Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're Moving!

I am moving the blog to wordpress.com the new URL is mattkoppelblog.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Max vs. Bally Total Fitness

So, one of my coworkers has had some trouble ending his gym membership. I thought it was worth sharing.

The Gym Jam

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AT&T Makes a Good Ad, Finally

Verizon and T-mobile have piled on AT&T over the last year. The brand has been battered and bruised, for good reason mind you. After dropping the Cingular brand and going back to AT&T the “Raising the Bar” campaign just didn’t work as well. Then came the map wars, which Verizon won. They became the nation’s largest wireless carrier because it was the perfect time to attack.

I had low hopes for AT&T’s ads over the last few months. The early iterations of “Rethink Possible” said – at best – if you don’t have AT&T you will never father the 57th president of the United States or the starting quarterback of a fictional pro football team.

These ads were pure schmaltz. It didn’t make me feel glad to be an AT&T customer, and wouldn’t make me want to switch if I were on another carrier.

So, it came with great surprise to see AT&T attempting to go for humor, and even more surprisingly succeeding.

Why does this ad work? It’s really simple, people can relate to it. Most of us with office jobs feel like we’re out of the loop all the time. It’s basically high school with paychecks. This spot is pitch perfect.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Year In Horribleness

It’s been long while since I have written a real post, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t thinking about you out there.

As usual, this year has been filled terrible, god-awful, and downright crappy advertising campaigns of all shapes and colors. Let’s have a look at a few of the worst things that came across my radar this year.

McDonald’s “Not Before I Had My Coffee”

This was a pretty good year for McDonald’s overall. Their smoothie campaign in the spring and summer was beautiful, refreshing, and successful to the point that they were attributed as the reason for a quarterly sales bump. (See story here.)

As someone who goes out of his to see as many ads as he can, I can honestly say that if this person existed in real life I would not miss him should he be in a terrible accident and wiped away from existence. If I were the girl behind the counter I would have thrown the coffee in his face.

What were the people at DDB and McDonald’s thinking?

To me the message is simple: McDonald’s coffee is so good it will soften up the worst of assholes. But, I don’t want to drink coffee for assholes. That’s why I don’t go to Starbucks.

I Hate Julia Roberts

Sorry kids, I never liked her and I never will.

It cost them $1.5 million bucks to get her in this spot. My skull is caving in.

The Psycho Target Mom Black Friday Spots

This year Target either hit a homerun or struck out with their advertising; there was no in-between. During the Lost series finale, we saw them at their best with brand and product tie-ins to popular images from the television show. When Black Friday began to close in upon us we got the crazy, emaciated gift-shopping mother.

It’s okay to absurd in creative. In fact, it’s my preferred style of humor. While the “Montage” spot echoes of Rocky IV and all its idiotic glory, I cannot help but cringe at this spot. (Plus, it would have been cool if there was an Ivan Drago character to juxtapose against the current one.) This woman is the exact opposite of likable. Had they recast the ad with an actress who didn’t look like she was munching on amphetamines all day, maybe it would have been better received.

LeBron Rise

It was a tough year for Nike. First they has to try and rehabilitate their Tiger Woods related branding, and then came “The Decision.” Hoping a little humor might ease the tension, the producers the spot never really gets to the point.

What should you do LeBron? You should not have announced your departure on national television in a fit of masturbatory self-importance. You should have done it in a press release and left town quietly. Now, LeBron, you need to win. Steal a page from the Kobe Bryant image recovery and do nothing but focus on your game, and maybe people will start to forget what a jerk you were.

Oh well, at least we got South Park to mock his horrendous exit.

Miller Lite – Man Up

I can see the conversation at DraftFCB going like this:

Account Manager: How can we hammer home the middle-class, blue-collar success that we had with the High Life campaign?

Creative: Well the simple answer is create an anti-douche-bag meme.

Account Manager: Yeah, but this is Miller Lite; we need hot chicks without being mysogenists.

Creative: (Sarcastically) Well we could have a hot chick as the middle-class, down-to-earth character dissing every bad trend in male fashion.

Account Manager: Brilliant! Let’s run with it!

Every 5 Hour Energy Spot

Oh where to begin? The actors who cannot act? The shoddy video production? Not since the introduction of Head On has any one product made such a large media buy with ads that cost less than used 1987 Nissan sedan.

