OPINION: Well, you have to hand it to Disney for trying to capture the market on any product, brand, or service offering in their vast empire, even if remotely related to the original creators of something like the “Day of the Dead.” So many people are growing up today thinking Disney invented Snow White, or mermaids, or Pinocchio, it’s a little unnerving.
Advertising Industry Newswire COLUMN: You are invited! Yes, you! Because you are so very special! So very wonderful! So very important! So very bright and worthy and exciting! And because you will write a check to us! (A brief presentation of a way to make money by publishing biographical listings of people who are legends in their own minds.)
Advertising Industry Newswire COLUMN: The ads in the 2012 Super Bowl had big production values and mostly good music. Missing were strong concepts and marketing savvy. With one exception, the Super Sunday telecast was a festival of lame, dumb, and insulting advertising. In other words, business as usual.
COLUMN: The rapidly escalating tempo to keep up with ever-increasing business complexity is going to continue like the world has never seen before. In this ‘always on’ world of transparency, continual connectivity, information is constantly available, and enthusiastically shared amongst the staggering number of consumers who are engaged online. In the United States, tens of [...]
COLUMN: Hello folks, it’s that time again to pigeon hole yet another scumbag opportunist, apparently named “Tim Berger,” flaunting the laws of the U.S. and various states of the union to robo-dial people at home, during their dinner hour, to promote some lame “make money at home” scheme with the come on “could you use [...]
COLUMN: There is a “cute” trick going around where a site uses someone else’s domain name as their hidden keywords used for search engines and the attendant ranking. It’s a variation on a scam that’s been around for a while and is sometimes referred to as “Black Hat SEO.” You can even read about it [...]
COLUMN: In perhaps one of the most clever sexy marketing ideas I’ve seen in awhile, HBO is promoting a True Blood tie-in, a women’s tank top, with the letters VILF across the chest. It’s a clever reference to the now over-used term MILF, except with vampire replacing mother as the first word. The tank also [...]
COLUMN: Well, friends and fans, we have another scumbag using robo-calling tactics to call my home phone number (about 2:20pm PDT today, Sunday). Expecting me to be home to listen to your call, frak you, here’s what you get: this week’s award for being one of the lowest bottom feeders in the ad industry. Why [...]
COLUMN: Well, it looks like the scammers keep on calling. This week the abusive law-breaking robo-caller is the scum suckers calling themselves “Turboatm(.com)” and calling after 7pm Pacific Time, and calling those numbers on the “do not call registry” in violation of both Federal and California law. The calls originate from 206-350-9029. In going to [...]
COLUMN: There were more than two thousand seconds of commercial messages during the Super Bowl, each one costing around a hundred thousand bucks. And that’s just for the media buy; it’s not counting the production budgets for the spots. Well, that may be one reason why have-not nations hate us while wanting to be us. [...]
COLUMN: It’s unfortunate that Anthem has chosen to attack unsuspecting customers and non-customers with inhuman robocalls. I’ve gotten about a dozen calls this year – and I’m not a customer. Latest one was at 2pm PST (5pm EST) today, and for somebody I’ve never heard of, even though I have had this phone number for [...]
COLUMN: Well, as somebody who used to enjoy Domino’s “once upon a time,” and who gave up on the poor quality (really, Papa John’s was so much better, it’s just not even a comparison), I was intrigued by the somewhat unusual step for the pizza chain to fess up and admit in their new ad [...]
COLUMN: I got my Ikea catalog last week, and like many in the design field, thought something had changed but wasn’t quite sure what. Due to the fact I have been working on the Web more than the printed design space the past five years, it actually took me a little bit to notice the [...]
COLUMN: If you’re a follower of Megan Fox, or the latest vampire movies, or you happen to look at the most popular this week listings on your iPhone, you have probably already seen the clever viral PSA (public service announcement) for Megan’s upcoming movie “Jennifer’s Body” (which appears to be based on the foreign flick [...]
COLUMN: Do you congratulate an ad agency account team when they talk a client into a bad campaign? What if they can do it a second and third time? From the standpoint of salesmanship, you have to respect the suits at Crispin Porter & Bogusky who got Microsoft to shell out for three disastrous campaigns [...]
