|Original articles from .|
|The Merging of Brands and Content Creators|
As the "content is King" philosophy continues to ring true, many brands and organizations are re-structuring their houses to make content and marketing fit better together. Many are beginning to realize that the better strategy to attract customers is to provide information that is useful to them, and then providing a luring or convenient product.
RSR Research, a research organization dedicated to the trends in retail and digital commerce, published an interesting story on the "collision of content and commerce." The researchers commented on the story of Conde Nast merging Lucky Magazine and online retailer BeachMint to create the Lucky Group. The writers suggest that the relationship is a win-win; BeachMint can benefit from the editorial mastery...
|Do Consumers Care About Privacy?|
Digital marketing and consumer privacy butt heads more often than they really should. It is true that companies are collecting more data than previously in history, but it matches the fragmented nature of the economic environment we call home. Plus, it isn't like the data you share is less secure than it was before...
|Kaspersky Launches 'Brain Zone' Challenge|
The concept of Internet and digital security is getting more and more popular by the day. When news comes out about everything from the recent Target credit card theft to a report that a Russian group of about a dozen young adults...
|The Economy Strikes Back: Ad Rev to Reach 2007 High|
The global economy has had a rough couple of years. In the United States we had the Great Recession; Europe had the near collapse of the European Union with Greece flopping, Turkey holding on for dear life, Spain and Italy struggling with 20%+ of their youth unemployed; and China had been experiencing monster growth and monster decline at the same time.
What's nice about interdependence is that everyone feels the pain of an economic slowdown, although in different severities.
|Gatekeepers of Words and Ideas|
Though our society suffered a tragedy in losing Robin Williams, it does provide us an opportunity to take a step back and meditate over what he did, what he accomplished, and the ideas he set forth across the world. His "stream of consciousness" routine is unlike anything we've seen before, and doubt we'll see again. The way the man used words and manipulated phrases was remarkable. The world should be glad that Williams found a career in comedy.
He would have been one heck of a marketer. We started off with his quote about words and ideas because in both marketing and comedy...
|What's in A Name?|
Too often does our society get so caught up in the mainstream of celebrity gossip, soft news, and infotainment that it takes hard-hitting or whimsical perspectives to really get a point across. Today, we are going to take a look at two very different styles, though both are using the same tactic.
We'll start with the funny one.
|Nicofresh Ad That Tackles Ageism & Racism Banned|
When an author is contemplating a story, a major element that helps develop a plot is conflict. Usually the main character either has a conflict with another person or group, a conflict within themselves, or a conflict with society. Advertising has that same ordeal. When we build advertising messages, we must figure out what conflict the consumer is having, and provide an answer to their plot.
|Nostalgia Wins in Advertising|
Advertising, regardless of the amount of data poured into the industry, works best when emotion is involved. Whether it's humor, a slice of life spot, or even fear-mongering, advertising with strong emotional appeals moves consumers to act more than advertising driven by facts, figures, and analysis.
And it makes sense. Humans are visual, emotional beings. Regardless of how hard we try, the majority of us will listen to what our hearts say versus our brains.
|Levi's Launches Video Series|
In a world filled with products and services, the key is differentiation. What sets your product aside? How does your brand rise above the clutter? Many companies and organizations struggle with the concept, so we see cheap advertising tricks and price wars, methods one resorts to when your product or brand is easily substituted for, or when it is facing commoditization.
|Champs Launches Adicolor TV on Instagram|
Brands are continually finding new and interesting ways to connect to consumers on social media. The taste for social media is shifting. Facebook, although still one of the biggest platforms, isn't very sexy to the younger generations. Yes, in a talk we did over the summer, out of almost 400 rising junior and senior...
|Advertising Aids Diversity|
No doubt the media is a very powerful tool in our society. It can be used for both good and evil. Many would attest that we see more of the latter, yet advertising and marketing do not create these themes of our social fabric. We believe that advertising reflects the themes that the public wants to see. When the reflection is no longer accurate, then it changes.
|John Oliver Rips Into Native Advertising|
With every innovation, there are its critics. And native advertising, or "branded content," whatever you'd like to call it, has plenty of critics. The money behind native advertising is taking off because of its non-intrusive nature and the relevancy of the information.
That should be a good thing, right?
|An Ad Lesson on Rhetoric|
During certain seasons, words and phrases can get a bad rap due to its use by media or politicians. For example, in the early to mid-1900's, the word propaganda was used to describe the one-sided messaging being done during the World Wars; with much emphasis in Germany, but the U.S. had its fair share. Now, although in the academic sense of the word, propaganda isn't a bad thing, our society continues to think of it in a poor light.
|Neuro Signals the Future of Advertising?|
The advertising industry has been trying to predict or influence consumer behavior for decades. This is nothing new. All that is different is that we have fancier equipment and bigger technology budgets to invest in the work. The concept is the same; if we can see what works, then when it's launched full-scale, success is inevitable.
|The Digital Divide|
Marketers love technology. The way our industry has adopted all these new digital tools into its arsenal is not only impressive, but almost necessary when one wants to reach the typical American consumer. As GenZ continues to mature into a group with massive purchasing power, marketers will have to find creative and appealing ways to reach them.
As we've covered before, GenZ is a little different than our generation, the Millennials. Though we're both digital natives, they have more disdain for advertising and marketing than we do. And though GenZ is more likely than any other generation...
|The NBA's Sponsored Uniforms|
The world of sports is unlike any other. The kind of money that is spent is not only considered as "extra" to many consumers, but could also be considered as "necessary" to a small amount of them. Think about it — the amount of decades it takes to get season tickets to a Green Bay or Steelers game is absurd, yet people await the time the call comes so they can shell out thousands of dollars to see their favorite team play a sport. This is a leisure activity that has very direct effects...
|When Consumers Copy Choice|
Consumers are not the best at making decisions. In an environment where we are bombarded with so many options, paired with even more irrelevant information and variables that affect judgment, it is easy to see why consumers have a difficult time. And when consumers are placed in situations where they have very little information...
|5-Hour Energy Crashes Into Court|
The early 2000s saw an interesting race in the energy drink market. Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, and many others poured into supermarkets, gas stations, convenience stores, and college campuses. Forget the "traditional" Mountain Dew, or MD's now defunct but crazier cousin Surge...
|Banning TV Advertising?|
As much as we bicker and point fingers about good and bad advertising, the political correctness of the regulators, the silly topic of advertising to children, or the relentless sexual nature of ads, we have never pioneered the idea of just banning advertising. That hurts too many businesses across too many industries.
At least in the United States.
In today's world there are different types of people. Leaders. Followers. Artists. Scientists. Those who think linear. Those who think abstract. We need all of those people to make this crazy world work. But most importantly, we need creators.
One of the cool things about working in the advertising and marketing industry is being around people who are excited...
|What Are Consumers Driven By?|
Years ago, when my business partner and I were at lunch before a big pitch, we were joking around with the perfect invention. We were imagining that we had found the perfect formula for human choice. A formula that could always predict what a group of consumers would buy.
Wouldn't that be something?
Now there are models out there — predictive modeling, reasoned action formulas — that come close. But the variables that humans rely on, rational or otherwise, are sometimes missed by the most well-thought-out theory.
|Behavioral Economics in Advertising? Yes!|
If you are one of the loyal followers of Beyond Madison Avenue, then you have read several of my writings drooling over the amazing possibilities marketers and agencies have if they apply behavioral economics to their practices. Truth be told, the art and science of examining human behavior in order to influence it...
|The Importance of Advocacy|
As communicators, we all know that it is important to believe in the message that we craft and deliver. Indeed, research shows that we are more effective in our duties when we work with a theme that we stand behind.
We are consistently troubled with the amount of people who work in advertising who trash it, or don't believe in the work that they are doing. Also, the membership levels for those groups...
|Boys II Men Turns Wendy's Tweets to Love Songs|
We grew up in both an R&B household and Wendy's family. Only whenever my siblings and I pitched a fit when we were younger would my parents stop at Burger King or McDonald's. When the group of us would be walking home from the bus stop, we would hear Mary J. Blige ringing out from our house.
|Redskins, Deadskins, Does it Really Matter?|
Political correctness has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives here in the United States. Be careful with what you say. Be careful how you say or label certain things. Goodness forbid someone gets offended.
Every part of our society has been picked on and criticized — except for football.
The Washington Redskins have been beating back the call...
|AdLand Strikes Back: Bot Wars|
Bots. When data came out less than a year ago that a large amount of web clicks and online traffic is due to bots, and not people, the advertising community was furious. And rightfully so; those ghost clicks were costing brands millions of dollars...
As a teacher and advisor of many high school students, it is fascinating to see the structure and environment we create for our youth. We urge obedience and humility, and demand good behavior with the promise of reward.
And we think to ourselves, is this the best environment to nurture creativity? It is hard to think the affirmative.
There was a speaker earlier this week that had the chance to answer a young lady who asked an impressive question.
|Marketers Need a C-Suite Presence|
As a follow-up to our previous article, this is meant to demonstrate the need for marketers to have a voice in not only communications activities, but also in the vision of the company. Marketing, as we agreed with some of the newer sentiments...
|Advertising is a Means, Not an End|
If people continue to say that the advertising industry is dying, our head is going to explode. People without accurate advertising education, those who simply practice the profession of advertising, lose the dimension of the industry that keeps people grounded. Or, those without the education refuse to listen to our predecessors, hence being forced to forge a path instead of following the steps of those before us.
|Who is Generation Z?|
We are in the first part of Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW), which is comprised of five one-week programs that teach rising junior and senior high school students about business, free enterprise and working as a team. There are several similar programs in the United States, but PFEW is recognized as the eldest program.
|A Tea Ad You Won't See in America|
Though we say that America is the "land of the free" and that we have the "freedom of speech," and even though advertising, in many cases, falls under the protected speech clause, there are many concepts that you just won't see in the US of A.
Why? A number of reasons.
|BFG 9000 Wins GoDaddy|
In case you haven't heard, the web domain giant GoDaddy.com has officially changed its agency relationship. The new reigns now belong to BFG 9000, who is taking over for Deutsch. It's been reported that the CMO of the company believes...
|Color and Decision-Making|
Can red really make us hungry or evoke passion? Does pink really calm people down? When you think green, do you think about being grounded, or about the Earth?
All of these questions are regularly entertained by product developers, brand managers, and marketers. Humans are visual creatures, so naturally what products look like...
|Are These Playful Ads Working?|
Humor is one of the most used elements in advertising. In many cases, it is hard to create a funny ad; you don't want to end up offending the audience you're targeting, but you desire to drive home a point. Coming off too slapstick could prove to be insulting your audience, and going too subtle or satirical...
|Can We Change Poor Habits?|
The goal for advertising, as we all know, is to inform, remind, and persuade specific audiences about the goods and services our brands provide in order to build a relationship and complete a transaction.
Good advertising sells products. Or, if we want to remove the word "sell"...
|Snickers, Bud Light Take On 'Bitegate'|
If you have been following the World Cup, you would have seen Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini. Unfortunately, this is the second time such base behavior has come from Suarez. FIFA is investigating the event, and many people are expecting Suarez to miss not only the rest of the World Cup but to receive a more serious sanction for club play, too.
|New Rule: Freelance Jobs Sites Need Curators|
We have all come to see that a freelancer position is not a bad thing; agencies love freelancers because when work gets a little heavy and they still cannot bring on someone full-time, a freelancer can help them carry on. Brands like it because it feels like using a mini-agency, with much less of the politics.
The actual freelancers, though, have it tough. Just recently, we were perusing some sites that regularly send things to our email, like Guru.com, E-Lance, and Mosaic...
|Wait a Sec...Human Behavior, Predicted?|
Social science has always received a downgrading from the "real" sciences out there — physics, math, geometry, etc. — because of the fact that behavior cannot always be precisely measured. No, a mind that deals with mathematics cannot create a formula that predicts the outcome of a civilization. Non-numerable things like living situations, dealings with outside peoples, and common diseases vs. common cures are all factors in how a civilization lives or dies. And forget about how a society co-exists; how norms are created, behaviors that are considered crimes, punishment vs. discipline, and rewards vs. spoils...
|Does Cannes Really Matter?|
So the Cannes Festival officially announced that WPP was the Holding Company of the Year, the fourth year in the row that Sorrell's monolith has won the award. It also won the Effie award for most effective (effie = effective) holding company in the world, the third time the agency has received that honor.
|Another Round of Acquisitions for Google and Twitter |
With the social media realm off its pedestal (or its throne of novelty), we communicators and analysts can take a step back and watch how these platforms and tools mature and adapt to new players and technology.
It seems that the first movers are quickly adopting the mantra of media holding companies...
|Donovan's EA Sports Ad Strikes True|
Landon Donovan got "snubbed" out of a roster spot for the USA Men's National Team. So what? The USMNT went on to grab three points by a great header off Brooks, and the team is steamrolling to a match against a battered and confused Portuguese team.
If you just understood any of that, it means that the USA, so far, is doing just fine without Donovan.
|The Value of Product Placement: Is It Measurable?|
Our industry is full of abbreviations: B2C, B2B, P2P, CMO, 4Ps, 4Cs, ZMOT, 3Ls, RFPs, RFIs, AOR, ECD, A2C, and the list goes on. But there is one abbreviation that has been tied on agency earnings more and more as of late, and we are sure it's getting on the last nerve of agency executives and creatives alike.
In business and actual investment...
|Apple and TBWA/MAL Splitting?|
Though change is uncommonly common in our industry, we are taken aback when something that we see as normal is disrupted. For good marketing strategy, the main ingredient that many corporate marketers seem to forget is consistency.
|Coca-Cola Life: Good Idea or Bad Idea?|
Coca-Cola is known throughout the marketing world as one of the brands that gets it right about 99% of the time. With over 100 years of marketing expertise behind the brand, the company started pulling heartstrings and created slice-of-life ads before those phrases were even a thing.
|Will Ending Net Neutrality Hurt Advertising?|
As the digital landscape continues to change, we as communicators must adapt to the new rules and norms of that environment. Unfortunately, since many of us are creatures of habit, when something new or threatening comes into a fold, we immediately greet it with animosity.
Enter ending net neutrality.
|Adidas' 'All In' Approach to the World Cup|
Adidas is going "All In" during the World Cup, and it is not simply asking its fans to do the same.
Adidas is demanding them. All or nothing.
This is a very interesting approach to consumer engagement, and what a wonderful time like the World Cup to try it out.
Adidas is first launching a contest for social media people to ask questions to famous football (soccer) stars on Google+ Hangouts and YouTube Live, hoping to capture those who follow the Adidas-sponsored teams on multiple screens.
|What is ZMOT, Anyway?|
Our industry is full of prolific word-creators. Book after book, article after article, we see new words and abbreviations that deal with specific elements of marketing and advertising. Our colleagues attempt to answer questions through no already-created philosophy or concept, but a unique, new one...
|How The BCG Matrix Helps Advertising|
It is clear that not many professionals in the advertising community are very well-versed in business theory. That fact has its advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is that it allows creatives to think openly about any possibility without being reined in by their fleeting college memories about "diminishing returns" and other Debbie Downer talk.
Dream, you creatives, dream!
|Sexy Ads Will Continue Until Intelligence Improves|
Sex and sexism in advertising have always been a hot topic. Yes, when we see men and women in racy photos or ads (but mostly the women in ads create the outcry) we hear advocates and consumer groups picking up their pitchforks...
|What If...the World Cup is a Mess?|
When a brand ties itself to an event or experience, it is telling consumers that the brand not only wants to be part of the interaction, but the overall outcome is reflected based on the brand's participation.
Previous studies have proven that football games that are close and exciting had better ad recall from consumers versus games that were blowouts. In terms of experiences, the more exhilarating the experience, the better brand recall consumers had. If the consumer enjoys it, the consumer remembers it.
|Is it Possible to Close the 'Gender Gap'?|
Our industry, though fun and essential for business, has its issues. AdLand is far from perfect. But one of the most prevailing issues in our environment is that of recruitment and advancement of women in the workplace.
Can more women get to the top of the food chain?
|Coke: Get A Bottle, Find a Friend|
Today's age is full of digital interaction. It is much easier now for people to ignore the "now" in front them and engulf themselves in the digital world at one's fingertips. Social networks, videos, shows, and other content bombard the senses.
People will look, watch, or browse anything...
|The Size of Your Package Matters|
Amongst consumer behavior researchers, a common thought is that consumers are great at comparison and awful at the abstract. Consumers can make decisions, and good decisions, when products within the same realm are being compared.
For example, a consumer can tell which grape they like the most, but the decision could get more difficult if they are asked...
|Mobile Magic: A Book Review|
We had the pleasure of being asked to review Tom Eslinger's Mobile Magic: The Saatchi & Saatchi Guide to Mobile Marketing to help our readers either decide to get the book, or to glean certain bits of information that we thought was beneficial.
Mr. Eslinger is Saatchi's Worldwide Director of Digital and Social, so if anyone had the credentials to write this kind of book, he would. As fans of the study of rhetoric and persuasion, we enjoyed the very beginning of the book. Eslinger described how he was on the forefront of the whole digital and mobile movement with clients in New Zealand, years before the American industry started to take it seriously.
If anyone studied Aristotle's Rhetoric, one would know that ethos...
|Jargon of the Day: Eventising|
Eventising (verb): the act of turning a television broadcast, whether it is cable or network, live or recorded, into an event that the consumer will be convinced to watch upon its initial airing.
Ah, yes. Wordsmiths are never done adding to our marketing dictionary.
This is a revelation that we wrote about once before; that the best advertising rates and returns seem to happen...
|Big Data Aids Discrimination? Uh...Duh?|
As big data's popularity dwindles from novelty to commonplace, the aftereffects of it are coming to the foreground.
We wouldn't quite say hidden aftereffects, but maybe underestimations would be a better word.
After all, data was intended to make the decision of buying a certain good or service easier for consumers, since, historically speaking, consumers hate choice.
|Advertising that Aids|
Whether or not the feeling is justified, people have a love/hate relationship with advertising. Indeed, the loudest ones are the people who hate it.
Why? Several reasons. The simple notion is that they believe marketers have the power to manipulate them into buying something.
|PsychoDog: Shoes for Dogs|
If you have ever owned a young, new puppy, then you are aware of the groans and moans that are associated with raising and training the puppy to be the dog you hope it will be.
Sometimes our dreams are too ambitious.
You know the scene. You come home from work, or being out for an extended amount of time, and your loving, furry companion, who usually meets you at the door, is nowhere to be found.
|The Barbie Project|
The newest thought in today's society is that everything we are exposed to needs to reflect what we think, need, breathe, and trade. Our society has become so fragmented, so pigeonholed, that many people are not able to easily listen to the other side's position without getting turned off.
|Lyft Introduces 'Plus'|
As many of you may know already, car companies are not happy with the younger generations. Our brethren are resembling more of our grandparents and great-grandparents than our parents. We are trying to tighten up our spending, sharing what we can, and eliminating whatever we deem “unnecessary.”
|'Be Your Way,' Says Burger King|
Not too many things these days can last for 40 years. A car can barely last 10 years now. People in our generation, Generation Y, has an average job stay of two years. The average employee now will have a stint at nearly eight different companies.
Processes change, too. First, airlines allowed baggage without a fee. Now, it is a surprise when you don't get charged.
And now, the death of the tagline. First, the national "Got Milk" campaign (yes, we know they kept it regional)...
|Retired BBDO Boss Talks Advertising|
The more lessons we learn from the past, the less likely we are to repeat the mistakes. At least, that's the idea.
As the leaders who built today's advertising landscape retire, they continue to provide us with perspectives built upon decades of work, relationships, and experiences.
Allen Rosenshine, retired CEO of BBDO, is no exception.
|Seize the Opportunity|
One of our students presented to the class about how a young girl took initiative and a school assignment seriously, and ended up changing the way a business operates.
In Britain, a 10-year old girl was given the school assignment to write a formal letter to a business or organization of her choice.
|The Quest for (re)Invention|
The advertising community has gotten quite bored with its creative powers, yes? So much so, our colleagues are relying on tactics like prankvertising, crowdsourcing, and other meaningless, short-term promotions.
We yearn for the meaningful, yet our budgets and our clients are dictating the "right now."
What a bummer.
Yes, a survey just came out in the UK saying that three out of every four marketers believe that in an environment like ours, one that is so heavy on digital, they need to "reinvent" themselves.
|Don't Believe the Hype: Omnicom, Publicis Merger Fails|
The entire communications industry was on pins and needles, waiting on bated breath to see how our economic environment would change with the monolith known as the Publicis Omnicom Group. Analysts were calling for the demise of many small agencies, practitioners probably started looking for new jobs, agencies owned by the groups were placing bets on which ones would get their walking papers first.
And then the anti-climax: the merger falls through.
|Who Needs Who: Apple or Beats?|
Being in a classroom setting now, we are amazed to see the saturation of Apple products. The kids love them, not for any particular reason, but because everyone else has an iPhone.
High school social proof, then, would dictate that if you don't have an iPhone, you might as well be homeschooled.
When we go over technological advances, two to three kids always bring up Apple. When we talk sleek design, someone says Apple.
|Vibram's False Advertising is Costly|
The fitness industry has seen a major boost in revenue during the past several years. Yes, due to the obesity problem in the U.S., along with the Millennial generation putting off activities like marriage and kids, more people are making time to add fitness routines into their daily regimen. One company that took advantage of that was Vibram. Vibram is the shoe company that introduced the nation to Five Fingers...
|A Campaign to 'Snip the Tip'?|
It is amazing how messages can affect different populations. To be successful in advocating change, the wordsmiths must craft messages in a way that not only seems welcoming, but obvious.
Such is the story of the campaign for circumcision in Africa.
|Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game|
It is disappointing to read and listen to smart people bash advertising. It is even discouraging when they even know that advertising is not the culprit, and fail to publicly acknowledge the fact.
Example: an "artist" overseas is making waves because he takes ads off the street to deface them, and then places the ads back where they belong. He believes that he is sending a message that there are too many ads in public areas, so he regraces the locations with grotesque representations.
|SmallBiz Land, AdLand is Here to Help|
Small businesses are slowly gaining more momentum as people continue to feel out the new economy the U.S. is trying to build. Investment in some areas are growing, and the recent job report displayed a shrinking unemployment rate.
Doesn't sound too bad.
What does sound bad is the way small businesses still receive advertising. According to Sage's Small Business Advertising Survey, a surprising 67% of small businesses...
|Will Google Preferred Help Advertisers?|
The digital ad scene is changing quickly. The big players are still trying to hang on to their market share, while small and new ones are biting at their heels.
|Hegarty On Creativity|
If you are a regular reader of our postings, you will already know that we are quite the fans of the "oldheads" of advertising.
Ogilvy. Bernbach. Burnett. Reeves (recently). Goodby.
Today, we watched a short video on John Hegarty of BBH, and we were impressed.
|Lambrini Ad Banned? For What?|
Let us preface with the fact the we understand that the U.K. is struggling with an alcohol issue in its society. We can only admire a country that actually decides to face issues dead on, without making excuses of "freedom" or "individualism."
But there's a limit. There is an alcoholic drink called Lambrini, and its target market...
|Can AOL's New LineUp Bring in the Ad Money?|
Digital Content is quickly becoming not just a nuisance for traditional TV and programming, but a solid competitor for dollars. And for the latter half of 2014 with AOL's latest original content lineup...
|Are We Heeding the Call About Moms?|
When marketers talk about engaging the consumer, they are focusing on the people who make the primary decision to buy the good or service the marketer represents. Though influencers and gatekeepers do fall within the mix, we primarily want the attention of the person who will open the wallet to spend.
Or, in most cases, the purse.
Yes, moms are the elusive market that marketers day in and day out seem to miss. One moment a brand thinks they nailed it; the next moment their site and storefront are empty...
|Aberdeen's Report on the 'Voice of the Consumer'|
Prepare to be amazed. It turns out that engaged consumers expect products and services to be delivered when they want, through the channel they want.
The Aberdeen Group released its Voice of the Consumer report about a year ago and along with the obvious takeaways, the report did shed some light on the discrepancy between the businesses doing well with customer engagement management (CEM) and those that are not.
We realize that this report is a bit older than the ones we usually cover...
|On Social Proof|
Enough research has been done not just to suggest, but to determine that our overall consumer population would be unable to accurately describe why they made a certain decision.
Either their brain tries to reconcile the purchase so it doesn't have to feel disappointing, or we want to feel like we used our conscious mind, though the unconscious probably did most of the heavy lifting.
Being an observer — a people watcher — is hilarious. One of the major activities people fall victim to is the idea of social proofing...
|We Shouldn't Need to 'Skip' Real Ads|
Our cities and skies are adorned by the latest advertising posters, billboards, and car panels. Airplanes streak the sky with banners, and blinking lights brighten the night, letting you know that you should probably wear Kenneth Cole if you want to be the man we all know you want to be.
Yes, we'd be the first to agree that OOH advertising has gotten a little carried away.
|Turn Good Customer Service into Good Advertising|
It is very interesting to see when our fellow advertising and marketing professionals fail to see the inherent connection between customer service and advertising.
As an educator, we find it hard to believe that our very students do not think of customer service as part of the marketing spectrum.
Well, it is. And customer service is what wins customers...
|America's Brand Identity Problem|
It isn't a surprise that America is having issues trying to position itself.
Remember the initiative, The Brand USA? It seems that though the USA is pouring money into portraying its brand to the world, it struggles...
|AdLand and Speed Bumps|
Many of us have a love/hate relationship with speed bumps. It's only natural, for speed bumps are only good for us when they work in our favor. We hate them when they slow us down, but love them when they prevent an accident, or stop the jerk in our neighborhood from doing 50mph down the street where you and your dog walk.
|Leave the Parenting to AdLand: A Modest Proposal|
Consumer advocacy groups and AdLand executives have been at serious odds about advertising and how it affects young minds. Young minds as in youth, not in simplicity.
Though, at times, we wonder.
Since no real solution has come yet about advertising to the youth and children, we have decided to throw an idea out there. Leave your kids in front of all types of media, and leave the parenting to our industry.
|The Business of Beauty|
There has been much noise created about the latest Dove video about the "patches."
The critics suggest that the campaign is demeaning to women because the video tricks the women and refuses to highlight the fact that Dove, owned by Unilever, is trying to sell a product.
|Adidas, Chelsea FC Launch|
Although soccer is growing in the United States, nothing the U.S. has comes close to the type of loyalty and fanfare of international, top-tier soccer. For example, the Chelsea Football Club, a team formed in 1905, have people who love them, and people who cannot stand the sight of them.
|Why Google Glass is Public for a Day|
In case you haven't heard, Google is expanding its Explorer program to the United States public for only one day, starting on Tuesday, April 15, at 9 a.m.
This kind of "limited quantity" tactic (in sales academia, the "standing room only" closing method) is used for a number of reasons.
|Attend Your Own Funeral?|
The regular PSA about speeding clearly isn't working. Thousands of people speed, every day. How can an organization change the way people operate?
If speeding is a habit, then it would be very hard to force people to stop. Consumers hate change, especially if it means that they have to curb their actions. Though change is tough, it is not impossible.
|45 Ads, But a Single Message|
When trying to prove that one's product or service works, a common strategy is to show it in action. If a consumer can see that a person like them can use the product, and would gain satisfaction from it, they are more likely to consider it.
|Have An Opinion: A Playground Pep Talk|
Our social fabric has become like a sea of eggshells. If anyone says anything that can be construed as "offensive," someone is quick to raise the red flag and call to arms everyone who has be ability to complain. And on the flipside, businesses and brands, who have become so sensitive to the negative light...
|Pittsburgh Tackling AdLand Diversity in High School|
If someone told us that the frontier of outreach for agency diversity in advertising would engulf Pittsburgh, we laugh our faces off.
Indeed, though Pittsburgh is diverse in many aspects, it lacks that diversity in advertising.
Though, we are happy to say, when we were in high school, Pittsburgh's Mullen branch offered an apprenticeship program...
|Practice Makes Perfect|
A few posts ago, we said that we would look at the academic and professional sides of the marketing industry. Our first post detailed our appreciation for the academics of the industry.
This post is to showcase why our industry folks believe that their side is the best.
|Removing the Pain of Paying|
As we have talked about before, consumers are traditionally risk-averse. We would almost always refrain from losing what we have, versus risking a little to get more.
|Must We Protect the Consumer?|
"Above all else, do no harm."
Very interesting philosophy. We have mentioned this before, but conversation around the industries — mostly marketing and technology — continue about the use of information and consumer privacy. It leads us to question: in a supposedly free market, must the players within it gird themselves with self-regulation? Or, can the free market philosophy run its course, and those businesses whom the customers appreciate the most, survive?
|Theory Can Be Good, Too|
We, as many of you surely have, have listened, watched, or even participated in debates and discussions about the disconnect between marketing academia and marketing professionals.
What many of our up-and-coming professionals learn in the classroom is often quite different in the workplace. And vice versa; we don't often run into the marketing research strategies and tactics...
|It's the Experience, Not the Time|
Brick-and-mortar businesses are having a tough time. Yes, according to several recent reports, consumer foot traffic has been decreasing gradually for several years. Unless a change is made, many businesses without a strong web presence will have to face some difficult decisions.
So what is a store to do?
|Bigger Nets Aren't Always Better |
Imagine being a fisherman. Your goal is to catch as many fish as possible. You have a decision to make; do you use bigger nets, or do you pick the best location — the location you know where the most fish may be?
The question posed above is the same question marketers and advertisers ask themselves every day. When do we use multiple advertising channels (nets) versus spending time and energy finding and targeting our audiences?
In our humble opinion, it seems easier to cast bigger nets. In the digital advertising landscape, and even for TV...
|We Mock, Yet We Stand Still: The Generic Brand Video|
Listen, we are down for some parody and mockery from time to time. Especially when it comes to self-deprecating humor, or a satirical perspective about the industry or society we regularly engage in.
But sometimes a little more is required.
The "This is a Generic Brand Video" video has hit almost every major...
|Why Have Water When You Can Have Twinings?|
Plain old water isn't fun. No one creates experiences with water. There's no such thing as "water time," where people take time out of the day to get together to drink water and discuss each other's day. There's no such thing as "sweet water" and "unsweetened water," though asking for one of those options would be hilarious to do.
Tea, on the hand, has quite the contrary reputation.
|Equal PayDay Misses the Mark |
There are very few ad campaigns that force us to have an actual opinion. We love the many perspectives all the ad campaigns we see show us, even those that we are unfamiliar with. But the series of ads that Belgian company Equal PayDay is showing are lost on us.
Before you watch the videos below, AdWeek did a nice write-up on these ads. We would agree; these ads, though seemingly blatantly racist, are harmless at most. But if we all consider the goal the company is aiming for...
|Who is in Charge of Innovation?|
We humans are creatures of habit and advocates of order. Our bodies are symmetrical, and our eyes enjoy seeing things in pairs and patterns. We like experiences that we can rationalize and define.
Hence, we do the ironic — try to create a process for innovation. We humans are creatures of habit and advocates of order. Our bodies are symmetrical, and our eyes enjoy seeing things in pairs and patterns. We like experiences that we can rationalize and define.
Hence, we do the ironic — try to create a process for innovation.
A conversation we heard involved investors and researchers talking about who...
|Subliminal Advertising: More Than Myth?|
It is true that marketing and advertising have a phenomenal impact on the decisions that consumers make. Yes, brands that advertise usually do better with consumers than those who don't.
And studies show that consumers don't hate advertising, either. In fact, consumers enjoy seeing the information...
|Let Marketing Madness Begin!|
March Madness has officially begun! And already, brackets are being busted. By the time we are writing this post, only 3.7% of all the brackets on ESPN's Tournament Challenge are perfect.
Looks like your $1 Billion dollars may be safe, Mr. Buffett.
Yes, the March Madness tournament can be an exciting time for many...
|Can AdLand Break into VR Gaming?|
If you have been following the news out of the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), you probably already know what we're about to discuss. For the many other readers, the fact is that virtual reality (VR) gaming is nearly a possibility for the mass market.
|International Branding of Baseball|
This past summer saw arguably the most successful World Baseball Classic yet. The tournament had great games, and the country teams were able to field players everyone wanted to watch. MLB and other baseball organizations must have been proud.
Proud enough, too, to start pushing towards new pursuits.
|Of Brands and Politics|
We thoroughly appreciate the title of this blog, "Beyond Madison Avenue," because it allows us to deviate from pure creative and advertising posts. It allows us to provide an all-encompassing view of our advertising landscape. It is issues like these — sponsors and politics — that fall into the "beyond" category.
Yet, not so much. We'll explain.
If you haven't heard it by now, for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston, Guinness, Heineken, and several other companies withdrew from the parade. Why? Because the parade managers decided to ban any LGBT-friendly flags or displays.
So during a parade that honors Irish heritage, Guinness was not present. Interesting.
Herein lies the question — when do politics or social issues supersede the brand?
|Hey, Marketers: Easy on the Love Stuff|
It is true that most consumers desire interaction with each other. We generally like being associated with friends, families, loved ones, and the like. As marketing professionals, we try to use those relationships to our advantage. We portray relationships in advertisements, brochures, videos, pictures, and many other creative pieces in order to capture the imagination and influence consumers. We want the consumer to picture having their own relationship interacting with the brand or product that we are displaying.
|Kang Turns Photo Hype Into a Brand|
In case you haven't heard, moms, strong is the new skinny.
Maria Kang, the motherly social media fitness bombshell, decided to feed off of her critics and take another step: NoExcuseMoms.com. The website is a fitness site geared towards moms wanting to get fit. It even hosts pictures of real moms making effort and progress in creating a better them.
Of course, when it comes to proclaiming that people — yes, even moms — can be healthier, outcry ensues.
