|Original articles from .|
|Target Displays Sudden E-Motion |
Fashion is exciting! There’s no better (free) therapy than to window shop online. However, if perusing leads to that “WHOA, hold onto the bar” feeling, don’t blame it on overstaying happy hour.
Your brain is also not on drugs, although it could be high on shopping. Most likely it’s the “gotcha” surprise resulting from the latest technology in unexpected motion.
|Choice Names Hit The Spot |
The only thrill better than seeing your name in lights is seeing your name in print. In fact, there’s nothing more...refreshing! Exactly the point Coke had in mind in their "Share a Coke" summer campaign. Did yours make the 250-person popular cut?
Before going cooler-diving through the Coke bin...
|How To Give Dad His June 15 Minutes|
Ideally, Father’s Day should be the “yang” to Mother’s Day “yin.” However new (troublemaking?) survey findings claim FD trails behind Mother’s Day, shifting the OMG! parental scales. True, Mother’s Day is one decade ahead with earning extra cred on the calendar, but despite all trivial reasons, the real fact remains that people spend, spend, spend 75% more $$$$$ honoring Mom.
|Colorado Lights Up The Right Lingo|
It was only a matter of time before the recreational marijuana safety campaign rolled out. As a result, legally getting high gives new meaning to ad copy.
‘Drive High, Get A DUI’ is the current public service campaign in Colorado. Directed at 21–34 year olds, it is sponsored by the state Department of Transportation due to too many arrests of "stoned" drivers.
|Know Thy Golden Super Bowl Rule|
Unlike regular weekly programing, Super Bowl Sunday commands a one-shot slot. And for this reason, just like the cheese, it stands alone. Yet it’s not the end of the song, as the old nursery rhyme claims, but rather the beginning. One of greatness displayed through winning gladiators of football intermittently sprinkled with entertaining ad goliaths on top.
|Is Ad Copy Getting The Heave Ho-Ho-Ho?|
TLDR (too long, didn't read) is the ubiquitous acronym that signals a new lifestyle in a faster pace world. With too much information available to fit into a person’s valuable day, impulsive discretion really decides what makes the reading cut. In other words or very few, advertisers have learned to attract their audiences fast, or pay the price of a big miss. And another reason digital advertising is rapidly growing.
|Add Music and Stir Profitable Visions|
Just as traditional Black Friday ridiculously inches back by the hour, the sounds of the holidays are set to play "earlier" into our shopping plans before the Halloween candy has time to leave the clearance shelves.
Tapping feet and unshakeable ear-(hum)bugs are the first signs of being gently poked by the subliminal spirit of "get in the happy giving mood"...
|Why Timing Clinches All Games|
Question: When unexpected opportunity knocks on both sides of the marketing door what d-o-o-o-o you do? Answer: Consider yourself one lucky duck! In the past, the word "duck" connoted many interpretations from the government’s "lame" to Disney’s animated Donald and Sesame Street’s beloved Rubber (Duckie). But their 15 minutes are over...
|Blogging Is The Latest Cat’s Meow|
These days everyone is a blogger. While some have been called animals for their "insights," the newest to post truly befits the description.
The up-and-coming contributor is W. (Mittens) Bloomfield, who happens to be a cat, gender unknown. Under that byline Bloomfield, who by the way will NOT be found on Talent Zoo, is the star of a new campaign by Merrick Pet Care. Clever? Absolutely. New? Not, exactly. Think back to the infamous Morris (9Lives/Del Monte), or just ask your parents...or grandparents, if necessary.
|An 'Initial' Success: CC and the Perfect Merger|
Recently, a beautiful match has been made that deserves proper recognition. If you guessed the merger of Omnicom and Publicis, two industry giants making headlines to become the largest advertising company in the world, sound the buzzer…wrong answer. Read on. This union is all about a company born with the right name appeal.
|Vital Signs Of A New (Old) Age |
Bryan Adams sang “Summer of 69," but today Lauren Hutton spins her own rendition called "Fall at 69" as she breaks the advertising barrier in a very "lucky" way.
After reaching a certain age, many people cling to comfort, believing that the number is just a state of mind. They even push their rationalization (true or not) mantra on others who cross over the age of…discrimination.
Perhaps if repeated enough, the blows of getting chomped upon by demeaning, demoralizing demographics (the vital marketing tell-all), the moral of the adage will transcend and soften the feelings of uselessness. While in the past the more mature, "wise aged" have certainly...
|Encore! A Way With Words|
Hurry, there’s a red-light special in the double entendre department. Just in time for travel season, and hoping to boost profits, Kmart fuels their fans with cheap gas/gag mileage.
"Ship" was the last word in the former hot phrase "...Your Pants," but like all good campaigns, Kmart has moved on to the next Big Gas/a** act.
|No Joke, The Ship Has Hit the Fans|
In order to prompt an ogle from an ad on YouTube, the content needs insane zzzzzzzzzzing! Humdrum doesn’t cut it. The production must be above board with earth-moving wit to provoke a first glance.
Think Target! An exciting montage of new merchandise featured in a musical format loyal viewers embrace watching...
|Get Your Pee-G Rated Health Tips…Here!|
As marketing keeps pace with life’s fast lane, it’s often hard to discern the real from the scripted. Many concepts often sound so bizarre we could swear Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind the nonsense. Yet even when we learn he’s not, we still feel Punk’d simply from the sting of zany reality.
Has advertising pushed the limits? Consider this unpunk’d concoction: America’s favorite pastime mixed with mindless games...
|Great Scott Davis, Bright Idea!|
When mystery is thrown in the pot, people will chase clues faster than one can say, "My dear Watson!" There’s a little Sherlock in all of us. Taking advantage of human nature, Panera has created a clever campaign that appeals to more than just the inquisitive mind. It shoots straight to the customer’s healthy heart while keeping them in their privy loop.
If you haven’t heard, ‘Hidden Menu’ is the word and only one part of a commanding mix that stirs this great promo in motion.
|Here’s The UnSkinny, For A Change|
If the va-va-voom fits, Sam Edelman and David Lipman make the perfect pair. Similar to removing five-inch spikes for more comfortable kicks, AdMan Lipman and (shoe) designer/division brand president Edelman have changed their campaign footing. They have pushed the expected image limits by replacing couture model Charlotte Kemp Muhl...
|The Old Flip Will Never Flop |
There’s Rapunzel! Godiva! Samson! and let’s not forget, Cousin It! Think hair: a good four-letter word that attracts more attention than a magnet! Surprisingly, the most unassuming person caves when it comes to that subject. This is the "mane" reason Glamour’s February extra hair section is a feature to truly flip over, not just for readers but advertisers as well.
While the regular edition is woven with the usual topics readers want to know about but were afraid to ask their doctors, lovers, friends, etc., it ends on page 163 to shift the focus. Via a circled message directed to the “hair-crazy,” the reader is prompted to "flip the issue and start over from the back for a special on the subject.”
|Say Audios To LOUD Audio Spots|
Have you ever wondered ‘why your TV volume has a mind of its own during commercial breaks? It is not your television. It is no fluke. It is planned!
Square showbiz, this is an advertising sound blast meant to call “Atten-HUT!” to viewers. In their own bizarre blaring way, those disturbing commercials were intended for people to tune in, instead of out.
|Great Advertising Inside The Box|
November may be the month of ‘expected’ thanks, but what about the other 11? The simple cost of politeness is one thing affordable to all. Finally, the good manners act is getting its due props with businesses donning their Sunday best by showing signs of gratitude in the most surprising of places.
