Friday, March 21, 2008

Mac vs. PC vs. Richardson vs. Obama

The New York Times has given over some of the sacred space on its home page to this latest online version of the Mac vs. PC ads, but this campaign can get away with stealing attention away from the headline that Bill Richardson has endorsed Obama. It's gimmicky, sure, but the idea of the "emergency banner refresh" cracks me up. Go to, before it goes away.

Chocolate: the new agency revenue stream

I'm cribbing a lot from Adweek's creative newsletter today. Funny item about Brooklyn Brothers getting into the candy business, selling an organic chocolate called Fat Pig. Well, if that advertising thing doesn't work out, at least they'll have a chocolate high and maybe some cash to go with it. Best quote in the story was founder Guy Barrett on why they picked the chocolate flavor they picked: "The flavoring most people responded to was a Swiss milk chocolate. It was rich with no kind of aftertaste. It was a little sweeter than a Belgian chocolate but without the undertones." Here's a little advice: when the client calls and you're at the factory overseeing production, lie and tell them you're really at another client.

BBDO's David Lubars talks about things

Adweek has posted an interview with BBDO's David Lubars. There's nothing earthshaking here, but he's David Lubars, and you're not. Does like to say "thing" quite a bit. It's Good Friday and the office is kinda quiet. Go watch.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I totally get Nokia's "Morph" video

"The surface form is context dependent." These are among the nuggets of nano-wisdom in Nokia's "Morph" video, which has been up for about three weeks now and garnered more than a million YouTube views. You have to see it to get what's going on ... think of it as demo-ing, via animation, an iPhone on stretchable, collapsible, wearable, solar-powered steroids. Huh? OK, before you go watch it—if you haven't already—I'll leave you with this other bit of nano-wisdom: "Nanotechnology allows control of physical properties of nanostructures and devices with single molecule precision." Well, duh.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Correction shows Gotlieb isn't testing limits that much

There's always a bit of "There but for the grace of God go I," in seeing another reporter's story generate an excruciatingly long list of corrections. When you're a reporter, any of your bad days at the office can become very public. Still, one can only wonder how BusinessWeek's March 3 story on GroupM's Irwin Gotlieb, "An Ad Man Tests the Limits" could result in a correction approaching 150 words and highlighting four factual errors, some of which were central to the story's premise, that Gotlieb is pursuing some new revenue streams that might be seen as controversial. As one example, the original story claimed that Gotlieb predicted GroupM might not even represent advertisers within five to seven years. Not true, says the correction. Someone slipped me a copy of the correction from the print edition, and I'm running it in its entirety here. In his column today, fellow Mediapost columnist Jack Feuer described it as the Iliad of corrections. Well, at least BW did spell Gotlieb with only one 't'.

Everything you wanted to know about U.S. advertising

I've let 48 hours go by without fulfilling my self-promotional duty to link to a long piece on the entire U.S. advertising industry which I wrote for the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media report which came out on Monday. The entire report covers a lot of ground, as does my story--which covers everything from spot TV to newspapers to measurement to what the upfront is--so maybe it will educate a few people outside the ad industry along the way. This is the first time that the PEJ, which is part of the Pew Research Center in Washington, has covered advertising as part of the report. Hope I did well by 'em.

Comcast wallet catches a thief

Of course, Bob Garfield is going to hate this commercial because it's from Comcast, but it's another bit o' funny in the "your wallet will thank you" series promoting the Comcast Triple Play. OK, I have one technical complaint that Garfield and I would probably agree on: the interplay between the wallet and the thief happens so fast it's hard to tell the wallet is beating him up. What about a little slo' mo'? Assume this is from Goodby. Via

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dupre in spitzing distance of vodka contract

OK, so Kristen-Alexandra-Ashley-Dupre and so on might get an endorsement deal from Georgi Vodka that would put her derriere on loads of city busses. Kind of surprised Svedka didn't get to her first. Its current campaign is about putting a fembot in the White House. Classy.

Let's start a new award show ... the Brainys!

OK, so now the Clios are going to have that firm that monitors people's brainwaves while watching Super Bowl ads do the same thing at the Clios. The plan is to take the finalists' ads and let people at the show have electrodes attached to their heads while they watch them. "Brain activity will be measured and recorded in millisecond increments to determine which ads elicit the strongest response," the email accompanying the release says. Since judges are always whining about how hard it is to judge, let's just eliminate them altogether and let the brainwaves do the awarding.

Borg and McEnroe? I don't think so.

Someone sent me a link to this bizarr-o campaign for Marc Jacobs something or other coming this summer. It's supposed to portray Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, but to my mind doesn't succeed. It's not just that, other than the trademark 'dos, they don't look at all like the people they are supposed to be portraying. They also don't seem anywhere near as attractive as the tennis players themselves were. "McEnroe" looks kinda short. Any idea why the Borg character is wearing that dress? And who is Mr. Teller?

