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Pontiac Launches Adver-blather-tainment-mercial Campaign

Fighting the rising level of commercial avoidance among consumer today, Pontiac decided to promote its new GTO by throwing everything but the proverbial kitchen sink into this hard to categorize video-preview-trailer-adver-thingy. It's an ad for the new GTO but it's also a trailer for a supposedly new car chase movie called "The Last Ride." It includes the humorous, self-congratulatory flatulence from director Rob Cohen who gushes about his choice of car for the movie and the usual quick-cut, explosive movie scenes we've come to expect.

All that said, it is an intriguing combination that leaves you unsure of whether you are watching a commercial, a movie trailer or an Access Hollywood interview.

Other spots in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the week include work for Doritios, Carlsberg, Universal Studios, Coke, Fuji, Nationwide Insurance and good 'ol Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's. Looks like Tony's had a major face lift, though, since I was a kid.

Click here to view the spots.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

Out of Home TV Viewing Not A Bad Thing

Many an advertiser have discounted the value of television viewing outside the home claiming it is not as valuable due to distractions such as those found in a bar. A recent study by Total TV Audience Monitor, underwritten by ESPN, the NFL and ABC, finds otherwise. The study found much of out of home viewing was done in what the study called locations "conducive to marketing" such as off-campus housing, hotels, etc. Aside from the debatable issue of what a "conducive to marketing" location really is, 72 percent of out of home viewing occurs in these locations. Of note, the elusive 18-34 audience comprised 59 percent of this segment whereas it represent only 22 percent of in-home viewers. Of all out of home viewing, the most is done at colleges with 29.5 percent viewing in off-campus housing and 18.6 percent in on-campus housing. Whether or not the viewers where sober or not during viewing is subject for another study.

by Steve Hall    Apr-27-04    

Political Correctness Kills Creativity Once Again

Like a sitcom without a laugh track, Clear Channel has agreed to remove a billboard located in the parking lot of Sav-on-Drugs in Hollywood. The billboard is promoting a movie, made by Mexican filmmaker Sergio Arau, called "A Day Without A Mexican" and is meant to portray what life would be like if, suddenly, all the Mexicans in California disappeared. Obviously, the movie will say that's a bad thing and it would be. So a little play on words was used in the creation of the billboard. It reads, "On May 14th there will be no Mexicans in California." Apparently, a Sav-on-Drugs customer didn't have the wit to see the word play and complained to store management who then called Clear Channel who bent over....I'm sorry...honored the customer's request and moved the board.

Televisa Cine CEO Eckehardt von Damm, whose company produced the film, said, "It is a Mexican movie made by Mexicans, and we just want to entertain. Of course there's a message: We are here; we are part of the country."

America's sense of humor has left the building.

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-04    

Advertising Walk of Fame Finalists Announced

Back in December 2003, it was announced that the 4A's would launch a self-congratulatory slap on the back called the Walk of Fame on the corner of 50th and Madison Avenue. As the September 20, 2004 unveiling nears, the finalists have been announced. Consumers can vote for their favorite advertising icons during the week of June 14 on Yahoo, USA Today and advertisingweeknyc.com.

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-04    

The Invasion of the Consumer Snatchers

Writing in Ad Age, Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin says, "...the advertising industry seems caught up in a death spiral of disrespect. In its desperate clamor to claim the attention of potential shoppers, the industry invents a new intrusive ad mechanism almost every week, until citizens are driven nuts by all the billboards, product placement, junk faxes, pop-unders and all the rest of it."

While Commercial Alert isn't exactly a proponent of any kind of advertising, he does have a valid point. It's bear impossible to escape advertising and media planners are continually being presented with or developing on their own new and more intrusive means of reaching consumers. Ruskin claims this will backfire in the face of the advertising industry and cause more harm than good. He cites San Francisco Board of Supervisors restoring its baseball park name to Candlestick park and Channel One being booted out of schools as signs of the rebellion.

