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 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.