Not For Kids
P & G has ended its Secret Sparkle Body Spray ad campaign targeting children under 12 following an edict from the Children's Advertising Review Unit which claimed P & G disregarded the organization's guidelines on advertising to children. CARU guidelines state "products inappropriate for children should not be advertised to children. This is especially true for products labeled 'Keep out of reach of children.'" Stretching the boundaries of common sense, P $ G created a product for kids, labeled it "Keep out of reach of children" and then advertised it to kids. Hello? Is there a brain in the house?
Oh. for the love of Clio, The Donny is finally back. Or, at least his agency has caught a break and has, perhaps, put plug in the wound through which clients where hemorrhaging. Last week, Deutsch won a branding assignment from Babies "R" Us after a two month review. While this is tremendous news for the agency, we have to wonder what it was like, during the review, for both Deutsch and Babies "R" Us management to see repeated stories about Deutsch's latest account loss. It had to hurt. We love a comeback. Now, can we just file away that picture of Donny in a Speedo forever and quit making fun of the guy. I mean what advertising news website would ever stoop to such trashy, tabloid-like behavior?
Well here's more proof that, apparently, hot, nude girls are still seen as viable props to sell video games. Along the lines of the Touch deodorant spot which showed a guy undressing women with simply because he used the deodorant, these boys have a bit of fun once they realize their Juiced game consoles control the girl's clothing.
Worthy of Martha Stewart?
While walking to work a few days ago in New York City, one of our informants, while on his way to his favorite coffee shop, Soy Lock Club near Jane and Greenwich, noticed the place had been transformed into something called the Tassimo Bar. After taking a few pictures of the crowd and noting the presence of earpiece-clad production assistants, it became clear this was more than your typical marketing promotion. As it turns out, he was told by one of the less guarded PA's, "This is a segment for the Martha Stewart Apprentice Show." So, it seems, Tassimo will be one of the product placement sponsors for an episode of the show.
As our informant left the "Tassimo Bar," having grabbed his free coffee and macaroon, he noticed a bum walking out with a cup of coffee and snapped a picture capturing the odd juxtaposition of a hipster wannabe promotion with a man that just looking for something to drink. As soon as he took the picture, he was swarmed by a "mob of women with ear pieces," one of which barked, "Sir, I need you to erase that image you just took." It seems the Martha Stewart PA's didn't want their pristine scene tarnished by that of a poor guy just trying to get something to drink. Oh, the horror! The Martha Stewart brand tarnished by a bum. We look forward to the Donald Trump voice over-like disclaimer for this episode which will read, "Despite previous negative publicity, Martha Stewart nor Tassimo harbor any ill will toward the homeless and are pleased to announce the founding of the Martha Stewart/Tassimo homeless coffee fund which will support the caffeine needs of New York's homeless population."
Wallow further in the drama, including images of the PA attempting to block the camera, in this image gallery.
Writing on SFGate, Peter Hartlaub comments on the oddity of George Clooney selling Budweiser beer and those fancy Olive Garden ads that make you feel like your in Tuscany with famous chefs rather than in downtown nowhere with people who'd rather be anywhere than serving you food. Hartlaub's point, which is not new, is that advertising casts a false glow on the item it is selling. It creates fake scenarios and made up realities all in the name of fooling people that life will just be better if you drink a Bud. While we've heard the argument before, it's always refreshing to wallow in the woes of advertising and how far removed it is from reality. And, what's more, how accepted that alternative reality has become.
While the co-opting of graffiti by marketers hasn't gone so well, aside from Lincoln's recent bike messenger faux paux, PUMA appears to understand how to mingle corporate promotion with street cred. PUMA launched Team PUMA, a bike messenger team that supports bike track racing. PUMA, which actively supports the community rather than exploiting it, provides team members with medical insurance and travel expenses for races and has not yet turned it into a corporate logo-thon. It seems subtle enough. Other might disagree. The line get more blurry each day.
For those traveling to Chicago to attend AD:TECH Chicago July 11 and 12, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has conveniently scheduled its "Measuring Word of Mouth" conference on July 13. The conference will address issues such as tracking and measuring word of mouth, establishing ROI, determining the best strategies, optimizing efforts for viral distribution and how word of mouth can find a home in any media plan. Full conference information and schedule is available here.
Where Can I Find That?
It seems the "Spicy Paris" commercial, featuring Paris Hilton, was a big hit both in generating site traffic for Carl's Jr. as well as, perhaps, influencing hamburger sales for the chain.
According to competitive intelligence service Hitwise, searches for the term "paris hilton" grew 102 percent and queries for "carls jr" grew an astounding 802 percent between the weeks ending May 21, 2005 and May 28, 2005. Comparatively, brand searches for Burger King - in the midst of its co-promotion of Star Wars: Sith Sense - increased just 52 percent during the same time period.
Hitwise Clickstream data reveal that, for the week ending May 28, 2005, a full 58.4 percent of those visiting carlsjr.com continued on to spicyparis.com, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to www.carlsjr.com continued directly on to a Carl's Jr. store locator Web site. While Carl's hasn't released detailed sales figures for this period, indicators do point "Spicy Paris" having influence.
"By examining both search volume and clickstream data for this campaign, it is clear that the Spicy Paris campaign had two positive results for Carl's Jr.", said Hitwise VP of Research Bill Tancer. "First it raised awareness for the brand, but also prompted an immediate increase in consumer searches for local Carl's Jr. Restaurants."
Who said sex doesn't sell.
Huh? Let's Do What?
We couldn't say it any better ourselves, so we'll just let our NYC street team watchdog, Bucky Turco, comment on HBO's street campaign for Entourage.
OMD's desperately struggling trend marketing group, "Edge" is responsible for attempting to make HBO's Entourage show cool and culturally relevant to throngs of NYC and LA's hippest collection of savvy demo opinion formers, key influencers, tastemakers, etc.
At the heart of the Edge program was the initiative to promote the tagline "Let's Hug It Out Bitch," which HBO hopes to seed as the new expression for male reconciliation. You know, the whole "guys can't say sorry thing." It's a term used by Ari, the brash loudmouth agent, and least cool character on the show.
Likely to be viewed with as much acceptance as Catholic nuns running around in thongs, textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Ryerson plans to sell ads in textbooks used by Canadian college students. So in the middle of college physics when Brad Pitt stares up and asks, "Honey, Want A Heineken," the professor shouldn't be all that surprised when all the females in class suddenly start squirming in their seats completely forgetting that E=MC2.