Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who's Your Betty Crocker?

People who follow this blog or our web site ( sometimes ask about our mascot, Brownie (that's her up there on the right). Why use a cow -- one who sticks her tongue out at you, no less -- to promote our studio?

The obvious answer, of course, is that we're called Brown Cow Studios, and Brownie is the Brown Cow. But she's more than that. Brownie is our Betty Crocker.

No doubt you're familiar with Betty Crocker. She's been adorning packages of General Mills cake mixes and baking products since 1921. Although she's only an artist's rendition of a typical home maker, people believe in Betty. She's one of the most well-known product spokespeople ever, whether real or imagined. Most of us assume that recipes or household tips with her name on them are good advice. Even though we know she's an advertising image, we trust her implicitly. We write to her for advice, or just to let her know we are fans.

Because Betty Crocker stands for something: Wholesomeness, family, American values, trust. Not bad for a fictitious advertising image!

So what about Brownie? What values does she embody? Well -- everybody who sees Brownie's picture smiles. That's a great place to start. Then too, in her own special way, Brownie is very cool. With her tongue sticking out at you she embodies a certain attitude of rebellion; she's hip. She's also a bit silly too, so she makes you feel good. Which, for Brown Cow Studios is the image we're looking for. Although video production and sound design is a serious business, it's a fun business too.

But most importantly, Brownie is an image people remember. That means they'll remember Brown Cow Studios too.

So... who's your Betty Crocker?

For cost-effective advertising ideas that bring in sales, get in touch with Brown Cow Studios of Boston.  Offering everything from complete creative services to professional production and media buys.   

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Go Back in Time to Find Something New

Recently, I borrowed a couple of books about business writing from the library. I had hoped to find some good examples of moving sales letters and the like. But as I browsed them, I was quite disappointed. The letters weren't special; they were the kind of business letters we see every day.

They were a far cry from the letters in a two-volume set I came across a few years ago. The letters in this set, written in the 1920s or 30s, were creative and moving. To my 21st Century eyes, they were powerful and exciting.

Chances are they were typical business letters for their era, and had I perused the books when they were new I probably would have thought they were not anything special. But these days, they seemed refreshing.

A few weeks ago I was browsing radio station sites on the Internet, and came across one that was reusing a tag line from the early 70s. Back then, San Francisco top-40 station KYA was billing itself as playing "Music for the People." But in 2010, it was a news-talk formatted station that was using it. Their version was simply, "... for the people."

How appropriate that line seemed to be for a news-talk station today. "Of the people, by the people, for the people." I get it.

So all this got me thinking about some of the great ad campaigns of the past and how they might be adapted for use today.

For example, iconic 60s artist Peter Max once licensed his art to 72 corporations for use in their marketing. Though Peter is still going strong, his work isn't as ubiquitous as it once was. But it's still powerful. A campaign based on a similar, psychedelic style would seem refreshing today.

What about the anti-drug propaganda movie "Reefer Madness." The crazed, totally out of control drug users it portrays seem laughable to us today, but the producers were absolutely serious at the time. So what if an advertiser, let's say one who sells soap, were to spoof Reefer Madness: "This could happen to you if you don't use Cleano!" Or if you don't drink Red Bull. Or sleep between cotton sheets.

A great idea then is a great idea now. Find one, update it and make it your own. You'll have success.

For more great advertising ideas, come to Brown Cow Studios of Boston. Our full creative services and professional production bring in the sales. Drop a note to Fred Pagano and learn more!


BullShots! is written by Fred Pagano, and is published by Brown Cow Studios of Boston.

Your host is Brownie T. Cow, our beloved mascot (that's her on the right).

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