26 February, 2009

Friday Ad Haiku: Blog Pimpin'

(click photo to initiate bigness)

One of our bestest ad blog buddies, Where's My Jetpack?, is making it rain (as much as any blogger not named Seth Godin can make it rain anyway) with his "Futureman Describes Twitter" comic (above).

It was only a matter of time before his stuff got noticed enough to get stolen, copyright infringed, and passed around. Like a well-muscled Amish woman sweating over a butter churn, 'Packs consistently stirs up some of the best creative and advertising-centric content on the Webs of our Wide World.

Along with Bill Green's Make the Logo Bigger, Angela and Steve's AdRants, and Simon Veksner's Scamp, WMJP? is on constant rotation in our RSS feed. If you like smart things, make them a part of your daily reading, too.

The moral:

Link to better blogs
than yours to coax more traffic.
Now that's karma, holmes.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5:
The Intern Sweatshop

Friday Ad Haiku: Blog Pimpin'SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Coen Bros. clean coal's clock in parody ad

It's not Steve Buscemi in a woodchipper, but it'll do.

Mined here.

Coen Bros. clean coal's clock in parody adSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

25 February, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Let's talk about me

Good afternoon bloggytimeuniverse,
I’m the intern who's been picking up some of the slack around here. I've written a few recent entries - you know, the one's you really loved (thanks, AdRants!). Now, for a proper introduction. Here's Me, in the style of Facebook’s “25 Random Things About Me” mixed with the icebreaker 2 Truths and a Lie.

1. I lived in England last year.
2. I’m an atheist attending a Jesuit college.
3. I’m a terrible driver and have caused 3 car accidents.
4. I’m an Irish step dancer.
5. I can breakdance.
6. I don’t want to get married.
7. My OB/GYN gave me his son’s phone number.
8. I gave up watching TV for a year.
9. I have 2 tattoos.
10. I can play the electric piano quite well.

There are 7 truths and 3 lies. Can you guess which is which?


Erica Campbell, Nice-to-Meet-You Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Let's talk about meSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

23 February, 2009

Savings blowin' up my celly, yo.

It's called a Bean. An electronic coupon, texted to your cell phone, redeemable for everything from tune-ups to cocktails. With Green Bean, you create a short profile, select retailer and the deal, and they send the coupon to your phone through SMS text.

Simply show the text at the store, and receive the discount. Intriguing. Paperless. And with just enough novelty to have early adopters and tech-friendlies changing their underpants.

If the stats on the site are right, it could make pretty good sense:

-There are more mobile phones in the US than there are Internet connected computers
-Over 50% of all mobile phone users use SMS text (82% of people under 24 use SMS!)
-Over 40% of people who recalled receiving a mobile ad remembered the brand
-eCoupons regularly have a higher redemption rate than traditional paper coupons

Advertisers include Precision Tune, Florida-based food chain Hurricane Grill & Wings, and a handful of regional retailers up and down the east coast.

Of course, there are still some challenges. Last year, a survey in a New York Times article showed mixed results when it came to the public's interest in receiving mobile coupons. About 70% of folks surveyed balked at the idea. But I'm not so sure those statistics apply here. Only a small portion of the total surveyed would be early adopters, and even fewer would fit the mobile-savvy demo: the sweet spot for a service like this.

Regardless, having easy opt-in (and opt-out) functionality knocks down some of the barriers. If people are curious, it's easy enough to try. If they don't like it, it's easy enough to leave.

Personally, I'll base my opinion on just how thoroughly soused I can get redeeming free drink coupons with my flip phone.

Savings blowin' up my celly, yo.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

20 February, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Welcome to Astrotising!

Outer space is boring. I don’t care about hot balls of gas or giant rocks spinning in the sun’s gravitational pull that may or may not support life. I don’t see the point in flying huge rockets out there to check things out. And looking at it with a telescope is social suicide – unless you’re already a nerd. The billions spent on space exploration could be used for practical, life-changing endeavors like developing hovercrafts or invisibility cloaks. We assume extra terrestrials are traveling at the speed of light and saving lives with the touch of an illuminated, long, creepy finger, why not beat them to the punch in the realm of intergalactic advertising?

