Sunday, January 18, 2004

You never know just how you'll look through other people's eyes

Advertisers pull out all stops for Super Bowl - Millions worldwide find ads more entertaining than game is a great article on advertising and the Super Bowl. Read it. One of my favorite SB ads is the same as Bernice Kanner, a longtime New York magazine writer - "Apology" for FedEx done by BBDO. It was simple, yet powerful, showing how FedEx works for consumers and even more important why you should use them for your important packages. The ad featured a color bar and a scrolling message that the commercial that was supposed to air, repleate with dancing kangaroos and Garth Brooks, wouldn't be because FedEx wasn't used to send it. No fancy post-production needed. No crazy budgets. And yet still one of the most memorable ads for me. Just goes to prove the power of a simple and powerful concept.
This year expect to see ads from Anheuser- Busch, with 10 30-second ads, Visa, General Motors, FedEx, PepsiCo, two spots by Deutsch Inc. highlighting "that feeling when you get the right match" with a job, AOL, Charmin-Procter & Gamble Co. and Staples Inc. Plus regional advertisers like Diamond of California, a Stockton nut company and one of the state's largest grower cooperatives. Two 15-second spots by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Fran will be broadcast only in the San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento and Chico markets. And Viacom, which owns CBS, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation will sponsor a "Know HIV/AIDS'' public service announcement for the second consecutive Super Bowl. Also be on the lookout for ads from Hollywood studios for movies, Philip Morris plugging its anti-smoking activities, and British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline for Levitra brand. As well as Cialias and Viagra, according to

Advertising researcher Dr. Thomas Cline, associate professor of marketing in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., studies the use of humor in marketing and reviews the effectiveness of Super Bowl ads. From the article:
Humor is the defining characteristic of a Super Bowl ad, he observes. His research found that 24 out of last year's 25 ads intended to elicit humor. Not all succeed, however.
"Weak humor is worse than none," says Cline. "We see this all the time. Not only is it not funny, it's just annoying. Advertisers need to attract enough attention to keep folks from going to the bathroom, and then sustain their attention by rewarding them with a punchline at the end."
The use of humor has a lot to do with the Super Bowl audience. Cline's research has found that men are more likely than women to buy something just because the advertising was funny.
And it's true that a lot of commericals, airing at any point, not just during the Super Bowl, fall flat in their attempts to be funny. Funny is hard. Especially trying to get universal funny, something that the whole target will find amusing. CNN's article discusses that "advertisers become more selective about taking center stage as exposure widens" and that the cost of spots is a secondary concern. And Forbes takes a look at the fact that humor isn't always enough, consumers need to remember who the ad was for, rather than the joke.

Wondering what happened to those Shatner commericals? Well, get ready for a new campaign, and yes Shatner is back, this time with Trek friend, Nimoy., famous for its William Shatner-fronted advertising campaigns, has lured Leonard Nimoy to team up with his erstwhile 'Star Trek' colleague for a new marketing push.
The multimillion-dollar television advertising campaign will back Priceline's new airline tickets service, which gives customers a choice of either buying tickets at a low price or else using the Name Your Own Price service through which it made its name. In the ads, William Shatner is told by executives that he is no longer needed to front their campaign. They explain to him that the service is changing, with the new service being introduced. Shatner appears hurt and asks who could possibly replace him. At that moment, Leonard Nimoy walks through the door saying "Hi Bill".
I'm surprised that they got Nimoy to do these ads. I always have thought of him as a bit more "classy" of an actor than Shatner. Less of a sellout or something along those lines.

"South African cellular phone service provider Vodacom will know on Monday whether it boobed in its current billboard advertisement campaign featuring a bare-breasted woman. The Commission on Gender Equality will pass judgment on the advertisement, in which a woman is seen reaching out for her bra with the advice "Don't get caught without coverage". The commission was asked by the advertising standards authority to rule on whether the contents of the billboard, posted throughout the country, was insensitive to women, after the authority received a complaint about it."

Food producers jump on the low-carb and organic bandwagon.
Food producers small and large are scrambling to create and market a cornucopia of products that the growing low-carb and organic crowds want to consume.In October, Campbell Soup Co. launched its first organic product: juice made from organic tomatoes.
Last month, Interstate Bakeries Corp., makers of Wonder and Home Pride breads, introduced low-carb Roman Meal-brand loaves with 6 carbs per slice. Sara Lee Bakery Group, the No. 2 bakery in the U.S. after Interstate, followed suit late last month with a line of low-fat, low-carb sandwich bread aimed at consumers who want to slim down but not sacrifice taste.
In the last week alone, Frito-Lay Inc. announced plans to launch a new lineup of tortilla chips made with soy proteins and fiber -- Doritos Edge and Tostitos Edge -- that have less than half the carbohydrates of its other chips. Hardee's and Carl's Jr. said they will introduce a bunless, lettuce-wrapped burger, while Burger King said its Whopper will now come in bunless versions. Subway is advertising low-carb sandwiches.
Beer brewers, earlier to respond to carb-obsessed Atkins dieters, started marketing low-carb brands like Michelob Ultra in 2002. More recently, Miller Brewing Co. launched a campaign repromoting "tastes great, less filling" Miller Lite as a low-carb alternative.
Even junk food junkie haven 7-Eleven is launching a "Better Choices, Better Year" campaign to promote healthier products it started stocking around the first of the year.
The stores are marketing items like Atkins bread, health bars and shakes and Dr. Phil's Shape Up bars in their own low-carb/low-cal sections, said Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven.
It's bizarre how this fad is catching on throughout the large players. I'm not all that surprised though, especially for the fast food places, after all the obesity stuff that's gone on in the last year or so. There's more on this in another article in the Denver Post.

The Telegraph lists the top 10 most recognisable advertising jingles. Top of the list is Diet Coke's "Just For The Taste of It."

Guinness USA Inc. is launching new television advertising encouraging adult consumers to "Treat St. Patrick's Day like a real holiday." The humorous commercial, created by BBDO New York, compares celebrating St. Patrick's Day to other popular holiday seasons as part of an aggressive marketing effort designed to make St. Patrick's Day more than just a one-day celebration.
"St. Patrick's Day represents a wonderful time of year for our Guinness drinkers and the goal of our new advertising campaign is to extend this celebratory period to an entire holiday season such as with Halloween or Valentine's Day," said Chris Parsons, Guinness brand director.
In the first television spot, which debuted this past weekend during CBS' broadcast of the NFL playoffs, three men can be seen waking on St. Patrick's Day morning, and rushing downstairs to excitedly discover gifts of Guinness Draught in a bottle under a Guinness keg tree. The tag line in the commercial encourages consumers to "Treat St. Patrick's Day like a real holiday."
Also, Diageo is launching a "new Smirnoff advertising campaign called "Get Out." The national TV campaign is part of a global branding effort to inspire Smirnoff consumers to live life to the fullest. "Protest" encourages viewers to engage in all that life has to offer through a myriad of colourful characters and a challenging proposition "Life is calling. Where are you?" The campaign was created by J. Walter Thompson New York, and was shot by director Dante Ariola on location in Buenos Aires."

It's all about product placement. "Forms of product placement have been around almost as long as TV advertising itself, but the practice has been limited largely to sports telecasts, live entertainment and, more recently, reality shows and soap operas - not the blue-chip scripted shows that are among the most valuable real estate on TV."

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, again not allowed to air it's "What happens here, stays here" campaign during the Super Bowl is sticking it's tongue out at the NFL with 30-second spots that will run through Jan 31st telling viewers that it's more fun in Vegas than in Houston (where the SB will be played), and ending with the tagline "Join us February 1".

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