On the retail grid, family and friends appreciation day has become an implied greeting.
|Chipotle Hands Out The Big Treats|
In this busy world not many lines are worth the wait unless the place's name is...Chipotle. Take a look at any location, especially on October 31st, when the queue may serpentine right out the door. On that day Chipotle will double the deal when they serve both customers and a very good cause.
It is no trick, it’s Boorito time this Halloween from 4 p.m. to close for all hobgoblins who dress in costume with a tie-in photo contest online to boooot! But the real treat is what the small price of $2 accomplishes.
|#CleanHands Believes In Fans|
Calling out (through personalized emails) to those who believed in the power of "fresh clean towels," this promotion began with a quick online application. Only lucky fans were selected to win a "limited" brand fan reward welcome kit and caboodle full of samples, coupons, and a sweet “Brand Kleenex foam pointing cheering hand.” Oooh yeah!
|Cruising The Red Carpet|
"You like me! You like me!" are legendary 57th Academy Award-winning words. The very ones this year’s sole auto sponsor for the 84th Academy Awards Show may have in mind. While this sponsor’s name is far from the sounds of "Sally," it does rhyme with (telecast night) "Sunday." The name is Hyundai, a manufacturer that has certainly acquired its mileage in appreciation.
|Flash Mobs: The Next Evolution in Advertising|
Advertising that once worked on paper no longer applies in the digital world. While the big question is how to attract advertisers to websites, an unconventional approach is commanding attention in the wings. If you guessed "flash mobs," you’re right, and it’s growing stronger by the year, which is quite a spin on the original idea that began as a social experiment by Bill Wasik.
|Everybody’s Doing ‘IT’ |
Some believe "it" is all in the packaging, as fittingly displayed in the sizzling-hot new Beckham underoos line for H&M(mmm). But "gawking at an Adonis hunk" is not what "it" is always about when planning such memorable campaigns because "it" is really about collaboration. Hennes & Mauritz stands for more than just H&M; it is also the name behind four other different store chains and brands they have developed over the years.
|Food For (Super Bowl) Thought|
Pickles and pizza, chips, ‘guac,’ and wings — these are a few of (Super Bowl) partay-ers fav-or-ite things. In fact, they are considered top of the list must-haves for the big day’s event. According to the Bloomberg News an estimated 34.9 million Americans threw their own Super Bowl parties in 2011, and 61.2 million people indicated that they had planned to attend a party.
|Leveling the Creative Playing Field|
Everybody knows that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day for advertisers to showboat, but it has also become one for the average Joe/Joan to bring it. On this special day when ad rates are sky-high ($3.5 million for 30 seconds), not only can the biggest and best become part of the brilliant ad extravaganza, but now amazing creative opportunities are popping up in contests to give all minds a chance to express their creative genius as well.
|Famili(Guy)arity Hits The Spot|
These days it’s easy for the senses to be jaded from the overstimulating bombardment of the social media. As a result, advertisers are challenged to capture the viewer’s "ad-tention." Being, a New York agency, is one that knows how. Using (Seth MacFarlane’s) Family Guy cartoon characters as celebrity spokespeople, Being has caused fans to tune in to the recognizable sounds of family dog Brian and baby Stewie as they banter about the pronunciation of another "wh" word: "Wheat Thins." The constant repetitiveness is brilliant.
Have you ever had the "holy moly why the ‘&*()*%^&’ did I buy this stuff online" hangover? Well, you just might have been a victim of SUI: Shopping Under the Influence. Call it the slap-happy form of retail therapy. It’s the outcome of one too many drinks, which caves the willpower to resist the glorious green($) light that says "go straight to web shopping." But temporary consumer euphoria comes at a price, and it's one most people can’t really afford. Kristin A. Kassaw, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Baylor, said "online shopping while drunk could have serious financial consequences." Kassaw believes that loading things you can’t feel or touch into a fake cart can give a false money-spending experience. And Nancy Puccinelli, an associate fellow who studies consumer behavior at the Oxford’s Saïd Business School, is in agreement, further explaining that because alcohol reduces working memory, “at the time of purchase, you wouldn’t have the cognitive ability to think it through.”
|Two Words for Those Who 'X' Out of a Site: Free Shipping|
Sales are endless. Discounts increase daily. Coupons are everywhere. 'Tis definitely the season for retailers to be extra $hopper friendly...but the marketing buck doesn’t stop there. The latest lure and icing on the 'Festivus' cake is ‘Free Shipping.’ This outcome is due to ‘shipping charge shock.’ It’s ‘the bottom line’ total syndrome that sets off frugal budget alarms warning ‘Do Not Hit Submit,’ which then sends potential sales into cyberspace as lost ones.
|Victoria's Secret: Hot Secrets of a Great Campaign|
Little is left to the imagination when it comes to Victoria’s Secret, but believe it or not, the bevy of scantily clad gorgeous females still have a few advertising surprises to amaze and impress fans this holiday season. For the last three years VS commercials, created by infamous film director and producer Michael Bay, (known for directing high-budget action films and stylistic music videos) have been fairly predictable. However, take a closer look this year, because Bay has significantly changed the pace of the script.
|The Art of a Scandal|
Lately a lot of "oopsies!" are making headlines. Where are the proofreaders, the fact-checkers...the legal department? For starters, consider the Chrysler "Fiatsco." Before the Jennifer (body-double) Lopez diva dust had time to settle from "My World" (produced in the Bronx), a new one was quickly "brew-ha-ha-ing," bringing added attention to the 500C Fiat commercial.
|Shopping In The Neighborhood Is Good|
There’s another date to circle on the post-Thanksgiving shopping calendar. Thinking big and going beyond traditional Black Friday, the event is called, “Small Business Saturday," and is sponsored by American Express. It will take place on November 26, 2011.
It’s all about encouraging millions of Americans "to Shop Small" at their favorite local stores.
|How To Feel Red, White, And Not So Blue|
In the memorable quote from the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” Mr. McGuire offered Benjamin advice in one (cryptic) word: “plastics.” While at the time it was not clearly understood by this new graduate or the viewers, it was crystal clear to a company that had been in business since 1936. Solo was the name and single-use products was its game. Today it is a 1.6-billion-dollar business that manufactures many products under other recognizable brands (including Sweetheart®, Creative Carryouts®, and Bare®).
|Ads With Benefits|
Advertisers...what will they think of next? Plenty! No longer are special events once-a-year, awaited happenings. During times of "we will bend over backwards for your business,” consumers are lavished with ad attention. These days they are accommodated, wined, dined, gifted, instructed, and entertained, at (little or) no extra charge because it is profitably better business to give in order to receive. On the free-beauty scene, the Shiseido counter at Bloomingdale’s NY had make-overs with psychic readings.
|Good Doobies Finish First|
Learning the ABCs of brand cosmetics is a rite of passage. While most companies compete for consumer attention through costly campaigns, there is one beauty business that has never advertised its product line and thrives, even during a bad economy. That company is Kiehl’s. Their successful growth is attributed to “doing good for a good cause” according to Chris Salgardo, head of the company headquartered in its "original" East Village apothecary in New York.
|Size Matters: Count The Many Ways|
Who ever thought people would be valued by the pound? Today they are the latest bulk commodity priced by various airlines from the not-so-friendly skies. Giving new meaning to the fear of flying, all those who carry too much of their own personal baggage..."love handles" included...must pay — big time!
|Making Hay Where The Sun Don’t Shine|
The old catchphrase "sit on it" may have a new advertising meaning after last weekend’s San Francisco "Nude-In." This rally really caught more than cool breezes and awkward stares, as it also captured creative minds anxious to cash in on the exposure of "nude etiquette." The protest was focused against the newly proposed laws introduced by Scott Wiener, a city supervisor of the Castro district.
