We welcome guest columnist Sean X Cummings who, in response to the ongoing Yahoo/Microsoft acquisition dance along with Google's response, has several things to say about the deal and how the pace of technology growth is out pacing the ability of some marketers to keep ups with and master the influx of new media.
The Microsoft/Yahoo deal is often analyzed on the differences between technology companies, and media companies, offline, and online, threats to companies within that world, and outside, and those who interfere. Much of this misses more fundamental issues.
It seems a new commercial for Australia's Commonwealth Bank has the land of down under angry for two reasons: the bank left Australian agencies behind and came to American agency Goodby Silverstein to create the work. And, secondly, they think the campaign, itself, sucks. Even Australian ad legend John Singleton got in on the hating and called on the bank's CEO to pull the ad because it is "obscene" and a "waste of money."
It's seems Times Square's Naked Cowboy - aka Robert Burck - who, at first, thought the video billboard showing a blue M&M dressed like a cowboy was funny now has had second thoughts and is suing Mars $6 million for trademark infringement. Burck thinks the video represents too closely what he does each day in his underwear and would like to see some cash out of the situation.
Does that mean with $6 million in his pocket (if he wins), Burck won't have to perform for money thereby depriving New Yorkers of an entertainment in institution? Oh the horror! To pass through Times Square and not see the dude in his underwear? That is just wrong. So wrong. We hope he loses. Oh wait, that's not nice. We hope he wins and heads to Calvin Klein to grab himself some stylish new drawers.
"Please find the attached viral." Seriously? Seriously? Could that be any more 2006? Or was it 2005? Wake up people! For those still asleep, let us offer a bit of help. Repeat 300 times, slap yourself on the forehead, repeat. "A viral is not a viral until it has become a viral. Viral is a result, not an intent. Just because I call something viral does not mean it will become a viral."
When it comes to targeting the elusive Hispanic consumer, Cilantro Animation has this to say: "Be prepared to offer more than just Hola!"
(Though we'd like to point out that strategy worked wonders for Dora the Explorer.)
But Cilantro -- which creates Hispanic cartoons like the one at left -- makes an interesting point. When we hit ad:tech Miami we were overwhelmed with a sense that the Hispanic market remains unimpressed with the way big media has (or hasn't) tried to reach out.
And indeed, a salsa-colored Hola! just doesn't cut it when you consider the range of ethnicities blanketed under what we breezily dub Hispanic: Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and others -- all with their own cultural customs, jokes and sensitivities.
At the risk of igniting a shit storm, were those Salesgenie ads really that racist? Let's examine. The ad where the Indian guy is berated by his boss is an illustration of an employee being berated because his sales are down.
We have to imagine that happens quite a lot no matter where in the world people live. We also have to imagine there are quite a few instances in real life where the boss is white and the employee is Indian.
If the tables were turned and an Indian boss was shown berating a white employee for his lack of sales, would the ad still be racist? Or is it racist because the Indian employee has an Indian accent? Maybe it's racist because the boss is a bloated fat asshole.
Our enigmatic West Coast resource, who's really good at drumming up touchy rumours about the goings-on at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, just sent us this Oakley spot by AWOL.
The spot depicts Shaun White's offseason life a lot less sexily than HP did. It's almost funny -- if you're thirsty for schadenfreude.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, the source quickly points out, agency AWOL is composed of Doug Mukai, Scott Wilson and Chris Dutton.
Jaffe Juice pointed us over to this video of a super-talky Miller High Life employee dropping knowledge about this year's Super Bowl ads. Among his observations:
"Unibrow aside, would you wanna date a woman who smelled like nuts? Cashews in particular."
"If you're looking for work, it helps if you're a lizard."
We love how he can never seem to remember the brand name for all those beer ads he mentions.
AOL just now released its results for the top-ranked ads in its 6th Annual AOL Super Sunday Ad Poll, sponsored by Verizon. Here's the top five:
1. Budweiser Clydesdale/dalmatian ad
2. Bridgestone squirrel spot
3. Coca-Cola's Balloons
4. Life Water's Thriller
5. E-Trade's talking baby spot
"Advertisers bring their 'A' games to the Super Bowl commercials, and Budweiser scored an impressive victory this year as the best of the best," gushed GM Derrick Heggans of AOL Sports. Nothing new there.
Gotta say we're glad the Coke Balloons spot made it into somebody's top five. But what'd we tell you? There's no beating Rocky. Maybe next time, Charlie Brown.
Oh how the morning after brings clarity to the prior evening's dalliances. After having obsessively consumed over 40 ads, analyzing them and then writing about them all within a three to four hour period, we sat down this morning with a cup of coffee and did what ad people to the morning after: we watched the game again. Or, to clarify, we fast forwarded through the game and watched the commercials
We laughed. We smiled. We grinned. We even enjoyed that Will Ferrell commercial. And, we bathed in the beauty of Coke's beautiful balloon ballet. In the heat of the battle, people can be harsh and in some cases, we were. But from the perspective of the average viewer not hunched over a computer or in front of a conference room screen, most of the ads weren't so bad.