December 21, 2006

Our agency party blows your agency party away

Cavalry Brand Development wanted to bring in the New Year with a bang, so we had our holiday party at the DFW Gun Range. I'm sure only insiders will truly appreciate the video.

December 8, 2006

Smart media placement to reach dumb clients

Got this coaster from a bar in Waco, Texas called George's.

The lesson: If you truly know your customers, you can put the right message in the right place.

November 28, 2006

Consumer Generated Media

My neighbor’s truck looked a bit different this morning.
I don’t know much about him, but my opinion
sure is different today than it was yesterday.

Just goes to show that you can’t control what people say about you,
only how you treat them.

Pay it forward

My girlfriend got this cool direct piece in the mail last week.

If she opens a Citibank® checking account, they’ll deposit 25 cents into the account every time she uses her Citi® credit card. Although the legal says, “up to $250 per year.” So great deal, if you use your card 84 times a month. But is it enough to make anyone switch?
I've had a checking account at Bank at America for years, so I signed up for their Keep The Change™ program when it launched. They describe it as an electronic coin jar, which is catchy. Every time I use my debit card to spend $6.15 on a Large Wendy’s® Spicy Chicken Combo – add cheese/hold the mayo, BofA automatically transfers 85 cents (my change) from my checking account into my savings account. The kicker is they matched it 100% for the first 3 months and 5% a year after that.
Despite the deal, I stopped using my debit card for every purchase after a month because it was impossible for me to balance my checkbook with so many transactions (even with their painless online banking.) Plus I looked like an idiot every time I left a tip, because I felt compelled to add on an extra penny to force the bank to match 99 cents. But just for that month's charges plus using it sporadically the rest of the year, BofA deposited a matching $35.54 into my saving account.
Anyway, I’m sticking with my Discover Card, which gives me 1 percent back on every purchase. I average just over 20 bucks every month.
It may not be the best deal, but it’s become a habit over the years. And isn’t that awfully close to brand loyalty?

p.s. Room 116 had a post awhile back about WaMu’s awful 3 cent promotion. You can read it here.

November 27, 2006

False advertising

Q. Can I sue someone for lying in their ads? I've been using Axe but not a single hot chick has thrown herself at me.

A.Yeah, you'd probably get your name in the paper for suing Unilever (makers of Axe.™) But a lawsuit won't help you get laid.
It's an accepted practice for ads to use hyperbole for entertainment value. So instead, let's pretend you asked me how to meet girls.
It took me years to figure this out, but the trick is to talk to them.
I don't mean hit on them. Just say hello, ask a question and be interested in what they have to say. Most girls will be so pleasantly surprised that a guy is actually talking to them like a human being, instead of trying to pick them up, that they won't even mind that you really are picking them up. It's very zen. The only times I had any luck was when I wasn't trying so hard.
It's called "confidence" and it doesn't come in an aerosol spray.
(But you'd be surprised how far showering everyday and doing laundry once in awhile will get you.)

November 18, 2006

Sorry, you can't force them to

Natalie Dee

You know things have changed. But what are you doing about it?
comic by

November 9, 2006

A very brief history of advertising manifestos

Back in the old days, all you had to do was pound your product benefits home by repeating the same jingle or slogan over and over and over.

In the so-called glory days, companies discovered creative work stood out. Then even more edgy stuff was required to bust through the clutter.

Today, customers seek out meaningful experiences that enhance their lives. If you want people to bond with your brand, you can’t force the relationship anymore.

November 8, 2006

Stop calling your ad a "film" and watch these instead

Saw Putney Swope for the first time last night. My only advice this week is to watch it. Shot straight up my top 5 list of favorite ad related movies:

1. Putney Swope
A black man is accidentally promoted to agency chairman and shakes things up. Satire at its finest. Plus, it's got boobies. (Bouncing, no less. And long before The Man Show put girls on a trampoline.)

2. Lost in America
Albert Brooks quits his agency gig to cruise in a Winnebago. Confirmed that I couldn’t possibly do anything else with my life besides try to create great advertising.