Microsoft trading in silly Irish stereotypes

As if St. Patrick's Day isn't tacky enough, Microsoft had to do this incredibly cheesy ad featuring a leprechaun as computer virus. Before he turned this appealing green color , he was red. Saw it in both the print and online versions of The New York Post.

Sunsilk ad starring Madonna ... why? why?

Above is the new Sunsilk commercial featuring a track from Madonna's forthcoming album, and a lot of Madonna too. Still can't figure out why she thinks that promoting this particular brand is a good idea. I've got no problem with her, of all people, doing endorsement deals, but Sunsilk shampoo? Sheesh. Given the new album great timing on the rumors of marital strife though.

Ogilvy creatives get 'New York' mag Spitzer gig

Since it has voluminous coverage of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal, this week's New York magazine is a must-read. One of the things that makes its Spitzer package distinctive—in addition to some excellent insight, even with the quick turnaround—are ten of what the magazine calls "visual interpretations" of what went down last week, three of which were provided by creatives from Ogilvy & Mather. So without further ado, the first one is from the team of Tom Godici and Greg Ketchum and the last two are from Andy Gray. You can see the entire photo gallery here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And the score is: Adweek, 19 Nielsen mentions; Ad Age, 16

Ever since the job description for the Adweek editor's post started circulating last week, a tempest has been brewing over whether the ties between the Adweek magazines and their corporate overlords at Nielsen are growing. This because the job posting touts that the magazine is carrying exclusive Nielsen data. And while the debate started fairly reasonabily, it's gotten increasingly silly in the blogosphere. (Yes, for those of you who don't know, I used to work at Adweek.)The magazine group, which includes Mediaweek and Brandweek, hasn't shied away from critical coverage of the conversion to C3, the new ratings currency that was adopted for upfront negotiations last year. You can browse the database and find stories critical of Nielsen's C3 ratings currency, carrying headlines such as "Buyers Debate C3 Ratings" and "Buyers Remorse: Want Make Goods, Not Scatter." The debate reached its silliest in a post at, which trumpets "AdWeek Mentions Parent Company Services Up To 3 or 4 Times A Day”—and then shows a search of the Adweek database which divulges recent Nielsen mentions. I’ve countered with the visual above—which is a screen grab of competitor Ad Age’s recent mentions of Nielsen. Going back a week, I discovered that while Adweek mentioned Nielsen 19 times, Ad Age mentions the company 16 times, and if anyone writes in to say that proves that Adweek is biased toward Nielsen than they … well let’s not go there. With that close a margin, it probably wouldn't take very long to find a week in which Ad Age mentioned Nielsen more than Adweek. Any situation such as the ownership of the Adweek books by Nielsen warrants keeping an eye out for a loss of editorial autonomy, but so far, we’re not there. There’s a reason Nielsen gets mentioned a lot by Adweek and Ad Age, and that’s because it’s Nielsen. Nielsen has a lot of data. Advertising trade magazines print a lot of data. Period.

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 03.17.08

Wherein I scan the Monday morning headlines so you don't have to:

From Advertising Age:

The digital special issue (although these days isn't every issue about digital?).
—Rethinking whether Web advertising should even exist. Not to rain on your St. Patrick's Day parade or anything.
What Google's stock drop means in the larger world, if anything.
—General Motors will spend half its budget in digital within three years.
—Could it be that the four major ad holding companies are ahead when it comes to digital spending? Strange, but true.
—Unilever tops the Digital A-List. Here are others on the A-List.
—Can someone define AOL for us please?

From Adweek:

—What happens when consumers continue the campaign long after the marketer might have planned on abandoning it.
—Pepsi will launch its own series this summer.
—Cutwater brings someone from elsewhere in Omnicom to replace Brad Harrington.
Mucinex moves to MPG. Unfortunately, since it's a media shift Mr. Mucus will probably live on.
—The effect online communities are having on what you see on TV.
—Alex Bogusky tells us what knocked him on his ass.
—Carnival Cruise Lines is drinking the Kool-Aid on integration.
—Goodby does an online campaign that features a fake band called White Gold.

From Brandweek:

An interview with Sea''s CMO Richard Gerstein.
—Method, Seventh Generation products full of carcinogens?

From Mediapost:

—Shamrocks, chocolate easter bunnies ... what's a purveyor of schlocky, holiday-related merchandise to do?
—Madonna still associating with horrible Sunsilk advertising. Is it too late to take back her Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction?
—Debbie Richman moves from OMD to head ad sales at Lifetime.

From The New York Times:

—The "Sex and the City" promotional juggernaut begins, and the movie isn't due out for another 10 weeks.
Is Starbucks' musical taste too mainstream?
— gets mainstream advertisers like Friskies.
Consumer Reports makes its opinions clear, via advertising.

Lots of interesting stuff in The Wall Street Journal, but none of it has to do with marketing or advertising, if you know what I mean.