This guest article is written by David Murton who has been helping companies build and maintain their online relationships with customers since 2006. He is also a professional writer and blogger, with a particular interest in the open source Drupal platform. On a more personal note, David is an avid piano and accordion player, drawn especially to music of the classical and romantic periods.
Lo, it is written: the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. And, with celebrities now increasingly following their own followers on social media - the world's hippest new hit series - Matthew 20:16 has come to pass.
But Twitter 'twasn't always such. Back in the medium's early days - say, back when your current vehicle had about twenty thousand fewer miles - it was common for celebrities simply to treat social media merely as an extension of traditional media. That is, as just another billboard to plug their next film, book, or show, or to announce their latest political cause or adoption of a developing country's child.
We'd like to know your thoughts on this one. A recent Budweiser ad centers on the story of a soldier returning home. In the ad, he first calls a friend and then his parents. When he finally gets home he is first hugged by his friend and then his family and other friends.
Some are calling this ad gay-themed. We say it is. We also say who gives a shit? Anyone, gay or straight, can shoot a gun and kill the enemy. But what we do give a shit about is the way Budweiser crafted this ad. Nebulous is a good word to describe the way the ad plays out.
As a man who might approach a woman in a social situation, would it behoove him to throw caution to the wind and scream out loud at her? That would seem to be the stance of those who are offended by a new Dos Equis ad which carries the headline, "Approach women like you do wild animals, With caution and a soothing voice."
Writing in AdWeek/AdFreak (it's kind of hard to tell the difference these days), David Gianatasio said the ad "not only offends women but adds an extra layer of insult by showing the world's least interesting Great White Colonial Man swaggering around in the brush with a pair of tribesmen at his side."
We beg to differ, David. A healthy dose of caution and soothing suavity is always advised when approaching women. After all, men certainly don't want to risk getting their head bitten off, a suffering which, sadly, is perpetrated upon men by women far too often.
Better safe than sorry. Always good advice in our book when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex.
Writing on About.com, Paul Sugget has published an article entitled What to Avoid When Assembling a Portfolio. His primary piece of advice is to avoid going for the simple, the obvious, the easy. If you've ever done work for the likes of Nike, Viagra, Victoria's Secret, Red Bull or Wonderbra, leave that work out of your portfolio. Why? Because, in his opinion, it doesn't require much strategy or effort to come up with creative solutions for those categories.
He claims Wonderbra ads are a dime a dozen writing, "Big breasts, and the outcome of them, is a very simple idea to get behind, and it's easy to be visually funny and verbally concise." Instead, he argues, "do ads for bland products or services that have no easily-identifiable or unique traits."
He suggests an airlines, dish soap, a wireless carrier and we'd toss in anything from the business to business category.
Additionally, he urges creatives to avoid creative that looks expensive to produce as it could cause someone to think you can't work on a small budget. he says to make sue you don't stuff your portfolio exclusively with popular forms of media, make sure substantive ideas outweigh glossy polish, don't include anything your not 100 percent proud of and always finish strong.
This is a conundrum we've heard millions of times before. A client comes to an agency and asks for "breakthrough" creative. Creative goes off and conceptualizes brilliance. It gets presented internally and everyone loves it. But just before it's ready to be presented to the client, someone, usually in account management (let's be honest here), says, "I like it personally, but somebody might be offended. Just tone it down."
And therein lies one of the biggest problems of the ad agency business. Agencies are asked and are in business to create marketing programs that, to use an overused phrase, cut through the clutter more than their competition can cut through the clutter. Sadly, many agencies are more conservative when it comes to risk taking than and health insurance actuarial agent. Which is to say, there is no risk taking at all.
Bob Garfield? Quit. Barbara Lippert? Fired. Lewis Lazare? Fired. Stuart Elliott? Oddly, the last major ad critic standing. What's going on here? Is there no value seen in advertising commentary? No credence given to intelligent analysis of what works and what doesn't in this business? Or have all the ad blogs and the proliferation of social media rendered the ad critic unnecessary?
According to Bob Garfield, the reason behind the exodus of ad critics, well, at least his, may be quite simple. It's pointless. When Bob left Ad Age, one of the reasons he cited for leaving was frustration. Another was disgust. He wrote, "...despite the best of all forums for evaluating ad strategy and execution, my core principles espoused over a quarter century (and codified in my book 'And Now a Few Words from Me') seem to have had little or no effect on the practice of the craft. I continue to be awed and humbled by the best of what the industry produces. But I also think billions of client dollars every year are being squandered by narcissists, con men, naifs and a number of blithering morons."
