Angel Investors and Sourcing the Creative Entrepreneur

rachael-gorjestani-282049-unsplashPhoto by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

The myth of the starving artist is beginning to dissolve. Artists are often stereotyped as bad with numbers, fickle, full of lofty ideas, and even depressed outliers in their community. In fact, some artists intentionally embody these characteristics for fear of  being stereotyped as a sellout. Honestly, it’s a catch 22 that dampens many creative ventures that have potential to be profitable. However, it wasn’t so very long ago that artists and creative entrepreneurs were funded in their endeavors by patrons and sponsors who believed in their work. Without patrons we would not have the Sistine Chapel,  or the robust history of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, which was owned by actors who were shareholders in The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

The idea of a patron brings up pious images of Renaissance artists, but today, there is a new kind of patron that often targets ventures in the creative industries: Angel Investors. Before Michelangelo pops back in to mind, think of  an angel investor as a secular, business-minded person with a keen interest in the value of creativity in the economy. The creative economy encompasses a broad range of activities and businesses, from theater and film to architecture and museums, but one thing that helps define this term is the how this economic sector relies on human creativity to generate wealth.

If you are a lonely artist, struggling with numbers, and feeling depressed that your art has yet to fully support your lifestyle, do not dismay. First, that would further progress the artist’s stereotype. Second, you might be surprised by the financial support of an angel investor if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and push your work into the “sellout” zone…as in selling all your artwork! Thomas Kinkade was often considered a sellout for monetizing his artwork and galleries. We need not discuss the artist’s contribution to the timeline of art history, but he treated his art as a business endeavor to great financial success.

There’s been million-seller books and million-seller CDs,” Kinkade explained. “But there hasn’t been, until now, million-seller art. We have found a way to bring to millions of people, an art that they can understand.”

The question I have in mind while reading Winning Angels: The 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing, is how can creative entrepreneurs attract angel investors? With the dynamic growth of crafters, artisans, and independent artists, it is important to think big when envisioning the future of our creative work, not only to increase profit for Me, Inc., but in hopes of attracting investors who will see the potential economic impact of the work. Attracting these kinds of investors requires the creative entrepreneur to step outside the artist stereotype, and shed the so-called sell-out stigma of making profitable work.A measure of due diligence is expected from both parties. The investor is looking for a solid business plan, a strong entrepreneur, and the potential of the endeavor to create profit. Therefore, it is imperative that creative entrepreneurs present their idea strongly from various angles. Crunch your numbers. Practice your pitch. Define your vision. Show the investor that you mean business!

Given the various ways angel investors approach sourcing their investment options, it is in the creative entrepreneur’s best interest to build networks with influential people. Angel investors often prefer word of mouth referrals. They play the game of who knows who, so make an effort to meet your area’s who’s who and make friends. There are, in fact, angel investors who specialize in certain kinds of investments; one specialty is the creative industries, which encompass all manner of arts-lead endeavors, including non-profit. A quick internet search can reveal matchmakers for entrepreneurs and investors in your area.

And finally, don’t be shy about spreading your gospel! Ask for interviews and introductions. Speak with a lawyer, banker, or copywriter who can review your presentation materials. E-mail the guest speaker, the book author, or the blogger that speaks your language. Don’t be afraid to tell them where you want to go with your work. If you are a good fit for their skills and interests, angel investors are ready and willing to offer their financial support, but they cannot do so if they have never heard of you! Being authentic in your networking endeavors will ensure what they hear is all positive!

 

 

 

Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Outdoor Ads No. 1-5

Outdoor Ads are located at The Obie Awards Website

Makers Mark Outdoor ad

 

Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Magazines No. 1-5

The images for this assignment were retrieved from 33 Powerful And Creative Print Ads That’ll Make You Look Twice

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MA:Discover the Full Story

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Russia, Moscow, Russia

This breathtaking ad showcases the monumental size of Russian architecture, playing with the “tip of the ice burg” analogy. The Shchusev State Museum of Architecture wants visitors to know that if they were to really take time to mine the depths of Russian architecture, they may be overwhelmed by the vastness of the country’s structures. The museum used the advertisement to showcase their exhibition and educate audiences about Russian Architecture. The target for this ad would be very broad, bringing in local, regional, and international visitors, all of whom have yet to “discover the full story” about the architecture of Russia. The ad wants the viewer to attend their exhibition to learn about Russian Architecture, and perhaps go out into the city of Moscow to use their newfound information to admire the city’s architectural gems. The value proposition is in cultivating knowledge and cultural pride in the city’s architecture both near and afar. The ad does an outstanding job of drawing a viewer in with awe and curiosity.

