WOLFBITES - Issue 22

When the best advertising strategy is to do no advertising

Baby photo presented by Toronto copywriter Wolfgang to highlight one of his marketing ideas for small business, which also include social media advertising, video marketing and freelance copywriting.
The client saw a desktop calendar as an opportunity to achieve top-of-mind by being in front of the customer on a daily basis. We saw a way to achieve that goal while giving the recipients something they wanted (a way to put a favorite photo on their desk).

It was a routine client request: what can we do with these suplus desktop calendars? They were originally ordered as a corporate give-away, but the print order was too big for the original mailing and now our client wanted to find some useful way to clear the surplus.

The calendars included a handy place for an insert about 3" X 5", more than enough acreage to present some form of message. But what message? Various ideas were thrown around the table with the conversation generally circling around finding something that the recipient could use.

However, even the best ideas could not stand up to gentle cross examination. So I did what I usually do. I thought about the customer. What would the customer value and, more important, use? That was the key. The customer had to have a reason to use the calendar.

My idea: forget doing a custom insert and instead insert a white piece of paper with this simple message: your favorite picture or memory goes here. Now the customer had a reason to not only use the calendar insert, but also look at it regularly. And if they were looking at their insert regularly, it also meant that they would see the calendar and the client's logo on the calendar. Win-win.

My client liked that idea a lot. They liked even more that this approach eliminated the need to create and commercially print an insert. Instead, all the printing could be done in-house on an office printer. Win-win-win. And a great example of how no advertising can be the best advertising.

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Icon for Toronto copywriter Wolfgang Franke, who is also president of Words at Work, a top Toronto ad agency for small business clients.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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