Thursday, August 31, 2006

Where Were You On 9/11?

I spotted this over at AdPunch and it was so powerful I had to post it. It rings especially true for me because I was in high school on 9/11.

The work is from Gerry Graf, executive creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ad promotes the Wolrd Trade Center Memorial Foundation and there's also a site that documents where people were on 9/11.


Arizona Cardinals Say No to Pink Taco Stadium

A restaurant called Pink Taco offered the Arizona Cardinals $30 million for naming rights to their new stadium. You can imagine why the Cardinals declined the offer.

Many, including the Cardinals feel this is a publicity stunt and I would tend to agree. However, I think the restaurant truly wants the naming rights to the stadium because that will generate even more publicity.
A quick glance at the press section of Pink Taco's site shows they want any and all publicity they can get. This includes clips from Saturday Night Live and tabloid excerpts about the owner's son dating Lindsay Lohan.

I guess
you don't take yourself too seriously when your restaurant is named Pink Taco, but you do take all the publicity you can get.


Purdue Football: "I LUV COACH"

Today marks the official start of college football season, and I'm pretty jacked up about it.

I'm also pretty fired up about the "I LUV COACH" campaign for Purdue football. Fans can leave a message for Coach Joe Tiller by calling 866-I-LUV-COACH. Fans can hear all the messages on the Web site and new messages are featured in TV or radio spots every week. The tagline for the radio and TV spots is, "We've got your game."

College football fans are extremely passionate and are a fertile target for user generated content. This campaign is great because it gave fans, who are foaming at the mouth for the start of the season, an outlet to support their team. The nice integration between online, radio and TV is the icing on the cake.



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

CBS and Photoshop Help Katie Couric Lose a Few Pounds

It seems that CBS altered a promotional photo of Katie Couric that was widely distributed by the network. The photo made her appear she was 20 pounds slimmer and fueled rumors she lost weight. Sounds like false advertising to me.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Roddick Battles Pong, Maria Feels Pretty

It's US Open time, and several advertisers have capitalized on the opportunity to fill the airwaves with some tennis themed spots.

American Express came out with a clever spot that pits Andy Roddick against pong. The campaign is nicely integrated with an online pong-like game and gets extra points for being old school.

Nike and Wieden + Kennedy also rolled out a new spot featuring Maria Sharapova. As Maria heads for her match with a scowl on her face, everyone she meets serenades her "I feel pretty" from West Side Story. She silences the tune by hammering home a winner with the typical monster tennis grunt. This spot is also integrated online with a nice mini-site and has been heavily advertised on

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Conan O'Brien Crunes TV's Woes at Emmys

Last night, Conan O'Brien hosted the Emmy Awards and kicked it off with a song and dance number. The tune was a parody of "Trouble" from the Music Man, which was rewritten to highlight television's declining ratings and viewership.

Although Conan's litle ditty didn't mention declining ad revenue, it did mention TiVo users skipping commercials and kids watching YouTube instead of television.

When the awards show celebrating the best in television leads off with a song blasting the medium, you know that the 30-second spot isn't what it used to be. Back east in Connecticut, Joseph Jaffe just did a little fist pump.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Portions of This Old House Brought to You By GMC

Although there are no commercials on PBS, there are underwriters and sponsors for most of the programs. This is where they drop the line, "brought to you by [insert company name here]" to get some exposure for their sponsors.

Until yesterday, that was the most creative use of this plug I'd seen. However, the little 10-second spot
GMC runs for their support of This Old House is pretty clever. In each one, a GMC truck backs part of the house into the frame so it looks like it is installed in the house. The announcer follows up with the obligatory "Portions of This Old House brought to you by GMC."

It's very subtle and will probably never draw any attention other than right here, but I appreciate GMC breaking the mold with this one to do something unique. It's tough to make a 10 second spot, so these ads are clever because these all illustrate the point simply and effectively.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Divorced Parents Use McDonald's to Handoff Children

A friend of mine stumbled upon some great cultural insight last Friday. While eating dinner at McDonald's, he realized there were an unusually large number of divorced parents handing off children for weekend visitations.

He's a recent Kentucky transplant and what struck him was the large number of divorces because he'd never seen that many divorced parents in Kentucky. What struck me were memories of being the child handed off for the weekend at McDonald's.

While this isn't really a positive thing for the McDonald's brand to be associated with, it's definitely a cultural truth. In today's divorce riddled world, McDonald's serves as a safe and public place for divorced parents to momentarily put aside their differences for their children.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Non Sequitur in Real Life

Perhaps today's Non Sequitur isn't that far from reality.


The Walking Billboards

This idea might be new, but its old school roots go way deeper than sporting a driver's cap. Protestors and street peddlers used similar signage to promote their message to the masses since the world was black and white. However, A company called The Walking Billboards sells ad space on a sign that has two guys carry it around with their feet chugging along and hanging out the bottom the Flintstones.

