Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Audio Audit: GM Makes A Good Choice?

A few months ago, I wrote about the French pop rock band Phoenix and how they were sharing the samples to a few of their songs off of their record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It was great way to get the word out about their music, but it didn't hurt that it was a genuinely good music.

It was so good that the people running the Cadillac account bought the rights to "1901," which is what you here in the spot for the 2010 SRX ad:

If this GM trying to be hip with the Cadillac brand, then it's not really enough; however, it's the step in the right direction. (This spot is a heck of a lot better than the Kate Walsh ads they were running up until recently.) They need to try to connect with the younger consumer, but is the younger consumer really shopping for these crossovers? I'd like to see data on what age groups are buying these cars.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Worst Ads 2009: Part 1

Now that the year is almost over, it's time to look back at the best and worsts of 2009. Today, we'll look at two in particular.

It's Just Not Burger King's Year in Spain

First, came this print spot below, which features a dwarf luchador beside a cowboy. Of course, it didn't take long to upset the entire country of Mexico. I don't need to go through all the reason this can be viewed as offensive; however, I will say that it encapsulates the need for someone at corporations and agencies to understand that it's great to act local, but not needs to still think global.

Then, this ad appeared in Spanish franchises.

I don't know about you, but there's nothing more mutually exclusive than a religious icon (in this case it's the goddess Lakshmi) and a ham sandwich. It didn't take long for Hindus in Spain and around the world to get these in store posters pulled, but the damage was already done. Burger King had egg all over it's face and a few hundred million dissatisfied customers.

The Year in Sexism

Just when I thought this Burger King ad would be the best of the worst when it came to sexism, which would make this the worst year for BK ever; luckily, this spot for Max, a European shoe company, took away the spotlight.

Nothing says insensitivity and misogyny like bondage. What were they thinking?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NYC Serves Up A Glass of Lard

Okay, Mr. Bloomberg we get it. We understand that there are food items being sold in your city that are not good for us. Personally, I think it's great that you forced restaurants to show their calories next to the prices, but these PSAs that I see on the subway might be pushing the ethical boundaries of advertisements.

It would be one thing to use a nondescript soda bottle in this ad, but it's another to use one with the distinct shape of a Coca-Cola product. The makers of PSAs need to face the fact that one photo making one company look bad does not make the competitor look bad. In the minds of some consumers this ad could even affirm Pepsi products over the competition.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Target Practice: Connecting Your Brand to the Right People in the Recession

I’m glad that Fed Chairman Bernanke thinks that the recession is wrapping up just as much as anyone else. But, if you’re not working on Wall Street, then it’s tough to feel the wind changing directions.

For the rest of us, it still feels like we’re knee deep in economic sludge. So, what do you do if your brand needs to connect with young folks who might be a little too focused on the economic news out there?

Well, according to the Pew Internet and American Life study, it turns out that this same group of young adults is also using the internet as a diversion. What do they classify as a diversion?

Listening to music and watching online videos are among the most common of the activities we evaluated; roughly half of all online economic users have done each of these activities to relax. Approximately one-third of online economic users have played online games or chatted with friends (on a social networking site, listserv or other online group), while an additional 22% have taken their minds off of their economic or financial circumstances by creating or posting content online.

Young Americans in particular go online in great numbers to relax by watching videos, listening to music, playing games or chatting with friends.”

- Pew

Before you say, “Well duh,” please hear me out on why this information is a little more important.

1) First and foremost, you’re not paying for this information so stop whining. Plus, there won’t be people in your office running around yelling, “Who wasted money to study this?!”

2) Assumptions, even if they are correct, are still assumptions. Any bit of information that fills the gap between a hypothesis and a conclusion is worth knowing, even if it’s the answer to a seemingly obvious question.

3) This information is actually very interesting. Another way to interpret the findings of this study is that (like television news presenting negative stories and people changing the channel to less thought provoking entertainment) people who are heavily informed about current economic events are not so discouraged that they are turning their computers off. In fact, this study is stating the opposite, so get out there and start connecting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I entered a freevertising contest...

Recently, Amazon ran an ad contest and my buddy Deva and I decided to give it a shot. While neither of us is a videographer of great skill, I had been cooking a concept of a single shot ad in the back of my head; thus, in theory, the spot wouldn't require a lot of post-production.

So what were we trying to do?

We decided that the Amazon box is the only tangible part of Amazon that all customers handle at some point. In fact, people get excited to see the Amazon smile waiting for them at their front door. So, we created a diorama to exhibit images that elicit the fun things you can get from Amazon. Take a look:

While putting this whole thing together, my girlfriend kept saying it was cute but her cat is cuter, and if we were looking for cute then we were missing the jackpot. We shot 30 seconds of trying to take the cat for a walk with a leash that she jokingly purchased a few years ago.

"Two years, I've been trying to train him to the leash!" she says. This is how she far she's progressed with him:

Even though we didn't win (apparently real filmmakers enter these competitions) it was a great experience. Plus, I got to make some music, which was fun.

Okay, I'll make a real post next time...