Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year.

Thought I'd end '09 with my fave Christmas commercial this year. It captured my attention every time.

And THAT is the power of excellent sound design...



Monday, December 21, 2009

Glad to see AT&T isn't getting defensive or anything...




Back-to-back-to-back full-page ads in last weeks The Wall Street Journal.

Is somebody running scared? Or are they just spending all this money to talk to Verizon?

(click on the ads to embiggen)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Funny. In an uncomfortable sort of way.

The Target Christmas ads this year are great--yet all of them have a certain...edge. This one makes me laugh and wince at the same time.

If these people were real, they'd be divorced by June.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Verizon map ads keep going--and getting better.

Undaunted by the ATT lawsuit, Verizon keeps creating map ads comparing their 3G coverage to AT&T's.

I like this one because it's simple and well executed. The guy's facial expression at the end adds a bit of humor to the spot as well.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There's nothing better than low budget Christmas commercials.

Sometimes when you have no money to spend on production, you end up with the best commercials.

Well...not best. But certainly fun.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Unhappy Holidays!

As if your life isn't already stressed enough right now, I would like to share with you the TV commercial Harris Teeter ran last year.

Their jingle is lame enough to begin with, but this takes it to new levels of excruciation. So as you're standing in line, shelling out big bucks for your holiday dinner, perhaps you can hum this in your head.

As the song goes: "that's my Harris Teeter!"

(apologies in advance...)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Knob Job Part II


As I reported in my July blog, it looks like the summer "drought" hit the makers of Knob Creek.

Funny, the whiskey river is suddenly flowing again, and just in time for the holidays.

Isn't that conveeeenient...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sound familiar?

Check out the new Lexus commercial. Does the music seem the least little bit familiar?

Which, when you think about it, ALSO seems just a little bit familiar...

Or is it just me?







Wednesday, November 18, 2009

OK, this has nothing to do with advertising

but it's cool.

These are the end credits from the Lemony Snickets movie of a few years back. It would be a great animation style for a longer format commercial or a video.

Fun to watch, anyway...



Monday, November 16, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Caribou takes a shot--not at Starbucks--at their customers!

Seems like everyone is "getting real" these days. First Wendy's (wtf? what's real about square hamburgers?) and now Caribou.

Mixing real chocolate into a coffee drink is a good selling point, but it probably gets lost here.

I'd be curious to see how long they can keep this gag going. Seems like they've already used up all the "real" jokes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brother, that's cold.

Verizon's new spot putting Apple's iPhone in the Land of Misfit Toys (from the old animated "Rudolph" show) is sheer brilliance.

It won't work, of course. Too many people still want an iPhone, not a Droid. Plus Verizon is getting sued over their suspect map coverage comparisons.

More importantly, they could have had a LOT more fun with the commercial. For example, we never see the misfit toys being misfit. Where's that squirt gun squirting jelly when you need him?

But as an idea, it's second to none.

As one of the main characters might say, "but who wants a CHARLEY in a box?"



Monday, November 2, 2009

Another epic TV commercial.

I can't imagine how much this spot cost to produce, but it's worth it for the gag at the end. Like the previous New Balance spot, you have to wait for it, but trying to figure out where it's going is half the fun.

There was a time when beer commercials were this engaging...

Friday, October 30, 2009

An unusual running shoe commercial.

OK, this New Balance commercial takes a LONG time to make its point, but if you're a recreational runner you'll appreciate the gag at the end (wait for it...wait for it...).

Actually, I prefer Asics. And New Balance is the only pair of shoes I've owned that literally hurt my feet, but I suppose that just makes the point more salient for me.

Awesome music, by the way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Starbuckian rationale for Via.

Ya gotta wonder if they came up with these uses for Via before or after they created the product...



Monday, October 26, 2009

If we build it, will they come?



I've been riffing on Starbucks quite a bit lately (it seems like they're the only ones doing any kind of newspaper advertising these days).