The ads shown on the Web site don't really do anything special with the medium. However, the right message for the right product could change that. The message would need to take advantage of the unique vehicle and capitalize on its constant motion and the goofy guys carrying it around. So all you creatives, make something great for these guys, and please avoid cheesy puns like "feeling boxed in by your advertising?"

via: Marketing Post


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good Morning America Features YouTube Videos

ABC has struck a deal with YouTube to feature popular videos on Good Morning America every Wednesday. GMA, as people who actually watch the show call it, started the partnership earlier in August. Yesterday, they featured Smirnoff's Tea Partay, which might have been the greatest thing ever had they actually made the Web site the video references.

Once again, viral videos made by advertisers now have an outlet to get some airtime on national TV. It's nice to see a network show some love to user created content instead of hate on it, like NBC. Funny how they ask YouTube to pull their Saturday Night Live videos off the site, then partnered with YouTube to make a NBC branded channel.

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Home Depot Inundated With Shopping Unison

Improv Everywhere, the group that flooded Best Buy in fashion unity unseen since I tried to find Where's Waldo in the Land of a Thousand Waldos, has completed its latest mission. This time the target was Home Depot. In unison, the group shopped in slow motion for five minutes, returned to normal, and then froze in place for five minutes.

The group is dedicated to making a scene and having "organized fun" and is likely not for hire. But mark my words; some agency somewhere in the world will try pull off one of these missions to promote a brand. There's been no shortage of live advertising stunts, so it seems inevitable that a rash of branded missions will ensue.


Travel Channel Sells Shows On iTunes

Back in late May, the Discovery Channel announced that its networks would begin selling their shows on iTunes for $1.99 a pop.

Three months later,
the Travel Channel is finally following through. The Travel Channel has offered podcasts for some time, but they are just now actively promoting their shows on iTunes with TV commercials. The only two shows they are currently selling are Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"I'll have a Coke." "Sure, What Kind?"

Here is some great insight for soft drink marketers across the country from Pop vs. Soda. I have family in St. Louis and Kansas City, so I can verify that it's soda in St. Louis and pop Kansas City. I can also confirm that referencing all types of carbonated beverages as "Coke" is moronic and my personal pet peeve. Those of you who do this, prepare to be hunted down!

via Brand Flakes for Breakfast


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Forget Arby's, I'm Thinking Jesus

Gotta love when advertising impacts religion.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

An Anniversary Tribute to the King

Twenty-nine years ago today, Elvis Presley passed away. On this day of days, we honor the King by celebrating his ability to continually reinvent the Elvis brand to stay cool.

He started as Young Elvis. Then the King went to Hollywood and joined the Army. After that, the King got married, before transforming into Bling-Bling Elvis and eventually down spiraling into Fat Elvis.

So take a moment to remember the King and how he created a loyal army of followers and be thankful that he never transformed himself into the Creepy King.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Advertising in Free Textbooks

Freeload Press, an upstart advertising agency out of St. Pail, Minnesota, is putting advertisements in textbooks so they can distribute the books for free. Students can sign up for the service and download the books from Freeload's Web site.

As a recent college graduate, I know firsthand that textbook prices are completely ridiculous. Many of my friends and I have abstained from buying some books or split the cost with a friend or roommate to save money. The market is ripe if Freeload can deliver the goods.

The company still has a long way to go. It has yet to get a major book distributor onboard, so its current title offerings are limited. However, the ads deliver impressions to an extremely hard to reach and highly targeted demographic. The business model also conquers the problem of outdated textbooks. Normally book stores won't buy back old textbooks when the new version comes out. This process eliminates that problem and benefits from textbook updates because it provides opportunities to sell fresh ads.

So the next time a sleep-deprived college student pulls an all-nighter before the big midterm, they might see an ad for a local coffee house at 3 a.m., when they need it the most.


Tomato, Tomato; Potato, Potato

I heard an ad for the Boat & RV Show at the Overland Park Convention Center this morning on Sports Radio 810. The ad was your typical boat show ad. It featured some guy screaming "boat show, boat show, boat show" over and over.

What was not typical of the ad was the announcer repeatedly mispronouncing the name of the city. I've lived in the Kansas City area for over 20 years, and this is the first time I've ever heard the city's name pronounced "over-land park." The correct pronunciation is "over-lend park."

This isn't a tomato tomato, potato potato thing (work with me here, you have to make the sounds in your head); this is the equivalent of a rock star screaming "Good night Cleveland" when his show is in Chicago. It's bad news for the advertiser but mostly bad news for the city, because they ultimately lose if this mistake prevents anyone from going to the show and spending money in their city.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Get Your Whiplash the Monkey Swag

Apparently that "Little Monkey Dude" from the Taco John's commercials is quite the star. He's better known as Whiplash, and surprisingly, he's almost as old as me. But unlike myself, Whiplash has corporate sponsors and his own branded merchandise.

