Tylenol Understands the Future of Marketing

An article in Fortune takes us through Tylenol's "Ouch!" campaign in which the pain relief medicine maker embraces its younger customer's propensity to thrive on pain rather than run from it and has developed a campaign that aligns with that mentality. It has become a "pain partner" with underground event organizers of skateboarding events, film festivals and breakdancing competitions. And it's all done with barely a mention of the brand. Yet the brand has, in fact, been embraced with users of a Tylenol-built but unbranded skateboard bowl referring to it as the Tylenol Bowl. The brand has even made its way into the song lyrics of a Ben Kweller tune (called Tylenol) sold on Apple's music store. To reach this audience, a media buy would be pointless because this group makes heavy use of all available ad blocking tools and even if any ads do slip through, they are viewed with great skepticism.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-04    

Britney Spears' Elizabeth Arden Ad to Debut On Web

In March, we reported marriage obsessed Britney Spears had entered a deal with Elizabeth Arden to develop and market a line of fragrance, skincare and color cosmetics aimed at teens. The line will be supported by an advertising campaign including a television commercial in which Spears will star.

Filmed in LA last month, the commercial will debut September 17th on a new Britney Spears Beauty website in advance of the campaign.

The ad centers on Spears exchanging glances with a soon-to-be Mr.

Spears/Kevin Federline look-a-like as he checks into a hotel. Later, he hears a knock on his hotel room door and it turns out to be Spears - apparently interested in some form of extracurricular activity.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-04    

PayPal to Launch Fancy New Homepages

Olivier Travers points out the upcoming changes to PayPal's homepages. The company plans to brand each country's page a bit differently. Travers writes, "I have to ask though, was the smiling guy with a double chin tested with actual people, or is this the result of a creative brief supposed to convey trust for "people just like you" but gone a little astray in its execution?" Seems PayPal is trading in its utilitarian design for that smiley face, stock photo, lame ass looking corporate website design. It's an inevitable step in a company's growth. But why try to "brand it up" for no other reason than to use some lame looking stock photography. I'm sure it came from some oft-cited research stating people like to see people in ads, on websites, etc. but why try to "brand it up" when the PayPal brand is analogous to the mundane act of taking a dollar out of your wallet and placing it in another's? It's obvious that fat guy on the US site is to make all us American fatties feel better when we send money to cover that order of the latest dietary supplement we had to try out because we just read Paris Hilton or Tom Cruise was doing it.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-04    

WPP Wins Bidding For Grey

Reducing the number of mega-agencies by one, it looks as if Grey Global will be sucked up by the world's second biggest agency, WPP Group Inc., following its winning bid completed Saturday night. "WPP can confirm that negotiations were completed last night and an announcement will be made tomorrow," said Richard Oldworth, a spokesman for London-based WPP. The agency beat out two other bidders, Havas and Hellman & Friedman LLC.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-04    

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