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has going for it this fall. Something else that’s been working in the hospital’s favor lately is its current advertising campaign, which is designed to call attention to the many different reasons people (750,000 of them annually) become patients there. In a series of large, clever display ads in this town’s two major dailies (of course, there may be other publications on the media schedule of which I’m not aware), this nationally-renowned academic…
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