Tag Archives: Ryan Pylipow

Finding the “Wow”

I recently finished reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, a book that supports the notion that right-brained thinking is the way of future advancement in any industry.  Previously, (for the most part) the world has been ruled by analytical, straightforward thinkers.  It was those with knowledge of numbers or systems that made the world turn.  Pink insists that those predecessors have now paved the way for creative minds to flourish.

Pink separated the book into six different chapters, each highlighting a specific aspect of “R-directed” thinking. One chapter, specifically, stuck out to me.  It was titled “design.”  Pink explained that many companies have begun to recognize they are pretty much on pace with their competitors in terms of technology and advancement.  With similar innovation levels, price generally follows suit, so the difference amongst these competitors comes down to aesthetics.  Those products, atmospheres, or event marketing materials with the cleverest concepts or intriguing designs are the entities that remain in consumers’ minds.

After reading this chapter, I found myself noticing even the subtlest differences in design or approach.  One example that stands out was a restaurant I visited with my girlfriend and her parents a few weeks back.  I’d never visited or even noticed this hole-in-the wall establishment, but I’d go back in a heartbeat.  It was an Italian joint close to campus, and the following aspects made the ethic culture resonate much more than traditional restaurants.

  • It was SMALL and the tables were very close together. Now, I’m not Italian, but from what I hear, family is very important.  So at first, these close quarters seemed loud and inconvenient. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was part of the atmosphere.  It was by intentional design that this restaurant wanted people to feel a more intimate connection to the tables close by—almost like an extended family. 
  • They only served Italian wine and beer. This doesn’t take much explanation, but it was a nice touch and forced me try something new.  I enjoy trying new things, but this gave me that extra kick in the butt to make sure I would not order Bud Light.
  • We had unusual Parmesan cheese and red pepper shakers. I’ve never visited Italy, so this might be normal over there.  Instead of traditional cheese shakers, the Parmesan cheese and red pepper were in open containers with little wooden spoons used to sprinkle the contents over our pizza.  This really isn’t a huge deal, but my hat goes off to the employee who proposed that idea.  I can use normal shakers at Pizza Hut, so to me this small touch made my experience more authentic and memorable.

It’s been said before, but don’t settle for good ideas.  I’ve found myself trying to notice what makes designs different, why it was done that way, and how I can make my ideas more impactful.  What subtle examples of great design have you noticed?

-Ryan Pylipow



Filed under Branding, creative, design

Flirting with Consumers

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always considered advertising to be strikingly similar to dating. Singles (and brands) are guilty of flirting with, hitting on, making a pass at, others in the hope that they “score” with the object of desire.  Let’s think about it.  A ridiculous amount of time and money are spent researching target audiences (sound a little like Facebook stalking?).  Next, we figure out the best ways to manipulate that audience into buying our product, using our service or agreeing with our movement (basically, a pick up line to land a first date).  Below are some typical “man at bar” stereotypes, their relation to current ad campaigns, and a prediction on how these brand boys may “end their night” by either “getting lucky” with consumers or failing miserably.

The mysterious/intriguing man that women flock to: This is the quiet guy in a bar who is usually by himself or possibly with one or two friends.  He doesn’t say much, but it’s not hard to tell that he’s good looking, educated and interesting.  He might even dress a little “different”, which makes him even more irresistible.

Ad Campaign: By now, you’ve surely heard of the Puma clever little bag campaign.  By using a bag instead of a box to package their shoes, they will reduce cardboard by 65%, save 8,500 tons of paper and reduce carbon dioxide by 10,000 tons per year. They didn’t have to utilize enormous budgets to draw crowds; rather they did it by being smart, quiet and desirable.

Outlook for the Night: This brand boy will leave the bar with just about anyone he desires. By remaining quiet, yet confident, this guy knows how to line up the suitors. In fact, his demeanor may even inspire others to be more like him.

The “I was wrong, baby, come back please”: This is the guy walking through the bar with his head down.  His ego is a little bruised.  Maybe he didn’t care enough or maybe he cared too much, but either way he messed up, lost his girl and wants her back.

Ad Campaign: Dominos has made quite the splash lately.  They’ve emphasized their bad traits (pizza that tastes like cardboard) and explained how they’ve changed (New herbs! Better seasoning!).  Their target hasn’t changed; they just need to prove how much they care and how sorry they are for screwing up. With their “apologize and change” tactic, Dominos has been able to change their image in the eyes of many.

Outlook for the Night: Still an emotional wreck, this brand boy has managed to salvage it’s relationship with pizza lovers.  They maybe even secured that “let’s start over” first date, that is a critical step in regaining love.

Moneybags: Everyone has seen this guy at the bar.  He’s the one who goes in and drops ridiculous amounts of money on anyone and everyone.  He’s loud, obnoxious and doesn’t care that he has to buy his friends.  He also has no particular target; he’ll take whatever he can get.

Ad Campaign: Okay, Geico. Please pick a campaign because the multiple ideas are confusing (Cavemen? Talking geckos? Charlie Daniels fiddlers?).  Sure each idea is slightly funny, but the fact that you can’t make up your mind shows your lack of confidence.

Outlook for the Night: Maybe money can buy happiness a night at a time. (Afterall, everyone needs insurance.) However, this brand boy needs to realize that while getting lucky on one night, doesn’t mean you’ve got a long-term relationship on the horizon.

While each ad campaign mentioned above was successful at one time or another, how might it stereotyped and perceived by consumers and industry critics? As you think about your company, do you want that sentimental relationship with your audience or are you searching for a one-night stand?

-Ryan Pylipow

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Crisis Communication, PR, Public Relations, social media

What School Doesn’t Teach You

It was strange the other day-I was getting ready to schedule for my senior year of classes, and my advisor asked me, “How have the classes been?  Is there anything you think we should include in the curriculum that we haven’t to better prepare you for life after college?”

Hmmmm?  Sometime I answer questions before thinking about them, so at the time my response was, “Nope, the curriculum is great-can’t think of anything else I’ll need.”

However, in the last few weeks, as I and a dedicated group of others have been trying to organize everything for Rise to begin working efficiently, I have come to realize that a lot of questions have not been answered.  I’ve had tons of questions and even insecurities.

But perhaps the most important answer I’ve found is that one can never stop learning.  Sure, there may be tasks I’ve never handled before, but every problem has a solution.  As cliché as it may sound, my dad was always taught me that it’s acceptable to make mistakes as long as you don’t make the same mistake twice.  Each time you have to take on this problem, you will get better at solving it.

Four years ago, I remember professors and administrators stressing the importance of finding and using mentors during you’re here.  As a thickheaded freshman who believed he knew everything already, I may have shrugged this advice off until junior year.  After a major switch and developing a true passion for my work, I began to take this advice more seriously.  Most of my professors have or still work in the advertising industry.  Their countless experiences and run-ins with clients serve as teaching points for their students.  So today my thick head may be a bit softer because I stand corrected, and have two individuals in particular that have helped me grow.

As previously mentioned, there will always be new problems and challenges, but one can never stop absorbing the limitless knowledge surrounding him or her.

So to answer my advisor’s question: at college, I have not learned to….  Well the list would be too long, and I’m sure I’d run into more and more along the way.

However, I’m confident in myself and Rise that no matter what the challenge, we will conquer it.  We’re surrounded with some very helpful, knowledgeable people at Butler and even in Indianapolis.  We are lucky enough to live in the era we do.  Being young, motivated, and assisted with all sorts of technology, we cannot stop learning.

-Ryan Pylipow

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Filed under advertising, Butler