Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vacation Ideas

My good buddy Jeff Klein loves to collect brochures from his family vacations around the country. I mean, this guy’s stash could fill practically every slot in a motel’s display rack. He does it because they provide pictorial memories of the good times traveled.

I’d do it because it represents great ideas for marketing to and for my clients.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Since my business is fundamentally steeped in the written word and visual representation, I’m always drawn to commercials, ads, billboards…and brochures.

So when I vacation by visiting some historical or famously natural site, then stay over at a neighboring motel, I too look for the brochures. But I look for them – and at them – because many times they have some appealing elements that I can perhaps apply to the needs of my clients. (In fact, I’ve got one in mind right now to promote yours truly…)

Maybe it’s the layout of the piece. The number of panels or its unusual configuration. How it folds. Is it a horizontal narrative, or does it read vertically. Maybe it’s the fonts used. Maybe it’s a witty or otherwise compelling turn of phrase in the copy. Maybe it’s the unusual treatment of the photos, or it’s the use of illustration or cartoons. Maybe there’s a uniquely designed map as the centerpiece. Maybe a customized die cut gives it a “personality” found nowhere else.

I was at an art gallery in Charleston not long ago, and I picked up a brochure that had the most extraordinary layout folds I had ever seen. It was just a stunning, unusual looking piece, its look transcending the contents within it (notwithstanding that it represented the obvious, creative field of different artists and their works).

Now although I’m writing this as it relates to my ongoing personal research, let me suggest that you consider the “hidden treasure” you may yourself discover when you travel this summer. Is there some cool-looking pamphlet or brochure you may come across that can inspire you to emulate it for your own promotional needs?

Frankly, whether you elect to work with me or someone else on your marketing materials, it’s always welcomed when you’ve done a little research on your own and show your marketing guy/girl, “I think this is pretty neat; can we do something like it?”

And, without compromising any copyright laws, chances are we can.

On another, though not entirely dissimilar note, my local travels recently took me past a house of worship, where the universal message on the outside “marquee” gave me pause…and a smile:

“What’s Missing From Ch_ _ch?”

“U R”

Hey, I told you I’m drawn to the clever turn of phrase…

Joel Kweskin

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