Why Facebook Privacy Concerns Will Not Hinder Growth

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Facebook, pure and simple, is a means for people to stay in touch with people. And these people, as we have historically seen, don't care all that much about privacy issues. Some have said Facebook will lose members over these and other privacy issues. I would disagree. Facebook is not going to lose any members. That is, perhaps, until the next best thing makes its debut. But it won't be privacy concerns that kill Facebook. Not in my opinion.

Some have been miffed by the recent changes Facebook made regarding the automatic sharing of what you read and it's a valid concern. But it won't be long before Facebook plugs that hole. Or at least offers a setting to control it. But even if they don't, I still stand by my opinion - and it is just that, an opinion - that Facebook will continue to grow.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-30-11    
Topic: Opinion, Social



Skechers Takes Sneaker Sexification to New Heights

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Who is That Hot Ad Girl made a goof and got the identity of the woman in a Skechers ad incorrect. Hey, it happens. But the error has been corrected and we can move on...to the fact that this whole category of sneakers that make your ass firm is getting pretty hot. This Skechers ad from Spring 2011 makes the Reebok Retone ads look tame by comparison.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-19-11    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Racy



Budweiser Remakes 9/11 Commercial For Tenth Anniversary

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As you all know, we're a sucker for any commercial that manipulates the heartstrings. Just as it did ten years ago, this remake of the famed Budweiser 9/11 commercial (aired during the Super Bowl in February 2002) which featured the Clydesdales paying their respect to New York City is as powerful as the original.

The new commercial is nearly identical to the original except for one small change. When the horses kneel in respect, the skyline now shows One World Trade Center under construction. Oh and the snow has been turned to grass.

You can view the new one and the original below.

Not everyone liked the remake. Hill Holiday CEO Mike Sheehan, whose agency created the original, voiced his opinion on the agency's blog.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-13-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Opinion



Are We Still Laughing at This KFC Commercial?

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There are so many urban myths (or truths if you choose) about the origin of KFC chicken. Everything from headless chickens to genetic mutation has been speculated. Seems everyone is getting a kick out of the latest KFC commercial which says, "What part of the chicken is nugget? We're KFC. Our cooks don't make nuggets. They make Popcorn Chicken."

Seems there's some concern over the definition of a nugget versus the definition of popcorn chicken. Though KFC's definition of popcorn chicken is quite clear: "100 percent off the bone premium breast meat" which is claimed to be better than "pressed, formed nuggets."

Of course, if one wanted to be a stickler for detail, one could call attention to the fact the word "chicken" is no where to be found in KFC's definition of popcorn chicken. Then again, that would just make one a person with way too much time on their hands.

by Steve Hall    Sep-13-11    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion



Food Bloggers Bitch About Getting Free Food

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Oh it's been a while since the "blogosphere" - to coin a humorous and long-dead term - got their panties in a twist over some stunt a brand pulled. But these "kerfuffles" - to coin yet another humorous term - are always great fodder for a good 'ol internet bitch-fest.

So what's all the hubbub about? In August, ConAgra Foods, parent to the Marie Callender's brand of frozen foods, invited food bloggers to a New York restaurant they were told was owned by TLC Ultimate Cake Off Host George Duran and where they would receive a special, four course meal.

But instead of a meal cooked by George Duran, the bloggers were served frozen lasagna from Marie Callender's. Hidden cameras were in place to record diner's reactions. As it turned out, about 62 percent of the food bloggers actually liked the dish. But they were miffed and claimed they had been misled.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-11    
Topic: Guerilla, Opinion, Promotions, Social, Weblogs



Infiniti Europe Fails to Set Itself Apart From Competition

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Aiming to "change the face of luxury motoring across Europe," this new Infiniti Europe campaign from TBWA changes the face of nothing when it comes to car advertising. With the tagline "Since now, the perfect line is a curve" - whatever the hell that means - the campaign is said to help position the brand as a viable alternative to Mercedes, Audi and BMW.

Explaining the campaign, TBWA European Creative Director MacGregor Hastie said, "With the launch of this campaign we are more than certain of having given Infiniti its proper place in the world of high-end luxury car brands and have found an extraordinary and distinguishing big idea that will allow us to create ever stronger and more creative campaigns in the future. Because, as every one knows, the perfect line, is a curve."

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 6-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



JCPenney Apologizes to Pretty Girls Who Don't Do Homework

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Sadly, we have arrived at a place in our culture where there is no longer a place for a pun or a joke. The latest demonstration of this cultural shift is the uproar which arose as a result of a t-shirt JCPenney is selling which reads, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it." Oh sure, buried in that statement is the not too subtle jab that pretty girls are stupid or, conversely, they are so hot they can get away with whatever they choose. But, seriously. what girl hasn't uttered that in jest at one point or another?

The trouble is when a brand says it, the entire world is watching. And while the statement may, on it's own and said one to one, be rather innocuous, when it has the heft of a brand like JCPenney behind it, it's bound to draw fire from the naysayers.

Currently, the brand is putting out fires on Twitter and Facebook. For once, we'd love to see a brand simply stand up and say, "Can't anyone take a joke any more?" Alas, given the current reactionary state of current culture, that would be akin to brand suicide. So sucking it up and apologizing is really the only way to go.

by Steve Hall    Aug-31-11    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social



Sears Still Gasping For Air With Help From The Kardashians

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Is it just us or is the match up between Sears and the Kardashians a total non-sequitur? Number one, you have an extremely conservative, run-of-the-mill department store that's the last thing on anyone's mind when the word "fashion" enters the conversation. Number two, you have the Kardashian sisters who, in some circles, are the furthest thing from run-of-the-mill.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-30-11    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Tide Does Not Hate Tomboys

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When I was a kid, tomboys were just tomboys. They weren't lesbians in training wheels as some kooks would, today, have us believe if we were to give any credence to the "uproar" over Tide's Hoodies & Cargo Shorts commercial.

AdFreak calls attention to the kerfuffle that has terms such as homophobic, lesbian, stereotypes and gender norms being tossed about. It's all really very simple, people. We'll break it down in easy-to-comprehend terms. Ready? It's a fucking detergent commercial! Move on with your lives, people!

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Opinion



Why Advertising Will Never Portray Reality

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In the U.K., where the ever watchful, hawk-eyed Advertising Standards Authority keeps things in check, making a person better looking than they do in real life is now grounds for having your ad banned. L'Oreal has been told to pull a campaign featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because the images were "overly airbrushed." Not sure anyone literally airbrushes anymore but let's not quibble.

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson made the original complaint to the ASA saying the campaign consisted of "overly perfected and unrealistic images" and that the images were "not representative of the results the product could achieve." The campaign was deemed to have stepped outside the ASA's guidelines for exaggeration.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-27-11    
Topic: Opinion, Policy










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