Sexy Dead Woman Promotes Game. Yawn

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Adrants reader Sanj points to this Joystiq commentary about an ad that appeared in the April 2006 issue of PC Gamer promoting the game Hitman. Joystiq wonders if the ad is too edgy and makes note one of the gaming site's readers suggested the ad goes down the "rape/murder fantasy" road. Perhaps we're just way too jaded and desensitized to take issue with any advertiser that spreads a women across the page as if she were anything other than a fantasy born out of the minds of agency creatives and high fashion photographers in love with their own assumed creative brilliance. And besides, it's fantasy game so of course the ad should connote fantasy. People read way too much into this stuff.

by Steve Hall    Apr-18-06    
Topic: Magazine, Opinion



PBR Sponsors NPR

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In what would appear to be a serious clash of brand personalities, Adrants reader Ryan tells us seemingly low brow beer Pabst Blue Ribbon is sponsoring seemingly high brow NPR on its show All Things Considered. One might assume this is just a dumb media buy. But if you think on it a bit, you'll realize a brand's personality is nothing more than what it's creators strive to make it. PBR is a beer that's lived in all corners of culture from blue collar to white collar, from hip to square. It would seem the folks behind PBR would like to take the brand in the direction NPR connotes and we think that's just fine.

by Steve Hall    Apr-18-06    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Radio



Keep My Ads Simple, Stupid

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Over at MediaShift, Mark Glaser is asking what kind of advertising people would actually like to see. I've always thought a return to simplicity would work wonders. In other words, toss aside all the over-produced, poor-excuse-for-entertainment commercials we see today and just explain the product. Tell the viewer what's being sold, who it's for, why they'd benefit from it and where they can buy it. Sounds simple but rarely does a commercial accomplish those simple goals. I'd be happy if all the commercial consisted of was a spokesperson standing in front of a white background delivering the information.

Consumers don't need to be lured into viewing a commercial with brainless entertainment. They need to be presented the facts quickly so they can determine whether or not the advertised product is for them and then move on. Too many commercial and ads leave one scratching their head wondering, "What the hell was that?" Or, they try to force a message or product on someone who clearly has no interest or need for the product. I mean how many times can you say "keep it simple stupid" before someone actually heeds that advice?

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by Steve Hall    Apr-13-06    
Topic: Opinion



More Choices Would Improve ABC's Online Programming

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Following up his not so positive opinion of ABC's move to offer shows online for free, Todd Copelvitz (yes, you will be hearing a lot more from him) offers ABC five suggestions on how they could have, and still can, make the offering better and more inline with people's media consumption habits. For Copelvitz, as it is for us, it's about choice. Provide people choices. Todd says ABC should offer their programming in multiple formats. Not just ad-supported online of pay-per-download from iTunes but provide a full gamut of choices from pay to free, from TV to cell phone. Let the consumer choose to pay for ad-free TV or ad-supported TV. Let them choose the sponsors they want to hear from as Weatherbug does. Adding to that, make the commercial specific to the medium through which it is delivered. TV gets bog bold production. Cell phone gets smaller, more interactive version.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-13-06    
Topic: Opinion, Television



Industry Continues to Force Old Models On New Media

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In reaction to ABC's announcement it would provide advertiser-supported free programming online without the ability to skip ads, Todd Copelvitz suggested ABC check out these things called DVRs and Slingbox which allows a person to access their DVR from anywhere in the world...and skip the ads. Now, Todd has a guest writer who likens the industry's missteps 100 years ago with the advent of radio to current missteps by broadcaster faced with the possibilities the Internet provides.

The writer wonder about ABC's mindset here writing, "...does anyone really believe that if you force me to sit through a commercial while watching one of these shows online that I'll really pay attention to it? Nope, I'll be checking my email, having an IM conversation and paying my bills online. Because that's how I use my broadband connection and any advertiser trying to get my attention has to understand that."

by Steve Hall    Apr-12-06    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Television, Trends and Culture



Donald Trump Is A Business Buffoon

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On this week's episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump, with his usual "listen to me speak because I don't give a sit what you say" style, fired home builder Bryce, pretty much the most level-headed, well-grounded apprentice in the bunch. His team lost a challenge in which they had to develop a jingle for Arby's new like or natural chicken sandwiches. While we're not so sure why that's such a differentiating factor since we've never met an unnatural chicken - except perhaps in a bucket of fried KFC, the Arby's execs wanted to drive home the point their chain is the only place to get natural chicken. I wonder if they's ever heard on Boston Market or any other restaurant that serves chicken. Now, if they mean organic, hormone-free chicken that isn't slammed against a wall to kill it like PETA so loves to show us in its videos, that might be something to hang the "only" strategy on.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-06    
Topic: Opinion, Television



MySpace Gets Cleaned Up For Advertisers, May Wish It Hadn't

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Because News Corp. is salivating over the potential millions in ad revenue advertisers eager to reach 60 odd million MySpace members may dump in its lap, the company is cleaning up MySpace, removing racy profiles and "offensive" images. It may all be for not as teens and twenty something will likely say "screw it" to News Corp's attempts at cleanliness and move to other social media spaces or create ones none of us has heard of yet. MySpace became a guerrilla overnight. It could fail overnight too. These days, it's too easy for people to gravitate to a place where they feel comfortable rather than put up with corporate censorship simply to please advertisers. It's the advertisers who will have to adjust rather than the corporations.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 1-06    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Sudanese Ad Can't Wash Away Genocide But Censorship Is Worse

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Putting aside the fact a publisher can accept or reject any ad they choose for any reason whether they agree with the ad's message or not, human rights activists are not pleased with The New York Times' decision to take $929,000 from Sudan for an eight page insert touting the country's "peaceful, prosperous and democratic future. On one hand you can say this is wrong because it attempts to glorify what many, including the Times itself, feel is a not so nice government. On the other hand, you can laud the move as a clear separation of church and state between the paper's editorial and its advertising, the kind of thing American's love to celebrate.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-23-06    
Topic: Newspaper, Opinion



Cracked Skull Imagery Delivers Helmet PSA Message

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We love PSAs. We especially love PSAs from countries outside the U.S. where creating an ad that dramatically delivers the message isn't hampered by left, right, middle-winged cause groups that feel anything beyond a shot of a smiling baby will be offensive to...well...some small minority no one's ever heard of. So we gleefully share this Berlin-based public serviced announcement encouraging bicyclers to wear helmets.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-06    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Opinion



AARP Wants You to Know Over 50's Aren't Dead

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The AARP, bastion of those unworthy of inclusion in the coveted 18-49 demo, is issuing a wake up call to youth-fixated media planners and twenty-something ad agency types in the form of a new research service called AARP Publications Marketing Intelligence. The service hammers home the point over 50's have the bucks, aren't all in a rocking chair on a deck in front of a lake in Maine and are cooler that a lot of twenty-something who think they know it all. So, now that we've insulted you enough, go out and grab this research, talk to this audience and smile as they open up their fat wallets and throw money at you and your brand.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-06    
Topic: Opinion, Research










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