COLUMN: Oil rigs, city lights, rock bands, icebergs, crummy animation, and on-camera presenters wearing perfect make-up and phony smiles all made appearances in the 10 commercials that ran during Sunday morning’s episode of “Face the Nation.” But what were they selling, and to whom were they selling it? ExxonMobile Before discussing their slickly produced spot, [...]
COLUMN: For those of you who use Google News (the news portal that is a subset of the megalith that is the Google content universe) regularly, you might have noticed a month ago (end of January) that Google “flirted” with the idea of ads on their news search pages, with the same look/feel as normal [...]
COLUMN: Sure, the 81st Academy Awards show was a disaster, but millions watched anyway (train wrecks are darn entertaining) so the advertisers reached a big audience. Did the ad messages overcome the stench of the show? There’s no way they could, what with Hugh Jackman’s embarrassing dance parodies and the clusterflock acting award presentations. Not [...]
COLUMN: An exciting Super Bowl game may be great for sports fans but it is weird for those of us in marketing, advertising, publicity and communications. The ads and promotions are the whole point of the afternoon and a good game just gets in the way. Anyone watching NBC during the day would have seen [...]
COLUMN: Billions in bucks are being paid out to be official sponsors of the Beijing Olympic Games but there is already one big winner: Apple. Capitalism comes to communist China and both ideologies are the worse for it. According to Advertising Age magazine, sixty-three sponsorship and/or partnership arrangements have been made between corporations and the [...]
COLUMN: With caustic comments about the addled advertising and mixed marketing messages in Super Bowl XXMVIILVXIVIVMVVVIII or whatever, Scott G also offers a Remembrance of Super Bowls Past.
COLUMN: After predicting direct-to-brain advertising years ago, Scott G takes a look at the latest schemes to beam advertising and marketing communication inside your skull.
COLUMN: Advertising is everywhere, but does it have to clog up the phone lines? Scott G has a message for marketers using the phone as a sales weapon.
COLUMN: Google monitors e-mails for contextual advertising matches, and few people seem to mind. Scott G wonders if these are the same people who will allow Pudding Media to monitor their phone calls.
COLUMN: Ever since the invention of mail delivery, we have had to endure direct response solicitations. These ads-to-your-door may be informative, helpful and economical. But as Scott G points out, they can also be sneaky, intrusive and surprisingly distasteful.
COLUMN: How Not To Write A Press Release. There have been many articles on this topic, but this may be the only one written by someone who works as an editor and writer. Using real-life examples, Scott G examines some ins, outs, dos and don’ts of public relations and publicity.
COLUMN: The one-hour drama, ‘Mad Men,’ part of AMC channel’s original programming, has many attributes and can be quite entertaining. Scott G says what’s truly intriguing about the series isn’t in the show but during the commercial breaks.
COLUMN: Dating back to the days of cave dwellers, the humble product demonstration can be one of the most persuasive sales techniques. Scott G examines this method of selling in the light of today’s new media realities.
COLUMN: With the nation’s collective craving for Apple’s iPhone, the product seems poised for the most consumer-friendly product launch in marketing history. Scott G speculates about that little ‘camera’ button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
COLUMN: Dick Sittig, the marketing genius behind the Jack-in-the-Box ad campaigns, has created a commercial concept so powerful that he now has rival Carl’s Jr. helping him spread the word. How? By being so funny and acerbic that Carl’s is trying to sue for relief.
COLUMN: Advertising and marketing executives say their business is art, craft and science, and Scott G admits that may be true about a third of the time. Consider a few current ad campaigns that leave potential customers exhilarated or puzzled, intrigued or disgusted.
COLUMN: Scott G often works in the advertising industry and he’s frequently appalled by what he sees, as when large corporations insult your intelligence with misleading marketing, or when they treat you like absolute morons with super-silly or saccharine-sweet ads.
COLUMN: A manifesto entitled 100 Ways to Kill a Concept is currently bouncing around the Internet. It is being sent in anger, frustration and/or glee by anyone who has ever had the misfortune to present an original idea to a boneheaded boss or calcified committee. Scott G lauds author Michael Iva for his horrific hundred.