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Moms Demand Action: One Child Is Holding Something That’s Banned in America to Protect Them

Advertising Agency: Grey, Toronto, Canada

Obviously, the subject of violence in schools is a very sensitive subject. There was a time when the sensitive subjects in schools involved books rather than guns. Moms Demand Action is an organization working to change gun laws for the safety of school age children. This shocking advertisement is both smart and ironic, playing off the well-known childhood story of Little Red Riding Hood, which was banned in public schools for the bottle of wine in her basket. The ad questions why the obvious danger, an assault rifle, is not also banned. The objective of the campaign is to educate viewers about other ways we have protected our children in the past, and bringing to light the need for change in American gun laws. The effectiveness of these ads will be seen during voting time frames across the country. The target market is most certainly parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and other professions that work with school age children. The ad wants the viewer to visit momsdemandaction.org to support their movement to ban weapons in schools. The value proposition is the safety and security of our most valued possession, the lives and future of our children.

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Oogmerk: Get the Respect You Deserve

Advertising Agency: LG&F, Brussels, Belgium

Oogmerk is a Belgian eye glass company and their humorous ad campaign, Get the Respect You Deserve, plays on the concept that glasses help you see, but a good pair of glasses also frame how others see you. A man in a red-stained white t-shirt might be perceived as a butcher, but with the addition of glasses, he becomes an artist. The objective of the ad is for Oogmerk to sell more glasses, and the target market is a full range of people who need and wear glasses, perhaps even a few who don’t actually need glasses but want a certain look. The ad wants viewers to discover Oogmerk Optician’s brand and purchase eye care and glasses from them. The viewer benefits from using the product because he or she can now see better and also feel confident about their look. The value proposition that drives the customer to purchase their glasses at Oogmerk is a combination of fashion and necessity.

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Durex: Extra Large

Advertising Agency: The Jupiter Drawing Room, South Africa

This advertisement makes me chuckle, because like many people, I enjoy a good clean, slightly off-color joke. This bold, funny ad is for Durex Condoms, specifically the extra large ones. It shows a fallen hurdle, that presumably has been knocked over by a runner with an “extra large” penis. The objective of the campaign is to inform their target audience (men with extra large penises, specifically athletes) that Durex makes a condom that will accommodate their size. The ad wants the viewer to purchase Durex condoms, and if the action is taken, the man with the large penis will adequately protect himself and his partner during sex. The value proposition is in catering to a specific portion of condom users, by creating a condom that fits their size, making safe sex more likely and more comfortable.

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Kielo Travel: Dreaming of a Holiday?

Advertising Agency: New Moment New Ideas Company Y&R, Belgrade, Serbia

This advertisement for Kielo Travel taps into the imagination by making the rings on a binder look like a ladder for entering a pool. The ad appeals to viewers who have been dreaming of a vacation while working hard and perhaps need help deciding where to travel. I, for one, get a little wistful looking at this ad! The objective of the campaign is to increase sales for Kielo Travel. It is time specific to summer vacation or even a winter retreat to a warmer locale. The target market appears to be white collar workers who may have vacation pay in their jobs. The ad wants the viewer to engage Kielo Travel for their holiday plans. The viewer benefits from taking this action by getting package pricing, and travel details taken care of by the travel company. The value proposition lies in not having to work in order to plan a holiday. By hiring a Kielo Travel, the planning and logistics are done by the service so that the viewer can simply go enjoy themselves in the pool.

Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Newsprint No. 1-5

 

The following press ads were retrieved from

The World’s 17 Best Print Campaigns of 2013-14

The following ads are Grand Prix and Gold Lion winners from Cannes

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Client: Penguin Group China
Agency: Y&R, Beijing
Gold Lion Campaign
Penguins holding microphone booms crash scenes from literature in these ads for new Penguin audiobook versions of the classics.

The objective of this print campaign was to inform customers about a new collection of classic audiobooks. Penguin Books are well know for their strong cover illustrations. The addition of the client’s mascot, the penguin, along for the journey is playful and humorous. With audio books becoming more popular with increased mobility, the target audience is book lovers who adore the classics, but are often on the go. The ad hopes to induce these mobile listeners to purchase Penguin Classic stories and listen during their travel time. The value in adding the classics to audio selections means that listeners will feel like they have participated in a classical reading tradition without having to spend time physically reading the book. This allows listeners to multi-task, whether during a commute or just cooking dinner around the house. Penguin Books has long been known for their orange binding, a branding which signifies quality reading. Now their consumers have another way to read, and they can trust both the story and the audio will be of good quality.

