Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adverganza's gone fishin' again

Hi all. I'll be on the beach for a few days, so don't think I'll be posting. See ya after Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

TBS' funny ads, not made here

I'll probably be flipping between the Mets/Phillies game tonight and the Democratic National Convention, but you can go watch TBS' "World's Funniest Commercials" tonight at 9. I screened a few this morning—as though I have nothing better to do today—and none were from the U.S. What does it all mean, I ask ya? Kevin Nealon, who is not our nation's best humor export, hosts.

Measuring Bogusky's "9 inch 'Diet'"

Still pondering Alex Bogusky's decision to write a diet book with the support of his partner-in-crime, Chuck Porter. And despite musings about its raison d'etre, from reading yesterday's Ad Age, it seems unlikely that the book is part of some viral marketing stunt for Domino's so intricate it is beyond the understanding of mere advertising mortals. As the magazine points out, the book was listed among its publisher's titles before Bogusky's agency, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky won the Domino's account. Here's part of its description on Amazon: "With years of experience manipulating the masses, two of the best tricksters in the industry explain how you as a consumer are being duped, and how you are actually a part of the conspiracy to make you fat. But more importantly, they teach you how to break the cycle." One would think that might include not stopping so often at Burger King and Domino's, though the book's title, "The 9 Inch 'Diet'" focuses mostly on using a smaller plate to make you feel as though you are consuming more food than you actually are. Maybe Bogusky has won a 9-inch plate client?
Still, take a look at that book description: "How you as a consumer are being duped"? If that doesn't scream to Domino's and Burger King that (at least) a stern talking to is in order with Mr. Bogusky, I don't know what does. However, the perverse genius of the situation is that all fast food organizations these days have to give, pun intended, lip service to healthier eating. They can't openly protest the book's premise that perhaps we are eating too much and that corporate America has much to do with it.
The situation reminds me of a client conflict situation that ended badly for Saatchi & Saatchi back in the day, weeks after I had left the agency in the late 1980s. Saatchi had prepared a commercial for Northwest Airlines showing passengers cheering the fact that Northwest had decided to ban smoking on all domestic flights. RJR Nabisco, another Saatchi client for which the agency actually didn't handle any tobacco brands, got so pissed off it pulled $100 million in business from Saatchi, a move that, at the time, made the front page of The New York Times. No one came out in support of RJR, but I imagine what mattered most to Saatchi was keeping the account. Even if Bogusky has an excellent point to make with this book, if Domino's or Burger King mysteriously leave Crispin, you probably wouldn't go wrong to blame it on the book.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 08.25.08

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

From Advertising Age:

—Jonah Bloom is back from Africa and boy, he's depressed.
—Close-up on that Alex Bogusky and Chuck Porter diet book. Yes, if you've been on the beach, they really are writing a diet book, called "The 9-Inch Diet Book."
—A company that sells potatoes on "Why McCain Should Be in the White House."
—Now's the time to be in the CRM business.
Ad Age gives the gold in buzz to Speedo.
Would Microsoft sell Avenue A/Razorfish to WPP in exchange for 24/7 Media? Hell if I know.
—Value add from Beijing: NBC starts to figure out how to measure overall video consumption.
—Bob Garfield awards only 1.5 stars to the new United Airlines commercial, based on the fact that no one will feel better about flying just because the client's ad agency can commission a mean animated frog.

From Adweek:

Lots of depressing research reports. Maybe hold off on reading 'til after Labor Day.
The first multi-platform broadcast of the International Paralympic Games.
—Brian Morrissey on Google's attempts to change the TV ad market. Come out from under the covers people. You don't have to be that scared.
The blogosphere gives a Bronx cheer to Jerry Seinfeld's ad deal with Microsoft.
—In advertising, is "50 the new 65?"
Wieden looks for top creatives. Not apparently as easy as it sounds.
—Glen Engler becomes head of Digitas Boston.
Benjamin Palmer teaches User Experience 101.
Joseph Jaffe no longer flies Delta Air Lines, if he can help it.
—Barbara Lippert gives high marks for execution, low marks for completion, for The Climate Protection Alliance.

From Brandweek:

Interview with Scion's Jeri Yoshizu.
—Apparently, it's not too early to start marketing pushes around Halloween.
Procter & Gamble emphasizes value in Cascade push.

From Mediapost:

—How Stop 'n' Shop and Giant are fighting back against the evil supercenters.
Audi lands an app on the iPhone.
—More evidence that in a down economy, people drink more. Present company excluded, of course.
—What? Banks still suck at customer service?
Interpublic, Socialvibe, to friend each other.
Q&A with Barry Herstein, new CMO of PayPal.

From Mediaweek:

The NBC Olympics: the most-watched television event ever.
—Magazines looking for CPM increases in 2009, because their expenses are high. Is that the way this is supposed to work?
Facebook's new Engagement Ads.
—Erwin Ephron on working in advertising, circa 1966.
Paula, Randy, Simon and ... Kara?

From The New York Times:

—Stuart Elliott gives out his Olympic ad medals; disagrees with Bob Garfield about those United ads.
Can LinkedIn help unemployed screenwriters?
Refrigerator, TV havin' a little chit-chat.
—Dick Ebersol on why NBC's Olympics were such a success.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—And now the dark side of NBC's Olympics: only $5.75 million in online ad vid revenue. Free.
Rafael Nadal gets a pre-U.S. Open makeover. Free.

That's it for today. See ya tomorrow.