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by Steve Hall    Sep-11-03    




Apple Launches New Campaign for iPod

10,000 Songs

Accoring to Mac News Network, Apple has launched a billboard campaign for the updated iPod. Billboards have been spotted in San Francisco along 101 South and 101 North.

by Steve Hall    Sep-11-03    




New Budweiser Spot Shows "Big" Woman Taking Top Off

Beer Babe?

With a twist on the original beer babe beer commercial concept, DDB Chicago has created a new Budweiser commercial that still features a woman in a bikini yet she's far from a babe.

Part of the "True" campaign, the spot shows two guys on an American beach trolling for babes wishing they were on a topless beach in Europe. Cut to Europe and we see a very big woman taking her top off as two other guys look on. Following that is the subtitle, "You know in America they make women wear tops. It's the law."

Ha, ha. Really funny. So PC. So retro. So cool. Like we really want to see that. That's the kind of spot you see once and then cringe when you see it again. Every one will talk about it and no one will remember it was for Budweiser. Click the image to view the spot but you will need RealOne for it to work. I know, it's a pain.

by Steve Hall    Sep-11-03    




Lad Magazines Fulfill Men's Needs, Challenge Playboy's Dominance

The Playboy Killers

Playboy used to be the king of men's magazines. It was the most coveted magazine, openly or secretly, among men of all ages. The centerfolds and the Playboy mystique were the stuff of legend. That is no longer the case with the shifting mentality of today's man and the resultant success of Maxim, Stuff, FHM, Razor and King. Playboy has, in fact, become irrelevant to this generation of men.

"Can you imagine a 20-year-old opening the magazine and, on page 10 every month, there's a picture of a 77-year-old man, popping Viagra, surrounded by young blond women?" says Samir Husni, a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi.

Playboy does not deliver what today's guy is looking for. It delivers an anachronistic view of men, women, society, and sex. The lad magazines do a much better job of delivering on men's needs.

Growing Fast

"They're more in touch with our generation. They write articles about cool places and how to pick up girls and stuff," says Abraham Wilson, 22, a computer-science major at the University of Central Florida. "Maxim will go to colleges and ask college students questions. I don't see Playboy doing that."

The lack of nudity in lad magazines has actually helped the growth of the category allowing the magazine to be displayed in magazine racks rather than behind the counter and because the magazine can be read fairly guilt-free.

"What Maxim and Stuff did was take the guilt out of the pleasure," says Husni. "You don't feel guilty looking at those magazines. And you don't have to worry if your girlfriend is coming into the room."

Of course, the need to show nudity in a magazine is almost unnecessary today. All the nudity a guy wants is now online, mostly for free. Besides, women are actually sexier in many cases with their clothes on rather than off. And that's exactly what lad books give guys. It's a tease and the tease is sometimes more fun then the delivery.

The New Guy

For those who claim these magazines are dumbing down society and portraying women as sex objects, you're right. With the exclusion of Razor, most of these magazines do just that. Men do look at women as sex objects sometimes or at least mythical beings they'd like to fantasize about. And so the media cater to this. It's not exactly right but when you break it down, men just think about and apparently need sex more than women. That need for sex is an integral physiological part of every man. Men are programmed that way. At the most basic level, if men were not easily aroused achieving that certain "reaction", then procreation would grind to a halt. It's the result of basic, pre-historic programming and we are stuck with it.

Aside from the sex angle, the lad category simply speaks in the language of today's man. Playboy speaks in a language that is foreign to any guy under 40. And that is translating into slumping sales and circulation for Playboy. Maxim's circulation has raced to 2.5 million just shy of Playboy's 3.2 million. FHM and Stuff hover around one million. Razor is growing at 234,000 and King comes in at 150,000.

By comparison to male magazines that have been around longer, GQ has a circulation of 803,000 and Details has a circulation of 414,000. Both have recently redesigned in an effort to combat the new magazines. The cultures and preferences of generations change and media that wish to survive, need to cater to those changes.

by Steve Hall    Sep-10-03    




Gateway's New Ad campaign Not Loved by All

Gateway just launched a new ad campaign with the tagline, "Humanology". This is another one of those account planning, creative jam session, pontificatingly meaningless creations that too often find their way into actual ad campaigns. Here's what one detractor had to say:

From the campaign: "A fundamental belief. The hybrid of technological savvy and human understanding. The heart of Humanology" Know what Humanology is? Not making up stupid names like Humanology and just giving good products at good prices with good service.

