6 secrets for winning pointy plastic creative advertising awards

creative awardHere’s an article I wrote a while back that infuriated agencies and award show supporters all over the country. It generated criticism, diatribes, tirades, personal attacks, verbal abuse … and quite a bit of praise. I guess it really hit home. So I’ve decided to share it with my loyal, savvy readers here.

If you’re the typical advertising type, you can get pretty fed up with all those direct response techniques.

How dare anyone suggest that your job is about something as crass as getting people to read a sales pitch or generating profit. After all, you’re a creative genius, right?

Besides, while you’re pretty sure that direct marketers know a thing or two about getting people to respond to ads, they don’t know squat about what’s really important. Winning awards!

I mean, sheesh! They’re so spastic. Always whipping out calculators and crunching numbers … as if numbers have anything to do with advertising!

Let’s take a quick look at a few sure ways to create ads that impress your colleagues, win pointy plastic prizes, and give you a well-deserved break from all that pesky response.

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Classic advertising quotes from Morris Hite. Huh? Who’s Morris Hite?

Morris HiteMorris Hite was a classic American advertising man, self-educated and self-made.

Yes, I know. You’ve probably never heard of him because he’s not as well-known as some Madison Avenue ad executives, but he had a powerful impact on the industry.

He was born in Oklahoma, migrated to Texas, and worked his way up to become head of the Tracy-Locke agency in Dallas, one of the country’s most successful agencies. And he did it by focusing on his clients’ growth rather than on producing clever ads.

He was also an innovator in the area of consumer research long before it became fashionable. And he always looked for the “big idea” to craft sales messages that would trigger consumer response on a gut level.

For me, Hite represents the ideal ad man: smart, down-to-earth, plain-spoken, and enthusiastic, with an indomitable can-do attitude and a laser-like focus on profits. Here’s what he had to say about the craft and business of advertising. Not everything here is about direct marketing, but there is plenty to learn from his wise words.

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