Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life among the advertising icons

Sorry not to post for much of the day. I was far, far from Advertising Week doing something, that, unbelievably, was actually more important than Advertising Week. Anyway, my last panel of yesterday was the famous—or infamous?—panel entitled, "Do Advertising Icons Drive Brands?" which promised "to integrate top CMOs and leading Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame Icons" and was moderated by Ad Age's Jonah Bloom. This may not be one of the questions that defines our times, but I wanted to find out: were they really going to put, say, Mr. Peanut up there with the CMO of Ford? Well, they weren't on the guest list, but here's what visitors saw from left to right (sorry I don't know everyone's names; they were not in the official program, and I'm sorry my picture isn't so great): A picture of the new, hot Mr. Goodwrench, a marketing executive from Mr. Goodwrench, the gnome from Travelocity, a guy from Travelocity, the Serta sheep, a guy from either Serta or its agency, the Maytag Repairman, Clay, and an executive from Maytag. Two Chik-Fil-A cows roamed the stage, often appearing to taunt Bloom, while the Vlasic Pickle stork and one dejected butterly from MSN looked on from the audience. No. You can't make this shit up. My favorite moment had to be when Bloom asked the panelists (those that could speak anyway) who their favorite ad icon of all time was. John, the guy representing Serta, replied brightly, "I gotta tell ya ... I've always been fascinated by the Ty-D-Bol man. He's a guy who lives in your toilet." Here, here.

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