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local advertising opportunities

*I am in life and health insurance sales*

A colleague and I have put together an ad that will be placed on the sides of buses. It has our beautiful smiling faces on it, as well as a blurb for Mortgage Protection.
We feel that it will not only generate some interest, but it will also help people recognize our faces and our names, and perhaps when we have to make those "cold" calls, they'll seem just a bit warmer.

We don't have high hopes, but we think that after a year of doing something like this (our city is about 85,000 pop.) we'll see some positive results.

Has anyone else used this type of advertising? - by becomingkate
Much depends on the cost not only of production of your ad but what the bus company (city) is charging you. In other words your CPM (your cost per thousand). I agree that branding your face with is a good thing but there may be better more cost effective ways of doing it. Did your research before you made a long term decision? - by MPrince
More thoughts; if you don't have high hopes for results from this advertising campaign (face on a bus) then why are you willing to spend the money for such a venture. I can understand that you want some warmth when making those chilly cold calls but it will take more than just your face on the side of a bus. You need to be telling your story in other ways. If it is branding and image you want plus to be recognized on those cold calls consider using TV and back it up with your picture on the side of the bus. Answer these four simple questions that have no right or wrong answers just the first one that pops in your head;
1. Name a facial tissue.
2. Name a soft drink.
3. Name a mattress.
4. Name a fast food restaurant.
All of these categories have been branded on television so that we think of Kleenex, or McDonald's, or Serta or Coke. They have done it on a national level but you can do just as easily do it locally. - by MPrince
Here is the question that really matters....What is the headline for your ad?

I don't have an opinion on bus billboard advertising, but ads that don't have a powerful headline--don't work. Period. Especially on a "moving target"...the headline may be all there is time to read.

If you are going to spend the money--make it count.

If you are going to commit a year to that ad, you can't afford to botch it on a weak headline. I would recommend running the same ad in the paper a few times and test a couple different headlines until you find the one that PULLS...then go with it on the bus.

Here is a real-life example of why testing the headline is so important. Here are two actual ad headlines for life insurance. One won an award by an advertising jury...Can you guess which one?

What Would Become Of Your Wife If Something Happened To You?

End Your Money Worries For Good!

I'll finish the story after I get a few opinions on the which one is better...
- by Rainmaker
It seems there are two things "becomingkate" is trying to accomplish with the ad and they are: #1. Branding...it is very difficult to create branding and image with a headline. Reason #2 is to become familiar so their faces are recognizable. This would seem difficult to achieve with a headline. I agree there is certainly a time and place for print advertising with powerful headlines but for what "becominkate" is trying to accomplish (branding, image and familarity) a more visual branding media would serve the needs more efficiently. - by MPrince
#1. Branding...it is very difficult to create branding and image with a headline. Reason #2 is to become familiar so their faces are recognizable. This would seem difficult to achieve with a headline.
"The headline is the most important element in most advertisements."
- David Ogilvy - by Rainmaker
"The headline is the most important element in most advertisements."
- David Ogilvy
Indeed a highly credible source for that statement.

Branding, of course, is a complex issue, and I'm not sure that the advertising needs of a small business can be served by a study of resource-laden billion dollar companies' advertising initiatives, even if they had been spelled out by MPrince. - by Ace Coldiron
If you are a resource-laden billion dollar company branding can be made complex however small businesses with small budgets can accomplish the same thing on a local level. It is done everyday in small markets all over the US. - by MPrince
If you are a resource-laden billion dollar company branding can be made complex however small businesses with small budgets can accomplish the same thing on a local level. It is done everyday in small markets all over the US.
Why would a market have to be "small" in order for a small business to work with a small budget and achieve success?

There are many small businesses that have outstanding success in large markets--New York and Los Angeles would be examples. Check out some of the delis and boutiques.

However, among the thousands of small businesses in markets like those, actual "branding" would be quite rare, given your models of McDonald's, Serta, Kleenex, and Coke.

Like all advertising campaigns, becomingkate's idea needs to be tested rather than opined. I believe the venue is worthy of testing. - by Ace Coldiron
It seems this has become pretty ridiculous and not what this forum is intended to do. So I am going to gracefully bow out of this conversation.

Warmest Regards

Martha Prince - by MPrince
It seems this has become pretty ridiculous and not what this forum is intended to do.
A forum is a place for sharing knowledge and experience. That is what I see going on in this thread... - by Rainmaker
It seems this has become pretty ridiculous and not what this forum is intended to do. So I am going to gracefully bow out of this conversation.
Sharing knowledge and experience is one thing and challenging someone's contributions is another. I don't see a reason for MPrince's contributions to be challenged... this isn't a debate. - by Bulldog
Sharing knowledge and experience is one thing and challenging someone's contributions is another. I don't see a reason for MPrince's contributions to be challenged... this isn't a debate.
That's funny...I thought it was she who was challenging my challenging my contribution... - by Rainmaker
Thanks for all your replies!
I have branded myself before in this city, when I worked in Women's Apparel. My face became synonomous with the company I worked for because I did some local modelling and participated in many charitable events.
Now that I am doing life insurance, people have been recognizing me from my old job. I've done newspaper ads, Welcome Wagon baby showers, and trade shows, but they don't reach the number of people I'd like.
My city is insulated somewhat, from the financial crisis. What I mean is that there are still thousands of houses being built, bought and sold. The stats are down a little, but by 2010 they should be on the rise again.
When someone thinks, "I guess I should get some Mortgage Insurance" I want them to think, " I should call Kate!"
The cost is quite low - $250 every three months. - by becomingkate
Thanks for all your replies!
I have branded myself before in this city, when I worked in Women's Apparel. My face became synonomous with the company I worked for because I did some local modelling and participated in many charitable events.
Now that I am doing life insurance, people have been recognizing me from my old job. I've done newspaper ads, Welcome Wagon baby showers, and trade shows, but they don't reach the number of people I'd like.
My city is insulated somewhat, from the financial crisis. What I mean is that there are still thousands of houses being built, bought and sold. The stats are down a little, but by 2010 they should be on the rise again.
When someone thinks, "I guess I should get some Mortgage Insurance" I want them to think, " I should call Kate!"
The cost is quite low - $250 every three months.

I don't think you realized how much conversation you were about to start when you asked that simple question did you?

If all you are only paying is $250 a quarter then there is no question that you should go for it! That is a good deal. Lets say that only 10% of the 80,000 people see your ad on the bus in the course of the three months...then it is only costing you $0.03125 per thousand. In other words it is only costing you a little over three cents for every one thousand people to see your face on the side of the bus. That is a pretty low CPM I would say and I would also think that 10% be a reasonable calculation but if only 1% saw it you are still only paying a little over $.31 CPM. Great Deal.

MP - by MPrince
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