We all saw this is first time around, when Maria Kang posed with her three boys under the title "What's Your Excuse?", relating the fact that a mom of three can still do what she needs to get done in order to stay fit. Some felt that she was "fat-shaming" and casting negativity on downtrodden moms. Thankfully, more felt Kang was attempting to empower and encourage mothers...
|Does Adland's Future Contain Empathy?|
People are designed to be social creatures. We thrive when we have people around. When people live near other people, amazing things like communities, norms, and cities happen. Commerce happens.
|Mission Possible: Recruit Good Talent|
Like agencies need to give a good, creative message to businesses in order to get retained, agencies also need to put forth solid effort in order to attract, recruit, and retain good talent. Though technology is big in marketing and advertising, our industry is still a people and idea industry.
|Is 'Real-Time Marketing' Good for Customers?|
Unfortunately we are not privy to the conversations going on right now at SXSW. But most of the conversation is most likely circling around digital and real-time marketing (RTM).
In our classes, we had the opportunity to talk about RTM and delayed gratification — when a consumer holds off on receiving an immediate reward for the opportunity of getting something equal or greater.
|Kenneth Cole Launches Google Glass Campaign|
SXSW is well on its way, and brands are showcasing how they are getting more and more interactive.
And though we aren't sure if Kenneth Cole is present at SXSW, it is certainly flexing its digital muscle.
Kenneth Cole is launching its "Man Up for Mankind" campaign. It is using Google Glass as an integral part of the campaign. The goal? Men have to do one act of kindness, once a day, for 21 days. The men taking part in the campaign must be documenting their process on Google Glass.
Creative, huh? The folks at PSFK believe that Cole...
|How Much of the Youth has Reebok Lost?|
Several of our marketing colleagues questioned our opting for the public classroom. Not only is the pay worse than an account executive at an agency, but you are expected to do even more with less.
|Samsung: Own Up to Your Success|
The technology company Samsung is in the limelight due to the most retweeted selfie of all time. Closing in on 4 million retweets, and gaining nearly 1.2 million in a matter of hours, the tweet had Ellen and a bunch of Hollywood stars taking a photo. And naturally, it was clear that Ellen was using a Samsung Galaxy S3.
|Game Theory and Advertising...Why?|
The ultimate goal of advertising is to convince the consumer that our brand's product will satisfy whatever want or need they are trying to fulfill. We match their interests with our product's features, and we overcome objections in order to close a sale.
In a sense, are we not trying to influence the consumer's best action considering the options around them?
|An Exodus at Havas?|
It was late in 2013 when we covered David Jones leaving his post at Havas, one of the world's leading media holding companies, in order to co-found a smaller, more nimble startup.
Well, it seems that Mr. Jones was the beginning of a trend.
Yes, along with several senior exits due to Havas Media Group consolidating several of its bigger branches, two big names of the group are leaving. First, Campaign Live announced the departure of Havas Media's Kelly Parker...
|Talk Like Society Talks|
As communicators, the written and spoken word carries more power for us than for many other professionals. We use words to create emotion, call consumers to action, foster loyalty, and enrich competition.
We want to use words and phrases that people — our audience — will understand. In some cases, that means going against some basic rules of grammar.
|It's Okay to be Uncomfortable|
Imagine you are a public speaker. You are invited to speak at a gathering where the participants are anxiously waiting to listen and write down every word you have to say. The person who booked you pays you good money and expects you to deliver. Nervous? Probably. Every time a marketer puts forth information, they are performing as if they were a public speaker. We are paid to present messages to the publics we serve. And yes, it's okay to be nervous. It is okay to be uncomfortable.
|AdLand: Unnecessary Barriers? |
Our industry is constantly trying to reform its job issue. Questions about retaining talent, compensation, CMO tenure, fair practices, diversity, and ageism are brought up time and time again.
But that's not all. Because the industry is smaller than many others, the opportunity to land a spot in advertising is pretty small.
But is it necessary?
A contributor to the Agency Post raised that question. His argument was an interesting one.
|No, We Can't Rely on What the Consumer Thinks|
We have written several times throughout the past years about the distrust we have about the decisions that consumers make. Yes, more often than not, people make mistakes about what they thought they were feeling, what they wanted, and more importantly, trying to understand why they thought they wanted a certain product.
As many behavioral economists and scientists have witnessed, people are incredibly difficult to understand.
We were given a prompt from a book about how people thought of a man described as quiet and studious, who kept to himself, and was overall a smart person. In the prompt, the reader had to choose if the gentleman ...
So news just came out that Floyd "Money" Mayweather just chose his contender for his next title match.
It got us thinking — the champion gets to choose their opponent? Must be nice. We then thought about the marketing industry and the "champion" brands — P&G, Coca-Cola, Unilever, etc. and how those brands have tried to mold the advertising world to their bidding.
Longer periods for payments. Spec-work. Lack off compensation for bid work. What about those contenders?
These brands don't get the opportunity to set the rules. These brands look to challenge the brands in the limelight.
|Isn't 'Content Marketing' Still 'Marketing'?|
We can all agree that there is more bad advertising and marketing than good out in our society.
Bad marketing is cheap. Bad marketing is easy. It is much easier to create an untested, unreliable ad, or create an insert for 40,000 households for less than a cent per copy, than to spend money beforehand to test and target.
|Is the White Paper Overused?|
The white paper — the piece we professionals push out into the industry and beyond to prove that we have the brains that back up our guts to ask for business.
The white paper falls into that category everyone has — you sort of like them, especially when they are done well and are useful, but you cannot stand a sloppy or unnecessary creation.
We share that same sentiment. We've written white papers for clients, read several for professional gain, and even created one or two of our own. But when is enough, enough?
In the age of "content is king," activities like search engine optimization and "content marketing"...
|Smart Ad for a Smart Series|
It is always refreshing to see either a really well-done advertising spot, or an ad that highlights something people should be wary of.
And it is a treat to see an ad that fits in both categories.
The ad below is from National Geographic. It is rolling out a series of preview/teaser ads about its latest edition on its network.
The company is highlighting quality programming that is also supposed to work your brain.
Because, as the spot says, "[our] brain is bored."
|Do You Keep Learning?|
Earlier we posted a story about a study done by Social Media Marketing University (SMMU). As educators, we now constantly look for new ways to present, interpret, and gather information for our students.
So we want to know: do you still learn?
Hopefully the answer isn't "no." The marketing and advertising industry is changing so rapidly.
|Customer Service: A Need for Good Brands|
Imagine a time when you walked up to a counter at the coffee shop. You just purchased a latte, but didn't receive the whipped cream that you wanted. You waved a barista over to voice your concern. Naturally, you would expect them to not only answer your concern, but also to fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
But they didn't.
During our marketing class, we like to go over what marketing is, and what it isn't. There are many misconceptions out there about the world of marketing and advertising that are more popular than the reality.
So it goes.
The misconceptions we usually tackle are: 1. Marketing = advertising. 2. Marketing is evil. 3. Marketing is expensive.
Now, as seasoned professionals (as many of you are), we can skip the first two.
|The Agency Marketplace is Heating Up|
One cannot browse through industry news without seeing accounts being dropped and getting picked up. When last year, all we heard was the future of agency being dim, the beginning of 2014 is proving the contrary.
And that's a good thing.
Lots of interesting stuff is going on. One agency created the "One Hour Agency," where they guarantee quality creative ideas in 60 minutes.
Probably one of the more expensive hours a brand will pay for. But if it works, it works.
BBDO is on a bidding spree; the agency has four final presentations in the next couple of weeks, and if they land all them, the total combined spending is near $25 million dollars.
|NC Launches a Branding Campaign|
Within the Union, if any state has been suffering public relations issues, look no farther than our own North Carolina. The state's constitutional amendment against gays, laws against women's right to choose, a failure to pay teachers a decent wage, and not to mention a failure of the Panthers to show up against the 49ers.
North Carolina needs some help.
What does a company do when it is going in a new direction? It rebrands.
There is never a time we — humans — do something without a reason.
Whether we are conscious of the reason or not, there is something in us that drives us to want something, take something, leave something, or act upon something. The key for us marketers is to find out what the driving motive is...
|Coke vs. Sodastream: Begin!|
A few years ago, Sodastream, a DIY carbonated beverage company, decided to take out a Super Bowl commercial, introducing itself to the American and International public. Sodastream thus far has been pretty successful. Though it is not an everyday name we hear, it has certainly found its way into a large amount of households.
But it seems that the honeymoon period is over. Coca-Cola has just announced that it is investing $1.25 billion dollars...
|What's Wrong with Sponsors?|
The beauty of marketing is that it can extend its reach throughout many parts of our society. It can improve our quality of life, and balance the costs that we see.
But is that a bad thing?
The Consumerist recently ran an article that revealed that less than a third of baseball stadiums were without a corporate sponsor.
|Is This a Good Time to Talk About Blacks in Advertising?|
It's Black History Month. If not now, then when?
We are in the second month of the new year, and we are steadily seeing change in the advertising industry. Mergers and acquisitions, indie shops closing, brands shifting and consolidating their agency rosters, and one extremely mellow Super Bowl ad stream.
|Old Advertising: The Unique Sales Proposition|
One of the lesser-known advertising greats, Rosser Reeves, was known to pioneer what is known as the "Unique Sales Proposition (USP)."
The USP was, according to Reeves, the only thing that set apart a product from another product, and the only thing consumers cared about.
Today, the USP has turned into "unique selling points" and the idea of competitive advantage. Reeves believed that ad campaigns didn't need to change...
|...But Does it Sell?|
The national day of advertising is over. The advertising industry is weighing in on its likes and dislikes, and wins and misses (us included), and of course, opinions differ.
Who told the best story? Which brand generated the most social media feedback? Was there any controversy?
Are those questions really important? When we look at an advertisement, we look at two things: 1) is the brand the focal point? and 2) does it send a message...
|Super Bowl 2014: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Ads, Mo’ of the Same|
It turns out that defense can certainly still win championships. The historically good Seahawk defense stifled the record-breaking Bronco offense to transform a game of historic proportions to a blowout.
| Never Burn a Bridge|
We've been doing research on several advertising greats lately for a possible future project, and we ran into an interesting tale between two big personalities.
The situation was between a retiring legend, and — though we may be getting ahead of ourselves — a future legend of our industry.
|Why Do Consumers 'Love' Brands, Anyway?|
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, the Sochi Winter Olympics following short behind, and the World Cup lurking in the distance, we get to see how people are clinging to or avoiding connecting to certain brands, countries, and teams.
Some are expressing fervor for the Seahawks, others for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. A multitude of sports fans are bummed that Vonn must sit out of these Olympics, not being able to represent America.
And how about the World Cup draw our men's National Team received? Ouch. It has the possibility of being tough to watch.
|Be Careful with Hype|
Hype is a dangerous tool that marketers and our media cousins like to use way too often, way too quickly. It is important to use such tools at the right time, or face customers who may not be too happy.
The mot-hyped event right now is the Super Bowl. Two good teams. A great offense versus a great defense. A legendary quarterback versus the "Legion of Boom."
Truly, it does match up to be a good game.
And the advertising component is equally as hyped up: $4 mil per 30 seconds.
|Is 'Fake Supply' a Bad Thing?|
The way marketing and advertising affect the business environment is truly fascinating. That's why we appreciate those professionals who have a wide array of business knowledge; they know the effects certain marketing activities may cause. As marketing and advertising are elements of the language of business, it should be deemed worthwhile...
|Where's the Next '1984'?|
This past weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the release of the Mac and the famous '1984' ad.
The ad that changed how advertising people thought about advertising.
It was a production. It was poignant. It targeted competition. It represented the freedom of information and a product.
To be sure, it was a good spot. And it has every right to be heralded as such.
But let's move forward. Will there be another spot that captures consumer attention like that?
Better yet, is there a product on the way that will demand that kind of shift in thinking? We are of the mindset that great advertising is only the byproduct of a great product.
|Did Marketers Hit the Mark in 2013? Nope.|
It was the year of social, information, and mobile, and the marketing community took to it by storm.
So marketers had to have been successful, right?
Well, not so much. According to the Fournaise Marketing Group, a group that compiled information from over 1,200 chief executives and marketing brand managers across the globe, 70% of them stated that the marketing campaigns they implemented did not realize the intended goals. No increased sales. No increased market share.
|Pinterest to Start Selling Advertising|
The technologists got a lot of things right. More activities should be streamlined. More people should be interconnected. It feels good to share and relate with a community of like-minded people.
But what many techies neglect is how to generate revenue. Nearly all of them — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat — all built killer systems without thinking about making revenue.
It's not a bad thing, but it is definitely something to consider; all those networks that once shunned advertising...
|Brands That Get It: You Don't Need Everyone|
One of the most frustrating moments when working with businesses and brands is when you ask them to specifically state who is in its target market.
"Everyone will want what we offer."
One thing, when you hear that, is clear: the people believe in what they are doing. The passion is in the right place, but it is fogging up their logical faculties.
|A Brand Has Moving Parts|
Whether it is an international business or a world-renowned sports franchise, all must be on the same page when money is at stake.
The Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion (WBA) team has to learn that fact the hard way.
|The Creative Minority|
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been quoted saying "almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better." What an interesting phrase.
Dr. King Jr's context was built around social justice, and social change. Ghandi's peaceful movement in India...
|How to Retain Talent: Keep Them Busy|
The advertising business needs good people.
AdLand needs creative, ambitious, and inquisitive minds in order to craft messages that relate to customers on behalf of the brands we serve. But as history has taught us, these minds, as bright as they may be, need more than one outlet in order to be satisfied. Advertising and marketing professionals are routinely pegged...
|Why Do We Love Initials?|
When one looks around and sees different advertising and marketing agencies, you can see something very clear: our group likes initials.
W+K. MS&L. GS&P. IPG. WPP. GH. BBDO. JWT. BFG9000. CP+B. DDB.
Just to name a few. Now, news has come out that DraftFCB is thinking of dropping "Draft" from the name.
Why the love for initials?
We believe that there are several reasons why initials are growing in popularity. First, in many cases, the initials of a company are easier...
|What Does an 'Open Internet' Mean for Advertising?|
Long live Net Neutrality! At least for now.
In case you missed it, a federal appeals court claimed that the FCC overstepped its boundaries when establishing what we know as "Net Neutrality" because the agency does not deem Internet service providers (ISPs) as common carriers (telephone companies)...
|Who's Afraid of Standards?|
In our school, semester classes have ended. That means one thing: final exams.
Yes, the time has now arrived to prove that you know what you are supposed to know. It is during that time we all see that not all students are created equal. And that's okay.
|Why AdLand Loves Live TV|
That phrase may not mean much to the average consumer, but in the age of reality TV, rising costs of television shows, and the rise of original series on streaming sites, "DVR-proof" events are quickly becoming an advertiser's best friend.
Live TV is expensive and often unpredictable. But the ad dollars and ratings don't lie; people love live TV.
According to the numbers, sports (and in particular, Sunday Night Football) still reign supreme in terms of catching eyeballs.
|Free Fitness Programs + Ads = Win|
The "new year, new you" concept engulfs a multitude of people every single year. People look for ways to better their diets, improve sleep, change bad habits, and pick up good habits.
One of those good habits is hitting up the gym. Not to get "swoll" for most folks, but to lose weight, or to lay the foundation of a healthier lifestyle.
But gym memberships and personal trainers can be expensive. What is a person to do?
Advertising, the sugar daddy for freeloaders...
|David Jones Leaves Havas for Startup|
One thing that AdLand has no shortage of is thought leaders. But what about those movers and shakers who actually are in the midst of changing the way our industry works?
We thoroughly enjoy reading and watching those leaders who talk and act in real ways...
|In the Business of Influence|
Being an advertising and marketing professional comes with weighty responsibility. Not only are we supposed to link businesses with consumers whose lives can benefit from patronizing the brand we serve, but we must influence society about things it may or may not be thinking about.
"The sole purpose of business is service..."
|Keeping Your Phone on During a Movie?|
There are few places where consumer can get away in order to be totally immersed in something; one is the movie theater. Yes, at the movies, consumers are ordered to keep their cell phones...
|Why Does CES Matter to AdLand?|
In the past ten years, we have seen the convergence of the creatives and writers in AdLand, and the technologists and startup entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. The partnership comes to life when we see all the big wigs and news chasers at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES).
|Things to Consider in 2014: Associations|
We are just a few days into the new year, and agencies and brands are looking for ways and techniques to start the year off right. We are sure many of you have combed lists of "technology to watch for" and other "hottest trends," but we wanted to bring attention to some activities you previously may not have thought about.
|Dare Launches "Dirty Blood" Anti-Smoking Campaign|
The new year is usually paired with ideas of doing something better. People look at it as a chance to start over, or change their ways.
|What Have We Learned?|
At the end of a course, session, lecture, semester, or year, every person should take some time to reflect on their journey.
|Exxon Educates Americans About Energy|
One of the more interesting industries in the United States is the energy sector. The energy sector is home to hundreds of thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars. And it is changing.
|The Push for Consumer Confidence|
As many of you are aware, there are many times in our industry when we face crossing or not crossing ethical boundaries. Yes, if we remember our philosophy teachings, what can be considered legal could also be considered unethical.
|How Will 2014 Start for AdLand?|
The advertising landscape has seen some pretty big moves in 2013. Mergers, acquisitions, shops closing up shop, and the agency/client relationship seeing better days. Earlier this month Unilever announced that it is cutting 800 marketing positions and slimming down its agency roster.
And it seems that 2013 was only the beginning. So how will 2014 start?
|Coke Highlights 'Hope' for the World Cup|
Every four years it seems the world stage pauses for 30 days.
And we are not talking about the Olympics.
The 2014 World Cup has the world brimming with anticipation. The cup has new arrivals, it's being played in a new venue, and the former unbeatables have rust forming on their armor.
|Gamifying Marketing Education|
After spending almost an entire semester teaching a marketing course to high school students, there are certain noticeable trends.
First, the younger generation, either the tail-end of the Millennials or the generation immediately after, are no fans of Facebook.
|Dear America: You're Welcome. Love, AdLand|
Greetings, America. It looks like the country owes AdLand a nice, hearty thank you for keeping the economy moving.
Yes, only a few days ago, we covered how our friends across the pond were showing their government the impact advertising and marketing has had on the UK economy. It seems that our government beat our AdLand to the punch.
|Pride Slows Complaints|
No matter how technologically advanced the advertising community gets, nothing will trump the recommendations and referrals people get from other people. Word of mouth is the ultimate weapon — a weapon that has never had to evolve. People will always gather in a group of friends, family, or colleagues and will share their experiences.
|Science and Creativity: Complements, Not Opposites|
As technology continues to pour into the advertising world, it is easy to see where conflict may arise. Our advertising world is full of creatives; those who believe the thought, the concept, should always be the focus (either for, or even to the detriment of the product). As the C-Suite demanded more data and ROI and tracking and marketing departments and digital agencies blindly obeyed...
|Fight the #FatTalk|
It is fascinating to watch a culture, subgroup, or section of society grow into their own. In the U.S., we have seen it with the Irish, the Blacks, the young, the old, the political, the free spirited, the gay, and now — the women.
Women in the United States have seen their role change in American life since the late 1930s, when many men were pulled into war...
|Who Likes Sex in Advertising?|
It seems that nowadays advertisements need to come with ratings like movies. The amount of cleavage, bare chests, and tight clothing we now see in ads is ridiculous. Yet marketers chalk it up to the small phrase we have all heard in our lives one time or another.
But does it really sell? Because we are intimate beings, will we always prefer a sexy ad over a non-sexy ad? We disagree, and according to gender lines, there is a stark difference between those who like sex in advertising and those who do not.
Can you guess? According to the researchers, men prefer sex in advertising — at least, sexy imagery — over women.
|Don't Rely Only on Sales and Discounts|
It is holiday season. This is the time where people think less about budgets and more about the "right gift" for friends, family, colleagues, and whoever else made the holy gift list.
And this is the time where brands are chomping at the bit for every single customer in order to meet and exceed sales goals.
|Pantene #WhipIt Campaign Looks at the Girl Boss|
Truth be told, women have had a tough time moving up the corporate ladder. We all know this. But to think that women are experiencing this worldwide is another eye-opener. We see women world leaders — prime ministers, presidents, chancellors, and the like — so surely women have a better chance of rising up in places other than the U.S.
|What's in a Name?|
As marketing and advertising professionals, we all understand that picking a name or phrase to represent our product, service, or concept is not a simple task. It must not only show the prospective audiences what our brand and product are about, but also leave an impression in the minds of our audience...
|Super Bowl Ad Spots All Sold Out|
After the media team at Fox started to count down the weeks to the Super Bowl in February 2014, they could all finally give a sigh of relief.
They sold out the Super Bowl.
Several outlets have announced that the price tag for the Super Bowl's 30-second spots is around $4–$4.5 million dollars. Of course, those who paid for space near the beginning of the game and right before halftime probably paid a little more than the rest. Those who took out a whole minute may even feel their purses to be a little bit lighter. As to which brands will we see — the source article relates that all the car companies are back, even G.M. ...
|Should this Ad Be Banned?|
All around the world our advertising colleagues are being increasingly scrutinized over their work. Granted, some of the scrutiny is warranted; it is unfortunate that the bad rap that advertising receives didn't appear out of thin air. Our industry has some bad apples.
But as our interconnected world continues to shrink, we see our industry's ability to playfully exaggerate or creatively express different ideas being capped because "consumer advocacy groups" and advertising watchdogs believe that the public may be duped or fail to understand the themes being presented. To illustrate, let's focus on the latest ad banned by our regulatory cousin, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), from the organization Let There Be Beer.
|Private Ads on Public TV? Courts Say No Way|
The public domain has always been free from private pressures — the money many network and cable stations see skips those stations like NPR and PBS.
At least, that was the point of question at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week.
The story: Minority TV Project, the company that runs San Francisco's KMTP-TV, was found guilty by the FCC for violating advertising restrictions between 1999–2002. The company sued, saying that it did no such thing...
|Irrational Fear, and Why Americans Don't Care|
One thing that we humans are great at is overestimating risk.
Should we worry more about shark attacks or in-ground pools? Should we cower in fear over terrorist attacks or driving down a familiar road while it's raining?
The truth is, we are attracted to the "sexier" things — the more extreme — than the actual, more probable dangers. In most cases, our irrational risk assessments have no significant implications.
|Big Brother + Santa Claus = A Big Data Christmas|
With the biggest shopping time of the year currently underway, how consumers find information and how marketers push information to consumers are quickly becoming topics of general market conversation.
Big Data, or the information that marketers and businesses gather based on voluntary (and involuntary) information consumers provide, has been a hot topic in AdLand for some time now. Recently, Capitol Hill's FTC wanted to take a closer look at what kind of information is being gathered...
|Would AdLand Defend Advertising to Congress?|
Looks like the situation is coming to a head. On November 21st, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) posted a press release that announced that the Senate Finance Committee released a draft tax reform bill that includes the dreaded provision- that 50 percent of its advertising expenditures are tax-deductible immediately, while the other 50 percent must be amortized over the following five years.
|Twitter Unveils #Birdsignals|
In order for businesses to evolve, many of them cannot rely solely on intuition and the gut feelings from their leaders. It is true that those elements can take a business a very long way, but once that road ends, businesses have to resort to that one activity many dread.
Yes, research is a tough sell to many these days. It's money and activity upfront, even before a decision is made. In some cases, businesses are spending money to get the answer they didn't want. Then again, looking on the positive side, businesses can spend resources now that help them save money down the road. And how do businesses collect research? Consumers are usually bothered by surveys, especially online.
|Rebranding the DogFish|
No, not the beer. That's Dogfish Head. Based on its availability almost everywhere now (at least so it seems on the east coast), they are doing all right.
We are talking about the spiny dogfish, a member of the Squaldiformes order...
|Is AdLand Lazy?|
An interesting question, to be sure. AdLand is still trying to figure itself out, and major things within the industry are happening. Huge mergers, creatives jumping from shop to shop, brand to brand, etc., and technology continues to move with everyone barely keeping up.
|Why AdLand Should Know Aereo|
It is clear that the media landscape is due for a massive change. As fast as technology has developed, the modern media model has not changed all that much. Television as we know it still consists of having a plan from a cable, satellite, or broadcast company who then creates products — channels and channel packages — for consumers to choose from. This model has worked well for cable and broadcast companies.
|Instagram Women Celebrate #GuysOnSundays with Jockey|
We're fans of football. Being born and raised on the western side of Pennsylvania, it is part of the nurturing process.
Needless to say, even over 400 miles away from our hometown, we bleed black and gold.
|An Ad Award No One Will Want to Win?|
It is no secret that the advertising industry has an unnatural relationship with award ceremonies. It is simple to see how that happened; as an industry that is under constant scrutiny, an industry that gets no love from consumers who unconsciously need them, nor from business executives who are ready to throw AdLand under the bus once they don't receive the elusive "ROI," they are so desperate to present to shareholders.
|Two Short Vids: One Hit and One Miss?|
Short films, or long ads, are becoming a staple of the digital experience. These videos are meant to tell a story about the brand, or to show the consumer or interested person how the brand can fit into one's life. This is so trivial pursuit, for as visual creatures, moving pictures and content will create...
|Is That 'Disruption' Doing It for Ya?|
One must tip their hat to AdLand and the Startup World. No one creates and sticks to buzzwords like these industries do.
Engagement. Lean. Horizontal. Flat. Content is King. Disrupt. Forward-thinking. New Age. Bottom Up.
We could go on, but let's spare both of us the morning headache.
The thing is, both the startup world and AdLand see things so clearly in their own worlds...
|Kanye Rebrands the Confederate Flag?|
Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that headline correctly.
We know that Kanye West gets a lot of attention because of his outlandish statements and his personal life, but this story — which is totally true, by the way — was too good and too interesting to just brush off.
|Would You Do Squats for a Free Ticket?|
Imagine if you were taking the train or subway in places like New York, Philly, or Chicago, and there was a chance for you to win a free ride. And to do it, you had to do 30 air squats.
Would you do it?
Many of us, especially on the younger side, and if time allowed, would say, "absolutely." Any chance to save money (if time wasn't a factor) would have a good shot of being done.
Well, that is what the Olympics committee in Moscow figured.
In efforts to keep the Sochi Olympics in the minds of the public, the Olympic committee set up a kiosk in a subway...
|The Fear of Risk|
Everyone wants to be a winner. In many cases, being a winner means taking risks. Sometimes the risk pays off, and yet the payoff is not immediate. In other cases, the risk fails to yield the results that were expected. In an instant-gratification society, taking a risk that takes too long for results to come means losing your job, the account, or other privileges. Yet the common charge is to "rise above the clutter" and "to be unconventional." To get this ball rolling, we want to say that AdLand is not too big to fail...
|How Brands Can Leverage Google Helpouts|
Our colleagues over at Beneath the Brand (BtB) covered the launch of Google's new service, Google Helpouts. The overall theme of it is that it is a venue for real people to get real help in real time.
Of course, once advertising, marketing, and other enterprise-focused professionals get a hold of it, things can change.
In fact, already the Consumerist is exclaiming its ambivalence toward Google Helpouts, because seemingly half of the fashion and beauty videos are consultants from Sephora...
|Advertising and its 'Victims'|
Humans are wonderful creatures to study when it comes to why they do what they do. In many cases, what we do simply doesn't make sense. Why are we afraid of being mugged versus dying in a car accident? Why are we afraid of shark attacks versus being hit while crossing a crosswalk?
|Will We See More Advertising On and About Twitter?|
As of this writing, the Twitter IPO awaits with major anticipation. Investors, social media fans, marketers, industry writers, and even some regular consumers are waiting to see what happens to the 140-character giant.
As of this writing, no one knows for sure.
No one knows if Twitter's IPO will be a "disaster" like Facebook's, assuming the value of the network is as high as people on Wall Street believe it is.
Thinking critically is hard. When we are asked to think in a way that forces us to bring new ideas and concepts to mind, it can cause physical discomfort. To think "big" means to challenge our current champion ideas. It forces us to consider the current things around us as old or outdated, or passé, and to believe we know what should replace it.
As hard it is sounds, our society has done it before.
In fact, our history is filled with big ideas. Who knew that companies would pay for outside advertising...
|Has Advertising Met its Endgame?|
Is advertising becoming less effective?
Brands and organizations have the power to reach their desired audiences in multiple ways. There is no "right" way, no proven method, when messaging and the mediums used for messaging are constantly evolving. Granted, we would agree that there are basic truths that transcend all media, but to hear "best practices in digital media" actually makes us cringe.
We communications professionals are living in interesting times.
|Will AdLand Have Happy Holidays? |
‘Tis the season.
Between November and January include some of the biggest shopping days of the year. Consumers bust out their purses and wallets and look to buy goods and services for their loved ones.
And guess who gets to tell them what goods and services are available?
Will AdLand step up to the plate?
People are doubting.
|Creative, or Exploitative?|
Since we wrote the post on prankvertising, we have been sensitive to information and advertising that singles out or takes advantage of certain audiences for the sake of advertising its good or service. Whether you think singling out or taking advantage of a particular audience for the sake of advertising is ethical is up for debate. But there certainly is a spectrum.
|Prankvertising: Worth It?|
It is becoming ever more difficult to stand out to consumers. Brands are fighting tooth and nail to "rise above the clutter" and not only be noticed, but be remembered. As brands search for best practices and the top five ways to win attention, other brands are going the more "fiendish" route.
|AdLand Makin' Moves in the Queen City|
It is not often that we get to cover advertising news from Charlotte, NC, the town we live in. But the past couple of weeks have been quite exciting for the advertising community, and exciting enough for us to consider writing about it.
First up is the creative agency Tattoo Projects. Not only did these cats win the Southeast Small Agency of the Year a few years ago, but they are picking up big work left and right.
|Of Pets and Shoes|
So Agency Spy spotted a hilarious campaign by DSW and Onion Labs. And it will only be a short time before PETA goes batty and demands for it to be taken down.
Please watch this as soon as you can.
Onion Labs and DSW Shoes started this new campaign that is designed to raise awareness of the style and affordability...
|Advertising + Pay-Per-Channel = Awesome|
Cable and satellite media companies are fighting the inevitable.
In a world where consumers can customize the way they digest and receive information in any format they please, what makes cable, network, and satellite providers really think that their services are protected?
Yes, the only reason why channels are not offered a-la-carte now is because of the strong media lobbies and their influence on Capitol Hill and the FCC. If that wasn't the case, we would have seen this years ago. There are some significant advantages and disadvantages for creating pay-per-channel services. The biggest disadvantage, in our opinion, is that smaller channels and networks will struggle...
|Brands are Taking Over Instagram|
Everyone in the marketing world by now knows about the power of video. As visual creatures, humans love to see how thoughts and concepts are translated into things they can see. When TV came onto the market, the transformation of advertising was remarkable.
|The End of Levi's #GoForth?|
There are very few advertising campaigns in our life that we have fallen for head over heels. If you have been reading our posts regularly, you would know that one of them includes the Old Spice commercials that are quite dear to our hearts. The ads were a wonderful concept, and captured the attention and admiration...
|A Different Approach to Reasoned Action|
Though the number of marketing data analysts and predictive modelers has increased in the past decade, we would suggest that the number of market scientists has decreased. These market scientists...
|Are the Clark Bar Ads Drawing You In?|
Clark Bars started this campaign with the very attractive, foreign-speaking girls a little over a month ago, and we wanted to examine how effective the ads are. First, we have to realize what the primary goal of the ads are, and what is in it for the consumer.
Before that, though, have you even seen them?
|Chipotle Loves Advertising Again|
There are several big brands out there that have interesting stories when it comes to its relationship with advertising, and with AdLand in particular.
|Geographics Still Matter|
Several weeks ago we were going over one of our passions with our marketing students: market research. One of the topics we covered was market segmentation. In academia, the segmentation words are still in full force — demographics, psychographics, geographics, and behavioral.
|Verily Launches to Embrace 'Real Women'|
Gender and marketing continues to be an interesting conversation. We believe that the issue isn't as one-sided as people would like to believe.
But first, why are we bringing this up?
Verily Magazine, a magazine in print and on the iPad, launched in 2011 because the founders saw a disconnect...
|Droga5 Selected as NYC Football Club’s AOR|
It wasn’t too long ago when Major League Soccer (MLS) was trolling the United States for a location for its 20th soccer team. There was plenty of speculation as to where the league would select. Many thought that Raleigh (NC) was a top choice, and maybe the Railhawks would be bumped up.
But then Manchester City, a renowned football club in England, and the New York Yankees came to MLS with several reasons why they should put another soccer team in the Big Apple. 100 million ($) reasons, to be a little more specific.
|Can One Live on Bre.ad Alone?|
Chances are, probably not. Now, with Yahoo's latest acquisition, we don't have to entertain the question. Yahoo, which has been buying up digital assets since Mayer took the helm, decided to add the social advertising tech startup to its portfolio.
This is yet another addition to the ad platform startups being snatched up.
|A Friend Zone We Like|
Word of mouth continues to be the number one way people learn about goods, services, and other information. We appreciate what our friends, our inner circles, tell us. Yes, even to our detriment — cases like groupthink show that we love to be in social environments where we can readily encourage and reinforce thinking and opinions that are in line with ours.
|Who Else is Rollin' with AdRoll?|
First, who the heck is AdRoll? And how do they have over 300 employees and $100 million in revenue?
AdRoll is the self-proclaimed largest re-targeting platform in the world, working with enough huge Internet companies...
|Understanding the Consumer|
If you have followed our posts here at BMA for a prolonged period, you will have noticed our emphasis on market research and consumer behavior. Yes, as a marketing and advertising practitioner, we encounter many who believe that either data or creativity is king.
