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This guest article is written by redpepper founder Dave McMullen.
Most ad agencies live and die by a single metric. Some measure everything about it and all around it. Others ignore it and just hope they get it. It's the fuel that drives the modern advertising business.
It's the billable hour.
In order to grow profitably, agencies need to hire more people and bill them out at a minimum of 65-75 percent of their day. Unfortunately selling, assigning, and working by the hour and for the hour is not very motivating. And this can cause problems in an agency's culture by killing the inspiration needed to find creative solutions to problems.
Sadly, in the ad business, copycatting is all to prevalent. Sometimes it's unintentional. Sometimes it's just chance. Sometimes it's an agency "repurposing" old work for a new client. Sometimes it's the client asking a new agency to "repurpose" the work of another agency.
Whatever the case may be, it's always a sticky situation. We'd like to believe maliciousness is never in play. We can't really ever be sure though.
The latest case of copycatting comes from Work Labs, a company that prides itself for creating brands designed for the everyday worker. One of these products was Work Beer, a microbrew brand that was developed in 1999 and brewed for a short time by Main Street Beer Company. In 2005, Work Labs developed an ad campaign for the microbrew.
Yesterday, Work Labs Founder Cabell Harris contacted us (after it had been called to our attention by another source) to tell us his 2005 campaign for Work Beer looked strikingly similar to a 2012 New Belgium campaign for Shift Beer. You can see each campaign side by side here.
This guest post was written by Kevin Dugan, a full-time marketer, a long-time blogger and a proud Cincinnatian.
Some of you have probably seen TidyCats #lifestinks campaign. It's online with a campaign site encouraging consumers to Tweet about why life stinks and with videos designed to go, uh, feral perhaps. It's offline too with TV spots, out of home ads - even a mobile tour.
It's all designed to make sure we understand that TidyCats covers up the smell of used cat litter. Who knew?
There are so many things wrong on so many levels with this new Scion iQ campaign. But first, the gist of the campaign. To tout the fact that despite the iQ's small size four adults can still fit in the vehicle, four commercials feature four groups of people in the car eating donuts and drinking milk while the vehicle does...ahem...donuts in a donut shops' parking lot.
So what's wrong with the strategy? Aside from the fact, it's fun to watch people get tossed around a car while trying to eat, is it really smart for the brand to associate itself with what's being communicated in the ads - unsafe driving? Yea, yea, yea. We all know...don't try this at home. But you know, sadly, there are just enough idiots in this world who will see this, try it, crash and then try to sue Scion for their idiocy.
This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you startling birds with a brass horn.
When you peruse the SXSW panel listing prior to making your way to the annual nerd-fest in Austin each year and you come across a panel entitled Social Media is a Bubble and SXSW is a Fad, interest is piqued. The panel aimed to explore if, in fact, social media is a bubble about to burst and whether or not SXSW has simply jumped the shark and become too large.
The panel, which was moderated by Attention Founder and CEO Curtis Hougland, kicked of with what, for a second, seemed like the introduction of some kind of new killer app that would ensure that your social media activity would always rise to the top. A few seconds in, it was clear the app was a joke but, because of the app's "boom! there it is" approach to popularity was an integral component, it did get everyone to shout "boom" before they asked a question. Which, of course, was funny. But even funnier was one woman who came to the session late and had no idea why she had to say "boom" before she asked the question.
This SXSW coverage is brought to you by Red Square Agency. The agency that also brought you speling.
ClickZ has an interesting piece on B2B brands an SXSW. As we wrote last year, SXSW has overwhelmingly been taken over by marketers leaving the geeks to grumble about their presence. Hey, things change. Go with it. There's really nothing else you can do.
Of the presence of B2B brands at SXSW, Eloqua's Jesse Noyes told ClickZ, "Some people tend to think of 'South By' as more of a consumer-facing event where the next big thing like Twitter gets launched. But you have a lot of B2B brands setting up booths next to B2Cs. You'll go to a panel and see the head of marketing for Adobe sitting next to Pepsi on stage. That's what makes it great."
Have you noticed an absence of content here on Adrants? Well it's because yours truly is in Las Vegas for LeadsCon. Taking pictures. Getting interviewed. Doing interviews. And generally getting lost in everything Vegas has to offer. Apologies. But a guy needs a break once in a while, right?
So LeadsCon. It's a conference about lead generation. And it's grown to 2,600 attendees. This year's conference seems to be twice as big as last year's. Held at the Mirage, the exhibit hall was bustling, the session rooms were packed. And the hallways were filled with people networking and doing business.
With the downfall (that's what it is after all) of traditional advertising (and we include traditional online advertising in the statement), the ad industry is begging for new ways to connect with consumers. If you've been asleep for a bit you might not have noticed the meteoric rise of social media, affiliate marketing, content marketing and, yes, lead generation.
For the snarky ones among us, social media is just digitized word of mouth, content marketing is just custom publishing, affiliate marketing is just a form of multilevel marketing and lead generation is just good old cold calling on steroids.
This guest article is written by by Brian Mandelbaum, founder of Clearstream
Many major advertisers feel they have more options for video advertising on cable than they do on the Internet. Why is that? In an era of virtually limitless online choices, major commercial cyber-buys typically stay in the "safe zone" of ABC, NBC, CBS and Hulu, with perhaps a few other well-known sites sprinkled in.
It's time that the accountability and transparency of traditional broadcast buys find their equivalent in the online world. It's not impossible; despite its reputation as a murky, unregulated medium, the web has made great strides in rating standards for display advertising. Online venues need a similar organizing element--a commonly held, trusted framework for media decision-making.
The reason, of course, is that online video buys don't exist in a vacuum. As with broadcast networks, programming surrounds each video in the form of adjacent site content. That material may or may not complement the advertiser's content. It may be irrelevant, unsuitable or even objectionable.
This guest article was written by Dave McMullen, partner and lead strategist at redpepper integrated agency.
The $3.5 million Super Bowl ads have all come and gone, and the conversations - supercharged by social media - are in full swing. Or are they? To get true bang for your bucks in the Big Game these days, brands should do more than entertain; they should get people talking and move them to action.
The days when being voted one of the top commercials in the "Ad Bowl" equaled success are ending. Today, ads are expected to be revenue generators - or at least engage viewers and motivate them to DO something. So, were there any big winners this year? I suppose that depends on how you measure success.
This guest article is written by James Stewart who is a director at Geneva Film Co. in Toronto. When not directing "flatties" he's knee deep in the next dimension of advertising.
To 3D or not to 3D? That is the question. Agencies and brands alike continue to second-guess this ever-growing technology as though it was the new Betamax of the digital age. Is it really worth the production complexity and added expense? Will a large enough audience stand in awe of your creation's visual splendor to make it worth your while? The answer is quickly becoming a resounding 'YES'.
Let's face it, 3D is no longer an experience reserved solely for the latest state of the art cinemas. Digital 3D is everywhere. Flat-screen TV's, laptops, tablets, even smartphones like HTC's Evo 3D and LG's 3D Thrill are taking the 3D experience out of the theatre and putting it in the palm of your hand. And, with the advent of autostereoscopic technology (read: glasses-free), gone are the clunky Orbison-like lenses allowing instead for beautiful, full-color, hyper-crisp 3D to be viewed with the naked eye.