I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, a city that will soon be in the national spotlight when it hosts the Democratic National Convention.
I’ve lived in Charlotte for 23 years and the city has changed dramatically. I think the population has doubled. Or trebled. Yet the city remains remarkably friendly and convenient. It's so easy to live here yet the city has a national feel. I live just five miles from an NFL stadium.
But I’ve always thought of the city as an advertising backwater. The biggest agencies here would be mid size in other cities. And what I’ve seen of their creative output is generally weak. There are lots of small branding agencies that don’t do much. But they’ve ALL won plenty of awards—given to each other by…each other.
Proof of the general mediocrity came this morning when I was driving around and actually listened to four minutes of drive time radio ads. One of the ads featured a mumbling man who tried to tell a story; at the end of 60 seconds a mumbling lady invited me to go to a website. I have absolutely no idea what the man was trying to sell.
I heard two screaming car ads that instantly gave me a big headache. I also heard an ad for Hooters that was trying to be funny. I’m sorry, but if you’re a copywriter and you can’t write a funny ad for Hooters then you should become a dishwasher or bar back.
Compare this to the ads I hear on satellite radio. They are ALL direct response ads and I’m certain they are all tracked and someone is measuring ROI. There's a lesson there for the local advertisers.
Because I don’t spend time hanging around other ‘creatives’ at ad club social events (maybe I should) I’m admittedly out of touch with the local scene but it seems to me like Charlotte lacks a big time direct response marketing presence.
And I’ve heard that from people with a national perspective.
It’s a shame because just about every client of every Charlotte ad agency could benefit massively from a direct response orientation.
I have NEVER run into another direct response copywriter in Charlotte.
Here's a brutal fact if you're a business that's using a Charlotte branding agency. You're wasting your money. Find a direct response agency. Now. Even if you have to go outside Charlotte.
I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. I increasingly specialize in sales pages and landing pages. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here.