Anyway, I'm not sure why people would want to buy an "instant" version of Starbucks coffee (and I still think it's a bad idea), but Starbucks is coming up with all sorts of reasons to justify their invention.


Here's the first in a series of ads. Perhaps they should do one for certain Northwest Airlines pilots...

Friday, October 23, 2009

But what about DIET Dr. Pepper?

Thought you might want to see the "controversial" ad posted in New York's subways.

Gross? Yes.


Effective? Questionable.

Now, who's thirsty out there?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another TV spot you won't see on TV.

Like the previous Purity Organics TV spot reviewed back in July, there's no way you're gonna see this on TV. Commercials like this are meant to be spread virally, which I guess is exactly what I'm doing.

No bother. It's still a clever idea to make you remember a soft(core) drink in a very cluttered market.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hate myself for laughing...

OK, I'm not sure what the strategy is. I'm not usually a fan of slapstick. And granted, these spots for Jack Links Beef Jerky are juvenile at best.

But they crack me up every time I see them.




Monday, October 12, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Something new in a soda commercial: a concept!

For years, Dr. Pepper TV commercials have been notoriously lame. Vapid. Part of the clutter.

Not anymore. I love the new spots that feature various "doctors" touting the benefits of drinking Dr. Pepper SLOWLY to savor the unique blend of flavors.

Brilliant work in a category where it's very hard to come up with something new.










Thursday, October 1, 2009

NY Lottery commercial a winner.

Most lottery commercials suck because they try to be funny. Humor is hard to do, especially on a low budget using local "talent."

This one from the New York Lottery avoids the usual pitfalls by using the ol' "cute animals" trick (think puppies and kittens and...pigs??) to their advantage. Sure, the music's annoying as hell, but otherwise this spot is a clever way to introduce the new "Sweet Millions" game.

Who knew pigs kicked their feet in their sleep?

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a logo says about a company...



Ever read Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions?

Ever seen Wal-Mart's new logo?

Am I the only one laughing here?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The non-football football commercial

I'm not much of one for video games, but this one caught my eye during the SC/Ole Miss game.

Probably because I like fast cars, but this looks fun. And humorous, in that sick video game kind of way.

Turn it up!




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Are you ready for a sucky football commercial?

Hmmmm. Advertising that makes fun of advertising.

This commercial is every bit as loud and irritating as an infomercial-- without any of the humor.

And what a surprise! It's from our friends at Bud Light.

I dunno, maybe underage college kids think this is funny. But not until they've slammed a couple of BL's!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Are you ready for some football commercials?

The season is upon us, and there are already a slew of good ones and bad ones. Kind of like the games themselves...

A good one: this series of spots for ESPN's Monday Night Football. They're funny and give us all a reason to look forward to Monday after the weekend. Like "The most interesting man in the world" commercials, they're even better as a series.

You can see more on youtube at links like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cn0XSQ6agw


Friday, September 11, 2009

Bite me!


Hey kids, you can go on E-Bay and bid on a dinner (for five) with Sarah Palin!

OMG! I think I just threw up in my mouth!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Starbucks, please...


If you've run out of things to tell us about your coffee, perhaps you should just stop advertising.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Bud goes to all the underage drinkers out there!


Seen the new Bud Light "Fans Cans?" It's the usual swill you swill, but packaged in the colors of nearby universities.

Clever marketing ploy? Most likely, and just in time for tailgate season.

Heavy-handed attempt to promote underage drinking? Most definitely. The legal drinking age in most states is 21--a bit older than the average college student.

I mean, come on! Who are we fooling here? Nobody.

Save it for the NFL teams, at the very least.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doing more with le$$.

In the ad world, budgets keep shrinking (regardless of the economy) and we're often asked to do more with less.

Not a problem when you work at a small agency--we do it all the time. Especially with television production, which can quickly get expensive.

But it's always nice to see a big agency (in this case, Carmichael Lynch, Philadelphia doing their voodoo for Subaru) pull off the low-budget spot.

