Media Optimization Has Trumped Creative Optimization

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It seems we've taken a step backwards when it comes to online creativity. Not so much in terms of its excellence, rather its importance as a factor in online marketing. Certainly technology has made possible a vast array of online advertising units which provide advertisers and publishers the ability to tailor programs to marketers' needs. But what happened to taking advantage of online media's flexibility as it relates to creativity?

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by Steve Hall    Mar-28-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Tools



So, Uh, About that Rape Thing.

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Yeah, that was kind of a stretch.

Here's what happened. Some tipster emailed us sounding off all offended about rape connotations in an ad on Wienerschnitzel's homepage. So we looked and saw this shit with the hungry Eskimos, and we were like, "Okay, whatever. We can kinda see the creepy rape angle."

The dude emailed us again today and said the spot on the site had been changed, which is why the whole Eskimo thing jived so badly with rape. Apparently the previous ad featured a wiener being harassed in an office setting, after which an HR woman says, "you asked for it."

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-26-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Opinion, Television



Powerlines: How Reagan Won Hearts and De Beers Made a Monopoly

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We just finished reading Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, and Sometimes Change History, by CMO Steve Cone of Epsilon. (The one with the specs and the grimace.) It's a survey of propaganda that probably helped color the landscape of your life. The last chapter has tips on creating a powerline -- not a guaranteed formula, but still good stuff to keep in mind.

People exposed to an ad will probably pass judgment on it based on the visual and the most visible print. (Typically that's the tagline.) Ad-heads spend plenty of time on pictures, but few consider what impact a resonant string of words can deliver.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-24-08    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Publishing



A Well-Intended Rip-Off's Still a Rip-Off, Frankly

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Check out this "Awareness Test" for Transport of London. The goal is to demonstrate that a driver can't avoid obstacles s/he doesn't expect to see. For people who've never seen the video before, it probably comes across as a neat way to deliver the message.

The problem is, there are plenty of people who have already seen something similar -- likely this video, which was put together in 1999 by Professor Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-21-08    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Opinion, Video



'Bold Moves' Bullshit Begets "Ford. Drive One."

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If there was ever a tagline shift from the nebulously ethereal do the blunt, "buy our shit now," it would be this new tagline from Ford, "Ford. Drive One." Is it possible a marketer has finally realized the purpose of advertising is to get people to buy stuff? Sadly, no. The new tagline was developed in meeting with car dealers who don't give a crap about how Cannes-worthy an ad is as long as it gets people into the dealership and cars off the lot. Who knew a great tagline could come from car dealers, purveyors of fine communication such as this disaster.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally put Group VP of Marketing Jim Farley, recently scooped from Toyota, on the job last fall and we're thinking the first stipulation he added to his employment contract was the ability to dump the "Bold Moves" tagline.

Of course, time will tell whether or not what appears to be a good tagline actually becomes one. If not, they can Farley could always go a bit further and institute "Ford. Buy One."

by Steve Hall    Mar-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Opinion



Most Think Marketing Should Manage Social Media, We Think It's PR

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Attending Advertising Age's Digital Marketing Conference, Steve Rubel reports attendee sentiment regarding "management" of social media, tweets, "Where should social media lie? Audience poll: 53% in marketing, 5% say in PR, 9% say customer service and 33% say some new division."

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by Steve Hall    Mar-19-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion, Social



Law Firm Gets Weird With Wacky Lederhosen Video

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Courtesy of law firm Hanson Bridgett, here's another contender for the WTF award. In the video, we've got four musicians (lawyers?) dressed in Lederhosen playing a tune as they walk to the Hanson Bridgett offices. That's it. Nothing else happens in this video save the appearance of what looks to be Apprentice bitch Omarosa towards the end.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-19-08    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Video, Viral



Sometimes a Sponsorship is Just a Sponsorship.

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In this article, CNBC writer Darren Rovell uses convoluted logic to ask what consumers, in their childlike naivete, are supposed to extract from relationships between athletes and the brands that sponsor them. (And their trainers. And their trainers' websites.)

Here's the puzzle the column poses: say you're a kid, and you want to be the next LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is part of Nike's SPARQ training program. He also wears Nikes on the field. But Todd Durkin, Tomlinson's trainer, has a website sponsored by Under Armour.

Assuming you're wack enough to think this will fundamentally alter your destiny, what do you BUY? Nike trainers or Under Armour's? The author's so stuck on this that he's even taking a poll. (Who would you follow: athlete or trainer?)

We'd laugh this whole thing off, because it really is ridiculous, but then we got to thinking. Do sponsored associations between people and products really mean something?

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-18-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Opinion, Sponsorship



Future of Advertising Predicted by Leo Burnett Futurist

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Leo Burnett London Futures Editor Ben Hourahine thinks he has the answers to the future of advertising. Some of what he says makes sense. Some just reinforces the notion advertising will accost anything it can get its hand on. There are no easy answers but at least it's being talked about.

One thing is clear. Marketers and advertisers will never again have the power they once had. There will never again be another M*A*S*H TV moment. Fragmentation will continue to the point of individualized advertising. Advertising, itself, won't really be advertising at all. It will be an information repository people can refer to when they are interested in a particular brand or product.

by Steve Hall    Mar-18-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Trends and Culture



UK Christians Crusade Against Deliciously Sinful Haircare Ads

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Having received 23 complaints -- including one from the Archdeacon of Liverpool -- the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided to pull GHD's "A new religion for hair" campaign off the air. Which is too bad, because the ads are gorgeous. Especially when compared to the Super Bowl trainwreck that was Sunsilk's diva spot.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Opinion, Policy, Television










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