Every Side Ad on Facebook

FB is getting smarter with each passing day, but, for the life of me, I cannot stop being pelted with asinine ads that someone purchased for my demographic. As much as I would love to have a career as a videogame tester or have a whiter smile, these ads are a waste.

It’s not FB’s fault. Advertisers need to get smarter and they need to leverage the sophisticated targeting tools that FB offers. The give you a jackhammer and advertisers try to use it to put a nail in the wall.

Tim James for Alabama Governor

I don’t have too much to say about this ad. It’s just flat-out racist. This man should be ashamed of himself, and we – as Americans – should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing our society to become so uniformed that people believe this argument in this context.

Every Insurance Spokesperson Spot (Except Mayhem)

Whether it’s Flo or the Creepy State Farm guy or the Nationwide Greatest Spokesperson, this year was filled with too many crappy, uninformative campaigns in the insurance industry. Every company is looking for their own Aflac Duck or Geico Gecko/Cave Man and it’s not going to work.

What’s really said is the fact that my wife had Progressive Auto Insurance a few years ago, and when she had an accident they were on the scene and helpful from the get-go. Those are the stories that consumers want to hear about their insurance company, which is why the Mayhem spots work so well. By personifying the negative things that eventually happen to our cars, they humorously express the need for their product.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GM Says Thank You

After TARP and the bailouts Corporate America was silent. It seemed to people like you and me, people on the outside, people who had nothing to do with the financial collapse, that we were never going to hear anything different from these companies. They were going to do nothing but do business in the same manner that got us in this mess with no public recognition that they had done everything wrong.

Cynicism set in. The congress that helped keep this country afloat during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression was voted out of office. (That was really their own fault for not communicating what they had done, and the blame cannot be placed on the companies and banks that were bailed out for their fates.) Nevertheless, their silence spoke volumes to the arrogance of the “Haves” and how little they appreciate the “Have-Littles.”

So, it was with great surprise that I saw GM take a stab at going against the grain of hubris and attempt to thank the American people – their largest shareholder – on the eve of their IPO.

The Goodby Silverstein produced spot is nothing remarkable in and of itself. It’s just a montage of inspirational clips, along with filmed footage of a boxer getting pummeled, with a tinge of humor in the form of Animal House clips.

What is remarkable is that they say, “Thank You.” Almost three years after the start of the financial crisis, someone stepped up and attempted to act like an adult. They don’t say what they did wrong, they don’t say why they did it or what they were thinking. However, the simple gesture of saying something was enough for me at this moment.

Will this spark a new trend? No. We will never see Goldman Sachs, AIG (now known as Chartis), Citigroup and anyone else who received our tax dollars commit the simple gesture of saying thanks.

And, I say that without cynicism. It’s not in their DNA. GM at least showed that they are a part of the tangible America that the every day consumer interacts with a daily basis. They don’t make exotic financial products that few of us comprehend.

Sorry to get preachy on you all, but maybe this shows we are at our best as a nation when our industries work to create things that we need. Of course, that’s assuming that GM learned their lesson.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GSK Takes On Tobacco Companies

When it comes to smoking there are two truths. 1) People are always going to smoke. 2) People are always going to hate smoking. Of course, science is on the side of those who hate smoking. They have pushed it out of restaurants, workplaces, and even some public spaces.

For the smokers out there, the tobacco companies have developed alternative, smokeless products for their customers to get their nicotine fix. Up to a few years ago, those alternatives were less than glamorous, dip and chew. Today we have tobacco lozenges, like the Camel Orbs seen above.

As the WSJ points out today, GSK wants these off the shelf and for good reason.

Critics call them tobacco candy for kids. GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Nicorette, view it exactly as a cheaper alternative to their smoking cessation products. A box of brand name Nicorette can run around $40 and Orbs are the price of a pack of cigarettes. The thrifty and uninformed consumer who is eager to quit smoking could easily say, “Why buy the gum, when I could get this for so much less?”

Despite the fact that I am not the biggest fan of drug companies, I do believe that they are in the right on this one. Maybe the tobacco companies would have been better off saying that these were designed to lure in kids; that way they could openly deal with a familiar opponent.