As you know, big ad agencies, especially traditional ad agencies, are full of shit. They want desperately to seem relevant and current and will say whatever it takes to bring in the most relevant and current people, especially in digital and social media. Notice I said "say" and not "do."
They'll tell you about all the cool stuff they want to do but it's all talk. They'll bring out the shiny objects, mood videos, apps, and show you where the pet project incubator is in order to convince you how with it they are. And how valued and needed your contributions will be. They'll throw a bunch of cash at you to sweeten the deal. And you take it either because you want the money or you truly believe they mean it. Poor you.
Two bits of news today in the world of online piracy.
On the unsurprising note, our friends at the Trichordist point out over 50 major big brands are supporting movie and music piracy.
What we find frustrating is that the major content companies and corporations must have existing relationships with these brands as the content and media distribution companies own the television networks (at the very least) that these brands are dependent upon for the mass scale and mainstream promotion of their products and services.
So now the news is out that Amy Poehler will do a Super Bowl spot for Best Buy.
Poehler, seen above and strangely without Tina Fey, is described as having the kind of frank humor that will get people queuing up for Best Buy's electronic goods.
According to online and global e-commerce President Scott Durchslag:
"Because of the complexity of technology today, folks have lots of questions. Amy is this comedic everyperson who can make things simple. And Best Buy is trying to accomplish the same thing — making technology simple."
How Relational Aesthetics, a concept issued from Contemporary Art, can open up a new way of thinking Advertising.
Years after my Art studies, I saw one of my former university lecturers again. She told me she had followed my first steps into the Art world, and didn't understand how I got "lost" into the Adland.
I explained to her that on many levels, mechanisms at work in both fields are the same. That's why I never felt lost at all.
In fact I believe that the mutations that happened in the Art world during the last few decades can help to better understand those that brands have to face today.
Anyone remember The National Do Not Call Registry? It was this government sponsored act passed in 2003 to limit the number of telemarketers calls, if not stop them outright. because we were tired of being hustled and hassled by advertising.
Fast forward to today, and now, a decade later, Congress passes a "social sharing bill."
As the Guardian points out, "Though they can't seem to do anything about the looming financial crisis, Congress has passed a bill that will make it easier for a company like Netflix or Hulu to share your rental data with Facebook."
Adland purposefully shied away from yesterday's tragic events, believing quite correctly it was wise for an ad based site to stay the hell out of commenting on something of this level lest we look stupid, biased, opportunistic, or worse-- like we left our twitter feed in the hands of an emotional but not objective or rational intern or social media tinkerbell who, caught up in the furor and frenzy of wanting to be first with a brilliant link or pithy turn of phrase to be retweeted endlessly, can only utter the same sheep bleats as anyone else in this situation: "we need more gun control," "our hearts go out to the victims." In short, though we care mightily and deeply about the issues at hand, and emotions have run high and hard around the office
Last week’s news that Absolut is shifting its business away from TBWA to Sid Lee, and Honda putting its business up for review after a quarter century partnership with RPA has got me thinking a lot about the nature of the ad business today. Advertising does not exist in a vacuum. It is influenced by pop culture, influenced by the times.
This is written in part for the ones new to advertising who didn’t experience the dawning of a cliché called Putting A Monkey Or Other Such Primate In An Ad. This is also written in part as a way to explore the idea that even at the risk of being labeled a cynic, questioning what is brought forth as the truth, even if there aren't ready answers available, is good exercise.
I’m not sure when it started. Maybe in 1971? But I’m not positive. You see, there have been Many of them. In fact a search of the word “Chimpanzee,” on adland brings up two pages worth.
“Gorilla,” brings up six pages worth of ads. And “Monkeys?” Nine pages worth.
In my last post, I got into the explosion in opportunities for brands to express themselves, and the very tip of the iceberg as pertains to the challenge that this situation presents agencies with.
This time around, I want to get into the more important part of this equation. The only people that matter are the people our clients want to receive their message. The audience. They are known as the target. Customers. But they are an audience. Once, there was an illusion that they were captive. They never were, but let’s pretend they really were raptly and exclusively glued to their radios while a sponsored show aired for the entire nation at one time.
Copywriting. Everyone thinks they can do it, from the client to your mom. The difference is, of course, that they don't have time to write. But they could. And they have lots of opinions on how to make you a better writer. So does David Ogilvy. He'll tell you that the consumer is your wife. That five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. That the word "free" is good, and so is "new". It's time for some new #copywriterwisdom. And much like when Art Director Wisdom happened, twitter is key.
Real Time Marketing is here - and advertising needs to adapt says Tribal DDB’s Paul Gunning in an article over at FastCoCreate and the wisdom in it sounds a lot like If you work in advertising but all you're doing is advertising, you're doing it wrong by Tim Geohagen here on adland last year.
Paul bemoans the lack of flexibility at agencies, the rigid system that hinders ideas to appear where they can be useful.
See that photo above? That was Elvis in his prime. During the Jailhouse Rock years. That photo above is also the definition of foreshadowing: A performer who performs in a prison.
See, Elvis Presley is more famous for dying on the toilet than his beginnings as one of the inventors of a country/rock-a-billy/RnB/gospel hybrid called rock n’ roll.
You know the drill. It's often a tv spot, or as they say these days because tv is so passé, "a film." But there's also the more quick and dirty website version of the same idea, just embedded in a stand alone site instead of on Youtube.
If it's a website though, it must be a mysterious website. One must ask "from what teenaged bedroom where did this thing come from?" At least for the first two minutes. And then you realize it's too overproduced to be anything other than the usual stuff from an ad agency with too much time on its hands and a yearning to get on FWA.
While the mind can still conjure up the news reel glory days of American Veterans returning home from World War Two it was never quite the warm welcome we imagine.
Veterans have it hard. We ask them to defend our country, intervene in far off places, and then mostly write them off when they return. It's sometimes the most thankless necessary patriotic duty one can imagine. And yet.
Michael Moore and Moveon.org are no doubt aware that International Election Monitors are going to observe this years' election, as has been the case since 2002. Still that doesn't stop the Upper East Side propagandist from exploiting The Greatest Generation to try and gin up some good old fashioned scare tactics anyway.
When I saw the word “synergies” applied to the proposed merger of publishing giants Penguin and Random House, I laughed out loud. “Synergies” is Wall Street-speak for “Let’s merge two failing companies, fire half the employees, run the resulting business more cheaply, suck out all the money we can as quickly as we can, and then leave the wounded, gasping beast that is the resulting company to die a miserable, public death.”
Which is exactly why “synergies” best describes the merger of two of the biggest names in the publishing industry, which is wringing its hands over the immediate consequences of this deal, which really represents one more death rattle of the once thriving book publishing trade.
Here’s what happens now: lots of editorial, marketing, and other jobs will vanish. Agents will have fewer places to sell books. Fewer books will be published. Authors will get even less money (if that’s even possible, since some publishers are paying zero advances whenever they can get away with it). And the pontificators will pontificate on what it all means to society (not much, since most of society has already given up on reading books).
"Congratulate me, Joe! I just sold the business to the Resor boys. They don't know it, but the advertising agency business has seen its best days!"
I want you to let this sink in for a second. The quote above came from J Walter Thompson. In 1916.
Since the dawn of advertising, many people have scrambled up the top of the heap, King- Of-The-Hill-style, in an effort to be the first to proclaim their own industry dead.
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