LeAnn Wilson McGuire Writing her Right Brain column

Right Brain

by LeAnn Wilson McGuire

We just experienced the first spring cleaning in our offices since we moved here in 2005. We purged files, recycled paper, sold furniture and basically rid ourselves of every single thing we don’t need. From furniture to computers to office space.

It’s been cleansing . . . but it was also harder than I thought it was going to be.

I felt a little like I was washing away my past – erasing all evidence of the work I’ve done. However, in revisiting everything we’ve done, I was reminded of all there is to do.

I’m not exactly a “hoarder.” I’ve seen that show on A&E. I don’t keep every sentimental thing. (Just ask my kids.) But I have apparently managed to keep almost every piece of advertising I’ve created since I was an intern in college . . .

 

Until now.

 

I threw away ads created before plastic bags were in grocery stores.

I threw away ads created when cassettes and CDs were hot.

I threw away ads that pre-dated the cell phone.

I threw away ads that asked you to call and talk to an actual human being.

I threw away ads created before the world wide web.

And before social media ever existed.

I threw away cassette tapes, VHS tapes, Betas, even an amberlith or two . . . (admit it, some of you know what those are.)

And the clients:

I threw away newspaper ads, magazine ads, direct mail pieces, annual reports, collateral, radio spots, TV spots, in-store promos and outdoor boards from clients all over the place: AmSouth Bank; Books-A-Million; Parisian; University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB); Boy Scouts of America; Breckenridge, Colorado; CaddieMaster; Cardiovascular Associates; DuPont Air and Water Filtration; Loft Seed; The Golf Channel; Southern Natural Gas; Mt. Washington Resort at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; the Virginia Peninsula Economic Development Council; UAB Hospital; Greystone Golf & Country Club; Imperial Headwear; Club Car; Golf Pride; Softspikes; Golden Flake; Hanes Brands; Prestonwood Country Club; Thomas Built Bus; St. Joseph of the Pines Health System; Stanley Furniture; Pinehurst Resort and every U.S. Open Championship from 2010 to 2016.

And photography:

We used to come up with an idea and hire a photographer to shoot it. Every. Time. These days, nobody wants to pay for photography. Even fewer want to pay for models and usage rights. So agencies don’t shoot as often. We usually use stock photography. Or, worse yet, clients shoot it themselves ­– sometimes on their cell phones. Aaaaarrrrrgggg.

While all this purging has made me nostalgic, I’m not yearning for yesteryear. I love the instant gratification offered by digital advertising and social media. No matter what the medium, the message and what we learn from it will always prevail. Advertising is about making people feel something for the brand — in the 80s, the 90s and in the days to come. From traditional print and broadcast media to digital and social media, your messaging should engage and inspire your audience. If it doesn’t, perhaps you should do some spring cleaning of your own.

Tomorrow, more than 85 banker boxes and 10 large garbage bags from WilsonMcGuire Creative will be off to the shredder . . . never to be seen again. But they’ll be forever in my memory. . . and, of course, on the cloud.