Advertising That Works: Sprint “Oxen” Commercial

Remember way back, long, long ago, when flip phones were all the rage? Then maybe you remember this commercial:

In it, a farmer is standing in his field, forlorn, surrounded by hundreds of wiener dogs. What’s the problem? Well, he says, “I ordered two hundred oxen…not two hundred dachshunds.”

As a somewhat too-late solution, he is offered a new Sprint cell phone, to keep his conversations clear from now on.

We think this ad works because it’s hilarious! Not only does it brilliantly get the point across (“clearer service is useful; we offer clear service”) it also resonates with consumers over a long period of time. Viewers are still sharing this commercial around social media, and although the particular deal advertised is (obviously) no longer available, it’s still great publicity for Sprint.

Feel-good marketing is popular, and ads that keep making people laugh will keep being relevant for far longer than ads that simply inform consumers of a deal. That’s why this Sprint ad is this week’s “Advertising That Works!”


Dodge Ram Vintage Advertisments

Dodge Ram truck uses the vintage look in the advertisements.  Wish you could go back to the old days when we used our trucks for the ‘great’ outdoors? That’s the image that Dodge Ram truck uses in this recent campaign using the ‘old fashion’ outdoor theme to provoke memories we don’t want to lose. As one ad suggests, “Find yourself in places where no one else can.” The ad agency that created this campaign for Dodge Ram is The Richards Group in Dallas, Texas. Our hats off to them for creating retro advertising that works!






Billboard Basics

Want to advertise on a billboard? Outdoor billboards can be cost effective way of advertising in a city like Houston, Texas. We spend an enormous amount of time in our car and possibly pass hundreds of billboards every week.  Outdoor advertising has a lower cost per thousand than other types of advertising. Some say 80% less than television commercials, 60% less than newspaper ads and 50% less than radio ads. Before you make a decision, we would like to give you some basic information to help your billboard be more effective.

Keep it simple. Many advertisers want to cram a lot of stuff on their billboards because they have a large space to fill (many are 14 ft. x 48 ft.). But the truth is viewers only have a few seconds when driving by. Try to get noticed with a simple, small message. Using billboards should be a secondary medium, not a primary one. This means your advertising campaign should not just consist of a billboard.

7 Words or less. Because viewing time is so short, your message must be kept short. The industry tells us that viewers have less than six seconds to view. Short headlines work best.

Don’t Say it, Show it. Get creative with your ideas. Colors and photos can go a long way. Have you noticed the cows on the Chick-Fil-A billboards, they are not flat, they are actual sculptures of cows.

Quantity and placement. One billboard is not very effective especially if it’s placed in a bad location. Every billboard has a GRP (Gross Ratings Points) between 1 and 100. These ratings give you a score based on traffic, visibility, size and location. If the board is a 50, it means 50% of the population in that area would view it at least once a day. The best idea is to place several billboards in really great locations. Most sales contracts are to keep a billboard up for one month.

Here is an example of a billboard that we did for the Fall Home & Garden Show in The Woodlands: