How to Create a Memorable Advertising Campaign

I’m back from Comic-Con! Had a great time, and met some amazing people, some of whom I’ve respected from afar for a long time.

Huge thanks to everyone who came by the booth and said hello. It was great to meet some readers in person. I consider myself lucky that you all read this crazy thing I do. I hope you know how much I appreciate it.

Oh, and thanks as always for using my Amazon Affiliate links  (USUKCanada).

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Reader Comments (34)

I actually saw a billboard advertising a billboard company once. It was a bit pathetic...

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKih-Oshk

"Male enhancement" (and other items, perhaps) gift packs are an awesome idea! However, on the subject of ad agencies not advertising, there is at least one ad agency that does advertise: one called Thinkbox, based in the UK. Its first ad was like a nostalgic trip into the past of advertising. Not sure how many of the quotes would be recognised in the US, though. Possibly none.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdangibney

Scott, you have fans here in Brazil, too, I don't think you knew that. Pity I couldn't go visit comiccon, because, you know... aiplane tickets are expensive, and I can't drive my Volkswagen Beetle all the way over there. Your comics are the best! Bye!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRAID

I once saw a billboard advertising an ad agency: "Who says advertising doesn't work? It just did." Kind of like an advertiser's version of Pascal's Wager.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGiacomo

There are some advertisement signs on bus stop benches and post office drop boxes around my office that say "You just proved signs work." And then they have a phone number for an ad agency.

But I don't think they're really there to advertise for the agency on purpose. I think the ad company just failed to rent the ad space out to anyone, and that's what they fill empty ad space with when no one buys it.

Though I guess that's effective, in a way. Their advertising is directly proportional to how much space they have for sale. If the spot were filled with an ad, they wouldn't need to sell the space any more, so advertising it wouldn't make sense.

You never see the same thing on TV though. If Fox has unsold ad space, they use it to advertise their own shows, not to advertise the ad space.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLockeZ

@Kih-Oshk
A lot of times billboard companies put up ads when no one is buying the billboards. I never saw it when I lived in the city, but I've moved to a rural area, and one stretch of highway has nothing but billboards for the same billboard company.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterloserbum3

I've noticed cinema advertising companies slip in ads for themselves before movies. It's always awkward, patronising and low...no, barely acceptable budget. And of course it just makes people hate them more.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonsensicles

Here in Australia, billboard companies seem to keep an ad for themselves on every billboard, so that it shows when they don't have anything running.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Hutchings

So you had an awesome time at Comic-con - Yeah, I figured!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

"Food for the screwed" LOVE IT!!!

You know a ref would stop a fight where one of the fighters is taking a beating like Rick is taking today....

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

There are certain stretches of highway out here in the Midwest where it seems like about a third of the billboards are advertising billboards. Usually on those same stretches, the other two-thirds are evenly split between ads for adult erotic toy and entertainment venues, and churches threatening eternal damnation if you frequent said venues.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Here in the UK we have ads on bus shelters which say 'Advertising Works - you're reading this!' I make a point of deliberatly not reading the details of the advertising company it is advertising.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Salman Rushdie, that novelist all the Muslims in the world were commanded to kill some years back (I think they're technically still supposed to be looking for him, but mostly they've let it slide), worked in the ad industry before he wrote novels and became uncomfortably famous. "Milk - it's wicked!" That was one of his. Also, "Aero - irresistabubble!" (Aero is a UK candy bar containing bubbles.) You get the idea.

Anyway, I wondered if this could possibly in some way foreshadow either Cartoon Rick or Real Rick\s as yet unpublished novel, and the effect it will have on one of the world's larger religions? Maybe it's about a professor of musicology who listens to all Elvis' records backwards, and figures out that Elvis was Jesus all along, but he never let on because of what happened last time.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE. L. Wisty

Google "Psyop Anthem" to see the most awesome advertisement for advertising ever.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

I have a billboard near my house that says "LOOK!" in massive letters, then underneath it said "Your customers do! Advertise here, call #####"

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelix Janeway

I read this while eating ramen noodles. For breakfast.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Censorship in advertising is a funny thing. It's okay to advertise a pill that helps give you an erection on tv, you just can't talk about on tv what you're going to do with the erection once you get it. The advertising cracks me up. "Finally I've got an erection, now I can go for a walk on the beach with my partner! I can wear a sweater around my neck!!"

