Friday, March 30, 2012

Radio Days Are Now

In the 1940s, radio was the country’s favorite vehicle for companies to showcase their products. Soap Operas first began on radio and regular sponsors sold everything from shaving cream to automobiles. Those days may be gone, but radio is still a highly effective way to build a following for your brand.

After working in talk radio for several years and taking two shows to national prominence, Scott Ragain created EG Radio Marketing. “I enjoy the flexibility and creative process of radio,” says Scott. “Working with new shows, hosts and partnering with affiliates is fun and challenging. Where I really excel is in making sure my supporters and advertisers get the best possible bang for their buck. That's really a matter of aligning the right advertisers with the programming we develop." Since opening in 2011 Scott has developed a wide range of programming:

Animal Wise STL hosted by Tara Brooks, DVM, owner of Affton Veterinary Clinic and Matt Koch, Professional Dog Trainer

Prime Life with regional seniors advocate Dawn Trauth-Smith

Heroic Parents with Bo & Stacy Gove - an hour-long, weekly radio show featuring a faith-centric call to action for parents

Happily Married Husband with Emmy award-winning broadcaster, Randy Gardner

Rising Above with John O’Leary onTruthTalk AM 630 (and also available online)

The Journey: Living a Life of Significance with Jeff Arthur of Excalibur Life Coaching

The Trader’s Eye with Professor David England - a weekly show produced and broadcast out of Southern Illinois and syndicated nationally beginning June of 2012.

Creative Director and owner of Bloodlines Creative, Thomas Blood says, “Radio is true theater of the mind. It's a great way to advertise because advertisers have an opportunity to paint pictures with words. The advertiser who takes advantage of that fact gets tremendous value for their investment."

In a way, you would have to say Radio is new again and a smart, if not just a little retro way to provide relevant programming to your target audience

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beverly Pepper - Site Specific

Beverly Pepper (born 1922) is a pioneering sculptor known for her monumental works,site specific and land art. Independent from any particular art movement, she is a world renowned artist whose brilliant and prolific career has spanned over forty years. She has created sculptures in cast iron, bronze, steel, stainless steel, and stone. Pepper is also known for her site-specific projects in which she has incorporated expanses of industrial metals into the landscape, creating large-scale sculptures that were often designed to function as public spaces.

Beverly Pepper was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1922. At sixteen, she entered the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn to study advertising design, photography, and industrial design. She then embarked on a career as a commercial art director. After 1951, she has divided her time between homes and studios in New York City and Todi, Italy. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions across the United States, including one-person shows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; the Columbus Museum of Art, OH; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY; and the San Francisco Museum of Art, CA and in museums, galleries, and public sites throughout Europe.  

Beverly Pepper sculpture Alpha (photo above) is on loan at Laumeier Sculpture Park. The park also has a site specific installation called Cromlech Glen by Beverly Pepper (similar in some respects to photo shown below).

Ernest Trova - Falling Man

Ernest Tino Trova (February 19, 1927 – March 8, 2009) was a self-trained American surrealist and pop art painter and sculptor. Best known for his signature image and figure series, The Falling Man, Trova considered his entire output a single "work in progress." Trova used classic American comic character toys in some of his pieces because he admired their surrealism. Many of Trova's sculptures are cast in unusual white bronze.

Trova's Falling Man series, "about man at his most imperfect," features an armless human figure, that appeares in sculptures, paintings and prints. In a 1964 interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, he described The Falling Man as "a personal hypothetical theory on the nature of man," and further stated "I believe that man is first of all an imperfect creature. The first reaction I usually get to this is that I'm pessimistic. I don't think I am.... It's very close to many theories of man — the Catholic view that man is a fallen creature, for example."

Trova began as a painter, progressing through three-dimensional constructions to his mature medium, sculpture. Trova's gift of forty of his works led to the opening of St. Louis County, Missouri's Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Alexander Liberman - The Way

Alexander Liberman was born in Russia in 1912, but his family relocated to London in 1921. After four years they moved again, this time to Paris. Liberman graduated from the Sorbonne, then studied painting and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He moved to New York City in 1941 and began a career at Vogue magazine, quickly rising to become its Art Director. In 1962, he became Editorial Director of all Conde Nast publications, a position he held until 1994.
A parallel career began in the mid-forties when Liberman returned to painting, creating, gestural abstractions followed by hard edged geometric compositions. In 1959, he studied welding and was awarded his first solo exhibition in the following year by the Betty Parsons Gallery, where he showed his new sculptures along with the paintings. Philip Johnson, the noted American architect, commissioned Liberman’s first large public sculpture in 1964 and the artist was granted many others in following years. (Liberman passed away in 1999.)
Liberman’s sculptures are known for their monumental size and their compositions of tubular steel elements, thrusting upwards and precariously balanced. The constructions are industrially fabricated and are often coated in monochromatic hues. The Way (above) is on display at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis.