COLUMN: Curiouser and curiouser, weaker and weaker, stupider and stupider. That describes much recent advertising from major brands. Clogging the airwaves with badvertising is nothing new, but it does seem as if idiocy is lately on the rise. Scott G lists a few of his least favorites from the past couple of weeks.
COLUMN: Sponsored messages worm their way into entertainment and news. Tracking of consumer purchases allows for precise targeting of those messages. Computerized production technology enables marketers or government agencies to control what you see and when you see it. Scott G plays George Orwell by putting these 3 ideas together.
COLUMN: With the announcement that the Geico Insurance Cavemen are being written into a script for a television series pilot, the issue of branded content again rears its ugly head. Scott G speculates on some of the oddities surrounding this silly side of advertising.
COLUMN: The news is no longer the news. Scott G points out that we are in the midst of some bodacious blending: information & invention, data & political agenda, fact & fiction, actuality & publicity, and truth with whatever else comes to mind.
COLUMN: While the subject of contextual branding against other company’s trademarks will not be a new issue to some people, and I had been aware of the problem from the past couple of years of litigation between major companies and search portals like Google and Yahoo!, nevertheless I was a bit surprised when my brand was targeted by an upstart competitor.
COLUMN: Way too many companies still maintain an antiquated mentality still driven by sales, instead of changing their focus to one that is driven by marketing. Sales driven companies should drop their short-term ways of thinking like a bad habit, and start transitioning their organizations into ones that are “market driven.”
COLUMN: Too many ads in too many places appearing way too often. Product placement invading content. Messages triggered by RFID chips. Advertorials. Sponsorships. Hype. Spin. Noise. Scott G isn’t the only person who thinks we’ve gone too far. Some consumers are fighting back.
COLUMN: When an ad agency gets a new client, a lot of people swing into action. Account managers assess the brand, competition, positioning, and strategy. The media department finds target audiences. And the creatives, well, just what are they DOING back there with that loud music and riotous laughter? Scott G tells all.
COLUMN: Microsoft once paid the Rolling Stones millions for the use of “Start Me Up” to inject some excitement into their campaign for a new operating system. Scott G tells why MS better buy the rights to a whole bunch of rock, electronic, county and hip hop songs because the launch of their Vista OS is currently dead in the water.
COLUMN: Remember back in the day, (like, about six years ago), when there was a clear line of demarcation between content and advertising? Content was the programming that was periodically interrupted by commercials. Commercials were advertisements designed to sell products and services.
COLUMN: Paid placement is a dirty little secret of advertising and public relations. Scott G explores a few of the subversive, sneaky, snaky, snarky, sleazy and very profitable methods of putting your product in front of the public in just the right light.
COLUMN: Bouncing back and forth between the worlds of marketing and music, Scott G took some time off from writing about advertising in order to cover the musical madness known as the NAMM Show. Upon his return, he finds the communications industry to be semi-chaotic, with zombies, reptiles and torture-porn all over your TV.
COLUMN: Political advertisements are frequently insulting, misleading, intrusive, divisive, belligerent, harmful, and/or just packed with lies. Everybody, it seems, hates political advertisements, but one man has decided to try to do something about it. Scott G interviews Tim Warner about a controversial proposal for grading political ads.
COLUMN: Announcing the number one fastest-selling product of its kind released on a Wednesday aimed at 29-54-year-old left-handed female residents of Midwestern states! You wouldn’t put much stock in that as a marketing boast, but Scott G points out that sales figures often approach that level of absurdity.
COLUMN: A public restroom. Dripping faucets. Double entendres. Another annoying pharmaceutical spot for medication that shrinks prostate glands? Nope, it’s for corporate polluter ExxonMobil. Scott G admires the photography while hoping the communications industry holds the big Ex up to ridicule.
COLUMN: Yes, they attempted to ruin a lovely song. Yes, the company admits to firing the person who leaked the video. And yes, they are wasting money on an executive with enough spare time to trade misspelled barbs with people on YouTube. But in defending its horrific version of U2′s “One,” Bank of America stands up for dorks, dweebs, jerks, idiots, morons and no-talent greedwhores everywhere.
COLUMN: Disgusting advertising campaigns do more than anger people; they also bring shame on the marketing profession. In addition to calling for a boycott of the products themselves, Scott G suggests the marketing industry refuse to hire the creators of the ads.
