Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

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.

The laws of human behavior have not been repealed.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.

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…

Coca-Cola: Encounter

Spanish (?) Coca-Cola ad. Touching. Sure it’s an advertisement for a heartless, multi-national company, but it plucks the heartstrings. (via @muledesign)

Can Microsoft remake it’s image?

Seems as though everyone is talking about the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft ads. Especially now, with the rumors that the campaign is being scrapped in favor of a new approach.

I wasn’t a fan of the first couple of ads. They came off as Microsoft trying desperately to be “quirky” and “cool”. The ads are so obtuse and odd. Though, honestly, I was willing to give them time to find their bearings. This was obviously the start of a much longer and more involved campaign. Two may not make sense, but a dozen or more could tell an interesting (compelling?) story. Which makes the news of their demise all the more strange.

And I don’t believe for a second that this change was intentional. Microsoft got some negative responses to this effort and yanked it, as a form of damage control. It’s a kneejerk reaction to some bad (confused?) press.

As for the new “I’m a PC” spots, they strike me as an odd response to Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads. Too fluffy and not nearly hard hitting enough. Taking the “I’m a PC” live from Apple and trying to own it (or wear it as a badge of honor) could prove to be a good thing in the long run. But for now it’s still Apple’s game and Microsoft is playing defense.

Zeldman’s “Modest Proposal”

Jeffrey Zeldman, designer, blogger and web standards advocate, has some very salient things to say on the topic of political advertising. His idea is one that holds political advertisers—and by extension television networks—accountable for the “truthiness” of the ads they run. Impose steep fines for ads that contain false statements, in other words, lies. He makes his moral comparison thusly:

If networks refuse to accept cigarette advertising, how can they readily approve dishonest political advertising? Cigarettes kill individuals, but lying political ads hurt the whole country. No democracy can afford this, let alone when the country is at war, and under existential threat from terrorists, and in economic free fall.

Unless someone stands up to sleazy, misleading, mudslinging advertisements and instead of saying “That’s just politics” declares, “That’s enough” our political discourse will continue to put slander and cult of personality above the issues.

If we can’t count on the networks (or other neutral parties) to keep the political exaggerations in check the voting public is going to have to keep looking out for ourselves.