Friday, May 30, 2008

Why the sudden Cheetos uproar?

So, I'm amazed at what appears to be a sudden uproar concerning the Cheetos campaign. (If that sentence isn't proof enough that I have no life, than I don't know what else I can tell ya.) It all started on Monday morning, when Bob Garfield's column in Ad Age ran under the headline, "Cheetos Ads That Promote 'Random Acts' Are Irresponsible." Whew! Garfield compares the campaign's premise of encouraging youth to commit random acts to "stick it to the man" as stealing marketing tactics from the drug trade. Don't need to tell you how many stars he gave the campaign, but let's just say that Cheetos' agency, Goodby, Silverstein + Partners, may have never seen this treatment before. Then, yesterday, someone at AOL Living picked up the story, which now has 239 comments. Here's the amazing thing: this campaign has been out for months now, so where was the initial outrage? Seems to me that if a thing can sit around for months without anyone expressing outrage, than it's a trumped up controversy—although, yeah, not the best ad idea ever.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

iTunes Coldplay ad leaves me, well, cold

I really didn't wake up this morning thinking, "Today I'll be not-so-complimentary of TBWA/Chiat/Day," though between this post and the one just below, you might think that. At least a dozen people have posted this iTunes ad featuring Coldplay to YouTube, and I'm just not diggin' it. The beginning of it looks too much like a video from an overly emotive 1980s synth-pop band. The first time I saw it, I found it so overwrought I was waiting for the punchline. It gets a little better when it moves to slightly more color, but it just doesn't pop the way the original iTunes ads do. It's all about the contrasts and stark silhouettes, and this commercial doesn't really have them.

Classically bad: Chiat's UBU ads for Reebok

Was reminiscing with someone yesterday about the old days of the Reebok account, which had its share of agencies back in the day. And then, we started talking about this classically bad campaign from Chiat/Day called U.B.U. (Get it?) Just goes to show even the greats aren't great all the time and that you can find just about anything on YouTube.

Rachel Ray, coffee-loving terrorist ... right

Was just reading this whole ridiculous story about Dunkin' Donuts having to pull an online ad featuring Rachel Ray because it appears as though Ray is wearing a keffiyeh, which, I'll admit, I hadn't remembered was the name of the scarves that look similar to the one she is wearing. Now some poor stylist has had the worst day of his or her career, people are probably yammering on somewhere about whether Ray secretly supports terrorists, and Dunkin' Donuts has its own PR problem--though hopefully minor--to nicely coincide with the equally dumb scandal over the breasts in the Starbucks logo. Silly.

Go read this week's Social Media Insider

This week the Social Media Insider asks, "Can Ad Banners Find a Safe Home in an Online Community?" You can read the column here.

Ian Schafer auctions Ian Schafer on Twitter

Saw this on Twitter and said to myself, "Why aren't I doing that?" What I saw is that Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer is auctioning off sponsorship to his Twitter feed on eBay. Opening bid is $400. Here's an excerpt from his blog, on what he's offering: "This one-month sponsorship includes replacing of the existing background image with the image(s) of your choice, as well as replacement of my handsome photo with another image of your choice (ie. brand logo)." He also says that "numerous journalists" follow him which I guess includes me, but, hey, it's been worth it. Without him, I'd never have gotten on to the big story of last week: Agency 3.0.

Looks like Twitter needs more servers

OK, so none of us know what Twitter's business model is yet, but if its recent batch of technological quirks is any indication, it sure is getting popular. However, this message, which I got when I just tried to follow a new acquaintance on Twitter, is a first for me anyway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How Sanjaya's Nationwide spot shoulda happened

You may have read that now it's Sanjaya's turn to star in a Nationwide Insurance ad. If the K-Fed ad was any indication, it'll be a smash hit. On the other hand, the timing seems kind of odd. Sanjaya is last year's news. K-Fed, at the time of his Nationwide debut, was in the middle of his divorce from Britney (not that I memorize this stuff). Woulda been better if Nationwide had actually bought a Super Bowl ad and put Sanjaya in it earlier this year. I mean the Super Bowl even aired on Fox! And they were heavily promoting 'American Idol'! But what do I know? I'm just a blogger. (BTW, the commercial isn't available yet.)

