Friday, December 22, 2006

Let Pac-Man Do His Thing

Most big brands and agencys get nervous when the public interacts with the brand in a way that wasn't expected. This is why NBC pulled videos from YouTube and why many companies fail to realize that these situations are opportunities to further communicate the message.

They can all learn a lesson from the Department of Transportation in Wright County Minnesota. The department painted giant dots on a stretch of highway to deter tailgating. This prompted a giant Pac-Man to be painted on the road, which generated lots of public and media interest. Instead of hitting the wall and having the dot-diner immediately removed, the department used the attention to hammer home the message.

"I don't know where Pac-Man came from," said Patricia Hackman, director of Safe Communities of Wright County, "but anything we can do to bring more attention to traffic safety, I'm all for it."

Although I'm putting a lot of people on notice, I'll throw out a little love to Honda and Wieden + Kennedy, London for have the guts to put this into practice. The agency showed spoofs of its new Honda Asimo spot on the agency blog, Welcome to Optimism. Bravo W+K - way to embrace your motto to fail harder and use public response to highlight your message.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Burger King Sells 2 Million Video Games

Not only can The King date Brooke Burke - he can also sell video games.

Burger King's video games featuring the restaurant's royal are flying off the shelf this holiday season. Burger King and Microsoft announced they have sold more than 2 million copies of the video games in little more than a month.

games, Sneak King, Pocketbike Racer and Big Bumpin', are available at Burger King restaurants for $3.99 with the purchase of a BK value meal. Burger King's Agency of Record, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has taken the restaurant into the paparazzi, video games and plans on making a Burger King-themed movie. Now if only CP+B could get with Brooke Burke.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Advertising and Christmas

The holidays and advertising come together to bombard you with Christmas ads earlier and earlier every year. It's a long-standing connection that runs so deep that it has become a part of Christmas itself.

Many people know of the Montgomery-Ward copywriter who penned the story of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but many are unaware of a man named Thurl Ravenscroft.
Ravenscroft was the baritone-voiced crooner of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the cartoon classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," as well as the long-time voice of advertising icon Tony the Tiger. He isn't well known for these roles because his name was left off the credits for the Grinch and ads rarely have credits.

So this year, remember a man who helped advertising completely and utterly dominate the holiday season - spend Christmas morning eating a box of Frosted Flakes and watching "Mr. Grinch" on TV. It'll be "grrrreat!"

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Friday, December 15, 2006

KFAD Joins Sheep Haters in the 'Ta

It's official - I've got a new job. I'm leaving Gragg Advertising at the end of December and signing on as a copywriter with Sullivan Higdon & Sink in Wichita.

I don't want to leave Kansas City, but it's a great opportunity so I'm accepting the challenge and heading to Wichita. I went down last weekend and found a duplex, so at least I have a place to live. In fact, Kirstie Alley lives across the street. Seriously.

I don't know what to expect and I don't know anyone in Wichita, but I've got more pressing issues - such as what clever quip will be my personal tag line. All Sheep Haters have a funny little one-liner such as, "My CD collection weighs more than your car," "I too, pity the fool," "run, Forrest, run," and "I always wanted to be a former child star." Any suggestions?

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Only One Ad in Top Viral Videos of 2006

The end of the year means it's time for everyone to start compiling best of lists for 2006, such as iFilm's 50 best viral videos of 2006. The only ad included on the list was "Ping Pong" starring Ronaldinho and his golden Nike boots.

Here are the other advertising-related videos that made the list:
  • Little Superstar - This was later branded as a TiVo ad - mash-up style.
  • Angry Professor - Jonathan Schoenberg, creative director and partner at TDA in Boulder staged this cell phone slam during a guest lecture at a college.
  • Parodied Mac and Pc Ads - It took someone poking fun at the original ad to make the list.
  • One Bank - Viral for all the wrong reasons.
  • - The infamous subway pitch.
Now, I'll defer to AdJab on defining a viral video and withhold comment about the omission of OK Go to highlight that only one video on the list was truly an ad. For all the talk about viral advertising, our industry must not be doing too well if only one ad cracks the top 50 for the year. We need to stop making ads and start creating content.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bogusky Besmudged With Beard in Yahoo! Banner

Yahoo! is running banner and print ads all over the place to promote its Yahoo! Marketing Engine. The ads feature a myriad of business people, including Executive Creative director of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Alex Bogusky. It seems Bogusky's fame is now extending beyond the marketing community.

Although the ads have been around for a while, they only recently inspired me to unleash my creative prowess and paint a musketeer-mustache and goatee on Sir Alex himself. My sincerest apologies to Sir Alex for the cheesy 'stache, but I couldn't draw Willy Wonka with my super copywriter artistic abilities.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nike Eyes the Tiger

In 1996, Tiger Woods and Nike announced his entrance to professional golf with just two words, "hello world." Ten years later, Tiger is the the best player in the world and will remain Nike's golf icon for years to come. Tiger recently signed a third multi-year agreement with the company, ensuring that Wieden + Kennedy will have plenty more opportunities to introduce the world to Tiger Woods.

In honor of the continued partnership, here are some the great commercials from Tiger and Nike.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wal-Mart Reopens Account Review

After the abrupt departure of Julie Roehm, the Wal-Mart executive in charge of the recent agency review, the mega-store is back in the market for a new agency.

Wal-Mart parted ways with longtime agency Bernstein-Rein of Kansas City when it selected DraftFCB as it's new suitor in October. However, DraftFCB is now out and will not participate in round two of the fight for the $580 million account. No word from GSD&M or local powerhouse Bernstein-Rein about the possibility of getting back together with their ex.