He goes on to lambaste the industry claiming, "The industry's implicit message is a total lack of respect for our time, our privacy, our attention, our peace of mind, and not least for our concerns about our kids. 'Your attention is ours,' the industry says, in effect. 'We are entitled to it at every moment.'" He leaves no stone unturned claiming marketer's disdain for our health as represented by what he calls "marketing-related diseases" such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and smoking related illnesses; marketer's corruption of civic institutions by forcing their way into schools and onto police cars.

Calling this an escalation towards "mutual disrespect," Ruskin says this will be played out in the courts in the years to come as the boundaries of privacy are finely tuned and law upon law are passed governing the relationship between marketers and consumers.

Freedom of speech only goes so far. A car dealer has already fired a gun at a competing dealer's blimp. How long will it be before a holographic ad lands on one's front lawn causing an angry homeowner to unleash his private household nuclear powerplant on said holograph's ass?

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-04    

Children's Programming Sees Double Digit Increases in Upfront

For all the talk last year about those refusing to pay the ever rising costs of television during the upfront, well, that was last year and our attention span in the advertising industry is not so good. Upfront pricing for the children' television segment is seeing 15 to 20 percent increases over last year mostly due to heavy demand from the entertainment sector and that sectors propensity to shift plans continually once placed.

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-04    

Army Sponsors Rodeo and Bull Riding

In the endless pursuit of fresh advertising ground, Chicago-based Relay Sports and Event Marketing has signed deals with the Professional Bull Riders and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for its client the Army. The deals include event signage, branded uniforms for sponsired riders, web site sponsorship interactive kiosks at events and a television campaign. Other advertisers that have jumped on the saddle are U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, Wrangler jeans, Pace Picante, Coors Light, Bud Light and Ford.

by Steve Hall    Apr-26-04    

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Sue Acclaim For Bungled Marketing

Don't Mess With Us

On the eve of their 18th birthday and the release of their feature film, "New York Minute," Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have filed suit against Acclaim Entertainment for $500,000 claiming the company has not fulfilled its obligation to develop and market video games featuring the Olsens. In fact, the suit states Acclaim has damaged the Olsen brand, "run it into the ground," and not paid all royalties.

As the girls, now worth $150 million each, grow up, they aren't taking any crap. Nor should they. With a brand as valuable as theirs, you can't blame them for protecting it. Once the Olsens get past this lawsuit and the opening of their film, the two will bgin their Freshman year at New York University.

And just for fun, here's a song by the The Fresh on the twins turning 18.

by Steve Hall    Apr-24-04    

Joanna Levesque the Next Big Thing

Jojo In New Video, 'Leave'

Justin over at ThatsJustNotRight has a nice write up about up and comer Joanna Levesque or Jojo as she's known. Jojo is from Adrants' home state and less than 30 miles from our posh suburban offices. Justin mentions his surprise over realizing that Jojo is just 13. After you view her video, you will marvel as well. She is talented even if it's in that "tough white girl" sort of way. Better catch her now while she's still innocent and hope she doesn't become clothing-challenged Jojo the Gogo dancer.

About her new video, "Leave," she says, "The video takes place in a school and basically the camera ... is the boyfriend, so I'm basically telling off the camera. It's very colorful, and there's a lot of Boston references like Fenway High 'cause, you know, I'm from Boston, so I had to represent. ... It's kind of declaring your independence, girl power."

Jojo grew up in Foxboro Massachusetts, home of Gillette Stadium and the New England Patriots. But life for Jojo was far from glamorous, "We were the lower-income people [in our neighborhood]," she said. "Everyone lived in nice houses, and we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and we had the tiniest bathroom ever imaginable to man." That could all change with the June release of her new self-titled album. You can help by voting for her on TRL.

Now, if I could just convince her to write a theme song for Adrants. It's only 30 miles. Anyway, watch her video here.

by Steve Hall    Apr-23-04    

Build Your Own McDonald's Brand

Whether an authentic site for McDonald's franchisees to buy banners or just a fun toy for us to play with is no matter, this little banner generation tool lets you make a banner that says anything you want, add various McDonald's logos and select products to promote. It was too tempting to leave alone. Thanks to MonkeySpan for pointing this one out.

by Steve Hall    Apr-23-04    

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