There once was a time Hugh Hefner carried a level of cred untouchable by all others. He had it all. A successful business. All of life's material pleasures. And any woman he wanted. Yea, he still has all that but lately, with his increased appearance in advertising, the man has been diminished to a sad characature of his former self. Now he's just a horny old man in a fancy bathrobe.
What's up with all his commercial appearances? Does he need the money or is he just selling out like every other celebrity on the planet? yea, the man still has a sort of jokey appeal and when seen in a commercial, the reaction still nets a little chuckle and grin. But really. What happened to retiring gracefully?
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.
OK so how do you raise money for the hungry? You spend a lot of money erecting tables and 200,000 place settings. And rather than actually feed 200,000 people, you just use the whole thing as a fund raising stunt which, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. It just might have been a bit nicer to actually feed the hungry as well as call attention to their plight.
The stunt comes from Y&R Israel. It's for the Charity Organization and consisted of 1.3 kilometers of empty dinner table.
Where's the beef?
OK. What's up with the whole stop motion thing? Sure, it can net cool results but why go to all that trouble when you can just film a commercial regularly and save a lot of money in the process? After all, everyone in advertising is lazy right? And clients are always bitching about how much everything costs.
Oh wait, they're creative too. Sadly, they're derivative as well. Which...is why we get the same thing over and over and over again.
A happy ending to an ad nauseam kinda week? Ad Age reports that the One Club has decided to ban any agency that submits scam art from its One Show competition for five years. In doing so, the intent is to cut down on work produced exclusively for award shows. Face it, having just one single award show do this is not enough. Other shows need to join with them here, and One Club leadership has apparently reached out to the other major shows. Regardless of comments that say this is too little, too late, it's a big step considering what's been done to this point. Credit to the One Club for addressing the problem.
Is it the same thing as enforcing existing rules only with harsher penalties the way pro sports do when it comes to steroids? Maybe. But change comes with small moves, right? Whether this seems like it was in response to one blogger's calls for such a ban I can only guess, but it's a big start in the right direction.
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.
He-said, she-said now officially out of control as ad blogs jockey for credit on who broke what when. Read the latest update that includes the statement from WWF on AdWeek. Plus, check out Ad Age's article with a great response from Ken Wheaton in the comments.
We're confusing the issue here by focusing just on timelines though, or DDB and their creatives, or what WWF knew and what they knew and when they didn't know it. There are a lot of factors at work. (Blaming creatives who support scam is like, well, pick your metaphor: A shark for being a shark, a perv for hanging around MySpace, etc.)
Talk about a headline. What's better than AIDS? Getting screwed by an infamous world leader of course. George Parker has a campaign from Germany called AIDS is a mass murderer from Regenbogen e.V. in conjunction with German agency das comitee. Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin stand at the ready to service the people. (Ouch.) It rivals the DDB 9/11 party going on for shock value, that's for sure--and it's just as misguided, falling into the same cliched trap. (NSFW clip after the jump.)
Just wondering if Visa knew how inspired the casting choice for voiceover was when they selected Mr. Inner Freak himself. (After the jump.) Of course, this plot twist wouldn't be complete without a little contextual madness. Clicking the article brings up this Responsibility Project takeover. Ouch.
At the risk of using up Steve's bandwidth, let's talk scam, the "other" four-letter word blowing up big this week. So there's a TV spot to go with the real fake WWF ad (After the jump.) Read the reactions here, here, here, here and here. Even Brazil lobbed one back.
Rather than rehash the same points (too much), consider a few other things at work.