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KC Coffee Morning This Friday

After contemplating if I should use my powers for good or for awesome, I decided to join forces with the boys over at American Copywriter to promote KC Coffee Mornings.

We'll be at Coffee Girls Friday morning from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. for some caffeine and conversation. So get up early and get in on the fun.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NFL Network v. Cable Companies

The battle between NFL Network and cable companies has raged for some time. NFL owners want ridiculous amounts of money for exclusive football games and cable companies are challenging the network to survive without them.

To combat this, the NFL Network ran ads asking people to call their cable companies and request that they carry the channel. Next, Kansas City cable companies started running ads attacking each other. Everest Cable ran ads imploring people to switch from rival Time Warner to Everest so they could watch the NFL Network. However, Everest does not actually air any of the football games on the channel because they are blacked out. Talk about false advertising.

Although Everest was wrong to deceitfully advertise the network, the greedy NFL owners are really to blame. We see enough negative and attack-filled ads during elections, no one wants to see multi-million dollar cable companies and wealthy NFL owners slug it out in the same fashion. If we learn anything from this, it should be that people want their advertising scantily clad women, elephants and toilet humor, not bickering millionaires.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Fallon - the Novels

It seems that the hot thing for hot shops to do is publish a book.

This summer, founding partner Fred Senn and agency chairman Pat Fallon published Fallon's creative manifesto, "Juicing the Orange." Fallon quickly followed this with "The Work: 25 Years of Fallon," which features the infamous SuperBowl cat herder on the cover.

Not to be outdone, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky recently came out with "Hoopla," which highlights CP+B's rise to the "new hotness." Make sure to check out this great post about CP+B and the book from Room 116's Bryan Chiao. The post includes this great email from Alex Bogusky:
Subject: Creativity
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:44 AM
From: Alex Bogusky
To: All Agency

In the second paragraph of the Creativity magazine article begins, "Right now the agency (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) is probably the hottest in the United States." It is amazing for me to read those words being written about us. In a lot of ways it is the culmination of a dream that seemed silly to everyone I know except my wife. She really did see it happening all those years ago and has never been surprised by our successes. Even when I wanted her to be surprised. But dreams need to last a lifetime and we're not dead yet. Some of you just arrived and I imagine you are hoping that you haven't gotten here right after all the excitement either. So we need some new lofty goals. I have a few that always get my blood going.

Being "hot" as they put it in the Creativity article feels pretty fickle. And how "hot" something got usually is a pretty poor indicator of how much impact it had on the world. Case in point: The Razor scooter. I don't want to be a Razor scooter. I want to change the world. At least a few little bits of it.

  • I want people to say "then cp+b came along and changed things and now nobody does it that old way anymore."
  • I want to be the agency that ruined it for every other agency in the world.
  • I want old fashioned agencies to look at us and see their own demise because they know they won't be able to do what we do.
  • I want to continue to evolve and morph into what all the smart people we hire want us to become.
  • I want to be a great place for clients to keep their brands and I want to be an even greater place to work.
  • I want to become known as the best place to work in south florida.
  • I want us all to look for more ways to help out in our community.
  • I want to run our company the way every 12 year old dreams of running a company because 12 year olds are right.
  • I want to be the agency that ruined it for every other agency in the world.

We make our clients famous by any means at our disposal. We need to be what ad agencies will become. When Steve Breen from Molson spoke today you could see how excited he was about our bizarre and fresh way of looking at brand building. And Molson hasn't even begun to tap into that yet. They're still just using us as a typical agency and all he can think about is what we will build that twists his product and his marketing and his PR into one big Molson famous makin' machine.

Here's the tricky part. I want us to do all this while keeping the qualities that make us decent folks to hang out with. I want us to remain humble. Past success is no measure of what we will do so best to be humble. After all it's just advertising anyhow. I want us to hold onto our ability to accomplish a lot with a lot less than most agencies. The huge amounts of money that we are put in charge with should always be looked at in terms of what it can accomplish outside of what we are doing with it. $100,000 might seem like less money than you might want to produce a national tv spot but remember you can build a freaking house with it. Always keep perspective on the money you are allocating.

And finally, I want us to keep having fun and being good to one another. Because otherwise, why bother with all the rest. A good friend of mine wrote me recently because he was frustrated with the advertising business and frustrated by so many of the people he works for and with. He wrote. "It astounds me how people are afraid of so many things but mediocrity never seems to be one of them."

I'm afraid to be mediocre. I'm afraid to stop getting better. I hope you are, too. Because to the rest of the world that looks like courage. Just look at Creativity magazine.

As I told Bryan, that's some "Jerry McGuire 5 a.m. making copies at Kinkos to pass out to the whole company" stuff right there.

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Outreach Interational Digs Black Friday

This year Black Friday at the Country Club Plaza, or just off the Plaza at JC Memorial Nichols Fountain, was marked with shovels.

Rodgers Townsend planted hundreds of shovels with messages on the handle as part of a guerrilla effort for Outreach International. Operatives headed out at the crack of dawn to turn some of Kansas City's prime shopping ground into a hardware store. Video was posted on YouTube, a minisite was created, it made the paper and it's a really good idea.

What I love the most about this one is the minisite. Although I wish it gave more information about the covert shovel operation, the site helps Outreach International make ripples, not just a splash. The site explains the purpose of the effort, provides a measurable element to the campaign and most importantly, tells people what they can do to help.


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