Cubby Marcus - Advertising Copywriter. Marketing plans that really work: Positioning Cubby Marcus, Copywriter

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Delrina PerForm electronic forms software.

The challenge: launch a new brand of electronic forms software with far less money than the big American IT advertisers and break through the clutter in the computer magazines. The solution: personify what PerForm could do to take a businessperson beyond his known limits. Stay away from same-old/same-old dominant screen shots. Result: Not just sales. The market believed Delrina was spending far more than it was. Down the road, Symantec bought the company.

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• ThreeH Furniture Systems - looking big, looking different
This medium-size northern Ontario office furniture systems manufacturer competes with the giants of the industry. Its products have one big competitive advantage. ThreeH’s computerized operations can fill a furniture order to the inch. No empty spaces. No waste. I wrote the copy and masterminded the brochure’s art direction and photography. The package tied old-world hand craftsmanship to modern technology and glamorized the product. It gave dealers a solid selling tool. The client saw a 50% volume gain a short time later – but I wouldn’t dream of claiming the credit.

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• Metcraft PowerSoak sinks cut pot-washing labor up to 2/3
Too many companies go to trade shows with no focus other than “Here are my products. Give me your business card.” I treat trade show exhibits as a powerful medium of persuasion. Take PowerSoak sinks - whirlpool tubs for washing pots and pans in commercial installations. My brilliant exhibit designer and I visually and verbally demonstrated that “PowerSoak cuts pot-washing labor up to 2/3”. A clear benefit, mounted sixteen feet high, with a 16-foot visual comparison of pots before and after PowerSoak cleaning. We designed the exhibit in modules. For four years, our PowerSoak exhibit brought orders for trial installations to PowerSoak. A lot better than business cards!

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• IBM ResponsePro – internal tracking of customer problems
IBM Canada set up an internal process to pick up customer problems, find the owner and get a resolution as quickly as possible. It had to be sold internally, from the first-contact phone people through the sales force. I created a rescue dog, so speedy he wore running shoes and a racing number. I named the service “ResponsePro”. I made a poster. Result: the IBMers loved it. Positive motivation to make the system work! Clients who saw it clamored for a copy. More positive motivation for IBMers to believe in ResponsePro!

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• IBM “C” language - a unique personality for a commodity
There were competitive reasons for IBM Canada to develop its own “C” programming language. But no competitive benefits. So I made IBM’s offering feel better than other “C” languages. A rainbow rotated 90 degrees not only looked like a “C”, its bands contained every platform on which the language worked. The line promised to “change your perspective on application development”. Without saying it, there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I made the ordinary extraordinary with a simple picture and just a few words.

• William M. Mercer Limited - positioning pension and benefits consultants
Mercer's underlying drive: To methodically and continuously innovate in its disciplines, services and products. As the corporate brochure I wrote says, “Real advances in the way things are done are driven not only by people’s restlessness. Many of them are stimulated by newly perceived needs. They are engraved in our history, notch by notch, as significant moves forward.” I tied the Mercer story to the history of the wheel: “From the moment the first one turned, it has been the subject of continuing ingenuity.” Reinventing the wheel – contrary to the folklore - has been one of man’s great ideas. It made for a corporate brochure that didn’t languish in a storage room.

• Hickling-Johnston Limited: small-time consultant plays in the big time
At the time, HJL was a small player among management consulting firms. It wanted to market the advantages of small size – clients work with the principals – but claim the professionalism of the big players. I found a way to do it and enable prospects to have a little fun. I asked the principals to write essays about critical subjects, reworked them for style and sent them up with New Yorker-type cartoons. The self-deprecating tone of the cartoons enhanced the credibility of the serious essays. Result: HJL was asked to bid for blue-chip business previously inaccessible to the firm. Eventually William M. Mercer Limited bought HJL.

• Tippet-Richardson Limited – international moving, unique positioning
The client needed an impressive corporate brochure to take to a conference of international movers in Athens. It had to rebuild its position as the leading Canadian receiving agent for international movers. I enhanced its story of systems improvements by tying them to uniquely Canadian innovations in moving things – from the native people’s travois to Alexander Graham Bell’s hydrofoil, to the bush plane and the Canadarm. Published in four languages, with the cover title, “Tippet-Richardson: We come from a long line of innovative movers”, the brochure became a convention hit, so much so it was almost reprinted.

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• C&C Yachts – ads that led the industry

Sadly, this world-beating Canadian manufacturer of high-performance yachts is no longer. But the ads I wrote left a large wake in yacht advertising. They were rich in the detail that enthralls enthusiasts, with exquisite technical achievements turned into sensory experience. My art director didn’t just photograph exteriors and interiors as objects. He peopled and propped them as one would a TV commercial. C&C Yachts dominated the yachting publications in which they appeared.

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• Grand Touring Automobiles – introducing a new Jaguar dealership

How would I do hard-hitting retail advertising for a luxury car dealership? It’s all a matter of positioning. For Grand Touring in Toronto, I borrowed the Jaguar Growler – the snarling Jaguar emblem. I used the language a prospective buyer wants to hear – “Let’s cut to the chase” – and made it Grand Touring’s property by mating it to the Growler. There was a visual and verbal double play – the predatory animal and the desire to deal, expressed with style. It wasn’t long before Grand Touring became Canada’s leading volume Jaguar dealer.

• Baan – attracting heavy hitters among auto industry suppliers

The Baan Company was a leading player in enterprise resource management software. It planned a one-day seminar in Dearborn, Michigan, to launch its auto sector solution. The target audience: Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers to the car makers. I looked at the transformation the industry was undergoing, such as the dramatic reduction of supply sources and the “partnering” the auto makers were demanding, and wrote the theme that brought them in: “Relationship Manufacturing”. It was a spin off “relationship marketing” but an entirely new expression in the manufacturing sector. In a post-seminar survey, keynote speaker David Cole, one of the outstanding figures in the industry, was the No. 1 “reason I attended”. My theme was the No. 2 reason.

• DiverseyLever – worldwide positioning – industrial hygiene
The client ran a world center for collateral material in Toronto. I researched, wrote and designed the graphic communication of a number of highly technical industrial hygiene brochures for potential use by the client’s regional divisions. Each piece had to do two jobs: first, train the sales force and second, be an effective presentation leave-behind for customers and prospects.

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The Moving Hand Creative Enterprises Inc. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Copywriting, Creative Direction, Branding and production services. Cubby Marcus Copywriter.
Advertising Copywriter. The Moving Hand - Copywriting that improves sales and launches brands.
We'll help you develop and execute a marketing plan that really works. Work with international
advertising agencies on everything from direct mail to award winning television campaigns.

About The Moving Hand | Cubby Marcus | sales improved | Brands launched | Positioning | What clients say
Copywriting services | Rates | No-obligation quote | Contact me