Here's the biggest problem in the advertising business. As much as agencies may say they hate clients and clients may say they hate agencies, both parties need each other to survive and thrive. Without one side keeping the other honest - whether the client/agency function is internal or external - we end up with work like the famed Agency.com Subway pitch video or this latest gem (see video below) from SapientNitro. Checks and balances people. Checks and balances.
It's not that this self-promotional video is poorly produced or delivers bad information about the agency. After all, agencies are supposed to be creative. They are supposed to be at the forefront of creativity for a purpose or, more accurately, marketing communications. Which, of course, is why every agency website contains a gallery of the work it has done for others.
In the self-generated controversy category this morning we have a new campaign from lingerie outlet The Lake and Stars which features a mother and daughter posing together while modeling lingerie. The "controversy" centers on the likelihood of a mother and daughter hanging out together while clad in lingerie.
Defending the campaign, The Lake and Stars designer Maayan Zilberman said, "A lot of the themes that we're dealing with are about psychology between women as they're growing up and dealing with family politics or women in the workplace. There's no shock value here. We're not trying to make people feel uncomfortable in order to provoke dialogue. We're just trying to confront some of these issues that I think people aren't really talking about so much."
Call us crazy but is there really a need to start a dialog about mothers and daughters hanging out together while wearing lingerie? Of course not. This is yet another attempt by a fashion brand to "shock" and "surprise." Excuse us while we doze off for a short nap.
This guest post is written by Lloyd W. Armbrust, CEO of OwnLocal.
Newspapers need more money. Print subscriptions are in decline. Print ad revenues have fallen precipitously. Online advertising revenues are growing, but not nearly fast enough. There's an unmistakable sense of despair and hopelessness surrounding most print publications. Everywhere, newspaper publishers and ad directors ask the same question: "What do I do?"
Luckily, there's an answer.
The future of newspapers sits at the intersection between content and online services. In other words, it looks like a Newspaper plus a Digital Marketing Agency.
Here is a fascinating article written by Jolie O'Dell of VentureBeat. In the article she take s along look at Google+ which over the past few months went from social media darling to everyone's favorite whipping post. O'Dell puts things into perspective when she says Google is all about "compiling the best, most actionable data about consumers to sell to advertisers." And to that end, she says Google will accomplish that "not by orchestrating a Great Migration of users from one social network to another, but by subtly linking all your Google-powered online activity and profiles so advertisers can see a more complete picture of you than Facebook could ever offer."
In essence, she sums, "Plus isn't a social network; it's Google's new way of getting you to use all its web products."
This, by far, is the most laughable attempt yet to unseat Facebook from its throne atop the Social Media Empire. If Google + can't do it, who the hell else would even bother? Thankfully a few do providing us with plenty of chuckle worthy hilarity. The latest attempt to sway people away from Facebook comes from Unthink, a new social network that's well, not a social network at all. Or so it claims.
So here's the latest condom marketing idiocy. Durex is out with Digital Love, a site on which, so they say, you can have sex without actually coming into contact with a partner. Which, of course, is likely the best way not to get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease. However, the site offers no such thing.
You get a slow loading site, a webcam experience (if you have one) and the chance to stare at a hot woman or man who will coo sexual innuendo in your ears until, surprise, you are told you are an idiot for actually thinking you could have sex without touching.
Here we go again. Predictably, the interwebs are up in arms over a not-so-recent but recently expanded Dr. Pepper campaign promoting its "for men only" product Ten. Ten is being heavily marketed towards men. Nothing wrong with that per se. But it's being done with the intentional exclusion of women. In a commercial that's been out since April, at least on YouTube (yea, we know. why is everyone just getting to this now?) a man who appears to be in a macho, shoot-em-up movie stops, turns to the camera and asks, "Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda. You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We're good."
Here's an interesting twist on the whole objectification thing. As we all know, women are continuously objectified as sex objects in advertising and in general culture. hey, old habits die hard but some progress is being made.
While this commercial doesn't exactly fall into the Verizon Dumb Dad category, it does unabashedly position men as playthings, accessories if you will, for women. All to sell a tie to a man. Or, well, a woman buying a tie for a man...or, well, her plaything.
And honestly, does any man really care that he's being objectified as long as he's got a hot woman by his side?
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.
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.