For the "Masterpieces" campaign I selected and featured some of my own personal A. Aubrey Bodine favorites. A. Aubrey Bodine was an award-winning Baltimore Sun photographer who's name is known by many in Maryland. These ads were meant to appeal to those looking for local artwork as decor. -ZJD
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
My focus for this holiday campaign was on showcasing the value of a one-of-a-kind original print photo as a collectors item. These ads show crop-marks, and for the first time the backs of the photos which include the photo subject, card catalogue index number, the date published, the photographer's stamp, photographer's notes, the caption and the unique eight-character barcode ID it was assigned for the digitization and archiving process.
Purchasing an original print was not the only way to purchase a photo. Customers did have the ability to purchase reprints, but reprints did not include any of the unique information on the back of the photo that a collector would cherish. -ZJD
As photo requests continued to pour into my office I began to feel a real connection to our audience. Those customers who called to place photo requests started sharing with me the stories behind the photos. For the first time I understood the nostalgic feelings these photos commanded and how our ads could inspire, for many, an exciting walk down memory lane.
One story that immediately stands out in my mind was about a Baltimore Colts cheerleader. One morning a woman called and requested a reprint of her riding 'Dixie' the Baltimore Colts mascot. She also shared with me the times she and the other cheerleaders practiced their routine in Druid Hill Park and how they had to purchase their own clothes and supplies to construct pompoms and posters for the games. This woman turned out to be Carolyn Clark, the first female mascot in a professional football league and one of the first Colts cheerleaders. What an amazing experience. I just spoke with someone rooted in Baltimore history. Ms. Clark would not be the last. Over the five-years I worked with photo collectibles, reproductions and licenses I spoke with countless people of note. One was the daughter of the man who invented the first metallic replacement hip!
So in my next campaign for Baltimore Sun I continued pushing this feeling of nostalgia into the local marketplace and promoted the Sun Store as THE place to find photos of yourself, your friends or your family. These ads were meant to promote community. You didn't need to be a celebrity to have your picture taken with the chance of being featured in the daily news. A baker, a zoo-keeper or even a young boy and his dog 'Frosty' had the chance for their time in the spotlight.
In closing, I must credit my supervisor, Timothy Thomas, for developing the great tag line we used, "The Past Makes a Great Present." -ZJD
Out of "Own The Moment" came our next campaign "See! I told you I used to be an athlete." Over time we found that most photo reprint requests were not for subjects like: streetcars, tug boats, Maryland landscapes, Baltimore Harbor, horse racing or the Chesapeake Bay. There is a licensing need and there are collectors for this type of subject matter, but most customers are simply interested in photos of themselves, their family members and their friends.
During this campaign I had people calling me and asking me to use their image in an ad. Sometimes they would provide the photographer's name, date published or caption, but most times I had to search for them, in the digital archives, with only minimal details. But these conversations would more times than not lead to a sale.
I wanted to appeal to the demand of our customers so this campaign focused on individual subject matter. Here are 9 of the 17 ads from this campaign.
I've taken you through my final projects and my final marketing campaigns with The Baltimore Sun, but now I'm jumping back to my first. Let's go back to the photo digitization project of 2010.
Having an entire archive of nearly 1-million digitized photos at its disposal, The Baltimore Sun wanted to get into the photo collectibles, reprints and licensing markets. We built the first campaign 'Own The Moment' around iconic local moments from its photo archives to grab the market's attention. Here are six of the 17 ads we used. -ZJD
Campaign Duration: June 2010 - December 2010
I followed the format of my initial marketing campaign going into the holiday months. Only one thing changed. I added a red Santa cap on the head of each individual's portrait. This addition was simple enough, clean enough and conveyed my point. I didn't want to clutter the ad with a bunch of additional holiday non-sense.
The two print campaigns for "Man In The Street" ran from September 2014 to December 2015 and generated $75k in sales for The Baltimore Sun. -ZJD
The following "Man In The Street" print campaign ran from September to November 2014. For this campaign I selected portraits of a few individuals discussed in the book. I made sure these portraits were in the public domain so we would avoid any copyright violations. I paired these portraits with a Baltimore Sun photo of the street that Baltimore City named after them. And lastly, I offered a brief explanation of who that individual was, the significance of the background image and a summary of the book. -ZJD
While "Written Under Fire" was switching hands between both designer and proofreader I began contemplating subject matter for my second book. Fortunately, I didn't have to go far. Paul McCardell, the very knowledgeable Baltimore Sun librarian, approached me and described an idea for a second text-heavy book. The series was called 'Man In the Street.' A number Baltimore Sun journalists contributed to this interesting series which regularly ran in The Sunday Sun from 1949 to 1954. 'Man In the Street' focused on the individuals behind the most popular Baltimore street names and why they were bestowed such an honor. Fait avenue for example:
"Thanks to William Fait, Baltimoreans of the 1890s enjoyed softshell crabs in the dead of winter and oyster stew in
the heat of summer. So for that matter, did the citizens of Chicago, Kansas City and Denver. [ . . . ] It was William's
business and political activities, together, that prompted the City Council to change the name of the eastern part
of Lancaster street to Fait avenue." (Dixon 41)
Again, all of the content used in this book was repurposed from the microfilm (which needed to be retyped) and the Digital Fortress photo archives. Instead of a timeline narrative I organized the book alphabetically. When completed we had a 154-page book.
The book was positively reviewed in the American Name Society's March 2015 publication 'Names: A Journal of Onomastics.' Dr. Bob Hieronimus' at WCBM 680 and Dan Rodricks at WYPR 88.1 invited me to speak about the book during their entire hour-long slot. Unfortunately, at the time of my layoff I had only spoken on Dr. Bob Hieronimus' show.
"Man In The Street" was grossly successful, generating $75k in four months for The Baltimore Sun. Combine this new revenue with the $65k from "Written Under Fire" and we replicated and improved upon the successes of "Days Remembered!" We found the right formula in 2014 by digging for rich text-heavy content our market found interesting. I'd love to know how well both of my books continue to sell in 2015. -ZJD