|Guilty (or Not) Pleasures|
Have you ever wondered why there’s a line at Starbucks in EVERY location of EVERY city including roadside rest stops and airports? Or why people have become softly addicted to certain brands of products…more than others? What exactly leads a person to drink the "vitamin water" (or whatever they crave)?
|Is ‘Ad-Junk’ Marketing The New Course On Campus?|
Before you can say, “unpack the college trousseau,” a welcome wagon may be knocking on the family’s overstuffed SUV's trunk door. Beware of upperclassmen disguised as your new best friends bearing gifts and services. These people are also known as “brand ambassadors and “campus evangelists."
|Can Simon Cowell Find His Audience?|
There’s a new campaign on the cosmetic block that asks: “Are you just another pretty face? Or are you truly beautiful?” The real question might be: What exactly does Simon P. Cowell have to do with the beauty industry? Well, this particular Mr. Cowell is the chief marketing officer for Bare Escentuals. While it seems highly unlikely that Mr. (American Idol) Cowell would have time in his busy schedule to dabble in the beauty industry, these two gentlemen appear to share more than just the same name.
|Another Bull's-eye for Target|
Target knows how to zig and when to zag. Coinciding by no accident with holier-than-thou NYC Fashion Week, the long-awaited launch with Missoni is set to arrive. On September 13, the designs of Missoni will burst into a kaleidoscope of rich color, cool patterns, and amazing prices at Target. Considered to be their biggest limited-time designer collaboration, the famous family-run knitwear brand began flourishing in the 1960s.
|They Shoot Ad Mail, Don’t They? |
Rather than hiking taxes, some people believe enabling consumers to spend would be a better economic fix. No mumbo jumbo, just a sensible theory that would generate money in a more practical way. Retail advertisers are way ahead of the idea. Willing and able to do their part, they have creatively taken to the digital highway, conjuring and cajoling customers to spend, spend, spend...even if it means posing as your new BFF at "Birthday Time."
|A Tag Doesn’t Always Mean You’re 'It'|
While some people wear labels on their sleeves, others cut them out; a "boo-boo," manufacturers have learned, that takes more than a (consumer-used) Band-Aid to make better. In the past, tags have been removed for assorted reasons, from allergies to vanity of size and brand denial, but the latest is for pure comfort. After all, who really enjoys nagging tags next to their sensitive skin? Apparently not many, as companies have taken notice of the zero tolerance attitude after learning that people have been removing these little annoyances.
|It’s All About The Special ‘K’|
In advertising, every action that causes a reaction is considered a form of success. Recently, this was the case when ‘almost’ look-alike Melissa Molinaro’s identity was mistaken (at first glance) for Kim Kardashian in the latest Old Navy commercial. Before the image was completely digested by viewers, Ms. Kardashian was suing, claiming that she has “spent invaluable time, effort, and resources creating a name and image" for herself. Who really benefited from this campaign (intentional or not): Kardashian, Molinaro, Old Navy, or possibly all three? It takes ad magic to pull off so much PR noise. When it comes to Kardashian marketing it may very well begin where life does...with mother Kris.
|Is More Really Less? Go Figure!|
Once upon a time, BOGO sounded like the sweetest deal in town. But this marketing ploy has lost its luster in the eyes of today’s shoppers, who are living on tightened budgets. As consumers stick to their frugally written lists, they begin to realize the pros of the former "get ones" had more cons than they bargained for. Gone are the exploding carts of the past, filled with impulsive items. Now they appear half-empty rather than optimistically half-full to grocery stores feeling customers' cutback pains.
|Stripping Down To The Real Nitty Gritty|
Adam and Eve started the whole "naked" shebang. It is nothing new, but is an image that still gets a big WOW, WHOA, and sometimes a SHUSH. Always inducing reactions, this state of nature commands precisely the type of attention advertisers shoot for, especially Mullen, the creative agency that had Zappos take it all off in their latest campaign. Through subtle tongue-in-cheek visuals, Zappos models in all sizes tease the bare idea of fashion without revealing the goods.
|How To Stay On Top of the Heap|
The appeal of fashion magazines changes as quickly as trends come and go. When too much supply from not enough demand exists, the reason is blamed on any and everything. According to Magazine Information Network, a clearinghouse for (magazine) retail sales, the newest culprit for the current magazine-sale slump is...gas.
But the good news for consumers is that desperate times call for consumer deals. Publications have been slashing prices through various discounters with offers for less than 75 cents per month. Yet, while this strategy may bail subscription sales, it does not translate to newsstands run by vendors who cannot cut prices.
|An Age-Old Secret, Discovered|
Ms. Clairol hasn’t touched up every show on television. Suddenly, the "gray zone" is no longer in need of a cover up because, demographically, it is naturally appreciated. There is life after youth. For starters, consider “My Generation," originally created by AARP.
|Party (Once Again) In The House|
Think "Tupperware" with no purchase necessary. It’s the newest event concept for magazines to promote themselves with their advertiser’s brands. Turning an unconventional page, this collaborative effort has shifted the focus from selling to giving in an engaging, affordable marketing attempt to psyche up readership while dangling sample products and gifts to consumers through various themed soirees.
|A Good Reason To Feel Blue|
Flash mobs, no matter how fast they spread, cannot hold a mushroom to Smurfing. Yet this crowd does not meet to dance, but rather "imsmurfonate" with bodies painted a melancholy blue and heads topped in white Smurfies (beanies). Annually they gather to chat in the Smurf (language), but this time Sony Smurf is leading the cult. Taking advantage of a bizarre and colorful charade that happens every June 25 (in honor of the creator’s birthday), Sony is eager to connect the Smurf marketing dollars with this timely tie-in.
|Ad-A Boy/Girl; Do Your Business |
With so many gloomy headlines, it’s good to know that economic uncertainty doesn’t rain on every demographic parade. One special breed appears recession proof, namely dogs. They rule! (Possibly due to what 'dog' spells backwards.)
Fact: “62 percent of American households have a pet, with dogs accounting for 40 percent of the total,” and not to diss cat lovers — felines are second at 34 percent. Yet (wo)man’s best friend often receives more attention with overzealous luxuries and pampering services than many a human.
|Gaga Means Anything But Baby Talk|
You could say Lady G knows how to hit the spot. In fact, it’s the number one reason brands crave collaboration with the inimitable Gaga. She was listed in Forbes as one of the “100 World Most Powerful Celebrities for year 2011,” and perhaps Simon Cowell said it best...“she’s got it.”
|And, That's Entertainment?|
One for your money, a bank loan for the show and by the time you get ready there’s little left to go to the concession’s stand…for Mike and Ikes. Why is catching a flick so darn pricey? Apparently it begins with the gigunda budgets required to market films, now the better (or worse) half of the divine movie-making plan. For today, studios have more than just divas to contend with.
|The Dawning of Adquariu$|
“Will you still (brand) need me, will you still (market) feed me when I’m (worthless) 64?” Good news! The answer is a big "you-bet-your-sweet-disposable-income" yes. While today 64 is not officially eligible for Medicare and is even considered the new 54 (just as 54 is the new 44, and so on) it depicts the age of a very special generation: the glorious Post-World War II babies (1946–1964).
|Eat Words: They’re Calorie Free |
Throughout the years, the American spirit has been reflected with iconic duos that hit the nitty gritty of our souls every time we connected the dots. There’s mom and apple pie, baseball and hot dogs, and of course we can’t forget Orville Redenbacher and popcorn. “You’ll like it better or my name isn’t Orville Redenbacher," he told us in a commercial over 40 years ago, and we’ve been eating his words ever since. Although at first questionable whether this man in geeky bowtie and glasses was for real (or an actor) we eventually learned he was square biz.
