Sat, March 02, 2024

Some Things Never Change

When I started my career in advertising here in Augusta, developing a comprehensive media plan was relatively easy. You could choose from three local broadcast TV stations (WJBF-TV, WRDW-TV, or WAGT-TV) and the four leading radio stations (WBBQ, WGUS, FOXY Radio, or WZZW). And if you wanted to advertise in the local newspaper, you basically had one clear choice—the mighty Augusta Chronicle.

Today, the media landscape is bewildering to behold. We now have four local broadcast TV stations (the original three plus FOX 54), a myriad of cable and satellite viewing options, and a plethora of “niche” broadcast radio stations and streaming options. The once-dominant Augusta Chronicle is but a shell of its former self and there are smaller, targeted publishers (Augusta Business Daily, The Augusta Press, The Focus, etc.) taking up the slack. Of course, direct mail is still a powerful media option, and the online advertising world has become a media monster.

Media Distribution Methods

Forty-plus years ago, all advertising materials were physical products. If you produced a camera-ready ad for the Chronicle, it had to be transported from your agency to the newspaper offices downtown—and it was not cheap to produce.


Today, thanks to desktop publishing and the internet, a large graphics file can be sent downtown or around the world in seconds with the click of a mouse.

The same holds true for radio and TV “dubs” (duplicates of the original ad), which were reel-to-reel commercials that were labeled and boxed in various formats to be shipped to the various radio and TV stations in the markets we served (Augusta; Raleigh-Durham; Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem; Roanoke-Lynchburg; Harrisonburg, VA; Nashville; Bluefield, WV, etc.). The cost to build the dubs and ship them (often overnight) could be prohibitive.

Again, today it’s just a quick mouse click.

Pop Culture

I launched my agency in a much simpler time. There was more unity than division in the world, with more universally shared values and not as much extreme polarization. Today, we are experiencing a radicalization of political factions and the destruction of basic moral precepts that would have been both unthinkable and unacceptable.

Human Nature

But there is one thing that has NOT changed—people.

And that means, your marketing efforts should still focus on these key constants:

  1. Fear of loss: Human beings are motivated by two primary components, fear of loss and/or…
  2. Desire for gain
  3. Human beings still want to do business with those they trust.
  4. People still want a good bargain, but the quality will usually trump an “unbelievable deal.”

Proceed with these evergreen truths in marketing and you’ll be just fine.

Veteran marketing maven, Bert Dean is the founder and CEO of Clarion Creative. He has been a leader in the development of innovative creative campaigns in the CSRA and beyond since 1979. His resume includes the iconic WifeSaver, “Put a Little South in Your Mouth” jingle (since 2000), the original Taylor Toyota marketing campaign, the CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty’s “I’m the One” advertising strategy, (2011-2022), the Gary’s Hamburgers (“If It’s Better than Good, It’s Gotta be Gary’s”) radio series, plus countless others.

To learn how Clarion Creative can help your business grow, call VP Allen Dean (Bert’s son) at (706) 796-7795 or reach him via e-mail ( or visit

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