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Times Square Coke Sign to Come Down

Coke Sign Goes Dark in the Heart of Times Square.

"After 11 years of teasing parched New Yorkers, the animated Coca-Cola sign in Times Square is dark. Eventually it will be replaced by a more advanced-looking Coke display, the company said."

I guess it's all in the name of commercialism. Who can have the biggest and best sign.

I noticed something very interesting about Times Square and America in general on the eve of the new millennium. There were TV shots from all over the world. All the major cities celebrating the new millennium on an hour by hour roll. What I noticed was how beautiful all these cities all over the world looked. Except NYC.

Now I'm not NYC bashing here but most every other city in the world was not adorned with Vegas style billboards. You were actually able to appreciate the beauty of the cities themselves. I wonder what the rest of the world thought when they saw this stark contrast as well.

We are a commercialist country and with commercialism goes adverting but we have really taken it into a whole other realm. A realm that could only occur here in America.

Good or bad, it's who we are.

by Steve Hall    Oct-28-02    

Ellen: The Viral Marketing Queen


And now it has come to this. Ellen Feiss look a like contests. We now have gatherings were Mac enthusiasts can worship Ellen look a likes. Marketing...what will they think of next?

Wired News: Impressions of a Young Mac Geek To pass the time, they amused themselves by tossing Windows PCs, making Mac porn and holding a look-alike competition to find the best Ellen Feiss, the teenage star of one of Apple's new "Switch" commercials.

"Of course, no one was capable of catching that adorable look of the real Ellen," the site admits. "She's our adolescent Mona Lisa. Every look-alike is a kind of ... a bummer!"

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-02    

Ted Kennedy Called Me

So there I was, sitting on the couch reading the Boston Globe (yes, I still get some of my news from the dead tree version) and the phone rings. I say hello and there it is! The all telling, telltale sign of a telemarketing call...the short period of silence. My blood boils, my finger starts to move towards the Off button and then I hear it. The booming voice of Ted Kennedy, "Hello, this is Ted Kennedy and I am calling to ask your support for Shannon O'Brien blah, blah, blah..." (she is running for governor in MA).

I have had several of these calls from other politicians but none as well known as Ted. As hard as I tried, I could not hang the phone up. I mean it was Ted Kennedy's voice! Oh sure, it was some auto-dial recording coming from somewhere but it was still cool. The coolest thing was that the message was so on point. So straight forward. So no bullshit in it's approach. And, it was short. Not even 30 seconds.

While I detest all forms of telemarketing especially this new political form, I simply could not hang the phone up. Maybe it was the fact that the message was concise. Maybe it was Ted Kennedy's voice. Maybe I was just lazy this morning. Whatever it was, they got through to me. Who knows if I will vote, but Shannon O'Brien is now top of mind to me as a candidate for governor.

I hate telemarketing but this time it worked on this cynical writer.


by Steve Hall    Oct-25-02    

Ad Creatives Out of Touch With the Real World?

I found this interesting little viewpoint on how television advertising is perceived by the average consumer. And he is right. We portray people in very strange ways in attempting to sell products for our clients. Here's a taste:

"Doesn�t it strike you that the some people who produce television ads have a strange view of the world?

Take that dressed-as-an-executive woman with the matronising attitude who raises her eyebrows to the heavens when her husband is heard off-stage calling that he can�t find the car keys, or one of the children says she can�t find the shampoo."

"Then there�s the way fathers are presented in tv ads, as idiots, drunkards, boys in men�s clothing, and beings less capable than their own children of playing any game that requires intelligence. "

Great stuff.

by Steve Hall    Oct-24-02    

Use of Rich Media to Increase to 22% Within Five Years

New information from Jupiter claims that banners are still the de facto standard online ad unit making up 95% of all online inventory. However, Jupiter predicts that within 5 years that figure will reduce and rich media will claim 22% of the pie.

As banners become basically "invisible" to users as they visit sites, more intrusive formats have been experimented with. The concern, at least on my part, is that this move to rich media consists of "acceptable" forms on intrusive units, if there is such a thing, rather then more versions of the much hated pop up.

FYI: There are many diverging opinions on this report so read around and make your own conclusions.

Let's agree to meet on this in five years time and review.

Reported in Internet News.


by Steve Hall    Oct-24-02    

Fake Ad of the Day

Courtesy of False Advertising.

by Steve Hall    Oct-23-02    

37% of Fortune 100 companies disregard Web inquiries

This is very distressing news though not surprising as I am sure many of you have experienced that "email into the ether" feeling when sending to some sites. It really such poor form to offer a means of communications between customer and company and then not properly respond to it.

From B to B:

Bellevue, Wash.--A new study to be released Friday by International Ventures Research Ltd. found that 37% of Fortune 100 companies offered no reply to a general inquiry submitted to their Web sites. The 2002 Online Customer Respect Study of Fortune 100 Companies also found that 45% of the Web sites ask customers to opt out if they don't wish to receive unsolicited e-mails. Additionally, 15% of the sites sell customer data without seeking permission to do so.


by Steve Hall    Oct-23-02    

The Pop Up of the Sidewalk?

As reported in this article in the New York Times, the practice of sidewalk art or more precisely, sidewalk advertising seems like it is becoming the pop up of the material world. Yes, we have had outdoor advertising forever and sidewalk ads are nothing new but the acceptability of it seems to be waning.

It's no surprise really. You can't go anywhere without being bombarded with commercial messages anymore. For marketers, it is the eternal need to "cut through the clutter" Every effort is designed to insure that it will be seen by the target audience. The problem is that less and less consideration is being given to the acceptability level of these tactics and the negative effect they can have on the long term relationship with the customer.

I've said this before. Short term gains. Long term losses. It only works for a short period of time.


by Steve Hall    Oct-23-02    

Revisited: Apple Not Participating in Macworld Boston

In an earlier post I made about Apple not participating in the Macworld trade show, I was a little flip and quick in saying, "This has to be the single most idiotic decision Apple could make"

Well, John from Inluminent has set me straight with his mention of a post by John Gruber on Daring Fireball.

by Steve Hall    Oct-23-02    

Customer Evangilism: Not All Marketers Are Idiots

Yes, there are some companies out there who have done marketing right. Who have created a brand so strong that they have created company evangelists that sing the praise of the company through your basic word of mouth advertising.

Does this just happen by accident? No. It takes a lot of work for a company to get to this level of loyalty. Read this article from MarketingProfs to see how they do it.

The Customer Evangelism Manifesto

by Steve Hall    Oct-22-02    

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