|How Do You Spell 'Rumpelstiltskin'?|
Obsessions can drive a sane fashionista crazy, especially those of the nameless kind. But with the use of digital clues, unknown "rockin’ little numbers" spied from "TV or on the streets of Paris to LA," can now be positively identified (for women and men).
|Get Hip to Size|
With all the royal talk, it’s good to know you needn’t be high-born to experience the privilege of a perfect fit. The latest system to arrive at mall kiosks that has everybody talking, from Perez Hilton to the New York Times, is called mybestfit, a body scanner that is the “fashion police” of measurement. It works by stepping into a round booth, fully clothed, while low-frequency scanners detect the vitals.
|No Sh*t, Spurlock — It’s the Reel Deal!|
They say everyone has their price, even a city willing to change its name. Ask Morgan Spurlock about that; he's the sleuth of the who, what, where, why, how, and when about product placement, marketing, and advertising. In fact, he financed an entire new film based on just that.
|Will the New Genes Fit the Gap?|
Fall into the Gap? What did that really mean? For Doris and Don Fisher, who started the whole big idea in San Francisco circa 1969, the three little letters came from a word of a popular era expression: The Generation (aha!) Gap. For over 40 years, this store has remained revolutionary in concept, merchandising, and campaign.
|Rated ‘R’ For Your Reading Pleasure |
If watching previews of coming events is your fave way of guaging your thumbs up or down, you’ll love the latest take that’s a matter strictly for the books. Hitching clients to a new feature called video book trailers is the promising new vehicle for adding more options to the advertising road. Paul Fireman is one standout who has been producing innovative two- to five-minute vignettes for publishing clients with great results.
|Still Good to the Last Word |
Beginning April 19, Maxwell House is modifying the ingredients of an advertising tradition that dates back to the early 1930s. And while it won’t be noticeable in their coffee, it will be in their copy, when families (including the White House in past years) sit down during their holiday meal to read from a classic book that has been offered free at supermarkets with purchase of Maxwell House coffee since the '30s. In fact, as fast as you can say move over to the “existing 50 million copies” already in print, new ones will be replacing the old, just in time for the start of Passover on April 19. Yet even more surprising than efforts to overhaul a giveaway during less-than-stellar economic times is the question of why a coffee company became involved in producing a religious product (that was offered free with purchase) in the first place.
|How to Work Those (Free) Ads|
Advertising tales lately are anything but grim. As the story goes, once upon a time in a land far enough away, a famous Prince (William) found his beloved Princess (Kate), and all marketers went aflutter fantasizing how they could succeed from marquee brand advertising, without even trying — or paying. All because a noble couple with impending nuptials had the Midas touch.
|M(ad) Money with Coinstar|
Ahh, your secret stash; whether saved in a jar, bag, or drawer, it’s an allocated given for guilt-free pleasures when the time is right.
But cha-ching! Change has become big business, with Coinstar recently advertising their latest ventures in magazines like People and The New York Times. And if you are a fan of this famous coin-counting machine that operates an estimated 19,000 in supermarkets and other locales, you may have noticed that, for one, the 9.8 service fee has been eliminated. But there are more options to consider other than "plunk, tally, take the money, and run." They're called "gift certificates."
|Wake Up and Smell the Starbucks Celebration|
Those who have sipped from the beginning may find it hard to believe that Starbucks is currently celebrating their 40th Anniversary. It doesn’t seem that long ago that they confused us with size discord language when "tall" really meant "small," "grande" was not large (but medium), and if we wanted large, we had to say, "venti." Yet more amazing is the fact that after all these years Starbucks is still making advertising headlines, starting with the campaign created by BBDO New York.
|Dick and Jane Have Left the Bookstore|
Since yester-era bookstores cannot compete with our technologically immersed lives, a changing landscape has forced publishers to court "nonbook" stores, opening up a whole new branding chapter. David Steinberger, chief executive of the Perseus Books Group, believes this indeed is the new direction.
|How Not to Get Technofunked|
For some, no technology news is good news, especially if it means that your current electronic gizmo that hasn’t celebrated its first birthday is being replaced with better, brighter, thinner, faster (and all those other aggravating superlatives) model. So who doesn’t know that on March 11 the new iPad will be available? I think we all got that memo. Especially the cool proud owners of the first, soon-to-be-outdated iPad.
|The Latest Marketing Miracle: Divine Adver-Vention |
Success in advertising is not always the outcome of diligent planning. Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time is all it takes. Just ask Paragon Honda of Queens, New Jersey: a company that knows what it means to hit the advertising jackpot! While product placement and celebrity endorsement can move campaigns into the fast track, it also takes a serious budget to profit. Take a look at all the latest Britney Spears hype. According to TMZ, Spears made half a million dollars simply from product placement in her new music video "Hold It Against Me." On the flip side, sponsors must be willing to pay the price, even if only for mere seconds of air time with a one-product shot.
|Advertising Is Now Served on a Pull-Down Platter|
Location, location, location: from wrapped vehicles to shopping carts, there are no limits to the mobility of advertising. Flying in the latest direction are messages via the friendly skies of United Airlines, a company that not only recently merged with Continental but also created their own in-house media operation.
|If You Can’t Say Anything Good, Have a 50% Off Sale|
There are some who believe that advertising only makes people buy things they don’t need. This fact is certainly debatable, but advertising often goes beyond that point purely by extending good will. Yet, not all ads leave positive feelings behind. While some ads try to boost morale with words, others do the very opposite by not saying anything at all.
|How to Look Spectacular Watching 3-D|
Year by year, the Super Bowl becomes technologically more super to watch from the privacy of our man caves and diva dens as futuristic concepts become today’s realities. But, just as we are super eager to assimilate the first generation ideas into our lifestyles, we often learn a few tweaks are still needed to bring hi-tech gizmos to market perfection.
|Are You Ready for Some Giveaways?|
Before you could say, "Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers," the sponsors had Super Bowl XLV strategic plans in play, aiming to score big in the marketing field. This year’s Super Bowl event, described as the “Giveaway Bowl” by the New York Times, is definitely a new form of advertising. Adding to the usual, predictable sweepstakes and contests, giveaway campaigns have entered the zone, using social media sites in conjunction with traditional commercial television spots.
|Keeping it Kosher is the New Deal|
Not everyone can become a Zuckerberg phenomenon, but they can try to follow his Facebook lead. Ever since his social network began (it's almost 7 years young), it has been spawning sites in every conceivable related category, including popular group discounts with the latest contender, jdeal.
