Agency Websites Suck, Launch A Weblog

By now, everyone has heard of weblogs. If you haven't, welcome, you are reading one right now. If you think you've read this before, you have. In the interest of espousing the value of weblogs to our industry, we're republishing this little piece of opinionated advice. For various reasons, many people and companies can benefit from blogging. So can ad agencies. Ad agencies are hired for two main reasons. First, and not always most important, is creative. Second is thought leadership - does the agency in question have the smarts to create successful advertising for client companies. Both of these areas of expertise can be shared with the world of potential clients through a weblog.

Right now, agencies might be saying, "What do we need a weblog for? We already have a web site." Great. Take an honest look at it. Is it much more than a creative showcases (if that) and management bios? Aside from a few short paragraphs on your so-called "proprietary process" is there any value there for the reader? Are you offering anything that gives insight into the way your agency thinks and what your opinion is on the current state of advertising? If so, great. Most likely. though it is not.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-19-05    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Weblogs



Atari to Host Graffiti-thon For New Game

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Atari will host a graffiti-thon street festival on August 24 to promote the release of it graffiti-based game "Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure" by designer Marc Ecko. At the event, held August 24th on 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues from 12:00PM - 8:00PM, 20 artists will spray-paint 48 by 8 foot replicas of New York's blue-bird subway cars.

A lineup of graffiti artists, from the notorious COPE2 to T-KID, who first started writing on trains as early as 1974, will spend the day doing full color murals on the vintage trains. Other participating graf writers include Dash, West, Ces, Sonic, Iz the Wiz, Min, Duro, Wane, Wen, Dero, Cycle, Smith, Lady Pink, Doc, Kel 1st, Mare139, Crash, Daze, Ghost, and the Tats Crew.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-05    
Topic: Brands, Guerilla, Opinion



Car Makers Go Mini-Movie Mad

When you roll it all up into one article as Ad Age just did, the recent efforts by car manufacturers to glom on to BMW "The Heist"-like mini-movie ads, is all lands with a big "me too," "wannabe," been there, done that" thud. However, some, such as Mercury's "Meet the Lucky Ones" did quite well, at least in terms of generating dramatically increased exploration of web pages describing various Mercury models.

Not to rain on everyone's parade but all this seems like a lot of work when the simplicity of - 1. Here's my product. 2. It is good because... 3. Try it and we'll give you this incentive. - always seemed to work quite well.

by Steve Hall    Aug- 9-05    
Topic: Opinion



Rooster Gets Hooters Chicken, Stupidity Ensues

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A Hooters billboard, for a West Covina, CA Hooters, placed aside the San Bernadino Freeway in Baldwin Park has caused complaints from employees of Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center which is located beneath the billboard. Oddly, the complaints have nothing to do with images of scantily clad Hooters waitress, of which there are none on the board, but with a tagline that reads, "Only a rooster gets a better piece of chicken." Apparently, the Medical Center employees and Councilwoman Marlen Garcia, who brought the complaint to a city council meeting and said the board was "indecent or obscene," think there's something wrong with the natural act of a rooster co-habitating with a chicken. Either that or this is some sort of clandestine attempt to rid the world of scrambled eggs as a breakfast item.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-31-05    
Topic: Opinion, Outdoor



Once Again, Please the Consumer. Don't Threaten Them

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Joey deVilla, a Technical Community Development Coordinator for back office software company Tucows, Inc., publishes a personal weblog on which he recently recounted an experience he had with moving company Quick Boys, mentioned in the comment section of a post he had made about Toronto movers. One of the commenters to the post, who deVilla knew, shared a bad experience with Quick Boys and recommended others steer clear of the company.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-30-05    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Weblogs



Shocker: Boobs Promote Advertising Week

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In an ironic twist, the industry that is currently attempting to regain cred among, well, everyone, the advertising industry recently launched an ad campaign to promote Advertising Week using the oldest trick in the book: sex. Created by DDB Worldwide, the ad, which promotes the industry's upcoming Advertising Week in September pictures a faceless woman with in a red bra and black top with her breasts bulging outward and the copy, "Advertising. We All Do It," positioned directly beneath the woman's cleavage.

