Posts Tagged ‘Aerocles’

Long-term answer – no clue. Short-term answer, yes, for me, anyway. I’d like to welcome you all to Aerocles 1.0 – My very own “Tiny Letter

1.0 being a bizarre regression from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, this blog, my writing for Ad Age, and other such endeavors. A newsletter, however tiny, seems like an unnecessary anachronism. Which is why I was so confused upon submitting it’s magical lure. I’m even more astounded that anyone even signed up to receive this thing, given my average daily tweet count that must be well over 100. So I guess, for those of you that have already subscribed, thank you for that, and for those that haven’t yet, please do. I hope I don’t disappoint, but I’m honestly not quite sure what direction this initiative will take.

I’m about halfway through Frank Rose‘s “The Art of Immersion,” in which the Wired contributing editor explores the history and evolution of what we now call the “Transmedia” narrative or experience. One of the examples he gives is the way in which Charles Dickens used the newsletter of his time as a way to communicate with his readership between editions of his serial stories, soliciting feedback which he usually ignored but occasionally impacted the direction of his work. (For the record, I was never a fan of Dickens – content suffers when you get paid by the word.)

That’s my plan, for now. I will be taking a hiatus from blogging here on The Legends of Aerocles, as there’s no point in duplicating my Ad Age efforts, but in doing so, I’ll be losing the valuable back-and-forth with my few, but oh so appreciated, readers (you) (hi mom). As such, while I contemplate shifting the nature of my blog (if you have any suggestions, I gladly welcome them), this newsletter will serve as my direct connection to you, so I can let you know what I’m working on and hopefully, you’ll give me some feedback. This means pimping out my writing for Ad Age and all the conferences I’m working on, but don’t think of it as shilling, think of it more as exclusive access to vital insider information 🙂 I’ll also share links to articles that I think you’d enjoy. What? A Human Content Aggregator? Shocking, I know. But I’ll do my best to filter out all the crap and stuff you’ve probably already seen and keep it to 1 piece of recommended reading per “edition.”

I don’t quite consider myself a journalist in the traditional sense, but the modern industry blogger/trendhunter/writer/quasi-journalist, and in that role, I very much rely on you, my readers, to tell me what you want so I can pander to your every whim. Or at least take it into consideration.

For my first trick, I’m going to direct you all to check out our upcoming Media Evolved Conference which I’ve been working on for a while now and really hope you attend and enjoy.

For my next trick, I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m working on a write-up exploring the future of eCommerce, looking at several possible routes online shopping can take – with my own unique POV that I know you’ve come to love.  Obviously, “social” shopping is one future iteration with significant potential, but it’s not the only one. Nor is Groupon (Damn I hate that name). So please, my first request to you, aside from general feedback on this whole “TinyLetter” concept, is to clue me in on your thoughts and predictions for eCommerce – innovative integrations, data-mining operations, partnerships, new platforms or sites…and all that jazz.

So with that, I bid you a temporary farewell. Trust me, when the “Legends of Aerocles” Rebrand, Refocus, and Redesign is complete – I’ll make sure you know, whether you care or not. You may still see occasional posts here, but until I figure out exactly what to do with my blog so that it augments or supplements my Ad Age writing, I’m going to focus most of my writing into Twitter, Ad Age, and now, Aerocles 1.0.

To everyone who has read and commented on this blog for the last 2+ years,  Thank you for at least pretending to give a crap 😉


Courtesy of Encryped (sic) Memories

So, I recently upgraded from a crappy netbook and 2-year-old (read: ancient & completely defunct) Blackberry Curve to an iPad and HTC Droid Incredible.
While I love the iPad for what it is, I don’t think I need to delve into its shortcomings. Suffice it to say that this gorgeous, sleek, fun device, lacks Adobe/Flash support, is sans USB, and cannot multitask. Three. Serious. Failings. Which is why the Android-Running, Flash Supporting, Multitasking
Google Tablet, rumored to debut around holiday season, will dominate in functionality, if not aesthetics, as is usually the case with when comparing Google and Apple products.

