Brands Must Stop Making Customers Look Dumb

We've noted this before but apparently it's become such a trend, people have begun to email us complaining about it. We think Verizon is the biggest culprit here but plenty of brands (or, more likely the creative folk at their agencies) have found it necessary to be witty by making their own customers look stupid. Here's an email we received today:

"I just keep wondering why so many ads seen on TV show the customer as an idiot? The most glaring one was a recent Nextel/Sprint commercial where two gingerbread men were talking to each other about whatever in front of a glass of milk. The "smart" one's last reply was the selling proposition - no overages - when a hand comes down and he gets picked up by the feet. So...the customer who supports Sprint/Nextel gets treated to Sprint/Nextel's love. Their head bitten off?

Oh yea, another one comes to mind and it's a cell phone ad too. I'm sure you know it. Man speaking to wife, daughter and son. I'll call you, you call her, etc. The son is the smart one. 'I don't have a cell phone' Duh."

Duh, exactly. Can we all please stop treating our customers like they are a bunch of bleating buffoons...even if they are. It's so much easier to be negative than to be positive. Just read a few weeks of Adrants and you'll see what we mean. But it doesn't make for a good marketing strategy. If people feel they are being talked down to or made to look dumb, they'll think you (marketer, agency) are dumb too. Let's make a New Year's Resolution to treat our customers with respect, K? Now get out of the office the two of you who are still working and start eating fruitcake.

by Steve Hall    Dec-23-05    
Topic: Opinion



IE-Only Marketers Are Stupid

mtv_ie.jpg

"PC Users with Netscape, Mozilla or Firefox: you need to run Internet Explorer to use MTV Overdrive," so says MTV's Broadband Video Channel site. Excuse us, MTV, but no, we don't. Perhaps you haven't heard that Firefox isn't just this little side project that a bunch of geeks work on in their spare time in-between discussing episodes of Battlestar Galactica. It's a full fledged, far superior to Internet Explorer, browser that's gaining some serious market share. Marketers who continue to practice this loyal-to-Microsoft buffoonery are unsmart, unintelligent and losing out on a vast chunk of business.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-05    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Family Group Forces Retailers to Say 'Merry Christmas'

afamedia_logo.gif

Oddly, the American Family Association thinks everyone in America is Christian and celebrates the Christmas holiday. Certainly the vast majority are and do and the recent politically correct shift from labeling everything formerly known as "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" may have gone too far but we're not sure we need an organization to force companies to say "Merry Christmas" in their marketing. But, unsurprisingly, in our overly issue-oriented world, there is.

The American Family Association has been boycotting stores such as Sears and Target for not including "Merry Christmas" in their signage and advertising. Apparently, the AFA is quite powerful. Both retailers have relented and added "Merry Christmas" to their messaging. We don't know what's more stupid; forcing a retailer to adhere to one particular religion over another or the politically correct insanity that got us here in the first place.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-05    
Topic: Opinion, Policy, Strange, Trends and Culture



There Is Most Certainly Life After the :30

life_after_30.jpg

During the bathroom breaks and :30 coffee breaks we are allowed here at Adrants headquarters, we have finally finished Joe Jaffe's book Life After the 30-Second Spot. Actually, we finished it about two weeks ago but, again, we aren't allowed much time here to do anything serious what with all the stunt marketing and cleavage out there that had to be given our journalistic excellence. So, finally, we've found a few moments to hide from the Adrants Overlords to reflect on Jaffe's book and share our thoughts with you.

more »

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-05    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion, Television, Trends and Culture



Online Video Growth Stunted by Old School :30 Mindset

Following his trip the the recent iMediSummit, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos is voicing his frustration with the advertising industry's continued cling to the television nipple. Concerned that many new online video advertising opportunities will amount to "shovelware TV," Hespos reports many industry execs are pleased as punch with the status quo, happy to unnecessarily pay middlemen to serve their precious TV spots and offended at the notion online video should be any different than a :30 spot.



'White' Agencies Are 'Biased, Greedy, Stupid'

Writing on TalentZoo as a guest columnist, copywriter, brand consultant and author Hadji Williams brings to light the rampant dismissal among major agencies of multicultural advertising and explains how "ethnic" agencies are brought in by AOR's at the last minute to black/Latino/Asian-ize campaigns only to have them end up looking stupid and perpetuating stereotypes. It's an insightful examination of the practice and one I can admit to engaging in having done my fair share of minimizing the importance of the ethnic portion of a campaign.

more »

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-05    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Sony's Street PSP Campaign Getting Tagged, Ragged

sony1.jpg

While initially it seemed Sony's PSP street chalk drawing campaign in several cities around the U.S. was being well received by some (us), others have dished out a bit of backlash by defacing the drawings and calling for an end to corporations' attempts to co-op the graffiti art form. AdFreak sums up the issue pointing to a rant over at Gothamist, an online petition to stop the practice and street art blog Wooster Collective's collection of PSP street art.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 7-05    
Topic: Guerilla, Opinion, Outdoor, Trends and Culture



It's Impressions Stupid, Not Traffic

lachaos.gif

This morning, we received this eager request from an ad network sales rep. This is exactly the sort of thing that really doesn't help the online advertising industry's image and, while this company may be populated with a fine bunch of folks, the message irked us one too many times.

