strategic storytelling and copywriting

Decluttering Your Advertising

We have reached a tipping point after being constantly bombarded with emails, texts, news, and information buzzing our phones, computers, and TVs. We, as consumers, are spread as thin as ever when it comes to paying attention. It is hard for one to concentrate with all this visual and audible clutter. In the era of the Marie Kondo method of decluttering our homes, we also need to declutter our advertising so that the viewer pays attention.

As a designer, it is my job to coach clients to be part of the decluttering solution. A consumer can be dissuaded to do business with a company based upon their advertising. When a message is too loud, wordy, busy, and confusing, a potential customer will walk away. People don’t have time to figure out what you’re trying to say, so it needs to be concise.

Step 1: Clear Content

Consumers want to know information fast. You are competing for their time, battling against all the other noise. Tell them who you are, what you stand for, and how you can you make their lives easier. Your messaging must have direction to entice the potential buyer.


Step 2: Less Talk

I find a lot of clients feel compelled to over-explain. Hiring a copywriter can help you create clear and concise messaging. Consumers don’t want to get into the minutia of your product; they want the basics and will seek out more information if it applies to them. Simplify your message by presenting the problem and the solution as briefly as possible. You want to give the consumer direction to gather more information from your website. Clients and potential buyers today are resourceful—they will find you if they’re interested.

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Step 3: Bold Design

Fortunately for advertisers, good design doesn’t always mean expensive design. Marketers don’t need to break the bank on photography. All it means is that your advertising needs to be visually interesting. If a photo is applicable and striking, by all means, use it. But, do not underestimate the strength of simple typography and the importance of white space, as it can provide the break in the noise that consumers need. With graphic use of color, line, text, and shape, you can create a stunning design that is more than affordable.

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When you tie clear messaging together with bold design, you present your customer the most concise, decluttered version of your company. It will attract and keep clientele, which is the big goal for any advertising campaign.

Addie Mirabella is the owner of Mirabella Design Studio.

The Importance of Storytelling

I love a good story. From before-and-after tales to business fables, I am fond of a good yarn. And when a story tells of a life-changing moment that happens because of a struggle, I am all ears. Add to it that a story has a bit of someone’s inspirational personal history, I can’t get enough.

The scene for our story? A sunny afternoon at Cured, a lovingly restored restaurant in San Antonio’s Pearl district. Once the Administration Building of the Pearl Brewery, it’s now a dining hotspot created by Chef Steve McHugh. A repeat James Beard Award finalist, Chef McHugh and his team have created a welcoming environment to enjoy charcuterie and a tasty wine list, which top an interesting menu.

But no, this is not a restaurant review. It’s a story about how someone’s history made our own experience even sweeter. From the moment our group of four walked into Cured, we were skillfully taken care of by a cheerful sommelier and unobtrusive server. We were delighted to have an impromptu tour—from the brewery’s safe to the original early 1900s fixtures to a printed description of the restoration.

Rustic ceiling at Cured, San Antonio

Rustic ceiling at Cured, San Antonio

Our somm friend sent over a taste of rosé when he noticed that we were celebrating an engagement among us. While we sipped this treat, he told us Chef McHugh’s story. Based in New Orleans, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and determined that the medical centers in the River City would be his best option. He soon moved to Texas.

We learned that Chef McHugh opened Luke, John Besh’s first restaurant outside of New Orleans. Our informative sommelier shared that concurrently, Chef McHugh went through rounds of treatment. Soon, he had plans to open a restaurant of his own in the Pearl. After his doctor indicated that he showed signs of remission, McHugh was inspired to rename his restaurant Cured, as this was the first time he felt like he would be.

This experience underlines the importance storytelling has on all of us. Whether it be a powerful award-winning movie or a rags-to-riches fable, telling a compelling story is an essential human trait. Done well, it can be at the cornerstone of an organization’s brand or a shared history. Cured has incredible cured meats, a charming staff, and a lovely space. But it’s the story that makes Cured stand out…a beautiful story that weaves a tale of triumph, inspiration, and being cured.

Menu of Services: May I Take Your Order?

Several of our clients have asked for a full menu of services. As a marketer, I’ve done everything from full campaign creation and execution to more specific project deliverables. For many clients, the added benefit of having a strategic marketing communications partner comes from the breadth of services we offer. We can either enhance your current team with high-level strategy and expertise…or fill in some gaps with our robust offerings detailed below.

Strategic marketing planning: What are your marketing objectives? This high-level planning helps outline deliverables, target audiences, specific channels, and desired outcomes.

Campaign creation and execution: Have an upcoming launch or effort that could use some extra love? We support full campaigns from creation to execution and can be your partner in throughout this process.

Brand identification and management: Does your perceived brand match the value proposition to your audience? We do brand work to streamline your “5 Ws”—Who, What, When, Where, and Why—into a compelling brand with an ongoing strategy into how to communicate it.

Strategic storytelling and copywriting: Need a writer who understands your story, as well as how to best present it? We’ve been told this is one of the best values we offer clients to best position their messaging in a compelling and articulate way.

Traditional marketing activities: Remember Marketing 101? We do and still like a good old-school (and appropriately-positioned) marketing piece when the mood hits. This includes content for press releases, direct mail pieces, brochures, articles, white papers, magazines, newsletters, postcards, testimonials, etc.

Digital marketing strategies: Do you tell a cohesive story about your brand across all digital channels? We can assist with messaging for web, social media channels, video scripting, mobile, e-blasts, etc. and offer full editorial calendar planning and digital posting services.

Event planning and management: Got a hot date on your calendar? We’ve planned happenings like sales meetings and customer appreciation nights, as well as done event marketing for fundraisers that brought in over $500,000.  

Analytics and reporting: Is there proof in the pudding? We believe it and can provide monthly analytics and reporting for stats like website traffic and social media channels.

All things to all people: Did we catch your attention? While we’d love to be able to do it all, we offer light website development/management and simple social media graphic design. We also have strategic partnerships with promotional product companies and talented webmasters and graphic designers.

Have a need not mentioned above? We can help you navigate the marketing landscape or even make a recommendation of a partner that can meet your needs. We like to think that we live our brand: bubbly, energetic, and full of ideas to help you meet your marketing and communications objectives.