Mel Sokotch

About Shortcuts

"Shortcuts to the Obvious" is a how-to book, a blog, a seminar program, a consulting practice each aimed at delivering actionable advice on how to get more effective advertising much more efficiently.

The book opens with Murrow's timeless quote, "The obscure takes time to see, the completely obvious takes longer." Regrettably, the obvious lessons that took time to learn in the advertising business are rarely being taught. Most agencies today are too pressed for profit to do the kind of studying or training they could once afford. "Shortcuts to the Obvious" fills the gap by teaching the critical lessons that count most at each step of the way.

This second edition contains new chapters branding and positioning, and the discipline it takes to build successful brands in our increasingly cluttered media environment.

Key chapters include:

  • Successful Brands--What they are, and how to know you've got one
  • Positioning--First step, guiding light, ruthless taskmaster
  • Creative Brief--Seven questions, and how to answer them
  • Creative Exploratory--What to look for, what risks to take
  • How to pre-test advertising, without getting burned
  • How to get a great test score, and still get a great ad
  • Producing a full-up commercial--The five key issues
  • When to change ads
  • When to change campaigns
  • The elusive media threshold--How to find it
  • Ten obvious things to know about media planning and buying
  • Internet Advertising--A work in progress, but it works
  • How to get better campaign integration, less painfully
  • How to get the best from your agency, and what to pay for it
Mel Sokotch is a 30-year veteran of 3 major agencies: Ted Bates, Grey Advertising, and Foote Cone & Belding. He's led many national accounts, including: Campbell Soup, Colgate-Palmolive, Eli Lilly, Kraft, M&M/Mars, Merck, Nabisco, and Pfizer. He's written numerous articles about advertising and spoken at many industry functions. This is the second edition of his first book on the subject.

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