When old school becomes a new trend.

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Performance marketers hold advertising to very precise goals. It needs to grow their business. It needs to generate revenue. And, most importantly, it needs to provide a positive return on investment. But in order to do that, it needs to get noticed. And to get noticed, it needs to break through the noise and the clutter.

The technology and tools that we have in our arsenal today provide great advantages. We know what people are watching. We know what actions they are taking. We know what they are buying, and we can predict when they will buy again.

We want Millennials and Gen Z to buy our products. They represent our future. And they also make us look cool when they talk about us, or like us, or share our content. But in our quest to look hip, young, cool, and to connect with demographics that will someday have strong buying power, advertisers all start to blend together. We show up in the same, expected places. Our logos and brand visuals look similar. And our ads can often feel like all of the other ads.

So how do you get noticed and stand out? For inspiration, let’s take advantage of TBT (throwback Thursday). And remember some old school tactics that have worked for decades, and maybe we’ll realize that old can be new again. Here are a few thoughts:


An article titled “Jingles All the Way”, by Amy Kean, posted on Shots, inspired me to take this walk down memory lane. We love to laugh at jingles. And often, we are afraid to recommend them as part of our creative strategy. But they work. They get brands noticed. They can be a fun, enjoyable listen. And most importantly, they have a “catchiness” and longevity that stays with consumers to the point of purchase.

Direct Mail

When you can simply blast an email, why pay the expense to purchase a list, print a postcard, and cover postage for thousands of direct mail pieces to be delivered to individual homes? Well, because in most cases, whoever gets the mail will actually pick up the piece and look at it. Sure, many may throw it away, but in order to decide if it is junk, they will look at it first. Not to mention, with the shift to digital communication, our old-school mailboxes are a lot less cluttered these days. Direct mail was addressable advertising before the term became sexy.


People are cutting the cord, and only care about watching their favorite shows via a streaming device, right? Well, we know there is momentum behind this trend. But watching TV is still a lean-back, relaxing experience. Consumers want choice, but they also want the experience to be easy, and cheap. So ad-supported TV (or video) is not going away. While the :06 creative unit has gotten a lot of buzz and we spend a lot of time talking about a Millennial’s short attention span, longer commercial units continue to be effective. They break through the clutter. They “own” the commercial break. And if they do their job and engage the target consumer, they will motivate viewers to take an action: Go online, download an app, text for information, or maybe even pick up the phone and call.

Let us know your thoughts.
What other old-school ways do you think can still work wonders today? What should we bring back? What can help break through the clutter today, make an impact and ultimately drive more sales?

What "old school" ways can still work today