Direct Marketing Vs. Everything Else: The War Has Begun

Bob Bly, master of direct marketing has, after trashing them, launched a blog of his own. In his first post, he lays out his ten attributes of direct marketing, most focusing on direct marketer's desire to make the cash register ring with little to no patience for branding efforts.

The launch of Bob Bly's blog is welcome. Very welcome. Let the squishy brand believers duke it out with the diehard get-the-sale-no-matter-what direct marketer crowd. We need some healthy mudslinging.

by Steve Hall    Nov-23-04    

NetZero Launches Spoof of AOL 'Members' Ad

NetZero is running a television commercial that mirrors a currently running commercial from AOL. The AOL ad had members showing up at AOL's offices to offer suggestions on how to make the Internet better. The humor came from the exec asking the receptionist how many members had shown up, to which she replied, "All of them." Then the camera pans out the window to a sea of AOL members, surprising the exec. As Rick Bruner and The Media Drop point out the NetZero ad copies the AOL spot almost exactly - even down to the actors and the set. In the NetZero spot, members show up to say they are leaving AOL for NetZero. The exec asks, "how many," and the receptionist replies, "all of them," as in the AOL spot. Again, the camera pans out the window to the sea of people. This time, they are holding signs which say , "Bye," "See Ya," and "$9.95."

It's both a smart and questionable strategy. Leveraging AOL's much larger media budget, NetZero hopes to broaden awareness of its own campaign by association. But, many viewers may simply confuse the two spots not realizing who the advertiser is or simply remember AOL because it is more ubiquitous. It's very funny though, but the proof will be in the number of $9.95 sign ups NetZero gets.

The original AOL spot can be viewed here. Once we locate the NetZero spot, we'll post a link.

UPDATE: We contacted NetZero and they were gracious enough to share their spots. You can view them here.

by Steve Hall    Nov-23-04    

New York Real Estate Brokers Get Fat Heads

While not new, there seems to be a rash of high profile real estate agents who've left the impression of discretion behind and are now marketing themselves like celebrities. From the legendary Barbara Corcoran to The Apprentice contestant Jennifer Crisafulli, who was fired from her real job at Douglas Elliman for in show comments about "two old fat Jewish ladies," The Observer's Gabriel Sherman takes a deep look inside this expanding trend of personal branding.

by Steve Hall    Nov-23-04    

McDonald's CEO Steps Down

McDonald's President and CEO Charlie Bell has resigned due to a continuing bought with cancer. When Bell was named CEO in April, following the death of Jim Cantalupo, Bell, soon after, had surgery for cancer. VP Jim Skinner has been named new CEO and McDonald's USA CEO Mike Roberts has been named President and COO of the global business.

by Steve Hall    Nov-23-04    

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