Marketing with ... Bugs

All the interesting marketing ideas are coming out of accounting firms lately. Take for example SS&G Financial Services, Inc. in Cleveland, which launched a new print advertising campaign with elements usually seen only from exterminating companies -- bugs.

Instead of using "feel good" graphics, the firm is using National Geographic-like photos of mosquitos, scorpions and beetles to catch the eye of readers. The hook line is "What's been bugging you?"

"Most people switch professional services firms because something is bugging them," said Managing Partner Gary Shamis. "We want the call-to-action in our ads to make these people call us, so we can help eliminate annoying problems that can impact the success of their business."

Shamis's firm was profiled in the article "Winning Large Proposals: a Study in Building a Competitive Edge" found online at It's the 54th largest accounting firm in the Country with 325 employees.

"Tax planning go you in a pinch?" asks an ad with a stag beetle crawling across the page. Kudos to design agency Zarney Creative and Marketing Director Ilana Isakov.

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Tom Kane - February 5, 2006 9:10 AM


I beleive Ross Fishman did a whole pest control campaign complete with bugs, etc. for Crosslin, Slaten & O'Connor back in 1999. So, maybe the accounting firm got its idea from a law firm, instead.


Ilana Isakov - February 9, 2006 12:45 PM

It was organic. We did an advertising audit and created the campaign based upon comments that were consistent from clients and contacts. "You know what bugs me about ..." "The thing that bugs me about ... " It was simple and logical.

Never heard of Crosslin, but would love to see how that campaign looked and its subsequent success.

Laura Mosiello - February 9, 2006 2:19 PM

It's about time is all I can say.

I'm a marketing expert with experiences in many industries. The field of law has such potential for great marketing if they allow creatives to do what they do, reach prospects on their pulsepoints.

If I see one more headshot, group shot, client type of photo in the marketing, I think I'm going to, know.

Marketing and motivation are intrinsically linked.

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