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New Tactic Gets Consumers to Call Telemarketers

In September, Delray Beach, Florida-based ON-CARD introduced a reverse direct marketing concept, not unlike current call-to redeem-prize direct marketing programs, which allows marketers to provide free gifts to recipients provided they, upon receipt of the offer, call ON-CARD tool-free and provide any information the marketer has asked ON-CARD to obtain. Of course, during the call, other offers, which , no doubt require the opening of a wallet, are foisted upon the caller in hopes they bite. The program, which was just approved by the USPS, makes the offer via standard direct mail. Verizon is one of the first marketers to use ON-CARD.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Website Decodes Agency Blather

We've all heard of it and we're all guilty of it. Come clean. You know what we're talking about. Those intelligent sounding phrases you hear coming out of your mouth when you, clearly, have no idea what you are talking about. East Bank Communications has collected some of these and provided a translator, called Dr. Gary's JiveCoder, to decode your industry standard statements and mindless blather-speak.

Unfortunately, it's not that funny. However, visitors can submit their own phrases (via a form that collects contact info, of course) but can't offer a funny decode. Submitters have to rely on East Bank Communications to email their translation back which is then added to the JiveCoder.

While East Bank is using industry humor to gain awareness and collect leads, they should at least allows those who are more humorous to submit statements and translations.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Luxury Watchmaker Launches Star-Studded Ad Campaign

LVMH watchmakming company TAG Heuer is launching a new "What Are Your Made Of" ad campaign featuring actress Uma Thurman, golf legend Tiger Woods, tennis champion Maria Sharapova, and NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon. With Thurman and Sharapova, TAG Heuer hopes to shift the brand from sports focused of one that reflects both sports and glamour

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Marketers Push Sex Appeal

While it's become almost normal to occasionally mistake a 13 year old girl for an 18 year old, the sexing up of tweens continues to spiral even younger as kids discover sex appeal earlier - and marketers capitalize on it. It's become so common to see stripper-esque tweens it's likely, in a few years, we'll soon see a babies pop out wearing thongs.

In a CBC News interview, Wendy Mesley asks media expert and author, Shari Graydon, "Why are [retailers] selling bras for little girls?" Graydon, not so subtly lays partial blame on marketers answering, "Well, I suspect that the advertisers would tell you 'we're doing this because there’s a demand for it.' And they sort of escape --or avoid-- acknowledging that they have created the demand."

From Bratz Dolls to padded bras to Ashlee Simpson to sex bracelets, tween girls are being taught, at a very early age, that sex appeal is very powerful. Explaining the reason she buys sexy clothes, twelve year old Amanda says, like it's a good thing, "You get more attention. And strange guys come up to you and try and get you to go to nightclubs."

Amanda's friend, Natasha adds, "A lot of guys stare." That stare, perhaps, comes from rectifying the sensations that occur when seeing a sexy "woman" with the stunning realization the girl is just twelve.

It's creepy.

In today's culture, your daughter isn't your mother's daughter anymore.

She's more like a Maxim model without knowing what that imagery connotes.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Man Offers Forehead As Ad Space

In the so totally over category, yet another poor sole is committing a double cultural oddity - placing an ad on his head and using eBay to auction off the space. Aside from being sick of this trend, it's been done, one way or another many, many times before. Let's move on.

UPDATE: And now for cleavage advertising.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Pepperidge Farm Launches Animated Goldfish

Today, Pepperidge Farm will launch a new ad campaign featuring "Finn," an animated Goldfish cracker character. The campaign, which includes four :30 ads and three :15 ads, is the first step in the company's planned brand update.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-05    

Control, Quality, Relevancy Key to Establishing Consumer Trust

As online merchants and marketers search for the shifting line between invasion of privacy and effective targeting to consumers, a new study by the Ponemon Institute, a research institute dedicated to privacy management practices in business and government, has published an analysis of how online marketers can build and capitalize on trust through their communication with consumers. The Online Permissions Survey, sponsored by Dotomi, is based on 1,799 responses from Internet users in all major regions of the United States.

The Internet has quickly developed into a ubiquitous presence in commerce, and the public's perception of online marketing and merchants continues to evolve. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with buying online, but remain wary of sharing vital information such as credit card numbers with merchants they don't trust. Building and retaining trust with consumers is therefore critical for online merchants to succeed, and the survey found that trust is significantly correlated to improving the relevance of communication with consumers:

  • 84 percent of consumers stated that they want control over the types and frequency of Internet ads sent from a specific merchant.
  • 64 percent of consumers would trust a marketer more if they had control over the types of online communication that were sent to them.
  • 89 percent of consumers would let a trusted marketer share their personal interests with a third party without permission, in order to increase the quality of services and products produced.
  • Merchants using adware or spyware to advertise online should take note, however, that only 20 percent (the lowest response) would let the marketer share information to track their buying behavior to influence future purchasing decisions.
  • 56 percent of consumers feel that the online merchant respects them when it demonstrates understanding of their interests and is better able to market to them.
  • 82 percent of consumers responded to wanting to be notified by an online merchant if they are provided with an incentive (i.e. discount or free offer), and 92 percent asked to be notified if a product or promotion would be of great value to them based on past purchasing habits.
This, of course, points to Dotomi's business model which is opt-in, on page banner ad messaging. Dotomi works to bring publishers, advertisers and consumers together for a permission-based relationship that adds value to publisher's advertising programs, advertiser's targeting efforts and consumer's move towards control over media consumption.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Four Letter Word Clients Rankle Agency Types

Writing in MediaPost, Seana Mulcahy shares her client behavior horror stories which we all, on the agency side, at one time or another, have experienced. There's plenty of horror stories about agency personnel from clients but Seana's from the agency side so, today, if you work in an agency, gleefully identify with her commentary. If you work on the client side, gleefully poke holes in her every complaint and offer up your own reason why it's really always the agency's fault and not yours. Have fun.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Ford Opens Hollywood Office, Expect More Fords in Movies

In what is believed to be a first, a Detroit automaker has opened an office in Hollywood for the express purpose of pressing the flesh to get more of its cars into films. Ford is the company and Al Uzielli is the man who will sit in that office. Uzielli is the cousin of Ford CEO Bill Ford and great-grandson of Henry Ford. Uzielli, 38, has been an independent film producer for 15 years producing such gems as Bongwater.

As head consultant to Ford Global Brand Entertainment Uzielli will use his Hollywood connections to get more Ford vehicles into movies and television.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Farkers Fool With Famous Brands

For a bit of truth and humor in advertising, check out these "tweaked" ad banners from members of online community Fark as they demonstrate their artistic abilities and quick wit.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

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