Short. Sweet. Perfect.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Devil Wears Lanvin.





Thought I'd share some of the advertising "highlights" from the latest edition of The New York Times magazine called (ironically) "Style."

Insiders tip: apparently the Marilyn Manson look is going to be haute this year!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When marketing goes horribly wrong.


The trouble with putting your logo on a cap is that any asshole can wear it. Like the guy who blew up the Pan Am flight over Scotland.

Probably not the kind of endorsement Nike had in mind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To compete with Axe, Old Spice pulls out the chainsaw.

Axe commercials are genuinely offbeat and (mostly) funny. I mean, you're selling deodorant to pubescent teens. How serious does it need to be?

Old Spice, not having an idea of their own, is trying to do the Axe look for themselves. But their commercials are never funny. They're just cheap, wanna-be knock-offs.

The "Create-Your-Own-Commercial-and Win-$$$" tag at the end of the spot is another indication of a low-brow brand trying to get by on the cheap. Guess they realize how shitty the work is their own agency is doing for them.






Wednesday, August 12, 2009

how low can you go?

Low budget commercials are everywhere these days.

But then, who needs production values when you can cram an annoying little ditty in someone's head?

Monday, August 10, 2009

The band that keeps on giving.


Saw Coldplay in concert last week. It was a great show, and as we were leaving, someone handed me this CD. It was dark by then, and because it was free I assumed it was a demo CD from some unheard of band.

It wasn't until I put it in my car CD player that I realized it's a nine-track live CD from Coldplay!


How cool is that? You get to relive the concert all over again on the drive home.
That's what I call guerilla marketing!

I would tell you that with this unexpected gift, Coldplay is now one of my favorite bands. But, they had me at the concert...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mini haha


Being timely is important for any marketer. Mini found a way to have some fun with the Cash for Clunkers program.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bad acting is distracting.

Sorry, but I've seen this commercial one too many times and want to share my pain. Note how bad the acting is at the end of this spot. She can't quite pull off the appropriate expression.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

As not seen on TV

A low budget (some might say low-rent) spot for Purity Organics. Obviously this was never meant for TV (you can still read his lips), but is meant to be circulated "virally" on the web.

Plus, it's 43 seconds long. Too bad, because with a bit of discipline--and script editing--it could have been a much better spot. I mean, how many "motherfuckers" do we have to hear before we get it? He's angry.

Edgy. And unfortunately, just a bit over the edge.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One pony trick

While I'm not usually a fan of children in advertising, the little girl shown here makes the spot work (you get the feeling they cut away right before she started crying). A nice, simple idea that makes a point about a bank I've never heard of but would like to know more about.

Bank of America could never pull this off because...well, they've got no soul.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet and sour (not necessarily in that order).

Here are a couple of :15's for Sour Patch Kids. They're a bit bizarre, but it's a fun way to describe the taste of the candy.






Friday, July 10, 2009

So much fun, this blog post just keeps going

Thought you might enjoy seeing a few more of these commercials.













Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The most interesting beer commercials in the world.

I've been known to knock the big NY ad agencies because so much of their work is dreck. But these commercials for Dos Equis are wonderful. A perfect blend of humor and attitude helps make the beer memorable. The line "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos equis" is a nice conceit. If he only drank beer he wouldn't be the most interesting man in the world.

And yes, the "stay thirsty my friends" ending is yet another attempt to hijack popular lexicon much like "Wassup" and "Where's the beef?" did (it seems every advertiser swings for that fence these days). But in this case, it fits perfectly with the character.

Well done.







Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Knob job.


If you had a car and an empty tank last summer, you know the laws of supply and demand can certainly be manipulated. $4 a gallon gas, indeed.

It could be, as stated in this Knob Creek ad here, that they actually
are running out of their tasty bourbon. But methinks this is more likely a bit of marketing mischief aimed at increasing sales. Nothing like telling Americans they're running out of something to make them want more (drill, baby, drill!).

