Diversity Advertising in Acadiana – Four Simple Rules to Follow

Diversity 101
When the word diversity is brought up, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Race, gender, religion, immigration? A knock-down, drag-out political scream fest? In advertising, specifically in Acadiana¹, diversity means taking the effort and care to ensure that an advertiser’s message is engaging the broadest and most relevant demographic swath. Let’s call this Rule No. 1.

Digging for Data
So, just how do you determine the relevant demographic make-up of a unique area like Acadiana? The simplest way is to base your determination on decades (actually centuries!) of quality data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau (Census.gov). Though the national census is taken once every ten years, the data set is continually updated and quantified through other sources, and at all levels of government. Additionally, there are numerous websites which compile this valuable information into easily digestible nuggets. One outstanding example is the Statistical Atlas (StatisticalAtlas.com). Here, you can review and research nearly all social aspects or break-outs of a community: population; age and gender; race and ethnicity; marital status; household income; employment status; educational attainment; etc. This eliminates any guesswork and removes any tendency of personal viewpoints being injected into the question of who resides in any given area of Acadiana. Researching and studying relevant information for a given geographical area will help diversify an advertiser’s message by appealing to a broader spectrum of individuals. And there you have Rule No. 2. A caveat: This is dependent upon the advertiser’s product or service, of course.

Connect the Dots
Ah, matching an advertiser’s product or service to the demographic most likely to engage with that product or service. Here lies the squishy part. If you ask an advertiser who their demo is, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say, “everyone!” Well, that may be mostly true for a utility company (renters or owners of a business, residence or apartment), but for an attorney who specializes in estate planning (skew to higher income), or a retailer of ethnic hair care products (black, skew to female²) the demographic becomes very specific. That’s where the cold, hard facts of data come in. If data shows the area you are targeting is 59.86% black, 64% which are female, ages 22-39, then a message must be crafted to speak specifically to that market. This demographic data will also allow you to choose specific media outlets or channels accordingly. To use the data sample previously mentioned, if you are targeting black females of a specific age group, there’s a time slot for radio or TV spot that will skew to that specific market. There are social media channels that can skew to a specific market as well.

Depending upon the reach of the advertising channels utilized, some averaging of data will have to occur. Race and ethnicity, household income and employment status in St. Landry Parish are different than it is in Lafayette Parish or other Acadiana parishes. Hence, the need to know the reach of the media channels selected is important. In some instances of media placement, the reach or the message can be tweaked or targeted to smaller, more specific geographical areas (outdoor/online advertising). Rule No. 3 – Match the right product to the right demographic profile through the right media channels.

Keep the Craft Creative
Finally, Rule No. 4 – Creatively craft the look and feel of the message to exhibit the diversity of the marketplace. Simply speaking, if the data shows there is diversity in the race, age and gender in Acadiana, then the ad should portray this diversity in the message. Not through cultural appropriation or by stereotyping, but by using a true break-out of the real people and faces of Acadiana (see example³ below). Avoid the canned, overtly staged or stock-like in look & feel at all costs – this is virtually a dead give-away of a forced visualization of the message. TV spots can most accurately portray diversity for obvious reasons. The use of coordinated imagery in print ads, collateral materials and social media channels can easily follow suit. Not to be left by the wayside, the creative use of voice talent and the script can push the diversity appeal of a radio spot.

Aim for the Center
All things considered, the reach and engagement of any ad should reflect the communities that make up Acadiana. This is not a political statement or discourse. This viewpoint is based on simple facts, statistics and research. Political advertising aside, nothing said here should be construed or considered socially liberal or conservative – the population or demographics of Acadiana is what it is – allow diversity to become an advantage.

1. Acadiana is being defined as the 9 parish area comprised of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Jeff Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion.
2. All descriptive demographics terms are those used by the U.S. Census Bureau.
3. Still images from a TV spot created by Prejean Creative for LUS Fiber.



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The Fight of the Century – Digital v. Offset Printing


Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to tonight’s match which promises to be a classic battle in every sense of the word.

In the magenta corner, weighing in at nearly 34 tons and the undisputed longtime champion of print – the Prince of K/Os, the King of Color, Oscar “Offset” De La Inkay. And in the cyan corner, weighing in at a svelte 4,000 lbs 8 ounces, the Sultan of Speed, the Killer of Cost, Danny “Digital” McShortrun.

And the prize? Glory and a gaudy golden belt, but more importantly, increased dominance in the world of commercial printing.

Okay gentlemen, I want a good clean fight between you two. Nothing below the sheet feeder, no roller butting – good luck to you both!


Round One
The paper chase. If you require or want a special paper stock, finish or unusual printing surface, or a unique size (like much larger), the options are continually increasing for digital, but offset printing still offers the most flexibility.

