You know, it's always a bit disconcerting to arrived at the house of your daughter's friend and find her proverbial "playdate" glued to the television watching some trash talk show of some movie clearly made for adults so this stat does not surprise. What does surprise is parent's lack of control and judgment over what their children watch on television and how long they are allowed to watch. One "playdate" who spends time in this house can't even sit still in front of the television (on the two weekend nights it's allowed here) because his brain has been so ADD'd by constant television watching at his house since birth he doesn't know how to follow a plot.
To promote the new, first person shooter EA game, Black, Freestyle has launched My Black Valentine. Stereotypical connotations of the word "black" and "shoot" aside, the microsite helps those who are without love during Valentine's day get their anger out by shooting things. It's simple enough, fun for a few minutes and you can send it to a friend which, by current definition, makes it a viral. At least that's what Freestyle says.
We turn the page, you add an insert. We ban billboards from our state, you fly banners over our beaches. We hang up on your telemarketing, you call back with answer machine message leaving auto-bots. We install an email spam filter, you send spam to weblog comments and trackbacks. We stop reading comment-spammed blogs, you launch spam blogs whose sole purpose is to peddle your crap. We block your pop ups, you fuck with technology to serve them anyway. We stop watching TV to spend more time with online gaming, you plaster our games with advertising. We skip our ads with our DVR, you plaster commercial graphics all over the screen during programming. We become immune to advertising, you launch a hoard of buzz marketers on our ass.
We thought we'd share this comment with your from a reader who doesn't like sex in advertising and wrote, "You know I thought Pizza Hut was family wholesome type of resturant. So why do your ads on TV have to show smut with Jessica Simpson. What is she trying to excite this boy with Pizza bites? Or being half naked? Is smut and sex all this county knows to try to sell something? No wounder this county is going to hell. I refuse to ever eat in Pizza Hut ever again. And by the way your salad bars are yuk. Especialy the dressings."
Obviously, sex doesn't sell for everyone as we often debate.
So the Super Bowl is over. Was it worth the $2.6 million each marketer spent on a :30? We won't know for months but who cares. It's all entertainment anyway. You can read Bob Garfield's take on the whole thing here and marvel at his shock that the Super Bowl (oh, the horror) is commercial and that rock and roll is (oh, the horror) about making money. You can watched some of the ads Ad Age found more memorable here. You can watch all the ads at iFilm here. Or you can just go get a cup of coffee and see what your co-workers think.
We're not quite sure what our favorite is yet but for some strange reason we're leaning towards the Burger King Whopperettes commercial. Either that or the wonderfully on-message ESPN Mobile ad. The Hummer H3 ad, of course, was very good but we've seen it too many times already. A nod also goes to Ameriquest for their two very funny spots and the Beer Institute did a good job telling us we should all just go have a beer and the world's problems would be solved. Oh, wait, we said that.
Also high on our list are the Budweiser Clydesdales spot and Bud Light's "Magic Fridge."
While we've been in the ad biz since before Loyd Dobler held that radio over his head in Say Anything, we don't pretend to have the knowledge or insight Ad Age Editor Hoag Levins or black-turtlenecked Ad Age Man-At-Large Bob Garfield possess, except, perhaps when it comes to Garfield's commentary on why the Rolling Stones are bad choice as a Half Time Super Bowl act. Calling the Stones "114 year olds" who have "been around since the early Jurassic period," Garfield can't seem to understand why the Stones are still relevant cavalierly claiming they "have one foot in the grave," their appearance in the Super Bowl is a "last surrender to commercialism" and they're on their way to "Hollywood Squares." Calling them a "commercialized pop act," Garfield is so out of touch with culture, he, in perhaps an apparent attempt to appear hip, can't seem to grasp that fact the Stones still are "hip."
We all know spending $2.5 million on a Super Bowl spot is, well, not always the wisest marketing move but thankfully, we've got experts who know how better to spend $2.5 million. iMediaConnection has gathered 28 marketing experts who give us a bit of insight as to what they might do had they $2.5 million to spend elsewhere. You'll love AOL EVP Michael Barnett's completely self-promotional "spend it all on AOL" approach to answering the question. But you'll seriously love Word of Mouth Marketing Association CEO Andy Sernovitz' suggestion that the $2.5 million be spent to train customer service reps to be helpful, polite and sincere. Amen.
Eric Weaver, writing on his blog Ad-Verse has crafted, hands down, the best article on why direct marketers are still stuck in the dark ages and why the practice is, as Weaver calls it, "A science of stupidities." While we've long known many marketers are, in fact, still holding signs up and grunting incessantly in front of cave men's doorways, never before have we read such a concise diatribe against the practice of direct marketing.
In the works since last year, tire maker Pirelli will, in March. release The Call, a 10-minute video, created by Leo Burnett and set in the Vatican, starring John Malkovich who plays a priest and Naomi Campbell who plays the devil. Using the power stuggle between good and evil, Pirelli claims the film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, will be a metaphor for the company's "power is nothing without control" tagline. The film will be released exclusively online and receive promotion through online, print and television.
This is Hollywood-style, celebrity-powered ad is sure to give Russell Crowe plenty of ammunition to further castigate celebrities for selling out. That said, if we, as an industry want better ads, we have to tap better talent. Big names bring a sea of eyeballs and getting noticed in today's media environment is becoming an impossible task. Granted, Malkovick, though a superb actor, isn't A-list in terms of popularity and Campbell, while very popular, is no Malkovich in the acting department but together, they just might bring some notoriety and sales to Pirelli and its sleepy, commodity-like category of automotive tires.
As a goof, a new business strategy and a statement that isn't far from the truth, Maryland-based ad agency MGH placed an ad this week in the Wall Street Journal with the headline, "Sweatshop conditions at America's advertising/PR agencies must end." The ad claims agency personnel are overworked due to decades old practices of cutting overhead and under staffing, that it's an unseen practice and that it negatively effects clients. All true. However, the ad neglects to mention clients no longer value most agencies as the true business partner they once were and refuse to pay them what they're worth, sloughing them off and just another vendor which can be financially bled dry while the client reaps the rewards and profits the agency created for them. Of course, an ad that spoke that truth wouldn't gain much new business.
To be fair, most agencies are not adapting to clients' needs and have refused to step outside the mold that's been in place for a hundred years. So it's no surprise clients have devalued agencies because, in the eyes of the client, they aren't getting what they want from the agency so they aren't going to pay thereby causing the problem this ad so succinctly points out.