Category Archives: Advertising

Advertizing out of touch once again

pepsi

A million dollars for this redesign. A few million more to repackage their products. If they turn it just a bit more it will be a vagina and then you can officially use the phrase “How ad agencies F#ck their clients.”

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New Year… Same old

bottle1

The song goes:

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Sure it’s tough to understand let alone say the title right. It’s from a Scottish poem. Try understanding a Scot!

It’s a lot like life though and how we think and act. No one really knows the true title of the song when you ask (Auld Lang Syne). And no one knows much of the lyric although they could hum the chorus. And to me it’s an analogy to how most of the world lives their life, never really knowing the title or the lyric, but humming alone acting as if they did. Guess that’s why we are where we are these days. Authenticity is tough to come by.

As for what I miss in life… the simpler things. How about when no one had a cell phone. You might have had an answering machine back then. And if you did, you checked it once a day when you got home. And if there was a message you could call the person back that night or the next day. Try not returning a call today. You’ll be put on a do not call list. For a hundred years people have complained about the past and how times were simpler. I’m guilty, they were. I remember as a kid everyone predicted that the future was about less work, more leisure, and technology that would do it all for us. Funny, we work 80 hours a week now, can’t find a moment for ourselves, can’t live without being attached to the web so we can feel like we are connected to the world through Facebook, and can’t spend a moment ot be with ourselves so make continuous cell phone calls to anyone that iwll answer, just so we can feel okay. Some people dream of a vaction. I dream of going into the past and simply spending a week relaxing. Can’t do that these days, vacation or not.

Dumb-dai (as in Hyndai but dumber)

Dumdai

A while back I told you how absolutely stupid Hyundai’s national advertising is. And once again I was proved correct. The real question is, when are we going to put to bed the old-school methodology of advertising. The ad industry needs more than a makeover, it needs to be re-thought because 90% of advertising today is simply throwing money out the window.

“DETROIT (AdAge.com) — Hyundai Motor America today appears to have cut loose its creative ad agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, after 17 months, three executives close to the marketer said. Read more on this breaking news story at http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=131113”

How stupid are Americans? About as stupid as the press

Americans, please notice spelling error

Americans, please notice spelling error

Watching CNN tonight there was a 15 minute discussion about how the next president needs to do something with the economy. The discussion was based on the notion that the president has something to do with the economy. All the panelists kept saying was that the candidates need to tell Americans what they are going to do and what is important to Americans is the question of what each candidate will do for the economy. Ahhhhh… bad news. The president has little if any direct effect on the economy. He can cause short term macro changes, but the results historically have always either been disastrous or policies never materialized into changes until long after he left officde. Will someone from what should be an educated press please tell folks this! No wonder why this country is so stupid!!!

WAIT!!! One journalist did!

http://www.newsweek.com/id/108382/page/1

Creatively empty

I saw a mass email the other day.It was from an ad agency. They were working on a Holiday campaign for a major car manufacturer. They wanted to know if anyone had any footage, knew of anyone that did, or had any ideas on a Christmas spot. As they email said:

“One of the  ideas is to utilize “reality” (or staged reality) footage of a customer giving the gift of a new car, wrapped with a bow, to someone they love.”

Wow I thought! I haven’t seen such “ingenious” an execution since last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. It brought tears to my eyes, but not because it was sweet. Rather, because it was so played. Are agencies so dry and out of ideas that all they can do is continuously recycle the same schlock over and over yet pitch it as a miracle in creative thought? Or maybe it’s summer and so hard to think about the winter. Even worse, asking for any free ideas that might be offered from the outside as was pitched in the email. Yet another example of old-school advertising, recycling something so cliche that you know long before it’s made, it will be about as memorable as Christmas is each year.

PS If forced to come up with a bow concept, here’s my idea. Shot of a guy going into a Christmas lot. It’s got to be big he says. Cut to the lot guy with 7 foot tree. Guy shakes head.  Cut to the lot guy standing next to a 25 foot tree. It dwarfs him. No, not big enough  says the shopper. Shot of him in a car driving in the wilderness looking at a map. Cut to him shaking hands with an older guy next to two horses. Cut to them coming over a ridge. He looks up and says, Yep that’s it. Cut to chain saw cutting 2 foot wide tree base. Cut to him and wife Christmas morning. He opens blinds. She smiles. Cut to outside (camera moves gracefully). A huge tree is over a new car (with bow). Announcer says something to the effect of, a special gift for that special person this Christmas might require a bit of thinking out of the box. The 2008…

No, you are not alone

I was in a meeting the other day discussing a potential project. At one point I made it clear that I didn’t want to use the term ‘advertising agency’ to describe our group. It’s old, passé and represents everything wrong with advertising. When I siad, “just look at the ads out there” a very nice and smart marketing person I just met leaned forward and said something to the effect of, “Is it me? I don’t understand a lot of what people are trying to advertise. No, it’s not you. The fact that you can admit it, says a lot about you. Big advertising is broke and thinks they are reenacting the show “AdMen”. Problem is the show is fiction and so is most of how today’s advertising operates. And when someome smart, who works in marketing says she doesn’t understand it,  there’s a problem.

GM Ford’s woes

All the advertising in the world can’t fix GM, or Ford for that matters problem. No one is buying their cars. Yes they concentrated on what was successful for along time, gas guzzling trucks and SUVs. You can’t fault them for that. Americans wanted them and when it came to trucks and SUV’s Chevy and Ford owned the road. Ford’s 250 was THE force in their sales for years. Now we have $4 gas and of course we have folks looking for gas sippers, not guzzlers. Part of GM/FORDs problem was they focused only on what sold at the time, and now that trucks are like rocks, they don’t have much to offer. Actually they do, but they never marketed anything but trucks well. The Malibu for instance gets 30mpg, not bad in this day and age. They tried and failed to market it well (see an earlier post), but their paultry atempt failed to make the Malabu a winner. I could go on, but I’ll get to the point. GM and Ford need a simple solution to fix their problem. They need outside help. No, not a single man, but a team. Basically both are too old and too entrencehed in the old way of thinking, two egotistic to make the dramitic changes needed to turn themselves around, to narcessistic to see the issues and the dire needs. Basically both are too attached to old ways of thinking to make rational and relalisstic changes, teh types of changes needed for a real turnaround.  They don’t need to hire a new pitcher. They need to trade the team, get rid of the apple pie, and to do that correctly they need ot bring in folks from the outside, lot’s of them. Folks who don’t mind eliminating what doesn’t work, and aren’t afraid to break tradition. Basically they need people that aren’t emotionally attached to the names. If they don’t they will not survie their situations.