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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:
We are a small-business tech support firm located in Santa Barbara, California. We provide full-service networking and computer services to companies with 1-20 pcs that dont have a full-time IT staff. Founded in 2003, it is time for our website to have its first major overhaul. When we started, we were split 50/50 between residential and small business. Now, although we service a good deal of home clients, we have shifted our marketing focus to small biz.
HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:
We have taken our company to the next level, focusing more on small businesses than residential clients. Our techs are a cut above, more professional while also being more personable. We need to design a newspaper ad which reflects this. The primary purpose of the ad is to convey our services, but we'd also like it to stand out on the page, and be effective at branding our company. We're also offering a free hour to all new business clients. It might be nice to have this as part of the ad to help it stand out. Whether it's just a portion of the add, like a banner or star, or whether the entire ad is a big coupon (see example2.pdf), is up to your design. It's important that anybody who glances at the ad immediately recognizes what it is that we do. We have two ad size choices, 3.833"x6.25", or 5.833"x4.08". We're probably leaning more towards the second, wider size, but we are open to either size if it fits your design better.
Simultaneously, we will be running banner ads on the newspaper's site, and we'd like these banners to have a similar look and feel. Like the print ad, they should be clean, simple and to the point, while still looking professional. The print ad should be the primary focus of this project, but seeing as how they are so closely tied, we figured we'd request them as a package. If we're not happy with the banner portion, we may just start a new project for the banners.
The banner can be three images that animate through. You can go to www.independent.com to get some examples, and see the attached examplebanner.jpg. The banner sizes we need are a full banner (468x60) as seen above most articles, and a vertical banner (120x240), as seen to the right of most articles.
As for our companies other design work, please see our old site at www.techease.com as well as our soon-to-be-launched site at www.techease.ameravant2.com. I've also attached our current yellow page ad (yp.pdf), as well as what our current vehicle wrap looks like (vehicle.jpg, vehicle.pdf), and our mousepad design (mouse.pdf).
OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:
Business owners, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Executive Directors, and Administrators of micro to small businesses tasked with finding tech support. We specialize in non-profits and start-ups. We want customers to understand that nobody else in our town focuses on the special needs of small businesses and startups. Our competition is either residential focused, meaning not trained for business needs, or corporate focused, meaning lacking personal touch, responsiveness and awareness of tight budgets.
WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:
We generally like designs that are very simple and to the point. In a newspaper, which has a sea of text, we feel a successful ad should limit the number of words. I've attached our yellow page ad, which we feel does a great job, but is a bit dated, and better for yellow pages then for a newspaper. We're looking for an updated look, which captures some of the same elements of our other recent designs. Attached are some scans of ads we found to be clean and easy to read.
Example1.pdf: I really like MacMechanic's ads. They are clean, and to the point. The white text on black background really helps the ad stand out on the page. We'd probably need to give a little more info on what we do. MacMechanic will often use that same template, and just change the sentence under the apple logo. This gives them a rather versatile ad, which they can easily change from week to week when they want to convey a different message. The second ad on that page isn't bad either. It's clean, and does a nice job at using contrasting elements. We have a good relationship with MacMechanic, and definitely dont want them to feel like we ripped off their ad, so if your design uses white text on a black background, make sure it is fairly unique.
Example2.pdf: The first two ads are effective. I like how the first ad is a big coupon. That may tie in well with us offering a free hour to all new business clients. The second ad isn't great, but uses contrasting elements, and conveys what they do without using too much text. The third ad is awful, and is an example of what we don't want. Too much text, and strange font choices make this one hard to read.
Example3.pdf and example4.pdf: I like 3 better than 4, but both are good examples of using contrasting elements.
Exampleyp.pdf: This is actually one of our competitor's yellow page ads. While I think it makes for only an OK yellow page ad, I think it is a great print ad. It is quick, and to the point, and the image helps to draw you in. I could see using something similar. Maybe with the tag "Need Computer Support?", or our tagline "Tech Support Made Easy." Later followed with a mention of our free hour. We do not want to copy their design however, so if you plan on going this route, it needs to be unique.
WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:
We do not want a bunch of text in the ad. Any text should be strategically used, and kept to a minimum. We obviously still need to convey the services we offer, so the winning design will be the one capable of conveying what we do, yet keeping it clean and simple.
Examplebad.pdf: These two are not terrible, but with so much black text on a white background, they seem to just get lost in the shuffle. They certainly don't grab you.
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