You know a company is adhering to those unwritten, politically correct rules which state "one must represent all ethnic groups in commercials" when the spots feature white people with a voice over read by a black. OK, that was crass but let's be blunt. It all sounds very forced sometimes. Maybe it's just that these spots from Pizza Hut aren't very good and that's making us get all uppity about all this PC stuff. Pardon our digression. We'll be back with regularly schedule advertising oddities in a moment.
Each morning after my three mile excuse for a workout, I head over to the local Dunkin Donuts to pick up an iced latte. Hey, I know it doesn't sound very manly but it just seems to taste a lot better than regular coffee. Anyway, each day I look at my Dunkin Donuts cup, branded with the new tagline "America Runs on Dunkin," and think, finally, an agency and a company that hit on a message which actually means something. Recently, there's been loser taglines like "Bold Moves" and "Leap Ahead" so it's refreshing to see Hill Holiday, Dunkin Donuts' agency, come up with a winner in "America Runs on Dunkin."
I love the tagline because it speaks directly to the "fuel" that many Americans depend on to get going in the morning. Just like re-fueling a car, that morning stop at the local Dunkin Donuts fills the tank with energy to keep one running all day long. While a 2003 research study found taglines not very effective, "America Runs on Dunkin" just feels right as well as actually says something, an admirable accomplishment in comparison to most meaningless taglines littering the current advertising landscape.
We're all for fun little advergame time wasters but when you have to a.) tell the company whether you are male or female, b.) have a password, c.) or don't have the password and enter your email to get it and d.) go open the email they sent you to get the password, the whole thing becomes work. Advergames aren't supposed to be work. They're supposed to be a branded distraction, not a challenge to see how much annoyance you can take before you just say "screw it" and leave which is exactly what we did. So, if any of you actually plays this game, let us know if we should bother looking for that email with the password.
You know, all you designers really ought to be testing your Flashtastic creations on a "normal" computer with the cache turned off. After all, most people who will visit your site won't have reloaded the thing a million times thereby having it readily and speedily available for viewing. For example, this site for Pepsi called MyDaDaDa which capiltalizes on the song, took agonizingly long to load. And once it did load, it never worked smoothly. Apparently, you can send the song around to your friends, watch ads, put the song and wallpapers on your phone, send a pre-recorded message to a friend, get screensavers and upload your own videos to the site. None of it worked well. Of course, it could just be our crappy laptop. Oh yea, the whole thing wraps itself around the World Cup Football craze.
Bob Garfield hates the new BMW campaign from GSD&M which, of course, means we have to like it. Bob thinks GSD&M's use of the bureaucracy-kills-ideas concept with images of old, retro boardroom dudes portrayed as pompous fools without a good idea left in their bones reflected against BMW's refreshingly idea-centric, independent approach is really, really bad. He goes on to explain how that concept is old are tired and how it mirrors a creative process he claims had something to do with killing what could have been a good concept. All potentially true.
Some might consider it a good thing to create a company whose business model aims to help advertisers reach a young, impressionable audience early in life. Others might consider the business model of BusRadio, a company that helps advertisers reach young, impressionable minds early by installing a specialized, ad-supported radio system on school buses, to be a horrific abuse of marketing prowess and an indication of an industry gone wild making its last ditch effort to survive while the advertising world crumbles around it. Commercial Alert, and Adrants for that matter, believe firmly in the latter.
All of us who work in the ad business ought to know what we're doing but by the look of most ads, apparently, something is very, very wrong. Writing on Advertising Industry Newswire, marketer Scott G breaks down the problems those of us involved in the creation of advertising face and offers up severl pointers and suggestions. It's not that any of this advice is necessarily new. It's just well packaged and well worth reading as if it were a refresher course.
Despite all the negativity you might read on Adrants, there are a great many minds in the advertising industry. Many of those minds work within the wall of an advertising agency or in a client marketing organization. Just as many work outside those walls as consultants, freelancers, speakers, authors, journalists, serial entrepreneuers and the like. Todd Copelvitz, a member of the first group for a period of time, is now a member of the latter group. Copelvitz has been very active in the interactive space for at least 15 years, most recently in the area of agency-side interactive and social media for several Dallas ad agencies.
Todd, who says agencies and media companies have become lazy in the face of the fast changing media landscape and shifting media consumption patterns, suggests all of those in the latter group get off their collective asses, stop bitching about what's wrong with the ad industry and put all those pontifications into practice by starting a company that leaves the old behind and acknowledges the new. Many people have made this call before. Some, because it's easy. Others, because it's a "those who can't do, teach" kind of thing. Further, some do it simply because it's what their good at. Todd hopes to turn theory into practice.
Every ad blog today is loving this Mile vacuum cleaner billboard that illustrates the powerful suckage of Miele vacuums with the image of the vacuum cleaner pulling a hot air balloon out of the sky. It's a great looking billboard and a nice concept except we're not sure it ever physically appeared on a billboard. Look closely. The whole thing looks very Photoshopped. Anyone care to comment?
Now that Visa is in on the whole graffiti thing, graffiti artists might as well throw aways their Krylon, call it a day and move on to some new, yet to be tinged by marketers form of expression. Visa, with help from artist Trish Grantham is taking its "Life Takes Visa" to Greenwich Village in the form of of a giant wall mural with the tagline, "Life Takes Expression." Below the mural, Visa will display other artwork in the form of sculpture, furniture, fashion and more graffiti from artists Christopher Natrop, Jeff Soto, Andy Diaz Hope, Anne Faith Nicholls, AXIS, Erik Pawassar, Parvez Taj, Ron Reihel, Christopher Cuseo, Eric Joyner, Elizabeth Paige Smith, Charlotte Ronson, Dario Antonioni and Hayley Starr.