"My name is XXX, from the online ad agency XXX {really an ad/affiliate network). I came across your site and was wondering if you would be interested in getting some business going. Currently we are looking to sell some traffic but we do buy traffic so feel free to make us an offer. We specialize in Pop-under, Floating Ad, and Interstitial formats and work on CPM, CPC, and specialty CPA terms. E-mail me back or give us a call so we can perhaps discuss getting a campaign going with you. Hope to hear from you soon."

First of all, don't come across my site. That's just nasty, Second, it's not traffic. It's impressions. Why is it that reputable companies refer to this ad metric as impression and others refer to it as traffic? Traffic connotes mindless, scatter shot reach to anyone, anywhere without regard for targeting. With impressions, at least the word alludes to leaving an impression which alludes to something with purpose. Oh, sure, you can argue they're the same thing. After all, not every impression is seen by human eyeballs. So hey, it's all just mindless traffic anyway and publishers and advertisers are simply putting up toll booths to collect cash. But, at least for me, talking about the selling and buying of online advertising, which, when done right, involves targeting contextually, behaviorally and demographically, among other things, as if it were all just traffic greatly devalues the medium and its capabilities as an advertising channel.

And thirdly, Pops? Floating ads? Do these companies realize they are pimping the most hated form of online idiocy? Do they care? Of course not. As long as the ROI math works out positively, pops are here to stay. Unfortunately, for us, the math does work out and we have to suffer. It still doesn't make it right.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-05    
Topic: Opinion



FOX's 'Reunion' Is Actually A Good Show

fox_reunion.jpg

Catching up on this week's TV last night during a date with the DVR (no TiVo baggage here - just a straight forward, simple cable DVR) we realized a few things. Aside from the usual hits everyone watches such as Survivor, Lost, Grey's Anatomy and ER (well, it used to be a hit), there's a few shows that are getting some attention but deserve more. While racing, blissfully, through a few commercial-free hours of saved programming, we realized there's a few lesser known shows worth mentioning:

  • UPN's Veronica Mars is a brilliant show. Each episode is a mini-mystery that Veronica, who's Dad is a private eye, solves all while wondering what she's doing in this really strange world they call highschool. In addition, each season contains an arching mystery that drops clues each episode. Smart strategy. Each episode can stand on its own while the viewer is rewarded with an in depth story if they stick with the series.
  • FOX's Reunion, while not brilliant, has an amazingly intertwined plot which spans the live's of six people over 20 year from 1985 to 2005. Each episode represents a year. Because each episode jumps back and forth between present day and the episode's year, it can get a bit confusion following the plot. Perhaps that's one reason why its rating are in the toilet. This show's really a perfect candidate for DVD when you can sit down and watch big chunks of it at a time. Though FOX has done a good job with episode recaps for those who want to catch up.
  • ABC's Invasion finally moved the plot along a bit this week with an episode that revealed a bit more behind the alien assimilation thing and the lead characters long involvement with it. It's the better of the several alien shows airing right now. The show has a blog which is nice but they do a terrible job of referring to it on the show misusing the terms blogs when they mean posts on a blog. Does anyone else think the actress playing the Sherrif's daughter, Alexis Dziena, is oddly attractive?
While UPN's Veronica Mars and ABC's Invasion will see future seasons it's likely, but unfortunate, Reunion will be cancelled after this year.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-05    
Topic: Opinion, Television



Donny Deutsch to Announce 'Media Person of the Year,' Voting Closes Sunday

thebigidea2.gif

Donny Deutsch will announce the 2005 "Media Person of the Year" on his CNBC show, "The Big Idea," this Monday, Dec. 5. Each year, I Want Media runs a poll to find the "Media Person of the Year" defined as the figure who had the most impact on the media landscape. Last year's "Media Person of the Year" was the Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart.

This year's 10 candidates, submitted by the site's readers are CNN's Anderson Cooper; Gawker Media's Nick Denton; Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Apple's Steve Jobs; Author Judith Miller; media mogul Rupert Murdoch; Craig's List's Craig Newmark; Viacom's Sumner Redstone; Howard Stern and Martha Stewart (who was named the 2002 "Media Person of the Year").

I'm voting for underdog Nick Denton. You should too. He, and blogging, have significantly altered the media landscape in recent years. The online poll closes this Sunday evening.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-05    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion, Research








Stanton Optical


Featured FREE Resource: