Happy Halloween! It's a time for costumes, spooks, candy, and branding lessons for small businesses. That's right, a time to take a look at what business branding lessons we can learn from Halloween characters. Take a guess at which character best represents an issue your brand is facing.
Coca-Cola is in a bit of hot water over a bilingual promotion in Canada which resulted in "You Retard" being printed on Vitaminwater bottle caps. The bottle cap was found by Blake Loates whose sister, Fiona, has cerebral palsy. Fiona's father, Doug Loates was angered and wrote a scathing letter to Coke.
In the letter, Loates wrote in part,"The R-word is considered a swear word in our family. What would YOU do if you opened up your bottle of Vitamin Water and on the bottom of the lid it read, 'YOU RETARD? I bet you'd be pissed if you had a Fiona in your life! ... Can you imagine if SHE [Fiona] had opened this bottle???"
In a move rarely seen from an ad agency (helping people other than themselves), Barton F. Graf 9000 created a wonderfully cheesy, Geocities-era website and a radio ad that not only sells the Little Caesars Deep Deep Dish pizza but also helps Alan Varner, the voice behind Little Caesars ads, find more voiceover work.
Altruism at its finest. And yet another brilliant move by Barton F. Graf 9000 to gin up awareness for Little Caesars in a unique manner.
Volvo is on a roll and has upped the anti with its latest bit of stuntvertising. This latest stunt, which follows Volvo President Claes Nilsson standing atop a 32 ton truck suspended by a crane and a hamster driving a Volvo truck up a cliffside road, has Volvo technician Roland Svensson buried up to his head.
As he calmly shares the fact he's been working on the high ground clearance suspension system of the new Volvo FMX truck, the FMX truck, which has 12 inches of ground clearance, speeds right over Svensson's head which, we are told, stood 10 inches above the ground.
Certainly you've heard of Grumpy Cat, that feline with a built-in frowny face whose real name is Tardar Sauce and whose owner is Phoenix-based Tabatha Bundesen. If not, you've been living under a rock.
Grumpy Cat rose to fame a year ago when someone posted a particularly frowny faced photo of Grumpy Cat on Reddit. Since that time, Grumpy Cat has her own Facebook page with over one million fans and a Twitter account with over 100,000 followers.
Ms. Grumpy Cat recently signed an endorsement deal with Friskies and will receive a lifetime achievement October 15 when the brand announces the winners of its 2013 best cat video contest.
Here's the problem with JetBlue's new Mullen-created commercial for JetBlue. No matter how you sugarcoat it (bags fly free, most legroom in coach, unlimited snacks, free TV, friendly flight attendants), flying still sucks. Know why? Because people refuse to pay a lot to fly so the airlines have no choice but to pack as many people into a plane as possible and give them as few "perks" as they can.
Microsoft has, today, pulled a video it posted Friday entitled " A fly on the wall in Cupertino" in which two actors present to "T", aka a fictitious TIm Cook (which is this video actually looks more like Steve Jobs), what they've been working on leading up to last week's Apple iPhone event.
The video has been pulled from official channels but still floats around and can be viewed. Of the video, Microsoft issued a statement which read,"The video was intended to be a light-hearted poke at our friends from Cupertino. But it was off the mark, and we've decided to pull it down."
There were seven videos in all. All have been pulled.
It's been a while since we've witnessed a contextual advertising screw up. While we're sure they still happen all the time and people have, for the most part, just become immune to them, it's still intriguing to see them pop up from time to time.
Adrants reader Micah Donahue sent us this mobile screenshot of a Progressive ad banner above a CNN story about today's shooting inside a D.C naval facility. In the banner, Progressive's Flo can be seen aiming a gun at the viewer. Of course it's not an actual gun but the placement of the ad above a story about a shooting is, at best, disconcerting.
To be fair, it's not even clear whether or not this is a contextually served ad. It's appearance could be completely random. Even so, an ad that has an image which appears to look at though someone is aiming a gun at you is probably not the best creative execution (no pun intended) to have in your rotation.
Oh the internet. It gives us so many wonderful things. So many things we'd would never have experience before like, well, like the Prancercise® Lady. If you haven't heard of her, her name is Joanna Rohrback and she does this exercise thing which aims to "create the most satisfying, holistic and successful fitness program one could hope to experience." And it has nothing to do with riding a horse.
Anyway, Rohrback, along with Dennis Rodman, an elephant, King Kong and, yes, Norman Bates, can be seen in the upcoming Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin' campaign which debuts today.
The campaign, which began in 2007, has featured such cultural oddities as Honey Badger, Snooki, Snoop Lion, Keyboard Cat, The Village People and, yes, the Secret Service.
It's an age old question. How soon is too soon to poke fun at a disaster? As history would inform, the answer is usually never. There are just too many emotions tied up in certain unfortunate events to make light of them. Even an event that happened 101 years ago is seemingly off limits.
When Red Bull made light of the Titanic sinking by suggesting the Titanic would not have sunk had it been carrying Red Bull, viewers were outraged and lodged complaints with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.