Ad Age Editor Scott Donaton writes in his column this week about the idiocy we call "corporate spin." Jumping off from the infuriating claims by KFC they pulled their "healthy chicken" campaign because the flight had "run it's course" rather than acknowledging they created a stupid spot with stupid claims, Donato rails on the lack of honesty and owning up to one's actions in today's business world.
We have arrived at a point of ridiculous so far removed from any sense of honesty that we don't even know we are lying anymore. I'm quite certain it all started way back when there was the whole "self-esteem" movement going on in school which said children can do no wrong. Everything a child did was, in some way, a positive thing. If a kid grows up that way, of course they are going to carry that into their work life. It's a sad commentary on our culture and it makes you yearn for the days when you could call someone an idiot because that's what they were, not "mentally-challenged."
Porn finds its way into everything and now it's sneeking into the mobile phone so says Juniper Research. The firm predicts mobile adult content sales will reach $791 million by 2006 with have of that video sales. You may want to be careful answering your phone on the train or in a meeting lest you wish to titilate those around you with the grinding and moaning soundss that may emanate. And that's not to mention the assured popularity of orgasmic ring tones that will be available for download.
Perhaps it was the picture of half a dozen nearly naked teenagers entwined under the Christmas tree like so many unwrapped presents. Or maybe it was the words printed on the cover promising "group sex and more . . . " The latest edition of Abercrombie & Fitch's notoriously racy catalog so inflamed conservative groups that the teen clothing retailer was forced to recall it or face boycotts at its 651 stores
ABC has entered an agreement with media agency MindShare to develop and produce television shows together. ABC will distribute and MindShare clients will support the show. The two will share development costs. With product placement ramping up, this deal will further perpetuate the morphing of network prime time into one gigantic paid commercial.
The proliferation of television product placement, a gasp of survival for advertisers in light of TiVo, On Demand and trips to the bathroom, will now be measured by ratings giant Neilsen. If Neilsen simply hooked up to all the nation's sewer systems and measured waterflow or the number of times the refrigerator door opened during a specific time period, maybe advertisers could finally get a glimpse of what's really happening during television viewing.
With a three ring circus including a ringmaster taming wild animals on a TV screen and a knife thrower hurling knives at a woman on a TV screen, Philips has launched the twenty first century's version of HBO's Carnivale.
In a refreshing departure from traditional advertising, Philips has launched a three country circus tour that will put Philips products front and center ring. The approach is to engage customers amusingly with Philips products in a memorable fashion. The show was put together by Philips and FiRe Advertainment, an advertising and entertainment division of Omnicom Group's DDB Argentina.
Busta Rhymes is caught with his pants down in this soon to be launched commercial for Virgin Mobile. The commercial is being pre-released online by U.K. based viral marketing firm DMC and will promote Virgin's new text messaging rate plan.
The campaign's cheeky ads were created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and directed by Paul Hunter, who has been responsible for directing a number of high-profile music videos for stars including Britney, Madonna and Michael Jackson. 'Bling' - already released on TV - results in Busta literally going down the toilet, while "Butt Naked" features him doing an unwitting striptease for his fans. The online versions of the ads invite viewers to click through to www.bustabutt.com, where they can see each clip and find out more about Virgin Mobile and Busta Rhymes.
In a New York Times article, Stuart Elliott interviewed Zoe Lazarus and Richard Welch who head up a new trend tracking division of Ogilvy. Absolutely nothing new is revealed in this interview and the whole trend tracking movement, while important, comes off as just being all about good 'ol marketing 101: Know Thy Target Audience. Witty repartee included:
"Q. Why has trend tracking become such a trend? Or is it just a fad? A lot of the so-called cool hunters, self-styled experts at spotting trends among younger consumers, seem to be fading away.
Ms. Lazarus: It has maybe been a bit of a fad, but the ideas behind it make good sense. It's good to have advance-warning radar about what's happening among consumers."