But like I said, I do love the iPad for what it is – but IMO – if you’re going to shell out the cash for a tablet PC, you want something utilitarian, not pretty.

Anyway, I’m not here today to rant, I’m here to give you a breakdown of my experience with the HTC Incredible. As with the iPad, I don’t need to go into the technical specs, you can get that here, or on countless other sites.

Front View

Rear View

To start, I’m in love with this phone. It destroys all other phones in speed and sleekness, image and video quality, and sheer processing power. The 8 Megapixel camera w/flash is enough to send shockwaves through the photo industry; much like the free turn-by-turn, Google Maps navigation sent the GPS industry into collective shock and drove their stock in the same direction as the chills that ran through the executives’ spines.

Similar to the iPad vs Google Tablet debate – the HTC Incredible multitasks with ease – so you can listen to Pandora while pulling links and articles from your twitter feed and emailing them to coworkers.

The only qualm I have with the phone – and an issue shared by iPhone users as well, is the battery power, or lack thereof. All the amazing things this phone can do are worth nothing if the battery lasts only 3 hours.

And until Piezoelectric phones can be charged by harnessing the energy from our footsteps and movement, like the one Nokia recently patented, there are only 2 ways to effectively circumvent the battery drain problem:

1. Buy a second charger to keep with you at all times. Or
2. Use a combination of apps to intelligently manage the programs you’re running at any given time to maximize battery life and keep your phones memory as free as possible.

Since apps are free (these ones anyway) and a charger is not, I’ll show you how I do it.

I use the combined power of two applications – a Task Manager and VizBattery. There are a bunch of free task managing apps that all do pretty much the same thing. Personally, I use the Rhythm Software Task Manager – it allows you to manually kill any application or program that’s draining battery and memory, you can add apps to an auto-kill list, you can even put apps on an ignore list so it doesn’t terminate them. Best of all, the app also function as a widget kills all running apps with one click. All in all, I think this one application has doubled (or at least it feels that way) the battery life.

The other app isn’t as necessary, but it does give you a breakdown of which programs you’re running are draining what percentage of your battery, a nice little knowledge nugget that can be useful for proactive management.

Give it a try – let me know if you find any other ways to help extend power and memory.

Battery Widget

I know I said that was my only qualm, but I do have one other issue. In a surprisingly Microsoft-esque move, there are certain native apps that drain battery and memory that cannot be removed. Peep, Footprints, City ID, and Friend Stream are all garbage programs that cannot be uninstalled (I haven’t figured out how yet, anyway), so I have a trip to the Verizon store in the near future to give them a piece of my mind and demand they get this crap off my phone.

Now, back to the good parts – here’s a list of my favorite applications – all free and available at your nearest Android Market (I’m not going to include the ones I’ve already discussed):

Pandora (Music)

Bump-It (Allows file exchange between droids by bumping your phones together)

Fetch It (If you misplace your phone and it’s on silent, this app lets you remotely turn up the volume so you can call it to find it by tracking the ring)

Twitter (The Official App – I don’t use it that much, but it’s useful for syncing contacts or when you want to tweet out an article you’re reading)
Twidroid (My favorite twitter application, but Seesmic’s is also amazing) Tech Time

Mashable (For all your social media news)

Tech Time (Amazing app that aggregates GigaOm, TechCrunch, Mashable, Engaget, Gizmodo, ReadWriteWeb and more. Has sharing and commenting built in)

Mablio Ringtones (One stop shop for all your favorite songs)

Foursquare (No explanation necessary…I hope)

Facebook (Ditto)

Google Goggles (Google It or check out this Mashable article)

Shape Writer(Have you seen the Swype Texting functionality on the Samsung Omnia? Well, it’s in Beta for android, but until it’s released this App brings swipe text to Droids – I absolutely love it. If you text and email from your phone a lot, as I do, this will triple your touch-screen typing speed)

Barcode Scanner (Self-Explanatory) (Brought to you by the eponymous website under the auspices of CBS – you can access free TV shows – some in their entirety, some in clips – from CBS, Showtime, CNET, and other properties. You can even watch complete episodes of Star Trek The Original Series, if you were so inclined

Layars (Augmented Reality Application – again, here’s the latest from TechCrunch and Mashable)

And Finally –

App Remover – for some reason, the native method for uninstalling programs is a click-heavy and roundabout process. No longer so with App Remover.