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Rick needs male enhancement? That's actually not so embarrassing, since it implies that the point isn't moot.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

I worked in an advertising company. They were always doing teasers for new company programs and some other frivolous ad work. It turned out that, for the most part, they were pretty creative but had no follow through. I remember a particularly aggressive bit of advertising plastered all over the buildiing months in advance about the unveiling of some massive event on November 8th... the day came and went with nothing, and I eventually found someone who knew the story. It was some kind of incentive program that they abandoned.

We also had posters everywhere dummy-advertising movies that didn't exist, mostly tongue-in-cheek like Rocky 8. All-in-all, a lot of it was pretty fun, but to keep advertisers focused on anything for more than a few days was a challenge. Someone outside of the company always had to carry the torch and do all the drudgery...

Also, the company was filled with the most attractive people I've ever worked with. Everyone was pretty good looking. More women than anywhere I've ever worked, too. Attention span of a cat, the lot of them.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

The comic is hilarious...poor, poor Rick makes me feel better about me.
The comments are enlightening (@ Giacomo; Pascal's Wager) and add to the hilarity (@Kate, "...eternal damnation if you frequent said venues....").

This site cheers me up, even on my Rick days. Thank you Scott, and the rest of you as well!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeardo

I would SO hire Ad-Co based on that ad.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaa

After RAID comments... for the first time, after 2 years as a regular that I found another reader from Brazil.
Despite that I have a BI callendar at my workdesk, at least now I do not feel like a alien anymore.

By the way Scott, this BI is pure gold!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmorim

This cartoon contains brilliant ideas.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

Some years ago I processed (for my library) a regularly-published directory of ad agencies. The advertisements the agencies put in for themselves were brilliant!

But enough about that and more about Rick. I know Cartoon Rick isn't married, but what about the real Rick? I think I could make him very happy ... but then would he reject me, just like how Groucho Marx wouldn't belong to any club that would have him?

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDreamLibrarian

advertising agencies advertising themselves is actually more common than you'd think. Some of the ads are... surreal in more ways then you'd initially expect from the premise.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbobo

Agreed, this is one of the very few sites where I genuinely enjoy reading the comments for reasons other than wanting to feel better about my own intelligence.

And Jason, don't forget-- once you get that erection, you can also sit in an old bathtub in the grass overlooking a cliff, next to your partner who is drinking in the next bathtub over. Of course, if you want to get a little... dirty... you could always go out in the backyard and throw a football through a tire swing.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Enough about advertising...did you get to meet Peter Jackson at Comic Con and does he read your comic strip?

(Although he might not get a lot of them since he probably gets to pick most of his coworkers.)

Note from Scott: I met a LOT of cartoonists, many of whom I've respected for quite some time. I didn't get to meet anyone "conventionally famous" but that's down poor planning and to me being busy.

I got to see the Venture Brothers panel though, which is awesome! And I've decided that Sergio Aragonés is my hero.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette

PLEASE tell me there are "Ramen Noodles: Food For The Screwed" t-shirts forthcoming.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergbeenie

"Your ad here.".

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

For some reason this comic isn't showing up (I'm trawling through the backlog). I hope it reappears, I've often been annoyed at billboards advertising themselves. They're just advertising that they are ineffective at advertising - if they were effective they wouldn't still be advertising that they need someone to advertise on them ...

That word looks funny now (and no it doesn't need a Z).

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeka

The comic is missing for me, too. Which is a shame, as I had fallen out of keeping up with this comic and have been trying to catch up, so I never saw it in the first place. I really hope this one will be up again soon!

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

http://basicinstructions.net/storage/2012-07-17-ads.gif
Here's a link to the comic image, in case anyone else crawling the archive happens to read all the comments. I'm not sure why it's not showing on this page.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArchive Crawler

Odd... it showed up when I visited the site from a different computer at a different location, but it's still not showing up when I visit on this computer.

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArchive Crawler

If you don't see the comic, you probably have AdBlock running and not white-listing the site. I just tried it, and AdBlock default settings block this comic.

November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCunso

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