Mark di Suvero - Medal of Arts Recipient

The National Medal of Arts was presented to sculptor Mark di Suvero during a ceremony at the White House on March 2, 2011 (photo above). He was born in China to parents of Italian heritage; as a boy he moved to the U.S. (1942) with his family. Later he went to college at the University of California, Berkley where he studied Philosophy. As a young man he moved to NYC. He emerged as a young superstar in the ’60s known for monumental sculpture incorporating salvaged steel. His distinctive, large bold pieces can be found all over the world. Two outstanding examples are on view at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis. Springtime is a great time to go see them. Bornabus and Destino (photo below) at Laumeier.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Once Upon a Time, an Agency Fable

A long time ago in a land far way (we’ll call it Claytonia), two young explorers (we’ll call them Guy and Rex) started an advertising agency. They were so very excited to be doing this because they knew it was a rich and fertile region in and around Claytonia.  

The explorers set up shop in town. Soon, the cash register was ringing and business was bustling. After a while they hired assistant explorers and gave them cubicles in the fort they built for the agency. Years passed. The town crier could often be heard ringing his bell with news of Guy and Rex. New business victories! Winning campaigns! The townspeople were so proud to see the young explorers succeed.

By and by, Rex took his collection of valuable coins and left the agency. Guy was sad.  He had no interest in counting all the money or taking clients to lunch. He was busy crafting award-winning advertising. What would he do?  

As fate would have it, a young knight (we’ll call him D'Artagnan) was ready to slay a few dragons and came upon the fort in Claytonia. Guy and D’Artagnan became fast friends. They joined forces and renamed the agency. Soon the fort had more cubicles and a handsome conference room.

It was so much fun. Clients would travel far and wide to visit the fort. The agency was a bee-hive of energy and commerce. Competitors came and went. Bigger firms were always trying to buy them up but Guy and D’Artagnan would have nothing of it. (They did not want to be swallowed by InterBig or MegaCorp or International ACME Consolidated.) All the while, agencies in other lands would seek out Guy and D’Artagnan for advice on how to build such a magnificent and independent business.

Today Guy/D’Art Marketing Communications is a place for clear thought-leadership and careful deliberate distilled thinking. They are the envy of all in the ad community in the village of Claytonia, not to mention regions far and away. It appears they will live happily ever after - smiling, blogging and building still more cubicles. Happy Anniversary Guy/D’Art! We hope you never become D’Arcy, Arnold, Glennon, Gardner, Kupper, Drone, Adamson, Flip, Splash, Tilt, Rocket Ship, KaPow, Ziparoo or Sonic Boom! (You know who you are and you know what I mean.)     

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Five Business Development Mistakes

Business is not easy to come by. The pressure is on your business development function to produce. How are you going to make sure your sales effort has its very best chance for success? Smart marketing and attention to your brand is more important than ever. Offered here for your review are five common mistakes companies make.

1.      Lack of attention to the Brand – Forgetting to pay attention to the brand is a mistake. You still need to be building something that can be differentiated in the minds of your prospects. The brand attributes set you apart and are things that you want sales to reinforce. They have to be real and true. It is a mistake when sales people have to “wing” it. (A big mistake!)

2.      Lack of Marketing Support – The mistake most often made here is to assume sales and marketing are the same thing. Sure, a good sales person understands marketing but smart marketing starts with careful consideration and understanding of the wants and needs of target prospects. The entire operation needs to be marketing-oriented (not just the sales team).

3.      In-House vs. Outsourcing – A lot of companies are going with in-house resources such as graphic designers and social media experts. This is a good trend, but it can be a mistake to forego outside help. You should still seek objectivity and outside advice.

4.      Penny Wise - The mistake commonly made here is to put so much control on the marketing budget that marketing isn’t given the opportunity to make an impact. You want to influence and persuade. It takes time. It takes money. It is an investment. (It needs time to work - but it also should be measured and understood.)

5.      Faulty Planning – A plan that doesn’t include reasonable measurement tools is a mistake. A plan that is not well understood. A faulty plan will result in disappointing results. Avoid having a plan that is not well conceived. Take the time to put your plans for business development in writing. Make sure you have enough attention on your brand. Think avout marketing support as part of the plan. Don’t be afraid to call on outside resources for input. Budget for success. Plan to win.