Enjoy and Let Me Know If You Have Any Feedback or Thoughts from Your HTC Incredible Experience

Namaste & Merry Friday

I won’t go into all the ramifications of Facebook’s new social plugins and bid to dominate the interwebs. You can check out the Carrot Creative Blog for a nice little “what it means for you” recap, along with Mashable’s constant, sometimes in depth/sometimes superficial, coverage of the new tools and announcements, as well.

What I’ve noticed is that the tech battles that are currently brewing transcend industry or product. To name a few:

Facebook  vs Twitter vs Foursquare

Facebook vs Google

Google vs Apple

Google vs Microsoft & Yahoo

My question, as such, is – if you were to relegate control of you entire online behavior and identity to one of these dominant entities, which would it be? Which brand engenders trust? Functionality? Personality?

We may not have to actively make this decision in the near future, but we are passively acknowledging its growing preeminence it every time we go online. Sooner or later – and probably sooner, Facebook’s open social graph will collide head on with Google’s open ID, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple launched an alternative – anti-culture – subversive  – nonconformist version of the concept: One ID to rule them all. Add to that the truly independent competition – the open source Wikipedia/Firefox-ish rival.

In fact, it may – and probably will – boil down to what browser you use as your portal to the digiverse – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or the inevitable Facebook Browser that will be the culmination of their efforts to connect the web and infuse Facebook’s presence in every online destination.

So – I ask again – if you had to turn over near-complete control of your online activities to one of these brands – insofar as they will manage you – your email, social activities, functions and features, web browsing, shopping the advertisements you receive, your financial information, etc… to provide a seamless, integrated and unified experience – Who would you trust? Who would you prefer as your Internet partner-in-crime-and-everything-else? I know I trust Google to develop functional tools, I trust Facebook exploits my personal information to create a more socially enhanced experience – even if it is at the cost of my privacy. I trust Apple do design innovative and aesthetically pleasing “things” that boast superior user experience and interface, but may lack in the features/functionality department (Can someone say MULTITASKING?)

Anyway…PLEASE weigh in here and in the comments. Thanks!

Last night I received an email from Klout, the Twitter profile analysis tool and website, asking if I’d like to participate in a new program in which they pair big brands with influential Twitterers; specifically, the program is designed (or claims to be) so that the particular promotion is directed toward – not just Twitterers with a large number of followers or those with many retweets and @mentions – but those whose posted content indicates a some sort of authority or influence or maybe merely an affinity for discussing the topic related to the brand and promotion in question.

Klout - Starbucks eMail

In this case, I apparently tweet often about coffee (guilty), and I assume, to some extent, those tweets incur replies and conversation, enough to warrant an offer for some free Starbucks coffee, anyway.

Take a look at the email and offer signup – [Screenshots included somewhere in this post]. What do you think of this program? I kinda like it – but then again, I’m getting free coffee 🙂

Have you received any offers like this? Starbucks is fairly social media savvy and have been undergoing a rebranding process for a while now – between the unbranded stores in Seattle to taking on the instant coffee market with Via to the successes of @Starbucks & My Starbucks Idea, so I’m not surprised that they’re’ paving the way in this arena. I’ve tried, My Likes, and Sponsored Tweets, but find their models a bit spammy. My gut feeling is that this is the closest we’ve come to a real step forward in a twitter ad/marketing model. The idea follows something I learned at a recent ARF event during social media week. The presentation was about the Science of Social Media, and one of the speakers, a brilliant man from Yahoo Research whose name escapes me at the moment, informed us that research indicated that a user’s influence on twitter couldn’t be predicted by followers or numbers alone. Rather, in order to determine if a tweet will cascade,  you’d have to combine those figures with the specific area of expertise that the person has and whether or not the content posted falls within that area of authority. — This certainly seems to fit with that theory…

What do you think?

