Tuesday, September 07, 2004

:: adgruntie :: Rallying the troops

+ Blogfonk interviews my pal and creator of Adland.

+ Nirvana for couch potatoes
Netflix and Tivo ushered in an age of couch-potato bliss. Netflix lets its customers browse through its huge movie catalog on the Web and rent DVDs through the mail without having to worry about late fees. TiVo lets people digitally record their favorite shows and zoom through the ads. But now couch potatoes are perched on the cusp of true paradise. Soon they won't even have to stand up to trudge to the mailbox; fat broadband pipes will let them directly download movies over the Net to their television.
(found via Agenda Inc..)

+ "More than just a pretty face" from the MediaGuardian delves more into pink marketing and how it needs to be re-evaluated.
Advertising, meanwhile, is in danger of looking like a cross between Pollyanna and PC Plod: fuddy-duddy, out of touch and reliant on gender stereotypes. "It is time to catch up," says Jonathan Mildenhall, managing director of TBWA in London, whose campaigns include French Connection, Wonderbra, the Labour party and Whiskas.

"Otherwise advertising will get left behind. Broadcasters and media owners are giving a much more accurate reflection of the multifaceted lives of women today. Look at Channel 4 programming or the content of Heat, of Glamour and Cosmopolitan versus ads on TV or in the press. The editorial and broadcast content is much more real. Ads always fall back to comfortable stereotypes. But today's women can't be pigeonholed.

"A 35- or 45-year-old woman today is buying the same clothes as her daughters. She's buying a cookbook for her own diet, not her husband's dinner. She is reading magazines that have intimate, explicit content. She is watching shows like Sex and the City.

"But the advertising that sandwiches all of this is really bland. It tries to package her up as a housewife. The idea of marketing to women as a single homogenous group is as archaic as marketing to white men.

"We need to be much more sensitive to our attitudinal marketing, to be cleverer and braver in what we portray in advertising so it doesn't continue to play a passive role in between the editorial or TV content in between. We need to be braver."

That bravery can misfire. Pampers has just launched its first ad featuring a man in sole charge of a baby. Very touching. But note that the dad does not actually change a nappy. He's just in the same room as the baby. The very fact that this ad is seen by Procter & Gamble as a radical departure surely shows how advertising is one step behind reality.
Also, in October, Rethink Pink will be held, the first annual conference in London about changing attitudes and marketing strategies to better engage the female consumer.

+ "Truth and fiction of a first-class lifestyle" from the Telegraph which discusses the results of a "new survey puts the lie to the notion that advertising is a ticket to a first-class lifestyle. It claims that junior and mid-level advertising and media executives earn considerably less than their peers in accountancy, law, banking, marketing or consultancy, activities advertising competes with to recruit the best talent. In some cases the discrepancies can be high. Starting salaries at agencies are around the £16,000-£18,000 mark, about 20pc less than in accountancy and about half those in investment banking. At middle levels the disparity can be 25pc, and in the worst case more than 50pc." Geez. Now that's depressing.

+ BBC Magazine reviews the new Advert Channel, which started airing yesterday. You can find out more about it at their website, www.theadvertchannel.tv. It sounds like it could be a miss, which would be unfortunate.

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