Outside The Box Advertising

By September 28, 2014 No Comments

An ad isn’t just an ad. A story is more than its content. An image means more than a meme. Isn’t it time we liberated our media? Took our information more seriously? Stopped commodifying ourselves and our inventory?

Limitless Interactive is a full service advertising agency — of course, you know that means we do some things better than others.

Some of the stuff we do adequately are print pieces, PR/media outreach, video production, broadcast advertising, and Web development.

When people ask for our traditional chops, I usually talk about:

  • I worked with Chobani to put together 100 qualitative interviews/focus groups, a quantitative survey of over 1,000 folks, and market research. They took our document and sent it to their ad agency, Boathouse, who produced their 2013 Super Bowl spot, based to some degree on our recommendations
  • We do a lot of real estate marketing these days. That obviously crosses over into digital but there’s still a significant print element to it.
  • We launched the first brand of organic milk in Dubai

But any ad agency can do this kind of work.

Where we excel is thinking out of the box in strategy and execution. I’ll give you some examples:

  • Hostess asked us to put together an advertising campaign on a $1m budget. We said “Put a gun to Twinkie the Kid’s head. Take away Twinkies. Leak that you’re dealing with bankruptcy court.” They did. You remember what happened. Three months later they had “The greatest comeback in the history of ever.”
  • AdultFriendFinder hired me to optimize their PPC campaigns. I increased their top ad’s CTR by 10%. And that’s internet porn, probably the most competitive industry on the planet. I also built a display ad that got a 2% CTR — the industry average is .2%. How’d we do it? We targeted folks who like the band Weezer.
  • I consulted with Cosmopolitan as they began to add Native Advertising opportunities to their print and digital publishing. I helped them identify which advertisers to target and what the pieces would cover.
  • We pioneered website development as a solution, rather than a service. We’ve codified the processes of website art direction, copywriting, informational architecture analysis, etc, internally, and handed it off to juniors, so the results are consistent and downright cheap compared to our competition.
  • We built two video games we’re in negotiations with a client to build a third. I want to make this a much bigger part of our business over the next few years, because I think it’s one of the final bastions of attention span.

But while big ideas are at the heart of what we do, you’ve still got to do the work that keeps the lights on. In the last 2 weeks, we’ve put together iPad sales collateral (presentation aids), websites, microsites, dozens of landing pages, email nurture funnels, lead gen magnets (typically whitepapers), journalism pieces, video sales letters/traditional sales letters, and a TV commercial.

These days I do most of the big picture stuff, the creative ideation, campaign planning, etc, and the creative direction. The team I’ve built is fantastic and is great for cost savings — I have a good mix of senior and junior talent, some in-house, some scattered around the U.S., some outsourced. We’ve also got quality assurance on both the copy and graphic design teams. My hourly’s pretty high for creative work, so I bounce between the low budget projects for an hour here or an hour there, spending most of my time delegating, approving, revising, or on the phone with clients. When I do bear down and actually write stuff, it’s always the high visibility pieces — the thirty words that will make or break the campaign.

At the end of the day, what Limitless Interactive does best is think outside the box. Need to put together 400 articles for a major PR push in 2 weeks? Sounds interesting, I wonder how we can automate it. Want to do something huge and guerrilla in Times Square? We’ll figure out how to get people to do it for free. Want to hit the front page of reddit? I’ll build something epic.