Klout Offer SIgnup

This is my first article in a series of posts that will focus on applying social psychology to social media marketing. Little did I know it at the time, but spending 4 semesters in a social perceptions and behaviors lab in college DID come in useful! (I know, I was shocked too). I’m going to start with the Overjustification Effect

Overjustification Effect, simply put, is a description of what happens when someone offers an external incentive for a behavior already found to be intrinsically rewarding.

Lesson One: Overjustification Effect & Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET):

Overjustification, or the undermining effect, occurs when an act that is initially driven by intrinsic motivation loses its behavioral grip as it is replaced by an additional, extrinsic motivator.

Take the example of a young child in grade school – his grades are slipping. The parents immediately recall the hyperbolous discourse surrounding positive reinforcement and tell their child, “Son, for every A you get in school, we’ll give you a dollar.”

Seems like a good deal for everyone involved right? The parents successfully motivate their child who, consequently, strives to achieve better results through the remainder of that rigorous second grade curriculum.

But what if the child already liked school – and thus was already motivated to succeed?

Sounds crazy, I know. But what if…? Well, social psychology would tell us that if the child initially enjoyed learning on its own merit, the subsequent external monetary reward would, while boosting performance in the short-term, also act to devalue the initial motivating factor – the child’s innate affinity for academia.

Now, I ‘m not going to protest the concept of positive reinforcement (surely, it beats corporal punishment) and I certainly can’t argue with years of successful marketing that tells us these types of external rewards (often in the form of deceptive or pseudo-monetary coupons, rebates, points, free samples, contest entries…etc) can influence behavior. I will, however, assert that any impact these endeavors have will be short term, and, when used within the social media landscape, are antithetical to the inherent functionality and opportunity afforded by these social platforms and the brand-consumer interactions they facilitate.

Case in point, Fan Woody. I’ve spoken out against this campaign before, so I won’t go into detail here, except as it illustrates my point and typifies an industry-wide failing. That is to say, TGI Friday’s created a fictional character (also an adversative notion when dealing with social media – which generally serves to augment the human-esque qualities in a brand, as opposed to extending its shadowy anonymity, seemingly embodied in the creation of fictitious characters like Woody), who proclaimed, “Become my fan and get a free burger!”

These sorts of brands propositions can yield a large influx of new fans – short-term, albeit deceptive & superficial, success. These new fans are not brand advocates. They are not invested in the organization. They signed up to get free shit.

I don’t think I need to ramble and rant about quality vs quantity here, but I will (I’ll keep it short, don’t worry).

When advising brands on how to manage a twitter account, the question of ROI always comes up, and it’s intricately linked to the management strategy, specifically, how you decide with whom you should follow and engage. The concern often regards numbers – “But I can only talk to X amount of people a day,” “There are a million people mentioning my brand, how do I determine which ones I should follow?” “How many followers should we aim to have at the end of the campaign?”

This is where I scoff pretentiously and say, you would rather have 1000 followers that are excited to interact with you and actively advocate for your brand, than have 10,000 followers who you garnered by giving away a free vacation to someone who used your hashtag. [Again, not trying to say these types of promotions don’t have their place – they do, and it’s usually when launching an account and should be designed to raise awareness. But that’s all – and that’s not usually necessary for big – household name – brands.]

So what about when you’re not launching a campaign or raising awareness for a new social media presence? What about the preexisting fans and followers – the ones who decided to interact with a brand on social platforms because they actually like the brand – the products, the philosophy, what it stands for? The ones social media is really all about.

Well, all that goes out the window when extrinsic drivers usurp those, valuable, authentic, sincere, innate motivators. A consumer can relate to a producer based on that organization’s brand, not overtly obvious tactics designed to influence purchasing behaviors. The consumers that relate to your brand are the ones that will advocate for you and are therefore the people to whom your efforts should cater, at least insofar as that you don’t abuse their patronage or dismiss their value in light of the appealing and alluring mega-growth (read: meaningless numbers) factor.