No matter how much I don’t care about it, outer space is still there. It really only bothers me at night, but luckily, I figured out how to make it interesting. Despite the failed attempt by Saatchi & Saatchi to place ads on a Soviet space craft in the 90s, I have high hopes for space advertising. Doritos gave it a good shot by sending an ad out into space in March 2008. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners had the right idea by pretending they were going to project Rolling Rock’s logo on the moon. Yet, there is more to be done:

- Under Armour can make sweat and odor-eliminating Heat Gear space suits with UV-blocking fabric for close travels to the sun
- Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine can compete to create the healthiest, most nutritious, freeze-dried dinners
- The astronauts can take a moment from their button-pushing to enjoy a Reese’s Fast Break
- The moon is perfect for green advertising – the natural illumination saves money and it has a built-in self timer
- Betty Crocker’s face in the big dipper keeps space advertising relevant
- And a secondary benefit – Mars-sized billboards floating around Earth give you something to look at when you’re stuck in traffic

The ban on “obtrusive outer-space advertising” posits a problem, but we have a progressive President who won’t care. We can throw in a “YES WE DID” sign to make him happy. All the people opposed to outer space advertising just haven’t realized how cool outer space will become. Forget 3-D Superbowl ads, we’ll project commercials on solar eclipses that can only be seen with special anti-blinding goggles. Where NASA sees the next frontier, I see great media placement.

--Erica Campbell, Terrestrial Creative Department Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Welcome to Astrotising!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

17 February, 2009

What's in a name: The etymology of advertising

Today's a bit of a slow day in Editsburgh, so for fun and distraction I went looking for the etymology of "advertise." Here's a snippet from www.etymonline.com.

c.1430, "to take notice of," from M.Fr. advertiss-, prp. stem of a(d)vertir "to warn," from L. advertere "turn toward," from ad- "toward" + vertere "to turn" see versus). Original sense remains in advert "to give attention to."

The important bit here, I think, is the root meaning. Ad Vertere, "To turn toward." What I'm struck with is how dated a definition that is. It smacks of hand-holding and weak-kneed pleas for attention, and springs from a time when advertising listed features and benefits. Simple presentations intended to bridge the gap between a consumer's need and an advertiser's solution. It's far too passive to describe the realities of our business in the 21st century. We need a strong, active word.

Something like "crevantising". Born from the Latin creare, meaning "to make, produce," and vant, meaning "to lack, wanting", crevantising is a nearly perfect embodiment of our industry. We no longer bring consumers to our clients' products, passively filling existing needs. We create needs. We can sell products that do one thing by extolling wholly unrelated, and largely fabricated benefits. We sell image, not products. It's a major distinction, because the shift marks our transition from childhood into adulthood. We no longer fit the peg to the hole. We drill the hole to match the peg.

So maybe "makihooling" is a better word. Derived from German and Dutch, it's a simple statement of what we do. We make holes. Holes for our clients' products to sell through. Holes in the claims of our clients' competitors. We find the walls that keep our clients from being successful, the walls that keep consumers from listening, and drill the necessary holes to bring those walls down. And there are a lot of walls.

One major barrior is the media rich, message heavy environment we work in, which suggests another term. "Forlocising," from the Latin fortia, "strong, force", and the Old German locian, "to gaze, to see". We actively force viewers to look at our messages. Our clients are forlocizers, by choice and by necessity. Not only do they want to bring their message to as many eyes as possible, as often as possible, they are forced to do it in an already massively populated landscape. As forlocising professionals, it's our job to help our clients cut through the din.

Take your pick. Crevantising. Makihooling. Forlocising. All strong, dynamic words for an industry to match.

Yes, for fun...what do you do?

What's in a name: The etymology of advertisingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

16 February, 2009

That's Advertisement!: Cali Style

What do you do when a pretty awful pretty and pretty unignorable statistic comes out about your University? Check out this link to KTXL TV Sacramento, to see how the fine people at UC Davis answered the question: What should you do when there are more reported cases of sexual assaults on your campus than all other University of California schools combined? If you guessed, not act like it's a good thing, you'd be wrong.

Also, note the story has a reference to the Department of Student Judicial Affairs, but no one's actually quoted. Probably a smart move to not have your name involved in that story.

