Infographic Compares Mad Men Era to Today

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An infographic from shopping transaction and activity research company Buysight takes a look at the differences between today's advertising culture and the one glorified on AMC's Mad Men. In a post on the Buysight blog about the infographic, the author writes, "Marketers are content creators and publishers are increasingly like agencies. Audiences, too, play an active role now, from debunking false claims to spreading the word about great brands.

Several industry experts comment on the post with Personal Life Media CEO Susan Bratton writing, "Biggest trend: The marketer as content publisher. . . Curating and creating content for search optimization and social media are now crucial components of an online marketing platform. No longer can we buy ads in someone else's content, we must be the content creators to have a voice in the digital domain, which frankly, for most brands, is where the war is won in the 21st century."

What do you think the biggest changes have been since Don Draper walked the halways of Madison Avenue?

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-10    
Topic: Trends and Culture



Conversations on Quitting the Cancer Stick

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This is a post about smoking, which I wrote to precede my sunshiny Lions wrapup. It is randomly scattered with pictures of the events and people referred to, in part for context, but also so you don't have to scroll through all the "fun" shots without perspective.

In advertising, we pick up a lot of habits - "creative" habits, mostly - that we occasionally are and aren't proud of, depending on our mood and who's looking. The Cannes Lions becomes a magnifier of all those habits: there, trapped in paradise for a week, people don't just drink until 5 in the morning; they often smoke as if all the weight of the world depends on it.

"Last night I knew it was time to go home because I started chainsmoking," complained Shannon Stephaniuk of Glossy. "I hate smoking more than anything else in the world!"

I suppose I believe her. I've never seen Shannon pick up a cigarette, not once, and I smoke a great deal, which usually outs the casual smokers in party atmospheres.

Anyway, this Cannes phenomenon leads to a lot of semi-casual conversation about why we all started smoking in the first place, which naturally drifts over to quitting and efforts to get there.

This is why I started smoking (in earnest, not counting the flirtation I had in college when my best friend gave me a pack of Vanilla Dreams for my 18th birthday): to eke a promotion out of a boss who only discussed "the future" with his subordinates during smoke breaks. I was 19, maybe 20.

"You know what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did to quit?" began Draftfcb ECD Mark Fiddes, rather grandly, at a beachside luncheon for production firm Mad Cow. "Gabriel Garcia Marquez buried his last packet of cigarettes. Big mound. It was something he could walk by and look at every day."

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"That's how he quit?" I asked incredulously. Garcia Marquez was a heavy smoker - six packs a day at worst, I think.

"That's how," Mark said smugly.

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Why Consumer Transparency Falls Flat

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The social graph. Data portability. Privacy. Data control. Peerset CTO and Co-founder Amit Kanigsberg has a few things to share on these topics in this second post in a series on the use of personal data.

Pursuing Transparency is no Private Matter

What does transparency mean to you? In the online advertising industry it conjures one of two things: 1) For the advertiser, full insight into the ad serving stack (from agency to publisher) or 2) For the consumer, full insight into the targeting data ad networks and data providers collect (e.g., Google, Bluekai).

If your first thought was #1, you are forgiven. It is after all natural to follow the money. And there is plenty of it being strewn across that field. But I'll argue that you should be thinking about the consumer a bit more, the sleeping giant as it were. And if you jumped straight to #2, then I'd bet you felt that current efforts and lackluster hype around transparency seems a bit, well, lacking, slight, effervescent, wispy, ethereal - more translucent really.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-23-10    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Social, Tools, Trends and Culture



Privacy is a Red Herring, Personal Data A Goldmine for Consumers and Marketers

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The social graph. Data portability. Privacy. Data control. Peerset CTO and Co-founder Amit Kanigsberg has a few things to share on these topics in this second post in a series on the use of personal data.

Fish Anyone?

All of this hype surrounding online privacy is a red herring, especially as it regards Facebook. We learned this week that privacy is not the central concern for Facebook users. The "Quit Facebook Day" protest groups have barely gained membership. Quitfacebookday.com only managed to attract 35,000 members for their mass exodus yesterday. Next to Facebook's close to half a billion users, this just doesn't seem very significant (a good article considering this perspective).

