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Creativity can even save a cold call

I get calls, email, letters, posters, boxes and everything else you can think of sent to my office on a weekly basis from agencies who are try to get my attention and so I will give them some work. 99.8% of these attempts end up in my delete folder or garbage can because this type of shotgun attention getting just isn’t how I look for new agencies to work with. A few weeks ago my cell phone rang about 7:30 p.m. with a number a didn’t know and I did what I always do with those calls – I sent it to my voicemail. I picked up my phone a few hours later to see that the unknown caller left me a voice mail so I punched play and listened to this message. When you get this message as a cold call you have to listen to it more than once to be sure you understand what just happened but the creativity, writing and improv comedy style delivery got my attention. As you heard in the message it was created by Hammerhead Advertising from Hoboken, NJ.  There are several other version of the voicemail campaign you can listen to here with security guard and dreamy as the other two standouts in the campaign.

So it was a really great success story because the campaign and the voicemail technique worked because they got my attention which tons of other agencies hadn’t been able to do. I was truly impressed with their creativity and originality. If only there was a happy ending waiting at the conclusion of this story where we went on to create a long list of brilliant campaigns together. But sadly all that positive energy and interest came crashing down when I hung up the phone from their voicemail, picked up my laptop and found a site that was painfully out of date with a collection of work that didn’t seem to demonstrate a fraction of the creativity I just experienced.

So whether you’re doing your own PR or working for a client please think about the ENTIRE experience the customer is going to have.  If one part of your campaign is brilliant then you have created the expectation is that the rest of the experience is going to maintain that same level of quality. If it doesn’t then the customer will have a strong negative reaction to it and you’ll see them dropping off in huge numbers and wasting all that great thinking (see Domino’s latest campaign for another good example).

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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Copyright © 2015 Stephen Gates