In an effort to passify those who think men are portrayed in advertising as over sexed, neanderthal morons, JWT has announced it will cease characterizing men as boob-fixated, humping jack rabbits. The change in policy follows the release of a book by one of the agency's vice presidents, Marian Salman, who says men have been mocked in advertising for far too long. While true when it comes to illustrating men as clueless buffoons as Verizon did recently, to strip away certain innate behaviors is questionable. Perhaps it's all payback for, until recently, portraying women as clueless, man-serving kitchen maids.
Salman says, "All too often in the marketing arena, we're portraying man as the victim - of his sexual organ or his lust, his emotional neediness, his overinflated ego or his sheer ineptitude." OK, true. That could be toned down a bit but do we want to re-engineer man to appear as if he's become some sexless, robotic, new age, virtue-spewing automaton?
Illustrating the life cycle of the average advertising professional, Hugh MacCleod of "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards" fame, has created a new cartoon, called "The Three Ages of Slavery," that clearly, but perhaps depressingly, depicts what the average person working in advertising can expect as he progresses through his career. There's no 50's or 60's cause, you know, after 49, all those ad people seem to disappear into other endeavors courtesy of ageism.
Hipster hunter, Bucky Turco, tells us female graffiti writer CLAW, a well know and respected 'bomber,' has launched clawmoney.com with the help of web designers to promote her CLAW Money lifestyle brand.
The heavily graffiti 'done right' - inspired site showcases some of her new wares, sunglasses, and graffiti skills. Her infamous CLAW tag/logo has afforded her cult status amongst graffiti aficionados, fashionistas, editors, and has definitely caught the ire of NYPD's Vandal Squad. Although she mainly works as a consultant, designer and a fashion editor, she still finds time to 'bomb' and keep the Vandal Squad busy photographing her work from time to time. Claw has even caught the attention of designer Calvin Klein as she was chosen to launch their new artist series 'choice' line set for release this summer.
This vandal turned fashionista is all about business as well as destruction, having hired hipsterati PR firm Brand Pimps Media Whores to do all her press and ho' sale.
Turco says, "What I like about Claw is that she is one of the illest bombers and is now using that notoriety and prowess to legally 'bomb' the fashion world. She literally gets respect on the streets and on the runways. And most importantly, unlike so many other brands that try and misappropriate graffiti, she utilizes it and promotes it flawlessly."
Accumulating opinion and commentary from across the media and advertising spectrum, The Wall Wall Street Journal has compiled an outlook of the media landscape from network news, advertising, newspapers, book publishing, movies and music. While there are a few insightful suggestions surrounding network news and movies, much, such as turning advertisements into programming and microtargeting has been heard before. All the same, it's nice to see it wrapped up all in one place others who don't analyze this stuff on a minute by minute basis.
HP has capitalized on the popularity of Gwen Stefani's fixation with Japanese Harajuku culture (fad?) and the Harajuku-styled girls that follow her around everywhere she goes by offering the special edition Photosmart R607 Harajuku Lovers Digital Camera by Gwen Stefani. It's the usual Americanization of a micro-culture that some say isn't even a culture at all. Tian has more on the whole Harajuku thing here.
Using far more words than necessary but still making a good point, Chicago-based media planner Cece Forrester suggest the ad industry embrace PVR ad skipping rather than fighting against it. Citing the shift towards absolute control of content from media companies to consumers and that as skipping has been around forever (i.e. trips to the fridge or bathroom), Forrester writes TiVo should enable viewers to skip, not fast forward through, to the end of any commercial and the beginning of the next.
TiVo's competitor, Replay, had a feature, that has since been disabled, which would skip thirty seconds at a time. Forrester's suggestion builds on this claiming ads, like content, should earn the attention of viewers rather than being served using the current force feed method. Attempting to prevent people from bypassing things they don't like is a losing battle. TiVo would be wise to act early and come to terms with this.
Brenner Thomas has identified a seemingly new trend in advertising - the inanimate spokesobject. Quaker Oats has its Quaker gentleman, Travelocity has its Roaming Gnome and Burger King has its smiling, plastic King. Any more of this and we'll start hearing from the unions.
Receiving increased attention, yet created six months ago by The Pointer Institute Fellows Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson, a film, called EPIC, looks forward to the world of 2014 in which Google controls most everything and the New York Times is relegated to a "print only newsletter for the elite and the elderly." While certainly a plausible future, it's not as rosy as it might seem with the film concluding most content will be useless, trivial, unsubstantiated conjecture. Here is a transcript of the film.
Focusing on how marketers can capitalize on the increased adoption of broadband, LearningCraft Founder and Author Rob Graham led a panel which included Kraft's Carol Walker, Broadband Enterprise CEO Matt Wasserlauf and Klipmart CEO Chris Young. Much of the discussion focused on the repurposing of video for the web. Kraft's Walker cited several case studies, one of which was a campaign to promote recipes via online instructional videos which, successfully, garnered 400,000 views.
As with an earlier session dealing with marketers functioning as web broadcasters, this session was not able to answer the question of metrics. Currently, there appear to be no reliable and accurate sources to gauge the success of these broadband online efforts as effectively as marketers would like. All panelists promise it is a top priority.
Kicking off the sparcely attended Marketer As Broadcaster session, Carat Interactive's John Durham referred to the teacher who created the mac commercial and how marketers and consumers are now creating their own content and advertising. The panel consisted of JibJab's Greg Spiridellis, WorldNow's Omar Karim and Target's Scott Heimes who each spoke to the growing trend of marketer and consumer created content.