Wednesday, May 5, 2010

rainy days ahead

Usually it's the advertiser or public relations employee that deals with their clients bad press. This time, the ad agencies themselves are getting a tough slap on the wrist by the Madison Avenue Project who claims that and overwhelming majority of the creative directors behind the Super Bowl ads this year were white. It looked at 58 spots, where 92% of the directors were white males, 7% were white females, and that 1%? The Latino that won the Doritos consumer contest to make a commercial!


I have faith that the advertising community will take this seriously and try to encourage diversity in top level positions. Conversations need to be had and top agencies need to take a hard look at who is being hired and promoted and why. It may take decades to resolve the issue of diversity in the workplace, but if anyone can hit the ground running on being different and stepping out of the box -- it's advertisers.

Let's go get em.

2 pills a day

(Red) has come out with this great ad which includes huge top celebrities to get people to see how little they need to donate to make a difference in one persons life. The ad directs you to a website, which includes a documentary of the transforming effect the pill has had on peoples lives in Zambia. The documentary premiered in MOMA in New York and the (Red) campaign will host a question and answer session that will stream live off their facebook site. That's terrific integration of different mediums to get the message out and engage your followers. Because (red) is always capable of delivering strong messages that are backed by great media plans, they have been a philanthropy project and product that has succeeded and has been around for over four years.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

what's next for google

Google is trying something out in India right now that's working. They're streaming live coverage on YouTube of cricket matches and have garnered 50 million viewers. A little over than a handful of advertisers (including big names like Coca Cola and Hewlett Packard) signed on. Whereas Google focused on user created content, now it is looking into carrying not only other sports but concerts from all over the globe. This is huge for viewers and big for advertisers who are likely to get a ton of new impressions. You don't have to watch at a computer and you can comment on what is going on simultaneously as it is happening on your screen. Broadcasters can ignore this new upcoming trend, but I believe eventually television and internet viewing will be one in the same. Those who don't embrace the change could get left in the dust.

Monday, May 3, 2010

time after time

Time Warner (which owns HBO, Time Inc., and Warner Brothers and is one of the largest media companies) received a gain of 9.8% profits in the last quarter. How?

-They focused on traditional media (movies and cable)
-They signed a deal to carry more than half the NCAA basketball tournament
-They scored big in the box office with Sherlock Holmes and The Blind Side

We'll see if the changes continue throughout the year. For now, let's let the company celebrate.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

be loud and everywhere

Domino's has a new pizza. I'd argue that most people know this by now. That's saying a lot since it can take years for people to learn of a product change or even a new product, but CP&B made sure that everyone knew of the recipe change. The company is advertising in print, big time on TV, and has taste tests being being performed on tv shows themselves. Their quirky OOH advertising is all about trying to get one person in the community (a huge critic of the pizza prior to the change) to call in and order. Commercials show the critic calling in Dominos, ordering the pizza, and truly enjoying the new flavors.

Funny thing is, some bloggers and taste testers preferred the old recipe or couldn't realize a big enough difference between the two pies. Consumer Reports reported that the pizzas have improved... slightly.

So what's actually happened to Dominos revenue for the first quarter of 2010? It increased 14% for same store sales!

Moral of the story: Throw out the recipe book. It's all about impressions... and lots of em.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

This is currently the most watched video on YouTube. When I tuned in to watch it, Nightmare on Elm Street was being advertised and was getting thousands of impressions with no clutter when people watch this video. Best of all, it doesn't interrupt the content (it comes out before the video so viewers are excitingly waiting for the video to start and are likely to pay attention to the ad) and the ad is only 15 seconds.

Friday, April 30, 2010

'Jersey Shore' Meets 'Know or Go'

jersey fever

Want to sell something? Jump on the New Jersey bandwagon and your sure to be heard. Reality shows on TV are popping up everywhere with a Jersey theme. People can't get enough of this culture. MTV's Jersey Shore got higher ratings this past December than any current show MTV has filmed, and with The Hills ending soon, this new show could definitely take its place. The Real Housewives of New Jersey was the first 'Real Housewives' episode to garner more than 3.5 million viewers. And Cake Boss? The Italian cake making guru was on Oprah last week!

Why do people love New Jersey? Maybe it's because they seem more real than the skinny blond O.C. women we always see. Or maybe they're just more fun than an every day black suit wearing CEO in Manhattan. I say it's a little of both. They do things most of us wouldn't do but have always thought about (flipping over a table at dinner because the other person is just making you so mad). They have self confidence that many of us want or have but try to hide (Jersey Shore has a guy that calls himself 'The Situation' because of what happens when he shows women his abs). They are, in a sense, our secret selves.

Next time you see a guido selling something, remember that many people may be laughing on the outside and secretly wanting the product on the inside.

ever feel your getting backed into a corner?