Honda ASIMO creeps me out

I've always found Honda's ASIMO robot to be exceedingly creepy. I think we're supposed to think he's cute. Here he is conducting the Detroit Symphony, who, not at all coincidentally, is playing "The Impossible Dream." All I can say is: "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Adverganza's Tuesday morning picks, 05.27.08

Wherein I scan the Monday and Tuesday morning headlines because I'm not so much of a wonk that I would actually work on Memorial Day:

From Advertising Age:

—Close-up of Vincent BollorĂ©, the man who would have Aegis.
—How the China earthquake has given a boost to beleaguered Olympic sponsors.
—No matter what the company does, no one likes getting charged for luggage by American Airlines.
—Why it's good that the Gap isn't advertising on TV.
—More on "Starbucks Cups Feature Tits!"
—Did you know you spend $500/year on Big Macs?
—UPS will continue to win with Big Brown.
There's money in moving to Microsoft search.
—Jonah Bloom likes brands that market themselves usefully.
—Wow. I doubt Bob Garfield will ever eat Cheetos again.

From Adweek:

—Great quote on why Nike dropped Crispin: "They were in love with the idea of Crispin more than the actual work from Crispin." Read on here.
Digital agencies you may or may not have heard of that you should be watching: 360i, Big Spaceship, Deep Focus, EVB and Schematic.
—Story about DaVinci that barely mentions Synarchy.
—Inspiring entire countries to social change.
—Marian Salzman on how marketers might respond to the recession.
—Joseph Jaffe explains why most viral marketing sucks.
—Barbara Lippert on advertising which is considered breakthrough that she thinks isn't. You go girl. Totally agree with you. Cadbury's "Gorilla"? So what!

From Brandweek:

—More on the frightening "we'll pay your gas" trend.
—Who wants a piece of online ad video pie?
—Yeah, sure. Candy that's good for you.
—How those iProducts have hurt car stereo companies.
—Q&A with Procter & Gamble's green guru.
—Are you ready for caffeinated snack chips? I hope not.
—Scary findings from The Change Report, here, here and here.
—Hey, agency people: Only 15 percent of you get it.

From Mediapost (they seem to be on a tourism jag this morning):

—New York brings back "I (heart) New York." Why the state ever dropped it, I've no idea.
—Other state tourism campaigns still expect us to burn lotsa gas this summer.
Michigan proves the return on investment of its tourism dollars.
—Rand McNally says Americans are changing their travel plans this summer because of high gas prices, but not that much.
Family trip planning on the Motel 6 Web site,
A fragrance called Bond Girl 007?
—Stuff about email marketing, here, here, and here from Mediapost's Email Marketing Summit.
—Twenty percent of homes not ready for digital conversion. What tells me that some people just have better things to do?
—Ten percent of Washington Post staff leaves via buyouts.

From Mediaweek:

Mike Shields reports from Microsoft's annual agency/advertiser summit.
—Despite what you may have read, advertisers and agencies still love American Idol.
Univision employees (heart) Joe Uva.
—Lehman Brothers projects network upfront revenue to decline by 3 percent. The villain? Cable.

From The New York Post:

How networks are building their own on-demand options.
The Carl Icahn "I Can't Blog" counter, which tallies the days, hours, minutes and seconds since Icahn's last blog post. We're up to 116 days.
Linens 'n' Things may close even more stores.

From The New York Times:

—More on our lack of preparedness for the digital conversion. Unfortunately, I own the TV located on the left in the picture. Damn.
—Rob Walker asks if dead brands can be resurrected.
—The networks don't like
—Who knew there was this much to know about people who twist balloons?

From The Wall Street Journal:

—Page one feature on August Busch IV's fight "for his legacy." Free.
—Why the success of "Indiana Jones" isn't quite as much a boon for its studio as you might think. Free.
—Gap brings the sites of its four retail chains closer together. Subscription required.
Some marketers are getting into opt-in text message ads. Free.

OK, that's it. Have a good one!