More about “botcred”

We’ve been thinking more about botcred, the word we invented last week to describe the credibility you need to accumulate with search engine spiders, aka robots or bots. The first response of human visitors when they encounter your website is a pre-conscious evaluation of the look and feel (i.e., “this looks like what I’m looking for”), and they’ll give you …

“Look no further”

It’s always been a staple of advertising copy: “Look no further.” This vaguely insulting bit of wishful thinking can literally translate into “Stop thinking! We’re afraid you’ll look at our competitors.” Of course that is exactly what happens in making a sale. In true “Blink” style, if your presentation, or store atmosphere, or website evokes “Ah! Just what I was …

Who are the Black Eyed Peas? As a brand, that is.

Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune today (August 12, 2010) So, Bob Killian, CEO of Chicago-based Killian Branding, what do you think? “They are absolutely a brand! They have built themselves into this post-racial, non-threatening entity. And they have done it in a way that doesn’t seem artificial. It looks authentic. It doesn’t hurt that they are talented, but they are …

Stupid spam tricks…

Got a spam email today vainly trying to alarm us into buying some SEO service. When we considered the first two sentences, though, we were almost tempted to write back to the robot, addressed to Dear Dumbass. The email began: “Greetings, I found your website www.killianbranding.com ranked 4 for Advertising agency Chicago. If you are not on the first page …

Wake me up when September … begins?

Conventional wisdom tells us that “nobody makes serious business decisions in August,” so wait until Labor Day to approach CEOs with matters that matter. Horsefeathers. Maybe that’s true in France, where the whole nation goes on vacation, but any American CEO who goes passive for an entire month just isn’t serious enough about the company’s competitive opportunities. In a time …

“Ideas” are almost worthless.

Most of the jobseekers who write to us note with great enthusiasm that they are uniquely employable because they have “ideas.” Lots of them. We are seldom (okay, never) moved to action by this claim, partially because so many people claim it. One becomes skeptical. Which brings us to Brainstorming, that good ol’ reliable exercise adored by many, misused by …

The Cocktail Napkin Effect

We recently had the pleasure of doing a portfolio review of 17 would-be creatives who had just completed an undergraduate course. One reason it was a pleasure was the instructor’s wise limitation put on the students: no computers. Each ad in each campaign was drawn by hand, and hand-lettered. The quality of the artwork, as you might expect, was pretty …

Seeding Labs CEO named Global TED Fellow

Our favorite pro bono client, Nina Dudnik, has been named a 2010 Global TED Fellow for her inspiring work to equip and uplift scientists in the developing world. Learn more about Seeding Labs, and you’ll see why we’re so proud to be associated with her.

A Foolish Consistency

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Emerson, long before GM management decreed that “Chevrolet” should not be “Chevy” in advertising for the sake of (wait for it) brand consistency. Yeah, why would you want millions of consumers to give your product an affectionate nickname?

Wordless

We looked at a current Vogue and analyzed 500 pages of fashion advertising. All were photographic, mostly single image. Aside from the logos of the brands, a scattering of taglines, and some mouse-type copyright info, the absence of words was remarkable. 500 ads. Zero headlines. Zero text. A highly evolved art form aimed at an audience that does not, will …