Predictably, many are up in arms over the ad citing it as sexist, moronic and tired. All true but, then again, when has sex ever been in danger of not selling something. Whether it's to titalate guys or to piss of women, sex-laced campaigns featuring scantily clad women whose breasts are spilling forth, uncontrollably, from of their tops unquestionably draw attention and get the media to write about it, thereby, accomplishing a campaigns primary goal of awareness despite negative reaction.

Indicative of the spineless nature of industry, neither the client nor the agency are stepping up to the plate in reaction to this ad with both sides referring inquiries to the other as if the ad were a pair of skid-marked underwear.

Bring sanity back to the saga, Bartle Bogle Hegarty Global Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Advertising Week Cindy Gallop told Ad Age, "I see the campaign as funny and entertaining. Advertising is something we all do without thinking. The fact is a woman opening an extra button on her blouse for a date is a very regular occurrence." You go, Cindy!

by Steve Hall    Jul-25-05    
Topic: Campaigns, Industry Events, Opinion



Technology Could Kill the Media Buy/Sell Relationship

With the increasing automation of the media buy/sell relationship, there has been a shift towards forcing a square peg in a round whole when it comes to a buyer gleaning information from a media seller for consideration as part of a media program. It's only natural to try to streamline the process but when it eliminates viable media properties, simply because the media property can't fit its (very worthy) square peg sell into the buyer's myopic, square buy hole, that's a very bad thing. And, seemingly, it's all done, not without merit, just to get all potential media vehicles on the same proverbial playing field so the buyer can then compare them using the same set of metrics. Well, an apple isn't an orange and it never will be but apples and oranges are both, still, food worthy of consumption.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-22-05    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Publishing



MovieTRAY Contributes to Theater Advertising Insanity

It seems the proliferation of in-theater advertising insanity knows no limits. Theater Advertising Solutions LLC today announced a multi-year agreement for the distribution of a branded concession carry tray, called MovieTRAY, at all of Regal Entertainment Group's theaters nationwide. Under the agreement, Theater Advertising Solutions will be the exclusive provider of movie tray adverblather, further ruining the already horrifically advertising-drenched movie going experience.

Maybe Regal should consider selling the back of its seats to advertisers so adverbloated movie goers could at least get the pleasure of kicking the shit out of brands that would actually consider placing ads within movie theaters.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 7-05    
Topic: Opinion



Advertisers: Wake Up And Smell The Sex

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Ad Induced Hotness?

Writing in the Hendersonville News, Susan Hanley Lane shares her feelings regarding a racy Skechers billboard she saw when she was with her father in law as he was getting haircut. Noting the odd juxtaposition of the two figures on the billboard having simulated sex, advertising-style, with the presence of her father in law and two small girls playing outside near the board, Susan makes a convincingly cogent argument that, perhaps, we've taken this sex sells thing a bit too far.

She notes the walled garden that used to be called childhood has collapsed and has been replaced, at least for girls, by girlhood. In other words, kids aren't kids anymore but have, because of the continual presence of adult imagery, become young hotties in training. When you roll it up like that, it does certainly feel odd that young kids are routinely exposed to this sort of imagery. Many, including myself, have said, "Oh, just don't look. Turn the TV off. Monitor what your kids read and what they do online." Well, sure. That's all good but it's also like trying to juggle 12 tons of Jello while riding a unicycle. It's not possible. Kids are resourceful. If they want to see or do something, they'll find a way around parental blockage. Acknowledging that, one could argue if racy imagery that is now commonplace wasn't there in the first place, kids who circumvent so called blockage would find nothing more that a fully clothed Betty Crocker staring back at them.

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-05    
Topic: Opinion



Human Race Regains Sense of Humor

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Humor. Heard of It?

Last Month a KFC ad, showing call center workers singing with their mouths full to promote KFC's Zinger Crunch Salad, which ran in England garnered a record 1,671 complaints to the country's Advertising Standards Authority because many felt it would cause bad manners among children. At the time we said that was ridiculous and wondered if the human race was losing its sense of humor. Today, the ASA has agreed with us stating it did not agree with those that lodged complaints and that the ad was unlikely to cause bad manners. Parents teach manners. Commercials don't. There's a difference.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-05    
Topic: Opinion, Policy








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