3. Advertising Rules!
An Art Director is torn between his work and his girl. (Sound familiar?)

4. How to Get Ahead in Advertising
Working in advertising drives an exec to grow an evil second head. This one is better than the bad pun in the title would imply.

5. Crazy People
The folks Dudley Moore hires out of the asylum are almost as sane as my coworkers at the Cavalry.

Dropped from the Top 5. Big
Yeah, I know Tom Hanks works for a toy company, but the scene when his new comic book idea gets killed due to office politics might as well be set in an agency.

September 2, 2006

That bitch is my best friend

Q. Earlier this year, I got my first job, my own place and my dog back from my parents. (They took care of her after I left for college.) My life is really coming together, but now Muffin is sick. The vet said they can try surgery to save her. (I can afford it if I max out my plastic.) But she’s getting up there in years and the vet doesn’t know if she’ll make it through recovery. So do I take the chance?
- Wondering what’s best for my poor pooch in Atlanta

A. Dear poor pooch,
I assume you’ve been feeding your dog Iams Active Maturity.™ Because you want the best for Muffin, don’t you?
Or are you just trying to hold on to a comforting link to your childhood? You’re finally standing on your own. Life is great, but starting out can be scary. I’m sure it’s nice to have Muffin around loving you unconditionally.
So consider what your pet is really going through and ask yourself,
“What’s in your wallet? ”®
Then decide if you want any cash in it for the next few years. Because despite anything David Spade or those unemployed Vikings tell you, if you have to charge it, you can’t afford it.
Life is forcing you to become a grown-up. Yeah, Life Takes Visa, but it also takes tough decisions. So do what you can to ensure that you and your dog both enjoy the time you have left together. Just don’t jeopardize your future to inhumanely extend hers.

Office rivalry?

Q. Should I buy a gun or a knife?
-Account Executive, Dallas

A. Dear A.E. in the Big D
It depends on if you want to use it on a creative director or a client.
I’ve heard that “Guns are for show and knives are for pros.” But the guy who told me that blew out the engine of his 1967 Camaro™ in a race. So I think he proves the rule that knives are only cool to other dudes who own knives.
However, there are only two acceptable scenarios for gun ownership. Either you live in the country with an innate respect for the land and life. Or you own a gun safe. That doesn’t mean lock it in your bedside table. Because some kid finding your gun while looking for Playboys is much more likely than you ever stopping a burglar.
If you need protection, get a Taser® brand stun gun. (Legally you have to say it like that because the corporate lawyers over at Taser International are afraid of liability issues if their product name becomes the de facto term for the category, like Band-Aid™ for bandages.)
There’s no upside if somebody gets shot or stabbed. But a few thousand volts can be pretty entertaining.

Rapid implementation of comedic content

Q. How can I learn to deliver the ultimate one-liner?
– S in Austin

A. The trick to nailing a great one-liner is being willing to throw out lots of awful ones. It's like brainstorming - there are no bad ideas. In other words, don’t edit yourself. When you throw out the perfect snappy quip, everyone will forget the 20 previous inane, nonsensical comments you made.

The power of dreams

Q. If a man sleeping in front of a TV dreams that he awoke from his sleep and the TV was on did he really fall asleep?
- Fupluver, Jersey

A. Once I had a dream that I was getting dressed for work but forget to put on a belt. When I woke up I realized that I overslept because I had turned off my alarm instead of hitting snooze. Then I told my Creative Director I was late because I couldn’t find a belt.
So it doesn’t matter if he fell asleep or not. The guy probably has TiVo® anyway.

August 22, 2006

You sir, are no Abigail Van Buren.

Q. Why should I ask some ad hack for advice?
- Mike Phipps, Orlando

A. Advertising informs us that Tide® with Bleach will get those brown pit stains out of your tee-shirts and that Colgate Total® can stop bad breathe while fighting gingivitis.
So I can probably handle the rest of your problems too.