Monday, August 04, 2003

To a stale piece of toast
Advertisiers aren't trying very hard according to this commentary on mascots for Arby's and Red Roof Inn. I think there are some good points brought up and the characters do live in the shadows of other great icons, but, it's not always easy to create pop culture icons either.

Sexually explicit ads arouse UK anger. "In a survey that confirms the bottom and the breast as the UK's two most ubiquitous marketing tools, the ASA has revealed that the number of advertisements criticised as "sexist" has more than trebled since the mid-1990s. By the end of June this year, 668 complaints about 135 ads had already been received - 186 of them over the current easyJet poster featuring a pair of bulging breasts under the strapline "Discover weapons of mass distraction"."

In the latest attempt to boost its core condensed-soup business, the Campbell's Soup replaces its trademark homespun ads ads with edgier ones. Commercials show the Australian-born Mr. Elliott bursting into the homes of real families at mealtime to suggest they "Make it Campbell's instead." In three scripted spots, Mr. Elliott enters the homes of 16-year-old rap star Bow Wow, TV hostess B. Smith and celebrity chef Sandra Lee."

Eight ways to fix creative departments- "Ad people are in a rut -- primarily because they're unable to think of themselves as anything other than ad people. For all the excitement surrounding new communications technologies, fresh programming and innovative measurement tools, when agency people gather, their tendency is to wax nostalgically about the '60s Creative Revolution, wonder why clients no longer respect them and talk about ways to make 30-second network TV commercials more entertaining." Hmm. Interesting.

Viral campaigns - from hoaxes to funny videos. "Seeding viral campaigns may be a science, but creating the content is more of an art. "You never know if something will work until you've tried it," says Kirby. "And it may not happen when you want it to happen." No matter how well-planned the strategy is, if the content isn't up to scratch - or if it simply doesn't appeal to internet users - then the campaign is doomed."

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