We would readily admit that not only are both important, but both data and creativity are fed by what we think is the most important element in our industry — consumer choice.
Yes, if marketers could accurately predict why and how consumers make decisions, many of us would be out of a job. The clear winners would be running the market.
But since we are irrational beings, figuring out why people act the way they do is more of a guessing game than science.
|NBA Launches Worldwide Campaign|
Professional sports leagues in the United States have been trying desperately to expand their customer bases overseas. It has been a rough ride. NFL Europe seemed more of an expensive joke than an actual expansion plan, the MLB is trying to spread its baseball mentality through the World Baseball Classic (which could actually call this year a successful one), and hockey and soccer have an inverse relationship.
|Be Like the Great White Shark|
The great white shark is known to be a scientific marvel. Why? Because for as old as the species is, scientists are desperately trying to find how and from what did the great white shark evolve. Many people who aren't totally familiar with the argument would like to be led to the conclusion that they simply appeared.
|Are Online Ad Exchanges Working?|
We came across a post from a writer who covered a talk delivered by one of R/GA's vice presidents about how ad exchanges and "programmatic advertising" are taking the clout big agencies and holding companies had under their belts. The playing field is leveling.
|Exxon Sues FXX Over Logo|
Sometimes we come across stories in the advertising and marketing world that are just so ridiculous that they yield two possible responses from us; we 1) don't bat an eye and move on, or 2) cover it because of its absurdity.
This Exxon v. FXX lands squarely in the latter category.
|AdLand and Capitol Hill|
It doesn't matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on; it is easy to say that advertising is going to have a major impact on how the public will perceive the rolling out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
Yes, regardless of your view if it is good or poor legislation, AdLand should be thrilled that the parties with vested interest in its success or failure...
|AdLand Opens Minds|
To be successful in the marketing and advertising industry now, one cannot help but be open-minded. Being open-minded in this wonderful landscape we call home exposes us to so many new ideas and cultures and challenges our thinking. One should never turn a good challenge away.
|AdLand's Self-Regulators: Yes, We Have Them Too!|
What exactly is self-regulation? We looked it up in the dictionary and its answer was unsatisfying. Self-regulation has been a hot topic for the past decade, and for good reason. The most notable reason is the banking industry; a group that basically regulated itself, with limited to no supervision. When the end of 2007 came, so did the U.S.'s booming economy.
Financial institutions are not the only ones that created self-regulating entities.
|Tide's Self-Washing Tee Saves Work for Moms|
We remember the first time we drove home for school. Our car, a 1995 Subaru Legacy sedan, was packed. Though it was only for a few weeks, we brought home every single piece of clothing we had. And we planned to say hello to our parents and family, and proceed to wear that washer and dryer out.
|Small Agencies Try the 'We're Not Them' Approach|
See potential client. See potential client meet with huge competitor. See potential client get discouraged.
Pounce on opportunity.
It is an action sequence we see far too often in the business world. True, the real battleground starts with the initial customer interaction, but many players in the business world (and AdLand specifically) have submitted to the "waiting" game, where they wait for their competitors to make a mistake and take the scraps and disillusioned hearts to make a deal. Such is the case with the fallout of the Publicis Omnicom Group merger.
|Advertising, or Agenda-Setting?|
In our human existence, every culture established a way of doing things. Now, with sociology firmly behind us, we call those established way of doing things "norms." Those norms that a culture embraces reflect certain values, certain traits of a belief system that the culture would argue is necessary for order. As advertising is a reflection of society, it is only natural, then, that advertising follows the lead of those minds who are shaping what our culture believes are the new norms.
|Digital AdLand's Leading Indicator: Women|
More often than not, one can get into heated conversations when conclusions are based on simple generalizations. It is times like those when it is best to rely on market research; it takes the intuition and guessing out of the matter. Now in a creative environment like AdLand...
|Advertisers are 'Missing Out' on Black Audiences|
AdLand knows what it likes. It loves the young people, the parents (especially mommies), it has growing affection for dads, it loves the working single woman, it appreciates grandparents, and it loves city-dwellers.
AdLand has never shown a lot of love for black people.
It is not a racist thing; it is simply an audience it never dwelled on.
|Trust in Online Branded Content Rising|
The marketing and advertising world has been battling this "truth in advertising" concept, the thesis being that our industry as a whole needs to make sure that our messages are truthful, transparent, and free from deceit. Of course, no reasonable professional would disagree with that.
But we would like to change that phrase a little bit. Yes, it is vital for our colleagues to be truthful. It is a shame that we actually have to question such practices. But how about we poll others about how they perceive truth in advertising? How about "trust in advertising"? Yes, Nielsen's report, Trust in Advertising 2013...
|Kia Soul's 'Transformed' Ad|
Our students are now at the point where they can analyze advertisements and give their opinion about it. This is fun for us, because we get to see how these young minds begin to interpret the messaging that is constantly in front of them.
One student brought up this Kia 2014 Soul commercial.
|Mercedes Targets Young and Affluent in Neistat's Ad|
Casey Neistat is a filmmaker whose claim to fame came from his works "Make it Work" and "Do the Right Thing," the former a project he paired up with Nike to do.
This time, Neistat created a light-hearted ad for the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.
The ad looks like a giant adventure, with Neistat cruising through NYC while on a skateboard that is being pulled by the car.
|Gap Inc. Ends Its Four-Year TV Hiatus|
Gap Inc. took a four-year break from TV advertising, and it looks like that the break paid off.
Gap stores that have opened in the last year, according to Bloomberg, have increased revenue over the past six quarters. For those who are unfamiliar with how franchises and multi-store units work, that is a big deal. In every financial report, those businesses have a line on the sheet called "same-store sales." If that line is positive, that's a good thing. If that line gets better every quarter, that's a great thing. So impressive, in fact, that Gap led the Standard and Poor's 500 Retailing Index.
Who knew? The report details that Gap has been winning customers back with its denim and fitness apparel collection.
|Should We Fear the In-House Ad Agency?|
The agency neighborhood in AdLand has definitely seen better days. It is under constant scrutiny and criticism. Even those who live and breathe the agency world admit to having a love/hate relationship with their work. The diversity problem, the women problem, the compensation problem, and the spec/no spec problem are all reasons why we could hate on agencies. But as part of the neighborhood ourselves, we understand why it is hard to quit the life.
|Simmer Down, Vodafone|
If a business came to us and said that they'd buy our shares for $130 billion dollars, we wouldn't know what to do either. But don't take your boyish excitement out on your latest SIM card commercial.
It was announced that Verizon is buying the other 45% percent of Verizon Wireless...
|On Good Reading|
The steps to learning how to be a good writer are no secret. In fact, there are plenty of books, articles, blogs, videos, and lectures about the keys of being a good writer, writing well, creating captivating copy, writing a narrative everyone will want to read, and so on.
|The New Yahoo!...Logo|
Yahoo has been going under some reform since Marissa Mayer took over the helm as its CEO. After changing the way Yahoo operated as a team, and giving the homepage a facelift, the chief decided it was time for a new logo for the battling Internet media company.
|Editors vs. Advertisers...Tough Call|
Ah, yes; one of the most interesting relationships to date in cross-industry life is that between editors and advertisers. Who ultimately dictates the conversation?
The answer is not as easy as you think. In the United States, we have been spoiled with the idea of "freedom of the press," the notion that the government has no right to tell media personnel...
|Who Is Letting Their Kids Buy Groceries and Fast-Food Meals?|
How many times have you seen a child, under the age of 12, mosey on down the junk food aisle at your local grocery store without adult supervision, dump the worst food possible in the cart, and pay for it? How many times have you seen a child waltz in to a McDonald's or a Burger King — again, under the age of 12 — order a full meal and walk away, all by themselves?
|10 Years Later, Advertising Week Continues|
Who would have thought that Advertising Week would have lasted 10 years? Truth be told, we thought it was a noble venture, but one to be forgotten and tossed into the fold along the endless ranks of awards, ceremonies and "creativity festivals".
But Advertising Week goes on.
|Fashion Show + Prescription Pill Promo = Whaa?|
Give it up to the fashion industry to constantly keep people in advertising on their toes. We appreciate the fashion folks, for fashion and advertising have a lot in common. Both industries can mold a "love it or hate it" mentality, both industries have more behind-the-scenes work than people realize, and both are known for working excessively, and partying harder.
|Is 'Blackface' Ever Okay?|
We were wondering when race would pop up in advertising news again. It has been a quiet couple of weeks.
Dunkin' Donuts in Thailand has recently been under scrutiny for using blackface in the latest campaign for its charcoal donut.
|No Pets Were Run to Death for This Ad|
Pets are a precious piece of our global society. Studies done in the U.S. alone have suggested that many people consider their furry friends to be part of the family. Many would choose hanging out with their pet over other humans, some of which may even be actual family members.
So naturally, when a brand shows our four-legged companions in less-than-favorable conditions, outrages ensue and retractions are eminent.
Enter Pearl Izumi. Pearl Izumi wanted to highlight how awesome its new shoe, Project E:MOTION, makes running feel. According to them, it takes the stress away from the knees and helps spread the energy around the leg, making you want to run forever.
|Is the 15–24 Market Forgetting Ads?|
Yesterday we asked a group of high school students to list their top ten favorite advertisements. They were to list the brand and product/service displayed, the target audience they thought the brand was going after, and if they thought the ad worked.
The very last question, of course, is totally subjective. Unless these bright minds knew where to look up revenue information on the brands, we doubted that they would actually know.
Overall, the results were interesting.
Within this group of young adults, many had trouble even listing 10 commercials...
|Hopefully Your Brand Didn't Air With Cyrus|
If you are living and breathing in the United States, you heard about Miley Cyrus' antics on the VMAs. Apparently it was shocking enough for every news outlet (and blog, obviously) to cover it.
Whether you think it was a little over the top or not, it is clear that many people had an opinion about it. And for brands that were advertising around it, that is a cause to worry about.
|Will AdLand Self-Adjust?|
In economics, mostly around the debate about the free market and the "invisible hand," there is a concept about self-adjustment. The primary belief is that when market players are left alone, without rigorous regulative measures or external activities (i.e., natural disasters, world-changing events)...
|Audi Jumps on the Superhero Wagon|
Brands and the advertising folks who support them always want to be relevant. They want to be part of the zeitgeist. Nothing seems more prevalent than the superhero. DC and Marvel have been living it up for the past decade, and they are only picking up steam. With monster hits like Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, and Batman...
|Heinz 'Full of Beanz' Ad Launches in UK|
As a fan of advertising, we appreciate when iconic brands get back into the swing of things with a new advertising campaign. At first, Nike comes to mind. As the brand and W+K commemorate the 25th anniversary of the "Just Do It" tagline, many people, AdFolks and others, are being sent back to the time where they first heard those three words while eyeing the Nike swoosh.
|The Point of Advertising|
AdLand does an impressive job of convoluting an extremely simple objective. We cannot lie; in the years we have written for Beyond Madison Avenue, we have probably contributed.
There is a quote that we like to use when we present the foundations of marketing and advertising to groups (mostly high school) who are just beginning to learn about our industry. The quote is from Leo Burnett, and it says: "Advertising says 'here's what we got. Here's what it can do for you, and here's how to get it."
|Time Warner's Ad Blitz on CBS|
In case you are one of the millions who no longer have CBS on your lineup, you are probably more aware of the TWC/CBS battle than the rest of us. With CBS streaming shows online now, or maybe its choice of programming, we haven't heard too much of an outcry from the public. Media critics, on the other hand, have been out in full force.
|Advergaming Gaining in Popularity|
Picture a gamer. They spend hours playing video games, meeting like-minded people online, and connecting with other players offline. They buy games, look up tips for games, and are always looking for a challenge.
How old is the gamer you're thinking about? The average age gamer?
|Agency Mocks Publicis-Omnicom Merger|
It has been clear that the Publicis-Omnicom merger did not create many fans in the advertising industry. At least not in the small percentage not doing work for the monster holding company. Many professionals and journalists wrote blog pieces about it. Competing CEOs like Sir Martin Sorrell retaliated by frowning upon the merger...
Short writing is good.
At least, most of the time. Online.
When we were first contacted by Talent Zoo, they encouraged posts that were at least 250 words long. And at first, we exceeded that. We were thrilled at the opportunity to write for Talent Zoo Media as its Lead Blogger for Beyond Madison Avenue. Hopefully during these past two years, you too have had limited reservations.
|Process Over Content|
As communicators, we worry.
We constantly wonder what part of our message is going to be picked up. What part of our messages will be not just retained, but recalled? And most importantly, will the audience of our messages be moved to act on what it heard? But do we rely solely on the content?
We have been spending time with those professionals who teach teachers, and it has been eye-opening. Yes, we believe that the information they are sharing is applicable to us and our industry.
|Study Proves: Emotions Push Products|
Just the other day we wrote about how emotions and advertising can either work together or be a nuisance. We brought up a study in which a scientist saw that people had different opinions when in an agitated state. This, of course, is not a new strain of thinking, but it did provide even more evidence for the idea that people aren't sure why they are making decisions, and that emotions play a big part.
Another study came out driving the point home.
|Why Emotion Messes Things Up|
In a calm, cool, and collected state of mind, who couldn't make the best possible choice presented to them?
Of course we would like to believe that, but how many of us are in a constant state of calm? Few, if any.
As consumers participate in our global economy, they are faced with gathering information and picking the best choice of goods and services that will help them satisfy...
|Puma Launches the Puma Football Club|
As we have said time and time again, there are few communities more close-knit and engaging as the sports community. The way people become fans of teams and sports is absolutely remarkable. And the brands that are able to capitalize on that fanhood...
|Who Doesn't Like Unicorns?|
At times, we forget to do the second half of Will Rogers' nugget of wisdom. The advertising industry is very competitive. It is a place where we must compete for ideas, concepts, resources, and talent. When many of our colleagues get the chance to posture, they'll do it.
|The Race for Online Video|
As the advertising world watches the Publicis-Omnicom merger, other races are beginning to pick up. Yes, like we said earlier and as Sir Martin Sorrell stated when the news broke out about the major deal, "further consolidation is inevitable."
Sorrell is living up to his words. Several of WPP's subsidiaries have recently announced several acquisitions in the digital and "demand generation" realm in Hong Kong and Singapore.
|No Choice? No Problem |
As much as people like to say that they like options, the research suggests that people are better off with fewer options. We have covered the "paradox of choice" before; when people are presented with more choices, not only do people make worse decisions, but the probability that they are less happy with their decision is greater.
Consumers are a confusing bunch.
If you are a regular reader of Beyond Madison Avenue, you would know that we believe that being cut from the cloth of the generalist is the key to success and longevity in the advertising industry. Yes, we believe that in order to stick around, one must strive to know a little about a wide spread of topics, activities, and principles.
Knowing a little about a lot doesn't just make you indispensable...
|Did This Ad Campaign Save Lives?|
Advertising is meant to produce results. The results could be a change in behavior, an increase in purchasing certain goods or services, more traffic through the door, etc. We can see how an advertising campaign effected the result in two ways: evaluating the problem before the campaign was in place and looking at the change, or removing the campaign and seeing what difference it makes.
The Advertising Association (AA) across the pond decided on using the latter method when looking at the effect anti-drunk driving ads had on the public.
The results were unfortunate.
The UK cut its road safety advertising campaigns by 80% from 2008–2009 to 2011–2012.
|What Does the Publicis-Omnicom Merger Mean?|
In case you haven't heard by now, Publicis and The Omnicom Group are joining forces to merge in equal fashion to become the world's largest advertising and media company, the Publicis Omnicom Group.
130,000 employees. A market value of $35 Billion.
What does it all mean?
It means that we were unfortunately more accurate when we thought when we warned about the next age of agency consolidation in our industry. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said himself in a Reuters article that with this deal, further consolidation within the industry "is inevitable." Does that mean that he is showing his hand...
|Can Empowerment Be Bad?|
Connect. Engage. Empower. We have heard all of these words when referring to getting in touch and involving the consumer with the brand we work for or represent. Several big brands have been very successful with that, and many brands and agencies have used those case studies as benchmarks or best practices to imitate.
Empowering the consumer is good. It's very good. We want consumers to feel like they own the product or service they buy. In consumer behavior circles, there is something called the "Ikea Effect," where people consider things to have a higher value than others when they feel like they worked hard for it or own it. But when can empowerment backfire?
According to a report being published in the Journal of Consumer Research...
|Ask for Insight, And You'll Receive It|
Insight is important in order to get to the right conclusion, to make the right decision, and to build upon your foundation of information. Sometimes it is not as apparent as you'd like it to be.
But that doesn't mean one should stop digging.
Not too long ago, we wrote a post called "When Research Goes Wrong," a post that highlighted a research study about local search and the tools online consumers use to reach their shopping satisfaction. It looked a little murky to us, and in the post we pointed out why. Perhaps it's the folly of being a Millennial and assuming that anything that dealt with the Yellow Pages was dead.
Turns out that our thinking needed to be adjusted.
|AdLand Speaks Up|
This month the news of the awful delayed payment idea being pioneered by brands like Mondelez and P&G has reached the media and advertising powers, and thankfully it received negative reviews.
Seriously, this idea of delaying agency payment up to 120 days is a pretty bad one.
In the beginning of the month, Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4A's, spoke out...
|How Consumers Choose|
Ah yes, choice. The holy grail. If marketers could figure out the perfect formula to predict what consumers choose and why, creativity and our profession would be dealt a death-dealing blow.
But alas, no formula to be found. Though our friends in TechLand are fervently trying and testing out behavioral targeting, predictive modeling, and all types of data-mining strategies that would make our heads spin.
Choice is tough to predict. But, as communicators, we do have a roadmap: the Staged Model of Choice.
|It's Not the Size of Your Agency That Matters|
This week is the beginning of AdAge's Small Agency Conference and awards, the few days out of the year where small agencies get attention, are praised and given awards, and told how awesome the industry is for having them.
It's a short few days, but attention nonetheless.
|PR is Marketing...And?|
One thing that we love about our industry is that there is a plethora of free information and resources out there that can make one better understand the craft of marketing and communications. If you are in the marketing field and you want to continue to learn, there is nothing standing in your way.
However, it is the kind of information out there that interests us the most.
|Same Message, New Audience|
When it comes to attracting the new and young generation, brands and organizations have to go through cycles. The generation that was once the "young, hip and sexy" crowd no longer fills the gap. The previous group was introduced to the brand, connected with the messages and themes of the time...
|AdLand Growth Slower Than Expected|
Financial reports and industry reviews are coming out, and most are bringing bittersweet news.
Advertising can be likened to a leading indicator; if businesses are spending more on advertising, then the economy overall may signal improvement. News from the big holding companies has been across the board.
Some food for thought.
The late Miller Harris, a writer and former CEO of Eagle Shirtmakers, and the late Kurt Vonnegut were good friends. Yes, they both went to Cornell University, and both wrote for that university's paper. They became and stayed friends.
In the book Look at the Birdie, a book that features...
|New Business in a New Media World|
New business in the agency sector is tough. If your agency isn't receiving tips on RFPs, or is far from being on the agency search consultant's short list, it is then imperative to have a new business strategy. But drumming up new business is not how it used to be.
The Art of New Business, a organization focused on helping agencies build new business competencies...
|A 'Different' Kind of Holding Company|
Goodbye single indie shops?
The trend in the advertising agency sector does not look good for the startup agency. The environment in which we operate is changing, and barriers are being created that make it nearly impossible for them to land big accounts and survive.
We covered the recent changes big brands are making when it comes to paying agencies.
|Keep On Learning|
One of the most dangerous things a communications professional can do is believe that they know everything there is to know about their trade.
Whether it is public relations, advertising, or marketing, the moment we cease to learn in our trade is the moment we cease to grow as a professional.
Yes, at times it may be difficult for us to search out new information. At times it may seem that the same topics and activities are repeated over and over again. But this cannot stop your goal to stretch your mind in order to learn a little bit more. We can dedicate ourselves to reading new research papers, or applying practices of different industries to your trade to see if we can improve our offerings. We can engage in various advertising activities to make us well-rounded.
|SEC Lifts Advertising Ban for Fund Seekers|
One of the biggest claims that the United States holds is that it is business-friendly. It claims that anyone can rise across social and economic statuses, climb the ladder to wherever that person wants to go. When people needed resources, America was the place to find them.
And the Securities and Exchange Commission just made finding resources easier. The SEC recently lifted an 80-year advertising ban that prohibited private companies from using "general solicitation" to tell private investors...
|Can Banning Alcohol Advertising Curb Behavior?|
Sometimes, is the "nanny state" necessary?
In South Africa, several people believe so. The country is facing rapid increases in death due to alcoholism, especially among the youth. The government and people there have been thinking of and implementing every solution they can think of, save one.
|A Good Mix|
In the communications industry, there are many different theories and practices one can cling onto. There are those who went through vigorous and not-so-vigorous colleges and universities to attain a degree. Others received formal training while on the job. And others still may have just fallen into the trade simply because what they were previously doing translated well.
We have been in several discussions about the difference between academia and professional people in the marketing and advertising world.
|Above All, Do No Harm|
"Primum non nocere."
The above phrase is Latin, meaning "first, do no harm." The phrase is most popular in the world of physicians, for they take the Hippocratic Oath, which also has a phrase that is very similar. Physicians abide by the oath when they must consider when an intervention might do more harm than good.
|The Marketer's Word Bank|
It is believed by researchers of the English language that ordinary people — people without a college education — would know close to 35,000 words. A person who has gone through and completed a university education may know and recognize between 50,000–75,000 words quite easily.
According to the same source, the English language supposedly contains the most amount of words of any other, with the Oxford Dictionary saying that the total could be between one and two million, with certainty.
|When Research Goes Wrong|
One of our main points of emphasis here is to change the industry's erroneous perception of research. Research, when done correctly, can provide ample insight on consumers and industry trends and can assist our colleagues when making advertising and tactical decisions. Case in point: Search Engine Land ran a sponsored post by an author from the Local Search Association...
However, as we champion the cause, situations arise that demonstrate why such poor perceptions are warranted.
|The Great Idea|
We all hunt for that "Great Idea," the idea that will change the way the consumer masses will look at your product or service. We all crave the "Got Milk?" ideas, or the "1984" ideas or even the "Where's the Beef?" idea. We all to find and build the idea that captures a generation, idea, concept, or narrative.
The late Leo Bogart...
|Too Many Hands in the Account|
At an agency or on the brand side, it can be very exciting to start a brand new marketing and advertising campaign. The ideas start flying, the messages are being set, and the activities start to roll through. The campaign is slowly starting to form. Then the agency comes with a proposal for the overall campaign. The brand's C-suite comes with their idea. And finally, the marketing team for the brand comes with their own proposal.
|Is 'Truth' Possible with Creatives?|
In this consumer-driven society, we in advertising are pushed to perform under strenuous circumstances. We have to do a thorough job of researching audiences, creating messages for the audiences, with increasingly less time, less money, over more platforms.
Above all that, the consumers, the people we are charged with connecting with, demand transparency and truth.
No easy feat.
With all that being said, there are calls for more and more "truth in advertising."
Holy Brave New World, Batman!
If you remember Huxley's work, you would recall that people were designated at birth where they would end up in life. Alphas and Betas got the plush places, while Deltas and Epsilons were manipulated cognitively to fill in all the lower spots. The castes were pre-determined, and the World State had its handling over the matters.
Enter our latest era of genetics.
|Who Really Knows?|
There has been so much speculation on the future of the U.S. economy that it is hard to say what really is going to happen. As the markets continue to fluctuate, each sector and index is saying something different.
Not too long ago, the consumer confidence was up to points not seen since 2007, pre-Great Recession times. Now, consumer confidence is up to levels near '08–'09. Earlier this summer the Dow reached 15,000 points for the first time in history. Then recently when Bernanke announced the Fed's future plans...
|Creating Advocates for Advertising|
Overall, advertising has had an uphill battle to maintain a positive reputation, inside and outside the industry. Outside, we have anti-advertising groups and consumer advocacy groups calling for the banning of advertising, and inside the industry we have professionals who think what they're doing adds no benefit to society, and are consistently cynical about themselves...
|Martin Sorrell on Industry Trends|
Sometimes coverage on events like Cannes can surprise us. During the latest festival, AdAge got a chance to sit down with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell to talk about some of the most recent developments in the advertising industry. Though we are still not fans of the holding company model, we do appreciate Sorrell's vision and insight when it comes to AdLand.
|Millennials: Valuable, or 'Lost'?|
In our society there are two groups going back and forth about how important this Millennial generation truly is. As members of this generation, we would like to put ourselves in the "valuable" corner, but there are valid claims out there that show differently.
In AdLand, professionals continue to have "shiny object syndrome," where people drop everything for the latest and greatest thing, therefore calling the previous activities or tools dead or obsolete.
Radio. Television. Newspapers.
AdLand loves Millennials because they are the first generation to actually grow up with these tech tools. This generation is home to the first "digital natives." So every time mobile or social media usage goes up, and TV slightly decreases, our advertising colleagues are chomping at the bit to throw TV...
|Do Ads Insult Your Intelligence?|
There are many opinions about how good advertising is done. It's true; different audiences have different tastes, so if the advertising is going to cater to its targeted audience, we are going to see a wide variety of messaging. One fact remains: There is more "bad" advertising out there than good advertising. Brand Republic and Marketing Magazine covered the WhatsApp founders'...
It is remarkable how easily we are influenced based on our environment. Remember when you learned something in a classroom? Outside the classroom you wouldn't remember for the life of you, but once you are placed in that exact situation — the classroom — you remember exactly what you learned. Humans are truly subjects to the elements around them.
The same goes for advertising and consumers. In order to successfully match the wants and needs to the goods and services we provide, we must be able to connect them in the right situations. If the consumer is thirsty, we must be able to provide a want or need that matches their thirst, or their thirst condition. If the consumer wants to feel like they're in a group, similar wants and needs must be suggested.
Several days ago an architect was being interviewed on NPR. He was quite upset about the situation in California, where an architecture firm designed a prison that was known for its use of "solitary confinement." The architect believes that that firm should immediately cease and desist in its prison building work because all licensed architects make an oath saying that their designs should do no harm to anyone, anywhere. And because architects are licensed, professional groups have gone out...
|Test the Idea, Not the Work|
As we have written before, research in the advertising community gets a bad rap. Mostly because the way research is implemented in the process is grossly inefficient.
AdLand teases and is teased about focus groups, and how bad they are. AdLand scoffs at show concept ads, and how the early public simply "doesn't get it" or that clients rely way too much on the early feedback.
|Who Cares About Cannes? |
Add a bunch of shiny objects, several thousand ounces of alcohol, and the advertising industry, you have yourself an awards ceremony.
Our industry has been adamant on awarding itself for creating good work. That is not necessarily a bad thing.
|The Uncomfortable CMO|
Here at BMA, we focus mostly on the agency side of AdLand. There are times, though, when it is important to stick up for the marketers on the other side of the aisle. The lead for the other side, usually the CMO, has had a tough ride during these past couple of years.
When it comes to building a relationship, time and consistency are crucial.
|Of Facebook Advertising|
In case you missed it, the biggest news coming out of Facebook is that it will no longer be supporting sponsored stories. Yes, according to the announcement, the social network is streamlining its advertising resources in order to provide a better experience to both the user and the advertiser.
When social media first hit the scene, the biggest question big brands and investors had...
|Leaving a Legacy|
As we journey on into the ever-changing landscape of AdLand, we can't help but wonder what sort of legacy we could leave. As creative professionals, we would all like to have something that we created linger on well after us. Or, having been blessed with foresight, see that we are in the middle of creating something that is going to last.
It is part of our human condition.
It is a common goal to strive to "rise above the clutter," meaning to capture your target audience's attention, and build a loyal, active following. We could liken that to wanting to be popular. Yes, we all want our brands and clients to be loved and adorned by raving, consuming fans.
But how is popularity defined? Andrew Carson wrote a very insightful article about social media and sociometry (the study of popularity) and we are going to focus on the latter. As it turns out, pinpointing a definition for popularity is more challenging than we think. So, allow us to get our geek on and set a couple of definitions.
|Internships in AdLand: Excessive?|
There has been much ado about the role internships now play in the American economy. Yes, a recent report on NPR called its segment "the Internship Economy" because of the pervasive use of them and the impact they are having on our economy.
If we had to nail down an industry that loves its interns, it's the communications industry. When we were going through high school, our counselors stressed the importance of internships. Not only did internships provide the experience that one wouldn't get in the classroom (which is another story), but it also opened a professional network and got your face in front of those people...
|Shake Off Those Cobwebs; Big Tobacco is Back|
Rising from the ashes after 40 years, Big Tobacco is back on television and radio in the United States. Though they are still unable to push their tobacco and smokeless tobacco, the big companies have been reaping success from its electronic cigarette divisions, and have collectively decided that it is time to grace the airwaves again.
|Advertising for 'Smarter Cities'|
Advertising has come under scrutiny about how it relates to the city environment. There have been growing campaigns against advertisers placing billboards across cityscapes, to the point where a city in South America even banned outdoor advertising in city limits.
Elsewhere, anti-advertising groups are defacing or replacing outdoor advertisements and billboards with their own, citing that outdoor adspace belongs to the people...
|Win One for the...Zipper? |
Levi Strauss' CEO Chip Bergh has been throwing out some interesting phrases that his company is looking into trademarking.
"Win one for the Zipper" and "Field of Jeans" are both in the process of being trademarked by the denim company. Both plays on famous sports quotes, Levi is hoping to leave a smile on the faces of sports fans in San Francisco.
|From The Archives: Is Marijuana Illegal Because of Advertising?|
As the War on Drugs (namely marijuana) is slowing down, we thought it might be interesting to take a step back and see how our society got here. There are many claims and origin stories about how the war on drugs and marijuana started.
The first and most popular origin story of the ban on marijuana is the anti-hemp campaign supposedly conducted by publishing giant William Randolph Hearst and his DuPont buddies. The story goes that they feared that the rise and low price of hemp would cheapen their wood pulp investments and recent inventions, causing them to lose their fortunes. Because of that, they were moved to use Hearst's resources to influence the public and government that hemp and therefore marijuana should be banned.
|A Live, Improvised Ad to Air|
Combine a mystery brand, a comedy improv group, and airtime, and what do you get?
A three-minute-long spot to air on Comedy Central on June 17 at 9:10pm.
The improv group, Mischief Theatre, will use the talents of four of its members to perform an ad about the product. But there is a catch — according to our source the group will only find out about the product during the live shoot.
|Advertising is No Excuse to Not Improve|
Advertising and product innovation go hand in hand. A good product cannot grow its audience base solely on performance alone, not in this monopolistic economic environment. Nor can a bad or plain product bring in a ton of revenue with a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. Something usually has to give. During this era's proliferation of digital media...
|More Brands Delay Payments to Agencies|
Imagine that you are a massage therapist. A customer walks in and says that they need you to perform your services for their entire company. They want the message to be done well, efficiently, and without any complications. And for your efforts, you would be paid in 75–120 days after your services. Would you take that deal?
|Return of 'The Pitch'|
Much to the chagrin of advertising professionals nationwide, The Pitch is coming back. And it looks bigger and stronger than its first season.
We are quite torn with this show, because we've heard nothing but less than favorable things about it from other ad professionals (we refuse to watch it), and know no one in our social circle not in advertising who watches it. Then comes the question: are those who wish failure on the Pitch...
|Advertising Can be Flashy and Authentic|
Over the years, advertising has developed quite the negative reputation. From its roots of giving consumers information about goods and services, people believe it has morphed into a propaganda, manipulation-churning machine. People believe that AdLand would prefer to be flashy over truthful, and that the goal is to pad the bottom line as quickly as possible rather than setting a message to attract true advocates for the brand. Most of this banter comes from people outside of AdLand.
|Self-Esteem Pays Off|
The most common element in our society is the feeling of worth. No matter where one goes around the world, everyone wants (or needs) to feel good about themselves. It's true; if one cannot appreciate oneself, how can they appreciate others? It would be very tough to do.
The focus around the world, and especially in the advertising community, is clear...
|When A Client Walks Away|
In the agency world, you will not have the same clients working with you forever. Though it would be nice, it just doesn't happen. Sometimes the work gets too expensive for the client, people change within the agency or brand and a "new direction" is suggested, or a difference in strategy or approach is stark enough to warrant an end to the partnership.
In any case, it is never fun to lose business.
|On Being First|
If everyone engages in a "best practice," is it still considered one? If a blogger or marketing professional reveals "7 Secrets to Winning Business," are they still secrets?
Our society likes to believe that if we assimilate certain behaviors from others, we too are going to be just as successful as our predecessors. However, rare is the case that it happens.
We can look to the stock market to illustrate.
Imagine you are perusing the market, and you stumble on a little-known company.
We usually don't cover the themes of Mad Men episodes here, but we thought a certain point was made during the last episode that was too good to forget.
When Don had his "epiphany" in his office and called Peggy and her sidekick in, Don talked about the relationship between the entertainment, the advertising, and the consumer.
The consumer watches the entertainment for free because it is part of the bargain that because the entertainment is free (or much less than it would cost without corporate support), the consumer has to sit through the advertising.
What if we approached the public with that sentiment? Instead of consumers thinking that they are being bombarded with unsolicited advertising, we let them know that advertising is part of the bargain...
|Much Ado About Privacy?|
In our advertising and communications bubble, we talk about how important the line is between Big Data and consumer privacy. In our meeting rooms, coffee rooms, and client briefs, all of us want to make sure that we don't cross over the line and turn the consumer off to the messages that we're sending.
But is our industry making a big deal out of nothing?
|Kid Rock & Jim Beam Add Experiential to Partnership|
Kid Rock has been the spokesperson for Jim Beam's Red Stag brand for some time. Now, the pair are taking their relationship to another level.
