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Schollnick Advertising, LLC excels in media buying and marketing strategy.

Schollnick Advertising has produced over 2000 commercials for television. We are a full service agency based in the Greater New Orleans area with over 25 years of experience in Print, Television and Radio Commercial Production and Media Placement.

 

What We Do...

Residual Recognition Profile.


With a well designed and executed advertising strategy, a business will benefit from increased awareness of their product. Many people can remember products advertised over twenty years ago. “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” or “Plop, Plop, Fizz Fizz, oh what a relief it is”

Schollnick Advertising has named this effect “residual recognition profile”. However, residual recognition is not an automatic outcome of every advertising strategy.

For example, a furniture store sends out bi-weekly mailers featuring sale items in big splashy exciting artwork. After a few months, the furniture store has trained consumers to watch for the mailer with all the specials and they can often be seen walking through the store using the mailer as a reference. Any business owner would be pleased with these results from this form of advertising.

But when the economy begins to decline, the furniture store owner is no longer able to send out these mailers. The consumers, however, keep waiting for the mailer and their announced specials to arrive. They do not go to the furniture store because they have become trained to only think about shopping at the store when they get the mailer.

However, if the furniture store had instead advertised on TV with the consistent and general message of: “Everyday Low Prices,” consumers would begin to automatically associate the store with low prices and would think to shop there whenever they needed furniture, not just when they received the furniture. The difference between the two approaches is their residual recognition profile. Even if the store owner can’t afford to run the TV commercials for a few weeks, the results will not be too disastrous because he has built up this general, top of mind, or residual recognition, among his clients.

Schollnick Advertising understands how important a strong residual recognition profile can be for a small business in an unpredictable economy, and so we strive to make sure that every media strategy is built around creating and supporting a healthy residual recognition profile.




A Bird in the Hand is Worth Nothing.


Cliches are the most widely hated thing among all English teachers, designers, and advertisers. Why though? We use cliches (at least most of us do) almost daily. Most of the time we don't' even think about it when we do it. It seems almost natural as a way of explaining complex ideas in a simple form. So why are cliches bad? Here''s a brief list explaining why you should stray away from cliches not only in advertising, but everyday life.

1. It gives the reader/listener/viewer permission to stop engaging with the content.

Kurt Vonnegut's novel Hocus Pocus has this passage: " Profanity gives people an excuse to stop listening to what you say." Similarly, cliches create the idea of "I've heard this already" or a feeling they know what you're going to say. People generally like to believe they're fairly intelligent, so when they are presented with a situation, a series of words, or an idea they are familiar with their brain often shuts down. People don't want to hear you spout the same thing they've heard a thousand times. When you do, no matter what the context, they'll immediately assume they already know what you're talking about. This mental drowning out of your message can make you blend in with your competitors rather than stand out.

2. Cliches are often wrong, misinterpreted, or have changed to mean something else over time.

"You can't have your cake and eat it too". Sounds absolutely ridiculous when taken out of context. Originally, the phrase was something similar to, "You can't eat your cake, then have it again afterwards". Referring to the impossibility of eating a cake and still having it to eat. Things like this make cliches a bad idea for advertising because they are easily misunderstood, wrong, or the very worst, draw attention to itself rather than your business. Advertising should always play second to the business being advertised. Just because something is catchy, good, or entertaining doesn't necessarily mean it's effective.

3. Cliches are generally cultural

Often cliches result from cultural idioms from the past. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" Probably refers to stubborn horses in the desert. I don't own horses, nor have I ever ridden one. Although I can understand the message behind this cliche, its cultural impact is largely lost on me because of this. These cultural references only resonate strongly to those cultures which they came from. Some cultures may have complete opposite views and will completely misunderstand such cliches. When creating advertising, unless it is specifically called for by the audience you are trying to reach, you should try to avoid cultural references if at all possible.

4. Visual and auditory cliches are as harmful as written cliches.

Just because something is designed or recorded doesn't make it immune from cliches. Right now I want you to think about every 1-800 infomercial you've ever seen. I'm willing to bet you can think of many things they all have in common. When creating an advertisement, one size does not fit all (both literally and figuratively). Your ad should be designed and details about what makes your business unique. Avoid cliche selling propositions of other businesses. Visual cliches can be things like common scene transitions (star wipes, etc.), sparkling effects, or the "this competitor's product in black and white" and "our product in full color" comparison. These make you look like everyone before you and your message gets lost in the confusion of media. Audio cliches can be things like canned sounds, laugh-tracks or unimaginative voice actors.

How can I make ads without using cliches?

Cliches can result from unimaginative designers, bored editors, or stubborn business clients. It is your job as an advertiser to ensure these things don't get into your advertisement, and to fight against them when they do. One thing to focus on when trying to avoid cliches is your business' brand reasoning. Every business has one. It's a necessity in order to stay in business. Your brand reasoning could range from low prices to high quality customer service.