--Captain Awesome, Copywriter

That's Advertisement!: Cali StyleSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

"Your busses are belong to us."

My new favorite thing is the bus slogan generator, inspired by the incendiary Atheist ads that pissed off the Brits. There's something legitimizing about seeing your message, no matter how stupid, on the side of a bus placard.

Like my unconditional love for the O's:

Or my infatuation with Flight of the Conchords:

Or my pet peeves about people who post pictures on Twitter:

Or simply my philosophy on happiness:

Your turn.

Speaking of slogans: Tag lines on auto-pilot, Slogans for Jesus Pops.

"Your busses are belong to us."SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The Blanket with Sleeves! Seriously?

Sure, the Snuggie is a craze sweeping the nation. Just try and watch TV without seeing the ad or read a blog that doesn't have a post about it (Sorry). Like all fads it will soon fade into oblivion. Before I get into that, here's a quick money saving tip.

Instead of buying a Snuggie, go upstairs to your closet. Probably the section where you have things you never wear. Now grab your bathrobe off the hanger and PUT IT ON BACKWARDS!

A colleague of mine asked me to think about how the advertising style for products like the Snuggie, or Sham Wow, or Old Glory Insurance works. Honestly, I tried for maybe twenty seconds before I came to the conclusion that there are only four types of people who buy these products.

1. The person with more money than they know what to do with. (See: Wall Street CEO)
2. People purchasing a gag gift.
3. The extremely gullible.
4. The extremely stupid.

Demo one is too small, and they usually spend their money on Ferrari collections. Now demos two through four are a huge portion of the US economic market. This leads to the short term success of these products. However, the dumb, gullible, and lazy shopper have short attention spans and soon enough it's on to the next ridiculous product. Then the only place you'll find a Snuggie is at your local Good Will Superstore.

The only product like this that has actually had staying power is the Chia Pet, but I chalk that up to the countless and ever-changing things/people we want to see green hair grown on.

Let me end with this...If Billy Mays were modeling the Snuggie in the spot, I might not find it so irritating. His beard makes me jealous. That just gave me a thought...a Billy Mays Chia Pet! I'm going to go run and copyright that idea or something.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

The Blanket with Sleeves! Seriously?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

12 February, 2009

Friday: High Five

High Fives on the Escalator - Watch more Funny Videos

This sent my heart all a flutter. Some of my coworkers may be aware of my attempt to bring high fives back to the office. Well, the guys from Improv Everywhere took it to a whole new level, and for that I now love them. You may remember Improve Everywhere from Frozen Grand Central. Although, less ambitious, I actually liked this one better, simply for its spirit. It's not exactly advertising, but it is advertising good vibes, which we could all use a little of. This Friday, high five someone for doing a good job or because you like them or because they happen to be standing in your high five radius. I want high fives to echo across the offices of all 6 of our readers (I know, we're up to SIX READERS! E-High Five!).

--Captain Awesome, Copywriter

Friday: High FiveSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

10 February, 2009

A-Roid: Some PR advice from a baseball fan

So Alex Rodriguez has officially joined the nefarious list of juicers in baseball. Rewind to his 60 Minutes interview less than two years ago and listen as he climbs astride his sanctimonious high horse, stares down Katie Couric, denies ever using steroids, and scoffs at the idea that he'd ever need them in the first place.

Fast forward to reality, where an "older, wiser" A-Rod offers a half-assed mea culpa. Of course, everyone knows he's not really sorry he did it. He's sorry he got caught.

And here's the biggest problem: He trots out the trite, form letter apology that all fallen heroes probably carry in their wallets, complete with the standard caveats (I was young, I was naive, I was under a lot of pressure). It transcends pathetic. It's a blazing, stinking pile of arrogance.

When you demand and are awarded the richest contract in baseball history, you don't get to complain about pressure. Your pity card is revoked. It's part and parcel of the job. You can't expect to win the sympathies of the American public when you're making more in one at-bat than most people make in a year.

I'm going to offer A-Rod some free advice:

Be humble, Rodriguez. Not PR-humble. Human humble. In fact, take it a step further. Release a statement saying that you don't deserve a place in the Hall of Fame. And mean it. Tell fans you don't expect or deserve their respect, but that you'll spend the rest of your life working to earn it.