Based on the overjustification principal, I would go so far as to say that superficial external rewarding hinders the true potential that social media offers to brands. By actively devaluing the intrinsic motivation that drives consumers to fan or follow (or otherwise engage and interact with) brands (and their content) in the first place, there is a conscious sacrifice of quality for the sake of quantity. Artificial, manufactured growth via fast and easy methods in lieu of the organic growth achieved by brand evangelists who can, and do, influence their peers and legitimately impact consumer behaviors.

The idea of rewarding and incenting behavior probably predates any formal study marketing. However, in my opinion, gimmicky rewards have become so commonplace in social media marketing, too often are brands relying on them as long term strategies instead of for what they actually are, namely, conversation starters.

If I am going to follow a brand on twitter or fan one on Facebook, 9 times out of 10 it’s because I am already familiar with the brand and wish to augment my relationship with that brand by adding a social dimension. The benefits of such an enhanced association can include customer loyalty & CRM programs that may be partially comprised of para-monetary rewards. But when brands offer up nonsocial incentives, like TGI Friday’s now infamous Fan Woody campaign, as the basis for the interaction, yes – there is an instant and tangible ROI – but they lose out on what social platforms do best – connect brand lovers – active, consumers evangelists, with the brands they love and feel connected to.

So I beseech the marketing community – enough with the gimmicks. If you want real results, focus on enhancing the users experience with your brand, offer utility and content that allows the consumer to get the most out of their relationship with you, programs that have something to do with why these individuals are real life fans of your brand to being with.

This is what I’ve gleaned from my personal, professional, and academic experiences. But what about you? Do your experiences as a marketer speak differently? Do your experiences as a consumer reflect what I’ve discussed here?

So, as I’m sure you all know, Cable TV’s latest duel with the Networks is Cablevision VS ABC. Last time is was Cablevision VS Scripps (HGTV & Food Network). I honestly don’t care THAT much about the details, business, and politics, or at least, I don’t care enough to do the research that would entitle me to a valid opinion on the matter. What interests me is how both parties are using TV Spots to push their agenda and win over the American public to fight on their behalf. So I present to you both spots. And I’d love if you could let me know what you think of how each side is portrays the situation and their position and how effective each argument is in rallying the people to advocate for them.



And while we’re on the topic of opposing Broadcast Advertising methodologies, here are two takes on feminine hygiene products. Granted I’m not exactly the target audience here (and one of these doesn’t really count because it’s an SNL Sketch and not a really commercial), I figured – It’s Friday, let have some laughs!

Here’s Rephresh – Possibly one of, if not the worst commercial I’ve ever seen. Ever. In my life. God I hope they’re not a client. [These views are my own and in no way reflect my employers beliefs]. That said, the spot is hilarious as it is terrible.

And here’s the recent SNL Sketch in which Gyne Lotrimine Sponsors the Olympic Women’s Curling Event. I loved it.

While I have you here, I’m going to be doing weekly “Ask Aerocles” post on all things Advertising, Social Media, PR, Marketing, etc… So email me your questions to Thanks!

My name is David Teicher and I am a proud “Millenial.”

I’m writing this post in response to a HARO query that called for experts to discuss the Classic Millenial Sense of Entitlement.

I have a sneaking suspicion this writer will be inundated with of responses galore from sociologists and other “experts” who may assert to understand this so-called sense of entitlement. But as a Gen Yer, I feel an obligation to defend my generation, and myself, and to shed some light what is nothing more than rampant and ageist stereotyping.

I responded to the query, but I would be remiss if I didn’t make my thoughts public, here.

First of all, this idea that we’re discussing, what many refer to as a typical millennial sense of self-entitlement, is no more a quality of my generation than it is or was of any other – it is just sporting a shiny new label. For decades, if not centuries, a defining facet of this nation’s culture has been the “American Dream.” Over the years, people from every corner of the globe have flocked to this country to pursue their dreams. Why? Because, in America – anything is possible. This concept has been ingrained in our culture – it pervades all media from TV to cinema to literature and journalism. It is part of our heritage and our educational system has been pushing it, teaching us to embrace it, before we could even read. What you see as entitlement, we see as our right to the great American dream. Why are we any less “entitled” to pursue it than those of other generations?

