If the premise of Ford's new Bold Moves documentary, which promises to rip the bullshit out of the company, holds true, the company may actually live up to the promise of its new "Bold Moves" ad campaign. The online documentary series promises an unfettered look inside the company and how it plans to return to profitability by 2008. The first episode of the series recounts Ford's glory days but very quickly admits its tenuous position in the face of superior foreign automotive companies which continue to take more and more market share. With the documentary, Ford promises to tell the honest story of how it will engineer its own comeback.
Each morning after my three mile excuse for a workout, I head over to the local Dunkin Donuts to pick up an iced latte. Hey, I know it doesn't sound very manly but it just seems to taste a lot better than regular coffee. Anyway, each day I look at my Dunkin Donuts cup, branded with the new tagline "America Runs on Dunkin," and think, finally, an agency and a company that hit on a message which actually means something. Recently, there's been loser taglines like "Bold Moves" and "Leap Ahead" so it's refreshing to see Hill Holiday, Dunkin Donuts' agency, come up with a winner in "America Runs on Dunkin."
I love the tagline because it speaks directly to the "fuel" that many Americans depend on to get going in the morning. Just like re-fueling a car, that morning stop at the local Dunkin Donuts fills the tank with energy to keep one running all day long. While a 2003 research study found taglines not very effective, "America Runs on Dunkin" just feels right as well as actually says something, an admirable accomplishment in comparison to most meaningless taglines littering the current advertising landscape.
Now we know why AOL still has so many users. Try as they might, canceling an AOL account is, apparently, a nightmare, a point proved by one Vincent Ferrari who recorded his exchange with an AOL customer service rep while canceling his account. It took Ferarri a total of 21 minutes to complete the cancellation and the five minute he spent with an actual human being are simply priceless. The CSR berated Ferrari, who is 30, to the point of asking to speak to his father because he thought Ferrari was making wrong decision in canceling the account. While, AOL did reply to the MSNBC report on the incident with an apology and a statement it had fired the CSR in question, there are, according to Ferrari, many others who have had similar experiences with the company. In the world of social media, consumer-generated media and YouTube, there's no hiding shady business practices any longer.
Coining the term "Momedy," Suave has launched a site that features three blond moms doing stand up comedy about being a mother. Somehow it's suppose to sell shampoo but we just don't see it. But there is one good piece of advice in the bit. For those Moms who breast feed, make sure you switch size or else you'll end up looking like Calista Flockhart on one side and Pamela Anderson on the other. OK then. Go buy some Suave now so the client is happy.
While watching this :90 spot, part of a new brand campaign from Dow Chemical created by FCB Chicago, we are reminded of the unfortunate mindset that invades large companies which do so many things it becomes impossible even to remotely explain what the company actually does do. We saw this to a certain degree in the latest GE campaign and now we are witnessing it in this latest campaign from Dow Chemical. For an agonizing 89 seconds, we are subjected to meaningless fluffery and puffery, written as if the copywriter was in the midst of an epiphany with God, which somehow ties Dow to a missing chemical element, the Human Element. Then again, what else can you say about a company that does everything?
Just as it was at the Super Bowl and at every other ad-heavy event, the FIFA brand police are out at the World Cup protecting the brands that have paid for the privilege of sponsoring the event. The BBC reports 1,000 Dutch fand had to watch their team play Ivory Coast in their underwear because they were all wearing orange pants branded with a Dutch Brewer which had been provided by the viewer. It's the whole ambush marketing thing and everyone's doing it. But, those that tried should have followed Heineken's lead used in a recent viral that ended with fans expanding little green hats into Heineken-branded megaphones. The article goes on to explain how marketers have earned the right for exclusivity and how some feel they should be able to wear whatever they want. As it is every time this comes up, it's the same old thing. Nothing is resolved. Marketers continue to complain. Officials do their thing and people continue to wear whatever they want.
As part of its "My Circle" calling plan that allows anyone to add anyone from any cell service and call them for free, a new TV commercial collects the icons from Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile and Cingular and has a bit of fun with them at a bowling alley. It's one of the funnier ads we've seen in a while.
Shannon Stephaniuk of Toronto-based Glossy got to be queen for a day when she met up with the man in the strange mask who was in town shooting his latest commercial with the famed Perlorian Brothers. She had some time to hang with the King and get a few pictures. Since the King was dumped by Brooke Burke, maybe he's moving in on Shannon now. She is pretty cute after all.
While the stunt has been known for some time, many videos of people dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke are flooding social networks and one of the marketers is loving the publicity. Commenting on the 800 or so videos online, estimated to be worth $10 million in marketing value, Mentos VP of Marketing Pete Healy said, "We're tickled pink any it." On the other hand, old-fashioned marketer Coca-Cola really doesn't get it. In a statement that sounds like it's out of a 1950's marketing text book, Coke Spokeswoman Susan McDermott said, "It's an entertaining phenomenon. We would hope people want to drink more than try experiments with it." OK, first, who cares if the crap gets consumed. People have to buy the stuff to do this stunt. It's money in the bank for Coke no matter what. Second, there's this thing called free publicity. Maybe Coke hasn't heard of it but many marketers think it's a really good thing when people talk about and use their products a lot.
We all thought the whole Chevy Novo "No Go" thing was a bad naming gaffe but that doesn't hold a candle to H&M's naming of their new men's jeans Fit Sliq. A harmless name to those of us who regularly speak English but not so harmless and carrying an entirely different meaning in Swedish. In Swedish, it means - brace yourselves - cunnilingus or "cunt licker" in a more exact translation. Yes, according to Adland's dabitch, a women well versed in Swedish, the jeans just might become a hot item as "Swedish men and the occasional lesbian raid the stores for a pair of these naughty naughty jeans."
The kicker to this whole thing is that H&M is a Swedish company. Perhaps it's not a gaffe at all but an inside joke or perhaps it's an English speaking product manager run amok. Either way, it's funny. I mean, unfortunate.