But for each new business entering the "deal wars" competition, a new twist must accompany the plan in order to appeal to a jaded audience, undoubtedly created by the bombardment of sites.
|Which Came First: The Campaign or the New-Fangled Word?|
Apple trademarked it, Sesame Street sang about it, and the American Dialect Society voted for it. The winning word of the year is “app.” Should we really be surprised? This popular word, which happens to be the first three letters of the brand that created it (“App-le,” coincidence or not), was also the basis for their very memorable and ongoing “There’s an App for That" campaign. A word uttered so often that it became part of our daily vernacular, even if foreign at first to many ears, sort of like "tweet."
|Powerful Retail Taglines Mean Business |
Recently, Adweek announced the top 66 great movie taglines in 30 years. Of that collection, some are memorable, (e.g., “They’re Back” from 1986’s “Poltergeist II: The Other Side.”) Others, such as “Just Deux It” from 1983’s “Hot Shots Part Deux,” are simply forgettable.
|Nuvo Pours the Glamour Shot for Women |
Raphael Yakoby brought glamour to the liquor aisle in 2007 in the form of Nuvo, a sparking liqueur that blends “French vodka, white wine and fruit juice.” The drink is presented in mesmerizing containers that look as though they might hold expensive perfume. But a gorgeous bottle isn’t always enough: in 2011, a new campaign, reported on by The New York Times, will launch with the aim of attracting women with a more fashion-forward advertising approach. Nuvo was created after Yakoby sold the rights to his first creation, Hpnotiq, to Heaven Hill Distilleries in 2003.
|Gap Sends Conflicting Messages This Holiday Season|
Gap is at it once again, and I’m not talking about the company logo change problem. Brandweek and BrandChannel.com recently reported on a Gap campaign gone wrong. The company attempted to raise money for a charitable campaign by selling limited edition "made in USA" bags to help fight hunger (donating $5 to the nation’s lunch program for every bag sold), but it was discovered that the the bags were actually made in China, with tags to prove it.
|Why It Pays to Think Like an Athlete|
Just as fast as you can say, "Holy superathlete, Batman," these “A” guys are showing off cerebral skills in addition to physical prowess, and they're making sure they stake claim to their big ideas. Athletes who coin popular phrases or inspire fan slogans are seeking legal protection for their ‘hip’ talk and ensuring that the use of their latest relevant catchphrases will give credit where credit is due.
|Beauty Entrepreneurs Stand Out With Birchbox|
When the beauty world is constantly in your face advertising incredible formulas and magnificent color products in sensual come-hither packaging, who can resist?
|Returns Go to Hell in a Shopping Bag|
Not knowing the return policies can turn any deal into a ‘dealbreaker’ once discovered. As the country went abuzz scooping steep discounts with added allure of free shipping for online purchases, bargain blinders may have overlooked the latest ‘rules of return’ that have greatly changed throughout recent years.
Similar to the one size fits all gift card epidemic, which later came back to bite the hand who bought them with hidden penalties and imposed fees, amazing deals also come with hitches.
|Young & Rubicam's on the Ball|
At this time of year, everything’s relative.
Thanksgiving in one word is turkey (for vegans it might be tofurky). However you slice it, though, it takes a successful marketing team to connect the turkey trots.
When thinking turkey, which brand comes to your mind first? If it’s not Butterball, hopefully, it will be after Young and Rubicam feast on their brand new account. (Butterball was named for its broad breast and round shape and would later merge with Carolina Turkeys to become Butterball, LLC.)
“To be the food brand of choice, loved and trusted by all who rely on us, to provide reasons to celebrate every day” is Butterball’s vision.
|Magazine's Marketing Hits the Wrong Notes|
The iconic music, political, and pop-culture magazine Rolling Stone recently made a faux pas, or did they?
|Look Who’s Doing Launch |
Free is always good, but it really rocks when it’s tickets for a cool concert. Mark your calendars for Nov. 8. Depending on what side of the country you reside, get ready to roll as Microsoft and AT&T launch the exciting new Windows Phone. The coastal celebration takes place as Katy Perry will perform at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, and Maroon 5 will perform at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
Sounds like a smart way for two collaborating icons to make some noticeable noise. If there’s a catch, it’s that the free tickets will be available only at select AT&T stores in the two cities on the day of the shows, so only the lucky ones there will score tickets.
|Outdoor Sighting Sets a Spooky Scene|
Beware when artistic statements appear scarier than hobgoblins shouting trick-or-treat at your doorstep. Believe it or not, a government-commissioned sculpture haunts the U.S. and Canadian border near Blaine, Washington.
|Creative Application Counters Buying Blunders|
There are no ugly ducklings, just poor ones. When you consider the before-and-after shots on the Web and in fashion magazines, it becomes questionable whether beauty really is skin-deep or just a matter of having deep pockets to attain the best stylists to bring out the gorgeous.
However, having a pro's assistance is no longer limited to the wealthy.
| Retail Therapy Brings Many Unhappy Returns|
These days, when the going gets tough, the tough not only go shopping, they later go returning. According to a recent Harris Poll, it often leads to buyer’s remorse. However, the guilt is not felt by all age groups.
|FAGE Gets With the Advertising Program |
Everyone knows yogurt is good for you, but did you know it is fashionable and digitally stimulating? Now, that's news.
In an attempt to be “fun and engaging,” Greek yogurt brand FAGE (“fa-yey”) not only is running a stylish print campaign in Vogue and Elle, heralding their yogurt as “fashionably low in fat," but they also are employing some unexpected digital imagery on Wired's site and artistic interactive play on Epicurious.com. It’s not the first time FAGE has attempted to attract a consumer’s attention.
|A Consumer's Loyalty Makes for Brand Royalty|
According to a recent report, everyone is emotionally branded to a degree, which is similar to Jordan’s thoughts behind his successful cigarette campaign. The concept had such a powerful message and still translates when applied to consumer goods today. No matter how tough the times, we continue to cling to our brand attachments, especially in the areas of cosmetics, technology, and retail.
|Groupon Deals Itself In |
Some offers are hard to refuse, especially daily, local bargains that deliver cheap thrills. If fabulous deals make your day, all you need to do is sign up via e-mail, then you’ve got your Groupon.
|Mother Knows There's No Substitute for a Classic |
If you are a Sweet’N Low devotee, you likely fall in the over-45 demographics, the very one Mother, New York attempts to retain as they also target the younger market in their new campaign.
Sugar substitutes have been around for centuries in one form or another. In 1879, two Johns Hopkins University scientists accidentally discovered saccharin. By 1957, Sweet’N Low, the zero calorie sugar, arrived on the market and happily helped dieters have their cake and eat it, too.
|Hair It Is: NFL Star, Pitchman Scores New Deal|
As James Rado and Gerome Ragni wrote in their '60s musical “Hair," "Let it fly in the breeze and not get grabbed by anyone like Kansas City’s Larry Johnson." Wait, that's not right. It could be along the lines of what was going through the minds of top execs at Proctor & Gamble, though. They weren’t the only ones to see the “beauty, the splendor, the wonder of hair.”
Lloyd’s of London has insured Troy Polamalu's long locks for $1 million. The Pittsburgh Steelers star and Head & Shoulders pitchman, who claims to have used the product since he was a boy, is insured for hair lost only on the gridiron. In the event Polamalu loses 66 percent or more of his hair within the next seven months, he will score and collect on the million dollar policy.
|Kimberly-Clark's Latest Campaign Proves a Timely One|
There was a time when euphemisms reigned. We all knew what the real deal intended without any disclosure of sordid details.
Today, nothing is sacred or too bold. Shock value no longer exists. We express our true selves in conversations, on social media sites, in e-mails, and in advertising.
|Will Svedka's Campaign Work Out? |
How do you like your vodka, with a splash of endorphins? Yes, fitness and alcohol comprise the latest recipe at David Barton Gyms in Chicago, Miami, and New York City. The concept began when the gyms initiated a cocktail hour following workouts. Svedka’s "fembot" commercial debuted earlier this year and is another brand to join the long list of distilled spirits to use TV as an ad medium.
While in the best of spirits and an interesting way to increase membership and participation levels, David Barton can’t take all the credit.
|Will Steve Slater's Marketing Potential Take Flight?|
Three cheers for the red, white, and JetBlue flight attendant who got mad as Howard Beale from “Network" and decided he wasn’t going to take it anymore.
Steve Slater created a better advertising campaign than any Madison Avenue team could muster. A yesterday’s nobody, Slater has become today’s celebrated somebody sought out for TV news and talk shows.
|Celebrities Take Cover for Fall|
September's issue of Harper’s Bazaar finds Jennifer Aniston doing her best Barbara Streisand impersonation, which led Streisand to admit she was “flattered” and noted the only thing missing was a “bump” on her nose.
