Monday, October 19, 2015

This should be red.

For at least a decade now, advertising pundits and new-media landscapers have been declaring that print is dead.

And maybe it is.

I seldom have time to read the paper edition of "The New York Times." Even my paper issue of "The New Yorker," often gives way to the pixeled press. And books, well, about nine months ago, I finally gave in a bought an Amazon Kindle.



When it comes time to get a platform, an agenda, a concept, words on a flag, or--heaven forfend--an idea down to its purest essence, when you're letting a client know what business they're really in, there's nothing like a line--a single line--written on a piece of paper. There's nothing like the power, the focus you get from writing six or nine defining and powerful words.

On Friday, in the mail from London, one of the authors, Alfredo Marcantonio, of "Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads," sent me a complimentary copy of another book, a 3.8 pound, 256-page cinderblock called "Well-written and red." It's a collection of stellar ads for "The Economist."

And in this particular case "stellar ads" might be a redundancy. Because for a couple decades, The Economist has run nothing but stellar ads.

Let's think about what these ads do.

They define the ethos, the brand promise, the very being of the magazine.

The compliment the viewer for their intelligence, surprising them with wit and intelligence.

They are clear as ice.

They are "unique-ifying." No other journal, tv show, newspaper or magazine can match them. The Economist is one of a kind.

Oh. And they do those other things too. Drive subscriptions and single copy sales. Way better, probably, than "Save 40% on your next 12 issues."

If you're a writer, or a strategist, if you work in 'new business,' I'd recommend getting your nail-bitten fingers over to, post haste.

You won't just be a better writer for buying the book.

You'll be a better thinker.

And surely, that couldn't hurt.

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