Monday, June 2, 2008


The family leaves for Denver this week to attend my son’s graduation ceremony. Graduation, that is, with a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver.

Not that this is a vacation, per se, but in part we’ll turn it into one by visiting the sights, maybe even take in the defending National League Champion Colorado Rockies game (though the only thing they seem to be defending this year is last place…)

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

Travel this time of year in general gets me to thinking about summer vacations. Have you scheduled yours yet? If so, you might want to consider some observations from a column I posted on NYUMT four years ago.

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 my clients.

It’s the unofficial beginning of summer – which to most of us, will mean vacations. 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 famous 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…even though it had “:emerged” from a standard (when flat) 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. It was just a stunning, unusual looking piece practically transcending the contents within it (perhaps not so extraordinary, though, when you realize it represented the creative milieu 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.

See you again the first Tuesday of next month, for another adventurous edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Joel Kweskin

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