In case you were wondering, Minneapolis-based Kerker created the Whiplash TV spots for Taco Johns.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Plenty of Product Placement in Talladega Nights

Will Ferrell's new movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, is absolutely jam-packed with product placement.

Highlights include Ferrell's character, Ricky Bobby, selling advertising space on his windshield, doing spots for funeral homes and an endorsementcontract stipulating he must mention Powerade in each of his prayers to "Sweet Baby Jesus." The movie also randomly cuts to an Applebee's commercial during a wreck, and features the Bobby family dining in the restaurant.

All these copious brand references were expected, and the "veritable orgy of product placement," as one critic called it, serves as an integral part of the movie. The products that get the most love are the car sponsors Wonderbread, Old Spice and Perrier. These three brands should have taken their involvement to the next level by sponsoring a real NASCAR for a race, but have yet to do so.

Other featured brands include Budweiser, Checkers Drive-In restaurants, Coca-Cola, Country Crock, Dominos Pizza and KFC.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Business in the Front, Party in the Back for Nike

This Nike ad for the new Air Max 180 caught my eye in the September issue of Runner's World. Any ad that references mullets popularly known as the Shorty-Shorty Long Back, Wisoncsin Waterfall, Minnesotta Mudflap, Soccer Rocker, Canadien Passport or the Missouri Compromise is worth my time and yours. The Nike Running site carries on the "Business in the front, party in the back" theme to integrate the campaign online.

Also check out the new commercials for Nike Air. The tagline is "More air. More World." Great line. Great spots.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bernstein-Rein Loses Wal-Mart

It's official, the biggest agency in town lost its biggest account. Ad Age reports that Bernstein-Rein is not on the list of five finalists for the Wal-Mart review, and Bernstein-Rein officially released a statement announcing its partnership with Wal-Mart will come to and end.

Another one of BR's accounts could also be in jeopardy. AdWeek reports that
NetZero has contacted other agencies about its $70 million account. Not a good day for Bernstein-Rein.

Labels: Rolls Big

I don't care if you think's Subway video is lame or not. I also don't think that all PR is good PR. However, I do think handling negative limelight the right way can generate good PR, even though we're laughing at, not with them.

That being said, props to for having a sense of humor and for making the site When We Roll, We Roll Big. It shows they believed in themselves from the beginning and want people to interact with their brand and form their own opinions, be they negative or positive.

As of right now, is dead to many people in the ad industry. However, it's not our opinions that count because it's the clients that pay the bills and keep all of us employed. So it's ultimately their opinions that count. That is, if they even noticed.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Snakes On A Plane Prank Calls

The latest development in the Internet influenced movie, Snakes on A Plane, is an awesome mini-site that allows you to prank call your friends with a personalized message from Samuel L. Jackson himself.

As Jackson says, "Snakes on a plane might be the best movie ever made. It's that good." The same can be said about these prank calls and the marketing of this movie in general. New Line Cinema has done a phenomenal job of getting people involved in the movie before its release. So even though this movie seems like a horrible B-rated action movie, I'm going to go see it and I'm not the only one. Like Jackon says in the prank call, "You don't want to mess with me on this one."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Commercialization of Animals Pimps Zoo

Agency: Bates Dorland
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1997
Copywriter / Illustrator: Stefan Jones
Creative Director: Tim Ashton
Photographer: David Chalmers
Typographer: Kim Le Liboux

I found this fun little campaign for the UK's Banham Zoo on Marketing Post. It's from 1997, which seems pretty ancient, but the vital message still rings true. I think the tagline could be a little better, but it's a great idea.

Marketing Post has some good stuff; particularly some fresh stuff that hasn't made it's way around to all the blogs yet. Perhaps that's because it isn't written in English. Good thing a picture's worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ty Pennington Peddles Verizon, Sears and ADHD Meds

When I saw a cell phone commercial featuring Ty Pennington the other night, it hit me Pennington has become quite the pitchman. This particular spot had him hawking a Verizon Wireless mobile device and sporting a lovely Canadian Tuxedo!

Pennington has also replaced Bob Vila as Sears' go-to guy. He has his own line of products with the retailer and as is the star of their weekly reality and best-product-placement-ever show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC.

Ty also hawks some ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder) medicine in a spot that starts off with, "A lot of people don't realize it, but I have ADHD." I think anyone who has ever seen one of Ty's shows realizes the man has ADHD. He spends most of his time running around screaming at people through a megaphone.

So lookout world, the new metrosexual Bob Vila is on the prowl.