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by Steve Hall    Jun- 4-10    
Topic: Opinion, Social, Tools, Trends and Culture



Ten Tips For Targeting Moms Online

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This is a guest post by Big Fuel Communications CEO Avi Savar. If you've every wanted to know anything about mommy bloggers and what brands are doing in this space then this article id for you.

Authentic Connections

Did Mom invent social media? Some say she did. And there is no arguing that she is driving it and helping it to evolve. There are 82 million moms across the U.S. of all ages. That's right, 82 million. And 26 million of them are mommy bloggers. And they are grassroots, Oprah-like brand advocates with loyal followers who can change the trajectory of a brand and its products.

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by Steve Hall    May-18-10    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Social, Trends and Culture



Canadians Think Real Mexicans Are Lazy and Dirty

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So if you're Mexican, you must be a wrestler, right? Or you must take siestas all the time and forget to shower, right? Well, that's what BBDO in Toronto thinks if its campaign for Quesada Mexican Grill is any indication.

In one ad we've got a dirty Mexican taking a nap. In another, we've got a family dressed in goofy wrestler costumes. The campaign's headline? Real Mexican Know Where to Get Real Mexican.

Hmm. A cause group disaster waiting to happen or an innocuous approach that leverages harmless stereotypes?

by Steve Hall    May-12-10    
Topic: Campaigns, Strange, Trends and Culture



Where is the Line When it Comes to Sexualized Imagery?

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Over at I Mean...What?!? Abe Gurko makes an insightful observation into the hypocrisy which, seemingly, runs wild in today's society. Gurko argues, "You cannot walk around trashing Miley Cyrus for doing a lap dance with an old queen like Adam Shankman and consider the new Miss USA marketing campaign a good idea."

Of the campaign, Gurko writes, "all 51 contestants have traded in their pageant hair and cornball, prom gowns for that skanky, Gross Baboon of the Year look that all of Tiger Woods' skanks share."

Furthering his point, Gurko adds, "You cannot watch Jersey Shore and think it is hilarious, anxiously waiting Season Two, then judge Miley Cyrus for being too young to be sexy."

Oh course, Miley was 16 at the time of her lap dance and the cast of Jersey Shore are well over the age of 18 but the point is a valid one in a broader sense. We love to use and see sexualized imagery in advertising and the broader media but God forbid if it's one's son or daughter being sexualized.

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by Steve Hall    May-12-10    
Topic: Celebrity, Opinion, Trends and Culture



American Apparel Taken to Task for Definition of 'Ordinary People'

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In an effort to challenge American Apparel's assertion the people in their sexually charged ads are ordinary people, Trent University student Jes Sachse, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, will appear on posters in Toronto transit stations May 6, 11, 22 and 31.

Photographed by her friend Holly Norris for a series called American Able, Saches will dress and pose as if she were in an American Apparel ad. As Norris writes on her site, "American Able intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media."

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by Steve Hall    May-11-10    
Topic: Opinion, Spoofs, Trends and Culture



Americans Stereotype, Arm Dislocated, Avatars Fashioned, Kitty Shot

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- It's global branding of another sort: How Americans See Europe.

- If you want to see a bad Photoshop job. Or if you just want to see a hot woman in her bikini.

- More from the lady who loves to create ads inside Second Life which feature but, busty avatars.

- An old Old Spice ad.

- Not new but worth a look. Agency (almost) shoots kitty to illustrate the qualities of good advertising.

- Thought: If social media didn't exist, would P&G have the problem they are currently having with their Cruisers and Swaddlers diapers?

by Steve Hall    May- 5-10    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Racy, Social, Strange, Trends and Culture



Coke Continues to Twist the Mind of Youth

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Haven't we all had enough of these stupid commercials that promise you the world if only you drink a Coke...as if that can full of sugarized crap has anything to do with your ability to achieve success on your own?

So here we have some crap about a "boy who didn't know how to celebrate so he set off on a quest to find his own celebration." Complete with joyous lyrics about freedom and fire, the boy flies, fights against robots and climbs mountains of celebrations. But it's not until he takes a sip of Coke that he realizes the only place he needs to search for celebration is inside himself.

Gag! Please! Seriously? A kid needs to drink a a Coke to realize his potential? Seriously? What twisted sort of education is that for today's youth? Oh wait, it's the same thing every other marketer does. Buy our product and you will be magically transformed in the most supremely perfect person on the planet.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-23-10    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Worst










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