In August, fashion addicts can find many top celebrities striking a cover pose: Jennifer Lopez for Glamour, Halle Berry for Vogue, and Julia Roberts for Elle. That's for starters.
Now, how many more magazines will they sell for the thickest issue of the year?
|Trident Unveils a Campaign That Sticks |
Trident recently unwrapped a series of new spots that highlight kids and could yield a child's next answer to his or her blunders.
In one spot, a young girl pops a trident and plays makeup artist on her brother’s face. Their mom checks in and asks what they are doing. Ignoring the prank, the daughter emphasizes the positive and responds she is "fighting cavities."
A voiceover then announces: “Whatever they’re doing, when kids are chewing Trident, at least they’re helping fight cavities.”
|Mobile Marketing Raises the Bar Code|
The bar code, invented 60 years ago by Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, currently is all the rage in marketing. Thanks to their first patent filed Oct. 20, 1949 under "Classifying Apparatus and Method,” retailers can speak a novel language to customers.
Microsoft’s Tag bar code is the version Jones Apparel employs in their fall Rachel Roy campaign. Consumers can hear model Jessica Stam chatting up her fashion involvement via mobile-activated hang tags through an online video.
According to Stacy Lastrina, CMO for Jones Apparel, it will include "fashion tips, product information, and the back story on the line’s creation.”
The Gap already is a scan ahead, using the bar code in a direct mailer for their Gap 1969 Premium Jeans.
|'Mall Hauls' as Campaigns Don't Carry Much Weight|
Is neurotic social exhibitionism the next advertising frontier? As trends come and go, bloggers beware: You soon could become history. "Haul" vlogs (video logs) have became popular as girls record their recent mall purchases at home and post the videos on various social outlets. USA Today reported over 59,000 hauls have been added to YouTube, and $50 billion is expected to be spent on back-to-school goods.
|A Marketing Selection to Savor|
Open your mouth, but don’t close those eyes. You may get a bottle of wine. Wine kiosks could become the latest marketing trend in Pennsylvania, the first state to belly up to the kiosk.
State law prohibits the sale of wine and liquor in big-box retail stores like Costco. Instead, a special run is required to state-owned liquor stores to stock that bar for holiday parties.
|Netflix Flows With the Current Stream |
When Netflix was introduced in the late '90s and allowed for one to order as many (ahem) VHS movies at the amazing fixed rate of $8.99 with no late fees ever, it sounded to good to be true.
Due to supply and demand, the initial batch you received was not always your first choice. Turnaround time and Blockbuster Video's shift to digital offerings plus massive selection factor didn't help either. With other options like HBO, Showtime, and Pay Per View, customers were swayed and satisfied an instant Pavlovian click of a button.
|Smitten With 'Glee' |
How do we love "Glee"? Let us count the ways.
The high school musical drama earned 19 Emmy nominations, and its results are due to genius creators Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk.
Originally conceived as a movie, "Glee" is based on the struggle for the arts in our country. It brings out one's "Gleek" with a melting pot of amazing characters with with wwwith powerful voices.
It's tied together incredulously with running themes where every belted-out lyric fits, such as the last episode, which featured Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believing" and "Faithfully."
|Animal Attraction Makes for Quite a Site |
"Hang in There" was the catchphrase that rocked the peace-and-love decades. The infamous captioned cat image brought comfort to life’s so-called "bummers" experienced during an unsettling era.
While Photoshop and computer-generated imagery have breathed new life into our adorable furry creatures via YouTube and films such as the soon-to-be-released “Dogs and Cats,” old school has graduated.
Surprisingly, animal images with corny, contrived sayings remain a welcome greeting, touching the toughest of hearts and releasing feel-good thoughts for full-blown softies.
|In a Nutshell, Current Campaign Centers on China|
Stock up like a squirrel if you’re nuts about nuts, for prices may be climbing soon due to supply and international demand.
Although walnuts have been a popular commodity in China, almonds and pecans have become their latest imported snack craze, currently crunching positive new figures here.
In 2007, China became the leading export market for pecans and was the top foreign buyer of American walnuts last year. China does grow their own but still spent $737 million on tree nuts from the U.S. last year.
|Advertising That Flies in the Worst of Spirit |
Lately, when crossing the fine line that is free speech, one needs a traffic guard, and make that one with a bright neon vest. It seems like every other day loose lips are making disparaging remarks, in some cases sinking careers. General Stanley McChrystal bad-mouthed the current administration to Rolling Stone, the Pirates Pierogi boiled the management and team on Facebook, and Lady Gaga flipped off the press at Yankee Stadium.
|A Second Act Courtesy of Gatorade|
When a 1993 high school football championship ended in deadlock, there was little inkling the game would be restaged 16 years later.
TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles won two “Grand Prix Lions” awards (Promo and PR) at the 57th Annual Cannes Lions International Festival for doing just that in energizing Gatorade “Replay” Campaign.
While it may not be cool to fool with yesteryear, this football championship’s past made the present perfect sense.
|Here’s the Skinny on Whole Foods |
Don’t blame your imagination if you think shoppers look thinner at Whole Foods Market. Apparently it is not what you eat but where you shop that makes a body lean, according to a recent study. In fact, Whole Foods, “America’s First National Certified Organic Grocer,” was found to have the lowest ratio of obese customers (only 4 percent). Albertsons topped the scales at 38 percent in comparison.
|Site Pins the Tail on Simplification|
If navigating your digital highway creates cyber rage, that means too much information is overwhelming a good thing. Relax, there is an answer, and it doesn’t involve whacking your computer with a stick.
Pinyadda, a new Boston-based company, can help pull your digital life act together from one location, or in their words, “gather, customize, and share news and information from across the Web.”
If you just rolled your eyes at the thought of another social media site, you should give it a try because it was created for the very reason you even had that thought.
|This Father’s Day, Give Spanx to Dad |
When a young sales trainer/comedian cut the feet off of her dreaded pantyhose to invent underline smoothness, a product sensation began. The creation took off when Oprah put it on her favorites list. The rest is her story. Sara Blakley, that is.
Spanx, a Hollywood secret and red carpet must-have, has become a staple in everybody’s "underoo" drawer, men included. Shape wear intended originally for women, Spanx has become so popular with men they have their own line, “Man Spanx."
Designed to firm the chest, flatten the abs, improve posture, and even support the lower back, the undershirt is quite an offer not many could resist.
|Mars' Latest Ad Campaign Equals Confection Perfection |
Since you can never have too much of a good thing, Mars created one more. Say hello to M&M's Chocolate Pretzels, the latest must-have item for your candy drawer. Who’s to argue that a pinch of salt is not the yin and a spoonful of sugar the yang of confection perfection, even if the world’s talking nonstop diet? (Everyone deserves a little treat, pets included.)
|An Advertising Campaign in a Creative State |
With hopes of being the answer to what you did on your summer vacation, Pennsylvania is campaigning in a creative state of mind. By connecting with Foursquare, the social location network app offers 100 insider tips to entice travelers to the state's hot spots.
The campaign, "The Fantastic Roundtrip-a-Matic," is aimed at young travelers and provides an additional reason to travel, according to Steve Red, president and CCO at Red Tettemer, the tourism board's agency.
|All 'Dance' and Yoplait Makes for a Healthy You|
Apparently you can have your yogurt and shake off weight to boot-tay. “Dance Your Ass Off,” hosted by Melanie Brown, aka Mel B. (of the Spice Girls and former contestant on "Dancing With the Stars"), features plus-size contestants attempting to dance their way to a healthier lifestyle. The show enjoyed a successful season last year.
|A Salute to Advertising's Best|
Have you ever wondered where genius begins? All you need is a ticket.
