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Tobaccowala Pontificates The Future of Advertising

Starcom IP and SMG Next President Rishad Tobaccowala, speaking at Doubleclick's annual Insight Conference, says consumers are becoming more and more empowered in their control over media and that "humans are gods" because this power allows them to be all powerful in their media selection. Tobaccowala talked up the rise of HDTV, DVRs, video-on-demand, gaming consoles, IM and video iPods and some of the new channels of communication between marketer and consumer.

Tobaccowala also spoke of Starcom-dubbed "TV 2.0" which is made up of broadband, gaming, computers and television all combining into new portals into the home. In a nutshell, the number of channels into the mind of a consumer, or contact points as Starcom likes to call them, is increasing dramatically and the control over those channels is shifting from the hands of marketers into the hands of consumer. It's analogous to Robert De Niro staring into the mirror in "Taxi Driver," saying/asking defiantly, "You talkin to me? You talkin to me?" That's the question marketers will have to answer to the satisfaction of the consumer before passing on their commercial message.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-04    




Banning Ads to Kids Could Kill Children's Television

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Competition, Infrastructure, and Foreign Commerce of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during their discussions on the impact of food advertising on childhood obesity, ANA President Bob Liodice warned any ban would "curtail if not end children's broadcasting on free television and ad-supported cable."

The hearings follow several studies showing a direct link between food marketing and fat kids. Sure, most food today is filled with too many calories and fat, is over-process and is bad for you but no marketer is forcing that food down a kid's throat of forcing them to sit, hours on end, in front of the television. If kids just got off their asses, went outside, and ran around the house a few times every day, that would be a great start towards reducing the fatness of youth.

I'm not saying food marketers are doing nothing wrong. They are. They are promoting food that is fast to make, over-processed and not very health to eat. The other problem is that "bad" food tastes so damn good! Who wouldn't want a juicy cheeseburger instead of a head of lettuce? Work is needed on both sides of this issue. More food that is actually healthy and affordable needs to be marketed. At the same time, GameBoy and PlayStation usage needs to be limited and physical activity encouraged.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-04    




Larissa Picked The Hot Guy

On "Average Joe: Hawaii," Larissa picked Gil over Brian. She went for the hunk over the nice guy and she made a mistake. She could have a had a guy who would have dedicated his entire life to her with his love but instead, she chose a guy who is a loser and freaked out over her having dated Fabio. Ultimately, she left the game empty-handed because of her shallow outlook on the important things that make a good relationship.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




CDC Ad Campaign Gets Kids Off Their Video-Addicted Asses

The Centers For disease Control, with its ad campaign called VERB that encourages kids to exercise, has actually been a success at getting kids off the couch. In a survey, the CDC found its campaign increased the number of times each week kids 9 and 10 were active from about 3.3 in 2002 to 4.3 in 2003.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




Coke Follows Kids to the Mall

Coke, realizing it is getting more and more difficult to reach teens through traditional media, has created the Coke Red Lounge, a clubish environment offering music, videos and movies. The destination is being quickly adopted by mall going teens as the cool place to hang out. Experiencing the brand is the primary strategy here rather than creating a 30 second representaion of the brand.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




Grampa Dances For Six Flags

In one of the more fun and humorous uses of "seniors" in advertising is this spot for Six Flags Over Texas. Grampa shuffles out of the buss then breaks into some 80's (or early 90's) dance jam to convince bored suburbanites to jump on the Six Flags bus for a good time. (To view spot, go to the "TV Spots of the Week" link below.)

Other spots featured in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week are a greasemonky who does laundry for hi buddy using Daz detergent, a name dropping spot for US Weekly, a not very exciting KFC commercial (btw, just what are they called now? Kitchen Fresh Chicken? KFC? Or just good 'ol Kentucky Fried Chicken? These guys have brand issues), a Clorox commercial using the very over-used 360 cam pan first used (by an advertiser) long ago by the GAP, an E-Trade spot promoting their Mortgage services when you absolutely have to get out of your neighborhood immediately, a cute "where do babies come from?" spot for St. Vincent's Maternity Service and Bayer (the aspirin people) promoting their (who woulda thunk) termite control products.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




Virgin Mobile Promotes 'Phone Accident'

Seeded and tracked by DMC, Virgin Mobile's campaign spoof ad, called 'Scorching Girls', was created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. In the ad, an unexpected victim is gaffer-taped to a car in a scrapyard. At a nod from a tough-looking East End gangster, the victim (a mobile phone) is then torched by bikini-clad, flame-throwing henchwomen. The spoof wryly notes that viewers may want their own mobile phones to have a similar 'little accident' in order to take advantage of Virgin Mobile's hot offers. A microsite offers the ad for download and enables visitors to find out more about Virgin Mobile�s latest deals.

Perhaps it's British humor or perhaps it's really an effort by Virgin mobile to convince cell phone users to destroy their phones and buy a new one from Virgin. Or maybe, it's just a funny commercial spoofing British East End gangster flicks. Watch. You decide.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




Tony Pierce Produces Adrants Madpony Interview

A couple weeks ago, I interviewed Kristin from Madpony for Tony Pierce. Tony has put together a kick ass photo essay version of the interview called "Kristin Madpony Meets Adrants Steve."

Kristin, and sometimes her sister Lauren, run a popular weblog called Madpony. The site covers important issues like shopping and shoes and is also sprinkled with more important issues such as what music NOT to play when you are working in a shoe store, commentary on the intricacies of football game rules, fashion tips for formals and how to make Snickerdoodles.


by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




Diesel Ad Campaign Brings Voyeurism to New Level

Perhaps as an unintentional tie-in to the new FOX "Eden" reality series, ever controversial jean maker Diesel has just launched a new online campaign featuring sexy male and female models draping themselves invitingly over tree branches in a Garden of Eden. Aside from the expected provocative nature of the campaign created by ad agency Airlock, the campaign uses a new DHTML ad format which allows users to peer through a web page with a pair of binoculars to an underlying ad adding a new layer to the practice of voyeurism.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




DVR Use High Among Cable and Satellite Subscribers

Nielsen Media Research has estimated that overall usage of DVR technology is about 3.5 percent of U.S. TV households. However, new research by Ipsos-Insight claims that figure is 5.8 percent and a whopping 11.4 percent among satellite subscribers.

The study also ranked skipping commercials (63 percent) as DVR user's favorite feature followed by the pause feature (10 percent) and using the DVR to view instead replays (5 percent). Cable companies are just now starting to roll out set top boxes with DVR technology embedded within. Once every set top box in the country has DVR technology and 63 percent of those people use that set top box to skip ads, no one can argue that current broadcast ad models will change significantly.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-04    




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