Perhaps in disgust over being forced to incorporate ever more sizable product placement within network television shows, the writers of House gave House these choice words to say while he stared into a gigantic Dell monitor, "Why don't I have a high-def in my office? I'm a department head. Tissue characterization is impossible when the pixels are the size of Legos." Yes, and soon product placements will be the size of the TV screen negating the need for actors at all. Oh wait, without actors, there's no shows. Without shows, there's no place to put product placements. Hmm, we better keep our product placements smaller than legos. (Oh, and for you Lego freaks, notice how he said LegoS and not Lego?)
Advertising Week has to begin somewhere and why not with strange looking tiny "BobCars" that carry messaging. Sort of like a mobile billboard, BobCars, owned, we're told, by Snap Marketing, are being used to hand out postcards with questions on them which they can answer online to win two free weeks of advertising on a BobCar. It's an Adholes thingy.
As only George Parker can, he says FCB New York Creative Director is fucked because the Draft/FCB merger puts Jonathan Harries in the position of worldwide chief creative officer for the company. Becker is fucked because, as George writes, "Having come across Mr. Harries in a previous life, I can assure you that he never met an ad he couldn't kill. Particularly if it had a spark of creativity in it. To sum it up in a word... Mediocrity. Or, to put it another way... Chris Becker is fucked!" Anyone out there need a CD?
Paul Conley digs deep into an issue about which we have strong opinions. More and more, we are seeing online editorial infiltrated by text link ads from the likes of companies such as IntelliTXT. It, no doubt, crosses the line between advertising and editorial. We don't claim to be perfect here at Adrants. We all need ad revenue to make money but text link ads just go too far. They are annoying with their little pop up bubbles and misleading in that a link in edit should lead to other edit or a referenced website, not an ad.
Conley points out InteliTXT says it uses "in-text placement to cut through the online advertising clutter." Oxymoronic. In-text placements *add* to the clutter. They don't cut through it. In the past, IntelliTXT has asked us if we'd like to use their service here on Adrants. We quickly and politely declined. If humble Adrants can make enough money without text-link ads then one would think a giant company like VNU could live without them as well. Apparently not.
Usually when something becomes self-referential, that something realizes it's become a parody of itself and it's time to make some big changes. The advertising industry seems to be incapable of that and Wunderman's Career-O-Matic 3,000 (which we think we've seen before) reminds us of that once again. The device helps people find life after advertising because, after all, the industry is going though a paradigm shifting toilet flush as the :30 morphs into a MySpace page, commercials are now called "virals" and agencies (dot com) take their pants off in public so all can see what passes for strategic thinking is just a bunch of people running down the hallway self-importantly shouting, "Corner office! Corner office!"
Lots of us in the business think it's really cool to create those directionals or location-specific ads that work really well when they're placed in specific locations. However, lots of us also seem to think creating hundreds of versions of the same, cool, location-specific ads and placing them all over the place is a really good thing too. Hello, Media Department? Meet Creative Department. Hello, Creative Department? Meet Media Department. Talk amongst yourselves.
We're not exactly sure this is something Minneapolis-based Colle+McVoy should really be all that excited about but since they sent a press release, apparently, they are. For some reason, they're very excited two of their creatives, Mike Caguin and Eric Husband, have returned to the agency for a third time. Returning from Butler Shine Stern and Partners ,Caguin explains the move back saying, "Why are we back? Simple, Colle+McVoy is doing great work and has lots of potential. And we wanted to get back to Minnesota." said Caguin." One does have to wonder about the other half of this equation - why would the pair leave Colle+McVoy three times in the first place since it's, seemingly, such a great place to work?
At Prenatal.com would-be mothers can send e-cards to other would-be mothers who perhaps entertain fantasies about donning a space suit and swapping childrearing advice with nearby aliens. Wow. Prenatal is a French maternity brand. The company prides itself on knowing the "technical and aesthetic" needs of moms in addition to their "medical and psychological" ones.
Not really sure how to feel about this other than, perhaps, American maternity brands need to put out more interesting ads and customer interaction-type stuff. We're indifferent to maternity wear as a whole but if we ever have to stock up we'll probably shoot for the brand that lets us send the alien e-cards. - Contributed by Angela Natividad.
The Ambiguously Effective Idea that Just Won't Die is back and nebulous as ever. A stock called TMXO leaped 31% on September 5 after somebody sent out a GIF with one of those wildly appealing messages that you discover in your e-mail twenty-six times a day.
Apparently "stock spam" can artificially spike a stock by 4.9-6 for the average spammer. So why did TMXO do almost five times better? *Sigh* Because of subliminal advertising: that seemingly innocent GIF consists of four frames, only one of which is the message you think you see. The other three spout BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY.
Copyranter pokes fun at yesterday's New York Times Magazine Leadership on Diversity advertising section which served as a platform for companies to pontificate about their sensitivity to diversity and the actions they've taken to insure they are fair to all. Copyranter particularly liked the ad from the Department of Homeland Security which featured an image of a Muslim woman. While poking fun, Copyranter also points out a truism in our industry, writing, "Half of the ads lamely crammed the word Diversity right in the headline, as some very junior (and very white) copywriters just outta ad school spent about five pissed off minutes working on this lowly assignment before handing the first two lines that popped into their heads into their creative directors. Whew. That's outta the way. Onto the much more important men's body spray print ad."
Very white indeed which is why Adrants has partnered with Business Development Institute to host the Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference to tackle the currently very hot topic of diversity and what agencies are doing to make sure they are fair in their hiring practices. Now, it's been said other industries offer much higher pay and much better future opportunity than advertising so what minority (or majority for that matter) in their right mind would choose advertising over, say a Wall Street job? Well, that's what the conference hopes to explore - is the industry all white because it is being exclusive or is it because that's the natural order of things in the old boy's network?
Here's a Monday morning eyeopener for you. Having fun with the late night chat line genre, this spot for Epic Cash created by Ken Abraham and Make It Happen Productions is, apparently, supposed to be paradigm shifting. Abraham explains, saing, "For the most part, late-night chat lines and text messaging ads can hardly be considered commercials. That is, of course, if it doesn't pain you to watch worn and weary porn stars fumbling over remedial dialogue like, "Pick up the phone and call me" or "I'm waiting for you." Real art." We not so sure Ken's spot is all that different from late night cheese but we do like the ending.