This year has seen an impressive increase in alcohol advertising. From vodka and brandy to whisky, the brands have not spared an expense in getting in front of the millennial consumer. One can speculate why alcohol advertising is skyrocketing...
|Show us ROI, You Get 50K|
Ah yes, Big Data and ROI rears its ugly head, once again. At least it's coming with $50,000. Now you have our attention.
The ANA, with sponsoring marketing data firm MarketShare, just announced a competition for any individual or organization to develop a benchmark or improve ways to measure marketing investment and ROI. The winner goes home with a $50,000 cash prize.
Our world of advertising is approaching a very interesting moment. The markets are rising, consumer confidence is up, and brands are looking to spend. As the Fed continues to boost the financial markets, those of us in the agency world are in a great position to flex our new business muscles and get out there.
But the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the UK equivalent...
|Who Loves Your Brand the Most?|
When meeting with business owners or brand managers, we tend to spend the majority of our time talking about the audience. How it is made up? Who in the audience are the major opinion-makers? Gatekeepers? How can we make sure they see the message to spread it to the rest of the group? How can we make those gatekeepers brand advocates?
The goal of advertising is to give consumers enough accurate information for them to make a sound decision.
|Hey PR, Welcome to Our World|
The want for truth and ethics in the world of communications is not an old one. When one of our bad apples does something stupid, the entire industry gets the blame for it. This has been the fight advertising has been waging for decades. Since the 1960s there have been scores of organizations and efforts to make "truth in advertising" an across-the-board reality.
|Growth vs. Culture|
Though the economy is growing, and consumers are looking to spend more, it is still tough out there for the agency world. We've seen some growth — thankfully more growth than last year — but the growth isn't keeping up with the money being spent. Marketers and C-Suite executives are second-guessing agency relationships, especially the small ones.
|Destination XL Shows Men 'No Man's Land'|
Big guys have big problems when looking for clothes. We're from a family with big guys, and we always watch them search store after store trying to piece together items that will resemble an outfit. From shirts, pants, and accessories all the way down to shoes, it is difficult for bigger guys to find stuff that fits.
There are several reasons why not many stores carry "Big & Tall" departments. Perhaps the most accepted reason is that the B&T people are not a big enough department to make them economically feasible. The expense of making a dedicated department outweighs the benefit of having B&T customers. Maybe not.
|What Could Ads Tell About Our Society?|
It's near the end of Creative Week in NYC, and it seems the lasting impression on the week is the thought of the footprints our advertising environment is leaving. Throughout the decades, we can see how advertising shifted based on the norms of society.
|Creatures of Habit|
When our audience becomes habitual consumers, it is a beautiful thing. We can learn so much from them: how often they come back for more products and services, when questions or concerns usually arise, and how they best receive information from us. When we are looking to break a habit, like attracting a different audience to try our product or service, the task is quite daunting.
|What Wins, TV or Online Ads?|
It is getting increasingly difficult to deliver the right message to the right consumer through the right medium. We all know that. We have some in our camp who will continue to stick to TV, and others who want to abandon the traditional media and dedicate their time, effort, and money to the digital realm.
And what's more, the latest research doesn't give any real indication of which method yields the best result.
|Is Microsoft's Outlook.com Campaign Winning?|
When it comes to the advertising world, Microsoft has had a tough time. In the past, its Windows products did not match up to the multi-million dollar ad hype, and it created more of a nightmare for the software company than revenue.
But recently, it looks like things are changing.
|Make Your Consumers Work|
We've been highly critical about the decision-making of consumers lately. With the rise of crowdsourcing, and brands using "everyday" consumers to help design and conjure ideas for products and services, we felt that taking a step back and analyzing the major follies of crowds was necessary.
But, after further study and observation, we have come to realize that there can be a method to the madness of crowdsourcing. The reason does not include giving free reign to crowds, but it does provide a certain level of creativity and freedom. Let us explain.
Originally, we have touted again and again that letting groups decide things on their own is an awful way to go for brands.
|Music Killed the Economy|
Bad music, to be more specific.
Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, many experts were trying to figure out how it all happened.
|Pro-Gun Ads Get Feistier|
Our society is certainly an interesting one. In an environment where everyone cheers for the power of free speech, we have situations that repeatedly come up that want to force others to self-regulate theirs.
Sometimes, for good reason.
But what about advertising? Is advertising protected? It is.
With the first ruling in favor of advertising in 1980, and a ruling in 1993 adding additional clarification...
|A Real PassionMeter|
If you've been reading us for some time, you could easily deduce that we're sports fans. There is no better market to test consumer loyalty than sports fans.
The word "fan" is short for "fanatic", after all; a word that Merriam-Webster defines as "marked by excessive ethusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion."
|Hypocrisy in AdLand: Ads & Death|
We usually try to stay silent while the "crowd" carries on shouting their shame and disgust at a certain piece of creative, but for some reason this one hit a nerve.
Hyundai recently created an ad in the UK that showed a man trying to commit suicide. Alas, he couldn't, because the car emits 100% water emissions, leaving all the harmful stuff out.
|Jaguar Releases 'Desire' Short Film|
As the race for relevancy continues, brands are looking for more creative ways to produce media and content that consumers will either enjoy, pass along, or resonate. This "owned media" is a way that brands can dictate the conversation; they show consumers what they should be looking at and thinking about.
|Ask.com Rolls Out New Awareness Campaign|
Research on the Internet has come a long way.
Remember when Google was just coming out? What other search engines were out there? While we were in school there was Lycos. We had AOL Explorer, Yahoo, and MSN. And then there was Ask Jeeves. Ask Jeeves (.com) was funny, because it was set up like...
|Mo' Money For AdLand in 2013|
Thus far in 2013, we have seen some promising signs in the advertising world. Brands are bolstering their agency rosters, old brands are coming back onto the national stage to posture for relevance, and surprisingly, other brands are beginning to stick out their necks to do original work.
Are these positive signs for things to come?
|Why 'Binge TV' Matters|
Though technology is racing at a fast pace, television remains the overall frontrunner when it comes to passive media. Provide all the statistics you want, but people in the U.S. like their shows regardless of media outlet. As television continues to spread into On-Demand and streaming capabilities, the way people watch television is changing.
|Ad Parodies Hold Truths, Too|
Dove's Real Beauty Sketches touches a common sentiment among women in today's society: women are more beautiful than they think.
It's totally true.
The ad and videos are very well done; they're simple, and they provide a lens to what many women think about how they look and how others think they look.
|Remember Your Passion|
We can all get caught up in the minute details of our time in AdLand. It's true; the negative side of our industry at times hits harder than the good. When many of our colleagues are surveyed about their time in marketing and advertising, the overwhelming majority not only think that our jobs add nothing to society, but could also be detrimental to it.
|New Orleans Urges: 'Follow Your NOLA'|
There are many reasons why we go on vacation. Some of us like to just get away from it all and relax. Others like to see different parts of the world, and accept destinations where they are led around on tours.
And others still like to create their own adventure.
The last group is the group the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. wants to attract.
|Advertise to the Customers You Have|
Is brand loyalty a fleeting concept in today's hyperactive environment? With so much access to even more information, consumers can choose anything they want. Why should they stick to a single brand of a certain good or service? We believe that not only is brand loyalty here to stay, but research suggests that if you promote your brand...
|'Best Client We Ever Had'|
It is always fun remembering a good client. A client who not only appreciated your work, but a client whose project garnered a lot of attention. And if the work was good, then you got noticed for doing it. That's a win-win situation.
The Saatchi brothers, Maurice and Charles, remember a campaign and client that had that winning formula.
|Consumers, The Internet, and Bad Decisions|
Whether or not we like to admit it, consumers (we included) are prone to making irrational decisions. Left to our own devices, we base our decisions on too little information, too much information, and sometimes even irrelevant information.
And all that without the help of the Internet.
With the Internet, our probability to make rational decisions based on our own self-interest dwindles...
|Advertising to Children: The 40-Year-Old Complaint|
In AdLand, we would like to think that everything we do is new. An experience we face, or a thought we have, is the first time that same experience or thought has occurred. As many of us are also students of history, we would then be quick to adjust our thinking.
Yes, though some activities or ways of doing things are new, the reasons or ideas behind them are not.
In the 1950s, our advertising industry was going out of control. What will we do with all this new media? Does radio mean print is dead, since people won't read anymore? In the 1960s, TV exploded on the scene, thus signaling the death of radio.
|Miami Dolphins Switch to 'Tougher' Logo|
The NFL Draft is April 25th, but the 32 teams in the league have been preparing since the last season ended to figure out its draft board, free agents, possible pick-ups, and getting under the salary cap.
Also, their images.
If we are to walk away from the NFL knowing only one thing, it's that the NFL cares about its image.
|AdLand and Hollywood Reach A Deal |
The business relationship between AdLand and Hollywood is not given the limelight. Yes, the details, though important in many cases, are quite boring. How many people know of the ANA/4A Joint Policy Committee (JPC) on Broadcast Talent Union Relations? How many people knew that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged with AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists? And finally, who knew that the JPC and SAG-AFTRA have been in contract re-negotiations since 2009?
|An 'Anti-Advertising' Ad Contest?|
Oh, the irony. Over at The Creative Challenge (.org), Adblock Plus, a company known for whiting out online advertisements, is running a competition to see who can come up with the best "anti-advertising" ad.
Truth be told, the name of the contest doesn't give Adblock Plus the justice it deserves. Till Faida, the managing director of the company, is actually doing more good activities than ironic. Actually, in the article, Faida — who lives in Germany — acknowledges that a "native speaker"...
|Stereotypes and Advertising|
Our brains are wonderful. The brain is able to operate in two states: the conscious and the unconscious. Thankfully for our sake, most of our important functions — regulating heartbeat, breathing, maintaining senses, and balance — all happen in the unconscious part, meaning we have no active part in telling our heat to beat, or telling our lungs to breathe.
|Adidas Celebrates the Girls|
The norms of today's society are much unlike the norms from 30 years ago. Today's young professionals are carrying more debt than their youthful predecessors, and studies show that — monetarily at least — the previous generation was better off than the current one. People are getting married later in life, or not at all.
|Advertising with a Conscience|
The ones who are coming of age during the Great Recession, the millennials, are front and center when it comes to the latest trend in corporations — giving back. Yes, recent studies suggest that millennial consumers are more apt to patron brands that support a good cause than a brand that does not.
Why? One consumer anthropologist puts it, "...[millennials] feel a resentment towards consumerism."
Okay; so commercializing kindness works, too.
|Keep Up with the Client Relationship|
If someone told you that maintaining a relationship is easy, they lied to you through their teeth. Truth is, relationships are never easy. Whether the relationship is between individuals, groups or businesses, the common theme is that it is going to take effort from both sides to make sure it works. What relationship needs more work than the agency and client dynamic?
|Paywalls: Good for Advertising|
When we talk to teachers, we often hear that they'd rather teach to students who want to be there, versus those who just show up. Likewise, a person who invests their own money into a membership will value their involvement and use more of the membership's resources than someone who got a membership for free.
|Knowing What Works|
When pitching a new idea, concept, or the latest creative to our team and clients, it is easy to fall into the trap of saying that the next campaign or creative will work because "we know it will."
We know and have heard many of our colleagues say and do the same. Yes, it is prevalent in the advertising industry...
|Another Testament for the Old Guard|
The battle of young ad professionals versus old ad professionals will never get old. Because AdLand is a place where things need to be appealing, relevant, and "sexy," many people believe that those who are over the age of 50 shouldn't be in the business.
Their time has come and gone. Then there are those who believe that the young ones do not have what it takes to excel in advertising. These young bucks are too reliant on technology and wanting to use communities and relationships...
|Can 'Forced Choice' Still Work?|
We have been living in the age of the "connected consumer." Consumers have more access to information and options than ever before, causing their voices to be heard by brands and advertisers at the loudest level in history.
As brands and advertisers vie for the attention and patronage of the consumer, we are attributing to the environment the consumer uses in order to make a decision.
|Shark Dies During Kmart Ad Shoot|
Kmart is re-entering the national advertising scene, but not in the way it anticipated.
Kmart, which is a brand of Sears Holdings, was working with an advertising agency and production shop out in LA to shoot one of its new commercials. One of the main components of the shoot was a live shark. Now, when brands and agencies use live animals for advertisements, there is usually a lot of behind-the-scenes activity that the common public is unaware of.
|Of Guns and Advertising|
If society thinks that an issue is important, advertising is going to know about it. That is one of the many great things about being in advertising; one can feel the pulse of our social fabric, and get a sense about what is going on in the moment.
And now, guns are the hot issue.
We are all aware of the tragic events that have happened around the nation.
|'What's It It for Me?'|
Can appeal, relevance, and two-way communication survive in the world of Big Data? That is the question many high-profile AdLand professionals are tackling today. The question is an interesting one, for one would imagine that the relationship should be a symbiotic one; relevance should improve big data marketing and vice versa. It should be the perfect storm.
|A Hands-On Way to Nurture Talent|
Advertising around the world has grown tremendously. As the U.S. was once setting the standard when it came to how to improve the advertising industry, we are now seeing different regions and professionals around the world adding their own flavor to the industry we know and love.
|Where the mAD Women At?|
The advertising industry has several issues to address for it to flourish, that much is clear. But on the talent recruitment front, nothing is as daunting as the "woman" problem.
Where are all the female creative directors?
How interesting it is, that as an industry we claim to craft the messages that reflect the norms and issues that face today's environment, yet our industry's demographic makeup would beg to differ. Though the world now holds officially more women than men, there are still relatively few women advertising professionals making the climb to creative directors. The problem doesn't seem to spread to other positions; in media, accounts, and executive management...
|Can Google Help AdLand?|
Google is the advertising giant in the room. From mastering online search to online advertising, Google is starting to throw its weight around the advertising community even more.
It may not be a bad thing. Startup entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley advertising professionals have been clamoring for the advertising industry to adopt more "startup" qualities.
|The Importance of Campaign Integration|
We are in the very beginning of an integrated, complex campaign with one of our clients. As we developed the strategy for them, we thought we could meditate on the importance of having an integrated marketing campaign.
In the information age, our colleagues in AdLand (and now, our partners from IT World) want to rush to the digital sphere...
|The Thrilling Uncertainty of Now|
"Welcome to the thrilling uncertainty of now."
That was the closing sentence of the speaker for the last honors convocation that we attended as a student. That sentence, though so simple, was so compelling to us, and has stuck with us to this day.
How true it is. Even more so in the advertising industry. Our landscape is changing at such a rapid pace...
|FTC Cracks Down on Social Media Ads|
The "nanny" state. When government interferes with our daily lives, people become outraged. People want to live the Free Enterprise dream: limited government, and the free market system. Let the market decide who wins and loses, what norm rises and what norm falls.
Except, interestingly enough, when it comes to advertising.
Yes the FTC announced that social media ads have run their course without any government regulation, and it is time to reel it in. The advertisements and sponsored stories...
|What to Watch for in Newspaper Advertising|
We watch trends. Being in the advertising and marketing industry, we have to. Trends are little pulses that society sends out that let us know what is in front of everyone's mind. The most difficult part with trends, besides keeping up with them, is trying to predict them.
In the stock market, there are analysts who spend their entire work day looking at stocks trends...
Nothing is as frustrating and as important as editing your creative and copy, especially when one is on a tight deadline. Most of us have done it; we finish a piece of work and send it off to our CD or — even worse — a client, just to find out that a word in their core competencies is misspelled...
|AdFolks and SXSW: A Match?|
The SXSW (South by Southwest) Conference in Austin has blown up as "the" place to be for digital and social media organizations. What started out as a music and film celebration and festival has morphed into a technology and innovation playground. Several of the digital brands we know, like Foursquare, could give SXSW credit for helping it get off the ground.
|Small Biz Owners: Too Spread Out to Focus|
We've all been there — on our desk we have a to-do list longer than the hours in the day. We try to prioritize, but then we get taken away from the list to address matters that come up in the regular flow of business.
For small business owners, days like that happen way too often.
|Emotion Trumps Celebrities|
Why do brands continue to gamble by using celebrities to push their identities? Are celebrities that powerful, that mystical, that they are worth the risk?
The jury is out, and it is not looking good. Yet brands continue.
Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius, and Tiger Woods are just a few names that have suffered under the limelight.
|Cold in a Theater? Try Being Homeless|
It was once said that most advertising is awful. Unfortunately, there is some truth to that statement. Whether the advertising was meant to be intentionally deceptive or misleading, or the people creating the advertising simply did bad work...
|What Does the Anti-Social Network Movement Mean?|
We have been hearing reports about those people and groups leaving social networks. People are claiming to be running away from Twitter. There was a report nearly a month ago that exclaimed that the number of people saying that they will be limiting their time on Facebook or even eliminating their Facebook profile has reached its highest point to date.
|Pay Your Interns|
Today's environment is tough for the young professional. Not only are they competing against a multitude of other recently graduated colleagues, but due to the Great Recession, they are also going against the semi-experienced and experienced.
It's a tough market for job seekers, but a great opportunity to find talent for job providers. But let us not take those seekers for granted.
|Custom is Clutch|
When devising a marketing or advertising campaign for multiple locations or outlets, it is tempting to submit to the magic bullet theory.
It makes things easy. It makes the campaign simple. Why put so much on the team with a multi-faceted campaign when they are already rolling out a major effort?
Because the times call for it.
The consumer market, as we are sure you know, is fragmented. The audiences we try to gather and reach differ in age, gender, occupation, geography, and backgrounds.
|Creativity Can Be Measured After All|
Advertising, in the age of information, has had a tough time against the commercial technocrats and ROI-hunters.
Instead of seeing advertising as a means to an end, they try to cut around it. Our industry's entreaties for using advertising often goes unheard, or faces arguments about value, return-on-investment, and the like.
Awareness and brand creation simply doesn't cut it anymore.
|Why Are We Talkin' About Practice?|
An athlete is not automatically ready to perform at their highest level when they arrive at the stadium. A chess player doesn't automatically become a grandmaster once they pick up a chess piece. No, they do not realize what their best is until they work to get better.
|Stop Focusing on the Bad, Highlight the Good|
You've all seen the headlines; "5 biggest blogging mistakes" or "top 3 biggest blunders young professionals make" and even today "biggest mistakes that even [insert professional blogs here] are making."
We understand that harping on the negative rather than the positive gets more attention. Yes, our society in general — and our industry in specific — is more worried about failure than looking for success. But is focusing on the bad way of doing things really beneficial?
|Under Armour Sues Nike Over Slogan|
Protect this brand.
Yes, Under Armour is suing Nike over using the "I Will" slogan, stating that Under Armour has used variations of "I Will" dating back to 1998, and that Nike's use of it is infringing on Under Armour's brand and could likely cause confusion, and could "falsely suggest sponsorship, connection or association" with Under Armour.
Under Armour states that they are fiercely defending its trademark with the same vigor Nike had when defending the "Just Do It" slogan.
|Marketers Need IT|
Marketing professionals and their IT colleagues can no longer "put up" with one another, or simply exchange pleasantries in the hallways. No, with the increasing emphasis on data and information flow, especially when it comes to tracking campaigns, monitoring customer feedback, and customizing CRM, marketing cannot rely on creativity and marketing strategy alone.
|USPS Adds a Product Line|
When times get tough for brands, that is the best time to employ creative problem solving. When profits fall and losses are posted, the most often-used solution for brands is to shed jobs, services, and availability. Sometimes shedding is the best option, but we all know that it is not always the case.
Using creative problem solving means that the brand can look at unconventional ways to solve an issue. Instead of thinking about how it can stop the losses, it can think about how it can grow its revenue or assets in other forms or fashion.
The USPS, for example, picked fashion.
Yes, the quasi-federal agency...
Now, since we have been writing for Beyond Madison Avenue, we have not masked our admiration for the quips and beliefs of David Ogilvy. We are sure that we have gained and lost a fair amount of readers because we side more with him than the wisdom of Bernbach.
But this post isn't about that. This post is about giants.
For an organization to grow, for a brand or agency to grow, it must hire and retain the right people to grow it. It must attract those great minds that can take it to the next level. Ogilvy realized this when this quote was first penned...
|Will the Esquire Network Attract Advertisers?|
Who would have thought that with the purchasing power of women rising, and households with women earning the higher share of the income, that men would become a hot target for advertisers?
Yes, as the world continues to flip over, men are slowly rising...
|A Campaign Stating Fashion is #OutofHand|
Let's own it — the latest fashion trends out there have been dismal.
And that's the nice way of saying it.
Today's world is not focused on quality, but consumption. The "latest" thing. That was made clear during New York Fashion Week, where the creative and unique was trumped by the most recent and marketed.
|What's a Sponsor to Do?|
Athletes and celebrities can certainly give sponsors and advertisers headaches. As brand ambassadors, these athletes and celebrities agree that they will uphold the image that the sponsor or brand wants to project.
When it comes to overcoming and beating the odds, who wouldn't want the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius?
But even the carbon fiber Phenom is giving his sponsors heartache. Not to mention the whole country of South Africa.
Pistorius, the man who beat all the odds and became the first paralympic runner to compete in the Olympic Games, is facing charges from a horrible crime. He is a suspect in the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
|Here's to the Group, for Better or Worse |
In advertising, we are charged to deliver messages that call consumers to action, whether that action is to purchase a good or service, to be aware of a certain idea or issue, or to be moved to join in a cause. Throughout history, we have seen that our efforts can be repeatedly trumped by the oldest trick in the book.
The voice of a group.
Yes, social proofing, the feeling of togetherness, the need to feel wanted and being a part of a group are the most powerful forces in our society. Time and time again, advertising campaigns fail and succeed based on the power of groups. That's why the advertising community vouches for "viral marketing;" once a core group of people catch it, it is only a matter of time...
|Inattentional Blindness in Advertising|
To be successful in advertising, we believe that you must have the generalist mentality: know a little about a lot. A successful person in advertising is smart; they know their skill and ability, and rarely waver.
We've said several times in the recent past that our industry suffers from "shiny object" syndrome; when something new or interesting is put in front of us...
|Good & Loose: The Ad Campaign|
During the Golden Age of Advertising, an ad campaign, when set in place, was rarely changed. Sometimes there were some unforeseen occurrences that caused a campaign to stop running or change its message, but the overall industry usually stayed its course.
Today we do not have that luxury.
|Why the 'Banned Ad' Gimmick is Only a Gimmick|
Getting space in certain time slots, shows, and live programs can be quite difficult at times. We saw that in the Super Bowl; not many companies were ready to shell out the $3.8 million for 30 seconds. In other cases, spots during popular shows or times may be up for scrutiny, whether the scrutiny is necessary or not.
|Why So Many Awards, AdLand?|
Nothing shows the general public that AdLand is out of touch with normal society more than when the industry celebrates all the good work and creative it has done. But that is not the central issue here. Today we are debating whether the sheer amount of awards is even useful.
This question was sparked by Adweek's announcement that it is creating another awards ceremony; a ceremony that recognizes those agency and advertising professionals who excelled in invention throughout the categories that Adweek covers.
|Will Dudes in Undies Win the Female Consumer?|
One thing is clear. Many organizations whose target is the female audience are "hunkifying" their ads.
The trend is an interesting one, because it is showing a shift in our society. It is showing the purchasing power of the female consumer. It is showing that it is okay to note male sexual appeal to women.
|Let's Be Clear About Deception|
The most common argument the anti-advertising community has is that advertising is deceptive and manipulative. That advertising forces people to thrust their hands into their wallets and purses, and give the big bad free enterprise system all the money they have.
Give us a break.
|The Future of Ad Agencies Goes From Bad to OK|
So far, our self-proclaimed demise of our advertising agencies is unfulfilled, much to the dismay of the experts and gurus calling for it. Yes, the agency model in AdLand has suffered more than just battle wounds. It has been beaten, ridiculed, and nearly cast off. Those advocates for the Digital Age question the need for agencies, while those executives focused on "return on investment" want the same work for less cost; a way to create a performance-based compensation model.
|2013 Super Bowl Ads: And…?|
Alas, even a nearly 40-minute blackout couldn’t take the attention from this year’s Super Bowl ads. We saw ads from everyone from advertising veterans to newbies. We saw several identity spots and product launches, and a ton of network-related spots. The NFL got in the mix too, perhaps trying to clean up its own image to the football faithful and their friends.
|Survey Says: Clydesdales Rode High, GoDaddy Went Low|
This year's Super Bowl did not come without surprises. The power outage almost assures New Orleans a new stadium if it ever wants to have a Super Bowl again. The post-game commentary will be filled with the interesting calls and no-calls from the first-time Super Bowl crew.
|Super Bowl: When the Public Remembers They Like Advertising|
AdLand is a-buzzing. Online video platforms like YouTube are blowing up. Media buyers and media planners are foaming at the mouth.
It's almost time for the Super Bowl.
As the landscape continues to fragment, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to reach mass audiences. Yes, even as the PC Police and the FCC continue to crack down to alleviate "malfunctions"...
|VW Ad is Not Racist, So Stop It |
We were thinking of naming this post, "Whoever Thinks the New VW Ad is Racist is a Moron," but we decided against it.
That's a really long title.
For the Super Bowl, VW is launching its "Get Happy" campaign. A teaser has been out featuring Jamaican singer and actor Jimmy Cliff...
|Taco Bell Pulls Ad Bashing Football Veggies|
When you get invited to a party to watch a game, or a tailgate, what comes to mind? Beer, wings, pizza, and other greasy and alcoholic variations probably pop up. Finger foods come to mind.
The kind of food that requires the generous use of napkins.
Taco Bell, with the assistance of agency Draft FCB, has been trying to position itself as a viable option for tailgates and parties.
|Britain to Immigrants: You Won't Like it Here|
Advertising is a key element in nation-building; the act of supporting, creating, and spreading the causes, ideas, and beliefs of a specific nation or country. Placing advertisements in different countries gives other citizens a chance to see a different perspective, and drawing people in gives them an opportunity to view another way of life.
But what if people choose to stay? Apparently, that's a problem. Immigration is a hot topic for more than a few industrial nations...
|Does Gender Still Matter in Advertising?|
In recent times, advertising and marketing have been narrowly defined as the messages organizations use to reach consumers. Advertising and marketing, when done well, are much more than that. It has always been a two-way street; organizations listen to their audience about what they want or need, and then the organization provides. Yes, when it comes to product and service development, advertising and marketing should have a say.
|Go Ahead, AdPeople, Discreetly Confess|
We all have a love/hate relationship with AdLand. It's natural. We work hard, we play hard; our colleagues seem to play harder than they work, or they take work way too seriously. The clients we work with are ridiculous, or the bosses we work for seem brainless. Our creative directors think they're turning straw into gold, and account managers think that they're an account away...
|Do Challenges for Charity|
Think Jackass, but for a cause.
There is a new site coming out of Israel called Moolta.com, and it has a goal to get people to challenge others to do crazy challenges in an effort to raise money for different charities. The challenges on the site vary; one could be dared to shower in a public place...
|My Goodness, My Guinness!|
Guinness gets love from beer lovers and Irish men and women alike. It has been around forever. Guinness has done a fantastic job making sure it appeals to both audiences. The beer creates a story; it creates an experience that the beer drinker and the Irish can relate to. People love good beer, and people love to be a part of an identity. Guinness does both.
Recently Guinness, with the help of London's AMV BBDO, created a new ad called "the Clock." It is part of its "Made of More" campaign. The advertisement is set in a small town where the clock shows how it can make slow moments go by quickly, how it can turn back time to make sure wrongs can be made right, and how the clock can make good moments last. The ad then relates how Guinness is similar to the clock.
|Reebok Continues Its 'Sport of Fitness' Dominance |
Mass appeal is no longer relevant when it comes to being successful in today's environment. The consumer market is so fragmented, so distracted, and so bombarded with messages, likes, and dislikes that it is increasingly harder to get a message through.
One has to find a niche.
Finding a niche, these days, is considered the highlight and climax for any organization.
|Can Small Businesses Even Compete in Adland?|
Talk about small business in America has dominated the news and political worlds for the past few years. People believed that small businesses were "under attack" and needed help to succeed. Small business, the most common business in America, is looked at as an indicator of our economic prosperity. The better the small business world does, the better off we all tend to be.
|The Madison Avenue Mystique|
Most of the big-time agencies have an office in New York City. Of course they do. It's a given.
Yes, NYC is still the biggest city in the U.S.; it has the most access to the most people. It is a business hub; you can find a little bit of everything, somewhere, in NYC.
|Who'll Read Kenney's 'Truth in Advertising'?|
One thing is for sure about advertising folks: We want to do things other than our jobs. We know creative directors who want to be movie directors. We know several art directors that also do screenprinting. And, of course, there are copywriters who are always working on their next novel.
Every AdMan wants to be an author.
Such is the case with John Kenney, a former copywriter in AdLand and who is now writing humor pieces for The New Yorker. He is currently promoting his book Truth in Advertising, which follows a man named Finbar Dolan through his career at an agency. His biggest client is the world's largest diaper manufacturer. From one review, the book seems to deal with some of the familiar themes of agency life.
|Need to Network? Bring the Booze|
AdLand is quite familiar with the "martini lunch," taking the account team or a client out to eat for more drinks and chit-chat than food and business. Those were done mostly because advertising is (or at least was more back then) a relationship business than a creative business.
Many people in AdLand are creative. But it's the people you like who you gave the business. It's that simple.
And now, research proves that those martini lunches had something going for them.
A study at the University of Pittsburgh reviewed groups consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. The findings showed that not only did consuming moderate amounts of alcohol...
|Communications Union Launches #FixTheSenate Campaign|
The filibuster. Who knew that a word that was once unknown be the center of a national advertising campaign? The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union that boasts 700,000 members, launched an advertising campaign centered on fixing...
|Do You Give Free Advice? |
We are in an industry that rides on creative ideas. Though it is true that data and analysis is a major part too, but advertising is still mainly known for its creative processes. With ideas on the mainstage then, how do keep actively participate within our industry, without "giving up" anything clever?
|2013: The Year for Sports?|
If the crazy huge price tag for the Super Bowl is any indicator, marketing spending in sports and sponsorships is ready to take off.
Super Bowl spots this year hit yet another record high, with the average price being $3.7–$3.8 million for a 30-second spot. Some spots, it has been reported, went for over $4 million. One of those spots will more than likely include Taco Bell...
|Keep Humans As Your Focus|
AdLand is full of people who can be easily distracted by "shiny objects," new jargon, technology practices, and the like. In order to avoid or fight the impulse, we must be able to re-focus on what is important.
And it's true. Advertising is a great profession to be in. Every day our efforts focus on getting a message out to people who need (or want) to hear it.
|The 'Pay Your Dues' Era Has Passed; Deal With It|
As Millennials and twenty-somethings continue to "invade" the business environment, we have seen article after article, blog after blog, interview after interview, about how to deal with the "ME" Generation.
Generation Why Not. Generation Whine. The adoring list of nicknames continue.
This generation (disclaimer: we are a member of it) has come of age during the climax of a paradigm shift in business. The "paying your dues" philosophy is quickly fading into the background.
|Who Can Consumers Trust?|
When it comes to finding information online, who can one trust? Consumers are finding it hard to answer that question. There is so much information out there, it is hard to differentiate the source, the reviewer, and the uninformed.
As assistants to "the source" we in AdLand have to make sure that we provide good content...
|New Movement in Anti-Obesity Advertising|
Obesity is getting worldwide attention. It only makes sense, then, that the emphasis of advocacy will fall on the shoulders of AdLand.
Organizations worldwide are ramping up campaigns and initiatives to face the obesity problem. One of these campaigns is the Change4Life initiative, a campaign being launched this week by the National Health Service of the UK. The campaign comes with its own website, social media elements, recipes, tips...
|An Open Letter to Al Jazeera|
To Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani:
Congratulations on the purchase of Current TV. With every major news organization in the world having a presence in the U.S. market, it was only a short time before Al Jazeera found its footing. Here in AdLand, we are excited about your presence. Al Jazeera can not only bring more viewers to the Current TV network, but it can help businesses and organizations reach populations we have had limited access to, which is exciting to think about. We are sure, too, that you realize that Al Jazeera will be facing an uphill climb in the U.S. market.
Most Arab brands will.
Yes, when it comes to properly branding Al Jazeera to the U.S. audience, you may want to start at an elementary level. For instance, maybe telling people what "Al Jazeera" means in English first.
|Expect More Data in 2013|
The marketing and advertising industry is always changing. Some changes appear so fast that it is hard to predict what major activity will rise above the rest, or what new and fresh campaign will lead as an example of good advertising.
|The Perception of Starting Over|
Every new year comes with the idea that we get a whole new slate. We get to start a new year, filled with opportunity. We can start the year with a better outlook, a better plan, and a stronger conviction.
In reality, it is only a way to keep track of time and to give our past historical significance. In reality, it is just another day.
But our society (our human culture) needs more significance.
|A Resolution for Revolution|
What a year 2012 has been. The rise of technology. The wave of revolution. The advocacy of social change and good. We have had more serious conversations about marketing data and advertising "ROI" than ever before. Thankfully, more and more people are beginning to see the truth behind "ROI"; meaning, it is what you make it.
What should AdLand expect in 2013? What should AdLand want in 2013? Ah, the New Year's Resolution. According to Statistics Brain, only 8% of people who make resolutions are successful in keeping them.
|Kill the Upsell|
We are all tired of the "experts" declaring certain activities in marketing and advertising and sales are dead. We all understand that there are reasons to keep even the traditional activities around, depending on the audience.
But, if one thing needs to be dead, it should be the upsell. Nothing to consumers and advertisers is as annoying as the upsell.
Here's why: consumers need to start trusting advertisers and brands.
|Don't Bank on Affiliate Advertising|
'Tis the season for sharing. But don't get carried away.