Furthermore, this concept, already saturating everything our minds consume, is augmented, or exacerbated, depending on your point of view, by two primary forces: The Internet, and the Self-Esteem Movement of the 90’s.

Growing up in the 90’s, there was one message to which I was subjected to more than any other – in my home, in school, at my friends houses, events, and in pop culture. Namely, anything is possible – don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do or can’t be, don’t let anything prevent you from, at the very least, attempting to reach your goals, whatever they might be. Needless to say, it was a message I was happy to hear, even if it meant disillusionment down the line.

This is yet another iteration of the same “American Dream” mentality. Parents, teachers, and the whole of my antecedent generation absorbed it over the course of their collective life and spit it out in the form of the self-esteem movement. Psychologists paved the way by telling parents, “if you tell your children that anything is possible, they will be better people, and all the more likely to achieve great things.” Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely accurate, but considering the appeal of such a quick and easy methodology, one that was spoon-fed to parents for raising successful children, what parent wouldn’t be eager to act accordingly?

In that respect, I – we – can’t be held responsibly for an attitude that is not only instilled in fundamental structure of our national heritage, albeit under a different label, but one heavily amplified by a psychological movement that shifted the previous generation’s parenting paradigm. But again, I don’t think that this sense of entitlement is something that a) is inherent only to Gen Y-ers, and B) requires any apologies or excuses.

Lastly, we have the Internet. People have talked, written, and waxed philosophic ad nauseum about its powers as “The Great Equalizer.” But these conversations have mainly focused around raising international levels of education and the subsequent impact it would have on global economics and cultural evolution. Farmers in rural regions of 3rd world countries can potentially access the same information as the elite classes of a first world country. But the Internet also shifts the educational paradigm as it applies to generational gaps in knowledge. Our parents (and for that matter, anyone born prior to the advent of the Internet) had a fairly limited amount of informational resources to tap. There were libraries stocked with books and encyclopedias, newspapers and magazines (and these things still exist, to the surprise of many), as well as TV and movies, for whatever educational value they offer. All the data found in those media were then fed, and consequently perceived, through the contextual lenses of either parents or teachers. That was how they learned – via limited sources and even more limited context. Obviously, all that has changed. The sheer volume of information on essentially any topic one might be interested in has opened doors to subject matter and degrees of depth never before possible. An evolution in quantity, if not quality, of the information we consume, and the perspectives and viewpoints of the sources from which that information flows.

At this point, the same information is available to all, regardless of age. In fact, one might argue that this plethora of data is not only more easily consumed by younger individuals, but it’s absorption takes place without the aforementioned contextual filters. And as such, this then negates the cultural pretense that age and wisdom are somehow innately tethered. Even experiential factors are mitigated as the Internet can wholly convey those, as well, as it provides vicarious learning experiences to all.

In short, I don’t feel entitled to anything other than the opportunity to pursue my passions and goals, an entitlement rooted in the inception of American dogma and no more indicative of my generation than any other. The difference lies in the pretentious notions of the self-esteem movement that practically force fed an attitudinal achievement system down the throats of my peers and myself at the hands of parents and teachers who were acting at the behest of “experts” and the cultural zeitgeist. Add to this the limitless potential and infinite wisdom offered by the whole of the Internet, and you’ve a generation of EMPOWERED, not entitled individuals. We are making the most out of the tools available to us; we are aiming to achieve our life’s goals. To do any less would simply be foolish.

So, my question is, from where did this notion arise – that we, millenials, somehow feel more entitled (to what, I still don’t know) than other generations. Further, what ramifications and impact does this stereotype have on our lives?

While I have no evidence (though I feel like this is related to the Social Psychological Phenomenon known as Fundamental Attribution Bias), I would venture to guess that the “entitled” label is a product of jealousy, coupled with an attempt by those who did not grow up with the internet under the direction of the self-esteem movement, to explain the behavior of Gen Y.