It's a little more difficult to create ads that avoid cliches, but the benefits are what advertising is all about. Advertising is about providing creative content that is both effective and engaging. Cliches are contrary to this ideal and should be avoided at all costs. Think of the great advertisements which drove businesses into success. Did they contain cliches? No, they sought to change the way we think about advertising and in time they themselves became cliches. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.




Advertising for Insurance Agencies.

Advertising for insurance agencies can be a daunting task at first. They don't offer a tangible product. Their service is tied closely with generally negative occurrences. The only benefit to advertising insurance is that everyone needs insurance. When advertising insurance, an agency needs to be aware of what they are advertising. There are two things an insurance agency can advertise and very different angles to approach each. These two things are the product, or type of insurance, and the brand, or name of your agency.

People who can see both sides of the argument generally do better in life and business then those who can't. The ability to relate is a special gift taken for granted by those who have it, and misunderstood by those who don't. Always put yourself in the mind of the consumer. Ask yourself, "Why would I buy from this company?". People are aware of the need to buy insurances. It is your company's goal to persuade who they buy it from. One of the mistakes that many insurance companies make is to promote price as the only selling point.

Unless you're prepared to spend as much money as other major insurance agencies, you need to focus on promoting the brand. Advertising the "need for insurance" is only helping the larger insurance companies that have majority advertisement share in the marketplace. As an agency, you need to build confidence in your brand and establish why your brand is a better choice than going with a faceless corporation. Independent agents can offer choice between different insurance providers. They are not locked into only one provider like when buying from a large insurance company.

Always portray your product in a positive light through logical advertising. Avoid negative connotations, humor, claims and guarantees. Selling insurance changes some of the rules which are normally acceptable in advertising. This is because insurance already comes with negative baggage or connotations. Insurance is an industry built upon accidents, deaths, and generally bad things. You are dealing with a very savvy consumer when it comes to insurance. They aren't going to buy your product because your ad was funny, or you guaranteed something to them (Which could get you in trouble if your guarantee falls through). Insurance is a product of safety from unknowns. People know there is a chance their claim can be denied, as well as a host of other problems associated with your product. Most of their time will be spent on the computer or phone researching your product and checking prices. It is your agency's job to establish why they should believe in your product.

Interacting with your community is very important. This is your biggest selling point as it is something the large insurance companies cannot do. Make sure your agency has a community presence. It establishes trust and local recognition in your brand. Consider sponsoring events, local teams, or doing charitable acts in your community to establish your importance and caring attitude. People like to buy things from their friends. The more an insurance agency can make themselves out to be friends of the community, the better your reception will be.

Insurance agencies have many selling points other industries don't have. There are few people in the world get emotional about mops or frozen pizza. Insurance is an emotional product. It is people's lives and future. Business insurance makes risks possible. Life insurance makes our loved ones prepared for life without us. Auto insurance protects us from the unknown accidents that can happen on the road. All of these have emotional strings which can be used as unique selling propositions. You need to figure out what your agency's strengths are and promote them accordingly. Always advertise as though the person you're trying to reach has just moved into town. Nobody who just moved to town knows who you are or why they should trust you. Your agency should have a statement to this person acknowledging "they just moved into your turf". A selling proposition of this nature could be "Serving our community for X years", or even "Proud sponsor of the local little league team".

Bus bench advertising can be one of the most effective tools for insurance agencies. In order for this type of passive advertising to be wholly effective your agency must utilize them wisely. The cost per thousand views of a bus bench is the most effective advertising stream for insurance agencies, however, your ad must be as effective as the medium for it to work. Your ad should be captivating and stand out from the crowd. This can be done with colorful signs, bold shapes, and unique lettering. The ad itself should be striking. If possible, the ad should have a picture of the agent on it. The goal is to build familiarity with the customer. You should remember though, when making bus bench ads you aren't making television or print ads. Bus benches are a unique type of passive advertising all their own. The average person will probably spend less than one second looking at your ad. You need to decide what your message is and how to get it out in the simplest form possible. Then, try to make it even simpler. Don't over embellish your claims and don't use ten words when you can use three. After you've figured out "what" your advertisement will be, you need to start thinking about how much you want to spend per response and how you're going to track your response rate. This can be as simple as a new phone number that is only used on bus benches. The key to this and any type of advertising is creativity within reason.

We here at Schollnick Advertising found intrusive advertising (TV and Radio) for insurance agencies to be effective at different times of the day and night. The key here is to remember this "plan of action" for any advertising campaign or practice. First, you want to try and take control of a type of media. Radio for example is a type of media. Next, once you've narrowed down where your advertisements will run you need to try and command a specific subset in that media. So now we know we want to advertise on radio and we've even gone and decided which station is best for our agency. Here is where it begins to get a little more tricky and really takes some research to perfect. You want to try and figure out what time period is best for your agency and attempt to completely coat it. Once that's been established, narrow it down even further to a specific show or program. We've found advertising during the day for insurance agencies on radio and TV to be akin to trying to find a person in a crowd. There are a lot of other people advertising during the day, and unless you're prepared to outspend all of them, you're just going to be lost in the crowd. We've found advertising on TV during the early morning and late night to be most effective for insurance agencies for both standard and non-standard insurance products. All of this has to be based on your budget. Most insurance agencies will start with a very small budget for advertising.

