Joe Jaffe, upon seeing BMW's RFP letter to agencies, offers the manufacturer some advice. His advice comes in the form several bullet points along with a bit of self promotion for his new book which we really, really want to read but the post office, apparently, can't seem to find us. One of Jaffe's suggestions. While we haven't seen BMW's letter ourselves, Jaffe feels BMW is being "delusional, greedy, unrealistic or all three. You want an 'agency' to reach a 'broader, more diverse audience' on roughly half of last year's budget; you're looking for a shop that can create integrated marketing aimed at a niche audience; you feel the need to turn $1 into $5 and state that 'if you don't have a track record of creating stuff like this, this is probably the wrong opportunity for your agency' - come on, why stop there: if it were me running this pitch, I'd demand that the 'shop' come up with a 3-step program to cure both cancer and AIDS, and while we're at it, let's throw in ending poverty in Africa, which seems to be all the rage right now. Aim high my friends, aim high." Point taken but on the flip side, why aim low?
Recently, Miller beer tapped an all star line up of hip hop personalities to promote its Miller Genuine Draft brand. Rappers like Common, Q-Tip, Cypress Hill, Talib Kweli, and Big Boi of Outkast kicked off the 1st ever "Flavor 2 Savor" concert series as an "acknowledgment of the influence, and pivotal role that urban music has played in shaping popular culture."
Culture critic and self professed brand bouncer Bucky Turco wonders why these black community icons would knowingly work with Miller, part of SABMiller which was recently criticized for its treatment of black workers. Turco said in an email to Adrants, "MC's like Common, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, and Cypress Hill constitute a strong part of the black intelligentsia and they tend to be brand conscious. It is surprising that the leaders of black thought in hip hop would be so supportive of Miller since it is owned by SABMiller, (the SAB standing for South African Breweries), the world's 2nd largest brewer, and the 3rd largest company in South Africa behind DeBeers and Anglo American Corp. SAB has often been criticized for exploiting its black workers and, for their intense marketing efforts to the poor black working class, especially miners. Something tells me no one told these guys what the SAB stands for."
Adopting the next new buzz word, Coke has embarked on an "experiential" marketing concept that will, as Ad Age writes, "interpret what the marketer calls the brand's 'optimism' through a series of short films and breakthrough bottle designs." The project, called M5, involves five design shops which will create "iconic" designs that will affect packaging and other branding elements all designed to increase appeal to younger generations. The new designs will debut beginning in September. The first is called "Love Being" and was designed by Designers Republic in London.
While the endeavor to make the brand relevant again is worthy and commendable, the endless marketing blather used to describe the effort is quite comical and well worth wallowing in for a while.
In the "Um...WOW" category, Adidas said it would buy Reebok for $3.8 billion. Who new merger madness would hit the sneaker category. Adidas CEO and Chairman Herbert Hainer said in a statement, "We will expand our geographic reach, particularly in North America, and create a footwear, apparel and hardware offering that addresses a broader spectrum of consumers and demographics. With Reebok, we are advancing our position on the playing field of the sporting goods industry and are improving our financial strength to drive increased shareholder value." Watch out, Nike.
On her arrangement with several magazines to use images of Lexus vehicles in editorial, Lexus VP of Marketing Deborah Wahl Meyer told Ad Age, "I'm not talking about pushing anyone to do this We highly respect what a journalist and editor do. We're not talking about crossing any boundaries that are well established." Clearly, the simple act of asking certainly crosses the line. It places journalist in a compromising position. They have been influenced whether they decided to go along with the request or not. Don't worry. We haven't turned into a myopic infant. We know this stuff been going on forever but slowly and surely the line between editorial and advertising is becoming obliterated. Uninfluenced, independent commentary is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
As evil as this may sound, people still have brains, whether marketers realize this or not, and they will adjust to this blurring of reality. Though, it's just not something that needs to be there in the first place. Lending a bit of humor to this magazine product placement trend is the hilariously clandestine, hush-hush attitude both sides have taken on as if knowing which publishers and which marketers are in bed together is as important as codes to detonate a nuclear device.
Joey deVilla, a Technical Community Development Coordinator for back office software company Tucows, Inc., publishes a personal weblog on which he recently recounted an experience he had with moving company Quick Boys, mentioned in the comment section of a post he had made about Toronto movers. One of the commenters to the post, who deVilla knew, shared a bad experience with Quick Boys and recommended others steer clear of the company.
Peeking out from the elegant archway of New York's Lord & Taylor on 425 Fifth Avenue are racy, stylized video images promoting the fashions available within. The juxtaposition between the elegance of the building's architecture and the giant cleavage peering outward caused our famed fashionista Bucky Turco, riding through Fifth Avenue traffic, to stop and shoot a couple pictures for us.
With the possibility of Bank of America agency Interpublic EVP and CMO Bruce Nelson leaving, the bank is said to have contacted Omnicom and WPP about its account. The possibility of a review for the $261 million (TNS) account is not being commented upon by either side with the standard, circular, agency-to-client, client-to agency referrals be tossed back and forth. More than a dozen Interpublic agencies could be affected if the account shifts.
For the first time in two years, following his arrest for alleged rape, Kobe Bryant will appear in ads for Nike which will appear in Sports Illustrated. "There is no change in Kobe Bryant's contractual status with Nike. Kobe's inclusion in promotional material for the Huarache 2K5 footwear product is consistent with such Nike endorsement agreements. Nike agrees with most NBA observers that Kobe ranks among the very best players in the NBA, and his training and preparation are key elements of his game," said Nike spokesman Rodney Knox.
AdPulp points to a Nike/Maria Sharapova brand rip off that could only come from sexually repressed Japan. A company called Sharanpowan is selling pillows shaped like the breasts and lap of the famous tennis starlet. We suppose playing with Sharapova's pillows is better than copping a feel in public to take care of sexual urges but this, one has to admit, it just weird.