I just completed this new ad for our ALPHAGAZ pure gases, which is scheduled to run in American Laboratory in their June/July issue. Advertising, at least in North America, is something that Air Liquide hasn’t done much of in previous years. I’m not saying that trade advertising is the end-all-be-all when it comes to capturing market share, but I do believe it’s one of the reasons why our sales people encounter perspective customers who claim they never heard of Air Liquide.
Imagine that: a company with 43,000 employees in nearly 75 countries, and there are specialty gas users who have never heard of Air Liquide! Clearly THIS needs to change.
It’s the same story with most things in the promotion/marketing business: a matter of awareness. Thankfully I have tools at my avail to help with the task of creating awareness. This ad is a good example. It would have been nearly impossible, or at least cost-prohibitive to photograph high-pressure gas cylinders that were realistically adorned in animal prints. Enter PhotoShop software running on a Mac computer.
It truly is an almost magical tool. Just to give you an example, here’s the original “before” photo that my designer started with when I asked him to dress it up with animal prints. There was a time when I would have been mesmerized with the transformation, but thanks to technology (and the fact that my designers are that good), I don’t even hesitate to ask them to do what just a few years ago would have been unreasonable.
I remember getting an indignant email from a gentleman chastising me for using a stuffed Scottish terrier with blue glass eyes in our ads for Scott environmental specialty gas mixtures. Stuffed dog? I beg your pardon, but we use a PhotoShopped real deal. I wonder if I’ll receive complaints from customers about not being able to order ALPHAGAZ in designer zebra stripped or snake skin clad cylinders as shown in the ad.
Allow me to apologize up front. It’s just an awareness thing; you know, trying to get our ad noticed in the magazine. I mean, after all, studies show I only have 2 seconds to capture a reader’s attention before the page gets turned. To those who do pause long enough for an impression to sink in, please know that while the photo may be the product of my imagination, the actual product and features are quite real.