Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have you checked out @bmorrissey yet?

Getting around to letting you guys know that there's a new blog in town containing "thoughts on branding and advertising" from my former Adweek colleague Brian Morrissey. How Brian is finding the time for this, I don't know, but since he started the thing on December 31st, he's managed to post ten times. More importantly, his posts, like his tweets, tend to be heavy on the insight. In a post yesterday on what Brian calls "Advertising's (over) consumption problem," he sees the layoffs currently going on in the ad industry as being not just a byproduct of the lousy economy, but something much, much deeper. "While layoffs get the headlines, the real story is advertising itself is in uncharted territory," he observes. Keep up the good work, Brian, until your hands seize up from too much keyboarding.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda ads: Making Bernie Madoff's investors feel better

OK, I'm checking out this 8-minute Honda "Failure: The Secret of Success" video and know that there's no way in hell I would watch the thing if it weren't for that I have an advertising blog. Or maybe, I'd find inspiration in it if I'd, like, invested with Bernie Madoff and was feeling as though investing with him was the worst thing I ever did. I guess other people are feeling the same way, as, despite being featured in The New York Times the other day, the video has only 980 views on YouTube. Yeah, call me a curmudgeon. What the hell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apple threw "MacWorld Expo Under the Bus"

As you know, I'm a bit obsessed with Apple's mishandling of everything on and around Steve Jobs' health issues. Loved this interview by Simon Dumenco of Ad Age with Jason Snell, editorial director of Macworld. Lots of good sound bites, but this one, about why Apple made that weird announcement about Jobs' non-participation in Macworld Expo, really stands out:

"My personal opinion is that for whatever reason it was decided that Jobs couldn't or wouldn't give the keynote, and given the recent speculation about his health, a simple announcement that Jobs wouldn't be giving the keynote would lead to massive speculation that he was very sick. By changing the story to be about Apple throwing Macworld Expo under the bus, Apple deflected attention from Jobs' absence. It worked for a couple of days, but in the end the speculation machine left Expo and turned back to Jobs' health, which led to the health statement he released."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 01.12.09

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

From Advertising Age:

Things that will be hot in '09. The list includes online video and, of course, beer.
Raising $50 million for a campaign to promote the U.S. auto industry is just as hard as it looks.
New product pipeline slows down.
Obama-mania, round 2.
NBC taps into its girl power, featuring Meredith Vieira, Tori Spelling and Shelly Lazarus.
—Will the Army billing scandal at Burnett hamper the agency's new business efforts.
Microsoft and Intel will invest more in the downturn. Woo-hoo!
—January: it's a time for diets, and this year, a time for discounts on diet plans.
Nat Ives' guide to dead magazines.
—Unreality TV: The networks refuse to give advertisers price concessions.
—Will Oprah blaming her weight on the blue chips hurt sales of the blue chips?
—3-Minute Ad Age: Jonah Bloom thinks that the paid model for content is coming back.

From Adweek:

—How the recession may change spending habits for years to come.
Anthony Viceroy named president, global operations and CFO at Porter Novelli.
So-called "echo boomers" have rosy future financial outlook. Easy, when your retirement is at least three decades off.
Having spent 73 pages criticizing agency diversity, the NAACP and law firm Mehri & Skalet will now pressure advertisers to pressure agencies to change their hiring practices.
Mike Wehrs is new head of Mobile Marketing Association.
—Guess what!? You can market to the Hispanic market on the Web! (Facetiousness completely intended.)
Barbara Lippert critiques Alex Bogusky's new diet book, asking: "If a diet isn't presented as a diet, is it still a diet?"
Advertisers contracting with bloggers to cover their products. Yes, I'm available.
—Checking in with Universal McCann CEO Matt Seiler.
Just as much new business in 2008, if you don't look at the dollar amounts.
—Greg Stuart asks if people in advertising hate advertising on their cell phones, how will mobile advertising grow?
—As agency personnel get laid off, Joseph Jaffe asks whether the ad industry is having a watershed moment.
—In a new Adweek feature, Freak Week looks at the strange occurrences that go on over at AdFreak.

From Brandweek:

More advertisers whine to the National Advertising Division about comparative ads.
Olay's Professional Pro-X goes after women who used to buy department store skincare brands.
Q&A with Kimberley Gardiner, national marketing and communications manager for Scion.
You're not doing enough with bleach.
Humans acting like geckos for Geico.

From Mediapost:

OfficeMax wants your cubicle to look better. I do, too ... I just can't launch a bunch of new products to help you.'s best and worst Super Bowl ads of all time. Guess where the Celine Dion/Chrysler commercial came out?
The all new world of the Air Jordan.
Hollywood comes to the rescue of Super Bowl advertising.
You should be feelin' the luv for Philadelphia.
—Computer gaming organization says its members really aren't computer potatoes. Sure.
Yelp defamation lawsuit gets settled out of court.
Arbitron CEO Stephen Morris steps down. New CEO is Michael Skarzynski.
Radio revenue drops 8 percent in Emmis' fiscal Q3.

From Mediaweek:

Football still beats the Golden Globes and Jack Bauer.
Digital buyers suspicious of Microsoft's ad mathemeticians.
Elle partners with CAA to extend its brand.
—It doesn't look like anyone wants the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Has anyone knocked on Bill Gates' door yet?
—Yeah, single copy magazine sales are down too. Maybe what the business really needs is for Britney Spears to have another meltdown.
—Alan Frutkin talks with "24" executive producer Howard Gordon.

From The New York Post:

Kathie Black gets three-year contract extension at Hearst, even though the company has "no digital strategy."
CBS about to sign retrans deal with Verizon FIOS.
—Hollywood finding that 3-D isn't all its cracked up to be. For one, those glasses are still freakin' goofy looking.
—CBS looking to turn into a Hulu competitor.
You think you never go to any AOL sites, but you probably do.
Honda launches Webisodes from RPA this week.
—David Carr would love to see the launch of iNews.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—In case you were watching football, who won at the Golden Globes. Free.
Spend money on software and save money, says Microsoft. Subscription required.

That's all for today.