And if by some chance they are telling the truth, and there's no more Knob...well, Jack will do just fine, thank you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another day, another PSA.

Here it is, another PSA. While creative types hope it means Possible Sudden Acclaim, it actually stands for Public Service Announcement. These are the types of commercials agencies love to do "pro bono" because it wins awards and makes everyone feel good about themselves. But are they effective?

This PSA looks much like others, you know, for drug abuse or smoking or compulsive gambling or hang nails or any of society's many ills. Low-budget yet interesting camera work helps, but the color has been desaturated because...well, you know, it's a PSA and it's supposed to look gloomy. If that doesn't get to you, the weepy, weepy music will. It takes more than 20 seconds to finally see the little cake decoration homeless man and the appeal (which is actually quite good) to help with "food, clothing and a future."

McKinney in Durham created these spots. Maybe they did it as part of their commitment to the community, but I suspect what they're really after is a little award-winning recognition for themselves.

Nothing wrong with that, of course. But they had an opportunity to break the mold and failed.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself: WW CPB D?



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer fantasy.

Man, it's hot out!

Thought you might enjoy something to cool you off...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TWC. Great products. Crappy commercials.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Several years ago, our agency did the TV, radio, print and direct mail advertising for the local Time Warner Cable division in Raleigh...

OK, I hate the national Time Warner Cable TV commercials. They're always so lame. Have been for years and years. Never funny. Poor production values (shouldn't a cable company's TV spots at least LOOK good?). DirecTV spanks them every time.

These newest ones with Mike O'Malley are as ugly as they are unfunny. Take a look. Borrrrring (even with a puppy)!

Too bad. Because really, Time Warner Cable offers good products. Their digital channels come in crisp and clear, their HD channels even better. You seldom lose picture in a rainstorm like satellite TV. Their DVR is simple to use and reasonably priced. And Road Runner is a consistent and reliable internet source.

Sure, they're a monopoly, raise prices consistently, and have so-so customer service (if you can get through). But what they sell is a good product and they deserve better advertising then they get.

There! I said it!






Monday, June 15, 2009

Bing tries to change the way we Google.

Microsoft has poured a lot of money into advertising and marketing to try and convince us to use their new search engine Bing instead of Google. Good luck with that.

And while their TV ads and messaging have been all over the board, here are a couple that at least offered good entertainment/production value.

If you want to see more Bing commercials (there are many, many to choose from), you might want to Google it...




Monday, June 8, 2009

Disgustingly funny.


The point of advertising is to get people to remember your product. Even if it's a product consumers don't normally--how should I say this?--give a rat's ass about.

They'll remember this.

(click on the ad to see it in all it's glory)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New ads for USAA look awfully familiar...






The Economist has been running short, bold, brilliant statements for years. Smart ads that capture the capitalist spirit of the magazine.

Looks like someone has a case of Economist envy.

A classic case of "too clever by half."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Buh-Bye!


No Hummer? What a bummer.

Good to see ya, wouldn't want to be ya!


Don't let the screen door hit you where the good Lord split you...

(insert your own pithy line here...)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ask not what you can buy for your country...


Certain categories of advertising always suck: Razors (see previous rants). Any pharmaceutical product. And watches. Especially watches.

I'm not sure how you legally get to use an ex-President to hawk your expensive timepiece (by plugging the JFK Library at bottom left??), but Omega decided to go for it. Kennedy is not wearing/did not wear this brand of watch, but apparently the astronauts who went to the moon did.

Just what an astronaut needs on the moon: a watch! Would that be on the inside or the outside of your spacesuit?

So two thumbs down to Omega for this lame-ass "commerative" ad. You have no concept and you have no taste.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's life like for a dog at a shelter?

A touching example of how media can be used in unexpected ways to cut through the clutter (which is often when it's most powerful). Though one hopes the sappy music in this video isn't playing at the bus stop. It's a bit much.