The Clio Awards and Conference at Trump Plaza, conceived to honor international advertisers, currently is underway, and the two-day event contains a cast of creative minds from the advertising, media, and communications world. It includes one dynamic duo deserving extra attention, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein.
Both chairman and creative directors of the San Francisco-based agency are on the roster as keynote speakers and will receive lifetime achievement awards.
For numerous reasons, it’s easy to see why Goodby and Silverstein ingeniously fit the award’s bill.
|ABC Chooses Ratings as "DWTS" Winner|
Apparently “Dancing With the Stars” is not one big happy family. It’s more like "Family Feud." As the show's latest season nears to an end and the entire cast reunites, the truth struts across the dance floor. Aren’t television reunions supposed to be feel-good moments?
Not in this case. Somebody’s badmouthing poor stiff Kate Gosselin, and it’s not nice to diss a mother of eight by any nature. After all, she gave it her best two-step.
|Playboy Busts Out in 3-D |
Some fantasies do come true, as the June issue of Playboy issue hits the stands in triple dimension tomorrow.
Call it a gimmick if you will, but there's no getting around the magazine's recent woes. Playboy's circulation has dropped 60 percent in four years, according to editorial content director Jimmy Jillinek.
He recently told MSNBC "you have to create newsstand events" in order to generate and keep interest.
Oh, have they ever. In answer to many a prayer, “51st Playmate of the Year” Hope Dworaczyk will be handling the honors.
While "Avatar" may have started the vision rolling, Sports Illustrated has been there and done that twice before.
|Betty White Boosts 'SNL' Broadcast|
As snappy Sue Ann Nivens from “Mary Tyler Moore" or ditzy Rose Nylund from “The Golden Girls,” Betty White plays her characters like a finely tuned piano. She’s proof that age is irrelevant when you’ve got the infectious gift of mass appeal, as evident during her recent stint as host of "Saturday Night Live."
|Kimberly-Clark Gives Moms the Business |
Mom’s the word. In fact, it has been every second Sunday in May since Woodrow Wilson signed a bill in 1914 that recognized the observance of Mother’s Day.
This year Kimberly-Clark expresses their appreciation and honors a mother’s ambitions and dreams by calling all “Momtrprenuers” on their recently launched Web site, Huggiesmominspired.com. It's the place for commerce-minded, social media-hip moms to go who are in need of financing assistance for their big, bright ideas.
Unfortunately, a woman’s business ambitions and ideas are not always taken seriously, and many start-ups get stopped fast in their financial tracks.
|Social Media Allows for More of Benjamin Moore |
When TV home makeovers show how the "other" half lives, it can leave the rest of us feeling inept. If you coulda, woulda, or shoulda gone soft eggshell white instead of that paint-the-town red, Benjamin Moore’s "Expert Exchange" is right up your living room.
They are offering a concept to help answer those in décor disarray by turning their rooms magazine gorgeous. In a new 15 million print and social media campaign, professionals are yours for the asking via Facebook, proving that the decorating times, they are a changing.
|Macy's Ad Campaign Intervenes in the Name of Fashion|
When it comes to fashion sites, some are more Coco Chanel than others. For example, WhoWhatWear TV, a forerunner co-founded by Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, always dispenses valuable fashion advice. Macy's latest campaign, “Designer Fashion Intervention," is a like-minded effort. Stylist Clinton Kelly, designer Rachel Roy, and moguls Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have teamed up with Macy’s in a first-time campaign of online Web fashion videos and TV spots in an attempt to solve "impossible fashion challenges." While Macy’s celebrities act out their intervention in campy, whimsical scenarios, it’s enough to make a jaw drop.
|Ikea Breathes New Life Into Oxygen|
Perhaps an executive was perusing Ikea’s kitchenware department when it occurred there is a lid for every pot. Such logic might be behind Hollywood's latest arranged marriage.
Recently, Oxygen Media, in perhaps its “most ambitious multiplatform advertising deal to date,” secured the services of Ikea as a fully integrated sponsor of “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.”
For season five, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott (husband, creator, and executive producer) will be renovating their kitchen from cabinets to countertops with Ikea product.
|Liberty of London Targets U.S. Consumers |
Art collecting, if that’s your bag, is in the eye of the beholder.
Liberty of London, the design company known for delightful patterns in fashion and home and currently guest designer of a Target collection, currently blooms large in a nine-face billboard over New York City’s Times Square.
|The Lady Goes Gaga With Miracle Whip |
In advertising it’s best to strike while the branding iron’s hot, but when its sizzles, strike yesterday. Simon Cowell surprising called Lady Gaga “the most relevant pop artist in the world at the moment,” and if proof isn’t in Gaga’s new nine-minute "Telephone" video directed by Jonas Akerlund, what is?
This controversial, over-the-top shocker took three days to shoot and almost two months to edit. The video, not surprisingly, has garnered lots of buzz, though not for the obvious.
|The Marketing Invasion Will Be Televised|
Where does the invasion end and marketing begin?
Surveillance cameras, once intended for casinos, banks, and convenience stores, have entered big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, monitoring the nation’s shopping aisles in the name of marketing.
Specifically, it comes as an attempt to learn how different people respond to various products.
|Social Efforts of Macy’s and Sears Show Promise|
Taking advantage of the new media available, Sears and Macy's are ready to preen a teen for a night to remember.
This month Sears got hip and launched the Ultimate Prom Experience, a site that includes hair and makeup tips and fashion trends, plus a chance to win $1,000.
Not to be outdone, Macy’s launched a Prom 2010 tab on its Facebook page. With a base of almost 400,000 fans, the retailer offers consumers the chance to post prom photos on the social media site.
|Fast Finds at Fiverr.com |
What does $5 get you these days? Fiverr.com allows people to post "things they’re willing to do for $5." That just about says it all. The flat rate consistently makes it cheaper than Craigslist, and the need for negotiation, often required on eBay, does not exist.
|'Mad Men' Gets Dolled Up |
In 1945, Ruth Handler and her designer husband, Elliot, along with his partner, Harold “Matt” Matson, formed a business partnership and combined the men’s names to create the company we know today as Mattel.
While his first efforts were picture frames followed by dollhouse furniture, Elliot would soon shift his emphasis to toys. Mainstream success would not happen until 1959.
|The Real Cover Story in Depp |
Did someone fall down the rabbit hole at the Los Angeles Times by allowing a fake front-page wrap, even if it was a larger-than-life picture of easy-on-the-eyes Johnny Depp?
At first glance, Friday’s paper looked like the Joker took over the daily news, but it was Disney instead.
A fake front page had Depp as the Mad Hatter, from the new Disney film, "Alice in Wonderland." However, what most likely threw readers was the layout’s authenticity.
|Here Comes the 'Urban' Bride |
When a 60 billion-dollar industry is there for the taking (or asking), it’s hard not to say I do. Yes, eventually everyone feels the urge to commit and head to the chapel of love, including the kitschy, cool Urban Outfitters crowd.
Just three months shy of June, arguably the most popular month for weddings, Urban Outfitters is busting at the seams with good retail news. According to New York Fashion, the company released its fourth-quarter results and had a 91.6 percent increase in net income and a 15.8 percent increase in sales. Then, they announced their impending nuptials of the totally hip with a match made in heaven: wedding gowns.
The gowns will adorn the Anthropologie label. The collection also will be available online first and include bridesmaid dresses, jewelry, accessories, shoes, invitations, and a bridal registry.
|Steer Clear of Billboards |
Just when we figured out how to talk and navigate safely, a new visual distraction appears in our midst. What some critics refer to as “television on a stick" are digital billboards.
