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I am Vice President for Marketing and Communications of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis
Interests: Advertising, books, books and advertising, learning new things, writing
Recent Activity
Ad agency creative people used to wield extraordinary powers that ordinary mortals couldn't. Make a stat? Poof! Create a keyline with a little knife and a can of rubber cement? Sure. Understand arcane terms like "font" and "kerning?" Of course. We could even remove a wart from a model's nose when Photoshop was just the place on the corner that developed your Kodachrome. Now the magic is gone. Technology has simplified our business. But as it's taken the mystery out of the production process, it's unfortunately caused the respect for our talents to disappear as well. According to a study... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2011 at AdVerbs
Advertising is changing so fast these days, it's no wonder that many marketing managers feel likethe Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland: "... it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast." These says we're all running twice as fast just keeping up with the technological changes in our industry. The latest trend, mobile marketing via smart phones, is where savvy marketers are headed. Already, 34% of US mobile users access the web via their phones. And that's going to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2010 at AdVerbs
Did your "open" rates on email campaigns drop this summer? Here's one reason why. Your customers spent twice the amount of time this June on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs than on checking their email inboxes. In a study just released by Nielsen, Americans spent nearly 23% of their time on social networking sites (up 7% from a year ago) and 30% less on email. That means for every hour online, 13 minutes were devoted to social media. And just a paltry 4 minutes on email. So, does that mean you should stop using email campaigns and switch your budget to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2010 at AdVerbs
BMW was the sponsor of the season premier of Man Men last Sunday night . How appropriate. Not only is "The Ultimate Driving Machine" a Mad Ave icon, it proves that if done right, taglines and logos can continue to build equity and awareness for decades. BMW's line was created in 1974 when the automaker was an embarrassing (and virtually invisible) number 11 on the list of Top Ten import brands that year. Flash forward and BMW is number one on that list-- thanks, in large part, to smart and consistent branding. Smart and consistent are the key words here.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2010 at AdVerbs
Having done both, I can testify that the common denominator here is that people come up to you and say, "I always wanted to do that." As is usually the case, be careful what you wish for. Both activities are labor-intensive, take every ounce of your attention and creativity, and are much, much harder than they look. Both are also absolutely fulfilling and fun. I just finished reading "Adland" by ad-agency veteran James Othmer. He points out that though our industry has changed dramatically, people still are attracted to the profession. And there is definitely a dual nature to the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2010 at AdVerbs
The main theme of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park is that just because science can do something that doesn't mean it should do something. Do-it-yourself projects, whether it's reanimating dino DNA or creating your own ads, is something you should think long and hard about before undertaking. In both cases, the result can be an out-of-control monster that, (quite literally in the case of JP), can come back to bite you. Today's marketing budgets have to squeeze every drop of value out of every available resource. Understood. And, more often that not, that means relying on in-house staff to handle projects... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2010 at AdVerbs
The international financial giant Credit Suisse has just published a nearly 300-page opus on the power of brand investing. The gist of it is this: Companies that take their branding seriously perform better financially. Their team of global analysts have identified three key ingredients for brand success (in addition to spending an appropriate of money in advertising, 2% of sales or more). And while not every company can be an Amazon, Apple, Tiffany, or Trader Joe's, we all can incorporate the three key elements that make these names some of the 27 great brands of the future (see below for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2010 at AdVerbs
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Mar 15, 2010
When my dad got out of the Navy after WWII, his father-in-law wanted to set him up in a business that would provide a lot of growth and opportunity-- radio repair. Good idea at the time. Luckily, my father decided on a career with General Motors instead. Again, good idea at the time. But as we well know, things change. These days, traditional agencies can start to feel a little like a radio repair shop in a iPhone App world. Not so. Even though we don't take our big floor-model radios in to be repaired anymore, we get more news... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2010 at AdVerbs
I see lots of articles about how email and Twitter signal the end of good communication as we (and Mrs. Kerr our eight-grade English teacher) know it. All these articles were posted on line. This is a touch ironic, which leads me to point number one: 1. Everyone's an editor. Because more people read your Tweets than read a business letter, you expose your writing competence (or lack thereof) to a larger group of people who will be happy to point out your grammar errors. One of the favorite corrections going around recently is calling out someone for the improper... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2010 at AdVerbs
Having been involved in three big naming projects this year, this Catchword article from Marketing Profs really caught my attention. Naming is one of the hardest projects-- and gets harder every hour. With the proliferation of companies on the internet, it's virtually impossible to find a domain name without resorting to verbal contortions. I recently read that 97% of the words in the dictionary are unavailable as URLs. That means either you get very clever or resort to cringe-worthy compromises. Here are the best-- and worst-- of the past ten years: 1. The Hookup Sometimes two words are better than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2010 at AdVerbs