Pedigree is a mediocre dog food at best. But the company probably understands how to appeal to dog owners (and potential dog owners) better than anyone out there. They've taken the dog adoption/shelter support issue and made it their own.

Good for them. And good karma.

Now, go out there and get you a shelter dog...



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just because advertising is interactive doesn't mean it's on your computer.

Here's an ever-changing electronic outdoor board for McDonald's in London's Piccadilly Circus that engages all those tourists with cameras and digital camcorders.

Not only is it fun, it's smart, because those little Golden Arches in the bottom right corner are going home with every one of those folks.

As they might say in London: Good show!



Monday, May 18, 2009

The meeting we've all been in one too many times.




Of course, with the economy in shambles, who can afford to go to out-of-town meetings? But when it turns around, this could indeed be what we've been missing.

Thanks to the
Advertising Is Good For You blog where I stole these ads (see the link on this site), and to Vancouver for feeling our pain.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins in OT. Hahahahaha!

I'm laughing because these Bruins commercials are funny. Much better than anything the Hurricanes have produced. Have a look.







Wednesday, May 13, 2009

At least in the Nike commercial, they puked OUTSIDE their mouth.

Let's see...a video that's about two minutes too long, yet another white "rapper," fake bling (only $50!) bad acting, and a useless product with a really bad name.

It makes me want to...well, you know...



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So sorry...we're losing our readership.



With newspapers folding (pun intended) left and right, the Evening Standard of London is trying a campaign of apologies to woo back readers. It also promises a slightly less conservative viewpoint, to appeal to a broader audience.

It began as a "teaser" campaign to get heads scratching, though the type is from their masthead. They eventually added a small logo to make it clear just who was sorry.

Not sure if it'll work long term, but they certainly got people's attention.

Wonder if they ran any newspaper ads...?




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Starbucks hopes for "good coffee karma" vs. McDonald's.


The recession makes companies do strange things.
First Harley wings a desperate Hail Mary ad (see April's posting), and now Starbucks is feeling the heat of an aggressive McDonald's and their McCafe offerings.

So, here's a full page ad from The Wall Street Journal where Starbucks reminds folks just why their coffee is a little more expensive.


It's a thoughtful, well-written piece, but there are two problems: one, Starbucks' core audience already knows the company's commitment to "fair trade" practices, health insurance, and cozy atmospheres. It could be a good reminder, but I think they're preaching to the choir.


Secondly, will anyone in
Attention Deficit Disordered America take time to read all these words? I doubt it. Even with a good cup of joe in hand.

Finally, let me say that Starbucks gets a lot of grief in the media for selling a $4 cup of coffee to the public. But the truth is, if you just want coffee (not a cappuccino or such), you can get a big cup for under 2 bucks. And it's good, too.

Not a bad deal for saving the planet, promoting health care, and hearing good music...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Now that's a commercial!

It's two minutes long, and I'm not normally a fan of crazy fast editing, but this football (aka "soccer") spot for Nike rocks the house. Titled "The Next Level," it shows a player getting there--entirely through his POV, which is what makes it so damn unique. Would love to see an American football (aka "football") spot using the exact same concept.

Excellent filming, editing, and music score.

Enjoy.

I sure did.




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's dumbass razor week, and now the guys get a chance to strut their stuff.

Only a NY agency (in this case BBDO, but you can thank JWT for the "Mow Your Lawn" spot) could come up with something as lame as this and think it relevant. Ugly camera work and yet you know it was expensive because of the "talent."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Then again, why be subtle at all?

Lots of puns, all...over the top, as it were...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sign of the times:


They say it pays to advertise. Not sure if it's helped her find a job, but it did give ol' Pasha her 15 minutes of fame. She currently has her own website, her own blog, and even her own Twitter page.

Perhaps now she's just too busy to work...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Look out, Toyota! There's a car on your ass and it's a Hyundai!


