My last ad:tech Chicago session was the Social Media Industry Forum, presented by Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer.
The sesh had a festive air for many reasons, not least that it was Ramsey's birthday. ad:tech's Warren Pickett burst in near the end to furnish him with candle-lit cupcakes.
But the company was also lively: we had a frothy, sometimes cynical and perennially candid band that included Digital Marketing Manager Katie O'Brien of Ben & Jerry's, President Rick Murray of Edelman Digital (which does interactive stuff for B&J's), PR/Social Media Manager Susan Wassel of Sanford Brands (here to rep Sharpie), and Digital Strategist Akash Pathak of DraftFCB, which worked with Wassel to bring life to Sharpie's label.
ad:tech Chicago's "Love for Sale -- How Great Creative Seduces Its Target" session was broken into two discernably useful parts: statistics on online dating, and seduction as a metaphor for marketing.
We'll begin at the beginning.
The Online Dating Crowd
Accompanied by Liz Ross of Digitas US, Fusion Idea Lab's Matt Brennock regaled us with both statistics and close-to-home anecdotes -- the kind that's fueled many a romantic comedy.
I heard one guy say the pair had great chemistry, and he commended them for "[opening] the kimono" the way they did. Given the topic matter, and Brennock's zeal for reminding us (first once, then twice, then...) that men really do just wanna get laid, the geisha metaphor was oddly appropriate.
- The average online dater is 42 years old.
- Match.com remains tops, with 3.4 million uniques/month, but people increasingly drift away from these big-box dating sites and into more niche fare: j-date, veggiedate, Christian singles. (AdAge blogger Kelly Eidson seized this opportunity to send me a link to STD Match, a dating site targeted to people living with sexually transmitted diseases. There are also -- as if you didn't know -- ethnicity-specific sites.)
If the world wasn't our oyster before, the marvelous advances of the internet, coupled with mankind's enterprising creative spirit, have ensured it certainly is now. There's a match worth blogging.
- Ken Cole. Patriot.
- Jetpacks still not quitting.
- All black ads look alike.
- New Yorkers shooting New Yorkers.
Adrants reader Gareth sent over Levi's tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy. It appeared in the Sunday editions of the Times and the Globe and sports a rambling and whimsical quote from the Sen. ("The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die"), then a message from Levi's itself: "Let us continue his legacy of faith in the people and faith in the work that has yet to be done."
Wordy but loaded with gravity. We like that it remains sparing and casual; apart from the text, a hand-sketched version of the Levi's logo appears over its current tagline: "Go forth," part of a campaign primarily targeted to meatheads at uni.
The ad reminds us of Kenneth Cole's "Different Shoes" campaign, and it's a wonder to us that KC hasn't seized this opportunity to add Kennedy to its list of creative-friendly quotables.
It could just be that we didn't look hard enough though, so if we're wrong, send that bad-boy over.
A spankin' new ad for Beatles Rock Band features the Fab Four alive and well, loitering with fans on Abbey Road. There's even an almost-convincingly-cut scene of George Harrison strumming alongside a kid with a Rock Band guitar.
The frothy setting -- utterly devoid of the angst that made them not-a-band-anymore -- melts into animated versions of the Beatles themselves, beating their instruments over the coloured Rock Band bars that tell you what string to hit. Song featured in the ad is Come Together off their Abbey Road album.
No strong feelings of disdain here; it's certainly a lot less callous than that one time Saatchi used All You Need is Love to sell diapers or the time Ben & Jerry's distilled the spirit of John Lennon in a hippie ice cream.
Oddly -- and we might change our minds about this later -- the ad made the notion of bringing the Beatles back as an animated pleasure-band a lot less traumatizing than watching a stilted cartoon Kurt Cobain play marionette for Guitar Hero. It's cheesy, sure, but it could have been a trainwreck.
Identity of the agency behind the ad remains a mystery for now. Word has it there'll be a reveal after the game comes out. Anyway, whoever you are, nice job; we'd be liars if we said the work lacked charm.
- BBDO loses the Chrysler biz-nass. Read the detailed sitch and the straight-up tear.
- Political sand artist wins Ukraine's version of America's Got Talent. People in audience cry.
- iPhone users, Bump your way out of business card purgatory.
- Twitter penetrates network TV. (*sigh*) Via Make the Logo Bigger.
- New Bogusky/Winsor propaganda: Baked-In: The Power of Aligning Marketing & Product Innovation.
- Dictionary.com hipsters out, loses mind.
- "People with hangovers love Captain Morgan."
- Bloggers talk crowdsourcing on the BeanCast.
Three Olives Vodka, the folk that pimped the nation for its best O-face, is back with a triage of TV spots.
Each scenario is the same: a bespectacled male is subjected to pain. He doesn't react. Then he downs a shooter of the vodka, squeezes his little shoes together and O's his little heart out.
We're not really sure what New Yorkers read to give them that Big City somethin'-somethin', but NBC New York wants the crown for itself.
So it turned to Mother, which in turn conceived "Locals Only," a campaign that spotlights the website's granular take on the city. It's the spots that compelled us to visit the site, where we discovered it's a lot like HuffPo for deep-Manhattanites with a PG palate (more for NBC's sake, wethinks, than for the city's).
Yesterday's big story was a taser-toting robber grandma; today you've got a happy ending to a very old kidnapping story.
We also think the changing header -- "NBC New York [is intrigued by nude models]" -- gives it a personable touch, lending sass to a rag that, while not as gritty as NEW YORK POST, may well hold its own in the city's dense circle.
But enough about the site; let's move on to the weirdos. The punchline's cheap, and the news tidbits at the end feel a little shoehorned in, but the caricatures are wicked.
Ho there. Know what we never get tired of? That retail-superhero crap that Best Buy did with Geek Squad and Dell tried doing with Nerd Buddy.
But that's cool, because this is Sears, and you know they're hurtin' for imagination.
In defense of the Sears Blue Electronics Crew, we will say real-time price-checking is neat if it works the way it does in the ad, and we dig how research-intensive purchases, like a new TV, are made to look like a rest-easy impulse-buy process.
The slogan is equally brief: "Sears: Life. Well Spent."
These are the parts we like. The parts we don't: it's derivative, as usual; the piece is too long; and we feel like they tossed in Brett Farve because a celebrity face will ensure at least some campaign love. Also, did they even do the price comparison before Farve OK'ed the buy?
Nice tie-in with the "waffle" joke though. High-five for that, Y&R/Chicago.
...I guess that makes sense, although the five spots featured for Discover's new "Get Back" campaign do occasionally, if feebly, try suggesting you can also "get back" buddy time and family time and youth.
But this really all just comes down to buy more shit.
By the nonetheless well-meaning folks at The Martin Agency. The brand isn't strong in the first place; it's only natural that the message be blurry in equal measure.