DM Tips #25 - May 2004

Ideas for Smoother Creative Work ___

Published as a resource for your direct marketing work. Depend on FCC for imaginative, results-producing creative work, including direct mail - web - e-mail - ads - more!


--Ideas for Smoother Creative Work__________ ______by Albert Fried-Cassorla

- News - International SOS increases on-line consumer ______product sales 17% with help from Fried-Cassorla ______Communications

- Marketing Expo will wow Philly, May 11 & 12.

______Albert to speak on Breakthrough Direct Mail

  Book Review: Designing _____Brand Identity by Alina _____Wheeler

--Photos - Spring!

_Movie and Play _____Comments

-Play Photos - Scenes from _____my recently performed _____comedies

Poem: Cat Drama

--Humor - Understanding ___ ____Engineers



Dear Friend,

This month, we have a varied issue for you -- from thoughts on how to keep DM projects moving, to news of the sensational new Marketing Expo, and on to views of Spring and more. Speaking of Spring -- it's a great time to launch projects! Do you have a project you'd like to explore? We always have room for one more exciting job. So give us a call. And do enjoy this issue!

Ideas for Smoother Creative Work

By Albert Fried-Cassorla

Keeping D.M. projects on-time and on schedule takes work, savvy and people-knowledge. This is true no matter what your role in a project.

So here are some ideas on how to make marketing and creative work go smoothly:

1. Ask for deadlines. Or propose timeframes. Why would you solicit such pressure, you ask? Not because you're perverse, but because deadlines are beautiful things. They keep projects from slipping into oblivion. A bad way to learn about deadlines is to go beyond unstated ones and watch a project die. Don't go there! If deadlines are unreasonable, say so. Better to be honest than to fudge reality. Reality always wins anyway.

2. Ask for - or create - good background positioning statements. Backgrounders give you the fuel to drive your creative. Be sure that you have in writing:

  • who your market is (scientifically determined, at best; or at least experientially based)
  • what the competition is, including sample marketing vehicles
  • strengths of your product
  • purchasing resistance points
  • results of previous marketing efforts, and more
  • If your client does not provide you with this roadmap, do not set forth into the desert without it. Write your own! The client will respect you for it and the professionalism of taking this extra step. Ask her to yea or nay the statement. Your creative juices are too valuable to waste on the desert sands.

    3. Write outlines and concept statements. When you give clients and colleagues a document to focus on, they will help you to prioritize benefits and orientation. Doing it long before composing first draft copy helps enormously.

    4. Offer very different concepts. Don't show a client "whiter shades of pale." Big differences potentially produce big results. Appeal to different emotions - greed vs. romantic appeal, for example.

    5. Brainstorm beautifully! The creative session is your chance to let go. The entire marketing effort rests on this critical phase. Remember to brainstorm offers as well as creative approaches. Consider tried-and-true offers such as dollars off and discounts for multiple or early orders.

    Also throw into the offer mix some out-of-the-ordinary offer and premium ideas. These might be a dinner at a four-star restaurant, a free book or video, or a free trendy gadget of the month (Palm Pilot or whatever else is hot). Don't knock "hot," if the item has proven appeal. Note: D.M. premium vendors will share real-life results with you on what's pulling. This is often free advice worth heeding.

    * * *

    Albert Fried-Cassorla is a direct response copywriter and president of Fried-Cassorla Communications, a direct marketing agency. He also serves as a board member and newsletter editor of the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association and has won their Best of Show Benny Award. He may be reached at or 215-635-5189.

    * * *

    Find out how Fried-Cassorla Communications has used direct mail, e-mail and other media to achieve spectacular results! Visit -- read our Success Stories on our work for Merck & Company, UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, Scott Paper Company and others! Then contact us at to see how we can help you with your challenges!

    Add muscle to your direct response creative work!

    Let us help boost your response with powerful copywriting and design! Contact Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. now at 215-635-5189 (USA) or 

    Fried-Cassorla Communications helps International SOS achieve a 17% consumer product sales boost with new brochure

    Fried-Cassorla Communications has helped International SOS increase sales of its Global Traveler consumer product by 17% through creation of an effective print and online brochure.

    The marketing challenge was to give a tool to SOS in-bound telephone representatives to help sell the program using the Internet and individual in-bound conversations to close sales. The tool had to be readable, promotional, comprehensive, easy to follow and complete, and "sendable" via e-mail. as well as available on the SOS web site. International SOS provides medical, security and emergency assistance for travelers, including corporate employees and consumers.

    The Global Traveler product makes this service available to consumers. It includes a variety of services,

    such as: medical evacuation by SOS-owned air ambulance when warranted, telephone assistance in English from MD's, access to multi-lingual MD's who can speak to MD's in countries visited, e-mailed alerts about special security and health dangers of particular countries and more.

    Online sales of the Global Traveler product increased dramatically after the introduction, and use of the pdf sales tool (our brochure). The percentage of Global Traveler sales which had been achieved online in 2001 was 25%. Sales jumped to 42% online after general use of this pdf brochure. This saved SOS considerable expense in printing and mailing the brochure. Online sales for Global Traveler during this period all reflect use of this pdf sales tool. The results were considered by the client to be very positive and exciting.

    The Global Traveler product makes this service available to consumers. It includes a variety of services, such as: medical evacuation by SOS-owned air ambulance when warranted, telephone assistance in English from MD's, access to multi-lingual MD's who can speak to MD's in countries visited, e-mailed alerts about special security and health dangers of particular countries and more.

