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The Economics of Squad Car Advertising

There has been at least one story every day for the past three weeks about police car advertising. Government Acquisitions, the North Carolina based company offers to provide a fully functional squad car to municipalities for $1. In today's economy, that is practically impossible to turn down.

Personally, as an ad medium, I am against it. It is like ads in the high school yearbook or ads in a church membership directory. Some things should remain adfree. While I see the economics of it, it just doesn't fit even in this fast moving world of commercialism.

Having said that, it all depends of the execution of this program. Are the cars going to look like Indy 500 Logomobiles or are they going to be selective and tasteful in approach. Time will tell.

Many police departments will give it chance. The trouble is, it will be near impossible for departments to stop once they start as the squad car money will have reallocated or cut from the budget. Very careful and clear thinking needs to go into this before a move is made.

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter - Officials ponder advertising on squad cars

Government Acquisitions, Inc., a North Carolina-based company, is offering to lease new squad cars to municipalities for $1 a year in exchange for allowing companies, such as McDonalds, to place their logos or ads on the squads.


by Steve Hall    Nov-12-02    

The Best E-Marketing News Site

Well that headline is just a tad bit biased but what the hell. It's a little bit of self promotion for a new weblog that I have started with some other marketing associates of mine. The site is called MarketingFix. It's your daily fix for all things e-marketing. News items aggregated into one location so you don't have to. We do the work. You just enjoy the read. You get news and you get our wit and insight. We see a sham, we call it. We see something great, we'll let you know about it first.

Whose behind this? Well, yours truly. Rick Bruner of ExecutiveSummary.com, John Engler of Inluminent, Robert Loch of DrunkGuerilla and other sites, and Olivier Travers of The End of Free...and other sites.

Enjoy....but don't forget to keep reading adrants too. There will always be different and interesting items here as well.


by Steve Hall    Nov-11-02    

Mergers and Aquisitions: Be Careful What You Wish For

I have said it over and over and over....bigger is NOT always better. Read what's happening to Interpublic.

Forbes.com: All Eyes On Interpublic's Client List

NEW YORK - It looks as if Interpublic is the AOL Time Warner of the advertising industry, unable to manage its unwieldy acquisitions.

While AOL Time Warner (nyse: AOL - news - people ) made one whopper of a deal that sent it into a tailspin, Interpublic (nyse: IPG - news - people ) famously bought 185 companies between 1999 and 2001.

If companies would concentrate on shoring up what they already own rather then just trying to be the biggest, maybe there would be more companies out of trouble today then in.

by Steve Hall    Nov-11-02    

The Puffery of Brand Positioning


"Every three to five years something like that happens," Mr. Davis (Heineken USA's vice president of marketing) said, "and it goes nowhere."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I am referring to the new breed of beers aimed at the so called health-concious beer drinker.

Upstart Long Beach Brewing Co. this month begins testing Thin Ice, with 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving, while Anheuser-Busch Cos., hard on the heels of its low-carb Michelob Ultra, is relaunching Doc's Hard Lemon as a lower calorie, lower-carb version of the original.

When will marketers realize that consumers are not stupid? We know that alcohol is alcohol. We know what alcohol does to us. Don't hide it. Don't pretend it is good for us. Hey, I drink and I love it. But I don't need some corny ad campaign to lie to me about a "healthy" version of my favorite brew.


by Steve Hall    Nov-11-02    

Would Ad Agencies Partner With SI's and Consultants?

The Service Convergence

...if systems integrators and consulting companies can find a reason to partner, why not consider inviting the agencies to the party?

This is a very interesting point put forth by David L. Smith in today's Online Spin. Would ad agencies who are in dire need of help today, consider merging/partnering with consulting firms and system integrators? IBM bought PWC Consulting so SI's and Consultants see the need/benefit.

I have worked in enough ad agencies to know that it will be a tremendous hurdle, to say the least, for an agency principle to "admit" that there are better companies out there doing front end corporate strategy.

It's something that should be considered though. Read his article and make your own judgement.

by Steve Hall    Nov-11-02    

Movies Online: Just Plain Dumb For Now

A new company, Movielink, has formed to offer movies online legitimately. It has partnered with 5 major studios. Chief Executive Jim Ramo claims, "With more than 25 million broadband residences, we believe the market is now ready for the launch of a new Internet movie rental service."

Maybe, but Jupiter Research disagrees saying that less then 10% of consumers want to download movies to their PCs. Linda Loizides of Jupiter Research says, "Movielink proves the infrastructure can be built to deliver movies on demand. It proves the studios can work together. It doesn't prove there's a market."

I tend to agree. The movies are 500MB downloads. Even with broadband, that's a 90 minute download. And unless you are one of the few that has your PC hooked up to your sound system, your going to get sound quality reminiscent of 50's television. I mean what's the point when you have Netflix and a Blockbuster on every corner?

Yes, movies "online" will happen but it will most likely be through your cable provider and a video on demand service.

by Steve Hall    Nov-11-02    

Some Good News in This Bleak Economy

From iwantmedia

Wired for the Future
New York Daily News, Friday, 11/08/02
[Second item] Wired magazine is surviving the falloff in tech and Internet advertising, with December the fattest issue since April 2001.

Entertainment Weekly Gets It Right
CBS.MarketWatch.com, Friday, 11/08/02
The Time Inc. magazine's circulation is up to 1.6 million, from 1.5 million last year, and ad pages are up 2.3%.

We need more news like this!


by Steve Hall    Nov- 8-02    

Medical Marketers Destroy Consumer Trust

In an article from the Boston Globe, it is disclosed that three marketing firms developed marketing programs to promote Neurontin (an adjunct epilepsy drug) for uses not approved by the FDA there by allowing the drug maker to make more profit while attempting to stay out of trouble.

Neurontin marketing plan disclosed

Court documents show that drug giant Parke-Davis hired three outside medical advertising and education firms to develop strategies for promoting its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses, tactics that included continuing medical education classes for physicians, "home study kits" for doctors who couldn't attend meetings, prepaid calling cards that would trigger recorded messages about Neurontin, Web sites, and special supplements to medical journals.

Stories like this just destroy any possible trust relationship between marketer/company and the consumer.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 8-02    

Pay For Online Purchases With Your Phone Bill

A company called PaymentOne has set up a business in which consumers can charge online purchases to their phone bill. This is of benefit since it allays fears among some consumers about providing their credit card number online.

According to a June survey (chart left) from Taylor Nelson Sofres, the main reason US consumers do not shop online is they don't want to give credit card details or fear related security issues.

In emarketer interview with PaymentOne CEO Joe Lynam, he explains the process of how his company lets consumers charge online content and internet access fees to their phone bill


by Steve Hall    Nov- 8-02    

Joseph Jaffe Sounds Off on The Ford/24 Pod Strategy

I thought it was a good idea. Something new. Here is another opinion:

Jaffe Juice: Jack Bauer Said It Best

Trust me. I�m trying to keep an open mind about this; however I keep coming back to a fundamental belief: given the choice, most consumers would reject advertising hands down. The only way I could see a consumer sitting through a three-minute Ford commercial is through the element of surprise (read: being tricked). If so, this is one of those Borg-type solutions: It works for a short period of time, but then you quickly adapt to it.


by Steve Hall    Nov- 7-02    

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