Agency Kills Sacred Cows in Ad


Yesterday, ad agency The Gate Worldwide ran an ad in The New York Times which killed a bunch of advertising sacred cows such as "Never say something offensive in a headline," Clients should be charged based on hours worked" and " It's OK to act like a jerk if you're talented." The ad, which carries the headline, "Death to all sacred cows" along with the image of a cow with a gun pointed at its head, goes on to explain the agencies compensation system which involves three levels; idea compensation, commodity-based execution and a bonus structure that rewards both agency and client. It also impresses upon potential clients the importance of properly selling a proposed idea up the client side ladder which, if accomplished efficiently, can result in the agency offering a discount for time and money saved. It's not that these ideas are new but they are just packaged so well that it's worth calling out.

The agency's website includes seven "gateisms" offered as guiding principles for great advertising.

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Agencies

Essence, Viability, Definition, Sense of Buzz and WOM Debated


After reading Tom Hespos' MediaPost Online Spin entitled Buzz Marketing Makes No Sense and browsing through the 55 or so responses to the article, it's clear that, in essence, word of mouth and buzz marketing are no different than "normal" advertising in that both involve bias, whether paid or unpaid. There is an influence present as in all advertising which, itself, is inherently bias. It is not free-form human interaction but is the "commercialization of human interaction" as one poster in the replies said.

What WOM and Buzz do is place the advertising message in the mouths of people rather than the mouths of marketers. We can argue endlessly as to whether that is a good thing or a bad thing but I think we can all agree that there is a non-natural bias interjected into human interaction when WOM and Buzz are present. Whether full disclosure is present or not, in WOM and Buzz an element other than pure opinion is present. The fact that the bias is disclosed may, for some, make the interaction palatable. For others, anything introducing bias is unacceptable.

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by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Word of Mouth

Lugz Beats Crap Out of Eminem


While Apple and Lugz lawyers battle it out over whether Apple's agency TBWA\Chiat\Day copied a Lugz commercial for it's own Eminem commercial, good 'ol consumer generated media has taken the fight, appropriately, to the streets in another commercial which pits Eminem against the Lugz dude who gives Eminem a swift boot out of the frame to take back what was, apparently, rightfully his to begin with. If you ask us, Lugz should finance a campaign and run this thing.

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Consumer Created

Snoop Dogg to Launch Snoop Doggs


Adrants reader John Brock points us to Snoop Dog's latest marketing venture: hot dogs. Yes, the one time Lee Iacocca sidekick has teamed with Platinum One Media and business partners Franco Petrucci and Jeff Earp to launch (oh, come I have to tell you?) Snoop Dogs, a line of celebrity wieners. In a spark of enlightenment and wit, Snoop's brother and manager, Bing Worthington, told the Boston Herald the hot dog market was wide open for the taking saying, "There aren't any celebrity hot dogs out there. Who's the competition? Ball Park?" Well yes, there aren't any celebrity nails either but we're not sure we want MC Hammer to come out of retirement anytime soon and bring "Hammer Time" to the nail aisle at a nearby Home Depot.

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Celebrity

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PR Firm Lures Survey Respondents with Striptease


While it's quite common for marketers to offer incentives to insure completion of a survey, the Hungarian office of PR firm Sawyer Miller has swept aside those less than motivating one dollar bill, Amazon coupon and free iTunes download offers for what really matters: a stripping hottie. Answer a question, off comes a piece of clothing. Get an answer wrong, no matter. Just keep clicking until you get the right answer comes a piece of clothing. Of course, it's less of a survey and more of a presentation as there's only one correct answer to each question. Not that it matters but it has something to do with Hungarian economics. Have fun but turn the volume down if you're at work lest you want co-workers to think there's a lunchtime quickie rockin' your cube. Thanks, Rick.

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Online, Research

CBS to Debut Bonus 'CSI Miami' Scene Online, Hummer to Sponsor


Furthering its embrace (experiment?) of releasing television content online, CBS will produce original content of its hit drama CSI Miami and will show it exclusively on Promising to reveal a major secret about team of CSIs, the scene has local news reporter Erika Sykes (Amy Laughlin) share a piece of information with Detective Ryan Wolfe (Jonathan Togo) that, we're told, will lead to an undercover investigation that will unfold on the show this season. Way to tease, CBS. The bonus scene will appear online immediately following the east coast broadcast of CSI Miami, Monday, November 21.

The bonus material featured on will be sponsored by GM's Hummer, featured heavily in the series. CBS and Hummer will promote the combined broadcast/online storyline with spots on the network and ads on

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Online, Sponsorship, Television, Trends and Culture

Gaming Medium Growing in Pervasiveness, Not Fully Tapped


By now, it's widely known gaming, although far from fully tapped by marketers, is fast becoming a killer marketing app. More and more studies point to the medium pervasiveness among all age groups.

According to a soon to be released study of 4,000 adults and 1,000 teens conducted online for Jack Myers Media Business Report, 62 percent of all males and 47 percent of all females played video games either on consoles or online in the past week. Males spent an average of one hour and six minutes daily and females 42 minutes daily. Eighty percent of males 18-24 played video games in the past week as did 55 percent of females 18-24.

Among teens, 71.5 percent of all males and 47.7 percent of all females played video games either on consoles or online in the past week. Males spent an average of one hour and 54 minutes daily and females an average of 36 minutes daily.

by Steve Hall    Nov-15-05    
Topic: Games, Research