I have to agree. While creating a brand that really means something to consumers is important, simply saying what the product is and does is far more powerful than the marketing blather that finds its way into most advertising.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-03    




New Ad Campaign Says Smoke Marijuana and Have Sex

Smoke Weed Have Sex

Marijuana, sex, taxes and kids are the themes of an advertising campaign launched this week in Washington, D.C. by Change the Climate, a non-profit organization that uses outdoor advertising to educate people about marijuana issues.

Change the Climate has purchased 600 bus shelter posters, bus ads and Metro billboards in the Capitol during the months of September and October. This campaign is one of two that Change the Climate has launched this September as part of its "Legalize Marijuana" advertising effort. The other campaign is in Boston, Mass.

One advertisement displayed on 40 bus shelters and 50 Metro buses highlights the connection between marijuana and sex -- historical research shows that marijuana can enhance sexual pleasure for some people and assist with impotence. The ad directs people to the organization's website where there is more information on sex and marijuana. "We couldn't resist the marijuana and sex connection given the special interest President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft have in the private bedroom activity of adults. Plus, every advertiser knows that sex sells," says Change the Climate founder and Executive Director Joseph White.

A second ad on the inside of 500 buses features pictures of citizens with the headline "Save Our Taxes. Legalize and Tax Marijuana." White continues, "Every year American taxpayers are bilked for over $7 billion to cover marijuana arrests, prosecutions and discredited anti-marijuana advertising. Our campaigns give voice to this colossal waste of money."

Campaign Hopes to Reduce Kids Smoking Weed

The third ad that begins in October on 10 subway station platforms shows a teenager with the caption "Protect Our Kids. Legalize and Tax Marijuana." "The government's war on marijuana uses kids as the excuse for harsh marijuana laws, but these laws actually put our children in harm's way, including denying student loans to the most needy students," White continues.

Here's a campaign that hopes to legalize marijuana smoking like cigarette smoking in order to prevent kids from smoking weed. And how many kids have stopped smoking because smoking cigarettes is "legal"?


by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-03    




BullGuard Software Insures Computer Safety in Painful Yet Effective Manner

If you are going to snoop around someone else's computer, you should do it with your pants on.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 9-03    




TV Guide Launches Less Racy New Design

New Look

About a month ago, it was reported here that TV Guide was launching a "racy new strategy to stem circulation losses." While TV Guide ultimately decided not to go in a direction quite as racy as previously "reported", the magazine has wisely made the decision that, in this 500 channel world, guiding viewers towards what to watch rather then where and when to watch is what readers need.

Not New Look

Michael Lafavore who joined TV Guide as editor in February has added more program recommendations, lessened celebrity profiling and changed the programming grid structure all of which is designed to make viewing choices simpler for readers

The change is supported with a new logo and a $30 million advertising campaign across television, radio and direct mail. The television campaign, created by Richards Group in Dallas will show TV Guide reporters sneaking onto television sets and getting first-hand scoops.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-03    




Marketing Web Site Changes Names...Three Times

Stop the Madness

First, there was MarketingFix. Then, there was Up2Speed. Now, there is MarketingWonk. For the enlightening story on this name changing madness, read this press release.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-03    




Drop That Chicken, Rev That Engine

Chicken Falling

KFC is out with a new spot promoting it's popcorn chicken in a crazy chicken "roof drop" in an effort to both introduce the chicken and motivate people to submit their own television spots as previously reported. Also in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, engines rip themselves out of the hoods of cars in a thirsty quest for Pennzoil, a cat attacks a zebra for Whiskas, a dude hangs a bucket from his mouth for Philips, Ford launches a classy spot for its new F-15-, a tongue dances in a stupid spot for Hi-C Blast, the Ad Council launches a 911 spot, and Old Navy promotes its Cargo pants with a 'Soul Train' spoof.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-03    




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