    To learn more about International SOS and its products, visit Or, in the U.S., dial 1-800-523-8930. For examples of prior successful campaigns in varied media by FCC, visit 

    * * *

    Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. is a full service advertising agency specializing in direct marketing, electronic marketing, e-mail, and web design. Since 1988, the company has generated over $220 million in sales for such prestigious clients as Merck & Co., UNISYS, GMAC, CIGNA, and firms of every size.

    03:4 ____________________________# # #

    Want to boost your e-mail results?
    Let us help you turn pixels into profits! Call Fried-Cassorla Communications at 215-635-5189 or e-mail!

    Marketing Expo set for May 11 and 12 - Albert Fried-Cassorla to present on Knock-Out, Breakthrough Direct Mail

    PDMA invites all marketers to be a part of the mega-event of the year - the inaugural MARKETING EXPO 2004, the Mid-Atlantic Region's "Total Marketing Experience!" This power-packed, unifying event is slated for May 11-12, 2004 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

    Albert Fried-Cassorla will present a session on on Breakthrough Direct Mail as part of an "Ask the Experts" roundtable session at:

    1 pm on Tuesday, May 11th.

    A limited number of free passes for this event only and for the exhibit hall are available. E-mail your request to

    Plans are well underway for this far-reaching gathering, which brings together top business organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region, covering advertising, communications, marketing,

    To register - visit MARKETING EXPO online at or call 610-989-1715.



    Spring! Lovely shots of flowers, mainly taken in Melrose Park over several years. Included are azaleas, irises, clematis and more.


     Movie and Play Comments

    I've been busy this Spring, seeing both the wonderful and the weird! To see my takes on mainly Indie and foreign MOVIES, such as Monsieur Ibrahim, My Architect and more, all HERE. For too many opinions on Dream a Little Dream (the Mamas and Papas musical), Les Miserable and Kaiju Big Battel, go THIS WAY.




    Book Review:

    Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
    Published by John Wiley & Sons. 229 pages. $35 USA. Available at bookstores and at

    Reviewed by Albert Fried-Cassorla

    Developing a brand is both an art form and a science. Do it right and you have a Nike or a Cingular Wireless - brands that are instantly recognizable and widely admired.

    Do it incorrectly, and you have any number of problems, from colors that don't work for your marketplace to logo standards that meet only a few objectives. Hence the need for an authoritative guide to the field - Alina Wheelers' new and comprehensive book. Its full title is Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building and Maintaining Strong Brands, available from John Wiley & Sons.

    Marketers, designers and advertising professionals need to choose a brand identity to project to the world that will accomplish multiple objectives.
    In many cases, this is a daunting task - whether for an individual or a committee. We need a guide, a way through the many challenges and perhaps a way the around the hydra-headed monsters of: jealousy, crossed purposes, a surfeit of conflicting opinions, and the like.

    A volume like this must move back and forth from big picture to telling details in a fluid and interesting fashion. This book does just that by guiding you through the process of achieving various branding goals. These can include:

    • Promoting a new company or product
    • Changing the name of a company's name
    • Giving new life to a tired brand
    • Rebuilding brand identity
    • Creating an integrated system
    • Handling company mergers
    • And more

    Wheeler has gone to considerable trouble to obtain rights to reproduce many well-known logos and other less familiar company symbols. These plentiful and well-chosen examples make the book easy to follow and fun to ponder.

    Nor is this just a "pretty book." It's a guide to the field for the professional eager for scientific input, including how to obtain both qualitative and quantitative research, usability testing and more. The back of the book contains plentiful resource references, plus a fascinating timeline of branding history.

    As both a valuable graphic design resource and a fun read, this book stimulates thinking and delivers the goods.

    Want to think "outside the box"?

    Read this Book Excerpt:

    To read an excerpt from this book, click HERE.


    Albert's comedies, Times Two and Homeowner's Blues, were well-received!

    The Sterling Theater Company performed these comedies by Albert Fried-Cassorla before appreciative audiences at Cheltenham Arts Center on April 3rd and 24th.

    A sampling of photos from the April 2004 performances, just click HERE!

    A fine article about the show appeared in The Ticket entertainment section included in the Times Chronicle and other papers.


    Above: Dr. Bengali, the obstetrician who believes that laughter is the best and only medicine for a woman giving birth, does a therapeutic dance with his nurse as hubbie, wife and babies look on!



    Cat Drama - Nothing more than a cat catching a mouse.

    We think we can ignore the scene. But can we?



     Thinking about your own e-newsletter?

    Done correctly, it can perform beautifully.

    We have the experience. Contact FCC now!

    We have helped many companies successfully reach B2B and consumer markets with our relevant, interesting newsletters. We approach the challenge from the view point of the customer. What do they want to know, read or be entertained by? Communications for our newsletter clients deliver value, not hype. That means results for you. See the Success Stories on our web site, or even better... give us a call! 215-635-5189 (USA) or




    Understanding Engineers - Take Two

    To the optimist, the glass is half full.
    To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
    To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    For all 9 "Takes" on Engineers, click HERE.


    To be removed from our mailing list, just write back and ask us to do so. On the other hand, why not pass around the helpful info? We welcome new subscribers!

    Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc.
    "Imaginative Direct Marketing and Advertising"

    e-mail: Discover resources for marketers at ---phone: 215-635-5189 fax: 215-635-0461

    © Copyright 2004 by Fried-Cassorla Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.