Get on the Internet as quickly as you can. Chances are, you're reaching for the iPad you just received or your iPhone to get online. Ever wondered if Apple is intentionally forming your Internet experience? They are! Your best Internet experiences on Apple's products are on formats that Apple has approved. Think about it... you want to get on the Internet on your iPhone and chances are your phone is filled with Apps that make the Internet quicker and easier to use. Apple is sort of choosing products and companies for you to use.

Now think of Facebook. With the new 'like' option, you can literally be on Facebook almost everywhere on the web. For marketers, they're unaware of knowing what visitors are doing on sites when it comes to Facebook use because visitors need their ID to log on. So it's either have Facebook's back or deal with being left out of a huge chunk of website's visitors' information.

Advertisers, marketers, and website visitors should think seriously about who they're essentially allowing to manage the web completely before two or three companies take over completely.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

read all about it

Tweens will soon be able to access a website ( that will teach them how to think critically about ads. They will be playing a game with made up products that ask these three questions:

  • Who is responsible for the ad?
  • What is the ad actually saying?
  • What does the ad want me to do?
The initiative, which is sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, was developed by a company owned by the Omnicom Group. Posters (like the one above) will be distributed in classrooms to get kids to visit the sites. This is a big step in combating the idea by the general public that ads try and seduce children since this is coming from the ad world itself. I sincerely hope schools will push for this in computer classes and pay the site a visit. The better educated children are, the better decisions they will make when it comes to their purchasing decisions in the future.

i'm watching you

People on the Hill seem to be up in arms about Facebook's new Open Graph platform which allows sites to connect to Facebook and gain information about customers. Many sites using this are ones that Facebook users are already using (Yelp and Pandora to name a couple) and want personalized. Also, most users of Facebook are aware that they are able to spend literally hours a day being entertained for free and in return, they'll likely have to give up some privacy. Ask most young professionals today if they would rather have increased privacy with no information handed out to companies if they paid for Facebook or free access to the site and have information sent with the 'Like' button and I strongly believe that many will choose the latter. There's always a price you pay for what you get. In the world of the wide web--- it's privacy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

start your engines

<--- "iBeer" If you have a decent sized company ... you'd better have an app available. And for purchase. It's not just because it helps build brand awareness and engage with your consumer, it's because you can make money! According to e-marketer, forecasts for app revenue are going to skyrocket by 2014. Paid apps are already up 18% this year alone with one third of all apps handed out being paid. What's even better? The average cost per app has gone up too: It's now $2.85 compared to $1.99 last year.

It's a good idea to invest in a designer and get started. Apps aren't a trend. They're here to stay. Start making money off em.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

single and ready to mingle

According to Adweek:
-Singles are spending 35% of all consumer spending (an increase in 30% from '03)
-Singles spend more time on the Internet
-Singles are more receptive to ad pitches

Let's reach out to these people! Quit with the stereotypes of singles being party animals that don't want to settle. Marriages are being created later in society every year. The market for singles is lucrative -- and if advertisers can find a way to subtly target this distinct group... it's sure to bring in sales and likely brand loyalty.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

it's about teamwork

Samsung is in full swing with its new 3-D television advertising. They have a 15 second spot commercial out, they'll be in major magazine publications, and have over a hundred thousand views on their newly created facebook page. Many are wondering how they'll get people to buy 3-D television when there is no assurance that 3-D content will be offered.

This is where the beauty of working as a team comes into play. First, Samsung has made the TVs easily switchable between 2-D and 3-D. In a literal push of a button you can be seeing two very different images. Second, they have teamed up with not only a company involved in producing film (Dreamworks) but with celebrity icons (Black Eyed Peas) to help push 3-D content availability. Last, they are attempting to partner with film studios, cable networks, and anyone who can supply the content to get the consumer what it wants ... soon. If the introduction of this new technology in our television screens is as successful as predicted (New York Times claims 10% of all television sets sold this year will be 3-D), it could change television advertising forever.

Nice teamwork guys!

Monday, April 19, 2010

can't get enough kate

Dancing with the Stars has been beating out American Idol in ratings lately. Why? Many are calling it the "Kate Gosselin" effect. People can't get enough of watching what she'll do next. Reality TV may have been one of the causes for a divorce between Kate and her ex husband Jon, but her appearances on reality TV certainly does wonders for ratings. Moral of the story? People watch those who have let them into their lives for years and are struggling to prevail in tough times. We're cheerleaders for the underdog. No matter how badly Kate dances -- we'll be voting... and watching.

too much of something is bad enough

I watch American Idol every Tuesday and Wednesday night come January for the past four years. I usually DVR most of my shows, but with American Idol, you need to vote that night for your vote to count so I watch it live. I've seen many new ad campaigns start off on the breaks of the show, and associate Ford with the show since it gives the winner a new car and contestants participate in Ford commercials.