 

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Client: Unilever / Omo
Agency: Lowe Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Gold Lion Campaign
Virtual fun just doesn’t stack up to getting down and dirty in the real world, according to these ads for laundry detergent, themed “Dirt is good.”

The objective of this ad is to persuade parents to encourage outdoor play, letting children get dirty, and therefore create the need for laundering dirty clothes. However, this ad has a little heart, too. Sure every kid these days has an iPad, but the learning, doing, imagining, and growing that is most important to childhood might just be outside of the screen. This ad does a wonderful job of comparing these two ways of child’s play. The target market for this ad is mothers who struggle with the choice between screen time and outdoor play. Obviously, Unilever/Omo would very much prefer mothers promote outdoor playing since it means kids get dirty and will need to have their clothes laundered, hopefully by a mom who has been swayed by their ad to use Unilever/Omo detergent. The value proposition to the customer is they will feel good about having their children get dirty outside (“Dirt is good.”) They are also prepared to wash clothes with a brand and product that supports their parenting choices.

 

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Client: McDonald’s Austria
Agency: DDB Tribal, Wien, Austria
Gold Lion Campaign
Prickly. Fragile. Explosive. Your mood in the morning can be unpredictable, but McDonald’s is there to help you through it.

This prickly cactus man made me laugh. Although I have never felt this way while hungry for breakfast, I’m pretty sure my toddlers have! The objective of this ad campaign is to offer an easy choice for breakfast to hungry, busy people. McDonald’s is a classic in fast food, and also adept in advertising. The tag-line “Leave your morning mood behind,” is written in a rather “friendly” font, especially compared to the prickly cactus man. I think when we see a McDonald’s ad, we also take in what we believe about their brand from our own history. That said, McDonald’s has to continually recreate it’s brand associations. Here, McDonald’s is promoting the availability of a fast food breakfast in hopes that their target audience (hungry, busy people who get up early) will remember that McDonald’s is more than just burgers. They hope this group of consumers will make breakfast at their chain a habit, and by eating breakfast, the consumer will be able to leave their morning mood behind, feeling satisfied and ready to face the day.

 

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Client: Jeep
Agency: Leo Burnett, Paris
Gold Lion Campaign
Jeep advertised its free-roaming ethos with images of animals which, when flipped, became different animals. “See whatever you want to see,” said the tagline.

I kept coming across this ad in my searches, and it’s simplicity really struck me. It took reading the description for me to see the optical illusion. The objective of the ad campaign is to further solidify Jeep’s reputation as a rugged, adventure vehicle. The dichotomy of visual choices and the tag-line “see whatever you want to see,” plays with the viewer’s imagination twice over. It makes a positive impact on Jeep’s brand, but it also compels the consumer to imagine owning a Jeep that can take them on an adventure. The ad wants viewers to purchase a Jeep vehicle. Although there are a fair share of adventurous women out there, the target audience is mostly men. The value proposition is that Jeep owners seem to live adventurous lives and they have purchase a rugged vehicle with which to explore the world.

 

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Client: PHD Bikes / Harley Davidson
Agency: Y&R, Prague, Czech Republic
2 Gold Lions Campaign
“During the Second World War, Czech riders dismantled their bikes and hid them amongst household objects so they wouldn’t be confiscated and used to continue fueling the Nazi war machine. These ‘parted out’ bikes became symbols of hope that one day freedom would prevail and they could be put back together to reclaim their rightful home—the open road.” These ads used that piece of historical trivia to stylish effect.

I like the story angle of this advertisement, and the tag-line “a piece of freedom” really drives the story home for me. The objective of this ad campaign was to highlight a part of motorcycle history, and educate consumers about this history in Harley-Davidson’s company. Harley drivers (and motorcyclists in general) have a persona of being outsiders, and this story should really resonate with some of the drivers and future Harley-Davidson owners. The campaign hopes by highlighting this story about Czech riders, that Czech consumers will identify with the US Harley-Davidson outsiders and the feeling of freedom while riding a motorcycle, prompting them to purchase a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The value proposition lies in creating a feeling of freedom for a citizen of a recently liberated country, while also giving them a connection to the outsider persona just by owning and driving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.