Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Look for Inspiration in advertising

I have had many experiences this week that have inspired me to write this today. It started on Tuesday Night at the "Science Cafe" event with Science fiction author Robert J Sawyer. He spoke about his approach to writing books and how he has the unique opportunity to get behind the scenes with great scientific minds. He gains much science fact, before extrapolating his "what if" science fiction. he stated as it relates to the invention of the car "Ford invented the car, a science fiction writer has to come up with the traffic jam".

The very next day, a LinkedIn contact of mine, book mentor Robert J. Bannon blogged about inspiration he had in his Blog ( ). He says " If you are an aspiring author: the number one prerequisite to good writing is good reading." Then on Friday my friend Stuart Crawford did a Blog on his friend Chris Hamilton ( ) where he states "the difference between sales and marketing" is "marketing creates the demand and sales fulfills the demand" Now that I have all my credits out of the way, what does all this writer stuff have to do with Marketing and Advertising? Well... Everything!
Lets start with Chris Hamilton's difference between Sales and Marketing. VERY true. But the distinction I'd like to make is the difference between Advertising and Marketing. This is an area I see confused all the time. Advertising is what you broadcast about your business. Whether it's by buying an ad, getting some press or the word of mouth that your customers develop. Marketing is part advertising, but also encompasses sales, location, space, staffing and almost every aspect of your business besides accounting. So once you broadcast an ad saying I am the best, the marketing is that, plus delivering on that promise, being the best. If you say you have a certain product in your ad and you don't when someone get to the store, that's great advertising, but poor marketing.

Now inspiration is a very interesting subject. Lynn James, an international class soccer coach, presenter and mentor from Wales did some great sessions here in Calgary about the mechanics of running. He credited his inspiration at most every turn and said "this isn't the world of soccer according to Lynn James. I didn't invent this stuff, I just believe in it." That turned on a light bulb for me that day. Very few of our ideas are our ideas. We are a collection of life experiences inspired every step of the way by others thoughts, ideas and teaching. As long as we don't completely word for word plagiarize, our thoughts and words become our own, even when inspired by others. In an advertising sense, a well run campaign can be a case study to develop one of your own. See my Blog post ( ) for what inspired my ad sense as a youth. As Mr. Bannon said about authors, a good ad campaign comes from experiencing a lot of ads. So watch TV, listen to radio, read newspapers, follow on facebook and Twitter, read Blogs, view websites and develop your own strategy inspired by others, as they all are.

A fun note to end on.. If I was inspired by Stuart, who was inspired by Chris, who was inspired by someone else, where does all this inspiration start? Even McDonalds and Coca-Cola were inspired.... Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man"


  1. larry,

    Thanks for the mention.

    Advertising is part of marketing, marketing is part of advertising, sales is related and so on.

    It's confusing, but they all relate to one another.


  2. They cetainly are all related, Chris. I think what you and I are saying is not to use one word to describe the other. Many times they are confused for one another. I hope is clears it up for some?

  3. "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been the Beatles." - John Lennon

  4. "Creative property, Lessig reminds us, has many lives—the newspaper arrives at our door, it becomes part of the archive of human knowledge, then it wraps fish. And, by the time ideas pass into their third and fourth lives, we lose track of where they came from, and we lose control of where they are going. The final dishonesty of the plagiarism fundamentalists is to encourage us to pretend that these chains of influence and evolution do not exist, and that a writer's words have a virgin birth and an eternal life."

    Articles from the New Yorker: Something Borrowed
    By Malcolm Gladwell