Friday, April 28, 2006

Taco Bell Promotes Gluttony

Taco Bell is now promoting "the fourth meal." They created the "the meal between dinner and breakfast," to try to keep their share of the late night drunk-food market. The fourth meal concept revolves around the four taste/texture profiles Taco Bell offers: melty, crunchy, spicy and grilled.

Taco Bell has been in the drunk food market for a long time, but they have a lot of new competitors. Many McDonald's are now open 24 hours a day, Wendy's has been open until 1 a.m. for years, and even Sonic now stays open until midnight during the summer.

There is good reason everyone wants a piece of the drunk food pie.
The average ticket of daytime fast-food consumer is $4.43 compared to and average ticket of $6.22 for late night fast-food consumers.

Taco Bell is pushing fourth meal hard. They've focused on it in every recent commercial, created an interactive Web site and even their bags promote their fourth meal concept. They are doing a good job promoting their baby, but the concept is based in American

What other country eats four meals a day? Even in this country there are many families just trying to put food on the table. So promoting a fourth meal seems to encourage a country that is already obese. I'm don't doubt that this tactic will produce results. In fact, I'm confident it will help them grow their share in the drunk food market. And they are certainly right to go after this market, but the concept of the fourth meal promotes greediness and obesity to an extreme.

Tace Bells says, "If it's not fourth meal, it's just food. Many impoverished people would say, "I don't need four meals, I just need some food."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spangles Just Advertises Better

Spangles is a local burger joint that just opened a new restaurant in Lawrence. It's a lot like a combination of Steak & Shake, Sonic and Jack in the Box. There are tons of Spangles in Wichita, but this is the first one in Lawrence.

The restaurant is known for its goofy commercials that usually air with great frequency. They also have a knack for getting their jingles stuck in your head ("Spangles, it just tastes better"). Even as I'm writing this, one of these commercials is playing on TV. Some of the spots are just down right ridiculous, and they get pretty annoying after you see them a few hundred times.

However, frequency drives recognition and this particular burger joint is so beloved in Wichita, that everyone likes the commercials. While I'd like to believe that really clever and well-executed advertising drives business, in this case, mediocre advertising produced great results for Spangles. I guess I just have to accept that so-so commercials and great frequency can be considered good advertising.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Even Americans Think Joga Bonita is Pretty Cool

Nike's Joga Bonita campaign is well known, especially among soccer players. At soccer practice last night, we spent at least half an hour trying to recreate some of the moves Ronaldhino and Thierry Henry pull off in the spots. Simply put, Joga Bonita is basically the "And 1 Mix Tapes" of the soccer world. By immitating the Mix Tapes and taking the game back to the streets, Nike generates attention in a country that hasn't traditionally accepted soccer.

The new campaign is practically a continuation on the one Wieden + Kennedy put together for the World Cup in 2002. These also featured Eric Cantona and some of the world's greatest players. Like Joga Bonita, the old campaign was launched worldwide and doesn't include any Americans. The spots pitted the players against each other on a desolate tanker. The spots included, "First Goal Wins" and "First to 100 Wins". Here's more information about the old campaign.

The old campaign was pretty good, but compared to Joga Bonita, it looks like a high school science project. This time around, Nike launched the campaign on a much bigger scale. It's still global, but now, Joga Bonita is more about viral videos and less about commercials. It still relies on television to drive traffic to, but the innovations in technology and increased internet use allow the campaign to truly make its mark in cyber space.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Barkley Evergreen Podcasts from NAB Convention

I was goofing yesterday around in the itunes store today and I found out that Barkley Evergreen & Partners , from nearby Kansas City, is doing a video podcast from the NAB conference in Las Vegas. I just watched the first one, and it's not super branded content. In fact, they don't really promote BE&P that much.

I'm not really sure who their target audience is. They might be trying to give a little conference recap for the rest of their agency and getting a little video podcasting experience at the same time. Anyway, kudos to BE&P for testing the waters with the video podcast. It's nowhere near the quality of American Copywriter, but John and Tug had better watch their backs, because they've got some competition.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

In-Game Advertising Goes Live

I wasn't shocked by the emergence of in-game advertising for video games. Sponsors partnered with video game companies to put their logos and sportscasters in game for years. However, I am amazed that much of that advertising is now live and continually changing. Many new games, like MVP '06 NCAA Baseball, already stream live scores from real games. So if you were playing it tonight, it would show you updated NBA playoff scores. Ridiculous.

This integration of technologies is just amazing. What's even cooler is that the game's Web site features the games digital rendering of Kansas pitcher Kodiak
Quick. As Ron Burgundy said, "You know how to cut me to the core."

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Rock's User Created Commercials

I already blogged about how Kansas City radio station 98.9 the Rock asked listeners to create and submit commercials for their television commercial. They now have all of the entries posted on their Web site, all 341 of them! Some are pretty bad and others are downright hilarious. This is definitely worth checking out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

M&Ms Not So M-Azing In the Sack

M&Ms, the flagship candy of Mars Incorporated, has a new candy bar called M-Azing. It's basically a Nestle Crunch Bar with M&Ms in it. Or as their commercials say, "M&Ms deep inside creamy chocolate."

The new campaign and the intentionally sexually suggestive language it uses is pretty racy. The TV commercials feature M&Ms and a milk chocolate bar preparing to get down. One spot has them cuddled up together in front of a fireplace at a romantic cabin and the other has them in the back seat of a car on some desolate lovers' lane.