Affiliate advertising and marketing are activities that have received more attention in 2012, especially when tied to social media marketing. Brands and social entrepreneurs try to sell the idea through "bashing" traditional advertising and selling the fact that if there is quid pro quo involved, everyone wins.
|How 'Sexy' Stories Trump the Real|
As a society, we naturally flock to stories that are weird, unusual, and conflicting. But what happens when those stories prove to be inaccurate? We can bring up the latest prediction for the end of the world for an example.
The "Mayan Prophecy" that the world would end on December 21, 2012 has been heralded...
|Samsung, James Franco At It Again|
As a culture, we knowingly and unknowingly associate certain traits to celebrities and other famous people who we may never meet in person. And because of that, brands and advertisers capitalize on those associations by pairing up with those who may fit with the message they are trying to send.
|Is Altruism Possible in Advertising?|
Our society covers quite the spectrum of good and evil, does it not? Unfortunately for us, the evil part of the spectrum has been hogging the headlines, not really giving our good spectrum the time of day.
As we slowly put our minds and hearts back together from recent events, the thought of putting the welfare of others in front of our needs no doubt comes into focus.
In behavioral economic circles, there is a debate whether altruism truly exists. Whether given a certain situation, if people would truly put the welfare of others in front of their own needs, regardless of cost. Or, if by engaging in such action, those people actually satisfy an intrinsic need, therefore making the "cost" element void.
As 2012 comes to a roaring close, we thought it was fitting to address altruism...
|The Super Bowl Sneak|
Everyone has heard of the "Christmas Creep"; the phenomena that occurs when Christmas shopping, decorations, and "merry spirit" creeps a little bit closer into the fall. Down in our area, the South, we started to see and hear Christmas-related material right after Halloween.
|The Graying of America Affects Advertising|
America is getting older. According to a demographer from the Brookings institution, the U.S. had never had a state that had a median age over 40. The closest at the time was West Virginia in 2010, with a median age of 38.9 years old. That record was broken, by several states, according to this past Census study. West Virginia's 2010 median age was 41.3, which wasn't the oldest.
As Americans age, we have all seen media usage change too. Some usage changed in the way we expected; other usage did not.
|Consumers: Not Fans of the Strange|
Consumers are a wiley bunch, aren't they? Nowadays they demand all access to information, they demand to know how and where their favorite things are made or how services are provided, and they even want to have dialogue with the powers behind the brands they patron.
And of course, we oblige.
But we should not take consumers' want for information as a sign of them being risk-takers. Far from it, actually. A study being published in the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrates that the more a consumer recognizes a product, the more likely they will pick it.
|Shh! FCC Turns Down Commercial Volume|
The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, officially goes into effect today. The CALM Act, passed in 2010, requires that commercials be at the same volume or lower than the program they accompany. The CALM Act, passed via voice vote in the House and unanimously in the Senate, will not be held under strict monitoring by the FCC, but the FCC will judge compliance based on the number of consumer complaints.
|The 4A's Does Stuff After All|
We give the 4A's a tough time. As one of the premier organizations for advertising agencies, the 4A's is a group that we expect a lot from. It just seems that when tough questions and difficult conversations come to the forefront of the industry, the 4A's shows its soft backbone and vomits up an even softer answer, hoping that the answer will appease the mob.
|At the Plate with Two Strikes|
If you are familiar with baseball, then you know why, as a batter, being at the plate with two strikes is not a place you want to be. When the count is 0-2, it throws the advantage from the batter to the pitcher. The pitcher knows that in order for the batter to "stay alive," they have to swing at anything close and around their strike zone. The batter knows that too. Now the batter was to keep an even closer eye on their surroundings, and take a risk when they need to, in order to avoid striking out.
This is the position marketers and advertisers find themselves in. At least according to the latest research. Eloqua compiled research into an inforgraphic that looked at the relationship between the C-suite and marketers. According to their study, 80% of CEOs say that they don't really trust...
|The Rise of 'Ungettables'|
As media choice continues to rise, it is only natural that some choices fall from consumers' radars. We cannot expect consumers to dabble in every single media channel; the effort needed would outweigh any advantage of doing so.
Therefore, as many brands continue their media strategy, some consumers may fall through the cracks.
Meet the "Ungettables." These "Ungettables" are a group that intentionally avoids mainstream media. According to the data, nearly 30.1% of them would consider giving up TV altogether.
|Why General Advice is Late Advice|
As we continue to try to keep our footing on the fast-moving advertising landscape, it is easy to understand why we look towards the experts and thought leaders of the industry. Why should we look for the unbroken, untraveled areas, when these people have already paved a way and provide us footprints to follow?
In lovely corporate speak, "why reinvent the wheel?"
In advertising and marketing, everybody is an expert. At least it seems so. The web is full of "best practices" and "marketing how-to's."
|Awards, Pomp, and Circumstance|
AdLand loves its awards. And even when the leaders of the industry say that they don't follow awards, we all know that changes once they receive one. Take, for example, WPP's head honcho Sir Martin Sorrell. The boss, who is known for his micro-management in the media giant, has been receiving some acclaim in the UK and beyond.
Recently Sir Sorrell was voted Management Today's Most Admired Leader in 2012. It is hard to disagree with the pick. In 2012, Sorrell led WPP through an aggressive phase of growth and acquisition; notably making it the leader (in terms of sheer size) in the digital advertising landscape.
|Marketing, Human Touch, and Society|
Marketing and advertising are the language of business. We translate what the business community wants to convey to our society. Naturally, then, it is up to our industry to know how and what our society feels, and what they are going through.
Marketing and advertising need that "human touch"; we need to be involved with activities and events that are relatable and bring people together.
Are we getting away from that?
|AdLand and Customer Service Need Each Other|
Advertising can only do so much when it comes to the customer's interaction with the business or organization it serves. Advertising acts as the lead; it helps people learn more about the product or service, or attempts to convince consumers that they should try this good versus the one they already know, or the one they are thinking of buying.
|Understand Why You Need Advertising|
There are some cases where the adage "all new business is good business" does not ring true. In the advertising industry, especially as a small shop or freelancer, there are few instances when a potential client is turned down. In AdLand, it is usually feast or famine. Sometimes during the year we don't have the luxury to sit back and choose which clients we want.
|If You're Attacking Advertising, Expect an Answer|
Okay. Enough is enough. Advertising is not out to destroy your kids and populate "Fat America." It is time for advertising and society critics to cease with the hypocrisy, and take responsibility. Have we not declared that the consumer creates the rules of engagement?
Then, when consumer advocates see a disappointing trend, they shift all the power back to the Evil Advertising Powers.
|When it Comes to Health, Advertising Helps|
Remember when our brethren noted that marketing and advertising have no positive effect on the lives of consumers?
In the words of Lee Corso, "not so fast, my friend."
Looks like the science community has our back to prove — yet again — that advertising can do good for those it serves.
A professor of the University of Georgia College of Public Health conducted research...
|Pay Attention, Schlubs!|
Van Heusen's Institute of Style featuring "professors" Steve Young and Jerry Rice seeks to turn men from "schlubs" to swagger.
Van Heusen, partnering up with video and comedy site FunnyorDie.com, has shot several videos featuring the professors and new graduate, Matthew Stafford.
As Millennial men come of age, Van Heusen is taking note of this generation's appreciation of style and fashion. Van Heusen is conducting an online campaign trying to court these young, fashion-conscious men.
|NHL: Is the Lockout Damaging Its Value to AdLand?|
Quick, name a major NHL sponsor.
We had a hard time naming one too.
With all bias aside, the NHL does not get the attention that the NFL, NBA, and even MLB gets. The money in hockey simply doesn't compare. Yes, even the money in Major League Soccer is growing at a faster rate than in hockey.
|Pet Industry Grows Despite Economic Doubt|
With all the doom and gloom taking over business headlines, with people worrying if retailers will hit their numbers for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, and most importantly, with the government facing the infamous "fiscal cliff," where can American consumers and business advocates look for comfort?
|The Agency/Startup Relationship Heats Up, Finally!|
Agencies and start-ups: sounded like a perfect match. Yet, the relationship between the two has been slow-moving. First, as the agency model began to face fire (and rightfully continues to do so), technologists and "innovators" began to posture about how agencies should model themselves after the startup: slim structure, minimum overhead, with multiple people wearing multiple hats.
|How Does Choice Confuse Consumers?|
We will not be the first to tell you that the consumer is not always right. But in advertising and customer service, we strive not for the consumer to be right, but for the consumer to be satisfied with their choice and outcome. Being right and being satisfied, as we have come to know, are two different positions.
The matter of choice is a groggy one.
|What? All Women Aren't The Same?|
Yes, the question of demographics in advertising rises above the fold once more. AdLand enjoys creating different markets and segments, and then proceeds to exclaim which group it is trying to capture. In most cases, the markets and segments are over-generalized; simplified to a point where the campaign could be seen as a poorly mass-marketed attempt.
|Levi's Nails It with Outsider Campaign|
Levi's is sticking with its "Go Forth" campaign, and it decided to add a wrinkle to it. The jean brand teamed up with hitRECord, an initiative founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt that has a goal to raise the profiles of those who create short films, animations, songs, and more.
Their first collaboration is Levi's "Outsiders" campaign.
|EU's Gender Directive Stirs Up YouTube Campaign|
It only takes a silly government issue for a viral campaign to come to life.
The background: in March 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favor of a Belgian consumer group that was challenging the insuring practices of life and pension providers. The ruling meant that life and pension insurers will no longer be able to price policies in the EU based on gender. The ruling, known as the EU Gender Directive, goes into effect on December 21, 2012. The ruling affects life and pension insurers, as well as...
|Campaign Celebrates Babar's 80th Year|
Long Live Babar, King of the Elephants!
Babar and his Queen Celeste will be celebrating their 80th anniversary in the United States in 2013. The anniversary will kick off with an advertising campaign estimated to cost around $100,000 and has the purpose to reintroduce Babar and his elephant kingdom to American children and their parents and grandparents.
|What is Advertising Telling the Public? |
We would liken advertising to the barometer for the economic environment. What we see on TV, mobile, and the several other screens can show the hand that businesses are trying to play. For example, during the height of the Great Recession, we saw messages focusing around stability, foundational wisdom, and assurances that these firms were going to stick around. We also saw massive sales and discounts. It only makes sense; during a time where unemployment is high...
|Do We Take Advertising Too Seriously?|
Interesting question. In today's business environment, it would seem that we are not taking advertising seriously enough. From consumer advocacy groups and regulatory groups here in the U.S. and internationally to disillusioned communications professionals, we would think that the conversation on how business is conducted revolves around how advertising is evolving.
Could we be wrong?
In the communications industry, we all trade stories about getting to work early, staying late...
|There's Bad...And Then There's PETA|
We love animals. We really do. This past summer we even rescued a puppy from an adoption agency that found it at a kill shelter. Every pet deserves a good, loving home. And when it comes to animals at all levels, we respect the sentiments of others when it comes to treating animals ethically. We personally do not believe in the meatless lifestyle, but...
|Should We Cheapen the 'American' Brand?|
The American economy has been quite the case study. From its humble roots in farming and agriculture to the Industrial Revolution to where we are now, a system based primarily on consumption, supplemented by speculation. Oh the places we'll go.
Throughout the decades, the American consumer has been rising in importance.
|Will CMOs Get Their Acts Together?|
The consumer is making moves, and in order for retailers to know what those moves are, organizational restructuring is necessary. At least, that is what RSR Research believes. The economic environment these past ten years have not been kind to many retailers.
|Brand Conducts Live Research on Families and Food|
As the world shifts its attention to how its people can live together in more populated areas, certain issues are pushed to the forefront. Brands and ad folks have to think about how the message of sustainability and conservation will reach the masses. How will people be convinced that changing their consumption habits will be the way to go?
|How are Agencies Finding Clients?|
While AdLand is figuring out its identity in this new world of technology and information, agencies too are floundering around trying to secure ways and means to stay relevant. It is truly an exciting time to be in advertising. One of the ways agencies are trying to stay afloat is bolstering their client rosters.
|Writing Tips from George Orwell|
If you have not guessed yet, we are quite biased when it comes to good writers.
No matter the profession, writing will always have a place. In one of the comment streams during our three part "Writer Shortage in AdLand" series, one fired-up commenter wrote about how the future of this country lies within the STEM principles. He also called us tools for being so short-sighted and whiny.
|What Should We Know About Memory?|
We are commissioned to make messages that stick. Naturally, then, we should crave the knowledge of why and how our messages appeal and stay with our audiences.
Our industry is inclined to think that it is all about the creative process.
And it is, to a point.
Our memory is awesome. Awesome in both the "cool" and "awe inspiring" senses. And if we are serious about communicating messages that stick, we need to know just how interactions are stored and recalled in our memories.
|Is Microsoft Doing Too Much?|
The software and desktop giant is at it again. It is fascinating to watch an organization that once defined its own market attempt to compete. But does Microsoft have a focus, or is it trying to use its wide net of resources and competencies to try to attack several competitors at once?
We think it is the latter.
Microsoft is racing for relevancy once again, but this time their quest is two-pronged. First, it announced the arrival of Windows 8, the acclaimed improvement over Windows 7 and the beleaguered Windows Vista.
|Advertising During Disaster|
Today is the first morning since "Frankenstorm" Sandy made her presence known on U.S. soil. Unfortunately, Sandy so far has been all the storm the professionals have warned about.
Fortunately, many of our friends, family, and colleagues heeded the warning.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones due to the havoc Sandy has brought so far.
|The Inevitable Marriage of AdLand and Hollywood|
Doesn't everyone have a pair of friends, or people you know that date on and off, again and again? Their partnership seems perfect — looks perfect — yet they each conjure up a reason to break it off.
We know that sooner or later, it is going to happen.
Thus is the story between AdLand and Hollywood. Advertising and the entertainment industry have been flirting with each other for ages.
|Why Do We Hate Ourselves?|
In a relationship, you must love yourself before you can love others, and expect others to love you. Should that adage not carry on when it comes to your profession? How can AdLand expect to get love from consumers and other professionals, when it fails to have respect for itself?
We got some issues, folks.
Adobe, with the assistance of research firm Edelman Berland, fielded research across the U.S., China, and Japan. They wanted to find out how consumers and marketers thought about The State of Online Advertising.
|Consumers Remember Subtle Changes|
One of the greatest accomplishments a campaign can achieve is when a consumer remembers the ad. In a cluttered, over-stimulated world, reaching the consideration sets in the minds of the consumers is truly a big deal. We try to figure out ways to persuade the consumer to look at our creative repeatedly, and we find the places where the consumer is most likely to be so we can show them our ads again and again.
|Agencies: Blow Up and Start Over|
The title is the phrase spoken by Cindy Gallop, former chairwoman of BBH, when she was speaking in the U.K. at the Guardian's Changing Advertising Summit. Gallop apparently has issues with the way ad agencies are currently built, and believes that their current models are unsustainable.
Her sentiments for the future of advertising are not different from Havas' David Jacobs, Droga5 Sydney's David Nobay, and Goodvertising's Tom Kolster. If these thought leaders are all on the same page, maybe their thoughts might be worth listening to.
|Why it Rocks to Live in AdLand|
As we search the online universe for information about AdLand, sometimes we receive a nice, solid reality check. Like we ourselves talk about the "bubble" many advertising professionals live in, only minding information we are interested in or focused on, we occasionally fail to take our own advice.
Example: obviously, we follow @BeyondMadAve to see when our posts go out.
|The Changing Face of Print|
The world has received some shocking news about the print industry in these past few months. First was the announcement in March 2012 that the Encyclopaedia Britannica will no longer produce printed editions. The company, which started in 1768, will cease being in print. That's a big deal.
Second was the surprising announcement from Newsweek/Daily Beast.
|Writer Shortage in AdLand, Part 3: The Proposal|
First, we talked about the problem: apparently there seems to be a shortage of writers in AdLand. Then we talked about how the problem was created; whether it was the lack of attention on writing in school or the fact that many people entered the advertising world from different occupations. We also mentioned the "rise of content," where the brands and agency partners are placing more focus on quantity of content rather than quality. Not to mention, agencies and brands are using the slow economy as an excuse...
|Who Needs Smart People, Anyway?|
What happens when you get the brightest people in a room, but can't seem to solve a problem?
Many industries are struggling with the same problem. These recruiters and employers get the "smartest" people; the folks holding terminal degrees in their fields, the ones with the most experience, the "uber-educated" elite, and then those teams, which seem unstoppable with their group intellect, manage to fail.
How does that happen?
In AdLand, we see it more in terms of writing and creative. Every time a new generation of AdPeople comes out from the schoolyard, the current generation in charge laments over the lack of writing or creativity.
|Much Ado About Advertising|
It is an exciting time to be in advertising. Everywhere one looks, there's new technology coming into the fold. There are new reports about online spending and social networks. The "Age of Mobile" isn't rising, it's been here all along! Go figure. Clients and agencies are still trying to figure out ways to play nice together. Whether we like it or not, the industry is changing. With more information than ever before, consumers are much harder to reach and persuade. Consumers demand a voice.
|Myanmar Whisky Looks West|
The Asian business frontier is enough to make business development folks to foam at the mouth. The huge, nearly untapped market has a ton of potential for revenue, growth, and expansion. It is harder than people think it is to penetrate such markets. In many cases, country regulations dictate that outside businesses must have a local business partner.
|The Balance Between Research and Creativity|
Market research has built a bad rap in AdLand. Research in general is looked at wearingly, and it all comes from how it has been used. Both agencies and client-side marketing folks look at focus groups as annoying and pointless, and ad testing in different markets seems to add more steps than necessary. Some clients look at market research activities as a waste of their advertising spending.
|The 'Cobra Effect' in Advertising|
The interesting thing about advertising is that it employs many different schools of thought, from art and sociology to business and psychology. We believe that an economist could be just as successful in AdLand as a writer, or a creative just as wanted as a business analyst.
When it comes to consumer behavior and why people do the things they do, we see wonderful symmetry with the fields of economics and advertising. One could say that as economics is the study of "choice under scarcity" and advertising is the means of displaying the choices and highlighting the scarcity.
Today the highlight is the "cobra effect." It was covered recently by the Freakonomics writers.
|Advertising Basics: Signs|
As we and many others have mentioned, our industry is a "trends first, results second" environment. When something new and shiny comes into our view, we latch onto it and claim that it is going to be the next biggest thing and everything else before it doesn't even matter anymore. All the stuff before was last year's toy.
We then build presentations and research that skew towards making our perceptions reality. Long Live Digital! All Hail Content!
But when we do that, we seem to forget something very important to our success.
|Do Digital Shops Need to Worry?|
Agencies, for quite some time, have been shifting to specialization. From creative shops to crowdsourcing and to specializing in niche markets, many agencies have decided to ditch the general market pitch and hone in on a certain activity or audience. In this technology-driven market...
|The 'Trolls' of AdLand|
Our industry is full of people who have opinions. Nothing is wrong with that. In advertising, if you do not know how to state an opinion, or give a piece of your mind, then you are probably not going to last long.
However, the issue being raised here is the rise of the troll in advertising. The cop-out of staying anonymous while trashing someone's work, or attacking someone personally, has gotten out of control. The way we craft messages is both analytical and creative, and that way has been attacked by many John Doe know-it-alls who refuse to back up their comments with their identity.
|NHS Launches 'Stoptober'|
Would you quit smoking for 28 days? That is the question the National Health Service is asking smokers. A new campaign being done by SmokeFree (the National Health Service) is advocating that smokers should take a break during the month of October.
The NHS named it #Stoptober.
|Advertising's 'Ugly Truth'|
Advertising is one of the few things we know that is both so loved and so hated by the people who use it for a living. We are not exempt from that population; advertising is so fascinating and fun to do, yet there are issues and activities within AdLand that make our skin crawl.
But unlike David Nobay, we haven't expressed our gripe at an international creative awards ceremony.
|Writer Shortage in AdLand, Part 2: The Shift|
We decided this topic warranted further inspection. Earlier, we shed light on the "shortage" of writers in AdLand, based on a USA Today piece. Based on further observation, and the insightful comments left by the experienced and smart readers of BMA, we want to concentrate this second piece on how we got here.
Where did the writers go? Were there enough to go around in the first place? Both questions are difficult to answer, but one could probably get away with "they left" for the first one and "probably not" for the second.
|Will Advertising Week Solve Our Industry's Problems?|
It's time for Advertising Week 2012, or #AWIX if you are following it on Twitter. It's the time advertising professionals from all over the country (and some from overseas) come together and celebrate advertising, share ideas about the best practices of advertising, and what the future of advertising may look like. The common themes are mobile, content, and the agency/brand relationship.
|Advertising: The Fifth Estate|
Throughout the civilized ages, our society has been divided by "estates," coming from the French "etats" signifying the gathering of the representatives "of the realm." Notably, there were only three recognized Estates. The First Estate was the clergy and church officials, the Second Estate was the government, and the Third Estate was the public and everyone else (several sources have the clergy and government switched).
|A Writer Shortage in AdLand?|
"A good writer is a good thinker."
That sentence was said by a professor of ours who taught media writing. He has been in the LA Times numerous times, and has been a literary critic for a number of years. Needless to say, we took his advice and criticism seriously. He held the fact that if you are able to translate what are you thinking into the written word, in the simplest of terms, you were thinking at your highest capacity.
|A Campaign for 'Meat Without Drugs'|
In these past couple of months, Big Agriculture has been punched repeatedly with public relations and advertising campaigns against many of its practices. Who could forget the "pink slime" issue? That raised so much attention, our stagnant Congress even thought about doing something about it.
|Must Creativity Kowtow to Big Data?|
Hello Big Data, we meet again.
The marketing and advertising community is still all a-buzz over the leaps and bounds big data has taken over the past couple of years. Retailers, marketers, and designers have so much data, they don't know where to start and what to do with it. All the while, there are those whom are adamantly against using such Big Data, and relying on the skill of their creative teams. Is there a winner between these philosophies?
History would say no. Let us call to mind David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach.
|Of War and AdLand|
Advertising is not unfamiliar with conflict. War and advertising have gone hand in hand for decades. Back in the day, some may have called it propaganda. Others would have called it public information. Both groups could technically have been correct.
Propaganda gets a negative connotation due to its improper use. Yes, the American father of public relations, Edward Bernays, was actually all for "proper" propaganda, and was against "impropaganda." It is unfortunate that the latter made more headlines.
But we digress.
Nations have used advertising to get their messages out to get the public behind the war effort.
|Why AdLand Celebrates Multicultural Advertising|
We have all seen the posts and articles from our friends and colleagues about the demise of "multicultural advertising," meaning the end of Hispanic-focused, African-American- focused agencies, projects, and campaigns. Our colleagues are decry that "people cannot simply be herded by mere demographics" anymore.
|The State Department Advertising? Finally!|
It's all about the message.
The West, with America in particular, has had some tough times trying to connect with our friends in the Middle East. With this stupid Anti-Muslim film no exception, the U.S. State Department has repeatedly failed to establish a common ground of communication.
Quite simply, our grounds are not common.
|175 Ads in a Day?|
Just recognized by the world-renowned D&AD awards as its most-awarded director, Tony Kaye is venturing out to grab yet another piece in the world record books. For his latest client, Forever Diamonds, Kaye has claimed to have done 175 different advertising spots in one day.
|Diminishing Returns on Controversy|
What exactly does "diminishing returns" mean? The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as "benefits that beyond a certain point fail to increase in proportion to extended efforts."
One of our first economic professors illustrated this law extremely well: imagine that you are thirsty. We mean, really, really thirsty. You have no water. You've been out in the hot sun for hours.
|'Time for Change' Makes a Stand|
AdLand has developed a reputation of not straying away from the controversial topics. Yes, the bold and daring creative directors get all the attention. The stark copy, the vivid images, from fashion to retail to banking, the daring creative stands out.
|Samsung Goes After iPhone 5 in Ad|
The progress happening in mobile is astounding. When you think that you have the latest and greatest, something else comes out that is supposed to be faster, slicker, and more in tune with what the consumer wants. Mobile, or the "other screen" as people are calling it, is a huge part of people's lives.
|Will Virtue Ever Fit in Advertising?|
Love your neighbor. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Have it your way.
Which one of those sayings seems out of place? Of course it's the third phrase; though Burger King is found in many neighborhoods, you doesn't see the managers or staff too worried about the love between neighbors. The preceding two phrases are principles most commonly found in our social fabric. Guidelines, as it were, we should follow in order to thrive as a community and to live peacefully amongst each other. Two simple ways of living and thinking.
Do those messages permeate through AdLand's advertising? In most cases, no.
This is a topic of conversation that Twist Image President Mitch Joel...
|An Open Letter to PoliLand, From AdLand|
Dear Jim Messina and Matt Rhoades:
AdLand here. We're hope you two are well.
First, we would like to tell you that we appreciate your dedication to public service. Politics has gotten a negative rap, and we thank you two for sticking with it and pushing the national dialogue about which set of ideas will shape America's future.
Second, we would like to take a brief moment to talk with you two about how you're pushing that dialogue. Look, we know that neither of you have backgrounds in advertising. You, Messina, have a degree in political science...
|State of the Agency|
Agencies, how we doing?
Though it is not time for the annual checkup, sometimes it is good to get a checkup in when things aren't working the way they should. Or, as in this case, observers of the industry want to bring up relevant material for agencies, and needed to find out what trials and successes they are experiencing today.
|Agencies: Boycott E-Auctions|
We all know that advertising — good advertising — is not a commodity. Work should not go solely to the lowest bidder. Work must be proven. For the past several years, we have seen our industry be cheapened by agencies and freelancers alike who would sweep in and do work way under the value set by the marketplace.
|It's About Choice, Stupid|
The point of advertising is not to create pretty images and fancy phrases to make an organization to look good. Advertising is meant to influence the way people look at a good or service, and to either inform them about it or persuade them to try it. Advertising is meant to influence choice; the options that consumers think up in order to make a decision.
|Hey Startups! Let's Be Friends|
So you want to start a business. Excellent! According to several sources, the non-employer business sector rose 1.9% in 2010 alone, which translates into 415,000 new ventures. If you were a part of that 415,000, you're just figuring out how to stay stable and are establishing a cash flow and a customer base.
|The Cost of Endorsements|
Not many public and commercial figures can hide from the light provided by the Information Age. From celebrities, athletes, and political figures to business executives and nonprofit leaders, all in the past years have been in the unwanted limelight. As an industry that enjoys using these figures in our creative, AdLand must step ever-so-gently when it comes to picking the right face for our brands and campaigns. Or must we? There have been debates about if brands should voice their concerns about political issues.
|Wanted: Plain Language|
Listen up gurus, un-marketers, specialists, ninjas, ideators, curators, change agents, brand evangelists, mavens, wizards, brand artists, mAD men and women, and commercial anthropologists (seriously).
We're going to need you to settle down.
The way we present and differentiate ourselves has to be easier than creating monikers that makes it difficult for clients to understand what we do.
|'Carrots Don't Always Work'|
Our industry loves to reward consumers. And why not? We want to make sure that they are happy with dealing with the brands that we are a part of and support. But isn't it true that we sometimes go overboard? Is it not true that sometimes we reward behavior that needs no additional reward?
Are there consequences for excessive rewards?
|Ad Club of NY 'Imparts' to Find Diverse Talent|
Diversity in advertising has crept into the news again. The gorilla in the room continues to make noise as everyone tries to ignore it.
There's been some progress, though.
A quote in the source article notes that the advertising industry has actually done a decent job improving its diversity (mainly African-American, Latino, and Asian) amongst its entry-level and mid-manager ranks.
|Did Leo Burnett Steal Asylum's Work?|
No doubt, when small shops work with big shops, the small shop executives at times get the nervous itch in their minds about what they would do if the big shop decides to steal an idea, copy their work, or shoulder them out of a deal. It happens. It makes us small agency folks nervous because the outcome can be unclear. It could take away our chances to play with the big boys.
Such is the case between Asylum Films and Leo Burnett, UK.
|Ads We Like: Sport Life Fitness Club|
As we do our daily comb over the internet for advertising news and trends, we often find ourselves running into the newest ads of the week. Some of them are good.
|Know The Influencers|
Let's say you had a great initial meeting with a potential client. The pitch session comes, and the people in there love it. You approach them to talk about the account or project details and when work could begin, and lo and behold, the people in there want to wait until they talk to a few others in the company.
In some cases, the brand's marketing team doesn't want to make the decision.
|Gamification and AdLand|
When we were first introduced to language involving "games" that didn't involve Monopoly or Madden NFL was in economics. We studied game theory, and we researched and discussed the most efficient ways players acted and responded based on either their own best interests or their best action given their opponent's action. Game theory is absolutely fascinating because it helps assign reason and motive to the way people or organizations respond.
Unfortunately, as communications professionals, we know that sometimes reason and logic are the last indicators of action.
|Campaign Ads Affect the Few|
No one can challenge the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizen's United changed the game on how money can be used by political candidates (note: we know it wasn't the ruling itself, by how in the ruling a precedent was set). The aftermath resulted in a tidal wave of money for political advertising, the most that our society has ever seen. And it is not even September yet.
Much debate has been going on about the money in political advertising.
|Can 'Real Life' Survive in Advertising?|
In advertising, life and society are blown up to be bigger than what they actually are. The themes of luxury, self-worth, belonging, and sex fill the offline and online channels. Much of the advertising we all see is meant to show us how our lives can be improved by the goods and services that are available.
|AdLand: More Crowded Than We Thought|
Sometimes it is worth taking a step back and looking at a situation in a different light. As an advertising professional, especially in the agency world, we are obligated to stay up to date with the happenings of the industry. We, as well as you, keep abreast of the news from Adweek, AdAge, MediaPost, Ad Contrarian, Forbes, NY Times, LA Times, TechCrunch, and the like to make sure we know the latest trends and technology. We know the movers and shakers. We see who is losing the big accounts and who is winning them.
|NY Fracking Debate Goes to Ads|
In New York state, the administration is about to finish its stance on "fracking" in parts of its Southern Tier, just north of the Pennsylvania border. As many of you are aware, fracking is the process of pushing water, sand, and other minerals deep into the ground in order to release and collect natural gas. With the area called Marcellus Shale that covers large parts of Pennsylvania and New York, companies have been falling over themselves in order to get a piece of the action.
The environmental effects of fracking are not clear-cut. The public is torn about it, and the state administration is being pulled by opposite sides of the debate.
|The Modern-Day Account Team|
We have all seen the ways agencies' accounts teams have been glorified. Drinks over lunch, all-nighters around the city on the expense account, and going to movies, shows, and sporting events with clients. Wining and dining galore. A lot of those activities have really happened. The account team wanted to show the client that they picked the right team to take care of their business.
|Stop Trashing Advertising|
One group of people we cannot stand working with are complainers. People who complain for the sake of complaining make no endeavor fun or interesting. Instead of looking for a solution to the problem at hand, they let the problem wash over them and drown everyone else with them in their misery. Worse still is when complainers who have no solid solution are given a platform to spurt their simple understandings.
These are the people attacking advertising and what it stands for.
|Have You Heard of AdBuzz?|
The future of marketing and advertising has come under scrutiny. Academia has been under fire for churning out marketing and communications students who, according to the industry, are ill equipped for the field. The industry has begun to moan and groan, demanding new talent while it ignores those trying to get into the door.
|Un-learning the Creative Process|
Let's say that you have your first broken light bulb. You examine the ceiling around it, the placeholder, the works. Then you unscrew the light bulb and see that it has blown out. The solution? You get a new light bulb. The next time a light doesn't work, your brain will more than likely skip the preliminary steps and automatically assume that the light blew out. And, more likely than not, your brain will be right.
Is that a problem? Not necessarily.
Our brains are designed to remember steps to fix a problem or to get to a solution. We think in patterns. If we see something that fits a pattern, our brains have the fantastic ability to let us know what comes next. "Why bother thinking about it?" your brain may suggest, "we already know the answer."
|The 'Art' of the Copycat|
It has been echoed throughout modern society that "imitation is the highest form of flattery."
But does that ring true when someone, let's say another agency or brand, copies (or imitates) your work?
On the radio show On Point earlier this week, there was a man on the show who made his living creating forgeries of famous painters and selling them for top dollar at auction houses. People, of course, called in with holier-than-thou comments, calling him a bad guy and wishing that the statute of limitations was a little bit longer so he could be "brought to justice." One naive gentleman even called to request the forger offer up his small fortune as restitution.
|Does Advertising Affect 'Mental Accounting'?|
As we study the science of persuasion, the art of design and copy, we discover that consumers can be won and lost by the most trifling of details. Sometimes elements as simple as color or word association can make a brand lose a sale. When we describe a consumer's purchasing process, our terminology includes "perceived value," "consideration set," and "cost/benefit analysis."
|Beauty Brands Attracting More Millennial Women|
The Millennial generation is a fascinating group of people. Not only are the early and late segments of the group different, but the diversity and complexity the group shares is one of the few common characteristics. Aside from the digital upbringing, obviously.
When we look deeper into this generation, which is currently reaching maturity, there are very interesting findings that brands and advertisers can take to heart. For example, Millennial men do not enjoy hyper-masculine advertising.
|The Art of Multitasking|
We all like to think that we are good at multitasking. Job descriptions created by the all-knowing human resources professionals often have a line that says "must have the ability to multitask."
Who would say no?
Not many. But apparently, according to OnlineCollege.org, its research indicates that only 2% of people can actually multitask effectively.