This new and cool trend, described as “the glow of Times Square with the immediacy of the Internet," displays images that change every six-to-eight seconds, as advertisers flash timely messages, in-game scores, headlines, special deals, or play music.
While the billboard industry claims the signs do not use any video or graphics that would distract drivers.
|Retailers Resort to Shopping the Campaign Closet |
It has been said one should never look back, but when the past holds a message customers need to hear, it’s often worth that second glance.
In her popular column for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Diana Vreeland once asked, “Why don’t you turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe?"
In doing so, Vreeland not only lightened the mood during the Great Depression but proved there is no such thing as a dumb question when it engages a shopper. For Saks Fifth Avenue, an upscale retailer, the recession hit hard.
|Tripping a Bright First Ad Fantastic|
There's a first time for everything, which is precisely Mark Tripp’s reason behind his “brand” new Web site, Freshmen Ads.
The site, which debuted Feb. 18, allows aspiring and accomplished creatives alike the chance to show and tell of their first spot, regardless of the medium. Needless to say, everyone can be a shining star because Tripp levels the field.
|House Brands Take Center Shelf |
Many consumers are tightening their belts and turning to a new love. Since a good shopper knows a great bargain when he or she sees one, big brands are quickly being shelved or the selection scaled back, as the retailer’s house brand rules in stores.
CNN Money reported Wal-Mart removed Glad and Hefty storage bags from its shelves for its own lower-priced Great Value brand.
|Staying in Step With Fashion Week|
Fashionistas no longer need to feel out of the loop during fashion week, as ayone who followed this week's events could have scored a front-row seat from home.
As noted by WWD Media, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Rodarte, and Perry Ellis live streamed their shows during this first-and-last word on fashion.
|A Sporting Chance: SI's Swimsuit Issue Still Sizzles|
By mid-February, who hasn't had at least a mild case of Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Put on your highest SPF, for the hot, sizzling cure-all that is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue recently hit newsstands. As CNBC's Darren Rovell reported, "more than seven million video streams were viewed on SI.com" on Feb. 9, a record number that "represented 185 percent growth versus last year and helped the magazine's Web site to its second highest traffic in its history." "With 1,500 photos and more than 100 original videos, the site was a great showcase for SI content," Paul Fichenbaum, SI com’s managing editor, said in a statment, "and it's clear that fans can't get enough of the swimsuit franchise." What started in February 1964 as a five-page supplement to heat up the winter months is now in its 46th year.
|Calvin Klein Continues to Cast a Spell |
There has never been anything subliminal in the seduction department when it comes to Calvin Klein's advertising campaigns.
When it was announced a few months ago that Kellan Lutz, aka Emmet Cullen in "Twilight," was slated to appear in an upcoming campaign to promote Calvin Klein's latest male underwear collection, X, fans were left drooling with a capital “D” just for the coming attractions. The ads will also feature actor Mechad Brooks ("True Blood" and "The Deep End"), Spanish Tennis sensation Fernando Verdasco, and retired Japanese soccer great Hidetoshi Nakata. Each model will debut separately in coordinated advertisements for the new collection.
|Be My Bargain |
In an effort to make consumers offers of true love they cannot refuse, retailers and advertisers are going to greater lengths in wearing their business hearts on their sleeves.
Recent studies by Baltimore-based Context-Based Research Group and Carton Donofrio Partners reported 88 percent of respondents said they had taken steps to spend less, and 83 percent said they had made permanent changes in spending-and-saving behavior.
“We believe the changes in behavior represent a permanent shift,” said Cleve Corlett, director for quantitative research at Context-Based Research, to The New York Times, “because they come from a deep evaluation of personal beliefs.”
|Airline Companies Sure Bring Lots of Baggage |
Gone are the luxuries of yesteryear, for many airlines have added fees to make up for the increased fuel costs that led to cutbacks in flights.
However, Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines are notable exceptions. While Jet Blue does not charge for the first bag, bags (as in 2) fly for free with Southwest Airlines.
Why haven't other airlines taken flight to compete with Southwest?
Avis, you'll remember, began its “We Try Harder” motto in 1962 as a means of combating Hertz, who as the then second-largest car-rental company claimed it would "go the extra mile" for your business.
Today, airlines seem to follow the flight pattern.
|What the H&M is Going On? |
H&M has been making headlines recently, and it has nothing to with its upcoming spring line.
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported bags of slashed-and-destroyed H&M clothing were found on West 35h Street, presumably to prevent its resale. Eventually, Nicole Christie, a spokeswoman for H&M New York assured it would never happen again and emphasized the Swedish clothing retailer makes a practice of donating to charitable groups.
However, now comes word H&M’s "certified-organic cotton" contaminated with genetically modified cotton from India
Gasp! Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute. Say it ain’t so Hennes & Mauritz!
|What's on Tap for Burger King|
In an attempt to compete with the casual-dining crowd, Burger King announced late last week your way will now include more drink options, namely beer.
The first "Whopper Bar" in the U.S. to sell beer will open in Miami's South Beach in mid-February. (Burger Kings in Germany and Whopper Bars in Singapore and Venezuela already sell beer.)
More could be on tap for other tourist-heavy spots including Time Square, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
Don’t expect a brewery of exotic brands, for you’ll find only Anheuser-Bush and MillerCoors products priced at $4.25. Beer as part of a combo meal will cost $7.99.
|Thinking Outside the Expiration Date|
Beauty, as we know, doesn’t last forever -- even if you have the green and Michelangelo does the tweaking. Eventually, beauty fades, hangs, and sags. Just ask Heidi Klum.
“Models have a sell-by date," Klum told InStyle. "There are certain jobs I don’t do anymore, like the young, sexy, cute things for teenagers, or even 25-year-old girls. I go in a different bracket now."
It's worth noting Klum's tax bracket hasn't sagged either. Forbes magazine estimated Klum's income at $16 million in 2009.
She also goes by a different last name, having changed it recently to Samuels to match her husband, singer "Seal."
While comparing models and food might sound extreme, she made her point. If you want to move the merchandise before it is considered unacceptable, think outside the expiration date.
|Fox's False 'Idol' Worship Doesn't Remain Idle|
As debuts go, "American Idol" still has it. Almost 30 million viewers tuned in last week to watch the two-hour debut of season nine.
“For 'Idol' to break even," says Fox executive Mike Darnell, "and probably climb in the nationals -- this is champagne cork-popping time.”
Did you hear that sponsors? As Fox points out, the long-running reality show's domination was up nine percent in adults between the ages of 18-34
|Are You Ready for Some Football ... Commercials? |
Ad men, mad men, make me a commercial as genius as you can. Brand it, and market it for all consumers to see. Then put it on CBS to boost those sales as high as can be!
Before we even knew which 12 NFL teams would make the playoffs, we knew the 28 sponsors comprising the big game's 30 engaging commercial minutes, including first timer Dr. Pepper and the U.S. Census Bureau. Ad Age has the staring lineup.
|Palin Trots to Fox|
Think back to Tina Fey as Sarah Palin alongside Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on "Saturday Night Live," exchanging side-splitting political repartee in parodies that nailed humor right to the twisted reference Clinton (Poehler) poked at Palin (Fey) about her "Tina Fey glasses."
The sketch became NBC.com’s most-watched viral video ever with 5.7 million views by the following Wednesday.
|Public Figures, the White House, and Advertising, Oh My! |
Recently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched an ad campaign featuring first lady Michelle Obama without her consent. Shortly after, The New York Times reported that a billboard surfaced over Times Square featuring a photo of President Obama in front of the Great Wall of China wearing a Weatherproof Garment Company coat without his consent either.