James Cash Penney. Isn't that an awesome founder name? It pulls 10 times the weight of humdrum John Rockefeller. There's miles of branding potential behind a name like that.
Unfortunately JC Penney's isn't known for taking advantage. As kids we considered Penney's a tier above Sears - if you're desperate or you wait too long you might find a good prom dress there, but you'll probably lie and say you got it on sale at Macy's.
To offset this sad effect, Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts enlists the lame duck brand for a Lovemarks repositioning. Watch the initial couple of ads and read the Garfield review at Advertising Age.
It's not enough to reach purchasing audiences anymore; we also need to keep one eye open for bloggers and online opinion-makers who increasingly make or break the success of a campaign. Still, few marketers will admit it's the bloggers they're targeting, much less shoot directly for them.
An Adrants reader points us to this fresh DuPont campaign called DuPont stories. Created by the interactive media futurists at Denuo, the videos are set up like a science class to illustrate the relevance of DuPont in everyday life. They're narrated by former Rocketboomer Amanda Congdon - looking hotter than ever - garbed in a lab coat who, oddly enough, isn't removing it, tossing her hair or making come-hither Freudian slips as the tale progresses. (After all, it is Amanda Congdon.)
We don't know if that's good or bad but we like that the series doesn't try leveraging the camp or slapstick humour characteristic of the standard viral. We feel like we learned something (watch Glass Houses, it's awesome). We feel enriched but somehow still not bored. By gad, could it be that viral trollers aren't monkeys after all?
For reasons that defy our understanding, there's always an enthusiastic response to esoteric Eurotrash-style campaigns. The trend leaves a bad taste in our mouths; it's like paying too much to walk into a club that makes gratuitous use of pink and black with a waxy clientele that just wants to get off on the idea of rubbing shoulders with waxy clientele. We actually did that the other night which is probably why we're experiencing such a violent knee-jerk reaction to this new Nokia thing.
Toilet humour isn't just the cheapest form of joke; it's probably also the most relatable. Scott Clog Clinic, an ongoing Scott campaign meant to educate people about best toilet practices and share fun facts, just awarded a 23-year-old Pennsylvanian $25,000 for sharing his "cloggiest moment."
In brief, said 23-year-old takes his father's advice late one night and uses his uncle's ski pole to get rid of a clog that won't be moved by a plunger.
Why give the guy money? What they should have given him was film equipment. There's nothing like watching a stressful situation like that play out on Youtube. It has all the right components: an anxious 20-something, a gigantic piece of shit and ski equipment. How did anyone avoid filming this?
- George Parker says close-minded American marketers who buy into the ill-named American sport playoffs which assume America is the world should check out Cricket World Cup which, like football (the kind known to the rest of the world and not Americans), offers a chance to connect with fans the world over.
- New York's Z100 goes all consumer-generated with a new promotion that asks listeners to submit billboard and TV ideas which, if they win, will be shown in Times Square and aired on TV.
- New U.S. Post Office stamps get promoted with RD D2 mail box wraps.
Described as a site for "cultural creatives" who "share common attitudes and value life-long learning, self-actualization, authenticity, idealism, activism, a global perspective, ecology, the importance of women, altruism and spirituality," the just-launched Personal Life Media promises to give people a place to find content about relationships, dating, marriage, intimacy, life purpose, wealth creation, healthy aging and longevity among others.
Created by well-connected ad:tech Chair Emeritus Susan Bratton and Rhapsody creator Tim Bratton, the site will offer fifteen weekly audio shows which can be heard online, subscribed to via RSS or accessed through iTunes. The focus will cover personal as well as business issues. Citing the fact most podcast content today is "either tech-oriented, comedy, sports or other content focused on 18-34 year olds, re-purposed mainstream media content or poorly produced amateur junk," Personal Life Media CEO Bratton says she hopes to fill a void with personal-focused information on green living, money, motivation and a healthy collection of information to improve one's sex life.
Also a part of the site are topical blogs written by the show hosts as well as other contributors. Personal Life media will support itself with ad revenue and offer a revenue share model to its hosts and bloggers which it plans to expand by soliciting topical ideas from anyone who has a great one.
There's all kinds of time-wasters people can play online and there's innumerable ways for people to win money. There's also hundreds of mindless advertising awards show that offer up nothing more than pretty statues to collect dust in your office. Why not combine all this into something that's fun and involves people outside of the industry as well.
Dubbed existential advertising, Lost (the site, not the show) is a place where people can join, invite others and get creative in doing so. Instead of link-begging (which is all we're up to at this point, sadly), players are urged to come up with creative ways to invite people to the site. For each person that accepts an invitation, the inviter gets a point. If they don't get any points withing a 30 day period, they lose and they are out of the game. If them win, they get $5,000. Give it a try.
A tip-off from Frederik Samuel: Goodby, Silverstein and Partners put together this visually lush site for Milk called Get the Glass.
We love the attention to detail and the character mix but by the time we got to the game (which we looked forward to playing until the countdown lag) we were antsy out of our minds.
Did you guys have to start the preloading countdown at, like, 80? What were you thinking? Once it got to 55 and we realized you were serious, we had already decided we would build our own toy wonderland in the duration and torch it out of vengeance.
We're minding our own business, reading an article on reverse mortgages for a fear-induced high, when we see this ad for Jeffrey D Horn, MD, vision specialist.
And now we feel this insane compulsion to don a white coat, walk down the street and bark "Cataracts slowing you down? GET YOUR ZOOM BACK!" at innocent spectacled passersby. If we didn't have titanic strength of will we most undoubtedly would, unbridled and uncut.
Sometimes your message just doesn't interpret the way it ought to. But maybe it's not the ad. Maybe we should just stop trolling senior citizen websites. Maybe we should stop mixing vodka in our orange juice at breakfastime. There could be a thousand contributing factors here.
AdFreak educates us on an eyebrow-raising repositioning campaign for West Virginia. Their last tourism stint, the "desperate housewives" upper middle class ennui card, apparently yielded mediocre results because they've thrown their heirloom-encrusted hands in the air with the new "Whatever you do, don't come to West Virginia!" campaign. (And we're not quipping. That's actually the tagline.)
"There's value in the copy," says travel/marketing director Liz Chewning of WV's tourism division. "You choose the words carefully and try to surprise your reader, hooking them by saying the unexpected."