The following infographic provides some fascinating insights about multitasking and our inherent need to try to do it. Parts of the research are shocking, like the part that says multitasking can actually lower one's IQ by nearly 10 points. That's not something to joke about.
|Lane Bryant Rebrands to Reconnect|
Every now and again a brand needs to reintroduce itself to its customer base. The reasons abound as to why; sometimes a brand has no need or demand to send information.
|AdLand Spending Grows Despite Economy|
The STRATA Survey, a survey that polls more than 100 media buying agencies around the nation, came out with its second-quarter findings about the condition of the advertising industry.
And Doc, the results look good.
Really good. According to the survey, in the second quarter 52% of agencies saw business increase compared to last year. That is up from 40% in the last quarter. Also, 94% of agencies expect these positive business conditions to last throughout the year, and a smiling 40% even expect growth. This survey helps reveal what kind of money is being spent to encourage consumers to buy.
|When Advertising Takes the Lead|
Our economy revolves around consumers — the American public, the public and private sectors — buying stuff. When consumer confidence is down, financial advisers and stock-market enthusiasts start freaking out, because in a consumption society, when there's no consumption, things start going downhill.
And what is the main mechanism for the public to learn what there is to buy?
|'Term Floors' for CMOs Needed|
In economics, there are levels known as price floors and price ceilings. A price floor means that a good or service could not be priced less than the price floor. A price ceiling is the opposite; there is a set maximum price for a certain good or service. In the U.S. government terminology, they call these "price controls."
|Death of the 'Expert'|
Ah yes, the Subject Matter Expert (SME), where art thou? When studying to enter into the world of AdLand, we were taught how important it was in business and in advertising to position yourself as an SME. That's how you got attention. That's how you beat your competition.
That's how you win business.
In our early professional life as an AdLand resident, the teaching was confirmed.
|Next Up: Branded Films|
As web video has been growing into a bigger deal and creative directors continue to dabble as faux film directors, we are going to see the lines go from blurring to a full-fledged disappearing act. Our society has seen it before, on a smaller screen: soap operas. We have mentioned before the history of the soap opera and how companies like Dove and Proctor & Gamble basically bankrolled these shows on radio and TV. The companies served as the only advertisers.
|Louis Vuitton Mixes Mos Def & Ali|
Our society loves sports. We tend to idolize those who succeed more in a sport than we could have ever dreamed. One such man was Muhammad Ali. Not only did he have the strength, speed and endurance to be one of the greatest boxing legends of anyone's time...
|Insight: AdLand's C-Suite Advantage|
When building a team, the group gathers together and discusses its strengths and weaknesses. In that conversation, each member says what skill or talent they bring to the table that would make the group (and essentially, their presence) successful. If you are the marketing or advertising person, what would you say? Creativity? Strategy? Capability?
|Should Ads Be Smarter?|
When do we call the consumer's bluff and see how smart and aware they truly are? Or, when do we stop insulting the public and raise the standards of advertising?
This question focuses primarily on B2C advertising creative, because the B2B creative that we have seen, been a part of, or read about doesn't take its audience for granted. B2B advertising is smart, targeted and diverse. B2B must have those elements to get attention.
|Good Advertising and Bee Stings|
Summertime means yard work. Fast-growing grass and greenery (if you're in the fortunate part of the States) fill the yard along with the insects that thrive on them. Even during one of the hottest summers, parts of the U.S. have seen the resurgence of bees. Bees have been a popular topic of discussion amongst environmentalists.
|New Initiative Helps Future AdPeople|
Youth unemployment is at its highest around the world, and it is still hard to get a large number of talented young people in advertising. With the reviews the industry receives from the media, politics, and consumer groups...
The biggest complaint advertising receives is that consumers see messages from products and services that are not relevant to their needs and wants. People sit down to watch or stream TV and are treated to ads that are obviously not meant for them. AdLand's quickest response is that these same consumers are either in the brand's target audience or display traits similar to their target audience.
Ah, yes; the situation boils down to demographics.
How is the industry doing these days when it comes to demographic targeting? A new study done by Catalina Marketing illustrates that we are not doing so well. In its sample of brands that have a target audience of female-headed households between the ages of 25–54, only 15% of the ads made it to their target audience.
|When Goals Conflict|
In the Information Age, we have been told that two-way communication is key. We have heard that businesses and brands are no longer leading the conversation, and that with the amount of data and information the consumer can obtain, they know what they want and why they want it before those of us in AdLand can show them different options.
But is it true? Perhaps.
|AdLand Enters the NBA|
Let's not get it twisted: advertising has always been a part of professional sports. Advertising has used athletes, teams, and the concept of victory in countless campaigns, and that is a theme that will continue as long as sports are on the airwaves. Ads and sponsorships like the Wheaties box, the '85 Bears commercial, Joe Greene and Coca-Cola, Polamalu and Head & Shoulders, and now Cam Newton and Under Armour have been set in front of our eyes. When games cut to commercial, we see our favorite athletes.
|Eyes Can't Lie|
If we are in the Information Age and consumers are controlling the conversation, why is market research even needed? If these "conversation wizards" and "unmarketing gurus" declare that we must engage consumers instead of "selling" to them, can't we trash the focus group and research departments? Talk about the savings!
No, we can't do that. There is something within human nature that makes it incredibly difficult for us to say what we really want.
|Indies, Meet ICOM+IN|
If you have been following us regularly, you have noticed our distaste for media holding companies. We have nothing against the people within those organizations. Sorrell (WPP), Jones (Havas), and Levy (Publicis) have shown that they are first-class leaders and deserve the respect given to them.
But as advocates of small and independent agencies, we believe that they are tipping the scales of competition and quality creative work. We haven't seen a comparable answer for those we champion.
|Autonomy in Holding Groups?|
AdLand is going through yet another phase of consolidation. Not to the extreme that was seen about a decade ago, but holding companies are making clear power moves and acquisitions that will position them to be bigger players as the advertising landscape continues to morph. Publicis, Havas, and WPP have been making most of the headlines recently with the buying of mostly digital shops and crowdsourcing-based agencies.
The most recent purchase does not fit that mold.
|Will 'Brandalism' Work?|
What is brandalism?
While researching this post, we surfed and came across what seems to be the commonly accepted definition, or mantra, of brandalism. The definition goes, "Any advertisement in the public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It's yours to take, re-arrange, and reuse..."
|Agencies Need Business Savvy |
When you pit a small agency against a large agency, or against a holding group, there is an obvious advantage that the small agency cannot overcome: resources. We're not talking resources when it comes to creativity or team makeup, though at times that can be daunting; we are aiming more at organization. Bigger shops and holding groups can have departments for human resources, finance, agency operations, and the works. There are people who work at agencies and have never worked on a campaign in their life. There are others whose only role in the campaign is to watch the receipts. A 10-person shop doesn't have that luxury.
There is nothing like connecting with a group of young minds.
We have the pleasure and opportunity to spend a week out of every year as a company advisor for Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week. The company advisor acts as a business connection for 18 rising high school juniors and seniors during a week that consists of talks from business executives, a college-level business simulation, an ethics case study, and other team-related activities. The week ends with a series of presentations that the teams worked on throughout the week that will display their overall comprehension of free enterprise, a business simulation, and marketing and advertising.
In AdLand, we feel it is sometimes overlooked...
|Style Gets a Makeover|
Fashion advertising has not been the best recently. We even took a swing at them about the hypocrisy of the fashion industry and the advertising it employs. The Style Network, launched in 1999, has tried to position itself as the premier network for for women.
|Should Product Placement Be Regulated?|
In a cluttered world, advertisers and brands must continue trying to find the best way to get in front of their audiences. Product placement, the latest way to reach large audiences, has been successfully used and abused. We have all heard how American Idol went from a talent show to a Ford commercial, and as more information comes out about the newest Bond film, the less it sounds like an Ian Fleming character and more like a Heineken film. But never have there been scientific studies that have suggested a ban on certain product placements in movies. AdLand does a decent job with self-regulation.
|PSA for Man Therapy|
In our society, addressing men's health has always been challenging. It is commonly accepted that men hate going to the doctor, and in our perverse definition of masculinity, it seems unmanly to be aware of and fix emotional and physical ailments.
AdLand is trying to influence the conversation.
|The Real Point of Advertising|
"Advertising says to people, 'Here's what we've got. Here's what it will do for you. Here's how to get it.'"
Based on the articles, "thought pieces," and reports that have recently come out about advertising, it is clear that many people have either a negative view about advertising or a totally misguided view about the practice.
Let's try to break it down so people stop spreading false notions about it. We linked to a simple article that appeared on a usually reputable site.
|PETA Launches Death Bet|
No one can put a damper on horse racing quite like PETA. When you think of the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, or the Preakness, you think of the Triple Crown, fancy hats, parties on the green, and Kegasus. People see images of mint juleps being passed around, fancy white event tents with mouth-watering food spreads, and we are told stories of old horse greats, like Secretariat.
But the hard-to-swallow truth about how poorly treated some horses are rarely make the front page.
|New Slogan for Hot Dogs|
Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month? Better yet, did you know that the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is a real organization?
Now you do!
Yes, to celebrate National Hot Dog Month, the awesomely named council crowd-sourced a new slogan. There were eight finalists, and the winner of the contest was "Hot Dogs: Relish the Moment." Apparently the contest poll was conducted through Facebook, and the other slogans included "Make the Dog Days of Summer a Footlong"...
Corporate Social Responsibility...we meet again. We get it; people are tired of being sold to. With the Information Age in full swing, people can find out what their products are made out of, how organizations treat their employees, and how true to the environment and their promises organizations are being. And yes, everyone's finger is pointing at advertising.
|For Foodies and Fashionistas |
When culture is brought into conversation, food and fashion ultimately become topics of discussion. Food can identify social groups much like fashion can. Those who wear Prada and Gucci won't probably know the latest dive "Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives" visited. Also, those who love getting the taste of local food when traveling probably won't know when Dior's fall line is expected to hit the rack.
Food and fashion make a good pairing. Naturally, then, is the collaboration between Banana Republic, Bon Appétit, and Open Table. The three organizations are launching a food and fashion apparel collection called "Desk to Dinner."
|A Brand Through The Ages|
"It's funny how women's hairstyles have influenced men."
The following ad for Playboy was done by Y&R Cape Town, South Africa. There is a great selection of music, and the hairstyles we see that change throughout the decades are fun to watch. As the women in the magazine change, the brand of Playboy seems to never leave the social fabric.
The 30-second ad shows the different ethnicities enjoying the magazine spread, which gives the consumer the sense that it was one of the few cultural pieces that spread across racial lines.
|'Deserves to Die' Campaign Supporter Revealed|
Everyone likes a little mystery now and again. The ad you see was a part of a series of ads that went up as posters around many major U.S. cities. Other posters included "Hipsters Deserve to Die," "The Smug Deserve to Die," and so on. One source mentioned a Chicago woman who saw the ad "Cat Lovers Deserve to Die" and thought it was incredibly offensive.
There was a countdown on the site NoOneDeservestoDie.org for people to visit midnight Thursday.
|Turn It Up! Can Noise Help Creativity?|
Many of us know those people who cannot think or write without having some kind of music blasting through their headphones. We remember at a former agency, the line of creatives was constantly plugged in to their MP3 players and iPods, and were totally unnerved when they forgot to charge them.
In school, many may remember a paper they had to write and how they got the music flowing to help concentration and motivation to get the paper done. Yes, Method Man and Tupac alone got us through that class.
|Can 'Trial and Error' Survive in AdLand?|
As communications and creative professionals, we know that we can't always nail the perfect message, the perfect campaign, at the first go. Especially if the client doesn't have the budget or willingness for research, it can be difficult for an agency to be (ideally) successful the first time around.
Yet, as brands and their CMOs carefully watch their bottom lines, that is the expectation.
|IBM Releases 'State of Marketing' Report|
IBM released its State of Marketing 2012 report this week, and it tackles a series of beliefs and issues that the industry needs to focus on in order to perform better in the next coming years. It was solid advice, and the majority of it focused on marketers and advertisers getting back to basics and getting back to being well rounded instead of focusing all efforts on "proven" segments.
|Is Sorrell the Man AdLand's Been Waiting For?|
Sir Martin Sorrell, as many of us know already, is the bossman of WPP, one of the largest advertising holding groups in the world. He's outspoken, he thinks highly of himself and his accomplishments, competitors admire him and hate him, and though the board doesn't want to pay Sorrell what he thinks he deserves, shareholders are sure glad he's there.
|Dramamine Ads Show Up in All the Right Places|
With the summer of 2012 officially starting, and gas prices steadily increasing, there is a lot of talk and excitement around the hospitality and tourism sectors. The financial debacle has kept many people firmly at home or picking "staycations" rather than leaving town, many are feeling the itch to explore.
|Why Agencies Need Generalists|
In ancient Greece, where thinkers reigned supreme, there was one course that was the umbrella of all others: philosophy. From philosophy came physics and mathematics, rhetoric and the study of languages, and from those came engineering, chemistry, architecture, agriculture, and many other studies.
|Deutsch LA Solves AdLand's Talent Problem|
We've been looking forward to hearing how Deutsch LA solved the talent problem in AdLand. For far too long has AdLand been parading around, lost, and without a leader. Once we heard that Deutsch LA had something up their sleeves, we were excited to hear what they came up with. Deutsch LA even teamed up with the 4A's in order to get a wider base.
|What Makes a Name Popular?|
As communications professionals, we know the importance of names. If a good, service, or brand doesn't sound catchy or appealing, it's going to be an uphill battle before the consumer even gets to try it. Nailing a name enables us to cut through the clutter, jump into the consumer's consideration sets, and garner an audience.
|Dad Ads in a Changing Environment|
Ah yes, the constant battle of the sexes: moms vs. dads. In the past, dads have been looked at solely as the breadwinner and the "fun parent." In countless creative spots, the dad has looked helpless, childlike, and pretty much pathetic when it came to housework or childrearing, and it took the touch of a lady to clean up the situation.
But times have changed.
Now, women are the majority gender. There are more women in college than ever before, and in many majors, the women outnumber the men.
|Retaining Agency Talent|
As agencies posture themselves against one another in an effort to win the attention of organizations, the new business team may try to woo prospective clients in several ways. First, the shop may harp on the previous big-time accounts they have had. Then they may coax them with the jargon AdFolks are so good at. They will tell the client that their approach is completely different.
|Got Lobster? Maine Council Considers Campaign|
There have been several campaigns that circle around a common good. The Idaho Potato, Perdue's chicken, and the famous "Got Milk?" campaign all come to mind. Across the pond, the UK is developing a campaign centered around the benefits of beer, and Cravendale has created its own milk advocacy campaigns.
|Racism in The Beautiful Game Worries Advertisers|
The European Championship is underway, and the games have lived up to the hype. The 2012 Euro Cup has been dealt quite the hand; being sandwiched between the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics, some may have thought that brands would sit this one out.
Not to mention the whole racism thing.
Soccer's governing bodies have tried to deal with racism by merely ignoring it.
|Miracle Whip Urges You to Keep an Open Mouth|
As regular commercials start to bore consumers, brands are coming up with more creative ways in the TV and video realm to attract, retain, and entertain their audiences. We saw the rise of the ultra-man spokesperson with W+K's Old Spice campaign, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," and later brands like Dial for Men, Heineken, and others saw its success and released copycats. Dos Equis has experienced some success with its "Most Interesting Man in the World" spots, which also included a concert series that toured around the nation and had various circus acts, weird talents, and music.
|Puma Expands Digital Community|
As we have talked about before, there are few communities more interconnected than the fitness community. As runners, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts can attest, those in the fitness community can relate immediately. Runners wave as they pass each other on a path or trail, weightlifters readily provide spots when another is struggling to put up weight, and athletes share stories about their favorite brands...or when they are trading in their "lucky shoes" for something better because the lucky shoe is barely a shoe anymore.
|The Agency: Your Revenue Partner|
The Agency-Client relationship has been under scrutiny for quite some time, even more so in the past five years during the financial collapse. Brands are trying to keep the shop roster but cut expenses while agencies are trying to keep the clients.
|How Insulated Are American Consumers?|
The American economy has definitely seen better days. The Great Recession is stubbornly on its way out (hopefully) and consumer confidence has been on a roller-coaster ride, while those 8.2% of Americans who don't have a job have to hear news stories about Corporate America sitting on billions of cash.
In the meantime, AdLand is commissioned to attract consumers to those businesses and organizations that can help them during these difficult times. Messages of stability, growth, and savings fill the airwaves. Messages of self-worth and empowerment become themes for creative departments. But what about responsibility, conservation, or being a part of something bigger?
|AdMen and Aliens...Awesome?|
You know your industry is officially part of the American zeitgeist when a movie about it and aliens are set to hit the mainstream.
Yes, advertising and aliens.
The trailer for the movie Branded has officially started to make its rounds throughout the Internet. The movie features Ed Stoppard, Jeffrey Tambor, and Max von Sydow.
|Millennials and Politics in AdLand|
There has been a battle going on during the last 10 years between the Millennial generation and the powers-that-be in AdLand. GenY versus GenX and the Boomers. As the generations posture for power and relevance, a rift has been created in the industry. What is more important: growing up with social media or the ability to learn it? Talent and skill or industry experience?
|The Blurry Line Between the Film and Creative Director|
At times, especially in the agency world, we run into creative directors who are just one step away from leaving AdLand to go to Hollywood. On the flipside, there are movie directors who often take a break from the Hollywood dazzle and entertain themselves with quickies in AdLand. Both directors require extraordinary talent, management, and vision. But will there ever be a time when one could replace the other? Or are they in fact one and the same, just a variation?
|HFCS = 'Corn Sugar'? Not So Fast|
With the weighty consequences of obesity falling on many in the United States (pun intended, by the way), many health food groups, nutritionists, and social activists have been raising their voices against the corn lobby and HFCS. They are rising up because they claim that HFCS is bad for you, and campaigns for "Slow Food," have been catching Big Agriculture's (BigAg) attention.
|Advertising Works When You Believe In It|
Advertising has developed a bap rap with consumers over the past decades because of its perceived intentions. The phrase "being sold to" has become derogatory; it no longer means to be persuaded to buy or act, but means being cornered and pitched at about a good or service a consumer doesn't necessarily want or need. The public sees advertising the way they see Big Business: advertising is the arm that uses its muscle to get Big Business more profit.
It's not always the case.
|Pom Wonderful Strikes Back with FTC-Based Campaign|
When covering the advertising industry, we are constantly scanning the newslines and hoping that brands stick to representing themselves the best way they think they can, regardless of what regulators or their competitors try to make others believe.
Imagine our excitement when we saw that Pom Wonderful is launching a campaign that highlights all the health benefit claims that the FTC said that Pom Wonderful can say. In a press release, Pom Wonderful also acknowledges the "simplification" of the ruling explanation, and that out of its 600 ads, the judge ruled that only 2% were deemed as misleading.
Pom Wonderful even launched http://www.pomtruth.com/ftc.
|Where Does Advertising Fit With Consumer Confidence?|
When your economy is based on consumption, it is important to hear if consumers are opening their wallets or keeping them closed. With several years passing from the financial meltdown and announcements of deep budget cuts and layoffs slowing down, economists are looking for positive numbers.
|Why Ads in Fashion Need a Makeover|
When it comes to hate for advertising, no hate is more fervent and shared than hate for fashion advertising. Especially amongst women. Magazines and advertisements, fashion shows, and TV are saturated with images and depictions of what beauty should look like in our society. And truth is, the image is off. The fashion industry is holding on to a dream of beauty.
|Agency Uses 'The Pitch' to Talk About Color|
Ah yes, minority recruitment in advertising, we meet again.
You have to stop jumping into the mainstream conversation. You make AdLand uncomfortable. As if people refuse to talk about racial diversity or something.
Matter of fact, most would rather talk about the "something."
This time, instead of a viral video, a book, or a conference discussion, minority recruitment corners AdLand on TV. The culprit: Muse Communications of Culver City, CA.
|Pom Not-So-Wonderful Advertising Deemed Misleading|
AdLand has to be ever careful with its creative. It seems that if a consumer has a poor experience, or if the FTC wants to feel relevant, the litigation goes after the Ad world.
And health food gets no pass.
Pom Wonderful, the pomegranate juice that has taken grocery stores and refrigerators by storm, was issued a cease-and-desist order from an administrative judge recently. The judge decreed that some of Pom Wonderful's health benefit claims of fighting impotence and reducing the risks of heart disease and prostate cancer were insufficient.
|When Ads Get Too Close, Too Fast|
Common thought is that if brands fail to connect with consumers, then they are doomed to be ignored by their audiences. It is a generalization, but more often than not, it is a safe rule to follow. The act of connecting or engaging with people who like your good or service, or those who fit the mold who would, is a balancing act. Establishing a niche audience is nice, but then if your offering attracts multiple audiences, the advertising campaign gets complex. Complexity isn't a bad thing, but it does demand more.
|Your Move, Social Responsibility|
There have been conversations off and on for the past couple years about whether people in our nation are truly altruistic, proactive people. There have been studies, talks, debates, and campaigns about this very topic.
|Consumers: We're the Same, But Different|
The need to belong is a constant theme when consumer behavior is discussed. It's a basic need. People need to feel like they are not alone. That is one of the major reasons that online communities and social networks have boomed: they enable people to connect with others with like interests from all over the world.
|AdLand's Abnormal Social Media Use|
Without research, one should be able to tell that AdLand is a little bit different than the rest. We're a group of people who are constantly being pushed to send messages. We are blessed and cursed with the challenge to create relevant, eye-catching creative on a consistent basis. We have to know not only what consumers want, but what our clients really what to tell their consumers.
Not to mention our colleagues.
|Why is it Hard to Accept Advertising?|
The past few days have seen some intellectual heat thrown down upon advertising. It is easy to say that AdLand is not looked on favorably. As companies find ways to rely on advertising for revenue, those consumers being reached think that the brands they patronized sold out, only to be thrown to the advertising wolves. This week, AdLand received some back-handed compliments.
|A Modest Proposal: Agency-Supported Ad Schools|
We remember faintly that there is an advertising school in New York (we think it's this one) that survives by having advertising courses taught by actual advertising professionals, and the courses include material needed by actual clients. The grades are based solely on the work you perform. We think this is the way creatives should be nurtured, and how current creatives could fine-tune their craft.
|How Does Perspective Affect Advertising?|
"The consumer isn't a moron; she's your wife."
Ogilvy, and many others, understood that good advertising came from those who knew who their audience was. Not only the facts about the audience, but how Adfolks perceived them to be. For example, if we were to target U.S. teenage males, and Ad Sample 1 had a reference to Aristotle while Ad Sample 2 had a fart joke...
|If You Don't Look Good, We Don't Look Good|
This week the world lost fashion and hairstyle icon Vidal Sassoon. Not only did he bring a new style in fashion and hair to the scene, but his business acumen and marketing techniques made it possible for him to rise from owning a single shop in London to becoming an international sensation. Vidal pushed his name and his ideals constantly. He understood how business worked.
|AdMen and Athletes: Not So Different|
Throughout the ages, the pen has faced the sword. Those who strive to master communications have been pitted against those who rely on brute strength or gifted athletic ability. The argument is compelling, for the worlds of the athlete and the Adperson rarely seek comparison. Each can be a celebrity within their own circles, admired for their skills and their abilities.
|Bank of America Switches Up Its Agency Roster|
Bank of America hasn't been on the top of consumers' favorite brands list lately. Nor have they been making friends in the media world (see this Rolling Stone article). But with it being the second-largest financial institution, it is a big account for ad agencies.
|Silver State Agencies Get Second Place in Contract Talks|
Nevada has been facing some tough times. Tourism to the state has been low for most of the year, budget cuts at the state level have been deep, and it is home to the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12%. Not to mention that the college graduates in Nevada see the lack of jobs and flee it, causing a vicious cycle.
Then, Nevada decided to boost its presence and sell the state as a tourist destination. It put out a $3 million, two-year contract for an advertising agency to help Nevada's Commission of Tourism with the campaign. Nineteen agencies pitched for the business, eight of which were based in Nevada. None of the eight made it.
|Though Pricey, Print Ads Still Perform|
Leave it to the social web advocates and affiliate marketers and social media gurus to say that the "traditional" models of advertising are dead and gone. These would be the same people who would say that radio is no longer effective, that TV advertising is only noise, and the best way to "connect and engage" your audience is solely through online means.
|Stop This Irresponsible Cat Pimp!|
Finally, an animal advocacy ad without sad music or Sarah McLachlan.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owner Survey, 62% of American households own a pet. That is a little over 72 million homes. Within the U.S. market in 2011, over $50 billion was spent on our furry companions.
|Need to Be Creative? Read Fiction|
Today's economic environment demands that AdLand and its residents stay ahead of the curve. Our society is thirsty for knowledge and information about products and services. The organizations that supply those products and services pressure AdLand further by demanding increasingly effective communications. Creativity. We and our colleagues are under constant pressure to have a creative breakthrough. Adfolks pore over research, analyzing data, connecting on social networks, and trying to find that creative spark.
|Nespresso Airs First-Ever U.S. TV Campaign|
Coffee is a staple of the American diet. From the workplace to the household and the social outing, coffee is never far away from the lips of the American consumer. In fact, the consumption of coffee has been increasing, as well as its diversification. For decades, American coffee drinkers have been familiar with the coffee pot.
|Advertising: America's Scapegoat|
Advertising is constantly under attack from consumer groups and professional organizations under the premise that consumers are continually bombarded and manipulated by advertising and its practices. With ever-increasing information on the consumer end, AdLand still faces accusations that it unfairly goes after those weak and temperamental minds and influences them in ways that literally defies logic.
First, a report came out about how those consumers aged 15–20 who had participated in underage drinking recalled alcohol advertising more than those who had not. The participants were asked about number of extrinsic factors.
|Research and Analysis Paralysis: Balance Needed|
In the past few weeks, we have been showcasing the exciting new realm of neuroscience; the application of studying brain activity and consumer behavior. We also have been hyping up the importance of market research, and why the marketing scientist shouldn't be shoved in the agency's basement while the creative director walks on roses.
|When Advertising Boosts Morale|
Brand loyalty is something that every organization wants. The idea of having a consumer who will choose your brand regardless of what the other brands are offering is one that business owners drool over. In some industries, creating that loyalty is easier than others. In the commodity market, creating such a concept is nearly impossible. What about the fitness industry? In the past few years the fitness industry has been boosting its efforts to control certain niches of the fitness community. The efforts have recently exploded.
|Can We Predict the Consumer's Endgame?|
Choice. There is so little we know about choice, yet we constantly aim to persuade it. We arm ourselves with measurements and metrics, and we model mountains of data in order to attempt to predict what the consumer is going to choose...or better yet, determine why they choose what they do.
|Brand USA Starts Global Campaign|
There is an up side to a down economy in the United States; it becomes a little less expensive for foreign travelers to come and visit. Add the down economy with mixed views about the American image, and we have ourselves a perfect problem that an advertising campaign might be able to answer.
|Up Next: Brand TV|
The attention span of the consumer has decreased rapidly since the 1960s. No longer can the average advertisement be over a minute; you're bound to lose them unless the message, product, or service is brand new. Even a 30-second ad is getting too long for the consumer to stand; it is becoming a common practice for many advertisers to buy 15 to 20-second spots, making the message shorter and hopefully quick enough for the consumer to pay attention to all of it.
|Mission Possible: The Perfect Ad|
As communications professionals, we continually strive to send messages to our audiences. Not just the right message, but the perfect message. A message, a phrase, a creative piece that will totally make our audience understand what we have, what they are missing, and why we should work together.
But what does the perfect ad look like?
|Breaking Up the Millennial Bloc|
The group of 16–34-year-olds in America, commonly known as "Millennials" have been getting a bad rap. Older generations have called them the "Me Generation" and the "Lazy Generation." These young people have been raised in some very interesting times. First, they were the first generation to grow up with the Information Age.
|Leveraging Word of Mouth|
What happens when you tell a story? Well the person who receives the story gets information and insight that you have gathered and analyzed. If it was about a restaurant experience, or about a store that had those pair of jeans that fit you perfectly, no doubt that person will probably consider visiting those places.
But what happens to the experience when you tell it?
|Advertising: The Best Means to an End?|
In the Information Age, advertising and its professionals have been facing the meanest attack they have ever seen. From consumers, calling the profession untrustworthy and deceitful, from businesses calling it ineffective and costly, to the "social media gurus" proclaiming it "for the losers" and how it and the thousands of people in AdLand will no longer be necessary. But now we want to look at advertising in a more philosophical way. Is advertising the best means to an end? We would like to frame this argument based on the theories of categorical imperatives.
|Advertising Cannot Beat the Market|
Advertising, as we discussed in part before, is not in the business of choosing winners and losers. That is up to the consumers. Like the men and women who helped create AdLand have said, the best advertising in the world cannot save a bad product. It's true; in fact, one would think that good advertising would bring a bad product to ruin faster.
|Google Adds Consumer Surveys to Services|
Google let the secret out several years ago that it is in the business of advertising. Now the search giant is getting serious about offering better analytical tools for businesses and brands to gather more insight about its offerings and what people think about them. Google has just launched Google Consumer Surveys, a cost-efficient survey platform.
|Reebok and PeerIndex Team Up|
Reebok is pulling no punches when it comes to positioning itself as the brand for fitness. We covered Reebok earlier this year when it launched its national push promoting its partnership with CrossFit. Reebok no longer wants to be considered as an athletic brand, but it wants to be the to-go brand for people serious about CrossFit and fitness (and those people who admire the serious ones).
|Is Crowdsourcing Inevitable?|
Crowdsourcing reared its head(s) again this week when the advertising world heard the news that French holding company Havas decided to buy a majority stake in the two-year old agency of Victor & Spoils. Because of the huge payoff in such a short amount of time, communications professionals are asking the question: Do we really have to accept crowdsourcing as the future?
Naturally, it is a tough pill to swallow. We have never been advocates for crowdsourcing.
|What the Yuck? Disgust Ads Work Better to Change Behavior|
Decision-making in humans is a fascinating study. Like behavioral economist Dan Ariela says, we are predictably irrational creatures. When it comes to positive and negative reinforcement, we all clamor for the former but respond faster to the latter. Why is that? In our society, we are risk-averse, meaning that we place more emphasis on loss than gain. The risk of loss scares us. The same theory can be applied to health.
|Advertise to Groups, Not Individuals|
In the advertising world, we sometimes get carried away with the next shiniest thing in front of our faces and neglect the basics. It is true that new tools and methods have moved to the forefront of AdLand, but the principles of advertising and marketing have not totally changed. If advertising is truly a reflection of society, then we can see what methods will work based on the norms our societies are developing. The most recent norm has been the ability to for consumers to group together based around interests, brands, and likes. This, of course, isn't entirely new. Now the "thought leaders" have grabbed on to the bumper of the bandwagon and have declared this "recent" phenomenon to be "homophily."
|Another Indie Shop Sells Out |
The agencies in AdLand have tough decisions to make when things get difficult. When a shop loses a client, that usually translates to a layoff of employees, a decrease in revenue, and a handful of unfavorable write-ups. When a high-profile employee leaves willingly, then the shop faces a culture shift, with the potential loss of clients, team members, and everything already discussed.
|Skype Bets On Power of Human Nature |
Your move, texters. Skype has a whole new campaign, and it is coming out swinging. Humans have seen technology bring people together, yet farther apart at the same time. Yes, we can keep tabs on old college friends and family that live across the country, but we don't develop a relationship or connection as deep as it could be if we were face to face.
|'No Bollocks' and 'Beer for the Beer-Hater' Hit the Stage|
Two beer companies, two completely different messages. Newcastle has recently launched its newest advertising campaign "No bollocks", and Carlsberg, the Budweiser of the U.K., has expanded its latest brand, Copenhagn, to the U.K. Each beer is looking to expand its reach, but are going different ways with their messages.
|AOL Launches Mandatory.com, a Site for Guys|
In a fragmented world, the one who captures a niche audience will be successful. From segmenting a market according to industry to demographics, businesses must figure out what their key audience is going to be in order to fully satisfy certain needs and wants.
So, AOL is at it again to capture the male demographic. It has been announced that AOL has launched Mandatory.com, a site catered to the men in the world. Unlike its last effort of Asylum.com, AOL's team believes that Mandatory.com will survive and provide sought-after content. It has been built "from the ground up for brand advertisers," said the General Manager of AOL.com. It looks like that AOL might be successful this time.
Much has been said about where to look for and how to foster creativity. In an environment that is constantly on the move, the need for innovative thinking and new concepts becomes direr. With the need comes tips and best practices from the pillars on which our modern world leans on.
It is interesting to read that the practice of fostering creativity has not changed much throughout the decades. From Charles Dickens to Kurt Vonnegut, Steve Jobs to an blogger from SXSW, the same philosophies apply when we are urged to "be creative."
That means that there is hope for us, after all.
