Posts Tagged ‘Commericals’

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.

ABC:

Cablevision:

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 David@Aerocles.com. Thanks!

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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.

In this Age of Infinite Market Research – That Results From The Limitless Demographics, Data, & Consumer Behavior Pulled from Facebook, That of Instantaneous Customer Service & Corporate Feedback Demanded On Twitter – Many, Myself Included, Have Come to Advocate the Growing Need to Custom Tailor Marketing Tactics, Advertising Strategies, and the Like, to Increasingly Niche Audiences & Interest Groups – Microtargeting to the Highest Possible Degree – As the Way to Best Utilize the Insane Amount of Emerging Media at our Disposal.

One Brand Can Build A Bland, Uniform, Ad Template – Yet – When That Ad Reaches My Eyes – It Will Be Significantly Different Than The Ad Served To My Neighbors, Coworkers, Family & Friends. The Message Suits My Desires, My Behaviors, My Media of Choice – That’s Where we are.

Yet, there are times when big brands should NOT follow this paradigm – times when they should blatantly disregard a consumer advocacy group’s pleas. Case in point:

Today, BrandWeek Reported “AFA Calls for Gap Boycott

The story reads as follows:

The American Family Association is calling on consumers to boycott Gap Inc. and its brands, which include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, this holiday season. The Christian organization alleges that the retailer’s ads censor the word “Christmas.”

The boycott, according to the AFA, is in response to Gap’s holiday advertising and in-store promotions over the years, which have stayed away from recognizing any specific religion. The AFA—which had boycotted other retailers like Sears and Target in the past for their holiday ads—claims the San Francisco-based Gap has “received thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas.” But Gap has continued with its neutral standpoint.

“The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores? Until Gap proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio, television advertising or in-store signage, the boycott will be promoted,” the AFA said in a statement.

The boycott is running from Nov. 1 through Christmas Day, and the AFA is urging consumers to sign a Gap pledge on its site. Gap was not available for comment at press time.

The ads in question this year are part of Gap’s “Cheer Factory” campaign, via Crispin Porter + Bogusky. TV ads feature a group of male and female cheerleaders donning Gap apparel and calling out the different holidays that are celebrated this season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza). There is also a viral piece, which allows consumers to create personalized holiday cards at Cheerfactory.com. The site, like the TV ad, takes a religion-neutral approach and offers cheers such as “Happy Whateveryouwannakah” and “Mo’ Mistletoe.”

This is a developing story and will be updated soon.

This is just ridiculous. I’m not a huge fan of the brand(s) in question, but they can’t cater their messaging to accommodate everyone specific tastes. If they mention Christmas, then they also have to include Hanukkah and Kwanzaa right? And what about those Pagans celebrating the Winter Solstice? Don’t the deserve recognition too? And the Atheists and Agnostics who are participating in the Seasonal Gift Giving Spirit but without any religious motivation to do so – should the ads celebrate their beliefs too?

And if Gap did do all this – they’d just end up with some other self-righteous organization breathing down their necks for recognizing the concept of religion at all. Sorry but the AFA are a bunch of idiots and while I don’t care for Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic – I REALLY Hope they don’t cave. Doing so would set such a bad precedent – every brand will be flooded by complaints (as if they aren’t already) to the point that next year’s thanksgiving ads will end up being directed to the Australian-American Jedi Knight Association or the AAJKA. Ri.di.cu.lous. Ridiculous.

What do you think? How Should They React, If They Respond At All? Can Brands Really Be Expected To Simultaneously Cater To Multiple, Potentially Conflicting, Ideologies? Should They Continue Their TV Spots as Planned & But Tailor Facebook Ads To Reflect The Religious Views Noted In The Consumer’s Profile?

Sorry To Break It To You Sears, But Putting Brett Favre In Your Commercials Would Have Been A Better Idea 4 Years Ago

A Proven & Long Standing Method of Branding has been to align your brand with a celebrity. An icon whose image you aspire to emulate or whose image you’d like consumers to associate with your brand.

I could mention a few examples, but there are so many I wouldn’t know how to choose. Athletes, Hollywood Stars & Starlets, Models, Musicians…Even Lindsay Lohan in the crux of her fall from grace, found her way into a Fornarina Spot (Whatever Fornarina is).

Bottom line – Iconic, Celebrity Spokespeople can do wonders for selling you brand and your product. But choosing the right person to endorse your business – Identifying the persona to which your target audience will relate & figuring out who you want associated with your brand – Therein Lies the Difficulty…Apparently…

It doesn’t seem like such a tough thing to do. I didn’t think it was. But Sears has proved me wrong. This past Sunday – Amidst My 8 Hours of Football Fandom (Jets HUUUGE Win over the Pats & The Terrible Cowboys Loss to the Giants) I saw, several times, as Sears’ Electronic Blue Crew (terrible name, IMHO) attempts to sell a one, Mr. Brett Favre, Legendary, Record Holding QB, Formerly of the Green Bay Packers, Formerly of the New York Jets, And Now Of the Minnesota Vikings, a new TV.

For those who’ve been living in an igloo up in Siberia for the last few years, Brett Favre has retired and unretired from the NFL what feels like 2 dozen times in the last few years (hyperbole acknowledged). Yes, I get that they’re playing off this fact in the spot by having Mr. Favre act a bit wishy-washy on his decision to purchase the TV and ending with a “No Regrets” Line”

I think that line of thinking is topical, relevant, and creative. The only problem is that when I see Brett Favre, I no longer think of someone who I respect and admire. I see Indecisive, Fickle, Desperately-Trying-To-Stay Relevant Douchebaggery.

Even Vikings Fans don’t seem to like Favre These Days (Feel Free To Correct Me If I’m Wrong). The Man Is A Legend Who Has Spent The Last Couple Of Years Tarnishing His Own Reputation With Ongoing Capriciousness. These ARE NOT QUALITIES I WOULD WANT TO REPRESENT MY BRAND.

Maybe you disagree…maybe you see the sears commercial and say, “Oh Brett Favre Wants to Buy From Sears…Oh, The Sears Blue Appliance Crew is Helping Ol’ Fickle Here Make Up His Mind…I’ll Buy From Sears.

But For Me – I see Brett Favre, and it evokes frustration, disappointment, even a bit of anger & lost respect. Now, I associate these emotions with Sears…

So where do you stand? Bad Play Calling By Sears to Star(t) Favre? Or Will Consumers Look Past His New-found Personality Flaws To His Glory Days – Making This A Win For Sears?