Everyone knows the Duck. Everyone's seen the Duck. Everyone's heard the Duck. Ben Affleck shared The Tonight Show couch with the Duck. The Duck has 85 percent brand awareness. But, what the hell does the duck stand for? That's the very question New Aflac CMO Jeff Herbert is dealing with right now. He claims the Duck has gained the company awareness for awareness' sake but hasn't done a good job supporting Aflac's brand messaging. He plans to lessen the Duck's role in future marketing and, surprise, actually explain what Aflac does. Gee, now there's a novel concept. Tell people what you actually do.
Herbert has reorganized Aflac's marketing department and plans to alter the company's media mix. relying less on television.
UPDATE: Aflac to media: Damn you, you trigger-happy journalists! A recent press release pumped out rom Aflac today states, "Contrary to recent media reports, Aflac has no intention of abandoning its use of the Aflac Duck." Herbert said, "Like all of America, we love the Aflac Duck. It is as central to our marketing efforts today as it will continue to be going forward." Um, Jeff, we never said the Aflac duck was disappearing. Ad Age said its wings would be clipped and we said it would take a backseat. OK, so maybe that was misleading and we (well, at least us here at Adrants) apologize if we misconstrued things.
However, we do think your brand needs to be identified with something more than a duck. You've achieved great awareness. We still don't know what you do. Maybe we're dumb but your advertising and that of many other's could stand to be a bit more descriptive and a bit less cute. After all, you do want people to hand their money over to you? They can't do that if they don't know what you can do for them.
Everybody who's anybody needs to have an online presence if they have any hope of being recalled offline. The only question is how to make that online presence engaging without doing something everyone else did already.
To solve this riddle, Mini Cooper looks two decades backward and brings 3D back with Turbovision. We're still waiting for our 3D glasses to arrive in the mail, which is annoying, but it makes us feel like kids again. When was the last time you received something as awesome as 3D glasses in the mail? Plus, after receiving free stuff from somebody you're always more inclined to check them out on the internet, so maybe this one's a winner. It's too soon to tell.
In any event a pair of red and blue specs will serve us in more ways than just one. We have every intention of wearing them as we walk down the street. Collars up, of course. We just need to find our ghetto blaster.
There's something totally classy about blowing coke up your nose with a McD's coke spoon. It ties you to America somehow, and to cheeseburgers, and to childhood.
In the '70's, McD's strange-looking stirring spoon gets adopted by the white powder cult. Panicked about becoming accomplices in the empire of blow, family-friendly McDonald's discontinues the multi-faceted units.
But this kind of thing doesn't die quietly. Artists Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney bring the hot spoons back - plated in 18k gold, disco-fever style. Pissed at their insolence, McD's released a cease and desist.
Oh come on. It's every fledgling brand's wet dream to be appropriated by some enthusiastic subculture. And who doesn't want the designer drug users (possibly now enthusiastic - and wealthy - pop-art consumers)? They define trendy.
Plus, coke-heads are generally skinnier than the obese protesters long courting the golden arches. They make natural retaliatory press. Getting fat? Forego the baked apple pie for a spoon. It's free! (Magic dust sold separately.)
While we're used to Google garnering residual PR for retooling old media for new ways to advertise, we're pretty unused to seeing Google actually advertise outside of sanctioned Google space or some kind of cross-brand. It's a card the uberbrand rarely pulls.
Shortly after deciding to make Gmail public (really this time, except not) Google's decided to start marketing for it too. And who did they tap as the vehicle to do the job? Youtube.
Nodding to critiques about big names doing bad at guerilla, Google makes sure we can't accuse them of getting too slick. The video takes place in a cubicle farm, is narrated by a 20-something and demonstrates Gmail's unique features with hand puppets made of office tools.
Clever, Google. They have a cavalier way of hawking great services by demonstrating none too shyly how much fun they're having. And even as VC's shake their heads in disgust at the grinning Googlers sipping smoothies, you have to admit few companies are willing to let their minions put their deskside office art on air. Maybe one day we'll be getting credit for our low-key talent as origami bird makers.
