Beyonce Signs Deal With Hilfiger to Boost Fragrance Division

Hot off the recent announcement of her gladiator style Pepsi commercial with Britney Spears, Pink and Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce has been tapped to help Tommy Hilfiger bring life back into his fragrance business. Beyonce will work with Hilfiger on the development of the fragrance concept and will appear in television and print ads promoting the line beginning in September. She will be paid $3 million for the work.

Tommy Hilfiger says the brand needs "new energy" and went on to say, "The Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries division has seen a rocky road over the last few years. But we believe that aligning the renewed fashion strength of Tommy Hilfiger [with Knowles' participation] will result in increased energy for the fragrance franchise. We still own a substantial equity in the men's and women's fragrance world, and this project is our way of reengaging the consumer with a truly global fragrance concept."

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

Cossaks Video Games Provide Wife/Girlfriend Annoyance Reducing Device

Ever been interrupted when you are in the middle of a really good video game? U.K. game maker Cossacks knows just how you feel and has the solution. It's even built into their game. Watch the spot. Be amused. If you are a wife or a girlfriend, have sympathy.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

The Hummer Ad Gets Truth Treatment in Spoof

If advertising didn't always somehow skew truth just a tiny little bit each time an ad was created, we'd get more commercials like this spoof of a Hummer ad.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

Vote For Your Favorite Super Bowl Ads

During the game, you can visit, a site in its fourth year of operation where viewers can vote on commercials. At the end of the game, the site will announce America's Favorite Ads."

"Two years ago, the Adbowl was basically an industry event," said MWH (agency that operates Adbowl) president Steve McKee. "Last year, we took it more public. This year, we don't know quite what to expect, but we've beefed up the infrastructure to handle hundreds of thousands of votes." So make sure your laptop is in front of you during the game.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

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Penthouse Retools, Goes After Lad Books

Realizing that perhaps X rated pictorials are not the way to go if you want a magazine to be successful, Penthouse will undergo a $50 million makeover and relaunch this Fall with a softer approach to pictorials and editorial.

Marc Bell, who heads up the group that saved Penthouse from death with an $85 million infusion, says the new Penthouse will target readers of the lad books such as Maxim and FHM who, he claims, have become "bored with air-brushed models and sophomoric humor." And the new Penthouse won't airbrush?

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

Networks Grasp For Lifeboat as Ship Sinks

Desperate network executives are gasping for air as viewership becomes ever more fragmented. The latest last breaths include short form "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" type shows that come and go, original programming that doesn't repeat, launching new shows in the middle of Summer and repeat shows two and three times a week as cable does. Some tactics will work. Other won't. It will be fun to watch the fight for survival.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

American Legacy Foundation Launches Reality Advertising Campaign

Hoping to ride the unfortunate popularity of reality television, the American Legacy Foundation is launching an ad campaign the will resemble a reality TV series. Launched yesterday, the campaign will follow "Bob" a New Yorker who is trying to quit smoking. Cameras will follow Bob at work and at home and record how he deals with his addiction and how he tries to quit. The campaign will appear on television and radio, in print and on billboards until February 22 but continue online. The web site will have a different film each day charting Bob's course towards quitting and Bob will maintain a weblog of his personal experiences as he takes the challenge.

Unfortunately, when, and if, my client ever approves a proposal that consists of EXACTLY THE SAME IDEA, I'll now be called a copycat. Let it be known, we hatched the idea months ago. Our client is just slow and conservative.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04    

New Study Says Ad Agencies Suffer "Creative Arrogance"

The Association of National Advertisers has released preliminary results from a study which reveals a third of marketers think their agencies are suffering from "creative arrogance", charge too much for their work and the work that is produced is off strategy. Seems agencies dirty little secret has been found out. Without bashing all agency creatives, the problem stems from the inability of some in advertising to realize that making an ad is not art. It's a commerce of craft. While agencies do need to stand their ground on creative and strategic direction if they truly believe in it and it's backed up by research but at the same time, they need to realize the client is the one paying the bill and is the one who has the final say.

This is not to say agencies should just roll over at the wim of the client but they should realize they are not creating the next Mona Lisa to be hung on the wall or entered into the awards show of the month. An ad has the very important purpose of moving consumers to a distinct mindset or action.

This is also not to say all agencies are arrogant and clueless. There's plenty of clueless clients out there as well that make agencies jump through hoops for no good reason other than simply being clueless about what marketing and advertising are supposed to accomplish. Like anything, there bad marketers and there are bad agencies. It's a very personal, opinionated business. The problem arises when people with no personality and opinions based on nothing rise to positions of power and ruin it for the rest of us.

by Steve Hall    Jan-27-04