Be authentic and genuine - not in word, but in deed.

And if that doesn't win a few fans over, try rending your clothes, rubbing dirt in your hair, and whipping yourself in the town center of Cooperstown.

Now that's a public relations stunt people can feel good about. Particularly us Orioles fans.

Previous posts that tested positive for content enhancement: Oh that Barry; Sticking it to Bonds for Fun and Profit; Sticking it to Bonds: Epilogue.

A-Roid: Some PR advice from a baseball fanSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Antithesis to a timeless tagline

"The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup."

For some reason, I think restless photographer (and fellow b compatriot) Brian Krista could have a sugar bowl of cocaine and a car battery hooked up to the junk under his jammies, and he'd still have a problem waking up, much less finding the best part of it.

He puts together an intriguing, if not exceptional photo study nonetheless, capturing over three years of what getting out of bed looks like.

If anything, it's an ironic homage to all of us working class shlubs who schlep out into the cold every morning to chase down the American dream - one tenuous step at a time.

Here's to the nearly four million folks across America who may have recently lost their reason to get out of bed every morning - but will somehow find the strength to do it anyway.

Antithesis to a timeless taglineSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

06 February, 2009

Friday Ad Haiku: Intern Sweatshop

My first month as Renegade’s new Creative Department Intern is drawing to a close. I have toured the office (and gotten lost), met everyone at least twice and moved up from a spot on the couch to a spot in the hallway.

I dreamed about my first day for weeks, but unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly as I imagined. If I could give an advice haiku to future interns on their first day, it would go something like this:

Mad Men martinis,
look good on TV, but here
there’s no drinking. Boo.

So here’s to Friday and travel mugs that hide what you’re drinking! Happy Hour at 3, anyone?

--Erica Campbell, Creative Department Intern

Friday Ad Haiku: Intern SweatshopSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

03 February, 2009

The Superbowl, Dragons, and Bizarro DVR

DVRs have changed advertising, and they're doing it again, in reverse. This weekend I watched the Superbowl for the first time since 2001, the year the Ravens took home the trophy. I'm not much for football, but I enjoy a game every now and then (every seven years to be exact.)

But I have, in the past, been tempted to tune in sporadically to catch a few commercials. I never do though. Does anyone? It's always seemed to me that the money companies spend on Superbowl ads is almost completely wasted. The Superbowl has two things going for it that prevent commercial consumption. One, it's an event that true-believers don't want to miss a second of. And two, those same viewers are consuming large quantities of beer, necessitating that some portion of the program be missed while the dragon is watered. That leaves the commercial breaks as the only viable option. And all that ad money is flushed away in a refreshing one minute span. And let's be honest. By the second half many of those viewers are themselves completely wasted and don't remember the commercials regardless of whether they actually saw them.

But I realized watching the game this year that DVRs have completely changed things, and in exactly the opposite way they originally shook up our industry. DVRs are generally credited with giving people the ability to skip over commercials, themselves negating millions of ad dollars. However, in the case of the Superbowl, where the ads are just as much of a draw as the game itself, DVRs are suddenly a boon. You can rewind and watch commercials you missed. You can watch them over and over again. And we did in a couple of instances. Suddenly there is no part of the game, including the commercials, that you have to miss.

Pair DVRs with the internet and viral video, and those Superbowl ad buys seem pretty smart. The lesson to learn here is that buzz-worthy spots get viewed. DVRs impede ad viewership. But if you can create singularly interesting campaigns, or couch them amongst other spots that are singularly interesting, the DVR creates viewing options that never existed before. I regularly use my DVR to buzz through commercial breaks. But if my eye catches the unmistakable signature of an Apple "Mac vs. PC" commercial, I stop and rewind. None of the other spots win my eyes, but an Apple spot will every time. So DVRs actually create a greater opportunity than ever before to stand out from the din.

Is this all true? I don't know. I've been making it up as I go. But it seems pretty likely. Or at least mostly plausible. So yes. It's true.

The Superbowl, Dragons, and Bizarro DVRSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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