Well, he's certainly right about a number of things here. Chiefly, his last sentence which calls out the industry for being a collection of idiotic morons who refuse to learn from their mistakes. But is it really that bad? Are people in the industry really that moronic?
Depending upon the source, today is National Cleavage Day. Or maybe it was March 26. It really doesn't matter. Thanks to Wonderbra, we now have this annual celebration of the female breast. So in celebration of such in important event, let's take a look back at some of the bra busting ads we've covered here on Adrants over the years.
Most recently, the Chinese, increasingly fixated on big boobs, came out with an ad for what can only be described as boob clamp lingerie. A woman adorns herself with the slinky satin and then pulls a few string and BAM, her boobs are suddenly twice as big.
Right in line with Asia's general fixation with boobs, comes this extremely weird commercial for ice cream in which a deliciously endowed Asian girl whose breasts are far too big for her tiny bikini top frolics with a pair of ice cream cones.
Jacques Magazine hooked up with Jonathan Leder and the stunningly endowed Lauren Young for a couple of videos to hype the magazine. In the first, Young plays Squash. Or tries to as her bulbous breasts bounce inside the confines of her cute, pink outfit. In the second, Young dons some very tight blue pants and a bra that's two sizes to small for her globes of glory. She then illustrates just how exciting bowling can be. That or how impossible it is for her to keep herself from caressing her curves until, well, until she reaches the inevitable completion.
Let's be clear about something here. It's not just men who "leverage" boobs for their own personal gain. Miss Fit, a UK-based lingerie specializing in clothing, lingerie and swimwear for women lucky (or unlucky depending upon viewpoint) enough to possess DD cup or larger breasts, signed a deal with the very curvaceous X Factor star Maria lawson.
Lawson is a perfect fit for Miss Fit. More than twice the size of a DD, Lawson straps herself into a 36JJ bra when she gets dressed in the morning. Miss Fit is owned by a woman.
SXSW starts today and if yesterday was any indication, brands will have the biggest presence ever at the five day interactive conference in Austin. Historically, the gathering has always been for uber geeks and super techies but in the past few years brands have taken an increased interest in SXSW and what it has to offer. Which is a lot. From content, to connections to thousands of impressionable souls, the geekfest is, well, no longer a geekfest. Rather, it's become an full blown marketing event. And not just an industry event either. It's a chance for brands to get in front of actual consumers.
A stroll through the Austin Convention Center and surrounding areas made it clear, the conference is no longer a conclave for widget heads. Oh, they're all still here...and grumbling about the "invasion" of "marketing people" but they, perhaps for good, have been silenced by the deafening size and scope of an increasing number of brands who have decided to stake a claim here in Austin.
From Sony to Samnsung, to Chevrolet to Pepsi and many, many more, the ACC and surrounding areas have been plastered with some of the most elaborate brand statements we've ever seen. Yes. SXSW is no longer the geekfest it once was. And as we've said, it's been heading away from that cute little anachronism for some time now but this year, well, this year the brands have taken over every last square inch of Austin.
This guest article is written by The Hours CEO Fabien Moreau and addresses the importance of using musicians in campaigns and how that approach can help build brands and sell their products.
There's been a significant up-tick in the number of well-known recording artists lending their names, music and public persona to brand-name designers' promotional campaigns. And while the strategy can be lucrative and beneficial for both parties, such a match requires mutual respect for and understanding of the value each brings to the relationship.
From Lady Gaga to The Ting Tings and Lou Reed, musical artists have begun lending their talent and image to the promotional efforts of luxury brands in ways never before seen in the marketing industry. Beyond the traditional concept of celebrity endorsement or paid spokesperson status, today's musical marketing marriages bring a much deeper level of creative influence to the message and the campaign.
As is true with movies, art and any other form of creativity, a classic can never really be re-invented. Oh it's not that they aren't continuously re-invented . It's just that when they are, the results is usually much less than stellar and a sad knock off of the original.
We wouldn't entirely say Wieden + Kennedy's continued work for Old Spice was heading down that path but, really, has any of the agency's work for the brand been as inventive and as inspiring as the original? We think not. But we aren't necessarily complaining either. Why?