Older folks see us as rapidly progressing (and thus threatening), and overly arrogant – and they think – “where do these kids get off acting like they know everything?” Well, the answer is simple – we don’t know everything, but we know where to find it and it’s called the intewebs. Not to mention the fact that you spent years cultivating and reinforcing that arrogance, except back then you called it self-confidence.

Today’s youth is growing up with more resources and tools available to them than ever before. The rapid and exponential rate of technological development our society is experiencing will only continue on its asymptotic course. My kids will have more access to cooler things than I grew up with, as will their own progeny, and so on and so forth. It’s quite understandable why this would invite jealousy. But if we don’t quash this ageist stigma now, it will only grow in parallel to those cultural advances made possible by such astounding technological progression.

Moreover, while I can’t say definitively, from whence this stereotype was borne, I can tell you how it’s affected the lives of those to whom it’s applied. Two words: Labeling Bias. Wikipedia it, I dare you. In short, everything we say or do is seen through the lens of “Self-Entitlement.” As a result, all that we work toward and have accomplished is devalued. That which we are legitimately entitled to as a result of arduous efforts and investments gets brushed off. Any expertise we might develop is diminished in the eyes of others. It’s not just frustrating; it’s downright infuriating.

And with that I conclude my rant/venting and invite you all to chime in.

So I pose those questions to you, now. Do you perceive a Millenial sense of self-entitlement? What is it that you see? If you’re of my generational ilk (a Gen Y Cohort, if you will), have you felt the affects of this stereotype? If so, how?

Ok, so I probably should have posted this last night immediately after the Saints’ victory, but I was lazy and a bit drunk. But I did take notes and I still want to share my POV on last night’s barrage of ads, the good, the bad, and the Megan Fox. At first I figured, I’m only one of a million to post something like this at this point, so why bother. Then I said to myself, “David, stop trying to dissuade yourself, you know you’re going to post it anyway.” So here it is, without further ado:

The Aerocles SuperBowl 2010 Ad Awards (and Fails!):

Funniest Ad Award goes to Snickers for their use of Betty White. There’s nothing quite like watching one of the Golden Girls get knocked, face first, into the mud. Though, I would have liked the spot better had the Snickers bar just transformed her into Super Betty White who would then proceed to destroy her opponents, as opposed to reverting back to that dude, but whatever. Betty white is the shit. So is Abe Vigoda for that matter.

Runner Up in the Humor Category goes to e-Trade. Most of their ads were only so-so, but I personally found the one with the philandering baby caught cheating via webcam to be more creative and funny than the rest.

Cleverest Ad – VW Punch-buggy. Not only are their reviving a classic childhood game, but that last bit at the end with Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan was actually pretty damn funny. It even comes with a social media component!

Best Targeted Ad (and my personal favorite) was, without a doubt, the Sony Vizio spot featuring the succession of Internet Meme references. Clearly, they know their audience – the tech geeks. Maybe Middle America didn’t get the reference to chocolate rain, or the Mayahe guy, but I did. And if you’re reading this, my guess is you did too. So kudos to them for understanding their audience and the niche consumer market to which they should be, and have successfully been, catering.

Best Call To Action: For me, this one went to the new PS3 game, Dante’s Inferno. Seconds after the spot ran, I logged on to Gamefly and added it to the top of my queue. First thing this morning, I received an email from Gamefly telling me they’ve shipped the game. A series of events that is, in my opinion, indicative a realistic execution on the real time nature and expectations that have come to define this generation of consumer-brand interactions.

Runner Up: Dockers. As much as this one didn’t quite cater to my tastes, despite the fact that it used a gimmicky free sample tactic or that they portrayed a drove of pantsless men running wild through nature, I do have to admit that it seems to have been effective. People have and will always flock to the free shit brands give away. I don’t know if it will inspire any brand loyalty or what, if any, long-term effect this maneuver will have. But in the short term, they managed to successfully drive traffic to their website, even if it cost them a Millions in advertising and free pants to do so. So ROI aside, their call to action was effective.

