Tag Archives: below the line

ATL vs BTL

I am ATL. I ONLY do TV, Radio, Print & Billboards. But I won’t do any of those if there is a ‘promotional’ aspect involved. I am above ‘promotional aspects’ and all that ‘selling’ stuff. I am an artiste.

I am BTL. I do a lot of promotional work, but I’ll do anything really. My main concern is reaching consumers in a way that makes a real impact, whatever that way may be. But I’m not fussy.

I am ATL. The other day I was asked to contribute to a ‘strategic workshop’. I didn’t know WTF I was supposed to do. I mean, WTF. I make billboards? I was like, why am I here? Such a waste of my, like, time. Like, what am I supposed to do?

I am BTL. Very often, our job starts long before the work becomes a brochure, or a piece of direct marketing / design / digital. We spend a lot of time refining strategic insights so that our work is focused. It’s interesting because we are able to holistically tackle real business challenges and make work that makes a difference.

I am ATL. The other day I got a print ad brief with only 2 weeks to work on it. 2 weeks? How am I supposed to come up with genius in only 2 weeks? What are they thinking? So I had a temper tantrum until they gave me an extra week.

I am BTL. We generally have to work very fast, but that’s okay. We’re used to it. Usually I work on about 15 jobs at once, all in different stages of production. Our average deadline is about 2 days. This means we work late a lot but hey, that which doesn’t kill me will only make me smarter, right?

I am ATL. This basically means I’m at the top of the advertising food chain. I know, I know, you’d never think so since I’m so humble, right?

I am BTL. A lot of people think BTL is all the stuff ATL doesn’t want to do. Sometimes ATL bullies traffic into giving us the jobs they think is ‘beneath them’, but that’s cool, whatever. We’re used to working hard so its no sweat really. Besides we kind of feel sorry for ATL since we all know no one watches TV / reads print ads anymore? So we just try to make everyone feel okay about things.


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Levi’s® Photography Search: A Case Study in using social media

I know y’ulle think I’m a brainless advertising chick who does nothing but upload hot pics of herself onto flickr and rub her breasts against her the glass of her creative director’s office, but it’s not completely true. They keep me around because every now and again, I prove to be quite useful. I wouldn’t go so far as to say:

“I’m the number 1 creative in South Africa,” like Paul Warner from Metropolitan Republic said in the March 09 issue of GQ (true story).

But I am handy because I know my way around facebook, an invaluable skill that has come in handy while we’ve been running a competition called The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer off onesmallseed.net, and it’s proved to be an insightful exercise in using social media to reach the right consumers.

The competition went live at the beginning of December 2008, and it was a call to South African photographers to come up with and submit their unique vision conveyed through a photographic treatment that would give the Levi Strauss brand a distinctive and relevant look. It came about because we were aware of the wealth of talent out there amongst local creatives, and we wanted to see whether we could discover someone fresh and inspiring to bring something special to the brand.

We got an amazing response – a total of 60 photographers shot and submitted images to be considered. We narrowed the entries down to a shortlist of 12 photographers, out of whom Capetonian Romi Stern was chosen as the winner.You can see the official winning announcement and the shortlisted photographers here.

The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer has been my (and King James’s) first big(ish) project using social media as the primary platform for communication and interaction with consumers, and it worked really well because onesmallseed.net is a creative community, therefore it was a natural place for us to reach photographers. We were able to interact with entrants and answer questions real-time, and tailor our interactions with them based on the feedback they gave us.

We did experience some glitches
– an auto-brief malfunction, and we completely underestimated the number of entries we’d get, so on the weekend of the competition deadline our mailbox was bouncing back entries and stressing out some very passionate photographers, but we managed to solve it in the end.

Needless to say, we are extremely chuffed with how it turned out, and we’re looking super forward to working with Romi this year.