Today, a group of privacy groups declared war on advertisers by asking the Federal Trade Commission to establish an online Do Not Track list similar to the offline Do Not Call list. The Consumer Federation of America and the World Privacy Forum, among others, want marketers to stop using cookies which enable behavioral targeting.
There has been much debate on the merit of cookies and their use to track online behavior. Marketers argue it makes the online experience better because ads are more closely targeted to the individual. Privacy advocates claim advertisers have no business collecting information about where on the internet someone has gone unless consent has been given.
Some spam out of the Adrants mailbag:
Experience the most mind blowing muliple orgasms ever with the one and only.... Jack Rabbit Vibrator!
Check out the vibrator made famous by Charlotte on Sex and the City.
Discover why Charlotte wouldn't leave her room for days until Sarah Jessica Parker burst in and wrestled it away from her.
We're going to be honest. Shortly after seeing the Sex and the City episode mentioned, we bought a Rabbit. This is one instance in which the hype is sadly misguided.
With virtually no load or lag time whatsoever, today we blew two hours of our workday watching Sideways online.
We didn't need to pay for, illegally download, or sacrifice precious computer space for it.
And while the occasional :15 or :30 ad cuts through our experience, we're willing to deal. The content is worth the trouble.
This is all part and parcel of Hulu beta, a valiant joint effort between News Corp. and NBC Universal.
Of all the forms of product advertising in the world, we hold a special place in our hearts for personal hygiene efforts.
They walk this terrific moral and social line that's bound to result in lots of misunderstandings and wince-worthy ads. (Consider the moral dilemma sparked by the Dove and Axe campaigns. And the ads from when Lysol used to be a douche!)
For client Ban, Enlighten gives us Feel Ban Fresh. Follow the drama of small town Stinkton Heights, where everyone smells terrible and our protagonist, An Inconvenient Girl, tries unraveling the underlying problem. (On her MySpace, of course.)
It's times like this when we actually see Peyton Place in an idyllic light. Because while it housed plenty of skeletons, it lacked cheesy product promotion. ("Go Skunks!" Really?)
Previously on Adrants. Everyone who works in marketing and any business touching it should take the time to read this article. On CBSNews.com, Dick Meyer wrote an editorial hammering home points we've touched on here before such as the portrayal of men as idiots in advertising, the hyper-political correctness foisted upon the industry and society at large and the acceptance, what scholar Charles Murray relates to "ecumenical niceness," of kids dressing and behaving like thugs fueled by marketers and the entertainment industry elevating "thug culture" to culture at large. If that's a lot to digest, just read the article and think long and hard about what cultural imagery you mirror in your marketing. Don't cop out using the tired, "Oh we're just identifying with culture," and turn a blind eye to what you are perpetuating.
Over the years, we've commented on the emasculated, sole-searching, directionless, man syndrome made famous by those Verizon Dumb Dad ads. Writing in Entertainment Weekly about how today's man just won't grow up and how he's portrayed by show creators and advertiser as a aimless, child-like buffoon, Mark Harris captures, perfectly, the ironic attraction of AMC's Mad Men.
He writes, "...the 35ish Don Draper is a New York advertising whiz with a wife, a mistress, unquenchable ambition and not an iota of little-boy-ishness; in fact, he's determined to grind his inner child into dust and obliterate any trace of vulnerability...He's a relic of an ancient civilization, and a flat out terrible role model. But in his struggle not to lose his soul, he is also, indisputably, a grown up. No wonder he suddenly seems like the sexiest thing on television."
Ok, so it's an over the top dramatization but you have to admit that presentation Mad Men's Don Draper gave to Kodak for the Carousel slide projector was brilliant. You wish you gave presentations like that more often. Come on. Admit it. You know you do. That Kodak moment was the defining moment of the season finale of AMC's Mad Men which, despite critical debate, has turned out to be a great show - good enough for AMC to renew it for another season.
During the episode we also find out up and coming creative Peggy Olsen was promoted from secretary to Junior copywriter (no small feat for a women in the early sixties one must admit) and that she's pregnant and didn't know it! Or just denied it. The father? Pete Campbell? Did enough time elapse between their office dalliance earlier in the season or is the father someone else? Intriguingly, Peggy was promoted by Don to work on the Clearasil account which Pete, through his wife's rich family connections, just snagged. Needless to say, he's being painting as the whipping boy, emasculated by his family, stomped on by his boss and forced to suffer - oh the horror - the indignity of working with a woman!
When in doubt, nothing wins people over like a good story. Playing the bard is a standby for good CEOs and, we think, great marketers.
That's one reason why we found Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman's The Elements of Persuasion so interesting. It doesn't just emphasize the importance of telling tales to persuade; it does so from a branding and sales perspective, without neglecting the importance of listening, and sharing plenty of relevant stories along the way.
It's also compact, easy to read, and orange. How do you beat orange?!
We always thought it was funny that Unilever would champion girls' self-esteem via Dove (courtesy of Ogilvy) and premit mass objectification of lusty ladies via Lynx/Axe (courtesy of Bartle Bogle Hegarty).
Boston's Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is less amused.
"The hypocrisy is Dove positioning itself as a brand that cares and is trying to teach girls to resist this messaging," said associate director Josh Golin. "At the same time Unilever, in the form of Axe, is putting out some of the worst messaging there is."
Our take? Unilever's just a parent company.
We think it's perfectly fine for someone working in the advertising industry to dislike the AMC series Mad Men and to share that opinion with the industry at large. But, when the second sentence of that opinion reads, "I got through about 10 minutes of it before I changed the channel, trying not to squint as I yawned so I could see what was on the latest episode of Dirty Jobs," the next five paragraphs, which contain blatherings about how the show should be more realistic to industry's "magical" era, become baseless.
For someone to write a review of a television show, which has been on the air for at least 12 weeks, after only having watched the first ten minutes of the premiere episode is half-witted at best and most assuredly irresponsible journalism. McKee Wallwork Cleveland Partner and Creative Director Bart Cleveland is the half-wit who brings us wacky commentary such as, "what I really wanted it to be more like was Mad Max. I wanted the hero to be a little off his rocker about doing great work. I wanted to see him threaten to jump out a window to sell a bagel ad." Mad Max? Oh yea. That'd be an accurate portrayal of what we do.