Friday, September 29, 2006

Three Things From My Trip to Denver

Work is beyond crazy today, so the full update from my trip to Denver for the Search Engine Strategies Local conference will have to wait. Here are a few tidbits tide you over for now.
  1. Although my Arabic cab driver barely spoke English, he was fluent in French.
  2. The owner of is eccentric and very passionate about local search and his site. He really brought some life to the room. The guy is ridiculous.
  3. I met Kasey Kahne's girlfriend's sister in the airport.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

13-Year Old Playboys Resort to Identity Theft

The new commercial for the video game Test Drive Unlimited bears striking resemblance to the Citi Bank identity theft commercials, which have been running since 2004.

The Citi Bank commercials are phenomenal. They are all nice executions of a great idea. So when another commercial uses the exact same idea with a similar execution and inserts their brand instead, it's bad news.

I know there are no new ideas in advertising. But you can't make a carbon copy of another ad and slap your logo on it. Acceptable ad recycling happens, but it comes in the form of taking bits and pieces from several ads and executing them with a new twist. Not being the guy who blatantly steals someone else's ideas.

So don't be that guy, or some twenty-something punk from Kansas might take a swipe at your commercial next. "Shoot." "Yeah, shoot."


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Quiz Is Just Another Name for Survey

I took this quiz, which I found on Scamp, to "find my tribe." I completely disagree with my categorization, but that's irrelevant.

What is relevant are the questions I was asked about many brands in the quiz. It asked for my opinions - favorable and unfavorable. Now, this had no bearing whatsoever on the results of this quiz, but I ponied up some answers to get to the end and see my results. I'm willing to bet that many others did and will do the same.

So all you marketers out there seeking information - just integrate it into a quiz or game of some sort. Give the people interesting content, and they will give you your data.


Monday, September 25, 2006

DLP Believes In Elephants

It's a well-known fact that elephants make advertising better. DLP also knows this. That's why their new commercial, entitled "Believe," appears to feature an elephant for no apparent reason. J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco did the spot and must have let DLP in on the elephant thing.

With this commercial, DLP adds their name to the long and distinguished list of
pachyderm lovers. GE loves tap dancin' elephants, Bombay Sapphire loves nimble elephants, Skippy peanut butter loves rappin' elephants and loves elephants in any room.

All these creative use of elephants make using an elephant to promote a Zoo seem so cliché.


Friday, September 22, 2006

VCU Student Uses Guerrilla to Threaten Pug

A guerrilla marketing assignment from a VCU Adcenter professor got a little out of hand when it drew the attention of animal rights activists from around the globe. The assignment was to make the instructor's Pug famous, so the student threatened to kill the dog on MySpace. Simple enough solution; except the assignment prohibited students from threatening or harming the dog. Perhaps the student, who likely drew inspiration from Honda's Gil the Crab, should have taken a less violent approach such as buying text ads saying "I bite, I bite."


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Discovery Cycling's Race 2 Replace

The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team announced today that it was parting ways with 11 of the riders who helped Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France seven times in a row. Among the departing are Viatcheslav Ekimov and Paolo Savoldelli, who are both featured in these cool old school posters from TM. The posters heralded Team Discovery's Race 2 Replace event, which went down in August at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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"Let's All Discover" a Good Commercial

The Discovery Channel has made a huge resurgence with original programming, a big advertising push, and sponsoring the cycling team of seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong. Original shows like American Chopper, Dirty Jobs, Myth Busters, and Deadliest Catch have transformed the network from science class to a satisfaction for curiosity.

Discovery's "Let's all discover" campaign supports and reinforces this transformation.
The brilliant tagline, which truly captures what the channel is all about, comes from TM.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coke Side of Life Makes For Good Radio

I've outline what makes a bad radio commercial. So let's talk about some good radio commercials, such as Coca-Cola's "Get Well" and "Office Fridge" spots. The spots are part of the "Coke Side of Life" campaign, which is pretty solid as well.

Although these spots are good, I can't find the best one from this campaign. The spot beautifully describes the "neolithic and cryogenic" effects of reaching your arm deep in the cooler to pull out that really cold Coke and implores someone to "please pour it in my mouth." The words create incredible imagery and taps into that miserable and empathetic feeling you get after plunging your arm in frigid cooler water.

Wieden + Kennedy wrote the spots. Carlos Chafin and Robbin Thompson of In Your Ear put together the music.

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Undeniable Signs of a Crappy Radio Commercial

I've never done a top 10 list, but after hearing some really crappy radio ads on the way to work, I'm ready to go medieval on some audio.
  1. "Wow! I sure could use that."
  2. Car dealers screaming at the top of their lungs. LOUD NOISES!
  3. "Hey, have you heard about (insert product here)?"
  4. Does it ask questions? Are there a lot? Are they in rapid succession? Is the spot pointless?
  5. Anything written by the radio sales staff
  6. "I'm heading over there to buy one right now."
  7. Laugh tracks
  8. Spots that sound like someone reading the SPAM from your inbox
  9. "and the best part is"
  10. Old songs reworked with bad lyrics that aren't funny or self-deprecating. Think "Crumbelievable."
If you recognize any of these telltale signs, refrain from immediately sticking your fingers in your ears. Keep your hands on the wheel and belt out your favorite Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" commercial until the misery passes.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Schick Quatro "Off the Hizzy"

It seems like everyone wants to have a kooky, scientist guy in a lab coat use quirky pop-culture phrases to move product. The latest television spot to employ this tactic proclaims the Schick Quatro razor to be, "off the hizzy."

