Wednesday, March 31, 2010

YUCK! Why did I try this?!

I am always down for trying a new coffee alternative, but this Amp Energy Juice was terrible.

Don't buy it.  Don't even look at it.  How could Pepsi do this to us?

Does The New Advertising Age Logo Miss The Mark?

Let me start by saying that I read Ad Age way too much, and – as a result – I was a tad shocked by the introduction of a new logo.

It comes from Laura Fallon, a second-year art direction at VCU Brandcenter. She told us the insight driving the design was the "importance of starting conversations with Advertising. Whatever we do or create as advertising people, is nothing unless it can spur a conversation. Also, Ad Age is full of constant conversations of what's happening now, what different agencies are up to, articles and opinions from many different people. Being constantly engaged in conversations is crucial to creating work that is meaningful to people."
- Ad Age

To a certain extent I agree with Ms. Fallon because the conversation is a key element to creating not only a campaign but also a movement. However, the conversation is not the only element.

Plus, is the editorial theme of the publication purely about starting a conversation?

When I ask that question, I feel that the logo diminishes the meaning of publication as a piece of journalism. Yes, Ad Age is “full of conversations” but it does not cover only conversations. Moreover, the acceptance of the logo by the publishers illustrates the point that they may by more eager to let this magazine become another digital forum where idiots like me can wax philosophic on minor issues that no important human being would or should really care about.

I, for one, don’t need that. One of the important elements of having a trade publication is having a place to gain information across the industry (about new trends, new ideas, competitors, etc.). Believing that Ad Age is just a forum will lock anyone working in the industry down even more as everything we do is covered in NDAs.

Am I making too much about this? Of course. Am I going to cancel my subscription? No. Am I going to read the comments at the bottom of each story? (Time to answer a question with a question.) Why start now?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Somebody's Getting Fired

One of the general rules of writing public statements is to avoid using colloquialisms. Why? Because there is always going to be one smartass out there who will go to great lengths to make you look extremely foolish.

In this week’s edition of “Somebody’s Getting Fired” I would like to introduce you all to the nameless people who let this gem of a letter slip through the cracks of the Carly Fiorina for Senate campaign in California:

Carly for California

Passover is a time of remembrance and thanks. This festival provides us all — Jewish, Christian and all faiths — an opportunity to reflect on the challenges we have faced and the triumphs we have achieved together. It is also a reminder of the resilient spirit that has carried people through trials of every kind through every generation.

This week, as we break bread and spend time with our families and friends, I hope we also take a moment to say a word of thanks for our freedom and for those who have given their lives in freedom’s name. Let us also look ahead with hope to the opportunities to come. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.


Carly Fiorina

In case you were unaware, we Jews don’t eat bread during Passover. So, we really can’t break bread. Now, I know what they were trying to do, and it’s very nice to see that Carly wants us to have a nice Passover.

But seriously, if you’re running a campaign and you want to make yourself look pious and loving of religious diversity you might not want to skimp on the copyediting. The use of the colloquialism “break bread” just makes the Fiorina machine look out of touch with potential donors.

So, welcome to the unemployment line nameless Fiorina campaign worker.
Big ups to where I go this letter.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Could Not Agree More With Roger Ebert

As a marketer, I am all about using creative strategies and tactics to get people to your product. But, entertainment – specifically film – marketing has taken a turn for the worse in recent years.

Things were looking so good too…

Just two years ago the marketing for Nine Inch Nails “Year Zero” album and the blockbuster “The Dark Knight” implemented alternate reality games for fan-boys and girls to nerd out on and get the buzz going.

The implementation of these campaigns was both astounding and epic. It seemed as though we were entering a renaissance of buzz generation. Unfortunately, this turned out to not be the case.

What went wrong?

Well, as we all know, Hollywood has less of an incentive to make a good product than a money-making one. Thus, when good films that were produced to be in immersive and beautiful 3D worlds (like Coraline and Avatar), it gave studios the impression that the increased success of these films must be attributed solely to the fact that were in 3D. Not because they were technological marvels of filmmaking.

Plus, there’s the fact that they can now charge a higher ticket price for the .03 cent plastic glasses that they need to hand out.

The return of 3D as a marketing device!

I might be the only person who remembers this movie and will still admit to seeing it in the theater but back in the 90s there was a Joe Dante movie called Matinee. Never heard of it? IMDB TIME! A huckster (John Goodman) introduces a small coastal town to a unique movie experience and capitalizes on the Cuban Missile crisis hysteria with a kitschy horror extravaganza combining film effects, stage props and actors in rubber suits in this salute to the B-movie.

The movie was nothing fantastic, but it showed how people could be lured to see a piece of junk movie when a few gimmicks are thrown into the mix, which is what Hollywood is doing to us now with all these 3D schlockfests.

So what can we do?

Nothing really. We’re going to have to wait until this craze fades away. Part of me was hoping that studios would say, “Gee Avatar was great and we’re never going to top it, so let’s do something else.” Of course, they’ve basically replicated the same thinking that’s destroyed any hopes of consistently good products. That model: milk something that was successful until it is not.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Heineken Case Study

As someone who writes case studies rather often, I found this to be pretty funny.

Now, all jokes aside, this was a brilliant move for the folks at Heineken. UEFA is much like NASCAR here in the United States, overbranded yet obligatory to participate. No self respecting CPG and serveco (my word for service company, please start passing it on) would ever be left out of the mix for fear of losing ground.

This well executed prank did what few have been able to do, get their brand recognized above all the others. Usually the winning brand is the company that shelled out the massive amount of cash to get on the jersey, this time Heineken completely stole the (I should also add that this really sucks for online casino who owns the spots on both AC Milan and Real Madrid.)