New Advertising Trend: Smart Dads

As a result of the "clueless Dad" backlash, we predict the next trend in advertising to be the "smart Dad" whose stunning wit and intelligence will out maneuver even the smartest, hippest, home/career juggling Mom. Currently, Verizon holds the "clueless Dad" award but the trend is years old and ripe for change. We eagerly await the advertiser who can make Dad look smart, Mom look "un-smart" and do it without returning women to their place next to the Refrigerator as they were often shown.

While we're sure we won't be seeing a spot called, "Get Me A Beer, Bitch" from Budweiser, perhaps we'll see a new form of advertising emerge which goes for something other than the lowest common denominator and portrays people as real human beings with intelligence rather than the buffoons they, more often than not, appear to be in many ads. Making someone look dumb is the simplest way to get a laugh and the fastest way to make the viewer feel superior to the poor loser in the ad. Verizon and others who employ the "clueless Dad" and the general "people are idiots" creative strategy should be ashamed of themselves. Of course, tomorrow, we'll probably have a story poking fun at some cause group who can't see the humor in Hardee's surely-to-be-seen-soon busty babe on a pogo stick forcing men to drop to their knees and drool ad for their new five pound Mondo Chicken Breast Burger.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

Cadillac to Launch Campaign With Five Second Commercials

In a nod to the ever dwindling ability of people to pay attention to anything longer than the time it takes a teenage boy to...oh, we've used that one before, Cadillac, on January 15, will launch a series of five second commercials to illustrate the speed of its cars which can accelerate from zero to 60 in that short time. The ads include a voiceover which says, "How fast? That Fast."

Cadillac Marketing Director Jay Spenchian explains saying, "The whole idea is to attract the attention of those who hadn't considered Cadillac until this point. This is a dramatic way of getting their attention." As usual, Joan Claybrook, president of joy-killing Public Citizen has complained the ads glorify speed and are off target saying, "Middle-aged people don't need it, and younger people can't afford these cars." Well, at least she's not being politically correct.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

Dennis Miller Pitches NetZero

A reader wonders whether NetZero's choice of Dennis Miller as its new spokesperson is a good move writing, "Every once in a while I am abused by Dennis Miller, who implies I am an idiot for not signing up for NetZero; yet Miller is broadly known for his stupidity relative to football and is currently becoming broadly known for his stupidity relative to world politics; so I am wondering if he might not also be stupid about the Internet." Has the idiocy of this irony gone too far? We though Dennis Miller had retired years ago.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

Starbucks Taxi-Top Stunt Ingenious But Questionable

In what is believed to be a first of its kind, Starbucks, in cooperation with Clear Channel Taxi Media, launched a taxi-top campaign in Boston a few weeks ago that has pedestrians bugging taxi drivers. For the campaign, a Venti cup of Starbucks coffee was fitted with a magnet and attached to the top of 100 Boston cabs.

The campaign received terrific attention though it's not clear how much it contributed to the brand. Like watching their husbands cluelessly drive off with the baby left atop the minivan's roof, passersby on both foot and in cars pointed, yelled and beeped at the unlucky cab drivers thinking the poor sole had left his coffee on the roof.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

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TiVoToGo Brings TV to The PC

Announced long ago, TiVo has finally released TiVoToGo, its feature that allows TiVo users to burn shows to their computers.

Advertisers can only hope and pray ads are downloaded too.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

Buick Can't Get It Up

No matter how hard Buick tries, it just can't get it's audience up for its brand. Always to be known as the car hat-wearing grandfathers drive, the brand, with the help of McCann Erickson, Detroit is trying to erect limp sales by having a hot chick dance seductively, complete with headlight to "headlight" camera pan, around the "always chic, always flattering, all new" LaCrosse. While the spot hopes to align the imagery of the vehicle with the imagery a woman imagines of herself when looking in the mirror, it's likely to leave guys in a state of semi-get-the-car-get-the-girl-delusion wondering what a hot chic is doing in a Buick.

Anyway, in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, Joan Rivers wants to make sure she waxes her butt in a spot with daughter Melissa for their new TV Guide show; a turtle carries a can of Diet Coke on its back because it, somehow, it helps him love life; a bunch of guys demonstrate sports watching idiocy for Pepsi Wild Cherry; and PalmOne gives us a very basic but very informative spot for its Treo. New year. Same stuff. OK, so all these spots were created last year. We'll be patient.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

Industry Luminaries Pontificate the Year Ahead

In a wrap up of prognostications for 2005, MediaPost collected quotes from advertising's big names including ANA President Bob Liodice, StarcomIP President Rishad Tobaccowala and Carat USA VP Director of Programming Shari Brill.

Tobaccowala brings the soon to be insane levels of customized, segmented, spliced, diced niche targeting back to reality saying, “Re-aggregation rather than segmentation becomes the rage as clients realize that it is less and less about chiseling down large masses of audience but rather re-combining clusters of people into some form of scale." In essence, an aggregation of customized consumer demographic, psychographic, contextual, behavioral, astrological, medical, ideological, political, legal, sexual profiles into mass marketing's version of one to one marketing.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05    

British Satellite TV Company Blocks Ads For Customers

Satellite TV provider BSkyB has introduced a new set top box that will allow users to screen out ads. This could put a big dent in the ad revenue-supported stations Channel 4, Five and ITV. Because BSkyB garners close to 80 percent of its revenue from subscriptions, they are able to offer this service without losing much, if anything, financially.

While it's not yet clear how the technology works, the new set top box is said to eliminate the ads completely, not record them on a hard drive for later skipping similar to TiVo. Apparently, the technology allows for users to record just portions of a show, not the entire shows thus the ability to eliminate the ads. We'd love to see Donnie Deutsch in the boxing ring with BSkyB owner Rupert Murdoch on this one if the technology ever finds its way to American set top boxes. We'd pay to watch that.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-05