These findings come from what can only be considered factual and unbiased research from the Schick Shave Lab. You can see the commercial and Dr. Smooth on the site under "the studies."

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Campbell's Chunky Soup Brings in 'Hungry Boys'

Just caught the new Campbell's Chunky Soup spot, "Hungry Boys," which features several Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers' quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was supposed to star in the commercial but a motorcycle accident hospitalized him days before the shoot.

Campbell's instead brought in
Roethlisberger's Steelers teammates Jeff Hartings, Max Starks, Kendall Simmons, James Farrior, Marvel Smith, Charlie Batch, Casey Hampton and Chukky Okobi, along with Steelers "Team Mom" Elleanor Starks.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Music to the Ears of Jayhawk Fans

An evening of truth is upon my beloved KU Jayhawks as they prepare face Toledo on ESPN2. I, like most college sports fans, am intensely loyal to my school. To us, our school's mascots, colors and fight songs are sacred. So I'm incredibly excited that the University of Kansas now has free downloads of the school songs available on its Web site.

This isn't just about sports, there's a marketing lesson to be learned. By giving your supporters access to elements of your brand, you help them become advocates for you. This is the case with KU's school songs. Jayhawk fans across the country can now roll down their windows and crank up the fight song as they pay homage to the crimson and the blue.

It's all about giving the content to the people, and by golly, this puts a song in the hearts and ears of Jayhawk fans, not to mention, non-Jayhawk fans.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NCAA Cuts Football, Not Ad Revenue

In order to speed up college football games, the NCAA instituted several rules changes involving the game clock. So far, this has shortened each game by about 12 plays this year.

The changes they made don't seem to fix the problem they set out to solve. Instead of speeding up the down time in game, like baseball did a few years back, the NCAA shortened the game itself. They took time away from the action on the field but kept the same amount of timeouts where television stations pull down hella scrilla from advertisers.

Funny, no one suggested cutting out television's advertising timeouts to speed up the game.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You Don't Ask. You Don't Get.

I dropped my first F-bomb in a meeting yesterday. Aside from sporting events, I rarely use profanity, so I knew it would get the attention it was meant to grab. Long story short - it worked. It captured the attention of everyone in the meeting and in about five minutes, we absolutely blew the doors off our current capabilities.

The solution involved changing all of our existing contracts. Even though we desperately needed it, we never asked for it because we thought our agency wouldn't do it. As the always wonderful Diane O'Byrne says, "You don't ask. You don't get."


Kansas City Advertising Blogs

During last week's blogging sabbatical, my bloglines was riddled with unread blogposts. As I tried to sort through them all, I realized that many of the blogs I follow came from the Kansas City area. So I thought it only fitting to give a little shout out to all the locals. Here's my list.

American Copywriter
- Creative directors John January of Sullivan Higdon & Sink and Tug McTighe of Callahan Creek give us something to nibble on between podcasts. Not only are they AdverCelebs, they're also the shit. Seriously.

Smoke & Meers
- If you're looking for a good story with an advertising moral, Sam Meers is your man. He runs the show over at Meers Marketing Communications and always has a good take.

Shake Well Before Use
- This young lady from VML has burst onto the ad blog scene with force. She's got the attention of some serious bloggers, such as Steve Hall over at AdRants and Hidden Persuader, so you'd better get a little piece of Ariel's RSS love.

Carpe per Diem - More Meers' love from copywriter Dan Duff. He writes about marketing, but more importantly, he used to drive the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

K City - It's not really about advertising, but Bruno Pieroni from SHS has an awesome comic strip. Plus, he's Brazilian, so I get style points by merely mentioning him.

If you didn't make the list, hit me up with an email, leave a comment or threaten to take me and my blog down. It's all welcome.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Rutgers Hypes Leonard for Heisman in Times Square

Rutgers University is hyping Heisman candidate Brian Leonard on the NBC Astrovision by Panasonic big screen in Times Square. The spot, which is really just a highlight reel of the Rutgers full back, airs four times every hour.

Rutgers is not the first to campaign for their man to win the Heisman, or to advertise something unusual in Times Square. However, the media buy is clearly meant to take the message to
the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, the home of the Heisman Trophy. You can see the spot on the accompanying Web site under multimedia.


To the Three People Who Actually Read This Blog

I sincerely apologize for taking last week off. I got busy and the blog got neglected. But I've got lots of stuff to put out there, so I'll try to make up for it this week.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Wallace Isn't Rusty on Pimping Sponsors

NASCAR drivers love to rattle off seemingly endless lists of sponsors every time they do an interview. It seems the same holds true for a wreck on the street. Former NASCAR driver and current ABC and ESPN analyst, Rusty Wallace, touted the safety features of his Dodge Durango after a Mercedes T-boned Wallace's SUV. You can't make this stuff up - it's just too good.

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