Fiat – “Engineered for a lower impact on the environment”

Fiat Crash

Clever. And infinitely more rewarding than the typical “we’re ‘green'” advertising. (Not sure the agency responsible). via Autoblog

Plastic Surgery for Business

There are too many businesses around that are grotesque. They believe they can continue providing lousy service and shoddy goods if they just create a nice picture of themselves. That’s what they think advertising is for.

A good strategy for ad agencies is to stay as far away from these companies as they can.

The Ad Contrarian has been on a role lately.

“Perfect Slice of Summer”

image via TheDieline.com

image via TheDieline.com

These are amazing. I love that the team has taken a new approach to the standard square/rectangle tissue box. (Though I suppose the shape may limited shelf space, a worthwhile trade-off in my opinion.) The illustrations are delicious, and immediately convey “summer.”

Uncommon Knowledge

Design Combinations

via Ace Jet 170: Uncommon Knowledge in reference to James Webb-Young’s great book, A Technique for Producing Ideas

About as great a definition as I can imagine. (via Heed to Design weblog)

The laws of human behavior have not been repealed. People still want stuff. People are still receptive to relevant messages. People still respond to their own self-interests.

The Ad Contrarian on keeping your head.

King of Shame

King of Shame

How did this spot get on the air?

At first blush it seemed funny; Sir Mix A Lot rewriting his most famous hit to sell burgers (Question; doesn’t Wendy’s have the square burger patties?).

This is an ad for a Kids Meal (!) for crying out loud. To me it’s patently inappropriate. Like seeing one of those Exten-ze commercials during Saturday morning cartoons. (Do they still have Saturday morning ‘toons? Am I dating myself with that reference?)

I used to admire Crispin Porter + Bogusky, but lately their work seems to push the absurd and borderline offensive just for the sake of it.

What’s the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? Boo.

Thoughts on the death of Pontiac

It seems strange to mourn the loss of a brand. Especially one whose products I don’t purchase. But, I have a bit of a nostalgic soft spot for Pontiac. My dad has driven one my entire life.

Pontiac was always supposed to be General Motor’s “performance” division (or as the old slogan read “driving excitement”). Funny thing is, in the past few years it was hard to tell. Models like the Montana, the G3 and G5 (not to mention the oft-made-fun-of Aztec) were anything but exciting. The most interesting models coming out of GM recently all seemed to go to Saturn. The Sky and Aura exhibited more exciting body styling than anything issued by Pontiac. Or course it’s not like that fact has been a saving grace for Saturn.

Is the downfall of Pontiac due solely to losing focus on the brands “excitement” roots? I don’t know definitely, but I’d bet heavily that the answer is “yes”.

Although, in general, I’ve had issues with the build quality of GM’s for at least the past decade (specifically Saturn, Chevy and Pontiac; the divisions I’ve had personal experience with). The materials of GM vehicle interiors always struck me as sub-par. The plastics had a thin, flimsy feel and the center console controls seemed cheap. All these criticisms are based on comparisons with my own 2002 Volkswagen Golf GLS.

I really wanted to like Pontiac. But I understand “wanting” doesn’t translate into sales. I just hope that someday, someone is able to resurrect the brand. I absolutely love that arrowhead logomark. Delicious.

In most agencies, account executives outnumber the copywriters two to one. If you were a dairy farmer, would you employ twice as many milkers as you had cows?

David Ogilvy

The consumer has become resistant to marketing, right? Bullshit. Here’s what the consumer has become resistant to: generic, undifferentiated products supported by smug, benefit-free advertising.

The Ad Contrarian.

Kentucky Fried Potholes

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

This afternoon, NPR featured a story about KFC offering to fill 350 potholes in Louisville, KY. The company is not making this gesture out of the goodness of the hearts, it’s about advertising. Of course.

On each pothole that KFC helps to fill, they are spray painting an advertising message.

My initial reaction was this is a pretty silly story. What, really, does KFC get from the whole endeavor? The effort doesn’t seem to be tied to any larger marketing campaign. And the above photo makes the entire thing look low budget. I was imagining the sprayed graphic to be something incorporating the Colonel’s face; you know, the quickly recognizable symbol of the company.

Maybe I’m being too cynical and KFC is doing this whole pothole thing in an effort to be a good corporate citizen. Also, media coverage from the likes of NPR…