One of the biggest weapons in your arsenal is your website. Any money spent on a website is money well spent. Too many agencies think they can get by with perfunctory websites. If you can develop websites internally, you're off to a great start. If you have to purchase them from a third party, it's not a terrible idea to shop around. Try and find someone who's dedicated to helping you maintain and update your site. People on the web today are very keen to spot a site which hasn't been updated often. Even Google lowers your rankings if you haven't updated in a while. If you're buying a website, they can range from $400 to $6000 and beyond. The key difference in price is functionality. You have to decide whether you're going to be doing business through your website, or just gaining business from it. Websites can either be an incredibly valuable tool for a customer to manage their insurance, pay their bill, learn more about the types of products your offer, or they can simply be a directory listing that is more personal than Google's. Many people judge the quality of a business by whether or not they even have a website. If you can't spend much, it's best to even have a website that lists your location and number. Everyone is probably familiar with Facebook and other social media. The more creative you can be, the less money you can spend on advertising. Using Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can increase your web presence and cost virtually or actually nothing depending on who does it.




Brand Reasoning.


What is "Brand Reasoning"?


This term, coined by Schollnick Advertising is the basis and creative mindset of our newly created blog. Here we will discuss creative concepts in advertising today. We hope to accomplish a complete and informative repository of advertising knowledge which can not only be used by other advertising agencies, but also your small business.

So let's get down to it.

If you've ever thought about advertising for more than two seconds, you must be familiar with the term "branding". One definition of "Branding" is from the branding of cattle in order to assure ownership of that cattle. Similarly, we brand our products, advertising, uniforms and anything we can relate to our business. For more information on "Branding", check out Wikipedia's page on branding.

So, what is "Brand Reasoning"? One of the main purposes of advertising is to give consumers a reason to buy one product instead of another. The clearer you can state that reason without distortion the more likely a consumer is to comprehend the benefits. One of my favorite movies is Point Break:

HARP

Eating solid breakfasts, Utah?

UTAH

Sir?

HARP

All the food groups?  Avoiding
sugar?  Caffeine?  I see to it that
my people maintain cardiovascular
fitness.  We stay off hard liquor,
cigarettes...

UTAH

(poker face)
I take the skin off chicken.

HARP

This is us.  Bank Robbery.  And
you're in the bank-robbery capital
of the world--

UTAH

1322 last year in LA county.  Up 26
percent from the year before.

HARP

That's right.  And we nailed over a
thousand of them.  We did it by
crunching data.  Good crime-scene
work, good lab work, good data-base
analysis.  Nobody had to tackle a
car once.  You getting the signal,
special agent?

UTAH

Zero distortion, sir.
He picks up a donut from someone's desk, a succulent
glazed jelly.

UTAH

I love these things.
He looks right at Harp.  Takes a big antagonistic bite.

Harp is explaining to Utah that his police work, the work he expects from Utah, should be done in a certain manner. His response of "zero distortion" is interesting because he could have said anything else that would have signified he was listening. Instead, Utah wanted Harp to know his message wasn't distorted as earlier they had a conversation about eating healthy. After this Utah sinks his teeth into a doughnut, clearly displaying how messages can be distorted or ignored completely.

Similarly, in advertising we must make sure we don't "bite the doughnut" and ruin our message. I've been seeing a lot of advertising that is at first hard to understand. Some of it appears to generate a good buzz about the product. An example of this is Old Spice's campaign. The message here may seem distorted and goes off the rails at the end, but the underlying message is the shower and the product. The whole time the focus of the ad is on the product and what you could "be" if you smelled like the product.

Other advertisements have tried to follow suit with this "creativity first" craze. Some have had terrible results that have lead to distortion of the brand. The key here is to not lose sight of the basics. Ask yourself when making ads "Is the central premise of my ad the basis for purchasing my product?"

Negativity is something an agency or business should to avoid in their advertisements. Every day we are surrounded by negative influences. Your advertisement shouldn't be one of them. Any time you have a negative ad or a negative concept, it distorts the brand and interferes with the "osmotic" process of transferring your brand to the consumer. You never want to alienate a group of potential customers with a negative ad. You're defeating the purpose of your advertisement by doing this. You always want to make it as easy as possible for a consumer to identify with your brand.

Another important concept of brand reasoning is to advertise as if the consumer is seeing it for the first time. I see ads all the time where the advertiser assume you don't have to list contact info. For instance, I saw an ad for a lawfirm that had no context, no contact info and no description of services. The only thing on the ad was a list of names. So I called them. "Why didn't you say what you do? I have no idea who you are, or why I should have you represent me." Their response was, "Oh sometimes we do, sometimes we don't." That's a very bad attitude to have concerning advertising. Maybe I was a potential client of theirs, but I had no idea they could perform the type of legal advice I needed. When people buy a drill, they aren't buying the drill. They are buying the hole the drill makes. You're always buying what the end product can do for you; Not the product itself.

 

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