Thursday, October 2, 2008

Will there be an Ad-Media-Brand-Week?

You may have noticed that I haven't posted about Adweek lately. Not much to post. But then one of my industry observers pointed me to this story which ran in Folio yesterday, predicting, among other things, that " a considerable consolidation of editorial staffs" might happen at Nielsen Business Media including, according to what Folio says are "two knowledgeable sources" the possible combining of Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek into one news operation. This idea has been bandied about over there for the last few years, but given the way the economy is, I'm wondering if this time it doesn't have the ring of inevitability to it.

Should the bailout be called a rescue?

Lengthy story in Advertising Age this morning about how the positioning of the bailout helped doom it in the House earlier this week. For one, people now seem to think that "rescue" may have been a better term than "bailout" all along. On the one hand, I couldn't agree more; on the other hand, I sense that most Americans won't really believe this is all happening until it hits them squarely in the credit card. The reason the perception that this is a bailing out of Wall Street persists is that the effects of the credit crisis hasn't been felt by most people. If you turned off all news sources and just went about your business these last few weeks, the most you might notice is that the economy isn't quite trucking along the way it was a few years ago. Even hearing about the crisis on the news seems somehow distant, as though we're reading reports of a tsunami in Asia, but meanwhile, back home, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the trees.

Hard to take the Popeil out of Ronco

Inadvertently funny New York Times story today on the rebirth of Ronco, without Ron Popeil. Seems the new commercials use footage of Popeil (who is still alive), but the investor group that bought the company a few years ago, also has some guy named Mark Solley sorta kinda reprising the Popeil role. It just ain't the same. For fun, I've posted an old Popeil commercial here. It was fun trolling YouTube this morning for old Ronco commercials, reliving the birth of such great advancements as the Battery Tester and the Solid Flavor Injector.

Will Internet spending get squashed too?

The prevailing wisdom, this recession around, is that the Internet will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, while every other medium tanks. But you gotta wonder, with sales at some automakers dropping by a third, whether that's really going to be the case. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Internet spending was up 8 percent in the second quarter, which, by the medium's standard is fairly anemic. Throw a whole bunch of freaked out car advertisers into the stew, along with a healthy dash of other ad categories that cut back, and that number starts to drop downward. Fasten your seat belts, people.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Watch ad economy instead of Wachovia

Hard for the ad biz to seem very relevant these days what with the economic meltdown and all, so looks like everyone has latched onto the story of Ogilvy losing Wachovia before it ever had it, along with other musings about what's going to happen to the agencies for other down-and-out and assimilated banks, like Washington Mutual. Would far rather see column inches be spent on what the economic crisis means for ad spending, and fortunately, a few stories about that are starting to trickle in, as depressing as they are to read. This morning Mediapost's Diane Mermigas has a column this morning telling readers not to "get too comfortable" with the already downbeat ad expenditure forecasts, and couldn't agree more. (Yeah, I, too, write a column for Mediapost.) Even the reports released in the last few days, if you read the fine print, were compiled well before the events of the last few weeks. Little did those who wrote them, or us who read them, know that we hadn't seen nothin' yet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hard to avoid DeGeneres/Cover Girl hype

So, this Ellen DeGeneres commercial for Cover Girl better be good. Procter & Gamble has actually bought search ads for it, which must've popped up in by Gmail because of all of the Google Alerts I've set up that are keyed to advertising. If you click on the search ad, you're sent to a landing page in which you can input your email address to get a sneak preview of the commercial, and give Cover Girl your mobile number, for some reason that escapes a curmudgeon like me.

Did Michael Phelps really learn Chinese?

I know this commercial isn't exactly brand spanking new, but don't you find it weird that this entire commercial is about Michael Phelps learning Chinese using Rosetta Stone but he never speaks even a syllable of Chinese?

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 09.29.08

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

From Advertising Age:

Why Wieden and Starbucks parted ways, if it matters.
—Who knew car dealers were into viral video?
Media companies grew a paltry 4.6 percent in 2007, with best performance by digital, according to Ad Age's 100 Leading Media Companies. One guess as to which medium did the worst. Hint: You're not reading from it right now.
The holidays are gonna suck.
—How the Wall Street crisis is affecting you: credit crunch means that McDonald's can't roll out its coffee bars as fast as possible, making you really tired due to lack of caffeine. OK, I tried.
—Guess who the biggest bank advertiser now is? Sorry Ogilvy, it ain't Wachovia.
Second-quarter ad spending plunges. You knew that already, didn't you?
Q&A with Jerry Yang about Yahoo's life-transforming new ad platform.
—How the credit crisis is affecting marketers.
—Bob Garfield eats the egg on his face over his initial critique of the Travelocity Gnome.

From Adweek:

—Can you Canoe? David Verklin explains his new addressable advertising gizmo. Here's video of Verklin getting all excited about it.
Agencies still investing in training. Up with people!
TBWA will probably buy Beattie McGuinness Bungay Jump. I meant Beattie McGuinness Bungay.
—Third time's a charm? WPP gives third deadline to disinterested TNS.
—Visa looking for new digital, interactive resources.
—Barbara Lippert says that bald men look like walking fetuses.
Ad spending predictions move further downward.
Mini's delicate introduction of the Clubman.
Mediabrands chief Nick Brien makes bold predictions about 2009.
—Rich Siegel applies for job as CEO of Morgan Stanley.
—Brian Morrissey on the perplexing popularity of faxing.
Tide to Go's new "Stain Rap" commercial.

From Brandweek:

Big retailers promoting their store brands.
Zach Braff is the voice of water.
—Down with new cars, up with the certified, pre-owned vehicle.

From Mediapost:

xBox: it's not a game system, it's an entertainment brain.
The new Ford Mustang, as envisioned by members of
—Jim Trebilcock (where do they get these last names from anyway?), becomes CMO of the new Dr Pepper Snapple combine. BTW, Dr Pepper is the official soft drink of Ben Bernanke.
—People value service over price in their pharmacy decisions, survey says. Wonder how low my least favorite pharmacy, CVS, did.
Marketers want risk.
People flocking to health sites. But will marketers continue to?
Glam Media goes through layoffs, launches male network called CodeBlue.
Someone sues over limits on ability to reproduce Spore.
Proof gamers occasionally leave the house: they influence each other when it comes to car purchase decisions.
NBC local stations have a hard year, despite the Olympics.
—Voters use online channels to follow the election, but don't necessarily trust them, per Mediavest.

From Mediaweek:

—My former boss, Sid Holt, named head of American Society of Magazine Editors.
One thing that isn't sucking: the beginning of the fall TV season.
"Raising the Bar" sees the bar lowered on viewers.
No one gives a sh*t about Fridays.
ESPN is all about live.
Telemundo to air Mexican soccer.
—Some say Yahoo's new ad platform isn't so Apt.

From The New York Times:

—Loved this piece from the Sunday Magazine about how the Web sites of financial titans haven't exactly reflected the market's turmoil.
Stuart Elliott summarizes Advertising Week in less than 1,000 words.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Food marketers pitch value message. Powdered Kool-Aid anyone? Subscription required.
—French activist group puts graffiti on billboards to protest their existence. Those French, tres creative, non?

OK, that's it. Still in mourning over the Mets. Life is tough.