Advertising Age says snide advertising is bad for business and society. (They also define "snide" in case you're teetering on uncertainty. Isn't that sweet?)
Having been victimized to emotional tatters by the online efforts of Jawbone, we believe it.
Swivel Media's Erik Hauser explores the interest in previously unknown music Guitar Hero can spawn as an analogy for marketers and agencies working together to create product relevancy for audiences who no longer know a particular product or to create interest in a new product.
It seems to be the mother of all challenges. It's the one that prospective clients call ad agency offices with daily - sometimes hourly when things are brisk. "How do we increase relevancy within a particular market segment, and more importantly convert that new found relevancy into sales," they often say. "How can we drive purchase and purchase consideration by our intended audience - an audience that currently doesn't even know that we exist?" Both, by the way, are very good questions that brand managers are faced with on an hourly basis.
In early February MarketingVOX published this study about online TV show viewing by Solutions Research Group.
As can be typical of studies, the research cited some ostentatious figure -- namely, that 80 million Americans (43 percent of the online populace) have watched a favourite show online.
The study didn't specify whether 80 million Americans watched a complete episode; just that they watched one (which could mean anything, really).
Enter Kevin Horne of Lairig Marketing.
Adfreak pointed us to news of a virgin ad campaign for Apligraf, a kind of magic band-aid that uses living cells from the foreskins of baby boys to heal foot sores and leg ulcers.
Apligraf is generating lots of noise because it's the first product in its industry to start promoting its wares to consumers via advertising. (Granted, it's also the first product in its industry to get FDA approval.)
Adfreak surmises that the product is young, but it won't be long before it or similar offerings are promoted with bikini-clad sexbombs promising new-you salvation (It's Not Just for Foot Sores Anymore!).
Tough to play devil's advocate on this one. How long did it take post-legalization before controlled botulism injections became the stuff of slumber party play? A week?
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.