A new biography of David Ogilvy, "The King of Madison Avenue," got us thinking back to the "Mad Men" days of advertising.It wasn't all scotch, cigarettes, and starched white shirts. Those guys were savvy businessmen who lived and breathed advertising. Ogilvy, who actually created the concept of branding, had some very definite ideas of how clients should behave. These rules may seem self-serving, but these days getting your resources to work harder makes good economic sense. And when you think about it, it just comes down to respect. How To Be A Good Client: 1. Emancipate your agency from fear.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2009 at AdVerbs
This is the traditional time to reflect on the future and make a profound pronouncement about what 2010 holds in store for marketing and advertising. The reality is that even the people who should know often don't. Case in point: Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, said in 1943: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (For a list of other off-the-mark predictions, click here.) That's not to imply we shouldn't try to look ahead and plan our marketing and advertising accordingly. We definitely should. But the great advantage of new media is that we don't have... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at AdVerbs
As we ponder possibly calmer economic waters for 2010, how can we help our clients chart the right course for recovery? Maybe social media isn't a panacea for every marketing challenge. Maybe newspaper ads aren't dead. Maybe budgets need to rebound before sales can. Here are some excellent thoughts that we heartily endorse from Dana Severson who writes "Small Agency Diary" for Ad Age: 1. Social networking is only a good idea if you are going to be social. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a social media "guru" by any stretch of my imagination. However, it's obvious to anyone... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at AdVerbs
This week, our agency started its 25th year in business. That got us all nostalgic. Back in 1985, when Floyd and Stanich opened its doors as DJ Floyd and Partners: No one here used a computer. It was so cool that we had an IBM Selectric. Faxes and FedEx were still state-of-the-art. People stood around and actually marveled over electronic transfer of images. We had to hand-deliver TV commercials to the station on 3/4" tape and radio spots were on reels. There was no Internet. Ditto email. We used resources called typesetters. Typography was an art, not a computer program.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2009 at AdVerbs
In the outstanding new book, Juicing the Orange, by the legendary founders of Fallon, the agency that changed the advertising world (from Minneapolis, of all places), creativity is vital. Not to win awards, but to give your clients a competitive edge. As they say, "Imagination is the last legal means of gaining an unfair advantage over the competition." We agree. Not many clients these days (none of ours, to be sure) have the unlimited dollars needed to dominate the marketplace. But they don't need to. Smart strategy, compelling ideas, and unique media placement can boost a brand without busting the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2009 at AdVerbs
Fifteen years ago today the first ever banner ad ran on the internet. Boy, how things have changed since then. Today, we're using media that we couldn't even dream of back in the olden days of 1994. Just a few years ago, we wouldn't even have known what an iPhone was. Now Volkswagen is getting ready to launch its new GTI exclusively on an iPhone app. If media continues to morph as quickly and as profoundly, who knows what we'll be using to carry our marketing messages by 2024? What doesn't change, though, is good strategy and clear communication. Take... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2009 at AdVerbs
The fourth annual Indiana manufacturing survey, "The Gear and Fulcrum," is now available and shows that Hoosier manufacturers expect steady or improved results in 2010. The report published by Indianapolis-based accounting firm Katz, Sapper and Miller also found Indiana companies with a greater focus on globalization tend to be more successful than those who only focus on the U.S. market.The key word here is "focus." With the web dominating marketing efforts and easily erasing international boundaries, it's important to address a larger audience more than ever before. Take a look at your advertising and marketing materials. Do they reflect a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2009 at AdVerbs
Surfers don't wait on the beach to catch that perfect wave; they paddle out and position themselves so they're ready when they see it coming. Great analogy for what seems to be happening in the business world. According to John Augustine, chief investment strategist at Fifth Third Bank, who we heard speak last week here in Indianapolis, important economic transitions have already begun. The global economy and corporate operating profits will likely continue to gain momentum. Is your brand positioned to catch the wave of new possibilities? This fourth quarter could be key in capturing market share from those who... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2009 at AdVerbs
A recent article in Ad Age had the former VP-marketing and advertising at GM blasting the company for stifling all passion and creativity in its ad agencies. How can a client suck the life out of some of the best creative minds in the country? By having a “PowerPoint culture” and a bureaucracy of meetings. We’ve found there are a couple of seemingly innocuous signs that don’t bode well for a great client-agency creative collaboration: 1. The client refers to the agency as a “Vendor.” This immediately sets up the idea that one of you is trying to sell something... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2009 at AdVerbs
A work in progress, but up and running! Happy to be in somebody's blogroll! Jan
Toggle Commented May 14, 2009 on Would you work for free? at AdVerbs
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JanStanich has shared their blog AdVerbs
May 13, 2009