Let's first examine the article written by Anne Kreamer on the HBR Blog Network.
|Pepsi Revs Up Global Campaign|
Pepsi has been trying to jump on the international scene with a vengeance. Since it's 2010 Super Bowl hiatus, Pepsi has undergone a massive marketing overhaul. It has poured millions into a rebranding campaign, re-structured the business, sold off product lines, and consolidated marketing and advertising agencies.
|'Pure Michigan' Goes National|
The Pure Michigan campaign, an advertising effort to get more tourists in Michigan, will hit the national stage once again with new ads that focus on Ann Arbor, Mackinac Island, The Henry Ford, and Traverse City. The Pure Michigan campaign, created by the Birmingham office of McCann Erickson, started regionally in 2006 and was launched nationally in 2009.
|Dove Teaches Young Girls Self-Esteem|
A cultural movement can take many forms. It starts with an idea that our society is not where it is supposed to be. Then, slowly but surely, we begin to see signs that there is something big to come. First, advertisers, fashion show coordinators, and photographers were held to the fire for altering the images of models.
|AdLand: Better Than the Golden Age?|
As human nature dictates, we like to become nostalgic about the past. Things seemed easier in the past, because we already know what happened, and with events and activities behind us, the benefits have seemed to outweigh the costs. When we approach and present and future, our natural tendency is to be risk-averse — keep doing what has been working, because something new might make everyone worse off.
|There's More Than Just Digital in Advertising|
Yes, having a digital presence in today's world is important; everyone knows that. It is imperative that you have a website, and now even a LinkedIn profile, for people to know for sure you're in business. But we are tired of people — advertising "professionals," mainly — who constantly harp that the survival of advertising is based solely on its life in the digital age.
|Studying the Woman's Shopping Experience|
In the U.S., the demographic shift to a time where women are not only the majority population, but also one of the largest purchasing power groups is just about complete. As more women complete graduate degrees and enter the workforce, they will show marketers and communicators how their buying habits and shopping experience have progressed.
|We're Not So Different, You and I|
As the Season 5 premier for Mad Men creeps closer, articles about experiences in AdLand become abundant. From young and old, bright-eyed to disillusioned, people are telling their tales about the days they filled the halls of an ad agency. Mad Men paints a picture of advertising that few people are able to fully wrap their heads around. Do Ad folks really drink all the time? Is it really a boys' club?
|Advice from AdMan George Lois|
"Damn Good Advice," actually. George Lois, the art director who is believed to be the man who Don Draper is supposed to be inspired by, wrote a book about how young talented creatives can release their creativity and flourish in AdLand. NPR interviewed Lois as he talked about his book, growing up and testing his talent, his favorite advertisements, and his days at the Doyle Dane and Bernbach agency, one of the shops that led the "Creative Revolution" with legend Bill Bernbach.
As an art director, one would think that he would follow the thought of creating the visual first and then the words. Not so much.
|Should Plastic Surgery Advertising Be Banned?|
In a world where consumers claim that they know more than advertisers think, and where people want less government in their lives, there seems to be plenty of evidence that points to the contrary. The most recent example is a Huffington Post article that takes up an issue happening in the UK: women's advocacy groups and some plastic surgeons are demanding for the government to make plastic surgery advertising to the masses illegal. Let's look at the facts. Over the past year, there have been several claims brought up against women's magazines for false advertising, especially in the UK. The L'Oreal ad featuring Julia Roberts that was challenged for airbrushing comes to mind.
|'Digital Natives' and AdLand: Should We Be Worried?|
As the digital world continues to grow, we continue to see how our interactions change. Humans are naturally meant to be interpersonal creatures, as the "city" is a perfect example. Throughout the ages we have been known to create communities, villages, and groups. According to Maslow, that sense of belonging and connection is a need we must fulfill.
|'Tips From Former Smokers' Campaign Launches|
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Center for Disease Control Director Tom Friedman (not the economist) have announced the "Tips From Former Smokers" advertising campaign. The campaign is the first paid, full-scale effort by the CDC to stop the increase of smokers in the United States.
During a live press conference announcing the campaign efforts, Secretary Sebelius highlighted the goals of the campaign, and why this campaign is needed. She said that tobacco kills 443,000 Americans a year, and for every one person that dies from smoking, two new smokers take their place. Also, the secretary stated that close to 70% of all smokers in America want to quit.
|Physicians Start Ad War On Butt Cancer|
Seeing a billboard like that on the way to Opening Day might make one think twice about a ballpark frank, right? At least that is what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) hopes.
|What Does Google's Project Re:Brief Show AdLand?|
"In order to create great display advertising, you first have to create great advertising."
Yes indeed. At SXSW, Google, which is no longer keeping it a secret that it's in advertising, released its latest experiment: Project Re:Brief. What exactly is it trying to do? It gathered the creative minds behind some of the most famous ads of our time, and is challenging them to adapt those ads to the digital world. The minds behind Avis, Volvo, Coke, and Alka-Seltzer will have a chance to put digital tools to the test.
|Optimus Prime Teams Up With NASA|
The human race has always been curious. Now, it seems the current generation is not interested in diving into the realms around us. That's why NASA had to pull bring out its secret weapon: Optimus Prime. Well, Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, at least.
|How 'Pruning' Can Be Influenced by Advertising|
In a new study published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, new research suggests that when humans are subjected to complicated decisions, their brains subconsciously whittle down the options based on biases that they carry, in an effort to make the decision-making process easier.
|Luxury Markets See a Boost|
How is the luxury market doing these days? With the nation crawling out of the hole created by the financial crisis, with the power of the U.S. dollar falling worldwide, and the increasing gap between the super rich and the masses, surely the conversation would be somber.
Not so much. In fact, according to Bain & Company, the luxury market has experienced growth.
|States Clamping Down on Advertising|
In a big election year, politicians are leaving no rock unturned as they search for ways to show people that they actually care about how their taxes are being spent. Now we take our time from the national level back down to the states, where much of the past two years has been focused on getting budgets back in order. Through the past year, we have brought attention to how states, especially tourism outlets, have gotten creative.
|AdLand: Be Riskier |
The fun thing about advertising is that one can grab ideas about the industry from all over the world. In a global economy, businesses have to find ways to create messages that appeal to customers. Plain and simple. Therefore, when one part of the world is having a problem busting out of its creative bubble, it is worth taking a look to see what is going on.
And the problem across the pond in Asia resembles a glaring issue here: agencies are afraid to take risks.
We agree that agencies need to start turning away from gimmicks.
|On Breaking Habit|
When a brand becomes part of a consumer's habit, organization's love it. The advertising world considers it part of the elements of brand loyalty. When a consumer routinely chooses your brand over another, regardless of price, convenience, and substitutes, it creates a bond that is tough to break.
|Ogilvy & Mather Creates #OgilvyChange|
As behavioral economist Dan Ariely wrote, humans can be guaranteed to be predictably irrational beings. Behavioral economics, then, is the way we can figure out why people react to certain ideas and actions. Consumer behavior falls within this field of study, since it too attempts to reveal why consumers act the way they do when buying a good or service.
Finally an agency, Ogilvy & Mather UK, understands the value of such principles. It has announced that it will open a behavioral science arm called #OgilvyChange, and it will be available exclusively to its client list. The article reports that #OgilvyChange will use aspects of social psychology, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology to help answer questions regarding how their clients' customers operate.
|How the Brain Screens Advertising|
Face it, consumer advocates — consumers are not as dumb or as swayed by advertising as you would like to believe. According to research published in the Journal of Marketing Research, it suggests that there is a two-stage brain process where consumers can weed out believable advertising, moderately deceptive advertising, and highly deceptive advertising. It further suggests that understanding this new finding could help researchers understand how aging or injuries could make people more prone to poor decision-making.
The researchers of the study used advertisements that were pre-tested to make sure the subjects would find the products equally interesting and desirable.
|Fifth Third Bank Relates|
Fifth Third Bank has just released the latest regional campaign that was done with its latest agency of record, Leo Burnett. Fifth Third is focusing on curiosity, calling itself "the curious bank" because not only does curiosity lead into innovation or different thinking, but it is a trait that other banks don't seem to have.
|Molson Coors Goes After Women|
The beer industry, especially in the UK, is facing a decline in sales that it has never seen before. There is much effort to turn that trend around, from creating a campaign by beer advocacy groups to advertise the health benefits of beer (similar to the "Got Milk" U.S. campaign) to figuring out which demographics need to consume more.
|PeerIndex Looks to Engage the Influencers|
Marketers clamor for their businesses and agencies to jump on the social media train and start engaging with consumers. As many of us know, it is harder than it looks. Anyone can make a Facebook page or create a Twitter handle, but how do you actually engage with your customers? How can a brand latch onto a viral thread that deals with its audience?
|Colbert Puts Wheat Thins on Notice|
When television spots aren't enough, brands naturally find ways to become part of the show in order to get that extra placement. This past week, Stephen Colbert of the The Colbert Report gave Wheat Thins a chance to cash in on his "Sponsortunity." He has done this with several brands, with Doritos being the previous sponsor. How did the Wheat Thins marketing group, led by Nabisco, do?
|Who's to Blame for the Advertising Experts, Gurus, and Ninjas?|
AdLand gets quite creative when they try to tell people outside the industry what they do. So creative, in fact, that people may get the completely wrong idea of what they actually do. What comes to your mind when you hear "Social Media Ninja"? Does a professional in front of a screenshot of HootSuite and a data management system come to mind, or a cloth-clad warrior tossing Twitter's failwhale into the sea? Change Agent? Unmarketing Specialist? Brand Talker?
|Consumers Need Self-Verification|
Sociology and consumer behavior studies have both come to the conclusion in recent years that individual behavior is influenced by the standards established in the communities and situations one may find themselves in. In our world, social proofing is not just part of our activities.
One of the biggest obstacles marketing professionals face is figuring out the proper way to measure and track data. This is not a new issue. It seems that most of the issues in advertising aren't new; the arguments change according to the newest tools that are out, or if groups are simply tired about arguing something else.
|Why Positive Ads Do Not Work|
Another election year, another wave of poorly done political advertisements. As we candidates push their position through TV ads, radio, web video, and more, the point becomes clear: nothing works better than hyping the negative. Political advertising is different than advertising products and services, for the reason that determining the value, the cost/benefit analysis, is not as tangible.
|Heart Attack Grill: Truth in Advertising|
A customer at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas suffered a heart attack. Why is this surprising? Perhaps the BBB should thank the Heart Attack grill for delivering on its name, for under the BBB Code of Advertising, if Heart Attack Grill didn't supply customers with at least the threat of an heart attack, the restaurant could be misleading the adventure-seeking customer.
|What Constitutes 'Honest Advertising'?|
"Why, all advertising is exaggerated. Nobody really believes it." Unfortunately a plurality of people would agree with that Coca-Cola attorney in the first decade of the twentieth century. To think he was using that phrase as a defense of advertising! Yikes! Because of knuckleheads like him, advertising has received a bad reputation. Even as advertising reached its Golden Age and through today, it is looked at as deceitful, manipulative, and downright untruthful. Being in the advertising industry, we hate to see such nonsense. It is always the class clown who ruins recess for the rest of us.
|Frame Your Message Through Body Language|
Much is known about how humans react to their environment. The human race has done more to the Earth than any living creature, in the shortest amount of time. It is no wonder then, why it is always fascinating to research, learn and adopt practices that help us reach each other. Body language is one of the most interesting aspects when it comes to interpersonal communication, and in our case, consumer behavior. For example, knowing that when a person is crossing their arms means that they are being guarded, as we approach we should make ourselves as "open" as possible, portraying honesty, niceness, and positivity.
|Can Advertising Build Brand Loyalty?|
When organizations are looking to trim budgets, one of the first places they look at is the marketing and advertising budget. Why? They think that it is the most expendable. No doubt they believe that they have a solid customer base, or the service or product they offer is far more superior than the closest competitor, or that they believe people will search them out, and they don't need to search for customers. Sometimes the biggest reason is that marketing and corporate executives do not see the "return on investment."
|Brutal Blow to Agency Job Numbers|
At the start of a new year, big businesses take that time to look at their budgets and line items to see what they think will make them more efficient and streamlined. Others look to change up relationships, and look to see if adding a new spark will be the winning formula. Unfortunately for the agency world, big news about such changes came this week. First, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) has reportedly laid off at least 100 people at its San Francisco office, which would account for close to 14% of its staff. GS&P lost its relationship with Sprint, who came to them only four years ago and was one of the agency's flagship clients.
|How to Write: Advice from David Ogilvy|
Not too long ago, we shared Kurt Vonnegut's tips for creative writing. Now, we would like to share more tips for writing well from David Ogilvy. The following ten tips came from a company memo Ogilvy sent to his employees at Ogilvy & Mather on September 7, 1982. "The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well..."
|Heineken Partners Up with 007|
Heineken and the James Bond franchise have been partners since 1997, and in its second push of the "Open Your World" campaign, it is taking its biggest plunge yet with a heavy investment in digital with hopes to drive activity through its global Facebook page. If the explanation of "Open Your World" is true, then if one must pair oneself up with a character, it might as well be James Bond. The campaign is set to start around September. Daniel Craig will star once again as 007 in the next film, "Skyfall," which is set to be released around November. Bond, the man who made the shaken martini famous, has been a part of several Heineken commercials through the years.
Around the world, Americans are not known for their rigorous physical activity. Exercise in the United States has not only become a chore, but a necessary evil. It is usually a New Year's resolution or a fad that a group of friends will try to add to their routine when life slows down. Fitness and exercise needed a serious makeover. Well, that is what CrossFit and Reebok are attempting to do. Below is the extended spot of a Reebok CrossFit Ad that aired near the end of the Super Bowl PreGame show.
|Of Milk and Muppets|
Cravendale, a milk company is the UK, has released a media campaign that features the Muppets. According to Campaign Live, it is one of Cravendale's first brand partnerships. If you are wondering why you may have heard of Cravendale, you may have heard of its "Milk Matters" campaign, similar to the U.S.'s "Got Milk?" campaign, which celebrates choosing milk in general.
|Ageism in Advertising...Is it Accurate?|
If AdLand isn't being criticized for bad creative, lack of minorities, lack of woman-led agencies, and poor agency-client relationships, there is one issue that can really push some buttons. That issue, our fellow professionals, is the question of Ageism in the workplace. It was come apparent to us, after several of our posts, that this is an issue that must be addressed. It's true, like the conversation on finding minority talent, that finding "senior" talent is a discussion people know should be brought up, but isn't. And as the American populace gets older — including its workforce — this is a question that demands attention. Unfortunately, it is not a new issue. It has been a question since the 1920s and has only escalated since.
|The Good, the Bad, and the 'Huh?' of Super Bowl Ads|
Another Super Bowl has passed, and the advertising industry is still standing. Now we can the take time and examine how the spots resonated with the audience, and from a creative standpoint, how they fared. With many of the commercials leaked to the public, many of the spots were not a surprise. Some shops, though, kept the world guessing until their time came.
|As Business Changes, So Will Advertising|
If advertising is the language of business, and the way of doing business changes, it is only logical to think that advertising would change as well. If you were in an environment where you spoke only English and jumped into a bilingual community, you would want to learn the second language, right? In order to be successful in your new environment, adapting your ways would be necessary. Like learning a new language, advertising needs to learn how to properly conduct itself in the new environment.
|Marketers are Hoping for A Close Game|
As the week comes quickly to an end, everyone is preparing their plans for Super Bowl Sunday. Media Day for the players was on Wednesday, where the media gets to ask questions about game day preparations, what they have been doing the past week, and coaches give injury reports and roster updates. As of the writing of this post, the spread is -3 with the New England Patriots as the favorite to hoist up the Lombardi trophy.
|Don't Call it a Comeback: Absinthe Ads Return|
Though Absinthe, the infamous green elixir with nicknames like "the Green Fairy" and "the Green Menace," has been available around the world for some time, there hasn't been a brand ready to make a global push to market and distribute the drink. Enter Pernod-Ricard, the drink maker that says it was one of the first that made absinthe commercially available in 1805, is planning a global campaign to introduce its absinthe brand, Supéri-eure. Pernod-Ricard claims that its brand was the one go-to absinthe for the artists Van Gogh and Picasso. In fact, it plans on emphasizing its cultural impact by collaborating with artists and musicians.
|Super Bowl Ad Spotlight: Honda and H&M|
The advertising spots for the Super Bowl are attracting a lot of buzz, and few more than the spots from Honda and H&M. Honda just revealed that it is the company behind the You-Tube hit of Broderick's reprise appearance of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and this week H&M released the advertisement that features Mr. Soccer himself, David Beckham, in his underwear.
|Putting the Glamour Back in Advertising|
The fun thing about the Super Bowl is that when it comes near, mainstream media shifts its coverage to advertising. Advertising gets hit from all angles by the media, too: what's good advertising, what's bad advertising, why does our society need advertising, the invasiveness of advertising, and so on. Many pieces are off point, and some are not. It is important, though, for the advertising industry to speak up when such media critics pop their heads into our domain to give their two cents about advertising. One such head is Esquire's Stephen Marche, who wrote a piece today about bringing back good advertising.
|Speak Value, Not Benefit|
The biggest difference between the human race and animals, besides the opposable thumb, is what we know as free will. We have the ability to think, decipher, code, and oblige. We decide what our values are; what we consider right and wrong. We can define the environment around us and change it to our liking.
|Nurturing the Future of Advertising|
The advertising industry has been facing a "creative talent" shortage for quite some time. Agency executives feel that they cannot recruit the talent they believe they need, young professionals and junior copywriters who grew up in the Information Age think they know everything and deserve more than they should, and recruiters are stuck in-between, thinking that both sides have no idea what they want.
|We Have Snow: Visit Us, Please!|
If your consumer doesn't come to you, sometimes you have to use advertising to come to them. At least, that is what the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) did this month to skiers. In parts of the west and mountain west, the weather has been pretty mild. Great for those who don't mind a light snowfall, but terrible for the skiing business. According to the CTO, numbers across its 22-member resorts are down 10.65% compared to last year. It says that another reason for the drop could be the amount of in-state skiers who decided to stay away from the slopes. So the CTO relied on advertising. The tourism office placed the ad you see above in the New York Times, telling its readers that the heavy snowfall it received recently made it the best place in America to ski. Hopefully for them, it works. The ad was estimated to cost around $50,000, and it is the first time since 2002 the CTO made such a buy.
|Carnival Docks Its Advertising|
Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator and owner of the Costa Concordia, has suspended is broadcast, digital, and direct mail marketing for its namesake line, Carnival Cruise Lines, for an unspecified amount of time, reports the Vancouver Sun. In case you haven't heard, the Costa Concordia hit a reef off the coast of Italy.
|Sex and Advertising: Super Bowl Edition|
It is now no longer a guessing game: the New England Patriots and the New York Football Giants will play in the big game on February 5. Now as the days go by, people will shift their focus to ticket sales, pre-game analysis, and of course, the commercials. USA Today and several other major publications wrote pieces about the increase of "sexy advertising" in this year's Super Bowl.
|A Sea of Super Bowl Ad Virgins|
In this year's Super Bowl, millions of consumers will see a new batch of companies jumping to the international spotlight. As the Super Bowl is known for the commercials almost as much as the games, the companies that are planning their ads for the first time want to give the consumers quite the treat. Acura, Century 21, Lexus, Dannon Company, H&M, and 2nd Story Software will be placing ads during the Super Bowl for the very first time
|An Animation Refreshes Burnett's Speech|
In the advertising world, there are a few professionals throughout the times that have turned from leaders of the industry into giants and finished as legends. One of those legends in advertising is Leo Burnett. His dedication to ideas, hard work, and creating good advertising — not for the sake of the client, but for the sake of the agency and advertising itself — has made him a name every ad professional learns in a very short time in the field. In the era where creativity takes a back seat to efficiency, in a system where technology trumps art and expression, it is a nice refresher to stop and listen to one of the greats who made modern advertising what it is today.
|Of Course, Technology Will Solve the Talent Question|
When we first entered into the agency world of advertising, there was always one caveat industry professionals told us: "Agencies usually have a 'revolving door' at the building; just grow some thick skin." In our short time in it, that has been close to the truth. We have experience, and know plenty of young and old talent who have jumped around from shop to shop.
|Lighten Up, North Dakota|
The North Dakota Tourism center is in the middle of implementing a 10-ad, $1.8 million dollar advertising campaign to get more people to choose North Dakota as their vacation destination. The campaign has print ads in the visitor's guide — pictures of people hiking, couples, and, of course, nightlife. Guess which one local North Dakotans flipped out about? Yes: the nightlife. Apparently there were so many negative comments about the nightlife ad (pictured above) that the ND Tourism director took it down. The ad, as you can see, has all of the people dressed moderately in a normal after-dinner setting.
|The Rules for Creative Writing|
As creative professionals, it is sometimes necessary for us to get our inspiration for our work or writing from different sources, at times sources totally unrelated to advertising or communications. We need to give our minds a diversion, a thought or activity that captures them in order to give our thinking faculties a break. Sometimes we implement the same thinking processes on a matter totally different to get to what a result may look like. Then, after engaging in that brainstorming or brain-diversion activity, we return to the work at hand, refreshed and inspired. Kurt Vonnegut wrote an introduction to Bagombo Snuff Box, a book that included about 20 previously uncollected short stories he wrote between 1941 and 1953.
|Reinventing the Marketing Scientist|
When it comes to collecting data to find out what the consumer wants, and where they might be, the marketing scientist or researcher is not new. However, with the advent of technology, there has been a shift in data collecting; it has moved from finding out what the consumer believes and wants to what the consumer is actually consuming.
|Information Age: Brought To You By Advertising|
We in AdLand know that the world, and the information in it, runs on advertising. Finally, a journalist at the Washington Post gives advertising its due. Advertising is not evil, nor is it trying to take over how information, news, and entertainment is distributed to different audiences. However, to say that advertising has done nothing to help in the spread of information would be a foolish statement. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post gives advertising the credit it deserves for being one of the main vehicles in making information for consumers not only free, but accessible and, for the most part, objective.
|Let Your Ideas...Copulate?|
In civics or philosophy class, one learns about the glorious "marketplace of ideas" where people from all backgrounds, economic classes, and schools of thought can gather at a single common place and exchange thoughts and ideas about how our society works, and ways in which it can be improved. In most cases in this reality, such a marketplace does not exist.
|Your Child is Obese...Deal With It|
When is a campaign offensive? Perhaps when the issue is not only sensitive, but complicated. A non-profit organization in Georgia called Strong4Life spearheaded a campaign started in the spring of 2011 that raised awareness about the childhood obesity problem in the state. According to health officials, Georgia has one of the worst childhood obesity rates in the country, second only to Mississippi. Childhood and health advocates are torn about the campaign, because they believe that bringing more awareness to the issue is crucial (Strong4Life is working with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta) but others feel like the black-and-white, in-your-face imagery is not the way to attack such an issue. The campaign is to get in front of parents and tell them that it is time to do something. What parent wants to hear that their child is suffering from hypertension? That's an easy question to answer. The harder question is, who wants to be the parent to take the blame for causing it? Like in a classroom full of children who won't 'fess up for putting chalk in the erasers, a room full of parents would have firmly tucked their hands into their pockets. According to Strong4Life, 75% of parents of overweight kids ignore the problem. Linda Matzigkeit, a top executive of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, told ABC News that around one million children in Georgia are considered overweight or obese. The sheer number of unhealthy children is a formula for a strong response.
|Reality Check: Stop Overhyping the Future|
One of the biggest plagues in our industry is the process we use when pitching to clients, or engaging in "thought leadership." We exaggerate our findings for the future. It's true; AdLand is full of wannabe Nostradamuses who want to tell their clients that this strategy will boost sales by five percent, and want to tell colleagues that our agency's way will be the next revolution in advertising.
|Liz Claiborne Gets A Makeover|
Liz Claiborne, a name known to so many throughout the decades, will soon disappear. The company announced that it is going to change its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. and focus on leaving the malls across America and bringing more attention to its brands as it shifts towards direct selling to its customers and expanding worldwide. Liz Claiborne has been moving toward this moment for quite some time. It sold its namesake brand and a jewelry line to JCPenney in 2011, and released three more of its brands (Mexx, Dana Buchmann, and Kensie) as well. It believes Fifth & Pacific Cos. will be able to be more relevant in the fashion world.
|A Gym Gets a Bad Lift to 2012|
Leave it to a place meant to build muscle to mess up an advertising campaign. Equinox, a "high-end" chain of gyms, is facing much scrutiny of its members and social media followers due to its latest advertising campaign. The campaign features built gentlemen, but the ladies are slender models. Not the "slender" that one would find in a gym, these female models lack muscle tone, any kind of muscle definition, and one could even go as far as to say they lack nutrition.
|Super Bowl Advertising Sells Out. Now What?|
The United States is picking itself off the ground after being knocked down through this great recession. The financial markets are volatile, the political system is in total disarray, and corporate America's "job creators" are in hiding. But we know one thing for sure: where there's football, there's advertising. NBC sold all of its 30-second ad spots by Thanksgiving.
|What AdLand and Occupy Wall Street Have in Common|
"We're not so different, you and I." At least that is what the advertising community is saying to the 99 Percent and Occupy Wall Street protesters. When we look into the core beliefs of the movement that took 2011 by storm, it is not hard to see that AdLand and Occupy Wall Street have a common enemy in this swirling economy. History shows that the advertising community rose and became prosperous as the middle class grew. And now we see, as the income disparity widens between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, the advertising dollars for brands and media that cater to the middle are dwindling.
|Goal for 2012: Managing Expectations|
Congrats AdLand! Against all the threats and proclamations about the death of advertising, you defied the odds and survived another year. An easy resolution for AdLand is to "not die," but in an increasingly segmented environment, our resolution must be ever more lofty.
|Adding Spontaneity to Your Creative Arsenal|
For advertising to be effective, it must resonate and appeal to its audience. And no matter what gender, ethnicity, or geographic location that may apply to a certain audience, it can be said that showcasing or adding aspects of human nature to advertising can make an ad go from a flop to a masterpiece. As professionals gear up to brainstorm and define a creative process to devise an advertising campaign, it is important to harness a key aspect.
|Oh, If Only Crowdsourcing Could Die... |
There are few activities in AdLand that could disappear without a fight. A certain activity that has continued to rear its ugly head again and again during the past ten years get doesn't get the hint. That activity, ladies and gentlemen, is crowdsourcing. Why can't our fellow colleagues see that through crowdsourcing, we are making ourselves our own worst enemy?
|Are Big Agencies Dumb?|
AdLand is littered with different business models, from small independent shops to huge holding companies stretching across every creative discipline. All these models exist because they are able to compete in the marketplace and show value to the businesses that demand their services.
|Modern Advertising is Not Destroying our Way of Life|
How ironic is it to hear, when the consumer is now charge of the message, that the message seems to be the reason people's personal lives and our environment is in shambles? Really? We can play this game, huckleberry. The Ecologist quoted and remarked on a report put forth by the Public Interest Research Centre that looked at advertising.
|The Last Advertising Agency on Earth|
As you may have deduced by now, we are very interested in pushing the conversation about the future of advertising. But not in the "join the conversation, engage your consumers" kind of talk. We're more interested in the "hey agencies, get your sh*t together" kind of talk.
|Agencies' Changing Role in Advertising|
Each day some business professional or business journalist remarks how online and digital advertising is changing the way we do business, and the way businesses advertise. Each time, they try to get the attention of the industry by remarking not how business-as-usual will change, but how "traditional advertising is dead." Easy, tiger.
|Are Agencies Overlooking the Latino Market?|
We have seen several posts and thought pieces about how the niche-focused agency (Hispanic, African-American, etc.) is no longer relevant in this kind of marketplace. With international business being commonplace, it is not being culturally sensitive that is necessary, but focusing on your target audience.
|Money in Advertising: TV is Still Killin' It|
If TV advertising was killed by the social web, as we have heard many of our thought leaders report, the media buyers in the industry didn't get the message. There are some preliminary numbers from 2011 and it seems that not only is TV alive and well, it is still the winning medium. And its victory is unquestionable. Investopedia gathered data about the different mediums and ranked each one, noting significant changes.
|Small Agencies, Notice! Your Advantage is Your Team|
Innovation at times has a sneaky way of avoiding large teams. Whether it's because the teams are used to doing activities a certain way or are so bogged down with process that they can't move towards innovation or creativity is hard to tell. Small agencies have a competitive advantage in leveraging the efficiency of small, creative teams.
|Digital Advertising Space Cluttered? Who Saw That Coming?|
Sometimes it is fun to point out the research studies that are done that discover the obvious. Forrester Consulting was commissioned by Autodesk, a 3D design media company, to survey executives from 12 agencies in the United States and Europe about advertising to the consumer in the digital space. The findings were not very alarming. In fact, the results are blindingly obvious.
|Stop Avoiding: Call Advertising 'Advertising'|
As communicators, it is important for us to be able to convey a clear message in a consistent fashion. In advertising, it seems like more professionals are shying away from calling what we do everything but "advertising," especially when it comes to effective advertising campaigns. Good advertising can include storytelling, consumer advocacy, slice of life, and engagement. Why must we come up with the phrase "advertising that does not feel like advertising"? That is the exact phrase Peter Petrella of Gyro, the "largest independent B2B agency in the world," used when describing one of their campaigns.
|War of Words: Deciding the Future in Advertising|
Where do we look for the future of advertising? In the United States, we look at our current leaders. Yes; here, we look at those who are currently running the show, and we ask them to lead us into the new, ever-changing future. Seems a little odd, doesn't it? If we look overseas at our friends in the UK, they are taking a different approach.
|When Do You Pull an Ad?|
Advertising during specific shows and programs can make your audience think of your brand in different ways. There are reasons why we see more car and food commercials during football games than dramas. During news programs there are more political advertisements than consumer products. Advertisers make sure they cater to the audience they desire when it comes to advertising during certain programs. But what if patrons of your brand disagree with where you're advertising? The most recent example of this is Lowe's pulling its ads from a Muslim reality TV show that follows the lives of five Muslim-American families.
|Risk is Not A Bad Four-Letter Word|
Being a resident of AdLand, we can think of and have heard plenty of four-letter words. Some nice, some mean, many that belong in the dictionary, and others that are worth a toss. The word "risk," though, is not a four-letter word to avoid. In business, especially today, risk has been given a negative connotation. Risk is now associated with uncertainty.
|Different Cultures, Different Advertising|
When creating a message, we are taught first and foremost to know our audience. Who our audience is will be essential to choosing the type of creative and communication we use to make the advertising and messaging relevant and appealing. As brands go international, sometimes brand managers (and even AdLand) can forget that simple truth.
|Agencies to Corporate Marketers: 'Stop It'|
During the past couple months, we have been looking at the complaints in the advertising industry about the lack of talent and creativity. There must be some underlying factor as to why these complaints continue to carry on, or maybe it's the combination of a few issues snowballed into something larger. Perhaps the recruitment of talent is the issue. True, the advertising industry needs more diversity within its ranks and leadership, but that has been the case for decades. Is it what the people want?
|How Advertising Affects the Perception of the Gay Lifestyle|
Does the advertising world have a liberal, gay agenda? If it does, concludes researchers at the University of Miami, the gay population in America is all for it. According to research done in Coral Gables with assistant professor of advertising Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, the advertising and media push has helped gays understand themselves and their influence in society. The study is published by the Journal of Advertising in an article titled "How Minority Consumers use Targeted Advertising as Pathways to Self-Empowerment: Gay Men's and Lesbians' Reading of Out-of-the-Closet Advertising."
|ATM Fee, or an Advertisement? You Decide.|
Fees at ATMs drive consumers crazy. No one likes paying a fee to get their own money. In the U.S., the bank fee system goes against the free enterprise mindset people have when it comes to the money they earned. As for the banks, those businesses may chalk the fees up to convenience; they have to carry money and maintain the ATMs, so that service it is going to carry a value with it.
|A Campaign That Can Save Lives|
We have shown you advertising campaigns that focus on the betterment of society. Advertising, when used to bring light to events in our lives or causes that have affected us in some way, can be very powerful. Such is the type of ad campaign we are about to show you.
|Is Experience the Problem in Advertising?|
There has been talk for a while now about the creativity and talent lull that the advertising industry is in. Some suggest that the talent pool is just isn't there; the smart and creative ones are being sucked up by the financial and tech industries. Others think that the type of talent agencies and marketers are looking for simply does not exist.
|Advertising: Is It an Art, or Not?|
Can advertising be considered an art? This question is a loaded one, for people have very different definitions of what is considered art. If art is defined as a skill, then maybe. If art is defined as a craft or a work, then possibly. But with so much gray space, is there a way to get a yes or no answer? Probably not, but we can take a look at several key factors to help you make a better argument for or against advertising being considered as an art. When we look at art or advertising, one thing to consider is what is being expressed. Art, as our society recognizes it, embraces self-expression. Our culture loves to see how tormented or beautiful souls translate themselves into words and images. The art we see around us helps define the values, the troubles, and the states our lives are in. Art is usually considered to be timeless, and what is being expressed doesn't have any ulterior motive. Can that describe advertising? In most cases, no.
|Is Advertising Out of Control?|
A way to gain appreciation about advertising is to read opinions about it from professionals from all over the world. The Middle East has professionals who are just talking about advertising's role in a rising economy. The United States is focused on the best practices of social and digital media. Now what about our friends across the pond in the UK?
|The Jury Is In: Create Content, or Else|
In today's climate, brands cannot rely solely on the main media. Besides TV, print, radio, and magazines, there are a multitude of ways consumers can obtain and pass on information. It is important for brands to place information where they know their target customers are going to be. We all know this, but how do the brands do it? Easy — create your own content. The number of brands (especially big brands) creating and pushing their own content has increased dramatically.
|Do We Suffer From Groupthink?|
Sometimes it is hard to find the real problem in a certain situation when everyone in your group is thinking the same way. If we are all approaching a problem and are coming up with the same solutions, we are not getting anywhere close to solving it any time soon. So is that the problem with the advertising industry? Have we cut ourselves off from outside influence that much that we cannot see ourselves running in circles? It is hard to criticize the industry we know and love.
|Innovation Must Have a Point|
As your organization travels through these challenging economic times, no doubt your management and executive teams, business partners, and decision-makers have been gathering to figure out how to get out of this mess positively. Naturally, we all gravitate to innovation. We must be innovative in order to rise out of this downturn! But is it really innovation that your team is looking for?
|NASCAR Team Races into School Advertising|
School budgets are not getting any bigger, which means the creative ways for schools to raise funds are still receiving attention, and businesses and industries are starting to pay more attention to schools.
