A Smorgasbord of Boston Restaurant Ads

Before I got married, like most 20- and 30-somethings, I did my fair share of wining and dining and painting the town red. It was fun while it lasted.Today, with a home in the suburbs and four children under the roof, my wife and I are certifiably too encumbered to get into Boston for dinner, drinks and dancing. It’s just not our time to party. Sure, we still enjoy the night life and we’re certainly not housebound, but it’s a lot easier for us – and frankly, more affordable – to eat out nearby instead of venturing into town.Every once in a while, though, I’ll open up one of those roadside newspaper boxes and pick up a free copy of The Improper Bostonian, where we’ll read all about how –…
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Marketing Miscellany III

Blogging, Direct Marketing
If you haven't gotten around to it yet, don't hesitate any longer to pick up a copy of The New Marketing Conversation: Creating and Strengthening Relationships Between Buyers and Sellers. Written by Donna Baier-Stein and Alexandra MacAaron, both past presidents of the New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA), it’s a comprehensive model for marketing in the new millennium, an indispensable guide for anyone selling, well, anything.Speaking of NEDMA, those who attended the association’s 26th Annual Paul Butterworth Copywriting Seminar the other night in Boston heard from a trio of illustrious direct marketers, all previous winners of the New England Direct Marketer of the Year award – Steven Tharler (Tharler/Opper), Nancy Harhut (Hill, Holliday) and Tracy Emerick (Taurus Direct Marketing). This free seminar – named after the late, great copywriter whose…
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Humor in Advertising: Two Funny Case Studies

Advertising, Copywriting
People "do stupid things" and "don't always use common sense," according to two different ads – for Vonage and UnitedHealthcare respectively – that appeared in the latest edition (March 11-13, 2005) of USA WEEKEND, the Sunday newspaper magazine supplement.If I hadn’t laughed out loud when I first saw these ads, I might have been insulted.Coincidentally, both ads use similar headlines and are able to get away with poking fun at their audience by breaking one of the cardinal rules of copywriting: Anyone who writes headlines in advertising knows to address customers and prospects in the second person, “you.” It’s one of the easiest ways to command the immediate attention of your readership.But in these two instances, the headlines were purposely impersonalized by using the indefinite pronoun, “people,” as the subject,…
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The Celtics Are Winning on the Court — and in the Marketing Arena as Well

Advertising, Fundraising, Public Relations
Believe it or not, the Boston Celtics are looking more and more like a team that will not only make the NBA playoffs this year, but one that could legitimately contend for the Eastern Conference championship.Of course, much of such new found optimism is a credit to three-time All-Star Antoine Walker, who recently returned to the team with which he played his first seven seasons in the league. In a handful of games with the Celtics since he was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks just a couple of weeks ago, Antoine is playing like the rejuvenated veteran he is, and his teammates seem to have stepped up their game as a result.Those who follow the Celtics have also responded enthusiastically in kind, packing the FleetCenter – on July 1, to…
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A Blog Would Probably Work Wonders for JWT

Advertising, Blogging
Kudos to JWT for re-launching itself just a couple of days ago as a "billion-dollar startup” – it won’t happen overnight, but you can count on a powerful and positive ripple effect throughout the advertising industry.This was no cheesy publicity stunt, after all. This was the largest advertising agency in the United States proudly – and loudly – formalizing its belief that “time is the new currency of savvy consumers who know what they want and refuse to waste their time on choices that don’t meet their needs.”This was a watershed moment not just for JWT, but for anyone else who makes a living in advertising, direct marketing, public relations, fundraising and, yes, even in the blogosphere.What this legendary, 140-year-old agency is acknowledging – and responding to – is a…
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