That Cocaine energy drink that's been getting heat is finally dropping off the face of the earth. Redux Beverages has agreed to change the name of the drink, which they claim they originally chose to assuage cocaine use, not encourage it.
We originally thought pushing a drink called Cocaine was stupid but have since changed our minds after tasting it during a frenzied all-nighter.
Cocaine tastes good. And it's got this really awesome vivid pink colour that practically glows in the dark. Our only qualm? It burns the crap out of your throat. Really. Like, two cans in and you don't have a voice box.
We became particularly attached to Cut Cocaine, the, uh, less intense alternative of the alternative. It's supposed to make the burn less potent. (It does, but a burn remains.)
It probably goes without saying that Cocaine's marketing was courting trouble. In any event, we wanted to take this time to say good-bye to our brief but pleasant Cocaine binge. You walked us through some hard times and kept us alert when nothing else would.
We doubt we'll see you again, under this name or otherwise, because come on - if Enron changed its name, it'd still be Enron.
Back to that other expensive habit: gratuitous espresso abuse.
For this edition of Contextual Advertising Screw-Ups, a festive Pizza Hut ad appears atop a CNN story about a death row inmate who, for his last meal on earth, ordered pizza for a transient.
And while that was fuzzy-sweet of him, we weren't quite raring to order pizza online immediately thereafter.
(Note to Pizza Hut: add the word "killer" to campaign negative keywords.)
We do love a good contextual advertising screw-up. And because we're feeling nostalgic, let's tilt our heads and recall the time Expedia sent 35,000 troops to Iraq, or the time Microsoft sponsored the Wii contest water death, or the time a turpentine ad added texture to the tale of the pregnant girl who drank it to off herself.
If it weren't bad enough agencies have to deal with needless agency consultants making money for doing what clients are too lazy to do themselves, now they have to deal with the illogical idiocy common sense-challenged companies like Kraft are now foisting upon them. Kraft, in twisted logic not seen since CareerBuilder fired its agency because the agency's add didn't make the USA Today Top Ten, is requiring agencies participating in a review to not only cede ownership of pitched concepts (a not so uncommon practice) but also to accept liability for those concepts if they end up being used and cause legal problems in the future ( a new and extremely stupid practice).
Someone please help us here. We'll say it again. Kraft wants agencies to give up ownership of any presented idea. Then it wants to be able to sue the agency that presented those ideas if they cause legal trouble in the future...even though the agency doesn't even own the idea any more! We have a headache.
OK, OK. We get it. Big tobacco company's suck but trying to apply old demographic assumptions tobacco companies may have made about African Americans in the past to today's African Americans is stretching it a bit but that's the premise of the latest Truth campaign Whadafxup spot. While we dig Truth spokesman Derrick Beckles' new look as he interviews MTV's Nick Cannon, these spots continue to grate.
We're not defending tobacco companies but we're sure if a little digging was done, every company would be guilty of some sort of stereotyping of its audience. After all, marketing isn't about individuality (yet) and the purpose of demographic targeting is to categorize, label and assign certain attributes whether or not those labels correctly reflect the actual brand's customer.
While we think its a great idea to call attention to the number of pedestrian deaths by doing so at one potential point of death, the crosswalk, we don't think asking people to read the names of dead people and other "don't walk and die"-related messages while crossing the road is a smart move. One primary preventer of death is to simply pay attention to your surroundings. Distractions such as this would seem to increase the very problem it's trying to prevent. A perfect idea of creative conference room idea gone wrong.
Of course, following this line of logic, all forms of roadside advertising such as billboards should be banned since, when driving, people should be paying attention to the road, not reading billboards, right?
When we're presented the chance to launch ourselves out of a cannon to any destination in the world, we tend to get a bit excited. After all, that Outpost.com gerbil thing was pretty cool. Well after no less that 15 clicks and a seemingly endless collection of forms, buttons, drop down menus and a final challenge to enter personal information, our desire to hop inside the cannon quickly waned. For fuck's sake, marketers, if you're gonna offer up some silly time-waster, the least you could do is make it simple.
If you care, this whole cannon thing has something to do with Heineken, the UEFA Champions League Final and various prize packages. We know we're shirking our journalistic duties here but if you really want to see what happens when the cannon goes off, you'll have to slog through the site on your own,
If you're interested in hearing some of the most twisted, blubber-filled blather explaining and defending PayPerPost, the service that pays bloggers to write positive posts for advertisers with questionable disclosure, you'll love this interview Jason Calacanis did with PayPerPost CEO Ted Murphy. To hear Murphy say he has no problem reading a blog that contains paid posts that aren't disclosed as such and try to attach some kind of logic to it is one of the saddest moments in marketing history. PayPerPost has been a laughable business model from its start and to hear Murphy try to justify it is just painful and offensive. It's an affront to what limited credibility marketing still has in the eyes of people. Lines are already blurred enough and Murphy, it seems, wants lines to disappear completely.
No, Bank of America (and all other financial institutions for that matter), my account information is not enclosed in this letter. In case you hadn't read your own mail before sending, what's contained inside this letter is not my bank statement but rather yet another offer for me to consolidate debt, spend more money on a vacation and create even more debt by writing a check against my credit card account to spend frivolously on things I don't want or need.
Perhaps direct mail guru Bob Bly can put my mind to rest. Has it become permissible for the practice to mislead, lie and misinform as standard practice? I never created email that lied and for years I've ignored this idiocy. I can't any longer. It's bad enough Bank of America requires you to have a degree in accounting to figure out how much you actually owe on your overdraft account. Now they want you to go deeper into debt with these idiotic monthly offers. Yes, of course, I ignore all of them but after 24 months of me not responding, you think they'd want to save a stamp or two. Oh wait, direct mailers don't care about the wasted 98 percent of people who ignore their offers.They only care about the two percent that respond. Silly me.
It seems $50 million dollar marketing decisions can now be made on the basis of winning or losing a newspaper's ad popularity contest. Yes, that's right. CareerBuilder has placed its account in review because its ads did not make a top ten appearance in USA Today's Super Bowl ad poll, a tiny survey based on just a few hundred people with absolutely nothing to do with whether or not an ad affected sales.
Cramer-Krasselt President Peter Krikovich is pissed. Livid. Dumfounded. And steaming mad and tells Advertising Age he responded to CareeBuilder's opening a review based on the poll by asking, "You have to be fucking kidding me, right?" The agency has resigned the account and will not participate in the review.
Is it just us or has this PayPerPost thing gone to far? PayPerPost is the company that pays bloggers to write positive posts about a brand. Now the company has launched an affiliate program that promises to pay other bloggers
recruit other bloggers and pay them to link to the posts written by the original PayPerPost bloggers. Let's see if we can get this straight. PayPerPost is going to pay bloggers to link to other blogger's content, for which the sole reason of its existence was cash changing hands. Is anyone else having a WTF moment about this right now? Have these PayPerPost people lost all sense of reality? There are so many things wrong with this on so many levels.