If you look at it honestly, advertising's sole purpose is to sell stuff. Forget all that crap about brand building because it's all the same thing. You build a brand so it connects with people so they are more inclined to buy from said brand. Advertising's purpose is not, despite what many would like to think, about winning rewards or creativity. Clio. Cannes. ADDY. One Show. Create. Webby. ADC. Andys. Irrelevant. You disagree and claim the winning of awards helps agencies win accounts? Fair enough but wrong.
What if we lived in a world where we knew exactly how well received our commercials were the second they aired? Well, if Nielsen and the rest of the industry can get their shit together, we may soon see that world. Commercial ratings have been much discussed over the last few years but scant progress has been made. Some half assed solutions have been put in place and even more half assed solutions have been suggested. Who wants half an ass when they cab have full on booty? Yea, we thought so.
We'd have to see it to render fair judgment and we missed its debut opting instead for Survivor and John Hughes Sixteen Candles which unintentionally sucked us in as fast as people are leaving Agency.com but last night, MTV debuted its mixed up programming block. The block merges programming with advertising and intertwined them in a heightened fashion purposefully aiming to blur the line between entertainment and commerce.
MTV describes it thusly, "Interweaving show content and the commercial experience, MTV's Thursday Night Block will present continuous engagement for the MTV audience - where shows will merge into one another, and programming content will play in commercial time - throughout a continuous 2-hour block."
Chicago's Flow Creative has whipped up a fun campaign for what sounds like a seriously mundane business, Chicago Board Options Exchange which has fun with clown surgeons who don't know how to operate and boxers who think oven mitts will do the trick. This is one of those campaigns that only makes sense if your in the financial industry. Otherwise, when you hear the close of the clown spot which says "when it comes to options, there's no substitute for CBOE." you'll just respond by asking, "Huh?"
If you've been in the online industry longer than a day or two, you've certainly heard about a company called Joost which is, seemingly, about to turn the world of online video and television on its head. Still in private beta with an official launch date set for several months out, Joost describes itself as "free TV, with the choice to watch alone or with friends. Joost is packed with internet tools such as instant messaging and channel chat, allowing people to really share the TV experience. It's a completely secure platform for content owners that respects their rights, while protecting and enhancing their brands. And it's an incredibly flexible way for advertisers to reach a truly global audience, in ways that really work. Joost isn't just video on the internet - it's the next generation of television for viewers, content owners and advertisers everywhere."
Boston Legal has always been a particularly good show, even if it has become so by positively highlighting some characters while treating others as lame ass idiots. One has to feel for the plight of Mark Valley's Brad Chase on the series who's gone from formidable fixture of strength of bumbling buffoon spending no time in the courtroom and the entire last episode stuck in an air vent. And for Julie Bowen's Denise Bauer who's gone from ass-kicking, intern-belittling powerhouse to sappy second string softie. Even Rene Auberjonis has taken a back seat at crane Poole $ Schmidt.
Following the launch of its toilet bowl-based free wireless broadband internet access offering, TiSP, Google just struck a deal with Echostar's Dish network to provide an auction-based ad sales system. The system will allow for placement on 120 cable nets and offer second by second commercial ratings. Advertisers will make CPM bid buys through existing AdWords account across the 120 networks by daypart or have the system spit out an automated recommendation based on provided demos.
Tying into Echostar's set top box and using commercial ratings, Google will provide bid details, placed ads, ad viewership and performance by network all withing 24 hours. Bypassing all the ratings foolery in which the industry is enmeshed, Google hopes to bring true value to inventory by supporting it with tangible numbers. Big names such as Intel, E-Trade and 188Flowers have bought in for early tests.
Google has made and will continue to make mistakes as it follows its path towards world domination but we have to give it to them for cutting through all the crap and, as Nike has always said, just doing it.
Here's a campaign that's too relevant for comfort. Merkley + Partners get cozy with the Ad Council -- which was recently in bed with the US Army for a grammatically icky and unconvincing get-edumakayted campaign -- to inflict fear upon teens for more conservative internet practices.
Part peer pressure, part plain creepiness and all mortification, the spots are entitled Bulletin Board and Everyone Knows Your Name. A typically over-informative PR tells us it's meant to raise awareness about online sexual exploitation but could just as easily be a cautionary wrist-slap over the ever-growing epidemic of Google-happy employers.
Damn. Now we're going to have to stop ordering those Venti, no fat, extra shot, no whip, lattes that keep us awake all day and take mattress maker Select Comfort's advice and just go buy one of their beds instead. That's what this McKinney-created commercial is telling us while it gleefully pokes fun at our insanely super sized efforts to stay awake each day. With the tagline, You Can Cure Tired," the campaign urges us crazies to stop spending millions on caffeine and just, well, go to sleep. On a Select Comfort mattress, of course. The campaign, which includes a second spot began airing yesterday in seven markets including Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Orlando, Tucson, Tampa and Denver.
While it doesn't answer the question of how American Idol survived beyond its first season, our current theory, that lots of hair can keep you buoyant despite any other merits you may lack, is the reason we think the unlikely Sanjaya Malakar remains in the musical running.
See his audition here.
His singing ain't fantastic but the whole seven ponytails ("For good luck!") shtick he recently pulled off is endearing to somebody. Many somebodies.
Even Simon is at a loss for words, noting if America likes him then it doesn't matter what he says. The defeated attitude wears badly on our judge of choice.
We don't know what Mr. Rove was thinking at the Radio Television Correspondents' Association Dinner, but if hip-hop wasn't dead before he just shot it in the face. We'll never again be able to purge the memory of him jerking his hands from side to side and whipping out his cell-phone with knees bouncing.
Well, if we were part of the Administration we too would run with the strange, liberating sensation that comes with having nothing left to lose.