We pride ourselves on our unsurpassed potty-mouthage, so we feel a little outdone by this new Earth Day campaign that's kind of sponsored by Greenpeace.
The naughty prints are only "kind of" sponsored by Greenpeace because Exit3a copywriter Tom Mullen admits to AdCritic they haven't told the organization about the print series yet. "It's probably not legal, but there's too much paperwork, meetings and phone calls involved to get the campaign approved in time for Earth Day," he explains. "I figure Greenpeace is too busy getting sued by conglomerates to bother suing a few people who are trying to promote the cause. They can always officially deny the vulgarity."
If fortune favours the brave, perhaps that grace extends to those disinclined to ask permission for slapping mom-fucking ads out into the open and signing it Greenpeace.
We call this the conjure-bonds-by-insulting-the-source technique. This strategy occurs on the playground all the time, except it's done in crayon and usually ends in tears or angry phone calls. We have a feeling Greenpeace will be getting a few of the latter.
Out since early February and in a nod to television's Starsky & Hutch and Knight Rider, Hammer & Coop is a six episode online miniseries that pits a dude named Jim Turtledove against a white-suited megalomaniac named Sven Hartjan. The star of the show, though, is the 2007 Mini Coop. This is not an ad. This is a show and it's hilarious. Though it's not technically an ad, the show does a great job of pointing out the car's feature without it seeming too gratuitous.
Two of the six episodes are out and have Turtledove getting sidetracked by a bikini car wash and Hartjan sharing his maniacal plans with us. There's a funny action hero name generator so you, too, can have your own Jim Turtledove-like name. There's also the usual wallpapers, screensavers and buddy icons. Very nice work.
Shannon Stephaniuk from Glossy Inc. did some sleuthing for us about the music in the new Pepsi Pinball commercial. We really like commercial during which a guy takes a wild ride on the ball through the streets of San Francisco. We also really like how the snickering creatives behind this ad, as Shannon's research indicates, seemingly slipped past the client the fact the original lyrics of the version of the song used in this ad, 1977's Jet Boy Jet Girl, are about one guy giving head to another.
Perhaps all those hipster marketers over at Pepsi are too young to remember seventies punk. Perhaps they actually know what they're doing trying to connect with in-the-know hipsters all while slipping it under the radar of Pepsi's culturally disconnected top management. Perhaps neither the agency nor the client has a clue regarding this song's origin. Perhaps, as one commenter points out, it's because the song is not really the song but a version of the song sung by another guy in another band that used to be in the original band. Confused? We are too. No matter what, we just think it's pretty funny.
Gawker takes a look at a recent Banana Republic ad that features what, apparently, are architects all styled up with Banana Republic fashions. Gawker wonders, as we do too, if architects really dress like this. To discover the truth, Gawker spoke to an architect, "Frankie," who works at "a large firm downtown with an eccentric, megalomaniac starchitect at the helm." A taste:
Gawker: So what is it like being surrounded by nubile 23 year olds in khaki coordinates at all times?
Frankie: I am not really sure, to be honest with you. I think I may be involved in some different types of architecture than these people.
We're not too sure how many people would turn to a wet suit to improve their ability to contort into various sexual positions but, apparently, that's what Australian wet suit maker Radiator wants us to think. The campaign's tagline clinches it: "Not As Thick. Just As Warm. All the Rubber You'll Need." Innuendo much? This comes to us courtesy of Australian agency The Furnace. All fou of the as in the campaign are available here as a PDF file or here on AdPunch.
Entry update: Balendu at Adpunch brings our attention to a series of Mustang billboards that actually blur the scenery behind them. The idea is to lend drivers the impression that Mustang drivers see the world in hyperspeed.
Created by Miami Beach Ad School students Ian Hart and Annie Williams, the work takes a traditional medium largely ignored by its audience and turns it into a frame through which any passerby can see the world from the perspective of a very sleek vehicle. The board is made of GE Lexan EXL semi-transparent resin and blurs the scene behind it regardless of the weather.