Thursday, September 29, 2005

Road Trip

Nothing like a 1200-mile drive to freshen up your advertising perspective. The best: Barbara could see a big, red balloon floating about a hundred feet in the air in the distance as we drove north on I-35, in northern Missouri.

As we got closer (and noticed an approaching exit ramp), we realized that the balloon was a giant, inflated apple, suspended over an apple orchard on the east side of the Interstate. It was elegant, simple. There’s no way you could miss the idea that apples were for sale at that location.

As we stopped in various towns for dinners or sleepovers, more ag-related commercials began to show up on TV, from Ardmore, OK, right on through to Lake City, MN. Dekalb, John Deere, Cenex – big names in the bread basket of the US whose advertisements just don’t show up on national TV, or on Houston-area channels.

Monday, we met people returning to the Houston area from as far north as Norman.

It was (virtually) winter when we arrived – high 40s, with the wind blowing hard from the North. Considering that the thermometer was hitting a hundred when we left Houston, our welcome to Minnesota has been chilly, weather-wise. But the family is beginning to assemble and the human welcome has been very warm indeed.

I've had the opportunity to visit with one on my clients, Automation Services, here in the state. This is a smaller automation integration company with excellent capabilities; the management team agreed that the company’s strength lay in service, so Paul Leigh and I shaped a new brand image for the firm to emphasize that strength. It has been important to confirm that the marketing materials (including
www.asi-e-com, the new Web site) I developed for this company have been working so well for the past six months – a first-hand client meeting being better than e-mail and telephone conversations in this case

More later from the Star of the North.

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