Round Two
The color of money. Similar to offset, most digital presses use a digital four-color printing process (standard is CMYK, but this is quickly changing). If you need only black ink or one or two ink colors, offset printing may actually offer a more cost-effective solution. If you need basic four-color printing, digital may offer advantages in lower up-front costs; no printing plates are required, there’s no pre-press time and there’s very little clean up.

More on color. If you’re planning to print using the Pantone® Matching System (PMS), offset printing will give you the best match, since it uses actual Pantone inks. Digital printing “simulates” colors using a four-color digital matching formula, so some digital printers may offer less accurate color matching on projects. And metallic inks? Give the point to offset printing.

Round Three
Time to turnaround. If you need it fast, digital usually will offer quicker delivery. Especially at lower quantities. Digital is the speed bag champion.

As mentioned earlier, offset printing has a front-end cost load (plate-making, pre-press, etc.). Consequently, short runs will have a high unit cost. But as quantities increase, the unit cost goes down with offset printing. Very short runs can be much more cost-effective with digital printing; while larger quantities are likely to have a lower unit cost with offset printing.

Round Four
You want the proof, you can’t handle the proof. Technically, digital printing offers more accurate proofs since you see an actual sample of the printed piece. Accurate color proofing for offset printing can be expensive, can be more time consuming and it takes extra quality assurance for offset printing to match the proofs.

Round Five
A right hook and a flurry of jabs by digital. Shorter turnaround. Every print is virtually the same. More accurate counts, less waste, and fewer variations, due to not having to balance ink and water during the press run. Cheaper low-volume printing. While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included, digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs. A blockbuster of a hit by digital, variable data printing is a form of customizable digital printing. Using information from a database or external file, text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press. For example, personalized letters can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is used primarily for direct marketing, customer relationship development and advertising. Ouch!

Round Six
Ahhh, an upper-cut by offset. High image quality. Works on a wider range of paper stocks (sizes, weights and textures). The unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up. Quality and cost-effectiveness in high-volume jobs. While today’s digital presses are close to the cost & benefit ratio of offset for high-quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce. Modern offset presses use computer-to-plate systems as opposed to the older computer-to-film workflow, this further increases the print quality. Pow!

And, the match is over! Gentlemen, back to your corners.

The Decision
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a split decision! Hold the catcalls, please. Each printing job is unique. What may work for digital with one project may not work for another. We find it is always best to consult one-on-one with your commercial print vendor. That way you won’t get sucker-punched.



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Trying to Navigate the Labyrinth That Is Google AdWords? We Can Help.

Google AdWords campaigns are not “set it and forget it” advertising. The magic of pay-per-click advertising is the ability to monitor real-time data and adjust your campaigns as necessary to get the best return on your investment. For a pay-per-click campaign to be successful, it has to not only be set up correctly, but also monitored and adjusted regularly.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Instant gratification is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for consumers. They want information now, no matter where they are or what time of day it is. This has become both an opportunity and a challenge for businesses trying to market products and services. The evolution to micro-targeted advertising from mass advertising allows you to better target your consumers, and pay-per-click advertising is a tool that has been invaluable to businesses in their quest to meet consumer demands.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the use of pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Some of the key benefits of this type of advertising are:

  • Real-time monitoring allowing for easy adjustment of campaigns without incurring extra costs.
  • Ads and settings can be tailored to specifically reach audiences based on their current search habits.
  • The ability to track traffic and prove ROI with solid data and tie it directly to conversions beyond the click, such as purchases, newsletter sign-ups, etc.
  • Setting and maintaining a budget, allowing for greater cost-control measures.
  • Controlling when you are charged, whether it is by clicks, views, impressions or conversions, so you are more likely to be spending money on potential customers rather than wasting clicks on uninterested parties.

The most commonly used platform for pay-per-click advertising is Google AdWords. The process for ensuring successful Google AdWords campaigns is two-fold. First, it requires a significant amount of due diligence to research targeting methods, audiences and keywords with which to build the campaigns, as well as creating advertising and landing pages that capitalize on the targeting methods. This is a long, winding process that requires an understanding of the end-goals and tactics for achieving those goals, as well as up-to-date knowledge of the AdWords platform.

Next, it requires constant monitoring to ensure the best results. Campaigns need to be reviewed daily, and adjusted as necessary to be sure they are accomplishing goals. But, it’s not as simple as looking at the click-through rate and determining a campaign “successful.” It is crucial to monitor the status of the ads and keywords or other targeting methods being used. It is important to look for trends, successes and failures so that adjustments can be made. There are always ways to improve campaign performance if you know what to look for when monitoring a campaign.

This is where we can help.
Anyone can sign up to implement AdWords campaigns. But it requires research, practice and knowledge of the platform and its latest updates to be able to use the platform effectively.