|Shake Ups in the Ad Industry|
In the past few days there has been quite the stir in the advertising industry. Agencies have been cut from rosters or have given up the work. We'll take this time to highlight a few of the bigger developments. First, it is being reported that Heineken USA is ending its four-year relationship with The Richards Group, a Dallas-based independent shop.
|Just Win, Baby|
Every day, it seems like one account is lost by an agency and won by another. In this age of burn-and-churn, it is important for agency leaders to take a look at how they are approaching new business, pitches, and preparing their agency the best way it can. The question is, what is the best way? In one of our previous posts, we mentioned the importance of networking and leveraging the "conflict of interest" clause that many agencies used to abide by. Staying connected in the industry is still important
|What Do Consumers Really Want?|
Determining the best way to connect to our consumers can be challenging. If it is true that people enjoy stories, developing the narrative that best fits the brand we are working with is the top priority. In these times, we are trying to figure out how to tell the best story we can while navigating the online, interconnected world. Now it is not just making sure the story is relevant to the consumer, but that the story is noteworthy enough.
|Advertising is for the Losers? A Rebuttal|
The advertising industry and the social media technologists are about to butt heads yet again. It is certainly not a bad thing; in fact, we should look at these conversations as extremely beneficial. We get a chance to defend advertising and show them why it will never go away. In fact, for social media to succeed, advertising is needed. The social media "elites" are so eager to call it a victory.
|Birth Control: Don't 'Do It' Without It! |
Bedsider, a free support network for women between the ages of 18–29 that is operated by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, just launched a national campaign to bring awareness to the importance of birth control and the startling statistics about unplanned pregnancy in the United States. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly one out of every ten unmarried young women in the United States have an unplanned pregnancy, a 13% increase between 2001 and 2006. The campaign itself, along with the help of the Ad Council and Euro RSCG NY (the agency that provided the creative), is planned for three years and is targeting sexually active women between the ages of 18–24.
|Ogilvy on Advertising|
"Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement." -Samuel Johnson. That quote was just one of the many takeaways in the interview with David Ogilvy when he appeared on the David Susskind Show while promoting his second book, Ogilvy on Advertising. The hour-long interview was full of wit, wisdom, and name-dropping, along with Ogilvy's famed brashness and dry humor. When I stumbled upon it on TV Guide, I couldn't help but watch the interview in its entirety. Susskind and his producer titled the show after Ogilvy's nickname, "The Pope of Modern Advertising." It seems a little exaggerated, but after watching the interview, one could at least understand the title.
|Advertising's Role in 'The Conversation'|
There is an international panel gathering in Berlin where the best minds in the world can gather and pitch ideas that can change the world we live in. One of the people chosen was a professor from Columbia, who is arguing that framing a conversation in the right way can help leave all the bad ideas off the table, and essentially put the good ideas out in the forefront to be debated. She offered the example of designing a building. Imagine you are leading an architecture firm.
|E-Cig Company Adds TV to Its National Campaign|
The electronic cigarette company, V2 Cigs, has recently released a TV commercial that will be broadcasted nationwide in efforts to complement the print, digital, radio, and social media efforts it already has running. The company is using the infomercial form of TV advertisement in order to educate the consumer and leverage expert opinions about how electronic cigarettes are better than not only the standard options but other tobacco alternatives. The 30-minute commercial showcases two of the flavors for the disposable cigarettes, menthol and tobacco, and the information is presented by a man who goes by Dr. Matthew Huebner. Dr. Huebner is a practitioner in Weston, FL in Emergency Medicine. With V2 Cigs located in Miami, this is naturally a decent fit. It is no longer easy to talk about or advertise smoking. With the normal cigarettes banned in many public places around the nation, those people who are addicted have been searching for companies like V2 Cigs that could provide an alternative. It is interesting that the company went the route of an infomercial . Thirty minutes to show how its e-cig is better than anything out there? Call it this blogger's generational bias, but it is surprising to hear that the infomercial is still a viable option.
|Keeping Soap Simple: P&G Freshens Up Ivory|
In a world where your man can be "the man your man can smell like," and soaps and body wash smell like rose petals and vanilla, walking down the aisles to find something to clean ourselves with has become quite the challenge. Do you need the odor blocker, or the 18-hour protection?
|Ad Council and Autism Speaks Team Up|
The Ad Council and Autism Speaks, along with the pro-bono help of BBDO, are launching a new awareness campaign about Autism and the not-so-crazy odds of having a child born with the disorder featuring Tommy Hilfiger and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray.
|This Space Available: A Movement Against Outdoor Ads|
Advertising is under attack, again. This time the attackers are a group of amateur documentary filmmakers, releasing a film called "This Space Available," which is what people are calling "a grassroots movement against visual pollution." The group believes that the billboards and wall posters in cities are polluting the space we live in, and it is the right of the public (they of course, taking the lead) to take their space back. Yes, in the two-minute trailer, you can see the group painting over billboards, ripping posters off and replacing the space with art, and later see some of their supplies be confiscated by police and them being arrested. David Burn of AdPulp, who originally broke the story, questioned the claims of this ambitious group.
|Ah, Wordplay, How Sweet It Is!|
You cannot enjoy a career in advertising if you don't like words. As advertising professionals, we have the opportunity to play with words and sentences each and every day. We have the opportunity to use common words, rarely used words, and in some cases, words we decide to make up in hopes of creating something new.
|Schools Lean On Advertising for Funding|
In this whirlwind of economic activity, the nation's attention is stuck on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. What is the financial district doing, and what will the government do to get the U.S. out of this mess? The sector that arguably needs the most assistance (and is being ignored) is the education section. School districts nationwide have seen their budgets slashed.
|Occupy Wall Street Occupies Advertising|
Occupy Wall Street, and the people who support them, realize the importance of sending a message. They realize that in order to make a difference, the group must do more than press interviews, amusing chants, and drum circles. In order to be taken seriously, and to get their message out to more people, Occupy Wall Street has to take its stand elsewhere. So the group decided to take their talents to advertising. In October, the protest group decided to release a television commercial.
|The Talent Search Continues in AdLand|
The ranting and raving for talent in the advertising industry enters the limelight again as the ad:tech conference in New York City quickly approaches. This NY Times article highlights the industry's search for talent at both entry-level and executive capacities. The leaders of the advertising industry are having a difficult time adapting to the digital age; it seems that not only are they looking for the right talent to bring in to their respective agencies, but it is becoming clearer that they may not be exactly sure what they are looking for.
|It's Good to be Funny|
People like funny commercials. No matter what the product or service is, if it makes the consumer laugh, then people are going to share the commercial with friends, and if the commercial is done well, the brand will stick with the consumer for some time.
|No More 'No Urban, No Hispanic' Dictates, Says 4A's|
The environment that advertising agencies find themselves in is slowly crawling into the twenty-first century. The 4A's, the shining beacon of understanding and knowledge for advertising agencies in the U.S., just proclaimed a framework for non-discrimination policies. For us younger professionals, this may be a little bit of a surprise. Yes, as late as 2007, the Federal Communications Commission had to put in place regulations that would prohibit "no urban," and "no Hispanic" dictates in ad contracts.
|'Smart is the New Sexy' Says Newspaper Association|
You think reading and being intelligent are traits belonging to the ranks of the dweebs and single, homely folks? Think again, says the Newspaper Association of America.
|The STRATA Survey Says the Ad Industry is in Good Shape|
The STRATA Survey came out recently, and with the data from over 900 agencies, it is able to paint a decent picture of the landscape of the advertising industry. Thankfully, the picture is a good one, for 52% of total respondents said that business has been increasing compared to the same time last year. The survey highlights several elements that may be signs that the economy is picking up.
|McTV Shows Advertising Potential|
As the economy continues to struggle, brands are looking at creative ways to improve their bottom line. Of course, this includes diversifying product offerings, expanding into a new markets, or penetrating further into a certain segment. McDonald's, a brand that is known for its ability to weather storms, is looking to dive into in-store television.
|Rap, Alcohol, and 'Advertising'|
A study was released this week in the journal Addiction talking about the relationship between the rap music industry and advertising and its effects on those who listen to it. The study was done by the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine.
|Are Agencies Playing Nice These Days?|
As a student, we learned how networking and rubbing shoulders within the advertising and communications industry was important, if not crucial, to being a successful professional. We learned that the industry was a small world, and that keeping the reputation you want intact was necessary, since "people talked."
|An Ad + Noose + Black Community = C'MON Man!|
Our American society is becoming more politically correct by the minute. In most cases, it feels like a drag on creativity; organizations have to be more worried about who they are going to offend versus the creativity of the work. In other cases, the political correctness demonstrates the sensitivity of past events, and the society's act of over-correcting. Now being politically correct can have its good and bad points, and likewise for not adhering to the societal norms.
|Advertising is Not Responsible for Fat America|
The fight between brands and those regulatory machines continue. The political sphere is ready to challenge and tighten its grip on the advertising industry, specifically those "junk" food brands and foods generally consumed by younger Americans, before looking at all the facts. It's election season, and facts or not, the powers-that-be want to send a message to voters so they can continue to be in power. There has been a debate going on about whether or not advertising has played a part in manipulating the buying habits of children and adults, causing them to only buy unhealthy foods and therefore spreading this obesity epidemic through unknowing America.
|No More Marijuana Ads, or Else!|
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy is proving a point that marijuana dispensaries are against the law and "inappropriate" by attacking the media and the advertisers. So far, out of the U.S. Attorneys in California, Duffy is the only one who is taking her battle to the advertising and media sector.
|Nerd Reasons Why AdPeople > Consumers|
It is easy to be swept up by the crowd and believe that there is a new way to gather information; to inform and create new messages to your audience. With the "experts" out there talking about listening to the consumer and crowdsourcing ideas from the consumer, is it really a surprise that the advertising industry has recently seen lackluster performances on the creative side? It shouldn't be a surprise, for some reason many communications professionals have forgotten who they are...professionals.
|Advertisers: Stop Complaining and CMP.LY|
We live in a society where boundaries must be created, or else "chaos" seems eminent. Rules, regulations, and norms are established so the players in certain arenas know what activities are acceptable, and which ones are not.
|Are We Holding Our Advocates Accountable?|
Are there journalists, bloggers, and disgruntled adpeople holding the AAF accountable for its actions and procedures? Are there activities that the AAF is doing (or not doing) that should require advertising professionals to raise the red flag? After a quick skim of web results, there is no controversy with AAF dealings. Just news and blog posts about ADDY awards, happy hours, promotions, keynote speakers, and articles about multi-cultural ad employees and the organization filing a U.S. brief with the ANA to fight the cigarette label issue.
|The Silent Majority|
When one learns of debate and the art of persuasion, you learn about the spectrum of opinion. There will be a group of people who will always agree with you, no matter what, and there will be a group that will always disagree with you, no matter what. The goal of the debater or persuader, then, is to attract as many people from the center as possible.
|Why Nothing in Advertising is 'Dead'|
Advertising is truly a fascinating industry. People are so quick to jump the bandwagon in certain activities, before they have a moment to think for themselves. Remember when blogs started to get popular in 2003, and everyone started to proclaim the end of print media? Then our experts and thought leaders proceeded to deem traditional advertising (print, TV, radio) as prehistoric.
|Treat Your Consumers As If You Were Dating Them|
"Treat your consumer as if you were dating them" suggests Yahoo! and ad agency BBDO. The dynamic duo completed a survey of over 1,000 consumers and marketers and revealed their revelations to a crowd at Advertising Week on Monday. According to Arnold of Medical Marketing & Media, the study results were compared to a dating scenario. The three types of media a brand should use to attract a consumer (paid, owned and earned) are like the three levels of dating, or forming a relationship. Let's examine each one.
|Advertising, Not Just For Humans|
Imagine you are with your marketing team, trying to think of your dog food's next big campaign. For the past however many years, you've been targeting the pet owners — the humans. You wonder what message could you send them that they haven't already heard or seen.
|FTC is Fired Up; Tells The Ol' 'Blackout in a Can' to Be Honest|
The FTC is trying its hardest not to be outdone by the ASA, its British counterpart. First, it went after Reebok, telling it to stop advertising its EasyTone line as having better results than normal sneakers (ads that Reebok pulled in 2010). FTC, constantly standing guard for the people, right? Of course. With that huge notch on its belt, the FTC decided to continue its recent crusade.
|Agency Search Guidelines? Don't Hold Your Breath|
The trade organizations for corporate marketers and advertising agencies, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), got together and decided that now was the time to think about and create an outline for the agency search process. Now was time to get this activity streamlined, and both houses in order. In case you tuned out of this ever-exciting drama-fest, the agency search process has been feeling some major heat during the past couple of years. Corporate marketers wanted "free work" from agencies, and agencies wanted compensation. Both sides thought the process was excruciatingly long.
|Advertising Helping the Homeless|
We were all drawn to advertising for some reason. Maybe you saw a spark of creativity in yourself and thought advertising could help mature it into a career. Maybe writing was more of a strength, and instead of being a starving novelist, being a struggling copywriter was more up your alley. Or, like many others, you saw that you had the ability to create powerful messages for those people or entities that are unable to do so themselves. Bennett Austin, an advertising student in the fabulous San Francisco, saw that he has that skill. Austin took his talent to the Homeless Youth Alliance in San Fran, an organization whose efforts are to raise funds and provide shelter, safety information, and other facilities to the homeless.
|When Billboard Views Include Poisoning Trees|
There is an interesting legal battle brewing in Seminole country (Tallahassee, FL) between Lamar Advertising and a former employee, Robert Barnhart. Barnhart is saying that Lamar Advertising ordered him to poison trees that affected the view of its billboards around the area.
|Tell A Good Story|
Before this modern time, when there are structured lessons and practices, our human ancestors learned everything through experience and taught lessons throughout the ages through stories. If there wasn't a real account of an incident or event (as Merriam-Webster defines a "story"), a story was made up in order to illustrate the point that needed to be presented. It is no wonder that humans love to be entertained by stories. It's in our genes, no matter what technology comes into our lives.
|The AdMan vs. Technologists: Sorrell Takes First Swing|
For a couple years now, there has been an amiable relationship between the ad world and the technology world. Perhaps the correct word is symbiotic, for each world has been helping feed the other. The technology world has created ways to help people communicate faster and more efficiently.
|Restoring the American Dream is Crucial for Advertising|
Americans right now are facing one of the toughest times in the country's history. Unemployment abounds, consumer confidence is low, and everybody is worried that their job will be the next one to go. Times are tough for the consumer, the business executive, the entrepreneur, the banker, and, of course, the advertiser. The corporate ladder looks too high and too risky to climb.
|Should You Be Excited for Advertising Week?|
Take a step back and think about last year's Advertising Week; what topics or discussions happened that helped move the advertising industry forward? What "best practices" did you add to your portfolio to produce the best strategy or creative for your client or brand? What new or different idea just blew your mind? Anything? Hopefully something did.
Advertising Week has the potential to be the marquee event for any creative professional. The minds it gathers are unquestionably the "thought leaders" of the industry.
|American Family Association: 'Less Schweddy Balls, Please!'|
The American Family Association is at it again, and this time it is starting a battle with ice cream. As most of us may have seen, Ben & Jerry's created a line of ice cream called Schweddy Balls, based off Alec Baldwin's Saturday Night Live NPR character, Mr. Schweddy. What the AFA doesn't seem to realize is that by bringing up its "outrage" at Ben & Jerry's, it keeps Schweddy Balls in the limelight. The AFA is proudly showing it to an audience that probably didn't know it existed.
|Generational Media Usage Infographic: Truthful?|
AdAge and Magid Generational Strategies combined efforts to figure out the media usage on certain outlets at certain times across the different generations in the United States. AdAge then went to MBAOnline to turn it into the infographic you see below. How does this infographic match up with your research findings?
|Ads Can 'Seduce' the Brain?|
It continues to mystify why researchers and physicians give so much power to advertising, and so little power to the consumer. According to a report that will be published — yes, published — in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics (thankfully only the online edition), a researcher from UCLA concludes that based on his research advertisers wish more to seduce than to persuade when communicating with consumers.
|U.S. Ad Spending Grows|
Traditional media brought in the dollars in the first half of 2011, a Nielsen study reports. The firm said that spending in TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers rose 5% to $53.2 billion. There have been several reports that spending has been steady.
|Agencies Put Money Where Their Mouths Are|
During these trying economic times, many industries have been tightening their belts, trying to weather the storm by sticking with or expanding current clients. New business, though important, has taken a back seat for most. The cost of advertising for new businesses does not outweigh the risk of it not paying off, for some. We professionals in advertising try to tell businesses to use that train of thought as an opportunity. To use the lack of clutter to keep yourself in front of the consumers you want to attract, so when the economy improves, your brand has a step up. The advertising industry isn't any different. As brands shake the dust off from this recession, they are taking notes on the agencies that are out there. And the folks on Madison Avenue are not disappointing.
|Hospitals Add New Dose of Advertising|
While other industries are shrinking advertising budgets, the industry that heals the sick and comforts the afflicted is doing quite well. The New York Times reported that advertising spending for hospitals rose 20% to $717.2 million dollars in only the first half of the year. According to the Fierce Healthcare daily news, healthcare institutions in NY have spent almost $80 million themselves.
|The One Club Steps Up Minority Recruiting|
It is always fun to see the right people tackling a real issue. The One Club, with help from Jimmy Smith of TBWA/Chiat/Day and Goodby from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, will be putting on a one-day job fair called "Where Are All the Black People," encouraging people from multicultural backgrounds to come out to see opportunities in advertising.
|The Data AdMan|
As return on investment and efficiency trumps art and creativity in advertising, agencies must answer the call and evolve. Or do they? Roger Ehenberg, managing partner of IA Ventures, an investment group that works with startups and new companies, wrote a piece for Business Insider about the way advertising is shifting from being creative-intensive to data-intensive. Now, as an investor, Ehrenberg is going to hold results and ROI to a much higher standard than creativity and art in advertising.
|Why Do We Hate Creative Ideas?|
From the world of science to the world of advertising, there is increasing pressure to provide creative ideas. Yet, when everything comes together, and campaigns and ads need approval, we all see the same old stuff. Why? From researchers at Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, and University of North Carolina, the reason we reject creative ideas is mostly due to uncertainty. We are unable to pair up "practicality" with our new ideas. New ideas involve the unknown and society is afraid to be wrong.
|What Would Jesus Sell?|
The group at Britain's Advertising Standards Authority is quickly becoming the best group to watch in the advertising industry. The ASA's incredibly politically correct attitude and seemingly absent sense of humor makes just about everything they do eye-opening. This time, the ASA has banned a Phones 4 U advertisement that depicts Jesus winking above the tagline.
|It's Geo-Heating Up in Yankee Stadium|
Bosch Thermotechnology has partnered up with the New York Yankees in order to expand its customer base and educate Yankee fans in the Northeast about geothermal heating and cooling their homes. The Titan Agency, Bosch's marketing agency, secured the partnership, citing that it is a great way for Bosch to get its name out there with "America's favorite baseball team."
|Who's to Blame for a Flopped Campaign?|
A recent article from Ad News Now brought up the increasingly fragile relationship between the company marketer and the agency they work with. The main question being discussed was who the finger should be pointed at when an advertising campaign doesn't reach its goal. Of course, the CMO would say the agency, and the agency would say the client.
|KY Says It's All For the Ladies|
Remember the previous post about big brands not accepting gay culture? Perhaps I spoke too soon, or maybe they got the message. K-Y, owned by McNeil, came out this Labor Day weekend with its newest K-Y Intense ad that featured a lesbian couple. No, they weren't "over-the-top Hollywood lesbians" but just two regular women you would see walking down the street.
|Outdoor Advertising on a Potty|
Going to a Porta-John during a tailgate just got a little more exciting. Stall Talk and Five Star Portables in Knoxville, TN got the brilliant idea of how to maximize exposure for advertisers in those sports for tailgate lovers who are away from their TVs and computers.
|Flawless Victory for Non-Violent Game Advertisers|
Unfortunately, the only thing kicking butt and taking names in violent video games are the avatars involved, not the advertising brands. According to research done at the University of Texas at Austin, the more violent the video game, the worse the brand recall and more negative brand attitude for brands that advertise.
|Art Has a Place in Advertising; Use it Wisely|
According to a study being published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, advertisers who "use fine art carelessly" would be ineffective. The researchers' study shows that if consumers consider the art as only a "product-relevant illustration," they will consider it less favorably than "brands that are associated with art." What are your thoughts? Is this a case of framing?
|Outdoor Advertising Gone Batty|
This billboard is probably one of the most unique and creepy things that has been seen in a while, unless you're a fan of bats. Designer Chris Woebken and artist Natalie Jeremijenko created a billboard that can provide "luxury housing" for bats in New York, and help them communicate with humans. The duo also created a software that they say can translate what the flying creatures are saying.
|We Want You! America Ramps Up Its Advertising|
In 2010, the United States Congress created the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP), an entity with a $200 million dollar budget, in an effort to increase foreign travel on U.S. soil. The board is made up mostly of executives from visitor bureaus and hospitality and amusement organizations, but now the CTP is starting to get more serious in projecting its mission around the globe.
|How Wrong Are Researchers Getting Men?|
The role of a man is seems to be changing greatly in our society. Pew Research reports that less men are not only going to college than women, but less men are seeing the value of a college education. Advertisers and researchers are feverishly trying to feel the pulse in what's going on with today's dude.
|Are Angry Creatives Better Than the Rest?|
From the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a report done by Dutch researchers shows that people who were angry had more ideas, and displayed more creativity than the non-angry subjects in the study. The authors of the study say that it is because the anger produces higher amounts of energy.
|Millennials Ain't Nothin' Like the Old Folks|
Results released from a study done by BCG, the Service Management Group, and Barkley shows that the spending and media consumption habits of millennials (as they defined it, 16–32 year olds) are completely different than those in the Gen-X and Baby Boomer groups (33–46 and 47–66 year olds, respectively). Overall, the millennials seem to be more able to recall advertising, are more receptive to alternate forms of advertising, and respect knowledgeable staff and brand ambassadors.
|Will Big Brands and Gay Culture Ever Get Along?|
Our culture has been through several changes, or paradigm shifts, when it comes to the way we live and interact. First, blacks gained freedom from slavery. Next, women and blacks fought for the right to vote. Then women were beginning to arrive in higher numbers in the workplace and the college scenes.
|Okay, We Get It: The Traditional Agency Model is Doomed|
With the rise of digital and mobile tied with ever-more segmented media consumption, the traditional agency model has been beaten up on again and again...and again. Digital marketers, social media "gurus," corporate marketers, and media planners are all trying to figure out what the next generation of advertising agencies will look like.
|Ogilvy vs. Bernbach: Who Got Advertising Right?|
Two men shaped the advertising industry as we know it, and each pioneered distinctly different principles of advertising. Ogilvy, a man of words, rules and content, and Bernbach, a man of ideas, creativity, and anti-establishment. Is there a clear winner between the two? Whose ideals rang supreme? Ogilvy was all for testing and research, while Bernbach relied on creative ideas.
|Did Goodby's Silverstein Destroy Creativity as We Know It?|
There has been a lot of talk going on about the recent logo redesign of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Apparently, according to Adweek and Agency Spy, Silverstein, co-namesake and co-founder, sent a memo out to his staff about the rumor that the new logo is actually based on a logo from a defunct company 100 years ago.
|NARC Starts Flexing More Muscle|
The Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Review Council, the hand-slapper of the advertising industry, has been receiving a good amount of attention in these past couple of days due to the growing issues in advertising regulatory practices and court fights.
CBS News reached out to NARC to speak out on the "Wiener Wars", the legal fight between Oscar Mayer wieners and Ball Park franks. The two wiener-makers are suing each other over false advertising.
|Buy or Sell: TV Inc. to Run TheTeaParty.Net Advertising|
Advertising and marketing agencies are not unfamiliar with running national advertising campaigns for political candidates and parties. During Hilary Clinton's presidential run, her advertising manager was the former CEO of PR agency giant Burson-Marstellar. This however, is a whole different beast. TheTeaParty.net is one of the many Tea Party organizations trying to make a splash in Washington's comical political arena.
|Advertising Against Advertising?|
You read that headline correctly. A fifty-six year old farmer in Agen, France by the name of Pierre Kung is spending a little over $4,000 dollars on a billboard advertising campaign against the evils of advertising. Pierre, who says that he is not a part of the anti-advertising group in Paris that destroys outdoor ads, says that his method of fighting the advertising establishment is derived from the martial art technique of "using the strength of the adversary to floor him."
|Pepsi Sends New Message to Coke Drinkers|
Want to get more out of your summer? Ditch Coke and grab a Pepsi. In its "Summer Time is Pepsi Time" campaign, Pepsi wants normal Coke drinkers to take a break from the usual and normal and try a Pepsi. The result? More fun, excitement, and an overall better time. But Pepsi isn't using just anybody; they decided to highlight this notion by using two Coke icons, the polar bears and Santa Claus. I think this is an interesting campaign for the sole fact that Pepsi is not telling Coke drinkers to totally switch over.
|When's the Next Creative Revolution?|
This economy and all the parties involved have taken quite a few blows lately. Especially the advertising and media industries, where it seems we are the first to go when times get tough. But in the cluttered air of business, how can companies compete without advertising and advertising well? What about the creatives? What CD or creative department will show the world something new to think about? The past couple years have seen voices raised about the lack of creativity in the advertising and PR world, down to the education sector. It is not that we have run out of ideas, but it seems that all the good ideas are being either drowned out by bad ones or, worst-case scenario, ignored.
|Big O, Say It Isn't So: Obama 2012 Planning Smear Ads|
Yes, the guy known to Bill Mahr's fans as "Chocolate Thunder," to liberals the "change you can believe in" and to conservatives our modern-day Hitler, Obama and his campaign may actually turn to the dark side come 2012. Reports from PR Daily and Politico say, from Obama campaign sources, that Barack's re-election campaign will focus less on change and his record and more on discrediting his opponent. As of right now, it looks that his Republican adversary will be Mitt Romney.
|Small Agencies: Only Good For the One-Night Stand|
But the big agencies? Your DDBs, McCanns and such? Those are the kind of names you can bring home to mom dad. Those names carry. And so the small agency gets the fun but the big agency gets the ring.
At least so it seems. Andrew McMains wrote an article on Adweek that spoke about this very topic. Small agencies have trouble creating the "deep" relationships that big agencies seem to be able to develop. The examples are many. First, 72andSunny and HP are parting ways because of CEO and CMO departures from the company.
|Cigarette Companies Pushin' Smokeless Products|
It seems that the indoor smoking ban and anti-tobacco groups have not totally ruined the cigarette and tobacco industry. In fact, statements can be made that the effects have been quite minimal. According to the Associated Press, cigarette companies have diverted their advertising money from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco products. Based on a report done by the Federal Trade Commission, less money has been spent on regular cigarette advertising.
|If Girls Can't Be Sex Objects, Men Can't Be Morons|
Sexism in advertising goes both ways. Let's make sure we are clear on that. Nicole Skibola from Forbes wrote this article about gender and ethics in advertising highlighting the pulled "Got Milk PMS" campaign and the Go Daddy Girls. She claims that this sexism towards women consumers is gross and that it should be eradicated with the rise of corporate social responsibility. Let's show househusbands that are pretty damn good at cooking and cleaning the house, instead of bumbling fools until the woman of the house comes home to save the day. Let's show a Dad with children at home keeping an orderly house, and not show the kids and household being out of control until Mommy comes home.
|Predicting Consumer Behavior Gets Easier|
These days, it is not only the consumer that has to cut through the online clutter; researchers and advertisers have to do the same. But now, at least for advertisers, it may be getting easier. Laurie Sullivan, the editor for MediaPost, wrote a wonderful piece about how far the efforts of collecting consumer data have progressed. There is a new age of online targeting for advertisers on the way.
|The Rich Love Online Advertising|
According to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, affluent Americans dig their online advertising. The research indicates that those in households of $100,000 or more of annual income are online more, can recall more online ads, and are more accepting of online advertising than the non-affluent consumer.
|States Get Smarter About Ad Targeting|
Since 2007, states around the nation have seen their advertising budgets slashed to face the current economic times. Because of this, the recent trend has been for states to rely less on national advertising, and putting its lean expertise to work and employ target marketing, pouring its dollars into select cities, markets, and publications.
|How Worthless is a Majority Opinion?|
According to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), it takes only 10% of a population to spread an idea in order to make it the majority opinion. The research suggests that as long as the 10% minority sticks to its guns, no matter what, its opinion will inevitably spread to be the overall preference. The research was done by the institute's Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC).
|Size Doesn't Matter|
Size doesn't matter — at least when it comes to your agency. Yesterday marked the end of the second annual Advertising Age and Creativity Small Agency Conference in Denver.
|L'Oréal Ads Get Banned for 'Misleading' Touch-Ups|
The British advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, yesterday upheld a complaint filed by a government official and ruled that the ads that were run by L'Oréal featuring actress Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington were "misleading and unrepresentative of actual effects" and were banned. The campaigns were for L'Oréal-owned brands Lancôme and Maybelline. Roberts' ad touted that the product makes skin shine in a natural light, while Turlington's ad claimed that the product was able to reduce signs of anti-aging, and it showed her face with only some of the product on so consumers could tell the difference.
|Why 'The Pitch' Should Pitch Small Agencies|
AMC, because of the success with "Mad Men," has decided to try to dive into advertising reality TV. True story. The show idea is called "The Pitch," and in it several advertising agencies compete for a national brand's account.
|Forget the ADDYs, Show Me the Emmys!|
Art & Copy, a movie about marketing and advertising and the mad men and women behind the big ideas, was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming.
|Who's Your Favorite Old Spice Guy?|
Old Spice just recently tapped Fabio to be the new Old Spice guy. Everyone knows and loves the bumbling Fabio, so it seems the campaign will take a shift in personality and feel. It isn't a new thing. There was an Old Spice Guy before Isaiah Mustafa — a man by the name Bruce Campbell. Each Old Spice Guy represents different qualities a man would display when wooing a woman.
|Is This Finally the Year of Mobile?|
Since 2007, marketers and ad folks have been talking about the year of mobile. Is this finally the year? Other countries have far surpassed the U.S. in mobile technology and marketing, so it has been interesting to see how the U.S. adapts mobile to such a hesitant market. Opt-in/opt-out is a huge factor. Consumers here consider mobile to be private, from conversations and texts to who they are looking up on Facebook. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) says that mobile advertising is gaining more acceptance in the U.S.
|New 'Flicker' Ad Hits the Market|
It's almost August, and that means brands are preparing for the "back-to-school" rush. Famous Footwear, under the guidance of Campbell Mithun, has just released its "Flicker" ad spot, which is part of its "A New You" campaign.
|Advertisers Celebrate the V|
Advertisers are back trying to celebrate the vagina; the cradle of life. Summer's Eve, a female hygiene product, has revamped its advertising campaign to make it less intrusive, more confident, and, in a sense, funny. For years, companies have tried to find that balance in advertising the vagina. Should it be lauded? Should it be mysterious? Should it be conservative?
|DIYers Ruined the Value of Advertising|
How many times have you seen businesses attempt to do marketing and advertising activities on their own? Managers are downloading creative software and business owners are attempting to write marketing plans with Marketing for Dummies books. It is easy to see why creativity and talent in the advertising world has faded; businesspeople in today's world think they can do it themselves. And because out of the many, a few succeed (and write about it), the value of true creativity and advertising has decreased dramatically. Even worse, the AdPeople are falling into this black hole by using "crowdsourcing" for ideas!
|What's Going On in Political Advertising?|
The race for influence in 2012 is gaining speed, and the pace runner* is officially off the track, leaving the candidates to fend for themselves. With that, the wallets open up and the airwaves become filled with political ads. The media landscape, as we all are aware by now, is changing quickly. How will political advertising change in order to be effective for the 2012 election year?
|4A's: You Are Officially 'On Notice'|
Who: The American Association of Advertising Agencies. Offense: Straying away from its customer base, not providing adequate professional development to its members. The American Association of Advertising Agencies is officially on notice. Why? Because it has become like the PRSA, AMA, IMA, and IABC.
|But What About The Children?!|
Legislation is rapidly approaching that will have huge effects on the advertising industry. Advocates for consumers and children have been pushing for legislation that bans advertisers and marketers from directing their activities toward minors. The advocates say that the marketing involved is being deceptive by not fully disclosing the nutritional aspects and attempting to persuade a public that is unable to gather information on their own. The food industry, attempting to heed the call, announced its own advertising regulations, hoping to appease the other side. The FTC has come out and said that "childhood advertising is wrong." The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has been increasing their volume in Washington.
|No Beer Ads, No Jobs...No Problem?|
The Health Minister in South Africa wants to ban advertisers from promoting alcoholic beverages and products. The minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed that a "complete and total ban" would be necessary for the country to get back on track to gain control of the substance-related abuses that are occurring. And of course, the market goes wild. A marketing analyst in the article said that those actions could result in a loss of R2,6 billion to the nation, which is about $378.9 million in U.S. currency. But why attack advertising?
|Is the Ad Industry Attacking Millennials?|
It seems to be the case that the ad industry is attacking millennials. Recently Saatchi & Saatchi LA, the shop handling the creative for the Toyota Venza introduction, released ads it has created that are geared toward the middle to late–aged boomers with millennial-aged children. They are not very flattering.
|Wait a Second...There Are Black People in Advertising?|
Believe it or not, the answer is yes. Jim Glover has just come out with a book called Mad Man, and it centers around the plight black advertising creatives have faced in the industry. Glover's main character is a black creative director who complains about the ceilings he faces, the lack of access, and hierarchy in agency life among other things. This subject has been a point of conversation for years. Advertising Week in New York even created a session to speak solely on diversity and how the agency world can change its perception to make it more welcoming to the black community. Every year, a handful of articles appear talking about the lack of diversity.