Advertising: Still the Driving Force in Marketing.

DesignMarks Advertising Matrix

To most of the business world, marketing, advertising and public relations are separate disciplines – but in reality, all marketing disciplines work best when they work together in an integrated marketing campaign, focused sharply on your business and financial goals. Advertising in traditional media or online can point new prospects to your website, extend and reinforce a business news placement, or draw traffic to your trade show booth.

That’s why DesignMarks offers award-winning advertising along with all the other critical marketing disciplines – and a fully integrated strategy for using them to your best advantage.

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Avant! : Getting deep into technology

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When semiconductor companies began putting millions of circuits on a single chip,  their designs and chip prototypes began failing repeatedly.  The individual circuit cells and pathways only millionths of a meter in size (“ submicron”)  were experiencing new  physical interference problems. 

Avant! developed a new ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) design system specifically for these challenging “deep submicron” chips.  It solved the new physical magnetic effects and timing problems.  Moreover, it simplified and accelerated the design process, saving many months in critical speed-to-market.  The agency had to sell the Avant! system to technology companies deeply committed to their current design systems.  

 Our “Think Deep” campaign  boldly challenged the traditional design philosophy, successfully introducing the  new design system.  The company’s design technology was later challenged in a legal patent suit – but the ad campaign was unchallenged in creativity.  It received the top Silicon Valley ADDY creative award in the Business/Trade Print category.

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Mercury Interactive: Targeting the Enterprise Boardroom

Mercury single page ads

Mercury adv spread

Mercury Interactive makes software that tests the big, complex software that enterprises create for themselves.  Our client already had 80% of the software testing market, selling individual testing tools to corporate software engineers.  The only way to get more sales was to expend the entire market… so the client’s ambitious strategy was to make “comprehensive software testing” a top management policy.  Our creative assignment: Get software testing out of the IT basement and up into The Boardroom of global enterprises.  

The art director found these striking photographs in a photo magazine and we wrote headlines and copy bridging the images to the issues of software testing.  The ads were striking in technology media and so effective running in 1998 that the campaign was extended through 1999 to capture the emerging e-commerce market.  

The campaign was later honored as “Best of Show”  in the Silicon Valley ADDY Award competition versus all the year’s creative work by the Big Name – and Big Budget – tech giants.


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Merging Global Giants

Siebel Clear Day Ad 02

Siebel Clear Day Ad 01

Siebel Systems and Price Waterhouse Coopers (now PWC) had just formed a  strategic alliance to market Siebel’s Customer Relationship Management solutions to PWC’s global enterprise clients. The agency was invited to a conference to plan a major Wall Street Journal announcement. Then the argument started. Who’s logo would be bigger? Who’s corporate style would  be used?

The agency interceded with a suggestion: Instead of a standard formal announcement, why not use the expensive WSJ pages to highlight the  benefits of the alliance to their enterprise clients? Both companies eagerly agreed… and a week later, approved these full-page, full-color WSJ spreads. The day after the first ad appeared, three CEOs of global enterprises called, fully justifying the massive cost of the WSJ campaign.


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AXOLOTL INC: Technology Serving Healthcare

AXO ads

The technology of electronically interconnecting hundreds of hospitals, physicians and diagnostic services was complex – but Axolotl realized that getting the doctors to use the system was the critical issue. Axolotl made their system incomparably simple to learn and use… and our integrated 2010 campaign drove the point home. By year’s end, Axolotl was purchased by UnitedHealthcare for a “premium price.”

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Reaching the Home Market.

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Regency Savings Bank FSB is a regional financial institution with branch locations throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

Most banks sell similar products at similar rates as determined by the federal government. Our assignment was to find something to set the bank apart from its competition. We settled on two things: the quality of customer service, and the ease of delivering the product to the customer. Over time we produced several advertising campaigns aimed at different market segments with the same demographic area: one was aimed at the general consumer, and another a the home buying audience.

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Solid Research Combined With Great Creative Produces Results.

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A good product, or service, combined with effective and through research of the client’s markets is imperative for a successful advertising campaign. However, that alone will not bring in buyers. Once the research is in hand our creative team will develop an imaginative way to use this research so that it will be most attractive your niche market – and the American Dietetic Association campaign is an example.

The buyer is a continually moving target, and that is why this combination of research, creative writing, and visuals is so important. Not only does the average buyer grow and change, but society and culture change too – sometimes in very different ways.

Your product, service, and/or message is important to us – and we strive to give our clients the most creative means of reaching their niche audiences.

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Standing Out in a Competitive Marketplace.

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Graff is a distributor of a wide range of industrial products for both the large and small industrial wholesaler. The company is the outgrowth of years of practical marketplace experience dating back to 1930 when the grandfather of the owners founded a small surplus plumbing supply house. That company grew into the largest importer of pipe fittings and flanges in the country. Graff Valve & Fittings Company advertises to a niche market: companies that need valves, fittings, and flanges for the construction industry.

When we began working on Graff’s advertising campaign we wanted to present what Graff does for their customers – rather then advertise the individual products, because we believed that delivering the right product at the right time was Graff’s key competitive trait. All companies say that they can do things better, faster and cheaper than their competitors, but we wanted something more: something that would create an interest within their customer base and to potential buyers. Our research showed that (in many cases) people would come to Graff because products that they ordered from other companies were either not delivered on time – or were substitute products. Graff’s customers (mostly contractors) relied on the correct products being delivered on time in order to meet each project’s standards and schedules. The slogan that we created, and built the advertising campaign around was “Results – Not Excuses.” The ads worked well and people who saw them began to associate the slogan with the company, thus strengthening the brand of the company as a whole.

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Advertising Two Services to Overlapping Audiences.

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Craig Bergmann Landscaping Design, Inc. is an award winning commercial and residential landscaping corporation. The landscaping company has a plant growing subsidiary known as Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden. The company is located in a northern suburb of Chicago, and focus their attention on both the Chicago and Milwaukee markets

Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden consists of a retail plant sales outlet and a perennial nursery operation that blends exquisite antiques, diverse architecture and a stunning array of perennials and other garden specialty offerings. The garden center is regionally located in Illinois, near the Wisconsin border in order to service two major metropolitan markets: Chicago and Milwaukee.

Our mission was to develop advertising campaigns directed to plant and garden lovers for both of these companies. Obviously, there was tremendous overlap in both the demographics and the audience. We needed to create separate advertising campaigns, with totally different visual feelings, within the same general markets. The placements would be in mainly in different media, but they needed to not conflict with one another The solution that we came up with was to created one of the campaigns around beautifully photographed gardens (for “Landscaping”) and a graphic treatment for the “Country Garden.”

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Business-to-Business Advertising With a Punch.

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The greatest exposure that can be developed for a smaller company within its marketplace is generally in the form of an exciting advertising campaign. These business-to-business ads (above) run in industry publications. DesignMarks developed the “Boil/Burn” advertising campaign focusing on different the various company services: heating, cooling, energy savings. All the advertisements were contracted as full page ads – thus dominating any other ads or editorial content on the opposite page. has worked with The Bogot Companies (which consists of six very specialized, but product-related companies in the energy management industry) to integrate the marketing, branding, advertising, and the graphics of each of these sub-companies in support of the basic mission of the larger organization.

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