If you aren’t familiar with the data that AdWords provides, it can quickly become overwhelming. A key part of what we do is staying informed of the most up-to-date information in our industry, which includes any changes or updates to the AdWords platform. We can provide insights and best practices advice for running effective campaigns that meet or exceed your goals with our Google AdWords certified staff and experience running successful AdWords campaigns.

We’re ready to help you implement the best campaign possible for your business. Our goal is always to manage campaigns that meet your business goals. Our processes for doing so begin with substantial research on trends in search for your industry and audiences. We then use those trends to create campaigns that most effectively communicate your messaging and reach your targeted audiences. To ensure your campaigns are as successful as possible, we monitor them closely and make any adjustments necessary based on the data.

You don’t have to go it alone. We are ready to guide you on your journey through Google AdWords advertising.

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Prejean Creative Tells You Why – The Case for Illustration

Imagery is essential in your marketing communications; it can make a notable first impression and influence the perception of your brand. While photography is one of the most commonly used types of imagery, illustration has many benefits, too, and should be considered in some cases.

Your goal is to create a unique and memorable personality for your brand, and illustration can achieve that. Like your brand’s fingerprint, a very distinct illustration style can become instantly recognizable. With an endlessly broad variety of illustration styles to choose from, it’s easy to create a unique and cohesive look with illustration. Furthermore, illustration is used less frequently in advertising and tends to stand out more for that reason.

Some examples of iconic and memorable illustration use. Left to right: Apple Computer, Coca-Cola, Shepard Fairey

Illustrations are also great for representing abstract ideas and concepts. They offer the opportunity to create a visual metaphor more effectively than a photo. A less literal approach can engage the viewer’s mind in clever ways.

Some examples of conceptual illustration. Left to right: Davide Bonazzi, Brian Stauffer, John Holcroft

Compared to photographs, illustrations can convey a broader range of tone or mood – from somber to silly. Extreme ends of the color spectrum, unrealistic proportions, and surreal elements might look out of place in photographs. However, these characteristics are right at home in illustration and can serve to enhance the message. Illustrations allow us to suspend our disbelief.

Some examples of illustrations that convey mood. Left to right: Daniel Stolle, Coca-Cola / Office, Joyce Fan

While photography may be important if you are advertising a physical product, illustration can be useful to represent an intangible one, such as cell phone service, computer software, or Wi-Fi. Mascots, which are used to represent many brands, often employ illustration.

Some examples of mascot illustrations. Left to right: Planter’s, Michelin, Kellogg’s 

Whether you use illustration, photography, or a blend of the two, the imagery you and your marketing team use can be a key element in your brand’s success.


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Spring Cleaning Your Brand

Each spring, we endeavor to clear out the clutter of our closets and desks to start fresh. Why not do the same for your brand? Brands get cluttered over time, which chips away at their identity. To prevent this dilution in brand identity, it becomes essential to eliminate or update assets that are no longer relevant.

Evaluating assets regularly also helps to keep your brand from appearing stale. Freshening up brand assets can have a stop-effect on your audiences, like they are seeing your brand for the first time. It’s the same, but it’s clean and fresh and appears new.

There are a few areas that are ripe for a spring-cleaning effort.

Digital Media
Do your organization’s digital media assets – websites, social media platforms, blogs – have consistent visual identity and messaging?

It is important for brand recognition that all assets follow the brand identity and messaging. As organizations grow and develop more assets, it is common for identity and messaging to get altered, jumbled or even lost. Regularly auditing all digital media platforms is good practice for ensuring consistent brand identity.

Are they still relevant? Do your current marketing efforts serve them?

An organization’s goals and key performance indicators (KPI) are important drivers of marketing efforts. As companies grow and evolve, goals and KPI need to shift to keep pace with that growth.

But, they are often overlooked or forgotten and become irrelevant. Regularly updating the goals is important for validating marketing efforts.

Have your audiences changed? Is your messaging to them still pertinent and does it address their needs?

Like organizations, audiences regularly evolve and their needs change. If you don’t evaluate your audiences, you will miss these changes and your marketing efforts will be less effective.

Evaluate your messaging as well when reviewing your audiences. If your audience has changed, your messaging will need to be adjusted to effectively reach them.

Are you tracking data where possible and reviewing in context of goals and KPI? Are you measuring the correct analytics?

Most organizations have access to more data than they could possibly use, and they are easily overwhelmed. However, if you approach the data in the context of goals and KPI, it can be more easily managed.

Ensure the data you are monitoring and analyzing is significant and is delivering the information you need to know.

Are your campaigns performing to expectations? Do you continue them, or do you scrap those programs and start fresh?

Part of any marketing campaign is the evaluation, but as some campaigns continue to run, the evaluation stage gets forgotten.

To ensure only the most effective campaigns are running, be sure to evaluate performance against goals.

A Breath of Fresh Air
Don’t let your brand go stale. Keep it fresh by taking some time this spring to tidy up any clutter surrounding your brand.


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