Least Creative But Still Quasi-Effective Award goes to Motorola for putting Megan Fox in a bathtub. Why? Well, sex still sells. Why not? Because I was too busy trying top picture Megan Fox’s body underneath those bubbles that I have no idea what product they were selling.

Best Interactive Ad: Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) of CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” Holding up a sign in the stadium with his phone number. If you called, as I did, you got a recorded message of the one NPH inviting you for drinks at McLaren’s Pub in 6 years. Suit up!

Biggest Disappointments: The Entire Beer Industry, Doritos, & KGB

Runner Up: Coke & The Simpsons It was cute, not certainly no “Mean Joe Green.

Most Confusing Ads: Anything Sporting Men Running Around In Their Underwear. Everything With Beavers.  WTF? Was there some industry meeting in which all the ad execs decided this would be the year of unattractive people running around without pants or jumping through hoops for nuts? Was there some Forrester study that highlighted the American consumer’s newfound affinity and fondness for CGI Beavers? I must have missed those meetings. Right – a beaver looking for a job as a violist – so hilarious I forgot which online job board it was promoting.

Worst Ad: The Who’s 30-minute musical plug for CSI. Sorry CBS, but now I associate all your crime dramas with Pete Townsend poor excuse for a performance and the accompanying image of whatever that was we saw when his shirt opened up toward the end of the performance…and we both know that’s not a good thing. I think I speak for all of America when I say, we’d take Janet Jackson’s nip slip over any exposed Who body part.

Ok – You want a real worst ad? Try the Oprah, Jay Leno, and Davit Letterman group plug for The Late Show. – You’d think that 2 of the highest paid “comedians” would be able to come up with something funny, but clearly they got the same writers from The Jay Leno show to script this commercial, because it was a complete dud, in fact, it was probably the least funny of all the spots that aired last night. All it did was remind me of how industry screwed over Conan and reinforced my desire to boycott late night comedy until his presumed September return. GO TEAM COCO!

Ad requiring the most analysis: Google.

So, my initial take & first reaction was one of genuine disappointment. There was – nothing innovative or groundbreaking about the spot coming from a brand that is known for those very qualities. If Google was going to break tradition of stoic and near-nonexistent TV advertising, it had better be to unveil a new feature or launch some wondrous new technology. Alas this was not the case. Which made me wonder – what was the point?
I took away two things from the ad:
1 – Google has feelings. They are a sympathetic organization, not the emotionless, lifeless corporate robot, embodied and epitomized by their rivals, like Microsoft.
2 – There has been a plethora of recent ads touting alternatives to Google – like Bing’s Decision Engine, and KGB, that offers “Answers, Not Links.” I think this ad was intended to remind us why we use Google, and why will continue to use Google. They are not flashy or pretty, or overly complicated, like Bing. They are free and fast – unlike KGB. They are the minimalist but efficient search engine that gets us through life on a day-to-day basis. It reminded us why we “Google” Things, instead of “search” for them.
In that respect, I think it was effective and successful. I wasn’t blown away, but I don’t think that was Google’s intention.

Most Unremarkable Ads Intel. I dunno about you, but I thought their Tech & Talk theme was funny the first time I saw it, then it got a bit old. As for their 2 guys who grow up together and eventually work at Intel together – I’m not sure what message they were trying to convey there. It was boring too. #Fail.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Dove – Strong, funny opening. It generated buzz in its subtly misogyny and blatant emasculation and then…nothing. What did it have to do with their new line of men’s products? Nothing? Was it targeting men? Their wives?

Best Rebranding: Hyundai They succeeded in depicting their cars as classy and reliable. Perfect timing given Toyota’s current debacle. While we’re on the topic, I think KIA has also done a pretty solid job at revamping their advertising and branding efforts.

This is a great video. And by great, I mean there are parts of it I actually like. Sorry for my snarkiness – it’s Monday morning and this is looking like it’s going to be a crazy week. Enjoy the video: