Meet Gordon

Gordon at St. John

I’m Gordon and I’m a writer, blogger, copywriter and brand coach. Whew!…..

It wasn’t always this way. My original intent was to be a cartoonist. Yep, Beetle Bailey, Dagwood, Peanuts, et al. I even took a cartooning correspondence course in high school, then applied to art school. They rejected me.

Not good enough, they said. What to do? I enrolled in Liberal Arts and figured I’d work it out later. Later was my freshman year. Met a dorm mate who was majoring in advertising. I thought, “Hey, that sounds cool, and still sort of creative.” So, off I went and got my BS in Advertising.

After working for a couple of newspapers selling ads, then a Promotion Director’s position, I finally landed in an ad agency. I had arrived! But hold your horses, Gordy. After three years, they lose their biggest client, which I had nothing to do with, and I’m kicked to the curb. What? But I had nothing to do with it! Tough Doo Doo, Rover!

So what to do? There are no jobs to be had. So what does smarty pants do? Opened my own shop! Am I crazy? I’d been in this business for three years and I was taking on the world. Nuts, I say! Well, I had no choice. I had to take on David Ogilvy as an equal. Here goes nothing.

Twelve years later, I’m sitting in my semi-plush office, with twelve employees reporting to me and I am the Owner, Creative Director and Copywriter for a pretty successful ad agency. That’s right, Copywriter! Where did that come from? I was never all that great in high school or college English. But this was different. This was “creative” writing. Now I didn’t have to follow all the grammatical protocol. I was writing for everyday people at the 8th. grade level. If I wanted to say ya’ll and ain’t, I could. Because that’s what people understood. And that sold. After all, that was the purpose, to sell. Plus, I had brought in some high-powered freelance copywriters to help along the way, and I learned a bunch from those guys.

But then, the bottom fell out of the market again and we lost our biggest client. We had to do something. So I merged with a larger agency, which lasted exactly two years, then back on my own, starting all over again. Now I’m writing all the copy and sometimes surprising myself.

Nine years later, the dot com crisis hits. I turn 180 degrees and start working with real estate clients, only. But I was working with great clients, having a lot of fun, doing great work and winning awards.

Then, wouldn’t you know it? Another crisis! This time, it’s the big one. Not a recession, but verging on a DEPRESSION…and I have all real estate clients! There goes the business and my financial existence. So what do I do? Get sick and almost die! Yep, hospice, 3 days to live, the whole nine yards. “Elizabeth, I’m coming home!”

Guess what! I survive! Had no right to, except that a pastor told me that if I wanted to, I could believe for it. Wouldn’t hurt. Hey, that sounds like a winner to me. I’ll do that! And it worked. Did God give me a pass? Did my positive thinking do the trick? Or did the Doctor mis-diagnose? I don’t know, but I’ll take it and see how far I can go from here. After that I had a double bypass. Piece of cake compared to hospice.

So now I figure it’s time to make the most of whatever I have left. So I’m thinking, I like this work-for-yourself idea that I’d been doing for the last 38 years. And I like the creative stuff, so writing sounded pretty good. And I had done some pretty nice writing over the years. So, here we go, I’m a copywriter.

WOW! This is fun, and offers a lot of creative expression, as they say. And, you know what? I’m finding that people don’t want to write. They don’t have time to write. And, they don’t know how to write. So, they call me. And I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the Internet, and websites, and blogging, and social media, and SEO. This is a whole new world we have with the Internet and I’m happy to say that I’m part of it. And by being so, I’m helping folks sell stuff, like I always have.

Maybe, I should end this with a cartoon. I’m working on that, Garfield.


Dramatic Moments

Investeors Riveria ad
A crucial step in making a name for your company, or becoming a Category of One company, after clearly defining your brand, is presenting your story to your market. We are all exposed to thousands of promotional messages every day and to cut through all of that clutter, your message must get attention and be presented with impact and drama. You have to deliver with Dramatic Moments. This is the result of all of the consumer interviews, benefit testing, strategy statements, product evaluations, and position statements. Drama without a reason to buy is worthless. But, my approach is to give them a reason to buy based on your tiebreaker, or Dominant Value Point, and knock their socks off in the process. I work with all agencies and designers, even yours, to get the best Dramatic Moments possible. The most effective campaigns are built through a collaborative effort between the creative team and the media planners. I work in conjunction with all these folks to decide what the size and length should be; whether to include radio, outdoor, TV, mobile or Internet advertising; balancing frequency and impact with an eye to the budget and a profitable ROI. In time, it all comes together to cover the market, minds and emotions of those falling within the geographic and demographic targets. That’s how Category of One companies are made and how results are achieved.


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