Japanese automakers, especially Toyota, have become bland and boring. Too many SUVs. Too little passion. Whatever happened to the Supra, the MR2 Spyder, or that "sports car for grown-ups," the Honda Prelude?

No matter, Hyundai is hungry. Their build quality is getting better. They're challenging niches they once never belonged in. They appear to be having fun. And isn't that what driving is all about?

The latest example from Korea: The Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Check out their uber-cool website and take it for a spin.

I hate to say it, Toyota. But objects in mirror are closer than they appear...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sexist, sophmoric, simpleminded, and (dare I say it?) pretty darn smart.

I like advertising that knows its target audience and isn't afraid to embrace it. Hardee's (aka Carl's Jr.) is a perfect example of blowing right past the politically correct to talk to the young, working men who have to eat lunch somewhere every day.

Does it piss off women? No doubt. But that really doesn't matter because the commercial isn't for them. Now the Padma spot is a bit extreme, and Hardee's is no doubt trying to rekindle the controversy they created with the Paris Hilton car washing commercial (stolen from the movie Cool Hand Luke). But in addition to slinky women and smirking guys, they show burgers dripping with chili and celebrating the messy massive meat products they sell.

Like the burgers, well done.







Tuesday, April 7, 2009

State Farm Insurance makes a point--and has fun doing it.

Good TV commercials don't have to be expensive.

Here State Farm clearly makes their point about getting what you pay for. These "documentary" style spots (does anyone remember "Candid Camera??) require little more than a video camera (or three) and a lot of moxy. The hot dog one, especially, cracks me up. I'll bet they were a blast to produce.

As long as no one came out swinging...






Thursday, April 2, 2009

Harley blinks.


Saw this double page ad from Harley Davidson in The New York Times.

It's all swagger and piss and vinegar, and it all feels just a little too desperate.

Now Harley is a great American brand. If only the US automakers had half the heritage of Harley, they wouldn't need a bail-out. Because while American drivers may prefer Japanese cars, for riders it's just the opposite. No Honda or Kawasaki or even BMW has the cachet of this iconic American brand. To quote an older, wiser Harley ad: "Those with no sense of history are doomed to repeat ours."

But with motorcycle sales going down the toilet, there's fear in Harley-land and it shows in this ad. A strong Harley brand wouldn't need to wrap itself in the American flag. That would be redundant.

The bravado feels forced, from the in-your-face headline to the almost whiny "Screw It. Let's Ride." tag line. The copy is unfocused, probably to accommodate filling up 13 stripes worth of text. And finally, by attempting to appeal to everyone (the white collar/pink collar reference), they appeal to no one.

Here's hoping the economy turns around quickly.



Monday, March 30, 2009

NCAA must stand for No! Crap! Another Ad!

Perhaps it was the stomach virus I suffered this weekend while watching the NCAA tournament, but commercials were worse than usual and made the Cranky Ad Guy even crankier than usual. Seeing them over and over sure didn't help.

So let me spill my vitriol on those who deserve it most:

Bud Light: A crappy beer deserves crappy ads, and Bud Light never disappoints. Devoid of humor, logic or concept, their "drinkability" campaign--like having one too many BL's--blows.

Enterprise: Master of the sucky commercial for years, Enterprise continues the trend with several ads, the most egregious being the skanky couple who goes off to a motel for some sex. But the cutesy dad and daughter doing the terrorist fist jab with hammers is equally annnoying.

SW Airlines: The "Wanna Get Away?" campaign used to be clever and had a relatable honesty to it. No more. Stripped to a 15-second commercial, it's merely buffoonery sped up.

Taco Bell: A guy in drag sneaking in nachos. You're not helping my stomach virus...

Buffalo Wild Wings: A commercial that goes from bad to worse, with several slapstick endings, none of them funny.



There were a few good ads, like the ones about NCAA student athletes turning pro in something besides sports (BIG production dollars, which tells you the NCAA has waaay too much money), but even the less expensive ones of previous years seem more genuine.