COLUMN: Current television advertising contains soldiers, elephants, autos, mirrors, and balls. According to marketing guy Scott G, some of the campaigns are quite good while others are puzzling, inane, harebrained, obtuse, weird, and a wild waste of money.
COLUMN: After seeing one of Sony’s debut TV spots for their new PlayStation(r), I’m sure I was not the only one slightly freaked out by the toy baby who comes to life, starts to cry, then laugh maniacally before flashing demon red eyes… all while pawing the air toward the floating black slab of a PlayStation 3 (PS3).
COLUMN: BOONTON, N.J. — The $40 billion private line services market is posting solid growth for the second year in a row, says a market analysis study from Insight Research. Private lines are point-to-point circuits leased by enterprises from telecommunications carriers in order to link enterprise sites to each other and to the Internet. Private lines are also used by cellular carriers to link their towers to land line networks.
COLUMN: There was a time when marketing executives were considered savvy, smart, or slick. Some probably are all those things, but not those involved with Microsoft’s new digital music player. Scott G takes a look at the marketing decisions for Zune (as in “rhymes with crazy as a loon”).
Copywriters and art directors have the easiest job in the world. Right up until they have to deal with unimaginative clients, unknowledgeable account managers, and uninformed creative directors. With a wink and a sigh, Scott G sums it all up.
COLUMN: Chevy Silverado pick-up trucks must be very hard to sell. Otherwise, General Motors would not have its ad agency make such a controversial commercial. Scott G confesses to enjoying the music in the spot while wincing at the visuals.
Interactive online presentations, consumer generated content, DIY ad campaigns, viewer voting, and Joe Public development of stories and videos are starting to be found virtually everywhere. Scott G says go ahead, write this column.
Marketing, ad campaigns, Dow Chemical, time management, The Simpsons, true friendship and other topics of earth-shattering importance are covered by Scott G in a quick-and-easy Q & A format. Wikipedia, Moby and Agent Orange also make appearances.
Why write a six-word sentence when it’s more fun to use 82 words and a bunch of gobbledygook? Scott G pokes fun at the way some businesses pontificate about themselves online and off. Have you taken a good look at the way business talks business? Business letters, brochures and client presentations are awash in multi-syllabic hogwash developed by MBAs who have been educated far beyond the meager capabilities of their brainpans.
Scott G was in the room as an advertising agency executive told a recruiter, ‘No blacks or Hispanics.’ The face of bigotry can be ugly or pretty, young or old, or anywhere in between. I know. I’ve looked at it several times.
Following the announcement of a patent for the video enhanced gravemarker, Scott G ponders the next phase of cemetery chic. Might there be an iTomb in your future?
The latest green TV commercial is from General Motors for their Chevrolet Tahoe. Scott G wonders how dumb viewers have to be to swallow this.
Scott G humorously examines the use of pachyderms in three current TV campaigns for Prudential, GE, and TI.
COLUMN: Every client wants a good ad agency (meaning one that creates effective advertising and doesn’t pad their invoices). And some agencies try to oblige. But as Scott G points out, many ad shops seem to be working from a slightly different perspective, one that is counter-productive at best and destructive of brand equity at worst.
Every ad agency wants good clients (meaning ones who desire great advertising and pay their bills on time). And some clients agree with this. But as Scott G points out, many firms seem to be working from a slightly different perspective, one that kills creativity right from the start.
COLUMN: Companies need to do a better job of policing themselves when signing up new customers on the Internet and through mail campaigns, otherwise they risk contributing to an already serious epidemic of personal and business identity theft. Certain companies are making it a little easier for crooks to get a foot in the door due to a lack of safeguards and common sense. And guess what? It just happened to my company.
Scott G recently watched a lot of car commercials. He was not amused.
The VW Jetta television commercials from Crispin Porter + Bogusky are shocking, effective, and eerily beautiful. But as Phil Hatten points out to Scott G, the sound designer has undercut their message (or VW has a product defect).
Political advertising sucks. Not only does it reduce complex issues to the level of a schoolyard taunt, there are few boundaries to constrain the worst offenders in the game. And the game appears to be called “Who Tells Lies the Fastest.” With anger and sadness, Scott G looks at some of the dreck we endure prior to every election.