It's my policy not to crap on anyone's work on this blog. I have done nothing to earn the right to tear down something someone worked so hard to build; and I'll stay true to that. However, I will comment on the appropriateness of this ad. I don't think using a sexually loaded message is the right tactic for a product that primarily targets children. I understand the need to be cutting edge and witty, but this isn't witty. It's just lewd and lascivious.

Our industry is already under attack from people accusing us of warping kids' minds. Don't believe me? Ask the Marlboro Man, Joe Camel or go see "Thank You For Smoking," you'll feel slimy. I just think M&M's could have done better by not playing up the sexual aspects of the commercials.

On a side note, Mars also makes Milky Way candy bars. They also have some new
TV commericals out. I'll only say they are on par with the M&Ms commercials and leave you to make your own judgments about them.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Brand Urbanization

It seems that there is a trend of urbanization of many brands in the U.S. Attribute it to "the legitimacy of Hip-Hop" if you want, but this shift is real.

It's important to note the distinction between brands that shifted toward urban and trends that shifted the brands toward urban. For example, KSwiss sold basically the same shoes to tennis players for years, but now these same shoes are a hip-hop fashion trend. The fad came to them, not the other way around. On the other hand, Pontiac shifted its marketing effort to appeal more exclusively to the urban market.

Pontiac was more of a Sunday drive car, but the brand now focuses on the urban market. In the past, the old Pontiac logo featured a Native American, which the brand was named for. These days, the brand’s commercials for the Solstice feature Ludacris. The urbanizing of the bran is also carried out through their new vehicle names. You can see this in Pontiac's Vibe, an attempt to convert the old surf-wagon into an urban pimp wagon.

Ludacris actually does own a Pontiac. It's a tricked-out
1975 Pontiac Grandville, not exactly on par with the Solstice he pimps in the commercial. The bottom line is that you don't exactly beleive Ludacris standing in front of a Solstice singing, "Two miles an hour, so everyone will see me." There's no way Ludacris drives a Solstice, he's worth millions of dollars and hip-hop moguls drive Bentley Phantoms, not Pontiac Solstices.

Ludacris did a song that became the theme song for an Austin Powers movie called,
"No. 1 Spot." With that in mind, Dr. Evil summarized Pontiac's attempt to urbanize when he said, "I'm hip. I'm down with today's youth. I can get jiggy with it."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Presidential Podcasting

If you're reading this, you know what a powerful tool a blog can be. You also probably know that a podcast can have just as much power. So it makes sense that the "most powerful man in the free world" practically has his own blog and podcast.

OK, so it's not exactly a blog and podcast, but the president's weekly radio address is available in written and audio format. When you think about it, it's really the same thing as a podcast. The man speaks about a topic of his choice, and you can download it and listen to it. You can even subscribe to it through an RSS feed.

Granted, the president doesn't need a podcast or a blog to express his opinions. He's the president, if he wants to say something, he calls a news conference and the press reports whatever he wants to say. But the fact that he uses a podcast to distribute and publicize his weekly radio addresses lends enormous amounts of credibility to podcasting.

Whether you like President Bush or not, his administration's use of technology, in this case, is commendable. Not since F.D.R. began his fireside chats on the radio has a president used a medium in such an effective way to communicate. Not only is President Bush riding the technology wave, he is making history by being the first president to join the podcasting community.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Turner Shows Ali G More "Restecp"

I usually don't try to break news because, quite frankly, I could never keep up with AdRants, they're kind of a big deal. But I found this one in Sports Business Journal so I though I'd post it.

Turner Sports collaborated with Spike Lee and Ali G to make eight new television spots promoting the NBA playoffs. TNT already produced several spots,
that feature Ali G, promoting their Thursday night games. Lee, who also worked with the league writing playoff spots for last year, wrote and directed the new spots. The first spot aired March 27, and the rest will soon follow.

The rest of the spots are set to air on TNT and TBS. In addition to Ali G, these spots feature Tim Duncan, Steve Kerr, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Reggie Miller. Turner hopes these new spots boost their playoff ratings, which were down last year.

As of tonight, the NBA is the only basketball to be found. The league's ratings are typically low during the regular season, but spike during the playoffs. Last year, the league had a 1.2 rating during the regular season and a 3.4 playoff rating.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How Four Minutes and TV Changed A Life

Every major television network, including ESPN and CNN, covered the story of Jason McElwain. Although this is a remarkable story, Jason would just be another kid without television and the media.

The resulting media coverage changed Jason from local hero, to a national symbol of hope. Jason, dubbed JMac by his friends, got to meet President Bush, received a free trip to the Final Four courtesy of Pontiac, and had $20,000
($1,00 for each point he scored) contributed on his behalf to autism research by General Motors.

Had this same event happened 20 years ago, no one would know the story of JMac. But the incredible growth of media brought him national attention and corporate sponsors. Just another way companies try to get their name out there by doing good deeds. In this case, more power to them.

Great moments are fleeting, but they define our lives. JMac's four minutes on the court might be over, but his fifteen minutes of fame are still going.

Where the Bloody Hell Are You?

I've seen Australia's new tourism campaign mentioned on lots of blogs, but I haven't seen it on television until today. The spot aired a couple of times this afternoon on FX.

The campaign totes the tagline, "
Where the bloody hell are you?" and features a TV spot, customizable online postcards and a song bearing the same name as the campaign. Although most of the hype was about the commercial, the Web site is pretty good. The customizable postcards allow you to select scenes from the commercial and string them together and send them to a friend. Make sure to listen to the song playing on the Web site, it's pretty entertaining.