One brand that gets looked over in my mind will surprise most people. Last week, as one contestant was speaking to Ryan Seacrest before singing, I glanced at the red screens I'm so used to seeing in the background and I realized it was brand -- Coca Cola. I've become so used to the Coca Cola cups the judges drink, the Coca Cola waiting room, and the red background on set so much that I forgot it was an ad. I started to think of red as being a part of American Idol as opposed to represent the company. My roommate seemed surprised -- this is the first year she watches American Idol and she notices the brand every week. Avid watches of the show have probably forgotten or have overlooked Coca Cola altogether much like I have.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dawn Animals commercial

Dawn dish soap knows itself. This is evidenced in their current campaign which is all about their wildlife rescue efforts. Dawn has helped save over 60,000 animals since the 1980s who were in trouble because of oil spills. This well done integration of a brand with a cause has brought about brand equity and awareness of the importance of taking care of the environment. When it comes to finding a cause to follow, it's important to begin by thinking of what makes sense with a brand. Dawn is a wonderful example of a company that knows who they are and what they can bring in the world of philanthropy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

stand by me

There's a new book circling around hot topics this week. A biography of Oprah Winfrey written by Kitty Kelley (a woman who has written unauthorized biographies of Jacque O, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra). The book tells of Oprah's lies about her difficult upbringing and scandalous lesbian affairs that she has relentlessly tried to cover up. With all the hype it's been getting the past couple of days, you'd think the Oprah camp would be worried. Not in the slightest.

Several talk show hosts including Letterman and Larry King have already denied allowing Kelley air time to promote her book. Oprah has gained the respect among her peers and, more importantly, has been a huge promoter of the book industry in particular. Her brand has been compared to "Teflon" by Omincom's partner associate director Nick Ragone. Also, Kelley's other biographies have done little to dampen the high profile celebrities status'. In the world of publicity, having close friends who stand by you is crucial. I wonder what'll come the day Kitty Kelley is in trouble.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

what are you doing friday night?

Friday night has been in trouble for a couple of decades. Where before it use to have huge shows such as Dallas and the Brady Bunch, it now is becoming the new Saturday with ratings down year to year. Currently, several networks have new ideas for the upcoming fall including new scripted TV shows. The problem is that a couple of decades ago the opportunities for new activities on the weekend were limited, and families were still becoming accustomed to a service that could bring everyone together under one roof and entertain simultaneously. Although many networks haven't given up on Friday night television yet, the end seems to be closer than they think.

give the people what they want

The fight against Conan, Leno, and Letterman has been brewing for months. Now that it's all settled -- we have to be wondering who's won. Network televisions late night shows all seem to be variations of the same thing. Cable television, however, is certainly shaking things up. Take E! for example who decided to feature a saucy woman as the host or Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" which is a mock of news. TBS seems to be the frontrunner, choosing to feature George Lopez on their late night show. He has brought a 33% growth for late night on the cable network, has a strong following among Hispanics and African Americans (some of the fastest growing demographics in the country), and is respected by the network. It seems obvious now that ratings are dependent on what the audience wants in the programming, not on what networks need to do (or who to sign) to beat out their competition.

Monday, April 12, 2010

little man = big media power

Justin Bieber seems to be all over social media. He's held the #1 spot for weeks for brands that are most tweeted about. His music has shot from under 200,000 views in October of 2009 to over 2 million plays of a single song of his in a 24 hour period. What many don't know is that Bieber was found through YouTube (and Usher). After his discovery, he became the first solo artist to have 4 top 40 hits on the Billboard charts before an album has even be released. What does all of this mean for media? Media outlets such as YouTube could now be the key to finding huge celebrity brands. This could potentially mean huge marketing numbers for other bands that associate themselves with such popular stars. Sticking by stars like Bieber isn't a risk. He became famous because of his mass like-ability (not a single producer hoping he'd make magic).

what comes up must come down

Tiger Woods was back in the swing of things this weekend. He played decent, but my eyes weren't on his game-- they were on his Nike 'swoosh'. The brand decided to keep Tiger around. Bad idea. On average, brands that included Tiger Woods in their advertisement prior to his personal troubles saw a 39% higher net like ability than when they did not include him. Several weeks into his media frenzy, words like mistress and affairs took over any positive connotations associated with the man. Nike's brand is recognizable all over the world. They don't need Tiger to add any kind of prestige (or now lack thereof).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Make new friends, but keep the old

All eyes are on the Ipad. Marketers especially are turning to it to be the savior for traditional media such as newspaper and magazine. But does media really need saving? Consider this: Numbers for events such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars had record high audiences and many marketers reduced their budgets drastically in the past year. While the iPad can definitely boost sales for text rich content, I still believe in keeping faith in the tried and true. Broadcast isn't dead. In fact, broadcast and advancing internet technology can and need to live in each others worlds to succeed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Parisian Love 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Commercial

My pic for best Super Bowl ad. In the past few years, funny had dominated Super Bowl advertising. This year the funny ads just didn't cut it for me. Here is a company that took something as simple as searching. Something we take for granted as an integral part of our lives. It showed us how much searching on its engine really has grown up with us and been a part of major decisions we make ... even in the smallest of ways. Congratulations to Google for truly getting their brand image on a more personal level.