There is something to be said for setting the bar too low: all subsequent efforts will look better. Scott G gives a mercifully brief examination of a recent train wreck from something calling itself agency.com.
COLUMN: Some ad campaigns don’t work. Like the recent mistake of putting an American Idol winner in a retail automotive ad. Scott G comments on Ford’s chopping of Taylor Hicks.
The ad campaign for “Lady in the Water” was a noble attempt at marketing a movie using wit, taste and style. But as Scott G notes, the low turnout for the film’s opening weekend may make things a little less subtle in the future.
COLUMN: Apparently shaving is no longer hip and cool. I’m watching TV, the commercials come on, and I am blinded by the stubble… oh the stubble … Does Paris Hilton think “that’s hot?” Ohmigod! I need to stop shaving or I’m not going to get past that velvet rope!
COLUMN: Copywriters and art directors get much of the attention in the ad world, but Scott G is one creative director who claims it’s the account management function that controls how a campaign soars or collapses.
COLUMN: Consumer-created media can be fun, frantic and fantastic, but it might also become fatal to your fiscal health. Scott G is pleased to scare you with this modern horror tale.
It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s American. Scott G looks at one way to get some juicy news coverage for your product, even if that product is illegal in many parts of the country.
Phenomenal photography, dynamic directing, energized editing, and moronic marketing highlight the top 3 commercials at the Cannes festival. Scott G points out a few things the advertising managers overlooked when approving these low-concept productions.
Most people in the communications business try their best, but sometimes things just get out of hand. Scott G takes a look at some eyebrow-raising news involving fast food that makes you want to fast, and an auto maker invoking a name from days of the Third Reich.
Where do ads, brands, technology, sonic branding, media and marketing all come together? In the brainpan of Scott G, who collects this stuff for your entertainment. You’re welcome.
Weasel words, prevarication, contradictions, legalese and qualifications are the order of the day in advertising disclaimers. Scott G dives into the subject and a great time is guaranteed for all! (Guaranty not valid in this galaxy. No diving has taken place.)
Miscalculations, errors of omission, lapses in judgment, and death-by-committee are all reasons for marketing mess-ups. In this continuing series, Scott G imagines how some of these deals went down.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) can now be used almost anywhere: they’re embedded inside products, pets and people. Scott G takes a look at a not-too-distant future where everything is monitored, metered, tallied and tracked.
The worlds of media, advertising, marketing, branding, sonics, and technology are all interlocking more and more these days, and Scott G sees so many of these connections that he has to deal with them in little snippets, like shards of glass after a traffic accident.
Scott G lays bare the reasons behind every bad ad you’ve endured and suggests that a possible cure lies in the usage of a procedure called ‘The Architecture of Advertising.’
After the latest multi-million-dollar fine for record company payola, Scott G speculates that there is a lot more under the surface that could be happening, from holding executives up to public ridicule, to terminations of employees, to (most especially) new fines in state after state after state.
“How to Get Your Music Placed in TV, Film, Advertising and Games” was the title of the panel in question. The information presented was fascinating and often quite lively. Members of the panel presented a nice mixture of facts and amusing anecdotes. And it was consistently entertaining. What was not covered, however, was an answer for the “how to” part of its title.
As marketers seek greater global presence and the U.S. lurches toward debtor nation status, there will emerge a good old-fashioned capitalistic solution: the government can sell ad space on the sides of things. To get there first, may we introduce www.USA-Ad-Biz.com.
COLUMN: Getting a company logo in front of the public is not an easy job anymore. In the olden days, I’m told it used to be a simple process: you would just call up a promotional gift supplier, order a few cases of glow-in-the-dark executive desk sets emblazoned with the firm’s name, and presto: instant brand placement.
Barcodes in commercials, wristwatch credit cards, and bathroom broadcasts combining entertainment with advertising: those are just a few of Scott G’s predictions of the wild world of marketing communications now upon us.
COLUMN: Product placement is considered a necessary evil and potential savior for the advertising industry, but sometimes the concept gets in the way of the art form. The recent creative and financial flop The Island took the concept way too far.
How information overload, data glut, and media excess will lead to consumer revolt and an end to marketing, advertising and public relations as we know it.