Pepsi iTunes Promo Falls Apart, Still Gets Publicity

There's no end to Pepsi's troubles following it's anti-RIAA promotion offering one hundred million free downloads via iTunes. First, there was a spoof, then blurred bottle caps that made it difficult to determine if the cap was a winner and now a bottle tipping technique that lets a shopper determine if the bottle cap is a winner before having to buy the bottle..

The Pepsi iTunes promo might be cracking but the company is getting its money's worth in publicity anyway.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

Lame Commercials Need Nerd Power

Rick Bruner of Executive Summary comments on the sameness and lameness of today's advertising with its overuse of "cars swooping around mountain highways" and dumbed down teen focused ads targeted to jock skateboarders, basketball players and Britney Spears fans who, as Rick says, "peaked in high school and are now selling vacuum cleaners or the like."

Rick suggests that, rather than pander to this lowest common denominator, marketers should "celebrate something wholesome in their ads, like being smart." He offers up two examples of how this might play out if marketers cared about the smart kids.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

Wendy's Introduces New Spokesman 'Mr. Wendy'

It's been three years since Wendy's spokesman Dave Thomas died and the fast food chain has been wrestling with how to re-establish the brand. The chain is introducing "Mr. Wendy" who will walk around accosting people to sing the praises of Wendy's yet doing it without the blessing of Wendy's. Dave is a hard act to follow and "Mr. Wendy" will certainly have his work cut out for him.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

Pfizer Agencies Can't Get It Up For Viagra

Perhaps in reaction to the painfully boring erectile disfunction ads during this year's Super Bowl, Pfizer has asked its agencies to submit new ideas for its get-it-up male impotency drug, Viagra. Seems creative from Viagra brand agency Omnicom Group's Cline Davis & Mann has been limp lately.

Pfizer spinmeistress Michal Fishman claims the account is not up for review with this PR blather, "Our goal here with all of our advertising is to create effective advertising campaigns that are based on the greatest consumer insight that we can gain. We are looking to expand the breadth of ideas we have available to ensure we make those campaigns as effective as possible."

Sure sounds like they're looking for a new agency to me.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

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'Just For Men' Launches Hispanic Campaign

Combe Incorporated's Just For Men has launched a new ad campaign telling men it's OK to color your hair. In one television spot, a Dad appears as Mozart to his wife and kids, then uses the product and re-appears as some hot dude in a leather jacket. The campaign by La Agencia de Orc & Asociados includes radio as well and will appear in key Hispanic markets.

Other new ad campaign launches featured in this week's MediaPost Out to Launch column by Amy Corr are from Microsoft promoting humanachievementt through technology and from Knorr which ties in with the upcoming movie release of "Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights,"

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

Palmolive's Madge Dies at 86

Jan Miner, other wise known as Palmolive's Madge the Manicurist in the long running ad campaign, has died at age 86. Miner would comfort beauty salon customers in the ads who where at first shocked to realize their hands where being soaked in dish washing detergent telling them, "Relax. It's Palmolive."

Miner died this past Sunday. She was born on Oct. 15, 1917, in Boston, the daughter of a dentist and a painter. She studied at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and trained for the stage with Lee Strasberg, among others.

It's sad that most current advertisers don't realize the power of sticking with a brand position over time and change positioning and agencies on a wim. In the past ten years have there been any campaigns that have instilled imagery as powerful as the Jolly Green Giant or Captain Crunch or Ronald McDonald? No, the standard is to have a gerbil shot out of a cannon or a dog bite a guy's crotch to shock consumers into remembering the commercial. But, that's exactly the problem with that tactic. Consumers remember the ad and not the brand.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

Online Gamers Are Bored, Watch Less TV, Do Less Homework

Apparently life is stressful and boring among online gamers according to a new study by Digital Marketing Services. While 79 percent of adults and 82 percent of teens play online games for fun, 58 percent of adults and 53 percent of teens play because they are bored. While boredom may be a primary reason for immersing oneself in a game, 54 percent of adults do it to relieve stress whereas only 20 percent of teens look for stress relief in games.

This might be a good data point for adults to share with their kids when kids claim their lives are too stressful and they can't possibly find time to do chores while having plenty of time to IM for hours.

Another data point parents might be interested in is the fact that teenaged online gamers are spending 15 percent less time on their homework because of their gaming. Time to turn that PlayStation and Xbox off.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04    

In Political Ad Campaigns Kerry Becomes MJ, Bush Becomes Janet, Politics Becomes Stupid

A long time ago there was this thing called politics where you always expect to see boring long winded farty old windbag politicians blather on about their pithy issues of the day. Today, it seems, politicians, or their handlers, have let their hair down. Now they are comfortable walking around trying to be hip and in touch with the younger generation all while trying to kick the crap out of each other with ever more insanely stupid ad campaigns.

The Bush camp wants to be hip and cool so they launch an ad campaign with the tagline, "John Kerry: when you look a little closer, there's something creepy about him," and a visual of Kerry morphing into Michael Jackson. The Kerry camps shoots back with their own version of hip and cool. In their spot, Bush is shown in his flight suit slowly morphing into Janet's final stance at the Super Bowl clutching her boob. A narrator asks, "George W. Bush: mission accomplished?"

Note to Presidential candidates and their handlers: Stop trying to be funny. You're not. Stop trying to be hip and cool. You're not. Stop trying to connect with the younger generation. It'll never happen. Please go back to spewing boring platitudes. That's what you do best and that's what we expect of you.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-04