I've included the McDonald's commercial because it at least has good casting, good music and an interesting voiceover. Still hard to watch over and over, but less painful, at least.

Overall, the Cranky Ad Guy is not amused.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I got your Grape Nuts right here...


As reported in The Wall Street Journal yesterday, the Post cereal called Grape Nuts has a new marketing strategy aimed at men. With headlines that could be considered mildly provocative/amusing (and let's not forget obvious), it seems like the strategy came out of the creative, not the other way around.

Guess the purple (grape) background was a no-brainer, too.

An interesting idea, anyway, if not terribly well executed.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stuff it!

SCENARIO 1: When I lived in Hawaii, a common breakfast food was the musubi. Picked up at a local deli for a mere pittance, musubi could be many things, but often it consisted of a bed of rice with half of a cooked hotdog or slice of grilled Spam on top, attached by a seaweed wrap (think oversized sushi). It sounds gross, but it's not. The saltiness of the meat blends well with the bland rice. It's a workingman's breakfast, to be sure.

SCENARIO 2: My co-workers and I were discussing pizza the other day, and decided stuffed crust pizza was pretty gross. Who needs extra cheese when you're eating a pizza? Ahhh, but ain't that America!

SCENARIO 3: Watch this:


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fashion advertising that's...well, fashionable.























OK, I'm the last guy in the world who should have the right to talk about fashion. But hey, it's my blog, so here goes...

It's easy for most fashion advertising to seem a parody of itself. Angry or disinterested models, often striking curious poses or sporting extremely questionable hair styles seem to be the norm.

Yet I found the latest ad campaign for Ralph Lauren to be strangely accessible. Overnight, they have managed to escape from their glorified yuppie scum past to something much greater. Not sure I can put my finger on it, either. Attractive models, yes, but that's no surprise. Ditto for superlative photography.

I dunno...you think it could be the CLOTHES???

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey everybody, listen to this! (Ego Marketing, Part 2)

The local ADDY awards competition was a few weeks ago, and Jennings (our agency) won a Gold for the original music created for The Nasher Museum's El Greco exhibit. Music is so primal to emotions. Helping craft a score (in this case for a TV spot) is one of my biggest thrills--even within the restricted confines of 30 seconds.

Have a listen.

Note the sustained ringout at the end--usually considered a "no-no" in broadcast terms, but it lent a nice touch of drama to the finish.



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shiner slips one over on Heineken


OK, you pay for the official concert sponsorship. You sell your beer for a really hefty mark-up inside the concert (because what else are they gonna buy??). Things are looking good--right up until a few competitors show up outside the gates.

Now that's guerrilla marketing!

And brother, that's cold!

Read the story here. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=101313

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

They may be assholes, but their money's green!


At first glance, this full page ad in the NY Times for jetBlue appears to be giving comeuppance to all the greedy idiots who got our country into its present economic mess. But really, jetBlue doesn't care how crooked or incompetent these fine financial folks are. As long as they've (still) got money, well, welcome aboard!

Not exactly a "power to the people" message. Just my luck I'd get stuck sitting next to one of them, too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HEY EVERYBODY! Look at me! (Ego Marketing, Part 1)




You may glance in your rearview mirror these days and notice the spooky, predatory headlights of the BMW behind you. Unmistakably distinctive and no doubt conceived as a status symbol, they remind the world you shelled out top dollar for your Euro ride.

Not to be outdone, Audi recently added their glitzy, glam rock star, L.E.D eye-liner look to most of its cars, available even on the semi-modest A4. Viewed in bright daylight, the look is startling--as aggressive and eye-catching (and garish) as anything I've ever seen.

Now, I suppose that's the purpose of daytime running lights: to be noticed. But something tells me there's a little more marketing than safety going on here. What's next in this high-tech game of one-upsmanship??


Of course, you can always go low-tech like Mercedes Benz and just slap the biggest logo you can find on your grill. Also ego-centric, but not nearly as fun.